Fight Adrenal Fatigue with this Diet

ADRENAL FATIGUE DIET

What should you be eating when you have adrenal fatigue? And what foods are doing you more harm than good? Here are some adrenal fatigue diet do’s and don’ts for adrenal support.

The basic diet for adrenal fatigue is similar to any diet for a healthy lifestyle. Regular meals consisting of high-quality nutritious foods are important to maintaining adrenal function and keeping blood sugar levels stable.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation that has worked its way into our thinking, and many of us are unknowingly hindering our own recovery by following erroneous eating patterns. Coffee to get going, a muffin and more coffee mid-morning, avoiding salt, fat, and real sugar and replacing them with artificial substitutes, skipping meals and eating on the run are all habits that directly (and adversely!) affect your adrenal glands.

DIET FOR ADRENAL FATIGUE

· Eat frequent, high protein meals and snacks (3 meals, 3 snacks daily). Do not eat proteins and starches at the same meal. Have either meat & vegetables or starch & vegetables. Proteins require an acid environment to digest, and starches require an alkaline environment. This is why after a nice meat and potatoes dinner, you usually feel like your dinner just sits there in your gut. It’s because the digestive enzymes are neutralizing each other instead of digesting the food.

· Eat “Real” food. Not pre-packaged mixes, not “imitation pasteurised processed cheese food” … Seriously, if you have to intentionally label it as food because otherwise I wouldn’t recognize it as such, well…thanks, but no…the sad thing is that they have been exceedingly clear that this is imitation food, not real food, yet we don’t seem to comprehend what that means, and continue to put it in our shopping carts…

· Forget what you’ve learned about “breakfast foods”. The WORST things you can have for breakfast are fruits and cereals/breads/grains. These items quickly convert to sugars, which will give you a speedy blood-sugar spike, but end up requiring your adrenals to work harder to catch you as you “crash” later in the morning. Think protein instead. Eggs, meats, etc. If you start your day with fruit, follow it up half an hour later with something more substantial. If you must have a grain product, avoid white sugar/white flour products and stay with the whole grain choices, which are a complex carbohydrate that takes longer to metabolise. And ALWAYS include some protein. A quick and easy breakfast option is a whey protein meal shake.

· Limit starchy and sugary carbohydrates and fruits (especially bananas, because they are high in potassium, which is already high in Adrenal Fatigue). Make your carb choices from the non-starchy vegetables as often as possible. Raw and lightly cooked are your best prep options. However, always cook your crucifers (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.) to neutralize the goitrogenic compounds (thyroid suppressors).

· Eliminate white sugar and white flours. These simple carbohydrates require a greater release of insulin in order for your body to deal with them, and this stresses your adrenals by making it even harder for them to stabilize your blood sugar levels. Choose whole-grain options, and sweeten with raw honey, molasses, or dates. Complex carbohydrates will help you feel fuller faster, “stay with you” longer, digest slower, and provide fibre as well as moderating blood sugar.

· Eliminate caffeine entirely. I know this is easier said than done, and the withdrawal symptoms from stopping cold turkey can be pretty uncomfortable in addition to being hard on your adrenals, so if you are a big coffee drinker, wean off gradually. Try cutting your consumption in half, then in half again. Maybe go half and half while you replace coffee as a drink over time…

· Eliminate alcohol entirely. Like caffeine, this can be a difficult substance to eliminate cold turkey. Check out the book Potatoes Not Prozac: Solutions for Sugar Sensitivity for some interesting discussion on the connection between alcohol and sugar sensitivity, and a seven-step plan for controlling sugar cravings. This is especially important for adrenal fatigue sufferers who are having a hard time stabilizing their blood sugar.

· Do NOT limit your salt intake when you have adrenal fatigue, especially if you are craving salty foods. Sodium is critical for adrenal function, and is usually low when adrenals are depleted. Celtic Sea Salt has an abundance of trace minerals that are beneficial as well.

· Do NOT restrict fats in your diet, but DO make sure you are eating the right kinds of fats. Your body uses fats and cholesterol to make hormones, and if you are not getting enough, then your body cannot produce the hormones it needs. I know this is contrary to current trends, but it is possible that the current recommendations actually contribute to depressed adrenal function if followed too stringently. Good fats include olive oil, real butter (preferably organic), grape seed oil & coconut oil (both of which are the only fats you should be using at high heats, like for frying).

