Insomnia vs “Catching the Wave”

There is a perfect wave that if we time right and catch we will get optimal sleep effortlessly. This wave is made up of hormones and includes melatonin at its highest, cortisol at its lowest, and insulin at its lowest and evolved to be our best sleep aid.

Melatonin levels rise as the sky becomes darker and ideally peaks somewhere around 10pm, depending on the season. If we allow our world to be darker at this time, as we are meant to do, melatonin will help ease us into sleep. Things that disrupt melatonin are bright lights, even small lights in our room, television, phones, computers, etc. FREE APP FOR REDUCING BLUE LIGHT ON DEVICES- https://justgetflux.com/

Cortisol (a stress hormone that we need to face the demands of the day but not too much) levels are meant to be at their lowest around 10pm. Our cortisol is designed to peak at daybreak so we wake up ready for the day and slowly decline as the day goes on. If we are able to keep our stressors low at night we can ride this low cortisol wave into optimal sleep and stay asleep. Things that raise cortisol at night are any stressor (emotional, physical, infections, allergens, blood sugar spikes, toxins, and more). By having a peaceful evening, unwinding, learning to mitigate stress through deep relaxation, meditation and breathing you can lower your insulin even in the face of emotional stress. Getting to sleep before cortisol starts to rise or spikes again is key to healthy cortisol levels at night. READ MORE ABOUT STRESSORS HERE THAT PEOPLE DO NOT OFTEN THINK ABOUT but are crucial to address with insomnia and to ensure cortisol is not impacting your sleep

Insulin, a hormone made in our pancreas that helps us clear our blood of glucose, is meant to be low at night again around 10pm. Hopefully we ate dinner by 7pm which was packed with fiber, healthy fat, and clean protein keeping our blood sugar from swinging too high and then too low. It is even important to keep our blood sugar regulated throughout the day as that contributes to keeping our blood sugar stable at night so we can sleep peacefully. READ ABOUT MONITORING YOUR BLOOD SUGAR HERE– this is not just for diabetics but for anyone with blood sugar swings (which is honestly most of us).

After addressing the three big hormones involved with sleep I always consider nutrients that might be lacking, such as B6, selenium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D. There are several amino acids and neurotransmitters necessary for good sleep as well. And finally, herbs are a lovely addition and and sometimes just what people need to help ease them into a perfect nights rest. HERB COMPANIES I LOVE- GAIA, HERB PHARM, MOUNTAIN ROSE

Sex hormones can also impact sleep. As our estrogen and progesterone change with our menstrual cycle and age our sleep can be impacted. Addressing sex hormone imbalance might be necessary to influence better sleep. More on that to come! Look for our 4 week group hormone balancing workshop!!

I love digging into sleep disturbances with people and helping people catch the wave. Call for your 15 free consult to see if I can help you.

Surfs up!

Shifting The Terrain And Addressing The Roots Leads to Longterm Health and Resilience

Why do symptoms occur and why does disease set in?

What is the Terrain in the body?

Is the soil such for health to grow or for sickness to set in?

How is our internal terrain impacting our genes (epigenetics)?

Is this symptom the problem or is it only a branch on the tree where we still need to find the root cause?

These are all important questions that are often overlooked in healthcare in a rush to find a quick fix but are in fact essential to longterm wellness.

I am asked daily “what can I do for my headaches?” or “What do you recommend for better sleep?” or “How can I get my energy back?”. Although I will take an easy way out if there is one, usually for sustainable and notable changes we need to shift the overall terrain in the body and address the roots instead of the branches.

Perhaps the headache is caused by a lack of estrogen and if we just treat the headache, the root problem will still be there, wreaking havoc somewhere else. The woman wanting more sleep might have an underlying blood sugar problem where her cortisol is surging in the middle of the night waking her up. Taking something for sleep won’t solve the underlying blood sugar imbalance but instead will just mask the symptom. Someone low on energy might not have enough hydrochloric acid in their stomach to properly digest iron or B12, which are both needed for energy.

