Should you be gluten-free?

With all the fuss about gluten-free it can be quite overwhelming to understand right from wrong.  First, it is important to know what gluten actually is! Gluten is a yellowish-gray, powdery mixture of plant proteins occurring in cereal grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. It’s sticky-like texture acts as a glue, holding foods together.  It is used in flours as an adhesive to make baking or cooking easier. Barley and wheat gluten are also used as the base of beer to provide it with the flavor and depth. 

Although these grains, or gluten, have been around for years, people weren’t always “allergic” to them. It is important to understand that these crops used to be abundant and very healthy for us to consume. In fact, in some countries, it was there only source of food and provided many families with inexpensive nourishment. Over time as wheat began to be mass produced, as everything else has become in America, the farmers had to spray and inject crops with chemicals to keep up. Along with the crops being sprayed, changes to the way that bread and baked goods are made has changed. Water, flour, and salt were the only ingredients in bread back in the day. Investigate for yourself and turn over your bread at home and read the label. Chances are you won't even know what half of the ingredients are. Mixing all of these preservatives together with the wheat, whether it has been farmed properly or not, is almost impossible to digest. This would put it under the category of genetically modified foods, and even people without an actual gluten allergy, or Celiac, can have a reaction.  

Typically, becoming bloated or having a stomach ache is the most common symptom of a gluten allergy. However, sensitivities can show up many other ways. Below is a list of symptoms that have been tested as the highest forms that a gluten allergy comes through the body. If you are experiencing one or more of these issues, I would highly consider reading on to see how to proceed with elimination.

  • Anemia

  • Psoriasis, or eczema

  • Mouth sores

  • Dental disorders

  • Tingling or numbness in hands/feet

  • Mucus in stool

  • Diarrhea

  • Bloating

  • Constipation

  • Nauseous after eating

  • Muscle cramps

  • Arthritis

  • Brain fog

  • Always tired or hungover feeling

  • Joint pain

  • ADD or ADHD

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Weight loss or gain

  • Acne (face or body)

  • Allergies

If you are reading on, then I'm guessing you had one or more of these symptoms. From here, there are a few steps you can take moving forward.

You can get a food sensitivity blood test.

I perform one for my clients through the company KBMO Diagnostics. It's a simple finger prick test and the results are back in 2 weeks. You can book your Initial Session plus FIT Test here. The KBMO test checks 22 foods for sensitivities. You do not need to be in the State of Michigan to be my client. I can drop ship the test and Skype for your appt.

You can also try an elimination diet.

There are a ton of different ways to try that, but I have a few simple steps listed below that you can follow to see how you feel. 

Step 1

Eliminate all wheat, flour, and gluten containing products for 4 weeks. This includes other items besides flour and cereals. Check the label or ask questions. 

Step 2

Journal how you feel on a daily basis. Note, you may start to feel a little worse for the first few days. This is just the wheat addiction leaving your body. It may be best to start over a weekend so you can get plenty of rest for your body to eliminate properly. 

Step 3

Stick with whole foods, fruits, and veggies. If you reach for the same old snacks but just gluten-free it is not helping the cause. Many of those products sneak in corn or potato starch which can wreak havoc the same way on the body, not to mention they have the same caloric value.

Step 4

On the last day of the 30 days, choose one meal to have some wheat. Don’t overindulge, but maybe have some whole grain pasta for dinner or bread on a sandwich for lunch.

Step 5

Continue to journal through throughout the day and the next couple days. How are you feeling? Did your symptoms come back? Did you feel fine? Did new symptoms come about?

It is also important to know what happens to your body when you eat gluten?

Upon consumption, those with a sensitivity experience a deterioration, or flattening, of the villi in your small intestine. Villi are hair-like projections that help to absorb vitamins and nutrients to nourish our bodies and sustain energy for our everyday activities. Malabsorption can occur when these villi start to flatten from the reoccurring consumption and as a result your body will experience one or more of the symptoms listed above. The more you experience these symptoms the more your body will start to attack itself, as it cannot keep up with the deterioration. This can lead to more serious issues like some of these auto-immune diseases and preventative diseases listed below.

  • Chrohns

  • Ulcerative Colitis

  • Sebo (small intestine bacterial overgrowth)

  • Candida (yeast overgrowth)

  • Infertility

  • Multiple Sclerosis

  • Chronic Fatigue

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Listen to your body and what it is trying to tell you. If you do in fact have a sensitivity, not only does it make you feel bad in the moment, but overtime can really break down your body. Take care and nourish your body. Heal the damage that has resulted over the years.

It is also important that when embarking on a new lifestyle that you do have some professional help. You want to make sure that you are making the right choices and feeding your body enough vitamins and nutrients. 

When I went gluten-free it changed my life. It wasn't just the obvious breads and pastas that were causing the upset. Gluten sneaks its way into many common household foods and products. However, I also know how overwhelming it can be to embark on such a new lifestyle. 

That is why I created the STRESS-FREE GLUTEN-FREE GUIDE. 

A 74 page ebook that will help you master the art of gluten-free and feel good about it. 

This guide includes: 

  • my 5 best tips to success

  • the most important pillars of food quality

  • a guide to understanding cross-contamination

  • my favorite JRW-Approved GF products and brands

  • 30 days of meal plans, grocery lists, and recipes!!

WARNING: Following this guide will lead to the following positive changes:

  • more energy

  • less bloat and digestive distress

  • reduced chronic inflammation

  • clear skin and clarity

  • no more brain fog

Who is this guide for?

Anyone experiencing the following: 

  • digestive issues

  • constant bloating

  • joint pain and inflammation

  • chronic fatigue and low energy

  • acne, psoriasis, or ezcema

  • mood swings and depression

  • anxiety or feeling overwhelmed

Get your copy of the STRESS-FREE GLUTEN-FREE GUIDE today for only $35.

 Get the stress-free gluten-free guide here. $35

Get the stress-free gluten-free guide here. $35

 

If you need support or have questions, you can email me at jaclyn@jaclynreneewellness.com. For additional support on what to eat and how to cook gluten-free you can visit my favorite recipe blogs:

Gluten Free Goddess

Elana's Pantry

XO Jaclyn Renee

** A core principle of the Jaclyn Renee Wellness program is to choose organic whenever possible. This includes all fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, flours, nuts, and even spices. Reducing your exposure to pesticides and chemicals is a major part in healing your body and preventing disease.


5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

 

 

Gut Health 101

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Everything begins and ends in the gut.  In fact, our second brain is the center of our gut and is home to the central nervous system and is actually larger and more powerful than the one in our skull. It holds the power to 3/4 of our immune system. The gut is also the first place we should look when we are experiencing chronic disease and inflammation.  When our digestive tract has been compromised our whole immune system can be compromised.

The foundation of gut health is understanding digestion. Digestion starts in the mouth when food is mixed with saliva. If we rush or hurry through a meal, we have not properly started the digestive process. Slowing down and chewing food is the core principle of digestive health.

Once the food leaves our mouth, it travels through your esophagus into our stomach. Your stomach is the mixing bowl where your liver, gallbladder, and pancreas secrete enzymes to break down your food into bile. If any of these organs are inflamed or compromised, they also cannot break down your food properly and will lead to constipation, gas, diarrhea, or chronic bloating.

Beyond the organs are your intestines. The large and small intestines. Let's take a quick look into the gut and it's four major parts.

  • The intestinal wall is the lining of the digestive tube. 
  • Intestinal flora is the good bacteria that live in the intestinal wall AKA microbiome. 
  • The Gut's lymphatic system or Gut associated lymphatic tissue; GALT
  • Nervous system or small nerve fragments that are spread throughout the gut

If any of the four parts of the gut have been compromised, your immune system will be notified and your body will start to become inflamed. You may start to experience light digestive discomfort or bloat to begin however, if not addressed properly if can morph into many other symptoms.

  • food allergies
  • indigestion
  • bloating
  • Inflammation of the joints
  • depression and anxiety
  • auto immune disorders - Celiac, Chrohn's, MS
  • skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and acne

These signs and symptoms of gut inflammation should not be taken lightly. Predominantly referred to as "Leaky Gut" this type of inflammation will definitely effect the long-term health of your body and your brain.

What is Leaky gut really? Leaky gut is simply a penetration of the intestinal wall, or the most important wall in our body. A colon contains these hair-like tight junctions that help ward off toxins from poor nutrition and uncontrolled environment. When they have become inflamed it starts to pry the junctions open and can create tiny cracks in between the junction. Instead of digesting and dumping the toxins through the body, they can slip through the cracks and into the bloodstream.  This is ultimately where disease begins. 

Things that can disrupt the gut lining:

  • exposure to BPA and other toxic chemicals
  • pesticide exposure (non-organic food)
  • antibiotic overuse
  • stress
  • chronic infections
  • alcohol
  • caffeine
  • sugar
  • gluten (for some)
  • dairy (for some)

Indefinitely, avoiding these things will help the healing process, however it's important to understand that healing takes time. The gut heals in stages. We have to reduce the inflammation first and the allow the lining the opportunity to heal properly.

The best place to start is from the beginning.

My foundation of gut health can be found in my free 5-day fix to beat the bloat. This will give you my core principles of gut health before you get too deep. Follow these for a few weeks to notice significant changes in digestive health. 

