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  • Do you have wellness guilt? Sometimes I do, I mean I’m the expert right? ::: Today I’m tired, really tired. Coming down with my girls’ virus and slept utterly horribly last night. I am usually pretty clear on why I don’t sleep: histamine or tyramine, stress, wine or kids waking me up. Last night I’m stumped, no idea what had me all wound up inside. But I see the bags under my eyes and acknowledge that I don’t get enough sleep in general – not just last night. I haven’t gotten enough sleep in about eight years. ::: I know that’s terrible right? When I was writing my first book I was way over exercising and way over stressing and way under eating. I was a wreck. Within a year of coming through that experience I was pregnant with Lola which was the beginning of a whole new sleeping problem. With both of my pregnancies I slept really badly and not because of physical discomfort, I actually felt great in my body but my sleep was in shambles. I’d wake at like 2AM and be up the rest of the night. When Lola was a newborn she would seriously only sleep if we held her so there was a six month stretch of what I’d consider torture level sleep deprivation. It got better but she to this day wakes me up in the night to get in my bed and cuddle. ::: During my second pregnancy I had the same insomnia but even worse. And now three years later I have not one, but two little ones that wake me up nightly. In addition to my own stress related sleep issues, touchy blood sugar and histamine/tyramine sensitivity. As I start ramping up writing time on the new book and after a night of very little sleep I’m feeling nervous….and guilty. ::: How many times do we make a choice or find we’re still dealing with a lingering health issue and we wind up feeling guilty? We should be healthy-ing better right? We read, we learn, we practice and sometimes we still have a problem so we must be messing it up right? How quickly we can make our health another thing to feel crappy about. ::: Sometimes we don’t sleep. Sometimes we eat sugar. Sometimes we drink wine. Sometimes we skip the gym. Sometimes we get it all as right as we possibly can. And guess what? It’s all good. Skip the guilt.

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  • Overwhelm, can we just opt out? I think so, but it doesn’t mean we don nothing. It means we choose to do what we can and not flip out about it not being perfect or doing it all. It doesn’t mean we do nothing. ::: This has come up a lot lately for me personally with feeling overwhelmed emotional by recent events both personal and professional as well as this being a constant theme with the women I work with. ::: Whether we are overwhelmed with our emotions, to do list or all the moving parts we try to keep in play with our health from the gym to the meals to the mediation - it’s easy to throw up our hands and say forget it. ::: Instead take one action. Likely that action will help you feel more capable and less overwhelmed and you actually CAN do more. But even if not it’s better than doing nothing. ::: Overwhelm plagues us these days especially when it comes to our health goals. One way to opt out is to keep all the to-dos manageable, this is why I created the 54321 framework. But when you’re on the verge of letting overwhelm get the best of you, take a breath and take one action that supports your BETTER.

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  • It’s not you, it’s your hormones. So many women fail to get the promised results on Paleo or Whole30 and it’s not because there’s anything wrong with these approaches – or with you. It's just that women, especially if you have any female hormone issues, need to pay attention to a few things on both of these plans. ::: The first is that while both diets do a great job of lessening inflammation, it’s easy to over shoot one’s carb tolerance (UCT) with all things sweet potato. So be mindful of that, protein bars loaded with dates and dried fruit, maple syrup on it all, etc. You can find my UCT post on my blog and it walks you through figuring this out for yourself. This goes a long way towards balancing insulin, which will have a profound effect on all your other hormones including those girly ones: estrogen and progesterone. ::: The next is fat intake. Now I’m not saying we go back to our former fat phobia, but when it comes to women we have a few things to think about. The first is POPS – persistent organic pollutants. These hormone disruptors are fat soluble and found in higher amounts in animal fat. So women – especially those with hormone issues like menopause, PCOS, endometriosis, etc. – will do best to stick with mostly plant based fats, leaner proteins and keep the fattier cuts of animal protein to a few times a week. Are these a huge deal for every woman? Not necessarily, but if you have hormone issues already and are stuck making progress on your health goals then yes, I’m talking to you :) ::: The other issue which is especially true for women with any insulin resistance and my #PCOS ladies is having too many meals with a lot of fat and carbs. This unique combo actually triggers a significant insulin release, which is harder for us to handle. So the bacon + couple of runny egg yolks + sweet potato hash OR the guac and plantain chips can be a real issue for us. Not saying never have this combo, it happens and when it doesn’t it’s usually delicious 😋 But watch if you’re doing this often and not getting the results you want. ::: We will be walking through exactly this during weeks 1 and 2 of the #empoweredPCOS program, grab it before it’s gone TOMORROW!

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  • "Dr Brooke, I don’t know how to do it all?" The exercise, diet, all of it! It's just too overwhelming. Do this for that hormone, do this for another, where do I start? This is women to me….every…single…day. ::: I know it’s confusing, there’s a lot of advice out there – and it’s not all bad! Intermittent fasting works great for some women, eating more frequently helps other manage their sugar cravings and they eat less overall. Some women do well with more cardio. For others it wipes them out, produce no results or even make them gain belly fat. I get it, it’s hard to know what to do. ::: My advice is to stick to some basics: walking, strength training, veggies, water, sleep, happy 😊 Then, adjust all of those variable to find what works for you. Are you sick of hearing that? I know, I’m sick of saying it….too bad it’s true, haha! We can use lab testing and your symptoms to figure out what hormones you need to make adjustment in diet and exercise for. Then because OF COURSE you have more than one hormone out of whack, you follow the Hormone Hierarchy (see a few posts ago) and adjust diet and exercise paying attention to honor those more delicate hormones up top first. ::: But where do you start? I know, you need a jumping off point, a template to adjust. I get it. It’s hard to create one! But this is what I’ve found to work the best for most women. Then within each one of those elements of 54321 you adjust them just a bit to better suit your unique hormone issues. For example a woman with extreme insulin resistance probably needs to eat less often than 4 X a daily, may even benefit from fasting. But a women with weak adrenals may need to eat 4 or even 5 times a day. And my sickest of the sick with autoimmunity may not be able to do 5 walks a week, maybe 3 and only for 20 mins.You take the template and then make adjustments in the 5Cs: chemistry (your unique issues, per testing or symptoms), cardio (i.e. you do more than walk), calories (usually sorting hormones helps this but monitor if you need to), carbs (adjust per unique carb tolerance) and finally, comparison (do what works for you, not her). Will teach ya all this in #EmpoweredPCOS Get it before Sunday!

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