The world needs us to rise up, women. We need to be brave, strong, and loud.
In order to do that we need to feel our best, have as much energy as possible, be clear headed, and unite.
Like many of you I was incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, last week. Then I spent some time feeling anxious about what it means politically, moving forward. Thankfully I woke up Monday inspired to take action in my own small way. To RISE and persist like Ruth would have wanted.
RBG spent decade after decade fighting for women’s rights. She fought for reproductive freedom, equal pay, job based discrimination, financial discrimination, and so many other issues involving gender discrimination. I am so grateful for her tireless work.
Women need to feel empowered around their health and their body so they can go into the world feeling strong, energized, and sharp. We need to change how healthcare is practiced, seeing the whole person, the whole woman, hearing, trusting, and focusing on using every day tools to optimize health.
When you are stronger WE are stronger
10 things you can do starting today so you have the resilience and energy it takes to rise up in your own way.
Sleep at least least 7-9 hours a night, seriously, how can we rise up if we are tired?
Eat whole foods including nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and clean protein. Stay away from any foods that negatively affect you personally
Say no to things and people that bring you down. Practice now……. ‘No’
Discover your heart’s desire and go do it
Play outside in the sunshine, rain, wind, and snow
Drink water, tea, and broth
Support and encourage other women to do their best and to shine brightly (and you shine as brightly as you can, don’t hide that shit)
Find a way to process your stress and practice doing it every day- meditation, deep relaxation, breath work, mantra, etc
Be careful of the self limiting and negative stories you tell yourself. They are just that, stories, they are not truths and they can sabotage you. Make a new mantra and create new positive stories you tell yourself. It might take time but you can do it.
Speak your truth and speak it loudly
Start making changes today towards feeling your best. Pick one small thing and focus on it until it becomes second nature or habit. You got this! We need every last one of us.
Our gut is the place that the outside world interacts with our inside world, all day every day. The health of our gut impacts every single system in the body and must be addressed when looking at any disease or symptom. What happens in the gut sets the stage for health or disease to take root. No matter what other route you are taking to heal, addressing gut function is key.
1.Many of our genes are turned off or on depending on what comes in from the outside world through our gut and the condition of our gut. New science shows us that we are not our genes but instead what health promoting or disease promoting genes turn on depending what environment they are in (epigenetics and gene expression). 7, 1
2. Around 70% of our immune system is in our gut. What we eat directly affects the status and health of our immune system. Our immune system can be under functioning (as with cancer or constantly catching infections) or over functioning (such as autoimmunity, allergies, and chronic inflammation). We need our immune system to activate, work, and then return back to monitoring. The foods we eat, how we digest them, and the environment of our digestive tract can turn this chronically on or deliver input that leads to downstream immune dysfunction. (Take the thyroid for example you can have high antibodies for 8 years before your thyroid is seriously damaged or you even have symptoms! That gives you almost a decade to turn things around with food before disease sets in!) 8, 4
3. Many of the neurotransmitters we need for brain health are produced in our gut and are essential for our mental health. When the gut is not functioning correctly the brain can be directly impacted through these messengers. That serotonin you need to feel good? Most of that is made in the gut! Even gluten, cassein, and sugar can have opiate affects in our brain! 1, 3
Our gut is even considered our second brain. The vagus nerve directly connects our gut to our brain and there are messages that go both ways on this nerve, keeping the brain in our head constantly informed as to what is going on in our gut (not just vice versa as we once thought). When our gut dysfunctions or is inflammed our brain can dysfunction in result. This is known as our Gut/Brain Axis. 7
4. Almost every nutrient we need to function is broken down, absorbed, or made in our gut. We need our gut functioning properly to get these vital nutrients and precursors. We can be eating a perfect diet and still not be getting these nutrients we need if we are not digesting and absorbing them correctly (stomach acid problems, lack of enzymes, bile issues, vili damage, the wrong microbes, eating foods we are sensitive to, and more). Stress can even cause a digestive system breakdown leading to downstream symptoms and disease. 1,3
5. Our gut is the home to millions of microbes. We have 150 times more bacterial genes than human genes and 10 times more intestinal bacterial cells than human cells. What? Yes! This bacteria communicates directly with our entire body and impacts gene expression, brain function, metabolism, nutrient absorption, immune function, hormone detox, and more. These microbes produce certain nutrients and break down harmful substances. The food we eat and our lifestyle directly affect the quality of our gut bacteria (microbiome and dysbiosis) and in result our overall health. 1, 4,5,6
