How stress hormones keep you from your weight loss goals 
 
You probably wouldn’t be surprised to know that more stress and stress hormones promote weight gain, would you?
 
But what exactly is stress, and how does it keep you from your weight loss goals?
 
In fact, there are actually many links between stress hormones and weight.  We’ll talk about six major reasons how stress hormones keep you from your weight loss goals. These include the effect stress has on digestion and gut health, inflammation and the immune system. Stress can cause cravings, increased appetite, and “stress eating.” It can promote fat storage around the waist with its effect on insulin sensitivity. Stress can also be mood-busting and demotivating, not to mention how it worsens sleep. 
 
All of these can work to keep you from your weight loss goals.
 
Let’s go over the effects of stress and stress hormones, and exactly how they all tie into weight loss. Then we’ll end off with two strategies (and several of my best tips) how to manage stress. 
Published in Deanna's Blog
Friday, 26 May 2017 14:12

Probiotics for Moods and Stress? Yes!

 
 
What do you do when your mood is off or you’re stressed to the max?

 Eat ice cream? Binge watch Netflix? Call your bestie?

 After reading this article, you may consider yogurt, a handful of walnuts, or maybe even some dark chocolate as your go-to mood-boosters and stress-busters.

Today, we’ll unpack some of the exciting (and preliminary) new research about the link between your gut health and moods/stress. 
 
We’ll talk about your friendly resident gut microbes (mostly bacteria), probiotic foods and supplements, as well as foods to feed those gut microbes and probiotics (aka “prebiotics”). 

WHAT THE HECK ARE “GUT MICROBES?  ”

Oh, our friendly “gut microbes.” 

They are the trillions of microbes that happily live in our gut. They help us by digesting foods, making vitamins, and even protecting us from the not-so-friendly microbes that may get in there.

Believe it or not, these friendly microbes have mood-boosting and stress-busting functions too!

FUN FACT: There are more microbes
 
FUN FACT: There are more microbes inside our gut than all of the human cells that make us. Yup, we’re more than half microbe! So, how can they NOT impact our health?

It’s a hotbed of research right now and we’re finding out more about their awesome health, and mood/stress benefits every day.

And, while the research is just starting to figure out the many gut microbe-brain connections, it’s such a cool new topic that I couldn’t wait to share it with you!

GUT MICROBES AND PROBIOTICS

The microbes that live in our guts are known as our “gut microbiota”. 
 
The microbes that we can ingest are known as “probiotics”.

“Probiotics” are live organisms that you can eat, drink, or take as a supplement. They’re what turn milk into yogurt, and cabbage into sauerkraut; and they are great for both your gut health and mental health.

Special probiotics that have mental health benefits are called “psychobiotics,” (psycho = mental health, and biotics = live). They’re live organisms that can benefit our psyche.

So, what’s the link between gut microbes, probiotics, and moods/stress?

  BAD MOODS/STRESS CAN MEAN BAD MICROBES

.  Stress can affect our friendly gut microbes.

 Several studies show that stressed rodents not only have increased stress hormones and stressed behaviours; but, they also have different gut microbes!

And this has been studied, to a small extent, in people too.

 One study showed that moms with high levels of stress hormones during pregnancy had infants with more of the “bad” gut microbes. 

But, can it work the other way around? Can changing our gut microbes affect our moods and stress responses?

Studies of rodents that grow up without any gut microbes at all (in a “bacteria-free” environment) respond to stress more than mice with normal gut microbes. Then, when they’re given either a probiotic or gut microbes from non-stressed mice, their stress responses often go back to normal.

The gut microbe, probiotic, and mood/stress connections are starting to get interesting, aren’t they?

  BAD MICROBES CAN MEAN BAD MOODS
Published in Deanna's Blog
Friday, 26 August 2016 14:32

Diets Don’t Work

 

As a Holistic Nutritionist, one of the most common reasons clients come to see me is to lose weight.  I, in fact, have struggled the last few years with a bit of weight gain, stubborn fat loss and overtraining.  

