Why You Shouldn’t Skip Vitamin B12

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Vitamin B12 is essential to the human body, and chances are even if you are a meat eater, you have a deficiency. I recommend that all my clients take a B12 supplement regardless if they are vegan, vegetarian, or an omnivore.

Vegans or vegetarians are playing a losing game if they decide to exclude a B12 supplement from their diet. While I’m a fan of getting nutrients from our foods, sometimes it just isn’t possible.

B12 can protect against dementia, increase immune function, maintain nerves, and regenerate cells. It’s necessary for maintaining methylation reactions that repair DNA and prevent cancer. It’s hard to get enough B12 from our diet, and if you are vegan or vegetarian it’s even more difficult.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is no joke. It can cause extreme fatigue that can disrupt your daily life, and make it hard to function. Tasks that seem easy can appear daunting when suffering from fatigue.

Skipping on the B12 is just not worth it.

Vitamin B12 helps support adrenal function, helps calm and maintain a healthy nervous system, and is necessary for key metabolic processes. Signs of deficiency “include fatigue, muscle weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness, numbness, heart palpitations, bleeding gums and mouth sores, nausea, poor appetite and diarrhea”. [Source: Dr. Weil]

Symptoms may present themselves slowly and may not be recognized for some time, and just because you don’t notice them doesn’t mean you are not deficient. That is why it’s better to be safe than sorry, and take a B12 supplement before any symptoms surface.

There are many forms of B12 on the market, but the best form is the activated version called Methylcobalamin. This is the most natural form as it needs no converting, and is in its ready to use form. You should always take a B12 combined with Methlyfolate, because taking B12 without folate can cause brain and nerve damage.

It is especially crucial to take these vitamins in their active, methylated form, as many people today have the gene mutation MTHFR, which prevents the body from converting folic acid into an active form the body can use.

Methyl B12 and Methyl Folate Guide:

Dose: 800 mcg Folate, and 500 mcg B12

Forms: Capsule or lozenge

Time taken: Daily with food

Brand: Metagenics Intrinsi B12/Folate

xxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Going Vegan

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Everyone seems to be going vegan these days after the release of the documentary “What the Health”. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this film, however, I think we can all agree that eating fewer animal products is never a bad idea.

If you have recently decided to adopt a vegan diet, make sure you don’t fall victim to these three mistakes.

1. Assume you’ll get enough protein without any effort.

It is possible to get enough protein on a vegan diet, and if anyone else tells you otherwise then they are misinformed. However, it doesn’t just happen automatically. There is no such thing as a vegan fairy godmother that sprinkles protein fairy dust on you every night. Getting enough protein on a vegan diet requires effort and planning, but it does get easier with time.

At first, you might have to keep a journal documenting all the protein you eat, but after being vegan for a season or two, you’ll be able to eye things and know what you need to eat and in what quantity for your protein needs.

So, how much protein do you need?

Well, it all boils down to the individual. How frequently do you work out? Are you male or female? How much do you weigh? Are you under stress or are you pregnant? These are some of the factors that contribute to determining how much protein you need. A simple 0.45 grams of protein per pound like the USDA recommends may not be enough.

According to women’s hormone expert, Dr. Sara Gottfried, you should eat an average of 0.75-1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass(1). If you are an athlete, or under extreme stress, or lactating, or pregnant, you should eat on the higher end. If you lead a more sedentary life, or work out less than 3 times a week, aim for the lower end.

I agree with the amounts listed by Dr. Gottfried, but with one exception: if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, 0.4-0.5 grams per pound of lean body mass should be sufficient for your needs (per Dave Asprey)(2).

Another term which all aspiring vegans should become familiar with is complete protein.

complete protein refers to the building blocks of protein, called amino acids. There are twenty different amino acids that form a protein, and nine that the body can’t make on its own. These are known as essential amino acids. They are essential because we need to eat them, as our bodies are incapable of producing them. For a food to be deemed a complete protein, it must contain all the nine essential amino acids in close to equal amounts.

So while meat and eggs are indeed complete proteins, nuts and beans aren’t. But hold the phone! This doesn’t mean you can’t get all of your essential amino acids on a plant based diet! We don’t need every essential amino acid in every bite of food, we just need a sufficient amount of each amino acid every day. Also, there are some plant based complete proteins – my favorites include buckwheat and quinoa.

