12 Hormone Hacks for the Holidays!

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

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

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

And even though holiday happenings and shopping has been more virtual, the past 2 years have been packed with all kinds of hurdles that have likely hit your hormones pretty hard.

To help you keep your hormones intact this holiday season and breathe life back into them for 2022, on December 12th I’m kicking off my annual Instagram and Facebook series called the “12 Days of Healthy Hormone Hacks for the Holidays” 

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

Here’s a sneak peek at what I’ve got lined up for you starting December 12th…

Day 1 – Fill Up With Fat

This likely sounds counterintuitive, but trust me, it’s not when it comes to your hormones, energy levels, and kicking cravings!  

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

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

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

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

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

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

Focus on filling up with healthy fats throughout the day and notice the way it makes you feel more full, more energized, and craving-free.

***

Day 2 – Breathe Deeply

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

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

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

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

Deep Breathing. 

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

Try this ten times…

  • Inhale for 5 seconds
  • Hold the breath 5 seconds
  • Exhale for 7 seconds

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

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

***

Day 3 – Go Green

During the holidays, inflammation is on the rise as we indulge in different foods or beverages that might have a more inflammatory effect on the body. Other factors include toxins we encounter while traveling and any mental or emotional stress we might experience this time of year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

As I mentioned in tip 1, when talking about filling up with fats to keep your hormones healthy, one of my favorite fat bomb beverages is a matcha latte with full-fat coconut milk and vanilla bean ghee.  This keeps me feeling full and energized for at least 5 hours, plus has all the added anti-inflammatory benefits.

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

***

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

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

 

 

 

Healthy Holiday Gift Guide [2021]

2021 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide

 

Your healthy holiday gift guide!

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

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

And while this might be true, health-supporting gifts are the ones that will keep on giving long after the holidays are gone.  The past two years have really taken a toll on everyone’s health across the globe and it has shown us that we need to take better care of ourselves. 

No one wants to ask for healthy things for the holidays because it’s too taboo, but it’s what we all really want and need in the long run.

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

Queen of Thrones Castor Oil Pack (click to shop)
Castor oil packs have been a critical part of healing my Hashimotos, mold illness, and weight loss journey for years now. I continue to use one regularly to maintain the results I’ve achieved.  Castor oil packs may not sound sexy but they are life-changing!  This is the perfect gift for you or loved ones who struggle with bloating, constipation, hormone imbalances, and pain.

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

LMNT Electrolytes (click to shop)
Talk about a great incentive to drink more water and an awesome hydrating cocktail mixer all in one.  LMNT electrolytes are part of my daily routine and an essential element to my prolonged 72-hour fasts to ensure my body is always hydrated so it can function optimally and I can feel great.  Plus, their fun, natural flavors can be mixed with club soda to make a magnificent mocktail or margarita with a splash of tequila.  The majority of people are walking around dehydrated without even knowing it.

These are the perfect stocking stuffers to boost hydration and promote more energy, weight loss, hormone balance, and more!

And they even have a Mint Chocolate for a limited time for the holidays!

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

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

Keto-Mojo (click to shop)
Blood sugar imbalances are the number one robber of energy, sleep, and weight loss.  When your blood sugar is on a roller coaster of highs and lows, so is the rest of your life.  The secret to having stable energy, sleep, and weight is stabilizing your blood sugar and Keto-Mojo is the perfect tool to help you dial this in and get your mojo back!  I personally use the Keto-Mojo to spot-check my blood sugar responses to food and to ensure my body is in a fat-burning ketosis mode.

This is the perfect tool to kick off those new year health improvement and weight loss resolutions right!

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

BeautyCounter Skin & Body Products (click to shop)
Every year I get some kind of beauty, skin, or body care product from someone; a bar of soap, lotion, eye makeup, or even perfume.  And just like tea, I wish the products were good for me but most of the time they aren’t; so they get donated after the holidays.  But with BeautyCounter products, you can’t go wrong.  

This product line is a foundation in our household.  All of my skincare and makeup products are from BeautyCounter, and my husband even uses their men’s line.  Aside from being a cleaner, safer skin and body-care line, BeautyCounter is also a B-Corporation, meaning they support nonprofits that align with their mission and invest in a cleaner future by partnering with leading scientists in the search for safer ingredients that will make up the better products for tomorrow.

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

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

Our household sauna has been another essential tool for healing my Hashimotos, mold illness, and weight loss journey, and I continue to use one regularly to maintain the results I’ve achieved.

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

***

That wraps it up for my healthy holiday gift guide for 2021 so you can feel your best in 2022!

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

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

Happy Holidays, and make sure to follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook for my 12 Days of Healthy Hormone Hacks series starting December 12th so you can feel great after the holidays instead of fat, tired and sick 😉

 

 

 

I’m grateful for you [quick video]

Gratitude Message - Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

I’m grateful for you!

I wanted to pop by your inbox really quickly today to share two messages of gratitude with you in celebration of Thanksgiving here in the U.S., and the holiday season as we wrap up 2020.

My two messages for you are…

  1. Why I’m grateful for you specifically
  2. How you can find gratitude in your health and life experiences to create better health, more wealth, and happiness

Watch this quick video to hear my messages for you today.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season wherever you are in the world!

