Fired Up Friday- There Is No Right Or Wrong Way To Menopause

I am starting to feel like Menopause is becoming divisive and it is frustrating as hell.

I am sick of our two sided culture and I see it slowly creeping into the Menopause and women’s hormone health arena and it is firing me up.

Let’s be better than this, women folk. There is another way! But before we go there, things are changing for the better. These are the 4 big things I see.

1. I am definitely on board with the excitement around more female specific research and focus on women’s health. It is long overdue. For a long time we have been considered ‘small men’ and most health research has been based on men. Women’s hormones have been been considered too complicated to ‘control for’ in research so we were largely skipped over.

Research is changing and I am stoked.

2. There has also been a recent clarification around the Women’s Health Initiative research done in 2002 around women’s hormone therapy. In a nutshell it was not great research, as it did not clarify the kind of hormones used (synthetic), how old women were, how long it had been since menopause, and other factors. In result hormone therapy was vilified and thought to increase women’s chances of getting heart disease and breast cancer. We now know that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a wonderful tool for many women.

The dialogue around menopause is changing, which is wonderful. (there is actually dialogue here, so that alone is a change)

3. The third thing I see changing is that women are learning about their body and their hormones. This is empowering us to take agency over our health and know how we can use various tools and lifestyle changes to improve how we feel as hormrones change monthly and at times of bigger change- puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause.

Women are choosing to understand their body and this rules.

4. Finally, there is more research around what drives symptoms, what drives disease, how genetics can be impacted by our environment, and how we can be proactive and prevent future disease states. This allows us to address the root causes of health and again take agency over our body and daily choices.

Focusing on root cause and prevention is a wonderful improvement for women and health in general


However, despite all of these awesome changes, what I see now is two teams emerging-

  1. The ‘you must be on hormone therapy if you consider yourself an educated and progressive woman and if you want to do menopause right’ team
  2. The ‘menopause is natural and I am taking nothing to get in the way of the natural transition’ team

I am here to scream from the mountain top that you do not have to pick a team. There is no right way to menopause, despite what anyone tries to tell you.

If you choose to use hormone therapy to help improve how you feel in perimenopause or menopause, that is wonderful. If you choose not to use hormones as you move through perimenopause or menopause that is wonderful too. If you use some hormones for a little while, until symptoms settle, that is wonderful also.

Again, there is no right or wrong. You just need to find what works for your unique body, your goals, your motivation to make changes, and your health.

Here is the thing- we are all going to go through menopause. There is not stopping that process. It can be debilitating for some women and symptoms can last for years for some while others don’t notice the changes as much. Symptoms can start as early as our late 30s. For many women, perimenopause is the more tumultuous with bigger swings. Since estrogen and progesterone have receptors all over our body, changes impact our brain, heart, bones, muscle, metabolism, gut, sleep, mood, and more. There are tools and lifestyle changes that we can use to ease our symptoms and reduce our risk for future problems. One of the tools to improve symptoms is using bioidentical hormones- estrogen, progesterone and/or testosterone. But there are other tools and they are not mutually exclusive to hormones, they include

  • Working on your gut microbiome, which directly impacts hormones
  • Supporting your liver end detox pathways, which impact hormones
  • Making sure you have optimal Magnesium, Zinc, B12, D and other vitamins and minerals as those impact how our body ages and how hormones change
  • Optimize blood sugar and how our metabolism changes with hormone changes
  • Reduce chronic inflammation, as inflammation impacts hormones and symptoms
  • Improve sleep, as sleep makes everything work better and improves blood sugar
  • Cradle the adrenals, HPA axis, and our stress response, as cortisol is the bossiest hormone that makes other hormone balance more challenging
  • Build muscle, as muscle is medicine as we get older and lose hormones
  • Improve digestion as that impacts hormones and also changes as hormones change
  • Utilize herbs and nutrients to ease symptoms such as GABA, Vitex, adaptogens, Valerian, more

We are lucky to have so many tools, increasing research, community, and information available to support women during this big transition, or initiation really. We work on all of the things listed above in the Hormone Club and they are relevant if you do or do not choose to use HRT.


With so much change happening in women’s health at midlife, I think the pendulum is swinging. In result, I am seeing the two sides emerge.

I believe that Perimenopause and Menopause are an initiation, a rite of passage, one that we have the potential to emerge on the other side a new and improved version of ourselves. HRT or not.

We do not want to suffer more than we have to though in the process of Perimenopause, Menopause, and into Post Menopause. So whatever tools you choose to use on your journey, which for most of us will be many, I hope you feel empowered and confident in your choices. I hope you understand your body and how it is changing. I hope you do not feel judged for your choices and I hope that you do not judge others. And above all else, I hope you emerge on the other side wiser and kinder and more badass and sure of yourself than ever.

What about you? What are your beliefs around this change?

xoxo Janel

Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP DNM

Janel is a board certified nutritionist, a certified functional medicine nutritionist and doctor of natural medicine. She is obsessed with helping people understand their body better and supporting them to improve health. She specializes in gut health, hormones, autoimmune disease, and energy. Janel has a mother that has taught her that with each decade life improves and women become wiser and more sure of themselves. Learn more about Janel here.

Winter- Women’s Hormone Club (coming year round soon!)

NOurishing Spring Cleanse and Liver love

Learn More- Energy Club- Metabolism
Learn More- Functional Nutrition Foundations Bundle

Digestion bundle coming soon!!

NEW HORMONE ALUMNI OFFERING- Hormone Club Year Long Membership

In response to several requests, I am excited to announce that I am adding a year long monthly tune up community for Hormone Club Alumni.

We will meet together monthly, on the second THURSDAY of the month at 9am (in Truckee) and 6pm (virtual) pacific time. Recordings will be made available. This is going to RULE.

Hormone Club Alumni only, please (meaning, you have taken The 6 week Hormone Club in the past).

Why join the alumni year long Hormone Club?

  • Stay connected with like minded women going through Perimenopause and Menopause
  • Stay connected with Janel throughout the year and bring any health questions to our meetings
  • Gain access to updated Hormone Club course content
  • Get email reminders about ways to optimize hormone changes in Peri/Menopause (tips, tricks, remedies, herbs, foods, recipes, supplements, etc)
  • Make sustainable changes throughout the year and hold each other accountable
  • Dig deeper into how hormones are changing and where you are at in the process. Share stories and experiences, learn from each other
  • Be supported and held accountable all year as you peel back layers of your hormone health onion
  • Have time for individual coaching and problem solving, ask all those questions you have
  • Dig deeper into sleep, energy, mood, gut health, weight, etc
  • Learn tricks and tips from each other that work
  • Add small habits all year that are effective at improving health
  • Have the time and space to try things and discuss
  • An affordable way to work on health
  • Share successes and challenges
  • Dig into specific labs
  • Unravel the emotions and energies attached to Menopause
  • Message each other during the month to stay accountable, tackle new goals, share insights ,etc
  • Be part of the inner circle!!
  • Make changes to feel your best that last
  • book recommendations, podcast recommendations- discuss any of these
  • NEW- new recipe/menu planning software available to make things easier in the kitchen!! This is incredibly valuable on its own. Instant access to creating meal plans, recipes, and shopping list. So easy. So yummy. So helpful.

Space will be limited


Sample monthly meetup- Start class by sharing where we are with our cycle or menopause journey, share struggles, share victories, discuss topics such as mood, libido, gut health, joint pain, sleep, labs, energy, spend time working through individual situations/cases/symptoms, discuss podcasts, etc.

In between classes stay connected via message board about- favorite products, books, podcasts, struggles, victories, remedies, accountability, menus, recipes, elixirs, supplements, etc

Hope to see you there! This community will be an awesome way to continue to work towards greater health and function in an affordable way

As always, reach out with questions. Email me janel@mountainrebalance.com

Haven’t done the Hormone Club yet? Check that out here and sign up for next winter!!

xoxo Janel

Sign Up Now For Year Long

$39/month for 10 months, charged monthly


MEET UP DATES-

  • Thursday March 14th
  • Thursday April 11th
  • Thursday May 9th
  • Thursday June 13th
  • Monday July 8th**** note day change
  • Thursday August 8th
  • Thursday September 12th
  • Thursday October 10th
  • Thursday November 14th
  • Thursday December 12th

Interested in meeting in person on Thursdays at 9am? Let me know! We can do that if we get enough people interested. Sign up and you can do either the noon in person or 6pm online

Can’t make a session? No worries. Recordings will be available to our small and intimate group and we will stay connected on the message board.


