We need our hormones in balance to feel vibrant, strong, sharp, calm, and resilient.
Signs your blood sugar may be out of balance:
Cravings for sweets, sugar, or bread products
Fatigue after eating a meal or a “food-coma”
Lightheadedness if meals are missed
Eating sweets does not relieve the cravings for sweets
Dependence on coffee to keep yourself going or get started
Difficulty losing weight
Symptoms of female hormone imbalance
Acne or oily skin
Excess facial and body hair
Heavy or painful periods
Loss of muscle mass
Loss of scalp hair
Tender or fibrocystic breasts
Symptoms of thyroid imbalance
Muscle aches and pains
Reduced menstrual flow
Bloating (fluid retention)
Muscle aches and pains
Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding
Symptoms of adrenal imbalance
Allergies / asthma
Memory lapse and brain fog
High blood sugar
Increased abdominal fat
Wired and Tired
Needing coffee to wake up or get through the day
Not feeling awake even after a good nights sleep
Our endocrine system, or hormonal system, is an interconnected web of communications that depends on a delicate balance. A hormone is made in a gland, it travels in the blood, it reaches and is received by the target cell or tissue, causes an appropriate action, then it is detoxed and excreted (video). We need them in balance to feel vibrant, strong, sharp, calm, and resilient. Things that influence them include nutrient deficiencies, toxins, an over burdened liver, dehydration, stress, autoimmune diseases, inflammation, digestive system dysfunction, and more.
Join us this January to Rebalance, Feel your Best, and come away Empowered to take control of your hormone health. As always with Janel, don’t just find out what to do but learn WHY.
The content here is intended for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for one on one care with your medical provider. Janel uses food, herbs and lifestyle to optimize how people function . Janel does not diagnose or treat specific diseases but instead works on the overall terrain.
Fatigue is for real and affects a crazy amount of people.
Fatigue shows up differently for everyone and has many different causes.
In the case of HPA dysregulation there is no official medical diagnosis and there is often little if anything your physician can do to help (not to be confused with Addison’s disease). However there is a lot you can do using nutrition and lifestyle in this case to cradle yourself back to vitality if you understand the physiology of “what’s going on in there”.
If this topic interests you join me at Tahoe Food Hub and Facebook live on November 5th for an extensive talk on various causes of fatigue and ways to find more energy. My goal is to empower people to understand and connect with their own body and then to make sustainable changes to function optimally and feel their best.
Let’s do this!!
*The content here is intended for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for one on one care with your medical provider.
Make even the most rushed breakfasts loaded with nutrients so you and/or your kids can function your best!
My 13 year old gets picked up at 715am for school (note- he is NOT a morning person) which makes delicious and nourishing breakfasts tricky sometimes.
Not with this gem that we pull out a few days a week when he needs nourishment in a flash.
It’s loaded with the macronutrients he needs to stay sharp and energized without crashing later and the micronutrients so his body can function optimally. It’s anti inflammatory and gut healing to boot. Oh, and it takes about 3 minutes to make and tastes delish. 👊🏼
1.5 cups of milk (we use homemade almond, full fat coconut milk with a little water, or raw whole milk)
1 scoop of chocolate bone broth protein powder (we use ancient nutrition brand)
1 organic banana
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
optional scoop of chocolate multi vitamin (we use amazing grass kids superfood, chocolate flavor here)
optional tsp chia, flax, or hemp
Put all ingredients in the blender and blend.
Pour into cup and watch your kiddos devour it
Tweak portions to match your tastes. You can add more liquid, less, add ice, whatever floats your boat.
Don’t let rushed mornings dictate the quality of the nutrients you put into your body. Rock it in a flash with nutrient dense smoothies!
The smell of homemade chai brewing on the stovetop is definitely one of the things I love most about the fall.
My kids start asking for chai as the temp gets chilly and the pumpkins start to appear. We have made it a family ritual to drink chai in the fall and it feels good for so many reasons. The chai teas that you get out are way too sugary for us so making it at home keeps the deliciousness but skips the scoops of white sugar that make us sick.
First off the spices in chai- cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, and ginger are all herbal stimulants, which mean they enliven and warm the body. This is perfect for the fall when things are getting cold and slow. They are all also herbal digestives and carminatives which both help with overall digestion and gas. Cloves also have antibacterial component which is perfect for this time of year when colds are common. There are many phytochemicals, or unique plant constituents, that are powerful health allies in each of the herbs in chai.
I am not one for a recipe per say but here is our basic formula that I tweak daily depending what we want more of that day (spice, caffeine, etc). You can start here and vary things as you and your family like.
