Grain free moderate carb diet

woman standing in a field
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Since going grain free I have noticed a few major changes.

  1. My skin is consistently clear.  I am used to getting at least a couple doozies every month mainly around my period, but recently I have gone through 3 grain free cycles with flawless skin.
  2. My energy levels are higher.  Quitting gluten helped  tremendously at first, but then I reached a point where I felt like my progress had stalled.  Ditching grains and dairy has been the final push I needed to get me feeling like a woman in her early 30s rather than a rickety 90 year old.
  3. My breath is always fresh.  This is a weird one but a very welcome change.  In the past I have definitely had moments where I’ve had to fish through my purse for an emergency breath mint.  I’m not sure if its quitting the dairy, the grains, the uptick in chlorophyll from all those leafy greens, or a combo of the three, but I’ll take it.
  4. I can handle stress better and feel more positive about life.  Like most humans on earth, my life can occasionally get a bit nutty, and in my SAD diet days I Just. Could. Not. Deal.  Now I feel like there is no challenge I can not face. Even in the most hectic moments I feel a steady sense of calm, like my inner voice is able to speak more clearly than before, and give me constant reassurance that I’m on the right track.

I loved my new grain free life so much that I decided to push it all the way into Keto, I was already half way there and more of a good thing is even better right?  Big mistake.

Within weeks all of my hashi symptoms had accelerated.  My hair was coming out in handfuls (this is always the first alert my body gives me that something is amiss) and I was super cold.  I did have a slight uptick of energy but my breath was gross and I just really wanted a banana.

Finally, I did eat that banana and I haven’t looked back.

I’m sure a low carb lifestyle is great for some people as we are all so unique.  There truly isn’t a one size fits all diet plan. However, individuals with Hashimotos actually need a decent amount of carbs to convert T4 to T3 (the active thyroid hormone).  Dramatically reducing your intake can slow down your thyroid function and speed up its dysfunction causing a myriad of related hormonal issues.

Low carb diets are also extremely stressful on the adrenals. Most people with any autoimmune disease experience some level of adrenal fatigue and our bodies needs healthy carbs like a car needs fuel.

Carbohydrates have gotten a super bad rep in recent years but like with many things in life I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity.

I generally consume somewhere between 100 and 150 grams of carbohydrates per day and they all mainly come from fruits, and veggies. I eat sweet potatoes on the regular and when I go to the movies with my kids I sneak in plantain chips to distract me from the glorious smell of popcorn.

Potatoes are still on the menu in moderation because they seem to agree with me, but I always choose organic and leave the skins on.  Potatoes are one of the dirty dozen so I eat them organic whenever I can.

For some hard science to further back up the benefits of grain free living I highly suggest the Wheat Belly books.  They are written by an MD and filled with mouth-watering recipes.

My mom keeps trying “grain free” but still eats croissants and has the occasional slice of pizza, she is adamant that grain free just doesn’t help improve her autoimmune symptoms. “How would you know?” I want to scream. Grain free (and gluten free) are things you have to commit to, you are either all in or all out if you want tangible results.

If you are suffering from autoimmune, adrenal or hormonal issues I challenge you to try one month completely grain free. Really get inside of your body and notice any changes that come, both good and bad. Journal it. Enjoy it. But don’t cheat! Even a little slip up puts you back at square one.  Take before and after pictures, the changes externally can be almost as dramatic as the internal ones.  And if you make it through alive (you will) and want to document your success feel free to tag me on Instagram @wildsagewellness.

Happy healthy carb-ing!

Three ways to know when its time to quit.

design desk display eyewear
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There I was, one semester into a specialty program that I had fought my way into and hating every second of it. It was a tech-based program with competitive entrance requirements and I applied only half expecting to be accepted.

On my 31st birthday I received the letter in the mail. I. Got. In.

I was overjoyed. This was it, the breakthrough I had been waiting for. It was my first step towards a better future. I called my Dad first and broke the news to him. He was proud and excited for me, but wary. “Are you sure you’re ready for this?” He asked.

“I was born ready”, I thought. I can write, I have a great eye for design, this program is the missing link I need to start a web-based business of my own.

Soon everyone who knew me had heard the news. I would soon be a full-time college student, doing the thing that having kids so young had prevented me from experiencing in my twenties. Everyone seemed to be impressed and this was something I wasn’t used to, as I had been a struggling entrepreneur for the past decade.

