I get fired up about the gap in healthcare and I’m not sure why we don’t address it more openly.
First off, there are a lot of magnificent doctors, nurses, and other medical workers out there doing important and hard work. I’m married to a brilliant doctor and my mom is a wonderful nurse.
There are a lot of people with chronic health issues today who are not getting the support they need around their health.
Both of those things can be true. (note, we will come back to that idea, it’s a big one)
These people who are struggling with chronic health issues need more.
More time to be seen, heard and understood.
More curiosity around what might be going on in their body.
More empathy around their story.
More focus on WHY symptoms are happening and what is driving them.
More support to make sustainable changes that impact health.
More attention and help tracking signs/symptoms over time.
More education around what is going on in their body.
More practitioners who know how to methodically use food and lifestyle changes to support each person’s unique physiology.
More practitioners who can refer them to others who can help support their health journey.
More support in addressing unique health issues and goals even if there isn’t a diagnosis, aka help functioning better.
More focus on preventative measures to move towards health and aging healthfully
Chronic health issues do not happen overnight. There is a progression and usually several factors at play. In many cases symptoms are not even the problem but instead information that something is going on in the body.
People come to me all the time with issues they have struggled with for years. These often include unresolved chronic headaches, bloating, memory problems, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, anxiety, pms, body aches and pains, weight gain, difficulty paying attention, brain fog, rashes, immune problems, memory issues, etc
I have heard time and time again how frustrating and hopeless this can feel. Often these people have seen doctors, maybe multiple doctors, and nothing seems to come up.
And honestly, I have heard doctors on the other end talking about how frustrating this population can be. And I get it. Our medical system is not designed for people with chronic issues. They are incredible when there is trauma, or surgery needed, when a life saving medication or therapy is required, etc.
But again, there is a growing population that needs more AND there is a lot that can be done to improve signs, symptoms, and disease process even if your doctor does not know about it. There is a ton of new research and clinical evidence showing that food, nutrients, herbs, gut health, chronic inflammation, and lifestyle changes have a huge impact on how your body functions and how disease progresses and how genetics express themselves. Chronic disease does NOT happen overnight but instead it is a slow progression.
I have decided to stop arguing over western medicine vs natural approaches and I am working instead to fill this gap the best I can.
There is so much work that needs to be done here.
There are people who do work slowly filling in this gap, who track history, timelines, story, who discuss physiology and how the body systems work together and are connected, who teach people how to listen to their body with a scientist’s mind, who are okay not knowing the answer right away but instead can sit in a place of curiosity while we investigate, who understand the nuances of how food and lifestyle impact each body uniquely, even impacting genetics and impacting how we age and who are happy working alongside physicians and any medical team.
I am thrilled to be part of that system to fill the gap.
I really feel like if we as health and wellness practitioners could acknowledge our own limitations as well as what our strengths are, we could truly serve people extraordinarily. Because as I said earlier, there are incredible doctors AND people with chronic issues who need more. Both can be true (thanks for that empowering phrase, sister Brittany).
Have you experienced this gap? As a practitioner or patient? I would love to hear about it and talk about it more openly.
Janel works and plays out of Truckee/Tahoe and is endlessly passionate about helping people understand their unique body better. Janel helps people use food, lifestyle, herbs, and nutrients to shift the terrain in their body towards greater health and function. She works one on one and in groups settings.
What we eat has a huge impact on how we function and our health but equally important is how we break down those foods and how we absorb those foods. The best foods in the world can only work their magic if we are able to access and use the nutrients.
We now know that our food is way more than just calories. The foods we eat are information for every cell in our body and are what our cells need to grow healthy tissues, fire our nervous system properly, fight viruses and bacteria, grow bones, think clearly, detox chemicals/meds/hormones/etc, make enzymes/hormones/neurotransmitters, and so much more.
But first we need to properly break down our foods and then absorb our foods effectively. So many of us are not doing this efficiently and while this can prevent us from using all the nutrients improperly digested food can also cause acute problems such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, inflammation, and more. No thank you.
No matter what health issue you are working on, starting with the gut from top to bottom will support any/all of the work you do. No matter what fancy protocol you are following, gut function is key.
Here are 5 simple ways to enhance digestion so you can fully use all the nutrients you are eating to support your health today and for decades. Try adding a new one each week and see how your feel.
1.Breath 3-5 times before you eat. Taking the time to breath calmly before you eat impacts digestion in a few magnificent ways. We cannot digest our food when we are stressed. We need the parasympathetic part of our nervous system (aka rest and digest side) to be activated in order to secrete stomach acid, digestive enzymes, and bile, which are all needed to break down our food and absorb the nutrients in them. The time it takes to stop, slow down and breath also allows us time to smell our food which also activates digestive secretions and blood flow to the gut so we can properly break down our food. So many of us are rushing around throwing food into our mouth and not setting up the environment for digestion. (I even do this when I am eating on the trail and especially if I am ever eating at work or on the run.). So for a week try breathing 3-5 times before you eat and see how you feel.
2. Chew, Chew, Chew. Chewing is one of the first steps involved with digestion. Digestion is a cascade of events that relies on the completion of the steps before it. When you chew your body is queued to make secretions needed for digestion/absorption. The longer you chew the longer your body has to get ready for digestion and in addition, the longer you chew the greater the surface area of your food so these digestive juices can easily act upon it, breaking it down more effectively and efficiently. Chewing alone can relieve gas, bloating and abdominal pain for many. “Eat your drink and drink your food” is a quote I love and one that helps me remember how important it is to chew our food until it is liquid and soft (plus ‘chewing’ our liquids like smoothies allows our body time to release those important digestive secretions that it won’t release if you guzzle down your smoothie or juice too fast). Try counting how many times you chew each bite today and then try chewing until your food feels like a liquid. Try chewing 30-50 times and see how it feels. If you tune into how that feels it can become a habit to chew your food like that regularly and in result improve how your body functions and feels. And guess what, you can do this if you are eating on the trail too!
3. Drink raw fermented apple cider vinegar in water 20-30 minutes before you eat a meal, similarly lemon water works for this. The low pH of apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach encourages your stomach to produce hydrochloric acid, which is essential to break down proteins and to absorb important energy nutrients like iron and B12. Stomach acid also helps kill pathogens that enter through the mouth. It’s a common misconception that heartburn and GERD are symptoms of too much stomach acid, but in reality, these are typically an indication of not having enough stomach acid (PMID: 27574495). We want our stomach to be very acidic, around a pH of 1–2. Start small but shoot eventually for 1-2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (or 1/2 a lemon) in 8 ounces of water 20-30 minutes before you eat. If you feel a warming under your ribs on the left side that means you can scale back or eliminate this as you have sufficient stomach acid. Although this is a gentle practice, if you have inflammation due to GERD or any issues with stomach acid please work with your healthcare provider.
