Nutrition

Nutrition for Thyroid Recovery with Caroline Stahlschmidt

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Caroline Stahlschmidt is a Certified Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner (FNLP) and is a practicing functional nutritionist at the Functional Nutrition Alliance (FxNA) Clinic. She was diagnosed with Hashimoto's but has learned to thrive with her autoimmunity through diet and lifestyle modifications. In this episode we talk about thyroid, nutrition and advanced issues about thyroid markers.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 00:40 Results of our podcast survey
Min 06:05 Introduction to Caroline Stahlschmidt & her Hashimoto's diagnosis
Min 08:15 Factors that contributed to Caroline's Hashimoto's
Min 10:00 Unhealthy guts & your poop
Min 13:30 High TSH levels
Min 19:00 The Epstein Barr virus
Min 22:00 Caroline's evolution of symptoms
Min 26:40 Getting enough sleep & rest
Min 31:55 Nutrition & diet for good health
Min 41:05 Yoga & Caroline's healing journey
Min 47:05 Caroline's resources & work

To learn more about Caroline Stahlschmidt and the Functional Nutrition Alliance (FxNA) Clinic, visit their website here and follow them on social media:
Facebook 
Pinterest 
YouTube 

Resources:

Free ebook (Food/Mood/Poop) 
Beautycounter - non-toxic line of beauty products

Here's the video version of the interview with Caroline:

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Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Cool Summer Symptoms with Seasonal Eating 

It’s summer and it’s hot! And hot weather can flame your internal heat, causing irritating symptoms. 

Sometimes just the outdoor heat alone is enough to flare your temper. Try getting stuck in a summer traffic jam with no AC in your car and two whining kids in the backseat. You have to have some serious zen to stay ‘cool’ and calm.

If you have excessive internal heat already, summertime can mean a flare up of ‘hot’ symptoms like:

  • Acne

  • Skin rash

  • Moodiness (could be anger, depression or anxiety)

  • Migraines

  • Insomnia

  • Loss of Appetite

  • Constipation.

Things like:

  • Eating spicy foods or inflammatory foods

  • Poor detoxification

  • Poor nutrition (ie: not enough healthy fats and water)

Can cause this excess heat. 

Let’s look at how you can use the traditional wisdom of eating with the seasons to cool your heat and get your feeling more balanced this summer.

Many of us now live in heated and cooled homes, with a supermarket within short distance. But it wasn’t so long ago that we lived in caves and huts, hunting, farming and foraging for food.  

In those days, living within the natural rhythms of the season came, well, naturally.  Observing the gifts of each season was the framework in which the early traditions of medicine were born.

In Chinese medicine, five seasons were observed, and the five elements of water, earth, fire, wind and metal pair with the five seasons. 

You may be wondering, “wait, what is this other season?” It’s late summer, and it corresponds with the Earth element. This does not being until late August. As I write this in late July, we are still in ‘regular summer,’ with the element of Fire dominating.

In Ayurvedic medicine, which originated in India, there are five elements as well and three seasons.  These three seasons represent harvest seasons, with Spring being a lean time without a harvest.  The three seasons also match the three doshas (constitutional types). The three seasons of Ayurveda represent two elements interacting; in the case of summer they are fire and water.

Summer, according to Ayurveda, is dominated by Pitta dosha- that hot, irritable, competitive and inflamed type. But I shouldn’t cast Pitta in too negative a light. We all need the fiery nature of Pitta to drive us forward, to digest our food, to energize us.

Ayurveda teaches that heat needs to be cooled with water, but not only plain water, also other cooling, watery things can tame heat.

Here are some foods that can cool you in summer:

  • Fresh, seasonal, organic fruit

  • Lots of filtered water

  • Bitter greens

  • Basmati rice

  • Cucumber

  • Bok choy

  • Lettuce

  • Mint

  • Cilantro

  • Fish and seafood

  • Aloe vera juice or gel

You’ll also want to avoid these foods:

  • Fried foods

  • Heavy, greasy meats

  • Dairy products

  • Spicy foods

Eat a lighter diet in the summer, with salads and steamed foods predominating.  Don’t overeat in the summertime, as this can lead to indigestion.

Chinese medicine has some similar ways to look at controlling heat. Again water tames fire, but note that wood feeds fire. If you have summertime symptoms, you do not want to feed your fire!

Wood has to do with spring season and the body system of your liver. 

What foods burden your liver? 

  • Alcohol

  • Coffee

  • Sugar

  • Food Additives

  • Lack of healthy fats

  • Dehydration

  • Xenoestrogens and other toxins

To avoid caffeine but still have a pleasant summertime drink, try:

  • Keep a pitcher of iced lemon water in the the fridge

  • Try chrysanthemum tea, from the Chinese tradition (more information)

  • Try a Pitta balancing tea, like this one I found online, with hibiscus and shatavari (an herb that is great for women’s health too!)