Where there is certainly a place for a quick fix or temporary relief from a nagging or painful symptom, going deeper and being curious about what is causing the symptom or listening to what the symptom is trying to tell us is important. Addressing the terrain of the body includes maximizing digestion, making sure absorption is functional, reducing overall inflammation and oxidative damage, balancing hormones including cortisol (stress hormone) and insulin (blood sugar hormone), and more upstream imbalances or roots. Most often addressing the roots takes care of several branches instead of frantically trying to target all the bothersome branches one at a time.

What is the soil or terrain like in your body? What can you take away to shift it towards health? What can you add? Are your symptoms branches or roots? Come dork out with me if you want to learn more! Book your free 15 minute consult to see if I can help. Taking new clients in September 2019

Fabulous Clean Turkey Meatballs For the Camp Stove or at Home

Last time we made turkey meatballs at home we doubled the batch and froze them. What a treasure on day 3 of camping! Homemade garlic, onion, herb gluten free and organic turkey meatballs made boring rice noodles delish! Homemade Caesar for the salad to boot. Making double or triple batches Before hand is always a good choice for EASY clean eats on the road! – Chow, from Leadville Colorado

Clean and Delicious Turkey Meatball Recipe– (double, triple or more for goodies later)


3 gloves of garlic chopped fine

1/2 yellow onion chopped

1 egg1 lb of organic ground turkey

1/2 cup gluten free breadcrumbs

zest from 1/2 lemon

2 tbsp chopped parsley

2 tbsp chopped thyme

1 tbsp chopped rosemary

sea salt to taste

Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil. In mixing bowl add chopped herbs, breadcrumbs, salt, sauteed onions and garlic, salt, egg, lemon zest, and salt. Mix well Add turkey and mix with your hands until just combined.Form into 1 inch balls and sautee in olive oil for about 5-10 minutes until done turning often. Serve as is or cook in marinara sauce for a few minutes or to reheatENJOY with family and friends. I like to eat them on toothpicks too!

Balance your Hormones and Feel your Best!

Coming this fall to Truckee 2019

Join other women as we gather together for 4 weeks and use food, lifestyle, nutrients, and herbs to maximize hormone balance.

We will focus on education around how hormones work, why hormonal balance is key to optimal health, how our environment and choices impact our hormones, and how common accepted symptoms are really a message that hormones are not in balance.

Common Symptoms associated with hormonal imbalance-

  • Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Night sweats
  • Breast tenderness
  • Fatigue
  • Foggy brain
  • Weight gain
  • Weak and brittle bones
  • Dry skin and vaginal dryness
  • Hair loss
  • Depression
  • Incontinence
  • Infertility
  • Puffy face
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Cravings for sugar or carbs 
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Other common PMS, postpartum, and menopause discomforts

Get the information and support you need to take back your health. Empower yourself to feel your best!

Group will include- 2 week preparation time, 4 live meetings, 4 week targeted food/nutrient/lifestyle plan to jump start hormone rebalance, accountability, support, private facebook to keep in contact with each other and share, loads of information, education, menu ideas, recipes, science, and more.

Don’t miss this unique and limited opportunity to feel your best! I believe deeply in empowering women to understand their body and do what they can to reduce or limit uncomfortable female symptoms that are accepted as normal. You deserve more! Join me in this deep exploration.

Sign up soon to secure your space! Please email or call for more information. janel@mountainrebalance.com

Homemade Gummy Goodness

I love homemade gummies and so do my kids!

We don’t do many packaged foods and with these gummies my kids don’t feel like they are missing out on anything. And let’s be honest, I love them too! This simple recipe makes it crazy easy and fast to make these fun treats anytime. You can personalize the juices and the shapes, make it into jello, they even travel well AND they have nutritional benefits?! What? YES!

The basic recipe is 3 cups of juice and 4-6 tablespoons of gelatin (depending on how firm you like them, I prefer 4 tbsp). I use Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin which come from grass fed and pasture raised beef gelatin with no hormones, antibiotics or steroids. You can purchase it on amazon here.

