Our adrenals are little glands that sit on top of our kidneys. Their main function is to help produce and balance hormones, control inflammation and regulate blood pressure and blood sugar. When these glands are not working optimally, our hormones (primarily estrogen, testosterone, cortisol and melatonin) become out of control and negatively affect our stress level, sleep cycle, weight and pain response. How do we ensure proper functioning of these glands? Practicing relaxation and stress control techniques along with eating a healthy, supportive diet is helpful. Unfortunately, this is not easily attainable for many of us living in this modern world. Nutritional support with specific vitamins, herbs and glandular products can be extremely beneficial and much more “doable” in combination with lifestyle modifications. Choosing the proper adrenal support supplements can be a little more tricky. If our adrenal glands are stressed and overworking, certain supplements will help to calm them down and begin producing properly again. However, when the glands have been overworking for long periods of time due to long term stress, these glands can crash and burn and become deficient. At this time, we need supplements to help jump start the glands and wake them up to function again. Thankfully, there are simple ways that nutritionally trained experts can help with this determination. Salivary testing several times a day, certain patterns that patients report and even our body temperature can give accurate clues for those trained in nutrition and natural healing. This testing is offered in our office, so please don’t hesitate to ask for more details. The proper working of these glands can truly unlock the door to better health and stress control.
These delicious little bites are the perfect healthy snack!
- 1 cup dry old-fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup ground flax seed
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or cacao nibs (optional)
- 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
- Once chilled, roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Yields about 2 dozen energy bites.
No Bake Energy Bites are a great grab-and-go snack for the busy summer months ahead.
Meditation is such an important part of a balanced life. Since it requires no equipment and just a little time, anyone can do it. In a matter of moments, meditation can change your breathing, lower your blood pressure and relieve both mental and physical tension. Meditation is not a religious practice, nor is it just quiet time, when we sit and review the difficulties of the day. Meditation is simply a method of relaxation, focusing on “nothingness”.
Here are some steps I recommend for successful meditation.
- Find a quiet corner in your home and ask to not be disturbed for a period of 5-20 minutes.
- Eliminate outside noise and keep the ringer off your phone. I prefer complete silence for meditation, but some people prefer soft, instrumental music. Find what works best for you.
- Using a small pillow, sit cross legged on the floor. If this is too difficult, sit in a chair.
- Practice great posture and keep your spine tall to allow your lungs to expand.
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath in. Fill your entire lungs. Hold for a few seconds and slowly exhale. Repeat slowly for a few moments. Don’t breathe too fast or you will become lightheaded.
- You will be amazed at how difficult it is to keep your mind “empty”. Concentrate on your breathing to keep your mind from other thoughts. As you get comfortable with your breathing, however, you will notice your mind start to wander. Most of us will start thinking about our “to do” list or a stressful situation. When this happens, gently stop the thought and focus again on your breathing. If your mind continues to wander, try repeating a peaceful word. Another way to keep your mind “empty” is with your eyes closed, focus on the space between your eyes.
Some people choose to meditate in the morning, so they start the day calm and balanced. Others prefer to meditate at the end of the evening as a wind down in preparation for a good sleep. There is no “best time”, only the time that is best for you. Give meditation a try and see the benefits for yourself.