To balance your health can be tricky during this global pandemic. We all have to stay at home and move through substantial lifestyle changes. And most of us don’t do well with change so that it can trigger all sorts of emotions.
Over the past month, I have treated many patients who are feeling overwhelmed. Many of them experience food and alcohol cravings, with their blood sugar levels out of balance due to increased stress.
Emotional eating is where we use food for purposes other than nourishment or satiation. It is when food is used as a coping mechanism to avoid emotions you don’t want to feel. We eat as a way to self-soothe, numb, fill a void or some sense of control or comfort.
While being at home, we all have 24-hour access to our kitchens. This easy access can cause a real problem, looking for food to release boredom or as a break from our work/homeschooling or staying up late and nibbling through the night.
I lost my health balance
A few weeks ago, I hit a wall. We moved house, I was out of my routine and trying to shift into a new homeschooling lifestyle with my three children. I was so busy making sure the rest of my family was ok. I wasn’t taking care of myself. My Seven Pillars of Wellness to a varying degree were out.
Three years ago I embarked on a 100-day mind-body reset, as I had a breast cancer lump. I had been recommending this reset to my patients for many years, inspired by my three amazing mentors, all in their 70’s and mighty men of naturopathic medicine.
This reset was so successful the cancer lump left, and I didn’t need any further treatment. Many of my patients have been asking me how in only one week I went from feeling anxious, depressed, tearful, irritable, overwhelmed and feeling out of control to now back on track and walking out my healing of full mind-body balance.
My thyroid also really went out too, and this added to this horrible experience. I haven’t arrived, but I’m on my way and shifting back into optimum health.
To reset one’s health, you need to look at your life holistically so that all areas are in a flow so you can live in optimum health. Balancing your blood sugar levels is a great place to start, and I have provided tips below (especially if you are experiencing food and or alcohol cravings) but if you really want to reset your health, start anew. You feel like it’s time to rebalance your life (based on the wake-up call we are all getting from this very unusual season).
I’ve put together a home reset plan. This plan is best done over two months, but one month is a great start if that’s all you can commit to. The goal is to finish this half of the year strong, instead of letting this season undo our health.
Most of us never have time to spend to thoroughly do this so we can choose to use this time as a gift to restore the foundations of our health and to set us up to have outrageously good health long term.
Many will also join us as a family, and we have lots of fun ideas for kids to join in with healthy recipes and movement too.
For more information, contact us, and we can send you details of what the plan involves.
HOW TO regain BALANCE IN
YOUR BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
Choose Low & Moderate GI Foods
With increased stress levels many are craving foods with a high GI rating such as sugar, bread, pasta, desserts, chocolate etc. and this will exaggerate your emotions and make you feel more out of balance.
Choose a good source of protein and good fat at each meal such as nuts, avocado, seeds, plant milk, wild fish, lentils, organic chicken, hummus, olive oil or organic eggs. Choose foods mainly with a GI rating of 55 or less.
Apply Intermittent Fasting
With potential excess on the carbs, swap out breakfast each day with a superfood smoothie or veggie juice. Doing this will give your system a chance to do a mini cleanse each morning and bombard your cells with extra nutrition. Intermittent fasting will help you move through this season with minimal damage to your system.
Fresh veggie juice is best with four leaves of romaine lettuce, two small cucumbers, four stalks of celery, two carrots, one lemon, one lime, ginger and two heaped teaspoons of super greens powder such as our Rejuv Super Greens or Welleco Super Elixir.
Overeating and over-drinking will make you dehydrated so do yourself a favour and get 2-3L of water & or herbal teas in per day. Your liver & your 100 trillion cells will LOVE you for it. Often we overeat due to the brain confusing thirst and hunger, so make sure you hydrate before a craving to see if you are indeed hungry or just thirsty.
Move Your Body Daily
Stagnation will make us feel worse if we overindulge so whether it is a brisk walk, an online exercise session, a bounce on your home trampoline or rebounder or dance around the house, just try to move each day.
I’m training with our online movement specialist, Simon Kerr, at the moment. I feel the need to be accountable and do three sessions with him per week while I’m rebalancing my seven wellness pillars (email us if you want to find out more).
It’s not complicated. Still, my dear friend and business partner Elle Macpherson told me years ago she moves her body each day, only for 30 minutes and well if it is good enough for ‘The Body’ it is good enough for me!
Incorporate breath work to focus on your exhale and to oxygenate your body day. I’ve been suggesting Wim Hoff breathing techniques & other breath work to my patients for many years with great success. You can download Wim’s app, which is excellent.
Correct breathing will help reduce your stress and balance out all of your 11 systems so an excellent mind-body balancer. Also, try to incorporate breath work to focus on your exhale and to oxygenate your body.with great success.
