Our Body Desperately Needs The Pace of Nature

I am crazy passionate about tapping into the rhythms and pace of the natural world. Not just because it feels good, although it does, but because we have evolved for thousands of years to function at the pace of nature and our body has aligned with, adapted to, and depends on this for so many systems to function properly.  When we move away from this, slowly, our system responds. 


I am obsessed with learning how our body’s interact with our environment (food, lifestyle, the world around us) and researching ways to support people to feel their best in their body and optimize their health and resilience. 


The more science I dig into, the more studies and research I lose myself in, the more I return to the fact that we are meant to be in sync with the pace of the wild and the natural world.  It is hard to study scientifically because it is slow to change, it is not a shiny magic bullet, there is no medicine for it, it is not an A + B = C. It is slow, it is quiet, it is cumulative, interconnected to so much, and we are just starting to see and appreciate how important it is.


Our hormone balance depends fiercely on natural cycles of the day/month/year/phase of life. Our stress hormones are tied to the day and we depend on a spike in the morning and decline as the day goes on. Our thyroid hormone changes with the season, insulin sensitivity changes with the day and our sex hormones align with the month. Our sleep hormones depend on cycles of light and dark. Our hormones involved with metabolism interact with our environment around us and respond each day accordingly. Working for us or against us depending. All of these hormones talk to one another and rely on rhythms and pace of the natural world.

Our immune system has adapted over thousands of years to examine our environment and world around us and then to identify friend verse foe and mount an appropriate attack.

Our nervous system desperately needs the quiet and calm of nature to restore and balance.

Our gut and our microbiome are impacted by our environment and exposure to natural microbes, night/day rhythms, and seasonal changes in food and timed eating.  


We are systems based creatures that are impacted by the world around us.

  Everything is interrelated.  We have tried to break things up and separate things- physically, medically, emotionally, socially, environmentally- but the truth is all these systems are interrelated.   When you dig into it, you cannot separate the gut from the brain, or our health from the food we eat, or the food we eat from the quality of the dirt it grows in, and so on. Maybe for a while, but not over time.

That which drives symptoms and chronic disease inside our body- gut health, inflammation, and our stress response– these are all impacted by the world around us.


The new science emerging is mind blowing and confirms that our microbiome alone plays an important role in hormone balance, neurotransmitter balance, it’s important for brain health, immune function, detoxification, digestion, inflammation levels, and so much more than we ever knew.  Our microbiome is an ecosystem that communicates to every part of our body. We need a healthy population of microbes, we need to feed them appropriately, and we rely on their metabolites (post-biotics) for our physical and mental health. This system relies on us regularly eating a diverse range of plants and fermented foods, being exposed to a variety of microbes, as well as avoiding unnecessary meds, chronic stress, highly processed foods, and toxins. 


I will be posting more studies, research and interviews on my website around this, this summer, but for now, just try tapping into the rhythms and pace of the natural world, eating close to the earth, and see how you feel. 


Of course sometimes we need to dig a bit deeper and heal a bigger imbalance but don’t miss this important and often overlooked foundation.  It is subtle but I believe it has a big impact on our body, mind, soul and health of each over time.


So what might that look like to tap into the natural world?  Here are some ideas-

  • Get sunshine during the day,
  • Keep the lights dim after sunset,
  • Eat whole/real/colorful/diverse foods especially plants,
  • Limit exposure to toxins/fertilizers/chemicals,
  • Drink clean water,
  • Breath clean air
  • Move your body everyday outside,
  • Play in the dirt,
  • Eat naturally fermented foods,
  • Sleep well and go to bed when you are tired,
  • Rest when you need it,
  • Eat only when you are relaxed,
  • Light candles,
  • Drink herbal teas,
  • Sweat,
  • Say no to being needlessly busy, 
  • Listen to the birds and the wind in the trees,
  • Jump in the lake,
  • Walk in the woods,
  • Take time to mindfully breath,
  • Sleep under the stars,
  • Give birth vaginally when possible and breastfeed your babies,
  • Put down your phone,
  • Turn off the TV,
  • Get bored,
  • Howl at the moon,
  • Notice what is happening with the trees and plants each season,
  • Eat seasonally,
  • Hum a tune,
  • Rise before the sun and set out for a sunrise adventure,
  • Paddle down a river canyon,
  • Reduce the stressors coming into your life, where you can. 

I believe these small changes over time will bring a robust richness to your life and change how you feel and function profoundly.

The pace of nature is slow, unlike the pace of our modern world. Give it time.

Pick one each week or month and try to incorporate it into your life.

We aren’t going for perfect or fad diets or a fast fix because they don’t work long term.  We are going for small changes that support the interconnectedness of your body and the earth.  

Give it a try this summer.  See how you feel.  I dare you.  Jump in! 

Cover photo credit- Ashly Wiley

“Then a great peace came over me…….and I seemed to hear the pines and the wind and the rocky shores say to me “you …. lover of the wild, are part of us…..” Sigurd F. Olson

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”

Take the pace of nature, her secret is patience

This is a crazy phenomenal discussion by two physicians about the science of how the microbiome impacts every system in the body. Have a listen!

Janel can usually be found either playing out in the wild, getting lost in a book, or preparing food in the kitchen. Janel is a Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner, is a board certified holistic nutritionist and has her doctorate in natural medicine. She obsesses over understanding how lifestyle choices and food choices impact peoples unique body and health. Learn more about Janel here

Check out the Women’s Hormone Club that happens each winter

Check out the Spring Cleanse

Check out the NEW FOUNDATIONS IN HEALTH CLASS

Hear what people are saying about working with Janel

Download my cheat sheet for Building A Meal

ReplyForward

Foundations Of Health- Food And Lifestyle For Optimal Wellness-

Pssssst, there is no magic bullet, super food, secret herb, or fad diet that will bring health to all.

What you can do is learn to listen to what your unique body is saying.

Use food and lifestyle to reduce chronic inflammation, to support digestion, immune health, mental health, the microbiome, leaky gut, energy, weight, and more.

