Nutrition Advice, Topical Nutrition

Top 5 Tips To Manage Adrenal Fatigue

Stress over extended periods causes the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, which promotes the release of glucose and fat into blood, to be carried to the muscles where it will be used to generate energy to run from danger. In today’s society, our mostly sedentary lifestyle means there is no danger, and we are less efficient at clearing glucose, cortisol and lipids from our blood, causing abdominal weight gain in the form of visceral fat.

Adrenal glands – what do they do?

The adrenals are triangle shaped glands that sit on top of our kidneys. Their primary role is to control our body’s response to stress, as well as regulating blood pressure and metabolism. When we become stressed from:

  • Infection
  • Illness
  • Excess caffeine
  • Anxiety/nerves
  • Scary animal (rare)

Hypothalamus (control centre in brain) ⇒ pituitary gland ⇒ adrenals ⇒ produce adrenaline and cortisol (hormones) which ⇑ awareness and blood flow (), simultaneously ⇓ the digestive and immune systems (damn).

Cortisol causes a release of glucose and fat into the blood to allow a burst of energy to run from danger. As mentioned, there is no scary animal to run from so we stay in the flight or flight response, constantly wired.

Chronic stress

Adrenal fatigue – what is it?

Adrenal fatigue is commonly known as HPA axis dysfunction, and occurs when the adrenal glands are placed under continuous demand and lose their ability to manage stress in the body.

Adrenal fatigue – why is it bad?

Chronic adrenal stress results in increased cortisol production (stress hormone) which in turn gives us a lovely distended abdomen over time. The rise in blood glucose stimulates the release of insulin (another hormone), which plays a role in fat storage.

Excess blood glucose ⇒ excess insulin ⇒ excess blood sugars are converted to visceral fat

This distended abdomen is composed of visceral fat that accumulates around our heart, liver and kidneys as a protective mechanism as the body thinks it is in danger and clings on to fat for potential energy. Essentially, your body is not coping with the stress and that your adrenals are heading for a burnout. Additionally, constant cortisol production can weaken the gastrointestinal (GI) tract leaving it more susceptible to inflammation and infection.

When the adrenals are in overdrive your brain is always switched on. This can effect your thought processes, attention span and ability to focus, leading to excessive thinking and an inability to switch off. When your body is constantly on the go, sleep becomes interrupted and you lose the ability to recharge your batteries, or adrenal tank so to speak. A vicious cycle of stress, insomnia, fidgeting and cravings can then ensue.

Our body loses sodium (an electrolyte) while in adrenal stress, which causes salt cravings due to dehydration. Foods such as potato chips suddenly become more attractive.

There are also knock on effects to several other hormones in your body (which I will address in another blog post), suffice to say it effects fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism and therefore our weight.

Top 5 tips to prevent Adrenal Fatigue

  1. Eat a nourishing breakfast – including good quality fats (avocado or flax seeds), satisfying protein (eggs or milk) and filling carbohydrates (wholegrain toast or chia pudding); this will ensure even energy throughout the morning and reduced stress.
  2. Monitor your caffeine intake – if you notice that you are particularly sensitive to caffeine (think fidgety or buzzing), try to limit your intake to 400mg a day.
  3. Good quality sleep – aim for 6-8 hours of uninterrupted each night to allow your adrenals to rest and your hormones to re-balance.
  4. Stress reduction – find something that works for you to lower your cortisol levels: 10 minutes of reading before bed, not using your phone for an hour from waking, 30 minute phone call to a close friend.
  5. Movement to use up excess blood glucose: sign up to that dancing class you’ve always wanted to do, agree to meet a friend for tennis once a week, chase a ball with the kids.

If you think you may be experiencing adrenal fatigue, you don’t have to continue on this path. Pop in for a chat and we can work out some solutions to get your mojo back.

Get in touch here or check out my consultations page for more information.

All the best,

Madeleine (That Healthy Girl)


This blog post was written by Madeleine Baumgart and first appeared on That Healthy Girl blog Sunday 18th February, 2018

DISCLAIMER: Any views or opinions represented in this blog are purely personal. Opinions or thoughts expressed in this blog do not represent those of people, institutions or companies that I am associated with in a professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. I have no affiliation with or receive any benefits from companies or organisations mentioned in posts on That Healthy Girl. From time to time I may provide a review and my opinion on sample products, this will be clearly stated on the post. Written content provided on this blog is meant for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide or replace medical advice, nor should it be used to diagnose, treat or cure illness. 

