As a functional nutritionist, I help women to identify and address the root causes of their hormone and digestive symptoms. Say goodbye to fad diets, my mission is to empower you in your health and create change that sustains.
When blood sugar becomes imbalanced and spikes and dips too low, the body must rely on stress hormones for energy. When chronic, this can lead to other hormonal imbalances downstream (influencing energy, sleep, sex drive, weight, and skin health!). Practice eating for blood sugar balance by eating every 3-4 hours and consuming protein, fat, fiber, and carbohydrates at meals and snacks.
Don’t sleep on your sleep for digestive health! Adequate sleep soothes the adrenals and is essential for proper cortisol rhythms throughout the day. Getting sunlight within an hour of waking and limiting blue light at night is an effective way to support circadian health and cortisol output.
Exercising mindfulness can help strengthen your ability to handle stressors without increasing stress hormones. Your brain and your gut are INTIMATELY connected. Journaling is an excellent tool for processing emotions and organizing thoughts, which in turn can help you literally and figuratively “digest” what is going on in your life. This is one of my favorite journals.
The people around us can massively influence our digestion. A study out of Japan found that laughter may be an effective tool for alleviating digestive discomfort: “Laughing while talking with friends and family is independently inversely associated with functional dyspepsia” (upset stomach) (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2022). Maintaining healthy, joyful relationships can help decrease stress and improve overall health!
Excess caffeine can directly spike cortisol levels, especially when consumed without adequate nutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates). Cutting back on caffeine consumption or drinking coffee or tea with meals can help prevent excess cortisol production. For some individuals coffee can additionally be irritating to your gut! The action of coffee on stomach acid secretion has raised the issue of a possible increase in dyspepsia (poor digestion, discomfort, nausea, heartburns, eructation, and flatulence), or esophageal burns, gastritis or ulcers, and gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Matcha or green tea for many can be kinder to the tummy,here is my absolute favorite matcha and green tea brand – get your discount here.🍵
Caloric restriction is a major stress on the body. Adequate amounts of nutrients are necessary for the body to function properly. This includes hormonal response, detoxification, and brain function, among countless others. When the body does not have enough energy from food, it breaks down its own tissues to deliver nutrients to more important organs. Ensuring sufficient protein and carbohydrate intake throughout the day can prevent this unnecessary physical stress. As another note, chronically under-eating is one of the BIGGEST triggers that I see for constipation as it impacts bile flow, motility, AND the gut microbiota which helps us have great poops💩!
Excessive cardio, HIIT, and working out on an empty stomach can spike cortisol levels. This in turn makes you hold on to weight and, again, causes other hormonal imbalances. Using mindful movement means focusing on exercise that you enjoy that is low impact and that allows you to connect with your body! Aim to eat a small snack (like a banana and nut butter) before exercise and balanced meal post exercise to support your digestion.
Eating when rushed or overwhelmed can result in indigestion and other negative symptoms. Taking time to slow down at meals, practicing gratitude, and spending time with loved ones decreases stress on the body and helps to stimulate oxytocin production – a hormone that plays a role in intestinal motility and soothing inflammation.
Raw foods are more work for the body to break down, especially large amounts of raw vegetables. We can give the gut a little bit of a break here by breaking them down first through the cooking processes. Warm foods also increase blood flow to the digestive tract, aiding in digestion!
Keeping your blood sugars stabilized during the day is one of the best ways to reduce the stress cascade and keep your gut moving smoothly. Balanced blood sugar prevents cortisol spikes and keeps the body in a “rest and digest” (parasympathetic state).
**CHECK OUT the recipe for a suggestions to incorporate these therapeutic foods!
Are you ready to get to the root cause of your gut symptoms and support your stress in the process..? It IS possible!