Overweight, low energy, anxious and depressed?

Overweight-low energy-anxious-depressed Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Are you feeling overweight, low on energy, anxious and/or depressed?

If you are, you’re not alone.

There was a point in my life when I felt this way too.  No matter what I did or ate, nothing seemed to change. I was beyond uncomfortable in my clothes, I was uncomfortable in my own skin, and all I wanted was to feel like my energetic, lean and easy-going self again.

I tried changing my diet, different workout routines, detox regimens, meditations and a variety of supplements trying to get my body and my mind back.  Sometimes it seemed as if something was working, but it was always short-lived.

I went from doctor to doctor, health expert to expert, searching for answers that seemed to be so hard to find.

I racked my brain trying to figure out what had changed.  For the longest time, everything had stayed the same; my eating, drinking, exercise routine and weight hardly ever varied.

Was this just a part of getting older?

No.

This was my body telling me something wasn’t right.

If you’re feeling overweight, low on energy, anxious and/or depressed, then chances are your body is trying to tell you something too.

The problem is that these signs and symptoms can be far removed from the actual cause, and they can be related to variety of metabolic imbalances occuring in the body.

Did you know that low energy and weight gain can correlate with:

  • Trouble sleeping or poor quality sleep
  • Not exercising or moving enough
  • Blood sugar imbalances
  • Chaotic cortisol rhythms
  • Elevated estrogen levels
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Toxin exposures

Anxiety can be linked to:

  • Food sensitivities
  • Low progesterone
  • Elevated estrogen levels
  • Chaotic cortisol rhythms
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Poor gut or digestive function

And depression can be related to literally all of the above, and more.

The good news is, no matter what the cause of your symptoms might be, you can have a positive effect on them with the right combination of food, sleep, exercise, stress reduction and supplements for YOUR body.

In this week’s video and blogI’ll share with you how I untangled the web of weight gain, low energy, anxiety and depression so you can too!

In order to untangle the web of your weight gain, low energy, anxiety and depression, you first have to realize this didn’t happen overnight.  What you’re experiencing now is likely a culmination of things that have taken place over the timeline of your life.

For example, if you were a c-section baby or not breastfed, or both, then your immune and digestive system didn’t receive the vital nutrients or bacteria needed to set up your health for long-term success.  This slight setback could now be catching up to you as your immune and digestive system have had to work so much harder over the years to compensate for what they missed out on when you entered the world.

Just because you have a pile of wood doesn’t mean you have a fire.  You still need friction, a match or a lighter to create a spark and fuel in the form of oxygen, wood or gas to get the fire going and keep it roaring.

The same is true for the health fires happening in your body – somewhere you had the perfect start to a fire, something or things, triggered the fire and a variety of things are continuing to fuel it.

Remember that song from your childhood…

The leg bone’s connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone,
Now shake dem skeleton bones!

The body is a network of systems and functions just like that childhood song indicates. Therefore there is no such thing as one singular root cause for your health issues at hand because when one system or function goes down, they all start to fall.

High levels of estrogen were at the core of my weight gain, low energy, anxiety and depression, but it wasn’t the root cause.

Whatever the diagnosis is, or what you think the root cause might be, you have to ask yourself why is that happening in the first place?  What are the chain of events or cumulative factors that have lead to this scenario.

For me, there were a variety of factors.  I had been on birth control for 17 years suppressing my ovaries and negatively impacting all of my hormones.  Stealthy toxic mold had been brewing in our home burdening my liver’s detox capacity and wreaking havoc on my gut.  And despite how crappy I was feeling, I continued to push my body to workout at the same level I always had been.

As a result, the inflammatory fire burned out of control taking down my thyroid along with it and igniting Hashimoto’s.

And although I was eating healthy compared to the average person, working out regularly and taking supplements – I needed to approach these healthy habits differently based on what my body was dealing with.

Running a few simple at-home functional lab tests to look at my hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy and nervous systems gave me the insights I needed to create a health, re-building plan that was more customized to my body’s specific needs.

By supporting all systems and functions of my body, I was able to get my weight under control, my energy back, and put a stop to the anxiety and depression – and ultimately get back to feeling like myself again comfortably in my own skin.

None of which happened when I previously focused on diet, exercise, sleep or supplements alone.

The best part is that I get to use what I’ve learned to help busy health-minded people like you also find the missing pieces to your health puzzle and to see the bigger picture, so you can feel like yourself again too!

If you want to get your hands on the right lab tests, resources and customized plan so you can get your weight under control, your energy back, and/or put a stop to anxiety and depression, then schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session here!

Are you underestimating stress?

Underestimating Stress Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

In our modern fast pace society, we have a tendency to underestimate the amount of stress we are under on a daily basis.

In the work I do with clients, one of the first things I asked them to do is re-define the word “stress”.

“Stress is anything that places a burden on the body resulting in inflammation or imbalance.”

Typically when we hear the word “stress” we think of mental or emotional stress, and common things such as challenges within our relationships or family, tough to deal with bosses, crappy coworkers, traffic, the loss of a loved one or friend, trying to meet expectations and deadlines.

But stress can also be:

  • Foods you’re eating that aren’t right for your body or that cause inflammation
  • Going to bed late or getting a bad night’s sleep (especially consistently)
  • Over exercising or intense exercise when the body is already stressed
  • Not exercising or moving your body enough regularly
  • Toxins that you can’t alway see, hear or feel in your environment
  • Nutrient deficiencies that you might be unaware of
  • Tight muscle or joints that are out of alignment (specifically the spin)
  • Traveling and crossing different time zones

No matter what the stressor might be, the body reacts in the same way, activating the sympathetic nervous system, more commonly known as your “fight or flight response.”

The fight or flight response is a brilliant but old primal instinct, that was originally developed to keep us safe from harm.  This mechanism was developed to help us deal with acute, or short-term stress, not the low-grade constant stress we now encounter on a daily basis.

Here is the classic textbook example of this instinctual response…

If you were to encounter a lion on your lunch break, your body would activate the flight or fight response instantly, sending blood flow to your arms and legs for quick moving, and to your brain for quick thinking so you could find a way to outrun or out-smart the lion.  You don’t have to think for a second about this, your body just does it – brilliant right?

While we don’t encounter lions on our lunch break, or in our daily lives at all (unless you’re at the Zoo or on a safari breaking the rules, LOL) –  the body responds to our modern day stressors just the same – directing blood flow outward for quick action, leaving little resources for digestion or the vital actions needed to actually heal the body.

The smallest things in our daily routine can trigger the fight or flight response resulting in a decreased ability to digest food, combat colds and the flu, and which can ultimately add up leading to weight gain, hormone imbalances, low energy, poor sleep and generally not feeling like yourself.

Stuff that could be triggering the stress response in your body might be things you wouldn’t even think of such as watching the news, sitting in traffic during your typical commute even though your enjoying your favorite podcast, and working through your lunch break.

We underestimate the stress response because these actions or behaviors are so common.