“Wow, so you’ll be working, mom-ing and going to school? You’re amazing.” I would answer something smugly like, “Well, I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do”.  I liked being amazing.

But it wasn’t long until the cracks started to show. As it turns out, I hate computer coding. I’m also not a big fan of photoshop. I was so tired at work that I started doing sub par hair and zoning out on clients. I had to close my etsy shop because I couldn’t keep up with orders. To top it all off my kids went for a full two weeks having nothing but pizza for dinner.

And I hated never seeing them. And I hated not taking quality walks with my dog. And I hated the fact that when the program was all over and I was in a hefty chunk of debt I would be qualified to work in an industry that I hated.

I also hated it when a girl in my class asked me loudly if I was old enough to be her mom, but it did get me thinking. I’m already this old and feel like I was just a baby yesterday. How will I feel in another thirty years? Time happens in the blink of an eye. Life is short. I could continue pushing and striving to accomplish things that will impress other people or have the courage to say, “yep, this isn’t for me, I’m turning this ship around.”

When I really sat down and thought about if I should stick it out or quit my reasons for staying were all ego driven. “What will people think of me? Will they think I’m a dropout loser? Will my classmates think I am too old and stupid to handle the work?”

But when I looked at the reasons for leaving they came from a place of peace. “I will have more time for my kids. I will have more time for my dog. I will have more time to chase my real dreams, no matter how absurd they may seem to others.”

And so I finished the semester, thanked my instructors and bowed out of the program.

People may think I’m a drop out loser, but that’s ok. Truthfully people spend far more time worrying about their own lives than they do judging others on their decisions. Plus, who really cares what anyone thinks?  This is my life to live, my one life. So I’m going to be calling the shots.

Knowing I don’t ever have to write another line of code makes me feel like an elephant has been lifted from my shoulders. I have signed up for a different course with a way lighter load, and I chose it not to impress others but because its something I’m truly interested in.
I’m also going to follow my heart and study clothing design over the summer. It’s true,  when I tell people I want to be a clothing designer I am often met with looks of pity, or apprehension, but it just doesn’t matter. I know what my heart wants and if I end up a struggling clothing designer, I will be happier than I ever would be as a successful web developer.

Being a quitter is often regarded as something bad. People who quit things don’t make very inspiring heroes, but quitting something you know is not your higher purpose can actually take more bravery than sticking it out.  Whether we are talking friendships, romantic relationships, school, careers or even just a gym membership there are a few key questions I like to ask myself to determine if it’s quitting time.

 

  1. Is my happiness to unhappiness ratio consistently greater than 50%? Sometimes things suck.   Anyone who has been married for more than three years can attest to this.  No one gets to coast through life without shitty bits, and bailing at the first sign of discomfort isn’t being brave but actually being a bit of a baby.  Nothing will ever be peachy keen 100% of the time, but if a situation is bringing me unhappiness on a more regular basis than it brings happiness it’s time to step back and ask myself how much happier I could be if I removed the situation from my life.
  2. Will I be able to recoup the cost of both time and money? Some things in life are completely free and still cost way too much.  Time is actually a much more limited and valuable resource than money.   Well invested time can lead to more money and conversely well invested money can provide us with more free time.  If something is draining my time and/or money reserves and I can not see the end result being worth more than what I have had to put in, I am so out.
  3. Do the people in your life encourage you to stick it out, or gently assure you there is no shame in quitting? I do not think we should consistently look to others for approval in all of our life decisions, but it can be easier for people to see our situation from a place of love rather than ego. Sometimes it takes talking with people I trust to help me further realise all of the reasons I should walk away from something.   When loved ones stop pushing me to keep on pushing, I can be sure that I’m not just being a baby but genuinely making an intelligent choice to leave something behind that is no longer serving me.

 

When it comes to deciding what we want in life we may need to quit a few things before we find the right thing. My Dad always says failure is just learning to succeed going forward. He’s a smart guy.

It’s all in your head

pexels-photo-256302.jpegWe are part of a limitless universe, and yet though our own perceived limitations most of us never get to experience our full potential? If we are all born a blank slate why do so many of us grow up to be sick, sad and less than what we could be?

