How to Save Your Hormones from Halloween

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I love Halloween. Seeing people out of their element, dressed up and displaying their creativity is fascinating to me. And, like many of us out there- I’m always surprised at the amount of candy that shows up at my house.

Now- if you’re hormonally savvy,and you’ve been watching my blog, you know that sugar is likely the #1 anti-nutrition factor to throw your hormones for a loop. What’s a gal to do with all that Halloween stash?

Here’s my fool-proof plan to handling the after-Halloween-candy-fright-fest (FYI- you can use this plan all the way through the holiday season).

Step 1: If you really want the candy, have the candy. I know it sounds crazy, but here’s the deal. When you really want something and you deprive yourself from that very thing, then you create a “charge” around it. In some ways, you touch back into the whole good girl/bad girl syndrome- and eating the candy comes more from an emotional place than anything else.

Step 2: If you choose to eat the candy, enjoy every single bite. Don’t waste time by beating yourself up or getting hard on yourself, enjoy each and every bite. Feel how it brings you back in time- notice the smell, the taste, the sensations.

Step 3: Once you’ve finished- let it go. Fully check in with yourself and see if you want another piece. Make a conscious choice here- acknowledge your body and give yourself permission.

Once you’ve gone through this process as many times as you need to- love yourself up and know that you can get back on your clean-eating-hormonal plan the next day. If you’re finding it's hard to get back on track, then make sure to choose more protein (like eggs, chicken, fish) and bitter vegetables (like radish, arugula, kale)  to help cleanse your palette and balance out the sweet.

Here’s to honoring the kid in all of us- hope you had a Happy Halloween
Kristin

PS. If you think this message would help a friend, please pass it along.

The Missing Element of a Thyroid Journal

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A thyroid journal is a series of notes that keeps track of all your signs and symptoms so that you can be clear and accurate when having a conversation with your health care practitioner. Thyroid journals can be full-on journals that go through feelings and emotions- or they can be a series of notes that keep track of the highlights.

Here’s the Basics of What You’ll Want to Note

There’s a few key areas that you want to keep tabs on when tracking your thyroid.

You‘ll want to note what your energy level is like in the morning and throughout the day. You’ll also want to note your digestion, your body temperature (in general: are you cold or hot?), your libido and your sleep.

Keeping track of your hair loss or the condition of your fingernails is also helpful. But, there’s one key element that is nearly always overlooked that can turn your thyroid notes into something positive and powerful for you and your practitioner.

What’s the Missing Element?

A helpful thyroid journal will keep track of the swelling around a thyroid.

A swollen thyroid is generally a sign of a thyroid that is struggling. Now, we’re not going to know if it’s over-efforting or under-efforting, but the swelling tells us that something is not working optimally around the thyroid gland itself.

In order to track the swelling,  you must feel/palpate your thyroid throughout the month to note how your thyroid is functioning.

How to palpate your thyroid:

Your thyroid is located in the neck just below your Adam’s apple. The lobes of the thyroid fall on either side of your trachea.

1. Stand in front of a mirror so that you can see your neck and thyroid. Make sure to remove any scarves or necklaces.

2. Lift your chin a bit to stretch your neck.

3. Using your dominant hand, run your fingers down the front and side of your neck, being careful to note any swelling or bumps.

4. If you do feel bumps or a swelling near your thyroid, make note of it in your thyroid journal. Check your thyroid upon waking and towards the middle or end of the day. Get a feel of your thyroid and make note of how it changes throughout the month. Adding this one element to your thyroid notes will help guide your healthcare practitioner towards ordering the optimal tests for you (plus you’ll have  a baseline when you move forward with your treatment plan.)

Getting to know your thyroid doesn’t have to be a time drain. Keeping track of it all in your thyroid notes will help you find a solution more efficiently.

If you’ve got Q’s, share them here in the comments section. And, if you’re looking for more info on how you can be in charge of your hormones- check out my upcoming workshop Master Your Hormones 101 (click here for more info): this 2 hour class previews and preps you for a 5 week on-line program so that you can understand your hormones and get ahead of the curve (...finally!).

As always, wishing you the best. Here's to understanding our health and being in charge of our hormones~

 Kristin

Good News {for locals} and Vit D Info You Won’t Want to Miss

If you live in the Boulder/Denver area, I’ve got a big hormone tip for you.

{You gotta try Kaiut Yoga over at The Yoga Loft!}

Over the last four years, I’ve been studying Kaiut Yoga with Francisco Kaiut. For me, the results have been incredible- better yet, I’ve seen how his work has impacted my clients- with their hormones and beyond. 

This last year, I’ve consistently referred clients with back pain, sleep issues, depression, and hormonal imbalances to practice Kaiut Yoga along with the whole food supplementation and services that I provide. Again, the results have been excellent.

If you want to try Kaiut Yoga with me- I’ll be teaching at the Loft Mondays and Wednesdays 9:15 – 10:15 am.  Jeff Bailey (owner of the Yoga Loft)- is offering 5 classes a day taught by some pretty special folks. Here’s the class link so that you can find a time that works for you. 

Come check it out and tell ‘em that Kristin sent you.

Even if you’re not local- keep on reading- because this Vit D article is too good to miss.

For years, I’ve been telling my clients that Vit D supplementation may not be the best idea for two reasons:

#1 Vit D is stored in fat: so, logical reasoning goes to say that a blood test may not be the most reliable measurement of Vit D levels.