As always, Alumni can also choose sign up for the Full 6 week Hormone Club in January at the Alumni discounted rate of 50% off!! Promo Code HormoneAlumni50%. (**Only for women who have already done the Hormone Club once before). Or do the entire year!

Do I Need A Test To Know If I Am In Perimenopause?

First off, what is Perimenopause?

Perimenopause is when women’s hormones start to change around our 40s as we approach Menopause. For some women this is just a couple of years and for others it can last many years. The primary hormones that change are Estrogen and Progesterone (but many others are impacted). Some women don’t have many symptoms during this time but most do. It can feel like you are losing your mind when you don’t understand what is going on. Symptoms range from insomnia, to anxiety, to heavy bleeding, to short cycles, to weight gain, and more. Hormone changes start off slowly and increase in intensity as you move towards menopause. For many women, this is the more turbulent time.


What most people do not understand about Perimenopause and Menopause is

  1. Hormones in Perimenopause and into Menopause typically change in a methodical order. Progesterone dropping first, followed by estrogen fluctuating up and down erratically for a period of time, then estrogen dropping. Each scenario comes with unique symptoms. When we understand the order and what is happening we can better find the right tool to help (and feel less crazy!).
  2. There is a lot we can do to minimize and mitigate these symptoms and improve how we feel and age.

So, do I need a test to confirm I am in Perimenopause?

In a nutshell, no. If you are in your 40s or 50s and start to feel things change, while still cycling (aka getting your period) you can assume you are in Perimenopause (after of course you rule out other more serious issues with your provider). There is no test needed to confirm Perimenopause itself. Some people test for FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) but this is fluctuating wildly during this time and most practitioners do not value this marker unless you are looking to see if you are in Menopause itself.

Some women enjoy looking at A Dutch Test to dig into cortisol, progesterone, estrogen, hormone metabolites, melatonin, testosterone, and more. This can be helpful to get an idea how your adrenals are functioning, how you are metabolizing estrogen (phase 1 and phase 2 detox), to monitor if you are doing bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, to see how much progesterone and estrogen you are producing, to check in on testosterone, and learn how best to impact your hormones. But there is a ton you can do before this and it is not necessary just to confirm Perimenopause. (find more on other midlife lab tests here)


What can I do to improve how I feel in Perimenopause?

There is a lot we can do to improve how we move through Perimenopause and then Menopause (and don’t wait for symptoms, these tricks work best over time). First off, we want to work on ovulating as long as we can to keep progesterone flowing while it can. This might include getting specific nutrients, improving digestion, reducing stress, or more. Then we want to take clear steps to keep our body functioning best and replenished so when hormones do change we ease through as best we can. This could include reducing chronic inflammation, getting certain nutrients, becoming metabolically flexible, etc. We also want to work on all the systems that impact our hormones including detoxification, our microbiome, digestion, toxins, and our nervous system. Then we can use herbs and foods or medications to ease symptoms as they come. And finally, it is also incredibly powerful to spend time leaning into the energy of midlife and how we want our wiser years to feel and look, because this can be an incredible and powerful transition.


So why did I use the picture I did for this post?

When my pal and I were out on the trail recently, not quite in fall, not quite in winter, struggling along the way as we cycled, it reminded me exactly of Perimenopause. Perimenopause is not quite our prime reproductive years, nor are we in our wise years yet, it is the often tumultuous time in between phases, while we still cycle and often struggle. This day on my bike was exactly that! These are the things that run through my mind on the trail:) And let’s be honest, these are the things we love to talk about together.


Are you feeling any changes in your 40s and 50s? What are you doing to improve how you transition? I would love to hear about it!!

The Women’s Hormone Club is 6 weeks every Jan/Feb (changing to 8 weeks!!). Join the fun and feel your best. We will dig into everything you need to know and do to ensure your perimenopause and menopause are smooth and empowering.


Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP DNM

It is my mission to help people understand their body better, how it works, how it changes, how it is impacted by our world and how we can improve symptoms and function while preventing future health issues. I use science, education, food, lifestyle, herbs, and nutrients, to shift the body towards better function. I focus on midlife mountain women but am happy to work with anyone who wants to take charge of their health.

The Women’s Hormone CLub
Fall Energy Club– Metabolic Flexibility
Spring Cleanse

Mini Course- Functional Foundations Bundle- Buy now and gain lifetime access to all materials

5 Steps To ROCK Midlife Hormones And Emerge After Menopause As The Greatest Version Of YOU

The truth is, midlife hormone changes are intense.

These changes start around 40 and often last many years, up until things settle into a new norm after menopause.

The journey to and through Menopause can shake us at our core- physically and emotionally.

We are all going to go through it but how that happens and how we emerge on the other side is largely up to us.

Some women have been dealing with challenges each month as hormones change throughout the cycle, while some women have been moving through the monthly cycle with ease until perimenopause. Regardless, when our hormones go through midlife changes as we near Menopause, most of us get pretty rocked- mind, body, spirit or all.

But here is the thing, it doesn’t have to suck. However there is not one herb or medicine that is the magic ticket.

For most of us, hormones start changing sometime around 35-40 years old. Often the changes start off slowly, where we are hardly aware, then as time continues our hormone changes increase and more symptoms may show up (and more frustration and confusion as we can hardly recognize ourselves and feel like we are losing our minds).

We aren’t taught that this change happens in a methodical and predictable order, even though it does not feel like it. Although the timing and speed varies, the order of hormone change is often consistent. Understanding this order can keep us from feeling like we are losing our minds, give us effective tools to relieve symptoms, and help us feel comfortable leaning into the energetics of this big life change so we emerge as the best version of ourselves.

Again, our hormones impact every part of us. There is not a cell in our body that does not feel the change at midlife and our body/mind has to recalibrate: Our immune system, brain, muscles, bones, skin, drive, libido, relationships, mood, sleep, and even susceptibility to future health issues. They are all impacted.

I love doctors, I am married to one, but the medical system does not have many tools to help during this phase (nor do they really even understand it!). Most often women are prescribed the pill, an antidepressant, or more recently weight loss drugs to mitigate midlife symptoms. And yes there is a place for meds, but that is not the only answer and there is a lot you can do to impact how you transition in midlife that supports your entire body to age healthy and strong.

So what do we do if we want to feel healthy, strong, empowered, and ROCK this phase of life? Here are my 5 steps you need to address to crush midlife and beyond. Any one of them will support your journey (and we work on all of them together at The Women’s Hormone Club).

1.Learn about what hormones change and when.

This is INCREDIBLY EMPOWERING. As different hormones change different symptoms might emerge and different tools work at various stages. In a small nut shell- Typically it is progesterone that is the first hormone to become irregular and eventually drop low. With this we might feel new anxiety, lose precious sleep, have shorter cycles or mid cycle spotting. Next Estrogen goes haywire. It can go sky high and then plumet to a new low and repeat that at an unpredictable pace for a while. That is the time symptoms can be all over the place as we might suffer from low estrogen and high estrogen month to month. Cycles might start getting longer during this time and bleeding may become heavy. Finally estrogen hits a new low and stays low. That is when women often experience midsection weight gain, longer cycles or skipped cycles, hot flashes, etc. Eventually things settle to the new norm hormonally and how your body is functioning impacts how this goes and how you feel. Do you know where you are in the process?

2. Use nutrition and lifestyle to improve how your body functions and how you feel during this time. Address the ‘terrain”

We are not victims to our hormones and there is actually a lot we can do to impact our hormone symptoms, this is true for our monthly cycle as well as bigger hormone shifts like Perimenopause and Menopause. By giving our body what it needs to make, process, receive, metabolize and clear out our hormones many people find huge relief and reduced symptoms. There are simple and clear steps that improve how we feel including working on our microbiome, supporting detoxification, reducing chronic inflammation, supporting our hpa axis (stress), optimizing blood sugar, reducing toxins that disrupt hormones, restoring circadian rhythm, tuning up digestion, addressing any nutrient deficiencies, and getting proper nutrition from food to make happy hormones and our body. Any one of these will help. Start small. More protein? Morning light? Bone broth? Enough magnesium? What one thing do?