Do DST (Daylight Savings Time) Like a Health Boss

Daylight Savings - Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Let’s be honest, changes in daylight savings time can be challenging.

Does it take weeks for your body to adjust to the time change?

These annual changes used to be really rough, leaving me feeling super tired in the late afternoon or dragging my ass when getting out of bed.

I often wonder why we still do them at all.  And if we were to stop daylights savings, how would we adjust the time to align with the actual time of day during the specific times of the year?

Modernization has given us a lot of conveniences in life, but it doesn’t always take into account what your body needs to feel its best.

Take the light bulb for example…

It’s so much easier to flip a switch or set a timer to turn on your lights from your phone these days instead of fumbling through the dark lighting candles.

However, did you know that artificial lights such as the ones in your very own home can trick your body into thinking the sun is still up and negatively impact your ability to fall asleep or get a good night’s rest?

It’s true.

The same is true for your central heating.  If your home is too warm at night it can also trick your body into thinking the sun is still up.

Your body has an internal clock aligned with the sun and the moon cycles.  

When the sun rises, light and temperature increase, signaling your body to release cortisol hormone which gives you energy to get going in the morning and throughout the day.

When the sun sets, light and temperature decrease, signaling your body to lower cortisol hormone and release the sleep supporting hormone melatonin along with other hormones to restore and repair your body at night.

This internal body clock aligned with the sun cycle is a big part of why it’s so tough to adjust to daylight savings time changes.

But you don’t have to be on the struggle bus over the next few weeks while your body adjusts because there are ways to support your body during this transition. That way, you can have more energy, sleep great through the night and feel your best.

In this week’s video and blog, I’m giving you my top tips to get through daylights savings like a health boss so you can have more energy, feel great, and even lose weight!

Let’s first point out that feeling tired or sluggish after daylight savings isn’t your fault.  It’s the result of a natural response your body has to light and temperature.

So stop beating yourself up and start loving up on your body to get your bounce back.

The key to feeling great, no matter what time of year or timezone you’re in, is to honor your body’s internal clock that is ruled by the sun cycle.

As humans, we are wired to be diurnal, aka day dwelling, meaning our energy is best used during the day and we are meant to sleep when it’s dark.

Opposed to our feline friends or other critters who are nocturnal and enjoy romping around at night.

Based on this internal clock our body does some really important things during certain times of the day.  For example:

  • Sunrise: cortisol is released giving you the energy to get up and get going
  • 5 – 6 am: the large intestines get moving leading to a bowel movement upon waking
  • 11 am – 1 pm: circulation is emphasized to nourish organs and optimize digestion 
  • Sunset: cortisol lowers to lower energy and prep for bedtime
  • Evening: darkness promotes the secretion of melatonin to prep for sleep 
  • Midnight: the largest amount of human growth hormone is released to repair cells
  • 1 – 3 am: the gallbladder, liver, and lungs do their major detox work

When we recognize and adhere to this internal clock it can produce huge results relating to your energy, sleep, hormones, and weight balance.

When we sleep too far past sunrise or stay up late, it interferes with the body’s natural rhythm and can leave you feeling tired, sick, or fat all of the time.

With this knowledge in hand, now you can take action like a health boss to support your body when traveling across different timezones or when daylight savings takes place. 

Here are my top tips to get through daylights savings like a health boss so you can have more energy, feel great, and even lose weight!

#1 – Rise with the Sun
This might be the most challenging but effective one for shifting your energy, improving sleep quality, and ultimately supporting weight loss and feeling your best.  You’ve got to get up when the sun rises or just shortly after.

Remember, according to your body’s natural rhythm when the sun rises so does cortisol which gives you the energy to get up and get going.  Cortisol then peaks about 2 hours after sunrise. If you’re sleeping through this critical moment not only will you feel groggy all day long but you’re also messing with the rhythm of your other hormones.

With the recent daylight savings shift, it’s now lighter earlier in the morning making it super essential to honor this part of your body’s clock.

Don’t hit the snooze button.  Get up, even if you’re slow to get moving.  After doing this for a few days along with the other tips it will get easy.

#2 – Move in the Morning
With cortisol peaking in the morning, this is your best time to move your body.  Most people know of cortisol as the stress hormone, but it’s also what gives us the energy to do things.  

The morning rise in cortisol allowed our ancestors to get out early in the morning to hunt while prey was active, and do most of their “work” while it was bright outside, and before it got too hot.  

While we don’t have to hunt for food, build shelters or migrate, we do want to honor this natural circadian rhythm that has evolved and even leverage it to get better health results.

You can leverage this morning cortisol peak for performance, to get in a more productive workout because you’ll have the natural energy to do so.  Plus, moving your body in the morning will help to improve your sleep quality and routine for an overall balanced sleep-wake cycle.

You can’t out diet, out supplement, or out exercise a poor sleep-wake cycle so get moving in the morning to put results in motion.

#3 – Mimic Sunset
When the sun sets, both light and temperature decrease. But the modern luxuries of life allow us to create an artificial environment that tricks the body into thinking the sun is still up, interfering with our feel-good balance.

When the sunsets, mimic it in your house by dimming lights and temperature.  This will signal your body to lower cortisol, aka energy, and start prepping for bed with the release of melatonin, your sleep hormone.

