Enjoy this guest post today from our friend, Dr Daisy Sutherland, founder of Wholistic Fit Living! She was recently our guest on the FRESH Living Talk Radio Show and taught us more about dealing with stress and hormone imbalance naturally - by making simple, natural changes to get back in balance!
Stress. It has many meanings to different people.
It’s not a new concept, yet both male and female can’t seem to control their stress. If you don’t control your stress or at least learn to manage it, stress will kill you! Yes, you read that correctly. Stress kills and unfortunately many people in particularly women feel that stress is simply part of their genetics.
Many women will say that stress is part of their ‘make-up’ and without it they could not function. Although that may be true in a sense, stress is something that can be managed and even more so if we are aware of what may be causing it.
Hear more about what Dr Daisy shares about stress, hormones and balance in this informative and helpful episode of FRESH Living Talk Radio Show!
There is this interesting hormone in our bodies called cortisol and when we are stressed it tends to rise.
When it rises, we will naturally feel our blood pressure rise, our hair stands on end and our breathing become labored. Some have claimed it felt as if they were having a heart attack when it was merely cortisol levels that increased and sent the entire body into a crazed frenzy. Before you give in to the notion that a stressed life is what you must lead and there is no hope, understand that you are in ultimate control of your body and many times what you stress over are things that are out of your control. If you can’t control it why worry, right? Easier said than done but it is quite necessary to do.
Now that you know that cortisol plays a huge part in your body when it comes to stress, what can you do? There are many techniques, such as taking cleansing breathes (my favorite), aromatherapy, physical exercise (another of my favorites), and quiet time. Cortisol levels rising and falling are considered imbalances. The cortisol levels will rise, causing your body to go into the ‘flight or fight’, where your blood pressure rises and your breathing is erratic and you simply can’t focus. Or the opposite will occur, where the cortisol levels will fall and you are suddenly exhausted, can’t focus and simply want to crawl under the covers.
Were you aware that there are foods you can eat that will help with this hormone imbalance? Some foods that you want to include into your daily diet to combat hormonal imbalances (especially cortisol imbalance) are dark greens such as kale, spinach, and collard greens. Citrus fruits also bring balance, so try adding oranges, limes and lemons to your diet. Ginseng and herbal teas help to reduce stress as well. Ginseng and other herbal teas contain adaptogen, which can help the body manage stress and normalize bodily functions.
Below is a recipe I'm sharing with you today!
Easy Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe with Olives and Roasted Red Peppers
12 oz. whole wheat Rotini pasta 1 can black olives, drained well, then cut in half 12 oz. jar roasted red bell pepper, drained well and diced 1/3 cup vinaigrette dressing 1/3 cup pesto 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1. Fill a medium-sized pot half full of water, add a generous amount of salt and bring to a boil. Add pasta, and cook 9 minutes (or check package for cooking time if you're using whole wheat pasta.) Drain pasta well, and let cool for 10 minutes while you prep other ingredients.
2. Pour olives into a colander, drain well, then cut olives in half.
3. Pour red bell peppers into colander, drain well, and dice into small pieces.
4. Combine vinaigrette dressing and pesto, whisking together.
5. When pasta is cool, stir in enough dressing to coat the pasta. (You may not need all the dressing, but save it to add if needed after the salad has chilled.)
6. Add olives and roasted red pepper, and stir gently to combine.
7. Cover salad with plastic wrap or a lid, and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
To serve, remove salad from refrigerator and stir in 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more dressing if needed to moisten salad. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.
Other things you could use in this salad to change it up: -diced marinated artichoke hearts -marinated mushrooms, cut in half -cooked turkey Italian sausage, cut into small pieces -turkey pepperoni, chopped -grilled vegetables of any type such as zucchini, mushrooms, onions, or summer squash -cubed fresh mozzarella cheese.