PCOS

Seed Cycling

May 2nd, 2017 (actual date written)

I started Seed Cycling 5 days ago in an effort to help regulate my menstrual cycle. Since I battle with PCOS, this is an area that is never completely normal and gets off balance very quickly.

Seed Cycling is a gentle way to help your body balance your hormones naturally by adding different seeds into your diet at different phases of your menstrual cycle. Simply adding seeds like flax, pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds to your diet at different times in your cycle can promote healthy hormones by encouraging your body to either produce or detoxify certain hormones. It is literally using foods to either promote estrogen detoxification, in the first half of your cycle, or to increase progesterone production in the second.

This is an inexpensive and simple way to re-establish rhythms in your body. Since I have no clue where I am with my cycle, I am following the full moon cycle. I have been adding these seeds to my breakfast or salads. It adds a nice extra crunch to my meal.

Day 1 – 14 (Follicular phase):

1 TB flax seeds
1 TB pumpkin seeds

Day 15 – 28 (Luteal phase):

1 TB sunflower seeds
1 TB sesame seeds

The pumpkin and flax seed combo is a potent one to help your body detoxify the extra estrogen that can plague this time of the month (the lignans especially from the flax seeds bind to excess estrogen and help your body to eliminate it). High zinc levels in pumpkin seeds prevent the estrogen from converting to harmful forms of testosterone and also prime your body for progesterone production which will happen in the second half of the cycle.

The sunflower and sesame combo used in the luteal phase of the cycle has a much lighter dose of lignans from the sesame seeds, but is rich in zinc and selenium which helps progesterone production.  These seeds are also a rich source of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid which can convert to gamma linolenic acid, which also helps the balance between progesterone and estrogen.

Not only is Seed Cycling good for PCOS and irregular cycles, it can also help with acne, PMS, infertility, too light or heavy bleeding, peri-menopause, and post-menopausal symptoms. Give me a shout if you have questions and need some guidance with trying Seed Cycling. Stay tuned for my results.

Eat more fruit, drink life!

July 21st, 2016 (actual date written)

After my birthday in January this year, I went on my annual 21-day cleanse. Nothing too crazy. Simply eating very clean-- no alcohol, sugar, or caffeine, and getting plenty of rest along with supplements for 10 days. Doing the cleanse at the start of the new year could not have been more timely. It set me up for success and clarity for 2016. Once the 21 days were complete, I continued with most of the regular protocol. Lemon water first thing in the morning and keeping my eating clean. But let's also be honest, I definitely added back in the caffeine and alcohol. We all know the Showout tag line is WORK HARD, PLAY HARD.

Over the past 7 months I have changed my diet quite a bit. I eat a TON more fruit. On a daily basis I eat the following: small banana, peach, 1 cup of grapes, 1+ cup of strawberries, 1 cup of cherries. I throw in blackberries and blueberries too when they look yummy at the grocery store. Starchy vegetables from beets and butternut squash are also a daily staple in my diet. If you would have looked at my food log last year, there would maybe be one piece of fruit and ALLLLLL the protein and fat. Now my diet typically consists of 50% carbs, 20% fat, and 30% protein. A major shift from a year ago!

I am still as social as I was 7 months ago or maybe even more! My go-to drinks are Deep Eddy Lemon or Grapefruit in water, skinny margaritas (no agave or frozens!), and wine. Keeping those drinks clean is huge. Back in January I committed to no more frozen ritas and chips when going out to eat. This minor change had a profound impact on my body composition. It goes hand in hand with the Slight Edge philosophy. It's easy to do, but also just as easy not to do.

I also train less. YES, I train less. I get in my 5 days per week, but the mindset of killing myself every workout is long gone. I recover. I rest. I train hard but not to the point of complete exhaustion every time I step foot in the gym.

I feel so much better! My PCOS is manageable now. I have trimmed up, my clothes fit better, my workouts feel awesome.  I am back to looking and feeling how I did 6 years ago. My skin fold summation dropped 91mm! I have learned that bodies & hormones change over time. What worked before does not mean it will continue to work. Listen to your body. If you feel like what you have been doing is no longer working, then it is time for a change. Who would have thought that doubling my carb intake with a lot more fruit and starchy veggies, removing frozen ritas and chips, and training less would do the trick for me?!

