Let’s Talk Poop

We need to talk about poop.

Did you know that your poop holds a lot of information about your health and how your body is functioning? It is an indicator of health in a lot of ways.

We are not taught enough about how important our poops are and we certainly don’t talk about it enough (unless you work with me of course;)).

Our poop quality, quantity, frequency, form, shape, smell, color and feel tall us a lot about our health. Our poops and the health of our colon relate to our mental health, our immune health, our energy, hormones (both sex hormones and thyroid hormones), and more.

Poop is one of the 3 most important places to focus on when dealing with any and all health issues or goals. Weather you are dealing with cancer, sleep problems, mental health issues, autoimmune problems, energy needs, body aches, skin issues, menopause, headaches, etc – your poop needs to be addressed.

Want to know what the other 2 areas to address are no matter what your health issues or goals are? Poop, Sleep, and Blood Sugar. More on those to come.

For now, check out the Bristol Stool Chart here to help you begin to understand your poops. That’s right, every time you poop have a look. Record it even. Start noticing what impacts it. We are shooting for type 4.



So what are we looking for exactly?

  • Frequency
  • Color
  • Form
  • If there are any undigested food particles in it
  • How easy is it to wipe? Is it greasy? Sticky?
  • Does it feel like you fully evacuated it all?
  • How does it smell?

We want to poop every day, have it come out easily, with form, no undigested food particles, it should break off pretty easily, wipe easily, and feel like you got everything out. It should feel good and not take much time at all.

If you are NOT having these poops regularly, it is time to get curious and see what your body is telling you.


Here are a few things your poop might be telling you (this is not meant to treat or diagnose or substitute one on one medical care but instead is meant to educate. Consult your physician with any medical questions or concerns)- 

Color- Bilirubin is made from the breakdown of red blood cells and flows with bile, from the liver, to the gallbladder, and into the small intestine to be eliminated with your poop.  It is what colors your poop brown! If your poop is cream colored it might mean you have a liver/gallbladder issue.  Yellow poop might mean you have absorption problems.  Green is usually okay and often happens when people introduce a greens powder.  Black might mean you have blood up high in your small intestine while red might mean you have bleeding lower down in your large intestine.  Sometimes supplements color our poop too. 


Texture–  Consult your bristol stool chart.  We are aiming for soft  poop but with a solid form, might even be C shaped.  If it is rock or pebble shaped you are probably constipated and need to work on softening it up with liquids and fiber.  If your poop does not have a shape you have diarrhea and might need to investigate inflammation, poor digestion, food sensitivities, fake sugar consumption (or sugar alcohols), or more.  If your poop is fluffy, with small soft pieces you may have a hard time digesting fats.


Smell– Does your poop smell? The bacteria in our large intestine and what we feed it creates and changes the way our poop smells. 


Float– This might mean there is gas trapped in your poop.  Are you gassy too?  You might need support with digestive enzymes or rebalancing your gut microbiome. 


Food-  If there is undigested food in your stool it might mean that you need to chew more, need more digestive enzymes, or more stomach acid. Start by chewing more and breathing before you eat. Seriously! It’s magic.  I love using digestive bitters as well as a gentle way to boost digestive juices. No matter what you are eating if you are not digesting at and absorbing it you cannot use those nutrients as precursors to your other body systems.


Oily, or messy wiping, or sticking together (not a clean break)- This might mean you are having a hard time digesting fats.  Some people need to consider some liver/gall bladder support, bitters, enzymes, or ox bile.  Do you have your gallbladder? Track when this happens and what you might be eating that relates.


Transit Time and Frequency- How often are you pooping? This is really important. We want to poop 1-2 times a day every single day. After our liver detoxes substances such as hormones, toxins, etc they are sent out with our bile to our poop. We want them leaving our body in a timely manner. If you are not pooping 1-2 times and have slow moving bowels you might want to look into how your thyroid is functioning, food sensitivities, your microbiome diversity, and your water intake. If you are rushing to the bathroom in an emergency and having watery poops that is also something to get curious around. Do you have anxiety? Food sensitivities? Maybe lacking proper digestive juices? Get curious and track what you are eating and when you are pooping.


You can download my FOOD/MOOD/POOP form to help you start tracking your body and connecting some dots

So start being curious about your poop. Our gut health and our microbiome influence all of our body systems including our mental health, immune health, hormone health, how we age, and more. Perfecting your poops might be your ticket to feeling your best!

You can check out a talk I gave a few years ago about digestion here


Janel Ferrin Anderson FNLP, DNM, NC

Janel is a board certified nutritionist, a functional nutrition and lifestyle practitioner, and has a doctorate in natural medicine. Janel helps people understand their body and supports them by using food and lifestyle to optimize health.



Happy New Year and Happy Resilience in 2022

Who out there doesn’t want to be more resilient? I know I do. There is a lot we have control over and a lot we don’t have control over. Building resilience is one of the greatest things we can do for our health so we are better prepared for whatever is thrown at us.I would love to quickly share 5 of my favorite health promoting things with you as we move into the new year. And as always I would love to hear what your favorite new tools are for finding balanced health and RESILIENCE.


Number one

Simple Self Care- The more I learn about health and science the more I come back to how important the small boring daily habits are for longerm health (not the shiny expensive new tricks and hacks). These everyday self care things fill up our health account so we can draw on it later and put us in touch with our body/emotions/needs. Try focusing on simple self care this year instead of a fancy new year’s resolution. I really love this idea. What fills you up? What small things can add to your daily life? Pick one to start and do it. Some ideas include

  • 3 minutes of mindful breathing every single morning. Inhale to the count of 4 and exhale to the count of 4. After, consider how you want to feel today and say no to anything you can that does not bring you closer to that feeling.
  • A glass of water, lemon water, or apple cider vinegar water upon waking up every single day.
  • Take a walk everyday at lunch every day, even just 10 minutes.
  • Take 1 minute before you eat to stop, breath, smell, see, and be grateful for your food. Then eat slowly and chew mindfully.
  • A daily 10 minute stretching routine.
  • Spend 2 minutes every night before bed considering what you were grateful for in your day, even the hardest ones
  • Prioritize sleep. Seriously. Every night try for 7-8 of rejuvenating sleep. If you are not getting it find support. Start by setting a non negotiable bed time. For me its 9-10pm.

Which ones do you do or sound like something you could add? I would love to hear. I would love to hear how you feel after a month or 2 or 12 of doing these small things. You can find me on instagram or send an email.


Number two

Cheers! or not….. I love that so many people take January as a time to refrain from drinking. What a great ritual. I did this last year and really saw some big changes especially with my night sweats! I can’t believe I used to have them (they have disappeared due to several hormone balancing efforts but this had a big impact). Two of my favorite cocktail replacements are having fresh ginger, soda water, and stevia or a glass of soda water with natural bitters (Herb Pharm makes some great ones that I spray right in). Both are so simple and so yummy.

