Answers About Autoimmunity

Autoimmune Answers Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

First off I would like to give a big thanks for the overwhelming response I received from last week’s email as I shared my story about recently being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. I am sincerely grateful for the loving response from this community and the inquiries about how to help others struggling with health issues such as autoimmunity.

There were a LOT of question last week in response to my email about Hashimoto’s and overall autoimmunity…

What puts me at risk for autoimmunity?

How would I know if I had an autoimmune disease?

What are the best tests to run?

What can I do to prevent an autoimmune disorder?

The American Autoimmune Related Disease Association (AARDA) estimates that 50 million Americans suffer from an autoimmune disease, most of them unknowingly.

To put this more in perspective, women are more likely to develop autoimmunity (likely as a result of having higher estrogen levels already than men) and the statistics are alarming…

  • 10 females for every 1 male are expected to develop Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
  • 9 females for every 1 male are expected to develop Lupus, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Antiphospholipid Syndrome or Biliary Cirrhosis
  • 8 females for every 1 male are expected to develop Autoimmune Hepatitis
  • 7 females for every 1 male are expected to develop Grave’s Disease

And that’s only 7 of the 80-100 different conditions out there!  These statistics don’t even touch some of the ones we most commonly know about such as Muscular Sclerosis, Crohn’s, Celiac, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

What’s even scarier is that most autoimmune conditions are being overlooked or misdiagnosed, and once you have one autoimmune condition your chances for developing multiple increases significantly.

The big question is, what is causing autoimmunity to become SO widespread?

As I mentioned in last week’s email, in order to have an autoimmune disorder, three things must be in place.  You must…

1- Have the gene for it

2- Have leaky gut, resulting in a lot of inflammation

3- Encounter an environmental trigger, signaling the immune troops to attack

In this week’s blog and video I talk more about what puts you at risk for autoimmunity, how to assess and test for it, and what you can do to prevent or manage it better.

In 2012 Virginia Ladd, the president of AARDA, explained “With the rapid increase in autoimmune diseases, it clearly suggests that environmental factors are at play due to the significant increase in these diseases. Genes do not change in such a short period of time.”

Processed food, toxins and gut bugs are the top factors increasing risk for autoimmunity.

Environmental toxins mimic estrogen in the body, creating xenoestrogens. This, in turn, imbalances the hormones, overloads the liver, and produces more inflammation.  Having these imbalances and chronic inflammation from regular toxin exposure leads to an overworked immune system which starts to get confused about who the ‘bad guys’ are. As a result, the immune system begins attacking healthy tissue that may resemble the bad guys.

The biggest food factors are gluten and dairy, when it comes to triggering autoimmunity.  These foods, along with processed foods full of additives, preservatives and GMO’s also contribute to the accumulation of inflammation and a confused immune system which starts to attack healthy tissues.

In fact, gluten closely resembles the same structure as thyroid tissue.

Gut invaders (parasites, bacteria, yeast) produce their own waste products that are toxic.  And just like environmental toxins or processed foods, the accumulation of waste results in more inflammation and confusion for the immune system.

You can be on the spectrum for autoimmunity long before it fully evolves and is diagnosed.  

If you have been seeking treatment for health issues with little to no resolve, this could be a clear indication that you have an autoimmune condition.  Most autoimmune symptoms look like other health issues such as hypothyroidism, IBS, anxiety or depression, adrenal exhaustion, and general weight gain.

The first thing you can do (which doesn’t cost you anything!) to assess your autoimmune risk is start asking about family history.  Remember, you must have the gene for autoimmunity to take place.  Even if family members haven’t been diagnosed, if you notice a string of people who have had thyroid, arthritis or other chronic health problems, that could be a sign.  Remember, autoimmunity often goes overlooked or is misdiagnosed.

For lab testing, the best place to get this done is with a Functional Health Practitioner, a Naturopath or someone like me.  We know the right tests and things to look for.  One of the reason why autoimmunity is overlooked is because mainstream doctors are abiding by old standards of outdated reference ranges or measurement.  On average it takes 18 years for new research to reach mainstream doctors.

Controlling the triggers is your best bet for prevention and management.

You may not be able to control what genes are handed down to you, or the fact that you didn’t know you had leaky gut, but you can control the majority of the triggers to prevent autoimmunity or to manage it better.

Reducing inflammation is key for silencing the attack on healthy tissue.

To reduce inflammation in order to prevent autoimmunity, or to manage it better if you already have it, here is what you want to do…

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet free of gluten, dairy, soy, GMO’s and for some people that also includes corn, rice, white potatoes, quinoa, legumes, seeds, eggplant, tomatoes and peppers.

Minimize your exposure to toxins by purchasing non-toxic cleaners and personal care products, getting a HEPA air filter for your home and office, and eating organic.

Make sure you get good quality sleep, exercise regularly to help flush out toxins you can’t avoid or don’t know about, and take any supplements that your body needs to support its optimal function.

And finally, check your gut for any unwanted parasites, bacteria and/or yeast that are constantly putting out toxic waste and contributing to leaky gut.

The best part is that by doing all of these things, you’re also healing any degree of leaky gut that you might have!

To learn more about your risk of autoimmunity or how to manage it better, I invite you to schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Call with me here.

Car Insurance Has No Guarantees

No Health Guarantees Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

“Just because you have car insurance doesn’t mean you’ll never get in a car accident, there are no guarantees.  Car insurance does help you recover quicker from the car accident, physically and financially which is why it’s so important to have it.”

