Vanilla Coffee Cellulite Body Scrub

Oh yes! Coffee and vanilla together!

Not to drink (although, technically this recipe is fully edible), but to slather on your skin and reap the benefits of tightening and toning. 

Crazy right? To think we can rub some coffee on our skin and all of sudden have our cellulite and dimply skin disappear? Ok, well, not exactly, but it does help. 

Coffee, in particular caffeine, dehydrates the skin, making it look tighter and toned. It’s basically the enemy to cellulite, making it the perfect addition to a body scrub. Plus, you’ll smell like a decadent latte. 

Last week on the blog, I wrote about estrogen dominance and how many beauty care products contain estrogen mimicking compounds. These compounds enter our body through our skin and wreak havoc on our hormones, increasing estrogen in our system and creating an imbalance. 

From period issues, to acne, to heavy bleeding and weight gain, especially around the stomach, hips and under the arms, estrogen dominance is no joke. However, we can eliminate our exposure to estrogen (also know as xenoestrogens) by ditching our generic make up brands and body care products (which unfortunately, contain some pretty nasty ingredients!). 

This is why making your own beauty care is so essential. Not to mention, cost effective and healthier for your body and hormones.

With a few simple ingredients and leftover coffee grounds from your coffeemaker, you can whip up this decadent body scrub that will help to banish your cellulite and moisturize skin at the same time.

Vanilla Coffee Cellulite Body Scrub
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup coffee grounds (use from your coffee maker!)
  2. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  3. 2 tablespoons honey
  4. 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  5. 4-6 drops vanilla essential oil
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Transfer mixture to a container or mason jar.
  3. To Use - scrub onto skin before showering, focusing on cellulite prone areas. Rinse off and repeat 4-5 times a week for best results.
Notes
  1. *Feel free to use your favourite essential oil or leave it out altogether.
  2. *You can also swap the olive oil for coconut oil
Holistic Wellness https://holisticwellness.ca/
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Simple Steps to Healing Estrogen Dominance

If you’ve been dealing with a range of hormonal issues and have been trying to get to the bottom of your hormonal health, I’m sure somewhere along the lines in your research you’ve come across the term – Estrogen Dominance. 

What exactly is estrogen dominance? Basically, it’s having too much estrogen in relation to other hormones. You can find out through hormonal lab work what your hormone levels are, but, in my experience and working with hundreds of women, the best way to know if you have estrogen dominance is through symptoms.

Let’s talk about those symptoms because there are lots of them! And with the over exposure to plastics, chemicals, environmental toxins, food toxins and mismanagement of stress, there’s a good chance many women (and men) are dealing with estrogen dominance. 

Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance Include:

  • irregular periods
  • excess weight on hips and abdomen
  • pms
  • pms related migraines
  • heavy periods
  • uterine fibroids
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • ovarian cysts
  • breast lumps
  • breast tenderness
  • hormonal acne
  • endometriosis
  • abnormal paps
  • breast cancer 
  • uterine cancer
  • PCOS

Ok, so, there’s a lot. And just to be clear, just because you might be dealing with some pms, cramping and bloating around the time of your period doesn’t mean your estrogen is completely high, off the charts and you need medical intervention and your life and hormones are doomed. 

Take a breather. 

As a woman who suffered with PMS and estrogen dominance myself, (and sometimes still get some of these symptoms), it’s common and can be managed through diet and lifestyle. 

Over the years as I’ve become more in tune with my body and track my cycle, I’ve become more aware of certain symptoms and why they show up. For example, if I’ve had a busy stressful month, late nights, indulged a little in too much in sugar, wasn’t consistent with my supplements and didn’t drink enough water or eat enough leafy greens; pms symptoms appear. I’ll get some cramping, bloating and will get a swollen lymph node under my left armpit. 

On the flip side, when I’m working out regularly (i.e. sweating!), drinking my water, supporting detoxification through dry brushing, supplementation and food and managing my stress effectively, my period comes with ease and no swollen lymph node. Amazing how that works! 

I often hear from my weight loss clients how amazing and regular their periods are just from following their meal plans and my supplement protocols. Although we are addressing weight, a bonus side benefit is more balanced hormones, easy breezy cycles and effectively eliminating estrogen! Yup, the right plan can do all of that. 

Did you know that back in 1960 1 in 20 women developed breast cancer and today, 1 in 9 women develop breast cancer!? That’s an alarming rate (and may I add, millions and millions of dollars are being spent on breast cancer awareness, yet these numbers seem to suggest that we aren’t getting any closer to true healing). 

That’s why it’s all about prevention. I know prevention isn’t a sexy word, but ladies, it’s what we have control over and we better start being more proactive about our health and our diets. 

I’m sure you’re wondering… what actually causes estrogen dominance? Well, a few things – prolonged stress, pharmaceuticals, the pill, emotional or physical trauma, heavy exercise, diet, environmental toxins, soy, plastics, tap water, alcohol; just to name a few. Truth is, these aren’t actual causes of estrogen dominance, but they contribute to estrogen dominance. There’s a difference. Just because you have a few glasses of wine a week doesn’t all of a sudden mean you have estrogen dominance. However, combine that with the use of the pill, stress, a poor diet, exposure to environment toxins, eating lots of conventional animal products – well then, now there’s a potential for estrogen dominance and hormonal imbalance altogether. 

So what can we do now to deal with estrogen dominance and bring our hormones into balance? Here are some very easy-to-implement tips that you can start doing today! 

  1. Eat More Fiber – at least 45g a day! Yes, that’s a lot but in order to effectively eliminate estrogen, you need fiber to bind to the excess estrogen in your gut to help flush it out. Great sources include – leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower , brussel sprouts, flax, chia, artichokes, figs, apples, pears, beans and legumes, turnips, squash, peas, berries. 
  2. Brush Your Skin – I’m talking about dry skin brushing. Read my full article here on how to effectively dry skin brush and why it’s beneficial
  3. Drink More Water – this will be essential especially if you’re increasing your fiber intake. Water is essential for detoxification  and is necessary for flushing out toxins from your system. Plus, it helps to support digestion and gut health. Aim for at least 2-3L a day and I suggest drinking spring water. FYI – tap water contains your neighbours birth control pills! Gross.
  4. Ditch the Plastic – plastic water bottles, food storage containers, all of it. Get yourself a pretty glass bottle fill it up with lots of water and drink your toxins away. Plastic contains BPA (even BPA-free plastic is no good in my books!) which mimics estrogen in our body. Basically, the chemicals in plastic increase the estrogen in our body leading to estrogen dominance.
  5. Ditch Your Toxic Store-Brand Makeup – which is also full of estrogen mimicking compounds. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Mineral oil, Phthalates, Synthetic Fragrances, Imidazolidinyl Urea And DMDM Hydantoin, FD and C Color Pigments, Isopropyl Alcohol, just to name a few, all wreak havoc on your hormones. 
  6. Use Safe Household Cleaning Products – another culprit of environmental toxins, cleaning products contain many questionable ingredients. Click here for my homemade all natural multi purpose cleaner that is free from toxins and won’t cause hormonal disturbances. 
  7. Rethink the Pill – the birth control pill contains a combination of synthetic (I repeat, synthetic!) estrogen and progesterone. Need I say more? Try non-hormonal contraceptives like the copper IUD or barrier methods such as condoms or the cervical cap. You can read more here on the issues with the pill and why it’s destroying your health and hormones. 
  8. Buy Local & Organic – as much as possible! Grass fed and pasture raised meats/animal products are the way to go (if you are a meat eater). Conventional meat and animal products contain pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and hormones. Avoid it and your hormones will thank you. 
  9. Manage Stress – ok, easier said than done, but seriously, freaking out over spilled coffee, being stuck in traffic and being pissed off because your netflixs is down ain’t doing your hormones any good. You have to find time to chill the eff out! A hot bath, a yoga class, a walk, deep breathing, more sleep, it is ALL important. Stress is a cause of estrogen dominance. 
  10. SupplementDIM, Turmeric and I3C are incredible for supporting estrogen dominance, detoxing the liver and supporting overall hormonal health. You could also take Estrosmartwhich contains a combination of all these ingredients. 

