Free gluten sensitivity test

I’ll never forget the day I wore my hair pulled back with a headband and my coworker called me out for having a big forehead.

I had been self-conscious about it before, but that day made me feel ultra self-conscious moving forward.

The idea of growing out my bangs for more long, luscious locks around my face and less hairstyling work quickly vanished.

At the time, I had no idea my forehead could be used as a tool to evaluate which foods were right or wrong for my body such as gluten.

Sometimes what we take for granted or dislike about our bodies can hold the most valuable clues about our health.

For example, the extra weight you might have put on around the middle can be a big clue for blood sugar imbalances, toxic exposures, chronic stress, and hormone dysfunction.

Or how weight gain specifically in the breast and hips strongly correlates with excess estrogen circulating in the body, which can be true for both women and men.

And early signs of gray hair are linked to high stress and low levels of glutathione in the body, which is the body’s master antioxidant and detoxification nutrient.

When it comes to feeling like your best self, your body holds all of the answers.

Conventional Western Medicine takes more of a “let’s stop the issue” and “take this pill for that” approach instead of checking in with the body to understand where it’s coming from or what is causing it.

That’s why it’s so common to get prescribed medication, such as birth control for acne, only to have it partially resolve the issue and for something new to pop up.  It’s like chasing holes in a sinking boat!

This conventional approach works perfectly in acute and serious situations such as car accidents or catastrophic events when measures need to be taken immediately to stop the bleeding and save a limb or life.  But they aren’t effective for the common chronic health and weight issues that most of us face on a daily basis.

We could spend hours breaking down all of your body parts and what clues they hold about your health.  Correlating body parts with symptoms and nerve meridians have been the main focus in eastern medicine practices such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries.

For today, let’s just focus on the little nuggets about your health that your forehead has to share and how it can be used as a free gluten sensitivity test..

In this week’s video and blog, I share 3 super clues that your forehead might be holding about gluten and your health, and what you can do with the information.

These 3 clues will give you insights into gluten sensitivity, digestion, liver health, hormonal balance, and thyroid function.

Super Clue #1 – Metabolism & Thyroid Function
I first learned about the forehead’s correlation with your health status when I started studying thyroid conditions on a deeper level.

Hair loss in the “widow’s peak” area of the hairline or forehead points to a sluggish thyroid usually indicating hypothyroidism or Hashimotos.

Missing the outer 3rd portion of your eyebrows (also in the forehead region) is another strong clue indicating low thyroid function that should be investigated.

Super Clue #2 – Digestion & Gluten Sensitivity
I was fascinated when I heard Dr. Tom O’Bryan (one of the pioneers in gluten sensitivity research) quote a study that connected the dots between the size of your forehead and your susceptibility to gluten sensitivity.

In the study, they found that a large forehead directly correlates with being sensitive to gluten and/or having Celiac’s disease, so much so that the study stated, “This sign along with the presence of other clinical signs and symptoms, should alert a physician to test a patient for celiac disease.”

I removed gluten from my diet long before hearing this and felt SO MUCH better as a result. I lost weight, gained energy, and don’t get bloated anymore.

I was never diagnosed with Celiac, but food sensitivity and other functional lab tests indicated that gluten-containing foods were not my friends just like my large forehead did.

Super Clue #3 – Liver & Detoxification
You may have heard how acne in specific areas of the face can correlate with your diet, stress, dirty hands, and allergic reactions.

Well, there’s actually some truth to this.

According to the nerve meridians used in eastern medicine, the area of your forehead is linked to your major detoxification organs such as your liver, gallbladder, kidneys, and bladder.

Acne on your forehead can indicate a backup in your body’s ability to detox and process toxins or excess hormones, such as estrogen, adequately.

When I was in the midst of healing Hashimotos, detoxing from toxic mold and estrogen dominance I had forehead acne for the first time in my life.

And even more interesting, on an emotional level forehead acne can be related to anger, anxiety, fear, frustration, worry and grief!

On top of it all, all of these clues can also be connected!

In order for your thyroid to function at full steam, your digestive tract and detox organs need to be running effectively.

An inflamed digestive system from gluten sensitivity will allow more toxins into your bloodstream, leading to liver overload and then taking your thyroid down with it.

And the vicious cycle could go on and on and on.

Next time you look in the mirror, take a closer look at your forehead to see what it might be saying about your health.

If you notice any of these clues that I mentioned, you’ll want to…

  • Confirm gluten sensitivity with a functional food sensitivity and gut health test
  • Test your thyroid to see if your thyroid hormones are in optimal ranges
  • Boost your detox capacity with some high-quality liver support supplements and naturally detoxifying foods such as beets, dandelion greens, and cruciferous vegetables

I’ve learned to love the size of my forehead because of the valuable insights and empowerment it gives me about my health.

And as many of my clients and I have experienced, it may not be possible to change the size of your forehead but you can learn to appreciate the health knowledge it has to offer, and it is possible to get your thyroid, digestion, and detoxification back on track so you can feel like your best self!

Share this with a family member or friend who might find it useful too!

P.S. If you want to explore the missing pieces of your health puzzle on a deeper level so you can actually fix what is wrong and feel your best, then click here to get on my waiting list for an Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me (and get an awesome list of practitioner referrals if you want to take action now)!

Sleep great and lose weight

Sleep great and lose weight TONIGHT!

This question might be personal, but do you wake up to pee in the middle of the night?

And if you do, are you paying attention to the time when you wake up for a quick bathroom run before falling back asleep?

I would say that 90% of the people I’ve spoken to are in this late-night bathroom boat; waking up to pee usually between 1-3 am.

But here’s the thing, waking up to pee in the middle of the night is NOT normal AND it contributes to weight gain.

Waking up to pee in the wee hours (pun intended! LOL) of the night or morning is actually a huge clue about your health.

It can give you great insight into your blood sugar balance, detoxification organs, and emotional state – all of which ultimately dictate your energy levels and ability to lose weight and feel like your best self.

However, we’ve been conditioned to think that using the bathroom in the middle of the night is common; just a part of getting older and drinking too many fluids before bed.

