Are you Listening to your Skin?

skin doctor

The skin is your body’s largest organ and it plays so many roles when it comes to function and health. Obviously the skin’s primary job is to cover the body and contain the organs, bones and muscles of the body.

It also acts as a protective layer from ultraviolet radiation from the sun, prevents dehydration, and aids in temperature regulation of the body.

The skin also plays an important role in detoxification and excretion of wastes created by the body or toxins that have been ingested.

Taking a good look at the health of your skin can provide insight as to how your body is functioning on the inside.

dark under eye circles

Dark Under Eye Circles

Do you have dark lines under your eyes that make you look like you haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep in months?

As we age, our skin naturally becomes slightly thinner and more fragile, allowing for the dark circles to appear more predominantly.

But if you are a young, “healthy” woman, chances are those dark circles are trying to tell you something.

Dark circles could be caused by lack of hydration (it’s not just about how much water you are drinking. Remember that caffeine and alcohol work to reverse the benefits of drinking water. For every coffee or alcoholic beverage, you need to increase your water intake by at least 8 ounces).

Dark under eye circles could also be indicating that your diet is in need of some help. Focus on eating a diet that is high in nutrient dense fruits and vegetables and work on eliminating processed foods.

Finally, those dark circles could just be telling you to get to bed early and get a good night’s rest. Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night to give the body a chance to rest and rejuvenate.

Click here to read, Ten Tricks To Get The Best Sleep EVER !

dry, cracked lips

Dry, Cracked Lips

During the winter months, most commonly, dry lips are caused by harsh weather conditions. However, if you find that your lips are dry year round it could be caused by a reaction to the lipgloss, lipstick or toothpaste you are using.

Conventional products contain harsh chemicals and toxins that can wreak havoc on your delicate lips. Instead, only purchase products from your local health food store that are free of chemicals and that are not drying to the lips.

Click here to read, Natural DIY Self Care Product Recipes .

skin irritation

Skin Irritation

The skin is also a very good indicator of food intolerances.

Skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, rashes, acne, and chronically itchy skin may all be indicators that your body is not tolerating something in your diet.

With the increase in food additives, pesticide use, genetically modified organisms, and processing, food is not what it used to be.

The most common foods that are linked to skin irritation and intolerance are;

  • Dairy
  • Gluten-containing foods
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate

The best way to identify if one of these foods is the culprit of your skin irritation is to remove the items that you believe to be an issue from your diet for a period of three weeks. Then re-introduce the foods one at a time and watch for reactions. If a reaction occurs, eliminate that food from your diet permanently.

Click here to read, Do I Always Have to Buy Organic ?  Here’s What You NEED to Know !

Natural DIY Self Care Product Recipes

natural

There is an incredible amount of toxic chemicals lurking in your cosmetics that significantly affect your health. Although you can find many organic, toxin-free options at your local health food store, why not try making your own natural, inexpensive versions at home.

Here are some of my favourite ‘recipes’ I like to use and share with my friends and family.

Natural Body Butter

In a double boiler on your stove, add:

  • 1/4 cup natural beeswax (let this melt completely before adding the rest of the ingredients)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin, organic, raw coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup sweet almond oil (Use avocado oil if you are allergic to nuts)
  • 20 drops of your favourite essential oils (mine are grapefruit and vanilla!)
  1. In a double boiler, allow the natural beeswax to become liquified.
  2. Add the coconut oil and almond oil, until it is all liquified. Then remove from heat.
  3. Next add your essential oils.
  4. Once it has cooled slightly pour into small containers and place in the fridge to harden and use liberally!

It can be stored for several months in the fridge.

