Oct 22, 2013


Last Saturday afternoon I was super excited and blessed to have the chance to go see Nat Kringoudis speak. Up here in Cairns. Nat is a Melbourne girl so I'm sure the trip seemed very far for her, but going by her Instagram pics of her on the beach in the sun, I don't think she minded one little bit.

Nat was invited up here to do a talk on fertility and hormones, and as a room full of women sat and listened contently - with Soul Kitchen chocolate brownies, pumpkin pie and raw bliss balls in hand - I wish the time we had with Nat were longer. But I still managed to scribble down a whole bunch of notes, I thought I'd share with you my take-home pieces...

"What you do in your younger years lays the foundation for your later years"

Fertility is not all about making babies. Nat uses a fabulous analogy... soil. You want and need fertile soil to grow seeds in right? To make soil fertile you need to water it, feed it, turn it over. And when you want to plant a seed it will grow. Soil that is not fed proper nutrients, given sufficient water, and looked after is dry, hard, and solid. You could never grow a seed in that type of soil. Your fertility is the same. Look after it, and when you want a baby, you've got the healthiest soil from which your seed will grow.

The “textbook” Menstrual Cycle:

Looks a little like this...

1 - Period - Heavy - Pain
2 - Period - Medium
3 - Period - Medium
4 - Period - Light
5 - Period - Spotting
6 - Dry
7 - Dry
8 - Dry
9 - Dry
10 - Moist
11 - Moist
12 - Moist
13 - Wet
14 - Wet
15 - Ovulation
16 - Dry
17 - Dry
18 - Dry
19 - Dry
20 - Dry
21 - Dry
22 - Dry
23 - Dry
24 - Dry
25 - Dry - Tender breasts
26 - Dry - PMS
27 - Dry - PMS
28 - Dry - PMS and irritability

The Follicular phase is from the first day of your period up until ovulation
And the Luteal phase is from ovulation up until your next period
Both these phases need to be a minimum of 11 days each (to be healthy) = 22
Which means, if someone is having their period every 21 days for example, and trying to fall pregnant, it’s not going to work... and no amount of IVF treatment will either. You need to balance your hormones so they are back to normal, giving you a better menstrual cycle built for healthy fertility

Estrogen dominance is a huge issue at the moment (hello plastic water bottles) causing a lot of hormonal imbalances. Think you might be estrogen dominant? Ovulation pain is probably the number one symptom, and late ovulation is also a tell tale sign

Healthy hormones need fat and protein

It can be very difficult to re-balance hormones after an eating disorder – it can be done, but it can be very difficult

“My body is trying to tell me this, I just need to learn how to understand it better”

STRESS – cortisol and progesterone compete for the same receptor site… and cortisol will always win. Low progesterone = high estrogen (problem)... meaning if you are always in some form of dis-stress (work, relationships, children and family, excessive exercise, mental health challenges, poor diet, not enough water, etc), it's highly likely that you are heading into hormonal imbalance, and possibly estrogen dominance (welcoming that extra weight around your belly too)

Balance Menstrual Cycles:

- Sleep better; restorative
- Limit alcohol and tobacco
- Drink quality water (plastics = estrogen dominance)
- Limit/Decrease/Avoid toxins
- Limit/Decrease stress (this is the Number #1 cause of menstrual cycle problems)
- Exercise (helps move cortisol out of the body so progesterone can come in)
- Liver detoxification
- Enjoy sex more (releases hormones, stagnation, increases blood flow, “use it or lose it”, sex is especially helpful for endometriosis)
- Emotional health (neuroplasticity)
- Gut health

Grains = inflammation
Limit soy
Limit alcohol
Limit sugar

Top 10 Fertility Foods:

- Eggs
- Avocado
- Figs
- Green tea
- Maca
- Beans
- Nuts
- Wild salmon
- Coconut cream
- Olives

How to eat:

50% protein
30% low GI carbs
20% fats

If you're a vegan and you're having problems with your menstrual cycle, you're not going to like hearing it (as I didn't for so many years) but perhaps a vegan diet is not best suited to your body. If you're vegan and have a regular pain-free menstrual cycle, wonderful! You likely do very well eating vegan. But if not... red meat is the quickest, sure-fire way to re-balance hormones (and heal your gut, which can stem from poor liver function, resulting in insufficient hormone breakdown and synthesis). Just a thought. My suggestion - get bone broth into you first.


Back to that quote again - "What you do in your younger years lays the foundation for your later years"

We experience high estrogen levels, not low estrogen levels like most medical professionals think. At the same time we have low progesterone

In good health, the adrenals take over the job of the ovaries, releasing hormones (at menopause). The ovaries do not stop working though, they just reduce their work load by 50%, and thus releasing estrogen by 50%

In this day and age… Womens adrenals are so over-worked that come this time at menopause, their adrenals cant take over the work load... hormones all over the place at why menopausal women are "crazy"

Having a shitty menopause? It’s from high estrogen and high stress. Menopause should not be difficult

Great combo for balancing hormones at menopause… high doses of magnesium with vitex (chaste tree) – from clinical use in Nat’s practice

Menopause symptoms are just the degree to which our hormones are out of balance

Christie xx

Ooh and something else extra intruiging is the concept of 'seed cycling' Nat posted about only yesterday - if you're having hormone troubles, be sure to read this.

You can find more information on Nat, her clinic, and her blog over at Fertilise Yourself

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