Adrenal glands make a difference and you should probably know what they are

Before a naturopath told me my adrenal glands were all wonky, I had no idea what those even were or what they did, I thought she was just making words up. But when I followed her advice and corrected the issues, I noticed huge positive differences.

Look how big they are! How did I miss em.

Look how big they are! How did I miss em.

So basically, your adrenal glands are your stress organs, responsible for producing cortisol, adrenaline and DHEA. Keeping these glands healthy is extremely important for overall hormonal health and balance, and can even be the hidden cause of certain issues. Problems like headaches, digestive upset, PMS, fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, even infertility issues. C’hyea.

In turn, stress can rile up other health conditions like arthritis, asthma, allergies and IBS. Your adrenal glands and stress hormones are one of the most neglected systems in conventional medicine! And yet simply addressing adrenal related issues can have a huge effect on your wellbeing.

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If you’re like me and have no idea whether or not you need some adrenal support, skim through this list. If you say yes for 3 or more of the following (regularly), you probably want to look into your adrenal glands more carefully.

  • Chronic pain of any type (including migraines, joint pains, etc)
  • Anxiety / panic attacks
  • Emotional stress (work, relationship, family, public transit, etc)
  • Feeling tired or exhausted that isn’t relieved by more sleep
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Dizziness from standing up too quickly
  • Low tolerance for stress (stressing out over little things)
  • Worsened allergies
  • Weight gain in the mid-belly area
  • High blood pressure / heart palpitations
  • Difficulty falling and/or staying asleep at night
  • Salt cravings
  • Achy or twitchy legsIf you’re a lady:
  • Any change in menstrual cycle
  • Chronic menstrual pain
  • Symptoms of premature menopause

The test is just done with spit, so it’s a little gross but easy. You can ask any naturopath about it, and it will tell you if your symptoms are related to the adrenals. Your personal diagnosis will vary, obviously, but will probably include:

  • Changes in nutrition orange
  • Stress reducing techniques like yoga, whatever works for you
  • Balanced exercise – this goes either way, you may need to ease up or you may need to start moving
  • Supplements to support adrenal function

Healthy adrenals mean more energy and more happy moods! Imbalances are very treatable, making a huge difference. So check your shit out.

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Winter sucks, so amp up your Vitamin D

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We’ve got a bit of a wait until the days start getting longer again, and after the holiday season is over there’s little to look forward to. While there’s some debate over the legitimacy of Seasonal Affective Disorder, (or more fittingly, SAD) I believe it is definitely real. And carb craving is actually a symptom! So don’t worry – it’s not you, it’s winter.

He gets it.

He gets it.

When it’s pitch black at 5 p.m. and frigid winds turn your face numb after being outside for 2 minutes, how can we not get a little down? Besides a vacation, there are a few things you can do to help yourself out during the winter months. Exercise of course helps, but what also makes a huge different is with what you put in your body – like vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. More specifically, vitamin D3.

In fact, SAD itself is caused by lack of vitamin D3, so this is definitely one you want to add. The best source is the sun, but since it’s early to bed and late to rise at the moment, here are your best options:

  • Still the sun
    Even though we don’t see as much of it, you can still get your vitamin D on a sunny wintery day. A short walk is all you need.
  • Salmon
    The most vitamin D of any food (and wild salmon has even more than the farmed kind).
  • Tuna
    A serving of tuna has a healthy dose of Vitamin D – more than one-third of a daily dose. (Light tuna in oil has the most).

  • Milk
    Fortified milk has one-fifth a day’s worth.
  • Cereal
    The vitamin D amounts vary by brand so read your labels carefully!
    (Here’s a list of good, D-filled options)
  • Oysters
    On top of D, oysters also get you vitamin B12, zinc, iron, just to name a few. But also cholesterol, so watch yoself if heart disease or stroke are concerns.
  • Eggs
    Another one with multiple benefits, eggs offer vitamin D, B12 and protein.
  • Mushrooms
    The only reason I ever agreed to eat mushrooms was because I thought I’d grow taller like Alice in Wonderland. That didn’t happen, but they did give up high vitamin D, and B5.

If you can’t manage to get enough vitamin D from food or able to be outside very much, you can take a supplement. Look for options that contain vitamin D3 rather than vitamin D2 (D3 is more potent).

And of course, discussing it with your personal health care provider is a good idea, and they can give you recommendations for doses.

Healthy fish recipes
More recipes high in vitamin D
Some more winter vitamins to add

sunhair

[image by Liam Heng Swee]

Halloween Detox

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I will be the first to admit, I effing love candy. I love it so much. And the thought of giving it up is scarier to me than the scariest elements of what Halloween is supposed to be about, (evil clowns, mostly).
Pro tip: visit a drugstore or grocery store the day after Halloween and you’ll discover a world of joy. They’re practically giving it away!… But that’s not what we’re here to talk about, dammit.

After Halloween, we’re getting kind of used to a couple mini-chocolate bars a day, or maybe you just ate a bag of them all in one day, either way sugar has likely become a habit. It’s also getting darker earlier and colder outside if you’re in Canada like me. This makes it way more appealing to just hibernate and snuggle up with a bag of sugar and Netflix, just not moving at all.

However you frightened your body this Halloween and rejected candy-sale-aftermath, here are a few tips to help you get back on track.

1. Water water everywhere: You’ve heard this before. Definitely make amping up your water consumption a priority. It will help re-hydrate you and flush out toxins from too much sugar, booze, and my favourite – sugary booze. You’ll have more energy too. It’s just a good idea.

2. Get more shut-eye: Whether from partying or just not eating right, exhaustion can sneak up on you. Making sure you’re getting a decent 8 hours of sleep actually help undo damage. Eating the right foods will help too. There are certain foods that help to fight fatigue like:

  • Those high in magnesium
  • Inulin (found in stuff like oatmeal and energy bars)
  • Whole grain carbs to help keep your mood in check
  • Lean proteins like fish (I’ll post some healthy fish recipes soon!)
  • Dark chocolate – yes.. chocolate. Just a little bit! Gotta be dark, though
  • And finally, citrus fruits. Just the scent of them can help perk you up. When life gives you lemons, sniff em.

3. Get moving: I believe that you truly can “sweat it out”.  Whatever your “it” may be, to a certain extent at least. A good workout revs up your metabolism which will give you more energy. If your energy levels are too low to go hard at the gym, you could always try some detoxifying yoga.

4. Break the habit: The more sugar you eat, the more you’ll want. And I’m not just talking about candy and cookies, refined carbs count, too. According to Jackie Warner, super awesome trainer, it only takes 5 days to break a sugar habit. You can make this slightly easier on yourself by just removing the temptation from your fridge/cupboards, and replacing them with fruits.

Good luck, and good day.

Welcome!

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Look at this tomato! It looks like a heart!

I decided to start this blog because over the years I’ve become extremely interested in nutrition, health and wellness. It started after watching my own health ailments vanish after exploring a natural approach and investigating food allergies, incorporating a fitness routine. It’s crazy what the human body is capable of if you just give it what it needs! Needs that vary from person to person, of course.
Here I’ll post everything fitness, wellness, sweetness, all the good ness’. Plus recipes, reviews, supplements, information on holistic health, and other goodies.

Feel free to contact me with any comments, questions, requests, anytime!

 

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