Beyond that if you still are experiencing symptoms, I recommend purchasing my 7-day Flat Tummy Food Guide. This is an incredible jump start to healing.

The guide includes:

  • A clean out list
  • Daily protocols to detox
  • A healing foods grocery list
  • 7-day meal plan; breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks
  • Over 20 of the best gut healing recipes that I have tested over time

This guide is normally $75 but for a limited time, I am offering this guide at $35. Get your copy today and let's get healing!

Following my JRW lifestyle guidelines, along with your personalized program will remove all of your struggles and symptoms and help you thrive. I know what it feels like to live every day in a constant struggle. Let me guide you towards better health and wellness so you can enjoy life again. XO Jaclyn Renee 


granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below!

5 simple ways to detox the body

The body has the ability to naturally detox everyday. However, harmful environmental toxins, common allergies, and chemicals in our food have made it harder for the body to perform. When the body does not flush toxins properly it can back up in our organs and intestines, thus causing inflammation in the body. We become bloated, feel irritable, get rashes or even acne as a way for the body to signal that something has gone array. We think, "I'm just going to juice for 5 days, or I'm going to workout everyday, twice a day, to get back on track." The problem is, those things will not help with long-term success and may end up hurting more in the end.

If you are feeling any of the above symptoms, or simply have been overindulging a bit more lately, it may be time to try detoxing your body.  These home remedies are easy, inexpensive ways to get the blood flowing and the organs flushing. Plus, you can still eat food! I do always recommend staying away from excess sugar and alcohol and drinking tons of water while choosing any of these options. They are all very safe for you and have many benefits. Set yourself up for a home spa detox weekend and try them all.

 

1. Dry brushing

Dry brushing is a technique in which you use a high grade skin brush in small circles, starting at your ankles, and covering all the skin working towards your heart. Work your way up your legs to you arms, chest, stomach, and back. This will stimulate the lymphatic system which is a great way to eliminate toxins. Your lymphatic system is responsible  for eliminating cellular waste products and if not working properly will cause a build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. This is just one of the many benefits of dry brushing. The list goes on to increase circulation, reduce cellulite, relieve stress, and improve digestion and kidney function. My favorite one is from Dirty Girl Farm. I do it for about 2-3 minutes before my shower everyday. It's so invigorating and a great detox habit to be addicted to.

 

2. Home Hydrotherapy (hot/cold showers)

Your skin is your body's largest and fastest growing organ. Your skin is your protective coat and barrier between disease and germs coming in and eliminating toxins out. We take care of our skin by cleansing and moisturizing, but what about detoxing it? Try your own little spa experience at home with alternating hot and cold showers. The hot water has relaxing properties, will soothe stress and open the pores. The quick jolt of cold water right after will aid in the elimination of toxins and reduce inflammation in the body. Together it helps to improve circulation and makes your skin glow. This can be done any time you take a shower and is a quick way to detox you from feeling sluggish.


3. Foam Roll

If you aren't familiar with what a foam roller is, you can look one up and purchase one right here or you can pick one up at your local sporting goods store. A foam roller is used to stretch out your muscles before and after a workout or even after a stressful day. When you workout really hard or are under a bunch of stress it builds fascia in your muscles. The foam roller works to remove the build up and recover muscles more quickly than just stretching alone. It also helps improve flexibility and reduce stress. Try it everyday for 5 minutes at night and note the difference in your body at the end of the week. You can look up some videos on YouTube about how to properly foam roll your body.

4. Have "a" green juice

You don't have to juice all day, every day, for 5 days straight to experience the benefits of juicing. Just one green juice as a meal replacement is enough to send forceful signals to your organs to start eliminating toxins. Choose juices with ginger and lemon for their anti-inflammatory properties and cleansing effects.

Try my Liver detox green smoothie!

5. Eat Soluble Fiber

Most Americans do not reach the amount of recommended dosage of fiber a day. Women should consume around 25 grams of fiber a day and men should come in around 38 grams a day. Fiber helps keep waste moving through your intestines and aids in elimination of toxins through the liver. It also helps to boost the good bacteria in your gut to keep everything healthy and running smoothly. Eating fibrous foods will also keep you full longer, so you are less likely to go looking for sweet or salty snacks later. Try adding some oats, lentils, beans, dark leafy vegetables, or fruits to your diet to get the amount you need. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help digest these foods.

XO Jaclyn Renee


granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Many of the products I use to detox are from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

 

 

 

 

 

Is your skincare messing with your hormones?

Our skin is the largest organ of the body. It contains three layers to protect us, but readily absorbs everything that is applied and enters it into the bloodstream. As a society, we are consumed with tons of lotions, potions, and creams to help with anti-wrinkle, anti-age, and acne fighting. Almost all of those products contain harsh chemicals and parabens to make the products work but as you may be seeing results on the outside, you could be doing some permanent damage on the inside. As those chemicals penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream, our immune system is compromised. It hinders our bodies ability to fight off disease and eventually will lead to serious issues like auto-immune diseases and cancers.

Did you know that The United States has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938? How can that be? How is that even legal? Those were my thoughts exactly when I started investigating my products 5 years ago. Beyond that, other countries have put a complete ban on over 1,300 chemicals in the formulas of personal care products and restricted the levels of over 250 more in such products. The United States has only partially banned 30 to date.

This means that unwillingly, we have been exposed to over 1,200 chemicals and toxic ingredients that we had no knowledge over. It's time we take back our health. We have the power to reduce our exposure by staying educated and switching to non-toxic products. 

According to breastcancer.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the most reliable, complete, and up-to-date information about breast cancer, these toxic ingredients are considered hormone disruptors. This can affect how estrogen and other hormones act in the body, by blocking them or mimicking them, which throws off the body's hormonal balance. Because estrogen can make hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer develop and grow, many women choose to limit their exposure to these chemicals that can act like estrogen.

So, why is excess estrogen bad? By disrupting the hormones and increasing estrogen in the body, you can experience all sorts of side effects. 

  • bloating
  • swelling and tenderness in the breasts
  • decreased sex drive
  • irregular menstrual periods
  • headaches
  • mood swings
  • fibrocystic developments in the breast
  • weight gain
  • hair loss
  • cold hands or feet
  • feeling tired or lacking energy
  • difficulty with memory
  • trouble sleeping
  • increased symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or PMS

Prolonged exposure to excess estrogen or ignoring these symptoms can result in many long-term health concerns such as infertility and cancer.

This does not only effect women. When men are exposed to excess estrogen they will have many side effects too.

  • Infertility. Estrogen is partly responsible for creating healthy sperm. When estrogen levels are high, sperm levels in semen may fall. This can lead to fertility issues.
  • Gynecomastia. Estrogen may stimulate breast tissue growth. Men with too much estrogen may start developing larger breasts.
  • Erectile dysfunction. A balance of both testosterone and estrogen is important for healthy sexual growth and development. Sexual function may be impacted when these hormones become imbalanced. Men with high levels of estrogen may have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection.

As annoyed as my hubby gets each time I take a product away from him and replace it with a non-toxic version, he understands that its not worth putting that on or in his body and experiencing these symptoms. 

Switching to organic, vegan and gluten-free products is a good start, but there are even more hidden chemicals out there that they sneak in. Here are my top 3 worst ingredients.

  • Synthetic Fragrance: an engineered scent or flavoring agent that may contain any combination of 3,000-plus stock chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens. Fragrance formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets and therefore can remain undisclosed. Found in: all types of cosmetics.
  • Parabens  (methyl-, isobutyl-, propyl- and others): a class of preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Parabens are endocrine (or hormone) disruptors, which may alter important hormone mechanisms in our bodies. Found in: shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, body lotion, foundation.
  • Phthalates  (DBP, DEHP, DEP and others): a class of plasticizing chemicals used to make products more pliable or to make fragrances stick to skin. Phthalates disrupt the endocrine system and may cause birth defects. Found in: synthetic fragrance, nail polish, hairspray, and plastic materials.
     

But that's just scratching the surface. It's time to investigate your products and starting to make the switch. You can find my full printable PDF guide "Toxic No-No's" here. Print it out and cross check your products to ensure that you are being safe when you smear it on.

Here is a list of my favorite non-toxic beauty brands.

1. Kenna Nicole Products (for perfume and safe candles)

2. Dirty Girl Farm (for beauty and home products)

3. Dauphine Beaute (for the perfect skin care regime, use code JRW20 for discount)

4. Juice Beauty (for makeup)

5. Beauty by earth (for sunscreen)

In addition to your beauty care line, you may want to take a gander into your home cleaning products too. One of my favorite resources for shopping dry food items, healthy beauty, and clean home products is Thrive Market. They have every product I want and you can get up to 40% off retail pricing! Organic, gluten-free, non-toxic, and safe for everyone. You can even shop by specific needs. Shop this link for Thrive Market and get an additional 20% off your first three orders!

If you suspect that you are having hormonal balance issues and would like some help in making changes and healing your body, start here with your 30 minute consultation and health history. 

Making small changes can have an incredible impact on your short-term and long-term health. I encourage you to be an investogator for you and your familiy's wellness.

XO Jaclyn Renee


granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

 

 

 

 

Do you have food sensitivities?