Nutrition Advice

This Summer, forget about body transformations. Here’s why.

Happy new year! I realise I am a little late in getting to my first post of the year. This has been partially deliberate, and the other half just plain busy with my family and work. I wanted to personally welcome and new followers that have recently signed up to my blog. I am so glad you have taken the step towards discovering more about your health and hopefully you might learn a thing or two.

I have recently returned from maternity leave and am available for individual nutrition consultations on Monday afternoons, alternating between Morningside General Practice Clinic and Belmont General Practice Clinic. Both of these clinics are special to me in that I used to work there as Registered Nurse. It’s great to be returning as a Dietitian to offer evidence based nutrition advice to clients.


At this time of year we are bombarded with quick fix nutrition promises that all offer the illusion of a slimmer you, supposedly a better body and the ability to shred or transform in “x” number of weeks. There is a common theme here, praying on your weaknesses and creating a dissatisfaction with your body. These programs feed our obsession with diet culture and often don’t provide the psychological support that is needed when one is starts to change their health.

Is it any wonder negative body image is rife when we are consistently subjected to messages encouraging us to be thin, or that our body shape is not enough.

Instead of signing up to an eight week shred, I encourage you to adopt some self-love and simply start making some small changes. This might be making sure that you feed yourself breakfast before the kids so that you are well nourished for the day. Or you could try batch roasting vegetables on the weekend, making lunch preparation (and increasing vegetable intake) that much easier. Whatever you decide to do, know that you are enough and that you can take control of your health without submitting to yet another program with false hope. Most importantly, you will maintain a positive relationship with food, movement and health.

If you feel a little lost and need some healthy inspiration, I can offer sound strategies during an initial assessment. For more information on nutrition consultations click here.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to an exciting year ahead as I slowly ease back in to work and health blogging.

Madeleine (That Healthy Girl).

This blog post appeared first on That Healthy Girl blog and was written by Madeleine Baumgart

Nutrition Advice, That Healthy Tip

What are you hungry for?



We all experience it, several times a day. Or at least we should experience it several times a day. Modern life means that for some, true hunger is never really experienced. Instead, some are bombarded with mixed messages all day, meaning that their intrinsic hunger cues are subdued. More eating occasions throughout the day means that people are eating for reasons other than hunger.

You might be hungry for a connection with someone, but choose triple cheese toasted sandwiches to fill the absence. Perhaps you’re hungry for happiness and don’t know how to find it, so you numb yourself with chocolate cake. Or maybe you are just down in the dumps after a knock back at work, so that delightful bottle of bubbly helps to quench your hunger. Most of the reasons for overeating are linked to our emotions. Think about that for a second.

We are eating for emotional reasons instead of physiological reasons related to hunger. It becomes very apparent then, that any attempt to control weight (be that weight loss or weight gain) simply must address the underlying triggers that cause us to overeat in the first place.

Continue reading “What are you hungry for?”

Q and A

What breakfast cereal should I be eating?

Do you feel bamboozled by the ever expanding cereal aisle? Not sure what you should be looking for in a cereal?

You’re not alone. Supermarkets and food companies hope that you are confused so that you will succumb to strategic product placement, weekly specials, and clever marketing claims on front of packet. I am going to share some tips to ensure you are making the best purchase for your health, and the health of your family.

  1. More popular (and often less healthy) options will be placed at eye level and in abundance at the supermarket. These may also be found on special at the end of an aisle as part of a promotional stand. Try looking up, down and around at other options.
  2. To truly know what is in the cereal, take little notice of nutrition claims on the front, instead flip the product over and read the ingredient list, look for fewer ingredients. The more ingredients a product has, the more processed and refined it is likely to be.
  3. Ignore cartoon characters and pictures on the front, again these are there to entice kids and are often not the healthiest choice.
Image result for cereal
(Source: Pixabay)

Nutrients to look out for


Look for cereals that contain less than 10% fat on the nutrition panel (less than 10g/100g). Fats should predominately be healthy mono-unsaturated fats instead of saturated trans fats.


