Category Archives: Health

Try the enzyme Serrapeptase to combat inflammation!


This is my I can’t believe the outcome of 2016 elections or the state of this country face ; / Like OMG I am freaked AF because WInter is here…

Hey,  I just had a birthday! Thank you guys for all the amazing messages! I was just speaking with a pal about how to feel good in your body at any age and two the things I’m diligent about taking daily is a probiotic and the digestive enzyme Serrapeptase.
This enzyme been commonly used in other countries for the last 30 years. It helps clear the body of inert protein based substances like cysts, scars, mucous and plaque in the arteries! It’s over the counter and really helps the body ease inflammation.

A number of  significant number of women have posted youtube testimonials on the enzyme combo of Serrapeptase & Nattokinase with success in fertility issues like vlocked fallopioan tubes. The enzymes don’t directly affect hormones or the frequency of eggs etc… rather they go round and clean up the body making the uterus a more hospitable place for a viable pregnancy.
Rather than right a long footnote ridden post, I’m encouraging you to do you own research! Google Serrapeptase & fibroids or Fallopian tube,  or plaque, arteries etc. In other words googles Serrapeptase + your ailment and see if it might be of use to you.

don’t sleep on products that work without toxic side effects! Like did you know  fresh beet juice works just as well for high blood pressure as most prescription meds without all the side effects?! Google it. There’s lots of remedies out there if you’ve the wherewithal to do some digging. If you’re on other meds check with your doctor first of course, if they don’t know about this enzyme, school them!

Check out #HealthLabsNutraSerrapeptase on FB for more info as well!  On  Amazon

Stay healthy! xx Rachel

Get in touch with food and where it comes from!


Get in touch w/ what food is & where it comes from!

Did you know you can grow your very own veg & flowers in a small box garden or bucket on the fire escape w/ something called ‘seeds’?!

Most people have never ever grown anything from seed and don’t know many flowers and some vegetables are super easy to grow. Collards, kale etc for example are ridiculously easy…  And growing your own can save you dosh, moola, dinero! This can be done all year round in small spaces, even indoors!

The benefit to growing your own heirloom seeds ( taste filled non gmo seeds, the kind your grandparents and ancestors grew up with) means no nasty pesticides or flavorless but pretty produce.

Recently I was sent the most adorable organic heirloom veg & wild flower seed kits by Ecofarms Organic, the kits are uber kid friendly with the cutest drawings and clear growing directions. I think something like this would make a great educational activity based gift for kids of all ages.

I’m planting the wild flower kit they offer this week in pota on the blacony! Below is their veg kit, check it out.

Get in touch w/ what food is & where it comes from! 😀🌞🍋🍓💦

Source: Amazon.com : EcoFarms Organic Vegetable Heirloom Seeds Kit – Great Gift Box for Home Gardening : Patio, Lawn & Garden

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Join My Class in LA July 24th!

Join my class! if you’re in the LA area  next weekend July 24th why not join my Healthy body, Healthy Spirit workshop  at the House of Intuition, Los Angeles.

“Food is a spell or prayer for your body!”

Nutritional Alchemy 101 w/Rachel True

Sunday, Jul 24, 2016, 2:00 PM

House of Intuition
2237 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA

7 Members Attending

Healing through spiritual nutrition, fueling the body to nourish the spirit workshop with Rachel TrueThe focus will be on repairing the body on a cellular level through nutritional alchemy and its direct connection to accessing unknown depths of spiritual awareness.It’s easier to manifest magic when body and spirit are in harmony. Integrating sp…

Check out this Meetup →

 

www.HouseOfIntuitionla.com  213 413 8300 to book by phone.

Healing through spiritual nutrition, fueling the body to nourish the spirit workshop with Rachel True

The focus will be on repairing the body on a cellular level through nutritional alchemy and its direct connection to accessing unknown depths of spiritual awareness.

It’s easier to manifest magic when body and spirit are in harmony. Integrating spiritual nutrition with our holistic life practices helps our life journey.

There is a symbiotic relationship between the energy we put into our physical healing and spiritual growth, and how we nourish our spiritual vessel.

We’ll use intuition to tap into what parts of our body are asking to be nourished, focusing on foods healing effect on the body, mind, and soul.

Food choices influence mood, emotions and feelings… And feelings feed spiritual nourishment. In our American society easy to fix hormone imbalances and vitamin deficiencies are quite often mistaken for depression. We’ll discuss foods that may help far more efficiently and benignly than pharmaceuticals.

