The #1 problem with PCOS

#1ProblemWithPCOS Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels.” –  The Mayo Clinic

That sounds like almost every woman I’ve ever known.

How many women do you currently know, or have you known, who’ve suffered from hormonal disorders, long or painful periods during their reproductive years?

Too many for it to be ignored I’m sure.

PCOS is one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions for women between the ages of 15 to 49.  Some studies show that up to 15% of women are diagnosed with PCOS during their routine gynecology visits.

But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s normal.

So why is PCOS so prevalent these days?

To explore this more, let’s take a look at what PCOS actually is and how it happens…

According to the Mayo Clinic, PCOS is when, ”the ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.  Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.”

Classic symptoms of PCOS can include:

  • Infrequent, irregular or long periods
  • Excess facial and/or body hair growth
  • High blood sugar or insulin resistance
  • Hair loss
  • Acne

However, those symptoms can also correlate with high or low estrogen or progesterone, hyper- or hypo-thyroidism, autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s or Alopecia, nutrient deficiencies, a congested liver, carbohydrate intolerance or a high carbohydrate diet, too much sugar, food sensitivities and the list goes on.

All of which left unaddressed lead to an influx in inflammation, deeper metabolic dysfunction and can trigger issues with the ovaries.

The most accurate way to diagnose PCOS is with a vaginal ultrasound to see if the ovaries are enlarged, have follicles and are failing to function.

The #1 problem with PCOS is that it’s preventable and irreversible but nobody is talking about that.

Regardless of how PCOS is diagnosed, whether from a cluster of symptoms or an ultrasound, the reality is that it’s a lifestyle disease – meaning lifestyle factors such as diet, sleep, exercise, stress and toxins exposures are the driving factors.In this week’s video and blog I uncover the lifestyle factors leading to PCOS, and how you can prevent or reverse it by changing your lifestyle.

All of us have genetic predispositions to certain disease states.  Some of us reach disease states early in life, others later in life and others never at all.

So what is the deciding factor?  Your lifestyle.

The food you eat, your sleeping habits, the way you exercise, how you handle stress and the toxins you’re exposed to all have an effect on your genetic code and signaling.

Your body can handle unhealthy indulgences from time to time, crappy sleep occasionally, ebbs and flows in your exercise routine, a little toxin exposure here and there, and even the daily stress of life.

But when all of that becomes more routine, more consistent and chronic, eventually the compiling factors cause the circuits in the body to break in a sense-triggering genetic expression, metabolic dysfunction and disease states.

Symptoms are the last to show up when metabolic dysfunction is in place.

PCOS is a cluster of symptoms used to diagnose women once metabolic dysfunction has already been in place for a while.

The 4 biggest driving factors of PCOS are:

  1. A diet too high in sugar and/or carbohydrates
  2. Prolonged periods of mental/emotional stress
  3. Staying up late or getting broken sleep
  4. Consistent exposures to endocrine disrupting toxins

While these factors might seem unrelated, they all have something in common.  They directly impact insulin levels, cortisol and hormone balance, and ultimately fuel inflammation.

The good news is that the body is very resilient, and in most cases metabolic dysfunction is reversible given the right diet, lifestyle changes and tools.

When it comes to PCOS, I see so many women feeling doomed by their diagnosis, limited, and at a loss for getting back to feeling like themselves because no one is talking about how they can take back control of their health and body by making some basic lifestyle changes.

The 4 biggest lifestyle shifts a woman can make to prevent or possibly reverse PCOS are:

  • Eating a diet lower in sugar/carbs, and higher in healthy fats and proteins
  • Being asleep by 10pm and sleeping through the night the majority of the week
  • Establishing a daily ritual to release stress using deep breathing or meditation
  • Creating a low or toxin-free home and work environment

These 4 shifts will reduce inflammation, balance blood sugar and insulin levels, stabilize cortisol hormone rhythms, minimize external and internal impacts on estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, and ultimately lower the load on the body allowing normal metabolic function and hormonal balance to return.

Let’s start a conversation about how to prevent, or even reverse, disease states such as PCOS instead of settling for a diagnosis.

I help health-minded people just like you get their hands on the right lab tests and resources so you can prevent or reverse conditions such as PCOS and live your fullest life.

If you want to explore the possibilities of feeling like yourself again (or for the very first time!), then I want to invite you to schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery session with me today here!

 

#TBT – I rarely talk about this [Alcoholism and Autoimmunity]

Alcoholism and Autoimmunity Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Tomorrow marks the 2 year anniversary of losing my mom to alcoholism.

As I prepare for my road trip to celebrate her life with loved ones, I can’t help but reflect on how my mom’s addiction has shaped my life in so many ways, how it contributed to the health issues I’ve encountered over my lifetime, and how it has helped me heal and find gratitude for the life and health I have.

We often don’t talk about the struggles in our lives for fear of being shamed or of guilt; yet if we did talk about them more it would release us of the burden and elevate our health.

I chose this Throwback Thursday blog in hopes that it will help you find the courage to share your struggles too so you can overcome them, find gratitude for them, heal the habits that have formed as a result of them, and get back to feeling like yourself again (or for the very first time) like I have.

***

I rarely talk about this, but enough time and healing has happened for me to be ready to share this part of my story with you.  My growing gratitude for this experience with my mom has shed so much light on opportunities for me to not only create greater health and happiness for myself, but to also inspire others to do the same.

So here goes…

I’m not quite sure where my genetic predisposition to autoimmunity came from.  I suspect that both of my grandmothers had some kind of thyroid dysfunction, but they lived in an era when nobody was looking for or talking about autoimmunity.

In order to have an active autoimmune condition, three things must be in place:

  1. You have the gene for it – a genetic risk factor or pre-disposition
  2. You have a leaky gut – impaired digestion and immune system function
  3. You’ve come in contact with a trigger – various triggers include things such as gluten, environmental toxins, certain parasites, bacteria or yeast overgrowth in the gut, viruses such as mono/Epstein Barr or different Herpes strains and more

My mom didn’t have an autoimmune condition, at least not that I know of,  but the effects of her alcoholism certainly played a role in why I do.

Autoimmunity can be detected 10 years before a clinical diagnosis is ever given.

Antibodies are the markers for autoimmune activity in the body, and there are blood tests to detect antibody activity in the early stages.  Yet, doctor’s don’t preventatively look for autoimmunity. They only test for it once someone is visibly suffering from what looks to be an autoimmune condition, which usually means the person is at the point of a clinical diagnosis.

However, when autoimmunity is caught early on, reversing it is much easier.

I can look back now and practically pinpoint the time when my autoimmune process likely started occurring more than 20 years ago.

I was the girl who had it all together – straight A’s all throughout grade school, I hung out with the cool kids, went off to college, I excelled in every job I had, and quickly climbed the career ladder into high level management positions.

All the while, I was sacrificing my health for acceptance and success.

