Do you ever experience health issues like; exhaustion, cravings, bad breath, brain fog, joint pain, loss of libido, chronic sinus issues, or urinary tract infections? If you do, it could be a sign that you have a little gut bug call candida wreaking havoc in your body.
We want you to give your guts some love, because here at No Shoes we believe that a healthy gut is the root to a healthy life! So, our next few blogs will be making sure you are up to date with all that you need to know about Candida. No Shoes Nutrition will cover what Candida is, what symptoms you should be aware of, the contributing factors and some natural ways to help deal with it!
Candida albicans is a single-celled fungus and is the most common type of yeast infection found in the mouth, intestinal tract and genital areas of the body. It may affect skin and other mucous membranes as well. Candida is a sugar fermenting yeast and is an integral part of the intestinal microbiome in small amounts. If the immune system is functioning optimally, this type of yeast infection is rarely serious.
However, if the immune system is not functioning properly and there is an overgrowth, it can result in candidiasis/candida. It can migrate to other areas of the body, including the blood and membranes around the heart or brain, leading to serious candida symptoms.Basically, candida albicans changes into a hyphal (fungal) form which then roots in tissues, colonizes and feeds off the whole body. The entire ecological balance is upset in the GI tract and it affects things like normal hormone balance and proper liver function. A person may even develop new sensitivities, allergies or intolerance’s to a variety of foods like dairy, eggs and gluten.
Candida yeast overgrowth can be difficult for a physician to diagnose. This type of systemic yeast infection presents different ways in different people. Candidiasis is polysymptomatic. It can produce over 50 different toxins. The toxins are what create vascular permeability (leaky gut) which is why some food sensitivities and intolerances are linked to candidiasis.
Here are some of the main candida symptoms to look out for:
1. Severe Fatigue - If you have fatigue or exhaustion that you simply cannot shake, you may have chronic fatigue. If you find you have been dealing with fatigue for six months or more please visit your MD. If your fatigue is accompanied by other candida symptoms, including headaches, joint pain, difficulties with memory and concentration and sore throat then you could be dealing with candida.
2. Mood Swings - One of the reasons it can be difficult to diagnose candida is that so many of the candida symptoms are common to other conditions. People with candida overgrowth may experience dramatic mood swings, anxiety, irritability, depression and even panic attacks.
3. Recurring Vaginal and Urinary Tract Infections - If you have recurring infections of the urinary tract or vagina, candida may be at the root of the problem. It is important to realize that candida can be sexually transmitted, and partners can spread it back and forth. For women, reduce the risk by avoiding tight-fitting underwear or pantyhose and avoid hot baths during an active infection.
4. Sinus Infections - Sinus infections are common but it can be difficult to pinpoint the root issue. Candida can affect the sinuses and can result in a persistent cough, post-nasal drip, increased congestion, seasonal sensitivities, and general flu-like symptoms.
5. Gastro -intestinal distress - Ongoing intestinal distress is one of the more uncomfortable candida symptoms. Persistent flatulence, burping, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, and stomach cramps may be caused by a lack of healthy bacteria in your digestive tract. When the bacteria in your gut are out of balance, it’s known as dysbiosis.
6. Brain Fog - Brain fog is often overlooked as one of the candida symptoms. However, candida overgrowth can contribute to a lack of focus, poor physical coordination, and difficulty in concentrating on tasks as well as poor memory.
7. Skin and Nail Fungal Infections - Athlete’s foot and fungal infections in the toenail are common yeast infections, which stem from the same strain of candida. Ongoing infections may be a sign that you have a systemic candida infection.
8. Hormonal Imbalances - Having candida can lead to hormonal changes that can contribute to early menopause, PMS, a low sex drive, migraines, endometriosis, water retention, mood swings and an inability to lose weight.
There are many other symptoms which include; autoimmune disorders, food cravings for sweets, breads and carbonated beverages, insomnia, headaches, muscle aches and in some cases hyperactivity in children.
When yeast starts to gain a foot hold in the body the only signs and symptoms may be bloating, constipation and/or poor digestion. Next week we will continue with more on what having Candida means for your health and what you can do to naturally rid your body of this tiny pathogen.
Is your gut giving you grief? Could you be dealing with a possible Candida overgrowth? Curious about how nutritional health coaching can help you make healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with us today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit www.noshoesnutrition.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. We work with people from all over the world individually or in groups so don’t let anything hold you back!
In the past few weeks I have been trying to experiment with foods that I have cut out over the years to see if I could start introducing them back into my life. Some of these foods are “treats” that I wouldn’t eat on a daily basis but might like to enjoy on occasion and some of them are highly nutritious foods that I cut out because for me and my body, at that time, they were not making me feel my best.