We’ll delve into eating with an awareness of the living energy of food and its connection to our spiritual practice, and  how to identify foods to make you vibrate higher.

We’ll create a magical foods list, incorporating the alchemy of combining foods for higher consciousness.

Will include a few written exercises and a healing meditation.

*(this class is not about gaining or losing weight, eating or not eating meat etc ~unless you want to~… this class is about finding what your particular system needs to work at peak optimal form for mental clarity and spiritual alignment ; )

This class is about how to feel good in your body naturally at any age and how to stay connected to spirit through spiritual nutrition, hope you’ll join us! xx Rachel

Thanks for the love BET.com

BET.com reposted a random Instagram post of mine…

Thank you for all the amazing generous comments on IG & Twitter. Since then people have asked if there’s a secret trick to looking younger than our actual years,  but… Feeling good in your body at any age is more my aesthetic.

I’ve said in earlier posts after dealing with fibroids and the underlying conditions, including a hormone imbalance that had plagued me pretty much my entire life, I pulled my health together, and it was a long uphill slog and a half, at my age, but so worth it.

One of the side effects of nourishing the body on a cellular level with whole foods,  pumping  oxygen in muscles from exercise, and not smoking  is ‘younger’ looking muscles and skin. In other words, looking younger can be a  side effect of healthy living.

People could save a ton on Botox etc if they’d lay off smoking and pills, if only for vanities sake.

My body has less aches and pains if I eat right. My mind is less moody if I eat right…. So for me, worth it.

Stop back for my next post, on  why i think ‘all foods in moderation’ doesn’t work for some of us emotional over eaters.

Some nutrient void processed foods have addicting qualities.  we  gorge not because we’re gluttonous or weak but because  they’re salt sugar and fat bombs… that’s the holy trinity, a combo that’s almost impossible to resist.

I really like the book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. It breaks this topic down in a fascinating way, reads like a thriller. Super helpful to see how manipulated we are by adverts and seduced by ‘food products’ masquerading as food.

xx  Rachel

 

 

The Skinny On Omega-3 Fatty Acids

 

 

The Skinny on Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Lately more and more sites are highlighting the negative side affects of sugar and how we were in fact terribly terribly wrong with the whole fat free  sugarfied Snackwell-y snacks of the 80’s and 90’s.

Lots of sites are practically declaring fat our new lord and savior and in some ways this is true. Fatty acids make up 80% of the weight of the brain and are necessary to maintain healthy cell membranes. The cell walls are made up to a large degree of lipids that need lipids on a daily basis. The brain needs fat to work at max potential.

Fats are  great for healthy skin and hair, any time I cut out all fats, I do lose a bit of weight, but I’m never happy with how unplump my skin looks and frizzy my hair becomes. That’s why I recently added in an omega-3 supplement, more on the one I like at end of this post. Btw fish oils lower levels of fat in the blood Fish oils lower levels of fat in the blood which may help decrease strokes and heart attacks. It’s so effective there’s a high priced pharma version.

The main essential fatty acids in the human diet are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish oil & certain plant and nut oils, while omega-6 fatty acids can be found in palm, soybean, rapeseed, and sunflower oils. Omega-9 fatty acids, which are not considered essential, can be found in animal fat and olive oil.

Fish oil contains two omega-3 fatty acids called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Some nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which may be converted to DHA and EPA in the body.
Back in paleo times humans ate pretty equal ratios of Omega 3 to Omega-6. Our bodies were strong and lean. Unfortunately our American diet contains an imbalance of mostly Omega 6 fatty acids.

‘ The diet of many individuals today is at a ratio of about 16:1, mainly from vegetable oils.[28 Studies have suggested that omega-6 fatty acids should be consumed in a 1:1 ratio to omega-3.[28]’

That means for every 1 portion of Omega-3’s in our diet,  we eat 16 portions of not as beneficial Omega6’s.  That’s all the fried yummy stuff Americans live on.
Back to fat in general for a moment- I see  paleo recipe after recipe online of coconut & nut meal snacks touted as weight lose aids. They’re not they’re yummy desserts… but not diet aids.

I know this because I LOVE nuts & seeds, but anytime I eat more that a handful, like say half or the whole Trader Joe’s bag, I put on weight immediately. if you can eat all the nuts you like without gaining lbs., You’re a lucky mo’ fracker, my friend!