I wake up in a space of gratitude each day and thank God for where I am physically, mentally, emotionally, and thank Him for where He will continue to take me. Stay tuned for more on affirmations and what they have done for me in next week's post.

I am full on living in the space of Eat more fruit, drink life!

Cleanse-Confidence-Clarity

February 5th, 2016 (actual date written)

January 19th kicked off my cleanse and today marks the 18th and final day. I went a few days over the time allotted because I figured why not! I have been doing this 15-day Bio-Detox once a year for the past 4 years, and it has been as good for me physically as it is mentally.

The cleanse program is designed to help you detox on a biological level; to cleanse the cells of your body so that they are ready and open to receiving true nutrients. Our bodies have natural detoxification pathways that we are able to tap into with the natural supplements in the Bio-Detox packets to assist with cleansing. This is not one of those cleanses where you juice, eat nothing, and drink fiber packets. It's completely opposite from that. It is a 15-day cellular level detox. You eat as much as you want, BUT only when hungry and at a slow and controlled pace. The slow and controlled is a bit hard for me since I eat all my meals on the go but dinner; however, I did make a conscious effort to sloooooowwww down.

The cleanse is pretty basic. Start the morning with 8oz of warm water with fresh lemon, pink sea salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Eat organic grass-fed meats, wild caught fish, pasture raised chicken/eggs, and wild game. Load up on ALLLLL the veggies and include fats from oils, avocado, and olives. Steer clear of nuts. My vegetables included broccoli slawPower Greens, leeks, beets, okra, brussel sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, green onions, butternut squash, kelpsauerkrautkimchi, artichokes. I ate at least 1 cup of beets per day-- a 1/2 cup 1st thing in the morning with a hard-boiled egg and 1/2 cup post-workout with a hard-boiled egg. Beets are essential in this cleanse because they provide betaine (to protect the liver), cleanse the blood, intestines, and liver. I also included bananas, berries, apples, and grapes if I had a sweet tooth. They are great topped with cinnamon and frozen! Avoid alcohol, caffeine, supplements, and sugar.

WHAT I LEARNED....

It's ok to be selfish. Say No if it does not benefit the bigger picture of where I am going and what I am up to. This time around the cleanse was not about losing weight, but taking 3-weeks to slow down, reflect, and focus on what I need and want for 2016. I have clarity around my goals and what is next for my future. I had a mental shift, and each day I choose to live in a space of gratitude and abundance, which has created new possibilities on a daily basis. It's amazing what can happen when you change your focus. I am more confident in my coaching, training, and business management. I found a church that I am super pumped to start attending regularly. I reconnected with friends I had not seen in a while. I started going back to the Barton Creek Farmers Market. I started Gymnastic Bodies. Needless to say, I am primed and ready to crush 2016! And...an added bonus was I lost 8lbs!

Do you take a time-out once or twice a year to slow down, cleanse, and reset? I challenge you to do this for your mind, body, and soul. I am always here for support along the way.

One size does NOT fit all

January 20th, 2016 (actual date written)

I can say with 100% absolute certainty that one size does NOT fit all when it comes to nutrition. I get so aggravated at businesses/individuals selling nutrition programs that preach a quick fix, when in all reality it's the furthest from the truth.

I have learned this first hand from my own personal journey. Being diagnosed with PCOS completely rocked my world, and I have experienced all the ups and downs when it comes to figuring out what is best for Me and fueling and healing my body naturally.

Here it is January 2016 and I am having a consistent menstrual cycle. 5 months straight to be exact! I have never experienced this in my 35 years of living, which makes it all the more amazing. This may be TMI for some of you, but for all you ladies out there battling PCOS, I hope to give you a glimmer of hope. I have been diligent, consistent, and most importantly, patient through this process, and I will continue to do so in order to maintain my health.