Personally, I can take down over 8 ounces of water before bed and sleep soundly through the night.  And as I’ve aged, I haven’t developed a need to pee in the middle of the night.

I’ve also seen many of my clients turn their late-night potty runs into a thing of the past once they address the underlying issues triggering their body’s need to hit the head.

Aside from waking up to pee providing a clue about your health status, this disruptive habit also interferes with your body’s ability to fully recover at night. This can leave you feeling less rested when you wake up, and more prone to cravings, weight gain, hormone imbalances, and other health issues down the road.

It’s time to re-potty train your body so you can sleep completely through the night, and wake up feeling like your best self.

In this week’s video and blog, I’m going to bust through these late-night bathroom break myths and give you my top tips for solid sleep so you can wake up rested, lose weight, and feel your best!

To start, let’s talk about why waking up to pee in the middle of the night is such a big health deal breaker in the first place.

According to your body’s internal clock, known as your circadian rhythm, the most optimal sleep time frame to feel like your best self is 10pm to 4am.

This internal clock is ruled by the sun and the moon cycles.

When the sun rises in the morning, temperature and light increase, letting your body know it’s time to get up and get moving.  Morning is when you should have the most energy, and it will slowly taper off throughout the day into the evening in alignment with the sun cycle and your internal clock.

When the sun sets in the evening, temperature and light decrease, signaling your body to prepare for sleep by dropping your energy levels, releasing the sleep hormone known as melatonin, and transitioning into the nervous system’s parasympathetic rest and digest mode.

In parasympathetic mode, your body sends all of its blood flow and resources inwards to organs that support digestion, detoxification, circulation, and restoration.

Based on this internal clock, your body does some massive repair work in the middle of the night while in peak parasympathetic mode from 10pm to 4am.  If you’re not sleeping, the parasympathetic process is interrupted and this work can’t happen, leaving you feeling tired and unrested the next morning.

This is why if you go to sleep late or wake up in the middle of the night, you still feel tired no matter how much you sleep in the next day or despite the number of sleep hours you get.

Low energy can then lead to cravings as your body searches for fuel to keep you going throughout the day.  You find yourself craving quick energy fixes in the form of carbs, sugars, and caffeine that can in turn disrupt your sleep even more.

And all of this negatively impacts your ability to lose weight from the foods you end up eating for energy to the hormone imbalances and detox backup a disrupted night of sleep creates.

So now that you know how important it is to sleep through the night in order to wake up rested and feeling your best, let’s address re-potty training your body so you can get the critical window of sleep you need.

Waking up to pee in the middle of the night is strongly correlated with 3 different scenarios…

Scenario #1 – Your Blood Sugar Drops
This is the most common one I see.  When your blood sugar drops too low, your body releases the hormone cortisol to bring it back into balance.

You might know of cortisol as your stress hormone, which it is, among other things.  Cortisol is also what spikes in the morning time when the sun rises as part of your circadian rhythm to give you the energy to get up and get going.

When your blood sugar drops in the middle of the night, cortisol is released, giving you this same boost of energy.  It’s like getting a shot of adrenaline, and what does everyone do instinctually when they wake up?…go to the bathroom!

Constant high outputs of cortisol like this also strongly correlate with weight gain around your midsection.

So balancing your blood sugar is the first thing you can do to promote sleeping through the night.  Having balanced blood sugar also helps you to avoid cravings and lose weight.

Eating the right ratios of proteins, carbs, and fat at each meal will help you to balance your blood sugar and get better sleep.

When you’re eating the right ratio of protein, carbs, and fats per meal, you will:

  • Be able to go 3-5 hours or more without feeling hungry or needing to snack
  • Have energy for hours and feel recharged
  • Think clearly, feel uplifted, and be more positive

Figuring out your food ratios 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 get a good night’s sleep, click here to get my Food & Body Language Log.

Scenario #2 – Look at Your Liver
Balancing blood sugar usually resolves about 90% of the peeing at night problems I see, but when it doesn’t completely resolve the issue, it’s time to look at your liver.

Based on your internal clock, your liver and other detoxification organs do their deepest detox work from about 1 to 3 am.

If you find yourself waking up during this time, it could indicate a toxic build-up or detox traffic jam.  Your liver and detox organs could be burdened by too many toxins or struggling to eliminate them.  This can lead to a build-up of estrogen and toxins in the body that also can contribute to weight gain.

In this scenario, beefing up your intake of detoxifying foods such as beets, grapefruit, lemon, and dandelion can give your liver the boost it needs to do its job.

A daily natural liver support supplement containing ingredients such as milk thistle, dandelion, artichoke leaf, and burdock root can be extremely beneficial given the number of toxins our body is bombarded with on a daily basis.

Pairing this with balancing your blood sugar should do the trick and give you the best nights sleep ever!

Scenario #3 – Emotional Influences
When you’ve tried loving your liver and balancing your blood sugar but still wake up in the middle of the night, it’s time to address emotional influences.

According to Chinese Medicine, each organ of the body is associated with a certain emotion, and as we just discussed in scenario #2, organs do deep work during a certain time of the night based on your internal clock.

We can put these two clues together to uncover emotional influences waking you up at night.

For example, waking up between 1 to 3 am is associated with the detox organs (i.e. liver and gallbladder); the emotions connected to these can be grief, anger, fear, and depression.

Doing some journaling, meditation, or seeking counseling around these emotions can quickly put your sleep issues to rest.  Sometimes we don’t suspect we’re dealing with these emotions, but we are.  Grief, for example, isn’t always related to the loss of a loved one. It could be related to a recent job change, as we grieve leaving behind the old ways even with excitement for what is to come.

Bottom line, waking up to pee in the middle of the night is NOT normal and it disrupts your ability to wake up rested, lose weight and feel like your best self.

I’ve yet to see a client who can’t sleep through the night when we address these three scenarios, and as I said, most of the time we knock it out with just one.

I’d love to know what you found most helpful about the information I’ve shared.

Comment below with your biggest aha, insight, or takeaway! 

Feeling overweight and anxious?

Are you feeling overweight, low on energy, anxious, and/or depressed?

If you are, you’re not alone.