Btw, The cattle industry has played a big part in decreased omega-3 and increased the omega-6 content. The ripple effect of grain-feeding cattle. Meat raised on grass has a lower level of not so great omega-6, so if you do eat meat and can afford it, but grass fed!

How to get more Omega3’s in your life

I never eat meat, though I follow a primarily vegan diet,  I do occasionally eat fish when I feel my body needs it, but not enough to really reap the omega-3 benefits.  So I’ve started taking Intelligent labs Ultra Pure Omega3.

intelligent labs

I like these Omegas because of the level of purity, they’re sourced from a “Friends of the Sea” certified supplier,  using wild caught Mackerel, Anchovy and Sardine from Antarctic and there are no artificial additives. this is important as fish & the ocean have a lot of pollutants you wouldn’t want to consume and they have higher levels of DHA & EPA, that’s the good stuff.

I also like these a lot because they’re easy to swallow & don’t give a fishy after taste like some fish oils do…

  A supplement with a pedigree is important, a lot of over the counter supplements don’t test for purity and sometimes aren’t what they claim. Btw, each serving has a 1224mg of EPA and 816mg of DHA. 

I was never big on supplements in general until the last few years when I started thinking about preventative medicine. I try to get the nutrients I need from food, but sometimes that’s not possible. I’ve incorporated Omega-3, vitamin D, wheat grass, and beet powder in supplement form, and I’m really pleased with the results.

Please remember to check with your doctor before adding supplements and to follow the recommended dosage. Taking more can have side affects and not taking enough wastes your hard earned dosh.
I’m going to feature a VEGAN source of Omega3’s soon, so check back! Rachel

Can’t believe it’s mid May!

Can’t believe it’s May… I think I’ll go for a walk outside now, the summer sun’s calling my name…  (but first…)

 Lunch Smoothie ~ Carrot, celery, cucumber juice with  beet powder, kale powder tiger nut flour, pea protein powder

Why the powders? They’re handy & prepared in a way that protects the nutritional value,  great for  on the run or traveling.

 

Lunch ~YUM!

 

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For reals, though.

 

“They call me Little Wing…”

 

If the 90’s were a wall  this would be that wall.

 

How to get your veg on!

How to get veg on? Trick yourself! Much like a small child texture is super important to me when it comes to eating. I have no idea why I can eat a pound of thinly sliced jicama but I get bored with and won’t eat more than a few thick slices. So I must trick myself on a regular basis by slicing things extra extra thin.

I’m crap at slicing things by hand, my mandoline scares the night of the living dead out of me because  fingers, and handheld spiralizers are difficult for me to turn,  my solution is one of those spiralizers.

I was sent the  Brieftons Vertico Spiralizer ( thanks, Brieftons!)

 

I really like the vertical aspect of the Brieftons as it’s using gravity to your advantage. I found this sooo much easier than vertical designs as the veg stayed put.  I love making thin spiral slices of beets, yams, or tarrow root and throwing them on the grill or in the oven for a fast cook, skip the oil because they still taste great!

If you do use oil  don’t use olive! It’s delicious, It’s one of my fav oils but it has a low smoke point,  find one with a high cooking point.

Heating oils above certain temperature points turns it rancid and releases a whole bunch of nasty stuff like free radicals which sound like a 90’s band but aren’t,  they corrupt our cells and that in turn ages us from the inside out. No bueno.

Back to getting your veg on… If you’ve never loved a certain veg you’re probably not going to completely change your tune spiralizer or not,so don’t start with that one, try one you already kinda sorta lie.  I’ve noticed a pleasing texture means salads are gobbled down not around the plate.

Try inviting friends over & tell them all to bring a different veg & get to spiralizing. If you’re on a budget try a spiralizer out at a friends house first, to see if it’s worth the investment! Rachel

The Gut Bacteria, Mood, Weight Connection!

Gut bacteria article are popping up all over so I decided to go down the info rabbit hole to better understand what  it all means…

What if by fixing your gut, you could fix your mind?

I learned so much cool stuff that I wanted to parse together from a layman’s point of view, the more striking info  because it’s game changing,  almost alchemical stuff.

“Super wow, consider my mind blown by the awesomeness that is science!”

Through advancements in Enteric Neuroscience, which is basically the study of the Enteric Nervous System and how gut bacteria affects our biology,  we’re finally learning more about the brain.  A rather clever doctor at the top of his field once told me that the medical world only knows about 10% of what’s happening in the body and even less in the brain so I’ll take my breakthroughs were I can.

