In my practice, energy is the number one thing that I treat. 75-85% of my patients say they want better energy to change their health and their life.
One thing I see with my patients is they’re not getting enough protein in their diets and their energy is quickly zapped by mid-afternoon.
Without protein, we tend to eat more carbs. Simple carbs will increase your calories and insulin. Insulin stores fat so an increase in carbs will increase belly fat. Our bodies are wired for survival and will store excess carbs around our mid-section. A hundred years ago, this was great for easy access to stored food in case supply was low. Today, we don’t need the extra carbs and usually consume too many.
We were made to consume protein and not so many simple carbs, unless you are exercising hours a day and burning it off. We need to incorporate protein into every meal throughout the day. Meat, eggs, legumes are all great sources of protein.
If you are a poor sleeper, you may get fatigued by the afternoon. Then, we reach for stimulants like caffeine and simple carbs,and our insulin goes up. We feel good in the evening, but then can’t get into a deep sleep. Caffeine can stay in our systems up to eight hours after consumption so a mid-afternoon stimulant can wreak havoc on our sleep cycles. You get up the next day and you’ll hit that afternoon slump again because your body didn’t get the 8 hours it needed. And then the cycle continues.
Let’s break this cycle of zapped energy by making some easy changes to our lifestyle, and one of the first steps I take with clients is to make sure their protein intake is up. Protein keeps us satiated for longer periods of time and releases insulin at a normal rate. Remember to have some protein at every meal and keep snacks on hand like almonds, hummus, and walnuts.
We can all struggle with energy at times and when we lack it, depression can go up, especially this time of year. Lay the foundation for yourself by making little changes every day.
My free guide will help you with these energy needs. Download it and print it off for a quick guide for yourself!
What happens to your mood, weight and emotions in December?
In my practice and program, Optimal Health with Dr. Glenna, I am passionate about equipping women with the tools to look and feel their best which will empower them to strive to reach the truest, highest and healthiest version of themselves. One of the ways I support women is to address health and weight gain concerns.
Let’s talk about what we all might be dreading…HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN! It’s such an exciting time of year starting with Halloween this week, but it’s also the time of year where we can easily pack on the pounds. We might be stress or comfort eating, or simply relaxing more with our families at parties, and before we know it, 10lbs can creep on.
Why the 10 lbs weight gain in only a few weeks?
Don’t fear December this year! I’m going to talk you through how we can prevent the unhealthy weight gain, the guilt, the mood swings and more that can take us months to recover from physically!
Guilt and stress play a huge role in weight increasing. Stress can lead to mindless eating which causes us to not enjoy the holiday food but feel guilty which leads to more stress and unwanted weight gain and food cravings. Additionally, the comfort foods we crave are usually high in sugar and unhealthy fats and contribute to unhealthy weight gain, estrogen dominance, a suppressed immune system and increased inflammation.
Having small amounts of those foods will not harm us when we are healthy but when we are have a leaky gut, food sensitivities or hormones that are deficient or in excess even small amounts of these foods will cause symptoms such as headaches, poor sleep, frequent colds, bloating, and bowel irregularities to name a few.
The mid December crash can occur even after only a few weeks of multitasking, attending concerts, early family get -together’s, or eating too many holidays treats, Plan to enjoy the holiday parties and decide what you will have and don’t stress about the rest! One idea is to not start holiday eating until close to the holidays. Keep the first two weeks in December filled with real, whole foods that will support you during the holidays.
We also gain weight because we’re overwhelmed. The key is to begin eating well in November so you can begin December feeling good. Start the holiday season feeling comfortable in your own body, feeling rested so you have some wiggle room for the parties, and maintaining a positive outlook. All of these will help you conquer the holidays and help you enjoy them more. If you find that you’re having trouble coping with a busy December, rest, drink more water, and get enough protein from your diet. Avoid caffeine, sweets and alcohol. Eat really well the first two weeks in December, and then give yourself time to relax and enjoy the holidays.
What can you do for yourself?
Get on track in November. That is why I am offering my Optimal Health with Dr. Glenna program for November, which is the last time the program will be offered in 2017!
Today is the closing day for registration so If you are looking for a program like this, jump in today!
It includes 4 week of a weekly meal plan, recipes, education on our bodies, recommendations for a healthy life and a group of like-minded women to hold you accountable and share your wins and struggles.
