How to Banish the PMS Blues

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As women we are vulnerable to the “PMS Blues”. This is a time when we’re prone to mood swings, bloating, swollen breasts, irritability, acne, headaches, and cramps.

But this can be avoided!

PMS and PMDD happens in our luteal phase (post-ovulation) because our estrogen drops during this time, and it brings serotonin down with it.

Serotonin makes us feel happy and keeps our mood balanced. This is the reason SSRI’s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are used to treat PMS and PMDD.

But there are better solutions!

During the approximate two weeks of our luteal phase, we need to be extra careful to eat less or no sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and reduce or exposure to stress, or more importantly control our reaction to stress (I know HA! but where there is a will there is a way!).

What you eat in the last two weeks of your cycle makes or breaks you girls! 

In your Follicular Phase (pre-ovulatory) you can get away with more alcohol, caffeine and salty foods because your high estrogen levels keep you more insulin sensitive which regulates your blood sugar.

In your Luteal Phase you are more insulin resistant and need to be careful with the sugar and carbs, and if you don’t want to feel like the Goodyear Blimp leading up to our during your period, you must dramatically cut your salt intake.

2 Steps to work towards beating PMS in your Luteal phase:

1.Stress Reduction

Schedule in time for an Epsom salt bath, get a massage (or whatever type of self-care you enjoy) as much as you can during the Luteal Phase, especially in the week leading up to menstruation.

2. Eat clean

Your diet will make or break you during this phase. Focus on higher protein and healthy fats (to reduce cravings), and make sure your carbs are coming from complex sources such as sweet potatoes or potatoes instead of breads and pastas. Eliminate sugar, alcohol and salty foods, and keep caffeine intake low.

And if you feel like your period is just one crazy roller coaster ride of PMS, pain, headaches, and mood swings, then let’s put an end to that NOW.  Sign up for my 20-Day Hormone Reboot online program, so you achieve glowing skin, and abundance of energy, healthy digestion, and the hormonal balance YOU deserve!

With Gratitude,

Health Coach Jenna

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Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl

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This chocolate cherry smoothie bowl makes for the perfect nourishing breakfast, as it’s full of antioxidants, healthy fats, and protein to fuel your brain and hormones throughout your day!

CHOCOLATE CHERRY SMOOTHIE BOWL 🍒🍒🍒

Ingredients:
•1 1/2 cup non dairy unsweetened milk ( please not soy!)
• 1/2 cup frozen cherries
•1/2 avocado
•1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Vega Sport Vanilla)
•1 tbs raw cacao powder
• 1 tbs chia seeds or flax seeds
• pinch of sea salt
•pinch of cinnamon
•optional- 1 scoop Bulletproof collagen protein powder

Method:

Blend about 60 seconds and pour in bowl. Top with your favorite things. I topped mine with goji berries, Bob’s Redmill organic rolled oats, walnuts, and Lily’s sugar-free chocolate chips.

Enjoy!

xxxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

 

 

The 5 Supplements You Need to Be Taking Daily

Dietary Supplements Pills Nutrient AdditivesEveryone has a different opinion about supplements. People tend to go one of two ways: conservative or liberal. Conservatives think that we can get all the nutrients we need from our diet, and liberals think that supplements can make up for a bad diet.

In regards to supplements, I encourage you to be a moderate.

While I’m a big advocate of getting nutrients from your food, sometimes it just isn’t possible due to two main factors.

1. Our soil has gone downhill

The quality of modern day soil has changed – it is now extremely depleted due to industrial farming. As a result, many of our fruits and vegetables are not as nutrient dense as they were when grandma and grandpa were eating them. This also means the animals you are eating are not as nutrient rich, as the grain or grass they are eating is also affected by industrial farming and depleted soils.

Statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and World Health Organization (WHO) have recorded a drop in nutrient density in our food supply within the last fifty years. This loss of nutrients is so great that in our modern world, it is imperative to supplement your diet to achieve optimum health.

2. It’s a busy world.

In our busy lives, can we really be 100% sure that we are eating all of our vitamins, minerals, and probiotics daily? I know I can’t.

Even with a perfect diet of real, whole foods, it is still almost impossible to get all the nutrients you need in today’s toxic and stress-filled world.

Yes, our ancestors were able to get all of their nutrients from their food, but they received far greater amounts of micro-nutrients in every mouthful of food they ate, than is found in the food we consume today.