This is the analogy I gave my friend as she asked me how I was doing after receiving my recent diagnosis, Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune thyroid disorder, just a few weeks ago.

She asked me “are you upset at the fact that you live such a healthy life and with everything you do to prevent this in yourself, and clients, you now have it?”

I immediately replied, “absolutely not!”- and gave her my car insurance analogy.  I don’t drive around expecting not to get in a car accident because I have car insurance, I know it’s there to protect me when I do.

This is life.  It’s unpredictable, which is why it’s SO important to take care of our health as much as we can.

I’ll admit, when the results of my recent blood work and my Hashimoto’s diagnosis was revealed I was taken back a bit.  

Hashimoto’s, like other autoimmune disorders, is when the body is essentially attacking itself.  It views normal tissues as invaders or toxins, and thus declares war sending out the firing squad in the form of antibodies to take down the perceived threat.

In order to have an autoimmune disorder, three things must be in place.  You must…

1- Have the gene for it

2- Have leaky gut, resulting in a lot of inflammation

3- Encounter an environmental trigger, signaling the troops to attack

Like a lot of clients I work with, I had no idea what my family history of autoimmune disorders was and therefore I had no idea if I had the gene for it.  

This is just one of the motivating factors I have for living a healthy life. If I don’t know, I might as well protect myself against it anyways.  Same as we don’t know if or when we might get in a car accident ,so it’s best to have car insurance just in case you do.

Here I am living this uber healthy life and yet I still end up with Hashimoto’s, what gives?

In this week’s video and blog I give you the breakdown on what lead to my Hashimoto’s, how I’m ensuring I put this autoimmune disorder into remission and what you can do to prevent it as much as possible.

As I mentioned earlier, besides having the gene for an autoimmune disorder, two other things must also be in place: leaky gut/inflammation and an environmental trigger.

Environmental triggers can come in all kinds of forms and it just so happens that they contribute to leaky gut and inflammation too.  Triggers can be…

  • Gluten and dairy
  • Certain species of parasites, bacteria, yeast
  • Mold, heavy metals and chemical or toxin exposures
  • Chronic, unrelenting stress
  • Other hormones that are out of balance in the body

My known triggers are mold and estrogen dominance.

I started working from home full time about 2 years ago and it wasn’t until May of this year that I discovered mold in our house.  I have no idea how long I had been exposed to it but I can tell you that looking back now my body was giving me signs as early as a year ago.

Only one quarter of the population will display symptoms of mold toxicity, which is why it can be so hard to diagnose.  Four people can be living in the same house and only one of them could be showing physical symptoms of mold exposure.

Mycotoxins (aka toxins from mold) lead to an increase in inflammation, contribute to leaky gut, a depressed immune system and elevated estrogen levels.

Elevated estrogen was my first clue.  I thought estrogen dominance was causing my recent weight gain, acne and bouts of low mood.  I tackled the estrogen issue and everything went away except for the weight and the occasional pimple that I thought was just a part of PMS.

Still feeling frustrated about my weight, I dove in deeper and decided to run some routine lab work and to re-check my thyroid although it had been normal back in February.

Out of the 11 pages of results, absolutely every marker looked perfect, except my thyroid antibodies, they were elevated just enough to be considered Hashimoto’s.

The great thing about autoimmune disorders is that with the right healthy lifestyle factors in place you can put them into remission.

This is where my car insurance comes into play.

Luckily I’m already practicing 90% of the lifestyle factors that keep autoimmune issues at bay.  

I eat an anti-inflammatory diet

I get plenty of sleep

I exercise but don’t over-train

I’ve been taking supplements to support balance in my body

I practice meditation daily to offset any stress in my life

I use non-toxic lotions, make up, hair and cleaning products

These are the simple things you can do too in order to prevent an autoimmune gene from flexing its power.

While I’m not always perfect at those things, I will be focusing on tightening up my healthy habits and eating an autoimmune Paleo diet for the next few months to heal my body.

In addition, I’m also in the process of eliminating the known triggers in my life; mold and toxins.

Eliminating or minimizing toxin exposure is HUGE for autoimmune issues.

I will be investigating the mold situation in our house to make sure it’s completely removed, and in a non-toxic way.  

I’m also running a few more tests to take a closer look at the toxins that might be built up in my body so I can better support the elimination process with some strategic supplements such as acetylated glutathione.  

I’m determined to not let this Hashimoto’s get the better of me; I’m committed to getting to the root of the problem and fixing it.  This is what a Health Boss does.

I was hesitant to share my story with you at first because I was worried about what people might think of the “Wholistic Health Boss” getting sick, that maybe you would question my credibility.

I decided to share my story with you because I’m only human.  I hope that by sharing my story it might help you uncover what could be affecting you or a loved one. If you’re just not feeling like yourself, I want you to feel empowered to find an answer.

If you want to learn more about your risk for autoimmune disorders, thyroid function, how mold and other environmental triggers can can be affecting your health, or anything else related to your health, schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me here.

P.S.  Want to read more about autoimmunity and thyroid?  Check out two of my favorite books The Autoimmune Solution and Thyroid Connection by Dr. Amy Myers (and you can get them as audio books to breeze through them in the car!)

Natural Pain Relief To Minimize Medication Usage

Natural Pain Relief Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Would you believe me if I told you I haven’t taken any over-the-counter or prescription pain medications in over 3 years?

