Why I stopped taking all of my supplements

We have talked about using supplements before, using them for both increasing fertility and overcoming different health issues. I also think that our food just isn’t what it used to be, and taking supplements can help fill that nutritional void. So why then have I not taken any supplements in the last few months?

To make a somewhat long story short, I wanted to see how my body was being supported by food alone.

You see, I’ve actually been trying to get in to see my doctor for the last few months, just for my yearly physical that I’m two years late for, and I also wanted to get a few different tests run. So I also wanted to see how my body was performing without supplements helping it along.

Now, I had planned on taking a hiatus from supplements for about a month or so. As it turns out, getting an appointment has proven to be difficult. Once I made the call in July, it took almost 8 weeks before they could get me in. Then I had to cancel, with the next time they could fit me in being 6 weeks away. Since I didn’t like my OB anyways I decided to go back to my MD so I could just get it over with already……and they couldn’t fit me in for 6 weeks. *sigh*

So I made the appointment and waited. Shaved my legs the night before and woke the next morning to a voicemail saying the doctor was sick and I had to reschedule. Not wanting to wait until the end of January for testing I called up one our holistic DOs in town and made an appointment.
Untitled

Eight vials of blood, a nasty bruise, and sore arm later, I finally got the tests I’d been wanting done. And I’ve begun taking a few of my supplements again.

Because if the last few months have shown me anything, it’s that I do feel better taking some of them! I have fewer headaches and less dry skin when I take them regularly.

I’m glad I took a break from them though. It was helpful in training myself to look to food to cover all of my bases and not rely on supplements. I was also able to see which ones were helping me feel less fatigued and so I’m interested to get my results back and see how that all matches up. And then hopefully we can get my body to a place where I don’t need supplements to keep myself feeling normal.

 Have you ever taken a longer break from supplementation?

Can I also mention a moment how …..annoying it can be to not have a doctor’s office work with you? I try to keep a healthy respect for the medical community, for it is because of them that many people are alive today. And if I break my leg or need stitches and surgery, I’ll be limping my way to their office post-haste. But trying to get an appointment for preventive measures (a yearly exam) that fits in my schedule has just been quite difficult!

It’s been five months since the first call and I still have not been in.

And then my doctor’s office called me yesterday wanting me in by the end of the year, said it was really important that I been seen right away and that my insurance company was requesting it. (This after not working me in earlier when the doctor had to cancel on me) All of a sudden they had an appointment for me next week, and I declined. The girl was adamant that I come in by next week and so I just couldn’t leave it alone. I asked why it was anybody’s business but my own when I get my yearly exam. (Yea, I’m kind of a brat sometimes – I’m pretty sure they have that in my file.) And after much talking in circles about how it was the insurance company requesting it, I just let it go. And called someone I knew who worked in a doctor’s office to verify what I was thinking.

That the practice most likely gets bonuses from the insurance company depending on the percentage of patients they see for things like yearly visits. (and vaccinations by the way……) So it feels fabulous to know, that in my case, a doctor will work with you more when it’s financially beneficial.

I digress.

I also wanted to make sure I let you know about a few things I’ve come across over the last couple of months, since I haven’t been blogging regularly lately due to taking a much-needed break.

Three things to check out:

1. My virtual friend Kristen, the one who created the Gluten Free Beauty product line (which I love and will be ordering more soon as I’m almost out!) is beginning a brand new makeup line called  Intuitive COLOR. She sent me a review sample that I’ve used and I truly do love how it make my face feel during the day. The makeup is handmade and free from titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and mica. And it’s natural! But it’s also not cakey (looks like I’m not wearing anything) and it’s not a mineral makeup either.

Intrigued?

You should check out her project on Indigogo! It’s a site that helps raise funds for all sorts of campaigns and Kristen  is trying to take her business to the next level. And in exchange for helping fund her business she has a variety of goodies for those who help out. Plus you can learn more about her new makeup line.

I get excited talking about this kind of thing, because I love the doers. The people who actually get out there and make things happen – make my body (and environment) a healthier place.

2. If you haven’t read the guest post about thyroid health that went up earlier this week, get thee to it pronto. Magdelena shares some great information on the basics of thyroid health, what tests to run, and some tips on healing. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve learned so far from her free video series and look forward to seeing what else she has to offer. I haven’t had a chance to review all of her products yet, so if you have purchased ay of the guides or taken a class – let me know what you think! Elimination diet guide1 How To Promote Gift CertificatesElimination diet guide Free your body from food intolerances impacting your digestion and your thyroid with this DIY Guide. Liberating results. Price: $17.00.

