Harmful Chemicals are Destroying Your Hormones. Here’s What You Can Do.

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What we eat is crucial to building balanced hormones, but what’s equally important are our beauty products, toiletries and household cleansers!

Our toiletries and cleansers tend to get overlooked, yet the play a crucial part in causing painful periods and serious hormonal imbalances because of the harmful chemicals they contain called endocrine disrupters.

Endocrine disrupters are chemicals that interfere with the production, release, transport, metabolism, or elimination of the body’s natural hormones, and they’re seriously bad news bears for all of human kind. These endocrine disruptors mimic your hormones, and cause you to be estrogen dominant.

About 90% of the clients I see are estrogen dominant, and this is due to the increasingly toxic world we live in.

(This is why it’s imperative to do at least one cleanse a year to get rid of built up toxins like glyphosate in the body.)

Signs of estrogen dominance are painful periods, bloating, breast tenderness, irritability, moodiness, PMS, fatigue, weight gain, short luteal phase, infertility.

The majority of toiletries and household cleansing products on the shelves today contain xenoestrogens. These xenoestrogens mimic the functions of our natural estrogens and interrupt our hormone balance creating symptoms such as heavy periods, PMS, estrogen dominance, fibroids, etc.

Our skin has tiny pores all over the body, which are like tiny mouths after all! So it’s important to use natural and chemical free products! It’s also important to use household cleansers that do not have harmful chemicals as well.

Balance Your Hormones by Avoiding these Chemicals:

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Glyphosate

Glyphosate has been shown to cause cancer, research is linking it to autism, and the EU deemed it so dangerous they banned it for use in crops. My hope is that one day soon it will be banned in the U.S., but for now as consumers we must be proactive to avoid ingesting it.

Most tampons and pads are made from GMO cotton, so they contain glyphosate, and you do not want this stuff inside your vagina! Instead, opt for a menstrual cup like SAALT, or period panties like THINX, or organic, non-bleached tampons or pads.

Bisphenol A (BPA)

To avoid BPA we must avoid foods packaged in aluminum and plastic (BPA free is okay but aim for glass or stainless steel when possible). Always opt for glass Tupperware, and only drink out of stainless steel, glass, or BPA free plastic water bottles.

Phthalates and Parabens

The products you use to clean your bathroom and household are potential stressors to your health. New scientific research shows that many of the chemicals found in everyday house-cleaning products are bio-accumulative and very toxic, which means that once in your system, they stay in your system and allow for increased free radical damage, which makes you more vulnerable to autoimmune diseases and cancers.

Ready to throw things out now?

Find your bleach products, Comet, Ajax, Windex, Lysol, air fresheners, Glade Plug- Ins, cute toilet bowl cleaners, and talc-based baby power. Throw them in a garbage bag and toss them out!

Safe Household Cleansing Alternatives:

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  • Seventh Generation line of cleaning products. You can find this at some grocery stores, Target, and any Whole Foods.
  • DoTerra On Guard house cleanser
  • Arm and Hammer baking powder in replacement of Ajax or Comet
  • Hydrogen peroxide in place of Windex
  • White vinegar instead of bleach (it’s a great grease cutter)
  • Dr. Bronner’s

White Vinegar All Purpose Cleaning Recipe:

  1. In a spray bottle fill with half white vinegar and half water
  2. Put in 15 drops essential orange oil and 10 drops tea tree oil

Safe Toiletry and Beauty Product Alternatives

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  • Makeup: the average women puts 5 pounds of makeup on her face in a year so it’s crucial that you’re using a chemical free brand such as Beauty Counter.
  • Lotions: Throw them away! Instead try extra virgin coconut oil with essential oils.
  • Toothpaste: swap for natural brands like Earthpaste and Jason’s.
  • Deodorant with antiperspirant: ditch the antiperspirant and switch to a natural deodorant such as Oars and Alps. Their deodorant offers excellent coverage, and I love their Deep Sea Glacier scent!
  • Bodywash- I’m a fan of Oars and Alps activated charcoal soap in peppermint. It also contains spirulina and shea butter so it leaves your skin feeling smooth. It also makes for a great face wash as the activated charcoal is exfoliating.

