Do You Have Difficulty Concentrating, Dry Skin, and Cold Hands and Feet

One of the most common hormonal imbalances that I encounter in my practice is a low-functioning thyroid (hypothyroidism)

The thyroid is part of the endocrine system (hormonal system of our body) and is a small butterfly-shaped gland that is located in the front of our neck. The thyroid gland helps to regulate SO many of our body’s processes!

The Thyroid Gland Regulates

When the thyroid gland starts producing too much or too little thyroid hormone, it can wreak havoc on our bodies! 

Symptoms of a Low-Functioning Thyroid (Hypothyroidism)

Many of these symptoms start appearing gradually and multiply over time. You may have even discussed some of these symptoms with your doctor and received “normal” lab results, yet you still feel off and think that your thyroid might be the reason why.  

Possible causes of Low-Functioning Thyroid (Hypothyroidism)

So what can you do? 

Firstly, I recommend talking to a Functional Medicine Health Coach so that they can listen to your story, evaluate your symptoms, and give you some clear direction.
If you’re ready for some more guidance in healing your thyroid, you can book a complimentary 20-minute Wellness Discovery Call with me here.

Firstly, I recommend talking to a Functional Medicine Health Coach so that they can listen to your story, evaluate your symptoms, and give you some clear direction. 

If you’re ready for some more guidance in healing your thyroid, you can book a complimentary 20-minute Wellness Discovery Call with me here

In the meantime, here are some things you can start doing today to heal your thyroid for free from home. 

5 Tips to Improve Your Thyroid Function

1. Reduce Stress: When you feel chronically stressed, your body starts producing too much of the hormone cortisol, which can wreak havoc on your thyroid! 

I wrote a whole blog post sharing simple lifestyle strategies you can use to start immediately reducing chronic stress in your life. Check it out here

2. Eliminate Plastics: It might be impossible for you to completely avoid all plastics, but try to eliminate them as much as you are able to. Most plastics contain a chemical called BPA which can leach into the food you eat and the fluids you drink and cause your thyroid to malfunction.

Replace all of your plastic Tupperware for glass and purchase yourself a reusable glass or steel water bottle instead of drinking out of disposable water bottles. Never drink hot liquids out of plastic mugs! Also, avoid putting plastic in the dishwasher. 

3. Cut out Gluten: Research studies show that eating a gluten-free diet can help improve thyroid function. Most people are gluten sensitive and don’t even know it!

Thankfully there are a lot of delicious gluten-free options to choose from today. Focus on eating whole foods instead of processed foods and that will make the transition to a gluten-free diet so much easier for you! 

4. Prioritize Sleep: Making sure to get at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night is crucial for your thyroid health and your overall health and well-being. 

Keep your room cool and try to get to bed by 10pm. Avoid bright overhead lighting in the evening and put away your electronics at least 1 hour before you go to bed. 

5. Take a High-Quality Multivitamin: A high-quality multivitamin can help fill in any nutritional gaps in your diet and enhance your thyroid function. Thyroid Synergy is a great supplement that can help support your thyroid.  You can purchase it at our Canadian or US store

Start incorporating some of these lifestyle strategies in your routine and be patient while your thyroid starts healing. If you would like some more on-on-one guidance, book a complimentary Wellness Discovery Call with me today! 

The Truth About Sleep, Weight Gain, and Chronic Inflammation [Part 2]

In Part 1 of this blog, we explored the many negative ramifications that poor sleep can have on our bodies: weight gain, mood disorders, low immunity, memory loss, lethargy, and brain fog to name a few. Despite popular opinion, it’s not “normal” to experience these issues on a daily basis, and yet so many people go decades living with these conditions, thinking they are just a part of being alive.

I invite you to challenge that narrative and realize that you have the power within you to feel amazing and to transform those debilitating symptoms into systemic, abundant health.

Where can you begin?

You can start by taking an honest look at your sleeping habits and answering these 5 questions:

  1. How many hours do you typically sleep at night?
  2. How long does it take you to fall asleep at night?
  3. Do you often wake up in the middle of the night?
  4. Do you need an alarm clock to wake up?
  5. Do you feel refreshed and energized upon waking?

We are so distracted these days by our TV’s, smartphones, iPads, computers, etc. that sleep seems to always take the backseat. We already learned what this can do to our health so let’s start exploring ways to get better sleep at night!