Don’t be overwhelmed by this list. My suggestion is that you start with ONE of the above tips and go from there. And may I point out, just popping a supplement everyday, although helpful, isn’t going to be the solution. In a society where we all want a quick fix, it really does take effort and commitment to heal our bodies and hormones. But, you’re worth it, so make the effort to do all 10 suggestions, even if it takes you 3 months, 6 months or 12 months. Just do it!

As you know, I offer as comprehensive weight loss program and specialize in women’s hormonal health. Whether you need help losing losing weight, or addressing your hormones, or both, email me and we can set up a complimentary consult call to discuss your health history and goals. My mission is to get more women off the pill, reverse the rates of breast cancer, heal PCOS, and help women feel more vibrant and damn-freaking-tastic. Basically, I’m here to help women unleash their superpowers so they can live a healthier, happier, more purposeful life. Email me at – samantha@holisticwellness.ca or fill out my application form here. 

I hope you found this post helpful. If you have friends, sisters and mothers that could benefit from this information, please share it with them. I can’t reduce the rates of breast cancer and hormone related cancers alone. I need your help in doing that 🙂

If you have comments or questions, please post them below. 

Also, I’d love to hear from you about what blogs/articles you’d be interested in having me write. Let me know! Send me an email or comment below. 

*A quick note on hormone testing – I think it’s great and can definitely serve a purpose, however, most saliva or blood hormone tests cannot tell you what is going on at the receptor site. Also, hormones fluctuate quite dramatically throughout the day and month, so it can be difficult to get an accurate read. I think that if you’ve exhausted all your options when it comes to healing your hormones, this would then be a good time to test. In the meantime, having a practitioner (such as myself) assess your diet, lifestyle and symptoms will give you a clear understanding of what imbalances you are dealing with. 

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How to Get Off Hormonal Birth Control

I’ve shared my story many times before about my experience with the pill. 

As a quick recap, I was on it for about 8 years, suffered terrible migraines, tons of digestive issues and at the time, never really understood what it was I was doing to my body. 

I didn’t realize I was taking synthetic hormones, stopping myself from ovulating and actually not getting a ‘real’ period the whole time while on the pill. 

I work with many women in my private practice that are looking to get off the pill because they want to conceive in the future, and I’m happy they come to me to help them reclaim their hormonal health. 

Getting off the pill isn’t so easy breezy. It definitely has it’s downfalls, which is why I want to share with you how you can come off of it. Because, bottom line, you need a plan. Deciding to just stop the pill one day and get right in the sack with you partner to conceive is no-good in my books. 

Maybe having babies isn’t even something your considering but have decided it’s time to come off the pill because you’re done with taking synthetic hormones, or you’re experiencing many negative side effects. 

Either way, it’s important to have a plan, work with someone who can effectively guide you through a customized program and take the appropriate supplements. Today, I wanted to share with you a few key guidelines to keep in mind if you’re deciding on coming off the pill and share with you what I do with my clients. 

IF YOU’RE CURRENTLY ON THE PILL:

Whether you’ve been on the pill for 2 years, 5 years, 10 years or 20 years, it’s important to start supplementing with these key nutrients:

  • Zinc – get’s depleted while on the pill and is essential for estrogen metabolism.
  • B Vitamins – also get depleted while on the pill. B vitamins are involved in every neurological process in the body. Plus, they are essential for hormonal balance, energy production, mental health and stress. 
  • Vitamin C – another important nutrient that get’s depleted while taking the pill. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that supports collagen production (hello gorgeous skin!), heart health, prenatal health and immunity. 
  • Probiotics – the pill can effect your gut flora which can lead to a weaker immune system, digestive issues, gas and bloating. Your gut is like your second brain so it’s essential to keep it healthy. 

THINKING OF COMING OFF?:

Before you decide one day to just stop taking the pill, I recommend you start first by taking the suggested supplements above AND work on cleaning up your diet. You see, your liver is your main detoxifying organ. It detoxifies everything that comes in your body, the pill being one of those things. Aside from detoxification, the liver also works to metabolize your hormones. So, when it comes to balancing hormones, your liver plays a very important role. You want to make sure you are eating clean, real, whole foods that supports the liver, such as:

  • Asparagus: Rich source of folate, important for healthy cells, and high in glutathione, a vital antioxidant for detoxification. 
  • Dandelion: Stimulates the digestive juices. Helps to digest fats and supports the body’s natural detoxification processes. 
  • Garlic: Antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and anti-cancer. Garlic supports detoxification and is one of nature’s best antioxidants.
  • Nettle: Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including natural iron, nettle is fabulous for strengthening the liver, adrenals, and kidneys. 
  • Sea Vegetables: Dulse, nori, kelp, arame, and kombu all supply minerals and iodine to help support the thyroid and immune system.
  • Leafy Greens: Kale, Swiss chard, spinach, bok choy, mustard greens, and watercress. Are all rich in magnesium, which is an important detoxifying mineral.
  • Fresh Herbs: Parsley, cilantro, and basil are amazing chelators. They help bind to heavy metals and flush them from your system.
  • Super Foods: Chlorella, spirulina, wheatgrass, chlorophyll, barley grass, and wild blue algae are incredibly supportive of the liver, gut, immune system and supply your body with vital nutrients.

If you’ve been a regular follower of mine, you know I’m all about Qualitarian Food. That is, choosing food in it’s natural form that are free from antibiotics, chemicals, hormones and pesticides. Load up on healthy fats, quality pasture raised protein, beans and legumes, a variety of leafy greens and vegetables, antioxidant rich fruit and starchy and non-starchy veggies. THIS is what your hormone balancing diet needs to look like, whether you are on the pill or not!

Click here to read about the 5 foods that are making your PMS worse!

Once you’ve got the supplements and diet part down for at least 2-3 months, then I would advice coming off the pill. At this point, you can speak with you doctor about coming off and make the decision to stop taking it. 

From here, diet and supplementation are key, but from this point forward, every women will experience something different. If you had normal cycles before going on the pill, there’s a good chance your period will return with ease and you’ll be fairly regular. 

If you went on the pill when you were fairly young, roughly 14 or 15 years old, then your cycle may not return so easily. The reason being that if you go on the pill when you are very young, you actually haven’t given your body enough time to fully mature or your ovaries to develop. Then, if you’ve been on the pill for 10+ years and decide to come off, your ovaries and hormones are going to need a lot of time before getting regular and working ‘on their own’ again. 

