Three Tips To Improve Symptoms of PMS, Hormonal Imbalances, Fatigue, Sleep Disorders and more.

Three Tips To Improve Symptoms of PMS, Hormonal Imbalances, Fatigue, Sleep Disorders and more.

Dudeeeee….

Who hates adult acne, raise your hand! I do, I do!

Who hates PMS, cramps and eating the shit out of your fridge? Right here!

Who hates not being able to turn off their mind at night and constantly tossing and turning? Me freaking me!

 

I feel your pain.

 

I had it once too.

I had tons of acne, so so much PMS, I was tired ALL.THE.TIME, couldn’t sleep at night, my cramps hurt like hell, my bitchiness was at an all time high, I had no energy or desire and so much more. Unfortunately, I know you know what I’m talking about.

 

It sucks balls.

 

I wasn’t always this wisecracking and radiant unicorn, with an ass that won’t quit.

 

I was someone who had MAJOR hormonal imbalances, primarily estrogen dominance. People crack jokes that woman are ‘hormonal” and it happens so often, that we think it’s just normal to feel that way. To feel tired and moody and get cramps and bloating. Maybe for you, you’re having trouble sleeping, or you don’t feel like you have as much energy as you know you could. Let me tell you…it’s NOT normal to have any of these or similar symptoms!

 

Those symptoms are your body sending you a message, trying to get your attention that “YO HEY! We got some shit going on in here and you need to address it!” Instead of acknowledging the messages, a.k.a symptoms, we choose to ignore them or mask it all with some midol, birth control pills, caffeine, sleeping pills or some accutane.

 

Why mask the problem when you can get to the root cause of it and ELIMINATE it right from the core?!

 

That’s why today I want to share with you three things you can do to today to help you begin your journey to hormonal balance, or hormonal bliss as I like to think of it. It truly is a JOURNEY. As much as I wish it were just a one-time thing, one time ordeal I’m sorry to say it’s not. It’s called “balance” for a reason. Some days we fuck up. Other days we try to fuck up less to make up for it. Achieving hormonal bliss is a constant, day by day, moment to moment journey of making choices that will bring you closer and closer to that balance.

 

And today, you’ll learn three tips to help you on your very important journey. The three tips don’t just affect your hormones, they affect EVERYTHING. They’ll help you sleep better, have more energy, and more.

 

When we’re in hormonal bliss, the world is just easier and more fun. It just seems like a much better place. So use these three tips (many more to come in future posts) to experiment and see how they help balance your hormones, sleep better, have more energy and improve your health overall.

 

That’s the beauty in these three and other health tips that you’ll be getting from me in the future- they have a ripple effect on your health. So while you may be using them initially to balance hormones, at the same time, they’re also helping you become more resistant to stress, more adaptable, they assist your cells in performing hundreds actions internally, you begin to heal your gut, your adrenals start functioning optimally again….so yes! I love how these health tips go BEYOND balancing hormones and onto promoting OVERALL health and wellness.

 

So let’s get to number one….

 

1. Watch your nut and seed consumption.

Nuts & seeds are one of those things that people generally view as safe. People love to snack on them, cook with them (think almond flour) and use them in protein bars. They think that aside from watching your portion sizes, it’s totally cool to eat nuts and seeds right?

 

No.

 

Look, I ADOREEEEEEE almond butter, I KNOW how good it tastes okay? I know that pecans on top of a butternut squash casserole is like the icing on the cake. Don’t even get me started on Larabars! They’re delicious blocks of scrumptiousness. And I knowwwwwww that sunflower seeds make stupid salads less boring. I’m not a cardboard eating robot, I am well aware of the deliciousness of nuts and seeds that make it so hard to just eat one.

 

But…..

 

If I want hormonal bliss, if I want to have clear & radiant skin, if I want to not be aware that my period is coming instead of the usual painful and exhausting cramps, then I have to err on the side of caution and eliminate most nuts and seeds about 90% of the time.

 

Here’s Why:

