You know when you have adrenal fatigue and the wear and tear of life pulls at you to the point where you cannot accomplish anything….
That is, until I learned how my diet really made a difference.
The way I pulled my body out of my first adrenal slump was a change in diet. Yep. No more McDonald’s for this gal! My family eats low carbohydrate, grain-free and gluten-free.
When I read Dr. Wilson’s book, Adrenal Fatigue, I adjusted things so that they worked best for me.
1) I cut out all gluten and cow’s milk from our diet. I took it out of the household list of foods, because I began to see how these foods affected everyone, not just me. The apple does not fall far from the tree… And, for the record, I did take it out of my husband’s diet, however, I cannot vouch for his choices outside of the household…you know what I mean.
2) what gluten free grains I did choose from at first, I used those that were low in carbohydrates. This included millet, for the most part. I experimented with other grains, like brown rice and other grains, but honestly, I eventually ended with sweet potatoes as our carb source, outside of fruits. In other words, we ended up grain free.
3) I greatly increased our intake of organic green leafy vegetables, as well as any raw vegetables I found in season. We worked hard at slowly building bulk organic suppliers. Can you say Azure Standard?! We love them.
4) we ate a lot of goat cheese, which I recommend going to the wholesale food clubs for, because the grocery stores really mark up the cost. Costco has the best price I have found. We drank goat’s milk, however, that just became kind of pricey. We drink unsweetened almond milk at this time, which seems to go over well with everyone.
5) I learned to cook, and eliminate any processed foods. This could be as simple as canned tomato sauce or condiments. We stopped using foods like sugar, fructose corn syrup, diet sweeteners, and pre-made anything.
6) I implemented good, saturated fats into our diet, and let go of the bad. This included avocados, and cold-pressed organic coconut and olive oil. Some use other seed and nut oils, however, this seems to work the best for our family. I stopped buying cheap vegetable oils, processed by high heat. These are not particularly good for you, particularly if you already struggle with inflammation and high cortisol levels.
Dr. Wilson’s Food Plan goes something like this.
In his book, Adrenal Fatigue, Dr. Wilson recommends whole, natural and organic foods.
1) In general, fresh is always best.
2) He recommends a diet with 30-40% of whole grains, which can include gluten and gluten-free grains.
3) he recommends a diet rich in a wide variety of raw or lightly cooked vegetables (30-40%).
4) he includes beans, seeds and nuts (10-15%).
5) he recommends 10-20% of animal foods, such as meats and probably dairy.
6) Because of the sugar content, he insists on ONLY 5-10% of our diet be fruit.
If you know anything about the Paleo or ketogenic diets, this runs inconsistent with those ideas in regards to the carbohydrate content. He believes all fats have their places, yet saturated fats suffer less when heated. I always encourage people to follow what works best for their family. You can read more about his ideas in his book.
Which brings us to the foods causing our adrenals havoc.
Dr. Wilson agrees with the general wisdom that eating foods we are even sensitive to (even if we really want that big chocolate chip cookie made with real whole wheat flour…) is typically counter productive to healing our adrenals. It actually produces extra cortisol, which feeds hypoadrenia. So….if you or your family member is sensitive to gluten or dairy, then perhaps it isn’t a good idea to eat those foods.
This may include grains, and a high carbohydrate diet.
We left our own carbohydrate grain-rich diet, for a more low carbohydrate and Paleo diet. We added extra supplements of vitamin D, and we continue to take extra calcium, rich in plenty of vegetables, free of dairy and grains of any sort. Before this experience, I took little thought into what I ate, or fed my family. But now, we eat clean, natural and organic food. We feel the difference!
For more in-depth information on adrenal fatigue or stress, refer to Dr. Wilson’s book, Adrenal Fatigue. He breaks down all of the health and scientific reasons why hypoadrenia occurs.