What is Adrenal Fatigue?

More and more I hear people blaming their low energy levels on “adrenal fatigue” often, it seems, without really knowing much about it. Adrenal fatigue seems to be the latest nutritional hot topic and an easy answer for low energy levels. But what is it exactly, and is it really treatable with diet and nutrition?

What it is, or isn’t

Proponents of adrenal fatigue have been blamed it for everything from allergies, infections, depression, memory loss, decreased sex drive, and insomnia. Other suggested symptoms:

  • Tendency to gain weight and unable to lose it, especially around the waist.
  • Lack of energy in the mornings and in the afternoon between 3 to 5 pm.
  • Feel better suddenly for a brief period after a meal.
  • Often feel tired from 9 – 10 pm, but resist going to bed.
  • Need coffee or stimulants to get going in the morning.
  • Feels better when stress is relieved, such as on a vacation.
  • Difficulties in getting up in the morning.

Does this sound like you? Probably. Adrenal fatigue is a collection of such non-specific and broad symptoms that nearly anyone could relate. Proponents of adrenal fatigue claim it is brought on by stress and is a milder form of adrenal insufficiency that can not be detected by blood tests, but does affect the body. However, adrenal fatigue is debated in the medical community and is not currently recognized as a medical diagnosis.

Is there a diet for adrenal fatigue?

Of course! There’s a diet for everything these days, and that includes adrenal fatigue. So what does it look like? According to Dr. Wilson, there are nine rules to follow:

  1. Eat a wide variety of whole, natural foods
  2. Combine a healthy fat, protein and carbohydrate source with every meal
  3. Eat lots of vegetables, especially the brightly colored ones
  4. Salt your food to a pleasant taste
  5. Eat mainly whole grains as your source of carbohydrate
  6. Combine grains with legumes (beans), or legumes with seeds or nuts to form a complete protein
  7. Avoid fruit in the morning
  8. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of essential oils (cold pressed olive, grape seed, safflower, flax, etc.) into grains, vegetables and meats daily
  9. Eat high quality food; it becomes you.

Funny enough, most of those sound like recommendations for a healthy diet (except for the ones I crossed out).

My thoughts

Cutting down on caffeine and processed foods is always a good idea and, although there’s no harm in making healthy eating changes, many people who suspect adrenal fatigue look to unregulated and unproven remedies that can have their own risks. Doctors also warn that these remedies can mask the true cause of symptoms, such as depression or fibromyalgia, and delay a proper diagnosis.

Is there truly an epidemic of adrenal fatigue, or could it be that we’re simply an overly stressed, over worked, over caffeinated society with generally poor nutrition, and the result happens to be low energy? Or, is it a true condition that currently glides under the radar of medical testing? I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m a strong proponent that many conditions can be helped and even prevented with proper nutrition and exercise. Never underestimate the powers of a healthy diet and lifestyle. It’s not a gimmick, it doesn’t sound exotic, but it’s the thing we go back to time and time again. So for now, while the medical community figures this one out, eat your veggies, go for a long, stress-relieving walk, and get some sleep. If you’re concerned about your energy levels, see your doctor.

Good Nutrition vs Free Radicals

No, this article is not about a Wild West shoot-out or about the politics of the 1960’s and 1970’s.  Today’s  health opportunity is how to battle the free radicals within your body.

What is a “free radical”?   Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons. They are formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction within your body.  While a few free radicals such as melanin are not chemically reactive, most biologically-relevant free radicals are highly reactive. For most biological structures, free radical damage is closely associated with oxidative damage.

Why do you care?  The chief danger from radicals is the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs.  This damage, of particular interest to baby boomers and other aging persons, is cumulative.  Years of incorrect diet, lack of proper nutrition and exposure to toxins wears down the body’s tissues and natural defenses of antioxidants.


What are antioxidants?    Antioxidants are molecules which can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before vital molecules are damaged. Although there are several enzyme systems within the body that scavenge free radicals, the principle micro-nutrient (vitamin) antioxidants are vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Additionally, selenium, a trace metal that is required for proper function of one of the body’s antioxidant enzyme systems, is sometimes included in this category. The body cannot manufacture these micro-nutrients so they must be supplied in the diet.

How do we fight Radicals?  Your body automatically generates some antioxidants in the form of certain enzymes.  Exercise helps this process due to higher consumption of oxygen during exercise.  You can also acquire them through certain foods or supplements.  The data is not conclusive but it is thought by many nutritionists and doctors that antioxidants have a role in slowing down the aging process, preventing heart disease, and preventing strokes.  Less evidence exists that they help prevent cancer.