What Showout Meg did:

  1. I healed my gut. I started focusing solely on my gut health in early 2012 and have been highly focused on this for the past 4 years. HCL, an array of fruits and vegetables, and Bragg's apple cider vinegar have been my saving grace.
  2. I worked with a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP). A big shout out to Crystal Bold who started with me along this journey and helped me tremendously. I now also seek advice from my dear friend and NTP, Lynnsey Hooper.
  3. I went to acupuncture. Ann Mowat at 512 Wellness studied PCOS with me and came up with treatments each month to accelerate the healing process.
  4. Eating a lot more carbs! I know this sounds crazy to all you diet-crazed people out there, but by adding more fruit, some rice and gluten-free oats back into my diet, I feel better and my body is functioning properly.
  5. Less intense training. Currently, I do the following: 1x/week track workout; 1x/week classic super sets focusing on upper body strength using gymnastics and lower body unilateral training; 1x/week long walk; and 2x/week are heavy and intense training days. I found less is more for me. Doing 4-5 days of super intense workouts broke me down and sky rocketed my Cortisol levels. The exact thing you do not want.
  6. Love me for me. This is one of the most important things I did. I am beautifully and uniquely made. I may never have a 6-pack nor 14% body fat ever again, but I do know I feel more feminine and sexy then I have ever felt. There is something to say about the female hormone system and it working the way God intended it to work. You start to exude grace and elegance.

As you can see from the list above, I did not do crazy dieting, nor eat a high protein/high fat/low carb diet that you hear about so often, nor rely on dietary supplements. Those exact 3 things royally effed up my hormonal system. Instead, I found what works for me. This may be ever-changing too, but what I do know is my body is working better then it ever has.

I leave you with this...try new things; see what works best for your specific biology; and love the body you have been blessed with. Xoxo!

PCOS Awareness Month

September 22nd, 2015 (actual date written)

September is PCOS Awareness Month. PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS is a genetic, hormonal, metabolic, and reproductive disorder that affects at least 1 in 10 women. I have had cysts on my ovaries since I was a teen, and was diagnosed with full blown PCOS in January 2012. Awareness of this disease is so important to me and can be treated and prevented if you are patient and educate yourself. Little did I know that 7 years ago when I was going super low carb and working out insanely that I was doing more harm to my body then good. Don't get me wrong, I was the leanest I have ever been, but the damage I did to my hormones was quite the mess, and I paid for it. During 2012 to late 2013, there were days I truly hated my body and how I looked and felt. I could only focus on the negative and not see any positive. I was so appearance-focused I could not even wrap my mind on how to heal naturally until a good 6 months into the diagnosis. It made my job super challenging given I am a personal trainer, and the one thing I need to do is love the skin I am in and exude confidence.

Fast forward almost 4 years later and I am constantly learning about my body and PCOS, how to heal and repair my hormones naturally, and to love the body God has given me. It has been an uphill struggle, but I have learned so much along the way, and I can relate with so many women on a completely different level. Now let's celebrate! This year I have had 3 menstrual cycles! Maybe it's TMI for some of you, but for all you ladies who battle irregular menstrual cycles and/or PCOS, this is major exciting news given I had no menstrual cycle for 5 years! I have not had blood work done in 3 years, which is on the top of my priority list to see how my body is repairing. I feel better in my own skin and now try new nutrition plans, supplements, training, and sleep schedules to see how my body best responds. Newest on my radar is Carb Cycling. I am reading up on it and seeing how I can fit it into my lifestyle, especially given most of the reading I come across shows women need a higher carb intake to not mess up their hormones. Stay tuned for more on this.

Currently, one of my favorite podcasts is The Paleo Women with Noelle Tarr and Stefani Ruper. Stefani battled PCOS and healed her body naturally. Her website and research is by far the best I have found. I finished up listening to 2 of their podcasts today, and the key points are absolutely fitting with today's blog post.