  • 99% of the time they’re processed. Nut & seeds s are highly processed (cooked/coated/fried/bathed/roasted) in really shitty oils that damage your metabolism and cause inflammation in the body. Where there is inflammation, disease thrives.
  • They’re a potent source of phytoestrogens. Nuts & seeds (some more than others) contain phytoestrogens which mimic the role of estrogen in our bodies and create EXCESS estrogen. This excess estrogen is what negatively impacts our delicate female hormonal balance and causes us to experience all the shitty symptoms I’ve mentioned.
  • They have high omega-6 profiles. There are two types of polyunsaturated fats: the good Omega-3 and the bad Omega-6. Omega-3s are ANTI-inflammatory and omega-6s in excess are PRO-inflammatory. 
 We all know the importance of Omega-3s. That’s why the supplement companies have been getting rich off of selling fish oil supplements. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in seeds and nuts and the oils extracted from them such as soy, corn, sunflower, safflower, etc. When you over consume processed Omega-6’s, this creates a pro- inflammatory environment within your body that has been linked to obesity, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and mental health problems.
 Most Americans have wayyyy too much omega-6 in their symptoms and not enough omega-3s to help bring back balance. Most nuts & seeds (with the exception of a few that I’ll mention) are super high in omega-6s and have very little, or none at all, omega-3s to counter.
  • If raw, they are high in insoluble fiber. A high consumption of insoluble fiber can exacerbate certain problems like acne, leaky gut, autoimmunity, Chron’s, or other digestive issues.

So I know I you think I suck now because I’m trying to take away your favorite nuts and seeds but like your smothering, nosy mother – I just want what’s best for you. So do your best, your VERY best to greatly, GREATLY reduce your consumptions of most nuts and seeds. When I say “most” I mean with the exception of the ones below which are the nuts and seeds that I consider to be “safe” since their omega profiles are much better in balance.  When I can, I also buy the ones mentioned below in sprouted form. This helps reduce some of the properties that cause digestive distress. If I’m gonna eat them, I may as well get the best kinds possible.

 

The nuts I consume in moderation are:

  • Hazelnuts. Instead of almond flour I use hazelnut flour. You can substitute hazelnut flour for almond flour in a one-to-one ratio.
  •  Macadamia Nuts. I chop these babies up and I put them on my salads and I make macadamia nut butter with them.
  • Cashews. I make alfredo sauces with cashews, these AH-MAZING morning buttery biscuits, I add them to salads and eat them by the tablespoon in cashew butter form cuz, YUMMMM.

 

The seeds I eat once in a great while due to their high phytic acid (you’ll learn what that is later on in this post) :

  • Chia seeds. I use these of course, to make chia puddings.
  • Hemp seeds. They have a great omega 3 & 6 balance. Makes a great topping on puddings and salads as well.

 

So see? All is not lost. Freak-out avoided. You STILL have options. You can STILL have your nuts AND your health.

 

Your nuts. Haha.

 

You have nuts.

 

And you’re a girl.

 

Okay, immaturity moment over now.

 

Let’s move onto number two!

 

 

2. No Soy. EVER!

Giving up soy was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Not as hard as giving up wheat and coffee but harder than giving up dairy. The reason for that is because I make a MEANNNNNNNN tofu scramble. You don’t even know! I spent months, MONTHS perfecting my tofu scramble recipe. I used to be vegan so I had a lot of chances to try out my new recipe. It was soooooo good that my husband and child preferred it over a traditional scramble made with eggs! WHAT WHAT???!!! YEAH! That’s how good it was.

 

And then I couldn’t eat soy anymore.

 

And life sucked.

 

For a moment.

 

Then I made my peace with and got over it.

 

If you’re experiencing any of the following, then removing soy from your eating style WILL greatly help you:

  • Weight gain
  • PMS or PMDD
  • PCOS
  • Mood swings
  • High emotional sensitivity
  • Heavy periods
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Low libido
  • Sluggish metabolism
  • Endometriosis
  • Depression
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Breast Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer

 

I had MANY of these symptoms and conditions, PLUS, as my food intolerance test revealed, I was sensitive to soy to being with. Something MANY women are and they just don’t know about it. Food sensitivities show up in MANY forms, including the above symptoms and conditions.

 

Why to avoid soy

In the past decade plus, soy has been labeled as the new miracle food that helps your heart and makes you healthy. Thing is, these health benefits have been greatly exaggerated and surprise, surprise, the people making such claims all profit from the soy industry itself. Unless you’re eating organic, non-gmo & fermented soy as they do in Asia (which you should NOT be eating at all if you have any of the above symptoms) you are doing your body more harm than good.

 

Here’s why:

  • Soy messes with your hormones! Ain’t no doubt about it! That’s why it’s used in hormone replacement therapy to BOOST estrogen levels in women with low estrogen. Soy is known as a phytoestrogen – a plant source of the hormone estrogen.
  • It’s genetically modified. The soy crop is one of the most genetically modified crops there is. Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. If they’re too good for them to consume, why the hell are we eating them?! GMOs are grown with toxic chemicals that have been known to be harmful to our health. Laboratory mammals that were fed GMOs suffered effects that include damage to the kidneys, liver, adrenal glands, and heart. Their immune systems were compromised and in some cases their brain size even shrunk! Whatttt????
  • Soy is an anti-nutrient. Soy is high in phytates or phytic acid which blocks the absorption of minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. I will say here that when I had my blood work done during my soy consuming days, it did show that I was deficient in ALL of these nutrients and I ended up having to supplement to get my levels back up to normal.