3. Add tricks and tools to mitigate and reduce hormone symptoms.

Our hormones are going to change, there is no stopping that process. However, we don’t want to feel awful as that happens. Working on the steps above helps relieve a lot of distress but we still might need support as the various hormones change (I did!). So, as needed, there are effective tricks for mitigating symptoms that arise as each of our hormones fluctuate and eventually drop. We can use nutrients, herbs, acupuncture, breathwork, meditation, amino acids, hormone replacement therapy, or other tools to ease our transition. But no one tool works for every phase. That is why understanding what is happening is magic! It makes you the expert of your body.

4. Tap into what is calling your soul for the second part of life.

There is more than just the physical part of menopause when in comes to change. There is a spiritual component that when we give ourselves the time and space to lean into, we have the ability to step into the best version of ourselves yet for our next season of life. It is an empowering time to consider how we want to live the second half of our lives. Now that our people pleasing hormones have done their work, who are we? What calls to our heart and soul? How do we want to emerge after Menopause? This is a step that we can easily be overlook but it is an opportunity for an incredible and meaningful life upgrade as we step into our wise years. Have you spent time here? It requires some quiet and mindfulness and yes, you have time.

5. Connect with community.

Why do we all navigate this on our own? It can be isolating and frustrating. I believe in the power of coming together, sharing, connecting, and supporting one another. Joining or creating a group of women to share openly with is uplifting, validating, and can improve our menopause journey.

It is never too early or too late to start addressing these 5 steps. And the cool thing is any one of these you choose to focus on will support your body, brain, and soul for decades. Pick one small thing and jump in. Or join me at The Women’s Hormone Club and get support.

What has your journey been like so far in midlife? I would love to hear about it.


VIDEO- But there is so much you can do to ROCK it

Janel Anderson NC FNLP DNM

It is my mission to help people understand their body better, how it works, how it changes, how it is impacted by our world and how we can improve symptoms and function while preventing future health issues. I use science, education, food, lifestyle, herbs, and nutrients, to shift the body towards better function. I focus on midlife mountain women but am happy to work with anyone. Learn more about me here

https://mountainrebalance.com/?p=1366
alumnihttps://mountainrebalance.com/?p=4740
https://mountainrebalance.com/?p=4474
spring cleansehttps://mountainrebalance.com/?p=1884
     

Mini Course- Functional Foundations Bundle- Gain instant lifetime access after you purchase this package

Functional Lab Testing For Midlife Health- Is It Worth The Cost?

The information that we can learn from functional lab testing is incredible, but the price tag can also be a lot. What do we do when we want to reduce symptoms and feel our best but not go broke in the process?

First off, what is functional lab testing?

Functional lab testing helps us see exactly what is going on in the body, or “check under the hood” so to speak. They help us get curious around what might be driving symptoms (root cause), even if there is not a disease to diagnose. We look for optimal values, not just diseased states that require medical intervention. We use these results to support the a person and their body to function better so symptoms resolve, health goals are met, and balance is restored for health today and health in the future (even reducing risk of diseases associated with aging such as Alzheimer’s, Cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc). Often people go to these when everything appears normal with their physician but they know something is off, or if they want to address the ROOT CAUSE of their symptoms. They can involve blood, urine, saliva, poop, hair, or interstitial fluids.

In my opinion these labs can be incredibly valuable but most often are not the first step and are often over used at the expense of patients/clients. Yes, there is a lot of value to the information but some basic cleanup to support digestion and reduce inflammation first can relieve a lot of symptoms and can help us see what Labs will be most helpful.

I encourage the people I work with to establish a few foundations before (or along side) specialty labs. These foundations include-

Working on the foundations create the environment for health to take root. It then becomes more clear what labs might be most beneficial, if they are even still needed at all.

There are endless Functional Labs these days but the ones I find most helpful and use most often include-

  • Functional blood work (blood)- There is a lot of valuable information here when you look beyond standard values and biomarkers that your physician runs and when you understand how the values relate to one another and body systems. This is my favorite place to start. Functionally we look at a narrow value range to see where slight imbalances might be driving dysfunction and preventing healing. We also look at biomarkers that tell us about inflammation, how our body is using nutrients, genetic factors, antibody values, and more. There is a lot we can do to turn the dial towards health when we review labs through a functional lens. This is a relatively affordable way to track and monitor body systems over time. (new package available offering this and a consult)
  • Dutch Hormone Test (saliva and urine)- This lab is incredible for seeing what is going on with many hormones and systems including- stress throughout the day (cortisol and DHEA), ovarian hormones and how we are metabolizing hormones (estrogens, progesterone, testosterone and all the symptoms that might arise when these are off), sleep (melatonin and cortisol), and even some neurotransmitters, etc. (If you are planning to use bioidentical hormone, bHRT, I definitely recommend this lab first). This is also great if you are looking to prevent breast cancer or find greater hormone balance to relieve any symptom. This is an incredibly helpful and actionable lab that gives us a ton of information.
  • Vibrant gut health test (poop)- I love this lab to see how digestion is functioning (enzymes, bile, stomach acid- how food is breaking down), if there are any microbiome imbalances (this can impact so much including cravings, headaches, weight gain, mood issues, hormones, energy, and more), how is gut inflammation (again, this can impact every part of our body), gut immune activation (food sensitivities, infections, parasites, etc), leaky gut (the integrity of the barrier function of the small intestine which plays a role in so many chronic symptoms and drives inflammation), etc. Even if we are eating a wonderful diet of whole foods, if there are gut imbalances, we will likely struggle to reach health goals.
  • Nutrient Panel (blood)-We can look at current nutrient levels as well as genetics that might influence how we utilize certain nutrients. We can look at vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, etc. Often times there are gaps that we need to fill to reach our health goals. This is an in incredible way to understand exactly what your unique body might need.
  • Continuous Glucose Monitor (interstitial fluids)- This is definitely another favorite, especially for women as our hormones change in perimenopause/menopause. This tells us exactly how we are responding to stress, foods, sleep, movement, etc all day and night. We can see how the changes we are making impact our metabolism and is one of the greatest ways to find motivation to make change.
  • Food sensitivity testing and which foods are creating inflammation in your unique body
  • Other labs with great value- Organic Acids Test, Heavy Metals, Mold Testing, Food Sensitivities, Allergy Tests, Genetic testing

I recommend not making the mistake of running a ton of expensive labs before you work on the foundations. I have so many clients that come to me with thousands of dollars in fancy lab work but who still are not sleeping well, pooping everyday, getting enough protein, digesting their food well, or understanding their body and how it works/changes, etc.

In midlife, with so much changing with hormones, and those changes impacting every single part of our life and body, often women are interested in running labs to see what is going on. Again, they can be helpful but most helpful is first learning exactly how hormones change, what is normal, what is not normal, how to impact them, and how to make changes to food, lifestyle, nutrients, herbs, etc to support each of the stages of hormonal changes in midlife (we do all of this in the Hormone Club).

Women are often surprised to learn how many years hormones change before menopause and how there is a methodical process to it all. When we understand the process it is empowering. It is often surprising to learn how much these changes impact including- sleep, mood, weight, cravings, energy, drive, motivation, relationships, endurance, immune function, skin, libido, and more. It is also often surprising how much we can impact this process and how we feel.

Have you had any functional lab work done? Was it helpful? Explained well? Are you interested in any? Have you addressed the Foundations first?

So are they worth it? I would say Yes, but…

Yes Functional Lab Test can give us incredible insight but you want to make sure you work with someone who can explain them clearly, give you solid action steps to turn the dial towards health, that you address the foundations first, and learn about the hormone changes that happen in midlife.


Join me in The Hormone Club if you are a women 40+ who wants to understand her body better, how it is changing, and how to impact symptoms and health in midlife. 6 week course, recorded lessons, 3 week cleanse, live group meetings, optional lab work available.

Join me in the Spring Cleanse if you want to learn about detoxification, how to support the liver, get recorded lessons, 4 live group meetings, and a 1 week nourishing spring cleanse.

Join me for The Fall Energy and Metabolism club to dig into all things metabolism and energy related. Opportunity to use an optional CGM (continuous glucose monitor).

Lookout for new and affordable health bundles coming soon from Mountain Rebalance!

Janel Ferrin Anderson FNLP, NC, DNM

It is my mission to help people understand their body better, how it works, how it changes, how it is impacted by our world and how we can improve symptoms and function while preventing future health issues. I use science, education, food, lifestyle, herbs, and nutrients, to shift the body towards better function. I focus on midlife mountain women but am happy to work with anyone.

