BLOG - COASTAL ACTIVE NUTRITION/blog/Thu, 16 Nov 2017 19:46:49 +0000en-USSite-Server v6.0.0-12978-12978 (http://www.squarespace.com)How adrenal fatigue affects your lifeADRENAL FATIGUEMorgan DunnThu, 16 Nov 2017 20:29:05 +0000/blog/2017/11/16/how-adrenal-fatigue-affects-your-life57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:5a0deb2924a694c450ab0207

Two years ago when I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue I knew something was wrong but had no clue what it was. And it wasn't even so much about "Something is definitely wrong with my health" but more "I feel like x and y" and "running is so much hard work now". Things I noticed but didn't necessarily click as to being an 'issue' (boy was I wrong). 

Here's how adrenal fatigue can present:

  • Mild depression or anxiety
  • Allergies
  • Lethargy and lack of energy/fatigue
  • Doing the basics feels like a lot of fucking effort
  • Headaches or incredible need to sleep after high intensity effort (running, HIIT, spin etc)
  • Decreased ability to handle stress
  • Dry and thin skin
  • Low blood sugar (get a case of the hangry's a bit too much)
  • Cold easily but also can experience hot flashes
  • Heart palpitations
  • Unexplained hair loss
  • Alternating diarrhea or constipation
  • Bags under the eyes
  • Weight gain
  • Skin breakouts
  • Wired but tired
  • Migraines
  • Eye twitching
  • PMS symptoms
  • Low libido
  • Cravings for sugary or salty foods (or both)
  • Harder to get out of bed than normal
  • Need to sleep an excessive amount (might sleep, although broken, for 13 hours but still need to nap)
  • Decreased motivation

It's no joke and I suffered with it all. Initially the way it affected my life was running became a whole lot harder and I loved running but suddenly I would go out for 5km and could barely handle 2km. This was hard to handle since I had come off of an incredible year of a marathon and multiple halves. But I would get anxiety and my legs felt like they were filled with cement, not to mention the intense headaches I'd experience afterward. 

Next came the wired but tired feeling. I'd struggle to fall asleep despite being so, so tired. My whole body just felt like it was buzzing. This then meant that mornings were the worst. I could barely get up some days. I'd need multiple cups of coffee to get going and then would come the extreme cravings for sugary and salty foods. I'm not a sugar ant, I've never really been into lollies and I wouldn't previously eat junk food of any kind. During the worst of my adrenal fatigue this went out the window, ALL I wanted was biscuits, lollies, chips and fried foods. The cravings were ridiculous. In turn, I also lost my motivation and energy to cook for myself so would often order out for dinner. It was a vicious cycle.

Then came the weight gain. Not just because of my changed eating habits and lack of movement but the body does this wonderous thing when under extreme stress, it begins to stack fat around your middle and you get what some call a 'cortisol belly'. Cortisol being the hormone that your adrenal glands pumps out to get you moving, motivated and into fight or flight. Since the organs in the front of our body are our most important, the body adds fat to this area to "protect" it since there is such high cortisol output, it thinks it's in some constant and extreme danger. 

Some days I didn't get out of bed. I would often cancel on people and feel tremendous guilt but I literally could barely get dressed. I had no energy and I was dealing with depression-like symptoms, also as a result of adrenal fatigue. It was hell but invisible to anyone on the outside. I had no true obvious markings of someone in ill-health unless you knew what to look for (white coating on tongue, bags under the eyes, thin skin, weight gain around the middle etc). I had to quit my job, quit running, quit socializing... it felt like I had to just quit life. 

I was thankful when I met a dear friend in 2016 who was suffering with chronic fatigue - a same, same but different condition. Someone who totally got what I was going through and vice versa. It was nice to be able to text and say, "I'm sorry - I can't today, it's a bad day" and it not be met with annoyance but an understanding.

As someone who prided myself on being in excellent health and able to do a million things at once, this knocked me off my feet. Life had to be put on hold. That was tough. I had to change habits and reevaluate a lot of what was going on in my life and what had led me to that point. Adrenal fatigue tends to hit competitive Type-A people who are non-stop. So telling folk like us to slow down sounds like a bad joke. But your body has a way of forcing you into it. 

Two years on and recovered, I now want to make it my mission to prevent adrenal fatigue in people and help people who have it recover and never return to it. Adrenal fatigue affects so many bodily systems and prevents you from living a full and satisfying life. Ain't nobody got time for that.

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Kohlrabi & Caramelized Onion Soup | Cornucopia SpecialNUTRITIONMorgan DunnThu, 16 Nov 2017 18:27:04 +0000/blog/2017/11/16/kohlrabi-caramelized-onion-soup-cornucopia-special57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:5a0dd2e6419202640c13f5dc Cornucopia nourish series meatless monday

A year ago I set a goal that I'd love to host a workshop as part of Cornucopia's Nourish Series in the heart of Whistler, B.C. So when I teamed up with two other amazing Holistic Nutritionist's to host a cooking and nutrition workshop for Cornucopia this year I couldn't say no!

The three of us hosted a Meatless Monday workshop on Nov 13 and had a blast creating and serving 3 items for our 30+ guests at the Whistler Conference Centre. My particular dish was a starter soup perfect for the season and full of immune boosting and anti-inflammatory foods, herbs and spices. 

Cornucopia nourish series meatless monday

Seasonal eating is a big deal to me and something I urge people to experiment with. So when we had to devise a recipe for our workshop I knew I wanted to add an ingredient that was seasonal but also not used abundantly and not necessarily seen in your average supermarket. Kohlrabi was the perfect vegetable, one that I know many aren't sure what to do with! 

I love this fall veggie for its taste and versatility. It's from the brassica family and its raw consistency is very similar to that of a broccoli stem but sweeter. I love this vegetable roasted or made into a slaw or in combination with a broccoli salad! As I mentioned, it's tough to find in the supermarket but if you're like me and are a part of a CSA or love the Farmers Market then you'll definitely become acquainted with it so gobble it up!

In this particular recipe of mine it calls for veggie broth as the base. I made my own using all of the scraps from my ingredients plus used the scraps from my co-hosts. It was so easy and incredibly rich and tasty. You can make the broth or soup in larger batches and freeze for later. One audience member mentioned she pops her broth into ice cube trays and uses cubes as needed - great idea!

Cornucopia nourish series meatless monday

Onto my Cornucopia recipe!

Ingredients

1/2 Kohlrabi
2 Potatoes
2 large onions
2 cloves of garlic
Turmeric root (any size)
Vegetable Broth (make your own or buy from store)
Maple syrup
1/3 cup of white wine
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup of olive oil
Rosemary, oregano, basil
Rock or himalayan salt

To make the veggie stock, grab all of your scraps from the onion, garlic, kohlrabi stem and any other leftover scraps you might have (when cutting veggies, keep your scraps and freeze to use later for a veggie broth). Throw into a large pot and fill with 3L of water then leave to simmer, stirring sometimes. Include salt to taste. Leave on simmer for a few hours until there's a deep, rich colour and flavour (can also do this in a slow cooker).

Pre-heat your oven to 400F/200C then rough chop your potatoes, kohlrabi and onions. Grab two bowls, in one put your onions in the other put your potatoes and kohlrabi. In the onion bowl add your balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt then toss to completely coat. Throw onto a baking pan then drizzle maple syrup to completely cover then place into the oven for an hour, stirring every 20 minutes. 

In your other bowl, add olive oil to coat plus your herbs and salt. Toss to coat then add to a tray and put into the oven. Roast up to an hour. You wanted it golden roasted and soft.

Once broth and veggies are done remove from heat. Add your ingredients into the blender in batches. Blend each batch with part of your turmeric root and garlic then once all ingredients are blended up add back to stove to heat up or add to jars to freeze for later. If you add to the pot, this is when you add your white wine and stir. Don't allow to boil, it'll be ready when steam is rising.

Makes enough for at least 6 small bowls as a starter or 2-4 servings as a dinner. 
 

 

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Why jumping on a labelled diet won't fix your problemsNUTRITIONMorgan DunnSat, 16 Sep 2017 19:58:31 +0000/blog/2017/9/16/why-jumping-on-a-labelled-diet-wont-fix-your-problems57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:59bd6e9b90bade6be5c53deb

You feel like crap. You're bloated, often. Your skin isn't great. You sneeze and want to scratch your eyes out come the Spring. You know you could have more energy but not sure how exactly to access it. You feel like you drag your feet and the snooze button is your new BFF. You lose your shit if you don't eat and just absolutely need your morning coffee.

Your friend tells you about how she's no longer eating meat and feels ah-mazing. You read that high fat in your diet will solve your problems and that carbs are the enemy. Your CrossFit Nutritionist tells you to count your macros as that's the be all end all to cutting weight. You listen to a podcast with Dave Asprey and tells you to eat meat and that veggies don't want to be eaten by you (they have feelings too). Your YouTube health and fitness guru lets you in on her secret - she only eats 1300 calories and works out twice a day and OH MY GOD would you look at her abs?!

You're confused as fuck but you start with going 'vegan' because the vegan's tell you that meat is bad, full of hormones and antibiotics and that's the root cause of all of your issues. So you go vegan and you do feel pretty amazing! But after awhile, this feeling of amazingness starts to wear off. You're back to feeling low in energy, now your hair is starting to fall out too. Now what to do? May as well try Paleo because your sister's boyfriend's best friend does it and swears by it. Oh, and you read an article somewhere that it cures restless sleep, something you've been dealing with for awhile now. You don't feel too bad on it, except now you're wide awake in the evening and can't get to sleep. Onto Keto, you suppose!