In this week’s video and blogI help you to identify if you’re underestimating the daily demands of stress on your body, and simple things you can do to destress, boost digestion and healing!

Let’s take a look at where you might be encountering subtle stress throughout the day without even realizing it…

Are you always on the run, stacked back-to-back with meetings, trying to get from one place to another on time, or feel like you’re “on” in your job or as a parent from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed?

Moving fast through life like this activates the fight or flight response all day long.

Do you find yourself drinking your smoothie or eating breakfast on the way to work, working through your lunch break, or rushing to get dinner on the table or eating dinner fast so you clean up after and get on with the rest of your nightly routine?

All of these actions induce the fight or flight response also.

Do you get worked up about our political climate, watching the news, scrolling Facebook or social media – all of these elicit the fight or flight response too.

See how quickly the amount of stress our body deals with on a daily basis can add up, without you even realizing it?

Constant subtle stressors add up quickly throughout the day, keeping the body in a constant fight or flight mode, resulting in minimal resources to aid in digestion and healing, leaving the body depleted, and eventually leading to a lack of energy, hormone imbalances, digestive upset and other health issues.

Imagine a red solo cup, and for every stressor you encounter one drop goes into your cup. If you don’t do something to minimize the number of drops or empty the cup it will eventually overflow.  We can’t always control all of the stressors we encounter, but we can aim to minimize them as much as possible and to empty our cup throughout the day.

In order to maximize digestion and for the body to heal, you must be in a relaxed state.

Typically the only time we’re in a totally relaxed state in this modern day world is when we’re asleep, and that’s only if you’re a great sleeper.  If you struggle with insomnia then your relaxed time is drastically diminished.

But even a good night’s rest isn’t enough anymore to combat the rising number of stressors and demands our body faces on a daily basis.

To support your ideal health and weight, you want to look for opportunities to slow down in your daily life so you can empty your stress cup and allow the body to heal and digest.

Here are a few ways you can easily empty your stress cup throughout the day:

  • Do some deep breathing; inhale for 5 seconds, hold for 5 and exhale for 7
  • Schedule breaks to get outside, get some fresh air and breath
  • Chew bites 20 times or put down your fork in between bites to slow eating
  • Create a daily meditation, journaling or tapping routine
  • Cuddle or exchange hugs to boost oxytocin hormone which decreases stress hormones

These are super simple acts, that don’t require much effort, but can make a BIG difference in your overall health.

Other actions that help to reduce the overall stress burden include:

  • Eating an anti-inflammatory diet
  • Sleeping during the hours of 10pm – 6am
  • Exercising at an intensity that is right for you
  • And minimizing your exposure to stress inducing environmental toxins

Lastly, start to notice how stress shows up in your body, because it’s different for everyone.  It could be in the form of aches and pains, skin rashes or breakouts, losing your hair, low energy, disrupted sleep, weight gain and more.

Once you get in tune with the signs of stress in your body, you can take quick action to empty your cup.

And if you’re not sure about how much stress your body might be dealing with, you can test instead of guessing by doing a dried urine total comprehensive hormone test to look at your stress hormone, cortisol, as well as other sex and steroid hormones that will reveal insights about the overall burden of stress your body is under.

If you’d like to get your hands on the right lab tests and resources to measure your body’s stress burden and strategies to reduce it, then click here to schedule an Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me.

I’m not afraid of skin cancer

Not Afraid of Skin Cancer Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

I was diagnosed with skin cancer at age 26, and I just spent a whole week fearlessly soaking up the sun in Maui.

At the time of my diagnosis, from the outside, I looked like your typical healthy person…

I ate “healthy” – low calorie, lean meats, vegetables, fruits, yogurts and sweets only occasionally.

I exercised daily doing a mix of weight lifting, cardio, training for fitness shows and half or full marathons.

On paper I even looked perfect; normal cholesterol, heart rate, blood pressure etc.  I was a skilled personal trainer with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fitness, Nutrition and Health who (at the time) thought I knew all there was to know about being healthy and losing weight.

Despite doing all the right “healthy” things, prior to my skin cancer diagnosis, the intensity of my seasonal allergies had progressed to the point of wiping me out for days or weeks, migraines became more frequent, “normal” joint aches or muscle soreness seemed to linger longer and longer, and it was getting tougher to lose or maintain my weight.

I slowly started to question my health and what I had been taught all those years in school.

Skin cancer was my body waving a BIG red flag about something deeper going on.

Being diagnosed with skin cancer at such a young age sparked an undeniable urge to get to the bottom of my own health issues and use my knowledge to help others.

I practically had zero risk factors associated with skin cancer – no family history of any cancers related to melanoma, and sure I used a tanning bed or spent time in the sun without sunscreen from time to time, but I wasn’t your typical frequent tanner who was putting themselves at risk for skin cancer by any means.

The pieces of the puzzle just didn’t seem to add up.  I was “healthy”, had minimal risk factors and was young, yet for some reason cancer cropped up.  I knew there had to be more to the story.

Shortly after my diagnosis, I enrolled in the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® (FDN) Course to dig deeper into my own health issues, to get to the bottom of them once and for all.  And with my newly acquired knowledge, I aspired to help others also struggling with chronic health issues and weight loss despite the fact that they were eating right and working out.

The FDN training taught me a whole new way of looking at weight loss, health and disease.

As I started digging deeper I found A LOT of cellular damage, hormone imbalances, liver congestion and gut dysfunction…

No wonder why cancer had found itself at home in my body!

As part of the FDN training I was required to run functional lab tests on myself to look at my hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy and nervous systems.  These functional lab tests are very different than your typical blood tests. Most of these tests are done using saliva, urine and stool to take a closer look at how the body is actually functioning (or not) in real time.

My test results revealed a flurry of Metabolic Chaos®.

My hormones were going haywire causing deep dips in my energy, making it difficult to manage my weight or to keep inflammation under control resulting in those intensified seasonal allergies, aches and pains.

My liver was overloaded and unable to move cancer-causing toxins out of my body effectively, coupled with high oxidative stress (i.e. cellular/DNA damage) making me the perfect candidate for cancer.

The good news is this story has a happy ending.  I’m now over 10 years skin cancer free.

And I’m not afraid of skin cancer anymore, or any other health condition for that matter.

In this week’s video and blogI share how I overcame skin cancer, what I’m doing to prevent getting it again and how I’ve kicked seasonal allergies, migraines, aches and pains, and weight gain all at the same time.

Testing allowed me to stop guessing about what was going on in my body exactly, and it gave me valuable insights about what I could do to restore balance, prevent future cancer and other chronic disease scares.

As an added bonus, I also discovered how to put a stop to my seasonal allergies, migraines, frequent aches and pains, and the struggle to lose or maintain my weight.