Food sensitivities and related diseases affect nearly 100 million people worldwide. These sensitivities can cause a wide variety of illnesses ranging from skin rashes and headaches to chronic intestinal disease. 

The first thing that is the most important thing to understand is the difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity. A true food allergy causes an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body. Most of the time these reactions can be life-threatening or take the person down for days. This is common in allergies to things like nuts or gluten. A food sensitivity is much less problematic but more of a chronic annoyance. It causes smaller reactions and is usually connected to digestive issues. These are the most common symptoms that people experience with sensitivities:

  • Anxiety - Depression
  • Bloating - Stomach pain
  • Headaches - Sinus issues
  • Inability to lose weight
  • Impotence - Low libido
  • Fatigue - Insomnia
  • Joint Pain
  • Constipation - Diarrhea
  • Poor concentration - Brain fog
  • Craving Sugar

It is very important to understand that symptoms from sensitivities can often be delayed. One may not experience any issues until a day or two later making it difficult to pinpoint the culprit. Also, it is not only toxic triggers such as gluten or dairy that cause such a response. In fact, even healthy foods like fish, grains, and vegetables can bring on inflammation.

Often times, food intolerance can occur because of inflammation in the digestive track and or Leaky Gut. Leaky Gut is when you have experienced digestive issues chronically and the lining of the colon becomes weak, letting food particles and toxins leak into the bloodstream. This can be remedied with diet and lifestyle changes. Before you start to get tested for sensitivities, join my private Facebook Group JRW Crew to get access to me free 5-day fix to Beat the Bloat. Try to focus on these specifics for at least a couple weeks to see if symptoms subside first.

If you have tried eliminating toxic triggers or followed my guide for a bit and are still experiencing issues, then it is time to get tested. The test I turn to for all my clients is from the fully-integrated medical diagnostics company KBMO. Testing involves a simple finger prink and placement of blood on a small card. Then, the sample is sent to the lab with results arriving within 10-14 business days. This test measures sensitivity to over 132 foods, coloring, and additives spanning all the major food groups. If you suspect that you have problems with certain foods, this test will help you get to the bottom of it once and for all. Book a free consultation below to see if this test is right for you and have one sent right to your front door. 

Want additional guidance before, during, and after your test? I can help! Sign up for a 3-month mentorship with me, which will include an initial 90-minute session with me where we'll conduct the diagnostic test, and five follow-up sessions to work through the elimination of foods, personalized healing protocol, supplement strategy, and health lifestyle changes. 

To start your journey with me, sign up for a FREE Consultation todayOr you can shoot me an email at jaclyn@jaclynreneewellness.com

Living in constant pain is not a way to live, and technology has made it possible for us to understand our bodies and take action for our health. If given the opportunity, the body has an incredible ability to heal itself. 

XO Jaclyn Renee

** A core principle of the Jaclyn Renee Wellness program is to choose organic whenever possible. This includes all fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, flours, nuts, and even spices. Reducing your exposure to pesticides and chemicals is a major part in healing your body and preventing disease. 


granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

Eating for your macros: simplified

First things first... What is a macro??? A macro, or macro-nutrient, is a nutrient that provides calories or energy. Macro means large, so these types of nutrients are very essential to maintain a healthy body weight and keep your metabolism running properly. The second thing you need to know is that eating for your macros is not a fad diet. It is simply the daily nutrients and vitamins your body requires from food. By eating the right amount of these three nutrients, you can optimize your lean muscle mass, increase energy, fuel your brain, and stop cravings in their tracks. Plus, you can minimize the number of supplements or vitamins you take in a day since you will be getting your nutrients from actual food.

The 3 macro-nutrients are:  

•    Lean Protein
•    Complex Carbohydrates
•    Healthy Fats


The average person usually requires about 40 % carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30 % healthy fats. If you need an easy way to track this I suggest using the app My Fitness Pal. After you fill out your profile, you can see what your recommended macro and calorie intake should be for the day. You can find your macro percentages by scrolling down on your daily food log and tap on the bar that says nutrition. Although this is a great way to track your nutrients, I do not recommend using it for an extended period of time or to drastically count calories. Track for a couple days or so to get the gist of what an average day looks like, and then maintain by tuning into your body. 
Now we need to know how to properly fill our daily macros. Your body will tell you if you are not fueling properly by feeling tired or craving foods. The easiest way to keep in balance is understanding which foods fall under what category. Here is a list of healthy foods that will feed your body power energy.


Macro-nutrient list


Carbohydrates

•    All Vegetables (yes, vegetables are carbs, and the best ones that provide the most energy)
•    Fruit (berries are the best fruit because they are low-glycemic)
•    Sweet potatoes
•    Beans and legumes
•    Pumpkin
•    Oats
•    Buckwheat
•    Brown rice
•    Quinoa
•    Bread (my suggestion is Ezekiel bread or Udi's Gluten Free if it's not fresh)
•    Granola
•    Whole grain or brown rice pasta

Protein

•    Meat
•    Fish
•    Chicken
•    Eggs
•    Protein powders
•    Chia seeds
•    Hemp seeds

Healthy fats

•    Avocado
•    Olive oil
•    Coconut oil
•    Avocado oil
•    Butter or Ghee
•    Nuts (organic, raw)
•    Nut butters
•    Dairy (partial protein, partial fats; count accordingly)


As always, our food should be organic. Check out my blog How to read labels to get a better understanding of what to choose when grocery shopping. This will guide you toward making better choices and knowing what is added to your food. Now you have all this information but you have to somehow put it on your plate and in your mouth. Here are some simple healthy meals that will fill your macros, and fuel you with energy to be the best you.

Breakfast

•    1/2 cup brown rice or quinoa, 2 scrambled eggs half an avocado
•    1-2 pieces of toast with ghee, 2-3 eggs, almond butter on toast
•    Chicken sausage and veggie scramble over quinoa
•    Plain coconut yogurt or organic plain yogurt, top with berries and nuts
•    Overnight Oats
•    Pumpkin Shake
•    Buckwheat Breakfast

Lunch

•    2 chicken sausages, sweet potato with coconut oil and cinnamon on top
•    big salad with tons of veggies, piece of protein, nuts, avocado, olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper
•    veggie or chicken stir-fry with avocado or coconut oil
•    tuna (made with olive oil sandwich) with tomato and lettuce on Ezekiel bread
•    3 hardboiled eggs and nuts on a big salad
•    quinoa bowl with kale, nuts, hummus, olive oil, balsamic vinegar

Dinner

•    4-6 oz protein, 1/2 cup brown rice or quinoa, veggies with butter, ghee, or olive oil
•    sautéed tofu and spinach in avocado oil and sesame seeds over brown rice or quinoa
•    meat sauce over spaghetti squash, a little Parmesan if you eat dairy
•    brown rice pasta tossed with olive oil, tuna, peas, carrots and onion
•    breakfast for dinner?? 3-6 egg white omelet with a side salad and a piece of Ezekiel toast

I'm sure you are catching my drift now. These suggestions are in no way intended to be the only options of food to eat. Play around with it. If you go way over your macros in one meal (a huge bowl of pasta) you can even it out by lightening up on that nutrient the next meal. The most important thing is to fill your plate with healthy food first to eliminate the bad. Eventually you will crave less junk food and enjoy feeling better from real food. Remember to keep it simple. Staying in a normal balance of whole food macro-nutrients is a sure-fire way to reach your goals.

XO Jaclyn Renee

** A core principle of the Jaclyn Renee Wellness program is to choose organic whenever possible. This includes all fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, flours, nuts, and even spices. Reducing your exposure to pesticides and chemicals is a major part in healing your body and preventing disease. 


granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

5 yoga postures to ease anxiety and digestion

Everything in the universe in within you. Ask all from yourself.
— Rumi, a favorite quote from my featured guest Soojin Kim

Many people are familiar with the popular term mind-body connection, such as a "gut feeling" or an intuition, but how much do we know about the brain-gut connection? With this I am referring to experiencing distress in the gut and it linking completely to how you think, act, or react to situations. This is your second brain triggering in your gut. According to the Harvard Medical School, the brain has a direct effect on your stomach and vice versa. Thus, linking much of anxiety or stress to constipation, bloating, gas, etc.. Basically, these issues go hand and hand and to really resolve these chronic symptoms we must challenge ourselves to find peace mentally to find success physically.

When I sat down with one of my favorite yoga teachers Soojin Kim of  Citizen Yoga, I wanted to dive in with her on this topic and to get her take on the brain-gut connection. Although she has only been teaching yoga for 4 years, she is wise beyond her years. Her approach to yoga comes from a healing aspect and every posture or movement has a purpose. She focuses on the hips, unwinding digestion and elongating the spine. We discussed the intentions of yoga, health, food and many other topics of healing the body holistically. Her connection with yoga comes from the root of medicine, Ayurveda. 

Ayurveda Is India's 5,000-year-old medical system and preaches the art of daily living in harmony with the laws of nature. It is the key to curing disease by balancing the body's three fundamental energies, or doshas (vata, pitta, kappa) and an equally vital balance among body, mind, and soul or consciousness. The body, if given the opportunity, will always heal itself, so she encourages to look inside for the answers and work with your body, not against it.  
What is your dosha?