#2 Vit D bring calcium to the blood: and calcium is not supposed to hang out in the blood- calcium needs to make it to the bones. Vit D alone does not have the necessary nutrients to carry all that calcium to the tissues [like bone, teeth, hair, skin].

Check out this NY times article (sent to me via one of my amazing clients) and consider where you stand on the Vit D epidemic.

With love-
Kristin
 

How to be a Groovey Baking Mom

9 times out of 10, when a new client comes to my office the first question ask is, “what else can I do to balance my hormones and support my thyroid?”

My answer: “Decrease sugar.”

Then, they ask, “Uh oh…. What about my kids?”

When it comes to hypothyroidism, blood sugar balance is key to the road to recovery. We can probably get OK results if we don’t concern ourselves with sugar- and if we do focus on minimizing sugar we’ll get the I’ve-gotta-write-home-and-tell-everybody-how-good-I’m-doing results that we all want.

When it comes to kiddos, decreasing sugar can be a parenting battle that we don’t want to explore.

Fact is, kids are growing and require a lot more energy than my middle-aged body- and they like sugar…… a lot.

So how can we respect our health goals and be a groovy mom? Follow these tips when it comes to baking {plus I’ve linked this to one of my favorite recipes for kids and adults}.

1.    Decrease the amount of sugar by half- seriously, it seems like we’d be taking out a lot of sweetness. Most recipes have soooooo much sugar in them, that you can’t even taste the sweetness of the apples, the almond butter or the raisins. If you want to let your food sing, you gotta decrease the sugar.

2.    Use coconut sugar- Out of all the alternative sugars, coconut sugar is by far my fave. It’s sweet, yet it’s not too sweet. I’ll use it as a sugar replacement for white sugar or brown sugar. In my opinion it’s the best.

3.    Use high quality fat- fat goes a long way in maintaining blood sugar levels especially when the sweet stuff is concerned. Always use butter or coconut oil when baking. You can use butter 1 for 1 as a replacement for vegetable oil- just make sure to melt it before adding it to your recipe.

If you want a recipe that’s already good to go for you and your kids, try this one. These are my absolute favorite nut butter bars {can you say yummmmmm?!}.
 

Because it's my birthday (... and it'll help you feel good too!)

Yesssss! Today is my birthday.
(If you don’t already know, I absolutely heart birthdays.)

This year, I told my family not to buy me presents.

Not because I’m a do-gooder and I don’t want to be acknowledged. I told them “no presents” because I asked them to do (at least) one act of kindness to someone who needs a lift in their day.

We’re going to report back at dinner to reflect on how little gestures can add up quick and make a big difference.

I’d love for you to join in my birthday fun.

There’s side benefits too.  I bet most of us have noticed that when we help others, we get a little lift too. Every time we do something generous, our body releases feel good hormones- like oxytocin- that help us relax. Oxytocin is know to reduce blood pressure and lower cortisol levels [which is a good thing].

So, if you’ve been feeling down, or you notice that your energy is a little off- hop on my birthday wagon and do something sweet for someone just because you can.

Share the love, spread the kindness~
Kristin
 

A Yoga Teacher Training: Your Hormones and Movement

This past week, I travelled to Toronto for this:

9 days of Kaiut Yoga.

Kaiut Yoga is a specific, therapeutic yoga practice. It's not about heavy exercise or feeling a good sweat. It's all about creating deep change in the system: physically, emotionally- and biochemically.

That last bit- the biochemical one- that's the one I want to share with you.

Too often in our hypothyroid world, we women focus on 1 thing;  what our body looks like. There's no denying it. Once the system moves toward hypothyroid, pounds creep up and tone diminishes. As a result, we often go into the I'm-going-to-over-exercise-until-I-look-good mode.

And rarely, does it work.

Instead of rolling back the clock, we tend to add years of exhaustion to the system. Unfortunately, an exhausted system has a hard time repairing itself and getting back on track. [Think adrenal fatigue and the connection with hypothyroid].

Imagine movement being biochemically kind

This would mean that our exercise would enhance our hormones- not stress our hormones.

This would mean that we would think well of ourselves vs. pounding ourselves into the ground.

Whether you do Kaiut Yoga or not- that's not the point. It's how we approach our movement that can either make or break our hormones.

Check out these 3 Tips for Maximizing Your Hormonal Movement

1. Smile- Movement should be fun and it should promote good feelings. If you find yourself working too aggressively- back off, be gentle, be kind.

2. Take a rest- there's nothing wrong with having rest days. In fact- well timed rest days can be even more important than our movement for those of us with a low functioning thyroid.

3. Breathe through your nose- OK, it's not necessarily fun, but breathing through your nose will help you stay in an aerobic state. Generally, an aerobic state is far less stressful for your body, supports the parasympathetic nervous system, and increases all the feel good chemicals in our system. Try breathing through your nose- you'll likely slow down a bit, but I bet you'll feel better after.

Here's to kindness {even when we exercise}-

Kristin

PS. If you're in the Boulder area and want to explore Kaiut Yoga {I highly recommend it}, check out the Yoga Loft in South Boulder. Say "hi" to Jeff Bailey or Kerry Lewis and tell 'em I sent you. XO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Number One Reason to be Proactive

True story.

A client who I’ve been working with over the last 5 years came into my office the other day.

[Here's a little background for you: At this point, we get together once every 4-6 weeks. So, it’s not like she’s dumping a ton of time and money into my method. She’s mastered my hormonal balancing program and sees me for general support.]

