I have begun a juice fast in an attempt to overcome menstrual cramps and to balance my hormones to get more energy. Below you will find detailed daily notes of what I ate. After the juice fast I will transition to a hormone balancing diet.
To read the introduction to this diet, go to: female hormone imbalance diet. It explains about the supplements, superfoods, herbs and juices that I am taking.
Read also: Natural Remedies for Menstrual Cramps, Part 1 and Part 2.
16th August 2014, Saturday
Day 12 of Menstrual Cycle
First day on a juice fast and I'm feeling really excited and upbeat this morning for some reason. Woke up at 9am and went to shops to get some supplements and juice ingredients.
- One lemon squeezed into a glass of water (for liver detox)
- A glass of pasteurized grapefruit and citrus juice. This was the last pasteurized juice I will drink for the next 2-3 weeks as this will be a LIVE juice fast. B12 vitamin spray (methylcobalamin, 1000mcg).
- 250ml glass of juice: 1/4 beetroot (to strengthen the liver and bad hormone removal), beetroot greens, celery, iceberg lettuce (aphrodisiac), courgette (zucchini, aphrodisiac), 1/4 cucumber, ginger, sprinkle of turmeric (antioxidant) and cayenne pepper on top.
- Supplements: 2ml rhodiola root tincture (1:1 extract), B vitamin complex (to help blood sugar balance), digestive enzyme (to strengthen pancreas), Vitex (agnus castus, fruit, oral drops, 0.6ml = 540mg of 1:10 tincture in alcohol, to balance hormones), Vitamin E capsule (260mg = 400 iu), Vitamin D3 (12,000 iu, drops), Vitamin A (capsule, 5000 iu), epimedium (horny goat's weed, 3x 500mg, aphrodisiac).
- Water, nettle leaf tea.
- It is not good to have too much raw beetroot because it can give you gas like you've never had before! I normally find that a quarter or a half of a raw beetroot is a safe amount and gives you no gas problems. You may be able to increase the amount over time. Some reports say that beetroot is very strongly detoxifying and that's why it can give symptoms.
- Rhodiola: I have felt a very nice strong effect on my moods from Rhodiola before, after taking it for a few days.
- All the water I drink for now is Brita-filtered tap water but once the spring water delivery comes I will change to that.
- I have quit caffeine a long time ago so I don't have any caffeine detox symptoms like many people would on a juice fast. Compared to my previous juice fasts this one is superior since it does not include any caffeine!
Quite soon after drinking the juice and taking the supplements I started feeling a bit 'high' and spacey.
2pm: Tea: Powdered hemp leaf, ginseng, dry ginger, fennel powder, lemon peel powder, mint powder. Very nice and refreshing tea.
- Half an avocado (to ensure enough fats) with pink himalayan salt.
- 250ml juice: raspberries, one pink grapefruit, two apples, cucumber, iceberg lettuce, very little bit of ginger, with a sprinkle of dry mint and basil.
- Plenty of chaga mushroom tea.
- Vitex 540mg (drops, as earlier).
Avocado has never tasted so nice before! I'm not sure if it is the hormone-boosting effects of the supplements taken this morning, or because of not having other solid foods today but this avocado was heavenly!
I can't have too much of chaga mushroom tea when I haven't eaten solid foods... It's making me feel a little nauseous. Others have also warned against drinking this tea on an empty belly.
I only have pink himalayan salt, it is said to have many health benefits and to help with hormone balance as well, depending on a person. Some raw foodists get very sick, according to David Wolfe, because they eat a diet too low in natural salts.
- Another half an avocado with salt, didn't taste as amazing as the last one.
- Green juice: kale, one courgette (zucchini), one lemon, celery, two green peppers, iceberg lettuce, and mixed in: 1/2 tea sp he shou wu, 1/2 tea sp kelp. Two strawberries and a slice of lemon.
I have been feeling a little hungry for a few hours now, nothing major though. No detox symptoms. I didn't get my usual midday tiredness today, but now feeling very slightly tired.
6.30pm: Feel a slight effect of what I suspect to be low blood sugar now: achy arms and legs, lack of energy.
9pm: Juice: Cabbage and strawberry, with toppings: hibiscus flower powder, lemon peel powder and cocoa powder.