4. Try herbal bitters with your meals. Herbal bitters are a wonderful addition to support digestion as they stimulate gastric juices such as hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes, and bile to support the breakdown and absorption of food. I like spraying bitters in my mouth or before a meal but my kids like spraying them in their water. You can take them with your food or after. They definitely live up to their name (they are super bitter) but as you reintroduce this important flavor back into your life they will become more tolerable. Bitters also support fewer sugar cravings. There are many wonderful small batch herbal bitters that you can find at farmers markets or in your local health food stores but I love the ones from Herb Pharm which come in a spray bottle for easy use. I love encouraging people to use these during our spring cleanse where we focus on loading up on fresh seasonal foods and elixirs to support our liver and our body’s ability to detox.
5. Stimulate your vagus nerve. Your vagus nerve is what controls your digestive juices and motility of your digestive system. We need it working properly in order to break down our foods and pass them through the system in a timely manner, we don’t want things moving too fast or too slowly (aka poop). We even rely on good vagal tone to keep the bacteria in our gut in the right places so they don’t cause problems elsewhere (aka bloating, burping, gas, etc). Low vagal tone has been implicated in everything from Parkinson’s, to bloating, constipation, Fibromyalgia, IBD, hormone problems and more. It is the biggest nerve in the body and communication goes both ways from your brain and gut and from your gut to your brain. If our gut is not happy it tells our brain and if our brain is stressed it impacts our gut. A few ways to easily tone your vagus nerve is to hum, sing, gargle, or chant every day. I try to hum every morning when I am filling up my lemon water and tea water. Deep breathing is another wonderful way to stimulate your vagus nerve. Monitoring your heart rate variability is a great way to tune into the health of your vagus nerve.
This is only a start but these 5 pack a big punch in supporting your body to digest and absorb the food you are eating better. In result YOU function better and address many annoying signs and symptoms.
The best foods in the world will not work and can even cause problems if you are not breaking them down effectively, absorbing them and moving things along in a timely manner. Plus, our digestive system is the gateway between the outside world and the inside world. It is directly connected to our immune system, our nervous system, and the health of every cell in our body. Poor digestion can be the cause of so many problems that don’t feel like they have anything to do with the digestive system (think headaches, fatigue, joint pain, hormone problems, insomnia and more).
This is one reason I love Functional Nutrition. We focus on the roots of health, the root cause of symptoms and HOW THE BODY IS FUNCTIONING, not just covering up symptoms. People often (and understandably) spend time chasing symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, insomnia, bloating, etc. Before you jump in on a fad diet or herb make sure your body is functioning. When you address the roots you can make an impact on the entire body. Using food and lifestyle to support the body to function its best is powerful way to optimize health no matter where you are in life or on the health spectrum or no matter what other medical therapy you are using. Starting with the basics- GUT HEALTH and DIGESTION– is one of the first steps for all of us.
Give these a try and let me know how it goes.
Join the SPRING CLEANSE and we will be adding all of these (along with loading up on nourishing foods to cleanse, detox, rejuvenate and release the heavy energy of winter).
Hope to see you soon.
Janel Ferrin Anderson. NC, FNLP, DNM
Janel is a board certified nutrition consultant, a certified functional nutrition practitioner and has her doctorate in Natural Medicine. Janel is obsessed with helping people understand their body better and helping them get to the root of what is causing health problems. Using food, lifestyle, herbs, supplements and testing she helps people shift the terrain towards health.
So many people that come to work with me struggle with low energy, despite looking like the image of health on the outside for some.
They are often told by their doctors that they look perfectly healthy, everything is great, maybe just depressed?
From a disease perspective I get it. No disease there. But from a health perspective there can be a lot going on and a lot to work with to turn the dial. When we consider that there is a spectrum of health, not just Diseased or Healthy, we find there is quite a bit we can do with food and lifestyle to turn the dial towards better health, function, and greater energy.
One of my missions is to fill the gap between disease and perfect health, empowering people learn about what is going on in their body and what they can do to optimize how they function not matter where they are on the spectrum of health.
Nothing woo woo here, just systems biology coupled with modifiable lifestyle choices to improve how we feel and function.
When we look at how energy is made and what impacts it, there are 4 areas that stick out to me, as a functional nutritionist, where food and lifestyle can make a difference even for people already eating diverse whole foods.
Blood sugar highs and lows
Thyroid health and how the system is functioning
Mitochondria and the nutrients needed to make energy (not just calories)
The amount of Stress we are under, how we process that stress, and how our adrenals and HPA axis (hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal axis) are handling it
It is almost painful to omit DIGESTION from this list but for the sake of not beating a dead horse I will leave it out of the top 4 😉 . Of course eating enough food, sleeping, and moving regularly help here too. I wanted to address things people are not always thinking about.
1. Blood Sugar Regulation
Optimizing blood sugar is important for all of us, not just diabetics. So many of the people I work with are shocked how much this is impacting their energy on a day to day basis. I was even shocked when I tuned in to my blood sugar. Blood sugar is impacted by what we eat, when we eat, how much stress we have in our lives, how we move our body, how well we sleep, our estrogen, and more. Our blood sugar levels naturally go up and down during the day but we want hills, not mountains. What goes up will come down and often crashing down hard bringing with it symptoms of blood sugar imbalance such as: afternoon fatigue, sleepiness, cravings, anxiety, waking up in the middle of the night, headaches, irritability, and more. If you want to optimize your energy it is essential to optimize your blood sugar. Retraining your body to burn fat is a great way to do this as is balancing fat/fiber/protein at every meal and snack. Because blood sugar is so important for energy, sleep, and hormone balance we work on this in our 6 week Women’s Hormone Club, at the 10 week Foundations of Health and I address this with my one on one clients. How balanced is your blood sugar? Do you have any symptoms indicating you could use some work here? Tuning into your ups and downs during the day can be incredibly insightful to optimizing blood sugar and feeling more balanced energy.
One of my favorite ways to help balance blood sugar is getting enough protein for breakfast. I find most people miss this chance to manage blood sugar in a way that trickles down to the rest of the day.
