Adrenal Fatigue…a nutritionist’s perspective…
Are you stressed? Take note my ‘Type A’ and/or perfectionist friends…
As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and someone with a ‘perfectionist’ brain, I know first hand what adrenal fatigue feels like and I do not wish this on anyone!
Without getting into too much detail about my story here, there was a time the thought of walking up the stairs was exhausting to me. I was a mess and I felt as if I wasn’t going to make it. It was the lowest point of my life…and it was my wake up call.
Let’s focus on you now.
In our busy, toxic and fast paced world, many women (and men) experience constant levels of stress and never give the body a chance to recover.
Did you know that any of the following can weaken your adrenals?
Lack of sleep, poor food choices, depriving yourself, driving yourself, loss of a loved one, major life changes, underlying infections, major surgury, changes in financial status, chemical exposure, having a baby, job changes, any loss, even having a root canal or dental work!
Daily Habits Matter
What I learned in my quest to regain my health is that stress is cumulative and that by simply managing the stress in the moment, we aren’t really addressing the root problem. Making lifestyle changes like doing yoga classes and meditation sessions are helpful as part of a larger healing plan, but these alone will not heal weakened adrenal glands.
What does Adrenal Fatigue look like?
So, for those of you who find yourself experiencing *odd and unexplained symptoms, I would highly encourage you to read on and learn more about what stress looks like and how you can take a more proactive approach to dealing with this increasingly common health challenge.
*Odd symptoms = craving salt, wake up exausted and need stimulants to get going in morning, lack energy, digestive difficulties, food intolerances, low blood pressure, can’t handle stress, highly emotional, decreased motivation, weight gain, weight loss, hair loss, etc.
If you are not sure you have adrenal fatigue, try this questionnaire.
Here are some general ideas to get you started.
1. Rest until 7:00 am. Your adrenal glands regenerate between 6:00 and 7:00 am every
morning…give those glands a chance to do their work by staying horizontal to 7:00 am as often as possible.
2. Eat at the right times to support your adrenal glands. Skip your coffee and try a high protein breakfast before 10:00 am. You need to replenish your waning glycogen (stored blood sugar) supply after the previous night’s energy requirements.
- Add raw vegan protein powder to your oatmeal (or try a bowl of seeds/nuts/buckwheat soaked in almond milk and topped with berries and stevia or coconut sugar)
- Have a raw vegan protein shake (check out our recipe section for many ideas) with added vitamin C
- Have eggs in any form you like!
- If you can’t handle much food, even a small, nutritious snack is better than nothing at all.
Note: if you are not hungry in the morning, it is often due to a congested liver. Eat anyway!
Eat an early lunch (11:00-11:30) and then again between 2:00 and 3:00 pm to sustain you through the cortisol dip that typically occurs between 3:00 and 4:00 pm. Eat your evening meal at around 5:00 or 6:00 pm. Most people experiencing adrenal fatigue feel their best after supper. If you don’t feel well, you may be eating the wrong foods for supper. Before bed, have a couple bites of a high quality snack to help get you through the night without any dips in sugar. (panic attacks, sleep disturbances, anxiety reactions, feeling wrecked in morning)
3. Eat a protein with a complex carb for every meal. Do this throughout the day and avoid refined sugar and flour. For example, I always make sure that I have a serving of vegan protein powder at work for when I forget my lunch or for when I am especially hungry.
Here are some other snack ideas:
- hard boiled egg
- handful of raw nuts and seeds
- celery with nut butter
- apple with nut butter
- veggies and hummus
- whole food bar (check that it isn’t too high in sugar)
If you are experiencing difficulties digesting protein, (gas, bloating, feeling heavy) which is common in people with adrenal fatigue, consult with our Holistic Nutritionist for suggestions. Many people avoid protein but this aggrevates the problem! Avoiding is NOT. THE. ANSWER.
4. Up your salt and lower you potassium intake. Yup, generally when you are adrenally fatigued you have enough potassium but could use more sea salt. It’s all about balancing these 2 minerals. Pay attention to your cravings but respond to them in a more healthful way. Instead of chips, try a handful of roasted chic peas. Salt your foods lightly with sea salt. (especially the vegetarians out there because you aren’t getting the salts you would normally get from meat)
5. Avoid caffeinated beverages. I know I know, this is a tough sell but caffeine is very hard on your adrenals. Green tea is a better option because it contains high amounts of antioxidants. Or, have you tried Dandy Blend which is what I refer to as my ‘fake coffee’. Super delicious with almond milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon and stevia or monk fruit sweetener.
6. Get your magnesium. End your day with a cup of cal/mag which will help you to calm down and encourage a restful sleep.
7. Have a vitamin C and B food at 3:00 pm to prevent an afternoon crash.
Try a greens drink, camu camu, kale, peppers, goji berries, kiwi, papaya, etc.
8. I higly recommend a fantastic supplement by Physica called, Adrenal Life Force. Call us for more information or to order yours now.
9. Try doTerra essential oils to support your body. Rosemary and Basil diluted in fractionated coconut oil is one of my favourites. I also recommend diluting clove and lime with fractionated coconut oil and massaging it into your vagus nerve. Contact Linda Ljucovic for more support here.
For more information on how to address adrenal fatigue and feel like your young self again, please schedule an appointment with our Holistic Nutritionist.
This will not go away unless you take a proactive and holistic approach to heal.
Linda Ljucovic, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Oakville