Welcome to the Tired, Fat, Feel Like Crap cycle. How did you get here? How can you break free?

How many of the following have you been told?

You just need to exercise more/ sleep more/ eat more kale.

What do you expect at your age?

There is nothing wrong with you.

It’s all in your head.


Those are lies!! Lies I tell you!!


It is not in your head. It is in your hormones.  


And you don’t have to just live with it.  Its 2018.  A woman ran for president. The #MeToo movement has lanced the boil of corporate sponsored abuse. Charlize Theron made the same as her male co-star.

Okay, so we have a way to go.  But you don’t have to accept the “hysteria” brush-off when it comes to your potential awesomeness. 

So what is the Tired, Fat, Feel Like Crap cycle, and how did you get here?

The short answer is: survival instincts run amok.  Our human super power is our ability to survive almost anything. Seriously, we are up there with cockroaches and kudzu for our ability to colonize all manner of environments.  And when we got bored living on dirt and water we flung ourselves through to atmosphere to colonize a tube in constant free fall surrounded by the vacuum of space. We are amazing.

However, the same set up that can create cosmonauts can also create a chaos of stress signals that suck us into a game of endocrinological whack-a mole. We get distracted by the latest crisis, and live in a permanent state of fight or flight. And since we are fighting our email in-box and fleeing from traffic fight or flight quickly turns into stress and store.

Constant aggravation weakens our stress response When our stress response is weakened we can’t keep inflammation in check effectively. Increased inflammation is a nutritional drain. Depletion of nutrient levels further weakens our stress response.  This chronically shifts blood supply away from our digestive system, causing poor absorption of proteins and other macronutrients. Poor nutrient absorption causes a decreased repair ability and more inflammation.

Welcome to the Tired Fat Feel Like Crap Cycle. Are you ready to leave yet?



The Stress Response System homes that they show on the HGTV show Fixer Upper are just fine in the BEFORE state.  You could live there and it would be fine.  But the homes in the AFTER state are amazing.  Living there would be awesome.  Just like Chip and JoAnna Gaines, our goal is to give you the steps to elevate yourself from “fine” to “amazing.”  

woman building.jpg

We start with 4 steps:

STEP 1: Flat Cat Removal

STEP 2: Demo Day

STEP 3: Stock Up on Shiplap

STEP 4: Tune Up Your Tools

 STEP 1: Flat Cat Removal This is the part they never show on HGTV. The down-and-dirty removal of all the junk you have accumulated over the years; picture any home from the show Hoarders.  Yep, even you have a flat cat or two buried in under piles of persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals, and inflammatory cytokines. The good news is de-hoarding your body doesn’t require a hazmat suit.  You just need to commit to a short junk fast, and give yourself to chance to clean up a little. Plans that we use successfully are:

  • Whole 30 (www.whole30.com)- a 30-day, paleo style, low carb diet. This is a great choice if blood sugar or weight gain has been an issue.
  • 21 Day Vegan Kickstart (www,pcrm.org)- a vegan diet, that gives you a break form the inflammatory effects of animal products. This is a great choice if high cholesterol or heart disease is in the picture.
  • Clean Body Cleanse – our immune reset elimination diet and detox supplement plan.  This is a great choice if you have chronic allergies, skin problems, or digestive challenges. This is the only plan that superpowers detoxification.

STEP 2: Demo Day Just like you can’t have an open floor plan without tearing down the wall between the kitchen and the living room, you can’t get to awesome if you have barriers in the way. You don’t need to tear down all the walls, but I bet that you know 1-2 activities that are holding you back.

Common barriers to your awesomeness are:

