Subscribe here to the podcast so you can be among the first to listen to each new episode. Then, click here to support the podcast and leave us a message to let us know who you would like us to interview next!
September Burton: hello, and welcome to another episode of the Colorado Fertility Conference Podcast. I’m here today with Kela Smith and, we are going to be talking about, the, the hormone puzzle, how to piece together your hormones and make sure that everything is in sync. So Kela, first off, well, first off, thank you for being on the show. We really appreciate you coming on and sharing your wisdom and things like that with us. So thank you.
[00:00:25] Kela Smith: Yeah, thank you for having me. I’m really excited to chat today. So thank you.
[00:00:29] September Burton: Of course. So let’s start with kind of the basics for some people who listened to this podcast, they’re just getting started on this road and this is all very new to them. And maybe even the word hormones is a fairly something that they haven’t really grasped yet. so can you explain, can you define what hormones are and what are your fertility hormones?
[00:00:51] Kela Smith: Yes. So hormones are the chemical messengers within your body and they tell your body different things to do so pretty much your entire body is controlled by your hormones, whether that’s hormones in your brain, telling you how to think and feel or hormones in your gut, telling you how digest your food. Your sex hormones, which tell your body it’s time to make a baby and help you to do that. Your stress hormones, which keep you alive and, thriving. So hormones are really just these chemicals that your glands release that control every aspect of your body. And when they’re off that’s when your body starts sounding an alarm saying something’s wrong. That’s when you get the painful periods and the cramping, the bloating, the inability to get pregnant, the inability to, not have a foggy brain or to be tired all the time. So it’s really, they control so many aspects of your body and they’re very important to keep them balanced and working properly.
[00:01:55] September Burton: So your business is called the Hormone Puzzle.
[00:02:00] Kela Smith: Yes.
[00:02:01] September Burton: So everything that you just said about different signs and symptoms of hormone imbalances is basically is your business designed around taking those little pieces and kind of putting it together? Is that what you call it the Hormone Puzzle?
[00:02:14] Kela Smith: I call it the hormone puzzle, because exactly what you said. I think of our hormones as this puzzle, and we’re trying to figure out how they fit together. How to make them balance. So you get this beautiful picture of health and fertility where everything is like in homeostasis, it’s balanced, it’s working the way that it should. and I also call it puzzle because it is kind of like trying to figure out a puzzle because each person is different. You know, all hormones are the same, but the way they work in the body, it’s different for everyone. We’re bio individual. So It’s really like this puzzle that you’re trying to figure out how to get it balanced and how to make your puzzle work for you and your fertility. So, yeah, I thought it was just like, I mean, that makes so much sense to call it the puzzle method.
[00:02:59] September Burton: It does. I love your enthusiasm. As you’re talking, you can just see it radiating out of you. I love it.
[00:03:04] Kela Smith: Thank you. This is truly my passion. I mean, You know, you hear God putting you on this earth to do something. This is what he put me on this earth to do. I mean, it’s truly a passion of mine.
[00:03:15] September Burton: Wow. I love it. You went through your own infertility struggle. Is that right?
[00:03:21] Kela Smith: I did. Yes. We went through two years of unexplained infertility, and I know to some people that have been struggling for much longer than that, that doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re going through it, Two years is like a lifetime, you know, every cycle and every day, you’re just trying for this thing that your body should do naturally and it’s not doing it. And so it’s, it was a long struggle for me and very heartbreaking, frustrating, all the feels. so yeah. But we finally were able to reverse that and I’m sure we’ll get into how I did that in a minute. But, the, it had a happy ending to the story. I was finally able to reverse it and get pregnant, not once but twice. So I had my first at 37 and my second at 40 naturally.
[00:04:06] September Burton: That’s amazing. So can you talk a little bit about what you had to do for yourself? What were, what were your imbalances? What did you have to fix?
