After working with thousands of women over the past 8.5 years at my Happy Hormone Cottage, and conferring with Jeff Hogrefe, FAARM, RPh, it is my belief that many of us take good health for granted until we get sick or face a health crisis.
People don’t always realize that disease often begins about ten years before symptoms appear. Choices made every day impact our health and risk for future disease. The fact is that what we do every single day is critical to tomorrow’s health. I like to think of it as a 401K or an IRA for future health. Smart advice would be to set aside some amount of money per month with the goal of having a nice pool of funds to retire with in 10, 20, or 30 years.
Meeting this financial goal involves discipline every day. So why not have a 401K for our health? Staying committed to a healthy lifestyle, every day, will improve overall health in future years. This may mean skipping that office donut, avoiding a fast food lunch, or blowing off a workout—all these things matter!
Think about this- when we look at people in their 70s with chronic disease such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s, it isn’t that they had a horrible lifestyle. It is that they made the same poor choices we all make every day for many years.
So, rather than give in to these daily temptations, or telling ourselves they don’t really matter, I propose that we become more disciplined and proactive in our approach to making good health choices daily. Instead of sharing the typical “eat right, get plenty of sleep, avoid smoking, and limit alcohol,” I am going to provide specific strategies for fine-tuning that warrior in you.
Foods to avoid include: wheat (including whole wheat), processed foods (foods that come in a box or a bag), trans-fat, and high fructose corn syrup.
Consume at least 2 grams of omega 3 DHA daily.
Perform moderate exercise for 30 minutes, three to four times weekly (weight training, cross fit or yoga.)
Eat plenty of good fats: avocado, macadamia nuts, and olive oil.
Fill your plate with 2/3 vegetables and 1/3 protein.
Cut back on your sugar consumption.
Drink at least 64 ounces of Kangen water daily. Marilyn says to drink your body weight in water every day!
Of course, working with us at our Happy Hormone Cottage to achieve optimal hormone balance in sex hormones, adrenal glands and thyroid is critical for a higher quality of life for the long haul.
Investing in specific health strategies like these today, proactively promotes a healthy quality of life in the future. The choices we make for our health today really do matter for tomorrow. Knowing that I can decrease my risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, dementia, osteoporosis, diabetes, breast cancer, insulin resistance, and many other chronic conditions-by the choices I make now-motivates me to make the best, healthiest choices I can. As brain specialist Dr Daniel Amen says so eloquently, “We must become warriors for our health.” I do want to be a warrior for my wellness. I’m worth it, and so are you!
Our Cincinnati-Dayton area has a plethora of outstanding networking groups with events and meetings. I have been to 4 of them in the past week and I’ve met some nice, fascinating women. Many, okay, most of them need my services and those of my staff at my Happy Hormone Cottage. I always scan the crowd to check out the demographic and typically, this is what I see:
women fanning themselves (hot flashing!)
women who are overweight (partly from estrogen dominance….estrogen is a fat storer)
women who appear harried and stressed (cortisol issues….adrenal fatigue)
women who appear tired (loss of progesterone starts around age 35 and often younger; progesterone’s big task is healthy sleep)
a few women who look healthy, at their ideal weight, rested and not as stressed. These are typically younger women in their 20s and 30s.
At last week’s event, I met a woman who was probably mid-to-late 50s. She was talking about how she and her husband are downsizing and getting ready to take life a little easier by cutting back at work and traveling. She mentioned that they had been working on a financial plan for their future for quite some time. I listened and then I said to her, “Great! But how about a health plan? You know, a plan for your health for your future?” She looked at me for a while and then began to talk about how she and her husband try to eat right (lots of salads, limited salad dressing). She continued with, “We have noticed how much less I eat than him, yet I can not lose weight and, in fact, I have gained weight in my stomach and mid-section and it won’t come off.” I began to educate her on ESTROGEN DOMINANCE. I explained that women over the age of 35 begin to lose their progesterone (one of the 3 sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) and this makes them estrogen dominant. ESTROGEN IS A FAT STORER! This is why women gain weight around their middle and in their stomach as we age. Most people don’t know that estrogen is an extremely important hormone that performs over 300 tasks in our bodies…..not the least of which is heart health. So it stands to reason that as we age and also begin to lose estrogen during and beyond menopause, our heart health begins to decline and we begin the downward slope to heart disease. This explains the rise in heart attacks and heart disease of women in their 50s, that rivals the risk of heart attacks in men….lack of estrogen. So doesn’t it just make sense that we REPLACE this estrogen and progestrone (that balances out estrogen dominance so we don’t gain weight around our middle) as we age for our best quality of health? THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF OUR HEALTH PLAN FOR OUR FUTURE. What really got her attention was when I said this: “Did you know that disease starts 10 years before symptoms appear?!” She had no idea! Think about this for a second. Here we are planning for our future, putting money in a 401K or an IRA, saving for our children’s college, possibly early retirement…..but no one is thinking about a health plan. The truth is that for most of us, we take our health for granted until we no longer have it. We must realize that by then, it is too late! If disease truly does begin 10 years (!) before symptoms appear, (diabetes, dementia, heart disease, cancer) then doesn’t it just make sense to have a health plan today? I recently wrote what is probably the most important blog of my life entitled “What We Do Every Day Matters.” This is my truth and it is substantiated by the data of today’s leading health experts like Dr Daniel Amen, Dr Joseph Mercola and Dr David Purlmutter. Every choice we make every day with our health does impact our health for our tomorrows: that donut you eat for breakfast, the work-out you skip, that fast-food meal for lunch, the soda or diet soda you drink…..all of these choices negatively impact our health for our future.
