Host: Hello, and welcome to the “Healthy Balanced Birth and Beyond” podcast. I’m Olivia, your host and on this podcast we will talk about everything related to the journey to conceive, pregnancy, labour, birth, postpartum, parenthood & beyond. This is a safe place for birth professionals, birthing people, expecting parents, and partners can come on and share their knowledge or personal experience with their listeners. The goal of this podcast is to create connections, share stories, information and resources to educate and Empower people and their own personal journey. Good morning listeners, welcome back to this week’s episode of “Healthy, Balanced Birth and Beyond” podcast, today I have a special guest with me who is actually located in Hawaii, her name is September and we recently connected via email and Instagram and she would like to share a bit above her story in regards to talking about miscarriages and infertility and she is now a mother of seven so we are going to dive into how that happened for her and what she did to get herself there. So September, would you like to tell us a little bit about you.
Guest: Yeah absolutely, thank you so much for having me on, this is really exciting. So my story is, yes I am now a mother of 7, I had three children. I had my first at 25, and then 27 and 29 and then after number 3- number three was a little bit of a more difficult pregnancy in the first two. And then the delivery with him as well, he had, he was born at home but he had shoulder dystocia so he got stuck in the birth canal, and when he was born we had to kind of convince him that breathing was a good idea, so the pregnancy was a little bit different than the first two. And then after that their dad, when he was less than a year old, their dad went to Afghanistan for a year. After he got back, we, I accidentally kind of got pregnant oh, it wasn’t really an intentional pregnancy and I lost that pregnancy very quickly and even if you unintentionally get pregnant it takes you what, half a second to get excited that you’re pregnant, even when you’re not expecting it until there was that sense of excitement and you know we’re having another baby, and then that baby was gone. And so ended up happening 4 times in a row just back-to-back miscarriages. so we can get up how the pregnancy has gone I was like “ I feel like something is off” and I had started a nutrition school, I’ve been interested in nutrition since I was about 20, and so I had started a nutrition program and was learning a lot and I have started a business and was working with people on you know weight loss and blood sugar stabilization and things like that and so I thought you know if I’m helping these people with these other things, maybe if I really really stick to what I’m preaching then that will help me with the miscarriages, and actually be able to maintain a pregnancy. so I did that, and I really really stuck to it and it did work and Gracie is now 7 and 1/2 and an absolute little firecracker, she’s so fun. And then I- a little bit of a glitch there in the story, I divorced their dad and then got into another relationship what’s a man who didn’t have any children so we wanted to have one together so we had which we didn’t have any difficulty conceiving her at all, at this time I had been so into the nutrition fun stuff for so long that I you know, wasn’t even concerned about it. So I had her and then I got a covered IUD put in and then I got pregnant with twins and so there’s seven of them oh, so going from recurrent miscarriages to very actively trying to prevent a pregnancy and “ oh here’s two more by the way”.
Host- Oh my goodness, well I mean that sounds like such a journey and I do want to say how sorry I am for the babies that you have lost because like you said, I don’t think that people fully understand, when you do become pregnant and then you start thinking about your having a baby and you start planning for it and how it’s going to change your life, and then you lose them it’s just like, everything changes. And so I’m very very sorry about that.
Guest- Thank you, it is devastating and it changes your perspective on a lot of different things, you start to see things very very differently. I don’t know what more to say about that but it’s hard for anybody to go through.
Host- Yeah I know, I just wanted to say that because I feel like there are also some people who just don’t understand that like, even when you do have a miscarriage you still have a baby and that still makes you a mom. So I think that’s the thing to talk about and make sure that people are mindful of the language that they’re using.
Guest- Absolutely, and I do think that there is you know you need to mourn the loss of those children, you are their mother and there is a mourning and a grieving process that I think is very important to actually allow yourself to go through.
Host- Absolutely oh, I totally agree. So, in terms of your nutrition journey, that led you to your job now, correct?
