Thursday, July 16, 2015

Fertility Awareness & Natural Fertility Resources

Long time no blog… Its been a while!  But I am back today with something I have become SUPER passionate about lately- fertility- and more importantly- natural fertility and dealing with it holistically.
I think its so important for us women to get to know our bodies.  Its something that I avoided and honestly didn’t ever care about for most of my life.  I was put on birth control at age 13 (!) and didn’t get off of it until age 28…. That’s a long time to suppress my body’s natural rhythms and cycles.  Now that I am not taking the pill anymore I am completely blown away by the symptoms and side effects that I dealt with for so long that I didn’t even know were from it.  When I think about it I honestly get pissed at my doctors and pissed at myself that I took it for so long.  More so at myself because I allowed it. But also at doctors because they “prescribe” birth control to help with cramps and other symptoms.  It is not a treatment drug…. All it does is mask the symptoms of whatever you’re dealing with.  And whatever you’re dealing with is an underlying problem caused by something else.  Sometimes it is easy to figure out that underlying cause and sometimes it takes a little digging.  
This brings me to my first recommendation.  If you are dealing with any hormone-related issues and/or problems I cannot recommend The Period Repair Manual enough.  It is FULL of information about how to fix a lot of hormonal imbalances and problems through food, supplements, herbs and lifestyle.  I mean, what do you have to lose by trying these things out?  You have to eat every day so why not make food medicine?  
The book was written by Dr. Lauren Briden, a Naturopathic Doctor with nearly 20 years of experience in women’s health.  Some of the topics include How to come off of birth control, What your period should look like, What can go wrong, and How to talk to your doctor.  For $10 this book is just such a good reference manual.
My second resource is the mother of all fertility books- Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. I will recommend this to anyone who will listen to me. I read this huge book in one weekend because I was so fascinated by all of this information about my own body that no one ever taught me and I never learned.  This is what they should give young girls in sex ed.  Its amazing! It teaches you all about how the female reproductive system works.  It is also how I learned, along with so many others, how to chart my cycles for birth control.  
I’ve also been obsessed with listening to podcasts while I commute lately.  One of my favorites is The Fertility Friday Podcast
Lisa, a Fertility Awareness advocate for over a decade, discusses a wide range of women and fertility-related topics each week.  She has great guest speakers that I have learned so much valuable information form.  
I know this is a controversial topic and highly personal but I think this is information that needs to be out there in the world.  I consider myself not only a health-conscience person but intelligent also.  I had no idea about any of this.  I would go out of my way to buy foods with no additives and dairy with no hormones but I continued to pump my body synthetic hormones every day for over 15 years.  I wish I knew all of this sooner.  My goal is to inform people of the information we have been taught is taboo or that no one should talk about.  It is our bodies.  We only have one.  It does so many amazing things for us.  We should honoring it by being intuitive and listening to it.  The reproductive system is such a tell-all for what is going on in our bodies.  But we have been taught to either ignore it or mask it and make the signals go away.  
If I can turn even a few people on to learning about this I would be overwhelmed with joy.  The amount of freedom and empowerment I have felt from learning this information is too much for words.  It has made me appreciate being a woman and appreciate all it does for me.  If anyone needs help or advice and/or is interested in learning more please let me know!

This Morning's Insight

I tried blogging on Tumblr to start to create a brand/website for health coaching.  I really didn't like Tumblr. I don't know a lot about it and I just feel like blogger is so much simpler.  So here I am... Trying this again. I felt very uninspired to blog over there because I didn't fully understand the format.
I had a bit of a realization this morning at 5:30 AM while procrastinating on my workout and here I am... (I ended up not working out... Oops).  I have spent the last 2 years trying to find a balance and "what works for me" in the fitness/health world.  What worked for me in the beginning was choosing healthy foods every day and working out.  I keep thinking... It was definitely Tone It Up and I need to get back to that.  Yes, Tone It Up taught me about healthy eating and got me excited to workout.  But it was making healthy choices, running, stretching, doing yoga, weights, interval training, etc... That brought me to a good place.  I have spent so much time obsessing over what to do that I think I lost sight of the overall picture.  And now that I realize it I feel kinda dumb....  Should I do paleo, beach body, TIU, bikini body guide, gluten free, clean eating, intuitive eating?  Its exhausting.  I can't find a balance because my focus is wrong.  Who cares what its called?