We have a special podcast, courtesy of Cate Stillman from the Yoga Healer podcast, featuring Cate’s Ayurvedic expertise on summertime, as well of that of her guests Dr. John Doulliard and Kate O’Donnell. Check it out here!

Do you have any tips on keeping cool with diet in the summertime?  We’d love to hear them!


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Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

Nutrition And More For A Healthy Cycle With Caroline Zwickson

Caroline Zwickson

Welcome to Day 5 of Fertility Week!

Caroline Zwickson is a fertility coach originally from Germany and has been living in the US for 16 years. She holds a Masters in Counselling Psychology and studied dreams, imaginations, and how to help people cultivate awareness for that and integrate it into their lives in order to create more wholeness. She did her Masters’ thesis on women and mind-body connection and looked into how women experience emotions like fear, joy and anger in their bodies, and how they can use the body to work with those emotions.

After graduating she slowly made her way into life coaching because she was passionate about helping people figure out not only why they're stuck but also what they can do about it, taking that future oriented outlook of life and really thinking about life in a positive way. Her focus in the coaching world is to help women create a fertile life; prepare them for a healthy pregnancy.

She had hormonal imbalances after coming out of the birth control pill and this experience made her dive deeply into women's hormones. She figured out a natural and holistic way to heal her hormone imbalances. The positive effects she experienced made her want to help other women. 

In this interview, we’re talking about:

  1. Nutrition and balancing hormones
  2. Our thoughts and their effects on our bodies
  3. Movement and exercise
  4. The luteal phase and blood sugar balance
  5. Supplements
  6. Diet and food sources

Access Today's Interview

You can listen to today's interview through the player below, or through our podcast channel, Women's Wellness Radio. Our podcast is available for subscription on iTunes and other podcast players as well.

About Caroline:

To learn more about Caroline Zwickson, click here to visit her website.

You can also follow her on:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Today's Raffle:

For today’s raffle, Caroline Zwickson is giving away her fall-cleanse workbook, and our sponsor Nutribullet donated another awesome kitchen blender.

Caroline's beautiful, info-packed 62-page workbook that includes: 

  • An introduction to fall cleansing with a special focus on your lungs and your colon. The goal is to eliminate congestion and optimize elimination.
  • Small daily exercises & action steps to promote emotional well-being, strength, resilience, and feeling calm and beautiful!
  • Tips for how to overcome cravings and constipation (without your morning coffee)
  • A shopping list packed with delicious, fresh, and invigorating foods
  • Menu ideas and suggestions for how to keep things easy, simple and delicious
  • lots and lots of amazing recipes that brighten up your day and make you feel amazing from the inside out

We put all of Caroline's information together in a handy sheet, print-able for you. You can get a copy by using the button below:

We welcome your comments and questions below!

Ten Tips for PMS

As I prepared for this article, I googled “tips for PMS.”  Some suggestions were basic but good, such as stopping smoking.  Others were very disappointing, like use ibuprofen for cramps or take antidepressants for severe symptoms.  Yes those are solutions, but only temporary ones.  They don’t get to the root of your PMS problem.  And for actual prevention, that’s what you need.

PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, was first defined as a group of symptoms with no known cause that arises before or during your menstrual cycle.  In our modern culture, it’s become a common term and an expected part of having a period.

PMS is actually not a required part of your life, and it does have a cause: low progesterone / estrogen dominance.  Why you get into this pattern will vary with each woman, but there are a few main culprits.  

For today I’m going to give some of my best tips for PMS I’ve learned over my 12 years working with women.

1. Drink Water

Ok, this one may seem too easy.  You drink it everyday.  But if you aren’t getting enough water for your cells to function properly or for your body to detoxify, you can have symptoms of PMS.  

Some of my clients have relieved their symptoms just by making sure to drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day in the week before their period.  

Ideally we should all drink that much pure water everyday.  Tip:  start right away with a glass in the morning, and keep water near you to sip between meals all day.

2.  Get More Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that we need to make progesterone in the second half of our cycle, and the we need to prevent menstrual cramps.  

Food sources of magnesium include sunflower seeds, beans, nuts, dark leafy greens, avocado and dark chocolate!  That’s often why you crave it around your period!

If you are thinking, “well I take a multivitamin,” check the amount you’re getting on your bottle. Magnesium is very bulky and the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of 400 mg of magnesium can’t fit in a one-a-day pill.  

Magnesium bisglycinate chelate is one of the best absorbed forms of magnesium, and this is the one that I have chosen to use personally. Click here to learn how to tell if you have a magnesium deficiency, or check out my favorite brand here.

3. Take Fish Oil

Fish oil is anti-inflammatory, and quelling inflammation allows your cells to receive hormonal signals. Translation: your hormones won’t be going wack-a-doodle.  Fish oil also prevents inflammation that can cause cramps.  And it helps regulate the immune system in cases of autoimmunity that can be involved in female disorders such as endometriosis.

However, finding a high-quality fish oil is essential, and it’s not always easy. Read my article on healthy fats (including fish oil) here, and check out my favorite brand here.  

