An Article from The Primal Health Coach Institute
In: Graduate Success Stories
We love sharing success stories from PHCI alumni who have transformed their health through primal living, and are now guiding others to experiencing fundamental growth and change in their lives. Today we’re sharing Jennifer Beamer’s story. Jennifer is a PHCI graduate, functional movement and health coach, and founder of Empowerment Pilates Malibu. Her wealth of experience and education offers much to learn from and be inspired by in our health coaching journeys.
Hooray for strong bones!!!
I just received some great news…It’s been another successful year of increasing bone density, beating the odds and turning osteoporosis around!!
This truly validates the power of the body to rebuild and regenerate itself when given the correct information. I am devoted to sharing this info so that others can empower themselves, too. Here’s the scoop…
You’ve probably heard of a DEXA scan, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, an imaging test with low radiation to measure bone density. Life as a pro athlete, with sky high cortisol, low estrogen, and a diet which I thought was healthy but was truly inflammatory (low fat, grains, plant lectins and phytates, soy), led my body into the perfect storm of low bone density. Before the age of 40, my DEXA showed that I was faced with the diagnosis of osteoporosis. Ouch!
A diagnosis like this is a wake up call for change. My approach to obstacles is to dive in to the research and create solutions.
Though I thought I had been doing everything right, living by the healthy guidelines of the day, I had to dig deeper, find the root cause, and create change immediately. I created a comprehensive bone building program for myself, eliminating things causing bone loss, and adding those that would remineralize bone.
Many elements came into the picture, and I created a strategy including the four pillars of health; nourishing food, intelligent movement, quality rest and positive mindset.
I did it by going Primal and getting to the root of the problem. The Primal Health model provides a whole life approach to elevating health at a cellular level…from nutrient dense, low inflammatory food, to empowering movement, quality rest, time in sunshine and nature, and life balance.
The following are some keys to my own success. I include them for education and inspiration, as well as resources for further inquiry. I am not a medical doctor, and recommend that each person work with their own medical professionals to build a strategy for personal health conditions and goals.
Thanks to all who have helped me along the way. My strategy, guided by health professionals, coaches, and extensive personal research, was founded upon a primal lifestyle, including:
Healing leaky gut (I didn’t even realize I had!) and cultivating a healthy microbiome.
Following a primal diet, rich in nutrients, proteins, and healthy fats, low in simple carbohydrates (which can feed bacterial growth in the small intestine; healthy gut microbes live in the colon) and inflammatory triggers.
- Following a low glycemic diet with ample protein and healthy fats.
- Eliminating inflammatory vegetable oils (canola, cotton seed, soy, safflower) grains, nightshades, soy, corn, dairy, legumes.
- Avoiding antinutrients present in plants; phytates, oxalates and lectins which lead to nutrient malabsorption and inflammation. Soaking nuts in water and salt overnight to remove antinutrients. Eliminating grains and legumes.
- Eating bone in sardines, anchovies, salmon; grass fed/pasture raised meat on the bone; bone broth and collagen/gelatin with a source of Vitamin C.
Minerals; from whole foods whenever possible, supplementation if needed.
- Hydroxyapetite/bone meal calcium
- D3/K2; these are incredibly important for calcium absorption into the bones and teeth, rather than the blood vessels and organs.
- Collagen/gelatin and Vitamin C for enhanced collagen cross links
- Bone broth
- Trace minerals such as copper, boron, zinc
- Drinking half my body weight in ounces per day, as small sips throughout the day, adding high quality Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt and trace mineral drops to enhance cellular hydration and metabolism. One to two glasses of water with minerals on waking. Great news—adding the mineral salts facilitates absorption of the water and keeps one from overworking the kidneys and having to run to the restroom all day and night!
