Stressed? Tired? Craving sugar? Can’t sleep?
But what happens when they become “overworked?”
You’ve heard of “adrenaline junkies,” right?
Adrenaline and cortisol are the stress hormones that give you the commonly known adrenaline rush; when you're totally alert and living in the moment. This feeling is known as your body's "fight or flight" response.
Some people (perhaps you?) just love that intense feeling. The release of hormones in the fight or flight response is your body's normal reaction to stress. Stress can sometimes be positive, like when it helps you swerve and prevent a crash.
After a short time, the flight or flight response dissipates, your body goes back to normal, and all is good. But what would happen if you felt constant stress? Like all day, every day? Like “chronic” stress?
It wouldn't feel like an awesome (once-in-a-while) "rush," anymore would it?
And what do you think happens to your poor adrenal glands when they’re constantly working?
They’d get fatigued, right?
Do I Have Adrenal Fatigue?
When your adrenal glands start getting tired of secreting stress hormones day in and out, you can start getting other symptoms.
Symptoms like fatigue, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, weight loss or gain, joint pain, sugar cravings, even frequent infections like colds and the flu are signs that your adrenals are overworked.
First off, I have to tell you that there aren't medically accepted blood tests for adrenal fatigue. In fact, it's not recognized by most medical professionals until the point when your adrenals are so fatigued they almost stop working. At that point, the official diagnoses of "Adrenal Insufficiency" or "Addison's Disease" may apply.
However, if you do have symptoms, you should see your doctor to rule out other conditions. He or she may even be open to discussing adrenal fatigue, or at the very least, wellness strategies that can help to reduce your stress (and symptoms).
What to do if I have these symptoms?
There are many actions you can take to reduce your stress and improve your health and energy levels.
Ideally, if you think stress is starting to burn you out, stress reduction is key. There are tons of ideas how you can reduce your stress. My favourites are meditation, walking in nature, light exercise, more sleep, or taking a bath.
Of course, I also recommend reducing sugar and processed food intake and eating more fruits and vegetables. Better nutrition can only help your body. So go ahead and do it.
Your adrenal glands produce hormones in response to stress. After long-term daily stress, they may get tired.
Adrenal fatigue is a controversial disease that doesn’t have a true diagnostic test, nor specific telltale symptoms.
The most important thing you can do is to get tested to rule out other potential conditions. You can also try stress reduction techniques like meditation, walks in nature, light exercise, more sleep, or even a lovely bath.
Recipe (Stress-reducing bath salt): Lavender Bath Salt
As you're running your warm bath water, add ingredients to the tub. Mix until dissolved
Enjoy your stress-reducing bath!
Tip: You can add a tablespoon of dried lavender flowers.
Yes you should (end of post).
But what exactly is it about coconut oil that makes it so healthy? And which type is best?
Let’s dive into some of the fascinating research and find out.
Coconut oil is a special kind of fat
Coconut oil is fat and contains the same 9 calories per gram as other fats.
It is extracted from the "meat" of the coconut. Coconut oil is a white solid at room temperature and easily melts into a clear liquid on a hot day.
The idea of adding coconut oil to your diet is NOT to add on to what you already eat but to substitute it for some of the (possibly) less healthy fats you may be eating now.
And here’s why - Because not all calories or fats are created equal.
Coconut oil contains a unique type of fat known as “Medium Chain Triglycerides” (MCTs). In fact, 65% of the fat in coconut oil are these MCTs.
What makes MCTs unique is how your body metabolizes them; they're easily absorbed into the bloodstream by your gut, where they go straight to the liver, and they're burned for fuel or converted into "ketones."
This metabolic process, unique to MCTs, is what sets coconut oil apart from other fats.
Coconut oil MCTs may help with fat loss
Coconut oil’s MCTs have been shown to have a few different fat loss benefits.
First, it can help to increase feelings of fullness, which can lead to a natural reduction in the amount of food you eat.
Second, because of their unique metabolic route, MCTs can also increase the number of calories you burn; this happens when you compare the calories burned after eating the same amount of other fats.
In fact, a few studies show that coconut oil may increase the number of calories you burn by as much as 5%.
Third, some studies show that eating coconut oil can help reduce belly fat (a.k.a. “waist circumference”).
