Why your weight fluctuates…

Why Your Weight Fluctuates Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Let’s be honest.

Stepping on the scale can be a daunting task, even dreadful at times, or maybe you avoid it altogether in fear of what it might reveal. 

I know this feeling all too well as someone who has seen the scale fluctuate most of my life…at least until I understood why.

But before I understood my fluctuations, it would drive me crazy chasing the perfect pound, counting every calorie and driving myself into the ground at the gym.  All of which didn’t help my cause, not even a little bit.

So then I gave up stepping on the scale thinking if I didn’t pay attention to it, if I didn’t obsess over it, maybe just maybe I would magically reach my dream number.  I would eventually feel comfortable in my clothes and my body.

But the truth is you can only see progress in what you track.

I’m not suggesting you should obsess over what the scale says, but rather you should track what makes you fluctuate so you can have a better understanding of what is keeping you from the perfect pound and then you can take action based on the data you’re collecting. 

There are 4 primary drivers for fluctuations:

  1. Water retention
  2. Inflammation
  3. Muscle
  4. Fat

Significant increases or decreases in actual body composition (aka fat and muscle mass) takes time.  Changes in body composition happen in smaller increments over weeks or months due to the complexities of how they are obtained.  In general, losing 1 pound of fat per week is typical and obtainable. However, gaining 1 pound of actual fat per week is less likely unless you’re eating almost double your usual food intake (I’ll tell you more about why below), which I doubt you’re doing. 

Gaining or losing muscle is even more challenging.  When it comes to muscle gains, you really have to hit the gym hard and consistently.  Back when I was training for fitness competitions, I was lucky if I put on 4 pounds of muscle over 6 weeks of intense training while being meticulous about my protein and food intake.  

If you’re noticing significant and constant fluctuations, water retention and inflammation are the likely culprits way more so than muscle or fat.

In this week’s video and blog, I dive into more details about why your weight fluctuates and what you can do to not only stabilize it but to nail your perfect pound on the scale.

 

Inflammation and water density can change in the body by the minute depending on a multitude of factors such as…

  • The foods you just ate
  • The quality of sleep you got
  • The amount of water you’re drinking 
  • The level of stress you’re experiencing
  • The balance of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes in your body
  • And how many toxins you’re being exposed to and to what frequency

Food, sleep and stress are the most common factors I see resulting in fluctuations amongst my clients and myself. 

For example, my husband recently did a food sensitivity test and found he was sensitive to beef, meaning he was having an inflammatory reaction to it.  He cut out beef and lost 5 pounds in one week as a result of the reduction in inflammation.

This type of drop in pounds is typical amongst most of my clients once they cut out the top inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, sugar, soy and alcohol.  And they see greater gains when they eliminate other specific foods they’re reactive too according to their food sensitivity test. 

Consuming too many carbohydrates or sugars increases water retention.  Carbs and sugars are stored in the body as glycogen and as noted in a recent study, “glycogen is stored in the liver, muscles, and fat cells in hydrated form (three to four parts water).”  So the more carbs or sugars you eat, the more glycogen and water you store. 

Staying up late or not getting good quality sleep disrupts your body’s ability to regulate cortisol hormone, the body’s natural anti-inflammatory.  When cortisol is out of balance, it hinders your body’s ability to manage inflammation and you’ll see that number on the scale reflect this. 

And then there’s stress.  

Stress increases your body’s output of cortisol hormone, that anti-inflammatory agent, which challenges its ability to regulate not only inflammation, but also your sleep patterns which causes fluctuations as I just mentioned.

Instead of feeling frustrated about the fluctuations on the scale, and elevating your stress levels which will just make them worse, put on your health boss hat and start tracking. 

Tracking your metrics daily will reveal what exactly is impacting the number you’re seeing on the scale.  Here’s an idea of what to track for clues about what’s causing you to fluctuate…

  • If you ate any of the top inflammatory foods; gluten, dairy, sugar, soy or alcohol 
  • How many grams of carbs and sugars you consumed
  • What time you went to bed and how well you slept on a scale of 1-10
  • And what your stress level is each day on a scale of 1-10

And of course make sure you are using a scale that is calibrated correctly and regularly to eliminate margins of error.  

Try this for even just a week and I bet you’ll feel empowered by what you find, because once you know what’s contributing to your fluctuations, then you can make conscious choices to help you look and feel your best!

As Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioners like myself like to say…test, don’t guess.  Don’t live in limbo anymore, take your health into your own hands and be a health boss 😉

I would love to hear what aha’s, insights or big takeaways you got from this, leave a comment and let me know! 

 

 

FREE expert fasting info [ends tomorrow]

Fasting-Reset-Summit-Jenn Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Intermittent fasting is an age-old dietary philosophy that has been getting some serious press lately.

With the Keto diet craze on the rise, there’s been a lot of talk about fasting. Every person who has come through my functional health coaching practice lately has either dabbled in some fasting or thought about it.

In the last 5 months, I’ve even done three 72-hour fasts to help reset my gut and heal food sensitivities once and for all.

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 got amazing results from it.

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.

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

  • Balancing blood sugar and boosting energy levels
  • Promoting weight loss and 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)

However, jumping into fasting without understanding how it works or how your body might respond to it isn’t a good idea, and it can be difficult to find reliable information about how to properly approach fasting.

Before embarking on my first 72-hour fast I prepped my body for it as if I was training for a marathon to ensure I wouldn’t hurt myself by doing it.

If you want to learn more about how I approach fasting, how fasting can help you achieve your health goals and what you should know before doing it or how to do it right next time then…
Check out the Fasting Reset Summit!

FastingResetSummitjenn Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

I’m beyond excited to announce that I am a guest expert speaker on the FASTING RESET SUMMIT!

I’m one of the 40+ leading health experts discussing the many benefits and best practices related to Intermittent Fasting.