This is YOUR time to end 2017 living your best self!
**The next round for Optimal Health will be offered in January 2018, so stay tuned!
Almond flour is a great alternative for someone following a paleo lifestyle or ketogenic diet. It can replace regular wheat flour if you are looking for wheat free or low carb option for cooking and baking.
Almond flour is low glycemic so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar. It is great for someone with diabetes.
Almonds are high in healthy fat like omega 3 and omega 6 and in high in protein. They are also anti-inflammatory. By consuming almonds, you decrease the risk of any changes in the colon which could lead to colon cancer.
When you buy almond flour, consider that you’re buying a multi mineral vitamin. Almonds are high in copper, Vit E, manganese, high in omega 3s and omega 6 fatty acids. It benefits the heart and helps circulation.
After opening, keep it in the fridge. They stay fresher in the fridge and oxidize less.
While it is more expensive to use for cooking and baking, when you invest in your health by using almond flour over an alternative, you’re investing a disease-prevention food and one that is high in protein and healthy fat.
For more information on healthy alternatives in cooking and baking, sign up for my latest Your Guide to Optimal Health. Prep week starts October 30th!
Today, I’m sharing a Switzel drink with you! This recipe has been around for years and years and is perfect for the fall months. It is tasty, good for you, and great for your family’s health.
With four simple ingredients, that you most likely have on hand, you can get tremendous health benefits like improved digestion, balancing blood sugar, and curbing cravings.
The main ingredient is apple cider vinegar (ACV) For this drink, you may use whatever kind you want, but as always, unpasteurized and organic is ideal.
Apple cider vinegar helps foster the good bugs in your body. While it is acidic, it creates an alkaline environment in the body once digested, and fosters the growth of good bugs in the body. The fermentation process starts with sugar from apples and mixing it with yeast. The yeast eats the sugar up. The yeast produces the good bacteria. ACV helps with digestion, heartburn and balances your pH.
ACV is also a great source of magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral we’re most deficient in and it reaches up to 300 hundred different pathways in the body.
This gentle detox is the perfect combination to balance blood sugar, get your lymphatic system going, and curb your cravings. It’s a great drink to have before meals for this reason!
You will need:
1 cup of hot water
1 TB ACV
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons of raw honey
**you can also replace the same amounts of cinnamon with ginger and honey with maple syrup
Mix in a shaker cup and pour into a mug. This is a great recipe to make, leave in the fridge, and warm up on the stove when you need a boost. Enjoy!
For more great recipes and tips, follow my business page HERE.
Food sensitivities and intolerances can occur in us all. If we’re symptomatic, we can be quick to relate those to our genetics or we may feel we’re destined to have these symptoms for life.
The most common intolerances we hear about in food are to dairy and gluten. Today, I want to shed light on dairy sensitivities and how you can feel better with just a few simple steps.
First, let’s talk about what symptoms you may be having from foods. Things like toxic weight, thyroid issues, constant headaches, imbalanced hormones, pain, acne, anxiety, and depression are all inflammatory responses the body can have when consuming intolerable foods.
There are also differences between having a true food allergy, an intolerance, and a sensitivity.
A true dairy allergy means your immune system overreacts to an allergen (dairy) by producing antibodies called IgE. These antibodies cause your throat to swell, vomiting and can be fatal. People with a dairy allergy should keep an epipen with them to counteract the response of consuming dairy, and they should not be consuming dairy at all.
Intolerance to dairy can be genetic and mean that a person lacks the lactase enzyme to break down food (or lactose intolerance). Dairy intolerance symptoms could be gas, bloating, or the slowing down of bowels, which people don’t always notice because it’s not as extreme or immediate.
Having a food sensitivity means that when we eat the food, we feel worse. When we don’t eat the food, we feel better. These food sensitivities can cause brain fog, sleepiness, fatigue, and can slow down pathways in your body
There are two ways to get tested for a food sensitivity that I recommend. In our office, we use Rocky Mountain Labs. We order test kits to test food allergies and they look for food sensitivities to 92 of the most common foods. The other way to test is to eliminate the most common triggers like dairy, gluten, and sugar from your diet. For an elimination diet to work, you must eliminate one food for at least 30-60 days to see if symptoms occur with reintroduction.
Dairy, in itself, is not a bad food. It has many valuable nutrients and in small amounts, can be good for you. It is, however, hard to digest. If you’re going to consume it, I recommend going organic because it has less hormones in it.