 

 

 

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Fire up my thyroid How To Promote Gift CertificatesFire up my thyroid A complete DIY 4-Step Healing System for hypothyroidism. Very content-rich and transforming. Regular Price: $147.00 Take advantage of 35% OFF Christmas coupon: Xmas35 and save.

 

 

 

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3. And good old number three, which ties in perfectly to our previous mentioning – the thyroid. I’d like to focus a bit more on thyroid health next month as I do feel it’s quite important AND not all physicians A)know what to look for and B) know how to test.

So if you have overcome issues with thyroid health, I’d love to hear your story as well as good resources for learning more about overall thyroid health, diagnosis, and treatment. Leave a comment and let us know how you worked through it – or even what hasn’t worked for you. If you’re currently struggling with a thyroid disease but are also looking for answers, let me know if you have any questions that I can somehow get answered for you!

(You can totally use a fake or anonymous name, but please use your real email address! It won’t be listed anywhere, but I’ll be able to email you for further info if needed.)

 

Thank you all for your incredible support this last year! From my family to yours, have a wonderful and blessed Christmas season. May it be restful and full of peace.

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Natural Fertility and Zinc

Zinc is actually one of the most studied nutrients when it comes to fertility.

Much of the reason behind that statement most likely stem from the fact that zinc is an essential component of genetic material. This means that a deficiency in zinc can cause chromosomal changes in either partner which in turn causes reduced fertility and greater risk of miscarriage.

What is Zinc?

Zinc is basically an essential mineral that your body uses in all sorts of ways, and it is needed daily to replenish your body’s supply. It’s so essential that it’s found in every cell of our bodies.

  • it helps in the production of DNA,
  • assists in wound healing,
  • is important for hormone production,
  • boosts your immune system,
  • helps in supporting the balance of our blood sugar levels because when we’re low or deficient in this mineral, our bodies insulin response slows and our blood sugar becomes harder to stabilize,
  • it’s required in the production of hydrochloric acid in your stomach to digest and break down foods,

It also directly affects your fertility.

For women, zinc is important in helping your body utilize the reproductive hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. A deficiency can lead to hormone imbalance, abnormal ovarian development, and menstrual irregularity. When your body is low on zinc it also inhibits the metabolism of protein, which in turn can lower egg quality.

For a man, it can greatly impact the sperm count since zinc is found in high concentrations in the sperm. It is also needed to make the outer layer and the tail of the sperm. If a man is deficient in zinc, it can affect his sperm quality and quantity.

zinc and fertility

photo credit: Brian Jackson

Unfortunately zinc is not stored in the body well so you must keep up a constant consumption of it. The best ways to get zinc naturally are to eat plenty of:

  • beef, venison, and poultry
  • eggs
  • whole grains
  • whole fat dairy products
  • seeds like sunflower and pumpkin
  • molasses and maple syrup

The recommended daily allowance is only 11mg for men and 8mg for women, though these amounts may be to low to help boost fertility and may only work well for those who already have an ample supply of zinc.

For boosting fertility I’ve seen amounts anywhere from 25 mgs to 50 mgs per day. Although long term use above 40 mgs has also been shown to cause deficiencies in other minerals (like copper), so if you plan on taking large doses, I’d talk to your doctor or get tested to see if you have a deficiency first.

Gluten and Zinc

When I taped our podcast with Dr. Tom O’Bryan (an expert on gluten intolerance and how it affects reproduction), one of the things he said really made me think. You see…..I’ve often known that a gluten intolerance or celiac can affect a woman’s fertility and ability to carry a pregnancy, but I never thought to much about the male side of the coin.

He told me that when the villi in the intestines are worn down from a gluten intolerance, that zinc is the first nutrient we lose the ability to absorb.

Yup, just let that sink in a minute.

So if someone is intolerant to gluten, before it’s even noticed, before you have any symptoms, you start losing the ability to absorb zinc. And with zinc so high on the list for important nutrients for men, this has to have drastic consequences.

Testing for Zinc Deficiencies

One of the other things I learned from talking with Dr. O’Bryan was that there was a way to test for zinc deficiencies at home by using something called zinc talley.

This stuff is supposed to taste horrible.

But if you’re deficient in zinc, you won’t taste a thing!

How to test:

  • Take about 1 tablespoon of the zinc talley liquid and swish in your mouth for 5 – 10 seconds. (you can then either spit it out or swallow it)

If you can’t taste anything, seems like it was just water, you have a zinc deficiency.

If you want to spit it out right away and it has a strong flavor, you have enough zinc in your system.