The summit is live until tomorrow ONLY and it’s completely free to watch life!

The Fasting Reset Summit will help you:

  • Understand the link between blood sugar and fat burning
  • Take back control over your hormones
  • Experience victory over thyroid and autoimmune issues
  • Implement healthy dietary and lifestyle changes
  • Reclaim your health and vitality
  • And so much more!

CLICK HERE to check out the full list of expert speakers and topics before they are gone after TOMORROW.

Fasting is a powerful tool for not just weight loss, but for practically any health condition or goal you might have so don’t miss out on this opportunity to get FREE expert information on how it can change your life.

P.S. If you don’t have time to catch the summit before it ends, you can purchase the recordings for just $79 here

 

 

 

3 Rituals to Boost Your Energy

Sacred Rituals have been the cornerstone of civilizations for millennia but seem to have lost their place in our modern western society.

In hidden parts of the world where indigenous people still live off the land, we can see where sacred rituals still exist and how these rituals help them thrive in what most of us would consider uninhabitable conditions.

They have rituals around when they wake up, when they do work and when they sleep according to the sun cycles.  They have rituals for farming and foraging for food. They have spiritual rituals connecting them to a higher purpose and medicinal rituals to prevent sickness.

Their rituals keep them healthy, connected to each other and with the earth.

These rituals are more important and powerful than you might think.

There was a time when I didn’t have any rituals in my life and I felt as if I was spiraling – I was easily overwhelmed, low on energy, everything seemed urgent, life felt dull, and I felt lost or alone sometimes.

Introducing modern and ancient rituals into my life has helped me not only reverse Hashimotos, restore hormone balance, heal from mold illness AND get my energy back but it’s also given me a greater sense of purpose and a feeling of being centered.

Here are the 3 rituals that have had the biggest impact on my energy, health and life…

Ritual #1 – Sun Syncing Sleep
Our bodies are wired to sleep when the sun goes down and to wake when it rises.  This wiring is what we call our circadian rhythm and it keeps your hormones in balance and all of your body systems running.  When you fall out of sync with the sun, your body systems fall out of sync too, leaving you feeling exhausted all the time no matter how many hours of sleep you get.

Developing a sleeping ritual according to the sun cycles will certainly give you a boost of energy!  Aim to be asleep by 10pm at least 5 nights a week and you’ll find yourself springing out of bed when the sun rises.

Ritual #2 – Holding Space
Your body can only heal in a relaxed state, but how often are you holding the space for that to happen?  In our fast-paced world, there isn’t much time to relax and even when you think you’re relaxing, you may not be because your mind is still buzzing or you’re watching something that’s getting you wound up.  Even low-grade stress from watching the news or worrying about what to make for dinner can pull you out of a relaxed state and interfere with your body’s ability to heal.

The quickest and most effective way to hit deep relaxation is through deep breathing.  When you adopt the deep rhythmic breathing patterns of a relaxed person, it automatically flips the switch in your brain to take you out of a stressed state and into a relaxed one.

Create a daily ritual around deep breathing, even if it’s only for a few minutes. The more space you can hold for your body to relax, the more it can heal or recover from daily activities so you can maintain a higher level of energy.

Ritual #3 – Consume Consciously
There’s 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 despite what you’ve read or been told. We can all agree that a banana is a healthy food but if you have a food intolerance to bananas or carbohydrates, that banana is doing more harm than good.  However, it’s hard to pick up on these subtle nuances about reactions to food or whether you’re full when your sipping down your smoothie on the way to work, scarfing down your lunch while you catch up on email or hustling to get through dinner and on to the next thing.

When you consume foods or beverages consciously, you’ll start to notice what robs you of energy and what gives you energy. Once you create this feedback loop, it will be SO MUCH easier to make choices that are in alignment with how you want to feel instead of feeling deprived.

Cultivate a ritual to check in with your body 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating to see if you feel satisfied, emotionally and physically balanced.  If you do great! And if you don’t, keep a record of what you ate to find correlations about what foods might be robbing you of energy.

I share more about the rituals that have boosted my energy and health in the show Return to Ritual with my good friend Amber Wientzen.

Amber’s show was inspired by her own curiosity and love for Sacred Rituals, and their powerful role in her healing journey too. I’m so honored to be a show guest. It was fascinating to see how parallel our journeys have been – going from grinding ourselves into the ground to healthy with purpose as a result of our personal rituals.

The show series is called Return of Ritual: How to invoke Sacred Ritual into our daily life to experience deeper peace, more heartfelt connection and profound personal and professional success!  

I hope you’ll listen to our interview for insights on how you can bring more rituals into your life so you can feel like your best self too!

Check out the interview here

ReturnOfRitual Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

This show is for anyone who has felt disconnected from their calling, wants to create more magic in their lives, wants to deepen their spiritual practice and revolutionize their healing journey. The work Amber is bringing into the world is something you won’t want to miss. Connecting back to our roots and invoking Sacred Ritual is something we need now more than ever!

 

 

 

5 tips to nail your 2020 goals [giveaway inside]

5-Tips-To-Nail-Your-Health-Goals Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Can you believe we just started not only another new year BUT an entire decade???

The start of a new decade brings a whole new meaning to setting goals for the year – what you set your sights on now can set the tone for what you want the next 10 years to look like.

To help you kick your decade off right, I want to give you 5 tips to help you actually nail your health goals this year, for real this time.

Because, how many times have you told yourself this is going to be the year?

The year you…

Get your energy back

Finally feel good in your body again

Ditch the stress and make more time for self-care

Figure out what is really going on with your hormones

Reverse your autoimmune issues and manage them naturally

Or get to the bottom of your bloating and digestive struggles

…and ultimately get back to feeling like yourself again (or for the very first time).

