WTH Is up with My Hormones?!? (AKA Things They Never Told Me about Life After Baby)

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Blog, CrossFit Mom, happiness, Mood Disorder, Nutrition, Paleo, post-partum, progesterone, Wellness coaching | 0 comments

This post is specifically for the new mom.  By new, I mean if your kid is under the ripe old age of three. There is something in our society that makes women think we should just bounce right back and keep movin’ and groovin’ like we did before the birth.  If you don’t, you’re considered weak, unstable, and not resilient.  I mean, hell, there are women who CrossFit up to delivery with some pretty simple modifications. (Let the record show I was NOT one of those women)  Some come back insanely strong and go right back to competing (have you heard of Valerie Voboril?).  I honestly remember thinking that I would be able to work during the first month after the baby was born.  I was super fortunate to have a post-partum doula for the first 4 weeks with my sweet bebe.  I actually thought that she would babysit for me and I would go to the office.  HA!  I hardly moved the first two weeks after giving birth.  Instead of watching my kid, she did the laundry, dishes, made us lunch, and just helped where I needed help.  She was instrumental in my initial recovery for sure, but I quickly learned to slow the f#%k down.  Even now, I catch myself going too hard too fast, and my kiddo is almost two years old. To those of you who go back to work after six weeks and just keep trucking, I salute you.  I stayed at home and did nothing but baby for the first three months.  At five months, I went back to the office for my grad school internship.  At eight months, I was back in school full-time for my final semester.  I was also trying to get my bod up to CrossFit competition standards for the 2014 Open.  HOLY CRAP!  What I am about to tell you is not pretty, but I firmly believe there are a lot of women out there going through the same struggle and trying to find answers. On the outside, I looked like I bounced back.  On the inside, I’m a mess.  My endocrine system is so off that I can’t even make it though a full day without a break.  At almost two years post-partum, my adrenals are shot, my DHEA and pregnenolone are super low, and my progesterone is petered out. How does this translate to symptoms?  Fatigue, irritability, insomnia, depressive thoughts, brain fog, lots-o-emotions and anxious energy.  If you are a “new” mom with these symptoms, you are normal.  Let me say that again, you are NORMAL.  I asked my L.Ac. the other day how many women he works with like me.  He smiled and said, “More than...

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Whole30: FIN and Beyond

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in Blog, CrossFit, CrossFit Mom, Gluten-Free, Goal Setting, Goals, Mood Disorder, Nutrition, Paleo, post-partum weight management, progesterone, Wellness coaching | 0 comments

Here we are, Day 29 of the Whole30.  While I may have seen this challenge as more of an annoyance than a difficulty, I admit that I am glad I did it.  As I stated earlier, I have not been strict with my eating since becoming pregnant in the Spring of 2012.  Goat cheese, gluten free treats, and other non-Paleo items had snuck into my normal life, and it was time to clean up for sure.  I made it the past 30 days adhering to the Whole30 program: no grains, legumes, dairy (butter was out, but ghee was allowed), alcohol, added sweetener (fruit juice sweetened items were ok), or paleo baked treats of any sort.  The Whole30 has really emphasized that it truly STARTS with food, but there is much more to lasting vitality and health. In my opinion, a healthy balance in life considers Stress, Sleep, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Socialization, and Spirituality.  (In the interest of my considerations, Stress includes all contributors such as work, family, education, responsibilities, etc. as well as stress-mitigation, relaxation, and recuperation)  I’ve got my Nutrition dialed in, we are working on improving my Sleep, Physical Activity is still tapering if needed, and Socialization has definitely taken an up-turn.  I want to work more on my Stress management skills and Spirituality, which from my perspective go hand-in-hand.  Kundalini yoga was the perfect outlet for me, but it is currently a challenge to make the scheduled times during the week. Back to my post-Whole30 thoughts.  I have definitely leaned out, and am feeling a bit better, but not feeling fierce by any means.  Here’s why.  On the first day of the Whole30, I did a comprehensive saliva panel through my L.Ac. (licensed acupuncturist) who is also a Functional Medicine practitioner to check: cortisol rhythm, DHEA+DHEA-S/cortisol ratio, SIgA (a salivary mucous that indicates stress effect on digestion), estradoil, progesterone, and testosterone.  If you read a few of my previous posts, you will recall that 6 months ago, my progesterone was a post-menopausal levels, my testosterone was pretty low, and a couple of other issues were brought to light. What we found in this recent panel is that I did indeed have Adrenal Fatigue six months ago.  Watching my nutrition, fitness, stress, receiving regular acupuncture, and a cache of supplements have brought me back to a functioning level; sort of.  My body is healing, but still needs a bit of work.  Currently, my DHEA is almost non-existent, my estradoil and progesterone are within range, but still low, and my SIgA is so low it confirms the excessive levels stress my body has endured.  My L.Ac. (did I mention he is a genius?) and I are meeting tomorrow to...