6. We need our gut to absorb the appropriate sized particles but to keep out particles that do not belong and that our body sees as invaders. The food we eat, our lifestyle and medications all impact this important barrier function of our gut (‘leaky gut’ or hyper-permeable membrane are factors in autoimmunity, oxidative damage and more). Even healthy foods can cause damage when there is a leaky gut. 1, 3, 4, 6
7. We need a properly functioning gut and liver/kidneys to eliminate and get rid of waste. It is important this happens in a timely manner so these substances can be eliminated and not linger wreaking havoc (including harmful toxins and used hormones). Toxins can cause endless downstream problems and the truth is we have exponentially more exposure today to these harmful substances than ever (pesticides, air pollution, plastics, etc). Ensuring our body has the extra nutrients it needs to detox them properly is vital. 7,8,1,3
8. Our gut can be a major cause of chronic inflammation. New research shows that Chronic Inflammation may be a leading factor to all chronic disease. Food itself can cause inflammation as does our gut when it is not functioning properly somewhere along the route. Down regulating inflammation is essential to healing and staying symptom and disease free. We must remove offenders and add foods to support. 2, 4, 5
9. Our Mitochondria, or energy makers in our body, are also impacted by the condition of our gut! What? Our mitochondria and cells need certain nutrients to produce energy and remain undamaged. 5, 2
10. Hormones– Blood sugar dysregulation and stress from eating the wrong foods can be the primary cause of many downstream health and hormonal problems, including sleep struggles, energy crashes, cravings, infertility, pms, and many more. With today’s diet is easy to have blood sugar problems and I am not talking about diabetics but instead most Americans because of the foods we choose. Getting a handle on blood sugar and other food stressors are key to overall hormone health and set the stage for healing to occur. 1, 2, 3
No matter how minor or major the health problem or symptom is that you are dealing with and regardless of using other medical interventions- the gut needs to be addressed.
Helping people optimize the gut from top to bottom, and in result optimize health for today and for decades down the line is my specialty (and dare I say obsession). I am a Functional Nutritionist, a body detective if you will. Let’s see how the food you eat and your environment are impacting your gut and ultimately how you function and feel as a unique individual. I take a true holistic and grass roots approach to wellness and listen to your story.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates. But that is a bunch of blah blah blah if your digestive system is not functioning correctly.
Heal Before Ideal! Which means we must heal the gut before even the most ideal diet can serve us. Plus, since we are all biochemically unique, what is medicine for me might be poison for you. That fast that saved you might be what tanked me. What? For real.
Janel Ferrin Anderson PhD- Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Doctor of Natural Medicine, Family Herbalist, Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist, endless pursuer of why, and now specializing in advanced individualized diets such as salicylates, oxalates, fodmaps and more.
Mountain Rebalance- Empower, Support, Investigate, and Integrate
1-Nakayama, Andrea. (2018)Full Body Systems. Functional Nutrition Lab.
2-Bland, Jeffery. (2016) The Disease Delusion. Harper Collins. NY NY
3-Bauman, Ed. Friedlander, Jodi. (2016). Therapeutic Nutrition Textbook Part 1. Penngrove, CA. Bauman College.
4-O’Bryan, Tom. (2016) The Autoimmune Fix. New York, NY: Rodale Wellness.
5-Jones, David MD. (2010) Textbook of Functional Medicine. Washington
6- Fasano, Dr. Allesio. (2019) Gluten, Autoimmunity, and Leaky Gut. https://chriskresser.com/pioneering-researcher-alessio-fasano-m-d-on-gluten-autoimmunity-leaky-gut/
7. Perlmutter, Dr. David. (2019) Autism Spectrum Disorder and Pesticide Exposure. Dr.Perlmutter.com
8. Romm, Dr. Aviva. (2018) Reducing Thyroid Antibodies Naturally. Natural MD Radio episode #73
The idea of balance has intrigued me for 3 decades but has intrigued humans for thousands of years. The more I study and experience in life the more I understand just how important this concept of balance is for true health and wellness: Balance emotionally, balance energetically, and balance biochemically. Balance feels good AND is what is what our body needs in every way imaginable. The concept of balance has continually returned to me in my journey and I think it is the key to good health, resilience, and wellness.
As a yoga teacher in my early 20s I learned the importance of balancing effort with relaxation, balancing strength with ease, balancing humor with determination, balancing inhales with exhales, and balancing the body with our energy and spirit. Yoga is a tangible practice of these concepts that the western world does not have a set way to study and feel otherwise. You could say it was my ‘gateway drug’ to balance.