10pm: Took 2ml of Angelica tincture because I started very slightly feeling like I was getting heart palpitations. It seems to help sometimes as it is an anti-stimulant and calming. But then I got a headache and I wonder if Angelica had something to do with that.
Took a hot bath, which helped, and went to bed. No more headache.
This was the 12th day on my cycle, close to the middle of the cycle. It is possible that this was the day just before ovulation, when estrogen levels are very high, and that's why I was feeling so energetic, lively and upbeat in the morning. This makes sense if my estrogen levels are generally too low but I haven't measured my hormone levels in any way so I don't know for sure.
17th August 2014, Sunday
Day 13 of Menstrual Cycle
Woke up at 9.30am. Had a headache for about 1 minute and then it went away.
My face looks quite puffy today and the detox is starting because my nose and sinuses feel very congested, my neck and shoulders feel a bit stiff and my ears and forehead feel a bit congested too.
Generally feel good though, not hungry at all upon waking up.
Weight 55kg, yesterday it was 56kg.
- One lemon squeezed into a glass of water.
- Juice, 250ml: Spinach, 1/2 pink grapefruit, 1/4 raw beetroot, 1/2 lemon, 1/2 orange bell pepper, 1/2 green bell pepper, 1/2 zucchini, beetroot greens. Sprinkle of turmeric and cinnamon on top.
- Supplements, as yesterday but no epimedium.
- Half a handful of broccoli sprouts.
- Chaga mushroom tea.
- 1/2 avocado with salt and cayenne pepper
- Epimedium 1500mg.
- 250ml glass of watermelon juice, with bee pollen on top.
- Chaga mushroom tea.
- Radish sprouts.
- Vitex 540mg (drops, as earlier).
- 1000 mg epimedium.
4.30pm: A bit on a grumpy mood now, for absolutely no reason. Keep thinking about the foods I would like to eat and feel a little tired. Nothing drastic, though. I also have a slight pain on the side of my lower back, I think it is the kidney. Will drink some more water.
This is the 13th day on the cycle and I am wondering whether my estrogen levels have dipped. If today is my day of ovulation then it is normal for estrogen to dip before starting to rise again - this can cause tiredness. Of course the tiredness could be detoxification as well.
5.15pm: Not feeling well, moody, lower back pain and my face is glowing red as well for no reason.
5.45pm: Pulse 63bpm (good). It just occurred to me that I may have an intolerance to watermelon juice but it is too late now for it show in the pulse. Going to take a bath to try to relax.
6.20pm: Out of the bath, feel a bitter better but my face is still 'burning' and my heartbeat is a little heavy. Did dry skin brushing. Feel quite exhausted now. Just ate another half of an avocado and drank a glass of lemon water (one full lemon) in order to help the detox along a little (avocado or anything fatty should slow the detox down).
8.30pm: Just slept for two hours. Definitely had some low blood sugar symptoms, heart palpitations, not as strong as usual though, quite mild but enough to be annoying. I think the watermelon juice was too sugary, I will keep the juices green-dominating from now on and won't drink pure fruit juices.
Can't say that I feel better after sleeping, though.
I don't feel as moody and my face is not red anymore. And I did start feeling that it is important during the juice fast to rest a lot and to allow yourself to listen to your body and kind of meditate. I think the moodiness might be a sign that you are not giving your body and mind the quiet time and attention that they need.
However, I feel even more lousy now. I have pain in the area where I suspect my right ovary would be, and sometimes in the whole lower belly, similar to menstrual pain but not nearly as bad. Not bad enough to need pain killers, just annoying. My whole head hurts and my teeth and jaw and the sides of the neck below the ears feel tense and blocked, if that makes any sense. I have loose thick phlegm in my throat that is not moving, and I feel constipated as well. I also have a throat ache. Even my ears are slightly ringing. And although I don't feel sleepy, my body feels worn out and fatigued. The back of the neck feels achy as well and the skin of the same area feels sensitive. I'm not hungry at all but I have serious sugar cravings, and my lower belly is also making noises like there is some gas moving there.