With the data in hand, I set out to create a personalized health rebuilding plan that met my unique needs, one that included:

  • Foods that were right for my body
  • Adequate sleep during the most critical times of night
  • Health boosting exercise intensity and types (instead of depleting)
  • Various modalities to reduce physical and emotional stress
  • Specific supplements to support my body in the ways it needed
  • Transitioning to a non/less-toxic living environment

All geared towards a goal of restoring hormone balance, efficient liver function, boosting digestive health and reducing oxidative stress to prevent further cancer growth, and so I could get my energy back, lose weight and be allergy, migraine and pain free!

As Dr. Nasha Winters, author of the Metabolic Approach To Cancer, once said “you are what you don’t poop.”

Cancer-causing toxins are eliminated through stool, urine and sweat so if you’re not doing those things regularly or well, your risk for cancers and other chronic diseases escalates.

And in order to eliminate toxins well you need to have all of your systems running efficiently; hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy and nervous systems.

Upon implementing my health re-building plan, I felt immediate relief from seasonal allergies, migraines, aches and pains, and I lost weight – all signs that my body was healing and regaining its balance.

I now feel 100% like my energetic, strong and lean self again.  I’m not afraid of skin cancer because I’ve restored my health, I know what to do in order to prevent it, and I’ve been over 10 years skin cancer free to prove it.

I no longer rely on typical blood tests anymore to gauge my health.  Instead, I pay close attention to what is going on with my body and every year I run a series of functional lab tests to make sure all systems of my body are firing; to monitor my liver function and oxidative stress levels for potential cancer risks, and to make any minor adjustments needed to my lifestyle to support my best self.

Now I confidently soak up the sun on a regular basis because I feel great in my body and I know skin cancer has nothing on this #HEALTHBOSS.

As a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner, I help health-mind people like you to also investigate the unanswered or puzzling pieces of your health story so you too can feel your best and live life to the fullest!

If you want to get your hands on the right lab tests and resources so you can find the missing pieces to your health puzzle and get back to feeling like yourself again, click here to schedule an Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session.

#TBT Why I stopped working out…

Why I Stopped Working Out Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

This week I’m in Maui taking a much needed break from work and my typical workout routine.

Taking time off from my vigorous workout regimen was something I rarely did in the past because I thought it was the only way to maintain my weight and feel good.

However, through my personal health journey I have learned to value rest days and breaks from my typical workout routine more than diet and exercise because of the massive results they can help you achieve.

So for this week, check out this Throwback Thursday blog about why I stopped working out the way I used to and how it helped get my health back, and back to feeling like myself again…

***

I stopped working out because my body told me to.

As a former fitness competitor, personal trainer and someone who genuinely likes to be active to sweat it out and use exercise as an escape, this wasn’t easy to do.

I resisted it BIG time.  I talked myself out of it many times before I actually embraced what my body needed from me the most.

The signs weren’t very clear at first.

Over the course of 2 years I had slowly gained 15 pounds as a result of working from home fulltime and being exposed to toxic mold that then triggered a slew of health issues such as estrogen dominance, severe leaky gut and Hashimoto’s.

I was excited to see a few pounds drop on the scale initially within the first few weeks of remediating the toxic mold in our home, starting WP Thyroid medication for my Hashimoto’s and transitioning to an Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) diet.

But then the weight stopped coming off and I was stuck again.

The needle on the scale only moved slightly, despite all of my efforts with diet, sleep, exercise, supplements, toxin removal and meditation.

All of my old beliefs around calories-in versus calories-out resurfaced, and I started to question whether my diet, supplements, exercise and meditation where working…

Maybe I’m eating too much
Maybe I need to workout more or harder
Maybe I need to take more supplements  

I continued to push along as I had been hoping this was just maybe a plateau of sorts. If I just got over the hump, I would see results on the other side.

I turned up the volume on my workouts, put my head down and pushed onward.

And 30 days later, the scale still hadn’t moved.

I racked my brain, did more research and re-confirmed I was doing all of the right things.  I was eating the right types of food for my body, getting to bed before 10pm, meditating once if not twice a day and religiously taking supplements to support my hormones, immune, digestive, detoxification, energy and nervous system.
My workout routine was the one constant in the equation that hadn’t changed.

I was still hitting the gym to lift weights 3-4 times a week, doing hill sprints on Fridays, running 2-4 miles a few times per week, and hitting a yoga class on Sundays.

Most people would consider this a normal, healthy exercise routine loaded with all kinds of health benefits.  And yes, under the right circumstances it certainly is. However, it wasn’t what my body needed at the time, and that’s what it was trying to tell me.

Exercise is typically a good stress, unless the body is already under a lot of stress.

In this week’s video and blog, I share more about how exercise got in the way of healing my body and getting the results I wanted, and how to assess if it’s standing in your way too.

When we exercise, our bodies respond by building stronger bones and muscles.  We also get the added benefits of eliminating toxins through the lymphatic system and sweat, among other things.  All of this is obviously good.

However, when the body is already under a tremendous amount of stress from external or internal factors and existing health issues, exercise can deplete it even more.

Exercise demands a lot from our bodies in terms of nutrients to rebuild muscle tissue, to build bone density, and for oxygen and blood delivery.

Exercise also elicits a sympathetic “fight or flight” response, also known as a stress response, that signals the production and utilization of the stress hormone known as cortisol.  When we are in fight or flight mode, the body sends all of its resources outwards for quick moving and thinking, leaving little to no resources available for healing.

You have to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy.

Due to the amount of stress my body had endured from being exposed to toxic mold and the domino effect it had on my hormones, my body was nowhere near healthy.  It needed time and space to heal in order to support weight loss.

By forcing myself to workout in my same old ways, I was creating a higher demand of resources and stress that my body simply couldn’t accommodate.

I had to take a step back, evaluate the burden of stress that my body was already dealing with, and take action empowered on reducing the stress even more. By doing this, I created space for my body to heal so I could receive the results I desired.

I stopped working out when I realized I could lose more weight that way.

As soon as I stopped working out in my old ways, my body instantly responded.  My energy went up and my weight slowly but steadily started to come off. I overall just felt better about myself and in my body.

I’m not the only one who has experienced weight loss without working out.  One of my clients recently lost 40 pounds without having a workout routine by simply focusing on improving his health and reducing the burden of stress on his body…

“The most dramatic change for me has been my weight, down 40 lbs since working with Jenn. The next biggest change has been with the quality of my sleep. I sleep through the night much more often than before.” – David

Often times, we think more is better.  This belief is something that has been ingrained in our modern day culture.  But more is not always better. In fact, I find that less tends to be better in a lot of cases.

The moral of this story is NOT to necessarily stop working out. It’s to listen to what your body’s needs.

There are many ways to move your body and receive the health benefits of movement without placing too much of a demand on your body.

For a few months, I shifted my focus to include more restorative type of movement and exercise such as yoga, long walks with my dog and by simply getting up from desk and moving about more during the day.

As soon as my body had healed and it was ready to take on more intense exercise, it let me know.

Now that my weight is back to my normal, my hormones are balanced and my energy is strong, I’m working out with a trainer twice a week, running and sprinting again.

***

If you suspect that exercise might be getting in the way of having better health or you want to assess the possible burden of stress on your body, then schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session here today!

