Category Archives: Uncategorized

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Adrenal fatigue

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Adrenal fatigue is on the rise, we are seeing so many people suffering but not knowing what the causation is or how to help. In my line of work, especially over the last 12 months I have had more and more people coming to me, only to discover adrenal fatigue is at the root of their problem. But what is adrenal fatigue and what are the symptoms? Also — can it be ‘fixed’? xo

First, lets look at what the adrenals are. The adrenal glands are 2 glands that sit on most commonly sitting on top of your kidneys, but there actually is some variation. There’s times in which they’re not at the same spot, or there’s more than two of them, or they’re elsewhere, but typically you’ve got oneon top of each kidney.
To be really accurate, because of your liver, the right one sits a little bit lower than the left, it’s kind of pushed down a little bit. And they’re about the size of a dice, like a
little rolling dice. Belonging to the endocrine system they produce 57 or so hormones, with the most recognizable being Cortisol (our stress or fight or survival hormone). These glands are vital to your well being and any dysfunction gets commonly termed as Adrenal fatigue. (**Studies are now showing that this may be an inaccurate term and the term HPA dysfunction may be more fitting because it is actually the Hypothalamus and Pituitary gland that determine whether or not we go into fight or flight mode. But for this article we will continue to call this syndrome ‘adrenal fatigue’ ).

Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level or inadequately. Most commonly associated with chronic stress, it can also arise during or after acute or chronic infections, especially respiratory infections such as influenza, bronchitis or pneumonia.

When we look at stress and its relationship to cortisol. Prolonged chronic stress causes the adrenals to continually pump out cortisol until eventually the adrenals get fatigued and can no longer meet the body’s cortisol demands. This then leads to symptoms showing up in your daily life like;

  • constant fatigue
  • inflammation
  • crankiness
  • change in mood
  • lack of enthusiasm
  • short temper with people
  • restlessness
  • digestive issues
  • struggles or plateaus with weight

Now let’s take a step back and refresh your memory on what cortisol does, if you are a student of mine you will have heard me discuss this essential hormone many times. Understanding what cortisol does is essential to healing yourself if you suffer with adrenal fatigue. There’s a couple of main roles cortisol plays — it regulates blood sugar, controls inflammation (so if you over train, get sick, have some kind of
a trauma, your body needs to make its own internal anti-inflammatory to stop that
and protect you). It also controls blood pressure and blood electrolytes.
And the last big role is that it controls cell permeability relative to other hormones. So – your cells have this cycle of opening up and absorbing thyroid hormones, ovarian hormones, testicular hormones —- and the cortisol rhythm of day to night is what controls that cell permeability cycle. 

So you can see, cortisol is not a bad guy. You need cortisol, but the real issue is that if it’s produced in the wrong amounts, and at the wrong time as well, it can be an issue. Cortisol is low because your body wants to lower it, and wants to adjust it to give
you space to heal. But if your adrenal glands are not producing cortisol properly at the right levels, adrenal fatigue will then set in and you are then at risk of getting sick and even developing some sort of auto immune disease. And the circle continues.

Alas, all is not lost. There are many ways to address adrenal fatigue — one of the best places to start is to remain calm. You are not alone. I have many recommendations for ‘fixing’ adrenal fatigue, with one of my best being LAUGH! Laughing helps produce many hormones like strong NK cells, endorphins, serotonin, growth hormone and interferon-gamma (IFN) that counteract the stress response in the body and thus give your adrenal glands a well needed break. These  hormones have also been show to strengthen the immune system (this makes a lot of sense). Yay!

Another thing I recommend is reevaluating your caffeine intake – this may need to be totally eliminated for some or only removed for a short period of time for others.

If you feel adrenal fatigue may be an issue for you, feel free to reach out to me or your local health practitioner for support – this is not something that you need to endure for the rest of your life. xo

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PMS and cravings!