There was a point in my life when I felt this way too.  No matter what I did or ate, nothing seemed to change.  I was beyond uncomfortable in my clothes, I was uncomfortable in my own skin, and all I wanted was to feel like my energetic, lean, and easy-going self again.

I tried changing my diet, different workout routines, detox regimens, meditations, and a variety of supplements trying to get my body and my mind back.  Sometimes it seemed as if something was working, but it was always short-lived.

I went from doctor to doctor, health expert to expert, searching for answers that seemed to be so hard to find.

I racked my brain trying to figure out what had changed.  For the longest time, everything had stayed the same; my eating, drinking, exercise routine, and weight hardly ever varied.

Was this just part of getting older?

No.

This was my body telling me something wasn’t right.

If you’re feeling overweight, low on energy, anxious, and/or depressed, then chances are your body is trying to tell you something too.

The problem is that these signs and symptoms can be far removed from the actual cause, and they can be related to a variety of metabolic imbalances occurring in the body.

Did you know that low energy and weight gain can correlate with:

  • Trouble sleeping or poor quality sleep
  • Not exercising or moving enough
  • Blood sugar imbalances
  • Chaotic cortisol rhythms 
  • Elevated estrogen levels
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Toxin exposures

Anxiety can be linked to:

  • Food sensitivities
  • Low progesterone
  • Elevated estrogen levels
  • Chaotic cortisol rhythms 
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Poor gut or digestive function

And depression can be related to literally all of the above, and more.

The good news is, no matter what the cause of your symptoms might be, you can have a positive effect on them with the right combination of food, sleep, exercise, stress reduction, and supplements for YOUR body.

In order to untangle the web of your weight gain, low energy, anxiety, and depression, you first have to realize this didn’t happen overnight.  What you’re experiencing now is likely a culmination of things that have taken place over the timeline of your life.

For example, if you were a c-section baby or not breastfed, or both, then your immune and digestive systems didn’t receive the vital nutrients or bacteria needed to set up your health for long-term success.  This slight setback could now be catching up to you as your immune and digestive systems have had to work so much harder over the years to compensate for what they missed out on when you entered the world.

Just because you have a pile of wood doesn’t mean you have a fire.  You still need friction, something to create a spark and fuel such as oxygen and wood to get the fire going and keep it roaring.

The same is true for the health fires happening in your body – somewhere you had the perfect start to a fire, something or things, triggered the fire and a variety of things are continuing to fuel it.

Remember that song from your childhood…

The leg bone is connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone is connected to the hip bone,
Now shake dem skeleton bones!

The body is a network of complex systems and functions just like that childhood song indicates. Therefore, there is no such thing as one singular root cause for your health issues at hand because when one system or function goes down, they are all connected and start to fall.

High levels of estrogen were at the core of my weight gain, low energy, anxiety, and depression, but it wasn’t the root cause.

Whatever the diagnosis is, or what you think the root cause might be, you have to ask yourself, why is that happening in the first place?  What is the chain of events or cumulative factors that have led to this scenario?

For me, there were a variety of factors.  I had been on birth control for 17 years, suppressing my ovaries and negatively impacting all of my hormones.  Stealthy toxic mold had been brewing in our home burdening my liver’s detox capacity and wreaking havoc on my gut.  And despite how crappy I was feeling, I continued to push my body to workout at the same level I always had been.

As a result, the inflammatory fire burned out of control, taking down my thyroid along with it and igniting Hashimoto’s.

And although I was eating healthy compared to the average person, working out regularly, and taking supplements – I needed to approach these healthy habits differently based on what my body was dealing with.

Running a few simple at-home functional lab tests to look at my hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy, and nervous systems gave me the insights I needed to create a health re-building plan that was more customized to my body’s specific needs.

By supporting all systems and functions of my body, I was able to get my weight under control, my energy back, and put a stop to the anxiety and depression – and ultimately get back to feeling like myself again comfortably in my own skin.

None of which happened when I previously focused on diet, exercise, sleep, or supplements alone.

Here are the 3 exact steps I took and that I guide my clients through to boost energy, balance hormones, achieve weight goals, and overcome just about any other health issues that might be ailing you.

#1 – Figure out what foods are right for your body so it can function at its potential.
You are unique and therefore your diet should be too.  What works for one person won’t necessarily work for you, and yet you’re trying to fit yourself into a specific framework with most dietary approaches.

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

So how do you figure out what is right for your body?

You can do this by testing to see which foods your body responds best to, and then dialing in your macronutrient (protein, carb, and fat) ratios using my Food and Body Language Log.

This will instantly boost your energy, reduce any bloating, and provide the nutrients your body needs to function at its full potential.  When I discovered what foods were right for my body, I instantly started feeling more like myself again.

#2 – Find the missing pieces and restore balance to all body systems.
The body is a complex network of systems, each doing an important job that the other systems depend on.  When one system goes down, they are all affected.

Functional lab testing will help you find the missing pieces so you can see what systems of the body are out of balance and how they are impacting each other, revealing your healing opportunities!  These are NOT your typical blood tests.  They are usually saliva, urine, and stool based to show the physiological aspects of the body and how it’s working, or not working.

Functional lab tests will take a deeper look at your hormones, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy, and nervous system. In turn, this will guide you towards the right diet, rest, exercise, supplementation, stress reduction, and toxin removal you need to feel your best.

#3 – Tune into your body and give it what it needs to feel your best all the time.
Your body holds all of the answers you need, and it always has, but we’ve been conditioned to disconnect from our body and to search externally for solutions. When something doesn’t feel right in your body, it’s your body asking you to pay attention, to tune into what it’s trying to tell you. When you do, you’ll know what to do to feel your best all the time.

The health and aging concerns you are facing today are not your destiny.  They are an accumulation of things that have happened over your lifetime which have slowly chipped away at that “feel good” feeling until you barely recognize yourself anymore.

With these 3 steps, you can unravel the doings of time and reveal the REAL YOU.
What step are you committed to taking today so you can feel like yourself again?

Comment below to let me know!