Drinking some 350ml of sugarless 'cacao', which I made with water, 5 almonds, small amount of sunflower seeds, 1 tbsp of ground cacao nibs, 1 tbsp of maca, 3/4 tbsp of bee pollen and cinnamon. It doesn't taste very nice but somehow I feel like my body might need it now. I also took some zinc, 60mg, which comes in a capsule that includes 30mg of Vitamin C. (Took another zinc capsule later.) I also ate 5 almonds and drank a 250ml glass of water before the so-called 'cacao' (which wasn't very nice).
I just checked and I think it is very likely that I am experiencing ovulation pain together with juice fasting symptoms. Ovulation is caused by rapidly dropping estrogen levels, which can cause fatigue and other problems in people whose estrogen levels are too low. (Even if my estrogen levels are too low, I can still suffer from estrogen dominance as well if my progesterone levels are even lower.) After a day or two both estrogen and progesterone start rising and low estrogen people will feel better whereas high estrogen people will feel progressively worse over the next two (or so) weeks and get PMS symptoms.
The fact there is a slight pain/ uncomfortable feeling more on the right side of my lower belly, just inside the hip bone, seems to point to ovary pain. General advice online seems to be that this is nothing to worry about unless the pain is severe or lasts longer than 48 hours. Even though such pain is considered normal, it can also be a sign of bigger problems, such as endometriosis. I'm not worried about those things now, though. Ovulation pain can be referred to as mittelschmertz as well.
I'm gonna have to rest for the rest of the night, and hope that I feel better tomorrow. I don't think I can even handle a movie, reading, or sitting at the computer right now.
9pm: Feel a little tiny bit better, maybe the magnesium from cacao and the hormone-balancing estrogenic maca is helping a little, together with the zinc.
9.20pm: Feel quite a bit better, just a 'shadow' of pain left in the belly. My main problem now is the headache. Mood problems are definitely gone, starting to feel quite optimistic again.
11pm: Went to sleep with quite a headache, used a electronic heat pad on my neck, shoulders and upper bad which helped a little.
Monday, 18th August, 2014
Day 14 of Menstrual Cycle
Woke up at 9.40am, drank a pint of water. I seem to be sleeping more than usual since I started the juice fast.
I feel ok, no more headache or belly ache, just a bit of a throat ache and very congested sinuses. Some phlegm in the throat but not as bad as yesterday. Neck and shoulders feel stiff.
1pm: Green juice, 500ml: 1/2 beetroot, lettuce, beetroot greens, one lemon, zucchini, kale, a little celery, a little ginger.
I'm not going to take any supplements today, apart from B12, because I want to see if one of those is causing my headache.
3pm: One pink grapefruit blended with 2 tbsp spirulina. Vitamin E capsule (400 IU). Chaga mushroom and hibiscus tea.
Feeling good, probably a little better than I was feeling before the juice fast.
5pm: Very slight heart palpitations, possibly because the grapefruit was too sugary. Feel good otherwise, a little cold, no headache.
5.30pm: Had another 'cacao' drink, similar to the one yesterday: water, 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder, 2 tbsp maca, 1 tbsp sunflower seeds, 1 tbsp sesame seeds, cinnamon, 1/2 tbsp bee pollen. Also had one zinc capsule (60mg with 30mg Vitamin C).
7.30pm: Still feeling good. A bit stiff neck, not hungry, though would like to eat some food for the taste. No more heart palpitations.
8pm: Green Juice: A bunch of a mysterious type lettuce green from the shop (don't know the name), one lemon, one zucchini, one whole cucumber, 2 small red radishes. On top: turmeric, cayenne pepper, watercress. On the side: one passion fruit, a small handful broccoli sprouts. Very slight pain in the lower back, right hand side, kidney location now. Drinking another glass of water.
8.20pm: Still no headaches. I suspect that my headaches may have been caused by one of the supplements, specifically Valerian, Vitamin B complex or by Vitamin D3. I will test each supplement and see what happens but yesterday the headache started straight after taking valerian tincture. I have been taking each of those for a long time and maybe got too much - either that or one of the supplements is low quality.
By the way I'm starting to feel some low blood sugar symptoms again. Slight heart palpitations and a little cold and achy feeling in the body. The lower back pain (kidney pain?) is getting worse as well.
8.50pm: Pulse: 69bpm.
9.30pm: Avocado with salt, and a glass of water with salt mixed in as well. I read that to hydrate the body properly and to support the kidneys one has to ensure enough good quality salt (pink Himalayan salt, in my case).
