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One book I read this week & how it surprised me (+ what I plan to read next week)

The Adrenal Reset diet

This book wasn’t even on my list to read last week but after reading Erin’s post on Adrenal Fatigue, I was so intrigued by it and the changes she’s made that I used some of my Swagbucks to buy a Kindle copy of The Adrenal Reset Diet.

I’m such a paper/hardcover book girl so you know I was anxious to read this book if I bought a Kindle version and read it on my phone. Because I basically never do that!

However, I’m so glad I did because this book challenged and inspired me in some fairly significant ways. I was surprised to realize that some different symptoms I’ve been experiencing recently are likely the result of too much stress in my life and not enough sleep.

I’ve made getting an average of 7 hours of sleep per night a priority for quite a long time now, but reading the book and going through the Adrenal Fatigue quiz opened my eyes to some different things — namely that I haven’t been functioning at my best capacity for awhile now. Based upon what I read, I’m pretty sure sleep and stress are the culprits. And they kind of work in a vicious cycle.

I’m so much healthier and rested and sane than I was five years ago when I was completely run down, exhausted, and stretched way, way too thin. (If you’re interested, I wrote about my journey of hitting rock bottom and the steps I took to recovery in my book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode.)

After reading The Adrenal Reset Diet, my eyes were opened to the fact that I’m not thriving as much as I’d like to be or should be. The book gave a lot of different recommendations, but the three that I decided to try for the next 4-6 weeks are: 1) Going to bed by 10 p.m. or earlier every night and shooting to get 8+ hours of sleep every single night. 2) Eating a high-protein breakfast every morning. 3) Not drinking coffee after noon (the book suggestions 9 a.m., but I’m starting with noon since I’m all about babysteps!)

We’ll see how it goes. So far, I’ve already been able to tell a marked improvement in just a few days. That’s exciting and encouraging!

Books I Read This Week

9 Books I’m Reading This Week:

Help Me, Jesus! I Have Nothing to Wear! — I heard the author speak at a conference not too long ago and loved her suggestions and tips for dressing well. I was so inspired, in fact, that I went and bought her book and had her do my color analysis at the end of her session. Can’t wait to dive into this book.

Parenting the Wholehearted Child — Can I be really honest with you? Parenting books aren’t my favorite genre. In fact, I typically steer clear of them.

I was raised in an age and culture where many families followed parenting books and discipline plans to a tee and, well, much of the fruit from all that didn’t turn out so great. It left a bad taste in my mouth for the whole “follow steps A, B, and C as a parent and you’ll be a Godly family/good parent” etc.

So yes, I kinda prefer to stay far away from anything that remotely resembles a system or method of parenting. Because I truly have come to believe that there are no one-size-fits-all plans.

At any rate, I was hesitant to start this book because it fell under the “parenting book” genre. But I’m so glad that I did. I’m two chapters in and it is honestly turning out to be one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in a long time.

I just want to sit and read the whole thing in one sitting. But on the other hand, I want to process it slowly so that I can take it all in!

Unstoppable — I’m about halfway through this book and being challenged and convicted by it.

She Reads Truth Lent Study/Bible — I am loving the Lent study so far… as I have loved all the She Reads Truth studies. Seriously, one of the best things I’ve invested in for my personal spiritual development and relationship with God ever.

Stepping Heavenward — My new friend, Allison Burr, (who is not only been a huge blessing to my life by helping me with some business projects but is also just a week away from moving from Minnesota to just 15 minutes away from me — I’m so excited!) sent me this book and said it was one of her very favorites ever. Can you believe I’ve never read it? I’m working on remedying that stat.

Lizzy & Jane — So far, I’ve found this to be really engaging!

The Cricket in Times Square — I’m reading this to the kids right now and we’re about halfway through it. They’ve all enjoyed it and beg for me to read more chapters each — which is always a good sign!

Long Walk to Freedom & Kaffir Boy — I’m working through these as I seek to understand more about South African history.