The effects of addiction on friends and family members are not something most people openly talk about.  Those who have been affected carry a lot of shame and guilt with them or a fear of being abandoned if people really knew their family situation.

I carried the burden of these feelings for a long time, and as a result I didn’t always make the right choices to support my health.

As I know now, and as the research of epigenetics shows us, our lifestyle choices directly alter the cells in our body to either create illness or to support health.

In the past, the ways in which I chose to cope with my mom’s drinking habits and the feelings related to it were very unhealthy:

  • I started drinking in high school to be “cool” and accepted by others
  • I found myself in a string of codependent and unhealthy relationships
  • I was a control freak about everything (this is a signature trait of a child raised by an alcoholic)
  • I engaged in full on screaming matches with my mom over her drinking that left me completely emotionally drained
  • I used work as a distraction and a means to validate my worth – my career success covered up my family dysfunction
  • I hustled all week working 12 hour days or 50 plus hours a week, and socially binged on the weekends, never leaving time for me

Over the years, my body was giving me clear signs on just how much my mom’s addiction and my reactions to it were impacting my health:

  • I had painful and irregular periods right from the start, and birth control was the bandaid I was given – a red flag for estrogen and progesterone imbalances
  • Waves of fatigue followed in high school and became more constant in college and thereafter – adrenal dysfunction was setting in and maybe a case of undiagnosed mono
  • I developed allergies out of nowhere and sensitivities to fragrances or chemicals in my early twenties – a huge clue for leaky gut!
  • I was diagnosed with skin cancer at the early age of 25 – a sign my cells were sick

However, according to my conventional doctor, on paper I was the picture of perfect health. Once I became a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, about 15 years into my mom’s alcoholism, I was able to get my hands on the right lab tests which showed just how dysfunctional my health had become due to the choices I had been making.

My test results showed:

  • Severe adrenal dysfunction
  • Poor liver and detoxification function
  • High levels of oxidative stress and DNA damage
  • A gut full of bacteria, parasites and yeast overgrowth and a weakened immune system

These were all early signs of an autoimmune process being in place.  Had I run a test to look at autoimmunity specifically at the time I’m almost certain I would have had elevated antibody markers too.

In this week’s video and blog, I share more about the link between alcoholism and autoimmunity and what I’ve done to overcome it.

“When we focus on others, our lives become unmanageable” – a teaching from the Twelve Steps of Adult Children workbook

In response to my mom’s addiction, I had become so focused on managing her and her condition that my own personal life was unmanageable in a sense.

Almost everything I did centered around a reaction or direct action related to her condition in order to keep the peace, assimilate a sense of control in otherwise chaotic circumstances or to cover up what I didn’t want people to know.

The desire to be the opposite of an alcoholic was my priority, not my health.

It wasn’t until my mom had a near death experience 6 years before she actually passed away that I decided my health needed to be my priority.  I realized I had sacrificed myself enough and life was certainly too short to keep going down that road.

Shortly after that realization is when I started to immerse myself in more functional and holistic health practices.  I reversed my adrenal dysfunction, started healing my gut, and supporting my detoxification system better.

I was doing all of the “right” things from a scientific perspective – eating a Paleo style diet, exercising, taking supplements and getting satisfying sleep. But some of my old behavior patterns around control, how I dealt with emotional situations and lack of self worth persisted.

Having your best health and feeling like yourself requires work in all areas of life.

By the time I started to work on my physical health by changing my diet, getting more rest, taking the right supplements and reducing stress, the autoimmune process was already in place and through the physiology of epigenetics my mindset kept feeding it.  You have to get your mind right to get your body right.

Part of untangling the autoimmune web for me has been addressing the effects that my mother’s addiction has had on how I handle life.  I have learned to:

  • Make choices from a conscious place to maintain my health as a priority
  • Own my story without guilt or shame, but rather with compassion and gratitude
  • To let go more and care less about the little things so I can focus on myself
  • Forgive my imperfections and use them as tools to walk away from what is not me and find what is me

These are just a few of the changes I’ve made in my life to create greater health and reverse my autoimmune condition over the years.

Molly Hamill and I did a great webinar earlier this year talking more in-depth about how to activate and upgrade your healing process from the physiological and energetic aspects.  You can check out the replay of the webinar here.

All of us have grown up in unique situations or experienced some kind of crisis in our lives. Alcohol addiction is only one example of this, but how we choose to deal with those situations can be the differentiating factor between having perfect or poor health.

In my 1:1 client coaching programs, I work with people to identify the physiological aspects contributing to poor health by running lab tests to look for underlying imbalances in the body, and by addressing old behavior patterns or beliefs that keep them from taking care of themselves like they want to be.

By doing this work on myself, I now have a better relationship with my mom and her situation than I ever did when she was alive. I am extremely grateful for what I have been exposed to, what I have learned and how I can share my experience to help others.

***

Using over a decade of personal training experience, training in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and Transformational Coaching, I create personalized health-rebuilding programs for clients that are realistic and sustainable for long-lasting results, and that empower you to be the boss of your own health.

Finding your ideal health and weight isn’t just about the food your eating, the exercise you’re doing, the supplements you’re taking, how you’re sleeping or the amount of stress you have – it’s also about who you are being as a person and how you are navigating life.  This is why I infuse transformational coaching tools into the work I do with clients, so you can learn to navigate life differently to support your health goals.

If you want to finally get to the bottom of what is keeping you from feeling like your best self and having your best health, then let’s see how I can help.  Schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session here.

 

Hair loss confessions and solutions

Hair Loss Confessions and Solutions Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Losing your hair is never fun; not for men or women.  I’ve had countless clients who have experienced hair loss due to thyroid disorders, autoimmune conditions, stress, nutrient deficiencies and more.

Your hair is part of your identity so it’s not an easy thing to lose.  It’s what makes you look like who you are. It’s part of how you identify with yourself in the mirror and even how others identify you – I mean it is a required feature on any type of official ID such as your driver’s license or passport.  It gives you confidence, makes you feel sexy, attractive and good about yourself. Even if bald is your thing, it still defines you.

So when my hair started falling out a few months ago, I was in denial.

My hair has been a treasured part of me since I can remember.  As a little girl I loved styling it my own way and I’ve never had the guts to cut it any shorter than my shoulders because I love my luscious locks.

But for some reason when my typical hair shedding increased, I shrugged it off and made excuses for it…

It was because the change in seasons
I went too many days without washing my hair
I wasn’t brushing it enough
I was working more and under more stress

You know, the usual things.

I just kept thinking, “if I just give it time it will stop.”

As the months went by and my hair continued to clog up the shower drain in larger quantities than I had ever seen before, I started to question what my body might actually be trying to tell me.

My hair wasn’t falling out by the handfuls, but something was certainly up.

Overall, I had been feeling really great health-wise. My energy was even and up.  I was sleeping soundly through the night and getting to bed at a reasonable hour. I was exercising regularly, taking active rest days and being mindful of not over-doing it.  And I had recently recommitted to a modified AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) Ketogenic style diet again to restore my body after a busy summer schedule.

