This is a very personal topic to me but I feel I need to share my experience to make other women aware of how delicate our hormones are and the balance of them.
My experience with healing my hormones has been a three-year messy journey, beginning when I decided to see a doctor and a dermatologist about my acne. At the time I was 16, living off Kraft Dinner and peanut M&M’s. NO wonder my skin was a mess. How naïve and uneducated I was with the better alternatives – but with recommendations from both doctors I got onto the birth control train and soon was derailed. It made my cramps worse, my skin wasn’t any better, and I was an emotional wreck.
So with no improvement, I eased off the pills and at the same time, I entered into a world of embracing plants and exercise into my daily routine. I stopped using chemicals on my face, refusing to expose myself to toxins. I WAS DONE.
I became educated. As a longtime vegetarian, I began to truly learn the basics of how to eat and prepare whole foods and living a holistic life – transitioning from watching TV to getting outside and enjoying nature. During this transitional time, I seemed to have lost my period. For a whole year. I thought, it must just be my body transitioning – I mean it had to be a shock to my system. I needed help.
So I sought out the advice of a naturopath who told me to take chaste tree and eat specific seeds according to the moon cycles (since our periods are influenced by the energy of the moon). I also went to the chiropractor and with both of their efforts, finally had a period!! Who knew a woman could be so excited to get their period! But after that first time, another year went by without a normal period. I got a little too excited too fast.
I also ate primarily vegan at this time, and started trying different types of vegan diets to see what worked best for my hormones. I tried a mostly raw and high fruit diet, dabbled with a high carb and low fat lifestyle, and even experimented with a high fat diet with an emphasis on nuts, only to see my skin get worse and no difference in my hormones. Feeling desperate and searching through every single article on the Internet on how to fix hormones naturally, I started eating eggs again to see if that would make a difference. Again, nothing.
I was tested for food sensitivities and allergies by a homeopathic doctor, and was told my body wasn’t properly metabolizing sugars. So I began a candida cleanse, eating little to no sugar and no grains and nourishing my skin with healthy fats including avocado and coconut. I felt my blood sugar was stabilized as I was less hungry as often and started feeling my best, but still had no period and persistent breakouts.
Recently, I went to a different naturopath and she told me that she thought I had PCOS, which I thought about but didn’t have many of the obvious symptoms. She thought I was doing everything right, and suggested that I try acupuncture – the only last thing I hadn’t attempted. She also gave me inositol to try, as I assume my body became immune to the chaste tree (it was doing nothing!).
Then miraculously, within TWO days, my period came back! I continue to eat a vegan diet high in good omega 3 fatty acids and my skin has been thankful ever since. It has been a crazy journey, but I think that once you find what works for you and your body through your diet, supplements and treatments, you will be surprised to see how quickly your body can heal itself.
Here are a few tips I have if you are a hormonal mess like I was:
Ditch birth control
Birth control pills mimic your hormones and fill your body with confusing signals and chemicals that lead to more health problems. Try using an app that tracks your cycles like Kindara and if you are on the pill to heal your skin – you need to find the root cause of your skin issues, not just using the pill as a quick fix to your symptoms.
I find getting my daily exercise in through rebounding, resistance training and yoga has helped my skin and regulated my sleep, stress and hormone levels.
Eat foods that fuel your hormones
I found that by eating a diet higher in good omega 3 fats through avocado, hemp and chia seeds, and less grains (omega 6s) and fruit (some have high glycemic indexes and can spike blood sugar), I was able to stabilize my blood sugar and regulate my hormones. I also have at least 2 servings of veggies at each meal, with a mix of raw and cooked plants to help my digestion. I try to eat as many alkaline foods as possible, supplying my microbiome with probiotics and clean veggie fuel to support my hormone production.
Get a good face cleanser
I ditched the chemicals and body washes and started using Eminence Organics products for my acne prone skin and a rose and neroli hydrosol. I also have incorporated essential oils like lavender, rosemary and peppermint into my daily routine to keep my stress to a minimum and improve the quality of my sleep.
Find natural alternatives and treatment
If you have tried a supplement for a while and you don’t see results, it’s clearly not working for your body. Try getting a second opinion from a different naturopath, or experiment with treatments like reiki or acupuncture in order to start seeing positive changes.
I encourage you to be patient and not give up on your body. It will figure itself out, just find the treatments that work for you, the foods that support your hormones and be kind to yourself.
Peace & Love,
Jill – your veggie villager xx