When you do this, you should feel naturally tired into the evening time instead of wired or getting a “second wind”, which will set you up for a great night’s sleep. This will make  it easier to wake up with the sun in the morning – see how that cycle works!

On average, the optimal sleeping temperature is about 68 degrees so set your thermostat to start working towards that at least 30 minutes before bed.

Turn lights off around the house that you really don’t need, swap light bulbs for softer lighting, or my personal favorite is to use the soft light of salt lamps around the house in the evening. 

#4 – Be Asleep by 10 pm
This step is what makes the whole rhythm work.  According to your internal body clock, it’s critical to be asleep by 10 pm so your body can do all of its major detox and repair work at night.

If you’re not asleep by 10 pm, you’re not in a restful state for these critical actions to take place, thus you’ll wake up feeling exhausted no matter how late you sleep in.

So in order to wake up feeling rested and to have the energy to move your body in the morning, you’ve got to be asleep by 10pm.

This creates the foundation for you to have more energy, balance hormones that are dictated by your cortisol rhythm, lose weight and feel great.  

Every one hour of sleep before midnight is worth two hours of rest for your body.  In the winter months, it’s totally normal and ok to be asleep earlier than 10pm because the days are shorter.  

So don’t fight feeling tired when it’s dark outside, let yourself go to bed and wake up with an abundance of energy to get things done like a health boss!

These are the exact steps I take daily to feel my best every day of the year, despite daylight savings, and they have made a HUGE impact on my client’s health and wellbeing too.

I’d love to hear which step you are going to focus on first.

Comment below to let me know

Fight Colds and V’s Naturally [tips inside]

Fight Cold and Flu - Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

It’s officially Fall here in the northern hemisphere and that means allergy, cold, flu, and V season is upon us.

(Side note: V is that thing going around right now that everyone is talking about, but if I mentioned by name would impact the ability for you to receive this information)

Not only are we facing allergies, the common cold, and the typical flu, but the pandemic is still a thing too.

However, have no fear, because I’ve got some solid tips to help you fight allergies, colds, the flu, and V’s naturally. 

There are actually a lot of simple things you can do daily beyond hand-washing or mask-wearing to boost your immune system and prevent these health hijackers from taking you hostage.

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

Now I take nothing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wrong.

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

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

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

OTC’s also are one of the number one contributors to leaky gut, aka a damaged digestive tract.  Guess what happens when you have a leaky gut?

A leaky gut increases your risk for allergies, colds, and other V’s.

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

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

In this week’s video and blog, I’m sharing natural ways to boost your immunity so you can fight allergies, the common cold, flu, and V’s naturally.

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

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

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

  1. To boost the immune system, which lives in the digestive tract
  2. To increase nutrient availability for the body to improve its defenses 
  3. To reduce inflammation and stress so the body is at less risk for illness

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

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

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

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

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

Some of my favorite natural remedies for allergies, colds, and V’s include:

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

And feel free to reach out for specific product recommendations for these natural remedies if you want to give them a try to ensure they are of the highest quality for the best results.

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

Aside from using natural remedies and healing your gut, there are a few other really important things when it comes to having the strength and stamina to fight allergies, colds, and V’s naturally.

The single most important thing you can do to fight off V’s naturally, that also helps ward of allergies, colds and the flu is…

BALANCE BLOOD SUGAR!

As more research is emerging about the recent pandemic, sugar is being identified as one of the primary risk factors for contracting the V and the severity of symptoms. 

In fact, a recent study “suggests that prolonged uncontrolled hyperglycemia, and not just a history of diabetes mellitus, may be important in the pathogenesis of the disease.”

Hyperglycemia is when an excessive amount of glucose aka sugar is circulating around in the bloodstream. Essentially, what is being found is that high blood sugar levels can increase the number of receptors on a cell making it easier for V’s to enter and replicate.

PLUS, elevated blood sugar levels:

  • Fuel inflammation weakening the immune system’s ability to respond adequately
  • Disrupt your cortisol rhythm and restful sleep cycles that protect against illness
  • Leave you craving more sugar and stuck on a blood sugar roller coaster

Any apparently healthy person can have high levels of blood sugar.  I see this all the time in health-minded clients I work with, even the ones who are “eating healthy” and exercising regularly.

How could this be?

Foods that impact blood sugar goes beyond the well-known added white sugar used in baking cookies, cakes, and other sweet treats. Eating too many carbs, even the so-called healthy ones, for what your body can tolerate can also lead to blood sugar imbalances.

There’s a difference between eating healthy and eating right for your body.  Eating right for your body will include healthy foods but not every healthy food is right for your body. 

Globally, we could all agree a banana is a healthy food, but if you have an allergy or sensitivity to bananas, OR they contain too many carbs and sugars for what your body can tolerate, then they aren’t a healthy food for you. 

When you eat something like said-banana that has these negative effects on you, it spikes your blood sugar and inflammation, making you susceptible to potential V’s, and leaves you craving more sugar to get another energy bump – the vicious cycle continues!

It’s possible to encounter these issues even if you’re eating a Paleo, Whole30, Autoimmune Paleo, or any other type of healthy diet. These diets deal more with food elimination than they do macronutrient (carb, protein, and fat) or blood sugar balance. 