[00:04:15] Yes. So I got really intentional with what I was doing and what I was eating. I took a really hard to look at my lifestyle. Okay. And I realized that over exercise, under eat, and being super skinny, what I thought was healthy was not, that is not what you want for fertility. And it took me a long time. I mean, I came from. I was a personal trainer for 10 years. I was in health and wellness and nutrition. And like I knew, I thought I knew what was healthy, but for fertility it’s a little bit different. And so that’s what I did. I, we, my husband and I just to go back for a minute, my husband and I, we got married. We knew we wanted to have a family. I was 34 at the time, or I’m sorry, 35 at the time. And we started trying, we thought it would be really easy. and when it didn’t happen, we were like, what’s going on? You know, I’m healthy, I’m fit. I’m all of these things. So we decided to go to the medical route, we got tested. They came back, said everything was in working order. We got the diagnosis of unexplained infertility, which I think a lot of people get when the doctor just doesn’t know what’s going on. And so our prescription was just to keep trying and keep trying. And then we went down the fertility drugs, and the, okay, now we think you need to have a procedure. You know, they tried to push us into IUI, IVF, and I know that works for a lot of people, but I knew for me, if there’s nothing medically wrong with me and I’m overall healthy for what I thought I should be able to get pregnant. And so I said, I’m going to take a year. I’m going to get super intentional and try to figure out why I’m not getting pregnant and see if I can boost my fertility so I can get pregnant naturally. So that’s what I did. I took a year, I did tons of research. I tried to figure out what food was going to work with my body. How was exercising affecting me? How was my lifestyle, my stress, all of it. And so that’s how I kind of developed the hormone puzzle method was through all of these steps that I took. I wasn’t at the point then that I was going to start a business, but once I kind of decided to do that, I thought, how can I make it easy for other people too? And so that’s how the Hormone Puzzle Method was formed. And puzzle is an acronym and it stands for P-proper, whole food, nutrition. U-understanding supplements, Z-zapping stress Z-sleep, L-love and encouragement, E-exercise and environment. So those are kind of all the places where I said, okay, what needs to be fixed? What needs to be tweeked, what are things I can do on a daily basis in these categories that will boost my fertility naturally. And so that’s how hormone puzzle method was born. And it was, and it worked because, you know, I got pregnant and I’ve helped thousands of women all over the world to get pregnant through this method.
[00:07:01]I love that. And you were able to have a baby at 37 and then your second baby at 40 right?
[00:07:07] Kela Smith: Yup. Four and seven. And so they are healthy and thriving little boys. And I couldn’t be, you know, if I had taken the doctor’s advice because they said, you know, you might not get pregnant unless you do assisted. And who knows if that would have worked. So if I had just taken that and laid down, then maybe I wouldn’t have my boys. And so I always tell people that do not give up. If you were given a medical diagnosis, if you’re told you can’t get pregnant, if you’re told you’re too old, do not take that, be your own health advocate, figure out what’s wrong and see if you can do something to reverse that because I did and I’ve seen other people do it and it does work.
[00:07:46] September Burton: So when a couple of reaches out to you, do you work with both the man and the woman?
[00:07:50] Kela Smith: I do, yes. I think, it takes two to make a baby. So I work with both couples or both people in the, the relationship to make sure that their nutrition is optimized, that their stress levels are down, that they are not over-exercising, that they’re sleeping properly. They’re taking the right supplements. They’re doing all the things. I mean, it’s just as much the man it is is the woman. So, I noticed too, and this is so unfair, but I noticed it works a little quicker with the man because his hormones are a 24 hour cycle. So like he can go on a healthy eating plan and he’s dropping weight and got all this energy, like pretty quickly with the woman. It takes a little longer. I mean, we’re on a 28 to 35 day cycle. So it takes a little while for those hormones to acclimate. but it does work eventually. It just might take a little bit longer for the woman.
[00:08:42]September Burton: One of the things that you just said, was you talk about stress and sleep? And I feel like stress and sleep are kind of like, we can talk about nutrition. We can talk about, okay, you eat, you put this on your plate and this is what you’re doing and exercise, same thing. These are the moves that you’re going to make, things like that. But when you’re talking about stress and sleep, I think those are a little bit more, almost elusive. If that’s a good word for it. If you understand what I’m trying to say, so how do you work on that? How do you actually help couples with that?
