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Your Guide to Dieting and Meal Planning

Keeping up with the latest diet trends is difficult enough, but finding out which lifestyle is right for you can also be time-consuming. By now, you probably know someone who claims that the XYZ diet is the most favorable, but everyone is different. And so are our bodies. So how can you determine the right meal plan and lifestyle for you? It starts with understanding what options are out there. 

Plant-based

What we eat is essential to achieving optimal health. And for some, that means only consuming plant-based foods. This includes leafy greens, almond milk, beans, and whole grains. The vegan diet is focused on the nutrients you can find without consuming dairy, eggs, fish, or meat. And because many plant-based foods are naturally nutrient-dense already, following this diet allows you to truly optimize your mealtime and inevitably, your overall wellness. There are several variations of veganism, including vegetarianism which is less strict than veganism as it allows you to consume products like eggs and dairy. Similarly, pescatarians often consume fish as an added protein substitute. 

Keto

As a low-carb diet, the Keto lifestyle is focused on eliminating foods like sugar, bread, most fruits, and starchy vegetables. The reason for its popularity is its ability to help people lose weight and manage their blood sugar. However, there are a plethora of other benefits as well. Instead of eating carbohydrates, you get most of your energy through proteins and healthy fats. An example of a meal you might prepare on this diet would be a piece of salmon, cauliflower rice, and broccoli. For a snack, you might grab a cheese stick, hard-boiled egg, or a handful of nuts. While this lifestyle can come across as restricting, there are plenty of versatile, low-carb foods you can still enjoy. 

Paleo

If you were born 10,000+ years ago, you might have followed what’s now known as the Paleo diet. 

To refine the list, think about anything that can be hunted or gathered. This includes fish, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Essentially, following this diet takes you back to what people used to eat before modern farm practices were introduced. While whole grains and legumes are cut from this diet, you still get a variety of nutrients from the number of fruits and vegetables you consume.  

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Optimal health looks different for everyone, so while following any one of the diets we touched on plays a contributing role, finding a balance can also prove beneficial. For instance, you may choose to eat meatless products on Mondays, alter between Keto and Paleo throughout the rest of the week, and give yourself a bit of grace on weekends. Your primary care physician can help you determine the appropriate route based on your unique health goals. 

When meal planning, try to stick to a schedule. For instance, perhaps you plan your meals on Thursdays, shop for groceries on Saturday’s and prepare to batch cook meals on Sundays. This ensures you start the week off on the right foot. As you begin a new lifestyle change, recognize that it’s normal to fall out of your routine every now and then. Instead of getting down on yourself, look at each day as a new opportunity to be the best version of yourself. 

Ready to bring balance and vitality back into your life? Connect with us online or give us a call 901-312-7899.

How to Support Your Adrenals and Feel Less Stressed

The concept of burnout has been a hot topic recently. With ongoing stress around COVID-19 and the political climate, it’s no wonder so many of us feel overwhelmed. In addition, you may be experiencing stress from work or personal challenges. Understanding how your body reacts to these stressors can help. And it all starts with your adrenals.

Your adrenal glands produce stress hormones like cortisol during times of distress. Now, in the midst of a crisis, this response can be helpful because it increases your heart rate and helps you spring into action. However, if your adrenals are constantly working overtime to produce cortisol — meaning you’re under chronic stress for an extended period of time — long-term fatigue, mood swings, and increased inflammation may follow. These symptoms can have a serious impact on your overall health, potentially leading to diabetes, high blood pressure, or anxiety.

Here are four ways to lower your stress hormones, support your adrenals and feel better:

Hit the pause button

Meditation can have incredibly positive effects on the mind and body. Not only is it known to lower your stress hormones, but it can also decrease your blood pressure and reduce inflammation in the body. The best part? Meditation is for everyone. All you need is an open mind and a relaxing, comfortable spot that’s free of distraction. Before you start, know that there is no right or wrong way to feel during meditation. It’s your practice. Focus on deep inhales and long, slow exhales, and practice consistently. Even just 15 minutes a day can make a positive impact on your adrenal glands and overall well being!

Move slowly and intentionally

Those high intensity interval workouts you’ve been doing may help you feel less stressed, but you could actually be triggering your cortisol levels to spike. HIIT puts our bodies in “fight or flight” mode, causing the adrenals to work overtime. If you can, avoid strenuous workouts and switch to low-impact exercises like yoga and stretching, walking, and lifting light weights. A regular yoga and stretching practice can reduce muscle fatigue, increase blood circulation, and help restore your mind. Or, if you choose to do a combination of walking and light weighted exercises, you will be well on your way to a balanced lifestyle.

Spend time outdoors

As the weather gets warmer, there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Hiking, playing tag in the backyard with your grandkids, or doing yard work are a few forms of movements you can do while you soak up some Vitamin D. Best of all, outdoor activity helps reduce stress and anxiety, fight depression, and promote overall wellbeing.

Focus on your diet

You certainly don’t need to detox regularly, but take a good look at how you can improve your diet to support the adrenal glands. Various foods and beverages including caffeine, gluten, alcohol, saturated fats, and processed sugar can irritate the body— leading to an imbalance. Try introducing more anti-inflammatory foods that are high in antioxidants, like broccoli, kale, grapefruit, avocados, and cauliflower to help lower stress and support your adrenals.

 

Ready to bring balance and vitality back into your life? Connect with us online or text us at (901) 312-7899.