Guest- Yes, that’s also been a journey, everything about my life kind of evolves over time. But once I was able to get pregnant and stay pregnant and realize that it was because of the nutrition, I started turning my focus to working with couples with infertility. And so my practice was pretty much based on infertility. And so I just worked with individual couples and helped them change their diets and lifestyle, clean up their cleaning products and their body products and all of those kinds of things and change their nutrition. And it was incredibly effective and so I decided that, I kind of am of the mindset that every modality of their works, it’s just a matter of figuring out which one is right for you. so I didn’t want to stay completely focussed on nutrition when there’s you know acupuncture and chiropractor and there’s so many other different modalities out there but all have an influence in an effect and they’re all effective. Until I started the Colorado Fertility Conference, so that was based all around bringing all of these different practitioners together and we had the reproductive endocrinologist there, we had everybody. So that was really really incredible and then that was the premise of that was: yes nutrition works, but so does this, and so does this and so does this, so let’s bring everybody together under one roof so that couples can get their questions answered in one day, all at once without spending months or years tracking down all of these different people. So then I moved to Hawaii, and when I got to Hawaii, I reached out to the owner of Hawaii surrogacy and I said “Hey, can I just do some recruiting for you?” because I thought you know I’m just getting to the island I’m just getting my bearings so I’ll do some recruiting. And she wrote me back and she said “ I’m looking for a coordinator on Kauai, why don’t you just be the coordinator instead of just being a recruiter?” and so I said “ oh fantastic, that’s great.” and so I started being the Kawai coordinator for Hawaii surrogacy. Well I ended up having to leave Hawaii very suddenly and unexpectedly and so I sent her an email and said “ I’m very sorry but I have to go.” and she said “ Well, Why don’t we just keep you on as the health coach, we’ve already got your program on our website and that’s going, so just stay on board and just be our health coach for us.” and so I said “ Well that’s fantastic, absolutely I will definitely do that.” so that’s kind of the journey that led to being the health coach for Hawaii surrogacy.
Host- Wow, I mean it seems like, I mean there are things that I didn’t even know that you talk to boo. So, I didn’t know about the Colorado fertility conference, so could you tell us a little bit more about that?
Guest- Yea so, in May of 2019, was when we held the Colorado fertility conference, that’s based around bringing and everybody from the reproductive endocrinologist to the most holistic people, we had somebody there from embryo adoption oh, I don’t know if you’re familiar with embryo adoption but that’s a fascinating concept right there.
Host- Yeah I know, I would actually, I’d love to hear more about it.
Guest- So embryo adoption is basically, you have these couples that are going through IVF treatments, they create multiple embryos and then they only want to implant one or maybe two of those embryos but some of them have five, six, seven embryos. They don’t necessarily want a family that big and so the question becomes, well what do you do with these embryos. They’re just sitting in a freezer basically. So embryo adoption companies, agencies, started stepping in and saying: well there are lots of couples out there who can’t use their own sperm or own eggs so why don’t we let them adopt these embryos? So they’ll plant them into the mother, and so genetically, this child is an adopted child, but she gave birth to her own adopted child. So it’s a cool concept.
Host- Yeah, I’ve actually never heard of that and I’m glad that you talked about it because I, I don’t think many people know that that is an option and part of what I want this podcast to be about is, making sure that people know what all of their options are, so that’s amazing.
Guest- Yeah absolutely, I didn’t know anything about it until the conference either. I think they reached out to me and said that they wanted to be a part of the conference so that specific company was called “Snowflake Adoption Agency” but there are others out there too. (10:00) So the conference was just an all day oh, I think it was on a Saturday, so we just spent the day together and we did different classes and I had a fertility attorney there, that fertility attorney actually owns Colorado surrogacy so, you know, she came in and she talked about some of the legal aspects of infertility and lots of different thanks again after think about when you are going through adoption or surrogacy or those kinds of things. It was just a great day, very educational, and it was helpful, I think for the couples who attended.
Host- Yeah, I was gonna ask so is that going to be something that’s reoccurring, or you guys just had held it once?
Guest- It was supposed to be a recurring thing but life circumstances has made it so that it’s probably not going to happen again. I would love for it to.
Host- Yeah I mean I think it’s so important and yeah it’s amazing that you guys did that and got all of those different resources in one space for families to come and sit and listen and talk to you, rather than having it be like you said, drawn out over months, drawn-out over years oh, them having to do their own research. Because honestly it’s hard to find research about pregnancy, and fertility really really accurate research, and so when you have people who are experts within the space, having them all together is just absolutely incredible.
guest- Part of the inspiration for it was that I met and IVF doctor from the Ukraine, and he and I sat down for lunch one day and just talked about how things are so different over in the Ukraine, and what they do there is oh, you know his IVF Clinic has everything Under One Roof and he talks about how, if you’re sending referrals out and they’re sending these couples to another doctor, or another, whatever the case may be, you’re wasting precious time. And when you’re talking about infertility, the clock is ticking. We all know that, and every moment is precious and so why spend years going from one place to another when it can be all posed under one roof. So that was kind of the inspiration for the conference there.
Host- That’s one thing to where I’ve been talking to, whether it’s mothers, or people within the birth space, in the fertility space, is that I just feel like we need more clinics that have everything all together like encompassed as one, so like you said having it all under a roof so when somebody comes in saying they want to do acupuncture if they’re struggling with infertility they can do acupuncture, if they want to start learning about nutrition they can come see a health coach like you, if they want to get some blood work done, they can see a functional medicine doctor, you know? Like having all of those things underneath one roof so people know about what their options are so they’re accessible, I think that’s one of the biggest things that seems to be the hardest when it comes to talking about this is making sure that it’s accessible to everybody.
Guest- Absolutely, and that’s a dream of mine to have that sort of facility where you know, you got an acupuncturist and a chiropractor and a nutritionist and you just have everybody in one building, and we just say yeah go see if this person.