Later last year I found Dry Farm Wines and am thrilled to find out that I can have a glass of wine every now again and don’t have headaches or wake up in the night. It had been a long time since I enjoyed red wine and I am so happy to be able to do this every once in a while now. The trick is Dry Farm Wines only supplies wines that have no sugar, are all organic, have lower alcohol, no toxic additives, no sulfites, use wild native yeasts, and are paleo and keto friendly. Crazy awesome. I am so happy to have found them for an occasional glass of wine. They offer 100% money back if you don’t like it AND you can get a free bottle of wine with your first order if you use this link (dryfarmwines.com/MountainRebalance).So an alcohol-free or headache/sugar/toxin-free cheers to you


Number three

It is official, I have found my favorite gluten test. Vibrant Wellness offers an extremely intelligent, specific and detailed test in regards to gluten with about 40 markers involved. This includes separate proteins, peptides, non gluten components, gut permeability, inflammation, genetics and more. It has been a game changer for really understanding if/how gluten is impacting each individual’s body. Their prices go up in 2 weeks so if you are interested in finding out what is true for you give a shout. They offer other similar, incredibly intelligent testing for other foods like eggs, dairy, grains, gut health, neuro etc.


Number four

Using a continuous blood sugar monitor has been one of my favorite new ways to tap into my body and connect some dots. It has been an incredible way to see how I am reacting to different foods, intermittent fasting, how I react to drinking alcohol, stress, exercise, coffee, what might be waking me up at night and tapping into how it feels when I have low blood sugar (sleepy and anxious for me!). Because dis-regulated blood sugar, along with dis-regulated stress, are 2 things that disrupt hormone balance this is a powerful way to optimize hormones through perimenopause and menopause (plus with estrogen changes our blood sugar sensitivity changes too!!). I did it for 4 weeks and will periodically check in again during the year, if needed. Since I do not have diabetes it was not something my doctor was interested in and I paid with cash for the sensor which was $65. As a nutritionist and hormone specialist I can attest that it is incredible and empowering information if done alongside someone who can help interpret the information in a relevant way.


Number 5

Being someone who understands the world through systems I have always loved thinking into and digging deep into the intricacies of the Immune system and how our world impacts how it functions. Obviously, in our current state of affairs, this has only been magnified. I think I will write a love note this year for valentines day to the efforts of the immune system (did you read my love letter to my gut a few years back? Dorky fun there). There are a lot of wild claims out there about immune health. I have been continuously digging into the research and the physiology of it and have been careful not to make any big shiny claims. I will always be careful to assess the science without any other motivation. A few food/lifestyle things I am standing by is the importance of gut health (including digestive function and microbiome integrity) when it comes to supporting the immune system functioning optimally. I am standing by the importance of reducing chronic inflammation in the body to support the immune system functioning optimally. These both look different for everyone and some people need to do more work and digging to find what might be driving imbalances. I am standing behind eating foods that are loaded with nutrients that our immune system needs (think nuts, seeds, diverse colorful veggies, fruits, healthy fats, clean proteins). In times that a boost of immune nutrients is needed I am a fan of increasing those specific and researched nutrients for our family with supplements. This winter, in particular, we are including zinc, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, fish oil, probiotics, and bee propolis. You can check out some of my favorites here.


Wishing you all a year of resilience and love. Wildly, Janel

Please follow Mountain Rebalance on Instagram for recipes, research, hormone tidbits, digestion facts, endurance boosters, and other fun health related topics. I always appreciate referrals! Tell you family and friends about my offerings if you think they would benefit


Janel Ferrin Anderson FNLP DNM NC

Janel is passionate about helping people learn about their body and supporting them to use food, lifestyle, and nutrients to help their body function optimally.



Meaningful And Unconventional Holiday Gifts To Give Yourself And Loved Ones This Season. Leaning Into The Season

I love celebrating the season and the idea of giving but the pressure and hype of the winter holiday just doesn’t feel right to me.

So how can we take the good intention of giving, make it health promoting, slow things down, sprinkle on some cozy, and minimize the pressure?

First of all, feel free to make the holiday what you want it to be. What brings you joy? Do more of that. What brings you stress? Do less of that. You get to decide what you want your holiday to feel like.

Here are 14 unconventional but health promoting gifts that you can give yourself and others this holiday season to slow things down and bring back the warm and tender feelings of the winter holiday season.

  1. Quiet. This is number one because I think it is the most important and wonderful gift you can give yourself this holiday. I know there is not a lot of extra time in the day, I am realistic with 4 kids and two working parents. But even just 4 minutes in the morning or anytime can be magic. Pick a time of day. Light a candle, take a bath, take 5 rounds of breath or do a body scan. Whatever way you choose, choose to add some moments of quiet in your day this holiday starting today. Do you hear that? Me neither. Ahhhhhh.
  2. Tea. I really believe in the healing qualities of tea physically, emotionally and spiritually. Tea can bring so much to your life. Share a pot of tea with your family or friends or enjoy a cup by the fire by yourself. The nutrients in tea are wonderfully bioavailable or easy to absorb, and tea can bring ease and calm to a crazy day. Some favorites of mine to help relax include lemon balm, catnip, nettles, chamomile and motherwort.
  3. Dark. Bring it in. The pace of the holiday can be loud, bright, and busy. I invite you to welcome in the dark where you can. The winter is meant to be darker and a time of turning more inward and restoring. Truth is we need dark to help our circadian rhythm which is responsible for so much including metabolism and sleep. Try leaning into the dark by using more candles this time of year, keep the mornings a bit darker and the evenings darker too. Try keeping off the overhead lights a bit and see how that feels. If you need to be on electronics at night get a blue light filter for your computer or glasses to block out the blue light. The Circadian Code by Satchin Panda is a great read about how important our circadian rhythm is.
  4. Processing our stress is so important for overall health. This holiday explore a new way to process stress better. Try guided imagery, or meditation, or a body scan, tapping, or breath practice. There are classes, books, and apps to help. I love the simplicity of the Calm app, or the wonderful options at Sounds True but there are thousands of good ones out there including lovely community groups that meet regularly. Don’t overthink it, just try something.
  5. Get outside. Take a walk outside every single day this month. Yes, that is a gift to yourself. Even just 10 minutes is good. Listen to the sounds, notice the trees, the birds, the air, the sun, the smell, the ground underfoot. Or, if you want to connect with a friend ask them to meet you for walk but only if it brings you joy and peace. However you do it, alone or with a loved one, bundle up and get out there.
  6. Learn a new hobby. This can be so fun so think outside of the box. Maybe it is wood work, pottery, painting, parkour, dance, guitar, a new language, tai chi, etc. What have you always wanted to learn? Sign up! Buy yourself or loved ones some classes this holiday.
  7. Bring some art into your life. Maybe you can check out a new art exhibit with a friend, or a concert, or visit local art studios, or get tickets to the theatre, or get a good coffee table book of pictures of people around the world, or pick up some colored pencils and paper and color or draw or paint.
  8. Spend some time cooking this holiday. Either learn a new recipe, ask your friends or children to cook with you, or prepare some healing foods for yourself or loved ones. Ideas include sauerkraut, granola, juices, broths, elixirs, soups, energy balls, or sprouts. These foods make wonderful gifts too. Drop a juice off at a friends or package up some granola. Want support? Get yourself or a loved one a lifelong membership to the Healing Foods Club. Loads of videos, recipes, nutrient info and more. Check it out and use coupon HOLIDAYBLISS for 25% off this December.
  9. Consider a charity to donate to and donate whatever you can, big or small. I like to think in terms of one local charity, one national charity and one international charity. What matters to you? Find a charity that makes a difference in that area and go for it. Ideas include women’s health, environmental issues, children, local shelters, protecting the wilderness, refugees.
  10. Explore your gut. If you have a bit more money to spend this holiday on yourself it might be fun to do a functional test to see what the condition of your gut is like. Since our current and longterm health is rooted in our gut it is fun to see what microbes are there, how they might be impacting our hormones, how we are digesting food, the integrity of our gut wall, if we have gut inflammation, etc.
  11. Clean products. The holiday is a great time to get yourself or loved ones some clean lotions or oils or soaps or scrubs, etc. The Environmental Working Group is a fabulous resource to find the cleanest products that will also support healthy hormone balance and cellular health in your body.
  12. Journal. Again, it often seems like we don’t have time to journal but it can be an incredibly helpful and rewarding ritual to journal each day. You don’t need to overthink it. Just sit down for 5 minutes and write whatever comes to your mind. Cozy up by the fire if you can or just at the kitchen table works too. The more you do it the easier it will become. The first step is getting yourself a journal. Wrap it up for yourself or just jump right in. The winter months bring a quieter and more reflective energy than the summer months. The winter is the perfect time to start or reignite your journaling practice.
  13. Be playful. So often as adults the holiday brings us stress and we forget to play. Play board games with loved ones, have snowball fights, go ice skating, make your own wreath, go sledding, make a snowman, have a bonfire outside and invite friends over to roast marshmallows, dress up and ski with your friends, etc. Whatever play looks like to you. Bring in some lighthearted joy this holiday.
  14. Sleep. Sleep is critical for our health and is often under valued during the busy holiday. Gift yourself a bedtime this year and stick to it. Create a lovely ritual around your sleep. Add a relaxing bath of lavender and sea salts before bed or start a worry journey to release any worries from the day before you go to bed. Make sure your room is cool and dark to get the best sleep and leave your phone far away from your bed, better yet in another room. If you want a great book on sleep check out Why We Sleep by Mathew Walker.

