I’m curious…what do you remember about your middle or high school health class?
I vaguely remember learning the basics about nutrition (aka. the misleading food guide pyramid known as the plate now), anatomy and sex.
Isn’t it funny that our health is something we have to take care of and manage our whole lives yet most of us only had one measly semester long class to prepare us for this?
I want to change this, for all the women (and even men) who have gone before us and for the ones who come after us.
I certainly didn’t learn what I really needed to know in order to manage my health let alone my hormones or my menstrual cycle. And as a result of being ill-informed, I quickly found myself taking birth control to regulate painful and irregular periods which turned into a 17 year marathon of wrecking the delicate balance of my body.
A recent survey of 2,000 women (age 30 to 60) found that nearly half of them have experienced one or more symptoms of hormone imbalances, and 72% only later understood the causes of their hormone issues.
Some of the most common symptoms they experienced included:
- Low energy
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Sleep disturbances
- Urinary incontinence
- Memory loss and brain fog
- Anxiety, depression and lost of interest in daily activities
I can only imagine how much money, time and angst those 72% spent trying to find a fix for their health issues, not even realizing it was all related to their hormones because they don’t fully understand how their body works.
How many of those symptoms can you relate to?
In my functional health coaching practice, I’ve worked with too many young women struggling with the same issues I had; some fearful or frustrated about not being able to get pregnant. Then there are the numerous pre- and post-menopausal women I’ve worked with who are trying to untangle their hormone issues so they can gracefully get through menopause or restore the life they had once before their hormones got out of whack.
All with one thing usually in common… a prescription for birth control or hormone replacement therapy without a conversation about the side-effects, potential risk factors or lifestyle changes they could make to build health and balance their hormones.
Did your doctor ever tell you that taking birth control could increase your risk for an autoimmune condition, let alone a slew of other hormonal, liver and health issues? Mine sure didn’t; not the one who prescribed it to me or the various primary care doctors I saw for annual physicals over the next 17 years.
As Dr. Jolene Brighten shares in her book Beyond the Pill, “there is a 300 percent increased risk of developing Crohn’s disease if you take the pill” but not many people are talking about the health issues related to hormone treatments, or how to balance your hormones naturally.
My friend and functional medicine-minded OBGYN Shawn Tassone put the overuse of birth control into such clear perspective once by saying, “birth control is prescribed to females for things such as acne which can often be fixed by changing their diet. Would you prescribe birth control to a teenage boy with acne? No, then why is it being prescribed for females so frequently when there are other options.”
Hormones control many major bodily functions; emotions, cancer risk and even memory loss.
Imagine what your life, and our world would be like if we all received more education about health and hormones at a younger age, or had access to better resources throughout our lifespan.
In this week’s video and blog, I share more about my mission to provide adequate hormone education and resources for women regardless of income, insurance coverage, demographics or social status; allowing women to embrace their bodies, hormones and be in control of their health to live their fullest life.
We all deserve easier access to hormone education and resources so you can live your fullest life, and so you can give the generations to come a better quality of life too.
I didn’t really start to understand how my body worked as a woman until my 30’s.
Reaching rock bottom with my long-time hormone-imbalance battle led me down the road to a higher health education. Had I known as a teenager what I know now, I could have prevented the 17+ years of irregular periods, chronic fatigue, weight gain woes, allergies, brain fog, waves of depression and anxiety, Hashimotos, disrupting the precious balance of my body with birth control and so much more.
I’ll never forget what my client Dee said about receiving her DUTCH hormone test results and data-guided recommendations for diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction and supplements…
“It was like Christmas. I was so excited to hear the results because we tested for things no one else was interested in…how amazing would it be to give this gift to every woman.”
She had been on a diet her whole life trying to lose weight with limited success; trying everything from Beach Body to Weight Watchers and Keto. She even explored Cross Fit for a while.
As she entered her 40’s, she gave up on weight loss as her focus shifted to how she felt with menopause kicking into gear – which led her to uninsured hormone replacement therapy, expensive acupuncture treatments and various other hormone therapies. None of which fully resolved her health issues and got her back to feeling like herself again. She felt helpless when it came to her hormone health.
For the longest time, it felt as though I didn’t have control over my hormones either; dating all the way back to my adolescence as my body shifted and my hormones seemed to rip through me emotionally and physically. A feeling both Dee and I shared, as I’m sure most women do.
A false feeling conjured up by a lack of understanding around our hormones.
I’m happy to report that after working together and getting access to the right lab tests and resources to better understand her body and hormones, Dee has lost weight, her hormones are balanced and she feels great!
Dee’s story is just one of the many I see. In fact, two of my newest clients have a very similar story; one has been on birth control for over 40 years and prescribed multiple medications to control side effects likely linked to hormone imbalances and who has been struggling with weight gain and fatigue for years.
Dee’s comment sparked an idea that could change the course for women’s hormone education forever.
What if every woman regardless of income, insurance coverage, demographics or social status could have access to the right lab tests, resources and education to:
- Gracefully get through menopause or any stage of hormone change
- Advocate for themselves and collaborate with their health professionals
- Formulate a lifestyle and health plan that worked for their unique body
Women all over would stop suffering, and start living fuller lives. They would be better daughters, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, moms, partners, leaders and teachers – and the men in their lives would greatly benefit from this too.
And so H.E.R For Women was born! – Hormone Education and Resources for Women for Life.
Last week, my dream of starting a non-profit organization that would provide hormone education and resources, such as the DUTCH test, to women regardless of income, insurance coverage, demographics or social status while allowing women to embrace their bodies, hormones and be in control of their health to live their fullest life became official!!!
This project is in the beginning stages but it holds incredible power.
I personally wish I would have known my body better earlier in life to avoid some of the health challenges I have faced, but my journey and the journey I have helped other women through has inspired this project so that the future of women’s health will be better.
