Chronic Inflammation and Disease

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 imbaalance
• 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?

List of Some Chronic Inflammatory Diseases (there are many many more)-

ACNE, ARTHRITIS, ALLERGIES, ASTHMA, CELIAC DISEASE, CROHN’S DISEASE, ULCERATIVE COLITIS, CHRONIC PAIN, LYME, IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME, GLUTEN SENSITIVITY, INSULIN RESISTANCE, OBESITY, CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE, ALZHEIMER’S, PARKINSON’S, AUTISM, MENTAL ILLNESS, DIABETES, CANCER, CHRONIC INFECTIONS, CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY, OSTEOPOROSIS, CHRONIC FATIGUE, FIBROMYALGIA, INFERTILITY, and more

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.

References-

Nakayama, Andrea.  (2018) Full Body Systems Functional Nutrition 2018 Program.  Immune Intensive

Linus Pauling Institute. Oregon State University. Inflammation. August 2010. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/inflammation

Hormone Breakdown Video #3- Take Charge of your own health by understanding how you function!

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.

  1. There is a gland
  2. A hormone must be made from precursors (nutrients) in the gland
  3. The hormone must travel through your blood to the target call
  4. The target cell must receive the hormone/message
  5. 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 –

  1. There may be an autoimmune disease damaging the gland itself which may impact if any or enough of the hormone is made
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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:)

Beyond The Biochemistry is YOU. The True You. Do You Even Know Who That Is? – A call to be who you are meant to be

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 

Listen

Feel

Be

And even if you have to disappoint someone else, bravely be the person you were meant to be

Happy fall equinox. Wild love, Janel

Insomnia vs “Catching the Wave”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Surfs up!

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

Why do symptoms occur and why does disease set in?

What is the Terrain in the body?

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

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

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

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

I am asked daily “what can I do for my headaches?” or “What do you recommend for better sleep?” or “How can I get my energy back?”. Although I will take an easy way out if there is one, usually for sustainable and notable changes we need to shift the overall terrain in the body and address the roots instead of the branches. Addressing the three roots or the three areas that drive signs and symptoms- Digestion, Inflammation, and Genetics is what makes a huge impact on all the branches so you don’t have to frantically work on each one.

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

Where there is certainly a place for a quick fix or temporary relief from a nagging or painful symptom, going deeper and being curious about what is driving our symptoms or listening to what the symptom is trying to tell us is important. Addressing the terrain of the body includes maximizing digestion, making sure absorption is functional, reducing overall inflammation and oxidative damage, and considering how our diet and lifestyle are impacting our genetics.

We know that digestive health, inflammation, and even our genetics (epigenetics) are influenced by what we eat, what time eat, our mindset, our relationships, our body’s ability to get rid of toxins, our amazingly influential microbiome, our ability to process emotional stress, and so much more.

What is the soil or terrain like in your body? What can you take away to shift it towards health? What can you add? Are your symptoms branches or roots? Get curious

Book your free 15 minute consult to see if I can help or join one of my group programs that all address the three roots while paying special attention to specific areas- Hormone Balance and Digestive Function (coming fall 2021).

Get to know Janel and her unique training and experience

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

“Reduce your stress”

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

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

Stress is the body’s way of responding to any demand and then bringing our body back into balance. These demands can be physical, emotional, or mental and come from the inside our outside world. The stress response involves a chemical cascade of events that prepares the body to ‘fight or flight’, activating our sympathetic nervous system.  Our pupils dilate, blood is pumped from the digestive and reproductive system to our muscles and heart, our blood sugar spikes so we can have fuel, our heart rate increases, and blood pressure increases. If functioning properly we return to rest and digest when the stress is gone so all other vital body systems can function again, and our parasympathetic nervous system takes over, ahhhh.  

We need to be in ‘rest and digest’ to procreate, grow hair, maintain hormone balance, digest our food, think intellectually, have that oh so yummy feeling of calm, and much more. We need to be in ‘fight or flight’ to fight off the tiger, survive a famine, or a similar acute stressors that we evolved to face for thousands of years. It turns on, then it turns off. We are back in balance, in theory.  But alas….

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

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

Sources of Stress-

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

  • What to do to help? Try meditation, deep relaxation, adaptogen herbs, daily breathing exercise, restorative yoga, tai chi, leaving toxic relationships, laughing, dancing, or guided imagery.  You can both work at reducing emotional stress as well as processing it better. 

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

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

Nutrient Deficiencies and food triggers The foods we are consuming today have far less nutrients than the foods our ancestors ate. We are generally overfed and undernourished. This is due to several reasons including consuming popular and highly processed nutrient deficient foods, less nutrient soils producing less nutritious produce, problems digesting and absorbing foods properly and the need for more nutrients today to handle the extra stress and toxins we are processing. Being deficient in one nutrient alone, such as iron or magnesium,  is stress.  Furthermore, consuming foods we are sensitive to creates stress. 70% of our immune system is in our gut and is activated when we ingest hard to digest foods for you specifically, which causes inflammation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Decrease any of these stressors here and improve your health!

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

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

 

References

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Your Liver Matters!

This Lucy and Ethel video clip is hilarious and an awesome parallel to our liver at work today.

Check it out and I dare you not to laugh!  

