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10 tips on improving your health naturally

We connected with midwife and expert in hormonal health & natural medicine, Dr. Aviva Romm, for tips & insights on natural healing. Plus find an astrological forecast for October 2022. 

Dr. Aviva Romm has helped thousands of women in various stages of their lives overcome health issues and talks to us about the importance of being nourished, the risks of perfectionism and what to do if hormones are raging.

1. Nourish yourself
Women are often undernourishing themselves. Especially as a woman, you want to have fat, carbs and calories as the building blocks for your hormones. There are many women who are not menstruating and struggle with fertility. When they exercise a little less or change their form of exercise and increase their nutrition intake a little – most of the time, their cycles get more regular.

Whether it is time for yourself, getting enough sleep or eating the foods that make you feel good. Being nourished in all the different aspects of your life is important because if you are well nourished, your microbiome and hormones function as building blocks that you need for a healthy gut flora.

2. Get back to basics with food
Get back to basics with food and make sure you are getting enough legumes, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Maybe a little bit of chicken and red meat if that is part of your diet, but leaning more into fish and some dairy if you tolerate it well. This way, you are consuming a wealth of nutrients to support your body. Start with getting rid of processed foods and lean into the foods nature provides us in relatively unaltered form.

3. Eat the rainbow
Variety is such an important word. As women start to learn about health, healthy eating and wellness, it’s common to get limited in what they are eating. With a lot of rules about what they are not eating.
But when you are not eating a varied diet, you are not getting that wealth of nutrients. Ask yourself: Am I eating the rainbow? Am I eating enough fruits and vegetables from a wide variety of colors every day? The beauty of variety is that you are automatically, for the most part, going to get all of the nutrients you need. A healthy microbiome, our gut microbiome, thrives on this variety. If you eat the same foods over and over again, you are limiting the gut flora that you are growing. You are limiting your bacteria, yeasts, fungi and viruses. It takes variety to create a healthy microbiome and a healthy gut lining.

4. Add herbs to boost your metabolism
A couple of tablespoons of fresh or freshly dried herbs in your diet every couple of days boosts your metabolism, improves your immunity and may even improve your mood. More herbs in your kitchen like oregano, thyme, rosemary, garlic, onion, shallots, cinnamon, cardamon, reaching into things like chilis: they all have their own benefits.

5. Use herbs like chamomile and lavender for raging hormones during pregnancy and postpartum
During pregnancy, chamomile or lemon balm can help calm your nervous system. Postpartum you can broaden the range of herbs, even if you’re breastfeeding. Passion flower and lavender, for example, are great for anxiety. Vitex and chasteberry may help support estrogen and progesterone. If moms are really all over the place, getting their thyroid levels checked is recommended, because that can be a hidden reason for raging hormones.

6. Use fenugreek and milk thistle to support breastfeeding
Two herbs tend to stand out somewhat in research when it comes to breast milk production: Fenugreek and milk thistle. If milk production is low, the most important thing is finding someone you can work with: A midwife, a lactation consultant, a general practitioner who can help you figure out why. I’ve seen so many women come to me with low milk production who had an undiagnosed thyroid problem or breast duct problems. They are trying everything, and worry about their baby not gaining weight or not producing enough milk when it may be that something else medically is going on that needs attention. Just getting an answer can make so much difference.

7. Try adaptogens to help deal with stress
Adaptogens are a special group of herbs that are meant to help you adapt to stress.
They are herbs that have been part of the pharmacopeia of traditional medicine for thousands of years. The key thing about adaptogens is they don’t necessarily act on one specific body system. They act more generally, through the HPA-axis, (the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis), the brain-body connection to stress. The various adaptogens have a shared ability to help reset the stress response. But each adaptogen has its own actions. Ashwagandha is generally relaxing and helps to reset the stress response, but also has an affinity for musculo-skeletal stress and poor sleep. American ginseng has an affinity for the immune system and cognitive function. They really seem helpful for low immune systems, hormone and fertility problems.

8. Find out if certain foods trigger symptoms
Try to identify how much and whether specific foods may be a trigger for symptoms. For example, a lot of people are lactose intolerant and have never really figured that out. If they take that out of their diet and feel better, that is a huge win. Because then they don’t necessarily have to turn to many herbs or supplements, or maybe their depression doesn’t need an antidepressant or botanicals for depression. Maybe they just needed to take the dairy out of their diet.

9. Try something that excites you
Try something you’re excited about and see where you go with it. Having that inspiration, something that lights you up and sparks your curiosity: It really adds a joie de vivre that can be an antidote for some of the other things that affect you negatively.

10. Let go of perfectionism
Perfectionism is a stress response, just like a rapid heart rate or stress eating. It’s important to stop right there and recognize that, just as you would interrupt any stress pattern by doing some deep breathing, taking a few minutes to journal, calling a best friend, putting on loud disco and dancing like crazy. It doesn’t mean you have to let go of excellence and ambition. It just means letting go of that shadow side.

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