The truth is, it varies for every women and each women’s experience will be different. 

ONCE OFF THE PILL:

At the end of the day, once you are off the pill, the ultimate goal is to get your body ovulating again. Ovulation is how you produce your estrogen and progesterone. Don’t just assume it’s about having babies. Ovulation has everything to do with being hormonally balanced and fertile, regardless of wanting to have babies or not. 

*A few important things to note – when you come off the pill, many symptoms can arise, such as acne, heavy periods, no periods, migraines, irregular periods, spotting and hair loss. This is due to your body no longer being supplied with synthetic hormones. You might think to go back on the pill or stay on it forever to avoid these symptoms, but trust me, give your body time and the right support and it will return to normal. You can minimize or avoid these symptoms all together.

PERIODS RETURN WITH EASE:

Great! Continue to supplement with the suggestions above, eat healthy and considering taking some turmeric to support liver detoxification. If you’re wanting to get pregnant, I would support your hormones and detoxify for a few months before trying to conceive. 

NO PERIOD OR IRREGULAR PERIODS:

If you come off the pill and 6-8 months down the road your period hasn’t returned, you can try supplementing with vitex (also known as chaste berry). This herb helps to increase progesterone production, which in turn can help with ovulation. Vitex should be taken on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning. You will know within 3-4 months if this herb is working for you. Do not supplement with it longer than 6 months. At this point, I would also suggest asking your doctor for some hormone blood tests, such as FSH, LH, androgens, prolactin and progesterone. If you do not have a period, I suggest taking vitex for 25 days on and 5 days off. 

*If your periods were irregular before going on the pill, there’s a good chance they will be irregular after the pill. What’s important is to understand why they were irregular in the first place. Typically, this is due to insulin resistance or even PCOS. The pill can actually increase your chances for developing PCOS and it effects how your body utilizes insulin. I do not recommend the pill as a solution for PCOS. As much as supplements, vitex and a healthy diet can be beneficial, if you are not addressing insulin resistance, your chances of getting your period back and regular again will be low. I work with women who struggle with PCOS and balance their hormones with the right meal plan which stabilizes their blood sugar effectively. For more details about this and working together, click here. 

—> Click here to join my FREE 7-Day Hormone Detox Challenge and heal your PMS, PCOS and Rebalance your body with the right foods! <—

POST PILL ACNE:

This is very common. In fact, I went through it myself for a few months and it sucked. The reason acne develops is because you’ve taken the synthetic estrogen away, which gives you clear, glowing skin. Your own estrogen will do the same thing for you, you just need to support your body with the right diet and supplements, zinc being one of them, to help clear up the acne. Trust me, it will go away, you just need to be patient. Eliminating sugar and supporting your liver are crucial for clear skin. Also, you can try supplementing with I3C or DIM, which helps to support estrogen detoxification. 

HEAVY BLEEDING AFTER THE PILL:

If you suffered with heavy bleeding during your teens and are now in your late 30’s or 40’s, there’s a good chance you’ve outgrown this, however, that is not always the case. 

Heavy bleeding is typically due to estrogen dominance or inflammation, or both. First, I would check with your doctor to rule out any fibroids or endometriosis (both of which are caused by estrogen dominance). If you have endometriosis I would advise speaking with your doctor about your options for coming off the pill. It is absolutely do-able, it just may be a little more complicated. Speak with an ND to discuss your options and get the right support. 

I’ll say it again, the right supplements and meal plan in this case are essential. Turmeric, DIM and magnesium are also important in this case to support estrogen detoxification and support the liver in general. Iron is especially important for heavy bleeding and blood loss. It might also be wise to eliminate dairy, sugar and gluten as they tend to be inflammatory and can make heavy bleeding/estrogen dominance worse. 

At the end of the day, I don’t recommend the pill or hormonal contraceptives as they can seriously wreak havoc on our delicate hormones and cycle. I see it all too often in my practice from women who are struggling to get pregnant, have PCOS, irregular periods, weight gain and are just so seriously fed up. I don’t blame them. And I can completely understand being that I’ve been in those same shoes. 

I used to think that in order to balance my hormones, the pill was the solution. Unfortunately, it does not do that. It shuts down ovulation, disrupts our regular cycle, stops us from having a period, impairs liver detoxification, shuts down our own production of beneficial estrogen and progesterone and impairs insulin and blood sugar levels. 

The best contraceptive options would be the Fertility Awareness Method (when used correctly is MORE effective than the pill!!), the copper IUD (not for everyone, but something to research) or barrier methods such as condoms or a cervical cap. 

If you have any comments or questions, please post them below and don’t hesitate to fill out my online application if you’re looking to work together and FINALLY get to the root of your hormonal issues. Click here to fill out my application. 

And if you’re looking to get started right now on healing your hormones and body, join my FREE 7-Day Hormone Detox Challenge!

—> Click here to join my FREE 7-Day Hormone Detox Challenge and heal your PMS, PCOS and Rebalance your body with the right foods! <—

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Coffee. How Bad is it for Your Health?

I’m sure the last thing you wanted to hear was that it’s time to ditch your coffee.

Well, I’m not totally saying that, so hear me out.

Your morning java is probably one of those times during your day where you are actually pretty darn happy. That first sip is pretty blissful right? I know the feeling. I love coffee just as much as the next person, but hormonally speaking, it’s not always the best option.

You see, caffeine is very stimulating and after getting 7-8 hours of sleep and cellular rejuvenation, caffeine literally shuts down your body. It also has the ability to affect your organs, bowels, and detoxification abilities. Plus, it over stimulates your heart first thing in the morning. Not good!

But here’s something else you may not have known… caffeine works by affecting your body’s ability to break down adrenaline. That’s why you feel energized from it. So if you’re suffering with adrenal fatigue and happen to be a stress case, coffee just isn’t your friend. Those poor adrenals of yours just won’t have the opportunity to ever heal. 

And if you’re feeling tired and sluggish and using coffee to ‘wake you up’ numerous times throughout the day, then this is a bad sign. Using coffee to overstimulate your adrenals (adrenaline) is no good! 

Aside from adrenaline, caffeine also raises other substances in the body such as, interleukin-6, TNF, C-reactive protein and homocysteine, all of which are inflammatory compounds.

A Greek study from 2004 that involved over 3,000 participants found that those consuming 200 ml of coffee, roughly two cups a day, had between 28 and 50 percent higher levels of three kinds of inflammatory markers compared to non-coffee drinkers.

Not to mention, coffee also raises blood pressure, which I’m going to guess is probably already high if you’re a chronic stress case.

So what are your adrenal glands anyways?

Your adrenals are known as “the glands of stress.” It is their job to help manage how your body reacts to stress. From environment, food choices, emotional, mental, physical and physiological impacts, your adrenals can be bombarded with a variety of stressors, some good, some bad.

Adrenal hormones have a significant impact on every tissue, organ and gland in the body. If you are highly stressed or manage stress ineffectively, these tiny glands can become overworked which in turn will cause hormonal chaos. From here, a variety of issues can develop, such as: reproductive problems, heart issues, brain issues, fatigue, digestive upsets and chronic infections.

So what’s a coffee connoisseur supposed to do?