  • Not enough hydration: the baseline is to drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water every day. [Example calculation: 130 lbs /2 = 65; drink 65 ounces of water a day]
  • Not enough sleep: most people need 7 hours of good sleep a night to be at their best.
  • Not enough motion: we are built to move when we are stressed. Even 30 min of movement a day balances your stress response.
  • 24 hours stress: Even a 10 min visit to the parasympathetic Rest & Restore state can work wonders. Meditation, a stroll after dinner, a quiet cup of tea, or a 15 min creative interlude are all simple ways to take your Stress Response System on vacation.
  • Gluten and Casein: these wheat and diary proteins are known to be hyper-inflammatory and damaging.  Even if you do not have an obvious reaction to them, they can be holding you back from your awesomeness.
  • Negative news:  even reading about stressful or negative events can be enough to mire you in Stress & Store misery. Adding a news fast to your Flat Cat Removal will help you cleanup faster.  At the very least don’t let news be the start or end of your day.  Restrict your news updates (including social media) to between 10am and 7pm.
  • Over-commitment: If you response to any of the above is that you don’t have time, then you are overcommitted.  You have to out your own oxygen mask on first. Take a hard look at what fill your days and decide what you NEED TO DO vs. what NEEDS TO BE DONE vs. vs. what you think you SHOULD do vs. what you WANT TO DO.  Eliminate 30 min a day of SHOULDs, delegate half of the NEEDS TO BE DONEs and lavish in your WANT TOs.

STEP 3: Stock up on Shiplap Have you gotten half way into a home improvement project and realized that you were missing a critical item?  So you have to shut it down until you can run to Home Depot? But you can’t go now because there is no one to stay with the kids, and you have to get to soccer practice after lunch, and tomorrow you have promised to make cupcakes for a co-workers birthday? Now your 2-hour project is a 2-week headache.  

Your Stress Response Systems also relies on building materials. Keeping these vitamin and minerals at hand means your hormonal projects can be quickly completed.  You don't want to let lack of shiplap get it the way of your dreams.

The Shiplap of Stress response:

  • B-Vitamins: The thyroid uses B12 for hormone activation. The adrenals use B5 and B6 for hormone conversion. Riboflavin and Niacin power the mitochondria in all the glands to power hormone production.
  • Vitamin C: The adrenals and the ovaries are top consumers of Vitamin C. Vitamin C also is critical for the pre-construction clean up.
  • Selenium, Zinc, and Copper: These minerals are critical for thyroid and pancreatic hormone production and activation.
  • Magnesium, Calcium, and Trace Minerals: These minerals are used by the adrenal glands to keep up optimal hormone levels.
  • Iron: Low iron stores dramatically lower thyroid hormone activation.
  • Chromium: this mineral enhances the effects of insulin and is important for healthy blood sugar balance.

STEP 4: Tune up Your Tools The 3 tools of the Stress Response are your Adrenals, Thyroid, and blood-sugar control functions of the Pancreas. When these are out of tune your Stress Response rattles and shakes instead of operating with a smooth hum.

  • Overactive Adrenals ramp up blood sugar.
  • High cortisol blocks thyroid hormone production.
  • Low cortisol blocks thyroid hormone activation.
  • High cortisol and low thyroid hormone cause increased blood sugar.
  • High blood sugar triggers Insulin release form the pancreas.
  • Consistent high insulin increases fat stores and blocks the release of fat for energy.
  • High insulin keeps blood sugar unstable, which increases adrenal and thyroid stress further.

To understand how to turn-down this drama, you first need to understand the players. That discussion merits it's own post. Tune in next time for The Real Housewives of Stresslanta.

Spoiler alert- the Adrenal Glands are where all the drama starts. You can see how high your adrenals are keeping the ratings with our DIY Adrenal Fatigue Panel.

High Fructose Corn Syrup Linker to Infertility and Decreased Life Span

A soon to be published study has found that the fructose-glucose monosaccharide combination found in high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was found to be more toxic than sucrose or table sugar.  The researchers compared 3 common sugar combinations: table sugar (glucose molecules), sucrose (fructose and glucose molecules bound together) , and HFCS like blend (individual fructose and glucose molecules.)  The researchers fed mice the mouse equivalent of 3 sodas a day while they were housed in a semi-natural environment and observed over their lifespan.  Female mice who ate the HFCS sugar blend had significantly (27%) decreased fertility, and almost doubled (1.87) rates of death. 

Added sugar is so prevalent in the American diet that up to a quarter of the population eats the equivalent of 3 sodas worth of sugar a day.  High fructose consumption has known links to obesity and insulin resistance.  This new study reveals vital information about the danger of high fructose corn syrup.

