If you’re constantly feeling stressed out & exhausted, you won’t be able to show up at your best for your business. Especially as women, nutrition deficiencies and hormone imbalances can have a major impact on how we feel day to day.
Join me as I sit down with Lahana Vigliano, the CEO/founder + head nutritionist at Nuvitru Wellness, a functional medicine nutrition private practice that helps women use food as medicine to balance hormones and improve gut health.
In this episode, Lahana shares the impact of nutrition on our hormones, and how we can begin to prioritize our health using small, actionable steps. She also talks about the power of food in relation to wellbeing and offers some advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs.
So tune in now to understand the impact of diet, exercise, sleep, stress, and environment on your hormone health as a woman!
Join us as we discuss:
(1) Lahana's background and her passion for nutrition and hormone health
(2) What functional medicine is compared to traditional medicine
(3) How conventional medicine is treating chronic disease
(4) The root cause of medical issues vs using a "pill for every ill"
(5) How birth control can potentially disrupt the natural production of hormones in the body
(6) The need for more education on fertility awareness and understanding hormones
(7) Potential benefits of taking a natural approach to balancing hormones
(8) Factors that impact hormone health as women, such as diet, exercise, sleep, stress, and environment
(9) Tips for making nutrition changes that are easy to implement
(10) The importance of understanding your natural cycle in order to design a lifestyle that supports it
(11) Lahana’s biggest piece of advice for those who want to start their own business
Ready to start your hormone-free journey? Try the non-hormonal birth control app that’s FDA cleared & certified in Europe, and 93% effective with typical use. Get 20% off your Natural Cycles subscription today at lindsayhanson.com/naturalcycles
Connect with Lahana
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[00:00:59] Lindsay: Hello everyone and welcome back to the podcast. I'm here today with Lahana Vigliano, the CEO and founder of Nuvitru Wellness, a functional medicine nutrition private practice that helps women use food as medicine to balance hormones and improve gut health. As an entrepreneur, your business is an extension of you, so it's so important to prioritize your health and feel your best so you can serve
[00:01:22] Lindsay: at your best. Today, we're gonna be diving into some tips to help you reach the next level of health and live the lifestyle that you deserve. I'm so excited to dive into this topic, Lahana. Welcome to the podcast.
[00:01:36] Lahana: Thank you, Lindsay, for having me. I'm such a geek over the stuff, so I'm like, I'm so excited.
[00:01:40] Lindsay: Yeah, I'm excited too. So as probably most of my audience knows, and you do as well, I recently, a few months ago decided to get off of hormonal birth control. And so ever since then I've been like so into learning more about hormone health and like how different things like our food and our sleep, and even our exercise like can affect our hormones.
[00:02:03] Lindsay: And as women, you know, our hormones change throughout our cycle and it's just like so intricate and interesting to me. So I'm really excited to hear what you have to say about it as well.
[00:02:13] Lahana: Yay. Oh my gosh. That's such a exciting thing just because I think it's very natural for a lot of women to leave high school and start birth control during high school and continue it through college and we definitely are seeing the repercussions of that.
[00:02:25] Lahana: It's been our practice of women being on it for not even joking, 15, 20 years. So I'm so excited that you've already like realized that. That's amazing honestly.
[00:02:34] Lindsay: Yeah. So before we dive into all of the hormone things, tell us a little bit more about who you are and what it is that you do.
[00:02:43] Lahana: Yeah, so did a little nice intro.
[00:02:45] Lahana: I started my company back in 2015. I originally was a pre-med major. I've always loved healthcare, I guess, to whatever I knew when I was five, like literally, I've just always known what I wanted to do. But when I was more in the pre-med, and being taught conventional medicine, which there's obviously always a place, but honestly what we're taught a lot is a pill for every ill, and that definitely was not, that didn't feel right.
[00:03:14] Lahana: I also was young having kids. I was 17 when I had my son. Then my husband, we got married and then we had our daughter. So like I was a really young mom and I think that helps pivot, like not only like me not wanting to prescribe prescriptions my whole life, but just wanting to have that flexibility of if I wanted to volunteer at my kid school, I could. If they were out sick, I could. I didn't have to rely on a boss.
[00:03:37] Lahana: So I think that helped with the dislike of how medicine and health is being taken care of now. And then combined that, I was like, there's got to be something more. And so I found nutrition and I fell in love with it because, I'm an Enneagram eight. If y'all like Enneagrams there, that means I love control.
[00:03:55] Lahana: I guess to what I quote unquote think I can control. And seeing that we can control what we eat in our life. Dude, I was sold. I was like this is my life calling. So I started my company in 2015, like I said, and then we moved to Austin and that really helped shift. It really wasn't until we moved here that we really started hitting the ground running.
[00:04:17] Lahana: So I got my master's in clinical nutrition and functional medicine, and then I am going for my doctorate in October and taking it all the way for a doctorate in clinical nutrition as well.
[00:04:27] Lindsay: That's so awesome. I can tell how passionate you are about this. So you are meant to be an entrepreneur, for sure.
[00:04:34] Lindsay: So I guess we can start talking a little bit about birth control since we already mentioned that. And I'd love to hear from you, what have you seen as some of the effects that prolonged use of hormonal birth control can have on women's bodies.