Body Image Truths:

1. You do not have to be a certain weight, shape or size for you to love your body.
2. You are worthy, right now – in this moment, with the body you have.
3. There is no correlation between improvements to outward appearance, and becoming more lovable.
4. Numbers that represent the physical space you occupy ARE JUST NUMBERS.
5. Happiness is not a body shape or weight.
6. You can be a variety of weights, and still be healthy.
7. You are not more or less of a person based on the foods you choose to eat. (No correlation between what you eat and your self worth or morality!)
8. No correlation between the movement you do and your self worth.
9. Your body is always on your side always trying to be healthy--- MY FAVORITE!
10. The number of things your body does right outweighs everything else. It is capable of amazing things.
11. Every society has beauty standards that are wildly different from other societies. Beauty standards are arbitrary. (Sometimes incredibly unhealthy.)
12. Everyone is and can be sexy if they choose to be. But you do not need to choose to be in order to be happy.

All in all...Love yourself. Hug someone who has PCOS. And, DO THE DAMN THING.

FOCUS, Ladies

February 26th, 2014 (actual date written)

I have been making some changes in my diet over the past 6 months. Adding back more carbohydrates, specifically from sweet potato, butternut squash, and fruit; while eating less protein and less fat. Above is a picture of my breakfast this morning--> eggs, Longhorn beef/sausage, spinach, sweet potato, green onion, salsa, and avocado (everything was from the Farmers Market too except the avocado). I have been too low carb for way too long. I knew something was not right when everything I used to do was not working.

I was thinking back when I first started doing CrossFit over 5 years ago, and I ate an array of fruit and consumed some sweet potatoes and felt and looked great. Then, my thought process switched to if I ate less carbs, stuck to only greens/low glycemic carbs, and consume lots of protein and fat, I could get even more lean. I mean that is what the research shows. And it worked! Fast forward to 2 years of doing that and it back fired. Adrenal fatigue, not recovering, and gaining weight.

Stephanie, an RD and Trainer with Robb Wolf's crew, wrote an incredible article-- Females, Carbohydrates, and Hormones. You can read the entire article HERE. In a nutshell, she said everything I have been saying while having more research to back it up.

FOCUS LADIES: If you have been eating super clean, on point with your workouts, and still not getting the results you want, then your carbohydrate intake could be a missing piece of the equation when it comes to balancing your female hormones, losing weight, recovering from exercise, supporting your thyroid, boosting your energy, and so much more.

Here I am now with 6 months of adding back some good carbohydrates to my diet and I feel and look better. Clothes that I could not wear last year are fitting again, and my energy is back. I call that a win/win!

The Shift

February 11th, 2014 (actual date written)

I have finally hit a turning point with PCOS. A shift has taken place, and I can feel it in all aspects of my body.

Rewind to June 2012, and I had my 1st nutritional therapy appointment with Crystal Bold. At this point in time I was literally at wits end. I had read every blog out there about PCOS, tried a million natural organic potions, and NEXTed every doctor in Austin who tried to tell me I needed to be on birth control and Metformin to "regulate my cycle." I was at a lost. Thankfully, Crystal and I coached together so I trusted her and gave her a call.

NutriQ

The graph above shows where I was in June 2012 (red line) and where I am as of Monday (blue dotted line). The essence behind nutritional therapy is starting at the core of the symptoms. Think of it as cutting an onion in half and peeling it back one layer at a time. The chart starts with Upper GI and then moves through various areas of the body and ends with the Immune System. The goal is to get all levels at a low priority and as close to the bottom line as possible. You start by addressing 1 or 2 symptoms-- the ones closest to the left of the graph that are high priority-- and then start chipping away. Initially, I went to Crystal to get help with PCOS but little did I know the 1st thing we had to address was my gut health.

Over the past year and a half, I have improved everywhere! The only area that has become a moderate priority is my Women Only area, which is good thing considering where I was before. As you can see from the graph, my gut was a mess, my adrenals were shot, I was not absorbing my vitamins & minerals, and my body did not process sugar. Let alone, my pituitary glands and kidney & bladder were completely taxed. Every medical doctor I went to wanted to jump the gun and address only the Endocrine (Women Only) part of the graph, when in all reality, that was one of the last things I needed to address to heal my body.

Here I am now and feeling better and more alive than ever. My body is functioning normally. I wake up with energy. My skin is clear again. My clothes are fitting better. PCOS is not ruining/controlling my life and thoughts. My taxi light is back on!