Swap Out The Sugar
There are lots of ways to get your sweet fix without using junk foods. Fruit can be an excellent source of natural fructose sugar, and I agree with the medical medium, Anthony William, about the new fear of fruit movement.
As mentioned above, you need to be wise and eat fruits with a low and moderate GI, but you can also eat the higher GI fruits is you marry them with a protein such as nuts & seeds.
You can also swap out white sugar with stevia, birch tree xylitol, fructose powder, monk fruit sugar, dates etc. to have something sweet but not cause massive blood sugar surges.
When I get a sweet craving, I have one date plus a closed handful of nuts with a green tea and my desire leaves. Another fun combination is a diced apple with a heaped teaspoon of almond butter.
Alcohol is tricky. When you get stressed, and you think alcohol will calm you, but there is a bell curve like anything in life.
Alcohol increases your cortisol and alters the brain’s chemistry, upsetting the mind and body equilibrium. Alcohol shifts your hormonal balance and changes the way the body perceives stress and changes how it responds to stress.
At first, the alcohol seems to relax us but once it wears off the body is actually under more pressure. Research has found that alcohol takes a psychological and physiological toll on the body and may compound the effects of stress.
So be wise and if you do want to have a drink stay with red wine for it is moderate GI and high in antioxidants and flavonoids. A glass or two once or twice a week is best for if you have too much, then you tend to crave junk food.
Alcohol also makes you feel tired, which adds to your stress and then you may want to repeat this vicious cycle all over again.
Chew Your Food
It takes 20 minutes for your brain and gut to connect, so it is best to chew each mouthful 20 times. Try to put your cutlery down in-between bites and don’t watch or read something stressful when eating for this will make you overeat and eat too quickly.
Be kind, gift yourself some downtime when eating, connect with friends and family (even if over the phone) and nourish yourself in a relaxed environment.
You will be amazed at how much less you eat. Also don’t drink large volumes of liquids with your meal keep your drink to a maximum 250ml so that you don’t reduce your stomach acids and impair digestion.
Balance Your Minerals
With over farming, many of the essential trace minerals we need are in limited levels in our food and can lead to low blood sugar and cravings. One such mineral is chromium, and it is essential in trace amounts each day for optimum health. Chromium enhances the action of insulin and is directly involved in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism.
When we become deficient in chromium, this impairs the body’s ability to use glucose to meet its energy needs and raises insulin requirements and can lead to food cravings. When I was walking out my healing of anorexia, I had a real struggle with my blood sugar levels and ended up temporarily shifting into bulimia.
As a result, years ago, I researched how to best balance my blood sugar levels to reduce cravings and appetite so I could eat and feel full and satisfied. As a result, I invented our Rejuv Blood Sugar Support Capsules which I take before my breakfast and lunch (and before a treat meal), so I’m balanced and feel full at satisfied with no cravings. For more information read this blog or see our shop.
Heal Your Gut
After years of struggling with eating disorders, I realised my gut microbiome was out, and I had low digestive enzymes, yeast overgrowth (making me crave sugar). I had a leaky gut syndrome, making it very hard for me to balance my blood sugar levels and lose weight.
This is what lead me to research how to heal the imbalances, and since I couldn’t find a formula that did everything I wanted, I invented my own. The Rejuv Digestive Complex Powder is an all-in-one dietary fibre based colon cleanser, detoxification and blood sugar/weight loss supplement. It’s a particular combination of psyllium husks, glucomannan fibre, beet fibre, L-Glutamine, prebiotics, probiotics, gut-soothing herbs and stevia leaf extract.
The ratio of prebiotics to probiotics is vital for most products. Either forget the prebiotics altogether or the proportions are too low leaving your good bacteria levels too low, reducing the immune system, inviting disease and an overgrowth of yeast and parasites that make you crave sugars and carbohydrates.
Prebiotics are the foods your good bacteria need to flourish, so instead of just adding in a few strains of good bacteria and hoping for the best our prebiotics in this digestive complex powder feed billions of good bacteria strains, accelerating you into optimum health. Gut health has proven to be essential for many of my patients for over 20 years of clinical to balance their blood sugar levels and live at their goal weight. For more information see the shop.
Mental, Emotional & Physical Health
Blood sugar balance is a significant first step, but we have a rare precious gift if we choose to use this time to rebalance our lives. Our mental, emotional and physical health can be restored into optimum setting us up long term for wellness and disease prevention.
We can also help our children and family lay great foundations for their health, young or old. If you feel it’s time you got off a vicious cycle of mediocre health, reduce stress, get free of addictions or body fat that never really shifts into the goal you desire, then ‘Carpe Diem’ and use this time wisely to sort your health out once and for all and live your best life.