Am I being dramatic here? Well, let me explain here…
Back in 2010, when my health was at it’s worst, I didn’t know what to do. I was living a very high stress lifestyle. Although I moderately ate my best and my body was craving a more vegetarian eating lifestyle, the stress I was experiencing superseded it all. I was working a minimum of 12 hour days, during an Olympic project that was beyond cray-cray. Trying to manage the level of work was near impossible.
Thankfully, I worked with a very supportive group of people who often spent our free time, together. Yes, even after all those hours, we wanted to hang! This often resulted in take-out food, red wine, and maybe even a cigarette (or two) after those crazy-ass days.
That project finished and I then found myself unemployed for a period of 10 months. Damn Canadian recession! I went from one stressful situation to another one. At the time, I wasn’t studying nutrition and I now know that I likely was suffering from some form of burn-out / adrenal fatigue.
Yes, my first, and certainly not my last time dealing with burn out. Read more about that HERE.
What I was feeling the most at that time was digestive issues. I was bloated after every meal and gas was a common occurrence. After a lot of research, I transitioned fully to a vegan eating lifestyle which I thought would help. Needless to say, from a long term perspective, it didn’t work.
My doctor was not helpful with more holistic-approaches to health. And, I certainly couldn’t afford a naturopath at the time. This time of my life was when I first started my natural health pilgrimage and where I started this website. Adversity definitely breeds opportunity. Yay!
Okay, so I learned a lot during this time. One of the many things that I did learn and that I continue to research is the importance of our digestive during times of stress. Here’s an interesting fact:
80% of our immune system is predominately found within our digestive system, the gut. (The digestive system is what keeps us healthy with billions upon billions of microorganisms that help to defend our body from foreign invades AND essentially, it helps to keep our energy up so we can do great things!)
And, here’s another interesting fact:
During times of long-term stress, our immune system can suffer as a result. High levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, increases the production of substances that actually promote inflammation which can lead to a state of chronic inflammation.
So beyond stress management techniques, the one supplement that every career woman should have in her supplement repertoire is a probiotic.
Studies are showing that the stress hormone level experienced during stressful periods can actually lower when there was exposure to a probiotic. And, according to the study, even through we may be going through the same same level of stress, with a daily probiotic, we may not have the same hormonal response to that stress. Now, that’s exciting.
Additionally, human studies show that regular use of probiotic foods or supplements can aid the digestion of foods (particularly dairy) and improve the overall state of the colon, treating diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and candidiasis. They also enhance mineral absorption, reduce cholesterol and strengthen the immune system. They also regulate chemicals in food like phytic acid, oxalic acid, and solanine; protect the intestinal wall lining from damage due to cortisol, drugs, and oral contraceptives; help the liver complete detoxification; help to control inflammation; help facilitate fibre’s relationship with regulating carbohydrates. Wowza!
I’ve tried dozens of probiotics and that’s the trick: you do need to find one that works the best for you. However, you want to ensure that it contains the (at the very least) Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains. You also want to aim to purchase a product that contains billions of the strain with 50 billion being the optimal amount.
But here is the sad news about probiotics (but wait…I have a solution): they need to be refrigerated at all times! The reason being is that it keeps the good bacteria (microorganisms) alive. That’s not so convenient for us ladies that sometimes don’t even know what day it is because we’re so busy. What do you do?
That’s why I am loving Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora Probiotic Go Pack that does not need to be refrigerated. Not only does this save me in my daily life, but it was a life-saver on my recent trip to California. The fact that I didn’t have to pack my probiotics in tin foil and run to the fridge to ensure their safety is a relief.
And, trust me, when you start taking probiotics and you see the impact it makes, when you stop taking them (even for a week), you’ll notice. That was something that I was worried about when I was away as I am still recovering from my adrenal issues and I have a higher risk of getting sick than most.
What I also like about the Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora Probiotic Go Pack is that it has 12 probiotic strains and not just Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, making it a very robust supplement. You can find Renew Life’s products (they also have great detox kits!) at most health food stores and regular grocery stores OR you can find a location closest to you by checking out their website HERE.
Please note that this is a sponsored post. I am being financially compensated for this post and I received a sample for review purposes. As I only promote products that I know, have personally tried, tested, reviewed, and loved, the opinions are completely my own based on my experience. I do not promote products that haven’t provided value to me personally.
Eat Life Balance and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.
All material on Eat Life Balance is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.