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Posted Aug 11 2008 9:04pm
As I said in other posts I've been listening to Mark Hyman's book 'Ultra-Metabolism'. I am also on the look out for the best way to cope with my upcoming 6 weeks of 'ultra' stress.

The following is a summary about what Dr. Hyman says about stress and ways to cope:

Stress is any real or perceived threat to the body or ego. It can be physical or emotional. Being over weight produces even more stress because of the hormonal imbalance. This has to do with cortisal - when it is released you become less sensitive to lepton (this is what tells your body when it's full) and you consume more calories. I personally have found this to be true. When I'm stressed I am always more hungry and we all know how I binge. Or should I say how I USED to binge.

The basic way to stop this process is to relax. Relaxing turns up your metabolism.

6 Steps To Relaxing:

1. Identify and Reduce Causes of Stress

Take an inventory of what in your life is stressing you out. They could be psychotic or social stresses - your job, family, money problems, low self esteem. They could be physical stressers - being over weight, allergies, toxins, high fructose corn syrup, sugars, processed foods, alcohol, tobacco, drugs.

2. Practice Active Relaxation

Try to do at least two 30 minute relaxation sessions every week.

Do this by getting in a comfortable position in a chair, on the floor, at work in your desk chair, etc. Close your eyes and begin relaxing. Think about your breathing. How are you breathing? Begin inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your nose. Breath deeply into your abdomen. Every time you exhale think 'relax'. Let all your tension unwind. Do this for about 5-10 minutes. Once you're finished SLOWLY get up and return to your daily activities.

He also recommends taking a sauna or steam bath. They improve circulation, help with weight loss, and balance your blood sugar.

3. Eat Stress Reducing Foods and Avoid Stress Producing Foods

You can improve blood sugar and insulin control by not eating refined sugars and carbohydrates and eating foods with omega 3 fats, and fiber.

4. Take Herbs to Reduce Stress

Adaptogenic Ginseng, ashwagandha, and licorice are ones to try.

5. Take Supplements

These include Zinc, B complex, Vitamin C, antioxidants, B6, B12, Folate Acid, Vitamin B5, Potassium, Flaxseeds, Flaxseed oil.

6. Measure Stress Response

There are tests that can measure your stress response. They include adrenal stress index, 24 urine cortisal test.

Remember that your whole body is a system and stress affects all parts of it.

Good things to keep in mind. For me I will be including more flaxseed when I'm really stressed, I'll take more omega 3's, and I will DEFINITELY avoid processed sugars and carbs. Of course the last one is always the most difficult for me because that is basically all that is around on stressful days. I will bring most of my food and make sure I have a healthy reserve of food just incase an 8pm wrap time turns into a 12am wrap time.

Next up....'YOU: Staying Young' and what they say about stress.
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