Are you interested in Health and learning what you can do with food, herbs, supplements (where needed) and lifestyle to optimize how you feel and function and how you can age your best? THIS IS FOR YOU! We are going to have a blast.

You have access to this information for the long haul, come back to it as often as you want.

This is the information I wish I had time to go over with all my clients, along with specific action steps and health hacks to turn the dial towards health and shift the internal terrain for longterm wellness, all while allowing plenty of room for personalization.

Join us to add sustainable steps over 10 weeks to help your body function better. And even better, LEARN WHY we are doing these things. I hope you feel stronger, more energized, more clear headed, sleep better, and more feel more confident.

Discover what foods work for your unique body and how to optimize how your body uses food.

I am here to support you!

This program contains the often overlooked but critically important foundations and action steps for you if you are looking to improve your health in any way, helping your body function better and turning the dial towards health.

The layout is designed to meet you where you are. There are the basics and then I add places each week where you can dive deeper if you are ready to.

SIGN UP NOW!

It’s for you if you have want help weeding through the excess of information out there and want to get to the bottom of what is true for you in a clear and methodical way.

It is for you if you want support and accountability on this journey.

It is for you if you want to take an active role in your health in a methodical and informed way.

Plus- Join Janel 2 times monthly for live online office hours to ask questions and connect. First Tuesday of the month at noon (Pacific) and last Tuesday of the month at 4pm (pacific). We will also have mini discussions about topics that matter to you.

Email Janel if you have any questions about the program- janel@mountainrebalance.com

Get all the tools to do a 3-week nourishing elimination diet as part of the 10 weeks. Choose which level is best for you. This includes 3 week menu, food lists, recipes, daily checklist/accountability charts, shopping lists

Learn how to introduce foods back and track how they impact you

Discuss Functional medicine labs including bloodwork, Stool tests, Organic Acids Test, Food Sensitivity Test, Hormone Tests, and more

Learn about foundational supplements and herbs

Establish or reset important and lifelong healthy habits

Learn about various fad diets and what their benefits and risks are

Join our optional Facebook group for additional accountability and to connect to others learning alongside you

Take the front seat in your health and wellness journey

Join the inner circle and get access to live discussions on specific topics like cholesterol, the gut/brain connection, optimizing energy and mitochondria, sleeping better, pregnancy needs, fasting, microbiome, genetics, and more.

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Cost is $175 per month for 3 months for new clients. Or, add it to a one-on-one package and assessment for the ultimate health package. $100 off if done with an assessment.

Format will be online and in 10 Modules you can do weekly or at your own pace. Come back to this information when you want for as long as you want. There will be 20 minute videos each week, valuable handouts, cool graphics, helpful forms, and weekly action steps.

What’s holding you back?

BONUS- HEALING FOODS CLUB- Get instant access to the healing foods club!!! This is loaded with recipes, videos, superfoods, nutrient info, and more! Lifetime access to use any time.

SIGN UP NOW HERE

The first 10 week session starts September 12th. Don’t miss this chance to improve how you feel and function.

ROLLING START SIGN UP BEGINNING DECEMBER 2021 (start anytime and complete anytime of the year)

Yearly group starts in September each year.

TEACHERS AND NURSES GET 20% OFF IN 2021! Use code TEACHER20 or nurse20 at checkout. Alumni get 20% off as always. Code alumni20

Listen to what people say about working with Janel here – testimonials

Hello. I am Janel, owner of Mountain Rebalance. I am a board certified holistic nutritionist, a certified functional medicine nutritionist, I have my doctorate in natural medicine, am a family herbalist and I started out as an Ayurvedic yoga therapist. I obsess over why. Why symptoms and disease manifest and how food and lifestyle impact how we function. I help people understand their own body and explore possible root causes of symptoms. Learn more about Janel here

Janel Ferrin Anderson FNLP NC

Booking Provided by Healthie


What Is Functional Nutrition Anyway?

Functional Nutrition is absolutely my number one jam when it comes to supporting people to feel their best and to actually seeing results. Why? Well, let’s explore a few fundamental components of Functional Medicine Nutrition, aka Functional Nutrition, to help explain.

Generally speaking, Functional Nutrition focuses on using food and lifestyle to help restore optimal function to the body at a grassroots level. It does not matter what stage of health or disease someone is at, food and lifestyle can be used to help shift the terrain towards health and away from what is driving dysfunction. We focus on not only preventing future disease and symptoms but also ensuring the body has what it needs to function its best today. We spend time with people, understanding who they are. Functional Nutrition is all about being curious about your unique body and Functional Nutritionists are a lot like detectives.

_____________________________________________________________________________

As a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist, I can say Functional Nutrition is similar to holistic nutrition in many ways but stands out because of the structured methodology, tracking, assessing, and mapping out of each unique person. We have a clear system to help support people with complicated issues and general health goals alike.

Having my doctorate in Natural Medicine I can say it is similar to this approach as well but stands out to me because it feels more complimentary to other health modalities, working within its scope of practice, not in opposition to other practitioners. Functional Nutritionists work on teams with physicians, physical therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, midwives, acupuncturists, teachers, naturopaths, counselors and more.

Being a certified family herbalist, of course I love using herbs but Functional Nutrition again is different in its approach in that it is not about taking X for Y but instead about going for the roots that drive disease and symptoms, using herbs as a tool to help shift the terrain.

Functional Nutrition is about the science of how each person uniquely interacts with the world. We don’t adhere to one particular diet or health fad but instead we look at what each unique person needs at this unique time, to restore balance and function. There is a partnership between client and practitioner and a large focus on empowering people to know their own body and understand what it is saying and asking for.

Here are 5 core concepts of Functional Nutrition (As developed and taught by the brilliant Andrea Nakayama at The Functional Nutrition Alliance or FxNA)

1. Functional Nutrition relies on the understanding that everyone is unique, everything in the body is connected, and everything we do impacts our health.

