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 Tag: self care

Self Care Sunday: Dry Skin Brushing for Detoxification

Its been a long time since I had a Self Care Sunday, so I’m making the most of this one! I’m putting myself through my own 14 Day Detox, so my self-care practices today are designed to naturally support detoxification.

Dry Skin Brushing is one of the easiest and most accessible rituals you can complete on a daily basis and supports detoxification in 2 ways: 

  • It exfoliates the top level of the epidermis, removing old skin cells which then enables them to release toxins (the skin and the liver are our two biggest organs of detoxification). This also gives you the bonus of fresh, glowing skin.

  • It stimulates the lymphatic system, which is one of the main systems responsible for eliminating waste products from our food, the external environment and those built up through our daily metabolic processes. The lymphatic system does not have a pump (in the way the circulatory system does) so it is essential to help it move through the body (exercise is another great way to do this).

How to Brush

Turn your shower on before you start - the heat will  open the pores whilst you are brushing. 

Take your brush and use long sweeping strokes up towards the heart. Smaller circular motions can be used around the butt and thighs, and use larger clockwise circles around the stomach which will aid  digestion and gut health.

Be sure to brush your armpits as there are a collection of lymph glands here. 

Be very gentle on the delicate skin on the chest. 

After brushing, jump into a hot shower, then switch between hot and cold for a few minutes, which will again stimulate circulation and the lymphatic system, energize you, and give you an amazing glow. 

Post-shower, dry off gently, apply a topical magnesium to the back of your knees and inner elbows, then massage in a toxin-free body lotion or body oil to the rest of your body.  

 

5 Simple Ways to Ease Post Workout Soreness

A lot of my personal training clients are ‘mentioning’ their post workout soreness after their sessions. These particular clients are in the middle of tough training phases right now, so a little muscle soreness is natural, but there are some simple things that can be implemented to help ease the pain! When a client asked how much soreness is natural I tell them that it differs from client to client and depends on the workout / training phase, and a little soreness up to 48 hours post training can be expected. A red flag for me is when the soreness is debilitating and affects everyday life, other overtraining signals can be lack of progress in the gym, disrupted sleep and feeling like there is ‘no gas in the tank’. At this point training should be reduced and strategies such as extra rest, yoga, and nutrition support should be implemented.

If there are no red flags then I ask them to implement the following, and may even bring them in an Anti Inflammatory Mango Smoothie if they are working extra hard!

Drink more water: I know this may sound obvious, but proper hydration can increase performance and reduce post workout muscle soreness. Ensure you are drinking water throughout the day, not just during and after the workout, and aim for at least 0.7 ounces of water per pound of bodyweight as your personalized water goal.

Train more often: this may sound counterproductive, but training large muscle groups at least 3 times a week can condition the muscles to hard training and eventually reduce post workout soreness. This is also why new trainees may experience more soreness than those more experienced, and why you may be more sore after a changing your workout. So hang in there - it gets better!

Warm up and cool down properly: boring, I know, but reducing muscle soreness starts even before your workout does. I ask my clients to walk, bike or row for at least 8-10 minutes (more if they have a desk job and are coming to me during their work day), then complete another 5 minutes of mobility work and dynamic stretching. Warming up has so many benefits, preventing injury, improving performance, preparing the mind for exercise, and reducing soreness post workout.  After working out I ask my clients to foam roll and stretch for as long as they can. If they are in a rush then I advise them to stretch post shower or in the evening before they go to bed. 

Take a cold shower: this is my favorite way to ease muscle soreness post workout, and can be really enjoyable once you are used to it! A cold bath or shower post workout increases circulation, bringing fresh blood to your muscles to help repair, lower inflammation and increase recovery speed. It also has the added benefit of tightening skin and giving you a great glow! If this is too much to bear try switching to a cold shower for the last 2 minutes after your hot shower.

