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Eat to Beat Adrenal Fatigue: Your Meal Plan Delivered

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Being a type-A overachiever has always been my default state– I’m the oldest child and a first-generation college student. I have a tendency to run only at 100 percent or more. Drinking coffee? Eleven shots of espresso a day** Starting a business? I started not one, but two! You probably get the idea. It’s no surprise that I trashed my adrenal glands with this kind of lifestyle.

 

I worked with an amazing naturopath to identify my adrenal dysfunction. My girlfriend also has adrenal fatigue, so we have learned to work together and support one another in maintaining a diet that has helped heal our adrenals. Curious about what that looks like? I’m glad you asked.

 

This meal plan is a small snippet of what I eat on a daily basis. I do enjoy variety, but I tend to vary more from week-to-week as opposed to day-to-day.  In general, my food choices revolve around a few simple principles: a colorful variety of vegetables and fruit, healthy fats, minimal sugar (only raw honey or maple syrup), steady–not massive!–amounts of carbs, high quality sea salt, and always making sure I have a hearty breakfast. I’m gluten-free and mostly paleo.

 

Also, I still have a full schedule…so this meal plan is based on fast and easy prep and cooking principles. My current schedule isn’t like my old insane schedule that got me into this adrenal fatigue mess, partly because I am far more time efficient now that my body is healing. This meal plan is created from a few basic ingredients and extremely simple recipes to minimize the time involved in putting it together.

 

Note: any listing of greens means that I grabbed a handful of whatever interested me from the fridge. I regularly keep spinach, baby arugula, broccoli sprouts, and a sprout mixture (which includes mizuna, sunflower, and radish sprouts) on hand.

 

Day 1

Breakfast: Grilled chicken thighs, greens, half of an avocado.

Lunch: Grilled chicken thighs, greens, sliced beets (I buy organic, pre-cooked with no other ingredients), half an avocado.

Dinner: Baked salmon, sliced cucumbers, half an avocado.

 

Day 2

Breakfast: Easy Flourless Breakfast Cookies

Lunch: Smoked salmon, half an avocado, plantain chips

Dinner: Meatza – This is basically pizza, but with ground meat for the crust. I also made the sauce from beets and carrots, which added some carbs.

 

Day 3

Breakfast: Impromptu Pumpkin Porridge

Lunch: Chicken, spinach, mushroom bowl

Dinner: Grass-fed Beef Liver Pate, sliced beets, half an avocado, greens

 

**I later learned that I have one of the MTHFR genetic mutations, which, in very basic terms, makes me a “bad methylater.”  Coffee contains compounds that assist in methylation. Since adjusting my diet further and adding some supplements recommended by my doctor, cutting out coffee has been much easier.

 

 

Note: PLEASE consult with  your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

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Bryn Lutes Contributor
But, aren't people with celiac disease skinny and malnourished? Well, yes. Unless you're FAT and malnourished. I thought I was just a fat kid. I assumed I had no allergies and was destined to a life of plus-size clothing. When I met my girlfriend, I had my eyes opened to the world of food allergies. She has anaphylaxis-level allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish, and a few non-ana allergies. I adjusted to this very easily. 
 
Then I got hit with a dairy whammo: migraines, then hives, then asthma attacks. Boo, but whatever, add it to the list. Kicking dairy drastically improved my weight loss, and then I started reacting to gluten. For some reason, I FREAKED OUT about this, but it got better. My celiac diagnosis was pretty anti-climactic. I paid $40 and waited 2 months to get in to see a GI doc who said, "nice job diagnosing yourself. I'll confirm with bloodwork." When I FINALLY got in to see a naturopath, I got the rest of the news: leaky gut, adrenal issues, and candida overgrowth. duh! I probably could have figured that out, too, if I hadn't been so overwhelmed (and tired from trashing my adrenals #graduateschool). And now? Now I feel amazing. I'm still healing, but health has never been this delicious.
 
Throughout this journey, I've spent my time in graduate school (what should I actually do with this PhD in Chemistry?), the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (yay, Health Coaching!), and working a full time office job while building my health coaching business.
 

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