However, I was working more than usual and likely under more stress than I would like to admit.

We recently found another source of mold (ugh, for the 3rd time) in our home which certainly could have been a contributing factor.

And as someone who had been previously diagnosed with Hashimotos, an autoimmune thyroid disorder, I was at risk for other autoimmune conditions such as Alopecia.

Whatever the reason was for my hair loss, I was determined to get to the bottom of it so I could get back to feeling like myself again with my luscious locks.

In this week’s video and blog, I confess more about my hair loss and share natural solutions to getting those luscious locks back.

The quality of your hair is a measurement of your health.

I put on my health detective hat and got to work.

The first order of business was to research possible causes for hair loss and which ones might pertain to me.

The most common causes of hair loss are:

  • When thyroid hormone T3 is low
  • Changes in estrogen and progesterone
  • Alopecia (an autoimmune condition) is activated
  • Vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies
  • An increase is mental, physical or emotional stress
  • Toxic exposures such as mold and heavy metals
  • Drastic changes to your diet
  • Improper scalp care and/or cleaning
  • Poor circulation

I could relate to just about every one of these risk factors, even Alopecia (although I had never been diagnosed with it) because once you have one autoimmune condition your risk for others increases.

So I started the process of elimination by checking my thyroid hormones to make sure all was running right and that my Hashimotos hadn’t flared back up.

To my delight my thyroid hormone and antibodies were practically picture perfect.  So I checked thyroid and an autoimmune flare-up as an issue off my list.

I exercise daily and didn’t have any other symptoms of poor circulation such as cold hands or feet, or muscle fatigue. And although life had been a little more work-ful and stressful, I still had a twice-daily meditation ritual in place and I didn’t feel an inability to handle stress, so I bumped circulation and stress as possible causes lower on my list of risk factors.

My mood was stable, cycle perfectly timed every 28 days and easy, I was sleeping soundly and acne wasn’t problem so estrogen and progesterone didn’t seem to be a culprit either.

That left me with:

  • Drastic changes to diet
  • Vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies
  • Toxic exposures such as mold and heavy metals
  • And improper scalp care and/or cleaning

I decided it was time to call in a hair specialist to help me research this further and I schedule a microscopic hair analysis appointment at my Naturopathic Doctor’s office (shout out to Nourish Medical Center for offering such a wonderful service!).

The analysis confirmed I certainly had a condition called Telogen Effluvium going on which can be triggered by a variety of things such as the drastic changes in diet, deficiencies, toxins and improper scalp care that I was suspicious of.

It’s tough to say exactly what the root cause for Telogen Effluvium is, and it could be a variety of things.

So based on my most likely factors here is what I’m doing to solve for hair loss:

  • Loosening up on my Ketogenic style diet to boost my food nutrient intake
  • Remediating the mold and thoroughly cleaning our home
  • Making sure I take collagen peptides daily to promote hair growth and strength
  • Consuming lots of gut healing foods and supplements for adequate nutrient absorption
  • Using a specially formulated hair care products to cleanse my scalp properly, promote circulation and strong hair regrowth

If you or someone you know has been struggling with hair loss, I recommend going through a similar process of investigation as I did.  Do your research, consider your risk factors, investigate possible causes through process of elimination and ultimately support your body naturally through diet, exercise, rest, stress reduction and toxin elimination to restore luscious locks.

If you’re interested in getting your hands on the right lab tests and resources to solve your hair loss struggles so you can get back to feeling like yourself again, schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me today here!

#TBT Fight Cold and Flu Season Naturally

Fight Colds and Flu Naturally Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

This past week I’ve talked to at least 5 people who have been out for the count recently because of a nasty cold or flu bug that has been going around.

Getting sick is no fun, so in true Throwback Thursday fashion I’m bringing back this blog to help you fight this season’s colds and flu naturally so you can feel your best to enjoy all the festivities that fall and winter bring!

***

Fall is officially here, meaning cold and flu season is swinging into full force, and seasonal allergies are reaching their peak for some people.

How do I know this?  Well, there are some obvious signs such as the leaves changing colors and falling from the trees, or the Halloween decorations that are painting every house and storefront these days.  And for anyone who still watches regular cable TV, commercials promoting flu shots, cold medicines and allergy relief are being broadcasted more frequently.

Years ago, I suffered from seasonal allergies and the occasional nasty sinus cold.  I would load up on symptom relievers, such as DayQuil, NyQuil, throat lozenges, Mucinex, and Tylenol or Advil for my painful earaches.

Now I take nothing.

No, really. I no longer have to take any over-the-counter symptom relievers because I don’t suffer from seasonal allergies anymore, and I haven’t had a cold or the flu in so long that I can’t even remember the last time I did (keep reading and I’ll tell you why).

I’m not superhuman or anything.  I still occasionally feel the shift of the seasons in my body – my energy is lower some days, I get a slight runny nose or tickle in my throat when Spring or Fall bring about new allergens in the air, and I even feel the onset of what might be a cold from time to time.

BUT my symptoms are tolerable and I can stop them naturally.

When we take over-the-counter (OTC’s) medications, we have a false sense of healing our body in some way. What we’re really doing is just masking the symptoms until our body is able to make a slow and full recovery.  This is why over the years allergies, colds and flus become more intense, frequent, and longer in duration.

When we mask symptoms with OTC’s, we’re ignoring our body’s call for help.

As annoying as a runny nose or postnasal drip can be, it’s your body’s way of saying, “Hey, something is really stressing me out right now or I’m under attack. I’m trying my best to fight it off, but I could really use your support and help.”

We’ve been taught to “push through it” when we get sick or feel under the weather.  We use OTC’s to numb the pain so we can still go to work and take care of all our responsibilities, except for ourselves.  But what is the price we pay in the long run for continually taking this action?

Nobody ever reads the warnings or the side-effects list on an OTC medication.  I mean, they’re over the counter so they must be safe, right?

Wrong.

OTC’s come with a laundry list of negative side-effects that can occur acutely or chronically over time. Here are just a few OTC’s side-effect highlights that we commonly overlook …

  • Acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) – liver damage
  • Ibuprofen (aka Advil or Motrin) – peptic ulcers and kidney damage
  • Decongestants – high blood pressure or blood pressure spikes
  • Antihistamines – damage to heart muscle and the central nervous system

Large or small, long or short, any usage of OTC’s impacts the body’s ability to function normally and disrupts its homeostasis (balance).  They do not boost our immunity, they block it.

OTC’s also are one of the number one contributors to leaky gut (aka intestinal permeability or dysbiosis), and guess what happens when you have a leaky gut?

A leaky gut increases your risk for allergies, colds and flus.

The gut is where 80% of your immune system lives, so if it’s dysfunctional guess what else is going to be dysfunctional?  Your immune system, and your ability to fight off allergies, colds or the flu.