Supportive nutrition and supplementation: if you are working hard in the gym your nutrition should support your efforts. Ensure you are well fueled before training (a mixture of protein, carbs and fat 60-90 mins before training is ideal), and a strategic post workout shake can give your muscles the materials for repair whilst lowering inflammation.

Turmeric (the active ingredient being curcumin) is a wonderful anti inflammatory, and can be use to great effect either in food or supplement form. One of my favourite functional foods is Inflam PX from the Poliquin Group, which contains turmeric extract (along with other anti inflammatory and healing compounds) that can be consumed on its own, or I like to add it to a vanilla protein shake. I recommend Inflam PX to all my clients if they get injured or after surgery, but it can also be used everyday to support hard training. 

You can also replicate this at home with my Turmeric Mango Coconut Protein Smoothie, which also contains collagen powder which is my go-to for muscle repair and ginger which also has anti-inflammatory properties: 

Anti Inflammatory Mango Protein Smoothie 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 1 cup coconut milk ½ cup filtered water ½ cup frozen mango ½ banana 2 teaspoons collagen powder 1 teaspoon fresh grated turmeric or turmeric powder 1 teaspoon fresh grater ginger or ginger powder Throw ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Anti Inflammatory Mango Protein Smoothie 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 1 cup coconut milk ½ cup filtered water ½ cup frozen mango ½ banana 2 teaspoons collagen powder 1 teaspoon fresh grated turmeric or turmeric powder 1 teaspoon fresh grater ginger or ginger powder Throw ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Anti Inflammatory Mango Protein Smoothie

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1 cup coconut milk

½ cup filtered water

½ cup frozen mango

½ banana

2 teaspoons collagen powder

1 teaspoon fresh grated turmeric or turmeric powder

1 teaspoon fresh grater ginger or ginger powder 

Throw ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Green Beauty 101 by Splurge Skincare

I invited one of my favorite new green skincare companies Splurge Skincare to give us the lowdown on why green beauty is so important for our holistic health and how we can take small steps to incorporate clean skincare and beauty into our regimes...
Green Your Skincare Routine by Kara Kivi, Splurge Skincare
When most people think about health, nutrition and fitness are the first things that come to mind, but have you ever stopped to think that the personal care products you put on your body may be just as important to your health as the nutrition that you put into it?
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There are estimates that your skin, which is the largest organ in your body, can absorb up to 60% of what is put on it. For all you skeptics out there, consider the now common method of administering drugs such as birth control, hormone replacement, and nicotine via trans-dermal patches. Trans-dermal application works because your skin is able to absorb the treated patches, and instead of having to go through your digestive system like orally ingested medication, the chemicals are able to penetrate directly into your bloodstream and tissues. However, this means your skin may also be absorbing chemicals contained in the conventional skincare products that you use every day! While there are a variety of factors that contribute to the types of substances your skin can absorb, such as the size of the molecules and the integrity of your skin barrier, it's safe to say that given the sheer number of personal care products we use on a daily basis, we are taking in far more chemicals than we are aware of.
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So how do you avoid overloading your body with potentially harmful substances? Your first and best defense is becoming an educated consumer and choosing skincare products that use natural and safe ingredients. In other words, read your labels! If you're unfamiliar with what ingredients to avoid, a great place to start is the EWG Skin Deep database, which rates the safety level of products. You can search Skin Deep by individual ingredients, product type, or brand. However, when searching for brands, keep in mind that smaller, independent skincare companies, such as our own Splurge Skincare, may not yet be included in their brand database. Some tips to remember when reading labels are: ingredients are listed in descending order (you want the good stuff to be near the top of the list)! If you recognize the common name of the ingredient as plant-based (shea butter, for example) it is generally safe, provided there are no known allergies.
It can be overwhelming to replace every single personal care product with a “green” alternative all at once, so we recommend starting with the items that cover large areas of skin and are meant to penetrate, such as moisturizers for both the body and face. There are numerous green beauty options for moisturizers in the form of lotions, butters, and oils.  Our original product, The Rub body scrub is a product that can do double duty as both an exfoliant and a body moisturizer.  Containing a combination of butters and oils with sugar as the exfoliant, The Rub will leave your skin smooth and moisturized using only natural ingredients.  If you're looking for additional moisture, pure coconut oil is a great and inexpensive way to nourish your skin.
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Another category of products you should consider replacing with safe alternatives are lip products.  Not only is the skin on your lips sensitive, but you also end up ingesting at least some of the lip products you apply, so it's important to make safe choices.  Splurge Skincare makes a variety of lip products, from our Lip Buttah that provides long lasting moisture, to our Tinted Buttah, for when you want a sheer wash of color, and finally our Melted Buttah, for when your lips (or other spots!) need serious repair.  If you're looking for more color in the form of a lipstick, Axiology and Hush+Dotti are two brands we recommend checking out for great non-toxic lipstick choices.
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Consumer demand for both safe AND effective skincare products means that the availability of choices for clean, "green" products is growing at a rapid pace.  From online retailers who specialize in selling only all natural products (The Choosy Chic and Bergamot Beauty are two of our faves!), to natural product choices now available at major retailers such as Sephora, green beauty is indeed here to stay.
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You can use my exclusive code 'newyear20' to receive a 20% discount off all of Splurge Skincare's wonderful products (I cant live without my Melted Buttah)!
Check out their gorgeous new website at www.splurgeskincare.com and happy shopping!  
 