What I have learned is there is no quick fix. This is a process--> removing thermogenics/caffeine; drinking fluoride-free water; eating organically; only taking supplements my body needs and not one's for a quick fix; getting more sleep; and living in a space of gratitude and contentment. I have been working my ass off by simply taking care of my body day in and day out with little or no change for a year. I just believed deep down inside things were going to shift, and they did.

For all of you ladies going through this battle, I want to leave you with a glimmer of hope. I have been there, and I am still there. But take heart, you can do this. Believe in the process. Be consistent. And, be thankful you are alive to tell your story.

Castor Oil packets

November 5th, 2013 (actual date written)

From the recommendation via Crystal Bold, I start using castor oil heat packets to help with the treatment of PCOS.

Background

Castor Oil heat packs have been recommended by Edgar Cayce since the early 1900′s for an array of ailments ranging from fatty tumors, bee stings, arthritis, childbirth, allergies, alcoholism, sprains & strains, ear infections, colds & flu, injuries, cysts, baldness, back pain, tonsilitis, removing warts and healing wounds.

Specifically for women with PCOS, is it’s apparent link to dissolving ovarian cysts when used regularly.

The oil contains undecylenic acid which is a powerful antifungal agent (only for use on the skin due to it’s internal toxicity).

Edgar Cayce recommends castor oil packs to improve the assimilation of nutrients from food, improve elimination of wastes and increase circulation, especially in relation to the lymphatic system.

Raw castor beans or oil are quite toxic when taken internally – just one bean if eaten would be enough to kill a human being. Castor oil appears to have a unique ability to sink transdermally (through the skin) due to it’s high molecular weight, to relax smooth muscle. This simple mechanical action has a beneficial influence on all hollow organs, specifically the blood and lymph vessels, the uterus, fallopian tubes, bowels, gall bladder, and even the liver.

It is often used to stimulate the liver, relieve pain, increase lymphatic circulation, reduce inflammation, improve digestion, as a treatment for headaches, liver disorders, constipation and intestinal disorders, gallbladder inflammation and gallstones.

It is also of specific use in treating uterine fibroids and non-cancerous ovarian cysts as well as relieving ovarian pain, inflammation and help the healing process after a cyst has ruptured.

Castor oil heat packs increases the efficiency of circulation through the pelvic region in general and good circulation is required for supportive nutrients to be delivered to the cells, and for waste products and inflammatory factors to be removed. If a castor oil pack is placed over your liver area, it will help your liver to do its work more efficiently, including the metabolism of your hormones.

How to Use

This is the best video to watch on How To use the castor oil heat packs.

To be effective, a castor oil pack must be used at least 3 times a week, and the more frequently you can use it, the better your results will be.  A commonly recommended regime is 4 nights on and 3 nights off.

My Opinion

I'll be honest. Finding/making an hour 3 times per week to do this is not easy for me. I have switched to 30 minutes on my busier days, and I am a lot more consistent. I found my castor oil at Whole Foods and Central Market, and the wool cloths at Whole Foods.

Regardless if you are battling PCOS, castor oil heat packs are a great aid to improving digestion. Castor oil packs are another remedy that I am finding to be of huge benefit that would more than likely never be recommended in a medical doctor's office. I have noticed my digestion has improved significantly since starting the heat packs 3 months ago. Time will only tell how it is improving my PCOS. I highly recommend giving this ancient treatment a try. Let me know what you think.

Perspective

October 21st, 2013 (actual date written)

Too often, we try to gain a clear perspective before it is time.

That will make us crazy.

We do not always know why things are happening the way they are. We do not always know how a particular relationship will work out. We do not always understand the source of our feelings, why we’ve been led down a particular path, what is being worked out in us, what we are learning, why we needed to recycle, why we had to wait, why we needed to go through a time of discipline, or why a door closed. How our present circumstances will work into the larger scheme of events is not always clear to us. That is how it needs to be.

Perspective will come in retrospect.

We could strain for hours today for the meaning of something that may come in an instant next year.

Let it go. We can let go of our need to figure things out, to feel in control.

Now is the time to be. To feel. To go through it. To allow things to happen. To learn. To let whatever is being worked out in us take its course.

