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. There are some health benefits to drinking high quality organic 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 unique coffee affects 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. 

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 usually prevents 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.
  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, reishi mushroom powder, or a pre-made herbal coffee replacements. A few of the ones I like are Ayurvedic Roast organic herbal coffee substitute , Four Stigmata, and Rasa Koffee organic herbal coffee substitute.  Each of these offer many additional health benefits and hit the spot.  
  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 mentioned above.
  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, 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.  You can find my recipe here.  Here you will find my recipe for a rich warming and spicy tea that my family loves, especially in the colder months.

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 be hugely detrimental to your health and place a big 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 now.
  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.  

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


Purchase Service



 

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-

1. Anti-Inflammatory Rebalance Program                                                             A powerful way to set the stage for health to take root.  Remove the most inflammatory foods and nourish your body with specific foods/nutrients.  Be supported and held accountable while preventing overwhelm from the excess of information out there. This may be enough to see the results you are hoping for or the first step before digging deeper.  4 week program including 5 sessions with Janel 

2.  Initial Assessment and Review Sessions .  A great place to start for anyone looking at digging into personalized care.  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.  I review any lab work, recommend functional labs, suggest relevant home testing, and do lots of behind the scenes detective work. Next we have a 1 hour follow up where we go into a plan to address your specific needs. You get a personal Health and Wellness Binder to keep all your health and medical paperwork organized.  After the assessment sessions we decide together what is the best next step.

Follow up and Commitment Packages after Assessment, if needed

  • Accountability- 6 45 minute appointment over 3 months time, 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.  
  • Gold Standard Accountability- 12 45 minute appointments over 6 months time, with check ins between, so you can feel fully supported during this time of deep healing and change.  The truth is it takes time to make lifelong sustainable change and get to the root cause in some trickier situations.  You have email support and access to call me. Can also be used as punch card over 12 months. 

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

1 hour Holistic and Functional Nutrition Consult 
Discounted for current clients
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.  

Working with Kids
I love working with kids and tailoring things to them.  Kids can also start with Assessment package if needed and ready or jump into the 4 Week Kids and Family Clean up Plan.  Coming soon!!

Home Visits 

I love having a home visit where we can go over your kitchen set up and organizing together so eating and cooking healthy feels good. 

 

Parties!

Oh this is a fun one.  I can join you at your next get together with friends to answer questions about how we function and what impacts that or discuss a specific topic.  Understanding health in the way of how we are functioning is a huge empowering shift.  Learn about how certain systems work, what impacts them, and how to optimize them.  Get your girl friends together and let’s connect.   2 hours at your get together that your friends will not forget- $150

Group Wellness and Classes

Group Wellness and Classes

Holistic Healthcare you can’t afford to miss, (but you can afford)! Plus,  meeting as a group has proven powerful beyond what I imagined.  See what people are saying.

4-6 Week Group Programs-

$200-$275 
These are awesome! Most groups involve several weeks of meeting and 3 weeks of focused diet/lifestyle work. They include live gatherings for education, questions, motivation, accountability, and community.  They also includes email support, a binder with all your information, recipes, meal plans, appropriate supplement suggestions, optional access to professional quality supplements at discounted rate, facebook group access to connect with others doing the program,  insights and direction on lab work, and better health, balance, and insight after. 

  • Women’s Hormone ReBalance and Reset-   Insulin, Cortisol, Thyroid, Sex Hormones, OH MY! Winter 2020! 
  • Family Clean up.  Make nutrient dense food part of your life, work at eliminating anti-nutrients together – Fall 2020!
  • Prenatal/Postpartum Nutrition, Recovery, and Hormones- 
  • Blood Sugar ReBalance- Ditch the Sugar for good!- 
  • Optimize Digestion- Heal your gut (and affect every organ and system in your body)-  
  • Group Elimination Diet- reduce inflammation, calm your immune system, increase nutrients, improve digestion, restore immune function, and rock this thing called your body! – 
  • Autoimmune Reset-  Learn about how food impacts your immune system and how to optimize digestion and immune function
  • Teen Girls Empowerment through Education- Learn about your body and how what you eat and the environment affect it
  • Fatigue? Energy please!-  Thyroid, Mitochondria, Nutrients, Blood Sugar, and more

1 Week Whole Foods Seasonal Cleanses, Detox and Education about WHY 

$99
(bring a friend and you both get $10 off)
These week long dynamite cleanses include 3 one hour group meetings (online or in person in Truckee), loads of valuable education, recipes, detailed food plan, detox and cleanse tips, email support,  facebook group access, optional access to professional supplements at discounted rate, and an awesome feeling after you complete it! Everyone can benefit and you get to choose your comfort level- expert or beginner or anywhere between. 