A sensitivity to dairy could be due to not digesting the proteins well or the casein morphines. If you are sensitive to the casein morphines, it would be nearly impossible to not consume some of your favorite dairy products, like cheese. So, in reality, cheese is addicting!
If you are sensitive to dairy, you may experience a low grade inflammatory response like inflammation in joints or the bowel. IBS is often associated with a dairy intolerance or sensitivity and not having enough “good” bacteria in your gut.
You can correct the problem by eliminating the food but to rid yourself completely of symptoms, you must eliminate it for time because it has likely caused leaky gut, adrenal fatigue, and more. By continually consuming food you are sensitive to, your body is staying in “fight or flight” state. In addition, systemic inflammation can get through the blood brain barrier and people with inflammation in the brain have higher rates of depression. Food sensitivity is causing the original inflammatory reaction which then travels and affects the brain.
If you have any kind of inflammation or symptoms, it would be beneficial to try an elimination diet to see what potential sensitivities you may have to certain foods.
In my program, Your Guide to Optimal Health,our meal plan is without dairy, sugar or gluten. I promise you won’t miss these foods as we have plenty of delicious dishes and protein in the meals we have.
I know that if you’re experiencing pain, inflammation, or any kind of symptom, it may be more convenient to take a pill. However, I want to highly encourage you to seek professional help and connect the dots on a different level. And as a medical professional, I understand the fear in stopping a medication that helps you feel better. I work to heal my patients from the inside out so they can gradually come off their medicine and live a long and happy life.
If you are interested in learning more about my programs, go HERE.
I would love to have you in the next round of Your Optimal Health starting in October.
Estrogen dominance is a condition where women (and men) can have deficient, normal or excessive estrogen, but has little or no progesterone to balance its effects in the body.
One of the first signs of estrogen dominance is headaches and migraines. We often don’t recognize that these can come from a hormonal imbalance because they may seem sporadic and not cyclical.
Other symptoms of estrogen dominance:
- Fat storing around the mid-section and hips
- Water retention & bloating
- Heavy menstrual cycles
- Spider and Varicose Veins
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Abnormal Paps
- Uterine fibroids
- Mood swings, depression
- Low sex drive
- Increased risk of autoimmune disease
- Increased risk of breast and uterine cancer
One cause of estrogen dominance is taking oral synthetic birth control. Taking an oral birth control contains more estrogen than our bodies can handle.
Xenoestrogens are harmful compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. Things like pesticides, plastics, cosmetics, and herbicides can cause estrogen dominance. You can easily reduce the amount of pesticides you intake by washing your non-organic fruits and veggies in a vegetable wash.
Stress is a huge cause of estrogen dominance. Stress steals progesterone to make cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone, leaving less progesterone in the body. You may not have too much estrogen, but by having high stress, you are left in an estrogen dominant state.
We get rid of excess estrogen through the liver so too much alcohol, drug use, and fatty liver can impair healthy liver function and build up estrogen.
Insufficient dietary fiber can lead to poor digestion, which leads to estrogen dominance. We need 35 grams of dietary fiber each day and often do not get it. Fiber binds estrogen, so to up your daily amount, consume more apples, pears, carrots, and greens. Probiotics are also essential to balance out estrogen in the body.
Alcohol consumption (as little as 1 drink) can increase your estrogen levels so be sure to give your body a break and take care of your liver. Drink lots of water and eat a balanced diet. When the liver is taxed with breaking down the alcohol, estrogen levels spike.
Additionally, nutrient deficiencies can lead to estrogen dominance. We need three main nutrients: B6, magnesium, and Zinc to break down estrogen. If you are low in any of these, you are at an increased risk of estrogen dominance and all the symptoms associated. Supplement with those by eating dark greens and cruciferous veggies.
Obesity in men and women encourages estrogen in fat cells and causes a decline in sex hormones. Men and women are at an increased risk of cancers when hormones are off balance.
Stay active by sweating out estrogen and exercise circulates your blood which goes through your liver to break down hormones. Work out at an intense level for 10-20 minutes to get your body moving.
Sleep deprivation inhibits melatonin, which protects against estrogen. Don’t eat right before bed, stay away from bright lights from your TV or computer late at night, and avoid caffeine after 12 pm. If you experience any of the above symptoms and aren’t sleeping well, you are not getting enough melatonin and are at an increased risk of developing cancers.