I always try my best to get as many of the nutrients I need from my food, and I encourage you to do the same. But this is not always possible; that’s why I like to look at supplements as insurance that I am always covered.

With that said, here are the five crucial supplements and vitamins that I recommend everyone take daily:

1. Magnesium

Magnesium is a cofactor in over three hundred reactions in the body, and is necessary for temperature regulations, hormonal balance, detoxification in the liver, formation of bones and teeth, and transmission of nerve pulses. However, it’s estimated that around 80% of people are deficient in this crucial mineral! If you are deficient in magnesium, symptoms include anxiety, constipation, an inability to sleep, tension, muscle cramps, fatigue, and much more.

Better yet, did you know that magnesium is the best treatment for PMS?! In fact, it removes symptoms so dramatically that some scientists believe that magnesium deficiency is the cause of PMS. (1)

Magnesium boosts progesterone by improving the healthy of your corpus luteum. It also regulates cortisol and reduces inflammation.

For women (and men!) magnesium is crucial.

Dose- 400-500mg

Forms:  Glycinate is the best overall because it is the most absorbable, and Citrate works well for those prone to constipation. You can also mix and match.

Time Taken: Bedtime

Recommended brand: Pure Encapsulations Glycinate or Citrate.

2.Vitamin D + K2

About 80% of the population is deficient in Vitamin D, due to a shift from farming to office jobs, combined with a lack of sun in many places during the winter. Even if you live in a place with plenty of sunshine, you should be taking Vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial for hormonal and metabolic function, and is something you don’t want to be deficient in.

When choosing your Vitamin D, make sure to buy D3. Most doctors prescribe D2 but it is not as effective. You want to take at least 5,000 IU – 10,000 IU a day (depending on how deficient you are) for 6 months. After this, you can lower your dose to 2,000 IU a day for monthly maintenance.

K2 is a  is a fat soluble vitamin involved in calcium metabolism.  Excess calcium is deposited in arteries, leading to calcification and decreased vascular function.  This is why vitamin K2 could play a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Bonus is that K2 has been found to reduce bone loss.

Dose: D3 – 5,000-10,000 i.u’s daily

K2- 2,000 mcg daily

Forms: D3 combined with K2, or you can take D3 and K2 in separate pills

Time Taken: Morning. D3 and K2 should always be taken together.

Recommended brand:  Metagenics K2 with D3, or Metagenics D3 and LifeExtension K2

3. Methyl B12 and Methyl Folate

If you are a vegan or vegetarian I urge you to take vitamin B12 daily.  If you are an omnivore, I still recommend you take this, as most people are deficient in B12. B12 can protect against dementia, increase immune function, maintain nerves, and regenerate cells. It’s necessary for maintaining methylation reactions that repair DNA and prevent cancer.

Dose: 800 mcg Folate, and 500 mcg B12 (never take folic acid, that stuff is junk!)

Forms: Capsule or lozenge

Time taken: Daily with food

Brand: Metagenics Intrinsi B12/Folate

4. High Grade Probiotic

Your gut is responsible for much more than just digesting your lunch. Your gut, and the 100 trillion bacteria that call it home, are responsible for your overall mental and physical wellbeing. Hippocrates said 2,000 years ago that “all disease begins in the gut”, and modern scientists are just now realizing how true this statement is.

For optimum health you should maintain an 85-to-15 percent ratio of good bacteria to bad. Once the bad bacteria rises above 15 percent, the immune system begins to slow down and sets off a chain reaction that promotes disease, digestion problems, and interferes with nutrient absorption.

Eating processed foods, plus the overuse of antibiotics, are the two biggest culprits for the poor gut health that is sweeping developed nations today.

To keep your gut healthy and thriving with healthy bacteria, you should take a high-grade probiotic daily, with at least 25 billion living organisms. Opt for even higher if you can. When purchasing your probiotic remember they are not regulated by the FDA, so you must make sure to buy a brand that is trusted.

Dose: Minimum 25 billion organisms per serving.

Form: Capsule or powder

Time Taken: At least 30 minutes before or after a meal. Do not take within 30 minutes of a hot beverage as the heat will kill the organisms.

Recommended brand: Green Vibrance or Metagenics UltraFlora Spectrum

In addition to taking a daily probiotic, you should also aim to eat two to three servings of fermented foods a day.