While its true that some of us come into the world with a golden spoon in our hands it’s also true that many of us are born into circumstances that may ‘seem’ to set us up for failure. I personally know privileged people who live lonely, loveless lives filled with illness and pain, and likewise have met people who were born with nothing, and have ended up building great fortunes and living a life full of love and vibrant health. (Just look up the SELRES_86837e3f-92ee-4e49-b30b-8a1bb265316aSELRES_d6475fb2-b0ff-44ff-a5d9-c37e59bb4e6dSELRES_424af9af-7e38-4006-b666-3d5f396a847eSELRES_4507549a-d088-4328-9644-94bc745a263eSELRES_d36ecaac-5de2-4dc8-9d21-0c941e2c3a93SELRES_44a323e4-ecfa-4279-b285-139719d33080SELRES_c62f8074-9e3b-40ae-824b-c8f7ab3c1031SELRES_8ed41df1-8938-4c28-b597-263d69a075b2SELRES_38c48204-2eb2-4961-8e49-ecc46dfa8a9cSELRES_7b5a03c9-92e8-409a-9fd4-993b9269ca14Charles Mulley story)SELRES_7b5a03c9-92e8-409a-9fd4-993b9269ca14SELRES_38c48204-2eb2-4961-8e49-ecc46dfa8a9cSELRES_8ed41df1-8938-4c28-b597-263d69a075b2SELRES_c62f8074-9e3b-40ae-824b-c8f7ab3c1031SELRES_44a323e4-ecfa-4279-b285-139719d3308)SELRES_d36ecaac-5de2-4dc8-9d21-0c941e2c3a93SELRES_4507549a-d088-4328-9644-94bc745a263eSELRES_424af9af-7e38-4006-b666-3d5f396a847eSELRES_d6475fb2-b0ff-44ff-a5d9-c37e59bb4e6dSELRES_86837e3f-92ee-4e49-b30b-8a1bb265316a

The reality is, the playing field is much more even than it seems. The main reason so many people are living lives that don’t measure up is not a result of our outer environment but our inner one.

I have personally observed in my own life, how choices, thoughts and words shape my reality daily.

Most of us have it ass backwards, we think to ourselves when I have money – then I will feel rich, when I have love – then I will feel worthy, when I have health – then I will feel whole. The reality is we must first feel we have the things and be grateful for them before we can attract them in abundance.

Wouldn’t it be easier to get fit if you walked into the gym every day feeling super strong?

Life is a complex dance of energies and like attracts like. Why do so many millionaires say the first million is the hardest to make? Because once they have made that first million they are no longer living in a mindset of lack, and all of their existing wealth can go out and earn/ attract more wealth.

This applies to health as well. I recently read the story of about a woman who fought and beat cancer, mostly with health and a positive mindset (AMAZING!) But one thing about her experience that stuck with me is that she somehow knew she was going to get cancer years before she was ever diagnosed. In fact, she started making funeral plans, wrote up her will and even had dreams about getting cancer long before the illness manifested. Was this woman psychic and having premonitions or did she literally create cancer in herself by believing to her core that she was going to become ill? Only the Creator truly knows that answer, but I have a strong sense it was the latter.

Every cell in our bodies is 99% empty space. We are made of 1% protons neutrons and electrons and 99% nothingness. Matter, at it’s tiniest observable level, is energy, and human consciousness is connected to it, human consciousness can influence it’s behavior and even re-structure it.

Ever heard of SELRES_13224304-ce64-4b0d-8c02-166474624f82Emoto’s water experimentSELRES_13224304-ce64-4b0d-8c02-166474624f82? In the early 1990s Dr Masuru Emoto did a series of experiments extensively studying how water, at a molecular level, is influenced by its environment. In a nutshell, the good scientist used photography to capture images of water exposed to different energy frequencies, music, thoughts, and prayers. The results were pretty much mind blowing. When the water exposed to positive, loving, thoughts and compliments froze, it formed into beautiful symmetrical ice crystals. But the water that was blasted with insults, ill will and hatred froze into ugly, chaotic, jagged formations.

We are all anywhere from 50% – 80% water. So just imagine what constant negative self talk, and thought patterns are doing to us on a molecular level?!

For a long time I struggled with the woo woo-ness of it all. ‘Yeah suuure, I’m making myself sick, I’m making myself poor, I’m making myself unhappy… with my thoughts. Riiiiight.’ Yet, if you look at it from a purely logical scientific level it becomes abundantly clear that we are in fact writing our own stories with out minds.

“A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a “mental” construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” (R.C. Henry, “The Mental Universe” )

So how do we break through years of mental programming that has convinced us we are *insert thing here*; too ugly, too sick, too old, too fat, destined to fail, destined for illness, destined for loneliness etc etc etc? It takes work. Period. But like everything else that has brought us to where we now are, it all simply begins in the mind.

