Epigenetics is a newer field of study in which scientists are observing whether or not genes can either be ‘turned off’ or ‘turned on’ due to external factors.

What does this mean?  There are four building blocks that create the base of our DNA.  The arrangement of these DNA bases determine the instructions for our life.  What color our hair will be, how outgoing we are, what diseases we will have…  Genes are a specific number of bases in a certain order and these genes provide instructions on how to make proteins which will then carry out our life’s functions.

Certain circumstances in life (diet, stress, environment) can either ‘turn on’ a gene or ‘turn off’ a gene.  By ‘turning on’ a gene, this means to be expressed.  Whether that means ‘to have brown hair’ or ‘to get Alzheimer’s at 60 years old’.

So the exciting part: while we may have the gene for Alzheimer’s, we can turn it off! Through our lifestyle (diet, exercise, mindset, environment) we can make the gene inactive.  We can theoretically control our genes as long as know how to flip the switch.  Now we know how to ‘turn on’ switches: smoking = lung cancer, drinking = liver issues, poor diet = heart disease, but what if we could turn them off?

Example: breast cancer runs in your family.  Your mother, sister, and aunt.  You test positive for the active gene, however through eating a certain way and following a protocol, you are able to avoid breast cancer all together.

We could possibly choose our life’s course.


Your intestinal wall is a tightly woven chain-link fence and your veins (and body by extension) are a body.  The holes with-in the fence just small enough so that the breeze and sunshine can pass.  Now this fence is supposed to be the first line of defense for your garden.  It’s supposed to keep nuisances and allergens out of the bloodstream where they can wreak havoc on your body.

Many issues can cause these links in the fence to widen such as: dietary indiscretion (undigested fats, poor-quality proteins, industrial processed foods, gluten), chronic stress,  inflammation in the gut due to low hydrochloric acid (which is a bigger problem than Western medicine will have you believe), and medications.

One these links have widened, now all sorts of animals and bugs can crawl into your garden and start disrupting the natural flow.  While your garden used to have no problems flourishing, now it is slowly dying due to these invaders.

This is true as well for your intestines and immune system.  Your immune system only knows that these particles of food are not supposed to be in your bloodstream, so when it mounts a full-fledge immune response, your body starts to suffer.

Although your food may be healthy and high-quality, your immune system still sees it as a danger.  Not until you fix your fence can your garden grow again.  There are a few things that can help your gut heal…

I would start with an anti-inflammatory diet.

Anti-inflammatory List – Rather than focusing on pushing out your usual food, focus on consuming these foods and you’ll find you don’t have room for the other.

Bone Broth – the collagen/gelatin in bone broth helps the intestinal lining heal.

Make sure you’re getting adequate amounts of Vitamin D, Zinc, and probiotics as well.

 


Do you suffer from light-headedness, poor concentration, heart palpitations, or muscle cramps?

The answer could be your daily water intake.  We all know that dehydration can hinder your athletic ability and be a HUGE health risk.

However for those water obsessed individuals, drinking too much water without replenishing your electrolytes can be highly detrimental to your health as well.

A few of the best natural mineral supplements are a higher quality salt supplement such as pink Himalayan sea salt, citrus, coconut water, or bone broth.

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt – sprinkle a bit in your water through-out the day.  You shouldn’t be able to taste the salt.

Coconut Water – packed with electrolytes and perfect to put in a smoothie or to chug on its own.  I prefer this brand due to zero additives.  Look at ingredients and make sure it isn’t from concentrate.

Bone Broth – try and get grass-fed, pasture-raised bones for your broth.  And don’t be afraid to use the odd parts such as the feet.  I love Wellness Mama and her recipe is amazing!

Lemon juice is also another source.  Squeeze some in your water and you can also get a boost of Vitamin C.

 

Try and avoid the artificial electrolyte supplements such as Gatorade and Power-ade.  They just provide excessive sugar, artificial flavors, and color dyes.  These three ingredients can lead to full-body inflammation and drastically slow your recovery process.


 

Growing up we were taught that bacteria is bad and should be eliminated at all costs: hand-sanitizers, fully washing our fruits and vegetables, and taking courses of antibiotics for the most basic sniffle.  What if you knew that these little bacterial organisms were not actually enemies, but some of our greatest allies?

Humans have over 1,000 different types of friendly bacteria that lives not only on our skin, but also in our gastrointestinal tract.  These friends are responsible for a number of body functions including: production of vitamins like B12, folate, niacin, and vitamin K, maintenance of the stomach wall and protection against bad bacteria, regulation of the immune system and inflammation, production of the short-chain fatty acid butyrate that fuels the brain and intestine, weight loss and appetite regulation, and production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.

In some studies, a change in the microbiome of the gut has been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and obesity.  This could be due to overgrowth of the bacteria or undergrowth.