For the juice I use a mix of organic grape juice, organic apple juice (usually 2 cups of these as the sweeter juice) and then 1 cup of organic cherry juice, pomegranate juice, or this organic antioxidant blend.

If you want you can add honey or maple syrup or stevia depending on your sweet preference.

To make the gummies- heat the juice up in a saucepan until hot but not boiling. Take it off the heat and add the gelatin, whisking until it is mixed. Cool in the fridge for a couple of hours. After it is set you can pop them out of the molds or cut into shapes with a knife or cookie cutters. Awesomeness!

Some ideas for silicone molds are here. There are limitless options and they are fun!

I love these treats for many reasons but getting gelatin in my kids is always a bonus! Gelatin is a protein that comes from collagen and is full of many beneficial amino acids. It is why I love bone broth so much too. The amino acids in gelatin have been shown to help strengthen bones, maintain healthy ligaments, improve skin and hair, maximize brain function and digestion function, as well has aid in sleep, mood, blood sugar and more. Wowsa! Here are 2 articles elaborating on the benefits of gelatin and a couple more recipes if you are up for using whole fruits.

Article #1- https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gelatin-benefits

Article #2- https://chriskresser.com/5-reasons-why-even-vegetarians-need-gelatin/

The ingredients I used today, but I switch it up depending on the season or color or kiddo preference. Have fun trying different juice combos.

No perfection ever at my house! Just plain old fun and goodness.

Even plain molds work but the options are limitless! Star wars, bunnies, trucks, you name it!

What the hell is stress? Hint, it might not be what you think……..and what you can do now to help!

“Reduce your stress”

We hear it from our doctors, our yoga teacher, our partners, our friends, nutritionists, or healer of any type and most of us know it at a cellular level.  We know we would benefit if we did but still we are all stressed out today and most of us are exhausted because of it.  Understanding  the various forms of stress is key to getting a handle on it and giving our body the break it is desperately seeking. 

You will most likely  be surprised to learn how many places stress is coming from today.  Jump right to the list at the bottom if you can’t wait.  Otherwise, a bit on stress itself. 

Stress is the body’s way of responding to any demand and then bringing our body back into balance. These demands can be physical, emotional, or mental and come from the inside our outside world. The stress response involves a chemical cascade of events that prepares the body to ‘fight or flight’, activating our sympathetic nervous system.  Our pupils dilate, blood is pumped from the digestive and reproductive system to our muscles and heart, our blood sugar spikes so we can have fuel, our heart rate increases, and blood pressure increases. If functioning properly we return to rest and digest when the stress is gone so all other vital body systems can function again, and our parasympathetic nervous system takes over, ahhhh.  We need to be in ‘rest and digest’ to procreate, grow hair, maintain hormone balance, digest our food, think intellectually, have that oh so yummy feeling of calm, and much more. We need to be in ‘fight or flight’ to fight off the tiger, survive a famine, or a similar acute stressors that we evolved to face for thousands of years. It turns on, then it turns off. We are back in balance, in theory, but alas….

Today stress comes from all of the following and they each have the same ‘Stressful’ effect on our body. Our ability to adapt to stress has kept us brilliantly resilient and able to handle all sorts of demands over thousands of years.  We are well adapted at handling acute stress and some stress actually makes us stronger. The problem today is we are not successfully turning off this stress response due to the amount and steady influx of triggers, which is leading to long term damage, depletion, and Chronic Disease.   Most of these go round robin also, creating more stress, which creates more of the problem, more depletion, and the cycle continues. 

Excessive cortisol (our stress hormone produced in the adrenals in response to all forms of stress) from nonstop stress can increase visceral fat, break down muscles, increase inflammation, increase cravings, decrease immune function, deplete adrenals, disrupt hormone balance, breakdown bone, decrease memory or intelligence, increase depression, slow down metabolism, and more.**

Sources of Stress-

Emotional Stress- This is the stress we are most familiar with:  Money, partners, kids, work, bills, trauma, early childhood trauma, etc. No two people respond to emotional stress in the same way.  Something that brings me joy may be your nightmare and vise versa. Many people have a hard time turning emotional stress off these days with our busy fast paced lives.