“Meet your  2nd brain, The Enteric Nervous System”

If you’re like me you remember zero, zip, nada about the The Enteric Nervous System from school;  It’s  a network of neurons running from your esophagus to your tale bone that meshes out through the gut tissue, it can operate autonomously and oddly, wasn’t discovered until mid 19th century.

“It’s the original nervous system, the one we crawled out of primordial ooze with that might’ve involved into the brain”

The Enteric nerve system connects to the brain by way of the Vagus nerve and research  shows that Vagus nerve stimuli can drive obsessive eating as well as allow women with complete spinal cord injuries to experience orgasms, so don’t under estimate its power.

Theories will certainly change as new discoveries are revealed, but for now the good news is with any luck the personalized medical care revolution we hoped for in the wake of gene therapy innovations in the 90’s might finally come to fruition by way of your gut and new insight into the ENS.

“Someday you might sip down a designed just for you bacterial cocktail, and that’s a great thing!”

Nothing new under the sun

In 1910 Doctor George Porter Phillips reported that live bacteria introduced through whey to patients dealing with ‘Melancholia’ reported a marked improvement in mood. His study was further backed up in 1923 when doctors found bacteria treatment helpful in the aid of psychosis.

 Studies have long shown a connection between patients who suffer from depression and anxiety to gastrointestinal problems,  now the connection becomes less opaque.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that among other things regulates, your ability to feel good. Serotonin producing cells form early in the development of the enteric nervous system. Trauma, say in the form of early gut infection, intense stress could possibly lead to ailments down the road like irritable bowl syndrome. A recent study showed 87 of 100 IBS subjects had antibodies that killed off of neurons in the gut. (Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, vol 18, p 78)

“Most people think Serotonin is produced in the brain, but did you know 90% of it is produced & resides in your gut?”

According to this Caltech study an estimated 90% of serotonin is made in the digestive tract and specific bacteria are critical for its production. It can’t be produced without Tryptophan, and get this, our body doesn’t make any, it must be obtained from food or supplements.  Round up spray, a common pesticide, interrupts the pathway in the plant cell that makes tryptophan and messes with the soils ecosystem.

“You begin to see how in one of the richest countries on the planet it’s so very easy to feel terrible in mind and body”

1 in 10 Americans are on SSRI’s, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors  and that number climbing steadily.  According to a report published by the Journal of the American Medical Association,  from 1999 to 2012 the percentage of Americans on antidepressants increased from 6.8% to 13%,  While another  study highlights that  69% of antidepressant users never met criteria for major depressive disorder.

From Scientific American– more and more doctors are prescribing antidepressants to treat non psychological conditions, this is troubling to me because for some of these issues the meds are a temporary bandage, not a cure. Some off-label uses of SSRIs include:

  • Abuse and dependence
  • ADHD (in children and adolescents)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Autism (in children)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Arthritis
  • Deficits caused by stroke
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Hot flashes
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Migraine
  • Neurocardiogenic syncope (fainting)
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Premature ejaculation

That’s a lot of things an SSRI can fix, huh? Pill companies must be thrilled to have such a convenient cure on their hands.

Obviously many people on  ssri meds  benefit from them and see vast improvement to their quality of life.  We’ve probably all seen this to be true of ourselves, or family members who stabilized after finding the right med combo,  but what if a fair sized percentage of current and new users  are dealing with gut troubles manifesting as depression?

“We know antibiotics wipe out gut bacteria, now we’re finding antidepressants also wipe out gut bacteria”

The very medicine taken to feel better could be wiping away healthy gut bacteria and with it,  any chance of getting better. This study also noted weight gain was the norm for the mice, as they also suffered a 16% less efficacy rate in burning calories while on a specific antidepressant.

So now you’re overweight, still depressed, and probably experiencing anxiety as adrenaline produced in response to stress can cause an outgrowth of undesirable bacteria. Your doctor then might up your meds,  switch you over to another ssri, or  maybe add in an anti psychotic to balance you out, never thinking to suggest you take a probiotic,  get a hormone panel or start eating more prebiotic foods.

“The chances of the average Western trained doctor suggesting a diagnostic hormone panel or a course of probiotics to cure the blues is low to none”

When the medical, psychiatric and pharmaceutical industry  treat psychological conditions with meds that target  brain chemistry as well as gut microbes maybe we’ll see  improvements.

