Tag Archives: hormones

What Are The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting?

Hey feel more gooders! This post will touch on various aspects of Intermittent Fasting. Not sure what that is, keep reading! What are the benefits of intermittently fasting?

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting (also commonly referred to as time restricted eating) is a method of eating in which you only eat within an 8-hour window. The most common window is eating in between 11am-7pm and fasting from 7pm-11am.

What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

  • Increased hormone function
  • Decreased inflammation in the body which contributes to chronic health conditions
  • More thorough recovery from rigorous activity (ex: Crossfit, marathon training, etc.)
  • Can reduce insulin levels + blood pressure
  • Helps brain function
  • Benefits neurons on a way that protects memory + learning
  • Reduction in visceral body fat
  • Increase in lean body mass alongside consistent exercise

Source: An Intro to Fasting

Second to thermoregulation (if you were to jump into an ice-cold ocean and your body is fighting to maintain warmth), digestion is the most taxing bodily process that it participates in. And think–we do this on a daily basis, several times a day. It’s no wonder why our energy lags and we feel less than 100%.

How Do You Start Intermittent Fasting?

This can look different for everyone, depending on your chosen window of fasting,  what your schedule is like, etc.

A good entry point to fasting is to wait until 11am to eat your first meal. Making sure you are hydrating upon waking (lots of water) will help your body facilitate detox and feel full.

I like to describe fasting as a spectrum. On one end, you have the most extreme, exact way of IF fasting in which you don’t have any fluids besides water until 11am, and then eat like clockwork starting at 11am and ending precisely at 7pm.

Modification:

On the other end of the intermittent fasting spectrum, you have the approach that I’ve found works well for me: drinking a morning coffee (i add a few tablespoons of Laird Superfood powder), water and some elixirs in the morning.

I’m not doing a by-the-book fast here, but it’s somewhere on the spectrum. It allows me to be giving my digestive tract a break from digesting meals while also allowing me to have a little fuel in me for morning workouts (some days I do 5am Crossfit workouts at our gym).

Is Intermittent Fasting a Fad, or is it Here to Stay?

From my understanding, knowledge accruing and anecdotal lectures from a few professional athletes I follow, fasting is a practice of our ancestors. At that time, it was just how daily life was, as they didn’t have a pantry a few feet away for frequent snacking. They often hunted + foraged for their meals and they only ate after they sought out and located that food.

So, they were forced by the limited availability of food to eat this way. Turns out, there are a a lot of positive health implications to giving your digestion a break during a chunk of the day.

I can see how and why this would be viewed as a fad, but I see it as an ancient practice that is surfacing again, as we look back to our ancestors for some insight on wellness.

Is There Anybody That Should Not Fast?

Totally! Remember that the way you eat is your decision; and it’s one that should be made based on what feels best to you. If you adhere to the parameters of your MD, naturopath or functional medicine practitioner, you should discuss this with them, consider their feedback and make the best decision for your unique genetics, goals,

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Discount for HealthTestingCenters.com: Hormone + Metabolic Testing

This post is sponsored by HealthTestingCenters.com. All opinions are sincerely my own.

Learning more about what’s going on inside my body has been a focus of mine in recent years. By that I mean I’ve been trying to get more insight into what hormone imbalances may be contributing to the painful menstrual cycles that I’ve battled for many years now.

I feel super fortunate to have linked up with HealthTestingCenters.com. Through them, I was able to get my hormones tested, as well as have my metabolic function evaluated and learn about my cancer risk factors (kind of a scary thing to know–but I figured why not).

Having these results means that I have some tools in my toolbox to help me figure out what my body needs and what it’s lacking. The best thing about this process that was I was able to get the testing done at my local Quest Diagnostics facility (I didn’t even make an appointment; I was able to walk in on a day that was convenient for me). It was also neat to have this type of testing available to me that I could select online (it was literally like filling up my shopping cart with the tests I wanted).

It took them about a week to get the results back to me, I received them via e-mail and voila! Below is a look at the results I received. I was encouraged to see that my body looks to be functioning at a pretty high level.

The only thing that came up abnormal or “high” is the MHC (mean corpuscular hemoglobin) which seems to be a potential indicator of anemia (which my mom has). It basically means that my vitamin b12 and folate levels are low, which effects red blood cells. I’ll be looking more into why that may be the case and how I can aid my body through diet and supplementation to get into a healthier range.

This is a piece of information I’ve never had before and it’s helping me help myself even better than ever. Seriously very grateful to have this information!

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Overall, my experience using HealthTestingCenters.com has been super easy and seamless! I would recommend them.

