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: 2 Easy Ways to Slow Down

“Sometimes you need to slow down to eventually go faster.” ~Robin Sharma

How do you slow down? What does that look like? When was the last time you actually did?

If it’s been a while, here are a couple of ways you can try to slow down today:

Start with the breath. Check in on your breathing. Is it shallow, quick, constricted, high in the chest? Sit comfortably. Try drawing the breath long and down into the bottom of your belly. Place your hand on your belly and breathe to expand from the bottom of the belly up. Drop your shoulders and exhale slowly, pulling the belly back to the spine as the breath pushes out, again from the bottom up. Repeat 7-8 times or for about a minute. Deep breathing helps tap into the nervous system and promote relaxation.

Check in on chewing. Do you tend to inhale food, rush through to do something else, chew-chew-swallow without really savouring or thinking about the food? Take a bite. Count how many times you can keep chewing before the instinct to swallow actually kicks in. For many that’s about 30 times. With your next bite chew that many times and enjoy the flavours in the food. Set down the fork between bites and even close your eyes for a moment. Chewing slowly and thoroughly helps activate digestion from the mouth down and promotes feeling full.

Even if you can slow nothing else down today, checking on breathing and chewing at least at meal times can still make a big difference in stress and energy levels throughout the day, which can translate to better moods and fewer cravings as the day goes on.

Give it a try!

LoveBites: Take Care of Yourself!

So often, I get wrapped up in taking care of other people, animals, projects… but not myself. “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” I say, but my own cup runs low. From time to time it helps to remind myself to refill! Here’s how you can refill your cup too: Continue reading “LoveBites: Take Care of Yourself!”

What I’ve Learned Camping on Plants

My first experiences with camping date back to when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old, at my uncle’s cottage in the country. I remember being carsick on the way there, Sam the stuffed Basset hound in my fists, and my elder cousin, a wise 7-year-old, telling me there were snakes under the bridge and my young mind conjured a full-on hissing snake pit of doom such that my uncle had to carry me screaming across it.

Later, pioneer camping Continue reading “What I’ve Learned Camping on Plants”