Wednesday, February 29, 2012

6 Ways to Energize Your Writing Naturally

LUCY BURDETTE: Which of us doesn't need a little advice about upping our energy level? Today Chrystle Fiedler visits JRW to give us some tips about natural remedies. Not only is she an expert on this subject, she's also the author of the brand new natural remedies mystery, DEATH DROPS. Welcome Chrystle!

CHRYSTLE FIEDLER: It's fun to take a break from writing and visit Jungle Red! I thought it would be interesting to write about natural remedies since my new book Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery features a holistic doctor who dispenses natural cures. I also thought that readers might be interested in natural ways to boost energy when it comes to writing.

I don't know about you but the best time for me to be productive and hopefully brilliant! is in the morning from 9 to noon. But once I have lunch, I feel less energetic. However, if I'm under a deadline I need to power through less productive times and write throughout the day. That's when I turn to my favorite natural remedy - coffee! I buy mine from 7-11 because home brewed just isn't strong enough.

I interviewed a doctor at Harvard Medical School years ago for an article and he told me that coffee at 7-11 and Dunkin' Donuts is 8 times as strong has home brewed! Not only does coffee give me a much needed pick-me-up, I've found it also boosts my mood (recent research shows that coffee can help with mild depression) and helps me see things more clearly. In addition, these natural cures can make you more alert and focused, with writing or whatever you need to do!

1. Sip small amounts of chilled water every 30 minutes. Studies show that when you consume small amounts of chilled water every 20-30 minutes during the day, it sends a clear and immediate signal to your brain to increase alertness and energy.

2. Smell peppermint. According to a study in the North American Journal of Psychology drivers had more energy when exposed to this scent. Peppermint increases alertness and decreases fatigue. Chew a nice strong peppermint gum or peppermint mints while you write or drive to decrease fatigue and increase alertness.

3. Use acupressure on your outer ears. Applying pressure to acupressure points all along the outer ear helps to clear the head, gets rid of dull pain above the neck and charges up your entire energy system. Just take your thumb and first finger and go up and down the entire outer ear two or three times and give it a good brisk rubbing.

4. Drink green tea. Green tea has some energizing caffeine, but it also contains theanine, an amino acid that has a stress-reducing effect on your brain. It calms you while giving you mental clarity, leaving your mind clear and sharp and alert.

5. Inhale Eucalyptus or spearmint essential oil. The nose is the only part of your brain that extends to the outer environment is your sense of smell so it's very charged. Volatile oils such as eucalyptus or spearmint stimulate a part of your brain that triggers alertness. For a natural pick-me-up place a few drops of eucalyptus or spearmint essential oil on a tissue and inhale deeply.

6. Eat Dark Chocolate. Although it's weaker than caffeine, the chemical theobromine in chocolate is a mild stimulant. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, (PEA) which is a feel good mood elevator. Choose a high quality, imported dark chocolate with 70% or more cocoa content. It has less sugar and its rich flavor will satisfy you with less. Aim for 1 ounce of dark chocolate a few times a week.

About Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery:

Dr. Willow McQuade, N.D., a twenty-eight-year-old naturopathic doctor specializing in natural remedies, has decided to take sabbatical and visit her Aunt Claire, the owner of Nature's Way Market and Cafe in idyllic Greenport, Long Island. But the idea of rest and relaxation is quickly forgotten when Willow arrives from a morning meditative walk to discover her Aunt Claire dead in the store, a strange almond-like smell emanating from her mouth and a bottle of flower essences by her side.

Despite her Zen nature and penchant for yoga, Aunt Claire had a knack for getting into confrontations with folks. An activist, she held weekly meetings for different causes every week in the store. The police want to believe the death is accidental-but Willow thinks she may have been poisoned.

Chrystle Fiedler is the author of DEATH DROPS: A NATURAL REMEDIES MYSTERY (Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster), as well as of the non-fiction title THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO NATURAL REMEDIES (Alpha, 2009), co-author of BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW! (Fairwinds Press, 2010), currently in its fourth printing, the BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW! COOKBOOK (Fairwinds Press, 2012) and THE COUNTRY ALMANAC OF HOME REMEDIES (Fairwinds, 2011). Chrystle's magazine articles featuring natural remedies have appeared in many national publications including Better Homes and Gardens, Natural Health, Vegetarian Times and Remedy. Visit

LUCY BURDETTE: Thanks for stopping by today Chrystle! JRW, for a chance to win a free copy of DEATH DROPS: A NATURAL REMEDIES MYSTERY, post a comment with your answer to this question: What is your favorite natural remedy?


  1. Welcome, Chrystle. Congratulations on your new mystery series. I love your topic of natural remedies. Willow, your protagonist, sounds intriguing and DEATH DROPS sounds like a fun read.

    I do take natural remedies daily. It's impossible to narrow it down to a top #1, cuz two of them save my life every day. So I have a tie.

    Firstly, I have body pain (knees, muscles, that kind of thing). I use a lotion/cream/gel with arnica. It doesn't interfere with the meds I take. I love this stuff!