So with a combination of different plant based foods each day, it’s relatively easy to get all of the essential amino acids your body needs. You just need to put in the time and effort.

2. Load up on sugar, because hey-it’s vegan, right?

Let’s get the facts straight. When you eat sugar (and this includes any food with a high glucose level like honey, agave nectar, bread, fruit, etc) your insulin levels will automatically spike. So if you are eating too much sugar, this will lead to higher blood glucose levels, which can eventually lead to diabetes.

I don’t care what you heard on “What the Health”. Chicken does not cause diabetes – carbohydrates and sugar does. This does not mean I’m saying go out and eat chicken. You can be an EcoVegan by abstaining from animal products and eating a low glycemic diet at the same time.

The closest truth to the claim that meat causes diabetes is that processed meats will throw off the omega 6 to omega 3 balance in your body, which can increase your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s, and rheumatoid arthritis. (3)

But guess what?

Eating lots of crappy vegetable oil (which is vegan…) and processed fake meats does the same thing!

You can’t just say ALL of something is bad. It’s not that easy.

3. Judge Others

In “Grist for the Mill”, Ram Dass says that we are all on different levels and stages in this life. We can’t expect others to be at the same stage as we are. So if you are vegan (and this goes for the vegetarians out there, too) in this life, that’s awesome. Consider yourself one lucky human being to have found this path in this lifetime, and give yourself a pat on the back for being just a little bit more enlightened….

That is unless you start judging and preaching to everyone who eats meat or animal products.

You might not like their choice, and I get it, it can be super frustrating! But it’s none of your business.However, if someone asks you about why you’re vegan, then let it rain!! Get on your soapbox because it’s an excellent opportunity to share with others why you’ve chosen this path.

xxxx

Health Coach Jenna

Sources:

    • https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-protein-affects-your-hormones
  • https://blog.bulletproof.com/how-to-find-your-ideal-protein-intake/?

What Poop Has to Do With Your Hormones + 3 Tips to Relieve Constipation

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Let’s talk poop and your hormones.

Yes, I said poop. I mean, everyone does it. It also happens to be a pretty important subject in regards to health, so I figured we should have this conversation sooner than later.

We should all be having at least one to two healthy bowel movements a day, and if we’re not, then the toxins start to build up quickly.

Toxins like estrogen.

You see, we flush out excess estrogen through our poop. And when we are constipated, that estrogen builds up in your body, and creates something called estrogen dominance.

Estrogen dominance is seriously the most wicked villain of them all girls. It causes heavy periods, bloating (think 5-10 pounds of water weight during PMS), headaches, acne, mood swings, and painful periods.

It’s no joke.

Not only that, but estrogen dominance will then throw all of your other sex hormones out of balance, creating issues like infertility and possibly lead to autoimmune disease.
This is why your hormones start with your gut health. It is crucial to keep your microbiome healthy in order to detox your body daily.

To keep your gut healthy, make sure you are eating a few servings of fermented foods daily, as well as prebiotic rich foods. I also encourage you to take a high-grade probiotic once a day.

As for healthy visits to the toilet?

3 Tips To Relieve Constipation:

1. Magnesium Citrate– Take 150-200 grams before bedtime
2. High Grade Probiotic– This will keep your gut healthy and happy.
3. DRINK WATER.  You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces daily.

Alright ladies. Good luck with it all! And if you are ready to feel lighter and more vibrant TODAY, then check out my 20-Day Hormone Reboot online program which will get your digestive system working smoothly in no time!

xxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

Why You Should Stop Calorie Counting Today

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Have you ever followed a calorie restricting diet? I know I have, and chances are you have been through the grueling experience as well.

And even though the pounds fell off quickly, think about what happened when you got off the diet – did the pounds stay off for long?

They didn’t, did they?

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting great results after depriving yourself of food, only to have all of your hard work destroyed as soon as you start increasing your calories again.  This is why calorie restricting diets are a waste of your precious time, darling. Eating like this will only cause your weight to fluctuate (that’s why they call it “yo-yo dietiting”) and the practice is detrimental to your hormones, which means your mental and physical health will suffer immensely.

Yo-yo dieting is not a sustainable practice, and does not promote a balanced life. It’s pretty stinking miserable and unnecessary.

