self care

Want to Lose 5 pounds easily? Get started with this 1 quick (thyroid) tip

Let’s not beat around the bush.

The number one complaint that women with a low-functioning thyroid complain about is: weight gain.

It’s a controversial topic that no one really wants to talk about it. Aren’t we supposed to love ourselves through and through even with those extra lbs?

Surely, “it’s not about the weight”. Feeling good isn’t about the numbers on the scale. Feeling good certainly comes from the inside out.

Aaand…… most of us start to cringe when we’re 5 to 10 pounds above our normal because it just. doesn’t. feel. good.

If you’re like the women that I see in my practice, likely you wouldn’t mind losing a couple of pounds. Keep reading and check out this thyroid tip to lose a few pounds (quick!).

5 pound weight loss
5 pound weight loss

Hormones and Weight Gain

Oh hormones.

They are beautiful and threatening all in the same sentence.

On one hand, they grace us with the ability to have children, give us energy and spark our creative cycles.

On the other, hormones drive us up-the-wall emotionally and have the ability to bring us to our knees within minutes.

There are 4 glands at work that balance our your hormones; pituitary, thyroid, adrenals and ovaries (pancreas in menopausal women). Granted all 4 work together, but two tend to get the spotlight (especially when we’re talking LBs): adrenals and thyroid.

These two glands, the adrenals and thyroid, are all about energy production and metabolism. The adrenals make the energy for your body and your thyroid doles it out.

To keep it simple, think of your adrenals as the energy producer and your thyroid as the energy manager. If either of these glands is on the down low, then energy tends to sag and pounds can add on quite easily.

A Little More Specifics For You

Your amazing human body has two adrenal glands located at the top of each kidney. Each adrenal gland is composed of two parts: the outer part called the adrenal cortex and the inner adrenal medulla. Both areas of the adrenals secrete specific hormones to affect many different bodily functions.

Cortisol is a glucocorticoid that is secreted by the adrenal cortex.

Cortisol is involved in our body’s stress response and helps regulate metabolism.

When stress goes up, cortisol levels rise too. Higher cortisol levels in the blood make us feel more hungry and increases cravings for “comfort” foods.

Cortisol also has a sweet relationship with the thyroid. The thyroid gland needs just the right amount of cortisol to function properly.

Too much cortisol (cause by a stress response of the adrenal glands), causes your body cell’s to no longer respond to the thyroid hormone signal.

Whew…..that’s a big deal.

In essence, your adrenals are making energy, but your body can’t respond to it. And sooner than later, your system needs more and more thyroid hormone to get the same metabolic effect.

If your system can’t provide the thyroid hormone, weight gain is sure to follow suite (whether we like it or not).

The Not-So-Crazy-Works-For-Everyone Secret to Weight Loss

Are you ready?

Listen closely.

Eat. More. Veggies.

I know most of us think that we eat enough veggies, but honestly you can never have enough. 

Let's make sure that we've got this straight. I’m not suggesting that we become vegetarians. It’s really important to get a balance of proteins, fats, and carbs. Yet, most of us can benefit from the idea of being a “vege-phile” [a person who loves veggies, grabs veggies and goes for more veggies]. We don't need to eat like monks, but eating more veggies fuels our system and helps our thyroid in ways that we can not even imagine.

Vegetables are your power-packed, guilt-free, I-love-me food. Because they are so loaded with all the good stuff and easy to digest, you can virtually eat as much as you want without putting a drag on your metabolism. In fact, the more veggies you eat, the more you’ll rev up your metabolism.

Sneak in More Veggies with these EZ Tips

1. Chop Ahead: For some reason, veggies just aren’t as easy to reach for as cheese and crackers. Here’s what one client did when she heard the eat-more-veggies tip; she cut veggies on Sunday and put them in a clear Tupperware container for the week. That way she could see them and grab ‘em easily. [By the way- she’s dropped 8 pounds in a 4 week time period….not bad, ‘eh].

2. Have Veggie Snacks: Research shows that it’s hard to get enough veggies in at meals alone. Go ahead and beat the research by having veggies when you’re hankering for a snack. Here’s the good news: veggies are guilt-free foods so go ahead and munch away on as many as you want.