What did you read this past week? Any must-read book recommendations?

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  • Lana says:

    For anyone suffering from these symptoms, you should consider that the pituitary gland regulates the adrenals. The pituitary gland can be helped to heal by getting sunlight through the eyes. If you always wear sunglasses when you go outside then you are not getting this healing benefit. I started to feel much better when I ditched the sunglasses ten years ago. I didn’t think I could do it but I did adjust to bright light after a short time. Many of the adrenal failure symptoms are also thyroid related and the pituitary gland comes into play there by regulating the thyroid, too. It is such an easy thing to do to start to feel better.

  • K says:

    Sleep or lack of it affects everything! I went to bed at 10:30 last night, tossed & turned until 3:00 am, when I finally gave up & got up, & I’ve been busy ever since. I don’t drink (or eat) caffeine or sugar. I’m trying to turn the computer off at 8:00 pm & am taking chamomile & melatonin at bedtime, as well as using a lavender lotion at bedtime. I’ve tried everything I can think of. I’m feeling really discouraged & worn out. I’d really appreciate any prayer.

    • Lana says:

      I lived like that for years. The answer for me was natural progesterone cream. You should read ‘What Your Dr. May Not Tell You About Premenopause’ by Dr John R Lee Jr. It changed my life!

    • I’m so, so sorry! I just prayed for you. Also, I’d love to send you a copy of The Adrenal Reset Diet and Sleep:It Does a Family Good — both that have some ideas/suggestions that might be helpful. Just email me your mailing address (crystal @ and remind me that I was sending you those two books and I’ll get them ordered for you.

      And maybe some other readers here have some ideas, too?

      • K says:

        Thank you so much!!

        • Jennifer says:


          I tried melatonin and it did nothing at all for me. In fact, I felt more wide awake than ever.
          Yogi Bedtime tea, which contains valerian makes me really sleepy and relaxed. I highly recommend it.

          Also, doing just one or two yoga restorative poses can make a big difference too, right before bed. And there are some you can do right from bed so you can drift right off. I suggest child’s pose and/or legs up the wall pose.

          Good luck!

          • K says:

            Thanks for your suggestions. I have some Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime tea with Valerian root I haven’t tried for a long time. I’ll make it right now.

    • K, I am so sorry. That was me a few years ago. I know what its like to go through that night after night. From my experience, I would recommend if at all possible that you find a good naturopathic doctor, that will look at the complete package of why you are not sleeping. So many things from adrenal fatigue, mineral deficiency, EMF’s, disease, and life stress’s can be the root cause of insomnia. It is good to have someone look at the whole picture. If cost prevents that from happening, I think the books Crystal are suggesting will be great starters. Also, Katie at Wellness Mama has some great posts on naturally aiding sleep.

      I hope some of that helps and that sleep returns soon. Prayers for you.

    • Amy says:

      I hope I’m not too late with this response.
      I need a balance of hydrocortisone (oral), thyroid, and DHEA in order to balance my adrenal/thyroid issues.
      If I don’t have all three I can’t sleep.
      I travel to see a doctor who has helped me with this. My regular doctor didn’t really care to do anything beyond one test which he said told him I was “normal.” My special doctor says, “I don’t care if a test says your normal. If you don’t feel good it’s not normal for you.”
      I encourage you to try to find a doctor that will listen to you and not a test.
      God bless you.

    • Amy says:

      I forgot to say, that doctor put me on 12.5 mg of tri-iodine per day BEFORE he did any other tests and put me on anything else. That is an absolute must.

  • Christie says:

    I’m in the middle of reading “Stepping Heavenward” right now, and it truly is a gem! It’s giving me a lot to think about (her thoughts and feelings bear a striking resemblance to mine!). I hope you enjoy it!