She laid on the treatment table with a grin and said, “I’ve got to say Kristin. A lot of women in my life are going through menopause, and I have to thank you.”

She continued her story and told me about the hot flashes, the weight gain, and the mood swings that her friends are experiencing with the onset on menopause.

Because this client started with me a few years before starting menopause, her experience has been quite different.

Menopause has been a breeze for her. She’s only had a handful of hotflashes, she’s barely gained any weight, sleeps through the night and has cultivated healthy habits moving forward so that she can better take care of herself.

What's the lesson here?

It pays to be proactive and take care of your hormones before menopause hits.

If you’re ready to get a head start on things, here are 3 easy ways that you can be proactive for your hormones.

1.    Eat lots of veggies- A balanced diet is a must for healthy hormones. Lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates will get you a long way- but in my experience, most people are missing veggies. Eat more- they’re reasonably priced with virtually no negatives and a load of healthy positives.


2.    Decrease sugar- The number one way to better your hormones is to decrease inflammation. Decrease sugar consumption (in the form of refined sugars like cakes and cookies, fruit and alcohol). Less sugar = less inflammation = better hormones. Plus- you’ll likely take off a pound or two.


3.    Supplement with whole food concentrates- Supporting the glands will get you further faster on your hormonal goals. Ditch hormonal supplements and choose whole food concentrates. If you want more information on this one send me a direct e-mail so I can help you support your hormones better. Click here for my contact information.

Here’s to healthy hormones (because hormones make a big difference)~
Kristin

Fermented Ginger Carrots

There is a big connection between digestion and thyroid issues.

If digestion is efficient, then there is less metabolic output by the thyroid. If digestion is sluggish or ineffective, then the thyroid gland will have to work harder to maintain homeostasis [the zone that your body likes to be in].

I love recommending fermented vegetables is because they are known to:
-    increase digestion in the stomach: this takes a lot of pressure off the liver and the thyroid
-    boost good bacteria: ferments are known to be more effective than probiotics (and a heck of a lot cheaper)
-    stimulate the bowels for regular movements

Ferments might sound strange or seem intimidating, but these veggies are super easy to make in advance and enhance the taste of just about anything.

My kiddos love fermented ginger carrots. They’re sweet with a little sour zing that my family loves. Plus they’re an easy ferment to start experimenting with.

Fermented Ginger Carrots

8 carrots peeled
3 inches of ginger peeled
¾ tablespoon of salt
1 cup water

1.    Place carrots and ginger in the food processor. Grate.
2.    Layer the carrots and ginger in a quart sized ball jar.
3.    Mix salt and water in a measuring cup.
4.    Add just enough of the salt solution to cover the carrots.
5.    Leave on the counter with a kitchen towel or cloth napkin over the top. Let it sit and ferment on the counter for 2-3 days or until desired tanginess. Once desired sourness is obtained, store carrots in the fridge.
6.    Carrots should last in the fridge for 3-4 months. Serve as a condiment or mix with salads, great tossed in soups or all by themselves.

*If a white film (this is referred to as a bloom- and is evidence of fermentation) builds on top of the carrots, just scoop off and remove. Refrigerate. 

Your Skin, Your Thyroid, and The Best Lotion Everrr

Here’s a fun fact about your skin:

Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of your body?
Oh yes it is. In fact, it’s also your body’s largest detoxification organ. Meaning that one of the skin’s jobs is to rid your body of  “left-over” toxins. Not properly processed by the major organs of elimination.

That being said, the quality of your skin can tell us a lot about how your body is functioning.

If your system is up to par, your skin will be vibrant and healthy.

If you’re fading a bit, then your skin will surely show the signs of wear of tear.

[FYI: your skin also helps to control body temperature, makes vitamin D and serves as a protective layer for your body. Your skin’s got big work to do, so a few EZ skin care tips can go a looooong way.]


The Skin-Thyroid Connection

Your skin just may be the largest detox organ for your body, but guess who’s in charge of detoxification in the first place?

Yup, you guessed it.

Your thyroid.

If your metabolic manager (that’s what your thyroid does- it manages the energy that is made by your adrenals) is not functioning efficiently, then it’s really hard for your major detox organs- namely the liver, kidneys, lung, and large intestines- to keep up with their jobs.

Toxins tend to accumulate and your skin has to deal with the left-over junk. Eventually, your skin takes the hit. You’ll find oily skin, dull skin, acne and blemishes creep to the surface. 

Less is Best 

Over and over again, in my clinical practice I find myself saying “Less is best, and simple is even better.”
Better health, good health and even the best health that you’ve ever had usually comes through simplifying. You know, easy things like; drink lemon water, eat more veggies, go for a walk, think positive.

And the same is true for our lotions, creams, and skin care routines.

The fancy stuff with 15 ingredients is expensive and doesn’t usually work so well.  Today I’m going to share with you a simple skin care routine and the best face cream everrrr. It’s so good you can even use it as a body lotion.

Easy Pease-y Skin Care and Cream


Here you go ladies. No soap, no fancy stuff. Pure, simple, and it works (I’m living proof- I’ve been doing this exact routine for 2 years now- and my skin glows.)

1.    Skip the Soap- Soap is drying and it makes your skin over produce oil. In the end it’s totally counterproductive. 

2.    Use Sesame Oil- skip the makeup remover and go for sesame oil. It’s an ayurvedic remedy and great for skin care. Just a bit of oil on a cotton ball will makeup easily.

