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Motivational Monday's (5/20/19) "Uniqueness"

Buen dia & happy Monday sunshines! 

I want to talk today about the "uniqueness" of each and every one of you. More specifically, our hunger and satiety levels and even more specifically, how we KNOW if we are or more often times then not, not eating ENOUGH. Let's dive in! 

Stress, busy schedules, illnesses, grief, and the hustle and bustle of everyday life can take a toll on our appetites and the way our bodies regulate hunger, which often leads to us not eating enough.

First point being is, while high cortisol (our bodies stress hormone) levels can cause overeating, corticotropin-releasing hormones produced in response to stress, can also suppress one's appetite. This may lead to skipped meals and under eating due to stress or decreased appetite. Not eating enough food and depriving your body of important nutrients can manifest in ways that wreak havoc on your metabolism and hormones, both of which may take longer to notice if you’ve been consistently under eating for your bodies particular energy expenditure. 

These are just a couple tell-tale signs that I look for to access if a client's' body may not be getting enough macro nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat), and what we can do to increase food intake with, my favorite two words, dun dun dun a "balanced diet" !! 
  1. Your energy is tanking: If you’ve been feeling straight up exhausted for several weeks regardless of how much you sleep or the quality of your sleep, it might be time to re-evaluate your diet. Energy looks like a lot of things, however, it’s undeniable that one of the most common dangers of not eating enough calories is, you guessed it, low energy levels. Not only does the quantity needs to be addressed but you absolutely want to be mindful of the quality of food you are consuming. Fueling your body with quality protein, complex carbohydrate, and healthy fats will help you increase energy levels by revving up your metabolism! You all know, I speak at nauseam about this subject because it is SO true. You want to feed your fire (metabolism) not put it out. 
  2. Light Headed or dizziness is frequent: Dizziness can be one of the first physical signs of not eating enough. When you’re not eating enough food, your blood sugar levels can plummet and make you feel dizzy or faint. Dizziness can also be a sign you’re dehydrated, so ,as always, drink plenty of water throughout the day, or mix things up with a smoothie, unsweetened iced tea or a sparkling water. For a quick energy boost "on the go", eat something with carbohydrates and protein, like a banana with some almond butter, a handful of berries and nuts, or veggie sticks with some hummus. This combination of carbohydrates and protein will help increase your blood sugar levels to help boost your energy and level out your blood glucose levels. 
  3. Poor Cognition and Productivity (i.e. Brain Fog): We all experience those moments of forgetfulness and “where did I put my keys?” That happens to us all, but frequent "brain fog" could be your body’s way of telling you to check in with how you’re nourishing yourself (i.e. food)! Brain fog can be a sign of several health challenges, but it’s also one of the key symptoms of not eating enough throughout the day. Postponing lunches or interrupting your normal meal times to attend meetings or take calls delays the energy your body needs to keep going. So if that 3 p.m. lull hits hard and you realize you haven’t had lunch, that’s your cue to head to the kitchen or grab a snack. Again, fill up on foods with quality nutrients!! If you didn’t get to pack lunch, grab a hearty salad somewhere with plenty of fresh veggies, sweet potatoes, avocado, grilled chicken or protein of your choice. And a quick side note, foods rich in B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and antioxidants can help boost brain function and prevent cognitive decline especially as we age. Bye, bye brain fog!! 
  4. Hair Loss, Chronic Dry Skin, Brittle Nails an so on: This may come as a surprise to you, but if you’re not eating enough food or getting enough nutrients, the highest priority organs will take the lead in getting those nutrients, such as your brain, heart, etc., rather than your hair, skin, and nails. That’s why you may notice your physical appearance takes a hit when your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs. Hair, skin, and nail health is so closely tied to what you eat along with how many vitamins/minerals and overall nutrients your body is absorbing so pay attention! For a start, you can start by eating foods that help produce more keratin, the protein that strengthens your hair and nails. Spinach, beans, oatmeal, salmon, eggs, and berries are all excellent sources of hair- and nail-loving nutrients. Protein, biotin, iron, vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, are the best nutrients for helping you maintain the thickness, luster, and growth of your hair. Beautify, from the inside OUT! 
  5. Here is a good one.... Irritable Mood: Hangry is a real emotion ya'll! If you’re battling a busy day and you "forget to eat", your blood sugar and your mood can take a dip. Low glucose levels can cause aggression and violent behavior (no joke)! So when you haven’t had anything to eat, irritability may be one of the first noticeable side effects of not eating enough calories. In addition to feeling off your game or having a moody attitude, "hanger" can also cause the dreaded headaches, migraines, lightheadedness, and nausea. The BEST way to prevent any of these from occurring is to consume balanced meals at a regular time everyday. Enjoying normal meal times will help keep your blood sugar stable, so you stay on track with your positive mood, good energy, and feeling like your best self versus the moody, irritable version....no one likes this person, just sayin. 
  6. Constant feelings of THIRST (even when you are drinking LOADS of water): Making sure you eat enough is one way you can manage your hydration levels because many of the electrolytes you get in food affect thirst, including sodium, potassium (Sea Salt, "Iodine") , and magnesium. If you still feel thirsty after chugging a glass of water, it’s a red flag that you may not be consuming enough calories. Sometimes, your body can also mistake thirst for hunger and misguide you away from the water bottle. Drink up, I love talking about water, cant you tell?!
  7. Last but not least, a big one, menstrual cycle irregularity or full blown "Amenorrhea": Amenorrhea is the scientific term for missing your period. Women may miss their periods for a variety of reasons (other than pregnancy), including, changes in diet and stress. If you do not eat enough your hormones are thrown into a tailspin and this may often times cause menstrual cycle irregularities or amenorrhea. This is a sign that our bodies also aren’t getting enough nutrients to carry out normal bodily functions. No matter what your "body fat percentage" or level of leanness, low caloric intake can be a HUGE cause of this kind of hormonal imbalance. 

There you have it ladies and gents! Above all and the biggest take home with is to be aware and in tune with yourself and your body’s ability to show you signs that something may not feel right or as great as it could be. If you need assistance in determining and making sense of the signs your body is giving you, talk about them! This is what your doctors and nutritionists (LIKE ME) are here for!  

I genuinely want to "geek out" about helping you come up with a plan for adding more nourishing, energy and nutrient-dense foods to restore your bodies natural hormonal balance and health.

Sooooooo many of us struggle in one or MORE of these areas. Do not ignore them as none of them are NORMAL! Let's talk about it! ❤



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