HOLISTIC HEALTH Bible-Based Wellness Program Promotes Total Health tbbmedia.com


Bible-Based Wellness Program Promotes Total Health


CBN.com – Whether they have simply succumbed to the annual holiday calorie-fest or have endured a lifelong struggle with weight and healthful living issues, the new year offers those who have neglected their health a fresh start. It’s no secret that breaking unhealthy habits for good requires more than wishful thinking or even fervent goal-setting. The hard truth is that 95 percent of people who lose weight will gain it back again—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Now there is great news for anyone who yearns to bring life into healthy balance: No matter how many times you’ve tried and failed, 2009 can be the year that your life changes forever.

First Place 4 Health is a reliable, proven method of weight loss and healthy living that enables members to enjoy lasting change by bringing the four areas of life—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual—into a healthy balance. Formerly known as First Place, this program, which began in 1981 as a church ministry in Houston, TX, has attracted more than half a million members pursuing a healthy lifestyle and a closer walk with the Lord. This revolutionary program uses everyday foods, includes a support and accountability component, and focuses on biblical health and disease prevention.

First Place 4 Health is not a quick fix. It isn’t about simply dropping a dress size. Instead, Carol Lewis, First Place 4 Health’s national director, issues this challenge, “Give God and First Place 4 Health a year…and your life will change forever.”  First Place 4 Health’s new and improved brand lineup includes resources that tackle everything from determining correct serving sizes to starting an exercise routine to memorizing Scripture.  Members will appreciate the simple, sensible new food plan based on the USDA food pyramid and new exercise guidelines.

For 2009, First Place 4 Health is also introducing a brand new fitness kit. The contents of the kit include the First Place 4 Health 30-Minute Fitness DVD, which combines cardio, strength, and stretching exercises for all fitness levels from beginner to advanced and a handy pedometer that will keep track of each step a member takes toward his or her fitness goal. The environmentally friendly reusable eight-ounce water bottle makes proper hydration a snap. The kit also contains a flexible exercise band that will maximize resistance for every movement in a workout and an official First Place 4 Health towel to use when the work is done.

The dawn of a new year is the perfect time to begin a First Place 4 Health bible study, drawing in the many people who will already be feeling fresh motivation about weight loss and healthy choices. The First Place 4 Health: Begin with Christ Bible study series is the program’s cornerstone, and this update features completely rewritten studies that are fresh for today’s readers. “Almost every First Place 4 Health member I have talked with about the program says, ‘The weight loss is wonderful, but the most important thing I have received from my association with First Place 4 Health is learning to study God’s word,’” Lewis states

Standing on 27 years of personal success stories, the First Place 4 Health program proves that, with an alteration in mindset from mere weight loss to pursuing God’s design for total wellness, lasting change is possible. It’s never too late to find the balanced life and the wholeness that is offered only through a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ. Will 2009 mark the beginning of your personal success story?

DE-STRESS Laughter is the Best Medicine … Really By Samantha Landy Faith and Fitness Magazine


Laughter is the Best Medicine … Really

By Samantha Landy 
Faith and Fitness Magazine 

CBN.com – In our busy, over-committed world, laughter seems to have been lost along the way. We don’t find much of it in our everyday lives. We have to choose to follow after it. As we age, it is so easy to get overwhelmed with the varied challenges we face, and we neglect the very thing that will help us deal with our issues and challenges.

Laughter is one thing we can choose to help us in our circumstances. I’ve been studying a lot about laughter and the potential power it has in our lives. Of course, my favorite is affirming, loving words from someone who thinks I’m terrific and makes me laugh. I had one such phone call today, and after I hung up, I had a little smile in my heart and on my face all day long. Maybe you should make such a phone call to a friend of yours?

If you choose to smile, even when you don’t feel like it, others will almost always respond automatically with a smile in return. A friend of mine said, “Smiling is rather like a kiss—in order to get any good out of it, you have to give it to someone else.” However, that isn’t necessarily so. We can choose to smile or even laugh when we are alone and lighten our own life.

