How to Defy Fatigue, Cheat Sleep Deprivation, and Steal Energy - Naturally


This is a guest blog written by Jenna Pacelli, Dharma Yoga & Resilience and Wellness Coach.  See the orignal post as well as her other posts at

How to Defy Fatigue, Cheat Sleep Deprivation, and Steal Energy - Naturally

I should have been exhausted, but I wasn’t…

I just spent the last 12 days in New York City completing the second module of my advanced 500-hour yoga teacher training with my beloved teacher, yoga master, Sri Dharma Mittra. After returning, I am back and full of energy and vitality for all that I have to share and teach.

Our days were long- 14 hours in the studio, plus an hour of commuting with only a 90-minute lunch break in the middle of the day and a couple 10-15 minute breaks scattered throughout. But I should have been much more tired considering we were doing between five and seven hours of advanced yoga asana (the postures) a day. That’s more than most people do in a month.

That, plus I was running on four to five hours of sleep per night for 10 days in a row. This would normally be the recipe for disaster, right? Some might think: “With a schedule like that, you’re guaranteed to get sick,” or “There’s no way I could do that without multiple cups of coffee or maybe even a Five Hour Energy.” But I didn’t feel that way. I wasn’t even taking naps.

Normally, I don’t endorse this kind of schedule- this is only in extreme circumstances that I will be this busy, getting this little sleep! But when it happens, this is how I deal.

Here’s what happened instead…

What I felt instead was energy, vitality, strength, increased flexibility, joy and bliss. And it had nothing to do with my age since this is how most of the teacher trainees felt, ranging in age from 24 to 54.

What was the secret? My food, 100% certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils, and lots of yoga and pranayama.

When we eat a plant based, organic diet, we give our bodies the phytonutrients (essential nutrients from plants) it needs to sustain itself. I don’t really worry about carbs, protein or fat. I only worry about the nutrient density of the food I eat- how many nutrients from plants am I getting per calorie.

For example, kale is high in nutrients and low in calories. The result? A high nutrient-density food. Meat is high in calories and low in nutrients. This is therefore a low nutrient density food. Same for dairy, refined carbohydrates like bagels, pasta and bread and other processed foods. Your diet should consist of as many high nutrient-density foods as possible.

NYC collage

How I defied all expected fatigue and exhaustion:

-Before eating or drinking anything, warm lemon water with a bit of raw honey in the morning.

-Pranayama (breath work) and meditation at the studio.

-Breakfast: Morning smoothie : raw, sprouted, peeled almonds (a superfood), banana, avocado, soy or rice milk. 1 cup of green tea.

-Midmorning: Pear, apple or persimmon.

-Lunch: A large salad with some kind of bean or legume for protein and enough fat coming from olive oil and tahini, or something from the vegan restaurant near the center. This was always my biggest meal of the day and I would always always eat until I was full – no deprivation and always listening to my body’s needs!

-Snacks: Pistachios, organic, non-GMO chips and hummus, more fruit, organic green juice, sometimes indulge in a vegan, gluten free treat.

-Dinner: not much. Maybe some soup or a smoothie if I was hungry. I generally try not to eat after 6 pm so my body has time to rest and assimilate the nutrients from the day. Plus intermittent fasting has been shown to lengthen the lives of rats and humans.

-LOTS of yoga and pranayama, powerful breathing exercises that are just as important as the yoga asanas. If you want loads of energy, learn pranayama from a qualified teacher (like myself) and get energetic yoga in every day. Better than any cup of coffee, without the come down.

-Because we were doing so much yoga and pranayama, I would often feel charged and hyper-awake at night. To help my nervous system relax, I would apply 100% Certified Therapeutic Grade DoTerra essential oils to the bottoms of my feet, especially the big toe, to help calm me down and prepare for sleep. DoTerra essential oils are an amazing product that can be safer, cheaper and more effective than most over-the-counter medications.

That’s it! Notice there was hardly any processed food in my diet. All of it was vegan and most of it was raw. When my clients eat similarly to this, they too have loads of energy, lose weight and glow from the inside out. What is your experience with food and energy? Reply below and let me know! I would love to hear about your struggles and successes. If you’re interested in DoTerra essential oils, please email and I will respond as soon as possible. 
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