“There’s slim chance of producing a balanced body ecosystem living in a nutritional desert. “

Gut Microbial Therapy

I found a most edifying lecture by Dr. Simon Carding  Leader of the Gut Health and Food Safety Research Program at the Institute of Food Research and Norwich Medical School titled, ‘Fix Your Gut, Fix Your Brain’,  which  further backs up that gut microbes influence when, what and how often we eat.

Fix your gut, Fix your brain!

Bacteria changes introduced to ‘normal’ weight mice made them gain weight without a calorie increase, just as different strains introduced into the gut of obese mice gave them the ability to eat high fat and not gain weight.

“Gut bacteria in newborns is affected by delivery method with c-sections getting microbiota from the delivery team”

Gut bacteria in newborns is affected by delivery method  C-section babies bacteria diversity comes more from the delivery team than the mother. This is why vaginal bacteria transplants are a thing.

Let’s say you’re a bottle, not breast fed C section baby who primarily ate a standard American diet in early childhood, you’re not colonizing the kind of bacteria that help stabilize things like your immunity system, weight or mood, and with that, the ability to fend off future chronic illnesses becomes tricky.

If your system is severely compromised with bad bacteria, specifically Clostridium difficile, or C. diff. which can over-populate the colon, you can die. In these severe cases a Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) can be performed. Fecal matter, that’s your poo, is  collected from a donor, mixed with a saline or other solution, strained, then placed in a sick patient, via the colon or sometimes the nasal passage.  Once good bacteria levels are restored,  patients return to health.

“A gob of strangers poop up your nose could save your life”

Highly effective, thoroughly gross, but in the end animals playing with pack mates poo might be natures way of spreading good bacteria around. Maybe your dog sniffs another dogs  butt to determine the health of the newly encountered animal.

Not all donor fecal matter is equal, so who you get your bacteria from matters.  A  mother with no weight issues received a FMT transplant from her overweight daughter. The daughter went on to become obese, the mother eventually also became obese. The daughter passed on all her bacteria, the good and the not so good.

Sterile mice bred to have no gut bacteria craved sweets, mice with healthy gut bacteria did not. Mice with a certain diversity of microbia digested foods efficiently, remained trim but when  gut diversity was reduced,  unchecked stress hormone levels went up and the mice sought out fatty foods, and then burned those calories at a slower pace.

Brain scans  of human subjects with fatty acids injected directly into the gut showed a lower response to pictures and music designed to make them feel sad than those given a placebo. Subjects  also reported feeling only about half as sad as the placebo group. (The Journal of Clinical Investigation, vol 121, p 3094).

Ghrelin, known as the hunger hormone,  is released when we feel stress, most likely this is left over from fight or flight responses. In 2011  Jeffrey Zigman at UT Southwestern Medical Center reported that mice exposed to chronic stress sought out fatty food, but those  genetically engineered to be unable to respond to Ghrelin did not (The Journal of Clinical Investigation, vol 121, p 2684).

Zigman notes that in our modern world, with freely available high-fat food, the result of chronic stress or depression can be chronically elevated ghrelin – and obesity.

“It may turn out some of us crave fatty greasy foods for their sedating properties, rather than a desire to over eat unhealthy foods or lack of will power”

Restoring gut balance could possibly lead to a decrease in food cravings, less fat on the body, less hormonal issues. It’s also becoming clear there’s a connection between gut inflammation and some cancers as intestinal inflammation targets cancer-inducing activity of the microbiota.

One of the thing you can do to address body inflammation is pump up prebiotic foods, and cut out some of the nutrient devoid processed crap that confuse the gut.

Prebiotic foods help populate your gut with healthy bacteria. Cruciferous vegetables are a great source  These include-

  • Collard greens
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Rutabagas
  • Radish
  • Onions

And similar leafy greens. Raw veg contains higher levels of what you’re after, cooked is better than not at all. Folks who have medical conditions that make eating these foods difficult should  consult a doctor and go slow with introducing new foods.

These foods are high in fiber something good bacteria thrives on. The standard American diet is super low in fiber so some people might need to add a probiotic to aid in digestion. A study showed in mice who had fiber removed from their diet for a little as 7 weeks suffered a  60% drop of the local gut flora,  this remained low even after the mice returned to high-fiber meals.

