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7 Reasons Why You’re Losing Your Hair and What to Do About it

Hair loss. It sucks. 

I have many of my clients and women in general emailing me about their struggles with their hair.

From hair falling out to thinning hair to dullness and breakage, I hear your cries loud and clear. The good thing is there is a solution and more importantly, your hair loss can tell you what’s going on with your hormones and your health, so pay attention!

First off, let’s talk about why we lose our hair and what could potentially be the reason behind this sad loss…

Reason #1: Childbirth – this is an obvious one and although not all women experience pregnancy hair loss, having a baby means all your nutrients are going to baby first, before they go to you. Combined with the stress and lack of sleep that goes along with having a baby (I’m talking during pregnancy and post pregnancy), hair loss is a common side effect of all of this. 

Reason #2: Iron Deficiency – hair follicles requires a lot of iron and typically, due to heavy periods and stress, iron tends to be low in women. Ask your doctor for a iron test, sometimes referred to as “iron studies.” The typical range for iron is between 11-27. Ideally, you want to be on the higher end. If you are low, consider taking an iron supplement, specifically iron bisglycinate which is gentle on the stomach.

Reason #3: Your Thyroid – having too low or too high thyroid hormone could lead to hair loss as your hair follicles are very sensitize to thyroid hormone. Think of it like this, your thyroid governs metabolism in your body, so in regards to your hair, your thyroid governs the metabolism of hair growth, specifically hair follicles. Have your doctor check for thyroid antibodies, specifically Anti TPO (Anti thyroid peroxidase) and Anti TG (Anti thyroglobulin), which are the two autoimmune antibodies that attack the thyroid gland. Women who have high levels of these antibodies are diagnosed with Hashimotoโ€™s thyroiditis. 

Reason #4: Blame Your Birth Control – from depleting zinc (another critical hair nutrient) to shutting down your own production of estrogen and progesterone (which your hair loves), the birth control pill wrecks havoc on your hormones and in turn, makes your hair lack lustre, dull and causes it to fall out. Some pills actually cause a shrinkage in hair follicles due to containing more androgen like hormones. I’m sure you know my take on the pill, and if not, you can read more about that here and how to effectively come off of it. 

Reason #5: You Are Not Ovulating – this could obviously be due to taking the birth control pill (which of course stopping is your best defence against supporting your hair growth), or due to a condition such as PCOS. Ovulation is when you produce your beneficial estrogen and progesterone, which your hair so badly needs in order to grow and thrive. It’s important to track your cycle (either through an app or manually) as well as check cervical mucus throughout the month to know when or if you are ovulating. If you are thinking of coming off the pill so that you can support your hormones naturally or are thinking about having a baby, know that your hair loss could potentially get worse before it gets better. This is normal as your body (more so your ovaries) have to adapt to producing hormones again. 

Reason #6: Stress – I think we all know the detriment stress can have on our hormones and overall health. Having high levels of stress and not managing it effectively can lead to an imbalance in hormones, weaken your immune system and deplete important nutrients. 

Reason #7: A Really Shitty Diet – I think it’s safe to say that you know where I stand when it comes to food. If you’re diet is looking a little beige and lacking vibrant fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, pasture raised organic meats and variety, there’s a good chance your not getting essential nutrients and vitamins that help to support your hair growth. Ditch the sugar, ditch the coffee, ditch the processed foods and start eating REAL food. 