Just remember not to add coconut oil to your diet without reducing other fats and oils!
How much coconut oil should I eat?
Many of the studies that showed increased fullness, increased metabolism, and reduced belly fat only used about 2 tablespoons per day.
You probably don’t need any more than that.
What kind of coconut oil is the best?
There are so many coconut oil options available in grocery stores these days
that it can make it difficult to know which is best.
I recommend you stay away from "refined" ones, and opt for "virgin" coconut oil. That is because it is processed at lower temperatures and avoids some of the chemical solvents used in the refining process; this helps to preserve more of the oil's natural health-promoting antioxidants.
Pro Tip: Always (and I mean ALWAYS) avoid "hydrogenated" coconut oil. It can be a health nightmare because it contains the infamous "trans fats."
One thing you should also consider is that each oil has a specific high temperature that you should avoid surpassing (e.g. its "smoke point"). For virgin coconut oil, that temperature is 350F. That means you can safely use it on the stove top on a low-medium setting, as well as in most baking.
Substitute some of the fat you eat with virgin coconut oil; this may help you to lose weight and belly fat by naturally helping you to eat less, as well as slightly increasing your metabolism.
Oh, and it tastes great too!
Recipe (Coconut Oil): Homemade Healthy Chocolate, Serves 12
1. Melt coconut oil, and whisk in maple syrup, salt, and cocoa/cacao powder until smooth.
2. Stir in slivered almonds until evenly distributed.
3. Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.
4. Store in fridge or freezer to avoid melting.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Substitute other seeds, chopped nuts, or dried fruit instead of the almonds if you wish.
It's snowing outside, and I was craving something warming and nutritious. I am not usually a fan of "creamy" soups as I avoid dairy, so I decided to transform this traditional comfort soup making it vegan and gluten free.
It far exceeded my taste buds expectations, and I hope you enjoy this as much as I. Oh, and guess what, I made this in 5 minutes using my blender! Yup, super quick and simple. Gotta love that!
Cream of Broccoli Soup
Serves 4. Vegan, Gluten Free, Yeast Free.
Wash and chop broccoli and cauliflower into florets if using fresh. I used frozen and simply steamed these along with the celery until fork tender.
Heat vegetable stock on stove if using store bought (or your own homemade). I used HarvestSun Organic Vegetable Bouillon Cubes, which are vegan, gluten and yeast free. Add 2 cups boiled water to a blender along with 1 bouillon cube.
Add in cooked vegetables and MCT oil, seal lid tightly. This is going to be hot, so trust me you want to make sure the lid is on good and hold the top down while you blend. Mix well until smooth on soup setting if using a Blend-Tec or simply pulse to desired texture. You could also use a food processor for this. Emulsion blender is not recommended as it will not make it smooth and you risk splashing hot soup all over.
Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Garnish with a TSP of hemp hearts. Enjoy!
There you have it, simple and delicious - and gone! Yup, I just couldn't resist.
Confession, I ate up all 4 servings over the course of the day and drank fresh vegetable juice in between my soups to give my digestive system a bit of a break. I am not much of a calorie counter, but rather encourage eating whole unprocessed foods, easy to digest protein, healthy fats, and plenty of fiber. This prevents over eating and therefore, reduces overall caloric intake supporting digestion and body metabolism.
Do you enjoy soup as much as I do? Please let me know how this one turns out for you or if you have a favourite of your own.
Flax Egg Instructions:
Maple Oat Muffin Instructions:
Maple Crumble Ingredients:
My 3 year daughter and I love baking together. We were in the mood for muffins and came up with this one together. A fun activity with toddlers who love to get a little messy and work with their hands. These vegan muffins are moist and delicious as a breakfast with a cup of herbal tea or as an anytime snack.
Does your toddler love to bake? If so, I would love to hear what kind.
Thick, gooey and sweet raw honey provides an abundance of health benefits. Raw honey is honey that has not been heated, pasteurized or processed in any way. While commercial honey has been heated and pasteurized and has fewer benefits.
In its natural state, raw unpasteurized honey retains all its natural vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients. It can be purchased in a liquid form or creamed.
Raw honey is not suitable for children under the age of 1 due to risk of botulism (Clostrium botulinum). Once a child reaches 1 year of age, their digestive is able to kill off any botulism germs.