As I have been experimenting, I have noticed a few interesting effects. Firstly, I found that my immediate reaction to most of these foods was nothing! Yay! These foods could be added back, and I would still feel great! Secondly, I felt proud of the work I have been doing to soothe my once inflamed gut and bringing down the inflammation I felt daily.
Well, that came to a halt very quickly one morning after adding the much-dreaded gluten back into my diet. A couple days ago I woke up at the normal time but immediately felt “off”. This is a hard to describe feeling but I’m sure you have had those times when nothing is really wrong, but you just don’t feel right. Well, I did my morning stretch, put my feet down beside my bed and WHAM! I was immediately hit with flash backs of all those years before when my feet ached when getting out of bed. I also realized that my hands and other joints were stiff and creaky as well. I continued my day and found that I just couldn’t think straight, my thoughts were fuzzy, I was forgetting names and I was tired…super tired.
This was just the beginning of my experiment with gluten, as with all this brain fog, I didn’t immediately put two and two together. The next day, and the next day after that things continued to go down hill. My nose was stuffy, I was getting more and more achiness and I had a headache for the first time in a year. Then everything seemed to come together for me. I had to step back, get myself back to my normal menu of foods and reset. Suffice to say, I am now feeling SO much better and am almost 100% out of my fog.
My point of all this is not to knock gluten, or any other food for that matter. What I learned, the hard way, was the subtle signs of inflammation. Things I realized I lived with for a long time, yet never realized were signs my body was giving me to change. I mentioned a few above but here are some more:
Low Energy – You know you slept well but you don’t feel rested.
Brain Fog – You just can’t keep your mind on something, and you find you are forgetting things.
Non-specific Aches and Pains – This is not acute pain but diffuse. It feels more like body aches then specific pain.
Digestive Issues – You may find that your digestive system is a little “off”. Things may run a little slow or a little to quick. There may be some bloating or extra gas.
Swelling – Your rings might be fitting a little tighter than normal. Your feet might ache in the morning or after a day of work.
Sinus Congestion – Your nose might be stuffed up or running all the time.
Skin Issues – Are you breaking out when that’s not normal for you?
Cramps – For the ladies, if you start getting cramps with your monthly cycle that are worse or extreme to your normal, this can indicate inflammation.
Headaches – Headaches become more and more regular. This alone might not be enough as this could also be an indication that you need to get your prescription checked. Some people can also be more sensitive to weather patterns and pressure changes so keep those things in mind as well.
Cravings – When inflammation increases in the body, this increases the stress hormones like cortisol. Cortisol can lead to cravings for fatty and sweet foods. This can turn into a vicious cycle if you indulge on those foods high in poor fats and sugar as these can increase inflammation!!
It’s incredible to know how good you can feel and to wake up one morning and realize how terrible you felt for SO long is actually a gift of sorts. I was reminded in a BIG way how important knowing my body is, how important feeding myself well is and knowing how great I can feel each day! I’m not as fixated on bringing those “treats” back into my life as I was a few months ago. Instead I am continuing to find ways to keep the foods I know work for my body fun and interesting!
Do youwant to get even healthier? Could you be dealing with low grade inflammation that’s holding you back? Let’s chat about how changing your nutrition and health coaching can help you make your own healthy changes so that you can feel and look your best. Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with us today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit www.noshoesnutrition.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. We work with individuals from all over the world individually or in groups so don’t let anything hold you back!
Tracking what you eat and drink is something we first ask our nutrition coaching clients to do when working with them. There are several ways to track your food and drink. You can keep a food journal and record daily by pen or use an app on your phone/computer to record your daily intake.
Tracking your food isn’t just for people wanting to lose weight. It is also valuable to anyone wanting to understand their habits, patterns, energy levels and issues with their digestion. It will help direct you towards positive changes. You probably won’t need to track for the rest of your life, but trying this for at least a month will shine a lot of light on what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat and how you feel after eating certain foods. It’s beneficial to write down your location, time of day, and mood when keeping a food journal. Keeping track of these things can reveal how stress, work, or certain people in your life affect your food choices.
Keeping track of your food and drink intake will help you stay focused on a healthy diet and provide more motivation to attain and maintain your health and wellness goals.
Other surprising and great benefits of food tracking;
Accountability - Recording everything you put in your mouth can be very effective in keeping you accountable to your goals. It helps you stay consistent with your choices and sets you up for success.
