Fasting for freedom!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fast forward to now…

I recently completed not one, but 3 separate 72-hour fasting periods to heal my gut and take my health even higher!

Yes, you read that right, I went 3 days without eating on 3 separate occasions.  Food is no longer the boss of me and I have the ultimate food freedom!

Fasting is an incredibly effective tool that has been used for ages in eastern philosophies of medicine to help reverse or prevent health conditions such as cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

So naturally I was stoked when Susannah Juteau asked me to be on her Fasting For Freedom Series to share the wealth of health knowledge with the rest of the world so you could find your food freedom too!

Fasting_Freedom_Summit Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Fasting isn’t right for everyone and in some cases it can produce more negative health side-effects than good.

Fasting may not be right for you if:

  • You have an existing hormone imbalance (thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, etc.)
  • You currently suffer with sleep issues 
  • You have underlying vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Your liver is already sluggish or overloaded 
  • You have metals or other toxins built up in your body
  • You avoid salt or don’t eat enough of it

In my expert interview on the Fasting For Freedom Series, Susannah and I discuss safe ways to approach fasting to make sure you don’t wreak havoc on your hormones and so you can reap all the health benefits that fasting has to offer.  

You can watch my interview as part of the 11 Day Virtual Series ‘Fasting for Freedom: Overthrow traditional eating patterns to ignite your life’ starting Monday, March 2nd.

Get your all-access pass to the series here, and get all the info you need to fast for your freedom!

 

 

 

Are eggs bad for you? [news flash]

Are Eggs Bad For You Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Eggs have received a bad rap and been misunderstood for a long time.  For example…

What came first, the chicken or the egg?  (LOL, just kidding but hopefully that gave you a laugh)

But for real though…

Have you ever wondered why eggs are located in the dairy section at the grocery store or on food guides when they actually come from chickens, not cows or other animals that produce milk (aka dairy)?

Why aren’t eggs located in the meat department with the rest of the animal proteins?

And how many times have you heard eggs are bad for you, or that you should only eat egg white and avoid the yolks?…especially if you have high cholesterol?

These are some of the most common myths and misunderstandings around eggs, and today I want to clear them up for you so you can eat eggs with peace of mind and reap all of the nutritional benefits they have to offer so you can lose weight, have more energy and feel like yourself again.

Let’s start by busting the biggest egg myth…

A recent study involving 177,000 people over 50 countries found NO SIGNIFICANT correlation between eggs and blood cholesterol levels, mortality or cardiovascular events.

That’s HUGE! 

You’ve likely been told your whole life to watch how many eggs you eat because it could lead to high cholesterol, and now you know it’s not true.

The idea that eggs could single-handedly increase cholesterol has always been a silly notion to me because the body is a network of complex systems.  When you eat something it gets deconstructed into a million tiny little pieces of nutrients that are dispersed throughout the body and used as building blocks to make cells, tissues, organs and bones.  

And cholesterol is no exception to this rule.  Here’s what really happens to cholesterol when you consume it…

“Cholesterol is oxidized by the liver into a variety of bile acids. These, in turn, are conjugated with glycine, taurine, glucuronic acid, or sulfate. A mixture of conjugated and nonconjugated bile acids, along with cholesterol itself, is excreted from the liver into the bile. Approximately 95% of the bile acids are reabsorbed from the intestines, and the remainder are lost in the feces.”

Sounds pretty complex right? 

In this week’s video and blog, I want to clear up confusion around cholesterol and eggs so you can eat them with peace of mind and reap all of the nutritional benefits they have to offer you to boost your energy, lose weight and feel great. 

Now that you can confidently eat eggs without worrying about your cholesterol levels, here’s why you should make them a part of your regular eating routine…

Eggs contain some of the highest levels of Vitamin K2 which actually protects you against heart disease. In fact, K2 is the single most important nutrient preventing calcium deposits on your artery walls.

Egg yolks also contain more choline than any other food.  In comparison, egg yolks have ten times more choline than broccoli and Brussels sprouts.  Choline prevents fatty liver disease, dementia and other brain-related conditions and it’s important for memory, mood, muscle control, and other brain functions.

Eggs also top the charts for Biotin, a nutrient needed to support all cellular membranes. In fact, deficiencies in Biotin can contribute to depression and issues related to your skin, hair, and nails.