I can remember exactly the last time I took an OTC (over-the-counter medication), it was September 7, 2011 during the widespread Southern California power outage and I was on my deathbed with a debilitating ear infection.

That was also the last time I ever had an ear infection. The pain I experienced with that ear infection was the last straw for me. I vowed to never have to go through that kind of excruciating pain again, and I committed myself to healing my body no matter how long or how much it would take.

Part of healing my body meant eliminating my exposure to toxins and chemicals, a lot of which can be found in some of the most regularly used OTC’s and prescription medications including painkillers (aka NSAIDS), birth control and anti-histamines.

We tend to think that just because these medications are FDA approved they are safe for us and that’s not exactly the case. All you have to do is look at the LONG list of side effects to get an idea of how potentially dangerous they can be.

OTC’s and prescriptions provide immediate relief, but they also cause long-term damage.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as Motrin, Aleve and Advil are huge contributors to leaky gut because they violently inflame the intestinal lining. Over time, this regular assault of inflammation from these types of medications (and prescription ones too) wares down the gut, destroying healthy bacteria and leaving it unable to fight off other infections.

The biggest long term side effect of these meds is leaky gut, and when your gut is leaky that means you’re even more susceptible to…

Allergies, infections, colds and flus
Chronic inflammation and pain
Depression, anxiety and mood swings
Adrenal and thyroid dysfunction
Insomnia, fatigue and just poor quality sleep
And more…

In this week’s video and blog I talk more about the long term side effects of OTC’s, prescriptions, and natural pain relievers to help you get off these medications to heal your gut, adrenals, thyroid and promote optimal health!

The root of all disease and pain is inflammation, so the first thing you can do to reduce any pain you’re experiencing is to work eliminating the factors contributing to your inflammation.  

Since over 80% of your immune system is located in the gut, you want to reduce inflammation in the gut so your immune system can effectively do its job.  By doing this simple thing, inflammation will start to decrease everywhere in the body.

You can reduce inflammation using food, sleep, by avoiding toxins and healing your gut.

When my clients are experiencing pain, I look to provide them what I call “relief care”- some type of holistic or homeopathic remedy to ease their pain in the short term while we work on the lifestyle factors that will give them long term relief.

These are some of my top tips for natural pain “relief care” to address the most common types of pain and to kick the use of OTC’s, NSAIDs and potentially prescriptions that are causing more long term damage and pain….

Migraines/Tension Headaches

  • Peppermint essential oil – diffuse or rub a small amount under your nose and temples- this opens up blood vessels delivering more blood flow and oxygen to the brain
  • Meditation – a minimum of 10 minutes can make all the difference
  • Arnica – a homeopathic remedy for muscle tension/soreness- you can ingest it or apply it topically to the area of tension
  • Try all of the above together for super strength pain relief

Joint or Muscle Aches/Pains

  • Cold & Hot Shower – alternating cold and hot water for 2 minutes at a time, get inflammation moving out of the body
  • Arnica – a homeopathic remedy for muscle tension/soreness, you can ingest it or apply it topically to the area of tension
  • Magnesium – start with 200mg and you can slowly increase to 400mg for pain relief and muscle recovery (be careful, too much at once can cause diarrhea)
  • Try all of the above together for super strength pain relief

Menstrual Cramps

  • Caulophyllum Talictroides – a homeopathic supplement found at your local health food store that can be ingested
  • Magnesia Phos – another homeopathic supplement found at your local health food store that can be ingested
  • Arnica – a homeopathic remedy for muscle tension/soreness, you can ingest it or apply it topically to the area of tension
  • Exercise – believe it or not, getting up and going for a walk or moving your body helps to balance your hormones to alleviate cramps and other PMS symptoms
  • Try all of the above together for super strength pain relief

Allergies

  • Quercetin and Nettles – these two herbal supplements are packed full of anti-histamine power, you can usually find both of them as ingredients in a holistic allergy relief supplement
  • Lemon Water – lemon helps to thin mucus, to relieve congestion and to remove toxins created by allergens
  • Avoid Gluten & Dairy – both of these food groups are HUGE contributors to inflammation, leaky gut and mucus production
  • Try all of the above together for super strength pain relief

Give some of these things a try the next time you’re struck with pain.  In the beginning they may not have as powerful of a punch as the medications you’re used to taking, but starting to make the shift will make a difference over time.

Ultimately what is going to help you be pain free like me (eventually), is adopting a healthy lifestyle centered around eating an anti-inflammatory diet, getting adequate sleep, reducing your toxic exposure, and having an outlet for stress.  

This type of healthy lifestyle is what I’ve committed to and here I am- 5 years ear infection, OTC, NSAID and prescription pain med free 🙂

If you want to explore more ways to relieve your pain naturally, then schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me here.

Is Gluten Sensitivity Real?

Is Gluten Sensitivity Real Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Gluten free foods are starting to take over the shelves at the grocery store and even popular kid’s cereal brands are investing in gluten free commercial marketing campaigns these days.  

But most people still make fun of or still wonder if gluten sensitivity is even real.

Today I’m here to settle the argument once and for all, and to give you the inside scoop on what gluten sensitivity really is and if it could be affecting you.  There is new research available that is putting these myths to rest, finally.

First, I want to clarify the difference between Celiac Disease and the term “gluten sensitivity.”