Physically, a smile requires the use of approximately 36 muscles, but a frown uses 97 muscles. Also, a smile releases the muscles on your scalp, which in turn lets the blood flow more easily, which brings more oxygen to the brain, which results in a buoyancy in your personality. At the point of choosing to smile and laugh, you may not feel happier, but as you continue to smile, releasing the oxygen into the brain, you actually become happier!

There is another benefit to smiling and especially laughing. Medically, doctors know that good blood flow to the brain is critical for efficient and comprehensive brain functioning. So when we laugh more, it stands to reason we should have a better functioning brain. Maybe that’s the reason I keep forgetting where I put my glasses; I’m not laughing enough!

If we are going through a stress-filled day, and make the decision to have even one moment in the day for ourselves, to experience laughter and joy, it will change our lives. We must train ourselves to keep looking at the possibilities in any situation rather than the problems. As we take time to dwell on the possibilities, we will amaze ourselves as our subconscious works and solutions appear, enabling us to handle the challenge more effectively.

Where can we find joy and laughter when our lives are stressed out and everything seems to be crashing around us? As I have had to learn for myself, there are resources; we just have to choose to tap into them. One easy place to find laughter is to go to funny movies or watch them on TV. Sometimes it is only in the laughter provided by external sources that we can find relief.

Some time ago I was traveling and had put in a long 8-hour day on the road. In addition to the exhaustion of driving, I also had insurmountable difficulties in my life at the time, and so most of those eight hours were spent “mullygrubbing” around in the mess of my life.

As I was looking for a hotel that evening, I noticed a comedy was playing at the local theatre. Thankfully, it was also a PG13. It’s been said that laughter is like scrubbing out our insides, and so I went to the movie and chose to laugh. Afterward, the tragic circumstances of my life had not changed, but inside my body, I had changed. I was more relaxed and able to face my life.

I have studied enough about affirming words and laughter to know that good, out-loud laughter actually releases endorphins into the brain. When endorphins are released into the body, and oxygen is released into the brain eventually, we will feel up-lifted and relaxed.

But what happens when we don’t have someone to encourage us and life gets tough? I imagine most people are like I am; we have all had formidable issues in life, perhaps some more than others. But even during the difficult times, we can choose our attitude about life. We may not be able to change the circumstances, but we can choose how we respond to them.

Viktor Frankl, concentration camp survivor wrote a book, Man’s Search for Meaning. He said it was in the concentration camp experiences that he learned, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Our attitude is the most important characteristic of the quality of our life, as we deal with various aspects of aging. There will often be circumstances we can’t change or control, but our attitude determines how we define our existence.

One bedrock source that will help us keep a good attitude in times of tragedy is to remember to pray about our lives, about our circumstances. Does it feel like I’ve changed the subject? Not really. The wisdom of King Solomon supports my approach to a good attitude and laughter as well: “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.”

As we continue processing our lives in these years over fifty, our faith in God, our dependence on Him, and our attitude will shape our relationships and circumstances. When we stay in faith and walk in excellence, we will see God’s plan and destiny for our lives unfold. While our past history may teach us about our mistakes, it is in choosing to live in the moment, choosing to look to the future God has for us, that will enable us to live in Hope, Joy, and Love. As we seek God’s wisdom, walking through the events of our lives, we will be able to move from success to lives of significance.

I believe that keeping our faith strong in the Lord, combining that with a love for adventure, an appetite for learning, a curious mind, and a sense of humor will help us in these challenging years from fifty and beyond.

Underline this verse in your Bible to remind you of one of God’s promises: “Since my youth, O God, you have taught me and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare Your power to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come.”

Samantha LandySamantha Landy serves on several national Christian boards and is best known as an international conference and retreat speaker as well as author of over eight books. She also hosts the program “60 Seconds for Savvy Singles” heard on Christian radio stations nationwide. To find out more, visit her website at www.samanthalandy.com.

From Faith & Fitness Magazine April/May 2008. Reprinted with permission. Copyright © 2008 Faith & Fitness Magazine and Lifestyle Media Group.

Brad Bloom

Faith & Fitness Magazine is a lifestyle resource to build physical and spiritual strength. It helps readers make connections between the Christian faith and the fitness lifestyle. To contact the publisher of Faith & Fitness Magazine, Brad Bloom, for reprint permission, e-mail brad@faithandfitness.net.