 

Listen, I love soy as much as the next person, but I love my balanced hormones MORE. And if that means saying goodbye to my beloved tofu scramble and saying yes to my sanity, feelings of happiness, tons of energy, easy periods and sleeping like a baby…. then you know what? I’m cool with that.

I don’t focus on what I’m giving up; I focus on all that I am gaining.

 

 

3. Supplement with magnesium

When I work with clients one-on-one or in my online group coaching program, THIS is the very first mineral I tell EVERYONE to take and that’s because most people are deficient in this critical mineral and don’t even realize it!

 

Some experts claim that magnesium deficiency is the single largest health problem in our world today, and if you’re not supplementing with magnesium then you are most likely deficient in it.

 

We need magnesium in order to perform more than 300 actions in our bodies. Lack of magnesium can cause an imbalance in calcium levels that creates its own host of health problems.  Magnesium helps with PMS, constipation, sleep, stress, anxiety, depression, brain fog, body aches, gut disorders, blood pressure, metabolism, immune function and many other aspects of health.

 

As the Weston A. Price Foundation states:

“Every single cell in the human body demands adequate magnesium to function, or it will perish. Strong bones and teeth, balanced hormones, a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system, well functioning detoxification pathways and much more depend upon cellular magnesium sufficiency. Soft tissue containing the highest concentrations of magnesium in the body include the brain and the heart—two organs that produce a large amount of electrical activity, and which can be especially vulnerable to magnesium insufficiency.

 

We need the right ratios of magnesium so our body can correctly use calcium in our cells. Even a small deficiency can lead to a dangerous calcium imbalance, which can cause problems like calcification and cell death. This then triggers symptoms like heart trouble, migraine headaches, muscle cramps and premenstrual cramping.

 

Why we’re magnesium deficient

Unfortunately, lifestyle and the world we live in now, is what’s causing us to experience such deficiencies: the shitty food grown in shitty soil, the booze used to try to wind down from our stressful day, the genetically modified foods that contain phytic acids that block the absorption of nutrients. All the medications, birth control pills, hypertension medicine, diuretics, insulin, and antibiotics ALSO deplete magnesium levels. Hell, even sweating a lot from exercise or whatever can deplete magnesium.

 

Magnesium isn’t “stored” in the body, and instead, it’s constantly being depleted so our levels need to be restored – hence, supplementation. Stress is a HUGE reason behind low levels of magnesium because it’s one of the first minerals to get used up in your body’s attempt to fight stress. Stress kills! Other substances like caffeine and sugar also deplete the body’s magnesium levels.

 

We never hear about magnesium deficiency but even the National Institutes of Health states that:

“Some observational surveys have associated higher blood levels of magnesium with lower risk of coronary heart disease [50-51]. In addition, some dietary surveys have suggested that a higher magnesium intake may reduce the risk of having a stroke [52]. There is also evidence that low body stores of magnesium increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, which may increase the risk of complications after a heart attack [4]. These studies suggest that consuming recommended amounts of magnesium may be beneficial to the cardiovascular system.”

So booyah! It’s an IMPORTANT mineral!

 

You may be deficient in magnesium if you experience any of the following:

  • Inability to sleep or insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Mental disturbances
  • Anxiety, depression or restlessness
  • Muscle soreness or spasms
  • Infertility or PMS
  • High levels of stress
  • Headaches
  • Heart “flutters” or palpitations
  • Fatigue or unusual tiredness
  • Coldness in extremities
  • Fuzzy brain or difficulty concentrating
  • Allergies and sensitivities
  • Lack of appetite
  • Back pain
  • Body odor
  • Bad short-term memory
  • Poor coordination
  • Insulin resistance
  • Carbohydrate cravings
  • Constipation
  • Frequent cavities or poor dental health
  • Gut disorders
  • Kidney stones
  • Thyroid problems

It’s impossible to name them all since we need magnesium to perform over 300 HUNDRED actions in our bodies. Err on the side of caution and take magnesium daily. You won’t regret it.

 

Even my perfect husband who has a stomach that can digest rocks, energy that rivals our child, is so mood balanced and calm that you would think he channels the Dalai Lama, and even HE, didn’t realize how magnesium deficient he was until he started supplementing with it. He had no idea that he wasn’t sleeping as deeply as possible until he started taking magnesium nightly. Because he now gets more of that restorative and healing sleep, during the day, he’s a rockstar! And I? Well thanks to the same deep and healing sleep, I feel like supermom.

