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

We all respond differently to coffee and caffeine.  Some people metabolize it better than others, some of us are addicted to it, some people replace eating food with it, for some of us it is destroying our blood sugar balance for the day causing huge ups and then downs, and for some of us it is having too big of an impact on cortisol and our adrenals. There are some health benefits to drinking a small amount of high quality of coffee but many of us overuse it or misuse it.

  If you are ready to kick the habit for good or for just a bit here are some steps to making it a bit easier. I even included ways to work with coffee if you can’t give it up. Remember, we are all unique so what works for one person might not work for you.   Find what works for YOU and what your body needs to function its best.

Possible Benefits of cutting the coffee

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

Who might want to consider giving coffee a break? 

You may want to consider giving coffee a break if you

  • feel like you need it to get going in the morning
  • are trying to balance your sex hormones (estrogen/progesterone)
  • if you have been stressed out for a long time and are in over drive, taxing your adrenals
  • if you get revved up by caffeine more than others (depending on specific genetic variations you may process caffeine more poorly than others).
  • if you have any sleep problems
  • if you have fatigue
  • if you drink for than 2 cups in a day
  • if you depend on it to get through the day
  • if you are curious what your body would be like with out the dependence on this powerful medicine

If you want to try life with out coffee for a bit…………….

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

Some people drink coffee for the caffeine, some people enjoy the morning ritual, or the flavor and smell,  some people feel comforted by the warm morning wake up drink, some people love going into the coffee shop for social reasons, or perhaps your cup of joe helps you poop, or ….. fill in the blank for you.  Is there a story around your coffee habit?

From there you can consider your exit strategy with the help of a proper replacement for YOU.

Experiment with different replacements. Be playful and open minded!

  1. If caffeine is your reason for drinking coffee you can slowly start cutting back on fully caffeinated coffee by adding in organic decaf or try reducing the number of cups each day.  Either way working gradually can prevent or reduce headaches. From there you can transition to a healthier option or even green tea which has many health benefits if you can tolerate some caffeine.   By breaking up with your dependency on caffeine you can listen to what your body needs and that might be rest, more sleep, better nutrition, less stress, better blood sugar balance, or a number of other things as your body shifts, your hormones adjust, and you go back to not needing it. 
  2. If it’s the morning ritual of making a cup of coffee you might want to start trying different kinds of  teas. Loose leaf tea is fun as you still get to scoop, pour, brew, smell, and enjoy. Most health food stores sell good quality loose leaf tea or it can be ordered online through Mountain Rose Herbs, for example.  Some bitter favorites for replacing coffee are roasted dandelion root, roasted chicory root, or reishi mushroom powder.  I love loose leaf green tea and there are so many different kinds.  Each of these offer many additional health benefits and hit the spot.  Try some out
  3. If it is the flavor you love you can either try organic high quality decaf right away, go through the gradual decaf transition (start with a 1/4  decaf and move to full decaf), or try one of the herbal coffee replacements that are still super bitter like Ayurvedic Roast organic herbal coffee substitute , Four Stigmata, and Rasa Koffee organic herbal coffee substitute.  
  4. If it’s the coffee shop you love, you are in luck.  Most coffee shops today sell many other great options. Most offer peppermint tea or even cinnamon or  rooibos which are naturally sweet, rich, and satisfying. Just steer clear from the “latte” teas (even Matcha) as they are loaded with sugar when purchased at the coffee shop.
  5. If you are just looking for a hot drink in the morning there are endless tea options.  Some of my favorite morning tea options are raspberry leaf, nettles, rooibos, alfalfa, and peppermint.   They even have great health benefits but again quality of tea matters. Make sure it is organic to reduce toxins and increase flavor. Even a good quality loose leaf green tea or matcha tea have amazing health benefits if you can tolerate some caffeine. Golden Milk is another fabulous alternative and  You can find my recipes here.  Here you will find my recipe for a rich warming and spicy chai tea that my family loves, especially in the colder months.
  6. Drinking your coffee at 3pm to avoid an afternoon slump?  First off pay heed to your blood sugar and try having a protein rich snack just before that normal bonk time.  Tuning into blood sugar swings can be profound. And remember that it is not sugar that impacts blood sugar, it is stress, skipped meals, food sensitivities, toxins, insomnia, anything that your body perceives as stressful.  One afternoon alternative I enjoy is my cocoa elixir with a couple of brazil nuts, or a matcha latte with kale chips.  Start being creative and thinking outside of the coffee bean.