When you eat the wrong ratios of proteins, carbs, and fats for your body, it can lead to blood sugar imbalances making you feel:

  • Tired, anxious, irritable, or needing to nap
  • Snacky, bloated, heavy, or craving for sweets
  • Brain foggy, wired but tired, or physically full and still hungry
  • Worn down and vulnerable to V’s!

Figuring out your food ratios to balance your blood sugar, boost immunity, and energy is actually pretty simple.  All you need to do is:

  1. Tune into your body 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating
  2. Notice how it’s responding to what you ate
  3. Adjust your food ratios until you get the perfect response!

To help you figure out what ratios are right for your body to balance blood sugar, click here to get my Food & Body Language Log.

Next, let’s address sleep as another natural and incredibly impactful tool to help you fight off allergies, colds, the flu, and V’s.

We must learn to value sleep as much as we do diet and exercise.

When you get optimal and restful sleep, the body is able to restore and repair itself, your hormones can rebalance and nutrients can be absorbed and converted into useful tools.

Staying up late at night or not getting a good night’s sleep not only robs your body of critical recovery time. It also disrupts your cortisol balance and energy, leaving you searching for energy via food, queueing the food, and sugar cravings! 

To balance your energy, blood sugar, avoid cravings, promote weight loss, and boost your natural immune defenses, it’s ideal to be asleep by 10 pm most nights of the week (5 out of 7). 

When you do get sick, don’t you always feel better faster when you sleep it off?

This is because your body can only heal in a relaxed state, so if and when you are fighting something off, sleep is critical to your recovery.  Sleep is when human growth hormone is released to repair and replenish cells, and when the body performs other important functions to boost your immunity.

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

If we all committed to eating the right foods for our body to prevent blood sugar issues and building a great sleep routine this allergy, cold, and V season, I bet we could put this pandemic behind us faster. 

Are you up for the challenge?

Comment below and let me know what steps, no matter how small, you can take to fight allergies, colds, and V’s naturally 🙂

P.S. For even more ideas on natural remedies to relieve your symptoms and support your immune system in defending you naturally, check out some of my favorite resources:

It’s the breast time of year again!

Time of Year - Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

It’s that time of the year …. a month that is notorious for “Pinkwashing”.

Last year my friend and breast cancer survivor, Naomi Damask, called me to say she didn’t want another month of just awareness. She wanted women to be educated about how to live a preventative and healthy lifestyle.

You see the facts are the facts:

  • Every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer
  • 1 in 8 will be diagnosed in their lifetime
  • And less than 10% is genetic

Here’s the good news….. we do have the power to do something about it.

And this month I will be one of over 25 experts doing something about it by addressing topics like sleep, gut health, understanding hormones, detoxification pathways, mindset, nutrition and so much more to empower women during the Pink Ribbons event happening October 17th-20th. 

Step aside AWARENESS….

And bring on EMPOWERMENT!

You can register to attend this FREE event with me to empower yourself and others here!!!

By attending this event, not only will you get access to the tools and resources you need to empower yourself, but you’ll be a source of support for others attending the event, AND for women who need access to hormone education and resources.

This year’s Pink Ribbons event will be donating a portion of its proceeds to my non-profit: H.E.R (hormone education and resources) for Women for Life

I don’t know about you, but the health education I received growing up was sub-par, to say the least.

Only one semester of health education was required during middle school and high school, but there were countless requirements for other courses – most of which I’ve hardly used post-high school, if ever in some cases.

Health is a topic critical for everyday life, so why isn’t more education being provided or required?

Knowing how your body works is life-changing.  It takes the guesswork out of living your best life.  It puts you in the driver’s seat and gives you the ability to create a life full of freedom instead of possible life-threatening limitations.

Think of how many breast cancer cases could be prevented with better health education.

It wasn’t until my 30’s did I really start to understand how my body worked as a woman.  

Reaching rock bottom with my long-time hormone imbalance battle led me down the road to 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 experiencing numerous scary breast lumps. 

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 that can increase the risk of breast cancer or other health issues, 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 loss 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 have, or do, you experience?

Just think what life 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 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 prevent breast cancer, gracefully get through menopause, or restore the life they had once before their hormones got out of whack.

Something has to change.

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’ll never forget what my client Dee (name concealed for privacy purposes) 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 comment sparked an idea that could change the course of 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.

This is the mission of H.E.R! – Hormone Education and Resources for Women for Life.

So this month, don’t just wear pink, join me and hundreds of others to do something bigger.

Attend the Pink Ribbons event to empower yourself and others, and support H.E.R all at the same time.

Click here to register NOW.

I’m speaking live [today and tomorrow]

How to Obtain the Perfect Period - Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Looking back, it’s now clear my entire life has been a journey in the pursuit of health. This is probably true for all of us. The journey for some can be a struggle to survive and for others a drive to thrive. I was stuck in survival mode for a long time, and now I’m glad to say I’m thriving. 

But I’ll be the first to admit it’s been a work in progress.

Armed with the knowledge I have now when I look back, I can clearly see that my health issues didn’t happen overnight, but that they were an accumulation of things that happened throughout my life.