Not once do you ever consider, 'hey - maybe it's time to actually work with someone who specialises in health and food instead of going off of what my friend's tell me or what I read in an article on Well + Good or what I saw in a documentary that one time'. You see, our body and our health is very individual and what works for your friend won't necessarily work for you because you don't have the exact same genetic make up, body type, environment or lifestyle. So many factors can influence our health, even down to the very gut bacteria we have (or don't have). 

Not to mention, often what you see in a documentary or read in an article is designed to be a generalization because the documentary has a bias and the article, to a degree has one too, but also can't possibly take into account every single person who reads it.

The reason you feel good, why most people feel great, when switching to a labelled diet such as Vegan, Paleo, Keto or the like is because their diet and lifestyle before was likely highly refined, full of sugar and running off of caffeine to keep the whole system functioning (not well, but you could get out of bed at least). You don't feel spectacular, necessarily, because you no longer eat meat period. You feel spectacular because you're not eating meat that has been pumped full of hormones, which affect our health. But did you ever stop to consider how you might have felt if you just switched the quality of your meat to pasture-raised non-hormone/antibiotic meat?

Not to just bash on plant-based eating, as it has it's place too, but the point being is that I see so many people jump from one highly marketed diet to another in an attempt to feel better, lose weight and have more energy without really considering a variety of other factors that make up our total health. And rather than bouncing from one thing to another, you could see someone like myself who can get to the root cause of your issues via your symptoms and work out a strategy to deal with it all while still being able to enjoy food and your life. 

The reality is that we haven't studied all of these diets long enough to truly ascertain whether they work for the long term. The studies that have been done pick and pull a part some things but don't take other factors into account during the study (like earlier, lifestyle, genetics, even gut microbiome). 

When I work with people, I prefer to ultimately have them enjoy a delicious and nutrient-dense varied diet. Because as it turns out, a diet that is varied actually is what provides us with the nutrients we need. History of healing tells us that humans didn't start to get sick until we took the variation out of our diets. Vegans have to supplement, as to those on every other diet. If your diet is varied and your digestive system is functioning then you won't need to supplement, you'll be getting what you need from your food. 

Depending on a person's condition, sometimes extremes are needed to make a huge impact on their health. Sometimes I do prescribe a plant-based diet, sometimes I do encourage eating more healthy fats (especially for hormone related conditions), sometimes I will recommend to remove gluten, dairy and soy because they're inflammatory for a lot of people. But the fact remains, I prescribe based on a person's bio-individuality, their goals, their symptoms and their lifestyle. We're all different, so don't leave it to your friends or that Women's Health article. See someone and get your health sorted ASAP instead of spending a ton of money on food that isn't supportive and doesn't fix the issues.

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How going outside of your comfort zone makes you more confidentSELF LOVEMorgan DunnFri, 15 Sep 2017 19:32:04 +0000/blog/2017/9/15/how-going-outside-of-your-comfort-zone-makes-you-more-confident57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:59bc1e14017db2d0ea3c8397

If you know me to any extent or have been following my blog for awhile then you'll know of my previous struggle with adrenal fatigue 2 years ago. It was hell and I was so sick. Getting out of bed some days was an accomplishment, let alone being able to go for a run like I had before I got sick. As such, being sick had me retreat. As someone who had thrived off of continually pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I put a hard stop to it and avoided it at all cost. I needed the comfort of a comfort zone during my recovery. Unfortunately though, for me, the byproduct of that was a loss in confidence. As I had put on weight as well, which is common with adrenal fatigue, I didn't feel like myself anymore. This only compounded my lack of confidence and it became a rough cycle.

When I was finally in my recovery through frequent weight training and yoga, a good hormone-balancing nutrition plan and some lifestyle changes then I could start to feel like I was getting back to myself. It took awhile though and it wasn't until this year that I not only had the energy but the clear head to push myself. Now that I am through the other side of it, what I know now is that just as I had gotten myself in a hole with losing my confidence that it was up to me to get out of it and the only way out was through. I had to push. 

Now while everything has its seasons and sometimes you do need the down time to recover, it is also just as important that we don't linger there. It's important we give ourselves a timeline (with some wiggle room) and then make it a priority to make OURSELVES a priority to get back on that horse. It was easy to say no to things, to not try, to wave off yet another day of going for a run or going to the gym because "I just didn't feel like it". And in some ways I think some of the "self help guru's" out there who tell us we shouldn't do anything we don't want to do is mostly bad advice. Because sometimes we have to be pushed and sometimes we have to do the things we don't want to do because perfection doesn't exist and without a bit of grunt and a bit of doing the shit thing, we don't actually grow. If we did everything we wanted to do all the time, what life experiences would we have? How relatable would we be?

So I drew a line in the sand and got on with it. Baby steps at first, of course, as things are more likely to stick and become habit if we focus on one day at a time. First I reached out about hosting workshops at various places, then I did them, then I would join a run group for a session here and there, I went to a coffee meet up, I made a new friend in-person from Instagram and went for brunch. Mostly, it was a series of small moments of doing something I hadn't done in order to gain inertia and motivation to do the next thing and the next. With each new thing, I gained valuable new friendships, new experiences and enjoyed myself. 

More recently though, the biggest breakthrough, was when I joined the local rugby club. I'm the only girl there, with a club of all men. I've never played rugby union in my life, I'm a rugby league girl and have played some tough football here and there. Rugby union is completely new to me. But after a nudge from a few guys at touch football from the summer league I decided to give it a go. I've been going every week for the last month and it has been an amazing experience. The guys I train with are some of the most supportive, patient and awesome guys I know. It could have been super easy to brush off trying a new sport at 29, and even easier to never come back after realising I'd be the only girl at training every week amongst 30+ men. But in doing this, in pushing outside of a comfort zone, I really managed to find my confidence fully again. Even bigger still, my voice.

When your confidence is diminished, it can be tough to speak up, to want to be seen, to put yourself out there. Finding your voice again and finding your confidence goes hand in hand. To top it off, I think there is a lot of stigma out there that men apparently want to silence women (and this may be true in some countries, I can only speak for Western society) and that women are apparently, on some level, still not allowed to be seen, heard or otherwise. I, however, have found this to be the complete opposite. As someone who's only ever grown up around men, who has mostly had male friends and has now found 30 new male friends to throw a ball around with... I have to say that I have found men to only ever be supportive, encouraging and welcoming. These men I train with have been the biggest encourages of using my voice, speaking up and communicating what I want as it's particularly important when you're playing sport.

But it all comes back to confidence because without it, it can be tough to find your voice. As women it can be tough to speak up, say exactly how you feel and what you want but I know that the crux of it is confidence. 

So try something new, get outside of your comfort zone, allow yourself to be in an experience you wouldn't normally do. This kind of thing gives us the confidence because it shows us what we're capable of and who we can be if we just DO the thing we're most afraid of. In turn, you might be surprised at how this confidence can help us manifest the things we want and create the opportunities we only ever dreamt of.

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I quit social media and couldn't feel more aliveSELF LOVEMorgan DunnSat, 09 Sep 2017 21:15:01 +0000/blog/2017/9/9/i-quit-social-media-and-couldnt-feel-more-alive57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:59b447859f8dce4dd239832e

This past week I deleted social media from my phone, which came as a shock to some of my closest friends. As someone who was a social media manager in my past life and has built a wonderful little community online, deleting social media apps from my phone seemed like a monumental move that created a few gasps. 

I haven't had Facebook on my phone in a long time, after deleting it months ago from noticeably checking it far too often and getting down about all the negative news. I have kept the Messenger app and Groups app for swapping information with my friends, peers, rugby club and community and I use Messenger as an extension of texting. But Instagram has always been one of my favourites, I have enjoyed its simplicity and have found some great inspiration for things to do and places to see. Eventually though, as with Facebook, I noticed I was checking it far too often. Mostly to disconnect and distract myself, I used it as a way to numb out as one would with TV. Unfortunately though, I noticed this led to much less productivity. I was actually creating less content and getting less work done because I would be so easily distracted by it. I also forgot what it was like to simply be bored or people watch or invite conversation with a stranger because I had my nose in my phone. 

After listening to a Podcast recently by a girl who quit social media for 6 months I was inspired. Then a friend announced on Instagram (ironic, I know) that she was quitting social for 2 weeks and deleting her apps after being inspired by another person who had done the same. Intrigued by the possibility and up for a good challenge, I wondered about doing the same. The last few months I felt like I had been needing to change things up, that I wasn't operating at my very best and was allowing too many distractions to get in the way of some really good quality work. I tried creating a No Social Media an hour after waking policy to allow me time to wake up, sort my thoughts, wake slowly before allowing other people's input distract me from my main game. 

I had noticed that for me, after awhile, that's all social media was doing was allowing far too much input of other people's curated lives and choices take me away from the things I was wanting and/or hoping to build, create, achieve, dream and do. The comparison game is so, so strong on social media. People have opinions, we create stories, and whether we realise it or not but we absorb that. As time went on, I noticed a physical reaction to checking Instagram. After about a minute of scrolling the feed my head feels heavy and I feel a bit drained. The moment I exit out and move on, I feel fine again. Not a good sign. 