  • Spring Cleanse and Liver Love- April
  • Summer Detox- July
  • Fall Cleanse- October 
  • Winter Detox and Nourishment- January 

Healing Foods Workshops

Learn how to make your own Sprouts, Bone Broth, Fermented Vegetables, Nut Milks, Juices, and more

Herbal Remedies Workshops

Learn how to infuse oils with medicinal herbs and use as healing salves, lotions, and balms.  Learn how to make your own herbal remedies and medicines. 

Group Classes on Health on Wellness

Come together and learn about different body systems, how they work,  how they affect us, and how our lifestyle and diets interplay with them.   Join our classes or Host your own wellness party!!

  • Hormone Health
  • Immune Health
  • Blood Sugar
  • Digestive Health
  • Hypothryroid
  • Fertility, Pregnancy, Postpartum
  • Perimenopause and women’s hormone health as we age
  • Estrogen Dominance
  • Depression, Diet, and Lifestyle
  • Fatigue
  • Brain Health
  • Childrens Health and Wellness Boost
Featured post

Ways to Balance Female Hormones with Food

Out of balance female hormones can be crazy annoying and even debilitating.
Headaches, pms, infertility, moodiness, brain fog, fatigue, skipped or long periods, hot flashes. Yuck!
Who has time for that? No woman I know.
 
Getting your hormones back into balance can be straight forward for some and tricky for others, depending what is throwing them off balance. It is important to look “upstream” of the symptoms and consider other causes for hormone problems other than dysfunctioning ovaries or age. Our hormones depend on a delicate balance and communicate with each other constantly. If there are one or two misbehaving upstream the rest fall out of whack and cause frustrating symptoms. These upstream culprits include-
 
  • Blood sugar imbalance- Spikes in the hormone insulin and the stress that puts on the body can throw off sex hormones. Try getting enough fat/protein/fiber in each meal and snack to help regulate blood sugar. Healthy fats (the backbone for sex hormones) include nuts, seeds, avocados, eggs, and olive oil. Clean proteins include grass fed pasture raised meats. Fiber is best found in organic vegetables and fruit.
  • Dysfunctioning detoxification by the liver resulting in an accumulation or dominance of estrogen – Try eating more cruciferous vegetables to help the liver get the specific nutrients it needs to detox efficiently and then for your body to get rid of what is not needed effectively. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, and cauliflower.  Doing a seasonal cleanse to give the Liver time to rest and rejuvenate is extremely beneficial as well. 
  • Overall inflammation in your body. The adrenals kick into overdrive producing round the clock cortisol hormone when there is chronic inflammation in the body which directly affects progesterone levels, your cool and calm hormone. Reduce inflammation by removing any triggers and adding anti inflammatory agents such as turmeric and ginger. Look here for commonly missed causes of chronic stress.
 
It can take time to get things back into balance and can vary depending who you are and what your unique situation is. However, by including these important foods in your diet everyday you just may shift the terrain and get the relief you need from the pesky symptoms of hormone imbalance.
 
Mountain Rebalance is offering a 4 week Hormone Balancing Series coming soon! Join us if you want to feel your best, get the motivation to make sustainable changes, and connect with other kick butt women.
References
Nakayama, Andrea.  Functional Nutrition Alliance.  Full Body Systems 2018
Brighten, Jolene. Beyond the Pill. Harper Collins. New York, NY. 2019

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.

 

Blood Sugar 101 (and how to take charge of yours!)

Symptoms of blood sugar imbalance include one or more of the following- waking up at 2-4 am, an afternoon energy crash, foggy brain, irritability aka “hangry” from not eating, weakness, blurred vision, craving sugary or refined foods, belly fat, need for caffeine to get through the day, jittery/shaky, low sex drive, problems losing weight, infertility, to name a few.

Blood sugar highs and lows can be the root cause of inflammation and numerous downstream systemic problems, including hormonal challenges, Insulin Resistance, Hyperglycemia, Hypoglycemia,  Metabolic Syndrome, Prediabetes, Diabetes- These are all pathological names for blood sugar problems that result from years of blood sugar imbalance.  Blood sugar regulation is important for all of us and is often overlooked as a cause of daily symptoms. Learning basic physiology and listening to your bodies signs and signals is fundamental to long-term health. Measuring your blood sugar levels can be super insightful and great fun:)

Glucose– simple sugar known as blood sugar that feeds your cells, produced mainly by the breakdown of carbohydrates during digestion.

Insulin-  hormone that helps move glucose from the blood to the cells to be used as energy or stored, it is produced in the pancreas and lowers blood sugar levels.

Insulin SensitivityThe normal and prefered situation where the cells are open to receiving insulin so the insulin can do its job and lower blood sugar allowing cells can use the glucose for energy.