Examples of fermented foods are:

  • Kimchi
  • Yogurt (unsweetened and organic)
  • Kombucha
  • Kefir – this is a drinkable like yogurt originating from Turkey. You can find it in most grocery stores these days, or you can make your own by ordering a kefir starter kit online. Kefir makes a perfect addition to smoothies.
  • Water kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso
  • Tempeh

Also, don’t forget your prebiotics. Prebiotic foods help feed your good bacteria. You should aim to eat as many prebiotic foods as you can.

Examples of prebiotic rich foods are :

  • Raw chicory root
  • Raw garlic
  • Under-ripe bananas
  • Raw dandelion greens
  • Raw and cooked onions
  • Raw Jerusalem artichokes
  • Raw leeks
  • Raw asparagus

5. Fish Oil (or Algal Oil for vegans)-

In order to keep your  omega 3 to omega 6 levels ideal (you want a 1:1 ratio) and to promote optimum cardiovascular health, hormonal health, and to prevent disease, as well as promote a healthy and happy mind, fish oil is crucial. It also lowers cholesterol, improves insulin sensitivity, and prevents blood clots. It’s natures best anti-inflammatory, and helps balance hormones.

You should take 1,000-2,000 mg. a day, and the EPA to DHA ratio should be 300/200mg.

Dose: 1,000-2,000 mg

Forms: Capsule or liquid

Time taken: daily with food

Recommended brand: OmegaGenics EPA-DHA

Bonus:

Multivitamin-

This is your ultimate insurance ticket. It is important you are getting a high quality one. I personally take Vibrant Health’s Green Vibrance, as it also includes 25 billion probiotics, meaning I don’t have to hassle with taking an additional probiotic. And please don’t assume that because you are taking a multivitamin you don’t have to take the other supplements I’ve listed above.  You see, multivitamins are great in that they provide an array of vitamins, but most of them do not have 100% of your daily requirement of D3, magnesium, and B12.

Dose: 1 tablet or 1 packet

Forms: Capsule or powder

Time taken: daily with food

Brand: Pure Encapsulations O.N.E. or Metagenics Wellness Essentials

Think of these supplements as part of your diet, and buy the best quality ones you can. Remember, you get what you pay for; cheap supplements are usually poorly absorbed by the body, and the dosages are not always as high as they claim. They are also often filled with additives and coloring, and just result in expensive urine!

When buying your supplements, I encourage you to seek guidance from a health care practitioner to select the products that are right for you. While these are the general supplements I recommend everyone take, some people will need further supplementation.

With Gratitude,

Health Coach Jenna

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Sources:

  1. Period Repair Manual by Dr. Laura Briden

Dark Chocolate Power Cups

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Sometimes in life, failure leads to even greater success. Just like these dark chocolate power cups! I was experimenting with a power bar recipe, and both trays I made just wouldn’t hold together. I was left with a crumbled mess, but dang it tasted SO good. So what did I do? Whipped up some of my homemade dark chocolate and mixed it all together and made these little guys.

So how’d they turn out? Well, my husband can’t get enough- he says they are his favorite sweet treat I’ve made so far! I really like them because they make for a great afternoon snack with my tea. The nuts provide plenty of protein and healthy fats, which keep my body fueled as well as my brain alert for the remainder of my day. And because I use raw cacao, I get a dose of magnesium, fiber, and antioxidants.

So see, accidents can lead to prosperity!

Ingredients:

For the power filling:

  • 1 cup nuts (I used mix of almonds & walnuts)
  • 1 cup seeds (I used pumpkin)
  • ¼ cup Goji berries
  • 3 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup

Directions:

Mix all of the above in a food processor or high speed blender for a few pulses. You don’t want to blend it too much. Set aside the mixture.

Dark Chocolate:

  • 3/4 cup cacao
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt (optional)

Directions:

If you live in a place with a cold climate melt the coconut oil first in a saucepan over low heat (If you live in a climate where your coconut oil is liquid then skip this step). I like to use a double broiler so the chocolate mixture does not come in direct contact with the heat. If you do not have one, just put the mixture in a bowl and set on top of the saucepan. Use what ya got, right? As soon as the coconut oil has melted add the maple syrup. Next, turn off the heat and immediately mix in the cacao until smooth, then add your vanilla. After that is all smooth and blended, sprinkle in your sea salt.

Now, add your power mix to your chocolate and stir, stir, stir. While it is still hot, pour the mixture into cupcake tins, set in the freezer, and they will be ready within the hour.

Enjoy!

Health Coach Jenna