Figuring out what supplements to take can be a daunting task. Like are they even necessary? Do they even work? Well supplements are just that, they supplement an already existing healthy lifestyle. So I have carefully researched what I feel will benefit me best. I knew the areas I needed improving in, despite my every day healthy diet filled with lean protein, fruits and veggies. I looked for supplements that would help my skin, every day energy, hormonal balance, gut health, immunity and brain function.
Collagen peptides are super beneficial for me. With my PCOS and my hormones being completely out of wack, it has caused some major unwanted acne on my skin. This collagen is made to boost the health of the skin while also providing benefits for hair, nails, bones and joints. It has 18g of protein per serving so for me, I have found it unnecessary to add whey protein anymore. Besides, I have been wanting to be done with whey protein anyway because whey is a dairy product and dairy does not do very well with my gut and skin. This specific product is flavorless so it can truly be added to anything. I have enjoyed it in my morning coffee and my morning smoothies.
Fish Oil: Omega 3 and Omega 6 is so vital for our bodies. These essential fatty acids help improve our brain function as well as our cardiovascular health. Fish provides the best source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids but because I know I do not eat fish every day, I have added this as a daily supplement.
Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc: Extremely important for muscle and nerve function and the zinc adds the property of metabolic and hormonal function. Which of course as we all know, I absolutely need!
Probiotic: This helps me to maintain a healthy gut. I have written about this before and I cannot preach enough how important it is for our daily health to have a healthy and happy gut. In addition to the daily probiotic pill, I tend to drink kombucha and that has natural probiotics and are so beneficial for our bodies!
Vitamin B Complex: I live a busy life, working a full time job and quickly start to feel run down when I am working back to back 12 hour shifts. So I have added this B complex vitamin in order to help with every day energy.
Maca Root Powder: Maca has been super super important for my hormonal health. I have used this in the past and got my period back so I have made sure to add it in for this round with working on balancing my hormones.
I have been known to start taking supplements and then just falling all the way off. Its too much to open every single bottle every single morning and sift out the correct dose (1st world probs) so I have come up with a solution! I know this probably makes me very high on the geriatric side but they are on to something with these pill organizers here. I picked out a purple one to jazz it up for my personal taste. It has helped me so so much to stay on track!
I follow several food bloggers on Instagram, and I came across one that had this great idea when it came to making her grocery list. She first writes down what she already has in her kitchen, then forms a plan for what she will make from the existing items and then purchases the needed items. It cuts down remarkably on the amount of money that is spent and also on the amount of food waste. So, I looked around my kitchen and I had quinoa that I had barely used. In addition, I had some produce that was just about close to expiration and needed to be eaten very quickly. That is where the idea of “quinoa salad” came about. The ingredients I had were the quinoa, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, green onions and feta cheese. I could have easily created a dressing and if I hadn’t found the Green Goddess by Tessemae’s then I would have. In substitute, I would have put olive oil, with garlic, salt, pepper, lemon, and possibly basil or oregano.
Fortunately, it turned out wonderfully. I cooked the quinoa as directed from the bag and once it was done, I let it cool on my counter for a few hours. Once the quinoa was cooled, I tossed all the ingredients together, added dressing until my taste was satisfied along with some pink Himalayan sea salt and then….bam…perfection. It was so tasty that I can’t even describe, you just have to try it for yourself. It was simple and easy, just the way I like it.
Last week was a struggle. I went back to work after being off for two lovely weeks. I was extremely tired every day, I was moody every day, I was hating waking up going to work, I wasn’t interested in much interaction with anyone….it was rough.
I couldn’t necessarily pin point one specific reason why this was happening. I could think of the many small stressors I was personally dealing with but its atypical for me to be mentally affected by that. Typically, I can handle stress and not let it effect me in my day to day.
Through healing my PCOS, I have created a plan that addresses issues holistically and that most definitely includes my mental well being as well. With that said, it is important that i recognize this was a low point in this past week, but also, what did I do to over come it? There were a few things that I made sure to remain constant since I have realized, I do not have control over everything.
- Sleep. Super important for me. As most people know, my job requires me to rotate day and night every six weeks. It is very hard to get a sufficient amount of sleep when you are on a rotating schedule. This was my first week on day shift, as I had just come off of 6 weeks of working nights. So this past week I set a bed time. I said 10:30 pm I am shutting my phone off, turning out the lights, and closing my eyes. No further activity after 10:30pm. With a 5:30 am wake up time, that gave me a good 7 hours of sleep, which for me is fantastic. In order to relax and settle at night, because this tends to be my issue, I got an essential oils diffuser. Ahhh so amazing and relaxing
- Next thing was my healthy meal planning. Each night after work, before going to bed, I prepared for work for the next day with my meals. If I didn’t do it the night before, It possibly wasn’t going to happen at all and I’d end up eating something not so tasty and beneficial from the cafe. This took much motivation because after being on my feet for 13 hours, the last thing I wanted to do was stand in my kitchen and put together a meal. But it was super important that I made this a priority.
