Stress - Part 1: Prepping for Stressful Situations, Stressing vs. Grieving, & Tips to Help Deal with Stress - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

Podcast Episode #269: Stress – Part 1: Prepping for Stressful Situations, Stressing vs. Grieving, & Tips to Help Deal with Stress

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TopicsStress - Part 1: Prepping for Stressful Situations, Stressing vs. Grieving, & Tips to Help Deal with Stress - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [2:29]
2. Affiliate programs and Beautycounter [10:07]
3. Shout out: Follow up comment on VBAC advice [18:13]
4. Tips for preparing for a stressful situation [21:56]
5. Stressed versus “busy” [29:35]
6. Guilt of stress [35:01]
7. Chronic stress versus chronic grief [42:00]
8. Benefit of short-term stress relief [49:02]

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Stress - Part 1: Prepping for Stressful Situations, Stressing vs. Grieving, & Tips to Help Deal with Stress - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Stress - Part 1: Prepping for Stressful Situations, Stressing vs. Grieving, & Tips to Help Deal with Stress - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Stress - Part 1: Prepping for Stressful Situations, Stressing vs. Grieving, & Tips to Help Deal with Stress - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 269.

Diane Sanfilippo: Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Diane; a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo and The 21-Day Sugar Detox. I live in San Francisco with my husband and fur kids. I love chicharrones.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Chicharrones? Chicharrones?

Liz Wolfe: I about lose it every time you do it, but there, that. Chicharrones. I don’t know. I’m Liz; a nutritional therapy practitioner, and author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller Eat the Yolks; The Purely Primal Skincare Guide; and the online program Baby Making and Beyond. I live on a farm in the mystical land of the Midwest, outside of Kansas City, and I loved crunchy leaves and not cooking.

We’re the co-creators of the Balanced Bites Master Class, and we’ve been bringing you this award winning podcast for 5 years and counting. We’re here to share our take on modern paleo living, answer your questions, and chat with leading health and wellness experts. Enjoy this week’s episode, and submit your questions at http://balancedbites.com. Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Before we get started, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Diane Sanfilippo: Pete’s Paleo has opened a new location on the East Coast. Since they’re still operating out of San Diego, as well; this means local produce and meat coming from both coasts. And drastically reduced shipping prices. Check out their new and improved website, www.PetesPaleo.com to take advantage of low shipping rates; and be sure to use coupon code 1FREEBACON. That’s the number 1; free bacon, and receive a free half pound of bacon with the purchase of a meal plan. Go to www.PetesPaleo.com.

Liz Wolfe: Hi everyone. It’s me, Liz, here with Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, hey.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, hey. This might be dangerous, because we’re actually currently doing this on video Skype.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: And I have to try not to look at you, especially when you say things like “chicharrones”. Chicharrones.

Diane Sanfilippo: I look ridiculous with this horrible post gym ponytail, and you look all cute and ready to be on a video. So yeah, it’s an interesting situation.

Liz Wolfe: You just kind of got yourself a home face lift there with your tight pony tail.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I do that all the time. Ratchet it back.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ugh, it’s brutal.

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [2:29]

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, that works. So, tell me what’s going on.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, what’s up with me, let’s see. I’ve been doing Facebook live videos every Thursday, currently at 5 p.m. Pacific, 8 p.m. Eastern, which; for anybody who has tuned into them live, 5 p.m. Pacific is when my neighbor decides to turn his Roomba on, so it’s like for the entire duration of the video, there’s a Roomba going next door, and I’m not sure if people are hearing it, but I hear it so I may need to shift that time. Plus, it’s starting to get dark earlier, so I may shift it up to 4 p.m. Pacific, 7 p.m. Eastern. But anyway, those are really fun. Folks are totally tuning into those more and more, and it’s great because I’ll jump on there, talk about a topic, answer some questions that you guys have submitted, kind of ahead of time. Not quite like the podcast, but just around one specific topic, and then take your questions life.

So that’s really fun, and you guys can check out the recap videos from those if you missed it one week, you can check it out on the blog. We’re kind of posting up an edited down version. So it’s not as much fun; if you can join in live then obviously we can interact, and you can ask your questions, and it’s almost like a little online seminar type of deal for free. I mean, just come check it out. It’s totally fun. So there’s that.

What else; the Balanced Bites Master Class beta has launched. We’ve got folks in it now, a couple of weeks in, just kind of digging into the content and learning from that. They’re starting to do some journaling and things like that, and it’s been really interesting to see how that’s going, because we’re going to be opening up the class to both students and practitioners again at the end of November.

So for those of you who didn’t know, the Master Class only opened up to beta testers who are practitioners to start out, because we wanted to just kind of work out a few kinks and iron out some things before we opened it up to those of you who would qualify as students. So just to clarify; if you’re listening to this podcast and you’re interested in learning more about your health, if you’re curious about becoming a practitioner but maybe not sure you want to spend like $5-10,000 right now to do that, and you want to learn more but you don’t want to not indulge the educational desires that you have but you’re just not ready for a hardcore program, either financially or education-wise, this is an extremely; I don’t know, it’s just a perfect opportunity for you, because it’s a ton of information and you’re going to learn a lot that will either prepare you for either NTA or the Bauman program, or any of the more advanced nutritional trainings that are out there.

Or, if you’re somebody who is like; I am just trying to figure out how to get my health on track. And I know a lot of you listening, you submit questions and you have really different nuanced things going on and we’re answering questions that you can take a lot from what we’re saying, but you want to be able to apply this stuff to your own life; sit down, write down what’s going on, and say; “oh, I’ve heard about digestion a million times and how this whole thing should work, but something’s still not right with mine.” What we’re doing in the class is actually walking you through; like, here is the process, and giving you the opportunity to do some self reflection and then supporting you obviously with the online community to help you figure out what’s going on with your own health. And doing that from the ground up; from the basics, up, I guess if that makes sense.