For the gal I spoke with at yesterday’s networking event, I told her my mantra from renowned Dr Prudence Hall, “Hormones are to women, what water is to plants.” We lose our hormones (estrogen, progestrone, testosterone) as we age beginning around age 35. Just because we may not really notice it or equate our issues with this lack of hormone until Perimenopause and menopause, does not mean our hormone imbalance is not going on. Again, disease starts 10 years before real symptoms appear. Hormones perform hundreds of significant jobs in our body. Without them, disease sets in. So a big part of our health plan must include restoring optimal hormone balance. (We know using customized hormone creams with physiological doing based on each woman’s needs is optimal) And this begins in our 30s and 40s. Restoring hormone balance PREVENTS DISEASE. The sad truth and the reason I do what I do, is that there is a huge disconnect between this truth on the prevention of disease and the current standard of care our doctors subscribe to. So I fill in the gap by educating women on the truth of their options because they probably won’t get this information from their doctor. The bottom line is we must educate ourselves on our best chances for our best health for our tomorrows. Women are lucky they have places like my Happy Hormone Cottage to go to for help. It is up to each of us to Own Our Journey to a healthy future. Create a health plan just like you create a financial plan. Your very life actually does depend on it!
When Lyn Hogrefe started the Happy Hormone Cottage nearly eight years ago, she had one mission… to talk with women. She wanted to share the facts about hormones, health, and disease prevention since she had lived it through her own experience. Years earlier, Lyn needed a hysterectomy and she knew it would launch her into surgical menopause. Lyn’s husband Jeff, a pharmacist, knew what Lyn was about to experience because he saw it every day through his work. Jeff went back to school to learn how to compound bio-identical hormones so his wife wouldn’t suffer through the effects of menopause from lack of hormones… “Not on his watch” as Jeff put it.
Lyn had such great results with her compounded bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) that she started talking with other women about it – women were drawn to her energy, youthful appearance and healthy glow. After teaching school for 30 years, Lyn had a passion for education. Friends encouraged her to start talking with groups of women, so she started hosting, “Happy Hormone Hours”. Women showed up by the dozens. A local shop owner in Centerville observed Lyn filling a niche so she offered up a small stone cottage behind her boutique where Lyn could “talk with women”. Following a hand-shake-deal, a shingle went up outside of this tiny one-room building which had no electricity, heat or running water… and the Happy Hormone Cottage was born. A chat at the Happy Hormone Cottage consisted of two women, a teapot and a box of tissues. Lyn offered a warm and cozy environment where hormone imbalance issues could be validated. The tissues sopped up tears as women shared their negative experiences with drugs and physicians. Many had been told their symptoms were in their head, or they’d been prescribed anti-depressants, anti-anxieties, sleeping pills, pain pills, etc. when all they really wanted was to understand why they felt so bad.
The two women would sip tea as they shared stories and found common ground. Lyn would then lead the conversation into educating the women on how to address their core issues instead of masking symptoms with synthetic drugs. She gave women options and she taught the value of BHRT not just for symptom relief but also for overall health and disease prevention. She would suggest women undergo hormone testing then take the test results to their healthcare practitioner who would work with her compounding pharmacist husband to develop an individual wellness strategy.
Clearly there was a need to be filled as the demand for Lyn’s guidance quickly outgrew the confines of the tiny cottage. Lyn leased office space and hired more women to handle the volume of requests for chats (which evolved into consultations). She also had to buy computers and develop a client database. Gone were the simple notepads that stored records. Today there are four Happy Hormone Cottage offices along the I-75 growth corridor in Mason, Northern Kentucky, Vandalia, and Piqua. The main “cottage” is a huge suite of five offices located in Kettering.
Lyn never envisioned the booming business her little cottage would become. She is a living example of how a passion can be more valuable than a business plan and how a simple idea can impact the lives of thousands of women.
The teapot is now a Keurig but much has stayed the same, Lyn’s mission is still at the heart of the business, two women still sit to chat and the box of tissue remains in its place while tears are shed and feelings are validated.