3.    Apply Water and Honey! Sound crazy? It’s not. Honey is antimicrobial and moisturizing. It’s the perfect cleanser for oily or dry skin. Splash a bit of water on your face, scoop a bit of honey and start rubbing it in gently with small circles.

4.    Apple Cider Vinegar/Lavendar Toner- Dilute a ratio of 1/3 apple cider vinegar to 2/3 water in a spritz bottle. Add your favorite essential oil (I love lavender for the skin) and spritz away.

5.    Apply the Best Skin Cream Everrr- I’ve seen this cream work for oily and dry skin alike. If your skin is on the oily side it might take a few weeks to have your oils adjust. Give it time because the results are awesome. Here’s the recipe:

The Best Skin Cream Everrr


Are you ready for this? 2 ingredients, that’s it: beef tallow (here) and cold-pressed sesame oil (here).
1.    Combine ½ cup beef tallow and 2 TBSP sesame oil in a small pot. Heat over a low flame. We don’t need to go crazy here, we just need to soften the tallow.
2.    Remove from flame and let the tallow set for a minute or two.
3.    Use a hand blender and whip for 3-5 minutes. The mixture should be smooth and creamy. You might want to add your favorite essential oil- lavender or frankinscence are known to be helpful essential oils for the skin.
4.    Apply to face, hands, and body for forever smooth skin.

The Best Constipation Solution (works for kiddos too)

Sluggish digestion can be the bane for many women who are experiencing hormonal changes.

Our hormones are behind every single system in our body.

So, when our hormones start to become erratic- even simple life functions can get riled up. Everything from digestion to sleep, from moods to energy levels can be affected with hormonal swings.

If you’ve been struggling with slow digestion, this ‘lil number can make a big difference (… and kids love it too).

Kanten is Magic

Kanten (also known as agar agar) is a vegetable gelatin that can be used as a thickening agent. Like any old gelatin [you can read more about my fav gelatin drink here], it’s loaded with trace minerals, including iodine, to help along most metabolic reactions.

Because of it’s gelatinous texture, it helps to soothe the digestive tract and promote bowel movements. It’s also known to remove toxins, fats, and sugars from the gut.  With high levels of iodine and calcium, it’s good at fighting viruses (and your kids will love it for sore throats).

Bonus: when you make Kanten it looks just like jello. It tastes great and it’s easy to pass off as a simple afternoon snack.

Here’s the recipe:
4 TBSP of Agar Agar flakes
4 cups of fruit juice 

In a small pot, add agar agar flakes to the juice. Bring juice to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Poor into a glass bowl. Cool until firm.

The Number One Oil to AVOID to Help Your Hormones

Most of us have heard the message that good, healthy fats are important for vibrant health, but not all fats are created equal.

When it comes to our hormones consuming this one fat can be disastrous.

It’s chemically manufactured, it’s deodorized and it’s bleached. Oddly enough, it’s also marketed as a one of the best fats out there. Any guesses?

It’s canola oil.

What is Canola Oil?

Contrary to popular belief there is no canola plant.

Canola oil is made from the rapeseed plant. The rapeseed seed does yield a high percentage of oil, but it also contains erucic acid which is unfit for human consumption. Not long ago, this oil was only used industrially.

Overtime and through hybridization, versions of the rapeseed have been grown to decrease the amount of erucic acid. But even if the erucic acid isn’t a concern, the oil is still so heavily processed that it hardly does any body good. 

Canola oil undergoes high heat processing to increase it’s shelf life. It’s also chemically treated with hexane as a deodorizing agent and it’s bleached to improve it’s coloring. 

Unfortunately, it is used over and over again in the packaged food industry because it is cheap to manufacture and it doesn’t tend to transfer flavors. 

Take a look at the back of a tortilla chips bag and undoubtedly you’ll likely find that they are cooked in one of three oil options. If one of the options is canola oil, you can bet that those chips were fried in canola due to it’s price point (not it’s health point).

How does it affect our hormones?

You’ve heard me say before that there are 4 glands that are crucial to the endocrine system [pituitary, thyroid, adrenals and ovaries]. 

While these glands are important, there are other organs that play a major role in hormonal success. 

Take your heart; your cardiovascular system needs to work efficiently to transport hormones in your blood. 

While canola oil is touted as a heart healthy oil, animal studies show otherwise. Studies carried out in Ottawa, Canada have shown that rats fed canola oil as the sole source of fat have shortened life-spans due to cell membrane rigidity. Other studies show canola oil to be associated with lesions of the heart, decreased Vit E levels, and undesirable changes in the blood platelets.

The liver is another organ that needs to be prime for hormonal success. Canola oil with it’s intense processing and high GMO content presents a likely 30% disruption in liver function.

What are some healthy fat choices?

I encourage women to choose oils that are cold-processed with minimal fussing. Any high heat processing is sure to affect an oils’ chemical make-up. Here’s my recommended oils to use in everyday food prep:

1.    Butter- I love butter. Ghee is even better. You can use this oil as a high heat cooking oil for everything thing from stir fry’s to baking.
2.    Coconut oil- is right up there with butter. Read your label and don’t grab any old coconut oil. Some are heat processed. Look for the cold processed variety and you’ll do just fine. Again, you can use this oil in anything from sautéing to baking.
3.    Avocado oil- Another oil that has a nutty flavor. It’s delicious on salads.
4.    Olive Oil- Olive oil is a great everyday oil however it has a very low smoke temperature and can go rancid easily under medium temperatures. Make sure to drizzle it on to grains or use it as a salad dressing base.