If you still want your coffee……..

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

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

Alternative ways to get an energy boost

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

Starting your day off right!

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

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

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

Enjoy your mornings and find what works for YOU!  Janel

One on one Personalized Sessions

Free 15 minute Phone Call to chat with Janel to help you decide where to start for your unique situation.   Email, call, or click here to schedule a time janel@mountainrebalance.com

Let’s start by chatting for 15 minutes so you can ask questions about my practice and I can help you determine what next step is right for you.  

_______________________________________

 

I work with people in a few different ways (these can all be purchased as gifts as well)

 

1.  Initial Assessment and Review SessionsA great offering for anyone looking at digging into personalized care and wellness.  This is where most people start.  You fill out an extensive intake and we meet for 1.5 hours so I can learn all about you, hear your concerns and goals, and gather tons of information so we can make our plan specific to you.  I review any lab work, recommend functional labs, suggest relevant home testing, and do lots of behind the scenes detective work.  We map out all things you including a matrix and timeline.  Next we have a 1 hour follow up where we go into a plan to address your specific needs. I share long term and short term goals during this second meeting including food, lifestyle and supplement information.  In between we are in touch to make sure all of our questions are answered and I that I have a complete picture of you.  After, you are welcome to charge on your own towards your goals, book follow ups as needed, or sign up for the commitment package below.   – TAKING NEW CLIENTS IN FALL 2022.   Sign Up Here (email me to get on the waitlist janel@mountainrebalance.com).  

 

2. Follow up and Commitment Appointments after Initial Assessment- 6 45-minute follow up appointments with check ins between, so we can track, assess, test, review, personalize, and where I can support you making sustainable diet and lifestyle changes.  You have access to emailing and calling me. There is heaps of education, tracking, and personal adjustments.  This is a powerful and transformational time.  These clients get the first choice of appointment times and priority. 

 

3. 1 hour Lab work review session-  I will look at your labs through a functional lens.  I will help you interpret your labs and recommend diet and lifestyle based on what we put together.   I do not diagnose but instead look at the whole picture and see where we can turn the dial towards health and work towards your unique health goals.   Functional lab options include- a full blood work panel (great for everyone see below), a hormone test, gut test, nutrient levels, genetic testing, organic acids test, heavy metals, SIBO, candida, mold, environmental toxins, food sensitivities, and more.  They range from broad to very specific, depending on your needs. 

 

4. Functional blood work panel plus 1 hour review session-  NEW OFFERING BY POPULAR DEMAND-  Get a full functional blood work panel and 1 hour functional nutrition interpretation session.  Lab results are yours and you can take to your primary provider anytime.  Price includes functional blood lab work and session 

 

5. Foundations of Health- I recommend everyone do this program with or without one on one packages.   This is where so much magic happens! You will walk away empowered to be your own best advocate for health.  No matter if you are trying to reduce headaches or fight cancer, this is an often overlooked step but necessary for any healing to happen.  We will add healthy habits each week and you can dig deeper where you are interested.  We will discuss supplements, gut health, what symptoms might be telling us, aging well, inflammation, stress, food, relaxation, immune health, and more.  Go to link to learn more. COURSE OVERHAUL IN PROGRESS!!! 

 

Combine assessment, follow up and Foundations for the most thorough and individualized wellness plan and care!  

 

Half hour Individual Follow up Consult Sessions
Periodically get together to reassess, track, and support

 

1 hour Holistic and Functional Nutrition Consult 
We can talk about ideas to help you reach your goals, discuss some of the physiology behind why things might be happening as they are, or reassess where you are.  

 

Email me with questions! janel@mountainrebalance.com

Best ways to take care of your heart and perform better in the bedroom to boot!

Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer in America.   Here are the best ways for everyone and anyone to take care of their heart starting today and to reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke.  Plus, the best meal for a good time in the bedroom! 