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune condition.  In order to be diagnosed with Celiacs you must have the gene for it.  If you do, your body would violently react to any kind of gluten exposure- so extreme sometimes that even if a piece of bread touched the same plate that you ate from it would make you sick.

Gluten sensitivity, on the other hand, means that your body is sensitive to gluten which results in a more moderate reaction in the form of inflammation.  You could think of it like an allergy to gluten, but one that you would never get rid of.

Symptoms of gluten sensitivity can include but are not limited to…

  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Leaky gut
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Bloating and gas
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Fatigue or energy crashes
  • Autism or being on the spectrum
  • Joint/muscle aches, pains or inflammation
  • Stomach aches/pains, constipation, diarrhea
  • Autoimmune disorders (i.e. Hashimotos, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, MS, etc.)

How many of these symptoms have you had or do you experience?  And has anyone ever told you that they might be because of a gluten sensitivity?

A lot of people don’t associate these symptoms with a reaction to gluten because the concept of gluten sensitivity has not crossed over into our mainstream medicine yet.  Doctors are still chasing symptoms and prescribing medications instead of paying attention to diet.

What if eliminating one food could solve all of your health and weight problems?

In this week’s video and blog I unveil the truth about gluten sensitivity from the most recent research and whether it’s affecting your health or not.

One of the reasons people question whether gluten sensitivity is real is because wheat has been a staple in our diet for ages, so they wonder “why is it all of a sudden a problem now?”  However, what most people don’t realize is the wheat and grains we eat today look much different than what our great-grandparents were eating.

In fact, wheat is even different in other countries than it is in the United States.  Over time, gluten has become an issue as a result of the industrialization, genetic modification and chemicalization of our food.

To put all of the questioning about gluten sensitivity and its effects to rest, Columbia University Medical Center recently did a study to evaluate how gluten impacts the everyday person.

So what did they find?…leaky gut!

The participants in the study showed signs of leaky gut AND systemic immune activation, indicating a chronic inflammatory response to eating gluten.

So what does that mean for you?  

It means GLUTEN AFFECTS EVERYONE NEGATIVELY regardless if you know it or not.

I can attest to this personally and so can all of my health coaching clients.  Once I started living a gluten free lifestyle my joint aches and pains dissipated, my weight became more manageable, my anxiety went away and my skin was glowing.

Even if you don’t have the Celiac gene, gluten is still wreaking havoc on your system.  The chronic inflammation and leaky gut that gluten contributes to causes your immune system to eventually tank, disrupts your hormonal balance and negatively impacts your health over time.

Gluten has even been identified as a trigger for underlying autoimmune issues.  Meaning if you have an autoimmune gene that hasn’t been expressed, gluten can trigger the disease to present itself.

Other health conditions such as alzheimer’s and autism have been linked to gluten as well.

The research doesn’t lie.  Gluten sensitivity is real for all of us. It’s time to start re-thinking the way we’ve been eating in this new age world.  Next time you reach for that piece of bread, plate full of pasta or slice of pizza, be aware of the harm you’re doing to your body – there are plenty of other foods to choose from that taste just as good and have more nutritional value to support your body in the ways it needs most.

If you’re curious to learn more about how gluten has affected you, about leaky gut or any other gluten sensitivity related health issues schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me here.

4 Health Lessons I Learned In Europe

4 Health Lessons I Learned In Europe Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

I just got back from the most amazing 23-day trip through Europe.  I journeyed through Croatia, Italy and the Netherlands.  I met up with old friends and made some new ones.

While I certainly was expecting an abundance of adventure, I wasn’t exactly expecting to return home with some very important health lessons.

Sometimes it takes getting out of your space to realize the most important things in life.

We have a tendency to get stuck where we are, to constantly criticize, to under appreciate and not even recognize what our current state of normal is.

This becomes so apparent when I work with new clients.  Feeling fat, tired and sick all the time and a victim of their circumstances is their current normal when we start our work together.  They have no idea what it feels like to “feel good” and be empowered.

I’ve even had some say to me “ I don’t know if I’ve ever felt good before.” And after a week or two into our work they are singing their praises about how amazing they are feeling just from some small shifts in their diet and a few supplements to support their body.

The first 30 to 90 days of a client’s health rebuilding program is what I call the “honeymoon phase.”  They are naturally high and lit up about how they are feeling because they’ve been living in the dark for so long and now they know what it’s like to feel different.

We only know what we know until we know something different.

Shortly after the honeymoon phase passes, when feeling good becomes the new normal, for some reason we start to take for granted how good we are feeling.  I say ‘we’ because I’m guilty of this, too.

Eating healthy, taking supplements, going to the gym, meditating, drinking water, and getting to bed at a reasonable time start to feel burdensome.  Logically we know that these things are essential for our health, but we start to rationalize not doing them as consistently because we are feeling so good.

Consistency is crucial, and this was one of my biggest takeaways from my trip.

In this week’s video and blog I dive more into how consistency is so crucial and my other top health takeaways from my 23-Day trip to Europe.

I’ve been at this health game as I currently teach and talk about it now for over 3 years.  I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs.  I haven’t been perfect, but I have always been committed to improving my health and to learning from my slip-ups.

During my journey through Europe there were a lot of realizations I had about my health and here are the most important ones I wanted to share with you:

#1- Meditation Is A Must

I’ve had a consistent meditation practice now for almost a year.  However, without my regular routine, moving from place to place every few days and wanting to get out early for sightseeing, I hardly meditated at all and I felt it in a big way.  