3. Go for Ferments: Veggie ferments are power packed for two reasons. #1: They are ready to go. Just add as a side condiment to your meal. #2: They are loaded with good probiotics for digestion. It’s like getting a bonus with your veggie package.

4. Veggies After Dinner: It can be easy to munch away on any old thing after dinner. Eventually one snack turns into another and suddenly we’re four snacks down the road. Think veggies after dinner and get the munchies out while you’re crunching on red peppers, carrots, or cucumbers.

If You Care, Make Sure to Share

If you’re digging the eat-more-veggie idea and thinking that it just might help you shed a couple pounds, then pass this post along to a friend or two.

Click on your fave social share button, or forward this post along in an e-mail. 

Here's to fresh veggies and a healthy thyroid

~ Kristin

How Spring Can Affect Your Thyroid and Your Hormones (for most of us….it’s good news!)

Spring has got be one of my favorite times of year.

I absolutely love the fresh smell in the air, the new growth, and the sense of new beginnings.

spring tips
spring tips

When it comes to our hormones (and especially our thyroid), there’s two important reasons why Spring is a welcome relief:

There’s more light!

Yes- by the time spring rolls around there is a heck of a lot more light. It’s almost like a huge sigh of relief for those of us who struggle with a low-functioning thyroid.

More light = more energy.

It seems like a simple equation (and it is). But most of us don’t fully grasp how hard winter can be for low thyroid types.

All that extra light that comes with Spring brings a much needed boost to our system. We feel more energy because there’s way more energy available to us from our environment- the sun!

It’s Liver time (according to Chinese Medicine)

In Chinese Medicine, every season has an element and an organ association. Spring brings with her all the newness of the wood element and relates to the liver and gall bladder.

Spring is all about new growth, new ambitions, and having the gumption to get ‘er done.

Your liver is absolutely amazing. Seriously, there’s no better words for it.

Your liver is in charge of over 500 biological functions and works like a champ 24/7. One of it’s most important functions is as a hormone metabolizer. Yes, your thyroid makes thyroid hormone: T3, T4, and calcitonin.

Of the 3 hormones, T3 is known to be the big fish in the hormone community because there are T3 receptors in every single cell of your human body.

T3 just might be the big reason why your thyroid plays such a big role in your overall health. But guess what…

Your thyroid doesn’t make all that much T3. Nope- your thyroid makes quite a bit of T4. And, that T4 is converted to T3 , by your liver!

If your liver is up to speed, spring time can bring a hormonal boost. 

How to Get More out of Spring to Help Your Hormones

Want to get the most out of spring to help set your hormones straight? Try one or two of the following tips. No need to feel like you have to do everything- do what feels good and make sure to spread the love (hit your social share button of choice) and pass this list along to a friend.

1. Lemon and/or Apple Cider Vinegar water first thing in the mornin’. Now I l.o.v.e. my apple cider vinegar warm or even hot in the morning. Often us low thyroid types are chilled in the am, so this little number can do double duty.

2. Rub your spring toes. Your liver meridian runs right between your first (aka. big toe) and second toe. Rubbing along this area between the two bones helps to soothe and soften an overworked liver.

3. Spend some time outside. OK folks. It’s spring, get out there and start soaking up some sun. Skip the sunscreen and the sunglasses (for at least 10-20 mins) so that your skin and eyes can soak up some of them healing rays.

4. Start a new project (one that makes you feel accomplished). Your liver loves to check things off the list. Spring is just the time of year to brush off the cobwebs and start something new.

5. Try dry brushing. Dry brushing can help soothe the liver by getting the lymph moving a long. Dry brushing helps with detoxification and it’ll help wake you up in the morning. Dry brushing is best right before a hot shower or bath.

6. Go for gelatin. Gelatin is loaded in amino acids. It’s a natural detoxifier and a helpful liver soother. You can use gelatin as you cook, or try my favorite hot, comfort drink by clicking here.

7. Take 100 paces After Dinner. A brief walk after dinner gets in a little more fresh air and a bit of movement. It’ll help your liver start the digestive process, and it'll help you unwind after a long day.

Here's to longer days and warmer weather!

~ Kristin

What's Your Thyroid Test Missing {and what you can do about it}

This scenario happens in my office all too frequently.