So now that we know what can cause hair loss, what can we do about it? Well, first you want to make sure you’ve taken care of all of the above issues and had important tests done. Then from here, there are a few things you can consider doing…

  1. Take an iron supplement, if you are low.
  2. Take zinc, roughly 15-25mg once a day on an empty stomach.
  3. Take magnesium, which is essential for progesterone production and helps to combat the negative effects of stress.
  4. Take Omega 3’s, like NutraSea or Nordic Naturals fish oil. You can also include more omega’s in your diet from cold water fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies. Flaxseeds, hemp hearts and chia seeds are also great sources of omega’s and can easily be sprinkled into salads or added to smoothies
  5. Stop using generic drug mart shampoos and conditioners. With all the parabens, sls and toxic chemicals lurking in these products, they are doing your hair no good! Instead, try washing your hair with apple cider vinegar or choose organic and natural brands. I personally love living libationscurelle and beauty counter.
  6. Ditch the inflammatory foods, such as gluten, wheat, dairy and sugar.
  7. Eat more vegetables (preferably organic) and dark leafy bitter greens to support liver detoxification.
  8. Consider ditching the pill (and read this article here first)
  9. Be patient. I know we all want our hair to grow back fast, but the truth is, whatever is happening to your hair now, was most likely due to something that happened 3 months ago. Yes! Your hair has a ‘memory’ and is sensitive to whatever is happening in your environment, both internally and externally. Were you under lots of stress 3 months ago? Were you eating poorly? Stopped taking your vitamins? Think back 3 months to what might have happened in your life and with your body. 

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If you’re looking for hormonal help, want natural solutions to treating your PCOS, thinking of coming off the pill and at the end of the day, want your healthy hair back, email me at samantha@holisticwellness.ca and let’s arrange some time for a complimentary call. We can discuss if working together is the right solution for you! 

With lots of love,
Samantha, RHN
xoxoxo

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My 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

Got a super health conscious and nutrition obsessed foodie on your Christmas list this year?

I’m sure we all have someone on our list that is difficult to buy for. Especially if they happen to be someone that is concerned about what they eat, they body care they use and is only interested in paleo-vegan-quality-type recipe books. 

Trust me, even the people I know really well (um, like my boyfriend), I still have a hard time shopping for!! Christmas shopping can be a hard task and I’m all for getting people gifts that will add value to their lives and are health conscious options. Hope the options below inspire your gift giving:

  1. Living Libations – The Seabuckthorn Best Skin Ever is my favourite skin care oil, ever! It’s my everything! Nadine Artemis, the beauty behind this incredible line, sources out the best oils and everything is super high quality and beyond natural. From skin care, to dental care, non toxic perfumes and men’s products, you will love everything about this company from the moment you infuse your skin and senses. 
  2. Pure + Simple – I just had to include another skin care line, because let’s face it, women love skin care and want their skin to be vibrant and healthy. Plus, who want’s chemicals, toxins and hormone disruptors seeping in through their skin? Not me! Pure + Simple has incredible all natural toners, cleaners, skin oils, makeup and suncare products. Plus, they have some amazing gift packs available this time of year. 
  3. Grovemade – Using natural woods and a ton of heart and love, Grovemade crafts beautiful products. We’re talking, iPhone cases, laptop cases, computer stands, lamps, cool desk accessories and one very awesome watch! If you have a techie in your life that is glued to their iPhone or laptop all day, these amazing gifts may be right up their alley. 
  4. Salty Kisses & Hippie Floss Oil – my very own line of all natural and holistic dental products. Of course these are all natural and toxin free; I wouldn’t have it any other way. From whitening teeth, to reducing tooth sensitivity, strengthening gums and preventing cavities, I promise you’ll love these products from the very moment you use them. I often hear from customers that after their very first use, they feel like they just left the dentists chair. Yup.. you’re teeth will feel that clean!
  5. Chocolate – I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate. Two brands I love are Giddy Yoyo and Sacred Chocolate. Both contain only the best, most natural ingredients used in their raw state. These make for great stocking stuffers and being that there are so many incredible flavours to choose from, I guarantee there’s a flavour for everyone. 
  6. Undiet Cookbook – the best part about this shopping guide is that I know the people behind most of the companies I’ve listed and my dear friend Meghan Telpner, is the amazing women behind this delicious book. You can grab your copy on Amazon.ca or in the U.S. on Amazon.com. It’s full of over 130 of the most amazing plant based recipes and will satisfy the vegan or paleo foodie in your life. 
     