GET FRESH AIR The Power of Sunlight By Stormie Omartian Faith and Fitness Magazine


The Power of Sunlight

By Stormie Omartian 
Faith and Fitness Magazine 

CBN.com – Over the last few decades we have increasingly left natural light and fresh air out of our lives. Man now constructs buildings with no windows at all. Already many of our schools have classrooms with no windows and our children are studying in artificial light and artificial ventilation. Research indicates a lower level of academic performance among children who must learn in these conditions. We now have hospitals where the sick are supposed to get well with no fresh air and sunlight whatsoever. There are office buildings where people work all day under artificial light breathing artificial air and go home at night feeling totally drained and irritable. The windows we do have are covered with blinds, shades, shutters, curtains, and drapes that many people keep closed during the day as well as at night because of fear, lack of privacy, ignorance, or better television viewing. We are crawling into dark man-made holes and wondering why we don’t feel up to par.

The only explanation I can find for this trend is that man, left to his own devices, will shut God’s wonderful natural ways out of his life, even as he tries to “improve’’ on them. Man’s ways can never be better than God’s ways. You can have everything—the best food, water, plenty of exercise—but without enough fresh air and sunshine you will not have total health.


What about you? How do you live? Do you live in a dark house? Do you keep the shades drawn all the time? Do you work in a building with no windows? Are you awake all night and sleepy all day? Do you spend time daily in the fresh air and sunlight? If not, then come out of the darkness into the light because you are not living the way God intended you to live.


Sunlight is a powerful healer, tonic, germ killer, remedial agent, and relaxer, especially when it is used in conjunction with the other seven steps. When you spend time in the fresh air and sunlight, your body drinks in their life-giving elements. Scientists are now discovering a great connection between light and health. They have found that natural light has a very significant effect on our immune system. Light is already being used for treating various diseases of the blood and skin, and for curing certain kinds of depression and nervous disorders. The value of sunlight for the sick has been demonstrated by hospital experience. They are finding a larger percentage of recoveries in rooms having abundant sunlight, and especially those that allow fresh air to circulate.

When the sun shines on the skin, the nerve endings absorb energy and send it throughout the entire body. This calms the nerves. We’ve all experienced how a few hours spent playing at the beach or working in the garden can make you feel like taking a nap. Another reason for this is that when the sun hits your skin it manufactures vitamin D in your body and then works as a great natural aid to calcium absorption. Calcium soothes the nervous system—this is why anyone suffering from insomnia or sleeplessness would greatly benefit from twenty to sixty minutes out in the fresh air and sunlight daily. Sunlight is one of the greatest sleep inducers, especially when you combine it with any form of physical exercise. If you were to spend ten to twenty minutes out in the sun gardening every day, your entire being would show favorable changes. You always sleep better at night when you spend enough time in fresh air and sunshine during the day.


Fresh air and sunlight are life giving and that’s what we’re after. We want more life, not sickness and a daily dying in our physical bodies. Without fresh air and light, we, along with all forms of life, would die.

There are hidden life-promoting qualities in food that is grown and ripened in the sun. Many of these wonderful healing properties can be obtained just by eating sun-ripened fruits and vegetables. The tremendous restorative powers in such foods serve to bring about great strength in the body. Because food grown in the sun is absolutely essential for life, try to see that fifty percent of each meal includes fresh fruits and/or vegetables. If you have sunlight on the outside and sun-grown foods on the inside, you will have wonderful, glowing health.

In plants the sun produces chlorophyll, which is a wonderful healer and cleanser in the human system. In fact, it has been said that chlorophyll is “life from the sun.’’ That is why you’ll hear so many nutritionists and health-minded doctors recommending steamed beet tops, chard, spinach, parsley, endive, or red-leaf lettuce in your diet. All that natural chlorophyll is healing and cleansing.

There was a period a few years back when my husband and I had time to tend a garden. We dug up a large portion of our backyard, brought in some fertile soil, planted and grew all our own vegetables. It was greatly invigorating to work outdoors in this garden every day and it was wonderful therapy for the whole family. We had much success and the garden yielded huge amounts of beautiful sun-kissed vegetables. Whatever we wanted for lunch or dinner, we went out and picked from our garden just prior to preparing it.