Well, a few things…

First, you can start by having your coffee after breakfast. Making sure you nourish your body with some good food first is important.

Second, be sure to get in your dose of coffee before 2pm. Enjoying a cup too late in the day can affect your sleep cycles. And if you’re thinking about ditching coffee altogether, I would start by cutting back by one cup at a time. Start slow. Focus on cutting back just one cup for 5 days staight. Then another cup the following 5 days and so on, until you’re down to zero!

It’s common to experience headaches while cutting back on coffee. Give yourself a few days and this will subside. Increase your water intake, incorporate a fresh pressed juice and support your body with nutritious foods to help your body recoup faster. In the end, it will be worth it! Your adrenals will start to work more efficiently, meaning your body will be better able to handle stress.

There are also numerous herbal teas you can also try, such as: green tea, honeybush, nettle, peppermint, yerba mate, lemon balm and so many more! In fact, you can try my favourite coffee alternative called Dandy Blend. It’s amazing! Every coffee lover who has tried it has not complained yet! 

Dandy Blend is a blend of herbs plus dandelion. It contains no caffeine, is GMO free and tastes like a delicious cup of coffee. Trust me, it’s really good. You can order some from www.rawelements.ca (use the discount code – SAMG at checkout to save 10%). 

Now before you carry on with your day feeling sad and depressed because you think you can never enjoy a cup of coffee again, there is some good news!

 On the positive side, coffee contains high amounts of antioxidants that help to support cellular repair and are great for mental focus and concentration. And because it has a direct impact on adrenaline, coffee is great for athletes and their performance. Having a cup of coffee before hitting the gym can improve your exercise performance and endurance and is a great way to allow your body to utilize the adrenaline and caffeine in your system.

It’s also important to mention that if you do continue to drink your cup of java everyday, quality is important! Like really important. 

Coffee is very high on the pesticide radar, plus many cheap coffees on the market contain a common mould, known as mycotoxins. The last thing you want to be doing is drinking down a cup of pesticides and mould! Yuck!

So be sure to purchase organic, fair trade coffee. It’s also important to know how the beans were harvested, where they were harvested, whether they were hand-picked, and how they were roasted. These are just a few things to look for when sourcing a high quality coffee.

So coffee lovers, I want to hear from you! Thinking about ditching your daily cup of goodness? Or at least cutting back?

What are some of your favourite coffee brands? Share in the comments below. 

You can find more coffee info, plus a ton of delicious coffee alternative recipes in my book The Qualitarian Life. 

 

 

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Non-Toxic Lemon Multipurpose Cleaner

Toxins are everywhere, whether we like it or not. 

In our body care products, food, homes, in the air we breathe and in our house hold cleaning products. 

When it comes to cleaning our house, not only should it be hassle free, but safe too! Between animals and kids licking, touching and coming into contact with just about everything, we should be extra cautious with the products we use in our home. 

This is why I love using essential oils and making my own non-toxic cleaning products. 

Not only is it safe and toxin free, but it’s cheap!

By using a few common household ingredients, you can whip up a multipurpose cleaner for your entire house and in turn, ditch the chemicals that are lurking in many common brands. 

These chemicals enter into our blood stream through our skin and create internal chaos. From disrupting our hormones, to damaging the gut lining, to inflammation and overloading our liver, our bodies need to work extremely hard at eliminating these chemicals. 

And our bodies need to do this everyday, all day. Every minute of every day our bodies (our liver in particular) needs to work hard to eliminate toxins. It’s a very intense and exhausting process, especially if you’re using toxic products and eating toxic food day in and day out. 

Our livers can easily become overworked and overwhelmed. 

But the good news is that my 21-Day Delicious Detox is launching on Wednesday September 9th (mark your calendars), and it contains a full 3 week meal plan and delicious recipes that help to support your liver, gently eliminate toxins and maintain optimal hormonal health. Food is healing and that’s just what this detox is all about. Healing your health and igniting your energy so you can take on the world (and all the toxins that come with it!). 

Plus, by joining the 21-Day Delicious Detox, you’ll get access to my Essential Guide to Detoxing eBook which contains a ton of information and protocols for supporting gut health, optimizing liver health and truly understanding how detoxification works and what you can do everyday to support your body. It’s a thorough guide and contains many protocols you can easily include everyday. 

Also, I’ll be gifting you with my Qualitarian Life ebook, which is a comprehensive guide that dives deep into how to optimize your diet, sleep, sex life and most importantly, it contains a detailed chapter on all things body care! Yup, I show you exactly how to create your own non-toxic body care products and household products, like laundry detergent, carpet cleaners, floor cleaners and so much more! detoxpromobooks

It’s crazy to me that there no laws requiring manufacturers of cleaning products to list harmful ingredients on labels or test them for safety. So it’s up to you to keep your home safe.

That’s why my non-toxic lemon multipurpose cleaner is amazing! It’s a natural disinfectant and can tackle many household messes! 

Non-Toxic Lemon Multipurpose Cleaner
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup water
  2. 1 cup white vinegar
  3. ¼ cup witch hazel
  4. 20 drops lemon essential oil
Instructions
  1. Pour all the ingredients into a spray bottle. Use a funnel to make the pouring easier, but it’s not necessary. Shake before each use.
Notes
  1. *Use this cleaner throughout your kitchen and bathroom on everything from floors, mirrors, counter tops and appliances, but not on granite or marble counter tops! These surfaces are porous and can be damaged easily with acidic ingredients like vinegar or harsh chemicals like bleach.
Holistic Wellness https://holisticwellness.ca/
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How to Know if You Have a Hormonal Imbalance

I often hear from women that they are struggling with hormonal imbalances. 

Truth is, what does that really mean?

How can we really know what’s going on with our hormones and if something is off? 

Hormonal imbalances really mean different things to every woman, considering we are all so unique.

Some of us may be suffering with hypothyroidism (slow thyroid function) which can contribute to fatigue, slow metabolism and weight gain.

While some of us may be dealing with issues surrounding our period and cycle, such as heavy bleeding, missed periods or no periods, terrible PMS symptoms, short cycles, and so on.

Bottom line, hormones can be complicated.

But there are clues we should be paying attention to, which will help us to navigate our hormonal health and understand our bodies on a deeper level. 

It all starts with your period. 

Your period gives you clues into what is really happening with your hormones throughout the month. 

Your period is the first day of your cycle. To simplify understanding our hormones, let’s break up our cycle in 4 phases: Menstruation, Follicular, Ovulation and Luteal. Know these, remember these, love these. They tell you everything about your hormonal health. 

Let’s dive in…

Menstruation – Your cycle starts with your period. You bleed, you feel tired, lethargic, crampy, moody and bloated. No fun. During this time your progesterone takes a nose dive. Progesterone is what causes your uterine lining to shed, thus causing you to bleed in the first place. Your sex hormones also take a dive, causing you to feel not-so-sexy. So there’s a good chance your libido is pretty low at this time. 

Hormonal Imbalances – if your period comes roughly every 28-35 days. Cool. If it happens to be every 3 weeks, showing up around day 20 or 21 (early period), this could mean you have low progesterone. Low progesterone could be caused by a few things – estrogen dominance (basically you have too much estrogen relative to progesterone), stress or insulin resistance. A period that shows up every 35+ days (late period) could also be a sign of low progesterone. 