P.S. If you want to explore the missing pieces of your health puzzle on a deeper level so you can actually fix what is wrong and feel your best, then click here to get on my waiting list for an Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me (and get an awesome list of practitioner referrals if you want to take action now)!

This info isn’t at your doctor’s office…

It Starts In The Gut - Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Do you look at people who just radiate health and wish you could be one of them?

The ones who have endless energy, can bounce back from anything, and are living life to the fullest… 

Want to know their secret?

Then I’m about to make your day!

See, sometimes, we can try every health and wellness tip in the book and still suffer from mysterious health issues, live with pain, or just feel…off.

I know because I’ve been there.  I’ve always been one of the healthiest people I’ve known and despite my health ways, I’ve had my fair share of health struggles.

To truly fix the problem, we need more information! And it’s not the kind of information you would find at your doctor’s office.

That is why I recently hired one of my colleagues, the ultimate toxins and gut health expert, Sinclair Kennally, to help me get to the bottom of some nagging health issues so I could feel my best.

Because even health experts like me have something to learn from other health experts like Sinclair.

Working with Sinclair has helped me to:

  • Increase my energy even more
  • Feel better in my body than before
  • And get rid of mysterious old mold exposure related symptoms

So when Sinclair approached me about being part of her latest project…

I was like “hell yes” because I knew firsthand it was going to be life-changing.  

Not only will I be speaking as an expert on the connection between your thyroid, gut, and liver, but you’re also invited to attend – FOR FREE!

‘It Starts In The Gut’ is THE premier virtual summit on gut health, happening March 16th (my birthday!) through March 20th.

it-starts-in-the-gut-speaker-jenn-malecha - Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Over 5 days, you’ll get access to exclusive interviews and masterclasses with leading health experts (including me!).

We’re bringing you real solutions to the root causes of poor health (inflammation, leaky gut, hormone imbalances, genetics, toxic load, stress, and more).

And it’s 100% FREE to attend, CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR TICKET!

This summit is your ticket to:

  • Higher Energy
  • Faster Healing
  • Easier Digestion
  • Improved Focus
  • Deeper Sleep

And most importantly: feeling like yourself again.

You’ll learn: 

  • Evidence-based, cutting-edge approaches to heal inflammation, imbalances, food intolerances, and more.
  • Clarity on how our environment, food culture, and medical model has been leading you astray, and how to get back on course. 
  • Fresh approaches to deep healing that actually work!

On average it takes people 7 years to find this kind of information outside of their doctor’s office and now we’re bringing it to you in less than a week.

CLICK HERE to secure your spot today. 

And feel free to share this email with others so they can get their hands on this information too.

I can’t wait to see you there! It would be the best way to help me celebrate my birthday on March 16th 🙂

 

 

 

4 Simple steps for fasting [#TBT]

4 Simple Fasting Tips - Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Get your body into fasting shape, and make fasting more effective. 

If you follow me closely on Instagram or Facebook, then you probably know I’ve done quite a few 3-day fasts. 

In fact, I’ve done 10 since starting them a little over two years ago.

But let me tell you, I didn’t just jump into fasting overnight. (Ha! No pun intended.)

Yes, fasting can produce some major health benefits, and it’s been used for a long time as a therapeutic tool to help reverse or prevent health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.

However, without the right supervision, guidance, or preparation, fasting can do more damage than good. 

There was a time when my body couldn’t even handle intermittent fasting for 12 hours, let alone 3 full days. 

I eased into prolonged fasting over time, and in this #throwbackthursday blog, I’m going to share the 4 simple steps I took to get there so you can use fasting as an appropriate tool as well.

***

The reality is, fasting isn’t right for everyone, regardless of how popular it is.  I’ve seen too many clients walk through my virtual practice door frustrated with the lack of results they’ve seen from their fasting attempts, or feeling wiped and worse off after trying it.

In the midst of healing my Hashimotos and reversing mold illness, my body couldn’t tolerate fasting at all.  My body was too toxic, depleted, and dysfunctional at the time to metabolize fat for fuel and feel good while fasting, even for short periods.

Fasting has been a part of human existence probably from the beginning of time as our ancestors roamed the earth alternating through times of feast or famine and hibernation during the winter months.  

However, our modern day culture killed off our fasting instincts with the introduction of fast food drive-thrus, processed foods with exceptionally long shelf lives, and high carbohydrate and sugar diets that leave you craving more food than ever before.

To top it all off, the majority of our modern-day food leads to blood sugar issues, hormone imbalances, and liver and gut dysfunction, which negatively impact your ability to utilize fasting effectively as a tool. 

And then there’s the toxins and stressors that our bodies encounter every day which alter hormonal balance and other metabolic processes, leaving the body less equipped for effective fasting. 

A body that was once born with a natural ability to tolerate fasting no longer can due to the evolution of the food industry and our environment.

However in this week’s video and blog, I’m going to give you 4 simple steps you can take to get your body into fasting shape and to make fasting more effective.

Let’s break down what fasting is first…

When it comes to intermittent fasting (especially as it relates to the Keto diet), there are basically two schools of thought:

#1- Fasting means not eating anything containing calories for a period of time

#2- Fasting means not eating any sources of immediate energy, such as carbs or proteins (fats are ok)

Both approaches focus on training the body to primarily utilize fat stores for energy to become “fat adapted.”  The standard American diet, and even most other whole food or primal diets, such as Paleo and Whole30, constantly supply the body with readily available fuel sources in the forms of carbohydrates (veggies, fruits, nuts, etc.) and proteins (meat, beans, etc.)

Training the body to be fat-adapted requires cutting off sources to these readily available types of fuel and forcing the body to tap into its own fuel storage – fat.

Then there are prolonged fasting periods, which typically exceed 24 hours and can go on for days.  At this point, one’s body ideally should be fat-adapted in order to access its own fuel source so you can feel your best during these longer stints. 

With prolonged fasting, there are also multiple schools of thought.  Some do “water only” fasts while others might include a daily cup of bone broth, like I do. Most approaches produce health benefits and you should choose one that works best for you and is in alignment with your goals.

