Tag Archives: stress

Six Signs You May Need Magnesium

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six signs you need magnesium titlesWhere Did the Trouble Begin?

A Senate report documented that we are growing our vegetables, grains and fruits in soils that are depleted of the necessary minerals needed to give us the correct balance of nutrients when we eat them. In fact they are so depleted that we are starving for these minerals no matter how much of these foods we eat. Laboratory tests proved the vegetables, eggs, grains and other foods we are eating are not as nutritious as they were generations ago. Scary? You haven’t heard it all….this report was written in 1936!

Six Signs You May Have a Deficiency

One of the most overlooked mineral deficiencies is magnesium.  It is estimated that as many as 80% of us are deficient in magnesium. How do you know if you are deficient? There are many symptoms, but these six are some of the most common according to Liz Lipski, nutritionist and author of Digestive Wellness.

  • Eyelids twitching
  • Muscles twitching
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Muscles very tense at the end of the day
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sensitive to Noise

What Does Magnesium Do?

Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle, is probably one of the leading authorities on magnesium deficiency and nutrition.  She explains that magnesium is crucial to good health. It is responsible for hundreds of important processes in our body. It activates our muscles and nerves. It creates energy in our cells. It helps digest proteins, carbs and fats. It is a building block for our DNA as well as RNA. It is even part of the process that builds our “feel good” neurotransmitters like serotonin.

What About Calcium?

Everyone has heard about calcium. Lots of people take calcium supplements thinking they are helping their bones. What you may not know is that you need to supplement with equal amounts of magnesium! The two minerals work in balance with each other. In fact they work best in a synergistic balance of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K2. When these four nutrients are in a plentiful balance you will be helping care for your bones, heart, and the rest of your body!

Where Can You Find Magnesium?

Foods plentiful in magnesium include almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, seaweed, dark green leafy vegetables, properly soaked and cooked black beans, avocado, wild caught seafood like salmon, and grassfed beef. Often people think whole grains are a good source of magnesium, but the anti-nutrients in whole grains actually deplete minerals from your body. This is why it is so important to soak, sprout or use sourdough leavening with all of your grains and breads. (For a detailed demonstration and recipes see our Breads DVD.) Juicing fresh vegetables is also a good way to get more of them into your diet.

Homemade bone broth is a great source of many important minerals and nutrients. Including broth in your meal helps you absorb even more of the nutrition from all your other foods! Find recipes here and here to make delicious bone broth at home.

What Depletes Magnesium?

Many prescription and OTC drugs deplete magnesium. The list includes, but isn’t limited to, Zantac, Nexium, Prilosec, Maalox, Tums, Alka-Seltzer, most antibiotics, blood pressure medications, Ritalin, steroid creams and inhalers, HRTs, and oral contraceptives. If you take any of these it would be wise to ask your doctor about a good magnesium supplement.

In addition to those medications, magnesium is also depleted by stress, caffeine, high amounts of calcium supplements, and very loud noises. Eating a diet high in processed foods and soft drinks, as well as having any kind of digestive disorder can also deplete your magnesium.

Also remember that foods treated with herbicides, especially glyphosate (RoundUP), will further deplete the minerals in the soil and in the food. So stick to organic whenever possible, or follow the Dirty Dozen guide when choosing fresh vegetables and fruits to find the ones with the least amount of toxic chemicals.

What About Supplements?

Magnesium glycinate is an easily absorbed form of magnesium that’s good for supplementing a deficiency. Be aware that magnesium has a laxative effect when you first begin taking supplements, so start slowly and work up to the most effective dose for you.

Mix up Natural Calm powder if you want to drink your magnesium. Take a bath with epsom salts, or use a high quality high mineral sea salt

Using magnesium oil spray or making a magnesium body butter are two more ways to add magnesium to your daily routine.

What are your favorite ways to get magnesium? Tell us about it in the comments or visit our Facebook page to share your thoughts.



11 Ways to Get Your Energy Back and Restore Your Adrenals

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized.

I’m so thankful for all of the people who have the creative ability, time and energy to put together these fabulous informational online summits I’ve been enjoying lately! The Reversing Diabetes Summit in May, the Grow Your Own Food Summit in early July, and now the Functional Health Summit going on as I write this.  Today’s presentation on natural approaches to adrenal burnout from Dr. Ron Grisanti was one I wished I could have heard about two years ago when I first became aware I was suffering from adrenal fatigue. Knowing what Dr. Grisanti shared would have helped speed my own recovery and also answered a lot of questions about what was going on.