Thank you to all my sisters, and even brothers, out there who have inspired and supported this mission.
Stay tuned for more information as this project develops and how you can take advantage of it or contribute to it.
In the meantime, if you want to get the gift of the right lab tests and resources to live your fullest life like Dee did, click here to schedule an Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session.
I just got back from a weekend road trip up the coast of California and it was SO refreshing to get out on the open road, and to catch up on some of my favorite podcasts along the way.
The official first day of Summer is coming up with the solstice happening in just a few days.
Are you ready to embark on a Summer road trip or vacation?
Whether you’re road-tripping, flying or staycation-ing, you’re going to need some good podcasts, hardbacks or audiobooks this Summer 🙂
Check out some of my recent podcast interviews to dive deeper into topics such as…
How To Navigate Back to Health
Busy lives often means that most individuals compromise their health. However, being equipped with the right tools and knowledge when it comes to your health can be empowering and can help you to be successful in your career too. Listen as Functional Coach Jenn Malecha give you powerful information about navigating back to health.
A Functional Map To Clear Skin With FDN Practitioner Jenn Malecha
In this episode of the Journey To Glow podcast, I talk to FDN practitioner Jenn Malecha about the functional approach to identifying the root cause of a skin imbalance and creating a map to follow, each step leading to clear glowing skin.
Couch Talk: How to Conquer Your Acid Reflux w/Jenn Malecha
Acid reflux and GERD is a chronic stomach issue for many Americans. Jenn Malecha, a holistic health coach, joins Dr. Anna Cabeca to talk about why people get GERD and how they can correct their stomach issues.
And here are some of my recent favorite books about health and living your best life…
- Beyond the Pill by Dr. Jolene Brighten
- Someday is Not a Day in the Week by Sam Horn
- Estrogeneration by Anthony G. Jay
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
- The Thyroid Connection by Amy Myers
- The Autoimmune Solution by Amy Myers
I’m going to need some new podcasts and books for my Summer playlist too, add a comment below and let me know what some of your recent favorites have been!
I admittedly don’t have the answers for what is going on in the world right now. I have been doing my best to listen, observe, learn and explore all of this to gain a better understanding of how to move forward in a more positive direction.
But there is one thing I do know…
…the heaviness of all of this could be affecting your health.
As I’ve talked to many friends, family members and clients over the past weeks of all ages, ethnicities and social status, what we’ve all had in common is the stir of emotions and stress related to the recent events.
Life will continue to happen and you can’t always predict or avoid stressful situations, but how you choose to navigate them is what makes a difference when it comes to your health.
And whatever stance you take on the current issues, or even if you are choosing to not participate, your health plays a vital role in your ability to live, breathe and speak your truth.
It’s difficult to see clearly, to communicate your truth and navigate for a better future when you are rundown, tired, irritable and not feeling like yourself.
In order for change to happen, we have to make intentional choices to change, and being in a healthy space supports your ability to do just that.
The story I’m about to tell you by no means represents exactly what has been going on recently, however it is an example of how stressful moments in life can sweep you up and leave you feeling depleted in the aftermath…
Not that long ago, my mom had a near death experience after years of alcoholism. I ran myself ragged trying to fix her and then trying to save her life; arguing with the doctors, trying to control everything and putting too much responsibility for work, home and her on my plate.
For nearly 3 months, I drove 5+ hours through Los Angeles traffic to see her and fight for her life every weekend.
She lived, but I barely did.
I was a shadow of health that I used to know, and it took quite some time for me to recover from all the stress. I fought on the premise of possibility, and I would do it again for the same reason; I would just do it differently for myself.
Through all of that, I realized the only real control I had was over myself, how I responded to the situation and supported health.
Since then, part of improving and maintaining my health has been learning how to let go of the things I can’t control and controlling the things I can. This can be tough when it means making myself a priority over even my loved ones, but I know it’s necessary for my own survival.
The emotional load from what has been going on between COVID-19 and the recent events following George Floyd’s death could be taking a HUGE toll on your health and you may not even realize it.
For example, emotional stress can:
- Diminish digestive power and your ability to absorb nutrients from food resulting in nutrient deficiencies
- Alter sleep quality leaving you feeling foggy headed, irritable and not fully recovered in the morning to bounce out of bed or get through the day
- Increase cortisol hormone production leading to other hormone imbalances, food cravings and weight gain
What is going on in the world is of great importance, and so is your health.
In this week’s video and blog, I’m sharing 3 tips to help you find calm in the storm of change so you can live, breathe and speak your truth in the midst of any stressful scenario.
Being able to identify the burden of stress on the body at any point in time and knowing how to take action to reduce it, is the main message I teach all of my health-coaching clients to help them become their own Health Boss and it’s one that I practice personally.
Whether that’s by taking action to:
- Eat in alignment with what your body needs
- Get adequate sleep and rest over all else
- Turn down the exercise intensity, even when your ego says “no”
- Support the body with proper supplements until it can support itself
- Notice when a situation is causing emotional or mental stress and changing course
- Reduce toxic exposures as much as possible and enhance the body’s natural detox capacity
You need strength to fight the good fight (whatever that means for you right now) or to weather the storm as an observer, and these 3 tips will help you do just that during these ever-changing times…
It’s easy to get sucked into all the information being broadcasted on social media and the news. Before you know it, hours have gone by leaving you less time to take care of yourself in the ways that you want to and with a larger bag of emotional baggage to carry. And to top it off, all that screen time also stimulates the release of cortisol hormone which can lead to other hormone imbalances, food cravings, disrupted sleep and weight gain.
It’s possible to stay informed without letting it derail your whole life. Be conscious of how much time you are spending consuming information. Set healthy boundaries around information consumption time. Pay attention to weekly screen time reports provided by your devices or download an app to keep track and remind you when time is up.