Soojin taught me one of the most important parts of healing both digestive and anxiety in Ayurveda medicine is through breath, Ujjayi, and a daily yoga practice. Like me, she had suffered chronic digestive issues too and found the daily practice of both coupled with some dietary changes to be the ultimate path to her success. Since meeting with Soojin, I have been practicing the postures and have seen great relief. I feel calmer on a daily basis and my head feels more clear to make creative decisions. I also feel longer, leaner, and less tense in my neck and shoulders. The breath has also taught me patience, which has made me a better listener. Follow her guide below and you will instantly see relief after. 

It all start with the breath. Ujjayi - ocean breath. 

Find yourself a quiet environment with no distractions. Sit on a blanket or a block so your hips are higher than you knees. Keep your hands light in your lap or on your knees and your shoulders down your back. Keep you eyes, jaw, and tongue relaxed and with that take 3 deep cleansing breaths by inhaling through your nose and a big relieving exhale through your mouth. Close your mouth. On the next inhale through your nose imagine that you are breathing in through a straw and as you exhale through your nose take the breath down the back of the throat. Let the exhale continue down the spine to the low belly until you feel like you cannot exhale anymore. Pause at emptiness. Feel low belly hug, or tone in, without forcing it. Start your next inhale from low belly where you finished the breath and continue in that circular motion. As you build the breath it should start to sound like the ocean. Just like that, soft and easy, continue the breath for about 5-10 minutes.

Posture #1 - Reclined Butterfly - Supta bad konasana

This posture is both restorative and a gentle hip opener. In Ayurveda, we find balance by incorporating the opposite. If you experience symptoms like heartburn, gas, and diarrhea most like pitta dosha does, you will find relief here. If you are an extremely active person or tend to run hot, this pose can counter that by sending signals to the nervous system and prompting it to relax and feel grounded. If you are a vata dosha, then it would be better to fold foward in butterfly to release gas and to warm the body as vatas are often chilled.

Lie on your back with a vertical blanket along your spine, feet are together and knees are wide. Start with blocks under the thighs to support you and if you have more space you can remove them.  Keep your heart and 3rd chakra lifted which is where you will find self-worth and confidence. Stay in this posture for 5-10 minutes keeping focus on your Ujjayi breath. 

 

Posture #2 - Supported bridge - Setu bandha sarvangasana

This posture is also soothing to the nervous system. If you are fast reacting or anxious, this pose will help cool the body. Pitta dosha tends to get hot quickly.  Back-bends lift the diaphragm while creating length in the abdomen easing digestive discomfort.. When we experience digestive issues, we connect it to the mind as well. Grounding postures like bridge will keep the nervous system calm and release the digestive strain. keeping the chin tucked to the chest in this pose will help stimulate the thyroid and regulate your metabolism.

Lie on your back. Bend knees and place feet flat, hip-width apart. Place a block or blanket under your low back above your glute pack. For the advanced version, skip the support and lock your hands under you body. Tuck your chin to chest, relax your jaw and breath in this posture for 1-3 minutes.

Posture #3 - Seated twist - Ardha matsyendrasan

This posture is helpful for toning the low belly and creating fire. Kapha dosha, who have slow digestion, will find that seated twists help ignite the fire from within and aid in the removal of toxins, constipation, and gas. These symptoms can bring on irritability or a feeling of being energetically heavy. Regular abdominal twists will help keep the fire going and spark the metabolism. It will also help to generate circulation easing chronic digestion and improving lung capacity. . 

Sit on the floor with legs straight out in front of you. Bend right leg and place over left leg close to the knee. Place right hand close to your right hip and left elbow over your right knee. Lengthen your torso on the inhale and twist the belly on the exhale. Keep ocean breath going and stay here for 1 minute. For the advanced version you can swing the left  foot towards the right hip.

Posture #4 - Revolved triangle - Parivrtta Trikonasana

This posture will lengthen the esophagus helping to relieve heartburn or or gas build-up. Similar to the seated twist, the triangle will also massage the organs as well as create bloodflow and circulation.  This standing posture lifts the diaphragm as well as lengthen the esophagus towards the top of the stomach. This is wonderful to alleviate acidity and feelings of anxiousness or worry.

Stand with left foot about 3 feet in front of the right. Left foot will be facing forward and right foot will be on a slight angle,  Place right hand on a block or you can use books if needed. (something stable) Start with left hand out to your side. When you feel comfortable there, you can advance to lift the left arm in line with the shoulder and open the chest. Hug towards the spine, yet lengthen the body. Again, stay here for about 1-3 minutes maintaining the breath. 

 

Posture #5 - Suported shoulder stand - Salamba Sarvangasana

Iversions are most beneficial for the heart. Lifting your feet overhead creates a rush of blood back to the heart, relaxing and slowing the heart beat. This is great for a sudden bout of anxiety, If you are experiencing heartburn or running hot, start with some of the other poses first to cool the body and then finish with an inversion. Ending here, for pitta, will help calm irritability. Like the seated twist, this pose is helpful for Kapha dosha, or slow digestion, and will relieve constipation. Also, bringing the chin to the chest again will help stimulate the thyroid. Since inversions also help with a reduced appetite and insomnia, the vata dosha can benefit from this posture as well since they tend to live very busy lives and have inconsistent sleeping and eating habits.

Lie on the floor and place a blanket under the shoulders. Lift feet over head and place hands on your low back creating a strong shelf.  Draw chin towards chest and keep your breath moving. If you feel comfortable here and want to challenge yourself more, take your feet slowly behind you head.. You can also do one foot at a time.

supported shoulder - advanced.JPG

If you find yourself having random bouts of digestive issues or are starting to feel anxious, the best thing is to stop what you are doing and take breath. Even just a few minutes in any situation can help calm the nervous system and restore your mind. If you are experiencing chronic issues everyday, I would recommend practicing this flow on a daily basis. If you are new to yoga and want to learn more, check out Soojin's basics class at Citizen yoga in Detroit on Wednesdays at 8pm. If you are slightly more advanced, check out her Monday/Friday slow flow at 11:15. You will be floating after it!

As always, along with this practice and the Ayurvedic way, we can use food as medicine. Toxic triggers like sugar, alcohol, and caffeine only play into anxiety, depression, digestive issues, and chronic fatigue. Steer clear from these as much as possible when healing your body and reach for dark leafy greens, raw nuts, and healthy oils like ghee and coconut oil to soothe your condition and find relief fast.

XO Jaclyn Renee

granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

 

 

Top ten super foods you should be eating now

What is a super food? A super food is a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. They are packed with antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Eating them will help reduce the risk of chronic disease and prolong your life. Super foods are very versatile and can easily be added to any meal. 

I have many recipes on my blog that include at least one super food per recipe. You can start small and work your way up to incorporating more each day. They can easily be sprinkled over soups, salads, or even blended into smoothies. Because these foods are in the "super" category there are at least 10 benefits to each. I will showcase the most important benefits from each food to help you incorporate it into your diet appropriately.

1. Hemp seeds

This seed is what Jaclyn Renee Wellnesas is all about.  Small in size but boasts many benefits such as improvements in digestion, hormones, and metabolism. You will find hemp seeds to be an incredible source of protein with 10 grams in just one scoop. I use hemp seeds in all of my smoothie recipes as my source of protein instead of a packaged protein powder.  

2.  Chia seeds

Beleive it or not, chia seeds have more calcium than dairy. Many people develop an intolerence to dairy as they get older so this is a great way to strengthen your bones without the negative side effects. You can make chia seed pudding for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

3. Sunflower seeds

Healthy sources of fats like those found in sunflower seeds are actually the building blocks for cell membranes.  They allow your body to balance hormones and help low down absorption of food during meal time.  This allows you to go longer without feeling hungry.  Sprinkle some sunflower seeds over your salad or have a jar on hand as an easy snack.

4. Flax seeds

Flax seeds are a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and phytochemical lignans which are known to decrease the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.  A teaspoon or two a day can lower you LDL cholesterol. The soluble fiber content of flax seeds trap fat and cholesterol in the digestive system so that it unable to be absorbed. It is also a great way to get your daily dose of omega fatty acids if you don't like fish. Add to smoothies, soups, or simply sprinkle it on any food as it only has a mild nutty taste. 

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5. Walnuts

There is a reason that walnuts are shaped like a brain. Walnuts contain a number of neuroprotective compounds including vitamin E, folate, melatonin, omega-3 fats, and antioxidants. Research shows that eating an ounce a day can help protect the brain from degeneration and improve cognitive function. Start your day out with the breakfast to fuel your brain for the day.

6. Cacao powder

Like chocolate, cacao powder contains flavonoids which are known to help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the brain and heart. With fewer than 15 calories per tablespoon and zero sugar, cacao provides a strong chocolate flavor without the guilt. Cacao is also high in magnesium which many people are deficient in. Magnesium fights acid buildup, neutralizes toxins, and calms the nervous system. Try a scoop in your smoothie for a rich chocaltely taste. 

7. Goji berries

Looking for something sweet in the afternoon? Replace the office candy with this vitamin C and fiber packed  fruit. The list of benefits include the ability to help you fight disease, effectively manage your weight, and experience better digestion. They have also been used in traditional Chinese medicine to boost vitality, energy, and stamina. Add them with other nuts to make your own trail mix for travel or a long day at work.