Signs that your gastrointestinal flora is out of whack: infections such as Lyme disease, mold, or autoimmune diseases, hormonal imbalances, poor diet of simple sugars, processed, and low-fiber foods, and overuse of antibiotics, NSAIDS, and acid-reducing meds.

There are a number of foods that can help the microflora grow and develop into its fullest self:

  • Prebiotics
    • garlic
    • onions
    • leeks
    • asparagus
    • cocoa
    • jicama root
  • Probiotics (just make sure your supplement has adequate amounts of these)
    • Lactobacillus
    • Bifidobacterium
    • Soil Based Organisms
  • Fiber
    • Artichoke
    • Peas
    • Brussel Sprouts
    • Brocolli
  • Healthy fats
    • Avocado Oil
    • Coconut Oil
    • Pasture Raised, Grass-fed Beef Fat
    • Ghee
    • Paster Raised, Grass-fed cheese

 

These are a few of my more favorite probiotic brands.  I make sure to rotate them to get the best benefits from each.

Garden of Life Wholefood Probiotic

MegaFood – MegaFlora

Artificial sugar, alcohol, and processed foods have been linked to inhibit these little friends by increasing insulin resistance and creating cravings of poorly made food.  One of the largest culprits for killing off our little friends though is antibiotics.  Be mindful when taking a course of antibiotics to supplement pre, during, and post exposure.

 

 


Too Much Medication?

Disclaimer: this is not an assault against Western medicine or it’s practices.  We have all been saved by Western medicine at some point in time.  With that being said, it has also failed us. 
Western medicine has a time and a place. Broken arm? Cast it. Heart attack? Save them.  Western medicine’s place is usually during acute episode or injury.  Western medicine FAILS at wellness.  It is designed to treat symptoms, rarely to cure a disease.
Example: ADD/ADHD symptoms or the entire disease has been found to be helped/cured with a complete gluten-free diet and supplementing with other nutrients.  Rather than medicate and dull your vibrant child, why not support them?
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81% of Americans are taking pharmaceutical medication daily.  With that being said, prescription medication kills more yearly than heroin and cocaine combined.  100,000 people die yearly from using prescription medication as prescribed. NOT overdosing. NOT improper combining.
Rather than trading symptoms of disease with symptoms from medication, seek out a functional doctor or therapist who can examine your symptoms, perform an exam, and hopefully give supplements to help support your body during this difficult period.  You’d be amazed at how willing you body is to heal, you just have to show it the way.

 


The REAL Truth about Heartburn

We’ve all grown-up hearing that stomach acid is bad for you and the over-production of stomach acid can lead to heartburn and other health issues.  This is not the whole truth, it’s not even part of the truth…and here is why:

Stomach acid is produced by the body to help digest our food, mainly the protein portion.  Once the stomach acid turns the food into a soupy consistency and enters the small intestine, the HCl cues the pancreas to release its digestive enzymes.

Now, if we block the stomach acid, then our food does not get fully digested, it doesn’t empty into the sm. intestines in a timely manner, nor does it stimulate the pancreas to do it’s thing.

There is also a host of little microorganisms living in your intestines which need a certain pH to live.  If we alter that pH too much for too long, these friends will start to die out and leave us vulnerable for a bacterial or viral attack from some less friendly microbes.  Now the bad bacteria that was supposed to be killed by the acid back in the stomach is still chillin’ in your partially digested food and can then consume that area and start a REAL issue.

Now that you’re convinced that you need stomach acid, are you doomed to a life of heartburn? No, my friend, there is another way!

First, heartburn is can be caused from an UNDER production of HCl, so one option is to supplement with extra stomach acid so that your food can get digested quicker and not push the stomach acid back into your throat.  If you are chewing too quickly, then you’re swallowing your food before the stomach has a chance to expel the acid so it’s basically just sitting on top of huge food pieces unable to do it’s job. CHEW PEOPLE!

There are also certain  diet protocols that can be shifted that make it easier for the acid to actually work on the food, exercise and weightless have been known help as well.

First things first…put down the Tums and step away!

 


The Benefits of Garlic

“The King of Herbs”…”The Poor Man’s Antibiotic”…”Nectar of the Gods”

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Garlic is known as many names in many cultures and for good reason!

This herb can be used to treat high blood pressure, intestinal and external parasites, and atherosclerosis.  The sulfur mineral inside has been known to detoxify the blood, body, and lymphatic fluid.

It is super easy to cook with as well.  I buy a huge jar of it pre-chopped from the store and just toss it in with EVERYTHING.  That’s a literal everything, not a millennial everything. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.  We rarely use full garlic cloves though.  I have heard of individuals eating garlic by itself to really get more of the effects so feel free to just throw them down.