Sleep On It
Sleep is more valuable than diet and exercise when it comes to your health. Poor sleep will quickly cancel out your exercise and healthy eating efforts because without quality sleep during the right times, your body can’t fully recover at night to make the most of your healthy choices.
When you are sleep deprived, you are more likely to be irritable, make hasty judgements, get angry, crave foods and make poor choices.
Make a commitment to turn off the lights and be asleep by 10pm so you can wake up feeling rested, focused and motivated to get your message out, to take care of yourself and your loved ones.
We’ve become a generation of living zombies, roaming through life on autopilot numb to what is going on around us or inside of us and in my opinion this is a BIG reason why we are where we are today as humankind and when it comes to poor health.
Check in with yourself daily to see what YOU need. Maybe it’s a good cry, to let go of anger by screaming at the top of your lungs, a hug, a nap, something to eat because you didn’t realize you were starving or a moment of silence to gather your thoughts.
Bottled-up emotions and ignored needs are a breeding ground for disease and dysfunction.
The best way to care for others is to first care for yourself. Because when you care for yourself you can show up bigger, brighter and better for others.
I will humbly admit I have been fairly silent in the wake of events following George Floyd’s death. Not because I didn’t want to speak up, but because I didn’t know what to say and quite honestly I’ve been just taking it all in and trying to understand how I could do better and use my voice while supporting my health at the same time.
The truth is, I’ve been ignorant to the depths of inequality that still exists. The statistics and reports I have seen in the past week or so have been outraging.
It’s easy to turn a blind eye when it doesn’t directly affect you, but that doesn’t make it right; so I am committed to no longer doing it to the best of my ability.
In order to stay awake to what is going on in the world, I will continue to support my health so I can have the strength to be present, to live, breathe and speak my truth to enact change.
I hope in some way this encourages you to do the same.
I spent all day in the sun having fun laying by my pool last weekend and it made me think of how grateful I am to have my body back, to feel confident in a bathing suit and carefree about life.
But it made me wonder how you’re feeling in your body?
I’ve had my share of body image and health struggles, but through all of it I learned how to love my body regardless of what it looked or felt like, and with the right lab tests and resources I was able to get my body back to feeling like home again for good.
You deserve to look and feel your best too, and I’m proof it’s possible for you so this week I’m bringing back one of my favorite blogs to help you get your body back too…
Summer is officially here stirring up all kinds of judgements, criticisms, wants and desires related to how you feel in your body.
Do you ever find yourself wondering why you don’t have energy to do the simplest tasks such as putting away the laundry, riding bikes with your kids or paying attention to a conversation.
Does getting dressed every morning feel like internal warfare with yourself – you put something on, criticize yourself in the mirror and change your outfit a million times until you find something that doesn’t make you feel like a stuffed sausage?
Do you wish you could just feel like your old self again?
…the energetic, clear-minded, great skin, creative, in-shape, productive, pain and bloat free person you used to be.
I know. I’ve been there, and many of the clients I’ve worked with have been too.
There once was a time when I felt like a stranger in my own body.
Acne took over the radiant skin I was always so proud of. Extra weight or bloating hid the muscle tone I worked so hard for and drastically reduced my outfit options. Low energy limited my ability to basically show up in life; to be the social butterfly I had always been, to be present or creative in my work and at home.
And all I could think about was a time when I felt physically and mentally fit. I didn’t have any self-imposed limitations. All I wanted was to find myself in that place again.
If you feel this way or have ever felt this way, can I get a hell yeah?
(if so let me know below!)
I struggled for a while before I figured out how to get my body back for good – but I did get it back and you can too.
The first thing you need to know is, there is WAY more to getting your body back than changing your diet and exercising.
And the second thing you need to know is, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Diet and exercise are just two pieces of the puzzle when it comes to feeling like your best self, but they are only effective when the body is running on all cylinders.
Think of it like this…
If you owned the highest profile performance vehicle available in the world, filled it with the highest quality fuel and tried to take it from zero to sixty in 30 seconds with a clogged air filter, empty oil canister, imbalanced tires and sketchy electrical system what do you think would happen?
The car wouldn’t perform as expected right?
This is similar to what happens when you try eating right and exercising, but get little to no results. There’s something going on underneath the hood reducing the efficacy of your efforts.
In this week’s video and blog, I want to help you understand what is potentially going on underneath your hood so you can get your body back for good.
Have you ever caught yourself staring in the mirror wondering how you got here? Wondering…
…where all the weight came from?
…if everyone else notices the circles under your eyes?
…how you’re going to make it through all your meetings today?
…what would happen if you just went back to bed and hid under the covers?
You see, so many others have felt this way too but they have also found a way to get their body back for good with the right lab testing and guidance.
What you’re experiencing did not happen overnight. Feeling out of place in your body is something that has gradually occurred over time amongst the shuffle of work, kids, responsibilities, travel, stress and anything else going on in your life.
Feeling uncomfortable in your own skin happens when…
- Your hormone system go haywire
- Your immune system gets weak
- Your digestive system is dysfunctional
- Your detoxification system doesn’t work
- Your energy system gets slowed down
- And your nervous system sends mixed signals
In order to get your body back for good, you’ve got to get it all of the systems of the body running right, just like a high profile performance vehicle should be.
If your expensive high profile performance car wasn’t running right what would you do?
You would take it to the best specialist around for a thorough evaluation that would include a variety of diagnostic tests to check every aspect of the engine, fuel lines, tires, pumps and more.
To get your body back for good you’ll want to do the same thing so you can understand what is going on underneath the hood; what’s happening with your hormones, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy and nervous system so you’ll know exactly what steps to take to restore function and feel your best again.
Here’s the caveat though…
Running typical blood tests with your general practitioner, or even some specialists won’t get you the answers you’re looking for. (To learn more about why typical blood tests don’t tell you squat, check out the replay of the webinar I did here)
In order to REALLY see how your body is functioning, you’re going to need to run functional lab tests that provide deeper insights about function!