It’s great to make the obvious change and toss out the canola oil, but the bigger move is to check your labels. Check your salad dressing, your chips, crackers, breads, deli foods. Canola oil has a rampant presence because of it’s low price point.

Here’s to making simple switches to help our hormones~

 

 

How to Exercise For A Hormonal Win: Go for the Glow

Exercise: We know we need it, and generally it feels good, but how much is too much?

In my clinic, I see women with thyroid and hormonal issues. And usually, these ladies would like to lose a couple of pounds, so they tend to turn towards vigorous exercise.

It gets a little tricky though when we start talking about movement.

You see, most of us love Western, cardio focused exercise. It feels good to get the blood pumping and feel like we’ve worked hard. It’s a great stress relief especially to our busy days. And it seems like it’s the perfect weight loss solution.

Now, I’ll be the last one to tell you to drop your running, biking or swimming- but I might be the first to tell you to tone it down.

Here’s the deal.

In Chinese medicine your fluids are precious. Even your sweat is precious. Sweating too much drains valuable minerals and can be depleting for your system. 

Those of us with thyroid issues do not want to deplete our systems any further.

The sweat-it out, pound-it-till-we-drop, grunt and groan kind of exercise is likely too much to be able to maintain healthy hormones for a gal with hypothyroid.

Bottom line: we want to glow from our exercise.

Go for the kind of exercise where you’re working out and having fun, but you’re not drenched with sweat afterward.

Check for these 3 signs to know that your movment hasn’t gone overboard:

1.    Your sweat should glow not glisten. After exercise, it’s ok to feel a little damp, not drenched. Sweating too much will leach minerals from the system. And minerals make every, single chemical reaction in your sweet bod go. If you want to improve metabolism, you need minerals.
2.    Carry on a conversation. You’ll know you’re exercising at the perfect pace if you can still carry on a conversation. Likely this pace will keep your workout at an aerobic level which is known to be more toning for your endocrine system [the system that makes your hormones].
3.    Breathe through your nose. If in doubt, focus on breathing through your nose. If you can breathe through your nose, then your exercise pace will not go over the edge. 

Here’s to having fun out there. Now, let’s go for the glow!

A Hot Gelatin Drink (update)

Originally, I wrote this post to help you grow thicker, stronger hair and have wrinkle –free skin.

While my favorite, hot drink still works to improve hair and skin, I’ve made a few updates to help you get even better results.

The real magic behind this drink is the gelatin.


Gelatin is literally a SUPERFOOD for us low-thyroid types. It’s made from the processing of animal connective tissue and bones to extract collagen [think bone broth in a can]. To top it off, gelatin is loaded with 18 amino acids, many of which are essential- meaning that your body doesn’t make ‘em, so you’ve got to eat ‘em.


Gelatin has a laundry list of benefits, and some are particularly important for us low-thyroid types. Take a look:


1. Revs Metabolism: Gelatin is particularly high in Arginine and Glycine. Arginine is known to have a metabolism boosting effect, and Glycine has two advantages. First, Glycine helps build muscle and second, glycine converts glucose to energy rather than fat.


2. Strengthens Connective Tissue: Gelatin is essentially cooked down collagen. After the age of 25, our bodies just don’t make connective tissue as effectively as it used to. Gelatin actually stimulates your body to produce more collagen. This is vital for those of us moms over 25 with kids in tow. Gelatin will help tone the skin (and the tummy) by building stronger connective tissue.


3. Detoxifies the Liver: Glycine helps the liver to efficiently remove toxins from the system. This is key for low thyroid types as the liver plays an important role in the conversion of thyroid hormones.


4. Improves Sleep: Clinical studies show that people sleep better when consuming glycine. They report less daytime drowsiness and better cognitive function. Quality sleep is vital to rebuild the adrenals and have a healthy thyroid. I’ve written about the adrenal/thyroid connection before. If you’re looking for more quality rest, check out my most popular article to date right here.

Here’s the step-by-step on how to make this Dandy Drink:

1 TBSP Dandy Blend Tea
1 TBSP Gelatin
1 TBSP Butter
pinch of Cinnamon
1 Egg (optional)
Coconut Milk or milk of your choice (optional)

1.    In a blender, add dandy blend tea, gelatin, butter and egg. [The egg will get cooked when you add the hot water. If I’m having this drink for breakfast, I always have the egg. If I’m having the drink as a dessert after dinner, I usually skip the butter and the egg.]
2.    Add 2 TBSP of cool water to cover the gelatin. Blend quickly just to reconstitute the gelatin powder.
3.    Add 8-10 ounces of hot, hot water. Blend on high.
4.    Pour drink into a glass or mason jar, add milk of your choice. And sprinkle cinnamon on top.


Here's to a hot drink that does your hormones good~

 

Never Underestimate the 5 Degree Difference

compass 5 degree.png

Often women will end up at my office with this feeling that they want a total do-over.


“My hair is falling out- and it feels like it’ll never come back.”

“I’m gaining weight- and I’ll probably never be sexy again.”

“I’m exhausted- and it’s just going to get worse.”

They feel that they have to take drastic measures and completely change themselves or the whole kit and kaboodle will head south.

Sure, change can be helpful.  Yet, in my 15 year experience of working with women with hormonal imbalances and sluggish thyroids, drastic change rarely lasts.

Truly, it’s all about the 5 Degree Difference. 

