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Are you trying to resuscitate a dead frog?

BY: Andrea Nakayama

DATE: 2018-03-01

Today I’ve got a story for you…

I’m going to call it:

the resuscitation of the dead frog

It sounds like a fairy tale, and it is.

The good news? Fairy tales usually have happy endings!

If you’ve got a moment, stick with me for a quick recount that leads you to a much happier ending than it might appear from the title of this tale.

In 1780 an Italian anatomy professor discovered that a spark of electricity could cause the limbs of a dead frog to twitch. And just recently I used this historical tidbit in conversation with a client who was concerned that she had become a “food addict”.

This self-proclaimed “food addict” is a gorgeous woman who’s been through some rough patches in her adult life. She’s highly capable and well-versed in the ways of making healthy food choices and taking good care of herself.

The “food addict” knows how to make herself a batch of date-sweetened and grain-free brownies instead of grabbing a sugar-laden one from the corner bakery. She knows to sip her green tea instead of caving for the cup of coffee she’s craving in the late afternoon.

And yet, she surrenders to old patterns more often than she’d like.

The result?

  • more fatigue

  • increased bloating

  • embarrassing puffiness under her eyes

This is the point in the story where we come to a fork in the road.

One road leads us down the path of exploring food addiction and the psychological reasons we eat when we’re not hungry.

The other road leads us toward the physiology behind those decisions:
What might be happening internally that takes hold of the steering wheel and sits solidly in the driver’s seat?
You know that sensation I’m talking about, right–where your decisions seem out of your control?

While it’s true that both paths may need to be explored, let’s take a look at what’s down the latter path for our “food addict”. What’s happening inside her body that’s driving her decisions to grab that cookie or latte when she knows she’ll be left regretting the decision, not on principle, but on how she actually feels on the inside?
Sitting before me were the recent labs for the “food addict”, labs that showed:

  1. depleted iron levels (iron carries oxygen to the body’s cells for energy)

  2. sluggish thyroid hormone production (thyroid hormones control your body’s energy supply, regulating metabolism and body temperature)

  3. depressed cortisol production (cortisol is one of the hormones released from your adrenal glands that allows not only for fight-or-flight but also your daily get-up-and go…ie. ENERGY!)

energy, energy, energy!

(did you catch that?)
she had 3 physiological strikes against energy production
Can you see where the jump start of the dead frog comes in?

Not yet?

OK. Let me explain…

What the self-identified “food addict” and I were able to see by looking deep through the physiological lens is how the psychology or patterns of behavior were driven not only by mind games, but also by several hormonal and nutritional imbalances.
She was eating to literally try to boost her energy!

She was making choices in an attempt to resuscitate the “dead frog” with a spark of electricity (in the form of sugar or caffeine).
There are better ways to achieve a more solid and longstanding spark, ones that won’t leave you or our “food addict” feeling fatigued, bloated, puffy (or addicted), after the spark has faded.

Where to start?

Start by nurturing the adrenals glands so they can do what they’re supposed to do for you, and learn how to restore your baseline energy production.
Did you know this is actually the season to nurture your adrenal reserves?

The adrenal glands produce myriad hormones, several of which affect your energy levels.

Stress and inadequate nutrition are precursors to altered hormone production and can easily lead to substantial fatigue. There are a good number of stressors that tax the adrenal glands and contribute to this fatigue.

They include:

  • lack of sleep

  • poor diet

  • physical trauma

  • emotional trauma

  • chemical toxins

  • excess exercise

  • infections

  • anxiety or depression

  • prescription drugs

  • pregnancy

  • and, let’s face it, the fast pace of everyday living!

And there are a number of ways to address that fatigue from the core.

You don’t need to feel like you’re jump-starting a dead frog each morning or afternoon. The frog’s not dead. It just needs a little help getting its hop, skip and groove back.

You know my favorite place to start is with the choices we make, day in and day out. And today I want to invite you to hop and skip over to the FxNA Recipe File to get kitchen inspiration, revitalize what feels like the dead frog within, and most certainly get your groove back.

See if you can make one choice to find what I like to call “the cradle”. The cradle is the place where you offer yourself the care and support you would your very own child.

Your cradle can include things like:

  • going to bed an hour earlier

  • upgrading your breakfast or afternoon snack with a good-for-you goodie that you find in the

    Recipe File

  • or remembering some of your favorite practices from one of the past cleanses or detoxes that we’ve done together that may have dropped off your radar

The best thing about a cradle is that you choose!

The moral of this story? To resuscitate the seemingly dead frog, go for love and compassion as opposed the shock value.

Now go rock your cradle!



P.S. We’ll bring our collective attention to the adrenal glands (and boosting energy) in a few weeks with the celebrated FxNA Winter Cleanse that begins on February 26th. Stay tuned for more details.

Andrea Nakayama

By: Andrea Nakayama, FxNA Founder & Functional Medicine Nutritionist

Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.


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