- Lifting Heavy Things; Weight bearing exercise. Hiking, weight training, wearing a weight vest, pilates with the resistance of the machines.According to Wolff’s law, developed by the German anatomist and surgeon Julius Wolff, bone in a healthy person adapts to the loads under which it is placed. When loads increase, the bone will remodel itself over time to become stronger. Proper technique and posture are critical. Pilates on the equipment is an excellent way to connect the core and deep stabilizers of the body, to align, and to build a solid foundation for bearing progressive loads over time. A great program is 2-3 times a week, 30 minutes, and following up with a high quality protein source with leucine (grass fed pasture raised animals, or whey).
- Stopping chronic cardio. Aerobic/cardio exercise is very important, and is most effective when kept within a range that allows the body to continue using oxygen. Keeping aerobic work to a moderate heart rate of 180-age beats per minute, as defined by the Maffetone Method, is optimal. Chronic cardio and chronic stress create a cortisol and fight-or-flight cascade which leads to bone break down.
- Plyometric training. Heel drops, jumping jacks, jump rope, rebounding. Advanced; box jumps.
- Training balance, functional movement, proprioception and mobility. These reduce fall risk and elevate the ability to recover quickly when balance is challenged. Pilates on the equipment and functional weight training are highly effective.
Rest and Recovery
- Sleep. It’s where the body gets to be its own best doctor. An entire cascade of repair and regeneration of the body and nervous system happens during high quality sleep. Strive for 7-8.5 hours nightly.
Stress balance and resilience/Positive Mindset
- Modifying cortisol levels and amplifying parasympathetic rest and recovery modes.
- Playing! Taking time to revitalize, enjoy walking in nature, breath work and mindfulness practices. This regenerative time boosts the brain and body to higher performances during work periods.
- Getting at least 15-20 minutes of high quality sunshine per day.
- Believing in the body’s ability to heal itself. Visualizing the body healing on a cellular level. Bruce Lipton’s The Biology of Belief is a wonderful resource explaining the science of positive belief systems and healing.
- Addressing sex hormone balance; estrogen is critical to healthy bone density, and a healthy balance of estrogen/progesterone/testosterone is key. By first addressing lifestyle factors such as those above, sex hormone levels will begin to rebalance. Following these changes, working with a highly qualified medical practitioner can be helpful to add herbal supplementation, or bio-identical hormone replacement, if needed.
Medical diagnoses can be scary. And also empowering. Learning to use knowledge as power, to create an action plan, and to spur oneself to be proactive, is tremendously powerful.
I feel elation in knowing my bones are strong and resilient now.
I also feel the thrill of knowing my own body has healed itself, realizing the incredible power within to change. The body responds brilliantly to the information we give it. The science of epigenetics explains how genes up-regulate or down-regulate according to the cues (epigenetics) we give them, including nutrition, movement, rest, and mindset. For example, chronic levels of high stress and high cortisol amplify gene expression leading to bone breakdown. Whereas ample trace minerals and nutrients, healthy fats, weight bearing exercise, stress balance, and sleep will up-regulate genes to promote bone growth.
Seeing the body in this way, as a partner responding to the cues one gives it through nutrition, movement, recovery, mindfulness, thought navigation, stress resilience, and emotional balance, is empowering and exciting. The body is always doing its best for each of us, within the circumstances we expose it to. By taking the helm and directing ourselves to enriching healthy lifestyle habits, little by little, we can shift ourselves into places of strength and vitality.
It all boils down to having healthy cells, healthy metabolism, energy production and repair systems. The body is constantly regenerating and repairing itself. We amplify this with healthy living habits.
And in response, multiple systems flourish.
I hope this helps you, or someone you know, on the journey to health.
I am devoted to sharing this transformational information with others, as I moved myself successfully out of many health challenges, including severe arthritis, pre-diabetes, osteoporosis, anxiety, depression, hormone imbalances, gut dysfunction, brain fog and more. The elation of reversing all of these and once again living with vibrant energy and performing powerfully, is a dream come true! Becoming a Primal Health Coach has been a key part of the process.