  • What to do to help? Try meditation, deep relaxation, adaptogen herbs, daily breathing exercise, restorative yoga, tai chi, leaving toxic relationships, laughing, dancing, or guided imagery. 

Toxic or Environmental Stress There are thousands of new chemicals in our world today that we are exposed to daily and our bodies have not had the time to adapt to the quantity or quality we are exposed to. The build up of toxins and increased nutrient burden on our body to detox them can create a chronic stress response, putting us in chronic ‘fight or flight’. Toxic stress comes through our air, water, food, skin products, cleaning products, furniture, laundry detergent, lawn care products, paint, plastics, and more.

  • What to do to help?   Reduce your exposure to toxins by eating organic, washing produce, getting a water filter, throwing out all plastic food/drink containers, using organic skin care products, eating pastured raised grass fed antibiotic free meats, swapping out home cleaning products with vinegar and water, etc. 

Nutrient Deficiencies The foods we are consuming today have far less nutrients than the foods our ancestors ate. We are generally overfed and undernourished. This is due to several reasons including consuming popular and highly processed nutrient deficient foods, less nutrient soils producing less nutritious produce, problems digesting and absorbing foods properly and the need for more nutrients today to handle the extra stress and toxins we are processing. Being deficient in one nutrient alone, such as iron or magnesium,  is stress.

  • What to do to help? Grow your own vegetables, eat organic, eat foods in their whole form, reduce/eliminate processed packaged convenience foods, eat the rainbow (colorful fruits and veg), include nuts/seeds, add booster foods, restore digestive function so you digest and absorb the foods you are eating, etc.

Silent, undetected, or chronic Infections and Parasites– Infections both acute and chronic are stressful on our body and cause a chronic low grade immune response. Viruses can hide out in the body without symptoms and re-emerge in times of weakened immunity. Two viruses that do this are Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus. Yeast imbalances also do this. When the immune system is activated by these and other silent or recurrent invaders or imbalances it uses energy and precursors needed for other functions and is in a constant state of inflammation which causes a stress response.

  • What to do to help? Be aware of the terrain in your body and what it attracts.  Keep inflammation low, reduce sugary foods, keep the immune system in balance, maintain healthy microbes, and if needed use antimicrobials, antivirals, and antiparasitics to rid the body of pests.

Blood Sugar Imbalances– Every time your blood sugar drops too low the stress response is activated to get fuel for your body.  Cortisol rises and the stress cascade begins. When we consume too much sugar with not enough fiber and protein we get dysregulations and the ups and downs in blood sugar are bigger than we are meant to handle which is perceived again as stress.  Even trendy intermittent fasting can be too stressful for someone with blood sugar swings.  Insomnia can be due to blood sugar fluctuations alone!  Jump over here to learn more about your blood sugar

  • What to do to help? Check your blood glucose levels at home, make sure to eat fat/fiber/protein at every meal and snack, reduce sugary foods, eat regularly throughout the day to maintain steady glucose/insulin, eat healthy fats (coconut, olive oil, avocado, nuts/seeds, olives) and fiberous fruits and veggies. 

Lack of Sleep- Sleep is when we repair and rejuvenate, when we rest and digest.  When we are deprived of sleep it spikes our blood sugar and increases night cortisol (stress) leading to a cascade of downstream hormone dysfunction.  More stress, less sleep, more stress, less sleep, and the cycle continues no matter what came first. Lack of sleep is stressful on the body.

  • What to do to help?  Go to bed and wake at the same time every day, make sure your room is dark and cool, skip daytime caffeine, try amino acids, find a night time ritual, get blood sugar under control, ‘catch the night time low cortisol wave’, try herbs such as passionflower or kava. 

Food triggers- Eating foods that our body cannot digest properly causes inflammation and a stress response.  70% of our immune system is in our gut and is activated when we ingest hard to ingest foods for you specifically, which causes inflammation. Often these are foods people eat regularly and crave. Common food triggers people eat and don’t realize are triggers are gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, nightshades, and yeast.   If hydrochloric acid is too low in the stomach and proteins bypass an important step of digestion in the stomach it can act as a food inflammatory food trigger as well.  Same goes for a shortage of digestive enzymes leaving undigested food in the small intestine.  