8. Coconut oil

Known as the oil that can "cure everything" coconut oil contains more health benefits that I can fit into one tiny blog. Many of my collegues who write about coconut oil end up with 25-100 benefits in one article. The most important thing you need to is that it has incedrible anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. The list of ailments that rise from those two issues are huge. From major diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer to small symptoms like digestive issues, joint pain, and the common cold .  For a better list and more information on coconut oil, check out Dr. Axe's article on how coconut oil may save your life. 

9. Ghee

Ghee is simply organic butter that has been clarified to remove the lactose and casein component. If you have a hard time digesting dairy products but want all the health benefits of it then ghee will be your saving grace. Ghee (unlike other oils) is rich in butyric acid which is a short chain fatty acid. This is very beneficial in healing and stregthening the digestive track. Research shows that adequate production of butyric acid also supports the production of killer T cells in which can assist in healing and strengthening the gut.

10. Chaga mushroom

Chaga contains structural polysaccharides which provide energy, improve cardiovascular health, and promote healthy blood sugar levels. It is also very beneficial for people who suffer from digestive issues. The appearance of chaga can be deceiving as it looks like a big hunk of clay, but don't let its appearence fool you. Chaga is mostly consumed in tea form. Steep one chunk in hot water and sip throughout the day.  

All of these super foods can get quite expensive. I buy all my dry pantry and smoothie making goods from Thrive Market. They have all the brands I love at a fraction of the cost. Plus, they give back to the community. Click here to check out my Thrive Market offer for 20% off your first 3 orders!

I understand that it can be overwhelming to introduce new foods into your lifestyle. You do not have to eat every single super food to get the benefits of better health. Try one or two that speak to you and incorporate them daily. Check out some of the smoothie and breakfast recipes on my blog. Many of them include the superfoods right in there. As well as incorporating healthy foods into your diet.  Stress can play a huge roll on your immune system and energy level as well. Reduce stress on the body by taking deep breaths, a long walk, or a hot bath. 

Happy, healthy healing!

XO Jaclyn Renee


granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Hello glow, Goodbye dry

From the moment I flip on the heat in early November, I'm battling dry skin. It seems like I could drink an entire pool of water and I still am scratching. Last year I tried lotion after lotion to seek moisture but nothing would help. 

Then I started to investigate my beauty products early this year and had a huge "aha" moment. For one, I was basically slathering toxic ingredients all over my body by not investigating the ingredients in my products. Eeeek! Second, I was going about treating my skin the wrong way. I started to research products and what really caused dry skin. Since going chemical free in all of my beauty products like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, makeup, etc my skin has been way less dry. Plus, I've seen some relief in my constant sneezing and allergies.

From there I developed a quick 4-step guide to keeping skin incredibly soft and moisturized through the whole winter season. It will exfoliate the dead skin, keep you soft and glowing, and even detox the body from the inside out. 

Step 1:

Dry brushing

Dry brushing is an incredible self-care ritual used to exfoliate skin, detox organs, and aid in elimination through the lymphatic system. When applied to the body in circular motions it stimulates bloodflow and helps the body eliminate waste. Start the ritual on dry skin with a dry brush on your ankles and work you way up the body slowly towards the heart. At the very end pay attention to the chest, breastbone, and underarm area as this is where the lymphatic system drains. Dirty girl farm makes my favorite dry brush.

 

Step 2:

Slather your body with coconut oil. Take your time and massage tight spots of the body. Use the same method and flow of the dry brushing as you work your way up. Make sure to get every crevice with the oil and finish by rubbing behind your ears and earlobes. This daily ritual is relaxing and will help de-stress the mind. Since we are putting it on the body and not eating it, I opt for a slightly less expensive brand like Trader Joe's. Their Organic virgin coconut oil is a steal at $5.99 a jar. Don't like the smell of coconuts? They also carry an extra filtered option with no smell. 

 

Step 3:

Only wash the privates

Trust me, there is no amount of dirt on your body that won't come off with a little warm water. In the summer, we sweat more and are exposed to more outdoor activities.  That is why in the winter, I like to leave the soap to just my private parts (where the sun don't shine as they say!) Plus, this will keep the coconut oil active as a moisturizer throughout the day. It's extremely important to use non-toxic soap and other beauty products on your body. Your skin is your largest organ and the most absorbing. Fragrances, parabens and many other toxic ingredients will disrupt your hormones by increasing estrogen levels. Overtime, this can be very harmful to your adrenals and endocrine system and could result in diseases as alarming as cancer. My favorite gentle soap is the Citrus Mimosa Body Wash from my go-to non-toxic beauty line Beautycounter. It has a light citrus scent from natural essential oils and keeps me clean without overdrying. 

 

Step 4: 

Dab and slather

After your shower, just lightly dab yourself with the towel instead of rubbing the water off. While you are still a little wet, slather lotion all over your body and let it soak in while you finish getting ready. I like to keep my scents consistent even if they are natural. Beautycounter makes an excellent lotion to pair with the body wash in the Citrus Mimosa scent. In the past, when I have tried a non-toxic lotion, I was left with a gunky mess. This light lotion goes on clean and keeps me hydrated all day. The consistency is perfect and it's easy to rub in. Citrus Mimosa Body Lotion

 

Voila! There you have it. Gorgeous, glowing skin through the whole winter. I know what you are thinking... Do I have to do this ritual every time I shower??? Personally, I like to do the whole routine twice a week. It's a nice treat for myself to rejuvenate and unwind. Always repeat steps 3 and 4 when you shower. Also, this could easily work with a bath. Follow the same steps and throw in some Epsom salts for an added detox benefit. Remember, we cannot serve from an empty vessel so use this ritual as a method of taking care of yourself. Light a candle and play some music that puts you in a good mood. It's a great way to start a busy day or relax after a long one. 

Xo Jaclyn Renee

** A core principle of the Jaclyn Renee Wellness program is to choose organic whenever possible. This includes all fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, flours, nuts, and even spices. Reducing your exposure to pesticides and chemicals is a major part in healing your body and preventing disease. 


granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

5 tips to heal your gut

Do you feel like you are constantly bloated and tired? Do you feel like no matter what you eat, healthy or not, your stomach is upset.? You may be experiencing chronic inflammation in your gut. Inflammation in your gut does not only limit you to digestive issues. Many other issues can come along with it including joint pain, chronic fatigue, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, acne, and many more. Society has taught us if there is a problem then to make it better you just have to take a pill to fix it. While that may be true for some cases, healing your gut is not one of them. In fact, taking any medications in general disrupts the healthy bacteria, or flora, that we need to keep our immune system strong and digest food properly. 

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, then it is time to start taking action. The key to healing is to nourish your intestines with good food and vitamins to reduce inflammation. The body is a beautiful force and given the opportunity, it has the power to heal itself. Follow these 5 daily tips and you will feel better fast. If you have been experiencing digestive issues for a long time, you may have to continue these things for the rest of your life. My recommendation is to try these tips daily for 6 weeks and note how you feel. Has your bloating gone down? Do you have more energy? If so, then there is no harm in continuing for preventative care. If you fall off and feel sick again, you can pick up any of these tips again to get some relief. 

1. Hot water with lemon and honey

First thing in the morning, boil some water and add a squeeze of organic lemon and raw honey. Warm food and drink will soothe the inflammation. Lemon is known for it's detoxing properties and will assist the liver in detoxing. Honey has many health benefits including it's anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. Together this will help flush any lingering bad bacteria and toxins and start the healing process off nicely. Trade this out for your morning coffee. Coffee on an empty stomach is very acidic and can cause early morning bloating without food in your stomach. It can also stress your adrenals and and spike your blood sugar level. If you need coffee, drink it after you've eaten a little something.

Organic raw honey

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Forget apples. A shot of this a day, will keep the doctor away for sure! With a list of health benefits longer than the line at Starbucks on a Monday morning, you will begin to see instant relief. I always recommend Bragg's apple cider vinegar (with the mother). This is one of the first things I teach my clients to do for general overall health. 

Bragg's apple cider vinegar

3. Eat slower and chew your food

These days everything is about instant gratification. Faster, stronger, better and now! If I had a nickel for every time someone told me they were busy, I'd be rich!! However, you cannot be too busy to sit down and eat food. It is the easiest way to help digestion. If you are gulping down your food in seconds, no matter what you eat, you will be bloated. If you don't chew your food thoroughly, you are allowing air to become trapped in your digestive tract which causes bubbles of gas. Also, the food is going down your throat so fast that the actual digestive process can not keep up and we miss out on essential nutrients and vitamins that we need. The process begins in your mouth with your saliva breaking down your food. Take the time to chew your food thoroughly and enjoy your meal.

4. Remove toxic triggers

The top toxic triggers for poor digestion are sugar and caffeine. They have got to go now! I know you are cursing me under your breath right now, but once you can get away from these things, you will be blessing me later. Both sugar and caffeine cause responses in the body that we are not equipped to handle. They spike our blood sugar levels and create a glucose response that forces us into a fight or flight response. This, in turn, puts a ton of stress on our hormone known as the adrenals. The more our body goes through this cycle, the worse the inflammation in our gut becomes. It also continuously forces the body to use glucose instead of our stored fat, making it near impossible to lose weight, especially in our belly. If you cannot live without caffeine, I recommend consuming it on a full stomach. Stick to decaf if possible or limit to one cup of coffee per day before 10am. For sugar, you can switch to natural sweeteners like honey, dates, or fresh fruit. Coconut palm sugar can be used as a sugar substitute for baking and such. It has a low glycemic index so it doesn't cause the blood sugar spike like white sugar. 