Caution – if you are allergic to bees, or sensitive to bee pollen, etc, do not use the beeswax in your recipe. The cream might become liquified on hot days, but it will re-solidify when the temperature returns to normal. The beeswax helps to keep the cream solid in the heat and hold the moisture on your skin. Also, if you are allergic to nuts – swap out the almond oil for avocado oil (everything can be found at the health food store).
natural deodorant

Natural Deodorant

This recipe for natural deodorant is to replace the aluminum and preservative nastiness that is found in conventional deodorants. It doesn’t work quite as well as regular deodorant for many people, so test this out at home before arriving to work! Paired with a clean diet and drinking lots of water, your body will begin to naturally detoxify and not have underarms that produce as much smell.

  • 6 tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup Baking soda
  • 1/4 cup Arrowroot powder
  • Essential oils of your choice
  1. Mix baking soda and arrowroot together in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Mash in coconut oil with a fork until well mixed.
  3. Add your favourite essential oils.
  4. Store in small glass jar or old deodorant container for easy use.
natural toothpaste

Natural Toothpaste

Toothpaste can be filled with all sort of toxins, from sodium lauryl sulfate to fluoride, and
artificial sweeteners to triclosan. It is very easy to make your own toothpaste, and you
may even find that it helps to whiten your teeth and leave your mouth feeling fresher
than ever before!

Click here to read, “Are you still using Crest toothpaste?”

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp Baking soda
  • 15 Drops peppermint essential oil
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together. If the coconut is really hard, you may have to warm it slightly to let it soften.
  2. Keep mixture in a small jar in your bathroom. To keep germs out of it, use a spoon to put the paste onto your toothbrush.

For more information about common chemicals you should try and avoid, click here to read, “What Chemicals Are You Putting On Your Face?”

Gentle Ways To Welcome The New Year With Self Care

I have declared that this upcoming year will be the year of self care for myself and my family. So, this year, rather than having a specific resolution (that I’m not likely to stick to) I’ve decided to explore different ways to really improve my personal well-being through self care. I’m going to let my intuition guide me to figure out what I need at any given time to provide myself with the best self care possible.

What Does Self Care Mean To Me?

There are four major themes I’m going to focus on this year, which we’ll explore together below. My intention is to let my self care evolve as I make changes and become more grounded and focused.

Here are my four main focuses for a better me include;

  1. Become more gentle with myself
  2. Move my body in different ways, everyday
  3. Remove ‘junk’ from my diet
  4. Grow my list of hobbies – try new activities and visit new places
read

Become More Gentle With Myself

I have begun by allowing myself time to rest (and I don’t mean sleep). By taking time to;

I am providing myself with valuable time to relax and feel satisfied. My goal is to step away from the chaos in the world and work at keeping my life more tranquil and serene. I am working on pushing out the negative thoughts, media outlets, and interactions to maintain a more positive outlook.

I believe that gentleness is the cornerstone of self-care and my mission is to inject gentleness into my daily life, and routine. Even the mundane tasks, to experience them in a more meaningful way.

best stretches

Move My Body In Different Ways Every Day

My goal is to get off the treadmill (of life) and step into different ways to move my body.  I have already begun by incorporating;

I’ve been mindful to listen to my body and really connect with the sensations that are left behind in my body from a good workout. That also includes listening to my body when it is tired and needs a break from exercise.

best diet

Remove ‘Junk’ From My Diet

Over the holidays we tend to loosen our grip on our normal daily eating habits. This usually means ‘junk’ foods start to creep in and become the new “norm”. So, I have started focusing on removing the simple sugars, and foods high in unhealthy fats. I’ve also been more conscious of my portion sizes and making good food choices that are going to nourish my body and provide me with a clean source of energy.

Click here to read, “How To Find The Best Diet For You”.

Remember to be gentle with yourself here – we are not always going to make good food choices and feeling guilty about our choices is not a means to be gentle with yourself. Work towards a healthy balance that still allows some flexibility in your diet so you feel fulfilled and satisfied.

new hobbies

Grow My List Of Hobbies – Try New Activities And Visit New Places

This one is like a mini bucket list for me. Trying new things is exhilarating and it can help to strengthen relationships with our loved ones as we try new things together. My intention is to feel more free and alive with excitement to have the opportunity for new experiences.