It is clear from an Integrative Medicine Model, that strategizing and implementing a proactive preventative healthcare plan requires a multifaceted approach. It is never just one thing that needs to be addressed. It is several strategies implemented to improve over-all outcomes. The bottom line for me is that we must become warriors for our own wellness. (WOW)
The first step is proper hormone testing. Why? Because our hormones (sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone; cortisol; thyroid) perform many, many important jobs in our bodies and these hormones deplete with age. It is part of the aging process. So refilling our hormone receptors with Bioidentical hormones created from plant-based powders that mimic exactly our hormones in our body, is critical to alleviate symptoms of aging and hormone imbalance, but more importantly, to prevent disease. As Dr Prudence Hall says, “Hormones are to Women, What Water is to Plants.” Interestingly, getting hormone levels checked in the blood is not adequate. At our Happy Hormone Cottage, we offer unique testing that looks at hormone levels of all 3 estrogens (estrone, estradiol and estriol), progesterone and testosterone, as well as how the body metabolizes these hormones. It also analyzes cortisol in the body that can identify adrenal fatigue and other adrenal issues. The most valuable testing, in our opinion, is dried urine strip testing through Precision Analytical Labs. This is a rather simple take-home test that requires 4-5 urine samples (wetting filter paper and letting it dry–so easy!) over the course of dinnertime one evening through 2 hours after waking the next day. The results are quite meaningful in that you can get a glimpse into how the liver is metabolizing each hormone. This is significant in that a great deal of research links the 4OH metabolite of estrone to breast cancer risk, as well as other significant estrogen issues such as ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and fibrocystic breast disease. Identifying and attempting to modify how the liver is metabolizing each estrogen is critical.
Step 2 is lowering inflammation. Inflammation is a process that activates several chemicals in the body that lead to chronic disease. Inflammation also up-regulates the liver to metabolize more of the 4OH estrogen. Many researchers speculate that inflammation caused by stress, food, toxins, infection, and over-stimulation of the immune system is the main cause of all chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. At our Happy Hormone Cottage, the most meaningful and successful way to reduce inflammation is to increase intake of omega 3 oils (fish oil) and decrease intake of omega 6 oils (vegetable oils, canola oils etc.) It is also vital to eliminate trans fats from the diet. Trans fats are found in nearly all packaged foods and have the greatest impact in increasing body inflammation. At our HHC, we carry the top-of-the-line omega 3 supplement. Not all omega 3 (fish oil) is created equally. If you are burping up your fish oil, this means it is rancid so your body is unable to absorb it. So investing in a high quality omega 3 is key. In the case of fish oil, as in many things in life, you do get what you pay for.
Step 3 is to reduce intake of sugars. High intake of sugars is directly linked to diseases such as diabetes and arthritis. There is also a strong body of evidence linking sugar intake to increased risks of cancers. From a bio-chemical standpoint, cancer cells can only process sugar, whereas normal cells can process both sugars and fats to produce energy. Gaining ground is the high “good fat” ketogenic diet (80% of total calories) and the virtual elimination of all sugars from the diet. This eating strategy is effective in starving cancer cells and I believe should be adhered to by nearly everyone.
Step 4 is to begin an exercise routine. Exercise paradoxically decreases inflammation. It also improves wellness, mood, blood sugar regulation, and heart health. Exercise also improves immune function by stimulating our natural killer cells that attack and destroy cancer cells.
Finally, step 5 is to reduce toxic load. Pay attention to chemicals we are all exposed to. Eat organically grown food. Cleaning aids, pesticides, cosmetics, hair and body products should all be examined for purity. There are a great many books written on the subject that you can consult. To me, the most important strategies would be to detox periodically, eat clean, take supplements that increase antioxidant levels (N-acetyl cysteine is probably my favorite supplement that performs this task) and reduce exposure wherever possible.
The current belief is that over 50% of us will get cancer in our lifetime. I find this statistic to be alarming! You have to take a proactive approach to prevention of disease and wellness. Consider acting on the above mentioned 5 steps and become a warrior for your wellness. Get your thermogram. Then call us at our Happy Hormone Cottage for women, to schedule your $25 hour-long consultation to get started on your journey to your natural hormone balance and best health naturally. For more information or to find a Happy Hormone Cottage location near you, go to www.happyhormonecottage.com.
“Disease sets in 10 years before symptoms appear.” Think about this truth for a minute. If you say, “But I’m not having any symptoms” ….this needs to be made clear—-these are symptoms you can’t see, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t there and that a disease isn’t developing. It takes 10 years for a disease (or diseases) to manifest. By the time the disease appears, it is too late. You already have it. How does this relate to hormones, hormone depletion and hormone imbalance? The older we get, the fewer and fewer hormones we have to do the jobs they need to do in our bodies to keep us healthy. Why? Because our body’s ability to make the hormones we need, becomes less and less able after age 35 and into our 40s and beyond. THIS IS CALLED AGING. Why is this fact critical for our long term health? Because hormones perform many, many important, life-saving jobs in our bodies. Did you know that estrogen, for example, takes care of over 300 jobs in our body? The most important tasks involve protecting our brain from dementia and our heart from heart disease. Progesterone, which we begin losing at age 35, is our joy of life hormone and is responsible for our sleep, for taking care of anxiety and depression, for getting rid of aches and pains and sugar cravings. One of progesterone’s most important tasks is to balance estrogen for prevention of breast cancer. Testosterone is responsible for new bone growth, energy, memory recall and when we also heal our tired adrenal glands, it helps libido. (Tired and fatigued women don’t want sex.)