    I also have adrenal problems, so I might go get that myself! Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Susan Jones says:

    These all look like great reads! Thank you!!! I would also like to say AMEN, AMEN, and AMEN to why parenting books typically aren’t your favorite. As a mom of three wonderful kids, a 23 year old in law school, a 21 year old in under grad, and a still at home 16 year old in high school, there is no formula that is going to produce a set result for all kids every time! It is a lie that so many have bought into. We can follow suggestions, but more importantly we need to be in God’s word, pray without ceasing, and let the Holy Spirit be our guides. And you know what? Even with doing those things we eventually learn that we are not in control of anything, least of all the decisions our children make. Only God is in control!

  • lizzy says:

    Stepping Heavenward is one of my all time favorites–but get kleenex handy!

  • Thank you for sharing about the adrenal reset book. I’ve been concerned about my husband in this regard for quite a while. I’m praying that he’ll read the book and decide to make some of these changes.

  • Aimee says:

    My hubby has tested positive for adrenal fatigue, so I really need to get that book. There’s so much to learn on that topic! I also love the She Reads Truth studies. It’s so timely and always making me think about passages I have known for years in a new light!

  • E.Blake says:

    I would like to recommend that everyone read this article. I bought Terry’s thyroid care, and fatigue is gone, hot flashes gone, hair falling stopped, restful sleep every night, body temp getting back to normal, My energy level is back to normal, and I haven’t had a migraine since I started taking it.

  • Amy says:

    I’m working on a couple of books … Studies in the Sermon in the Mount by D. Martyn Loyd-Jones, which was recommended by our pastor as he is teaching through this section of Scripture. I’ve had this book on my shelf intending to read it for over 10 years, so I’m hoping to actually get it read this time!

    I’m also reading What Did You Expect: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul David Tripp. So far it is very convicting and one of the best marriage books I have ever read. I love any book that I’ve read by this author.

    Finally I am reading the fifth and final book of the Zion Chronicles series (The Key to Zion) by Bodie Thoene. This is the second series of historical fiction written by this author that I have read in the last 6 months and I have really enjoyed them.

  • Sara says:

    I’ve been researching Adrenal Fatigue for a long time. I’ve definitely been “off” since my son was born, and honestly, can’t remember the last time I wasn’t exhausted. He’s almost 3 now, but because of his multiple special needs, my stress level is at an all time high–doesn’t help he rarely sleeps through the night. (although we recently started essential oils and he’s sleeping until 5am! Yay!!) But, God always has a way of getting me through the day in one piece 🙂

    I LOVED Parenting the Wholehearted Child. One of the best parenting books I have ever read. It really changed my perspective on my role in godly parenting.

  • Amy H. says:

    I wonder why it’s so hard for some people to give themselves permission to get enough sleep as adults. I actually relish my bedtime. My bed is one of my favorite spots to be. Maybe that’s why my kids never really challenged bedtime, they figure it must be an awesome thing if mom enjoys it so much, ha ha.

  • Ashley Lanea says:

    I highly recommend “Kisses from Katie” by Katie Davis. I just read it recently and it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read! It’s about an eighteen-year-old girl who moved to Uganda, with a passion to follow Jesus and show His love. It’s an amazing and moving story that inspires and challenges. I think you’d really be blessed by it, especially in light of your recent trip to Africa.

  • Cynthia says:

    Okay, #1- how do you read that many books in a week? I’ve got 3 I’m reading and I’m in awe of you reading that many! #2- I did some reading on adrenal fatigue and I had so many of the symptoms. I went to a natural leaning doctor and she gave me some great suggestions. I gave up wheat completely and I’m eating a lower carb diet. I also had low Vit D & iron levels. I also made some lifestyle changes. I get to bed early and rest when I’m tired instead of pushing through. I’ve found meditation (I meditate on scripture) to be very helpful.

    • Ha! Well, last week I only finished one, so it’s not as impressive as it might first look. I’m hopeful that I’ll finish 2-3 from my stack this week. We’ll see! I usually read 1-2 chapters from devotional books + my Bible reading in the morning, at least 1 chapter from our read aloud book in the afternoon, and then fiction books in the evenings and on weekend afternoons.