Liz Wolfe: Kind of like a birds’ eye view, really.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: We’ve kind of panned out.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, totally. And a lot of folks think; and I think this is the thing you and I, Liz, have come to realize more and more in our discussions about who this class is for and who it’s not for, and you know, what people can get from it. A lot of people think that there are a couple of supplements that they really need, or it’s some magic answer.

Liz Wolfe: Eliminate the jalapeños.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Find that one food that’s a problem.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Like, “It’s eggs! It’s been eggs all along!” And maybe it has, you know. We definitely, we’ve taught you guys enough to know; try different things. And it is all about testing and figuring out what’s going to work for you. But what we have learned, also, is that 80-90 or even 95% of what we’re all doing with our health is about the basics and the foundations, and even as practitioners, I know for ourselves, for other practitioners out there; when things get off track, we all know that sleep, and stress management, the way we’re moving, and the things we’re eating sometimes aren’t all what we know they kind of should be, or what would be optimal. If we’re going through a stressful time, which we’re going to talk about today, most of these things start to slip in one way or another. And I think that’s what this course is really about. It’s really bringing you all back to; “Well, here’s where you have to start.” Because we all get into the minutia of; “Well how many carbs should I be eating?”

It’s like, well before you really fuss over that, are you sleeping? What’s your stress like? You know, everything else. Because we’ve just seen people dive so far down these little rabbit holes of minutia that we want to pull everyone back to kind of ground level and be like, here’s where we should all be starting.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, I don’t know. I’m excited to have folks go through it. I’m excited for you guys who are listening, if you’re not a practitioner, and you’re like; Yes! I’ve wanted to be able to do this stuff for myself and figure this out, and have some help but really just kind of; I don’t know, just get everything moving in the right direction. I’m excited to be able to offer that to folks.

Liz Wolfe: Finally!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I know!

Liz Wolfe: Like, three years later. Pretty sure we started this before I even thought about attempting to be a mother to a human.

Diane Sanfilippo: For sure.

Liz Wolfe: It’s been a long time.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know. And the videos, you know.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m like; great, we’re younger! {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: We’re younger, but why do we look like… why do I look so mad?! It’s because I learned to smile and be upbeat in my videos like a year after we made them. So instead I’ve got these droopy eyes; I’m like falling asleep and mad at the same time. But listen; the information is still the same. It’s still important. It’s still valuable.

Diane Sanfilippo: You don’t look mad; you look like, “This is serious and I need you all to take it seriously.”

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: That was the face, yeah.

Liz Wolfe: I’m super serious. My hair is super curly.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: This is real, people. Very proud, very proud of the whole Master Class, and excited to dig into it further with the betas.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, it’s going to be awesome. So there’s that. And if you guys are curious, just got to http://balancedbites.com/MasterClass. There’s a wait list; sign up. I know a lot of you are already on it, and you got the information about the betas and you’re just waiting for it to open to regular students. So that will be coming up within a few weeks, so stay tuned for that. What’s up with you?

Liz Wolfe: Oh, so not a lot is going on. I’m just kind of on the Balanced Bites Master Class ride while doing a little bit of promotion here and there for Beautycounter. I know part of what you and I were talking about the other day via text message, since you and I communicate in texts; like furious, texting typing all day long. I don’t go a day without furiously texting Diane. Not furiously, like angry; but furiously, like fast; fast and furious.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s a lot of content in our text messages.

2. Affiliate programs and Beautycounter [10:07]

Liz Wolfe: It is. So I’ll text you to ask you one question, and you’ll answer it. And then we’ll go on this fast and furious text thread for an hour, and then I’m like; crap. Where’s the answer to this question? Scroll back, scroll back, ask again, scroll back. Anyway, so you and I have been talking a little bit about how this whole safe skincare thing has exploded like crazy the last couple of months, which is really awesome. But it’s also this thing where, I’m trying to figure out how I fit here because this is, like we were talking about the other day; this is what I really built a lot of my practice and my reputation on; helping people improve their skin, food, digestive health, stress reduction in the context of better skin, things like that. And you know, I found Beautycounter, they’re absolutely wonderful. I’ve been promoting them because it seems to be what people really want and what they’re interested in, but I certainly haven’t promoted them exclusively. I think there are a ton of other amazing skin care lines and options out there for people that are available.

But I did just kind of feel compelled to make a little bit of a statement about this. Folks should know, obviously, that you, Diane, me, a lot of health practitioners, coaches, and bloggers are helping people on a regular basis, and we need to be creative in finding a way to make income while we continue to help people. So a lot of times the advice and the things that we put out there are actually paid for without actually having to ask anything of our listeners or our readers or the people that are actually getting the answers. So part of the way we do that is to engage in affiliate relationships with different companies that we already love. For example, our podcast sponsors. It’s by invitation only. These are businesses and brands that we already love, that we have a positive relationship with, that we engage in a discussion about; hey, we’ll continue, you know, talking about you no matter what, but would you like to support our content that we’re putting out there for free as a sponsor.

So folks need to understand that all of us that are supporting Beautycounter or almost any other real food industry company, whether that’s the collagen proteins people or 100% Pure, whatever it may be, these companies that we believe in, a lot of us have established affiliate relationships with them. So that’s how I make a lot of the money that I do make, since I don’t do a whole lot of one-on-one anymore, I just don’t have the time. That’s how a lot of folks make money.