The good news is, these functional lab tests are super easy to do. Most of them are urine, saliva and stool based making it convenient for you to do them in the comfort of your own home.
And based on these functional test results you’ll receive guidance on exactly:
- What foods are right for your body
- How much sleep you need and when
- What type of exercise will get you the best results
- Which stress reducing tools would be most effective for you
- And what toxins or other environmental factors you should minimize to boost your health
Now doesn’t that sound pretty straight forward instead of guessing about what you should be doing to feel good in your body again.
Running functional lab tests is what gave me the insights to get my energy back, get my weight under control, clear up my skin and think clearly again when I wasn’t getting the results I wanted from diet and exercise, or my doctors.
Running these types of lab tests is what has helped so many of my clients uncover hidden healing opportunities such as:
- Estrogen dominance
- Insulin resistance
- Cortisol dysfunction
- Liver congestion
- Poor thyroid function
- And intestinal parasites, bacteria and yeast overgrowth
Those were standing in their way of feeling like their best self despite their diet and exercise efforts.
And using the data from these lab tests to guide recommendations for diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction, supplementation and toxin removal is exactly how clients of mine such as…
…David, lost 40lbs without engaging in a structured workout routine and is able to sleep through the night…
…Jene, was finally able to control her MS symptoms naturally and now can keep up with her grandson…
…Will, is now more relaxed in his decision-making process and can handle even more workload and challenges…
…and Desiree, began to own her worth, which improved her confidence when navigating restaurants and medical professionals.
See, it is possible to feel good in your body and like yourself again! All you need is the right lab tests and resources to steer you in the right direction.
If you want to get your hands on some of those lab tests and resources so you can feel like yourself again (or for the very first time), then schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me here today!
Memorial day is the unofficial start of summer but is your body feeling summer-ready?
Summer is supposed to be carefree, fun and full of adventure!
If a little extra fluff around the middle or belly bloat has you feeling down, insecure or uncomfortable in your own skin then I’ve got you covered.
The Summer Solstice is officially the start to summer and it’s just around the corner so there’s still time for you to get a flat stomach so you can wear your summer wardrobe carefree.
And it doesn’t require counting calories, crash dieting or spending hours at the gym.
Because the fact of the matter is, belly fat or bloating is NOT always from eating too much and exercising too little. In fact, calories-in versus calories-out is a dying school of thought.
I previously wrote a calorie counting blog showing just how broken the calorie-counting and crash-dieting approach is. In fact, cutting calories and crash dieting can actually cause weight gain long-term.
Everywhere you turn you’ll see all kinds of marketing, promotional products and advertising geared towards the calories-in versus calories-out method for weight-loss and finding that flat stomach.
And yet, people still struggle to lose or regulate weight, even when they’ve tried almost every diet and exercise routine out there.
And what about the people who have stick-skinny arms and legs but are round in the middle – what’s their story?
What’s up with that belly fat or bloating that just won’t budge?!
The accumulation of fat, particularly around the midsection, and bloating is way more complex than what is portrayed in mainstream health.
Calories and exercise actually play a small role in your overall health with all things considered. In some cases, eating “healthy” and exercising can even contribute to fat accumulation and bloating.
The biggest contributors to pudgy tummy and bloating are:
- Digestive upset
In this week’s video and blog, I give you 3 steps to getting a flat stomach instantly so you can feel comfortable in your own skin and have carefree fun all summer long!
As I said before, calories aren’t the culprit but what you’re eating could be.
The first two steps to a flat stomach do involve your diet as it relates to inflammation and digestive upset which alone can cause bloating but also contribute to inflammation.
When I work with clients, figuring out what foods are right for their body so it can function at its potential is the first thing we focus on. And as a result they always immediately notice a reduction in their waistline and an increase in energy.
Step #1 is to avoid inflammatory foods.
You are unique therefore the foods that cause inflammation for you would be unique too. Doing a food sensitivity test is the best way to pinpoint foods that aren’t doing you justice.
But there are some foods out there that are inflammatory for everyone and should be avoided based on their molecular structure, how they interact with the body and the load of toxins they contain.
The top inflammatory foods for everyone, regardless of a sensitivity, to avoid are:
Cutting these foods out completely will quickly get you one step closer to that flat stomach for summer. Keep in mind it can take a few days to get these toxic and inflammatory foods out of your system completely, but once you do you’ll definitely notice a difference!
Step #2 is to eat the right ratios of proteins, carbs and fats for your body.
Eating the wrong ratios of proteins, carbs and fats for your body can cause digestive upset leading to bloating and inflammation resulting in that spare tire feel. Plus, this could be a big source of your energy and sleep struggles which don’t help your flat stomach game either.
When you eat the right ratios you can avoid digestive upset, boost your energy and ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs to achieve your health goals.
So how do you know what the right ratios are? Lucky for you I’ve put together a food and body language log to help you figure this out and dial it in.
Step #3 is to de-stress, especially around meal time.
Stress in general can lead to a pudgy tummy, and especially stress around meal times.
Stress of any kind triggers your body to release the hormone cortisol, and too much cortisol causes your body to deposit fat right where you don’t want it, around your midsection.
And if you’re eating while stressed then you can’t adequately digest your food resulting in that uncomfortable belly bloat, food cravings and low energy.
Stress de-activates the digestive system as your body’s way of conserving resources to deal with the stressor, which is a brilliant mechanism if there was a true threat trigger you needed your fight or flight response for, but even low-grade stress from watching the news, sitting in traffic or having a tough conversation with a loved one sends your body into stress fighting action.
The cool thing is that you can turn off the stress response to aid in digestion, banish bloating and flatten your stomach just as quickly as it was activated. All you have to do is adopt the deep, rhythmic breathing patterns of a relaxed person and voila!