  • Everyone is unique– We each have our own genetic makeup, we have our own history, we were all birthed differently, fed differently, we have different microbes in our gut, timeline, health histories, different emotions, stressors, trauma, and triggers. In Functional Nutrition we map out each unique person, not only a diagnosis, symptom, or lab, but a holistic view of what makes each person unique. We take this information into consideration and focus on personalized nutrition and lifestyle plans.
  • Everything is connected– All of our body systems are connected and interact; our brain, our hormones, energy, immune system, gut, mental health, adrenals, and detox capabilities. Who we are, what we do, and how they each function impacts them all and they cannot be divided up without considering this interconnectedness. We map this out on a matrix and track it over time for each person. It is exciting to see multiple areas improve when you address the whole person.
  • Everything we do matters– What we eat clearly has a direct impact on health and how our body functions, but so does our mindset, how we process stress, if we are/have been exposed to toxins, how we move our body, how connected we are with others or a purpose, how we relax, how we breath, how we sleep, and more. These things all have a direct effect on our internal biochemistry. Everything we do impacts our health. We track this and continuously reassess efforts to support unique health goals.

2. In Functional Nutrition we are constantly addressing the root causes of symptoms and disease.

Symptoms are branches on a tree. The roots that drive symptoms and disease include Chronic Inflammation, Gut Imbalances, and Genetics. In Functional nutrition we target the roots and the terrain that health or disease take root in. We are constantly asking WHY (root cause) symptoms occur more often than WHAT (diagnosis).

  • Inflammation- Inflammation is an important immune response in the body that we rely on for healing and repairing tissues. The problem is when inflammation becomes chronic and does not turn off and results in tissue damage. We now know that Chronic inflammation is one of the major driving causes of all chronic disease. Going ‘upstream’ and addressing what is causing inflammation impacts many ‘downstream’ symptoms. Causes of chronic inflammation include blood sugar imbalance, eating foods you are sensitive or allergic to, toxic exposure, silent infections, high sugar foods or processed foods, a microbiome imbalance, emotional stress, leaky gut, nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalances, and more. Calming chronic inflammation helps shifts the terrain in the body towards health and is one of the major roots to address in all health goals.
  • Gut Health– The health of the gut impacts all systems of the body and is another upstream cause of downstream symptoms and disease. Our gut is the intersection between the outside world and our internal terrain. We need our digestive system functioning from top to bottom in order to break down our foods properly so we can get the nutrients we need to function, to avoid chronic immune activation from a leaky gut, to ensure our microbes in our important gut microbiome are balanced so many systems can function properly including hormone balance, mental health, immune function, vitamin synthesis, for toxins to exit our body timely, and for so many more reasons. Addressing gut health is an important step in optimizing overall health and resilience.
  • Genetics- Our genetics have a large influence over our susceptibility and tendency to disease or health. Some things we are born with but we also now know that our food and environment influence our genetic expression, this is called epi-genetics. Being mindful of what genes we are turning up or down is an empowering way to take control of health.

3. Functional Nutrition relies on a Three Tiered approach when it comes to making recommendations-

All symptoms and disease exist in an environment. This work is meant to shift the environment towards health, setting the stage for healing and repair. This is where we go ‘upstream’ to address ‘downstream’ issues. Symptoms are downstream to bigger upstream imbalances. We do not give random suggestions but instead have a very well thought out approach that gets results.

  • Clear the muddy waters- First it works best to do some basic clean up work and set the stage for health to take root. This means strategically removing triggering foods and lifestyle practices that may be causing excessive inflammation, gut dysfunction, stress, or other damage and imbalance that is driving the problem. This looks different for everyone. We look at food, stress, sleep, hydration, blood sugar, movement, poop, toxins, joy and more. This initial cleanup work serves to clear and calm the body enough for most people to see big improvements with how they feel and function and for the body to do some necessary repair work.
  • Deficiency to sufficiency– The body needs specific nutrients and factors to function. Replacing any deficiencies in the body, such as specific nutrients (macro/micro/phyto), digestive enzymes, other digestive secretions, healthy microbes, antioxidants, whatever key substances the body needs to function and do its job is an important and often overlooked step.
  • Dismantle the dysfunction– After the first 2 tiers are addressed and the groundwork is set by removing triggers and replacing deficiencies, if still necessary, deeper digging, investigating, and possibly partnering with other professionals to repair tissues and restore function might be needed.

4. In Functional Nutrition there are 3 core basics that need to be addressed when working with any symptom or disease.

Optimizing transit time, aka poop, ensuring someone is getting enough quality sleep, and regulating blood sugar are three vital steps to address when considering any health issue. As Andrea says “don’t pass go until these important basics are functioning”. No matter what fancy protocol or herb you are taking, if these three are off it will be hard to reach your health goals. Why? These three things are like a cars ‘check engine’ light that comes on when there is an internal problem.

  • Poop– Our bowel movements are a big indicator of gut function and overall health. When transit time, poop color, shape, etc are off it tells us something is wrong somewhere upstream that needs to be addressed. Having irregular bowel movements can also cause downstream problems anywhere in the body. So it is both an indicator of a bigger problem and a driver of other problems.
  • Sleep– We heal and repair when we sleep. If we are not sleeping it can be indicative of hormone imbalances but also prevents our body from healing and repairing. So sleep, like poop, is a critical indicator of health and driver of more dysfunction.
  • Blood SugarBlood sugar swings impact everyone (not just diabetics) and impacts our hormones, energy, mood, sleep, stress levels, immune system, mental health, and more. Beyond causing problems on its own, it is challenging to heal when our blood sugar is swinging up and down impacting so many body systems. Optimizing this overflows to every other body system including gut health, inflammation, stress, metabolism, and more.

5. In Functional Nutrition we are all about empowering people to understand their own unique body and their own unique physiology. We form a partnership with clients.