As I tell my clients, your body doesn’t wake up one day and decide to be dysfunctional.  What you’re experiencing today is a compilation of events that have happened over time, sometimes starting as early as the point of birth.  

For example, if you were born c-section or weren’t breastfed, then you didn’t get exposed to all the beneficial bacteria needed to develop a strong immune system. It’s like starting life with a health handicap.  

Combining a situation like that with childhood trauma, the standard American diet, environmental toxins, and the daily stressors of our modern-day world – it can easily lead to a state of poor health over time.

One of the earliest, most significant signs of my health status going haywire emerged a few years after starting my menstrual cycle.  

I was plagued with extremely painful and irregular periods, but I didn’t think much of it then.  I simply tried to ignore the issue.  I thought it was great when I didn’t get my period because I didn’t have to deal with it.  And when I did get it, I would load up on some kind of over-the-counter pain killer and go on my way. 

My mom left 7 years before all of this started to happen, so I didn’t really have a female figure in my life to turn to with these kinds of lady issues until my dad happily remarried around the time I turned 16.  By then, my period was so painful I would find myself sitting on the toilet bent over a trash can in pain and vomiting.  

That’s when I started the pill.

I mustered up the courage to tell my stepmom what had been going on and we took a trip to the gynecologist together.  That day started my 17-year codependent and destructive relationship with birth control.  

I’ve never been addicted to any substances, but sometimes when I look at how I used birth control to abuse my body and control my life, and how many other women I’ve known to do the same, I wonder if one day we’ll identify an addiction to this little hormone and health stealing pill.

Having a painful and irregular period from the get-go was an insight into what was to come down the road with my health. It served as a clue about the dysfunction that had already been occurring in my body probably for years leading up to that point, resulting in such drastic hormone imbalances. 

It kills me that our culture has normalized period pain, and how ignoring it or putting a pill bandaid on it is leading to other health issues down the road.

It’s time to recognize that just because something is common doesn’t mean it’s normal, and women don’t have to live this way. 

It’s time for women and our loved ones to come together.

Let’s end women’s suffering from hormone issues and encourage them/us to live fuller lives so they/we can be better daughters, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, mothers, partners, teachers, and leaders in the world – striking change for the generations of women to come, as well as positively impacting the men in their lives.

Join me TODAY at 4pm PT / 7pm ET when I host a fire-side virtual chat as part of the Menstrual Love Challenge.

And click here to catch my talk tomorrow about using food to obtain the perfect period during the final day of the Menstrual Love Challenge.

Surviving seasonal changes [#TBT]

Happy almost Fall to those of you who are in the northern hemisphere and Spring if you’re in the southern!

I personally love the cycle of seasons and the variety they add to life. I can’t wait to indulge in some of my favorite fall foods and decorate my house with all things Halloween.

But I didn’t always feel this way…

Seasonal shifts used to really get me down because of the impacts they had on my health. Living in a foggy state, with migraine headaches, a runny nose, sinus congestion, and other seasonal-related health issues isn’t fun.

So this week I’m bringing back a super helpful blog to help you feel your best during these seasonal shifts!

***

Every Fall and Spring I would struggle with:

  • Foggy brain
  • Low energy
  • Congestion
  • Earaches or infections
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • And downright just feeling blah!

When I moved from Northern California to sunny San Diego for college, I thought it was odd when I began suffering from seasonal allergies. I moved from a farming town full of pollen to a place with refreshing ocean breezes so it didn’t really equate. I brushed it off, completely ignoring the smoke signals my body was sending.

I’ll never forget walking home on the dreadfully hot days in the Fall. Yes, it can get very hot in San Diego from about August to November due to the Santa Ana winds coming from the East, pulling dry heat and all kinds of pollen with them. I lived in a seasonal allergy fog on those days. I couldn’t think straight as I had headaches and recurring earaches, and despite how much coffee I drank, I couldn’t break the wall of fatigue.

Now seasonal shifts are a blip on my radar. I still feel them but they don’t take me down the way they used to anymore. For perspective, my symptoms are a 1 or 2 on a scale of 1-10 when they used to be an 8 to 10.

Seasonal allergies might be common but they are not necessarily normal.

The frequency and intensity of seasonal allergies can be clues about the strength of your body’s immune system since they are an indication of an inflammatory response; the more frequent and intense, the lower your immune system is.

The stronger and healthier your immune system is, the more adaptable it is and thus less reactive to things like pollens and allergens in the air.

Over time, I have implemented strategies to reduce the overall inflammatory load on my body that have taken the intensity of my seasonal sensitives down drastically. When the seasons change, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to keep even the smallest symptoms at bay.

In this week’s video and blog, I share some of my best tips and strategies to help you survive seasonal changes and feel like your best self any time of year.

When seasonal shifts really started to hit in my early 20’s, my inflammatory way of living at the time didn’t help my case.  As most of us do, I lived up my college days going to frat parties, eating pizza or burritos late at night to sober up. All the while, I was going to school full-time, hitting the gym hard to burn off what I was consuming, working part-time, and juggling an internship.

My body never got a break.  I broke it downtime and time again, pushing it to its limits.