To do this…
Inhale for the count of 5 seconds
Hold for the count of 5 seconds
Exhale for the count of 7 seconds
And repeat 5-10 times.
Do these 3 steps and I promise your stomach will look and feel flatter in less than a week!
And keep doing them to look and feel your best for the long run 🙂
Remember, you don’t have to count a single calorie or run yourself into the ground working out to get the results you’re looking for. There are many pieces to the puzzle to consider.
If you’d like to get your hands on the right lab tests and resources so you can find the missing pieces to your health puzzle and get back to feeling like yourself again, click here to schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session.
Can I make a wild claim? If I had to guess…
You eat food every day, right?
Of course you do. People always ask me how I’ve achieved the success in my life and health, and honestly…sometimes I forget.
Sometimes I forget about the holistic lifestyle I’ve cultivated and how it continues to power me up because it’s just part of my normal now.
The truth is, in the beginning it is challenging but the more choices you make that are supportive for your health the easier it gets as you start to build what I call negative and positive feedback loops.
When you choose foods or habits that lift you up, give you energy and make you feel great, it’s easier to remember to choose them. These are the positive feedback loops.
And when you make food or habit choices that bring you down IF you pause to reflect on how it affects your body, you’ll clearly see it’s not worth it and build negative feedback loops – a remembrance of how yucky it felt making it easier to not make the same choice again!
We only get one body and every choice you make is a chance to build or breakdown health.
You have the same toes from when you were born, and they’ll be the same toes you put socks on at the end of your life.
So today I’m sharing with you 6 reasons why you may not be building the type of health and life you want…
#1- You’re overwhelmed with choices.
Did you know there’s something like 3,500 health-related searches on Google— per second? No wonder so many people don’t know what to trust or take action on.
#2- Your unconscious bad habits.
You just don’t know what you don’t know. Weight management is holistic, stress states do matter and sleep is WAY more important than you think!
My friend Mia once told me a story of a client – a successful yoga teacher (mindful, connected, love-centered) lost her relationship, place to live, and work location overnight it seemed. She’d put on a mini-belly and was so confused; nothing with food changed so why was she putting on pounds?
If you think health is separate from your work, from how you show up online, from how you are with your family — you’re mistaken! It’s the unconscious bad habits that breakdown your body and health over time.
#3- Peer pressure
At the end of the day, WHY you want the body transformation is personal to you. If you’re not courageously standing up for yourself (ordering foods that are right for you instead of worrying about what others will think) then I’m not surprised, it’s tough to be brave but it’s what your body needs. It won’t work if you don’t root it into your identity.
#4- You’ve told yourself other parts of life are more important
My health isn’t as important as ________ (family, work, relationships, you fill in the blank). I’ve seen so many people live this flip-flopped way. If you agree that this one body is all you have…then the situations you bring your body into (that YES are important, urgent, and support your livelihood) need the best brain power, mood and energy. Sure…. you can be 100% ready on the big day, but is it 100% of only 45% of your optimal health potential?
#5- You’ve built it up in your head – “being healthy” is a burden
Being healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. We’re all human. It’s our humanness that makes us strong, resilient and over-stimulated by our modern world. Taking on a new thing is just too much work — have you felt this way? Guess what? Prioritizing your health, preventing your body from disease, and hacking your body for more energy and less stress is the FOUNDATION that makes all other work less hard or stressful.
#6- Nobody told you to think about how food travels through your body
Lastly, have you taken the time to think about your relationship to food? Do you check in with your energy after eating? Do you know what foods lift you up and which one brings you down? Do you make time for your body to actually digest and metabolize your food so you can get all the benefits it holds for you or are you moving through life so fast that you’re inhaling food every chance you get?
All of this understanding changed my life.
Do you see how some of these could hold you back?
Do you see how overcoming them would get you powerful results?
Are you even more stressed because now you know what’s holding you back… You don’t know how to:
- rethink your approach to drop pounds
- choose foods that make digestion better and balanced
- google research and take the time to figure out your body and optimal nutrition choices.
You’re not alone. I continue to see a growing need for this…
Imagine if you didn’t have to google your way to getting health results specific to your body.
Imagine if you didn’t have to cross your fingers that the method that worked for a friend will work for you.
Imagine if there was a team of advisors at your free disposal to tell you:
- how you could think about health more productively
- what foods can get you faster results
- what essential ways of being make dropping pounds and increasing your energy really successful no matter your desired result, background, orientation or age.
I’m so grateful and honored to be chosen as one of your expert advisors for The Well Fed Warrior 10-day Virtual Weight-loss and Detoxification Experience happening Thursday, May 21st through Sunday, May 31st 2020.
Firewave Wellness creator and host Mia Sarno have made this 10-day experience a hilarious and energizing lens on health…so that you can get the results you really want.
I don’t share it, often but like I said in the beginning…I think about what’s going on in my body, mind and soul every day — it’s where I operate from. Every time I teach you, every time I wake up excited to share with you, I’ve considered my health.
This is a unique view of me that will support you for a lifetime. Mia is the most loving, connected, enthusiastic —dare I say comedic— holistic wellness educator I know. I promise you’ll enjoy every minute of this experience with us.
P.S. Ready to commit to 10 days of online listening to transform your weight, energy and health? No meal plans or workout routines. Our advisors are energy architects, physicians, registered nurses and best-selling international motivators ready to ignite your inner fire. Click here if you’re ready to finally feel better.
I received one of the most disturbing messages from a client once…
For privacy purposes we’ll call her Sarah. She started working with me in December of 2015 after participating in one of my Seasonal Cleanse challenges. She was attracted to the Cleanse Challenge for its promise to boost energy, get rid of belly bloat, a flat stomach and an overall improvement in health.
Sarah enjoyed the cleanse challenge and saw some results but it was obvious she needed more help, which is how we came to work together.
