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I know the wellness world is full of tips and tricks on how to battle the latest health issues that are coming our way as we age. I currently have a few clients that I’m working with that are battling chronic stress (amongst other issues), which comes with a host of other symptoms such as weight gain, brain fog, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and the list goes on. It’s estimated that around 2.5 million Americans suffer from chronic fatigue. The tips I’m sharing aren’t just based on individual cases, but are rooted in science and are proven to work if done consistently over time. I know the “consistently” part is the where we struggle, right? I’ve got you on this one!

First of all, let’s talk about adrenal fatigue for a minute, since it’s a term that gets thrown around a lot in the holistic health world: Your adrenal glands are two small, triangular shaped organs that sit on top of your kidneys. You would likely be able to survive without your adrenal glands if you replaced the hormones these make (cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline, and aldosterone) with synthetic ones. The term “adrenal fatigue” isn’t actually a medical condition. Adrenal insufficiency, on the other hand is a condition where the adrenal glands aren’t producing enough of the hormones. You would see your doctor if you’re experiencing low blood sugar, low blood pressure, muscle and joint pain, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting and treatment by an endocrinologist would then be necessary. Adrenal insufficiency can be caused by infections, steroid use, and pituitary gland problems.

So, when clients come to me thinking they may have adrenal fatigue, what we’re really battling is often chronic stress, which presents itself in the form of elevated cortisol levels, high blood pressure, weight gain, difficulty sleeping, and being stuck in that “tired, but wired” mode. If you haven’t already, please see your doctor to rule out any serious medical issues. If you get the all-clear, here are some tried and true tips that may help:

    1. Avoid caffeine or at least, don’t drink any on an empty stomach. Before you scoff at this: you don’t have to drop your morning cup of coffee cold turkey. Really. You’re totally fine with a cup of coffee in the morning, because I know that feeling of a jolt of energy and “Imma rule the world” all too well! BUT: please know that caffeine will increase cortisol secretion in high doses, especially on an empty stomach, and will activate your HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary- axis), which secretes the cortisol as a response to stress. Action item: Start your day off with warm, filtered water and a squeeze of lemon to clear out toxins, eat at least part of your breakfast, and THEN drink your coffee. If you’re ready to part with the Java, I highly recommend organic ceremonial grade Matcha tea, which contains catechins, which help curb sugar and hunger cravings, chlorophyll, which makes your skin glow and helps with inflammation, L-theanine, which provides you with calm and controlled energy, and some caffeine for that boost you crave.
    2. Tone down the HIIT and heavy cardio and exercise in synch with your cycle. If you’re above the age of 30 and are not already doing some type of resistance training, now is the time to start! I recommend at least 2-3 thirty-minute (or longer) sessions per week. I personally love the Peloton strength training classes on the app, since you can do them from home. All you need are weights and a mat. You’ll find other great options here and on Fitness Blender. The rest of your week should be focused on low impact cardio, such as jogging, walking, cycling, yoga, biking, and swimming. You know that “Zone 2” training that is so trendy right now? It’s safe to incorporate that, according to your menstrual cycle. Set a goal to move your body for at least 30 minutes every single day. It WILL make a difference and you are worth the time this takes.
    3. Nail your bedtime routine. “But there is SO much I have to do!”. Isn’t journaling for yoga instructors and those influencers selling journals on Instagram? I’ll admit this is what I thought for the longest time. I’ll also admit that I still don’t journal, but I do have my nighttime routine nailed down: Magnesium bisglycinate an hour before bed, no tv, dry brushing (when time permits), my skincare routine, a wellness book, comfy pajamas, a room temperature of 68 degrees, and around 7 hours of sleep. Like to meditate or want to get into it? Here’s a good place to start. Don’t knock it until you try it. Yes, all of it. You are worth it.
    4. Eat regularly, and focus on nourishment instead of calories. You already know that you need to be eating enough fiber, fruits, and veggies for better hormone health in general. I like to focus on wild-caught omega-3-rich fish as well, up to three times a week. I’ve got a delish and easy wild-caught salmon recipe here. I often find that eating at regular times and eating ENOUGH can be a challenge for many women, so you really do need to make it a priority to plan ahead and make time to meal prep every single week. It’s the easiest way to ensure you’re not falling off the wagon. I like for my clients to stick to the 20 – 30 grams of protein per meal as well for satiety, promoting lean muscle mass, and regulating blood sugar.  Not sure what this means in terms of real food? Check out my protein chart here. You’ll find a pic of one of my favorite and easiest high protein + fat + fiber breakfasts below. It took 7 minutes to make this. Another favorite is my Instant Pot Thai Shrimp Curry. So nourishing and delicious. Depending on the client, I also recommend snacks and fasting no longer than 12ish hours. Longer fasts will help with weight loss, but shorter ones ensure your hormones stay balanced and you’re not putting too much stress on your body.
    5. Supplement with nutrient and herbs. You may have heard of the trendy adrenal mocktail. Although I’m a firm believer in supporting your body with adequate salt and minerals, I don’t think this is a cure-all solution for chronic fatigue. Adaptogens, shatavari, maca, ashwagandha, reishi, and motherwort are all great supplements to try, but none of these will work in isolation if you’re not consistently working on the steps above.

If this all sounds basic and boring and not as exciting as the many fad diets and supplements you find out there, I get it. At the end of the day, consistency beats perfection and to make things more exciting and fun, I’ve got some wonderful, hormone healthy recipes for you to try here. I’m always happy to chat about how to successfully incorporate these tips into your busy lifestyle, so don’t hesitate to reach out, babe! You’ve got this.

 

protein rich breakfast

 

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