My Top Five: Apps for Health, Fitness and Wellbeing

  The new year comes with a lot of resolutions for all of us, and if those resolutions include improving your health and wellbeing then read on!

It has been proven many times that we are more likely to stick to our healthy habits if they are made easily accessible to us, and what could be more accessible than our smart phones, tablets and laptops that we cant seem to live without these days!

You can use all of these apps without having to purchase an expensive gadget such as a Fitbit or Jawbone (I don't own any of these).

I love anything that makes wellbeing easier, and as someone that couldn't live without her iPhone I wanted to share with you my top five apps that I use to help with my nutrition, fitness and wellbeing.

1) My Fitness Pal

Available as an App and via their website, My Fitness Pal is my go-to for food tracking for both myself and my clients. It is so easy to use, and has a huge database of foods ranging from grocery store goods to restaurant dishes. Even better, you can scan barcodes on food packaging for easy uploading.

You can also allow your friends to see your food diaries, and this can help accountability, and also makes it very easy for your nutrition coach to keep track of your food intake too (I see you...)

As with all food tracking apps I do not agree with their 'one size fits all' approach to calculating calorie allowances, so I suggest setting your own custom macros in accordance with your goals.

My Fitness Pal is free.

2) Nike+ Training Club

One of the originals and in my opinion the best of all workout apps available, you cant beat the behemoth that is Nike for a huge variety of beautifully shot and easy to follow workouts.

You can set the workout to music from your iTunes library, reiview all the exercises before you start the workout (I love this feature), and view the workout on your television if you have Apple TV. Workouts range from 15 minutes to 45 minutes so even those strapped for time have no excuses!

Nike+ Training Club is free.

3) Yoga Studio

Yoga Studio by Gaiam is my favorite of all the yoga apps available as it is so easy to use, clearly shot, and easily accessible to beginners. It has options for viewing ready made classes, from which you can select based on focus, ability or duration, or you can create your own class depending on what you want to achieve from your practice. From what I have seen so far all you need is a mat and some space, and you are ready to go. I love the Yoga for Back Pain classes, and the Deep Relaxation ; )

Yoga Studio is $3.99.

4) f.lux / Sunn 

Such a simple concept, but I've really found these two apps life changing. Both apps make the color of your computer or smartphone displays adapt to the time of day showing as warm at night (less blue light) and like sunlight during the day. Bringing down the amount of artificial light you are exposed to after dark can lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and normalize our circadian rhythms, helping us sleep better at night.

I use f.lux for my laptop, and Sunn for my iPhone, as Apple do not allow f.lux unless you jailbreak the phone.

f.lux is free and Sunn is $3.99.