Organic coconut palm sugar

5. Eat cooked leafy greens

ESpecially cooked cruciferous vegetables. I love a great fresh salad but when your gut is inflamed it can be one of the worst things for it. Steam or saute leafy greens everyday with a healthy oil like olive or coconut, or ghee (clarified butter.) Try new dark greens like collards, bokchoy, spinach, chard, or kale. The greens make a huge impact on digestion and contain tons of fiber to support elimination. Don't be afraid to add them to breakfast with eggs or sneak them into soups. These are great for your skin too.

Consider a pressure cooker

Not too bad right? OK, maybe the sugar and caffeine one has you a little upset, but what have you got to lose? You've been suffering for too long and it's time to get relief. You can start slowly and incorporate one at a time or dive in and try them all together. Be advised that you might go through a little bit of a detox when you start to incorporate these things. You may want to start over a weekend so you can get plenty of rest or be prepared for the changes your body will go through. If you don't see positive changes after a week or two, then I suggest booking a  consultation so we can figure out what the root cause is. Book your consultation here. 

It is possible that you could be experiencing food allergies. If these simple steps do not do the trick, you can get tested for inflammatory foods through a simple finger prick blood test from a company called KBMO. I assist my clients ion performing the test. It takes about 2 weeks for the results. Once we receive them, we will meet and go over the necessary protocol to remove these foods and your 6 weeks action plan to heal the gut for good. 

Additional product worth noting! Try using collagen in your smoothies or food every day. Collagen and helps boost gastric juices and aids in restoring the lining. Purchase  JRW approved Vital Proteins marine collagen here.

Happy Healing! 

XO Jaclyn Renee 

** A core principle of the Jaclyn Renee Wellness program is to choose organic whenever possible. This includes all fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, flours, nuts, and even spices. Reducing your exposure to pesticides and chemicals is a major part in healing your body and preventing disease. 

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

5 Tips for a Healthy Holiday

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Let's face it. Not even the healthiest of people can withstand some of the most delicious traditional foods that come along with holidays. It's an overload of side after side until you wind up on the couch in the fetal position with tons of discomfort. We've all been there, but this year we can be prepared. Making a few of these small changes will assist you to a healthier holiday and less regret.

1. DO NOT skip breakfast

It's a common mistake to think that not eating breakfast will allow you to "save" your calories up for your indulgences later, but this move will hurt you big. Skipping breakfast will cause your body to go into starvation mode and have you snacking on not-so-healthy options or craving salt and sugar. It is important to maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day to lose weight and balance hormones. Stick to your normal schedule of 3 meals a day. Your breakfast should be a healthy mix of protein, fat and carbohydrates to keep you fueled up and away from the snack table.

2. Drink water

Holidays are always so distracting that we forget our simple daily rituals that make up a big part of our healthy lifestyle. When we deprive ourselves of water and become dehydrated the body will send mix signals and mistake thirst for hunger. Try drinking a couple 8-ounce glasses of water before you leave the house to go to your festivities to keep you body on the right track. Opt for hot tea, ginger is the best, to aid in digesting your food.

3. Hold off a bit on the alcohol - or skip it

The liver is the main organ of detoxification. Since the liver will already be stressed from an over consumption of food, you may want to give it a break for the day. If you are going to responsibly indulge in some adult beverages, make sure you do not drink on an empty stomach. Wait until you are sitting down to eat dinner to enjoy the beverage with your meal or after you've had a few appetizers. The body can only oxidize one drink per hour so try to stick with that theme throughout the day. Refill your wine glass with sparkling water in between to continue hydration.

4. Make a perfect plate

Some of you have heard me talk about eating for your macro nutrients in other blogs. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a healthy mix of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. When you make a plate, make sure to grab a little from each category. This will fuel your body properly with the nutrients it needs and help you bounce back the next day from the overindulgence. Wait at least 10-15 minutes before you grab a second plate and ask yourself before you go... Am I still actually hungry? For more information on Macro-nutrients, visit my blog here.

5. Wait an hour to have dessert

Immediately eating sugar right after a good meal confuses your digestive system and pushes the good nutrients directly into fat. Let your food digest for a good hour before you have some sweets. Or you can simply use your sweets as your "second dinner" later if you are hitting multiple family locations.  Excess amounts of sugar will put a lot of stress on your brain and endocrine system. We can reduce the amount of damage this does by simply checking in with our bodies after the meal and not eating the dessert until were hungry again. 

If you are looking for a good breakfast to fuel yourself with, you can try 3 of my favorite options:

Overnight Oats   Buckwheat Breakfast   Pumpkin Smoothie

An important word about the next day...

So, these tips flew out the window as soon as you walked into Aunt Ida's? You blew it right? So, you might as well keep eating bad, right?

Wrong!

It's what we do in the next 24 hours that can make or break you getting out of this hole and back on track. The morning after, try this green smoothie recipe. It has ginger and cilantro which will aid in reducing inflammation of the body and eliminate toxins from the liver and colon. Stick with high protein, high fat diet the next day so the body has time to process the carbohydrate and sugar overload. 

Happy Healthy Holidays!!

Xo Jaclyn Renee

** A core principle of the Jaclyn Renee Wellness program is to choose organic whenever possible. This includes all fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, flours, nuts, and even spices. Reducing your exposure to pesticides and chemicals is a major part in healing your body and preventing disease. 


granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

 

 

 

What is cupping therapy?

This past year at the 2016 Summer Olympics, we couldn't keep our eyes off of Michael Phelps. Partially because he's a 23 time gold medalist and a beast in the water, but also because of the strange looking circle bruises he had all over his body. Even though cupping has been used in China for thousands of years, it has just made it's way to America and is being integrated into health and wellness at a very fast pace. I first heard of cupping through my favorite beauty wellness aficionado Gwenyth Paltrow when she showed up to an awards show in a beautiful gown and the same cup like marks on her back. She raised quite a few eyebrows. After seeing Phelps and many other athletes sporting the circles, I decided I needed to investigate this for myself and see what it was all about.

What is cupping?

First things first, what does it actually do? Cupping is a therapy in which heated glass cups are applied to the skin along the meridians of the body, creating suction as a way of stimulating the blood and flow of energy. Cupping also releases tissues deep within the body to soothe tense muscles and stiffness associated with chronic back and neck pains, migraines, and fatigue.

Who is this service for?

Since this service is purifying for the body and helps with elimination of toxins, it is great for athletes, runners, weight-lifters, or anyone who is very active. It is also really good for women with hormonal balance or if you are trying to conceive. If the hormones are out of balance or you are producing a lot of estrogen, this service will help the body dump the excess hormone build-up through the lymphatic system. This is especially helpful when trying to conceive since it is difficult to get pregnant when you do not produce a sufficient amount of progesterone. Cupping is also very helpful for people who suffer from chronic sinus problems or are prone to sickness when the seasons change.

Many athletes will use this ancient method as their secret weapon to naturally reduce pain and heal muscles faster.

Who is this service not for?

Although cupping is a very healing service, it does come with it's list of contraindications. This service is not recommended for people with blood disorders, cancer, kidney or livers issues, dermatitis, diabetes, heart disease, or if you are currently pregnant. If you unsure if cupping is right for you, you can always consult a physician to get his/her go ahead.

Other great symptoms that cupping helps to heal

Cupping will also boost skin health for issues like acne, cellulite, and skin inflammation. Some studies have even found it equally or even more effective at treating acne than antibiotics. I don't know about you but I'd rather have a relaxing service like this done than take nasty medication any day.

Another popular use for the service is to treat respiratory issues and colds. Cupping helps improve immune function by moving blood and lymphatic fluid throughout the body, which is why it has been associated with the reduction in lung disease, allergies, infections, and asthma.

Lastly, and my most favorite purpose for cupping, is to improve digestion and increase elimination of toxicity in the body. The practitioner can manipulate the cup over your organs and stomach bringing blood flow to the area. This helps your body to detox toxic exposure and help your lymphatic system to rid your body of them faster. 

All of these things sounded amazing to me so I set out on a quest to find someone to provide this service for me. As fate would have it, not even 24 hours later, I came face to face with an amazing soul and beautiful business woman named Bryanna Jaro. She was new to the area after moving to Michigan from Wisconsin for her fiance's residency. We met at my favorite Friday beauty and wellness store Dirty Girl Farm. (You guys know I love their products by now). My face lit up when she started telling me she left behind a business as a successful esthetician and cupping specialist. Although I was supposed to drop in for a quick minute, I ended up chatting with her for at least an hour and by the end of it I was booking my first appointment.

Nervous and excited going in, Bryanna reassured me she would be gentle the first time to see how my body responded to it. Her home office is in Livonia and she has a lovely and very comfortable space where she runs her business out of. She took her time and explained to me that our lymphatic system is a great pathway for detoxification and that it would aid in my quest for balance in the body, especially in the hormones. (YAY!) Although most people would want to be quiet and zone out during such a relaxing and rejuvenating service, I wanted every detail. I wanted to share with all of you how much it can help us on our continual quest for optimal health and wellness.