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chemain-in-social-supper-eatingWhy do you get food cravings around your period? Inappropriate carb loading with chocolate cake, pizza and other assortments of ‘not the best choice’ foods. Don’t be coy, we all do it! This question drives me, my clients and pretty much every woman I know crazy every month! But there are answers — reason to this madness! Read on to find out xo

Many women ditch their diets and struggle to say no to junk food around period time. We shamelessly swap our Lara bars for a slice of chocolate cake, a bowl of pasta, or both to satisfy our ravenous appetite for carbs. A study published in Annals of Endocrinology suggests food cravings before our period are triggered by fluctuating levels of hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, and may lead women to eat 500 extra calories per day. HAHAHA who are they kidding – more like an extra 1500 calories a day!

These craving for carbs re triggered by the brain, not our taste buds. For example, carb craving around period time is a signal we need to eat something sweet or starchy, because the brain needs to make serotonin or our happy hormone. Typically, this food craving is accompanied by a bad mood. You know what I’m talking about. Studies have shown that when people have an urge to eat carbs, they’re usually stressed, irritable, angry, depressed, or tired, among other things. These moods are reflective of a change in neurotransmitters or signaling in the brain.

Researchers from the National Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology in Tunisia looked at whether a change in diet before menstruation is linked to fluctuating serotonin levels and mood swings. A total of 30 healthy women between the ages 18 and 45 were monitored for changes in hormone levels, calorie intake, and weight. They found that between day one to three of the “follicular” phase, or menstruation, the women consumed an average of approximately 1,700 calories a day. However, in the three days leading up to menstruation, the women ate an extra 500 calories a day. More than half of the increase in calories was due to carbohydrates, usually from snacking. Women gained 0.66 pounds more before their period than while they were ovulating.

Also, changes in estrogen and progesterone levels are known to affect serotonin levels, which in turn affects mood swings and cravings. Oh thank god it’s not all my fault!

So when your serotonin levels are low during the late “luteal” phase, or right before your period, eating foods high in sugar/carbs will lead to a spike in serotonin and dopamine (another feel good hormone) levels, boosting our mood and making us feel better, according to a 2003 study in PNAS.

The truth is that these cravings are a chemical reaction that you have some but not all control over. When you brain craves sugar as to increase serotonin production, it will haunt us until we give in. Which can also make us feel like we are a failure and thus the cycle goes again as we turn to more food for comfort. BUT you do have control of the carbs you choose to eat — I go over carbs in more detail and what are the 10 Chemaine’s Model Health approved carbs in The HETA guide.

The moral of the story is; if you do have some extra sugar around PMS time, don’t beat yourself up, the brain wants what the brain wants, but do try go for upgraded sugars that won’t slow down your health or weight loss goals as much 🙂

Resource – National Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology in Tunisia. Menstrual Cycle and Appetite Control. Annals of Endocrinology. 2016.

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Everybody is talking about fat…….

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You can’t escape it. It’s everywhere. Everybody is talking about fat. Whether it’s a Paleo, Keto or Mediterranean diet – people are talking!
You’re likely familiar with many of  the older beliefs like — Fat makes us fat, contributes to heart disease, leads to diabesity; saturated fat is bad; vegetable oils are good…I could go on, but I think you know what I’m talking about.

But that has all changed as new strong studies and cases are being brought forward by some of the world’s best scientists and doctors. The right fats can help you become lean, healthy, and vibrant!

Fat is one of the body’s most basic building blocks. The average person is made up of between 15 and 30 percent fat! But for years, we’ve unfairly demonized dietary fat, diligently followed a low-fat diet that almost always equates into a high-sugar and high-refined carb diet that contributes to insulin resistance,obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and numerous other problems.

Simply put: Sugar, not fat, is the real villain that steals our health and sabotages our waistlines.

