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I know that many of you read my story about my hormonal health in my prior blog and I promised an update. If you didn’t read it, click here to get the first part of the “saga” -hehe.
Well to give you the update, I finally got all my remaining blood tests back and boy was it torture waiting. I started on some bio-identicals about 2 weeks ago after my first visit to see Prudence Hall, and I wasn’t feeling any better. Trust me, I know that this stuff takes time, and I’m willing to give it time. I had a follow up call scheduled with Cynthia, the amazing practitioner at the center who was to read me the results of my bloodwork and to check in with me to see how I was doing. I quickly told her I wasn’t feeling any different and she giggled, as I knew she would, and said, “I know honey, these things take time.” Isn’t that what I just said? Anyway, she thoroughly went over my test results with me and I was presented with the FACTS (finally) of what is happening in my body, hormonally, which ultimately leads to all balance in the body.
Now, you all know I eat healthy, I exercise, I don’t put any white sugar, animal products or other “bad” stuff down my hatch, yet I was feeling so unhealthy, tired and run down, and quite honestly, like a fraud. Well, I am happy to report that now I finally have ANSWERS to all of these symptoms and am on the road to balance and “recovery”…
Here is what my progress report showed when I had all my hormones tested:
LOW, LOW, LOW!!!
So there you have it, not only am I low in everything, as you can see, but my adrenals are completely out of whack, which happens when we are under a lot stress, but come on…really?
I cannot tell you how happy I am to have a solution to help heal what has been going on in my body. I have only been on my natural hormones to help rebuild for about 6 days and already I feel a major difference. Monday night I had so much energy I thought I was going to explode..in a good way. I recently started another round of P90X and have been working out pretty hardcore and I can’t tell you how good it feels to have the energy to do this. I was jumping through the roof during Plyo at Tony’s house and my dear friend Phil told me how strong I am looking these days..I am only on week 3! Thanks Phil!
I’ve also received a few comments about how much younger I look, and only in 6 days (and I haven’t even been wearing any makeup.) Whoa there is something to this. I will continue with my regimine and pray that each day will bring more and more balance to my life. Yes, I have to swallow some pills and dab on some creams, but I know that they are doing my life and my body a major service. I am so happy to have found my energy again, to be sleeping a little bit better than I was, and to feel more balanced emotionally. Oh yea, that’s something else that has changed; my emotional state is a lot less dramatic…when stuff comes up, I can move through it quicker withough diving into the poor me doldrums..yes, I have a tendency to go there, but who knew that it was my hormones, or lack thereof, taking me there.
So, that’s my update. I hope I didn’t bore you and I hope that maybe this will help someone out there that is having issues with tiredness, lack of energy, low libido, sallow skin, bad sleep! Please do yourself a favor and see an endocrine specialist that knows what they are doing. They will tell you all the appropriate bloodwork you need done. A regular blood test read by a doctor will not tell you anything! Hall Health & Longevity Center is my place here in LA, but there are tons of places out there, just do your research! I am so grateful that I took these positive steps for my health and vitality. There is no price that we can put on our health, ever, so it’s extremely important that we take excellent care of our bodies while we are here on this earth, and that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun while doing it!
Just look at some of the delicious recipes on my site that you can make and eat that taste good and won’t leave you feeling deprived! Until next time…
Kids, I know that most of you are aware that I wrote the recipes in P90X creator, Tony Horton’s book, Bring It, but not all of you own the book, so I wanted to share some of these delectable delights with you here on Karma Chow! Of course, this shouldn’t deter you from buying this awesome book, as Tony put together a revolutionary plan for all levels of exercisers, even non-exercisers that are thinking of starting. It even includes a simplified version of my 30-day Vital Life Cleanse, which has helped hundreds of people change their eating habits into a healthy lifestyle and build a new awareness around What they are eating, When they are eating and Why they are eating!
One of my favorite recipes in the book is the Brussels Sprout Saladwith Cranberries and Almonds. Most people don’t like Brussels sprouts but this recipe has converted a lot of those ‘haters’ into lovers of these nutrient packed, cruciferous orbs. This recipe was inspired by a salad that I love and eat often at LaGrande Orange in Santa Monica, which is now known as M Street Kitchen. I’ve gotten pretty close to replicating it, without the cheese of course! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do
Blanch Brussels sprouts in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Once cool, place in a large bowl and add almonds and cranberries. Toss with vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. This salad will be better the next day when the flavors marry in the refrigerator over night! Great to bring to a party or bbq and share with your friends!
Puree all ingredients together in a blender or shake in a shaker bottle. Save remaining dressing to use for other salads.