My Top 5 Tips for Better Sleep:

1. Good Sleep Starts in the Morning: Exposure to morning sunlight is key to setting your body’s natural circadian rhythm and healthy sleep patterns. People who bask in the morning sunlight upon waking report being in a better mood throughout the day and sleeping better at night.

A wonderful way to expose yourself to morning sunlight is to go outside for a walk in nature every morning you are able to. Set your clothes and shoes out the night before to make it easier for you to get up and go. If you aren’t able to do this, no worries! If you have a yard or a porch, try to sit outside and do some deep breathing exercises in the morning while you look up to the sky. If it’s not possible for you to get outside at all, you can sit by a window in the morning and enjoy some tea while planning for your day. On dark, cloudy days consider using a HappyLight, which mimics sunlight to enhance mood, energy, sleep & focus.

Lastly, it’s just as important to be intentional about light exposure in the evenings as it is in the morning. Be sure to turn off overhead lights after dinner time and enjoy the natural beauty of salt rock lamps or the soft glow of beeswax candles. This will help stimulate melatonin production.

2. Aim to Sleep Within the Hours of 10pm-6am: Our bodies release the most melatonin between the hours of 10pm-2am. Melatonin is needed for: great quality sleep, antioxidant protection, healthy reproduction, detoxification, regulation of body mass, healthy bone formation, great cardiovascular function, immune protection, and relieving stress. Studies show that maintaining a regular sleep schedule can reduce sleep latency (the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep), improve cognition and neurological function, and improve your overall mood.

So how can you implement a sleep schedule? Make it a priority to get to bed around 10pm and wake at 6am, if possible. Be consistent with it and you will start to naturally notice that you get tired every night around 10pm and naturally want to wake at 6am. Practice makes perfect- the more you practice doing this the more it will become part of your routine!

3. Put a Curfew on Electronics: Most of us know that blue light negatively affects our sleep because it decreases our bodies’ production of melatonin, but staring at electronics before bed is also bad because it keeps us psychologically engaged when we should be winding down. If you struggle with a racing mind before bed, it is especially important for you to put away the electronics.

How can you do this? For starters, look into investing in some blue light blocking glasses or just keep the night light settings on on all of your devices all the time. Next, since you will be aiming to sleep between the hours of 10pm and 6am every day, set a 8pm curfew on all electronic devices. If this feels too daunting to you, start with a 9:30pm curfew and slowly move it back in 30 minute increments as you are ready.

In order to succeed at this, you are going to have to find something else to do in between the hours of 8pm-10pm, so I suggest getting out an old-fashioned pen and paper and writing out a list of things that you can do instead of playing on your phone or watching TV. Here are some ideas:

4. Take Care of Your Body During the Day: Make sure that you spend at least 10-30 minutes a day mindfully moving your body. Find an activity that you love doing whether it be walking, biking, yoga, dancing, etc. and make it part of your daily routine. Move your body joyfully and with gratitude- remember exercise is a gift, not a punishment. Consistently exercising can increase the amount of time you spend in the deep, restorative stages of sleep.

Say goodbye to processed, packaged, sugary foods and say hello to the nutrient-dense foods that nature provides us with like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and high quality proteins. Lastly, be sure to not consume any caffeine after noon, as this acts as a stimulant in our bodies long after we consume it and can wreak havoc on our sleep cycles.

5. Journal, Meditate, and Deep Breathe Before Bed: These practices are powerful and can truly take your sleep to the next level! Get in the habit of writing down all the things you are most grateful for so that you can fall asleep every night with a joyful heart.

Practicing even just 5-minutes of meditation and deep breathing exercises before bed can instantly put you in a relaxed, parasympathetic state and prepare you for getting the deep, restorative slumber your body needs to thrive! I personally love East Forest meditation, but if this isn’t your jam then spend some time finding what calms you and try to get in the habit of incorporating it into your schedule every night.

If you are looking for more ways to sleep better at night and become your most healthy, vibrant self, schedule a Metabolic Discovery Call with me today!

Photo credit Andrea Piacquadio

The Truth About Sleep, Weight Gain, and Chronic Inflammation [Part 1]

“Even a soul submerged in sleep is hard at work and helps make something of the world.”
— Heraclitus

With bloodshot eyes and the lethargy of an aging sloth she impatiently waits in line at the drive-through, already feeling anxious over the sugary caffeinated beverage and glazed donut she knows she’s going to order. She pops a couple of ibuprofen into her mouth and washes them down with a 5-hour energy drink. Her head is throbbing again and she feels yet another cold coming on.