[00:04:51] Lahana: Yeah, so really, I feel so bad for a lot of girls because again, we go into it unknowing.
[00:04:58] Lahana: All we know is like, oh, it protects you from pregnancy. It doesn't tell you the increased risk of blood clots. It doesn't tell you that if you're on birth control it depletes you of nutrients. So we see a lot of nutrient deficiencies coming off of it. It doesn't tell you how it affects gut health, how it increases intestinal permeability, AKA like leaky gut.
[00:05:15] Lahana: It doesn't tell you the increase of liver tumors and liver detoxification and how that hinders it a little bit. So there's a lot more to the story than just simply like, preventing pregnancy. And so in the long term, when women finally wanna get off, they are stuck with a lot of nutrient deficiencies we gotta replete. Some gut stuff we gotta work on, and as well as fertility in general.
[00:05:36] Lahana: Like I know that there's a lot of argument that birth control in the long term doesn't hurt for fertility. I personally don't think that it's a coincidence that infertility rates are sky high right now. And that's just something that we really have to work for because when a woman is on birth control, it does shut down our natural production of our hormones.
[00:05:58] Lahana: Plain simple period. The period that you're having on birth control, it's not a true period, it's actually a withdrawal bleed. So women are given birth control to quote unquote balance hormones, but when they realize that the moment they get off birth control, all their issues that they had before birth control tends to come back because it was a band-aid.
[00:06:19] Lahana: And that was just my whole disagreement. Again, there's a time and a place for it. I'm very, very thankful for lifesaving medical procedures that we have now, but the way that we care for chronic disease is just, it's beyond, to be honest. I mean, we are seriously doing a pill for every ill, so you have hormonal issues.
[00:06:37] Lahana: Birth control is your solution. If you're having inflammation, let's give you an anti-inflammatory, but we're not asking why are you getting inflammation in the first place? Why do you have excess estrogen? Like there's so many layers that need to be taken down, and we're just not doing a very good job of it in conventional care.
[00:06:55] Lindsay: Yeah, I definitely agree with you. And it's honestly kind of scary when you realize all the potential effects of birth control and the fact that we are not told any of those things when we get on it right? And a lot of women get on it when they're like 15 years old, like teenagers, and they're not even told like what these potential impacts could be, you know?
[00:07:18] Lindsay: So do you think, or I guess, is it still possible to improve your overall health and your hormone health well on hormonal birth control? Or do you typically always recommend for women to just not be on birth control?
[00:07:34] Lahana: I think you can definitely work towards being healthy on birth control, but you absolutely will never, and I say that, so with so much confidence and I try to stay away from always and never, but you'll never balance hormones if you're on birth control.
[00:07:47] Lahana: Like that is just a exogenous, like a, an external suppression that we just can't, you know, fix until you get off of it. But I'm a full, full proponent for understanding how cycles work and getting to know your cycle. And I think a lot of women, again, high school sucks at preparing us because they don't teach us what a freaking cycle is.
[00:08:09] Lahana: And I think we're just left with, I could get pregnant anytime and whatever, and it's just not the case. I mean, yes, sperm can live in you for all that stuff, but it's just you have so much more control and like we just love knowing your cycles and how much empowerment that gives you.
[00:08:26] Lindsay: Yeah. So whether it's related to being on birth control or not, what are some of the long-term health implications of hormone imbalances that you've seen?
[00:08:38] Lahana: Yeah, I mean that there's a lot of symptoms that women struggle with when they have a hormonal imbalance and every, and when I say hormonal imbalance, I usually am talking about the main ones. So that's like your sex hormone, so that's like your estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, that's blood sugar, so like your insulin hormone, thyroid hormone, cortisol, which is your stress hormone.
[00:09:01] Lahana: Those are the ones that I typically am talking about with hormones, but there's a bunch of hormones, like hunger hormones and all that. But typically I talk about those top four. With that, a lot of women come to us with symptoms like, I'm struggling to lose weight. I have a lot of brain fog. I'm chronically tired.
[00:09:17] Lahana: I'm having headaches. I'm having irregular cycles, or even painful cycles, which is not normal. I feel like we're taught like, take my doll. You're good , right? It's part in a woman, absolutely not. Period. Should not be painful. Any and everything you can think of bloating, everything, honestly, symptom that you can think of.
[00:09:35] Lahana: And every hormone, whether it's like blood sugar or thyroid or stress or sex hormones, like a lot of those symptoms overlap. So it's really hard to decipher like, okay, if you have these symptoms, it's definitely something related to this. So it really takes a multifactorial approach to it. And testing and just understanding like what your hormones are.
[00:09:55] Lahana: But ultimately, if you haven't balanced hormones, you're just not feeling very well and you can't serve at the level that you wanna serve at, which I wanna put the belief that there is like a next level. Maybe just haven't. You don't realize that because we only know what we know, but we see it pretty often of people saying like, I think I feel pretty good, and then they really get things together and they're like, holy crap.
[00:10:17] Lahana: I did not know this was possible.
[00:10:19] Lindsay: Yeah, I can definitely relate to that. I'm sure a lot of people listening can too. Especially like after I quit my job, which I was working like ridiculous hours, I never got enough sleep. I was burnt out and not really eating right because how can you, when you're like working, you know, 80 hours a week. The most noticeable difference now that I work for myself, get enough sleep every night is I'm not exhausted every day.
