Some people refer this time of year as the “Holiday Season”. To me, a holiday is kicking it back on beach, or road trip. I love Christmas time, the sights, the sounds, time with family and friends, as well as the food. Planning and preparing for Christmas does not really feel like a holiday. We all know too well, there’s plenty of work involved in preparing for the Christmas. Take the stress of shopping, deadlines, putting in extra hours at work, over-indulging, over extending the credit card, and the mother-in-law visiting. Add all that to the rest of the stress that’s been accumulating over time and you’ve got the perfect recipe for burnout.
If you could change one aspect of your life that would give you the greatest chance of living a very long and healthy life, what do you think it would be? The answer is – reduce your stress. Research shows that the people who live the longest are at their ideal body weight and have the ability to handle stress well.
Our adrenal glands are our stress helpers. Their role is to help our bodies cope with all kinds of stress by releasing hormones like adrenalin and cortisol into the blood stream. Stress can be physical, emotional, psychological, environmental, or a combination of these.
What is adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is when the adrenal glands fail to carry out their normal function. This happens when stress overextends the capacity of the body to compensate and recover. Consequently, the adrenals become fatigued and are unable to continue responding adequately to further stress and ultimately, we lose our ability to cope.
Many people get into a vicious cycle of relying on coffee, and other stimulants to keep them going throughout the day. Stimulants actually weaken the adrenal glands making it harder for us to get going in the morning, so we drink more caffeine, perpetuating the cycle. High sugar intake can deplete adrenal function, so be careful with the sweet stuff.
Supplements of B Vitamins and Magnesium can be helpful in times of stress. The good news is that dark chocolate is a source of magnesium. Try to eat lots of dark leafy greens to stay strong.
If you are stressed to the max, I can help you with specific dietary and lifestyle recommendations, to assist you on your journey to optimal wellness.
To un-stress during the Christmas season, find joy in your life; delegate some of your responsibilities to others in your family. Cut back on holiday season expectations. Eat well; find time for fresh air, meditation, yoga. At the end of the day, your family and friends want you healthy. The dinner feasts, decorating and numbers of gifts under the tree are not so important……
This smoothie will have you feeling better in no time due to the high antioxidant content, magnesium and B vitamins.
STRESS BUSTING SMOOTHIE
- 1 1/2 cup coconut water
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach
- Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
Kathy Shackleton RHN Nutritionist