Part of recovering from adrenal fatigue involves cutting sugar and simple carbs from the diet. This helps stabilize blood sugar, by preventing insulin spikes in response to sugar intake and the low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) that can follow, ultimately alleviating additional stress on the body. When hypoglycemia occurs, the adrenals must spring into action and release cortisol to then bring blood sugar back up to normal levels.
I mention simple carbs in addition to sugar, because they ultimately act like sugar in the body by creating a rapid rise in blood sugar. Simple carbs include white rice and anything made with white flour (white bread, white pasta, pretzels, crackers, cookies, pastries, cake, etc.). Fruit and milk also contain simple carbohydrates, in addition to fiber and protein, respectively, both of which lessen the rapid rise in blood sugar.
Take these steps to cut the sugar out of your diet:
- Eliminate or reduce your intake of hyper-processed or packaged foods.
- Switch to plain yogurt and add fresh or frozen berries for added flavor.
- Swap flavored oatmeal packets for plain oatmeal cooked with cinnamon, vanilla, and fresh fruit.
- Cut the amount of sugar you add to your food and/or beverages in half for a week, half again the next week, etc. until you have completely eliminated your taste for it.
- Order a plain latte from your favorite coffee shop instead of a flavored one.
- Plan ahead! Having healthy foods on hand at work and home will keep you from making the wrong food choices in a pinch.
To help with sugar cravings:
- Include protein & fat with every meal/snack - think nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocados, or cheese.
- Eat frequent meals and snacks (every 3-4 hours)
- Eat breakfast (with protein!!) within 1 hour of waking - protein smoothie, nut butters, eggs, or breakfast meat.
- Never have carbs/sugar without a protein and/or a fat!
- Try satisfying your sweet craving with herbal tea, fresh fruit, or 70% or greater dark chocolate.
- Consider adding specific nutrients to your supplement regimen to help balance blood sugar. Our favorite blood sugar-stabilizing product is Glycemic Formula.
Frittata Egg Muffins
Kick start your day with these frittata egg muffins for a high-protein, make-ahead, and portable breakfast.
-They can be made in advance and refrigerated or frozen.
-If frozen, defrost in the fridge overnight.
-Eat them hot or cold; as breakfast or a snack.
-Skip the milk and cheese to make them dairy free.
-Add 1/2 cup cooked quinoa for some whole grains; vary the veggies and spices depending on what you have on hand; or try serving with avocado for added fullness.
Recipe by Lauren Larson, MS, RDN
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil plus more for greasing muffin tin
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup chopped spinach or kale
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/4-1/2 cup shredded cheese (optional)
- Salsa and/or avocado for serving (optional)
- 1.Preheat oven to 375˚F. Grease a muffin tin well with oil or line with muffin liners.
- 2.Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add shredded carrot and green bell pepper. Sauté until soft; about 5 minutes. Add spinach/kale and sauté until wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper and full muffin cups 1/3rd of the way full until veggies run out or each muffin cup is filled.
- 3.In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk (if using), oregano, crushed red pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pour evenly over veggie filled muffin tins until about 2/3rds full. Top with desired amount of cheese (if using)
- 4.Bake for 20-25 minutes until tops are golden brown. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin and transferring to a container for refrigeration.
- 5.To re-heat, microwave for 1 minute. Serve with your favorite salsa and/or avocado.
Diet - namely sugar and too many simple carbohydrates - are one of the main reasons for developing adrenal fatigue. By cleaning up the diet, this provides a big break that allows the adrenals to recover.