Egg yolks are possibly one of the most nutrient dense foods in the world.  They are right up with liver, but I bet you’d rather eat egg yolks over liver…am I right???

Yolks contain vitamins such as A, D, E, K and B6 and nutrients such as Iron, Zinc, and other essential fatty acids.  Egg yolks carry a larger percentage of Choline, Biotin, Calcium, Phosphorus, Folate and Pantothenic Acid. 

As you can see, eggs are rich in a LOT of nutrients that support every function of your body, giving it the fuel it needs so you can lose weight, have more energy and feel great.

There are only two guidelines you should follow when eating eggs…

  1. Choose organic, pasture-raised eggs to avoid added hormones and support humane farming practices
  2. Consider a food sensitivity test to make sure they are right for you and not reactive

I often see people struggling with weight loss, fatigue, thyroid and other hormone imbalances because they aren’t getting enough eggs or naturally occurring cholesterol in their diets.

Cholesterol is a vital nutrient needed to make hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, cortisol, DHEA and even thyroid.  Without this nutrient supply your hormones will run dry.

So don’t fall for the egg and high cholesterol trap. Eat your eggs confidently knowing they are doing your body good!

P.S. If you’d like to get your hands on the right lab tests and resources to see if eggs are right for you so you can feel your best, click here to schedule an Ideal Healthy & Weight Discovery Consultation

 

 

#TBT What to do when sh*t happens…

What to do when sh*t happens Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

If you’ve been following my Instagram at all you know I’ve had a really rough couple of weeks with my fur/child, Cliff, being in and out of the emergency room and having repeated surgeries.  

We still don’t know exactly what’s wrong with him and some of what is happening to him is completely out of my control. 

These past few weeks have been physically and emotionally exhausting. 

But this is life; sh*t still happens no matter how healthy or safe you try to be.  The events of these last weeks have been a great reminder for me on how far I’ve come in my health journey and what to do when sh*t happens. 

So this week’s #throwbackthursday blog is full of lessons I’ve learned about what to do when sh*t happens, so you’ll know what to do too when sh*t happens in order to feel your best. 

***

Let’s face it, sh*t happens and you can’t always avoid it.  There will always be traffic, an angry boss, deadlines that won’t get met no matter how hard you try, the loss of loved ones, stumbles and falls.

Last week I was stuck in a sh*t storm…

I was on my way home from Peru and everything was smooth sailing on my flight from Lima to Miami. So good, in fact, that we actually landed 45 minutes early.  After being away from home for 11 days, I was giddy to get home, so I decided to jump my flight.  

I paid $250 to catch an earlier flight at 3:45pm instead of waiting around until 7:45pm so I could get home 2 hours early and slide into bed before my 10pm bedtime.

Sounded like a great idea, right?  I thought so, until things went all wrong.

My new flight connected through Dallas.  The plane boarded on time. “So far so good” is what I texted my husband about 5 minutes too early.  Just after I hit “send,” the pilot announced there was a hold up on the runway and we would be taking off as soon as possible… 40 minute later we finally took flight.

This is when the sh*t started to hit the fan.

I nervously watched the time go by, hoping, praying, wishing and thinking all the positive thoughts possible that we would make up time in the air and I would make my tight connection in Dallas.

Just as we landed in Dallas, there was a glimmer of hope!  A woman next to me said her husband had just messaged her that all flights in Dallas had been grounded until 7:30pm for some reason, meaning my connection was still on the ground.

I grabbed my bag and ran across the airport with about 20 other people trying to catch the connection to San Diego.  We got to the gate to see the flight had been delayed and a representative was still at the counter – I felt relieved!

To our disappointment, the plane had already closed up boarding and no one else was getting on.

In that moment I had two choices. I could…

#1- Raise hell, scream, yell and demand for the plane to let us on as most of my passenger peers did around me.

#2- Evaluate what was in my control, what wasn’t, and make sure my wellbeing was the priority.

I opted for option number two.  

Having been in a similar situation a few years ago, I knew I had no control over opening up the plane again.  The old me, back then, argued with the airline representative which did nothing for me except raise my stress levels, drain my energy and leave me feeling fatigued and hopeless.

This time I chose differently. I chose my health.

In this week’s video and blog, I share more about how to navigate life when sh*t happens to better support your health.

Just because I’m a health-minded person doesn’t mean I’m immune to sh*t happening in my life.  I’ve had my fair share and I still get dished some from time-to-time.