How Does Stress Lower Progesterone? – there’s a precursor hormone to progesterone called Pregnenolone. This hormone helps to make progesterone. However, in times of stress, pregnenolone has to decide whether it needs to make progesterone or be used for stress hormones, like cortisol. There’s a good chance that stress always wins considering it is seen as a “threat” to your body. Unfortunately, when this happens, all other sex hormones suffer as well. 

Follicular Phase – This phase lasts for roughly 7-10 days and begins right after menstruation. Initially, your sex hormones are low but begin to ramp up as you approach ovulation. Just before ovulation, as your sex hormones begin to raise, you’ll feel energetic, turned on and tuned it! Yup, your brain is focused and you feel like you can take on the world. This is thanks to testosterone and estrogen working their magic. As a bonus, your skin will be glowing and radiant thanks to an estrogen surge. 

During this phase, FSH is released (follicular stimulating hormone), which stimulates follicles in your ovaries to mature. These follicles contain your eggs. You may also notice that your cervical mucus is wetter and slippery during this time, which is key as you approach ovulation. 

Hormonal ImbalancesBeing that you are more sexual and energetic during this phase, if you aren’t it could be an indication that estrogen and testosterone are low. Both these hormones are key to having an optimal libido. It’s important to note that if you’ve had an early period or a late period, this could also mean that you’ve had a very long follicular phase which can be an indication of stress, illness, PCOS, dieting (weight gain or loss), or thyroid issues. 

Ovulation – I’ve talked about ovulation before in my sex post (and why your hormones need more of it). Click here to read that post and learn more. During ovulation, your body is in it’s most fertile phase. Your libido should be on fire! You may also find your cervical mucus is thick, slippery and egg-whitey. Your sex hormones are fired up during this phase, especially progesterone, which begins to rise and will continue to rise until your period. 

Ovulation is pretty much an all-or-nothing event. It happens quickly and for one day. Basically, your egg is released and it can’t be un-released. Make sense? After ovulation you will either have your period 2 weeks later or be pregnant. If you’re avoiding pregnancy, IT IS VITAL TO UNDERSTAND THIS PROCESS as you can then plan your ‘sex schedule’ around ovulation to avoid pregnancy instead of popping hormonal birth control (which will cause numerous hormonal imbalances, stop you from ovulating and shut down your estrogen and progesterone from functioning). 

Hormonal Imbalances – If you’ve ovulating, good news. If you’re not ovulating, well then you’ve had an anovulatory cycle which means you are not producing progesterone. This is quite common with PCOS, insulin resistance and of course, if you are not getting a period, this could be why. You need to ovulate in order to produce estrogen and progesterone. No period could also mean their is miscommunication going on in your hypothalamus (a gland in your brain). As you can see, your period is literally telling you what is going on with your entire body and hormone production.

Luteal Phase – after ovulation, your progesterone rises, estrogen levels dip and your now empty follicle restructures itself into a progesterone secreting gland called the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum grows into a 4-centimenter gland in one day. Your ovaries have a lot of work to do to build this gland!

Hormonal Imbalances the formation of the corpus luteum can be impaired by many things, from inflammation, stress, thyroid disease, insulin resistance, or by a lack in vital nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, selenium, vitamin D and iodine. ALL of these nutrients are vital for hormone production and for a healthy and fertile cycle. 

After your luteal phase, which lasts for 14 days, you are then back to menstruation and this amazing hormonal cycle begins again. See the chart/picture below to gain an understanding of your cycle and the hormones released during each phase. 

womens hormones

——> On hormonal birth control? Then you do not ovulate, you do not produce progesterone, you have no luteal phase and you do not produce a corpus luteum. Crazy right?

Our cycles are powerful. 

They can literally show us what is going on with our bodies, but we need to tune in and really pay attention. 

From nutrient deficiencies, to low or high hormone production, to high stress, to infertility, thyroid disease, inflammation, estrogen dominance, and so on, our bodies and our period can tell us where something may be off and needs to be investigated further. 

——> Symptoms you need to pay attention to (and ‘possible’ hormonal imbalances associated with each symptom). It’s important to note that these symptoms can be managed with the right micronutrients/supplements and diet: 

  • breast tenderness and swollen lymph nodes (estrogen dominance)
  • slow detoxification or constipation (estrogen dominance, low thyroid)
  • high cholesterol (low thyroid, inflammation, insulin resistance)
  • cold hands and feet (low thyroid)
  • cramping, bloating and digestive upsets (gut flora imbalance, nutrient deficiencies, low progesterone)
  • low libido or non-existent sex drive (low estrogen and testosterone)
  • blood sugar imbalances and sugar cravings (insulin resistance, high testosterone, PCOS)
  • headaches and mood swings (mineral deficiencies, dopamine, serotonin, gaba)
  • weight gain, especially in the midsection (insulin resistance, high cortisol, low thyroid)
  • PMS symptoms (low or high estrogen/progesterone, inflammation)
  • hair loss or thinning hair (low thyroid, high cortisol)
  • acne or facial hair (insulin resistance, high testosterone, PCOS)
  • fatigue, lethargic, can’t get out of bed (low cortisol, insulin resistance, low or high estrogen/progesterone, low thyroid)
  • abnormal pap smears, heavy bleeding, painful menstruation (estrogen dominance)
  • depression, hot flashes, vaginal dryness (low estrogen)
  • cysts, infertility, bloating or fluid retention (low progesterone)

Again, know that this can all be healed and managed with the right diet and the right supplement protocols. This is not to alarm you, but to make you aware of what is happening hormonally with your body/cycle so you can take the proactive measures to heal it for good!

Have questions or looking to get your cycle or weight on track with the right program? Email me at – samanthagladish@gmail.com and let’s set up some time to discuss your health and goals. I offer free 20 minute consult calls and look forward to being a part of your healing (and happy hormone) journey!

[arrows style=”arrow-7-2.png” align=”left”] Leave your questions or comments below and I’ll be sure to get to them shortly 🙂

P.S. you can check out my favourite hormone balancing supplement by clicking here.

P.P.S. Have you joined my Women’s Only Private Facebook Group? It’s free, and I’m there helping to answering your most pressing questions about your health and hormones. Plus, I hook you up with goodies, freebies and discounts. Click here to join my Women’s Only Private Facebook Group and connect with myself and hundreds of other women!

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Chocolate Matcha PMS Amaze-Balls

You like chocolate, right?

Who doesn’t?

If you’re a woman who’s suffering with PMS, then you might even like chocolate more so than the average person! Don’t worry, this is normal and common. 

There’s a good chance your cravings for chocolate are indicating a few things – 

1. you need some magnesium (which helps to relieve cramps, bonus!) 
2. you need to balance your blood sugar more effectively

I know you’ve heard me say it before and I’m going to say it again, “chocolate contains a boat-load of magnesium, and magnesium is needed for detoxification and is great for relieving cramps, tension and stress.” It’s true. I hate to repeat this over and over and over again, but if you’re not taking magnesium already, well get some! I personally recommend Pure Encapsulations. Click here to check it out on amazon. 

Especially if you’re suffering with PMS symptoms, dealing with a lot of stressors, have issues with sleep, and just can’t seem to calm down, magnesium will be your saviour! Trust me on this. 

