Could it be Adrenal Fatigue?

What are adrenals? 

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Our adrenal glands are endocrine glands that sit right on top of our kidneys. They produce hormones that aid our body in controlling blood sugar, burning protein and fat,  and regulating blood pressure. They as well produce hormones in response to stress – playing a huge role in the flight or fight response.  Two of the most important adrenal hormones are cortisol and aldosterone.

Living in these days of uncertainty causes much stress, which takes a toll on our adrenal glands. When these glands are overused, the body may experience several symptoms. Here are the most common ones:

  • excessive sweating with little activity
  • low pack pain
  • dark circles under the eyes
  • dizziness
  • muscle twitches
  • low blood sugar
  • heart palpitations
  • easily irritable
  • chronic infections
  • light headed feeling when you stand up
  • tired, yet wired.
  • cravings for sugar
  • dry skin
  • lack of libido
  • tendency to startle easily
  • negative response to thyroid hormone

If you are experiencing a handful of the above, you may have tired adrenals.  Get a saliva test right away.  Our adrenal glands are crucial to our immune function and as well support our thyroid in proper functioning.

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NATURAL WAYS TO SUPPORT YOUR ADRENALS

  • eliminate sugar and processed carbs.
  • eat clean animal protein foods, organic root vegetables, and mung beans for easy-to-digest protein.
  • reduce coffee intake, try an herbal coffee alternative like teecino (found at local health food stores)

SPECIFIC FOODS TO ENJOY THAT WILL SUPPORT YOUR ADRENALS

  • Coconut
  • Olives
  • Avocado 
  • cruciferous veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc.)
  • Fatty fish (e.g., wild-caught salmon)
  • Walnuts
  • Seeds, such as pumpkin, chia and flax
  • Kelp and seaweed
  • chaga mushrooms
  • sea salt
  • free range chicken

HERBS: Ashwagandha, Schisandra, Holy Basil

Other tips: add lavender oil to your bath, avoid negative self talk as well as negative people, aim for a solid 8 hours of sleep every night, be sure to keep exercising (gentle movement, nothing strenuous), get at least an hour of fresh air daily.  

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Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself?

Love thy neighbor as thyself?

I think we can all agree this suggestion at times can be challenging as we race about our day, determined to complete the task at hand and focused on our individual path. We see reality through our perspective alone. So when we get thwarted by someone on their own trajectory, when things don’t unfold as smooth as planned, how easy it is to quickly judge, blame, assume, or become irritated. Perhaps we label these people as ‘difficult’ and we do so without hesitation. But what if we did hesitate, what if we were to pause and bring compassion into the equation. What would that look like?

This begs the question:

Are we willing to look at ourselves, really look, in any given situation and recognize that what we perceive almost always originates from right within ourselves? In other words, maybe it’s not “he, she or them”, but rather “me”?

Some things to ask yourself the next time you judge, become angry or annoyed:

1. Are you taking care of yourself?
When we are tired, malnourished, spread too thin, lacking focus or addicted our brains are not functioning in their ideal manner, our emotions are all over the map, we are depleted and it is much more challenging to look at the glass half full. For the next couple of days, make it a point to write down how you are physically feeling and aim to make shifts in your daily routine that will better serve you*. You deserve to be living in a state of exuberance and joy, not in exhaustion. Life is tough enough, let’s not make it harder for ourselves. (*happy to email you a complimentary document on Lifestyle Suggestions)

2. Have you thought about looking at everyone in your life through honest eyes of compassion?
Compassion means having a concern for – genuinely caring about – the well being of others. It means you are willing to be patient, to help and to attempt to understand others without judgment. To understand that we all have different strengths and weaknesses. What we focus on expands, if you hone in on someone ‘s weakness you are bound to exacerbate the situation. Rather, try tapping into your strength to help, not hinder, them. While we are all incredibly different, every single one of us knows what it is like to be human. It is not always easy. I’ve noticed that for myself if I start with kind thoughts, they become kind words and then translate into kind action. When my thoughts are not kind I know I need to PAUSE and look at myself.

3. Might you take a walk in their shoes?
“Never judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes”.
We are programmed to make snap judgments before we even know what it is like to be the person we are judging. How selfish of us to assume we know them or what they are going through! The key to putting on their shoes is to slow down, to step out of ‘your’ line of vision and really consider what they are going through. Then, we can have a better idea of how our actions impacted them and why they responded the way they did.