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Taking On the Whole 30

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in Blog, CrossFit Mom, Fitness, Gluten-Free, Goal Setting, Goals, happiness, manifesting, Mood Disorder, motivation, Nutrition, Paleo, post-partum weight management, Uncategorized, Wellness coaching | 0 comments

I used to eat strict paleo. I used to zone every snack and meal. I used to feel INCREDIBLE. My eating habits began to stray when I got pregnant, and I have used the excuse of the baby still nursing to not dial it back in for over 2 years. You know what? I felt like crap through most of the pregnancy and have been challenged with fatigue and hormone issues for the past 6 months.  All I want for my 36th birthday is to feel amazing again. I take way too many supplements for someone of my age and it’s time for me to dial it back in. While I will not Zone while Sterling is still nursing, I can clean it up. I can commit to Whole 30. My sister encouraged me the other day to give it a try and today a friend of mine was putting out feelers about it on Facebook. I immediately answered the call, and we have devised a challenge that we can take on TOGETHER. Operation Fill My Cup commences on Monday! From October 6th- November 4th, we are doing the WHOLE 30. We know how much of a challenge this truly is, so we are setting up a support system to keep us on track. We are inviting anyone interested to join us. A private group on Facebook is up to share recipes, offer support, and help keep the motivation strong. You can do this from anywhere! If you happen to be in ATX, we are putting together some meet ups for face-to-face support and a little yoga to keep it fresh. Here’s our FREE group: CLICK HERE Ask for an add, comment, or message me to get in on the action! liz@lcrwellness.com...

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The Importance of Blood Work

Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Blog, boundaries, brain health, drug-free, Gluten-Free, Graduate School, happiness, Mood Disorder, Nutrition, Paleo, post-partum, progesterone, supplement, Uncategorized | 3 comments

As with all of my blog posts, it is my hope that I can help someone out there by sharing a story from my own journey. Sterling just turned 17-months old, and I am currently working part-time on this company.  I spent his first 5 months of life exclusively with him.  In the spring, I went back to my internship and my final semester of Graduate School at UT-Austin, and graduated in December.  The effort to complete my master’s degree, resume CrossFit training, and balance the baby and family duties was quite taxing to say the least.  This is an excerpt from my journal shortly after graduating. “12/6/13 Finally finished grad school.  I feel like my adrenals have been on over-drive pumping my veins with adrenaline to keep up with everything.  I want to collapse and do NOTHING for at least 3 days…. I am taking a [CrossFit] break to give my [parasympathetic nervous system] a chance to recharge my body.  I finally crossed the finish line and need to collapse and shudder all the excess away. .. Thanksgiving took a lot out of me. … I want to : yoga, meditate, get a massage, watch a movie, sleep uninterrupted, dance, laugh, take a hike, sit, NOTHING.” After a month of family time, I started LCR Wellness.  I thought my short “break” was enough to recharge my body, and I was ready to press on.  (Come on, moms.  We all know that taking time off to be with the baby is hardly a break.)  By March, I was exhausted.  None of my old nutrition or supplement tricks worked.  My energy and motivation had dwindled to a slowing trickle.  All I wanted to do was sleep.  My outlook on most things became quite negative, and I started experiencing intrusive thoughts.  I was well beyond the time frame for post-partum depression, though I presented with similar symptoms.  After all I have been though in two combat deployments and my time in the Army, I felt ashamed.  Here I was, an emerging Wellness Coach, yet I felt that I my own health needed help.  This was not something I could suck up and endure. One evening, we ended up in the ER as my hands started to tingle and go numb.  The ER doctor recommended I go on anti-depressants based on my symptoms.  It saddens me to think of how many women have been in a similar circumstance and decided to take the advice of doctors such as this.  How unfortunate that our societal norm is for professionals with over a decade of medical training to hand out pharmaceuticals without hesitation.  Seriously, this needs to stop.  Instead of popping a pill, I knew my...

