I just got back from the Carribean last week with Adam’s company- Alder alarm. It was amazing to spend a week with my husband without any phones, kids, and schedules. We didn’t use our phone all week except to take some photos. This vacation definitely helped me with the stress hormones that normally are firing all day. I know not everyone can just go on a cruise but I am very grateful for the chance we were able to go and the wonderful people that we spent the week with. I was constantly thinking about Angie during the week because she got a biobsy taken to see if it matches a new chemo drug that the Drs want her to try if it is a match. She was in the hospital for a few days but is home now and feeling good. She should find out the results this week. I can’t imagine the stress that Angie must deal with at this time so that got me thinking about a webinar that I watched recently so I thought I could share that on the blog post today.
Yuri Elkaim recently did a webinar and discussed 7 pillars to your health. I thought I would share with you some notes I took from his webinar. I also share the name of a book that I think everyone should read by Dr. Christianson.
1: The pH of your blood
pH stands for Potential Hydrogen, or the acidalkaline balance of your blood. If we are acidic, we can’t have the energy and vitality that we want.
In 1931, Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for discovering that cancer (and inflammation) can’t thrive in an alkaline, oxygenated environment. It can only grow in an acidic environment. Therefore, when we are acidic, it creates a feeding ground for disease, making our blood sluggish and our cells oxygen-deprived. When our blood is sluggish, we feel sluggish.
The good news is that we can easily improve our pH with diet improvements.
2: Eating too many energy “vampire foods” such as caffeine, sugar and wheat
These foods take energy out of your body, they may give you high energy at first but they will bring your energy down later. Energy and health are synonymous.
Our body is built to feel energetic not lethargic, so if you are suffering from low energy it means something may not be working properly in your body.
Yuri’s recommendation is to get these foods out of your diet in order to naturally feel more energized. You want to overcome sugar addiction and upgrading from wheat will help you build an action plan to eliminate these foods effortlessly, without feeling deprived.
3: Poor Nutrition Status
North Americans eat less than 2 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (and usually they are eating iceberg lettuce and potatoes as their veggies) but the daily recommendation is 8 to10. Besides not getting enough servings of life-giving plant foods, our soil has become depleted of vitamins and minerals, making our fruits and vegetables far less nutritious than 50 years ago.
This combination has caused many nutritional deficiencies, which can lead to food cravings and more serious diseases.
The nutrients we get from our food are very important and if we don’t get enough it becomes an issue.
One major trick to consuming more fruits and veggies is to carve out 30 minutes to prepare your produce when you get home from the grocery store. How many times have you just put them in the fridge and then when it’s time to eat, you don’t feel like cleaning or prepping your produce and so, you don’t it, and it goes bad? Both your wallet and your health suffer from lack of planning.
I wash all of my greens, dry them and put them in a container with a piece of paper towel. That way when moisture builds up that would normally wilt the leaves and shorten the life of your produce; it will go into the paper towel instead and extend the freshness of your produce.
Then they are ready to be cooked in an evening stir-fry, added to your morning smoothie, or even added to a can of soup for dinner. Just grab a handful of pre-washed kale or collard greens or cut up bell peppers and steam them with the soup to add more veggie power to your meal.
Each week, slice up fresh jicama, multi-colored carrots, celery and red cabbage and use it with nut butters, organic cheese, guacamole, or hummus to bump up the health meter.
Buy frozen organic fruit that you can easily add to a smoothie, or blend zucchini shreds into muffins or brownies, or use them in place of noodles for an Italian meal.
Half the battle is having the desire to eat more fruits and vegetables because you care about your health and want to protect it. The other half is planning. It’s true in my own life that failing to plan is planning to fail.
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine was right some 3000 years ago, “all disease begins in the gut”.
If we eat foods that require a lot of labor to digest we will fell sluggish.