So yes, absolutely, this is an affiliate relationship. As a consultant, I make money by recommending Beautycounter. I also am in affiliate relationships with a ton of other skincare companies that I would recommend anyway. So I just felt like that was on my conscious to put out there; we are making money off of this recommendation, but it is also an extremely good and an extremely solid recommendation. So part of the reason people are so enthusiastic is because it’s an excellent opportunity to spread the word about something that a lot of people care about but have not been able to monetize at this point. It’s also a really important part of overall health; what we put on our bodies and what we put on our skin.

So I hope that helps kind of clear things up for people about these relationships that we, as practitioners and bloggers have with the companies that we recommend. I don’t know a single person that I follow or that I interact with in the real food community that does not take these relationships extremely seriously. Never enters into them lightly, so I think you can feel really positive and really confident about that.

All that said, I do have some pretty big Beautycounter promotions going on. You will have, by the time this one comes out, you will have missed the first one for November, but December and then January and February will probably be my last really big months of promoting Beautycounter. I want to get people into the New Year with beautiful skin, and then I’m going to take a little bit of a step back and support other women that are working to earn money and establish a business through Beautycounter, as well. So you can always still buy through me, but you’ll see me kind of taking a little bit of a step back with that after the next couple of months of putting out these nice big promotions for folks and supporting my team.

So, A – absolutely, I still love Beautycounter, I’m just taking a bit of a step back with that after the New Year rolls around. B – you can also support the other paleo and real food bloggers that are promoting Beautycounter, as well. And also keep an eye out for other brands that I’ve been researching, and I’m going to come out with a recommendation for over the next couple of months. That was not scripted, so I probably rambled a bit there.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Sorry Diane, but I hope that all made sense.

Diane Sanfilippo: No, no worries. I think; I think it’s good, and I think for the people who are like, “Ugh, I’m tired of seeing this everywhere.” You know, we’ve seen people who are annoyed about it or whatever. You know; for how many people ask for free recipes on the blog, or content that we’re consistently posting, whether it’s here on the podcast, Facebook, Instagram, whatever. We’re totally happy to post that stuff and teach, and educate, and share, and support everyone in this community who wants recipes and wants ideas and feedback and tips and is asking questions. You know, you get lots of questions about parenthood and different things like that, and different tools and things people are using.

And everything that we do with that; I don’t know if a lot of folks who are on the internet but don’t have a business there realize that all of the time we spend responding, and posting, and all of that. That is our job, that’s work for us. So, you know, if you’re going to spend money on a product that we recommend; yeah, that’s how we can earn a living. I think your point about folks not recommending something that we don’t really love; I think that’s what everybody has to know and understand. If you see somebody who literally promotes something every single day, or every other day, and you feel like you’re not sure you can trust them because you feel like they’re promoting something every minute, then that’s your call to decide. Does that person seem to promote everything under the sun? Then maybe you would have some pause. But if it’s just; I know the way you and I operate. There are packages to our houses every single day; multiple packages, of things that people want us to promote and we really just don’t engage in those relationships unless we love whatever it is.

Liz Wolfe: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because we know that you guys take it seriously, and we know that you guys want to buy the stuff that we recommend. So we take that really seriously. So anyway; yeah, I just think, you know, people might not really understand that writing a book doesn’t then just mean you don’t have to do other work. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Like, most people aren’t earning much of a living by writing books. Most. There’s one out of 100.

Liz Wolfe: 100%. Been there. Maybe I didn’t express myself entirely perfectly, but the reason I want to support other people in making money, in part it’s just weird. It’s a weird experience for me feeling like I have this niche of safe skin care for a long time, where maybe in some ways I was kind of the go-to for a lot of things, and now I see that we have these new opportunities for many people who already cared about that stuff but didn’t have a way to share what they knew while being able to feed themselves, you know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, but I still think it’s different, because I think caring about it and being an expert on it are really different. Like, I care about it, but I don’t know what you know, because I haven’t dug in and researched and been curious about it. It’s not; I’m not as passionate about the why’s as I am just, like, tell me what to buy.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Liz, what should I buy.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, tell me what to buy. But now that I’m using it, I’m like; ok, well if someone else is asking me what to buy; I’m like, ok here I’ll tell you what I’m using and why. But anyway.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Thanks for hearing me out everybody.

3. Shout out: Follow up comment on VBAC advice [18:13]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, do we have a shout out today?

Diane Sanfilippo: I think we do, and I think actually it’s a follow-up. We had a comment come in as a follow-up to an episode that we did; do you want me to read it to you because it’s kind of a message to you.

Liz Wolfe: Sure.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. This message came from Nicole. She said, “Hello ladies; I just wrote in about having a scheduled C-section. Liz, your advice was wonderful and helpful. I was open to the scheduled C-section as the babies will be close in the age, and the first was considered a large baby for my size. However, I was very encouraged by Liz to push for a VBAC,” so vaginal birth after C-section. “I met with the surgeon again, and she agreed to a VBAC. Not sure if this is appropriate to share on the podcast, but I wanted to say thank you for your advice; it meant a lot. I also feel more at ease if a C-section does occur; Liz, you provided a lot of useful info, and I feel prepared for whatever happens. Thanks ladies.”

Liz Wolfe: That’s amazing. I have chills. Thank you Nicole; thank you so, so much.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yay! That’s lovely.

