Stressed? Let’s Fix That!

By Kim Banting,

It’s no secret that our lives are stressful.  We are all feeling it, even if we don’t talk about it, even if we put on a big smile and carry on through our day, it’s there.  We feel like we are on a hamster wheel and we are going through the same motions day after day.  We accomplish one task, but there is always another.

Work days seem to be getting longer, and many of us have obligations once we get home…making dinner, doing laundry, homework, bath time, PTA meetings, doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping…the list could go on and on.  Where do we find time to care for ourselves, spend time with friends or do activities we enjoy?  These are the things that nurture us and bring joy into our lives.  Don’t get me wrong, making dinner for our family and helping our kids with their homework could be joyful, but if it has become part of the hamster wheel, it can quickly turn into an activity we resent doing.  The feeling of exhaustion, apathy or hopelessness that accompanies this is a sign of prolonged stress and it can have a tremendous impact on our health.

Prolonged stress places a heavy load on our heart, blood vessels, immune system and endocrine system and is associated with many common diseases.  Do you ever experience any of the following?

  • insomnia or disrupted sleep
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • digestive issues like gas, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, constipation
  • upset stomach
  • irritability

These are just a few symptoms that you may be stressed.  Why do these symptoms come up?  When the body is under stress, it puts more pressure on some body organs and systems which requires a greater amount of nutrients like magnesium, folic acid, zinc, vitamin C and B vitamins.  Over time, if we aren’t replenishing these nutrients with a really healthful diet, these nutrients become depleted and disease may begin to set in.  This is a very condensed explanation of why someone who is chronically stressed could develop:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Lung Disease
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Chronic Inflammation
  • Chronic Pain
  • Cancer
  • Liver Disease
  • PMS
  • Poor adrenal function
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Food Allergies/Sensitivities
  • IBS/IBD
  • and more

Not only does the extra burden on our organs deplete nutrients, but some of our coping mechanisms could be sabotaging us.  For example, if you tend towards an alcoholic beverage to unwind or find yourself eating a lot of sweets or refined carbohydrates, this can cause hypoglycemia and other hormonal imbalances that will exacerbate your stress symptoms and may affect your ability to get a restful sleep.  This in turn might cause you to reach for a morning cup of coffee to get you going which puts more strain on your adrenal glands and might cause cortisol to remain too high and consequently, raise blood sugar levels.  In the end, these coping strategies will fail us and will ensure we remain on our stressful hamster wheel.

I know, because I have lived through this scenario and I’m on the other side with a great foundation of knowledge and tools to help my clients overcome their stress patterns and create a new way of managing their stress and maintaining great health and vitality!  I know first hand how much impact our eating choices can have on how we feel mentally, emotionally and physically.  In fact, I would go so far as to say I am a completely different person than I was 10 years ago when I was suffering from anxiety and depression, insomnia, digestive problems, acne, mood swings and other uncomfortable issues.  I thought everything I was feeling was normal.  It all crept up on me so gradually that I didn’t attribute it to any one thing I was doing.  Once I went back to school and began my studies in Nutrition, I put into practice everything I was learning about a healthful diet and very quickly saw results from all of my health problems.

Scientific studies show that a healthy lifestyle and proper diet not only prevents, but also reverses chronic diseases.  The changes don’t have to be hard and deprivation isn’t part of it, but an understanding of how to make simple substitutions and include the right foods will make big changes!

I am offering a Stress Management Program in partnership with my colleague Robert Mayeda, RMT to combine Nutrition with Massage Therapy to help people who are looking for a better way to manage their stress and improve their health.  If you would like to know more about this program, you can contact me at 647-202-7649 or email me at kim@flourish-nutrition.com for a FREE 15 minute phone consult to see if this program is right for you.

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