20 cups of filtered water
2 tablespoons of whole cardamom pods
2 tablespoons of whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon of whole peppercorns
1 inch of sliced ginger
2 tablespoons of loose leaf black tea or rooibos tea if wanting caffeine free (you can use tea bags too)
honey to taste
your favorite milk if wanted (we use full fat organic coconut milk, homemade almond milk, or raw whole milk)
Put the water on the stove on high.
When this is heating up grind the dry spices in a spice grinder briefly, just to break them down a bit not to powder. You can use a coffee grinder designated just for spices/nuts (this is a crucial tool I use almost daily in my house). I usually snap the cinnamon stick in half first or grind it separately.
Reduce heat when boiling to medium and add spices.
Add sliced ginger.
Let this brew on the stovetop on medium low anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour (because sometimes I need to wait for the right time with busy mornings).
Take off heat and add black tea (or rooibos). You can also skip tea and just go with herbs. Let steep an additional 5 minutes or so if adding tea.
I strain this into a large bowl using a large muslin herb bag (see photo). You can also put the spices into this kind of bag before you add them to the water so you can take it right out. That is much easier I just like watching the herbs float around in the pot. A third option is a mesh strainer like this one at the end.
Pour into cups. Add honey to taste. Add warmed milk to taste (I add a heavy splash but not too much). You can make it fancier by steaming your milk but we don’t find it necessary. ENJOY
Keep extra chai tea in mason jar in the fridge to warm up when someone needs a soothing cup of fall goodness.
Our gut is the place that the outside world interacts with our inside world, all day every day. The health of our gut impacts every single system in the body and must be addressed when looking at any disease or symptom. What happens in the gut sets the stage for health or disease to take root. No matter what other route you are taking to heal, addressing gut function is key.
1.Many of our genes are turned off or on depending on what comes in from the outside world through our gut. New science shows us that we are not our genes but instead what health promoting or disease promoting genes turn on depending what environment they are in (epigenetics and gene expression). 7, 1
2. Around 70% of our immune system is in our gut. What we eat directly affects the status and health of our immune system. Our immune system can be under functioning (as with cancer or constantly catching infections) or over functioning (such as autoimmunity, allergies, and chronic inflammation). We need our immune system to activate, work, and then return back to monitoring. The foods we eat, how we digest them, and the environment of our digestive tract can turn this chronically on or deliver input that leads to downstream immune dysfunction. (Take the thyroid for example you can have high antibodies for 8 years before your thyroid is seriously damaged or you even have symptoms! That gives you almost a decade to turn things around with food before disease sets in!) 8, 4
3. Many of the neurotransmitters we need for brain health are produced in our gut and are essential for our mental health. When the gut is not functioning correctly the brain can be directly impacted through these messengers. That serotonin you need to feel good? Most of that is made in the gut! Even gluten and sugar have opiate affects in our brain! 1, 3
Our gut is even considered our second brain. The vagus nerve directly connects our gut to our brain and there are messages that go both ways on this nerve, keeping the brain in our head constantly informed as to what is going on in our gut (not just vice versa as we once thought). When our gut dysfunctions or is inflammed our brain can dysfunction in result. This is known as our Gut/Brain Axis. 7
4. Almost every nutrient we need to function is broken down, absorbed, or made in our gut. We need our gut functioning properly to get these vital nutrients and precursors. We can be eating a perfect diet and still not be getting these nutrients we need if we are not digesting and absorbing them correctly (stomach acid problems, lack of enzymes, bile issues, vili damage, the wrong microbes, eating foods we are sensitive to, and more). Stress can even cause a digestive system breakdown leading to downstream symptoms and disease. 1,3
5. Our gut is the home to millions of microbes. We have 150 times more bacterial genes than human genes and 10 times more intestinal bacterial cells than human cells. What? Yes! This bacteria communicates directly with our entire body and impacts gene expression, brain function, metabolism, immune function and more. These microbes produce certain nutrients and break down harmful substances. The food we eat and our lifestyle directly affect the quality of our gut bacteria (microbiome and dysbiosis) and in result our overall health. 1, 4,5,6
6. We need our gut to absorb the appropriate sized particles but to keep out particles that do not belong and that our body sees as invaders. The food we eat, our lifestyle and medications all impact this important barrier function of our gut (‘leaky gut’ or hyper-permeable membrane are factors in autoimmunity, oxidative damage and more). Even healthy foods can cause damage in this case. 1, 3, 4, 6
7. We need a properly functioning gut and liver/kidneys to eliminate and get rid of waste. It is important this happens in a timely manner so these substances can be eliminated and not linger wreaking havoc (including harmful toxins and used hormones). Toxins can cause endless downstream problems and the truth is we have exponentially more exposure today to these harmful substances than ever (pesticides, air pollution, plastics, etc). Ensuring our body has the extra nutrients it needs to handle them properly is vital. 7,8,1,3
8. Our gut can be a major cause of chronic inflammation. New research shows that Chronic Inflammation may be a leading factor to all chronic disease. Food itself can cause inflammation as does our gut when it is not functioning properly somewhere along the route. Down regulating inflammation is essential to healing and staying symptom and disease free. We must remove offenders and add foods to support. 2, 4, 5
9. Our Mitochondria, or energy makers in our body, are also impacted by the condition of our gut! What? Fatigue might be coming from a dysfunctioning gut too. 5, 2
10. Hormones– Blood sugar dysregulation and stress from eating the wrong foods can be the primary cause of many downstream health and hormonal problems, including sleep struggles, energy crashes, cravings, infertility, pms, and many more. With today’s diet is easy to have blood sugar problems and I am not talking about diabetics but instead most Americans because of the foods we choose. Getting a handle on blood sugar and other food stressors are key to overall hormone health and set the stage for healing to occur. 1, 2, 3
No matter how minor or major the health problem or symptom is that you are dealing with and regardless of using other medical interventions- the gut needs to be addressed.