Its tough for me... I'm usually determined, headstrong, and stubborn.  I tend to go all or nothing... All in or all out....  One extreme to the other.... That can be a good trait sometimes (when I'm focusing on a goal). But it also gets me in trouble.  It causes stress in my life that is so unnecessary.
Now, the tricky part will be remembering this tomorrow. :)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Chasing my dreams


New and exciting things are happening for me and this little blog! I can't wait to share more with you guys!   I have been on an extreme life high since Friday.  My mind is full of ideas and I am so excited about life!  I know this is super vague but I don't want to share too much until I know a little more about what I am doing.
The 5th Annual Tone It Up Bikini Series is officially kicking off Monday! I can't wait!  If you're not familiar with Tone It Up or the Bikini Series I encourage you to watch their video about it.  The excitement in the TIU community is just courageous right now!  I love it!

The TIU Girls- Karena & Katrina posted a video recently that got me really thinking... In the video they encouraged everyone to pursue your dreams.  Take risks.  I NEVER take risks... I am a play-it-safe-kinda-girl!  But I'm super excited about a new life adventure for me that is coming soon!  I can't wait to share it!
Hope you are having a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

What brought me to the Whole30

Before diving into my experience with the Whole30 I figured I should first talk about what brought me to the Whole30 and why I did it.  I honestly felt like I was lead to do this, like it was something I had to do.  

I decided after 15 years to stop taking hormonal birth control.  Not because I am ready to have a baby but simply because I might be one day.  I have wanted to stop taking it for years now but I have been TERRIFIED of getting pregnant without being ready.  So before I stopped taking it I did some research on other methods of birth control.  I think I will do a separate post all about that.

One of the books I read was Taking Charge of Your Fertility. I was so interested and floored by all of this information about my OWN body that I never knew.  I did not learn these things in Sex Ed, I did not learn them from my doctor, and my mom did not teach me these things.  I cannot recommend this book enough. Regardless of wanting to have a baby now or ever this book is FULL of information about the female body that is so useful to every woman.  I just can't say enough good things about it.  Seriously, if you are a woman you must buy this book and read it ASAP!

After reading the book I joined a couple of Facebook groups of people with similar interests.  Someone mentioned a podcast, Fertility Friday.  Its full of a ton of information. I have a long work commute so I figured a podcast would be great for me.  She talks a lot about the Weston A Price Foundation and nutrient dense foods.  
One of the podcasts' guest was Laura Schoenfeld of the blog Ancestralize Me.  This particular podcast was about Recovering from Post-Birth Control Syndrome.  You can read all about that episode here! I loved listening to her talk and this whole episode resonated with me big time.  This was really my first time putting any thought at all into a Paleo/ Ancestral Diet.  I immediately dove head first into Laura's blog and podcast.  This opened up a whole new world for me.  

After many hours of different podcasts and reading different blogs (all paleo-based) I decided I would give this paleo thing a try.  The very next day I did the best I could with what I had to eat a paleo diet.  
That night I ended up on the website- and decided I would start this immediately.  I didn't put a ton of thought into it. I just felt compelled to do it.  I bought the book It Starts With Food and read it in one day, and I was on my way.  I started the Whole30 on a Friday because I did not want to wait another day.

I decided it would not be about weightloss.  It would be about nourishing my body with the best foods for me.  Lots of health fats, local and grass-fed meats, TONS of veggies, and fruit. 
I am on this journey to get my hormones in balance after 15 years of suppressing them... 15 years of stopping a natural process from my body...  So I decided I would start with my food... 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up

I hope everyone's Easter was filled with candy, relaxing, and family.
This weekend was very low key!
Friday night I went to the gym to do my Bikini Body Guide leg workout. It was KILLER!
Saturday was so lazy.  I woke up and had to go get my brows done.  Then I came back home and pretty much did nothing for the rest of the day/night.
I cooked Mexican burgers for dinner.  Basically, a hamburger topped with homemade guacamole!  Saturday was my last day of the Whole 30!
Then we randomly played Monopoly and watched tv the rest of the night.