The actual cupping part does not take that much time of the appointment, however, it's the massage and energy work and personalized care that Bryanna puts into the service that makes what she does so special.

She always starts the service with a full consultation. She takes into consideration your personal needs and ailments. Then she has you lying face down and starts the massage from the bottom of the feet and brings the energy upward to activate blood flow. She uses her own essential oil blends of yin and yang to balance the body and hormones. After 10 minutes or so of activated massage she begins cupping you back focusing on the areas that are important to you.

Following the back, she will have you turn over and perform a cupping facial. Bryanna starts with a light cleanser and exfoliator, all organic and chemical products, and then steams your face to open the pores. The cupping on the face is done with a small tube versus the large cups and is very gentle yet stimulating. Once the cupping is finished she applies a clay mask to assist in the detox process and then uses Photon light therapy specifically for your needs. Blue is for detoxing, red is for circulation and energy, and green is for cooling and calming. I'm sure you could guess which light I wanted!

 

As a connoisseur of relaxing and detoxing services, this is by far one I have benefited from the most. Not only has it helped my skin incredibly, but it has provided me with energy and has made my body feel less stiff and light. It has also helped with my digestion and shoulder pain. 

If you are interested in checking this incredible service out, contact Bryanna Jaro on her Facebook page or email her at liveearthywellness.com

XO Jaclyn Renee


granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

How to read labels

 How many of you have been confused by marketing tools on food labels? I know I've been tricked a time or two. The point of a food label claim can be to ensure you the food you are about to purchase is "healthy" for you, but in reality it  may be feeding you a bunch of bull. So, how do we know which food to choose? Here I decode all the food label claims one by one and and share what is most important for you to consume.

Antibiotic free

means that an animal was not given antibiotics during its entire lifetime. other phrases could include "no antibiotics administered" or "raised without antibiotics"


Cage free

means that the birds were raised without cages. However is does not indicate whether the bird was raised indoor or outdoors. If you are looking to buy eggs, meat, or poultry it is best to look for a label that says "pasture-raised."


Fair trade

means that the farmers and workers have received fair wage and worked in acceptable conditions while growing and packaging the product


Free-range

This term is unidentified by the USDA. It does not indicate that something is antibiotic free or hormone free, it only indicates that the birds have access to the outdoors so they can engage in natural behaviors.


GMO-FREE, NON-GMO

GMO's or genetically modified organisms. are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses, or other plants and animals. This is one of the most important labels.



Grass-fed

means the animals were fed a grass diet, their natural diet, rather than grains or animal by product, synthetic hormones, or antibiotics to promote growth. However, they may have been given antibiotics to treat disease so make sure it's antibiotic free as well.


Hormone-free

raised without added growth hormones. If they are given it, you will be eating it when you consume. Also look for "no hormones administered" and "no added hormones." Get a local butcher or farmer for your meats so you know where it comes from and how they are raised.


Pasture-raised

indicates that the animal was raised on a pasture where it is able to eat nutritious grasses and other plants rather than being fattened on grain. Farmers that pasture raise allow the animal to live in a humane manner and move freely to carry out natural behaviors


RBGH-FREE or RBST-FREE

Recombinant bovine growth hormone or recombinant bovine somatropin is a genetically engineered growth hormone that is injected into cows to artificially increase their milk production. It is completely illegal in European countries and Canada so why is it allowed in America?? Organic milk is rBGH free.


and last but not least...


Organic

For something to be labeled organic it must meet the following guidelines to qualify...

  • Abstain from the application of prohibited materials; synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and sewage sludge
  • Prohibit the use of GMO's 
  • Employ positive soil building, conservation, manure management, and crop rotation practices
  • Provide outdoor living and pasture for livestock
  • Refrain from antibiotic and hormone use in animals
  • Sustain animals with 100% organic feed
  • Avoid contamination during processing of organic products
  • Keep records of all operations

The best way to stay away from the bad labels and invite the good is to find a local farmer or meat manufacturing company that follows these protocols. DO your research! You may find buying from the local farmer will save you money in the long run. Personally, I get my meats from C Roy Farm in Yale, MI. They produce their own and get meats and poultry from other farmers in Michigan and have insanely good prices on Organic. I try to buy local for vegetables and fruits too, so do some Googling and try and find the best local spots in your area!

XO Jaclyn Renee


granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

Top 10 foods for hormonal balance and optimal fertility

Nutrition can play a powerful roll in helping a woman balance their hormones. If our hormones are unbalanced, it can affect many things in our health such as PMS, acne, mood swings, and fertility. The easiest and cheapest way to balancing them is to start with your food. 

Along with eating the food below, there are some other requirements to provide the best results. First, it is very important to choose organic. We are already exposed to enough toxic chemicals and pesticides, so the more you can keep away from them the better. If it is hard for you to afford all organic, then I recommend going by the guidelines of The Dirty Dozen. They set up a list of the foods that are genetically modified the most, so you can choose conventional when needed to save money. I also recommend finding and supporting a local farmer so you can be certain where your food came from. Living in a city or far from a farm? Head to Trader Joe's. All of their produce is non-gmo and their prices cannot be beat.

Second, your meat should be grass-fed, your fish should be wild-caught, and your chicken should be pasture-raised. Also, all of these should be raised without being treated with steroids or antibiotics. Eating meat or fish that has been administered these drugs can only raise your estrogen levels, which keeps your progesterone low, which makes you unbalanced. Catch my drift?

Lastly, even when you are eating all these healthy food items, stress can lay an elbow into your hormones too. Manage your stress levels by taking some deep breaths, walking, yoga, meditation, or reading a good book. Keep calm and read on!

Here are the top tens foods for balancing your hormones and optimizing your fertility.

1. Wild Salmon

Salmon is high in Omega3's and Vitamin B6, which helps regulate the hormones and ovulation, while also increasing cervical mucus and blood flow to the reproductive organs. Salmon is great to eat the few days leading up to your ovulation phase and during it.  

2. Avocados

High in mono-saturated fats, great for ovulation and has been shown to positively effect IVF outcomes. The healthy fats also help produce healthy eggs. A diet high in healthy fats is optimal for women TTC or achieve hormonal balance because it supports the endocrine system and brain function as well. Feeling extra stressed? Have an avocado a day to feed your brain and keep it calm. Jac's guac

3. Chickpeas

These pack a huge vitamin B6 punch, which are essential for the production of healthy progesterone levels, as well as improving sperm and egg development. Most women are estrogen dominant. Symptoms include mood swings, PMS, bloating, acne and infertility. Eating chickpeas in any form post ovulation (2 weeks before period) is essential in dumping the estrogen from your body properly. Yay for hummus!

4. Honey

Raw honey can help stimulate ovarian function. Honey is very healing to the digestive track too and contains numerous antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties. Try hot water with lemon and raw honey first thing in the morning.

5. Buckwheat

A naturally gluten-free grain that is rich in compound d-chiro-inisitol, which has been proven to drop insulin and testosterone levels, and increase rates of ovulation, thereby improving fertility. Try this during your menstrual cycle to replenish minerals and vitamins and start the body preparing for a new cycle and help ease PMS symptoms.
Buckwheat breakfast bowl

6. Leafy greens 

Spinach, Kale, collard greens, etc. are high in folic acid, which is essential for healthy ovaries and also reduces the risk of spinal cord or brain defects in infants. Also, they are rich in vitamin E, magnesium, and calcium, which promote a healthy cycle. They are essential post ovulation to rid the body of high estrogen levels and spark progesterone for a symptom free period or carrying a pregnancy. Shelley's Salad

7. Eggs

Full of vitamin D which is essential in maintaining healthy ovulation. Don't skip the yolks! They also contain vitamins like folate and Vitamin A. The quality of the egg is very important so make sure they are organic, free-range, pasture-raised and cage-free. Eggs will help boost vitamin D levels. but if you suspect you are deficient, it may be crucial to supplement until your levels come back up again. Have your levels checked with your physician or specialist.

8. Sunflower seeds

These seeds are full of Zinc which helps your body efficiently use progesterone and estrogen levels, and helps with DNA production that can support egg quality. Sunflower seeds are also very beneficial for a healthy (cramp free) cycle. Carry some around and use them as a healthy afternoon snack or throw them on salads like this one. 

9. Maca powder

Maca is a Peruvian herb that is incredible for balancing hormones, increasing energy, and supporting healthy adrenals, because it is rich in alkaloids. Maca comes in powder form and can be added to any smoothie since the flavor is mild. 

10. Tumeric

Tumeric and other "warming spices" such as cinnamon, coriander, cumin, cardamom, and black pepper are great for creating a drier, warmer environment that is ideal for conception. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and can aid in digestion. Healing digestion is very important for conception. If you are having digestive issues you may want to start by healing those issues first before working on hormonal balance or TTC. Try this turmeric tea latte for an afternoon treat. 

incorporate these foods daily and you should see some relief from your mood swings, PMS, fibroids, PCOS, and help with your ovulation to create a healthy pregnancy. If you don't see positive changes after one cycle, then I suggest booking a consultation so we can figure out what the root cause is.    

xo Jaclyn Renee

I'd love to hear your thoughts. If you make something yummy with this list, please tag me @jaclynreneewellness and #jrwapproved. Please feel free to leave comments and questions below.


granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

The top 5 foods that mess with your hormones and fertility

When balancing your hormones or TTC, there are toxins in the fertility world that are absolute no-nos. Even on a regular basis we should be avoiding these, but especially if you are experiencing hormonal symptoms like PMS, cramping, bloating, acne, or heavy bleeding. Also, during pre-conception, ideally 3 months before trying to get pregnant, it is imperative that you stay away from these items to optimize your cycle and get you pregnant faster.

