Fired up Fridays #2 Total Body Burden

Fired up Friday Take 2

I get fired up about the idea of Total Load or Total Body Burden.  This is a big concept that gets overlook when we are looking for 1 cause for our health issues or 1 magic bullet to solve our problems. 

I see a lot of people getting stuck looking for this 1 thing driving their problems. I also see medical providers dismissing things because it does not directly cause one specific problem. People often forget the impact of the accumulation of things over time. Welcome Total Load.

This is a foundational theory in functional and holistic nutrition and it helps us to see how food and lifestyle can shift the terrain in the body towards greater health in a powerful way.

The theory of Total Load is an important and empowering one to consider if you want to both improve chronic symptoms or how you feel now AND if you are hoping to prevent future health issues from surfacing as you age.  It helps us see how working on many little things can have a big impact on our health even if we can’t find 1 cause for things.

The basics go like this- 

We all have a metaphorical bucket.  Various things fill our bucket over time.  When we are physiologically healthy or resilient our body can usually keep up with this burden.   But when our bucket overflows from either 1. too much coming in or 2. from not moving things out or 3. a small bucket, we can become overwhelmed and we might experience signs, symptoms or illnesses. 

This bucket concept can be used to think about our EMOTIONS, our IMMUNE HEALTH, TOXINS/DETOX, DIGESTION, and much more.

This concept also helps us to remember that each person is unique, that we are impacted by things differently, that all of our body systems are in fact connected, that everything we do makes an impact on how we feel and function, and that 1+1 does not always =2 when we are talking about things accumulating over time. 

Let’s dig into what impacts our bucket size-

The first important thing to realize is that each of our buckets are a different size and drain at a different rate.  So what determines this resilience or our body’s ability to handle this burden? The size of our bucket and how fast it drains depends on several things including- 

  • Our genetics and what genes are expressing themselves (various SNPS impact how well we do or don’t detox and may need more support), 
  • It depends on our nutrient reserves and how many phytonutrients and antioxidants we consume/digest/absorb, 
  • It depends on how well we sleep and our circadian rhythm, 
  • How well our phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification work in our liver, 
  • How well our vagus nerve functions, 
  • The integrity of our gut (including leaky gut) and of our digestive system and even how timely we poop
  • How well we can activate our parasympathetic nervous system or our rest/digest part of our nervous system (and the amount of emotional stress, food stress, physical stress, stress from overtraining etc)
  • Lifestyle habits that support detoxification such as sweating, moving our body, not eating 24 hours a day, etc

Next, let’s consider what fills our bucket day to day and over time– 

Singularly the things that fill our bucket might not cause a problem but over time they have the potential to accumulate, contribute to dysfunction, and overwhelm our body’s resources and ability to process them or heal.   These substances that contribute to our body burden or total load include-

  • Toxins from the air we breath and water we drink
  • Chemicals on our food such as fertilizers, pesticides, etc
  • Heavy metals and EMFs
  • Alcohol 
  • Chronic infections such as Lyme, Epstein Barr, etc 
  • Mycotoxins from mold, bacterial overgrowth in our gut, yeast overgrowth such as candida
  • Eating nutrient negative foods and/or inflammatory foods
  • Stress and isolation
  • Hormone imbalances 
  • Endotoxins (toxins that come from inside our body such as LPS)
  • Chemicals from cleaning products, fire retardants, skin care products, furniture, flooring, etc
  • Problems with digestion/absorption and our microbiome

So again, we are built to be resilient, we have evolved to handle various stressors and our body is detoxing all day. However, we did not evolve to face the amount of stressors filling our bucket today. In addition, to compound the problem, our food supply is less nutrient dense today with our depleted soils and monocropping and our modern lifestyle habits often do not support resilience. I have heard this referred to as an evolutionary gap and we are in it.

But this is not all doom and gloom. Quite the opposite.

Often we can’t find one cause for our problems (although how great when we can!). But when we can’t find the one cause of our signs/symptoms or chronic disease or the one magic bullet to find relief doesn’t exist, there is still a lot we can do to impact how we feel and function. We might not always have the answer but we can improve our body’s resilience and ability to process the things coming at us.

If you have have frustrating chronic issues such as skin rashes, headaches, joint pain, fatigue, memory problems, chemical sensitivity, etc or if you want to optimize how you age, there is a lot you can do today with food and lifestyle to make an impact and improve your body’s resilience.

Start with improving how you drain your bucket, reduce what is filling your bucket, optimize digestion/microbiome, and give it time.

