One out of every four women is experiencing some form of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and since those ladies seem to be emailing me up a storm these days, I thought I’d address the topic! So first off: is it curable? Western Medicine says no. But me? I believe you can absolutely heal your ovaries and I can’t wait to show you how!
PCOS can be a scary diagnosis without a whole lot of solutions. In fact, often the only solutions offered are drugs, drugs, and more drugs! And the star of the show? My arch-nemesis: birth control pills. But all this does is sweep the symptoms under a rug.
What if later on you want to get off the hormones or start a family? PCOS will be right where you left it, and often in a worse state then it was before. Starting the healing process now can make a huge difference in your reproductive health as well as your overall wellbeing.
The only way to heal PCOS and its associated symptoms is to get at the underlying cause of the hormonal imbalance. Sure, weight can be a factor. In fact, 50% of women with the syndrome are overweight. But while many believe weight to be a contributing factor, I believe it’s a symptom, not the cause of the problem.
While there are several factors at play in women with polycystic ovaries, two prime candidates account for the bulk of the problem: (1) Insulin imbalance due to dietary factors, and (2) feminine imbalance due to emotional factors. Both are totally within the capabilities of your beautiful body to heal. Let’s look at both.
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Most women don’t even know they’ve lost their sex drive until they get it back full force. When asked, most women say they would prefer an evening in the bedroom over a night on the couch, but let’s get real, when’s the last time you had your man naked and covered in chocolate?
In truth, how bad you want it (and how creative you are in the bedroom) is directly influenced by birth control pills, and if you’re on the steady drip, it’s highly likely your sex drive has been has compromised as a result. The fatty acids, called couplins, women secrete during ovulation to spike sexual interest don’t exist at all while on the pill, which kills both your ability to have babies and your desire to practice making them — a tad ironic if you ask me.
Study after study has shown that women on birth control pills see the world more platonically than their au naturale counterparts. When shown pictures of naked men, women on the pill will call them attractive, handsome, and hot. Those off the pill, however, are much more descriptive, often listing what they would do to each man if he were present! As a result, women on the pill wind up with relationships that are more friendship, less steamy intrigue. Both equally important qualities to living a beautiful, pleasurable life.
The problem is that once women get off the hormones, they often find themselves stuck. Birth control pills put quite the kibosh on your libido, and it’s up to you to build it back up. Imagine you have a little rustic cabin out in the woods with no electricity. You can’t just flip a switch and expect to have light. You first need to hardwire electricity directly into your home. The same works with your body. Your sex drive is like electricity, and the pill has separated your body from your main power circuit: your endocrine system!
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Real quick, let’s just define “regular” when it comes to your lovely bowel movements: The ability to produce a bowel movement twice daily without the use of stimulants such as tea or coffee. Goodness, does that sound pretty far from the truth? Trust me, about five years ago I would have never believed that was possible for myself having spent lord knows how long dealing with IBS and constipation, now it’s just my norm! So don’t lose hope just yet! I’m here to help.
Your Ideal Scenario
Let’s start first by running through what you ideal day looks like just so we have a point of reference to start out with. You wake up, give a nice good stretch, rub the sleepies out of your eyes and then break for the kitchen. There you grab yourself 8-oz (one glass) of water and give yourself a cuddle on the couch or in bed. Allow yourself a moment to relax and sip on your water and then head for the bathroom for your morning poop. Ta-da!! Now you can go about your day until after lunch. You settleback into your workspace and grab a glass of water. Then head for the stalls for bowel movement #2. Sounds nice right? You are completely capable of achieving this rock star status poo and when you do, your health will flourish and your hormones will heal. It’s just an all around win-win situation. Here’s where to start:
Step 1: Get in the Habit
The first thing you need to do is get in the habit! Act as if this is already how you operate. Eake up, drink some water, maybe warm or with lemon, relax for a minute and then go sit on the pot. Give yourself five minutes to just hang out, relax, read-through your Flipboard or a good magazine, and if nothing happens, it’s OK move on with your day. The important thing is to start giving yourself the space to relax. Then do the same come lunchtime. Grab yourself a glass of water and then go enjoy some private bathroom time to yourself for five.