Being calm, cool and collected had become my new normal once I started consistently meditating.  So when my old, shorter-tempered, more irritable and anxious self showed up on my trip, it brought to light just how important it is for me to meditate regularly.  Living with a short fuse means shortening your life. It triggers the flight or fight response, disrupting hormones and causing the body to age rapidly.  

I had become so used to being at peace I forgot what it was like to be any other way.  I am so grateful for this reminder that mediation is non-negotiable, as my friend and colleague Molly Hamill would say.

#2- I’m Better Off Without Gluten And Dairy

I had a ball eating pasta, bread and mounds of cheese in Europe!  It was delicious.  I’ve spent the past few years creating a consistent gluten, dairy, sugar and soy-free lifestyle to heal my leaky gut, rebalance my hormones and improve my health but this was a once in a lifetime kind of trip.

I was able to eat these foods in abundance and not experience the usual digestive upset and anxiety I would get in the past (a sign my gut is healing!).  However, that doesn’t mean that gluten and dairy didn’t affect me.  I still experienced nasal congestion and some mild joint pain from my indulgences.  It was a friendly reminder that even while my digestion might seem fine, gluten and dairy are still disruptive and inflammatory to the body, so I shouldn’t be fooled.

#3- Make Time To Metabolize

It was a miracle if we finished a meal in under 2 hours.  And not because we were stuffing our faces, but because the culture in Europe is to take your time with your meals, to enjoy the food – there is no rush.  

Sometimes even when I eat the healthiest of foods I can experience a little bit of digestive upset, and it’s almost always associated with stress or eating too fast. In Europe I experienced NONE of this, no matter what I ate, and likely because I was relaxed at each meal,giving my body time to actually digest.  I’m bringing back a little bit of Europe’s slower pace of eating to honor my body and give it the time it needs to properly metabolize in a conscious effort to let the healing continue to happen.

#4- This Is Working!

My newest normal has been in a “feeling good” place.  Once you start feeling well, it’s easy to forget how crappy you used to feel. It’s easy to lose sight of how far you’ve come and the gratitude that goes along with that.

During my trip, I returned to some of the places I had been 3 years ago and it brought back memories of how much I was struggling with my health before.  I remembered feeling bloated, exhausted and wanting to nap all of the time, and completely drained from jetlag.  

This time I was pleasantly surprised – I didn’t have an ounce of jetlag, I didn’t get sick, my energy was good all of the time, I was able to sleep just fine and re-entry into reality upon my return went smoothly.  All of the work I have invested in my health and the consistency I’ve been creating with this healthy lifestyle is really starting to pay off!

You might be wondering why am I sharing all of this with you.  

I’m sharing it because I know what it’s like to feel stuck, to feel like every day is a struggle, to know you have more potential but you don’t know how to harness it.

And I want you to know that even those of us who “appear” to be healthy have to work at it daily.

Healthy is a way of being, not doing.

I want you to know that truly being healthy means living into it consistently.  It is a journey.  No one is perfect, but every day is a new day to try, and over time you’ll be there before you know it.

HIT REPLY! – I would love to hear from you about what resonated most with you from my sharing my experience.  Hit reply and let me know 🙂

Are Estrogen And Mold Making You Fat?

Are Estrogen and Mold Making You Sick? Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Working from home definitely has its perks.  But after working from home full time for two years, I realized it was also making me fat, sick and tired.

Let me tell you a little story about how working from home, estrogen and mold were all working against me…

It all started November of 2015.  I began to notice a little extra weight around my hips, waists and thighs.  

It was strange, though.  Although the scale said my weight was starting to climb, I was still able to fit into all of my clothes, so I dismissed the signs thinking it must be broken.

As we rolled into 2016, I noticed more things that just didn’t feel right…

I was feeling tired all the time
I couldn’t think as clearly as before
I had adult acne and I never had acne before
I wasn’t motivated to work, be creative, or be social
I was easily irritable, sensitive and emotional
My weight continued to climb to numbers I had never seen before

Then my menstrual cycle went really wonky, and I developed a breast issue which four doctors I went to had never seen or heard of before.

I started to freak out a little.  Here I am, the Wholistic Health Boss suffering from something that not even a doctor could put his/her finger on.

I talked myself off the ledge and put my health detective hat on yet again…

Nothing had changed in my diet, I was eating cleaner than ever
I toned back my exercise intensity thinking maybe I had over trained myself
My sleep was on point, in bed by 10pm and awake with the sun, as usual
Stress was less working for myself and all was good with family and friends

I racked my brain over and over again.  What could this be?  I knew had to be hormone related in some way but I was having trouble putting all the pieces together since nothing in my lifestyle had changed significantly, except for working from home.

Then it struck me!  I had Estrogen Dominance.

Estrogen Dominance can affect men and women, and it’s characterized by looking at the ratio of estrogen to progesterone.

But what was causing this imbalance in my body so suddenly?  All of a sudden the 2nd piece of the puzzle practically fell in my lap.

I opened the closet door in my office and I found MOLD!

In this week’s video and blog I share more of my story, and how estrogen and mold could be making you fat, just like it was doing to me.