Teaching people the tools to know what their own body is saying is key and is an important part of functional nutrition. We work in partnerships with people who want to take an active role in improving their health. We help you connect the dots between food and lifestyle and your symptoms and how you feel. We want you to be your own expert and advocate for yourself.

Functional Nutritionists work with people struggling with cancer, immune issues, eating disorders, mental health challenges, autoimmune disease, hormone imbalances, gut issues, energy issues, skin problems, kids, women, men, athletes, pregnant mamas and anyone looking to use food and lifestyle to help rebalance and function their best. We recognize that there is a spectrum of health, not just diseased or healthy, and we help people move the dial towards personal goals and optimal wellness.

Pretty awesome, huh?

Janel Ferrin Anderson is a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist, a Certified Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner, A certified BioIndividual Nutrition Consultant, a certified Yoga Therapist, and has her doctorate in Natural Medicine. Janel obsesses over why things work the way they do and supports people to discover what is true for their unique body. She has a Holistic and Functional Nutrition Office in Truckee/Tahoe but also works online with individuals and groups. Interested in using food and lifestyle to improve how you function? Check out Mountain Rebalance today! Learn more about Janel here and hear what people are saying about working with Janel here

Current programs

Start Your Day Right! Nutritious and Nourishing Breakfast Ideas

Who needs some new breakfast ideas to help you rock your day?

What we eat for breakfast can set us up for stable energy for the day or set us up for the up and down roller coaster.

Making time to start the day off with a nourishing breakfast is an awesome way to optimize energy, hormones, sleep, mental clarity, and overall gusto to rock the day like you want to. We now know that a calorie is NOT just a calorie but instead information for every cell in our body. These breakfasts here are all full of micro nutrients to protect your body from damage so you can function your best, they have a balanced ratio of macro nutrients to fuel your day, they are anti-inflammatory, and void of many of the foods that can damage your gut.

Boom! Start your day using food as medicine.

Some days I am fueling a mountain adventure while other days I am fueling my brain for a big day at the office, other days it’s chasing kids around- regardless I need to function my best and I would like to feel this great for as many decades as I can.

When thinking about breakfast to function your best I suggest focusing on a few things-

  1. Think outside of the (cereal) box , focus on whole foods instead
  2. Make your breakfast colorful- How many different colors can you add? Ask yourself this every morning.
  3. Add booster foods when you can– A sprinkle here and a pinch there can add awesome nutrients that your body needs to function optimally.
  4. Include a protein, fat, and fiber in breakfast. This combo makes breakfast slower to digest and slows down the absorption of glucose into our blood, keeping you fuller longer, with more stable energy longer, and can even set you up for better sleep. Yes please. Say it again, Fat, Fiber, Protein.
  • Protein– I encourage everyone to start their day with a good protein source. Protein provides the important amino acids that our body needs for so many vital functions as they are used in almost every cell and fluid in our body! Protein is the building block of cartilage, bone, skin, and blood. Plant proteins include nuts, seeds, their butters, lentils, beans, and tempeh. Animal proteins include eggs, poultry, fish, beef, and bone broths.
  • Fat– Fat is crazy important and as long as it is a healthy fat it is awesome to include in every meal, especially breakfast. Fat is important for hormone balance, cell membrane integrity, is a source of energy, helps keep blood sugar stable, is important for brain function, keeps us satiated, is needed for absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K, for our nervous system, and more. Healthy fats include coconut oil/milk/meat, avocados, olives, olive oil, flax oil, organic butter.
  • Fiber- Fiber is wildly important for gut health (which we now know impacts all body systems). Fiber helps keep the bowels moving which is even important for hormone balance and toxin excretion. Fiber feeds the good bacteria in our gut which we now know is an important player in immune health, chronic inflammation, vitamin production ( vitamins B and K), mental health, and more. There is soluble and insoluble fiber and good sources include veggies, fruit, seeds and more. Sometimes you need to start slowly with introducing fiber as your gut microbes adjust.

Of course everyone has to consider their own unique body, gut health, metabolic goals, food sensitivities, eating/fasting window, blood sugar, etc.

But….

Here are the 7 balancing breakfasts we ate at our house this week. They are all anti-inflammatory, gut friendly, nutrient dense, and good for hormone balance.

Look for smoothie week, pancake week, baked goods, and favorite kids breakfasts coming soon! All Clean and nutrient dense, of course.

Monday- Paleo Porridge

I love this warm breakfast porridge for a lot of reasons. First off, it is grain free and for some people grains can cause inflammation or blood sugar dysregulation (paleo friendly). But it’s more about what its loaded with- tons of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, clean protein, and lots of fiber, plus it powers me through hours of stable energy, oh, and its delish.

  • 2 tbspsUnsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • 1 tbspPumpkin Seeds
  • 1 tbspWhole Flax Seeds
  • 1 tbspChia Seeds
  • 1/4 cupWalnuts
  • 1 tspCinnamon
  • 1/4 tspSea Salt
  • 1 cupWater (boiling)
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a and blend until finely ground
  2. Pour boiling water into vitamix, cover with lid
  3. Blend very carefully starting on low setting, then moving to high, until porridge is smooth (you can also just do this in a bowl, which is what I do most days)
  4. Transfer porridge to a bowl
  5. Garnish with sunflower seeds, or shredded coconut


Tuesday- Veggie and protein scramble

I crave this breakfast and when I do eat it my energy and blood sugar are stable for hours plus I know I am getting tons of phytonutrients from plants that all my cells need to do their jobs and function their best. WIN

  • olive oil to sauté
  • chopped onions and garlic
  • chopped veggies, whatever you have works! I love kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, etc
  • ground beef, turkey, or lamb (organic and grass fed when possible)
  • favorite herbs, I like to sprinkle on oregano and parsley
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat up pan to medium (we use cast iron)
  2. Put in olive oil, onions, garlic and protein. Cook until meat is about halfway done
  3. Add other veggies and cook until meat is fully cooked and veggies cooked to liking. Sometimes I add more olive oil or broth to help it cook.
  4. Sprinkle on sea salt and herbs if you want. Enjoy


Wednesday- Overnight Chia Oats

This sweet breakfast is a big dose of comfort food that I can feel awesome about. It feels like a big treat but has all the necessary components to keep me charging hard til lunch. Plus, blueberries are one of the greatest antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods you can put in your body.