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Grumpy McSugar Brat

Posted by on Nov 3, 2011 in Blog, Mood Disorder, Nutrition, Uncategorized | 0 comments

With the splendor and enchantment of Halloween behind us, I have a quick question. How many of you have kids who are substantially more rambunctious than usual? Who out there is feeling a tad more irritable, grumpy, or off-centered than normal? Who is including some of that Halloween bounty in your kids (or your own) lunches or after school/ mid-day snacks? Just a quick walk down memory lane from one my my previous blogs, insulin imbalance (caused by eating too many carbohydrates, in this case, SUGAR) can throw off your whole game. I personally gave in to some cravings this past week. Where were Peanut Butter Snickers when I was a kid?! OMG! Amazing! Lest we forget the coveted candy corn? I went to a trick or treating party for the kiddos on Monday, and someone made a mix of popcorn, Golden Grahams, candy corn, and pretzels all drizzled with chocolate. That combined with some wine and a slice of supreme pizza was super fabulous… until my blood sugar went on a crazy ride. It took me two days of clean Paleo- balanced in Zone proportions- to get rid of my alter ego, Grumpy McSugar Bitch. A few quick reminders to get that balance back:1. Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. 2. If you insist on enjoying the sugary goodies, balance it out with with good, clean protein like a steak at dinner, a couple pieces of nitrate-free turkey, or in a pinch, some beef or bison jerky. *This works wonders on the kids when they start that hyper-active bit* 3. Don’t fret if you totally caved to temptation. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, eat some protein, and get over it. Do better at the next meal. Check some of my earlier Blogs for more information: Another Nutrition Blog?! Cheat WeekFood for the Brain and Other happy thoughtsDon’t Do This...

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Food for the Brain, and other happy thoughts

Posted by on May 19, 2011 in Blog, Mood Disorder, Paleo | 0 comments

Anxiety.Depression.ADD/ADHD.Bi-polar disorder.Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder.Emotional Imbalance. What do you think about when you read these words? Hereditary? Diagnosis? Prescription? Disease? Excuse? The amount of pharmaceuticals available to treat these ailments is horrifying. Even more treacherous are the myriad of side-effects that would even scare the honey badger. There have been some individuals who have stepped forward to testify amazing health improvements from eating Paleo. I found Jen Cardella’s personal account inspiring and moving. People with Celiac disease make a complete recovery by going primal. Diabetes patients get a clean bill of health after removing grains, gluten, legumes, and dairy. What if mood disorders could be expelled as well? The Mood Cure, by Julia Ross lends great advice to rebalancing emotional chemistry through diet. Much of her information is consistent with the Paleo and Zone diets. I am preparing my testimony for the next blog, but let me just say, I was quite a mess. Imagine a life where you get the right amount of sleep. When you do sleep, it is restful, uninterrupted, and blissful. Upon awakening, you are calm yet alert. Breakfast is nourishing yet delicious. You leave the house ready to tackle the day. Work to you is hardly considered work because you do what you love. The morning is productive. Lunch, like breakfast, leaves you with an extra boost of energy to finish a few tasks. Your daily workout is strenuous (in a good way), and you depart your gym in a euphoric state of exhaustion and hunger. Dinner with the family is enjoyable. You find your young child’s antics at the table an amusing pleasure of testing boundaries and learning about his world. Winding down in the evening is combined with planning and preparing for the following day. As you lay your head on your pillow, you are relaxed and drift into another blissful night of rest. How many of you reading this is thinking, “Yeah, right. Only in a Fairy Tale, Liz.” I must retort, why? Why can’t you have everything you want? Why can’t you have that dream job? Who is stopping you? Why can’t you live a life full of health, happiness, and fulfillment? How many of you feel trapped? Stuck? Cursed? Always 15 minutes behind? Barely keeping your head above water? Unmotivated? How about this one. How many of you are just waiting out your time? Stuck in a job you hate because you need the benefits and retirement? Waiting for something to happen to give you freedom to live the life you want? My sister posted a link to this article by Scientific American today. It explains how neurons in the lower end of our digestion tract (enteric nervous system) affect...

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