As most people do, you probably always start the new year with the best of intentions but quickly find yourself getting lost in the chaos of everyday life.  And before you know it, the whole year (or a decade!) has practically passed you by, and you still feel uncomfortable in your body, sick or tired all of the time.

I feel ya, I’ve fallen into this vicious cycle myself in the past, but I made some major shifts halfway through the last decade to get my energy and body back.

First, let me tell you, it’s not your fault if you haven’t reached your New Year’s resolutions in years past.  There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. Feedback that you need a different plan of attack.

There’s more to achieving a goal than just setting one.  

Marathon runners don’t just wake up one day and run a marathon.  They train for it. They fuel their body for it. They buy the right clothing for it.  They put energy and thought into exactly how they are going to make it to the finish line on race day.

Like training for a marathon, in order to nail your health goals you need the right plan, resources and support.

In this week’s video and blog, I give you 5 tips to help you actually nail your health goals this year, for real this time.

 

I have worked with hundreds of clients, and no matter what the goal might be, I have found these 5 tips to be critical for reaching the finish of any health goal.

1 – Focus on the why, not the what
Who wouldn’t like to lose a little weight, have more energy or control of their health naturally?  Those are surface goals. It’s not what’s on the outside that matters, it’s what is on the inside that will keep you motivated.

What would having more energy, control of your health and weight do for you?  How would it change your life?

It would give you more confidence.  You would feel more comfortable in your skin.  You would be able to focus better at work, and as a result make more money.  You would be a better partner and parent. You would be able to travel the world, hike the tallest mountain, do anything you physically wanted to do with a feeling of joy.  You would be limitless!

When I trained for a marathon, sure there were days I didn’t want to get out of bed and run a ridiculous amount of miles.  And when I was in the depths of healing Hashimotos and mold illness, there were plenty of times when I wanted to throw in the towel, but reconnecting with my “why” is what kept me going, and it’s what keeps my clients going too.

2 – Clear the clutter
Distractions are everywhere and they can come in any form; food, finances, physical clutter in your home, negative people who drain your energy, or people who convince you to do things that aren’t in your health’s best interest.

If you have to stare the cookies in the chocolate chip eye every day in the pantry, eventually they will get the best of you.

Give yourself time to set up your environment to support the pursuit of your goals.  Clear the food out of the pantry and fridge that isn’t in alignment with how you want to be eating.  Put together a budget or get your finances in order so you don’t have to worry about them, and you can focus on yourself.  Take one day to organize that hall closet, garage or other cluttered space in your home. And set some healthy boundaries for those people in your life who may not be on the same path as you – instead of gossiping over cocktails, grab a coffee or take a walk and set a time limit with a reasonable excuse as to why you need to get going.

Once the clutter is out of the way you can move forward on a clear path.

3 – Build upon your existing rituals
We all brush our teeth in the morning, or at least I hope you do.  This is a ritual, or a habit, and something that we can build upon.

Often times what feels overwhelming about going after your health goals is the idea of having to “create time” or space to workout, eat healthy, meditate, drink more water etc.  But what if you just built upon the time you’ve already carved out for the rituals or habits you already have in place?

This really helped me build a meditation practice.  I started with just 10-15 minutes of meditation after our evening family dog walk as part of my nightly “wind down.”  It eventually grew into 30 minutes and I yearned for it so much that I eventually implemented into my morning routine right before my workout.

Oil pulling is another great example for me.  I do it 3 mornings per week while I prepare my dog’s breakfast – tackling two things at once!  I’m all about efficiency.

Another great example that my clients really enjoy is doing their meditation in their car in the driveway when they get home from work before entering their house.  It’s a great way to disconnect from work and be present for loved ones.

Assess your current rituals and how you can build upon them with the things that you would like to be doing for yourself to support your health.

(NOTE: Want to learn more about rituals to support your health and happiness?  Check out the upcoming Return to Ritual Show that I was a guest on)

4 – Recruit the right support and resources
It’s ok to ask for help, and don’t let your ego tell you otherwise.  Instead of spinning your wheels about what foods to eat, what exercise to engage in, which meditation to try, supplements to take or about anything else that might support your health goals, recruit the right experts and resources to be your guide.

As the old saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child”, it can also take a team of experts or resources to help you reach your health goals.  Set yourself up for success by hiring the right experts to hold you accountable and give you the resources you need to feel your best. Your health-goals dream team might include a personal trainer, health coach, chiropractor, acupuncturist, spiritual guide or other health professional.

YOU.ARE.WORTH.IT

5 – Stop shooting in the dark
If you’ve “tried everything” when it comes to diet and exercise, yet nothing seems to work, then it’s time to test instead of guess.  You are unique and therefore your diet, exercise, sleep, supplements and stress reduction needs will be too. What works for one person isn’t exactly going to work for you.

When your attempts to lose weight, increase your energy and get your health back under control aren’t working, it’s a sign that something bigger is going on beneath the surface such as hormone imbalances, liver congestion, poor nutrient absorption or fat for fuel metabolism, and your typical blood tests won’t pick up on these hidden dysfunctions.

Your results will always be lacking, no matter how many diets or workout routines you try, if you’ve got something greater going on under the hood.

So stop shooting in the dark, run some functional lab tests that will give you a bigger picture of your overall health and take a more strategic, and personalized approach to reaching your health goals this year.

Let me know how I can support you more in achieving your 2020 health goals…

Take 2 minutes to complete this survey by Jan. 16th and be entered to win 3 FREE HEALTH COACHING SESSIONS with me! ($750 value)

As the (W)holistic Health Boss, my mission is to support busy, health-minded people like you in getting access to 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 (or for the very first time!).

Here’s to you achieving your health goals this year and setting the tone for you decade!