I had toyed with the idea of deleting social media for awhile but found excuses such as "needing it" to build my business and connect with the local community, that somehow without being active on it that my entire potential for new client's would somehow dwindle to nothing! Instead, what I opted to do was delete the apps from my phone and if I'm on a desktop then I would continue to work on my Facebook Page, doing Live videos, sharing content and continuing to help and be of service to my community. So a few days ago I deleted it all and I have felt amazing ever since. 

While I'm tempted to not be on Instagram ever again, I do know it's important for me to swing back into it soon for business and community building. I do know it is important for that (previous social media manager talking here) but I think I can be a better business owner and person with some boundaries attached to it when I do jump back in.

What has been interesting, and actually kind of sad but also a bit exciting, is just how much time I've had. I've created some awesome content, I've been re-energised and inspired again, I've gotten back into action and the thoughts of comparison aren't there anymore. I just create what I want to create without the stories attached based on what I see others doing. I don't feel as fixed on the metrics or results but on the process, which is quite refreshing. 

Unsurprisingly, I've also finally found myself a lot more present not only with myself but with my family and friends too. No more sitting on the couch scrolling Instagram. When I go out with someone I am fully present with them. In the conversation of being present, I definitely feel like I notice a lot more now than when I had social media as my crutch. I don't find myself needing to take photos of everything I'm doing so I can get it up on Instagram and show it off!! Life still happens and that hike was still hiked even if I don't post it. As I said, both interesting and sad.

It's said that we spend at least 5 hours a day on our phones and social media and I wonder how much we could achieve and create if we spent even a third of that time away from our devices. In an effort to be more intentional with my choices, I felt that this was a must. I wasn't being intentional about my time, or respectful, by opening up Instagram constantly to check it. Now that I'm not worried about Instagram or other apps, I can just be and just create and just enjoy things without this shadow of 'I must share it or else my followers will dwindle/I'll lose business/my ego won't be happy with me'. 

I urge you to try it, even for a little while and see how much more you can get done. What ideas spring to mind. Where you can intentionally use your time more and avoid saying, "I don't have time/enough hours in the day!" because I can assure you, you have enough. We all have choices on how we spend our time and what we deem a priority is what gets our attention. Perhaps it's a great opportunity to learn a new skill, start a project you've been mulling over, visit a friend you haven't seen in yonks, be bored to spark creativity or go for a run. 

 

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Protein powders: Do you need IT and which are the best?NUTRITIONMorgan DunnSat, 02 Sep 2017 19:05:35 +0000/blog/2017/9/2/protein-powders-do-you-need-them-and-which-are-the-best57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:59aaef4dff7c50083fc7e4be

Protein powders are fascinating products because on one hand, they provide sustenance for people who struggle to get in their daily protein amounts but if you already are great at eating plenty of protein then it's mostly doing more harm than good.

A quick overview on protein though. Protein is one of the 3 macronutrients (carbs and fats being the other two) and it's primary purpose is to BUILD. Build muscle and help build our cells. It does have the ability to bulk us up if we eat too much of it for a long time, because it is a building macronutrient. I know that the time I went nuts with protein powder, on top of already eating a lot of protein, I gained a lot of weight. Protein is comprised of amino acids, the building blocks to our muscles. A complete protein is one that has all of our 9 essential amino acids (the ones we can't create in our body and must get from other sources). Marketing has done a wonderful job of convincing us that we must have protein powder without taking into consideration the rest of our diet.

So, when it comes to whether or not you need a protein powder ask yourself this:

1. How much am I working out?
2. What else am I eating that constitutes as protein?
3. How much protein am I eating in a day?
4. What are my goals?

I've gone right off of protein powders because for my goals and the amount of protein I consume in my diet already means adding a protein powder to my diet would be overkill. But if I haven't drilled it into you enough, not everyone needs to include protein powder in their day if they are already consuming enough protein. Some people that do may include vegetarians/vegans, elderly, people with digestive issues and those trying to gain weight/bulk. Okay, now that I have harped on about that enough then I will offer some great options for powders if you choose to include it in your diet.

I have worked in health food stores and for a global supplement company and have a good grasp of what's what, what sits right with people, what people love and hate and people's biggest complaints (too sweet, tummy upset, too gritty etc) so I've gathered a handful of quality recommendations based on my own work as a nutritionist, previous work, patient's feedback and my own experiences.

Now, I personally stay away from whey protein because it doesn't sit well with me and for a lot of other people but there is an awesome whey protein out there that I would highly recommend if that's your thing and that is Kaizen Whey Isolate Protein. They get their whey from New Zealand dairy, which is some of the best in the world (As an Aussie, I am truly in big support for our brothers and sisters across the ditch in NZ for dairy - good quality stuff). Grass-fed, good quality. I'd be skeptical about whey from North America, sorry guys! 

As for vegan protein powder, I go for stuff that has been fermented. Pea protein is usually the protein of choice for a lot of companies but if it's not fermented I tend to find all it does is cause tremendous tummy upset for people (and no one wants to shit their pants post smoothie). As such, my favourites include:

Genuine Health Fermented Proteins+
Iron Vegan Athlete's Blend
Iron Vegan Sprouted Protein Blend
NutraOrganics Thriving Protein AND/OR Clean Protein (this is the one I use when I have protein powder)
Hemp Protein Powder from Manitoba Harvest
Amazonia Raw Protein Isolate Powder

I'm not a big stevia fan after I went on a total elimination diet last year and ever since it has been waaaay too sweet for me, which is why I opt for the NutraOrganics powder cause I don't find it sweet. To be fair also, if you're adding banana and berries and other fruits, or even honey, then you shouldn't really need much more sweetness than that. If you do, it might be time to do a bit of a sugar detox. I like to buy my powders either from Vitasave, if they're a North American brand otherwise I buy direct from NutraOrganics.

What can you do with your protein powder?

With some of them, you can simply add nut milk or water, shake and go. This is great if you're in a rush or even perfect for travelling and something I used to do if I was in a pinch and didn't want to eat airport food. Otherwise, my favourite and simple recipe is this:

1 scoop of protein powder of your choice
1 frozen banana
1 cup of nut milk
1 teaspoon of cacao
1 tablespoon of hemp protein
1 tablespoon of nut butter
Half a cup of ice

Blend and enjoy.

 

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Slow food cycle in Pemberton, B.C.OTHERMorgan DunnWed, 23 Aug 2017 18:52:50 +0000/blog/2017/8/22/slow-food-cycle-in-pemberton-bc57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:599c7fbf579fb31fe9ad8e97

I have been dying to do the Slow Food Cycle in Pemberton for about a decade yet it seemed impossible to make it happen! Something always came up and year after year it would go by with me setting a goal that the following year would be the year. Well, finally I made it happen in 2017! It was an unreal experience and I'm glad I finally got to do it. I felt like I was living my absolute best life doing the slow food cycle and had a chance to see more of Pemberton than I have before!

In years past I had heard from others who had done it that if you wait too long to get going that stuff ends up being sold out so we made it our mission to be there right at 9am when it started. Starting right at 9am might have been super ambitious as there were a few stands that were still getting ready but that's okay because we ended up following what little crowd there was and decided to ride to the very end of the tour and work our way backwards. Starting at 9am though was a great choice as there was hardly anyone else! So we managed to cruise into each farm with no lines and no chaos. We really were able to take our time with it based on that!

There was such a wonderful abundance of vendors and farms ranging from beer and cider to produce to lavender and baked goods. My favourite farm to visit was the Helmer Farm. They gave you such an inside look into their farm and how they operate that it made you truly appreciate the work involved. 

slow food cycle pemberton

Our first stop was in fact at Blue House Organic Farm, where there was a taco truck (Snowline Catering) and a slippery dip (slip n slide) and a mini pool. We weren't feeling tacos that early in the morning but we did return and snagged a delicious veggie taco before the line up went crazy! This farm also has a beautiful farm house AirBnB if you need to get away to the country for a few days.

After this, we cruised into a home where they had horses and two stands in their front yard. One was two First Nations ladies selling Bannok and homemade jams (delicious, we couldn't resist) and another was a guy selling maple-infused sauces (also good, we grabbed a maple mustard!). A few people used this stop as a place to sit, chat and enjoy their bannok but what I loved most was there was an honour system coffee table set up with actual china cups! We popped $1 in the box and grabbed a coffee then pet the horses, enjoyed the view then headed off.

bannok slow food cycle slow food cycle

Next on the list of stops was this large barn with lots of green space to hang. At this stop there were multiple vendors from perogies to beer and cider to my friends cracker company (so good, definitely order some), flower stand, cafe on wheels and a guy who had some arts, crafts and local dried herbs and plants. I picked up some crackers, of course, and dried stinging nettle (great for the nervous system) and dandelion root (great for the liver) while talking to a guy about the local medicinal herbs available in the area. It was a wonderful conversation and amazing at how much we have abundantly in B.C.

slow food cycle pemberton eve's crackers

After that we booked it to Helmer's Farm as it was mostly the last stop (there was one more, but it was just produce and no one was at the stand - honour system, we still checked it out but didn't purchase anything). As I said earlier, this was my favourite. We probably spent a good 30-45 minutes here as I oggled everything, chatted with farm owners and connected with them over their love for the land. I had been following Catherine of From The Garden Shed for a little while on Instagram. She had just moved from Squamish, where I live, to Pemberton to live and develop her lavender and decor business. Incredibly kind, her stand was gorgeous and the lavender lemonade she had to try was delicious. We bonded over encouraging our husbands to sell up in Squamish, buy land in Pemberton and move to start growing on land. She was definitely living the life I envision a few years from now! 

the flour pot slow food cycle slow food cycle helmer's organic farm slow food cycle

Next to Catherine's stand was The Flour Pot - delicious and locally made baked goods, they had created Slow Food Cycle specific biscuits! A must-try if you're ever in Pemberton where they have a brick and mortar location in the downtown area. What I also thoroughly enjoyed about the Helmer's farm is being able to see the chickens and ducks, bees, vivacious and extensive herb garden and the exterior of a log home that completely blew me away as it was exactly how I envisioned our ranch home one day. 