I’ve had a few clients, men and women, who have suffered from estrogen dominance.  They have experienced symptoms similar to mine such as:

  • Unexpected or rapid weight gain
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Fatigue, can’t think clearly or just unable to focus
  • Constantly feeling bloated, puffy or retaining water
  • Feelings of mild depression or lacking motivation

Estrogen dominance can be caused by several different factors, but the most common one is from exposure to toxins.

There are over 700 known toxins in our environment that can mimic estrogen in the body, and mold toxins happen to be one of them.

Typically when there is excess estrogen in your body, it should be able to get rid of it.  However, excess estrogen must be flushed out through the liver.  If your liver is clogged or sluggish then a backup of estrogen starts to occur just like a traffic jam.

In my case, being exposed to mold in my house for who knows how long was playing a major role in the buildup of estrogen and decrease in progesterone creating an estrogen dominant ratio for me…

Mold toxins were overloading my liver AND they were mimicking estrogen.

Part of the problem is that we can’t always see, hear or feel the toxins that we are being exposed to that are causing chaos internally in our body.  They hide in our air, water, food, cosmetics, cleaning products, and in our work and home.  

Mold is one of the most elusive ones.  It hides in the walls, on our furniture, fabrics and even our pets.

Since we can’t always detect these toxins, it becomes imperative to protect ourselves from them.

Certain foods can boost our liver function and balance estrogen to minimize the impact from exposure to these disruptive toxins.

To support your liver in excreting excess estrogen and toxins, eat  the most powerful naturally detoxifying foods such as:

  • Beets
  • Grapefruit
  • Dandelion Greens

To balance your estrogen eat cruciferous veggies such as:

  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Cabbage and kohlrabi
  • Kale and mustard
  • Brussels sprouts and bok choy
  • Rutabaga and turnip greens

And incorporate foods high in phytonutrient indole-3-carbinol, such as 1 tablespoon of flaxseed daily.

Once I got rid of the mold and started eating more foods to support my liver’s natural ability, my body began to balance estrogen. I immediately started feeling better.

Right away my skin cleared up, I wasn’t irritable anymore, I was more motivated and got my energy back!

For weeks now you’ve been hearing me stress the importance of supporting your liver for various reasons – to promote weight loss, improve thyroid function, increase energy, and to rid the body of toxins.

I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR LIVER!

Tomorrow marks the last day for you to enroll this fall’s Seasonal Cleanse Challenge where you will have the opportunity to show your liver some love, to promote your own weight loss, and balance your hormones for optimal health.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you up!

Learn more and sign up for the Seasonal Cleanse Challenge Here

(Enrollment ends 10/14, only 50 spots available on a first come first serve basis)

P.S.  If you want to find out if you have Estrogen Dominance you can take a simple at-home urine test – schedule an Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me here to get more info.  And to learn more about mold exposure and do an inexpensive test, check out www.survivingmold.com

Striking A Balance

Striking a Balance Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Health is about balance – striking a balance between what you eat and moving your body, a balance of hormones, finding balance between work and life, how much water you need daily versus how much you eliminate, a balance of indulgence and healthy choices.

I like to call myself a realist when it comes to health. 

I aim to live in the 90/10 zone and coach my clients to do the same; 90% of the time minding healthy habits while reserving 10% of the time for special occasions and indulgences.

This is why I’m writing to you today while on my 23-Day trip to Europe.  This is my work life balance, and I’m fully taking advantage of my 10% indulgences.

I’ve had wine every day for over a week at this point, bread or pasta almost daily, and I’ve only been in bed by 10pm a handful of times.

Although I’m not being perfect, I’m still being mindful about my health.

I’m striking a balance and not completely sacrificing my health in the name of fun…

I’m still drinking at least 70 ounces of water a day.

I’ve packed healthy snacks from home to take with me everywhere.

I brought my most important supplements to support my liver, digestion and my sleep.

I make sure to have a nourishing breakfast every day free of gluten and dairy, and packed full of proteins, fruits and veggies.

For me, striking a balance is all about controlling what you can and minimizing the impact from the things you can’t.

For example…

If pasta is the only option on the menu then take a digestive enzyme to help your body metabolize it and add some gelatin or collagen to your water to help repair the damage.

If you’re exposed to unknown toxins or have more alcoholic beverages than usual during vacation, aim to eat more greens and take a liver support supplement to help your liver flush those toxins out.

This is exactly why I personally participate in and offer a Seasonal Cleanse Challenge twice a year (learn more and sign up here).

In this week’s video and blog I talk more about how I strike a balance while traveling and why my Seasonal Cleanse Challenge is such a critical component to maintaining my own health.

Our bodies are hard at work for us all the time.  They are constantly filtering out toxins that we unknowingly or knowingly expose them to, they are digesting and converting food to energy for us, they are running on little sleep or pushing through overworking.

This is what inspired me to start doing a monthly cleanse twice a year as part of healing my hormone and gut, to refresh my body, boost my energy and maintain my weight.  

It’s a way for me to give my body a good tune up just like you would a car.

For me, the Seasonal Cleanse Challenge is an opportunity to recommit myself to my healthy practices.

I get re-aligned with my diet by cutting out the crap and focus on high-energy, nourishing and naturally detoxifying foods to help my body cleanse itself.

I look forward to catching up on any rest that has been lost during the months in between my cleanses and by the end feel fully refreshed.

For me, the Seasonal Cleanse Challenge is the “reset button.”  

