Fuel Your Roots
ALL ACCESS PAGE
This is your ALL ACCESS PAGE for the Fuel Your Roots One-Week Reset. This page will contain all of the resources you need for the reset. Bookmark this page and check back daily for more tips, challenges, and more!
Day 1: Fuel Your Roots Kick-Off Webinar
Monday, April 24 at 7pm ET.
Mark your calendar and join me live! The webinar replay will be posted on Tuesday.
This is Day 1 of our one week Fuel Your Roots Spring Reset! Each day of the next week I’ll be sending you an email with hair-supportive wellness challenges, goal setting prompts, and helpful resources to keep you moving forward.
To start things off with, I’m including access to all the handouts and guides that we’ll be using this week (linked above in the handouts section).
- One Week Meal Plan (all gluten-free)
- Pantry Guide
- Natural Hair Care Product Guide
- Favorite Supplements
To make the most of this week, here are a couple of suggestions:
1. Tell a friend, roommate, partner or family member that you’re making YOU a priority this week.
- Not only can this help with accountability and make you more effective but it’s also an opportunity for you to set expectations and ask for help so you have the time and bandwidth to really show up this week.
2. Set aside time on your calendar to read the daily emails and participate in the daily wellness challenge
- Don’t put things off for tomorrow! If you’re like me, if it’s not on the calendar it doesn’t happen. Consider blocking 15 min in the earlier part of each day to read the email (I’ll be sending them out at 8am ET each day) and then another 15-30 min in the afternoon or evening to complete the challenge.
3. Make meals ahead of time.
- Trying to figure out what to eat when you’re already hungry is tough – rarely do I find something that is nourishing and satisfying unless I have prepared something for myself ahead of time (leftovers are your friend).
4. Progress over perfection.
- Let’s be real: Trying to integrate new habits can be challenging. If you find yourself getting discouraged or overwhelmed it’s important to be mindful of your self-talk (how you talk to yourself internally). Rather than internally berating yourself for perceived short-comings, try and reframe using self-compassion.
Day 2: Hair Supportive Nutrition
Tuesday, April 25
As promised, HERE is the kick-off webinar replay link.
Today we are going to be focusing on supporting healthy hair growth from the inside out with good nutrition.
How we fuel our body can have a profound impact on the health of our hair. Let me share just a few key ways how nutrition and hair health intersect:
- Each strand of hair is built using nutrients derived from the foods that we eat!
- Hair is made of keratin and the amino acid l-cysteine (found in protein-rich foods) is a major component of keratin helping to provide strength/rigidity to our hair.
- The vitamin B6 supports l-cysteine incorporation into keratin.
- The amino acid l-lysine supports hair shape and volume and can help iron & zinc absorption (both important nutrients for hair).
- Hair is made of keratin and the amino acid l-cysteine (found in protein-rich foods) is a major component of keratin helping to provide strength/rigidity to our hair.
- It’s widely recognized that thyroid health is critical to our hair health – and good nutrition is essential to our thyroid!
- Nutrients iodine, selenium, zinc iron, and amino acid l-tyrosine are needed to support thyroid hormone production and activation.
- Our body uses the hormone insulin to transport glucose (energy) from our blood to our cells so that they can use it now or store it for later. When our cells become less sensitive to insulin, it causes insulin levels to increase. One of the effects of higher insulin levels can be increased production of hair-harming androgenic hormones like dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
- Eating meals that include proteins, fats, and high-fiber foods can have a stabilizing impact on our blood sugar and support insulin sensitivity.
- Minerals like magnesium, chromium and vanadium support insulin signaling and can promote better blood sugar control.
Q: Do I need to include a nutritional supplement to support hair growth?
A: Not necessarily! Whether someone would benefit from taking a nutritional supplement depends on their nutritional status (aka do they have a specific nutrient deficiency/insufficiency that needs to be amended?).
A lot of people approach nutritional supplements assuming that there is no harm in taking them even without a specific nutritional need and for an indefinite period of time. Research supports that eating a well-rounded diet and nutrient-dense foods is the ideal way to obtain essential nutrients and maintain health (see top food sources of key hair supportive nutrients below).