I use prolonged fasting as a tool to restore and repair my digestive tract every few months. The cells of the intestinal lining have the ability to completely regenerate within 72-hours if you avoid consuming food, giving you a whole new, stronger, healthier digestive tract. 

Having a cup of bone broth at night and taking daily supplements helps to restore the gut and maximize fat metabolism for additional benefits, such as toxin elimination, hormonal health, energy, and sleep. 

But as I cautioned earlier, fasting isn’t for everyone, at least not in the current state of health you might be in.  It’s always important to consult with your health professional before trying any method of fasting.

And before you jump right in, follow these 4 simple steps to get your body into fasting shape and to make fasting more effective…

1 – Test, don’t guess.
It’s better to know about underlying hormone or nutrient imbalances before you dive into fasting.  At a minimum, check your thyroid, cortisol, estrogen, testosterone, and melatonin levels along with your vitamin and mineral balance before starting a fasting routine.  If any imbalances exist, lay the foundation to reverse them with a therapeutic diet, adequate sleep, appropriate exercise, stress reduction, and nourishing supplements before jumping into fasting.

2 – Fuel up with fat.
Slowly ease your body into the transition by fasting with fat as your primary fuel source.  Fat is not readily available as fuel when ingested so it still requires your body to tap into its own fat fuel sources.  Allow yourself to have a fat only meal in the morning, such as a coffee or matcha tea with ghee and/or full fat coconut milk.  This will deliver some of the essential nutrients your body needs so it can still function at its potential while staying away from carbs or proteins that can hijack fat for fuel metabolism. 

Training your body to use fat for fuel is the key to having energy and sleeping well while fasting. 

3 – Ease into it.
Don’t go for the gold right from the get-go.  Start by making dinner your last meal, fasting overnight, and gradually extending out the time you eat breakfast in the morning a few days a week.  This is basically what’s called Intermittent Fasting. 

I started by having dinner by 7:30pm and my first meal around 9:30 or 10am the next morning, resulting in a 14 hour fasting period. As your body adapts, your energy will improve, letting you know when you can extend the length of your fasting window.  

(NOTE: Women’s hormones are particularly sensitive to food deprivation so it’s best to fast every other day instead of every day when getting started, and to honor your body’s needs around certain times of your cycle)

4 – Salt and supplement.
When avoiding food, you’re also avoiding access to nutrients, so it’s essential to supplement what you’re missing. When fasting, supplementing with vitamins and minerals will help maintain sleep quality, keep your hormones happy, your energy balanced, and support the process of fat metabolism.  Our ancestors salted meats to cure them for food storage and ate every part of the animal (organs, cartilage, etc.) so the nutrient values in their bodies were much higher than ours, even when they were forced to fast.

While fasting, I continue to take my daily supplements to ensure my body has the nutrients it needs to get the job done.  

Plus I add an extra packet of LMNT electrolytes to maintain hydration, lower cortisol, and boost energy. I also take Bio-Botanicals G.I. Detox to help bind toxins being released from fat (where they are stored) as it’s broken down for fuel to make sure they are eliminated and not recirculated. 

You’ll know your body is ready for fasting when your energy is even all day long and your sleep is spectacular, especially when you start to lengthen time between meals. 

***

We want to think of the body as a well-oiled machine that is ready to adapt to anything we throw at it, but that’s generally not the case, considering all the variables that impact our health in this modern-day world.  

With most diet trends, people have a tendency to dive all-in without considering if their body is ready for it, and when it “doesn’t work,” they give up.  

Often it’s not the diet that didn’t work, but something else under the hood that got in the way.  This is why it’s always better to test, not guess, in order to figure out exactly what is right for your body so you don’t go spinning your wheels, wasting money or time on failed attempts or health improvement strategies that aren’t right for you.

If you want to assess your readiness for fasting or to figure out what foods are right for your body so it can function at its potential, then click here to get on my waiting list for a Discovery Call AND get access to a curated list of my colleagues who can help you right away!

 

 

 

I just want to feel like myself

Feel Like Yourself Again - Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

How many times have you said out loud or in your head, “I just want to feel like myself again?”

I remember waking up every morning wanting to feel like myself again so clearly….

…wanting to bounce out of bed instead of dragging myself to the coffee pot

…wanting to feel comfortable in my own body and clothes

…wanting to be free of severe seasonal allergies and able to think clearly

…wanting to not have to work so hard to maintain my weight

…wanting the acne to disappear from my face

…wanting the weird hormonal stuff to just go away

…simply wanting to feel my best so I could live life to the fullest

If you wish you could feel like yourself again, I’m here to tell you it is possible.  With the right tools and resources, you can find the missing pieces to your health puzzle and get back to feeling like yourself again, or for the very first time.

I’m living proof. I’ve done it, and so many of my clients have too.

I bet you know something deeper is going on with your body, but it feels like no one is listening to what you have to say.  

You’ve probably seen specialist after specialist, been recommended a laundry list of supplements, medications, and therapies but nothing has really helped you get YOU back. 

You understand there’s a place for specialists and medications, but you think there’s a better way to get your health and self back so you can enjoy your life to the fullest.

You crave answers like a kid craves candy (and you probably crave foods too for unexplained or uncontrollable reasons!).

Am I right?

I’ve been there; I’ve been told my blood work looked normal even when I didn’t feel that way, or that my hormone issues were a part of aging when I knew better. 

I was searching for answers that no one else could seem to give me.

In this week’s video and blog, I’m going to help you find the missing pieces of your health puzzle and get real answers so you can get back to feeling like yourself again (or for the very first time).

What you need is a new way of looking at disease, to be educated instead of medicated, and then you’ll have the keys to unlock the answers you’ve been searching for.

Here are the 3 exact steps I took and that I guide my clients through to boost energy, balance hormones, achieve weight goals, and overcome just about any other health issues that might be ailing you. 

#1 – Figure out what foods are right for your body so it can function at its potential.
You are unique and therefore your diet should be too.  What works for one person won’t necessarily work for you and yet you’re trying to fit yourself into a specific framework with most dietary approaches.  

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

So how do you figure out what is right for your body?  