Host- That’s literally mine as well, so maybe we can work together and make it happen!
Guest- Sounds good, let’s do it!
Host- So I wanted to kind of rewind back to one of the things that you mentioned, when you said that you were working with couples on their nutrition and on their lifestyle to try and help their fertility. One of the things you mentioned was paying attention to the products that they use in their home, the products that they use on their skin. Would you mind sharing a little bit more about that?
Guest- So a lot of the cleaning products that we use in our house come with MSDS, which basically tells you that this is a hazardous chemical, and that’s not something that you want to be around when you’re trying to have a baby. Really it’s not something that you want to be around at any time. And there are so many natural cleaning alternatives out there, I use vinegar and that’s really all you need, it’s fantastic. There’s higher acidity vinegar that they sell for actual cleaning, I think it goes up to 30% acidity oh, that’s going to kill everything, like you have nothing to worry about. No covid-19, I actually hope that’s true I don’t know for certain, I haven’t looked that up, but I would imagine that it could kill the covid-19 virus.
Host- I mean that’s one of the biggest things that when I started switching the products that we use, the first thing was like the cleaning stuff because for me once I started, even before when I was pregnant I was very sensitive to smells and fragrances, they would give me migraines if I had to be around them. So that was one of the first things that I change, and it’s just it’s amazing you don’t have toxic chemicals in your house that are not good for you to breathe in in general, and then like scented candles and air fresheners, that sort of stuff, I was so so so sensitive to it, (15:00) and then once I’d learned that they are hormone disruptors, most people don’t know that because it’s not shared, there’s no like disclaimer like “Hey, this might smell nice, but it could really disrupt your hormones which could impact to you being able to get pregnant.”
Guest- Absolutely, yeah they are huge hormone disruptors. The nice thing about the day and age we live in now is that there are so many alternatives, there are essential oils, if you really want your house to smell pretty, get some essential oils, just make sure that they’re high-quality, but a lot of the essential oils actually help balance your hormones. So they do things for you, they have the opposite effect. So stay away from the fake harmful stuff and just get the real stuff, nature smells great.
Host- That’s one thing that I think is so important, because I feel like oh, like what you said in terms of you think things that will disinfect your house and keep things clean, and also not be toxic for you to breathe in I don’t think most people fully understand that and fully understand the impact that it has on her body in general, let alone if you’re trying to conceive. So I’m glad that you brought that up. So is cleaning products usually the first thing that you work on people, or is there like an order that we usually go through?
Guest- Cleaning products and body products are huge because you’re putting that stuff directly into your lungs and directly onto your skin and everything they put onto your skin is going to get absorbed in your bloodstream. The shower products, your shampoos, your soaps, any perfume, any of those kinds of things, toothpaste you been is a huge one oh, yeah all of it basically so you want to go through and you want to go to ewg.org that’s a great one, you can actually download an app on your phone and when you go to the store you can scan the barcode and it’ll tell you on the level of 1 to 10, how safe it is. So one is very very safe, very clean, and then 10 is like you’re going to get cancer tomorrow.
Host- Yeah and again, I’m thankful that you just shared that resource, because most people don’t know that that exists and it’s something that’s so simple that we can just do right on her phone so he can do while you’re at the store, so having that can be such a game-changer if you’re trying to move towards a less, or more toxic life, going to the store and having the resource and being able to utilize it is so important. But I also think too, not only doing that but if there are certain ingredients in things that you’re not familiar with, or what you scanned does not come up on the ewg website or up, I always recommend people actually look up those ingredients and do some research on their own as well.
Guest- Yeah and the ewg I believe if I recall I mean I haven’t used it in a while but If I recall you can actually sit in the individual ingredients on there too, and it’ll tell you about the safety of the individual ingredients.
Host- Perfect, yeah so what we’ll do is we’ll include a link to the ewg website in the show notes for this so everybody can check that out.
Guest- Yeah that’s great.
Host- So in terms of perfumes and scents and one thing that I spent a lot of time thinking about before my daughter was born was the detergent that we use, the clothes detergent, and the dryer sheets. Because I feel like there’s this misconception that if something doesn’t smell like roses or just has a certain scent to it that it’s not clean. So what are your thoughts on that?
Guest- Well you know I can understand that there are some people that really like that, one of the things about the detergent itself is that, I noticed before I got into all this stuff, why do they have different detergents for infant clothes? Why do they need to have softer detergent for infant clothes? Why wouldn’t we want some softer detergents on our adult bodies? Especially if you were growing a baby then you know, that’s all going to affect everything so that was one of the questions that I started with and so now I’ve completely changed all of my detergents, just like you. But if you want your stuff to smell good, they’ve got those wool dryer balls that are fantastic, and you put a little essential oils on those and then your clothes are going to smell like lavender or roses or whatever you choose, and so it’s just that simple.