We ran some functional lab tests, identified healing opportunities within her hormones and digestive system, got her started on the right diet for her body and supplements to support the body’s healing process. Within a matter of weeks, she was feeling great!
For months after starting our work together, Sarah saw significant improvements in how she felt and looked. Her anxiety dwindled down to almost nothing, her energy was up, she felt better in her body and her digestion was on point.
After about a year of seeing results with her personalized health-building program, she hit a wall and even started going backwards.
I encouraged her to run a full thyroid panel for clues and that’s when she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s.
Sarah and I continued our work together to help her manage her Hashimoto’s with a holistic lifestyle approach, which included redefining her diet to support the healing process, changing up her supplements, taking more time for herself and working to eliminate toxins that disrupt thyroid function.
Part of Sarah’s health-building plan also included following her dreams to leave New York City for the West coast so she could live in a more health-supporting environment.
As she was getting ready for her upcoming move to the west coast and going through old paperwork, she came across a doctor’s report from 2009…
The report clearly showed that Sarah had Hashimotos back in 2009.
Her thyroid antibodies were well over 200 and even marked as “high” according to the traditional conventional lab reference ranges.
Her TSH was high and Free T4 low when compared to optimal ranges. Her health practitioner completely dismissed her thyroid results, even though Sarah was symptomatic and even noted “Thyroid level was quite normal. This means the irritable changes are not from the thyroid.”
In this week’s video and blog, I’ll uncover why typical blood tests don’t tell you squat and what you should be looking for or what tests to run instead.
Had Sarah received a proper interpretation of her test results or been more well informed to advocate for herself, she quite possibly could have reversed her Hashimoto’s years ago. I can’t even begin to imagine how much different her life would be today. She could have been living a high-energy, flat stomach and symptom-free life for years, had she known better.
Sarah’s story isn’t one of a kind, I actually hear stories similar to this from clients all the time.
I too was told for years I was the picture of perfect health on paper at my annual physicals although I felt exhausted all the time, struggled to maintain my weight and had seasonal allergies that grew worse every year.
When I was diagnosed with skin cancer in my mid 20’s, as a “healthy person” I knew there had to be more to my health story than what typical blood tests were telling me.
Here’s 3 reasons why blood tests can be misleading and what you should be looking for or the tests you should be running instead…
#1 – Reference Ranges Aren’t Optimal Ranges
The reference ranges you see on a typical lab test are determined by average highs and lows within the population, and calculations include values for unhealthy or sick people. They don’t reflect what would be an optimal range for you to feel and function at your best, these are called “functional ranges.”
Typical lab reference ranges are much wider in comparison to functional ranges. For example, the reference range for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is usually 0.5 to 4.5 while the functional range is 0.50 to 2.
So don’t be fooled by typical reference ranges to evaluate your health status, make sure you’re comparing them to functional ranges and where you want to be to feel your best.
#2 – What’s Common Isn’t Normal
It might be common to get a headache, have less energy, gain weight or have more pain as you get older but that doesn’t mean it’s normal. Symptoms such as these are the last thing to show up in an already dysfunctional state, they are your body’s way of sounding the alarm and letting you know something is wrong.
Stress and inflammation are at the core of all disease and dysfunction, yet typical blood tests aren’t very effective at evaluating these aspects. C-Reactive protein does measure inflammation on a blood test but it does NOT measure chronic stress and inflammation.
Instead, consider a 4-point cortisol saliva or urine test for greater insights on your inflammatory response and stress picture. This type of test can also give you clues about your steroid and sex hormone pathways, active and available hormone (vs bound hormone from a blood test), hormone metabolism and even liver function for the bigger picture related to your health.
#3 – What Blood Tests Do Show
Typical blood tests can give you some insights on what you need to investigate further. For example, a blood test may indicate your deficient in Vitamin D or B12, but you need to ask why. Your body didn’t just wake up one day and decide to be deficient in a vitamin.
To truly understand why you might be seeing what you’re seeing (or not seeing) on a blood test, you’ll want to run functional lab tests to look at how the body is functioning or not. These types of test can include a:
- Stool test to assess digestion, internal inflammation and toxicity
- Food sensitivity test to assess food reactions impacting digestion and increasing inflammation
- Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis to know if toxic elements are depleting the body and if adequate minerals are available for bodily functions
- Comprehensive urine hormone test to assess what is happening as hormones flow through the body, liver health, detoxification pathways and more
The body is a complex network of systems so your health ailments are never going to be isolated in one area or system, they are all intertwined!
This is why it’s so important to run a couple of tests at once to look at the hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy and nervous system all at the same time so you can see how they are or aren’t working together and truly know what your healing opportunities are.
Don’t let typical blood tests fool you.
If typical blood tests have been telling you should feel fine but you don’t, know there are other test options out there to help you uncover the missing pieces of your health puzzle or experts who can help you interpret blood tests from a functional standpoint.
And if you’re ready to get your hands on the right lab test and resources so you can get back to feeling like yourself just like Sarah and I, then I’d like to invite you to schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me here.
P.S. If you want to learn more about why typical blood tests don’t tell you squat and what tests to run instead, check out the Facebook Live I did over on the Autoimmune Sisters page TODAY, or access my Why Typical Blood Tests Don’t Tell You Squat webinar replay
Bacon is not only approved, it’s actually encouraged during my Cleanse Challenge.
That might sound odd since most cleanse or detox programs require you to cut out just about every fun food on the planet. However, cutting out foods that contain protein, such as bacon, is where most cleanse programs go wrong.
There are 3 phases of detoxification your body goes through 24/7 to help you flush out toxins that you come in contact with daily. Protein is a vital nutrient needed during phase 1 and 2 in order to breakdown and package up toxins for elimination.
Plus, deprivation is never fun.
