Integrative Nutrition Blog

Insights on Autoimmune Health and Inflammatory Conditions

Bust Through Your Fatigue This Holiday Season

Dec 9, 2020 | Inflammation & Autoimmune Disease


While it is normal to feel a little rundown this time of year, it is not normal to feel tired all of the time. Whether your battling an autoimmune disease or balancing a work-life balance or a busy mom trying to manage your kids AND yourself, the foods you eat can help bust that brain fog and get you back to feeling yourself again. 

The first step to investigating fatigue is to look at your diet. Eating a nutrient dense diet provides the vitamins, minerals and macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) your body needs to properly function. Including plenty of fruits and vegetables, high quality proteins like wild caught fish or grass-fed beef, and whole grains (if tolerated) supports your body’s energy production, and cellular growth and repair. Easier said than done? Make small changes in how you shop and cook and it won’t be so overwhelming. Start shopping the perimeter of your grocery store to stock up on fresh whole foods. Subscribe to a farm box or community supported agriculture (CSA) to get local fruits and vegetables into your home. Visit your local farmers market to support farms in your area and try new plant-based foods. Set a goal to try one new recipe a week that includes whole foods.

Next, start removing the processed foods from your daily routine. Processed foods are what we call energy dense, not nutrient dense. They have more calories than nutrients, and do not support the essential and everyday processes your body needs to run efficiently. Processed foods are exactly what they sound like – manufactured, unnatural, and refined. They are usually full of chemicals, additives and sugar that are not only void of nutrients, but can also negatively affect your gut microbiome and integrity, and can increase inflammation (1). Replace refined grains like white flour and white rice with whole grains like brown rice or quinoa. Start working on reducing your sugar intake, this includes both white sugar and artificial sugars. 

Lastly, focus on your meal timing and calorie distribution. Eating regular meals helps keep your blood sugar stable and prevents overeating if meals are eaten too far apart. Eating too much and/or too fast can cause an exaggerated insulin release, dropping your blood sugar too quickly after a meal which makes you feel tired. Additionally, eating with your circadian rhythm (or the light/dark cycle) has been shown to improve glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and hunger hormone production. Also, do not skip breakfast and make breakfast your largest meal of the day. Eating a bigger breakfast can also help with blood sugar and hormone regulation (2).

If you adjust all of the above and you are still feeling tired, it is time to take a deeper dive into underlying causes. These include food sensitivities, quality of sleep, micronutrient deficiencies, and gut health. Feeling like you need more support? Schedule a quick FREE call with me to see how I can support you in this journey.

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