I wrote this blog today because yesterday I heard someone say the words “Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself” and I realized that in order to do that we need to:

TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES, EMBRACE COMPASSION AND BE WILLING TO LEARN.  The world can never get enough love, let’s help spread it…

 

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Sunday Soul Food- GOODNESS

What a different experience it is when you go through the day HONESTLY paying attention to how you are treating others… in every single encounter.  Looking more closely at how the reality you find yourself in might be perceived by those around you, and less closely at your own perception.  Naturally, this is challenging – as we are viewing the world from our own two eyes.  I woke up and read this quote today:

“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people”

After doing so, I decided I would spend this day strengthening my goodness.   It really doesn’t take a whole lot to turn an ordinary day into an EXTRAordinary one.. all we have to do is slow down, and open our eyes and ears wide – so we can see and hear all the opportunities we have to really help out.

Something I was reminded of a lot today – CHERISHING others is key.  It brings out the best in them.  In any situation or in any person it is easy to find something to complain about, but what the heck good is that going to do?  What we focus on expands, so perhaps we can ask ourselves… what do I want to encourage in this life? the BEST or the WORST?

TOO BLESSED TO BE STRESSED.  

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Calcium! You gettin’ yours?

It is recommended that the average adult consume about 1,000 mg of Calcium per day. Women older 50 and men over 70 should consume 1200 mg. Why is this so important think about?

Calcium is needed for vital life processes (that support bone health, heart health, proper nerve and muscle function). Unfortunately, we naturally loose this mineral each day through our skin, hair, nails, sweat, and excretions. Because the body cannot produce calcium on its own, we must consume adequate amounts through food sources!

THE ABSORPTION FACTOR:
Taking in calcium without ensuring absorption won’t do the trick. It is essential to also take in other vitamins and minerals that are needed to properly absorb calcium.  These include: vitamins A, C, D, K and minerals magnesium and phosphorus.

Vitamin D:
We can get it from the sun, but chlorophyll acts as ‘stored sunshine’ because it will perform like vitamin D in the body to help with calcium absorption  If you are consistently inside, consider taking a liquid chlorophyll or greens supplement.  When outside,  know that your pores must be open (sweating) to retain vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D transports calcium into the bone, helps rebuild the epithelial cells in the intestinal tract and is crucial in avoiding depression.

Magnesium:
Magnesium stimulates a hormone that increases calcium in the bones and keeps it from being absorbed in the soft tissues (this is what happens in several types of arthritis).  A magnesium rich diet in conjunction with calcium intake might be enough to cure forms of arthritis and help keep bones dense.

Magnesium Rich Foods:

Dried seaweeds, beans (black, mung and lima), buckwheat, millet rye, rice, all chlorophyll foods, high quality chocolate.

                                                               Calcium Rich Foods:
Green Leafy Vegetables:
Collard Greens, Spinach, Turnip Greens, Broccoli, Beet Greens, Bok Choy, Mustard Greens
Dandelion, Parsley, Watercress, Barley Grass, Wheat Grass

Nuts:
Almonds, Hazelnuts, Brazil Nuts, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds

Fish
Sardines, Salmon, Oysters

Sea Vegetables:
Kombu, Hijiki, Oysters, Wakame, Agar Agar

Legumes:
Tempeh, Garbanzo beans, Black Beans, Navy and White Beans, Pinto Beans

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SUNDAY NUTRITION TIP: CHEW!!!

Physical digestion begins in your mouth. Your saliva contains digestive enzymes that begin to break down what you eat, helping to prepare your food into something your body can absorb (not just swallow!). The more thoroughly you chew your food, the more likely you are to achieve maximum absorption of all its vitamins and minerals.
Saliva not only assists in the digestion of carbohydrates, but it also makes food more alkaline, which reduces bloating and gas.

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HOW TO CHEW PROPERLY

Like any good habit, proper chewing takes practice. If you are new to the idea of slow and mindful eating, start with the two tips below. Remember, big changes have small beginnings.

1. Chew each bite 20-30 times before swallowing
2. Put your utensils down between bites to slow down.

Bonus Tip:
Become aware of the conversations you are holding while eating, aim towards using language and words that calm you and those around the table down. We want to be in “REST AND DIGEST”, not “FIGHT OR FLIGHT” mode when we eat. If you are feeling stressed out during a meal, pause for a moment and focus on your breathing. See if perhaps you can take several abdominal breaths to help down regulate your nervous system into ‘chill mode’.

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Less – More

LIVING RIGHT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE COMPLICATED….