Some women, as they begin to age into their 30s, DO begin to experience symptoms of a hormone imbalance, while most women, in their 40s and 50s experience some or many of these symptoms:
Dryness, brittle hair and nails, hair loss
Typically, women (who aren’t in denial) will say, “I’m in perimenopause or menopause,” but these are just other words for HORMONE IMBALANCE.
Remember our truth: Disease sets in 10 years before symptoms appear. These symptoms are telling you that you have a hormone imbalance; that you don’t have the hormones you need to go the distance healthfully; that your hormone receptors are depleting. Hormone imbalance is a fact of life. It occurs BECAUSE we age. And as we age, our body no longer makes the hormones we need to perform the hundreds of tasks we need to remain healthy. I find this fact fascinating and for me, a CALL TO ACTION. If I know that disease sets in 10 years before symptoms appear; and that the hormones I need in my body to remain healthy are no longer being made available to me (1 + 1 = 2)…..why wouldn’t I do something about it?
Why not be proactive and do something about it while we can? After all, we have a 401k and IRA for our future financial status. Why not have a proactive plan for our health so we can go the distance? By going to a facility well-versed in hormone balance, like my Happy Hormone Cottage, with healthcare practitioners who know more than to check hormone levels in blood and tell you “everything looks normal,” (or offering you a short-term strategy like an antidepressant, sleeping aid, estrogen patch, etc) you will be educated and empowered to REFILL your hormone receptors with Bioidentical hormone creams made from plant-based powders that mimic the hormones that we used to have enough of. By refilling our hormone receptors, checking adrenal glands and making sure our thyroid is functioning optimally, we can achieve optimal hormone balance and give ourselves a fighting chance against disease. Eating right and working out is also important.
It is all about putting ourselves back on our list and taking care of ourselves every day starting today. Being proactive in regards to our health today just makes sense if we want to have a high quality of life for our tomorrows. I know I want to become a warrior for my wellness. Why? Quite simply, because I’m worth it!
Note: I have made a special pellets page with lots more information. Please refer to that page as it will answer most questions.
I’ve written several blogs on pellets and even dedicated a chapter in my book, “Own Your Journey…..to Natural Hormone Balance,” to pellets and I’m still astounded that in 2016 alone, 25,000 people clicked on and read one blog page in particular: “Pellets-I get asked this question a lot.” I receive emails weekly from pellet-users (I call them victims) who are suffering from the side effects of pellets and, in most cases, having buyer’s remorse. Here is another email I just received recently:
I feel like I have been through hell and back because of my hormones and whatever else may be going on. I have always suspected a thyroid problem but every blood test shows normal results. I stopped having periods at age 55 and was already experiencing severe hot flashes. After years of hot flashes almost every hour of every day, I started taking estradiol. I took it on and off for years and every time I went off, the hot flashes returned. A year ago, I started using pellets, which took away the hot flashes but caused severe thinning of my hair. My last insertion was at the end of September 2016. I am at a loss as to what I should do now because I was told by my doctor that:
-my hair loss is due to the on and off of using hrt (hormone replacement therapy)
-there is no difference between synthetic and bio-identical hormones
I live on the east coast. Please, I desperately need your help. Connie” (name has been changed)
My heart always goes out to women all over the country who suffer when they are treated to a wealth of misinformation and untruths in regards to hormones. Honestly, it is astounding with all of the information we now have on hormone health, the important tasks of hormones, the importance of refilling our hormone receptors as we age, that misinformation and confusion still abounds. Sadly, medical school provides about 4 hours of education on hormones, so to look to our ob gyns and doctors for guidance on our hormone health or options for dealing with hormone issues, doesn’t typically provide us with enough information to make informed decisions. I began my Happy Hormone Cottage in 2009 on the foundation that women MUST OWN THEIR JOURNEY TO HORMONE HEALTH BY FIRST AND FOREMOST BECOMING EDUCATED. The two books I have found most beneficial and informative are:
-“Natural Hormone Balance” by Dr Uzzi Reiss
-“Bioidentical Hormones 101” by Dr Jeffrey Dach
Both are easy-to-read in layman’s terms and provide a wealth of information so we CAN make the most informed choices for our bodies. Especially in this area of hormone balance and imbalance, we MUST become educated so we CAN have a voice in our treatment strategy.
Yes, Connie, there is a plethora of difference between synthetic hormones and bio-identical hormones. Synthetic hormones are DRUGS masking as hormones. Bio-identical hormones are HORMONES created in a lab from plant-based powders, and made to mimic exactly the hormones we produce in our bodies, but as we age, we no longer produce the quantities we need. Why? Because we are aging. Since hormones perform many, many important tasks in our bodies, it makes sense that as we age and our bodies produce fewer amounts of our necessary hormones, that we would suffer from hormone imbalance issues AND be at higher risk for disease.