(P.S. I would be thrilled to be on your team, and I’m currently offering 20% off my coaching programs for those who are ready to take serious action to get their energy and body back.  Schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session here)

 

 

2019 Health Tip Highlights

2019 Health Tip Highlights Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Wow.  Can you believe how fast 2019 has come and gone?

I swear, the older I get the faster time moves.

So much has happened in the world of health in 2019…

  • Counting calories and portion control is becoming a thing of the past
  • Low fat diets are out, high fat diets are all the craze and healthier in a lot of ways
  • Stress is finally getting attention for being the #1 contributor to weight gain
  • The importance of sleep has come into focus with the wide range of activity trackers on the market

On average, it takes almost 18 years for this type of new information to hit your doctor’s desk; so more and more people are turning away from conventional medicine due to the lack of solutions and seeking more personalized care from functional and holistic health-minded professionals like myself.

As the (W)holistic Health Boss, my mission is to help keep you up to speed on the latest information, tips, tools and resources so you can find the missing pieces to your health puzzle and feel like yourself again or for the very first time.

This year, I’ve written over 42 blogs and hundreds of social media posts to educate and empower you about the right lab tests and resources you need to achieve your ideal health and weight.

But if you’re anything like me, then life has surely been busy and maybe you’ve missed a few of the important things I had to share with you.

So to close out 2019, I’ve compiled the top tips and pieces of information I shared in 2019 in hopes that these will give you the insights you need to kick off 2020 with a healthy bang!

Even if you read them the first time, read them again. A new golden nugget of information just might jump out at you!

As you reflect on the year, take a moment to envision what you want for yourself and your health in 2020.

Do you want more energy?

To lose weight so you can feel great in your body again?

To finally put your digestive issues, anxiety or crappy nights of sleep to rest?

All so you can feel healthy, strong, free and limitless to be adventurous and live life to the fullest every day?

If so, then 2020 is your year.

I’m currently taking a limited number of clients and offering a 20% discount on all of my coaching packages for those who want to start 2020 strong with a personalized, yet strategic health-building plan that is realistic and produces long-lasting results.

Schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session here to explore the possibilities.

And enjoy these top health tips from 2019!

2019_Health_Tip_Highlights Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

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Wishing you a happy holiday season and New Year!

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Healthy Hormone Hacks continues…

12-Days-of-Healthy-Hormone-Hacks-for-Holidays-2 Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Have you been missing out on my simple tips to keep your hormones balanced during the holidays?

I’ve been giving away all kinds of knowledge goodies over the past week in regards to practical things you can do to keep hormones (such as cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, melatonin, insulin and leptin) balanced during the holiday season.

The holidays can wreak havoc on your hormones as you tend to focus SO much on giving to others this time of year and not so much on giving to yourself as you run around from holiday parties, last minute gift shopping and visiting family or friends.

By the end of it all, I bet you usually feel wiped out and wondering why you feel so fat, tired and sick all the time – it’s because your hormones took a hit!

To help you keep your hormones intact this holiday season, I kicked off a Facebook and Instagram series last week called the 12 Days of Healthy Hormone Hacks for the Holidays.

12 Days Of Healthy Hormone Hacks For Holidays 2 Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Over the next 12 days on Facebook and Instagram, catch my videos and posts where I’ll be delivering simple tips for practical things you can do to keep your hormones balanced while you enjoy the holiday season!

Here’s what you might have missed so far…

Day 6:  Bank Some Sleep

Sleep is the first thing to go out the window during the holiday season. We stay up late doing a variety of things this time of year…

  • Burning the midnight oil to meet last minute work deadlines
  • Wrapping presents when our kids or loved ones are asleep
  • Dancing or socializing the night away at holiday parties
  • Waiting for Santa or loved ones to arrive
  • Or by taking red-eye flights to save a few bucks

But you might have noticed that even when you get 8 hours of sleep or allow yourself to sleep in after a late night, you just don’t seem to wake up feeling as rested as you could if you had gone to bed at a more reasonable time.

That’s because every 1 hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 hours of rest!

Our body is on an internal time clock according to the sun and moon cycles. Based on this internal timer, our body has specific times of day when it does some really critical functions to help keep our hormones in balance.

For example, in the window of 10pm-2am, the body releases human growth hormone which helps to repair damaged tissues or cells, and create new cells.  During this time is also when cortisol levels are supposed to be at their lowest and melatonin hormone is at its peak to support restful sleep. And during the window of 2am-4am is when the liver and gallbladder get to work cleansing and detoxifying to release toxins which promotes hormone balance.

If we miss these windows of sleep, our body does not shift its internal clock on our behalf, we simply miss out on these important functions being performed as they should be, and our hormones take a hit as a result.  Constantly staying up late can completely flip your cortisol rhythm, mess with melatonin production and disrupt the rest of your hormones as a result.

Obviously there are some very fun-filled and valid reasons to maybe miss some shut eye this time of year, but you can make up for lost time by banking your sleep on the days that you are able to get to bed at a more reasonable hour.

Remember that every 1 hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 hours of rest!

So on the nights when you don’t have holiday obligations or commitments, aim to be in bed by 10pm or earlier to bank some sleep for late nights you might have ahead or to make up for the ones you already have.

Getting in good quality sleep at the optimal times as much as you can will help to keep your cortisol and melatonin in sync, and allow human growth hormone to get to work on your behalf so you can wake up feeling rested and make it through the holidays without your hormones getting completely out of whack.

***

Day 5: Crush Some Cruciferous Veggies
It’s the last full weekend before Christmas and all through the town, christmas cocktails are flowing… meaning estrogen levels are on the rise.

One alcoholic beverage can increase estrogen levels in the body for up to 24 hours, but this time of year there’s bound to be more than one drink had and with back-to-back holiday festivities, our bodies may not get a full 24 hour break for estrogen levels to fall back to normal.