  • Ok so let’s look at some FAT FACTS;
    1) Sugar, not fat, makes you fat. The average American eats 152 pounds of sugar and 146 pounds of flour that converts to sugar every year. That’s nearly a pound of sugar and flour combined every day! More sugar means your cells become numb to insulin’s “call.” Your body pumps out more and more insulin to pull your blood sugar levels back down. You can’t burn all the sugar you eat. Inevitably, your body stores it as fat, creating insulin resistance and overall metabolic havoc among other mayhem.
    2) Dietary fat is more complex than sugar. There are some 257 names for sugar, but despite very minor variations, they all create the same damage. In other words, sugar is sugar is sugar; it all wreaks havoc on your health. Fat is more complex. We have saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and even trans fats, not to mention subcategories within each group. Some fats are good; others neutral; and yes, a few are bad.
    3) Saturated fat is not your enemy. A review of all the research on saturated fat published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no correlation between saturated fat and heart disease. As with all fats, quality becomes key here. The fats in a fast-food bacon feedlot cheeseburger will have an entirely different effect than saturated fat in coconut oil. Let’s stop classifying it all as the same.
    Some fats are unhealthy. They include trans fat and inflammatory vegetable oils. Unfortunately, these fats have increased in our diet as they make us fatter and contribute to inflammation, which plays a role in nearly every chronic disease on the planet.
    4) Everyone benefits from more omega 3s. About 99 percent of Americans are deficient in these critical fats. Ideal ways to get them include eating wild or sustainably raised cold-water fish (at least two servings weekly), buying omega-3 rich eggs, and taking an omega-3 supplement twice a day with breakfast and dinner that contains 500 – 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 fats (a ratio of roughly 300 EPA to 200 DHA is ideal).
    5) Eating fat can make you lean. Healthy cell walls made from high-quality fats are better able to metabolize insulin, which keeps blood sugar better regulated. Without proper blood sugar control, the body socks away fat for a rainy day. The right fats also increase fat burning, cut your hunger, and reduce fat storage. Eating the right fats makes you lose weight, while eating excess sugar and the WRONG types of fat make you fat.
    6) Your brain is about 60 percent fat. Of that percentage, the biggest portion comes from the omega-3 fat called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Your brain needs DHA for communication between cells. Easy access to high-quality fat boosts cognition, happiness, learning, and memory. In contrast, studies show a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
    7) Your body gives you signs whether or not you are getting enough quality fat. The higher-quality the fat, the better your body will function. That’s because the body uses the fat you eat to build cell walls. You have more than 10 trillion cells in your body, and every single one of them needs high-quality fat. How do you know if your cells are getting the fats they need? Your body sends signals when it’s not getting enough good fats. Warning signs include:
    – Dry, itchy, scaling, or flaking skin
    – Soft, cracked, or brittle nails
    – Hard earwax
    – Tiny bumps on the backs of your arms or torso
    – Achy, stiff joints

Aim to include fat in each meal of your day and supplement with a good Omega 3 supplement to keep levels optimal in your body xo

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Biohacking STRESS!

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60% – 80% of primary care doctor visits are related to stress, yet only about 3% of patients receive stress management help.

Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. When you feel stressed, your body ramps up production of the stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine – these hormones increase heart rate and raise blood pressure.

I have no doubt that most people now know that not all stress is bad, so stress can be quite beneficial – we actually need stress to grow, develop, and change. Mentally, physically, and spiritually stress helps us to reach more of our potential. For example; exercise is a stress on the body, but done in the correct way it can help us build muscle, strengthen joints, regenerate cells and manage the not so good stress. Check out this short video that explains, well, how stress works 🙂

One of the main stress hormones, that again, I am sure you have heard of ‘Cortisol’, which is released by the adrenal glands in response to physical and mental stress on your body. It can  ALSO increase during times of starvation and caloric restriction. BECAUSE it increases blood sugar energy through the breakdown of muscle. Cortisol has also been shown to LOWER fat breakdown, which of course can increase the storage of fat on the body.

Excess cortisol can also suppress your immune system which makes your body more susceptible to infection and illness 😮 .

Here are some stress facts that you may not be aware of;

  1. Your body doesn’t care if it’s a big stress or a little one.
  2. Stress can make smart people do stupid things.
  3. People can become numb to their stress.
  4. We CAN control how we respond to stress.
  5. The best strategy is to handle stress in the moment.

