Feel Like You’re Running On Empty?
Feel like you’re running on empty?
In this article Kirsten Chick, founder of Connect with Nutrition, and Member of The Midlife Hub, shares her tips on adrenal health.
Adrenal health is crucial in maintaining energy, balancing stress levels and maintaining good health.
Kirsten finds she has to provide adrenal health advice to nearly everyone who comes for a consultation, which Includes support around food, and particular supplements that help to soothe and rebalance the adrenals.
What are your adrenals?
Let’s start with the basics, and find out what the adrenals are and what they do. Your adrenals sit on top of your kidneys, and release hormones that regulate your stress response. So if you are juggling a hectic work/life/family schedule, for example, or faced with any kind of stress, you will be firing off a lot of “fight, flight or freeze” hormones.
These will send messages to your body to prepare for physical exertion. Energy and resources get diverted away from your digestive system and reproductive organs, for example, and go instead to your heart, lungs and the muscles in your arms and legs.
In the process, your body will be using up a great deal of fuel, proteins, essential fatty acids (omega oils), and a whole array of minerals and vitamins. If you don’t have the resources and energy to provide these, or replenish your stocks afterwards, then you may be playing a dangerous game. There may come a day when energy just falls completely flat – and then it’s much harder to then pick things up and get going again. This is why you can feel like you’re running on empty sometimes.
What are the signs and Symptoms of Adrenal health?
You may already be noticing some symptoms. Do you rely on coffee, sweet foods or a hectic schedule to push you through the day? Or perhaps you have low energy, or run on nervous energy. Possibly aching muscles or joints. Or you might have low blood pressure, low sex drive or find it difficult to deal with stress?
If you carry on in this direction, you run the risk of long term hormonal problems and chronic inflammation. Both of these play a role in heart disease, diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, fertility problems, depression and many other illnesses.
The thing about Jing
The Chinese talk about depleting your Jing energy. Jing is the ancestral vitality passed down to you through the generations, and it is your responsibility to conserve as much of it as possible. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. To avoid depleting your Jing essence, you need to make sure you have enough energy and vitality from food sources and from breathing well to support your daily activity. Interestingly, your Jing essence is said to be housed in your kidney-adrenal area.
The wisdom you can take from this is to make sure you have enough stores of energy and resources before you go for that run, set off for the gym or launch into another hectic day. That way, you are always in credit.
Tips for adrenal health
- ALWAYS start your day with a protein-rich breakfast, be it a protein smoothie or a vegetable omelette.
- Include regular of fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts and seeds to provide adrenal supporting nutrients.
- Schedule in times to rest, relax and recover. It may feel strange to be “doing nothing”, but you are actually paying into your bank of vitality. This will make you even more productive, and a good deal happier, than if you just push on through.
- Keep hydrated – or your body won’t be able to transport nutrients and hormones to where they need to go. Aim for around 1.5-2 litres spread throughout the day.
So if you feel like you’re running on empty – you know what to do.
More about Kirsten Chick
Kirsten is a nutritional therapist, and founder of Connect with Nutrition. She provides one-to-one consultations and group workshops and courses. During your initial consultation, Kirsten will take a detailed case history and put together a nutritional programme tailored to you, keeping a clear focus on what you want to achieve. Review sessions monitor your progress, making any necessary changes along the way.
Kirsten holds a Diploma in Natural Nutrition, and is registered with the Federation of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners, the Federation of Holistic Therapists, and a member of the British Society for Integrative Oncology.
What is a Nutritional Therapist?
Nutritional therapists assess your overall health and make recommendations for dietary and lifestyle changes that alleviate or prevent ailments.
This article is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice and diagnosis and does not constitute medical advice.