When the intestinal lining is compromised you’ve lost your first line of defense internally. Foreign invaders such as allergens, bacteria and viruses are able to cross the gut barrier and get directly into the bloodstream.

In this week’s video and blog I talk more about boosting your immune system by using natural remedies for allergies, colds and the flu to keep your gut and health intact.

One of the first health improvements my clients usually notice very quickly in our work together is that they don’t get sick anymore, or when a cold starts to come about it doesn’t fully develop and they make a very quick recovery from it.

It’s not magic, it’s just allowing the immune system to do its job.

The very first thing I focus on with ALL of my clients is digestive support and repair for 3 very important reasons:

  1. To boost the immune system, which lives in the digestive tract
  2. To increase nutrient availability for the body
  3. To reduce inflammation and stress on the body

Healing your gut is the key to sustainable health success, but healing the gut is a process which requires consistency.  It can take months or even years to fully recover in some cases.

In order to heal the gut, you have to consistently:

Healing my gut is what has made my seasonal allergies virtually non-existent and has given me the superhuman powers to fight off a cold or the flu before it even really gets started.

However, my immune system obviously wasn’t always able to do this.  I suffered for years before I started to take action on healing my gut, and when I did the results weren’t immediate. It took time.  In the in-between time of healing, I still had to find ways to lessen the pain and suffering without using OTC’s that would just set me back gut health-wise.

I began to slowly transition away from gut damaging OTC’s and introduced more natural therapies to boost my immune system and my body’s own defense system.

Some of my favorite natural remedies for allergies, colds and the flu include:

  • Taking a supplement with quercetin and/or nettles leaf for allergies – this is something I do automatically when the seasons change to boost immunity
  • Combo of peppermint essential oil (diffused or topically) and arnica (ingested or topically) for tension headaches, migraines or aches/pains
  • Vitamin C, D and Zinc to fight off viruses and the flu – taken preventatively or acutely
  • Oil of oregano and/or garlic as a supplement for anti-microbial properties to kill off bacteria and prevent colds or sinus infections
  • Ginger or peppermint tea and bone broth for upset stomachs

For even more ideas on natural remedies to relieve your symptoms and support your immune system in defending you naturally, check out these other resources:

We forget that OTC’s haven’t always been around yet our ancestors found natural ways to ease pain, suffering and symptoms.  Natural remedies are still relevant and still work in our modern day world. We just have to seek them out.

Aside from using natural remedies and healing your gut, there are a few other really important things when it comes to having the strength and stamina to fight allergies, colds and the flu naturally – making sure to eat nutrient dense foods, getting good quality sleep, exercising, drinking plenty of water and taking time to de-stress on a daily basis through meditation or some other type of modality.

Bottomline is, you don’t have to suffer or mask your symptoms with superficial remedies.  You can become your own health boss and thrive in this world any season of the year!

***

If you want to heal your gut to avoid allergies, colds and the flu altogether the same way my clients and I have, then schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session today here.

Tummy Talk

Tummy-Talk Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

In the United States alone, it is estimated that 60% of the population (or more) is dealing with at least one symptom of digestive dysfunction — gas, bloating, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, candida, and the list goes on.

Living with digestive problems has become the new “normal.”

But digestive issues aren’t normal, they’ve just become common.

Don’t believe me?  Just count how many TV commercials, in one hour, address at least one type of digestive issue.

Typically, digestive issues begin as minor complaints — a little indigestion here and there, the occasional tummy ache or bout of heartburn — and sooner or later, what was once a minor annoyance becomes something that can literally take over your life. This usually happens for two reasons — embarrassment or lack of knowledge.

Aside from my functional medicine and closest friends, most people find it embarrassing to talk about their bathroom habits or digestive dilemmas but frequently find themselves sprinting to the nearest bathroom, feeling weighed down by a rock in their stomach or popping antacids like candy.

And others just don’t know any better.  Either digestive issues run in their family and they’ve accepted that they are doomed to have them too, or they don’t see the connection with a symptom that is far removed from the source such as acne, anxiety, depression or eczema.

In any case, they’ve simply settled for what they’re dealing with on a daily basis.

Digestive issues should not be ignored, it’s your tummy talking to you.

The digestive system plays a vital role in making sure the body receives the nutrients it needs, in supporting the immune system, and in protecting us from bad guys such as toxins.

If your digestive tract isn’t up to speed, then you’re pretty much guaranteed to run into bigger health issues down the road…or maybe you already have?

Think about it.

If you’re not digesting properly, then you’re not getting enough protein to feed your muscles, vitamins to keep your energy or mood balanced, and toxins aren’t being eliminated making for a toxic internal environment.

In this week’s video and blog I’ll help you decipher what your tummy is talking about, explain why you should be listening and how to respond.

Do you experience any of the following?

  • Less than 1-2 bowel movements per day
  • Adult acne, eczema, psoriasis, skin rashes or breakouts
  • Anxiety, depression, mood swings or a nervous stomach
  • Fatigue, cloudy thinking, trouble losing or maintaining weight
  • Seasonal allergies, frequent common colds or sinus infections
  • Loose stool or an unexpected urgent need to use the bathroom

If you answered yes to any of these then your tummy is trying to talk to you, and you could be suffering from digestive dysfunction.

And chances are, your doctor is unaware of the growing number of research studies demonstrating these alarming findings related to your digestive health:

– The toxicity of persistent constipation may cause common, everyday symptoms like fatigue, attention deficit, and brain fog.

– Autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis are almost always rooted in digestive dysfunction.

– Inflammation from gut dysfunction can spread throughout the body, causing inflammation in the brain, joints, sinuses, other important organs and deplete mood balancing hormones known as neurotransmitters.

Digestive dysfunction can cause a cascade of stress throughout the body.

Most doctors are either unaware of this information, lack the training to link digestive dysfunction to other health issues or don’t have enough time to get to the bottom of it. Meanwhile, people like you are paying the price in unnecessary suffering, over the counter digestive aids and medical bills.

As Dr. Nasha Winters (ND), author of The Metabolic Approach to Cancer, says “you are what you don’t poop.”

The good news is…

Digestive dysfunction can be resolved through proper nutrition, rest, exercise, stress reduction and supplementation.  As a functional health coach, this is the foundation of the work I do with all of my clients because it relates to just about every single health issue.

I’ve seen clients go from one bowel movement a few times a week, to twice a day in as little as a week after making simple changes to their diet, lifestyle and taking supplements to support their digestive health.

And as a result, they feel lighter, more energized, clear minded, happy, free and at home in their body!

It’s time to listen to your tummy talk, and to stop settling for a life less lived.

If you want to get your hands on the right lab tests and resources to understand what your tummy is talking about, to test and not guess, simply schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me today here!

4 Reasons Why Dieting is Detrimental

4 Reasons Dieting is Detrimental Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

What do you think of when you hear the word “diet?”

