Norway- Mountains, Water and FOOD To Fuel The Body and The Soul

Viking Sauce recipe below!

Waking up in Norway with a cold plunge in the icy fjord, followed by a delicious breakfast of salmon on dark bread and berries with yogurt while plotting the long days mountain adventure was a dream for this food and mountain loving girl.

I love travel when the food and activities of the day help you feel your best.

Norway is top for me in this department.

The green forests, snowy peaks, sod roofs, icy fjords, clean air, charming and colorful houses, and delicious foods all helped Norway win my heart.

Some of the food there is not my favorite (brown cheese anyone?) but there are so many foods that not only taste delicious but also work with my body. Think wild mushrooms, brightly colored berries, wild salmon, an assortment of nuts and seeds, warm soups and yummy stews, and dark delicious bread.

This place is heaven. Here are a few shots from our trip there in June about 6 years ago now that I am still savoring and trying to relive with my Viking Sauce……….


Morning ritual- hydrotherapy!


Vikings


Anderson’s Viking Sauce

I use this delicious sauce to flavor yogurt, or in soda water to make a delicious berry drink, or even on a spoon as an immune boosting tonic. Give it a try! It is rich, complex, and soothes the body and the soul.

What you will need

  • Elderberries- 2/3 cup dried (or 1.5 cup fresh)
  • Assorted berries- 1 cup
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks, broken up
  • 1 inch of ginger, grated or sliced thin
  • 2 cups of raw local honey

Procedure

Bring water, berries, ginger and cinnamon to a slow boil in a pot on the stove. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and leave to cook for about 1 hour until it reduces down.

Turn off stove and allow to cool a bit

Strain mixture into a big bowl (I use a muslin bag)

Combine with honey and mix

Store in a glass container in the fridge and use on everything! My favorite way to use it is on plain full fat yogurt with nuts like walnuts and hazelnuts and sunflower seeds and berries. But a sparkling soda water with a splash is utterly delish too. YUM


I would love to hear about one of your favorite vacation places and the food that can bring you right back!

Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP DNM

Janel helps people use food and lifestyle to optimize how they feel and function. She specializes in gut health, hormones, resilience, and mountains. She is a lover of the wild and physiology of the body.

Your Microbiome- Bite Sized Series

A balanced, rich, and robust microbiome is one of the major drivers of short term and long term health.

If I could only recommend one area for people to focus to ensure better overall health it would be on protecting and enhancing their microbiome. This is a core Foundation of Health.

Sometimes it feels overwhelming to even discuss the microbiome due to the fact that your microbiome is connected to every body system and cell in your body.

Your acute problem might be hormone imbalance, headaches, stubborn weight gain, chronic pain, insomnia, depression, fatigue, immune issues, skin rashes, boating, etc……………but the root cause could be in your gut.

I have found that no matter what you are trying to heal or repair or rebalance, addressing the microbiome will help everything function better.

To simplify things, we are going to take a ‘bite sized’ approach over time to look at the important roles of the microbiome and what you can do to protect your microbiome.

I will share 1 important function of the microbiome each week with 1 step you can take to optimize it.

But before we go there……… The basics- your microbiome is a unique ecosystem made of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other single cell animals. We have far more microbes than we have human cells and they cover all the various parts of our body including our gut, skin, mouth, and lungs. These microbes dictate how we feel and how we function and how we age. The science around this is exploding right now as we learn about their important role in aging, energy, disease, autoimmunity, chronic symptoms, weight gain, hormone health, immune health, chronic inflammation and more.

NOTE- If one of these tips does not feel right, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. It is usually NOT the new habit but instead the state of your gut. You may need to restore a dysfunction or a microbial imbalance before you can use these ideal tips. Easing into one at a time is always best.

Let’s dig in! 1 week at a time.




#1- A Boundary

Week #1- Your microbiome is your major guardian, protecting you from what enters your body.

According to Dr. Kiran Krishnan- Microbiologist at Microbiome Labs, Our gut is where we are most exposed to the outside world.  This is why most of our immune system resides here. 

Our digestive tract is actually considered OUTSIDE THE BODY.  
The guards that protect what is allowed to come into the body are the MICROBES in our MICROBIOME (and the mucus layer they directly impact). If there is an imbalance in your microbiome, there is not proper protection.   (1)

“If your microbiome is robust and diverse there is amazing protection and improvement in our health and wellness in the short term and long term” says Dr. Krishnan.  (2)

We want to absorb nutrients from our food but keep out harmful substances such as mold, viral toxins, bacterial toxins, environmental toxins, undigested foods, etc. 

When this barrier function is not working (aka leaky gut), we can absorb these substances and the result is chronic inflammation.  And the thing is, this chronic inflammation goes above and beyond digestive issues.   In this case we might see symptoms like- brain fog, achy joints, headaches, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and more inflammatory symptoms and disease progression associated with again. 

A leaky gut, which is the root of so many chronic issues, starts with an imbalance in the microbiome, the guards are down and the mucosal barrier is disrupted. And again, digestive issues are not even present in these situations yet, the gut is the root of the problem. 

I have heard this roughly likened to a castle wall (the thin layer of the gut wall) being guarded from invaders by soldiers standing guard (the microbes in your gut). When the guards are few in number, or are made of disruptive characters, invaders can easily get in and the wall is destroyed. The guards are VITAL.

One of the most harmful things that can move across the boundary from the gut into the body and cause problems in this situation are Endotoxins, or toxins made in the body.  These include LPS or lipopolysaccharides that are made from gram negative bacteria.  They belong in the gut but NOT in the bloodstream.  When they enter the body through a leaky gut from an imbalanced microbiome it becomes a highly toxic compound that acts as a root cause for hundreds of chronic illnesses says Dr. Krishnan.  And again, these are NOT digestive issues.  (2)

Week #1 Tip- One way you can protect the health of your microbiome is to EAT A WIDE VARIETY OF FOODS, including all of the colors at every meal. Diversity is KEY as the different microbes eat different foods (think a variety of veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans). Try new foods each week

Each of the different microbes in our gut feed off different foods. This is why a diverse diet is key to long term health above and beyond nutrient wise. Even if you eat a salad every day, change it up, get new veggies, add different nuts, seeds, fruits, fresh herbs, spices, healthy oils, clean proteins, etc. Download my rainbow food tool here to help.