  • What to do to help?  Avoid all food triggers, chew thoroughly, slow down when you eat, eat whole foods, drink apple cider vinegar before meals, take digestive enzymes, do an IgG food sensitivity test, avoid processed foods, etc. 

Bacterial dysbiosis  The lining of the gut is composed of millions of diverse organisms that when balanced helps us digest food, detox our environment, maintain the integrity of our gut lining barrier (aka prevent leaky gut), balance our neurotransmitters, keep our hormones balanced, synthesize vitamins, keep our immune system from overactivating, and more.  Various things in our environment can throw this balance off such as antibiotic use, eating a low fiber or high sugar diet, stress itself, certain medications, lack of nutrients, lack of friendly microbe exposure, being born via cesarean, or not being breastfed.

  • What to do to help? Avoid unnecessary antibiotics and medications, limit alcohol, eat fermented foods, reduce sugary foods, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, play in the dirt, breastfeed, supplement with probiotics, etc. 

Physical Stress or Trauma Overexercise, accidents or trauma, excessive hot or cold, childbirth, surgeries, diagnosed diseases or system dysfunctions, overeating, sunburn, etc all cause our sympathetic nervous system to kick in and the stress cascade to begin or continue.

  • What to do to help? Protect your body from physical injury, do not overeat, rest and recuperate after trauma, find moderation and joy. 

Stress directly affects our brain, our hormones, our thyroid, our sleep, our metabolism, our immune system, our mood, our energy, and more.  All the stress we are exposed to accumulates to form our total stress load. Which specific stressor that overflows our ‘bucket’ might not have had a huge affect normally but it may be just enough to tip the scale, overflow the bucket, and get our attention.  How much stress we can tolerate, aka how resilient we are, varies from person to person depending on our genetics, history, nutrient intake, mindset, and more. Knowing what is adding to your total stress load is key in helping to reduce it, process it, or eliminate it so you can function better.

What stressors are filling your bucket? What are you doing to decrease this stress or increase your resilience?

Decrease any of these stressors here and improve your health!

Emotional Footnote- This is not meant to stress you out.  Instead, this is meant to empower you to take a front seat in your journey towards wellness.  Stay tuned for more on Stress and Adrenals and How You Can Become More Resilient!!!

**Check out this 6 minute video to see how high cortisol (stress hormone) impacts physiology.    You Tube Video- How High Cortisol Impacts Physiology (and fat loss) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLUU0b-VuD0

 

References

Bauman, Ed and Friedlander, Jodi. 2019. Therapeutic Nutrition Textbook Part 1.  

Romm, Dr. Aviva.  The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution. 2017. New York, NY. Harper One.

Cass, Dr. Hyla. 2018. Lecture on Insomnia. Functional Nutrition Lab.

Nakayama, Andrea.  2018. Functional Nutrition Full Body Systems. Endocrine 3

Plus, what you can do right now to help reduce your systemic stress!!!

A Few of My Favorite Things 2019…….

These are a few of my favorite things in 2019……. The list will grow all year and no, I do not get any kick backs from any of these companies.  I just legitimately like their products (and missions) and want to share them with you.  They all help maintain a balanced, nutritious, healthy and joyful life.  Feel free to add any of your favorite things in the comment areas and check back for more treasures all year!