Host- I love that tip too, because a lot of people don’t realize they’re like oh the only option I have is a dryer sheet and a lot of those are just crazy crazy scents. For me, I struggle with it just because like I said, I’m just incredibly sensitive to smells so during pregnancy it was amplified for me. I couldn’t be around people that were wearing too much cologne, or anything like that it’s just overwhelming and I truly feel once you take some of those things out, or just pay attention to what scents you are actually having around you like in your house like using essential oils like you mentioned, (20:00) you notice such a difference when you go somewhere else and there’s all these crazy fragrances. It’s wild.
Guest- Well it starts to smell unnatural, as you get more into the natural sort of smells, then all of the chemical stuff sort of starts to have the, like you can tell, instantly you can pick up on it.
Host- Yeah, I totally agree. So that in terms of the clients that you see, could you share what you see the most, not any specific cases or anything but just what you see people looking for in terms of looking for help for nutrition.
Guest- Well I like to follow more of the, I don’t subscribe to any specific diet necessarily my plan is called the clean eating plan, it is about 97% paleo which is no grains, the reason for that is just because a lot of people are reacting to the grains. It’s more about poor quality than it is about grains themselves, because we don’t prepare them properly and we don’t grow them even properly, they’re causing damage. So I try to get people to eat a lot more healthy fats, extra virgin olive oil, very pure, unrefined coconut oil, cook with ghee when you’re frying eggs, that just means they took the casein and the lactose of the butter and now it’s just pure butter oil. Grass-fed butter is also great if you love the flavour butter, that’s fantastic. I just try to get people to eat a lot more fat because low fat diets are a huge part of why we are in the health crisis that we are in right now. Your body needs fat, your brain is basically made of fat. All of your hormones are fat, they’re cholesterols, so they are fat. So you need more fat in your body to be able to produce hormones, and to be able to get your body to do what it needs to do.
Host- Yeah I know sorry, I was just going to say I love that you brought up the topic of the whole low fat diet phenomenon, people are afraid of consuming fat even when it’s good fats that are good for your body and they don’t realize that having everything low fat and eating everything low-fat is detrimental to your overall health. We need these fats, whether you’re trying to get pregnant or you’re just trying to live a healthier lifestyle, it’s so important to have that.
Guest- Absolutely, like I said, your brain is basically made up of fat and so if you’re starting to have those moments where you’re like “ oh I know this word but it’s not coming to me” or “ why did I walk into this room right now, I know I had a reason for coming in here” that’s a sign that your brain is sort of, begging you to eat some more fat. coconut oil is great for your brain, it’s also great for your kidneys, so I’m just really really big on that. focusing on vegetables and very antioxidant-rich fruit, so very brightly coloured fruits and berries, the more berries you can eat the better off you are, berries flush estrogen out of your liver, so they’re fantastic. Beets, I beg people to eat beets, I love beets, they’re so good. Once you get used to them it’s like, a lot of people tell me they taste like dirt oh, but you just got to get used to it you just have to keep trying that till you get past that, and you will. And there are different ways of preparing them too.
Host- Yeah, I left just making like like a veggie stir-fry type thing where you just roast them all together then it just tastes good, I think that’s the other thing too, like if we didn’t grow up eating something- there are a lot of people who have like food aversions to something or if they didn’t like it when they were younger they’re not interested in trying it again, but, in terms of your overall health and what your body actually needs, you need to be trying these things, we need to be seeing how they sit with our body, and I think, what you said like before, it’s important they are not just giving like a one-size it’s all nutrition plan to people, because every single body is different and everyone’s body needs different amounts of minerals, nutrients XYZ and so I’d love for you to share a bit about the importance of tuning into your body, paying attention to the food that you’re consuming and how it makes you feel, so really just listening to your body.
Guest- Yeah, so one of the big things is when you’re looking at Foods different colours and looking up the colours are doing for you and kind of saying to you, because your body knows what you need, but you do have to do introduce foods to your body for your body sort of be able to say yes, I’m craving beets today, (25:00) if you’ve never eaten a beat then your body can’t say that because it doesn’t know. But when you stand at the refrigerator, if you kind of take a deep breath in, and really look at what your options are and tune into your body and just kind of say what is it that you need today, because our bodies need different nutrients on different days based on are activity levels, based on a lot of different factors, are you breast-feeding, are you pregnant, a lot of different factors and so every day to sort of ask your body, just sort of TuneIn, asked very closely to your body. Most cultures around the world still go grocery shopping every day, still buy their fresh produce every day, stop at the market on their way home from work or whatever. And we don’t do that, we think we should go buy produce all at one time and that’s not necessarily digging into what your body needs on any given day.