How we choose to navigate the sh*t is what makes all the difference in the world to our health.

The choices we make around food, lifestyle and behavior all influence our genetic makeup and therefore our health.  We might have been given a set of genes, but we have the ability to turn them on or off based on how we choose to live our life. We know this based on the study of epigenetics. 

As shown in this study, mice raised by stressed mothers are more likely to be stressed themselves.  Stress causes changes in DNA that affect the receptors for cortisol, our major stress hormone.  The way we handle stress not only impacts our genes but also the genes of our offspring.

It’s funny sometimes how we actually create more stress in our lives than necessary.  We wait until the last minute to do something (procrastination!) like filling up our gas tank as my friend Molly Hamill just posted about.  We take on more than we can handle (too much on our plate).  We think we can save everyone or change them for the better (martyr or healer mentality).  We argue our point of view to death just to prove ourselves right even if we might be wrong. 

And all for what exactly?  To feel exhausted, fat, tired and sick more than we would like to.  

It’s time to put all of that into perspective and realize that each action you take can either help or hinder your health.  Which do you choose?

This became so clear to me after the first time my mom had a near death experience over 7 years ago.  I ran myself ragged trying to save her, arguing with the doctors, trying to control everything and putting too much responsibility for work, home and her on my plate.

She lived, but I barely did.  I was a shadow of health that I used to know, and it took quite some time for me to recover from all of that.  And not one thing that I did changed the outcome of what happened. It was all fate.

Through all of that, I realized the only control I had was over myself and my health.

Since then, part of improving and maintaining my health has been learning how to let go of the things I can’t control and controlling the things I can.  This can be tough when it means making myself a priority over even my loved ones, but I know it’s necessary for my own survival.

Being able to identify the burden of stress on the body at any point in time and knowing how to take action to reduce it, is the main message I teach all of my health-coaching clients and one that I practice personally.

Whether that’s by taking action to:

  • Eat in alignment with what your body needs
  • Get adequate sleep and rest over all else
  • Turn down the exercise intensity, even when your ego says “no”
  • Support the body with proper supplements until it can support itself
  • Notice when a situation is causing emotional or mental stress and changing course
  • Reduce toxic exposures as much as possible and enhance the body’s natural detox capacity

Back to that moment when I missed my flight connection…

There was nothing I could do about that, but I was able to assess my situation and recognize the possible burdens of stress my body was about to face: not being home on time for a healthy meal, not being in bed at a reasonable hour plus the mental/emotional aspects of being stuck waiting for another plane.

And that wasn’t even the end of it.  My rescheduled flight for 10:30pm was cancelled, the airport hotel was sold out so I had to stay somewhere 10 miles away, I woke up at 5:10am to a voicemail about my rescheduled 6:55am flight being cancelled to finally make it on a 7:10am flight home through LAX to San Diego.

And I didn’t lose my sh*t. Not even once.

So after 36+ hours traveling, one missed connection, two cancelled flights and 5 hours of sleep in a last-minute hotel, how did I stay sane and healthy this time?  My priorities were:

  1. Sleep
  2. Clean food
  3. Meditation

Those were the 3 things I could control and that would have the greatest positive impact on my well-being.

I knew eating clean food would keep my mind clear and my body nourished.  Sure, it would have been easy to eat anything in my immediate sight but the downside would have been brain fog, bloating and inflammation.

When I’m sleep deprived I become irritable and susceptible to getting sick, so getting sleep was a must. Not standing around arguing about a missed or cancelled flight.

And to keep myself grounded, emotionally stable (minus the few tired tears I shed on the phone telling my husband I wouldn’t be home), and rational to make quick decisions about my next move, I knew I needed to decompress with some deep breathing in the moment and some meditation before bed.

All-in-all I made it home in one piece without an ounce of jet lag or regret.

Good health is the relationship that we have with our mind and body, and the actions that we take based upon that.

***

 

As a Functional Health Practitioner and coach, I not only use lab testing, diet, rest, exercise, supplements and stress reduction techniques to help my clients achieve their results, but I also infuse transformational coaching methods to change their behaviors and help them embrace health as a way of being.

If you’re looking for guidance on how to improve your health and you’re ready to invest in your health and yourself, then schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session here today!

Why your weight fluctuates…

Why Your Weight Fluctuates Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Let’s be honest.