Picture this:

A new client walks in.

She’s been struggling with her hormones for quite some time.

She's talked with her medical doctor and went ahead and

ordered a TSH blood test to check her thyroid.

The results have come back and everything is “normal”

[even though she’s exhausted, losing hair by the handfuls,

and her moods are making her bonkers].

She comes to me because she can’t understand why the tests say that there’s

nothing to worry about, when she knows in her heart-of-hearts that she feels like

the very definition of a low-functioning thyroid (aka: a crazy, hormonal mess).

What's your thyroid test missing
What's your thyroid test missing

Blood tests are the go-to test when it comes to taking a first

step towards a thyroid diagnosis, but are they always accurate?

We’ve come to rely on blood tests, because they seem like they

should be able to catch everything. Right?

Well…….blood tests might be our “gold standard”, but they certainly aren’t perfect.

When considering blood tests here’s a couple of points

to keep in mind.

1. Your Blood is Precious: Seems simple, I know- but let’s think about this one together.

Blood is such a precious fluid in the human body.

It brings oxygen, hormones and other vital nutrients to your brain, your organs

and your muscle tissue. It delivers nutrients to the cells and ferries waste away.

Your blood chemistry is pretty darn important for the overall function, health of your body.

Now remember, your body loves homeostasis- meaning your body will do whatever it can

to keep your system within a set, narrow margin.

And because your blood has such an important job (ie. feeding your brain),

your body will do whatever it can to keep the blood at a specific chemistry.

Because your body will compensate around your blood chemistry,

it can take years for a low-functioning thyroid to show up,

even though your symptoms show classic thyroid disorder.

2. TSH is Only A Part of the Picture:From reading my most popular article to date,

you know that your thyroid is just one gland in a very intricate system known as the endocrine system.

TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is a hormone that is produced by the pituitary gland.

TSH levels infer thyroid function.

High TSH levels indicate a sluggish thyroid. When a thyroid isn’t responding to

thyroid stimulating hormone, the pituitary releases more TSH increasing the amount of

TSH circulating in the blood. On the other hand, low TSH levels suggest hyperthyroid-

meaning that the thyroid is working too fast.

There is one big caveat with diagnosing a thyroid solely on a TSH test. Ready?

The pituitary gland is not the only gland that determines thyroid function

nor does the pituitary gland determine the effectiveness of the thyroid’s hormones.

You might have a low functioning thyroid because the thyroid hormone is not being 

received at the cellular level, you might have a hard time converting the T4 hormone to T3,

or you might have antibodies built up against your thyroid.

All of these situations lead to poor thyroid function and they do not affect TSH levels.

3. Hormones Change: Perhaps this is one fact that blood tests just can’t get around.

Your hormones (TSH included) are like the tides in an ocean.

They have a rise and a fall and they’re known to change throughout the day.

Dr. Philip Young author of Thyroid: Guardian of Health writes,

“the output of thyroid fluctuates significantly throughout the day. This is just what

is to be expected if the body has to adjust to the differing metabolic challenges

throughout the day. Digestion, exercise and stress all demand differing energy outputs

and thus different amounts of thyroid hormone.”

Bottom line: your hormones are not static. In fact, they have to change and fluctuate to deal with the

different demands of each day. Think about it. The metabolic demands of a relaxing Saturday morning

are very different compared to the metabolic demands of a crazy Tuesday morning.

Blood tests do not account for day-to-day fluctuations, let alone seasonal changes.

So, if blood tests aren’t all that they’re cracked up to be,

how do I get an accurate diagnosis?

Again, Philip Young, MD writes,

“I believe Hypothyroidism may be the single most important health problem of today;

certainly it is the most important problem that is not being diagnosed. Every aspect of

bodily function is touched when hypothyroidism is present, and mild degrees of hypothyroidism

are very common. Dr. Broda Barnes believed that in the Denver area, where he practiced,

about 40 % of the population would benefit from being on thyroid hormone.”

The key to getting a solid diagnosis is knowing your body.

Self-checks, temperature tests, and good, old-fashioned symptom

checklists will help you get the answers you deserve.

How to Test Your Thyroid: 3 Easy Ways goes over the steps to check your thyroid at home.