As you can see, one must be proactive to reducing exposure to these hormone disrupting chemicals. But the good news is if you support your body, it will support you!

 

 

 

 

A Holistic Guide to Spring Seasonal Allergies

Originally published on April 7, 2018 by Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

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Image from Shutterstock

The temperature is rising, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and nature is blooming. This can only mean one thing: Spring has officially sprung!

Many of us have been anxiously waiting to put away those bulky winter coats, dust off our lighter layers, and get to the local farmers’ market with an ice-cold coffee in hand. Unfortunately, this euphoric state of spring bliss is blurred by the burden of seasonal allergies for as many as 30% of adults and 40% of children. Symptoms like uncontrollable sneezing, headaches, congestion, constant sniffles, and itchy, red eyes could be signs that you’re experiencing allergies.

An allergy is the immune system’s response to a foreign substance – called an allergen – that triggers a reaction. The response the body has can cause a wide range of reactions, from subtle sneezing and sniffles to persistent hives and fatigue. One of the most common causes of allergies in spring in the United States is pollen, which is produced by hundreds of plant species, including trees, flowers, grass, and weeds. Spring is hit heaviest by new tree growth, and some of the worst allergy triggers across the Unites States are birch, cedar, and cottonwood.

Here are a few natural remedies that can assist in alleviating seasonal allergies.

Essentials Oils
Tea tree, eucalyptus, and peppermint oils all have powerful natural properties that can help relieve some of those unwanted effects that allergies have on the body. Diffuse a few drops of peppermint oil to unclog your sinuses or rub a small amount of eucalyptus oil onto your chest and forehead to relieve stubborn congestion. Tea tree oil is commonly used to kill bacteria that may be causing allergies, so use it to eliminate the triggers and keep your space clean and germ-free. These oils not only will assist in helping your body fight allergies, but they also have a calming effect on the body, which can reduce the added stress that comes along with them.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has popped up everywhere because of its incredible health benefits! Allergies develop when the body’s immune system becomes sensitive to something in the environment, but ACV may help boost the immune system and prevent issues that come with the new season.

Herbal Tea
Take a moment to sip a cup of symptom-reducing tea; it will be worth it! Drink rooibos, which may help block allergy-causing histamines; green tea, which can help reduce your immune system overreaction; and licorice root, which can relieve irritation in your nose and throat.

Nasal Irrigation
The stuffy feeling in your head and nose could be keeping you feeling heavy and down. Use a neti pot or nose cleanser and nasal saline to clear out all the built-up mucus causing your congestion. Pour a mixture of distilled warm water, a quarter teaspoon of non-iodized salt, and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda into one nostril and allow it to flow out the other nostril by tilting your head. This will help drain the fluids from your nose and reduce congestion.

Humidifier
A humidifier can play a huge role in treating your seasonal allergies. Improving the quality of air this time of year can be key to making the season more pleasant. A humidifier increases the humidity in the air to help eliminate congestion and can reduce the inflammation that comes from those irritating spring allergens.

We know that allergies can be frustrating and uncomfortable. Adopt these remedies in your daily routine to get back to enjoying the season and celebrating all the new life growing around you!

This article originally published on Institute of Integrative Nutrition and used with permission.

Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jelly Cheesecake (Vegan)

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This Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake is for all of the dreamers out there. They said we couldn’t have our PB & J AND cheesecake, too, but we’ll show them.

This is probably my favorite vegan cheesecake to date, y’all. So if you are a peanut butter and jelly lover like myself, I hope you enjoy! The jelly is actually a homemade chia seed jam, which is best to make the night before.

Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jelly Cheesecake:

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Ingredients:

Raspberry Chia Jelly:
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbs. maple syrup
  • 1-2 tablespoons filtered water, if needed

Crust:

  • 2 cups gluten-free oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 cups pitted medjool dates
  • ½ cup almond butter (or your favorite nut butter)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Filling:

  • 2 cups soaked cashews (about 3-4 hours in warm filtered water)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
Instructions:
  1. To make the chia jam, place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If you need more liquid for the ingredients to fully combine, add 1-2 tablespoons of water. Place in a glass jar in the refrigerator to allow the chia seeds to expand, at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together oatmeal, dates, almond butter and cinnamon until a “dough” is formed, the ingredients should be well blended together
  3. Spray an 8×8 baking dish or line it with parchment paper and press the crust into the dish.
  4. Wipe out the food processor to get rid of extra crumbs (no need to fully clean) and place the “cheesecake” ingredients in the food processor.
  5. Put filling ingredients into the food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. If it is too chunky slowly pour in additional coconut milk until it has a creamy texture.
  6. Pour the filling over the crust and spread evenly.
  7. Take our your chia seed jam and scoop out with a spoon 4 dollops evenly on the cheesecake. Then take a knife and swirl it around.

8.Place in the freezer for a few hours to harden. It can then be stored in the freezer for up          to 2 weeks, or in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Enjoy!

Health Coach Jenna

Post Birth Control Syndrome + 5 Steps to Balance Your Hormones After the Pill

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If you recently quit hormonal birth control, you’re probably going through a bit of hell right now. I know it’s not fair, but you are going through something called Post Birth Control Syndrome.

This withdrawal process from hormonal birth control (HBC) lasts anywhere from 6-12 months, and it peaks at month 6 (1). It’s usually around this time that you might feel like giving up and going back to the pill. But please stay strong and power through this phase, because if you do you will be rewarded.

So why is this happening?!

The reason you are suffering is because your body is detoxing from synthetic hormones. This also usually causes a surge in androgens which can cause acne and other PMS symptoms.

To make matters worse, since you haven’t ovulated or had a period all these years while taking hormonal birth control ( HBC shuts down ovulation, so you’ve really just been having a “withdrawal bleed” or “pill bleed”) you’ve been robbed from making the hormone progesterone.

Progesterone is literally nature’s chill pill, so trust me, you want this!

Calming you down is not all that this super hormone can do! Progesterone nourishes our hair and nails by reducing androgens (male hormones), as well as boosts energy by stimulating the thyroid and the metabolism. And recent research has found that women who don’t ovulate experience bone loss at a faster rate than women who do ovulate, so progesterone is also a crucial component of preventing osteoporosis.

And since you haven’t been ovulating while taking hormonal birth control, it might take some time before your body starts ovulating and menstruating again.

So what is a “pill bleed”?

Pill bleeds are pharmaceutically induced bleeds that involve no hormone production on your end at all. So all of the “periods” you had while on hormonal birth control were just for show. Let me repeat, these “periods” were completely fake (exception being the Copper IUD and Mirena IUD. Read below for statistics).

Shocking, right?

When a women ovulates without the use of hormonal birth control, she creates progesterone and estradiol. These hormones have a multitude of benefits for your mood, bones, thyroid and metabolism. They’re pretty much essential for a women’s physiology. This means that women who take a form of hormonal birth control are robbed of these crucial hormones that keep us healthy and happy.

It’s one of the largest injustices to women’s health today, and it’s no wonder many women who take a form of hormonal birth control experience depression.

In October 2016 JAMA psychiatry released a study conducted by researches from the University of Copenhagen. In the study, titled “Association of Hormonal Contraception With Depression” they tracked one million women over the course of 13 years and concluded that women who use hormonal birth control are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with depression (2).

The fact that hormonal birth control is the most widely used form of contraception used today is infuriating. The practice is antiquated, and it’s time this harmful trend comes to an end.

Now is the time to take our reproductive system back into our own control. For the sake of our health, and the next generation’s. 