[00:09:08] Kela Smith: Yeah. So one week we focus on each one of those and for stress, a couple of things that I do. So one, I have you take a really honest look at your life. What are the stressors in your life? And I always tell my couples, this is a season you’re in the season of fertility. You’re actively trying to get pregnant. So this should be on the front burner. Like this should be your main priority. During this season. So is there anything that isn’t serving you in your life that you can take and put on the back burner until you’re through this season or that ou can just take out of your life permanently? if it’s not serving you and it’s not helping you in any way, then why is it in your life, in the first place? But I know some of, sometimes that’s hard to do, like you can’t go tomorrow and quit your job. That’s like a huge stressor in your life. You have to pay your mortgage. and so the things that you in control, let’s try to remove those from your life. the other piece of that is making sure that you’re focused on self care. I find that fertility is a very masculine energy. Very, what can I do? What can I eat? How can I exercise? What can I do do do, but let’s focus on that feminine energy. Let’s just be, let’s learn how to sit and meditate, how to do some deep breathing and really focus within. I’m a big believer in meditation, visualization, the law of attraction. So let’s sit, let’s meditate. Let’s manifest that baby in our belly. Let’s visualize that and sit in that feminine energy, which is a very low stress. It, it really helps you to take away so your body will stop any other process to make your stress hormones. So that really helps you to stop making all the stress hormones and start making all the feel good hormones, your serotonin, your dopamine, your oxytocin, all those feel good hormones that you need to be relaxed and no stress and to have boosted fertility. So that’s a little place I start with. Stress is take anything off your plate that doesn’t serve you, and then focus on self care. What can I do to make myself feel good and, manage this time of infertility.
[00:11:14] September Burton: What about the sleep piece? I love everything you just said. I think that that’s amazing and so helpful for people to be able to reframe and rethink of it in that aspect. But, with the sleep piece, I mean, if somebody’s struggling with insomnia and they’re just, they’re trying to sleep, but it’s just not happening.
[00:11:29] Kela Smith: I have a couple tricks for sleep. One thing I’ll always say is try to set your natural circadian rhythm. So try to go to bed and wake up at the same time, day and night, this will set that natural internal clock. So you’ll start to naturally get tired around the same time. You’ll start to want to wake up around the same time. I’m really big too on grounding and sun gazing. This will again set your natural internal clock. So I’ll always say, try to spend at least 20 minutes per day outside if you can. You know, and I like to do it in the morning because that’s when the sun isn’t too high in the sky. You don’t have to worry about getting a sunburn or anything like that. But what that does is it helps your body to make some natural chemicals that will tell you it’s time to wake up. So your natural internal clock will be set the same with at night. If you start to moon gaze, you know, just go outside at night, look at the moon, look at the stars, do some deep breathing, maybe meditate out there. This will tell your body it’s time for sleep and it’ll set that natural clock. Then when you get ready for sleep, you want to try to give yourself about 30 minutes to an hour. I call it a power down hour. So this is when you’re, you’re transitioning from work to it’s time to relax. It’s time to sleep. So maybe that means you go in your room, maybe you have a bubble bath, maybe you read, you meditate, you just do something non electronic related. That is going to calm your mind. It’s going to calm your adrenals, calm your nervous system, and really lull you into that sleep. The other piece I always say is that–make sure that your environment for sleep is ready for sleep. So that means you’re in your bedroom. It’s cool, dark, it’s quiet, it’s free from electronics free from distractions. Really the only thing Lee and sex. No, watch TV, look at my phone, fold the laundry, anything like that. so those are some tips I have for making sure you can get good quality sleep and the last thing I say is if you can’t sleep, you’re struggling with insomnia. You’re worried, maybe you’re doing an ART treatment going through IVF, IUI, something where you’re just super stressed and your brain is going a million miles a minute. Take out a journal and write, do a brain dump. Just start writing, write everything you can think of every worry, every, freak out you’re having and get it out of your head as well as make a to do list. If you have a lot to do the next day, write all of that down, get everything you can out of your head. Then do some deep breathing. Then do some meditation, some reading of a, book for entertainment and then lull yourself off to sleep.
[00:14:11]September Burton: I think that’s such great advice that brain dump, a lot of times it’s that anxiety and that, that monkey brain that just won’t settle down. And then if you get it out on paper, that’s it, it’s out. It’s now not inside you anymore. So I love that. And then the, to do list for the next day. So when you say sun gazing, are you saying, just go outside? It doesn’t necessarily matter what you’re doing. Just spend time in the sun is the most important piece there?
[00:14:35] Kela Smith: Yes. So if you want to sun gaze, it really is helpful if you look up at the sun with your eyes closed, so that sun will beat down onto your eyelids and into your brain, you don’t have to do that, but it’s more beneficial if you do. So. That’s why I say do it early in the morning where the sun’s not super strong and just go out there and close your eyes, sit on your back porch and let that sun hit your face.