These home tests might not seem high tech (because they aren’t), but they sure do give you

valuable information to bring to your doc.

I know this whole temperature test thing seems like a drag.

Most of us wonder how a temperature test can trump a blood test.

But time and time again, Broda Barnes [who developed the temperature test] proved that checking

temperature upon rising was, by far, the most effective method to catch any type of hypothyroidism.

So, if you’ve got an inkling that your thyroid might be lagging (even just a little bit),

check out these at-home tests so that you can bring some extra info to your next apt. These days, when we’re talking

about quality healthcare, we’ve got to come prepared and understand that just because we’re taking a “test”,

it doesn’t mean that it’s going to catch everything.

Make Sure to Pass This Along

Empowering ourselves and getting to know our bodies is one thing, but helping a friend is another.

Hypothyroidism affects a person on so many levels. It can affect our moods, our learning abilities, our reproduction,

as well as our digestion, metabolism, elimination and sleep cycles. Pass this article along to a friend who you might think

is in need or share it on your social media platform of choice (by clicking the quick links below).

I wonder how many of us have been told that our tests show everything is normal,

when indeed our systems [and our thyroid in particular] needs support.

Here’s to understanding our bodies and getting to know our thyroid just a little bit better!

~Kristin

Fire Cider Kristin-style

Need an extra kick to get you through the season?

It’s that time of year when most of us are nursing our second or

maybe even third winter cold (or dare I say flu).

We’re sick, we’re tired, and we’re kinda done with this

whole thing of being sick and tired.

I’ve shared my all-time favorite cold buster here before.

And, it works like a charm. [Get it right here.]

But, if you’re really feeling run down and you need a little more zing to get you

through a cold (or even just the day), then I’ve got a two-word secret for you.

It begins with “F” and ends with “-ider.”

And, it’s one of my favorite drinks.

It’s…Fire Cider.

kick winter in the tush
kick winter in the tush

What the hay is Fire Cider?

Fire Cider is one of those magical tonics handed down over the course of time.

Your grandma might have made it because her grandma swore by it. It’s a decongesting,

immune boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral, apple cider vinegar infusion

that simple kicks major booty in the infection department.

Here’s the Best Part

Fire Cider is one of the easiest tonics to make. Simply:

1. Get the ingredients

2. Chop the ingredients

3. Put the ingredients in a jar and let them soak in apple cider vinegar for a week (or longer).

There’s no baking, no broiling. There’s no fancy mixing or mashing.

We’re talking chopping and soaking. That’s it.

How Should I Use It?

Fire cider sounds like it’s going to be a hot and spicy number.

Sure, it has a kick. But, I’ll be the first to tell you- good fire cider is mostly sweet

and spicy thanks to the cider soaked onions.

This sweet and sour special sauce is good in so many ways,

but here are a few of my go-to ways to use it:

1. A Splash in Water: Take is as a tonic any old day and put a splash of fire cider in water.

2. Spike Your Tea: If there’s a bug in the house and you’re feeling a little vulnerable,

a dash of fire cider in some garlic tea is the answer. This anti-microbial concoction is just the thing

to boost immunity and keep you hummin’ along.

3. Over Greens: Don’t let Fire Cider fool you. It’s not just an immune booster,

it’s a special sauce. Saute your favorite greens in butter and add a TBSP of fire cider

with a pinch of salt and you will be in heaven….guaranteed.

4. Cough Syrup for Kiddos: Just add 1Tbsp honey to 1-2 Tbsp fire cider.

Stir and serve on a spoon. The honey totally works to tone down the fire cider

spice so that your little one’s can go cough free.

Pass the Cider, Please

Holy canoli, I absolutely love sharing these health secrets with you.

It feels so good to give you the concrete steps so that you can take fabulous care of yourself.

Go ahead and pass this recipe on to a good friend or two, because everyone deserves to feel their best.

Here's to being sniffle-free any old time of the year!

~ Kristin

Your Thyroid and Your Immune System: {plus, FIVE tricks to get you through cold and flu season}

This time of year is a challenging on the thyroid. Oh, yes it is.

Nothing like flip-flopping temperatures to put a big, strain on your thyroid and put a damper on your immune system.

sniffle free
sniffle free

Tidbits About Your Thyroid [that you might not know]

Your thyroid is that sweet, butterfly shaped gland just below your Adam’s apple.

