This week I have been in Eastern Mass working for my parents and tending to the house, cat, dog and horse while my parents are away. I have to say even though I have been busy as usual, it’s a different kind of busy. Taking care of animals and working in retail feels like a vacation compared to my life back home! Although I have changed a lot in the past 8 months to improve my lifestyle and reduce stress, I know that I still need to tweak some things that are impeding on my progress. In fact, my doctor sent me a scientific paper titled “Overtraining, Exercise and Adrenal Insufficiency” last week, that didn’t sit well with me. I wouldn’t say he was wrong, I know a lot about overtraining- but for me, the issue isn’t with exercise specifically, it’s simply doing too much, all the time, never stopping. I do prioritize my sleep and use acupuncture not only to keep my shoulder happy but also to relax. I guess practicing relaxation once a week for around an hour isn’t enough?! We’ll call this the first step: realizing that there is a problem that needs addressing.
On the other hand, since I have been able to relax and my stress levels are pretty low at the moment- I have been feeling great. I haven’t had crazy food cravings, have been able to start losing the stress weight that I tend to hold onto when I am in overdrive for too long, my body has been recovering quickly from workouts and lifting, and the pain in my shoulder has been pretty sparse. Oh yah, and I also got my period again after being two weeks late. Sorry for the TMI but it just goes to show you how much you can really screw up your body processes when you don’t relax. Those who say “i’ll sleep when I’m dead”: with that mindset it will be sooner than you think, trust me.
So, while I figure out the next steps that need to happen in order for me to keep my body balanced and happy, I do have a lot to look forward to the next few weeks. I am going to start up a new lifting program next week which I am thrilled about. Endurance comes pretty naturally to me but strength does not, so I plan on focusing on getting stronger the next few months in order to improve my overall athletic ability. Not to mention I love lifting. I may still be relatively new to Olympic lifting but I absolutely love the technicality of it, the room for constant improvement, the confidence that it builds, the list goes on. I also have been fortunate enough to have been able to learn a lot from Nikita who is an amazing coach and one day I hope to make him proud when I am a super strong lifter. 😉
While reading this post you might think I am contradicting myself by saying I need more relaxing in my life and then throw in that I am starting a lifting program, but the truth of the matter is that I know what is causing the stress in life, and it’s not working out. While I am aware that lifting adds physical stress to the body, it also clears my mind, gives me something to look forward to, and releases endorphins that allow me to feel fulfilled. The kind of stress that causes adrenal fatigue (for me) comes from work and from over-committing myself to things. AKA I suck at saying no. I tend to pride myself on being able to get a zillion things done in a day and help everyone that I come across. While I do enjoy being able to do everything, clearly my body does not. I have some work to do in sorting out what can stay and what needs to go in my life, but the end result will be worth it.
In other news: since I am still not allowed to have coffee (It’s not on the Autoimmune Paleo protocol), I have found this surprisingly similar alternative. I love coffee, not for the caffeine but for the taste. I also am surrounded by coffee when I am at work at Jake’s and find it to be torturous at times. While I haven’t had a problem swapping coffee out for tea or bone broth, I miss the savory robust coffee taste!
I’m not sure why this took me so long to stumble across, mostly because I had no idea it existed until I heard about it on a podcast, but Chicory Coffee is a thing, and it’s quite delicious! I made some for the first time today after realizing that River Valley Market carries ground chicory root. So far I have also found that you definitely don’t need as much chicory grinds to make a great cup of coffee, its pretty strong! It also really DOES taste like coffee, I would say its more on the acidic side so I recommend adding some coconut oil, full-fat coconut milk, maybe even some ghee and spices. I personally prefer coconut oil, coconut milk and some cinnamon.
So, If you can have coffee, why should you switch to chicory? Personally I think that the world relies a little too much on coffee and caffeinated beverages. If you are the type that needs a coffee in the morning or mid-day just to make it through the day, then you have something deeper going on that needs addressing. Your energy plummets due to lack of proper nutrition, being on the Standard American Diet blood sugar roller-coaster, or simply not getting enough rejuvenating deep sleep. Chicory is naturally caffeine free also has a number of health benefits including liver and digestive support.
How do you make it? Simple, the same way as you make coffee! Throw some chicory grinds into a filter, add water to your coffee machine, and let the magic happen! Remember, it’s potent so go I would suggest using half the amount you would normally use to make regular coffee. I use 1 TB. for 4 cups of coffee. I prefer it to not be that strong but you can tweak this to your desired taste.
Then, add in whatever you would like, here are some suggestions:
- 2 tsp. coconut oil
- 1 TB. full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tsp. ghee
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ginger
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda (Why baking soda? Check out this post)
- 1/4 tsp. cacao powder
Whatever combo you choose, blend it up after or use a handy frother and voilia! Delicious craft “coffee” that is AIP friendly!