Defeat PMS Once and For All

Harsh Reality

I don’t think anyone that has lived beyond their adolescent years is unfamiliar with the term Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Most every woman has experienced it at one time or another.  One woman I was encouraged about her diet called “the monthly scourge of her emotions.” Whew… Now that is pretty dramatic. But, she is not alone.

I am approached often by women who know that I am a health advocate. They most always ask me about things they can do to reduce the likelihood of PMS symptoms while talking to me about how to improve their overall health. Equally, I am ask by men if there is something that can be done through nutrition to help their wives out.  The good news that I am able to give all of them is that  it is possible to completely defeat PMS once and for all through modifying one’s diet.

How to Stop PMS

Typically, most women who suffer from PMS have pretty terrible diets – even worse than the average junk food diet of most people. If you are suffering with PMS and are ready to stop experiencing the ‘out of control’ emotional roller coaster ride each month just before your menstrual cycle, here are eight absolute MUST DO changes in diet and lifestyle that must take place in your life:

  1. Eliminate caffeine from your diet – Caffeine acidifies your body chemistry, which has an adverse affect on your hormones, thus extenuating the symptoms of PMS.
  2. Reduce your intake of fats, especially those from dairy products. Choose ‘good fats’ over ‘bad fats’, i.e. plant-based vs. animal-based. A few good sources are avocado, walnuts, and coconut oil.
  3. Eliminate sugar from your diet – This is a huge issue for most women that I talk to who are looking for ‘natural ways’ to rid themselves of PMS in their lives. Breaking the habit of eating sweets – even in small doses – is a difficult one IF you do not have something to replace it with. When you have that ‘urge’ to eat sweets, choose an apple, a hand full of grapes, or even a banana, but do NOT eat foods that have refined or even ‘raw’ sugars in them IF you want to see your PMS defeated.
  4. Significantly reduce your salt intake – Sodium is important to your diet, but not in the granular form. There are plenty of other ways to get sodium other than through salt. Try eating celery dipped in almond butter. Celery is a natural source of sodium.
  5. Increase your intake of fermented soy-based foods – One of the best sources is that of Tempe, a fermented soybean product. I eat this as a good source of protein. There are a lot of good recipes online if you are not a creative chef.
  6. Work to eliminate your exposure to environmental estrogens – This is most often found in meats and dairy, and through exposure and/or consumption of foods with pesticides like DDT, PCP, PCB, Chlordane, and DDE. One benefit to reducing and/or eliminating this is that you DRAMATICALLY reduce your chances of breast cancer.
  7. Dramatically increase your intake of fresh vegetables and fruits, especially dark green vegetables  and those HIGH in antioxidants. Start with adding one helping of raw organic fruit and one helping of raw fresh organic vegetable to one meal, then increase it to another meal each day, until you are having these with every meal every day.
  8. Increase your weekly exercise schedule – Start walking three times a week and increase it to each day for 20 minutes after you get off of work or after dinner. You will be amazed at how great you will begin to feel once you build this habit into your daily routine.  Gradually increase your exercise regiment from walking each day, to alternating between walking and doing a twenty minute workout three days a week – doing only one major muscle group each workout. By this I mean, do legs one day, then back one day, then arms one day, shoulders one day, the core one day, and then back to legs.  You will be amazed at how you will start feeling and looking. This is a great step to undertake with someone you enjoy being with so that you can have an accountability partner in modifying your exercise regiment.

“FINE! Great information,” you say. “Like who in the world can do all of this?”

“How in the world do you expect me to make such drastic changes in my diet?”

ANSWER: Simply put, I believe if you are reading this, that you are motivated enough to try anything if it will help you. AND, as far as how to do it, I expect you to do it slowly and over time.

The Secret to Succeeding

If I told you that in six months you would never have to deal with PMS again for the rest of your life, would you be willing to add one of these steps to your daily routine each week? While habits are impossible to erase from your subconscious mind, you can lay new, more pleasing, more beneficial habits over old habits so that you are driven towards the new and more healthy habits. Are you ready for change yet?