You can do this by testing to see which foods your body responds best to, and then dialing in your macronutrient (protein, carb, and fat) ratios using my Food and Body Language Log

This will instantly boost your energy, reduce any bloating, and provide the nutrients your body needs to function at its potential.  When I discovered what foods were right for my body, I instantly started feeling more like myself again. 

#2 – Find the missing pieces and restore balance to all body systems.
The body is a complex network of systems, each doing an important job that the other systems depend on.  When one system goes down, they are all affected.

Functional lab testing will help you find the missing pieces so you can see what systems of the body are out of balance and how they are impacting each other, revealing your healing opportunities!  These are NOT your typical blood tests.  They are usually saliva, urine, and stool based to show the physiological aspects of the body and how it’s working, or not working.

Functional lab tests will take a deeper look at your hormones, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy, and nervous system. In turn, this will guide you towards the right diet, rest, exercise, supplementation, stress reduction, and toxin removal you need to feel your best. 

#3 – Tune into your body and give it what it needs to feel your best all the time.
Your body holds all of the answers you need, and it always has, but we’ve been conditioned to disconnect from our body and to search externally for solutions. When something doesn’t feel right in your body, it’s your body asking you to pay attention, to tune into what it’s trying to tell you. When you do, you’ll know what to do to feel your best all the time.

Have you ever noticed that when you have a stressful day you experience the following: your stomach gets upset, you experience joint pain, you can’t sleep, or your skin breaks out?

Or when you eat certain things, your body reacts in some way?

This is your body talking to you, telling you to pay attention to something.

For a long time, I dealt with and ignored joint pain, severe seasonal allergies, weight struggles, migraines, cyclical breast tenderness, fatigue, and much more.  

Hindsight is always 20/20 though. Looking back, I can clearly see that these symptoms were my body’s way of waving the red flag to get my attention and let me know something was wrong.

We’ve become accustomed to accepting things that are common as normal, but just because something is common does NOT mean it’s normal.

Now if my body feels “off” in any kind of way, I tune it; check to see what it needs and give it just that.  

This could mean eating something differently, canceling obligations to rest, getting some fresh air, doing meditation, or simply drinking some water.  Whatever my body needs, I’ve got its back, and it’s got mine. 

The health and aging concerns you are facing today are not your destiny.  They are an accumulation of things that have happened over your lifetime which have slowly chipped away at that “feel good” feeling until you barely recognize yourself anymore.

With these 3 steps you can unravel the doings of time and reveal the REAL YOU.

What step are you committed to taking today so you can feel like yourself again?

Comment below to let me know!

P.S. If you want to explore the missing pieces of your health puzzle on a deeper level so you can actually fix what is wrong and feel your best, then click here to get on my waiting list for an Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me (and get an awesome list of practitioner referrals if you want to take action now)!

 

 

Your Thyroid asked for this…

4 Things Throwing Your Thyroid Off - Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

I can’t believe this happened again.

Just last week, another client of mine who has been struggling with PMS symptoms and weight loss sent over her thyroid results, which revealed an underlying thyroid imbalance.

But this was the real kicker…

Her doctor said absolutely nothing to her about it!  

They were completely dismissed because her thyroid values fell within the clinical diagnostic lab ranges despite the fact that her symptoms correlate with a thyroid problem.  

And don’t even get me started with typical reference ranges – they don’t reflect optimal healthy ranges.  For example, the standard reference range on this client’s lab results for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) was 0.5 to 5.33. The optimal range is 0.5 to 2, and her result was 5.16 (pretty close to the high end of the standard range!).  Quite a difference right?

According to the American Thyroid Association, “more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease and up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition.”

Those are some alarming numbers.  You could be sitting here reading this right now and not even realize you could be a part of those statistics.

It’s Thyroid Awareness Month; so it’s time to check in and see if your Thyroid has been sending an SOS, asking you to pay attention to this important information.

Just about every client I’ve worked with has either been diagnosed with a thyroid condition, has a family history of it, or suspects that they have one.  

Whether you ask Dr. Google or an Endocrinologist about why you might be feeling tired all the time, struggling with weight loss, losing your hair, feeling cold when others don’t, or have menstrual irregularities, chances are the information you get will point to a thyroid condition.

These are the three most commonly overlooked and diagnosed thyroid conditions:

Hyperthyroid – common symptoms can include; weight loss, anxiety, intolerance to heat, hair loss, excessive urination, and panic attacks.

Hypothyroid – common symptoms can include; weight gain, fatigue, intolerance to cold, constipation, depression, and thinning hair.

Hashimotos – this is a more severe case of hypothyroidism with similar symptoms; a genetic component making it an actual autoimmune disease, meaning the body is attacking its own thyroid gland.

However, in most cases, thyroid conditions are a symptom of something else.

The body does not work in singular systems where organs are all minding their own business.  Each system of the body greatly impacts how all of the others are able to function.

To understand what’s happening with the thyroid, we have to start asking “WHY?”

Why is this thyroid epidemic happening?  Why are people’s thyroids all of a sudden “just not working”? – as most of my clients are told.

We need to start looking at our body as the complex system that it is.  Remember that song in preschool… ”the foot bone is connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone, la la la la…” – everything is connected!

Like I said earlier, in most cases, thyroid conditions are a symptom of something else because it’s all connected.  

If you have been diagnosed, know someone who has, or suspect that you have a thyroid condition, here are the Top 4 Things Throwing Your Thyroid Off.

#1 – Low-Calorie Diet
Calorie restrictions, for as little as a few days, can drop thyroid production by 38 percent!  That’s just over a “few” days; imagine if you’ve been dieting for weeks, months, or years, even if it’s been on and off.  Even if you lost some weight from calorie restriction, the long-term side effects are a slower metabolism from a famished thyroid.

#2- Clogged Liver
Your liver is responsible for converting a huge chunk of your thyroid hormone.  If your liver is clogged from chronic exposure to toxins, medication use, processed foods, and other things, then of course you wouldn’t be converting thyroid hormones as you should and this could look like a thyroid condition.

