Jennifer Hanway

Helping You Live Your Best Life Through Nutrition, Fitness and Wellbeing

Jennifer Hanway is a Holistic Nutritionist, Bio Signature Modulation Practitioner and Certified Personal Trainer, originally from London but now living in Newton Centre and working in Back Bay, Boston.

Ask Jenny: What Does Insulin Have To Do With Fat Loss?

Dear Jenny, as part of your Lean and Clean Program you recommend testing your insulin levels. What does insulin have to do with fat loss?
— Helen, Chestnut Hill, MA


Regulating insulin and blood glucose is one of the key tools I use my Lean and Clean program, and by asking my clients to test their blood glucose every morning I can monitor their progress internally as well as externally. Your blood never lies!

When we eat carbohydrates our pancreas releases the hormone insulin, in response to the rise in our blood sugar (glucose) levels. Insulin helps us to shuttle the fuel (the glucose in the blood) into our muscle and fat cells - think of it as the key that unlocks the cell to let the glucose in. Within the program I call this insulin sensitivity, and my aim is to make you as insulin sensitive as possible so you efficiently use your food for fuel rather than storing it as fat.

A high carbohydrate diet combined with a lack of exercise means we become insulin resistant, rather than using our food as fuel we start to store it as fat. If we are eating too many carbohydrates and our cells have already taken in enough glucose the excess will be converted and stored as both subcutaneous fat (the fat underneath the skin) and visceral fat (the fat around the organs and belly).

If this continues for long periods of time then we develop insulin resistance, which is the precursor to Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes. In insulin resistance the cell either stops responding to the insulin, preventing the glucose from getting in to be used as fuel (and therefore being returned to the bloodstream to be stored as fat), or the pancreas stops secreting insulin as there is already so much in the bloodstream (in some cases both these effects occur).

My Lean and Clean Program lowers blood glucose and increases insulin sensitivity through my targeted tools of nutrition, fitness and wellbeing:

  • My low carb, high fibre diet with quality proteins and some good fats which help to stabilize and lower insulin levels (whilst simultaneously managing our hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin).

  • Strength training, HIIT and walking are used to increase insulin sensitivity and help us burn body fat.

  • Stress management and quality sleep are prioritized as when our stress hormone cortisol is raised it in turn raises insulin. We are also more likely to store belly fat at times of stress.

Testing your blood glucose at home is a super simple finger prick test, and you can purchase a meter from CVS, Walgreens, or by using the link below. Take the test before you have breakfast or drink your coffee, and ideally I am looking for a fasting blood glucose level of between 80-90ml.

Blood Glucose Meter - Amazon

For more information on my Lean and Clean Program head to:

Lean and Clean Program




Ask Jenny: Which Foods Can Help Me Cope With Stress?

Hi Jenny - I’ve heard you mention that there are some foods that can help with stress, and I need all the help I can get! What are these foods, and how can I add them to my daily diet?
— Sam, Boston

Great question Sam, and after Mercury in Retrograde and tax season, I know we all need as much help as we can get to help us manage our stress!

When considering foods for stress management, there are two key factors to address: one, keeping your blood sugar and insulin levels stable and two, ensuring maximum nutrient density.

1) Balancing Your Blood Sugar

Aka, the science behind being ‘hangry’! A high carb and high sugar diet leads us to have high insulin levels, which means we do not burn our food for fuel, and instead store it as fat. We will also experience the blood sugar rollercoaster of highs and lows in our blood glucose levels, leaving us at times feeling wired or experiencing a sugar high, quickly followed by a crash in energy and mood. This constant swinging between high and low blood sugar causes us to release cortisol (our stress hormone), as our body considers this (quite rightly) as a dangerous event. In addition, when our cortisol levels are high this can spike our insulin levels, setting us up for a vicious cycle of high insulin/high cortisol, which can lead to weight gain, fatigue and brain fog.