#3 Smoothie Plant Powered Nutrient Superfoods-  Smoothies are the greatest way to make sure you are packing your day with delicious and powerful nutrients that your body needs.  We are smoothie and smoothie bowl addicts at my house.  Here are just a few of the superfood booster powders we play with every day.  Kids get to pick which ones they want that day and I change it up in my own daily.  Look for our Smoothie Worksheet coming soon!  Acai Berries and Gogi Berries are packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients (important nutrients from plants), vitamins, trace minerals, healthy fats, certain amino acids, and fiber.  Maca is a powerful adaptogen that is being studied fiercely right now.  It is known to help people adapt to stress, balance hormones, feel energized, regulate blood sugar, and is loaded with antioxidants. Camu Camu Berries have an insane amount of vitamin C as well as other antioxidants and nutrients.   If you are looking to boost your overall health, fight sickness and disease, and increase energy these superfoods are and awesome tool.  A basic recipe is to mix 1 cup of nut milk with 3/4 cup of blueberries, 1 banana, 1 scoop plant protein powder, 1 tsp flax seeds, and 2 of these boosters (1 tsp each).   Fat, fiber, protein, nutrients-  my eating motto all in one glass! Boom!  

#2    Lola Tampons  This company provides 100% organic tampons that are toxin free.  Their mission is to promote open conversation around women’s health, to provide healthy products, to be supportive through each stage of a women’s hormone health,  and to be totally transparent about their product.  You can custom make your order to fit your exact needs.  So cool.  I have an order of 2 boxes of applicator free tampons coming every other month and each box has 6 light tampons, 8 super, and 4 super plus.   They actually make it fun to customize your quantities depending on your individualized needs.  Brilliant!  I ordered their menstruation starter kit also so my 10 year old daughter will be empowered and informed when her big day comes.  These are toxin free for your body and better for the earth.  Win Win. Check them out.   www.mylola.com 

Click here to read a great article about other organic toxin free tampons. https://thethirty.whowhatwear.com/best-organic-tampons

Another great article here at huffpost about what is in your tampons and why you might care.

and another one- https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/06/07/tampons-sanitary-pads-toxic-chemicals.aspx

 #1    Booch Craft Hard Kombucha- A delicious Kombucha Cocktail for the nights you choose you drink alcohol.   This company rocks.  The drink is organic, naturally gluten free,  yummy, and full of good bacteria to help your microbiome thrive so you can function your best.  The company supports sustainable food projects to boot and has an awesome mission to support people enjoying life but staying healthy.   Win win win.    Find more on Booch Craft here www.boochcraft.com   

Perfect Spring Veg and Recipe!

Ah, the beautiful and seductive artichoke!

Artichokes are gorgeous unopened edible flowers from a thistlelike plant that pack a powerful nutritional punch and are crazy fun to eat.   They are grown in California but most are grown in Italy, France, and Spain. 

Artichokes are a fabulous source of magnesium (which most of us do not get enough of today), chromium, vitamin C, folate, biotin, manganese, and many more minerals and vitamins.  

They are an awesome source of dietary fiber and amazing for blood sugar regulation.  This is partly due to the fact that the fiber in artichokes is primarily in the form of inulin, which the body does not treat like other sugars.   According to leading nutrition expert Dr. Mercola, along with stabilizing blood sugar, fiber in artichokes helps us stay regular (aka Poop regularly), maintain healthy cholesterol levels, supports heart health, and reduce inflammation.   

The average amount of fiber to shoot for in a day is 30 grams.  A medium artichoke provides about 5.5 grams of fiber, 4.2 grams of protein, and .2 grams of fat. 

The cynarin (a phytochemical) in artichokes increases bile production in your liver and increases flow to the gallbladder.   It is a powerful food for nourishing the liver.  According to Dr. Murray artichoke leaf extracts have shown significant liver protecting effects and have been shown to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels in humans as well. 

When picking a fresh artichoke make sure they are dense/heavy for its size and leaves should be tightly packed together and green.  Artichokes can be enjoyed from a jar or freezer as well.   Either way, don’t miss out on this delicious and nutritious spring vegetable. 

 

My favorite irresistible fresh artichoke recipes- 

  1. Steamed artichokes with Herbed Lemon Dipping Sauce (recipe from Dr. Mark Hyman)

Cut off top 1/3 of artichokes and rub with lemon. Place artichokes upside down on steam rack over boiling water.  Cook for 30 minutes or until leaves soften and pull out easily and bottom is tender.  Place on plate and enjoy dipped in sauce. 

