After re-reading yesterday’s blog Let’s Tackle the Weight Loss Villain, I excitedly reached out to Byron Health and Healing to schedule an appointment. I couldn’t wait to talk to Dr. Byron about lowering my cortisol levels. As it turns out, Dr. B was on vacation. Great for him and not so good for me or my cortisol levels.
Patience is not one of my virtues, so I put my enthusiasm into researching a cortisol reduction plan of my own. I came across a great article you may enjoy by Dr. Axe, 6 Steps to Get Your Cortisol Levels Under Control and Turn Down Stress.
In the article Dr. Axe lists the following six steps to manage cortisol levels:
- Switch to whole foods and an anti-inflammatory diet -Since I have recently done several rounds of the Whole30 and eat Whole30ish when I’m not on round, I should be solid.
- Reduce and manage stress – Why does everyone want us to manage our stress? This one is probably the hardest for me but I’m going to give myself credit because I’ve been doing a great job of meditating on a regular basis.
- Exercise regularly – Check.
- Use adaptogen herbs and superfoods – I have been taking Cortisol Manager and it seems to be helping, but I can’t help but wonder if I should be taking more? I guess this is a question for Dr. B.
- Try essential oils to promote relaxation – I honestly think I was the last person to get on the essential oil bandwagon but I have been diffusing lavender essential oil at night and it seems to help quite a bit with relaxation.
- Get enough sleep – Done. I love to sleep.
Since I was able to check off the items on Dr. Axe’s steps to get your cortisol levels under control, but feel like I still need a little more help brining down my cortisol level, I did more research and came up with more steps.
The cortisol reduction plan:
- Get good sleep and try to turn in and wake up at the same time every day
- Be happy!
- Exercise, but not too much or too hard
- Spend time on nurturing spirituality
- Cut caffeine
- Lower sugar intake
- Take naps
- Reduce inflammation in the body
- Control blood pressure
- Learn to recognize stressful thinking
- Learn to relax
- Practice deep breathing and take lots of deep breaths
- Eat prebiotic foods
- Stay hydrated
- Eat more spinach, citrus fruits, beans and barley, omega 3 fatty acids, zinc, and dark chocolate
- Meditate or listen to relaxation tapes
- Drink tea: holy basil, green, black, or rooibos tea
You can find the list on Pinterest.
I guess I’ve come farther in this sixteen-year weight loss and wellness journey than I realized because I’m already doing the majority of the items this the cortisol reduction list too! Of course, there are still a few things I need to work on.
I decided to focus on breathing. I know I need to pay attention to it because I forget to breathe all the time. My Apple watch reminds me to breathe at least once or twice an hour! I remember this tall, calm, centered, svelt friend of mine who had a tattoo on her wrist that read “breathe”. At the time I thought it was kind of silly but now I’m thinking her tattoo is profound and maybe I need to find out where she had the work done.
It’s tea time somewhere….
Recent research published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research showed that rooibos can significantly reduce the levels of cortisol, so I’ve decided to start drinking tea. This is huge because I don’t drink anything besides water, bone broth, and… vodka. I just have this gut feeling that the rooibos tea is going to help my adrenals and cortisol levels. Wish me luck!
Naptime is a great time for cortisol levels…
And as for taking naps, if that’s what the research says I have to do to lower my cortisol levels, I guess I should at least give it a try!
I hope you do something to reduce your cortisol today!