- Staying organized with my planner. My mind tends to wander on the many things that I have going on or that I am thinking about but with my planner I can just stop and realize what is most important for that moment, and sometimes it is absolutely nothing at all, but my mind tends to worry when I don’t have to.
- Lastly, I took my supplements every day. I am usually really bad with taking my supplements daily, but I have made a conscious decision to make this apart of my daily routine so I found a system that has helped me to take them every day.
I think an important take away for anyone but especially for myself is that, I won’t always feel 100% happy and energized, and I will not always have control of my surroundings, but I can have control of my self environment and so I must take advantage of that when I am most vulnerable. Controlling the amount of sleep I get, the type of food I eat, and my daily organization allowed me to keep moving forward in my healing. And more importantly over any of that, putting my health (self) first. It is okay to be selfish.
That moment when you land back in Michigan and realize you are no longer in 80 degree and sunny weather and it’s time to get ready for the work week…sigh. Ah such a sad moment! I had 9 beautiful days in sunshine and warm weather but as the good saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
Being back from vacation isn’t all bad of course. I can finally get some grocery shopping done, cook in my own kitchen, and not live out of a suitcase anymore. Top priority, grocery shopping and cooking a good healthy meal because my goodness, how much crap did I intake in 9 days. Don’t get me wrong…I have no regrets but there is nothing like the feeling you get after being able to eat your own food from your own kitchen with your own wholesome ingredients.
Today I spent a good portion of my day jumping right back into my routine and that started with grocery shopping and updating my supplement supply. Lucky for you (wink wink), I vlogged a great portion of my grocery shopping. How fun! You can check it out right here!
There are a few things that are odd, for example, I typically do not go to three stores for shopping but I was gone for 9 days and I needed to get a lot of things. Also, I totally skipped filming in Meijer because what I got in there was unimportant things like Tupperware and an essential oil diffuser (because sleep goals).
The RN in me thought it would be fun to put my goals into a nursing care plan and share it with you guys so here we go…
Assessment: 29 Year old Female, without a period for 7 months now. Unable to lose weight and constant acne break outs.
Diagnosis: Polycystic ovarian Syndrome
Date: February 15, 2018
Plan/Goals: After 3 months of consistent interventions, Felicia will be able to demonstrate success by having a normal menstrual cycle, clearer skin, and weight loss
- Will eat foods that are best for her body including mostly plants (fruits/vegetables), Lean and grass fed protein and healthy fats. Decreasing the intake of sugar and being mindful of portion control while continuing the goal of not stressing when the diet isn’t perfect. It is food.
- Will exercise with a goal of 3-4 days a week at Orange Theory Fitness and with self created circuit workouts including a great mix of cardio and weight training
- Finding the supplements that will best help with the success of accomplishing the stated goal. Supplements that support balanced hormones, healthy gut, increased immunity, improved skin, and maximum energy.
- Daily skin care: wash face twice daily and use Mia for exfoliating. (I do still need to find a hydration/moisturizer. I prefer something natural. But that is TBD.)
- Keep a journal (or blog) of progress and set backs.
- Realize she will not be perfect in this journey and know that it is okay to learn along the way
- Be sure to have outlets for life stressors (such as work)
- Do yoga at least once a week
- Embrace all feelings and know that it is perfectly normal to be happy, excited, sad, mad, etc
- Use those around you to keep your uplifted and supported
- Set daily positivity goals and give yourself positive affirmations each day
- Get sufficient amount of sleep each day… 7 hours at least. (This is a joke since i rotate day/night 12 hour shifts every 6 weeks)
Now that I’ve told you, we can keep each other accountable on this wonderful journey. I will share what is working, what isn’t working and the progress I am making.
Get ready for a dramatic scenario….
You’re so ready for a fun Saturday night. You’re playing some jams, getting dressed and….Oh man….The dress isn’t zipping. Downward spiral begins. You get sad, upset and depressed. Say you’re gonna go on a diet the following day after finding the frumpiest outfit to get you through the evening while being sure to cover every fat roll that is controlling your ever being. Next morning comes you start the diet and, shoot, it sucks and the food is tasteless. You want something good to eat. After 24 hours you’re back to eating everything in sight only to feel horrible and like a big slob again. Dang now you gotta start the diet again…..
Does this sound familiar? Yea, horrible right?
Unnecessary torture that we put ourselves through.
