adrenal

Adrenal Health Restoration Suggestions

1. Eat a well balanced diet that includes veggies (colors of the rainbow and lots of greens), protein and healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. Protein and vegetable every time you eat! Fruits and pre-cut veggies make great snacks, Include protein in your breakfast meal, half of your plate should be vegetables.

    • a. Protein Sources – plain yogurt, chicken, fish, turkey, meats, eggs, nuts, beans, lentils, protein powder
    • b. Veggies – green leafy vegetables, cruciferous, anything with lots of color. Tubers such as sweet potatoes, yams, jicama and parsnips can be a source of carbohydrates for energy.
    • c. Healthy Fats – olive oil, coconut oil, raw nuts and seeds, organic real butter, nut butters
    • d. Carbohydrates – grains (1/2 cup), white potatoes (1/2 cup), pasta (1/2 cup) breads (one slice). Stay away from crackers, chips and most baked goods. If gluten-free, avoid most GF baked goods as they are usually high in sugar and very starchy.

2. Avoid excessive starchy carbohydrates and sugars.

3. Include high quality sources of fat with each meal such as organic butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocados and raw nuts and seeds. This adds to the satiety value of the meal and removes the desire to eat too many starches.

4. Three main meals and 2-3 small, balanced snacks will keep blood sugar stable and decrease the desire for sweets or caffeine.

5. Use smaller plates or bowls for meals. This can prevent overeating by filling up a large plate with food. Most people do not realize they are actually full if there is still food on their plate so start small and wait 10 minutes before deciding on seconds. Chances are, you will realize that you are already full and satisfied.

6. If needed, eat a balanced snack within one hour of bedtime to support blood sugar through the night. Waking in the night may be due to low blood sugar. When blood sugar drops, cortisol rises and can cause wakefulness. A good evening snack is half a cup of plain yogurt, berries and raw nuts. This provides protein, some carbs and a healthy source of fat.

7. Keep fruit to a minimum and choose low sugar fruits such as berries, pears, apples. Pears go great with walnuts and apples go well with almond butter. Including some fat with fruit decreases the effect of the sugar in the fruit by slowing digestion and absorption.

8. Alcohol should be consumed in moderation and with a meal. One glass of wine or one beer 1-2 times per week should be the limit.v

Exercise:

1. Exercise is best done in the morning to increase metabolic rate throughout the day and to improve the chances of adhering to a program. It is better to get up 30 minutes earlier and get exercise done before the events of the day compete for your time.

2. The level of adrenal fatigue will determine which type of exercise is best. Those with mild adrenal fatigue can do more intense exercise such as interval training, weights, running, etc. Those with symptoms of more advanced adrenal fatigue may only be able to tolerate mild exercise such as walking, stretching, beginning yoga and gentle movement exercises. All of these can be done at home with a few pieces of equipment. There are many virtual classes and workout ideas available.

3. Duration of exercise should be 30-60 minutes. If experiencing adrenal fatigue or burnout, endurance exercise is not recommended. Extensive training programs involving intense running, cycling or fitness competition training is not advised.

4. Find a type of exercise that you enjoy so you will stick with it. Even walking around your house or using the stairs is movement and will help.v

5. Exercise increases happy hormones and neurotransmitters that make us feel good naturally so get up and get moving daily.

Sleep:

1. Sleep in comfortable clothing.

2. Make sure your room is cool. Some researchers feel that the perfect temperature for sleeping is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Darken room if ambient light is an issue, i.e. street lights, full moon. You can purchase some dark shades or curtains. Having a dark room is necessary to optimize melatonin output.

4. Go to sleep before 10 pm and if tired go to bed earlier.

5. Go to bed and awaken at the same time each day, even on weekends. This helps to reinforce the sleep-wake cycle.

6. Have a bedtime routine that involves a relaxing activity that signals to your body that you are getting ready for sleep:

  • a. Shower
  • b. Bath
  • c. Reading a book
  • d. Listening to relaxing music

7. Do not consume caffeinated, i.e. coffee, tea, ice tea, beverages in the evening. Best to reduce caffeine altogether, but definitely avoid after 2 to 3 pm in the afternoon.

8. Herbal teas such as Chamomile and other sleep-promoting teas are okay in the evening.

9. Turn off computers, TV, video games other visually oriented electronics before 8 pm at night. If at all possible, do not engage in work that is mentally trying or stressful after 8 pm. This will allow for a more peaceful transition to bedtime. If you enjoy watching TV in the evening, avoid disturbing images or emotionally charged programs.

10. No strenuous exercise, i.e. cardio, weights, power yoga in the evening after dinner.

11. Remove nightlights and other electronics from room. If must have, then keep cellphone or ipad/tablet at least 10 feet from bed to help reduce electromagnetic field (EMF) emissions.

12. If you cannot fall asleep, then get up and do something else such as meditating and/or deep breathing exercises. Mentally recite a prayer or mantra if worried about something and your mind cannot relax. Keep a notepad next to your bed to write down thoughts about things you may need to do the next day. This allows you to release it from your mind without worrying that you will forget it tomorrow.

13. Keep in mind that the stressors of the day can often seem amplified at night while we are lying in the dark perseverating on the day’s events. Let them go – nothing will be resolved in the night and will only make tomorrow more difficult for the lack of sleep. Things often seem clearer and less stressful in the morning after a good night’s sleep anyway.

Rest and Recovery:

1. It is important to take time to play and do the things in life that bring us joy. This is one of the best and most rewarding ways of reducing stress. Make a list of the things you like to do that bring joy into your life. Some things may take ten minutes like walking the dog or some things may take all day like going for a hike. Its okay if you are unable to do some of these things during the current time when we are staying home. At least you have put some thought into this and can start doing these activities once life goes back to normal. Some of these experiences may occur over a weekend or require a week-long vacation. Choose to incorporate these joyful experiences throughout the day, week, month and year. Having something to look forward to, relieves the stress of the daily grind that can be so much a part of our lives.

2. We all must balance work with recovery. Taking the opportunity to get adequate sleep is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves.

3. Spending time outdoors in nature is a great way to recharge our batteries. As long as we practicing social distancing and are not in isolation, a walk in our community may help.

4. An afternoon nap or resting quietly is certainly acceptable if possible. Sometimes just sitting quietly away from the TV or computer can help relieve stress.

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