And of course, if you’re somewhere between those you can figure that the more you taste, the more zinc you have in your body. If you notice you’re deficient you can supplement with extra zinc and then test every once in a while to gauge your zinc levels.

 While fertility issues are usually not attributed to just one thing, have you ever thought about zinc as a needed nutrient?
Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Vitamin A and Fertility

vitamin a for fertility

photo credit: sunrise

Nearly 15% of all Americans suffer from a vitamin A deficiency. (In animal sources it’s called retinol, in plant sources it’s called beta-carotene)

Not only is vitamin A an antioxidant and helps to protect the body from cancer and disease by neutralizing damaging free radicals in the body, it also assists your body in the metabolism of fat, contributes to the function of healthy eyes, hair, teeth, gums, and mucous membranes, and plays a role in immune function and skin health.

It also helps support the reproductive system.

Traditional cultures actually used to give couples (women especially) with certain foods that were thought to increase fertility. Dr. Weston A. Price did multiple studies all over the world and found that in cultures with very fertile women and healthy strong babies, they were fed diets high in fish, organ meats, and butter from grass-fed cows.

All of these are rich sources of easily absorbable vitamin A.

So while these people had no scientific facts to back what they did, they knew it worked.

Vitamin A can help support a woman’s fertility in many ways, most noticeably is that it promotes better cervical fluid. Not only can it help your body to produce more fluid (making it easier to figure out Natural Family Planning) but the fluid itself is more nourishing for the sperm and helps them to live longer, allowing for more time to meet the egg.

Vitamin A also assists the follicles in maturing properly. Both in the maturation of an egg and then in assisting the follicle in producing the hormones needed to aid the fertilized egg into the uterus. So if your body is low on vitamin A, a follicle may not be able to function correctly.

natural fertility

photo credit: Spec-ta-cles

To make sure you are getting enough, be sure to consume a diet with a variety of foods that are high in vitamin A.

The retinol (animal) version is actually easier for your body to absorb while the plant version, beta carotene, is actually considered a provitamin in the aspect that your body must break it down into vitamin A before it can be used.Some studies also show that you’d have to consume six times more beta-carotene than retinol to absorb the same amounts.

If you eat little animal products, seem to be low on cervical fluid and have a hard time charting mucous for natural family planning, or have tried for awhile without success, you may want to think about adding a real food supplement, such as cod liver oil, to your diet along with your normal prenatal supplement.

The recommended daily amount for vitamin A:

  • men, ages 19-70, is at least 900 IUs up to 3000 IUs
  • women, ages 19-70, we need 700 IUs and up to 3000 IUs per day. (during pregnancy and lactation women require about 50 -100 IUs more per day)

Good sources of animal based vitamin A

  • Whole milk
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Fresh, unprocessed butter from grass-fed cows
  • Whole egg
  • Liver (liver is one of the highest sources, so sneaking it into meals can be helpful)

Good sources of plant based vitamin A (just remember the absorbing factor, each person will absorb it differently)

  • Carrots
  • Mango
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Cantelope

*Also, there is a warning attached to vitamin A, especially when taken in synthetic form. In excess of 10,000 IU’s a day, the synthetic version of vitamin A has shown to increase the chances of birth defects. Though Dr. Price found that many cultures consumed much more than this through whole foods. So find it in your foods before you turn to supplements!

 

How do you make sure you’re getting enough vitamin A in your diet?

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Boosting Fertility with Vitamin B

When looking to balance your hormones, it’s important to consume enough foods that properly nourish your body, especially those high in vitamin B.

And Vitamin B6 is actually one of the most important in the set of B vitamins, as it helps regulate your hormones.

Being deficient in B6 can cause irregular menstrual cycles, a progesterone imbalance, as well as poor egg and sperm development. B6 can also help lengthen the luteal phase of your cycle and regulate blood sugar levels.

How much do you need?

Recommended daily amounts for total vitamin B is between 100 and 200mg’s per day. At one point I actually started charting my daily meals on SparkPeople.com and realized that even my intake on a whole foods diet was falling quite short of 100mg’s. I just wasn’t eating enough of the right foods. The RDA for B6 is about 1.9 mg for women and 1.3mg for men with the upper limit of intake at about 100mgs per day.

vitamin b and fertility

Sausage and bean Soup Recipe

To boost your intake with food, include more

  • whole grains, properly soaked
  • legumes (beans, lentils, etc), properly soaked
  • eggs,
  • grassfed meat,
  • wild caught fish,
  • potatoes,
  • spinach,
  • avocado

The B vitamins are also water soluble, meaning that you eliminate what you don’t use and they are not stored in the body long term like the fat soluble vitamins.

