Jennifer Hanway

Enliven Your Lightest, Brightest You

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.

Filtering by Category: Ask Jenny

Ask Jenny: How to Stay Lean and Clean When Eating Out

Hi Jenny - I completed your Lean and Clean program last year and loved it - I lost 11lbs! Thanks to my new found confidence I have started dating again and am eating out at least 1-2 times a week, but I don’t want this to derail the amazing changes I have made for my health and body composition. Help!

Kelsey, NYC

Hi Kelsey, and congratulations!

Firstly, let me reassure that eating out 1-2 times a week will not undo all of your hard work - my Lean and Clean Program fundamentally changes your metabolism and blood sugar balance so once you have finished the program your body will continue to use food for fuel rather than storing it as fat!

Eating out whilst staying Lean and Clean is simple to do, and trying new restaurants is one of mine and Husband Hanway’s favorite date nights. Below are some easy tips that can keep you feeling amazing whilst still enjoying evenings out with your new boo:

  • Ensure you are having mid-afternoon protein, fat and fibre based mini meal (small smoothie, hummus and veggie sticks) so you can make smart menu choices from a place of balanced blood sugar and stable hunger hormones.

  • Choose your location : types of restaurants that easily lend themselves to eating Lean and Clean include Sushi, Tapas, Greek, Mediterranean, Asian and Steakhouses, but by using the principles below you can dine out pretty much anywhere (pizza joints however may be a no-go.

  • Choose a sugar free soft drink (such as soda water and lime) if having a drink before the meal, or if you do want to have alcohol choose a glass or champagne or Prosecco.

  • Ask for the gluten free menu if they have one - most restaurants do.

  • When you sit down at the table skip the bread basket (I usually ask for some olives instead if they have them), and ask for some water or a soda water and lime rather than having an alcoholic drink straight away.

  • Choosing your appetizer: salad or soup helps boost fibre levels and help you not overeat at the rest of the meal.

  • Choosing your entree entree: select your favourite protein option from the menu then ask your server if you can swap out the carb for an extra serving of vegetable or a side salad.

  • Use the either or approach: choose an extra glass of wine (I recommend a max of 2 drinks total at any meal) OR a desert, not both!

  • A note about alcohol....

    I would love to say that alcohol does not have a negative impact on fat loss (quite honestly I love a glass of chilled prosecco or champagne and a great glass of red wine), but unfortunately it does.

    Our body will always burn any alcohol that is present first, so if you have a glass of wine (or three) on a Friday night then take a Soul Cycle class on a Saturday morning, you will have to burn through the alcohol first, then any stored carbs, then finally your might get to your stored body fat (but it’s doubtful)...

    Also alcohol is a source of empty calories and really has no nutrient value (there are some antioxidants in organic red wine), so choose when you have alcohol wisely.

    Should you wish to indulge better choices include, prosecco or champagne, clear spirits with club soda, or a polyphenol rich glass of organic red wine.

You can start my life changing Lean and Clean Program at any time - for more details click here.



Ask Jenny: Staying Healthy on a Long Haul Flight

I’m traveling to Vietnam soon and want to make sure I am prepared for the long flight. Do you have any tips on how to prepare and what to bring?
— Jacquey, Boston

Hi Jacquey - how exciting! I love to travel and have been lucky enough to visit some incredible places, and Vietnam is definitely on my bucket list. This trip would absolutely be considered long haul, but the majority of the advice below can be applied to both long haul and short haul flights:

1).  Fuelling on the Flight

You would be surprised what foodstuffs you can actually bring on a plane, and if I’m flying any longer than 4 hours I always pack a huge salad, with a ton of plants, some great protein (quite often plant based as it tends to travel well, such as chickpeas or lentils, and some healthy fats). I will pre-order the gluten free meals on the plane, but usually just pick out the fruit and salad.

I also pack small packs of nuts, often an avocado, small packets of collagen or plant protein powder, and protein bars such as Epic, Rx or Bulletproof Collagen Bars, and some herbal teas, and packets of Four Sigmatic Mushroom coffee (I buy most of these from Thrive Market). I’d much rather be over prepared than under prepared!

Intermittent Fasting can be helpful whilst flying, and if I am taking an overnight flight (which I avoid as much as possible) I certainly will not eat the meal served after take off, and will try and go straight to sleep. I have tried IF whilst taking a day flight from Boston to London, but personally I just find this too hard! If it is a shorter flight (anything under 4 hours) I try not to eat on the flight to help with digestion and gut health.


2) Supplements To Take On The Plane

Save room in your hand luggage by taking a minimum of supplements into the cabin with you - I put just my shelf stable probiotic (I love New Chapters Probiotic All-Flora) in my hand luggage, and check the rest.