As a river guide, living outside for months at a time and experiencing all nature presented, it was clear in a conscious and unconscious way how important balance is. Night and day, rain and sunshine, summer and winter, rest and excitement, smiles with tears, fear with relaxation, full moon and new moon, high water and low water, and more. Balance is part of the natural world and reconnecting with that ebb and flow is a primal part of being human and what we biochemically and energetically evolved in sync with. We are sadly far removed from this pace in our busy, fast paced, controlled world. There has been a lot of focus and research lately on the importance of connecting with nature and I think it is this concept of balance that plays a big part.
Balance is a fundamental concept in Ayurveda, which is the ancient medical practice of India and what I practiced in my early 30s as Mountain Rebalance. The entire philosophy is based around the fact that there is no right or wrong or good or bad but instead things that balance each person uniquely for them at exactly where they are in their life. We each have things that can balance our unique personality/energy and this changes during different phases of life, different seasons, different times of day and more. When out of balance for too long symptoms and eventually diseases manifest. All things have this ability to balance or throw us off balance including foods, spices, physical activity, breathing techniques, careers, and so much more. Spicy peppers and hot yoga might be exactly what one person needs to return to balance when it is exactly what will cause someone else who is already fiery to wobble out of balance and experience dis-ease, especially in summer. That person might need more rest/relaxation, cooling foods and imagery to balance them where those things would be too sedate for another who is already calm and still. We need to balance our energy instead of feeding what is. You can learn more about Ayurveda here if this interests you, it is fascinating mind shift. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-1117/Ayurveda-Dosha-Types-for-Beginners.html
I loved this ancient philosophy and healthcare model and practiced Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy for many years before I yearned for more ‘hard science’ and returned to school again in pursuit of ‘why’. Still, as I dug into biochemistry, systems biology, pathology, and nutrition the idea of balance was there again.
Cortisol is our stress hormone and gets a lot of negative attention today when it is actually very important. Yes, excessive cortisol can cause all sorts of problems including fatigue and hormone problems but we need cortisol to wake up and feel awake and motivated for the day, we need it to decrease inflammation, and we need it to move sugar into the blood when we dip too low and need energy. The right amount of cortisol is important but too little or too much is the problem. Balance biochemically is like goldilocks, not too much, not too little, but juuuust the right amount.
Our microbiome depends on a balance of health promoting bacteria with harmful ones that are always there. If the scale tips too far and harmful bacteria or yeast take over we might experience headaches, fatigue, cravings, muscle aches or more. We need our microbiome balanced so it can help us with energy, digestion, hormones, neurotransmitters, vitamin production, toxins, and more.
So often people are fearful of cholesterol and strive for very low cholesterol but really we need cholesterol to make our sex hormones and to maintain the integrity of every cell membrane so each cell can do its job. We just need it balanced and in the right amount and form. So it’s not good or bad, we just need it appropriately balanced.
Sex hormones require balance also, including the important hormones estrogen and progesterone. We need them balanced at the right times, not too much of one or the other. When they are balanced we feel motivated, calm, confident, creative and can reduce the pesky symptoms of pms and menopause.
Neurotransmitters such as GABA and Glutamate depend on a balance to help us feel calm and motivated instead of fatigued and anxious.
Our Immune system needs to be balanced so that it does not overwork such as occurs in allergic reactions and autoimmune disease but does not under function as occurs in cancer and when we catch every infection out there. We want it working enough, but not too much.
In the digestive system we need balance keeping out the harmful or undigested particles but effectively absorbing and using the nutrients we do need. Even the best diet in the world could be causing damage if there are digestive imbalance
The delicate balance of antioxidants vs free radicals is needed to protect us from oxidative damage and resulting diseases and dysfunctions. Balancing the break down and destruction of the old with renewal and restoration is at play here cellularly.
We need balance for appropriate inflammatory reactions -using inflammation when we need it to heal but stopping chronic inflammation from causing pain and disease
The importance of balance in maintaining health both energetically and physically is obvious, so what throws us of balance?
Many things in today’s world can throw us off balance, tipping the scale too far and causing symptoms and disease, including past trauma, undected infections, emotional stress, pregnancy, childbirth, processed foods, overuse of antibiotics, aging, the Standard American Diet, environmental toxins, sugar consumption, chronic inflammation, mold, unhealthy relationships, lack of sleep, food triggers, not digesting the right nutrients, genetics, being over busy, not having a spiritrual practice, and more. These imbalances prevent us from functioning optimally and lead to symptoms and eventually to diagnosed diseases.
Balance is necessary for our body and soul. As the years go on I am continually grateful to have named my practice Mountain Rebalance. We all need balance and often that means reestablishing it. Come Re-balance with me.
Janel Ferrin Anderson lives and works in Truckee CA and is constantly working to balance her full life of family, work, play, and breath. She is a board certified holistic nutritionist, a functional medicine nutritionist, family herbalist, Doctor of Natural Medicine and believes in empowering people to take a front seat in their health and wellness.