According to Cardiologist, Professor, and Fellow at the American Heart Association Dr. Masely, the best things a person can do to reduce arterial plaque and protect their heart is through diet and lifestyle.  Here are is top things to add or change-

  • Add healthy fats-  omega 3s, avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate
  • Increase fitness level- not necessarily the amount of time or duration but intensity is more important
  • Add fiber to every meal in the form of colorful fruit and vegetables, beans and nuts
  • Get control of your blood sugar
  • Specific nutrients to make sure you are getting enough of and good sources-
    • Magnesium- kelp, almonds, cashews, molasses, brewers yeast, buckwheat, Brazil nuts, dulse, millet 
    • Potassium- avocado, asparagus, lima beans, potato, tomato, peach, chicken, flounder, salmon, banana
    • Vitamin D3- cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, egg, beef liver, supplement needed for most people
    • Vitamin K- leafy greens, green tea, cabbage, asparagus, oats, green beans
  • You want more big fluffy cholesterol and less small cholesterol (yes, size matters!)
  • Healthy beverages- filtered water, green tea, smoothies
  • Add flavor to your foods with lots of spices and herbs

 

If you are looking to jiggy with it tonight in the bedroom witn your sweetheart here is what Dr. Masely recommends to ensure the most enjoyment and best performance-

Circulation and how food directly impacts that is key.  Eat a meal of steak and heavy mashed potatoes and see your circulation and performance go down immediately.  Instead, choose those heart healthy fats discussed above, clean protein meaning grass fed pasture raised, a good amount of fiber, not too much sugar to curb inflammation, and to stay hydrated but not too much alcohol. Foods with a lot of zinc and arginine help boost dilation and circulation.  Foods such as oysters, shrimp, lobster, game meat, and dark chocolate are perfect. Yum!

Dr. Masely says FOOD is still the number one thing he recommends for heart health at his cardio clinic!  Take care of your heart today and everyday!

 

Heart Healthy Chocolate Truffles – 

Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons sunflower seed butter or nut/seed butter of choice
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed, chia or hemp seeds
  • 3 tablespoons hemp or pea protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 pinch Sea Salt
  • 1 cup Water as needed
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir and slowly add water until you get the desired consistency of your protein ball (only add water if needed).
  2. Mold the dough into little balls. Roll them in shredded coconut (or raw cacao) to coat and place them on a plate, cookie sheet or wax paper.
  3. Place in fridge for 30 minutes or freezer for 15 minutes to form. Store in refrigerator.

Eat with a loved one or all by your awesome self!

Happy Valentines day! ❤️, Doc Janel

 

A valentines day love letter to my Gastrointestinal Tract and a recipe for a hot and steamy soup…………….

❤️Dearest Gastrointestinal Tract ❤️

You are amazing.

You are the interface and boundary between the outside world and everything that goes on in my inside world. You are so much to me including my primary barrier of defense, a food digester, a food and nutrient absorber, a waste excreter, a home to healthy bacteria that I depend on, a home to most of my immune system, a major player in hormone and neurotransmitter health, and you even communicate with my brain regularly. I am grateful for all you do and how you function.

You do so much for me and I know it is based on how I treat you.

I will continue to work with you from top to bottom. I will take my time eating, making sure to think about my food, smell it, chew it and be grateful for it therefore stimulating the important cephalic stage of digestion. I will not take drugs to decrease my stomach acid as I understand that I need a very acidic stomach. Instead I will sip lemon and/or apple cider vinegar water every day.  I won’t put too much in my stomach at once making sure you can properly sort, churn, and break down my food. I will drink plenty of water to keep things moving and support my mucosal lining. I won’t pop unnecessary Ibuprofen that can make my small intestine excessively permeable and in result activate my immune system.  I will eat probiotics to help maintain the proper balance in my large intestine. I will consume plenty of live, raw and sprouted food to provide ample digestive enzymes to help break down my food properly. I will consume plenty of soluble fiber so toxins can hitch a ride out of my body and plenty of insoluble fiber to keep my transit time appropriate. I will cut out processed foods which depletes my body of vital nutrients as well as stresses my liver in its effort to detox.

I understand that in addressing any health condition I need to start with tending to my gut.

If you keep doing your important job protecting me and keeping me strong I promise I will do these things to keep you strong and protected. We are an amazing team that will grow old together and stay resilient if we take care of each other.

Thank you for your work and efforts. I am grateful for all you do.

Below is a recipe I thought you might enjoy to help warm up and nourish you on these cool winter nights.