Hopefully during this new year, you too will find ways to improve your self-care and infuse gentleness into your daily life. Let’s make this year more fulfilling, successful, and joyful than the last.

Christmas Treats Giving You The Sugar Blues? Get Through the Holidays With Your Waist Intact

With Christmas just around the corner, the sugar season is in full swing.  We’ve got cookie exchanges, office parties and family dinners to look forward to (or not).  So, how are we going to keep off unwanted pounds without depriving ourselves of all those Christmas treats?  Learn my go to holiday health tips to keep you feeling good going into the New Year!

Make A Switch

We don’t want to deny ourselves the pleasure of all those tasty treats, especially when it comes to the season of hors d’ oeuvres and desserts.   So, we tell ourselves that we will spend extra time in the gym or starve ourselves before the party in order to justify a splurge. But what we really need is a holiday mindset makeover.  Here are a few simple mind switches to make this holiday season: 

Deprivation

Instead of thinking you will deprive yourself of flavor and enjoyment when you pass by the triple decker, deluxe, death by chocolate cake. Think of the diabetes, heart disease, heart burn, joint pain and mood swings you will not have to worry about. Yes, you will be depriving yourself of a life of pain and suffering, but I’m guessing you’d be okay with that. 

Click here to read, “Sugar And Cancer – How One Affects The Other.”

Flavor

You don’t have to eat the whole cake to enjoy the flavor. Choose smaller serving sizes. You still get the mouth feel, pleasure and taste but with fewer calories which means less weight gain. 

Click here to read, “Sugar – Are you singing the sugar blues?”

Balance

Healthy behaviors don’t make up for unhealthy behaviors. There isn’t a scale where you put broccoli on one side and balance it with sugar on the other side. Healthy actions won’t erase the consequences of unhealthy actions. Exercise because it makes you feel good and energized. Not because you want to binge at the cookie exchange. Engage in intermittent fasting because it reduces inflammation in your body. Not because you want to save up all your calories for pigging out at a party.  

Click here to read, “How Processed Sugar Destroys Your Body.”

Health Tips For The Holidays!

Now that we’ve changed our minds about a few things, here are some tips to getting through the season with your health intact: 

1. Plan Ahead

You know what to expect, so plan how you will respond; write it down and say it out loud.  

2. Use Positive Language

Instead of saying, “I won’t eat the death by chocolate cake,” say, “I will eat two or three bites of the death by chocolate if I feel like it.”

Your brain doesn’t register negative words, so when framed in the negative, it will just hear death by chocolate cake and you will end up eating the whole thing. When framing it positively, the brain will hear two or three bites of cake and it will be easier for you to stick to a smaller serving as you and your brain will be on the same page. 

3. Change What You Can

If your friends want to do a cookie exchange, suggest a fun sock, holiday mug, or ornament exchange instead. It’s just as much fun, a whole lot less work and easier on the waistline. If you get to bring a dish to share, choose something without added sugar because there will be plenty of people bringing dessert. 

Now you are all set to enjoy the holidays with all the flavors, textures and fun!  Be sure to check out Family Health Advocacy daily in order to see today’s tasty holiday treat that’s also healthy as part of our 12 Day’s of Holiday inspired natural health recipes.

For more information click here to read, “Finally Quit Your Sugar Addiction With These Top Tips.”

Best Essential Oils – These Are More Than Just Herbs

best essential oils

The culture of medicine is changing. There has been a huge movement in the past decade towards natural healthcare. We see droves of people heading to their local health store in search of natural ways to take care of their health such as the best essential oils. Of course there is always a time and place for modern medicine, but the two can work hand in hand.

Essential oils are one of the many options available to anyone looking for a natural alternative. While the mainstream use of essential oils continues to grow, oils have been around for centuries. The Egyptians used plant extracts for health and religious reasons. In fact, Jean Valnet used oils to successfully treat injured soldiers in WWII. Today we use these as simple and effective solutions for wellness and a healthy lifestyle.