Supplementing with some nutrients (e.g. iron, vitamin D) can carry a higher risk of developing dangerous toxicity which means that it’s important to work with a qualified nutritional professional (such as moi) to make sure that you are taking the appropriate supplements and monitoring nutrient need with frequent lab testing.
Day 2 Wellness Challenge and Goal Setting:
Think about your regular diet (what you typically eat day-to-day). Are you currently eating very many of these top food sources of key hair supportive nutrients?
The best way to make sure that we are getting adequate nutrition is to eat consistently (for example, avoid skipping meals). If you have been on a restrictive diet (e.g. lots of foods that are ‘off-limits’), consume a limited number of calories, have low appetite, or do intermittent fasting it’s hard to get your nutritional needs met.
Your goal for today is to think about your regular diet, consider how adequate your regular intake is, and make a small resolution on how to improve.
Here’s an example: If you currently do not eat breakfast, start by making a goal to eat a small breakfast each day (piece of toast, hard boiled egg, or protein bar, etc.). Generally once you start eating more consistently, appetite will increase over time.
Day 3: stress Part 1
Wednesday, April 26
Today we are going to be talking about stress; specifically perceived stress and sleep issues (another form of stress on our bodies).
Let’s start by laying out the impact that stress can have on our hair:
- Stress can blunt our hair’s growth phase (anagen) and push it into an extended rest phase (telogen). Less growing, more resting equates to thin, sparse hair.
- Stress can cost our body hair-essential nutrients (such as magnesium and several B vitamins).
- High levels of stress can impact our appetite, sometimes leading to lower food intake. If we are not eating enough food we are not providing our body with the fuel that it needs to grow and maintain healthy hair.
- Chronic stress can lead to hormonal imbalances that can have a negative impact on our hair health.
A lot of people don’t understand that stress can come in many different forms. Today we’re talking about perceived stress (like when you get a upsetting email or your kid has a meltdown in Target) and poor sleep, but dehydration, blood sugar issues, under-eating, inactivity or overtraining, and chronic inflammation (for example, hidden infections) can also be sources of stress on our body (we’ll talk about more of these in tomorrow’s email).
Perceived stress is a big topic to tackle in a one week reset and often relates to topics outside the scope of a nutritionist. Many of the clients that I work with also work with a licensed mental healthcare provider to learn better ways to manage their stress levels.
Beyond working with a therapist, there are a few other resources you might consider checking out to reduce perceived stress:
- Work on setting better boundaries. I like THIS book by Melissa Urban.
- Incorporate a regular meditation practice (even just 5 minutes per day). I like apps such as Calm or Headspace for guided meditations.
Like I mentioned earlier, poor sleep can be a form of stress on our bodies. Before we talk about ‘poor sleep’, let’s lay out what ideal sleep can look like:
- 7-8 hours of asleep time each night (translates to ~8-9 hours in your bed each night)
- Consistent bedtimes that are before 11pm
- A bedroom that is dark, quiet, and cool (ideal sleep temp is 60-67F)
- Fall asleep between 5-30 minutes
- Stay asleep all night (or with minimal interruptions)
- Wake up feeling refreshed
(PS Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep can be a sign of circadian rhythm issues and HPA axis dysregulation. If you frequently struggle with these, hit reply to this email so we can talk more about a functional, whole-body approach to a better night’s sleep).
Many people are not satisfied with their sleep so, if you’re thinking that your sleep is not where you’d like it to be, you are not alone.
The way to improve sleep will vary from person to person. Let me share a couple of examples with you.
- Example 1: You accidentally find yourself scrolling on social media until 1am.
- Example 2: Your partner snores loudly, keeping you from sleeping soundly.
- Example 3: Your child wakes you up when they come to bed at 3am.
- Example 4: There is a bright street light outside your bedroom window.
You can see that there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution that would solve each of these sleep issues. For some people, keeping your cell phone out of your bedroom or turning it on airplane mode is enough. For others, they may need to enlist the help of a family therapist to establish healthy bedtime routines and better boundaries for a whole household.