REMEMBER- if eating a diverse diet does NOT feel right, get CURIOUS around what might be going on in your gut and your microbiome. You may need to rebalance your microbes first. (See my video here on HEAL vs IDEAL)




#2- POSTBIOTICS communicate with other parts of your body

Week #2- POSTBIOTICS ARE FUNDAMENTAL FOR OVERALL HEALTH.

The friendly microbes in your gut feed off prebiotics and the result of this process are compounds called postbiotics.  These postbiotics are one important way the microbiome communicates directly with the immune system, the brain, the skin, our hormonal system, and every other cell in the body.  This is huge and we are learning more about this everyday as research in this area is growing fast. 

Short chain fatty acids (SCFA) are a type of postbiotic.  The one SCFA we hear a lot about is Butyrate. Butyrate is a POSTBIOTIC that is made when bacteria in the gut feed off certain fibers. You have to have the good bacteria and you have to feed them the right foods to get these postbiotics that we need for optimal health. 

Butyrate makes us more sensitive to insulin, it helps us to use fat for fuel, it feeds helpful microbes so they can grow, it talks to the immune system, and it is the main fuel for the gut wall so the gut can repair itself and provide a healthy boundary. 

Other postbiotics impact our neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine, tryptophan and influences our mood in this way.  Others impact the brain through the vagus nerve and there is a lot of research happening in that area now.  Other postbiotics include B vitamins, vitamin K, amino acids, and antimicrobials that keep harmful microbes from growing (4).

There is growing evidence that certain postbiotics positively impact allergies, eczema, colic, defense against viruses, weight loss, joint pain, eye issues, heart disease, constipation, diarrhea and other IBS and IBD symptoms and may even have anti tumor properties (5,6).

We are continuing to learn a ton about postbiotics and how they important they are for our health and homeostasis. Make sure you have a healthy and diverse microbiome, that you are feeding those microbes well, and that you have the right environment for healthy microbes to grow- and boom, your body will make these essential postbiotics for you. More on how to do all that coming!

Week #2 Tip- Tending to your microbiome is a bit like farming, you need to seed properly, feed them properly, and provide the right environment for the good microbes to grow. When it comes to seeding the right microbes it is important to either eat fermented foods daily, such as sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, miso, yogurt, or fermented veggies or take a researched and proven effective probiotic regularly (don’t waste your money with so many that do not have proved impacts). I recommend people take specific probiotics a few months each year. Click here to see my favorites and basic protocol for microbiome support.

______________________________________________________________________________

Week #3 coming soon! Check back regularly for all 10 Insights and Tips Plus Lists of ways to support your microbiome


References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7677487/– Article on Mucus membrane as a barrier function and the importance of the microbiome
  2. https://healthmeans.com/talk/6406?currentTime=0 – Leaky Gut, Endotoxemia, Inflammation and Microbiome Reconditioning. Dr. Kiran Krishan
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28956703/ – Research on the microbiome and the immune system
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/nutrition/what-are-postbiotics
  5. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/postbiotics/
  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/postbiotics#health-benefits

Janel Ferrin Anderson FNLP, NC, DNM

Hello and welcome! I am Janel and I am obsessed with the science around how the human body functions and what impacts it. I help people use food and lifestyle to feel their best and to support short term and long term health. There is always a way to optimize how our unique body functions. Get curious with me. Learn more about me here and learn about working with me here

NEW AND IMPROVED FOUNDATIONS OF HEALTH COMING SOON!!! OPTIMIZE HOW YOU FUNCTION

Women’s Hormone CLub 2023- 4th annual

Fired Up Fridays #3- “Please, Don’t Be a Good Patient”

This week my son had an appointment with a new doctor whom I was hoping to get a fresh opinion from. I was super upset I could not make it myself but thankfully my husband could take him, as it took months (actually years due to COVID) to get scheduled with her.

After adding my questions to his list, the last thing I said on the phone before they went in is was “Please, just don’t be a ‘good patient'”. Despite being a doctor himself, he knew exactly what I meant.

There are a ton of great docs out there, but as anyone knows who has actually had to be part of the receiving end of the medical system, you need to advocate for yourself pretty aggressively to get good care. In fact I have seen it change dramatically with just a few extra questions.

We have personally been on the receiving side of the medical system with my son for 15 years now and I have learned the hard way the importance of asking extra questions and not just nodding and doing as we are told.

Additionally, I worked as a doula in hospitals with women at their births for 8 years. Both in the exam room and labor room I saw time and time again how asking the right questions changed care significantly.

Now, having worked with hundreds of men and women around gut health, hormone health, and all sorts of chronic problems and as a health educator I am always reminding people to ask their medical providers the right questions to make sure they are receiving the best care.

In my experience, taking the time to speak up for yourself, ask questions, have treatments explained to you, and demand you are heard and seen as a whole unique person is critical in receiving the best care for both short and long term health.

This is of course going to look differently for everyone. Because of how insurance works and how the medical system works this can at times be challenging. However, a few great strategies I have learned over the years to help get better care-

  • Make sure your sings and symptoms are not dismissed. If they are, find a new provider or at least more practitioners to add to your team who will listen.
  • Clearly tell your provider your health goals
  • Know what tools this particular provider has to work with. If you are seeing surgeon they are going to give you surgical options, if you are seeing a medical doctor they most often work with medications and likely do not have nutritional information, if you are seeing an herbalist they use herbs, and so on. Be aware of the perspective you are getting.
  • Be curious and respectful, asking questions such as-
    • What would happen if I don’t do this treatment or take this medication right away?
    • What might a more conservative doctor suggest?
    • What might a more liberal doctor suggest?
    • Have you ever heard of people using food or lifestyle to impact this issue?
    • In your opinion what might be driving this problem?
    • Do you think there is a way to impact what might be driving this problem?
    • Would this medication or protocol cause any side effects?
    • Have you heard of any new research in this area that I could look up?
    • How does this protocol or medication impact my body? Meaning does it deplete me of any nutrients or digestive function or impact my microbiome?
    • Do you know of any other practitioners who can also help with this issue?
    • Can you help me understand what is going on in my body?
    • Is there any reason I would not want to take this medication or have this surgery?
    • What are the pros and cons of this treatment.
    • Are there any other labs that might tell us more information about what might be going on?
    • Does this seem urgent to you?

Respectful? Yes, of course, this person likely has a great perspective to offer. But “good” (aka nod and accept whatever is suggested without understanding why or being curious)? No way.

Too many times I have seen people lumped into a category and receive the status quo treatment that often involves masking symptoms. The current medical system and insurance business make it challenging for doctors to spend the time to fully see patients as the unique individual they are. I think any doctor will agree with that.