On one of their tables they also explained their farm and why they do what they do, what they grow and general produce and farming education. Right next to this was local farm Rootdown Organics selling a lot of produce. If we hadn't already purchased our produce from our local farmers market the day before, we would have loaded up. Next to that was a couple of girls baking some local pemby potatoes and they were probably THE best potatoes I have ever had. My mouth is watering just thinking about them! They were also selling some flavoured rock salt so we purchased the smoked onion and garlic one, which we had also sampled on our potatoes. To die for. I now put it on everything (ha!). 

slow food cycle pemberton slow food cycle

Beyond the barn we went and chatted to Naomi from Four Beat Farm, where we're getting our Fall CSA harvest from! CSA stands for Community Shared Agriculture and is a great way to support your local farmer. You pay up front for a produce haul that you receive every week for a set period of time (usually with the seasons). It actually works out way, way cheaper to purchase your food this way than at the supermarket. Not to mention much healthier! Produce is organic and uses traditional farming methods, so you can rest assured there are no GMO's, pesticides (generally) and the produce comes from nutrient dense soil that's been in rotation. Naomi runs her farm all by herself (amazing!!) and leases a few acres to do it. What I loved about her farm is that she uses draft horses to work the land and zero mechanical farming. It was great to be able to meet our farmer where we'll be getting our Fall harvest from! She was hosting demos with her horses and a bunch of us got to ask lots of great questions on this traditional farming method and meet the horses!

Once my husband finally got to pull me away from Helmer's farm, we cycled back and dropped into a few stands we passed on the way up the meadows. Grabbing a quick biscuit at one of the bakery stands, dropping by a pulled pork stand and then finally heading back to the car. We finished up around 1pm and cycled a total of 30km from start to finish and back. The Pemberton Meadows road is pretty much flat so it makes it an easy ride. Crowds really came in their droves around 11/11:30pm and had ramped up even more by 12:30/1pm where there were plenty of long lines at each stand by that point. The event finishes at 3pm and in the later half of the day were a lot of families. The nice thing about the event was that they close the road between 10am-2pm, thankfully, because unfortunately once the crowds arrived a lot of people were oblivious to general self-preservation, safety of themselves and others! So if you do it next year, stick tight and to the right unless you're passing people! Don't ride multiple-people wide, take up the entire road or stop in the middle of it - it's not safe!

slow food cycle slow food cycle slow food cycle slow food cycle

I highly recommend doing the Slow Food Cycle if you can! It happens only once per year and it's a real treat and a wonderful way to connect to your local farmers and see where food comes from.

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The perfect healthy foods to take with you on a hikeNUTRITIONMorgan DunnMon, 21 Aug 2017 20:54:37 +0000/blog/2017/8/4/the-perfect-foods-to-take-with-you-on-a-hike57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:5984fa3086e6c09a29e20185

By the time summer rolls around we're all aching to get outside and climb mountains and explore lakes and wooded areas. Each year I find myself with a whole new list of places that I want to explore and create mental snapshots with my own eyes and spend time in nature without the sound of my mobile phone going off. 

It can be tough to find some quality, tasty and nutrient-dense foods to take hiking. You don't want something that's going to spike blood sugar then crash it, because it'll make hiking that much tougher. And you want something light and not bulky to carry with you. You also want something that you're not going to crush in your pack. So what's a hiker to do? 

Good news, I have some options!

Depending on the length of your hike and how much effort you'll be exerting will depend on what you take. I have some options for each variance but small snacks will be key no matter the distance. The best foods to choose are those that are going to provide you energy for a long time and not quickly and for a shorter amount of time. Bars and gels loaded with refined sugars aren't beneficial and will end up making you more tired once the crash comes after the spike. If you have a dehydrator, you can make a lot of your own meals that just require water to rehydrate. See some inspiration here

Under 3 hours

A hike in under 3 hours usually only requires snacks but you could pack a small lunch and have it midway through your jaunt in the wilderness. If that's the case and your pack allows, a lunch box with multiple compartments is great otherwise packing things in ziplock bags works well to save space. Once you're done with them, just wash at home, dry and save for the next hike.

  • Make your own trail mix including cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped dates/chopped dried figs and unsweetened coconut chips
  • Homemade granola - basically the same mix of foods above but with rolled oats and honey to sweeten. Here's a basic recipe to follow.
  • Sourdough sandwich with coconut oil as your butter (or grass-fed butter itself), nut butter and chia jam or get fancy with roasted veggies as your sandwich inners. True sourdough properly made and fermented will be less likely to spike your blood sugar versus regular bread, while also providing sustained energy as it's unrefined.
  • Banana
  • Homemade gummies with tart cherry juice or electrolyte powder and water with gelatin. Here's your basic recipe.
  • Boiled eggs
  • Carrots and cucumber slices
  • Blueberries
  • Healthy protein bars
  • Go Macro bars
  • Huma Chia Energy Gels

3-6 hours

You can use any of the items above and/or include:

  • Whole wheat tortillas or organic corn tortillas with nut butter and chia jam or shredded apple with nut butter
  • Cashew Coconut Lime Energy Balls
  • Roast potatoes rolled in coconut oil (or grass-fed butter) and sea salt
  • Trail bars - basic recipe here, feel free to swap almond/peanut butter with another nut butter or remove pumpkin pie spice with cinnamon or another spice
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Almond coconut energy bars
  • Brown rice with beans
  • Overnight oats 
  • Hemp Burger Patties

6+ hours (overnight or multi-day)

You can use anything above and/or include:

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How your allergies can be affecting your jointsDIGESTIONMorgan DunnThu, 17 Aug 2017 18:33:04 +0000/blog/2017/8/17/how-your-allergies-can-be-affecting-your-joints57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:5995d25bcd0f68686bdd0e45

Spring comes around and you start sneezing, eyes are watering and you want to rip them out. You eat something and suddenly you get a rash, or pain in the stomach or a tingly, itchy feeling in your mouth. In some cases, your reaction doesn't happen until a few days later. You might get a skin breakout or eczema. All of these are symptoms of an allergic reaction. 

Allergic reactions happen via two responses: IgE and IgG, which stand for immunoglobulins. IgE allergens are your typical classically diagnosed allergy such as pollen or grass and IgG is generally more related to food based allergens such as gluten or dairy but can be less immediate and explosive and often comes out a few days later. 

What happens to create an allergic response?

There are 3 steps to creating an allergy to something and often it comes about from a variety of factors such as genetics, environment, repeated exposure, toxic load or chronic stress. Step 1 includes the initial inhalation, ingestion, injection or absorption of the allergen then step 2 the body creates antibodies for the immune system to deal with it and step 3 is when we come into contact again with the allergen and the body has created a marker on it (antibody) so now it attacks and this is when we get the reaction as the body works to fight it. The body creates antibodies to proteins it doesn't recognize as self and that's why it attacks it. 

The thing is though, antibodies have the potential to circulate throughout the body. They don't just stay in one specific area. It's especially a problem when we have repeated exposure to a toxin or allergen in the gut and it creates permeability (leaky gut), which allows proteins and other things to get through into the blood that shouldn't be because they haven't had the digestive system do the proper breakdown. As such, antibodies are circulating in the body and will take up residence in places such as your joints so when you ingest an allergen, your joints may flare up days later in response. A study done showed a link between those with rheumatoid arthritis and food allergies where they noticed a definite increase in food allergens and joint pain a few days later.

So while your stomach may not twist in knots when you consume gluten, dairy or soy (for example) you may notice some aches and pains in your body days later. In conventional medicine, often allergens or arthritis is treated with medications that further provoke leaky gut and digestive issues that exacerbate the condition and leads to immune suppression, which makes your body wide open for other pathogens to come in without a way for your body to deal with it.

So what can you do to lessen the load and relieve your joint pain?

  • Remove potential allergens such as gluten, dairy, wheat, soy and nuts
  • Remove sugar and caffeine, stimulants
  • Avoid grains as for some this can cause a reaction
  • Increase fibre intake to encourage elimination of toxins 
  • Consume lots of water
  • Enjoy lots of yummy omega-3's such as cold water fish, avocado and hemp seeds
  • Eat lots of anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric, garlic, ginger, onion, pineapple (a pineapple-ginger juice is the perfect anti-inflammatory combo!)
  • Eat lots of green leafy veg but ensure proper prep for spinach and kale (massage with lemon juice and olive oil or lightly cook in a pan)
  • Take a good quality probiotic and collagen to improve gut lining
  • Yoga and stretching to encourage movement in your body and lymphatic system, which helps your immunity

For faster and more efficient relief, book an appointment with me to get a detailed active recovery plan to kick your joint pain to the curb and alleviate your allergies.

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Why the constant striving is actually making us sickSELF LOVEMorgan DunnFri, 04 Aug 2017 22:47:48 +0000/blog/2017/8/4/why-the-constant-striving-is-actually-making-us-sick57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:5984e4f7f7e0ab1cb6f7d7ad

I get it. I actually do. The need to strive, the hustle, the constant hungry need for exceeding expectations, the feeling that we're not doing enough, building enough, creating enough, living a good enough life or just plain and simply... we're not good enough. Full stop.