If we want to change our health we need to examine our diets, detox our cells and exercise, but if we still believe we are sick we are just spinning our wheels doing all that work. If we start by believing we are healthy it becomes intuitive and easy to make the small changes our body needs to keep us in that state.

One of my favorite ways to break through mental programming is using positive affirmations. Just as the Emoto experiment demonstrates, our words hold more power than most of us even realise. Positive affirmations, can apply to any area of our lives and can have a profound impact on shifting us out of a negative mindset into a positive one.
If we are dealing with an illness this affirmation can be a simple as ‘I am a healed healthy and whole’ spoken out load daily anytime thoughts of illness creep into our minds. If we are dealing with feeling of lack we can say something like ‘I am abundantly provided for, (insert whatever I need) flows freely into my life and I am deeply grateful for it.’

It might seem silly and even a little cheesy at first but sometimes we have to step outside our comfort zones to effect real change.

Another super helpful exercise is through writing down our limiting beliefs (skip a few lines), crossing them out and write our TRUTHS below them. So it would look like this.
I will always be alone.

I am attractive, I am worthy of love, I attract love into my life, I am so thankful for the quality relationships I have, I am a magnet for men/women, my life is filled with love, I am never truly alone, etc.

It’s important we speak in the present tense with all affirmations, if we speak in future tense (I will have love some day) we are always chasing that future day and not inviting it in right now.

Hypnosis is another effective tool for mind reprogramming. Ironically, I am a trained hypnotist and still spent years not fully grasping how important my thoughts truly were in shaping my reality. There is a reason hypnosis can be a useful tool in quitting addictions, losing weight, and changing many other areas of our lives. A good hypnotist communicates directly with our subconscious, which then communicates directly with our cells. This communication reprograms our entire being on an atomic level. Mindset also explains why hypnosis doesn’t work on some people who believe they can’t be hypnotised. (‘Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t you are right’ ~Henry Ford.)

No matter where anyone is in their healing journey, it is inevitable that negative thoughts will squeeze in from time to time, as long as we have some positive affirmations at the ready to squash them with we will be well on our way to re writing our reality.

A great man (Jesus) once said, ‘ If you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can say to this mountain, move from here to there and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’ Matthew 21:21

By reprogramming our minds, crushing negative self talk and limiting beliefs, we can all move mountains in our own lives. Through faith, mindset and positive thinking anything is possible. We are all healthy, wealthy, lovable, beautiful, limitless souls having an experience in these human forms, by understanding the true power of our thoughts we have every ability to make the very most out of our time here, no matter how our journey began.

My kids (and my) favorite green juice

Green juice can be scary the first time you try it, and quite honestly depending on the ingredients you choose can range from shockingly delicious to plug your nose and chug it down gross. The first time I tossed back a cup of the green stuff I was fully expecting it to taste completely vile and was actually surprised by how light and refreshing the flavours were.

Having owned a juicer for a while, I have been known to get a little experimental and have concocted some flavours that are more revolting than refreshing, yet knowing all those beautiful nutrients are flowing directly into my cells, they still somehow taste ‘good’….at least to me.

So, my game plan for getting my little ones to drink juice was to make sure the first one would be so undeniably tasty that they wouldn’t be scared off by some of the more unconventional versions. (Fyi mixing beets or carrots with greens does not produce an appetizing color.)

And… it worked! I managed to get my kiddos so hooked on the crisp addictive flavour that they now come running whenever I tell them I have made them a ‘shooter,’ and will happily chug down whatever I have made, (even if it looks like sewage water) often they will ask for seconds!

(I serve their juices in a small glass and call it a shooter, this for some reason has worked to get them to drink it consistently so I’m going with it, all parents do weird things to get their kids to eat right?!)

If you don’t yet own a juicer its time to get on board! Seriously. It is the easiest, most pain free way to get a whole heap of nutrition into you and your families bodies.

There are many juicer options out there and they are not all created equal, but if you’re just dipping your toes in the juicing pond any centrifugal juicer is a great, low-cost, place to start. If you are ready to get serious about juicing for health and are willing to make a bigger investment you want to look at masticating juicers. They extract more juice and preserve more nutrients than centrifugal ones. Also, the juice made in masticating juicers doesn’t oxidize as fast so less pressure to chug it down seconds after juicing.