Stop Counting Calories!

Stop Counting Calories Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

For the longest time we’ve been told that counting calories is the way to achieve weight loss – it’s all about eating less and moving more right?

Not so much.

I was an obsessive calorie counter for the longest time.  I use to log every bite I took, and I even religiously wore an Apex Bodybugg (a calorie burning tracking device) for years.

But I still struggled to lose and maintain weight.  And I’ve seen this calories-in-versus-calories-out equation fall short for many others as well.  In fact, this broken approach is a big reason why I got into functional medicine – because as a personal trainer back in the day, my clients weren’t getting results even though they were exercising and watching what they ate. This was when I knew there had to be more pieces to the puzzle.

And sure enough, as I dug into how the body really works, it became clear that calorie counting doesn’t support long-term weight loss for a variety of reasons.

So if you’re counting calories, please stop, and here’s some of the biggest reasons why…

Reason #1- Your calorie calculations are all off

A study by Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center found that “our bodies sometimes extract fewer calories than the number listed on the label. Participants in their studies absorbed around a third fewer calories from almonds than the modified Atwater values suggest. For walnuts, the difference was 21 percent.” (Read more on the study here.)

Aside from the body actually extracting fewer calories than what you think you’re consuming, food manufacturers are also allowed to under report calorie values by as much as 20% to pass inspection by the FDA.

So there’s no way to know exactly how many calories you’re consuming or not.

Reason #2- One pound of fat is not 3,500 calories  

Forever you’ve been told that in order to lose a pound per week you need to be in a deficit of 500 calories a day, which equals 3,500 calories in a week, and supposedly 3,500 calories equals one pound of fat.

Researcher Zoe Harcombe eloquently debunks this myth in her research where she shows that one pound of fat actually does not equal 3,500 calories, but in fact it can range from 2,843 to 3,752 calories. (See Zoe’s full breakdown here.)

This paired with reason #1 makes this calorie equation even more messy and less accurate.

Reason #3- We are not a closed system

The weight loss formula of calories-in versus calories-out is said to be based on the first law of thermodynamics- energy is neither destroyed nor created, it’s simply transformed– the energy of a calorie is transformed as you work out and burned off in the form of heat.

Here’s the flaw, this law only applies to closed systems where there are no outlets.  And as Sean Croxton says in his book, The Dark Side of Fat Loss, “The human body seems pretty damn open to me. It pees, poops, and sweats into the environment.” (Check out his book here.).

Our body definitely does not abide by the first law of thermodynamics.

Reason #4- All calories are not created equal

When counting calories, you naturally try to conserve what you’ll spend your calories on. This often results in a scarcity mindset; triggering you to choose foods that are less nutrient dense and less satiating, such as 100-calorie pack snacks, in order to feel like you get to eat more and more frequently.

Fats contain 9 calories per gram, while protein and carbs contain 4 calories per gram.  At first glance it appears as though carbs and proteins would be the ideal choice when counting calories.  However, a higher carb diet spikes blood sugar levels repeatedly throughout the day resulting in more cravings and leading to insulin resistance which causes weight gain; while eating more fat balances blood sugar, cuts cravings and is a better source of fuel for the brain and body.

In this week’s video and blog, I share more reasons for why you should stop counting calories and what you should do instead to achieve your ideal health and weight.

Once I stopped counting and calculating, I finally started getting real results.  Losing and maintaining my weight was no longer a struggle, it came naturally.

Instead of counting calories, I started eating foods that were right for my body so it could function at its potential and be the natural fat-burning machine it was meant to be; this is exactly what I teach my clients to do too.

When you’re eating the foods that are right for your body so it can function at its potential, you will:

  • Have an abundance of energy that lasts all day
  • Sleep more soundly and wake up feeling rested
  • Feel satisfied between meals and no longer need to snack
  • Support hormone balance, detoxification and other bodily functions

All which support the body’s ability to easily lose or maintain weight.

So you might be wondering, how do I know what foods are right for my body?

The first step to finding what foods are right for your body is paying attention to how food makes you feel – and know there is a difference between eating healthy and eating right for your body.  Eating right for your body will incorporate healthy foods, but not every “healthy” food is right for your body.

Next, aim to eat foods that make you feel all-around good; the foods that keep you feeling full for extended periods of time, that give you energy and that DON’T leave you feeling bloated, anxious or tired.  These foods tend to be whole, organic vegetables, proteins and fats that don’t come in a bag, box, can or 100-calorie pack.

And always eat with intention.

Before you take a bite, grab something on the go, or sit down to prepare a meal consider how you want to be feel and if the food you’re about to eat is in alignment with that feeling.

You’ll probably find that most of your calorie-counting type foods don’t meet these requirements because they result in energy crashes, the need to snack, bloating, anxiety or a variety of other ailments.

These simple steps will help you find foods that balance your blood sugar and boost your metabolism to support weight loss or maintenance.

As a recovered calorie counter for over 6 years, I can tell you this more mindful approach to eating is much more sustainable and produces long-lasting results so you’ll never have to get back on that calorie-counting rollercoaster ride ever again!

If you want more guidance on finding what foods are right for your body so it can function at its potential and you can stop calorie counting for good, then schedule an Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me here.

I did a thing…

HER 4 LIFE Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

I don’t know about you, but the health education I received growing up was sub-par to say the least.

Only one semester of health education was required during my middle school and high school years, but there were countless requirements for other courses – most of which I’ve hardly used post high school, if ever in some cases.

Health is a topic critical for everyday life, so why isn’t more education being provided or required?

Knowing how your body works is life-changing.  It takes the guesswork out of living your best life.  It puts you in the driver’s seat and gives you the ability to create a life full of freedom instead of possible life-threatening limitations.

It wasn’t until my 30’s did I really start to understand how my body worked as a woman. 

Reaching rock bottom with my long time hormone imbalance battle led me down the road to a higher health education.  Had I known as a teenager what I know now, I could have prevented the 17+ years of irregular periods, chronic fatigue, weight gain woes, allergies, brain fog, waves of depression and anxiety, Hashimotos, disrupting the precious balance of my body with birth control and so much more.

recent survey of 2,000 women (age 30 to 60) found that nearly half of them have experienced one or more symptoms of hormone imbalances, and 72% only later understood the causes of their hormone issues.

Some of the most common symptoms they experienced included:

  • Low energy
  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Memory loss and brain fog
  • Anxiety, depression and lost of interest in daily activities

I can only imagine how much money, time and angst those 72% spent trying to find a fix for their health issues, not even realizing it was all related to their hormones because they don’t fully understand how their body works.

How many of those symptoms have, or do, you experience?

And men don’t necessarily have it any easier.  I’ve seen plenty of men dealing with these common symptoms too.

Take notice of the increasing number of commercials geared towards men for erectile dysfunction, poor sexual performance and low testosterone instead of fast-forwarding through the commercial breaks during your favorite HGTV, DYI and sports channel shows.