Step 2: Nix the Troublemakers
People have told you all the darn time to get rid of the coffee but I know you are using the drug to get things going. It’s a hard habit to break and I’m going to give it to you straight: Once you quit coffee, you WILL be stopped up for awhile. Maybe even for a week. Your body is hooked on caffeine the same way as it can get hooked on laxatives. Your colon depends on that stimulating shove each morning and once you break the habit your body will have to remember how to stimulate itself on its own. Coffee is every bit the laxative as senna, or Ex-Lax and the more you use it, the more you need it. Getting off it will be an adjustment, but one your body will welcome overall. To help heal the process-Start a cleanse the same day you give up coffee. It will help give your system a nice reset and hopefully clear out your system to get it back to functioning smoothly.
Step 3: Get your Daily Fix
Everyday you need at least 64-ounces of water, a 30-minute walk, and a plate that is 75% veggies for both lunch and dinner. A magnesium supplement is a good idea as well since chances are, you are deficient. Build these little goodies into your day and you’ll be on your way.
Constipation: If you deal with regular constipation or small, hard, round stool, use some all natural stool softeners to keep things nice and easy: Fruit! Make juicy fruits such as berries and peaches a bit part of your breakfast to give your body a boost. A tiny glass of fruit juice in the morning could be helpful as well! My favorite way to incorporate natural fruit juices into your morning is to put berries and juicy fruits into the bottom of a pot, cover them with water, and then simmer until you have a nice murky syrupy concoction. This is great atop oatmeal or sprouted grain toast.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: IBS is a sign your body’s immune system is overwhelmed and has picked up the habit of attacking everyday foods as if they were major invaders. Lack of variety means that our bodies have accumulated antibodies over time until suddenly it views that food as an attacker and rises up against it. Don’t believe this is your problem? When’s the last time you went an entire week without eating wheat, dairy, or eggs (the most common of the allergens)? Your offender is most likely the thing (or things) you eat most so start a food journal and take stock. If you just can’t figure it out on your own because the situation has become too dire- do like I did and get yourself a standard food allergy profile to find out which foods have a really high immune reaction stacked up against them. I went to the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle and discovered I was allergic to wheat, dairy, eggs, and beans. Six months after cutting all from my diet I was a completely new person. These days my body has adjusted and I no longer have such a strong response.
You CAN Get Regular, I’m Proof!
So many people will read this post and believe that this is just not possible for them. You’ve tried everything and nothing has worked. So I want you to know that I’ve been there. No matter what your struggle is, I’ve dealt with it. I’ve gone more than a week without using the bathroom. I’ve used coffee as a drug to keep regular. I’ve even been hooked on laxatives- taking them every other day for two month!. Yet now I’m drug-free, caffeine-free, and regular like crazy. So don’t stress. You are totally capable of digestive freedom. Be patient with yourself and follow the steps. You’ll get there!
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Two years ago, my husband and I joined a Crossfit gym. Our desk jobs left us desperate for activity, so at the time it just seemed like the thing to do. Yet something didn’t feel right to me. Sure, I was getting stronger physically, but I couldn’t stop the tears from pouring down my face after each workout. I was constantly starving, and my body would seize up with pain despite following a mostly paleo diet. It’s all part of it, though. We were a community and we told each other to push harder, lift heavier, and hey, a little puking never hurt anyone. In fact, we loooved it when people puked. It meant they worked hard, they were strong, PRIMAL. We were warriors.
But we were missing a key piece of the puzzle. The paleo lifestyle means following in the footsteps of our ancient ancestors. And sure, ancient hunter-gather societies meant surviving off of (what else?) hunting and gathering. Men were hunters, warriors! But what about women? Women weren’t out running, hunting, and beating their chests with the men. They stayed at home to raise the next generation; to feed, clothe, and heal the tribe. They were revered as mothers, nurturers, goddesses. Yet somehow when cavemen made their way to modern society something got lost in translation. We focused on the warrior archetype and forgot about the goddess.