A high fibre, veggie packed diet with some great quality protein and goods fats in one of the keys to regulating blood sugar balance (and therefore cortisol release). As part of my Lean and Clean Program I recommend that every meal consist of 20-30g of protein, at least 2 servings (large handfuls) of vegetables, and 1-2 servings (tablespoons) of good fats, with 3-4 meals a day, every 3-4 hours. For example:

Breakfast: Superfood Smoothie - 20g collagen powder, 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, 2 handfuls spinach, 1.5 cups almond milk

Lunch: Salmon and Avocado Salad

Mini Meal: Hummus and Veggie Sticks

Dinner: Zucchini Noodles with Chicken and Sugar Free Pasta Sauce

This will ensure our blood sugar levels stay stable throughout the day, whilst still giving enough time for gastric clearance (digestion of food), and ensuring we spend some time burning stored body fat for fuel.

2) Ensuring Maximum Nutrient Density

Our body’s need an incredible number of vitamins and minerals to complete even just the basic metabolic functions that keep us alive. For a healthy immune, reproductive and digestive system, not to mention great hair, skin and nails, we need to ensure that our diet is as nutrient dense as possible, and that every calorie we consume counts.

In addition to this, at times of stress our body will ‘steal’ these much needed nutrients in order to make stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. For example, magnesium, a mineral that is used in over 300 essential processes in the body ( and that our diets are woefully lacking in) is needed in high amounts to make cortisol.

Great gut health is the first step to ensuring that we do not just have adequate, but abundant vitamins and minerals to thrive, not just survive. We could be eating the healthiest diet on the planet, but if we are not absorbing the nutrients from our food our efforts are wasted. We are not what we eat, but what we absorb. Time and time again when I am reviewing my client’s lab work I see signs of malabsorption of nutrients stemming from poor gut health.

Simple ways to improve our gut health include eliminating processed foods, taking a good quality probiotic daily, including GI healing foods such as bone broth and collagen and managing our stress levels! My 28 Day Guided Gut Healing Program is designed to heal the gut and rebalance the microbiome, ensuring optimum gut health and nutrient absorption.

Once we have great gut health we can focus on nutrient density (or bang for your buck) foods! The adage ‘Eat The Rainbow’ is especially true here, as by eating a wide range of brightly colored vegetables and fruit means we are getting a diet full of anti-oxidants and phytonutrients, which are key as co-factors for our metabolic processes and to help with stress management processes.

When choosing your fruits and vegetables go for the varieties that are brightly colored, or have deeper hues - for example, deep green leafys such as spinach and kale, pink grapefruit and bright red tomatoes. Consider adding nutrient packed herbs and micro greens to your salads, and ensure adequate phytonutrients from dark brown and purple foods such as berries, purple cauliflower and broccoli, organic coffee and red wine, and my personal favorite, dark chocolate, which is also packed with stress relieving minerals calcium and magnesium!

For more details on my Lean and Clean Program, click here.

For more details on my Gut Healing Program, click here.

For more details on my Stress and Sleep Program, click here.


Lean and Clean: Pecan Pie Superfood Smoothie

Happy National Pecan Pie Day!

Whilst I can't deny that Pecan Pie is delicious, its crazily high sugar content make it a little too decadent for an everyday treat. I've created this sweet, thick and creamy Pecan Pie Superfood Smoothie so you can enjoy the taste whilst keeping blood sugar stable and providing a ton of micronutrients.

Pecans are a great source of inflammation lowering, skin loving Omega 3 fatty acids, and are packed full of much needed minerals including magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper. 

Buy your pecans unsalted, and if they are roasted they should be dry roasted to avoid inflammatory fats. And just like all nuts and seeds once opened they should be stored in the freezer to prevent oxidation.

Pecan Pie Super Food Smoothie

  • 20g vanilla collagen or plant protein powder

  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower rice

  • 1/4 apple

  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed 

  • 1 tablespoon pecan butter (I love @artisana organics) or 1 tablespoon chopped pecans 

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1.5 cups oat milk

Place all ingredients and blend until smooth.

Perfect for my Gut Healing and Lean and Clean Programs. 


Lean and Clean: Coconut Protein Pancakes⠀

These Coconut Protein Pancakes are one of my absolute favorite recipes from my new 8 Week Lean and Clean Program, and they are perfect for a light and bright Spring Sunday brunch! I love to serve these with a side of fresh berries and a drizzle of yoghurt.

