I often marvel at what even “good” stress can do to the body. Our family has enjoyed lots of excitement and change over the last few months. While they’ve all been good things, the cumulative effect on my body is added stress. I realized a few weeks ago I was having a hard time “turning my brain off.” Have you ever had that happen? With all the screens we use in our lives – smart phones, computers, tvs – we can easily overdo it. I took a step back and realized I wasn’t allowing my body to fully rest. And not only was I finding my mind wouldn’t slow down, I noticed a few inches creep in around my waist. This is a classic indicator that my cortisol levels are too high. As a result, I’ve taken steps to turn the volume down and reset my system.
- Long walks – With the cooler temperatures, now is a great time to get outside and enjoy the chill in the air.
- Keep the computer off all weekend – This simple step has provided huge benefits! I turn it off on Friday, shut the door and don’t come back until Monday morning.
- Read more – I downloaded a few books on my Kindle – yes, it’s still a “device” but it’s so much cheaper to purchase books electronically. I also noticed I hardly read for “fun” anymore. When I read, it’s usually a cookbook or something about health. So I purchased a few novels. I can’t even remember the last time I read a novel!
- Simple dinners – Soups, casseroles, or salads are a great way to keep things easy. I’m making dinners that require minimal effort.
- Open the windows – How is it that fresh air can make a house smell so nice? I’ve opened the windows each morning to let in plenty of fresh air.
- Socialize – As much as I love working on Deliciously Organic, writing and recipe testing can be isolating. So, I’m making plans to get out with friends more often.
- Detox – I consulted my nutritionist and she agreed that the Intro to the Gaps Diet would be the perfect way to reset my system and help my cortisol levels subside. It’s not the easiest detox diet, but it’s totally worth it. After just 5 days, I’ve lost an inch in my waist. Yep, it’s working.
Have you been surprised by your body’s ability to indicate when there’s too much stress in your life? The body can send signals in all sorts of ways and it’s important to be aware of those signals. What steps do you take to reduce stress?
For the first few days of the detox, I basically just ate simple soups and fermented foods, but now I’m allowed to add some ghee and avocado back into my diet. I wanted a hearty stew the other night, so I came up with this chicken stew with butternut squash and kale. It’s nutritious, filling and great for a simple fall meal.