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Life Practice Nutrition

Welcome to Good Mood & Food

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September 2013

Tired all the Time??

Are you tired and struggle to get out of bed in the morning even after a good nights sleep?
If you are, you may be suffering from a condition known as Adrenal Fatigue.

Many people every day say that they are stressed. It is a loose emotional term used to describe their current “busy-ness” of life. However, to some people, stress is a real and very problematic condition that can affect your relationships at work and home and your general well-being and functionality.

Although, a little stress in life is needed to function, a relentless non-stop amount can accumulate within the body to stimulate the organs, known as the adrenal glands, to pump out hormones on a constant basis. Should this constant output continue over a long period of time this can create a condition known as Adrenal Fatigue.
If you think back to when the caveman lived he woke up every day with the job of survival. He hunted for wild boar, which in itself was a life threatening event and therefore did not happen on a regular basis. When faced with this stressful situation his adrenals would excrete adrenaline and nor adrenaline and enter into the “Fight or flight” response. His heart rate would increase, pupils dilate, his blood would be transported away from the digestive system (taking his
mind off hunger) and into the muscles in the arms and legs to help him run faster. He would become alert and his blood pressure would rise. At this point the caveman would either “fight” the wild boar or run for the hills “flight”. After this experience he would either return to his cave with a successful meal or empty handed, either way he would have a restful period whereby to regain equilibrium.

Going forward to today’s modern world with its consistency of accountability, increased output, greed and constant communication and our stress episodes are lining up one after the other. There does not seem to be enough restful opportunities between each episode either which is when the problems start.

The three stages of stress:

  1. Alarm Reaction: This is when the adrenal glands are healthy and you can function normally whenever the need arises.
  2. Resistance Stage: Stress continues and the adrenal glands enlarge but you can still respond normally and handle situations.
  3. Exhaustion Stage: The adrenal glands fail to meet the demands required of them. You could become fatigued, dizzy and faint. You would have trouble getting out of bed. Anxiety can set in.

Over stimulation of the adrenals can cause a decrease in immune function as stressful episodes use up very quickly the nutrients in our bodies, therefore, stressed people tend to catch colds more regularly. As blood clotting is increased when the body is stressed, prolonged stress can cause a build-up of plaque in the arteries and lead to heart disease. During stress the blood is shunted from the digestive organs to the muscles which can lead to indigestion and irritable bowel disease.

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There are different forms of stress:

  • Emotional stress which is the most well-known form usually associated with separation, divorce, death of a loved one, job loss, financial worries, exam nerves etc.
  • Thermal stress which comes from being exposed to extreme temperatures.
  • Physical stress from obesity, excess physical work, sleeplessness, skeletal and muscular pain.
  • Chemical stress from consuming sugar, alcohol, food additives, exposure to pollutants.

All of these different types of stress affect the body in the same way; the adrenals do not distinguish between them.
Obviously, it is impossible to control all stressful situations but it is possible to control some of them and you can certainly do this in a few ways as mentioned below:

Diet

This is one area that you can control by eating frequent meals utilising protein and complex carbohydrates together. For example tuna (protein) and whole-wheat pasta (carbohydrate). By using complex carbohydrates i.e. foods made using the whole grain rather than processing, bleaching and adding to it, the carbohydrate offers the energy that you need to function and the protein allows it to burn slowly so that you maintain a steady blood sugar level.
By avoiding sugar this reduces the sharp peaks in blood sugar which give you a burst of energy but are always followed with a low trough leaving you exhausted and craving for the sugar again. Avoiding stimulants like tea, coffee, smoking, and alcohol as these all affect your sleep patterns and blood sugar levels.  Lack of sleep can further stress your body so using alternatives to caffeine can help immensely.
Many people suffering with stress complain that they do not have time to eat or prepare food and so skip meals. This has a dramatic effectof dropping your blood sugar level which can result in exhaustion and fatigue. By looking at planning meals that take minutes or organising your meals by batch cooking so that all they need is to be heated up can save time. Food that does not require cooking such as, salads and crudités, fruit and nuts are great ideas for lunches on the run. By
taking control of your diet you can start to regain momentum to return to your normal functionality.

Controlling your Emotions

Try not to focus on relationship problems that cannot be solved. For instance, if you find your boss is unappreciative of your work and never seems to recognise your efforts, focus instead on the fact you have a job. Many people do even have that these days.
Emotional health can be controlled to a certain extent mentally by accepting that a certain situation is happening but that you are unable to change it therefore worrying about it only causes you further upset. Take control by accepting the situation for what it is and move on to more positive things that can be changed or enjoyed.

Physical Activity

Obviously, there are some situations that really do test people, for instance caring for an elderly or sick family member can cause an immense amount of stress and emotional guilt. By looking into support for yourself and time away from these situations can be immensely beneficial to your wellbeing. By having the time to go for a gentle walk or swim, or just meeting a trusted friend to talk to this can be a great stress reliever.
Meditation, yoga and pilates are also great stress relievers as they offer gentle physical activity, rather than vigorous exercise which can cause further stress on the body. Obviously, doing the gentler types of exercise is not going to change your situation but it can change the way your internal body perceives the stressful event and change its
response to it.
Whatever stress you have in your life, you can put in place a programme to cope with it. Life is not always going to be easy and there will certainly be times where you find more on your plate than you would like but there are strategies to help you cope. By addressing the above areas in your life now and taking control of them you will at least be in a position to face whatever life throws at you in the future.