The other supplement I like to travel with is a greens powder to stir into some water, or even chlorella or spirulina powder or tablets. Airplanes are one of the most toxic places on earth and flying creates a ton of oxidative stress in the body so giving your body an extra boost of antioxidants will help you feel more alert and energized post flying.

3) Sleep Aids and Accessories

I like to wear my blue blocking glasses on any flight longer than 4 hours (and especially long haul) to help protect me from all of the blue light on board that can mess with my circadian rhythm and sleep/wake cycle.

I never, ever take a long flight without my Bucky Eye Mask, and silicone ear plugs. I also like to take some lavender oil, or pop a few drops on my neck pillow before I travel. I personally don’t use compression socks, but if you feel more comfortable with them or have circulatory issues then they are definitely a good idea.

I do take melatonin on a long flight to help me sleep, and to help me on to the local time zone when I arrive. I find 5mg is too much for me (and most people), so I usually do half of one of this.


4) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

This is probably a given, but staying hydrated on a long haul flight is a must. I usually buy two big bottles before I board, and refill my travel bottle. If your home airport doesn't have a water fountain with a built in filter then head to the Starbucks and ask them to fill it up as their water is triple filtered! I also like to travel with my Brita Water Filter Bottle so I can filter the water on the plane too.

5) Beating Jetlag

Jetlag really can be a killer, but there are some strategies you can implement to ease the pain! Get on the local time zone as soon as possible, expose yourself to as much daylight as your can, and try and earth yourself by standing barefoot on grass or sand as soon as you can after landing. Whilst exercise can feel like the last thing you want to do 30-40 minutes strength training can really help beat jetlag, but if this is impossible a brisk walk is also wonderful. Eat light, protein and veggie based meals throughout the day, with some carbs in your evening meal to help boost natural melatonin production.

This post does contain affiliate links but I only recommend products I love and use personally or with my clients!






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.


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




Ask Jenny: Which Annual Health Tests Do You Recommend?

I love that you say ‘test, don’t guess’ as I really believe its important to know your own numbers, but can you please advise which tests we should be undergoing on a yearly basis?

- Robin, Boston

Such a great question Robin, and as you know I am so passionate about empowering ourselves and our health by advocating for our own health in the conventional medicine space - and a big part of that is knowing our numbers!

Below are the GENERAL tests that I recommend my clients undertaken every 6-12 months, but please its important to highlight that everyone is different, and may require further testing depending on health status, current medications and family history. This is a conversation to have with your healthcare practitioner before they requisition your lab work.

At home testing and tracking can also be super useful for understanding your own health and for communicating with your doctor. Women should always be tracking their menstrual cycles (even if you are on the contraceptive pill), and personally I use the Clue app, and I also recommend tracking fasting blood glucose with a simple monitor.

1-2 Times A Year

• Complete Metabolic Panel and Complete Blood Count

• Metabolic Markers: Hemoglobin A1C, Fasting Blood Glucose, Insulin, Lipid Panel 

• Essential Nutrients: Iron, Ferritin, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Magnesium

• Broad Thyroid Panel 

Twice Yearly:

• Dentist

• Optician

Other

• Women: Pap Smear every 5 years, Mammogram every 1-2 years after the  age of 45

• Men: Prostate Exam after the age of 50 

Additional:

• Food Sensitivities Test 

• Heavy Metals and Mineral Status

(these will not be covered by insurance, however I work with a clinic in Newton Centre that offers this testing. Please email me for more details).

Ask Jenny: What's The Deal With Celery Juice?

I’m not using celery juice as a meal replacement or a cleanse but just to start my mornings and then continue normal eating throughout the day. Is this an okay thing to consume on an empty stomach? And do you think that drinking juices (opposed to blended and keeping the fiber) is beneficial? I do make smoothies most days to get closer to my 7-9 servings and the juicing would just be on top of that. Would love to hear your thoughts!
— Rachel, Boston

Celery juice - the wellness trend that just won’t quit! Just like its predecessors coconut oil and apple cider vinegar, celery juice is the wellness trend du jour, and just like these former wellness heavyweights its benefits are being touted as boosting detoxification, lowering inflammation, increasing weight loss, benefiting gut health, and even curing disease.

And just like most fads on the health and wellness scene, there is no scientific evidence for these claims. But, this doesn’t mean it does not have benefits for health, and the thousands of fans professing their love for the green stuff via the medium of social media certainly think it has its merits.

As a nutritionist the first question I ask when weighing up the validity of a wellness trend is ‘what do we know’? As I mentioned, there have been no clinical studies on the benefits of celery juice, but we do know that celery is rich in Vitamins A, C and K and minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, it can have alkalising properties for the body. and it has a high water content. This combination of natural electrolytes plus hydration is probably why people feel so great after drinking it!