Also, it is important to identify and eliminate foods that you are allergic or sensitive to. Delayed food allergies and food sensitivities are more common than you may realize, and the most common offenders are the foods that you are using in some form every day (milk, wheat, eggs, soy, and many others). They may not be causing dramatic reactions like hives or anaphylaxis, but they are contributing to your general feeling of malaise, as well as stressing your adrenals.

Jax ©

How Stressed Are You? Is Stress Making You Sick?

ADRENAL FATIGUE SYMPTOMS
Do you have adrenal fatigue symptoms? Symptoms of adrenal fatigue resemble what our mothers used to call a nervous breakdown. The inability to cope with stress is, however, not a breakdown of our nerves, but of our adrenal glands, which can burn out after long periods of heightened output.
The symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
· Startle easily-something as simple as the phone ringing will send your heart pounding wildly.

· Feeling tired all the time-You wake up tired, even after what should have been “a good night’s sleep”. You nap, but never feel like you’ve had enough.

· Allergies-You have either developed new allergies, or have developed an increase in severity of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis.

· Diminished tolerance for stress/Anxiety attacks- Stress triggers an irrationally disproportionate anxiety or irritability. Feeling of being unable to cope, or “coming unglued”.

· Postural hypotension feeling dizzy upon rising, particularly from a horizontal position.

· Lethargy-a feeling of almost incapacitating weakness, especially when not eating regularly.

· Hypoglycemia-(Low blood sugar)

· Hypotension (low blood pressure)

· Caffeine dependent-need caffeine to get started or keep going during the day.

· Weight gain-specifically as a layer of belly fat.

· Sensitive to bright light, or have a hard time driving at night.

· Sleep pattern: need to “sleep in”, you get your best sleep between 7-9am. Slow to get going, but then pick up some steam, until you hit a late afternoon low and need a nap. If you don’t go to bed early, then you get a second wind after 11pm, and can go until the wee hours. Doing that, however, will leave you a total wreck the next day.

· Unable to fight off or recuperate from illness- You seem to be sick all the time.

· Exercise makes you feel worse, not better.

· Hard time getting to sleep, or staying asleep.

· Low libido (low sex drive).

· Food cravings include salt, sweets, and protein.

· You have multiple “stress factors” in your life: you’ve just had a baby… had surgery… got married… got divorced… moved either across town or across the country…lost a loved one… been a victim of a crime… have “3 under 5″…have “tweens”… have teens… have a job…lost a job…have any kind of life at all…the stress factors don’t necessarily have to be negative, and they don’t have to be dramatic, but they are continual…

Top 10 Reasons for Gaining Belly Fat

Top 10 Reasons For Gaining Belly Fat

Walking around the gym and working with clients there is a trend that I see. Extra weight carried around the belly or people wanting to get the ripped “six pack” look are the typical gym client today. What is the reason behind weight gain and why is it so hard to lose those extra pounds?

Here are the Top 10 reasons why people continue to gain weight.

10. Medications

There are a growing number of people who are depressed or on medication for depression. These medications decrease metabolism regardless of changes to the diet, and the medications can change hormone levels in the body. This impacts our ability to lose weight and keep the weight off.

9. Underlying Disease/chronic disease

A growing number of people have underlying conditions like Thyroid Disease, Diabetes and Cushing’s disease (increased production of cortisol in the body). People end up gaining weight and medical treatment is necessary to help in weight loss or slowing weight gain down. Due decreases in hormone levels, the body is unable to raise metabolism, which burns extra calories

8. Genetics

Research shows that genetics may play a part in weight gain. Evidence shows some people may have higher chances of weight gain. However, even though genetics may play a role in weight gain, environmental factors and individual choices play a much bigger role in a person being overweight then genetics.

7. Stress

Our natural defence against stressors is the Fight or Flight system. With increased stress levels, our bodies prepare for us to fight or run. When stress levels rise, cortisol is released in the blood stream, causing changes in the body. Cortisol helps release sugar, stored in the muscles and liver, into the blood stream for quick energy use. This hormone is responsible for accumulation of fat in the abdomen, which is hard for the body to get rid of. Cortisol suppresses the immune system making it harder to fight infections. Stress is always there so our cortisol levels are always high.

