What foods are right for you?

Did you know there is a difference between eating healthy and eating right for your body?

Eating right for your body will include healthy foods, but not all healthy foods are right for your body.

What makes a food “healthy” anyways?

According to the dictionary, the word “healthy” means…

“in good health.: “I feel fit and healthy” “the family is the basis of any healthy society”.

So how does that apply to food then?

We tend to lump a bunch of foods under the definition of healthy – ones that we’ve been told are healthy because of certain nutritional values they hold.  “Healthy” foods tend to be: high in vitamins and minerals, low in calories and sugar, and great sources of fiber and healthy fats according to who ever makes up these standards around healthy foods.

I think most of us would agree that these foods would fall under the definition of healthy because of their nutritional value…

  • Organic vegetables
  • Organic fruits
  • Organic meats, poultry and fish
  • Organic nuts, seeds, beans and legumes

Yet, not all of the foods in these categories are right for my body and they may not be right for yours either.

Last week I was reminded of this lesson when I ate something that appeared to be healthy on the outside but wasn’t quite right for my body on the inside.

Check out the Facebook Live Video where I share my experience, the friendly reminders my body gave me and how to know what healthy foods may not be right for you…

FB Live Food Sensitivities

From the outside the food that I ate last week looked super healthy.  It had clean ingredients, it was certified gluten free, Paleo, vegan, Whole30 approved and all that jazz.

Initially after eating this apparently healthy food for dinner, I felt fine.  But the next morning was a different story. My body gave me all kinds of signs that this apparently healthy food, or combination of ingredients was not working for me.

After being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 2016 I started eating a modified Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) diet to reduce inflammation, lower my thyroid antibodies and to allow my body to heal. After about 3 months my antibodies were down, I had lost some weight, I was feeling great and I was able to reintroduce some foods I had been avoiding.

Upon reintroducing foods, I quickly realized that some of the healthy foods I used to eat, such as bell peppers, chia seeds and walnuts, didn’t agree with me although they are “healthy”.  Over time, as my gut has healed more, I’ve been able to add certain foods back in small amounts while still feeling great BUT red bell peppers and chia seeds still aren’t my friends.

I was able to figure this out by simply paying attention to how my body responded to certain foods and by using functional lab testing to identify what foods my body needs to function at its potential.

If you feel as though you “eat healthy” but aren’t getting the results you want, have tried every diet and they don’t work, or just plain stuck when it comes to losing weight or improving your health, then it’s likely because there is a difference between eating healthy and eating right for your body.  

You could be eating the healthiest foods in the world BUT if they aren’t right for you, you won’t get the results you are looking for.

To figure out what foods are right for you…

1 – Tune Into Your Body
Often we are eating on autopilot and not recognizing or connecting with how foods make us feel.  Reactions to foods can happen immediately or be delayed for as long as 72 hours. Reactions to foods can show up in various ways – not just as digestive upset. Check in with yourself 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating a meal to assess your mood, energy and how your physical body feels. If you feel anxious, tired, bloated, gassy or just “off”, this could be a result of something you ate.

These same symptoms can also show up over the course of 3 days after eating something that doesn’t agree with you.  If I get “glutened” (secretly slipped some wheat) then I’m guaranteed to have anxiety for the next day or two.

Other signs of food reactions can also include: acne, eczema, psoriasis, irregular menstrual cycles, joint aches and pains, issues sleeping and more!  If your symptoms come and go, start tracking them along with what you ate and see what you can correlate!

2 – Test Don’t Guess
Tuning into your body to find out what foods serve you best is the key, but sometimes the signs may not be super clear.  Food sensitivity testing can pinpoint exactly what foods your body is reacting to so you can take empowered action to support your body with the foods you need.

Generally, food sensitivities are a result of having a leaky gut and they only need to be avoided for a period of time to help the gut heal.  Once your gut is in a better place, you can retest your food sensitivities to see which ones have improved for those that can be added back in, and which ones still might not be right for your body.

Don’t be fooled by “eating healthy.”

Simply eat right for your body, and take the time to understand what healthy means for you.

If you want to figure out what foods ARE right for your body, OR how to heal your gut so you can enjoy some of your favorite foods again, then schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me here today!

Let’s K.I.S.S.

Let's Kiss Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

I’m just getting back into the groove of things after attending the Paleo F(x) and National Association for Nutrition Professionals conferences where I was surrounded by some of the biggest, brightest minds in the functional and holistic health world.

I’m beyond excited about the plethora of new research and information coming out at light speed in regards to health and wellbeing.

It’s absolutely fascinating, but I can’t help think that we are overcomplicating things.

There was a ton of talk at the conferences around new health monitoring gadgets and lab testing, which is all great, but you could spend thousands of dollars and hours chasing results trying to find an answer that may already be within you.

Chasing so-called standards of health, diets and exercise is not the answer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of using functional lab testing and different health monitoring tools to find clues and healing opportunities, but the most intelligent and powerful tool you have is your body.

Your body holds all of the answers.  Lab testing and health monitoring tools simply provide clues that can correlate with your symptoms and help point you in the right direction.