Liz Wolfe: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Vital Choice Seafood and Organics, where a healthy diet is a vital choice. Purveyors of wild fish, shellfish, grass-fed beef and bison; Vital Choice offers premium quality, sustainably sourced foods that are wildly delicious and delivered to your door. With minimal prep from freezer to table, it’s easy to get delicious protein like wild Alaskan salmon (my favorite) and Wagyu beef into your paleo menu rotation. Vital Choice also has a wide array of ready to eat canned seafood along with satisfying snacks like organic dark chocolates, super antioxidant trail mix, and bison jerky. As the days get shorter and the grilling season cools down, www.vitalchoice.com is your source for premium seafood and organics.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so today we’re going to talk about stress. Stress and day to day life, stress and working out, stress and how it affects your digestion, and lots more. As I’m looking at all of the notes and questions that we have for this episode, I’m already anticipating that this might have to be a two-parter, because we posted a call for questions and you guys basically hammered us with a bazillion questions.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Which is cool. I believe the graphic we posted was, “Stress, let’s talk.” We post this stuff over on the Balanced Bites podcast Instagram a lot, when; you know, we make a call for questions through the website. Of course if there’s something a little more specific or you want to talk about something a little more personal, and you don’t want to comment on Instagram, we totally get it. But we also want this to be a bit of a community where you guys can see what other people are asking about, maybe get ideas, and even recommend things to each other, which is super fun. So Balanced Bites podcast is the Instagram handle.

But we posted this, and you guys had lots to say, so that’s really cool. So we’re going to get into some questions around stress, because I think we’ve covered; look. We’ve covered adrenal fatigue {laughs} I don’t know, five or six times on the show, and if you guys want to check out those episodes, we’ll make sure we link to all of those past episodes here on the show notes for this episode. Because we’ve talked about a lot of the clinical stuff, what it means, what the physiology is regarding adrenal fatigue or adrenal, I don’t know; altered adrenal profiles, because it’s not really your adrenal glands that get fatigued. But we’re just taking this a little bit more tactile. A little bit more, “What is this in our everyday lives, and how do we deal with it?”

So should we jump right in to some of these questions, do you want to read one or do you want me to read one?

4. Tips for preparing for a stressful situation [21:56]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, this one is from Katherine James. “Do you have any tips for preparing for an upcoming stressful event?” I really like this one. We’ve talked about tips preparing for surgery, and tips preparing for birth and C-section and all of that; but I never thought about anticipating a stressful event. I mean, I guess the holidays can be anticipating a stressful event for a lot of people.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, moving is stressful.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: A big project at work, or you know for me I’ve talked about in the last, I don’t know, 6 to 8 months I’ve definitely talked about the stress of working on a book, all of that. So my tips for preparing for an upcoming stressful event, for the most part it’s all about getting the ducks in a row that you can knowing that this one thing, or one area of your life is going to be really rough. So for example; {laughs} if you’re going to have a child, sleep is probably going to be one of those things out of the, I don’t know how many factors we’re looking at, like sleep, mindset, movement, work, food, family, and friends, and relationships. Those are 6 factors, I just kind of threw them out. If sleep is one that is really going to be cut into, then what can you do with those other factors? How can you almost boost what’s happening with everything else?

It doesn’t mean you do more of everything else, or you do it more perfectly. It just means, how can you be attentive to the things you know are going to happen in a certain way? So if you don’t know if you’re going to have a lot of sleep, you know you’re going to be hungry. So probably getting some freezer meals prepared, probably getting; you know, ordering from Pete’s Paleo, for example. All of the things that you know are going to keep happening. The wheels are going to keep turning, and you can’t avoid that. You know that you probably need to get some movement. I think doing the best you can to get that stuff prepared ahead of time, or putting a plan in place and making some non-negotiable regarding your time.

Especially when it comes to movement. If it is something that you are committed to; and it doesn’t mean Crossfit or any kind of specific workout. But getting as much done earlier in the day as possible if you’re leading into something stressful; because I’ll tell you what, I mean I can almost always guarantee that as your day goes on, the things that are not {laughs} life-critical, like eating, or going to the bathroom; the workout is not going to happen if you let it go until later in the day. Or you know getting that work thing done, whatever it is.

So I, for the last year or so you guys have been hearing me talk about working out first thing in the morning because I have learned through trial and error, through experience, that when I go through stressful times the workout is going to slip. It’s just what happens. So that’s something for me that I’ve created a new habit around. And I do think if you’re anticipating leading into a stressful time, take as much time as you can leading up to it to create some new habits that you also don’t make decisions about, if that makes sense.

I posted on Instagram about this the other day; I’ve been eating the same breakfast basically since we came back from book tour. And for me, working out first thing in the morning and eating the same breakfast, I don’t even think about those things. It’s literally like I get up, I just do this. Just like you get up and you go to the bathroom or you brush your teeth or whatever it is you’re going to do. You don’t think and make a decision to do it; you just do it. So I think getting those things in place can really help coming up to the stressful event when you’re probably going to have a lot of decisions to happen within the stress.

Are you making notes, like those are good ideas, or? {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Yes, I am! Because I don’t know how much, if I start typing, if it’s going to be in the microphone.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well I’ve got a notepad too, so.

Liz Wolfe: And I have this beautifully smooth ballpoint pen that makes no scratching; it’s just so nice to write with. So I added a couple of notes while you were talking, because I think one of the most important things is just getting your plan together, and like you were saying, start getting all these things in your regular rotation now so you can continue doing them later. One of the basic things that, what was I going to say?

Ok, so last week I talked to Mickey and Angie about stress. And I can’t remember if it was on the air or off the air, but Mickey recommended an app called Calm to me, and she was saying either Mickey or Angie that the Calm app was a little bit bitter for them than Headspace, and I have both, have used neither of them.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Because, I’m in it right now, and I didn’t prepare to be in it, and I’ve been in it for a year and a half. So preparation is so, so key. Planning food, like you said. I really like the idea of starting to support your system with a good, high quality, whole foods based vitamin C now and all the way through the stressful times twice a day, particularly if you’re breastfeeding. I think it takes about 8 hours for vitamin C to reach your breast milk, you’re probably want to spread your dosage out into two every day, morning and even.

