How I healed my hormones naturally

Two years ago when I moved to LA I was in pretty good shape.

Like, best shape of my life type of shape (not bragging just being real). 

I was working so hard to be a SoulCycle Instructor (which I've discussed before on the podcast). I was eating super clean, taking class sometimes 6 times a week.

Not that it matters, but to get an idea, I was around 18% body fat and weighed the lowest I had in years. Again, numbers don't matter but sometimes at this time I would look in the mirror or in phones and actually not recognize myself. In a good way, ha.

Fast forward to my first few months into living in L.A. I started to get super tired everyday.

Like, couldn’t keep my eyes open, had to pass out during my lunch break (at that time I was working from home). It felt like I was sick at times, the crash was SO intense. 

I was also gaining weight, pretty quickly, suddenly and I remember moments when I felt like I was wearing a fat suit. NOT CUTE. 

Dramatic I know, but feeling like there was a layer on you that wasn’t mean to be there, was pretty bad feeling. I would be in classes, literally holding my gut because I was so bloated. I started to outsize my clothes, and noticed such a difference in photos that I was starting to get really upset. 

It's the worst right? Looking at yourself in a photo being like WHO IS THAT?

Really depressing, to be honest. 

I know that there had been some lifestyle changes, the move, and I was working from home, so eating more was definitely happening. But I also knew that I was working out 2x a day most days, taking Barry’s classes, SoulCycle classes. I wasn’t messing around because I was trying so hard to lose the weight that I had been putting on. 

I know that you can’t outwork a bad diet, for sure, but the diet wasn’t as bad as how I was feeling. Everywhere I go I didn’t feel like myself, I felt like I wasn’t ME inside my body because I felt so bloated, puffy, and out of it most days.

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You know the phrase, ‘feeling comfortable in your own skin’, well I was definitely not feeling comfortable in my skin. Quite literally i wanted to crawl out of it. 

For the energy crashes, I started to realize that if I had any caffeine, a coffee, latte, pre-workout (which I had been taking so much of the past few years to perform well in workout classes), this would lead me to feeling nauseous ill, and then so exhausted I would need to sleep. It would also happen if I had sugar in large amounts. Any sort of stimulant, was not received well by my body, enough to make me sick.

At this time I was also not sleeping well which normally I am a great sleeper (super proud that I can sleep through any flight). I would have intense nightmares, and would feel a pick up in energy right before bed, which wasn’t wanted. 

Also for the sake of oversharing, I had zero interest in sex. Like, none.

It was still happening for sure (LOL SRY), because I realize its healthy to a relationship and I do love it, yes, but I felt like I had no desire. Like could live almost everyday of my life, without it.

My friend Ryan Burch was my sounding board at this time, and she was the first to talk to me about my hormones being out of balance, and that being a culprit of how I was feeling.

That partnered with Adrenal Fatigue. 

I shared about my experience with getting my hormones tested here, and about Adrenal Fatigue here, but my conversations with Ryan led to speaking to her mom Candace Burch. It totally changed my life. 

Getting tested for a hormonal imbalance, had NEVER crossed my mind before this time. I honestly had NEVER thought about hormones, if they were in balance, if they weren’t and how that would affect my energy levels, mood, sleep, sex drive, and weight.

All of course, that I cared about was my weight (in this case I really just wanted to feel normal) and being able to make it through the day from an energy perspective. Because sleeping at lunch, isn’t a good look.

My results were super telling, and I finally felt like I had the missing puzzle piece to understanding how I was feeling and why.

  • My estrogen levels were high (called estrogen dominant)
  • I had cortisol levels that were flat-lining during the day, and picking up at night which explained the energy crash during the afternoon and energy spike in the evening. All the reckless sleep patterns were explained by this. 
  • I also had adrenal fatigue, and my adrenals (which I didn’t even know exist 6 month before this time) had been working in overdrive with my physical, stimulated, stressful, crazy and busy lifestyle.

Basically, the body was like, yo you know how you want to take 100 workout classes a week, drink pre-workout, stay stressed about doing all of the things, and not pay attention to me?

Yah, we’re done with that and I’ll make you pay attention.


