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  • Writer's pictureAmy Slater

Week 4 Nursing School Update and MINERALS to support your stress response!

WEEK FOUR!!! I can't believe now we are over one month into nursing school. We had our first test last week. I will share a funny story attached to that in a moment! Life has definitely shifted now that sports are in full gear. My husband and I catch a quick kiss in a passing moment but typically we are going two different directions. He has done so much and found his own rhythm with tasks that were once mine. We alternate weeks cleaning the house and, he starts the laundry and folds it and I put away the clothes. I plan and make dinners/lunches and he distributes them and makes breakfasts. Some nights I work off my phone hotspot and study at the fields/gym and sometimes I drop off/pick up while my husband stays with the younger child at their sport. We both know it is not forever and, just like when we brought home two babies, we found a system, put our heads down and got to work.

I am enjoying school a lot and really starting to find my groove, at least with this first class! It definitely is not the horribly stressful experience that so many people describe it!


STRESS, it is the number one factor that causes mineral depletion. We must understand this because we can supplement and create some beautiful meals but if we are not able to catalog the stress in our world, we cannot make strides towards improving our mineral status. We can add more minerals in but this often leads to barely catching up to support our minerals, especially if someone is experiencing a lot of stress. There are seasons of life when adding more minerals is helpful because adjusting our lifestyle is difficult or impossible. But if living in a constantly stressed state, we must re-evaluate our tactics.

Stress can be nutritional, physical, or mental/emotional. real AND perceived. This is very important because in nursing AND motherhood, you may experience one or all of these stressors at some time.

Today we are going to talk about a diet that lacks nutrient dense foods and its impact on the stress response. If we aren't getting a variety of animal and plant foods in our diet and are leaning more toward processed foods or entirely plant-based, it is tough to reach optimal nutrition status. We need a mix of animal protein and plants to provide our body system the material it needs for repair and recovery and to run day to day operations like the nervous system!

Supplements without testing can also be a big stressor! I know there are many students supplementing with individual minerals without knowledge if they ore actually low! If you supplement with magnesium, and are drinking a ton of water (say the gallon a day goal) which will dilute sodium will make it difficult to raise sodium levels and improve the stress response. Vitamins can also be harmful, for example, vitamin D can lead to higher calcium levels, which will negatively impact magnesium. It can also lead to copper loss, which further raises calcium.


So, the good thing about minerals is that improving them will impact a wide variety of symptoms. The bad thing about minerals is that, having low minerals or an imbalance will also cause a wide variety of symptoms. Here are some common symptoms:

  • Insomnia

  • Blood sugar dysregulation

  • Exhaustion

  • Hair loss

  • Always cold or extreme response to the cold

  • Twitching muscles/easily cramping

  • Constipation

  • Headaches

  • Poor digestion

  • Dry skin

  • Brittle, chipped nails

  • Cavities

  • Low appetite or disinterest in whole food

  • Easily triggered/short temper


STRATEGIES! Give me all of the strategies to help me support my stress response as a mom, student, practitioner, CNA and all of the many hats I am wearing. I bet you are also wearing many hats right now too!!

The AWESOME thing about minerals is that I can offer you strategies from increasing your NEAT to light exposure to blood sugar regulation. Today we are going to speak to three key minerals that can impact the stress response. Remember when I said stress is REAL and PERCEIVED. Think of the saying, "making a mountain out of a mole hill". I know my mom is not the only one who said this! The perceived stress response can be greatly impacted by: magnesium, potassium and sodium!

Magnesium: is an intracellular mineral so 99% is inside (or should be) the cell. When you get your blood levels tested, that only demonstrates 1%.

  • Needed for energy production

  • Regulates sugar metabolism

  • Helps to reduce muscle soreness and reduces inflammation.

  • Too low--can lead to depression, blood sugar issues, thyroid issues, anxiety, excessive sweating, adrenal insufficiency, poor stress response and PMS (there are many energetic processes that rely on magnesium also, these are just symptoms you may notice).

Potassium: works with its partner, sodium to get nutrients inside the cell.

  • Regulates blood pressure

  • Fluid balance

  • Sensitizes cells to thyroid and glucose

  • Insulin like effects 

  • Helps us store glucose in liver 

  • Too low--can lead to deficiency, fatigue, constipation, low BG

Sodium: a mineral that is very important for the stress response, balancing fluids and pH, blood pressure and stomach acid production, the mineral is also important for insulin sensitivity.

  • Low sodium leads to insulin resistance, poor adrenal function, poor digestion

Getting these supplements through food each day is absolutely possible!! I go through a full description of HOW in this week's You Tube Vlog! A key meal that we end up losing out on the opportunity to consume enough minerals is, LUNCH!!

Here are a couple easy combos that you can use to nourish your body at lunch whether you are in nursing school or you are a very busy mom who really does not want to suffer the ill-effects of stress and mineral loss. The basic template will always be:

  • 1/4 plate starchy/complex carbohydrate

  • 1/4 plate protein (seafood, poultry, beef, pork)

  • 1/2 plate non-starchy plants

  • Use fruit, nuts, seeds, whole food fats like olives and avocado as your condiments.

The absolute best strategy to maintain consistency with your mineral rich lunch is to plan ahead and have the ingredients prepared and ready to go! Be sure to check out the full VLOG on YouTube for more integration ideas!

Stay tuned for the next blog post in two weeks!! Let me know below if this information was helpful to you!



Last week I had my first test! My son was tracked out, so he came with me. Our plan was to go grocery shopping after my test was over! I was ok while reviewing material before the test with Cameron in the lounge but as soon as it was time to get up to go upstairs to the very formal testing room....OMG, I felt like I use to feel before swim meets...I was nauseous, my HR went way up and I felt like I was going to cry! I put on WAY too much adaptive oil roller so when we got into the elevator, LITERALLY it was like an oil bomb went off! OMG! Ha ha! While I was studying I had drank my pre-test stack of: Yerba mate, Greens powder, Glycine, Creatine, Sunfiber, Immunoglobulins and AC Vinegar. I was so focused but I think the caffeine in the Yerba Mate pushed me a little too much so I was laser focused. As soon as I logged into the test I realized I did not close all of my tabs which caused a delay in the exam starting. Because it was timed I had to slow the urge to follow the panic signals, slowly breathe through it, follow the steps and then start the test. WHEW! The test was not hard relative to what I thought it would be. I finished in about 20 minutes and could not wait to go out and see my son! It was great to see him lounging and waiting for me. So sweet! A fond memory for sure!! I ended up with an 89.33. So, I call it a success!

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