Happy holidays. I hope you enjoy some quiet, dark, cozy, and meaningful times this holiday with your loved ones. Spend some time thinking about how you want this holiday to feel. Set an intention. I would love to hear how you do this. Please share with us here or on instagram at @mountainrebalance

XO Janel

Janel Ferrin Anderson. NC FNLP DNM. Lover of the mountains, the seasons, all things wild, and also helping people understand the physiology of their body and how food and lifestyle impact their health. Janel works one on one and in group settings both online and in person out of her Tahoe/Truckee office to help people optimize how their bodies function.



healing foods club
Women’s Hormone Club

The Best Gift You Can Give Your Kids? Teach Them To Cook

One of the most powerful ways to live a healthy and long life is to cook whole, real foods at home. It also happens to be delicious and low cost to boot. The sad thing, most of our kids are not learning to do this.

I am not going to lie and say it happens overnight nor is it a clean process, wink wink, but that day you come home from work to a hot and nourishing meal waiting for you will not disappoint, I promise.

There were some tears shed the first time I came home from work and carpools to my daughters home cooked meal waiting for me. Those tears in the moment were all about how much joy it brought me but really the magic is in knowing that she knows what makes a nutritious meal, knows how to make a grocery list, shop, and cook. The clean up? Well, when the kids cook at our house that usually falls on the rest of us. We certainly aren’t perfect.

Kids can start cooking as soon as they can stand and stir, gaining more independence as they get experience. By 3rd or 4th grade they can definitely start to get what makes a nutritious meal or snack (see below). In my experience, by middle school they can be planning meals, shopping, and cooking meals on their own. But moving slowly is important, and keeping it joyful. Whatever age they start is better than not starting. Jump in.

The first trick is teaching them what makes a healthy meal. This comes from day after day and year after year modeling with your own meals and asking them 1. What are you eating for protein? 2. What colorful veggies and fruit are you eating? and 3. What healthy fat have you included? The rest is just extras after these 3 parts. They will pick up on this and this is a gift upon itself to instill on them.

Another part involves giving them experience in the kitchen. There are times this has looked like world war 3 came through but it is worth it. First helping you with cooking/preparing dishes regularly. Then, letting them have at it. Let them start small, cooking or baking what they want but having the space and encouragement to keep at it, flop after flop, success after success, no matter. There can be a lot of joy here and also lessons about flexibility and having a plan B. Let them use the knives, the oven, the blender, whatever. You can be there guiding and supporting at the beginning.

Then there is making the grocery list and planning the meals. Let them help you pick meals for the week. Write them down and have them write out the grocery list as you dictate it at first, or have them make a list for the thing they are cooking. Showing them how to organize a grocery list into one column of pantry goods, one column of produce, and one column of fridge/freezer foods, or however you do it. Regardless, have them helping to write a list.

Another element is getting them comfortable at the market. Bring them along and have them pick things out, have their own list, push the cart, pick out produce, etc. Teach them to pay, bag, load the car, unload the bags and put them away. You can just make this normal.

Last but certainly not least is sitting around the table and enjoying the food. We are not going for perfect here. Whatever part of the meal they contribute is great. Show them gratitude for their efforts. Talk about what they enjoyed, what was hard, what they learned. And above all, eat up!

We have our kids pick a meal once a month, make the list, shop, and cook. At first there is a lot of hand holding and that is all good. Keep the kitchen joyful and playful. Flops and drops are okay. Then over time let the have more freedom and space to work on their own. Having 4 kids, this happened at different pace for each one. Some jumped right in and others need more support (emotionally and motivationally, 🥴). But it will happen and I truly believe it is the greatest gift we can them.

I grew up with the kitchen as the heartbeat of our house, as my mom says. We were always in there. We were never a sit-on-the-couch family but instead a stand or sit around the kitchen and someone was always cooking or baking something. It was fun, it was perhaps loud, but learning to touch, cook, and enjoy food was a central theme and seeped into our bones.

Today with phones and gaming, sports, binge watching- spending time together in the kitchen together offers a unique pace that can bring deep connection and joy. And lets not forget, health.

Below are my kids go to meals. We are currently compiling a packet for the Healing Foods Club with my kids favorite recipes to cook for dinner along with a kid friendly guide to how to build a meal. Check out the Healing Foods Club if you are interested in using your kitchen as a source of lifelong health.

Happy holidays, xo, Janel

Scarlett (middle school), her favorite meal to cook is herb baked chicken with onions and lemon, a greek salad with olives and cucumbers, and lemon garlic potatoes.

Levi (highschool), his favorite dinners to cook are pad thai and Japanese ramen bowls. We are working on filling in the veggies in these but they are scrumptious.