Herbed Lemon Dipping sauce- 1/2 tsp lemon zest, 2 T lemon juice, 1.5 tsp minced garlic, 2 tsp minced parsley, 2 tsp minced tarragon, 2 tsp minced chives, 2 tsp minced mint, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 6 T olive oil.  Directions- Put all ingredients in a jar and shake. Enjoy with artichokes! 

     2. Roasted artichokes with garlic and olive oil-  https://www.fromachefskitchen.com/oven-roasted-artichokes-with-roasted-garlic-butter/

 

 

 

References-

Dr. Joseph Mercola https://foodfacts.mercola.com/artichoke.html 

Murray, Michael.  Healing Foods.  Astria Books. New York, NY 2005

 

Making Fresh Veggie Juice in a BLENDER. Oh Yea!

What?

You don’t need a fancy juicer to make a nutritious green juice and feed your body easy to digest nutrients?

True story! You can use your blender. Heck yes!

 

The benefit of drinking green juice is taking in a huge amount of plant nutrients and not having to exert extra energy digesting it.   Boom, immediate goodness for your body.   Of course we love fiber too but both green juices and fiber are good for different reasons and can both help us rejuvenate our body at different times during the day.   So get ready feel the zing of vitamins and minerals rushing to your cells…………….

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Ingredients-   

1 cucumber, 1 lime, 1 bunch of parsley, 1 inch of fresh ginger root, 1 bunch of celery, 1 bunch of celery, 1 apple (all organic and washed)

Directions-

Chop up all the veggies, place half in blender, add filtered water to about 1 inch the blender (you can vary this depending on your blender and your preference), blend on low speed or medium until soupy, add the rest of the veggies, blend again on low or medium until thick smoothie like consistency.

Get a big bowl and place nut milk bag over the bowl, pour blended veggies into nut milk bag.  Twist bag and squeeze until all the juice is in the bowl.  Pour into jars, drink through out the day but especially first thing in the morning on an empty stomach,  and enjoy the extra zing in your step as your cells indulge in the nutrients!

Yum

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Our Spring Cleanse group is having a kick booty time right now connecting and sharing strategies to help optimize our body’s detoxification systems and digestive system.  Join us for the next group class! Info here 

There is no time like the present to take control of your health!  Call for a free consult to see if Mountain Rebalance can help you.

Kicking the coffee habit….or just reducing it… ok, at least optimizing it;)

We all respond differently to coffee and caffeine.  Some people metabolize it better than others, some of us are addicted to it, some people replace eating food with it, for some of us it is destroying our blood sugar balance for the day causing huge ups and then downs, there are some health benefits, but most of us overuse it.  When you are ready to kick the habit here are some steps to making it a bit easier. I even included ways to work with coffee if you can’t give it up. Remember, we are all unique so what works for one person might not work for you.   Find what works for YOU and what your body needs to function its best.

 

Possible Benefits of cutting the coffee

Again, since we are all genetically unique coffee affects us all differently.  However, taking a break from coffee may help with sleep, digestion, appropriate hormone production, liver detoxification,  blood sugar regulation, as well as a host of symptoms. Heres the thing, when you drink a cup of coffee your body responds by increasing cortisol and epinephrine, our stress hormones.  This starts a cascade of events that cause a spike in blood sugar, which is the king of the endocrine system and affects all of our hormones.  If you find yourself needing more than up cup a day, or getting headaches if you don’t have it, having a hard time sleeping, feeling fatigued, experiencing highs/lows throughout the day,  it might be a good idea to try a break or reduce your dependence. Reducing caffeine gradually will help reduce any withdrawal symptoms, if you have any.

 

First off consider why you drink coffee, spend some time here first.  I think this is the most important part and often overlooked.

Some people drink it for the caffeine, some people enjoy the morning ritual, or the flavor, or some people feel comforted by the warm morning wake up drink, some people love going into the coffee shop for social reasons, or perhaps your cup of joe helps you poop, or ….. fill in the dots for you.  Is there a story around your coffee habit that you are telling yourself every day? From there you can consider your exit strategy with the help of a proper replacement for YOU.

 

Experiment with different replacements. Be playful and open minded!