WOMEN’S HORMONE CLUB- JANUARY
ENERGY CLUB- FALL

Mini Course- Functional Foundations Bundle- Gain instant lifetime access after you purchase this package

Health Maps- The Missing Piece Of Your Health Journey

For anyone feeling overwhelmed with information, or who is struggling to resolve chronic symptoms, or who wants to understand their body and function their best- what we are missing today are health maps.

Making health maps fires me up! Because they work. And because it feels like the missing piece in healthcare today.

So many people are getting lost with so much health information coming at them. Getting lost in fad diets and quick fixes that don’t work. Getting lost with practitioners who give up when goals are not reached. Getting lost with practitioners who dismiss their symptoms or don’t have the tools to help. Getting lost with protocols that don’t consider the individual. We need a clear framework to stay grounded and on track, at a pace that is right for each of us.

If you want to step forward and take charge of your health in a calm and effective way so you can feel your best and reach your goals, read on.


Maps keep us from getting lost

Maps allow us to move at our own pace

Maps bring clarity and understanding of the big picture

Maps allow us to feel calm and grounded knowing that if we get stuck in a rut or vear off trail we know exactly where we are how to come back on the path

Maps show us all the places we might want to stop on the way

Maps remind us of how all of our efforts fit together to get us to where we are going


I invite you to calm and clarity with me. The answer is a health map. Let me explain.


In working with hundreds of people to resolve symptoms, balance hormones, improve digestive function, reverse autoimmune issues, prevent future health issues, and establish robust energy- I have learned 4 truths.

1.First off we are all different. Not only in where we are coming from health wise and genetically but also in how motivated we are to make changes. There is no one size fits all protocol, approach, or pace. People need time to heal in a way that works for them and we need plans that focus around the individual.

2. Health is intricate in today’s modern world. We are still wired in 50,000 year old biochemistry but our modern world does not match this. There is so much that impacts how we function and contrary to what we might have been taught, all of our body systems are in fact connected. There is no magic protocol or pill that works for everyone. When you work methodically, addressing the roots of health and each of the body systems impacting your condition, there is a lot you can do to turn the dial towards improved health. This is true for people who are already doing a lot right and this is especially true for complicated conditions.

3. I have learned that people are motivated by understanding WHY specific recommendations are made and are empowered by understanding the workings of their own body. This gives them agency, independence, and motivation.

4. There is a ton of information is out there for you to take in. It is often helpful but can be overwhelming to know what is true, what is effective, what order to approach things, what will work for you, or how it all fits together. So many people come to me frantically trying so many different tricks (diets, herbs, supplements, lab testing, etc) but don’t understand how it fits into the big picture, what to focus on, and where to turn next.


One solution I have found that works incredibly well for people looking to feel and function their best not just today but for decades to come is making health maps.


Health maps allow us to see the big picture and stay grounded.

Health maps show us where there are short cuts and where we need to stick to the route.

Health Maps are a framework that allow us see how all of our body systems are connected and do not exist in isolation as we have been trained to think. Often times what moves the dial most, we may have not even considered as a factor contributing the the problem (for example how our detoxification impacts our hormones, or how our microbiome impacts our mood, or our stress impacts our weight, or how gluten impacts autoimmune, etc).

Health maps provide us space to move at our own pace on our health journey and leaves room for all of the layers to unfold at their own time.

Health maps give us clear steps to turn the dial towards greater health and function. We can start with the simple stops first and move forward only as needed.

Health maps remind us WHY we are making certain efforts and remind us that they are part of the process, not the end stop

Health maps can bring us back on track if we do get lost on our health journey or if we are not getting to where we want to go.

Health maps allow us to see where each ‘fad diet’, supplement, lab test, practitioner, or health hack fit into the bigger picture and may or may not have a place

Health maps provide a framework to track our efforts and progress so we don’t get lost along the way or end up going in circles.


So how do Health Maps work in practice?

In my groups we map out each topic clearly so you have a framework to come back to and work from. People can adapt it to their life and preferences but remain grounded in how all of our body systems impact our goal. You can take the small, clear and methodical steps around each stop on the map AND come back to the big picture when you want.


In The Hormone Club we map out everything that impacts our hormones and how this changes as we age. The amount of hormone, type of hormone, how it is detoxed, how it is received in our body, how they change over time, how they work together or against each other, how they are impacted by various body systems, and all the ways we can impact them to feel and age our best. Our hormone maps allow us to work at a pace that is right for each person. We can choose the lowest hanging fruit first and move on as needed.

An example of one of our hormone maps at The Hormone Club. This keeps us on track and calm along our journey to hormone balance and to feeling and aging our best. From here we can move to small action steps at each stop along the way.

In The Energy Club we map out energy and blood sugar as this impacts every body system and changes as we age. We map how we make energy, what impacts it, what might be causing us challenges, how it changes over time, how different body systems impact it, etc. Again, we go for the easiest and most impactful steps first and then move around the map as needed to reach our unique health goals at a pace that works for each individual.

An example of one of our Energy Club maps that we use to keep us grounded and moving towards our goals. This reminds us why we are taking the methodical steps during our time together.

When I work one on one with people we dig into everything YOU. We map out all the body systems that might be impacting your health and possibly holding you back from reaching your goals. We consider what labs might be relevant, what efforts you have already made and track those, and where you want to go. Then you get to pick where to start, how fast to proceed, what your end goal is, and how you want to get there. Some people like to lead and some like to follow. It works either way with a map.



I also love mapping out complicated conditions and Root Causes that can impact our entire body such as what drives inflammation, what chronic stressors are, what impacts the health of the microbiome, causes of headaches, insomnia, constipation, mental health, digestion top to bottom, and more.

Want to see my inflammation map? Email me and I will send it to you.

Constipation Map. This keeps us grounded as we work to resolve the problem

So I guess you could say I am a map maker and trail guide as well as a nutritionist and doctor of natural medicine. I love working alongside people who want to step into their health in an empowered way but who also want results.

What do you think?

Can you see how having a map can keep us grounded and on the path towards greater health in a calm and grounded way? So we can work at our own unique pace?

Have you ever felt overwhelmed and confused about what matters and what efforts to prioritize to feel and function your best?

Stop getting lost down health rabbit holes that worked for someone else and start moving calmly and methodically on your own path to health. Find someone to make you a health map! They rule.

Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP DNM

It is my mission to help people understand their body better, how it works, how it changes, how it is impacted by our world and how we can improve symptoms and function while preventing future health issues. I use science, education, food, lifestyle, herbs, and nutrients, to shift the body towards better function.


Women’s Hormone Club
Energy Club

8 Things I learned Using a Continuous Glucose Monitor Plus A Bonus Quiz To See How Glucose Is Impacting You

Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP DNM

As a fit and health savvy woman in my mid 40s I was really surprised how big of an impact blood glucose had on my body and how I felt and what a big impact I could make with this information.

Wearing a continuous blood sugar monitor has been a powerful way to connect with my body in a new way, to connect the dots between how I feel and what is going on inside, and to actually improve how I feel on a day to day basis (and the science tells me I am also preventing future degenerative diseases too, sweet). Wearing a CGM, as they are called, provided me with some concrete action steps and areas to focus on, especially at a time when my hormones are changing and my body is reacting to glucose/carbs differently.

Here is a list of symptoms that can be a result of dysregulated glucose according to the research and work of Dr. Mark Hyman and Biochemist Jessie Inchauspe- cravings, fatigue, brain fog, infertility, acne, wrinkles, insomnia, hot flashes, pms, anxiety and depression, headaches, stubborn weight gain, early cellular damage and aging from chronic inflammation, oxidation, and glycation.

Although these might not be a not a disease state, they absolutely suck. And there is so much we can do to reduce these symptoms that we consider ‘normal’. I want optimal health, not just what is considered ‘normal’. Focusing on glucose is one powerful way to impact so many symptoms and how our cells age.


First off, a few basics. Our blood sugar, or amount of glucose in our blood, is meant to rise and fall throughout the day. We do not want big spikes in our blood sugar, we want happy hills. We also do not want our blood sugar elevated for extended periods of time. Both of these can cause many symptoms as well as long term damage to cells. Both of these can be off despite eating well and basic blood work looking okay. The misconception is that unless you have diabetes or prediabetes this does not impact you. This could not be farther from the truth. This is one of the most misunderstood areas of health that I have seen. Plus, as estrogen changes for women in Perimenopause, our relationship to glucose and carbohydrates changes.

