Monday, October 24, 2011

Adrenal fatigue...what is it?

Adrenal fatigue=term coined by Dr. James Wilson in 1988="a group of signs and symptoms that people experience as a result of suboptimal adrenal function".

Adrenals: endocrine glands that sit on top of the kidneys; they are each about 1/2" by 3" long in a triangular shape
*the outer layer is the cortex, that's where steroid hormones are produced (cortisol, aldosterone, and testosterone
*the inner layer is the medulla, that's where epinehprine and norepinephrine is produced (more commonly called adrenaline and noradrenaline)

How did I come to this self-diagnosis? I'm reading Dr. Wilson's book "Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome" This is his list of signs & symptoms that your adrenals are fatigued:
1. You feel tired for no reason. (that's me)
2. You have trouble getting up in the morning, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour. (definitely me0
3. You are feeling rundown and overwhelmed. (often)
4. You have difficulty bouncing back from stress or illness (hmmm...I've had ear pain for over 3 months...went to the doctor for the THIRD time for it today=ridiculous)
5. You crave salty and sweet snacks. (yeah...don't we all at some point ;))
6. You feel more awake, alert, and energetic after 6PM than you do all day. (actually, yeah, some days this is me; some days in the recent past I have gone to bed at 6:30 or so, so that's the opposite)

What am I doing to "treat" it?
a) Quit coffee. Coffee/caffeine is brutal to the adrenals.
b) Keep blood sugars, eat good nutritious meals with nutritious snacks
c) I've broken down and I'm taking a few supplements...I dislike supplement companies, I'm so skeptical...but I'm taking a Vitamin C & Rhodiola
d) I'm adding back in ACV (see my post on apple cider vinegar)

**Get the book or check out Dr. Wilson's website: for more information.**

Cheers to good health!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chili, Cornbread, and Cardinals

We are currently watching the 3rd game of the World Series...and the Cardinals are currently up. I love high scoring baseball games! Love the Cardinals...and makes us miss St. Louis all the more!

The weather has been absolutely beautiful here...fall is so wonderful in Boulder!

I've still been in my soup and bread making mood, so tonight it was a white chicken chili and quinoa cornbread. For those of you who know me fairly well, you know I've been mostly vegetarian for quite some time now. Long story short, Jesse and I have been really looking over our diet and have decided to bring in some meat. We have chosen to eat lean meat 2-3 times a week and keep it to quality meat--only non-antibiotic/hormone filled meat. Last week, we had some white fish, chicken on a fresh salad, and then tonight chicken chili. We just do not think we have been getting enough protein and nutrients in our fairly-strict vegetarian diet.

What are your thoughts on vegetarian/flexitarian?

Here are the recipes for tonight great meal: (Jesse again said, "this is the best meal you've made in a long time" I said "uh, you just said that recently..." :))

White Chicken Chili (adapted from


1 tsp olive oil
2/3 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 seeded, jalapeno pepper, chopped (I used two!)
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilis (I used one large fresh Anaheim chile pepper, chopped)
2/3 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano or Italian seasoning
pinch of ground cloves (didn't have it, didn't use it!)
pinch cayenne pepper
2 cans of white beans (drained; one whole beans and one can blended)
2 cups of chicken broth (I only had vegetable broth)
1 1/2 cups of shredded baked chicken
1/2 cup of graded Monterey or white cheddar cheese ( always, organic is best for all dairy products ;))

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Stir in the onion and cook until teander-about 4 to 7 minutes.
Mix in the garlic, jalapeno, green chile peppers, cumin, oregano, cloves, and cayene.
Continue to cook and stir the mixture until tender-about 3 mintues.
Mix in the broth, chicken, and white beans (both the whole bean can and blended beans).
Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occassionally.
Garnish with cheese, cilantro, fresh tomatoes--whatever!
Below is a dark picture of this great creation!!

Quinoa cornbread I've had!!

3 cups of corn flour (not cornmeal)
1 1/4 cups cooked quinoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups low fat buttermilk (I used almond milk boiled)
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x9 pan, set aside.
Stir together flour, 1 cup of quinoa, baking soda, and salt until combined.
In a second bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs, then add to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Transfer batter to prepared pan, spread out evenly, then scatter remaining quinoa on top (1/4 cup). Bake until cooked through and golden brown....about 25-30 minutes. Serve with honey (local honey preferred--helps with those fall allergies! ;)).
Sorry about the shadow on the picture.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Back to the blog world. Pumpkin-blueberry corn muffins.

I don't think anyone was following me on tumblr, besides my sweet, faithful sister...but I'm making the switch back to this blogspot, instead of ( blogging on tumblr. I thought it'd be easier, but I don't like the set up. I'll try to keep up the blog...

Much has happened since a year ago when I was blogging...most notably, we went to Italy in September, love living in Colorado (lots of summer visitors out here ;)), and I've got a lot of recipes to share...;)

I think I'm finding an answer for the fatigue I've been experiencing...more on that in a later post.

For now, let me share with you one of my new recipes. I'm trying to replace Clif/Lara/"granola" bars with nutrient dense, low-sugar's one of my favorites I've just about mastered--I may tweak it a bit next time...

Pumpkin-Blueberry Corn Muffins

½ cup cooked, mashed fresh, or canned pumpkin
2 eggs
¼ cup plan nonfat yogurt
3 Tbsp of organic applesauce
⅓ cup canola oil (or butter)
1 ¼ cups of yellow corn flour
¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp flaxseed (ground)*
1 Tbsp chia seed (ground)*
⅓ cup sucanat (sugar cane)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly oil/spray or use muffins tins (yield 12-15 muffins).
In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, yogurt, applesauce, and oil/butter.
In a separate bowl, combine corn flour, w/w flour, flaxseed*, chia seed*, sucanat/sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Add dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients, stirring just to combine. Gently stir in blueberries. Do not over-stir or beat.
Spoon batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake 20-25 minutes, until muffins are golden brown and the toothpick comes out clean ;)

(this photo shows some of my favorite things: sweet nieces Sophia and Olivia (miss them so!), lululemon (sticker on my nalgene), "Health Master" emulsifier, and these wonderful muffins!)

Note: the * stands for "optional". Chia and flaxseed are easily found at your health food store...are inexpensive...and pack in nutrients. You cannot taste it...but your insides love it!!

I must also just give a "Go, Cards!!"...listening to the game on the internet--it reminds me of growing up and listening to baseball on the radio at the house and while driving. Good times.