It’s got four lobes that mirror each other and it’s extremely sensitive to internal and external stressors.

To keep it simple, you can think of your thyroid as a control tower of sorts,

constantly adjusting and reacting to different input.

Internally, your thyroid is sensitive to stress that comes from within us.

It reacts to things like amount of sleep, thought patterns, nutritional status, and infections.

Externally, your thyroid will be affected by factors outside of us.

Environmental toxins, relationship stress, even parental stress can be a contributing factor.

Fall’s fluctuating temps challenge your thyroid and can be a just one more reason why up-and-down weather brings on nasty bugs.

Your Thyroid and Your Immune System

There’s a lot of talk about your thyroid being important for immunity, but do you know why?

1. It’s all about calcium.

Now I’m guessing that this might be a new consideration for a lot of folks.

When there’s talk about boosting the immune system, most people give a big shout out to remedies like Echinacea or zinc. And while there’s nothing wrong with those immune builders, they’re not the “King Pin.”

Calcium (and how it’s transported in the body) is the real deal.

Calcium- the most abundant mineral in your bod- tags germs so that your immune system knows what to attack.

In fact, tissue calcium saturation is the sole determining factor whether an acutely ill person will get better. Poor calcium levels equals poor prognosis. Here’s the study so you can take a look.

Your thyroid and parathyroid are big players in calcium metabolism and regulation. If they’re not functioning up to par, then you’ll have a harder time metabolizing calcium, and your immune system will have a harder time tagging germs.

Improve your calcium metabolism, and you’ll ace cold and flu season.

2. Your blood circulates through your thyroid every 7 minutes.

In Folk Medicine, DC. Jarvis writes about the connection between your thyroid, iodine and immunity.

He notes that all the blood in your body circulates through your thyroid every 7 minutes.

Your thyroid is soaking up iodine so that it can make hormones, and it also uses iodine as a handy antiseptic “wash”.

The iodine in your thyroid literally sterilizes your blood.

Boost your iodine status and you’ll be more likely to fend off any old bug.

What Can You Do About It?

Taking a little bit of time and effort during the fall to support your thyroid is so worth it.

I like to say, “less sneezing is more pleasing.” Here’s what YOU can do:

1. Get more rest: Nothing helps your thyroid more than rest.

I wrote about the thyroid-adrenal connection in my most popular post yet.

Click here and check out the ONE habit can help your hormones for good (and put it into action).

2. Eat your sea veggies: Iodine is 100% essential for your thyroid to be able to make

hormones (T3, T4, and calcitonin). Boost your “antiseptic” status by loading up on sea veggies.

Sprinkle a “sea veggie shake” like gomasio over eggs, soup or salad. Or, go for the gusto with this simple seaweed salad.

3. Dress for the season {not for the weather}: It can be tricky dressing for fall.

Mornings are chilly, afternoons are hot and all too often you can get caught in a brief sprinkle of rain.

Layer up and make sure that you’re dressing for the season and not for the weather. A light scarf around

your neck will help take a chill off your thyroid and keep your body temps more stable.

4. Consider taking calcium. It’s not called the “King Pin” for nothing, and not all forms of calcium are made the same.

Bottom line: Calcium lactate (made from beets) takes only 1 biochemical step to be usable for your body.

~ Kristin

Carbonates take a dozen steps. Ditch the carbonate, reach for calcium lactate, and you’ll be good to go.

5. Drink garlic tea: When worse comes to worse and you feel like you’re coming

down with something, garlic tea is your go-to remedy. It works like a charm- Every. Single. Time.

Just add a couple of cloves of chopped garlic to your favorite tea and sip on it throughout the day.

Sharing is Caring

Let’s face it, no one likes being sick. So, make sure to take a second and click on the social share buttons to the bottom left.

Your support is so important to me and I bet your friends will thank you for helping them go bug-free this season.

Aaand...I'd love to hear some of your favorite cold and flu remedies in the comments section. What do you go tucked up your sleeve?

Now, let’s get out there and be in the magic of this season (without all the sniffles and sneezes).