10.40pm: Still have the 'kidney' pain. Going to sleep...
In the end fell asleep at 00.30am.
Tuesday, 19th August, 2014
Day 15 of Menstrual Cycle
Woke up at 9.20am. Feeling good. Phlegm in my throat but no other problems and no pain. Slept very well and deep.
Drank a 250ml glass of water with the juice of one lemon squeezed in and cayenne pepper on top. Soon after drank some more water and took B12 vitamin spray.
- Green Juice: One salad bowlful of fresh coriander (cilantro), half a cucumber, 1/2 beetroot, 2 red radishes, one lemon. Watercress and red radish on top.
- 3 pieces of sugar-free chocolate (ingredients: cocoa mass, xylitol, cocoa butter, emulsifier (sunflower lecithin), mint oil.
- A few pieces of dried mango, two macamadia nuts.
- Supplements: zinc, rhodiola, Vitamin E, Vitamin A.
- Half a handful of broccoli sprouts.
Very slight shadow of a headache and tense feeling at the back of the neck and sides, below the ears. Ears still feel congested and a bit uncomfortable. Today the phlegm starts coming loose, though.
It also makes me think that it is good in general to keep oneself a little hungry all the time, so as not to get too satisfied and bored. Depriving oneself of food, sleep and sex has been said to make us more creative, because somehow human nature enjoys having to strive for things, and once all your needs are satisfied you get too bored. Not to say one should become a masochistic monk but just to put the thought out there that staying a little outside your maximum satisfaction comfort level can pay off. "Life starts outside your comfort zone" gets a different meaning in this case.
So what this means in practice could be, for example, that it is better to eat small meals and non-addictive foods. Probably the first meal of the day sets you up for the day - so if I had pancakes for breakfast it would be very difficult to just drink juices all day. I have definitely noticed that eating processed carbohydrates early in the morning causes you to crave carbohydrates all day. I think a high-protein and high-micronutrient breakfast is best. But since I have high-micronutrient juice, it is very easy to just keep going with that (and the little bit of added fat that I have to ensure good hormone function helps, too).
The spring water delivery came just now, so I can start drinking that now instead of Brita-filtered tap water. 4x 18 litre (4x 4 gallon) bottles from Wales, total charge £30, including delivery. £30 translates to about $50 or 37 Euros at the moment. The trick is to not pay for any extras, e.g. the rent of a water cooler or cups, and just siphon the water out of the bottle when you need it. The rent of the water cooler is an expensive part. I order from Cool Clear Water in Wales, who have provided me with a full mineral and pH analysis of the water and who say they bottle the water is delivered within a week of being bottled, which is good to avoid the plastic leaching into the water too much. You can read about benefits of drinking pure natural spring water here.
2.20pm: My face is going a bit red again, not sure if it might be one of the supplements or the sulphur dioxide in the dry mango.
2.50pm: Throat ache, flushed face, tense-feeling gums and teeth, feeling a bit anxious or nervous.
I also started having some low blood sugar symptoms.
A glass of spring water with 1/2 teasp salt.
Spirulina drink: One lemon, water, 2 tbsp spirulina, 1 heaped tbsp hemp leaf powder, 1 teasp kelp, 1/2 teasp he shou wu.
From now on all the water I drink is spring water except tea, for which I use Brita-filtered tap water.
Took C vitamin (1000mg with citrus bioflavonoids) and B vitamin complex.
4.45pm: Drinking lots of dandelion tea. Low blood sugar symptoms seem to be coming on a bit more, and it doesn't make it better that it is a bit cold in the flat and my feet are cold. Just put some magnesium oil on my skin, hopefully it helps with the blood sugar. I can't think of what would have been too sugary to bring this on, unless it was the dried mango. But I had so little of it! I feel like I have a little bit of fever, with a headache trying to come on, tense upper back muscles, achy arms and upper back and legs, can't breathe too easy and I feel tired and not on a very good mood.
5pm: Sugar-free 'chocolate' drink: Water, 2 tbsp maca, 2 tbsp cocoa, a few cashew nuts, cinnamon (again, not very nice drink but I'm hoping that the maca will raise my estrogen levels in case these symptoms are linked to low estrogen).