Helping people optimize the gut from top to bottom, and in result optimize health for today and for decades down the line is my specialty (and dare I say obsession). I am a Functional Nutritionist, a body detective if you will. Let’s see how the food you eat and your environment are impacting your gut and ultimately how you function and feel as a unique individual. I take a true holistic and grass roots approach to wellness and listen to your story.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates. But that is a bunch of blah blah blah if your digestive system is not functioning correctly.
Heal Before Ideal! Which means we must heal the gut before even the most ideal diet can serve us. Plus, since we are all biochemically unique, what is medicine for me might be poison for you. That fast that saved you might be what tanked me. What? For real.
Janel Ferrin Anderson PhD- Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Doctor of Natural Medicine, Family Herbalist, Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist, endless pursuer of why, and now specializing in advanced individualized diets such as salicylates, oxalates, fodmaps and more.
Mountain Rebalance- Empower, Support, Investigate, and Integrate
1-Nakayama, Andrea. (2018)Full Body Systems. Functional Nutrition Lab.
2-Bland, Jeffery. (2016) The Disease Delusion. Harper Collins. NY NY
3-Bauman, Ed. Friedlander, Jodi. (2016). Therapeutic Nutrition Textbook Part 1. Penngrove, CA. Bauman College.
4-O’Bryan, Tom. (2016) The Autoimmune Fix. New York, NY: Rodale Wellness.
5-Jones, David MD. (2010) Textbook of Functional Medicine. Washington
6- Fasano, Dr. Allesio. (2019) Gluten, Autoimmunity, and Leaky Gut. https://chriskresser.com/pioneering-researcher-alessio-fasano-m-d-on-gluten-autoimmunity-leaky-gut/
7. Perlmutter, Dr. David. (2019) Autism Spectrum Disorder and Pesticide Exposure. Dr.Perlmutter.com
8. Romm, Dr. Aviva. (2018) Reducing Thyroid Antibodies Naturally. Natural MD Radio episode #73
Get the support, information, tools, and accountability you need to powerfully transform your health from deep down. Together we will use food, herbs, nutrients and lifestyle to balance hormones, reduce inflammation, and nourish our body.
Don’t miss this awesome opportunity to maximize your health and come away empowered to age your best! Things we do today affect our health and hormones decades down the line.
Let’s do this!
These grass root changes will impact sleep, skin issues, libido, energy levels, headaches, immune problems, anxiety, depression, pms symptoms, moodiness, menopause symptoms, sore breasts, digestive problems, joint pain, and more!
Participants will have the option of learning about various labs and understanding them functionally.
Janel offers an incredibly unique and rich angle as a certified holistic nutritionist, a Functional Medicine Nutritionist, a Doctor of natural medicine, an Ayurvedic yoga therapist, Family Herbalist, and someone who has worked with women specifically for decades.
There is endless information out there and it can feel overwhelming to know what the best approach for YOU is. Let me help by teaching you how to listen to YOUR OWN BODY.
Join the Awesomeness and feel your best!!!
We will meet 4 times in person and 2 times online (with the option of joining online each week but it is way more fun to meet in person especially in my peaceful and zen office).
Receive your materials on January 1st to have plenty of time to plan and organize. Meet each Monday evening at 7pm for 6 weeks online or in person starting on January 6th to learn what and why. Ask questions and learn about how our environment and food impacts how we function and age.