The principal antioxidants are vitamin C, vitamin, E, and beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A.   Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin present in citrus fruits and juices, green peppers, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, kale, cantaloupe, kiwi, and strawberries.  The U.S. RDA is for 60 mg per day although nearly everyone agree that amounts up to 2000 mg are likely better.   Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin present in nuts, seeds, vegetable and fish oils, whole grains, and apricots.  The RDA is 15 IU for men and 12 IU for women.  Beta-carotene is present in liver, egg yolks, milk, butter, spinach, carrots, squash, broccoli, yams, tomatoes, cantaloupe, peaches, and grains.  The is no RDA but since it turns into vitamin A, excessive levels can become toxic.  Other notable products with antioxidant properties are alpha lipoic acid (ALA), astaxanthin, melatonin and Co-enzyme Q (CoQ10).

Although many persons may take nutritional supplements to increase antioxidants and decrease radicals in their bodies, these are not a substitute to consuming good foods.  Those that eat lots of fruit and vegetables appear to have a lower risk of  cancer  and heart disease., although that may be other components of these foods, such as fiber, according to researchers.

In summary, while there is not absolute proof that consuming antioxidants prevents disease, there is definite evidence that free radicals do damage to many parts of the human body.  As usual, your diet seems to play the most important role, along with exercise. A number of berries and other “superfoods” should be examined for their potential impact too.  Supplements such a vitamins C & E, selenium, melatonin, and beta-carotene may also be an excellent choice, although there is less proof of their value.

Don’t miss this nutrition opportunity to slow down your aging.

Matcha Green Tea Powder Benefits

If you are a tea enthusiast, then there is no doubt you have come across several brands of powdered tea from different parts of the world. Matcha is a high quality green tea powder, usually from Japan, used for drinking as a beverage or an important ingredient in various recipes. Even though there are other green tea varieties produced across the globe, this premium tea is unique. It is the center of the Japanese way of tea and has been celebrated in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony for centuries.

What Does Matcha Tea Taste Like?

Matcha is crafted from a unique blend of ingredients to give it a taste that is often described as earthy. Chlorophyll, as well as amino acids add to this unique rich astringent taste, followed by a lingering sweetness. The tea is made in the traditional Japanese style. All you have to do to do is add the matcha green tea powder to a cup of warm water and sweeten if desired. For those who want to experience the bitter taste of real Japanese tea, sugar is not necessary.

What Are the Matcha Green Tea Powder Benefits?

Matcha green tea is not only popular throughout the globe for its rich astringent taste followed by lingering sweetness or the fact that it’s unique to Japan but because it has quite a number of health benefits to tea enthusiasts. Some of these benefits are mentioned as follows;

All Day Energy with Improved Concentration

Matcha green tea provides four to six hours of mild steady energy. This is because it acts as both a stimulant as well as a relaxant. These two effects are ideal for concentrating on your day-to-day tasks.

Matcha Green Tea Benefits for Weight Loss

Studies have discovered that drinking this particular green tea can boost thermogenesis (speed up your metabolism) from a normal 8% -10% of daily energy expenditure to between 35% and 43%. Thermogenesis, in Layman’s terms, refers to the body’s own rate of breaking down calories.

Matcha Contains Various Bio-Active Compounds that Can Improve Health

Matcha is more than just a green tea. Regular tea does not contain these compounds because many of the compounds in the tea leaves do not make it into the final drink. These compounds are rich in certain important nutrients. Matcha is packed with polyphenols, which function as powerful antioxidants. These substances can stop the formation of free radicals in the body thereby protecting body cells from damage. These free radicals slow down aging and eliminate various ailments from the body. Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) is an example of the powerful compounds contained in the green tea. This compound has been discovered to treat various ailments and may be one of the main reasons Matcha has such powerful medicinal properties.

Improved Skin Health

Researchers have found out that Matcha Green Tea helps protect the skin from dangerous UV rays, while improving blood flow and oxygen levels. This improves the skin’s overall quality. Those who consume this tea regularly have reported improved skin tone and texture as well as healing from various skin diseases such as acne and hives.