In fact, during the second half of your cycle (the luteal phase), magnesium stores tend to be depleted due to fluctuating hormone levels, which tends to lead to more bloating and migraines. Oh! It can also help to balance out those nasty PMS monster mood swings you might be suffering with too! 

It’s really our “hormones” that are causing us to crave for chocolate. 

So what’s a girl to do then? Well, just eat chocolate!

Now I don’t mean just any chocolate! I mean high quality unprocessed chocolate. And I also don’t want you to go overboard. I just want you to give yourself a quick little healthy chocolate fix and then be on your merry way. Plus, supplement with some magnesium and you’ll minimize those cravings and won’t feel the need to overdo it with the chocolate. Make sense?

Aside from the cravings and magnesium deficiency, it’s important that you balance your blood sugar levels too. 

A few important things to note when it comes to blood sugar management:

1. are you eating enough protein with your meals?
2. are you eating enough healthy fats?
3. are you getting in enough greens and veggies?
4. are you getting in enough fiber (from veggies, flax, chia?)
5. are you drinking enough water? roughly 2-3L a day?

These above 5 things are incredibly important for blood sugar management, so be sure to follow them!

Now, onto the Chocolate Matcha PMS Amaze-Balls that are well… amazing and contain just the right amount of sweetness. There are ZERO processed ingredients in this recipe (because obviously I would never do that to you and your hormones). 

These balls contain magnesium (I won’t go there, you know how I feel about it), fiber from dates, healthy blood sugar stabilizing fats from almonds, immune supportive organic whey protein powder, and a serious dose of energizing matcha.

Matcha is pretty much an antioxidant powerhouse. It’s basically green tea in it’s powdered form. One serving of matcha tea is the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea! Crazy right?

Matcha also helps to:

  • Boost metabolism and burn calories
  • Detoxifies effectively and naturally
  • Calms the mind and relaxes the body
  • Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
  • Enhances mood and aids in concentration
  • Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium

If you’re new to matcha and unsure what brand to buy, I like DoMatcha Organic Ceremonial brand. You can find it online or at health food stores. Click here to view it on amazon.  Most matcha tends to be slightly bitter, so if you make lattes with it you might find you want to add in a touch of sweetness. Stevia, maple syrup or raw honey are all good choices. I personally don’t mind the bitterness and especially with this recipe, the maple syrup and chocolate helps to balance it out. 

Now let’s get to this amazing recipe shall we? (as a side note, don’t be surprised if your man sneaks a few too!)

Chocolate Matcha PMS Amaze-Balls
Yields 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 7 medjool dates, pitted
  2. ½ cup whole raw almonds
  3. ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1 scoop Progressive Organic Whey Protein Powder in Chocolate (optional or use your favourite brand)
  5. 1 Tbsp cacao nibs
  6. 1 Tbsp matcha powder, plus more for rolling*
  7. 1 tsp ground vanilla
  8. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  9. 2 Tbsp maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well combined.
  2. Roll 'dough' into roughly 1-inch balls about the size of a tablespoon and place onto a plate.
  3. In a bowl, add about 3-4 teaspoons of matcha powder.
  4. Roll balls into powder and place back onto plate, then eat and enjoy!
  5. Store in the refrigerator for 7 days.
Holistic Wellness https://holisticwellness.ca/
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Sex: Why You (and your hormones) Need More of it!

When it comes to optimizing your overall health and well-being, sex is a very important factor in this. From reducing stress, boosting self-esteem and body confidence, and building a deeper connection with your partner, sex should be at the top of your get-healthy to do list.

Now let’s face it, sex is everywhere. 

It seems we can’t turn a corner without noticing a half naked women on a magazine cover or a Calvin Klein model showcasing his abs on a billboard. 

We live in an overly sexualized culture and it’s not going away any time soon. Companies and media continue to push the buttons on how far they can take their ads or commercials. Sometimes, it’s rather shocking. 

You would think with all the sex we’re bombarded with we would have such an easy time communicating about it, but the opposite is true. 

In fact, when is the last time you had a deep, soul quenching, heart melting talk about sex with your partner? Or vocalized what you like, don’t like, what you should experiment with, how turned on your partner makes you, what your body really needs and desires, and so on and so on? 

Not only are we super shy (this doesn’t imply to everyone or every couple) about openly communicating about sex, but it seems people are having less and less of it and are so disconnected from their sexual selves then ever before. 

I work with a lot of women, many who are in great shape and dealing with hormonal imbalances, and others who are looking to lose weight and dealing with hormonal imbalances. Can you see a connection here? Whether you’re fit or over weight, I tend to commonly hear from my clients that they just don’t have a sex drive. 

Is it the body shaming you continue to internalize every day? The comparing and negative self talk? Or are you just so damn confused about your body, your cycle and your hormones that you just don’t know where to start or who to turn to?

If your sex drive is non-existent know that you can get it back!

Your Hormones and Sex:

Yes, your hormones dictate ALOT about your sexual health. 

Estrogen, or what I like to refer to as “the sex-kitten-hormone,” boosts your libido and increases your sexual desire. This hormone, which is higher during the first half of your cycle (right after your period) along with a small amount of testosterone, increases lubrication, revs of your internal sex kitten and prepares you for ovulation, the most fertile time in your cycle. 

If you and your partner are looking to conceive, then this is the most optimal time to do so. On the flip side, if you are wanting to avoid pregnancy, be sure to use a barrier method, such as a condom during this time. 

There tends to be two schools of thought around ovulation. Some people think if you are wanting to avoid pregnancy that you should avoid sex altogether during this time, however, your body is in the most fertile, erogenous and sexual “zone’ during this time and it’s a beautiful opportunity for you to connect with your body and your partner sexually. So in my books, I say do it! 

Sex was typically thought of as a “man’s game” due to testosterone being the hormone that boosts sexual desire, however, women produce testosterone as well, along with other complex hormones, which allows us to have very robust sexual experiences. 

Due to the cyclical nature of our menstrual matrix, sex feels very different to us throughout the month. If you are in tune with your body and your cycle, you understand what I mean. 

During the first half of your cycle right to ovulation, you’re typically more energetic and get turned on more easily. After ovulation, estrogen dips and progesterone takes over, causing you to feel more lethargic and tired. Plus, you’ll typically find you tend to be drier and may need some extra special attention from your partner. 

Although testosterone, estrogen and progesterone play a very important role during sex and arousal and a women’s monthly cycle, there are many other hormones that come into play as well. 

Your Brain on Sex:

Your libido is governed by some very powerful neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine. These are your pleasure and reward hormones and once you get them excited, they’ll want to keep coming back for more and more. Lower concentrations of serotonin can decrease sex drive.

Serotonin is essential for arousal and guess what? It’s actually produced in the gut! So, if you’ve been suffering with digestion issues, gut dysbiois (overgrowth of bad bacteria), constipation, bloating and gas, theres a good chance your serotonin is running on low and your sex drive might be non-existent. 

Nitric Oxide is another important component of sex. It causes vasodilation to all tissues in your sex organs to become engorged, which heightens sexual pleasure and sensitivity. Sex helps to produce nitric oxide which is not only beneficial for sex, but for oxygenating your blood and lowering blood pressure. 