Stepping on the scale can be a daunting task, even dreadful at times, or maybe you avoid it altogether in fear of what it might reveal. 

I know this feeling all too well as someone who has seen the scale fluctuate most of my life…at least until I understood why.

But before I understood my fluctuations, it would drive me crazy chasing the perfect pound, counting every calorie and driving myself into the ground at the gym.  All of which didn’t help my cause, not even a little bit.

So then I gave up stepping on the scale thinking if I didn’t pay attention to it, if I didn’t obsess over it, maybe just maybe I would magically reach my dream number.  I would eventually feel comfortable in my clothes and my body.

But the truth is you can only see progress in what you track.

I’m not suggesting you should obsess over what the scale says, but rather you should track what makes you fluctuate so you can have a better understanding of what is keeping you from the perfect pound and then you can take action based on the data you’re collecting. 

There are 4 primary drivers for fluctuations:

  1. Water retention
  2. Inflammation
  3. Muscle
  4. Fat

Significant increases or decreases in actual body composition (aka fat and muscle mass) takes time.  Changes in body composition happen in smaller increments over weeks or months due to the complexities of how they are obtained.  In general, losing 1 pound of fat per week is typical and obtainable. However, gaining 1 pound of actual fat per week is less likely unless you’re eating almost double your usual food intake (I’ll tell you more about why below), which I doubt you’re doing. 

Gaining or losing muscle is even more challenging.  When it comes to muscle gains, you really have to hit the gym hard and consistently.  Back when I was training for fitness competitions, I was lucky if I put on 4 pounds of muscle over 6 weeks of intense training while being meticulous about my protein and food intake.  

If you’re noticing significant and constant fluctuations, water retention and inflammation are the likely culprits way more so than muscle or fat.

In this week’s video and blog, I dive into more details about why your weight fluctuates and what you can do to not only stabilize it but to nail your perfect pound on the scale.

 

Inflammation and water density can change in the body by the minute depending on a multitude of factors such as…

  • The foods you just ate
  • The quality of sleep you got
  • The amount of water you’re drinking 
  • The level of stress you’re experiencing
  • The balance of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes in your body
  • And how many toxins you’re being exposed to and to what frequency

Food, sleep and stress are the most common factors I see resulting in fluctuations amongst my clients and myself. 

For example, my husband recently did a food sensitivity test and found he was sensitive to beef, meaning he was having an inflammatory reaction to it.  He cut out beef and lost 5 pounds in one week as a result of the reduction in inflammation.

This type of drop in pounds is typical amongst most of my clients once they cut out the top inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, sugar, soy and alcohol.  And they see greater gains when they eliminate other specific foods they’re reactive too according to their food sensitivity test. 

Consuming too many carbohydrates or sugars increases water retention.  Carbs and sugars are stored in the body as glycogen and as noted in a recent study, “glycogen is stored in the liver, muscles, and fat cells in hydrated form (three to four parts water).”  So the more carbs or sugars you eat, the more glycogen and water you store. 

Staying up late or not getting good quality sleep disrupts your body’s ability to regulate cortisol hormone, the body’s natural anti-inflammatory.  When cortisol is out of balance, it hinders your body’s ability to manage inflammation and you’ll see that number on the scale reflect this. 

And then there’s stress.  

Stress increases your body’s output of cortisol hormone, that anti-inflammatory agent, which challenges its ability to regulate not only inflammation, but also your sleep patterns which causes fluctuations as I just mentioned.

Instead of feeling frustrated about the fluctuations on the scale, and elevating your stress levels which will just make them worse, put on your health boss hat and start tracking. 

Tracking your metrics daily will reveal what exactly is impacting the number you’re seeing on the scale.  Here’s an idea of what to track for clues about what’s causing you to fluctuate…

  • If you ate any of the top inflammatory foods; gluten, dairy, sugar, soy or alcohol 
  • How many grams of carbs and sugars you consumed
  • What time you went to bed and how well you slept on a scale of 1-10
  • And what your stress level is each day on a scale of 1-10

And of course make sure you are using a scale that is calibrated correctly and regularly to eliminate margins of error.  

Try this for even just a week and I bet you’ll feel empowered by what you find, because once you know what’s contributing to your fluctuations, then you can make conscious choices to help you look and feel your best!

As Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioners like myself like to say…test, don’t guess.  Don’t live in limbo anymore, take your health into your own hands and be a health boss 😉

I would love to hear what aha’s, insights or big takeaways you got from this, leave a comment and let me know! 

