Jackie McKool

A Holistic Approach to… Stress… Is It Silently Killing You?

If there is anyone on this planet that has never heard, let alone used the word “stress” to describe at least one time in their life, they probably have been living in a cave their entire life – and even that would be quite stressful for 99% of the people!

Usually when we hear or utilize the word stress, we are primarily using it in the context of mental/emotional stresses – finances, relationships, marriage, work, children, health concerns etc.  Which these are certainly examples of stress, without a doubt.  But what we don’t have a tendency to do, is associate the word stress with physical stress, and even more so, chemical stress.

What I would like to do today, is pick up from last week’s blog post It’s All About Self-Induced Inflammation” and go into depth a little more about the chemical stresses and how it relates to inflammation. If you do not get anything else out of this blog, please understand this: your foods can either kill you or they can heal you.)

Today’s Harming Trends

I once had a conversation with a woman who ate a horrible diet; she had one child in the hospital with cancer and another who was autistic and she herself was very unhealthy. But she was in total denial that her food choices had anything at all to do with her or her children’s health problems. I promise you—they do! Please, please understand that fast foods, fried foods, packaged and processed foods, and sugars are killing you and your family—quickly! We don’t like to admit that something we so enjoy could actually be harmful to us.  In fact, most of the time we are totally oblivious to this fact.

We have become so accustomed to consuming the latest fad food, and even overly convenient lifestyles, that we actually become a bit starry-eyed at times.  It’s like the frog in the pot of water that eventually boils him to death.  The temperature is turned up just a little bit more each day, that the frog adapts to the change and doesn’t even realize it.  But sadly, in the end, the frog doesn’t just die, it gets killed.  It’s no longer starry-eyed now is it?

In fact, society has moved so far away from truth about the foods, and even the personal care items we toss in the grocery cart and consume, that we don’t even realize we are just like the frog, totally unaware that our behavior and choices are extremely stressful to our bodies and we are committing a slow suicide. And we pass these choices and behaviors onto our children without realizing we are contributing to their early demise as well.

I have had multiple conversations over the years with people who say their kids won’t eat the good foods they try to feed them, so they have to buy the “junk” food.  My response is “No, no, you do not!” Please realize when you compromise like this, whether for yourself or your children, you are literally feeding on poison. You are not doing them a favor by feeding them chemical-laden food-like substances with no nutritional value. As the doctor used to tell my mom when she would complain that my one brother was a picky eater, “he will eat (the healthy foods) when he is hungry enough.” Your child will not starve to death, contrary to what you might think.

The foods we are to consume is not about how full or how satisfied one is; it’s about how nourished one is. You are the parent, and it is your hard-earned money that is used to buy the groceries or pay the medical bills when they get sick—not to mention how your heart aches with feelings of helplessness.  You should be telling them what to eat, not the other way around. You are the parent and they are the children. Okay, so now I’m digressing, and I will step down from my soapbox for now.

To book Dr. Jackie for speaking engagements go to:

The Connection Between Stress and Inflammation

When you feed your body foods that are inflammatory, have an acidic pH, and/or are toxic, this in turn creates stress in the body, causing the adrenal glands to release cortisol. If this goes on long enough, the adrenal glands start “burning out,” also affecting glucose levels, systemic fluid levels, some brain chemical activity, and the reproductive hormones. Given enough time, depending on how much and for how long the body has been subjected to stresses – of all kinds — the overworked adrenal glands can lead to a cascade of other health problems developing.

These include blood sugar imbalances, high or low blood pressure, hormone imbalances, fatigue, irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia, hot flashes, mood swings, low libido, low energy, slow metabolism, chronic fatigue, brain fog, and much more. The cortisol, in a sense, works closely with the immune system. If the adrenal glands are overworked and can’t produce enough cortisol, the inflammation remains and the immune system is lowered. More doors of disease are now opened like reduced immunity in general and cancers more specifically. This becomes a vicious cycle.

The Connection Between Stress and the Immune System

The immune system is the body’s defense team.  Think of it as the body’s army and it only has a finite number of “soldiers.”  Cortisol makes up some of those “soldiers.”  When we eat an inflammatory diet, or even subject the body to other long-standing mental/emotional, and physical stresses, these “soldiers” are called upon unnecessarily, redirecting them from the more important battles they have to fight. There is only so much to go around; minimizing the stressors to our bodies that are within our control will support and enable our immune system, and support our body’s army to function efficiently.

How to Restore Your Body Back to Good Health

Eliminating the most toxic and inflammatory substances (e.g., cigarette smoke, sodas – of all kinds, artificial sweeteners, fast food, fried food, processed and packaged foods, and sugars) will help put you on the fast-track to restoring good health back to your body.

When you eat healing non-inflammatory foods, you are actually building up your “reserves.” You are boosting your immune system and relieving your body of stresses. Therefore, the cortisol does not have to be released nearly as much, allowing the adrenal glands to be replenished. In turn they can do all their other tasks: release the proper amount of glucose, balance blood pressure, give energy, brain fuel, and stamina, and give the body the protection it needs against all the other stresses that are not within our control.

Eat fresh, uncooked (as much as possible) vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, good fats, and water. These foods truly are HEALING! An endless number of recipes available on the internet these days will show you how to prepare these foods in ways you would never have imagined; just search for “raw food recipes” and you will be amazed at what you can find.

Start thinking outside the box when it comes to new foods to eat, take control of your health, be empowered, be free. And know your health IS in your control!

Looking for a great beach read this summer? How about digging your toes in the sand, or swinging in the hammock with a copy of “Are You Being Deceived About Truth Wellness?”

Did you miss some of these earlier blogs? These could give you some great insight — especially as you pursue your health journey:
“The Hidden Demise of Children’s Health – in Plain Site”
“Do You Have an Unhealthy Gut and Not Know it?”
“How Committed Are You to Your Wholistic Health?”

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