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: supplements

What To Do When You Have Lost Your Fitness Mojo

I met with a friend of mine yesterday who needed some advice - an avid runner (a couple of marathons in the last few years), group fitness class lover, yogi and lifter in the gym, she had lost her 'fitness mojo'. The appeal of the couch and TV were far outweighing her desire to exercise, and she was not enjoying her favorite classes and workouts when she did go. 

Perfect timing for me to advise, as I am just coming out of this funk myself. Only this last week have I found my love for working out again, the last two months have been a struggle for me to feel motivated and enjoy my workouts. This is especially hard for me as in my industry it is expected that trainers love to train, and I believe that we should practice what we preach. The flip side of this is that we are human, and it can be just as hard for us to haul ass to the gym, or to strap on our sneaks and go for a run. 

So I gave my friend the same advice I gave myself: stop being so hard on yourself. Energy levels will ebb and flow, and its what you over the course of weeks, months and years that is important and will impact your health, not what happens over the course of a few days. Also, there may be a biochemical reason for needing the downtime: in my case I had followed a diet regime and workout plan designed by a trainer/dietitian colleague of mine in the UK over the summer that had totally kicked my butt, and the dental surgery I had in November was way more intense with a longer, harder recovery than I had expected. In my friends case she had run two marathons in the last two years, coupled with some stressful family events, and a super challenging job. 

All of these things will effect our physical and mental health, and at this point 'pushing yourself' is the last thing you should be doing and no amount of positive self talk or beating yourself up is going to help. Prolonged stress is going to raise your cortisol levels (stress hormones), which has a cascade effect on your adrenal function, possibly resulting in adrenal fatigue (when your adrenal glands function sub optimally). If this is the case then it is time to back off, and give yourself time to rest and recover, and implement nutrition, wellbeing and supplement strategies that will help you heal the body and get back on track. I suffered with severe cortisol disregulation and adrenal fatigue 3.5 years ago, following the unexpected death of my mother, and my move to the U.S. and recovered by using the above strategies. 

So back to the advice I gave my friend: give yourself permission to take time off (this was the most important part), nourish yourself with great food and more sleep (now is the time to up your good carbs and get your 9.5 hours), workout only if you feel like it, and prioritize lifting over cardio, and add in some great supplements such as Vitamin D (everyone should be taking this at this time of year), magnesium (to help deal with stress), and adaptogens which help the body deal with stress and fatigue. And be kind to yourself. 

If you would like any more information on dealing with high cortisol levels or adrenal fatigue please feel free to comment below of email me at jenniferhanway@icloud.com. 

 

 

 

Beat the Christmas Bloat!

Some people have what my Dad would call 'cast iron guts'! They can eat or drink anything they want, and have no nasty side effects. I am not one of those people. I am on the extreme end of the spectrum however; I have a severe gluten allergy that was undiagnosed until my early 30's (like a lot of the people in the health and wellness field I became frustrated when conventional medicine could not help me, and started to do my own research, but thats a story for another day), I'm intolerant to dairy (gluten and dairy sensitivities often go hand in hand), and I caught Typhoid whilst working at a fitness resort in Mexico in my late twenties.

Because of this I am very strict with my diet and avoid gluten, dairy and eggs like the plague. Even so, being out of routine, increased calorie intake and more alcohol and sugar than usual (my mother in law bakes amazing GF and DF treats for me) can result in 'stomach upset' (my polite English terminology), which in my case means bloating, gas, constipation and generally feeling miserable.

Below are my 3 tried and tested ways of helping my gut through the holiday period:

Friendly Bacteria

Probiotics are in common use now, and most people understand the benefits of incorporating them into their diets either in the foods they eat or as a supplement. I like to go two-fold on this when I know my digestive system is going to work a little harder than usual: I up my intake of probiotic rich fermented foods (goats milk kefir and sauerkraut are my favorites, you can buy both from Whole Foods), and every evening I take a good quality probiotic supplement from the Poliquin Group.

What is not as well know is that Probiotics need to feed on Prebiotic fiber to be active in the gut. I like to ensure my prebiotic fiber comes from my diet, great sources are fibrous veggies such as artichokes, leeks, dandelion greens and chicory. These are best eaten raw, but you can still get some of the benefits by lightly steaming them. Bananas (the greener the better) are also a great source of prebiotics.

I've also started to bring a bag of " target="_blank">Tiger Nuts with me when I travel - these little guys are not nuts, but tiny little tubers that are an amazing source of prebiotic fiber. You can also cook with Tiger Nut flour, and watch out for some Tiger Nut recipes on the blog in 2016!

