This should also be titled adrenal fatigue epiphany #1! Everyone should read this book. I re-read it once every 2 to 3 months to uncover more wisdom nuggets.
I had been hearing about adrenal fatigue for a few years. And although I am intimately familiar with hormones, reducing stress and eating the right things to control them, I hadn’t really thought about how adrenal fatigue could be affecting me. Until I read this blog post https://healthylivinghowto.com/1/post/2013/03/adrenal-fatigue-melasma.html a few years ago.
Then a few months later I came across the Adrenal Reset Diet book by Alan Christianson, NMD. I don’t want to be too hyperbolic, but this book has changed my life! (Stress and food-wise, not necessarily major melasma improvements yet).
A big promise of the Adrenal Reset Diet is that it can help “turn off the fat switch” and help you lose weight. That’s always nice, but I’m most concerned with controlling my hormone levels and stress with the foods I eat.
Adrenal Reset Diet Review – Adrenal Fatigue Epiphany #1: Carb Cycling.
A basic principal of the Adrenal Reset Diet (ARD): “Throughout the day each meal has the same amounts of healthy proteins and fats. The only difference from one meal to the next is that number of servings of carbs: they increase throughout the day“.
I’ve met with so many doctors and nutritionists over the past 15 years – and while they have all expressed that I need to eat differently than others and generally lower carbs (and the right kind), I don’t think any of them explicitly articulated that I should try to eat more carbs later in the day than in the morning (until I asked them after I read this book).
I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, but I’ve known plenty about the right portions, protein-carb-fat balancing, glycemic indexes, avoiding processed foods etc. Yet still it seemed the only prevalent talk out in the world about carb timing was that we shouldn’t eat carbs after 5pm, right? I could have sworn all the contributors on the Today Show were saying stuff like that at least once a week.
Or what about all the info like this? https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Best-Time-Eat-Carbs-32366649
At least this guy gets it! https://primalpotential.com/carbs-at-night/
Building on the increasing healthy carbs throughout the day theory, here’s a crash course on the Adrenal Resent Diet:
- Breakfast should have only one serving of healthy, fibrous carbs.
- You should aim to have “the right carbs at the right time.”
- When we eat fewer carbs in the morning, our cortisol levels are naturally higher, as they should be – this keeps us alert. Insulin works in an opposite pattern to cortisol. Insulin should be lowest in the morning and increase gradually throughout the day. (I know from living with it every day that when insulin spikes too quickly – like from high glycemic foods – it can decrease blood sugar too quickly, causing a vicious cycle).
- More, healthy carbs in the evening can help you relax to fall asleep and supposedly
- To control stress you want your cortisol to be restored to it’s natural pattern, without producing too much or too little. Too much cortisol can lead to excess fat storage. Cortisol levels should decrease throughout the day and be low at night. You can help your cortisol levels by eating good carbs and increasing them throughout the day.
- Lots of sleep is very important for properly controlled insulin levels.
Whoa. This explains a lot for me. Historically my fasting insulin levels were high (so I know I want to avoid that!) and I have the most issues with traditional breakfast foods. Give me a sip of any fruit juice or a piece of pancake in the morning (no matter what else I have with it) and I’m quickly on a crazy insulin and low blood sugar roller coaster, complete with the full spectrum of moody human emotions (at best!).
Read more on how I implement the Adrenal Reset Diet and control adrenal fatigue in upcoming posts!