Day 3 Wellness Challenge and Goal Setting:
Assess your regular sleep and rate it based on each of the below categories. Score each 0 – 5 (0 being ‘needs a lot of work’, 5 being ‘is going awesome’):
- Time spent in bed
- Consistent bedtime
- Dark bedroom
- Quiet bedroom
- Cool bedroom
Now, pick one area that you would like to see improvement and come up with a list of ideas that could help (be really open minded when brainstorming – – all ideas are good at this point).
Next, look at your list of ideas and choose the one that would be the easiest for you to begin now.
Day 4: stress Part 2
Thursday, April 27
We’re staying on stress for another day because it’s such a big topic that can have far reaching impacts on our health.
Did you know that stress comes in many different forms (not just the perceived stress that everyone thinks of)?
Different types of stress:
- Perceived stress
- Glycemic dysregulation
- Circadian rhythm dysregulation
- Chronic inflammation
Yesterday we talked a bit about perceived stress and poor sleep (one source of circadian rhythm dysregulation) and today I want to talk about movement and hydration.
Our bodies benefit from regular movement and our health can be harmed when we are too sedentary. You probably remember the study that was published a few years ago where researchers found risk of dying was similar for people who sat for more that 8 hours per day and people who smoke cigarettes. And while many of us would like to believe that we can undo the effects of sitting all day by hitting the gym after work or on the weekends, current data suggests that spending most of our day sitting is still an issue even if we squeeze in a workout.
While getting 10,000 steps in per day might not be necessary, getting more movement and less sitting into our day to day routines is a good idea. Here are some of my favorite ways to be less sedentary:
- Use a sit/stand desk (I aim to spend ~40% of my work day standing)
- Take frequent breaks throughout the day to stretch, refill my water, etc.
- Take a walk and talk (with my husband and dog, or on the phone with a friend)
Where on one hand we can be too sedentary, I want to point out that we can also be too active. For my more active clients here are some of our top considerations:
- Are they fueling their body appropriately (aka if you’re training like an athlete you need to eat like one)
- Is their level of training a positive or negative source of stress on their body (aka how well does your body recover)
- Are they taking their rest days just as seriously as their training days
Let me know if you need more support with energy, recovery, hormone balance, and reaching your ideal level of fitness. Hit reply to this email so we can chat!
You might be wondering, “What does hydration have to do with stress?”. Great question.
The reason that I include hydration in our conversation on stress is because of our adrenal glands. The adrenals sit on top of our kidneys and produce hormones like DHEA and cortisol. They are also involved in managing our blood sugar (through the actions of cortisol) and our blood pressure (through the actions of cortisol and aldosterone).
Without turning this into a college level biology class, dehydration can be taxing on our adrenals. Since our adrenals are also involved in the stress response, a good way to enhance our resilience to stress is to maintain hydration & electrolyte balance.
For most clients, I encourage them to drink roughly half of their body weight in ounces of water per day (e.g., if you weigh 150lb then try and drink 75 ounces of water per day). This isn’t a hard and fast rule, just a general guideline most people can aim towards.
Day 4 Wellness Challenge and Goal Setting:
1. Choose how active you feel you currently are and note your corresponding incremental goal for the week.
(Please note that these suggested goals are made with the assumption that you are physically able to stand up and walk without assistance. Respond to this email if you would like a suggested goal based on your specific physical ability).
2. Now, choose which of the below represents your usual/typical water intake and note your new incremental goal for the week.
3. For each of these goals, I want you to ask yourself these questions:
How will I be successful with these new goals?
Do I need accountability, a calendar reminder, or something else to accomplish this?
Day 5: Hormones and Health
Friday, April 28
To create lasting change, many experts suggest that we
(1) set attainable goals
(2) anticipate obstacles and
(3) learn from our failures (check out THIS helpful article for more).
Today we’re going to talk about hormone health and I want to keep things simple and attainable for you.
Let me start by saying that our hair can be very sensitive to changes in our hormone levels. Androgenic hormones (also called masculinizing hormones) can bind to special receptors on our hair follicle and blunt the normal growth process. When we take a root cause approach to elevated androgens, we ask questions like, “What conditions are currently favorable for elevated androgens?” and work to address those to promote hormone balance.