The pursuit for better health is like a scavenger hunt.  You don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, but can use lab tests and health gadgets to collect clues along the way to eventually find the treasure.

Going on a health scavenger hunt can feel overwhelming and complicated.

Sometimes we have to throw what even the experts are saying out the window and just tune into our own body.

For lack of better words, sometime we need to K.I.S.S. – keep it simple, stupid (KISS).

This is a phrase I picked up in my previous days of project management in the corporate wellness world when projects started to get out of control.

Regardless of the situation, the basic and general principles of health will almost always outperform specific treatments anyways.

At any point in time you can tune into your body and recognize if your current strategy around diet and lifestyle is working for you or not.  You don’t need a test or gadget to tell you that.

This innate ability to know what your body needs, without the use of lab testing or health monitoring tools is something that has been passed down for generations, yet connecting with our body has almost been lost in our material world.

In this week’s video and blog I talk more about tuning into your body, tuning out what the experts are saying and what we can learn from our elders to create better health.

Some of the most common questions I get asked by people who are seeking better health are related to diet and exercise.

Diet and exercise are topics we have certainly made overly sophisticated and complicated.

I see so many people get lost, frustrated and eventually giving up on their health because they’ve been chasing down a diet or exercise routine that works for other people but may not be right for them.

When my friend Jason Prall traveled the world studying the healthiest populations, the first question he got from people back in the US was: “how did they eat?”

It’s no doubt that when people think about health and longevity, diet and exercise are the top two subjects on most people’s minds.

Jason didn’t find the healthiest and longest living people on the planet eating one particular type of diet or doing one kind of exercise.

What he did find was that without any lab tests or health monitoring tools, the healthiest, oldest people on the planet are healthy because they keep it simple.

They simply get up when the sun rises in the morning.
They simply eat what is local and seasonally available.
They simply move their body every day by walking or working.
They simply spend quality time with family and friends.
And they simply go to bed at a reasonable hour after the sun sets.

Why do we try to make the pursuit of health and longevity so complicated?

This is exactly why Episode 3 of The Human Longevity Project resonated with me.

It cuts through the noise and dispels many the myths surrounding these sometimes polarizing topics of diet and exercise that we make so complex, and it focuses on the simple facts that truly promote health.

Episode 3 investigates the diet, eating habits, and how the healthiest populations view movement and exercise. You might find it fascinating that there isn’t a single “diet” that is uniform across all of these cultures.

Yet some recurring and simple themes among them all included: meals consumed in a communal setting with friends, family, and neighbors, and eating traditionally-prepared, locally raised & produced, seasonal, and non-processed foods as a significant majority of their diet.

The episode also shows how overly restrictive diets (common now in western world) are detrimental, over time, to the health and diversity of our microbiome – which requires a wide variety of plant foods to thrive.

The healthiest and oldest people across the world have lived a life full of health because they keep it simple in so many ways.

Episode 3 of The Human Longevity Project is sure to be one of the most talked about episodes in this one of a kind documentary and I don’t want you to miss it.

Tune in at 5:00 Eastern Time Here To Watch It! – and learn how you can keep it simple too.

P.S. In case you missed any of the previous episodes or want to watch them again, there’s an encore weekend happening May 19th so still sign up to get episode 3 here and you’ll get notified when it is released again!

Why these people don’t get “common” diseases

An estimated 50 million people, in the US alone, are struggling with autoimmune disease. Some know it and others don’t.

Some don’t figure it out until they are older or it’s too late to reverse the destruction.

That number gets exponentially higher when you add in the laundry list of other chronic diseases such as:

  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
  • Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Diabetes

What’s the point of living longer if your years are filled with illness, disease, pain, or things like dementia?

Sadly, this is the reality for people in their later years when they are supposed to be in the prime of their lives after kids have left the nest and retirement is reached, and it’s becoming all too much a reality for people even earlier in life.

These chronic diseases can be downright devastating to deal and so life-limiting in a number of ways when you’re having to deal with daily symptoms which might include:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Skin issues
  • Weight gain/loss
  • Hair loss
  • Dizziness
  • Memory loss

In the midst of my own autoimmune crisis all I wanted was freedom from the burden of disease and, thankfully, I eventually found it.

If you or a loved one has been dealing with a chronic disease of some sort then I have something exciting to tell you about.

If you haven’t seen this, my good friend Jason Prall has produced one of the most anticipated documentary film series ever in the area of health.

It’s called The Human Longevity Project.

=> Watch The Trailer Here <= 

Human Longevity Project Jenn Malecha

Jason and his film crew traveled the world to discover the secrets of longevity.

Here’s the good news….

There are populations today that are virtually free from the diseases that plague our world, proving it is possible for you or your loved ones too!

Here’s the best news…

Because you’re a part of my inner circle, Jason has personally asked me to invite you along for the journey so you can learn the secrets to living a long, happy and healthy life – for free!

In this stunningly beautiful series you will learn:

  • Why people in certain areas around the world live longer, happier and healthier lives
  • The underlying functions which allow them to be free of common diseases
  • How to implement strategies into your own life to improve your bodily functions
  • How to to get rid of debilitating symptoms
  • So much more!

