I have two very high energy children and run two to three jobs at any given time. Add housework, household finances, trying to exercise, and lack of sleep into the mix and my head is constantly spinning. Do I constantly crave a balance to keep all the juggling balls in the air? You better believe it. I try to eat healthy and have balanced meals. I walk or run every day, but the truth of the matter is that I grab for quick fixes. I want instant energy and I really love everything about sugar, caffeine, and gluten. These three little words have become my nemesis. Last year at a health and wellness conference, a thought was jammed into my head. As women age, a majority develop massive cravings for these three foods. This is my big year and I’ll be turning 40 somewhere in the mix so, I wanted to dive deeper into the why and how I could find some peace and develop a better understanding with my body.
There is one single thing that brings a mom, woman, and person to their third cup of coffee or choosing the muffin at the bakery. It is called S-T-R-E-S-S. Ever heard of it?
I reached out to my friend and Health coach for some Answers. Annie Wagoner specializes in emotional eating for women and was able to really open my eyes. The thing that hit home immediately was her analogy about being a child.
Think back to being a kid and practically having to be forced to come inside or away from playing. Remember doing a project and not wanting to eat. Food was the last thing on our minds because as children, we are so present, and feed ourselves so much through joy, excitement, and energy around life. (Food becomes secondary)
As we grow older and the stress of life builds (most people live at a chronic state of stress), our cortisol and insulin (the stress-hormones) remain heightened. Unfortunately, this works completely against us. Marc David, addresses in his book, The Slow Down Diet, high cortisol and insulin levels impede digestion, slow metabolism, lower calorie-burning capacity, increase depression, cloud mental clarity, eventually can cause chronic pain and/or illness for some. It’s scary yet very true. Our bodies are so innately intelligent and are screaming at us to do something different. It’s time to listen to our selves. With stress, we are often fatigued and crave energy. Therefore, subconsciously and oftentimes out of habit, we reach for quick “fuel” in the form ofrefined sugar, caffeine and/or gluten. We feel better – it releases the feel-good-neurotransmitters: serotonin and beta-endorphin. The “high” only lasts a short-while and sends us to craving and wanting more.
Women need to start feeding their souls with deeper mindfulness and nourishment. This non-food nourishment piece is foundational to health. It’s a matter of SLOWING DOWN and tuning back in to our “primary needs and desires.”
7 Tips to Detoxing and Restoring Energy:
Drink more water – perhaps, trying hot water with lemon, first thing in the morning before having anything else – 8-16 ounces. And continue to sip on water throughout your day to help energize and fuel you and keep you hydrated. Think about the hydration formula: Drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces/day. You WILL flush inflammation, toxins and unwanted pounds.
Take 3-5 deep breaths before you eat and drink. Then, offer gratitude to your food for fueling you with health and nourishment. Your breath is super powerful and nourishing – slows nervous system, decreases stress hormones, allows body to assimilate and digest nutrients, increases metabolism, etc.
Begin exploring non-food nourishment for yourself. Write down a list of all the things that ignite joy within you and that fuel you. When you are experiencing an intense craving, choose a simple form of non-food nourishment off of your Nourishment Menu.
(A few examples: playing outside with your kids, laughing, practicing yoga, or a three minute dance party.)
Get Moving. Wring out stress and let the blood and lymphatic systems do their jobs. Let go of the “all or nothing” mindset and remember that this doesn’t always mean an intense workout. Sometimes your body will crave restorative movement such as a meditative walk, hike, yoga, or dance party. Your daily movement needs to spark JOY. In turn, you will release tension and improve recovery and repair within your body.
Unplug and Go to Sleep. Getting enough quality sleep is vital to a healthy body. Close the kitchen by 8pm. Give yourself a media cleanse, take a lavender epsom salt bath and fall into a deep sleep by 11pm. To allow your liver to cleanse properly. (Peak liver cleansing time is between 11-1am.)
Go Green. Cleansing the body doesn’t mean to have an intense restrictive diet. First consider “adding in” the positive to crowd out “the negative.” Think about incorporating more healthy greens into your diet for mineralization, balance, and to flush out inflammation.
Jump off the Caffeine-Sugar- Gluten Rollercoaster. If you are feeling bloated give your system a reset. While you continue to add more greens, cut back on sugar, caffeine, and gluten. Foods like these can wreck havoc on your digestive system, become addictive, and zap your energy. As you ease up on these foods trust that your body will learn to crave natural whole foods instead.
Remember that your body innately knows what it needs to heal, restore and balance. Simply by pausing to read this you are in the process of tuning in and connecting more deeply with your body’s messages. Anchor into your deepest intention; you will be able to conquer cravings, shed unwanted weight (even emotional “weight”), start to heal, and feel even more vibrant. Let this clear vision remain as a powerful motivation for you to step out of your comfort zone and into action. Become more present about your health and wellness. Remember it’s about PROGRESS, not perfection.