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Miracle Powders Organic & Raw Maca & Chlorella Powder Review

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Miracle Powders

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

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Chlorella

About:

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: CHINA

A fresh water algae highly known for its energy-producing hits, detoxifying properties and boosting abilities – all due to high chlorophyll levels. This alga has been used since ancient times for people looking to boost their levels of protein, fibre, iron and potassium. Today it is used for the same reason and has become a popular source of boosting detoxifying effects – you can put this down to its natural minerals.

Benefits

– ‘Broken cell wall’ for optimal nutrition

– Contributes to healthy digestive functions

– Boosts radiant skin and healthy hair and nails.

– Contributes to normal cognitive function and psychological function

– Supports the heart and normal blood pressure

– One of the highest sources of chlorophyll and high in natural vitamin D

– Easily digestible protein

– Supports liver function – can help prevent hangovers if taken before consuming alcohol

How to take

We suggest adding 1-2 heaped teaspoons to your favourite juices and smoothies or even water- gradually increase to suit you. Perhaps add it to your morning orange juice.

Ingredients

100% Organic Chlorella Powder

Not made in a lab and not packed in a mechanical factory – individually hand packed with care…

Certified organic by the Soil Association. Why organic?

Suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets. Chlorella powder is also gluten free.

Storage instructions 

Please store in a cool dark dry place (away from direct sunlight) – pop it anywhere you would like – the kitchen cupboard, your coffee table, your car or even your work desk. We’ve made these resealable pouches lightweight and portable so being healthy isn’t difficult :.”

Maca

About:

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: PERU

Also known as ‘aphrodisiac of the Andes’ and a healthy caffeine substitute, Maca powder has become a hot topic of discussion in the realms of research of sexual and menopausal health. Used by native Indians in Peru dating back to 3800 B.C – today it is used for various reasons for men and women respectively. Women tend to use it for symptoms of PMS and menopause and men used it for enhancing their fertility and sexual function. However both men and women have found that it boosts libido and sex drive, increases energy and stamina. More recently Maca has been used by athletes looking for muscle hypertrophy and is a great healthy alternative to anabolic steroids. This is the one for energy and endurance.

Benefits

– Great source of zinc

– Contributes to normal fertility and reproduction

– Increases libido

– Contributes and supports healthy digestive functions

– Contributes and supports normal psychological and cognitive function

– Supports muscle function – strengthening the body and increases stamina

– Boosts energy and endurance

– Helps with PMS and menopausal symptoms

– Helps to level hormones

How to take

We suggest adding 1-2 heaped teaspoons to your favourite breakfast smoothies, natural yoghurts or try it in your baking. Gradually increase the amount to suit you. Interested in a recipe? Click here.

Ingredients

100% Organic Maca Powder

Not made in a lab and not packed in a mechanical factory – individually hand packed with care…

Certified organic by the Soil Association. Why organic?

Suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets. Organic Raw Maca Powder is also gluten free.

Storage instructions 

Please store in a cool dry place – pop it anywhere you would like – the kitchen cupboard, your coffee table, your car or even your work desk. We’ve made these resealable pouches lightweight and portable so being healthy isn’t difficult :).”

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My Thoughts:

Miracle Powders is one of a few brands I’ve encountered lately that are packaging raw & organic superfoods (I’m a superfood GEEK). It’s so exciting for me to see more emerging companies that believe in & are passionate about taking this route to healing, nourishing & balancing the body. I’m a huge proponent & advocate for superfoods. Yeah, the word “superfood” is thrown around quite a bit and not always accurately, but chlorella & maca are truly two power-packed foods, untampered, unadulterated, straight from nature. They are deserving of this title.

Both of these powders are easy to throw into a smoothie or shake & are a readymade source of energy-boosting nutrients, sans the synthetic junk that you’ll find in many store bought powders. These are simply the plant itself, dried and or/cold milled.

I value the maca for its ability to balance out the endocrine system (the motherboard for all hormones production in the body–which controls metabolism, sleep cycles, menstrual cycles in women, etc.) and chlorella for its phytonutrient-rifeness.

I’m thrilled about Miracle Powders and believe that merely all supplementation should be moving this direction: towards more potent plant-derived, whole food sources.

Raw. Organic. Superfoods. These three words and you’ve got me hooked. Kudos to Miracle Powders!

Sunfood Organic & Raw Superfoods Review

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Sunfood Superfoods

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Sunfood:

The Sunfood Story
Years ago, a group of health minded individuals noticed an alarming trend in their towns and communities. They saw friends and family eating and drinking dead, processed foods full of chemicals. They knew that this was the path to obesity and disease, ultimately leading to western medicine’s suppression of symptoms with drugs and scalpels.  This is not true healing.

