We know the visible suspects of stress: hectic schedules, poor relationships, lack of sleep. In addition, there are invisible factors that trigger the same stress response. It’s as ubiquitous as the air you breathe. It’s called sugar …
Photo cred: Vig Foto
What you’re about to learn should change how you think about stress and, if you’re smart, how you interact with sugar—especially when stressed.
Surprisingly, one of the biggest causes behind stress could be your blood sugar. The more time spent outside of a healthy blood sugar range, the more your body feels stressed. Excess sugar causes the same physiological changes that external stresses do!
Blood sugar spikes seriously affect stress and inflammation levels in your body. I’ll spare you the physiology lesson, but spiked blood sugar causes stress in your body, which causes your adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Cortisol manages stress and it also manages blood sugar. When blood sugar levels change too fast, your cortisol is used to pull it back up again. Unstable blood sugar can make you feel the same as you feel when an event makes you angry, frustrated, frightened, i.e., STRESSED. So … sugar makes your stress response worse.
We already know stress is a really bad thing when it comes to your health and happiness. Chronic stress can be as fatal as smoking and a predictor of weight gain even more than genetics.
Even when you can’t control every cause of stress in your world, the simple act of keeping your blood sugar levels stable will make you more resilient, less irritable, better able to “deal.”
When I’m stressed AND sugared up, I become the most irritable lunatic. Everyone benefits from me steering clear of sugar! In addition, stable blood sugar levels help you stay lean and energized. This is because unstable blood sugar (and cortisol) causes you to make fat storage hormones like insulin and affects sleep patterns, which causes weight gain and fatigue.
Photo cred: Vig Foto
If some of this sounds like you, let’s talk about management. What can you do to keep your blood sugar stable?
Throughout the day, many factors protect or damage your blood sugar. However, what happens in the morning affects your day than any other time. So …
START YOUR DAY OFF RIGHT.
Your morning routine can start the downward spiral that keeps you in a constant state of stress– raising stress hormones from the get go.
- Eat a high quality protein filled breakfast – Kick Captain Crunch out of your kitchen, because he, along with high sugar breakfast foods (bagels, overly sweetened yogurts, junk smoothies), sabotage your blood sugar, your mood, your waistline. You will function SO MUCH better when you stay under seven grams of sugar from all sources combined. Stick with high quality protein, pastured eggs, raw plant protein powders, paired with good fat sources like coconut oil or avocados.
- Don’t skip breakfast – Having no food lowers your metabolism in preparation for famine. This makes you less able to burn fat for fuel. The “Amazing Crown Jewel” smoothie gives you the fat and protein you need to power through your morning!
- Drink green juice – The phytonutrients from alkalizing greens and vegetables help maintain blood sugar while flooding your system with immunity boosting, inflammation quelling, energizing enzymes and nutrients. Look for juices that are a minimum of 70% vegetables, like the Flawless, or Disco. Even the classic Green Glow packs a punch!
CONSIDER A 3 DAY JUICE CLEANSE TO REBOOT YOU SYSTEM—GET RID OF THOSE CRAVINGS. Want to chew too? Reserve a Juice Then Dinner Cleanse and enjoy a little mastication!
- LAY OFF high amounts of caffeine – Why does caffeine give you energy? Because it causes you to raise your blood sugar in the same way that sugary food does. Then THE CRASH. Drink organic green tea instead
- Physical activity – Anything works: walking, running, yoga, you name it. It helps regulate your blood sugar too.
- Stay psychologically centered – Start a gratitude journal. Mentally rehearse your day, and set your intention to be healthy, happy and calm. Grab our GEM Journal for amazing prompts to maintain a health-filled day.
Your body and mind strive to reach states of balance and happiness. Even though you cannot control the world around you, you can help yourself become healthier and more resilient by making easy adjustments in your daily habits.