I have tried almost every tactic out there to try to lose weight and achieve that skinny body that we all seem to think will make us happier.  I developed an unhealthy relationship with food and my body as a result.  Trying to starve myself and excessively exercise only to be disappointed when I stepped on the scale and saw no change, or worse.... an increase in weight.  

I fell prey to the latest dieting trends of high protein, low carb and developed adrenal and hormonal issues in the process.  It was what the latest health trends suggested, so it must be right??

It was a vicious cycle that had me in it's grip and finally, I was able to end it and help my body heal.  It took some time, and I had to eat more carbs in order for my adrenal and thyroid glands to be nourished properly, but I am happy to say, I have developed a much healthier relationship with food and the way I feel about my body. (picture above is me finishing my Multi Sport race this August.)

Most people who diet gain their weight back. And the weight fluctuation created by yo-yo dieting is actually worse for your health than just staying overweight!

Diets are not sustainable – they are alienating, stressful, depressing and restrictive. Most people can stick to a certain protocol for a while, but most of them have requirements that make them hard to sustain in the real world where we all have different things to juggle in our personal life, career, and family responsibilities.

Diets do not take into account bio-individuality, which means that every body is different – how the body metabolizes nutrients, and how each individual has a different lifestyle that may or may not fit well with the rigid requirements.

Diets are expensive. Most diets require participants to buy specialty foods or prepared meals. On top of that, if you rely on prepared meals in order to know what you can eat, is this method sustainable? Do you know what you can eat or order when you are eating out or visiting friends and families?

Sometimes these protocols require supplements because certain foods are eliminated, thereby striping the diet from certain nutrients. Supplements can be expensive. Moreover, there is no telling whether the body is actually utilizing those nutrients in the supplements. If the supplements are not in bio-available forms that are optimized for absorption, they will just pass out of the body and are practically useless.

If you are ready to learn how to safely manage calories and nutrients to shed some fat then I am here to help.  No foods are off limits when you make them fit your plan.  Learning the proper amount of fuel your body requires is so empowering.  

For more information about my upcoming Weight Management and Get Lean Group and Private Programs please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Published in Deanna's Blog
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 18:19

4 Hormones that Control Your Weight

4 Hormones That Control Your Weight

It’s Monday and you spent the entire weekend clearing out your cupboards, throwing away all of the ‘bad’ foods, grocery shopping and preparing your meals for the week. You feel really good about being ‘good’ this week.

The diet has to work this time.

By 10:00am you are on a roll, about to eat your mid-morning snack and then it happens… you get called into a meeting and leave your apple and 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter on your desk. Hunger sets in but you can’t leave the emergency last minute meeting.

By 1:00pm you are starving, only having had your breakfast at 7:30am. It’s been five and a half hours since you’ve last eaten. You take one look at the salad you were so excited to eat, turn on your heels, and head for the nearest coffee shop. A salad isn’t going to cut it today… you are starving.

As the guilt sets in for skipping your salad and deviating from your diet on day 1 you think to yourself, “If I had a little more will power I would have eaten my salad.”

Sound familiar?

Will power is no match for hormones and hormonal based food cravings. See, hormones help to regulate metabolism, blood sugar control, sleep, stress, cravings and your weight. You probably heard about the importance of balancing your hormones before, still, let me explain to you the 4 hormones that are in charge of your weight.

Once you understand just how powerful your hormones are you will be in a stronger position to keep them balanced so that they work for you instead of against you.

4 Hormones That Control Your Weight:

Insulin:
Fat storing hormone. Carries glucose molecules out of your blood stream to be delivered to your working muscles. Stores glucose (carbs) as fat for later use when muscle cells are full.

Cortisol:
Stress hormone. Secreted in response to emotional or physical stress (fit or flight response). Chronic stress keeps cortisol in the blood stream resulting in lowered immunity, suppressed thyroid function (metabolism), blood sugar imbalances (insulin) and increased abdominal fat.

Leptin:
Satiety controller. This hormone regulates hunger and feelings of being full. It’s signaled by the hypothalamus and secreted in fat cells. If leptin resistant you don’t feel full and keep eating. Tied to insulin and food cravings. Insulin resistance and leptin resistance are two hormones that can severally damage the body’s ability to lose weight.