  7. eCookbooks & Health Guides – If you’re more of techie and enjoy reading your books off your iPad (which is great for travelling), you can grab many of my ebooks on my shop page. From simple detoxes, to healthy holiday desserts and living the Qualitarian Life, you’ll find lots of great info about health, wellness, weight loss and of course, delicious and gluten free recipes. 
  8. Essential Oils – I diffuse oils in my house daily as well as use them on my skin and to clean the house. Oh! I even use them to do laundry! Ok, so, I use them often! From incredible quality oils, to diffusers and xmas gift sets, doTerra has an amazing selection to choose from. P.S. If there’s one oil you buy for your skin, make it Frankincense. It’s healing, nourishing, and full of anti-aging nutrients. 
  9. Animals – Yes, I mean real live furry cute animals. With so many animals needing homes, Christmas is the perfect time to adopt a pet and give an animal a loving home forever. Head on over to your nearest animal shelter or humane society with your family and adopt a pet today! 
  10. Health – YES!! Nothing better than giving the gift of health! I have gift certificates available for my services and my Metabolic Weight Loss Program. If you’re looking to help a friend or family member get healthy in the new year and get back into their skinny jeans, send me an email at samanthagladish@gmail.com and we can arrange to send you a gift certificate.

Aside from these amazing ideas and gift options, there are much more simpler gifts you can choose to give, such as, cooking your partner a nice meal, baking homemade granola and packaging it mason jars with cute bows, heading out to go ice skating with your family with some homemade hot chocolate in hand or donating to a family in need or your favourite charity. 

Either way, I hope your gift giving and holiday shopping doesn’t stress you out too much! Have other companies and gift giving ideas you’d like to share? Post in the comments below and let me know ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Happy Shopping!

 

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 bodyโ€™s natural detoxification processes. 
  • Garlic: Antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and anti-cancer. Garlic supports detoxification and is one of natureโ€™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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The 21-Day Delicious Detox is Here!

It’s official!

Roll out the red carpet and throw some confetti in the air! My 21-Day Delicious Detox launches today!

I can’t tell you how excited I am for this amazing program. 

If you’ve cooked up my recipes in the past, you know that I don’t disappoint. And trust me when I say you’ll love the new fall recipes in this Delicious Detox. I mean c’mon, why else would I call it delicious?

You see, detoxing doesn’t need to be about dieting or deprivation. 

Its about using food as medicine, because truthfully, that’s what food is. 

Struggling with a hormonal imbalance? Eat delicious, real whole foods.
Suffering with fatigue and low energy? Eat delicious, real whole foods. 
Consumed by sugar cravings? Eat delicious, real whole foods. 

Ok, you get the idea. Food is fuel and it can truly help you to heal your body and reach your health goals. 

As a nutritionist that’s worked with hundreds of people over the years, I know firsthand how food can play a role in someones health. I’ve seen what a diet full of processed, high sugar and artificial junk can do. 

I experienced it firsthand too!

From my late nights of bingeing on fast food, to my uncontrollable cravings for sugar, and my not-so-pleasant PMS symptoms, I struggled with a ton of imbalances. 

It wasn’t until I ditched the junk and swapped it for vegetables, quality protein, healthy fats and some healthified treats that I felt like a new person. PMS symptoms disappeared, my energy levels soared and my skin started to glow!

So are you ready to recharge your health and join the 21-Day Delicious Detox?