What’s wrong with calorie counting:

The “eat less move more” movement doesn’t work. It’s complete crap. 💩 The idea behind this theory that has been peddled in schools and by doctors across the country is that consuming fewer calories than are used will lead to lasting weight loss.

There are sooooooo many things wrong with this!

1. Not all calories are created equally. Some foods induce high blood sugar levels, other promote balanced levels. Think about the difference between a can of coke and two cups of broccoli which have roughly the same amount of calories. Should those really be put in the same category?

2. Reducing calories will slow down your metabolism, so when you quit that diet you’re on you’re going to gain it all back, even if you are only increasing your caloric intake minimally. Think about it- your body is pretty clever. It will adapt to homeostasis. If you maintain a reduced calorie diet your metabolism will quickly adapt by slowing down to match the reduced intake. So when you get off the diet, even just a little- guess what will happen? Yup, you’ll gain it back.

TRUTH —-> HIGH INSULIN BLOCKS FAT BURNING.

What your body needs to burn fat are these two things:

1.You must burn through most of your stored glycogen.

2. Your insulin levels must drop low enough to release fat stores.

And this doesn’t happen through caloric reduction. This happens by eating real, whole foods that contain healthy fats, moderate protein, and low or no carbs (the amount for each person is determined by individual tolerance, blood sugar levels, hormone levels, and specific needs, women for example do better with some carbs in their diet).

So ditch the diets, ditch the calorie restriction, and focus on eating real, unprocessed foods. Don’t worry about calories! Focus on quality!

So what are two things you can start doing today?

1. Cut out the C.R.A.P. (carbonated beverages, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners and ingredients, and processed foods.

2. Focus on getting good quality healthy fats with each meal. Remember, cholesterol is responsible for producing all of your sex hormones, so without a diet rich in healthy fats, your hormones will suffer. You must nourish your hormones, because when you have balanced hormones your body will be able to maintain a healthy weight.

Once you implement a nutrient dense and plant based lifestyle of real, whole foods like this 40-Day Transformation from Purium, (use code “HEALTHIERNOTIONS” for $100 off) then you will discover you maintain a steady and healthy weight without the need for guilt-inducing diets.

Remember, diet is a greek word that means “way of life”.

Proud to be diet-free,

Health Coach Jenna

The 5 Supplements You Need to Be Taking Daily

Dietary Supplements Pills Nutrient AdditivesEveryone has a different opinion about supplements. People tend to go one of two ways: conservative or liberal. Conservatives think that we can get all the nutrients we need from our diet, and liberals think that supplements can make up for a bad diet.

In regards to supplements, I encourage you to be a moderate.

While I’m a big advocate of getting nutrients from your food, sometimes it just isn’t possible due to two main factors.

1. Our soil has gone downhill

The quality of modern day soil has changed – it is now extremely depleted due to industrial farming. As a result, many of our fruits and vegetables are not as nutrient dense as they were when grandma and grandpa were eating them. This also means the animals you are eating are not as nutrient rich, as the grain or grass they are eating is also affected by industrial farming and depleted soils.

Statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and World Health Organization (WHO) have recorded a drop in nutrient density in our food supply within the last fifty years. This loss of nutrients is so great that in our modern world, it is imperative to supplement your diet to achieve optimum health.

2. It’s a busy world.

In our busy lives, can we really be 100% sure that we are eating all of our vitamins, minerals, and probiotics daily? I know I can’t.

Even with a perfect diet of real, whole foods, it is still almost impossible to get all the nutrients you need in today’s toxic and stress-filled world.

Yes, our ancestors were able to get all of their nutrients from their food, but they received far greater amounts of micro-nutrients in every mouthful of food they ate, than is found in the food we consume today.

I always try my best to get as many of the nutrients I need from my food, and I encourage you to do the same. But this is not always possible; that’s why I like to look at supplements as insurance that I am always covered.

With that said, here are the five crucial supplements and vitamins that I recommend everyone take daily:

1. Magnesium

Magnesium is a cofactor in over three hundred reactions in the body, and is necessary for temperature regulations, hormonal balance, detoxification in the liver, formation of bones and teeth, and transmission of nerve pulses. However, it’s estimated that around 80% of people are deficient in this crucial mineral! If you are deficient in magnesium, symptoms include anxiety, constipation, an inability to sleep, tension, muscle cramps, fatigue, and much more.

