6 Alternatives to the Birth Control Pill

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When I was 23, after having been on the birth control pill since the age of 14 (prescribed for ovarian cysts), I had had enough of the horrible side effects of the pill. So I quit. And guess what? I didn’t have a period for three months, I had terrible acne, and I was experiencing mood swings.

After three months of having no period (amenorrhea) I visited the doctor and asked him for help. So what was his answer?

“Take the birth control pill”.

This was my first “aha” holistic moment, ladies. It’s where it all began. To me it sounded counterproductive to get back on the pill after just quitting it three months prior.  I knew I wanted my body to have a healthy period on its own.

So I went to an herb bar (I know so heady right?) because back then I didn’t know anything about health coaches, holistic doctors or healers. But I had heard of this herb bar in Austin from a friend. So I talked to a very lovely woman at the counter and she prescribed a tonic (click here for a simple version you can make at home). Well guess what? After one month of drinking this tonic I had my first pill- free period in ten years! It was oh so empowering!

So What Are My Other Options?!

Okay, so after reading my previous article about the serious side effects associated with the birth control pill, you are probably starting to think that the pill is not the best thing for your body. But what other methods of birth control can you use?

Listed below are the safest and best alternatives to the oral contraceptives. And I realize they all have their pros and their cons, so just weigh them out to see which one suits you best.

 1. Fertility Awareness Method: 99.4% effective

The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) requires you to track your menstrual cycle and abstain from unprotected sex during the time you can get pregnant. On average there are 8-10 days a female can get pregnant. There are many apps that you can download to track your cycle. I use Kindara. You can even get a Daysy thermometer that does all the work for you! All you have to do is take your temperature first thing in the morning. Even if you don’t choose this method, it’s a good idea to use an app like this to track your periods. Please note that if you have irregular periods or your period is outside of the 36 day range, then this method is not for you. That said, women with irregular cycles should still chart their cycles because it will provide invaluable insight into the root of the problem. Also note, if your period tracker app doesn’t ask for your temperature, then it is not FAM but the Rhythm Method. The Rhythm Method is often confused with FAM, but RM is not a reliable birth control method.

2. Condoms: 98% effective

Oh gosh, really? Yes. Really, really. Give them a chance. Plus, if you are using the Fertility Awareness Method, you’ll only have to use them 8-10 days per month. The condom is the most effective of the barrier methods, and because it is the only method that prevents against STDs, it really is the best option for single ladies.

3. Withdrawal: 96% effective

There is no sperm in pre-ejaculatory fluid, but your partner must make sure he urinates prior to sex to get rid of any sperm from previous ejaculations.

4. Diaphragms: 94% effective

These are like condoms for girls that sit up in the cervix. But unlike a condom they can be put a few hours before sex. You must go to ta doctor to get fitted for one, and they last up to two years.

5. Today Sponge: 91% effective

These can be purchased over the counter at your local pharmacy. It can be inserted 24 hours ahead of sex so that give you lots of flexibility. The sponge is inserted with spermicide and is placed like a cap over your cervix.

6. Copper IUD:

If you are uncomfortable with the above barrier methods, are unable to consistently chart your cycle to use FAM, or are not responsible or reliable with your birth control methods, then your next best option is the copper IUD. It doesn’t contain hormones, which is excellent because it means you will still ovulate. It’s also great for ladies looking for something more permanent as it lasts for ten years. The copper IUD is inserted into your cervix, and stops the sperm from making it way to your uterus. However it does require insertion and removal by a doctor (which can be painful) and can cause heavy periods.

Okay ladies. You now have homework to do. Reflect on these alternatives, and if you have a partner, I encourage you to include them in on the conversation to find out which one suits your lifestyle as a couple best. If you’d like support during this transition, sign up for a consultation with me today.

And remember, if you decide to stick with the birth control pill that is entirely your right. No one is judging you. This is your decision to make. I encourage you to listen to your intuition for guidance.

Xxxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

“Good For You” Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Hey All!

As many of you know I have a HUGE sweet tooth. But no guilt here, amigos. Having a sweet tooth isn’t a bad thing, nor does it mean you have to eat processed ingredients filled with sugar. No sir, I’ll have none of that.

This is why one of my hobbies is creating delicious and healthy treats. And when I’m not creating, you can betcha I’m on the look out!

Today, this delicious “good for you” cookie recipe made by my  friend, Emma, caught my eye. And luckily, she has agreed to share her recipe!