 

 

FREE expert fasting info [ends tomorrow]

Fasting-Reset-Summit-Jenn Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Intermittent fasting is an age-old dietary philosophy that has been getting some serious press lately.

With the Keto diet craze on the rise, there’s been a lot of talk about fasting. Every person who has come through my functional health coaching practice lately has either dabbled in some fasting or thought about it.

In the last 5 months, I’ve even done three 72-hour fasts to help reset my gut and heal food sensitivities once and for all.

But is fasting right for you?

My simple answer to this question is… you are unique and, therefore, your diet should be too.

What works for one person will not necessarily work for you. This is why you’ll often see people say eating Paleo, Whole30, gluten-free or (insert diet of your choice) didn’t work for them, yet someone they knew got amazing results from it.

Fasting has been used for ages in eastern philosophies of medicine to help reverse or prevent health conditions such as cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

If we think about fasting from a primal or ancestral standpoint, it has been around basically since the beginning of mankind. As hunter-gatherers, our primitive ancestors frequently went without food for periods of time in between successful hunting trips and during times of famine when food sources were low or hard to come by. They didn’t have the luxuries of fast food drive-thrus on almost every corner or food at their fingertips like we do today.

In general, intermittent fasting or dietary approaches using fasting techniques, have a wide range of health benefits such as:

  • Balancing blood sugar and boosting energy levels
  • Promoting weight loss and reducing inflammation
  • Regulating hormones that signal for hunger
  • Healing the intestinal lining (leaky gut)
  • And decomposing damaged cells and generating new ones (this is absolutely fascinating biology, geek out more on it here)

However, jumping into fasting without understanding how it works or how your body might respond to it isn’t a good idea, and it can be difficult to find reliable information about how to properly approach fasting.

Before embarking on my first 72-hour fast I prepped my body for it as if I was training for a marathon to ensure I wouldn’t hurt myself by doing it.

If you want to learn more about how I approach fasting, how fasting can help you achieve your health goals and what you should know before doing it or how to do it right next time then…
Check out the Fasting Reset Summit!

FastingResetSummitjenn Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

I’m beyond excited to announce that I am a guest expert speaker on the FASTING RESET SUMMIT!

I’m one of the 40+ leading health experts discussing the many benefits and best practices related to Intermittent Fasting.

The summit is live until tomorrow ONLY and it’s completely free to watch life!

The Fasting Reset Summit will help you:

  • Understand the link between blood sugar and fat burning
  • Take back control over your hormones
  • Experience victory over thyroid and autoimmune issues
  • Implement healthy dietary and lifestyle changes
  • Reclaim your health and vitality
  • And so much more!

CLICK HERE to check out the full list of expert speakers and topics before they are gone after TOMORROW.

Fasting is a powerful tool for not just weight loss, but for practically any health condition or goal you might have so don’t miss out on this opportunity to get FREE expert information on how it can change your life.

P.S. If you don’t have time to catch the summit before it ends, you can purchase the recordings for just $79 here

 

 

 

3 Rituals to Boost Your Energy

Sacred Rituals have been the cornerstone of civilizations for millennia but seem to have lost their place in our modern western society.

In hidden parts of the world where indigenous people still live off the land, we can see where sacred rituals still exist and how these rituals help them thrive in what most of us would consider uninhabitable conditions.

They have rituals around when they wake up, when they do work and when they sleep according to the sun cycles.  They have rituals for farming and foraging for food. They have spiritual rituals connecting them to a higher purpose and medicinal rituals to prevent sickness.

Their rituals keep them healthy, connected to each other and with the earth.

These rituals are more important and powerful than you might think.

There was a time when I didn’t have any rituals in my life and I felt as if I was spiraling – I was easily overwhelmed, low on energy, everything seemed urgent, life felt dull, and I felt lost or alone sometimes.

Introducing modern and ancient rituals into my life has helped me not only reverse Hashimotos, restore hormone balance, heal from mold illness AND get my energy back but it’s also given me a greater sense of purpose and a feeling of being centered.

Here are the 3 rituals that have had the biggest impact on my energy, health and life…

Ritual #1 – Sun Syncing Sleep
Our bodies are wired to sleep when the sun goes down and to wake when it rises.  This wiring is what we call our circadian rhythm and it keeps your hormones in balance and all of your body systems running.  When you fall out of sync with the sun, your body systems fall out of sync too, leaving you feeling exhausted all the time no matter how many hours of sleep you get.