Better yet, did you know that magnesium is the best treatment for PMS?! In fact, it removes symptoms so dramatically that some scientists believe that magnesium deficiency is the cause of PMS. (1)

Magnesium boosts progesterone by improving the healthy of your corpus luteum. It also regulates cortisol and reduces inflammation.

For women (and men!) magnesium is crucial.

Dose- 400-500mg

Forms:  Glycinate is the best overall because it is the most absorbable, and Citrate works well for those prone to constipation. You can also mix and match.

Time Taken: Bedtime

Recommended brand: Pure Encapsulations Glycinate or Citrate.

2.Vitamin D + K2

About 80% of the population is deficient in Vitamin D, due to a shift from farming to office jobs, combined with a lack of sun in many places during the winter. Even if you live in a place with plenty of sunshine, you should be taking Vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial for hormonal and metabolic function, and is something you don’t want to be deficient in.

When choosing your Vitamin D, make sure to buy D3. Most doctors prescribe D2 but it is not as effective. You want to take at least 5,000 IU – 10,000 IU a day (depending on how deficient you are) for 6 months. After this, you can lower your dose to 2,000 IU a day for monthly maintenance.

K2 is a  is a fat soluble vitamin involved in calcium metabolism.  Excess calcium is deposited in arteries, leading to calcification and decreased vascular function.  This is why vitamin K2 could play a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Bonus is that K2 has been found to reduce bone loss.

Dose: D3 – 5,000-10,000 i.u’s daily

K2- 2,000 mcg daily

Forms: D3 combined with K2, or you can take D3 and K2 in separate pills

Time Taken: Morning. D3 and K2 should always be taken together.

Recommended brand:  Metagenics K2 with D3, or Metagenics D3 and LifeExtension K2

3. Methyl B12 and Methyl Folate

If you are a vegan or vegetarian I urge you to take vitamin B12 daily.  If you are an omnivore, I still recommend you take this, as most people are deficient in B12. B12 can protect against dementia, increase immune function, maintain nerves, and regenerate cells. It’s necessary for maintaining methylation reactions that repair DNA and prevent cancer.

Dose: 800 mcg Folate, and 500 mcg B12 (never take folic acid, that stuff is junk!)

Forms: Capsule or lozenge

Time taken: Daily with food

Brand: Metagenics Intrinsi B12/Folate

4. High Grade Probiotic

Your gut is responsible for much more than just digesting your lunch. Your gut, and the 100 trillion bacteria that call it home, are responsible for your overall mental and physical wellbeing. Hippocrates said 2,000 years ago that “all disease begins in the gut”, and modern scientists are just now realizing how true this statement is.

For optimum health you should maintain an 85-to-15 percent ratio of good bacteria to bad. Once the bad bacteria rises above 15 percent, the immune system begins to slow down and sets off a chain reaction that promotes disease, digestion problems, and interferes with nutrient absorption.

Eating processed foods, plus the overuse of antibiotics, are the two biggest culprits for the poor gut health that is sweeping developed nations today.

To keep your gut healthy and thriving with healthy bacteria, you should take a high-grade probiotic daily, with at least 25 billion living organisms. Opt for even higher if you can. When purchasing your probiotic remember they are not regulated by the FDA, so you must make sure to buy a brand that is trusted.

Dose: Minimum 25 billion organisms per serving.

Form: Capsule or powder

Time Taken: At least 30 minutes before or after a meal. Do not take within 30 minutes of a hot beverage as the heat will kill the organisms.

Recommended brand: Green Vibrance or Metagenics UltraFlora Spectrum

In addition to taking a daily probiotic, you should also aim to eat two to three servings of fermented foods a day.

Examples of fermented foods are:

  • Kimchi
  • Yogurt (unsweetened and organic)
  • Kombucha
  • Kefir – this is a drinkable like yogurt originating from Turkey. You can find it in most grocery stores these days, or you can make your own by ordering a kefir starter kit online. Kefir makes a perfect addition to smoothies.
  • Water kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso
  • Tempeh

Also, don’t forget your prebiotics. Prebiotic foods help feed your good bacteria. You should aim to eat as many prebiotic foods as you can.