Diets fail because we call them diets. We see them as a short term thing instead of making it part of our lifestyle. We set unrealistic goals and throw in the towel when we can’t reach those goals. We let our mood be determined by the number on the scale. We let unrealistic instagram bodies of women be our motivation when most of them paid for their bodies. I was that person. I let what the scale said determine how i felt that day. I would wake up in the morning, weigh myself before eating or drinking, be unhappy with the number and realize oh wait i haven’t used the bathroom yet….use the bathroom and hop right back on the scale in hopes of a magical difference.
That is why i failed at diets. One because i called it a diet, two because i didn’t see it as a long term change. It was something i was doing for the moment. Lastly, I let the scale determine my progress instead of focusing on how i felt.
Try this instead;
- Make small changes at a time
- Do what feels good
- Eat like you love your body AND your soul
- Don’t be so hard on yourself…It’s just food
- Don’t strive to be perfect…we have one life to live
- Enjoy every choice you make
- Be proud of each milestone of progress that you make
Yea…this is hard for people to wrap their minds around. They look for the cookie cutter tips. So I guess you want me to tell you to eat 6 meals a day, no carbs after 6 pm, only drink water, and never drink alcohol. Well sorry friend, you won’t get that from me. I am in no way bashing those that live those lifestyles. This advice is for those that are just regular people trying to create better lives for themselves each day. This is part of the beginning of a holistic, balanced and healing life.
When we talk about eating for healing, the main thing we must begin to focus on is gut health. This form of living can be applied to anyone but i am specifically focusing on my PCOS-ers because it is SO SO important to have a healthy gut in order to have healthy and balanced hormones.
Gut health research, in relation to hormonal balance, is still on the rise. But it makes sense that let’s say you eat dairy and it causes bloating and discomfort. That in turn is causing a negative and inflammatory response in the body which in turn causes the imbalance in the body’s hormones. Gut health is one of the most overlooked elements of hormonal imbalance.
For me and my experience, gut health can be determined by feel. How do I feel when i eat certain food items? Do I feel sluggish, energized, bloated, normal, gassy, skin full of acne or eczema?…This is where the term “listen to your body” comes in. It sounds silly but it is very true! No one knows you like you. No diet can tell you how you feel. This is why I am not going to claim being on a specific named diet because I can pull foods from each food group and feel fine but there are certain foods that i just know will trigger sluggish feelings, cause me to be bloated and leave me with a face full of acne.
Heres some questions to ask yourself to determine the health of your gut:
- After you eat, are you feeling bloated, crampy and/or gassy
- Is your energy constantly low despite the amount of sleep you may get
- Do you have acne or dry skin (i.e. eczema)
Consider looking into your diet if you have answered yes to any of these questions.
There are certain foods that make these symptoms worse and it is not the same for everyone. A few common ones are (not an inclusive list)
If you are wanting to make changes but find it difficult, the most important thing to remember, if you don’t like it then don’t do it and if it doesn’t make you feel good then don’t do it! Let’s say you love ice cream but it makes you feel horrible. Instead of saying i can’t have ice cream, switch your wording to saying, ice cream does not make me feel good! Switching your mindset will make a huge difference in the end, especially for your mental health! If you want to try this but have no idea where to start, consider trying Whole 30 with (the most important part) the reintroduction phase. I do not have plans for a whole 30 soon but I have done it before which is why I am an advocate for this. The reintroduction phase allows you to slowly add food back in and you can tell if your body reacts poorly or if your body does fine, and from there you will know what food your body responds to best and which is best for you and your long term healing.
Healing with food begins with being in tuned to our bodies. After all, this is about holistic living.
Stay happy and healthy 🙂
It has been nearly 5 years since I did a figure competition and i still get asked, “What happened to fitandsexyfe?”
It is hard to even begin because I have to think long and hard. I don’t know. It wasn’t a conscious decision to leave that part of my life behind, but it surely was one of the best decisions I ever made. Now let’s be clear, I am typically not a person to have regrets. I tend to think everything in life happens for a reason and that each experience puts me in a specific place at the right time but for this one, single time in my life….i wholeheartedly regret competing. Let me explain myself….without going into the statistics and details about women having a known issue with body imagine and eating disorders, that is my reason! I was never a person who was self conscious or who feared food until after the competition was over.
Before the competition…I was working out and eating healthy because I wanted to! Please let that sink in for a moment because this is extremely important for the rest of this blog post. There was no pressure, no social media influence (at the time), I enjoyed creating new recipes and making healthy eating fun. Going to the gym was a no brainer. I did it simply because it is what I looked forward to every day!