Your hormones control many major bodily functions; your emotions, cancer risk and even memory loss.

Just think what your life, and our world would be like if we all received more education about health and hormones at a younger age, or had access to better resources throughout our lifespan.

In my functional health coaching practice, I’ve worked with too many young women struggling with the same issues I had; some fearful or frustrated about not being able to get pregnant.  Then there are the numerous pre and post-menopausal women I’ve worked with who are trying to untangle their hormone issues so they can gracefully get through menopause or restore the life they had once before their hormones got out of whack.

And let’s not forget the men who’ve come to me seeking solutions for their unexplained weight gain, low libido, lack of energy, brain fog and challenges with building or maintaining muscle.

Something has to change. So I did one of the boldest things I’ve ever done in hopes of changing the course for women’s (and possibly men’s) health forever.

In this week’s video and blog, I share what I’m doing to promote change; to give women easier access to hormone education and resources.

We all deserve easier access to hormone education and resources so you can live your fullest life, and so you can give the generations to come a better quality of life too.

I’ll never forget what my client Dee said about receiving her DUTCH hormone test results and data-guided recommendations for diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction and supplements…

“It was like Christmas.  I was so excited to hear the results because we tested for things no one else was interested in…how amazing would it be to give this gift to every woman.”

She had been on a diet her whole life trying to lose weight with limited success; trying everything from Beach Body to Weight Watchers and Keto. She even explored Cross Fit for a while.

As she entered her 40’s, she gave up on weight loss as her focus shifted to how she felt with menopause kicking into gear – which led her to uninsured hormone replacement therapy, expensive acupuncture treatments and various other hormone therapies.  None of which fully resolved her health issues and got her back to feeling like herself again. She felt helpless when it came to her hormone health.

For the longest time, it felt as though I didn’t have control over my hormones either,; dating all the way back to my adolescence as my body shifted and my hormones seemed to rip through me emotionally and physically.  A feeling both Dee and I shared, as I’m sure most women do.

A false feeling conjured up by a lack of understanding around our hormones.

I’m happy to report that after working together and getting access to the right lab tests and resources to better understand her body and hormones, Dee has lost weight, her hormones are balanced and she feels great!

Dee’s comment sparked an idea that could change the course for women’s hormone education forever.

What if every woman regardless of income, insurance coverage, demographics or social status could have access to the right lab tests, resources and education to:

  • Gracefully get through menopause or any stage of hormone change
  • Advocate for themselves and collaborate with their health professionals
  • Formulate a lifestyle and health plan that worked for their unique body

Women all over would stop suffering, and start living fuller lives.  They would be better daughters, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, moms, partners, leaders and teachers – and the men in their lives would greatly benefit from this too.

And so H.E.R 4 Life was born! – Hormone Education and Resources for Women for Life.

Last week I made a bold move to start a non-profit organization that would provide hormone education and resources, such as the DUTCH test, to women regardless of income, insurance coverage, demographics or social status; allowing women to embrace their bodies, hormones and be in control of their health to live their fullest life.

This project is in the beginning stages but the power it holds is incredible.

As the (W)holistic Health Boss, my mission to help busy health-minded professionals, like you, get your hands on the right lab tests and resources so you can actually fix what’s wrong and feel like yourself again – and that mission just got a whole lot bigger!

Stay tuned for more information as this project develops.

In the meantime, if you want to get the gift of the right lab tests and resources to live your fullest life like Dee did, click here to schedule an Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session.

#TBT – Is Estrogen Dominating You?

Is Estrogen Dominating You Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Estrogen dominance has been showing up a LOT lately in the consultation conversations I’ve been having and in my clients’ test results.

It’s a stealthy hormone imbalance that often goes overlooked in typical blood test and can be related to issues such as weight gain, sleepless nights, sugar cravings, low energy, depression and insulin resistance all within both men and women, and irregular periods and intense PMS symptoms for just the ladies.

For this week’s blog, I’m bringing back this topic so you can elevate your knowledge in case estrogen is dominating you…

***

Stubborn weight, acne, low libido, restless sleep and struggling to build muscle are just some common characteristic when estrogen is dominating your body.  Estrogen doesn’t discriminate. It’s just as much of an issue these days with both men and women.

My husband is a perfect case in point.

For the majority of his adult life, he was able to manage his body weight with the simple calories in versus calories out equation.  When the scale started to tip, he simply cut back on his food intake and exercised more

That was, until estrogen took control.

The older he got, the harder it became to manage his weight through diet and exercise, and one day it just stopped working all together.  Not only was he not able to lose weight, but one day he stepped on the scale and had actually gained weight despite his efforts to work out harder and monitor his food intake.

For an engineer and scientific-minded guy, this scenario was mind boggling.  He applied the equation of calories in versus calories out and it did not produce the outcome it was supposed to.

There’s a million things I could say about the broken calories in versus calories out equation (you can read more of that here), but let’s stay focused on estrogen.

There was obviously something more at play keeping my husband from managing his weight, so we set out to run the right type of hormone test and to collect some clues.

Clue #1 – A possible genetic predisposition.  A few years ago, his mom had been diagnosed with the estrogen driven type of breast cancer called ER-2. About 80% of all breast cancers are “ER-positive”, meaning the cancer cells grow in response to estrogen.

Clue #2 – A Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones (DUTCH) revealed estrogen metabolites (estrone and estradiol) were very high outside the functional range and testosterone was within range.  These values can not be seen on a blood test, so they had been routinely missed.

My husband had a classic case of underlying estrogen dominance that was keeping him from losing weight.

What is estrogen dominance?

In men, it’s usually determined when estrogen levels are relatively high in comparison to testosterone.  Meaning testosterone levels could be normal or low, and estrogen is high relatively high to whatever that number is.

In women, it’s commonly evaluated based upon the ratio of estrogen to progesterone, but as with men, it can also be evaluated when comparing testosterone to estrogen.

In general, when estrogen levels are relatively high to other hormones, it’s not good.

I, too, fell victim to estrogen dominance back in the day.  My weight climbed by 15 pounds, I broke out with acne for the first time in my life, I had painful and heavy periods, didn’t sleep great and couldn’t keep my emotions under wraps- all because estrogen had taken over.  And I’m almost certain estrogen was a tipping factor towards my Hashimoto’s.

In this week’s video and blog, I dive into more detail about what contributes to estrogen dominance and what actions you can take to keep it or get it back under control.

The good news is that estrogen dominance doesn’t happen overnight. It’s preventable and reversible in almost any case.

But if estrogen gets out of control, it can lead to more health issues beyond stubborn weight, acne and pain in the ass periods.

Estrogen dominance can also contribute to:

  • Hormone driven cancers such as the ER-2 breast cancer
  • Autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s
  • Yeast and bacteria overgrowth such as Candida

So how can you keep estrogen within its normal playing field?

Making sure estrogen doesn’t start dominating the field means tackling it from a couple of different angles.