Examples of prebiotic rich foods are :

  • Raw chicory root
  • Raw garlic
  • Under-ripe bananas
  • Raw dandelion greens
  • Raw and cooked onions
  • Raw Jerusalem artichokes
  • Raw leeks
  • Raw asparagus

5. Fish Oil (or Algal Oil for vegans)-

In order to keep your  omega 3 to omega 6 levels ideal (you want a 1:1 ratio) and to promote optimum cardiovascular health, hormonal health, and to prevent disease, as well as promote a healthy and happy mind, fish oil is crucial. It also lowers cholesterol, improves insulin sensitivity, and prevents blood clots. It’s natures best anti-inflammatory, and helps balance hormones.

You should take 1,000-2,000 mg. a day, and the EPA to DHA ratio should be 300/200mg.

Dose: 1,000-2,000 mg

Forms: Capsule or liquid

Time taken: daily with food

Recommended brand: OmegaGenics EPA-DHA

Bonus:

Multivitamin-

This is your ultimate insurance ticket. It is important you are getting a high quality one. I personally take Vibrant Health’s Green Vibrance, as it also includes 25 billion probiotics, meaning I don’t have to hassle with taking an additional probiotic. And please don’t assume that because you are taking a multivitamin you don’t have to take the other supplements I’ve listed above.  You see, multivitamins are great in that they provide an array of vitamins, but most of them do not have 100% of your daily requirement of D3, magnesium, and B12.

Dose: 1 tablet or 1 packet

Forms: Capsule or powder

Time taken: daily with food

Brand: Pure Encapsulations O.N.E. or Metagenics Wellness Essentials

Think of these supplements as part of your diet, and buy the best quality ones you can. Remember, you get what you pay for; cheap supplements are usually poorly absorbed by the body, and the dosages are not always as high as they claim. They are also often filled with additives and coloring, and just result in expensive urine!

When buying your supplements, I encourage you to seek guidance from a health care practitioner to select the products that are right for you. While these are the general supplements I recommend everyone take, some people will need further supplementation.

With Gratitude,

Health Coach Jenna

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Sources:

  1. Period Repair Manual by Dr. Laura Briden

How to Manage Hormonal Mood Swings

sadHealthy hormones are crucial for a healthy, happy you. With hormones, there is no cutting corners, and there is no faking it. Your monthly period is your monthly report card that tells you how you’ve been doing with your diet and lifestyle.

Many times doctors will prescribe the birth control pill to mask a hormonal imbalance.

Scary fact: Did you know that a recent study found that  60% of women on the pill are taking it for hormonal symptoms, not because they are trying to avoid pregnancy? (1)

This is just lazy medical care, and it puts the patient at risk.

The birth control pill will only mask the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance. The key to freedom is finding the root cause of your hormonal imbalance, and empowering yourself with the lifestyle and dietary changes necessary to reach your optimum levels.

Another way to empower yourself is to be aware of the different phases of your period. Your hormones fluctuate (it’s more of a dance really) throughout your period. Every month you will go through the same ebbs and flows of high energy, low energy, introversion, and extroversion.

Your hormones keep every part of your body working properly. Estrogen and progesterone, the primary female hormones, are essential for reproduction, growth, metabolism, and immune function. However, their constant fluctuation may also wreak havoc on the way many women feel.

Women must manage the fluctuations of hormones and what they may do to growth, metabolism, reproduction, or even just feelings. And as women age and go through menopause, hormones take another swing.

The first step of managing your mood swings is to be aware of the stages of your cycle, and to plan your activities accordingly (when possible) . For example, if you are in your luteal phase, don’t feel like you have to go to that dinner party out of obligation even if you are feeling low on energy and a bit introverted. Instead, stay home and practice some self-care, like journaling, watching a movie, or taking a hot bath.  And don’t feel guilty about it!

To learn more about the different stages of your cycle, and to empower yourself with the natural evolution of your hormones throughout your period and during menopause, check out this graphic made from Health Perch.

mood

Infographic from Health Perch

Sources:

1. Dr. Jolene Brighten in July 2017 interview with Dave Asprey.

“What The Health” and What It Means for Your Hormones

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By now you might have already seen the new vegan documentary, “What the Health” that is causing so much controversy.

I am LOVING how this documentary has created a movement in people across the world to go vegan, vegetarian, or to cut down their animal consumption.

I do, however, have a few BIG issues with some of the claims the documentary makes.

“What the Health” shells out a lot of propaganda. I was shocked to see how many times throughout it, they claim sugar is not a cause of inflammation or diabetes- instead, they say fat is to blame. That’s pretty insane and just a downright pernicious message to be spreading.