When we deprive ourselves, we usually end up giving into temptation, fall off the wagon and find it harder to get back on track.
My Cleanse Challenge is NOT about deprivation.
It’s about using whole, organic and nourishing foods to promote the body’s natural detoxification process.
Don’t just take my word for it, see what some of the past participants have had to say…
The Cleanse Challenge is designed to help you:
- Get back on the clean eating train
- Ramp up your workout routine
- Rest and restore your body nightly
- Flush out any built-up toxins
- And make meditation or any other healthy habit a routine again
All so you can…
- Have more energy to enjoy life and keep up with its daily demands
- Lose those last few pounds, get trim and stay that way
- Blast away the belly bloat for good!
- Improve your memory, learning ability and mood
- Sleep better so that you can wake up feeling rested
- Be more productive at work and in life
- Have higher quality workouts because you’ll have the energy to do so
- Improved the conversion of thyroid hormone Free T4 to Free T3
- Boost your immunity and digestion to heal leaky gut
- Increase your ability to handle stress, have less anxiety and depression
- Look younger and have clear skin!
Here’s how the Cleanse Challenge works. Over the course of 28 days, you will…
- Learn what ratio of proteins, carbs and fats are best for your body to boost your energy, weight loss, balance hormones, and reduce belly bloat and inflammation
- Incorporate the highest naturally detoxifying foods (beets, grapefruit, dandelion greens) into your daily routine to promote the body’s natural cleansing systems
- Focus on minimizing your intake of the top inflammatory and hormone disrupting foods: gluten, dairy, sugar, soy and alcohol
- Try simple DIY proven liver flushing techniques to push out those built-up toxins!
- Receive weekly workout routine video tips to sweat out those toxins!
- Get accountability to work out regularly, to drink plenty of water and to get quality sleep in order to support the body’s cleansing and healing process
- Receive 30-minute recorded weekly educational webinars and be part of a special Facebook group for support
- Get recipes and a checklist to guide you along your journey
AND I’m including a special BONUS ASK THE EXPERT SESSION with yours truly!
Have questions about whether this is the right program or if this will work for you? Feel free to shoot me an email, and I’ll give you my honest feedback about if my Seasonal Cleanse Challenge is right for you – email@example.com
And here are some of the frequently asked questions…
Q: What if I’m traveling during the cleanse?
A: No problem! Many past participants have been traveling during the cleanse, even internationally. The beauty of the cleanse is that you’re not restricting yourself of all foods so it makes it easy to eat on the road and you’ll get support from the webinars, Facebook group and me on how to make good choices on-the-go.
Q: What exactly do I have to cut out of my diet?
A: During the cleanse you will focus on minimizing or eliminating gluten, dairy, sugar, soy and alcohol. And I will give you recommendations and guidance on how to do this and great alternatives, plus you get TWO recipe guides to help you out.
Q: What if I fall off track, I don’t want to feel like a failure?
A: There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. First off, the cleanse is a point system so you can pick and choose the things you want to abide by, and if you miss points in one area you can make them up in another or with the bonus point opportunities that help you to create balance. If you fall off track, that’s just a sign of needing a new strategy to keep you on track. You’ll have the weekly webinars, Facebook group and your one-on-one session with me for tips, encouragement and accountability!
Let’s be honest, eating and drinking habits have probably been less than ideal these last few months as we’ve all been trying to strike a balance amidst the new COVID-19 normal.
However, restrictions are being lifted and summer is right around the corner so it’s time to get back on track, cleanse the Corona crap and get back to feeling like your best self.
Will you join me and many others to shed pounds, boost your energy naturally and cleanse the Corona crap?
For years I counted calories, tried diet after diet and exercised excessively; yet I felt tired all the time and frustrated trying to shed pounds just like so many of my clients, until I found the missing pieces of the puzzle.
I hear so many people talk about their frustrations with their body, energy and their health – “I eat healthy and exercise so I don’t understand why…”
- I can’t drop weight
- I don’t have any energy
- My health isn’t improving
The truth is, there’s more to health and weight loss than just diet and exercise.
The body is a complex system and most people are ignoring some really important pieces of the puzzle, one of which is cleansing the body of toxins that contribute to a sluggish liver!
The liver plays a HUGE role in eliminating toxins, and when it’s overloaded with this work, it can’t convert hormones or regulate our metabolism like it’s supposed to in order for us to shed pounds and have energy.
To help you tackle this piece of the puzzle, I’m hosting a FREE Online Workshop TODAY – The Daily Detox: No Juices, Gimmicks or Supplements Required!
Date: TODAY – Thursday, April 30th
Time: 5pm PST / 8pm EST
Location: REGISTER HERE
(If you can’t make it live, register to get the replay!)
Do you struggle with shedding pounds and feeling comfortable in your body?
I used to get so frustrated with the scale when I was counting calories and putting in hours of cardio. I would tell myself it was “just water weight” that I was hanging onto or that my genetics were holding me back. But the reality was the age-old strategy of calories in vs. calories out just wasn’t doing the trick.
So what gives? – at what point are diet and exercise not enough?
Age and genetics do play a small role, but I’ll tell you that I’ve seen many clients successfully lose weight at any age and with all different genetics.
So what’s happening with people like us who diet like crazy, go to Crossfit daily and who still don’t lose weight as we want?
When diet and exercise aren’t getting you results, you have to look at the other pieces of the puzzle, and quite possibly the biggest key player is your liver.
In this week’s video and blog, I talk more about the role your liver plays in weight loss and how to boost its function to shed those pounds.
We are exposed daily to high levels of toxins through food, water, air, home and personal care products. These toxins get filtered through the liver, kidneys, lymphatic system and are stored in fat tissue. Toxic build up prevents the uptake and utilization of nutrients, carbohydrates, and proteins.
When your liver is so busy working to filter out all these toxins it has very little energy left to filter blood, drugs and hormones let alone do its other job as a digestive organ – thus many find shedding pounds more difficult.