Common Symptoms of Post-Birth Control Syndrome Include:

  • Amenorrhea (loss of menstruation)
  • Heavy, painful periods
  • Infertility
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Acne
  • Migraines
  • Headaches
  • Hair loss
  • Depression
  • Blood sugar dysregulation
  • Anxiety
  • Gas or bloating
  • Changes in bowels
  • Inflammation and other immune imbalances

So now the road to recovery begins.

Your 5 Step Plan When Coming Off The Birth Control Pill (or any other form of hormonal birth control):

1. Reestablish your natural hormonal rhythm.

Your hormones fluctuate during different times of your cycle.

There are four cycles:

  1. Menstruation–  Estrogen begins to increase and progesterone is low.
  2. Follicular Phase- Estrogen peaks, progesterone is low.
  3. Ovulation–  Estrogen begins to fall and progesterone peaks.
  4. Luteal Phase– Both estrogen and progesterone dip.

Even if you are not yet ovulating on your own, it is important to encourage the production of estrogen and progesterone at the right times of the month. This will help you eventually start to ovulate on your own.

Two methods to reestablish natural hormonal rhythms:

  1. Seed cycling. Seed cycling is one of the simplest and most effective holistic remedies for balancing hormones.This ancient technique helps restore the balance of  the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone by rotating certain seeds into your diet during the two different phases of your menstrual cycle (follicular and luteal phase).
  2. Vitex– Vitex is an herb that promotes ovulation by protecting your hypothalamus gland from stress and from preventing your pituitary gland from making too much prolactin. Basically, it increases your levels of dopamine, which lowers your levels of prolactin, which makes your luteinizing hormone go up, and then makes you ovulate and make progesterone!

A note of caution about Vitex: Please do not use vitex until you’ve been off of hormonal birth control for at least three months. I recommend 1,000mg a day taken as a single dose first thing in the morning before breakfast. Stop taking it on days 1-5 of your cycle, and then start again. Discontinue use after six months. If you have PCOS please talk with a health care practitioner first, because it might not be the best choice.

2. Replenish nutrient stores.

Hormonal birth control causes leaky gut, preventing your body from absorbing all the nutrients from your food. As they say in Ayurveda “you are what you digest.”.

This is why women who come off hormonal birth control are deficient in nutrients and minerals such as zinc, B12, magnesium, D3, iodine and selenium-all nutrients necessary for ovarian health. So it’s imperative to replenish these levels ASAP.

3. Support detox pathways.

It’s important to open your detox pathways, as this is how you will flush out excess estrogen in the body, as well as all the synthetic hormones you’ve built up from the use of hormonal birth control . Ways to do this are by going on a cleanse like my 20-Day Hormone Reboot Program . Dandelion root tea, taking Glutothione, chlorella, and/or activated charcoal. NAC is also a great supplement. And of course, drink lots of water and eat plenty of liver supporting foods like broccoli sprouts, dandelion greens, beets, and cauliflower.

4. Rebuild your gut.

Most women’s gut post hormonal birth control is in a state of dysbiosis due to leaky gut. You must get your microbiome to a healthy state in order to start digesting and absorbing your food properly. Do this by taking probiotics, eating 2-3 servings of fermented foods daily, and drinking gut healing bone broth and collagen.

5. Nourish your thyroid

If you’re thyroid is not operating properly, it can prevent you from ovulating and having a healthy period. To support your thyroid, take 150 mcg of iodine daily (nothing more unless advised by a trained practitioner), and replenish your stores of selenium, 1-3 brazil nuts a day will do the trick, or 150 mcg in pill form daily. I encourage you to take a serum ferritin test and if your levels are too low (you want a level of 50-90 ng/ml) then supplement as needed.

Okay, I know this is a lot of information to absorb, and it might be overwhelming at first. But please be reassured that although it might seem like the end of the world, you can and WILL get through this.

And know that you are not alone. Please contact me today for a 30-minute consultation, so we can get you on my 20-Day Hormone Reboot Detox to get your hormones back on track, so you can start feeling the way you’re designed to- healthy, happy, and PMS free!