In hindsight, we will know. It will become clear. For today, being is enough. We have been told that all things shall work out for good in our life. We can trust that to happen, even if we cannot see the place today’s events will hold in the larger picture.

Today, I will let things happen without trying to figure everything out. If clarity is not available to me today, I will trust it to come later, in retrospect. I will put simple trust in the truth that all is well, events are unfolding as they should, and all will work out for good in my life—better than I can imagine.


The excerpt above is from Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie. Over the past year it has been a battle learning and dealing with PCOS, along with friendships changing, and life taking different courses than I had planned. I wanted an answer to all my frustrations and worries immediately, but that was clearly not God's plan for me. Now, I sit here today and am thankful for all that I have learned. I am a stronger, more confident, sympathetic, and vulnerable woman than I was a year ago. Just like the author wrote above, it is in retrospect that we see all is well. I choose to count my blessings instead of fretting over what I cannot control.

What event in your life can you see that has turned out better than you can imagine?

PCOS Awareness Month

September 18th, 2013 (actual date written)

September is PCOS month. Last June I wrote about my personal battle with PCOS. Since that time so much has happened physically, emotionally, personally, and spiritually. I'll never forget how sad and down and out I was last June and wanting to cry all the time. Fast forward a little over a year later and I have learned so much.

Battling PCOS has taught me a lot about myself. I have learned more is not always best. I have switched my mindset to thinking that working out more is not the answer to the physique I desire. What I have learned is 3 intense/hard workouts a week for me is just the right answer paired with 2 days of walking on my hands, playing on the rings, and dropping into a Pure Barre class. My body is under way less stress, and I am not a walking ball of cortisol.

I have learned patience, and patience is not one of my virtues. I tell my clients that it didn't take 2 weeks to put on the weight you want to lose, nor 2 weeks to be able to back squat 250lbs. I am taking my own advice and learning how to take each day one at a time and be thankful for where I am.

I have had multiple opportunities to meet with or talk on the phone with ladies battling PCOS or dealing with hormonal imbalances. These our some of my most memorable appointments, and I am reminded how we are all in this together. The amount of knowledge I have gained about the body, endocrine system, and hormones is invaluable, and I can carry that with me forever.

Lastly, I have learned I only can do so much, and it is all a matter of God's timing in my life to be healed. It's amazing how your prayer life can improve 10-fold when you want something so badly.

Through it all, I choose to be thankful for my battle with PCOS. I believe it is making me a better version of myself. What are you battling that you can see as a blessing?

PCOS: Faith

July 2nd, 2013 (actual date written)

I wrote about my personal battle with PCOS a little over a year ago. Since then I have been trying everything-- from apple cider vinegar, to herbal tea, to supplements, to a new ObGyn, to the Zone, to a new training schedule, to acupuncture-- the list could go on. From all of this, I have learned so much! I am way more equipped to work with women battling this syndrome, and my knowledge about my body and proper supplementation has improved 10-fold. I can truly say I am smarter and know so much more about the body then I did a year ago.

HOWEVER, it is a year later, and I have seen a shift, but I'm still not where I want to be physically, and I have yet to conquer the endocrine aspect of the syndrome. Needless to say, I am stumped and a bit frustrated. I know it takes time with issues like this, especially if they have been going on for years, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal.

On Sunday (aka: yesterday), I had an epiphany. I was at church and the sermon was on The Weight of Joy & Obedience. The message hit me like a ton of bricks. (For those of you who are not Christians, this part of my blog may be a foreign territory. Just hear me out). The very thing I have not done with battling PCOS is give it completely over to Jesus. I have been doing everything in my power to beat this syndrome, but when it comes down to it, I cannot do it myself. What I got from Sunday's message was to simply be obedient. Lay all the burdens of what I am battling at His feet and allow Jesus to heal me. It sounds so simple yet it is so hard when you are someone like me who wants to be in control and have an answer to problems. I left church lighter, thankful, and more free. I don't know what will happen next, but I do know it's not up to me.