So, on to my favorite juice…. It is loaded with tons of nutritional benefits including liver and kidney detoxification, it has antiseptic qualities and contains vitamin c, a handful of b vitamins, a healthy dose of key minerals, is highly alkalinizing and is a rich source of chlorophyll.  Plus it’s 100% yum.

If you make just one juice for the rest of your life this should be it….

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(My favorite) Kid fully approved green juice

2 apples (washed seeded and cored, the green ones have less sugar or you can leave them out entirely if you’re watching your glucose and add more cucumber)
½ cucumber (washed and peeled if not organic)
6 stalks of celery (washed)
1 lemon or lime (peeled)
1” piece of ginger (peeled)
2 hand-fulls of spinach (or other organic greens ) you should be sure to cycle your greens weekly which I will talk more about in another blog post.

Juice them all and enjoy as soon as possible.

*Juice tip* If you have made your juice in a masticating juicer and want to save it for later, add a little pulp back into your juice, and fill your glass container right up to the brim before sealing it and storing it somewhere cool. The fibre in the pulp will slow the oxidation process. Citrus juices are also good natural preservatives and they taste amazing so I usually include a lemon or lime in all my mixes.

Bottoms up!

Why juicing is my favorite, and juice fasting is a total health game changer

pexels-photo-616833.jpegHopefully my kids never read this, and I apologise to any woman struggling with fertility for how this may come across, but I have never once tried to get pregnant and have been blessed with two kids.

This may not seem at all crazy to the countless woman every year who experience unwanted pregnancies, but the thing that set my pregnancies apart from the millions of others is that I got pregnant with PCOS.

PCOS is the most common cause of infertility and led me to believe I would probably never have kids thus, when I shacked up with my now husband, I wasn’t terribly cautious with birth control.

For four years, I managed to have a fairly healthy sex life without any hint of pregnancy. This would be pretty unheard of for any early 20 something with no fertility issues doing the deed daily, but not me, I had that inbuilt birth control that at my age was the one symptom of PCOS I actually welcomed.

Despite losing tons of hair, having s**tty skin, and facial fuzz, it wasn’t until I stepped on the scale and realised I had gained A LOT of weight that I decided it was high time to get a grip on my pcos symptoms. I changed up my diet (less carbs more greens), started supplementing with maca powder, and walked/biked everywhere, but I’m convinced one of the main things that turned it around for me was juicing.

My guy bought me a juicer as a gift of encouragement when I had been working out hard for a few months and still hadn’t lost much. His friends wife owned a health food store and she swore to him that juicing was a game changer, so I was finally baptized in the juice of cucumbers and celery, and my health really began to turn a corner.

Every cup of juice was like a shot of energy to my cells, but not like a caffeine shot of energy where you feel jittery and wired. Juice energy is more like a calm and peaceful sense of ‘I have enough energy to climb a f**cking mountain, write a book and conquer the world all at the same time.’ The greener the juice the better (though admittedly some tastes took a bit more getting used to)

After about two months of juicing daily and continuing an active lifestyle I was just 12 pounds short of my goal weight and seemed to have hit a plateau. It was late one night in my ‘research’ (googling) that I came across the concept of juice fasting.

What? I could really just drink nothing but juice for days and I wouldn’t die?

I researched (googled) the phenomena of juice fasting for weeks, certain people must occasionally die from it. Yet I found that, not only did they not die, but many people regained lost health and transformed their bodies and their lives in the process.

Some of these amazing people consumed nothing but juice for months and were still alive to tell the tale.

So that was it, I was sold. I made a list of juice recipes to try and bought what I thought was an aggressive amount of produce (it barely got me through the first day.) But I was off and juicing and while it was honestly a pretty rough three days, the results were glorious.

The first day I was in a fog. I felt weird constantly aside from the short spikes of energy I would get immediately after consuming my juices. My mouth tasted like someone’s butt hole and I had zero energy to do even the simplest tasks. Luckily, I researched well (thank you google) and planned to begin my fast on the weekend so I basically laid on the couch and binged on curb your enthusiasm and juice.

The second day I awoke with a renewed sense of clarity and purpose. There is a spiritual element to juicing that can only really be experienced. You feel closer to God, to your fellow humans animals and the earth. You do a lot of reflection, and while your body is detoxing, your mind and heart is also.

I went to a local park, lay by a pond, read a book and felt like freaking snow white, all the birds and squirrels were my friends and I was glowing like an angel.