5) Headspace

Headspace is a relatively new app for me but I love it already. Think of it as 'meditation for non-meditators'. You are guided through a series of  'brain training sessions' by the creator Andy Puddicombe (a meditation and mindfulness expert and a fellow brit - this app is worth downloading for his soothing British accent alone), in which you are asked to focus on your breath, physical sensations and noise around you, making for practice that can be adopted by anyone.

Your are also able to track your progress, find friends who are also using Headspace, and pick practices from collections to suit your mood and lifestyle.

Headspace is free for the first 10 sessions, then moves to a paid subscription starting at $7.99 if you sign up for a year.

 

I'd love to hear about the apps you use to enhance your nutrition, training and wellbeing! Please share your suggestions below so we can all reap the benefits!

Rest and Reset: The Importance of Less Stress, More Sleep

The holidays are a wonderful time, but they can often mean self care and sleep get a little neglected. With this in mind I wanted to draw attention to an old post that rings true especially at this time of the year...Isn't sleep a blessing?  Not only does sleep make you feel wonderful, it has some pretty amazing health benefits too: 

  • It helps to control weight and improves body composition (ration of body fat to lean muscle) in two ways. Sleep regulates the hormones that effect appetite, and when we don't get enough sleep our bodies produce more of the hormone ghrelin which in turn leads us to make poor food choices and consume more calories. Research studies have also shown that lack of sleep leads to less energy output, i.e. we are less likely to exercise (or even walk around the block) due to tiredness and lack of motivation.
  • It increases your ability to handle both mental and physical stress. Not only this but sleep lowers both blood pressure levels and the stress hormone cortisol.
  • It has a beneficial effect on our mood and our thinking. Not only does it make us feel happier and less worried (studies show a long term sleep deficit can lead to depression and anxiety) good sleep increases cognitive function, leading to better judgement, improved focus and less tendency to takes risks.
  • It enables cell repair throughout the body, important for both repairing muscles post workout (we are at our weakest state post workout due to the breaking down of muscle fibers, they will repair and get stronger whilst we sleep) and beautiful skin (repair at the cellular level results in less fine lines and wrinkles, and gives us a glowing, even complexion).
  • It decreases inflammation: chronic inflammation is the source of many diseases, including cancer, obesity, and heart disease. We all need some level of inflammation in the body to help heal and fight off infections, but when too much inflammation is present (this can be caused by a myriad of things, from stress to bad food choices and poor gut health) it can cause the immune system to malfunction, relating in auto immune conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and arthritis.

There are many simple ways to improve the quality of our sleep, below are five easy to implement health habits:

  • Introduce a caffeine curfew: for me this time is 3.30pm, for others it may be later or earlier, depending on your tolerance for caffeine. If you find your mind racing the minute you close your eyes start moving your caffeine curfew back by half an hour to see if it helps. One of my favorite alternatives is the caffeine free Turmeric tea from Numi Organics:

Numi Organic Turmeric Tea Amber Sun

  • Get outside in daylight: as the days become shorter we can find ourselves not seeing the daylight hours. By taking just a 10-15 minute walk outside at lunchtime you can normalize your circadian rhythm, letting your body know it is time to ‘wind down’ when the sun goes down.
  • Ensure adequate magnesium levels: due to our modern diets and extra environmental stresses the majority of us are magnesium deficient. Magnesium is needed in over 300 metabolic processes in the body, and is vital for ensuring a restful nights sleep .
  • Do not take the phone into the bedroom! Use an old fashioned alarm clock, or if you must use your phone turn the wifi off and switch to airplane mode for good measure. The electrical signals will have a negative impact on quality of sleep, even if you do not wake up. I love to use a daylight alarm clock for the most gentle, natural way to wake up:

Philips HF3500/60 Wake-Up Light

  • Consider supplements for sleep: they are many natural supplements available that can help aid sleep, my favorite is a product called RestoREM from the Poliquin Group. RestoREM contains the nutrients 5-HTP, Phenibut and melatonin and to improves serotonin levels, resulting in better sleep patterns to leave you feeling refreshed and energised when you wake up.