With love,  Yours Truly

 

Healing Bone Broth Chicken “Noodle” Soup-
From MindBodyGreen www.mindbodygreen.com

Benefits: Bone broth, the gut super healer, contains many building blocks for your enterocytes, your gut-lining cells. The natural blend of gelatin, glucosamine, glycine, and minerals found in bone broth can help calm leaky gut syndrome, diarrhea, constipation, and food intolerances.

Ingredients for the bone broth
Whole organic chicken
6 cloves garlic
1 onion
1 inch of ginger root

Ingredients for the soup
4 to 6 cups organic chicken broth
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 to 2 cups chopped onions
1 to 2 cups chopped carrots
3 to 4 small to medium zucchinis
2 cups shredded organic chicken
2 to 3 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
Himalayan sea salt to taste

Preparation
Bone broth:
1. Rinse the chicken, and place it in the pot.
2. Fill your pot three-quarters full with water, and add the herbs and vegetables.
4. Cook on medium-high until bubbling, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer covered, at least 8 hours, up to 48 hours, to taste.
5. Allow to cool, then pour stock through a strainer and transfer to Mason jars to store in the fridge.
Soup:
1. Sauté the onions and carrots in coconut oil until onions are soft.
2. Add bone broth and bring to a boil.
3. Make the zucchini into noodles. Slice the zucchini into your desired size of strips, either thick or nice and thin (more like actual noodles) with a julienne slicer.
4. Once the carrots are tender, add the zucchini and simmer (covered or uncovered) until tender. The time will vary depending on the size of your zucchini “noodles.”
5. Add the chopped chicken and garlic, bring back to a boil, and then turn heat off. Cover and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

 

Coconut Snowball Recipe- Kids Can Make!

My kids Love to bake!

I love them to bake when they have a great recipe that they can make by themselves and that contains healthy ingredients.  Since they are all at different baking levels and endurance in the kitchen, we need the right recipe for the right kiddo.  This one is my 7 year olds favorite recipe to make by himself and is a fabulous treat after playing in the snow all morning.

 

Coconut Snowballs- 

Takes about 10 minutes to make, depending on the focus😉

  • 2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 6 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey, you can also use 4 tbsp water with stevia to taste
  • 4 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Blend all ingredients in a food processor and process.  Roll into balls.  Set on plate and freeze until hard. Once hard you can enjoy as is or dip in chocolate if feeling fancy.  YUM

Nutritional Benefits-  Coconut oil- provides healthy medium chain fat including lauric and capric acid, boosts the immune system, down regulates inflammation, is an awesome source of energy, and is great for brain function.

IMG_2971IMG_2961

What are you Eating Wednesdays? 1/16/18

Today I threw together some leftover goodies onto a bed of arugula from our CSA box last week.

Meal- Lunch.

What- Arugula, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted turmeric cauliflower, quinoa, lemon tahini dressing, and a big fat dollop of kraut.  I love this new beet turmeric sour kraut.  You can use any leftover roasted veggies.

Nutrient highlights- probiotics in the kraut, anti-inflammatories in turmeric, phytonutrients (carotenes) in sweet potatoes, magnesium in quinoa, vitamin K from cauliflower, protein and calcium from the sesame seeds (tahini), folate in the arugula, healthy fats from olive oil, lots of fiber in almost everything!  Fuels your cells, keeps you pooping regularly, feeds your good bacteria in your guts microbiome, refills nutrient stores, fights inflammation, nourishes your brain and every organ in your body.  Cheers.

Recipe- Lemon Tahini Dressing that I cannot stop eating! Adapted from Mark Hyman MD

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup light sesame oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 3 TBL lemon juice
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 TBL gluten free Tamari (or coconut aminos, or Braggs aminos)
  • 1 TBL dark sesame oil
  • My sister taught me to add nutritional yeast too, 2 tsp, YUM! Yay B vitamins.
  • Combine all together in food processor or blender, puree, you can add some water if you want it thinner. ENJOY on everything

Booster Foods to Maximize Health

If I were responsible for making the food pyramid I would have and entire category for booster foods.