Matcha Green Tea Improves Muscle Endurance

Everyone these days is more aware of physical fitness and the effect it can have on maintaining health. But did you know that Matcha can boost your endurance when training? Researchers in Japan recently discovered that regularly drinking matcha green tea extract can boost endurance exercise performance by up to 24%. Taking one cup a day can add a little boost to muscle endurance but taking 4 cups a day can have an amazing impact. So the more cups you drink, the greater impact you get.

This Great Green Tea Extract also keeps Teeth Healthy and Prevents Tooth Decay. Green tea promotes healthy teeth and prevents tooth decay in 2 ways.

1) It creates an unfavorable environment in the mouth for bacteria, thus preventing them from thriving.

2) It prevents acid production in the gums which normally occurs after drinking sugary drinks or beverages. The manner in which it achieves this is through neutralizing the acidity of the saliva. Acid can erode teeth and cause cavities. In fact, this is one of the greatest matcha green tea powder benefits that one should never overlook.

Matcha Green Tea Has Great Detoxifying Properties

Tea comes from leaves, which derive their color from chlorophyll. This substance helps get rid of unwanted metals and toxins from the body. Unlike regular tea where the leaves are disposed of once the tea is made, matcha is prepared from the powder which is consumed along with the tea. Drinking this stimulant, which is rich in chlorophyll highly promotes detoxification. Chlorophyll also helps balance pH levels in the blood. The matcha green tea powder benefits are simply amazing.

Matcha Green Tea Side Effects

Even the healthiest foods may not be right for everyone. And the best way to evaluate the value and helpfulness of a product after considering the benefits is considering how serious its side effects might be. Products that have only minor side effects such as Matcha need to be considered valuable and helpful whereas those whose side effects are serious need to be considered dangerous and unsuitable for human consumption.

As it has been mentioned above, the downsides of Matcha green tea are minor, they are just some slight discomforts as follows; restlessness, frequent urination and perhaps sleeping problems after drinking a cup or two. However, these symptoms are also similar to those who enjoy coffee and other teas. And there is no doubt that when it comes to a super food for our health, matcha green tea is highly rated.

Combat Sitting Disease and Improve Your Health

What is the Sitting Disease?

We all know that exercise is good for us. But did you know that simply moving more throughout the day has benefits as well? There is an epidemic referred to as sitting disease and it doesn’t just affect couch potatoes. Even those who work out hard at the gym but lead a sedentary lifestyle the rest of the time are also at risk for what is referred to as sitting disease.

Is Sitting Disease Real?

Sound crazy? The fact is, studies show that living a sedentary lifestyle, where you spend hours at a time at a desk or watching tv can have a negative impact on your health. In fact, some experts say it is more dangerous than smoking.

Just think about how modern conveniences has made our lives easier over the last several decades. We drive to work and maybe sit at a desk all day. And even though we may have chores to tend to, modern times has made those chores so much easier and less time consuming.

This lack of activity (for sometimes hours on end) can put us at serious risk for conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.

Prevent Sitting Disease

You may wonder how you can combat sitting disease when you do sit at a desk all day. Luckily there are some strategies that can help even the most sedentary.

Becoming more active will not only reduce your health risks from sitting disease, it can also make your feel less sluggish. Do you or a loved one suffer from depression? Studies have shown that prolonged sitting often leads to depression as well.

Chronic sitters often suffer from insomnia as well. Luckily you may find that as you move more throughout the day you probably sleep more restfully at night.

The nice thing about being more active is that the more you move, the more you will want to move. We have all seen that commercial about a body in motion staying in motion. But you might be wondering how you will fit exercise into what is probably an already hectic day (especially if you are already working out several times a week).

The good news is there are plenty of small tweaks that you can do throughout the days that will insure that you are moving more. Getting into the habit of simply moving more might take some practice but over time it will feel like second nature.
Read Book Reviews on Sitting Disease on Amazon

Get in More Steps Each Day

No time for long walks? No problem! Invest in a good fitness tracker such as a Fitbit and aim to walk 10,000 steps per day. You may not always reach that target but simply wearing a fitness tracker will most likely inspire you to move more. There are several styles available that are designed to be worn on your wrist, your waist band, or even hooked to your bra.

Fitness trackers are great, with many models available that not only track your steps but keep track of calories burned as well. Some models will also monitor your sleep patterns and even let you know how many active minutes you have had each day.
Click here to read fitness tracker reviews.

It isn’t always easy to get up and walk around during work hours but if you are able to, by all means stand up, stretch and take short walks throughout the day, even if it means hand delivering a message to a coworker instead of sending an email. The more you move the better. If your job does give you the option to stand (such as working behind a counter instead of a desk) then by all means try standing more often.