Limited, restricted and deprived
Hungry, irritable and unsatisfied
Low energy, tired and weight loss
Short-term and rebound weight gain

Hate is a strong word, so I’ll say that I loathe the word “diet,” not for what it literally means, but because of all the negative thoughts and feelings that come along with it.

The original, simple, and my favorite definition of diet is…”the kinds of food that a person, animal or community habitually eats.”  For example, “I eat a Paleo diet.”

But the word “diet” is more widely known, referred to and defined as…”a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.” For example: “I’m going on a diet.”

The ways in which you relate to the word “diet” can be detrimental to your health.

Most “diet” programs fail because they focus on what NOT to eat, which can make you feel deprived and unsatisfied, leading you to eventually give in to temptations due to the lack of pleasure.  With this approach you typically lose some weight, but immediately rebound and put it right back on after you stop “dieting” or when you give in to temptations.  

Dieting can become an endless and vicious cycle – making it harder to lose weight, or keep it off each time you dive into a diet, until eventually it just doesn’t work for you anymore.

I was a serial calorie-cutter and dieter for a long time.  Back in the day, I restricted myself to 1500 calories a day (or less) and turned up my exercise intensity during the week so I could have my “cheat” meals on the weekend.  I even trained for fitness shows which required ridiculous and meticulous diets regiments, but the weight loss and results were never long-term.

Over time it got harder and harder to maintain my weight, even with calorie restriction.

Most of my clients have had a similar experience, trying diet after diet with little to no success or only getting short-term results.  They’ve counted endless calories, dabbled in the Whole30, Atkins, Paleo, Keto, you name it.

Aside from the well known yo-yo dieting struggles and side effects, there’s a lot more going on under the hood when you’re dieting that can be detrimental to your long term health.

In this week’s video and blog, I share with you 4 reasons why dieting is detrimental to your long-term health and weight, and how to find the right diet for you.

No one ever really talks about the long-term results or side effects of dieting.  All you ever see in diet product marketing campaigns and in the media are sexy slogans such as “lose 7 pounds in 7 days.”

What happens after 7 days?

Or a better question might be, “what is really happening to your body during those 7 days?”

Let’s explore 4 things that are happening to your body when dieting, which could be detrimental to your long-term health and weight.

#1 – Increased Cortisol Output
Drastic or abrupt changes in your diet, such as calorie restriction, can really stress the body out.  Cortisol is the hormone released when we encounter any type of physical, emotional or environmental stress.  An increase in cortisol output is directly related to fat accumulation around the midsection (that “spare tire” effect), and it can block progesterone leading to estrogen dominance and weight gain.  Prolonged increases in cortisol output can lead to adrenal dysfunction resulting in chronic fatigue, thyroid imbalances, depression, anxiety, poor sleep and a slew of other health issues.

#2- Reduced Thyroid Function
A study published by the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism showed a 50% reduction of thyroid hormone T4 and 25% reduction of thyroid hormone T3 into cells with overweight individuals who were dieting, resulting Intracellular Hypothyroidism.  The thyroid rules our metabolism and ability to lose weight. The findings of this study show just out counterproductive and detrimental “dieting” can be to long-term health and weight. Not only can dieting reduce thyroid function while you’re on a diet, but its negative impact on thyroid function can take weeks, months or even years to reverse, especially if you’ve been yo-yo dieter.  I often wonder how much of a role my previous dieting played in my Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s diagnosis.

#3- Lowered Testosterone
Testosterone plays a vital role in building and maintaining muscle mass, and therefore weight maintenance.  The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate is and the easier it is to keep the fat off.  Some studies have shown how long-term calorie restriction has lowered testosterone in men, even when adequate nutrition is in place.  This puts women at even more of a disadvantage when dieting considering the already lower levels of testosterone levels (in comparison to men) making muscle building or maintenance, and therefore fat loss, more of a challenge.

#4 – Psycho-Social Impacts
What’s the first thing you fear before going on a diet?  FOMO! Fear of missing out! You think about all the happy hour invites you’ll have to dodge, the social gatherings you’ll miss and the dates nights you’ll postpone until after your diet.  But you probably don’t know just how important those social engagements are to your health. Laughing, hugging, physical touch and socializing releases a hormone called Oxytocin. This “love”, or “cuddle”, hormone is also a powerful anti-stress hormone that lowers cortisol, blood pressure, and the fear response.  It also increases feelings of trust, empathy and positive thinking, which prevent anxiety and depression.

Dieting might seem like a good idea in the moment when you just need to lose 5 or 10 pounds, but stop and think about how hard it will be later to lose the weight or the what health issues you might run into in the future as a side effect.

It’s time to shift your focus onto what diet is right for you- one that you can habitually eat, it’s realistic, sustainable and produces long-term results.

First, find the foods that give you the most energy. Those are the ones to focus on.  You can do this by tapping into your body’s own intelligence to understand which foods are right for you.

How do you know when a food is right for you body?

When you eat foods that are right for your body, you will feel more motivated, uplifted, positive and able to make supportive choices for yourself which are in alignment with your health goals rather than destructive ones.  Your energy will be even and you should be able to go 3-5 hours without feeling hungry or needing to snack.

When you tap into this natural intuition around food that your body holds, it makes it much easier to naturally choose foods that lift you up and support your ideal health, and weight.

Keep in mind, 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.

So don’t be fooled because a food appears apparently healthy or because you’ve heard or read somewhere that it is.  Tune into your body and find the truth.

If you want to get your hands on the right lab tests and resources to understand what food is right for your body, to test and not guess, simply schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me today here!

Food isn’t the boss of me anymore…

Food isn't the boss Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Food isn’t the boss of me anymore!

Food used to basically rule my life in so many ways, but it doesn’t anymore and I want to fill you in on my secret as to why, so you can find your food freedom too.

First, let me rewind for a minute and tell you where this all started…

In 2001 I went off to college, pursuing a career in Sport Psychology.  About halfway through my undergraduate I decided the Athletic Trainer to Sport Psychology route wasn’t for me, so I changed my major to an emphasis in fitness, nutrition and I landed my first job as a personal trainer right after graduating.

All throughout college, everything I learned about health centered around diet and exercise.  And even to this day the old paradigm of calories in versus calories out is still considered the equation for weight loss and good health.

I was also taught how eating small meals every two hours fueled the body and fat loss, and how many servings of each food group should be consumed based upon government recommended guidelines (aka the food guide pyramid now known as My Plate).

So as a personal trainer straight out of college, of course I thought I knew all there was to know about diet, exercise, weight loss and health, and I followed what I had been taught.

And all of a sudden food became the boss of me.

I planned my personal training client schedule around having to eat every two hours, not just because I thought it was what I was supposed to be doing but also because I found myself hungry every two hours.  If I didn’t eat on time I would become hangry.

As a result, my whole life started to revolve around food preparation.  I spent hours going to the grocery store, cooking meals for the week, and portioning out my meals and snacks for the week on Sundays.  I basically would devote almost half the weekend to food prep.