Ghrelin:
Stimulates hunger. Secreted in the lining of the stomach and from the pancreas. Ghrelin increases before meals to stimulate hunger and is supposed to decrease after meals. Tied to leptin, which induces feelings of being full. When leptin resistance, insulin resistant and stressed out (high cortisol), ghrelin doesn’t shut off constantly telling your body you are starving.

See, it’s not your fault. Hormone imbalances are to blame.

When your hormones are out of whack you crave carbs or fatty foods. You feel hungry most of the time and never quite feel full and satisfied. You have a hard time sleeping because you are under stress, which perpetuates the problem further. When you are stuck in this cycle weight loss is next to impossible.

So how do you turn it around and balance the 4 hormones that promote weight loss?

1. Avoid all simple sugars, processed grains and foods with hidden sugars.

Sugar promotes high levels of insulin secretion. This includes 100% whole wheat and whole grains. Replace your grains with high fiber beans, lentils, fruits and vegetables.

2. Start your day with a protein and fat breakfast.

Protein and fat promote feelings of fullness, keeps blood sugar levels stable and signals the hypothalamus that you are full. Try to have 2-3 whole eggs with 1 cup veggies cooked in 1-2 tsp of coconut oil.

3. Eat every 4 hours.

Avoid snacking every 2 hours or so. When you are constantly eating, your body doesn’t have time to use up the glucose for energy and never gives your hormones a break. Your meals should be big enough to keep you feeling full for 4 hours.

4. Don’t over exercise or do long bouts of cardio.

Remember, we are trying to reduce cortisol levels (stress). Long bouts of cardio create a stress response in the body. Short, intense workouts, like sprints or weight lifting, is the best way to go. Workouts shouldn’t last more than 30 – 45 minutes if done at the right intensity.

5. Get 7 hours of sleep every night.

The body repairs itself during sleep. Your liver completes its detoxification cycle and your pancreas processes out the remaining glucose. When you don’t have quality sleep it creates a stress response, elevates insulin levels and gives you cravings for carbs.

Balancing your hormones is vital to your goal of losing weight. Follow these 5 tips above to gain better control over your hormones and the weight will start to come off. The best part is that when you do the work to balance your hormones, losing weight isn’t a battle of wills anymore.

Do you still need help?  I create personalized plans to help you balance your blood sugar, balance your hormones and lose the weight for good.

 Book your free 30-minute consult today to learn more about my services.  In person in Owen Sound, or online available. 

Published in Deanna's Blog
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 18:16

4 Hormones that Control Your Weight

4 Hormones That Control Your Weight

It’s Monday and you spent the entire weekend clearing out your cupboards, throwing away all of the ‘bad’ foods, grocery shopping and preparing your meals for the week. You feel really good about being ‘good’ this week.

The diet has to work this time.

By 10:00am you are on a roll, about to eat your mid-morning snack and then it happens… you get called into a meeting and leave your apple and 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter on your desk. Hunger sets in but you can’t leave the emergency last minute meeting.

By 1:00pm you are starving, only having had your breakfast at 7:30am. It’s been five and a half hours since you’ve last eaten. You take one look at the salad you were so excited to eat, turn on your heels, and head for the nearest coffee shop. A salad isn’t going to cut it today… you are starving.

As the guilt sets in for skipping your salad and deviating from your diet on day 1 you think to yourself, “If I had a little more will power I would have eaten my salad.”

Sound familiar?

Willpower is no match for hormones and hormonal based food cravings. See, hormones help to regulate metabolism, blood sugar control, sleep, stress, cravings and your weight. You probably heard about the importance of balancing your hormones before, still, let me explain to you the 4 hormones that are in charge of your weight.

Once you understand just how powerful your hormones are you will be in a stronger position to keep them balanced so that they work for you instead of against you.

4 Hormones That Control Your Weight:

Insulin:
Fat storing hormone. Carries glucose molecules out of your blood stream to be delivered to your working muscles. Stores glucose (carbs) as fat for later use when muscle cells are full.