By the time I rode my bike home I was starving and had transformed into the evil witch. I quickly double checked with google to make sure I hadn’t missed any stories of people dying on a juice fasts while glaring with hatred at my boyfriend eating KFC across the room. The smells were amplified by 100% and I eventually had to leave while he finished dinner.

This is one thing to remember about juice fasting. Do not be anywhere that smells like food. Hot dog stands, mall food courts, county fairs, torture.

Later that night I was still seething as my boyfriend ate his way through an entire bag of jalapeno chips. I had initially wanted to fast for as long as possible but was starting to feel like unless I was in an ashram somewhere far away from all food, three days would suffice.

I stepped on the scale that night and was down a whopping seven pounds, IN TWO DAYS. Granted it was mostly all water weight but I was going to take it. It was the push I needed to get me through the final day and I went to bed dreaming about the healthy green salad I would eventually break my fast with (ha!).

As much as I love google, you can’t always trust it. Almost everything I read swore that by the third day I wouldn’t feel hungry anymore. It was all LIES.

The third day was the worst. I think it was a combination of extreme caffeine withdrawal ( I should have weaned off coffee before beginning the fast), detoxing and hunger but I was basically a psycho hose beast the entire day.

When my boyfriend dared to come home with sushi for dinner I actually had a flash visualisation of stabbing him with the chop sticks.

By this point I not only had terrible breath but my body odor smelled like three day old tacos. Thank you detox symptoms.

I spent a few hours indulging in food porn before going to bed dreaming about all the glorious things I would be able to eat the next morning. When I stepped on the scale I was only two pounds off of my goal weight and I felt triumphant knowing I would soon be chewing food again.

When you break a fast you are supposed to take it easy and start with light foods. I wish I could say I followed this advice but after devouring a whole package of blackberries that tasted like manna from Heaven, I waited a few minutes to make sure my stomach wouldn’t burst before sampling bites of everything in sight.

I actually baked fresh bread for my first time ever in my life. I was ready to eat all the food.

But, because my stomach had shrunk a bit, I found I got full fairly fast, and in the days following the fast portion control was much easier for me than it had been previously.

In many ways it was like my short juice fast reprogrammed my eating habits entirely. Suddenly, I craved veggies constantly and had completely lost the desire to eat meat.

Maybe it was that snow white moment by the pond but my juice fast completely kicked off a life of conscious eating, beginning with vegetarianism and eventually veganism. (I am no longer a vegetarian or a vegan but do ensure that at least half of my meals are entirely plant based and all my food choices are consciously made.)

It was like the whole experience gave me a fresh perspective on the roll I play in the world and my responsibility to share it peacefully with the other creatures who live here.

My skin went from being broken out and zitty to the skin of a baby. Literally, NO cream, serum or peel has ever been able to come close to what juicing for three days did to my skin. I also noticed a slight reduction in hair shedding (interesting) and the peach fuzz around my jaw line seemed to have diminished.

I had obviously lost a lot of water weight, but when my boyfriends babe of a friend (who is literally a male model) commented weeks later that I looked like I had lost a lot of weight (blush) I realised the fast must have kick started healing in my body that eventually led to sustainable fat loss.
(There is evidence that fasting can help activate an insulin response in individuals with insulin resistance!)

Within a couple months I had dropped below my goal weight and was looking and feeling amazing, all thanks to three (long) days of juicing, and a follow up of healthier eating and daily exercise.

And that’s when it happened… My boobs magically went up a full cup size. Was this another welcome side effect of juicing? I googled it ready to jump right back into another juice fast asap. But, no.

Missing a period was so common for me I had no idea when my period was even ‘due’ but on a strange hunch I bought a pregnancy test and took it in a community pool bathroom. When the two lines appeared I felt a strange sense of peace come over me. I yelled out loud and emerged from the stall with tears of joy streaming down my face.  People probably thought I was crazy.  But I didn’t care, I had been given a gift. I was going to have something I never thought I could and until that moment hadn’t even realised I wanted.

There is indisputable proof that for women with PCOS, a reduction in body fat is an excellent way to increase fertility, but it is a cruel catch-22 that losing weight with PCOS is really really hard.

I am 100% positive that my mini juice fast helped activate my insulin response, allowed me to shed a few important pounds and was a contributing factor in my being able to conceive. I always sing the praises of juicing to anyone who will listen. I turn to mini (one day) juice fasts whenever I’m feeling run down, and have been able to stave off colds, cure freak breakouts, and get bathing suit ready quick with fresh juice in my healing arsenal.