Detects food intolerance - If you feel bloated and nauseous after eating certain foods like eggs, dairy, or gluten, then you may be intolerant to these foods. If you have always had tummy troubles but don’t know why, tracking your food will help your realize which foods your body reacts negatively towards. Believe it or not, it’s not normal to feel uncomfortable after you eat or during a bowel movement.
Portion control - Tracking your food is a great way to identify how much you are actually eating. Are you eating too much? Are you eating enough? Ask us for advice on proper portion sizes then you can base your meals off of. Focus on whole foods and the balance of macro-nutrients (carbs, protein and fat) you are eating. Restaurants these days give huge portions. Everything is “up-sized”. Managing portion control will help you make healthier choices and stay accountable.
Weight loss -Keeping a food journal can help reveal the unhealthy habits that are stopping you from losing weight. By tracking, you get to see places in your food intake that show things like too little protein, too much fruit or not drinking enough water daily. Often people forget about the little snacks that they consume that could potentially be keeping them from losing weight. Maintaining a food journal will help you say no to the extra calories that may be stunting your weight loss.
Identify triggers - Maybe you are reaching for a snack when you are bored at work? Do you reach for a sweet treat when you are stressed? Tracking your food forces you to be mindful of your food choices and why you are making them, so it can help you look deeper into the why behind what you are eating. Do you always open the fridge the minute you get home? Our food cues have nothing to do with actual hunger and everything to do with cravings, our environment and how we are feeling. Using a food diary to note certain triggers will help you get rid of the unhealthy habits.
One of the best reasons to tracking your food is so that you can look back and see your progress. How motivating is that?! Changing habits is hard so when you do make some progress, it’s important to celebrate it, no matter how small the change. Small steps lead to big results. Keeping track of your food every meal and snack will show what kind of nutrition you are getting and where you are lacking. Use a food journal as an important tool, especially at the start of your health and wellness journey.
Want to get even healthier? Are you wondering if food tracking might benefit you? Could you use some support figuring out which way is best for you? Curious about how health coaching can help you make healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with us today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit www.noshoesnutrition.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. We work with people from all over the world individually or in groups so don’t let anything hold you back!
So, you've been thinking about getting some support to get your health on track but you aren’t really sure what that might look like. We don’t want anything to hold you back so here’s a little information about how we support our clients to reach their health goals.
At No Shoes Nutrition all our programs are custom made for the client. We spend time each week with our clients on the phone, on video chat or in person. We build the program specifically to meet the client’s health goals, needs and concerns.
Every Program will include:
A full start up assessment or follow up assessment to gauge where the client’s nutritional needs are being met and where they are lacking.
A full write up of what is discovered in the assessment and recommendations with a plan of implementing the recommendations over the course of the program.
Session notes after each session with the week’s action items and recommendations.
Sessions will include:
discussions of concerns and issues
discussions on topics of interest to client
discussion of any questions that arise during the week
discussion of areas that may be holding the client back
review of nutrition from week prior
review of supplement needs
following plan of implementation
Research outside of client meetings to answer client’s questions and concerns on special topics of interest or of concern.
Food recommendations and meal plans. (when requested/needed)
Learning strategies for food preparation session. (when requested)
Invitations to speaking engagements and events.
Documentation of accomplishments and achievements.
Final Report at the end of the program with a going forward strategy to maintain results.
No Shoes Nutrition believes we are all biochemically unique individuals that need specific recommendations to reach our personal goals. We all live different lifestyles and need to be able to fit healthy food into our life in a way that “fits”. We help our clients do just that. We figure out, by working closely with clients, how they live, their likes and dislikes and tailor a program to help them achieve their goals in healthy ways that last a lifetime.
Here’s what some of our past clients have had to say:
Megan helped me with so many things during our six months. She helped me
get cycle under control, figure out what foods were causing problems for me
(especially for inflammation), helped me quit smoking and cut back my
drinking. Megan was always patience with me and never made me do
something I didn't think I could keep to but still held me accountable for when I
was getting off track.
She also taught me how to make some killer kombucha and pickled veggies
which helped me get through my cravings for bread, sugars and unhealthy fats.
