Greetings to my fellow earthlings!
After successfully finishing my three-day juice cleanse I started reflecting about how I’ve been eating over the past couple of months and how my body has been responding. Overall, I feel grateful to have adopted this cruelty-free lifestyle and my body feels the healthiest it’s ever felt in years! I may not be stick thin, but I’m able to gain muscle faster and the inflammation in my body has drastically decreased. I suffered so much from lower back pain and headaches and now I feel energized and I’m never in pain since adopting a vegan diet..
Another remarkable change for me has been in an area that most women can relate too, our menstrual cycles.. Unfortunately, for many years I had to rely on taking birth control, which has many annoying side effects just to suppress my painful cramping.
Before taking the pill, I would have to miss school or work for at least one day out of the month because my cramps were so painful. Taking the pill helped to immediately reduce my cramping and I was able to resume life by taking two ibuprofen on the first day of cramping..
About six months ago, I went to see a holistic Doctor here in Brickell at the Four Seasons. He gave me an overall health evaluation and informed me that I was having trouble gaining core muscle because the Testosterone I produce was not being properly absorbed into my blood stream.
Apparently, birth control can dramatically lower the rate at which Testosterone is absorbed into your blood stream regardless of the amount your body is producing.. My options my Doctor gave me were to start hormone replacement therapy while staying on the pill even though I was already producing adequate amounts of testosterone or to stop the pill. To explain this better, undergoing the testosterone therapy would immediately inject the testosterone into my blood stream allowing me to gain more energy and hopefully aide in muscle formation.
After much reflection and research, I decided that it was about time that I attempt to get off of the pill and start natural methods of curing my painful menstruation symptoms. At first, I was very nervous and worried to get off the pill because even the distant memory of how painful my cramps were was still in the back of my mind.
I started researching options as far as what natural supplements were out there to help me suppress the painful cramping. I came across a lot of scientific articles that stated that Maca Powder (which comes from a root), helps balance hormones and can help reduce cramping and other PMS symptoms. Apparently, Maca was used in ancient civilizations as a cure for many aliments and still has a strong following today.
Vegan athlete Brendan Braiser wrote one of my favorite vegan cookbooks Thrive. His amazing book includes many data driven research points regarding adopting a plant-based diet along with simple and delicious recipes. I discovered that Brendan has a company and website called Vega One: http://myvega.com/. I bought Vega One Maca Powder supplements through this website and I began to take roughly two Maca supplements a day starting a week before my menstruation cycle and continue this regime during the week of my period.
It’s been about six months since I began this regimen, and I’ve gone through six menstrual cycles off of the pill and I’ve never felt better. I’m not exactly sure if the Maca Powder was the cure for my cramps or my vegan diet, which insures that there is barely any inflammation in my body..
If you’re not a vegan and your suffer from difficult PMS symptoms I would encourage you to eat more fruits and vegetables and stay away from processed sugars and caffeine especially close to your menstrual cycle. Of course, only try this if you deal with harsh PMS symptoms and do not want to take the pill due to the possible side-effects. Also it is important to note that some women do not experience side effects from taking the pill and need to use the pill as a contraceptive so it might not be necessary for everyone to stop taking it.
Personally, being on the pill brought down my energy levels, lowered my sex drive, and made it harder for me to gain the essential core muscles needed to protect my previously injured lower back. Anyways, I thought I would share this personal story with you all because this was such a difficult battle for me to deal with every month and I never thought I would be able to live like a normal person off the pill during my cycle. Now I feel very free.. Imagine planning all trips and activities around your menstrual cycle or missing important workdays when you can’t tell you boss you have bad cramps without fear of judgement. It’s a very personal problem and can be difficult to explain to people who have never had a similar experience. However, nobody should have to put their life on hold for day or a week every month!
Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your story and feel free to ask me any questions you may have regarding this topic. It’s important to note that I am not a Doctor and have not conducted any trials or research of my own on anyone or anything except for myself. There is no control group and I’m not sure if the Maca Powder is solely to be praised for helping cure my symptoms or if it is because of the lovely effects of being a vegan.
Tomorrow I am planning on sharing with you my weekly nutrition guide to get organized and more purposeful with my health this year! Happy New Year to all!