2. Thyroid Health
Our thyroid impacts our metabolism and how we use protein, carbs, and fat to make energy, it impacts our oxygen consumption, our sodium/potassium regulation, cardiovascular function, red blood cells, digestion, and is used by every cell in our body. 1, 2. If we do not have enough thyroid hormone or cannot properly use our thyroid hormone our entire body will slow down and fatigue is a common symptom. Our thyroid depends on clear communication between our brain and our thyroid (the HPT axis), it depends on having the proper nutrients to make thyroid hormones (which also includes how well we are digesting and absorbing those nutrients), on our microbiome to convert thyroid hormone to a usable form, if we have antibodies to our thyroid gland or antibodies to certain thyroid enzymes, and on our cell’s ability to receive and use thyroid hormone 3. If any part of the system is not functioning optimally, even if there is not a diagnosable disease to treat, or even if someone is taking thyroid hormone but not utilizing it well, energy will be impacted. Getting a clear idea of thyroid function and making sure your thyroid has what it needs to function is an important step to optimize energy and one that affects women considerably more than men. Even if your TSH looks perfect there could be more at play. Food and lifestyle are key players in the thyroid system (HPT) and getting a full thyroid panel is key if there are energy issues or any signs of a slow down in the body.
Some of my favorite thyroid supportive foods include- brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, kelp, eggs, and greens.
3. Mitochondria and the Nutrients Needed to Produce Energy
Our mitochondria are where energy is made in our body. We not only need fat, carbohydrates, and oxygen to make energy but we also depend on many other factors to keep the system pumping out ATP, the energy currency in our body. If we do not have enough of any of the following factors, energy production will be decreased, leaving us with less energy. This includes iron to help move oxygen from our lungs to our mitochondria, B vitamins to help the mitochondria convert carbs/fat/protein into energy, and all 20 amino acids needed for coenzymes throughout the process. In the case of these three we depend not only on getting enough from our diet but also on digesting and absorbing them properly. If we do not have enough stomach acid or have any issues with the villi in our small intestine or have a lack of digestive enzymes or bile, we might have a hard time absorbing and digesting these critical nutrients even if we are consuming them. We also need plenty of antioxidants to maintain the integrity of the mitochondria, we need sufficient sulfur, CoQ10, Carnitine, N-acetyl cysteine, vitamin D, magnesium, fatty acids, and alpha lipoic acid for energy production, all coming from the foods we are or are not eating and how we are breaking them down. 4 5 6 Even heavy metals, mold, and toxins can impact our mitochondria 11. Do your mitochondria have what they need to function optimally? Are you sure?
4. Stress and how we are managing it
Every time we are faced with a stressor in life, either emotional, physical, nutritional, environmental, immune wise, from blood sugar swings, etc our hpa axis responds by releasing cortisol from the adrenal glands so our body is prepped to react. This is a great thing as we need cortisol for many reasons, unless is it kept in ‘ON’ mode for too long that is. Our brain does not differentiate if we are being chased by a tiger, are stressed about bills, are up late watching a suspenseful thriller, have a nutrient deficiency, are overtraining, have a chronic infection, mold exposure, or any other stress we might be facing. It is all stress on the body and is a bit of a mismatch between how we evolved and our current environment. Some stress is a good thing (hormesis) but too much stress can negatively impact the HPA axis or hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis 7 8. We are meant to handle stress but not a never ending onslaught of stressors 10 (allostatic load). In this case we might see dysregulated cortisol which can manifest as low energy in the morning (despite getting plenty of sleep) and low energy throughout the day, among other things signs of HPA axis dysregulation 8 9. Although ‘adrenal fatigue’ is outdated and not recognized as science based condition (the adrenals are not fatigued instead cortisol is regulated by the brain), hpa axis dysregulation is very real and can be a leading contributor to feeling low energy and fatigue 10. Removing what stressors we can and learning to process our emotional stress better are two important components to supporting the HPA axis and optimizing our energy during the day. Sometimes we need to do a little digging to figure out what is causing our stress response to be turned on chronically.
A couple of favorite herbs/foods to support stress management include sipping lemon balm tea, and taking Adaptogens like Reishi, Rhodiola, Maca and Ashwanganda.
If you are feeling less energy than normal there are ways to use food and lifestyle to support your body and increase your energy (Of course ruling out any serious condition with your physician is an important step).
Tracking is a great way to start tuning in to what is going on in your body. Start noticing and writing down when you feel good, when you feel low, what you are eating, your lifestyle choices during those times, known stressors, mood, poop, sleep, how much you are resting, etc. There are labs and tests that can help you dig deeper too, such as nutritional panels, a functional thyroid panel, serum labs such as iron/ferritin/vitamin D/magnesium, dried urine and salivary hormone tests, blood sugar monitoring, organic acids tests, and more. Optimizing digestions is always important to make sure you are able to use the nutrients you are eating. Stay curious and reach out to a trusted wellness professional for help.
Digging deeper with functional labs can be extremely helpful if things feel off in your body. When we look at functional labs we are looking for optimal function instead of just for disease. Test don’t guess! Check out functional labs I often use for energy issues.
Some of my favorite functional booster foods to support optimal energy include
liver (supplement if you don’t want to eat organ meat)
sprouts (broccoli, alfalfa, mung, etc)
bee pollen, royal jelly, and honey
nuts and seeds
What do you do to optimize your energy?
This is intended to serve as education regarding food and lifestyle to support health. It is not meant to treat or diagnose any health condition. Please consult your physician with any health issues.
Janel works with people one and one and in group settings out of her office in Truckee/Tahoe. She helps people better understand what is going on in their body and explores with them how to use food and lifestyle to optimize health. Janel is a board certified nutrition consultant, a certified functional nutrition and lifestyle practitioner and has her doctorate in natural medicine. She is endlessly interested in WHY things function the way they do.
I love smoothies for easy, fast, and nutrient dense snacks and meals. But, be warned, all smoothies are not created the same.
You want to make sure you are not getting a dessert in a cup, which many of them are.
How do you do this?
Make sure you are getting good protein (around 20-30 grams), a healthy fat (from mct oil, nut butter, or find others on my smoothie guide), not too much sugar and some fiber too (nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies, etc). This combo will ensure you are satiated and that your blood sugar does not spike. These spikes then come crashing down causing all sorts of problems systemically and can bring on symptoms such as bonking in the afternoon, anxiety, problems sleeping, daytime sleepiness, and more. Yuck. These highs/lows can also impact hormones and cause problems with sleep too. Most people I know do not have time for any of that.
We want to drink smoothies that are loaded with nutrients, support our health, and give us long lasting and balanced energy.
Use my smoothie guide below to formulate your own or check out my recipes.
DELICIOUS and health promoting smoothies are easy to make in a flash.
A green smoothie bowl for when you crave using a spoon and want some crunch
Can you find the protein and fats in all these smoothies? Are you including enough of these important macros in your smoothies? Use the smoothie guide above to buff yours out.
