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Ask the OG Team…

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You asked: I experience muscle cramps, can a shift in my diet help? 

We asked OG’s Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Kate Leinweber.

Make sure you are drinking enough water. Dehydration can show up physically as pain and tightness in the calves. If you are drinking reverse osmosis filtered water add a few grains of Himalayan salt to re-mineralize. Minerals are required to properly digest, absorb, and assimilate the water.

Minerals are key in the contraction and relaxation of our muscles. Magnesium in particular is related to the act of relaxing the muscles. Muscle cramps, twitches, and poor sleep can be signs of a magnesium deficiency. Foods high in magnesium include buckwheat, oats, whole wheat, artichokes, almonds, and cooked spinach. Cooking with homemade soup stock is a natural way to supplement the full spectrum of minerals.  Good quality magnesium comes in a supplement as well a tea called Natural Calm found at any health food store.

You asked: Why do I crave sweets when I am stressed or tired? What can I do to lessen these cravings? 

Carbohydrates are the fastest form of energy we can provide our body. When we are stressed we burn more calories and can crave sweets, and when we are tired we crave sweets for a quick burst of energy. These situations often arise when our blood sugar is low, but just in taking sugary snacks is not the answer. Simple carbohydrates which include: refined sugar, white flour and white rice, cause a spike in our blood sugar and then a rapid crash afterwards. This fluctuation causes a lot of stress on our pancreas and can lead to a pre-diabetic condition (hypoglycemia).  The adrenal glands also attempt to regulate blood sugar, but over time can result in general fatigue and exhaustion.  If you have been diagnosed with hypoglycemia there are specific eating patterns that can greatly reduce your symptoms.

A diet which includes whole grains as well as a healthy source of fat can contribute to long-term energy sources and help our bodies deal with stress in daily life. Fat provides endurance and long-term energy. A variety of fats are required for balanced energy including unsaturated fats: flax, hemp, olive oil, or avocado, and of equal importance saturated fats found in meat, dairy, or coconut oil.

There are other imbalances in the body that can cause sugar cravings ranging from an imbalance in macronutrient intake to candida overgrowth.  Meeting with a qualified Nutritionist can help you design a simple daily meal plan that specifically helps your body stay in balance.

Thanks Kate.

Kate’s holistic model empowers each client with knowledge of how whole foods can sustain a healthy and whole body.

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