Review the above symptoms to see if you are estrogen dominant. If you are, there are key things you can do today to improve your hormone health. Eat more dark greens, exercise, get more sleep, lose weight, and lower your alcohol consumption.
Please share this blog post if you have friends that could benefit from this knowledge and, who are currently suffering and don’t know the cause. With this information, we can become proactive and move forward with our health.
Eliminating anything from your diet is not going to be without struggle, especially when it comes to addictive foods. Today, I want to discuss sugar, from its’ benefits to the negative impacts it can have on our bodies and brains and give you some practical ways to eliminate it from your diets.
Some benefits associated with sugar are better digestion, decreased inflammation in joints and in bowels, weight loss, and fat loss. Sugar can also give us more energy, which makes it appealing for us to be able to do more of what we love, with more energy.
Inside the body, however, sugar is quite destroying and addicting. Sugar triggers a release of dopamine in the brain which is our “pleasure center,” making it more addictive than certain drugs. Sugar can rot your teeth and cause them to erode by increasing the acidity in the body. Sugar lowers your pH, making your whole body more acidic. It can cause diabetes by overworking the pancreas, which is the organ responsible for insulin production and regulation. Sugar causes allover inflammation in the body and feeds candida (a common yeast in our body) which leads to an overgrowth state causing fungal infections. Sugar contributes to osteoporosis, stresses the adrenal glands and nervous system, and suppresses the immune system by lowering our white blood cell count, which we need to fight off cancers, viruses, and bacteria.
As addictive as it can be, there are some things you can do to eliminate sugar from your diet. The less we eat sugar, the less our body craves, but there are some healthy replacements as you try to lower your sugar intake.
Some healthy replacements of sugar are:
- Organic Maple Syrup
I also want to show the connection between triglycerides and fatty liver. When we consume too many carbs, they are broken down into sugars in the body that are stored by the liver as glycogen. When the liver is full, it converts to fatty acids. Fatty acids are stored in our tissue which would resemble more fat around your mid-section.
There is also an undeniable link between sugar and cancer in the body. Sugar increases insulin, which increases insulin-like growth and inflammatory factors that stimulate cell growth and fertilize tumors. When PET scans are done to measure the spread of cancer, radioactive glucose is injected in the patient. The scan measures the parts of the body that absorb glucose and cancer cells light up in response, which shows us how cancer loves sugar.
You can start today by making small changes. Eliminate one major sugar contributor in your diet. Switch to honey. Eat fruit for your sugar fix. Do not switch to artificial sugars like in diet sodas. Substances like aspartame damage the nervous system and cause headaches, seizures, dizziness, depression, vision problems, and are linked with obesity, diabetes and cancer.
Additional snacks to help with sugar cravings:
- Rice cake with almond butter
- Dark chocolate- 75 % or higher!
- Pears, berries, apples
- Green smoothies
- High protein snack – nuts, seeds, or snack with avocado
- Almond milk with real cocoa and Stevia
Also, just changing your environment can help with a sugar addiction. Go for a walk instead of hanging in the kitchen after dinner. Switch up what you normally do.
Together, we can make clean eating the norm and help get each other and our kids off of sugar!
My clients in Your Guide to Optimal Health with Dr. Glenna are seeing amazing results by cutting out sugar. Our meal plans are full of delicious, nutrient – packed recipes that will help you get over your sugar cravings once and for all. Our next round start in September 4th and I will be adding a vegetarian version of the meal plan so you have the option of either the regular ( non-vegetarian) meal plan or the vegetarian one. Your choice! If you are looking for support, accountability, and a healthy way to improve your health this program is for you!
I want to leave you with a healthy recipe that is yummy on your tummy, an overall anti-inflammatory and nourishing for your liver!
Turmeric Tea Recipe
TOTAL TIME: 5 MINUTES
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (powder or grated root)
- Pour coconut milk and water into the saucepan and warm for 2 minutes.
- Add in butter, raw honey and turmeric powder for another 2 minutes.
- Stir and pour into glasses.
Please share this article if you think it would help others!
A lot of the time when we’re craving something, really craving it, it’s because we’re missing something. Our body is telling us that we are missing a nutrient. And to get that nutrient our body is going to get it by having us crave something that will deliver it.