=> Go here to save your seat for this one-of-a-kind online event <=

This series has the power to change millions of lives for the better. Jason and I plan on doing just that by sharing this incredible information with as many people as possible.

Be sure to share this event with the people you care about. You don’t want them to miss out on this critical information so they can live their longest, happiest life too.

P.S. Don’t miss Episode 1 (starting soon): The Truth About Aging: Can It Be Slowed or Even Reversed?

You’ve got to see this!

As you know, we have an epidemic of chronic disease happening, particularly in the Western World.

Even more disturbing is that fact that our children’s generation may be the first to have shorter lifespans than their parents.

We can do better.

We have to.

Do you know that there are populations all over the world that are virtually free of chronic disease?

Places where people typically live well into their 90s and 100s.

A new investigation into the lives of these extraordinary people was conducted by my friend and colleague, Jason Prall.

Jason has traveled the world over the last 2 years to learn from these healthy populations. He interviewed leading researchers, doctors and experts to uncover the underlying mechanisms that afforded these populations such long, healthy and happy lives.

The results are stunning.

Here’s the best part, Jason is revealing these findings in a first-of-its-kind documentary series.

In the series you can follow along on his journey to these beautiful places.

You can sit in on the life-changing expert interviews.

And you can learn the secrets of the world’s healthiest people, and how to apply their wisdom to your modern life.

All for FREE!

In episode one, Jason reveals some surprising truths about aging. => Make sure to Save Your Seat Here <=

 

The Human Longevity Project

The documentary is scheduled to release May 8th.

Get access to The Human Longevity Project => Go here to save your seat <=

I believe the information revealed in this series can change our future, and the future of our children for the better.

With so many people suffering with preventable diseases, and so much confusion coming from the health space, I know this documentary is what the world needs right now.

Straight from the source. Straight from the healthiest people on the planet.

Will you watch with me?

=> Go here to save your seat <=

I didn’t know I had brain fog until now…

Busting Through Brain Fog Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

I never would have said I had brain fog, not until now at least.

Brain fog is a term that is not typically recognized by most traditional health professionals, yet it is extremely prevalent.

It’s a phrase that basically sums up a collection of symptoms or feelings that can include:

  • Forgetfulness or confusion
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Lack of focus or mental clarity
  • Inability to handle stressful situations
  • Difficulty recalling words or putting words together
  • Feeling “frazzled”
  • Mental fatigue
  • Feeling “less productive” than before
  • Struggling creatively

All of which are very common but NOT NORMAL.

As someone who has always excelled in any job I ever had, who is hard working and likes to have multiple projects going on at the same time, I never stopped for a moment to think I might be suffering from brain fog.  

I simply kept working towards my personal and business goals, thinking it was normal to need so many lists or post-it-notes lying around to keep everything straight.

It wasn’t until my brain fog lifted that I realized it had been there.

These days I’m sharp as a tack, super clear, mentally tough and I’m bursting with creativity. I’m managing multiple program launches at one time, I hardly need a list for the little things any more, I can easily recall details, I’m knocking out tasks left and right without feeling physically or mentally exhausted, and I have energy to spare for social activities.

I am 100% back to being my go-getter self and I am more productive than ever before!

Sometimes we only know what we know until we experience something different. It took getting out of the fog for me to realize I had been in it for so long.

The fog crept up on me the same way it slowly rolls in off the coast line.  Super stealthy, low to the ground, until wham! You can’t even see two feet in front of you.

I had become so used to living in the fog, I didn’t even know it existed.  I adapted to my less efficient ways of functioning and thinking by creating more lists, using more post-it-notes, engaging in less social activities and taking on less work.

Some of which I needed to do to heal, but before I knew I needed that, I adapted because I couldn’t keep up.

Typically we tend to brush off symptoms like brain fog and associate them with “just getting older.”  But what we don’t realize is that these symptoms are NOT a part of getting older, rather they are a sign that something isn’t right in our body.

These subtle signs of brain fog can actually be early indicators of brain inflammation, and left unattended to, they can increase our risk for dementia, Alzheimer’s, other degenerative diseases and larger scale health conditions such as autoimmunity or even cancer.

In this week’s video I help you uncover what might be contributing to your brain fog and how to lift it.

 

Just like any other dysfunction, disease or condition, inflammation is at the core of brain fog.

It is believed that high levels of inflammation alter 3 primary hormones that dictate brain function:

  1. Serotonin – your happy hormone
  2. Dopamine – your wellbeing hormone
  3. Cortisol – your stress, anti-inflammatory, energy, blood sugar and sleep cycle balancing hormone

And inflammation in the gut particularly has a huge effect on brain function since it can directly interfere with the gut-brain axis.

The key to lifting brain fog is figuring out what’s fueling the inflammatory fire.  

Inflammatory factors can be different for everyone.  For me, in my time of brain fog, toxic mold in my home was a huge inflammatory factor along with contaminated tap water, food sensitivities and a variety of intestinal parasites, bacteria and yeast overgrowth.