So let’s get a little deeper —> High cortisol typically results form academic, family, work based and psychological stress. Along with the physical stress of exercise and caloric restriction or dieting.

  • Measuring your ration of cortisol to testosterone can give a good indication on whether you are recovering from stress properly
  • An ASI or adrenal stress index can measure your stress and if adrenal fatigue is an issue. It also measures immunity and GUT HEALTH. (PS health of your GI tract goes hand in hand with adrenal fatigue).
  • Measuring your HRV or heart rate variable and blood pressure with apps, software and medical machines can give an indication of stress on your body. I like to use an app called ‘Stress Check’ by Azumio and the ‘Tinke’ tracker.

Stress affects your whole body, but according to neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky in the documentary “Stress: Portrait of a Killer,” the following are the most common health conditions that are caused by or worsened by stress:

Cardiovascular disease Hypertension Depression
Anxiety Sexual dysfunction Infertility and irregular cycles
Frequent colds Insomnia and fatigue Trouble concentrating
Memory loss Appetite changes Digestive problems and dysbiosis


Once you know where you stand with stress – you can then address how to manage it. I teach a section on stress and some stress management hacks in The HETA guide along with a calming yoga video from my friend Jo-anne at .

Some good ways to manage stress of course are walks in the sunshine, meditation, a Yoga or Qigong class, a funny movie, girl (or guy) chats with a good friend, singing along to your favorite song, getting back to nature with a hike in the mountains or barefoot walk on a beach. Ultimately, whatever you do for stress relief, is a personal choice, as your stress-management techniques must appeal to you and, more importantly, work for you. If a round of kickboxing helps you get out your frustration, then do it. If meditation is more your speed, that’s fine too. (A personal favorite of mine is practicing some diaphragmatic or belly breathing along with an inversion move ‘legs up the wall’).

Even having a good cry now and then may be beneficial, as tears that are shed due to an emotional response, such as sadness or extreme happiness, contain a high concentration of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) — a chemical linked to stress. One theory of why you cry when you’re sad is that it helps your body release some of these excess stress chemicals, thereby helping you feel more calm and relaxed xo

As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment below or feel free to email xo

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Cryotherapy love!

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16523380_1196216893766365_2141636630_oI love Cryotherapy – not only for its health benefits but it makes me feel ALIVE. It’s a staple in my biohacking routine — at least twice a week. You may think I’m mad but I really encourage you to try it yourself. AND the lovely guys at N2 Cryotherapy Calgary have agreed to give all Chemaine’s Model Helath tribers 10% off xo




CRYOTHERAPY…..would you?
Ask I embark down this new path in my quest for total human health optimization – it’s about to get a whole lot COLDER like -140 degrees colder!
In the cryosauna, you are exposed to air vapor chilled by liquid nitrogen.Your body goes into survival or “fight or flight” mode.
Blood rushes to the core causing vasoconstriction in the skin, muscles, tissue and extremities.
Hormones and neurotransmitters like adrenaline and endorphins are released which reduce pain, elevate mood, stimulate the immune system and boost energy. 500-800 calories are burned during and after the session as the body reheats.
Vasodilation (the dilation of blood vessels, which decreases blood pressure) also occurs circulating fresh oxygenated, nutrient rich blood throughout the body reducing inflammation and accelerating healing.
The short hyper-cooling (-130 to -140 degrees Celsius) treatment —
* decreases inflammation of injuries and chronic musculoskeletal diseases
* manages pain
* increases fat burning abilities
* improves athletic performance,
* improves skin tone
* reduces signs of aging
* boosts mood and energy levels.

#cryotherapy #health #biohack #healthcoach #fatloss #momlife

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Fat loss mistakes……yes they still happen!

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One would think that in this day and age we know everything about losing fat or obtaining long term health? Well that actually couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is that you have been fed so much bad and misleading information that now more than ever, you don’t know where to start or what is the correct path for you. It can be frightening, you feel like you have failed before you’ve even started, you have lost trust in the health community and think everyone is trying to scam you or only wants your money. Wanting success and getting success are two very different things but it can all be done!