Developing a sleeping ritual according to the sun cycles will certainly give you a boost of energy!  Aim to be asleep by 10pm at least 5 nights a week and you’ll find yourself springing out of bed when the sun rises.

Ritual #2 – Holding Space
Your body can only heal in a relaxed state, but how often are you holding the space for that to happen?  In our fast-paced world, there isn’t much time to relax and even when you think you’re relaxing, you may not be because your mind is still buzzing or you’re watching something that’s getting you wound up.  Even low-grade stress from watching the news or worrying about what to make for dinner can pull you out of a relaxed state and interfere with your body’s ability to heal.

The quickest and most effective way to hit deep relaxation is through deep breathing.  When you adopt the deep rhythmic breathing patterns of a relaxed person, it automatically flips the switch in your brain to take you out of a stressed state and into a relaxed one.

Create a daily ritual around deep breathing, even if it’s only for a few minutes. The more space you can hold for your body to relax, the more it can heal or recover from daily activities so you can maintain a higher level of energy.

Ritual #3 – Consume Consciously
There’s a difference between eating healthy and eating right for your body.  Eating right for your body will incorporate healthy foods but not every healthy food is right for your body despite what you’ve read or been told. We can all agree that a banana is a healthy food but if you have a food intolerance to bananas or carbohydrates, that banana is doing more harm than good.  However, it’s hard to pick up on these subtle nuances about reactions to food or whether you’re full when your sipping down your smoothie on the way to work, scarfing down your lunch while you catch up on email or hustling to get through dinner and on to the next thing.

When you consume foods or beverages consciously, you’ll start to notice what robs you of energy and what gives you energy. Once you create this feedback loop, it will be SO MUCH easier to make choices that are in alignment with how you want to feel instead of feeling deprived.

Cultivate a ritual to check in with your body 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating to see if you feel satisfied, emotionally and physically balanced.  If you do great! And if you don’t, keep a record of what you ate to find correlations about what foods might be robbing you of energy.

I share more about the rituals that have boosted my energy and health in the show Return to Ritual with my good friend Amber Wientzen.

Amber’s show was inspired by her own curiosity and love for Sacred Rituals, and their powerful role in her healing journey too. I’m so honored to be a show guest. It was fascinating to see how parallel our journeys have been – going from grinding ourselves into the ground to healthy with purpose as a result of our personal rituals.

The show series is called Return of Ritual: How to invoke Sacred Ritual into our daily life to experience deeper peace, more heartfelt connection and profound personal and professional success!  

I hope you’ll listen to our interview for insights on how you can bring more rituals into your life so you can feel like your best self too!

Check out the interview here

ReturnOfRitual Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

This show is for anyone who has felt disconnected from their calling, wants to create more magic in their lives, wants to deepen their spiritual practice and revolutionize their healing journey. The work Amber is bringing into the world is something you won’t want to miss. Connecting back to our roots and invoking Sacred Ritual is something we need now more than ever!

 

 

 

5 tips to nail your 2020 goals [giveaway inside]

5-Tips-To-Nail-Your-Health-Goals Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Can you believe we just started not only another new year BUT an entire decade???

The start of a new decade brings a whole new meaning to setting goals for the year – what you set your sights on now can set the tone for what you want the next 10 years to look like.

To help you kick your decade off right, I want to give you 5 tips to help you actually nail your health goals this year, for real this time.

Because, how many times have you told yourself this is going to be the year?

The year you…

Get your energy back

Finally feel good in your body again

Ditch the stress and make more time for self-care

Figure out what is really going on with your hormones

Reverse your autoimmune issues and manage them naturally

Or get to the bottom of your bloating and digestive struggles

…and ultimately get back to feeling like yourself again (or for the very first time).

As most people do, you probably always start the new year with the best of intentions but quickly find yourself getting lost in the chaos of everyday life.  And before you know it, the whole year (or a decade!) has practically passed you by, and you still feel uncomfortable in your body, sick or tired all of the time.

I feel ya, I’ve fallen into this vicious cycle myself in the past, but I made some major shifts halfway through the last decade to get my energy and body back.

First, let me tell you, it’s not your fault if you haven’t reached your New Year’s resolutions in years past.  There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. Feedback that you need a different plan of attack.