Imagine if you wanted to get stronger and you started running or hiking on a broken leg to get in shape. It wouldn’t work. You would get worse and be in tons of pain, even do more damage despite starting a healthy activity. Would you blame running/hiking? No. If your leg was broken you would need to heal the break first, then start up the ideal healthy practice of running/hiking after your body was ready. If the root of your problem was just that you are lazy, then yes, get off the couch and go for a hike. But you need to consider the root of the problem.
Same is true of your gut and overall health
If your digestive function is broken or not functioning right, eating an ideal diet might not work if you do not heal the ‘break’ in the system first.
We all pretty much know now that digestive health and nutrition is the cornerstone of all health, including genetic expression (aka what genes turn on and which ones turn off). Crazy cool and empowering! But if we are not digesting our food, metabolizing our food, and absorbing our food properly we can become depleted, lethargic, gassy, bloated, fatigued, spaced out, unable to sleep, in chronic pain, infertile, anxious, moody, constipated, and so much more…..even on a great diet!
Yes. It is true. I see people all the time in my office that are either eating a ‘great diet’ but still feeling lousy and now frustrated. I also see people that tried to add ‘healthy’ foods to a not so great diet and got horrible results, feeling even worse and now confused, thinking it is the food that is bad for them. Truth is, the food might not work until they fix the root of their problem. We must Heal before we jump to an Ideal diet in this case. There may have been a turning point or trigger in their (or your) history that now requires healing before jumping to an ideal diet.
Another awesome way to look at digestive health in this way (heal vs ideal) is the brilliant analogy Dr. Murray uses about a garbage and flies problem. Say you have a huge fly problem in your house and it is driving you nuts. If you just take away the flies but you still have the garbage that attracted them, the flies will come back eventually. It is all about the terrain that created the problem. You have to get to the root and remove the garbage and only then will the flies not come back. I see this all the time with people trying to optimize their health. You cannot just get rid of the problem without addressing why the condition started in the first place.
This has led me to start a blog series on digestion top to bottom, in small doses with lots of action steps, so you can learn about the different stops along the system and empower yourself to up-level your digestion and in result your health and resilience. Darn near every symptom could be digestion related and there are easy, non invasive, cheap steps you can take to see if getting your digestion to function better might help you feel better.
Of course this series and all of my blog posts are meant to educate and empower, not to treat or diagnose any disease. Please consult your physician with any questions or concerns. Eventually enough stress or damage on the system can create a tipping point and with time a disease state that requires more than healing your digestion. That said, it will always help build resilience and function.
Do you want to feel your best? Join us for this upcoming blog series! Subscribe to our website, facebook, or instagram to keep up
Janel Ferrin Anderson NC is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist who is passionate about helping people understand their body and feel empowered to take the front seat in their health care. She works with and partners with people to help them optimize how all their body systems function. Click here to schedule a free 15 minute call to discuss your needs
Finding snacks that are loaded with healing and beneficial nutrients, plus ones that contain the important balance of fat/fiber/protein, AND that taste delicious is a major win in my world. Because here is the thing, I love good food and I love giving my body what it needs to function as best as it can. Win Win
When considering what to eat every day for long term and sustainable health I am always thinking 1. what can we add? 2. what can we take away? And of course what is DELICIOUS.
This snack is beautifully free of all the major common inflammatory foods that can gradually lead to symptoms/disease, pain, faulty digestion, immune disfunction, mental health problems, and more . Plus, it adds tons of important nutrients our body needs to stay strong as well as that fat/fiber/protein ratio to help balance hormones (insulin, cortisol, thyroid and even sex hormones!).
What’s up with the fat/fiber/protein? This ratio of nutrients is the key to keeping our blood sugar balanced (glucose and the hormone insulin) and feeling satiated while getting important building blocks for body functions. (In our house we call fats brain food, protein muscle foods, and fiber energy/plant nutrient foods) When our blood sugar spikes from eating fast carbs, refined carbs, or carbs with out fiber (bagels or pretzels for example), it starts a cascade of hormonal events that can cause energy problems-problems sleeping, problems with sex hormones, fatigue, and more. By eating a healthy fat, a clean protein, and loads of fiber each time you eat you are doing your body and mind a huge service. It’s an easy, delicious, and satisfying way to eat!
This snack is a perfect mix of fat/fiber/protein and is loaded with nutrients. Here are all of the star ingredients-
A few of the stars-
Sweet potatoes- sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They contain loads of vitamin C, vitamin A, B6, manganese and many more healing nutrients. The fibers in them are awesome for your gut health and microbiome, which impact your entire body. Thy support immune health, brain health, hormone balance and more.