In my experience personally and with working with hundreds of women clinically, optimizing blood glucose is one major way to improve day to day health for all of us, especially women as our estrogen levels change. It is a powerful way to resolve multiple symptoms that seem unrelated AND prevent future health issues. Just because your bloodwork is ‘normal’ it does not tell you anything about glucose highs and lows during the day and night. Having optimal glucose can change a lot.


A cgm is a continuous glucose monitor. It attaches to your arm (no, it does not hurt) and it tells you how you are responding to food and stress all day and night. You read the data on your phone. You can instantly see how your choices impact your biochemistry.

Here are some of the big things I learned by wearing a CGM.

If you would rather skip that information, feel free to jump to the bottom and take the quiz to see if blood sugar ups and downs might be impacting your health and how you function.

#1. Stress was causing huge spikes in my blood glucose despite how I ate or moved my body.

This one blew my mind. No matter what I ate or how I moved my body when certain stressors came up my blood sugar would spike higher than it had all day and then drop low (what goes up, must come crashing down). Wow. These emotional stressors were often based around work or parenting. The incredible thing was how I was able to change this and pretty quickly. By monitoring with a CGM I could see what worked and what didn’t. I already had a regular mindfulness practice but I really worked hard at taking mindful breaks, noticing how the stress felt in my body so I could take action, and then taking action steps to reduce my stress response. The cool thing, it worked! Although this took several steps, 2 of my favorite and most effective in the moment stress reducers are 1. Heart Math and 2. Playing ‘Right Now’ (if you have worked with me you likely know/use both of them).

#2. My afternoon bonks, usually around 3pm, were all about my blood glucose

When I first started using the CGM I could see how my typical glucose bonks in the afternoon were exactly when I had a hard time working, felt fatigued, I also craved sugar, or a beer at that time to pick me up. The crazy thing was how this changed after a few months of mindfully working on my metabolic flexibility. Now, I can typically go from lunch to dinner feeling pretty balanced and without noticing any dips. If I want a treat or a beer I can choose that for pleasure instead of needing it for a pick me up!

#3. My hot flashes and insomnia were all about my blood glucose

When my blood sugar was dysregulated during the day, meaning more ups and downs than optimal or when it was elevated for a large part of the day from snacking or stress, my blood sugar was all over the place at night too!! The ups and downs during the night were directly linked to my insomnia and to my hot flashes at night!! This was another ‘ah ha’ moment for me and fun to watch change. No more hot flashes for me.

#4. Burning fat and losing my new midsection weight was NOT about working out more, instead it was about becoming metabolically flexible and optimizing my glucose curve

As an active mountain athlete it was weird when I started getting a little thicker around my midsection, especially while I had increased training for an ultra marathon. It didn’t seem to matter how much I worked out, my mid section was getting thicker. I am by no way saying we should all look the same way we did in our 20s but something was definitely changing. The wild thing was after working with my glucose and metabolic flexibility I found that I lost my midsection weight by actually doing less and instead by lowering my glucose curve. Science is so cool and our metabolism is incredible. For me reducing stress and increasing metabolic flexibility (aka burning fat) was key.

#5. My anxiety and sleepiness were often a blood sugar high or low

Being able to check my blood glucose when I was feeling anxious or sleepy was powerful way to connect the dots. Turned out most of the time I was anxious or overcome with the need to nap during the day, my blood sugar was either spiking high or had dropped very low both from dysregulated glucose over time. Especially with my hormones changing my sensitivity to glucose in my 40s, and with both of these symptoms becoming worse recently due to this, this was an incredibly empowering connection to make. Both of these symptoms have improved with better metabolic flexibility and when they do occur I know exactly what I need to do.

#6. Salty processed foods like chips and corn nuts and corn chips spiked my glucose way more than I thought. I was better off with a snickers!

I learned a lot about what foods specifically helped and what foods hurt my glucose curve. This can be different for everyone. Some were obvious, like drinking alcohol on an empty stomach and pancakes for breakfast. But often some foods surprised me, like choosing corn nuts as a treat instead of candy after a day skiing and seeing my glucose spike 100 points (keeping spikes under 30 or 40 is optimal). I was also shocked at how the order that I ate food made such a big difference in how high by glucose spiked. So cool.

#7. Lunch was really important for me to get dialed

When I first started out on this I was not great about lunch. It was the hardest meal of the day for me to get dialed. On days that I did not do a good job with lunch, my entire afternoon and evening was disrupted with symptoms already mentioned. Now, after months on this, lunch is much easier for me as I see how important it is. But the coolest thing is with more metabolic flexibility now I am able to coast through on days I am not as organized. This is one of the incredible things about optimizing glucose- You feel better day to day but it also snowballs to improve your resilience in the long term.

#8. Athletically, using a CGM allowed me a deeper understanding of when I could run fasted, when I needed to fuel up, how different workouts stressed out my body in different ways, how different choices caused spikes to high even for athletes, and when I could cruise in zone 2 burning fat.

For any athletes out there, using a CGM is great fun and an incredible way to see exactly what is going on in your body. I was not shocked to see how some of my trail food was spiking my glucose but seeing it really helped me make better choices. This was not my primary focus but it remains an insightful way to optimize how my body is functioning in both the short term (aka on a run) and the long term (spikes from endurance food can do long term damage to cells and puts you on a glucose rollercoaster).

My big takeaways for me…..Knowing exactly what is going on in my body rules. There are small and easy action steps to dramatically impact glucose, that help with metabolic flexibility and can reduce so many symptoms while helping my cells stay younger, longer. These are much easier to implement when I can see exactly how they are impacting my body. Optimizing my glucose has had a huge role in reducing so many of my personal symptoms and so many of the symptoms of the people I get to work with.


I honestly learned a ton more but these were some big ones. These are lessons and tricks I will carry forward which I hope will be many and healthy. Please reach out with any questions or share what you have learned from using a CGM. Or better yet, join in October to dig in!


Take this quiz to see if glucose could be impacting your health and symptoms-

  1. Are you a female over 45? (estrogen changes change the way we tolerate glucose/carbs)
  2. Do you wake up in the middle of the night and have a hard time falling back to sleep?
  3. Do you ever get tired after a meal, where you want to take a nap?
  4. Do you regularly bonk around 3-4pm?
  5. Do you have a hard time going 5 hours between eating a meal or snack? Meaning, you stay full for less than 5 hours?
  6. Are you finding it hard to lose new weight around your midsection?
  7. Do you get hangry?
  8. Do you get headaches or jittery when you skip a meal?
  9. Do you eat processed foods or refined grains like pasta, cereal, muffins, breads, chips, etc? Or sugary drinks like chai, kombucha, juices, or smoothies?
  10. Do you drink alcohol or other sugary drinks on an empty stomach?
  11. Are you often hungry all day?
  12. Do you eat small meals, or snacks, or drink beverages other than water or herbal tea all day?
  13. Do you eat a sweet breakfast like oats, smoothies, cereal, baked goods, granola, or fat free yogurt?
  14. Are you a woman with signs of excess testosterone? Such as hair on the back/face/chest, acne or oily skin, fertility problems, PCOS, thinning or balding hair on your head.
  15. Do you have small pieces of excess skin on the neck or armpits (skin tags)?
  16. Do you have any family members that have blood sugar challenges?
  17. Do experience anxiety during the day?
  18. Do you experience brain fog?
  19. Are you an athlete that relies on carbs or sugary foods for fuel?
  20. Do you currently have prediabetes, diabetes, gestational diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease?
  21. Do you want to avoid diseases associated with aging such as Alzheimer’s?
  22. Is your A1C over 5.4% Or is your fasting blood sugar over 100? Or triglycerides over 80mg/dl? (functional levels for optimal health vs western disease focused levels)

If you answered yes to 2 or more of these you could likely benefit from optimizing your glucose curve. Most of us can!


A continuous glucose monitor is NOT essential for improving your response to glucose, it just helps. Wearing a CGM is an option at my new Fall Group Class Offering all about energy, glucose, and metabolic flexibility.

Optimizing glucose is one part of The Women’s Hormone Club. It is one of about 8 key steps to help ease through Perimenopause and Menopause with as few symptoms as possible. These two groups go together or can be taken separately. I teach both of them because it is my mission to help people understand their body better, how it changes, and how to impact health from a grassroots approach. Doing that in a group setting is the greatest bang for your buck plus coming together with community is powerful. Are you joining either group? I hope so!