But I know the question you really want answered is ‘should I drink it?’, and my answer is ‘why not!’ In this case there are no know negative effects of starting your day with celery juice, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence for its benefits, and as we know, if we start our day with a healthy habit, we are more likely to make positive choices for the rest of the day.

The two challenges I do have with this trend are as follows:

1) the unproven claims from its champion Anthony Williams (aka The Medical Medium) who does not have any nutrition or medical training, but instead receives spiritual visions that he translates into health recommendations that he says can cure anything from IBS to cancer.

2) the lack of fiber - a study  by the Institute of Medicine reports that the average American eats only 15 grams of fiber a day, which is ridiculously low and can lead to unstable blood sugar, weight gain and digestive issues. My first PRIME Principle is to eat 7-9 servings of vegetables and low GI fruit a day, so I would rather see people getting all the benefits of celery by eating it whole, or by adding it to a green smoothie.

To answer Rachel’s specific question, if she is getting her 7-9 servings a day, then is no reason why she shouldn’t see if the celery juice trend works for her. My personal recommendation is that the first thing that you should consume in the morning is a large glass of water (room temperature or warmer - I keep a mason jar on my bedside table and drink it before I even get out of bed), so start with that, then drink your celery juice should you wish!







Ask Jenny: How Do I Tell If I Have Poor Gut Health?

Hi Jenny, I’m wondering if the symptoms I have experiencing are due to my gut health: I get some gas and bloating when eating certain foods, feel like I can’t think clearly sometimes, and have some breakouts on my forehead that won’t clear. Are they related to each other, and to gut health? - A, Dubai

I’m going to say yes, and yes! Poor gut health has a myriad of symptoms that can sometimes feel unconnected, but all of the issues you mentioned can be related back to poor gut health.

When we talk about an ‘unhealthy gut’ we are really talking about the whole of the GI tract, mainly focussing on the small and large intestines. It is unhealthy when one or more of the following conditions occur:

  • Compromised intestinal permeability, aka Leaky Gut: this is when the walls of our (just one cell thick) GI Tract are damaged and inflamed, meaning food particles and toxins that would usually be filtered out get into the bloodstream, creating systemic inflammation and setting off an immune response

  • Microbiome Imbalance: our microbiome is the population of good and bad bacteria, mold and fungi that live within the mucus membrane that covers the wall of our GI tract. When these become imbalanced - i.e you have more bad than good bacteria, or when you have an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, this can cause health issues ranging from GI distress to brain fog, fatigue, nutrient malabsorption and food cravings.

The range of symptoms that can be attributed to poor gut health are numerous and varied, but the most common include: gas, bloating, stomach cramps, constipation, diarrhea, brain fog, fatigue, weight gain or weight loss, acne, eczema, rosacea, thinning hair, weak nails, irregular periods and food cravings.

These symptoms can also be indicative of thyroid and/or hormonal imbalances, but as poor gut health can often be a cause/ contributor of these imbalances I am always recommend a protocol that heals the the gut first before moving on to other treatments.

My 28 Day Guided Gut Healing Program is designed for those experiencing these symptoms, or for those who want to reboot their health from its foundation. This program is now available to start anytime! For more information visit the link below:

https://www.jenniferhanway.com/28-day-gut-healing-plan/




Ask Jenny: How Do I Stop Overeating in the Evening?

I’m very good at staying on track with my diet during the day, but when it comes to my evening meal I tend to really overeat, often eating more than my husband, who is twice the size of me! I know this is really affecting my weight loss goals - can you help?
— A, New York

This question actually came to me via one of my Comprehensive Wellness Analysis patients at Russak Dermatology in NYC - she was incredible successful at sticking to her nutrition plan during the day, but was sabotaging her progress at by overeating at night. Below are the six strategies I recommended to help her stay on track:

1) Make sure you are eating enough during the day: evening hunger can often be due to not eating enough during the day, resulting in low blood sugar. This will mean that your body will want to restore the balance as quickly and as easily as possible, making you crave high carb, high sugar and high fat food. To prevent this try upping your portion sizes during the day, with the hierarchy of first adding more veggies, then more protein, then more fat, then more low GI carbs.

2) Have a mini meal in the afternoon: I recommend a minimum of 3 hours and a maximum of 4-5 hours between meals and snacks. This gives enough time for effective digestion, and for our bodies to utilize any carbohydrates within the meal so we switch over to fat burning mode, but not too much time that our blood sugar drops too low, which results in high cortisol (our stress hormone) and cravings for high carb foods (aka getting ‘hangry’). Quite often I find my clients going 7-8 hours between lunch and dinner, making them understandably ravenous at dinner time!