Honey Lemon Cough Syrup
In a small saucepan over medium low heat, warm all ingredients until coconut oil is melted. Allow to cool slightly and take warm syrup by the teaspoon as needed. I like to add this to my chamomile tea and drink before bed.
Once the mixture has cooled, it will harden due to the coconut oil. Simply reheat on low to melt and take by spoonful or add straight into hot water or hot herbal tea.
No matter what age, ear infections can be painful. Whenever our 2 year old has a cold with a stuffy or runny nose an ear infection will likely follow. A trip to our paediatrician or ER is in order to check her ear drums for fluid and ensure they are intact. We generally leave with a prescription for yet another round of antibiotics. But, are they really necessary?
Children between 6 months and 2 years of age are at the greatest risk of developing an ear infection due to underdeveloped immune systems and the shape and size of their Eustachian tubes. Daycare and group settings also increase their risk as does bottle fed babies who drink lying down vs those who are breast fed. Most ear infections can resolve without antibiotics as many are caused by a virus. Determining what is best for you or your child depends on many factors including age and symptoms.
For us, as difficult as it was to see our child suffering with an ear infection we weren’t comfortable repeating a 3rd round of antibiotics in as little as 2 months (yes, we actually did that). While I feel there is a place for them, I just knew I had to explore natural remedies and avoid overuse of antibiotics.
You will need:
Besides looking super cute, we found this helped resolve our daughters cough, chest congestion and ear pain in less than 1 day. You may need to repeat or leave on for a full 24 hours or until symptoms have completely resolved. If your child is not keen on wearing this, trying playing a game of pirates and have everyone wear a bandana or hat.
If symptoms persist, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. I am not a doctor and cannot provide medical advice and you should always consult with your primary healthcare practitioner or MD.
It is important to talk to your primary health care practitioner about the benefits and risks of antibiotics and determine what is best for you and your family.
2 bunches of greens (kale, swiss chard or collards)
1 TBSP EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 TBSP Hemp hearts (I use Manitoba Harvest)
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 TBSP Braggs Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
½ TSP sea salt (I use pink Himalayan)
Optional: a pinch or two red pepper flakes
If you haven't heard about the healing benefits of bone broth, I highly encourage you to read on. This is an incredibly nutrient dense traditional remedy that is making a its way into main stream holistic protocols and paelo diets for good reason.
Bone broth is a staple in most traditional diets with the exception vegan and vegetarian. Its just like what it sounds like. A broth that is made into a healing soup stock that can be added to stews, for cooking grains, stir fry, risotto and really anywhere stock is required. But there is so much more to this type of broth than typical commercial boxed or canned versions.
Bone broth is rich in minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, and sulphur that our body can easily absorb. Touted for its ability to reduce joint pain and inflammation due to the gelatin, proline, glycine, chondroitin and glucosamine that is extracted from cooking the bones, tendons and cartilage of chicken or beef.
When consumed regularly, bone broth can be used to heal the digestive tract, leaky gut, smooth skin, enhance immunity, improve mood, increase energy, and reduce inflammation and joint pain.
How to make bone broth:
2 lbs bones, from grass fed beef or organic chicken
1 onion with peel, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 tbsp Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1 litre pure water (not tap)
Roast bones in oven for 30 minutes (improves flavour). Then place bones in large stock pot and add vinegar and water. Let sit for 30 minutes. Then add vegetables and bring to a boil. Simmer on low for 48 hours for beef or 24 hours for chicken skimming off any foam and discard. Strain and discard bones. May add fresh black pepper and celtic sea salt and fresh parsley for flavour.
Drink 1 warm mug a day on empty stomach for 30 days.
Learn more at http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/broth-is-beautiful/
Have you been drinking bone broth? How has it helped you? Please share your story below.
Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Oh so deelishish!
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
2 whole eggs, beaten
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted, (more for cooking)
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup chopped pecans
I usually top my pancakes with plain greek yogurt for extra protein. What do you use?
Nancy Este is a Registered Yoga Teacher and Certified Nutritional Practitioner. She is here to share with you over 17 years of experience in the Alternative Health field. It is her hope to help save you time, money and stress when it comes to regaining your balance in life.