Friday, June 20, 2014

3 Ways to Balance Horomones

I'm still on this journey of balancing my hormones without medicine. Honestly, it seems to be working, yay! I've noticed marked improvement of several things and I'm excited to keep this going. 

1. Yoga

Incorporating yoga once a week has been a great change with my routine in working towards balancing my hormones. There are SO MANY studies on the benefts of yoga (HERE and HERE). Basically, slow, deep, and controlled breaths while holding poses has a host of health benefits. It helps reduce stress, anxiety, cortisol levels, regulates blood pressure, is low impact, improves flexibility, benefits the brain, and more! I have noticed deeper sleep on days I do yoga and I am definitely more peaceful. Taking time to relax and slow the mind down does feel good. 

2. Chiropractic

My chiropractor has been doing treatments on me for a few weeks, several times a week, to help the areas of my spine that were "sublaxed" (the vertebrae was not in the right place causing nerve pressure) and each place connects to places my hormones are produced. So the idea is aligning my vertebrae to remove nerve impedement so my body can work correctly. Treatment is going well and those areas are improving. 

3. Removing Grains

I have also noticed a big difference with just the way I feel from removing grains altogether. Gluten is does not seem to be my problem necessarily, rather just keeping foods that are high-inflammatory out of my diet seems to be helping a lot (grains are the highest). I've been reading Wheat Belly (excellent book with lots of research cited) which has been giving me good insight on how wheat affects your entire body. Removing grains from my diet keeps my insulin levels stable/lower, which greatly benefits all functions of your body. Read HERE. I have lost the 2 extra pounds I was wanting to and my abs are chiseling into a six-pack with little effort (bonus). I feel better after every meal, not experiencing sweets cravings, satisfied longer and easier to gauge my satisfaction when eating, and my blood sugar isn't dropping to where I feel totally starved and irritable (I get hungry but it's different). When I have had grains (only a couple times) I have noticed my emotions being up and down for a few hours after. 

Why is this? Well, when you eat grains, your blood sugar spikes high for a long period of time (or if it's white bread it hits higher, faster). This spike does a lot of bad things to your body such as storing fat, causing AGE to happen faster (plaque in your arteries, film on your eyes, wrinkles), makes your pancreas work harder to pump insulin, and then it creates inflammation in the body that your bones have to release calcium to fight (causing bone loss), higher triglycerides, fatty liver, and sadly, more. YIKES. This is real stuff. Grains have changed so much in the last 50-60 years because of genetic changes, which is why they cause more issues than they did for our grandparents, etc. Plus, wheat was not meant to be consumed every meal! It stores fat in the body to sustain periods of drought or famine. Ok, I'll stop there and maybe write another post on this. So with all those things, inevitably your hormones get messed up. Learning wheat messes with your hormone levels. This information is from Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD and also check out this STUDY. I highly encourage everyone to read Wheat Belly!

In conclusion, I am noticing a difference from some of the things I referenced in this BLOG POST. My hemorroids are totally gone, sleep is better, my nails haven't split or broke in a couple weeks, my tendonitis and wrist pain virtually gone, I've been less moody, PLUS this last menstrual cycle has become more normal and no menstrual cramps (which I started getting after having kids but rarely had before). I hope this helps any women who are looking for things to balance hormones without medicine. I'm not saying everyone can balance their hormones without medicine, at all, but I do think it's important to start with foundational things like nutrition and exercise because we have concrete knowledge of those things helping to maintain healthy hormone levels. And I am obviously a believer in chiropractic which affects your spine/nerve health and is important for functions of your body as well. If you have more questions or you'd share some of your journey with me, I would love to hear from you!

I also recommend the books Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels, which is all about hormones, and the book Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing for Life.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Our first house is on the market (you are welcome to check it out HERE). The one we built. The one that we have put so much time into making it our cute little home. The one we have brought both of our girls home from the hospital and the one I spend everyday raising them in. I didn't think I would be saying it is for sale, for a little while. But it's good, even exciting. It's up to God if it sells. If it doesn't sell, that's ok. We are just on a journey. Searching, seeking, willing, eager, and trying to hear the voice of God. So really, it's not about the house, it's about God and seeing what He wants for us. 