Host- Right and I love that you shared that too because I remember like, if you knew me back in like Elementary School, College days, compared to what I ate then compared to what I eat now call me if you would be like astronomically surprised. I literally did not want to have salads until like college, I started eating salads in college, and I remember even after that, once I was really really paying attention to what I was consuming, I would crave salads, I would crave fresh salads, I would crave veggies and I remember being like whoa this is so weird. Things I never thought that I would eat, my body was telling me hey what are things so like you said, I think it’s important to stand in front of your refrigerator and see what your body needs that day, what is craving, what it’s telling you.
Yeah, absolutely and like I said, look at the colours of the food the colours will tell you a lot you’ll be attracted to specific colours on different days, you’ve got red you’ve got blues you’ve got oranges you got yellows all of these beautiful vibrant colours that come from the ground, and of course greens and if you pay attention and really focus on that, and the beauty of the food I think that that visual will kind of set off something in your body kind of telling your body I need a mango, because I need that orange pigment today. I love focusing on the colours.
Host- I love that you said that too because I’ve seen people say like eat the rainbow, look at your plate and see how many different colours are on it, if there aren’t many, let’s add some more to it. and I think one of the things that I learned the most when I did my health and nutrition coaching myself was, they were saying that people spend so much time focussing on the things that they can’t have, like shouldn’t have, and they’re focussing on what they’re taking away, rather than focussing on what they’re bringing in and how those things are going to positively impact your overall health and nutrition.
Guest- Yeah, we use the term crowding out. What I was going to school, and so it was the concept was exactly what you just said, don’t think about no I can’t have a chocolate chip cookie, think about okay, I’m going to eat a salad today and I could eat eggs for breakfast I’m going to eat a mango, I’m so think about what you are going to eat and eat those Foods. and then you know you just naturally kind of set the cookie aside. It’s not even a willpower issue, it’s a more easier kind of concept.
Host- Yeah and one thing I was just thinking about, I don’t remember if it was in my nutrition coaching or not or if it was just a conversation I was having with somebody. We were at talking about how if you set yourself up to have a very nutrient-dense breakfast, how that positively impacts the rest of your day, so it’s like a snowball effect of okay so I have this nutritious breakfast of things that my body wants, bright colours, and then throughout the day like you said, you’re not even like oh I need that cookie, your body is getting what it needs so it’s not reaching for things that it wouldn’t necessarily otherwise.
Guest- Yea, and that goes back to your brain too, that goes back to nourish and your brain and if you notice your brain first thing in the morning then you’re going to be more focussed so you’re not even going to be thinking about that junk food as much, it doesn’t come in because you’re more able to focus more clearly.
Host- Right and so, I was just thinking, would you mind sharing a little bit more about the things that you had to change personally like in your journey to become more fertile?
guest- well kind of like you if you knew what I ate 10 years ago compared to what I eat now it’s like night and day. I was raised on Kraft macaroni and cheese and cold cereal and McDonald’s (30:00) that’s really what my diet was when I was a kid and you know I didn’t, the first time I was introduced the concept of nutrition, I think I was 20 years old, and that was sort of like a switch, immediately like Oh you mean when I eat the food I’m supposed to care about what it does once it gets inside my body, it’s supposed to be more than just my stomach and making the hunger go away? the things that I had to change were, I gave up pizza I gave up macaroni and cheese I gave up a lot of those things and I started doing green smoothies and I started juicing, I bought myself a juicer, I started juicing the fresh vegetables getting all of those amazing nutrients. I think the reason I was having those recurrent miscarriages was the vitamin A deficiency and there were a couple of different symptoms that sort of suggested that. So I really started focussing on vitamin A, and then I started learning about super codes so Goji berries and real chocolate. Chocolate is one of the healthiest foods on the planet, if you get it right, just don’t buy Hershey’s. flirting about the superfoods and how if you’re deficient in something like vitamin A, then there are superfoods out there that are just packed with vitamin A, and so if you need a bunch of foods, overtime it’s really going to replenish your stores.
Host- So when you were talking about you feeling like your miscarriages were because of vitamin A deficiency was that something that you discovered on your own, or did you get blood work done to look at that?
Guest- I didn’t get blood work done I looked at the symptoms and I asked doctor Google and basically kind of pieced things together and then I talked to my Midwife about it and she’s like yeah that makes a lot of sense. Vitamin A is very very important as the embryo is developing, especially in the first nine weeks or so. When the cells are splitting so rapidly that they need a lot of protection as they’re splitting and vitamin A is one of the components that helps protect the cells as they’re splitting so if it’s not getting that protection then things start to go wrong.
host- and I think it’s so so important to really spend the time to listen to your body like you said you notice symptoms that you were having and then you started researching them on your own and I think the two cops one thing that I always want to encourage people is to do your own research to look at what your body is telling you and based off of that try to figure out what’s going on. And also nutrition, pay attention to what you’re consuming everyday, what you’re eating, what you’re putting on your body and what’s around you. I feel like there’s just a, kind of like a misconception that for some people like some doctors don’t even recommend changing nutrition, they don’t ask if you’re taking specific vitamins and that is so important in general especially when you’re trying to conceive.