The Poliquin Store

Sweet dreams everyone!

The information and materials provided in this blog are to support and assist people who are looking to improve their health and wellbeing I understand that all new dietary/supplements/ exercise programs should be undertaken after consultation with a medical doctor. Jennifer Hanway is not responsible for any injury or illness sustained whilst following the information in this blog.

How to Stay Well in the Winter

This article was originally posted last year, but with a lot of my clients coming down with the flu, I thought I should share with you all again! 

It happens to us all (even us wellness professionals). The leaves begin to fall from the trees, the temperature drops, and we start to feel the beginnings of a cold or even the flu. Sore throat, earache, headache, tiredness, and even stomach flu are all prevalent at this time of year. Below are my 5 top tips for stopping winter illness in its tracks, or for fending it off altogether!

Look to Your Gut Health

Did you know approximately 70 % of your immune system is located in your digestive tract? All 2, 000 square feet of your intestinal lining has a permeable layer that is permeable to nutrients but blocks bad bacteria. When this mucosal layer is compromised in any way (by stress, illness, infection, antibiotic use, food allergies or intolerances), food particles can escape into your blood stream. The body sees these particles as ‘invaders’, and will set off an autoimmune response to fight back from what it sees as a threat. This auto immune response can manifest in the body in many different ways, and if you struggle with chronic tiredness, or a lowered immune system , looking to improve your gut health may be of benefit to you.

Some simple steps to improve your gut health can be to eliminate trigger foods from your diet (wheat, gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, caffeine), to rebuild the lining of your intestinal tract and replace the healthy bacteria by using the following Poliquin Group supplements:

  • Proflora Excellence DF Caps
  • Megabiotic SP
  • L-Glutamine

Take Extra Care of Your Day to Day Wellness

Getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of filtered water, mitigating stress, and eating 7-9 servings of veggies a day, lots of lean protein, healthy fats and targeted clean carbs - all of these things can be underestimated in the fight for health at this time if year. Your body needs even more support in the winter months, so giving it the fuel and rest it needs to fight off infections is a huge part of supporting your immune system right now.

We also tend to veer towards warming comfort foods at this time of year, and our veggie intake may go down as we move away from salads to hot foods. A great way to mitigate this is to turn to soups and stews, and roast big batches of the delicious seasonal vegetables available at this time of year, such as squashes, carrots, kale and fennel with coconut oil and salt and pepper.

Cut the Caffeine

As we begin to feel tired and lethargic due to the seasonal change and reduction in daylight hours, we may be tempted to reach for the coffee cup a little more than usual. However, adding in more caffeine (even the low acid, organic coffee that I recommend) to an already depleted immune system and stressed adrenal glands may be the proverbial straw that breaks the camels back. When your adrenals are already stressed they will struggle to cope with the extra cortisol produced by the caffeine in the coffee. Unfortunately, the only time we can really drink coffee without negative health implications for our adrenal glands is when we are feeling fit, well and energetic!

Also caffeine can have a drying effect on your mouth and throat, which will only compound the sore throat and earache prevalent with winter illness. This is a great time to turn to caffeine free herbal teas which will both hydrate you and benefit your health. I love Numi teas which are available from Amazon as an alternative to coffee.

Numi Organic Turmeric Tea Amber Sun - 12 Tea Bags

Change Your Training

‘Overtraining’ at this time of year can also have a negative impact on our immune system. If you are beginning to feel unwell (or are having a busy, stressful week), you may wish to look at bringing down the volume of your training, and upping the intensity. This means utilizing a  strength based training phase for 4-6 weeks, in which you would lift heavier weights (upping the intensity), for less repetitions (lowering the volume).