Megan always treated me like a friend which helped me to be more receptive
of her advice, I will always recommend her to anyone because I know her plan
will always be personalized to that individual. ~M.A.~
Another client said:
The main health concerns I presented to Megan were digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and difficulty processing food, along with low energy, fatigue and chronic headaches. A recent diagnosis of a sleep disorder I have had my entire life also added to the list of concerns. I told Megan I could not do an all out elimination approach to food as emotionally I wasn’t coping well with the lack of sleep I was experiencing at the time. Megan listened to my concerns attentively, and came up with an individualized approach that was not overwhelming and provided plenty of emotional support and feedback. Megan first worked to heal the most agitated and inflamed systems in my body and then encouraged me to add fermented foods and varied probiotic strains into my daily diet. She suggested adding a few supplements daily to improve my symptoms and kept it affordable for long term use. Two months into our time together I was experiencing significant improvements, my daily bloating was gone, my energy levels had increased and I was processing food better. We had figured out what triggered my headaches and I was experiencing them on a lesser scale, along with discovering some foods that I had intolerance’s to and were causing the inflammation in my body. She made me more aware of how stress is affecting my body, and how to keep my blood sugar levels more balanced.
If you or someone you love is struggling to reach your health goals now is the perfect time to reach out to No Shoes Nutrition! If you are curious about how nutritional health coaching can help you make healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with us today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit www.noshoesnutrition.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. We work with people from all over the world individually or in groups so don’t let anything hold you back!
You may remember from our discussion a few weeks ago that there are some special plants that naturally help us balance our body to counteract the effects of stress. These plants are called Adaptogens. Today we are going to discuss Maca. This mighty root will support the immune system by defending against stress. Maca is a powerful super food that is continuously being studied because it keeps proving to be helpful in new ways! Cool right?
So, what exactly is Maca? Like most plants it’s been given a scientific name, Lepidium meyenii. It is found in the Andes of Peru and is classified as a cruciferous vegetable. It was treasured by the Peruvian’s so greatly that they actually used it in trade as a type of currency. It grows high above sea level and looks similar to root vegetables like turnips and radishes as it has a green top and a root that can be any thing from yellowish to purple to black. Maca tastes earthy and nutty with what has been described as a hint of butterscotch. Some people like to blend it in with oatmeal because of this flavor! But like most plants the flavor can vary based on the type of Maca and the conditions of the growing season. Black Maca is said to be a little more bitter and cream-colored Maca is said to be a little sweeter.
You are probably asking yourself “Where can I find this powerhouse of a root?” and “In what form should you be looking for it?”. Maca is widely available at health stores, pharmacies and even online retailers. It can also be found in capsule, liquid, powder or extract form. All forms are thought to be equally beneficial, however it is best to buy Maca from a quality harvester that ensures its 100 % pure Maca root powder. Look for a variety that is raw and organic. Powder is more expensive than capsules.
How to use Maca? Maca powder can be easily added to smoothies and drinks or mixed into recipes. It’s best to start out with about one tablespoon (in powder form) daily and work your way upto 2-3 tablespoons spread throughout the day. Because Maca is known for increasingenergy and stamina, many people like to take it before exercising to get a burst of extraenergy. It’s best to avoid ingesting it in the evening to ensure you maintain a healthysleep cycle. One favorite way I like to enjoy it is to add it into energy balls that are quick and easy to mix up and have for snacks.
Maca packs a nutritional punch by providing many important micronutrients and antioxidants. When used as a powder this little root provides protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Just a few to mention are vitamin C, copper and iron. It also contains all 20 amino acids making it great to include in a vegetarian and vegan diet. To top it off Maca also has health-promoting phytonutrients like glucosinolates and polyphenols.
Maca Root Benefits
1. Antioxidants – When we are stressed free radicals are produced at a greater rate in the body. Antioxidants fight these free radicals, neutralizing them before they can do any harm. Maca root boosts levels of antioxidants like glutathione and superoxide dismutase. By doing this work Maca helps keep chronic disease at bay and prevents damage to cells.
2. Enhances Energy, Mood and Memory - If you want to feel more awake, energized and driven, Maca can help increase energy without giving you the “jitters” like caffeine can. If you are looking to boost your moods than more energy can help! Maca helps keep your blood sugar more stable and supports your adrenal glands that work extra hard during times of stress. This helps keep your mood and energy steady throughout the day cutting down on cravings and helping some people lose weight.
3. Improves Female Sexual Health - Maca root can boost sex drive in women. This may be associated with the fact that Maca helps reduce menopause-associated depressed moods and feelings of anxiety. Maca has been known to help balance female sex hormones and has even been shown to soften symptoms of menopause. When the female hormones are in balance reproductive health including symptoms like infertility, weight gain and bloating are reduced. Because of the effect it has on estrogen, Maca may also help with improving reproductive health and fertility for women. It has been proven to help decrease symptoms related to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), such as excess hair growth, weight gain and acne.