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Emma’s “Good For You” Chocolate Chip Cookies:

I started making these cookies for my three and four year old nieces. Kira, the three year old, can’t have dairy or nut milks so I decided to see if she would drink home made oat milk. I didn’t want to just toss the pulp that was left over so I had the idea to add them to a cookie recipe. This is the result!

Do things with love & they will bring love back to you.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of organic sprouted whole wheat flour (for gluten-free recipe use oat flour or Bob Mill’s Gluten Free Flour Blend)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Himalayan salt (or sea salt)
  • 3/4 cup melted organic coconut oil (or grass fed unsalted butter)
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1 cup of oat pulp – see separate recipe below. (If not using oat pulp just add a cup of flour , your gluten free flour blend, or oat flour)
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 free range egg 1 egg yolk (free range)
  • 1 1/2 cups of dark chocolate chips

To make the oat pulp: blend 1 cup of organic steel cut oats with 3 cups of filtered water, 1tbsp of maple syrup & 1tbsp vanilla extract. Strain liquid into a bowl & you have oat milk! The pulp that is left behind… Put into a nut cloth or just use a thin cotton tea towel. Squeeze off the extra liquid into the milk. The milk lasts 5 days in the fridge. It will separate. Just shake before using & yum!

Use the dry pulp in the cookies.

Directions:

  • Mix the dry ingredients & put them aside.
  • Mix the coconut oil, maple syrup, sugar & vanilla in a blender until fluffy. Then add the eggs.
  • Mix wet & dry ingredients together in a mixer or by hand. If using the oat pulp add it now. Then add the chocolate chips.
  • Cool in the fridge for 20 mins while the oven is heating at 375deg. Then use an ice cream scoop to measure out. And bake for 17 mins or until golden along the edges.
  • Use parchment paper to line the trays. Makes 18 cookies!

Enjoy!

About Emma O’Neil:

emmaEmma is an Authorized Level Ashtanga yoga teacher & the Director of Mysore, Toronto – an Ashtanga program in Toronto, Canada. She is also an international voice actor & maker of yoga jewelry. . To learn more about Emma’s teaching schedule or to check out her jewelry line, go to www.emmaoneillyoga.com or www.malasbyemma.com. Or on Instagram @emmaoneill or @malasbyemma

3 Tips To Write Kick -Ass Intentions

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Happy New Year Ladies and Gents! Have you set your intentions yet?

Setting intentions helps you manifest the changes you want to see in your life. I am a BIG fan of setting intentions and goals for myself. I find this helps keep me motivated and delivers huge results, as our thoughts turn into actions and our actions into reality.

Thoughts are POWERFUL things, folks!

Did you know that the Universe wants to see us get what we want?! Hell yes, it does! But the Universe can’t give you what you want if you don’t know what it is that you want in the first place.So project your intentions loud and clear for the cosmos to hear by writing your intentions today!

How to Write Your Very Own Kick- Ass New Year’s Intentions: 

1. Make positive statements, not negative.  

Instead of saying “I will NOT stress out so much” try reforming this into a POSITIVE statement such as “I will take life one breath at a time, and will remain calm through all the events this year brings.”

Start off the New Year on the right note by focusing on your new healthy habits this year, not on past habits that are old news and don’t serve you.

2. Be as specific as possible.

If your New Year’s intention is to lose weight, don’t just write “ I will lose weight this year”. Rather, ask yourself “How much weight will I lose? How will I lose weight?”leaving the final product looking more like “I will lose ten pounds by cutting my sugar intake in half, working out at least four times a week, and drinking more water”.

Remember that the universe will give you what you want, but it is your responsibility to first inform it of what it is exactly that you do want!

 3. Include how achieving these intentions will make you feel.

After writing your intention, try writing a sentence that describes how you will feel once  you have achieved it. For example, if your intention is to save enough money to pay off your student loans, then add a sentence saying “Once I have paid off my  loans I will feel as light as a feather, and my mind will be at ease knowing I am free from this huge debt that has been dragging me down!” Start to feel it NOW and it will come.

Now that you have some kick- ass intentions, write them down and keep them in a safe place so you can refer back to them during the year.

I wish you a prosperous New Year filled with light, love, and happiness!

Love,

Jenna

What are your New Year’s Intentions this year? Do you have any tips for writing intentions that work well for you? A penny for your thoughts!