A little more about hormones:

The hormone that is fundamental to the female of the species is actually a family of three: estradiol, the most active form of estrogen; estrone, the inactive storage form of estrogen; and estriol, the weaker of the estrogens.

Estrogen has been labeled “the angel of life,” because it makes cells grow, developing the uterus, breasts, periods, pregnancy and the egg within the ovary—and “the angel of death,” because in excess it becomes toxic to the body.

Progesterone is the sister hormone to estrogen, working in tandem with it to regulate and protect the health of the reproductive system throughout our fertile years. Among its many vital functions, progesterone governs the second half of the menstrual cycle and is essential to maintaining a pregnancy to term. It also plays a part in the regulation of blood sugar levels, has inherent calming properties, and protects breast, brain and bone health. When it comes to breast cancer prevention, progesterone’s most important role in the body is to balance estrogen.

Testosterone is an androgenic hormone, or “androgen” (from the Greek, “andro” for male), so named because it is most commonly associated with the development of male characteristics.  Although testosterone is present in much smaller amounts in women than in men, it has a wide range of essential functions for a woman’s health. These include maintaining libido and sexual function, as well as the normal growth and renewal of muscles, bone and other tissues. It may also have a role to play in protecting breast health at a cellular level.

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body, including metabolism and the immune response. It also has a very important role in helping the body respond to stress. Too much of it can be a bad thing, it can lead to weight gain around the stomach. Too little makes you sluggish, and tired. You need a healthy balance! 

Source via Candace Burch

What’s adrenal fatigue?

"Adrenal Fatigue is a stress-related condition that occurs when your adrenal glands, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland are functioning below their optimal level. Adrenal Fatigue is usually the result of long term physical or emotional stress, and can lead to symptoms like low energy levels and weakened immunity."

Source

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue:

Exhaustion

Nausea

Sensitivity to stimulants

Inability to get out of bed

Nausea

Weight gain around the face, arms and neck

Inability to handle stress

For me, it was really my sensitivity to stimulants, energy levels being super low, and my anxiety that would peak at night, that really set me in to explore this further. I remember drinking a latte, and wanting to PASS OUT in bed I was so tired from the caffeine. I'd also feel super nauseous, and unwell most days.

Now that I knew my results, I was desperate to get on a path to really healing my body as naturally as possible. I was done with any sort of diet pill, any upper, and knowing wholeheartedly that I had done this singlehandedly to myself, I was motivated to reverse the damage.

Candace was perfect for helping me create a plan to heal myself because all of her suggestions were natural and homeopathic.  No drugs, nothing weird, no suggestions of birth control or steroids. 

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All of it, though was going to take a while. That’s the thing, is that your hormones don’t just get out sync overnight. Same with with the adrenals. Your body wants to be in a natural rhythm. 

But I was willing to do the work, and life at times can go by quickly. So my plans involved:


Working out LESS: Seems counter-intuitive, but I was just burning myself out. I wasn’t letting my muscles recover, and I was working so hard and not seeing the results that I wanted so I needed to do something different. Being more kind, taking days off, and essentially cutting HIIT workouts out of my schedule seriously helped my body balance. The stress of your workouts is good, for the most part, but too much can damage your cells and really set yourself back. Now I focus on strength training most days with Pure Barre and free weights, walking my 10,000 steps and sometimes a good cardio session at SoulCycle. 

More FAT: So key, having more fat in my diet has nourished my adrenals and helped my body get into a much better state energy wise, and weight wise. Having a stable blood sugar is super important for your energy levels, and your adrenals. I have a full avocado almost everyday in my Fab 4 Smoothie. If not that, I’ll have a spoon full of coconut oil, and really think about working healthy fats in my diet. This has also made me feel so much more satiated, full, satisfied and happy. 

More MEDITATION: Especially at night, using it to calm my body down and de-stress seriously helped my sleep and energy levels stabilize. My favorite meditation guide is Tara Brachs podcast you can listen to here

No CAFFIENE/STIMULANTS/PRE-WORKOUT: A given, but I don’t drink ANY coffee, or caffeine at all. It makes me feel like shit, gives me no energy, and there is ALWAYS a crash. So I don’t fuck with any of it and feel so much better. If you’re addicted to coffee, try to quit it. You save so much money, and I swear you’ll feel more in control. 