I would love to hear about your favorite smoothies! Share with me on instagram @mountainrebalance or leave in the comments below.
Janel Ferrin Anderson FNLP, NC, DNM
Janel loves helping people understand their physiology better and supporting them to use food and lifestyle to function their best. Learn more about Janel here and more about the groups she leads here. Janel is a board certified Nutritionist and certified functional nutrition and lifestyle practitioner out of Tahoe.
Talking about fueling for endurance sports is about so much more than what to eat or drink during an activity. Well, that is if you care about health as well as performance anyway.
Although I am not a specific sports nutritionist or sports coach, I am an endurance athlete and a functional nutritionist that has worked with hundreds of athletes around optimizing how their unique body functions, including optimizing digestion, immune function, hormone health, energy challenges, sleep issues, mental health issues, injuries that won’t heal, and more. When we work from a grassroots level, focusing on the individual, it is amazing how people become more resilient and endurance ability improves as their body starts to function optimally.
Looking at Endurance through a functional lens helps us to see that above any protocol or plan, we bring our unique selves to the training formula and as it turns out that is the most important consideration.
It is crazy how varied the claims are about training and fueling and it’s no wonder so many people are left confused.
One side claiming keto is the most efficient. another side saying it’s dangerous and claiming we need fast carbs continuously. Intermittent fasting and fasted runs are either the best or the worst approach. Sports gels and gues are one man’s ticket to victory and another persons ticket to diarrhea. One woman claims high intensity interval workouts are most important while her best friend swears by long and slow workouts.
What if I told you they are all correct?
The truth is you need to find what’s right for you and your unique biology along with your unique goals. As Andrea Nakayama says, “nutrition is not just a handout”.
The key finding what is right for you is considering a systems biology perspective. When you do this you will be less likely to miss any key areas that might be keeping you back from performing your best AND you will support the proper body systems to ensure endurance activities don’t lead to long term health problems at the same time.
My sports fuel theory has always been ‘drink enough, eat enough, and refill after’. This seemingly over simplistic approach only makes sense after we look at Endurance functionally. (See my favorite trail foods below too though)
The basis of functional nutrition is considering what makes each person unique, considering all the body systems and how they interact, seeing each of our symptoms as something our body is trying to tell us, understanding that everything we do impacts how we function (including our mindset), looking for the root cause of symptoms instead of covering them up, and using food and lifestyle to optimize how a person functions now and in the future.
A big part of this is learning to track your unique body and learning to tune in and listen to what it is saying before it has to speak too loudly. See my favorite ways to do this below.
Signs you might have some work to do optimizing how you function-
Not having perfect poops every single day? Having any digestive problems? Or having problems sleeping? Any issues with your immune system? Experiencing energy ups and/or downs? Anxiety? Brain fog? Fatigue? Injuries not healing? Lacking strength? Not recovering well? These are all signs that need your attention if you want to perform your best or if you want to feel your best in 10, 20, 30+ years from now.
Have a listen/watch!
Listen to the discussion I had with my guru and teacher extraordinaire (I will be honest, she is my cerebral girl crush), Andrea Nakayama, about this topic. You can download the filled out matrix here as well to help you think into this systems based and empowering approach to endurance. It can be your trail map to using functional nutrition for health.
In my discussion with Andrea we talk about physiology and research around all the following functional topics and how they relate to Endurance
Mediators– what positively or negatively impacts endurance ability?
Digestion/Absorption (how endurance sports impact our gut and how our gut impacts our performance). We might have to do another entire talk on this one as it is so important.
The microbiome (so much great research around how our microbiome can specifically support our endurance efforts and vice versa. A healthy microbiome = health).
Immune function (long intense exercise impacts our immune function so how do we support our body so we stay resilient and strong. Plus, what is the difference between acute and chronic inflammation)
Energy production, how mitochondria function, fuel sources, and the aerobic vs anaerobic pathways
We dig into hormones and neurotransmitters including our stress hormone cortisol, thyroid hormones (so important for energy production and often overlooked and misunderstood), and sex hormones (because our monthly cycle is our 6th vital sign ladies!).
The value of high intensity training, strength training, mobility, and aerobic base training (which is the best? learn why we do them and you decide. I say include them all).
We run out of time but touch on mindfulness, community and staying positive (this is such a huge part of endurance so we may need to do another talk just about mental endurance and the power of our mind)
We talk about fueling and hydration tips also
Here is the completed functional matrix for Endurance Athletics- Loads of fun here to think about
Some of my favorite functional ways to track your unique body, to “look under the hood” so to speak, include-
Continuous blood glucose monitor or finger prick blood sugar monitor
An Organic Acids Test to look into fat/carb metabolism, nutrient levels, oxidative stress, mitochondria function, exposure to toxins and mold, gut dysbiosis, and neurotransmitters
A full functional thyroid lab to look in to the HPT axis
A saliva cortisol test to get a better look at you HPA axis
A gut zoomer to look into digestion, absorption, gut inflammation, the integrity of the gut wall, the diversity of microbes, or if there are any gut infections
Ketone meter to see if you are using fatty acids for energy
Nutrient panels to see if you are burning through any nutrients or needing to boost certain ones
Functional blood serum labs to get an overall picture of how your body systems are functioning
A urine hormone panel to look at sex hormones, sleep hormones, neurotransmitters, metabolites
Heart rate variability via a watch or Oura ring (my favorite way)
Basal body temperature to track your thyroid and ovulation/progesteron
Heart rate chest strap to measure your heart rate at different intensities
Genetics, when indicated
And footnote- don’t be surprised if your doctor isn’t interested in this testing as to them you seem to be in perfect health. The thing is, perfect health is not the only other option than diseased/medicated. The truth is there is a huge spectrum in the middle and we are talking about optimizing that. Find someone who will help you.
There is a lot we can learn from just tracking our body with a pen and paper (or fancy app) too
You can make a matrix all about you to track changes over time or get an idea of what are might need more attention and balancing
You can make a timeline for yourself to help you connect the dots and track various efforts and training.
You can track your monthly cycle and symptoms associated with it by tracking your basal body temp, cervical fluid, menstruation, symptoms
A few of my favorite foods to fuel long endurance adventures include
Boiled potatoes and salt (always)
White rice and bacon squares (this is what I am eating in this picture and as you can see it brings me a lot of joy on the trail:) Ymmm)
Salted nuts and raisins
Avocados and bean burritos
Homemade cookies, bars, gummies (you can download a few of my favorite recipes below)
Dried dates and mango sticks
Honey sticks and other bee products like royal jelly and propolis
Puréed sweet potatoes and applesauce
Olives and soft stick beef jerky (seriously)
Packaged foods and hydration that I like- Scratch Labs electrolytes, LMNT electrolytes, Trail Butter, Spring gels, Rx bars, Snickers, Honey Stinger gluten free waffles, Amy’s gluten free bean burrito (this one warms up great in the pack all day;)), Kion Aminos
Pre endurance adventure foods– about 2 hours before I head out I love to eat sourdough toast with almond butter and bananas or a bowl of hot millet cereal with maple syrup and walnuts. 30 minutes before heading out I drink a scoop of amino acids in water (I try to do it again every 90 minutes or so).