It was exhausting, monotonous and time consuming, to say the least.

Fast forward to about 7 years after college.  I was still personal training but had moved into a career in the corporate wellness field. Food was still the boss of me and I started to develop some health issues such as fatigue, headaches and worsening allergies which lead me to do some research about holistic (aka functional) health practices.

I became a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and started to learn more about what was going on with my body.

I discovered that my tenacious hunger every two hours was partially because I had:

  • Adrenal/cortisol hormone dysfunction
  • Blood sugar imbalances
  • Various nutrient deficiencies
  • And bacteria and yeast overgrowth in my gut, causing cravings and inflammation

But my hunger was mostly due to the fact that I wasn’t eating the right foods for my body, which in turn contributed to not only being hungry all the time, but also all of the health issues I was experiencing.

In this week’s video and blog, I share a recent Facebook Live video I did with more info about how food was the boss of me, why it’s not anymore and what you can do to find your food freedom, too!

A Metabolic Typing test was one of the initial tests that put me on the path to figuring out what foods were right for my body (and it’s one that I have all of my clients do, too).  This test showed me what types of food and what combinations of foods would support my body best.

Prior to the test, boneless skinless chicken breast was a staple in my diet, but as it turned out that’s not an ideal protein source for me.  I do better with dark meat such as chicken thighs. I was also eating fruit and foods higher carbs quite frequently, but the test revealed that my body would perform better on a higher protein/fat and lower carb diet.

This bit of knowledge was life changing and I immediately felt more satisfied and energized from eating the right foods for my body.  

Upon changing my diet, I started to regain control. I could go 3-5 hours, or more, without feeling hungry and as a result I gained back time in my life by not having to food prep so much!  All was well in my world with food.

Fast forward again to about 2 years ago.

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (an autoimmune thyroid disorder) in the fall of 2016, and food resumed its role as the boss for a little while, but for a whole different reason.  

Various food sensitivity tests showed certain foods were fueling the inflammatory fire in my body and aggravating the autoimmune response.

This time I made a choice and let food resume it’s boss role because I wanted to heal Hashimoto’s naturally, which meant abiding by a more restrictive diet for a while.

I still ate according to my Metabolic Type (high protein/fat and low carb) to keep my blood sugar and energy balanced, but I also cut out a number of inflammatory foods to give my body the break and space it needed to heal.

For over 6 months, I strictly practiced a modified Autoimmune Paleo diet (AIP) and food ruled my life once more – I had to plan ahead, learn a new way of cooking and eating, and I had to be more conscious about my food choices.  It felt like I was thinking about food all the time again.

Eventually eating a modified AIP diet became a no brainer once I got pass the learning curve. It was just something I did.  I didn’t have to think much about it and my health was being restored as a result.

Once my Hashimoto’s was in remission and my hormones were back in balance, I set out to find true food freedom once again, and this time in a whole new way.

Over the last 4 months I’ve been playing with a modified keto-style diet, one higher in fat with moderate protein and lower in carbs, and it has been so freeing!

A word of caution here before I move on.

A keto-style diet is NOT for everyone.  If you have underlying hormone imbalances, sleep disturbances or other health issues, going keto could make it worse. So make sure to run some functional lab test such as a cortisol, melatonin and complete sex hormone profile for insights about your circadian rhythm, thyroid and overall hormone balance before drastically changing your eating habits.

Before going keto, I made sure my hormones, energy and sleep were in check.

Eating a higher fat and lower carb diet has unleashed a food freedom that I’ve never experienced before.  Food doesn’t even matter to me really anymore. I don’t think about it all the time as I used to.

Although I had found a level of freedom with food before, it still would take over my mind at times.  I always would wonder about what my next meal would be. I would pack snacks when I traveled for fear of going hungry or not having options.

Now that my body is fat adapted (meaning it burns fat as its primary fuel source instead of being reliant on carbs and protein) as a result of eating a keto-style diet, I always have the energy I need.  I can go for longer periods of time without eating or feeling hungry, making food less of a priority.

I’m also more confident about finding foods to fit my needs in almost any situation by simply focusing on high fat choices – a meal can be as simple as eating an avocado or a fatty cut of steak (no sides needed that might be full of inflammatory effects or carbs that cause crashes in my blood sugar and energy).

This might sound boring to you, but I’m a foodie at heart so trust me, it’s not.  I’ve eaten some of the most glorious meals recently.

My path to food freedom may not be the same for you.  You are unique and, therefore, your food needs will be, too.  But I can tell you that there is a difference between eating healthy and eating right for your body.  Eating right for your body will include healthy foods but not every healthy food is right for your body.

Case in point, white meat chicken is healthy but it wasn’t right for my body.

Moral of the story is… don’t let food be the boss of you and test don’t guess.

With a little investigation, you too can figure out what foods are right for your body so it can function at its potential – freeing you from hunger and the obsession so you can live your life to the fullest!

If you want to get your hands on the right lab tests and resources to find your food freedom, simply schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me today here!

#TBT My One Big Message

My One Big Message Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

It’s time for another Throwback Thursday blog!  

But before you jump into the blog, I wanted to remind you about my Tackle the Toxins Challenge!

The challenge is going on now through September 30th, to encourage you to swap out some of your potentially toxic personal care products for non-toxic health-friendly ones to promote hormone balance, a healthy gut and liver, and to prevent future diseases such as cancer.

Here’s how the challenge works…

For each non-toxic BeautyCounter product you purchase (to replace something toxic that you’re using) through September 30th, you will receive one entry into a raffle to win a DUTCH Complete Hormone Test, plus a 90-minute results review and recommendation session with me ($750+ value).

Buy one product = 1 raffle entry
Buy three products = 3 raffle entries
Buy five products = 5 raffle entries!

To participate and for a chance to win, purchase your non-toxic BeautyCounter products here by September 30th.

The challenge is directly related to what I talk about in this week’s #TBT blog 🙂

Ok now onto the most important thing I want you to know in order to achieve or support your ideal health and weight…

***

You hear me cover a lot of different types of topics in my weekly emails and blog – everything from the latest science about hormone testing and diet, to sleep, exercise, meditation and spirituality.

It may not always seem as if these topics have anything in common, but they do.  They are all addressing different types of stress that we encounter throughout our day and how to combat it.

Stress isn’t just the mental or emotional stress that we initially think of in relation to work, relationships or traumatic events.  Stress is much more than that.

Stress is anything that places a burden on the body.

Whether it’s inflammatory foods such as gluten, not getting adequate rest or sleep, under exercising or over exercising when your body is already fatigued, toxins in your environment, or physical ailments from misalignments in bones and muscles – it all equates to stress on the body.

When I went through my Functional Diagnostic Nutrition training program we were taught to identify H.I.D.D.E.N. stressors, or malfunctions in the…

  • Hormone
  • Immune
  • Digestion
  • Detoxification
  • Energy Production
  • Nervous System

Looking at these different systems of the body and recognizing malfunction helps me to also identify healing opportunities.