For me personally nothing felt scarier then my husband showing up for that important appointment and smiling, nodding, and being a ‘good patient’. I have seen time and time again how care changes dramatically when you are not a “good patient” but instead advocate for yourself.

So yea, I get fired up around this.

Please, don’t be a ‘good patient’. Ask questions, speak up for yourself and if your medical provider resents that then find a new one or find additional people to add to your wellness team. People who are curious about not just what but WHY. Your body is amazing and unique, you should be treated as such.

Fired Up Friday #2- TOTAL BODY BURDEN

Fired Up Friday #1- The Gap in Healthcare

Janel Ferrin Anderson NC, FNLP, DNM

Janel works with people in Truckee CA and online who want to understand their body better and get curious around the science of how food and lifestyle impact their health. She works one-on-one with people and in several groups that happen each year. Learn more about Janel here. Learn more about working with Janel here

Gas Or Bloating? Try This….

Gas and bloating are signs that something is off digestively.   


I find it most helpful to address and reverse WHY gas and bloating might be happening, but there are of course ways to reduce symptoms while working to reverse the root cause. 

What are some root causes of gas and bloating? 

  •  Insufficient digestive secretions such as enzymes, hydrochloric acid, bile. 
  • Bacteria that belong in the large intestine that have migrated and are living in the small intestine and fermenting certain sugars 
  • A bacterial or fungal overgrowth
  • Problems with motility (peristalsis or your migrating motor complex)
  • Eating too fast or swallowing air

There are a lot of ways to improve symptoms. Three things that can help while you explore and reverse WHY you might be experiencing gas and bloating are to try

  • eating more cooked vegetables instead of raw ones,
  • pureeing foods more,
  • using carminative tea. 

Cooking and pureeing veggies makes them easier to break down digestively. Some people need to avoid certain veggies until the imbalance is corrected but cooking and pureeing works for many, depending on the cause.

Here is a recipe for a yummy pureed Spring Asparagus soup that is loaded with veggies like asparagus, spring onions, cauliflower and spinach.

Here is a recipe for a delicious and pureed sweet potato soup.

These are both options during the spring cleanse, which is especially helpful if adding a lot of fiber from fruit and veggies is tough on your gut.

Here is a recipe for a tummy soothing carminative tea that can help reduce bloating.

When your body talks (aka signs and symptoms) it is telling you something, not working against you. Get curious!

A few things to notice and record if you experience gas and bloating are- When do the symptoms occur during the day? What makes them worse? What makes them better? When did they start? Are there certain foods that you can’t eat? How long after you eat do they occur? First thing in the morning? For women, are they cyclical? Do your symptoms occur with other symptoms? What does your poop look like? Any undigested food there? Are you eating when you are stressed?

Gut tests are also a great way to look into digestive health, gut inflammation, digestion secretions like bile, enzymes, hydrochloric acid, immune activation, microbes and more.

There are all sorts of fun details to dig into.

There is a lot you can do to bring balance back to your gut. And since gut imbalances can lead to all sorts of other problems, again, it is best to resolve what is driving them instead of just covering them up or living with them. I have seen people’s life change when they improve their gut.

Janel Ferrin Anderson FNLP, DNM, NC

Fired up Fridays #2 Total Body Burden

Fired up Friday Take 2

I get fired up about the idea of Total Load or Total Body Burden.  This is a big concept that gets overlook when we are looking for 1 cause for our health issues or 1 magic bullet to solve our problems. 

I see a lot of people getting stuck looking for this 1 thing driving their problems. I also see medical providers dismissing things because it does not directly cause one specific problem. People often forget the impact of the accumulation of things over time. Welcome Total Load.

This is a foundational theory in functional and holistic nutrition and it helps us to see how food and lifestyle can shift the terrain in the body towards greater health in a powerful way.

The theory of Total Load is an important and empowering one to consider if you want to both improve chronic symptoms or how you feel now AND if you are hoping to prevent future health issues from surfacing as you age.  It helps us see how working on many little things can have a big impact on our health even if we can’t find 1 cause for things.

The basics go like this- 

We all have a metaphorical bucket.  Various things fill our bucket over time.  When we are physiologically healthy or resilient our body can usually keep up with this burden.   But when our bucket overflows from either 1. too much coming in or 2. from not moving things out or 3. a small bucket, we can become overwhelmed and we might experience signs, symptoms or illnesses. 

This bucket concept can be used to think about our EMOTIONS, our IMMUNE HEALTH, TOXINS/DETOX, DIGESTION, and much more.

This concept also helps us to remember that each person is unique, that we are impacted by things differently, that all of our body systems are in fact connected, that everything we do makes an impact on how we feel and function, and that 1+1 does not always =2 when we are talking about things accumulating over time. 

Let’s dig into what impacts our bucket size-

The first important thing to realize is that each of our buckets are a different size and drain at a different rate.  So what determines this resilience or our body’s ability to handle this burden? The size of our bucket and how fast it drains depends on several things including- 

  • Our genetics and what genes are expressing themselves (various SNPS impact how well we do or don’t detox and may need more support), 
  • It depends on our nutrient reserves and how many phytonutrients and antioxidants we consume/digest/absorb, 
  • It depends on how well we sleep and our circadian rhythm, 
  • How well our phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification work in our liver, 
  • How well our vagus nerve functions, 
  • The integrity of our gut (including leaky gut) and of our digestive system and even how timely we poop
  • How well we can activate our parasympathetic nervous system or our rest/digest part of our nervous system (and the amount of emotional stress, food stress, physical stress, stress from overtraining etc)
  • Lifestyle habits that support detoxification such as sweating, moving our body, not eating 24 hours a day, etc

Next, let’s consider what fills our bucket day to day and over time– 

Singularly the things that fill our bucket might not cause a problem but over time they have the potential to accumulate, contribute to dysfunction, and overwhelm our body’s resources and ability to process them or heal.   These substances that contribute to our body burden or total load include-

  • Toxins from the air we breath and water we drink
  • Chemicals on our food such as fertilizers, pesticides, etc
  • Heavy metals and EMFs
  • Alcohol 
  • Chronic infections such as Lyme, Epstein Barr, etc 
  • Mycotoxins from mold, bacterial overgrowth in our gut, yeast overgrowth such as candida
  • Eating nutrient negative foods and/or inflammatory foods
  • Stress and isolation
  • Hormone imbalances 
  • Endotoxins (toxins that come from inside our body such as LPS)
  • Chemicals from cleaning products, fire retardants, skin care products, furniture, flooring, etc
  • Problems with digestion/absorption and our microbiome

So again, we are built to be resilient, we have evolved to handle various stressors and our body is detoxing all day. However, we did not evolve to face the amount of stressors filling our bucket today. In addition, to compound the problem, our food supply is less nutrient dense today with our depleted soils and monocropping and our modern lifestyle habits often do not support resilience. I have heard this referred to as an evolutionary gap and we are in it.