Coconut Protein Pancakes⠀

  • 1⁄4 cup of coconut flour⠀

  • 1⁄2 scoop vanilla vegan or collagen protein powder ⠀

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed⠀

  • 1 egg⠀

  • 3 egg whites⠀

  • 3/4 cup of almond milk⠀

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract⠀

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon⠀

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • Pinch of Himalayan salt⠀

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (for cooking)⠀

Mix all ingredients (except the coconut oil) in a large bowl. Heat the oil gently in a non stick pan. Pour in 1/4 cup of mixture, and cook on a medium heat until golden brown on both sides (about 3­ mins each side).

My 8 Week Lean and Clean Program is available in person and online, and you can save $100 if you sign up by 4/31!  Click HERE to learn more.

Ask Jenny: I Work Out at 5am, So When Should I Eat Breakfast?

I’m a mom of 2 kids and work a full-time job in Boston, so 5am is the only time I get work out during the week (at the weekend I can work out mid morning). This means I do not have time to eat breakfast unless I get up at 4am (which is just not happening). What should I do?

Anne - Newton, MA

Great question Anne, and congratulations for getting in your workouts with your busy schedule and time commitments!

Fasted workouts (working out on an empty stomach) can actually be a great tool for blood sugar regulation and helping you build metabolism boosting muscle, if you use them in the right way.

Your weekly workouts (you mentioned you work out 3 times a week, Monday, Wednesday Friday), i.e. the ones you do fasted should be no more than 35-40 minutes long, and of a medium intensity (how hard you work). Good choices for these workouts could be 30 minutes of running, spinning, or a lighter weights sessions.

At the weekend, when you have eaten breakfast is the time for your more intense (harder) workouts, such as a heavier lifting session, Barry’s or Orange Theory, or a boxing workout. Just make sure you finishing eating at least an hour before working out!

The benefits of working out on an empty stomach (fasted), mean that your body has to tap into its stored carbohydrate, and then your body fat as sources of energy (your body will use the following for fuel in this order 1: alcohol, 2: stored carbs, 3: your body fat). So you will help balance your blood sugar, and get your body using fat for fuel. Hormonally you will also get a boost of growth hormone and testosterone, which is great for helping you build lean muscle.

However, fasted workouts can be challenging for your adrenal health and thyroid health, which is why I recommend only working out fasted at a medium intensity, and for those struggling with hormonal issues (high cortisol, irregular periods, adrenal fatigue) a yoga flow or brisk walk is a better option than the options listed above.

As part of my Lean and Clean Program you will receive workout suggestions personalized to your goals, schedule, available equipment and hormonal status. You can start anytime, from wherever you are in the world, and there is a $100 discount until 4/30! For more details head to:

https://www.jenniferhanway.com/leanandcleanprogram




Live Well: Daily Habits For Managing Our Body’s Healthy Inflammation Response

This post is written in partnership with New Chapter, however all opinions are my own. I only work with and recommend companies whose products I love, and I’m so excited to share these with you!

By now we know that managing our body’s inflammatory response is critical to health and longevity, but why is it so important, and how we can consider this is as part of our daily wellness routine? 

 What is an inflammatory response? 

 Not all inflammation is bad, in fact inflammation is our body’s natural defense mechanism against harmful intruders. Upon detection of a threat (for example a cut on your finger) cellular chemical signalers trigger a response from our immune system to help deal with the danger. Acute inflammation is a natural and healthy part of our immune system, and usually subsides within a number of days. 

 Chronic (or systemic) inflammation is different. It is a low level, constant activation of the immune system that can contribute to the development of disease. The body may detect what it considers as internal threats such as toxins and food particles in the bloodstream, and signal for the immune system to set off a response, much like in the case of acute inflammation. However, if there is no threat to respond to the immune system may start to attack the body’s healthy tissues which can lead to auto-immune conditions and other chronic diseases. 

Four Easy Ways to Manage Inflammation 

 1)    Eat A Whole Foods Based Diet

By eating a non-processed, whole foods based diet we provide our body with foods that it recognizes as fuel, not as a threat! Our GI tract is the one of the first lines of defense for our immune system, and overly processed, chemically laden foods can damage the integrity of its lining, causing food particles to get into the bloodstream and set off a damaging immune response. Ensure you are getting a wide range of antioxidant rich, rainbow colored fruits and vegetables in your diet to help manage inflammation on a daily basis and boost overall health and wellbeing. I eat at least 7 servings of fruit and vegetables a day and try to get in as many different colors as possible for maximum micronutrient benefits! 