[00:10:48] Lindsay: Like I fully for like probably five years of my life. Just thought that being an adult meant you were tired all the time and that's just how you lived.
[00:10:57] Lahana: Yeah.
[00:10:58] Lindsay: And it wasn't until I got out of that cycle prioritize sleep and now get enough sleep every night that on the days where I'm tired, it's so noticeable to me.
[00:11:09] Lindsay: I'm like, what happened? Did I not get enough sleep last night? Like, am I, why am I exhausted? Something's wrong. And I see it as like a sign that something is off rather than, this is just how I live my life you know? And I think that's really the difference is we get so used to living in a state of being tired or being bloated, or being in pain when we're on our period.
[00:11:29] Lindsay: And we just start to think it's normal and don't think like maybe there's a better way, you know?
[00:11:36] Lahana: For sure. I actually was talking about this with, I don't know if it was a patient or something, but I was like, I always wondered those people that like, you know, you see them, they're out all night. Maybe they go over in concerts all the time.
[00:11:47] Lahana: And it's just so funny because I'm like, I would be dead. I would be like, zombie. But then these people, maybe they're not, I doubt they're thriving, but maybe they are and it's only, again, they only know what they know.
[00:11:58] Lindsay: Right.
[00:11:58] Lahana: But I'm like, dude, if I get I need exactly seven. My body's like seven hours of sleep.
[00:12:02] Lindsay: Yeah.
[00:12:03] Lahana: I get six hours, 50 minutes. I'm zombie.
[00:12:05] Lindsay: Yeah. I think too, some people kind of pride themselves on like thriving despite being exhausted. And it's like, okay, but imagine if you weren't exhausted all the time. How, like how much more would you be able to do? And I can also attest because, so my cycle has been very regular ever since I got off of birth control and my periods have like not been painful.
[00:12:28] Lindsay: Like when I was on the pill during that withdrawal bleed every month I would have migraine. The whole time and I have not really had a migraine since getting off of it, which is amazing. I was like shocked. I'm like, so I could have just had pain-free periods the last 10 years of my life. Are you kidding me?
[00:12:47] Lindsay: But anyway, so yeah, ever since getting off of it, I haven't had like migraines, headaches, cramps, really like a little bit, but not much. But this week, so I'm on my period this week, TMI everyone. And
[00:13:01] Lahana: Me too this weekend.
[00:13:02] Lindsay: Really?
[00:13:03] Lahana: Yeah.
[00:13:04] Lindsay: This past weekend we had some friends staying at our house and so I wasn't like being conscious of what I was eating, like I was drinking more than I normally do. And the last two days I've had a headache and I'm like, I know that it's because
[00:13:20] Lindsay: of how I was like eating and drinking this past weekend, because that's the, this is the only month since getting off of birth control like seven months ago that I had a, and it's not even like a full blown migraine, but I'm just like, I'm feeling really tired and I've had a headache the past couple days, and I'm just like, Ugh.
[00:13:37] Lindsay: it has such an impact, you guys. Like it really, really does when you start to pay attention to how you feel after you eat certain things or drink certain things, it's so, so noticeable, the impact that it really has on your energy.
[00:13:51] Lahana: Yeah. Oh my gosh. It's again, once you reach that level, you're like, I can never go back.
[00:13:57] Lindsay: I know. Same. Okay, so let's dive into. Well, I guess before we dive into that, let me ask you, what are some of the most important factors that impact our hormone health as women? I'm sure our diet is one of them, right?
[00:14:12] Lahana: Definitely diet. That's where, that's just our raw materials. So everything, even just outside of hormones, everything our body needs to function comes from our diet.
[00:14:22] Lahana: Exercise can definitely play a factor in bettering hormones, but also hurting some hormones. Let's see what else? Environment. I know this is kind of a woowoo topic, but it's very, very valid and there's actually a lot of research behind it. The one thing that I'm always thankful of with being in school is it forces me to always be in the studies, which I appreciate cuz sometimes life will just get a ahead and I don't get to.
[00:14:45] Lahana: But environmental toxins, certain things that we're exposed to in beauty products and cleaning products and just our environment in general can absolutely block creating hormones can increase certain enzymes that turn like hormones, like testosterone into your, into estrogen. It's a huge factor that I don't want to downplay.
[00:15:05] Lahana: I just feel like we don't really talk too much about it when it comes to hormones. And then sleep and stress are the other two that are pretty needed for balanced hormones. So in any of diet, exercise, sleep, stress, environment. If there is something off and one of those things, then you are at higher risk of having hormonal imbalance.
[00:15:24] Lindsay: Okay. So let's dive into some of those. And I wanna start with food cuz I know it, like I said, I've noticed it has such an impact on my energy levels based on what I eat. So how can we start to be more aware of what we're eating? And I guess what tips do you have for those who are looking to be a little bit more conscious in terms of our diet?
[00:15:45] Lahana: Yeah, I mean sometimes just wanna preface, we are like a practice that isn't obsessed with keto or intermittent fasting or anything that's trending. We're usually like far from it cuz everyone is very individual to not only how much they should be eating, but like what foods they feel best with. So like, salmon may like not be good for someone and for some other person,
[00:16:09] Lahana: it can be. So that's one thing I love about it. Cause it kinda keeps you on your toes because it, everyone is so individual. But I mean, I think we can even just break it down to the most basic thing of just making sure you are feeling good is starting at the point of can you grow it or can you kill it?