Be The Healer In Your Home

For those of you who may not be familiar with essential oils. You may be asking yourself, “How can these drops of oil help?”.  Oil use is spreading like wildfire because more and more people are learning about research being done, and are finding out that essential oils are legit! Your life can be powerfully affected by these oils. Even if you don’t know much about them yet.

Essential oils are more than just herbs! They are volatile aromatic compounds that are up to 70 times more potent than herbs. Using essential oils may seem foreign, but with the right guidance they can be a simple and rewarding addition to every medicine cabinet. With proper use there are no side effects and they work quickly and effectively.

Click here to read, “5 Ways To Heal The Mind & Body By Using This One Oil!”.

essential oil blends

Best Essential Oils

When your child wakens during the night with an upset stomach, you can feel confident reaching for essential oils to settle them. Bug bites, burns and most common ailments and so much more can be supported with these amazing drops of oil. For example;

Peppermint Essential Oil

A single drop of certified pure peppermint oil can be all you need to tackle your next headache, digestive or respiratory discomfort, or maybe just your bad breath!

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is widely know for its calming and relaxing qualities. However it is such a versatile oil that it is also used for many skin conditions such as;

It can be particularly useful with sleep and stress. With proper dilution essential oils can be used for everyone in the family.

Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon can be used to cleanse and purify the air using a cool-mist diffuser. It is an uplifting and energizing oil that can help improve mood. Lemon essential oil can naturally cleanse the body and aid in digestion. When combined with lavender and peppermint, it can support those with seasonal discomfort.

Choosing The Right Oils For You

There are more than 90 essentials oils. Each of which contains hundreds of different compounds, providing versatile abilities to combat threats. Understanding their potency and safe usage practices is important for everyone just starting out. There are many resources about essential oils that can help you on your journey. But note that not all essential oils are created equally. So do your research before picking up your next bottle.

For more information, click here to read, “Have you heard of this miracle oil? You should be using it!”

You may also enjoy, “What Exactly Is Homeopathy?”

Best Diet For Weight Loss

Best diet for weight loss

People are always looking for the best diet for weight loss. But which diets really works? Furthermore, how do you know which diet is best for you?

Society for years have been telling us to avoid fat. In the 1980’s, there was the craze of the low-fat diet. It seemed as if everything in the supermarket was low fat. However, during that same time obesity rates soared in North America.

Then the ‘get moving’ movement came along…..get out and exercise! Excellent advice of course, but then why 20-30 years later are we as a society more overweight than ever? 

Well, think of what manufacturers have to do to their product when they take the fat out? They add SUGAR!  In fact, sugar is everywhere including foods deemed healthy, even milk!

But “Isn’t Sugar Just Calories, Not Fat?”

We’ve all been told about the calories in/calories out formula.  So theoretically, “if I eat and then exercise, I won’t get fat”.

Well, that isn’t completely true. There are a lot of well-researched articles out there that explain this in depth, but the simple bottom line is that sugar is making us fat.

excess sugar

Why All The Hype About Sugar?

Sugar is glucose. Our blood cannot have an excess of glucose. This is why we have a hormone called insulin that regulates it. Insulin is crucial as it allows the cells in our muscles, fat and liver to absorb glucose that is in the blood. The glucose serves as energy to these cells. Our bodies are smart. The cells take only what they can use and nothing more.

What Happens When Our Cells Have What They Need, But There Is Excess Glucose In Our Blood?

For the sake of our health, insulin will take care of that! Insulin will convert it into fat, which appears on our tummy, thighs, arms..…all the places we’re trying to ‘burn it off’!

Our fat cells will always take more. They are never satisfied unlike the other cells which only take what they need.

So, our excess glucose is now FAT but sugar isn’t the only culprit.

Eating more protein than your body needs also converts to glucose. In addition foods high in carbohydrates act as a sugar in your body! Rice, pasta, potatoes, breads….all are glucose in your blood stream that insulin must deal with.

