Today I want to talk to you about something that can benefit every part of your body from your heart to your brain and even your sex hormones. Most doctors won’t tell you about it, but when it’s working right, you’ll:
- feel more energized
- have a positive frame of mind
- better concentration
- sleep soundly
- eliminate mood swings
- think more clearly
- have fewer food cravings
- maintain a healthy weight
The problem is, the modern world causes you to overuse it. Your ancestors had only brief periods of stress, lasting a few minutes at a time. Today, you are constantly being assaulted by stressors that can last for days, or years.
But your body wasn’t built for that. The system your body uses to deal with stress – your adrenal system – didn’t evolve to be in a constant state of “fight or flight.”
And that’s why we have the modern problem of what I call “adrenal burnout.”
The solution to adrenal burnout involves returning to some of the practices of your ancestors, and I’ll tell you what those are in a bit. But first, let me ask you; does your day go something like this?
- You don’t really seem to “wake up” until midmorning, even though you’ve been awake since early.
- You get a little sleepy and “foggy” in the early afternoon.
- You have a burst of energy around and after dinner.
- You get sleepy around 9, but you resist going to bed.
- You experience a kind of second wind, but then can’t get to sleep until after midnight.
In between you crave salty foods. You don’t have much energy throughout the day. You’re a little lightheaded when you stand up, get up from your desk, or get out of your car. Your muscles feel weaker than they used to. You sigh a lot.
If this sounds anything like what you experience each day, you’re not alone. Far from it.
Stress Response Breakdown
The sad part is, if you feel this way and you go to mainstream medicine to try and solve the problem, most doctors have no idea what’s wrong. They won’t be able to tell you that your stress response has gone haywire because of our modern environment.
Let me explain…
It’s healthy for your body to go through the occasional ups and downs of daily stress responses. They’re normal and you may not even know they’re happening. In fact, your body is constantly having these kinds of responses based on your environment. Everything your body does is an evolutionarily-designed decision by your body to make you more survivable.
This worked well for thousands of years in our native environment. Stressors usually were very brief. If they lasted hours or days, that was the exception, and the body was built to count that as an exception.
But your physiology came from a different world, and now the stressors and our physiological reactions are mismatched. The environment has changed so quickly over the last 100 years that your body hasn’t caught up.
The “fight or flight” alarm system used to get activated only for short periods of time. You would release stress hormones like adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol, and when the attack or challenge ended your hormones would have time to re-balance themselves.
Today stresses not only last longer, but we prolong them in our minds. Our brains are too powerful for our own good. We worry, we try to plan… we have stressors that can last for weeks, months, even years. A good example is a 30-year mortgage. That’s 30 years of anxiety right there.
Stress hormones are meant to protect our lives. And in life or death situations you don’t need to build muscle, eat, or have sexual thoughts. So these hormones are “catabolic.” They burn up emergency energy, and turn off long-term maintenance and rebuilding functions. Your body uses all its resources to focus on the problem at hand until it’s over.
But it’s never over in today’s world. Every time you perceive a threat, get perturbed or angry, take in too much caffeine, or are rushing from one daily event to the next, your adrenals receive a signal from the brain to make extra stress hormones.
This chronic catabolism is not only the biggest cause of premature aging and cardiovascular disease but it makes it almost impossible for you to have normal hormone and energy levels.
Doctors Don’t Recognize The Problem
What’s worse is that if you go to your doctor, chances are they won’t know what’s happening. In medical school, they are only taught to look for extreme adrenal malfunction. Either Addison’s Disease, which is when the adrenal glands don’t produce enough cortisol, or Cushing’s Syndrome, which is when they make too much.
They check adrenal function by testing ACTH levels. But only the top and bottom 2 percent are considered abnormal. Everything in the middle is considered “normal.” Yet adrenal burnout happens to 15 percent of people on either end of the testing.
That means your adrenal glands could be working far from normally, but most mainstream doctors won’t even recognize that you have a problem.
The good news is, your ancient ancestors have shown us the way to overcome it all. You can completely reverse adrenal burnout in four easy steps, and have all the energy, enthusiasm and relaxed, confident happiness you were built for.
Step 1) Eat For Energy: Our modern diet has replaced nutritious, healthy protein and fats with worthless grains and starchy carbohydrates. Your body’s not designed to recognize them as food.