Not only was gardening a fulfilling experience for all of us, there were incredible physical benefits besides. I noticed that my fingernails were the strongest and the longest they had ever been; my skin was exceptionally clear and healthy in color; my hair became thicker and had an exceptional sheen; I slept more deeply and soundly at night than I had ever slept before and I never woke up tired; I felt strong and energetic all the time; and people constantly commented on how rested and healthy I looked.

The results I experienced were also noticeable in all of the other members of my family. There was such a difference that I knew we were on to something: eating fresh fruits and vegetables, grown and ripened in the sun and picked just before eating, had miraculous healing and rejuvenating effects. And this is the way God has always intended us to eat.

Later, when that period of our lives ended and it came time for us to travel, keeping a garden that required daily care became impossible. But I found within five miles of our home a wonderful fresh-fruit-and-vegetable stand that, between April and November, sold fresh fruit and vegetables picked that day. It’s not quite as good as having your own garden, but it’s certainly worth the trouble to get the benefits of fresh foods grown and ripened in the sun. Search and see if there is not a place like that near you as an alternative to buying foods that have been picked prematurely and ripened artificially.


As you become healthier and healthier (living peacefully, eating food the way God made it, exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water, fasting and praying, and getting good rest), the greater your desire to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine. If, on top of that, you can engage in some kind of physical activity while you’re outside, it is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Any activity you do outside, even walking, increases your inhalation of fresh air. But realize that there is less oxygen in hot weather than in cold. That’s why you are more alert and active on a crisp fall day than you are during a heat wave. Avoid exercising outside in any extreme weather: if it’s too hot or too cold, stay inside. If you live in an area that has polluted air, stay inside on bad days and make doubly certain you are out soaking up the fresh air and sunlight on clear days.


People develop different kinds of problems from too much sun and then blame it on the sun itself. Actually the problem is their own toxic body that couldn’t handle the sun and their lack of wisdom as to how much sunshine they should get. God made man to be out in the sun. God also gave man enough sense to come out of it when it gets too hot. Some people go to extremes and bake in the sun, damaging their skin. Others look as if they’ve never seen the light of day because they do not go outside at all. Again there must be a balance. The rays of the sun give energy and life, but too much is destructive. Overexposure and sunburn are harmful and can cause a toxic reaction in the body. There are other health problems (not the least of which is skin cancer) that can occur from constant overexposure to the sun.

It’s important to make a distinction between periods of fresh air and sunlight becoming a natural part of your life and lying in one position on the beach for hours and hours. I am not urging you to run a marathon on a hot smoggy day or to swim when it’s snowing. I’m speaking of nice pleasant days with no extremes—be out there in them, enjoy them, and breathe in deeply. They are beautiful days that the Lord has made; rejoice and be glad in them.


Getting enough fresh air and sunlight did not come naturally to me. I was never one to go outside, especially on a daily basis. I rarely saw the light of day through most of the year, and then in the summer I would bake, burn, and peel my skin in a matter of six weeks. When I first began to be aware of how God intended us to live in sunlight and clean fresh air, I had to write it into my schedule. That sounds absurd, I know, but I found that I wasn’t the only one: many people in my classes had the same problem. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to do this step, they would just forget. So I started giving them a weekly schedule, and each day they had to spend ten to twenty minutes in the fresh air and sunlight. This helped them to establish new patterns of living and to break old habits. The same is true for you. You may have to write it into your schedule so that you will remember to spend time in the fresh air and sunlight every day.

If you ever feel yourself getting frustrated, irritable, or in need of a new attitude in general, try going for a walk outside in the fresh air and sunlight. You may come back in twenty minutes feeling like a new person. “No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun”.

Adapted from: GREATER HEALTH GOD’S WAY. Copyright 1999 by Stormie Omartian. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used with permission.

Stormie OmartianStormie Omartian is the bestselling author of “The Power of a Praying” books (more than 4.5 million copies sold), Stormie, and Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On. Stormie and her husband, Michael, have been married for more than 28 years and live in Tennessee.