Cortisol:
Stress hormone. Secreted in response to emotional or physical stress (fit or flight response). Chronic stress keeps cortisol in the blood stream resulting in lowered immunity, suppressed thyroid function (metabolism), blood sugar imbalances (insulin) and increased abdominal fat.

Leptin:
Satiety controller. This hormone regulates hunger and feelings of being full. It’s signaled by the hypothalamus and secreted in fat cells. If leptin resistant you don’t feel full and keep eating. Tied to insulin and food cravings. Insulin resistance and leptin resistance are two hormones that can severally damage the body’s ability to lose weight.

Ghrelin:
Stimulates hunger. Secreted in the lining of the stomach and from the pancreas. Ghrelin increases before meals to stimulate hunger and is supposed to decrease after meals. Tied to leptin, which induces feelings of being full. When leptin resistance, insulin resistant and stressed out (high cortisol), ghrelin doesn’t shut off constantly telling your body you are starving.

See, it’s not your fault. Hormone imbalances are to blame.

When your hormones are out of whack you crave carbs or fatty foods. You feel hungry most of the time and never quite feel full and satisfied. You have a hard time sleeping because you are under stress, which perpetuates the problem further. When you are stuck in this cycle weight loss is next to impossible.

So how do you turn it around and balance the 4 hormones that promote weight loss?

1. Avoid all simple sugars, processed grains and foods with hidden sugars.

Sugar promotes high levels of insulin secretion. This includes 100% whole wheat and whole grains. Replace your grains with high fiber beans, lentils, fruits and vegetables.

2. Start your day with a protein and fat breakfast.

Protein and fat promote feelings of fullness, keeps blood sugar levels stable and signals the hypothalamus that you are full. Try to have 2-3 whole eggs with 1 cup veggies cooked in 1-2 tsp of coconut oil.

3. Eat every 4 hours.

Avoid snacking every 2 hours or so. When you are constantly eating, your body doesn’t have time to use up the glucose for energy and never gives your hormones a break. Your meals should be big enough to keep you feeling full for 4 hours.

4. Don’t over exercise or do long bouts of cardio.

Remember, we are trying to reduce cortisol levels (stress). Long bouts of cardio create a stress response in the body. Short, intense workouts, like sprints or weight lifting, is the best way to go. Workouts shouldn’t last more than 30 – 45 minutes if done at the right intensity.

5. Get 7 hours of sleep every night.

The body repairs itself during sleep. Your liver completes its detoxification cycle and your pancreas processes out the remaining glucose. When you don’t have quality sleep it creates a stress response, elevates insulin levels and gives you cravings for carbs.

Balancing your hormones is vital to your goal of losing weight. Follow these 5 tips above to gain better control over your hormones and the weight will start to come off. The best part is that when you do the work to balance your hormones, losing weight isn’t a battle of wills anymore.

Do you still want more help?  I create personalized plans to help you balance your blood sugar, balance your hormones and lose the weight.   Book your Free 30-minute consult today.

Published in Hormones
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 16:26

Reiki

Lately, I have been seeing a lot of clients for Reiki.  It is actually very healing for me as the practitioner as well as my client.  At this time of year so close to Christmas, a few sessions can help minimize the stress or perhaps connect with a loved one who has passed.  It can offer a sense of peace and tranquility.

Each session I hold starts with an angel card reading.  I feel like this is a special way for the new client to get to know me and open up their session for healthing.  As clients return, they look forward to their reading.  I have many different decks and we chose the one that is calling out to us.  It is actually quite amazing how many people think that their card readings are so accurate and what they needed to hear at that moment.  It's not surprising to me however, I actually see this every time.  You see I truly believe that we get the exact message that we are meant to hear and that those messages will find their way to us one way or another.  Sometimes, however, I think we choose to ignore them. 

After the angel card reading, the client then gets comfortable on the massage table, fully clothed and usually under a nice cozy quilt.  I chose the music prior to the client's arrival and the lights are dimmed and I use candles and Himalayan Salt lamps to gently lighten the room.

Sometimes during a session, the client will fall asleep or may feel sensations of heat or coolness when I am working on certain areas.  I have also had people share with me what they might have experienced during their session.  It ranges from a dream-like state to sometimes revealing past experiences, gaining clarity or even receiving a visit from a loved one who has passed.