The 5 Degree Difference takes advantage of making little steps.
There is no need to do a drastic 180 Degree turnaround, when all we really need to do is make little tweaks here and there.

Here are 4 Seriously Small Tweaks that can add up to a big hormonal difference:

1.    Eat a Warm Breakfast: give your thyroid a helping hand in the morning and have a warm breakfast. Your thyroid will have less to do if your first meal of the day is warm.

2.    Park Further from the Store: Movement is key for healthy hormones. I’m not talking about beat-em-up, sweat-em-out exercise. Over exercise can be too draining on the thyroid. I’m talking feel-the-sunshine-on-my-face movement. Walking and gentle stretching can help smooth out hormones and get you where you want to go faster.

3.    Use an eye pillow or an eye cover for sleep: With all the light stimulation it’s hard for our pituitary (a major endocrine gland that makes our hormones) to get the rest it needs. An eye pillow or cover will darken up the room and give your pituitary the break it needs.

4.    Adopt a PMA: PMA stands for Positive Mental Attitude. Short and sweet, attitude is everything. 

Rarely, does anyone need a total overhaul. 
Most of us only need to make a few shifts, here and there, to clear up our hormonal blues.

Here’s to baby steps and 5 Degrees~ 

Sole Water: a Hormonal Helper

Years ago, my hubby trained me to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything.
I loved his simple health trick to rehydrate and do something supportive for my body before the day took off.

Just recently, I started giving that water an extra boost [note: a long time client tipped me off on this one.]

It’s called Sole Water (pronounced so-lay).

Sole Water is an enhanced water solution made from mineral rich natural sea salt (I use Himalayan Pink Salt), and it is quite lovely for a hormonal boost. Here’s why:

1.    Sole Water is Mineral Rich: meaning it’s loaded with chromium, iodine, zinc and sulfur- all of which are big supporters of the endocrine glands. Minerals are the spark plugs of the body and help to initiate most chemical reactions. The minerals in Sole Water can give a sluggish endocrine system a bit of a boost when making hormones.
2.    Salt Can Help You Sleep: minerals are known to have a calming effect on the nervous system. When we get our sleep, our entire body has the chance to regulate. Better sleep = happy hormones.
3.    Salt Improves Detoxification: Minerals, minerals, minerals. The key to Sole Water is all in the minerals. Sole, being a mineral rich water, can help the body in its natural detoxification process. As a side benefit- salt is also a natural antibiotic and can help improve gut health (hint, hint: Sole Water could be the perfect remedy for folks with sluggish digestion, poor absorption, or even candida).


How to make your Sole Solution and Sole Water:


1.    I order my Himilayan rock salt right here: I have celtic sea salt at home, which you can use, but I really loved the idea of using these big hunks of salt crystals. Plus, the $15 investment will likely last about 5 years.
2.    Add 1-2 crystals to your glass jar. Fill the jar to the top with filtered water.
3.    Cap with a plastic lid.  Note: Sole solution should not touch metal. Let it stand for 24 hours.
4.    Within a 24 hour period, the water will absorb as much salt as it can. If the salt rock is completely dissolved, then add another piece of rock salt. If there is still a bit of rock salt in the bottom of the jar, then your Sole solution is fully saturated and complete.
5.    To make your Sole Water: Fill a glass with warm water. Now add 1-2 tsp of Sole solution  (that’s the salt water in your jar) to your glass of warm water. You’ll know by your taste buds if you’d like more or less sole solution in your water. Start with less and add more if necessary. This is the Sole water- loaded with minerals to give your body a bit of a liquid boost in the morning.

I absolutely love Sole Water for one big reason.....it's water! We're so used to taking pills and supplements to help our system along, that it's refreshing when we can find a simple liquid solution that can help our body in so many ways.

Here’s to mineral rich Sole Water and a great start to the morning~

Flying Home and a Hormonal Nugget

This week, I’m headed home.

To pay tribute to this guy:

My dad.

My dad passed away a few months ago. I’ve been hemming and hawing whether I should make this post public. Now that enough time has passed, it feels ok.

My family is coming together this week to celebrate Dad.

He’s the one who gave us life, a roof over our heads and plenty to chuckle over. He was a charismatic spirit, a family man, and a hard worker (a seriously hard worker).

But even in his times of hard work, Dad always said,

“Stop and smell the roses.”

He definitely didn’t know it at the time, but he was handing over one big hormonal nugget to me.

It’s great to work hard.

It’s great to feel accomplished and get something done.

And it is equally important to take a break, to rest, to sit back and admire your accomplishments.

Hormonally speaking, taking the rest and smelling the roses can be even more beneficial than all the new fangled supplements and complicated treatment protocols.

In honor of Dad- let’s take a little time to slow down and take care. Let’s look at our accomplishments, let’s smile on life, and maybe put our feet up for a bit.

With love, here’s to you Dad~

 

Almond Butter Bars

They’re quick, easy and a cinch to grab. 
But…..
The healthiest ones are E.X.P.E.N.S.I.V.E. (ie. not always in the budget.)

I’m always experimenting with quick recipes to give my families something that can 

  1. Be a snack to get ‘em through the day
  2. That’s easy enough to pack up and take with us

These little numbers fit the bill.
They’ve got plenty of protein and not so much sweet to keep blood sugars balanced . They make a great afternoon snack or they’re a quickie breakfast when we need to hit the day running.

Plus, they literally take 20 minutes to make from start to finish.