The second myth perpetuated by Connie’s doctor is that her thinning hair is caused by her erratic use of her estradiol (bio-identical estrogen that comes in pill form and patch form). This is false information. Testosterone pellets in women (who have high alpha-reductase activity) are converted in the body to dht (among other things). DHT is responsible for male-pattern baldness and hair loss. We actually see this issue a lot with our pellet victims and spend much time rebalancing these women. We recommend 4 strategies for women experiencing hair loss as a side effect of their pellets:
-stop getting pellet insertions
-take saw palmetto (inexpensive supplement found at health food stores or on my online store at www.happyhormonecottage.com) to stop this conversion
-take Biotin to help regrow hair
-find a reliable hormone facility to refill hormone receptors using BHRT creams and get rebalanced. You can also give us a call at 513-444-6343 or email us at email@example.com.
At my Happy Hormone Cottage, we are ALL about optimal hormone balance in 3 key areas:
Sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone), cortisol and thyroid. As a Functional Medicine facility, we understand the body works together as a whole, so just addressing sex hormones in isolation doesn’t make sense to us, based on the biochemistry of our bodies. We are ALL about REFILLING OUR HORMONE RECEPTORS WITH BIO-IDENTICAL HORMONE CREAMS in physiological dosing (just what each body needs) after we do viable testing that does NOT involve blood labs. Why not? Because blood labs only provide us with a number. We are much more interested in HOW our body is using our hormones (metabolites and methylation pathways). The exception here is with our thyroid. We do use blood labs to initially check thyroid in a 10-point thyroid panel (not the typical tsh and t4 labs) as well as our Thyroflex machine that tests the function of the thyroid at the tissue level, where 85% of our thyroid resides. (To learn more, go to the “thyroid health” web page of my website)
Since we are immersed in the biochemistry of our bodies, with a functional medicine approach, we understand the importance and role of each hormone and how critical it is to balance these levels as we are refilling our receptors. We also pay attention to cortisol patterns and adrenal fatigue and heal these in conjunction with our optimal hormone balance. There is nothing about balance with pellets. Only one hormone (typically) is used and it is used in a supra-physiological dose based on blood labs. With all of the information we have at our disposal, we understand that pellets simply don’t make sense based on the biochemistry of our bodies. They are a good money-maker for the pellet manufacturer and for the doctor inserting them; but we have found nothing but a world of hurt in regards to the women “victims” coming to us from pellets. The bottom line for me is to know your stuff and do your research so you can make an informed decision. Simply taking someone’s word for it is a high price to pay for your health.
“Take care of yourself because you love yourself, not so you’ll love yourself.” – Dr. Michelle May.
So, here we are at that time of year when we start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions, many times focused on the ubiquitous mantra, “lose weight and get in shape.” Ugh!
Instead of an opportunity to make promises to ourselves about better self-care, this yearly tradition usually deteriorates into the time to pick ourselves apart, targeting every detail that we dislike or that deviates from society’s view of the ideal body shape or size. If we hate our bodies and feel hopeless, what I have found in my 20 years of working with women, is that we are unlikely to be motivated or inspired to take care of ourselves in any consistent fashion.
It’s no wonder we have a healthy distaste for this fruitless practice and that many lovely ladies have sworn off making New Year’s Resolutions. I totally understand! It seems to set us up for failure and the never-ending cycle of depriving ourselves of the things we love to eat and punishing ourselves with exercise, followed by over-indulging when we “slip up” – the Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle.
As a Self-Care Coach for women, I urge my clients to have a different perspective about why and how they approach making changes, which may seem a little backwards to some. Instead of making changes because we DISLIKE things about ourselves, I urge you to make healthier choices based on your values and priorities, because you LOVE yourself and deserve to feel good! Self-care that sticks is practiced with self-compassion, not by beating up on yourself.
That being said, perhaps you DO want to lose some weight or eat healthier, or be more active, yet you are sick and tired of doing the dieting thing, because we all know that diets just don’t work, at least not in the long term. Anyone can deprive themselves for a short time, but sooner or later (usually by Valentine’s Day), the charm of eating celery and being hungry all the time fades and you dive head first into that heart-shaped box of fancy chocolates.
But, what other choice do you have?
Mindful or Intuitive Eating has moved into the mainstream as a way not only to lose weight, but to heal your relationship with food. The diet culture in our society has made us view food, hunger, and eating as something bad and to overcome, instead of an enjoyable way to fuel our active life. Viewing certain foods as “bad” or “forbidden,” while others are “good” or “healthy” has led to much confusion about what to eat and how much. Food has become the enemy.
Mindful or Intuitive Eating supports you to be in charge of your eating instead of relying on an outside “expert” to tell you when, what, and how much to eat. It’s a process to re-learn or remember something you’ve known how to do since you were born – how to trust your body’s wisdom about eating. It’s a way to make friends with food again.