Our social media tells us that we're not living a big enough life, that we should have it more together than we do and that our less-than-perfect life is just a bit miserable. But then amazing product marketing also tells us that our hair isn't shiny enough and our skin is lackluster so we need better and more. Society tells us we need to be married by a certain time and have 2 kids and that no matter how much we go into massive amounts of student debt, go and get that degree - even if it leads to zero jobs and no closer to knowing what we want to do when we grow up.

Messages we get in our inbox inform us that we're not successful until we've hit 6 figures and have over 50,000 in followers on Instagram. Publishing companies won't even grant book deals to amazing writers without a large following online. That's crazy to me. What if we're losing reading some really wonderful information or beautiful stories because someone doesn't want to be on social all the time just to build a following? 

We're led to consume things and forget about the way food should look and taste and where everything comes from. Our bodies are no longer hours but that of the judgement in which the media creates and bias about how a body should look instead of just encouraging health and understanding that, that looks different on everyone.

For many, many, many years... okay, almost my whole life, I lived it rushing from one thing to the next, to the next. Crossing goals off like a to-do and never ever truly sitting with them once they're achieved. Never being grateful that they've been accomplished and how much work it took to happen but rather acknowledging it's happen and now what? What's next? This kind of mindset certainly led to a lot of big goals being crossed off but it also led to some serious health issues that has taken a few years to overcome. 

In our pursuit of more, and never-enough, not good-enough, we have made ourselves sick. Despite having all of these luxuries in our life we also have so much chronic illness. Even though we have all of these degrees, we don't have enough money to pay for good food or hospital bills (depending on where you live) and some can't even buy a house because of how much the world has gotten out of hand.

The constant need to prove ourselves and all be these people who have 6 figure businesses and a worldwide stage, has sent our stress levels sky rocketing and we've become more disconnected from our health. Our adrenals are running on overtime, our thyroid is freaking out and we're not sleeping anymore. 

And for what? Because if there's one thing I have learnt when I had adrenal fatigue and couldn't do the things I loved was that your goals and achievements don't matter much if you can't fully enjoy and experience them.

This isn't to say stop dreaming, stop setting goals and stop achieving but there is beauty in enjoying each of our achievements fully. There is something healing in being able to take a step back and ask ourselves whether the thing we're striving for will add to our life or drain it. Whether it's an opportunity for expansion or restriction. We need to always put our health first when we make decisions about big things. 

Be okay with we're you're at, there is perfect timing for everything that we're meant to experience. Do the things you love, that make your heart sing. Don't feel like you need to document every single thing on social media. Know you don't have to prove your worth. Your health will thank you.

 

 

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Slowing down to speed upSELF LOVEMorgan DunnWed, 02 Aug 2017 21:43:07 +0000/blog/2017/8/1/slowing-down-to-speed-up57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:598140ff17bffc5c408fdfe8

This week I've been on a break between finishing at CSNN (and awaiting to do the board exam) and starting at Endeavour College for Naturopathy. I've almost been at a loss with what to do with my time now that it's not filled with deadlines and assignments. I also let go of the last of my social media clients from my previous business to fully open and make space for my new business as a nutritionist. This was incredibly freeing, although a little scary, but there's magic in being able to take a step back and slow down in order to plunge feet first into the things that set your soul on fire.

So, with not much to do this week but relax I decided to finally try this yoga studio near my house that I've been meaning to try for over a year since I moved to Squamish. The past year I've been craving a direction that allows for space and creativity and a place to practice balance so as to not send my adrenals into fatigue again. Cause that ain't fun and I swear I've learnt my lesson this time. The last time I felt an abundance of energy and at my strongest was when I was active in my yoga practice a few years ago. Thanks to working at lululemon at the time, I was able to learn how to find my breath, be comfortable with the uncomfortable and power up my muscles in a low lunge for an indefinite period of time. But what it taught me on the mat truly helped me off the mat so I was excited to just make the decision to make yoga happen again.

For the last few years I made a lot of excuses to not consistently get back to my mat. Money, time, energy, motivation... whatever it was, I found an excuse. I tried yoga at home but it wouldn't stick. I never was able to just let go fully. At a yoga studio I can step into the space and dedicate the next 75 minutes completely to that practice. Nothing else matters. My phone is way out of sight and I don't have to think but be guided by the voice of the teacher and my breath. 

I think we make a lot of excuses in our lives when it comes to our health and the things we need the most to have the greatest positive impact. We're lazy and for the most part have to witness immediate rewards in order for us to deem something worthwhile. Unfortunately when it comes to our health, getting back into balance takes time (sometimes a lot) because it takes a lot of time to get out of balance. But most people don't want to put in the work, which is incredibly disheartening because there is so much value and growth and power in coming through the other side after putting in the effort to improve ourselves and our health.

After only 2 yoga classes I already feel lighter, a niggling knee pain that was bothering me has lifted and I am starting to sort things into their rightful place as I do a bit of reorganizing of priorities and what's needed to keep forward motion. The poses aren't easy like they use to be and I definitely feel uncomfortable and tight and things don't flow quite the same but I am a lot more gentle on myself than the last time I consistently went to my mat. 

The time is going to pass anyway. August is going to become September, is going to become October, whether we make changes or not. But the thing is, is that if we put in the effort to become greater than the day before then October will arrive and we'll feel so much better for the work we've done. We can put ourselves in a position to take life by the reigns again and go for it, otherwise we're just letting it pass us by. 

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We need to get back to basics if we want to improve our healthNUTRITIONMorgan DunnFri, 28 Jul 2017 18:45:40 +0000/blog/2017/7/25/we-need-to-get-back-to-basics-if-we-want-to-improve-our-health57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:5977cfad6a49634b3d79b7ae

As a self-confessed Type A personality who has a thousand things on the go and loves to be busy, I understand exactly what it feels like to not have the time. I know what it's like to get through the day and think, "Fuck - I didn't eat today" because of how busy I was. I know what it's like to get home after a long day and feel like the last bloody thing I want to do is cook.

But we have to. We have to make the effort. Because our health depends on it and it's cheaper to make the effort now than have to deal with the consequences later.

Unfortunately in all of our busyness we grew away from the basics when it comes to our food and forgot what was important. Instead we grasped onto quick and easy without questioning fully if it was the right decision for our health and whether it was supportive or not. We let go of traditions and in being involved in our community, we huffed at baking bread from scratch and reached for the cheapest thing instead of the most nutritious. Marketing has done a fantastic job as staging itself as our nutrition expert, telling us what we need to eat based on sexy or alluring imagery and a whole lot of sugar. 

Now we don't even want to think about where our food comes from, we just want to pick up that roast chicken on the way home from work because we don't have to do anything. Instead we will spend our time on our devices or distracting ourselves needlessly. We have lost our love for food, lost the knowledge traditionally past down on how to prepare food and its benefits when selecting whole and nutrient-dense foods.

Unfortunately, it takes getting incredibly sick before someone wakes up to their health (not always, but usually... and sometimes that wake up doesn't occur at all). But why must we get to that point? Why don't we take the time now to help us later? Don't we want to be able to check our Instagram from the beach instead of a hospital bed? Truthfully, Instagramming your heart rate monitor and IV bag isn't quite as gorgeous as that Instagram photo of you travelling the world or rope swinging into a beautiful blue lake. Just sayin'.

So what can you do, even if you're a busy bee, to better take care of your health and get back to basics?

Replace distracting phone time with food time

Whatever we make time for is what we deem a priority and the fact that we claim we don't have time yet needlessly spend a ridiculous amount of time our phones (social media, lets be honest) is a cop-out. Did you know that we spend, on average, 3-5 hours per day on our devices? I'm just as guilty some days, but I've also made an intentional choice to do better. That time is not always beneficial or adding to my day so I spend less time and focus on the things that matter. Do you mind spending at least 30 minutes less per day on your phone for the sake of your health? I hope you said yes.

Get educated

Once we get away from the distractions, you'll find your mind suddenly has a chance to think and wants to be engaged in something beneficial. So, lets fill that space with some good quality food and prep education. Who do you know that's a fantastic cook? Ask them how they learnt, what their fave dishes are, how do they meal prep? Find out the tips and tricks from your nutritionist, read food blogs, chat to your local farmer... get educated. 

Keep it simple

Food and eating healthy is not hard you guys. If you take the whole minimalist movement that is trendy right now, the idea is that we limit the things that aren't necessary to make space for the things that are. The same applies with food. Drop the processed shit, educate yourself on where your food comes from and just eat real fucking food. That's it. Want a simple one day meal plan with real food?
Breakfast: overnight oats with non-dairy milk and berries
Snack: Carrots and snap peas with hummus
Lunch: Salad
Snack: Smoothie
Dinner: Roasted veg with some sort of protein

If that's tough for you, we need to talk. But you don't have to be making any kind of elaborate meal, just make sure it's nutritious.

Scout out your kitchen

Kinda similar to educating yourself but see what you have in your kitchen and learn what shit does. When I feel ultra lazy I either BBQ or oven-roast my food. The cleaning is limited that way and I generally don't have to do much but flip stuff. When using the oven, I can throw some stuff in and walk away. 

Just get organised

Meal prep. Food prep. One day a week. Easy, as. On weeks I know I have a lot on the go, I spend 30 minutes to an hour one day a week to just prep food for the week. This might include cooking up a bunch of stuff to have in the fridge and heat throughout the week or grab and go OR I just chop stuff up so I can take it out of the fridge and throw it in the oven or fry pan later on.