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Human beings are omnivores, which means that (in theory) we can eat just about anything we want! So why do we want to stick to one thing? Why do some people become emphatic about forgoing all animal products while others recommend bacon for every meal? Why do some folks claim raw food is the only way to go, while ancient healing practices, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, place a heavy emphasis on cooking?
The fact of the matter is we were meant to eat in all sorts of ways. We absolutely should be vegans, but also carnivores. We should eat our food raw, but also cooked. Why take the extremist route and focus on eating one way? In truth, you need to eat different ways at different times. So let’s take a look at which eating styles will benefit you best and when!
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The first thing people ask me when I tell them to ditch the chemicals in their personal care products is: How can I do this on a budget? Because it can be a bit tricky, most people will stick to their chemicalized products in favor of their wallet. I’ll admit it’s often more pricey to go the all natural route, but there are a few tricks to get that price down. Here’s my beauty routine exposed!!
Natural Skin Care on a Budget
Makeup Remover: Coconut oil. Works like a charm and they sell it at Trader Joes for $6 per can. Lasts forever! I follow it up with face wash.
Face Wash: I am a huge fan of Banyan Botanical’s natural soaps they are absolutely natural (you’ll know all the ingredients), are made from Ayurvedic remedies, and are only $6.95 a bar! If you have oily, red, inflamed, or acne-prone skin- the Neem & Aloe soap is the way to go! Use it morning and night for best results. Personally, I have very dry skin so I use the Grapefruit Lemongrass soap and only in the evenings. My oily night time treatment has my face looking dewy by morning so all I have to do is add some sunscreen.
Night Oil: Plunk rose petals, calendula, chamomile, and/or lavender in a bottle of olive oil and rub a smooth layer onto your skin before bed. Use olive, almond, or sesame oils for dry skin, or coconut or neem oils for oily or acne-prone skin. I’ll admit I’m still using my pricey version from Intelligent Nutrients, but I’m switching to this I swear!
Body Wash: Once again, it’s all about Banyan’s soaps. You can’t go wrong.
Exfoliant: Buy yourself an exfoliating face brush, then just add a dab of your face wash. Ta-Da! You can also use sea salt for an invigorating rub down. Add oats and crushed almonds for the real deal. Feels so good!
Natural Hair Care on a Budget
Shampoo: Mix a tiny palm-full of baking soda with a tiny palm-full of water and give your hair a scrub! Easy as pie! (If only pie were that easy!)
Conditioner: Dilute one parts water to one part apple cider vinegar and rinse through your hair. It’ll be nice and shiny once it’s dry! If you still want that yummy conditioned hair smell, all you have to do is fill a spray bottle with water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Spray on before blow drying!
Hair Mask: Avocado or olive oils. Drench the ends and leave overnight! You can even just mash up an avocado and work it directly into your hair. Yum!
Beauty Tricks on a Budget
Nails: Olive oil makes an excellent cuticle oil as well as nail strengthening serum!
Buy in Bulk: At Whole Foods, you can get many shampoos and soaps in the bulk section and save a ton! For example, Griffin Remedy Shampoo (one of my faves) is $9 for an 8-oz bottle ($1.12 per ounce), or you can get it for $0.46 per ounce in bulk. Extra bonus- buy by the gallon and you get 10% off ($0.41 an ounce! What a deal!)
Where I Splurge
Face SPF: I’ve tried them all and Josie Maran’s version tops the charts for sure. This is an area I refuse to cheat in since most un-natural sunscreens are far worse for your skin than the sun, and all the natural ones smell and feel nasty. Not this one. It’s amazing. I don’t even ever have to wear foundation or anything else.
Makeup: Bare Minerals is probably the cheapest commercially available natural makeup although there are several starting to make their debuts these days. Spirit Beauty Lounge has done an amazing job offering all natural everything and will let you get 9 samples of whatever you’d like to try for only $25! Sweet deal! I admit I still use Bobbi Brown for my eye makeup (which actually isn’t too bad on the natural scale!)
What beauty tricks do you have to keep your body pure and healthy on a budget?? I’d love to learn more!Read More