One of the main goals of Mindful Eating is to help you get back in touch with your feelings of hunger and satiety (fullness). Because of years of yo-yo dieting or overeating, many women are unaware of when they’re hungry, so remembering those physical sensations of hunger is key to meeting your body’s fuel needs without overfilling the tank. For some, this will be the missing link. From my own experience about 15 years ago, I realized that even though I was eating nutritious, whole foods, I was simply eating too much. This epiphany came as I read an article in one of my professional journals which stated that your stomach is the size of your fist. Wow! As a result, I cut my portions and slowly dropped the 15 pounds I had put on through my 30s.
Now, for others, maybe you’re eating for reasons other than hunger. Do you find yourself heading to the kitchen when you’re bored, angry, frustrated, sad, happy, or just about any other emotion? Or, perhaps the smell of popcorn at the theatre or a pizza commercial on TV triggers you to eat, even when you’re not hungry. Using food as a way to distract yourself from or cope with painful emotions, or comfort yourself about unpleasant situations is quite common for women. And, often, it’s the easiest way to reward ourselves for the hard work we do with our careers, families and stressors of life. Unfortunately, though it seems like self-care, overeating or eating when we’re not hungry is the exact opposite.
Mindful or Intuitive Eating will support you on the journey to get to the bottom of some of those emotions and learn to meet your true needs. Once you become aware of the times you reach for food when you’re not hungry, you provide yourself with a moment to pause and make a choice to do something different. Dr. Michelle May, creator of the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Programs and author of the book, Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat, reminds us, “When I’m hungry, I eat what I love. When I’m bored, I do something I love. When I’m lonely, I connect with someone I love. When I feel sad, I remember that I am loved.”
Mindful or Intuitive eating is a no-rules philosophy and that sounds a little scary to some. We’ve been conditioned to believe that others know more about nutrition, and why, when, what, and how much we should eat, so we’re afraid to trust ourselves. However, there is no expert out there that knows you better than you know yourself! You’re the expert on you.
Learning to eat mindfully or intuitively is one of the most compassionate and loving ways for you to practice self-care. Making friends with your body and healing your relationship with food can help you let go of that extra weight, for sure, and most importantly can change your life in so many ways for the better, and for good.
Now, that’s the way to start the New Year!
If you’d like to learn more about Mindful or Intuitive Eating and how to quit dieting, visit Lisa’s website at www.LisaCapehart.com and sign up for a complimentary 30-minute coaching session. Lisa Capehart is a Self-Care Coach who specializes in Mindful Eating and helps smart women redefine what Healthy Living means to them, so they can make change easy.
Friend and Life Coach, Lisa Capehart, is also a certified coach for the Am I Hungry? Program that promotes intuitive and intentional eating. I thought it would be helpful to share Lisa’s Holiday Eating Tips. Next month we will feature her actual Am I Hungry? Program. Many of our HHC clients are interested in losing weight and adopting a healthier lifestyle. Until next time, Happy Holidays! Lyn
Five Tips for Holiday Eating and Beyond by: Lisa Capehart
Well, the Holidays are right around the corner and they’ve begun to show up in women’s magazines, newspapers, online and on TV – those obligatory articles with tips about how to prevent weight gain during the holiday season. They’re filled with ideas about tofu turkey and “skinny” mashed potatoes and healthy desserts. So, I’ve decided to join the crowd and share five non-diet approach tips about how to eat not only through the holidays, but for the rest of your life.
1. Eat when you’re hungry. Wow, what a concept! Physical hunger is the signal that your body needs fuel to carry on the activities of life. Do you pay attention to this signal? Or, do you eat because “it’s time” or because someone has brought doughnuts to the meeting, or because you’re upset and need to comfort yourself? Come to the table hungry – you will enjoy your food more and your body will get the fuel it needs when it needs it.
2. Eat what you really want. I don’t know about you, but I have a turkey sandwich a few times a week for lunch, so turkey is not real high on my list come Thanksgiving dinner. I want the items that I only get once or twice a year, namely homemade noodles, sage-y dressing, sweet potato casserole, my cousin’s cranberry-orange gelatin mold and pumpkin pie with real, yes, real whipped cream. You can keep the broccoli and the salad until the day after Thanksgiving, thank you. Obviously, you don’t want to “carb out” like this everyday – but the point is that all foods can fit into a healthy, balanced diet.
3. Eat until you’re not hungry anymore. That doesn’t mean the same thing as “Eat until you’re stuffed” or “Eat until your plate is clean.” I learned many years ago that your stomach is about the size of your fist. That’s a surprising concept to many people and very helpful for weight management. Now, think about what your plate at Thanksgiving dinner looks like; will all that food fit into your fist? Probably not, but you really want to taste all 17 different items on the table. Well, you know there will be leftovers, so enjoy several foods that are your favorites and save the others for your next meal. You still get to try all 17 dishes, just not at the same time, and believe me, you’ll enjoy them more this way and not feel miserable afterward.