NOTE: My ‘big three’ cures for menstrual cramps are water, magnesium and fish oil.  Take caution not to overdose on sugars (see tip #8) when you add in these three beneficial substances.

4. Eat Fiber

Fiber is an unsung hero for hormones.  To have balanced hormones, you need to clear out old hormones.  How do you do that?  You need to support your liver and digestive tract.  

Fiber helps you move your bowels so toxins aren’t reabsorbed.  It also supports a healthy gut microbiome (the community of organisms in your digestive tract) so that you make vitamins and brain chemicals, which further keeps you balanced. You also get all the good stuff out of food through a healthy gut.  If I haven’t totally convinced you yet, fiber keeps your gut healthy.  An unhealthy gut is a major source of inflammation, which as you learned is no bueno for your hormonal health.

I’m not talking about that weird fiber you buy from the drugstore and mix into water.  Aim for eight different sources of fiber a day from a variety of leafy veggies, root vegetables, fruits and gluten-free whole grains and seeds.  In a week, aim for twenty different sources.  The more variety is the better, so try new foods from the produce section and from your farmers’ market.

You want to get 30 gm of fiber a day, which is kind of a lot.  I get extra by adding hemp seed and chia seed to my smoothies.

5.  Dose Up on Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is a power compound for women’s health. B6 is needed to make progesterone in the second phase of your menstrual cycle. If you are deficient, you could end up with PMS, a short cycle or spotting. This factors into fertility issues as well.

If you take a good-quality multivitamin, you are getting a dose of B6. But if you have severe PMS, you may want to try a high dose for a few months, along with some of the other tips in this article.

Some food sources of B6 are brown rice, liver, beef, lentils, tuna, banana, cashews, cabbage and turkey.

The RDA for B6 for women in their childbearing years is 1.3 mg.  I would try taking 100 mg a day for 3 months.  You can use the same dose (divided into 25 mg doses) for morning sickness.

6.  Try Borage Oil

Borage oil is derived from cold-pressing the seeds of the borage, or starflower, plant.  This oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and is high in GLA (gamma-linoleic) fatty acids.  You may have heard of using evening primrose oil for PMS, and that is good too, but borage oil is higher in GLA; it’s the highest of any seed oil.

It may be that, like black cohosh, it’s the potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of borage oil that enable your glands and organs to function correctly, thus alleviating PMS.

I recommend 1 capsule a day in the two weeks before your period.

7.  Get Sleep

When you sleep, you heal.  You make growth hormone and repair tissues. When you don’t sleep, you get cranky and have food cravings.  Then you eat a doughnut, feel guilty and feel sick.  

When you are trying to fix PMS, you want to create as much stability as possible in your body. This makes the changes that come with a menstrual cycle much easier to endure.  

So please get about eight hours of sleep each night.  Some of us need a bit more, and some a bit less.  Your sleep timing is also important.  At 10 PM your adrenal glands start to repair, so you want to be sleeping like a beauty by then.

8.  Avoid the Sweet Stuff

What do processed sweets and starches, pumpkin lattes and wine have in common?  They all disrupt your blood sugar and contribute to PMS.  I know it’s not what you want to hear, but it’s so, sister.

When your blood is often high is sugars, your cells block more sugars from coming inside.  This is called insulin resistance.  (Insulin is the hormone that helps delivers the sugars.)  This insulin lingering in your blood can cause increased production of testosterone, which converts to estrogen, and now you have that estrogen dominance / low progesterone state of PMS.

I invite you to spend a full menstrual cycle avoiding the sweet stuff and trying these other tips and see what happens in your cycle.  If you think about giving up lattes forever, it’s too much.  But you can commit to a month, and once you fall off the wagon and symptoms resurface, it’s much easier to choose to avoid the sweet stuff.  

If you are going to eat a processed carbohydrate or sweet, pair with protein, fat and fiber so it won’t spike your blood sugar as much.

Tips 9 & 10: Acupressure and Essential Oils

These times are brought to you, in video form, by my friend and colleague, Brodie Welch, LAc.  Enjoy!

What are YOUR best tips for PMS? We'd love to read them in the comments below!

Have a friend who is struggling with PMS? Please post this article on social media and tag her.

More Help for Your Hormones

Do you wake up groggy and tired, turning to coffee or pastries to get you going?     

Add in a simple 5 minute routine to have more energy for the day!    

Grab our Five-Day DIY Detox Guide and get some spring back in your step, naturally.  

Have a complex case? Learn about our testing protocols for handling tough cases, or check out our coaching options to see if this is a fit for you.



Cycle Changes After 35 with Andrea Thorpe, MS, LAc, FABORM

If you are experiencing new hormonal symptoms as you age, check out this episode.  

Our guest Andrea Thorpe, of Lotus Center of Integrative Medicine in Los Angeles, is an acupuncturist, a functional medicine practitioner, and PhD candidate in Chinese Medicine.  She specializes in treating women's health and infertility in her practice, and is often treating women who are 35 and up and stuggling with their hormones.