As a vegan chef and especially as the chef to P90x creator, Tony Horton, people constantly ask me for the nutritional information and calorie count of my food. Here is what I tell them; I don’t believe in calorie counting…What? You don’t believe in calorie counting? But aren’t you a nutritionist and a vegan chef? Aren’t you into health & fitness??
Yes..to all of those questions, and now I will tell you why I don’t believe. Ok, so that’s not fully the truth…I DO believe that calorie counting works for certain & specific arenas, especially for people who are grossly overweight and have just started exercising. They need a starting point and a caloric deficit, for sure. But this doesn’t mean that they get to still eat crappy food, just less of it…what they need is a plan that will work for them to help them achieve their goals, AND it needs to be a healthy plan, not one full of processed foods, and potions..as Tony himself would say…and it needs to be a plan that teaches them HOW to eat, not just what to eat.
So, if you want to know my reasoning behind my “disbelief” in calorie counting…well, there are quite a few (and of course these are my humble opinions, so you can take them or leave them, but I just know what works for people, and I have many testimonials to prove it). First, calorie counting, especially if you are fit, or even not fit, doesn’t teach you how to connect to your food. It actually disconnects you from your food. Instead of seeing your food for what it is, fuel & nutrition for the body, we start to analyze it, count every kernel and wonder how many grams of forbidden carbs are in it. We label it, measure it and scrutinize it as if it’s the enemy, when it’s just the opposite. We don’t allow ourselves to enjoy our food, to taste it, and to connect to it. We eat on the go shoving protein bars down our throats as we cart the kids off to school and we wonder why we are so dang tired at the end of the day. We drive through fast food joints and look at the calorie count of something on the menu, and think, “I can have that because it fits into my caloric intake”, when in fact the food is loaded with saturated fat and is just plain BAD for you!
Every time I host a new cleanse group, about a week after we are into it, I challenge my participants, many of who are Beachbody coaches and avid exercisers, to let go of the calorie counting just for 30 days. Most of them sneer at me and think, “This lady is crazy,” but when I explain to them why, they understand. And when they do it, they understand even more.
Yes, it’s true, as I said above…I am a chef and a nutritionist, and I am also an advocate for Intuitive Eating or Listening to Your Body. I know some of you may think, this chick is off her rocker and out in woo-woo land, but I must tell you, when you start to eat really clean and listen, really listen to what your body needs and wants, you will find a whole new relationship to the way you eat & live. Some of you may be thinking, yes, I listen to my body and it tells me I want; potato chips, or ice cream. And my response to that is, that’s not your body talking, that’s your emotions. Or your body may be so toxic that it really could be saying that. This is usually the case when people have addictions to sugar, caffeine and processed foods. But usually our bodies will want healthy, whole foods that are nutrient dense and loaded with fiber, complex carbs, healthy fats and lean proteins.
Another part of listening to our body, is eating until we are 80% full and then stopping. More often than not, we overeat, unless we are depriving ourselves with calorie counting, but we never really know if we’ve gotten enough food or enough nutrients. If you are truly eating clean, healthy, whole foods, you will really feel a difference and you will be fuller sooner and longer than if you eat processed foods, and you will get the extra added bonus of NUTRIENTS!!!
During my 30 day cleanses when people give up their calorie counting, what they realize is that they can eat as much as they want of all the healthy foods allowed on the cleanse, and still drop weight and have enormous amounts of energy (after they get through the god-awful caffeine withdrawls, that is). When you eat a diet that consists of mostly whole foods and minimally processed foods, your body will begin balance itself out and utilize your food for fuel instead of storing it. Now, this is only if you are eating WHOLE FOODS and not all the processed, sugary stuff. I say stick to 90% whole foods and give yourself a little window to allow for some healthy processed stuff, like brown rice crackers, sprouted grain breads or agave sweetened, whole grain chocolate chip cookies.
Calorie counting won’t teach you anything, except how many calories are in a piece of whatever. But, what intuitive eating will teach you is that you can actually listen and hear what your body wants and needs without depriving it. Calorie counting is deprivation. It’s a way to prevent ourselves from enjoying our food because we have to count it before it goes into our mouth and what fun is that? How about just chopping up some fresh, amazingly crisp veggies, and putting them together in a delightfully delicious recipe and eating until you are 80% full?? Now that sounds like a plan to me!
Lastly I want to say that part of reconnecting to our food is to cook it ourselves. And again, you think, this chick is crazy, I am too busy to cook. If you want to live a healthy, long life and have amazing energy, cooking your own food and knowing what you are eating is part of that plan! Bring it back to basics, back to the times when we used to sit with our families in the kitchen and share a meal. Involve your kids and show them how important food is to their well-being. It will help to bring you closer with your family and even your friends. I’m not saying you need to push vegan food on anyone, but what I am saying, is slow down, take some time, stop counting and reconnect to your food. Your life WILL CHANGE!!!