[00:16:25] Lahana: I love those two questions because if you can say yes, like yes, I can grow this out in my garden, or yes, I can be hunting for this meat, then you are sticking to a more real food. If are not able to say yes. And you look at the ingredients and honestly like if you wanna eat this, it has to be made in a lab then.
[00:16:44] Lahana: And not saying that every processed, processed food, cuz there's some like healthier crackers and stuff like that. But a lot of the times you can understand the ingredients and realize that, that you can grow or kill to make that food. But if there's a lot of things that you really don't understand, not saying that we're aiming for perfection, but look at the overall
[00:17:02] Lahana: balance of your diet. And I look at, we look at health in seasons. So there's also the healing season where yes, you do have to be a little bit stricter. You may have to avoid things completely, and then there's like the healed season where you're really not struggling with stuff. You're feeling good and you can dabble in things that aren't your typical and be able to bounce back just fine.
[00:17:23] Lahana: So depending on like what season you're in, we'll kinda determine like, how loose I guess you could be. Because I hate diet culture, but I also hate anti-diet culture to be completely honest. I think that there's a middle ground in there that's really beautiful to be able to serve you the best physical way possible, but at the same time not stress you out about every single little thing that you're eating, cuz that's also not healthy either.
[00:17:50] Lahana: So just looking at like, can you grow it or can you kill it? Looking at balancing your plate, you know, again, the society loves to demonize fast. Back in the eighties, we've demonized carbs in the two thousands, and I always joke and say protein is next.
[00:18:06] Lindsay: Yeah.
[00:18:06] Lahana: So I'm sure protein will be demonized either this decade or the next decade.
[00:18:11] Lahana: And just understanding that that's just a trend and like, please don't fall for any of those. A lie. I love to start most women that we talk to and we meet and work with, they usually are in their reproductive phase of life. So they're having their cycles and we very rarely need to see someone totally take away carbs, totally take away fats or whatever.
[00:18:33] Lahana: So we love balance, like looking at your plate like do you have a carb? Do you have a protein? Do you have a fat, do you have those on your plates? Breakfast, lunch, and dinner? I think that's, or just a really simple way to start grasping what does your nutrition look like?
[00:18:53] Lindsay: Hi, loves for my ladies who are interested in what I'm doing. Since I ditched hormonal birth control, I wanted to share my experience with Natural Cycles. This is the birth control app that I've been using for about three months now, and I absolutely love it. The app tracks your cycle so you know which days of the month your fertile and which days you're not.
[00:19:12] Lindsay: On your fertile days, you can either abstain from sex or use another form of birth control like condoms. And on your non fertile days, you are free to go because you cannot get. , all you have to do is take your temperature every morning with the thermometer they send you, but the app also tracks tons of other metrics that allow you to get to know your body and your cycle, like your cervical mucus, sex drive, pain, mood, acne, and so much more natural cycles is.
[00:19:40] Lindsay: FDA cleared in the US and certified in Europe, and it's 93% effective with typical use, which means it's just as effective as the pill, but without the side effects and risks of putting artificial hormones in your body. The app is FSA and HSA eligible, and I actually have a link that gives you 20% off your subscription.
[00:20:00] Lindsay: So if you're ready to start your hormone free journey, go to lindsayhanson.com/naturalcycles. Again, for 20% off your subscription. Go to lindsayhanson.com/naturalcycles or click the link in the show notes.
[00:20:21] Lindsay: Yeah, that's a really good tip, and one that's pretty easy to implement right away, right? It's getting, it's easy to get overwhelmed when you think, oh, I need to change my entire diet. But it's like you can start with these little tips here and there. And make it easier for yourself so that you don't just like give up after three days,
[00:20:40] Lindsay: right? Are there different foods or different nutrients that our bodies need as women at different points in our cycle?
[00:20:49] Lahana: Yes. I love cycle syncing so much and I wish I could share my screen cuz I actually did a visual of this on Instagram because it's cycle syncing is like my favorite thing. And not even just nutrition, it's also like exercise and stuff.
[00:21:03] Lindsay: Yeah.
[00:21:04] Lahana: So I joke that like, I feel like even if you're in, obviously if you're an entrepreneur, you can, but I absolutely think bosses should be like, listen, like I'm in my follicular phase.
[00:21:17] Lindsay: Yeah.
[00:21:17] Lahana: This is what I need to be doing. And so to break that down really quick. Your follicular phase is day one of your bleed to ovulation. And then your Luteal phase is after ovulation and then the day before your next bleed.
[00:21:31] Lahana: And in the follicular phase, you're feeling really energized. Most of the time after bleeding's done, your strength is starting to come back. You're feeling just really good cuz estrogen is rising. But usually in the follicular phase, I love implementing lots of good quality animal proteins because that will help replete a lot of iron that you lose through your period.
[00:21:51] Lahana: And pairing that, like with citrus stuff, so if you're cooking a grass-fed steak, quality matters, squeezing some lemon on, it will help iron absorption. So I love just focusing on that. And it's actually a time where I'm naturally craving a burger too is usually when I'm bleeding. And having lots of healthy fats from like wild caught seafood, certain nuts and seeds, avocados, healthy fats are really needed for creating estrogen. Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone.
