Episode 44: The Art of Stress Management with Evan Brand

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Episode 44 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: The Art of Stress Management with Evan Brand

When You Can’t Avoid Stress, How Well Do You Manage It?

Stress is intimately connected to autoimmune expression. Many of you have experienced this yourself, when a high-stress situation kicked off an autoimmune flare – or even an autoimmune diagnosis. While we can take steps to strive for a lower-stress life, the truth is that part of life is experiencing tough times. Whether it’s aging parents, troubled teens, the loss of a job, the loss of a relationship, the death of someone we love, or our own autoimmune struggles, we can’t avoid stress altogether. So, that means we need to have tools to manage that stress so that it doesn’t negatively impact our health. That’s what today’s show is all about.

Evan Brand is a functional medicine practitioner and the author of the book, Stress Solutions. He’s here to teach us how to take care of ourselves through the ups and downs of living.

Episode 44 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: The Art of Stress Management with Evan Brand
Listen to the Show
There are three ways to listen:

  1. You can subscribe to my podcast through iTunes.
  2. You can listen through Stitcher.
  3. You can also listen to the episode right here through the play bar at the bottom of this post. If you subscribe to my blog by email, you’ll got notified of future episodes.

The Giveway Has Ended

The prize was a paperback copy of my book, A Simple Guide to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. And the winners were chosen on 5/21/16: Michyjeanne and cshartle (iTunes reviewer names). Thanks for playing, everyone! if you didn’t win, no worries, you can buy a copy of my book through Amazon.com or The Book Depository.

Show Notes

  • Intro (0:00)
  • Thank You to Our Podcast Sponsor – Paleo on the Go (3:29)
  • Meet Evan Brand (4:41)
    • He’s a functional medicine practitioner and nutritional therapist, working with people around the world via Skype.
    • He is the author of 3 books: REM Rehab, Stress Solutions and The Everything Guide to Nootropics.
    • He hosts his own podcast Not Just Paleo and co-hosts another podcast with Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Beyond Wellness Radio
    • His health was at its worst in college, when he didn’t have any knowledge about the power of diet and lifestyle on health. He was in class full-time during the day and worked the overnight shift to pay for college. High stress, low sleep and poor diet culminated in serious irritable bowel symptoms (IBS), depression, exhaustion and brain fog. A conventional doctor gave him 3 prescriptions but no answers, so he started researching on his own. He went gluten-free first which improved his symptoms enough to inspire him to learn more, and eventually his learning led to a new career. Now, he follows a personalized AIP diet, and his IBS is completely gone, he has high energy, an optimistic view of life, and his brain fog is 95% improved. He is currently treating a parasite infection which he hopes will eliminate the small symptoms remaining.
  • The Science of Chronic Stress (15:15)
    • Chronic stress affects our bodies on multiple levels, and sometimes we aren’t even aware of it.
    • Cortisol is the stress hormone, and it’s a natural part of our body, with a natural rhythm that’s meant to be high in the morning, low before bed, and only have spikes during the day if we’re in danger. Chronic stress releases more and more of this hormone, throwing off both the rhythm and our reserves. This has negative ramifications bodywide.
    • Effect on Brain: Our amygdala (the fear center) actually increases in size and becomes hypersensitive, making us more prone to panic. The hippocampus (memory center) is degraded by high cortisol levels, making us more forgetful. And there is less blood flow to the prefrontal cortex, reducing our empathy and our ability to think clearly and creatively.
    • Effect on Digestion: Circulation is continually shifted away from our digestive organs, leading to poor gut health.
    • Effect on Organs: The adrenals become depleted, the pancreas has trouble controlling blood sugar, and the liver becomes overworked and is unable to detoxify optimally.
  • Stress Management Break – Guided Deep Breathing Exercise (28:45)
  • Types of Stress (30:15)
    • Emotional – Grief, anger, anxiety, annoyance, negativity, etc.
    • Physical – Autoimmune disease symptoms. too much or too little exercise, trauma, gut infections, etc.
    • Spiritual – Feeling alone and disconnected.
    • Technology – The more time we spend looking at screens and the less time we spend in nature and connecting with people in real life, the more illness increases.
    • Nutritional – Blood sugar imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities, etc. Evan recommends using a glucometer to become familiar with your own blood sugar trends and focus on nutrient-dense food choices rather than desserts.
  • Stress Management Tools (45:55)
  • Making Difficult Changes (53:07)
    • While a lot of our stress is beyond our control, there are times in life when we know we need to make a big change, but it’s hard to co. It might be leaving a stressful job or ending a toxic relationship or something else altogether.
    • Evan’s advice is to restore your body first – though optimal nutrition, lab tests to determine adrenal health, supplements as needed, and the stress management techniques we discussed today.
    • Once you begin to feel better, you will have more energy, more hope and more strength to make the changes necessary to continue to improve your life.
  • Outro (58:36)

Spreading the Word

If you like the podcast, please leave a positive review in iTunes or Stitcher. It would mean the world to me, and also helps others find the podcast and learn about their potential for healing.

Listen to the Show

There are three ways to listen:

  1. You can subscribe to my podcast through iTunes.
  2. You can listen through Stitcher.
  3. You can also listen to the episode right here through the play bar at the bottom of this post. If you subscribe to my blog by email, you’ll got notified of future episodes.
  Have you checked out my books?   Books By Eileen Laird | Phoenix Helix

9 thoughts on “Episode 44: The Art of Stress Management with Evan Brand

  1. Pingback: Episode 44: The Art of Stress Management with Evan Brand | Paleo Digest

  2. These are great tips, even just the simple act of laying for 10 minutes. I use essential oils extensively to help decrease my stress level.
    I tried leaving a podcast review, I would LOVE to win your book. I tried multiple times, hoping it went through (Michyjeanne was my iTunes name)??? My first time doing a podcast review. I can’t wait for your next one, I need this!

    • Michyjeanne, your review did go through. Thanks so much for writing it and for sharing your experience here. A lot of people love essential oils. Do you have a favorite? I know lavender is one that is especially relaxing.

      • Hard choice! Lavender & peppermint together in a diffuser is like a dream! Serenity if I am wearing it (I’m a DoTerra girl).
        🙂

  3. Tried to leave a review/comment in iTunes. Every single nickname I tried was apparently taken. Must be an issue with iTunes or my computer. :/

    • Hi Sarah. I’m sorry you’re having trouble. You do need to login to your iTunes account to leave a review, and since they have millions of users, I’m not surprised it will take a while to find a name that’s available. I agree that it can frustrating, but it’s part of technology life.

  4. I’m glad I chose to listen to this one today. As soon as I was done listening, I laid on the floor with my legs up on the wall (I’m sure there’s a name for that) and just closed my eyes. *exhale* I felt so much better after and was able to focus on what I intended to get done.

    • Isn’t that position incredible? In restorative yoga, it’s called Viparita Karani = Inverted Lake. I love how you said it restored your ability to focus. I think when we’re busy, we sometimes think we don’t have time for a break, but I’m not nearly as efficient when I’m feeling overwhelmed. So, a break like that is actually the “productive” thing to do! I’m working on podcast edits today, and I’ve set my timer to go off every hour. Inspired by you, I’m going to do this pose on my first break. Thanks, Erin!

  5. Pingback: Community Update - May 2016 - Autoimmune Paleo

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