Sure, the intentions of detoxing may be great – removing certain not-so-healthy things from your body and/or life so that you can “cleanse” and feel better, right? But for most people, the term “detox” makes them think of a juice cleanse. And you KNOW my feelings on juice cleanses. (spoiler alert: they’re the pits). But today, we’re talking about a totally different kind of detox: one where you remove food and lifestyle stressors that are causing your energy to plummet, your stress to skyrocket, and your hormones to be totally out of whack – which could all be causing your adrenal fatigue. We know that the food you put into your body can either be the best form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison – either a huge stressor, or a vital part of your healing. So instead of some stupid starvation diet that makes you lose weight for a day or two and then gain it all back and more, this detox adds in the MOST nutrient dense foods possible and lessening the burden so you can begin healing from adrenal fatigue.
But let’s back up a little bit. Why are we even talking about an Adrenal Fatigue Detox? And what IS adrenal fatigue, anyway? And why should you care?
MY STRUGGLE WITH ADRENAL FATIGUE
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve been a part of my adrenal fatigue story, aka “how I ran myself into the ground and totally hit rock bottom by doing everything I thought was “healthy.” I had it all – a type-A, perfectionist personality, was totally obsessed with being “fit and healthy”, overcaffeinated, underslept, and undernourished by following all the low-calorie, low-fat, low-carbohydrate, and chronic cardio advice from magazines. I swam, ran half-marathons, power sculpt yoga-ed, and crossfitt-ed my way into adrenal fatigue (see the picture above from 2011 – skinny, exhausted, and about ready to keel over). You can read that whole story here, and my journey to recovery here.
So what happens when your body is so overloaded with all these stressors? First, let’s be clear – stress is NOT A BAD THING. Stress (and your body’s response to it) is what keeps you alive, so you can respond to external threats and save yourself from a bear running after you. Or swerving away from a car coming towards you in traffic. Stress is also inevitable. There will always be some kind of stress going on in your life, and the best thing you can do is to learn how to manage it. Stress only becomes a problem when you cross a certain threshold that your body can tolerate. After that, your body starts overproducing cortisol, putting you in a chronic state of “fight-or-flight” mode, until you finally start to crash.
For me, it was only a matter of time before all that buildup in my system pushed me over the edge into adrenal exhaustion and a host of other health problems. And after years and years of beating my body up physically and emotionally, it totally broke down.
SO WHAT IS ADRENAL FATIGUE?
Full time jobs. Graduate School and full-time jobs. Side hustle. Relationships. Kids. Finances. Mortgage payments. Debt. Intense workouts. Daily caffeine and intake. Reliance on sugar. Lack of restorative sleep and self-care. Prescriptions and chronic inflammation. I’m tired just thinking about it. Aren’t you?
In today’s world, suffering from some degree of adrenal fatigue is pretty much inevitable. Been there, done that.
In short: your body just can’t take it anymore – between the diet choices you make (even if they seem totally healthy), the lack of sleep, the coffee and wine, the job you hate, the family stress, etc. And so your hormones (keyword: cortisol rhythms) are totally out of whack. So what happens?
Adrenal Fatigue, also called HPA Axis Dysregulation, occurs when the adrenal glands are so overtaxed they have an impaired ability to produce adequate cortisol (a hormone your body releases in response to stress), and your HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis is thrown off (meaning your hormones are all messed up, and your body can’t compensate for it). Normally, cortisol levels are high in the morning to get you out of bed and low at night to help you go to sleep, whereas with adrenal fatigue, they become the opposite – where that “tired and wired” feeling comes in – you literally can’t get out of bed in the morning, but when you go to sleep at night, you feel like you get a burst of energy and can’t fall asleep – and the cycle continues.
Adrenal Fatigue leads to depletion and malfunction of nearly every body system: the gut, your hormones, your brain function, your sex drive, and your skin. Adrenal exhaustion (and HPA axis dysregulation) is also tied in with a host of other adrenal-related problems, like thyroid issues, the loss of a menstrual cycle, leaky gut, sudden onsets of anxiety, low blood pressure, weight gain, and massive blood sugar imbalances, just to name a few.
So what can we do about it?
Get honest with ourselves once in awhile, and take inventory of the foods, drinks, habits, and lifestyle factors we are using as a CRUTCH to make it through each day (that also happen to be running our bodies down).
When was the last time you tried to make it through a full work day + have time for yourself, WITHOUT relying on coffee, sugar, or some other stimulant?
When was the last time you checked in with your body before a workout, instead of just “pushing through it”?
When was the last time you said “no” to time and energy-sucking obligations because they were draining you both physically and mentally?
So here’s what I’m doing about it for YOU: creating and walking you through a FREE 5 Day Adrenal Fatigue Detox Challenge – hosted by yours truly, and my friend Andrea, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Let’s goooooo.
First off, this ish is free. I’m not asking you to pay for anything. Just to take a good, hard look at your current lifestyle, and be honest with yourself. Could the choices you’re making every day be the main contributing factors to your constant fatigue?
The Adrenal Fatigue Detox Challenge will be a 5 day jumpstart into identifying the causes of your adrenal fatigue, and begin your road to recovery. Each day, we’ll cover a different topic that is causing you to hold more stress in your body, to have your hormones to be out of balance, and to be tired AF allll the time.
We’ll go over how to:
- Detox your diet (what to remove to heal adrenal fatigue)
- Detox caffeine (how and why you NEED to remove caffeine to heal)
- Detox your Exercise Routine
- Detox your stress level (managing and removing daily stressors)
- Detox your mind (removing your perfectionistic mindset)
When it starts: Monday, April 17th. (ROUND 2: Monday, September 25th!) Sign up to join us here!
So, how do I know if this challenge is for me?
- You can barely pay attention at work and school
- Exhausted all day and wired all night
- Stuck in the ON position, can’t relax
- Your hormones are all over the place (missed periods, crazy PMS)
- Addicted to exercise, coffee, and stress
- Your anxiety and depression is getting worse
- Trouble losing weight
- Crazy cravings for salt and sugar
- Are constantly thinking about improving the way your body looks
- Cystic acne
- Hair falling out
- Fluid retention, feeling puffy
- Wake up feeling like you are “hungover” even when you didn’t drink
The challenge might not be for you if:
- You have tons of energy to do all the things you love
- You sleep well at night
- Hormones are like clockwork
- No digestive problems
- Clear skin
- You already feel like freaking unicorn
- Basically, you’re winning at life. Go you! *virtual high five*
Here’s the thing – there’s no catch. Nothing to sign up for, nothing to pay, really, you have nothing to lose – except your stress, and everything to gain – the knowledge about what may be causing a ton of underlying health problems for you, resulting in having more energy, and feeling awesome AF.
What you’ll get:
Each day will include a Live video lesson (both on my instagram and inside the Challenge’s exclusive FB group), an e-mail sent directly to your inbox (with instructions for that day) + a workbook with daily action steps that will get you 1 step closer to healing your adrenal fatigue and regaining the energy to do epic shit (without relying on sugar or caffeine).
How to participate (p.s., it’s freeeee): SIGN UP HERE! And while you’re at it, share this with a friend who is tired AF so you can complete the challenge together! This way, you’ll have an accountability partner for the entire 5 days to support each other! (You can also ask in the FB group if you still need one!) And use the hashtag #AFdetoxchallenge on all of your social media posts to join in on the fun.
Let’s do this, fam. And if you’re joining us, share this post with a friend so you can do it together! The Challenge starts April 17th. See you there!