It’s Hard to Choose Food for Adrenal Fatigue!

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH


Good choices for food for adrenal fatigue including eating a balanced breakfastChoosing the proper food for Adrenal Fatigue recovery can be a challenge. It can be hard to know what foods are going to help and what foods are going to make you feel worse. It can be even harder to know what to eat at what times of day. Early in the day, you want energizing foods, while later in the evening, you want foods that are going to promote high quality sleep. To help you start eating right, here are some suggestions for what to eat throughout the day. Try some of these recipes, or get inspired to choose your own meals according to the adrenal fatigue dietary principles. As always, make sure you don’t have any sensitivities or allergies to what you eat. Frequent small meals and healthy snacks, in between, can give you steady energy to keep going.

Breakfast

It’s said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this may be especially true if you have adrenal fatigue. Start your day right, with a breakfast containing high quality protein that will keep you going strong. Make sure you eat soon after you wake up, before 10 o’clock, but the earlier the better. The first meal should give you energy to start the day; but avoid sugar, it can spike your blood sugar, leave you with a dragging feeling and even cause you to crash! Try this Pumpkin Oatmeal recipe for a morning boost of long lasting energy to kick your day into gear.

Mid morning Smoothie

It’s important to keep your nutrition going during mid morning, around 10:30 or 11:00, when your energy can sometimes start to fall off. Those of you who regularly drink coffee or other stimulating drinks may often make another trip to the coffeemaker, or reach for something to give you a boost, around this time. While your regular caffeinated beverage might give you a kick for a little while, it will be followed by an energy nosedive that’ll call for another caffeine boost. Avoid the crash and replace your regular drink with a healthier alternative such as a Pureed Baked Potato Smoothie. Check out this recipe for holiday baked sweet potatoes.

Lunch

Picking food for adrenal fatigue include wise lunch choicesJust like breakfast, the midday meal should be balanced around keeping your energy level stable without spiking blood sugar, which usually causes the slide down into that afternoon slump. Avoid this situation by eating a light meal that pack protein, essential fatty acids and other nutrients. Try a Quinoa, Celery and Almond Salad for a zesty afternoon meal that gives you energy rather than causing a crash.

Afternoon Veggie Snack

Many people go straight from lunch to dinner without any extra nutrition to bridge that six or so hour gap. This can contribute to the mid-afternoon slump that can cause even a healthy person to be tempted to take a nap. It may not be a great hindrance for a healthy body, with plenty of extra energy to mobilize to keep the body running in the meantime, but when the body is in an energy conservation mode, such as with adrenal fatigue, helping the body out, with a snack, can make a huge difference in your day, keeping your energy steady all the way to dinner. You won’t be tempted to stop for a burger on the way home! You can have some brightly colored vegetables, such as peppers or carrots, and try this Zucchini Butter as a dip!

Dinner

Dinner seems to be the meal most people look forward to, as they finally get to relax after getting home from a long day at work. Unfortunately, this also means a lot of people don’t have the energy to make a properly nutritious meal and end up with processed and refined foods with less than ideal nutrition. One strategy to save yourself from this can be to make something ahead of time; that is easy to heat up. This Mild Buffalo Chicken Soup could be just the thing to spice up your evening, and it’s easy to make ahead of time and warm up with almost no effort.

Bedtime snack of soaked raw nuts

Food for adrenal fatigue has many options for you to choose from at dinner timeYou never think about nutrition during our nighttime hours, we’re asleep after all! Still, the body continues to use energy even as we dream, and it’s important that you not let the body run too low on energy. Good sleep is a cornerstone of adrenal fatigue recovery, and midnight hunger can make deep, restorative sleep difficult, if not impossible. Raw almonds soaked in water and then dried makes for a nutritious source of protein and essential fatty acids that keep your body nourished so you sleep more soundly and tide the body over while you rest.

Picking food for adrenal fatigue include wise lunch choices

DrLam.com
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I love your website and I am extremely impressed with the effort you have taken to build and constantly update it. I'm also writing to you to thank you. The complexity and importance of the subject your website presents has greatly inspired me to research and write a book on toxic substances in our food. Thanks again and keep up the wonderful work!




9 Comments

  • Rivka says:

    Thank you very much for the article and recipes!
    I have a problem always after lunch, (I usually eat legumes and vegetables at lunch) I have after that sweet cravings until afternoon (from 14.00 until 16.00) what can I do to solve this?
    Thank you.

    • Dorine Lam RDN says:

      Adding more oil or fats to the food may help curb that cravings. Adding some winter squash or sweet potatoes to the legumes would give you some complex carb that your body may need.

      Dorine Lam, RDN, MS, MPH
      Registered Dietitian and Senior Holistic Nutritionist

  • Melissa blankenship says:

    Dr lam
    Thank you for your concern for people that are not healthy, I am a mother of 5 boys and 1 girl all of them are at home except one, I’ve been diagnosed with adrenal exhaustion and my dr is trying to build my body up with nutritional supplements but sometimes it seems pointless like it will never end I’ve also been reading about adrenal fatigue and have understood that you need to get rid of stressors in order to heal but what happens when this is impossible to do how do I go about trying to heal my body? Thanks for your response I hope you can help me.

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Life is not perfect. Healing is a process that takes time and the necessary tools. Building the body in concept is good but everyone is different. you dont want to make the common mistakes first of all. Click 7 Adrenal Fatigue Recovery Mistakes for more information. The body has an amazing ability to heal, so do be careful first on what you are doing.

      Dr Lam

  • Jen says:

    Dr. Lam, I have heard from some people who suggest eating a low carb diet for Adrenal healing, while others say we need carbs for this process, and still others suggest carbs only at certain times of day.
    Is there a general pattern that seems to work well for most people, in your experience?
    I appreciate your work so much, and always learn a lot from your articles and videos, thank you!!

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Thanks for you kind words. In general, more protein and fat tend to be better for AFS sufferers. However, it is very important to understand that every one is different and every stage and phase can demand different dietary plan. So I would caution anyone from sticking to any single diet but instead learn to listen to your body. That is what we teach our clients so they know what to do for life.

      Dr Lam

  • Franklin says:

    Hey Dr. Lam, great site! Is the gauge whether a food is good is how you feel after eating it?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      That is one excellent gauge, but most people are not very in tune with their body. If you are in tune with your body, always listen to your body as it is never wrong.

      Dr Lam