Take care of the WHOLE you with the eight elements of “The WHOLESTIC Method” program.
In 2013, my life changed.
I started to feel anxious, depressed, exhausted and gaining fat weight quickly.
Why me? Why could other people get by with being an over achiever and I could not tolerate my lifestyle?
Too much exercise? Too much racing? Too much financial stress as a small business owner? Too many fasted workouts? Too low of carbohydrate? Too much of everything and not enough self-care and sleep!
I was FIT but NOT healthy on the inside, “under the hood”, after all the “bio-hacks”, training by heart rate, eating low carb real food, fasting, metabolic efficiency, strength work, yoga and pilates. I was just doing TOO MUCH.
More is not better.
I started to experience obvious symptoms of CHRONIC STRESS “disease”… as I “burned out” and “broke” my internal body systems at a cellular level from LIVING LIFE AS A RACE. I am sure my addicted to busy-ness and living with the “more is better” philosophy contributed to my constant overloading my “beaker of stress” that probably led to hormone imbalances, a depressed immune system which often leads to gut dysfunction (and a result of), food sensitivities, liver congestion, sluggish detoxification
What are some positive lifestyle habits you can include into your daily routine starting now?
- Nutrition: avoid inflammatory toxic foods from our diet; eat more health fats and clean proteins…REAL FOOD! Avoid sugar, processed foods, vegetable oils, corn, soy, peanuts, commercial cow dairy and gluten/grains for most everyone. Add collagen into your coffee and sip on a cup of bone broth each day.
- Exercise: not too much but not too little…not too hard and not too easy!
- Sleep: make your sleep a priority and don’t let anyone mess with your sleep schedule. Get to bed by 10pm and improve quality restorative deep sleep
- Stress reduction: identify external and hidden internal stressors (gut pathogens)…make a list of those external stressors and choose which ones you can eliminate or reduce. Make a plan.
- Movement: get outside in the morning and afternoon plus 10,000 steps per day! Work on breathing exercises on your walk
- Digestion: Take digestive enzymes, support bile flow and HCL
- Hydration: Motility plus hydration of cells. Avoid too much caffeinated beverages that are dehydrated you as well as alcohol!
- Happiness: be relaxed and in the “rest and digest” parasympathetic nervous system. Play, laugh and be silly! Stress Reduction Therapy!
How can you reduce your identified external stressors?
How does STRESS affect SLEEP… or lack of SLEEP affect your STRESS levels?
Too much stress, chronic and accumulation of a variety of stressors, can impact our sleep in a negative way…as you probably already know!
How many times have you gone to bed angry after reading a negative email or got in an argument with a family member or friend? You end up lying in bed wide awake feeling wired but tired. Or you may fall asleep at night but then wake up at 2AM wide awake as if it is 7am in the morning! RED FLAG Alert!
CHRONIC stress from living life as a race all day plus those unknown hidden internal stressors as a gut infection and pathogen overload, can leave you with an unrestful productive sleep night after night!
What are you going to do about it?
Don’t settle for this “new you” and take some sleep medication … deal with the WHY and figure out your contributors to overloading your stress response system.
What are the external sources of stress? Make a list.
What are your hidden internal stressors? Run functional labs with a certified FDN practitioner to identify your chronic stressors “under your hood” that you have know clue that they are contributing to your stress and sleep distruption.
Lack of sleep will throw your entire day off …or it does for me!
Not only does lack of sleep (and quality deep sleep) contributes to you mood and patience the next day but also to other health issues if poor sleep is left unresolved – even if you treat your sleep with medications!
I know I don’t want to just try to SURVIVE the day… I want to THRIVE each day and feel energetic, happy and positive.
Life is too short to be unhappy, chronically fatigued and negative.
Quality sleep will help me focus while I work on my computer and projects… if I don’t sleep well then I am not productive and waste a lot time procrastinating and on social media!
If I don’t sleep, then I don’t recover and repair from my previous workout session – resulting in a crappy, garbage workout the next day! I will feel lethargic and have nothing in the tank. Wasted workout!
Poor sleep will leave me short tempered and not a good person to be around …which is not ideal for my husband, family members, friends or my clients.
We should choose to RESOLVE our issues by figuring out the WHY – instead of treating the symptoms temporarily with the “band-aid” technique.
“More downsides to all this stress? People who have high, prolonged levels of stress have higher risk of heart disease, depression, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, stomach issues, and more. They are also more likely to grind or clench their teeth, which can lead to dental problems.”
If you don’t resolve your sleep issues, then your health issues and “METABOLIC CHAOS®” will mostly likely end up in multiple health imbalances – lack of homeostasis in the body.
For various reasons. the hormones become imbalanced and your circadian rhythm becomes interrupted as the stress hormone cortisol vs. melatonin.
“If you don’t sleep enough at night, your body boosts its levels of stress hormones. The brain chemicals connected with deep sleep are the same ones that tell the body to stop the production of stress hormones. As a result, when you don’t sleep well, your body keeps pumping out those hormones The next day, you feel more stressed, the following night you find it harder to fall asleep, and so on. Even worse, stress hormones peak in the afternoon and early evening—just when you should be relaxing and preparing for slumber”.
If you feel stressed from the day or just life in general, then make sure you create a new sleep hygiene routine and make your sleep a priority. I find that kids stay up way too late as well due to late night team sport practice and homework. I always feel that people need to make sleep a priority for their entire family!
Lights out by 10pm …but that is if you are waking up around 6 or 7am!
I need to go to bed around 8pm because I normally wake up for my workout session before the work day begins around 5AM.
How do I prepare for going to bed? I create my “sleep cave” and follow a sleep hygiene routine.
That’s why it’s so important, if you feel overly tense, to try different stress relief methods and to make getting plenty of sleep a high priority. The good news is that there are plenty of simple strategies that you can try tonight!
Dr. Breus wrote a great article on why we need a good nights rest to improve our immune system …plus seven tips to getting a great sleep especially during stressful times in our world!
7 steps to Get a Good Nights Sleep- During a Pandemic
- Give yourself an electronic curfew of 90 min prior to lights out: this means a MEDIA DIET before bed (you need time to relax and destress). Remove blue light by wearing blue light blocking glasses, it will help you wind down before bed and help your body produce melatonin on the proper schedule.
- Consider meditation or progressive relaxation before bed or while falling asleep.
- Compile a gratitude list in your mind (while lying in bed, in the dark): Many people think stressful thoughts as they fall asleep (which makes sense it’s the first time all day you get to think by yourself), but that causes increases in our fight or flight hormones. Thinking less stressful or positive thoughts can help reduce stressful feelings and help with sleep (improves deep sleep and encourages more positive dreams).
- Keep your schedule consistent: the more consistent your wake-up time, the more consistent your overall body function. Avoid extra napping if you are home bound-it will only disrupt your nighttime sleep.
- Lower stimulants and depressants: caffeine and alcohol- if you are already stressed out, adding caffeine to the mix is NOT a great idea, it will only increase the unwanted side effects. Alcohol, while making you feel sleepy, does NOT allow for quality rest, which in turn will make you feel even more stressed if you have a hangover the next day. It also makes you less able to fight a virus.
- Take a Hot Shower or Bath 90 minutes before bed: wash off all those germs and increase your core body temperature. Your body temperature will decrease once you get out of the tub and help produce melatonin naturally.
- Make sure your environment is clean: If possible, use HEPA filtration for your bedroom air. Wash sheets 2x a week (in HOT water), try to do an overall deep cleaning of your bedroom, you will be spending a lot of time there!