4. Boosts Male Fertility - So what about Maca for men? Maca powder benefits male sexual health and fertility. It has shown to help improve sperm quality and motility, two important factors when it comes to male infertility. Maca may also benefit sexual dysfunction and sexual desire in both men and women.
Potential Maca Root Side Effects and Precautions - If you have any thyroid issues, you should keep Maca intake in moderation and avoidconsuming it raw. This is because it contains goitrogens, which are substances that cansupress thyroid function, especially in those with thyroid issues. Check with your doctorbefore taking Maca. People who have high blood pressure are advised to not consumeMaca to avoid adverse side effects. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldavoid using Maca until it is deemed safe by scientific studies.Maca is a nutritionally loaded superfood that provides many health benefits whenregularly incorporated into the diet. I highly recommend that you give Maca a try andsee the results for yourself!
Do you want to know more? Do you want to know if Maca is right for you? Are you stressed out and looking for ways to support your body to get through a tough time? Would you like to know more about how you can begin to get to the root issues holding you back from reaching your health and wellness goals? Let’s chat about how holistic nutrition consulting and health coaching can help you make your own healthy changes so that you can feel your best every single day. We can provide recipes, meal and snack ideas and support changes to transform your health! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with us today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit www.noshoesnutrition.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. We work with people from all over the world individually or in groups so don’t let anything hold you back!
We all love a little sugar, some of us may even love it A LOT! So, when do we know that things have gotten out of control? When do we know that sugar addiction is taking over and we are officially unable to live without it? Well, there are a few signs and symptoms to recognize when your sugar cravings are leading to more of an addiction rather than just a simple craving.
One of the first signs that I recognize with clients is that they have tried to kick the sugarbut it just seems to be too difficult, something always leads them back. They find comfort in the sugary foods and feel a loss with out it. Another big sign is that withdrawing sugar creates issues in the body like headaches, mood changes and tiredness. None of these are normal signs of just not eating a certain food for a day.
So what can we do to improve our chances of getting off this addictive white powdery deliciousness? Here are No Shoes Nutrition’s top ten tips for kicking a sugar addiction:
Tip #1 - Drink water. Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. Before you go for the sugar, have a glass of water and wait a few minutes. This can help give you some time to redirect your attention as well as keep yourself away from the sweets.
Tip #2 - Eat naturally sweet vegetables and fruit to crowd out your sugar cravings. Yes, there are sugars in the fruits and veggies but these are natural sugar wrapped up in fiber. We want to cut the processed added sugar.
Tip #3 - Avoid chemical, artificial sweeteners and foods with added sugar. Use gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, dried fruit, stevia, and barley malt. Artificial sweeteners can actually make you crave sugar more because your body thinks it’s getting sweets but none ever come so the cravings get worse not better!
Tip #4 - Reduce or eliminate caffeine. The ups and downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar swings and may lead to sugar cravings. Caffeine also uses up some of your vitamin stores which can lead to cravings that can be mistaken for sugar cravings so watch out!!
Tip #5 - Get more sleep, rest, and relaxation. Simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, are the most readily available source of energy for an exhausted body and mind. If you’re in a state of chronic stress and/or sleep deprivation, your body will crave the quickest form of energy available – sugar.
Tip #6 - Get physically active. Start with simple activities like walking and yoga. Start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase. Being active helps balance blood sugar levels, boost energy, and reduce tension, decreasing the likelihood that you’ll want to self-medicate with sugar.
Tip #7 - Eliminate fat-free or low-fat packaged snack foods. These foods contain high quantities of added sugar to compensate for lack of flavor and fat, which will send you on a roller coaster ride of sugar highs and lows.
Tip #8 - Slow down and find sweetness in non-food ways! Cravings almost always have a psychological component. By identifying the underlying causes of food cravings and making lifestyle adjustments accordingly, you can find balance and take charge of your health. When life itself becomes sweet, excess sugar isn’t needed!
Tip #9 - Experiment with spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom will naturally sweeten your food and reduce cravings.
Tip #10 - Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat. According to yin-yang principles of eating (such as in Macrobiotics and Traditional Chinese Medicine), eating too much animal food (yang) can lead to cravings for sweets (yin). Imbalances can also occur when you eat too little animal protein. Through experimentation and intuition, you can find which foods create balance for you as an individual.
Want to get even healthier? If you’re looking to cut out sugar without the nasty side effects let’s talk! Working with a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant can increase your chance of success so you can finally live sugar free! Or at least not live with the sugar highs and lows that affect your day to day life! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with Megan or Penny today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit www.noshoesnutrition.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. We work with people from all over the world individually or in groups so don’t let anything hold you back!
