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I can tell you based on experience that every single time I go to the beach my hands look like sausage casings.  I think it’s the salty and humid air that gets me every time, not to mention my hair looks like I stuck my finger in an electric outlet.  Frizz mania!

But-what about when we’re not at the beach and we’re feeling swollen, inflamed and a bit bloated?  Of course there can be several factors that contribute to us feeling this way, but let’s take it a step further and do a little investigative work, shall we?

First, let’s start with the infamous hormones ladies.  Let’s be honest with ourselves that we’re usually pretty bloated and swollen around that time of the month when our hormones are feeling a bit wonky.  The stress hormone cortisol can also be a huge contributor to our swollen bellies.  When our cortisol is elevated, you better believe our bodies are going to hold onto that fat for dear life.  Ever feel like you have a tire for a belly or muffin top over your jeans?  High cortisol can absolutely be one of the devilish contributors to our belly bulge.

Female belly with tape measure

Here’s a list of a few things to consider when we’re feeling “off.”

  1.  Make sure to stay hydrated!  Yes, you!  Please drink enough fluids, mostly water.  If you want caffeine, aim to have 2-3 cups of water for every cup of caffeine you intake.  Our bodies need the fluids to perform optimally and effectively!  I know water can be a bit boring, so I love adding THESE TABLETS to my water for added magnesium, sodium and potassium.  All of these minerals go in the toilet when we’re battling high cortisol levels.
  2. Try these supplements:  Vitamin C, Curcumin and Omega 3 fatty acids are proven to help with higher inflammatory markers.  I’ll even sprinkle some Turmeric of my salads or throw some powder in my smoothies when I notice my stress levels are elevated.
  3. Get enough sleep-eye!  I always notice, anytime my sleep is affected not only do I feel tired and crabby, but I also feel swollen and inflamed.  Melatonin typically doesn’t work so well for me and my clients so I often opt for L-Theanine which is an amino acid that assists in calming the central nervous system and takes the edge off.  Magnesium is also terrific to take in the evening time as well.
  4. Meditation and deep breathing are life savers.  It wasn’t until recently that I really began to invest time and energy into deep breathing and mediation practices.  They have been a game changer for me and now I feel off if I do not incorporate them into my daily practice.  We don’t have to sit in an OM position on the floor with our eyes closed to get the full benefits.  Even just doing some deep inhalation 4 counts through the nose and out through the mouth help tremendously.  Next time you want to flick someone off in traffic, try this instead.  🙂
  5. Watch your cravings.  If you notice you’re craving a bunch of chocolate cake, candies and high carb foods that’s a sign your body is stressed.  Instead, reach for healthier choices such as lean proteins, veggies and fruits.  ( I know, those don’t sound as appetizing as sugar) but remember, sugar breeds sugar, why do you think we always go back for a second round of M and M’s?  If you’re really craving sugar, grab a sweet potato or fruit to take the edge off.
  6. Eat Fat!  I see this all the time, people not eating enough of the healthy fats which can cause major inflammation!  Get your fish on along with avocados, healthy oils, nuts/seeds and dark chocolate.  I promise these help!

Want more tips?  Make sure to get over on my IG for TONS of tips on food, fitness and lifestyle!  You can also get on my FREE email list to get the latest and greatest HERE—> www.kimschaper.com