Since Sunday was my first day off of the Whole30 I planned on introducing dairy back into my diet and keeping everything else as it was to see how it affected me over a couple of days. I cooked my eggs in butter, ate some cheese, and a little yogurt.
Then husband and I went on a long bike ride.  Afterwards he went to the store and returned with my absolute favorite candy of all time!  Cadbury Cream Eggs.  I decided to have a couple.
It kinda ruined my plan to slowly reintroduce the foods that I've been avoiding. I did get a headache almost immediately after. I don't know if it was a coincidence or the sugar did it. Oh well...
The rest of the day was spent relaxing, washing clothes and meal prepping.  Here are a few things I made for the week:

Homemade Ghee/ Clarified butter

Fresh Almond Milk

Paleo tortillas/wraps from Against All Grain's cookbook- Meals Made Simple
Not pictured:  Flank Steak in the crockpot and meatballs

Sunday night we ended with fish tacos

Grilled cod, paleo wraps, avocado, lettuce, cilantro, and pineapple salsa

I am absolutely loving making all of this stuff at home recently!  My grocery bill has went up but because we are eating every meal at home we have been saving money on not eating out and drinking on the weekends!  My next project I will start soon is homemade Kombucha!!!
Do you meal prep for the week?  What's your usual Sunday routine?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

30 Days of Yoga

Happy Saturday and Happy Easter EVE :)
I decided that I want to make an active effort every day to be more gentle and loving with my body and mind.  You see... I'm VERY VERY type A personality/perfectionist.  I must do things the right way or no way.  I tend to be VERY hard on myself about things.  I think this is why dieting, rigid plans, being restrictive has always backfired with me.

I think someone would automatically think that by doing the Whole30 that would trigger those obsessive and perfectionist feelings.  I won't lie- it has a couple of times when I accidentally ate something that had some unapproved ingredients in it. But I learned from it (that I should do my research and prepare) and moved on.  But to be honest I feel like it has done the opposite.  I've learned that I need to eat more food every day and I have learned to NOURISH my body.  I don't feel like I am being restrictive because I'm putting really good quality and nourishing foods in my body at every chance I get.

Also, with the Bikini Body Guide- that is a strict workout plan.  The schedule has 3 strength training days, 3 cardio days, and 1 stretch day. I'll be honest- I don't think I have stuck to that schedule one time and I am on week 7.  I learned that because I'm doing quality effective workouts I don't feel like I need to be so hard on myself if I skip a day.  And I've skipped a few days.  I think I only skipped 1 or 2 strength days on the program. But I've skipped several cardio days.  And I don't feel bad about it.   Not at all.  And guess what- I've still seen results that I am so happy with.

When I got sick this week I took several days off and slept in... No guilt.  This is all new to me.  This is something I am working on and working at constantly.

So that brings me to my newest challenge for myself- 30 days of yoga... Yoga is something I have always wanted to get into more.  I used to go about once a week and I always really enjoyed it.  Then I stopped that for quite a while and I miss it.

I got this idea from Yoga with Adriene's 30 days of yoga series.  I am going to use her videos in addition to the local studio that I won the gift card to. After 2 years I am finally going to cash in the month of unlimited!  I think this will go hand in hand with my new attitude to be more gentle and loving to myself.

I want to go to the studio as much as I can and days that I cannot I will do one of her videos.  This may be a little hard to do in addition to the BBG workouts. But I am going to find a way to make it work even if it is a 10-15 minute practice real quick at night or before work.

I am starting today with her day 2 video because it sounded better for me- Stretch your body and soothe your soul.  I am super sore from my leg workout yesterday and I think I need this.  My schedule is a little messed up from being sick this week and I would like to get in a cardio session or a strength session later today or tomorrow.

Today is my final day of the Whole30 program and I couldn't be more pleased with myself!  I will do a full review/wrap-up of that soon!

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Goals

I feel so much better today, almost completely back to normal. I just have low energy. But I think thetas totally normal considering I didn't have any solid food yesterday.
I wanted to share my April goals with you guys today.

I love to utilize the space in my Inkwell Press planner to jot down ideas or very general goals for the month. Its called a personal mission board. I love that!
Here's a few goals of mine for the month!

*I want to start yoga again.  I won a month of unlimited at a local hot yoga studio that I LOVE 2 years ago and I have never cashed in that free gift.  I always find an excuse to not use it. I would love to do that this month.  
*Spa night/ face masks at least once a week
*Stick to budget
*Plan date nights
*Sign up for the 2015 Tone It Up retreat!!!
*Blog during the week
*Keep going strong with the Bikini Body Guide. I'm on week 7 and I absolutely love it! I will do a full review when I am done with the 12 weeks
*Workout 5 days a week
*Continue eating Paleo
*Continue eating at home. minimum @ restaurants
*Do a few home improvements/ updates that we have put off for 2 years!!