But this is not all doom and gloom. Quite the opposite.

Often we can’t find one cause for our problems (although how great when we can!). But when we can’t find the one cause of our signs/symptoms or chronic disease or the one magic bullet to find relief doesn’t exist, there is still a lot we can do to impact how we feel and function. We might not always have the answer but we can improve our body’s resilience and ability to process the things coming at us.

If you have have frustrating chronic issues such as skin rashes, headaches, joint pain, fatigue, memory problems, chemical sensitivity, etc or if you want to optimize how you age, there is a lot you can do today with food and lifestyle to make an impact and improve your body’s resilience.

Start with improving how you drain your bucket, reduce what is filling your bucket, optimize digestion/microbiome, and give it time.

During the Nourishing Spring Cleanse and Liver Love we will be supporting our body’s and liver’s ability to ‘lighten the load’. It is no magic bullet but it is one way to make an impact and give your body a needed rest. We work on removing insults while adding nutrients and lifestyle to support our body’s detox ability.

During Foundations of Health we will be introducing all the most powerful lifestyle habits slowly over time to increase resilience as well as eating for health and optimizing digestion. This program was designed to build resilience no matter where you are at. We work on all the things that increase our ability to drain our bucket as well as reduce what is coming in.

Most people have ‘aha’ moments as they take this TOTAL LOAD concept forward into their lives. Does this resonate for you?


Here is one of my favorite recipes for a clean home cleaning product to replace a toxic one-

Disinfecting Spray

  • 1-1/2 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup White Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Dish Soap
  • 12 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (optional)

What can you do to give your body a break and lighten the load?


Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP DNM


JOIN THE SPRING CLEANSE http://mountainrebalance.com/?p=1884

Fired Up Fridays#1. The Gap In Healthcare

FIRED UP FRIDAY TAKE 1

I get fired up about the gap in healthcare and I’m not sure why we don’t address it more openly. 

First off, there are a lot of magnificent doctors, nurses, and other medical workers out there doing important and hard work. I’m married to a brilliant doctor and my mom is a wonderful nurse.  

BUT

There are a lot of people with chronic health issues today who are not getting the support they need around their health. 

Both of those things can be true. (note, we will come back to that idea, it’s a big one)


These people who are struggling with chronic health issues need more.  

  • More time to be seen, heard and understood. 
  • More curiosity around what might be going on in their body.
  • More empathy around their story. 
  • More focus on WHY symptoms are happening and what is driving them. 
  • More support to make sustainable changes that impact health.  
  • More attention and help tracking signs/symptoms over time. 
  • More education around what is going on in their body. 
  • More practitioners who know how to methodically use food and lifestyle changes to support each person’s unique physiology. 
  • More practitioners who can refer them to others who can help support their health journey.
  • More support in addressing unique health issues and goals even if there isn’t a diagnosis, aka help functioning better.
  • More focus on preventative measures to move towards health and aging healthfully

Chronic health issues do not happen overnight. There is a progression and usually several factors at play. In many cases symptoms are not even the problem but instead information that something is going on in the body.

People come to me all the time with issues they have struggled with for years.  These often include unresolved chronic headaches, bloating, memory problems, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, anxiety, pms, body aches and pains, weight gain, difficulty paying attention, brain fog, rashes, immune problems, memory issues, etc

I have heard time and time again how frustrating and hopeless this can feel.  Often these people have seen doctors, maybe multiple doctors,  and nothing seems to come up. 

And honestly, I have heard doctors on the other end talking about how frustrating this population can be.   And I get it.  Our medical system is not designed for people with chronic issues.  They are incredible when there is trauma, or surgery needed,  when a life saving medication or therapy is required, etc. 

But again, there is a growing population that needs more AND there is a lot that can be done to improve signs, symptoms, and disease process even if your doctor does not know about it. There is a ton of new research and clinical evidence showing that food, nutrients, herbs, gut health, chronic inflammation, and lifestyle changes have a huge impact on how your body functions and how disease progresses and how genetics express themselves. Chronic disease does NOT happen overnight but instead it is a slow progression.

I have decided to stop arguing over western medicine vs natural approaches and I am working instead to fill this gap the best I can.

There is so much work that needs to be done here. 

There are people who do work slowly filling in this gap, who track history, timelines, story, who discuss physiology and how the body systems work together and are connected, who teach people how to listen to their body with a scientist’s mind, who are okay not knowing the answer right away but instead can sit in a place of curiosity while we investigate, who understand the nuances of how food and lifestyle impact each body uniquely, even impacting genetics and impacting how we age and who are happy working alongside physicians and any medical team. 

I am thrilled to be part of that system to fill the gap. 


I really feel like if we as health and wellness practitioners could acknowledge our own limitations as well as what our strengths are, we could truly serve people extraordinarily.  Because as I said earlier, there are incredible doctors AND people with chronic issues who need more.  Both can be true (thanks for that empowering phrase, sister Brittany).  

Have you experienced this gap? As a practitioner or patient? I would love to hear about it and talk about it more openly. 


Follow me on instagram to keep up with more Fired up Fridays.

Janel Ferrin Anderson DNM, NC, FNLP

Janel works and plays out of Truckee/Tahoe and is endlessly passionate about helping people understand their unique body better. Janel helps people use food, lifestyle, herbs, and nutrients to shift the terrain in their body towards greater health and function. She works one on one and in groups settings.

JOIN THE SPRING CLEANSE!

5 Simple Ways To Support Digestion

What we eat has a huge impact on how we function and our health but equally important is how we break down those foods and how we absorb those foods. The best foods in the world can only work their magic if we are able to access and use the nutrients.

We now know that our food is way more than just calories. The foods we eat are information for every cell in our body and are what our cells need to grow healthy tissues, fire our nervous system properly, fight viruses and bacteria, grow bones, think clearly, detox chemicals/meds/hormones/etc, make enzymes/hormones/neurotransmitters, and so much more.

But first we need to properly break down our foods and then absorb our foods effectively. So many of us are not doing this efficiently and while this can prevent us from using all the nutrients improperly digested food can also cause acute problems such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, inflammation, and more. No thank you.