  • 1 1/2 cupsOats
  • 1 1/2 cupsUnsweetened Almond Milk
  • 2 tbspsChia Seeds
  • 2 tbspsMaple Syrup
  • 1 tspCinnamon
  • 1/2 cupWater
  • 1 cupBlueberries
  • 1 cupSlivered Almonds
  • Hemp seeds to sprinkle on top
  1. Combine oats, almond milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, cinnamon and water together in a large glass bowl. Stir well to mix. Seal and place in the fridge overnight (or for at least 8 hours).
  2. Remove oats from fridge. Use single-serving size mason jars and place a large spoonful of the oat mix in the bottom of each, then a layer of blueberries followed by a layer of slivered almonds. Repeat until all ingredients are used up. Store in the fridge until ready to eat. Enjoy hot or cold!


Thursday- Sweet Potato Hash Browns, Sauteed greens and Fried Eggs

I love eggs for breakfast! This mix is so satisfying and the bright colors have so many cell protecting nutrients, plus is the perfect mix of fat/fiber/protein. Somedays I even throw this in a burrito to change things up. You can use whatever veggies you have, including kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, etc.


Friday- Stewed Apples

Holy wow does my gut LOVE stewed apples as it is the perfect food to feed the good microbes in my gut (which supports my immune system, brain health, hormone balance and so much more). Loading it up with nuts and seeds gives it the fat and fiber I need to take me through to lunch. Boom!

  • 6Apples (organic of choice)
  • 1/2 cupWater
  • 1/2 cupOrganic Raisins (optional addition for sweetness and fiber)
  • 2 1/2 tspsCinnamon
  • 1 tbspGround Flax Seed
  • 1 tbspChia Seeds ((or hemp seeds, sunflower, pumpkin, walnuts, etc))
  • 1 tbspMct Oil
  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. Add MCT oil and mix up. Sprinkle ground flax and ground chia or other boosters on top. ENJOY (your gut will too)


Saturday- Morning Miso

This one warms my heart and soul and makes me talk kinder even just thinking about. It not only tastes good but it feels so good to start the day off with a warm cup of miso soup. Plus this will last for days making it a quick and easy one too.

  • 3 cupsWater
  • 1 cupVegetable Broth
  • 1 1/2 cupsShiitake Mushrooms (sliced, optional, I always have dried on hand)
  • 6 ozs Tofu (drained, rinsed and cut into cubes)
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Tamari
  • 3 tbspsMiso Paste
  • 2 cupsKale Leaves (roughly chopped)
  • 2 stalksGreen Onion (optional, sliced)

  1. Add the water and broth to a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and add the mushrooms. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tofu, ginger and tamari and ensure the broth is lightly simmering. Continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes more.
  3. In a small bowl, add the miso paste, and ladle in some of the hot broth and whisk. Add the miso mixture to the pot and stir to combine. Add the kale leaves and simmer for 1 minute more.
  4. Divide the miso soup into bowls and top with green onion, if using. Serve and enjoy!


Sunday- Avocado Toast with Soft Boiled Egg and Grapefruit

This satisfies everything! My taste buds, cravings, sweet tooth, belly, cells, energy and everything in between are happy with this breakfast, plus it’s a beautiful sight. There are so many wonderful textures and flavors and it is rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, clean protein, and delicious fiber. Yum

  • Gluten Free bread, toasted
  • Sprouts
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 lime
  • Chopped onions (optional)
  • Ground flax seeds
  • Soft boiled egg
  • Grapefruit, orange berries, other seasonal fruit

Put all together, notice how beautiful it is, and Enjoy!


Other favorite breakfast include coconut yogurt with clean granola, viking sauce and berries, breakfast burritos, breakfast tacos, smoothies, clean pancakes, bone broth, homemade sausages, oat bars, quinoa/egg bowls, and chia pudding. Look for more soon and show us your favorites!! Tag me @mountainrebalance

Check out our Digestion Club starting in Fall 2021

Join us for our Spring Cleanse! April 2021

Don’t miss the Women’s Hormone Club winter 2022

Hello! I am Janel Ferrin Anderson and I am crazy passionate about helping people understand how food and lifestyle impact their health and unique body. I am a functional medicine nutritionist, a board certified holistic nutritionist and have my doctorate in Natural Medicine. I love playing hard in the mountains, reading by the fire, and eating delicious foods. Learn more about me here

5 Sauces For The Flavor WIN

I love a delicious sauce! They bring the yum factor to any dish, especially boring  leftovers or any dish that needs a boost! 


I am a big advocate of always making enough for leftovers when I cook, or batch cooking large amounts of a variety of roasted/steamed veggies and a gluten free grain for the week. That strategy makes for easy and nutrient dense meals in a flash……. 


What makes that crazy fun and delish?  Sauces!! 


Teaching clients to use flavorful sauces is so great because it’s easy and satisfying. 


We usually have 2 sauces on hand each week to reuse and mix things up. 
You can add sauces to salads, bowls, tacos, roasted veggies, soups, eggs, raw veggies, grilled meats, grains, or whatever else you can think of. 


We go through so many different ones but we have our standard 5 that I will share here. I would love to hear what sauces you love.

My favorite 5 sauces are-

  1. Amazing almond curry sauce for veggies or meat
  2. Cilantro tamari sauce
  3. Miso ginger sauce or dressing
  4. Avocado lime dressing
  5. Ginger lime tahini sauce

One of the dishes photographed here is of leftover fajita veggies and chicken thrown on a bed of lettuce, with added black beans, tomatoes, and avocado lime dressing. Everyone loved it and I would argue it was better than fajitas the night before.