Your liver is also in charge of converting and excreting excess hormones. If liver function is sub-optimal, then hormones such as estrogen can build up leading to estrogen dominance, which can cause excess weight, hot flashes and an increased risk for cancer.
The liver is also where a huge chunk of thyroid hormone conversion takes place, and an imbalance in thyroid slows your metabolism resulting in weight gain.
If you’re exercising, your muscles need fuel and your liver helps produce that fuel, but a clogged liver won’t and when that happens excess glucose gets stored as fat.
Here are 10 common signs your liver needs cleansing:
- Abdominal bloating
- Menstrual irregularities
- Abdominal fat; pot belly; that “spare tire” effect
- Joint and muscle pain
- Low energy or fatigue
- Acid reflux/heartburn
- Body odor
- Overheating of the body & excessive perspiration
- Acne/Rosacea or itchy, blotchy skin
- Unexplained weight gain and inability to lose weight even with calorie restriction
Keeping your liver in working order is a matter of reducing it’s stressful toxic load AND supporting its natural detox ability. You can do this several ways…
- Reduce your exposure to toxins
- Eat powerful detoxifying foods; beets, grapefruit, dandelion greens
- Do a detox cleanse 1-2 times per year
If you’ve hit a wall with your body or suspect that your liver could use some love, then you are in luck!
You’re invited to cleanse your liver and feel like your best self again…
SEASONAL CLEANSE CHALLENGE ENROLLMENT IS NOW OPEN!! ENROLL HERE
This challenge will help you boost your liver function naturally using foods and gentle cleansing methods so that you can:
- Lose those stubborn pounds
- Boost your energy
- Enhance your hormones and overall health
This 28-day challenge starts May 14th, and you can participate for just $1 per day!
Summer is right around the corner so it’s time to get back on track, cleanse the Corona crap and get back to feeling like your best self.
Will you join me and many others to shed pounds and boost your energy naturally?
When I started as a personal trainer over a decade ago, I thought I knew all there was to know about getting people the body they wanted and improving their health; but after years of personally counting calories, trying diet after diet and excessive exercising, I was left feeling fatigued all the time and frustrated just like so many of my personal training clients.
At times, I felt like giving up. I loathed my thighs, hated wearing short dresses and when skinny jeans came on the scene, I thought there was no way in hell I would ever fit into a pair.
To top it all off, I found out I was suffering from adrenal dysfunction, leaky gut and I was eventually diagnosed with a thyroid autoimmune disorder known as Hashimoto’s.
Instead of giving up, I funneled my frustration into finding the answer to what was stopping my clients and myself from having the body and energy we desired. Low and behold, I found that diet and exercise just aren’t enough sometimes.
The body is a complex system and I had been ignoring some really important pieces of the puzzle, one of which is cleansing the body of toxins that contribute to a sluggish liver!
In 2016, a study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) showed up to 420 toxins have been found in the human body across different populations.
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:
- 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 you can’t live in a bubble, so what can you do to support your body during these burdensome times?
In this week’s video and blog, I break down exactly what the toxins are doing to your body and how you can offset your exposure to them.
The liver plays a HUGE role in eliminating toxins, and when it’s overloaded with this work, it can’t convert hormones or regulate our metabolism like it’s supposed to in order for us to shed pounds and have energy.
You obviously can’t live in a bubble to avoid all of these toxins in the environment but there are actions you can take to minimize your exposure and to support the liver in doing its job so you can improve or maintain your health.
Let’s first explore exactly what toxic chemicals can do to your body using the pesticide 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’s a lot you can do to reduce the impacts that Glyphosate and other chemicals have on your body.
To offset exposures to pesticides (a main source of toxins) you can:
- Eat organic and non-GMO foods as much as possible
- Drink and cook with only filtered water
- Consume naturally detoxifying foods such as beets, lemons, grapefruit and dandelion greens
- Avoid food crops most commonly contaminated with pesticides (even if organic) such as corn, soybean, wheat, barley, rye and beans
- Boost your liver’s detox capacity by using a castor oil pack 3 times a week or more
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” with 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, and keeping you from getting results.
To help you tackle this piece of the puzzle, I’m hosting a FREE Online Workshop – The Daily Detox: No Juices, Gimmicks or Supplements Required!
Date: Thursday, April 30th
Time: 5pm PST / 8pm EST
Location: REGISTER HERE
During this webinar, I’ll be going into even more detail about how you can detox your body daily and naturally so you can unburden your body, boost your energy, shed some pounds and get back to feeling like your less toxic self again!
Plus, when you register for the webinar you’ll get my Toxins Checklist instantly!
In this workshop, we’ll cover:
- How toxins are draining your energy by contributing to thyroid, adrenal, gut and overall health dysfunction
- Where toxins are hiding in your home and what you can do about it
- Why juicing doesn’t work for detoxing toxins and what you should be doing instead
- How to support your body’s daily detoxing abilities without expensive supplements and juices
You’ll definitely want to attend this webinar if…
- You suffer from a thyroid condition, adrenal and/or gut issues and possibly other unexplained health problems
- You need caffeine to make it through the day and constantly crave carbs or sweets
- You’re ready to get rid of stubborn and embarrassing belly bloat for good!
- You’ve put on a few pounds (or more!), don’t know why and no matter what you do for exercise and diet, they won’t budge
- You want to cleanse your body but fear giving up your favorite foods, investing in expensive juices or supplements
Plus, we could all use a serious toxin cleanse after being cooped up for so long during this COVID-19 quarantine.
And let’s be honest, your eating and drinking habits have probably been less than ideal these last few weeks. Summer is right around the corner so it’s time to get back on track, detox the corona crap and get back to feeling like your best self.
If you can’t make it live, no worries! A recording will be made available to everyone who registers.