Our body will do anything we ask it to, but that doesn’t mean we should.  When we’re young we don’t realize this though, we think we are invincible.  Digestive issues were never a problem for me so I never linked the foods I was eating to how I was feeling. I pursued perfection in my personal and professional life because I thought that’s what I needed to do to be accepted, loved, and successful.

All of the busy-ness, the doing, and the moving elicits a chronic low-grade stress response in the body.  It triggers your sympathetic nervous system, also known as your “fight or flight” response, signaling the body to release cortisol hormone.  Cortisol is your body’s response to stress but it also helps to regulate your energy balance, sleep quality, blood sugar regulation, inflammation, and hormone pathways. 

This busy-ness response paired with emotional stress, less than ideal nights of sleep, hitting the gym hard, hidden environmental toxins, alcohol, and sub-optimal food choices increases the demand for cortisol to regulate stress and inflammation.

The constant demand for cortisol due to an overstimulated fight or flight response really starts to wear down your body over time, and it can lead to all kinds of imbalances, health issues, a weakened immune system, and even seasonal allergies. 

To strengthen the immune system and boost the body’s ability to handle seasonal changes, all you have to do is minimize the burden of stress and demand for cortisol.  

You can do this daily by:

  • Eating an anti-inflammatory diet
  • Being asleep by 10 pm and sleeping through the night
  • Moving your body daily and decreasing exercise intensity on days you feel tired
  • Drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water to flush toxins
  • Taking time to destress and disconnect daily even if it’s for 5 minutes at a time
  • Gradually eliminating toxins from your environment 

Along my health journey, I have incorporated all of these strategies into my daily way of eliminating seasonal health issues and creating long-lasting sustainable results.

Occasionally, I can still feel seasonal shifts and I’ll have a little less energy than normal, a tickle at the back of my throat, or a few more sneezes than usual. None of which used to debilitate me like previously, but I’d rather not feel them at all so I take a few extra precautions during seasonal changes to minimize even these minor inconveniences. 

To further support my body during seasonal changes I also…

..choose to be more mindful of what I put in my mouth and eat foods that are in season to ensure my body is getting the nutrients it needs for the time of year, to keep my digestion balanced, and eliminate contributors to inflammation. 

…use essential oils to help reduce inflammation, open up airways, and flush toxins.  My favorite essential oils elixir is 1 drop of lavender, peppermint, and lemon in a shot glass of water once or twice a day.  Lavender is anti-inflammatory, peppermint opens airways and blood flow, and lemon boosts detoxification. (NOTE: be sure to use food-grade essential oils such as doTerra)

…set up a salt lamp on my nightstand with an outlet timer turning it on 5 minutes before my alarm goes off. As the days get shorter and the sun rises later it can be harder to get up in the morning time. The soft glow of the salt lamp mimics the sunrise and helps to encourage the release of cortisol in the morning to give you the energy needed to get out of bed. I also use the light of a salt lamp at night instead of regular lights to reduce my exposure to artificial light that can negatively impact your ability to fall asleep and the quality of sleep you get.

…use my castor oil pack 3 to 5 times per week for a variety of health-supporting reasons. Castor oil increases oxytocin levels (your love and wellbeing hormone), reduces cortisol (stress hormone) and inflammation, boosts digestion and detoxification, supports prostaglandins for overall hormone balance and so much more!

I find when I practice these acts consistently around seasonal change, those old allergy symptoms are nothing more than a bump in the road that I just roll right over.

***

Would you like to be essentially seasonal allergy-free too?

Apply what I’ve shared and on the path to feeling like your best self no matter what time of year it is!

 

I ate bread (and how I recovered)

How to Eat Bread and Bounce Back - Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Yep, you read that subject line right.  

I ate bread and not just a little. I had it at least 3 times in the past 3 weeks.

I am human, health-minded as can be, but human.

I also drank a LOT of wine and ate quite a bit of cheese.  But when in Portugal, you must do as the Portuguese do.

You’ve probably heard me talk a lot before about how important it is to avoid inflammatory foods such as gluten (bread, etc.), dairy, sugar, soy, alcohol, and even all grains, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and nightshade vegetables if your body is in a pro-inflammatory state.

So knowing that I had gluten, dairy and alcohol might come as a surprise.

Even more surprising is how I was able to have all of these things without experiencing any energy, weight, hormone or health setbacks.

You might be wondering how this is possible.  

Europe and many other countries thrive on local and organic products, free of pesticides, chemicals, and GMOs that contribute to the inflammatory load. They tend to make food products the old way some would say, with cleaner sources, using fermentation practices to help break down the hard-to-digest food molecules in what we would typically think of as inflammatory foods.

This approach, with food, reduces digestive stress; making it easier to eat certain inflammatory foods without the usual consequences.

I still wouldn’t recommend eating these foods all of the time, even if you lived in Europe, because the body can only handle so much. However, when you have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to really experience another culture, you have to take it!

Feeling like your best self means giving your body the foods it needs to function at its potential 95% of the time and reserving 5% of the time for special indulgences. 

When you indulge, it’s critical to support your body in other areas to help it bounce back.

When you do this, you can create metabolic flexibility that allows you to live life to the fullest while feeling like your best self!

In this week’s video and blog, I’m sharing my tips and tricks for creating metabolic flexibility so you can indulge and bounce right back to feeling like your best self.