Now it’s your turn.

 

magnesium_calm1. Magnesium Calm 
We ADORE the product Natural Calm. It has excellent calcium to magnesium balance and it’s in powder form so it allows you to vary your dose and work your way up.  I take half a cup of hot water & mix in 1 tbsp of magnesium calm and I drink it about an hour before bed. You may want to start with 2 tsp before working your way up. You’ll know when you’ve reached your right dosage because your amazing and smart body will let you know…in the form of watery stools. Yep. If you take too much magnesium, you’ll get runny stools. Not great if you’re out and about, but AWESOME if you’re constipated. So just start with 2 tsp at night and go from there.

*The minimum recommended daily amount of magnesium is about 300 mg a day. Most of us get far less than 200 mg. Some people such as myself who train hard like an athlete, have a history of depression & anxiety benefit from taking more than the minimum. Most people benefit from 400 to 1,000 mg a day.* 

 

Now, I’d love to hear from you…. What are some other things that you do to help have hormonal bliss? Monthly massages? Mediating? Journaling? Etc. I’d love to hear from you! =)

4 Responses to Three Tips To Improve Symptoms of PMS, Hormonal Imbalances, Fatigue, Sleep Disorders and more.

  1. Hey Connie!

    Wow, the nut thing? TOTAL boner killer. (I enjoyed your nuts + girls joke by the way! I feel like I’m a part-time frat bro because of my sense of humor and I’m pretty sure you know what I mean!)

    About the soy… I have PCOS and am also low on estrogen (turns out that the birth control pills I took for 3 years messed me UP). So if I’m low on estrogen, one would assume that consuming organic soy and anything that could boost my estrogen would be good, yes? Especially if it’s organic and fermented (fermentation is what destroys the soy’s phytic acid, right?). For the record, I am taking bioidentical estrogen at the moment. I also have maca in my smoothies most mornings.

    Thank you for your wisdom, wellness superhero 🙂

    • It’s not ONE thing that’s going to help you, it’s an accumulation of your lifestyle habits that will help you with PCOS and low estrogen. Both which are completely reversible through nutrition and smart supplementation. The first questions should be asked is, “What caused my PCOS?” Are you leading a stressful life? On birth control pills? Eating a lot of refined sugar? Processed foods? High exposure to chemicals? etc, etc.

      Then it’s about incorporating lifestyle habits that promote healing.

      Soy (regardless if it’s fermented or not) is never recommended for anyone with PCOS. According to Alisa Vitti, Founder of flo living, “The problem is soy acts like estrogen in the body because it contains “phyto” or plant estrogen, which is not the same as the estrogen your body produces. Eating too much soy confuses your body into thinking it has enough estrogen in supply already and signals for your endocrine system to slow down production of your own estrogen. If the body slows estrogen production, the production of LH (luteinizing hormone) is also affected, which prevents the body from triggering ovulation. If you were told you have low estrogen levels you may have thought it made sense to supplement with soy, but it is better to encourage your body to make more of its own estrogen.”

      I would examine your nutrition and lifestyle and see if it’s aligned with a happy and hormone friendly lifestyle. Right now…it’s not since you have PCOS and low estrogen. I can’t give you personalized and customized advice on how to heal because I don’t know anything about your nutrition and lifestyle, but a great starting point are the things described in this article, my FIL online program connieville.com/foodislife or one on one coaching, or just doing your own research on google and searching for how to heal from PCOS. I also recommend the website floliving.com for diy research.

  2. lisa says:

    Thank you for the awesome information! I’m always amazed at what I need to correct because what I’ve been misled by articles. It’s so confusing to sift out what information is true and what is being advertised for products. I love nuts and seeds. Every morning, I top them on smoothies and put them in everything! What portion do you recommend per week? Keep being a champion of nutrition.

    • The thing is, many of those articles CAN be correct…if you’re perfect with no health issues, sensitivities or intolerances. Not everyone has to do what I do, but if you just so happen to be like me (and MANY women are) and have sensitive hormones, tend to be estrogen dominance and suffer pms, then you would only benefit from my suggestions. It always comes down to trial and error. I love me some chia pudding with a generous topping of nuts and seeds, I just don’t eat it every day. I wish I could tell you EXACTLY how much to eat and how often but it all depends on your individual tolerance. If I have a serving of almonds every day, then I know my pms and acne is going to get triggered. But if I have a serving of almonds once a week or so, I seem to do okay with it. It’s all about trial and error. I usually just stick to the alternatives that I mentioned so I don’t feel deprived or if I’m missing out on anything because I have suitable substitutes.

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