But in order to help someone heal and restore health to these systems of the body, I have to know what is causing the malfunction in the first place – stress.

To alleviate stress, I guide my clients in “coaching down contributors to stress, and coaching up function of the body” as my mentor Reed Davis says.

In all of the blogging and work that I do, my one big message for you is…

“I want you to be able to recognize the burden of stress on your body at any point in time and to know what to do about it in order to achieve your ideal health.”

Having a better understanding of what is contributing to a stress burden on your body leading to dysfunction, and taking action to minimize the stress is the secret to optimal health that we are all looking for.

In this week’s video and blog, I talk more about the different types of stressors, how to coach down the contributors and coach up function.

Our bodies are a miracle in and of themselves if you think about all that they do for us on a daily basis with little to no effort on our part: pumping blood and oxygen, breaking down and rebuilding cells, breathing, and giving us the ability to be mobile.

What we don’t realize is that those daily functions require a lot of work and energy from our body already, so we tend to pile on additionals tasks, toxins and responsibilities that force our body to work harder.  

Our body will essentially do anything we ask it to, but that doesn’t mean we should.

It’s rare that your body will tell you ‘no.’  It will climb to the peak of mountain tops, work through the night to meet a deadline for us and eat almost anything we feed it.  But that doesn’t mean we should ask it do those things, especially if it’s already burdened with H.I.D.D.E.N. stressors that we can’t see or aren’t aware of.

Know that stress can be…

  • The inflammatory or pesticide laden foods in our diet
  • Eating foods that are not in alignment with our nutritional needs
  • Staying up late at night consistently or not getting enough sleep
  • Exercising at a high intensity or for long durations when the body is tired
  • Perceived mental or emotional stress from work, relationships and traumatic events
  • Lack of nutrients in the body for functions to actually take place
  • Toxins in our environment which burden the liver, alter cells and disrupt hormones
  • And there are many more

For the longest time, exercise was actually one of my biggest stressors.  As a naturally active individual with a personal training background, exercising was not only a passion but something I was intrinsically driven to do.  I was constantly pushing my body to do more, get stronger or go longer.

A huge turning point leading to my remission with Hashimoto’s (an autoimmune thyroid disorder) was turning down the volume on my workout routine a lot, to relieve an unnecessary stress I was placing on my body and allow it to heal.  As soon as I cut back on lifting weights and running, and focused more on walking and yoga, my body started to heal more rapidly.

I look back now and I can see many points in my life where I pushed way too hard when it came to exercise.  I vividly remember running my first marathon and at mile 22 my body simply refused to keep running, but I kept pushing- an obvious moment in time when the burden of stress on my body was high and likely contributed to dysfunction that I probably never fully recovered from.  Now I know better and I would never put my body in that position again.

If I go to bed late, get a crappy night of sleep, cheat on my diet, am traveling or doing anything else that might create extra stress on my body, I’m very mindful about striking a balance by doing things such as skipping my usual workout for something that is more restorative, going to bed early the next day and taking a full weekend to eat healthy and rest.

Using functional lab testing, I’m able to help clients see where dysfunction exists in the hormone, immune, digestive, detoxification, energy production and nervous system BUT the bigger question is what do you do about it.

The secret to restoring balance and health is working towards eliminating the things that are causing stress on the body and giving it the support it needs to function at a higher level.

Just fixing your diet won’t do it. It’s one aspect of healing but not the catch-all solution most hope it would be.

Coaching up function in the body and achieving optimal health requires a multifaceted approach, one that involves:

  • Diet
  • Rest
  • Exercise
  • Stress Reduction (of all kinds)
  • And Supplementation to support and restore bodily functions while you eliminate the stressors

I have found in my many years of doing this work that the mindset and spirituality components are just as critical as any of the physiological and science aspects.  One will only be able reach a limited level of optimal health without incorporating both and addressing all the burdens of potential stress.

Rebuilding the relationship with your body, taking responsibility and treating it with respect will help you forge forward in optimizing your health.  If you don’t change your mindset and the relationship with your body, you’ll continue to beat it down and run into a wall with your health.

So I’ll leave you with this… think about how much stress is on your body at this moment in time as you are reading this blog…

Are there toxins in your environment that you can’t see, hear or feel?
Did you get a crappy night’s sleep?
What was the last thing you ate and was it nutritious or not?
Did your force yourself to work out today or push too hard?
Are you stressed at work or in your relationships?
What else might be contributing to a burden of stress in your life?

Remember to weigh your stress burden regularly and then you can quickly take action to reduce it before it reduces your health.

***

The average adult uses 9 or more personal care products each day, exposing themselves to over 126 unique chemical ingredients – that’s a huge burden of daily stress on the body!

Reduce your body’s daily burden by swapping out your toxic personal care products and participating in my Tackle the Toxins Challenge!

To participate and for a chance to win, purchase your non-toxic BeautyCounter products here by September 30th.

P.S. To access the Activate And Upgrade Your Autoimmune Healing webinar replay that I mention in the video go here

Regardless of whether you have an autoimmune issue or not, this webinar replay can help you to up-level your health. In the webinar, Molly Hamill and I will shared best practices that we use on ourselves and with our clients to identify stress on the body, how to take responsibility for it, and how to take action to promote healing.

Tackle The Toxins Challenge!

Tackle the Toxins Challenge Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Did you know that average adult uses 9 or more personal care products each day, exposing themselves to over 126 unique chemical ingredients?

Have you ever checked your personal care products to see how many chemicals you might be exposing yourself to on a daily basis?

Even small doses of chemical exposures can cause symptoms such as headaches, brain fog, light sensitivity, hormone imbalances and fatigue.

Many of the chemicals found in personal care products have been classified as carcinogens, meaning they cause cancer, or as endocrine disruptors, meaning they disrupt hormones and can lead to infertility issues (in both men and women), painful or irregular periods, more intense PMS symptoms, acne, headaches, night sweats, low energy, insomnia, hyper or hypothyroidism, autoimmunity and much more.

I know it can be tough to give up your old reliable personal care products.  Once upon a time I decided to break up with my M.A.C. cosmetics, Aveda hair care and big brand labels, too, in order to support my health on a greater level.

It took time to find the right replacements and alternative brands that I could trust.  Now, I have a completely non-toxic line of beauty, skin and hair products that I love.

This is why I’m challenging you to “Tackle the Toxins” in your personal care products and incentivizing you to do it!

By transitioning your personal care products to non-toxic brands and minimizing the toxic load on your body, you can start to reverse any existing health issues and promote preventing them in the future.

Here’s how the challenge works…

For each non-toxic BeautyCounter product you purchase (to replace something toxic that you’re using) through September 30th, you will receive one entry into a raffle to win a DUTCH Complete Hormone Test, plus a 90-minute results review and recommendation session with me ($750+ value).