Avocados– Avocados are an awesome source of important healthy fats. They are primarily oleic acid which is an anti-inflammatory fatty acid. They are a great source of vitamin K, potassium, vitamin c and folate.
Garlic– Garlic is used as medicine all over the world. It is known to boost immune function, be helpful in lowering blood pressure, heart health, cholesterol, and has tons of antioxidants to prevent free radical damage.
And here is the recipe so you can enjoy the goodness for yourself
Sweet potatoes- sliced into even rounds
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic cloves (smashed and chopped fine)- 2-4 depending on your love
Fresh cilantro- 1 tbsp plus more for garnish
Juice from 1 lime
Procedure for sweet potato chips- Preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or not). In a bowl, add the sweet potato rounds along with avocado oil and sea salt. Toss to combine. Place the rounds on the baking sheet, ensuring they are spread out evenly. Bake for 12 minutes, flip and bake for 10 minutes more. Remove and set aside.
Procedure for avocados and snacks- In a bowl, add the avocado and mash with a fork. Add cilantro, sea salt, lime juice and fresh garlic. Add the mashed avocado mix to the sweet potato crostini. Eat as is or I like to top it with smoked salmon and chives. Serve and enjoy!
You can make a big bag of the sweet potato chips and store the ones you don’t use in the refrigerator to use another day for a quick snack.
A few of my other favorite snacks include- almond butter with apple slices, carrots/celery and hummus, kale chips with nutritional yeast, hard boiled eggs chopped up in lettuce wraps, olives, artichokes, chia pudding, and clean smoothies with a good fat/protein. What are your favorites?
Janel is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Board certified holistic nutritionist, herbalist, yoga therapist and has her PhD in Natural medicine. She works with people using food and lifestyle to help them function their best today and for decades to come. She believes in empowering people to understand their body and take charge of their health.
The smell, the taste, the color, how it makes me feel, and of course the health benefits- they are all amazing.
Golden milk has so many health promoting players including turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, coconut milk, coconut oil, and black pepper. It is actually the synergy of them together that helps their magic work.
First a bit on the star players, then the recipes………..
Turmeric Root- Turmeric has several anti-inflammatory agents and is used as medicine all over the world. There are many studies showing curcumin, one of the chemical constituents in turmeric, is as affective as many medications for reducing inflammation and pain. It has many antioxidant actions as well helping protect the body from free radical damage. It can be helpful in protecting agains heart disease, Alzheimers and boosting immune function (Murray, Michael.)
Ginger Root- Ginger has been used historically for gastrointestinal distress as well as many other medicinal uses. It can help with relieving gas and nausea. Ginger also has many anti-inflammatory agents including gingerols adding to its ability to ease pain and modulate immune function (Murray, Michael).
Cinnamon- I love that cinnamon comes from the inner bark of an evergreen tree. It is not only delicious but it also has many wonderful health benefits as well. People have used cinnamon to help ease many inflammatory conditions including menstrual pains, arthritis, psoriasis and more. It is helpful as a warming digestant but also has proven to help regulate blood sugar (Davis, Paul).
Coconut milk and MCT oil- Coconut milk is loaded with healthy fats that we need for hormones, brain health and for the integrity of every cell in our body. It contains many medium chain triglycerides that are easier to digest than other fats and can be used more easily for energy. Coconut milk has anti-inflammatory properties as well as antiviral and antibacterial benefits (Murray Michael).
Black pepper- Black pepper is warming and is helpful with digestive disorders. It aids in digesting fats in particular but also boosts digestion as a whole. Piperine is one of the components in it that has several benefits including boosting the liver’s detox function and helping increase the absorption of nutrients (Murray, Michael).
Now, let’s get to that golden milk! My mouth is watering already.
Yes, the ingredients in golden milk are healing and health promoting, but what I really love about it is the taste and as well as the ritual of enfolding my hands around my mug, taking a deep smell, admiring the golden beauty, and slowly sipping and savoring this elixir.
Golden Milk Recipe #1- The Longer, Heart Melting Delicious Way. Making a Golden Milk Paste From Whole Turmeric Root
This one is my favorite and I love when I remember that I have the paste made already! I really love that it has some fiber in it and that along with the fats from coconut milk and MCT oilmake it better on blood sugar regulation as well as satiation. Ymmmmm
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon water, or as needed
2 cups almond or coconut milk
1 teaspoon MCT oil or coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon raw honey
For the Paste- Combine 1/2 cup water, turmeric, and pepper in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon water. Continue cooking until thickened into a paste, 7 to 9 minutes. Cool completely, 15 to 20 minutes. Pour into an airtight glass jar.