How Can Adaptogens Get you Out of Bed in the Morning?
Over the past three weeks we have been exploring the world of fatigue. We’ve discussed adrenal fatigue, what it looks like and what you can do to if you think you might be suffering with this little-known issue. Check out our blog https://www.noshoesnutrition.com/blog/are-you-tired-wanna-know-why if you find you’re tired all the time and would like to understand why.
We then discussed stress and all the different kinds of stress we have to deal with. There are more reasons than we give ourselves credit for and some of us don’t even realize how much pressure and stress we are under because it’s just life and we feel we have no choices. Well, there are choices and there are several things we can do to help support our body in times of high chronic stress. Check out our blog from last week https://www.noshoesnutrition.com/blog/stressed-adrenal-fatigue-continued to catch up on lifestyle changes and diet changes that can support you and your body for optimal health in times of stress.
Today I would like to continue the discussion by introducing adaptogens. Adaptogens are plants which can come in the form of roots, leaves, mushrooms (technically fungi, I know) that can help your body normalize the stress chemicals you produce. This means that if your stress chemicals are high, these plants help lower them back to normal. If your stress chemicals are all used up but you still need more, these plants will help your body produce enough to get you to your body’s normal levels. Pretty slick right?
Adaptogens have been used for centuries, especially in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic practices. Each adaptogen plant helps us in a different way to bring our body back into balance. There is not a plethora of scientific studies done on humans but there are some and there are a number of studies on animals. Science is currently catching up and there are many studies in the works on these nourishing, normalizing, non-specific (meaning they work on many parts of the body all at the same time) and non-toxic plants. I have personally experienced the power of these adaptogens and see their benefits every day in myself and my clients! They are non-toxic meaning you can take them without worry of overdose.
Top Ten Adaptogens:
Ashwaganda – (Indian Ginseng) – this plant helps the body stabilize cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone the body releases to help us with the “fight or flight” response. Ashwaganda helps with long term stress, it supports thyroid function and has been used to help with insomnia.
Reshi – This mushroom is becoming well known for it’s support with combating the side effects from chemotherapy. It helps ease tension, boosts the immune system and increases both concentration and memory.
Rhodiola – (Golden Root) – Rhodiola helps with acute stress and anxiety. It helps produce and antifatigue effect that increases mental stamina and physical endurance.
Schisandra – This one increases your resistance to stress and helps support you if you experience anxiousness. It increases your energy which then helps increase your physical performance and endurance.
Ginseng – (Asian Ginseng) – Ginseng has been shown to improve calmness and working memory.
Holy Basil – (Tulsi) – Holy basil is a leafy member of the mint family that is know for it’s powerful anti-aging properties. It improves cognitive performance, stress response, and circulation. It may potentially help lower blood pressure, fight bacteria, protect the liver and promote immune function.
Astragalus Root – It is most commonly used in traditional Chinese Medicine to boost immune function and buffer the effects of stress. It is also helpful when dealing with high inflammation.
Licorice Root – A caution with this adaptogen is that it can increase blood pressure and potassium levels so is best taken in the form of DGL to mitigate those effects. Licorice Root can increase your energy and endurance as well as boost your immune function.
Cordycep Mushrooms – I won’t tell you where this one grows (you may be turned off), google it if you must know, but it is a nutrition rich mushroom that is high in antioxidants. Cordycep helps regulate cortisol and has anti-fatigue properties.
Tumeric – This is a favorite for those dealing with high inflammation, but did you know that it can help prevent aging, increase circulation, and protect your liver and bowels?
Believe it or not, this is not ALL the Adaptogens. There are even more, textbooks full in fact! But these are the most common ones we see and are asked about. There are some precautions you should take when investigating adaptogens for yourself or a loved one. Always speak with a medical professional before taking adaptogens if you are already taking prescription medications as there can be interactions. There are also certain conditions where adaptogens are not recommended. Always be sure you do your research and take only trusted high quality supplements.
Want to get even healthier? Are you dealing with chronically high stress levels? Could you use some support figuring out what foods and adaptogens you could add to your everyday to support normalizing your stress hormones? Curious about how health coaching can help you make healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with us today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit www.noshoesnutrition.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. We work with people from all over the world individually or in groups so don’t let anything hold you back!