There’s more to achieving a goal than just setting one.  

Marathon runners don’t just wake up one day and run a marathon.  They train for it. They fuel their body for it. They buy the right clothing for it.  They put energy and thought into exactly how they are going to make it to the finish line on race day.

Like training for a marathon, in order to nail your health goals you need the right plan, resources and support.

In this week’s video and blog, I give you 5 tips to help you actually nail your health goals this year, for real this time.

 

I have worked with hundreds of clients, and no matter what the goal might be, I have found these 5 tips to be critical for reaching the finish of any health goal.

1 – Focus on the why, not the what
Who wouldn’t like to lose a little weight, have more energy or control of their health naturally?  Those are surface goals. It’s not what’s on the outside that matters, it’s what is on the inside that will keep you motivated.

What would having more energy, control of your health and weight do for you?  How would it change your life?

It would give you more confidence.  You would feel more comfortable in your skin.  You would be able to focus better at work, and as a result make more money.  You would be a better partner and parent. You would be able to travel the world, hike the tallest mountain, do anything you physically wanted to do with a feeling of joy.  You would be limitless!

When I trained for a marathon, sure there were days I didn’t want to get out of bed and run a ridiculous amount of miles.  And when I was in the depths of healing Hashimotos and mold illness, there were plenty of times when I wanted to throw in the towel, but reconnecting with my “why” is what kept me going, and it’s what keeps my clients going too.

2 – Clear the clutter
Distractions are everywhere and they can come in any form; food, finances, physical clutter in your home, negative people who drain your energy, or people who convince you to do things that aren’t in your health’s best interest.

If you have to stare the cookies in the chocolate chip eye every day in the pantry, eventually they will get the best of you.

Give yourself time to set up your environment to support the pursuit of your goals.  Clear the food out of the pantry and fridge that isn’t in alignment with how you want to be eating.  Put together a budget or get your finances in order so you don’t have to worry about them, and you can focus on yourself.  Take one day to organize that hall closet, garage or other cluttered space in your home. And set some healthy boundaries for those people in your life who may not be on the same path as you – instead of gossiping over cocktails, grab a coffee or take a walk and set a time limit with a reasonable excuse as to why you need to get going.

Once the clutter is out of the way you can move forward on a clear path.

3 – Build upon your existing rituals
We all brush our teeth in the morning, or at least I hope you do.  This is a ritual, or a habit, and something that we can build upon.

Often times what feels overwhelming about going after your health goals is the idea of having to “create time” or space to workout, eat healthy, meditate, drink more water etc.  But what if you just built upon the time you’ve already carved out for the rituals or habits you already have in place?

This really helped me build a meditation practice.  I started with just 10-15 minutes of meditation after our evening family dog walk as part of my nightly “wind down.”  It eventually grew into 30 minutes and I yearned for it so much that I eventually implemented into my morning routine right before my workout.

Oil pulling is another great example for me.  I do it 3 mornings per week while I prepare my dog’s breakfast – tackling two things at once!  I’m all about efficiency.

Another great example that my clients really enjoy is doing their meditation in their car in the driveway when they get home from work before entering their house.  It’s a great way to disconnect from work and be present for loved ones.

Assess your current rituals and how you can build upon them with the things that you would like to be doing for yourself to support your health.

(NOTE: Want to learn more about rituals to support your health and happiness?  Check out the upcoming Return to Ritual Show that I was a guest on)

4 – Recruit the right support and resources
It’s ok to ask for help, and don’t let your ego tell you otherwise.  Instead of spinning your wheels about what foods to eat, what exercise to engage in, which meditation to try, supplements to take or about anything else that might support your health goals, recruit the right experts and resources to be your guide.

As the old saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child”, it can also take a team of experts or resources to help you reach your health goals.  Set yourself up for success by hiring the right experts to hold you accountable and give you the resources you need to feel your best. Your health-goals dream team might include a personal trainer, health coach, chiropractor, acupuncturist, spiritual guide or other health professional.

YOU.ARE.WORTH.IT

5 – Stop shooting in the dark
If you’ve “tried everything” when it comes to diet and exercise, yet nothing seems to work, then it’s time to test instead of guess.  You are unique and therefore your diet, exercise, sleep, supplements and stress reduction needs will be too. What works for one person isn’t exactly going to work for you.

