One of the most important parts of supporting our adrenal health is to eat real food. Why? Because eating whole and natural foods will help your body combat inflammation, better manage glucose levels, and sustain energy. All three are incredibly important factors in supporting your adrenal health. Ditch the processed and sugary foods and stick to the real options such as the foods on this list. Here are a couple of tips to help you get started:
Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking to help stabilize your blood sugar.
Eat a high-protein snack in between meals. Ideally, you will want to eat every two to three hours to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Cut out white sugar and white flour from your diet. This will help to eliminate foods that cause sudden blood sugar spikes.
Eliminate caffeine and alcohol. Alcohol is high in sugar, which we want less of to help balance blood sugar. Caffeine can put your body into fight-or-flight mode, which is the last thing you want when dealing with adrenal fatigue. Caffeine sends signals telling the adrenals to pump out more adrenaline as well as cortisol, which will cause even further chaos for your adrenal glands.
Don’t limit your healthy fat intake. Healthy fats are important for energy, which you need more of when your adrenals are burned out, and they can help stabilize blood sugar by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates.
Don’t limit your salt intake; just focus on sea salt. Remember that sea salt is rich in minerals to support adrenal health whereas table salt is stripped of its nutritional value.
Eliminate foods you may be sensitive to. Cutting these foods out of your diet will help to reduce inflammation. We want as little inflammation as possible to help reduce symptoms and heal from the inside out.
This simple lentil and rice salad is loaded with protein and fiber and is a great way to use up leftovers. You can also make this ahead and refrigerate so you always have a healthy meal on hand. It is dressed with a simple mix of sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard and paprika which gives a wonderful light flavor to this salad.
In just a few minutes you can have a healthy and delicious meal!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 15-ounce can lentils, rinsed, or 1⅓ cups cooked lentils
1 carrot, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Whisk oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add rice, lentils, carrot and parsley; stir to combine.
We all know by now that junk food is bad for us and that we should avoid having sugar in our diets. But what about the foods that are advertised as “healthier” options?
Store bought cereal and granola are some of the most common foods that people think are healthy but when you look closer at ingredients, you will find that they are loaded with sugars and preservatives. What’s worse is they will make claims about being gluten free or whole grain so you are tricked into thinking you are making a wise purchase but you end up eating the same amount of sugar that’s in a doughnut!
So what do you do? Make your own cereal of course! I make this all the time. It’s easy, tastes great and you can make it in big batches so you always have a healthy breakfast or snack ready to go. Plus it’s easily adaptable to suit your tastes. Change up the dried fruit or nuts for a totally different taste! FYI- just make sure the dried fruit you purchase is free of added sugars and preservatives.
2 1/3 cup old fashioned gluten-free oats
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1 cup unsweetened raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Toast the almonds in a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, shaking once or twice to ensure even toasting. In the same skillet, toast the coconut for about 1 or 2 minutes, watching closely and stirring so that it doesn’t burn; remove from the skillet.
Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and mix. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, and the granola will keep for up to 1 month. Makes 10, 1/2-cup servings.
Serve room temperature with dairy free yogurt, or by combining 1/2 cup of granola with 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk or water, and simmer in a pan for a few minutes or until the oats are softened.
Who doesn’t love taco Tuesday? This version of a taco salad has fresh flavors and a healthy nutritional profile. It’s gluten free and high in fiber and is quick and easy to make. You can control the heat level by varying the type of salsa you use. Baked corn tortilla chips and a few squeezes of fresh lime juice will take it up a notch. Give this one a try!
½ cup prepared salsa
½ teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces lean ground turkey
1 large plum tomato, diced
½ cup canned kidney beans, rinsed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
⅛ teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
¼ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (optional)
Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add turkey and cook, stirring often, until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add tomato, beans, cumin, chili powder and salt; cook, stirring, until the tomato begins to break down, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in cilantro and 2 tablespoons of the salsa.
Add lettuce to the remaining salsa mixture and toss to coat. Divide the lettuce between 2 plates, top with the cooked meat and sprinkle with cheese.
Tips: Refrigerate leftover beans for up to 3 days. Toss with a green salad or into soup for extra protein; mash with garlic powder and chopped fresh herbs for a quick dip.
Packed with protein and fiber, this tuna and bean salad is ready in a flash. For an extra kick, add a pinch of crushed red pepper or cayenne.
1 can beans, such as chickpeas, black-eyed peas or kidney beans, rinsed
2 cans water-packed chunk light tuna, drained and flaked
1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
½ cup finely chopped red onion
½ cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
4 teaspoons capers, rinsed
1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ cup lemon juice, divided
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon salt
8 cups mixed salad greens
Combine beans, tuna, bell pepper, onion, parsley, capers, rosemary, ¼ cup lemon juice and 2 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl. Season with pepper. Combine the remaining ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons oil and salt in a large bowl. Add salad greens; toss to coat. Divide the greens among 4 plates. Top each with the tuna salad.
Note: Chunk light tuna, which comes from the smaller skipjack or yellowfin tuna, has less mercury than canned white albacore tuna.