Insomnia vs “Catching the Wave”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Surfs up!

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

Why do symptoms occur and why does disease set in?

What is the Terrain in the body?

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

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

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

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

I am asked daily “what can I do for my headaches?” or “What do you recommend for better sleep?” or “How can I get my energy back?”. Although I will take an easy way out if there is one, usually for sustainable and notable changes we need to shift the overall terrain in the body and address the roots instead of the branches.

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

Where there is certainly a place for a quick fix or temporary relief from a nagging or painful symptom, going deeper and being curious about what is causing the symptom or listening to what the symptom is trying to tell us is important. Addressing the terrain of the body includes maximizing digestion, making sure absorption is functional, reducing overall inflammation and oxidative damage, balancing hormones including cortisol (stress hormone) and insulin (blood sugar hormone), and more upstream imbalances or roots. Most often addressing the roots takes care of several branches instead of frantically trying to target all the bothersome branches one at a time.

What is the soil or terrain like in your body? What can you take away to shift it towards health? What can you add? Are your symptoms branches or roots? Come dork out with me if you want to learn more! Book your free 15 minute consult to see if I can help. Taking new clients in September 2019

Balance your Hormones and Feel your Best!

Coming this fall to Truckee 2019

Join other women as we gather together for 4 weeks and use food, lifestyle, nutrients, and herbs to maximize hormone balance.

We will focus on education around how hormones work, why hormonal balance is key to optimal health, how our environment and choices impact our hormones, and how common accepted symptoms are really a message that hormones are not in balance.

Common Symptoms associated with hormonal imbalance-

  • Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Night sweats
  • Breast tenderness
  • Fatigue
  • Foggy brain
  • Weight gain
  • Weak and brittle bones
  • Dry skin and vaginal dryness
  • Hair loss
  • Depression
  • Incontinence
  • Infertility
  • Puffy face
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Cravings for sugar or carbs 
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Other common PMS, postpartum, and menopause discomforts

Get the information and support you need to take back your health. Empower yourself to feel your best!

Group will include- 2 week preparation time, 4 live meetings, 4 week targeted food/nutrient/lifestyle plan to jump start hormone rebalance, accountability, support, private facebook to keep in contact with each other and share, loads of information, education, menu ideas, recipes, science, and more.

Don’t miss this unique and limited opportunity to feel your best! I believe deeply in empowering women to understand their body and do what they can to reduce or limit uncomfortable female symptoms that are accepted as normal. You deserve more! Join me in this deep exploration.

Sign up soon to secure your space! Please email or call for more information. janel@mountainrebalance.com

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 and see if we can help with your unique situation.   Email or call to schedule a time janel@mountainrebalance.com

Initial assessment and review
$275
The best place to start! After you fill out an extensive intake we meet for 1.5 hours so I can learn all about you and hear your concerns and goals.  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 deep into a plan to address your specific needs and situation.  You get a personal Health and Wellness Binder to keep all your health and medical paperwork organized.

Follow up and Commitment Package
$300
6 45 minute appointment over 3 months time so we can continue to assess, test, review, and where I can support you making sustainable diet and lifestyle changes.  You have access to emailing and calling me for basic questions. There is heaps of education and personal adjustments.  We typically meet every other week and connect over email or phone between. 

Gold Standard Follow up Commitment Package
$590
12 45 minute appointments over 6 months time so you can feel fully supported on this time of healing and change.  The truth is it takes time to heal and to make lifelong sustainable change.  I have seen 6 months work seamlessly for people with enough support and education so they understand why change is needed.  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
$50/half hour session
Periodically get together to reassess, track, and support

Holistic and Functional Nutrition Consult
$90/hour established clients
$100/hour new client
We can talk about ideas to help you reach your goals or discuss some of the physiology behind why things might be happening as they are.  

Working with Kids
We love working with kids and tailoring things to them. Although they are little people with less of a history they are still people and require all the information and detective work.   Starting with the assessment package is still best.  However, if your little one is older and would benefit from a chat about how food and lifestyle affect different body systems or you have some general questions we can do that on an hourly consult base.  I always prefer to get the whole story but sometimes it is appropriate to simply meet for an hourly consult.  Keep your eye open for group family health classes coming soon too!

Group Wellness and Classes

Group Wellness and Classes

Holistic Healthcare you can’t afford to miss, but can afford!