Gretal (4th grade) is more of a gourmet baker right now and helps me with side dishes for dinner. Her favorite thing to make is a gluten free strawberry cake roll (pictured and taken by her). It is currently my favorite dessert!! She is also mastering gluten free tiramisu. Yum. She also loves taking photos of the food and drinks she makes. I will find dozens of them on my phone😍

Clay (4th grade) is probably our least interested and least patient in the kitchen kiddo but he is working on it and can make a beautiful salad. He wants to master double stuffed potatoes. We are learning that if he can find a dish from a book he has read he is more interested. What do the Hobbits eat anyway?

Janel Ferrin Anderson FNLP, NC, DNM

Janel is a Functional Nutritionist,  a board certified holistic nutritionist, and a science based wellness educator out of Tahoe CA.   Janel is obsessed with helping people understand how their unique  body works and how nutrition and lifestyle impact their health.   Janel specializes in gut health,  hormone health and works with people who want to optimize how their body functions.  Janel explores what might be driving signs and symptoms instead of just covering them up.  She teaches several groups each year and also works one on one with clients.  When not working, Janel can usually be found cooking, reading, or playing hard outside and enjoying the pace of the wild. 


http://mountainrebalance.com/?p=3105

Healing Foods Club

Get all the information you need to prepare and use ‘Food as Medicine’ and enjoy your kitchen in magnificent and health promoting new ways. This is for anyone looking to find joy in their kitchen as they cook for health and dig deeper into nutrients, frameworks, superfoods, and “food as medicine”.

This is a one stop shop loaded with support to empower you to use food, drinks, and herbs for health and enjoyment. It goes from simple daily salads and roasted veggies to week long anti-inflammatory meal plans, to healing elixirs, videos and recipes on making fermented sauerkraut, broths, sprouts, and so much more.

The Healing Foods Club is simple to use and will meet you where you are. It includes –

  1. RECIPE BOOKS INCLUDING ONES FOR SPECIFIC HEALTH GOALS
  2. PRINTABLE TOOLS TO HELP MAKE USING FOOD AS MEDICINE EASY
  3. NUTRIENT AND INGREDIENT INFORMATION
  4. VIDEOS ON HOW TO MAKE SOME OF THE MOST HEALING FOODS

Recipe Books

  • Get dozens of beautiful recipe books loaded with clean recipes and information around specific themes and health issues
  • Themes include clean recipes and nutrients to support healing after surgery, to support cardio health, a paleo plan, immune health, hormone balance, pescatarian recipes, 7 day anti-inflammatory elimination menu and recipes, snacks, breakfasts, seasonal guides, gut healing gaps recipes, mocktails, sauces, seasonal elixirs (my favorite), athletic fuel, low sugar anti-candida and keto treat recipes, and more.

Printables

  • Get a file of easy to print-out guides to support ease and health in your kitchen. This is one of my favorite things about the healing foods club.
  • These tangible tools include Building a Plate, Rainbow Foods Checklist, Packing Kids Lunches, a Smoothie Guide, a meal plan organizer, Nutrient Dense Foods to Focus On, an Eating For Health Grocery List, tricks for making things easier in the kitchen, and more

Nutrient Information

  • Loads of valuable information about using food as medicine and being empowered around ingredients and nutrients.
  • Get access to information on nutrients such as Zinc, B vitamins, learn about healthy fats, alternative sweeteners, where troublesome ingredients might be hiding, gluten facts, how much protein you might need for your unique body, foods for anxiety, foods high in essential nutrients, my favorite superfoods and how to use them (another favorite), guidelines on specific therapeutic diets, helping empower your kids to make healthy choices, favorite herbs, and more

Short Instructional Videos and Demos

  • These short and simple videos demonstrate tips and techniques while walking you through how to prepare the most important healing foods around
  • I am adding to these regularly!! Try one a month with me. Videos include how to grow sprouts, make nut milks, juice in a blender, brew herbal teas, make bone broth, veggie broths, sourdough, fire cider, yogurt, microbiome supports, elderberry syrup, how to roast veggies, and more

Support in organizing and preparing your kitchen and cooking tools

  • Learn what my favorite kitchen supplies are for using food as medicine. Organize your kitchen with me!! Pictures, descriptions, etc

This is all done on your own time at your own pace and you can come back to this for years. With more being added over the year you will always have more to try. Plus, it is all in one easy place to find!

Optional Facebook Group coming soon to stay connected with others in this community and share ideas, successes, recipes, techniques, and look for inspiration and support.

Gain instant access to The Healing Foods Club now for just $125

or

The Healing Foods Club is free with the 10-week Foundations Of Health Program

Women in the Women’s Hormone Group can get The Healing Foods Club for 50% off. Ask me for your coupon

25% off During the month of DECEMBER!!! Use coupon code HOLIDAYBLISS at checkout

Whichever way you get it, it is yours for the long haul and I am regularly adding to it. You don’t want to miss this one stop shop!

Here are a few of the hundreds of recipes to try in the recipe section-


Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP DNM

Janel is obsessed with helping people understand how food and lifestyle impact the physiology of their body. Janel is a science nerd with a passion for good food, leaning into the seasons, and playing hard in the wild. Join her in using Food as Medicine, for the body and the soul. Janel is a board certified nutritionist, a certified functional nutrition practitioner, she has her doctorate in natural medicine and is a certified family herbalist and ayurvedic yoga therapist.

Leaning into all the goodness of autumn– Don’t miss this blog with recipes, traditions, women, and more


Get inspiration for making the winter holidays feel peaceful and joyful. Check out this blog about 14 unconventional gift ideas that are meaningful and health promoting.


Foundations of Health– More info here
Women’s Hormone Club- More info here

Autumn Love – Food, Energy, Ritual, Women, Treats, And The Kitchen

I have always loved the crisp air, warm spices, comforting foods, grounding energy, and the return to routine that autumn brings.

As I sit here at my computer I can almost hear the crunch and smell the earthy leaves of fall. The days are slowly getting shorter but the sun still shines brightly and lasts just long enough for sport practices and a short walk after work. It is the season of harvest, preparing for the winter, and even some lunchtime trail rides with the kids back at school. Tapping in to the energy of the season is a wonderful and important way to connect to the rhythm that we have evolved for thousands of years to be in synch with and fall is one of my favorite times to do this.

In the autumn I am immediately drawn to my kitchen as it feels grounding after the endless light and go of summer. The slightly cooler and darker evenings quietly beckon me back in. I now crave this return to the kitchen. Fall foods are comforting, warming and cozy. We brew up warm soups and stews that cook for hours and fill the kitchen with mouth watering smells all afternoon. These longer cooked dishes are wonderful for gut health as they are easier to break down and give the gut a bit of a rest. Plus, we use quite a bit of bone broth as a base which has healing gelatin, collagen and minerals. In different ancient healing practices around the world this grounding in the fall is important to balance the dry, windy, and transitional energy of the fall. With the right lifestyle and eating changes we can feel nourished by the fall instead of depleted. I find this to be true for me and am happy to bring my energy down into my roots this time of year and ground into the season.