But our cells need energy! That is where FAT comes in. Our cells are designed to obtain energy from fat and our brain needs fat to function properly.

healthy fats

Not All Fat Is Bad Fat

Now, we’re not talking about harmful trans-fats. Rather the mono/poly-unsaturated ‘good’ fats that come from vegetables and plants. Think avocados, nuts, salmon and coconut oil.

Also, some saturated fats in moderation are necessary, despite even what national health guidelines may tell us. Saturated fat and cholesterol are essential to brain health and are not to be avoided! Not only are these fats essential to our body but they are low on the glycemic index which keeps your insulin low.

All About The Essentials

When you think about it, we have ‘essential’ proteins, fats and amino acids. “But have you ever heard of an ‘essential carbohydrate’?”

By consuming fat you’re keeping your blood sugar low and are more likely to feel satisfied. Therefore you’re less likely to get ‘hangry’ and make poor food choices. This is because with insulin low and blood sugars stable, your brain will make appropriate choices and you will feel fuller longer.

Fat has all sorts of other great health benefits. So don’t fear the fat! In fact, eat more fat, eat less carbohydrate foods and sugars. Your brain will thank you; not to mention you will have greater energy that is sustained throughout the day.

low carb high fat

My Own Testimonial On The Best Diet For Weight Loss

I started a high-fat, low carb way of eating in the summer of 2015. Within a few weeks I was eating less food in general. Not consuming the copious amounts of food that our society seems to believe we need. Due to reducing sugar-laden foods, my taste buds became more sensitive to pure natural tastes which made meals more enjoyable.

My digestive system is now happier. My brain fog, gone. I lost 40 pounds by spring and have kept it off. Also, when I get hungry, I’m not ‘hangry’ and can prepare wholesome foods for my family. The research I’ve done on fat has proven this to be the best diet for weight loss and has been well worth it. You too may reap the benefits. So fear not the fat!

Dangers Of Vaping

E-Cigarettes Found to Have 10 times More Cancer Causing Ingredients than Regular Cigarettes

Recently the dangers of vaping has been all over the news and social media. Vocalizing the hidden risks after reports of numerous deaths and illness that incurred to seemingly healthy individuals.

Where It All Started

There have been many products developed over the years to help people quit smoking.  In fact, vaping was initially introduced for that exact reason. However, recent reports are stating that;

e-cigarettes will impose similar long-term cardiovascular and pulmonary risks as those associated with conventional cigarettes.

How Vaping Works

E-cigarettes are designed to deliver nicotine to a user in the form of vapour. Typically via a rechargeable battery-operated heating element. Hence where the word vaping came from.

The cartridges filled with nicotine and chemicals inhaled by the user are replaceable. However, the FDA has not evaluated e-cigarettes for their safety.

Dangers Of Vaping

Originally, E-Cigarettes became popular because of their ability to provide a hit of nicotine. Supposedly without the worry of added chemicals and toxins found in regular cigarettes. However, vaping cannot be considered risk free.  Reports are now surfacing stating that vaping can cause harm to the lungs and attribute to disease including COPD.

Furthermore,  there was a CDC study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research;

“More than a quarter of a million youth who had never smoked a cigarette used electronic cigarettes in 2013. This is a three-fold increase from 79,000 in 2011 to more than 263,000 in 2013.”

Here at Family Health Advocacy, we’re all about living the most healthy lifestyle that you can. Eating well. Enjoying movement. And eliminating toxins.

vaping

Are You Ready To Quit Smoking & Vaping?

Follow these tips:

1. Stop Buying Them!

They are harder to get your hands on if they’re not in the house. Also, the inconvenience of going to purchase them may allow you enough time to convince yourself not to buy them!

2. Load Up On Fruit & Vegetables

I know this sounds lame.  However the vitamins and minerals your body has lost from smoking must be replenished.  Helping yourself to reduce cravings.

For further information, click here to read, “Nutrition and Smoking: Foods to Help You Quit!”

3. Antioxidant Diet

According to research, eating a diet high in antioxidants, especially those found in tomatoes can help to repair lung damage caused by smoking.