Angle #1 – Sort out estrogen sources

One of the biggest reasons why estrogen is on the rise is due to a classification of toxins known as Xenoestrogens.  These toxins have the ability to mimic estrogen in the body or block hormone receptor sites resulting in elevated estrogen levels.  Common sources of estrogen promoting toxins can be found in:

  • Plastic food, water or other types of containers
  • Lotions, shampoos, conditioners, deodorant or other personal care products
  • Metal substances such as as cadmium, lead, and mercury

Aim to swap out your plastic containers for glass or stainless steel and use the EWG’s Skin Deep Database to find non-toxic personal care products.

Other estrogen elevating sources also include:

  • Non-organic foods containing pesticides or added hormones
  • Tap water (yes, even though it’s deemed “safe”) contaminated with pesticides/toxins
  • Intestinal parasites, bacteria and yeast that elevate toxic enzymes and trap estrogen
  • Excess body fat that absorbs, stores and synthesizes estrogen
  • Synthetic hormones found in hormone replacement therapies and/or birth control
  • Water damaged buildings with mold growth
  • Unrelenting mental or emotional stress

Some actions you can take action to tackle these sources by eating organic, drinking and cooking with only filtered water, properly addressing water leaks and mold and taking time to meditate or de-stress daily.

To sort out the synthetic hormones and/or intestinal pathogens, seek a functional health practitioner (like myself) to assist you with proper and personalized strategies.

Angle #2 – Love your liver

The reality is, we can’t control our exposure to estrogen driving toxins 100% of the time.  But our liver does play a major role in getting rid of excess estrogen that might be circulating in the body, and that’s something you can get behind.  By supporting liver function, you can kill two birds with one stone: eliminate toxins you’ve been exposed to that might raise estrogen levels, and excrete existing excess estrogen.

To support your liver, you can:

  • Take a daily liver support supplement with nutrients such as milk thistle
  • Eat naturally detoxifying foods such as beets, grapefruits, lemons and dandelion greens
  • Occasionally do castor oil liver packs, dry body brushing or an infrared sauna

Do all of the above and give more power to your liver!

Angle #3 – Eat and drink anti-estrogenic

The great news is, you can combat estrogen on a daily basis with little effort.  Simply aim to eat anti-estrogenic foods, known as cruciferous vegetables, and drink clean, filtered water (from a glass or steel bottle of course!).

Some of the best estrogen regulating foods to consume include:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Arugula
  • Cabbage
  • Bok Choy
  • Radishes
  • Collard Greens

By taking action from all three angles, estrogen will be neutralized and will play nicely.

However, in some cases even if you’re adamantly working to lower estrogen levels, there still might be something stopping you from getting where you want to be.

My husband was another perfect case of this.  Even after months of taking action to reduce estrogen, his levels only moderately decreased.  It certainly wasn’t for lack of effort, but a genetic predisposition became more clear.

Remember, clue number one in his story was his mother’s history of estrogen driven breast cancer.  We were able to correlate his family history clue with his repeated test results to see from a genetic standpoint, his body actually needed more support than most people to keep estrogen under control.

Today I’m happy to report that with the proper diet and lifestyle choices, my husband has lost over 30 pounds.  He easily maintains his weight while taking more days off from exercising than ever before and he is proactively preventing a future battle with estrogen driven cancer.

***

If you suspect estrogen might be dominating you, and you want to get your hands on the right lab tests and resources to get it under control, then schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session here today!

3 steps to support & heal your thyroid

3-Steps-To-Support-Your-Thyroid Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

In this 3-part blog series over the last few weeks, I’ve been sharing with you the major steps I took (also the steps I guide my clients through) to support and heal the thyroid naturally.

This is a topic I feel incredibly passionate about as someone who became a thyroid statistic back in 2016 after being diagnosed with Hashimotos Hypothyroidism.

It’s estimated that 1 in 3 women have a thyroid disorder such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Grave’s Disease or Hashimoto’s.

Men are less likely to have thyroid issues, but I’ve seen my fair share of men struggling with them too.

I’m grateful to say that within 6 months of being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism, I was in remission, now my thyroid test results couldn’t be more perfect, and I feel like myself again.

Unfortunately, not all women or men have their thyroid properly checked and those who are diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, aren’t always provided the right lab tests or resources to get their thyroid issues under control as quickly as I did, or ever.

Most people who are diagnosed are immediately prescribed thyroid medication, which can provide immediate relief for those who are suffering, but medication is not necessarily a long-term solution and it certainly does not solve the root of the problem.

In fact, medication can become less effective over time as the thyroid continues to deteriorate as a result of the root cause not being addressed, and over-medicating can trigger secondary hypothyroidism.

Medication doesn’t address why you might have low thyroid hormone in the first place, and if you have an autoimmune disorder it doesn’t stop the body from attacking healthy tissue; that’s simply not the mechanism of thyroid medication.

The good news is, there are natural ways to support your thyroid health, to prevent thyroid issues from happening and even reverse an existing thyroid disorder.

In part 1 of this blog series, I addressed step #1 – knowing your thyroid numbers.

Knowing your numbers is important for a couple of reasons:

  • To understand the type of thyroid imbalance (hypo, hyper, autoimmune) you might have
  • To evaluate your risk or how severe your thyroid situation is so you know how much support your thyroid needs
  • To get a baseline so you can measure progress with different therapies you might introduce

In part 2 of this blog series, I addressed step #2 – controlling what you can

The majority of thyroid disorders are a result of your lifestyle choices or factors such as:

  • Foods you choose to eat
  • Quality and quantity of sleep
  • Frequency and intensity of the exercise
  • How you deal with stress and emotions
  • Toxins you’re exposed to and your body’s capacity to detox them
  • Other underlying hormone imbalances, a sluggish liver, poor digestion and an overwhelmed immune system

Which means you have more control over your thyroid health than you might think.

It’s impossible to be perfect every minute of every day when it comes to your food, sleep, exercise, stress and environment.  But you can become present. Start noticing what is going on in your lifestyle that might be impacting your thyroid health, and how you can make choices to support your body in the ways it needs it most.

The 3rd step to supporting and healing your thyroid is definitely a topic that most health professionals aren’t talking about – which is funny because it involves communication and trust!

There is more to thyroid health than the scientific approaches of modern medicine.  

The study of epigenetics, frequency, emotional and vibrational energy has proven to us over time how health can be impacted by our beliefs and experiences.

In this week’s video and blog, I share the 3rd and final major step I took to boost my thyroid health so I could feel like myself again – medication free, and that has helped others do the same.

After being diagnosed with Hashimotos Hypothyroidism, I took immediate action to support my thyroid by changing my diet, getting more sleep, dialing back my exercise intensity, meditating ritually to offset stress, creating an even more toxin free environment, adding in additional supplements to promote the healing process and testing for other contributing factors such as viruses, parasites, bacteria and yeast.

I had all the “scientific” approaches nailed.  But something was still slowing down my healing process, and then I remembered something I tell my clients all the time…

Healthy is a way of being, not just doing.