Now I created my instagram and what I have enjoyed with myself I can now share with thousands of people that I don’t even know! It was an entire fitness community on instagram and I was in the center of it. Topping out at 11K followers (before I deleted my account), it was amazing, the inspiration I could be to people that didn’t even personally know me. The cool thing going on back in 2012 in the fitness instagram world, everyone was trying out competing. Me being all about accepting new challenges I was like heck yes sign me up! 2012, I made the verbal commitment, found a “coach” and was ready to take my body to the next level (sounds so dumb now lol).
The “coach” (who will remain nameless) was actually a personal trainer at my local gym for a very long time and I trusted her word. If she said it then I did it! Here we are, January 2013, I show up to the gym, do weigh ins and is given my new diet plan. I set a goal to do a show May 2013 so that was about a 4 month prep. Turned out to be about 18 weeks I believe. I weighed in at maybe 165 or 170? Can’t remember exactly but for MY BODY, that weight is ideal but it apparently was not good enough for me at the time (eye roll). The diet she hands me was 1100 calories and I was given the instructions to do 20 minutes of cardio twice a day every single day. Did I mention I had 18 weeks of prep? Okay cool….
Prep was awfulllllllll…….AWFUL! I was moody, I was exhausted, I turned down invitations to everywhere with the fear that I’d be tempted by food I wasn’t allowed to have…it was just a horrible time.
So okay, the competition happens. I reached my goal but woah boy I picked a show that was with women that were stacked (probably taking steroids) and I was no where in competition. I think I placed last. On top of placing last, I looked sick. But I did it!
If I had a coach for after the competition then I would possibly be better off. I had no guidance for being “normal” again. Nothing felt right. Anything I ate outside of chicken, tilapia, or veggies was unhealthy. A few hours after the competition I went to bagger dave’s where I ordered a burger, fries, and shake. Not unusual for a typical burger outing for a normal person right? Well before that I started working on the stash of snacks I brought with me for after the show. So I went to bagger dave’s not even hungry but not a single soul was gonna tell me I can’t eat whatever I wanted! After that, I wasn’t done, I continued eating my snacks and specifically I remember oreos! This was my life for a while. I remember buying multiple jars of peanut butter at a time and they would be gone within a week. I’m talking normal sized peanut butter that would last any normal house hold a few weeks. It took a longggggg time to recover from this. Let’s call it what it is, I was binge eating. I have never in my life had an eating disorder, and still have a hard time claiming today that that was even a moment in my life for me but let’s be real. It happened. I would eat and eat and eat, feel sick, and then feel guilty for doing it. Denying myself food was extremely hard because for 18 weeks I told myself I’m not allowed to have it.
The end of 2013, I packed all my stuff and moved away. Only went three hours to Columbus, OH but I NEEDED to escape. I needed a way to completely start over. New people, people who didn’t know me when I was “skinny” and would be able to easily accept me as I was then. Not to mention I was starting nursing school at the time I was moving. Still not having a normal workout routine and solid diet, I searched and searched for some normalcy. No matter what, to me, I was fat. Looking back today to then, I can’t even believe I thought that of myself. But it is so real.
So here I am today. A new story to tell, or a continuation if you will.
I am no longer binge eating, I rarely have guilt of eating. Every once in a while it will creep up on me but for the most part that is gone. So in that sense, I am healed, but now I am fighting a new battle and one I am not dreading. I plan to enjoy this process and let my body do what my body will do without the stress and influences of others. This is my journey and mine only. 🙂
Now don’t ask me anymore.
Okay, I know what some of you are thinking because I wondered the same thing…”what the heck happened to fitandsexyfe?”. Now if you haven’t followed me from 2012 then you’d have no idea what I am talking about and I am totally okay with that because, who even is that girl anymore. I will touch more on fitandsexyfe some day but for today….why am I back? Oh my goodness. Sooooo much has happened in my life. So much soul searching, career change, moved states, new relationship, non-existent period (gasp!)…just life right? Main topic of discussion, PCOS! Why PCOS? Because it NEEDS to be talked about. Enough of the hush hush on the topic. We must get this out! Too many of us suffer in silence for one reason or another. Probably because most women around us do not related or understand at all. “Well what do you mean you don’t have a period?” “Well what do you mean you can’t lose weight?” “Well what do you mean you have to wax your facial hair?” Yea….I can’t be the only one. And i KNOW I am not the only one. I do not think there are enough role models for women like me. I don’t have that role model so this is why I am here with you today! My hope is that I can use this platform to educate, inform, and share a journey to (drum roll…) HAVING A DANG PERIOD!!! Um yea…for those that don’t understand you’re probably like, why does she care about having a period? If you’re asking that then this isn’t for you (you can stay for recipes and workouts I’ll share at some point :-)). This is for my girls that get it…hollaa!! Lets do this ladies, together! I am not a professional at this, but I am a regular girl trying to figure out not only why me but what I can do about it with natural and holistic remedies. Here we go!!