January 2, 2019

In the beginning of any new year it is common to set goals around weight loss and health. How are you going to achieve your goals?  Eating less and exercising more may work for some, but this formula does not hold all the answers.  Read below to learn why  “calories in vs calories out” is not the full story. Here are the TOP 5 things that could be preventing you from reaching your 2019 health goals.  

5. Altered Gut Bacteria: Studies now show that an imbalance in gut bacteria has a huge effect on the amount of inflammation going on inside our digestive system. More inflammation stimulates the body to gain weight. In fact, there is research that shows fecal transplants in mice can drastically change a mouses weight. In humans, fecal transplants have also been shown to reduce or reverse irritable bowel diseases.

4. Food allergies/sensitivities: Another component of gut inflammation is food that our body’s immune system reacts to. If we have a bunch of food sensitivities it may point to “leaky gut” or high gut permeability. A leaky gut allows food particles, bacteria, and other pathogens to move from the intestines into the body, causing inflammation. By doing an elimination diet or specific blood work, we can see certain foods that cause inflammatory reactions like stomach aches, constipation/diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, or even a stuffy nose. While eliminating these foods can be a good first step, it is also important to work on healing the underlying gut inflammation causing the foods sensitivity in the first place. Left untreated, leaky gut can lead to other health concerns like autoimmune disease and cognitive decline.

3. Hormone balance: I am not just talking about our sex hormones, like estrogen, but also adrenal and thyroid hormones. If the body’s hormones are imbalanced or stressed, losing weight can be an uphill battle. If you already eat healthy and exercise regularly but still have issues with weight, sleep, or energy this is the next area to look with a functional medicine nutritionist.

2. Sleep: If sleep is off, you can bet the rest of the body’s systems will be off as well. In fact, your quality of sleep is a huge indicator into blood sugar regulation, adrenal and thyroid health, as well as neurotransmitter balance.

1. Stress: Stress is the number one factor that will impact your weight and health. Stress impacts each of the previous four factors and can be the spark the lights the match for failing health. Stress also stimulates the release of cortisol, a hormone that stimulates fat accumulation in our abdomen. Stress can come from a fast-paced lifestyle, nutrient deficiencies, and/or a history of trauma. No matter where your stress is coming from, working to reduce stress can be one of the best ways to support your health and weight loss goals.

For each of these top five factors, working with Sally can be a great way to evaluate your body’s unique needs. Make 2019 the year you get serious about feeling your best! 

November 19, 2018

As winter approaches we are all adjusting to a new internal clock. Let talk about ways to help our bodies adjust and support a healthy sleep cycle.

We know we need to sleep for energy, fresh thinking, and a good mood, but did you also know that while we are asleep our brain is detoxing? This mechanism is called the glymphatic system. While asleep your brain is working to clean out potentially neurotoxic waste products that naturally accumulate when we are awake. Not getting enough quality sleep can cause these waste products to build up. As a result, we may experience symptoms like brain fog in the short term or neurodegenerative disorders in the long term.

How to Naturally Make Melatonin

You may have already heard about melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep and wakefulness. Poor sleep may mean your body is coming up short on producing enough melatonin. Here are some ways to increase melatonin production:

1. Melotonin To make melatonin we need the amino acid tryptophan. Foods high in tryptophan include red meat, poultry, bananas, potatoes, leafy greens, spirulina, pumpkin and squash seeds, mozzarella cheese, beans, lentils, and eggs. Along with tryptophan we also need vitamins and minerals such as B6, Magnesium and vitamin C to help convert this amino acid into melatonin.

2. Healthy Gut Bacteria In addition to getting enough of the melatonin “building blocks,” we need healthy gut bacteria to begin the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin, and then into melatonin. Once again we see that a healthy gut microbiome is important for our overall health.

3. Exercise and sun exposure These are additional ways to improve a good nights rest. These both support the conversion pathway of tryptophan into serotonin, and then into melatonin. (Not to mention the uptick in mood from the extra serotonin.) If you have ever had a day full of either exercise and/or sun I am sure you slept great that night!

What Keeps Us Up?

1. Blue Light First, let’s talk about things that can interfere with melatonin production. Blue light at night tells the body it is daytime, interfering with our body’s production of melatonin. Avoiding blue light from screens and bright lights before sleep is ideal to help support melatonin production. Even a small amount of light coming through your window or a digital clock can prevent a full night rest by impeding melatonin production.

2. Stress Sleep can also be impacted by the amount of stress we have in our lives. Do you often wake up between 2 and 4 am and can’t get back to bed? This is a sign your adrenal glands are overworked. In today’s world, if our adrenal glands are constantly at work, releasing cortisol to keep us at a fast pace each day, they can often release that built up cortisol around 2-4am. This jolt of cortisol wakes us up and keeps us up. For this reason, slowing down each day and taking time to mindfully destress can improve your sleep at night.

3. Cortisol When we ignore your body’s cue that it is time to head to bed (usually around 9 or 10pm) our adrenals kick in and release cortisol to keep us up. This is why at 9 pm you could pass out in a minute but if you ignore that signal and head to bed at midnight, you can end up lying awake in bed for hours.

4. Blood Sugar Poor blood sugar control can also wake up at night. Around 2:00 am our body starts to produce its own sugar for energy. This is called gluconeogenesis. This jolt of energy into our bloodstream can wake us up. Balancing meals and foods to regulate blood sugar can improve sleep.

Note: Often times blood sugar dysregulation or adrenal imbalance wake us up and we then realize have to pee, while we are left thinking it was only a full bladder that disrupted our sleep.

Contact Sally

Nourished Roots Nutrition, LLC
P: (303) 209-8640
F: (303) 209-8482

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Tip of the Day

Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, or SNPs (pronounced “snips”), are slight variations in our genetic code that can occur during DNA replication. These variations may have no effect on our bodies or they may impact how we utilize nutrients and medications.

Nutrigenomics is the study of how the food we eat and supplements we take interact with our specific gene expression. It’s a major reason why there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all way of eating. With genomic testing, Sally can provide specific nutrition recommendations based off of your individual genomics. While you can’t get rid of a SNP, proper nutrition support can often help mitigate the negative effects of some gene SNPs like fatigue, brain fog, depression, poor digestion, and inflammation.