I was doing all of the “healthy” things, but the question was, “who was I being that led to a decline in my thyroid health?”

I started to notice how I struggled with the negative self talk every time I looked in the mirror.  How I judged myself for not doing or being better. At times I would blame my body for failing me. I had a need to control everything, and yet I didn’t always openly or clearly communicate my needs.

That’s when the 3rd and final major step in reclaiming my thyroid health became very clear.

Step #3 – Trust & Communicate

In various Eastern medicine and healing modalities, the thyroid is related to the throat chakra.  Chakras are known as energy centers, located in specific places of the body that help to regulate processes such as organ function, the immune system and emotions.

The throat chakra, is located exactly as indicated, at th throat.  It is related to the thyroid, mouth, throat and ears (which is ironic given my history of ear infections as a child into my 20’s) as well as our ability to express and communicate.

When the throat chakra is out of balance it might show up as:

  • Over or under communication
  • Inability to express self, stand up for your beliefs or follow your dreams
  • Sore throat, asthma and fatigue
  • Struggling to find your words
  • Thyroid disorders

Almost all of which have been obstacles for me throughout my life despite the fact that I was an overachiever A-type.

So as part of step 3, I engaged in some transformational personal self-growth work to rewire negative old belief systems and build my ability to communicate my needs with confidence in effort to rebalance my throat chakra to assist my thyroid in it’s healing process.

Along with this process I also had to learn to trust my body again.

It hadn’t failed me.  If anything I had failed it in a way.  I forgot to appreciate all the hard work my body and my thyroid were doing for me on a daily basis.  I pushed the limits and resisted taking days of rest due to my own internal judgements about what would happen if I did, or what others might think.

So one day at a time I shifted my mindset, I learned to trust my body again and built my ability to communicate confidently by:

  • Looking in the mirror with appreciation
  • Writing down 3 things I was grateful for daily
  • Working with healers and coaches to realign my beliefs about my body and life
  • Learning and using energy balancing modalities (Kundalini, breath work and tapping)
  • Taking time to do one thing for myself each day (meditate, long lunch, massage, etc.)
  • Talking openly about my journey and letting those around me know how they could support me

Not everyone around me understood what I was doing, or could relate, but that was ok.  Sometimes we have to leave people where they are (not behind) in order for us to move forward in pursuit of our goals and dreams.

As a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner and Master Transformational Coach, trained in functional lab testing, data-guided health protocols and neuro-linguistic programming, I help people reclaim their health in similar ways as I have done, and that I have described in this series, so they can feel like themselves again, or for the very first time.

If you want to get your hands on the right lab tests and resources, and guidance so you can prevent or reverse a thyroid issue, schedule an Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Call with me here

 

Support & Heal Your Thyroid [step 2]

Support_Heal_Your_Thyroid Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

January is Thyroid Awareness month!

As I mentioned in the my previous blog, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 women have a thyroid disorder such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Grave’s Disease or Hashimoto’s.

Men are less likely to have thyroid issues, but I’ve seen my fair share of men struggling with them too.

I’m a thyroid statistic, but I’m grateful to say that within 6 months of being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism, I was in remission and now my thyroid test results couldn’t be more perfect.

Unfortunately, not all women or men have their thyroid properly checked and those who are diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, aren’t always provided the right lab tests or resources to get their thyroid issues under control as quickly as I did, or ever.

Most people who are diagnosed are immediately prescribed thyroid medication, which can provide immediate relief for those who are suffering, but medication is not necessarily a long-term solution and it certainly does not solve the root of the problem.

In fact, medication can become less effective over time as the thyroid continues to deteriorate as a result of the root cause not being addressed, and over-medicating can trigger secondary hypothyroidism.

Medication doesn’t address why you might have low thyroid hormone in the first place, and if you have an autoimmune disorder it doesn’t stop the body from attacking healthy tissue; that’s simply not the mechanism of thyroid medication.

The good news is, there are natural ways to support your thyroid health, to prevent thyroid issues from happening and even reverse an existing thyroid disorder.

I want to help you elevate your thyroid knowledge so you can avoid becoming a thyroid statistic, or so you can heal your thyroid and get back to feeling like yourself again too.

In this 3-part blog series, I’m sharing with you the major steps I took, along with the steps I guide my clients through, to support and heal the thyroid naturally.

In part 1 of this blog series I addressed step #1 – knowing you thyroid numbers.

Knowing your numbers is important for a couple of reasons:

  • To understand the type of thyroid imbalance (hypo, hyper, autoimmune) you might have
  • How severe your thyroid situation is so you know how much support your thyroid needs
  • To get a baseline so you can measure progress with different therapies you might introduce

Progress is only made in what you measure.

This week, I’ll be discussing step #2 of 3…

When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism back in 2016, I immediately felt overwhelmed with a sense of fear and failure.

I was afraid of what my life would look like moving forward – I wondered if I was doomed to a life full of relentless weight gain, hair loss, being constantly cold and tired all of the time.

I felt as if I had failed myself and my body – afterall, I was the “healthiest” person I knew so I questioned where had I gone wrong to cause this. But then I remembered…

…although the statistics for being diagnosed with a thyroid disorder are high, it’s not a death sentence.

The majority of thyroid disorders are a result of your lifestyle choices or factors such as:

  • Foods you choose to eat
  • Quality and quantity of sleep
  • Frequency and intensity of the exercise
  • How you deal with stress and emotions
  • Toxins you’re exposed to and your body’s capacity to detox them
  • Other underlying hormone imbalances, a sluggish liver, poor digestion and an overwhelmed immune system

Which meant I had more control over my thyroid health than my fears lead me to believe, and so do you.

At first the list of contributing factors might seem daunting, make you feel guilty about the choices you have made, or leave you wondering where to even start; BUT the silver lining is that with a little education, the right lab tests and resources, you can step-by-step take back control of your thyroid health.

In this week’s video and blog, I share the 2nd major step I took to boost my thyroid health so I could feel like myself again – medication free, and that has helped others to do the same.

Step #2 – Control What You Can

Despite what you might think, you do have control over the food you put in your body, the sleep you get, the way you move your body, how you deal with stress and emotions and even some of the toxins in your environment – all of which can hinder thyroid function.

Let’s be real though.

It’s impossible to be perfect every minute of every day. So instead of striving for perfection, simply trade it for presence.

Be present and start to notice what is going on in your lifestyle, what might be impacting your thyroid health, and how you can make choices to support your body in the ways it needs it most.

In the realm of thyroid supporting lifestyle choices, here are the top 4 that have made the biggest impacts on my thyroid health and the people I have worked with…

  1. Eating a modified Autoimmune Paleo Diet for 30-90 days to eliminate the most common inflammatory foods (grains, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes and nightshade vegetables) if you’ve been diagnosed with a thyroid issue, and if not then simply avoid or significantly reduce gluten, dairy, soy and sugar to prevent one.
  2. Getting high quality sleep from 10pm to 6am to promote a natural cortisol rhythm and balance within all hormones that interact with the thyroid
  3. Dialing back exercise intensity for a period of time or taking regular rest days to reduce the burden of stress on the body and promote recovery
  4. Minimizing exposure to endocrine disrupting toxins by drinking, cooking and bathing in filtered water, using non-toxic cleaning supplies, makeup, body and hair care products.