I don’t remember how I first heard about adrenal fatigue or adrenal burnout, but I did find a lot of good advice from Dr. Wilson’s book Adrenal Fatigue: the 21st Century Stress Syndrome. If you are tired all the time but have difficulty falling asleep (night owl), or find yourself getting dizzy when you stand up too quickly, or have a constant craving for salt you might want to look into this further. Dr. Wilson has a quiz on his website that can get you started.  Be sure to ask your doctor if you suspect it for yourself.  In the meantime, anyone can benefit from these 11 tips from Dr. Grisanti to restoring energy and nurturing your adrenals.

1. Remove the stressors in your life – both the internal and external ones. External stressors include the obvious ones like job, finances, relationships, and environmental toxins. Internal stressors might be harder to see and can be things like undiagnosed gluten sensitivity, GI infections, leaky gut, impacted teeth or prescription medication reactions.

2. Go to sleep by 10pm every night. Physically our bodies use the time between 10pm and 2am to repair and detoxify. If you aren’t asleep it can’t happen.

3. Avoid coffee and other caffeinated beverages. Caffeine stimulates your adrenals, and if they are already taxed then caffeine can push them off the cliff.

4. Keep your glycemic load low. Look up the Glycemic Index and try to choose most of your foods from the list of those at 50 or lower on the glycemic scale. A Paleo-style diet is recommended.

5. Minimize TV and computer use – especially after 8pm.

6. Exercise as much as you can tolerate, but don’t over do it. And certainly don’t do long-duration cardio workouts like distance running which can actually harm your adrenals. Instead do HIIT exercises (High Intensity Interval Training) and resistance training as well as yoga or tai chi.

7. Stop multi-tasking. Doing everything all at once and living a fast-paced lifestyle creates cumulative stress on your adrenals. Slow it down and concentrate on one thing at a time. Consider using meditation or HeartMath technology.

8. Don’t skip breakfast. Take time the night before to plan your breakfast the next morning so you won’t be too rushed to eat. Half of an avocado and a scrambled eggs with some fermented salsa will give you lots of healthy fats and protein plus antioxidants and probiotics for a great start. Check out the Breakfast Recipes here on this site using the links on the right side of this page.

9. Don’t eat sugar. This is a time for serious recovery, so be serious with your diet. Sugar only adds to your stress by causing inflammation throughout your body.

10. Use a high quality sea salt and use it liberally (unless you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure). The adrenals use a lot of salt.

11. Balance your carb/protein/fat intake. Most people eat too many of the wrong kinds of carbs and not enough of the right kinds of fat. Again, a Paleo diet is recommended.

Again, your doctor can test you for adrenal fatigue through blood tests, cortisol tests and other specific tests. He can also help you determine if you might have food allergies, heavy metal toxicity or other issues that could be causing your fatigue.

Restoring your adrenals to optimum health is one of the longest health journeys you can take – because it takes a long time to wear them down in the first place and you can’t undo years, maybe decades, of abuse in just a few weeks. Don’t give up hope – and try out these suggestions. Pin this article for later, or Tweet it to share with friends using the media buttons at the top of the page. Leave us a comment and let me know what you have found to be the most helpful thing in your recovery journey!

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Stress and Homeostasis – Balancing Hormones

I really liked this article on Radiant Life Company’s blog section all about the relationship between stress and homeostasis. You can read an explanation about homeostasis and its relationship to weight gain here.  Apparently even when we are eating well, exercising, trying to do everything right, our weight loss efforts can still get derailed when we don’t manage our stress well.

Our bodies produce the stress hormone cortisol when faced with threats and dangerous situations. We also produce it when faced with traffic jams, screaming bosses, deadlines and other stressful situations. Constantly living on the edge and not dealing with these stresses can throw our health out of balance. The Radiant Life article  gave 5 ways to rebalance that cortisol.

1. Take fish oil or cod liver oil to replenish vital nutrients. This is especially helpful when paired with vitamin K2.

2. Learn how to breathe properly and deeply. Read how here.

3. Maintain healthy magnesium levels in your body. Eat magnesium-rich foods like properly prepared whole grains, nuts and seeds; kelp and dulse; nutritional yeast; dried coconut; raw milk; or vegetables such as collards, sweet potatoes, beets, broccoli and eggplant. Use magnesium supplements or magnesium oils or salts.

4. Supplement with B vitamins, especially B5, to slow down secretion of cortisol.

5. Try earthing – reconnecting with the earth through walking barefoot outdoors, swimming in lakes and oceans and other activities that give skin-to-earth contact.