Apples

I love when I get to pick my own apples but regardless we try to see how many different varieties of apples we can taste and cook with each fall. Stewed apples with cinnamon are one of my favorite gut healing treasures in the fall. The fiber in apples feed our good bacteria in the gut and they produce metabolites that heal our gut wall, talk to our immune system (which is really important in the fall), and even talk to our brain. We eat these stewed apples many mornings and in the afternoon with a sprinkle of chia seeds and hemp seeds and even some mct oil for a good fat. Apples rank at the top of foods with phenolic antioxidants making them high in antioxidants and especially cancer fighting quercetin. My 10 year old Clay loves to bake spicy apple crisp and even makes it gluten free for me to enjoy. Gretal loves baked apples with cinnamon, coconut sugar, and walnuts. I love making spiced gluten free apple cake and John’s heart lies with an almond and cranberry apple pie. But really, is there anything easier and more delicious than sliced apples with cinnamon?


Stirring My Brew (aka spicy chai)

There is not much more that says fall in our family than a brewing pot of chai on the stove. It lures people out of their rooms and into the kitchen to comment year after year “ah, it smells like fall”. The spices of chai are warming to the body and the soul. Cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, cloves, and pepper. All full of healing nutrients to boot (see below). We brew these spices for an hour and then add black tea for a few minutes and strain. After we pour this into anxiously awaiting mugs we add honey and a splash of milk of choice (some like coconut, some cashew, and others full fat cows milk) and savor each cozy and warming sip.


Fall Ritual- Prepping for winter

There are years I am better at preserving foods than others. Sometimes I jar tomatoes or chop and freeze squash, green beens, berries, etc but what I am most consistent with is prepping my fall and winter supply of Fire Cider. I love this ritual. People have been enjoying the immune support and digestive support of fire cider for decades. I love this kind of preserving because there are no rigid rules or formulas. Once you do it a few times you can change it up, add different ingredients or change up the quantities to your liking. My favorite recipes are part of the Healing Foods Club . Making Fire Cider is affordable and rewarding. I take a shot of this fire cider in warm water every morning as part of my morning fall/winter ritual to support my gut, my immune system, and my morning energy.


Letting Go

The fall reminds us that it is okay to let go of what does not serve us or what has transitioned on. As I watch the beautiful golden and red leaves fall to the earth I am reminded to let go. Just when the world is so supremely beautiful, with the snow on the mountains and the bright leaves on the aspens, it is time to let go. All things have their time. Their seeding, their growing, their burning bright, their clinging, their letting go, their becoming one with the earth, and then the seed again. Our crazy world today allows us to think we can have it all all the time but leaning into the seasons reminds us of the importance of the cycle and also gives us a chance to slow down, release, enjoy what is right in front of us. I use my breath, specifically my exhale, as much as I can to release what is not serving me, even if I want to cling to it forever. I use my inhale to feel gratitude for all that I have and love. It is a practice every day as I am far from perfect at this.


The Female Cycle and The Seasons

I love teaching the Women’s Hormone Club and one of my favorite parts is when we go into the different energies of the female cycle. When we tap into the different hormones that are present during each phase of our monthly cycle we often notice that there is a time of the month that we feel more driven, a time we feel more social, a time we feel more introspective, a time we feel like planning, and a time we feel quieter. When we put that cycle over the time frame of the year there is a similar pattern for the seasons of the year. The fall is the time associated with the luteal phase in a woman’s cycle. The time after ovulation when progesterone rises, bringing with it a feeling of calm and going inside oneself a bit more, a coziness, and preparing for what is to come.


Trick or Treats

As a nutritionist some of the candy and food coloring that comes along with Halloween drives me nuts. I have learned that having some treats around the house this time of year that I feel better about curbs the craving to get ravenous around some of the scarier options out there. Some of our favorites are making chocolate mint, chocolate peanut butter, and lemon coconut cups. Another favorite is gluten free pumpkin squares with cream cheese frosting (I also love these as muffins without frosting). These are delicious and remind me of growing up! Another thing I try to do is load the kids and adults up on plenty of protein rich foods before they snack on treats so they do not eat candy when they are hungry. Do you have a trick to keep a happy or balanced relationship with the treats of halloween?

chocolate mint cups RECIPE

RECIPE FOR GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN SQUARES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Fall Foods and Spices

Foods that are in season in the fall include- pumpkins, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, chard, apples, broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, mushrooms, cabbage, fall squash, grapes, pomegranate and more. Download my cozy fall recipe book loaded with clean recipes here and share what fall foods you love to cook in your kitchen. Check out my blog and Instagram for more seasonal recipes too. My seasonal elixir guide is part of the Healing Foods Club. Classic fall spices incude-

  • Ginger – is a wonderful spice for digestion, it reduces nausea, is anti-inflammatory, and has anti-microbial properties
  • Cardamom -may help to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and protect against cancer
  • Cinnamon – may help with blood sugar balance and downstream hormone balance
  • Cloves – may also help regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation, protect against cancer, and support the liver health


Harvest

I grew up celebrating harvest on the farm and now have a small backyard garden to work and enjoy. I love taking the time to harvest what we have put energy and intention into. This is true for harvesting food but also harvesting ideas, plans, emotions, relationships, work, etc. In the spring we consider what seeds we want to plant, how we will feed and water them, and then in the fall I try to reflect on how things have been going and celebrate the work I have done. This has become a wonderful ritual in the fall for me. I consider how my heart feels, how my body feels, and how my brain feels this time of year and celebrate all that has grown and honor what I have learned so far in the year.


Fall Play


All of this and we haven’t even talked about Thanksgiving yet! I suppose that is for another time. 

Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP

Lover of the mountains, the seasons, all things wild, and also helping people understand the physiology of their body and how food and lifestyle impact their health.

Sing up for the Healing Foods Club here.
More information is here
This is included with Foundations of Health

Stewed Apples For Your Gut And Your Immune System

I wish there was a recipe that was delicious, that warmed my heart and soul, was easy to make, supported my gut health, and benefited my immune system.

Oh wait, there is, and it is the perfect time of year for it. Stewed apples!

Here is the cool thing, the “good” microbes in your gut eat the fibers from apples and produce short chain fatty acids. These short chain fatty acids are signaling molecules, they talk to other cells in our body and tell them what to do. These short chain fatty acids are critical in maintaining our gut integrity while also talking directly to our immune system. They actually turn off and on immune cells. With around 80% of our immune system in our gut these microbial metabolites have a huge impact on how our immune system functions.

So we need to both seed plenty of good, diverse and health promoting bacteria in our gut and we need to feed those bacteria specific foods so they can do their work. This is a key part of health for all humans at all phases of life and one that impacts almost every part of the body.

Fall foods tend to be cooked longer, and include soups and stews. These foods are often more gentle on the digestive tract as they are easier to break down. People with digestive issues often benefit from from cooking their foods a bit before they eat. Some of the most therapeutic diets for gut health include only cooked and soupy foods while the gut heals.

Check out my impromptu youtube video about why I love stewed apples for gut and immune health below.

I get to work with a lot of people that have gut issues, hormone issues, problems with energy, headaches, anxiety, sleep, etc. Doing deep work to improve the integrity of the gut and the diversity of healthy bacteria can impact all of these areas as the microbiome again, impacts so many if not all body systems.