New VITAMINS (you can buy my favorites using the links here): 

Relora

Ashwagandha

Digestive Enzymes

Keto 7 DHEA

Rhodiola

Adrenal Support

Deep Greens Supplement

Less SUGAR: MAJAH KEY. Focusing diet wise on more fat and less sugar (now instead of calories I check, sugar, fat and protein on labels. Focusing on having less than 10g in almost everything I eat, has changed my LIFE. I realized how much sugar affected my mood now, and it’s crazy. It made me anxious, it made me feel a bit crazy at times, and now with less sugar, and freeing myself from any restrictions related to fat, has been amazing. 

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I also think about the rhythm of the day now. That in the morning, essentially your cortisol levels should be at their highest. It’s naturally to want to get out of bed, and feel bright eyed and busy tailed, ready to take on the day. The levels taper off during the day and at night should be at their lowest so you can fall into a deep sleep.

So trying to live my day with that in mind, I don’t do any high intensity workouts that promote more stress in my body in the morning. I’ll do it at night, when it’s okay if I pick up my cortisol a bit because the levels are already low.

I also make it a point to relax in the evening know certain activities will make my cortisol spike when I don’t want it to. 

All of these, I seriously took into consideration. Yes there were times I had too much sugar, would skip a meditation but overall I really took this to heart, and it felt GOOD. 

I started to realize a real shift about 7 months later. People were noticing that I was feeling more myself, that I was looking much slimmer (even though my weight hadn’t really changed but a few pounds my puffiness level was going WAY down).  I was sleeping through the night, my sex drive was back (hehe) and the bloating was way down. I was just feeling more healthy and more nourished. 

My word was nourished. I was nourishing my body.

As with any hormone imbalance getting tested again is important to track your progress and see what’s going on. I had my test taken a few weeks ago, and honestly getting the results back seeing that I had completely healed myself naturally was EVERYTHING.

This was some shit I was so proud of myself for. That I had done it on my own, naturally and that it took a while but I stuck with it. 

I had brought my estrogen levels, down, increased my progesterone and testosterone, and the cortisol levels were where they should be through the day. 

My hormone levels were basically reflecting how I was feeling, which was more in control, more calm and more me.

If you haven’t already, I would listen to the Almost 30 Podcast episode with with Candace Burch. It’s LIFE CHANGING, and oh get tested too seriously. It helps understand so much about your body. 

Also check out the supplements above, they’re all natural, and can be super important to helping your body heal itself, or feel better.

Anyone else have hormones issues? Let's discuss! Also open for questions too!

Also highly suggest getting tested with Candace, here.

LOVE YOU!

xo

Krista

Trust your GUT HEALTH: why probiotics are SUPER important to your overall health (with Silver Fern)

The other day I was trolling Instagram (which TBH I don’t do much because like who has time to search for reasons to compare their lives, ha) but I was doing some research, trying to find good brands to work with, that would be a good fit for Hundred or that I hadn’t heard of yet.

I came across Silver Fern, and was super curious about their products because I need to get a good probiotic in my routine. So, I sent them a DM and at that same moment, Kelli from their team had emailed me about potentially trying a few products out to see if it made sense as a fit for talking about with you guys.

Fate! I took it as a sign, and quickly after, scheduled a call to speak with Charity Lighten their Chief Nutritionist.

Let's just say, I was SOLD on the benefits!

(Also on her. She is AMAZING!)

She is coming on The Almost 30 Podcast soon, and the episode is JAW DROP! I can't wait to share with you.

When I received my new product, I was so eager to get on the pro-biotic train. Everyone was talking about gut health, and how important it was to feeling better. 

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With all of the things that wreak havoc on our digestive systems these days, it seems impossible that we can get to an optimum state of health.

But the gut, is not just about digestive issues alone. Gastrointestinal health can be the root cause for many other health issues including brain and mental health

Crazy, right? That's why they call it the second brain. 

The good news is that with a bit of planning and time, it’s possible to restore the full health of your gut.