Often I am guided to share what I felt, or saw in my mind's eye with the client.   I am just helping them clear old baggage, release negativity and often times pain that may have been a result of stagnant energy or blockages of energy.

All in all, it is a peaceful experience for the client and they leave feeling more calm and relaxed.  The feeling can last for a few days after the session, and often a pain that was bothersome has simply disappeared.

If you are interested in trying a session be sure to give me a call.  519-270-1889

 

 

 

 

Published in Deanna's Blog
Friday, 04 March 2016 19:11

Should I Take Supplements?

Some people are blessed with strong constitutions. They eat what they like, drink, smoke, don’t exercise, never take supplements and hardly ever get sick. These genetically strong individuals, however, are becoming increasingly rare.

Why Should I Take Supplements?

Food irradiation: is a food processing technique where the food is exposed to ionizing energy and radiation. However, this process also eliminates the essential nutrients, especially water soluble vitamins and antioxidants. Food irradiation is widely used in products like chicken, meats, and vegetables. This technique is approved and used in more than 40 countries worldwide.

Environmental Pollution: Everyday millions kilograms of chemicals are dumped into our environment. These wastes go to the air, water and food that we eat.

Genetically modified (GM) foods: GM foods are created to improve crop protection and improve the nutritional value. Although all GM foods you see from the market passed risk assessment, there is no long-term study indicate that they are safe to human. In fact, GM foods can cause allergic reactions in some people. In addition, rat studies have shown that consumption of GM foods increased intestinal infections and reduce immunity.

Soil depletion: Aggressive farming, acid rains, use or artificial fertilizers and synthetic pesticides have caused soil depletion. These activities deplete the essential nutrients in the soil. As a result, nutritional values of fruits and vegetables are greatly reduced.

Lifestyle: Depending on your lifestyle and behaviour, you may need nutritional supplements. For example, smoking destroys certain vitamins. Excessive alcohol consumption impairs the body's ability to absorb many nutrients and inhibits the production of digestive enzymes. Athletes, pregnant women, people who work in radioactive environment and those who work in physically demanding occupations require additional nutrients.

Stress: Stress can deplete your energy, lead to acceleration of the aging process and degenerative diseases. The symptoms of stress include fatigue, depression, panic, anxiety, loss of appetite, and insomnia.

Pesticides in foods: Pesticides are widely used to control and destroy pests. Pesticides are poisonous and reside in our foods. According to a study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the health benefits of fruits and vegetables are reduced by use of pesticides.

Food Processing: Processed foods are not fresh and contain fewer nutrients compared to fresh foods. Processed foods do not have live enzymes, which are necessary for digestion and metabolic function. Lack of enzymes can cause degenerative diseases. In addition, many processed foods contain refined sugar, extra salt, unhealthy fat, and chemical additives.

The following table compares the amount of each food item you would have to consume to receive an optimal daily amount of vitamin E, one of the most powerful antioxidants.

How Do I Know What Supplements I Need?

There are no completely reliable laboratory tests for determining nutritional status.

Some blood tests may be indicators for advanced nutritional disease, but none of them can detect the beginning stages of marginal deficiencies, which of course would be the best time to correct them.

Blood tests measure many things, but they can’t tell the whole story, and sometimes they are downright misleading. Why? Because the blood constantly strives to maintain a state of normalcy. Example: Calcium. Blood calcium levels may be normal even in a person with severe osteoporosis; the blood needs calcium so badly, it will rob it from the bones to get it.

Urine tests are also a problem because they only measure what the body excretes. Variations in fluid intake can greatly affect the results.

My recommendations are based on symptoms. By paying close attention to symptoms, a Holistic Nutritionist or other Holistic Health Practitioner is able to detect deficiencies and imbalances long before they show up in laboratory tests.