No matter what health issue you are working on, starting with the gut from top to bottom will support any/all of the work you do. No matter what fancy protocol you are following, gut function is key.


Here are 5 simple ways to enhance digestion so you can fully use all the nutrients you are eating to support your health today and for decades. Try adding a new one each week and see how your feel.

1.Breath 3-5 times before you eat. Taking the time to breath calmly before you eat impacts digestion in a few magnificent ways. We cannot digest our food when we are stressed. We need the parasympathetic part of our nervous system (aka rest and digest side) to be activated in order to secrete stomach acid, digestive enzymes, and bile, which are all needed to break down our food and absorb the nutrients in them. The time it takes to stop, slow down and breath also allows us time to smell our food which also activates digestive secretions and blood flow to the gut so we can properly break down our food. So many of us are rushing around throwing food into our mouth and not setting up the environment for digestion. (I even do this when I am eating on the trail and especially if I am ever eating at work or on the run.). So for a week try breathing 3-5 times before you eat and see how you feel.


2. Chew, Chew, Chew. Chewing is one of the first steps involved with digestion. Digestion is a cascade of events that relies on the completion of the steps before it. When you chew your body is queued to make secretions needed for digestion/absorption. The longer you chew the longer your body has to get ready for digestion and in addition, the longer you chew the greater the surface area of your food so these digestive juices can easily act upon it, breaking it down more effectively and efficiently. Chewing alone can relieve gas, bloating and abdominal pain for many. “Eat your drink and drink your food” is a quote I love and one that helps me remember how important it is to chew our food until it is liquid and soft (plus ‘chewing’ our liquids like smoothies allows our body time to release those important digestive secretions that it won’t release if you guzzle down your smoothie or juice too fast). Try counting how many times you chew each bite today and then try chewing until your food feels like a liquid. Try chewing 30-50 times and see how it feels. If you tune into how that feels it can become a habit to chew your food like that regularly and in result improve how your body functions and feels. And guess what, you can do this if you are eating on the trail too!


3. Drink raw fermented apple cider vinegar in water 20-30 minutes before you eat a meal, similarly lemon water works for this. The low pH of apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach encourages your stomach to produce hydrochloric acid, which is essential to break down proteins and to absorb important energy nutrients like iron and B12. Stomach acid also helps kill pathogens that enter through the mouth. It’s a common misconception that heartburn and GERD are symptoms of too much stomach acid, but in reality, these are typically an indication of not having enough stomach acid (PMID: 27574495). We want our stomach to be very acidic, around a pH of 1–2.  Start small but shoot eventually for 1-2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (or 1/2 a lemon) in 8 ounces of water 20-30 minutes before you eat. If you feel a warming under your ribs on the left side that means you can scale back or eliminate this as you have sufficient stomach acid. Although this is a gentle practice, if you have inflammation due to GERD or any issues with stomach acid please work with your healthcare provider.


4. Try herbal bitters with your meals. Herbal bitters are a wonderful addition to support digestion as they stimulate gastric juices such as hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes, and bile to support the breakdown and absorption of food. I like spraying bitters in my mouth or before a meal but my kids like spraying them in their water. You can take them with your food or after. They definitely live up to their name (they are super bitter) but as you reintroduce this important flavor back into your life they will become more tolerable. Bitters also support fewer sugar cravings. There are many wonderful small batch herbal bitters that you can find at farmers markets or in your local health food stores but I love the ones from Herb Pharm which come in a spray bottle for easy use. I love encouraging people to use these during our spring cleanse where we focus on loading up on fresh seasonal foods and elixirs to support our liver and our body’s ability to detox.


5. Stimulate your vagus nerve. Your vagus nerve is what controls your digestive juices and motility of your digestive system. We need it working properly in order to break down our foods and pass them through the system in a timely manner, we don’t want things moving too fast or too slowly (aka poop). We even rely on good vagal tone to keep the bacteria in our gut in the right places so they don’t cause problems elsewhere (aka bloating, burping, gas, etc). Low vagal tone has been implicated in everything from Parkinson’s, to bloating, constipation, Fibromyalgia, IBD, hormone problems and more. It is the biggest nerve in the body and communication goes both ways from your brain and gut and from your gut to your brain. If our gut is not happy it tells our brain and if our brain is stressed it impacts our gut. A few ways to easily tone your vagus nerve is to hum, sing, gargle, or chant every day. I try to hum every morning when I am filling up my lemon water and tea water. Deep breathing is another wonderful way to stimulate your vagus nerve. Monitoring your heart rate variability is a great way to tune into the health of your vagus nerve.


This is only a start but these 5 pack a big punch in supporting your body to digest and absorb the food you are eating better. In result YOU function better and address many annoying signs and symptoms.

The best foods in the world will not work and can even cause problems if you are not breaking them down effectively, absorbing them and moving things along in a timely manner. Plus, our digestive system is the gateway between the outside world and the inside world. It is directly connected to our immune system, our nervous system, and the health of every cell in our body. Poor digestion can be the cause of so many problems that don’t feel like they have anything to do with the digestive system (think headaches, fatigue, joint pain, hormone problems, insomnia and more).

This is one reason I love Functional Nutrition. We focus on the roots of health, the root cause of symptoms and HOW THE BODY IS FUNCTIONING, not just covering up symptoms. People often (and understandably) spend time chasing symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, insomnia, bloating, etc. Before you jump in on a fad diet or herb make sure your body is functioning. When you address the roots you can make an impact on the entire body. Using food and lifestyle to support the body to function its best is powerful way to optimize health no matter where you are in life or on the health spectrum or no matter what other medical therapy you are using. Starting with the basics- GUT HEALTH and DIGESTION– is one of the first steps for all of us.

Give these a try and let me know how it goes.

Join the SPRING CLEANSE and we will be adding all of these (along with loading up on nourishing foods to cleanse, detox, rejuvenate and release the heavy energy of winter).

Hope to see you soon.

Wildly, Janel

Janel Ferrin Anderson. NC, FNLP, DNM

Janel is a board certified nutrition consultant, a certified functional nutrition practitioner and has her doctorate in Natural Medicine. Janel is obsessed with helping people understand their body better and helping them get to the root of what is causing health problems. Using food, lifestyle, herbs, supplements and testing she helps people shift the terrain towards health.

http://mountainrebalance.com/?p=1884- SPRING CLEANSE WITH ME THIS APRIL
SEPTEMBER START 2022

Energy And Fatigue- 4 Considerations To Optimize Day To Day Energy

So many people that come to work with me struggle with low energy, despite looking like the image of health on the outside for some.

