I am thrilled to have my friend and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NPT), Meg Langston on the blog today. She specialises in Women’s Health and more specifically, hormones, gut and the brain/gut connection. She is so knowledgeable about all things nutrition and is going to be talking about ways to take back your health and finally feel like you again. She is a wife, mom of one and truly loves what she does!
We all have stress in our lives and it is impossible to avoid it, she will help you manage it and give you tips on things you can control to take back your health and feel amazing!
Guest Blog Post By: Meg Langston, NTP
Something that us moms typically won’t be told before we step into motherhood is that self care requires discipline and needs to be a priority for the health of your household. I know what you’re thinking; “That sounds really good, Meg but there is no way I have time to do anything self care and get done all the things I need to.” I hear you, but being a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner focused on women’s health, I spend a lot of time working with women. The number one reason most of my clients are suffering is due to stress.
Hang with me as I geek out in a little bit of science and explain how stress physically hinders our body from healing and promotes dysfunction throughout the body.
The HPA Axis, Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis is responsible for helping us adapt to stress when our body is in a sympathetic state. In a healthy functioning body, the HPA Axis will release cortisol when stress is present and then via the negative feedback loop, the body will calm back down into a parasympathetic state. This is a normal response that occurs often throughout the body. However, when we become moms we tend to be in a constant state of stress. Whether it’s because we are lacking sleep with a newborn, managing a household and navigating a marriage, job or school we have a lot on our plate all at one time. On top of this, many of us put pressure on ourselves to “get our body back.” (Don’t get me started on this topic, not enough time to think how absurd that sentence is!) The thing I want you to learn most is, stress is stress.
Our bodies do not differentiate between “good” stress or “bad” stress. Meaning, if you are working out really hard and trying to lose weight our body perceives that as stress. If you just lost your job and have another child on the way, again our body perceives that at stress. When we are constantly bombarded with stressors in our life with no self care in place, we step into what’s known as HPA Axis Dysfunction. This is when our bodies will be in a constant state of stress and the negative feedback loop that is supposed to tell our body to calm down, doesn’t! Our body becomes desensitized to it. This is when I like to say you have your cortisol glasses on. Something as little as going to the grocery store or getting the kids to school in the morning seems much more stressful than it may be because our body is in what’s known as a fight or flight state constantly.
Some of the major signs that you may be suffering from HPA Axis dysfunction are: You wake up in the middle of the night, even to use the bathroom. You have a hard time getting up in the morning. You rely on caffeine throughout your day, especially around 3-4pm. You suffer from bad allergies. You have digestive dysfunction. You crave sugar and have irregularity in your menstrual cycle or heavy periods.
Now that we stepped into a little bit of how this happens and what you may experience from it, let me give you
5 ways you can pursue health and take care of you!
1. Eat a whole food, properly prepared nutrient dense diet.
You can check out things like the Dirty Dozen on when to buy organic and the Clean 15 on when you don’t have to buy organic. As a whole, stick to Grass-fed, wild caught and free range when choosing meats.
2. Eat sitting down.
I know this sounds crazy, but this is huge! When we stand to eat and are running around chasing kiddos, our digestive system is unable to work properly and we are not able to digest the yummy foods we are eating. This can lead to things like leaky gut and the inability to absorb and utilize nutrients.
3. Create a bedtime routine that works for you.
Just as we put our kids down to sleep with a routine because we know their bodies need to cue on it’s time to sleep, our bodies are the exact same way. I enjoy my lavender essential oil spray and other essential oil roll on to remind my body sleep is coming.
4. Talk with your doctor about taking magnesium citrate and vitamin C.
These two supplements are adrenal loving supplements. When we are in a stressful state, showing your adrenals love will make the world of difference.
5. Keep a healthy amount of Omega 3 fats in your diet.
Fat is the backbone to our sex hormones and every cell in our body. We need it to keep our hormones balanced and function properly. Some of my favorite Omega 3 foods are: Salmon, Oysters, Flaxseed, Chia seeds and Walnuts.
As you can see, in order for us to be the best moms we are all working hard to be, we need to make sure that our health is a priority so that we are not running around with cortisol glasses on and acting and saying in a constant state of stress. Take care of yourself momma, your body depends on it.