  • Jen says:

    Oh I love Stepping Heavenward!!! There has been such wisdom for each season of my life …. I’ve read it many times since I first read it in college! She expresses so much of what is in my heart, and it helped me to figure myself out back then. In fact, I might have to add it to my reading pile again!

  • Kristine says:

    Crystal, in case you are interested in more South African books, I would highly recommend “Cry, the Beloved Country” by Alan Paton, a South African author. It’s fictional, and I recall that you posted before that you’re not usually interested in fiction, but it’s very good, one of my favorite books of all time. It’s about an Anglican priest and his search for his son, and it portrays many of the problems as well as the beauty of South Africa. There’s also a movie adaptation starring James Earl Jones, but the book is much better. I came across it at the library a few years ago and knew even from the cover description and the first few paragraphs that I was going to love it, and I did.

    • Julie says:

      I also read this book last year and loved it! The author had such a way of writing about the characters’ emotions. Superb writing and an incredible story of forgiveness. One I won’t soon forget!

  • Sarah says:

    This afternoon I finished “The First Phone Call from Heaven” by Mitch Albom and then I started “Kisses from Katie” by Katie Davis. Both excellent (so far!)

    On a side note, a friend of mine posted something on Facebook from your blog (she gave you credit, don’t worry!) and so we started talking about the blog and your books. I told her that I have the gratitude journal. She told me that she loved Say Goodbye to Survival Mode. I told her that I hadn’t read it yet, but that I did have it on my iPad (Kindle). 🙂 I am mostly bedridden due to multiple disabling conditions, so I spend most of my day near my computer, checking out websites and reading blogs. We are in South Dakota and it is rare for me to find someone on Facebook talking about any of the blogs/websites I visit daily. Kind of neat…

  • Sarah Hernandez says:

    I know my adrenals are so taxed. I am trying to sleep but usually wake up at 2am for awhile. I have started making sleep more of a priority but I am still dealing with some night wakings. I am also trying to manage stress. Three kids and a hubby that works 17 hour days. I used to keep thinking things will get better when… I am starting to see that I have to take control and make changes because no one else will.

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m with you on the parenting books. I stay far away from those. I’ve always had a very strong conviction that I know what’s best for my child.
    And we’re all so different. And parenting can be so challenging. If ever there was a time to “think outside the box” parenting would be it.

    • Nichole says:


      Love this wisdom!

      I’m a first time MaMa and also growing as a person and just because someone else is doing something doesn’t mean I have to do it or am doing it wrong. Has caused much tension between my husbsnd and I. I had an hahaaa moment at a bible study last year when something was said God may have spoke to them specifically in that area and that has changed my perspective.

      I think Im starting to take things in more lightly. (not sure the right word for it)

      Thank you for being honest and helps me to see that’s a good thing and everything isn’t great!

  • becky christ says:

    I’ve only just heard of Parenting the Whole Hearted Child, but you might want to check out For the Children’s Sake

  • I just started reading One Plus One. So far it’s pretty good. I can’t wait to try the adrenal reset book. My dr has told my husband for years he suffers from adrenal fatigue. He takes some meds, but would be great if he could get off them.

  • Sara F says:

    Hi ladies, I have been researching adrenal fatigue a ton in the last 12 months and how our blood sugar/insulin levels and the health of our gut affects so many areas of our health. It’s super interesting–if you google “leaky gut” with adrenal fatigue and you will see how candida in our guts is the culprit. The Lord recently led our family from MN to MT as my husband accepted a transfer and in this move I quit my job and found myself blessed by a company called Plexus. I’m sure some of you have heard of it, but for those who haven’t it was originated to help diabetics/prediabetics gain control of their blood sugars with their signature product “Plexus Slim” aka “the pink drink” and then now have a top of the line probiotic that gets to our gut to actually kill the fungus that is candida.
    So, I suffered from adrenal fatigue for the last few years, but by adding these few products to my life–and it’s not a diet or meal replacement–plainly it’s natural supplements–and I am a different person. I can sleep at night, I dont’ have that brain fog anymore and due to balancing my blood sugar levels–I’ve completely been able to ditch my soda and sweets habit which has helped me lose those last 20pounds of baby weight.
    It’s so amazing and I’m so very thankful how the Lord has blessed my health and my families health and also I’m able to be the helpmeet to my husband in our move and bring in some income.


