Calling All Women With PMS, Next- Level Periods and Polycystic Ovaries!
Let’s talk about hormones, ladies.
Women are incredible creatures and we have so many reasons to love our bodies: we can create and carry life (pregnancy), we can give life (childbirth) and sustain it (breastfeeding). Every one of these jobs requires a whole lotta hormones behind it. Sometimes, these hormones can work against us when we’re trying to lose the extra pounds (Boo!).
Because we are magnificent women, we're blessed with copious amounts of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen encourages your body to hold onto fat so that there are plenty of stores for all of your baby-making duties. As if that weren’t enough of a challenge, there’s the other reality for us: we live in a highly toxic world.
Toxins carry xenoestrogens. These little buggers mimic estrogen and they disrupt your body’s natural ability to deal with estrogen. Worst of all, they store all their toxicity in your fat cells! So not only are we working against our own estrogen’s natural tendency to hold onto fat cells, now we have these other xenoestrogens coming in, taking over and storing all of their crap in our fat cells as well!
It's believed that xenoestrogens have been impairing the quality and quantity of a man's sperm over the last 40 years, but did you know that they're also believed to be the cause of polycystic ovaries? Polycystic ovaries are the largest cause of female infertility.
So, where do these toxic little devils come from?? Here’s a short list:
Skincare: parabens, sunscreen, benzophenone
Plastics: Bisphenol A, phthalates, flame retardants, electronics, furniture
Food: erythrosine (dye no.3), phenosufothiazine, BHA (a preservative)
Building Supplies: wood preservatives, PCBs (lubricants)
Insecticides: Altrazine, DDT, Dieldrin, Endosulfan, Heptachlor, Lindane (used to treat lice and scabies), Methoxychlor, Fenthion
Other: Chlorine and chlorine by-products, Ethinylestradiol (the birth control pill), Alkylphenol (used in cleaning detergents)
What Can We Do To Avoid Them?
I mean, when you look at all those sources of xenoestrogens, you may wonder what is safe anymore? I think that it's important to look at the easiest ways to make changes to your lifestyle first, then focus on the harder changes.
Avoid any pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
1) Buy organic, locally-grown and in-season fruits and vegetables. If you buy non-organic, remove the peel before eating them. Check out the Environmental Working Group's the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen
2) Buy hormone-free meats and dairy products. This one may be harder to implement into your diet right away because it's more expensive. But make a small change this week: buy hormone and antibiotic free meat for one meal OR start a Meatless Monday routine at your house.
1) Avoid using plastic to store your food as much as possible. Try using glass or ceramic instead. We use mason jars for food storage and to drink out of because they're relatively cheap.
2) NEVER microwave your food in a plastic container. Like, ever.
3) Avoid using plastic wraps- this one is hard, but there are other options now. Plastic wrap is bad for your hormones AND bad for the planet.
4) Don’t refill plastic water bottles. Also, don't leave plastic water bottles in your hot car and then drink out of them. Plastic water bottles shouldn't even be a thing- I've had a glass water bottle for about 3 years now. The same one.
5) Do not freeze water in plastic bottles to drink later. The plastic isn't made for extreme temperatures so the materials will leach into your water.
1) Use chemical free, biodegradable laundry supplies and household cleaners. You guys- you can substitute your dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener with straight up vinegar! It's cheaper and no, your clothes don't smell like fish and chips after. In fact, vinegar is useful in so many cleaning situations! If you don't want to make your own cleaning supplies, there are so many lines available now in your grocery store to choose from.
Health and Beauty Products
1) Avoid creams and makeups that contain toxic chemicals, parabens and stearalkonium chloride- I'm so guilty of not choosing the best products for my skin because I haven't found a really good one that gives my skin the moisture it needs. If you have any suggestions, let me know! If you're not sure about the products you're currently using, you can check their toxicity levels here.
2) Limit exposure to nail polish and products.
3) Use essential oils in place of perfumes. I really like this one because perfumes give some people a headache- like me!
4) Use chemical free soaps and toothpaste. Do you ever feel like your mouth is burning when you brush your teeth? I switched to chemical free toothpaste years ago because of this, and I haven't had any issues since.
5) Choose chlorine free products (toilet paper, sanitary pads and tampons). Ok, look. Your tissue in your vagina is very thin. Everything you put up in it is being quickly and easily absorbed into your blood stream. I think it's time to try reusable pads, a Diva Cup or tampons made chlorine-free, don't you?
If you're suffering from hormonal issues (hot flashes, anyone?), infertility issues or if you just can't seem to move the needle on your bathroom scale, consider making some of these changes. It may seem a little inconvenient at first but it just may change how you feel physically and emotionally.
** This post is dedicated to my daughters**
Joanne Ilaqua - CEO of MamaSoup
Hey there, I’m Joanne.
I’ve spent about 20 years serving women as a nurse, doula and Lamaze educator. I have 4 kids and I know firsthand how lonely and isolating motherhood can be, so I created MamaSoup. I'm mostly known for my love of red wine, spontaneously singing and my confidence in being my true self on social media. When I’m not busy building women up, you can catch me taking Instagram stories of my bulldog Ruby, watching The Handmaid’s Tale, playing MUber (Mom Uber) to my kids or vacationing in my favourite town: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
I love serving the world by providing a space for moms to connect and support each other. In my opinion, moms are the backbone of communities because they are (literally) raising the future!
As the founder and CEO of MamaSoup, I’ve been featured on CHEX TV Morning Show, KawarthaNOW, Economic Development- The City of Kawartha Lakes and MyKawartha.
Still with me? Join me over at MamaSoup to keep the conversation going!