6. Portion Size

Have you ever super-sized your meal at a fast food chain? I am pretty sure most of us have. Portion control is a leading factor in weight gain. We tend to over eat foods that are high in fat and calories, and do it on a constant basis. We have lost our control over our portion control. Plates and cups are bigger, so taking in extra calories is easier.

5. Skipping meals

Skipping a meal is just as bad as portion control. It slows down your metabolism because of lack of calories and nutrients in the body to refuel us. When you skip a meal, 9 out of 10 times we overeat when the next meal comes. Food choices are usually affected and portion sizes become monstrous. This leads to too many calories, lethargic moods and storing those calories being stored as fat.

4. “Low-fat” Labelling

How many of us have been duped into thinking that low fat is low calorie? Low fat labelling means that there is 3 fat grams or less. Just because a label says low fat does not mean lower calorie. So before you grab that low fat product, remember look at the label and see how many calories and what the serving size is. We tend to over-eat low fat products, because we think low fat means low calories. Sometimes, eating the “real deal” can be better for you because of the serving size.

3. Lack of exercise

Strength training and cardiovascular exercise help increase the amount of calories that we burn. We find ourselves doing less and less exercise and eating more calories. The combination of lack of exercise and high calorie intake is why we gain weight. The more strength training, the more muscle we have, which leads to higher metabolism. This helps us burn more calories at rest and during exercise.

2. Slower Metabolic Rate

A slower metabolic rate helps with weight gain. Muscle is more metabolically active (meaning it burns more calories) than fat so we need more muscle than fat. One common myth is that as we age, we lose more muscle. If we stay active then this is not true. Continuing to do strength and cardiovascular exercises will keep the lean mass on our bodies, which keeps out metabolism burning. Then we can continue to eat those extra calories and not worry about gaining weight.

And the Number 1 Reason why people gain weight is….

1. Unhealthy Diet

Let’s face the facts: generally our diets are not good. Our diets are filled with processed foods that are easy to prepare and probably are not good for us. Portions are out of control and meals are lacking essential foods like fruits and veggies, and complex carbohydrates that help fuel our bodies. Fast food and pre-packaged foods can lead to extra weight around the waist due to a lot of fat and extra calories.

Diet and exercise help monitor weight gain as we get older. Making better food choices, monitoring your portions and not skipping meals will help you lose weight. Substituting a healthy snack or meal replacement will help you not to skip meals and will give you plenty of nutrients to satisfy you until you eat again.

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What they never told you about eggs!

What They NEVER Told You About Eggs

The Egg: this three letter word invokes almost as much fear into the hearts of Americans as our other favourite “deadly” three-letter word: F-A-T.

However, it’s finally time to crack the misconception that eggs are bad for our health, because they’re absolutely not.
It’s unfortunate, but many people still think that you cannot eat more than one egg per day, or even more than 3 eggs per week because if you do, you’ll develop high blood cholesterol levels and fatty arteries. But, this could not be farther from the truth.
So, why do we think this way?
In the 1960’s consumers were first “warned” about eggs as being a major player in the development of heart disease… without any conclusive evidence to back up this claim. News articles overwhelmingly focused on the egg- cholesterol – heart disease link when there was no real proof for this message.
Eggs were so demonised that egg substitute products became all the rage for cooking and baking, but they were no better, and sometimes far worse, than the whole egg itself.
Today, consumers need to understand that eggs are not evil, but in fact are healthy and important components of our diets.

High Protein Quality
First and foremost, eggs an inexpensive source of high quality protein that almost everyone can enjoy in various ways – from scrambled eggs to devilled eggs to green eggs and ham, eggs are a versatile way to quickly and easily get more protein in your diet. And, they’re not just for breakfast, but for lunch and dinner too!
In terms of protein quality, most foods rich in protein are measured in terms of the availability of that protein to effectively promote growth (cell growth), and this term is known as biological value.
Based on the amino acids contained in an egg and its ability to stimulate growth, egg protein is only second to mother’s milk for human nutrition.