What are your goals for the month?  I love reading other peoples' goals!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Cost of Being Unprepared

So yesterday I shared with you my food diary.  You can see that I had the most random dinner.  I was starving when I got home. I didn't have anything thawed out.  I threw a random dinner together of leftover fish and leftover sautéed cabbage.
I didn't realize at the time that the fish had been in my fridge since Friday.  It was not frozen when I got it.  After writing the post within about 30 minutes of eating I stared feeling terrible.  I could not pick my head up off the couch.  I was sweating and my stomach had swollen up like a balloon.  I had to curl up in a ball on my bed and I could barely move.  Throughout the night I was so bloated and had severe stomach cramps and nausea.  I did not sleep. I laid on the bathroom floor for hours.
I had to get up and go to work because I had a meeting that involved several people, and I couldn't cancel it.  My temperature was high this morning before I even got out of bed.  The commute felt unbearable. I finally started to feel better around 2pm or so. I did some research and I'm thinking I had food poisoning.  Specifically, scombroid food poisoning, caused from fish. It can even be from cooked fish. My symptoms matched up perfectly:
Symptoms are described below. They occur within 10–30 minutes of ingesting the fish and generally are self-limited. People with asthma are more vulnerable to respiratory problems such as wheezing or bronchospasms. However, symptoms may show over two hours after consumption of a spoiled dish. They usually last for about 10 to 14 hours, and rarely exceed one to two days.


The first signs of poisoning suggest an allergic reaction with the following symptoms:
  • facial flushing/sweating
  • burning-peppery taste sensations in the mouth and throat
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • headache
  • tachycardia
  • cold-like symptoms

I don't know what else could've caused it the way I felt last night. It was terrible.  Even today I have only had a banana and a green smoothie with avocado.  But I feel like I've been eating nonstop for weeks.  My stomach is so swollen and in so much pain.  

So... not so fun night last night or today.  I'm just relaxing this afternoon and I can't wait to feel better.  I will definitely be more careful about how long I keep things in the fridge.  I probably push the envelope way too much with it! 

Monday, March 30, 2015

What I Eat In a Day

I'm back!  I can't believe its been almost a year since I've blogged!  Where has the time gone?

I decided to start with this post because its one of my favorites to read on others' blogs and watch on YouTube. It gives me some ideas and I just enjoy reading about it.  

I should preface this by stating that I have been doing the Whole30 for the past 23 days. If you're unfamiliar with the Whole30 I encourage you to read about it here.  I'm sure most of you have hard of pale before.  Basically, no grains, sugar, dairy, gluten, refined anything, soy, or anything processed or from a package except a few random things.  Everything all natural!  I've mostly been eating meat, fish, veggies, eggs, and fruit. If you're interested in completing one I recommend the book- It Starts With Food.  I've really enjoyed this way of eating.  But it has really taken a lot of the enjoyment out of my meals. I've just been eating to nourish my body rather than eating for entertainment.  I haven't eaten in a restaurant in several weeks other than the occasional Chipotle lunch in a pinch.  I plan on doing a full post on the Whole30 and my experience once it is over this weekend.

So on to what my typical day looks like in food!

-2 fried eggs with fresh eggs from the farmers market cooked in ghee
-A side of green beans- so random- but I try to eat veggies at each meal. Usually for breakfast I just have whatever veggies are left from the night before
-an orange
-a glass of ginger kombucha

I drink a ton of water all day. When I get to work I have either hot tea or coffee with coconut milk or homemade almond milk (tutorial coming).
-Around 10am I have one of my herbal supplement drinks: Solle Vital I will do a post on all of my herbal supplements soon

 Lunch:  forgot to snap a pic until almost done!
-salad with leftover chicken, avocado, strawberries, dill, and a boiled egg
-baked sweet potato with ghee

I had to run to Home Goods at lunch to return something and I found these snacks.  I love stuff like this. I ended up eating this whole bag. Both have only fruit as the ingredients.  No added sugar!

 And 2 pieces of this:

 Around 2:00 I got hungry and had this:

When I got home around 5 I was starving!  I randomly ate a boiled egg and drank some water to hold me over.  Then dinner was not my favorite. I actually ended up throwing half of it way because it just wasn't good.
-Tuna steak marinated in coconut aminos, ginger, cilantro, and green onion
- sautéed cabbage and sweet potatoes

Then after dinner I had a big spoonful of Sun Butter. 

Not the most glorious or exciting meals but this is what a typical day looks like these days!  Each meal I try to include protein, fat, and carb. Nothing fancy.  On the weekends I will cook more elaborate meals that my husband and I can enjoy together. But for now- this works.  

Hope you enjoyed a little sneak into my day:)