[00:22:21] Lahana: These are all built off fats and cholesterol, so we have to make sure that we have enough of it. I love the cruciferous vegetables. Those are like your broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, cauliflower. Those are really helpful for influencing your estrogen to go down a very protective pathway. So when we're done with our estrogen and it's ready to leave the body, it will first go through your liver.
[00:22:47] Lahana: And there's different pathways that it can choose. It can choose a very protective pathway. That's what majority of your estrogen should go down. It can choose something called the four OH pathway, which actually can cause DNA damage, which increases your risk for breast cancers. And another third pathway called 16 OH, which can be more symptomatic and cause you to have certain symptoms like a through estrogen dominance, but your estrogen's actually fine.
[00:23:13] Lahana: So you're always gonna choose a little bit of each pathway. And we can actually test this in a urine test that we do for hormone. And those cruciferous vegetables help your body prioritize that protective pathway of estrogen metabolism. So I love in incorporating a lot of those types of veggies. And then probiotic foods also amazing, like fermented foods, yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, things like kimchi.
[00:23:38] Lahana: Those are really great cuz those help support your gut bacteria, which I know it kinda sounds like crazy that why would gut and hormones be related. But if your bacteria is often your gut, you can increase an enzyme called beta glucuronidase. And what this enzyme does is it can unpackage like toxins and hormones are trying to leave the body.
[00:23:59] Lahana: They're like, peacing out, they've done their time. It can make you reabsorb them. And then you're gonna run into issues like estrogen dominance. So we gotta make sure that that gut bacteria is good and it's not increasing this enzyme that's going to affect your hormones. And then for the luteal phase, so that second half, I love electrolytes.
[00:24:19] Lahana: I love electrolytes after your cycle. But I feel like they're a little bit more important here because they can actually fall in your luteal phase. So these can be things like supplemental things like element tea or things that are natural like bananas and coconut water and avocados and orange juice, stuff like that.
[00:24:39] Lahana: I love B six rich foods for progesterone production. So this is things like canned salmon, chickpeas, eggs, sweet potatoes, as well as implementing complex carbs here because you're gonna have a natural increase in carb cravings. Again, very normal. It's also very normal to feel a little tired before your period.
[00:25:00] Lahana: Totally fine. And just really honing into that and feeling that throughout your cycle, which is why it's called cycle syncing, is knowing that this is very normal to crave carbs and having brown rice or sweet potatoes and just kind of leaning into that can be really, really helpful.
[00:25:15] Lindsay: Yeah, that's super helpful.
[00:25:16] Lindsay: I'm 100% looking up the graphic that you posted on Instagram after this.
[00:25:21] Lahana: I think it's really far down, but keep scrolling, you'll it.
[00:25:23] Lindsay: Okay. So talk to me quickly also about cycle syncing workouts.
[00:25:29] Lahana: Oh my gosh. Yeah. So like I said, in that follicular phase, you're feeling really strong. So first half of the follicular phase when you're bleeding usually take it pretty simple.
[00:25:39] Lahana: Energy's pretty down from having both hormones decreased, so most people are feeling kind of stronger in that second half leading up to ovulation. So doing strength training and hiit, just feeling really good there. And then usually towards the, and honestly, that can be like, half of the follicular phase going into the beginning of the luteal.
[00:25:59] Lahana: But as you can see, when your progesterone and estrogen start declining, like a week before your period, you'll start to just see that energy shift. Again, lean into it and start switching your movements from yoga and Pilates and just walking and just being like a gentle active versus trying to hit like a pr, you know, the week before.
[00:26:22] Lahana: Some women who struggle with longer cycles and that tends to be because you delayed ovulation. Sometimes it feels best for them to be a little bit more gentle, even in the follicular phase when you are feeling stronger. And that's just to not stress out your body and allow it to ovulate and say, We're in a really safe environment.
[00:26:45] Lahana: You can ovulate, it's all good. And then after you ovulate, then most of the time they can start like strength training and doing hiit and stuff. So every woman's a little different.
[00:26:55] Lindsay: Yeah. It's so interesting how even just the way you're exercising can impact your hormones and literally whether or not your body feels safe
[00:27:03] Lindsay: to ovulate, which is crazy. But I've definitely noticed the shifts in energy like a couple weeks ago when I was, you know, in my follicular phase again. But after my period, and then when I, when I'm ovulating, like I had so much energy. I was waking up at like seven every day and I was like, I need to work out immediately.
[00:27:23] Lindsay: And then like the past week, I'm just like, I need to stay in bed for an extra hour. So it definitely is such a noticeable shift ever since I got off the pill, which has been honestly fun for me to observe and just like get to know my natural cycle cuz then think about how many things you know, one, as an entrepreneur I have the freedom to set my own schedule.
[00:27:48] Lindsay: And, you know, decide what my workload is throughout the week or throughout the month. And so I'm, I know like, okay, these few weeks I'm gonna have more energy. I can fill up my schedule a little bit more and then I can give myself a little bit, bit of a break when I know I'm gonna have less energy. And it's just so cool to be able to integrate all of these different things.
[00:28:09] Lindsay: One, so that I feel my best, but also so that I'm doing my best and most productive work, serving my clients the best that I can. You know, and there's just so much that goes into it. It like blows my mind.
