Since talking about Prescribe Nutrition’s new course Get Balanced, I’ve had lots of questions from you guys on just what the eCourse is all about. So I’ve asked the power nutritionists behind the course, Megan and Katie, to stop by today and give us a preview with three of their top tips to stop feeling tired and wired all day and night.
If you’d like to learn more about controlling cortisol and gaining more energy and better sleep – you can go here and use the code MPMK20 for 20% off the Get Balanced course
which starts this Monday April 15th. UPDATE: NEW COURSE STARTS JULY 14TH!
Spring is here, and you know what we’re hearing a lot of at Prescribe Nutrition? Spring ‘cleaning’ of the body, detoxes, cleanses and so on. Why is everyone ready for a Spring detox? They’re tired, they feel fatigued, there are a million after school activities that are next to impossible to keep up with, and they’ve maybe got a ‘winter coat’ lingering around their midsection.
Okay, so yes, we need to refresh ourselves, but we’ve got something different in mind for this spring. We know hammering the importance of a super clean diet, mindfulness and relaxation isn’t always helpful for a parent with two kids waiting for them at little league and another in their arms… and of course dinner’s in one hour. Sometimes we just need action items for real life.
Let’s use this season of rejuvenation to ditch the juice cleanses and ‘instant fixes’ and instead dig a bit deeper to get to the core of what will make you feel better for the long haul. Let’s rebuild how you feel from the inside out. Smartest way to do that? Give your stress hormone, cortisol, a little bit of love.
He’s our friend, cortisol, and believe me he is working in overdrive with the way we live these days. Support healthy cortisol levels and you support yourself – your entire system. In our upcoming program, Get Balanced, we do just that. We dig deep into the hows and whys and then give you legitimate solutions and tips for moving forward for life in the real world.
Here’s some of our biggest takeaways from Get Balanced that we want you to have. 3 of the most common offenders listed below, and tips for re-doing the way we do things.
Cortisol Killer #1: Coffee for Breakfast. Or No Breakfast.
Feeling constant fatigue, or highs and lows of energy? Feel like you want to have a drip IV of coffee going at all hours? Yeah, we get that. Lots of people call it ‘wired and tired.’ Life is busy, careers are demanding, and kids, well they can be beyond demanding. But we want to be awake and alive and of course FUN for the kids, so we do what it takes, right?
Well, here’s the thing. Everytime we get stressed our cortisol levels rise so we can rise to the situation. That’s physiology happening right there. The thing is – sugar and caffeine do just the same – they spike cortisol, thereby spiking our blood sugar levels. Every time this happens our insulin spikes as well… and over time high insulin levels contributes to inflammation and a slow, sluggish metabolism. Weight gain. Usually right in our bellies.
We’re not going to ask you to go cold turkey on the coffee, but never have it on an empty stomach. It’s key to have some food in that belly before you ingest the good stuff, it will help blunt the spike in blood sugar. Additionally, slowly lower sugar if you use it in your coffee. Our favorite tip is to swap it with honey or stevia.
These are legitimately good steps. Having some protein will help support cravings and energy throughout the day, so if one meal is your priority, make it breakfast and aim to get good quality protein in there (think greek yogurt, organic eggs, whole rolled oats, etc.).
Incorporate Maca powder into your breakfasts! This little amazing powder supplement has been used for centuries, and is known to act as an ‘adaptogen,’ which simply means it naturally regulates cortisol levels. Incorporate some in your morning yogurt or smoothie and get ready for some ENERGY. Its also been proven to help with sleep, mood, memory, and even sex hormone stabilization (yep we’re talking night flashes). Final push on Maca? It raises libido. Oooh la la.
Cortisol Killer #2: Late Night Electronic Party… not that kind.
This is one where I might get a roll of the eyes or laughed at. But I’m just going to say this: listen to the words you say to your kids, get enough sleep! Maybe getting in bed by 10pm is simply out of the question. Sometimes that’s life, but we suggest you make it a priority to find a way to get what you need.
Getting 5 right now? Make a commitment to yourself to increase that to 6 over the next few months, then go from there. Why are we addicted to our nighttime routines? Well, it may have something to do with that burst of energy many of us have at night, we feel capable of accomplishing twice what we can during daytime hours. Yes, that’s cortisol coming out to play.
When we miss that ‘window’ of time to fall asleep, our cortisol levels rise, which means our energy will rise – and guess what else that means? Our blood sugar rises. Over time poor sleep can actually contribute to wrinkles (yikes), lower your metabolism (double yikes), and even decreased energy and sex drive.
Step away from the computer. Many of us have already heard that using electronics before bed is a big no no, but for some reason it still seems like a huge challenge for many (including myself) to disconnect before bed. Whether it’s work emails, googling homemade halloween costumes, or Facebook stalking, it all results in compromised sleep.
Research has shown… “two hours of exposure to a bright tablet screen at night reduced melatonin levels by about 22%.” Suppression of melatonin has been directly linked to obesity and diabetes. Let’s step away from the device. Treat 10pm like a mini vacay from work.
Try to regulate your sleeping pattern. We know every second of rest you can get is precious as a parent, but we emphasize working on developing a pattern for both you and your kids.
Cortisol Killer #3: Happy Hour… every day
It’s not uncommon to have a daily glass of wine, or two. Especially when it may be the only thing you’ve found to help unwind at the end of a very long day. We get it. Wine, a cocktail, a beer – these things are known to help people relax and even fall asleep at night.
But let us ask you this, are you the person who has 2 glasses of wine and then wakes up at 2 or 3am, and it is impossible to get back to sleep? This is not an anomaly. This is alcohol causing crazy cortisol dysregulation. It’s effect is even more powerful than sugar, why? Because alcohol doesn’t go through the stomach absorption process, it goes straight to the liver and into the blood stream.
It causes major spikes in blood sugar. Some other unfortunate facts? Alcohol decreases metabolism (and substantially so), and is directly linked to many forms of cancer. So while that glass of vino may be delicious and help you fall asleep, it’s really doing you no favors truly getting rest, it’s throwing you off in fact.
We’re not telling you to stop with the wine forever. We wouldn’t do that. We ask you take a step back and really listen to your body. If you tend to have two glasses, cut back to one, and see how you respond.
If you do this 5 days a week, write a note to yourself and slap it on the fridge “I’m having 1 glass of wine 2 days this week” and pick them! Making a declaration – and making it public – works wonders for motivation and commitment.
Finally, if you’re up for it, kiss the stuff goodbye for two weeks. Give your liver a break, believe me he deserves it, he’s the real work horse of the body. When those two weeks are up have one glass, sit with it and see how you feel both then and the next day. This is all about re-evaluating our relationship with alcohol.
Need help sleeping? Try sipping on Tulsi tea (tons of amazing flavors that will help you relax) or explore using the helpful supplements melatonin and phosphatidyl serine. Even using ear plugs (assuming you have a partner who can be sure to wake if anything urgent happens in the night) can be a huge game changer.
We know you want to be the best version of yourself for your family, but we hope these tips give you motivation to do it for YOU. Ready to learn more? Take our course Get Balanced starting Monday April 15th – use the code MPMK20 for 20% off.
Here’s to Feeling a Little Less Wired & Tired!
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P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and connect with your family?