One big factor that can drive high androgens is another hormone called insulin. Insulin is released by our pancreas to transport energy from the foods that we eat (glucose) to our cells. If our body is not efficient at transporting glucose our insulin levels can get higher (this is called insulin resistance). Insulin resistance occurs gradually and can be impacting our health (and androgenic hormones) well before a diagnosis of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
The connection between insulin and androgenic hormones is that insulin increases the activity of the enzyme that creates potent androgens (like the ones responsible for excess hair shedding, hair follicle miniaturization, and unwanted hair growth/hirsutism).
That’s why I say that balanced blood sugar and increased insulin sensitivity are crucial for balanced hormones and our hair health!
Another hormone that is really important when it comes to hair health is thyroid. Our thyroid produces hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). More of T4 is produced and needs to be converted into the active form of thyroid hormone T3 (the active form is the one that binds to thyroid hormone receptors in cells).
Without enough thyroid hormone or impaired thyroid hormone activation we can experience symptoms like hair loss, dry skin, anovulatory cycles, unintended weight gain, fatigue and other signs of low thyroid.
Even for clients who are taking thyroid medication like Synthroid or Levothyroxine containing synthetic T4 hormone optimizing thyroid health and supporting proper conversion to the active hormone T3 is still a concern (hair loss is actually a listed side effect of these medications) .
If you would like to learn more about how a root cause approach can support thyroid health, hit reply to this email so we can chat more!
Day 5 Wellness Challenge and Goal Setting:
Here are some general strategies that may help support blood sugar control:
- Eat consistently (avoid skipping meals)
- Include proteins, fats and fiber with your meals
- Address nutrient deficiencies
- Limit your caffeine intake
- Reduce or avoid alcohol
- Prioritize sleep
- Manage stress levels
- Move your body more (take breaks to stretch or walk throughout the day)
- Strength train regularly
- Be mindful of your body’s toxic burden
Because we are trying to keep our goals simple & attainable, choose one of the below suggested goals (pick the one that is easiest for you):
- If you are currently skipping breakfast (or just drinking coffee), try adding some protein to your morning routine. Choose something from your meal plan or include a protein bar (check your pantry guide for suggestions) to get started.
- If you typically drink >12oz of caffeinated beverages per day (coffee, soda, etc.) try reducing your intake by a fraction (for example, if you typically get a 16oz Grande coffee, try scaling it back to a 12oz Tall).
- If you typically drink >1 alcoholic beverage at a sitting (for example, two glasses of wine after work), try reducing your intake by half and/or finding a non-alcoholic substitute (I really like seltzer water or hopped water like THIS).
Day 6: Inflammation, toxins & detox
Saturday, April 29
Inflammation is a BIG topic and dissecting it in detail isn’t something we can manage in just one email. But let’s make sure that we’re on the same page when we say “inflammation”.
There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is the short term response to injury or invasion that you might see when you cut your finger. Chronic inflammation is considered maladaptive and can lead to a number of health issues.
In functional medicine, when we refer to “inflammation” it’s the low-grade chronic inflammation that we’re referring to. And when we say “get to the root cause” what we mean is “…the root cause of chronic inflammation”.
Sources of chronic inflammation vary from person to person depending on their unique health history, daily habits, genetic makeup, etc. and so the best way to reduce inflammation is to address the individual’s unique root causes.
(PS if you’d like to learn more about uncovering your unique sources of inflammation, hit reply and let me know)
Even though a personalized approach is best (and one that I specialize in) there are some widely beneficial strategies we can practice to reduce common inflammation triggers.
High toxin exposure is one potential trigger of chronic inflammation. While toxins can come in many forms (pesticides, mold, harmful ingredients in certain household and cosmetics, etc.) and we should do what we can to address the source, it’s also important to support our body’s detoxification capacity.
Our major organs involved in detox include our gut, liver, kidneys and skin. I want to make a quick observation – I see a lot of emphasis put on liver and skin detoxification (castor oil packs, dry brushing) on social media. But what I wish people would focus more on would be the gut.
Our liver and our gut work together to remove toxins (and hormones) from our body. There are two phases of liver detoxification called Phase 1 and Phase 2 detox (see image below). You can see that these two phases of detoxification are very nutrient costly and it is important to properly fuel this process (as well as antioxidants to protect our cells from oxidative damage and inflammation).