It’s also important to consume foods as close to their natural state as up to 90% of vitamin B6 can be lost during the processing from whole to ‘processed’. Eating a varied diet is also very important since different foods contain different nutrients, this way you guarantee to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Supplements can also be a good idea, and most women who are actively trying to conceive should be on a great whole foods/raw pre-natal vitamin already. But the amount of B6 in them are not enough to help boost your body’s stores of the nutrient, sometimes only giving you a few milligrams a day.

The FDA recommended amount of vitamin B6 in a multi-vitamin is only 2.5 mg’s.And it’s hard to know how much to supplement with since the RDAs are based only on how much of a nutrient is needed to prevent certain health issues. So looking at the RDA of B6 for instance, you’d want to make sure you got at least 1.9mgs with diet and supplementation.

Personally, I’ve taken a B complex vitamin (B vitamins should be taken together for better absorption) along with a pre-natal vitamin when I need to. I’ve found recommendations to start supplementing with an additional 25-50 mg’sof vitamin B complex per day and increase it after a couple of months if you’re still having problems.

(taking to much  of any specific nutrient long term can also cause an imbalance of your overall nutrient stores as well, so be sure to talk to your health care provider)

Many things in our diet and lifestyle also use up the vitamin B you consume:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking caffeinated beverages
  • Taking chemical hormones, (i.e. The Pill)
  • Eating to much protein
  • Eating white flour and refined bread products
  • Eating to much sugar, and you may think you don’t eat many sweets, but simple sugars are in most processed foods!

So by reducing the ways that cause our bodies to use up the vitamin B we’ve been able to get throughout the day while we also increase the right foods in our diet we can give our bodies what they need to help support hormone balance.

And while increasing your daily intake of Vitamin B, please note that it could take at least a couple of months to really notice a difference as it can take some time to balance the hormones.

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Royal Jelly Benefits and Fudge Recipe

Royal jelly may help increase your natural fertility by providing your body with needed nutrients.

This “jelly” is actually secreted by the worker bees within a hive and used to feed all growing larvae for three days. When the hive needs a new queen bee, a larvae is selected and placed within a specially constructed queen cell. These particular cells allow for the larvae to be surrounded with copious amounts of this royal jelly, which feed her during her entire growth period whereas the non fertile worker bees are only fed this jelly in their beginning growth stage.

Feeding a larvae like this signals the development of a queen, which includes the formation of the ovaries needed to lay eggs.

While absent of the ever important fat-soluble vitamins, it remains a good source of B vitamins, protein, small amounts of amino acids and fatty acids, as well trace minerals, some enzymes, and trace amounts of vitamin C.

It’s been shown in some studies to balance hormones and increase egg health.

Royal jelly can be taken in capsule form and is often sold as a mixture with raw honey and bee propolis.

I actually bought a royal jelly complex awhile back. To be honest, I bought this complex just because it was available locally, but along with raw honey and royal jelly it also contains American ginseng, bee pollen (rich in amino acids and studies have shown that it helps increase libido, improves ovarian function, and alleviates PMS), and bee propolis (known to stimulate the immune system and relieve inflammation).

It tastes rather sweet due to the honey, but I was finding it difficult to take regularly. Sometimes I’d put some in a smoothie, other times I’d just take a spoonful, although that was not my favorite way. It tends to have a weird texture and aftertaste when eaten alone.

I just couldn’t seem to remember to take it!

But last night, brilliance hit.

I’ve made raw fudge many different times with honey, why not with royal jelly?

Todd always tells me that I make enough stuff, at some point I’ll get it right………


And fudge is so very right.

This raw fudge recipe is full of the goodness of royal jelly, the richness of cacao, and good fats for your fertility.

Royal Jelly Fudge

Ingredients
4 tablespoons royal jelly complex (or royal jelly and raw honey mix)
4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
2-3 tablespoons peanut or almond butter (optional)

Method of Preparation

1. Combine all ingredients until well mixed.

2. Pour the mixture into a small pan (bread pan works well) or evenly into an ice cube tray.

3. Freeze until solid and cut into 12 even pieces. This way you should be getting about one teaspoon of royal jelly complex in each ‘dose’.

4. Store in the freezer to keep solid.

The directions on my royal jelly complex jar say to take one teaspoon three times per day, but check whatever you buy to make sure.

I’d say that a small piece of fudge a few times per day sounds like a fantastic way to get in a bit of extra nourishment!

 

*I like to include peanut butter or almond butter in mine for some protein as well. This way I’m getting protein along with the fat from coconut oil and the natural sugar from the honey. Seems to me that it would round out the micro-nutrients a bit better this way.

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.