Get to know your community

Did you know that before we claimed that those we follow on Instagram are our 'community' that we actually made real, one on one connections, with our neighbours and those we live near? In doing this, we helped raise children together, swapped food, shared stories, learnt tricks and tips for life and laughed, all of which helped us feel supported and connected. Don't get me wrong, a community online definitely has its benefits and I've met a lot of friends via Instagram and Twitter... but meet the people who live next door to you too. You never know how you can help one another. It's in this that you might be able to food trade, or one story I heard of was of a new mother whose neighbours provided cooked meals as she transitioned as a new mother. Isn't that wonderful?

Hire a nutritionist to cook for you

More of these services are popping up (I even do it for people, just ask me) for people who don't want to think about cooking but have the money to pay someone else to create a meal plan and cook them nutritious food. If you're in the Sea to Sky corridor of B.C. I can help you out (And sometimes Gold Coast, Australia - just connect with me for dates) otherwise feel free to email me for recommendations in other cities. 

So no more excuses on why you can't eat well and health. Not having time is a cop-out, you have to reorganise your priorities or find a way to make it work. Boxed cereals, microwave meals and that roast chicken on the way home is not the answer and there are ways around it. It's just a question of what is most important to you. Health or something else?

 

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I quit running & it was the best decision of my lifeSELF LOVEMorgan DunnFri, 21 Jul 2017 00:32:57 +0000/blog/2017/7/20/i-quit-running-it-was-the-best-decision-of-my-life57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:597144bba803bb50be335228

Running has always had some sort of presence in my life ever since I was young. I excelled at cross-country races in school and would run kilometres playing soccer competitively. Then I moved to Canada and took a break before getting back into it about 5 years ago and running half marathons, marathons and relay races. I loved it. I led a successful run club with stellar co-captains and met some of my favourite people through the running community. My identity became so wrapped up in running that when I had to stop abruptly in 2015 due to adrenal fatigue, I was completely displaced and have been wanting to find my way back to it ever since.

At the worst of my adrenal fatigue, I felt completely out of sorts when I hit the pavement. It took less than 5 minutes to feel like absolute shit and if I managed to push through for 5k's then I would come home and collapse. I'd end up with migraines so bad that once I had to go to the hospital. It was the worst and I had to put it all on hold if I wanted to get better.

Then I did, after a massive nutritional overhaul that was supportive and nourishing as well as some mindset work and removing toxicity in my life on many fronts I began to really turn around. Eventually I could run and feel good. I did some half marathons in 2016 without training for them and did fine and didn't feel like rubbish. This was a huge win. This year, I made it a point that I wanted to run for fun and without pressure. No races and no running if I didn't feel like it. But I ran weekly, at least 2-3 times a week and felt fine but never felt awesome. Never felt that runner's high I used to get. I also still couldn't shake the additional weight I had put on at the worst of my condition, and then my skin went nuts. 

I've always had beautiful skin, never any blemishes but then when I got sick my skin went crazy and suddenly I started to see changes. When I stopped running and changed my nutrition my skin levelled out again and I lost the bloat. Awesome. But then I started to notice a correlation to my weight and my skin when I would run consistently. 

With adrenal fatigue, quite often high intensity exercises like running actually worsen the condition because you're spiking the cortisol in your body... the very thing you shouldn't be doing as you recover from adrenal fatigue. As such, the stress throws out a lot of other hormones and it also sends a signal to your body to store fat instead of burn it because it thinks it's in danger. 

So while I had my energy back, while I could run without feeling like shit... I still had a lot of recovery ahead of me. Adrenal fatigue doesn't just go away after a few months. It can take a year or more to balance. When I realised the connection, that was when I decided to quit running and rather than feeling sorry for myself like I did the first time when I diagnosed in 2015... I felt relief. Another sign I was trying to push something that wasn't really right anymore. I quit it about 3 weeks ago and haven't looked back. 

As we move through our life we grow and change and while there was a period of my life that running was a big part of it, now it is no longer the case. At the pinnacle of my running, I couldn't do anything else. I stopped biking, pushing myself snowboarding and wasn't really trying other sports because I didn't want to get injured because it would take me away from running or an upcoming race. I wasn't really living. But now I enjoy being able to make time for yoga, the gym, biking, backcountry skiing, rugby league, touch footy, soccer again... and it has been such a relief. And my skin has been clearing up. 

It's so important that we do an inventory of our actions and what they might be doing for our body. Is X really supportive of my health now and in the long term? Should Y really be happening? Our goal should be to achieve longevity in all areas of our life. Being able to quit running with no regrets has allowed for space to really consider what running was for me in my life. I ran to escape, I ran because I "didn't want to get fat", I ran because it was tied to my identity and my ego. NONE of these things are positive! NONE of them supportive. None of them intentional or conscious and in part it created my sickness, which I've been paying for. How is that worth it? When I look back at running photos, I "look" like I'm in great shape on the outside. On the inside I am slowly deteriorating. I am in a place in my life where I'm not happy. There's a lot going on, good and bad, but overwhelming and stressful. 

So make better choices NOW, make intentional choices TODAY that will support you not just tomorrow but 5 years from now, 10 years from now, 50 even. This isn't to say I will never go back to running, but if I do then it must come from a place of intention and positivity. It has to come from body love, not hate. It has to come because it's a celebration not as a punishment. It has to support me, not create a deficit in my life. Consider how your actions are creating health or taking it away and see what you can do to make it better.

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How to combat inflammation naturallyNUTRITIONMorgan DunnThu, 13 Jul 2017 22:11:55 +0000/blog/2017/7/8/how-to-combat-inflammation-naturally57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:5961512e86e6c0758c6357bc

Whether we're a weekend warrior, daily sweater or elite athlete we will be riddled with inflammation post-exercise due to the lactic acid and micro tears in our muscles from our activity. The good news is that we can eat foods that are anti-inflammatory to reduce our inflammation so that we can recover faster and reduce the stress on our body post-exercise.

But it's not just athletes who experience inflammation, injuries or post-surgery brings about inflammation in the body in a big way and there's a lot that food can do to bring down that inflammation and enhance and encourage faster recovery. We never want inflammation to stay in the body and become chronic as this can generate more problems for us and increases our chances of injury or worse chronic conditions such as adrenal fatigue, arthritis, allergies or cancer (most severe). So it's always best to combat it early and head on.

Below are my fave recommendations for clients when we want to reduce inflammation in the body:

Essential Fatty Acids

EFA's are key in reducing inflammation in the body and several studies have been done to prove its benefits. In fact, in one study done they found that patients with arthritis found equal relief from using omega-3 supplementation as they would have on ibuprofen. That's huge! Rather than taking a synthetic pill that can be tough on the liver long term, you can take this natural alternative that the rest of your body will thank you for. When looking for your EFA's, we're talking omega-3's here and these can be found abundantly in salmon, avocado, flax, chia, fish oil and walnuts just to name a few.

Vitamin C

A popular vitamin and antioxidant, Vitamin C is in my Anti-Inflammatory first aid kit when reducing inflammation of any kind whether it's from sport or general inflammation. Because of its antioxidant properties it does a superb job of reducing free radical damage in our body that can be developed due to injury or diet. It's also a water-soluble vitamin, which means your body does not store it and only takes what it needs. As such, it's best to spread out your dosages throughout the day so you don't just eliminate it every time you go to the bathroom!

Turmeric (curcumin) 

When it comes to the healing properties of turmeric, we're specifically speaking to curcumin. This is the part of the turmeric that makes it yellow on the inside! While there have been 1000's of studies done on curcumin, one in particular found curcumin to be anti-inflammatory by removing inflammatory molecules from the body when taken in dosages of over 1125mg per day. You can take this either by using the turmeric root and chopping it up finely enough to be swallowed with water or in a smoothie, juice or as a latte! As natural as possible is generally better when it comes to using food as supplements. You can also purchase curcumin as a supplement in some health stores. 

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Latte

I have to preface that turmeric can stain so beware when it comes to your hands, clothes and kitchen! Wash things immediately. 

  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk/cream OR 1.5 cups of almond milk
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of turmeric root, grated
  • 1 tbsp of raw unpasteurized honey
  • 1 tsp of cracked pepper to help absorption of turmeric and improve its anti-inflammatory properties
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (helps to balance blood sugar)

Add all ingredients to a pot on your stove. Whisk ingredients to mix and bring to a very light boil then take it off the stove and pour into a mug, allow to cool then drink.

 

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Improve Sleep Hygiene for a healthier lifeOTHERMorgan DunnSat, 08 Jul 2017 21:32:59 +0000/blog/2017/7/6/improve-sleep-hygiene-for-a-healthier-life57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:595ea17bb6ac50310f74d7ff

For many years lack of sleep, or 'the hustle' has been proudly worn by many people who boast that they don't need sleep or they're too busy for it or they'll sleep when they're dead! Little do they know that lack of sleep or broken sleep can actually be more harmful to their performance than good and should not be worn as a badge of honour or a gold star. Studies have shown that lack of sleep has severe consequences to our cognitive function such as short and long term memory and poor decision making... all of the things people need for better performance in their life. 