Here’s why:

1. You need healthy fats for healthy hormones.
The documentary claims that animal fat leads to cancer. And yes, a diet of processed meat and unclean sources of animal protein, as well as unhealthy sources of plant based fat can lead to cancer.

But healthy fats will not.

Healthy fats will produce healthy hormones, and keep your healthy LDL cholesterol levels high- which you want!

And yes, that’s right, I said “healthy LDL”.

Unlike unicorns, there is such a thing! LDL gets a bad rap by being dumped in the “bad” category by the American Heart Association (seriously why haters gotta hate?!), but actually, the big fluffy particles of LDL are good for you! It’s the small, rugged particles that cause heart disease.

Because guess what? All of your sex hormones are made from cholesterol, so if you are eating a low-fat diet, your hormones will be in trouble.

And I’m not saying all fat is good. Only the healthy, unoxidized ones.

 

Good news is you can be vegan and STILL get your healthy fats.

You can also be vegetarian, or an omnivore. So whatever food plan you choose to fit your lifestyle and beliefs, just make sure you include healthy fats.

2. Sugar leads to inflammation and insulin resistance, which DIRECTLY affects your hormones.

Okay, these producers are smoking crack. The claim that all fats and meat leads to diabetes is 100% FALSE.

Processed meats will throw off your omega 6 to omega 3 balance in your body, which can increase your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s, and rheumatoid arthritis.

But guess what? Eating lots of crappy vegetable oil (which is vegan!) and processed fake meats does the same thing!

You can’t just say ALL of something is bad, it’s not that easy.

I get it. They’re passionate. They are on a mission to get everyone to go vegan. And I respect their drive and mission. But to lie about sugar to persuade? That’s just playing dirty.

Let’s get the facts straight. When you eat sugar (and this includes any food with a high glucose level like honey, agave nectar, fruit, etc) your insulin levels will automatically rise. So if you are eating too much sugar, this will lead to higher blood glucose levels, which will eventually lead to diabetes.

If your blood sugar levels get too high, then your body will produce more of the hormone cortisol. And ladies, this is seriously bad news bears. When your body starts to make more cortisol, guess where it will get all the juice from to make that extra order?

It will steal from your other sex hormones like progesterone and estrogen. You see, cortisol will always take priority. It’s just the way our bodies are evolutionarily designed. Cortisol is designed to get us out of trouble when we are being chased by that saber tooth tiger. So your body will stop making progesterone and estrogen to make more cortisol.

And this is bad news if you are trying to conceive, wish to have healthy periods, combat PMS, keep your ideal weight, maintain high energy levels, etc.

So let’s get this clear. High quality fats do not affect your glucose levels in any way, shape or form. Sugar does.

So allow “What the Health” to motivate you! Just remember to include your healthy fats, and to keep your diet as low-glycemic as possible.

And if you are going vegan, please read my article about healthy and clean sources of plant-based protein.

xxxxx
Health Coach Jenna

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9 Reasons to Avoid Using the Birth Control Pill

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Have you ever visited your gynecologist with complaints such as ovarian cysts, painful periods, or PMS? And did he or she tell you to “start taking the birth control pill?”.

I bet they did.

Now raise your hand if you did just that, and perhaps, yes, some of the symptoms went away, only to result in losing your libido, getting depression, experiencing digestion problems, weight gain, or perhaps just an overall vibe of not feeling like yourself?

Well, you’re not alone.

“Just take the birth control pill.” It’s the easy solution and it’s just plain lazy.

What these doctors don’t want to acknowledge is the root of your problem stems from an imbalance of your hormones in the first place. But they’d rather just tell you to take the pill because:

A) Investigating your imbalance requires much more work for the doctor and you (well in the long run it’s less work for you to get to the root of the problem, as we’ll learn later the pill comes with a host of problems).

B) The doctor knows that to get to the filling of this peanut butter cup mystery requires the patient make a diet and lifestyle change, which I get it, is hard in most cases. Especially in today’s world of the “just give me a pill that cures everything” mentality. So they just opt to write a prescription.

C) Perhaps they genuinely don’t know better and believe it is the best option for you (you’ll frequently find this with older generation doctors).

So why would they give it to me if it doesn’t work?