They are often told by their doctors that they look perfectly healthy, everything is great, maybe just depressed?

From a disease perspective I get it. No disease there. But from a health perspective there can be a lot going on and a lot to work with to turn the dial. When we consider that there is a spectrum of health, not just Diseased or Healthy, we find there is quite a bit we can do with food and lifestyle to turn the dial towards better health, function, and greater energy.

One of my missions is to fill the gap between disease and perfect health, empowering people learn about what is going on in their body and what they can do to optimize how they function not matter where they are on the spectrum of health.

Nothing woo woo here, just systems biology coupled with modifiable lifestyle choices to improve how we feel and function.

When we look at how energy is made and what impacts it, there are 4 areas that stick out to me, as a functional nutritionist, where food and lifestyle can make a difference even for people already eating diverse whole foods.

  1. Blood sugar highs and lows
  2. Thyroid health and how the system is functioning
  3. Mitochondria and the nutrients needed to make energy (not just calories)
  4. The amount of Stress we are under, how we process that stress, and how our adrenals and HPA axis (hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal axis) are handling it

It is almost painful to omit DIGESTION from this list but for the sake of not beating a dead horse I will leave it out of the top 4 😉 . Of course eating enough food, sleeping, and moving regularly help here too. I wanted to address things people are not always thinking about.


1. Blood Sugar Regulation

Optimizing blood sugar is important for all of us, not just diabetics. So many of the people I work with are shocked how much this is impacting their energy on a day to day basis. I was even shocked when I tuned in to my blood sugar. Blood sugar is impacted by what we eat, when we eat, how much stress we have in our lives, how we move our body, how well we sleep, our estrogen, and more. Our blood sugar levels naturally go up and down during the day but we want hills, not mountains. What goes up will come down and often crashing down hard bringing with it symptoms of blood sugar imbalance such as: afternoon fatigue, sleepiness, cravings, anxiety, waking up in the middle of the night, headaches, irritability, and more. If you want to optimize your energy it is essential to optimize your blood sugar. Retraining your body to burn fat is a great way to do this as is balancing fat/fiber/protein at every meal and snack. Because blood sugar is so important for energy, sleep, and hormone balance we work on this in our 6 week Women’s Hormone Club, at the 10 week Foundations of Health and I address this with my one on one clients. How balanced is your blood sugar? Do you have any symptoms indicating you could use some work here? Tuning into your ups and downs during the day can be incredibly insightful to optimizing blood sugar and feeling more balanced energy.

One of my favorite ways to help balance blood sugar is getting enough protein for breakfast. I find most people miss this chance to manage blood sugar in a way that trickles down to the rest of the day.

image curtesy of Functional Nutrition Alliance

2. Thyroid Health

Our thyroid impacts our metabolism and how we use protein, carbs, and fat to make energy, it impacts our oxygen consumption, our sodium/potassium regulation, cardiovascular function, red blood cells, digestion, and is used by every cell in our body. 1, 2. If we do not have enough thyroid hormone or cannot properly use our thyroid hormone our entire body will slow down and fatigue is a common symptom. Our thyroid depends on clear communication between our brain and our thyroid (the HPT axis), it depends on having the proper nutrients to make thyroid hormones (which also includes how well we are digesting and absorbing those nutrients), on our microbiome to convert thyroid hormone to a usable form, if we have antibodies to our thyroid gland or antibodies to certain thyroid enzymes, and on our cell’s ability to receive and use thyroid hormone 3. If any part of the system is not functioning optimally, even if there is not a diagnosable disease to treat, or even if someone is taking thyroid hormone but not utilizing it well, energy will be impacted. Getting a clear idea of thyroid function and making sure your thyroid has what it needs to function is an important step to optimize energy and one that affects women considerably more than men. Even if your TSH looks perfect there could be more at play. Food and lifestyle are key players in the thyroid system (HPT) and getting a full thyroid panel is key if there are energy issues or any signs of a slow down in the body.

Some of my favorite thyroid supportive foods include- brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, kelp, eggs, and greens.

photo curtesy of Functional Nutrition Alliance

3. Mitochondria and the Nutrients Needed to Produce Energy

Our mitochondria are where energy is made in our body. We not only need fat, carbohydrates, and oxygen to make energy but we also depend on many other factors to keep the system pumping out ATP, the energy currency in our body. If we do not have enough of any of the following factors, energy production will be decreased, leaving us with less energy. This includes iron to help move oxygen from our lungs to our mitochondria, B vitamins to help the mitochondria convert carbs/fat/protein into energy, and all 20 amino acids needed for coenzymes throughout the process. In the case of these three we depend not only on getting enough from our diet but also on digesting and absorbing them properly. If we do not have enough stomach acid or have any issues with the villi in our small intestine or have a lack of digestive enzymes or bile, we might have a hard time absorbing and digesting these critical nutrients even if we are consuming them. We also need plenty of antioxidants to maintain the integrity of the mitochondria, we need sufficient sulfur, CoQ10, Carnitine, N-acetyl cysteine, vitamin D, magnesium, fatty acids, and alpha lipoic acid for energy production, all coming from the foods we are or are not eating and how we are breaking them down. 4 5 6 Even heavy metals, mold, and toxins can impact our mitochondria 11. Do your mitochondria have what they need to function optimally? Are you sure?

4. Stress and how we are managing it

Every time we are faced with a stressor in life, either emotional, physical, nutritional, environmental, immune wise, from blood sugar swings, etc our hpa axis responds by releasing cortisol from the adrenal glands so our body is prepped to react. This is a great thing as we need cortisol for many reasons, unless is it kept in ‘ON’ mode for too long that is. Our brain does not differentiate if we are being chased by a tiger, are stressed about bills, are up late watching a suspenseful thriller, have a nutrient deficiency, are overtraining, have a chronic infection, mold exposure, or any other stress we might be facing. It is all stress on the body and is a bit of a mismatch between how we evolved and our current environment. Some stress is a good thing (hormesis) but too much stress can negatively impact the HPA axis or hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis 7 8. We are meant to handle stress but not a never ending onslaught of stressors 10 (allostatic load). In this case we might see dysregulated cortisol which can manifest as low energy in the morning (despite getting plenty of sleep) and low energy throughout the day, among other things signs of HPA axis dysregulation 8 9. Although ‘adrenal fatigue’ is outdated and not recognized as science based condition (the adrenals are not fatigued instead cortisol is regulated by the brain), hpa axis dysregulation is very real and can be a leading contributor to feeling low energy and fatigue 10. Removing what stressors we can and learning to process our emotional stress better are two important components to supporting the HPA axis and optimizing our energy during the day. Sometimes we need to do a little digging to figure out what is causing our stress response to be turned on chronically.