Here’s what you get for joining:

  • Delicious Detox Meal Plan & Recipe Guide – this 80+ page guide contains your 3 week meal plan and all of your delicious recipes like Pumpkin Pancakes, 30-Second Energy Bites, Paleo Berry Crisp, Apple & Turkey Breakfast Sausage and so much more!
  • Essential Guide to Detoxing – ever wanted to know more about liver detoxification? What about enemas and gut health? Or how to identify food intolerances? Well, this comprehensive guide covers it all. I share all my tips and tricks for achieving optimal health and detoxing the right way.
  • The Qualitarian Life eBook – my heart and soul went into writing this 200+ page book. From sex, to sleep, to body care and food quality, this is one very comprehensive book that teaches you about all the important aspects that make up your health. You’ll be armed with my incredible knowledge and wisdom by reading this book and best part is, you’ll become an expert yourself!

So head over here to join the detox today! I’d love to be a part of your detox journey ๐Ÿ™‚

Click here to join the 21-Day Delicious Detox today!!

 

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Ok… so I’ll admit it. 

I’m pretty obsessed with hummus. Like all kinds. 

Aside from just dipping Mary’s Jalapeรฑo crackers into it (which I do often), it can easily be used for so many recipes. 

I love spreading it on my toast and then topping it with a poached egg, or spreading it on my favourite raw sun-dried tomato wraps and adding in some roasted chicken and sliced veggies. Both are great recipe ideas for any meal of the day!

Plus, it’s easily transportable when travelling or heading out for an afternoon. Pack it into a container, chop up some veggies and you’re golden!

Bottom line, I love it.

With my 21-Day Delicious Detox launching in just a few more days, I wanted to provide you with a delicious and healthy detoxifying recipe that you can enjoy guilt free. And if you don’t happen to be “detoxing,” you can still enjoy this recipe and all of the healthy benefits. 

Oh! and in case you missed my periscope where I share all about the important foods you need to include into your diet to support detoxification, you can catch it here.

So, moving onto those benefits, what are they?

Well… there’s plant based protein from chickpeas (great for balancing blood sugar), tons of vitamin C from red peppers (amazing for liver detoxification and skin health), fresh garlic (amazing for immune health and contains sulphur which is a detoxifying nutrient) and tahini paste (loaded with calcium which helps to strengthen your bones and ease PMS cramps). 

Um… need I say more?

This hummus is da bomb and I think you’re gonna love it just as much as I do. It’s not just any hummus, it’s a roasted red pepper hummus and it rocks!

Ok, so, let’s get to it because I know you’re dying to make it and try it on some gluten free toast with poached eggs. Yup… I knew I sold you on that one ๐Ÿ™‚

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup roasted red bell peppers (about 1 lb. peppers, roasted)
  2. 2 cans organic chickpeas/garbanzo beans (15 oz. each), drained and rinsed well
  3. 1/4 cup tahini paste
  4. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  6. 1 1/2 tsp crushed fresh garlic (or more to taste. *Roast for extra flavour!)
  7. 3/4 tsp smoked paprika (or more to taste)
  8. 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
  9. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  10. Warm water as needed
Instructions
  1. First, you need to roast some peppers. Alternatively you can used jarred peppers, just be sure it's free of GMO oils and additives. Otherwise, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay peppers on their sides, stems pointing sideways. Place in the oven and allow peppers to roast for 20 minutes. Remove baking sheet. Using tongs, give the peppers a half turn, then place back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Check to make sure the peppers have fully roasted. The skin should be charred and soft and the peppers should look slightly collapsed. If they don't look ready, let them roast for a few more minutes. When they're done, remove baking sheet from oven and let them cool.
  2. Once peppers have cooled, add them to your food processor, along with the chickpeas, tahini paste, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and spices.
  3. Pulse the ingredients for about 60 seconds, then process again until smooth. If mixture seems too thick, add warm water a tablespoon at a time and blend until desired consistency is reached. Taste the mixture and add more salt, lemon juice, cayenne or garlic to taste if necessary. Process again to blend any additional ingredients.
  4. Place in a bowl and allow hummus to chill. It tends to firm up while it chills.
  5. Serve with your favourite crackers or veggies or use as a spread in sandwiches or wraps.
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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ยฝ cup whole raw almonds
  3. ยผ 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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