Tiger Nuts
Tiger Nuts

Get Moving

Such a simple thing, but I find it makes a huge difference in my digestion and ahem, motility. I've learnt the hard way that I need to move my body everyday for all aspects of my health, and my favorite way to do this on holidays is to go for a walk, and practice some basic yoga poses that aid digestion.

Here is a 5 minute Yoga for Digestion video from ekhartyoga.com that is suitable for everyone:

[embed]http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lefh3wWcCHs[/embed]

Green for 'Go'

The fiber from green smoothies (not juices) is a great way to help everything move through the digestive system with a little more ease, and adding pineapple, lemon, parsley and ginger can help with gas and bloating. Below is my favorite 'stomach saving' green smoothie recipe:

1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks 1 cup water or coconut water (or 1/2 and 1/2) 1/4 cup fresh parsley 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger 1 cup leafy green veggies such as kale, chard, spinach or dandelion greens Big squeeze lemon juice Blend together until smooth and enjoy!
1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks 1 cup water or coconut water (or 1/2 and 1/2) 1/4 cup fresh parsley 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger 1 cup leafy green veggies such as kale, chard, spinach or dandelion greens Big squeeze lemon juice Blend together until smooth and enjoy!

I hope these suggestions help you as much as they help me. If you have any questions about this post please comment below, and if you have any 'stomach savers' you would like to share I'd love to hear them.

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.

Reader Q & A: Healthy Holiday Travel

Dear Jenny, I am traveling over the holidays and know that eating healthy in airports and hotels can be a struggle. Could you make some suggestions on how to stay on plan while away from home?

Thank you, Whitney

Hi Whitney and thank you so much for reaching out! I'm sure a lot of readers are facing the same challenge this week, so thank you for your question.

So, airport food is not as bad as it used to be. However, that really depends on which airport and where you are flying in and out from, for example, Boston's Logan domestic departures has some great healthy options, including Epic Bars, (also available from Whole Foods) which  I consider to be a 'real protein' bar, and are definitely one of my travel go-tos.

Epic Bars

Most airports also have nuts, go for plain, unsalted and raw to avoid the inflammatory oils used in the roasting  process, and the salt will also mean you will hold extra water whilst flying. Also you should be able to find at least apples and bananas at the airport for the vitamins and minerals.  Grab a green juice and a coconut water, as well as a couple of liters of water to keep you well hydrated in the air, and feeling great when you land.

Another great real protein snack that I like and that is super portable is Krave Artisanal Jerky (also available from Whole Foods).  Unlike other jerkys that can contain gluten, artificial flavorings and nitrates, Krave uses domestic meats and all natural ingredients. My favorite is the Turkey, Chardonnay and Thyme, but all of the flavors are pretty delicious!

Krave

My third portable protein option is a great protein shake. I don't recommend whey or soy proteins, so the best option is a vegetarian protein such as rice or hemp. My two recommendations are Primal Clear 3.0 and Proveg, both available from the Poliquin Group. Throw in a scoop of their Espresso Wellness Greens powder too, adding the benefits of over twenty servings of fruit and vegetables. Make shakes easily on the go and in the hotel room by taking a blender bottle with you too.

Another travel must have for me is a bag of gluten free oats. Most hotel rooms have some kind of device for boiling water, so you can make hot oatmeal by filling the hotel room coffee cup with a scoop of oats, and covering in hot water for five minutes, or until the water has absorbed. I love adding the aforementioned Espresso Wellness Greens to this too for a delicious chocolate flavor.

If swinging by a supermarket on the way to the hotel is an option stock up on apples, bananas, any whole, uncut seasonal fruits and pre cut veggies (such as carrots, cucumber, bell peppers), etc, that you can keep in the hotel room refrigerator.

Lastly, my four other travel essentials are non food related, but I don't travel anywhere without them!

Numi Teas: try the Tumeric or Mint teas if you have overindulged, and as a better option than the super acidic hotel room coffee.

Bucky Eye Mask: the best eye mask I've ever tried. Hotel rooms can be full of LED lights which can disturb sleep, so an eye mask is good insurance for a restful night.

Woodlot Candle: Woodlot offer a selection pack of candles, the small size is perfect for slipping into hand luggage, and help you feel at home in a strange place. For rest and relaxation chose the Rekindle scent.

Wind Down:perfect for stressful travel, being away from home, and family gatherings, this chocolate flavored chewable from the Poliquin Group can be taken when you are feeling harassed or overwhelmed, and has an instant calming effect.

I hope this helps Whitney!

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

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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (https://main.poliquinstore.com/?___store=usw&acc=cd00692c3bfe59267d5ecfac5310286c).

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.

 

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