What is stress?
“Stress is any influence internal or external that causes or leads to malfunction” Reed Davis.
Firstly there are two types of stress, eustress and distress. The difference is one promotes growth (eustress) which is known as anabolic and the other is catabolic(distress), which promotes the opposite causing malfunction within the body.
We can break stress up into 3 categories Mental/Emotional, Physical/ \Biomechanical and Chemical/Biochemical
So lets go over each one…
- Lack of purpose (this is a big one)
- Nerve compression
- Poor posture
- Inflammatory foods/additives
- Prescription meds
The last group Chemical/Biochemical are what we call the hidden stressors. These guys wreck havoc in the body and if they are not addressed, over time they will lead to major health problems down the road.
When you have an accumulation of stress from the 3 categories Mental/Emotional Physical/Bio-mechanical and the hidden stressors Chemical/Biochemical, your body starts to give way by putting you in a disease state moving you away from homeostasis.
Now we are in a situation where symptoms start to show and what do you do? You go to the doctor and get some relief care. The problem with this approach is that in most cases your not getting to the root of the issue causing the problem to come back with a vengeance.
I have a lot of respect for doctors they are great at what they do and thats saving lives. You see most doctors are looking out for something very serious or life threatening. This is what we really need them for but when it comes to prevention I feel there are other options.
Symptoms are a sign that you left it late and who wants to wait until its too late? Nobody but that just seems to be the norm. A lot of these symptoms that we experience we put it down as normal, such as I got the flu because its flu season ” or “its just a headache, I get them all the time” etc.
These symptoms are signs of malfunction in the body. Fatigue isn’t a caffeine deficiency, headaches isn’t an aspirin deficiency so stop ignoring it!
People should understand the basics of how we work and how to look after oneself. Thats my goal with Adrenal Repair. We don’t medicate we educate. Our approach is too run functional labs to seek out these hidden stressors by looking at the 4 main pillars…
When any of these pillars becomes compromised, it will effect your whole physiology….and what causes these areas to become compromised? The answer is Stress! but its hard to eliminate the internal stressors if you don’t know what they are. So what causes them?
- Food sensitivities/processed food
This is just a short list of culprits and the symptoms can range from low energy, low libido, sugar cravings, excessive weight gain or weight loss, diarrhea, wakefulness, fatigued, skin conditions, hair loss, anxiety, panic disorder etc.
So if you haven’t felt like yourself in some time, be it weeks, months or even years you need to be looking into the 3 categories of stress and work on eliminating them as much as you can.
Mental/Emotional stress can be a huge part of the problem and it can really suck the life out of you causing the body to fall into that disease state. Just by your thoughts alone you can run yourself into the ground. The mind is such a powerful tool and can work for you or against you. New studies have shown that its possible to turn all the distress from worry into eustress making you grow and benefit from the situation, just by looking at it differently. Kelly mcGonigal she talks about this in her book “The upside of stress” and also she does a great Ted Talk that I highly recommend you to look at, it really is fascinating stuff.
Life is always going to throw curve balls at you, but what we can do is prepare now for when we do take a hit.
Lets face it, there is no escaping trauma, illnesses, losing a job or loved one, these are all inevitable but what we can do is focus on building a robust body internally and externally. This way we are putting our body in a better situation to deal with things life throws at us.
You have one body to carry you through this journey we call life and don’t neglect it. So where to start?
I use this holistic approach to seek out the hidden stressors along with functional lab work to look into the 4 pillars (immune,hormone,detoxification systems and digestion)
If your in a position to run labs get it done, it eliminates the guessing game. The lab work is a window into how its all functioning on the inside. If you are not in a position right now to pay for labs, there is a lot you can achieve by approaching the DRESS lifestyle.
Here is a basic meal plan I use, you can try it but do note this is just an example.
Meal 1. The breakfast made popular by Charles Poliquin “The meat and nut breakfast” but I like to add some veggies here too, usually some fermented food. Breakfast for me is usually Steak or some eggs with a handful of nuts (almonds, cashew, walnuts)or avacado and kimchi.
It’s a great way to start the day without the blood sugar going up and down like a rollercoaster.
Meal 2. Wild salmon with mixed veggies and a cup of green tea
Meal 3. Usually a post workout shake (Whey Protein ,1 tbl spoon coconut oil, banana, powder of multi greens, almond butter and a base of coconut water or almond milk)
Meal 4. Free range Chicken Stir fry with plenty of veggies and some starchy carbs to replenish glycogen stores after a day when I have been exercising. This last meals carbs depends on how active I was that day. Remember you need to earn your cabs.
Snacks can be a protein bar or some beef jerky and dried fruit. I try and stay away from eating too much fruit because of the sugar content. I aim for 1 piece of fruit a day and usually post workout.
Supplements can be very beneficial but you need to be careful here. Supplements can have negative effect. It all depends on what your body needs. There are a few supplements that we can all benefit from such as fish oil, magnesium, zinc, vit-d (depending on where you live) and probiotics.
This is just an example of what a day for me looks like, it does change day to day. If you keep to that structure it should put you on the right path and hopefully you start seeing some improvements.
When it comes to diet, there are no one diet to fit all. You need to eat for your body type and the same goes with exercise we need to take an individual approach.
A training program should focus on how humans were designed to move. We need to focus on bringing back some basic mobility. When it comes to mobility, if we don’t use it we lose it. An example of this would be the squat. This is our basic resting position but most people can’t squat for more than 10 seconds and we can blame the invention of the chair for this. We are reverse engineering our bodies and paying the price.
If you are not sure on what you are doing in the gym I recommend you find a good trainer in your area. Do some research, get yourself a trainer who looks at the full picture. You don’t need to be ran into the ground and left to fall asleep in the changing room beside a bucket full of what you ate for lunch.
You should feel energised after your workout and by the night time comes around you should aim to be in bed before 11pm. Try and get 8hrs sleep in a dark room, no electronics and use black out curtains. This is the most important time for your body to heal and repair from all the stressors of the day. So if your not getting a good sleeping each night this will put you in a vicious cycle, leaving you burning the candle at both ends. If your having problems relaxing at night maybe try some meditation or a hot bath before bed. For me I like to drink a herbal tea that has a calming effect after a soak in the tub. This will put me in that mood for bed, followed by reading a book and its night night.
I recommend following the D.R.E.S.S for success protocol and adopt the lifestyle. Give it a go and If you want to learn more about running labs or would like a free consultation please don’t hesitate to contact me.