When your attempts to lose weight, increase your energy and get your health back under control aren’t working, it’s a sign that something bigger is going on beneath the surface such as hormone imbalances, liver congestion, poor nutrient absorption or fat for fuel metabolism, and your typical blood tests won’t pick up on these hidden dysfunctions.

Your results will always be lacking, no matter how many diets or workout routines you try, if you’ve got something greater going on under the hood.

So stop shooting in the dark, run some functional lab tests that will give you a bigger picture of your overall health and take a more strategic, and personalized approach to reaching your health goals this year.

Let me know how I can support you more in achieving your 2020 health goals…

Take 2 minutes to complete this survey by Jan. 16th and be entered to win 3 FREE HEALTH COACHING SESSIONS with me! ($750 value)

As the (W)holistic Health Boss, my mission is to support busy, health-minded people like you in getting access to the right lab tests and resources so you can find the missing pieces to your health puzzle and get back to feeling like yourself again (or for the very first time!).

Here’s to you achieving your health goals this year and setting the tone for you decade!

(P.S. I would be thrilled to be on your team, and I’m currently offering 20% off my coaching programs for those who are ready to take serious action to get their energy and body back.  Schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session here)

 

 

2019 Health Tip Highlights

2019 Health Tip Highlights Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Wow.  Can you believe how fast 2019 has come and gone?

I swear, the older I get the faster time moves.

So much has happened in the world of health in 2019…

  • Counting calories and portion control is becoming a thing of the past
  • Low fat diets are out, high fat diets are all the craze and healthier in a lot of ways
  • Stress is finally getting attention for being the #1 contributor to weight gain
  • The importance of sleep has come into focus with the wide range of activity trackers on the market

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 the lack of solutions and seeking more personalized care from functional and holistic health-minded professionals like myself.

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 42 blogs and hundreds of social media posts to educate and empower you about the right lab tests and resources you need to achieve your ideal health and weight.

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 2019, I’ve compiled the top tips and pieces of information I shared in 2019 in hopes that these will give you the insights you need to kick off 2020 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 2020.

Do you want more energy?

To lose weight so you can 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 2020 is your year.

I’m currently taking a limited number of clients and offering a 20% discount on all of my coaching packages for those who want to start 2020 strong with a personalized, yet strategic health-building plan that is realistic and produces long-lasting results.

Schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session here to explore the possibilities.

And enjoy these top health tips from 2019!

2019_Health_Tip_Highlights Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

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Wishing you a happy holiday season and New Year!

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Healthy Hormone Hacks continues…

12-Days-of-Healthy-Hormone-Hacks-for-Holidays-2 Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Have you been missing out on my simple tips to keep your hormones balanced during the holidays?

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.

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!

To help you keep your hormones intact this holiday season, I kicked off a Facebook and Instagram series last week called the 12 Days of Healthy Hormone Hacks for the Holidays.

12 Days Of Healthy Hormone Hacks For Holidays 2 Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Over the next 12 days on Facebook and Instagram, 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 what you might have missed so far…

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

But 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 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 is also 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 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 sound 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!

***

Head on over to my Facebook and Instagram to see what you might have missed AND to catch the rest of my 12 Days of Healthy Hormone Hacks for the Holidays!

P.S. Turn on your notifications 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!

 

 

 

12 Healthy Hormone Hacks for the Holidays!

12-Days-of-Healthy-Hormone-Hacks-for-Holidays-1 Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

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!

To help you keep your hormones intact this holiday season, today I’m kicking off a Facebook and Instagram series called  “12 Days of Healthy Hormone Hacks for the Holidays”

12 Days Of Healthy Hormone Hacks For Holidays Adrenal Fatigue Leaky gut Thyroid Jenn Malecha

Over the next 12 days on Facebook and Instagram, 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 peak at what I’ve got lined up for you starting today…

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 you to eat 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 get a bad rap, but they are not bad for you if sourced in a healthy way.

Filling up with healthy fats can also help to balance your blood sugar for longer-lasting energy, to reduce inflammation and to 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 at least once a 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 left 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 a count of 5
  • Hold the breath for a count of 5
  • Exhale for a count of 7

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, from toxins we encounter while traveling and as a result of 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. And 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, it being the holidays, and 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 2 teaspoons of vanilla bean ghee.  This keeps me feeling full and energized for at least 4 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.

***

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

P.S. Turn on your notifications 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!