Almond Butter Bar Recipe

1 cup almond butter
3 eggs
¼ cup butter
2 TBSP coconut nectar or maple syrup (optional)
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp of sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups oatmeal
¼ cup currents [consider adding coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, chopped nuts]

1.    Preheat your oven to 350°. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Most of the melted butter is for the       recipe, and  use a little bit to grease a 8x8 square pan.
2.    In a medium size bowl, cream peanut butter and eggs with a blender. This only takes a minute.
3.    Add the rest of the ingredients, except oatmeal and currents. Blend.
4.    Mix in oatmeal and currents by hand.
5.    Press mixture into the prepped baking pan.
6.    Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes.

 

 

 

The Hormonal Benefits of Play

There’s two types of movement:

1.     There’s the “I have to” kind of movement. Often this is referred to as exercise and it requires a schedule and a certain heart rate. Often, we’ll be tired after, but it still feels good.

2.     The I-want-to kind of movement.  This is fun stuff. It’s the playing catch with your pup, running after your kiddos, and playing touch football with the neighbors. Often it’s fun. There’s laughing, giggling and all around silliness.

What’s the difference between these two?

One word:

JOY.

In Chinese Medicine, the 6 primary organs in our body are associated with an emotion. For example, the liver is associated with anger and the kidneys with fear. Joy- my friends- goes straight for the heart.

Feeling joy- playing, laughing, goofing around- is pure medicine for the heart and your circulatory system.

How does this benefit your hormones?

Well... those hormones have to get from point A to point B somehow, so they travel in our blood.

Cultivating more joy can actually help our hormones by strengthening our heart and getting those hormones where they need to go.

Joy often comes from play.

If you’re feeling like you need more joy in your life, start by playing.

1.     Take the lead from your kids. Kids don’t have to learn how to play. They know how to play. They, in fact, are the masters of play. Move your body crazy, make silly sounds- follow their lead. Go ahead, copy them. They know how to play.

2.     Make it a game. Games (if you don’t take ‘em too seriously) are all about play. When you make it a game, absolutely anything can be joyful. Doing the laundry, making your bed, even vaccumming can be fun when you make it a game. Again….take notes from your kids.

3.     Smile. Just do it. It’s fun and it feels good.

4.     Laugh it off. If you’re taking life too seriously or you’re getting a bit defensive, go ahead and crack up at yourself. Laugh it off. Life’s way too short. Might as well have some more fun (wink, wink).

Play is inexpensive, it’s easy and it’s right at your beck and call. It’ll help your hormones and you’ll have fun doing it- guaranteed.

Here’s to having fun!

 

 

 

 

 

Hormones vs. Glands

I’ve been thinking about you.

Since my big move out to the country, I haven’t written to you nearly as much as I would like, but believe me, I’ve been thinking ‘bout you.

I’ve been mulling over the challenges of helping people- like you- who have hormonal imbalances and thyroid issues.

One of the biggest mistakes when working with the thyroid gland and hormones in general is that most practitioners supplement at the hormonal level.

With research, you’ll find this “supplement-the-hormone” theory all over the place. From alternative health care providers to major magazines, most of the advice out there is supplement hormones.

The theory seems logical and it goes something like this: If there’s a hormonal imbalance like low pregesterone then supplementing that hormones must be the answer. However, the supplement the hormones reality doesn’t necessarily work for two reasons:

#1: There are hundreds of hormones in your body and they all work on a feedback loop.  If we go ahead and supplement one hormone directly {let’s say we give your system progesterone} what the heck is happening to all the others? It’s impossible to track let alone predict.

#2: Our bodies are lazy. Once you start supplementing hormones, your body isn’t going to want to make ‘em. Simple truth bomb. It doesn’t matter if those hormones are chemically manufactured or if they come from plants. If your supplement hormones, you’re going to have to be on those supplements for a loooong time.

Even though it's talked about all over the place, supplementing on the hormonal level is not necessarily the best way to go.

What’s a gal to do?

To have hormonal success, supporting the glands can make all the difference in the world.

The endocrine glands are specialized tissues in the body that coordinate to manufacture hormones.  Healthy glands = healthy hormones.

When the glands [thyroid, pituitary, adrenal, and ovaries] are functioning at their best, then you have a higher chance of making the perfect amount of those hundred hormones for your system. Why be satisfied with one or two when you really could affect 60, 70 or 80.

Take Sara [name changed upon request] for instance.

Sara first came to see me about 6 weeks ago.

She’s had a regular period all her life, but recently her cycle is starting to get a little wonky. Sometimes her period comes late, sometimes it’s early, and one month she skipped it all together. She’s tried every kind of diet out there, increased her exercise and she can not shed a pound.

She has gotten zero results on the bio-identical hormones is frustrated to say the least.

After visiting with Sara, I got her going on a few whole food concentrates that support her endocrine glands. We made 1 lifestyle change [eat a warm breakfast], and lo and behold she’s already doing better.

She’s dropped 6 pounds and she’s feeling better than ever. She is still experiencing some heat, so we’ve got a little more work to do, but she is heading in a far better direction.

Sara’s story reminds us: It’s not about the hormone, it’s all about the glands.

Here’s the catch though.

It’s really easy to get our hands on supplements that feed at the hormonal level. There’s a ton of marketing around them, and to put it frankly- it’s easy for those companies to make a buck because there’s been this hormonal story floating around for years.

At the same time, it’s really hard to get high quality supplements that support the glandular system. They’re challenging to manufacture and companies can’t quite make as much moolah.