What about oxytocin? This is the hormone of desire and can help to facilitate climax and connect you deeper with your partner. It’s the hormone that helps new moms bond with their baby.

And lastly, cortisol. You’ll often hear me speak of this stress-hormone and how detrimental it can be to our health when produced in high amounts, but it impacts sex as well, by killing your sex drive. Are you a stress case? Well then, that could be one reason for your low libido.

Cortisol will curb all bodily functions when it feels “threatened,” ie. work deadlines, arguments, traffic jams, constantly skipping meals, etc. Yup, these are all tiny constant everyday nuances we decide to stress over and in turn suffer with a non-existent libido. High cortisol can also impact our blood sugar and insulin levels, which can then cause a hormonal cascade amongst our sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. 

Bottom line, our hormones are delicate and when one is out of whack, it can create a domino effect and throw off other hormones. When your hormones are out of balance, not only will your sex drive suffer, but you’ll experience more weight gain, issues with fertility, PCOS, digestive health, high blood pressure, blood sugar irregularities or insulin resistance, and the list goes on!

The Solution:

Have MORE Sex!

Stressed? Have more sex.
Want to increase your libido? Have more sex.
Want to produce more serotonin and dopamine? Have more sex.
Want to help with hormonal balance? Have more sex.
Want to clear up your skin? Have more sex.
Want to support your partners prostate? Have more sex.
Want to support heart health? Have more sex. 
Want to produce more beneficial estrogen? Have more sex.
Want to combat inflammation? Have more sex.
Want to boost your immune system? Have more sex. 

Sex helps you produce incredible hormones and neurotransmitters that literally have hundreds of health benefits. Plus, it’s one of the most effective ways to combat the negative effects of stress. 

I know what you’re thinking, “how can I have sex when I don’t have a libido?” Well… you just have to do it (or at least try!). 

Masculine and Feminine Energy:

It’s really important that we make sexual pleasure a priority in our lives, as it helps us (both men and women) to connect to our masculine and feminine energies. 

If you’re a woman who works in an office everyday, wears a suit and is constantly “taking charge of everything,” then you are constantly in your masculine energy. This is not a good thing for sex. 

And for men who don’t feel like they are in charge, powerful, dominant or feel belittled and small, their feminine energy takes over. What this means for both sexes is that it can diminish your sex drive and affect how the opposite sex see’s you. 

Men want to see sexual, calm, vibrant, beautiful and radiant women. I don’t mean physically. I mean it’s an aura. It’s a smell. It’s a powerful energy that comes from deep within a women. A women who knows herself, trusts herself and can shine her light without feeling threatened or feel the need to be seen and heard. She can just…be. It’s an energy that can be felt from a distance. It’s a state of flow. 

Women want to see men who are strong-willed, authentic, organized, stable, reliable and supportive. A woman wants to feel non-dominant in their relationship. Woman are commonly drawn to this. A man who has his shit together on a spiritual, physical and mental level and knows how to check his ego at the door can win over a woman any day over charm and looks. 

Together, these energies collide to produce a deep sexual connection that allows you to grow as a person, to connect to your desires, to make more money and well.. to achieve amazing orgasms. (yes, I said make more money!)

Your orgasms are a missing key to achieving all that you want in life. It’s not just about the sex. It’s about what the experience can make of you and how you can take that energy and bring it into your every-day. You become more of who you are and flow with ease amongst the intricacies of life.

Your body and your hormones need more sex. 

If you are struggling to have sex and your libido has been missing, let’s take a look at a number of ways you can fix this:

1. From an masculine/feminine energy standpoint – take the time to tune into your energy. Where can you let go?

Are you a female that is in constant masculine energy? Where in your day can you let go? Where can you bring in more feminine energy? Maybe it’s something you wear (I say wear more dresses and skirts or put on some pretty lingerie). Are you bringing your work home? Are you always complaining? Do you need to dance, workout and move your body more? Are you doing more male dominant exercises? Do you need to be more receptive to receiving love and attention? When’s the last time you had an orgasm? (definitely the best way to increase your feminine energy!)

Are you a male that is in constant feminine energy? Where in your day can you bring more dominant, masculine energy in? Do you need to work out more? (ie. lift more weights!). Take more control of arranging dates and planning? Do you need more guy time? Do you need to be more decisive in certain areas of your life? Do you need to take a power stance and initiate more sex in your relationship? Do you need more sleep? (vital for testosterone production!)

2. Food – bottom line… are eating like shit? If you’re stuffing your face with processed foods, sugar, gluten, diet sodas, burgers and fries, then it’s time to stop. Your hormones and your sex drive just ain’t having any of that! Real, whole food supplies your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive and support your hormonal health. Ladies, if you need more direction regarding the foods that are affecting your hormones and menstrual cycle, read this article here. 

Zinc is a vital mineral that supports estrogen production and protects the prostate. Eat pumpkin seeds or oysters to get this hormone balancing mineral. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat and vitamin E, which support the ovaries and keep women fertile. Leafy greens provide magnesium, a essential mineral needed for detoxification. Less toxins means better hormonal health. This is just the tip of the ice berg! Get my Qualitaran Life ebook that is full of 60+ healthy recipes and provides you with a ton of insight into food quality. 

3. Hormonal Imbalances – I could write a very long article on the numerous hormonal imbalances we can experience and especially as women, we have a very cyclical hormonal pattern that basically repeats every month. Men on the other end have more of a 24 hour pattern. Ladies, I cannot stress it enough to chart out your cycle. Take out a calendar, write down when you get your period (day 1 of your cycle) and jot down everything over the month, from how long your period was, were you spotting, were you late, did you have cramps, breast tenderness, headaches, cravings, etc. Write down how you feel after your period, leading up to ovulation and repeat this over and over again each month.

Charting your cycle means checking your mucus daily. Are you wet? Dry? Do you have a thick-egg-white consistency? Mark all of this down in your calendar. I would even suggest checking your temperature every morning, otherwise known as your basal body temperature. Before ovulation, your waking temperatures tend to be low, typically ranging from 97.0 – 97.7. A day or two after ovulation, your temp will typically rise and stay elevated until your next period. Post-ovulatory temperatures usually rise to 97.8 degrees or higher. This is caused by the production of the heat-inducing hormone, progesterone.

You want to start by taking your BBT first thing each morning before getting out of bed or doing anything else. This will give you the most accurate reading. Also, make sure you take your temp after at least three consecutive hours of sleep.

Here’s why charting your cycle is SO important: if you are constantly dealing with PMS symptoms, clearly there is an underlying hormonal imbalance going on. If you find you have breast tenderness, water retention and weight gain right around your period, this could mean you have estrogen dominance. If your cycle is short and you get your period roughly every 20-24 days, this could mean you are not producing enough progesterone. If you are dealing with constant cravings, blood sugar irregularities and eating all the time, this could mean you have insulin sensitivity. 

These are just some of the imbalances you can pick up from charting your cycle. 

On the flip side, if you are on the birth control pill you cannot truly chart as you don’t produce a regular period, just a pill-bleed. Also, its important to note that the pill will rob your body is vital nutrients that help to produce estrogen and progesterone. In fact, you are not producing any of your own estrogen and progesterone while on the pill, and a low sex drive will typically result from this. Read my article here on why the birth control pill is ruining your health and hormones. 