This week, I’m hyper-focused on getting back into my daily health routines that will give my body everything it needs to fully recover from my trip to Portugal and all of the indulgences.  

Taking a break from your normal routine is vital for rejuvenating your mind, body, and soul.  If you do it the right way, you don’t come back feeling fat, tired, and sick. 

Although my body tolerated bread, wine, and cheese, that doesn’t mean it was ideal fuel.  My body functions best on animal proteins and healthy fats, so eating simple carbs such as bread can take its toll over time.

Knowing this helps me make choices that are in alignment with how I want to be feeling; energetic, clear-minded, strong, and slender.

When I choose to eat foods that are not exactly in alignment with what my body needs, here are 5 vital actions I take to help it recuperate…

# 1- Get to Bed by 10 pm
This one is super essential since the body does its major repair work from 10 pm to about 4 am.  Being asleep during this timeframe lets your body focus all of its resources on repairing damaged cells, digesting, and detoxing toxins. 

One of the worst choices you can make after indulging in some less than ideal foods is robbing your body of this precious time it needs to restore the damage these foods can cause and some of the toxins that come along with them.

#2 – Workouts = Walking
This is true for me most of the time, and if I’m not walking I’m doing low-intensity weight training.  After indulging, most people want to “burn off” what they ate at the gym and end up doing more damage than good to their body than good.

Think about it. Most foods you indulge in are less nutrient-dense than ideal food choices, leaving your body in a nutrient-depleted state.  Doing intense workouts requires an abundance of nutrients for recovery.

Exercise can add additional stress to your body when it’s already in a depleted state resulting in low energy, weight gain, hormone imbalances, and other health issues.  

So opting for less intense forms of movement will help your body bounce right back after a few treats.

#3 – Balance Food Ratios
Yes, I ate bread and drank wine but I didn’t indulge in these alone because I know having carbs or sugar all by themselves is the quickest path to an energy crash.

Pairing carbs and sugar with protein and/or fat will help balance your blood sugar levels, giving you even and long-lasting energy.  

Luckily in Portugal, there was a wide variety of decadent meats and seafood to choose from as pairings.  This is also why I allowed myself some cheese for its high-fat content to strike a balance.

#4 – Establish Eating Windows
When I’m stressing my digestive system with indulgences, I also give it a recovery break by establishing eating windows. Typically this eating window is from 11 am to 8 pm, giving my digestive system at least 15 hours to recover.  

Some might also refer to this as intermittent fasting.  Balancing your food ratios with plenty of protein and fat is the key to having plenty of energy while doing this.  

When ratios aren’t balanced, you’re sure to experience a carb or sugar crash that drains your energy and makes it difficult to avoid food outside of your eating window.

#5 – Work in Water
It’s easy to forget to drink water, but it’s the most essential nutrient needed for every bodily function.  You should be drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water per day (200 lbs = 100 ounces of water daily), and when you’re indulging, you’ll need even more.

I always aim to drink at least half of my water intake before starting my eating window, and you’ll almost always find me with a bottle of water within reach.  

Every time I ordered a glass of wine, I also ordered water.  

Water keeps you hydrated while consuming things that dehydrate you, and it flushes out toxins.  So remember to always work in your water. 

By doing all of these things during my trip to Portugal, I returned home feeling 100% and even lost a pound!

Anytime you go on a healthy hiatus, it’s beneficial to do some additional cleansing and restorative work. 

For the next few weeks, to help my body fully recover, I’ll be doing some deeper work such as:

  • Using a castor oil pack 4 times/week to boost digestion and detoxification
  • Going 100% Autoimmune Paleo and alcohol-free to reduce inflammation
  • Hitting the chiropractor and acupuncturist to eliminate physical stressors
  • Sitting in my infrared sauna followed by a cold shower to flush toxins
  • Taking collagen peptides daily to help repair my gut lining

Life happens.  How you choose to navigate it is what makes all the difference in the world to your health.

It’s ok to indulge every once in a while if you take action to help your body bounce back.

10 tips to boost health that don’t cost a thing! [#TBT]

10 tips - Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

We’ve been in this pandemic limbo for over a year now, and I’m curious…how are you holding up?

It’s been quite a ride.

Life happens, and it will continue to do so. We can’t always predict traffic or pandemics, but how we choose to navigate life is what makes all the difference when it comes to your health and feeling like your best self.

As I adventure off to Portugal this week, I’ve been reflecting on all of the unexpected gifts the pandemic has given me.

It gave me a break from the busy travel schedule I used to keep. It gave me more space to focus on myself and my family. It gave me more time to heal, to take better care of myself, and feel like my best self.

There is always a silver lining.

In light of the gifts the pandemic has for you, here’s a #throwbackthursday blog with 10 tips to boost your health that don’t cost a thing so you can feel like your best self no matter how long this thing goes on for…

***

This pandemic situation has been calling all of us to…

  • Slow down
  • Let go of being busy
  • Look inward instead of out
  • Be with yourself and those closest to you
  • Practice patience and hold space for health
  • Take time to create and contemplate what is really important

The world came to a standstill in many ways, giving you the time you’ve always wanted to focus on yourself and your health.

If you’ve ever said…

I wish the world or time would slow down so I could (cook more, sleep, exercise, meditate, etc.)