For others, brain fog and inflammation might be fueled by:

  • Eating inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, sugar, soy and alcohol
  • Unknown food sensitivities or reactions (not allergies)
  • Hidden heavy metals, chemicals or other toxic contaminants
  • A leaky and inflamed gut
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Various hormone imbalances
  • Side effects of autoimmunity
  • Over exercising when the body is already depleted

For some, lifting the fog can be as simple as avoiding the top 5 inflammatory foods, eating organic and getting to bed by 10pm.

And as I discovered, even once you start to lift the fog, there is an endless possibility for how much better you can actually feel.

Remember, you only know what you know until you know something different. So if you want to feel exceptional, then lifting the fog may just be the start of it and clearing the fog completely is your end goal.

Here are my 6 steps to bust through brain fog so you can think clearly and feel like yourself again…

  1. Avoid the top 5 inflammatory foods: gluten, dairy, sugar, soy and alcohol
  2. Be asleep by 10pm to balance cortisol and the circadian rhythm
  3. Exercise at an intensity that is invigorating but not exhausting
  4. Give your brain a break with a daily dose of meditation or deep breathing
  5. Investigate and eliminate toxins in your home and work environment
  6. Test your hormone, gut and liver function for hidden sources of inflammation and healing opportunities

If you take action in these 6 areas and find yourself still struggling with brain fog, then it just means you might need to dig deeper, investigate further and identify other contributing factors for inflammation like I did.

Don’t just suck it up and see signs of brain fog as “ getting older” OR let them get diagnosed as something else paired with a quick fix medication, leaving you settling for a lower quality of life or just getting by but still not feeling like yourself.

Do me a favor… don’t settle for anything less than what you deserve (which is the world plus some BTW) when it comes to your health and wellbeing.  

Don’t let the signs your body is giving you go unnoticed.  

If you need help getting your hands on the right lab tests and resources to lift your brain fog so you can feel like yourself again, then schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me here today!

My top 2 time saving tools…

Time Saving Menu Planning Tool Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

If you caught my blog last week about taking a self-care sabbatical, then you know I’m in a time crunch of sorts with so much on my plate this month.

One of the major adjustments I’ve made throughout my health journey is making sure that no matter how much is going on in life and around me, my health has to come first.

To me, that means making sure my body gets nutritious food at every meal, being asleep by 10pm at least 5 nights a week, getting outside and moving my body for at least 30 minutes a day and doing at least 5 minutes of meditation daily to stay sane.

But all of that takes time, right?

It’s not always easy making sure my health comes first.  I can get caught up with work, distracted by life and make up a million excuses as to why I can’t do something just as easily as the next person.

And I only have 24 hours in a day, just like everyone else.

In the grand scheme of things, food shopping and prepping are huge time sucks for me.  Hours can be lost between writing a menu plan for the week, driving to the grocery store and back, actually doing the grocery shopping (especially if it’s busy) AND then the cooking!

I ain’t got time for that!

So this week’s video and blog I’m sharing with you two of my favorite tools that help me maximize my time AND maintain the healthy eating habits that support my body when I’m super busy.

 

Having the right resources and support makes putting me first easier.

The first time saving tool I discovered on my health journey that was the ultimate game changer in regards to menu planning, Real Plans.

Real Plans literally takes the thinking out of menu planning for me each week.  

This is a 100% customizable tool to fit all of your menu planning needs.  When you set up your account you personalize your dietary needs (such as Paleo, AIP, Whole30, etc.), how many recipes you want per week, how much time you want to spend cooking each day and how many servings you want to make.

Then, each week Real Plans sends you recipes according to your specs and where you live for seasonal availability of ingredients!

Not only does it send you recipes, but it also provides you with a grocery list based on the exact amount of each ingredient you need, organized by sections of the grocery store and available on your phone to making shopping quick and easy.

Some of my all-time favorite recipes from Real Plans include carnitas with carrot-lime slaw, mint lamb burgers and faux-mato bolognese sauce with spaghetti squash.

Just when I thought food shopping and menu planning couldn’t get any easier, I discovered time saving tool #2 – Instacart

Instacart may not be available in your area, but if it is it’s SO worth it!

This is a specialty grocery store delivery service for places such as Whole Foods, Costco, Ralphs, Gelson’s and a bunch of other places with delivery fees starting as low as $5.99.

So now I maximize my time by taking my Real Plans grocery list and plugging it straight into Instacart for delivery!  

Using these two tools saves me a ton of time every week so I can focus on work, sleep, exercise, meditation or anything else that pops up in life.

Time is something I can’t make more of, so my time is worth money.  The more I free up my time to take care of myself, the better work I do and the more available I can be for my loved ones.

It’s easy to get stuck in your routine, living on autopilot and, as a result, feeling cornered when it comes to your health.

When you feel stuck, ask yourself “what resources or support do I need?” in order to make your health a priority.

The answer could be as simple as implementing one of the tools I’ve shared today, hiring a house cleaner or a babysitter once a week, or having a simple conversation with a loved one to get the resources and support you need to make your health a priority.