The waistband of her stretchy black leggings are obnoxiously digging into her abdomen and she makes a mental note to buy the next size up next time she goes shopping, knowing that she will probably forget because she can’t seem to remember anything these days. Her brain perpetually feels like a foggy fall morning and that depresses the heck out of her.

“Ma’am?”
“Ma’am?”
“What can I get for you today?”

________________________________________________

Sound familiar?

Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly) ⅓ of Americans get less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep a night. Many people pride themselves on how little sleep they get and wear that as a badge of honor:

“I only need 5 hours of sleep to function the next day!”

“I feel fine with very little sleep.”

We feel like less sleep means we can be more productive, but the exact opposite is true! Sleep deprivation will almost always make you feel tired and less motivated to perform quality work and incorporate activity into your day to day routine.

When we don’t sleep well it can adversely affect many areas of the body. In Dr. David Perlmutter’s book Brain Wash, he explains the negative implications poor sleep has on our health, our relationships, and how we approach life and make decisions. He shares how sleep has the power to positively or negatively influence:

Dr. Perlmutter shares some mind-blowing stats on what poor sleep can do to our health:

At an absolute bare minimum, poor sleep will lead to fatigue and poor memory. If you think sleep medication is the answer, think again! Every month, 10 million Americans take sleep medication.These medications increase the risk of dementia, cancer, infections, depression, and they increase the risk of dying early.

Don’t allow yourself to be part of the demographic of constant hustlers and poor sleepers! Instead, make it a top priority in your life to get better sleep.

I’ll show you how in my next blog (which, by the way, is way less doom and gloom and actually uplifting, actionable things you can easily implement in your life to assure quality sleep)!

In the meantime, you can schedule a Metabolic Discovery Call with me today so I can learn about what symptoms you’re having, and together we can co-create a plan for success!

Continue reading: The Truth About Sleep, Weight Gain, and Chronic Inflammation [Part 2]

References

The 7 Reasons Why Most Weight Loss Programs Fail

Did you know that only 1 percent of people who lose weight will sustain that weight loss for more than a decade? 

So why do most weight loss programs fail?  

7  Reasons Why Most Weight Loss Programs Fail: 

1. They don’t focus on HEALTH: Most programs don’t focus on health and instead focus on weight only. We have to get healthy to lose weight, we don’t lose weight to get healthy. Excess weight is a symptom of a greater health issue. 

In order to lose weight, we need to shift the focus from weight loss to health gain. Our priority needs to be on sleeping 8 hours of quality sleep per night, de-stressing every single day, and promoting healthy digestion. 

2. They only focus on weight and the scale: Most programs only focus on the number on the scale and calorie counting. While this number is important, in our Living Proof Reset Program, we really focus on the inches clients lose, how well their clothes are or are not fitting but we also measure other variables such as heart rate variability (HRV).

HRV is a measure of your resilience to stress. When HRV is high it means that you're in a state of high resilience which means that you are able to tolerate more stress and recover faster from it. Your HRV won't go up by accident in today's world, there has to be a meaningful intention to increase it. When you're in a relaxed (parasympathetic) state your body is in healing, repair, and regenerate mode: 

3. They don’t have enough support: When it comes to weight loss, having an accountability coach and a community of those who are trying to achieve the same goal as you is of utmost importance. Having a coach is crucial to help you stick to the changes you may need to make to your diet and lifestyle. A coach will encourage you along the way, give you constructive feedback and help you identify blindspots that you may not be aware of. 

Having a supportive community is important so you can share what’s working and what’s not and get support from like minded individuals who are on the same journey as you and have the same values as you. In our Living Proof Reset program, we have a coach who tracks your progress daily and you are a part of a beautiful and motivating community of like-minded individuals. 

4. They focus on food too much and diets that aren’t sustainable: Did you know the average person thinks about food 192 times per day? That’s a lot of time and energy that is put into meal preparation and eating! New research suggests that eating an anti-inflammatory diet and incorporating intermittent fasting and specifically timed meals can be extremely effective when it comes to decreasing pain, inflammation and losing weight.This frees up time and energy for your body to be able to repair, regenerate, and heal.  

