Take a few days off and end up with a ton of info to share. So here goes:
As I have shared before, my adrenals are on strike. I just had my cortisol levels tested and I’m at a 2.3. Normal range is 4.3 – 22.4. What I’m dealing with right now is adrenal fatigue and it stinks. What are adrenals and why is this a big deal, you ask? You have two adrenal glands, one located on the top of each kidney, which are responsible for regulating your metabolism, immune system, blood pressure and response to stress. Because of the many years I was on prednisone, my adrenal system pretty much took a vacation. Now that I’m being weaned off the prednisone, my adrenals are not happy about having to work and are acting like a moody teenager. As a result, I’m now suffering from adrenal fatigue, meaning my adrenals are unable to support my body the way that they should and am now suffering from things such as constant exhaustion, an inability to cope with stress, low back pain, weakened immune system and recurrent infections and irritability and moodiness (just ask my family). Basically I’m not myself. I try to not show it but life is just difficult these days. Imagine being in constant pain. I can’t get comfortable at night because everything hurts, which means I don’t sleep and I’m tired. My emotions are all over the place so I cry. A lot. And when I’m not crying, I’m pretty pissed off. Really, it’s all quite annoying. Especially since it’s all outside my control. And when I appear normal and smiling, odds are I’m faking it. The one positive is that because I’m being weaned off prednisone, this will all work itself out after a very SLOW prednisone taper. After all, this is a marathon and not a sprint as my doctor repeatedly reminds me. Along with the very slow taper, I’m also taking the various supplements I mentioned in a previous blog and my friend has also introduced me to Golden Milk – http://www.gaiaherbs.com/products/detail/770/TurmericBoost-Restore which can aid with sleep, joint health and boosting the immune system. This stuff tastes great. I’m on day two and I have to say I’ve slept fabulously two nights in a row. However, I’m not sure if that’s from the golden milk or that kid sitting two days in a row wore me out to the point I just collapsed. Will let you know at the end of the week what I think.
And all of this – the adrenal insufficiency, the RA, the ABPA – is why I’m very deliberate with what I eat. I’ve shared with you why I eat the way I do and what I eat but also want to share the importance of being organized and the key things to keep in your pantry. To eat a paleo diet (and mine is even more extreme than paleo), you have to be organized and do a lot of prep work. So I make sure my pantry is stocked with what I need and is organized in a way I can easily find things. I have labeled containers and baskets so that I can grab what I need quickly and also see when I’m running low on ingredients. Staples I always have on hand are coconut, garbanzo and almond flours (my favorite almond flour is Wellbee’s, as it’s very fine), arrowroot powder, sunbutter, almond butter, cashew butter, honey, coconut milk -you wouldn’t believe how much coconut milk I go through in a week- (I prefer the JFC brand in the blue can because it gives me the best coconut cream), palm shortening, pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, dark chocolate chips (Guittard is my favorite), unsweetened coconut flakes, walnuts, pecans and cashews. I also keep boxed Pacific Bone Broth for when I run out of homemade. In the fridge I always have eggs, ghee, almond milk, apple sausage (Applegate Farms) and broth and lots of fruit and veggies. I do the bulk of my shopping at my local grocery store. However, I found I can find better deals most of the time through Thrive Market www.thrivemarket.com on the nut butters, arrowroot powder and palm shortening. I buy my almond flour on Amazon or Costco and do the remainder of my shopping at Whole Foods. I fill in the rest by shopping the local farmers’ market. My grocery bill has increased for sure but I do what I can to look for deals. And the better I get at planning ahead, prepping and staying stocked, the better I am at saving a buck or two. Really, it’s all doable. It just takes some practice. But if I can do it, so can you.