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: Try Approving of Yourself

“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~Louise Hay

Not sure where to start? Try remembering the best compliments you’ve ever received. Visualize what it was like when it was said to you.

Skin_Care_Beauty-197

Now, if you downplayed or rejected it (“it was nothing” or “no I don’t” or “you’re just saying that”) at the time, or said anything along the lines of “thanks, BUT”… change the script. Imagine genuinely thanking that person for that compliment without taking anything away from it (“thanks, it was/I do/I am!”).

Now look yourself in the eye and repeat that compliment back to yourself.

Now imagine actively thinking that way about yourself, without waiting for someone else to tell you. “This outfit looks great on me. My eyes are stunning. I’m getting so strong. I rocked that. I have so many great ideas.”

You’ve got this!

LoveBites: I am the Storm

“I AM THE STORM.”

It’s so easy to get washed away within a vortex of doubt, anxiety, self-sabotage, worry that things just aren’t good enough. Looks, health, career, relationships – anything that feels like it’s bearing down on you, maybe even tearing you apart.

Change the perspective. Be the storm. Tear that shit up yourself. Get it done.

What does that look like in real terms?

Get your goal planner out. Write it down. Block out distractions and detractors. Show up even when you think you’re not feeling it. Strike one task down out of your path at a time, then bring on the next.

When you feel burnt out under your own fire take breaks without apology. Hydrate and get back to real food. Get some love from your friends, your partner, your pets. Stretch. Breathe. REVISE. Write some more.

Then get back on it.

You’ve got this.

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!”

LoveBites: 3 Ways to Temper the Holiday Madness

Let’s get real. The holiday season is in full swing. We’re getting swept up in parties, gift-giving, family time, and of course potlucks and holiday feast mode.

Not to mention if you’re the one organizing and hosting and making the food and in charge of the holiday gift budget ON TOP of all that other everyday stuff you still have to get done. <flailing both hands in the air>

So believe me, I understand if your needs have gotten bumped down a few notches in your priority list Continue reading “LoveBites: 3 Ways to Temper the Holiday Madness”

I’m Your Wild Girl! White Chocolate Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb Smoothie Bowl [Local Product Feature, Part 2]

This past summer I had the opportunity to sample some lovely locally-produced plant mylk. I loved playing and making new recipes with it.

[You can find one of those recipes here. [Local Product Feature, Part 1]

Hippie Mylk, which you can find at Ottawa farmers’ markets and now in select health food stores, most definitely also passes the smoothie test! It’s creamy, naturally just a little sweet, and high in protein and healthy fats (you know I’m all about those #healthyfatsftw). Continue reading “I’m Your Wild Girl! White Chocolate Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb Smoothie Bowl [Local Product Feature, Part 2]”

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] Cafe-Style Summer Drinks, without the Cafe Lines and Name Typos

With the warmer weather comes patio season, and that often intertwines with frosty cafe beverages with or without caffeine. While I am no stranger to these cafe offerings (especially on a lovely day out or a little walk amongst the shops), it does get pricey to buy one each time. Not to mention the amount of wasteful packaging that might accumulate in your bins, if you’re like us and try to remember to bring a tumbler but don’t always manage (it’s a work in progress).

My classic ice-cold bev tip for when you want that cafe taste but not the expense or the trash OR the questionable additives:

Continue reading “[Recipe Post] Cafe-Style Summer Drinks, without the Cafe Lines and Name Typos”