Post endurance adventure foods- I always eat some carbs and protein within 30 minutes of finishing up on the trail. That often includes a mango and protein smoothie or my superfood recovery smoothie.
The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution- Book by Aviva Romm
Above all else, Functional Nutrition teaches us to be curious about our body and what is going on before it has to talk too loudly. Enjoy the trail and as Thick Nhat Hahn says “Kiss the earth with every step”
Janel Ferrin Anderson DNM FNLP NC
Janel is obsessed with helping people understand their unique body and figure out how their food and lifestyle choices impact their health. Janel helps people explore the root cause of signs and symptoms and how to tune into what their body is saying. Janel is a board certified nutritionist, a certified functional nutrition practitioner, has her doctorate in natural medicine, and is a certified family herbalist. She is a passionate mountain athlete, food junkie, and science nerd. Janel works one on one with clients and teaches many groups. Learn more about Janel here
Badass For The Long haul (currently being reorganized)
Did you know that your poop holds a lot of information about your health and how your body is functioning? It is an indicator of health in a lot of ways.
We are not taught enough about how important our poops are and we certainly don’t talk about it enough (unless you work with me of course;)).
Our poop quality, quantity, frequency, form, shape, smell, color and feel tall us a lot about our health. Our poops and the health of our colon relate to our mental health, our immune health, our energy, hormones (both sex hormones and thyroid hormones), and more.
Poop is one of the 3 most important places to focus on when dealing with any and all health issues or goals. Weather you are dealing with cancer, sleep problems, mental health issues, autoimmune problems, energy needs, body aches, skin issues, menopause, headaches, etc – your poop needs to be addressed.
Want to know what the other 2 areas to address are no matter what your health issues or goals are? Poop, Sleep, and Blood Sugar. More on those to come.
For now, check out the Bristol Stool Chart here to help you begin to understand your poops. That’s right, every time you poop have a look. Record it even. Start noticing what impacts it. We are shooting for type 4.
So what are we looking for exactly?
If there are any undigested food particles in it
How easy is it to wipe? Is it greasy? Sticky?
Does it feel like you fully evacuated it all?
How does it smell?
We want to poop every day, have it come out easily, with form, no undigested food particles, it should break off pretty easily, wipe easily, and feel like you got everything out. It should feel good and not take much time at all.
If you are NOT having these poops regularly, it is time to get curious and see what your body is telling you.
Here are a few things your poop might be telling you (this is not meant to treat or diagnose or substitute one on one medical care but instead is meant to educate. Consult your physician with any medical questions or concerns)-
Color- Bilirubin is made from the breakdown of red blood cells and flows with bile, from the liver, to the gallbladder, and into the small intestine to be eliminated with your poop. It is what colors your poop brown! If your poop is cream colored it might mean you have a liver/gallbladder issue. Yellow poop might mean you have absorption problems. Green is usually okay and often happens when people introduce a greens powder. Black might mean you have blood up high in your small intestine while red might mean you have bleeding lower down in your large intestine. Sometimes supplements color our poop too.
Texture– Consult your bristol stool chart. We are aiming for soft poop but with a solid form, might even be C shaped. If it is rock or pebble shaped you are probably constipated and need to work on softening it up with liquids and fiber. If your poop does not have a shape you have diarrhea and might need to investigate inflammation, poor digestion, food sensitivities, fake sugar consumption (or sugar alcohols), or more. If your poop is fluffy, with small soft pieces you may have a hard time digesting fats.
Smell– Does your poop smell? The bacteria in our large intestine and what we feed it creates and changes the way our poop smells.
Float– This might mean there is gas trapped in your poop. Are you gassy too? You might need support with digestive enzymes or rebalancing your gut microbiome.
Food- If there is undigested food in your stool it might mean that you need to chew more, need more digestive enzymes, or more stomach acid. Start by chewing more and breathing before you eat. Seriously! It’s magic. I love using digestive bitters as well as a gentle way to boost digestive juices. No matter what you are eating if you are not digesting at and absorbing it you cannot use those nutrients as precursors to your other body systems.
Oily, or messy wiping, or sticking together (not a clean break)- This might mean you are having a hard time digesting fats. Some people need to consider some liver/gall bladder support, bitters, enzymes, or ox bile. Do you have your gallbladder? Track when this happens and what you might be eating that relates.
Transit Time and Frequency- How often are you pooping? This is really important. We want to poop 1-2 times a day every single day. After our liver detoxes substances such as hormones, toxins, etc they are sent out with our bile to our poop. We want them leaving our body in a timely manner. If you are not pooping 1-2 times and have slow moving bowels you might want to look into how your thyroid is functioning, food sensitivities, your microbiome diversity, and your water intake. If you are rushing to the bathroom in an emergency and having watery poops that is also something to get curious around. Do you have anxiety? Food sensitivities? Maybe lacking proper digestive juices? Get curious and track what you are eating and when you are pooping.
So start being curious about your poop. Our gut health and our microbiome influence all of our body systems including our mental health, immune health, hormone health, how we age, and more. Perfecting your poops might be your ticket to feeling your best!
Janel is a board certified nutritionist, a functional nutrition and lifestyle practitioner, and has a doctorate in natural medicine. Janel helps people understand their body and supports them by using food and lifestyle to optimize health.
Who out there doesn’t want to be more resilient? I know I do. There is a lot we have control over and a lot we don’t have control over. Building resilience is one of the greatest things we can do for our health so we are better prepared for whatever is thrown at us.I would love to quickly share 5 of my favorite health promoting things with you as we move into the new year. And as always I would love to hear what your favorite new tools are for finding balanced health and RESILIENCE.
Simple Self Care- The more I learn about health and science the more I come back to how important the small boring daily habits are for longerm health (not the shiny expensive new tricks and hacks). These everyday self care things fill up our health account so we can draw on it later and put us in touch with our body/emotions/needs. Try focusing on simple self care this year instead of a fancy new year’s resolution. I really love this idea. What fills you up? What small things can add to your daily life? Pick one to start and do it. Some ideas include
3 minutes of mindful breathing every single morning. Inhale to the count of 4 and exhale to the count of 4. After, consider how you want to feel today and say no to anything you can that does not bring you closer to that feeling.