How can you impact this?

One easy way to do this is to eating foods with specific fibers that support healthy bacteria in the gut! Stewed apples, homemade hummus, and my morning psyllium/flax drink are powerful ways to do this. But eating more quantity of and more diverse fiber from any fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, or legumes is great too. You know, the rainbow.

Eat up! Janel


See references below

Download my printable recipe for stewed apples here

Watch my instructional video about how to make stewed apples (from The Healing Foods Club and Foundations of Health)



Recipe For Delicious and Easy Stewed Apples-

Ingredients

  • 6 Apples (sweet variety so you don’t need sweetener, organic )
  • 1/2 cupWater
  • 1/2 cupOrganic Raisins (optional addition for sweetness and fiber)
  • 2 1/2 tsps Cinnamon
  • Optional-
  • 1 tbsp Ground Flax Seed
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seeds ((or hemp seeds, sunflower, pumpkin, walnuts, etc))
  • 1 tbsp Mct Oil

Directions

  1. Peel, core, and slice apples
  2. Place all ingredients in saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, give or take.
  3. Cook until soft
  4. Smash or crush the apples together with cinnamon and raisins if adding.
  5. Scoop desired amount into bowl. Eat warm or chill in fridge and enjoy cold.
  6. Optional- Add MCT oil and mix up. Sprinkle ground flax and ground chia or other boosters on top. ENJOY (your gut will too)
Clay on apple duty, he is making a crisp here with the sour apples. We use sweet apples for stewed apples

Research and References

  1. Gonçalves P, Araújo JR, Di Santo JP. A Cross-Talk Between Microbiota-Derived Short-Chain Fatty Acids and the Host Mucosal Immune System Regulates Intestinal Homeostasis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2018 Feb 15;24(3):558-572. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izx029. PMID: 29462379.
  2. Morrison DJ, Preston T. Formation of short chain fatty acids by the gut microbiota and their impact on human metabolism. Gut Microbes. 2016;7(3):189-200. doi:10.1080/19490976.2015.1134082
  3. Davani-Davari D, Negahdaripour M, Karimzadeh I, et al. Prebiotics: Definition, Types, Sources, Mechanisms, and Clinical Applications. Foods. 2019;8(3):92. Published 2019 Mar 9. doi:10.3390/foods8030092
  4. Great podcast interviewing microbiome research and gut expert Kiran Krishnan on immune health and the gut

Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP

Hello! I am a functional medicine nutritionist and helping people understand how food and lifestyle impact health and physiology is my jam. I work with people one on one and in group settings to optimize health. Learn more about me here


Healing Foods Club (included with Foundations of Health)

What’s up with GLUTEN?

There is no one-size-fits-all diet that is perfect for everyone. Depending on our gut integrity, the balance of our microbiome, our digestive resilience (how are digestive enzymes and secretions are working), our genetics, and our immune function, each of us is impacted by food differently.

Gluten is a hot topic these days and it can be confusing for even the most well informed human. I personally have started and stopped this post at least 100 times. But as a nutrition educator and functional nutritionist it is my goal to help people understand how their unique body interacts with food, without over reacting or with out missing something that might be causing problems.

The truth is there are several different ways gluten can impact people and we are learning more and more about it as new research and studies are done. It is still an evolving topic but certain things have become more clear. This is my attempt to sort it out in a clear way, with out going down too many rabbit holes.

Whenever things are confusing I enjoy taking things back to physiology, where the environment meets our unique body. Let’s look at a few different ways gluten can impact our physiology, depending on each person-


First off, what is gluten? Gluten is a protein naturally found in wheat, barley, spelt, semolina, wheatberries, and rye. It is in many processed foods as well including soy sauce, salad dressings, spices, canned soups, sauces, boullion and in many more sneaky places. Wheat is actually composed of 4 classes of proteins; albumins, globulins, gliadins, and gluten’s, which together are known as prolamins or gluten. We know of 62 peptides and other constituents that can trigger a response from wheat.

What are different ways people can negatively respond to gluten?

  1. An IgE response, or a wheat allergy. An allergy to wheat can be tested by a skin prick or blood test and has been tested and used since the mid 1900s in the medical world. An IgE reaction is an immune reaction that activates IgE antibodies against wheat. So when wheat is consumed, it is broken down in the digestive systems and absorbed into the bloodstream in the small intestine. From there, in people with an allergy to wheat, the immune system sees it and produces IgE antibodies that attack it and cause a reaction in the body. Back when allergies were discovered medically, they only looked at IgE reactions, which is why today that is still what is referred to as a true allergy. IgE antibodies are only one of five different antibodies in the immune system (we also have IgA, IgM, IgG, and IgD antibodies).
  • Symptoms that might occur with a wheat allergy include stuffy nose, headache, itchy eyes, cramps, diarrhea, hives, swelling, or anaphylaxis.

2. Celiac Disease– Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease and gluten is the trigger. An autoimmune disease is where the immune system mistakenly attacks and damages healthy body tissues (3). In the case of celiac disease, the immune system attacks the villi in the small intestine, where we absorb our nutrients. In this case, it is the IgA antibodies, that are abundant in your gastrointestinal tract to protect you, that are activated and involved (remember? your immune system makes IgE, IgM, IgA, IgG and IgD antibodies to protect you). And, surprisingly, only about 10% of people with celiac disease have digestive symptoms (9 ). In order to get a medical diagnosis of celiac disease there has to be total atrophy (destruction) of the villi in the small intestine. However, this process takes many years of damage and by discovering the reaction early one can prevent the damage from occurring. There have been problems in properly diagnosing Celiac in the past, with many false negatives, but we now have a good way to detect the immune reaction before it is left to destroy healthy intestinal tissue. Labs such as Vibrant Wellness, Cyrex, and Doctors Data have a gluten test that look at various IgA reactions to many different proteins in wheat, including gluten, before it fully damages the small intestine.

  • Symptoms that may occur with celiac disease include anemia, fatigue, nausea, joint pain, skin rashes, brain fog, gas, bloating, thinning hair, abdominal pain, trouble absorbing nutrients, osteoporosis, and more

3. Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity- Non celiac gluten sensitivity can be tricky to diagnose and study as the biomarkers are not a perfect indicator, but they are getting better (6). This is also testing antibodies against various parts (peptides) of gluten and include IgA and IgG antibodies. The tests for celiac disease can give us an idea of gluten sensitivities also. According to brain expert Dr. David Perlmutter MD, non celiac gluten sensitivity is not only very real but very common (2). Clinically speaking, there are significant findings and clear impacts.

  • Symptoms of non celiac gluten sensitivity can vary from intestinal problems to systemic problems including neurological ones (brain fog, headaches, anxiety, attention problems, etc), dermatological (skin rashes, etc), hormonal problems (thyroid, blood sugar, etc), rheumatoid (joint and body pains), and more.