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Speak Less – Listen More

Say Less – Do More

Complain Less – Work More

Worry LessTrust More

Ride Less – Walk More

Watch LessCreate More

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Eat Less – Chew More
Yell Less – Laugh More
Start Less – Finish More
Correct Less – Prevent More
Blame Less – Forgive More
Argue Less – Embrace More
Sit Less – Dance More
Compete Less – Cooperate More
Take Less – Give More
Frown Less – Smile More
Have Less – Be More
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THE K.I.S.S. DIET

KEEP IT SIMPLE!!!

My Goodness! I just logged on to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition’s new portal as an alumni and my jaw dropped when I saw the number of ‘diet plans’ out there.  Phew, enough to leave the head spinning. It has inspired me to write this blog today.   I’m coining yet another diet term, but it’s intention is to simplify and narrow the focus for anyone trying to figure out a better nutrition plan for themselves.  The KISS Diet (aka keep it simple stupid) incorporates 9 tips on how to instantly make healthier choices. I will post them in 3’s as to not put too much on your plate (pun intended :)) at once.  My hope is that at least 1 resonates with you and that you can implement that pointer today.  Because if not now, when?

FIRST THREE TIPS: 

1. WATER.  

BASIC TIP: UPON WAKING DRINK 1 CUP OF WATER WITH THE JUICE FROM ½ A LEMON

Thirst often masks itself as hunger.  Are you able to distinguish between the two?  If you have eaten an adequate meal within the past 3 hours and get hit with a hunger pang, there is a good chance you are dehydrated.  Try drinking a glass of water and see how you feel in 5 minutes.

Are you drinking enough water throughout the day?  Rule of thumb: 1L of water per 50lbs of bodyweight per day.  So, if you weigh 150 lbs you would aim for 3L of water per day.  Pictured here is a bottled water that is .5L, SIX of these would be 3 liters.  That gives you a good frame of reference.

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How’s the quality of your water? I used to drown my body with water and would still feel dehydrated.  It was because my water was lacking trace minerals.  Nowadays we have reverse osmosis which keeps our water ‘clean’, but inherently strips it of good minerals as well.  If you aren’t drinking mineral water, a good idea is to put a drop of trace minerals into your water 1-2x per week.  This will ensure that the H20 goes not only into your body, but into your cells.  The minerals are what help transport water into your cells where they also activate enzymes, which are the basis of every biological process in the body, from digestion to hormone secretion to cognition.  You can buy trace minerals at a very reasonable price in the vitamins & supplements section of a whole foods store or online. 

Extra tip: Add a pinch of Sea Salt!  Sea salt contains more than 84 minerals and nutrients that our body needs on a daily basis. It has been used throughout history for achieving and maintaining optimum health. Just a pinch of *sea salt in your water glass will blast these minerals and nutrients into your body.  Your thirst is satisfied longer because the mineral content holds more of the water within your body.

*THIS IS REAL SALT!!                                        THIS IS NOT!!

 

  1.  CROWD OUT RATHER THAN DEPRIVE.  Rather than focusing on what you ‘shouldn’t have’, focus on eating all the delicious, natural foods that are packed with minerals to keep your body healthy and that make weight loss easy.  The less that happens to the food from the time it is pulled from the earth until it gets onto your plate, the better.  Not only does eating foods in their natural state ensure you are getting all the health benefits, but it also keeps the caloric density of your meals in check.  For instance, a half cup of raisins contains approximately 250 calories, while the same serving of grapes contains only 30 calories. Simply put, LESS processed and MORE natural.       

MORE

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LESS:

 

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  1.  SLOW IT DOWN.

Basic Tip: Take time to eat.  Chew your food more. Enjoy the REAL food at the table (friends and family)

We can barely keep up with ourselves these days and that applies to the way we eat as well.  It is no wonder between 25 and 45 million Americans (10-15% of our population!) have Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  HOW you eat is just as impactful on your body as WHAT you eat.  We should be in rest and digest mode rather than fight or flight mode when we are feeding ourselves.  Are you sitting down with friends and family at your meals, or eating in a rush on your way to work?

How well are you chewing your food?  Often we forget that one of our body’s main sites of digestion is the oral cavity (mouth).  Our salivary glands secrete an array of enzymes and substances that aid in digestion and also disinfection.  Chew your food well!  This will not only help to pull the maximum nutritional benefits from our food, but will also result in proper satiety.  I know when I eat too fast, I end up eating way more than my belly needed!

SlowItDownPrint

 

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