For 3 weeks we will use herbs, supplements, food, and lifestyle to reboot and replenish our body. We will be learning a ton about hormones and how they work together. Blood sugar, adrenals, thyroid, and sex hormones.
Be part of our Facebook group to stay connected, share ideas, struggles, victories, and more.
Learn how to get various optional labs of your choice to help see ‘what’s going on in there’ including serum (blood) labs and hormone (salivary) labs.
Join us and invest in YOU!
My goal is to empower you to understand your body and to support you with all the information and tools you need.
All of this for $230 – Early bird price $200 (sign up before December)
Space is limited so we can keep the group intimate
Acute Inflammation is the immune system’s natural response to injury and invasion. It is a beneficial process needed to eliminate the cause of cell injury, to remove dead or injured cells, and to initiate repair.
It is designed to occur and then turn off.
Chronic inflammation occurs when the insult that causes inflammation is not resolved and inflammation persists. Damage begins to occur in result of the prolonged inflammatory processes including increased blood flow, increased capillary permeability, and perpetuating white blood cell action.
Sources of Inflammation-
• cuts • scrapes • burns • splinters • dirt • stitches • microbial toxins • chemical exposure • frostbite • virus • bacteria • yeast • parasites • radiation • trauma • heavy metals • sugar • gluten • dairy • personal food sensitivities/hypersensitivities • nutrient deficiencies (from lack of or problems absorbing) • dehydration • hormone imbalances • stress • lack of sleep • autoimmunity • intestinal dysbiosis (imbalanced microbiome, aka not the right bacteria) • medications • chemotherapy • genetics • neurotransmitter imbalances
In today’s world several of these inflammatory triggers persist, leading to chronic inflammation and downstream diseases. Can you tell which ones might become a longterm problem?
I help people discover their personal triggers, eliminate their triggers, add anti-inflammatories, calm the immune response, and down regulate inflammation to prevent chronic disease. This is unique to each person depending on genetics, exposure, history, diet, and more. Come dork out with me as we investigate what might be causing internal inflammation for you and then take effective steps to reverse chronic inflammation and optimize health.
Bauman, Ed. Friedlander, Jodi. (2016). Therapeutic Nutrition Textbook Part 1. Penngrove, CA. Bauman College.
Nakayama, Andrea. (2018) Full Body Systems Functional Nutrition 2018 Program. Immune Intensive
It does not matter if you are experiencing pms discomforts, menopause symptoms, headaches, infertility, fatigue, depression, weight loss problems, energy crashes, insomnia, or any hormone imbalance. Understanding how the system works and backing up is key!
Hormones 101- I discuss briefly in this video the different places hormone imbalance can occur and why one approach to fix it will NOT work for everyone.
Here are the basics –
A hormone is a chemical messenger that affects our entire body including metabolism, growth, fertility, energy, stress, and much more.
There is a gland
A hormone must be made from precursors (nutrients) in the gland
The hormone must travel through your blood to the target call
The target cell must receive the hormone/message
The hormone must be broken down, detoxed, and excreted
If there is a hiccup anywhere along the route there may be a problem. For example –
There may be an autoimmune disease damaging the gland itself which may impact if any or enough of the hormone is made
There may be a nutrient deficiency from either lack of eating them or a problem digesting them which both prevent enough hormone from being made
The target cell may be unable to receive the hormone if there is inflammation or if the receptor is blocked by a specific toxin which prevents the message from being received EVEN IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH OF THE HORMONE
The liver must be functioning properly to detox the used hormones and constipation may prevent the used hormone from being excreted creating an excess of the hormone in the body.
Watch now and become a detective about your own health! Give us a call or email if this way of thinking into health fires you up and you are ready to dig into your own root causes OR just enjoy our videos and info:)
Knowledge and facts and biochemistry are all important for understanding your own health and healing but so is connecting with who your true authentic and uninhibited self is and then bravely being that person.
Who are you
What is your calling
Are you doing things to fit other people’s judgments or expectations?
Do you have a dream deep down, a calling that you forgot about or buried?
What’s your true north?
What is your hearts desire?
The first step is being able to listen to or feel your true authentic inner voice. Only after that can you be brave enough to follow it and be true to you.
For me the answers to the above questions only come in the quiet or in natural wild places. It’s only there that I can connect with who I am and feel so clearly my authentic voice, not in my ears but in each of the cells of my body and it feels like home.
Modern technology, conveniences, and schedules are great and they have their place but they dampen our connection to our true selves. It’s important to step away and listen to what’s inside on a regular basis. Quiet the stories you tell yourself, quiet other people’s judgments or expectations, and be alone with who you are, as you are.
