I’m 34, a mother of two and a busy CA. I’ve always been able to work at a fast pace and get it all done: work, family, and even exercise five times per week. A few months ago I started feeling exhausted all the time. I thought it was just a flu that lowered my immune system, but I started getting dizzy, irritable and really emotional and it hasn’t gone away. So, I went to my GP and he said my adrenals are fatigued. He told me I have to change my lifestyle to feel better. He recommended I see a nutritionist to start with my diet. Can you offer some suggestions?
It sounds like you’ve been running on an adrenaline rush for a while.
I fully understand how challenging it is to feel successful as a mom and in the working world. Sometimes, you feel you have to push yourself for weeks or months before you give your body a break just to get it all done. The result is a physical and emotional crash that can take a long time to restore.
The adrenals are two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys. They are considered to be the “stress glands” as they regulate your fight or flight response. Adrenaline is one of the hormones that can give one the feeling of being a on an energy high. Chronic stress and pushing yourself to the limit can create an addiction to this high.
Adrenaline addicts often don’t have much of an appetite as they are so hyper on the rush of hormones that it keeps them sustained without needing food. I am going to assume that you fit into this category. The problem here is that your body becomes deficient in key minerals and vitamins that support your adrenals.
You may reach for some caffeine to keep your energy up as well, which also negatively affects the adrenals and will keep your body from getting into a deep restorative sleep at night. Combined with over-exercising, which also causes adrenaline to soar, it’s no wonder you have hit your max.
Here are my 3 P’s of healing burned out adrenals:
1. Perspective: my first suggestion begins with spending a few minutes each day to be mindful of the present moment. Start your day with five minutes of deep breathing. Even if you have to get up five minutes early and lock yourself in the bathroom so the kids don’t barge in. Deep breathing for five minutes can change your mood and perspective for the day, which is key for regulating your stress mechanism and healing your body. When life becomes too busy, it is easy to lose perspective of what truly is important.
Centee yourself first thing in the morning by:
a) Sitting in a comfortable place with eyes closed.
b) Inhale and exhale three times and listen to your breath. Focus on your present state and existence. This is the mindful part. If your mind wanders to the checklist of endless tasks you have to do, bring it back to your breath and the present moment.
c) Continue to breathe deeply in and out for five minutes and allow your body to relax. Focus on a memory that allowed you to feel joyful. Something that makes you feel connected to your greater purpose.
2. Protein: I suggest you begin your day with a nutrient dense meal with adequate protein, preferably easy-to-digest vegetarian proteins and hormone-free/antibiotic-free lean animal proteins. A smoothie is a great way to get adequate protein in a hurry. You can also add extra vitamins and minerals found in vegetables, fruits and seeds. I always suggest to busy YPs that they invest in a blender that can help support their busy lifestyle. I love my Vitamix and if you don’t already have, one I suggest looking into getting one.
Here’s a simple and tasty protein rich smoothie:
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop Sunwarrior protein powder (sprouted rice)
- 1 tbsp Superseeds (flax, chia, hemp)
- 1 handful of organic spinach
- ½ tsp raw cacao powder
- 2 medjool dates
- I ce (optional)
Aim to eat three meals and three snacks per day and properly hydrate.
3. Patience: It took a while to get your body into this place, so allow your for time to heal. Do not resort to simple carbs, caffeine or other stimulants to increase your energy for the short term. Focus on giving your body the right fuel to support your adrenals in the long-term. There are also some excellent supplements that can help to support you through the healing process. Two of my faces are Rhodiola Rosea and Maca. They are both adaptogens which demonstrate an ability to normalize the secretion of various hormones.
*Information not intended to treat, diagnose or cure disease. If you believe you may have a health condition, see a Medical or Naturopathic Doctor.