  • So glad you liked the book!! I will have to check out the parenting book!

  • Nichole says:

    Here’s a great conversation about the parenting book you mentioned. SO good!

  • I’m currently reading Gifted Hands by Dr Ben Carson. It’s really good. What an amazing story of how were you come from does not define you.

  • Jamie says:

    All this adrenal stuff is fascinating me. I will have to look it up.

    I pretty much always have 3-5 books open at a time, so I rarely can chime in on these recommended posts. I need to finish them first for integrity.

    I wanted to say I agree with what you said on 3-Step methods for parenting. They always make me leery. However, sometimes the more unstructured books make me wonder if things like discipline, respect for authority, and humility would be addressed. Sounds like the Wholehearted Child might be a great balance of both.

    Thanks for always recommending books and passing on which ones are free on Kindle!

  • Den says:

    Crystal – please take what I’m about to say as it’s meant – with concern instead of criticism. I’m going to be blunt!

    I’ve read your blog for 4-5 years and have noticed that you are obsessed with sleep. And not in a good way. When you get busy or overwhelmed or feel like you should be doing another project the first thing you do is cut back on your sleep. You start going to bed really early and getting up really early….and even once you mentioned that you got up from 2-6 am to write!

    I get the impression that in your view, too much sleep means you are lazy or unmotivated or a bad person. It’s like you feel guilty when you get 8 hours of sleep. Is this from your childhood? From the bible/church? From your feelings of having to put everyone else first? Why are you punishing yourself by withholding sleep? I know the young moms in my office are constantly talking about how much sleep they get each night and seem to compete over who got the least – isn’t that kind of wrong?

    I wish you would just sleep.

    Go to bed when you are tired, get up when you are rested. You may oversleep a few times in the beginning, but if you could just trust your body to regulate itself without all of your rules and time tables and structure.

    I would just love for you to allow yourself the gift of sleep without the guilt.

    • I don’t know that I’m obsessed with sleep… that’s an interesting viewpoint. 🙂 I just know that I struggle a lot with giving myself grace/permission/time to get anymore that what is just enough sleep. There are a LOT of factors that are weighing into this and, yes, it’s definitely baggage from many years of trying to be a performer/perfectionist/people-pleaser. I’ve written on that in the last two years and how I’m slowly working on that… it’s a process. 🙂

      Reading this book really opened my eyes up to some different things in my life that are a result of not getting enough sleep, so that’s why I’ve made the changes and am giving myself permission to go to bed early and sleep until I wake up. This isn’t always possible with other things in my life, but I’m making it a priority as much as is possible.

      I’m excited to see what this results in and to find a sleep rhythm that allows my body to thrive!

      Thanks so much for your kind concern for me! I truly appreciate that you care so much!

      • Antonella says:

        Crystal: I feel Den made an interesting observation; you wrote that you rightly “prefer to stay far away from anything that remotely resembles a system or method of parenting. Because… there are no one-size-fits-all plans” and yet, you tried to get “just enough” sleep instead of sleeping as much as you need or, gasp, like. And now you are challenging your old sleeping pattern again in order to be thriving (more efficient ?) in your life 🙂

        I want to hug you and tell you “You are enough, Crystal”. “You are good exactly as you are” 🙂

        I really think many women can relate to this perfectionism… I do. For instance, I feel better when I exercise and yet I only do it when I have slivers of time… Why do I not make a priority of doing what makes me feel good instead of what is needed/useful/money-making etc…?