A glass of water, lemon water, or apple cider vinegar water upon waking up every single day.
Take a walk everyday at lunch every day, even just 10 minutes.
Take 1 minute before you eat to stop, breath, smell, see, and be grateful for your food. Then eat slowly and chew mindfully.
A daily 10 minute stretching routine.
Spend 2 minutes every night before bed considering what you were grateful for in your day, even the hardest ones
Prioritize sleep. Seriously. Every night try for 7-8 of rejuvenating sleep. If you are not getting it find support. Start by setting a non negotiable bed time. For me its 9-10pm.
Which ones do you do or sound like something you could add? I would love to hear. I would love to hear how you feel after a month or 2 or 12 of doing these small things. You can find me on instagram or send an email.
Cheers! or not….. I love that so many people take January as a time to refrain from drinking. What a great ritual. I did this last year and really saw some big changes especially with my night sweats! I can’t believe I used to have them (they have disappeared due to several hormone balancing efforts but this had a big impact). Two of my favorite cocktail replacements are having fresh ginger, soda water, and stevia or a glass of soda water with natural bitters (Herb Pharm makes some great ones that I spray right in). Both are so simple and so yummy.
Later last year I found Dry Farm Wines and am thrilled to find out that I can have a glass of wine every now again and don’t have headaches or wake up in the night. It had been a long time since I enjoyed red wine and I am so happy to be able to do this every once in a while now. The trick is Dry Farm Wines only supplies wines that have no sugar, are all organic, have lower alcohol, no toxic additives, no sulfites, use wild native yeasts, and are paleo and keto friendly. Crazy awesome. I am so happy to have found them for an occasional glass of wine. They offer 100% money back if you don’t like it AND you can get a free bottle of wine with your first order if you use this link (dryfarmwines.com/MountainRebalance).So an alcohol-free or headache/sugar/toxin-free cheers to you
It is official, I have found my favorite gluten test. Vibrant Wellness offers an extremely intelligent, specific and detailed test in regards to gluten with about 40 markers involved. This includes separate proteins, peptides, non gluten components, gut permeability, inflammation, genetics and more. It has been a game changer for really understanding if/how gluten is impacting each individual’s body. Their prices go up in 2 weeks so if you are interested in finding out what is true for you give a shout. They offer other similar, incredibly intelligent testing for other foods like eggs, dairy, grains, gut health, neuro etc.
Using a continuous blood sugar monitor has been one of my favorite new ways to tap into my body and connect some dots. It has been an incredible way to see how I am reacting to different foods, intermittent fasting, how I react to drinking alcohol, stress, exercise, coffee, what might be waking me up at night and tapping into how it feels when I have low blood sugar (sleepy and anxious for me!). Because dis-regulated blood sugar, along with dis-regulated stress, are 2 things that disrupt hormone balance this is a powerful way to optimize hormones through perimenopause and menopause (plus with estrogen changes our blood sugar sensitivity changes too!!). I did it for 4 weeks and will periodically check in again during the year, if needed. Since I do not have diabetes it was not something my doctor was interested in and I paid with cash for the sensor which was $65. As a nutritionist and hormone specialist I can attest that it is incredible and empowering information if done alongside someone who can help interpret the information in a relevant way.
Being someone who understands the world through systems I have always loved thinking into and digging deep into the intricacies of the Immune system and how our world impacts how it functions. Obviously, in our current state of affairs, this has only been magnified. I think I will write a love note this year for valentines day to the efforts of the immune system (did you read my love letter to my gut a few years back? Dorky fun there). There are a lot of wild claims out there about immune health. I have been continuously digging into the research and the physiology of it and have been careful not to make any big shiny claims. I will always be careful to assess the science without any other motivation. A few food/lifestyle things I am standing by is the importance of gut health (including digestive function and microbiome integrity) when it comes to supporting the immune system functioning optimally. I am standing by the importance of reducing chronic inflammation in the body to support the immune system functioning optimally. These both look different for everyone and some people need to do more work and digging to find what might be driving imbalances. I am standing behind eating foods that are loaded with nutrients that our immune system needs (think nuts, seeds, diverse colorful veggies, fruits, healthy fats, clean proteins). In times that a boost of immune nutrients is needed I am a fan of increasing those specific and researched nutrients for our family with supplements. This winter, in particular, we are including zinc, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, fish oil, probiotics, and bee propolis. You can check out some of my favorites here.
Wishing you all a year of resilience and love. Wildly, Janel
Please follow Mountain Rebalance on Instagram for recipes, research, hormone tidbits, digestion facts, endurance boosters, and other fun health related topics. I always appreciate referrals! Tell you family and friends about my offerings if you think they would benefit
Janel Ferrin Anderson FNLP DNM NC
Janel is passionate about helping people learn about their body and supporting them to use food, lifestyle, and nutrients to help their body function optimally.
I love celebrating the season and the idea of giving but the pressure and hype of the winter holiday just doesn’t feel right to me.
So how can we take the good intention of giving, make it health promoting, slow things down, sprinkle on some cozy, and minimize the pressure?
First of all, feel free to make the holiday what you want it to be. What brings you joy? Do more of that. What brings you stress? Do less of that. You get to decide what you want your holiday to feel like.
Here are 14 unconventional but health promoting gifts that you can give yourself and others this holiday season to slow things down and bring back the warm and tender feelings of the winter holiday season.
Quiet. This is number one because I think it is the most important and wonderful gift you can give yourself this holiday. I know there is not a lot of extra time in the day, I am realistic with 4 kids and two working parents. But even just 4 minutes in the morning or anytime can be magic. Pick a time of day. Light a candle, take a bath, take 5 rounds of breath or do a body scan. Whatever way you choose, choose to add some moments of quiet in your day this holiday starting today. Do you hear that? Me neither. Ahhhhhh.
Tea. I really believe in the healing qualities of tea physically, emotionally and spiritually. Tea can bring so much to your life. Share a pot of tea with your family or friends or enjoy a cup by the fire by yourself. The nutrients in tea are wonderfully bioavailable or easy to absorb, and tea can bring ease and calm to a crazy day. Some favorites of mine to help relax include lemon balm, catnip, nettles, chamomile and motherwort.
Dark. Bring it in. The pace of the holiday can be loud, bright, and busy. I invite you to welcome in the dark where you can. The winter is meant to be darker and a time of turning more inward and restoring. Truth is we need dark to help our circadian rhythm which is responsible for so much including metabolism and sleep. Try leaning into the dark by using more candles this time of year, keep the mornings a bit darker and the evenings darker too. Try keeping off the overhead lights a bit and see how that feels. If you need to be on electronics at night get a blue light filter for your computer or glasses to block out the blue light. The Circadian Code by Satchin Panda is a great read about how important our circadian rhythm is.