Look for products that have less than 10g (2 teaspoons) of sugar per serve. If a cereal has more than this, check the ingredients to see if the sugar is naturally occurring or added sugar. Added sugar has many names, glucose syrup, dextrose, brown rice syrup, fructose to name a few.


Breakfast should be contributing close to a third of your daily fibre intake, particularly if you are a three meals a day person. Fibre is therefore a really important nutrient to look out for when choosing a cereal, as many processed and Gluten Free options are lacking. Look for cereals that have 3g at a minimum per serve, but higher towards 6-7g is ideal. Inadequate fibre in a cereal will leave you hungry not long after eating, and can lead to over-eating.


Cereals that have less than 120mg per 100g serve can be classed as low sodium. This is an ideal range. If a cereal has more than this, try to keep it below 300mg at a maximum. Excess salt can cause fluid retention and bloating, not to mention extra pressure on your heart and kidneys.

I hope these few tips remove some of the confusion around breakfast cereal selection and get you thinking next time you hit the cereal aisle!

As always,thanks for stopping by, Madeleine (THG).

This post first appeared on That Healthy Girl blog and was written by Madeleine Baumgart.

What breakfast cereal should I be eating?

Topical Nutrition

If you keep doing the same things, you will get the same results

As 2016 draws to an end, we are bombarded with messages to eat clean, strip the fat, sign up to 28 day or 12 week challenges. Weight loss companies know that we have probably eaten more than we needed over the festive/holiday season and are looking for a quick fix to a slimmer, healthier you in the new year. Before you throw your cash away on yet another optimistic program I’d like you to think about the following questions.

How many times have you made New Years weight loss resolutions and kept them?

How much money have you spent on quick fixes that don’t work?

Have you actually changed your mindset around health and eating?

Are your weight loss goals too unrealistic?

Why do you want to lose weight?

Are the people you spend time with supportive of the sort of lifestyle you crave?

Do your daily food choices honour your health goals?

Are you eating mindfully?

Next year I urge you to try something radical, say no to fad diets. If diets truly worked, why are new ones created constantly? It’s time to move away from the diet mindset and eating plans based on unsubstantiated promises.

Instead, commit to small manageable changes that become habits. After all, from little things, big things grow.

Small changes are more likely to stick when implemented rather than restrictive diets. So what are you waiting for? Get planning, start making choices that align with your health goals.

✔️ Make time for a stroll through your local farmers markets

✔️ Learn more about where your food comes from

✔️ Start a weekly tradition, make a meal from scratch, let a family member chose a different cuisine

✔️ Take a cooking class

✔️ Learn the art of fermenting foods

Take control of your health!

I’d like to wish all of my healthy followers a safe and relaxing New Years wherever you are! I look forward to bringing you more and exciting articles in 2017.

Thanks for stopping by, Madeleine (THG) 🍍

Christmas Treats, That Healthy Christmas, That Healthy Recipe, Topical Nutrition

How to enjoy a Low FODMAP Christmas

Following a low FODMAP eating plan can often limit food options. This should not impact your enjoyment over the festive period. With endless parties, gatherings and ultimately Christmas day, it would be nice to have a list of “safe” foods that you know are not going to send you to the bathroom or leave you doubled over with trapped wind. Particularly if you are wearing a fitted Summer outfit!

I have trawled the web and found my pick of suitable Christmas recipes so that you don’t miss out on the fun.

Low FODMAP Starters

Roasted Chickpeas

Cucumber and Dill Infused Cottage Cheese

Antipasto Skewers

And of course my Christmas Caprese Wreath (see image below). This is a breeze to make, with some Bing Crosby carols in the back to get in the mood.

Simply place a grape tomato, mini mozzarella ball and basil leave on a toothpick and decorate on a round platter. Voila!

Caprese wreath

 Low FODMAP Mains

Spiced Cherry Bourbon Glazed Ham


Chicken and Rice Vermicelli Salad

Potato Salad

Sweet Treats

Dark Chocolate Dipped Rice Cakes

Berry Pavlova – substitute with Lactose Free thickened cream

Christmas Chocolate Bark


And lastly an entire book of tasty low FODMAP recipes courtesy of Monash University, the home of FODMAP research and resources. Available here.

I hope this has provided you with some fresh ideas for Christmas food minus the digestive upset.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Madeleine, THG 🍍

This post first appeared on That Healthy Girl blog and was written by Madeleine Baumgart