AKA you can see major positive effects on your entire body, from mood, to memory, and more. What's also rad, is that healing your gut allows the body to build a stronger immune system and produce the right kind of bacteria that tells your brain lots of things like, 'feel good' and 'be happy'. 

I can't stress it enough that the health of your gastrointestinal system is extremely important to your overall well-being.

Because it is largely responsible for the critical functions of the body’s digestive and immune systems, beneficial bacteria in your digestive system have the capability of affecting your body’s vitamin and mineral absorbency, hormone regulation, digestion, vitamin production, immune response, and ability to eliminate toxins, not to mention your overall mental health.

What really gets me, is the mental health component. I know that when I fuel my body in the right way, I not only look better, but I think more clearly, I'm less moody and overall I have a brighter outlook on life.

Plus, the hormone regulation piece since I have been struggling with hormone issues across the last year. I wrote a post on it here.

Given I am not an expert in the space, I wanted to pull in Charity Lighten, Chief Nutritionist for Silver Fern, to share the details on why we need to be paying attention to our gut, gut health, and why you NEED a probiotic in your life if you want to look and feel your best.

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Why is gut health important? 

Charity Lighten: There is more and more evidence indicating that many health problems start in the gut. Thus, when the gut is off, or rather when the levels of bacteria in the gut are off…if can lead to problems elsewhere.

We now know that 10 trillion cells make up the human body and more than 100 trillion beneficial bacteria cells call our body home. The average person has 10 times more bacteria cells than human cells.

We also know that so many metabolic functions are dependent upon bacteria. Everything from our brain health, to our gut health and even our energy levels are affected by bacteria.

We are learning just how critical gut health is for overall health.

What is meant when people say 'the gut'? Where is that on the body?  

CL: The gut (or gastrointestinal tract) is essentially a long tube that begins where the food goes in (the mouth) and continues all the way to where the food goes out.  Some people think it is just the stomach areas, but by definition it's the whole thing.

What are some signs of having an unhealthy gut?

CL: Clearly there are obvious issues like irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, yeast infections frequent gas or bloating etc. 

But there are deeper issues that might also be at play. For example, if you have intense sugar cravings, have a hard time losing weight, or extreme hunger.  

These might be signs that you need to get you gut more balanced.

Also, feelings of depression or anxiety, skin issues or frequent illnesses could also be indicators that you may need a probiotic.

What are some things that damage or give a negative effect on your gut?

CL: Diets high in processed foods and sugar will cause damage to your healthy bacteria.  Excess alcohol use, antibiotics and chlorinated water will also kill off healthy bacteria. Emerging science is showing that strenuous exercise can also make someone prone to gut issues.  The good news

What are some foods to help heal or maintain a healthy gut?

CL: Many people think that fermented foods are probiotics. 

While I absolutely love fermented foods (as long as they are not loaded with added sugar like many yogurts are), they are not technically probiotics.  Meaning they won't make it to the large intestine and help colonize bacteria. 

From a food stance, eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes will give your gut the fiber it needs to fuel healthy bacteria. 

What is a probiotic and why is it important?

CL: Probiotics are not a luxury; in fact, they are a very essential nutrient that the human body requires for proper function. Recent advances in science have demonstrated how critical our beneficial bacteria are to our health and wellness. As it turns out, we count on them a lot more than previously thought.

Good bacteria in the gut take the healthy macronutrients (fibers, carbs, protein fats) and convert them to necessary, healthy nutrients like amino acids, omega fatty acids, quinols, B vitamins, GABA, BDNF, serotonin, vitamin K, short chain fatty acids, antioxidants, etc. etc. 

Bad bacteria in the gut take the healthy macronutrients and convert them to unhealthy, harmful compounds like aldehydes, endotoxins, ammonia gas, hydrogen gas, lipid peroxides, etc. 

So, the "health" in healthy foods is primarily dependent on what your gut microbiome looks like.

With that in mind, you need the gardener in your garden tending to the flora and ensuring that the bad bacteria are out and good one’s flourish. The old saying of "you are what you eat" is now better understood as "you are what you absorb". 

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Pre-biotic? What is that and why do we need one?

CL: Basically, prebiotics are food for probiotics. 