If dealing with PMS on a monthly basis, determine in your mind that it is worth the effort to change your diet and lifestyle if your PMS is putting stress on your emotions or relationships. It could be affecting your relationships with your friends, co-workers, family, or husband (or boy friend). If you feel that eight weeks (or eight months) of gradual change is worth it, start today. There is no set order to undertaking each of these eight steps. I suggest that you start with the easiest and work from there.

Begin to read up on each of these points, and the health issues that are related to each of these eight point, i.e. Google ‘adverse affects of caffeine’ and read up on it, then the next week Google “healthy fats versus unhealthy fats”, etc. The more knowledge you have about these things, the more deliberate you will be in your choices to change, and the deeper your conviction will be to change.

As always, please leave your comments or feedback, and if you feel brave enough share this article on your favorite social network, you can be a part of helping others who may need this information. Thanks!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

Things You Should Know About Caffeine and Caffeine Addiction

There are things you should know about caffeine and caffeine addiction if you want to be wise in your consumption of it.  Like anything else in life that you consume, it’s always best to know the facts about it – right?  But, before you get blasted with the following information (Don’t worry. It’s not too terrible of information.), you should know that at one time in my life, not too long ago, I would have never thought I could stop drinking coffee.  I mean, I LOVED the stuff – the smell of it, the way it tasted, the buzz I got from it, everything.

This was of course before I became a vegetarian and began to learn about what I was putting into my body, and the affects that what I was putting into my body had on my health.  I used to drink about 6 big cups a day.  I am not talking about your momma’s sort of cup of coffee, but the kind that made the hair on your head stand at attention at the very first gulp – fresh, personally ground dark roasted organic expresso bean,  freshly ground seconds before it was brewed to the darkest of dark black you can get from a coffee bean. What can I say… I was an addict! LOL

It’s sort of funny how a little information about something can ruin a ‘good’ thing, isn’t it?  Nowadays I tend to ruin a good cup of coffee for others when I talk about the affects it has on their liver and heart, related illnesses, the premature aging issue, and stuff like that.  I still have a cup once in a while (don’t tell my nutritionist), but honestly, since I stopped drinking it for the buzz and started drinking more healthy beverages like a green smoothie each morning (see recipe above under RECIPES tab), I have not really missed it much at all.

Whether you like caffeine or not, or whether you drink a lot of it or not, here are some things you should know about Caffeine and Caffeine addiction, and the consequences of drinking it if you are at a place where you are open to cutting back on things – especially beverages – that are not healthy for you.

 Illustration Source: Home Owners Insurance Co.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

The Connection Between Healing Sleep and Why Early Risers are More Healthy

It’s interesting to think that the old saying my dad used to say when I was young, actually has a medical parallel to it.  He used to say, “Early to bed. Early to rise. Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”  I never really thought why early risers are healthier, even though I did understand the wealthier and wiser part.   I was amazed to find out that there was something called healing sleep and that there was a connection between healing sleep and why earlier risers are more healthy.

The “wealthier” aspect of my father’s saying (or whose ever it was that he was quoting) was easy to understand.  Morning is when we have the most energy.  The mind is naturally proactive and it is when it is most creative.  The wise part just made sense to me as well.  If you are up early and working, and learning and inquisitive about your day when your energy is the highest, you will tend to be exposed to more, and learn more, versus feeling a little like you would rather be taking a siesta or laying on the beach later in the day.

The more I have gotten into the whole health and longevity thing, the more I have heard about those who got more sleep were typically healthier and aged slower, but I really never knew why.  I never really connected all the dots about exactly why that was.  It was about five years ago that my nutritionist (yes, I had a coach when I was just starting to do the vegetarian thing… ) told me about our body’s healing time.   It makes sense, right – that our bodies need to maintain themselves and heal?  Here is the cool thing about the little saying that my dad used to tell me.  Because the body has a healing cycle that kicks in at night when we are sleeping, the epiphany that I had was that is was not the rising up in the morning that was the healthy thing as much as that of getting into bed at a reasonable hour.