It seems that a link between low estrogen and low blood sugar levels has been made by researchers (women on estrogen therapy had better blood sugar levels). Keep in mind though that I am not sure that I have too low estrogen levels, just suspecting it...
If I have low estrogen levels, I should start feeling progressively better in the next two weeks as both my estrogen and progesterone levels rise. And then experience a massive drop in hormones and well-being either just before or 1-2 days before my menses start. The fact that I usually feel worst during the menses has been suggested by some naturopaths to be a too low estrogen sign.
5.50pm: Took a thyroid glandular and an enzyme. Trying to support the thyroid and the pancreas to get rid of this annoying low blood sugar feeling.
7.10pm: 1/2 teaspoon of Wild Yam Cream on the skin (natural progesterone cream to balance hormones). Note that there is dispute whether this cream increases progesterone in the body or whether it just helps the hormone balance in some other way.
9.10pm: Drank the juice of two onions, mixed in water, which felt way too strong for my belly. And horrible to drink. Not recommended! I had low blood sugar symptoms all evening but now those feelings seem to be overpowered by the shock of the onion juice!
Still not hungry and no headache now.
Went to bed about 1am, was quite hungry by then but just drank some water and slept anyway.
Wednesday, 20th August, 2014
Day 16 of Menstrual Cycle
Woke up at 8am, feeling well-rested although only slept seven hours. Drank some spring water. Feel good, nose is still congested but not as much as it was. A little, tiny bit hungry. No other complaints.
I must definitely be past any ovulation now and both progesterone and estrogen levels would by now be rising. Any PMS symptoms should start appearing gradually over the next two weeks, if they appear at all. I don't think I suffer from PMS but I will see, since I am paying more attention now. Hopefully I will just feel more energetic as the hormone levels rise.
Breakfast vegetable juice: Half a white cabbage, 1/2 beetroot, one courgette (zucchini), two red radishes, one lemon. Rocket (arugula) flowers on top.
10.50am: I am going out for a daytrip today to the seaside since it's sunny and made 1.25 litres of fruit juice to take with me. I'm also going to carry 750ml of spring water. The juice is made of: big bunch of coriander (cilantro), two cucumbers, bunch of spinach, one broccoli, two lemons, four red radishes, 1/2 beetroot and three red pears.
5.50pm: Back at home. Had a nice day, went for a swim in the sea and walked a lot in the sunshine. Drank all of the juice and didn't feel hungry all day but felt tempted by the cafes and restaurants! Once I got home I had a bit of a diarrhea, typical detox symptom.
Feeling good now, a little tired, fell asleep on the train back.
7.20pm: Had half an avocado with sea salt, a few cashew nuts, three pieces of sugar-free chocolate and a few pieces of dried mango. Plenty of spring water.
I'm feeling very cold now that I am back and kind of worn down. Maybe swimming in the sea made me cold although I made sure that I got proper warm after, with plenty of clothes on and walking. Seems like the fast might make my body not as efficient at handling cold.
Took a hot bath, drank some water, ate a few pistachio nuts.
Went to sleep at 00.30pm, didn't realize it was that late at all.
Thursday, 21st August, 2014
Day 17 of Menstrual Cycle
Woke up at 8.30am.
My mouth feels very coated and breathing is a little bit constricted. I don't feel specifically well-rested but slept enough.
10am: I'm coming off the juice fast today because my boyfriend and I have decided to go on a weekend trip. It would be too difficult to make juices while away and I want to be able to enjoy the nice restaurants by the seaside. I will stick to healthy eating as much as possible, though, and will keep reporting. So today will be the transition day, not eating much and only easy-to-digest foods. So hopefully tomorrow I can eat a bit of everything (but healthy).
Normally I break a juice fast with some fruit but I'm worried about the sugar content. I don't want to get low blood sugar symptoms again.
Snacking on some broccoli sprouts, half a passion fruit, dry mango, cashew nuts, sugar-free chocolate (as before), and drinking spring water. Didn't eat any breakfast apart from this.
Ginseng tea. Vitamin E and B12.
This juice fast has felt very easy to do and I feel encouraged to do it again.
My menses are due in about ten days or so and I'm not sure if this short fast has made any difference in relieving them. I will keep reporting. I will stay on the regimen for the two months, however, juice fasting and taking breaks when necessary, but all the while eating healthy.