With Gratitude,

Health Coach Jenna

* exceptions being the copper IUD which uses no hormones, and the Mirena IUD which has low levels of hormones. In the first year the Mirena suppresses ovulation in 85% of cycles , and in the second year 15% of cycles.

Sources:

  1. Briden, L. (n.d.). Period repair manual. p.34.
  2. Skovlund CW, Morch LS, Kessing LV, Lidegaard O, Association of Hormonal Contraception With Depression. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016 Nov 1;73(11):1154-1162.PubMed PMID: 27680324.

Why a Juice Cleanse is Not the Answer

The new year is a great time because it inspires so many people to get healthy. Many of you might decide to kick off the new year with a juice cleanse. To be honest I’m not a big fan of juice cleanses as they’re very high in sugar. A few days might serve you but anything longer then that might not be the best option in supporting your weight loss and health goals.

I have clients who come to me wanting to try out different fad diets or expensive juice cleanses in the new year, and to be honest, I’m just not too thrilled about these at all. I like to pick a food plan based on the individual and their specific needs.

So what makes a successful new year health plan? One with the goal of DETOX.

But detoxing doesn’t just happen by doing a seven-day juice cleanse once a year. Sorry to let you down!

Why we have to detox:

If we aren’t properly detoxing on a daily basis by having 1-3 bowel movements a day (ideally at least 2), then excess estrogen builds up in the body creating a hormonal imbalance that leads to weight gain, painful periods, and if untreated manifests into even bigger health issues. Detoxing is important because it allows the body to cleanse of toxic metals or chemicals we are exposed to from our food, toiletries, plastic containers, etc. These metals and chemicals are stored in our fat, which is why losing extra fat is part of the process.

When it all boils down, the less fat you have, the fewer toxins.

But as I said earlier, following a juice cleanse once a year for one week is not going to do the trick. This is because there are two different detox pathways which need to be supported in order to cleanse. And a juice cleanse is only supporting one of them.

The Two Detox Phases:

Phase One:

In phase one, oxygen and enzymes oxidize toxins. Over 100 enzymes are involved, and the results are STILL toxic until flushed out by Phase Two of the detox phase.

This means that if you are only doing a juice cleanse, then all of those toxins are now even more toxic, and even worse, still hanging out in your body doing damage!

This is why it’s important to follow a plan that also supports Phase Two.

Phase Two:

The damaging chemicals from Phase One are now combined with sulfur, amino acids, plus organic acids to be excreted as bile. We get these elements (fiber being one of the key ingredients) from eating whole foods.

So what would an example of a Phase One and Two Detox Look like?

Day 1-3 PHASE ONE: If you are doing a juice cleanse, keep it short. I recommend 3 days max. Or even better yet, just do a simple fast that incorporates Bulletproof coffee , water and apple cider vinegar, and/or bone broth for the first 3 days. You can still have full-fat coconut milk, coconut oil, grass-fed butter or ghee in your tea or coffee. This will help keep you full.

Days 4-10 PHASE TWO: After your days of fasting, you will then begin to eat gentle, whole foods. Think plenty of vegetables, healthy fats, moderate protein, and lots of water. Nothing from a package, no sugar, and absolutely no alcohol or pain medicine (headaches are common during detoxes, but you just have to be strong). Notice I didn’t say you have to cut out caffeine! I’m a big fan of coffee, matcha, and green tea (if it’s organic and high quality) as they are full of polyphenols and antioxidants. But if you wish to cut out the caffeine then please do so! But if you are suffering from HPA Axis Dysfunction, it’s best to cut out caffeine entirely.

Methods to get better results from your detox:

1. Supplement with Glutathione or NAC.

2. Drink dandelion root tea (drink this everyday for 14 days) This will support your liver.

3. Take chlorella

4. Take epsom salt baths and/or sit in an infrared sauna to help draw out toxins.

5. Take one tablespoon of grass fed ghee or coconut oil in the morning, and two tablespoons of high quality olive oil before going to bed. This will help carry toxins out of the body.