4. Wheat is difficult to digest for all humans (5). The protein gliadin specifically, is inflammatory and can cause damage to the digestive lining including direct irritation and inflammation that loosens the tight gap junctions leading to leaky gut, and all downstream problems associated with leaky gut or hyperpermeable membranes in all humans (5, 4). Leaky gut is one of the major triggers to any/all autoimmune diseases (11) and chronic inflammation. Research also suggests this leakiness is not just in the gut but can also creates a leaky blood/brain barrier (10) impacting mental health. Other digestive problems include: the lectins, also the enzyme inhibitors, the phytic acid, and the saponins that are found in grains that make them hard to digest. Another digestive problem with wheat is the hybridization of gluten, leading to new proteins that our bodies have a hard time recognizing and breaking down. The New ways in which the wheat is grown, harvested, processed, stored, and prepared all contribute to the problem. This interaction with the small intestine lining is what can also lead to the right condition for autoimmune disease to develop. These new proteins, according to expert Andrea Nakayama, also have similar amino acid sequences that resemble various tissues in the body which can even impact how our immune system reacts to our own body (cell mimicry).


5. Wheat is is often loaded with the chemical glyphosate which is inflammatory on its own and does great damage to the gut microbiome and in result many body systems including brain health and immune function (12).


6. FODMAPS– Gluten and FODMAPS are not directly related but there is a big crossover worth discussing quick. Fodmaps, or Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides And Polyols are short chain carbohydrates that can be fermented by bacteria in the intestines, causing gas, pain, diarrhea, etc. Gluten is not a fodmap but there are fodmaps in gluten containing foods. This is why when people travel to Europe, sometims gluten does not impact them. They are possibly responding the different FODMAPS in the gluten there, regardless if they are responding to wheat proteins or not. In this case it is a carb issue, aside from the potential wheat protein issue.


7. Opioid Effects – For some people, gluten can have an opioid effect on the brain (1). These people have enzymes in their gut that break gluten down into opioids that act like a heroin or morphine reaction (called exorphins or gluteomorphins) (10). These people have an extremely hard time breaking up with gluten and actually have withdrawal from gluten. These opioid substances can interfere with neurotransmitters in the brain as well, creating diverse downstream mood problems.



So, while the research is still emerging, it is clear that for many people, gluten can be the root cause of chronic inflammation (including all downstream problems), gut damage, mental health problems, skin issues, absorption problems, autoimmune problems, and other immune issues- even if you do not notice acute problem digestively with gluten. I have seen the strangest symptoms resolve after people go gluten free. For some it happens right away, for others it can take months or even years, depending.

If you are someone in perfect health- meaning you sleep well and wake rested, have great energy, poop everyday, nothing hurts, your skin is radiant, your immune system is in balance, you have mental clarity, have no genetic predisposition to autoimmune issues or degenerative diseases, are in good mental health, and with no seasonal allergies- then gluten might not be an issue for you at all. Eat on.

If you are curious if gluten might be impacting any health issues, I recommend you try a few weeks with out it and see how it feels when you bring it back in. Or alternatively, you might want to do a lab test while you are still consuming gluten to see how it might be impacting your body. But note, they are not all created the same (many just test for one component to poorly digested gluten most commonly alpha-gliadin or just an intestinal transglutaminase antibody). My two favorites tests are the Wheat Zoomer from Vibrant Wellness and The Cryex Gluten test. They both test many different parts of wheat, not just gluten (remember there are around 60 peptides in wheat that impact people and testing often only includes a few) and several different transglutaminases (antibodies). I have also used the Doctors Data Celiac and Gluten sensitivity test in the past and found it very insightful.

Many people have no idea they are sensitive to wheat or gluten until they remove it and their body has a chance to heal/repair or until they see their test results.

Depending on your unique reaction to gluten, some people need to be squeaky clean (as Dr. Tom O’Bryan says, you cannot be just a little bit pregnant if you are having an autoimmune reaction) while others can reduce the amount of gluten they are eating, or optimize the kind of gluten they are eating (like sourdough because of how the proteins are broken down in the fermentation process or ancient grains and ancient grains in their full form).

While there are many diets that are not meant for the long haul, and I am a big advocate of eating as wide a variety of whole foods as you can, avoiding gluten for the longterm is perfectly fine.

Do you know what is true for you and your relationship with gluten?


Thank you to my colleagues for reviewing and adding to this article- Angie Brown, Jennifer Burrows, Claire Sullivan, Jennifer Bruce, and Rose Khim

References

  1. Dr Kharrazian discusses various testing for gluten problems in this article.
  2. Dr. David Perlmutter article on gluten sensitivity
  3. Pubmed research article on celiac disease vs non celiac gluten sensitivity
  4. Listen here to an interview with expert Dr. Allesio Fasano about gluten research and leaky gut. Find more of his research on the resources page here
  5. Pubmed research article on how gluten impacts gut permeability for celiac and non celiac patients
  6. Nakayama, Andrea. Functional Nutrition Lab. Digestion Intensive 2018
  7. Bauman College. Therapeutic Nutrition. 2018
  8. Obryan, Dr. Tom. Facts About Gluten and The Gluten Summit
  9. www.aarda.org/news-information/statistics – American Autoimmune Related Disease Association
  10. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00130/full – Article- Bread and Other Edible Agents of Mental Disease
  11. Obran, Tom. Autoimmune Fix. Rodale Inc. New York, NY. 2016
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945755/. Article- Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance

Janel Ferrin Anderson is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist who is obsessed with understanding the science of how we, as unique individuals, interact with the food we eat and our lifestyle. She teaches group classes and works one on one with people to optimize health both remotely and out of her office in Truckee CA

Healing Foods Club is included in Foundations of Health

Amazing Zinc

I am such a sucker for nerdy nutrition jokes. This was a great one I learned from my Therapeutic supplement instructor Josh Digitalis about zinc and its importance for mental function and sexual function.

There are a lot of nutrients that are important but Zinc is definitely on the top of the list.

Zinc is necessary in over 300 enzymatic reactions all over the body! Why that matters? Enzymes make things happen in the body. Everything in fact. So even if you are slightly low in zinc there can be far reaching effects including skin problems, lowered immunity, reproductive challenges, slower wound healing, decreased vision, smell, taste, thinking power, and more.

Some Beneficial effects of optimal zinc

  • Immune Function
  • Wound Healing
  • Sensory Function
  • Sexual Function
  • Skin Health

Possible Symptoms of zinc deficiency

Skin changes, diarrhea, hair loss, mental disturbances, recurrent infections, poor wound healing, decreased sense of smell, decreased sense of taste, acne, eczema, psoriasis

Where do I get Zinc from?

Getting our nutrients from food sources is always the best place to start. Our body recognizes vitamins and minerals that naturally occur in foods and knows what to do with them. Eating some of these foods every day is best. Some of the foods highest in zinc include

  • Vegetable sources- Spinach, Asparagus, crimini and shiitake mushrooms, beet greens, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, swish chard, summer squash, Ginger, green beans
  • Nuts/seeds- Sesame Seeds, Pumpkins seeds, cashews, walnuts, Pecans
  • Legumes and grains- Garbanzo beans, Lentils, quinoa, oats, split peas, black beans
  • Animal protein- Beef, shrimp, turkey, lamb, oysters

Remember, it is important to make sure you are digesting and absorbing the foods you are eating as well as eating them. An easy place to start to boost digestion is to smell your food, eat while you are calm and relaxed, and chew until your food is liquid. Your body will thank you!