Because I’m not perfect (and I don’t expect myself to be), because I can’t control all the variables in my life or my health all the time and because my body works so hard for me every day;  It’s 28-days of my undivided attention to reset myself for success.

Over the years, doing a seasonal cleanse has become a cornerstone to my health.  It makes me feel alive, energetic and vibrant again.  It puts be back on the right path to taking care of myself like I know I should if I’ve gone astray.  It helps me shed any unwanted weight that has crept up and heals my body from the inside out.

Previously, I desperately bounced from different diets and workout routines, chiropractors and acupuncturists trying to find the magical combo to relieve my pain and struggle with weight, energy and my hormones.

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 built up toxins! Toxins clog the liver, which plays a HUGE role in converting hormones, metabolism and weight loss.

So many people are missing this crucial piece, so I’m on a mission to stop the frustration and teach more people how to take back control of their health and weight by cleansing the body naturally.

Will you join me and many others in the Seasonal Cleanse Challenge to get back on track with your ideal health and weight?

Learn more and sign up here!  

(Enrollment officially ends Oct. 14th and space is limited)

Is Bacon Ok To Have On A Cleanse? (+ LAST DAYS TO SAVE $20)

Is Bacon Ok To Have On A Cleanse? Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Hell yes!!!

Bacon is not only approved, it’s actually encouraged during my Seasonal Cleanse Challenge.

bacon heartThat might sound odd to you 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 that our body is going through 24/7 to help you flush out toxins that you come in contact with all day long. Protein is a critical nutrient that your body needs during phase 1 and 2 in order breakdown and package up the toxins for elimination.

Plus, deprivation is never fun.  When we deprive ourselves we usually end up giving in to temptation, fall off the wagon and find it harder to get back on track.

My Seasonal 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…

“I liked how it was a program of empowerment and not a program of deprivation. Instead of preventing me from having things, it turned me on to new things and allowed me to see how enjoyable and rewarding being healthy and mindful eating could be.” – Robin, F.

This was the first cleanse I’ve ever done. What intrigued me about this cleanse was that fact that I could still eat food! I was nervous about cutting out foods I love for 30 days but it was surprisingly easier than I thought. I have found new (healthier) foods that I love now! I’m also able to make healthier choices every day, especially when eating out.” – Jodi V.

I  associated ‘cleanse’ with deprivation- not at all true in this cleanse! I was pleasantly surprised by Jenn’s methods and clear instructions to eat! This cleanse is all about eating more of the right things for your body and eliminating toxins by avoiding things like sugar and processed foods. The daily tracker was a great motivator for me. It allowed me to make choices for myself each day, without the feeling of all-or-nothing rules of many other cleanses. I felt results almost immediately in my mood and body.” – Van L.

SEASONAL CLEANSE CHALLENGE ENROLLMENT IS NOW OPEN!! ENROLL HERE

This challenge will help you boost your liver function to promote the body’s detoxification process naturally using foods and gentle cleansing methods so that you can:

  • Lose those stubborn pounds
  • Boost your energy
  • Enhance your hormones and overall health

The challenge start October 25th, but Early Bird enrollment is now open!!! Save $20 if you enroll by TOMORROW/THURSDAY, SEPT. 20TH –  ENROLL HERE

Here’s how the Seasonal 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, reduce belly bloat and inflammation
  • Be incorporating 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 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
  • Get accountability to exercise for at least 30 minutes daily, to drink plenty of water and to get good quality sleep to support the body’s cleansing process
  • Be invited to attend exclusive 30 minute live or recorded weekly webinars and be part of a private Facebook group for support
  • Receive recipes and a checklist to guide you along your journey
  • Get a quick start goodie bag to get you moving in the right direction
  • EARN POINTS FOR EACH CLEANSING ACTIVITY TO QUALIFY FOR PRIZES!

Save $20 when you enroll by September 30th.  There are only 50 spots available so make sure you grab your spot ASAP. ENROLL HERE

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 protected]

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!

Are you ready for a challenge?

Save $20 when you enroll by September 30th.  There are only 50 spots available, so make sure you grab your spot ASAP. ENROLL HERE

#TBT- When Diet & Exercise Aren’t Enough (+ Challenge Open and Webinar Replay)

When Diet and Exercise Aren't Enough Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

I’ve been hearing so many people recently talk about their frustrations with weight loss, energy and their health – “but I eat healthy and exercise so I don’t understand why…”

– I’m not losing weight
– I still don’t have any energy
– My health isn’t improving

Even my own clients feel this frustration and I have to kindly remind them that there is more to health and weight loss than just diet and exercise.

We talked in detail about this during Tuesday’s webinar The Daily Detox: No Juices, Gimmicks or Supplements Required! and you can catch the REPLAY HERE

So in honor of #throwbackthursday and of these frustrations I’m bringing back this article I wrote earlier this year to ease your mind and to paint the big picture of what’s really going on…

***

Have you ever struggled with weight loss? Or maybe you’ve noticed that as you get older, it seems harder to lose those extra pounds after the holidays, even if you kick off the New Year eating healthy and with a solid workout routine.

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 what was holding me back. Not long ago, not only was I struggling with losing weight but so were my clients. 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. And what about the people who diet like crazy, go to Crossfit daily and who still don’t lose weight as they 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.

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 losing weight 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 causing estrogen dominance, which can lead to excess weight, hot flashes and an increased risk for cancer.