Have you tried diet and exercise programs only to find them less than completely satisfying? Well – now author and fitness expert Stormie Omartian provides a creative and practical approach to developing your mind, body and spirit. Drawing on her own experience, Stormie outlines seven steps to good health in her book GREATER HEALTH – GOD’S WAY.

This article also appeared in Faith & Fitness Magazine April/May 2008. Copyright © 2008Faith & Fitness Magazine and Lifestyle Media Group. Faith & Fitness Magazine is a lifestyle resource to build physical and spiritual strength. It helps readers make connections between the Christian faith and the fitness lifestyle. To contact the publisher of Faith & Fitness Magazine, Brad Bloom, for reprint permission, e-mail brad@faithandfitness.net.

NOT JUST TALKIN’ THE TALK Put Some Spring in Your Step By Linda Goldfarb Certified Physical Fitness Specialist


Put Some Spring in Your Step

By Linda Goldfarb 
Certified Physical Fitness Specialist 

CBN.com – Do you remember how excited you were to get up early in the morning, eat your breakfast, then dash out the door, just to be outside? “Don’t forget your coat.” or “Be careful crossing the street” were the last words you heard your Mom shout as you jumped the threshold of the front door to begin your journey to wherever your imagination took you.

My time spent in Ipswich, England, as a child proved you can go swimming in 70° temperatures and not freeze to death. For three years, I rode my bike around the neighborhood, climbed fruit trees, and waited until the thermometer broke 69° to join my school friends in the local public pool. Life was great, pleasures were simple, and moving my body wasn’t a conscience effort. I moved without an agenda, had no exercise plan or pedometer (to be sure I walked long enough), and there was no trainer telling me if I was using proper form. I got up, ate, and went.

One thing that stands out, especially as I reminisce about my early years, is the fact that no matter where I lived, children were always playing… outdoors! We were like the traditional postman: “Through rain, snow, sleet, or gloom of night,” nothing prevented us from our appointed, fun. Odd, isn’t it, that today we have to prod and bribe our family members just to get them off the couch, away from the television or video games, in order to do what most of us embraced in our youth. “Ah, what a world, what a world.”

Lucky for us in the Lone Star State, temperature is seldom a factor that prevents outdoor activities. Unlucky for us, we have gotten into the habit of work, rest, eat, rest again, and work. We have embraced this pattern so much that we don’t set aside time for fun, pure simple fun. Well now is the time to get a spring back into our step, and I know exactly what we can do.

We can begin today by planning purposed fun! I suggest some ideas we can all implement with our spouse, children, and friends to make this time of year our “springboard” to fulfilled relationships and good health. Yes, good health can be the by-product of fun, I promise. Listed below are practical tips we can all embrace.

  • Make a hopscotch board on your sidewalk – don’t let age deter you – and challenge family members or neighbors to a weekend competition. Winner chooses a restaurant for dinner and gets to bring a friend. (If they’re younger than 7, they can choose a television show or movie)
  • Map out some locations around town that include up-hill and down-hill climbing. Make walking sticks out of nearby cedar tree limbs; strip the bark down to the shiny wood. Then challenge some neighbors to a family hike. (Be sure to start out slow and simple – short distances ensure quick recovery.) Afterwards invite them to your place for a backyard Bar-B-Q and be sure to serve our Suck-the-Chip-Dry salsa (see recipe in my e-zine).
  • Create a family garden. No matter the size of your property, you can build a raised-bed garden (check local lumber stores for a book or go online). Then plant vegetables you’ve never tried before. Or if you have never had a garden, plant the regulars – tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, radishes, green beans, and don’t forget, the jalapenos. Be sure to check the length of time to maturity and plan a harvest party with your neighbors or church family.

There you go, some tips to get you and your family started toward healthier living. Incorporate these fun times into your weekly routine and embrace the joy that is sure to follow.

There is one key I need to mention. To ensure your step always includes some “spring,”you must choose to make the change, and then you must put feet to your decision and do it.It is by taking immediate action that we see long lasting positive results. Enjoy your family-and-friends time, eat well, and take an extra hike for me.