        Time to ponder… Thanks as usual for the food for thought!

        many hugs

        • Thanks so much for your sweet words. And just to clarify: “Thriving” for me, in this case, means cheerful, vibrant, healthy, and less anxious — not giving myself permission to consistently get more than “just enough” sleep has been impacting all of those areas in my life. This book really gave me the shot in the arm I needed to give myself that permission and I’m grateful! Now to just continue to give myself that permission. 🙂

  • Michele says:

    I am reading The Grace Outpouring: Becoming a People of Blessing by Roy Godwin & Dave.

    So, far…….amazing book.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I’m reading Persuasion by Jane Austen right now. I really enjoy fiction but I haven’t been making the time to read for fun as much as I would like to. I’m trying to read some of the classics that I have seen movie version of but have never read myself. So far I’m enjoying Jane Austen.

    I struggle to get enough sleep. I work at a children’s group home and my shifts range from starting at 6:30am and to working as late as 10:30pm depending on when I’m scheduled. I also have a half-hour commute between home and work. I would like to try to settle into some kind of sleep pattern that I could just adjust on the days I work early or late, but it’s been difficult for me ever since I started my job. I sleep in on my days off so my average sleep per night is around 7 hours, but that’s balanced between less sleep on some work days and more sleep on my days off. I run on a lot of caffeine and prayer some days! It’s not the best solution but for now it’s my answer. The upside is that I love my job, which helps make up for the fatigue! But I know I should be addressing the sleep issue.

  • Desirae says:

    Stepping Heavenward is an excellent book, my friend suggested it and is one of my favorites. A million steps is an excellent book also.

  • Nicole says:

    I am going to put The Adrenal Reset Diet on my list of things I want to buy soon and read! The last six months I have just felt absolutely exhausted and gained some weight that I’m having a hard time losing along with some other symptoms. I went and had my thyroid levels tested and a bunch of other labs and my doctor told me everything was normal and he wished all his patients were as healthy as me. Of course, that was good to hear, but I was hoping for an answer as to why I am so exhausted. I hope this book will be able to help me!

    • My sister has and she says it’s amazing!

      I don’t think I’m struggling from adrenal fatigue, though I do believe I definitely was about 5 years ago. This book was more of a wake up call for me to make sleep a higher priority so that I don’t stumble down that path and get in the really bad physical place I was 5 years ago.

  • Kate says:

    I follow you on Instagram and saw your post about the Wholehearted Child and went immediately over to her site to download the first chapter. It was amazing. I am just like you in the sense that I steer clear of most parenting books as I watched my friends obsess over them. Her writing was so fresh and spot on. Only the Holy Spirit can change the heart of a child (or anyone for that matter!) and it’s not in what methods we employ to raise our kids. I’m excited to read the entire book. Thanks for showing what you read.

  • Lori says:

    I need to read this book. I know I have adrenal fatigue, and I’ve asked my regular doctor, but she’s always told me that adrenal fatigue it’s not a real thing.

    I’ve decided to see a naturopathic doctor this week, and I am really looking forward to getting some answers. I don’t want more pills. I already take too many medications because I have T2 Diabetes + thyroid problems + sleep and stomach issues, etc.

    I am SO tired of feeling sick and exhausted all the time. I want to feel energetic and be able to enjoy each day. Please pray for me.

  • Melanie says:

    I *LOVE* Stepping Heavenward. I remember reading it a few times in my early teens, and I believe I put it on my ten most influential books I’ve read in my life time. so much of her story resonates with me. I hope you really like it. I’m going to have to check out that parenting book. I understand the sentiment of wanting to avoid methods and i definitely agree but for me, I really enjoy reading parenting books to glean ideas from them, especially if they are somewhat different from the ideas my parents used to raise me (very authoritarian). One book that I want to read is How We Love Our Kids. The authors wrote a marriage book called How We Love and i felt that it was eye opening for me in particular in my adult relationships and i think their parenting book is something I could learn from.

  • LA says:

    I would love to see your review of ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondo. Not sure if this is on your radar. Its an organization type book by a woman from Japan that is getting some press.

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