Happy summer, Sonoma. Is it me, or is time flying by faster than ever these days? My summer calendar is already packed and we’re still trying to find a way to fit more in! Really?! Summer is supposed to be a time to relax, take a break from the routine, maybe even be a little lazy, right?
Well, now might be a good time to remind ourselves that we NEED to slow down and allow ourselves time to relax and enjoy this magical time of year in Sonoma. Are you building time into your summer to slow down and relax?
Let’s face it, part of what makes Sonoma so special is it’s wonderful community of people, it’s great farmers markets, public and private events, and awesome eating and wine tasting venues. Yet for those of us who live locally, this wonderful blessing can also be a curse, because along with the amazing social culture, can come over scheduling, over eating, over drinking, etc., which can result in stress on the body. How do you feel when you’ve been partying it up? I know after a few social engagements in a row, I am definitely needing to repair with my healthy smoothies, vitamin regime, sleep, and time in nature….how do you repair?
A good healthy living regime should always involve time to rest and repair from the stress of our daily routines. Yes, there is a physiological response to prolonged stress that can have serious implications on our health, including our hormones, thyroid, blood sugar regulation, digestion, and much more. The good news, though, is that you can actually do a great deal to prevent the serious damage that can happen when under prolonged stress.
It’s all about the 3 ‘R’s”: rest, replenish, and remove.
Stress comes in many forms. Poor diet, unhealthy emotions, being overwhelmed with too much on your plate, over exercising, poor sleep, exposure to toxic chemicals, and much more. Fact is, we all have stress, but how you manage the repair from the stress is the key to health living.
Rest – Do you get a minimum of eight solid hours of sleep per night? Do you take time to slow down and rest or nap each day for at least 30 minutes? Do you take days off between high intensity work outs, and limit high intensity work outs with a short duration, bursting type of approach allowing for repair? Do you listen to your body when it’s tired and give it extra rest?
Replenish – Do you eat lots of antioxidants and micro-nutrients such as those found in fruits and vegetables? Do you eat lots of healthy fats, such as avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, and organic butter? Do you supplement with high quality B vitamins, Vitamin D, Co Q 10, Vitamin C and Zinc?
Another great supplement to help support repair is Protandim, which is a Nerf 2 activator, meaning it up-regulates our body’s own powerful antioxidants which are more powerful than antioxidants found in fruits such as blueberries. We burn through loads of vitamins and minerals when we are under stress, therefore we require a good amount to replenish on a daily basis. That is why every calorie you eat counts. Each calorie should be delivering health supportive nutrients to help you build back what you burned through while under stress. That is why we cannot afford to eat empty calories and packaged and processed foods that deliver little or no nutrition. Replenishing electrolytes with coconut water, tropical fruits, and even organic pickle juice can also be helpful.
Oh, and of course, protein, protein, and more protein.
Remove – Obviously, you want to identify what the stressors in your life are and make a lifestyle plan to minimize them. I have found that this is very useful when I do this with my clients. Often they do not even realize the daily stressors they are experiencing and how it is affecting their health. Once you have identified the stressors in your life and made a plan to minimize them, you are able to manage the stressors you are unable to control much easier.
If you have questions about managing stress through diet, supplements, or would like to do a stress survey to determine a plan of action, feel free to contact me at EA’s CrossFit facebook.com/eacrossfit.
I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing summer!
Heather Morgan, MS, NLC