I will continue to do everything I have been doing for my body to battle PCOS, but now I am viewing it as just a piece to a puzzle and not the end all be all. I have been blessed to work the educated, caring individuals who are helping me tremendously, and I will continue to work with them as well as educate myself to be on the cutting edge of research in this area, but I understand more fully this can only take me so far. I have given up trying to control every aspect and allow God to do His work in me.

Here it is a year later, and the one step I had yet to do, should have been the very first step I took when I was first diagnosed. Live and learn---> obedience and faith.

PCOS: Supplements

July 10th, 2012 (actual date written)

I met with Coach Crystal Nelson a few weeks ago and did my very 1st functional test to see what we could find out from a holistic/nutritional standpoint regarding my PCOS.  Crystal recently completed her Nutritional Therapy Practitioner schooling, and I thought what better way to put her work into practice then to help me figure out what the heck is going on with my body. 

Prior to my visit I completed a quiz that took around 30 minutes answering an array of questions, which help to better prepare Crystal for my initial in-house appointment. At our visit she performed different tests all over my body, and I let her know the pain level at each place on a scale of 1-10. I was surprised at how many points on my body that caused extreme pain.  This form of testing is called lingual-neuro testing.

Once the initial testing was done, she then had me put different supplements on my tongue to dissolve and then we re-tested the same spots that scored high on the first test. I was floored when a point in my abdomen dropped from a 10 to a 2 by only taking a supplements and immediately feeling a difference.  That is how you know what you are putting in your body is working the moment it touches your tongue. I found out shortly after MDs learn this form of testing in medical school yet do not do it because it takes too long. Go figure. 

After it was all said and done I am officially on ton of supplements; however, the goal is to eventually wean off a lot of them and to get my body functioning back to full capacity. Here's the list:

  • Beta Plus: improves gallbladder function
  • HCL-Plus
  • Colon-Plus: helps support GI function
  • Equi-Fem: support female endocrine function. I also like to think of this as my multi-vitamin
  • Livotrit Plus: support for healthy liver metabolism
  • BioDoph-7 Plus: probiotic
  • Iodine Forte: testing my iodine levels was one of the craziest tests to me. Crystal colored a yellow square on my forearm and told me to let her know when it faded away. Ideally, the yellow square should have stayed until later the next day; however, mine faded within 2 hrs due to my lack of iodine and my body literally sucking it up.
  • b-Vital: increase testosterone
  • Intenzyme Forte: little pac-man that literally break down cysts
  • Ca-D Glucarate: Works to detox estrogens
  • BioPause-AM: Increases progesterone. Contains chaste berry & other herbs I discussed in a previous post.
  • Vitamin D- I am using Pure encapsulations 10,000 IU found at People's Rx.

I cannot say enough how great I have felt with only being on the supplements for a little over a week. I am following up with Crystal to re-test everything at the end of the month to see how I am responding. Now that's the kind of "doctor" I want to help me.
 

My personal battle with PCOS

 June 14th, 2012 (actual date written)

Ignorance is bliss BUT knowledge is power.

One in ten women has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common reproductive abnormality in premenopausal women, putting them at higher risk for both cardiovascular disease and diabetes. PCOS is also the most common cause of infertility.

I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries when I was 20 but at that point did not have the full blown syndrome. I studied PCOS in graduate school and wrote a few published papers on the topic. With that being said, PCOS is no foreign ailment to me.

Over the past 6 months I have noticed a change in my body; pretty much when I turned 31 in January. Nothing drastic but I know I'm not the same as I was a year ago. The business I'm in it's easy & vital to know when things are not right. I recently had blood tests run at my annual exam, and I was shocked with the results of my estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels. LOW is not even the correct verb to described the extent of how low my estrogen and progesterone are and the imbalance of my hormones at the moment. I decided to start doing some of my own research to get a handle on the situation before it gets out of hand.

The PCOS Awareness Association, states--- there is no cure for PCOS…yet. There are many ways to treat and control the side affects. Read more.