And all those “low fat” foods flying off store shelves just make it worse. The advertising and labels seem to promise that they’re better for you because they’re “fat free.” But they’re basically the original food with the fat removed and with refined sugar added.
Refined sugar stimulates your adrenal glands to unnaturally release a cascade of the hormones that adversely affected you in the first place.1
Protein, on the other hand, is an essential form of fuel. So when you eat protein your body uses this energy source to function at its best. Your body also uses the good fats you get from eating protein-rich foods to deliver nutrients to your organs.
Going back to the protein-based way your ancestors ate is essential for balance within your body. Here are three tips on how to eat for increased energy:
- Focus all your meals around high-quality animal protein. You should eat a large variety, and plan your meals around which kind of protein you’ll be eating.
- Fruits and vegetables, not grains, should make up your carbohydrates. And the more variety you can get the better. Eating seasonally grown produce is a good idea, because it’ll be local and not frozen or imported from long distances.
- Watch what you snack on. Make your snacks natural. Berries, nuts, and other treats like pumpkin seeds.
Step 2) Turn Back The Clock: In a groundbreaking study, researchers took muscle samples from young adults and older adults. The older group exerted themselves intensely three times per week.
Here’s what happened…
Before exercise training, the older adults were 59 percent weaker than the younger adults. After several weeks, the older individuals were able to improve muscle strength by approximately 50 percent.
But here’s something even more remarkable: After exercise training, their muscle tissue was re-energized from a cellular level. In fact, most of the genes that express aging were reversed back to younger levels!2
This study gives us new insight into the role of exertion and keeping the vitality of youth. Because strong muscles maintain adrenal production.
But there’s a catch: long, drawn-out endurance exercise will only drain your energy and further wear out your adrenal glands. instead, I recommend P.A.C.E. workouts.
In fact, my new POWER Fit program shows you both how and what to eat, and when, and how to work out to rebuild the lean, energetic body you were meant to have. Look for it soon.
You can get specific workouts, resources and information about P.A.C.E. by clicking here. The best part is, P.A.C.E. only takes 12 minutes a day
Step 3) Use Nature’s Pharmacy: I call DHEA the “anti-stress hormone.” It is the most abundant product of the adrenal glands. DHEA is the precursor used by your body in producing sex hormones like testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. It is produced in large quantities in youth but it production dwindles with age.
You secrete DHEA when times are good – when you are well feed, secure and free of stressors. The more DHEA in your body, the less effect stress will have on you.
If you want to turn back the effects of our stressful modern environment, you can supplement with DHEA. I use it at my Wellness Clinic regularly. DHEA therapy has successfully treated many of my patients who suffer from lack of energy, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome.
It is important for you to get your DHEA levels checked. Your doctor can perform the simple test. After your levels have been checked, you can determine optimal dosing. A common starting dose that I use is 10 mg daily. DHEA is absorbed well and can be taken at any time but best mimics the natural daily fluctuation when taken first thing in the morning.
Step 4) Take time out for yourself. Participate in a meditative practice like yoga or tai chi to release any pent up stress and emotions.
These were the tools the ancients used to slow their brain waves and feel a sense of calm and joy.
In fact, simple yoga breathing can help. It’s a technique I learned from a yoga master when I was in India. It balances your adrenal hormones and makes you relax and recuperate.
Before you begin, sit in a comfortable spot, and control your breathing. Bring it back to deep breaths, in and out.
First: Empty your lungs until there’s no more air. Exhale completely. Force out every drop.
Second: Inhale deeply for at least a slow count of 4. Fill your lungs until you can’t inhale any more.
Third: Hold your breath for at least a slow count of 7. Anticipating the exhalation like this creates a calming and rebalancing effect.
Fourth: Now exhale for at least a slow count of 8. Empty your lungs fully, then push out any remaining air. This is the part we usually forget, but it’s the most crucial. As you exhale, you will feel yourself relax.
By adding this exercise to your daily routine you’ll not only boost your immune system, you’ll also effectively deal with problems like stress, anxiety and isolation that cause adrenal burnout.
1 Jones TW, Boulware SD, Kraemer DT, Caprio S, Sherwin RS, Tamborlane WV. “Independent effects of youth and poor diabetes control on responses to hypoglycemia in children.” Diabetes. 1991 Mar;40(3):358-63
2 Melov, S., Tarnopolsky, M.A., Beckman, K., et al, “Resistance exercise reverses aging in human skeletal muscle,” PLoS ONE. 2007;2:e465