Most of us are not mindful eaters. We are eating on the go, under stress or while watching TV or checking email and we aren’t realizing how much we’re eating. It’s impossible to digest food properly when we are in the sympathetic nervous system, fight-or-flight state. Undigested food particles cause intestinal irritation and inflame the gut lining, contributing to intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome, allergies, and autoimmune diseases.
How we eat is just as important to our health as what we eat and the simple act of mindful eating can have great impact on our digestive health and overall sense of well being.
I encourage you to eat at least two mindful meals a day and see where that takes you.
5: Being a Stress and “Adrenal Burner”
Our body has not evolved biologically since we first walked the planet, yet we live in a world that has evolved exponentially. Technology is at our fingertips, which allows us access to everything. This is both a good and a bad thing. Constant phone calls, emails, texts, and demands, create a “non stop” state within our nervous system.
Our adrenal glands pump the hormones to help us cope with this stress, and when the stress doesn’t stop, our adrenals burnout.
According to Yuri, about 90% of people in western world are suffering from some stage of adrenal fatigue. Most Western doctors do not recognize it as a real condition. Yet the natural, alternative, and integrative practitioners can see it in hormone panels when there is a noted drop on cortisol and DHEA, two key stress hormones.
This greatly impacts your vitality. If your adrenals are burnt out, most likely your thyroid is next. This contributes to exhaustion, weight gain, and hair loss and allows the cycle to ensue.
How about we turn over a new leaf and catch all of this before it happens?
Yuri recommends finding energy in tranquility, not in stimulation, and not in “vampire foods” and I agree wholeheartedly.
He’s referring to things that help balance our body.
For example, if you have an intense work out one day, you should balance that out with a tranquil activity such as yoga, meditation, journaling or spending time in nature the next. Otherwise, you put yourself “non-stop mode” constantly making demands on your adrenals that they just can’t keep up with.
6: Exercise (the proper kind)
More on exercise from Yuri, a former pro soccer coach…
He explains that intensity is important but duration and frequency are the real defining factors.
Yuri recommends working out 3 times a week with 20 to 30 minutes of intense strength training exercises such as dead lift, squats, pull ups, push ups, lounge walks that can be done on a circuit fashion, which will serve as a cardio workout at the same time.
He advises giving your body more time between exercises if you are in a state of burnout and going lighter with weights.
I advise yoga, walking, and exercises that lift your spirit while you move your body. Be careful with long running because this can be cause major stress on the body. Do more walking instead of jogging or running sprints for one minute on and off for a total of 4-5 rounds.
7: Having a passion and purpose in life
Leading a purpose driven life is very important.
You can have a clean diet, work out properly and sleep well but if you can’t stand what you do on a daily basis or you have nothing you are passionate about, none of the other stuff will matter. Having a purpose or creativity is a primary food; something that feeds you other than food.
Yuri recommends really taking the time to consider the things that you love to do, things you are naturally good at, and things that honor you as an individual. Do more of those things on a daily basis, even if only for 10 minutes.
The bottom line is that we all need to take time out to rest, recover and hit the reset button, and we need to do that strategically, following proven processes that work fast.
When energy and adrenal dips come my way, I go into recovery mode, doing things that restore and reset my system like massage, energy work, yoga, meditation, and scaling back on social engagements.
I also adjust my food quite a bit, strategically cycling my carbs and proteins. This combination works within a matter of a few short weeks to take me from stressed to thriving.
If this information is resonating with you, then I highly suggest a must-read new book that will take care of the rest once you implement Yuri’s plan. It’s called The Adrenal Reset Diet by medical doctor, Dr. Alan Christianson.
One of the coolest (and countercultural) things he explains is how when you are stressed, eating carbs at night is a very good thing. It can take you out of that tired but wired feeling by shutting off fight-or-flight mode. This has improved my sleep as well.
Cycling your carbs appropriately provides a HUGE support to the adrenal glands and is a strategy alone that can give your life force back.
Also the top three supplements by Yuri is a good greens powder, good digestive enzyme, and Maca powder to help with stress.