There are a couple of good vitamin C supplements; the synergy company has one. Dr. Schulze, herbdoc.com. He has one. And if you’re really, really in the trenches, I think liposomal vitamin C can be really good. I haven’t found any without xanthan gum or at least one kind of preservative of some type in them. I’ve used the LivOn Labs, which has a soy derived ingredient in it that I don’t love, it also has xanthan gum. I’ve also tried Seeking Health liposomal vitamin C, and it’s ok too. No xanthan gum, so that’s good. But if anybody has a good liposomal premade liposomal; please don’t tell me to buy a silver polishing machine to generate my own liposomal vitamin C, because I’m not going to do it. If anybody has a brand that they recommend, please let me know.

So, trying the Calm app, getting at least a short meditation practice going, even if that’s just deep breathing in the morning when you wake up and at night when you go to bed; getting into that groove. And one of the things you can do to just track how that stress is affecting you is take your morning temperature. Your basal body temperature every morning at the same time. If you’re starting to get colder in the mornings then that’s a sign that your stress levels are affecting your thyroid function, and you want to really keep a handle on that. And one of my favorite ways to do that; and this is also a fertility tip that I love, is to eat something with fat, salt, and sweet first thing in the morning.

My favorite thing has been to eat a sweet coconut macaroon dipped in salt first thing in the morning. I haven’t remembered for a while because I keep forgetting to get the macaroons from the store, but that’s a really, really good idea. It sends really positive sufficiency signals to your body, and I’ve seen it work for a ton of people, including myself. So I think that’s a good plan when you’re really under stress, because a lot of times your appetite is suppressed, and that’s kind of a feed-forward mechanism, where you’re stressed so you’re not hungry, you’re not hungry you’re not eating, so you become more stressed.

Another thing I would say is to really get a good routine going with your oral health now, because stress really has an impact on the health of your mouth. So get a Sonicare, start using it. Get used to flossing every day; have your teeth cleaned now. It sounds really random but it’s totally true. Get a good plan for that and maintain it. That’s all I got.

5. Stressed versus “busy” [29:35]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, so this next one is from JulieKUSA. “This is probably obvious, but how do I know if I’m actually stressed or if “busy” has been my normal state for many years?” Wow. Good question.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s a good one. I like the note you made about basal body temperature, and I actually wrote that down as a note for Julie. Because I think it’s probably one of the silent signs, right?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Unless she’s checking in with that, but it’s basically like, everything else that’s going on with your body; how’s your body composition? Is it in a place where you feel comfortable with it, given the inputs you’re given. So what I mean by that is; if you’re eating a certain way and you’re exercising a certain way and you’re not getting the results you expect; a lot of us may not be where we want to be, but is that as a result of actually doing the things we know would move the needle, if that makes sense.

If your body composition is not where you want it to be, but you’re not actually doing anything about it, that’s not what I mean. I mean, you’ve been on a certain meal plan for 3 months and your body is not responding, right? You are weight loss resistant, for example. What’s your recovery time like from your workouts? Does it take you 3, 4, 5 days to recover from a workout? Or does it take 1 to 2 days? Maybe you’re a little bit sore and then you’re fine. How’s your sleep? The quality of your sleep? That’s one thing I’ve been tracking a ton with the Fitbit that I got. #notsponsored, but I got it partially for accountability on moving throughout the day, because I said months ago; one thing I know is really different about my lifestyle now, because a lot of us like to say, “Well, I’ve gotten older so my metabolism has slowed.” And I don’t think that that’s true, because I know plenty of women in their 40s who look amazing because they’re extremely active. I don’t think our metabolism necessarily just slows. It might be a little bit harder, but I think we slow. We physically slow. We don’t move as much, we’re not as active. So that’s something that I wanted to be accountable to, and I can’t deny what that things telling me. Like, yeah it doesn’t count a lot of “steps” for my workout in the morning, but I used to walk around just running errands, just doing things throughout the day. So our movement definitely matters.

So what’s our sleep quality like? You might be able to track it through something like that just to see. Are you waking up a lot? Are you restless a lot overnight? How’s your digestion? If your digestion isn’t good that can be a sign that our internal stress level is kind of high. You’re not fully breaking down food. You’re seeing some things in the toilet that maybe you shouldn’t.

Honestly, how do you know? Unfortunately, and this is what happened to me years ago; it’s now been since I think when I had my really bad experience with adrenal fatigue, it was late 2007 or it could have been; it was something like that. So it was almost 10 years ago now, but I didn’t know until it was too late. I didn’t know until I basically had that exhaustion energy crash. And unfortunately, for so many of us; my analogy about the way we handle stress is, it’s a beaker. And you can all remember back to chemistry class or the lab in high school where you’re literally filling that beaker one drop at a time, and it’s just, we don’t know. First of all; our beakers are all different sizes. {laughs} How much stress each person can handle, it’s a different vessel. It’s a different total quantity we can handle based on a lot of different factors. But it’s literally going to be that one drop at the end that makes the difference. You could be moving along just fine, Julie, and something could happen in your life. There’s some kind of trauma, there’s a family emergency, some kind of stressful thing at school or at work, and it’s the last drop in the beaker and the beaker spills over. And that’s when the fatigue hits, or the exhaustion, or whatever.

So fatigue, and exhaustion, and stress at that level can appear in different ways. For some people, it can be exhaustion. For other people I think it can be massive irritability or moodiness or mood swings or depression. I think it can appear in different ways, but unfortunately sometimes you don’t know until it’s too late.