Linda GoldfarbLinda Goldfarb is a national speaker, certified physical fitness specialist, and nutrition coach. She hosts the syndicated radio talk show Not Just Talkin’ the Talk, based out of San Antonio, TX. Linda’s show encourages listeners to “walk the walk” spiritually, physically, and relationally each and every day. Podcasts of the show are available on the radio tab of her Web sitewww.lindagoldfarb.com. While visiting, sign up for the “Live Powerfully Now!” e-zine. Contact Linda to speak at your next corporate event or faith-based retreat. E-mail:linda@lindagoldfarb.com with any questions or comments.

(Photo Copyright © Lisa Pittman Photography).

Before beginning any new fitness program that requires a change in diet or exercise, it is recommended that you consult your physician for input. This informational series is not intended for medical or nutritional claims dependent on substantial clinical studies and FDA approval, and should not be construed as a claim for cure, treatment, or prevention of any disease.  It is intended solely for information and educational purposes. Linda is not a physician or expert in the medical field. She has been involved in the health and fitness industry as a personal trainer and fitness instructor for numerous years. The information given in these sessions have been derived from  books and materials brought together over the years from many sources, including her personal life experiences.

Food and Your Health

Savor the Food and Your Health

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The Recipes page on our web-site has a link to Salads as a Main Course. The salad recipes are made with leafy greens, fruits and other vegetables. But don’t get discouraged just yet; what makes the salad a main course is the addition of meat. In most cases, it is chicken. The leafy greens are a good source of fiber and full of nutrition and chicken is a good source of healthy protein as is any meat.

According to whfoods.org website, chicken is rated as a very good source of protein, providing 67.6% of the daily value for protein in 4 ounces. Protein can be important in reducing bone loss in older people. One scientific study on the subject showed that men and women from ages 70 to 90 years old who had the highest protein intake lost significantly less bone over a four-year period than those who consumed less protein. Animal protein, as well as overall protein intake, was shown to be associated with preserving bone mass in our bodies. Chicken is also an excellent source of the cancer-protective B vitamin, niacin and is also a very good source of the trace mineral, selenium. Selenium helps with the function of the thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, and immune function.

As for the leafy greens, they may help prevent cancer and heart disease, specially the dark greens. Leafy greens are nutrient rich and full of vitamins. They are a healthy food choice as they contain no cholesterol and are low in sodium. They are also rich in iron, calcium and phytonutrients.

Leafy greens are also good for vitamin K a fat soluble vitamin stored in the liver. Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and wound healing. According to the FDA adults need 0.001 mg of vitamin K per 2.5 pounds of body weight per day. Vitamin K deficiency is rare and usually occurs when the body is unable to absorb vitamins from the gastrointestinal tract. If you are low on vitamin K the sign will be easy bruising or bleeding easily.

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Prepare fresh chicken or any meat of your choice according to the recipes at our link, add vegetables, fruits, spinach and other leafy greens and presto you have a “Salad as a Main Course.”

Follow this link Recipes page and once there click on Salads as a Main Course. Most recipes will prepare in under 40 minutes.


Our recent posts to our blog Eat and Be Healthy

Simple Formula for Improving Your Eating Habits Oct.8,20113

Autumn Harvest and the Benefits of Sweet Potatoes (part 2) Oct.9,2013

Nitrate Oxide and What it Means to You Oct.11,2013


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CBN.com- Health_ Nourish Adrenals

Re-energize Your Tired Body
By Dr. Len Lopez
Nutrition and fitness expert

CBN.com – We’ve all heard about the number of people suffering from hot flashes, night sweats, loss of libido, PMS, sleepless nights, and fatigue, which occurs when our hormones and chemical brain messengers get out of balance. But did you ever realize that stress is what keeps throwing our hormones and brain out of balance?

When we are stressed, in that ‘fight or flight’ mode—our adrenal glands produce our primary stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. These are two primary hormones that are needed for survival; we can’t live without them! Unfortunately, many of us are staying in that ‘stressed state’ for too long.

When this happens, we call it adrenal fatigue. Our adrenals aren’t able to make enough cortisol and adrenaline to deal with all the stress, nor are they able to produce enough of the other hormones that regulate our metabolism, mood swings, blood sugar, reproductive cycle, energy levels, and fat burning ability.