4. Be honest with yourself. Unless you’re a celebrity who’s invited to a party every night from now through December, a couple of holiday meals and a handful of parties do not add up to a whole lot of extra pounds. For those of you who are worried about gaining weight this holiday season, you’re probably already concerned about your current weight – maybe you tend to overeat or perhaps you’ve been very restrictive with your eating and now that the holidays are here, you feel you deserve to partake of all the holiday goodies. Instead of feeling guilty or regretful, be gentle with yourself this season. Try following the first three tips and become an instinctive eater who is in tune with her body regardless of the occasion.
5. Enjoy your family, friends and life. Even though many of our holiday celebrations involve food and plenty of it, remember it’s not about the food. It’s about spending time with people we love. So, move away from the table and settle in for a conversation with the cousin you haven’t seen in six months, rock your brother’s new baby to sleep, go toss the football around in the backyard with your best friends, or gather ‘round the piano while your grandmother plays your favorite songs.
If you’d like to learn more about Mindful or Intuitive Eating and how to quit dieting, visit Lisa’s website at www.LisaCapehart.com and sign up for a complimentary 30-minute coaching
Since October is breast cancer awareness month, what better time to introduce guest blogger, Jacky Groenewegen of Mindful Wellness Medical Thermography, to discuss the aspects and benefits of thermography. As one who prefers natural wellness, I recently had a full body thermoscan at Jacky’s facility and found it to be a comfortable experience. It was even more satisfying knowing I wasn’t submitting my body to the radiation that accompanies mammograms. I hope you find her blog informative and helpful. Warmly, Lyn
Mindful Wellness Medical Thermography
It’s hard not to encounter somebody who’s been touched by a devastating diagnosis of Breast Cancer or that they’re being watched so an area in the breast doesn’t develop into something more.
Monitoring your breast health is one of your most important health regimens. Make sure you’re completing your monthly breast exam. For some, the thought of that squished, painful exam can be very daunting. For those of you who know Jacky Groenewegen of Mindful Wellness Medical Thermography well, you know that she’s very passionate about achieving a healthy balance and offering an addition to standard breast screening methods.
Thermography is one such screening method that offers a no contact, radiation-free, state-of-the- art screening procedure that uses heat detection to locate areas of temperature differences in the body. Let me try to put it into language that may resonate more with you. When a tumor grows in your body, you will typically see an increase of blood vessels feeding the tumor and radiating heat. As an example, breast disease can be detected by looking for areas of excessive or increasing heat that may indicate areas of angiogenesis, or increase of blood vessels supplied by a growing tumor. Your thermoscan is performed using a special camera to show thermal images of your body. The image to the right shows heat patterns consistent with a hormone imbalance. This type of imbalance won’t show up on a mammogram.
What is the difference between mammography and thermography?
According to Moshe Dekel, M.D., board certified in GYN and a specialist in breast thermography “the difference between the two modalities is profound.”
“Mammography, like MRI and sonography, is an anatomical study; it looks at anatomical changes of the breast tissue. It may take up to ten years for the tumor to grow to a sufficient size to be detectable by either a mammogram or a physical examination. By that time, the tumor has achieved more than 25 doublings of the malignant cell colony and may have already metastasized.”
Do we really want to wait that long?
And, do we really want to expose ourselves to all that radiation? Dr. Dekel goes on to say, “thermography is a physiological study. The infrared camera detects the heat (infrared radiation), which is emitted by the breast without physical contact with it (no compression) and without sending any signal (no radiation).”
“Thermography shows small, unilateral temperature increases, which are caused by an increased blood supply to cancer cells. Cancer cells have an ability to create new blood vessels to the affected area (neoangiogenesis) in order to satisfy the increased demand for nutrients resulting from the higher rate of growth and metabolic demands of the new colony.”1
A University of Wisconsin study proved that 70% of tumors can be identified on a thermogram 8 to 10 years prior to a mammogram.
Jacky offers Thermoscans out of her office in West Chester, OH. The scan itself only takes 20 – 30 minutes but you are asked to budget 45 min – 1 hour for the full appointment. All reports are reviewed by Dr. Alexander Sepper, MD, Ph.D Thermography reports involve a three step interpretation process. Our senior interpreter will review all other doctors’ comments and impressions. For more information click here.
Jacky Groenewegen(Certified Thermographic Technician), owner Mindful Wellness Medical Thermography, opened her thermography lab in 2013. Jacky, holds many certifications in thermography, therapeutic massage, healing touch, aromatherapy, and guided imagery. For the last 10 years, she has run her own massage therapy private practice as well as a holistic wellness business which sells body brush kits, guided imagery CDs, and therapeutic grade essential oils.
In 2013, she expanded her practice to include Thermography Scans. She frequently speaks at health fairs, networking events, and private meetings promoting the benefits of thermography. Jacky is passionate about the safety and benefits of thermography. Your Thermography Scan offers a safe, proactive way to manage your health. Your thermoscan is a no contact, no radiation, no compression health monitoring tool.
She loves the way that her background of also being a licensed massage therapist has enhanced her ability to work with people as they navigate their wellness journey via thermography. It’s a privilege for Jacky to help her clients monitor and improve their health through thermography, massage and providing holistic solutions through a monthly newsletter, blog and facebook posts.