And if you are looking for a cleanse program that is already planned out,  with all the products mailed to your home, and includes whole foods and my support, then I encourage you to sign up for my 20-Day Hormone Reboot Detox, or 40-Day Ultimate Nutrition Program.

xxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

Mini-Thin Mint Pies

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I was a girl scout growing up (any Girl Scouts in the house holla!) and I used to peddle cookies every year like all the others. These days, I wouldn’t dare eat those things as they contain harmful ingredients such as food dyes, high fructose corn syrup, and emulsifiers.

My favorite cookie was by far the Thin Mint (best frozen, am I right?!). That’s why I’ve created these Mini-Thin Mint Pies, which are melt in your mouth good.

And better yet, they are full of healthy fats to support your hormones.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups desiccated unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped dates

Filling:

  • 3/4 cup cacao
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of your preferred nut butter of choice. Make sure it’s creamy and unsweetened.
  • 7 drops of peppermint oil
  • Pinch of sea salt (optional)

Method:

  1. Take all of the crust ingredients and put them in a food processor and pulse until it starts sticking together.
  2. Line a cupcake pan with and then pack the crust into them nice and tight. Make sure to pack it hard because if you don’t the crust will fall apart and that would be tragic.
  3.  Put the cupcake tin in the freezer.
  4.  Now for the thin mint filling. 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?
  5. As soon as the coconut oil has melted mix in the maple syrup.
  6. Now mix in the nut butter.
  7. Next, turn off the heat and immediately mix in the cacao until smooth, then add your vanilla, and peppermint oil.
  8. After that is all smooth and blended, sprinkle in your sea salt.
  9. Next, take your cupcake tray out of the freezer and pour the chocolate mixture into each one to 3/4 full.
  10. Place in the freezer and let harden for an hour.
  11. Transfer to the fridge if you live in a cold climate, or keep in the freezer if you live in a hot climate.

Enjoy!

Health Coach Jenna

5 Things Women Who Take the Birth Control Pill Should Be Doing NOW.

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TRUTH: If you are currently taking the birth control pill, then you are most likely deficient in crucial vitamins and minerals.

What doctors don’t often tell their patients before putting them on the pill is that it:

  • Creates an imbalance in gut bacteria and causes leaky gut syndrome
  • Depletes nutrients (because they can’t be absorbed due to leaky gut)
  • Disrupts the microbiome
  • Creates chronic inflammation because of the high estrogen dose
  • Decreases fertility
  • Is linked to depression

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty pissed that doctors don’t disclose this information before writing the prescription. Especially when they are prescribing the birth control pill for preventable things like irregular periods and acne. In these cases, the doctor is doing the patient a huge disservice by not delving deeper and running labs to find out what the underlying hormonal imbalance is that is causing the issues in the first place.

Prescribing the birth control pill is just plain lazy.

(For those of you trying to prevent pregnancy and you are wondering what your other options are, please CLICK HERE.)

Okay, so what if you’re on the pill and you don’t plan on quitting any time soon? Well, this is your right entirely and seeing as my main goal is to help support you on your journey, I have a few tips for you.

In addition to taking birth control pill, you should start doing these five things:

1. Take a multivitamin.

Because the birth control causes leaky gut, your body is not absorbing all the nutrients from your food. This is why it is crucial to take a daily multivitamin. I can not emphasize enough how important this is.

And babes, please splurge on this one. Don’t buy the $10 bottle at CVS, this will just give you $10 urine. Instead, opt for Green Vibrance ( I like this one because it also has your probiotics-winning!), or Garden of Life.

2. Take Vitamin D3 : Vitamin D is crucial for hormonal and metabolic function,  yet around 80% of people are deficient in it. In addition to taking a Vitamin D supplement, make sure to get at least 10 minutes of direct sun exposure a day as this helps activate your supplement.