I don’t like for people to create a problem where a problem doesn’t exist. I don’t like for you to pick apart every aspect of your life, and be like; “well, my sleep isn’t perfect so I better get it perfect, or I might have one drop in the beaker that’s put me over!” But at the same time, get real with yourself. If you know you’re not sleeping, but you think you feel fine, you probably should be sleeping. And maybe create a plan and work on it, that kind of thing. So that’s what I think, how would you know. Busy isn’t really the same as stressed. You can do a lot of things and it cannot be stressful for you, or you can do a lot of things and it can be really stressful for you.

Liz Wolfe: It’s a tough one. Say beaker again.

Diane Sanfilippo: Beaker.

Liz Wolfe: Say crack again.

Diane Sanfilippo: Crack, crack, crack, crack! {laughs}

6. Guilt of stress [35:01]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, this is from Sustainable Delight. “I find myself feeling guilty for feeling stressed out. I look around and it seems like other people are doing way more than me, and they are ok, but I’m just crumbling. Is there a way to increase one’s ability to handle stress, or are we all just hardwired to respond different ways?”

I have kind of an anecdote with this that I was thinking about earlier today. It’s been kind of a struggle for me, because feeling like I’m a really healthy person in general; or was a really healthy person in general, thinking about breastfeeding and how long my breastfeeding relationship with my daughter is going to go on. I wanted to continue through this winter. She’s over a year and a half now, and one of the things I’ve been thinking about is; number one, man, you know, I know all these evolutionary scientist say we really should be practicing extended breastfeeding, and “extended breastfeeding is just breastfeeding.” It’s a biological norm that we should nurse our kids for many years, and very consistently.

And one of the things I just thought today was; “Damn man.” First of all, we have so many other factors in modern life that these traditional societies don’t have. Like, we have no village. We have no help. We have no other women that are also breastfeeding their children. That means that we cannot always apply these evolutionary norms to our own lives because we are just having the foundation that is required to be able to do those things. So A – I was thinking about that. And I was also thinking, gosh. As a mom, why am I just feeling sometimes like my body is falling apart? And I don’t see some of my friends feeling the same way. Well, some of my friends weaned and felt fine about it, so why am I giving myself all this crap about weaning and evolutionary norms?

My point is, I have been feeling really guilty for thinking about changing something that I feel science points to it being a bad thing for me to change. But why? Why do I need to feel guilty about feeling stressed out? It’s ok. These are just thoughts. These are just things that I’m working through in my mind. Whatever it is that’s stressing you out, that’s a normal response. That is entirely normal. There’s nothing wrong with feeling the weight of something in your life. But, it’s how you look at that stress. It’s how you kind of back out and say, ok, this is the feeling I’m having. Let me work through this. Versus, “Oh god, why do I feel so stressed out about this breastfeeding thing?!” So that’s a shift that I’ve really had to make for myself. Not feeling so bad about feeling so stressed about the breastfeeding thing and what’s right for me and what’s right for other people and what was right for traditional societies.

So hopefully that makes sense. How you’re actually processing the stress that you’re feeling. It’s really ok. It’s ok to feel these things and to work through them. And if you feel like you’re crumbling, maybe you feel more like; gosh. I should be able to handle things that other people look like they are handling, but guess what? We don’t all have that same foundation.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Some of our foundations go…

Diane Sanfilippo: “Look like” maybe being the operative phrase there.

Liz Wolfe: “Look like,” yes, very much so. So that was one of the things this question reminded me of; looking at other people, and their inputs are different from my inputs. So maybe those people were breastfed. Maybe those people were fed healthy fats as children. Maybe those people just don’t think as hard as other people think, because sometimes; man. Being a deep thinker is just physically taxing.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} So there are a lot of other inputs going into these things that are far just less than, “Oh, she’s also a 5’10”, upper-middle class female who seems to be handling her life much better than mine.” You know?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I just thing we don’t know. We don’t know people’s stories.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Other people don’t know your story, and I think when she says, “I look around and it seems,” let’s just stop right there.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, unfortunately Facebook and Instagram and social media in general gives folks an outlet to create their story in one way, and I think if you’re feeling stressed out and feeling guilty about it, turn to your close friends who really know you. I mean, I know; Liz, you and I, both of us, if we’re super stressed out about something and we talk to each other or we talk to a couple of people who we know understand the things that we’re stressed about, it doesn’t come off as complaining, and it doesn’t come off as we can’t handle things; it’s because our friends know the back story. We know what else is going on and the type of people we are and how much one thing that other people might not take so hard affects others of us. Like you said. For me, I know that things I’m concerned will affect my real true friendships and relationships, it’s really hard for me to have someone say, “Oh well, it’s just this or that, don’t worry about it.” It’s like, well I can’t help but keep thinking about that. And maybe for someone else, they could let it go more easily. It’s like little things that we just all handle differently.

And I think if you feel like you’re crumbling, then I just wouldn’t try to do so many things all the time. This is a lesson I have to teach myself, too. My team is all going to be here I guess the week this show airs; my team will all be here for a few days in San Francisco, and we’re going to be pow-wowing, for the first time actually planning our year for next year.

Liz Wolfe: Look at you!

Diane Sanfilippo: I know, what? And actually planning out what are the big projects that are happening throughout the year? When does the Master Class release? When does maybe the coaches program for Sugar Detox open again? When does this happen, and then how do we plug different things in based on that? Knowing I have felt like I’m unfocused and I’m crumbling because I’ve got a million ideas and a million projects I want to do and I don’t know how to handle them all, for me I realized, as much as I hate planning and scheduling, it makes me feel less stressed when we do it. So I’m just like ok, {laughs} we’ll do it.

So I think if you can find the things that do work for you in small ways, you’ll find ways to extrapolate that to kind of the bigger picture and make that work in your life. And for anyone who is like a Rebel out there, this is the hardest thing because we cannot figure out how to get ourselves to be harnessed. But that’s perhaps another story for another day.