Check out some testimonials of other women who have used CGMs or learn more about the class

Sign up for The Energy Club now. Class starts October 1st.


Janel Ferrin Anderson NC, DNM, FNLP

Janel is obsessed with helping people understand their body better and taking steps to feel and age their best. She has relentlessly studied the science of how food and lifestyle impact health and believes in filling this missing gap in healthcare. When we take a root cause approach we can impact all of our body systems today and for the long haul.

https://mountainrebalance.com/?p=1366. Evey January! Online and In Person Options (Truckee/Tahoe CA)

Learn more about the Spring Cleanse Here

Mini Course- Functional Foundations Bundle- Gain instant lifetime access after you purchase this package

The Energy Club- Metabolic Flexibility and Balanced Blood Sugar- The root of day to day and long term health

An virtual course designed for people who want to feel, look, and age their best and who want to understand their body.

Get the tools you need to understand your metabolism and how energy is made so you can feel and function your best.

Optimal blood sugar is one of the main drivers of both longterm health and how we feel day to day. It is one part of the Hormone Club but such an important issue at midlife that I made a new course just to help people get this one dialed.

Join for the live classes or get the recordings and go at your own pace. Course starts October 1st 2024

Metabolic Flexibility and balanced blood sugar are the foundation of-

  • Quality restful sleep (improve sleep)
  • Balanced energy (stop bonking!)
  • Healthy body composition (anyone’s middle section getting thicker in mid life?)
  • Fewer pms symptoms, perimenopause and menopause symptoms like hot flashes, anxiety, brain fog, weight gain, headaches, etc
  • Improved physical endurance
  • Fewer cravings
  • Balanced mood and less anxiety/depression
  • Less fatigue
  • Reduced brain fog
  • Prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, and other diseases associated with aging
  • Reduce inflammation, oxidative damage, and glycation (all associated with early aging).
  • Improve immune function
  • Reference- Inchauspe, Jessie. Glucose Revolution. Short Books. 2022. New York, NY

“Learning about blood sugar and using a CGM opened up a whole new world of health for me; one that has made a huge impact on my health and even on my journey of improving my hypothyroidism. I had no idea how important blood sugar and metabolic health is for all people, and I can’t recommend Janel’s guidance around this subject enough! This info is useful to everyone no matter your current health or situation. ” -S. Douglas from Colorado 2022

As we get older our body responds to foods and stressors differently. No gimmicks, just physiology and tangible tools so you know exactly how to move forward to boost metabolic health and energy.

We don’t need to deprive ourselves!! We just need to learn how to stoke our metabolic fire and burn slow long lasting energy all day.

Learn how this works and what you can do to minimize symptoms, optimize hormones, and feel your best.


What you will get with this online course-

  • a list of clear steps to take to optimize metabolism and blood sugar
  • 4 live classes (will be recorded) where you will get to ask questions and dig in to topics that interest you
  • 8 video lessons about metabolism, glucose, energy, sleep, aging, intermittent fasting, cravings, movement, and more
  • Bonus videos- creating habits, causes of anxiety, hierarchy of hormones, disrupting a relationship with alcohol, daily breath work practices
  • a weekly menu planner with meals to boost your metabolism and optimize glucose levels
  • a beautiful recipe book to download
  • NEW! 6 week access to interactive menu planning tool and recipes to go along
  • bonus handouts on sweeteners, mitochondria, supplements and more
  • a community of like minded individuals to connect with and share stories
  • opportunity to add a continuous glucose monitor and support with learning the best ways to use it (order this right away if you want to add this)

Jump right in or add the CONTINUOUS GLUCOSE MONITOR to support your journey and see exactly how your body is responding to foods and lifestyle. Track your progress. I will be there to support you and walk you through what we are looking for (more below). See what I learned wearing a cgm here


Can’t make it live? No problem. You can send in your questions and get the recording. .

Tuesdays at 5pm, 45-60 minutes, starting October 4th, for live office hours. The 4 meetings will be 10/8, 10/22, 11/5, 11/12 (recorded if you can’t make it, option to join in person in Truckee).

If you choose to add a CGM we will apply them together on 10/8 after class (recorded if you cannot make it)

IF YOU ARE ADDING A CGM YOU ARE GOING TO WANT TO SIGN UP NOW AND GET YOUR CGM ORDERED. I would do this by September 1 to make sure you have it on time.

“More than anything I was surprised to see how getting on top of my blood sugar changed both my days and nights. During the day I was no longer ruled by hunger. Before I worked on this I would bonk during the day if I did not eat or get crazy cravings. After I worked on this I would forget to eat until I got hungry! It was wild. I would go 4-5 hours and then feel hunger pains instead of low energy or anxiety throughout the day. At night I was shocked to see how my sleep improved and night sweats stopped. Everything feels more balanced.” Christine L. Tahoe client 2021 age 48

SIGN UP NOW AND SAVE YOUR SPOT

The Energy Club- Metabolic Flexibility and Balanced Blood Sugar- The root of day to day and long term health. An online program this fall $199

We are not talking about limiting any foods but instead how to eat and live to support your best metabolic health so you can feel strong, look your best, ease through menopause, and prevent future health problems.


What is holding you back? Join Now!


Who is this class for? Anyone wanting-

  • Better Sleep
  • To feel empowered by learning about your body and how it works
  • To reduce afternoon bonks
  • Better physical endurance
  • Fewer hormonal symptoms associated with pms, perimenopause, menopause (this is step 1 of hormone balance)
  • More balanced energy
  • Increased focus
  • Improved moods including less anxiety
  • To reduce midlife weight gain
  • To prevent future diseases associated with aging such as Alzheimer’s, Arthritis, Cardiovascular disease, Cancer, etc
  • Optional support using a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) to see exactly what is going on in your body minute by minute during the day
  • Discussions around pros/cons of Intermittent fasting, ketosis, etc

Registration Closes September 30th

“It came to no surprise that my low energy and low output was a direct correlation to my massive blood sugar swings. After a decade of running 100+ mile races and eating nothing but carbs it was time to make a change. Thanks to the CGM I was able to make direct correlations to the things that I ate and the way that I felt. I better understood bonking on a hard run and how eating the right foods at the right times was able to stabilize everything. Being able to see the data in real time helped validate the way that I felt and gave me immediate ways to feel better.” N.P. Tahoe client 2022

Take a quiz to see if glucose could be impacting you.


Thinking about adding an optional continuous glucose monitor? Here is some info-

  • A CGM tells you minute by minute how your body is responding to food and lifestyle
  • Each sensor fits on the back of your arm and lasts for 2 weeks. No, it does not hurt at all to put on! I promise.
  • You choose how many you get. Starting with 2 is a great idea.
  • You scan the sensor instantly with your phone and get all the data right at your fingertips in a clear and simple app
  • This is the most effective way I have found for people to make changes that have the greatest impact on their health
  • This is a very black and white way to learn about your unique body and how it is responding to food and lifestyle. You will see exactly how high and how low your glucose levels are going through out the day.
  • This will tell you if blood sugar is impacting sleep, anxiety, endurance, etc and how you can make changes
  • I have worked with many different ones and have settled on Veri as the best/easiest. You order through them and can get a discount on your first month with my link. There are many options but the simplest is 3 months of app with 2 sensors for $100/month for 3 months.
  • This is not necessary for the Energy Club, but a wonderful addition if you are interested in the support.
  • You will get a link to do this after you purchase the package. You will get my discount on your first month too!!

Questions? Please reach out to me- janel@mountainrebalance.com

 “Wearing a monitor to let me watch blood sugar fluctuations through the day and night has given me insights to what’s going on “under the hood” that I could only previously (usually wrongly, it turns out) guess at. It’s unobtrusive, painless, and has guided me to make informed changes to my diet and lifestyle that improve my health. The real-time measurement of my blood glucose let me see the impact of different types, amounts, and timing of foods on my blood sugar levels. I’ve recommended it to many friends and family members.” L.A. 2022 Tahoe Client

Booking Provided by Healthie

Get 10% off if you sign up in August! Use Promo code- AUGUST10%

Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP DNM

Janel is obsessed with helping people understand their body better and use nutrition and lifestyle to function their best.  Janel specializes in hormone health, digestion, energy, and resilience.  She has dug deep into the science of food, nutrition, and physiology to provide a missing gap in health care.  Janel teaches group classes as well as works one-on-one with people who want to take control of their health.  When not working or chasing her kids around she is likely playing hard in the mountains and rivers of the West. 