Last week’s blog covered what Adrenal Fatigue is and its many signs and symptoms. It is a very relevant topic today as many of our clients have or are experiencing various stages of this condition. Many people are constantly bombarded with stress. Stress from everyday life, family, relationships, work, finances, social media and the list goes on. When I was 40, it took a while to figure out what was happening with my body when I ended up in bed for 6 weeks utterly exhausted. My regular doctor decided quickly that I was just run down and maybe even depressed. I was not satisfied with that “diagnosis” as my mind was still feeling pretty good but my body was not. This lead me down a path of self-advocating and researching out my symptoms to discover it was adrenal fatigue. This is still a journey for me as many strategies have to work together to slowly help someone overcome adrenal fatigue. Even when you start to feel better, several lifestyle changes have to be followed so that it doesn’t happen to you again and again. Prevention is the key!
Here are a few recommendations for dealing with adrenal fatigue;
1. Eliminate all foods that contribute to inflammation and sensitivities such as processed and refined foods, sugar, gluten and hydrogenated oils.
2. Consume a whole food diet that is anti-inflammatory, full of nutrient dense proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats to ensure balanced blood sugar.
3. Try some natural supplements to help with your stress response such as magnesium and B vitamins.
4. Focus on hydration. With adrenal fatigue dehydration is common because many minerals get depleted in the body. Add a pinch of Himalayan salt to your water to help.
5. Improve your sleep habits. Commit to a regular good quality sleep routine going to bed at same time and awakening at same time. This rhythm is important in recovery. Naps are okay too!
6. Practice some stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation, regular massages and deep breathing. Also learning to say NO so that you have time for self-care and refueling your tank.
7. Maintain physical exercise but nothing too strenuous. Activities like light cardio, yoga and tai chi are great. Avoid heavy weight training or long duration activities until you have more energy.
8. Treat dysbiosis. The gut needs to be soothed and the microbiome needs to be balanced as people with adrenal fatigue have digestion and absorption functions. The use of fermented foods and probiotic supplements can help.
9. Get out in nature. Exposure to Vitamin D will aid in recovery and nature is a great place to get in touch with yourself again.
These are some general guidelines to get you started in coping with adrenal fatigue. Next blog will cover some important foods and supplements that are called adaptogens. These foods can support you in stressful times and we’ll share why! Do YouWant to get even healthier? Want help figuring out how to feel more energy to get more done in your day-to-day life? Want to stop feeling the effects of adrenal fatigue? Curious about how health coaching can help you on your journey to optimal health? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with us today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit www.noshoesnutrition.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. We work with people from all over the world individually or in groups so don’t let anything hold you back!
Here at No Shoes Nutrition we are discovering that more and more of the clients we work with are dealing with chronic stress that is potentially holding them back from reaching their health goals. We are going to post a series all about the adrenal glands and how these special little endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys affect us, good or bad, on a daily basis.
In 1998 Dr. James Wilson, a naturopathic doctor and chiropractor authored a book “Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome”. He coined the term “Adrenal Fatigue” which Dr. Wilson claimed affects the body’s ability to bounce back from stress whether emotional, physical or mental. Prolonged stress drains the adrenal glands and they are no longer able to perform optimally. The adrenal glands produce more than fifty hormones that help to drive functions of the body. These hormones are essential to our life.
The adrenals release cortisol in a specific rhythm. A spike in cortisol is what wakes us up in the morning and a decrease in the evening hours is what helps us relax and fall asleep at night. Dr. Wilson proposed that this is not always the case when we are experiencing chronic stress. In the case of Adrenal Fatigue there are inconsistent levels of cortisol and often there is an association with low levels of DHEA which is responsible for many essential hormones of the body. It should be made clear that Adrenal Fatigue is not because of damage to the glands themselves as is the case with more serious diseases of the adrenal glands.
So, what does Adrenal Fatigue look like in real terms? A typical progression during the day looks a little like chronic fatigue. Someone with Adrenal Fatigue is exhausted, but that exhaustion comes in a specific pattern. First thing in the morning it’s hard to wake up, it’s difficult to get out of bed and the only way to really get going is to consume more and more caffeine or another stimulant. Once you get going you have a burst of energy around mid-morning but around 2pm your energy plummets. At 6pm another boost of energy comes and again at 9pm the energy drains. This would be a great time to just go to sleep but rarely is this possible and at 11pm another burst of energy comes and sleeping is difficult if not impossible. And so, the cycle begins again the next day, and the next, until total exhaustion sets in.
Traditional western medicine doesn’t recognize Adrenal Fatigue as this pattern is difficult to pin down in everyone and other symptoms (that we will discuss shortly) mimic other disorders. Studies have been conducted to try and study Adrenal Fatigue but there has been little evidence to support true Adrenal Fatigue as the studies were few and poorly designed. It has been a hard disorder to design studies for as there are so many varied symptoms and not everyone experiences every symptom.