Download the recipe pack for all 5 sauces here

Tell me what you try and what you like! Tag Mountain Rebalance @mountainrebalance so I can see!! Enjoy every bite

Read what people say about working with Janel at Mountain Rebalance

Fall Digestion Club starting fall 2021!!!

Spring Cleanse Spring 2021

Womens Hormone Club Winter

Big News! Digestion Club Starting Fall 2021 at Mountain Rebalance.

People have loved our Group Programs so much (Winter Women’s Hormone Club, Spring Cleanse, Ongoing Replenish/Rebalance) that I added a Fall Digestion Club to the mix. I am pumped and I hope you are too.

As we are learning more and more, so much of health begins in and depends on the GUT. This includes mental health, immune health, digestive health, physical health, hormone health, energy, sleep, and so much more.

This club is for anyone looking to

  • enhance their overall health and decrease pesky symptoms
  • optimize digestion and learn about how it works and what impacts it
  • learn a ton about your own unique body and what it is saying
  • use food and lifestyle as medicine
  • receive lots of new recipes and organizational tips for the kitchen
  • discover what various supplements might be helpful to improve digestion

Groups are an awesome and affordable way to get a jumpstart on health, further your health journey, connect with others, start feeling better, and learn a ton.

This will be a 6 week program with weekly live (online or in person options) group meetings with Janel to ask questions and connect. There will be educational videos to watch on your own, handouts, questionnaires, and a food/lifestyle protocol to help “clear the muddy waters” as we call it in Functional Nutrition.

You will learn a ton about digestion top to bottom, why it is important, what impacts it, and how to read your own body, all while following a food/lifestyle protocol to decrease overall inflammation, boost nutrients, and support digestion.

Digestion is one of the 3 Root Causes to address when addressing any chronic disease or pesky symptom (the other 2 roots are inflammation and genetics- we will be impacting all 3).

There will be lots more info coming soon but mark your Calendars for September/October 2021. These groups fill up fast!!

Find out what people are saying about working with Janel at Mountain Rebalance

Learn more about Janel

Spring Cleanse info here

Winter Women’s Hormone Club info here

3 ideas for building resiliency, health, and calm in 2021

Digestion talk from 2019

Delicious, Clean, and Hormone Friendly Banana Blueberry Bread!

This bread is delish plus it is loaded with health promoting ingredients that are an awesome balance of fat, fiber and protein to help set the stage for hormone balance.

The women in this years winter Hormone Club are enjoying this recipe along with other nourishing recipes to promote hormone balance. We have been talking over the last 6 weeks all about hormones, what impacts them, how they interact with each other, and how to use food and lifestyle to support hormone balance and minimize symptoms of imbalance.

I am obsessed with understanding the science around how the body works and what impacts it.

The digestive tract is the intersection between the outside world and what goes on inside our body. How our brain takes in and experiences the world is another way the outside world becomes part of our physiology. I love helping people use food and lifestyle to promote health and teaching people how to listen to their own body and discover what is true for them.

This anti-inflammatory blueberry banana bread is gluten, dairy, soy and white sugar free. It has flax for fiber and healthy fats, hemp seeds for protein, phytonutrients in blueberries and bananas, healthy fats plus protein and loads of nutrients in eggs, and anti-inflammatory olive oil. Give it a try and enjoy 😊. Let me know what you think

Ingredients

  • 1 cupAlmond Flour
  • 1/4 cupCoconut Flour
  • 1 tspBaking Soda
  • 1/2 tspSea Salt
  • 1 tspCinnamon
  • 1 tbspGround Flax Seed
  • 1 tbspHemp Seeds
  • 2Banana (mashed)
  • 2 tbspsExtra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3Egg (whisked)
  • 1/4 cupMaple Syrup
  • 1 cupBlueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (177ºC).
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. In a separate mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until a creamy consistency forms. Add in the oil, eggs and maple syrup and mix well. Pour the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients and mix well. 
  3. Gently fold in your fresh or frozen blueberries with a spatula. Distribute the blueberries evenly throughout the batter, but be careful not to over mix as this will break the berries and cause your bread to turn purple. (It will still taste just as good but may not look as pretty!)
  4. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pour in the batter. Bake in oven for 45 – 50 minutes. Test if it is cooked through by sticking a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean, the bread is done. When fully cooked, lift the parchment paper out of the pan and let cool before slicing. Enjoy!

Check out our awesome group wellness offerings! We go into a ton about the science of your body and how food and lifestyle can make an impact. Offerings include The Winter Women’s Hormone Club, Spring Detox and Liver Love, Summer Badass For the Long Haul, and The Fall Digestion Club. Join us and take charge of your health!

Janel is a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist, a Functional Medicine Nutritionist, has her doctorate in Natural Medicine, is a certified family herbalist and a certified yoga therapist. ‘I am dedicated to empowering people to feel their best and to take charge of their health. I help people understand their body and how to use food and lifestyle to improve health and resilience. I obsess over the science so you can choose what is best for you.’

Cacao Elixir (aka clean and nutritious hot chocolate)- 3 Ways

When something tastes this good and is this good for you, how can you resist? Well, on a cool and wintry day I cannot, and will not. Drink up let these hot cacao elixirs melt your heart and your soul!


Cacao is loaded with health promoting flavonoids and polyphenols that are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. It is also a great source of magnesium which is awesome for us ladies and plays a role in over 300 enzyme reactions in the body (enzymes are how things get done, kind of like a mom, IMPORTANT). 

Since I love foods that promote health but also love delicious tasting food that nourishes not only my body but my soul too, I give you my 3 favorite ways to enjoy a hot cacao elixir.

Note- Cocoa powder is usually highly processed and is often alkalized, which reduces the amount of antioxidants. Raw cacao is high in antioxidants and has many more beneficial nutrients, so stick with cacao.

Note- These drinks taste wonderful anytime but I am convinced they taste best at 3pm or after any outdoor snowy adventure, rosy cheeks and all. You choose what’s true for you.