If you need any 1:1 support in finding the missing pieces to your health puzzle along with the resources and support you need so you can get back to feeling like yourself again, please feel free to schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me here today!

Self Care Sabbatical…

Self-care Sabbatical Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

I can’t believe it’s April already!

I don’t know about you, but the first few months of 2018 have been a whirlwind for me so far.  Between coaching clients, traveling, mentoring functional health practitioners, launching a new program and last minute releasing the Seasonal Cleanse Challenge I’m feeling pooped!

One of the biggest lessons I learned from having Hashimoto’s (an autoimmune thyroid disorder) was to slooowww dooowwnnn, way more than I ever thought I needed to.

As a typical type-A success junkie, the art of slowing down wasn’t easy for me at first. The thought of doing nothing sometimes makes me want to crawl out of my skin.

But in order to heal my body, I had to learn how to be different.

Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, after all.

I had to learn how to not care as much about what others thought, how it would look if I didn’t meet my own expectations, how to slow down and let go a LOT more.

As soon as I started putting this into practice, I had more time to take care of me, my body responded generously and I was in remission with Hashimoto’s in less than 6 months.

Sometimes we think we are taking good care of ourselves because we are “the healthiest person we know” or because “we do more for ourselves” than others do.  

But the word “healthy” is relative by definition.

On a physiological and biological level, we are all unique.  As a result, we all have different adaptability and various levels of vitality available to us at any given moment.

Because of this, what one person needs to create better health can look completely different than what someone else might need.  

When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, a friend asked me, “are you mad this happened to you? Because you’re the healthiest person I know.”

Sure, I could have been upset, but instead I chose to recognize that although I was practicing a healthier lifestyle than most people, my body needed more from me.

As a result of having Hashimoto’s, I now have a different perspective of how much self-care I need in order to maintain my health, and what self-care means to me.  

In today’s world, it can be way too easy to get swept up in stress, to weigh ourselves down with responsibility, and to forget to take time for ourselves.  I have struggled in my own life to master my self-care, and I know that you struggle too, which is why I think it’s so important to pass on what I’ve learned from my experiences whenever I can.

As I look forward into April, my plate is piled high with two conferences, more travel and the launch of two new programs.

So needless to say, I’ve evaluated where I can slow down and where I can’t, so I’ll be taking little blogging sabbatical for self-care!

And the timing couldn’t be better.

I’ll be participating in my own Seasonal Cleanse Challenge that I just rolled out so I can stay focused on my self-care, and there are some great resources coming down the pipeline to help you continue your health journey while I take a little time for myself.

One of the first resources I have for you this month is the Live Your Layered Life: Discover the secrets to self-care in your Mind, Body, and Home!

I was recently invited to participate in an interview for this series that runs April 6th-26th. I’m so excited to be a part of this, and I think you will love it!

This online interview series is hosted by my long-time friend Suzanne Choplin, the founder of CAKE Lifestyle. Suzanne and I worked as personal trainers way back in the day together.  I helped Suzanne train for her first fitness competition, and we both laugh now at how irresponsible we were with our health and bodies in order to cut fat and gain muscle.

Like me, Suzanne struggled for years with her health and happiness. Through her own personal challenges and experiences, she has discovered that adopting a positive mindset, taking care of one’s body, and creating a healthy, supportive environment are the stepping stones to a vibrant and meaningful life! This revelation has made such an impact on her own life that she has made it her mission to share the importance of self-care with the world!

In the Live Your Layered Life: Discover the secrets to self-care in your Mind, Body, and Home! series, you will be hearing from me and many other experts as we discuss:

  • Loving who you are in this very moment, not just who you want to be.
  • How complete health goes beyond your gym routine.
  • How to nourish your body to flourish in life.
  • Altering your outlook to occupy a more positive mindset.
  • How organizing your space can improve other areas of your life.
  • Creating habits to support your large-scale goals.
  • How to stay on track and stay motivated.

In this week’s video and blog I talk more about why I’m taking a self-care sabbatical, plus I share a sneak peak of my Live Your Layered Life interview.

My mission is to support busy, health-mind professionals like you in taking back control of your health by giving you access to the right lab tests and resources to find the missing pieces of your health puzzle so you can actually fix what is wrong and get back to feeling like yourself again (or for the very first time!).

So, I hope you take advantage of Live Your Layered Life interview series for insights from myself and other experts about resources that might help you improve your health relative to where you are today.

And don’t worry, I’m not leaving you completely hanging while I take a little blog sabbatical this month for my self-care.  

My weekly emails will just be a bit shorter than usual.  I’ve got plenty of resources lined up with tips, tools, resources and motivational content from credible sources to help you continue on your health journey over the next few weeks, so expect to still get an email from me that will just be slightly shorter and different than usual.

In the meantime, if you need any 1:1 support to find the missing pieces to your health puzzle so you can get back to feeling like yourself again, please feel free to schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me here today!

Back By Popular Demand – Cleanse Challenge!

Seasonal Cleanse Challenge Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Spring has sprung!  It’s time to say “buh bye” to winter and prepare your body for summer!