As a student at UCSF Medical School I learned a wealth of information about the complex interconnected systems of the body and mind. As a professional dancer I have gained tremendous insight from my own body’s experience as a laboratory of injury and repair. Serious health challenges led me to dive deeply into an array of resources to heal myself, and to once again, thrive in a high performance state. Continuing education in pilates, personal training, physical rehabilitation, the Gray Institute, and other functional medicine paradigms, add to the toolbox of resources I bring to each person. Mark Sisson’s work has been a personally empowering resource along my path, and I jumped at the opportunity to join the tribe as a certified Primal Health Coach. The program is a gold mine of invaluable education and resources. Through this program I have developed strategies to expand my thriving business doing what I love: empowering people with skills to live with vibrant health through the art and science of intelligent movement, nourishing food, quality rest/recovery, and positive mindset.
I am honored to be a Primal Health Coach, to be part of this legacy of empowering people with the education and tools to create health from within: to take control of their own health rather than outsource it to a conventional medical model of treating disease. It is an incredible joy to guide people to be their personal best every day; seeing them accelerate towards their highest potential, a peak performance state of focus, alignment, clarity, joy, precision and radiant energy.
Upon graduation from the PHCI program, with the business tools provided in the course, I reinforced many foundations of my existing business; legal waivers, my website and blog, health programming, social media, and more. Everything got an upgrade. I felt more confident in sharing my knowledge, backed by the Primal Health community and the professional tools provided in the course. My online presence has grown as a result, especially during the Covid-19 quarantine. The Primal Health Coaching Program has guided me to have a strong presence in the virtual community and to gracefully transition to online coaching during the quarantine.
I believe strongly in positive modeling, and living the work I teach. Many of my clients have sought me out in person, upon observing how I train myself in the gym where I teach. Rather than investing in marketing, I focus on high quality work. I strive to bring incredible quality to each person and devote research and thought to how I can help each person optimize their journey towards their personal goals. I am grateful to work with high performing clients who are focused, driven, seeking to optimize their health and who are devoted to the process. An emphasis on high quality work has translated into clients seeking more frequency in coaching, and word of mouth referrals. I maintain a presence on the Primal Health Coach Network, Linked In, Yelp, and other search engines, and am most active on Instagram as social media. I also send out a monthly newsletter through my fitness association, IDEA.
As a movement coach, I empower people to be strong and aligned in body and mind. As a health coach, I guide people to optimize their lives through the Four Pillars of Health: Intelligent Movement, Nourishing Food, Quality Rest, and Positive Mindset. I draw upon best strategies from an array of disciplines, including pilates, functional movement, strength training and health coaching, to create an optimal program for each individual. By focusing on precise technique and the pilates principles of centering, concentration, control, breathing, dynamic full body engagement and flow, we create a powerful foundation for all movement forms, for vibrant health, and for life! Living with integrity of line and form elevates self confidence, posture, energy, health and joy. It feels wonderful to be strong and aligned. I know the elation of having moved myself out of chronic pain into power and thriving vitality. I have tremendous respect for the body’s ability to heal and achieve homeostasis, or balance. I empower people to get “unstuck” from a spiral of “dis-ease” or imbalance and propel themselves forward to a state of healthy, vital well being. Even in the presence of injuries, or illness, we can move ourselves to optimal health, and live in a thriving state, with strong bodies and vibrant, strong minds. I thrive in a peak performance state of being powerful in my body and mind and love guiding others to this.
The abundance of health information available today can be overwhelming and confusing. I aim to streamline the information and coach each individual towards their personal goals. It is a true joy and honor to be witness to a person spreading their wings to soar in health and wellness!
Enjoy being powerful and moving yourself into high performance and vitality.
Best to all,
— Jennifer Beamer
Disclaimer; Coaching services and information on this site include education, guidance and tips on primal living and generally healthy movement. I am not a medical doctor and services are not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for a diagnosis, treatment, or prescription that a physician, licensed dietitian, physical therapist or health care professional might recommend.