A couple of favorite herbs/foods to support stress management include sipping lemon balm tea, and taking Adaptogens like Reishi, Rhodiola, Maca and Ashwanganda.


If you are feeling less energy than normal there are ways to use food and lifestyle to support your body and increase your energy (Of course ruling out any serious condition with your physician is an important step).

Tracking is a great way to start tuning in to what is going on in your body. Start noticing and writing down when you feel good, when you feel low, what you are eating, your lifestyle choices during those times, known stressors, mood, poop, sleep, how much you are resting, etc. There are labs and tests that can help you dig deeper too, such as nutritional panels, a functional thyroid panel, serum labs such as iron/ferritin/vitamin D/magnesium, dried urine and salivary hormone tests, blood sugar monitoring, organic acids tests, and more. Optimizing digestions is always important to make sure you are able to use the nutrients you are eating. Stay curious and reach out to a trusted wellness professional for help.


Digging deeper with functional labs can be extremely helpful if things feel off in your body. When we look at functional labs we are looking for optimal function instead of just for disease. Test don’t guess! Check out functional labs I often use for energy issues.


Some of my favorite functional booster foods to support optimal energy include

  • liver (supplement if you don’t want to eat organ meat)
  • maca powder
  • alfalfa
  • cordyceps
  • sprouts (broccoli, alfalfa, mung, etc)
  • bee pollen, royal jelly, and honey
  • beet juice
  • nuts and seeds
  • sweet potatoes
  • mct oil
  • green tea
  • sea vegetables

What do you do to optimize your energy?

This is intended to serve as education regarding food and lifestyle to support health. It is not meant to treat or diagnose any health condition. Please consult your physician with any health issues.

Check out my blog and video on MAPPING ENDURANCE through a functional lens. I list my favorite trail foods as well as functional labs relevant to energy there too!

Resources

Janel Ferrin Anderson FNLP NC DNM

Janel works with people one and one and in group settings out of her office in Truckee/Tahoe. She helps people better understand what is going on in their body and explores with them how to use food and lifestyle to optimize health. Janel is a board certified nutrition consultant, a certified functional nutrition and lifestyle practitioner and has her doctorate in natural medicine. She is endlessly interested in WHY things function the way they do.

Foundations of Health- 10 weeks
Spring Cleanse with us
Join the Healing Foods Club!
Women’s Hormone Club

Booking Provided by Healthie

Smoothie Time

I love smoothies for easy, fast, and nutrient dense snacks and meals. But, be warned, all smoothies are not created the same.

You want to make sure you are not getting a dessert in a cup, which many of them are.

How do you do this?

Make sure you are getting good protein (around 20-30 grams), a healthy fat (from mct oil, nut butter, or find others on my smoothie guide), not too much sugar and some fiber too (nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies, etc). This combo will ensure you are satiated and that your blood sugar does not spike. These spikes then come crashing down causing all sorts of problems systemically and can bring on symptoms such as bonking in the afternoon, anxiety, problems sleeping, daytime sleepiness, and more. Yuck. These highs/lows can also impact hormones and cause problems with sleep too. Most people I know do not have time for any of that.

We want to drink smoothies that are loaded with nutrients, support our health, and give us long lasting and balanced energy.

Use my smoothie guide below to formulate your own or check out my recipes.

DELICIOUS and health promoting smoothies are easy to make in a flash.

You can download my printable smoothie guide here so you can create your own favorites at home

Here are 5 of our FAVORITE smoothie recipes and you can access these recipes here

Recipes in the packet include-

  • My favorite everyday blueberry smoothie (this recipe is from my sister Brittany about 15 years ago that I still love)
  • Golden Recovery smoothie for after you crush it in the mountains or gym
  • Favorite everyday chocolate Smoothie which is awesome for your gut, your hormones, and overall health
  • My kids favorite strawberry protein smoothie
  • A great cherry and lemon spring cleansing smoothie
  • A green smoothie bowl for when you crave using a spoon and want some crunch

Can you find the protein and fats in all these smoothies? Are you including enough of these important macros in your smoothies? Use the smoothie guide above to buff yours out.


I would love to hear about your favorite smoothies! Share with me on instagram @mountainrebalance or leave in the comments below.



Janel Ferrin Anderson FNLP, NC, DNM

Janel loves helping people understand their physiology better and supporting them to use food and lifestyle to function their best. Learn more about Janel here and more about the groups she leads here. Janel is a board certified Nutritionist and certified functional nutrition and lifestyle practitioner out of Tahoe.

Endurance, Through a Functional Lens

Talking about fueling for endurance sports is about so much more than what to eat or drink during an activity. Well, that is if you care about health as well as performance anyway.

Although I am not a specific sports nutritionist or sports coach, I am an endurance athlete and a functional nutritionist that has worked with hundreds of athletes around optimizing how their unique body functions, including optimizing digestion, immune function, hormone health, energy challenges, sleep issues, mental health issues, injuries that won’t heal, and more. When we work from a grassroots level, focusing on the individual, it is amazing how people become more resilient and endurance ability improves as their body starts to function optimally.

Looking at Endurance through a functional lens helps us to see that above any protocol or plan, we bring our unique selves to the training formula and as it turns out that is the most important consideration.

It is crazy how varied the claims are about training and fueling and it’s no wonder so many people are left confused.

One side claiming keto is the most efficient. another side saying it’s dangerous and claiming we need fast carbs continuously. Intermittent fasting and fasted runs are either the best or the worst approach. Sports gels and gues are one man’s ticket to victory and another persons ticket to diarrhea. One woman claims high intensity interval workouts are most important while her best friend swears by long and slow workouts.

What if I told you they are all correct?

The truth is you need to find what’s right for you and your unique biology along with your unique goals. As Andrea Nakayama says, “nutrition is not just a handout”.

The key finding what is right for you is considering a systems biology perspective. When you do this you will be less likely to miss any key areas that might be keeping you back from performing your best AND you will support the proper body systems to ensure endurance activities don’t lead to long term health problems at the same time.