Aside from alcohol, there is a whole category of toxins called xenoestrogens, such as certain plastics, that we are likely to come in contact with more frequently this time of year.

Alcohol and plastic can increase estrogen.

Constantly elevated estrogen levels from alcohol consumption or toxin exposures can lead to estrogen dominance which can in turn trigger thyroid imbalances, sleep issues and mood swings.

But don’t worry, you can still indulge this holiday season and not worry about every plastic you touch if you focus on crushing some cruciferous veggies when you sit down to eat.

Cruciferous vegetables are a staple in an anti-estrogenic type of diet or lifestyle.  They contain a compound called DIM (3’3 diindolylmethane) which helps your body to remove estrogen through the liver.

DIM isn’t the only reason why cruciferous veggies are anti-estrogenic. Most of them also contain chlorophyll (found in the green leaves) which is also aids in reducing estrogen through improved liver health.

Next time you go out to eat or cook at home, see where you can incorporate some of these cruciferous veggies…

  • Arugula
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard Greens
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Radish
  • Turnip
  • Watercress

Some of my favorite holiday side dishes include different styles of roasted Brussels sprouts and kale salads.  Brussels sprouts in general are a big trend these days for appetizers, so look to add them to your meal when eating out.  Or double the benefits with some sauerkraut to get in your cabbage to lower estrogen AND promote better gut health.

Keep that estrogen in check by crushing some cruciferous veggies as we wind down the year!

***

Day 4: Wake Up with Warm Water
Baby, it’s cold outside ❄️ so why wouldn’t you want to start your day off with some warm lemon-salted water while you wait to brew your usual cup of joe or tea?

Beyond just warming you up, your hormones can hugely benefit by starting your day off with warm water enhanced with a slice of lemon and pinch of Himalayan or sea salt.

Lemons have been shown to help detoxify the liver, and the liver is where we either convert hormones (such as thyroid T4 to T3) or excrete excess hormones (such as estrogen) which can lead to weight gain, sleep and mood issues if it builds up.

A pinch of Himalayan or sea salt promotes better hydration and electrolyte balance which is important for hormone and bodily functions.  Plus, the magnesium, sodium and potassium in the salt nourishes the adrenal glands which largely produce cortisol and DHEA hormone and also contribute to the production of adrenaline, estrogen and other hormones as well.

Warm or room temperature water aids in the absorption of the lemon and salt nutrients into the body in addition to promoting digestive function and bowel movements (which is how we excrete toxins that can impact hormone balance or excess hormones themselves).  Essentially, warm water gives the insides of your body a gentle nudge to get going instead of a cold electric shock to get out of bed – warm water sound much more pleasing, right?

During the craziness of the holidays, we are more likely to forget to drink water throughout the day and then we indulge in other activities such as drinking alcohol, extra coffee and traveling, which dehydrate and rob us of nutrients even more.

I always aim to drink at least 20-32 ounces of warm, lemon-salted water before 10am.  This wasn’t easy at first because I was so attached to my morning coffee, but little by little I made the switch and now I wake up craving my warm water and have no need for coffee anymore.

This holiday season, see if you can add in a cup of warm, lemon-salted water to your morning to give your hormones a healthy boost to start your day!

***

Head on over to my Facebook and Instagram to see what you might have missed AND to catch the rest of my 12 Days of Healthy Hormone Hacks for the Holidays!

P.S. Turn on your notifications so you don’t miss a single simple tip to keep your hormones intact this holiday season, AND remember to save the posts for future reference!

 

 

 

12 Healthy Hormone Hacks for the Holidays!

12-Days-of-Healthy-Hormone-Hacks-for-Holidays-1 Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

It’s that time of year again – the holidays!

The holidays can wreak havoc on your hormones as you tend to focus SO much on giving to others this time of year and not so much on giving to yourself as you run around from holiday parties, last minute gift shopping and visiting family or friends.

By the end of it all, I bet you usually feel wiped out and wondering why you feel so fat, tired and sick all the time – it’s because your hormones took a hit!

To help you keep your hormones intact this holiday season, today I’m kicking off a Facebook and Instagram series called  “12 Days of Healthy Hormone Hacks for the Holidays”

12 Days Of Healthy Hormone Hacks For Holidays Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Over the next 12 days on Facebook and Instagram, catch my videos and posts where I’ll be delivering simple tips for practical things you can do to keep your hormones balanced while you enjoy the holiday season!

Here’s a sneak peak at what I’ve got lined up for you starting today…

Day 1 – Fill Up With Fat
This likely sounds counterintuitive, but trust me, it’s not when it comes to your hormones, energy levels and kicking cravings!

In order for the body to make hormones, it needs you to eat healthy dietary fats that are broken down into LDL and cholesterol to make hormones along with other nutrients such as B vitamins.  Yep, you heard me right. LDL and cholesterol are actually necessary to make hormones. They get a bad rap, but they are not bad for you if sourced in a healthy way.

Filling up with healthy fats can also help to balance your blood sugar for longer-lasting energy, to reduce inflammation and to kick cravings.

So what kinds of healthy fats should you indulge in during the holidays?

  • Avocado on its own, as guacamole or as an oil
  • Full fat coconut milk in your coffee, tea and/or smoothies
  • Organic, nitrate-free and gluten-free bacon
  • Cold-Pressed and organic olive or coconut oil in cooked or baked goods
  • Grass-fed ghee instead of butter (less inflammatory)
  • Fatty cuts of organic and pasture-raised meats and eggs

One of my favorite fat-bomb beverages is a matcha latte with full fat coconut milk and vanilla bean ghee.  This keeps me feeling full and energized for 5 hours or more!

I always fill up on fat before I hit a holiday party. or aim to eat the fattiest snacks while I’m there, to keep my hormones happy and my hunger under control.