Wishing you a Kleenex-free Fall~

kristinsavory_signature
kristinsavory_signature

How to Test Your Thyroid: 3 Easy Ways

Self-testing is an easy and inexpensive way to get more clues about your thyroid.
Self-testing is an easy and inexpensive way to get more clues about your thyroid.

Wouldn’t it be handy to be able to monitor your thyroid from the comfort of your home?

Inexpensive and convenient, self-tests are not necessarily accepted diagnostic material,

but they do give you some solid information.

Once you get familiar with a few of the self-testing options, you can start to track your thyroid over time.

And getting into a routine of self-testing helps you develop a closer relationship with your body.

My three favorite home thyroid tests are:

1. Feeling your thyroid 2. Basal body temperature 3. Iodine patch test

These tests are pretty darn straightforward. You can start with just one,

or play around with a few. Best of all, bringing notes on what you learn to your next office visit

will help your primary health care provider do a better job.

Feeling Your Thyroid- This is the most intuitive test, giving you the opportunity to learn where

your thyroid rests in your body, and how it feels. A swollen thyroid often indicates

that the thyroid is under functioning.

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, it’s a good idea to follow through with more tests.

Temperature tests

Your thyroid is in charge of your metabolism. If your body temperature is too high or

too low, that can be a sign that your thyroid isn’t functioning well.

To do this test accurately, visit the drugstore and buy a basal thermometer. It should

be able to read your temperature to the 10th of a degree; i.e., 97.4.

You can take your temperature orally or under your armpit.

1. Keep your thermometer by your bed. Your temperature needs to be taken upon waking before you get out of bed, eat, drink or go to the bathroom.

2. When you wake up in the morning, put your thermometer deep in your armpit. Hold it there for up to 10 minutes. Record your temperature. If you’re taking your temperature orally, do so for 5 minutes. Then subtract ½ a degree from your result. This will account for the difference between your oral temperature and your body temperature. The normal underarm temperature averages 97.8–98.2 degrees F.

3. You’ll want to repeat this test for at least four days to get an average. If your average temperature is below 97.4 degrees, consider more testing,.

4. Menstruating women should test their body temperature starting on Day 2 or 3, to account for increased temperatures that come during the second phase of your cycle.

Iodine patch test

Although this test does not directly test thyroid function, it does give an indication

on iodine levels. Iodine is a critical mineral for your thyroid. Your thyroid uses iodine to

make its own hormones, T3 and T4. If your thyroid isn’t able to T3 and T4, you’ll most likely experience low thyroid symptoms.

1. Get a bottle of 2% iodine tincture at the drugstore.

2. Using a Q-tip, paint a 2-inch square on the inside of your forearm, just below the elbow. The skin here is fairly absorptive, while the skin on the back of your arm is more protective.

3. Let the patch dry. Do not shower, bathe or swim until the patch fades.

4. If the iodine patch fades away in less than 10–12 hours, it indicates that your body needs more iodine.

Now I’m curious, and I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever tried any of these self-tests at home? 

If so, let us know how self-tests helped you navigate your thyroid health.

~ Kristin

Do You Have Low Thyroid? 10 Telltale Signs

Do you suspect your thyroid is low,

Do you have a hunch that you might be hypothyroid?
Do you have a hunch that you might be hypothyroid?

but aren’t sure how to decipher a laundry list of possible symptoms?

I’ve seen the gamut in my 13 years of private practice as an acupuncturist and whole food nutrition consultant. Low thyroid can cause just about anything and everything to go wonky in the body.

Your thyroid, the butterfly-shaped gland located in your throat just below your Adam’s apple, is your body’s control tower.

The thyroid gland is a big part of the hormonal brigade.

It works right along with the pituitary, adrenals, ovaries and pancreas.

Because of this overarching role, it can seem like almost any symptom could relate to a thyroid issue. And that impression is not all that far from the truth.

But, if you experiencing one or more of the signs below (regularly),

then you might be a candidate for low thyroid.

These are the 10 telltale signs of an underactive thyroid:

1. Low energy. Your thyroid and adrenal glands work hand in hand.

These glands are all about energy production and output. Low energy is a big, red flag, for a hormonal glitch.

2. Hair loss. Your hair growth follows a natural cycle of growth and resting phases.

Think of it as “growth spurts.” Because the thyroid regulates hair growth, abnormal changes in thyroid hormones will lead to hair loss.