What You Need to Know About Supplements
Do not self diagnose – taking supplements that your body does not need can cause symptoms. It’s important to get to the root cause of the problem, which a health practitioner can help with.
If you are taking prescription medication you absolutely must work with your doctor before discontinuing any drug, and be sure your doctor has a list of the supplements you are taking
Take a high quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement
Take extra antioxidants: Vitamins A, C, E, and Selenium or a specific antioxidant formula
Take one tablespoon of flaxseed oil or one teaspoon of fish oil daily
Buy only good quality supplements – you really do get what you pay for
Take your supplements with food and water unless instructed to do otherwise
Supplements cannot take the place of a nutrient dense diet. Ensure you are getting protein with every meal, whole grains, lots of colourful fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats.
No two individuals will respond the same from taking one type of vitamin or mineral. No two metabolisms are the same and no two individuals eat the same foods or exercise the same amount, get the same sleep, are under the same amount of stress or have the same parents.
Only buy supplements from natural sources or “produced by nature”. Synthetic means artificial and anything artificial is foreign to the body.
Don’t waste your money on time-release vitamins. These products cost more and very often end up in the toilet via the stools. Not everyone’s digestive tract is able to break down the layers of waxy coatings on time-release vitamins. It’s usually more effective and cheaper to take regular vitamins several times throughout the day. (Example: Vitamin C)
Chelated basically means "firmly attached", usually to an amino acid or other organic component to aid in absorption. Chelated minerals are sometimes recommended to those who have compromised digestive systems.
Choose capsules over tablets unless otherwise recommended by your health practitioner. Capsules have the advantage of requiring little or no fillers, they are more easily digested and absorbed.
Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E, F (EFAs), and Vitamin K. These vitamins can be stored in the body tissues so we can function for longer periods of time without obtaining them from the diet. If we consume more of these than the body needs, toxic levels can occur.
Water-soluble vitamins include mainly the B vitamins and vitamin C. These are not stored by the body and therefore need to be replenished regularly in the diet or with supplements.
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) are guidelines set by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council for recommended daily allowances for vitamins and minerals since 1941 originally with the intent of reducing rates of severe nutritional deficiency diseases such as scurvy. Scientific research indicates the “optimal” level for many nutrients are much higher due to factors such as environmental and lifestyle factors.
Conditions That Could Benefit from Supplementation

Nutrient deficiencies
Inflammation/Pain
Digestive problems
Anxiety
Depression
PMS
Menopause
Toxicity
Weakened immune system
Osteoporosis/Bone health
Muscle cramps
Constipation
Weight loss
Candida
Infertility
Low libido
Anemia
Poor memory
Cancer
Cholesterol
Diabetes
Intestinal disturbances
Insomnia
Lack of energy

And many more.

Book a consult today to learn more about what your body requires.

Published in Prevention
Thursday, 03 March 2016 20:45

Adrenal Exhaustion (Chronic Fatigue)

 

We've all been there. In times of stress, our bodies go on high alert and suddenly the simple things that create balance in our lives – like getting enough sleep – seem impossible. We “hit a wall” and crash into depression, or worse, because our bodies are spent and completely exhausted. This is called adrenal fatigue and is the results of our primal “fight or flight” stress response never letting down.

Our adrenal glands kick all systems into high gear when we're stressed. As their name implies, the adrenal glands secrete adrenaline among other potent hormones. Located just above the kidneys, it is the basic task of the adrenal glands to respond to stress by rushing your whole body into “fight or flight” mode.

This means our adrenal glands either signal our body to rage against whatever illness or irritant is causing the stress, or flee to a safe place where the stress can be avoided. For instance, to fight, our adrenal glands signal the heart to work harder, increasing the heart rate and elevating blood pressure. Energy use increases immediately as demands on the body's stores increase under the influence of the adrenal hormones. Then, when the crisis is abated, the adrenal glands restore themselves and replenish energy supplies for the next emergency.

If we are constantly over-worked, undernourished and chronically exposed to toxins with no sign of a break, then there's no let-up for the adrenal glands. Eventually, they will bottom out and plummet into adrenal exhaustion. Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands are not longer able to adapt to any amount of stress.

When this happens, the effects can be widespread and long-lasting, causing suppression of the immune system, hormonal imbalance, skin flare-ups, autoimmune diseases and mood disorders. Adrenal fatigue is, indeed, the underlying factor in many stress-related conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease to colitis, chronic fatigue to Alzheimer's.