4. Talk To Your Natural Health Practitioner

Your natural health practitioner can put together solutions customized specifically for you. There are many herbs and natural remedies that can support your body through this difficult transition.  Although natural, they are also very powerful to help you quit smoking.

Try these solutions for yourself.  Avoid the dangers of vaping, smoking, JUULing. QUIT TODAY!

How To Encourage Children To Eat Vegetables

Getting your kids to eat their vegetables can be one of the greatest daily struggles for parents.  Building healthy eating habits takes a lot of effort for parents to sometimes battle it out with their children.

Start Small & Tackle One Meal At A Time

First, start off with breakfast and work on getting sugary cereals, pastries, and dairy off the menu.  Substitute cereals for oatmeal and fruit.  Pastries for homemade muffins (recipe below), and dairy milk for almond or coconut milk to use in smoothies.

First and foremost, parents need to set the example to their children on how to eat properly.

Children easily pick up on the habits of their parents and will gravitate towards the eating style presented at home.  Take a minute and think about the kind of example you are setting for your children.  Ask yourself the following;

  • Do you make meal time a priority?  Preparing regular healthy meals as a family?  Or are you picking up takeout on the way home from work because you are exhausted?
  • What is your attitude towards food and your body image?
  • What messages are you consciously or unconsciously sending your children?
Encouraging your children to take care of their health is one of the greatest acts of love a parent can give their child.

Mindset around meals and snacks can easily be shifted to a more positive experience.  Involve the family in weekly meal planning and grocery shopping for the ingredients that will be needed for those meals.

Older children and teens can also take part in meal prep by washing vegetables and helping to prepare dinner.  Giving children a voice around their meal choices will help with encouraging healthier eating habits.  Provide your children with a choice of what vegetables they are going to eat each day.  In addition, add one wild card vegetable to the menu each week that they may not like, but are willing to try.

Click here to read, “Are You Eating Enough Colour?”

Tips & Tricks To Add Vegetables To Every Day Meals

green pineapple smoothie
  1.  Throw a handful of spinach or kale into smoothies.  Yes, the smoothie will be green, but the flavour and texture of the spinach is masked by all the fruit.

For a a fantastic green pineapple smoothie, click here to read, “Happy St. Patrick’s Day Recipes”.

cauliflower rice

2. Use the food processor to turn cauliflower into the texture of rice.  Sauté the cauliflower “rice” in a tablespoon of olive oil and season to taste.

zucchini noodles

3. Use a spiral slicing tool to turn zucchini into noodles.  It will resemble pasta and can be topped with your favourite sauce and veggies.

Grilled spaghetti squash

4. Use spaghetti squash instead of pasta to make traditional spaghetti with meatballs (remember to use grass fed beef for the meatballs).

Click here for “The Ultimate Guide For How to Cook Spaghetti Squash”.

fruit salad ideas

5. Rather than ice cream for dessert, serve a plate of fresh fruit.

Almond-Berry Muffin Recipe

As promised, below is a recipe for healthy muffins that freeze well and are easy to serve as part of a healthy breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw almonds, ground
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 12 muffin liners

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grind raw almonds until fine.
  3. Mix eggs, coconut oil maple syrup, vanilla and apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Add ground almonds and baking soda. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Fold in berries and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  5. Evenly distribute batter between 12 muffin cups.
  6. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.
  7. ENJOY!!

Also, try this recipe breakfast muffins. It’s another great healthy breakfast idea that you can prepare in advance!

Adrenal Fatigue? 7 Tips to Fight Back Naturally

adrenal fatigue

Everyone has felt stress at some point in their lives.  That feeling of being so overwhelmed and overworked that you can’t eat or sleep.  Unfortunately, stress has become ingrained in our culture.  We associate it with hard work and success, assuming that we can’t have one without the other.   Though some stress is necessary, we often bite off more than we can chew.  We fail to realize that the more stressed we are, the less efficient we are.  We ignore the negative effects stress has on our bodies but unnecessary stress can lead to a multitude of symptoms including:

  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances

.

adrenal glands

What Are Adrenal Glands And What Do They Do?