While diet is an extremely important factor when it comes to weight loss, most programs tend to over-focus on diet and don’t focus enough on stress resilience, sleep, rest, digestion and mindset. In our Living Proof Reset Program, these are all extremely equal factors.

Many people who try to lose weight try high fat keto diets and find they are not sustainable because they end up eating too much animal protein and not enough plant based foods.They feel fatigued and tired because it takes a lot of energy to digest these types of foods. In our Living Proof Program, we focus on a low-fat keto type diet that is plant strong (70% plant based). 

5. They focus on over-exercising: Exercise is great for you, however it is still a stressor on the body. Your body has to respond the same way physiologically to exercise as it would to an emotional stressor. When your body is in this fight or flight state, it’s very hard for you to lose weight.  

Your body has to be in a calm and relaxed state (rest and digest state) in order to lose weight. In our Living Proof Reset Program, we really focus on having clients shift into this rest and digest state for a full 6 weeks. 

6. They don’t focus on decreasing toxins and inflammation: Most programs don’t focus on decreasing toxins. Decreasing toxins decrease the burden on the liver. Our liver is the only organ that is responsible for eliminating toxins and it also performs many other functions such as:

When our liver gets over burdened it can cause a lot of inflammation in the body that can lead to weight gain.

7. They don’t focus on mindset: Will power is not enough when it comes to weight loss. There is a huge psychological and emotional component as well. If we don’t focus on this component then we can’t achieve long-term weight loss and success and we may end up engaging in self-sabotaging habits.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your weight loss journey and want a program that provides one-on-one, group, and community coaching, I would love to speak with you about your health goals at www.resetdiscoverycall.com 

7 Ways to Heal Faster While Taking Fewer Supplements

Over the years, I’ve witnessed countless times when patients say that they’ve been seeing a “Holistic” practitioner and they come in with a garbage full of “stuff”. True healing doesn’t take place in a garbage bag, it takes place as a result of insight, strategy, and wisdom. I hope this article gives you a moment of clarity to help you know that you are either on the right path towards your best self or if you need to carefully re-evaluate your strategy.

1. Get the right functional lab testing

First and foremost, getting the right functional testing helps you understand where you're starting points is, each person is going to be different based on an infinite number of variables. So whether your root cause is emotional, viral, chemical, or whatever it is, the right testing can help paint a picture of the road to healing ahead.

You might have nutrient deficiencies due to lifestyle choices, behaviors, environments that you've been exposed to, and because of that, you're not really aware of the fastest path to getting to the top. Yes, you can climb, but if you're going to climb a mountain, wouldn't you want to have a map that helps you navigate to the top and take the path of least resistance instead of the path of most resistance or blind faith?

2. Work with an experienced practitioner who takes a careful history

Supplements can help you move towards health faster, the thing is, by doing the right testing, you're able to know exactly which supplements you should take and which ones you shouldn't take. The idea behind testing is to identify exactly what tools and equipment you need on your journey but there are limitations to testing. This is where a careful history comes in.                                            

It’s not practical, affordable or possible to test everything, so you have to have a good thorough history. It's not just giving your history, but who is interpreting your history? Does that person have the empathy required? Do they have the experience your case needs? Have they worked with hundreds of people like yourself or in a similar situation to yourself? With experience comes wisdom, information isn't the answer. Empathy, experience, and wisdom move you closer to the answer. A good history will lower supplement burden by allowing the practitioner to have a much deeper understanding of what’s actually going on instead of guessing with your health.

  3. Change your habits

The third way to reduce supplement need is to change behaviors and/or environments. By going to bed on time, by waking up at a certain time, by moving throughout the day, getting the correct amount and frequency of sunlight exposure, spending time in nature, loving what you do for work, etc. These are factors that are going to lower your supplement needs, so keep them in mind. We don't want to give you supplements for lifestyle behaviors if that’s the case you’re essentially using supplements and herbs like you would be using a drug, not good!

4. Become more aware

Leverage your lab testing to identify what nutrient deficiencies you have and learn what foods provide that nutrition, and then ask yourself a really simple question, “are these foods part of my diet or were they part of my diet before I came down with this illness?”      