One of the major keys to increased health and vitality is simply GOING TO BED in time for our bodies to get their healing time in.  Is there a specific time?  YES!  In a nut shell, our body’s natural daily cycle is to shut down for maintenance between about 10PM and night and repair itself and our vital organs until about 2AM in the morning.  This four hour window is KEY to lasting health and longevity, and without it one can expect premature aging to occur because the vital organs of our body end up in such poor repair which are important to keeping our ‘outer beauty’ beautiful.  More on this in a moment, but let me talk about the getting up early part and why you don’t want to sleep in.

Remember earlier when I said getting up early was because that is when we naturally have more energy? Well, there is a reason for that.  When the morning comes, our body starts the production of a hormone called cortisol.  Cortisol is the hormone that helps regulate our adrenals and ignites our thoughts and energy in the morning.  Later in the day, starting about noon, our cortisol levels start diminishing and our melatonin levels begin to increase so that by 9PM or so, your body can begin to shut down and repair itself. Melatonin is the sleep hormone that gets us into REM sleep where our body can heal.

Now, herein lies the rub with your overall health and in trying to be 100% productive in your day to day life if you are not getting the sleep you need.  When you stay up late, two things happen.  The first is obvious… your body can’t shut down to heal itself (especially if you are eating dinner late).  The second reason is that if you stay up late you will typically sleep in and not get up as your body is naturally trying to wake itself up.  It does this naturally by producing the cortisol, and like I said, as those levels increase, they sort of jump start your whole system (including your brain) to help you to generate creative thought and to start burning energy that allows for activity to do things in your day.  If you stay in bed when cortisol is increasing, your sleep will be restless and broken since your body is trying to stay on schedule with its natural energy cycle.

Yes, to all you coffee drinkers.  You can try to jump start your day with caffeine which will give you a stimulant that will wake you up and keep you going ‘unnaturally’, and it will increase the cortisol levels in your body, but this wreaks havoc on your hormonal cycles that control most of all your day to day internal body and brain functions – which are directly related to the health of your vital organs. One of the biggest causes for sleeplessness is that of these hormonal imbalances. Try as your body might, eventually your liver will not be able to detox your blood or your body on a cellular level, and you will be finding yourself dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome. This is a bad puppy and it really can rob you of your vitality and most creative abilities, but also if left to continue, your long term health and youthfulness.  Yes, that is a big yes to premature aging as well.  Not to belabor the point, but back to the coffee again.

When you drink coffee late in the morning or afternoon, it superficially increases cortisol levels which negate the melatonin production in your body that happens naturally – starting shortly after lunch time.  This is NOT good for your ability to go to sleep naturally, and when you do not have the melatonin levels necessary to shut your body down naturally, your sleep will be restless and entering REM sleep which is so vital to your overall health cannot happen.  Additionally, the lack of healing sleep (10PM – 2AM in our daily biological clocks) that results from staying up late, will ultimately cost your body’s health in a big way – including a whole host of premature aging issues and potential vital organ failure – even cardiac arrest.

If you are struggling with sleep disorders, here are four things that I would like to recommend for your health and wellbeing:

1)  Consider doing a liver detox regiment to clean up your liver so that it can clean up your blood and the cells that are storing unwanted and unhealthy toxins that are keeping your body from functioning normally. I hope to have a doctor friend as a guest writer in the near future that will do a series of articles on the importance of a healthy liver and how to clean it up if you have trashed it through over indulgence in your diet and drink, and lifestyle.

2)  Consider weaning yourself from coffee as quickly as possible. Coffee is a leading contributor to poor liver health, almost as much as alcohol. Try to start by just cutting back a quarter cup a week until you can limit your intake to a cup or so a week, and then only in the early morning and followed by 6 to 8 glasses of water to flush out your liver afterwards.  I recommend green tea in the morning or fresh ginger tea (dice up some ginger root and simmer it for about 30 minutes – the more root the stronger the taste, and add honey to sweeten it).

3)  See that your overall water intake increases to at least 50% of your body weight in ounces.  This will go a long way in helping your body rid itself of toxins as your liver is refreshed by a lower acidic intake (coffee is very acidic).

4) Pick up some melatonin from the store.  Follow recommended instructions for use, and take it on a regular basis until your sleep cycle is stabilized.

“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)