After coming off a 7 year stint on the birth control pill 4 years ago, you could have accurately described me as “hormonally challenged”. I know I am not alone here – many women struggle when coming off of the pill to get their hormones functioning optimally again. It took me a while to get a regular cycle back, like a full year to get even 1 period! Oddly enough when you go to the doctor to ask for help in regulating your cycle, they suggest…wait for it…the birth control pill! Well, seeing as that’s what got me into this mess in the first place, I started to look elsewhere.
It turns out there are many things in our modern world that can royally mess with our hormones, the pill is only one of them (though readily prescribed and available to women everywhere). Other sources of hormone dysfunction come from plastics that contain xenoestrogens (which imitate the real estrogen in our body), that can leach into our food and water, especially when heated. I cringe when I see people put saran wrap in microwaves!
There are also foods that deliver phytoestrogens, like flax or soy, which can be beneficial or detrimental (in excess) based on your own unique hormonal balance. Not to mention artificial growth hormones consumed through non-organic dairy and meat. Mmm, I’ll take my skinny latte no whip, extra hot and with a side of bovine growth hormone please. And, delicious as it sounds, the millions of women taking the birth control pill have to excrete those hormones (which comes from horse pee by the way), and they become part of our every day drinking water…yum! Seriously scary stuff!
I want you to know that in no way am I saying that all women should never take the birth control pill. I am simply stating my own personal troubles with it, and suggesting that you do your own research and decide if it is something you want to take or not. I know that I personally am grateful I came off the pill when I did. I am however, also grateful I have never had an unwanted pregnancy. However, had I come off the pill and wanted to get pregnant right away, I’d have been in a miserable situation.
So, if babies are a likely possibility in your next few years, you may want to seriously think about whether you should continue to take the pill or not. There are many other forms of birth control that you may perhaps want to look into.
Thankfully, it’s not all bad here folks. There are ways to counteract the damage these hormone disrupters have done to us…fewf! Some of the basics include:
- Avoid plastics as much as possible! Especially the soft stuff, and NEVER heat it!! I am notorious for using glass jars for everything in my house, people laugh, but I figure it is better to be safe than sorry.
- Try not to over do it with food high in phytoestrogens. No more than 1/2 cup of soy per day (please buy organic to avoid GMO!). Fermented soy like miso or tempeh is the best choice (make sure to check your labels peeps – soy is in EVERYTHING).
- Ensure you are taking regular visits to the can. Hormones can be reabsorbed and recirculated if you aren’t eating enough fiber and getting that $*^@ outta your body! Remember my favorite little fibrous seed, chia? Eat it up!
- Drink pure, filtered, or spring water, and lots of it (2-3L/day).
Furthermore, to correct an existing imbalance, why not try the Lunar Cycle.
The Lunar Cycle
One of the ways I got my hormones back up and running was by following the lunar cycle. Ok, I’m gonna get a little hippie on you here. If your period is irregular or non existent you can try and link it to the lunar cycle. Here’s what I mean:
Source: Dr. Arden Pinault MS, LAc, ND, adapted by Samantha Peris, Holistic Nutritionist
For women: the rotation plan can be done according to either the menstrual cycle (if it is fairly regular) or phases of the moon (if the menstrual cycle is absent or too irregular)
- From days 1-14 of the menstrual cycle (or from the new moon to the full moon) have 1 Tablespoon per day of a mixture of freshly ground flax and pumpkin seeds. You can also add 1-2x 1000mg capsules of flax seed oil/day or 1-2 tbsp flax seed oil to salad dressings.
- From days 15 – 28 of the menstrual cycle (or from the full moon to the new moon) have 1 Tablespoon per day of a mixture of freshly ground sesame and sunflower seeds. In addition you may add 1-2x 1000mg capsules of evening primrose oil/day.
NOTE: Use a coffee grinder, Vitamix or personal blender to grind seeds immediately before consumption or else they go rancid fast! Also make sure the seeds are organic and raw.
The seed rotation plan works because the hulls of the seeds contain chemicals called lignans. These can help modulate the hormonal pathways of the body. The oils of the seeds are high in essential fatty acids that provide the building blocks for hormone synthesis.
I have put many clients on this protocol with great success, not to mention I myself saw great results with this program.
If you suspect your hormones are out of whack, I highly recommend seeing a Naturopathic Doctor to get your levels tested by saliva or urine (those blood tests just don’t tell you all you need to know). Then seek their advice, perhaps along side a holistic nutritionist, to get you back on track.
p.s. Are you still meditating???