This is where taking a quality probiotic comes in handy. Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria readily be found in certain yogurt and kefir products as well as pill and liquid form. The FDA regulates probiotics as foods, not medications so this makes it harder for you to know if you’re getting a quality product There are tons on the market so it’s important to find one with a diversity of cultures, say 30 or more different strains of microbiota as opposed to 5, and one with the ability to stay alive through the stomachs digestive process so it might survive to populate the colon. This usually means the brands stocked in the fridge section, with no added sugars, do your research before purchasing.

It’s a glorious machine this human body, and I’m glad we’re finally making some breakthroughs as I’d like to live out the rest of my days relatively pain free in mind and body. I’m excited new info is out there and that it’s easier than ever to access and research studies to your heart, or guts content.

Let’s Talk Hormones!

Hormones are “chemical communicators or connectors” that carry messages to and from organs.  So why is it women usually speak of them with hushed tones? An open dialogue about the role of hormones, their imbalances and the toll perimenopause exacts is needed to share knowledge.

Btw, if you are in your 20’s and are about to click off because who gives a shit about olds,  if you’re on a birth control pill or ring etc,  you’re already manipulating hormones enough to fool your body into thinking it doesn’t need to drop an egg. That’s pretty powerful stuff when you think about it.

If you were a girl who got her period maybe a little younger than your peers, whose body exploded into tits and ass, BAM! And you have dramatic painful periods, are  super ‘moody’, feel ‘hysterical’ and so on,  there’s a chance you might be rocking a hormone imbalance.

It’s up to you to be your own advocate. Even with all the breakthroughs in medicine, doctors are more likely to suggest you take an anti depressant than order a hormone panel, that’s problematic to say the least. If you’re feeling depressed, gaining or losing a ton of weight for no reason, feel anxious…. No matter your age, insist your doctor run a panel.  Hormones can get wonky from a variety of factors and may seem to you or others like solely an emotional issue. Feeling crazed? Get your panel done!

We’re pretty quick in the states to use pharmaceutical pills that mask symptoms, leaving the real culprit unchecked. If you’re considering an SSRI,  getting a panel is doubly important. A simple plant based bio identical hormone could be your salvation. Insurance usually covers the cost, but check with your doctor on any or all of this, of course.

Another thing that affects your hormones is Perimenopause, the transition toward no more periods, Menopause. This can happen in your early 30’s through early 50’s.  It can be jarring to say the least. you might be experiencing amped up PMS like symptoms  27 days a month because your hormones are bouncing around as much as when you were going through puberty. It means fertility is waning, and if you’re over 40,  live in America, that means you’re viewed by society as 2 seconds from full on crone status complete with the invisibility cloak of a middle aged woman, which y’know… is weird.

Steven R. Goldstein, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Medical Center in New York City spoke with WebMD.com about perimenopause and stated “Every woman thinks that it’s the sudden drop in estrogen from not ovulating that causes the problems. But in reality, it’s the fluctuation of estrogen, along with less progesterone, that is behind many of the typical symptoms of perimenopause,” Goldstein says. These symptoms, he tells WebMD, include not only mood swings and sensitivity, but also hot flashes, night sweats, and memory problems.

A hormone imbalance had a profound effect on my health when I dealt with a gnarly case of fibroids, benign tumors that grow in and around the uterus. Mine had taken over,  putting pressure on organs, wrapping around the spine and impinging my hip socket.  The general school of thought from progressive doctors is you don’t get a cranked out uterus like that without a hormone imbalance, usually an Estrogen dominance, oh,  and by the way,  fibroids are one of the top  causes of infertility and miscarriages. The old school of medical thought was, ‘We don’t know why they happen, just be happy it’s nothing more serious, it mostly only affects black women, blah blah, blah…’.  While I’m always and forever grateful they’re benign, I’m super bummed I had to get info on the fibroid-hormone connection so late in the game.

In my case there was way too much Estrogen, an Estrogen dominance, and zero Progesterone, which is also called the feel good hormone. I did not, in fact, feel good. I was crying all the time, anxious and couldn’t think straight. That’s what one missing  hormone can do! Once I began a plant sourced progesterone supplement and cut out estrogen rich foods that might add to the imbalance, like soy and dairy, (a moment of silence for malted milkshakes)  I felt and started to look like ‘me’ again. I was able to get off weight that’d been stuck, which also helped, as fat stores and releases estrogen.