Glucagon- hormone produced by the pancreas to balance insulin, when insulin is low (because blood sugar is low) glucagon promotes the release of glycogen (stored glucose) in the liver and the conversion of proteins to glucose. Both provide glucose for cells to use.

Dysglycemia– state of chronically dysregulated blood sugar that includes both low and high blood sugar levels.

Glucometer- Measuring your blood sugar and empowering yourself to take charge of your baseline health

Don’t be scared that you don’t know how to do it.  Go for it! Order one online, any one will do, no need to get the most expensive.  Have fun playing with it.  They all have directions that are easy to follow.  Just start paying attention and the numbers will start making sense. I encourage people to write them down on a calendar or sheet of paper, notice patterns, take charge! 

Testing your blood glucose (how much sugar is in your blood) Directions-

  1. Always wash your hands before testing your blood glucose
  2.  Put a test strip in your glucometer
  3. Prick your finger with device
  4. Put a drop of blood on the test strip
  5. Wait, read, record.
  • Fasting Blood Glucose is a great place to start- measure blood sugar first thing in the morning before eating or drinking (wash your hands first, did I already say that?;)-  
    •  best to keep under 100 mg/dL  (functional range is 77-88 mg/dL)       
    •   90-125 mg/dL- Warning zone (pre-diabetic)
    • >125 diabetic
  • 1 hour Postprandial measurement (1 hour after eating)-  normal is <140 mg/dL
  • 2 hour Postprandial measurement (2 hours after eating) – normal is   <120 mg/dL
  • 3 hour Postprandial measurement – back to normal

*Test yourself after specific foods, meals, quantities etc to see how you uniquely react to foods if you would like to further the testing and explore more. 

GeneralDiet and Lifestyle Recommendations for regulating blood sugar (remember, we all react differently to foods and are bioindividual, but this is a good place to start)-

    • Eat 3 meals a day with 2 snacks in between
    • Remove or reduce food bandits (sugar, artificial sweetener, white flour, damaged fats, processed foods)
    • Eat within 1 hour of waking up. Never skip breakfast with dysregulated blood sugar.  Make sure to include clean protein.  I like to have 1 cup of nut milk with chocolate collagen protein powder when I wake up when I am trying to manage blood sugar.  
    • Include Protein/Fat/Fiber in every meal/snack (make that your mantra!!)  Fiber slows down the speed at which glucose hits your bloodstream (preventing the blood sugar and then insulin spike), fat does not cause a rise in blood glucose but provides energy for cells and helps us feel satisfied, and protein helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
    • No restrictions on fat as long as they are high quality such as avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut, pastured and organic meat/dairy/eggs, olive oil,  Omega 3’s (eliminate oxidized oils and vegetable oils)
    • Eat high quality carbs, non starchy veggies, dark green leafy vegetables,  polyphenols (from brightly colored fruits and vegetables), soaked/sprouted whole grains
    • Eat before becoming hungry.  Notice signs of hunger/blood sugar imbalance
    • Practice calorie restriction.  Eat to 80% full
    • Specific Nutrients to get from food (or supplement if needed)
        • B vitamins
        • vitamin K- increase osteocalcin (bone health)
        • vitamin D- increase insulin sensitivity
        • Magnesium-( glycinate, citrate, or malate before bed)-  insulin production
        • Chromium- facilitates insulin signaling and decrease carb craving
      • Zinc- strengthen pancreas, needed for insulin production
    • Booster Foods– greens powders for cofactors, fermented foods, chia, flax, etc
    • Sulfur foods for Alpha Lipoic Acid- broccoli, onion,
    • Stress reduction and stress processing (daily meditation, guided imagery, etc)
    • Exercise daily
    • Mindfulness, spiritual practice
    • Find joy, community connection, loved ones, hobbies, delight
    • Get a good night’s sleep.  Go to bed by 10pm if possible and keep your room as dark, quiet, and cool as possible

Helpful Botanicals for blood sugar regulation

  • Fenugreek seed powder (>5 g /day)
  • Cinnamon – 1 tsp – 1 TBL per day
  • Nigella Sativa (black cumin seed)
  • Curcumin or turmeric  (500mg turmeric or 22 mg curcumin) 3xs a day for 2 months
  • Berberine (.5-1.5 g /day)
  • EGCG- from green tea
  • Tea (green, black, oolong)
  • Gymnema Sylvestre

Call for a free phone consult to see if Mountain Rebalance can help you take back your health! 

References-

Bauman, Ed.  Therapeutic Nutrition Manuel. Bauman College.  Pengrove, CA. 2016

Hyman, Mark.  The Blood Sugar Solution- The 10 day Detox.  Little Brown and Company. New York, NY.  2014

Kresser, Chris. When Normal Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal.  Kresser Institute. October 2016

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