For the drink- Whisk 1 teaspoon turmeric paste with the almond milk, coconut oil, ginger, and cinnamon together in a saucepan. Heat over low heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in honey.
Strain milk mixture into mug. Drink. Enjoy! Ymmmmm. ( I like to sprinkle on cinnamon and turmeric on top
Golden Milk Recipe #2- The Scoop Scoop Scoop and Go
2 cups of full fat coconut milk
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp MCT oil or coconut oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tsp raw honey
heavy pinch of black pepper
Blend all the ingredients (excluding honey) together in a blender until it is smooth
Put mixture into saucepan and heat over medium about 4 minutes or until desired temp.
Take off heat and add in honey. Drink and enjoy
Golden Milk Recipe #3- Quick Version
So this is technically chai but it feels close enough to me that when I want a cup and want it fast this is an awesome choice. One scoop in warm nut or coconut milk, splash of honey and you are on your way golden bliss. The Golden Masala Chai from Blue Lotus Chai does have black tea in it, so be aware of that if you are wanting it later in the day. It still features turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and black pepper making it very similar. For an added benefit it has Maca as well which is a powerful adaptogen that helps modulate stress.
However you make your golden milk, enjoy it. Cheers. Janel
Murray, Michael and Pizzorno, Joseph. 2005 The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. Atria Books. New York NY
Janel is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Board certified holistic nutritionist, herbalist, and yoga therapist. She works with people using food and lifestyle to help them function their best today and for decades to come. She believes in empowering people to understand their body and take charge of their health. Schedule a free 15 minute inquiry call today
It is happening! Bring in the fresh and light energy of the spring so your entire body functions better. Nourish your body and your soul during this natural time of year to cleanse. Set or reset new habits that move you towards feeling your best. Connect with community.
Join Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Doctor of Natural Medicine, Herbalist, and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist Janel Ferrin Anderson on this AWESOME and unique spring cleanse and deep dive into detoxification, your liver, gut health and optimizing how you function.
Sign up by May 10th and get 20% off code- shelterathome
Previous group participants and clients get 35% offcode-alumni
Previous Detox alumni get 50% off! code- detoxalumni
Yes this is an awesome cleanse but it is so much more! Learn new habits and recipes to nourish your body for decades to come, empower yourself by learning the ‘why’ behind cleansing, connect with like minded community, learn what herbs and lifestyle practices aid us in detoxing, get the chance to work with Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Doctor of Natural Medicine, Herbalist, and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist Janel Ferrin Anderson, and eat delicious food while nourishing your entire body.
THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL COOKIE CUTTER CLEANSE
Choose what level you want to participate depending where you are at in your life and with your health needs. I will help you choose what is best for you. This cleanse is appropriate for anyone because of this flexibility.
Get helpful handouts, lists, recipes, support from me during the week, lifestyle practices to enhance detox, daily guided breath work practices, and more.
What have people said in the past about this cleanse?
“Spring Cleanse! Oh my. What an incredible experience. I’ve never done something like this in a group. I’ve cleansed before but doing so in a group was so uplifting and encouraging. I LOVED the recipes, the online support, and the WHY! It all made it so much more feasible. Janel shares amazing, obtainable, knowledge on not only the “how” but the “why”. I’d definitely do it again!”
“Working with Janel was a great experience. I felt supported and educated about why this was a good thing for my body. When I believe I am benefitting my health it is easier to stay committed to the cleanse. I feel really good and I will move forward having gained some healthy habits and a better understanding of why nutrition is key to not just my physical health but also my emotional well being. Thank you!”
This is NOT about depriving ourselves but instead about NOURISHING ourselves with specific cleansing foods. If you have done 20 cleanses or if this is your first one, this is for you! You can choose which level you participate at because as I always say there is not one size fits all plan for everyone. I will be available to help you decide.
Learn how to activate your systems of elimination, give your body a chance to reset, restore depleted nutrients, reduce inflammation, reduce the stressors on your gut so it can do it’s job allowing all your body systems to function better. Awesome!
SAVE 20% (sign up by May 10th) or 30% (for people who have worked with me) when you sign up now! Apply promo code when purchasing.
Most of us want to take care of our immune system but we don’t understand how it works well enough to know how best to support our unique system. It is empowering to learn a bit of the physiology so we can better understand why the choices we make with diet and lifestyle impact our body the way it does. It drives me nuts to be told what to do with out understanding why, I find most people I work with agree.
The Immune System is a complex and dynamic system, which changes with our environment and diet.