3. Weight gain. Your thyroid is the master of metabolism. If you see the lbs. creeping up, it’s likely your thyroid is dragging its feet.

4. Poor concentration. Two of the three hormones made by the thyroid (T3 and T4) have been shown to have a major influence on your brain’s activity. If your thyroid isn’t able to make enough of these hormones, you’re brain is going to have a hard time connecting the dots.

5. Lagging libido. Your thyroid communicates directly with your sex glands. So if you’re not feeling the mojo lately, you might want to take a closer look at your thyroid.

6. Irregular cycles. If your cycle is having it’s ups and downs then you might consider checking in on your thyroid. Painful cycles- either long or short- can be due to a disruption in thyroid hormones.

7. Poor immune system. Because your thyroid helps with calcium absorption and assimilation, it’s a key player in your immune system. If you find yourself getting colds and flus way too often or they’re too hard to shake, than your thyroid could be involved.

8. Cold hands and feet. Your thyroid is involved with energy production and heat for your body. Cold hands and feet, irregular body temperatures, even heat flares tend to point to a weak thyroid.

9. Feeling moody. Most gals know that hormones run their emotions. If feelings are running amok, it might be your first clue to a thyroid imbalance.

10. Disrupted Sleep. Having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep? Insomnia can throw off your hormones and vice versa. If you’re unable to go into a deep rest at night, your thyroid could be a contributor. If a couple of bells rang for you while reading this list, check out my guide to thyroid testing, including self-tests, blood tests, and hair tests.

Now, a question for you… Have you had a feeling that your thyroid isn’t up to par?

What were the first signs that made you think that you might have an issue with your thyroid?

Please share in comments below.

~ Kristin

How do you want your 2014 to feel?

It’s that time of year again when everyone is coming up with their yearly resolutions. You know the drill, the lists of I should do this and I shouldn’t do that. And when it comes time to assess what we want to do for our health, the resolutions get down right self-deprecating, don’t they?

This past year I’ve treated myself to The Desire Map process with Danielle Laporte. Her work emphasizes feelings over doing. Sounds a little crazy doesn’t it? But I think she’s onto something. Most of us are running through our lives, just doing one thing after another and rarely are we even taking the time to enjoy what we’re doing.

Resolutions start to look just like this.

I’m going to start doing (such and such). Or I’m going to stop doing (fill in the blank).

In honor of Ms. Laporte, Jim and I sat down this past weekend and started our own little list of feelings. We dreamed about our business, our kids, and our home all in relation to how we want them to feel. Golly, it was a creative process. And by the end of the evening, both Jim and I were feeling really close and super connected. Priceless if you ask me.

P1020183
P1020183

For 2014, I’m shooting for connection. For me, feeling connected hit almost every single one of my categories. I’m going for it this year. Connection is almost stamped into my being at this point and I am holding this feeling high for 2014.

How does it feel? I'm already reaping the benefits of connection. Just by having this feeling in the back of my mind, I can tell I’m responding a little softer and gentler to the people closest to me. Believe me, I have a long way to go- but reaching for connection- seems to be my ticket right now. I wonder what all will come to me in honor of this feeling. It’s too soon to tell, but I bet it’s gonna feel good.

Now it’s your turn, I wonder what feeling are you turned on by? Do you want more fun in your life, more sexy in your relationship? Or are you looking for calm? Tell me in the comment section, I’d love to hear from you.

So here it is 2014. Ripe with all sorts of possibilities and magic. This year, I'm sending deep peace and love to all of you. I am so grateful for my on-line family. And, I am so looking forward to connecting soon.

~ Kristin

Why do my boobs hurt so bad?

It’s that time of the month again, and you’re feeling a little bloated, a little cranky. And what the heck, now you’re really wondering, “Why do my boobs hurt so bad?” Yes- we’ve all had PMS from time to time, but it can happen. Your cycle can be gentle, easy and pain free. It might take a little bit of time, and a little bit of focus. But you can do it, and I can teach you.

In Chinese medicine, we follow the cycles of nature. Nothing connects us more to the tides of nature than our menstrual cycles. I know, some gals feel their like period is a curse because it's painful when we're out of whack. But when your cycle is “in the flow”, it can be a time of deep rest and renewal.