Processing our stress is so important for overall health. This holiday explore a new way to process stress better. Try guided imagery, or meditation, or a body scan, tapping, or breath practice. There are classes, books, and apps to help. I love the simplicity of the Calm app, or the wonderful options at Sounds True but there are thousands of good ones out there including lovely community groups that meet regularly. Don’t overthink it, just try something.
Get outside. Take a walk outside every single day this month. Yes, that is a gift to yourself. Even just 10 minutes is good. Listen to the sounds, notice the trees, the birds, the air, the sun, the smell, the ground underfoot. Or, if you want to connect with a friend ask them to meet you for walk but only if it brings you joy and peace. However you do it, alone or with a loved one, bundle up and get out there.
Learn a new hobby. This can be so fun so think outside of the box. Maybe it is wood work, pottery, painting, parkour, dance, guitar, a new language, tai chi, etc. What have you always wanted to learn? Sign up! Buy yourself or loved ones some classes this holiday.
Bring some art into your life. Maybe you can check out a new art exhibit with a friend, or a concert, or visit local art studios, or get tickets to the theatre, or get a good coffee table book of pictures of people around the world, or pick up some colored pencils and paper and color or draw or paint.
Spend some time cooking this holiday. Either learn a new recipe, ask your friends or children to cook with you, or prepare some healing foods for yourself or loved ones. Ideas include sauerkraut, granola, juices, broths, elixirs, soups, energy balls, or sprouts. These foods make wonderful gifts too. Drop a juice off at a friends or package up some granola. Want support? Get yourself or a loved one a lifelong membership to the Healing Foods Club. Loads of videos, recipes, nutrient info and more. Check it out and use coupon HOLIDAYBLISS for 25% off this December.
Consider a charity to donate to and donate whatever you can, big or small. I like to think in terms of one local charity, one national charity and one international charity. What matters to you? Find a charity that makes a difference in that area and go for it. Ideas include women’s health, environmental issues, children, local shelters, protecting the wilderness, refugees.
Explore your gut. If you have a bit more money to spend this holiday on yourself it might be fun to do a functional test to see what the condition of your gut is like. Since our current and longterm health is rooted in our gut it is fun to see what microbes are there, how they might be impacting our hormones, how we are digesting food, the integrity of our gut wall, if we have gut inflammation, etc.
Clean products. The holiday is a great time to get yourself or loved ones some clean lotions or oils or soaps or scrubs, etc. The Environmental Working Group is a fabulous resource to find the cleanest products that will also support healthy hormone balance and cellular health in your body.
Journal. Again, it often seems like we don’t have time to journal but it can be an incredibly helpful and rewarding ritual to journal each day. You don’t need to overthink it. Just sit down for 5 minutes and write whatever comes to your mind. Cozy up by the fire if you can or just at the kitchen table works too. The more you do it the easier it will become. The first step is getting yourself a journal. Wrap it up for yourself or just jump right in. The winter months bring a quieter and more reflective energy than the summer months. The winter is the perfect time to start or reignite your journaling practice.
Be playful. So often as adults the holiday brings us stress and we forget to play. Play board games with loved ones, have snowball fights, go ice skating, make your own wreath, go sledding, make a snowman, have a bonfire outside and invite friends over to roast marshmallows, dress up and ski with your friends, etc. Whatever play looks like to you. Bring in some lighthearted joy this holiday.
Sleep. Sleep is critical for our health and is often under valued during the busy holiday. Gift yourself a bedtime this year and stick to it. Create a lovely ritual around your sleep. Add a relaxing bath of lavender and sea salts before bed or start a worry journey to release any worries from the day before you go to bed. Make sure your room is cool and dark to get the best sleep and leave your phone far away from your bed, better yet in another room. If you want a great book on sleep check out Why We Sleep by Mathew Walker.
Happy holidays. I hope you enjoy some quiet, dark, cozy, and meaningful times this holiday with your loved ones. Spend some time thinking about how you want this holiday to feel. Set an intention. I would love to hear how you do this. Please share with us here or on instagram at @mountainrebalance
Janel Ferrin Anderson. NC FNLP DNM. Lover of the mountains, the seasons, all things wild, and also helping people understand the physiology of their body and how food and lifestyle impact their health. Janel works one on one and in group settings both online and in person out of her Tahoe/Truckee office to help people optimize how their bodies function.
One of the most powerful ways to live a healthy and long life is to cook whole, real foods at home. It also happens to be delicious and low cost to boot. The sad thing, most of our kids are not learning to do this.
I am not going to lie and say it happens overnight nor is it a clean process, wink wink, but that day you come home from work to a hot and nourishing meal waiting for you will not disappoint, I promise.
There were some tears shed the first time I came home from work and carpools to my daughters home cooked meal waiting for me. Those tears in the moment were all about how much joy it brought me but really the magic is in knowing that she knows what makes a nutritious meal, knows how to make a grocery list, shop, and cook. The clean up? Well, when the kids cook at our house that usually falls on the rest of us. We certainly aren’t perfect.
Kids can start cooking as soon as they can stand and stir, gaining more independence as they get experience. By 3rd or 4th grade they can definitely start to get what makes a nutritious meal or snack (see below). In my experience, by middle school they can be planning meals, shopping, and cooking meals on their own. But moving slowly is important, and keeping it joyful. Whatever age they start is better than not starting. Jump in.
The first trick is teaching them what makes a healthy meal. This comes from day after day and year after year modeling with your own meals and asking them 1. What are you eating for protein? 2. What colorful veggies and fruit are you eating? and 3. What healthy fat have you included? The rest is just extras after these 3 parts. They will pick up on this and this is a gift upon itself to instill on them.
Another part involves giving them experience in the kitchen. There are times this has looked like world war 3 came through but it is worth it. First helping you with cooking/preparing dishes regularly. Then, letting them have at it. Let them start small, cooking or baking what they want but having the space and encouragement to keep at it, flop after flop, success after success, no matter. There can be a lot of joy here and also lessons about flexibility and having a plan B. Let them use the knives, the oven, the blender, whatever. You can be there guiding and supporting at the beginning.
Then there is making the grocery list and planning the meals. Let them help you pick meals for the week. Write them down and have them write out the grocery list as you dictate it at first, or have them make a list for the thing they are cooking. Showing them how to organize a grocery list into one column of pantry goods, one column of produce, and one column of fridge/freezer foods, or however you do it. Regardless, have them helping to write a list.