Shhhhhhhhhh, do you hear that? Exactly!
As an ayurvedic yoga therapist we were taught that as animals we have an innate wisdom of what is good for us and what we need to heal. The problem is we can’t hear it anymore with life moving so fast, and bright, and loud, blocking us from the natural world we came from. Welcome meditation. By meditating regularly, and it takes practice, and consistency, we connect with our innate wisdom and inner voice, slowing down to notice what we need to do or eat to heal. It is here we know who we are and what our true authentic self wants.
There is a lot to hear in each breath we take.
The natural world flows at the pace we evolved for millions of years to function at. It’s an evolutionary gap to function nonstop at today’s fast paced life. As women our menstrual cycles follow the rhythm of the moon. That still blows my mind! Our other hormones including insulin (blood sugar), cortisol (get up and go hormone), melatonin (sleepy hormone), and more all flow with the natural cycles. When we have bright lights in winter or late at night, air conditioning blasted in summer, caffeine when we are tired, or our phones every time we are bored, we are disrupting the connection with our true selves and how we have evolved to be.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no purist, but taking time and taking steps to connect with the natural world connects us to our natural pace we evolved to be at so we can feel and know who we are deep down.
So I invite you to connect with who you are this equinox, feel who you were meant to be, at the pace we have evolved at. Meditating even 5 minutes every morning is transformational. There are books and apps and classes to help but just paying attention to your breath, without judgment, is a great and simple way to start today. Find a piece of wild to get out in once a day as well. Feel the dirt under your feet, light a candle on a dark morning, listen to the sound of the wind in the trees, walk under the full moon on a cold night, or brew up a cup of herbal tea to enjoy quietly.
I invite you to slow down
And even if you have to disappoint someone else, bravely be the person you were meant to be
There is a perfect wave that if we time right and catch we will get optimal sleep effortlessly. This wave is made up of hormones and includes melatonin at its highest, cortisol at its lowest, and insulin at its lowest and evolved to be our best sleep aid.
Melatonin levels rise as the sky becomes darker and ideally peaks somewhere around 10pm, depending on the season. If we allow our world to be darker at this time, as we are meant to do, melatonin will help ease us into sleep. Things that disrupt melatonin are bright lights, even small lights in our room, television, phones, computers, etc. FREE APP FOR REDUCING BLUE LIGHT ON DEVICES- https://justgetflux.com/
Cortisol (a stress hormone that we need to face the demands of the day but not too much) levels are meant to be at their lowest around 10pm. Our cortisol is designed to peak at daybreak so we wake up ready for the day and slowly decline as the day goes on. If we are able to keep our stressors low at night we can ride this low cortisol wave into optimal sleep and stay asleep. Things that raise cortisol at night are any stressor (emotional, physical, infections, allergens, blood sugar spikes, toxins, and more). By having a peaceful evening, unwinding, learning to mitigate stress through deep relaxation, meditation and breathing you can lower your insulin even in the face of emotional stress. Getting to sleep before cortisol starts to rise or spikes again is key to healthy cortisol levels at night. READ MORE ABOUT STRESSORS HERE THAT PEOPLE DO NOT OFTEN THINK ABOUT but are crucial to address with insomnia and to ensure cortisol is not impacting your sleep
Insulin, a hormone made in our pancreas that helps us clear our blood of glucose, is meant to be low at night again around 10pm. Hopefully we ate dinner by 7pm which was packed with fiber, healthy fat, and clean protein keeping our blood sugar from swinging too high and then too low. It is even important to keep our blood sugar regulated throughout the day as that contributes to keeping our blood sugar stable at night so we can sleep peacefully. READ ABOUT MONITORING YOUR BLOOD SUGAR HERE– this is not just for diabetics but for anyone with blood sugar swings (which is honestly most of us).
After addressing the three big hormones involved with sleep I always consider nutrients that might be lacking, such as B6, selenium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D. There are several amino acids and neurotransmitters necessary for good sleep as well. And finally, herbs are a lovely addition and and sometimes just what people need to help ease them into a perfect nights rest. HERB COMPANIES I LOVE- GAIA, HERB PHARM, MOUNTAIN ROSE
Sex hormones can also impact sleep. As our estrogen and progesterone change with our menstrual cycle and age our sleep can be impacted. Addressing sex hormone imbalance might be necessary to influence better sleep. More on that to come! Look for our 4 week group hormone balancing workshop!!
I love digging into sleep disturbances with people and helping people catch the wave. Call for your 15 free consult to see if I can help you.