I’m not saying the pill doesn’t work to prevent against pregnancy. It has a 99.9% effective rate. So there is that.

But what about all the other hormonal problems that seem to be cured by taking the birth control, like PCOS, irregular periods, hormonal imbalances, painful periods, etc?

The reason the pill appears to be“working” for these problems is because it is pumping your body with synthetic hormones. Your body actually STOPS making its own hormones, ladies! So you are completely reliant on the pill. Yes, this “balances” your hormones, but in a false sense. When you stop taking the pill, all these problems will still be there in full force.

Let’s talk infertility, one of the biggest problems associated with the birth control pill.

Because your body does not make its own hormones while on the pill explains why many women today experience infertility for a year or two when trying to conceive. Many clients come to me after a year of not being able to conceive, frustrated that it’s taking so long. What many of them have in common is that they stopped taking birth control literally the month before they started trying.

[Have you recently quit hormonal birth control? If so, the check out my 20-Day Hormone Reset Detox Program]

It doesn’t work that way, amigas.

Yes, some women are blessed and can get pregnant on the first try, but for some it’s much more difficult. And this is because the body has been on vacation while the pill took over and pumped out synthetic hormones for years, and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, it’s expected to get back to work after spending years on the beach sipping pina coladas! The body says “hell no take me back to Hawaii!”.

Good news is the body will eventually come around, but it takes time. You have to court it first with nourishing foods, exercise, supplements, and sometimes, in last case scenarios, bio identical hormones (and that makes for a whole other article).

9 Cons of the Hormonal Birth Control Pill:

  1. It damages your chance of conceiving in the future– studies have shown that women who were on the pill are twice as likely to have trouble conceiving, and even more so if they were on it for a long period of time. (1) Post-pill infertility
    affects many women today. Women getting off the pill have to learn how to make their own hormones again, and it could take months or even years to start learning again.
  2. It’s robbing your body of nutrients– Birth control pills destroy your ability to metabolize nutrients, so you are robbed of precious vitamins and minerals that are crucial to your health, resulting in fatigue, migraines, and much more. (2)
  3. Causes depression and anxiety– Because of reason number two, your body is susceptible to depression and anxiety.
  4. Lactose intolerant or vegan? All hormonal birth control contains milk, so not good if you are lactose intolerant or vegan.
  5. It’s bad for your gut health– The birth control pill destroys your gut health resulting in weight gain or loss, stomach cramps, IBS, bloating, and all other types of digestive disorders.
  6. It makes you pick the wrong mate– Since your body isn’t making its own hormones while you’re on the pill, you are choosing a mate based off your synthetic hormones. Some researchers are blaming this for the high divorce rate (3).
  7. It lowers your sex drive– Birth control lowers your testosterone, which lowers you libido. What’s the point of being on the pill to prevent against pregnancy if you aren’t having sex?
  8. Increases your risk of blood clots, heart disease, and strokes– This one is not really hidden, you can find this on all of the pamphlets. (4)
  9. It masks hormonal imbalance– Sure your hormonal imbalance will appear to “go away” with the pill because you are being pumped steadily with synthetic hormones, but when you get off, all those problems will be right their waiting for you – and most likely amplified. You can’t run away from your hormones, gals.

So now that you know the risks of taking the hormonal birth control pill, it’s probably time to explore your other options.

—–> Click HERE for 6 Alternatives to the Birth Control Pill <———–

And ladies, if you continue taking your birth control, don’t feel bad. I want you to know I’m not judging you. We all have to do what we need to do, and if having a baby is not something that is presently appropriate for you, now or ever, and you don’t think that you are able to commit to another plan, then by all means please do what is right for you. My hope for you is that you are informed and have explored all of your options before making up your mind.

If you are currently taking a form of hormonal birth control and wish to explore your other options, contact me today for a health consultation.

Xxxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

Sources:

  1. Oakeshott, Isabel. Pill Could Harm Future Fertility. January 30, 2004. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ health/article-207039/Pill-harm-future-fertility.html (accessed April 9, 2013).
  2. Bennett, Jane, and Alexandra Pope. The Pill: Are Your Sure It’s for You? Allen & Unwin, 2008. Deroo, Bonnie, and Kenneth S. Korach. “Estrogen Receptors and Human Disease.” The Journal of Clinical Investigation 116, no. 3 (2006): 561-570.
  3. Kluger, Jeffrey. Why We Love. January 16, 2008. http://www.time.com/time/health/ article/0,8599,1704355-1,00.html.
  4. Yasmin Pamphlet. n.d.