During the Nourishing Spring Cleanse and Liver Love we will be supporting our body’s and liver’s ability to ‘lighten the load’. It is no magic bullet but it is one way to make an impact and give your body a needed rest. We work on removing insults while adding nutrients and lifestyle to support our body’s detox ability.

During Foundations of Health we will be introducing all the most powerful lifestyle habits slowly over time to increase resilience as well as eating for health and optimizing digestion. This program was designed to build resilience no matter where you are at. We work on all the things that increase our ability to drain our bucket as well as reduce what is coming in.

Most people have ‘aha’ moments as they take this TOTAL LOAD concept forward into their lives. Does this resonate for you?


Here is one of my favorite recipes for a clean home cleaning product to replace a toxic one-

Disinfecting Spray

  • 1-1/2 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup White Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Dish Soap
  • 12 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (optional)

What can you do to give your body a break and lighten the load?


Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP DNM


JOIN THE SPRING CLEANSE http://mountainrebalance.com/?p=1884

Fired Up Fridays#1. The Gap In Healthcare

FIRED UP FRIDAY TAKE 1

I get fired up about the gap in healthcare and I’m not sure why we don’t address it more openly. 

First off, there are a lot of magnificent doctors, nurses, and other medical workers out there doing important and hard work. I’m married to a brilliant doctor and my mom is a wonderful nurse.  

BUT

There are a lot of people with chronic health issues today who are not getting the support they need around their health. 

Both of those things can be true. (note, we will come back to that idea, it’s a big one)


These people who are struggling with chronic health issues need more.  

  • More time to be seen, heard and understood. 
  • More curiosity around what might be going on in their body.
  • More empathy around their story. 
  • More focus on WHY symptoms are happening and what is driving them. 
  • More support to make sustainable changes that impact health.  
  • More attention and help tracking signs/symptoms over time. 
  • More education around what is going on in their body. 
  • More practitioners who know how to methodically use food and lifestyle changes to support each person’s unique physiology. 
  • More practitioners who can refer them to others who can help support their health journey.
  • More support in addressing unique health issues and goals even if there isn’t a diagnosis, aka help functioning better.
  • More focus on preventative measures to move towards health and aging healthfully

Chronic health issues do not happen overnight. There is a progression and usually several factors at play. In many cases symptoms are not even the problem but instead information that something is going on in the body.

People come to me all the time with issues they have struggled with for years.  These often include unresolved chronic headaches, bloating, memory problems, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, anxiety, pms, body aches and pains, weight gain, difficulty paying attention, brain fog, rashes, immune problems, memory issues, etc

I have heard time and time again how frustrating and hopeless this can feel.  Often these people have seen doctors, maybe multiple doctors,  and nothing seems to come up. 

And honestly, I have heard doctors on the other end talking about how frustrating this population can be.   And I get it.  Our medical system is not designed for people with chronic issues.  They are incredible when there is trauma, or surgery needed,  when a life saving medication or therapy is required, etc. 

But again, there is a growing population that needs more AND there is a lot that can be done to improve signs, symptoms, and disease process even if your doctor does not know about it. There is a ton of new research and clinical evidence showing that food, nutrients, herbs, gut health, chronic inflammation, and lifestyle changes have a huge impact on how your body functions and how disease progresses and how genetics express themselves. Chronic disease does NOT happen overnight but instead it is a slow progression.

I have decided to stop arguing over western medicine vs natural approaches and I am working instead to fill this gap the best I can.

There is so much work that needs to be done here. 

There are people who do work slowly filling in this gap, who track history, timelines, story, who discuss physiology and how the body systems work together and are connected, who teach people how to listen to their body with a scientist’s mind, who are okay not knowing the answer right away but instead can sit in a place of curiosity while we investigate, who understand the nuances of how food and lifestyle impact each body uniquely, even impacting genetics and impacting how we age and who are happy working alongside physicians and any medical team. 

I am thrilled to be part of that system to fill the gap. 


I really feel like if we as health and wellness practitioners could acknowledge our own limitations as well as what our strengths are, we could truly serve people extraordinarily.  Because as I said earlier, there are incredible doctors AND people with chronic issues who need more.  Both can be true (thanks for that empowering phrase, sister Brittany).  

Have you experienced this gap? As a practitioner or patient? I would love to hear about it and talk about it more openly. 


Follow me on instagram to keep up with more Fired up Fridays.

Janel Ferrin Anderson DNM, NC, FNLP

Janel works and plays out of Truckee/Tahoe and is endlessly passionate about helping people understand their unique body better. Janel helps people use food, lifestyle, herbs, and nutrients to shift the terrain in their body towards greater health and function. She works one on one and in groups settings.

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