[00:28:21] Lahana: I love that. That is definitely the perk, of, owning your own business and just being able to cycle sync. Cuz bosses usually don't understand because of that. Like, it's natural. It's natural to feel a little bit more introverted before your period. So don't be planning networking events during that time. Like it's really cool to cycle sync your life basically.
[00:28:41] Lindsay: Yeah, and it, I mean now that I'm more aware of this, it's like I'm thinking of it all the time, but I'm like the nine to five was not designed for women.
[00:28:50] Lindsay: Like it straight up just wasn't. And it's so like sad and stressful to think about how we are just like forced into this environment that completely goes against our natural state and our natural cycle. And so hopefully some changes will come to the workplace, you know, in the, in the next few years, but I think it's just also such a benefit of owning your own business as a woman because you have this freedom to really design your life around your cycle, and it's just, it's so cool.
[00:29:24] Lahana: Absolutely.
[00:29:25] Lindsay: All right let's dive a little bit into stress. Obviously stress has a big impact on our hormones. Specifically for the women listening who are still in a corporate job and they're feeling stressed out, they're overworked, maybe not getting enough sleep, what tips would you have for them to begin to be able to reign in some of those stress levels?
[00:29:48] Lahana: Yeah, for sure. I too think understanding what stress is doing to your body can be sometimes the nudge that you need to take it seriously because it does divert when you're chronically stressed. It diverts your brain from talking to your thyroid, which then affects your metabolism and ovulation and digestion.
[00:30:11] Lahana: When you're stressed, it lowers your immune system, which is going to allow you to be in a state where certain things in your gut will be, it'll take opportunity and increase and grow like the bad bacteria we were talking about. Chronic stress will also, in the long term, leads you to it's called adrenal fatigue.
[00:30:29] Lahana: That's not the right term. It's technically HPA dysfunction, which is hypothalamus pituitary adrenal dysfunction. That's when your brain really stops talking to, not, like I mentioned, with a thyroid. It stops talking to your adrenals, so then you're gonna shift from chronically high stress to now your adrenals really aren't making a lot of cortisol, and you're gonna feel like that
[00:30:49] Lahana: hard, intense fatigue and brain fog. No matter how much you sleep, you just cannot have energy. And that's what we're trying to prevent. And some women may be even in that right now. And the answer is to, you have to reduce your stress. You have to get extra, you know, rest, your body will always prioritize as we're talking about hormones, but it'll always prioritize your survival.
[00:31:09] Lahana: And so if it feels like it's running from a tiger, like your body doesn't know that, it's not a robber coming into your house trying to kill you. To your boss yelling at you or you're being stuck in traffic. It is the absolute same response in our body. And all that knows is just like there's effing danger out here.
[00:31:28] Lahana: Now is not the time to ovulate AKA bringing a baby even if you don't want a baby ovualation's always SuperBowl. Like, we should always be aiming for ovulation even if we don't want kids. That's just different ways that affects the body, and I think understanding that for the data driven people will make them be like, okay, fine.
[00:31:46] Lahana: You're right. Like that's why I can't lose weight. That's why I just can't get energy for the life of me. So we really have to look at your external stressors. And change it. And that's again, not the easy solutions of, or there's, it's totally doable, but it's not easy. Like, oh, I can do it and I'll be good.
[00:32:03] Lahana: It takes planning, like, okay, you have to quit your job. You have to move to a different location. Like what does that look like? But we have to start prioritizing and planning that because nothing will change if nothing changes. And that's always a hard conversation for us to have with patients as well.
[00:32:18] Lahana: Because we want like a quick supplement, quick fix, and it's just not that easy. And then we also have to understand in internal stressors, so there's your external and there's your internal. So if you're having a lot of blood sugar imbalances, gut issues, think of like stress as a bucket. And the more you're inputting it from external sources and internal, eventually it's gonna overflow.
[00:32:40] Lahana: And that's when we start feeling the worst, like panic attacks and anxiety. Totally overwhelmed and we wanna like slowly take away what's been putting it in the bucket. And that's both external, internal. So when you're trying to reduce stress, you can't just look at external. You have to look at internal stuff too, which is where like diet comes in and exercise comes in. And
[00:33:00] Lahana: prioritizing sleep comes in. But I think when people ask about like, do I reduce stress? I'm like, really? It's just you need to add more fun in your day. Like, yeah, what the heck do you enjoy? Like scrapbooking reading, like what do you enjoy that you don't have time for? In quotes for people who are listening , because we all have 24 hours in the day.
[00:33:19] Lahana: I know some people hate the saying, but it's so true. And if I can spend time with my kids, and totally binge on whatever Netflix show I wanna watch or read a whole book. I actually can do that. And people look at me like I'm insane because I'm like, wait, you run a business, you, I've been a student for life. I feel like you're in school, you have two kids, like how do you do it all?
[00:33:39] Lahana: And it's just making those priorities. And releasing certain expectations. And just adding fun things into my life. Morning routines. Whatever that looks like for you does not have to be two hours. It could be 15 minutes, but adding something, whether it's meditation or journaling or prayer or box breathing therapy, like anything that can get you in the right mind is so helpful and it's been a game changer for me to, even the Enneagram eight is saying this, but reducing and letting go of control.
