With six years of science-based post-secondary education under my belt, I like to think of myself as someone who is fairly knowledgeable about health, diet and exercise. As such, I tend to be fairly...not so much skeptical...but a little wary of self-help books or programs that claim to have some "secret" that's going to suddenly turn your life around. From my experience, living healthfully isn't so much about discovering "secrets," as re-discovering common sense approaches to eating, exercising and living healthfully. So, with my semi-wary eye, I began reading Dr. Eva Cwynar's The Fatigue Solution, and I've been extremely pleased with what I've found. And, while I haven't quite finished it yet, I wanted to go ahead and share my impressions with you since we're hosting a giveaway of the book right now (through April 15, 2012)!
About Dr. Eva Cwynar, M.D.
Dr. Eva Cwynar is an Endocrinologist - a medical doctor who specializes in how hormones interact with and affect the body. So, in addition to four years of medical school and three years of residency, she spent two more years specifically studying hormones. Her field is a relatively small one, and there are currently nationwide shortages of Endocrinologists. This means that it can be hard to find a doctor who is highly trained in the ability to identify and treat medical issues relating to hormone imbalances. And, really, that's a shame! Hormones affect everything we do - they regulate how our body functions - and if they get out of whack, we get out of whack, too.
Ultimately, that's what The Fatigue Solution is all about. Dr. Cwynar points out early in the book that chronic fatigue is a legitimate medical problem affecting millions of women (and men, too), and the source of fatigue can often be traced back to hormones. She then outlines eight steps that can be taken to help you get your hormones back in balance so that you can reclaim your energy and your health. The great thing is that many of these solutions are common sense health choices that we hear all the time, but they're being approached from a different perspective and with the added benefit of scientific information that you don't always hear.
The Fatigue Solution's easy steps
You'll have to buy (or win!) The Fatigue Solution to benefit from all of Dr. Cwynar's suggestions, but here's a quick overview of five of the eight easy steps she suggests to help battle fatigue and increase your energy (I would have included all eight, but I haven't finished the book yet!).
Feed Your Energy Furnace
Food is fuel. As athletes and active women, this is something that we have a pretty good grasp on, but food quality and timing is as important for battling fatigue as the act of eating itself. The Fatigue Solution addresses the importance of eating breakfast, breaking up your meals throughout the day and consuming plenty of high quality protein in order to maintain your energy supply.
Get Your Gut in Shape
Lots of women experience constipation, diarrhea and bloating, and many women even begin accepting stomach discomfort as "normal;" but, Dr. Cwynar explains that these symptoms are often a source of fatigue and should never be considered an acceptable part of life. In addition to increasing fiber and water content, she points to food sensitivities, internal and external toxins, and out-of-whack gut bacteria as common sources of discomfort. Changes to diet and added probiotics may help you get your gut in shape, ultimately increasing your energy.
Improve Your Sleep and Reduce Your Stress
This goes in the "duh" category for reducing fatigue, right? Of course you need to sleep well and cut down on stress when you're feeling fatigued. But, that often seems impossible. This chapter does a great job of forcing you to think about your lifestyle to identify whether there are easy ways to improve your sleep patterns and reduce stress. And if you're not sure where to start, Dr. Cwynar points to a variety of ways to approach the problem. The fact is, just like changing your diet takes effort, changing your sleep and stress patterns also requires effort.
Supercharge Your Sexuality
You wanted to jump straight to this one, didn't you? Good! A great sex life is a great energy booster!
Unfortunately, sex is often put on the back burner when you're feeling stressed out and fatigued. But think about it - if you're feeling fatigued, you probably don't have much energy to leave the house, so why not start by having fun in the comfort of your own bedroom? The Fatigue Solution provides some common causes for low libido, then Dr. Cwynar goes on to give quick and easy-to-implement tips for boosting your sex life.
Move Your Body and Boost Your Metabolism
You're visiting this site for a reason - you're a sporty, athletic, active woman. You understand the importance of exercise and regularly participating in physical activities you love. And while you know how important exercise is, everyone's gone through a "down time" before - when fatigue outweighs the desire to move. The Fatigue Solution reiterates that when you don't have the energy to exercise, that's a key indication that you need to exercise - it will help stimulate hormones that boost mood and vigor, giving you the energy to help you get through the rest of your day.
The good news? When you're feeling exhausted, even a little exercise goes a long way. You don't necessarily need to hit the road for your usual five mile run - just take a walk or go for a spin around the neighborhood on your bike. Ten to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise will get your blood pumping while enhancing your mood.
Even though I haven't finished the book yet, there are a few extra tools I'm looking forward to reading up on. First, Dr. Cwynar's eighth step in The Fatigue Solution is all about getting yourself tested for deficiencies and imbalances. She points out early in the book that there are a number of tests that can be performed by doctors to discover potential fatigue-causing problems, but that many of these tests aren't typically suggested by general practitioners. The eighth step describes a variety of tests and explains who might want to request a work up based on physical and emotional symptoms.
Finally, in Appendix 1 of The Fatigue Solution, Dr. Cwynar includes a number of meal plans, shopping lists and healthy recipes designed to help promote an energetic, healthy lifestyle. Recipes include everything from Mediterranean Chicken Burgers to Chocolate Protein Muffins and even Asparagus Fries, making them sound tantalizing and incredibly healthy at the same time.
To learn more about The Fatigue Solution and Dr. Eva Cwynar, be sure to check out DrEva.com and http://www.facebook.com/