Healthy bacteria need the right fuel and the easiest way to get these "pre-biotics" is to make sure you are eating a diet rich in fiber.

What should we look for when shopping for probiotics and prebiotics?

CL: 1. Survivability.  It's important that you look for one that can survive all the way until it gets to the large intestine. This is where probiotics work to colonize your healthy bacteria. Most probiotic supplements are dead on the shelf and those that aren’t will die when they encounter the harsh acidic environment of the stomach. Look for the strains like bacillus that will naturally survive.

2. DNA verified. Most probiotics on the market contain strains not listed on the bottle. If a product hasn’t had strain verification or DNA analysis then you have no idea what you are actually getting.

3. Quality of quantity. Many probiotics promote dozens of strains with tens of billions of cfu, but these strains are ineffective bacterial strains that offer you no benefit. There isn’t a single scientific study that shows that more strains and more cfu’s are more effective. It’s all about the quality of the strains, not the quantity.


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So I am so excited that I get to share Silver Fern with you guys, because I believe SO strongly in healing and maintaining a healthy gut, you can rest assure that their products have you covered. Not only do they do probiotics well, but they also have amazing things like probiotic drink mixes, clean protein, healthy energy supplements, sweetener, baking mixes and fiber

I have also been taking their multi-vitamin, which has been amazing for covering all the bases, and making sure I am starting on the right food. I love that it's a whole food vitamin, it's vegan, it's natural. ALL OF THE THANGS.

My additional obsession is their Wai Drink Mix. If you want metabolic restoration, hunger control assistance, potent immune stimulation, prebiotic fiber, and 5 billion CFU of probiotics then Wai drink mixes are for you. TRUST, that they are DELICIOUS. 

I am thinking I need to do a separate post on fiber, btw because that is a BIG ONE. 

Are you guys currently on the probiotic train? Have you seen the benefits? I know for me, my SKIN has completely changed since getting my gut health in check, and I feel less moody, more present than ever before.

LOVE IT.

LMK and if you have questions, ask away!

xo

Krista

*This post was done in partnership with Silver Fern, all opinions are my own.

ALL RED in MEXICO CITY (NEW NEW - OUTFIT RECAP!)

Oh hi guys!

Writing from bed, after a weekend in Mexico City. 

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FOOD POISIONING HI.

It may not be right if I didn't get food poisoning right? I think I got it from raw vegetables rinsed in water, or something like that.

But starting Sunday and all through the last two days I've been in bed, either throwing up or sleeping. 

IT'S REAL CUTE. But I need to tell you, I've been watching INSECURE AND I LOVE IT. It's SO GODO on HBO GO. Promise, swear. I don't watch TV really but I LOVE IT.

Any other get well recs for me? HOLLER. 

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Anyway I wanted to share with you my Mexico City Outfits. Really into red lately, and let me tell you, all of it is of course, SUPER comfortable and all things you can wear for other occasions outside of vacation.

I know I find myself only buying vacation looks, where I literally buy outfits that fit the location so much they're like costumes, ha. But this jumpsuit I'll wear for a wedding I have upcoming (love a good jumpsuit at a wedding moment) and then the red dress I can wear for any date night. The to is a bit low for work in my humble opinion.

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Red Off The Shoulder Jumpsuit by Amanda Uprichard

I am such a fan of this designer! Shoutout to this new babe on the block for making DVF like pieces that FIT.

Red V-Neck Dress by Cinq-A-Sept

This dress is so SEXY, soft and I LOVE THE FIT. 

Black Denim Jean Skirt from ASOS

The perfect skirt for everyday in the summer. 

Tan Onesie from Forever 21

$10 - yes please!

Brown Metal Ray-Bans from Ray-Ban

My classic go-to's!

White Tennis Shoes from Nordstrom

Love these. They are perfect for exploring the city. 

Black Mules from ASOS

I love these. The heel is just right, and they are SO COMFORTABLE. 


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Sharing my full travel guide and itinerary on the blog next week! I can't wait to share with you, it was AMAZING. The city is incredible, colorful, fun, exciting and there's so much to do. You'd love.

Thanks for da patience when I am recovering, fam! Talk to you next week.

xoxo

Krista