I am not a medical doctor and don’t claim to cure anything. Read at your own risk.
I’ve recently been sharing my journey to heal adrenal fatigue and some of the things I did to get back to maximum health. My previous article about stress is here. You could also start at the beginning of the topic instead.
In my opinion, today’s topic is one of the two most important (the other is revealed in the next article). It’s about examining what you’re putting inside your body by looking at the foods you consume. It’s also one of hardest to write about since food is a very sensitive topic for many people.
So far, I’ve talked a little about the role of the adrenals, and I’ve tried to get you to notice different things that stress you out. Though everyone’s adrenals are functionally the same, the things that stress us out can vary person to person.
For me, a major stressor is having a low tolerance to certain kinds of people. The different energies of people will either fuel and energize me, or deplete me like a vacuum. I’m a social person and I love to interact with audiences, so I do not avoid human contact. Instead, recognizing my susceptibility, I’ve learned to deal with people who suck my energy or get under my skin. I also spend a lot of time with animals to refill my energies.
Everyone is different, and you’re probably different from me in that regard. But, there is one way we’re the same.
The One Solution Everybody Needs
The good news is there is one constant, no matter the body type or kinds of other stressors, and no matter how long adrenal fatigue has been going on — proper nutrition. I’m not talking about dieting (though you might lose weight doing it) but about changing what you put into your body every day. All the times I’ve suffered and all the research I’ve done in the last decades lead to one conclusion: what you eat directly impacts your adrenal health.
What I learned, which is what all the adrenal diets on the market will also tell you, is that healing adrenals involves eating fresh, natural, whole foods. In practice, that means eating some protein at every meal, and consuming large quantities of vegetables and very little fruit. What it also means is eliminating things you probably love to eat, but can’t eat any more. Like eliminating sugars, dairy and processed foods. At least not for a while. And maybe never again.
I know that seems harsh but that’s because it is. On the bright side, once you get used to your new way of eating, your cravings will subside, and you’ll look and feel so much better you won’t care.
Eat They Way I Eat
I don’t juice and I don’t make smoothies.
What I do is eat lots and lots of vegetables (as many organic/non GMO as possible), trying to get a minimum of 8 cups per day, which isn’t hard since I love huge salads. But, veggies can be consumed lots of different ways, making this part relatively painless. It’s filling, too.
Though I’m an animal advocate and prefer to be vegan, I eat small quantities of beef and poultry (no hormones, grass-fed, humanely harvested) because I really need it for my health. I also eat wild (non-contaminated) fishes and free-range chicken eggs as alternatives, actually finding both fish and eggs a very satisfying breakfast. I need at least 4 ounces of flesh or animal protein to feel well at every meal. I wish I didn’t have to eat meat, but I’m thankful for the nutrients and energy I receive from animals who give their lives so I can thrive. For me, there is just no other way.
Though certain grains may be alright and some adrenal diets include grains, I personally find I do better without many grains. I occasionally eat some brown rice, organic pasta, or some of the ancient grains, but I don’t feel as well afterwards, and can only process them using digestive formulas.
I include of nuts and seeds in my diet, including all kinds of nut butters, but choose almond or sunflower butter over peanut butter whenever I can. Apple sauce is my occasional substitute for jelly or sweetener. I don’t eat fruit because I don’t like most fruits. But, when I do, I choose berries, half of a frozen banana or piece of melon.
Legumes and starchy vegetables are also fine for me, but I do watch starches carefully (like sweet potatoes), consuming only certain ones (different color squashes) and rarely others (like peas and white potatoes).
It’s Hard at First
The difficult part for most people is eliminating foods they really enjoy, because foods offer comfort, foods hold fond memories, and those foods comprise most of the standard American diet anyhow. But, to get healthy, and I mean healthy from the inside, we must eliminate foods that are making us sick. And sugars, dairy, and processed foods can make us sick. (Before you comment about raw milk, maple, honey, fermented foods, and other things that are considered [by some] to be healthy, please understand my readers need a cut and dry approach, not one with a thousand little exceptions that make it hard to follow.)
I realize this sounds horrible and very strict but that’s because it is. To truly heal the body means watching what you feed it. Please understand that adrenal imbalance isn’t a confined problem, which is what makes this necessary. Adrenal health depends on other things, namely the gut. By giving the body nutrition, it is really healing the digestive system, in turn restoring adrenal function.
I wrote an e-book that describes what I currently eat, because so many people asked me to write it down. It’s not a meal plan, but a list of foods I consume and ideas to prepare them. I’ll give you the link to the book later on. There are other adrenal diet books you can buy, too.
I can’t underscore enough how crucial this step is. Understanding adrenal fatigue and reducing stress are certainly important, but food is the real game changer. After just a few weeks of eating clean (and overcoming those first few days of “detox”), people always notice a huge difference in how they feel. It’s impossible to get those kind of results without a major diet change.
Incidentally, healing the adrenals often miraculously resolves other problems in the body, too. I can’t tell you what those might be for you, but eating clean has a way of resolving lots of other things as a bonus. That can be helpful to remember that during the first days of changing your diet. It’s encouraging to know you’re doing so much good.
Here’s that e-book I told you about:
To your health and healing,
As a coach, writer, recovered over-doer and busyness addict, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle while the mind tries to sabotage your success. In my journey to vibrant health, I created a personalized health system of nutrition and supplementation, lifestyle changes, and I retrained my mind and the energy of my body. I view my success as the formula to my happy, healthy life. I now empower other women to create their own personalized formulas, including the tools and strategies just right for them! Amazing life shifts come from our relationships. I look forward to helping you, too!