1. Dairy

Dairy has become quite controversial today. Where it used to be a great source of vitamins and minerals and considered a top food on the pyramid, it has now become a source of inflammation and problematic for many women. Many of the cows in America are treated with a synthetic hormone called rBST to increase milk production. The synthetic hormone is full of estrogen and when consumed by humans can cause many illnesses and issues, especially directly related to your menstrual cycle, hormonal balance, and infertility. You can consume raw unpasteurized milk or Organic hormone-free milk in low quantities if it is hard for you to quit dairy all together.

A healthy alternative:

Full fat coconut milk. A healthy fat that is full of health benefits is a great substitute. Try mixing with water and blending in smoothies.

2. Caffeine

Caffeine can reek havoc on our endocrine system and hormones. When consuming caffeine, you are sending mixed signals to your cortisol levels causing your endocrine system to go rogue which can be very harmful to your adrenals. Cut back considerably or cut out completely.

A healthy alternative:

I know cutting out caffeine can be super brutal. Try incorporating half calf first, then decaf, then switching over to herbal teas that support healthy cycles and liver detoxification like raspberry leaf, dandelion root, and chamomile. remember to drink tons of water too.

3. Soy

Soy is one of two highest genetically modified foods in America. (#4 is the other!) Genetically-modified soy is full of toxic chemicals that are foreign to the body and put stress on our organ function since they do not know what to make of these chemicals. Soy mimics estrogen in the body too and can throw off hormones.

A healthy alternative:

If you are eating soy to avoid meat, try a healthier more supportive protein source like lentils, chickpeas and beans. Just remember to make you own from scratch and soak them prior to cooking to make them easier to digest

4. Non-organic corn

Like I mentioned before, this is the other highest genetically-modified food in America. Go for organic, non-gmo brands or from a farmer you trust. Bring your own chips to the Mexican restaurant! 

5. Sugar and simple carbohydrates (white starchy food like potatoes, flour, and bread)

Both of these food cause our blood sugar levels to spike immediately and our bodies then store the food as glucose, which is then stored as fat. This sends mixed messages to your cortisol levels and adrenals making it hard to utilize estrogen and progesterone effectively.

Healthy alternative:

For sugars, you can replace with honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar.  For simple carbohydrates switch to complex carbs like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat or other healthy grains to keep blood sugar levels even and keep energy high.

XO Jaclyn Renee

** A core principle of the Jaclyn Renee Wellness program is to choose organic whenever possible. This includes all fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, flours, nuts, and even spices. Reducing your exposure to pesticides and chemicals is a major part in healing your body and preventing disease. 


granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

 

 

9 daily self-care rituals for a happy mind and body

What do you say to someone when they ask, "How are you?" If your response is as expected of most women, you might say one of three things: stressed, busy, or tired. Those three words are overused in our vocabulary today. The most important thing we need to know is if we keep burning ourselves to the ground day after day, it can lead to some serious illnesses later in life. My personal experience with this was in my tenth year as a hairstylist. I was on my feet all day running around taking client after client, and if someone needed to be squeezed in I never said no. In the summer I would always take a few weekends off just to feel like I was able to enjoy it somewhat. By the time my weekend off came around, I barely wanted to do anything. I was a bump on a log. I was a bump on a bump on a log. I would sleep away the whole weekend and come Monday I was back on the grind again.

Sound familiar? I never felt like I was enjoying life and I always felt like I could never say no to other people which left very little time for just me. Me time is the most important time you can gift to yourself. Walking around exhausted and drained every day is no way to live your life. Now, I'm not saying that you should quit your job and move to Costa Rica to find peace in daily life. (Although wouldn't that be nice!) I'm merely suggesting that a quick 10 minutes of your day, or more of you have it, could be solely committed to "me time."

Adding in a few simple self-care rituals each day can reduce your stress, therefore cutting your risk of preventative disease and leading a healthier, more positive life. Who doesn't want that? So, let's start before your foot even hits the ground when you wake up.

Writing

Julia Cameron, an award-winning poet and author, wrote an amazing book called The Artists Way. The book was about unlocking your creative dreams and becoming the person, you want to be. Her core concept was to wake up and immediately write down anything you thought of in the morning. Get it all out. Every thought. It's not supposed to make sense at all that day, but the longer you did it the more things would come into perspective. Keep a notebook by your bed and get those thoughts out from the cozy comfort of your own bed. 

Stretch

Stretching gets the blood flowing through the body and helps to wake up the brain. It could be just a couple quick toe touches or raising your arms over head and leaning side to side. Be present in the moment and feel your muscles stretching. Take a couple deep breaths when you are moving around to help oxygen flow to you brain. If you are looking for some more intense stretches, I recommend this amazing book The Genius of Flexibility. It guides you to which stretches are the best for your specific mind and body ailments and uses resistance to gain strength and flexibility. It has helped with my anxiety and digestion very much. 

Dry Brushing

I know you've heard this buzz word around town and may be wondering where it came from. Dry Brushing is said to boost circulation, sweep away dead skin cells, stimulate the lymph nodes, improve digestion, diminish cellulite, and help the body to eliminate waste. Sounds amazing, right? It is! I recommend doing this before your shower in the morning and then slathering coconut oil all over before jumping in. Then only wash your private areas. Skin is soft and supple and you are energized for the day.

Dirty Girl Farm makes my favorite dry brush. Purchase here

Hot/Cold Hydrotherapy shower

I know! I know! It's early and the thought of a cold shower is making you cringe in your sponge bob square pants, but trust me, your body will love it! Post dry brush session, heat the shower up to a temperature you can stand. Rinse your whole body and get nice and toasty. Wash away the toxins from your dry brush session. Then, step away from the water and turn to full blast cold. Get the whole body under there. It's exhilarating! Repeat this 3-4 times and have yourself a happy day. This is also an extremely helpful remedy for when you are sick or hungover to help the body eliminate quicker. For a total body hydrating experience try my daily ritual, Hello glow, Goodbye dry.

Eat Breakfast

As one of the most important self-care rituals, leaving the house without the proper nutrition is like asking someone to put a hole in your head, literally. Your body has been in starvation mode all night. You must break the fast and feed the brain it's proper nutrients to keep your blood sugar from crashing and turning an innocent normal day into a sugar binge feeding frenzy. A proper breakfast contains all the macro-nutrients your body needs to fuel your day and keep you moving in the right direction. Sit down and enjoy it and now you've doubled the brain power. 

Try the Buckwheat Breakfast Bowl

Mid-day meditation

Or deep breathing if you haven't gotten into meditation yet. Ten deep breaths in the middle of a chaotic day is enough to ward away that crazy outburst you've been trying to avoid. Not to mention, the practice of deep breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for activities that occur when our body is at rest, countering the Sympathetic nervous system's fight or flight response. Think of the PNS as the calm sister and the SNS as the non-sympathetic crazy sister on the verge of a breakdown. I'm sure you can make time for a few quick breaths, right? If you'd like to get into meditation, I like the Headspace app. It's a great basic introduction into meditation plus the guys voice is swoon worthy and would help any woman go into deep relaxation. 

Epsom salt bath

Before bed, melt away the stress of the day by soaking your body in a warm bath. Just a half a cup of Epsom salts is enough to draw out lactic acid that accumulates during the day as we work. It keeps muscles and joints loose preventing injury and reduces your stress hormones.  Plus, it helps produce melatonin in the brain for a peaceful sleep. Add a drop or two of lavender essential oil and some baking soda for added detox and sleep benefits. If you are TTC and avoiding hot baths or you are short on time, you could start with a foot soak. We eliminate lots of toxins through our feet and they are the passageway for many organs. A 10-15-minute soak should do the trick.

Reading

Turn off all electronics at least 2 hours before bed. The stimulation on the eyes will disrupt your sleep patterns and keep you tossing and turning. Instead reach for a book to calm the brain for a restful sleep. Not getting enough shut eye can increase anxiety and reduce brain function. It is also commonly linked with weight gain and depression. 

Favorite current read - Rob Bell, How to be HERE

Disconnect (completely)

Completely disconnect from all electronics. Shut the computer and cell phone off, leave it at home, and venture out into the world "hands free." Maybe even for a whole weekend!!! Trust me, you won't miss anything. In fact, it will heighten your senses. You will have deeper, more meaningful conversations, and you will ground yourself. If you experience a small amount of panic at first, it's normal. You are just experiencing electronic detox. Push through it and connect with people, nature, and the small things of life. Take a long walk and literally smell the roses.  

A quick 10 minutes is all you need to get started on some of these self-care rituals. Start with one or give them all a try. You will find yourself humming to a different tune day in and day out once you add some body loving to your life. Making time for your health is one of the most important things you can do in your life, especially if you are a mom. Let's be honest, the world cannot survive without strong women, so let's keep us that way!

XO Jaclyn Renee


granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below!