My Seasonal Cleanse Challenge is back by popular demand to help you get back on track, trim down and restore your body just in time for those long summer days that are just around the corner.

Enrollment closes March 29th.  The Challenge starts April 5th.

Use code ‘challengeme’ to jump in for just $39.

I wasn’t planning to offer this BUT the requests just kept rolling in!  See what past participants have had to say here.

Spring is the perfect time to cleanse the body after spending most of the winter months indoors exposed to a higher volume of toxins and eating heavier foods that can leave us feeling sluggish, tired and a bit fluffy.

If you want to learn more about how toxins impact your health, how to detox them properly and why you should cleanse this time of year, then check out the webinar I did last year before the last Cleanse Challenge – The Truth About Toxins And How To Detox.

My Seasonal Cleanse Challenge is designed to help you:

  • Get back on the clean eating train
  • Ramp up your workout routine
  • Rest and restore your body nightly
  • Flush out any built up toxins
  • And make meditation or any other healthy habit a routine again

All so you can…

  • Have more energy to enjoy life and keep up with its daily demands
  • Lose those last few pounds, get trim and stay that way
  • Blast away the belly bloat for good!
  • Improve your memory, learning ability and mood
  • Sleep better so that you can wake up feeling rested
  • Be more productive at work and in life
  • Have higher quality workouts because you’ll have the energy to do so
  • Improved the conversion of thyroid hormone Free T4 to Free T3
  • Boost your immunity and digestion to heal leaky gut
  • Increase your ability to handle stress, have less anxiety and depression
  • Look younger and have clear skin!

Here’s how the Cleanse Challenge works. Over the course of 28 days you will…

  • Learn what ratio of proteins, carbs and fats are best for your body to boost your energy, weight loss, balance hormones, and reduce belly bloat and inflammation
  • Incorporate the highest naturally detoxifying foods (beets, grapefruit, dandelion greens) into your daily routine to promote the body’s natural cleansing systems
  • Focus on minimizing your intake of the top inflammatory and hormone disrupting foods: gluten, dairy, sugar, soy and alcohol
  • Try simple DIY proven liver flushing techniques to push out those built-up toxins!
  • Receive weekly workout routine video tip to sweat out those toxins!
  • Get accountability to work out regularly, to drink plenty of water and to get quality sleep in order to support the body’s cleansing and healing process
  • Receive 30-minute recorded weekly educational webinars and be part of a special Facebook group for support
  • Get recipes and a checklist to guide you along your journey

AND I’m including a special BONUS ASK THE EXPERT SESSION with yours truly!

The great thing about this program is that you get to make it work for you (this one of the aspects past participants liked about it the most!).

Each program defined “cleansing activity” is worth points daily or weekly, so you get to pick and choose what works best for you in any moment to get the results that you desire! At the end of each week, and the challenge, you will qualify for prizes based on the number of points that you have earned.

There’s no time to waste if you want in on this.  I’m not sure if or when I’ll be offering it again.

Enrollment closes March 29th.  The Challenge starts April 5th

Use code ‘challengeme’ to jump in for just $39.

#TBT – Prevent, Reverse & Heal Autoimmunity

Preventing and Healing Autoimmunity Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

In honor of Autoimmunity Awareness Month, it’s Throwback Thursday time!

As a Hashimoto’s autoimmune thriver and someone who works with a LOT of autoimmune clients, this month’s awareness topic is very near and dear to my heart.

Autoimmunity rates are on the rise, but with the right lab tests and resources you can be empowered to prevent, reverse and heal autoimmunity.

I’m bringing back this blog so you can increase your awareness and take empowered action against autoimmunity.

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According to the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association, “Approximately 50 million Americans, 20% of the population or one in five people, suffer from autoimmune diseases. Women are more likely than men to be affected; some estimates say that 75 percent of those affected, 30 million people, are women.”

An autoimmune condition develops when your immune system (which defends your body against disease) starts to recognize healthy cells as foreign. As a result, your immune system begins attacking healthy cells of various tissues, depending on what type of autoimmunity you have.

Along with autoimmunity, either as a result of it or trigger for it, there are also a number of inflammatory conditions that correlate with being on an autoimmune spectrum such as:

  • Acne
  • Obesity
  • Excess Weight
  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Eczema
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Meaning, if you have any of these inflammatory conditions listed above and don’t have autoimmunity, then these conditions increase your risk for it.  Or if you have autoimmunity, then these conditions can aggravate your autoimmune symptoms even more.

How does one wind up with an autoimmune condition?

Three factors have to be in place in order for autoimmunity to show up in the body:

  1. The gene for it =  hereditary component
  2. Leaky gut = a suppressed immune system
  3. Environmental trigger(s) = things that inflict chronic inflammation

As Dr. Amy Myers points out in her book, The Autoimmune Solution, twin studies have shown that only 25% of autoimmune disease is inheritable, meaning that 75% of it is related to environment and leaky gut.

Researchers estimate that about 80% of your immune system is in your gut.