I've been thinking on the fact that as a beloved daughter of God, my things are not my own. I am just a steward of what God gives me. So if it means giving up my cute little house for a time to pay down school debt, I'll do it because it's all His anyways. Sacrifice for a short time is worth it. 

A few weeks ago I got off the phone with my mom after she told me she would not be coming home again. My parents have been living elsewhere for a new job my dad took but they have chosen not to sell their house, which is conveniently on the same street as our house. So an idea popped in my head. Why not sell our house, move into theirs (hopefully not to pay rent) and pay our student loan (only debt we have besides our hose) debt down at a much faster rate? Woah. That's crazy. Well, I call my husband, discuss, pray, talk to my mom, and bam, my parents were discussing presenting the same exact idea to us. What?! God, that's what. You know why? Because about 5 hours later as I talk to my sis (in-law) about this, I start to feel like this is ridiculous (not because of her). Why would we give up our cute little house "meant for us?" All this recent work I put into it and the fact that we could stay in it a while if we wanted. All the future plans we have for the house. Well, I realized that was my flesh. The selfish side wanting comfort. I do believe that the Holy Spirit was the one prompting me to spout off the idea and my flesh started pushing back. He was also speaking through her to encourage me of seeing the bigger plan.

But after more prayer and discussion from my same sis and Kyle's brother, Kyle and I both felt that we should at least try and see what God might have because this is a big opportunity. We feel that getting out of debt is a big plan that God has for us. It directly affects how much we can give to others and be able to have open hands. Instead, we constantly have to close our hands to the things we would love to do and give towards, so we can pile money on our loans and just pay our existing bills. 

The excitement is seeing a soon end to debt so we when our missionary friends need extra money for a clean water project, a person in the community needs groceries, a family member needs a car, a far off friend has crazy medical bills, the homeless on the street needs a job, or we want to spoil nieces and nephews,  etc. we would be able to see needs and fill them because we are less distracted by ourselves. It's not only about having money to give but having the chains of unpaid debt off us so we can devote time and resources into others. If my husband has to keep working long hours to pay for the debt we have then how can he split more of his time with a non-profit business that would be investing into people and sharing the love of Jesus? It is so much harder to do that when you have to spend so much time and resources towards paying on things that weigh you down. I'm not saying we don't have opportunities now, we do and we try to pay attention to what God has all the time. But this is something we feel God has for us.

For now, the house is on the market, our hearts are open, and we are trying to chase a vision we believe God has set in our hearts. Do we have moments of doubt or uncertainty? Sure. But honestly, our over-lying attitude is just one of peace. I personally have just been feeling grace poured out on us with the amount of peace and patience The Lord is giving us. It is unnatural how peaceful we feel and I can only attribute it to God. This is about His plan, His will, and it's HIs stuff/money so He has this figured out. I am just on a ride and am very curious to see where it goes! Thank you for your prayers!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares The Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-13

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fajita Wraps

Ok for real, these suckers are amazing. I tell you, the best recipes are the ones I wing! Even if you don't want lettuce for the wrap, this is so worth it to make. Stick it in a tortilla if you want but I don't think the flavors of everything in this will be as prominent. By the way, something I am realizing about eating no grains is that food has stronger flavor because bread isn't stifling it! Plus, here's the kicker, making meals is FASTER because I am not spending all the time prepping for my bread (since I make most everything from scratch). Tortillas, just grab the lettuce (thanks to my MIL for giving me a bunch from her garden, and my sweet friend for giving me plants for my garden!). 

Anyways, I'll keep this short and sweet because this recipe will speak for itself once you take your first bite. I think it's the combination of things. Slightly sweet and spicy, yumm. Ok, I will stop drooling over these. Ha! Here's the recipe....