-Dr. Brenna Murphy

Magnesium Lowers Inflammation

In April 2014 a meta-analysis (a study that includes findings from many different studies) looked at the relationship between magnesium intake and C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a substance made by the liver and released into the bloodstream in response to tissue injury and inflammation. An elevated CRP level is identified with a simple blood test and is considered a non-specific indicator for disease. Studies suggest that over time prolonged low-level inflammation can lead to many serious diseases including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and even some forms of cancer. Knowing this association, a primary focus of treatment of these diseases should be decreasing inflammation.

In this particular study, researchers analyzed over 30,000 individuals included in 7 different studies. In the original studies the participants’ dietary magnesium intake was assessed along with a blood test measuring CRP using high sensitivity techniques. The high sensitivity technique (hs-CRP) is a measure of inflammation in blood vessels and is the test needed to help establish heart disease risk.

After analyzing data the researchers found that the individuals with the highest magnesium intake had the lowest hs-CRP levels. Conversely, those with the lowest magnesium levels had the highest hs-CRP levels. These findings suggest that higher magnesium intake is associated with decreased vascular inflammation, as evident by the lower hs-CRP values.

This information stresses the importance of consuming a diet rich in magnesium. Green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach), legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, are good sources. In general, foods containing dietary fiber also contain magnesium.

If you suffer with symptoms of inflammation, such as joint pain, skin rashes or breakouts, high blood pressure, blood sugar imbalance, fatigue or weight gain, join us for our 4th Annual Clean Body Cleanse starting Monday, January 12th. This 21-day program focuses on a magnesium-rich, plant- based diet to reduce total body inflammation. 

-Dr. Elizabeth Cantrell

Dibaba DT, Xun P, He K. Dietary Magnesium Intake is Inversely Associated with Serum C-reactive Protein Levels: Meta-


The gut is the physical foundation of health.  Gratitude is the spiritual and emotional foundation of health. And just like identifying, restoring, and awesomeizing the gut changes the brain; activation, habituating and awesomizing gratitude affects the entire body.

Gratitude decreases pain, increases happiness, reduces depression, improves sleep, reduces aggression, and increases mental resistance, decreases the effects of stress, increases life span, decreases the risk of heart disease, increased alertness and attentiveness, and increased energy.  You can increase your Va-Va-Voom with something as simple as writing down 5 things you are grateful for every evening. Basically, if you are not feeling awesome, add gratitude to your treatment plan.

Gratitude in a WINK

  • Being grateful for the things in your life- awesome and not so awesome- increases the Va-Va-Voom of your mind, body, and spirit.
  • Write down 5 things you are grateful for every evening. 

I am grateful every day that I work with an awesome team because we are so much more powerful together that any of us would be alone.  I am grateful that I get to use my crazy, biochemistry loving, big picture seeing brain to help women rediscover their awesome.  I am grateful that I have had so many adventures and there are so many more adventures waiting for me.  I am grateful that I have many people who I love and enjoy, and that there are many people who love and enjoy me.

I am also grateful for my struggle with weight and energy, because they drove me to discover the Vicious Tired, Fat, Feel Like Crap Cycle. It also keeps driving me to advance my understanding of the cycle so we have the best solutions to offer women who are stuck.

Finally, I am grateful for all of you who are reading this.  Thank you for being part of the birth of W.I.N.K. and the Cycle Busting Programs.  We can’t wait to see you in your full Va-Va-Voom awesomeness.   Thank you for letting us be part of your journey.

-Dr. Brenna Murphy

Did You Know That Not All B12 Is Created Equally?

Cyanocobalamin is the cheapest and most common form available and the most widely used by businesses offering B12 injections. This form of B12 cannot be absorbed and converted to a usable form of B-12 by many people due to the fact that it is created from cyanide, a substance that is highly toxic to humans.

Here at Elements, we use Methylcobalamin, the most bioavailable B-12 on the market. What makes this form so effective is that it is your body’s preferred method of B-12 supplementation; this potent form of cobalamin is easily absorbed and immediately starts working once it hits your bloodstream. Studies have shown that methylcobalamin raises levels of B-12 faster than any other available form and stays in the blood stream the longest, providing a consistent level in your system. This B vitamin, as well as the other B vitamins, are essential for optimum metabolic function and overall health and wellness.
Check out the many injections and IV infusions offered here at Elements.

-Jennifer Chancey