#3- Adrenal or Cortisol Dysfunction
The HPA-axis (Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Adrenal Gland Axis) is one of the main control centers of the body – consider this the conductor of the train or orchestra.  The Hypothalamus links the nervous and endocrine system via the Pituitary gland, and your thyroid is part of the endocrine system.  If you have Adrenal or Cortisol Dysfunction going on, guess what?  There’s a domino effect causing an imbalance in the thyroid.  This type of dysfunction occurs with prolonged periods of stress and inflammation in the body, which most of us have experienced until we know what to do otherwise. 

#4- Amino Acid Deficiency
For the body to produce thyroid hormones, particularly one called free T4, it needs an adequate supply of amino acids obtained from proteins.  If you are not eating enough protein or absorbing it optimally, then your body is NOT getting enough amino acids to create thyroid hormones in the first place.  With Hashimoto’s, it is critical to support digestion and to consume plenty of protein for free T4-it will help manage the disease better.  Alternatively, those without Hashimoto’s but with impaired digestion or lacking amino acids in their diet could be showing low free T4 counts and be misdiagnosed with a thyroid condition.

There are high chances that one of these four things pertains to you in some way.  It’s rare to see someone who has never dieted, has optimal digestion and protein intake, who doesn’t have a clogged liver, or who has minimal stress and inflammation in their lifetime, making adrenal or cortisol dysfunction irrelevant. 

I want to help you avoid becoming part of this thyroid epidemic!

I’ve written a TON of blogs about thyroid health and thyroid-related health issues to give you all the resources, tools, and pieces of the puzzle you need to support and heal your thyroid naturally.

Check out some of my most popular and insightful blogs about your thyroid so you can prevent or potentially reverse any thyroid issues you might encounter….

Think You Have A Thyroid Problem? Read this
I dive into details about how having a sluggish liver can greatly impact your thyroid function and what you can do to promote optimal thyroid hormone conversion!

What If It’s Not A Thyroid Problem
This blog explores other factors impacting thyroid function that make it look like you have a thyroid problem when it’s really not your main issue.

3 Steps To Support & Heal Your Thyroid
In this 3-part blog series, I share with you the major steps I took (also the steps I guide my clients through) to support and heal the thyroid naturally.

My mission is to support busy, health-minded people like you in getting your hands on the right lab tests and resources so you can have a super healthy thyroid, or so you can simply get back to feeling like yourself again.

If you want to explore the missing pieces of your health puzzle on a deeper level so you can actually fix what is wrong and feel your best, then click here to get on my waiting list for an Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me (and get an awesome list of practitioner referrals if you want to take action now)!

Drop holiday weight [immediately]

Drop Holiday Weight - Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a magical pill or food you could eat that would stop cravings in their tracks, would give you long-lasting energy, and promote weight loss all at the same time?

There actually is, and it’s called Fat.

Contrary to what you might believe or have been told, new research is showing us how consuming healthy types of fats can be beneficial not only for curbing cravings, boosting energy, and supporting weight loss but also for preventing chronic disease and cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Before we dive into this fat conversation, let’s set the record straight on what types of fats are beneficial for your health.

Fat gets a bad rap, but not all fats are created equal.

There are 4 major categories of fat:

  1. Saturated fats
  2. Monounsaturated fats
  3. Polyunsaturated fats
  4. Trans fats

All foods with fat contain various amounts of the different types of fat; saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated.  Some fatty foods can also have naturally occurring or artificial trans fat.

Each type of fat is essential for bodily functions and each comes with its own list of health benefits.

Saturated fats are commonly found in butter, lard, milk, coconut oil, and milk.  They serve as a primary source of energy in the body; as the preferred fuel for the brain, as signaling agents for cells, and can even encourage weight loss.

Monounsaturated fats can be found in avocados, olives, certains meats, and types of nuts. This type of fat is known for its positive impacts on cardiovascular health by reducing LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammation, and blood pressure, and increasing HDL cholesterol.

Polyunsaturated fats are mostly found in fish, some nuts and seeds, and oils such as flax, corn, safflower, and soybean. This type of fat plays a critical role in forming cell membranes, cell function, and regulating gene expression.  Omega-3 and 6’s are a type of Polyunsaturated fat.

Though Trans fats are most controversial, even some of these are healthy for you when they are naturally occurring.  Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a natural type of Trans fat that reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, and autoimmunity. It can also improve glucose tolerance, which can prevent or help manage type 2 diabetes.

On the other hand, artificial Trans fats are highly inflammatory and have been shown to increase the risk for cancer, heart disease, obesity, and other chronic inflammatory-related conditions. 

Without dietary fats, or adequate amounts of them (for you), the body can’t function at its potential.

The quality of Fat is what counts.

Aside from the different types of fat, the quality of the fats you are consuming is what counts.

Fat is not only how the body stores energy, but it’s also where the body stores toxins and excess hormones to protect itself from those harmful particles circulating through the system.

If you eat sources of fat that have been exposed to pesticides and herbicides or injected with hormones and antibiotics such as non-organic, grass-fed, free-range meat and eggs, then guess what?  You’re consuming those toxins, hormones, and antibiotics too.

The same goes for fat derived from plant sources such as avocados, olives, and oils.  

To really reap the benefits of dietary fats, you’ll want to avoid all the additives.  Aim to consume them from natural, clean, organic, hormone-free, grass-fed, pasture-raised, free-range, humanely-raised, and minimally-processed sources.

Look for your fats to be:

  • Cold-pressed organic oils
  • 100% Grass-fed and finished organic hormone-free beef and related products
  • Free-range organic hormone-free poultry and eggs
  • Organic avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, and coconut products
  • Wild-caught fresh fish or packaged in non-toxic containers

Now that you know about fat, its direct health benefits, and what sources of fat to focus on, let’s get to the important stuff- how it can help you lose weight and boost your energy!

In this week’s video and blog, I dive into more detail about why you should eat fat for weight loss, more energy, and better health!

Did you know that 80% of the population is estimated to do better on a higher fat and protein diet and only about 20% thrive with higher carbohydrates?

Yet the dietary guidelines for Americans suggest that your daily food intake should consist of 45-65% carbohydrates.