Fajita Wraps
Romaine lettuce stalks
1-2 Chicken breasts diced into thin strips
2-3 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil 
1 Sweet potato cut thinly 
1 green pepper
½ red onion
grated cheddar cheese
fajita seasoning 
garlic salt
chili powder
Seasoned salt

1. Heat skillet with 1 tbsp coconut oil. Add diced chicken. 
2. At the same time add your sweet potato strips into another skillet with another 1-2 tbsp coconut oil. 
3. Once chicken is cooked through, add seasoning. I just sprinkle all over the top until it looks well seasoned. 
4. Make sure you stir/flip food often. When chicken is browned, set on a plate.
5. Add your raw green pepper and onion in the same pan. Let it get soft and slightly brown while finishing the sweet potatoes. 
6. Season your sweet potatoes when cooked with seasoned salt, pepper, garlic salt.
7. Take your lettuce, lay it out, add cheese, chicken, sweet potatoes, veggies. Roll and enjoy! 

Let me know when you make this recipe! I am thinking of trying with feta cheese in it. We'll see :)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Journey Continues

I shared in a blog post last month that I have been having some difficulties which aren't normal for me (read HERE). I figured I would update because progress has been made, which I am so thankful for.  Here is what has happened since my last blog post...

- Got hormones tested (blood test) and found out all my levels are too low (thyroid panel, estrogen, progesterone). Still do NOT want to take medicine so I am looking into natural ways to balance.
- Applying an essential oil combination that helps balance my hormones
- started taking fish oil dilligently each day (within 2 days my joints were feeling less stiff!)
- My chiropractor is having me come in everyday this week to intensify some things for me that will hopefully allow my nerves to work properly with my hormones and heal itself.
- I am reading Wheat Belly and am possibly going to have a specific nutrition consultation with a doctor on how I can manage it with eating.
- To go along with the above, removing grains from diet completely is something I am trying as well. I eat 80% no grains usually but my doctor thinks this is contributing to things. 
- Continuing with yoga and kickboxing. Added some more back and neck strengthening exercises to help with the adjustments I have been getting. 
- Continuing to rest more and have fun!

Having a fun night with my man! 

The results so far? I have been sleeping better through the night and am feeling like my old self with my energy and emotions. The other day I had grains at breakfast because I was running low on food and time....I felt awful. Sick to my stomach, yucky feeling, and like I wanted to cry all morning. That's when I really felt like I needed to try this. Wow. Making a difference. Also, my joint pain is subsiding, hemmorhoids/bowels are hardly giving me issues, and my tendonitis in my arms is almost gone. My cravings for sweets are dissipating as well.  

Continuing to change things is producing a tighter, flatter, tummy!

Honestly, eating the last couple days 100% grain-free feels really good. I've been working on this for about 2 years anyways, just because I am replacing low-nutrient grains for healthier fruits and vegetables. I just want to clarify that it still has been a process without even knowing I may have to remove them out of necessity. Isn't God amazing like that?! 

The idea is that if my body doesn't "like" grains, then repeatedly eating them is making my immune system attack itself and it's throwing my body/hormones off. So my goal is to be wheat free and find recipes to replace my favorite things (like pizza and cupcakes!). If I find YUMMY replacements (which I am working on trying) then no big deal. It hasn't been difficult thus far. 

Examples of what I'm eating....
Breakfast- eggs, cheese, fruit or sauteed vegetables
Snack- nuts and dark chocolate
Lunch- some type of meat in a lettuce wrap or kale, fruit/raw vegetables, guacamole, veggie chips (make my own or get a crispy variety at Aldi)
Dinner- Just a meat, fruit and vegetable. Tonight we are having roast, garlic mashed potatoes and honey glazed carrots. 

Holding a yoga pose.

Awesome pin for a yoga routine I've been doing in the mornings and would like to add before bed. 

I am feeling excited (partly because I am naturally feeling better) because of this new challenge. I see it as fun to learn new recipes and keep my family healthy. My husband is so supportive and hasn't minded the changes I've been making. He has actually been doing great and lost 4 pounds over the last month because he sees the benefit of things I've been implementing the last while. 

Thank you to everyone for prayers and support in this journey. I am grateful and see God's Hand in our mindset and hearts to make this diet change not feel overwhelming. I am also grateful that I don't have to settle for no answers or just take medicine! All the years I have spent researching diet and ailments, I am able to use some knowledge and mostly all the helpful resources at my fingertips to aid my own issues. 

I will keep you updated :)