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 The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine   GeniSoy’s Low Carb Crunch Bars
    July 2004    Page 1       > About LCL Magazine     > Cover Page      > Inside Cover    Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11  12  13  14     

Feature Articles
 Too Much on Your Plate
 Cookout Time!
 Notes From The Field
 Low Carb Vacation
 Here's What's New!
 We All Scream for Ice Cream
 Jonny Bowden Weighs In
 Exercise: No Excuses!
 Binge Eating: Why?
 Makeup Tips: Part One
 Make It Low Carb!
 Collecting Baseball Carbs
 Y'all Come Back!
 Summer Berries




          Too Much on Your Plate by Debbie Judd, RN

Debbie Judd is a nurse for Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades authors of Protein Power. Debbie writes for Body Trends, as well as with the Eades answering literally hundreds of emails, phone calls and letters regarding the Protein Power plan.


It's 5:00 a.m. That annoying, blasting noise awakens you. Your mind immediately starts to surge, picking up where last nights thoughts drifted off. You mentally file the day's list of activities that need to be accomplished and already feeling defeated; you realize you're not going to get everything done — if only I had a few more hours in the day… You should go to the gym and workout — even for 20 minutes but that will cramp your schedule even more and you're already exhausted and wonder where you'll recruit enough energy to make it through the day — let alone a workout.

While this daily blueprint boggles your psyche and schedule, the cost of stress physiologically chips away at your immune system, damages memory cells in your brain, deposits fat around your abdomen, hardens the life line to your heart and deprives you of that youthful, vibrant look. It robs your spirit and leaves you with a tired, worn-out body.

Stress can either be physical or mental. Extreme levels of exercise, an over-trained athlete, heavy, physical labor, a hectic lifestyle, a toxic body from heavy metals or substance abuse, constant traveling, yo-yo dieting, lack of sleep, difficult relationships, changing jobs, a death in the family, feelings of anger, resentment and insecurity, are a few if the many stressors in life. Cortisol — what is it? Cortisol, also known as Cortisone and Hydrocortisone, is a steroid hormone released by the adrenal glands, along with hormones epinephrine and Norepinephrine in response to stress. These hormones prepare you to deal with the stress by increasing your blood pressure and heart rate, shorten your breath, sharpen your memory and concentration, increase muscle strength, reaction and agility, converts your body into a fat storage mode and releases glucose from the body's reserves to fuel this process. Also affected are digestion, motivation, mood, appetite, body temperature and pain.

Normal cortisol levels, as a result of healthy cortisol metabolism, vary throughout a 24 hour period. The highest levels are early in the morning, preparing the body for the day's events and the lowest levels are around midnight to 2 am, while sleeping. During a stress response, the body releases higher levels to deal with the impending "stressor" and exerts a feedback signal that tells the body to shut down the excess production once the stressor is removed. The problem: the pressures of modern living are seldom removed causing the adrenal glands to excrete chronic high levels of cortisol which have untoward health effects. Elevated cortisol is associated with anxiety, difficulty loosing weight or unexplained weight gain especially in the abdominal region, sugar and carbohydrate cravings, increased insulin levels, extreme fatigue and lethargy, depression and negative attitude, irregular menstrual cycle, increased susceptibility to infections and for some, anorexia. The long term effects of continuing stress cause the body to shift to a catabolic state (breaking down) where recovery from physical stress is compromised.

Lowering your Cortisol levels

No matter what the circumstances in our lives, stress is inevitable but disease and illness don't have to be. Learning to first recognize what the major stressors are in your life is the first step to overcoming chronic elevated cortisol levels. For many, if our "plate is too full" we feel overwhelmed, frustrated and used. But where's the fine line between feelings of satisfaction and balance in life and taking on too much because you can't say "no" due to some buried need to be wanted or prove you can do it all? Reaching for the ice cream bucket after an argument with a family member or boss will only catapult you more towards increased cortisol (yo-yo dieting). Ignoring emotions of frustration and anger will ultimately lead to an emotional explosion thereby flooding your system with stress hormones and their immunological consequences for the next 24 hour period. A toxic body can't efficiently or effectively orchestrate the metabolic processes needed to survive, let alone thrive.

When you recognize that you are experiencing some or all of the symptoms of elevated cortisol levels, its then time to step back and evaluate your life. We live in a goal driven society where we don't give our bodies a chance to go back to baseline. We don't allow ourselves the time needed to recover from the assaults of the day. Do you have a regular exercise routine? Does your diet consist of healthy choices and regular eating patterns? Are the relationships in your life supportive to overall health and well-being? Do you get enough restful sleep each night?

Yoga, Tai Chi, and other "mind-body" forms of movement are recommended for stress reduction and preventative health insurance. Meditation, breathing exercises and quiet time are all ways to calm the spirit and soothe the soul. Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine, Ephedra, Coleus, Guarana and Yohimbe which lead to increased cortisol levels and replacing with a quality multi vitamin-mineral which is needed to support the body in a stress response is an appropriate course of action. Other cortisol reducing supplements, chief on the list are: Phosphatidylserine, Theanine, GABA, Ashwagandha, Passionflower and Chamomile. Detoxifying the body is essential for creating a milieu conducive to healing.

The inner journey of life is the ultimate purpose of being here. To be aware and acquainted with stress induced situations will help you recognize the balance that is your own and what is needed to maintain healthy cortisol levels and therefore well-being.

For more information about Yoga and "mind-body" products visit: or call 800 549-1667 For information about detoxification visit:

                                                           Debbie Judd, RN

Copyright © July 2004  Debbie Judd, RN and Low Carb Luxury


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