Finally, click on our video to learn about a technique that can be used immediately to help release stress.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_Tf09DKfh0

To find out more about this article or adrenal fatigue you are welcome contact our Nutritional Therapist Karen Shields at The Life Practice Nutrition clinic . Tel: 01462 431112

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If you build it, he will come

Call me a killjoy but I do love early September. 

worldAfter the lazy haze of summer with no routine, I start to feel back in control and in a manner able to organise and sort out the exciting tasks ahead.  Being in control helps us to feel safe and secure which in turn lowers our blood pressure, reduces anxiety and helps us to function at an optimal level. It is when we lose control that our health takes a tumble and we lose rationale and perspective.

These past few months we have been renovating a house which we moved into over the summer and it has to be said it went pretty smoothly, as far as house moves go. My expectation of builders from past experience has been to watch their every move and check that they have understood exactly what it is I require. Our builders were brilliant. Whilst it seems that the kettle had a good run of operation and should probably be featured in the “tried & tested” section of the Which report, our builders certainly exceeded our expectations.  They arrived early with the dawn chorus, cleaned up each day and even offered design suggestions along the way which has improved our “look” and features of our dream home.

Yes it has to be said renovating and moving house is stressful but running your own business can, at times, make you want to scream. In the last month we have had:

  • A problem with our bank taking it upon themselves to cancel our direct debit credit card payments which have caused all sorts of knock on effects, yes, including standing in a queue and having the cashier tell you that the card’s not working in their loudest voice. When asked why they could not explain

  • Our company telephone provider charging us for an 0845 number we never asked for and insisting we pay for the year because we did not cancel it (WE NEVER ASKED FOR IT!!)

  • Our company credit card terminal provider changing our terminal but claiming that the delivery company never picked up the dud one (when he had) and therefore we need to pay them £600 for a lost terminal! The hours it has taken to sort all of this has been colossal.

Then yesterday when finally getting back the children back to school so I could do some serious work without their constant whines and moans, I find the office printer decides to go on strike along with our email boxes rejecting emails to senders when I have already emptied my inboxes!!  Very frustrating.

Luckily my husband and I are fairly philosophical people and we are looking upon this wave of calamity as simply that, a wave. Let it wash over us and wait patiently for a seismic shift when everything changes. We know these things come in cycles, the more upset, frustrated and angry you get, the more you will attract more of the same. The universe has a funny way of delivering its penance to you. Isn’t it interesting how everything seems to go wrong at once. Or, is it that we are just looking at everything through a negative pair of spectacles and giving strength to attracting anything negative around us to magnetise towards us. Ask yourself when you face this type of phase, is my glass half full or half empty? What am I grateful for? By reframing your inner dialogue and thinking, you can consciously focus your inner thinking on things that you are grateful for and you are happy about.

By being in a state of wanting things to be a certain way when they are not we are telling our unconscious mind that we are lacking in it. Examples of this are, “If I had a new job, I would be happier”, “If I earn more money, I would be able to afford more holidays”. In order to achieve what you want in your life you need to visualise and put yourself into the situation as though you already have it.  Visualise it, experience the feelings you would have if you had what you wanted, hear your inner thoughts out loud of what you would be saying if you had what you wanted. As they say in the Kevin Costner film, Field of Dreams, “Build it and he will come”. I’m not suggesting you carve a baseball diamond from a corn field and exhausting all your funds, but take from this the idea of someone pursuing their dream no matter how much effort it takes?

Recently, the Life Practice welcomed a new Associate, Gaynor Dawson, who set up her Life Practice Hitchin clinic. By using the visualisation technique mentioned above, she has, over the last six months:

  • Found a perfectly located office in Hitchin to run her clinic from

  •  Increased the number of clients that she has helped

  • Been invited by not one but two local publications to be a guest contributor

  • Created business partnerships with local independent schools to help children with Confidence and Exam nerves

She is really happy that her business is thriving and puts it down to believing, seeing, hearing and feeling it before it had happened.

Gaynor says, “Being self-employed can be lonely and the buck stops with you, you have to get out there and make it happen if you want success. Visualisation is just one task I teach my clients to use to achieve their full potential and the results are amazing”.

Jubilant Businesswoman

The mind is very powerful and the potential that each and every one of us has is limitless. A whole realm of different situations whether it be losing weight, giving up smoking, passing an exam, getting a job, finding love, the list is endless. What can you achieve today? Start by making a mental picture of what it is you want to achieve and then wait for the Law of Attraction to start working.

Article written by Karen Shields, Nutritional Coach, Life Practice Nutrition. Tel: 01462 431112

If you are looking for help to achieve your potential the Life Practice runs Life Coaching, Hypnotherapy, Coaching & Nutrition clinics across the country, as well as, NLP, Hypnotherapy & Coaching training courses in Hertfordshire. Call our Head Office on 01462 431112 for further details.

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