 

4 Week Group Programs-


$199
(bring a friend and get $20 off each)
All groups are 4 weeks long and include 4 one hour gatherings for education, questions, and motivation, it also include 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,  and better health, balance, and insight after:) . Optional hormone testing available 

  • Women’s Hormone ReBalance- 4 weeks-  
  • Family Elimination Diet Support – 4 weeks
  • Prenatal/Postpartum Nutrition, Recovery, and Hormone Balance- 4 weeks- September 2019
  • Blood Sugar ReBalance- Lose the Sugar!- 4 weeks
  • Heal your gut (and affect every organ and system in your body)- 4 weeks
  • Autoimmune Reset- 4 weeks
  • Teen Girls Empowerment through Education- Learn about your body and how what you eat and the environment affect it
  • Adrenal Fatigue Roboot! Energy, please!- 4 weeks

 

 

1 Week Whole Foods Seasonal Cleanses and Education 

$90
(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 2019
  • Summer- July 2020
  • Fall- October 2019
  • Winter Cleanse- January 2020

 

Healing Foods Workshops

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

 

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 health 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

 

 

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

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 satistfied, 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

Surviving the Winter Blues (plus one of my favorite healing winter beverage recipes)

 

 

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Although disheartening, I do not mean the Winter Blues due to the lack of snow here in Truckee this year!

Winter blues, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), affects more than 10 million people in North America and women make up 60-90% of those affected (PsychCentral).  It is a form of depression that is specifically time based coinciding with the shorter days of winter, starting in fall and resolving in spring.  While the exact cause remains unknown, factors that influence it are fluctuations in circadian rhythm, serotonin levels, and melatonin levels due to the decrease in daylight.

So what’s a person to do?  It is worth trying to find a balance between embracing the dark by adjusting our mindset yet proactively doing what we can to facilitate our biochemistry to feel as good as we can during the shorter days.

Winter has a different vibe than summer as it’s a more restful and quiet time in the natural world.  Things slow down energetically and turn inward so they can bloom in the spring.  Most of nature works in a cyclical way like this.   Even our bodies work in a cyclical way.  Cortisol levels rise and fall as the day goes on, menstruation cycles with each lunar month, the thyroid cycles with the season, etc).  The dark is a time of more inward focus and rest.  If we can embrace this idea, and not fight it, perhaps we can be more in sync with it’s quieter rhythm.  A few ways to embrace the dark include

  1. Light a candle first thing in the morning
  2. Cozy up by the fire with a book instead of turning on the TV
  3. Have a warm cup of Golden Milk (my favorite recipe below) or herbal tea
  4. Dust off your piano or guitar and play a song instead of rushing to the next activity
  5. Start or continue a daily meditation or breathing practice (calm or headspace app,  gaiamtv.com)
  6. Honor the winter solstice and celebrate the dark and the return of light
  7. Cook a warm and oily gut and soul healing soup

Along with embracing the dark and cozying up to it there are things we can do to help with our body’s biochemistry to minimize the hormonal effects of shorter days and less light.  Here in Truckee the sky is often sunny.  Making an effort to get out in it in addition to feeding our body what nutrients it needs to thrive can help. Here are some ideas-

  1. Take a walk in the midday sunshine or move your desk so you are in a sunlit window
  2. Try light box therapy when you wake up for 20-30 minutes a day (10,000 lux of illumination while the smallest amount of UV emitted)
  3. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and try to go to bed at the same time every night
  4. Enjoy the healing benefits of adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogens are herbs that help us manage stress and balance hormones
  5. Eat a whole foods diet focusing on colorful vegetables and fruits, whole grains, nuts/seeds, healthy fats, high quality protein, fermented foods, and plenty of clean water
  6. Exercise.  If you can do this outside in nature it is a double whammy as being in nature has many biochemical benefits on it its own
  7. Connect with friends or family over a nice warm bowl of soup
  8. Daily supplements that help most people function optimally are omega 3 fatty acids, probiotics, and vitamin D

Wishing you joy and coziness this winter season and of course please reach out for help if you need it

Wildly, Janel

 

Golden Milk  Golden milk has many wonderful ingredients but the star is turmeric.  Tumeric contains curcumin which is the main healing chemical constituent. Curcumin is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, boosts immune function, and more.  Enjoy!!

Recipe (by Sharkin)  Ingredients

 

 

 

 

 

 

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