What if I need to supplement?

Supplementing is important for many people to get deficiencies to sufficiencies. There are several reasons people might need to supplement today including poor digestion/absorption, poor diet, lower nutrients in foods today, increased stress, if you are on the birth control pill, have an under functioning immune system, and more. In this case it is best to use a zinc that is chelated so they are absorbed easily in the gut. Zinc acetate, citrate, glycerate, and glycinate are more absorbable forms of zinc. Zinc sulfate is less absorbable and should be avoided for optimal assimilation. Zinc Carnosine is best for gastrointestinal support.

  • A standard maintenance dose of zinc is 15-20mg per day
  • A therapeutic dose of zinc depends on the person and their needs but is around 30-100 mg per day

One thing we love to do in our house when we feel a sore throat or cough coming on is to suck on a zinc lozenge a few times during the day. Of course a cup of warm peppermint tea, a hot ginger/lemon zinger, and bone broth are enjoyed too, but that is for another post:)

This post is NOT a substitute for medical care by your medical provider and is instead meant for educational purposes.

RECIPE- Ginger Candied Pecans

This is a delicious fall treat loaded with Zinc (From Taste of Home)! Enjoy

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 6 slices fresh ginger root (cut from a 1-1/2-inch piece)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (optional)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 pound pecan halves (about 3 cups)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a foil-lined 15x10x1-in. baking pan. In a small saucepan, combine the first seven ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 2-3 minutes or until syrupy, stirring occasionally. Strain and discard ginger slices.
  2. Place pecans in a large bowl; drizzle with syrup mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to prepared pan. Roast 20-25 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Blog References-

  • Bauman, Ed. Bauman Institute. Holistic Nutrition. 2018
  • Digitalis, Josh. Therapeutic Nutrition and Supplements in Practice. 2021

Hear what people say about working with Janel here

Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP

Janel is a board certified holistic nutritionist and certified functional medicine nutritionist. Janel helps people understand their body so they can use food, supplements, herbs and lifestyle to optimize their health. Learn more about Janel here. Janel works one on one with people but she loves group wellness (see below)!

Find out more infohttp://mountainrebalance.com/?p=2544
Sign up opening up OCTOBER 1st for January 2022 session

Fat Soluble Vitamins and You

We all know they are important but knowing why, how to get them, how to absorb them and where to find them make it much easier (and fun).

First off, the fat soluble vitamins are vitamins A D E and K

They impact everything from hormones, to immune function, to eyesight, bone health, and more.

They are stored in your body longer than water soluble vitamins’

Fat soluble vitamins need to be eaten with fat in order to absorb them.

So, you need to be able to absorb fat to digest them. This means you need your gallbladder releasing bile to help emulsify fats and your pancreas releasing lipases in order to break them down, and you need your intestinal lining in tact so you can absorb them.

Because, as my teacher Andrea Nakayama says, we are not just what we eat but what we can do with the foods and nutrients we eat.

Let’s break them down and get practical

Vitamin A- Vitamin A was named because it was the first vitamin discovered, so it naturally is vitamin A.

Symptoms of low vitamin A include night blindness, increased infections, and bumps on the skin.

Someone might need extra vitamin A if they have pancreas issues or problems with bile, liver disease, chronic alcohol use, zinc deficiency, people on cortisone (problem converting), protection from smoke/smog, and high iron intake.

Benefits of vitamin A include a healthy immune response including increased white blood cells (fight bacteria and viruses) and increased antibody response (especially IgA in the respiratory system and digestive system mucus membranes). It is important for eye health, skin disorders, cancer prevention and immune health.

Food sources of vitamin A come in two forms, vitamin A itself and provitamin A sources or carotenes. The latter can be converted into vitamin A (liver function is important here) but you need much more carotenoids or beta carotene because we absorb less of it.

  • Vitamin A Retinol- kidney, liver, butter, whole milk, egg yolks, fish, poultry
  • Carotenoids- dark leafy greens, yellow/orange vegetables like carrots and yellow peppers, sweet potatoes, yams, squash, apricots, dandelion root, micro algae (spirulina)

Vitamin D- Vitamin D is actually more of a hormone than a vitamin and is also called the sunshine vitamin.

Every single cell in the body respond to only 2 things, Vitamin D and thyroid hormone (in other words, they are super important!)

Benefits of vitamin D- bone health is dependent on functional levels of vitamin D (regulates serum calcium), immune enhancement and keeping a healthy immune system, disease prevention (direct access to genetic material, epigenetics), helps with pain management, blood pressure regulation.

Food sources of vitamin D- Cod liver oil, mackerel, salmon, herring, butter, egg yolks, liver. We can also make vitamin D from the sunshine. When the sun hits our skin cholesterol in skin layer converts to D3. D3 travels to the liver and is converted into 25-OH D3. This then travels to the kidneys and converts to 125 hydroxy D3 (Boron is important here as well as kidney and liver health).

Testing for vitamin D is easy and important

Vitamin E- Vitamin E is a family of vitamins and is a very important antioxidant.

People at increased risk of vitamin E deficiency- Someone with IBD, cystic fibrosis, general gastrointestinal issues or surgeries.

Deficiency symptoms- nerve damage, weak muscles, poor coordination, involuntary movement of the eye, hemolytic anemia high oxidative stress.

Vitamin E protects cells from damage (it reacts to free radicals and neutralizes them before they can do damage to the cell membrane).

Uses of vitamin E include antioxidant use, hormone balance for women (including help with fibrocystic breasts, cramps, hot flashes, and menopause issues), stabilizes blood fats, protects blood vessels, immune support

Forms of vitamin E- l-alpha tocopherol is synthetic while d-alpha is natural (but there are many more natural forms)

Sources of vitamin E- seeds, nuts, whole grains, asparagus, avocados, berries, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, wild rose hips, eggs

Vitamin K- This vitamin got its name from a German word for clotting.

Vitamin K helps with blood clotting, bone health, red blood cell formation and reduces excessive menstrual flow

Food sources- Kale, green tea, turnip greens, spinach, broccoli, natto, chlorophyll is a great source, brassica, sea vegetables, grass fed butter, parsley, whole milk, hard cheese

Forms of vitamin K-

  • K1 (natural form from plants),
  • K2 (produced by specific gut bacteria),
  • K3 (synthetic form)


What foods can you add to increase your fat soluble vitamins?

Some people can get their fat soluble vitamins from foods and some people need to supplement. Do you know which is right for you?

Sources For This Article-

  1. Gitalis. Josh. Lecture #1. Therapeutic Nutrition and Supplements in Practice. 2021
  2. Bauman, Ed. Therapeutic Nutrition. Bauman Institute. 2019

Janel Anderson NC FNLP

Foundations of Health– Group starting Sept 12th!

Womens’ Hormone Club– Group each winter

Spring Cleanse– Group each spring

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