4. Stress – this is something you will ABSOLUTELY want to manage as it will exhaust you, cause mineral deficiencies, increase your cortisol, lower your progesterone and increase your insulin, all of which will lead to no sex drive. Please find ways to manage your stress. As much as I could recommend supplements here, such as Magnesium, Ashwaghanda, or Rhodiola, these are just band aid approaches to stress. You need to manage your lifestyle and the constant stressors in your every day. 

5. Have Sex – I know i’ve said it over and over again, but if you don’t use it, you lose it. I remember reading an article a few years ago about a couple who committed to having sex every single day for an entire year! Whether they were in the mood or not, they made it a habit. Their experience – Not only did they want more of it, but they were happier, healthier and more in love than ever before! After 25+ years of marriage and 4 kids, they made it work. If they could do it, you could do it!

I’d love to hear from you! Are you struggling with any hormonal issues that are affecting your sex drive? 

Are you thinking of committing to sex for a full year with your partner?

Connect with me or post in the comment below. 

Thank you for taking to time to read this (lengthy) article and for committing to better sex and more balanced hormones 🙂 

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Why Eating Every 2-3 Hours is a Bad Idea

I used to eat all day long. Every 3 hours on the mark. I was always hungry. 

Even at the 2 hour mark my tummy started to rumble and I was thinking of food. But how come? I just friggin’ ate 2 hours ago? Why eat again?

But, it was a good thing right? I was stoking my metabolism, keeping my body fuelled and running efficiently with my mini all day meals. 

Then one day, 4 hours went by and I hadn’t eaten. It wasn’t pretty!

I was HANGRY (angry+hungry), moody, bitchy and literally couldn’t even process anything. Food was all I needed and I needed it bad. Like NOW!

Well, I learned my lesson. I made sure to always have food with me, to never skip a meal and to always eat every 3 hours to balance my blood sugar to avoid those ravenous bitchy monster moods. 

Then I learned about this little thing called Insulin. 

Insulin is quite powerful. In fact, Insulin is one of the MOST important hormones in the body and it’s important you understand and manage it effectively. 

But before I go on, I want to talk about dieting and weight loss, as insulin is a primary factory in weight gain and loss.

There are many ‘diets’ out there that fall within the 5-6 mini meal 2-3 hour category. In fact, there are many men and women (many of which I know) that compete in body building competitions and biking contests and follow a 5-6 meal a day diet. 

Do they get results? Yes! 

Are they ripped and toned? Yes!

Can you lose weight eating 5-6 mini meals every 2-3 hours all day long? Yes!

But that’s not what I’m talking about. If you are a competitor or an athlete, then there is a good chance you can manage insulin effectively (since exercise helps with insulin sensitivity) and you’re probably working out and training at a pretty elite level.

However, sustaining 5-6 meals a day long term can be difficult and I tend to see many people rebound and develop insulin sensitivity over time due to not sustaining this type of eating. 

But, if you are not an athlete, work out 3-4 days a week (or don’t work out at all), have over 20+ pounds to lose or are obese, have PCOS, are pre diabetic or diabetic, are struggling with hormonal imbalances like PMS or irregular cycles, are constantly craving sugar and on a blood sugar role coaster all day, dealing with sleep disturbances and highly stressed, well… you get the picture. 

Eating every 2-3 hours is not the answer for you!

If you are currently following a diet that has you eating every 2-3 hours, you are doing your body (and your insulin levels) a real disservice.

Let’s look at Insulin a little deeper…

Your pancreas produces insulin, the hard-working hormone that seeks out sugar, also known as glucose and turns it into useful energy.

When you eat a meal, sugar enters your blood stream in the form of glucose. Your pancreas secretes insulin to manage the sugar in your blood and transports the sugar to your cells. Once at your cells, insulin basically knocks on the cell door and asks to enter with sugar in tow.

In a healthy body, the cell doors will hear the knock and open the door. On the other hand, if you are consuming a high carbohydrate diet and not exercising, this process doesn’t always happen and the cell door won’t answer the knock. If you are constantly forcing insulin to over work and knock on the cell doors, over time, both your pancreas and cells become exhausted. 

Your pancreas is one tough little bugger, and when your cells won’t open their door to insulin, your pancreas is forced to produce more insulin in an effort to get the sugar through the cell door. 

Chronically high levels of insulin make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to lose weight. 

When your cells no longer respond to insulin, this is what is called Insulin Resistance and it’s the precursor to diabetes.

Insulin resistance is caused by poor gut and liver health, depleted gut flora (good bacteria) and inflammation caused by the over consumption of inflammatory foods such as sugar and processed oils.

So… if you are eating every 2-3 hours, not only are you forcing your pancreas to produce more insulin throughout the day, but you’re constantly knocking on your cell doors, hoping to let sugar into your cells. Can you see how this would pose a problem?

To balance your blood sugar and insulin levels, eating every 2-3 hours is not the answer. You should be able to go at least 4-6 hours between meals without feeling jittery, moody and hangry. 

This is why my clients have such high success on my Metabolic Weight Loss Program. We manage the insulin with 3 meals a day, comprised of the right macronutrients, and not only do they lower their insulin levels, but they lose weight, with ease. 

It’s really an incredible thing to watch. Especially when you have diabetic clients who get off of their meds or lower the dosage, all because of choosing the right foods, managing portion sizes and eating 3 meals a day. 

Just to note, without the right meal plan specific for your body, it may take time to get used to eating every 4-6 hours between meals, but I do encourage you to try. Incorporating the right amount of protein, eating a lot vegetables and incorporating healthy fats can help to balance your insulin levels, keeping you satiated between meals. 

If you’re eating every 3 hours, what your body is doing is burning through glycogen (stored sugar). To actually burn adipose tissue (fat), then the sweet spot is the 5 hour mark between meals.

Really, when you think about it, were we ever designed to eat 5-6 meals a day, every 2-3 hours? If we date back to the Paleolithic era, there wasn’t an abundance of food. We followed a feast and famine type of ‘diet.’ 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner. That’s easy and it’s effective for weight loss and balancing hormones.

In fact, think about the weekend. How many times on a Saturday, have you slept in, ate a large brunch, went about your day running errands and then before you knew it, it was 6pm and time for dinner. You’ve probably had many laid back weekends where you ate only 2 meals a day.

It’s also important to note, that women who suffer with PCOS tend to have insulin resistance. Following this type of diet and protocol can help to manage PCOS symptoms and improve insulin sensitivity. I’ve seen it work beautifully over and over again. 

High insulin levels can stimulate the ovaries to produce testosterone, which is why women with PCOS tend to suffer with acne and facial hair growth. By managing insulin, you manage the overproduction of testosterone.

Both PCOS and diabetes can be managed effectively with the right diet and nutritional protocols. I encourage you to seek out a practitioner (such as myself) that can design the right nutrition program for you and work to balance your hormones effectively. 

As with weight loss, it is complex and unique to every one. Although calories in and calories out serve some (very small) part, hormones play an even bigger role. Addressing both hormones and weight will not only ensure you lose weight effectively, but will help you to keep it off for good. 

*To learn more about my weight loss program and discuss your health history and goals, email me at – samantha@holisticwellness.ca for a complimentary consult call.

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