The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are the triangle-shaped endocrine glands that sit on top of your kidneys.  The adrenal glands are hormone producing glands similar to ovaries, testicles and the thyroid.  They are the regulators of your body as they’re responsible for regulating stress responses and play an important role in the maintenance of a healthy immune system.

Adrenal glands are key contributors to:
  • Proper thyroid function
  • Balance of hormones
  • Maintaining one’s ideal weight
  • Stabilizing emotions
  • Controlling cravings

Multiple studies have proven that the health of the adrenal glands will dictate the health and recovery of many types of chronic illnesses.  Since chronic stress is the main cause of overactive adrenals, it’s important that we find a way to control and eliminate stress.

Click here to read, “CFS – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms & Natural Solutions”.

Moreover, proper nutrition, adequate rest, and exercise is also very important. Unfortunately, an astounding amount of people suffer from adrenal fatigue due to lifestyle factors that are often overlooked.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is a common side effect of stress and has three phases:
  1. The Alarm Phase – when the body is acknowledging stress
  2. The Resistance Phase – when the body is trying to fight stress
  3. The Exhaustion Phase – when the adrenals become tapped out.

Depending the phase a person is in, the levels of cortisol (produced by the adrenals) will range from high or low at different points in the day.  Cortisol levels should be at their peak in the morning.  So, when we wake up we feel refreshed and ready to go.  Alternatively, they should be at their lowest at night when it’s time to go to bed.  Any variation of these levels will affect a person’s well-being.  Especially if stress is experienced for long periods of time.  Hence the last phase being exhaustion.

Click here to read, “Bedtime Woe’s? – 5 Simple Tips For Blissful Zzzz’s”.

Other than exhaustion, additional symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Cravings for salt
  • Chronic infections
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Muscle twitches
  • Lack of libido
  • Light headed
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleep disturbance (typically waking up between 2-4 am)

So what can you do?  There are numerous natural ways to support the adrenals.

adrenal fatigue

Are Your Adrenals Fatigued?

I see the following scenario regularly in my practice.  A busy mom with a demanding career comes in complaining of;

  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of libido
  • Inability to lose weight
  • Feeling low

For the last 15 years she has been dealing with;

  • Work deadlines
  • Kid’s sports
  • Homework
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning

She goes from morning to night with little sleep.  Her adrenals are tired but she pushes through the chronic fatigue and insomnia.  She notices other symptoms such as headaches, inability to lose weight, and mood swings.  This common scenario is what many natural health professionals refer to as, “adrenal steal”.

Unable to function properly due to years of stress, the adrenals are forced to steal key hormonal building blocks from other hormones like:

  • Progesterone
  • DHEA
  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone

Hence contributing to hormonal imbalances and a slew of side effects that come with them.  Keeping the adrenal glands in check is the best way for women to avoid fatigue and keep their hormones happy.

How to Fight Adrenal Fatigue

chiropractor

See a Chiropractor – Chiropractic care plays a crucial role in adrenal health.  Physical, chemical or emotional stressors can cause stress on the spine and nervous system.  The goal of chiropractic care is to balance and optimize the entire nervous system contributing to healthy adrenal function in addition to a multitude of other health benefits.

early to bed

Go to Bed Early – You should be sleeping 7 to 8 hours and preferably going to bed before midnight.  Make sure you allow some time to wind down and relax to help your cortisol level lower before bed.

clean eating

Eat Clean – Avoid processed foods and sugar.  Focus on good fats, moderate protein, and tons of veggies that are phytonutrient rich.  You are what you eat, so feed your body the right fuel.

vitamins

Take an Adrenal Support Supplement – Consuming whole, organic foods rich in phytonutrients is great for adrenal support.  However, supplementation is sometime needed to support proper adrenal function.