BUT before a client stimulates liver detox (say, by supplementing with B-vitamins) I always make sure that “phase 3” detox is working well.
Any guesses what phase 3 detox is? I’ll give you a clue: 💩
That’s right! Our gut is responsible for the third phase of detoxification, our bowel movements, where the toxins that have been processed by our liver get carried out of our body and flushed down the toilet.
Anyone who is interested in tackling chronic inflammation (hopefully all of us) needs to make sure that their body is successfully managing its toxic burden. And, one of the best ways to do this is by staying regular.
Ideally, we should have 1-3 well-formed bowel movements every day. If there are some days that you don’t “go”, that is constipation and it is impairing your body’s ability to detoxify.
If you’re experiencing constipation (even if it’s mild) there can be many different factors to blame. That’s something that we can dig into together on a 1:1 call.
Day 6 Wellness Challenge and Goal Setting:
Here are some tried-and-trues when it comes to comes to encouraging regularity:
- Stay hydrated
- Chew your food thoroughly
- Eat enough (& avoid skipping meals)
- Include high-fiber foods like veggies, fruits, legumes, or whole grains
- Eat “bitters” like arugula, mustard greens, lemon, or ginger
- Include dietary fats like coconut oil, olive oil, or avocados
- Take more stand/stretch breaks and/or take a daily walk
- Practice mindful meditation daily (switch into that rest-and-digest mode)
A couple of these probably sound pretty familiar from some of the other goals we’ve set this week. Here’s what you’re already working on to support detoxification and reduce inflammation:
- Eating enough
- Increasing activity
- Reducing stress
If you’re feeling good where you’re at in terms of new goals this week (and, btw you should feel so incredibly proud of yourself) take the win and the rest of the day off, no new goals.
If you’d like a little more challenge, choose one of the below to try this week:
- Chew your food thoroughly (its estimated you should chew 32 times)
- Include an additional high-fiber food (I like ground flaxseeds in my oatmeal)
- Add a bitter food (how about hot water with lemon and ginger)
Day 7: Finish Line
Sunday, April 30
You’ve completed the one week Fuel Your Roots reset and I couldn’t be more proud!
This week we have talked about..
- Hair-supportive nutrition
- Stress (healthy boundaries, quality sleep, movement & hydration)
- Hormones (blood sugar balance & thyroid support)
- Inflammation (toxins & detoxification)
And set goals related to..
- Incorporating more hair-supportive nutrition in our regular diet
- Eating consistently
- Improving sleep hygiene & quality
- Upping activity levels
- Increasing water intake
- Supporting balanced blood sugar
- Boosting regularity & detox
Now that we’ve finished with the Fuel Your Roots One Week Reset here’s where you should be with your wellness goals…
Exactly where you are.
As much as we may think that progress towards our goals should be linear, what it actually looks like is quite different.
The most important thing that you can do for yourself (in terms of your health…and really, your life) is to remember: progress > perfection. In fact, having an all-or-nothing perfectionist mindset makes us feel defeated and discouraged and keeps us stuck. Don’t fall into that trap! Keep working towards your goals and acknowledging your ‘wins’ (no matter how small) along the way.
And by the way, you do not have to go it alone! I am here to help you on your wellness journey and can provide expert guidance and support, facilitating more ah-ha moments and breakthroughs along the way.
As a participant in Fuel Your Roots, I’m giving you a free Introduction Consult (terms & conditions apply, see below). Click this link to schedule and use code FYRSP23 at checkout: SCHEDULE NOW
Terms & Conditions:
- Offer valid 04/24/2023 – 05/08/2023. Purchases made after 05/08/2023 will not be eligible for this offer.
- New prospective clients only (former clients not eligible).
- Limit one per customer
- Appointments purchased must be used within three (3) months of purchase date.
- No cash value/not redeemable for cash.
- Offer not transferable.
Get to the Root
The doors to my 10-week functional nutrition group program – Get to the Root – are opening soon! Hop on the waitlist now and be the first to know when enrollment opens + get notified about exclusive discounts and savings on the program.