    The other favorite natural remedy is fennel seeds. After a meal, when I have difficulty with my digestion, I chew a half teaspoon or so of organic fennel seeds. Relief is about ten minutes away. (Some folks may have tasted these seeds at Indian restaurants, mixed sometimes with sugar.)

    Thanks so much for your list of six ways to boost energy. There are several ideas here that I will use starting tomorrow! Thank you o thank you.

  2. Hello, Chrystle. Thank you for the list. I'm going to try the suggestion for sipping water--as soon as I stop typing.

  3. A natural remedy I use is deep breathing, for energy and relaxation both! Glad to discover this mystery series.

  4. Love this article and want to try the fennel seeds!

  5. Welcome Chrystie,

    That's hilarious about the coffee. I just did a research article about distraction and learned that nicotine was actually really good for concentration, so I'm going to start smoking cigarettes again.

    And Avi, now I have some use for all the fennel I brought home from France this summer!

  6. Congratulations, Chrystle! I remember meeting you at a class in NY a few years ago. Your series sounds delightful.

    I already drink green tea. Sip ice water? Much too cold in my house for that...

    But I love any excuse to eat dark chocolate. And I'm going to try some of these other ideas for pick-me-ups -- I usually succumb in mid-afternoon and take a nap. No nap on your list??

  7. Oh, caffeine, how I love thee.... But I have to be careful not to have it in the afternoon, or I won't sleep.

    I have a container of Altoids on my writing desk that I dip into now and then. I guess there's a reason I developed that habit!

    Thanks for the tips, Chrystle.

  8. Hi Chrystle! Thanks for the tips. Tea is my drug of choice. Tea while I write in the morning. A little nap after a late lunch if I can manage it. I've discovered a long time ago that that's what my brain needs in order to get re-energized. Otherwise I just struggled through the rest of the day. Then more tea and write like crazy until I have to quit for dinner.

    Love all your other suggestions! Good luck with your book!

  9. I'm very excited! I already drink tea, I definitely eat chocolate (probably more than one ounce a week. More is better, right?) and my favorite Burt's Bees lip balm is infused with peppermint oil, so I smell it a lot!

    If I add in the ear acupressure and sipping cold water, I may finally be able to keep up with the rest of the amazingly energetic Reds!

  10. Great tips. I sip water throughout the day.

    I schedule a long massage with an expert massage therapist every month.

    And I make sure to get an hour of vigorous exercise every day, either walking outdoors or going to a gym in bad weather. That energizes me more than anything! (And then I've earned my wine with dinner. ;^) )

  11. Totally into the idea of chocolate as a mood booster. In fact, I think I need some as we speak.
    Why do I foresee my mood getting better but my waistline getting larger? Hmmm.

  12. Welcome Chrystle. I'm a great believer in natural healing, love things like aromatherapy oils and studied Reiki, but anyone who recommends dark chocolate is a friend of mine!

    I always take the fennel seeds when leaving an Indian restaurant, and like Deb I'm addicted to tea, both English and herbal varieties.

    Good luck with the book.

  13. Hi everyone! I really enjoyed reading about all your tips! I'm so glad I could help too.

    Another way to energize your writing is to do Yoga Nidra. It's yogic sleep and when you do it it's the equivalent of 4 hours sleep!
    It's a head to toe relaxation method that really works. My favorite teacher is Jennifer Reis.

    Yes Hallie naps are good for your health too! Research shows that it helps prevent heart disease!

    Arnica is a wonderful remedy Avi. I use it all the time. You can take homeopathic arnica too. I'll need to try fennel seeds too!

    Rhys my next book Scent to Kill features aromatherapy! Lavender is my favorite scent.

    Love Burt's Bees Julia! You're right Edith, nature is the best natural remedy. I love to walk on the beach with my doxies!

    Thanks everyone for making me feel SO welcome!

  14. I could not live without coffee... very sad.

    DO you use oscillococcinum to prevent colds? I think it's a miracle..

    Welcome, Chrystle! SO interesting--I know I don't drink enough water. Hmm.

  15. Hi Hank - Yes, oscillococcinum is amazing! Sinusalia from Boiron really helps too.

    Drinking enough water is very important. I refill my cup all day long. Thanks so much for having me over to your blog!

  16. My favorite imaginary natural remedy is red wine. Imaginary because I'm not sure it's a remedy except for my mood.

    Ginger's my real natural remedy of preference. I cook with it a lot and also boil chunks of ginger root and drink the resulting "tea" with honey for stomach aches and throat problems.

  17. My favourite natural remedy is ginger. I take it daily.

  18. Hi everyone - Julia is the lucky winner of a copy of Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery! Julia can you please send your address to me at Thanks everyone for stopping by!

  19. I'm scouting over the web to find a natural remedy for bronchitis treatment. I'm a firm believer that nature coupled with a healthy lifestyle is a potent tool against viral or bacterial diseases.