Health care professionals alike are working towards encouraging people to make great sleep a priority and that in fact it will serve them better than hinder them. If you show signs of having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or not feeling rested upon waking then perhaps it's time to employ some of these Sleep Hygiene tips for a healthier life:

Shut off devices an hour before bed

Its becoming well known that all of the devices we have surrounding us actually have the ability to hinder our sleep patterns. The light that our devices emit actually keeps us awake and puts off our body releasing melatonin, the very thing we need to help us feel sleepy. There are some apps and options built-into our devices now that reduce the amount of blue light that is emitted but it still doesn't remove the fact that our brain remains active and on as we surf our phones at a time when we should be gearing down. 

Develop a sleep routine

When it comes to sleep, our body craves routine. Haven't you noticed that you tend to get sleepy around the same time most nights and awake around the same time most mornings? That's our circadian rhythm in action and it's best that we try not to mess with it too often. Having a great sleep routine also soothes our adrenals and reduces hormone imbalances by creating a routine for when we go to bed and when we wake up.

Wake up slowly

Nothing fires up our adrenals more than an erratic schedule or running from one thing to another. While we do get a surge of cortisol upon waking (that's what gets us up), waking and jumping out of bed in a rush to get out the door can spike our cortisol into levels that aren't necessary for that time of day. It also keeps us operating at a frantic level and never allows a chance for our adrenals to fall back into the natural rhythm of the day. Operating at this level keeps our cortisol high, which in turn affects our blood sugar and that's a whole other problem! Set your alarm a bit earlier if need be, enjoy the morning and rise slowly.

Be mindful of your state of mind

For a long time whenever I woke up I would immediately look at my phone and social media and I felt already I was distracting myself and getting into the head of someone else instead of focusing on what I needed to do and how I felt upon waking. Eventually I decided to wake up slowly and not look at my phone or social media and instead focus on how I wanted to feel throughout the day. I keep a book beside my bed that's uplifting and I read a few pages to wake up or I meditate, sometimes even go through a list of things to be grateful for. This starts your day in a much happier state of mind instead of sitting in comparison and possible triggers from reading or seeing something on social media. How do you want to feel for the rest of the day?

Keep devices out of the room or change some settings

I absolutely love the setting on the iPhone that prevents notifications from sounding or vibrating between certain times. I have it set that only a few numbers can get through in case of emergencies but otherwise after 10pm, it's dead silent. This prevents any sounds from going off at 2am at random and disturbing your sleep.

Don't overeat at dinner & avoid the refined sugar

Overeating at anytime of day wreaks havoc on our digestive system, but doing so before bed is even worse. Our body slows down as we sleep, which in turn slows our digestive system down. This can cause unnecessary bloating and undigested food, which can be a cause of our allergies and leaky gut. Eat just enough to feel comfortable and a few hours before sleep. As for sugar, eating anything refined before bed sends our pancreas into overddrive in an attempt to balance our blood sugar and we find ourselves in a sugar high with a brutal crash and can result in more hunger right before we're due to sleep... this in turn keeps us awake. Avoid the refined sugars before bed and instead opt for foods that don't create such a harsh spike and drop.

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How to support a concussion through nutritionNUTRITIONMorgan DunnMon, 03 Jul 2017 19:07:00 +0000/blog/2017/7/3/how-to-support-a-concussion-through-nutrition57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:59556c2f5016e198f703a8dc

Brain injuries, specifically concussions, are getting more noticed and taken way more seriously than back in the day when my dad played rugby league (circa 70's and 80's). Nowadays, athletes, coaches and the whole support team are taking steps to ensure athletes are treated fully for their concussions to reduce the severity of their long term health consequences. If you want to watch a film on the severity of brain injuries, check out The Crash Reel

While treating a concussion requires rest and monitoring, there's a lot that can be done to treat and support a concussion through nutrition and something I work on with athletes quite often. Recovery nutrition focuses a lot on reduction of inflammation and the brain is no different. On the blog I want to provide some great food and supplement options as well as the things to stay away from. As always, consult your nutritionist, naturopath or doctor for specific foods to treat your specific concussion:

The Best

Healthy fats

Your brain is made up of fat, in particular your omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which comes from eating fish such as salmon or sardines, a good quality fish oil, sea veggies, chia seeds, flaxseeds or hemp seeds. But generally fish and sea veggies tend to be higher in omega-3. This fatty acid really supports reductions in inflammation of the brain, helps cell membrane maintenance and neurological functions. One study done found DHA to be critical in recovery from a concussion due to its necessary properties for brain health.

Good quality protein

Protein is our building macronutrient, which is why in a lot of bodybuilding circles you'll see plenty of people stock up on protein powders in order to build muscle. Protein is great at repairing and rebuilding muscle and tissue breakdown, which can occur in a concussion. I always recommend spending your money on good quality sources of protein and while you can get your protein from plant-based sources, animal protein is the most potent and strongest source. Grass-fed beef and organic poultry thats been allowed to roam free is best.

Green leafy veg & fibre

Green leafy veg has an abundance of vitamins and minerals that our body needs especially in times of inflammation. Minerals like magnesium will help relax the body and manufacturing of neurotransmitters. Vitamins like Vit C (also an antioxidant) will help to reduce the inflammation in the brain. Fibre is also critical at this time to ensure proper elimination so any toxic build up from the concussion can be swept out!

Get that sunshine vitamin

A study done has found that Vitamin D has major benefits to recovery for concussions by reducing inflammation and neuronal injury (with added success in conjunction with progesterone supplementation). 

The worst

Alcohol

As alcohol can be a depressant then this can exacerbate symptoms if a person drinks alcohol while nursing a concussion. It also tends to slow down, or switch off recovery altogether. When your reflexes and reaction times are already decreased due to your injury, alcohol makes it worse. 

Processed foods

Your body is already in a state of inflammation and stress so by eating processed and refined foods such as fried and junk foods, you're furthering stressing your body out and increasing inflammation, which slows down overall brain recovery.

Caffeine

As caffeine is a stimulant and affects our nervous and endocrine systems then it's generally advised to avoid any sort of caffeine until you're well recovery from your concussion. 

 

Our aim is to help our body and give it the best chance at recovery so we don't want to do anything that's going to hinder that. Rest and eat good quality foods that will support your recovery and you'll be back out there before you know it.

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How to Meal Plan EffectivelyNUTRITIONMorgan DunnTue, 27 Jun 2017 17:38:20 +0000/blog/2017/6/27/how-to-meal-plan-effectively57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:595290704c8b036ff81529e4

One of the things my busy clients are always wanting are tips to meal plan effectively and easily so that they can spend more time doing the things that they love. There's no question that when you're more prepared, it's one less thing to have to worry about and therefore makes life so much easier!

Meal Planning can be incredibly simple to do and I love to offer my tips on how to make it simple for you too:

What are your goals?

Are you training for something? Are you trying to lose body fat or are you just wishing to maintain your current health? Your goals will determine the food that you choose in the week and what you need to add or remove based on what's coming up.

Know your habits

There's absolutely no sense including a smoothie into your meal planning if you're not a smoothie drinker. Know your habits and what you like and incorporate that into your planning. You're more likely to stick with your plan when you have things in it that already blend nicely with your routine.

Find inspiration

If you're habit is the same thing week in week out, that's okay, but in order to progress in your goals you will have to change things up a bit sometimes. Gather inspiration from recipes and pictures of other meal's to figure out what to cook this week. Use Pinterest, Instagram or this blog to plan your next meal!

Make room for leftovers

I always like to make extra to make the budget go further and provide a lunch the next day (or a dinner) that saves me time in having to make something new all over again. 

Use a template

When you have a template it makes it easy to just fill in things week in week out or leave a few meals in there so you're having to type in less. Leave it on your phone or make a print out and pop on the fridge. 

I've created this FREE template that you can use for Meal Planning that also includes a Grocery List. It's in View Only Mode, so just click the link then Hit File > Make a Copy > Save your copy to wherever you like and start planning!


Want more detailed tips on how to nourish your body inside and out and increase longevity? Sign up to be in the loop of when We Play Outside Collective opens!

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Why an intentional morning sets you up for successSELF LOVEMorgan DunnFri, 23 Jun 2017 00:24:12 +0000/blog/2017/6/22/why-an-intentional-morning-sets-you-up-for-success57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:594c48ac6b8f5b08e3be6474

If you're anything like most people, and myself until a few weeks ago, then you're probably susceptible to rolling over and flicking through social media once the alarm goes off. Whether this is your opportunity to help you wake up, get distracted immediately or an addiction to what our friend's and fellow strangers are up to... one thing is for sure, it can be such a poor use of our time in the morning. 

The thing about scrolling through Instagram as soon as we wake up is that immediately we're taken away from the present and into the curated lives or everyone else. All of a sudden feelings of FOMO and comparison come in and we haven't even had our morning coffee. 

I used to be pretty bad with this, as a social media manager in my past-life I would wake up to my alarm and open Instagram immediately but after awhile I really started to notice how this act made me feel. I felt heavy, distracted, FOMO and would sometimes be in comparison... I had barely started the day and already it started negatively without even fully realising it. 

So I investigated why I would grab my phone immediately instead of filling that space with something more productive in the morning. I wanted to be distracted, deep down, so as to not have to deal with anything else that would be going on that day. I would do it to also delay truly starting my day, which isn't productive at all. 

After getting deep into some mindset work the last few months, I've become hyper-aware of my habits and whether or not they serve me and my bigger vision for my life. I realised that having an intentional morning was really needed if I wanted to step toward my goals in a bigger way. 

An Intentional Morning is one where the things we choose to do to start our day are for the greater good of our emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. Where we remain present in what needs to be done and allowing the space to do it so that we set ourselves up for success for the remainder of the day.