It might be unrealistic to think you could make all of these changes overnight, and I definitely didn’t.

But step-by-step you can start to shift and address the factors that can lead to poor thyroid health.  Pick one thing per week, make it a habit, and once it becomes just part of what you do, move onto the next thing on the list that would support your thyroid health.

Knowing your numbers allows you to create a strategic thyroid supporting plan, take empowered action towards your thyroid health goals, track your progress and make course correction as needed.

With the right lab tests and resources, you can make educated and conscious decisions about what lifestyle factors you need to shift in order to feel your best.

And lastly, remember, your thyroid didn’t wake up one day and just decide to stop working.  The culmination of lifestyle choices you have made over what could be a long period of time have led to its demise, and so it will take time to heal – have patience.

Stay tuned for part 3 next week to wrap up this blog series so you can support or heal your thyroid and live your fullest life!

1 in 3 women have this…

Know-Your-Thyroid-Numbers Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Did you know that 1 in 3 women are estimated to have a thyroid disorder such as hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s?

This statistic hits close to home for me as a woman who was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s back in 2016.

My diagnosis somewhat came as a shock since I was one of the healthiest people I knew;  I ate healthy, exercised daily and my doctor always commented about how I was the picture of perfect health.

But when I look back now, I can see the subtle signs that started to surface indicating something was up with my thyroid …

  • I slowly started putting on weight despite eating healthy and exercising
  • I felt sluggish during my workouts and struggled to recover after
  • I wasn’t as efficient at work and got easily overwhelmed with tasks
  • I was cold all the time when others weren’t

I simply didn’t feel like myself.

Initially I thought I was “just getting older.” However, there was a little voice inside my head saying something wasn’t right.  I ignored it at first, but eventually I got to a point where I was so uncomfortable in my body I couldn’t stand it anymore.

I went to various doctors and health professionals seeking insights and not a single one checked my thyroid.

I finally decided to treat myself as one of my own clients and that’s when I got the answers I was looking for.

And now I’m grateful to say that within 6 months of being diagnosed, my Hashimoto’s was in remission and my recent thyroid test results couldn’t have been more perfect.

Unfortunately, not all women or men, who are diagnosed with thyroid disorders, are provided the right lab tests or resources to get their thyroid issues under control as quickly as I did, or ever.

Most people who are diagnosed are immediately prescribed a thyroid medication, which can provide immediate relief for those who are suffering, but medication is not necessarily a long-term solution and it certainly does not solve the root of the problem.  In fact, medication can become less effective over time as the thyroid continues to deteriorate as a result of the root cause not being addressed, and over-medicating can trigger secondary hypothyroidism.

Medication doesn’t address why you might have low thyroid hormone in the first place, and if you have an autoimmune disorder it doesn’t stop the body from attacking healthy tissue; that’s simply not the mechanism of thyroid medication.

The good news is, there are natural ways to support your thyroid health, to prevent thyroid issues from happening and even reverse an existing thyroid disorder.

In honor of Thyroid Awareness month, I want to help you elevate your thyroid knowledge so you can avoid becoming a thyroid statistic, or so you can heal your thyroid and get back to feeling like yourself again too.

Over the next 3 weeks I will share with you the 3 main steps I took, and that I guide my clients through, to support and heal the thyroid naturally.

In this week’s video and blog, I share the 1st major step I took to boost my thyroid health so I could feel like myself again – medication free, and that has helped others to do the same.

Although the statistics for being diagnosed with a thyroid disorder are high, it’s not a death sentence.

The majority of thyroid disorders are a result of your lifestyle choices or factors such as:

  • Foods you choose to eat
  • Quality and quantity of sleep
  • Frequency and intensity of the exercise
  • How you deal with stress and emotions
  • Toxins you’re exposed to and your body’s capacity to detox them
  • Other underlying hormone imbalances, a sluggish liver, poor digestion and an overwhelmed immune system

Often it’s not just one thing that triggers a thyroid issue, it’s a combination of factors over a period of time that disrupt the natural balance of your body and ultimately your thyroid.

At first the list of contributing factors might seem daunting, make you feel guilty about the choices you have made, or leave you wondering where to even start; BUT the silver lining is that with a little education, the right lab tests and resources, you can step-by-step take back control of your thyroid health.

Over the next 3 weeks I’m going to break down the 3 main steps you can take to support and heal the thyroid naturally.

Step #1 – Know Your Numbers
To really evaluate your thyroid health you need to know all of your thyroid numbers NOT just TSH and parts of T4 or T3.  Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland to “stimulate” the thyroid. It tells you if the pituitary is having to work hard or not to kick the thyroid into gear, but leaves a lot to be wondered about what is actually going on with thyroid function.  Thyroid hormone T4 is produced by the thyroid and then converted into T3 primarily in the liver and gut, and then in various other tissues. Total T4 and T3 represent bound hormones (not available for use) versus Free T4 and T3 represent the unbound or active forms available for use.  Thyroxine-binding hormone (TBG) binds to your thyroid hormone so it can move through through the bloodstream, and Reverse T3 prevents Free T3 form attaching to your cells (inhibiting its effects). Thyroid antibodies, Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO Ab) and Thyroglobulin (TG Ab) indicate if the body is attacking its own thyroid tissue known as an autoimmune response.

Can you see why it’s important to know all of these numbers to fully understand the big picture of what is going on with your thyroid and not just a few of them?

And don’t be fooled by conventional thyroid test reference ranges that were established based on people with existing thyroid disorders.  Back in 2002 the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry even acknowledged that thyroid reference ranges were probably “skewed by the inclusions of persons with occult thyroid dysfunction,” – yet little has been done to update them.

Conventional ranges are very wide, and optimal ranges are much lower.  In the functional medicine world, optimal thyroid reference ranges look something like this:

  • TSH: 1-2
  • Total T4: 6-12
  • Free T4: 1.1-1.8
  • Total T3: 120-180
  • Free T3: 3.2-4.4
  • Reverse T3: <15 or < than 10:1 ratio of RT3 to FT#
  • TPO Ab: < 10
  • TG Ab: < 20

Ask your doctor to run a full panel to include all of these markers, and if they won’t, find someone like me who will.

Stay tuned for Step #2 next week when I address controlling the thyroid affecting factors you can, and what to do about the ones you can’t.

In the meantime, check out the Free Online Hashimoto’s Days Project I had the pleasure of being a part of starting Friday, January 25th.

During this online event, experts from all over the world will be sharing their insights so you can learn more about thyroid health and related topics such as:

  • Contributing factors, root causes and connections
  • Simple lifestyle changes and how to implement them
  • Nutritional support and balancing the immune system
  • Promising, holistic therapies

Check out this limited time FREE resource here!