Autoimmune issues are directly related to the health of your immune system, which is located in your gut.  Therefore, the the health of your gut is the key to preventing, reversing and healing autoimmunity.

In this week’s video and blog, I dive into more detail about how improving gut health can help you prevent, reverse and heal autoimmune conditions.

As a person with an autoimmune condition (Hashimoto’s), maintaining my gut health has been a huge focal point of my health regimen.  In fact, supporting the health of my gut to boost my immune system and to reduce inflammation is part of what allowed me to ween off of my thyroid medication after just 4 months.

When I work with autoimmune clients, gut and digestive health are two of the very first things we address.  The health of your gut greatly impacts your risk for autoimmunity and your ability to reverse or heal it for three main reasons.

Three reasons why gut health can prevent, reverse and heal autoimmune conditions:

#1 – Nutrient Absorption

When gut health is impaired, that means digestion and absorption of nutrients are also impaired.  Without adequate nutrient absorption, the body is not receiving all of the valuable resources and support it needs to boost immunity, fight off inflammation, or to heal and repair.  You could be eating the most healthy foods in the world and taking the best high quality supplements, but if your gut is leaky or damaged then you are not getting all of the preventative or healing benefits that you think you are.  When gut health is improved, nutrient absorption goes up allowing for prevention and healing to happen.

#2 – Gut Invaders

It’s actually normal to have some amount of bacteria, yeast and even parasites living in your intestines, in fact it’s part of what keeps your gut flora balanced.  However, when certain species of gut invaders grow too much, they pose a problem. They disrupt the normal balance and function of the gut, causing increases in inflammation and toxic waste.  Additionally, some species, such as Klebsiella and H. Pylori bacteria, are known triggers for autoimmune disease, putting you at higher risk for developing one OR aggravating autoimmune systems if you already have a condition. Checking for gut invaders and eradicating them can prevent a potential trigger or reduce factors contributing to autoimmune issues.

#3 – Inflammation

Chronic stress and inflammation are the root of all disease, and also the catalyst for autoimmunity (as mentioned earlier).  A leaky or damaged gut results in chronic inflammation and a depressed immune system. The more damaged your gut is, the more inflamed it becomes, and the more sensitive it will be to other inflammatory variables such as food and environmental toxins.  By improving the health of the gut, inflammation is reduced and proper immune function can be restored.

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If you suspect you have an autoimmune condition OR you’ve been struggling to reverse and heal one,  then schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me here today!

Is fasting right for you?

Is Fasting Right For You Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Intermittent fasting is an age-old dietary philosophy that is getting some national recognition from a recent episode of Megyn Kelly.

With the Keto diet craze on the rise, there definitely has been a lot of talk about fasting.  It seems as though every person who has come through my functional health coaching practice has either dabbled in some fasting or thought about it.

But is fasting right for you?

My simple answer to this question is… you are unique and, therefore, your diet should be too.

What works for one person will not necessarily work for you.  This is why you’ll often see people say eating Paleo, Whole30, gluten free or (insert diet of your choice) didn’t work for them, yet someone they knew saw amazing results from it.

In general, intermittent fasting or dietary approaches using fasting techniques, have a wide range of health benefits such as:

  • Balancing blood sugar
  • Promoting weight loss
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Regulating hormones that signal for hunger
  • Healing the intestinal lining (leaky gut)
  • And decomposing damaged cells and generating new ones (this is absolutely fascinating biology, geek out more on it here)

Fasting has been used for ages in eastern philosophies of medicine to help reverse or prevent health conditions such as cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

If we think about fasting from a primal or ancestral standpoint, it has been around basically since the beginning of mankind.  As hunter-gatherers, our primitive ancestors frequently went without food for periods of time in between successful hunting trips and during times of famine when food sources were low or hard to come by.  They didn’t have the luxuries of fast food drive-thrus on almost every corner or food at their fingertips like we do today.

However, fasting is not right for everyone and in some cases it can produce more negative health side effects than good.

Fasting may not be right for you if:

  • You have an existing hormone imbalance (thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, etc.)
  • You currently suffer with sleep issues
  • You have underlying vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Your liver is already sluggish or overloaded
  • You have metals or other toxins built up in your body
  • You avoid salt or don’t eat enough of it

However, even with some of these reasons as to why fasting may not be right for you, you can still give fasting a try if you approach it the right way.  In order to set yourself up for successful fasting, you should first investigate and address any of the contributing factors to these pre-existing health issues I just mentioned.

In this week’s video and blog, I share more about how to assess if intermittent fasting is right for you and how to properly use it as a tool for optimal health.

Let’s break down what fasting is first…

When it comes to intermittent fasting (especially as it relates to the Keto diet) there are basically two schools of thought:

#1- Fasting means not eating anything containing calories for a period of time

#2- Fasting means not eating any sources of immediate energy such as carbs or proteins

Both approaches focus on training the body to primarily utilize fat stores for energy to become “fat adapted”.  The standard american diet, and even most other whole food or primal diets, such as Paleo and Whole30, constantly supply the body with readily available fuel sources in the forms of carbohydrates (veggies, fruits, nuts, etc.) and proteins (meat, beans, etc.).