2) Limit Exposure to Toxins 

Inflammation causing toxins don’t just get into our bodies through food, our household and personal care products can be a source of inflammation causing chemicals too. Consider non-toxic natural household cleaning products and do the same for your personal care products. Start by switching out your deodorant, body lotion and lip balm as these go on large and absorbent areas of the skin and have the most potential to be damaging to health. Clean skincare and make-up products have come a long way from when I started to use them over a decade ago, and they now easily rival their conventional counterparts. 

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3) Nature’s Anti-Inflammatories 

Herbs such as ginger and turmeric have been used for centuries as gentle pain relievers and as a way to naturally mitigate inflammation in the body - there are over 12000 peer-reviewed studies on the benefits of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric! Adding one or both to soups, stews, salad dressings and hot drinks is a simple and delicious way to boost your diet and overall health and wellbeing, and I love to make a nourishing and soothing Golden Milk Latte with grated ginger and turmeric before bed. 

4) Add Zyflamend Whole Body To Your Daily Supplement Regimen

New Chapter’s Zyflamend Whole Body helps your body to balance a healthy inflammation response at the cellular level. In-vitro studies have shown that Zyflamend mitigates part of the signaling process that triggers the body's inflammatory response, meaning it can help prevent the damaging inflammatory cascade that can be present in chronic inflammation.

Not only does Zyflamend Whole Body contain a blend of 10 herbs that help manage inflammation and relieve minor pain and soreness (such as turmeric, rosemary, green tea and ginger), but pre-clinical testing shows that this combination of ingredients shows a greater inhibitory effect than the calculated sum of its parts. 

It takes a lot for me to add another supplement to my daily regimen but since taking Zyflamend Whole Body I have noticed a considerable decrease in joint and muscular aches and pains, and as I love to work out at least 5 days a week it has become an integral part of my morning routine! 

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Eat Well: PB and J Layered Smoothie

Yes, this is a superfood smoothie. Yes, you can eat this for breakfast. Yes, even if you are on my Lean and Clean Program. Yes, this will take away the combined agonies of tax return season and mercury in retrograde.

Happy #PeanutButterAndJellyDayEveryone! Whilst not a combination that is typical in the UK, I’ve been an adopted New Englander for almost 6 years, so I’m well versed in this ridiculously good salty/sweet combo that keeps you coming back for more. However, I’m not about nutrient barren, sugar and trans fat laden calorie/carb bomb white bread sandwiches, so I’ve taken this winning formula and created a #JennyApproved Superfood Smoothie that gives you all the fun of PB&J with none of the negatives.

This recipe combines a protein, fat and fibre packed smoothie with an easy to make, sugar free strawberry chia jam that will quickly become one of your meal prep staples.

For the Peanut Butter Smoothie

  • 1 scoop vanilla collagen or plant based protein powder

  • 1 cup frozen cauliflower rice

  • 1 tablespoon sugar free peanut butter (@maranathanutbutters is my go to)

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla essence

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Pinch Himalayan salt

For the Strawberry Chia Jam

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen organic strawberries

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds


    Blend the strawberries and chia seed for 30 seconds. Place into a saucepan and simmer over a medium heat until it starts to bubble. Turn to low and simmer until the jam begins to thicken. Transfer to a sterilized mason jar, leave to cool, and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Now for the most important question. Crunchy or Smooth?

Meatfree Monday: Baked Falafel with Yoghurt Tahini Dipping Sauce

I LOVE falafel, but it’s hard to find #jennyapproved stop bought options, so I as part of my 8 Week Fat Loss Program I developed this Baked Herby Falafel Recipe that uses only clean, nutritious ingredients (obvs), and skips the fat heavy frying process to bake in the oven.

I’ve also packed these guys with a ton of fresh herbs to up the nutrient and flavor content, and used digestion boosting flaxseed as the binder. The result? A light, bright, fibre and nutrient packed falafel that is great as part of a salad, in a veggie wrap, or even as a mini meal in the afternoons.