It’s A Matter of Priority

When we think of hormones, we often think of progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. But we need to understand that these hormones are really ‘secondary hormones.’ The ‘primary hormones,’ which are the ones we can’t live without are cortisol, adrenaline, and insulin. These three hormones are responsible for so many functions. When they get out of balance, they can affect our health in so many different ways.

The adrenal glands are responsible for making many other hormones in addition to cortisol and adrenaline. All of the hormones made by the adrenal glands can be compromised due to the large demand we put on our adrenals to make more cortisol and adrenaline. Many of the hormones produced by the adrenal glands regulate our blood sugar, activate our immune system, stimulate our heart and blood pressure, balance our fluids, and help make our reproductive hormones.

This is why stress can affect our health in so many different ways. It is a domino effect. We know stress is what triggers it—we just don’t know in what area our health will be affected.

Our body was not designed to handle continual, long-term stress. It was designed to handle short-term stress. So, when we stay in a stressful mode for too long, we begin to over-produce cortisol and adrenaline, while under-producing others. This is what is known as chemical or hormonal imbalances.

Constant stress triggers an increased production of cortisol and adrenaline. Unfortunately, to make cortisol our adrenal glands will ‘steal’ progesterone. This causes a drop in the amount of progesterone that is needed to regulate your menstrual and reproductive cycles, because the progesterone is being used to deal with stress as opposed to regulating your reproductive cycle. It throws your ratio of estrogen to progesterone and testosterone out of balance, which causes all types of problems: loss of libido, infertility, depression, PMS, hot flashes, night sweats, etc.

Additionally, the excess amount of cortisol and adrenaline triggers the body to burn calories from carbohydrates and protein (lean muscle tissue) instead of stored body fat. When this happens, people will tend to have a hard time losing weight and keeping it off. Unfortunately, infomercials want us to think cortisol is the problem. The real problem is our adrenals are exhausted. There is more detail about this in To Burn or Not to Burn, Fat is the Question (Brown Books).

Adrenal fatigue is a major underlying problem to many of our health issues simply because stress has become constant, and the adrenal glands ARE NOT able to make enough cortisol and adrenaline. Some of the common symptoms for adrenal fatigue are weight gain, fatigue, cravings, indigestion, allergies, depression, high blood pressure, hot flashes, insomnia, and loss of libido.

Restoring Hormonal Balance

Again, our body is designed to handle short-term stress, not continual, prolonged stress. Our adrenal glands can make all the necessary hormones if we rest and nourish them properly. Unfortunately, most people don’t get the proper amount of rest and nourishment in their day. This, combined with extended periods of stress, results in the inability of your adrenals to produce enough of the necessary hormones you need each day.

Simple Steps to Overcoming Adrenal Exhaustion

  1. 1.    Make sure you get at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
  2. 2.    Get at least 20-30 minutes of sunshine a day.
  3. 3.    Keep your blood sugar stable. You CANNOT skip meals or eat refined, processed, junk food! It further depletes your adrenal glands. You will never restore your adrenal glands if you don’t keep your blood sugar stable!
  4. 4.    Use digestive enzymes if you struggle with bloating, gas, indigestion, heartburn, or irritable bowel problems. An irritated, inflamed intestinal tract causes an increased production of cortisol and further depletes the adrenal glands. Hidden food allergies are common. Avoid (for at least two weeks) all dairy, wheat, corn, soy, caffeine, MSG, and artificial sweeteners.
  5. 5.    Nourish your body with a good adrenal support formula such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, cordyceps, ginseng, vitamin C, vitamin B, and zinc. I recommend Adrenal Fuel.
  6. 6.    Add a good, high potency fish oil. Eat fish, raw nuts, and seeds. Cook with olive oil. Avoid trans fatty acids. The omega 3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA) are critical in the production of our hormones and are deficient in many diets.
  7. 7.    Begin, or continue an easy aerobic exercise routine. Refrain from intense ‘anaerobic’ exercise for at least 2-4 weeks. Easy aerobic exercise is ‘stress-reducing’ while weight training, spinning, and other types of intense exercise are stress producing. Yes, intense exercise may seem like it is stress reducing, but bio-chemically, it is an additional stress, which is taxing your adrenals.