People with adrenal exhaustion or chronic fatigue can appear quite normal but, inside, they live with a feeling of always having to push themselves too far. To keep themselves going, these exhausted people rely on stimulants such as caffeine or sugar.

Often, people with worn out adrenal glands seem lazy or unmotivated but quite the opposite is true – they tend to be high-achiever or workaholics. In their state of adrenal exhaustion, unfortunately, they have to push themselves harder to merely accomplish the basic tasks.

Does this sound like someone you know? If so, find out more about ways to heal adrenal exhaustion and restore relaxation and vitality.

Deanna Trask RHN
www.nutritiousliving.ca
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
519-270-1889

References

The SuperStress Solution by Roberta Lee. Random House, New York, 2010.

Published in Deanna's Blog
Thursday, 03 March 2016 20:43

Best Foods to Beat Stress

 
 
Mood and food are intimately related as certain flavours and aromas trigger memories of special occasions and feelings of contentment. All emotions including stress and anxiety trigger chemical responses in our body as hormone levels fluctuate and the sympathetic “fight or flight” system kicks in.
 
With each meal, we have the opportunity to counteract or subdue the stress response with the foods we choose. Here are a few top picks for stress-busting foods:
 
Seeds and nuts. Don't let their high-calorie count deter you. Seeds and nuts contain valuable B vitamins and a hefty dose of magnesium to help you make calming neurotransmitters like serotonin. Magnesium along with calcium is also useful for relaxing tense muscles. Sprinkle some sunflower or pumpkin seeds onto your salad or nosh on a few almonds or walnuts before a long meeting.  Just remember to keep portions small as a little goes a long way.
 
100% whole grains. Women, in particular, are notorious for reaching for high-carbohydrate foods in times of turmoil. This craving may be the body's way of asking for more fuel in preparation for a “fight”. Carbs also boost leaves of feel-good serotonin. Choose whole grains like brown rice, 100% whole wheat bread or pasta for sustained fuel. For extra nutritional value, try ancient whole grains like quinoa, spelt, Kamut and amaranth which are higher in protein and antioxidants.
 
Fresh fruit. Speaking of antioxidants, boost your vitamin C intake with oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, kiwis and cantaloupe. Prolonged stress depletes levels of vitamin C as the body's defences against free radicals get worn down. At the beginning of a stressful week, make a big fruit salad with seasonal berries, melon balls and grapes to have ready for snacking or packing. Vitamin C from whole foods give you the added benefit of fibre that you don't get from juice or supplements.
 
70% cocoa chocolate. Stressful times call for a little indulgence so make your special treat count towards correcting the biochemical imbalances created by stress. Dark chocolate has been making headlines for helping with blood pressure reduction however researchers are also finding that this healthful food contains natural anti-depressants like phenylethylalamine. Like seeds and nuts a little goes a long way so keep your indulgence to no more than 40 grams (1.4 ounces) per day.
 
Published in Deanna's Blog
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 19:04

How Stress Can Affect Your Weight

A More Amazing You:  Health Strategy- Reduce Stress 

I realize this is not always an easy thing to do.  Most of us are juggling way too much and going through the day at warp speed, trying to get more and more accomplished.  By having a high stress level, not only is it harmful to your health, it’s harmful to your waistline as well. When you are constantly under stress, hormone levels, like cortisol and insulin are elevated.  The elevation of these 2 hormones can sabotage your weight loss efforts and actually cause weight gain.  

‘Feeling stressed can create a wide variety of physiological changes, such as impairing digestion, excretion of valuable nutrients, decreasing beneficial gut flora populations, decreasing your metabolism, and raising triglycerides, cholesterol, insulin, and cortisol levels.’  – Mercola.com

So, while you may think you can “handle it” as far as your stress level goes, we aren’t meant to be under constant stress and it takes its toll. If you are doing everything right as far as diet and exercise, but you’re under stress every day, you’re not going to see or feel the results you want. 

What are some ways you can reduce your stress level? 

Is there something you can start with this week? 

Published in Stress