Sunfood was born from their desire to create an alternative path to health.  We believe that the secrets to health, energy and long life are found in nature through diet and nutrition.  Building upon the wisdom of traditional and modern natural healing methods from all over the world, we are here to share powerful information and superfoods that help people heal and rejuvenate themselves naturally.

It is our quest to find the most nutrient dense, raw, organic, Non-GMO superfoods on the planet.  Our search to uncover ancient and modern healing knowledge lost to our society has taken us all over the world, from the tropical regions of South America to the high mountains of Tibet.

Our family-operated business is located in San Diego, where we prepare superfoods in our certified organic facility and package them for you with care.  We are passionate about empowering our Sunfood family through education, from our superfood specialists on the phones, to our newsletters filled with the latest health information, to recipes made with love from our kitchen to yours.

Our Mission
At Sunfood we are on a quest to help you discover the healing, energy and longevity power within you.  We do this through education and the most nutrient dense, raw, organic, Non-GMO superfoods on the planet.”

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My Thoughts:

Sunfood is amongst my very tippy top favorite superfood brands! The quality of their expansive range of products is far superior to most that you will see on shelves. To insure that I’m ingesting superfoods with the utmost nutrient content, I aim to always eat raw superfoods. Also, to insure that I’m minimizing my pesticide exposure and am effectively dodging GMOs, I aim to always eat organic superfoods. Sunfood meets BOTH of those specs.

Of this bunch of samples, I enjoyed the Sun is Shining Green Superfood & the Superfood Smoothie Mix the most. I look to greens in my diet to provide me a large amount of the vital trace minerals that my body requires to operate at its maximum capability. I love the portability of these powdered greens; I add them to my morning smoothie and even take them with me on-the-go for a quick green drink on-the-fly. The superfood smoothie mix I value for the range of superfoods that it allows me to consume at once–this dense concoction includes the powder form of goji, maqui, camu camu, maca, acai, cacao, lucuma and brown rice protein to make them all more readily digestible & to make the drink more satisfying. It tastes unique & delicious–you really get to appreciate all the flavors of these powerful superfruits. For an added boost of protein (which I like to do in the mornings), I add the Raw Vanilla Brown Rice Protein & love the pure taste of it. Though the superfood smoothie mix already contains a small amount of acai powder, I added the pure Acai Powder to my smoothies (because I had it on hand!) and found that it served as an extra ka-pow of revitalizing power to my drink (as well as a beautiful & vibrant color!) Acai is so rich in antioxidants and nourishing vitamins thatI consider it an excellent beauty food to keep your skin looking dewy, protected and fresh.

I took the Chlorella Tablets as a preworkout energy boost. You can certainly chew these little tablets, but I chose to swallow them with a glass of water. I love the feeling that green energy provides. It’s real, it’s sustained & there are by no means any negative side effects–just pure goodness and an uplifting feeling.

There is so much information out there about superfoods, their benefits and so on. What I can say from personal experience is that incorporating superfoods into my daily nutrition routine is the single best thing I’ve ever done for my health. The quality and impact of superfoods compared to taking a multi-vitamin pill is a joke, in that there’s no comparison. Raw, organic superfoods will provide your body with real, recognizable fuel that will take good care of your body from the inside out. Also, many ailments are a result of a nutrient deficiency. Superfoods combat both malabsorption issues & nutrient deficiency as they normalize your internal pH, making it more alkaline, as well as giving your system a healthy shock of nutrients.

Go superfood yourself!!

Four Sigma Foods: Medicinal Mushrooms Review

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Four Sigma Foods

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Four Sigma Foods:

“Our mission is to democratize mushrooms. We see immunological issues ‘along with hormonal and digestive problems’ as the key thing to solve in order to help people live healthier.

Four Sigma Foods was founded on a principle of making meaningful work. Even in the first sketches we made in October 2010, we split this dream into three actionable areas to do good:

  1. Producing innovative health food products. This is also the one that if done right brings food to our own table as well.
  2. Giving free natural health education. We want to spread to word on not only our own products, but also about the whole natural living lifestyle.
  3. Charitable actions. In the beginning we were not sure what this was, but we knew that we wanted to give back to the society also beyond our products and our education.”