3. Take B12 with Folate- 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. It’s hard to get enough B12 from our diet, and if you are vegan or vegetarian it’s even more difficult. It’s even MORE difficult if you are on the birth control pill, as your body can’t absorb nutrients efficiently due to leaky guy.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is no joke. It can cause extreme fatigue that can disrupt your daily life, and make it hard to function. Tasks that seem easy can appear daunting when suffering from fatigue.

4. Eat at least 2-3 servings of fermented foods daily. Your body depends on your gut to remove excess hormones, that’s why it’s vital to keep your microbiome healthy. Sadly, the birth control pill has been shown to disrupt gut flora and create an environment that allows for an overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast. Eating fermented foods will help keep your microbiome balanced. However, if fermented foods are upsetting you, look into getting tested for SIBO.

5. Take a probiotic. Taking a high grade probiotic is your insurance ticket that makes sure beneficial strands of bacteria are being introduced to your gut daily. 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.

Alright ladies, good luck! And remember, your diet is the most powerful tool you have to keep you vibrant and healthy. So continue to incorporate a variety of vegetables and quality fats into your diet always!

xxxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

No- Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Clusters

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These peanut butter chocolate clusters rock my world. They’re just so good, and way too easy to make. Chances are you have all the ingredients (there are only seven) sitting in your pantry already.  So next time you have a sweet tooth, instead of buying some store bought junk, try these instead!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Clusters:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup natural, no sugar added peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons cacao
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • pinch of salt
  • baking paper

Method:

  1. Take your PB, maple syrup and coconut oil and put in saucepan over low heat. Stir until nice and smooth.
  2. Add your vanilla and cacao to the mixture.
  3. Take off heat and add the oats and salt.
  4. Scoop mixture with a spoon and place onto a tray lined with baking paper in round balls (they look like little blobs but when they cool off they actually look really pretty!)
  5. Let harden in the freezer for a few hours and then enjoy!
  6. Best if stored in the fridge afterwards.

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xxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Vitamin B12

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Vitamin B12 is essential to the human body, and chances are even if you are a meat eater, you have a deficiency. I recommend that all my clients take a B12 supplement regardless if they are vegan, vegetarian, or an omnivore.

Vegans or vegetarians are playing a losing game if they decide to exclude a B12 supplement from their diet. While I’m a fan of getting nutrients from our foods, sometimes it just isn’t possible.

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. It’s hard to get enough B12 from our diet, and if you are vegan or vegetarian it’s even more difficult.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is no joke. It can cause extreme fatigue that can disrupt your daily life, and make it hard to function. Tasks that seem easy can appear daunting when suffering from fatigue.

Skipping on the B12 is just not worth it.

Vitamin B12 helps support adrenal function, helps calm and maintain a healthy nervous system, and is necessary for key metabolic processes. Signs of deficiency “include fatigue, muscle weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness, numbness, heart palpitations, bleeding gums and mouth sores, nausea, poor appetite and diarrhea”. [Source: Dr. Weil]

Symptoms may present themselves slowly and may not be recognized for some time, and just because you don’t notice them doesn’t mean you are not deficient. That is why it’s better to be safe than sorry, and take a B12 supplement before any symptoms surface.

There are many forms of B12 on the market, but the best form is the activated version called Methylcobalamin. This is the most natural form as it needs no converting, and is in its ready to use form. You should always take a B12 combined with Methlyfolate, because taking B12 without folate can cause brain and nerve damage.

It is especially crucial to take these vitamins in their active, methylated form, as many people today have the gene mutation MTHFR, which prevents the body from converting folic acid into an active form the body can use.

Methyl B12 and Methyl Folate Guide:

Dose: 800 mcg Folate, and 500 mcg B12

Forms: Capsule or lozenge

Time taken: Daily with food

Brand: Metagenics Intrinsi B12/Folate

xxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Going Vegan

eating

Everyone seems to be going vegan these days after the release of the documentary “What the Health”. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this film, however, I think we can all agree that eating fewer animal products is never a bad idea.

