25 May Using Adaptogens to Get Ahead on Stress
Don’t Slip into a Funk Trap
I’ve been known to fall into funks periodically, and the other day I realized that I had fallen into a funk the past few months. It’s easy for me to slurp into a funk, the onset usually starts with a few weeks (or months) or unacknowledged stress that plants itself in my life and feeds itself off the continued stress that I try to ignore (or wish away). I slip into spells of crying a lot, gaining extra pounds, always wanting to sleep, and my hormones have a free-for-all.
It usually all ends rather undramatically, with me realizing one day that I’m feeling more like myself, and the world starts to seem a bit brighter. I always wish that I had done something sooner to prevent the fall into the funk trap.
Yes, I’m happier and healthier now than I was these past few months and I am working on healing my body. But I’m also putting together a game plan to prevent myself from falling into another funk. My game plan includes learning about and using adaptogens.
Extra Help From Adaptogens
It’s easy to look back with hindsight and say how you would do things differently, but it’s more powerful and effective to implement preventative measures going forward. Using adaptogens can be confusing and may seem overwhelming at first, so it’s best to get started before you feel the stress building up.
Adaptogens is a term used to classify plants that help the body handle and deal with stress, while also promoting the ability to do mental and physical work. If you want to learn about the science behind how adaptogens work with the body, take some time to read this article here.
You’ve probably seen some of the new products hitting the market that incorporate adaptogens. Adaptogens maybe rising in popularity, but they are not a new concept. Even though the term ‘adaptogen’ was first coined in the last century, traditional cultures have been incorporating plants with stress relief and supportive properties since ancient times.
Where to Start
Starting to use adaptogens can be intimidating. First, they are not cheap and can be quite expensive. Second, there is a lot to choose from, and it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. Finally, even after you do your research and select a product to try, you may get it home, take a whiff, and think “how the hell am I going to eat this?”.
Let’s start at the beginning: Which one is for you?
It may feel like there is a dizzying amount of different adaptogens, but science has narrowed down a list of about a dozen that has been proven to actually work. Leave your overachiever mindset at the door on this one, start with selecting just one adaptogen and incorporating it into your life. If after a month you notice that you’re not feeling any different, or that it simply isn’t fitting into your lifestyle, move on and give another a try.
Use this infographic for a down and dirty overview of the main adaptogens:
Where to Buy:
Buying adaptogens can be stressful, it’s hard to figure out if the item is the real deal or just another phony. Try first searching to see if there are local herb farms in your area that grow and make their own herbs, many of these farms use organic and regenerative practices. If you decide to go to a health foods store, be sure to visit one that is popular and has their inventory turn over quickly. Most good natural supplement stores employ herbalists to help customers figure out the dizzying array of selections and can be very knowledgeable and helpful. If you are unlucky to find a pushy salesperson, simply make an excuse and leave. There are also many new startups that are selling quality products online, be sure to check reviews and do your research!
Looking for Specifics? I’ve had good luck with these companies:
Four Sigmatic – they make some great mushroom products that make adding some mushroom powder to diet simple and delicious.
Lee’s Provisions – Lee is a local Torontonian who makes well-balanced teas from Holy Basil (Tulsi) and her ghee’s are great for those looking to go keto.
Maca – I have been using the bulk maca powder from Bulk Barn, which has a nice flavor and is easy on the wallet.
Organic Traditions – Has a great line of powders and baking supplies that are organic and ethically sourced. I’ve been buying their ashwaganda powder from them, but make sure to check the expiration date on the package if you’re buying from a source that doesn’t turn over their inventory fast!
Nuts.com – I am a bit obsessed with nuts.com, they have a great selection of hard to find ingredients along with good prices on nuts. I can easily spend an evening scrolling through all their products and think how I could use them in my cooking & baking. Everything comes in bulk minimalist packaging and the shipping is fast. I get my rhodiola rosea powder through them.