Energy And Fatigue- 4 Considerations To Optimize Day To Day Energy

So many people that come to work with me struggle with low energy, despite looking like the image of health on the outside for some.

They are often told by their doctors that they look perfectly healthy, everything is great, maybe just depressed?

From a disease perspective I get it. No disease there. But from a health perspective there can be a lot going on and a lot to work with to turn the dial. When we consider that there is a spectrum of health, not just Diseased or Healthy, we find there is quite a bit we can do with food and lifestyle to turn the dial towards better health, function, and greater energy.

One of my missions is to fill the gap between disease and perfect health, empowering people learn about what is going on in their body and what they can do to optimize how they function not matter where they are on the spectrum of health. In our current healthcare system we are greatly missing the provider who can spend time with people, meeting them where they are at, listening to their story, educating them about how their body works and how disease and symptoms manifest, and supporting them to make changes to function better.

Nothing woo woo here, just systems biology coupled with modifiable lifestyle choices to improve how we feel and function and to address the root cause of symptoms.

Optimize Energy

When we look at how energy is made and what impacts it, there are 4 areas that stick out to me, as a functional nutritionist, where food and lifestyle can make a difference even for people already eating diverse whole foods.

  1. Blood sugar highs and lows
  2. Thyroid health and how the system is functioning
  3. Mitochondria and the nutrients needed to make energy (not just calories)
  4. The amount of Stress we are under, how we process that stress, and how our adrenals and HPA axis (hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal axis) are handling it

It is almost painful to omit DIGESTION from this list but for the sake of not beating a dead horse I will leave it out of the top 4 😉 . Of course eating enough food, sleeping, and moving regularly help here too. I wanted to address things people are not always thinking about.


1. Blood Sugar Regulation

Optimizing blood sugar is important for all of us, not just diabetics. So many of the people I work with are shocked how much this is impacting their energy on a day to day basis. I was even shocked when I tuned in to my blood sugar. Blood sugar is impacted by what we eat, when we eat, how much stress we have in our lives, how we move our body, how well we sleep, our estrogen (and how that changes at midlife), your microbiome, and more. Our blood sugar levels naturally go up and down during the day but we want hills, not mountains. What goes up will come down and often crashing down hard bringing with it symptoms of blood sugar imbalance such as: afternoon fatigue, sleepiness, cravings, anxiety, waking up in the middle of the night, headaches, irritability, and more. If you want to optimize your energy it is essential to optimize your blood sugar. Retraining your body to burn fat is a great way to do this as is balancing fat/fiber/protein at every meal and snack to minimize extreme highs and lows. Because blood sugar is so important for energy, sleep, and hormone balance we work on this in our 6 week Women’s Hormone Club, at the 10 week Foundations of Health, with my one on one clients, and of course at The Energy Club in the fall (optional CGM). How balanced is your blood sugar? Do you have any symptoms indicating you could use some work here? Tuning into your ups and downs during the day can be incredibly insightful to optimizing blood sugar and feeling more balanced energy.

One of my favorite ways to help balance blood sugar is getting enough protein for breakfast. I find most people miss this chance to manage blood sugar in a way that trickles down to the rest of the day.

image curtesy of Functional Nutrition Alliance

2. Thyroid Health

Our thyroid impacts our metabolism and how we use protein, carbs, and fat to make energy, it impacts our oxygen consumption, our sodium/potassium regulation, cardiovascular function, red blood cells, digestion, and is used by every cell in our body. 1, 2. If we do not have enough thyroid hormone or cannot properly use our thyroid hormone our entire body will slow down and fatigue is a common symptom. Our thyroid depends on clear communication between our brain and our thyroid (the HPT axis), it depends on having the proper nutrients to make thyroid hormones (which also includes how well we are digesting and absorbing those nutrients), on our microbiome to convert thyroid hormone to a usable form, if we have antibodies to our thyroid gland or antibodies to certain thyroid enzymes, and on our cell’s ability to receive and use thyroid hormone 3. If any part of the system is not functioning optimally, even if there is not a diagnosable disease to treat, or even if someone is taking thyroid hormone but not utilizing it well, energy will be impacted. Getting a clear idea of thyroid function and making sure your thyroid has what it needs to function is an important step to optimize energy and one that affects women considerably more than men. Even if your TSH looks perfect there could be more at play. Food and lifestyle are key players in the thyroid system (HPT) and getting a full thyroid panel is key if there are energy issues or any signs of a slow down in the body.

Some of my favorite thyroid supportive foods include- brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, kelp, eggs, and greens.

photo curtesy of Functional Nutrition Alliance

3. Mitochondria and the Nutrients Needed to Produce Energy

Our mitochondria are where energy is made in our body. We not only need fat, carbohydrates, and oxygen to make energy but we also depend on many other factors to keep the system pumping out ATP, the energy currency in our body. If we do not have enough of any of the following factors, energy production will be decreased, leaving us with less energy. This includes iron to help move oxygen from our lungs to our mitochondria, B vitamins to help the mitochondria convert carbs/fat into energy, and all 20 amino acids needed for coenzymes throughout the process. In the case of these three we depend not only on getting enough from our diet but also on digesting and absorbing them properly. If we do not have enough stomach acid or have any issues with the villi in our small intestine or have a lack of digestive enzymes or bile, we might have a hard time absorbing and digesting these critical nutrients even if we are consuming them. We also need plenty of antioxidants to maintain the integrity of the mitochondria, we need sufficient sulfur, CoQ10, Carnitine, N-acetyl cysteine, vitamin D, magnesium, fatty acids, and alpha lipoic acid for energy production, all coming from the foods we are or are not eating and how we are breaking them down. 4 5 6 Even heavy metals, mold, and toxins can impact our mitochondria 11. Do your mitochondria have what they need to function optimally? Are you sure?

4. Stress and how we are managing it

Every time we are faced with a stressor in life, either emotional, physical, nutritional, environmental, immune wise, from blood sugar swings, etc our hpa axis responds by releasing cortisol from the adrenal glands so our body is prepped to react. This is a great thing as we need cortisol for many reasons, unless is it kept in ‘ON’ mode for too long that is. Our brain does not differentiate if we are being chased by a tiger, are stressed about bills, are up late watching a suspenseful thriller, have a nutrient deficiency, are overtraining, have a chronic infection, mold exposure, or any other stress we might be facing. It is all stress on the body and is a bit of a mismatch between how we evolved and our current environment. Some stress is a good thing (hormesis) but too much stress can negatively impact the HPA axis or hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis 7 8. We are meant to handle stress but not a never ending onslaught of stressors 10 (allostatic load). In this case we might see dysregulated cortisol which can manifest as low energy in the morning (despite getting plenty of sleep) and low energy throughout the day, among other things signs of HPA axis dysregulation 8 9. Although ‘adrenal fatigue’ is outdated and not recognized as science based condition (the adrenals are not fatigued instead cortisol is regulated by the brain), hpa axis dysregulation is very real and can be a leading contributor to feeling low energy and fatigue 10. Removing what stressors we can and learning to process our emotional stress better are two important components to supporting the HPA axis and optimizing our energy during the day. Sometimes we need to do a little digging to figure out what is causing our stress response to be turned on chronically.

A couple of favorite herbs/foods to support stress management include sipping lemon balm tea, and taking Adaptogens like Reishi, Rhodiola, Maca and Ashwanganda.


If you are feeling less energy than normal there are ways to use food and lifestyle to support your body and increase your energy (Of course ruling out any serious condition with your physician is an important step).

Tracking is a great way to start tuning in to what is going on in your body. Start noticing and writing down when you feel good, when you feel low, what you are eating, your lifestyle choices during those times, known stressors, mood, poop, sleep, how much you are resting, etc. There are labs and tests that can help you dig deeper too, such as nutritional panels, a functional thyroid panel, serum labs such as iron/ferritin/vitamin D/magnesium, dried urine and salivary hormone tests, blood sugar monitoring, a continuous glucose monitor, organic acids tests, and more. Optimizing digestions is always important to make sure you are able to use the nutrients you are eating. Stay curious and reach out to a trusted wellness professional for help.


Digging deeper with functional labs can be extremely helpful if things feel off in your body. When we look at functional labs we are looking for optimal function instead of just for disease. Test don’t guess! Check out functional labs I often use for energy issues.