Organic or Conventional? Plus, Money Saving Tips for Your Next Grocery Visit

Photo from Pixabay

Buy organic. Don’t buy organic. Regardless of your decision, the bottom line is that eating fruits and veggies is better than not eating them at all.

I try to eat organic every chance I get in order to protect myself from the harmful pesticide residue. But let’s be real. Buying 100% organic can be expensive! But just because you can’t always afford to buy organic, doesn’t mean you deserve to be doused with toxic chemicals.

That is why I’ve provided a list of the  “2017 Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen below to help you decide when you can save money by buying conventional, and when it is crucial to spring the extra bucks on organic.

In addition, here are other ways to save on produce:

  1. Join a CSA -When you join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program you pay a farmer in your community a monthly membership fee and they deliver a box of what’s in season to your door.
  2. Buy local and in season- Another cost effective practice is to buy produce that is in season where you live. This is much more economical than buying produce that has been shipped from far parts of the world.
  3. Don’t be shy and check out the discount aisle- Grocery stores put stuff there that will expire soon, it’s not yet expired! So if you are going to eat it for dinner that night, or even the next day, scoop it up and save some cash!
  4. Buy your dry food online – That’s right, places like Thrive Market have competitive prices on organic dry foods, and they deliver right to your door. How’s that for convenient? There is a small membership fee, but Thrive sponsors a low-income family with it.

2017 Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen List:

Dirty Dozen:

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Potatoes

Clean Fifteen:

  • Sweet Corn (non-GMO)
  • Avocados
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Frozen sweet peas
  • Papayas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangos
  • Eggplant
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Grapefruit

Happy Shopping! And remember to support your local farmer whenever possible!

xxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

 

DIY Cleaner Guide For a Less Toxic Home

Originally published on February 22, 2017 by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition

cleaners

Winter’s over and it’s time for spring cleaning and organizing. This year, consider making your own cleaners to save money and reduce chemicals in your home. The Environmental Working Group says in its “Cleaners Hall of Shame” list that everyday household cleaners contain some shocking fine-print warnings such as “serious burns,” “lung inflammation” and “probably carcinogenic.” And many of these cleaners are actually banned in the European Union. That’s why it’s a good idea to either opt for organic cleaners or better yet, make your own mixture.

When it comes to DIY household cleaners, vinegar is your best friend. If you don’t have it in your pantry, stock up and read on for our roundup of homemade cleaning mixes.

Glass

To clean glass surfaces, mix two cups of water, two tablespoons of white vinegar, two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and five drops of peppermint essential oil, says Real Simple. Then pour into a spray bottle and shake to mix.

Faucets
Wipe faucets using a simple mix of dishwashing liquid and warm water, then buff with a cloth, according to the book Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Home. If the faucets have mineral deposits, you can wrap them in a paper towel soaked with white vinegar. Remove the wet paper towel after one hour, and then clean with a dry one.

Bathtubs

HGTV suggests using baking soda, which is mildly abrasive, to scrub away bathtub rings. If the tub is really dirty, mix baking soda and water, let it sit on the tub surface for up to 20 minutes, and then scrub away with a sponge.

Clothing

Instead of using fabric softener, which may cause asthma and other health issues, try half a cup of distilled white vinegar in your washer during the rinse cycle. (PS-Your clothes won’t smell like vinegar.)  EWG says you can also make your own dryer balls with wool batting or wool yarn.

Toilets

Scrub your toilet with a mix of ½ a cup of castile soap (which is vegetable-based), ½ a cup of baking soda, 15 to 30 drops of essential oil, 1 cup of distilled water, and a spray of hydrogen peroxide. The recipe on Live Simply suggests that rather than mixing hydrogen peroxide into the bottle, it’s easiest to spray it directly into the toilet bowl after you’ve put the mixture in the bowl. Otherwise, gas from the hydrogen peroxide can build up in the bottle. And vinegar can be used here too in place of hydrogen peroxide.

Floors 

Instead of harsh cleaners check out these homemade floor cleaner recipes from Tips Bulletin.

What’s your favorite DIY cleaner recipe? Share with us in the comments below.

This article originally published on Institute of Integrative Nutrition and used with permission.