[00:34:15] Lahana: And just knowing like I can only do what I can do in a day. That's all I can do. And I can do my best. And by the time the clock hits six, do I have so much more I could do? Do I have things I could get ahead? Do I have things I could be productive? Yes, but at what cost? I'm gonna eventually be burnt out, so I'm choosing to take this time to just
[00:34:37] Lahana: be in a bubble bath and like read a book. So really adjusting expectations based on the season of your life as well as certain supplements can be helpful. Not always my favorite, especially if you don't test because while there's some herbs, like I love Ashwaganda, it's amazing, but it actually does lower cortisol.
[00:34:55] Lahana: And so for people who have too low of cortisol obviously you're kind of putting more fuel to the fire. GABA's really great though if you are really anxious and kind of need that in kind of an instant like relief. If you're really panicky or anxious. I do love gaba, so there's some supplements that could be helpful, but knowing that you're stressed too, please know that like
[00:35:17] Lahana: nutrients are such a supply and demand. So if you are stressed, you do need more electrolytes, salt, potassium, magnesium, you need all of it because your body is just soaking it up so quick because there's a lot of internal chaos and stress that like you do have to be crazy mindful of your diet and just even increasing certain supplements.
[00:35:38] Lindsay: Yeah, there's so much that goes into it and it's just so crazy to think about the impact that being in a job that you hate is literally having on your health. Like think about all the stuff you just said, right? Like the way that stress impacts our bodies and our health and the fact that your employer could be the one causing that is just like so upsetting to me.
[00:36:02] Lindsay: And part of why I quit my job too, cuz I'm like, why am I gonna live my life this stressed out over something? Over a job, like it's not worth it right? And it could literally have long-term effects on your fertility being in a job that stresses you out. And it's so important to prioritize your own health over any job.
[00:36:22] Lindsay: And I know it's easier said than done. Like you may not be able to up and quit your job tomorrow, but even just setting boundaries at work, right? Or you know, I, I feel like I really when I was in my job even, I really reached a point where, it kind of like what you were saying before where it's like you can't let it stress you out cuz there is a level to it where it's like you're putting all of this energy into it.
[00:36:47] Lindsay: And I, I remember just feeling like I had a, I had like a breakdown one day at work and I was like crying and I was miserable and I was stressed out and then I was like, Lindsay, we're doing taxes. Like it's not that serious. Don't let this job stress you out this much. And that's really when I was able to start setting boundaries and I'm like, I'm not sacrificing my sleep to get this tax return done.
[00:37:11] Lindsay: That's like if it's not due tomorrow, I can do it in the morning. You know? And I think setting boundaries, having a really solid morning routine that really grounds you and helps lower your stress levels, a nighttime routine, taking breaks throughout the day. Even something as simple as that. I know a lot of people feel like I'm so busy, I don't have time to take a break.
[00:37:30] Lindsay: I promise you, you have time to take 10 minutes and just like breathe. Take a walk. Go outside like something. It'll have such an impact not only on your health but also on your productivity. Like you will actually be more productive if you take more breaks.
[00:37:47] Lahana: I wish that that is like an excuse that I could like, kick it to boot for good.
[00:37:52] Lahana: Is I don't have time. I promise you. I don't have the special 30 hours in the day that people think I have of being a mom and a entrepreneur and a student and a wife, and just honestly just me, me, just me. I promise you have time. It's just all about priorities. And I was even talking about this on another podcast of people just not even like taking a lunch break.
[00:38:15] Lahana: Like thinking that you have to work through that. And I'm like, where did that go? Like we've been, it should have been ingrained in us since going to school of you take a break from your studies and you go eat lunch in the cafeteria. Like, why did we let go of that? Because that is so crucial to us feeling our best.
[00:38:31] Lahana: And you, you have that time, I promise you. And honestly, if you're in a job that is giving you that much pressure that you really don't have time, it like you need to leave like yesterday. Cause you will find a job if it's not entrepreneurship for you.
[00:38:45] Lindsay: Yeah.
[00:38:46] Lahana: You'll find your place in that company where they do respect you and care for you in that sense, cuz I know I do for my employees, so they're out there.
[00:38:55] Lindsay: Yeah, 100%. It's funny, now being on the other side of it, like as a business owner, I'm always so conscious of making sure, you know, my team and anyone who I hire like has that freedom to set their own schedule to, you know, make sure that they are working in an environment that allows them to be at their best.
[00:39:18] Lindsay: And I think, I feel optimistic that the workforce is gonna change in that direction because so many people are kind of waking up to like, this is an unhealthy expectation that we have for people to kind of constantly be working in the digital age because we always have access to the internet and so we're kind of expected to like always be on.
[00:39:36] Lindsay: I'm optimistic that it's shifting. I know it will be for any of us who now become business owners for sure.
[00:39:46] Lahana: For sure. Leading the charge.
[00:39:48] Lindsay: Yes. Okay. So anything else, I guess, any other tips or topics that you think it's important to dive into when we're talking about hormone health?
[00:40:00] Lahana: Again, think the simplest things like sleep matter. And I bring up sleep because these are usually the things that people wanna overlook and or they don't think it's a big deal, and it really is. With sleep, it's really important for balancing hormones, supporting your immune function. Honestly, even being at a healthy weight. One night of bad sleep can actually make you more insulin resistant
[00:40:22] Lahana: the next day. Like one night of bad sleep. Your hunger hormones are thrown off out of wack. So you'll be eating more, not doing the best choices either you have increased cortisol, which is your stress hormone. When you lack sleep, then therefore your sex hormones will be thrown off. You have a lot of brain fog because that's just sleep is such an important time for your brain to literally dump and get clarity for the next day.