Stubborn fat, plateaus, frustration…….let me at least clear some myths up for you. I think that is a good place to start xo

Last week I posted this podcast, tonight I will post Fat Loss Myth #2 and next Monday will be #3. Please listen, follow and share. You will be surprised how many people don’t know these!

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Can you say ‘excited’……..The HETA guide sign up closes tonight at 9pm!

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The time is here! The new members are signed up and ready to rock and roll. The guide will guide (lol) all its members to optimum fat loss and health over the next 4 weeks — just in time for the Christmas parties!
Did I mention as a BONUS all members get a ‘how to cook real chocolate at home’ class on video PLUS a discount on a personalized home or gym training program!!


There’s still time to grab your spot! Click on the ‘HETA’ link to sign up and PUT YOURSELF FIRST xo

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Too busy to read?? Then listen as you move!!

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Podcast’s are like a magazine subscription for your ears!

Did you know that every week I bring you a new podcast with scientifically backed health, fat loss and performance information to keep you up to date with tools that you can use in your journey to your goals?! Listen while you work, while you’re at the gym, while you ride the train, while you’re driving in your car (and inevitably sitting parked in the driveway waiting for one to end while you kid naps). I listen to podcasts at many of the moments that I would have once found myself listening to music like cooking, walking or when I’m hiding on the kids. Podcasts are a commuter’s best friend too!

Be sure to follow me and share with someone who needs a little guidance and motivation xo

Remember; If you are committed to your health then you will be a life long learner! #noexcuses     #knowledgeiskey

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Water and your health clarified!

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What is water? Is there a specific type of water that is best for you?

As Leonardo Da Vinci said ‘water is the driver of nature’. It’s the substance that makes you up. The majority of your body is made up of water, like 70-80%. H2O, 2 hydrogen atoms covalently bonded with an oxygen….the truth is water is not just H2O. Its H2O with other substances dissolved into it. This is what gives water its structure, its life.

Water by itself is just a carrier, it carries our hormones, nutrients and everything into our body. Water is a liquid crystal and because of this, water transmits and stores energy. Research shows that just a 5% drop in our bodies hydration can lead to a 25-35% drop in energy levels. When you get to a certain point in dehydration you are damaging your DNA.
So what roles does water play in our body?

  1. It’s important for the maintenance of your DNA .
  2. It facilitates reactions in the energy power plants of your cells, the mitochondria.
  3. Your blood which transports oxygen, nutrients, antibodies and waste removal through the body. Blood is over 90% water.
  4. Digestion. Water helps you get rid of toxins and waste through your digestive system.
  5. It helps regulate your body temperature. It cools you down and heats you up when you need it.
  6. Your cerebral spinal fluid of your central nervous system, water keeps this and your brain working right. All that communication needs to work properly.
  7. It helps with synovial fluid for those suffering with arthritis, degenerative spinal disk disease and other joint/disk problems.
  8. Your body uses water as a pathways to transport neurotransmitters. So data from your brain to your toes and so on.
  9. Water helps shift fat and other toxins out of the body though way of detoxification through out breath, sweat and excretions.
  10. And of course water helps our skin, hair and muscles stay strong and elastic. Plus repair when needed.

Research has shown that mild dehydration slows the metabolism as much as 3%. So to make things worse, when we are dehydrated we can get hunger pangs. We then can consume more food as we mistake this dehydration for hunger and this of course leads to excess weight. On top of that, if we are dehydrated then our digestive system is also not functioning properly, so we are not excreting all this extra food and toxins out of our body. * Just a little bit of dehydration is going to slow down your fat burning ability! ( In a study, 1 glass of water stopped hunger pangs for almost 100% of dieters in a University of Washington experiment).