Another element is getting them comfortable at the market. Bring them along and have them pick things out, have their own list, push the cart, pick out produce, etc. Teach them to pay, bag, load the car, unload the bags and put them away. You can just make this normal.
Last but certainly not least is sitting around the table and enjoying the food. We are not going for perfect here. Whatever part of the meal they contribute is great. Show them gratitude for their efforts. Talk about what they enjoyed, what was hard, what they learned. And above all, eat up!
We have our kids pick a meal once a month, make the list, shop, and cook. At first there is a lot of hand holding and that is all good. Keep the kitchen joyful and playful. Flops and drops are okay. Then over time let the have more freedom and space to work on their own. Having 4 kids, this happened at different pace for each one. Some jumped right in and others need more support (emotionally and motivationally, 🥴). But it will happen and I truly believe it is the greatest gift we can them.
I grew up with the kitchen as the heartbeat of our house, as my mom says. We were always in there. We were never a sit-on-the-couch family but instead a stand or sit around the kitchen and someone was always cooking or baking something. It was fun, it was perhaps loud, but learning to touch, cook, and enjoy food was a central theme and seeped into our bones.
Today with phones and gaming, sports, binge watching- spending time together in the kitchen together offers a unique pace that can bring deep connection and joy. And lets not forget, health.
Below are my kids go to meals. We are currently compiling a packet for the Healing Foods Club with my kids favorite recipes to cook for dinner along with a kid friendly guide to how to build a meal. Check out the Healing Foods Club if you are interested in using your kitchen as a source of lifelong health.
Happy holidays, xo, Janel
Scarlett (middle school), her favorite meal to cook is herb baked chicken with onions and lemon, a greek salad with olives and cucumbers, and lemon garlic potatoes.
Levi (highschool), his favorite dinners to cook are pad thai and Japanese ramen bowls. We are working on filling in the veggies in these but they are scrumptious.
Gretal (4th grade) is more of a gourmet baker right now and helps me with side dishes for dinner. Her favorite thing to make is a gluten free strawberry cake roll (pictured and taken by her). It is currently my favorite dessert!! She is also mastering gluten free tiramisu. Yum. She also loves taking photos of the food and drinks she makes. I will find dozens of them on my phone😍
Clay (4th grade) is probably our least interested and least patient in the kitchen kiddo but he is working on it and can make a beautiful salad. He wants to master double stuffed potatoes. We are learning that if he can find a dish from a book he has read he is more interested. What do the Hobbits eat anyway?
Janel Ferrin Anderson FNLP, NC, DNM
Janel is a Functional Nutritionist, a board certified holistic nutritionist, and a science based wellness educator out of Tahoe CA. Janel is obsessed with helping people understand how their unique body works and how nutrition and lifestyle impact their health. Janel specializes in gut health, hormone health and works with people who want to optimize how their body functions. Janel explores what might be driving signs and symptoms instead of just covering them up. She teaches several groups each year and also works one on one with clients. When not working, Janel can usually be found cooking, reading, or playing hard outside and enjoying the pace of the wild.
Get all the information you need to prepare and use ‘Food as Medicine’ and enjoy your kitchen in magnificent and health promoting new ways. This is for anyone looking to find joy in their kitchen as they cook for health and dig deeper into nutrients, frameworks, superfoods, and “food as medicine”.
This is a one stop shop loaded with support to empower you to use food, drinks, and herbs for health and enjoyment. It goes from simple daily salads and roasted veggies to week long anti-inflammatory meal plans, to healing elixirs, videos and recipes on making fermented sauerkraut, broths, sprouts, and so much more.
The Healing Foods Club is simple to use and will meet you where you are. It includes –
RECIPE BOOKS INCLUDING ONES FOR SPECIFIC HEALTH GOALS
PRINTABLE TOOLS TO HELP MAKE USING FOOD AS MEDICINE EASY
NUTRIENT AND INGREDIENT INFORMATION
VIDEOS ON HOW TO MAKE SOME OF THE MOST HEALING FOODS
Get dozens of beautiful recipe books loaded with clean recipes and information around specific themes and health issues
Themes include clean recipes and nutrients to support healing after surgery, to support cardio health, a paleo plan, immune health, hormone balance, pescatarian recipes, 7 day anti-inflammatory elimination menu and recipes, snacks, breakfasts, seasonal guides, gut healing gaps recipes, mocktails, sauces, seasonal elixirs (my favorite), athletic fuel, low sugar anti-candida and keto treat recipes, and more.
Get a file of easy to print-out guides to support ease and health in your kitchen. This is one of my favorite things about the healing foods club.
These tangible tools include Building a Plate, Rainbow Foods Checklist, Packing Kids Lunches, a Smoothie Guide, a meal plan organizer, Nutrient Dense Foods to Focus On, an Eating For Health Grocery List, tricks for making things easier in the kitchen, and more
Loads of valuable information about using food as medicine and being empowered around ingredients and nutrients.
Get access to information on nutrients such as Zinc, B vitamins, learn about healthy fats, alternative sweeteners, where troublesome ingredients might be hiding, gluten facts, how much protein you might need for your unique body, foods for anxiety, foods high in essential nutrients, my favorite superfoods and how to use them (another favorite), guidelines on specific therapeutic diets, helping empower your kids to make healthy choices, favorite herbs, and more
Short Instructional Videos and Demos
These short and simple videos demonstrate tips and techniques while walking you through how to prepare the most important healing foods around
I am adding to these regularly!! Try one a month with me. Videos include how to grow sprouts, make nut milks, juice in a blender, brew herbal teas, make bone broth, veggie broths, sourdough, fire cider, yogurt, microbiome supports, elderberry syrup, how to roast veggies, and more
Support in organizing and preparing your kitchen and cooking tools
Learn what my favorite kitchen supplies are for using food as medicine. Organize your kitchen with me!! Pictures, descriptions, etc
This is all done on your own time at your own pace and you can come back to this for years. With more being added over the year you will always have more to try. Plus, it is all in one easy place to find!
Optional Facebook Group coming soon to stay connected with others in this community and share ideas, successes, recipes, techniques, and look for inspiration and support.
And hundreds more including breakfasts ideas, lunches, dinners, snacks, healing foods, seasonal elixirs, and how to plan for the week.
Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP DNM
Janel is obsessed with helping people understand how food and lifestyle impact the physiology of their body. Janel is a science nerd with a passion for good food, leaning into the seasons, and playing hard in the wild. Join her in using Food as Medicine, for the body and the soul. Janel is a board certified nutritionist, a certified functional nutrition practitioner, she has her doctorate in natural medicine and is a certified family herbalist and ayurvedic yoga therapist.