Here are the basics to help you start thinking around what might impacting your immune system. Add what you need to boost it and consider what you might need to remove that might be reducing its effectiveness.
IMMUNE SYSTEM 101
According to the National Institute of Health the purpose of the Immune system is to have a network of cells, tissues and organs working together to protect the body against foreign invaders. The immune system has three very distinct jobs that need to be executed as intended for the whole system to work properly.
These jobs are
Identify an invader. This includes properly identifying self from non self and harmful from friend.
Communicate with other immune cells. So, the watch guards start talking and informing other immune cells about what is happening. They may call in back up cells or alter the biochemistry to set the stage for defense (aka inflammation).
Attack the invader. The immune cells need to launch an appropriate attack to kill the invader without doing excessive damage to the host, aka you. This includes shutting off the attack when appropriate.
Our body is constantly exposed to invaders such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites, and it is our immune systems job to keep us safe. That is when it is functioning properly, anyway. When it is over working we may experience allergies, autoimmunity, or chronic inflammation and eventually the downstream diseases that come from chronic inflammation (Heart Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s and many more). When it is under functioning we may get sick often or cancer cells may grow. So again, we want our immune system to function how Goldilocks likes things, juuuuust right.
We have 2 distinct parts of our immune system
The Innate Immune System– This is the part of our immune system that we are born with. There is no specificity or memory. It is all about identifying all invaders and killing. This includes
Our Physical barriers such as our outside skin and the internal ‘skin’ of our respiratory tract, digestive tract, and urogenital tract. This also includes the acidity in our stomach, the mucous membranes on all our internal ‘skins’, our microbiome or the good bacteria that covers our skins. Around 70% of our immune system is in our digestive system alone. Anything that reinforces these barriers will boost our immune system, and vice versa.
The cells of the innate immune system- This first layer of immune defense also includes several white blood cells- monocytes, neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, and natural killer cells. All of which play key roles in keeping us safe from invaders.
The Adaptive (Specific) Immune System– This is the part of our immune system that develops over time and involves a great deal of specificity. These are the more highly trained cells of the immune system and include our B cells (immunoglobulins come from B cells) and T cells. B stands for Bone Marrow and T stands for Thymus, which is simply where they each get their advanced training. The adaptive immune system is how we more easily fight off invaders after being exposed previously, it is why vaccinations work, and it is these immune cells, IgG or IgA or IgE antibodies, that we look to for certain foods or body parts that the immune system may be overreacting to.
Whew. Okay. We did it. That is the basics and it is from there that we can identify what food and lifestyle choices increase or decrease our immune function. The specific jobs of the immune can be impacted as can the various layers. Our immune function is dynamic and the food and lifestyle choices we make directly impact it. Some things decrease its effectiveness making them important to remove. Other things enhance how they function making them important to add.
You can skip below to the lovely infographics if you want the lists. Otherwise keep reading if you want the why.
10 THINGS THAT MAY NEGATIVELY IMPACTING YOUR IMMUNE FUNCTION
Sugar- Sugar suppresses white blood cells and how responsive they are. Also, white sugar depletes our body of key immune nutrients
Eating foods you are sensitive to or allergic to or foods that are hard to digest– These foods can decrease immune function in different ways. Hard to digest foods can damage the intestinal tract (damage the barrier function aka leaky gut), cause inflammation, and can distract the immune system in this way. Foods you are sensitive or allergic to activate antibodies and again can cause the immune system to be on chronic attack, using up valuable resources and attention. (Foods that are often hard to digest include anything not chewed well, foods eaten while stressed, trans fats, dairy, gluten, soy, processed foods, beans that are not soaked prior to cooking, and more)
Alcohol- Alcohol reduces white blood cell count like sugar does and impacts the flow of oxygen at a cellular level preventing the body from functioning optimally
Nutrient Deficiency- Nutrients such as vitamins A, D, C, zinc, selenium are critical building blocks for immune cells. From either lack of consuming them but also from lack of digesting and absorbing them a person can be depleted. Make sure digestion/absorption is functioning optimally so you can get the nutrients from your food.
Toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, pollution, smoking, chemicals, etc- can inhibit antibody formation, depress T cell and B cell function and Natural Killer cells. Pollution can Damage protective mucus membranes (line of defense) as well.
Chronic stress – Psychoneuroimmunology (big new area of study on immune system and nervous system interaction). Natural Killer cells are impacted by high chronic cortisol and this is a critical and aggressive cell for fighting viruses as well as cancer.
Lack of sleep- During sleep your body releases immune cells that fight inflammation and infection. Lack of sleep reduces immune cells and hinders the protective response of the immune system. Melatonin (sleep hormone) helps protect our lungs as well as activates natural killer cells.