Guest- Yeah, absolutely. I don’t like the doctors out there who kind of downplay the importance of nutrition, it’s incredibly frustrating, I know the best IVF doctors out there, they do care about nutrition and that is a part of the protocol. A lot of them, more and more are going towards keto diets. keto diets are very fascinating because they actually started out as an anti epilepsy diet and today work wonders for epilepsy but the board that we are putting a lot of different people on these diets and everybody is not responding to them, autism responds well to keto diet and fertility responds well to keto diets. so there are so many different things. there’s basically three main foods in our standard American diet that I try to tell people these are the things you need to find replacements for, one of them is gluten. Gluten in and of itself is not a horrible thing but American weed that’s been over hybridized and has been sprayed with glyphosate and all these different things, it’s destroying your health. I mean it really is. so getting off of gluten is huge for fertility, getting away from vegetables and replacing them with olive oil, unrefined coconut oil, Get away from those vegetable oils because they are too high in omega-6 fatty acids and they throw off your omega-6 balance, you want a lot more Omega threes and a lot less omega-6 ‘s. Omega threes of course come from fish and flaxseed and chia seeds and those kinds of sources. And then the third one is sugar.(35:00) Sugar immediately- they’ve done studies that found that as soon as you eat sugar, your immune system goes down and you need a strong immune system to carry a child. You really do. That’s part of being pregnant is having a strong immune system and not only does it lower your immune system, it also throws off your hormone balance immediately. It spikes your blood sugar, which causes insulin which messes with estrogen and progesterone and it’s just this down ruled spiral so sugar is like we’ve got to get off the sugar. So those are really the three main foods.
Host- Yea and I think it’s so important for you to not only like you just explained you told us the three main things that we should try and remove from the standard American diet, but then you also went to the reasoning behind them. There’s a stigma that like when we’re sharing information about how certain things, whether it’s ingredients or certain foods are impacting their bodies, people kind of view it like a fear-mongering way and when in reality it’s like no, we’re just trying to explain these thing in a way that you understand and get you to realize the impact it is having on your body because I feel like so many people just think it’s woowoo that were sitting here and saying remove gluten, try and remove sugar try and remove vegetable oils.But I love that you shared that you use coconut oil, and olive oil but we also have to pay attention to like people say “Canola oil is heart healthy!” and there is so much misinformation oh, but there’s also so much- what’s the word I’m looking for, apparently I need more fatty acids, I need some more avocados- what I was trying to say was, how some of the things and stores, when they’re on the shelves, they have branding that makes it appear healthy when in reality it’s not healthy for you.
Guest- Yeah, the American Heart Association has done a great job of putting “heart-healthy” on the things that are not necessarily heart-healthy and so that’s a really frustrating thing for me because people are going to listen to an organization like that. And it’s like I come from a family of people who have severe heart attacks people who have died from heart attacks and so that’s one that hits home for me that’s very personal for me
Host- Right, yeah I mean I just think that we really need to be paying attention to just eating real food, paying attention to the ingredient is that food, it’s not a million other ingredients, I think this was in my nutrition training when they said, when you go to a grocery store literally just like go straight to the produce and avoid all the other aisles between, unless you’re looking for coconut oil or something like that.
Guest- Shop the perimeter of the store and don’t go into the centre. Or at the very least start at the outside of the store, fill your cart and then by the time you get into the aisles you’re like oh this is already going to be x amount of dollars I’m only going to spend a little bit in the centre aisles, which is great. So yeah that also goes along with the crowding-out, fill your basket with the produce, the stuff on the side but fresh meats the free range Meats.
Host- Yeah and like you said too, we’re not saying completely cut everything out just add more things and then it’s not really going to naturally crowd out these things that are impacting your health, that are impacting your fertility, that are impacting your brain, and I just feel like it’s such a basic message that we’re trying to get across, is that: you need to listen to your body first and foremost, and also utilize the foods that your body is craving, pay attention to how the foods make your body feel. I am always curious when you work with clients, do you recommend that they do a food journal to pay attention to what they’re eating and then how it makes them feel?
Guest- Yea, I actually won’t take a client until after they’ve done two weeks of food journaling, if they’re not willing to commit to that then I won’t even take him as a client. They have to do at least those first two weeks of journaling and I asked about how they’re feeling emotionally how they’re feeling physically, what they ate, and what we do is I- I will sit down with them and we find patterns and sometimes it’s like 24 hours later after you ate something but every single time you eat that food 24 hours you always have a headache or you just feel a little bit like low energy or whatever the case may be. But I’m really really good at finding those patterns and so that’s why you do that.
Host- Yeah I know and I love that you do that, because I think that’s very important. Because you want to make sure that they are actually going to be committed to doing these things and so if they really want to commit to making these lifestyle and nutrition changes they have to commit to paying attention to what they’re consuming.