My sports fuel theory has always been ‘drink enough, eat enough, and refill after’. This seemingly over simplistic approach only makes sense after we look at Endurance functionally. (See my favorite trail foods below too though)

The basis of functional nutrition is considering what makes each person unique, considering all the body systems and how they interact, seeing each of our symptoms as something our body is trying to tell us, understanding that everything we do impacts how we function (including our mindset), looking for the root cause of symptoms instead of covering them up, and using food and lifestyle to optimize how a person functions now and in the future.

A big part of this is learning to track your unique body and learning to tune in and listen to what it is saying before it has to speak too loudly. See my favorite ways to do this below.

Signs you might have some work to do optimizing how you function-

Not having perfect poops every single day? Having any digestive problems? Or having problems sleeping? Any issues with your immune system? Experiencing energy ups and/or downs? Anxiety? Brain fog? Fatigue? Injuries not healing? Lacking strength? Not recovering well? These are all signs that need your attention if you want to perform your best or if you want to feel your best in 10, 20, 30+ years from now.

Have a listen/watch!

Listen to the discussion I had with my guru and teacher extraordinaire (I will be honest, she is my cerebral girl crush), Andrea Nakayama, about this topic. You can download the filled out matrix here as well to help you think into this systems based and empowering approach to endurance. It can be your trail map to using functional nutrition for health.


In my discussion with Andrea we talk about physiology and research around all the following functional topics and how they relate to Endurance

  • Mediators– what positively or negatively impacts endurance ability?
  • Digestion/Absorption (how endurance sports impact our gut and how our gut impacts our performance). We might have to do another entire talk on this one as it is so important.
  • The microbiome (so much great research around how our microbiome can specifically support our endurance efforts and vice versa. A healthy microbiome = health).
  • Immune function (long intense exercise impacts our immune function so how do we support our body so we stay resilient and strong. Plus, what is the difference between acute and chronic inflammation)
  • Energy production, how mitochondria function, fuel sources, and the aerobic vs anaerobic pathways
  • We dig into hormones and neurotransmitters including our stress hormone cortisol, thyroid hormones (so important for energy production and often overlooked and misunderstood), and sex hormones (because our monthly cycle is our 6th vital sign ladies!).
  • The value of high intensity training, strength training, mobility, and aerobic base training (which is the best? learn why we do them and you decide. I say include them all).
  • We run out of time but touch on mindfulness, community and staying positive (this is such a huge part of endurance so we may need to do another talk just about mental endurance and the power of our mind)
  • We talk about fueling and hydration tips also

Here is the completed functional matrix for Endurance Athletics- Loads of fun here to think about

Download the completed copy of the Matrix on Endurance here


Some of my favorite functional ways to track your unique body, to “look under the hood” so to speak, include-

  • Continuous blood glucose monitor or finger prick blood sugar monitor
  • An Organic Acids Test to look into fat/carb metabolism, nutrient levels, oxidative stress, mitochondria function, exposure to toxins and mold, gut dysbiosis, and neurotransmitters
  • A full functional thyroid lab to look in to the HPT axis
  • A saliva cortisol test to get a better look at you HPA axis
  • A gut zoomer to look into digestion, absorption, gut inflammation, the integrity of the gut wall, the diversity of microbes, or if there are any gut infections
  • Ketone meter to see if you are using fatty acids for energy
  • Nutrient panels to see if you are burning through any nutrients or needing to boost certain ones
  • Functional blood serum labs to get an overall picture of how your body systems are functioning
  • A urine hormone panel to look at sex hormones, sleep hormones, neurotransmitters, metabolites
  • Heart rate variability via a watch or Oura ring (my favorite way)
  • Basal body temperature to track your thyroid and ovulation/progesteron
  • Heart rate chest strap to measure your heart rate at different intensities
  • Genetics, when indicated

And footnote- don’t be surprised if your doctor isn’t interested in this testing as to them you seem to be in perfect health. The thing is, perfect health is not the only other option than diseased/medicated. The truth is there is a huge spectrum in the middle and we are talking about optimizing that. Find someone who will help you.

Did I mention that I love data? Become your own scientist!

There is a lot we can learn from just tracking our body with a pen and paper (or fancy app) too



A few of my favorite foods to fuel long endurance adventures include

  • Boiled potatoes and salt (always)
  • White rice and bacon squares (this is what I am eating in this picture and as you can see it brings me a lot of joy on the trail:) Ymmm)
  • Salted nuts and raisins
  • Nut butter
  • Avocados and bean burritos
  • Homemade cookies, bars, gummies (you can download a few of my favorite recipes below)
  • Dried dates and mango sticks
  • Honey sticks and other bee products like royal jelly and propolis
  • Puréed sweet potatoes and applesauce
  • Olives and soft stick beef jerky (seriously)
  • ginger chews
  • Packaged foods and hydration that I like- Scratch Labs electrolytes, LMNT electrolytes, Trail Butter, Spring gels, Rx bars, Snickers, Honey Stinger gluten free waffles, Amy’s gluten free bean burrito (this one warms up great in the pack all day;)), Kion Aminos
  • Pre endurance adventure foods– about 2 hours before I head out I love to eat sourdough toast with almond butter and bananas or a bowl of hot millet cereal with maple syrup and walnuts. 30 minutes before heading out I drink a scoop of amino acids in water (I try to do it again every 90 minutes or so).
  • Post endurance adventure foods- I always eat some carbs and protein within 30 minutes of finishing up on the trail. That often includes a mango and protein smoothie or my superfood recovery smoothie.

CHECK OUT SOME OF MY FAVORITE RECIPES FOR TRAIL FOODS AND PRE/POST ADVENTURES HERE

What are some of your favorite trail foods? I would love to hear. Share below or on instagram @mountainrebalance


A few of my favorite books and tools for training functionally include-

Above all else, Functional Nutrition teaches us to be curious about our body and what is going on before it has to talk too loudly. Enjoy the trail and as Thick Nhat Hahn says “Kiss the earth with every step”

Janel Ferrin Anderson DNM FNLP NC

Janel is obsessed with helping people understand their unique body and figure out how their food and lifestyle choices impact their health. Janel helps people explore the root cause of signs and symptoms and how to tune into what their body is saying. Janel is a board certified nutritionist, a certified functional nutrition practitioner, has her doctorate in natural medicine, and is a certified family herbalist. She is a passionate mountain athlete, food junkie, and science nerd. Janel works one on one with clients and teaches many groups. Learn more about Janel here

Badass For The Long haul (currently being reorganized)


Studies and Research from my talk-

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