Trauma from surgery or accident including over exercising- Inflammation may be tying up the immune response
Frequent Antibiotic use or other medications- antibiotics can damages important bacterial balance in the gut which is a line of defense while certain medications like ibuprofen and aspirin can damage the epithelium or inner skin of our digestive tract.
Exposure to chronic infections from the inside or outside- Epstein Barr, candida, lyme disease, etc, or with people working around kids all the time or on airplanes may be exposed chronically to bacteria and viruses, depleting immune function.
Helpful For Proper Immune Function
A healthy lymphatic system, which houses many immune cells – Using your skeletal muscles helps move lymph as does deep breathing and bouncing.
Appropriate nutrients- we make 2000 immune cells every minute, the better nutrition the better we are able to make those cells. Specific foods listed in infograph below but think colorful vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds.
Vitamin A- supports mucus membranes throughout the body, is needed for white blood cell production as well as thymus and spleen health.
Vitamin D- The sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D, aids monocytes and T cells. Vit D triggers and arms the body’s T cells, the cells in the body that seek out and destroy any invading bacteria and viruses. It also reduces inflammation
Vitamin C- protects white blood cells from the enzymes they release to kill microbes, it’s an antiviral, it makes interferon, is antibacterial, and is an antihistamine. Supports innate and adaptive immune function.
Vitamin E- strong antioxidant protecting cells from oxidative damage. Boosts immune cells and enhances immune response
Zinc- Zinc is part of a wide range of immune functions. Needed to activate immune cells
Selenium- Antioxidant, boosts immune response and decreases inflammation
Quercetin- antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and aids in immune cell communication
Supporting digestive system- Tools to help include fiber, microbiome support, hcl, mucus membranes, chew (releases growth factor which helps improve barrier)
Sleep- See above. Sleep is hugely beneficial to our immune system and we need between 7-9 hours a night for our immune system to function optimally.
Decreased stress and anxiety- Excessive cortisol (stress hormone) depresses immune function by decreasing Natural Killer Cells and diverting energy towards fighting a pressing or perceived ‘danger’ instead of fighting an immune invader.
Appropriate exercise increases NK cells and other infectious fighting immune cells, it also decreases stress and increases circulation.
Sauna or hot/cold therapy- This has been shown to increase both T cells and Natural Killer cells impacting both innate and adaptive immune function
Microbiome- Important in barrier function and immune activity. Some bacteria in your gut spend their lives making antibodies!
Proper Hydration and herbs that sooth and nourish the mucous membranes such as aloe, licorice, slippery elm, and marshmallow root.
So what can you add? What can you remove?
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Okay, this was already my family’s and many of my friends favorite granola recipe, we just gave it an immune boost by adding specific Immune nutrient rich foods.
Our Immune system is not static and it changes its effectiveness in relation to many lifestyle and nutrition factors. What we eat and do everyday can help boost our resilience and immune function or decrease its ability to fight off invaders. This recipe offers healthy fats and protein as well as many immune nutrients to give your immune system what it needs to function its best.
Zinc- There is a lot of research showing that zinc has anti-viral properties against many different viruses. Pumpkin seeds and oats are loaded with zinc.
Selenium boosts our immune response and decreases inflammation so our immune system can focus on fighting bacteria and viruses. Brazil nuts and oats are rich in selenium.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, protecting cells from oxidative damage. It boosts immune cells and enhances immune response. Almonds and Sesame seeds are loaded with vitamin E
You could add gogi berries at the end with the dried fruit for a vitamin C boost too.
You can make any variations that you like really. Omit nuts/seeds if you don’t have them or like them or add others like walnuts or flax seeds. This is the base we use though that disappears in just a couple of days. We love it with homemade almond milk, on a banana with nut butter, or with coconut yogurt. Store what you don’t use in a mason jar or give a jar to a friend.
Janel is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Board certified holistic nutritionist, herbalist, and yoga therapist. She works with people using food and lifestyle to help them function their best today and for decades to come. She believes in empowering people to understand their body and take charge of their health. Schedule a free 15 minute inquiry call today
Grab some tea and join me and my husband as we discuss a holistic and allopathic approach to the coronavirus.
As a Functional Medicine Nutritionist I put a lot of value on boosting the immune system from the ground up. I sat down with my hubby John, an ER doc, to discuss ways we can use holistic medicine to stay resilient and boost immune function and then what the medical system currently looks like if you do get the Coronavirus.
It is powerful when we can use the best of preventative medicine as well as western medicine, each at the right time and in the right way, together for awesome healthcare. I hope you enjoy this proactive, realistic, and down to earth approach.