Focus on filling up with healthy fats at least once a day and notice the way it makes you feel more full, more energized and craving free.

***

Day 2 – Breathe Deeply
This time of year we are in constant movement – decorating, planning, working, shopping, traveling, cooking, cleaning and socializing.  While all of that is necessary and some of it is fun, it does take a toll on our hormonal health.

Constant movement triggers our sympathetic nervous system and elicits a stress response in the body, aka the fight or flight response.  In a stressed state, our body uses a lot of valuable hormonal resources. Cortisol is one of the primary hormones at play but not the only one impacted in a negative way.

In fight or flight mode, our body directs all of its valuable resources outward for quick thinking and quick moving, leaving little resources left for the rest of the critical functions in our body to take place to keep our health in line.

BUT there is something you can do that takes 2 minutes or less to snap yourself out of this reactive place and quickly into more of a rest and relaxation mode so your hormones can come back into balance and your body can heal from all the work it has been doing…

Deep Breathing.

It’s as simple as that.  When we adopt the deep, rhythmic breathing patterns of a relaxed person, we can automatically and instantly flip the switch from being in fight or flight mode into a more relaxed state.

Try this ten times…

  • Inhale for a count of 5
  • Hold the breath for a count of 5
  • Exhale for a count of 7

You can use this simple breathing technique anytime you notice yourself moving too fast or when you’ve gone a long time without taking a break, to instantly bring cortisol and other hormones back into balance.

I often do this once in the morning, afternoon and before bed.  Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to stop at least once a day this holiday season to breathe deeply and promote hormone balance.

***

Day 3 – Go Green
During the holidays, inflammation is on the rise as we indulge in different foods or beverages that might have a more inflammatory effect on the body, from toxins we encounter while traveling and as a result of any mental or emotional stress we might experience this time of year.

Inflammation is at the root of all hormone dysfunction or any chronic disease.  It drives cortisol out of rhythm, creating a negative domino effect on other hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and thyroid. And over time, chronic inflammation, even at low grade levels, can overwhelm the immune system, kicking it into overdrive and eventually leading to autoimmunity or other chronic conditions.

Sure you’re going to indulge, it being the holidays, and you can’t always control your exposure to toxins or the need to travel, but there are things you can do on a daily basis to calm down the inflammatory fire.

To help you reduce inflammation on a daily basis – GO GREEN!

One cup of green tea has an abundance of anti-inflammatory effects that can positively impact your hormones and even your gut health.  EGCG is the active ingredient in green tea which modulates genes to produce an anti-inflammatory effect.

To keep that inflammation fire contained, aim to incorporate a cup of green tea daily during the holidays.

This is such an easy task!  You can grab a cup of green tea almost anywhere while on the road or in an airport, or pack your favorite green tea brand to always have with you.  It’s the perfect drink to start your day or keep you warm when it’s cold outside.

As I mentioned in tip 1 when talking about filling up with fats to keep your hormones healthy, one of my favorite fat bomb beverages is a matcha latte with full fat coconut milk and 2 teaspoons of vanilla bean ghee.  This keeps me feeling full and energized for at least 4 hours, plus has all the added anti-inflammatory benefits.

Go with green tea this holiday season to keep that inflammation under control for healthy hormones.

***

For the next 12 days, make sure you’re following me closely on Facebook and Instagram to catch the rest of my, 12 Days of Healthy Hormone Hacks for the Holidays!

P.S. Turn on your notifications so you don’t miss a single simple tip to keep your hormones intact this holiday season, AND remember to save the posts for future reference!

 

 

 

Healthy Holiday Gift Guide

Healthy-Holiday-Gift-Guide Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Gift-giving season is in full force, and what better gift is there than the gift of health so you and your loved ones can live your best life?

I know what you’re probably thinking… giving healthy gifts aren’t sexy or exciting like getting a new iPhone, piece of jewelry or gadget.

But I beg to differ on this one.

Have you seen some of the cool new health stuff these days?  And how often do you talk yourself out of buying something health related for yourself because of money or guilt, but you would love it if someone else bought it for you?

We all don’t want to ask for healthy things for the holidays because it’s too taboo, but it’s what we all really want in the long run.

A new iPhone or gadget eventually becomes outdated.  A piece of jewelry eventually loses its appeal. Clothes get old and go out of style.

But your health is something you’ll have for the rest of your life, and in order to make the most out of the rest of your life you need your health.

In this week’s video and blog, I share with you my favorite health-supporting tools to help you give yourself and your loved ones the gift of health this holiday season!

Whether you’re shopping for yourself (like I do this time of year LOL) or someone else, these health-supporting tools are perfect and I’ll tell you why…

doTerra Essential Oils
Essential oils can be used for a WIDE variety of health-related reasons.  In our house, we regularly use:

  • Lavender daily before bed for restful sleep
  • Peppermint, lavender and lemon as a combo for seasonal allergy support or as standalone to get rid of headaches, for cooking and to boost energy
  • OnGuard as a non-toxic cleaning solution, to get rid of workout clothes stank and to fight off the common cold

The best thing about essential oils is that a little bit goes a long way, giving this gift greater value than what you might expect at first glance.

Queen of Thrones Castor Oil Pack
Castor oil packs have been a critical part of my healing Hashimotos, mold illness and weight loss journey for years now.  Castor oil packs may not sound sexy but they are life changing! This is the perfect gift for you or loved ones who struggle with bloating, constipation, hormone imbalance and pain.

I use my castor oil pack at least 3 times a week to reduce inflammation, support proper digestion, balance hormones, reduce stress levels and boost detoxification.  Whatever your health goals are, or healthy actions you are taking, castor oil packs can help you 10 X the results!

