Did you know that what is going on in your gut can affect your brain?
You’ve heard the phrase just go with your gut before…
and there is a reason why it’s often said when you are making a tough decision. That’s because your gut acts as a sort of second brain. In the lining of your entire digestive system there are more than 100 million nerve cells- called the Enteric Nervous System (ENT) it’s no wonder when you don’t treat your gut right it can affect much more than just your weight. It can affect your mood, your drive and possibly even your thoughts and emotions.
Stress has many culprits, they lurk in your finances, relationships, your job- and they definitely bury themselves deep within your health. A huge part of stress management can be found in the way you treat your body and how efficient your metabolism is running- but yet again what stress does to the body can become very cyclical.
Take this for example:
stress can cause fatigue and poor sleep, poor sleep can cause grogginess and lack of motivation, when you aren’t motivated you don’t eat right, when you don’t eat right your ENT can react causing more stress and all in all, the will to exercise becomes faint.
To help reduce stress you need to eat better, exercise and sleep- but how do you do all of this when you feel stuck in this negative perpetual cycle?
It can feel overwhelming but it is important to understand that you don’t need to tackle it all at once. We have outlined a few places to start so that the changes you make can be minimal but add up to overall health.
Our easiest tips for getting your health back on track:
Start with a healthy, easy breakfast
Eating a breakfast that is healthy, that contains vegetarian protein, slow release carbs and healthy fats, will help set up your day for better food choices. If you are pressed for time, try our Overnight Oats or Chia Pudding.
Check out more breakfast and snack options here.
On your day off prep for the week
If you have veggies cut, salads pre-made, chicken already cooked and everything is in line for your week it makes it much easier to grab healthy meals instead of something on-the-go when you need a quick fix.
Turn off the devices an hour before bed
Watching TV in bed, or playing on your phone/ tablet is a popular way to unwind for most of us, but it can cause us to stay up way later than we want to, and it can create more stress on the body. When you are planning to go to sleep, try to unwind a different way. Light meditation, stretch or yoga, a bath or reading a book is a great way to relax at the end of the night and can help you get to bed when you had planned on it.
Adaptogenic herbs & calming teas
Adaptogenic herbs work with your adrenal glands to assist the body with adapting to stress better. Herbs like holy basil, rhodiola or ashwagandha are amazing additions to the diet when you are feeling overwhelmed.
You can get them in by tea, supplement or powder form. Aside from adaptogenic herbs there are some teas that also help you relax and help you get to sleep.
Traditional Medicinals Night Tea
Our favourite sleepy time tea is Traditional Medicinal’s Night Tea. It’s made with herbs such as passionflower and hops, which are medicinal grade herbs that promote the feeling of calm, ease and help you sleep.
You can find the tea here.
Can Prev Adrenal Pro
A supplement that has been tried and true for us is Canprev Adrenal Pro- also containing adaptogenic herbs, as well as vitamins that promote the feelings of calm.
Get Adrenal Pro formula here.
Or check out our Spring Tea Guide with our favourite metabolism friendly, and detox supporting teas. The Naughty Nutritionists Spring Tea Guide is here.
Find an exercise program that works for you
Choose one type of exercise/movement (or a combination): whether walking, jogging, yoga, weight training or activities such as squash, tennis, basketball, barre classes, surfing, biking, swimming, and hiking. Commit to 30 minutes of movement 3 times per week for the next month.
Begin by implementing a small workout routine every day and eventually let that lead to that best daily workout routine that fits into your life.
- 20-30 minutes walking can build up to hour long walks or jogs.
- A couple of light yoga or pilates classes a week will help build muscle and stamina to get to the next level of intermediate yoga.
- Light daily weight training can help build to heavier weight and interval training.
These are small changes that you can implement into your life, and trust us when we say the small changes add up and you will begin to notice better health and stress management. Also, just by eating healthier, many people find that they start sleeping better and their stress levels go down. Add exercise to the mix and it can help even more.