Thankfully I have an amazing career, coach phenomenal clients, have the best friends & family any girl could want, and get to workout consistently so I don't lose my mind trying to figure out how to fix this problem. Over the next few months I will be chronicling natural remedies I am trying; appointments and herbs prescribed by my acupuncturist; discussions and/or appointments I have with MDs and NDs; and any other research I come across. I will not take drugs that say they can fix the problem when in reality all the drug(s) does is mask the problem.

Like I stated above, I can either wallow in the fact that my hormones are out of whack and I have multiple symptoms of PCOS, or I can equip myself with knowledge and fix this problem once and for all and help others gals along the way.

Let's do this!

V-Steam

I did my first V-Steam session today. I learned about it from my acupuncturist, Ann Mowat, owner of 512 Wellness. Vaginal steaming is used by midwives for postpartum care right after a woman has a baby. It's also used as a hygenic post-period practice to get any left-over blood out of the vaginal tract once the period is over. Lastly, vaginal steaming is used to treat gynecological problems. Cramps, trouble conceiving, infections, fibroids, cysts, dryness...vaginal steaming helps to naturally get rid of the problem. From the first period to post-menopause, it is an important tool for self-care.

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What blew my mind is this practice is done basically everywhere except in our Western culture. Vaginal steaming has been found in the following places: South Korea, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Turkey, Latvia, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, Navajo Nation, Palau, Papua New Guinea, and Hawaii.

I used the Cleansing Herbs blend. It includes herbs to help clean out the uterus and improve blood circulation to the mid-section; something that most women need. The herbs included promote circulation, balance the vaginal flora, improve scent, tighten skin and nourish the reproductive organs. Rose Petals, White Sage, Lavender, Parsley, Witch Hazel, Chamomile, Dandelion, Chinese Mugwort and Peppermint are the specific herbs used.

The session took 30 minutes. It was super relaxing and I dozed off with the back of my head resting on the wall. The first 10 minutes I got a little light-headed, but then it subsided and I was in a calm and peaceful state the remainder of the time. I plan on V-steaming right before and after my menstrual cycle each month (which is a miracle that is actually happening given my background), and purchasing my own V-Steam sauna package within the next few months. 

Gut Health

“Heal the gut and you heal yourself.” – Gerard E. Mullin, MD

GutHealth

Gut health is all the rage now and for very good reason. If the gastrointestinal tract is out of whack, then a host of other problems start to arise. I experienced this first hand about 5 years ago when my PCOS went haywire. My skin broke out, I was absorbing none of my nutrients (simply look in the toilet and you will know if this is happening to you), I lost my menstrual cycle completely, and I was gaining weight. The first order of business we took care of was my gut health. Who knew that healing the gut could literally help so many other areas in my body start to function properly?!?

Below is what I do on a daily basis to make sure my gut lining is working at it's best, and I'm feeling fabulous every day!

  • 1TB Braggs Apple Cider vinegar in 6oz of warm water, 1/4 tsp pink sea salt, pinch of cayenne pepper, and 2 drops of dōTERRA Lemon essential oil- I drink this 1st thing in the morning.
  • Probiotic: I take 1 daily with breakfast. Currently, I am taking Primal Probiotics, but I also switch it up with hyperbiotics Pro15.
  • Betaine HCL & Pepsin: This right here is the game-changer. I take 2 capsules at every meal, and 1 capsule with snacks.
    • WHY???? Betaine HCL increases the level of hydrochloric acid in the stomach necessary for proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients from food. Normal levels of hydrochloric acid are required for complete digestion of proteins and absorption of amino acids. It’s also required for the extraction of vitamin B12 from our food. Betaine HCL helps to restore the proper acid levels in the stomach and maintain healthy GI function.
  • Sauerkraut: I eat around a 1/2 cup daily to get in my good probiotics via a food source. Make sure the one you buy does NOT have vinegar added to it as this messes with the fermentation process.

If you are someone who has constant bloating and gas after eating, that is not normal. I encourage you to start healing your body from the inside, out, and that starts with the gut. Give this a try and see how it works for you. It takes time to heal so be patience. This is not a quick fix and is also one you will be on for the rest of your life. The only difference is you can titrate the dose down on the Betaine HCL & Pepsin over time as your gut heals. I am here to answer any and all questions you may have to help get that gut back in check!