Guest- Yeah, It’s very draining for the practitioner if you have a client who’s not actually committed. and so that’s why for a while there, of course I was just taking whoever came in the door, but after a while it was like this is just really frustrating and the people who are willing to commit to keeping a food journal for 2 weeks they’re the ones who do the work. But I also want to point out there along with that: this is not an overnight change, if you come with me I don’t expect you to go from 0 to 60 overnight this is a journey that I’ve been on for 10 years now, 15 years. And it’s been a very slow journey and it goes- You know it has its ups and downs, to this day also go for a chocolate chip cookie if I’m really pissed off or something, you know I will still go for that chocolate chip cookie. And that’s perfectly fine it’s not, nobody expects you to be perfect and only ever eat produce and free-range meat for the rest of your life.And if you slip up that’s fine, that’s fine it’s called being human.
Host- Like you said, it’s finding that healthy balance, you know paying attention to what you’re consuming and then if, like we are all human, we’ll go for a cookie, we’ll go for piece of cake, it’s not saying that you can’t have these things, it’s just being mindful of how much you’re consuming because that’s going to impact how you feel overall. And if you’re consuming these things consistently, that’s going to make you feel horrible and it’s going to impact a variety of things. I really love that you talked about sugar and the immune system because our immune system is so so important and we need to be paying attention to that.in general, but especially when we’re pregnant we need to have that immune system.
Guest- Yeah the immune system is so important for pregnancy, they found that women with lower immune systems oh, that’s a huge factor in infertility and the immune system right now is incredibly frustrating for me right now with covid-19 because I’m sitting here wondering: why aren’t they telling us to get off of sugar right now? Why are they not saying eat more salad, take care of your own immune system. So that’s a big frustration that’s very on the front of my mind right now with covid going on.
Host- I’m sure that we could spend a whole other podcast episode talking about the frustrations about the lack of- oh gosh yeah I don’t really feel like getting into it because I am very frustrated and the same way that you are.
Guest- Yes, Yes, Yes.
Host- They should be telling us things that are going to help our immune system, not suppress them.
Guest- Yes. Another topic that we can get into a little bit if you’re open to it is: a lot of people these days are struggling with things like depression, anxiety and there are very real ways to work around those things and help those things through diet, through nutrition. And through amino acid therapy, are you familiar with that?
Host- I’m not, could you tell us more about it?
Guest- Amino acid therapy is all about serotonin for instance, the precursor to serotonin is tryptophan, and so if you supplement with tryptophan then you’re going to be getting a lot more serotonin into your body and so it can be simple for some people, not for everybody of course, but for some people if you’re feeling a little bit blue and a little bit down for a while it can be as simple I was getting a tryptophan supplement, guavais the anti-anxiety amino acid so supplementing with guava, especially before you go to bed at night can help you get a better night’s sleep, and it can help you just calm those nerves down. And it goes a lot deeper than that, there’s a lot more out there, DL phenylalanine which is another one that makes you feel happy and that one’s also a pain, a natural pain reliever oh, so the fennel Aileen is kind of a natural pain reliever so if you supplement with that then you can help chronic pain and things like that. So those reasons, those emotional and psychological reasons are a big part of people’s struggle with food because if I’m going to stop I’m going to get a chocolate chip cookie, but if I don’t stop I’m not going to get a chocolate chip cookie. And so when you control those emotions and understand that those emotions are a big part of why you’re eating those then you can get a lot further in your journey a lot faster.
Host- I was going to say that I find myself faking when I’m upset about something so people who say the emotions don’t play into your food choices, it’s very inaccurate. One thing that I did want to touch on was that in terms of cutting out certain things, we can be looking for substitutes for them like healthier options. So like what I’m talkin about baking things, I recently have been playing around with recipes making them healthier doing certain substitutions like you just mentioned I remove gluten so I’ve been using different types of flours and seeing how that works and upset of using eggs, eggs don’t sit with me or my daughter we started using flax eggs I think that it’s important to tell people you can still have these things just pay attention to the ingredients that you’re using it makes the biggest difference.
Guest- It does make a big difference and the more tuned in you get with your body, the more quickly are going to be able to tell when your body is off. And what it is that caused your body to be off. So when you’re saying eggs don’t sit well with you, a lot of people think “I just don’t feel well” well it could very well be the eggs that are not making you not feel well so there’s a lot of experimenting and tuning an understanding.
Host- Yeah and I think like you said it’s important to remind people that these things are not going to happen overnight. It’s not something that’s just a quick fix all of a sudden everything changes if you just do one. It’s something that you have to commit to, it’s a lifestyle and choices that you have to make every single day. That’s one thing that I think our society in general is not very mindful of, is we just want that instant gratification we just want whatever works in the moment, but that’s not a flipping attention to what the root cause of the problem is, that’s just putting a Band-Aid on it and hoping that it goes away. like you said you looked at your symptoms and started supplementing based on that and then you were able to conceive your beautiful babies.
