Will your holiday eating patterns get the best of you?
How many of the following patterns do you fall into during the holidays?
1.) Doing more and more and resting less and less
2.) Increasing the amount of highly refined sugars and carbohydrates in your diet
3.) Promising yourself that New Years will bring the motivation for a new cleanse or detox, workout program, or healthier eating habits, leading to a “holiday food free-for-all”
4.) Going long stretches of time without eating
Do any of these resonate with you? If so, read on.
Meet the adrenal glands.
These little guys handle stress for you up to a certain point by releasing stress-fighting hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. When overworked for extended periods of time (like the holidays), they get exhausted.
Fatigue, mental fogginess, insomnia, anxiety, cravings for sugar and caffeine, low resiliency for stress, and weight gain. (When I was dealing with adrenal exhaustion, a single off-hand comment could bring me to tears!)
Supporting your adrenals during high-stimulation times can prevent that “tired but wired,” feeling that detracts from restful sleep.
Here are 6 adrenal-boosting tips to keep you feeling balanced:
1.) Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
Adequate sleep is critical for adrenal health. Work towards re-establishing a regular sleep schedule. It may take a bit of discipline in the beginning, but the body is quite rhythmic and should sync up within a week or two.
2.) Consider vitamins B and C.
These vitamins are easily depleted during times of stress. A high-quality B-Complex can help restore exhausted adrenals.
3.) Only partake in your favorite holiday goodies.
Eat only what delights you and let the rest go. What’s the point in eating a holiday sugar cookie when you don’t even enjoy it? This can also regulate the amount of sugar entering your body.
4.) Eat foods that support the kidneys
In Chinese medicine, the kidneys and urinary bladder are the meridians in the body linked to winter. They require nourishment. Eat foods that are blue or black like seaweeds, black beans, black sesame seeds, and wild rice to help strengthen kidney chi.
5.) Scale back to your non-negotiables
For example: Sleep, eating well, a little movement each day, high-priority projects
6.) Do not go more than 4 hours without eating.
This is critical for chronic dieters. Many dieters indulge in high-sugar/high-carb foods then don’t eat for the rest of the day or skip breakfast the following morning. This is a deadly combination and a sure-fire way to deplete the adrenals over time. This pattern is cyclical in nature as depleted adrenals can lead to strong sugar/carb cravings and could spur another binge, followed by challenges sleeping, followed by skipping breakfast and having coffee, followed by carb cravings…you get the point.
You don’t need to be a nutritional superhero this time of year. Simple self-care is key.
If you do anything, sleep, eat vegetables, and drink plenty of water. Remember, the body it designed to heal itself by itself, given half a chance.