Beneficial supplements Include:
  • B complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Omega 3 fatty acids

Also beneficial are botanical adaptogens.  They can be taken to help support the adrenal glands throughout the stress response process.

Examples of botanical adaptogens include:

  • Ashwagandha root
  • Rhodiola rosea extract
  • Suma
  • Schisandra chinensis berry extract
yoga, meditation

Exercise – Regular exercise is known to combat stress, which helps to improve adrenal function.  But be aware that if your adrenals are exhausted, intense exercise may be more detrimental than beneficial.  Try yoga or meditation.

Click here to read, “Put A Little Namaste In Your Life”.

cortisol saliva test

Get Tested! – Measuring cortisol levels can help determine adrenal health.  The Cortisol Saliva Test also know as the Adrenal Stress Test, has become the preferred way of evaluating cortisol levels.

A newer test, the DUTCH test, is another method one can use.  The test involves a urine steroid hormone profile.  This measures hormones and hormone metabolites (called conjugates) in a dried sample.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) technology used by chiropractors, is another way to evaluate stress.  It measures and tracks a patient’s autonomic nervous system state.

Think your adrenals are suffering from adrenal fatigue?  Start by taking an inventory of your life stressors and see which ones you can kick to the curb following the 7 tips above.

What The Neck? Are You Short-Circuiting?

Have you ever thought about how how much you strain your neck throughout the day?

You look down to:

  • Text
  • Reply to your email
  • Check Facebook
  • Send a tweet
  • Type on your keyboard
  • Read
  • Speak with your children

…And the list goes on and on!  This can potentially add up to several hours each day that your neck is tilted forward and/or down.

Why Does This Matter?

Your neck is the connection between your brain and the rest of your body.  The messages your brain needs to send must travel through your nervous system which is encased by the bones of your spine.  Therefore, if the spinal bones in your neck are continually forced into a forward (or looking down) position, it puts a great deal of pressure on your nervous system.

This interference causes “electrical problems”.  Whereby, the information that needs to flow freely in the nervous system can no longer do so.  It can cause a “short-circuiting” effect in your body.  This is where certain areas of your body develop illnesses or issues because they are lacking all of the information they need to function at 100%.

Additionally, these misalignments can lead to Forward Head Posture.  This is a serious condition that must be addressed by a chiropractor.  The doctor must work on bringing the carriage of the head back into alignment with your neck and shoulders.

alignment

What Is The Proper Alignment For Your Neck?

If we look at you from the side, your ears should be centered on your shoulders.  This gives your cervical spine (your neck) the correct curve to allow your nervous system to function properly.  Free of any misalignments.

However, if your ears are lining up closer to (or surpassing) the front of your shoulders, your neck is no longer in proper alignment.  This means you are experiencing a significant loss of curve in your neck.  Therefore aren’t able to allow the messages to travel properly within your nervous system.

This is a very serious problem, because even a loss of curve by 1 degree puts significant pressure on your nervous system, never mind the potential for a couple of inches.

Misalignment can actually develop into a loss of curve, or even a reversed cervical curve and can put immense strain on your health.

This Condition Can Lead To Experiencing:
  • Migraines
  • Breathing problems
  • Heart disease
  • Various nose, throat and ear problems
  • Learning difficulties
  • Emotional problems

This is such a critical area of your spine that must be free of misalignments to allow your body to express real health.

Have you noticed this problem in your spouse or your children?  It is especially worrisome for children to have reversed cervical spines, as it can compound into many problems throughout their lives.  And as we all know, when problems are left unaddressed, they tend to get worse, not better.

As we are spending more and more time on our devices and computers, the unnatural strain we are putting on our necks becomes even more prominent.

Click here to read, ” Is Today’s Technology Destroying Your Health?”

What Is The Solution?

Find a chiropractor in your area that can help you to express optimal health.  Follow the care plan laid out for returning the proper curve to your spine.  Especially in children as the rate of complete correction can be quite high, as they are growing and developing quickly.