[00:40:44] Lahana: So, I think just understanding little things outside of diet, but just of creating a good sleep routine can change the game for how you feel and sticking to it, like setting a time and sticking to it, knowing that this is your wind down time and doing things like wearing blue blockers in your, in your glasses or blue blockers itself when sun starts to go down.
[00:41:04] Lahana: So the blue light, whether you're watching a movie or on your phone, it's not going to affect your sleep. Doing things like eating enough protein and having a little bit of carb is really helpful for maybe melatonin, which is your sleepy hormone in the future, and brain dumping if you're that type of person that's laying in bed and like is constantly like their brain's just everything. Just on his hamster wheel. Brain dumping, all your thoughts. Yeah. Just, oh, it's so good to brain dump journal.
[00:41:32] Lindsay: Yeah.
[00:41:32] Lahana: Brain dump. What are you thinking about? What do you need to do tomorrow? And just get it out of your head. And then I'm a big fan of getting out into the sun, morning sun, and then also evening when it's sunset to realign your circadian rhythm, which is our 24 hour internal clock inside of our body.
[00:41:47] Lahana: And just going for a walk or standing out in the back of your yard, grounding, putting your feet to the ground and just getting your eyes adjusted to the light can help realign that like sleep cycle, which is really great. So there's even things outside of diet that we should be just implementing very slowly.
[00:42:04] Lahana: You know, people look at my routine and they're like, you bougie? And I'm like, yeah, I've also took years to develop this. And I just slowly added like one thing at a.
[00:42:13] Lindsay: Yeah. I'd say start with one thing, right? Whether it's your diet, your sleep schedule, your workouts, managing your stress. Start with just one thing that you really took away from this conversation.
[00:42:26] Lindsay: Cuz there's so many good things, probably save it so you can re-listen a billion times, which I'm probably gonna do too slowly starting to integrate these things cuz then it'll just kind of become second nature. Like I don't even have to think about my nighttime routine. It's like I know that I'm gonna go to bed at this time every night, like I've been doing it for years, right. And so it, it starts to just become part of your lifestyle and it's not so overwhelming over time. For sure.
[00:42:52] Lahana: Yeah.
[00:42:53] Lindsay: All right. Lahana, any resources that you have to share with the listeners?
[00:42:59] Lahana: Yeah, I will actually share with you our little hormone balancing PDF. So I'll make sure to give that to you, Lindsay, if you don't have it. But that's just a place that I kind of teach you just the basics of hormones and nutrition. And then for freebie, I absolutely love Instagram. It's definitely my favorite platform at Nuvitru Wellness, N U V I T R U Wellness, all one word. And same with like YouTube, we have that, but I'm, I'm kind of bad at it.
[00:43:25] Lahana: I don't promote it. I mostly do it for like internet, like SEO stuff, but it's there. And then if you love Lori about the nutrition side of things, our podcast is Functional Nutrition Radio. And then our other podcast is Power Women Wellness. If you are a wannabe power woman, or you are a power woman, whether that's a founder, entrepreneur or a C-suite executive, or a lawyer or just real estate agent, like whatever
[00:43:49] Lahana: profession that you're in, and you honestly just wanna see behind the scenes of like what other successful women are doing for their food and their exercise and the different habits they have. It's been a blast interviewing some of these like really badass CEOs and just seeing similarities, but some differences and just leaving, I don't know, leaving an episode feeling really encouraged that like, oh, I wanna implement that, or just all that.
[00:44:13] Lahana: So definitely those two podcasts. If you are obviously a podcast listener, go check it.
[00:44:18] Lindsay: Yes, all of that sounds amazing. I'll link it all in the show notes for you guys. Lahana, my last question for you is, what is your biggest piece of advice for the new or aspiring female entrepreneurs who are iistening?
[00:44:32] Lahana: Do not overthink anything, and literally just do it. I promise you if I really sat and thought about all the things that could happen, what do people think? I would've never taken any risk or chance. I just kind of, if you have a thought in your head that like, oh, I wanna do this, this sounds good.
[00:44:51] Lahana: Start implementing it right away. Start working towards it. Like, don't let even yourself to have a second start thinking of like, my God, what if this doesn't work. Like, just do it. Like I insist.
[00:45:01] Lindsay: No, I love that. It's like before you can talk yourself out of it just start taking those actions and you're 100% right.
[00:45:11] Lindsay: That's how you're gonna build the business that you want. All right where can the listeners connect with you if they want to find you on social media or your website or anything else?
[00:45:23] Lahana: Instagram, Facebook, Nuvitru Wellness, and then our website is www.nuvitruwellness.com and that's where you can find all of our services and lab tests that we offer.
[00:45:33] Lahana: If you are interested, we work with women all over the US which is great. So we'll see you virtually.
[00:45:39] Lindsay: Amazing Lahana. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing all of your tips. This was such a good episode, jam packed, and I can't wait for everyone to hear.
[00:45:48] Lahana: Thanks for having me.