Dehydration is also the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue and headaches. If this is you, drink at least 1 liter of water as soon as possible and I guarantee you will get some relief.
So for weight loss, we want to be eating not only a higher quality of whole foods but avoiding those foods that make us retain fluids like carbohydrates (carbo – HYDRATES). Carbohydrates can trigger your body to store about 4 grams of water. For each gram of carbohydrate you consume you store about 4 grams of water. Even the ‘good’ carbohydrates. Your body will also store fluids if the is an acidic reaction going on, in its strive to survive. So if you’re eating a lot of processed, high sodium, junk foods.
Our water supply……is incredible but there are some problems in place. Like the addition of chlorine, fluoride, pesticides and believe it or not, pharmaceuticals. Chlorine is in fact bleach, which is used to kill pathogens. Chlorine is an antibiotic, it kills everything. So over time this is going to destroy your gut biome. You gut is where your immune system is homed and hormones are located. Fluoride as once thought to help strengthen our teeth can in fact damage our brain. Studies have shown that dementia like effects occur when exposed to fluoride and The NRC also note significant risks to your thyroid, bones and bone cancer with exposure to fluoride. Its similar to calcium but its not calcium so actually makes our bones brittle. Most industrial counties have banned the use of fluoride in water. The Associated Press did an investigation in 2008 found that people were consuming water tainted with pharmaceuticals ranging from antibiotics to anti-depressants to muscle relaxants. There was actually 56 different varieties of pharmaceuticals found in the water supply. This is due to runoff from hospitals, residential areas, agricultural businesses etc. This is not to scare you though but rather make you aware. Not all water is sourced the same though, some comes from springs and wells which is what we ideally want. These also contain probiotics and natural minerals.

So what are our options? Most people will turn to bottled water which a lot of the times bottled water is just tap water which has a lot of the same water issues as we have just seen. Plus the plastics that hold the water photo-degrade, so this means they break down in light. And because water is a universal solvent so the plastic become a part of the water. That’s why we at least want to opt for BPA free bottles. It’s still plastic but its a bit better. Ideally we should be using glass bottles to hold our water. Filters are a great way to improve the quality of water but make sure you invest in a good filter…..( fyi Britta is made by Clorox so not the best choice). Distillation is also another great option. Some people buy distilled water or they distill the water themselves. But this is blank water and we are looking for water with a structure and certain dissolved solids. Purified water means the water has just been run through some sort of filter. RO systems, reverse osmosis, this again gives blank water but it doesn’t destroy as much of the water structure as distillation.
Alkaline or pH neutral water…….this means ionizing the water, splitting of the ions give the water and alkaline pH. (7 or below). When we talk about the pH of water we are talking about the mineral content in the water. When it come to these ionizing machines, this means the pH is altered by man which causes the disassociation of water. The water is being exposed to electricity and not in a natural way like being struck by lightning. So the water molecules are being split and thus this is not a complete matrix of natural water. So clinical studies have revealed injury to cardiac tissue due to drinking ionized water for long periods. Why because what it is an alkali? Its a drug. In small doses it can help but should not be consumed in excess. (pshh – the truth is, if it was really alkaline, it would probably burn your face off).
So what’s the best water to consume? Well water is one. Wells connect to aqua-furs or underground lakes deep down under the ground. The water in aqua-furs has been there for thousands of years so is one of the purest substances on the earth. These may have a higher TDS or total dissolved solids content. Also seen as ‘mineral water’ or artisan water in stores. This water also comes out in springs where it has matured and has a lower TDS. Spring water is the ultimate choice because of its purity and the mineral content levels. Check out to find a local spring near you where you can go harvest your own water.
So your store water choices would be well or spring water, bottled in glass. My top 4 being Mountain Valley spring water (this can be hard to come by), Acqua Panna, San Pellegrino and Voss. Now…………..3 ways to liven up your water and make it more beneficial to you!

  1. adding some sea salt, rock salt or Himalayan salt will change the pH of the water naturally while providing essential minerals.
  2. adding lemon can instantly improve how you feel and improve your hydration.
  3. adding chopped fresh fruit and/or vegetables can be really fantastic for adding flavors and nutrients as well as electrons which put some life back into your water.

I hope you found this article helpful and please share it with anyone you feel would benefit from this information 🙂
Your Model Health coach
Chemaine xo