Do you suffer from one or more of the following: fatigue, stubborn weight, belly fat, brain fog or insomnia? If “yes,” then you might need to pay some attention to your body’s stress response system, otherwise known as your HPA axis. HPA stands for Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal. Our stress response is governed by the interaction between the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands. Stress activates the HPA axis and leads to the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline that prepare our body for the flight or fight response. While our body’s response to stress is protective in the short-term, the longer the stress response stays activated, the more damaging it is for our health. A commonly used term for this chronic stress response is “adrenal fatigue.”
It is no exaggeration to refer to magnesium as the miracle mineral. Dr Carolyn Dean, a medical doctor, naturopath and nutritionist wrote an entire book on the subject which she aptly titled, “The Magnesium Miracle”. This article references her work on magnesium and provides insights as to why it is so critical for treating many of today’s chronic conditions such as acid reflux, adrenal fatigue, angina, anxiety, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, constipation, depression, type 2 diabetes, obesity, fibromyalgia and many more. Magnesium is responsible for over 300 life-providing reactions in our body, yet most of us are magnesium deficient. Many of us severely so. Our nervous system, bones, muscles, heart, brain and other organs all require magnesium to function well. If we are going to avoid chronic and debilitating illness it is important to understand why we are deficient and what can be done about it.
You have lost a significant amount of weight and feel wonderful. Others have noticed and their compliments have really boosted your self-confidence. The fat has just melted away revealing collar bones that had long been forgotten. You visualise effortlessly reaching your goal for the first time ever. It almost seems too good to be true. Until one day the weight loss stops, dead in its tracks like a stubborn donkey with a bad attitude. You realise something has to change, because what worked before is not working now. You have hit the dreaded plateau, but please don’t panic. There are solutions to this frustrating yet very normal phenomenon. It will require patience, perseverance, and an experimental approach. Most importantly you will need to be brutally honest with yourself about your eating habits and lifestyle.
Most of us don’t spend much time contemplating our body’s complex hormonal systems. Even when we are displaying the outward signs of hormonal imbalance, fixing the underlying root cause is not always top of mind. Popping a pill for menstrual cramps, or drinking caffeine all day long to stay awake, are just some of the “quick fix” solutions that our society gravitates towards these days. Unfortunately, these quick fixes do not resolve the reasons why your hormones are out of whack in the first place. One hormone that is responsible for much of the distress is estrogen. Both men and women have this important hormone, but when it becomes dominant in relation to progesterone and testosterone, problems start to arise.
Article written by Nicky Perks for Lose It Magazine (Volume 13)
Escaping stress in our modern word is not an easy task. There is always something causing anxiety be it a concern over finances, ageing parents, sick children, political instability, crime or a relationship that has broken down. Stress comes at us from every direction, and is often unrelenting. Whether the source of stress is physical, emotional, dietary, or environmental in nature, the manner in which one’s body responds is the same. Chronic stress causes a cascade of chemical reactions that impacts our sleep, cognitive abilities, hormonal balance, mood, and libido. As if being an irritable, foggy-brained zombie isn’t bad enough, stress also makes us fat. The type of fat where you seriously consider buying a pair of elasticised trousers from the maternity wear section so that you can sit, breathe and eat a meal all at the same time.
I know that I am only a child, but I have things I want to say. My whole future still lies ahead of me. These are my foundation years where I will learn so much from you. The example you set today, will be the way I live my life tomorrow. I want a tomorrow, but more importantly I want a healthy tomorrow. Please teach me and show me how to get that right.
I know you love giving me special treats, and don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE getting them, but maybe it would be better to save them just for the weekend? I really don’t need chocolate or ice cream or fizzy drinks every day. I promise you, my world won’t collapse if I don’t eat treats all the time. Perhaps I shouldn’t have fizzy drinks at all. Don’t they make holes in your teeth?
Over the December holidays I was able to finish reading the newly released book The Low Carb Creed by Sally-Ann Creed, Merle Westcott and Janita Bold. What a fantastic read. The content is comprehensive and easy to understand. Everything you need to know about eating the low-carb, healthy fat way is contained within the fresh-looking white and green foil cover. Read the rest of this entry
One of the keys of any journey is to know its destination. The journey will always be one of faith and the hope of knowing you will reach it. At the beginning of 2016 I decided I was going to get fit and healthy. I joined a gym and started to exercise (without really changing much in my diet). I then had a business opportunity that would move me to Cape Town. This is where the journey of my fitness really started to take shape and certain things opened my eyes to help me on my way to success. Read the rest of this entry