Buy one product = 1 raffle entry
Buy three products = 3 raffle entries
Buy five products = 5 raffle entries!

It’s that simple!

I selected BeautyCounter’s products as part of this Tackle the Toxins Challenge for a number of reasons…

  1. Out of all the non-toxic brands I’ve tried, I love the quality and consistency of BeautyCounter’s the most.
  2. From an ethical standpoint, they are a brand I can get behind; they advocate for stricter product guidelines, give back to the community and are a certified B-Corp.
  3. Their ingredient list is the strictest one in the industry and they are fully transparent about it.
  4. They require certificates of purity from their partners and require them to use non-GMO and non-toxic materials.
  5. Every product is tested every 3 months at a minimum and every single batch of color cosmetics is tested for hidden heavy metals

Some of my personal favorite BeautyCounter products include:

  • No. 1 Brightening Facial (and the balancing one)
  • Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation Linen
  • All eye shadows and powder blushes
  • Touch Up Skin Concealer Pen
  • Nourishing Cream Cleanser
  • Rejuvenating Face Cleanser
  • Nourishing Day Cream
  • Charcoal Face Mask
  • Eye Liner Pencil
  • And Bronzer

They have a ton of great kid’s and men’s products too!

Now, you might be wondering, what is so great about the DUTCH Complete Hormone Test giveaway?

The DUTCH test is one of the most comprehensive sex hormone and adrenal test on the market for understanding what is happening in the body as it relates to hormone balance.

This test has all of the critical markers to truly evaluate your adrenal function and hormone balance including:

  • DHEA-S, Daily Free Cortisol and Cortisone Patterns
  • Testosterone, DHT, DHEA (PLUS their androgens and metabolites)
  • Estrogen and Progesterone (PLUS their metabolites and pathways)
  • Melatonin, Serotonin, Dopamine, Norepi/Epinephrine and Oxidative Stress
  • And nutritional elements related to hormones such as Glutathione, B12 and B6

Along with the test, you’ll also get to meet with me via phone or video call for an in-depth 90-minute results review session to go over your results and my personalized recommendations for you in regards to diet, sleep, exercise, stress reduction and supplements to improve or maintain your cortisol and hormone health!

All you have to do to win is Tackle the Toxins in your personal care products!

The more non-toxic BeautyCounter products you purchase to replace your old and toxic ones, the greater your chances of winning!

To participate in the challenge and for a chance to win, purchase your non-toxic BeautyCounter products here by September 30th.

To learn more about the toxins that might be lurking your personal care products, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database

And this exclusive webinar I recently did for my clients about Clean Personal Care Products.  Access the webinar here.

Let me know if you have questions about what toxins might be lurking in your products and which alternative non-toxic ones you might want to try!

Glyphosate found guilty…

Glyphosate Found Guilty Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Glyphosate was recently found guilty by a California jury for causing cancer in a school groundskeeper, who was repeatedly exposed to it in his line of work.

Glyphosate is the primary ingredient found in a pesticide known as Roundup, made by Monsanto, and it’s the most heavily used pesticide in the U.S.

The good news is…

This verdict was a big win in relation to raising awareness around how pesticides, herbicides and other toxic chemicals deemed to be “safe” are actually harmful to our health.

The bad news is…

Every year more than 250 millions pounds of Roundup are used on conventionally grown U.S. crops and in other places around the world. As a result, Glyphosate has been found in all levels of the food chain including water, plants, animals and even in humans.

It has even been found in some organic foods due to water run off and cross contamination.

As a chemical, Glyphosate has been classified as a carcinogen, meaning it causes cancer, and as an endocrine disruptor, meaning is disrupts the glands that produce hormones, that convert hormones and keep them in balance.

Glyphosate was introduced back in the 1970’s and it’s just one of over 120,000+ chemicals that have been introduced in our environment since World War II, most of which haven’t been studied long enough to even know what the long-term impacts are on our health.

In this modern day world, our bodies are facing the largest toxic burden ever known to humankind. Before now, there has never been a time in human existence when so many chemicals existed.

As chemical production and use has increased over the years, we have also seen a steady rise in chemical related health disorders such as:

Cancer
Infertility
Hormone imbalances
Autoimmune conditions
Seasonal allergies, colds and flus
Brain fog and dementia-like conditions
Irritable Bowel Syndrome and general digestive upset

Everywhere you turn, toxins and chemicals are lurking. In your water, food, air, furniture, personal care and cleaning products.

But we can’t live in a bubble, so what can we do to support our body during these burdensome times?

In this week’s video, I break down exactly what the toxins are doing to your body and how you can offset your exposure to them.

Let’s first explore exactly what toxic chemicals can do to your body using Glyphosate as an example…

It can immobilize certain nutrients and alter the nutritional makeup of the treated crop, meaning you won’t really get any vitamins, minerals or other nutrients from food exposed to Glyphosate.

It decreases the availability of essential amino acids (aka protein building blocks) needed to maintain muscle mass and rebuild cells that the body can only get from food sources.

It contributes to imbalances with good and bad gut bacteria leading to leaky gut, various food allergies or sensitivities.

It increases inflammation, which overloads the immune system rendering it too weak to fight off the common allergies, cold and flu viruses.

It shuts down detoxifying enzymes in the body, and therefore enhances the damaging impacts of other food-borne chemical residues or environmental toxins, and burdens the liver.

It promotes the creation of ammonia in the body which can lead to brain inflammation which has been associated with autism, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS and other cognitive impairments.

And some studies have also shown how Glyphosate disrupts progesterone production, negatively impacts female egg availability and development, alters estrogen levels promoting breast cancer, and disturbs overall steroid hormone balance.

Ugh. It seems overwhelmingly bad, I know, but there is hope. There is a lot you can do to reduce the impacts that Glyphosate and other chemicals have on your body.

To reduce exposure and the damaging effects of Glyphosate (and other pesticides or herbicides) you can:
Eat organic and non-GMO foods as much as possible
Drink and cook with only filtered water
Take a daily liver support supplement
Avoid food crops most commonly contaminated with glyphosate (even if organic) such as corn, soybean, wheat, barley, rye and beans

Even small exposures to toxins and chemicals have a large impact on your overall health and can contribute to weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, digestive upset, autoimmune issues, hormone imbalances and much more.

Taking action to reduce toxic exposures as much as possible will result in long-lasting positive effects on your health and wellbeing.

If you’ve been eating healthy, exercising and “doing all of the right things” will little to no weight loss or health improvements, then toxins such as Glyphosate might be tripping you up, causing hormone imbalances, leaky gut and overwhelming the immune system, keeping you from getting results.

To help more people like you get to the bottom of underlying toxic burdens in your body so you can get back to feeling like yourself again, I’ve opened up my schedule to help 5 new clients!

To snag a spot, simply schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me today here!

And if you have a friend or family member in your life who wants to solve their health problems once and for all, share info to help them finally get back to feeling like themselves again (or for the very first time!).