Those painful, swollen boobs are not here to haunt you. They’re here to remind you that something is out of balance. From a Chinese medicine perspective, swollen painful breasts (especially when it’s the sides of your breasts) usually point to a liver imbalance.

When your liver gets all stagnant and stuck, pressure starts to build in your system. Your liver is a huge workhorse for your body. It is in charge of over 500 different metabolic reactions. It just so happens that your liver is a big help in metabolizing hormones. So, when your liver just can't handle the workload anymore, the pressure builds and your boobs tend towards the tender side.

So, what’s a girl to do? Here’s my top, three tips to turn the tide on a stuck liver. These three tips may not solve all your liver challenges, but they sure can get it running a little better.

1. Drink apple cider vinegar with your water. Just a splash or two in a glass of water. Use a brand that’s raw and unfiltered, like Bragg’s. You want all the good stuff to be in that vinegar to help mobilize your liver and get ‘er going again.

2. Walk, don’t run. Walking is your best exercise for the liver. The liver needs gentleness, to soften out the edges. I see too ladies in my practice who over exercise. I know, there’s nothing like a quick run to burn off some anxiety, but your exercise should leave you feeling lighter and fresher, not run down.

3. Rub ‘em. Yes, you heard me right. Rub ‘em. When your liver is stuck, it needs a little help to get the energy flowing. Rubbing your breasts can really help relieve some of the backed up pressure. This doesn’t have to be super fancy. Just start under your arms, cup your breasts, and rub them in a circular fashion. Practice this a couple times a day when they’re really sore.

I’ve been celebrating some pretty big successes wit my clients. In 10 weeks time, we’ve had one woman start cycling regularly, another gal has come out of the energy swamp and is feeling like a total champ, and one of the other participants is happy to report that she is no longer having hot flashes. Getting your hormones on track is not some crazy, dirty little secret. All you have to do is follow nature’s rules…. 

~ Kristin

Golly, this is a BIG one!

It’s a big one because it really makes a difference in your health. I work with people every day on this one. Because I honestly believe~ you are your own best healer. If you really want to balance your hormones and live your healthiest life, you have to be able to observe your “self”. Your body is always giving you feedback, but are you listening?

When your body is not well, it will begin to let you know. First, your body whispers, then it talks, and if we're still not listening, then it screams.

The whispers are  the little aches and pains that we all roll with. A little tweak here, a minor ache there. The whispers don’t usually get in the way of our daily lives, so we rarely pay attention to them. We just keep right on truckin’.

When the whispers get ignored, they eventually turn into talking. Now, the pain or the disturbance is a little bigger. It’s like someone is jabbing you in the ribs to get your attention. Maybe it’s a headache or it’s hard to walk. But something’s not working right and your body is letting you know. Sometimes we wake up to these messages and make some shifts in our lifestyle, sometimes we don’t.

When we don’t change our ways, the talking turns into screaming. This is when it starts to get ugly. It feels like we’ve been run over by a truck. We complain about getting older. We get sick and sometimes it takes a while to recover. And then, life starts to feel like a major bummer.

We’ve all had our moments on this path. It’s not that we’re shooting for perfect health. That’s not realistic. What we really want is to be able to live in our bodies and respond to our bodies needs. It’s quite simple, yet it takes a bit of awareness.

Are you ready to start tuning in to your body?

Like I said, it’s simple, but it takes awareness. Over the course of my life, I’ve noticed that there really is only one way to cultivate a relationship with your self. It takes some time and a bit of focus. What do you say, are you ready?

Spend 10 minutes every day in total silence. Turn off the TV. Turn off the computer. Turn off from any other distraction. Lay down. Close your eyes. And breathe. Feel your body. Get curious about your body. Breathe in and breathe out. Take inventory on your body and ask your body what it needs. Be quiet. You’ll be amazed at the answers.

Ok. I know it sounds hokey. Trust me on this one. You are your own best healer. And you need to be very quiet to hear your body’s voice. Take time and listen in. It’s a gift.

If you've ever thought that acupuncture or alternative medicine is too expensive for you, now is your time to cash in. Contact me through my contact form and I'll give you all the details.

~ Kristin