If we look at what we’re craving we can usually find the root to what our body is really looking for. For example, bread is a great source of nitrogen. But so is chicken or may protein sources. Craving chocolate means we’re needing some magnesium. We can find more magnesium in dark chocolate, but also in almonds. Craving coffee and tea, beyond a cup in the morning, means we may need to bring our iron levels up. And craving sweets, who doesn’t crave sweets at some point. Craving sweets could mean that you’re low in tryptophan. Tryptophan becomes serotonin in our bodies, the happy chemical in our brains. If you’re craving sweets, fill up on tryptophan rich foods, like eggs, turkey, pineapple and nuts.
When we listen to our cravings and look into what we might be missing, we are being more purposeful with our nutrition. Everyone is going to have cravings, but if we fulfill our cravings with healthy options that address the source of what’s missing, we will start to crave the source. If we fill our bread craving with some roasted chicken, or our chocolate craving with almonds or pumpkin seeds, our body will start to crave those things.
We all get them. Cravings aren’t just something women get while they’re pregnant, but something everyone deals with. Whether it is chocolate or greasy food, or even a piece of fruit, we all have cravings. There is a way to decode your cravings, and figure out if it’s a habit that’s creating the craving, or if it’s a nutritional deficiency that’s got you wanting chocolate.
We’re going to chat about habitual cravings now, and we’ll cover deficiency cravings in a bit.
So a habitual craving – can be as simple as always eating a certain food during a certain event. You always get popcorn at the movies, or you are sure to have that greasy burger on the drive to the cottage. These cravings are born out of habits, usually not the best habits. But habits can be reformed, we can make small changes and rewire our habits to be a bit healthier, or we can overhaul them and change them completely.
The burger joint you stop at on the way to the cottage, well that’s a tradition, and it’s once a year, twice at most. So maybe instead of the jumbo fries, you can pack some fresh veggies and fresh fruit. Eat something in the car before you get there and then you won’t feel the need to eat every last bite.
So habits are a bit more ingrained and more frequent. We often spend the evening watching The Good Wife while we work away on little things. If that’s 3 evenings a week, and I were to dig into a bowl of pretzels or ice cream, can you imagine how much extra I was putting in my body each week! It’s crazy to think that some people are doing that not just 2 or 3 times a week, but every evening! Changing a habit like that can be hard, but if you take it in stages it’s easier. Decide to have something healthy before you dig into the treats. Have a bowl of fresh veggies, or some protein. You’ll be less hungry for the treat after, and if you do want it as a treat, it’s not going to get out of hand, because you’re already fueling your body.
Habitual cravings can be tough to overcome, but it’s possible!
You decided to take control of your eating and start eating clean. Today is the day you’re going to do it, which is amazing. You’ve prepped your food for the week, and it’s go time! Day one goes great! You are so excited for the food you prepared, you’re feeling great. You’re getting rid of some of those after meal cravings, you have lots of energy, you’re drinking more water and you’re doing amazing. Day three comes and the cravings hit, doubt creeps in, and you are questioning why you’re doing this. Day 5 comes and you cannot look at another meal of plain chicken breast with broccoli and quinoa ever again. Here is why junk food will always win against “clean” eating.
When we eat junk food we are meeting all of our sensory needs. We are getting different textures, lots of different flavors, different colors and when you look at the plate clean food you don’t see that. You don’t get the sensory side of eating, which is why by day 5 you’re begging for some junk food.
There is a way to eat clean and not crave the junk you know you shouldn’t eat. It is really quite simple! Add flavours! Don’t be afraid of a little spice! When you eat the same bland things day after day, no matter how you’re meeting your nutrition needs, you’re missing one key part of the experience! You’re missing the flavour, colour, and the pop! That an amazing meal has. Clean eating does not have to be boring and bland! In fact it shouldn’t be at all.
The clients in my 4 Week Slim Down are enjoying this Haddock recipe, and loving it! It’s not boring or bland, and if you’re vegan or vegetarian, or you don’t do fish, you can substitute. What I love about it is you get flavour! There’s sweet, savoury, and creamy all in one meal, and you aren’t staring at a boring plate. If you want to switch it up, grab some chicken, or steak and grill it.
Junk food will always win the fight against bland boring foods. So to beat out the junk food, make sure you’re not eating boring clean food, eat great food that fulfills all your needs, including different colours and flavours.