On a scale, with 100 representing top efficiency, these are the biological values of proteins in several foods:
Whole Egg 94
Milk 85
Fish 76
Beef 74
Soybeans 73
Beans, dry 58
Biological Value of Protein Foods
Nutrition Powerhouses
Secondly, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition:

• Eggs are among the few sources of naturally occurring vitamin D and K, which are known for cancer protection and longevity.

• Eggs contain the highest source of dietary choline (125mg/egg), which is a nutrient necessary for proper nervous system development and structural integrity of cell membranes; particularly, choline is necessary for brain development in infants to impart lifelong enhancement of memory and attention.

• they supply 6.3grams of high quality protein, 5 grams of fat primarily consisting of an even balance of saturates and monounsaturates, with less polyunsaturates, and barely no carbohydrates at all; they’re the perfect low carbohydrate food.

• some designer eggs contain up to 200 mg of DHA, the essential omega-3 fatty acid needed by all humans for normal development and functioning, and prevention of depression and memory loss.

• the whole egg contains 166 mcg of lutein and zeaxanthin, two super antioxidants that contribute to eye health and prevent common causes of age-related blindness; research shows that the bioavailability of these nutrients from eggs is higher than other foods with higher contents.

Eggs Do NOT Cause Heart Disease

In November 2010, a paper was published by Canadian medical researchers entitled, “Dietary cholesterol and egg yolks: not for patients at risk of vascular disease”.

The authors stated that: “Patients at risk of cardiovascular disease should limit their intake of cholesterol. Stopping the consumption of egg yolks after a stroke or myocardial infarction would be like quitting smoking after a diagnosis of lung cancer: a necessary action, but late.”

However, prior to this paper, over the past 10 years, numerous studies, both clinical and observational, were published with the findings that there is no connection between egg consumption and heart disease risk, especially in healthy individuals.

For example, Dr Maria-Luz Fernandez and colleagues have been investigating egg nutritional health for more than a decade and have published findings such as:

• “Revisiting Dietary Cholesterol Recommendations: Does the Evidence Support a Limit of 300 mg/d?”. Overall, no study has yet shown an association between egg intake and risk for heart disease and there are no compelling epidemiological or clinical trial results that show compelling evidence for limiting cholesterol intake to 300 mg/day or restricting egg consumption.

• “Dietary Cholesterol from Eggs Increases Plasma HDL Cholesterol in Overweight Men Consuming a Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet”. Raising HDL cholesterol is often called impossible, but is necessary to protect against plaque build-up in your arteries (HDL carries it away). This study shows that it can be easily increased in overweight men (a population very susceptible to heart disease) by reducing carb intake and using eggs in the diet regularly.

• ‘Pre-menopausal women, classified as hypo- or hyper-responders, do not alter their LDL/HDL ratio following a high dietary cholesterol challenge”. When 50 pre-menopausal women (another very susceptible heart disease population) were given either an egg a day plus cholesterol from other foods, or a cholesterol-free egg substitute for 30 days, did not experience the development of an ‘atherogenic lipoprotein profile” regardless if they were hyper or hypo-responders to dietary cholesterol.

Overall, dietary cholesterol from eggs does NOT cause heart disease, rather a lifestyle and a diet high in foods that elicit increased inflammation, hyperglycemia and oxidative stress induces increased atherosclerotic build-up and increased risk for heart attack or stroke (among other diseases).

As such, it is wise to follow a diet low in sugar, void of processed foods, artificial chemicals (flavours and colours), preservatives and pesticides and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and replace it with a whole foods, natural, plant-rich diet balanced in protein, carbohydrates and fat to minimize heart disease risk.

Avoiding eggs is not the answer – in fact, including eggs in your wholesome diet will actually benefit you more. Two eggs provide 13 grams of protein, ~10 grams of fat, and plenty of nutrients you barely find in any other foods. This will keep you satisfied, healthy and energized for hours after any meal and will help you choose other healthy foods at the right times.

However, If you choose not to live a healthy lifestyle with whole foods, adequate sleep, plenty of exercise and minimal toxins, and/or you already have heart disease, you may be advised to limit your intake of egg yolks because it may acerbate your current situation.