Guest- A lot of people have a couple of complaints about health food, one of them is it doesn’t taste very good which one you really learn what health food truly is health food is just fruits and vegetables and they’re so full flavour and if you just prepare them properly they have so much flavour, get some great spices on there and you’re going to make your food taste amazing. and then cost, a lot of people complain about the cost of organic and things like that but you can actually start your own garden, if you choose if you’re a gardener you can get fresh fruit and vegetables from your neighbours if they garden, there’s so many different options, if you buy a quarter of a cow or half a cow at a time then you’re getting your meat for about the same price as you pay at the supermarket for the lower quality stuff. it’s up front cost but it’s over time the same as what you’re paying right now. so there are so many different ways and if you think about that you can always split that with neighbours, you can say yeah I’m going to buy a cow but my neighbours are going to buy a third of it and so you split that cost.
Host- I love that you brought up the topic of sharing that cost with neighbours and dividing up that food because I don’t think people really even realize that that’s an option most of the time.
Guest- there’s always ways around it and you know one of my mantras and life is: there’s always a solution. you just have to look for it and so if you’re looking for a solution you’re going to be focussed on a solution and you’re going to find it. If you’re looking for a problem you’re going to focus on the problem and you’re going to find it. so look for the solution.
Host- I love that you shared that I actually was recently recording a podcast with another guest and she was saying that people look at the problem and they try one way and then if that doesn’t work they tend to just give up and so it’s important like you said there’s always a solution but you have to try multiple things to figure out what the solution. it’s not then you’re just essentially giving up because it’s kind of just excuse cuz you’re not actually taking the time to put the work in to figure it out
Guest- And this is kind of a segway into one of the big lifestyle changes which I like to recommend which is meditation. The best way that I ever heard this put was, prayers talking to God meditation is letting God talk to you. whether you use the word God or universe or Source or whatever you word you use for that it’s the same sort of thing. you need to train your mind to be able to quiet down, calm down your mind is wonderful and you need it for a reason. But you also need to be able to receive and we live in a culture that’s just go go go I we need to slow down and just sort of let our minds receive and download information(50:00) sometimes and that goes to when you’re standing in front of the fridge asking your body what it means you’re going to be able to receive an answer.
Host- And I think meditation is such a game-changer but like I was just talking about people just giving up very easily because it doesn’t come easily meditation can seem intimidating but the more you practice that the more you try using different apps for different ways of breathing it makes such a difference in your life and I think that’s one thing two is that people don’t want to put in the work they just want easy. And I think it’s important to remember that in life there’s nothing that’s just easy that’s just going to be healthy for you completely I wish there was more open-mindedness when it came to actually slowing down, paying attention realizing that it’s not just going to happen overnight and putting the work in to make sure you’re getting the outcome that you want.
Guest- well with children we talked about making them do chores and making them go to college and making them pay for their own college because it builds character and so it’s the same thing for us, we’re not done deals at this point we’re still works in progress just like our children so we still need to do the things that help build character which means putting in the work for meditation for putting in the work for healthy eating whatever the case may be.
Host- I love that you say that too because I feel like there are so many things that people think that we don’t have control over especially with what everything that’s going on in the world right now but food is one of those things that we do have control over and we can make choices everyday that are going to help us or not going to help us and so we have control over food and paying attention to our emotions to our body is reacting to them and based on that making decisions that are going to positively impact us is so important.
Guest- yeah absolutely it’s literally a choice, every single bite that you take is literally a choice and are you getting closer to healthy body or you taking your body further away from being a healthy body and it’s okay, it’s okay sometimes you’re going to make the wrong choice, wrong it’s definitely it’s definitely no good word to use their butt you’re going to make that choice that you know is not bringing you closer to help but as long as most of the time you’re making the choice that is beneficial for you and is bringing you closer to help them that’s really what matters.
Host- Any final words?
Guest- at the end of the day I believe that eating healthy is about self-love, it love it restore fertility and improves our relationships and it’s everything about your life improves when you eat better so I like to focus on the fact that this is an act of self-love and you should perform it for yourself everyday.
Host- I love those words, Thank you for sharing all of your incredible knowledge and experiences with us it’s something that I am really glad that you were feeling open and honest and vulnerable to talk to everybody and share your on tourney because like I always like to say when somebody hears somebody else’s story they realize that they are not the only one or if they’ve been struggling to talk about their own Journey than they may feel like courage to share that with people and it made me very therapeutic so thank you for that
Guest- you’re welcome my pleasure and I completely agree sharing your story is very therapeutic it’s part of the healing process I think.
Host- so where can people find you if they want to chat with you?
Guest- All over social media just September Burton you can find me on any social media if you’re interested in that nutrition plan from Hawaii surrogacy just go to Hawaiisurrogacy.com/nutrition and you can get access to that from there.