Over the past 9 months, I’ve really been thinking a lot about this lack-of-access conundrum.

So, I started working with a team of people to help you (only the folks who really want to learn how to heal their thyroid and balance their hormones) be able to purchase reasonably-priced, whole food concentrates that work. Yep….I’ve opened up my private pharmacy for people who ready for hormonal freedom.

If you’re new to this work (ie. you’re not currently a client of mine) and you’re interested in learning more about whole food concentrates, click here to schedule a session and I’ll get you connected with my private pharmacy.

If you’re already a client and you still want instant access to my on-line pharmacy, then leave me a message here and I’ll get you on the list. Listen, I’ve always believed that good health shouldn’t be some complicated formula or crazy secret. Being our best and having vibrant health should be something that we all can have. Now what I’ve found out over the years, is that supporting our hormones (by loving on the glands) is the easiest way to get us where we want to be.

Here’s to happy hormones [and healthy glands!]

 

 

3 Exercises to Boost Your Libido

There are three complaints that come strolling through my office on a regular basis:

1. Weight gain (you can read more about how to lose 5 pounds here)

2. Hair loss (want thick, beautiful hair and wrinkle free skin? Check this out)

3. Sex drive

Of the three, numbers 1 and 2 are fairly straightforward; number 3 on the other hand is loaded.

Sexuality and libido is a complicated topic. There are many layers of ourselves that go into our sexuality. There’s personal issues (history and trauma), power struggles within relationship, metabolic and hormonal factors, as well as structural factors (whether the pelvis and hips are open or locked) that can overlay our desires in the boudoir.

The trick to dealing with libido is by being gentle and kind with ourselves and approaching each layer as we can.

Want to learn how to open your pelvis safely? Read on.

It’s All Connected

Tight hips can have an impact on your hormones and your desire because darlin’, it’s all connected.

Tight hips can restrict blood flow. The femoral artery is a major artery that runs just inside the pelvis and provides blood for the ovaries and uterus. Tight hips will decrease the flow of blood to this area. Less blood flow means less hormonal input.

Less hormonal input, means less desire.

Now, it’s not just less hormonal input to the ovaries. There’s a bigger picture here. Because, you know from reading my work that your hormones are made by the endocrine system. Now when I say “system”, I mean system.

There’s not one gland that’s more important than another when it comes to your endocrine system. They all work together.

Often, practitioners will point to the thyroid or even the adrenals when a client says, “my sex drive is not what it used to be”. Honestly speaking, it takes all the glands [thyroid, pituitary, adrenals and ovaries/pancreas] to be functioning well to feel “in the mood again”.

An under-nourished ovary due to the lack of blood can be a big player in a hormonal meltdown. Your thyroid and adrenals can’t take all the blame.

Opening the Pelvis Can Be Key

There’s no denying that the pelvis is a hot spot when it comes to sexuality.

The pelvis is the seat of our reproductive organs and the center of the 1st chakra. It’s our foundation and in groovy terms, it can be viewed as the “seat of our soul”.

We tend to store our emotional/ sexual baggage here. Sometimes it’s hard to know if our stiffness and guardedness is a result of our lifestyle and inflexibility, or if the tightness is a result of our thoughts and traumas.

Sometimes it doesn’t really matter what tipped off the restrictions, sometimes it’s just more important to open the pelvis and get back in the flow again.

The following three exercises should be practiced as a sequence. Start with the first one and end with the last. All together, the exercises should take about 15 minutes. Be patient with the exercises and hold them. Stretching in and out (also known as “bouncing”) doesn’t create lasting change for the structure. Gently holding a pose will relax the nervous system and allow for a deeper shift in the system.

Practicing these 3 gems, 3 times a week will begin the process of unlocking your pelvis and boosting your desire.

Here's to open hips, connection, and  romance

~ Kristin

PS. Feel free to pass this tip along to a close friend. Because more love in the world is a good thing. XO

legs up the wall
legs up the wall

Legs Up the Wall

1. Lay on your back with your hips anywhere from 6-12 inches away from the wall. If your hamstrings are very tight, you might need to be further away from the wall.

2. Legs extend up the wall with the knees extended straight.

3. Support your head with a bolster.

4. Clasp your hands under the bolster if you can. If you can’t clasp your hands, hold the sides of the bolster.

5. Close your eyes, relax and breathe. Rest in the pose for 5 minutes.

spread legs up the wall
spread legs up the wall

Spread Legs Up the Wall

1. Switch the interlock of your hands (if your hands are clasped, otherwise just leave them as is holding the sides of the bolster.)

2. Spread legs into a V shape.

3. Relax your feet. Rotate your inner thigh so that your heel is in full contact with the wall. Your foot should not be rotated.

4. Close your eyes, relax and breathe. Rest in the pose for 5 minutes.

bent knees
bent knees

Bent Knees Spread Legs up the Wall

1. If your shoulders are sore, remove your arms. Do not stretch your arms or massage your shoulders, just bring them down to your side. Let your shoulders adjust. If there is no pain in your shoulders, then slide your hands under your bolster and extend your arms along the floor overhead. Stretch your hands and fingers under the bolster and extend your arms straight.

2. Bend your knees so that the soles of your feet contact the wall. Knees will be spread. This position is like a squat at the wall.

3. Close your eyes, relax and breathe. Although this pose can be uncomfortable for many, relax into the pose and hold for 3-5 minutes.