  1. If caffeine is your reason for drinking coffee you can slowly start cutting back on fully caffeinated coffee by adding in organic decaf or try reducing the number of cups each day.  Either way working gradually usually prevents headaches. From there you can transition to a healthier option or even green tea which has many health benefits if you can tolerate some caffeine.
  2. If it’s the morning ritual of making a cup of coffee you might want to start trying different kinds of  teas. Loose leaf tea is fun as you still get to pour, brew, smell, and enjoy. Most health food stores sell good quality loose leaf tea or it can be ordered online through Mountain Rose Herbs, for example.  Some bitter favorites for replacing coffee are roasted dandelion root, roasted chicory root, reishi mushroom powder, or a pre-made herbal coffee replacements. A couple of examples I like are Ayurvedic Roast organic herbal coffee substitute and Rasa Koffee organic herbal coffee substitute.  Each of these offer many additional health benefits and hit the spot.  
  3. If it is the flavor you love you can either try organic high quality decaf right away, go through the gradual decaf transition (start with a 1/4  decaf and move to full decaf), or try one of the herbal coffee replacements that are still super bitter mentioned above.
  4. If it’s the coffee shop you love, you are in luck.  Most coffee shops today sell many other great options. Most offer peppermint tea or even cinnamon or  rooibos which are naturally sweet, rich, and satisfying. Just steer clear from the “latte” teas (even Matcha).
  5. If you are just looking for a hot drink in the morning there are endless tea options.  Some of my favorite morning tea options are raspberry leaf, nettles, rooibos, and peppermint.   They even have great health benefits but again quality of tea matters. Make sure it is organic to reduce toxins and increase flavor. Even a good quality loose leaf green tea or matcha tea have amazing health benefits if you can tolerate some caffeine. Golden Milk is another fabulous alternative.  You can find my recipe here.  Here you will find my recipe for a rich warming and spicy tea that my family loves, especially in the colder months.

 

If you still want your coffee…….. If you still want your 1 cup of coffee a day, there are a few ways to help make it work better for your body.  

  1. First and foremost make sure you always drink organic coffee.  The pesticides on coffee can be hugely detrimental to your health.  
  2. Another way to keep coffee as an ally  is to make sure you have some fat or protein before having your cup of coffee in the morning.  Never drink coffee on an empty stomach or use it instead of food. This will reduce the cortisol spike from drinking the coffee and the eventual blood sugar dysregulation that follows (highs and crashes).  
  3. Another option is turning your coffee into Bulletproof coffee.  This technique adds healthy fat maximizing the benefits of coffee and again helps with blood sugar regulation.  My favorite recipe is here but there are a ton online now.
  4. And of course, consider what you are putting in your coffee.  Skip or reduce the sugar and choose a milk that works for your body (cashew, coconut, etc).  And no matter what, do not use artificial sweeteners as these can throw many systems and organs off balance as most are toxic.  

Alternative ways to get an energy boost

There are lots of great ways to get a healthy energy boost during the day.  You may feel more energized just by reducing or eliminating caffeine alone, as your hormonal system will come back into balance.  However, adding booster foods can give you additional sustained energy without the highs and lows of caffeine. Booster foods include greens powders, ground flax and chia seeds, nutritional yeast, and more.  See my favorites here.

Starting your day off right!

Try starting each day with a glass of lemon water or apple cider vinegar water first thing.  Adding a calming morning ritual such as deep breathing, meditation, or guided imagery can have deeply restorative and grounding affects.  This does not have to be complicated or long: 10 mindful breaths, 5 minutes meditating, focusing on 3 things you are grateful for, setting an intention for your day,  or simply lighting a candle. Sometimes just taking the time in the morning to slow down may be all we need to feel more awake and ready to face our day!

 

Click here to learn about one of our Seasonal Cleanses or Reblance Groups and nourish yourself from the inside out!

 

Click here to book a free phone call to see if a One on One appointment is the best way to go for you to feel more energized, balanced, and in control of your health!

 

Enjoy your mornings and find what works for YOU!  Janel

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