MindBody Matrix Pain Relief Cream
I’ve never met a pain relief cream quite like this one.  Every time I use it I’m amazed at how quickly it cuts through any kind of post workout soreness, tension headaches or anxiety I might be feeling.  MindBody Matrix Pain Relief Cream is a staple part of my travel survival kit because aches or pains from sitting in a cramped airplane or car and sleeping in uncomfortable beds are the worst, and I don’t ever want to let anything ruin my trip or my day-to-day well-being.

This is the perfect gift for any athlete, traveler or chronic pain person in your life.

Pique Tea
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received tea as a gift, and not to sound unappreciative but my only wish is that it would have been tea that was actually good for me.  Pique tea is 100% organic and triple screened for pesticides, heavy metals and molds to make sure it’s of the highest quality (if you didn’t know, tea can be highly contaminated with toxins!).  Aside from being super high quality, Pique tea is also jam packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients to boost energy, balance blood sugar and heal your gut.

One of the best features of this tea brand is that the tea comes in powder form so there’s no messy tea bag or steeper, they can be mixed in cold or hot water, and they are easy to travel with.

Shrub Farm Mocktail Mix
This is one of my all-time favorite healthy treats and alcoholic drink alternatives.  Shrub Farm mixes use raw apple cider vinegar made from 100% organic apples and flavors straight from the island of Maui such as ginger, pineapple and hibiscus.  If you or your health-conscious loved ones are looking to reduce or abstain from alcohol, these mocktail mixes are a must have!

Plus you can get  15% off your purchase of either a Maui Sampler or a Cascade with discount code TINY15 through December 10th!

Vital Proteins Gut Healing Goodness
Vital Proteins makes a wide variety of collagen products to help heal your gut or keep it happy.  Not only does collagen support gut health, but is also promotes younger looking skin, and strong, thick nails and hair.  Some of my favorite and staple Vital Proteins products include their plain flavored collagen peptides, matcha collagen and collagen coffee creamers.  Why does this make the perfect gift? Because who doesn’t want younger looking skin, better digestive health and luscious locks of hair!

BeautyCounter Skin & Body Products
Every year I get some kind of beauty, skin or body care product from someone; a bar of soap, lotion, eye makeup or even perfume.  And just like tea, I wish the products were good for me but most of the time they aren’t; so they go right into the trash after the holidays.  But with BeautyCounter products you can’t go wrong. This product line is a foundation in our household. All of my skincare and makeup products are from BeautyCounter, and my husband even uses their men’s line.  Aside from being a cleaner, safer skin and body-care line, BeautyCounter is also a B-Corporation, meaning they support nonprofits that align with their mission, and invest in a cleaner future by partnering with leading scientists in the search for safer ingredients that will make up the better products for tomorrow.

You can grab individual items or full skincare sets for great gifts!

Primal Life Organics
These products are my new found obsession.  We’re all conscious about our smile but with Primal Life Organics you don’t have to be because they’ve got everything you need to keep those pearly whites white and your oral health in tact to avoid issues later in life.  My must-have favorite products of theirs include the natural teeth whitening system, gum serum, tongue scraper and tooth powder.

All of the gifts that I’ve mentioned so far are great as actual gifts or stocking stuffers, but if you’re looking for something with a bigger impact and appeal then check this out…

SaunaSpace Infrared Sauna
This is the ultimate gift! Think deep relaxation and an in-home spa experience for you and/or your loved ones.  We bought a sauna a few years ago. Between my husband and me, it gets used every day if not twice a day. An infrared sauna is like having a personal spa escape in your home, where you can checkout and boost your health at the same time.  And unlike most infrared saunas, SaunaSpace ones also protect you from harmful EMF’s while you restore and relax.

If an infrared sauna isn’t in your budget, check out their photon lights and their special health effects!

That wraps it up for my healthy holiday gift guide.

And remember when you question whether you should buy these things for yourself or someone else…

…your health is something you’ll have for the rest of your life, and in order to make the most out of the rest of your life you need your health.

 

 

4 Turkey Day Survival Tips [deals inside too]

4 Turkey Day Survival Tips Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

All around the U.S. people are kicking off the holiday season by celebrating Thanksgiving; which means facing some of your biggest food and beverage temptations and stressful travel situations followed by post celebration bloating, weight gain, fatigue, and sometimes just feeling down right sick or crappy.

And even if you’re not in the U.S. celebrating along with us, the holiday season is still happening in your part of the world too. So social gatherings, travel, temptations and celebrations are abundant, and they can leave you feeling less like yourself going into the new year.

But I’ve got you covered!

Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving or some other holiday this season, I have 4 survival tips to help you…

  • Avoid overeating and bloating while actually improving digestion!
  • Maintain your weight and possibly even lose some! (wouldn’t that be nice?)
  • Have a ton of energy and to protect yourself from catching a cold!

The best part about these tips is that you can do them anywhere and they don’t require much time, effort or money!

In this week’s video and blog, I share 4 turkey day survival tips that you can use during any holiday or time of the year to feel like your healthiest and best self post celebration.

Before I dive into the tips though, I want to emphasize that your health success this holiday season will require your presence.

The key to having your ideal health and weight is honoring your body’s needs.

And to know what it needs, you need to be present in order to be tuned in to your body.  You might be wondering, “what does that mean or how do I do that?”

It’s actually fairly simple, all you have to do is slow down a bit, and tune into what your body is asking you for.  And some of these tips are designed to help you do exactly that.

Ok, let’s get into these 4 Turkey Day Survival Tips so you can start putting them into action…

#1 – Front load your water intake.
Feeling hungry and needing to snack throughout the day can actually be a sign of dehydration. Eating carb rich foods, drinking alcohol and traveling during the holidays can majorly mess with your hydration levels so aim to front load your day with massive amounts of water and a pinch of sea salt for electrolytes to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated will help you cut cravings, avoid overeating and fluctuations on the scale.

