Health and Fitness

Dr. Alan Christianson: The Adrenal-Reset Diet

I’m happy to say I’m finally back on the radar after a media hiatus (many months to finish the book, hang with family, record a new album in Nashville, travel the world, and live in the woods).

This is the first new show in many months, and it’s a special episode with Dr. Alan Christianson. You’ll hear more about our adventures living off the grid in an upcoming episode – stay tuned.

Before we get to the show, I want to give you a heads up that my new book, The Wild Diet, will hit the bookstores in April, and we’re giving away a bunch of cool stuff to celebrate the launch.

Right now you can win some nifty prizes for pre-ordering The Wild Diet, like a Fitbit fitness watch, a GoPro, my favorite skillet, fancy knives, and bacon! To keep up to date with all the book stuff, make sure visit the web site here!

Click here to enter to win 1 of the 10 prizes (check them out here)

Here’s the show with Dr. Alan Christianson:

Dr. Alan Christianson is an avid outdoorsman and a specialist in thyroid disorders. His newest book is called The Adrenal Reset Diet—here’s a primer. According to Dr. Christianson,

“Weight struggle is not a mistake in adding and subtracting calories. It’s a survival response.”

Your body is constantly trying to prepare itself for famine, and the more things in your life that push those particular buttons, the more your body prepares. You are resetting your circadian rhythm, and you can set it back. It all has to do with your cortisol.

What does a typical day of meals look like while following this diet?

Dinner includes about a cup of healthy carbs, particularly vegetable-based, like squash and root vegetables.

Lunch may include a half cup of healthy carbs, but doesn’t have to if you are trying to lose weight.

Breakfast should be high protein and low carb.

When I was really trying to tweak my diet, I started eating a big carb load as part my evening feast. I wondered if the carbs would lead to fat gain. I didn’t gain fat, but something else interesting happened: I started sleeping better.

When you eat a large meal at night, the carbs you consume—the sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, rolls, fruits, and more—pull all the amino acids out of the bloodstream leaving tryptophan (from the protein) all by itself. This triggers the production of serotonin and melatonin—two hormones that make you feel good, calm, and sleepy.

Carb crashes are not so good for morning, but great for a good night’s sleep.

Dr. Christianson uses three different levels to describe how our cortisol could be out of whack:

Stressed: persistant higher cortisol. You may feel driven and have trouble sleeping at night.

Wired and Tired: cortisol levels swing between too high and too low. You go go go, and then you crash hard.

Crashed: persistent low cortisol. You can’t keep up with life… you’re dragging.

Unfortunately, if your adrenals are shot, you can’t just go to CVS and pick up a bottle that says “Adrenal Support.” That’s kind of like going on Zappos and ordering “shoes.” You wouldn’t know if you got the perfect fit for your foot, and size does not fit all.

But here’s the good news: You can balance cortisol with simple dietary hacks. Many people see marked changes in only two weeks.

Finally, I asked Dr. Christianson what would be the one step we could all take to improve the diversity in our diets since it’s so crucial to a healthy body (especially if you can’t always find the craziest vegetable and eat it). His answer was surprising.

He said that the key is gratitude, that it’s a change in mindset– toward having a positive relationship with the food on your plate. He claims that if you start to consider your food as a life source that is being passed to you, change is inevitable. Change is not mystical. Change is normal and you can achieve any health goal you want.

If you want a change in your life, you can find Dr. Allen Christianson at Read The Adrenal Reset Diet—you deserve to feel your best.


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