Don’t just take my word for it, if you need inspiration about the powers of juicing, just watch the movie ‘fat sick and nearly dead’ on Netflix, it is a mega motivator.

Lately my body has been calling me to do another longer fast, and I’m not going to lie, I’ve been putting it off. But I think when I get mentally ready I’m going to aim for a minimum of 5 days and will post the results here when I finally gather the willpower to do it. (Cooking for my family while fasting is a torture I am quite honestly terrified to endure)

What do you think? Do you juice? Do you love it? Has it changed your life in some profound way? Let me know, and if you’ve never juiced what are you waiting for?!

What is PCOS, what causes it and what to do about it?

pexels-photo-735966.jpegPCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome is a tricky little beast that can crop us seemingly out of nowhere and completely turn your life upside down. Up to 1 in 4 woman are currently living with PCOS but exact numbers are hard to pin down due to the fact that many women spend years searching for a diagnosis, and some are never properly diagnosed.

In my own case it took five years of harassing doctors with a long list of questions before I got referred for an ultrasound where they found my cysts.

Pcos is an endocrine disorder that presents itself when elevated androgens (or male hormones) are excreted from the ovaries causing a whole smorgasbord of life altering symptoms. It is the number 1 cause of infertility in women and can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart attack if not properly diagnosed and treated. (Women with pcos face a risk of heart attack 4-7 times greater than the average woman!)

Symptoms appear slightly different in everyone affected and can include menstrual disorders, hair thinning/ loss, unexplained weight gain, excess fat storage in belly or hips, facial hair growth and infertitly among others. These are all particularly devastating symptoms for women as they not only affect a womans health and quality of life but her physical appearance as well.

No one knows for sure exactly what causes PCOS but there are a few suspected culprits that likely all coexist in to some degree to bring about the disorder. These are excess insulin, low grade chronic inflammation and genetics.

So if you have received a diagnosis of PCOS or are presenting with enough symptoms to assume you have it (official doctor diagnosis aren’t always easy to come by so its vital you listen to your body first and your doctor second) you are probably left wondering what to do next. There are heaps of information about PCOS that can sometimes be conflicting and always overwhelming so to get to the root of healing we must first examine the cause.

Because there is not much we can do about hereditary influences we must look closer into the other two possible culprits, excess insulin and low grade chronic inflammation. Both of these likely have a genetic component but can be mostly controlled by DIET!

First lets look at insulin resistance, IR occurs when insulin doesn’t do a proper job of getting your cells to open up and absorb the glucose secreted through the digestion of sugars and carbs. In turn your body secretes more insulin in an attempt to absorb all that extra glucose. Over time this results in far too much insulin in the blood stream which makes it super difficult for the body to use stored fat and it just keeps running on sugars. (This also leads to all those fierce carb/ sugar cravings!) All of this creates an environment of weight gain which in turn worsens insulin resistance. It is the great catch- 22, losing weight is the best way to reverse insulin resistance but weight loss with IR can seem downright impossible with all that sneaky insulin running free in your bloodstream.

So how do you stop your body from producing all that insulin? You buck up, grab those cravings by the balls and cut your intake of sugars and carbs drastically. (Because ALL carbs turn to glucose when digested)

Studies have shown a ketogenic diet is one of the best diets to manage and reverse PCOS symptoms. My only issue with the ketogenic diet is that if you are also dealing with adrenal fatigue, thyroid disorders or other autoimmune disorders, such a dramatic reduction in carbs can sometimes do more harm than good. Because I am a huge believer in the healing powers of fruits and veggies, and because fruits and veggies contain carbs, I just cant get fully on board with a lifetime of keto eating.

To ease into the low carb lifestyle in a healthy and sustainable way I suggest limiting your carb intake to between 50 and 100 g per day, don’t bother including the carbs you get from fruits and veggies but DO go super easy on the starchy ones like potatoes and bananas. After eating this way for at least six months, if you are still not at an ideal weight and experiencing symptoms you can always hop onboard the keto train to lose those last stubborn pounds.

I personally do not recommend anyone with thyroid or adrenal issues staying on the keto diet for any longer than a month at a time, but again, listen to your body and do what works for you.

There are also some great supplements for insulin resistance including, Berberine, Chromium, magnesium, cinnamon and green tea.