Intentional Mornings include how you start your day from the sound of your alarm, whether you wake up slow or jump out of bed and shower, do you include meditation upon waking or a yoga practice and how do you eat to fuel for the day's needs ahead?

It can take at least 21 days to form a habit and to switch out old practices that weren't serving us but once you start to notice the difference you'll be hooked! We want to start our days off in a positive mindset, feeling refreshed and excited to get the day going and to explore what's ahead for us. Morning habits that don't contribute to the ultimate way that we want to feel only drag us down and sets the tone for the day in a way we don't want!

Some suggestions on Intentional Morning rituals:

  • Meditation (HeadSpace and Calm are great apps for this)
  • Yoga (self-practice, studio or Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube)
  • Enjoying a large glass of water as you rise to rehydrate your body
  • Hydropathy shower: going from hot to cold and back (studies show it improves immunity and reduces pain)
  • Lemon water and a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar before food. This wakes up your digestive system, preparing it for food to aid in better digestion
  • Going for a morning walk
  • Getting some time in nature, whether it's forests or water
  • A morning Stand up Paddleboard
  • Trail run
  • Gym session
  • Cuddles with your loved ones and furry friends
  • A gratitude journal
  • Putting on your diffuser with a morning blend of essential oils
  • Making a morning coffee or tea
  • Reading a few pages or a chapter of your current book
  • Meeting someone for breakfast
  • Having a nutrient-dense breakfast
  • Concocting your morning smoothie
  • Spending time in your garden, tending to your delicious work
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Athletes & Adrenal FatigueADRENAL FATIGUEMorgan DunnMon, 19 Jun 2017 00:07:46 +0000/blog/2017/6/15/athletes-adrenal-fatigue57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:5942ffeb03596e782594eb4f

Adrenal Fatigue, or adrenal insufficiency, is a condition that is becoming more prevalent in our lives than ever before. With multiple stressors and always pushing ourselves beyond our limits, it's no wonder our adrenals are freaking out then burning down. 

What is adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is a state in which our body can no longer regulate cortisol effectively and as such results in a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, depression, muscle wasting, foggy head, migraines, weakness amongst other symptoms. Adrenal fatigue often comes about from a long period of chronic stress when our cortisol is raised for a long time until the body is unable to sustain itself at those levels and it crashes. 

When this happens for athletes, we can see decreased levels in our performance and a massive increase in fatigue. It can feel like wading through concrete when you try to move or you're unable get that PB despite the training. 

How do you get adrenal fatigue?

As mentioned above, it comes about from chronic high stress but stress from what? Here a few things:

  • Relationships
  • Overtraining
  • Chronic undernourishment
  • Job stress
  • Trauma
  • Already impaired health

In the cases of athletes, I much prefer to work with them to decipher the underlying causes of their adrenal fatigue. More often than not overtraining is a factor, but I find it is not the only reason and can often be a multiple set of reasons that lead to their diagnoses. 

When it comes to athletes, most often we are working towards bettering ourselves and our sport all the time as such we are overachievers and like to push ourselves beyond our limits. While this can also present excellent growth in our sport, if we don't balance it out then we can also become acquainted with the ugly side of overtraining and overachieving. 

In an article written in 2016, the writer looked at the dark side of extreme sports. While the article dove into anxiety and depression of these sports, there is still other things going on physiologically that are equally important to discuss. Having lived in mountain towns (and still do), I am surrounded by inspiring athletes pushing the boundaries all the time. The drawback with this from a physiological stand point is that every time we throw ourselves off a cliff or dabble in the backcountry surrounded by potential avalanche danger we are activating our fight-or-flight response, our cortisol, epinephrine and noepinephrine levels. In the case of someone who does that for a living, extreme sports, they're activating this response all the time resulting in high levels of chronic stress, which has catastrophic consequences physiologically.  

How do you manage adrenal fatigue?

Ideally we want to prevent it altogether, but if you're past that point and are in this space then there are a few ways to manage and ultimately recover from it. I love to work with my clients on the athlete trifecta: nutrition, movement and mindset when it comes to recovery and it includes changing the diet and incorporating a lot of healthy fats, changing the way we train and workout and finally working on our thoughts and mindset to calm our body and our minds so that we're not triggering ourselves into stress.

How do you prevent adrenal fatigue?

Like with anything, a nutrient-dense diet is really key in helping prevent a range of ailments but when it comes to athletes it's ensuring we're also eating enough for our activity levels as this can be just as detrimental as not eating a healthy diet. We also like to prevent getting to the point of adrenal fatigue by ensuring we're taking breaks and cross-training so we're not only mixing up our workouts in order to prevent injury but that we're also going to give our system some time to decompress and balance out the fire we're creating. Taking breaks in our training actually makes us a stronger athlete in a variety of ways, but this also helps prevent getting burnt out. 

In being able to also prevent adrenal fatigue, taking some adaptogens for stress can really benefit such as cordyceps, ashwaganda, holy basil and rhodiola. These allow the body to adapt to stressors more effectively. Other things like magnesium and vitamin C are great options to calm the body and relieve inflammation. 

I also recommend meditation and journalling as these are great ways to unwind and calm the mind, which is just as important as all of the other aspects to relieve stress and prevent adrenal fatigue.

As someone who has experienced adrenal fatigue due to being overworked, overtrained and undernourished I am hyper-aware of how it can affect the everyday athlete. For me, as someone who had run marathons, I could barely run 5km. I put on weight, I would sleep for 13 hours on weekends plus need to take naps, I got migraines and couldn't think straight. It was the worst! Some days I just couldn't get out of bed. By not taking the preventative measures beforehand, it led me to having to take a year and a half off of training, which as an athlete is a huge amount of time. So take the time now, take the mini-breaks now so that you aren't having to stop training indefinitely in order to take care of your health.

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5 ways to stay healthy while on the roadNUTRITIONMorgan DunnSun, 26 Mar 2017 20:31:54 +0000/blog/2017/3/26/5-ways-to-stay-healthy-while-on-the-road57c23476414fb59d818dabf1:57c23c4bb8a79b45b41dc8aa:58d81d4b440243314dc56fa2

I recently just got back from a wonderful trip away down the West Coast from Squamish, BC to California and was yet again reminded of why I just adore travelling. I love seeing something new, meeting new people, experiencing life just a little differently. But I've also noticed that travel cuts out all of the noise for me. I'm way less distracted and able to narrow in on the things that matter. As such, I always come back with a fresh perspective and inspiration of what to do next.

With all of that said, I also know how tough it can be to stay healthy while on the road. It can be easier for us to eat out at every meal but truthfully it can also get super expensive. I know it's not always easy to find accommodation with a kitchen, but a hotel room will at least have a fridge and you can always ask room service to bring bowls, plates and cutlery as needed.

1. Consider your accommodation

If you can pick places to stay that have kitchens, even if it costs a bit extra, I find the money worth it. I look at it this way, that if the place doesn't have a kitchen then I'm eating out more, which costs more than paying the bit extra for a kitchen. The costs don't seem that way up front but you will find it evens out (or ends up being cheaper, generally). However, if you just can't find a place or the prices different in extremes then consider what you can do with the space you have.

2. Pick the meals you'd like to eat in versus out

If you have a kitchen, you can pretty much make all of your meals in your accommodation. Enjoy breakfast in bed, bring a packed lunch or feast in the evening in your home away from home. But if you are limited to a bar fridge in a hotel room then consider which meals you'd best be able to eat in with. One of my trips to San Francisco had me staying in a hotel where I only had a bar fridge. I decided to pop down to Trader Joe's and get breakfast supplies of granola, milk and fruit as well as dinner of their pre-made salads. It was perfect. It meant that I only had to worry about lunch or dinner, depending on when I had the salads. Breakfast was covered. I called down to room service to get the bowls and plates I needed plus cutlery and I was set. Even making sandwiches could have been option if I wanted! So. Simple.

3. Picking meals on the road

Depending on whether you're flying or driving will make it easier or harder to get healthy options. We definitely found this to be the case as we hit the road, there weren't a lot of options for healthy food. We picked our places and opted for salads or veggies as much as possible. I also inquired about sourdough versus refined white bread for sandwiches or even went with a broth-based soup or stew. The other thing we did is buy a eski-bag (cooler bag? Insulated bag? Whatever the North American word is) and bought salads and coconut milk so we could always dive into that if we got super hungry or grab a tea somewhere and use our own milk. We definitely found it tough to find non-dairy milk options on the road. We also tried to aim for a Starbucks every now and then as they do some really great pre-made salads and bistro-boxes that aren't too bad. 

4. You're on vacation but your digestion isn't

Your digestive system doesn't know or care that you're on vacation so don't let that be your excuse to let loose. Obviously enjoy your meals and try some things you wouldn't normally but the stress that travel has on the body can be quite a lot! So ease it by not eating the foods that normally cause you digestive upset. All of the digestion rules still apply: chew your food and eat mindfully.

5. Walk, stretch and take 5

Travel can take its toll on the body and throw it out of balance. Bring it back by making a point to move your body once a day, even if it's just for 15 minutes. I always tried to stretch, walk or run while I was away and if we had long driving days, we stopped every 2.5 hours to walk around and stretch it out then switch drivers. This not only keeps you alert, refreshed but alive! We also didn't stress if we didn't get everything in that we wanted to. Vacation should be relaxing, so let it be!

Have any other healthy travel tips? Share in the comments!

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