[00:14:57] September Burton: That’s really fascinating. The other thing that you said, this is the first time that I’ve heard this and I it’s very true. It’s like, Oh, I get it. is that fertility is a very masculine energy because you’re doing, doing, doing, and as a women, we need to just be, we need to take that breath and nurture and just be, calm down and, just sit in the energy. so that’s the first time I’ve ever heard that, but that’s fascinating.
[00:15:21] Kela Smith: Yeah. It’s a lot of sense. I mean, if you think about it, you’re trying to make a baby, which is a feminine, but you’re doing, doing, doing, which is masculine. So yeah. Sit and be. I feel like we’re not as a society we don’t just be enough and it’s so powerful for us.
[00:15:36]September Burton: It is powerful. So can we move over to periods a little bit? Do you mind talking about periods and how to use your period as clues to tap into, is there something out of balance? Is everything okay?
[00:15:48] Kela Smith: Yes. I love talking about periods. It’s one of my favorite things. I always joke. I get paid to talk about sex and periods all day long. but your period is your body’s report card. it tells you things. So listen to your period. And if you’re having a lot of painful periods, cramping, bloating, a lot of PMS, acne, all of those are symptoms that something is wrong. That’s your body’s way of saying like, Hey, listen to me, something’s up here, really tune in and focus on that. And I’ve found that once you can kind of determine, okay, something is going on here, then you can fix it. And I’m a big fan of cycle syncing, which is eating based on where you’re at in your cycle. So you’re either eating foods to make the hormones that you need, or you’re eating foods to detox, the hormones that you don’t need once you go through your cycle. So what that does is, again, it promotes homeostasis in the body. You’re giving your body, the nutrients that it needs during certain times, it allows your body to make the hormones or detox the hormones. And it just allows you to flow with your body. And it’s wonderful. I’ve seen it bring periods back. I’ve seen it bring ovulation back, make ovulation stronger, get rid of acne, all the things I’ve seen it work on so many different symptoms and it’s truly amazing. And it’s really about intuitively eating the way that you think of certain times of the month, you want something versus other things. And it’s really about tuning in and intuitively eating and giving your body what it needs during the different phases of your cycle.
[00:17:20]September Burton: I know for myself, I have, every once in a while, it’s about once a month where I just crave like a hamburger or a steak or, I just like that red meat, I just have to have it.
[00:17:29]Kela Smith: Is it during your period?
[00:17:33]September Burton: You know, I couldn’t tell ya.
[00:17:35] Kela Smith: Okay. Try to pay attention to that. Next time it happens, be like, am I on my period? It usually means you need iron. So that’s why you’re craving that is you need iron. And that’s what I always tell people. If you’re a vegetarian, it’s going to be really hard to get iron. So, unless you’re doing it for religious reasons, I’m not going to try to change your mind, but if you’re doing it to be healthy, it’s not really the healthiest. You need a little bit of red meat. So yeah,
[00:18:00] September Burton: I definitely agree with you on that. I appreciate that. So what about, during your periods? Is like the color of the blood, that the texture of the blood, things like that. Can you talk a little bit about that?
[00:18:10] Kela Smith: Yes. So your period should be about three to five days. It should start with spotting, get a little heavier and then taper off. It should be a pretty red in color. If it’s any other color other than red, you know, dark brown, purple, even like a yellow tinge to it. That can mean different things. It can mean, an infection. It can mean, different, conditions that you might and be struggling with. So you definitely want to make sure that you’re, you have pretty red period blood, every now and then if you have some stagnant blood, you might get a little bit of brown and that’s not anything to be concerned about, but overall it should be pretty red. and about 80 milliliters. so that’s like, four to five, good size tampons, on your heaviest day, if you’re bleeding through like buy a box of tampons, that’s obviously you’re bleeding too much. Something could be wrong there. if you’re not bleeding hardly at all, if you’re just barely spotting and then that’s also a little bit concerning, because that means your endometrial lining isn’t thick enough to shed properly. So that could be an issue. If you’re trying to get pregnant, you’re, don’t have a thick enough lining and there’s things you can do naturally to increase the thickness and the texture of that lining. but just paying attention, period is a really good place to kind of say, okay, I’m healthy, my period is good. My symptoms are low. I, my hormones are good.
[00:19:36] September Burton: So, I, I love everything that you’re saying it just makes so much sense. it’s almost, just intuitive. It just makes sense. So if there’s somebody who’s listening to this right now, who wants to learn more about you about your work, do you only work one on one with couples? Do you have like programs? Can you talk a little bit more about that?