I have to reconsider whether to eat nuts or not because I suspect that they might be giving me mucus. Raw nuts should be better.
1.30pm: Butternut squash soup, ingredients: Butternut squash, potatoes, coconut milk, cashew nuts (for protein), vegetable and chicken stock cube, scotch bonnet chilli, herbs, garlic, onion. Olive oil stirred in and cress, black pepper and salt on top.
Two enzyme capsules to help with digestion.
I feel a bit tired and got a slight throatache as soon as I finished eating the soup.
For now, I will stop writing and report back once we return from the trip.
Sunday, 24th August, 2014
Day 20 of Menstrual Cycle
So we're back from the trip, went cycling, walking and relaxing on the North-East Kent coast. Beautiful weather and scenery, had a really nice time.
I haven't got any PMS symptoms, so I guess that I am more likely to be low on estrogen, rather than too high. It will probably be another week or so before my menses.
I am fairly certain that the headaches I have been suffering have been from the B-vitamin complex capsules. I have been taking those for many months now, probably more than half a year, every day and sometimes a bit more than recommended as well. So maybe I took too many and now I get headaches when taking them.
The juice fast last week has done me good but I took a few days' break while cycling and walking on the seaside. During the weekend trip I ended up eating quite well, still drinking green juices, taking plenty of good supplements, but drinking alcohol as well. This was clearly against the hormone diet plan so I just published brief notes on those days.
Tuesday, 26th August, 2014 - Day 11 of Diet
Day 22 of Menstrual Cycle
I was planning to return to juice fast today, having fasted for five days last week. But started getting massive cravings for fats as which may have to do with hormones. I decided to just ride these feelings and take notes, without trying to force myself to juice fast. I will take notes on how I feel throughout the menses and then resume the juice fast after.
During the weekend trip in the last few days I was quite careful not to eat bread or sugar, but there might have been some sugar in the sauces, as we did eat out a lot. On the downside, I did have some deep-fried food, some alcohol and dairy as well, though not very much. One meal at the Indian restaurant had white rice. Apart from that, I mainly ate fresh seafood, cooked vegetables, salad and water.
I'm about a week away from the start of my period now so I can expect a major energy-drop in a few days' time, because both estrogen and progesterone are going to drop suddenly in preparation for menstruation. I will try to eat healthy through this period but usually this time of the cycle I find it almost impossible to resist the cravings.
My belly is starting to feel like the menses are on their way... No pain yet, just different feelings and also some gas.
I Started to feel a bit out of balance physically. I have huge cravings for cheese and fatty foods. I suspect now that I have low estrogen symptoms - perhaps extra fat would help produce more estrogen and that's why I am craving it? Eating some pistachio and cashew nuts and they taste so good!
If I indeed have too low estrogen levels, as Dr. Lawrence Wilson's website seems to indicate, the general advice on the internet to correct this is:
I took a quiz on the Hormone Cure Book -website, and according to this test I have BOTH, low and high estrogen; and BOTH, low and high cortisol; low thyroid hormones; low progesterone; and unlikely but possibly high androgen hormones.
5pm: Feel quite tired, a bit down and unable to concentrate well. I also feel quite cold.
6.30pm: My pulse is 82bpm and I have a heavy heartbeat in the gut. That means I definitely ate something that I have a food intolerance to. I suspect the mozzarella cheese, it is known to be very difficult to digest. I also have a 'thick'-feeling in my throat, and a slight throat ache too. It may be that the fatigue and the slight depression symptoms earlier were because of the food intolerance reaction, and not necessarily hormones.
Wednesday, 27th August, 2014 - Day 12 of Diet
Day 23 of Menstrual Cycle
Only partial notes are recorded on this day as I was off the diet.
Feeling ok but not too well today, my chest feels heavy and I feel a bit moody.
1pm: Pulse 75bpm and itchy throat. I measured this too late but it still seems like a little elevated pulse. I suspect if I measured earlier after eating cheese it would have been higher. Seems that I have an intolerance to either mozzarella cheese or cheddar cheese.