#2 – Get into rest and digest mode.
In order for you body to properly digest food, it needs to be in the “rest and digest mode”, and not in the typical fight or flight (aka stressed) state that you might tend to be in during the holidays from rushing around trying to get things done or dealing with less than ideal family situations.  But don’t fret, you can instantly put your body into rest and digest mode to banish or prevent bloating using deep breathing techniques and by thoroughly chewing your food. Do the 5-5-7 breath (inhale 5 seconds, hold 5 seconds and exhaling 7 seconds) 5-10 times before each meal, and chew each bite 20 times to allow your body to properly digest food. This will also help you recognize when you are full so you don’t overeat.

#3 – Drink more tea.
High quality organic green, herbal and even black teas are packed with a variety of nutrients to reduce inflammation, balance hormones and keep your gut healthy.  Peppermint and ginger teas are perfect post meal to promote digestion, reduce bloating and ease stomach upset. Green tea varietals are a great coffee alternative, and cinnamon containing teas make for a great sweet treat, and both help to curb cravings by balancing your blood sugar!  Pique Tea is my favorite tea brand because of its quality and easy to mix in cold or hot water powders (great for traveling!).

#4 – Walk, don’t run.
During the holidays, you probably think you need to exercise more to “work off” what you ate and drank. BUT when your body is already depleted from eating inflammatory foods, traveling and staying up late, intense exercise will deplete you even more – making your workout more harmful than good resulting in weight gain, fatigue and feeling run down.  It’s still important to move your body during these times, so opt for more restorative exercise such as walking, yoga and pilates.

Aside from being present to implement these 4 survival tips, don’t forget to also be present with your family and friends so you can truly enjoy the holidays.

Joy, laughter and happiness all promote better hormone balance and digestion, which are necessary elements for more energy and weight loss.

Happy holidays to you and your loved ones 🙂

 

Rituals to feel and look your best [tips inside]

Rituals for Weight Loss Energy Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by a dear friend of mine and fellow recovered corporate career-type crusader, Amber Wientzen, for her upcoming Return of Ritual Online Show that will be airing in January.

During the interview, we talked about the rituals I have created that allow me to look and feel my best, be uber productivity and achieve my version of optimal health.

For the longest time I sacrificed my health in pursuit of my career and success, and I didn’t have any supportive rituals in place.

Sure, I ate healthy and exercised on a daily basis BUT in spite of my efforts, I still felt fat, sick and tired all of the time.  My body needed more.

Healthy is a way of being, not just doing.

You can do “all the healthy things” but at the end of the day if you’re still living your life like a maniac and stimulating the stress response, you’re going to fall short when it comes to your weight and health goals.

In order to balance my hormones, lose weight, get my energy back, reverse Hashimotos and heal from mold illness, I had to take a look at who I was being that contributed to what I was experiencing.

The way I was navigating life wasn’t in alignment with my health and weight goals. I used to:

  • Wake up with urgency and stressing about the day – stress response triggered
  • Immediately grab a coffee and sit down to tackle my email – stimulate stress more
  • Workout super hard to work off what I ate or drank – deplete the body even more
  • Rush through breakfast or eat it on the road – stress the digestive system
  • Work late and rush home to eat dinner – more digestive stress

And I see so many of my clients, and people in general, doing the same thing – eating healthy and exercising daily but moving through life at warped speed behaving in a way that doesn’t really support what they are trying to achieve.

Moving through life like this diminishes your ability to digest food properly and absorb nutrients, degrades your intestinal health, dysregulates your stress hormone cortisol and creates a downstream effect causing other hormone imbalances which all lead to weight gain, low energy, autoimmune issues and other health conditions.

The routine, or as Amber and I like to call it, rituals, that I have in place now to support my best health and life, look much different than before but they actually don’t require a lot of time, money or effort.

Here’s a glimpse of what my morning ritual look like now to support my ideal health and weight…

  • 5:40am wake up and snuggle for 5 minutes with my fur kids and hubby
  • Take morning supplements and prep food for my day
  • Do 20 minute meditation then exercise for 30-60 minutes
  • Start work around 9 or 9:30am

In this week’s video and blog, I share 10 easy rituals I do so you can implement them to support your ideal health, boost your energy and lose weight too!

I often say that…

…“in order to have your ideal health and weight, you have to learn how to navigate life differently.”

Because the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.  So if you’re “doing all the right things” but not getting the results you want, then it’s time to take a look at who you are being and how that might be getting in the way of reaching your goals.

Over time I made small shifts to transform my stress-stimulating habits to more supportive and stress-relieving rituals.  I stopped checking email first thing in the morning. I switched from coffee to tea. I created a meditation practice before bed and I loved how it made me feel so much that over time I added it to my morning routine as well.

Here are 10 easy rituals I do that you can too in order to support your ideal health and weight:

  1. Wake up without urgency – let your body wake up leisurely
  2. Drink 30 oz of water before 10am and drink another 30 oz by 2pm
  3. Gargle 3-5 x a week to boost digestion and brain health
  4. Swap coffee for Pique’s Matcha Green Tea or your fav flavor
  5. Do 5 minutes or more of deep breathing or meditation at least 1 x day
  6. Exercise in the morning to balance your circadian (aka hormone) rhythm
  7. Inhale for 5 seconds, hold for 5 and exhale for 7 – repeat 10 x before each meal
  8. Set your phone’s automatic Do Not Disturb feature from 9pm – 7am
  9. Take a walk after dinner to decompress and connect with your family
  10. Enhance your efforts with a castor oil pack for 45-min. at least 3-5 x week while watching TV, reading your favorite book and/or meditating before bed

Rocking rituals like these will allow you to feel and look your best always so you can create greater wealth, health and success in your life!

Leave a comment and let me know which new rituals you’re going to try!