[00:19:53] Kela Smith: Yes, all of it. So I work one on one, which is, we meet 90 day program. I meet with couples weekly by phone or by zoom. And that program is pretty customized. I do a pretty in depth health questionnaire to look at exactly what you’re struggling with. You know, not that I’m trying to diagnose you like a doctor, but I need to see an overall health picture. So that program, we, like I said, we work weekly, we go through a pretty customized plan about what to eat what to do. I go through all the pieces of my hormone puzzle. I go through cycles syncing and then I also am your accountability partner. I give you support. I hold your hand. I have clients one on one clients that text me all the time. Like I just left the doctor and this is what they said, what does this mean? What should I do? What does that mean? So I have a lot of success with my one on one clients. if that isn’t in your budget, I also have online programs which are weekly. You watch videos, you do the protocol. I have action steps after, at the end of each video so that you can do it as a self study. And so I have that. I also have written two books on the hormone puzzle, a 450 page textbook and a cookbook. Those are both on my websites. and I’m about to launch a membership site. So for people who need some support, they want the education. They can’t maybe afford a one on one coach, but they still need something. this is where the membership site came in. So that is going to launch hopefully by the end of October, 2020. And I have a podcast it’s for anyone who is listening that wants a little more support around fertility or hormones, and it’s called the Hormone Puzzle Podcast. So yeah.
[00:21:32] September Burton: Wonderful. So I love what you just said about the support piece and being there. Cause that feels like it would be more of a feminine energy and getting you back into that feminine energy to have somebody there holding your hand and supporting you and to talk to.
[00:21:44]Kela Smith: Yeah, well, when I was going through my struggles, my doctor hadn’t been through infertility, so they couldn’t really talk firsthand. And if I text them or email, I’m not probably going to get a response for a couple of days or a week. And then my friends didn’t want to hear about it. My husband was tired of talking about it. I don’t have anybody to talk to. And this was 7 years ago when I went through it. So it was, you know, that support piece would have been huge now with like Instagram and all the different support groups. It’s a little easier to find that, but still it, it helps so much. If you can just have that one person that you’re like texting and talking to weekly, it helps a lot, especially with the mindset piece. I mean, it’s just a huge benefit.
[00:22:25] September Burton: The only thing that I think with that social media pieces, that it’s easy to find those groups where you just go down the rabbit hole of, Oh my gosh, you know, this is everything that’s wrong and you’re not supporting each other. So I think that it’s important to find groups on social media who are lifting each other up and really, really being supportive. And so that’s the only piece that I would throw in right there. can you, do you have any final words of wisdom, any final nuggets you want to leave us with?
[00:22:50]Kela Smith: I just wanted to tell your listeners that you can do this. You can boost your fertility naturally you can get pregnant. I don’t care how old you are. I don’t care what you’ve tried in the past. Do not give up, believe in yourself, believe in your body. It will work the way that it should, if you believe it. So I, congratulations women. I know you can do it. We’re here for you. So, go out and make those babies.
[00:23:16]September Burton: Thank you. That’s so beautiful. So, can you tell us your contact information? What’s your website? Where can we get ahold of you?
[00:23:23] Kela Smith: Definitely. So coachkela.com is my website and I actually have three free gifts on there for anybody who is wanting a little more information. I have a fertility meal plan. I have a cycle syncing quick start guide, and I have a nutritional holistic cookbook. So for the men, that’s a great one. so they can go there. They can get all three of those freebies. They can watch my masterclass. They can learn a lot about me. I’ve got my podcast on there as well as my, I write a weekly blog. So I’ve got that there. So that’s at coachkela.com. Then I’m all over social media. I’m on Instagram, @Kela_healthcoach. I’m on Facebook, Kelahealthcoach. And I have, a wonderful Facebook group, which is the hormone puzzle. So search that out and we have a lot of fun in there. So yeah, I would love to chat with anybody listening. If you think you just want to tell me your story and see my opinion or chat a little further, you can always book a call with me and I’d be happy to do that.
[00:24:18]September Burton: Thank you so much. And just to clarify, Kela is spelled K E L A. So coachkela.com. So once again, Kela Smith fromThe Hormone Puzzle.
[00:24:29] Thank you so much for coming on today, Kayla.
[00:24:31] Kela Smith: Thank you. It’s been a blast. Thank you for having me.