 Recipe number one and my go to when I am at home (makes 1 cup)-

  • 1 favorite mug of choice
  • 1 tablespoon raw organic cacao powder
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 8 ounces of hot water
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut milk (from the can not carton)
  • 15 drops of stevia (adjust according to taste. You can also add a 1 tsp of coconut sugar depending on where you stand with sugars. I love it with stevia and my blood sugar and hormones do too)
  • Mix all together and stir with whisk or fork.
  • Bonus variations- Sometimes I put in a few drops of peppermint extract, other times I put in a dash of cayenne powder to heat things up.  Both are YMMMMMM good
    What is your favorite variation of this one? 

Recipe number 2 (makes 2 cups)

  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 3/4 ounce dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao)
  • Add almond milk to a saucepan and heat it over medium-low heat. Once it is warmed through (not boiling), add the cacao powder, maple syrup and dark chocolate. Whisk well to combine.
    Continue to whisk until all ingredients are evenly distributed and it has reached your preferred temperature. Taste, and add more maple syrup if needed. Divide into mugs and enjoy!

Recipe number 3 (not really a recipe as these are pre-made but so yummy and clean/quick/easy version). I have this at my office

  • 1 mug of hot water with either (I have no affiliation with any of these, I just love them for a quick delicious cup of hot cacao). Some of them have a bit of sweet in them but they all have great, high quality, health promoting ingredients and taste delish.
    • 1 package of Four Sigmatic Mushroom Cacao Mix
    • 1 scoop Kos Holy Cacao
    • 1 scoop Laird Superfood Hot Chocolate Mix

Enjoy and let me know which one is your favorite! Tag @mountainrebalance with a picture of you enjoying your mug of Cacao Elixir

More like this- Golden Milk 3 Ways, Favorite Chai recipe -Chai 2 ways

I will leave you with some snowy pics to inspire your cacao appetite:)

Enjoying a hot cup of cacao on a cold new years morning ski/fire with some magnificent women friends

icicles from my bedroom window

Kids skiing to school
My other favorite kind of chocolate

Happy, now I need some hot cacao!

CHECK OUT WHAT IS HAPPENING AT MOUNTAIN REBALANCE. MORE 2021 DATES BEING ADDED – Including Spring Cleanse, Badass For The Long Haul, Healing Foods Club, Digestion Club, Women’s Hormone Club, and more!

Supporting Your Microbiome With Food and Lifestyle

Your Microbiome is hugely influential to your everyday and longterm health, and here is the thing, your microbiome is malleable, meaning it changes depending on your lifestyle and your food choices. 


Your microbiome, according to microbiome scientist extraordinaire Dr. Joseph Petrosino, is important for mental health, immune health, hormone health, healthy weight and energy levels, brain function, digestive health, inflammatory levels, cardiovascular health, and more (1)! 


I am loving all the new science and appreciation that is happening around these important microbes and how they influence us.  We are learning more and more each day.  Here are just a few ways we know the microbiome influences our health.

First, the gut microbiome is the totality of all the organisms, bacteria, yeast, fungi, in your gut as well as their genetics, in relation to you, the host. What happens to them, happens to you, and vice versa.

The crazy thing? We have more microbial cells than human cells in our body. Even crazier.. according to microbiome scientist Kiran Krishnan, new science has made it clear that these microbes control around 90% of our genes (2). Humans have around 7 pounds of influential microbes in their gut alone!

Why is it important?


Among many other important functions, our microbiome provides a barrier system, between the outside world, or the foods and substances you ingest, and the inside world, your bloodstream and your immune system. Making sure you have a robust barrier is key to your health.  We want to keep out what does not belong in our bloodstream but absorb what we do need.

In particular the microbiome and the balance of microorganisms in your body influences your immune function, in fact, according to Krishnan, your immune system would not exist with out it. Your microbiome acts as watch guards to help find invaders, and then communicates via inflammatory markers with the rest of your immune system if back up is needed (so your immune system can act on invaders and keep you safe).


Another incredibly important role of the microbiome is the production of Short Chain Fatty Acids and the impact of butyrate in particular.   These substances, that healthy microbes produce, directly impact your brain, your immune system, and more.  (check out my short videos on feeding the microbiome to support immune health below)

Your microbiome is also key to your metabolism by helping you digest and utilize foods. We can eat the best foods in the world but we need out microbes to help us use them. In fact it helps us not only process foods but also process medications (5).

Your microbes send messages to your nervous system and can influence what foods you crave and how satiated you feel, says Krishnan. They can influence which part of the nervous system is activated, the rest/relax or fight/flight one, impacting your mood as well as cravings. In addition, studies have confirmed the influence of the gut microbiome on neurodegenerative diseases, neurotransmitters, and behavioral disorders (3).

According to health expert Chris Kresser the microbiome plays a critical role in hormone balance as well, influencing hormonal symptoms, diseases and cancers (4).

This is just the start, as we are only now starting to understand how influential our microbiome is on every part of out physical and mental health. Since your microbiome influences so many aspects of your body and your health it is worth taking care of. The crazy cool thing? It is the choices you make everyday with food and lifestyle that make the biggest impact.

When considering the health of your microbiome, it is important to

  1. Ingest healthy microbes to ensure diversity
  2. Feed the microbes in a way that promotes a healthy population
  3. Protect our microbiome from damage. 

Ways to enhance a healthy and diverse microbiome- 

  • From the get go, vaginal births seed the microbiome with healthy microbes and Breastmilk feeds these microbes exactly the right foods to thrive.
  • Avoid unnecessary antibiotics and medications
  • Eat fermented foods like Kvass, sauerkraut, yogurt, Kimchi, or other fermented veggies to get good microbial diversity
  • Eat loads of fiber, phytonutrients, and prebiotics from veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes (this is what feeds your healthy microbes)
  • Sleep 7-8 hours per night
  • Exercise or move your body daily 
  • Reduce everyday stress and learn to process stress (breath work, meditation, guided imagery, etc)
  • Avoid pesticides on your food and in your life like Round Up
  • Keep inflammation under control 
  • Play in the dirt including organic gardening

Look for more coming around the importance of the microbiome and practical steps to help you maintain a healthy balance of these incredibly influential little critters.   For now, check out my videos below on 2 ways to feed your microbes the right foods.