Remember: You will never be able to restore your hormones (progesterone, estrogen, testosterone) if your adrenals are exhausted!

Recovering from any health ailment is more than swallowing a handful of supplements. We need to properly nourish our body with good supplementation, as well as STOP doing the things that are making us worse. If you continually skip meals, struggle with digestive problems, and don’t get a good night’s sleep, you are always going to struggle with adrenal exhaustion.

The whole process outlined above will help you restore normal function to your adrenal glands. Adrenal fatigue is a multi-layered problem… it creates a vicious cycle with our hormones, metabolism, blood sugar, and digestive system. This is why our “IRS Steps” protocol addresses these issues first. Give these simple steps a try. You will be amazed at the difference you will feel within 30days.

Dr. Len Lopez is a nutrition and fitness expert and creator of The Work Horse Trainer.  He speaks extensively on diet, exercise, and how stress can affect your overall health and wellness.


Humana: Health and Wellness: Eat Right for Weight Loss

  • Humana Health and Wellness

Eat right for weight loss

December 2012

Everyone’s looking for a weight–loss magic bullet, but the true way to trim down is to control your calories.

Like most people, you’ve probably heard a lot of weight–loss “wisdom” such as “cut the carbs,” “avoid fat,” and “pack in the protein.” Then there are the many trendy diet plans: the cabbage soup diet, goji berry diet, egg diet, the juice diet, you name it! Some of these might help you lose weight in the short term. But staying on many of them can damage your metabolism — not to mention leave you bored and hungry from their limited menus!

There are also the diet plans you can buy, which typically come with prepackaged foods. While these can be a good way to learn about portion control and may be more balanced in terms of vitamins and minerals, they can be expensive.

So how can you lose weight? Use more calories than you’re consuming. It really is that simple. And the two proven ways to do this? Eat less and exercise more. Keep things simple by making sensible choices on a day–to–day basis.

Finding your “caloric balance.”

The true way to trim down is to control your calories. They are the key to successful weight loss.

So where do you start? The first thing to do is to see your doctor and learn how many calories you need each day. From there, you can work backward to see how many calories you can safely cut to lose weight at a sensible rate.

Something you can do right now is learn about your Body Mass Index (BMI). This is the ratio of your weight to your height, and the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) online Body Mass Calculator is a handy tool.

You can also start thinking about your caloric balance. Here’s a simple explanation from the CDC:

If you are…

  • Maintaining your weight, you’re “in balance.” You are eating roughly the same number of calories that your body is using. Your weight will remain stable.
  • Gaining weight, you’re “in caloric excess.” You are eating more calories than your body is using. You will store these extra calories as fat and gain weight.
  • Losing weight, you’re “in caloric deficit.” You are eating fewer calories than you are using. Your body is pulling from its fat storage cells for energy, so your weight is decreasing. To lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week, you need to cut the number of calories you take in by between 500 and 1,000 calories per day.

Here are helpful tips on cutting calories from the CDC:

  • Replace high–calorie foods with low-calorie foods. Foods that have lots of fiber and water are good ways to feel full without eating too many calories.
  • Learn to eat fruits and vegetables instead of high–calorie snacks. They’re a great way to fill up and get lots of good nutrition for fewer calories.
  • Think about your drink. We often forget that there can be hundreds of calories in our beverages. Coffee drinks with lots of cream and syrup, smoothies loaded with sugars, and certain alcoholic drinks, can pack as much as 500 calories. This is as much as an entire meal in a single cup.
  • Rethink your serving sizes. Portion sizes can cause you to eat more calories than you realize. Studies show that people consume more calories when faced with larger portions, even though they don’t mean to.

Lastly, don’t forget to exercise! When you don’t exercise, you place the entire burden of weight loss on your diet. Being more active means that you can eat more of the things you like and still lose weight. The key is finding an exercise you enjoy. And whatever you do, try to get one hour of exercise each day. Every step toward healthier living is a step in a good direction.