Other Strategies to Avoid Chronic Sitting Disease

In the evenings you can get up and walk around during tv commercials or how about pacing back and forth while on the phone? You can also make household chores a little more challenging by squeezing in more steps. Try putting laundry away one piece at a time or pacing back and forth while you are setting the table or cleaning up the kitchen.

These are just a few ideas to help combat sitting disease. There are also several good books available that go in depth on the sitting disease epidemic as well. Below you will find several different books available on Amazon as well as pricing and reviews.

Sitting disease does not have to affect your life. And if more energy, better sleep and an overall feeling of well being sounds good to you then why not give it a try? And not only will you reduce your risks for several chronic health issues, you may just start losing excess weight as well. And no doubt these healthy changes will motivate you to eat better as well!

Weight Loss Strategies that Work

Six Weight Loss Strategies that Really Work

Anyone who has ever followed a weight loss plan has most likely gone through the cycle of falling off the wagon more than once. Luckily, there are weight loss strategies that you can use to help you stick to your diet once and for all.

We are all unique, so to reach your weight loss goal you need to find strategies that are tailored to your individual needs. Luckily these strategies should work for everyone to make losing weight much easier.

Join a Support Group

There are plenty of great support groups that can help you reach your weight loss goals. You can look for local diet support groups such as TOPS (Take off Pounds Sensibly), which has been helping millions of people lose weight for years. There are also plenty of support groups online like Sparkpeople, that offer free weight loss tools, recipes and active forums to connect with other members.

Set Short Term Goals

If you are looking to lose a significant amount of weight then long term goals can seem daunting. Set short term goals such as losing 5 pounds and when you reach it, set another one. Invest in a fitness tracker and slowly work your way up to 10,000 steps per day. Setting these short term goals will give you a sense of accomplishment and help you stay motivated.

Avoid Diet Boredom

One thing that will kill a diet faster than anything is lack of variety. Be sure to keep healthy snacks on hand like fresh fruit, nuts and seeds to keep you satiated. Also plan your menus in advance and don’t be afraid to experiment with new recipes.

Focus on Real Food

Aim to eat more whole foods and less processed foods. Not only will you give your body what it needs to stay healthy, but over time, your cravings for junk food will diminish.

Stay Hydrated

Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger. The next time you feel hungry go ahead and pour yourself a glass of water and see if the hunger subsides. Also make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day.

Go Ahead and Cheat

When you deny yourself your favorite foods all the time you not only start to feel miserable, you are also setting yourself up for a possible binge. So go ahead and plan a cheat meal or even a cheat day now and then where you incorporate some of your favorite foods into your healthy diet.

Keep in mind that eating a healthy diet should be a way of life, and in life we have ups and downs. If you look at your diet as a lifestyle instead of something that you temporarily go on then over time you will naturally want to eat better, while enjoying the occasional indulgent meal or dessert without feeling guilty.

Finding the Best Diet and Nutrition Plan for You

There are so many different types of diet and nutrition plans out there – some are great, some are okay, and some are unsafe fad diets that you should not follow long term, if at all. You can find a diet for just about anything – whether you want to drop weight at an incredibly fast rate, stick to eating one particular type of food, or just a general diet that cuts out unhealthy options. Either way, there’s an immense number of options out there.

Is There a Perfect Diet Plan?

Those who construct diets for people to use as a guideline (or lifestyle) to lose weight and get in shape usually have the best motives, but there’s one question. Why do so many diets contradict each other? The thing is, if you research a new diet plan, you will probably hear that it’s the latest craze backed by research. You will also probably hear that it’s perfect for you. But how can every diet work for each and every individual person in the world?diet and nutrition blog

Choosing the Right Diet for You

Some people swear by a low fat diet which emphasis healthy whole grains while others feel that a low carb diet that is high in protein and higher in fat is the way to go. These are just two examples of the many weight loss plans out there that contradict each other. Not every diet will cater to the individual needs of every person.

When looking for a particular diet plan to improve our health it is crucial that we find the diet that best suits our individual needs. Not every diet is created equal. If you have any particular concerns when it comes to your health, you have to make sure that your diet correlates with those needs.

The Diet and Nutrition Blog contains information on various diet plans. Ultimately, you should seek advice from your health care provider before starting any weight loss plan. My goal here is not to rate each diet from best to worse, but instead share information about various plans to help you find the right diet to fit your nutritional needs.