Your body is made of cells and those cells are effected by the environment, the life, and the food you expose them to.   We need our cells working to function and feel our best.  Things that damage your cells and if left unchecked can ultimately create chronic and debilitating conditions are: toxic exposure, blood sugar instability, inflammation, oxidative damage by free radicals, hypoxia (lack of oxygen), and insufficient macro/micro/phyto nutrients (due to impaired digestion/absorption, decreasing nutrients in our foods, or lack of consumption).  In other words, our lifestyle and what we eat directly affects our cells and how well they work for us and how fast they age.  Let’s give them what they need so we feel our best and prevent disease!

Along with avoiding environmental toxic exposures, decreasing stress, getting enough sleep,  eating a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables/clean proteins/healthy fats, avoiding trauma, and regulating blood sugar, adding booster foods to your daily diet can help you feel more energized and ward off chronic diseases.  Booster foods give you a ton of nutrient bang for your buck.  They provide many of precursors that your cells need to function properly and do their jobs and in result keep you healthy.   They are full of antioxidants, minerals, phytonutrients, probiotics, and protein- all things that are critical to longterm health for your body.  Want to feel young longer?  Add some booster foods everyday!  The best ones to add to maximize the integrity of your cells are (and maximize how you feel!):

    • Nutritional Yeast
    • Green powders
    • Algae, seaweeds (chlorella, spirulina, dulse, kelp, sea palm, hijiki, etc)
    • A variety of Spices and Herbs – add as many as you can to your snacks and meals! Dry or fresh but add them- cilantro, oregano, thyme, sage, peppercorns, cumin, parsley, cardamon, dill, ginger, garlic, basil, etc
    • Herbal teas such as lemon balm, chamomile, alfalfa, dandelion, red clover, peppermint, etc
    • Nuts and Seeds – flax, hemp, sesame, chia, sunflower, pumpkin
    • Sprouts such as alfalfa, broccoli, clover, etc.
    • Fermented foods (sauerkraut, miso, kumbucha, apple cider vinegar, etc)
    • Beverages- mineral broths, bone broths, green tea, coconut water, filtered water, golden milk, herbal teas
    • Edible Medicinal Mushrooms- shitake, lion’s mane, turkey tail, chaga, etc
    • Super berries and beans- I love these and use them mostly in powdered form- Acai berry, camu camu, acerola, mullberry, cocoa
    • Clean protein powders- whey, hemp, pea, brown rice, collagen, bone broth
    • Rainbow fruits and vegetables

Which ones are you going to try? Or which ones do you use?  This picture is our booster box at home that we keep accessible for kids and adults to sprinkle on their foods.

Put these important foods in your cabinet or fridge, place them where you can see them, and add them to your daily diet as much as you can.

Enjoy! Janel

Homemade Kimchi to save the day (and the gut)!

kimchi

Best welcome home discovery after a week on vacation? Fermented Kimchi that’s all ready!  I was finally brave enough to try my hand at this fermentation style and I am thrilled I did.

After a week on the beach in Mexico indulging in many foods that don’t work for me I was pumped to come home and find my first batch of homemade kimchi ready to enjoy and start the repair.  Adios stomach cramps, constipation, and restless nights.

We all know that gut health plays a primary role in practically all of our body systems functioning properly, including hormone and neurotransmitter production, mitochondrial function,  brain health, our immune system, and more.  One of the best things for gut health and a balanced micro-biome are probiotics.  While  taking capsules work well, you cannot beat the strains in the real whole food version, including sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and kefir.  Plus, its super rewarding to prepare it yourself, patiently wait, and then indulge in all the microorganism goodness.

Here is the recipe I used that rocks

  • 4 cups of shredded cabbage (Napa, Chinese, etc)
  • 1 cup of grated carrots
  • 1 small red onion minced
  • 2 sliced green onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic (less if you don’t love garlic)
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 TBL lemon juice
  • 1 TBL sea salt
  • optional 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and squeeze/mash with hands.  Let sit for 30 minutes covered with a towel.  Transfer the ingredients to a wide mouth mason jar.  Push the mixture down as much as you can each time you add a spoonful and at the end.  Once all in the jar and its pressed down make sure that it is all off the sides and under the brine line (so covered in the liquid).  I put a small glass weight on it but you can also use another smaller mason jar filled with water or a rock, etc.  Cover with a cloth and wait as the magic happens.  Might take 5-12’sih days.  Taste it after 7 or so and see how it tastes.  Mine took 12 days this time.  Go on, be brave and try it! People have been enjoying it all over the world for generations.  Enjoy!!!

Wildly, Janel

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