Take Targeted Supplements

As a Bio Signature Practitioner I always recommend everyone to take at least a basic stack of foundation supplements (Vitamin D, Magnesium, Multi Vitamin, Fish Oil and a Probiotic). However at this time of year we can look to smart supplementation to support our immune system and get us back to full health in record time.

For general immune support at the change of seasons I like to add in the following (all products mentioned here are available through the link below):

  • Immutaki, a concentrated extract of 7 mushroom extracts that support cellular defenses and a healthy immune response.
  • Uber C, a Vitamin C supplement available  in capsule or powder form, best taken post workout.

At the onset of illness:

  • Immungraphis, a blend of asian and Ayurvedic herbs and antioxidants that promote a healthy immune response and especially support upper respiratory, liver, and immune system health.

Poliquin Group Supplements:https://main.poliquinstore.com/?___store=usw&acc=cd00692c3bfe59267d5ecfac5310286c

The information and materials provided in this article are to support and assist people who are looking to improve their health and wellbeing. All material is advice, opinion and recommendation, and you are under no obligation to follow the advice provided.It is not intended to be a replacement for diagnosis and/or treatment by a medical doctor. All new dietary/supplements/ exercise programs should be undertaken after consultation with a medical doctor.

Stop, Drop and Meditate: Post Workout Meditation

Every Friday I am going to be helping you to 'Stop, Drop and Meditate' with the help of Meditation Expert (and wonderful friend) Charity Collier. This week's guided meditation is perfect for when you have just finished your workout. Training can cause a raise in cortisol (the stress hormone) which is great for giving you that push when you are sprinting on the treadmill, hitting that punchbag, or PR'ing your Deadlift, but for both our health and our body composition we want to bring cortisol levels down as quickly as possible once we have finished our session.

So what are you waiting for, lets 'Stop, Drop and Meditate' with Charity!

[embed]http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFmDVUb2JG4[/embed]

For more information on Charity and Meditating Together check out her daily meditation affirmations, inspirations and education posts on:

Facebook: Meditating Together

Instagram: @meditatingtogether

Twitter: https://twitter.com/meditating2ther

Email: meditatingtogether@gmail.com

YouTube: Meditating Together

Periscope: @meditating2ther (Every Wednesday I do a live meditation on Periscope at 9pm EST)

 

 

Weekend Wellness Round Up

Grab a coffee or a green juice and take a seat on the couch! Every Saturday I will be posting links to five of my favorite blog posts of the week in the fields of nutrition, health, fitness, wellness, beauty and self care to help you learn even more about these topics, and to introduce you to voices in the wellness sphere you may not have heard of... Amy Myers MD is a Functional Medicine doctor based in Austin, Texas. I have just finished reading her book, The Autoimmune Solution, and I learnt so much that I intend to implement in both my nutrition plan and that of my clients.

http://www.amymyersmd.com/2015/10/is-stress-damaging-your-gut/

Danielle La Porte is like the strong, feisty, no B.S. big sister I wish I had. I first came across her work in her book The Desire Map, which focuses on setting 'goals with soul'. I have followed her ever since, and love this post with Kate Northrup about a topic that definitely falls into the 'self care' category: money.

http://www.daniellelaporte.com/kate-money-interview/

Madeline Shaw is a fellow Brit who is having huge success in the UK and beyond. Her website is filled with beautiful photos and delicious recipes that prove that eating clean does not mean being deprived.

http://madeleineshaw.com/recipes/sweet-potato-fennel-and-chilli-stew/

Hip and Healthy is another website from across the pond that I have had the pleasure of guest blogging for in the past. I love this article addressing lower back pain as I find this is a common thread among my training clients due to their sedentary jobs.

http://hipandhealthy.com/the-10-minute-workout-to-ease-lower-back-pain/

And finally, a little weekend fun! Ben Greenfield is a personal trainer and author with extensive experience in the fitness and wellness industry. I love his podcasts and always learn something. This post however, is something a little different than Ben's usual material, and is best read in private!

http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/10/how-to-increase-sexual-endurance/

Contact: jenny@jenniferhanway.com