Two microbiome scientists I love, who are doing really great research, and to keep an eye on are Dr. Joseph Petrosino and Kiran Krishnan. You can also check out the Microbiome Summit if that interests you.

AND keep an eye open for my Healthy Digestion Club coming soon!

Exact quantities will vary depending on your unique body and gut health. Start low and slowly increase amount of ground flaxseeds and psyllium as your gut permits. I do 1 tablespoon of each but find what is right for you. Always chase with a glass of water:)
Stewed Apples For Gut and Immune Health- Short Chain Fatty Acids
Get my recipe for stewed apples here

References-

  1. Romm, Aviva. (2018) Frontiers in Microbiome Research with Dr. Joseph Petrosino
  2. (2020) The Healthy Terrain Summit. Krishnan, Kiran. Our Microbial Terrain. The Science Of Community
  3. Strandwitz P. Neurotransmitter modulation by the gut microbiota. Brain Res. 2018 Aug 15;1693(Pt B):128-133. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2018.03.015. PMID: 29903615; PMCID: PMC6005194.
  4. Kresser, Chris. (2017) The Gut Hormone Connection.
  5. Jandhyala SM, Talukdar R, Subramanyam C, Vuyyuru H, Sasikala M, Nageshwar Reddy D. Role of the normal gut microbiota. World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Aug 7;21(29):8787-803. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i29.8787. PMID: 26269668; PMCID: PMC4528021.
  6. Functional Nutrition Lab. FBS. Digestive Intensive 2018

Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP PhD is a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist, a Functional Medicine Nutritionist, has her doctorate in Natural Medicine, is a certified family herbalist and a certified yoga therapist. ‘I am dedicated to empowering women to feel their best and to take charge of their health. I help people understand what is going on in their body and how to use food and lifestyle to improve health and resilience.’

Read more about Janel here

3 Ways To Add Calm and Resilience in 2021

Read what inspired me to study the body and to support people in their journey towards health

3 Ideas To Build Resilience, Health, And Calm in 2021

Welcoming in a new year feels vastly more important this year.  Although a new year will be appreciated on many levels and brings with it the potential for needed change, it is not a free ticket to better or easier times.  But the cool thing is there are some awesome habits you can adopt to increase how well you feel and how resilient you are this new year. 


I could easily name 10 (or 20) but I am going to keep it to 3 and they will all be about adding, not taking away……..

1. Add booster foods to your life.  I love booster foods.  They are such a simple way to add nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, clean proteins and fiber to your day.   They will help you become more resilient in so many ways as your body restores and refuels a little bit more every day.  What are booster foods exactly? They are a group of foods that are nutrient dense power houses.  They are loaded with the constituents your body needs to function its best but are sorely lacking in so many foods today.  The key to incorporating them into your life is making a place for them in your home that you see everyday which helps you to remember to add them.  Here is a post I wrote on booster foods if you want more.  I have a special shelf in my fridge dedicated to these foods alone. Some of my favorites include flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, camu powder, maca powder, a mix of sesame/pumpkin/sunflower seeds, gogi berries, mulberries, kelp flakes, nutritional yeast, collagen, and cacao.   I try to add them when I can throughout the day to salads, yogurt, smoothies, soups, toast, nut butters, potatoes, bars, etc.  Sprinkle that nutrient dense magic everywhere.  The key is being organized and creating the space.


2. Eat the rainbow, seriously, I know you’ve heard it, but do it each time you eat.  It’s not about eating perfectly is’s just about adding color. At every meal and snack ask yourself, “how can I get more color?”.  Colorful whole foods are loaded with important phytonutrients (which means nutrients from plants) that our body needs to operate it’s best. Our immune system needs colors, we need colors to fight off cancer, our brain needs colors, our gut needs colors, colors fight of oxidative damage, our heart and our hormones all need colors.  I know you know it, but now let’s make it happen.  -Eggs and toast for breakfast? What can you add? Blueberries and kale chips.  Great. The rainbow.  -A bowl of chilli for lunch?  What can you add? Sliced cucumbers on the side and chopped cilantro and pumpkin seeds on top. Yum. A rainbow.  -Roasted chicken, potatoes and a simple salad for dinner?  Get out the grater and grate a couple carrots and beets for the top of your salad and add a few chunked pieces of broccoli to boot with, a squeeze of lemon of course. Rainbow beauty there.  -Your kids having mac and cheese again for lunch? Ask them what colors they want to add on the side.  Roasted brussel sprout chips, strawberries, a tamari seaweed snack, green apples, red pepper strips, or carrots would bring in awesome colors.  Find what works for you but just think ‘what other colors can I add?’.  The key is shifting your mindset each time you eat to consider the rainbow.

3.  Make time for quiet.  Shhhhhhh. Honestly, it does not have to be fancy or timed or structured.  Although those things help some people, find small things you can do daily that are quiet,  just for you and that feels good.  For me I love lighting a candle every morning in the fall/winter/spring.  I take some breaths there, think of what I am grateful for, that’s it.  My sweetie walks outside each morning and spends just a few moments breathing in the cool air.  Some people spend time meditating, or doing breathwork.  Doing some gentle stretching is lovely each day.  Even a walk, all alone, with no phone.  Maybe watch the sunset each night.  Give your brain, your heart and your soul some quiet where there is nothing to do, no electronics on, no to do list.  Not even reading or music.  No pressure. Just quiet. And it can be only a few minutes each day.  What quiet will you add each day?  The key is doing it every day and keeping it simple.


I hope 2021 brings you calm, health, and resilience. 

Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.

Wildly, Janel at Mountain Rebalance

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