To prevent this add in a healthy snack (or as I prefer to call them a ‘mini meal’ - snacking has connotations of chips, cookies, candy, etc), such as hummus and veggie sticks, an apple and nut butter, a small smoothie, some jerky, or a real protein bar such as those from Epic, Bulletproof or Primal Kitchen Foods.

3) Enjoy Fibre Based Appetizers: I often do this whilst I am cooking or before a meal, and not only does it help up nutrient and fibre intake, but helps control my portion sizes during the meal too. Cut up some carrots, celery, peppers, jicama, tomatoes, etc, and have these on hand to snack on either whilst cooking, or before the meal, and I also love to add some Flackers, a flaxseed cracker that tastes great and helps to fill you up whilst still being low in calories. Having a big glass of water with these appetizers will help the fibre expand in the stomach, reducing appetite and benefiting your digestion. A light vegetable based soup will also have the same effect.

4) Add a daily Green Veggie Smoothie: this has been one of my tools for my weight loss and detox clients for years, and is something I implement if I find I am nowhere near my PRIME Principle of 8-9 servings of veggies and low GI fruit a day. Simply blend together 2 handfuls of spinach or kale, 1/2 zucchini, a little avocado, 1/2 peeled lemon or lime and 1/2 an apple if you need some sweetness, with 2 cups of chilled water. This will boost your nutrient and fibre intake for the day, and help to balance hunger hormones and curb your appetite.

5) Serve in the kitchen, take to the table: this is one of those practical solutions that is so easy, but that we never think of! If food is in front of us, we are wired to eat - its a biological response for survival. Simply by serving yourself in the kitchen with one plate of food and then taking that to your dinner table you will automatically reduce the amount that you are eating, remove temptation, and make it easier to monitor portion sizes.

6) Wait at least 20 minutes before having more: it can take at least 20 minutes for the brain to register that you have eaten, so don’t rush back to the kitchen for more the second you finishing your first serving! We can also disrupt the satiety signals to the brain if we do not chew our food properly, or if we are distracted whilst eating (put down your phones whilst eating please), so practice only eating whilst sitting down (ideally not at your desk), not using your phone whilst eating, and putting your knife and fork down between bites.

Do you have a question for me that you would like answered on the blog? Simply email jenny@jenniferhanway.com to be featured - and you can totally stay anonymous if you wish!

All products mentioned in this post are available from Thrive Market - use the link below to save 25% on your first order:

http://thrv.me/jennyhanway





Ask Jenny: Collagen for Vegans?

Olivia asks: 

My question for you was in reference to collagen powders. I've looked into them briefly but it doesn't seem like vegan options are easy to come by. Are you aware of any companies making vegan collagen, or what I should be using as an alternative? Especially following your recipes, I'm wondering if an extra scoop of protein powder is sufficient or is collagen is altogether different?

Such a great question Olivia!

Let's start by qualifying what collagen powder is made from - collagen is actually the most abundant protein in the body, and is found throughout all connective tissues in humans and animals. Collagen protein is typically made from the connective tissues of cows, therefore making it totally unsuitable for vegans! Vital Proteins does make a Marine Collagen made from fish scales for those of you who follow a pescatarian diet.

However, all is not lost for those of you wanting the gut healing and skin beautifying benefits of collagen whilst following a vegan diet. Collagen is considered a 'complete' protein as it contains all nine essential amino acids, but we have to remember that all types of protein (plant and animal) break down into amino acids in the body. So as long as vegans are having a variety of plant-based proteins in their diet, they will be ensuring they get all the building blocks to manufacture collagen within the body. 

Plant-based protein powders (pea, hemp, rice) can help vegans up their protein intake, especially if they find their diet on the lower side, or if they are doing a lot of exercise. Vegan diets can typically be pretty carbohydrate heavy, so my tip here would be to increase the amount of plant protein you are consuming, eat more low carb vegetables such as leafy greens (yes, even vegans can eat more veggies), and be aware of the amount of 'deliberate carbs' (carbs you add to a meal) they are consuming. 

Vegans and non-vegans alike can also up their intake of foods that help promote natural collagen production in the body such as avocados, walnuts, flaxseed and strawberries - all super delicious options!

My Collagen Crusader Smoothie is designed to promote natural collagen production in the body and is packed with gut and skin loving protein and great fats! 

Collagen Crusader Smoothie

  • 1 scoop vanilla plant-based protein powder

  • 1 tablespoon walnut butter

  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed

  • ¼ ripe avocado

  • ½ cup strawberries (keep the tops on)

  • 1.5 cups hemp seed milk

Blend until smooth.

Contact: jenny@jenniferhanway.com