How are you helping patients?
Thermography is a safe, adjunctive screening method helpful in the diagnosis and documentation of diseases.
Full Body Thermal Imaging
Breast Health Screening
Nervous System Disorders
Vascular System Analysis
What makes Mindful Wellness unique?
Mindful Wellness Medical Thermography works to make every patient feel comfortable and at ease before, during & after each scan. Many patients who have had previous scans at other labs, compliment Mindful Wellness Medical Thermography on the quality, accuracy and promptness of the scan results. All scans are interpreted by three board-certified physicians of the Professional Academy of Clinical Thermology. The purpose of the thermographic evaluation is to show areas of hot and cold in the body. Thermography is greater than 99% accurate for this purpose. Therefore, we can say there are no false positives with thermal imaging. Heat can be present due to many factors. There is no such thing as “normal” inflammation in the body. This is due to a pathological process or injury.
There are other labs across the country that are also associated with PACT which enables the patient continuity of care no matter where they live in the USA. Go to btiscan.com to find labs in other states.
All scans are approved by Dr. Alexander Sepper, MD, Ph.D. He has practiced over 30 years as a Gynecologist, has a Ph.D. in thermology and has performed 100’s of thousands of thermal studies for women with ovarian and breast cancer.
Is there anything new on the horizon for the medical facility?
Mindful Wellness Medical Thermography expands its reach by working with practitioners like chiropractors, dentists, and integrated holistic physicians to jointly improve the health of their patients. If a thermogram is abnormal, a patient can work with his/her doctor to monitor health and treatments. Happy Hormone Cottage can work with you to recommend a plan to reduce inflammation, balance your hormones and become a healthier you!
Where can readers go to learn more? Call or visit the website to book your Thermography Scan today!
Mindful Wellness Medical Thermography
Jacky Groenewegen, LMT, CTT
8859 Cincinnati-Dayton Road Ste #007
West Chester, OH 45069
I am about to have a full hysterectomy done in a couple of weeks. I have started having symptoms of menopause for a while now. I was wondering if I could get some information on natural hormone remedies. My doctor had me on a birth control to help with the hot flashes and some other things but I gained about 30lbs in 10 months so I stopped taking the medicine mainly because it wasn’t working . I am worried about gaining more weight but I know I will need something to help me get through this. So what I am asking is do you have anything that will help with the menopause symptoms but help with not gaining any more weight and maybe help with losing some of what I have already gained. Thank you!
I’m happy you emailed and I’m wishing you a speedy recovery from your hysterectomy in the near future. I, too, had a radical (full) hysterectomy 12 years ago so I’m with you in this. I’m sorry to hear that your doctor put you on birth control for your menopause symptoms, but this is what many doctors know. My Happy Hormone Cottage is a hormone balance facility. We understand that menopause is a part of life that results in a huge hormone imbalance. This hormone imbalance actually starts for women around age 35, as our ovaries begin to age; and continues on through menopause. What we understand from the biochemistry of our bodies AND a lot of studies and books by doctors in functional medicine (holistic health) is that we must refill our hormone receptors as we age, for our highest quality of life. Doing this also eliminates the symptoms of hormone imbalance like hot flashes, brain fog, weight gain, fatigue etc. Hormones play important tasks in our bodies, so keeping our hormone receptors filled as we age is imperative.
Weight gain in women as we age is also a hormone imbalance issue. Estrogen is a fat storer. Birth control pills are synthetic estrogen and progestin, so giving you excess estrogen exacerbates weight gain. Why one would prescribe women over 35 excess estrogen (also in estrogen patches, pills and sprays) when we are already estrogen dominant is the question. This estrogen dominance is responsible for not only weight gain buy also a heightened risk of breast cancer.
At our Happy Hormone Cottage, we check existing hormone levels (sex hormones-estrogen, progesterone, testosterone; and cortisol from adrenal glands) with dried urine strip testing, and we also can see how your hormones are metabolizing and methylating. When test results come back, you meet with our nurse practitioner and together you create a customized strategy utilizing compounded hormone creams made from plant-based powders that refill our hormone receptors. This is a life-long strategy, like brushing our teeth, to keep our bodies healthy and to prevent disease (osteoporosis, heart disease, dementia, breast cancer). For our women with thyroid issues, we also are experts in thyroid health. So our focus is on treating holistically our sex hormones, adrenal glands and thyroid.
I recommend that you call us at your convenience for a step one consultation to get more information. If time allows, you should do this prior to your surgery so you are armed with knowledge and next steps following surgery. You can call us at 513-444-6343. Cost for this consultation is $25.
Keep me posted on your journey. I’m so excited that my HHC has been around for 7 years and we now have 4 local hhc offices and two hhc “cousins” from my consulting business in Miami, Florida and Lexington, Kentucky (Middlesboro). Women are happy and feeling better. Educating women and arming them with knowledge on their bodies is my passion! Keeping them healthy is my other passion. Best to you always! ~lyn www.happyhormonecottage.com