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Instant Chaga

About:

Top 2 Benefits of Chaga

1. Boost the immune system
2. Fight against pathogens

Chaga mushroom
Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus), the active ingredient of Instant Chaga, is a vital part of a “pathogen-proof” immune system. Chaga contains one of the nature’s highest amount of SOD (superoxide dismutase), the most potent antioxidant in the human body. The antioxidant count in the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale also goes through the roof. The antioxidants prevent oxidations from happening in the body and thus protects the DNA and keeps the body young. Studies have shown that chaga use is an effective way to fight against unwanted bacteria, viruses, and inflammation. Chaga has also been shown to have very strong anti-tumor properties.

What you get?
Each Instant Chaga sachet contains 1500 mg of strong wild-crafted Siberian chaga extract. Note that we don’t only powder the mushrooms, but process them properly to ensure the effectiveness. The mushrooms have been extracted in both hot water and alcohol for all the beneficial compounds to become bioavailable. The final extraction is standardised to contain 30% polysaccharide and 2% triterpene content. We then combine the spray dried extract powder with natural and pure herbs, eleuthero, mint and rose hip. The result is a synergistic, good tasting and one of its kind instant powder!

Ingredients
– Dual extracted Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) (50%, 30 g/box) (30% polysaccharides, 2% triterpenes)
– Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng)
– Mint
– Rose hip

How to use
You can simply dissolve one Instant Chaga sachet in a cup of hot water. It makes anything from 1 dl (½ cup) to 1 liter (4 cups) of tasty drink, depending on the strength you are looking for. The effect stays the same when the powder is blended into a smoothie, mixed with food or even sprinkled straight into the mouth. Whichever way you make it, the more of the powder you get into your system the stronger the benefits.

Serving size of 1 sachet per day is definitely an effective dose already. You can then adjust the dose according to your needs and feelings, there is no risk of overdosing because the mushroom and all the herbs are tonics.”

Instant Shiitake

About:

“Top 2 Benefits of Shiitake
1. Nurture skin and beauty
2. Support liver

Shiitake mushroom
Shiitake mushroom, the active ingredient in Instant Shiitake, is a true beauty food. For thousands of years in Asia, shiitake has been used to heal the skin, support the liver, enliven the blood, and boost Qi (meaning ‘life force’). It is a great natural booster for detoxing. Schisandra berry has always been the number one beauty herb in Asia and dandelion further detoxifies the body to support clean and glowing skin. Natural vitamin C from rose hip multiplies the bioavailability of all the active components.

What you get?
Each Instant Shiitake sachet contains 1500 mg of strong shiitake extract. Note that we don’t only powder the mushrooms, but process them properly to ensure the effectiveness. The mushrooms have been extracted in both hot water and alcohol for all the beneficial compounds to become bioavailable. The final extraction is standardised to contain 30% polysaccharide content. We then combine the spray dried extract powder with natural and pure herbs, schisandra (900 mg), dandelion and rose hip. The result is a synergistic, good tasting and one of its kind instant powder!

Ingredients
– Dual extracted Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) (50%, 30 g/box) (30% polysaccharides)
– Schisandra berry (Schisandra chinensis)
– Dandelion
– Rose hip

How to use
You can simply dissolve one Instant Shiitake sachet in a cup of hot water. It makes anything from 1 dl (½ cup) to 1 liter (4 cups) of tasty drink, depending on the strength you are looking for. The effect stays the same when the powder is blended into a smoothie, mixed with food or even sprinkled straight into the mouth. Whichever way you make it, the more of the powder you get into your system the stronger the benefits.

Serving size of 1 sachet per day is definitely an effective dose already. You can then adjust the dose according to your needs and feelings, there is no risk of overdosing because the mushroom and all the herbs are tonics.”

Instant Cordyceps

About:

Top 2 Benefits of Cordyceps

1. Boost energy levels
2. Improve sexual performance

Cordyceps mushroom
Cordyceps mushroom (Ophiocordyceps sinensis), the active ingredient of Instant Cordyceps, has some exciting properties for anyone who desires to improve his/her performance. Many scientific studies have shown that cordyceps can increase one’s maximal oxygen intake (VO2 max) by up to 15%. Oxygen is the most important element for your body. By using cordyceps you will be more energetic and achieve exceptional performances in sports, at work, at home and not to mention in the bedroom!

What you get
Each Instant Cordyceps sachet contains 1500 mg of strong cordyceps extract. The fermented CS-4 strain mycelium has been extracted in both hot water and alcohol to ensure optimal effectiveness. The final extraction is standardised to contain 40% polysaccharide and 15% mannitol content. There are no caterpillars or other larvae being used in our cordyceps production, and it is suitable for vegans.

The rest 1500mg of the sachet consists of natural and pure herbs, ginseng, licorice root, mint, rose hip and stevia. The result is a synergistic, good tasting and one of its kind instant powder!