One of my teachers, Andrea Nakayama at the Functional Nutrition Lab, likens this video to our liver and how it is designed to function as an organ of detoxification…. when it can keep up with what is coming in that is.  As things come into the liver it breaks them down, packages them, sends them on their way or stores them until later.  All good.  Until the rate at which things are coming in is too great to keep up and things back up, overflow, and cause all sorts of symptoms including headaches, skin breakouts, brain fog, fatigue, sensitivity to smells, and more. 

We are innately designed to detoxify our environment and metabolic byproducts all day every day. However, today we need to nourish these organs and processes unlike our ancestors had to because
  • 1- The amount of toxins and chemicals coming into our bodies have increased exponentially in the last 75 years
  • 2-The quality of our food and nutrients have decreased. We need specific plant nutrients, or phytochemicals, for our detox organs to function properly and our foods have less of them today plus we are eating significantly less fiber in general which we also need to excrete toxins
  • 3- our lifestyle no longer supports our body’s innate ability to detoxify
    • we get less sleep
    • we have more daily stress keeping us in fight/flight and not rest/digest
    • food is easily available 365 days a year 24 hours a day
    • there are more inflammatory and processed foods
    • we have less exposure to helpful microbes
    • and more

 

We depend on our liver to detox our hormones and help keep them in balance, to store vitamins and release them when needed, to synthesize cholesterol, to help balance our blood sugar, to produce bile (breaks down fats), to filter our blood, to detox all chemicals and medications,  for specific immune functions, and more!  It can even regrow after up to 90% damage! What other organ can do that? None.  We need it to function optimally everyday. 

Many diseases and symptoms are associated with excess toxins in our body.  According to Dr. Mark Hyman these symtpoms include: weight gain, skin problems, joint pain, fatigue, brain fog, pms, sleep problems, headaches, bloating, and many more.  Diseases associated with excess toxicity are autism, parkinson’s, alzheimers, cancer, arthritis, fibromylagia, and many more.

So what can you do to help support your body’s natural ability to detox? Here are 10 ideas you can do starting today! 

1. Get at least 8 hours of sleep a night
2. Eat cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, and cabbage
3. Drink between 50-80 ounces of water a day depending on your weight and activity level
4. Eat loads of nutrients and phytochemicals from colorful fruits and vegetables
5. Eat loads of antioxidants especially in blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and purple grapes
6. Consume plenty of fiber every day to ensure the toxins are excreted. Make sure you are pooping at least 1x per day
7. Eat organic produce and wash all produce
8. Reduce exposure to environmental exposure (eliminate non stick pans, plastics, heavy metals, typical cleaning products, toxic chemicals in body care products, heavy metals in fish, drink filtered water, eliminate unnecessary Tylenol use, etc)
9. Stop eating at 7pm so your liver can rest as it is designed to do
10. Skip the bad fats! Good fats are awesome but skip the fried foods which contribute to oxidative damage and liver burden

Join our annual Spring Detox/Cleanse and hit reset with a group

Call for a free phone call to see if One-on-One appointments are the right next step for you in taking back your health

References-
Bauman Colledge. Theurapuetic Nutrition Texbook
Nakayama, Andrea.  Functional Nutrition Lab 2018
Romm, Aviva.  Adreanal Thyroid Revolution
https://drhyman.com/blog/2010/05/19/is-there-toxic-waste-in-your-body-2/

Spring Cleanse- April 2019- FULL

Our Spring Cleanse is FULL.  Join us in the summer, fall, or winter for another cleanse. 

Don’t wait! Join us in April.

Spring is the perfect time to hit reset and give your body some love with a whole foods nourishing cleanse.   Not only give your body the nutrients and time it needs to rejuvenate and function better but learn why too. We will be talking about the physiology of detoxification and cleansing.

Our bodies are constantly working hard for us to digest our food, balance blood sugar, regulate hormones, detox our environment, down regulate inflammation, fight off invaders, manage our stress, and tons more.  Give your body the break it needs so you can feel better.

It’s true, our bodies are designed to detox our environment and metabolic bi-products but with the added stress of living a fast paced, toxin laden, nutrient deficient life with round the clock easy access to food we need to make space to nourish these vital and overworked organs/systems.

Join us for a 7-10 day cleanse.  We will meet 3 times as a group over 2 weeks and communicate lots during the week with each other.  You will be supported with loads of education, recipes, a step by step plan, daily encouragement, optional supplement suggestions, detox support, optional lab work, questions answered, and the accountability of the group.  You can decide which level of cleanse you will complete, making it perfect for ANYONE and EVERYONE.

Sign up with a pal and you both get $10 off!

Don’t wait for a better time!  Make it happen. Join us and not only learn what to do but empower yourself by also learning about why.  Space is limited.

  • First Meeting- Tuesday April 16th 630-8pm
  • Cleanse start- Monday April 22nd
  • Second Meeting- Tuesday April 23rd 630-8pm
  • Cleanse end- Sunday April 28th
  • Third Meeting and CELEBRATION- Tuesday April 30th- 630pm

Cost- $80

Check out this awesome/short (3 minute) TedEd video about the liver, its important job, and how nutrition and lifestyle affects it (aka us).

Email janel@mountainrebalance.com to sign up


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