Some of my favorite functional booster foods to support optimal energy include

  • liver (supplement if you don’t want to eat organ meat)
  • maca powder
  • alfalfa
  • cordyceps
  • sprouts (broccoli, alfalfa, mung, etc)
  • bee pollen, royal jelly, and honey
  • beet juice
  • nuts and seeds
  • sweet potatoes
  • mct oil
  • green tea
  • sea vegetables

What do you do to optimize your energy?

And if it is just a rest day you need, by all means, REST UP. xo Janel

This is intended to serve as education regarding food and lifestyle to support health. It is not meant to treat or diagnose any health condition. Please consult your physician with any health issues.

Check out my blog and video on MAPPING ENDURANCE through a functional lens. I list my favorite trail foods as well as functional labs relevant to energy there too!

Resources

Janel Ferrin Anderson FNLP NC DNM

Janel works with people one and one and in group settings out of her office in Truckee/Tahoe. She helps people better understand what is going on in their body and explores with them how to use food and lifestyle to optimize health. Janel is a board certified nutrition consultant, a certified functional nutrition and lifestyle practitioner and has her doctorate in natural medicine. She is endlessly interested in WHY things function the way they do.

Every Fall- The Energy Club
Foundations of Health- 10 weeks
Spring Cleanse with us
Join the Healing Foods Club!
Women’s Hormone Club

Booking Provided by Healthie

Autumn Love – Food, Energy, Ritual, Women, Treats, And The Kitchen

I have always loved the crisp air, warm spices, comforting foods, grounding energy, and the return to routine that autumn brings.

As I sit here at my computer I can almost hear the crunch and smell the earthy leaves of fall. The days are slowly getting shorter but the sun still shines brightly and lasts just long enough for sport practices and a short walk after work. It is the season of harvest, preparing for the winter, and even some lunchtime trail rides with the kids back at school. Tapping in to the energy of the season is a wonderful and important way to connect to the rhythm that we have evolved for thousands of years to be in synch with and fall is one of my favorite times to do this.

In the autumn I am immediately drawn to my kitchen as it feels grounding after the endless light and go of summer. The slightly cooler and darker evenings quietly beckon me back in. I now crave this return to the kitchen. Fall foods are comforting, warming and cozy. We brew up warm soups and stews that cook for hours and fill the kitchen with mouth watering smells all afternoon. These longer cooked dishes are wonderful for gut health as they are easier to break down and give the gut a bit of a rest. Plus, we use quite a bit of bone broth as a base which has healing gelatin, collagen and minerals. In different ancient healing practices around the world this grounding in the fall is important to balance the dry, windy, and transitional energy of the fall. With the right lifestyle and eating changes we can feel nourished by the fall instead of depleted. I find this to be true for me and am happy to bring my energy down into my roots this time of year and ground into the season.


Apples

I love when I get to pick my own apples but regardless we try to see how many different varieties of apples we can taste and cook with each fall. Stewed apples with cinnamon are one of my favorite gut healing treasures in the fall. The fiber in apples feed our good bacteria in the gut and they produce metabolites that heal our gut wall, talk to our immune system (which is really important in the fall), and even talk to our brain. We eat these stewed apples many mornings and in the afternoon with a sprinkle of chia seeds and hemp seeds and even some mct oil for a good fat. Apples rank at the top of foods with phenolic antioxidants making them high in antioxidants and especially cancer fighting quercetin. My 10 year old Clay loves to bake spicy apple crisp and even makes it gluten free for me to enjoy. Gretal loves baked apples with cinnamon, coconut sugar, and walnuts. I love making spiced gluten free apple cake and John’s heart lies with an almond and cranberry apple pie. But really, is there anything easier and more delicious than sliced apples with cinnamon?


Stirring My Brew (aka spicy chai)

There is not much more that says fall in our family than a brewing pot of chai on the stove. It lures people out of their rooms and into the kitchen to comment year after year “ah, it smells like fall”. The spices of chai are warming to the body and the soul. Cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, cloves, and pepper. All full of healing nutrients to boot (see below). We brew these spices for an hour and then add black tea for a few minutes and strain. After we pour this into anxiously awaiting mugs we add honey and a splash of milk of choice (some like coconut, some cashew, and others full fat cows milk) and savor each cozy and warming sip.


Fall Ritual- Prepping for winter

There are years I am better at preserving foods than others. Sometimes I jar tomatoes or chop and freeze squash, green beens, berries, etc but what I am most consistent with is prepping my fall and winter supply of Fire Cider. I love this ritual. People have been enjoying the immune support and digestive support of fire cider for decades. I love this kind of preserving because there are no rigid rules or formulas. Once you do it a few times you can change it up, add different ingredients or change up the quantities to your liking. My favorite recipes are part of the Healing Foods Club . Making Fire Cider is affordable and rewarding. I take a shot of this fire cider in warm water every morning as part of my morning fall/winter ritual to support my gut, my immune system, and my morning energy.


Letting Go

The fall reminds us that it is okay to let go of what does not serve us or what has transitioned on. As I watch the beautiful golden and red leaves fall to the earth I am reminded to let go. Just when the world is so supremely beautiful, with the snow on the mountains and the bright leaves on the aspens, it is time to let go. All things have their time. Their seeding, their growing, their burning bright, their clinging, their letting go, their becoming one with the earth, and then the seed again. Our crazy world today allows us to think we can have it all all the time but leaning into the seasons reminds us of the importance of the cycle and also gives us a chance to slow down, release, enjoy what is right in front of us. I use my breath, specifically my exhale, as much as I can to release what is not serving me, even if I want to cling to it forever. I use my inhale to feel gratitude for all that I have and love. It is a practice every day as I am far from perfect at this. But one breath at a time…..


The Female Cycle and The Seasons

I love teaching the Women’s Hormone Club and one of my favorite parts is when we go into the different energies of the female cycle. When we tap into the different hormones that are present during each phase of our monthly cycle we often notice that there is a time of the month that we feel more driven, a time we feel more social, a time we feel more introspective, a time we feel like planning, and a time we feel quieter. When we put that cycle over the time frame of the year there is a similar pattern for the seasons of the year. The fall is the time associated with the luteal phase in a woman’s cycle. The time after ovulation when progesterone rises, bringing with it a feeling of calm and going inside oneself a bit more, a coziness, and preparing for what is to come. Do you feel this shift? Or is it at a different season for you?


Trick or Treats

As a nutritionist, some of the candy and food coloring that comes along with Halloween drives me nuts. I have learned that having some treats around the house this time of year that I feel better about curbs the craving to get ravenous around some of the scarier options out there. Some of our favorites are making chocolate mint, chocolate peanut butter, and lemon coconut cups. Another favorite is gluten free pumpkin squares with cream cheese frosting (I also love these as muffins without frosting). These are delicious and remind me of growing up! Another thing I try to do is load the kids and adults up on plenty of protein rich foods before they snack on treats so they do not eat candy when they are hungry. Do you have a trick to keep a happy or balanced relationship with the treats of halloween?

chocolate mint cups RECIPE

RECIPE FOR GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN SQUARES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Fall Foods and Spices

Foods that are in season in the fall include- pumpkins, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, chard, apples, broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, mushrooms, cabbage, fall squash, grapes, pomegranate and more. Download my cozy fall recipe book loaded with clean recipes here and share what fall foods you love to cook in your kitchen. Check out my blog and Instagram for more seasonal recipes too. My seasonal elixir guide is part of the Healing Foods Club. Classic fall spices incude-

  • Ginger – is a wonderful spice for digestion, it reduces nausea, is anti-inflammatory, and has anti-microbial properties
  • Cardamom -may help to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and protect against cancer
  • Cinnamon – may help with blood sugar balance and downstream hormone balance
  • Cloves – may also help regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation, protect against cancer, and support the liver health


Harvest

I grew up celebrating harvest on the farm and now have a small backyard garden to work and enjoy. I love taking the time to harvest what we have put energy and intention into. This is true for harvesting food but also harvesting ideas, plans, emotions, relationships, work, etc. In the spring we consider what seeds we want to plant, how we will feed and water them, and then in the fall I try to reflect on how things have been going and celebrate the work I have done. This has become a wonderful ritual in the fall for me. I consider how my heart feels, how my body feels, and how my brain feels this time of year and celebrate all that has grown and honor what I have learned so far in the year.


Fall Play


All of this and we haven’t even talked about Thanksgiving yet! I suppose that is for another time. 

Sing up for the Healing Foods Club here.
More information is here
This is included with Foundations of Health

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