Ingredients
– Dual extracted Cordyceps (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) (50%, 30 g/box) (40% polysaccharides)
– Ginseng
– Licorice root
– Mint
– Rose hip
– Stevia (steviol glycosides)

How to use
You can simply dissolve one Instant Cordyceps sachet in a cup of hot water. It makes anything from 1 dl (½ cup) to 1 liter (4 cups) of tasty drink, depending on the strength you are looking for. The effect stays the same when the powder is blended into a smoothie, mixed with food or even sprinkled straight into the mouth. Whichever way you make it, the more of the powder you get into your system the stronger the benefits.

Serving size of 1 sachet per day is definitely an effective dose already. You can then adjust the dose according to your needs and feelings, there is no risk of overdosing because the mushroom and all the herbs are tonics.”

Instant Maitake

About:

“Top 2 Benefits of Maitake
1. Support weight-loss
2. Balance blood sugar levels

Maitake mushroom
Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa), the active ingredient of Instant Maitake, can be of great help for diabetics and in supporting weight loss. It is especially known for its capabilities to modulate blood sugar levels and to optimize the insulin production. Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is a sacred herb in Ayurveda and supports these effects. Ginger helps with bloating and natural vitamin C from rose hip increases the assimilation of all the goodies.

What you get?
Each Instant Maitake sachet contains 1500 mg of strong maitake extract. Note that we don’t only powder the mushrooms, but process them properly to ensure the effectiveness. The mushrooms have been extracted in both hot water and alcohol for all the beneficial compounds to become bioavailable. The final extraction is standardised to contain 30% polysaccharide content. We then combine the spray dried extract powder with natural and pure herbs, tulsi, ginger, rose hip and stevia. The result is a synergistic, good tasting and one of its kind instant powder!

Tulsi content per sachet is 900 mg and natural vitamin C amount from rose hip is 27 mg (45 % of the RDI).

Ingredients
– Dual extracted Maitake (Grifola frondosa) (50%, 30 g/box) (30% polysaccharides)
– Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum)
– Ginger
– Rose hip
– Stevia (steviol glycosides)

How to use
You can simply dissolve one Instant Maitake sachet in a cup of hot water. It makes anything from 1 dl (½ cup) to 1 liter (4 cups) of tasty drink, depending on the strength you are looking for. The effect stays the same when the powder is blended into a smoothie, mixed with food or even sprinkled straight into the mouth. Whichever way you make it, the more of the powder you get into your system the stronger the benefits.

Serving size of 1 sachet per day is definitely an effective dose already. You can then adjust the dose according to your needs and feelings, there is no risk of overdosing because the mushroom and all the herbs are tonics.”

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My Thoughts

I can give you a long list of things that I appreciate about Four Sigma Foods. I love their unique, passionate approach for creating products that harness the power of nature to heal the body. I love following them on social media and absorbing the helpful tidbits they have to offer.

So, I got four boxes of mushroom goodies to try (awesomeness). In each respective box, there are individuals serving packets. This packaging is particularly helpful for my when I commute to coach volleyball practice and need to bring a meal with me. I add a pack of this mushroom goodness (I alternate the 4 of them) to a blender bottle with my favorite protein, plant-based milk and seeds (chia, flax or hemp), and not only does it provide me with a healthy, convenient meal, but it equips me with the added healing benefits of mushrooms (digestive health, balancing hormones, energy boost, immune support, etc.) Adding these packets to my smoothie has been one of several healthy habits that is contributing to me feeling the healthiest I’ve ever felt. My energy is soaring, I sleep well and I’m able to work out hard during the day and play volleyball with my 12 year old team at night without being completely incapacitated. My diet plays a huge role in that.

I get excited by the fact that each of these four mushrooms blends ALSO contains a range of other healers like licorice root, mint, dandelion, etc. I know many of these to be powerful liver detoxifiers. Taste-wise, each of these blends tastes similar to me, likely because I do not consume them by themselves. They are earthy & robust–I love the unique flavor it adds.

These packets of tiny mushroom chunks, if you will, are gluten free, non-gmo, soy free, sugar free, vegan and all natural. That’s pretty good. I would love to see that they are organic and raw. What Four Sigma Foods is doing here is big, but I believe they could make it bigger. I wouldn’t need to see an organic certification to feel better about the products, just to know that the mushrooms are grown without pesticides and harsh chemicals. I also believe (just like other plants), mushrooms are mostly beneficial when consumed raw; as the nutrient profile has not been compromised after contact with heat.

I’m happy that I got to try Four Sigma Foods and