Let’s talk about what’s wrong with this recommendation…

Carbohydrates are the easiest macronutrient for the body to metabolize. They are instantly converted into glucose (aka sugar) that floods the bloodstream.  Your blood sugar goes up for a period of time, and what goes up must come down.

This is why you may have noticed that you get an instant energy boost after eating a meal higher in carbs, followed by an energy crash –  feeling like you need to take a nap or feeling hunger within 30 minutes to 2 hours after.

As your blood sugar comes crashing down after eating a higher-carb meal, your body loses its energy source and starts craving food to bring your blood sugar back up.

Proteins and fats, on the other hand, require a much more complex and lengthy process to be metabolized and converted into glucose.

Thus, if you eat a meal higher in fat and protein, you’ll have a nice and steady release of glucose over a longer period of time, keeping your blood sugar balanced, energy even, and curbing those cravings.

In fact, fat can’t be converted directly to glucose.  It has to go through an even longer process of conversion before it hits your bloodstream.  

When you eat a diet higher in fat, as your body works to metabolize the fat you ate (which is a long process) it will tap into your existing fat stores for immediate energy, thus promoting weight loss!

In addition to keeping your blood sugar in balance, eating more fat (and therefore less carbs) promotes weight loss and more energy by:

  • Increasing your feelings of fullness to curb cravings
  • Decreasing appetite-stimulating hormones such as insulin and ghrelin
  • Increasing calorie expenditure due to the complex process of metabolizing fat
  • Boosting fat loss versus lean body mass due to decreased insulin levels
  • Balancing your hormones with essential nutrients needed to make hormones
  • Maintaining cell structures for energy production and body efficiency

If you don’t believe me, then I challenge you to try it, just for one meal.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Experience it and challenge yourself to eat one meal higher in fat, with moderate protein and a small amount of carbs.

A great example meal would be a ribeye steak dinner with a side of leafy greens or types of vegetables that grow above the ground (asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc.) sautéed or cooked with olive or coconut oil.

Remember, you just want your fat sources to be clean, as previously discussed.

Notice after eating this type of meal how you can go 3-5 hours, or possibly longer, without feeling hungry.  Your energy is even, and when you cut the cravings or need to snack between meals, it becomes easier to manage your weight.

So don’t fear fat.  It does a body good.  Use the right fats to get the results you want!

If you need help figuring out what fats and other foods are right for your body so you can lose weight, have more energy, and get back to feeling like yourself again then, click here to check out my Food & Body Language Log.

P.S. If you are a part of the 20% who don’t do as well with a higher fat and protein diet, you’ll know right away.  Within 30 minutes to 2 hours you’ll experience the opposite effects; you’ll feel sluggish, have a heavy stomach, and want to take a nap while your body is trying to digest.

2021 Health Tip Highlights

2021 Health Tip Highlights - Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Wow.  Can you believe how fast 2021 has come and gone? 

So much has happened in the world of health in 2021…

The pandemic continued…
Causing us to examine our personal health status even more…
And to take responsibility for our health like never before…

But we have yet to discuss how we got to a pandemic in the first place. As we work to reverse the current situation, it’s also important to explore what led to it so we can reduce the risk of another one in the future.  

Some of the most common correlations for risk factors and the spread have been:

  • Pre-existing chronic diseases, such as Diabetes
  • High blood glucose (sugar) levels
  • Low Vitamin D levels

All of which are preventable, reversible, or managed better with a healthy lifestyle and good eating habits.

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

As I’ve been saying since this pandemic hit, most people need to experience a catastrophic event (i.e. a health scare) to realize they need to do something about their health, and the majority of these past two years have been a global catastrophic event. 

Life gives us exactly what we need when we need it, we just have to be open to receiving it.

This year forced a LOT of change.  It forced us to change the way we look at the world, the way we look at our health, and what we prioritize in our lives.

What has been important to you?

While re-evaluating my priorities, it seems the past two years have been calling 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

Interestingly, these are also basic practices that help you to build and maintain your health, and they have been pivotal parts of my health journey that helped me reverse Hashimotos, balance my hormones, restore my energy, and get back to my ideal body. 

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

This year, I’ve written over 40 blogs and hundreds of social media posts to educate and empower you about the right lab tests and resources you need to feel like your best self again (or for the very first time).

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

So to close out 2021, I’ve compiled the top tips and pieces of information I shared this year, in hopes that these will give you the insights you need to kick off 2022 with a healthy bang!

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

As you reflect on the year, take a moment to envision what you want for yourself and your health in 2022.

Do you want more energy?

To feel great in your body again?

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

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

If so, then 2022 is your year.

Since I currently have a waiting list due to the number of people seeking personalized health solutions, I’ve compiled a list of my top colleagues to help you improve your health this coming year.

These colleagues are trained in the same functional health methods as me and have trained under me so I’m confident they can help you achieve your ideal health and weight in 2022.  They are the trusted hands I send my loved ones to.  

If you’re ready to take back control of your health and feel like your best self, click here to access my list of trusted colleagues and schedule a consult to explore the possibilities. 

And enjoy these top health tips from 2021!

 

Health Tip Highlights 2021 - Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Top Instagram Posts

Top Blog Posts

Top Facebook Videos

Wishing you a new year full of peace, balance, and more joy!

 

 

 

8 Holiday Hormone Hacks [final days]

holiday hormones - Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Have you been catching my simple tips to keep your hormones balanced during the holidays so you can feel your best going into 2022?

I’ve been giving away all kinds of knowledge goodies over the past week in regards to practical things you can do to keep hormones (such as cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, melatonin, insulin, and leptin) balanced during the holiday season, and reverse the havoc 2021 has wreaked on them.

The holidays can take a toll 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 – running 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 kicked off an Instagram and Facebook series called the “12 Days of Healthy Hormone Hacks for the Holidays”.

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

Here’s a recap of a few I recently shared…

 

Day 6:  Bank Some Sleep

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

Day 5: Crush Some Cruciferous Veggies

It’s the last full weekend before Christmas and all through the town, Christmas cocktails are flowing… meaning estrogen levels are on the rise.

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

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

Alcohol and plastic can increase estrogen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

Day 4: Wake Up with Warm Water

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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