When I was a kid I despised cauliflower. My mom didn't make it often but, when she did, I tried every strategy a kid could to get out of eating it, mostly making the most horrible gagging sound at the table to make my parents think I was going to throw up. I had strict parents. They saw right through it. So I choked it down.
Maybe it's just because I work in a bubble of holistic health and help clients overcome stress-related health issues for a living, but I have noticed more and more articles and references to cortisol coming up in the media lately. Recently, while waiting in line for my tea at a local cafe, I overheard random conversation in which one woman was telling her friend that she has been super stressed out and read somewhere that she should do a detox on the adrenal glands to help relax them so she can have lower cortisol levels. Yikes! I wish I knew where she got that information (please don't ever do or try to detox your adrenal glands!). The recurring theme that I have noticed is that cortisol is "bad" and that we need to work at bringing it down as much as we can in order to avoid burnout.
Today, I want to set the record straight on cortisol.
You wake in the morning after tossing and turning all night, feeling like you've barely slept for 5 minutes. You drink the coffee, eat the quick energy foods but feel sluggish and exhausted all day. Then, as nightfall sets in and it's time for bed, you get a second wind and find it near impossible to wind down for the night. Next thing you know, you're burning the midnight oil and the next day the cycle repeats itself.
Sound familiar? Welcome to the hamster wheel of adrenal fatigue sleep dysfunction.
About a year ago I had a massive flare-up of my Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition where my immune system seeks to destroy my thyroid gland. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's when I was around 12 years old and things had been well controlled for many years until a series of intensely stressful events over the course of a 5 year period triggered an increase in my thyroid antibodies. After working closely with my naturopathic doctor and implementing a number of strategies that I learned about in my schooling for holistic nutrition, things weren't shifting in the direction I needed them to in order to feel back to my regular, energetic self. In July 2017, after my yearly blood test results came in, it turned out that my antibodies were the highest they had ever been and I needed to make the final BIG change that I had been putting off for almost a year.
Our skin is our largest organ. If you were to take the skin of the average adult person and lay it out flat, it would cover anywhere between 18 and 22 square feet. Our skin protects us from the outside world, cushions and protects the tissues that are deeper within our body, excretes waste (it is one of the body's main detoxification organs!) and helps regulate our body's temperature. We also have sensory receptors in our skin which provide the sensations of touch, pressure, temperature and pain. One might say that the skin is a pretty big deal. A big deal that communicates with us daily and whose messages often go ignored.
Jill Taylor is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. She is the mom of two pretty awesome teenagers, s very dramatic dog, a hedgehog and a snake (yikes!). Jill assists her clients in achieving true wellness through thoughtful and compassionate dietary and lifestyle coaching. Feel free to visit the "Contact" page to get in touch. Jill would love to hear from you!