So now that you know what’s going on on the insulin side of things,  we have to address that other sneaky little culprit, chronic inflammation.

Accute inflammation can actually be a good thing, it means your white blood cells are capable of addressing and fighting off infections. Without inflammation wounds would not heal and common colds would stick around forever. It is when the inflammation is chronic that things can get out of control.

Chronic inflammation occurs when your body sends your white blood cells to fight a foreign invader but this ‘invader’ ends up being a necessary part of your human anatomy (intestines, thyroid, ovaries etc) When there is a low grade viral, bacterial or fungal infection present in the body your inflammatory response will be heightened. Candida for example can be a harmless fungus that lives symbiotically with the flora in your intestinal tract, but if it is allowed to grow out of control (which can happen when it has a diet rich in glucose to feed on) it can spread throughout your body causing chronic inflammation wherever it goes.

Undiagnosed food sensitivities can also cause chronic inflammation. If you have a sensitivity to gluten or dairy (most people do) nightshades, saponins, and many other common irritants, particles of these foods can be mis-read by your body as foreign invaders and BAM- your white blood cells are at war leading to chronic inflammation and a body that is more susceptible to infections and disease.

To address chronic inflammation it is also super important to reduce/ remove exposures to other common allergens, pet dander, molds, and pollens that could be aggravating your bodies inflammatory response. I also highly recommend switching to all natural household and beauty products as well as being mindful of the fabrics you wear as your skin is your bodies largest organ and everything that touches it is absorbed into your bloodstream.

One major thing I did to set my body on track to healing was to follow a total healing protocol, the results have been nothing short of amazing for me and for anyone else who has tried it out. It takes time and commitment but it well worth the effort.

You CAN heal your body of PCOS symptoms, and with a solid game plan and the proper mindset you WILL. With so much doom and gloom around this disorder its easy to feel hopeless, that’s why hearing stories of other peoples success is so important. Here’s SELRES_bf5b7340-f36f-4a89-a9df-08b24f89aad5SELRES_8a8b4648-1521-499c-b5b5-5badc4b925c5SELRES_2515d88f-8df0-44f2-9687-03dc3c63fe89one storySELRES_2515d88f-8df0-44f2-9687-03dc3c63fe89SELRES_8a8b4648-1521-499c-b5b5-5badc4b925c5SELRES_bf5b7340-f36f-4a89-a9df-08b24f89aad5 of a woman who put her pcos into remission, and if you look around there are many more out there.

Just remember it probably took years to reach the state of health you are currently experiencing, healing and transformation is not going to happen overnight. Be patient, be kind to yourself, and remember your health and wellness is worth the sacrifice. You only have this one body to live in for your entire lifetime, so love it, be good to it, and treat it with respect and kindness, it will return the favor.

This is my PCOS story

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It all started over a decade ago, I was a fresh graduate out of hair school, had landed a job at an amazing hair salon in downtown Vancouver and was building a clientele at lightening speed when I volunteered to be a hair model for a charity one of my former instructors was putting on.  The man had a slight obsession with Bettie page, and decided I would be a perfect candidate for a Bettie page transformation. 

My boob length auburn hair was chopped into an iconic pin up coif and dyed a deep rich (almost black) brown.  To be honest I was initially thrilled with the transformation, I did look a bit like BP.  I was edgier, more mysterious and admittedly looked a little more bad ass.  I was rocking the new look with confidence, that was until I saw my head under some unforgiving bathroom lighting and literally gasped in shock.  Was that scalp I saw shining through?  That is not bad ass at all.

I began to obsess, staring at peoples heads creepily and asking everyone I knew if it looked like I was balding.  You do look a little more scalp-y my friend at the salon admitted, but it is probably just the contrast of your white skin to the dark hair that makes it seem that way. 

However, as the months progressed it became apparent that something was in fact going on with my once overly abundant hair.  Whenever I would shower I would emerge with so much hair attached to my body I felt like Chewbacca.  Every time I ran my hands through my hair, strands would shake loose, my clothes were constantly covered. It took four wraps to secure my ponytail that once took only two

Upon the advice of a dermatologist I spent one day collecting every single hair I lost and counted them all.  Three hundred and forty seven.  ‘That does seem a little high,’ he told me ‘but based on the pattern of your hair loss I think its safe to assume you have hereditary baldness and there is not much you can do about it aside from using rogaine for the rest of your life, oh and it might make you grow a beard.’ Continue reading “This is my PCOS story”