The Main Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
Extreme fatigue (being tired is not enough)
High cortisol levels in saliva tests
Suppressed immune function (prone to more colds and flues)
Increase in blood pressure
Small stresses become overwhelm
Decreased sex drive
Muscle and bone loss
Moodiness and irritability
Sweet and salty cravings
Are you at risk? Anyone that finds themselves under extreme chronic stress can experience Adrenal Fatigue. This includes students under pressure to make the grade, new parents that are dealing with life changes, caregivers of different types like nurses, or people caring for elderly parents. There are likely many other scenarios, this just names a few.
In our next blog we will discuss specific steps to overcoming Adrenal Fatigue. In the mean time Are you ready to get even healthier? Want help figuring out how to feel more energy to get more done in your day-to-day life? Want to stop feeling the effects of adrenal fatigue? Curious about how health coaching can help you on your journey to optimal health? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with us today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit www.noshoesnutrition.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. We work with people from all over the world individually or in groups so don’t let anything hold you back!
Did you know that honey has been coveted as a natural sweetener long before processed sugar became widely available? It is a remarkable substance that has many health benefits besides a tasty sweetener for your tea and baking. No two honey jars contain the same sweet honey! There are over 300 kinds of honey, each with a unique color and flavor that is dependent on the nectar source. Your average “Grade A” honey from the grocery store is very likely highly processed and will lack the many beneficial properties that the local raw honey in your area has. If you do a little taste test you will find a BIG difference in taste as well! Try to choose local, raw, unfiltered honey from a trusted source for its health building properties over the store bought highly processed honey. It should be noted right up front that honey is high in fructose (a type of sugar) so should be used in moderation even if you are healthy. If you are insulin resistant, are taking medications for blood sugar issues, or if you have liver issues you should avoid sweeteners including honey.
So, what exactly is honey anyway?
Honey is actually a blend of different substances. There is sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino-acids that have antibacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties. Who knew this sticky sweetener packed such a nutritional punch? Honey has anti-inflammatory and properties that help build your immune system due to its phenolic and flavonoid compounds. This means is that honey can help with chronic inflammation, which is the root of many chronic diseases. Some more nutritional value that honey adds is a range of micro-nutrients including sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, copper, iron, chromium, vitamin C and the list goes on!!
Here are some of the unique health benefits of honey:
Helps to lower the risk of cancer of the cervix, skin, colon, prostate and breasts.
Helps to reduce the risk of neurologic diseases because honey has anxiolytic, antidepressant and antinociceptive properties.
Helps to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases due to honey improving coronary vasodilation, reducing blood clots and inhibiting the bad cholesterol (LDL) from oxidizing.
Honey has anti-diabetic effects!?! This may sound surprising, but studies have shown that honey can have a hypo-glycemic effect on the body and plays a role in both preventing and treating diabetes. (Consult a nutrition expert before experimenting with this on your own!)
Works well to help soothe sore throats and cough as well as sleeping related symptoms acting like cough syrup.
Helps to treat skin infections, wound healing and improves dandruff/itchy scalp.
Helps to boost energy by providing a time-released fuel before or after exercise.
Reduces allergy symptoms if used a few months prior to allergy season, helping the body activate its immune system and building natural immunity over time. (Refer to last weeks blog for more on alleviating allergy symptoms.)
Interesting fact about honey: Manuka honey is made with pollen gathered from the flowers of the medicinal Manuka bush. Study’s show that Manuka honey can effectively kill more than 250 different harmful strains of bacteria including some resistant varieties. Manuka honey has antiseptic properties that make it far superior to other types of honey when it comes to keeping you healthy.
Honey is a better choice for sweetening our foods and drinks that we consume. It needs to be used in moderation like any sugary substance. It should be purchased locally and be raw and unfiltered. We hear a lot about saving the bees and the important role they play in our ecosystem. Bees make this amazing substance that has all these valuable benefits to our health. Hopefully this might motivate you to plant some bee friendly flowers this spring to help support our local bee population! Many of my friends have bee hives in their backyards and benefit from raising bees that give them lots of nourishing honey.
Are you looking to get even healthier? Are you interested in lowering inflammation and feeling your best by adding some sweet honey to your day? Could you use some support figuring out what you need to eat to feel your best? Curious about how nutritional health coaching can help you make healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with us today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit www.noshoesnutrition.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. We work with people from all over the world individually or in groups so don’t let anything hold you back!