And I highly recommend making the zinc rich, probiotic Yoghurt Tahini Dipping Sauce to accompany them!

(all of the dry ingredients in this recipe were bought from my fave - Thrive Market. Click here to save 25% on your first order)

For the Baked Herby Falafel

  • 1 can (15oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • ¾ cup fresh parsley

  • ¾ cup fresh cilantro

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

  • ½ teaspoon Himalyan salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until all the ingredients are broken down and start to combine. Shape the mixture into patties approx 2” round and 1⁄2” thick (will make 6-7 falafels). Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill for a minimum of 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and oil lightly. Place the falafel on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until firm and crispy.

For the Yoghurt Tahini Dipping Sauce

  • ½ cup plain coconut yoghurt

  • 2 tablespoons tahini

  • Pinch Himalayan salt and black pepper

  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until combined.


Jenny’s tip: I love to serve these falafels on a bed of cauliflower rice and chopped tomatoes, drizzled with the Yoghurt Tahini Dipping Sauce!

This recipe is from my 8 Week Lean and Clean Program, my new in-person or online program that uses science based methods to help you balance hunger hormones, burn stored body fat and boost your metabolism, whilst getting support and accountability from me throughout the program. For more information head to:

https://www.jenniferhanway.com/leanandcleanprogram


Blue Majik Berry Superfood Smoothie Bowl

This new Blue Majik Berry Superfood Smoothie Bowl is perfect for those following both my 8 Week Fat Loss Program and my 28 Day Guided Gut Healing Program! ⠀

Blue Majik or Blue Spirulina is a blue pigment derived from blue-green algae and is a nutritional powerhouse of plant based protein, minerals and energy boosting B Vitamins. It's one of the only food sources of C-phycocyanin, a biliprotein with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects (as shown in a 2016 study in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine). ⠀

But don't fall foul of the maxim 'if some is good, more is better', start slow and use a 1/4-1/2 teaspoon in. your smoothies to start. And yes, the taste is slightly like licking the bottom of a fish tank, which is why it lends itself to smoothies and smoothie bowls such as this Blue Majik Berry Superfood Smoothie Bowl:⠀

*1 scoop vanilla collagen or vanilla plant based protein powder⠀
*1/4 teaspoon Blue Majik or Blue Spirulina Powder⠀
*1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract⠀
*1 tablespoon acacia fibre⠀
*1 tablespoon hemp seeds⠀
*1 tablespoon almond butter⠀
*1/2 cup frozen cauliflower rice ⠀
*1/2 cup blueberries or blackberries⠀
*1.5 cups almond milk 

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. ⠀

To find out more about my 28 Day Guided Gut Healing Program click here.

To find out more about my 8 Week Fat Loss Program click here.


Gut Healing: Veggie Packed Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s National Chicken Noodle Soup Day, and I’ve created a veggie packed, gut healing version for you that is perfect for lunch or a light evening meal. This recipe is perfect for those following my 28 Day Guided Gut Healing Program, as I’ve used my favorite Bare Bones Broth and replaced the arb heavy noodles with spaghetti squash to keep it low carb and packed full of fibre, vitamins and minerals. 

 

Gut Healing Chicken Noodle Soup

 makes 4 servings 

·     2 tablespoons coconut oil 

·     1 onion, finely chopped, 

·     4 carrots, diced

·     4 stalks celery, diced

·     ¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt

·     ¼ teaspoon black pepper 

·     32oz Bare Bones Broth Chicken Bone Broth  (use code JHANWAY15 for a 15% discount)

·     2 cups cooked spaghetti squash

·     4 cups cooked shredded chicken 

·     2 bay leaves

·     2 tablespoons chopped parsley

·     1 tablespoon dried rosemary

·     1 tablespoon thyme

Heat the coconut oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven and sautéed the onion, carrots and celery for about 3-4 minutes, or until soft. Add in the chicken, bone broth, herbs and salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. 

This recipe is 100% compliant with my 28 Day Guided Gut Healing Program - find out more here!

28 Day Guided Gut Healing Program

Contact: jenny@jenniferhanway.com