7. Chronic stress versus chronic grief [42:00]

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Alright. This is from Katherine Ray. “Is there a difference in how chronic grief versus stress affects the body? What if you’re experiencing both?”

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean I would say it’s the same thing.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: You’re body doesn’t really know the difference between different things that are upsetting the balance. Because when we talk about stress; of course there’s physical stress. Like a physical trauma, an injury, or exercise, right? Can be physical stress. Eating foods that you don’t digest well can be a physical stress. But pretty much everything else is just rooted in our brain and how we react to things. The way that we think about them, the way that we emotionally processed something that happened. So chronic grief is absolutely going to affect the body, potentially in a similar way that a chronic infection would, in terms of stress, I think.

Liz Wolfe: Yes. Man, this is; this is a really deep question. I’m sure there are practitioners who psychically would work to clear grief in a very specific way versus general stress, but I don’t know that the body itself would know the difference unless we’re getting really deep and really spiritual. Maybe the means of relieving these things I think would probably look a little bit different.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: But yeah, the physical effect, I agree with you.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well I think the grief process is pretty well documented process that people go through, stages of grief, and I think if you’re not moving through the stages and finding relief from it, then I think you will continue to experience the physical stress that can come from the emotional stress.

Liz Wolfe: I will say one of the things that I have found to be the most helpful is; well, I can’t say I’ve found it the most helpful, because I haven’t been able to manage it very many times. But a lot of the bodily affects of grief I think in particular as a stressor occur because we don’t know how to unload it. So chronic stress can be pretty sneaky; I mean, we’re all under a lot of stress and we can’t just sit here and say, “I need to cry!” you know, where as grief will overwhelm the system in a very unique way. And I think a lot of times we just need to cry, or rage, or scream, or do something that releases that tension and energy.

And if people know about my experiences with aware parenting, which I’ve talked about at least once on the podcast, maybe twice, and I’ve talked about it a little bit on my Instagram and in our parenthood group. It’s realizing the incredible importance of emotional expression. And I think a lot of us were raised by parents who were raised by parents who were extremely emotionally; I don’t want to say repressed, but my grandparents were World War II people.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: And some of our grandparents were depression kids, and there was just no room for emotions in a lot of those people. I think that gets passed down; there’s a lot of resonance of that kind of emotional processing tendencies. I think a lot of times we can really go a long way in emotionally detoxifying a lot of these feelings, and making a big difference in clearing some space in our bodies to better deal with daily life. I mean, maybe Katherine has no trouble crying, but I certainly do, and I find that to be really…

When I see how much crying and raging helps my daughter in the moment, I mean, it’s really beautiful. And it’s so patronizing, but sometimes when she gets frustrated, I’m like; yay! She’s going to get some of this out. And lo and behold; I support her in that, and I’m there for her kind of letting her know her feelings are ok, not trying to fix them. She’ll rage, or she’ll cry for just a little bit, and then it’s better. And I just see her lighter throughout the day. So it’s one of those things that we kind of need to relearn, I think. Because a lot of us got that messaging from the very beginning, that our bad feelings needed to be fixed or changed as rapidly as possible. And a lot of times not by actually expressing them, but by finding a way to stop expressing them. As if stopping the expression stopped the feelings.

Diane Sanfilippo: Good. {laughs} I’m like yeah! I’m trying to think about…

Liz Wolfe: High five!

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I’m trying to think about my own grief process and how that’s happened and how going through actually expressing it. I think the thing is it makes people around you uncomfortable.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: So we ….

Liz Wolfe: Because they’ve got the same messaging we have.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, or it appears as weakness, and it’s not.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, I think it’s not a weakness to be a deeply feeling and expressive person. It just makes other people uncomfortable. And the more we can realize that making other people uncomfortable; comforting other people is not really always what we need to be worried about. But I think that’s the innate instinct.

Liz Wolfe: A good first step; I love what you just said. A good first step I think is to accept other people’s strong emotions. Because I find myself being really uncomfortable sometimes too, with other people’s strong emotions.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: With my daughter’s, I’m good, because she’s a kid and it seems like it’s a little more normal and appropriate.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} She’s having strong emotions about wanting a snack that doesn’t exist.

Liz Wolfe: Exactly!

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s not the same as losing someone or whatever.

Liz Wolfe: Yes. Yes. So one of my big journeys right now is to get comfortable with other people’s feelings. I find myself really; I don’t want to say berating my husband; another anecdote. Man I share a lot lately. I’ve been sharing, like really sharing.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I’ve been getting some positive feedback on the sharing though, so that’s part of why. I’m feeling encouraged. But I have many times just transmitted some very subtle messaging to my husband that he needs to be a stoic man in many ways, and I do need him as this stoic support sometimes when I’m going through stuff. But I know that I also message him and message members of my family that their strong emotions make me uncomfortable and that’s something that I’m working through so that I can be there for them and hopefully create that space for my own feelings.

Liz Wolfe: We got time for one more?

Diane Sanfilippo: I think so.

8. Benefit of short-term stress relief [49:02]

Liz Wolfe: Alright. This one is from Kelly Hickson; “Do short-term stress relief tactics really make a difference when, as soon as they’re over, it’s back to hitting the ground running with a stressful life? For example, stressing to try to set aside short times to take a bath or a walk; float, sit quietly, mani-pedi, etc., when the chronic stress of running a home and family in a balanced healthy way is ever present.”

I think that it does matter. I think it makes a difference.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think so too.

