Adapting to STRESStember and Beyond!

I love fall. I love the crunchy leaves underfoot and the more comfortable temperatures (hello again, my beloved hoodie collection!).

What I don’t love… is the spike in stress that often comes with this particular change in seasons. Being a lifelong student as well as a nutrition professional means I see it in myself and those I work with.

September/October ➡️ change in routine ➡️ STRESS!!

I’ve figured out along the way that it’s important to have nutritional strategies to help keep a balance from day-to-day!

Among the top of these nutritional strategies is watching my blood sugar balance. Avoiding eating too much sugar is key, and making sure I have a combo of protein + fat + fiber with each meal and snack helps with this as well.

Sometimes that’s still not quite enough to temper the overall load, and I’ll turn to a few of my favourite adaptogens to supplement my needs.

Adaptogens, quite simply, help your body “adapt” to stressors, usually by modulating the hormones involved in the stress response (e.g. cortisol, adrenaline).

These are some of my favourites:

  • I particularly love adaptogen powder mixes, like Botanica’s reishi hot chocolate, turmeric golden mylk with ashwagandha, Four Sigmatic’s reishi elixir, or adaptogen coffee. Reishi and ashwagandha may both help reduce cortisol.
  • A good B complex capsule like AOR is a staple for balancing the nervous system and adrenal function, while an adaptogen herbal blend like AdrenaSense is great for coping on days when stress runs extra high.
  • And I love maca as it may help balance stress hormones as well as sex hormones!

Check out these products here

Whatever your favourite adaptogen is, there are lots of great products and ways to enjoy them.

I love adding the powder mixes to smoothies or whisking into a tea or coffee!

If you feel you need additional support, talk to your nutritionist or naturopath about adding these to your routine.

**Make sure you clear them with your primary prescribing practitioner as well to avoid potential contraindications, as some herbs and vitamins may interact with some meds/conditions.**

Do you use adaptogens? What’s your fave and how are you taking it?

LoveBites: Strawberry PB&J Nice Cream [Recipe Post]

This. Was. SO. Good.

Healthy, homemade, low-sugar, high-protein frozen yogourt!

Strawberry PB&J Nice Cream

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🍨 1 cup frozen sliced strawberries
🍨 enough unsw cashew milk to not quite cover the berries (about 2/3 cup – tbh I didn’t measure, I poured to the 250ml line with the berries!)
🍨 1/2 serving Prairie Naturals cafe caramel rice protein
🍨 2 Tbsp rolled quick oats
🍨 1 heaping Tbsp natural crunchy peanut butter
🍨 1/3 cup Yoso unsw coconut yogourt

Add all ingredients to a blender (note: I used my bullet-style attachment) and pulse until desired consistency. It should be quite thick but easy to transfer to a bowl.

Top with coconut whip cream and chocolate-covered quinoa puffs like I did, or your other fave healthy ice cream toppings! Makes 1 large very satisfying serving or 2 smaller servings if you feel like sharing.

Great for post-workout or breakfast.

Seriously. So good. Who’s gonna try this?

LoveBites: Seed Cycling

Seed cycling! Who’s doing it? Who wants to know more about it?

This is one of many tools in your arsenal for helping rein in estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones involved in balancing your menstrual cycle, like testosterone, FSH, and LH.

Seeds typically used for this: flax & pumpkin for days 1-14 or follicular phase; sunflower & sesame for days 15-28 or luteal phase. But why these seeds? Continue reading “LoveBites: Seed Cycling”

PCOS Might Break Your Heart – What Can You Do?

February is Heart Month. What does that have to do with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) or plant-based living?

Simply put, people with PCOS are at a greater risk of developing other metabolic disorders, including insulin resistance, diabetes, thyroid imbalance, and heart disease. Continue reading “PCOS Might Break Your Heart – What Can You Do?”

The Connection Between Adrenal Fatigue and Effed-Up Menstrual Cycles

Are you feeling tired and yet can’t sleep? Craving sugar and salt to the point of almost passing out or committing a felony? Maybe PMS is kicking your ass this month with incredible irritability, brain fog, and energy fluctuations? Or your period is irregular, heavy, painful, or straight-up absent?

All of these can be related to the constant stress we feel in our lives. We know that stress can have a huge impact on our health and wellness. And Continue reading “The Connection Between Adrenal Fatigue and Effed-Up Menstrual Cycles”

When You Haven’t Changed Anything… But Your Pants Don’t Fit

I’m no stranger to that struggle.

You’re positive that you’re not eating more food or “junkier” food but you’re still gaining weight. And you don’t think you just shrunk your clothes, are PMSing, or haven’t taken a good poop. How could this happen?

You’re not going crazy. You’re not alone. Continue reading “When You Haven’t Changed Anything… But Your Pants Don’t Fit”

[Recipe Post] Lower Cortisol with Dessert? Yes Please!

STRESS!!!

Its causes are absolutely everywhere. Would you agree?

Our natural “fight or flight” stress response is supposed to help us escape injury or death in an emergency and then return to normal after we’ve, well, fought or flew. But, in our society, with stressors basically ever-present – it becomes a long-term reaction. It becomes chronic.

You might already be familiar with the main stress hormone, called “cortisol.”  It’s released from your adrenal glands in response to stress. It’s also naturally high in the morning to get you going, and slowly fades during the day so you can sleep.

Now did you know that too-high levels of cortisol are associated with belly fat, poor sleep, brain fog, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and even lowers your immunity?

Do you experience any of these? Keep reading – I have a list of foods, nutrients, and lifestyle recommendations to help you lower this stress hormone naturally! Continue reading “[Recipe Post] Lower Cortisol with Dessert? Yes Please!”

My 3 Favourite Plant-Power Breakfast Foods + A Savoury Recipe to Try

Do you love your breakfast?  Do you have a short list of “go-to” recipes?  Do you need a bit of inspiration to start eating breakfast again?

Getting some protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, metabolism and weight loss.  This is because protein helps you feel fuller longer and uses up a bunch of calories to absorb and metabolize it.  So I’m going to show you how to get the protein, as well as some veggies and healthy fats for your soon-to-be favourite new “go-to” breakfasts. Continue reading “My 3 Favourite Plant-Power Breakfast Foods + A Savoury Recipe to Try”