Test Don’t Guess.
What gets measured gets managed.
These are a couple of the pearls of wisdom from Dr. Anna Cabeca and the menopause course I’m close to completing.
I promised an update on how I was doing with the course information and so here it is!
- Blood pressure is down 20 points on top number and 10 points on bottom number
- Lost 6 1/2 pounds without trying
- Lost 2″ off my waist and 3″ off my hips
- Lost 1.5% body fat (per FitBit scale)
- Break out sweating and strip off clothes hot flashes that were about 2-3x a day are gone (I still notice about 4 or 5 warm flashes a week)
- I’m sleeping more soundly
- I don’t wake up at night 3 or 4x to pee
- I don’t have as much body pain
- Intimacy is more comfortable
- I have more energy throughout the day
- My body feels stronger
- Had a 50% decrease in menopause symptom severity in just 6 weeks (sleep, vaginal dryness, tearing eyes, hair thinning, weight gain, low energy, hot flashes, dental health issues, pain, joint stiffness, stress, underlying anxiety, social withdrawal, urinary frequency, decreased joy in life, fibrocystic breasts, headaches, and irritability with flashes of an intense feeling of anger)
- AND I just feel more happy … joy in the small things in life
What is the program about? It’s basically about getting information about how our bodies age from a knowledgable doctor on different menopause related topics and then empowering us to make our own healthy lifestyle choices and to have a better partnership with our own doctors (or to choose a new doctor who is supportive and holistic).
The key to the program is living keto-alkaline. And we use test strips created by Dr. Cabeca every day to determine if our body is in a keto-alkaline state.
The first thing we worked on was getting our urine to test alkaline. We did that by detoxing (which I have been advocating for years, so this was easy), by eating more green organic vegetables, by cutting out caffeine and by using a supplement called Maca. We learned that testing alkaline indicates we have less body inflammation and are handling stress and we experienced the results in feeling more energy and less pain. The program advocates for tea but I was able to be alkaline and still drink several cups of coffee a day (I used the following recipe: 1 Tablespoon roasted organic chicory, 2 Tablespoons organic decaf coffee, 2 Tablespoons organic regular coffee to 12 cups water).
The next thing we worked on was ketosis. We achieved ketosis by something called intermittent fasting … this just means that we try and go 15 hours between dinner and breakfast. Eating the alkalizing greens also helps with ketosis and we were given a protein shake product that was very low carb. The shake was delicious and filling, it was vanilla and I made it with unsweetened coconut almond milk … tasted like I was cheating and having a milk shake anytime I had it!!! We were also given lower carb recipes each week, were encouraged to eat only 3 meals a day, and were asked to limit sugar/dairy/flours/alcohol. Oh, and we were taught to make our own bone broth and to enjoy a vegetable bone broth every day.
I didn’t do much of the meals except the intermittent fasting, the shake, eating more green veggies, and having some bone broth. What I did do during this period was enroll in Home Chef meals that were lower in carbs and calories but entirely flavor filled, easy and DELICIOUS. These are changes that are sustainable for me. My birthday fell in the middle of the program and I enjoyed several slices of my German Chocolate Cake and I went to the movies and had buttered popcorn and I snacked on potato chips now and then. I also had a bottle of light beer 2 or 3x a week, a glass of wine once a week, and a mixed drink with vodka 1 to 2x a week. I was no martyr with food and I knew I had to make changes that I wouldn’t become tired of or resentful of.
Another part of the program was writing down in a daily journal what you were grateful for, what blessed your life that day, what you’re glad you did, what gave you joy, and who you connected with each day. We were to start each day with a “Cheer” word, some thing that would anchor us in the positive. We were also a part of a Facebook group to share our trials and successes. That was important when I had a questionable mammogram during the period the program was running … I had a doctor and a wonderful group to offer support during the stress of that time.
Being it’s a menopause program, we learned a lot about hormones. Surprisingly the most important hormones were oxytocin and cortisol. Connection/bonding and stress hormones. When cortisol (stress) is high, oxytocin (feeling connected to others and thus wanting to isolate) is low. When cortisol is high over a long period of time, adrenal fatigue occurs and both cortisol and oxytocin are low which leads to feelings of exhaustion, disconnection, loss of joy, and burnout.
The next hormones that were discussed were thyroid, insulin, and melatonin … the energy and sleep hormones. And of course finally we discussed estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, pregnenolone, and testosterone. Did you know progesterone is stolen to make the stress hormone cortisol?
During the program I had my annual health visit at my regular doctor and asked to get hormone labs done and I was told it wasn’t medically necessary. So, I went and purchased my own labs, the Elite Panel, through Ulta Lab Tests. I went locally to have my blood drawn and they sent it out for testing. I found that I was doing a lot of things right and there were a few things I could tweak … like getting off the $300+ out-of-pocket estrogen prescription Estrace (which wasn’t working for vaginal dryness). I began using a natural progesterone cream and Dr. Anna’s Julva cream. I also learned that coconut oil is one of the healthiest vaginal lubricants. These changes are saving me money, are actually working and are solving my menopause symptoms at the root level.
Testing has helped take the guess work out of what’s going on with my hormones. And daily measuring my weight, blood pressure, mood, ketosis, and urine alkalinity has helped me stay on track with what works for my body and what doesn’t. And so far I’m reaping the rewards. I’d happily recommend the program to others when it’s offered again (even though it won’t be for a number of months from what I’ve heard). It was about an $800 investment for the online program and another $700 investment for the lab tests and I am totally worth it! And I believe you are you too! What do you think?! I will be signing up for round two and completing the program again when it reopens, it’s that motivating and supportive and I hope to be ready to step into even more changes.
If you’re interested, I’ll let you know when the program is starting up again or you can get on the waiting list to experience Magic Menopause!