Liz Wolfe: I think they’re adaptogenic.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, and I think there’s a cumulative effect. Like, I mean, on what other terms are stress relief tactics really happening? You’re not running stress relief; you’re not running chronic stress relief throughout the day in a sense. It is those little things throughout the day that are causing the break in the patterning that our brain has in terms of responding. And I’ve talked about this before when we talked about adrenal fatigue and we talked about when you’re sitting in traffic or you’re sitting on a highway that, for example, you might normally take going to work, and so if there’s traffic it’s stressful, so your brain has this stress response. But what about if it’s Saturday and you’re on the same road, and there’s traffic? There’s no reason to respond the same way. I mean, there’s no reason to respond with stress anyway, because that doesn’t move the cars any faster.

But for a lot of us, kind of taking a step back and realizing what our brain is doing while we’re moving through the day and what we’ve done by, just say we’re going to get a mani-pedi, because I love that. That for me; people say what they will about it, but for me it’s a period of at least an hour every couple of weeks where I cannot use my hands and my phone {laughs} and if I get my eyelashes done, my eyes are closed for at least an hour and I’m just kind of lying there, and I’m chatting with the esthetician or whatever it is. That gives you a mental break. But what if you could find a way to deprogram your emotional, mental response that becomes a physical response while you’re in the moment.

And I think that’s something that I’ve learned over the last, I don’t know, 5 to 10 years of watching people around me have these highly reactive responses, and I think it’s something that happens a lot in romantic relationships, like with our spouse. And I know, I feel like, Liz, we’ve talked about this too, just with things that go one with our spouse. And I feel like because I met Scott so much later in life, me personally, I know I would have been more reactive to things that could have happened in the house. I’ve used this example before {laughs} my poor husband, who is listening. And it seems like I’m angry about it, but I’m not. But let’s just say he breaks a dish.

Like; my mom has washed dishes; anybody who is washing dishes for me, I’m like; how can I be mad that they break a dish because they’re washing the dishes. I don’t like to wash dishes. But me in a former setting would have probably been extremely reactive to those situations; and it doesn’t do anything to help the situation. And most of the time, it’s only happening as a compound to all of the stress that’s going on throughout the day. There’s just so much going on that we can; we can’t control all of the happenings, but we can control the way that our brain perceives a blip in expected whatever is going on throughout the day.

She’s saying, does the short term stress relief tactic help? Yeah, because you’re moving through your day, and like right now, I’m going to leave here in a few minutes, and I’m going to take a drive, and I’m supposed to get somewhere at a certain time. But what if there are cars on the road that are just making it not happen for me? I have to know that pulling my brain back to a place to not be highly reactive is going to help, and what it does when we go and sit for those 5 minutes, 10 minutes, an hour is, it does train our brain to get out of that fight or flight response, because it is sort of like the opposite of a hormetic response. You know, the negative thing that becomes a positive. It’s training us that we can have these bouts of calm throughout the day. So what if we could get our mindset to a place where it’s mostly calm throughout the day instead of mostly reactive?

There’s so much we can talk about about that. I think we can touch on this in a second part, because I think feeling stressed throughout a busy day doesn’t have to be. We can feel just occupied with the things that we’re doing without feeling emotionally stressed about it, and I think there are a lot of mindset tricks that we can employ in order to do that. But the short answer to her question is; I think yes, and I think you said the same thing. I do think that that’s how we have to do, is setting up those little things throughout the day. Because what are you going to do? Set up 3 hours to do nothing? I don’t know that most people {laughs} could do that. I don’t think stress relief comes; it comes in the form of vacation, and I do think that that helps, but I think it’s the everyday little things that help the most.

When you deal with the stress of balancing home and family and work and whatever else, what are things that you find do help throughout the day? Little things?

Liz Wolfe: We were talking about earlier with how you’re contextualizing the stress that you’re feeling; that’s one of the things that have made the biggest difference to me. As full time, stay at home mom with this business that I’m trying to get back running again, and little sleep, and cooking for people, and all of these things. Just feeling like it’s ok to feel like this is a lot. I think it’s being stressed about our stress that makes things a million times worse. That’s really the best I got, I think you nailed it other than that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And I think, also, sometimes the people who absorb a ton of stress have had trouble asking for help.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I think the more we realize that people around us really want to help. I love if somebody asks me for advice or help or what should I do about this. It actually; instead of seeming weak, which I think a lot of people feel like that will happen, it fosters deeper connection and deeper relationships. Like, when you and I go through these conversations where we’ll have totally surface conversations about dumb stuff and we’ll have really deep conversations that, you know, things that are really meaningful to us that we’re struggling with, and we’re like, can you help me work through this. I feel like that just makes our friendship better, even though at the moment it may have felt hard to open up about that thing or say that we needed help figuring something out, and I think it gets easier and easier.

And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve definitely found that, for me, I value the friendships the most where somebody will reach out to me, and they’ll accept when I reach out to them and ask for help through something I’m struggling with. And I think that we can learn a lot from that.

Liz Wolfe: Alright. I think we’ve got to wrap it up there.

Diane Sanfilippo: We do.

Liz Wolfe: I think we’ll have to have part two.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think we will. I think; we have a lot of more specific like stress and.. Questions that I think will be fun to get to, but I think this is a good foundation.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants, including me, I’m an NTP, emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal. Nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants learn a wide range of tools and techniques to assess and correct nutritional imbalances. To learn lots more about the nutritional therapy program, go to http://www.NutritionalTherapy.com. There are workshop venues in the US, Canada, and Australia, so chances are you’ll be able to find a venue that works for you.

Liz Wolfe: Alright, lovely. So let’s close it out. You can find me, Liz, at http://realfoodliz.com/ and you can find Diane at http://dianesanfilippo.com. Join our email lists please for free goodies and updates that you don’t find anywhere else on our website or on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, leave us an iTunes review. See you next week.

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