OR

I wish I had more time to (fill in the blank)

Then your time is NOW. It’s a time of deep healing if you choose to let it be.

There are plenty of things we can “busy” ourselves with, but at the end of the day what does being busy really do for us. Does it build health or break down health?

Being in a constant state of busy-ness can actually lead to a decline in your health because your body can only heal in a relaxed state, and if you’re busy, you’re not relaxed.

If there’s something this pandemic has taught us, it’s that life is precious, and one thing is for certain, having good health is the MOST important thing you could ever have.

In this week’s video and blog, I share 10 things you can do to boost your health today that don’t cost a thing, and that don’t require any special tools, or a lot of time.

Some of the simplest acts can have the biggest impact on your health.

You don’t necessarily need the latest and greatest health gadgets, supplements or fad diets to improve your health and feel like your best self. To feel and look your best, all you need to do is reduce your body’s daily stress burden.

I know, easier said than done, right, considering all that is going on in the world. However, stress is the number one suppressor of your immune system.

Constant low or high-grade stress disrupts the vital hormones that regulate your immune system and destroys your intestinal lining which is where 80% of your immune system lives.

You can reduce your body’s daily stress burden by minimizing exposures to stressors that you have more control over, such as:

  • Sugar, processed foods, and inflammatory foods
  • Toxins and chemicals in foods, cleaning and personal care products
  • Intense exercise when your body is already depleted

That, along with activities to help you empty your stress cup daily for all the things that are outside of your control.

Here are 10 things you can do to empty your stress cup daily, boost your immune system, and improve your overall health in so many ways. And they don’t cost you a single penny, or require any special resources or a lot of time!

#1 Put Your Feet Up
Literally laying on the floor and propping your feet up against the wall or sofa positively impacts your health. It instantly reduces stress and increases blood flow to your organs for digestion and other essential functions. How easy is it to binge-watch your favorite Netflix while laying down with your feet up?

#2 Gargle for Gut and Brain Health
Your Vagus nerve serves as the main communication center between your gut and brain so it’s important to keep it strong and working correctly. Take a moment after brushing your teeth to gargle water for as long as you can to strengthen the Vagus nerve so you can boost gut health and immune system, and stimulate organs and brain function.

#3 Be Asleep by 10pm
Being asleep by 10pm maintains the delicate balance of your circadian rhythm, aka hormones, so you can feel rested upon waking, have an abundance of energy, and avoid food cravings, which can help you easily lose weight. Set an alert at 9pm to remind you to start preparing for bed so you can be asleep by 10pm.

#4 Go Barefoot
If you’re stuck at home, there’s no reason to put your shoes on. Having your bare feet directly connected to the ground helps you to release stress continuously, and if you can get barefoot outside even better! Spending just a few minutes barefoot in the dirt or grass helps you to detox harmful EMF’s and toxins you’ve been exposed to by being inside so much that overloads your immune system.

#5 Hug and Cuddle More
Physical touch releases the “love hormone” Oxytocin which reduces cortisol, your stress hormone, and it boosts feelings of wellbeing to help you keep a positive state of mind during these times. So squeeze your loved ones a few extra times per day to give your health a boost!

#6 Take A Cold Shower
This one probably sounds terrible, but it’s only for 2 minutes and you can do anything for 2 minutes to boost your health, right? Cold water therapy has been used for hundreds of years to boost health. It helps to strengthen the immune system, improve stress response, promote weight loss, and more. Start with 1 minute working your way up to 2 minutes before turning on the heat.

#7 Diaphragmatic Breathing
This type of breathing has been shown to lower cortisol levels (aka stress hormone), lower heart rate (aka reduce stress), lower blood pressure, and even help people cope with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This breath is way easier to do than trying to say what it’s called, check out the Cleveland Clinic’s step-by-step instructions.

#8 Get Natural Light Exposure
Your body relies on the cycle of the sun to know what time it is and what it should be doing throughout the day. Have you ever wondered how your furry friends always know when it’s mealtime? It’s because they have internal clocks like us, so their bodies always know when it’s time to eat. Exposure to natural light, especially first thing in the morning, is critical to keep your internal clock ticking correctly so your body can do its job to keep you healthy. If you live where it’s cold, sit next to a window while sipping your tea or coffee in the morning, even if it’s cloudy outside.

#9 Chew 20 Times
Did you know that digestion starts in the mouth, not in the stomach? We often rush through our meals, not giving our body the time or space to properly digest food so we can absorb all of the health-promoting nutrients it has to offer. Challenge yourself to chew every bite of food 20 times so you can digest food better, reduce bloating, and increase absorption of nutrients to improve your health.

#10 Open Your Windows
The air inside your home can be up to 100% more toxic than the air outside due to hidden toxins in paint, furniture, and cleaning supplies. Oxygen concentration levels are also lower inside than out, and Oxygen molecules are essential for every single function in the body. Fresh air helps the body to eliminate stress inducing toxins and increases oxygen levels in the blood so your body can function at its potential.

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So which one of these 10 tips are you going to commit to doing today so you can boost your health and immunity?

Let me know by leaving a comment below

It’s the littlest things that can make the biggest difference to your health, as the saying goes “small hinges swing big doors.”