If you have recently decided to adopt a vegan diet, make sure you don’t fall victim to these three mistakes.

1. Assume you’ll get enough protein without any effort.

It is possible to get enough protein on a vegan diet, and if anyone else tells you otherwise then they are misinformed. However, it doesn’t just happen automatically. There is no such thing as a vegan fairy godmother that sprinkles protein fairy dust on you every night. Getting enough protein on a vegan diet requires effort and planning, but it does get easier with time.

At first, you might have to keep a journal documenting all the protein you eat, but after being vegan for a season or two, you’ll be able to eye things and know what you need to eat and in what quantity for your protein needs.

So, how much protein do you need?

Well, it all boils down to the individual. How frequently do you work out? Are you male or female? How much do you weigh? Are you under stress or are you pregnant? These are some of the factors that contribute to determining how much protein you need. A simple 0.45 grams of protein per pound like the USDA recommends may not be enough.

According to women’s hormone expert, Dr. Sara Gottfried, you should eat an average of 0.75-1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass(1). If you are an athlete, or under extreme stress, or lactating, or pregnant, you should eat on the higher end. If you lead a more sedentary life, or work out less than 3 times a week, aim for the lower end.

I agree with the amounts listed by Dr. Gottfried, but with one exception: if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, 0.4-0.5 grams per pound of lean body mass should be sufficient for your needs (per Dave Asprey)(2).

Another term which all aspiring vegans should become familiar with is complete protein.

complete protein refers to the building blocks of protein, called amino acids. There are twenty different amino acids that form a protein, and nine that the body can’t make on its own. These are known as essential amino acids. They are essential because we need to eat them, as our bodies are incapable of producing them. For a food to be deemed a complete protein, it must contain all the nine essential amino acids in close to equal amounts.

So while meat and eggs are indeed complete proteins, nuts and beans aren’t. But hold the phone! This doesn’t mean you can’t get all of your essential amino acids on a plant based diet! We don’t need every essential amino acid in every bite of food, we just need a sufficient amount of each amino acid every day. Also, there are some plant based complete proteins – my favorites include buckwheat and quinoa.

So with a combination of different plant based foods each day, it’s relatively easy to get all of the essential amino acids your body needs. You just need to put in the time and effort.

2. Load up on sugar, because hey-it’s vegan, right?

Let’s get the facts straight. When you eat sugar (and this includes any food with a high glucose level like honey, agave nectar, bread, fruit, etc) your insulin levels will automatically spike. So if you are eating too much sugar, this will lead to higher blood glucose levels, which can eventually lead to diabetes.

I don’t care what you heard on “What the Health”. Chicken does not cause diabetes – carbohydrates and sugar does. This does not mean I’m saying go out and eat chicken. You can be an EcoVegan by abstaining from animal products and eating a low glycemic diet at the same time.

The closest truth to the claim that meat causes diabetes is that processed meats will throw off the omega 6 to omega 3 balance in your body, which can increase your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s, and rheumatoid arthritis. (3)

But guess what?

Eating lots of crappy vegetable oil (which is vegan…) and processed fake meats does the same thing!

You can’t just say ALL of something is bad. It’s not that easy.

3. Judge Others

In “Grist for the Mill”, Ram Dass says that we are all on different levels and stages in this life. We can’t expect others to be at the same stage as we are. So if you are vegan (and this goes for the vegetarians out there, too) in this life, that’s awesome. Consider yourself one lucky human being to have found this path in this lifetime, and give yourself a pat on the back for being just a little bit more enlightened….

That is unless you start judging and preaching to everyone who eats meat or animal products.

You might not like their choice, and I get it, it can be super frustrating! But it’s none of your business.However, if someone asks you about why you’re vegan, then let it rain!! Get on your soapbox because it’s an excellent opportunity to share with others why you’ve chosen this path.

xxxx

Health Coach Jenna

Sources:

    • https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-protein-affects-your-hormones
  • https://blog.bulletproof.com/how-to-find-your-ideal-protein-intake/?