Last year I had a friend in her 30’s, a successful business woman, mother and full on type A personality tell me she felt out of sorts, not like herself, was prone to bouts of crying,  and no appetite as she was very anxious. This was all very out of character for her and I could see why doctors offered Xanax etc. When I suggested she get a hormone panel she said she’d had one in the last year and that wasn’t the issue… But it sounded exactly like what I’d been through. Hormone levels can slide dramatically in just one year, so I urged her to get another test and in 9 months her levels had changed from normal to very low Estrogen, she got on a bio identical hormone and within weeks felt like her old self more or less.

Here’s a Web MD link to a less anecdotal take, it’s not the most thorough, but it’ll get you started on how the things we eat also influence hormones. Honestly I LOVE dairy, but for me feeling better in my body was worth giving it up.

Besides cremes or pills, there’s also a host of herbs like Black Cohosh that help abate symptom, they didn’t work for me but they might be the only thing you need to feel like yourself! Cameron Diaz has a  new book out soon addressing the subject and here’s one by Suzanne  Sommers, because I finally get how she a  zillion hawking natural hormone cremes .   xx Rachel

 

 

 

It’s not just genes that affect aging!

I put up a video a while back addressing how processed foods age us by way of inflammation and a few people commented  about my genes… Thanks a ton for saying nice things re my skin, but please know genes are only part of the equation.

First off,  I’ve never done hardcore drugs, or given birth… two things that age a body for very different reasons, I use sunblock and more importantly,  when I quit cig’s and started eating natural foods I noticed a huge difference in quality of facial skin.

Personally, I think folks say I look younger than my years because everyone else in Hollywood is lying about their age. That said, quality of food, hydration,  exercise, healthy gut bacteria, mood etc all factor into feeling good in your body.

In terms of skin care, most of my life I’ve washed my face with whatever was handy,  no moisturizer, no fancy serums or fussy regimes.  My formerly oily skin,  now more combo to dry,  is still prone to zits and def has fine and not so fine lines, so putting a little more thought in is required.

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These days I use a natural Mario Badescu face wash followed with Tretinoin, one of the few pharmaceutical products in my repertoire . Save $ and nix crazy expensive brands or the use of fillers & botox etc (which I’ve never tried cause.. weird.) and check it out.

It’s the  generic form of products like Retin-A and a vitamin A derivative  developed to combat acne with the handy side effect of softening fine lines and stimulating collagen growth.

Basically it sloughs  off dead cells and helps plump skin. I’ve tried natural vitamin A creams and they don’t work as well on zits or fine lines, so while it’s a bummer this is not an organic natural product,  it gets two thumbs up from me as it works well, though direct sun can cause skin irritation and some people get all peely from it in the beginning, my skin tolerates it well.

A dermo or family doc can fill a prescription for you and if you tell ’em it’s for acne insurance is more likely to cover.  I get the generic and use the lowest strength.  I’ve paid anywhere from $6-$35 a tube, which lasts about 4-6 months. I think that’s reasonable in a world of $300 eye creams,  don’t sleep on the affordable stuff.

Lastly, as far as feeling & looking good at any age, and this is maybe because my skeletal frame is small,  I personally find keeping my weight down helpful to feeling good in my body and keeping my skin looking its best.  Since I’ve gained 10lbs + after finding my boyfriend, the next post’s gonna be on how I’m going to get the weight off and I hope you’ll consider joining me in losing ten if you’re not fitting in your fav pants either. Tweet me if you wanna lose 10 too! Rachel

 

 

Feed Your Head Space Links

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”― Hippocrates

Some food & healthier living doc’s, books, blogs… I’ll get a proper list soon.

If you have a long commute, try audio books, I think they’re awesome for this kind of stuff.

Documentaries

Fed Up Geared more at kids and weight in America,  a good starting place if you want the basics on eating for nutrition vs eating what’s advertised as food. Some might find it redundant info.

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

Forks Over Knives

Good Hair

Books

How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger  Gene Stone

Salt Sugar Fat  How The Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss This book reads like a thriller and is riveting. You won’t look or think about processed foods the same, you’ll feel too duped.

Be Here Now by Ram Dass

Food

Mercola.com good site for navigating getting started in general healthy living

This Rawsome Vegan Life An easy way to dip your toe into eating more living foods is my favorite food blog is Emily Von Euw’s This Rawsome Vegan life, delicious, gorgeous to look at , easy to follow recipes, plus she’s a wizard with the  cashew cream.