Training the body to become fat adapted requires cutting off sources to these readily available types of fuel and forcing the body to tap into its own fuel storage- fat.

Where fasting goes wrong…

Sometimes people who fast go to the opposite extreme when they allow themselves to eat between fasting periods.  They load up on fast, convenient, junk foods or binge on their favorite foods as a result of feeling deprived or of having a false sense that fasting fixes everything.  

This does the body zero favors and completely cancels out the benefits of fasting.  After a fast, the first foods that hit your lips should be high in nutrients, cleanliness and health benefits.

Then there are the people with pre-existing imbalances in the body, in which case the body is not well equipped to handle a successful transition of fuel sources and to become fat adapted.  Pre-existing hormone imbalances and nutrient deficiencies (either known or unknown) are the most common and overlooked obstacles when it comes to reaping the benefits of fasting.

Food avoidance also equals vitamin and mineral avoidance.

Our hormones thrive off the delivery and accessibility of certain vitamins, minerals and nutrients such as selenium, zinc, B vitamins and cholesterol.  A reduction in available nutrients results in a reduction of function.

Most often this is why people feel worse when they fast or experience what is called the “keto flu.”  Initially, their thyroid, cortisol, testosterone, estrogen and a number of other hormones take a hit from fasting.  

Without proper preparation, the impact of fasting can have some drastic side effects to one’s overall hormonal well being.  It can make existing imbalances in thyroid, cortisol, testosterone, estrogen, melatonin and other hormones worse, or it can create an imbalance where one didn’t already exist.

Ideally, once someone has become fat adapted through successful fasting, the body is able to source a lot of the nutrients it needs from its own resources, but getting to that point can be a process.

Assess if fasting is right for you and properly prep for it…

Test, don’t guess.
It’s better to know about any underlying hormone or nutrient imbalances before you dive into fasting.  At a minimum, check your thyroid, cortisol, estrogen, testosterone and melatonin levels along with your vitamin and mineral balance before starting a fasting routine.  If any imbalances exist, lay the foundation to reverse them with a therapeutic diet, adequate sleep, appropriate exercise, stress reduction and nourishing supplements before jumping into fasting.

Ease into it.
Slowly ease your body into the transition by fasting with fat as your only fuel source.  Fat is not readily available as fuel when ingested so it still requires your body to tap into its own fat fuel sources.  Allow yourself to have a fat only meal in the morning such as a coffee or matcha tea with butter or ghee, and/or full fat coconut milk.  This will deliver some of the essential nutrients to your body needs so it can still function at its potential while staying away from carbs or proteins that can hijack fat adaptation.

Start in small chunks.
Don’t go for the gold right from the get-go.  Start by making dinner your last meal, fasting overnight, and gradually extending out the time you eat breakfast in the morning a few days a week.  I typically stop eating by 8pm and don’t have my first meal until 9:30 or 10am the next morning resulting in a 14 hour fasting period. As your body adapts, your energy will improve, letting you know when you can extend the length of your fast..  

(NOTE: Women’s hormones are particularly sensitive to food deprivation so it’s best to fast every other day instead of every day)

Move and restore.
Some studies have shown that low-grade duration exercise compliments fasting for better results.  During a fast, the body is actually hard at work breaking down fat and damaged cells to reuse their parts for fuel and nutrients.  We don’t need to push it to work harder.  Engaging in intense workouts on fasting days can tap the body’s resources, making recovering too hard and can lead to hormonal imbalances.  On fasting days, focus on moving your body in a more restorative way by taking long walks, doing yoga, tai chi or something restorative to reap all the benefits of fasting.

Salt and supplement.
When you’re avoiding food, you’re also avoiding access to nutrients so it’s essential to supplement what you’re missing.  Taking a high quality multivitamin and mineral complex supplement on a daily basis is a good idea in general because food these days is just less nutrient dense than before (even the organic stuff).  If you’re avoiding food all together for the purpose of fasting, supplementing with vitamins and minerals will help to keep your hormones happy, your energy balanced and will support the process of fat adaptation.  Our ancestors salted meat to cure them for food storage and ate every part of the animal (organs, cartilage, etc.) so the nutrient values in their bodies were much higher than ours, even when they were forced to fast.

Think of fasting like training for a marathon: you need the right shoes, gradual training runs that lead to longer ones over time, proper hydration and food to refuel, and recovery time to make it to the finish line.

We want to think of the body as a well-oiled machine that is ready to adapt to anything we throw at it, but that’s generally not the case, considering all the variables that impact our health in this modern day world.  

With most diet trends, people have a tendency to dive all-in without considering if their body is ready for it, and when it “doesn’t work,” they give up.  

Often it’s not the diet that didn’t work, but something else under the hood that got in the way.  This is why it’s always better to test, not guess, in order to figure out exactly what is right for your body so you don’t go spinning your wheels, wasting money or time on failed attempts or health improvement strategies that aren’t right for you.

If you want to assess your readiness for intermittent fasting or to figure out what foods are right for your body so it can function at its potential,  then schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me here today!