Chances are if all of the foods that contain the nutrients you're deficient in were deficient in your diet, then start incorporating those foods into your diet. If your diet is low in these foods, start eating them, but remember supplements can help you get there faster. If you do it with food alone, it will take longer to really fill in those known biochemical gaps that you have. Food is always the foundation but supplements can aid in faster recovery. If you seem to be eating the right foods but are still depleted, pay attention to the next tip.

5. Choose, chew, chill

Wanna pop fewer pills, make sure that you're thoroughly chewing and digesting your food. If you're deficient in nutrients, ask yourself, “where do those nutrients come from?” They come from your food, but not all the nutrients in your digestive system are properly absorbed because you have a certain efficiency of extraction and absorption.

The efficiency of your digestion versus another person's digestion is going to vary based on their microbiota, chewing patterns, food combining, organ health, how stressed they are when they eat, yeast, fungal parasitic overgrowths (which essentially eat the food first). This is an individual variable that needs to be accounted for if your goal is to lower supplement needs and get healthy as quickly as possible.

As discussed in step one, the right functional lab testing can help you identify these free-loading bugs and any factors lowering your efficiency of digestion.

6. The Bioenergetics of food

Not everything can be supplemented or put into a pill, therefore it needs to be consumed in the diet. It's not just about the things that we can measure in lab work. It's also about the things that we can't measure in lab work, and stuff that's not going to show up on your food label like the phytochemical content of food, the polyphenol content of food, the antioxidant content of food.

The spiritual and energetic signature of that food is going to vary as well. I argue that if somebody is eating a certain type of food, the energy that went into producing that food leaves an energetic signature on it. For example, if you're eating animal products and the animal was suffering significantly during its lifetime, it's going to release stress hormones, and it's going to leave a certain emotional, spiritual and energetic signature versus an animal who's treated differently and an animal that's slaughtered humanely.

If your food is grown, let's say plant foods, vegetables, fruits, herbs, how those foods were grown, the energy that was put into that food, the intention that was put into raising that food, picking that food, packing it, shipping it, and even preparing it, leaves a signature on that food as well. How that food gets from its source, whatever that source might be, into your body, and the intention that you set with that food, in my opinion, is going to change the way that food behaves and interacts with your chemistry. This is why growing and preparing your own food is one of the most powerful acts of self-love.

7. Stop over-washing your food

This might sound strange but another way to reduce supplement needs is to stop washing your food so much. When we excessively wash our food, especially plant foods, we lose a lot of the biological diversity of the microorganisms that are part of that plant’s contribution to your health. These (yet to be fully understood) microorganisms actually interact with our own gut microorganisms to have a collaborative effort to not only heal the body but also extract and absorb more nutrition from the food you eat. Plants, humans, and bacteria have an ancient and sacred relationship with one another. Sterilizing and overcooking your food destroys this important healing opportunity.

One of the main myths about plant foods is that they don't contain B-12, but here's the thing, what plant foods do contain is bacteria that help us make B-12 in our gut. This would help explain why somebody who is completely vegetarian, and in many cases vegan, can have adequate amounts of B-12 if their food isn't over-sterilized, over-washed, over-heated, or over-prepared. There’s nothing healthier for you than eating raw foods grown in your own garden right off the plant/tree.

I hope these tips help lower your supplement burden, promote much deeper healing for you and create new grooves in your behavior patterns that are going to have amazing outcomes in your overall health. Because you're leading by example, you're going to lead the way for your family and other members of your community to change and feel healthy and vibrant as well.

My suggestion to anyone who's reading this is to strongly consider working with a well-trained, well-experienced, and well-intentioned functional medicine practitioner who can help you identify what you need, what you don't need, and work with you on diet, nutrition, lifestyle, emotional modifications and behaviors to then help you get better as quickly as possible.

It's your right to be healthy. It's your privilege to be alive, and if you're alive, it's your duty to serve your family and community. Life is about fulfillment, enjoyment, and purpose, not pain and suffering. Work with somebody who can help you get to this path as quickly as possible, and instill behaviors and changes that are going to produce long-term outcomes for you, your family, and those around you.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can take better care of yourself through self-empowered health, join our FREE 30-day program where I share my best personal self-care tips by clicking here: www.30in30.org

If you’re ready to take full control of your health, find your blindspots, and work with a team of dedicated providers, learn more about our Living Proof Essentials program here: https://thelivingproofinstitute.com/essentials-program/