The liver is also where 60% of thyroid hormone conversion takes place, and most people know that an imbalance in thyroid slows your metabolism and can lead to weight gain.

If you are consistently exercising, then your muscles need fuel and your liver will help send fuel in their direction, but a clogged liver won’t. Then all that excess glucose fuel gets stored as fat.

In this week’s video and blog I talk more about the key role that your liver plays in weight loss and how to boost its function to shed those pounds.

Here are 10 common signs your liver needs detoxing:

  1. Abdominal bloating
  2. Menstrual irregularities
  3. Abdominal fat; pot belly; that “spare tire” effect
  4. Joint and muscular pains
  5. Low energy or fatigue
  6. Acid reflux/heartburn
  7. Dark spots on the skin commonly referred to liver spots
  8. Overheating of the body & excessive perspiration
  9. Acne/Rosacea or itchy, blotchy skin
  10. Unexplained weight gain and inability to lose weight even with calorie restriction

Keeping your liver in working order is a matter of reducing stress and toxic load on it.  You can do this several ways…

  1.    Reduce your exposure to toxins
  2.    Eat powerful detoxifying foods; beets, grapefruit, dandelion greens
  3.    Do a detox cleanse 1-2 times per year

***

If you’ve hit a wall with your weight loss or suspect that your liver could use some love, then you are in luck!

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

The challenge start October 25th, but Early Bird enrollment is now open!!!

Save $20 when you enroll by September 30th.  There are only 50 spots available so make sure you grab your spot ASAP.

Don’t let diet and exercise hold you back from discovering your ideal health and weight, learn to love your liver and it will love you back.

ENROLL HERE

The Toxic Body Burden

toxic body burden Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

We now live in a world where more and more chemicals and toxins are being released into the environment every day, week, month and year-  far more than we can even fathom, and our bodies are taking on a huge burden as a result.

In June of this year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a report from a year long study showing that 420 chemicals known or likely known to cause cancer have been found in the human body across different populations.

Let me repeat that…420 chemicals which cause cancer have been found in our bodies.

Cancer may be the worst of what these chemicals cause, but what about what they do to our bodies on a daily basis?

Chemical pesticides found in our food and water have been linked to increases in BMI and insulin resistance in children and rodents.

A classification of toxins known as Obesogens disrupt the endocrine system which houses our thyroid, adrenals, and other glands that regulate metabolism, growth, development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, mood and other bodily functions.

Toxins cause inflammation and immune system dysregulation which makes us more susceptible to autoimmune disorders, other chronic diseases and overall sickness such as colds, flus and allergies.

Exposure to chemicals causes cells that would become bones or other types of tissues to become fat, contributing to things such as osteoporosis, and make our body biased towards burning carbs.

So are we doomed to be a society of sick and toxic people?

Not exactly.  We do have a built-in and very sophisticated detoxification system.  Our liver, kidneys, lymphatic system and even skin are always working hard behind the scenes to flush out as many toxins from our body as possible.

However, our detoxification system and organs could use some support as they are being required to work harder than ever before with the increase of chemicals in our environment.

In this week’s video and blog, I dive into how these chemicals are disrupting our health and what’s the best way to go about supporting your own internal detoxification system.

 

There are a lot of “detoxing” or cleansing programs out on the market these days claiming to boost your energy and help you lose weight as a result of flushing toxins from your body.

But are these programs as effective as they claim to be, or are you just flushing your money down the toilet (literally)?

Let’s examine some of the biggest myths around detoxing your body of the toxic burden and what you should know or be doing instead…

MYTH #1 – Juice Cleansing Is The Best Way To Detox
FACT – It’s a waste of money if you’re not eating protein.  Protein is required for your body to actually move toxic elements through the different phases of detoxification in order to eliminate them.

MYTH #2 – Diet & Exercise Are The Key To Weight Loss & Eliminating Toxins
FACT – Diet and exercise really aren’t enough.  The liver is the powerhouse when it comes to eliminating toxins, regulating your metabolism and energy, you have to show your liver some love too, in order to get the results you’re looking for.

 

MYTH #3 – Detoxing Requires Expensive Supplements
FACT Supplements help but aren’t the ultimate answer.  You have to decrease the toxic stuff coming in and increase the toxic stuff coming out consistently.  Otherwise those supplements are just keeping you afloat, but never helping you to actually get ahead.

MYTH #4 – Detoxing / Cleansing Requires Deprivation
FACT – No it doesn’t at all!  There are simple ways to detox your body daily using food, water, sleep, exercise and at home liver flushing techniques that still allow you to enjoy food and life.

Reducing your body’s daily toxic burden can be fairly simple once you learn how to identify toxins in your environment and by putting some simple healthy habits in place to support your body’s natural elimination process.

Attend my upcoming FREE webinar The Daily Detox: No Juices, Gimmicks or Supplements Required! on Tuesday, September 20th at 6pm PT / 9pm ET

REGISTER HERE

During this webinar I’ll be going to go into even more detail about how you can detox your body daily and naturally so you can unburden your body, boost your energy, promote weight loss and get back to feeling like your less toxic self again!

Plus, when you register for the webinar you’ll Get My Top 6 Favorite Detox Recipes, Instantly!

REGISTER HERE
P.S.  For those who have been asking about the next Seasonal Cleanse Challenge, I’ll be revealing the enrollment dates during the webinar.  There’s only going to be 50 spots available on a first come first serve basis 🙂