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This recipe looks amazing and super simple.  Pair with veggies of choice.

Enjoy!

R.I.P. to your love-life, courtesy of garlic breath.


Weekly Workouts 2/19-2-25

Intro: Consistency has not been my friend due to life and excuses. Whoops.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19

Bro sesh at the gym today: Dumbbell presses, front and lateral raises, bench press, lat pulldowns, negative pull-ups, front squat, back squat, glute-hamstring raise, weighted GHD. So. Sore.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20

Weightlifting:

4X1 Snatch + 4 OHS @ 70-75% of 1RM Snatch

100# like cake! Love these days.

Conditioning:

5 rounds of:

21/14 Calorie Row
14 Bar Facing Burpees
7 Power Cleans 135/95#
Rest 1:1

22:21 RX for the leading time in class.  Oh yea. Oh yea.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21

Another run with the pup day today.  He loves it, I love it, everyone enjoys themselves.  And then I just was buried with school work for the rest of the day.  Whomp whomp.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22

Rest day 🙂

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23

Now I’m not saying we predicted 17.1 but our WOD…

Conditioning:

7 Rounds for total time of:

10 DB Power Snatches 50/35# (alt)

10 6″ Target Burpees

No time, just moved through the workout.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24

Open Workout 17.1

I completed at 18:01 RX.  Holy Moly! I underestimated that workout badly.

SATURDAY/SUNDAY

Walking was my workout.  My poor back and traps.


I Can’t Believe…

This week’s shopping shock…butter!

So butter has been the enemy for a while, I understand that, however when I went into the butter isle and went shopping for options, I was shocked to find that the three biggest sellers not only are fake AF, but also contain very little milk in them! They are a shell of real butter.

What’s making up the fat content of these pretenders? The shittiest of the shittiest oil! Palm oil, canola oil, and soybean oil!  One has olive oil in it, and I’d like to give it the benefit of the doubt that it is high quality, but I’d probably be disappointed.

Each one of these ‘butters’ also tote a healthy brag. “No hydrogenated oils” “No trans fat” “No cholesterol”  Whateverrrrrrrrrrr.  It’s all a gimmick and a trick.  The ‘ole “look right, and we’ll hit you from the left”

 

Instead of these assholes, try and find a butter that is closest to the source…which is milk for those who don’t know.  Grassfed butter is obviously best.  It has the highest nutrient content and guess what?! Even some lactose intolerant people can process that kind of butter since it isn’t nasty and processed.

Lesson from this? Read your labels.  You gotta look out for you boo, the government sure isn’t.

Another week, another frustration,

Jess


Weekly Workouts 2/12 – 2/18

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12

We were traveling back from Houston after seeing my boyfriend’s family. ZERO fitness happened there, ALL the food happened. Oh well.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13

Ran with the pup.  Jog for 4 minutes, walk for 1 minute. Alternate for 45 minutes. Good stuff ya’ll.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14

Weightlifting:

Every 1:30 for 12 min (9 total reps)

1 Power Clean + 1 Front Squat + 1 Jerk I worked up to 135#.  Felt good!

Conditioning:

For time:

10 Rounds for time of:

10 OHS 105#/70#

10 C2B Pull-Ups

* Rest :30 after each round

I finished in 19:38, however I did pull-ups rather than C2B.  My hands!!

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15

Weightlifting:

4 x 11 Touch and Go Power Snatches work up to a 11 RM- rest 2:00 between sets

Weighted conditioning, I’m telling you!! I finished this complex with 80# and crying hands.

Conditioning:

EMOM for 20:00 of:

Even minutes do:

3, 6, 9, 12, 15  DL 225#/155#

Odd minutes do:

15 WBs 20#/14#

Finished at RX weight.  I can not wait to Cryo and get some recovery today from that nonsense.  Whew!

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16

Weightlifting:

1) 10 min to establish a 1RM Snatch

2) EMOM for 7:00 (7 sets)

3 T&G snatches at 80% of #1

So today I babysat my brother’s son an hour and a half away from my house.  My brother and I decided to do the workout together in his make-shift garage gym.  He only has a 45# bar and metal plates.  So instead of working to a 1RM, we just did the EMOM but with power snatches so we didn’t drop the weights.  #95 was tricky with the fatter bar, but I got it done!

Conditioning:

20 min AMRAP:

50 DB Snatches 50/35# (alt)

50 Cal Row

50 T2B

He and I did it partner and increased the time to 35:00m.  I did 30# on the DB snatches because that was the weight he had.  The row was awful since I couldn’t pace well on his different brand of rower.  T2B? AWFUL. Halfway through the 3rd round, I was joking around trying to hold his son and row and well…the rower broke.  Cut the music, put away weights, fix rower, and that was a wrap.  Ooopssssssss!

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17