Today I share my raw experiences with anxiety, and where I found solutions. The solutions based not only from my life experience but from the nutrition and hormonal science I study.
It happened several years ago. I had been going through a tough time with disappointments and setbacks, I started to lose my mojo, my energy plummeted, I put on weight and I began to gradually lose control of how stressed I was becoming. I randomly started to cry, I started to worry and stress about nearly everything and was totally overwhelmed with being overwhelmed, then overwhelmed because I was overwhelmed. Oh and I put on more weight.
The things I always coped with started to become more stressful than they had ever been, everything was hard, irrational thoughts were racing constantly through my head and I felt like my mind was trapped in a virtual reality that I could not escape from.
The unease, the stress, the tightness in my chest, my dry mouth – would come and go whenever I encountered even the slightest worry and then linger for hours in the background of my head and my body.
That’s the thing with anxiety. I looked fine My hair was neat, my clothes matched and I smiled when people talked to me. I had no bruises, no headache, no runny nose. I couldn’t understand what was happening, I felt too embarrassed to talk about it and so I pretended all was OK. I declined many social occasions, my self-esteem plummeted, and many days I did not even leave my own home. Consumed with my illogical thinking and worry.
THE POINT OF TODAYS BLOG.
I no longer experience the crippling tightness of anxiety or get paralysed into inaction.
I live free of anxiety today and I attribute most of it to Pro-Metabolic nutrition and its lifestyle.
I write to share what worked for me and what the science tells us. This is about finding a solution to the underlying cause of what makes us susceptible to anxiety.
UNDERSTANDING THE LINK BETWEEN ANXIETY AND METABOLISM
Today I explain the connection between nutrition, thyroid and anxiety. If you follow my research you will know I am passionate about Pro-Metabolic nutrition for not only getting lean but to also live a healthy, balanced life. Nutrition is fast becoming a fascinating field of science for anyone struggling with anxiety and even depression.
“Up until recently, Nutrition has been the missing piece in mental health treatment” – Dr Leslie Korn
Anxiety will most often be related to some significant stress, interaction, illness or worry. And as I often write about, significant stress has a negative impact upon metabolic functioning and hormonal balance.
You see, the hormones which rise under stress – cortisol, adrenalin, serotonin and estrogen – all powerfully interact with each other to suppress thyroid energy metabolism, and interfere with the production of the protective hormones (pregnenolone, progesterone and others). It is our protective hormones which make us more resilient to anxiety and depression.
So as stress hormones rise, metabolism plummets and we become more susceptible to symptoms of anxiety.
A Suppressed Metabolism Increases susceptibility Anxiety
The more you are exposed to stress, the higher the likelihood you will experience a metabolically suppressed state (or downregulated metabolic rate). And When you are experiencing a metabolically suppressed state you are more likely to trigger an anxiety response.
This then becomes a self-perpetuating cycle. Stress – suppression of metabolism – more likely to experience stressed / anxious state – reduced metabolism – more stress anxiety – further reduction to metabolic rate! So as the cycle perpetrates and metabolism downregulates you are more likely to trigger an anxiety response REGARDLESS of how stressful the circumstances.
A downregulated metabolism will make you far more susceptible to anxiety.
This is exactly what happened to me. As my stress increased, my metabolism plummeted and I become increasingly susceptible to anxiety, regardless of whether the stress I was experiencing was significant or insignificant.
Whilst there are enormous variations from one person to the next in terms of resilience to stress, the same biochemical and hormonal principals apply at the onset of the stressful circumstance.
PRO-METABOLIC NUTRITION – the best place to start
If having a damaged metabolism increases incidence of anxiety, then a Pro-Metabolic Nutrition plan that will help heal metabolism is a fantastic place to start. And the two most influential components of Pro-Metabolic Nutrition are Simple Sugars and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
Stress (any kind), excessive worrying and anxiety use glycogen (simple sugars) for fuel. Glycogen depletes quickly when stressed, and if not replenished (with more sugars), cortisol and adrenalin rise, increasing the likliehood you will experience anxiety. When cortisol rises it in turn realeases of PUFA’s (polyunsaturated fatty acids) which is another common factor correlated with anxiety.
Pro-Metabolic nutrition advocates eating healthy, real simple sugars (ripe tropical fruit, orange juice, raw honey) throughout the day to assist thyroid hormone conversion and to keep cells from depleting from glycogen. Glycogen (sugars) is necessary for the production of the hormones (progesterone and pregnenolone) which protect the brain from anxiety and inflammation.
So in simple terms, the more glycogen (simple sugars) the more resilient you will be to anxiety.
Now I’m not saying go eat a bucket of sugar and it will fix all anxiety woes. But what I am saying is that Pro-Metabolic nutrition (mainly increasing NATURAL simple sugars, reduction of PUFA’s, quality proteins and nutrients such as sodium, magnesium and calcium) can HELP SIGNIFICANTLY settle and calm a stressed nervous system and improve resilience against anxiety.
One of the fundamental nutritional principles of Pro-Metabolic nutrition is the avoidance of PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) due to their thyroid suppressing role. Study after study reveal that patients with GAD (generalised anxiety disorder) have considerably higher levels of PUFAS in their body. Yes what we eat really does set the scene for our physiological and psychological coping mechanisms.
If you need help making your food heal, nourish and help you burn fat, then ive done the work for you, here is the link to the exact Pro-Metabolic nutrition plans that I use and that my clients all over the world are using to get lean, balanced, healthy, and energised. It works out to be about $14 a week, a small price to pay for life changing benefits.
SO WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS?
- I made my food work FOR me, as medicine, to heal, nourish and calm (and I got leaner in the process). I threw myself wholeheartedly into a nourishing, restorative Pro-Metabolic diet. Everything from energy, to my body, to my sleep, and most importantly my anxiety started to improve dramatically with the change to a thyroid friendly, hormonally balancing diet.
- I started going back to the gym and the endorphins from simply lifting weights would help immediately. I stopped endless, exhausting cardio sessions – I realised they were actually only adding more stress to my already stressed body.
- I began doing Qi Gong and breathing exercises (mindfulness) every morning (and still do) – this has helped tremendously.
- I once again worked really hard on how I think, how I talk to myself, and filled my mind with positive words and images. I truly believe that our subconscious mind is is more powerful than any of us realise.
- One of the most supportive things someone said to me, was “be kind to yourself”. So I did. I rested when I needed rest. I stopped feeling guilty, I took long baths, I ate enough food, I lit vanilla scented candles, I read poetry, and I made sure I started to do the things that made me happy.
MY PRO-METABOLIC MEAL PLAN PROGRAMS
If you don’t know where to start – I’ve done the work for you in these easy to follow meal plan programs. My meal plan program also comes with a manual so you can read about metabolism, hormones, stress and lifestyle factors that are all interwoven to create our biochemistry and physiology. Enjoy. Once you find the balance, it’s not hard at all.
FROM THE PENS OF THE WISE
“Good food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food” – Hippocrates
“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use, when diet is correct, medicine is of no need” – an old Ayurvedic Proverb
“The food you eat can be the safest form of medicine or the slowest form of poison” – Anne Wigmore
I’d love to hear from you if you have any questions don’t hesitate to PM me.