3pm: Just finished doing very tough leg muscle exercises for 20 minutes, then had a post-workout spirulina drink (1 tbsp spirulina, 1 lemon, water, 1 teasp kelp) in the Vitamix, and took a cold shower. Altogether this took 45minutes. Now my muscles feel exhausted but otherwise I feel fine.
4pm: Fat cravings again and just feeling hungry in general. I had a small piece of organic mature cheddar cheese and will see if it raises my pulse. I will measure my pulse every 30 minutes until 1.5 hours have passed. This is the pulse test method of testing for food intolerance.
I also ate cashew nuts, almonds, pistachio nuts and some blue cheese (St. Agur).
Feeling a bit cold despite having loads of clothes on. It feels like an 'internal cold'.
4.30pm: Pulse: 73bpm
5.10pm: Pulse: 75bpm
5.30pm: Pulse: 80bpm - Definitely an intolerance reaction.
6pm: Pulse 86bpm.
6.20pm: Pulse 88bpm. I feel very uncomfortable now and have heart palpitations.
6.50pm: Pulse 86bpm (going back down now).
Judging from my pulse count, I either have food intolerance to the organic cheddar cheese or to St Agur blue cheese - or both. I suspect it's the cheddar cheese since I didn't eat blue cheese yesterday and had the same reaction. Seems like the intolerance reaction takes about 2hours to show up in the pulse, which is longer than I thought it was. Food intolerance reactions always come with a delay - the pulse raises between 15 minutes and 2 hours after eating the offending food and other symptoms can come straight away or even many days later. Read more about this method and about food intolerances in general here.
Generally my energy levels are quite good today (maybe I'm not sleepy partly because of the food allergy stress reaction). But I also have some feelings in my lower belly which entail menses starting.
Thursday, 28th August, 2014 - Day 13 of Diet
Day 24 of Menstrual Cycle
Only partial notes are recorded on this day as I was off the diet.
I couldn't sleep last night until about 1.30am. I felt like I had something weighing on my mind, although it wasn't very specific things. Kind of vague things.
I was reading Stephen Gilligan's book: 'The Courage to Love', which may sound 'cheesy' but it is actually a very good book from a famous psychotherapist. He is a lot more than a psychotherapist, however, and has been called a 'deep soul therapist'. He has another book as well about trance and hypnosis. I'm only in the beginning of the book so don't feel like I can explain his approach yet since I don't understand it yet, but what was very interesting was what I read yesterday. It is directly relevant to this 'heaviness' I have been feeling in my solar plexus area just where the chest plate of the ribcage ends. Sometimes the heaviness is higher, almost at the heart and sometimes a bit lower. I thought it might be either indigestion, or as the Chinese Doctor explains it, weak stomach Chi.
Stephen Gilligan explains that we all have a 'soft spot' which is where the life energy flows through us. As the energy flows, it brings all emotions of human life with it: joy, happiness, anger, sadness, etc. If we block these feelings by not paying attention to them, distracting ourselves, or numbing our feelings down by alcohol, drugs, medication, or junk foods, the life energy can't flow as well anymore. And we start feeling different types of discomfort in this area. And to stop numbing oneself and to reconnect with the feelings of the 'soft spot' reawakens the mystery of life in us. "Attempts to ignore or violate the tender soft spot create suffering. When the suffering is properly attended to, it will yield transformation and growth." Anyway, this is what I was meditating on when I couldn't sleep last night, as I was (from before reading the book) aware of some painful aspects of life's emotions coming over my body. These were not painful emotions that had very specific or very good reasons, just emotions that come and go without much explanation. Often they seem to come at night. It makes me really want to work on meditation and improving the 'felt sense' more.
Saturday, 30th August, 2014
Day 26 of Menstrual Cycle
Only partial notes are recorded on this day as I was off the diet.
Woke up at 6am, tried to sleep some more but got out of bed at 7am as I wasn't sleepy. I don't feel specifically well-rested though.
My face looks very puffy this morning, I suspect it's to do with hormones. Still no sign of my menses, but every day my lower belly feels like it is doing something, or it has a slight ache.
I felt a bit dehydrated through the night and had to keep waking up to drink water, and now I still feel quite dehydrated in the morning.
10.50am: Woke up again after having gone back to sleep, feel very groggy now, have a slight headache, my face looks very swollen, bags under my eyes, and some gas in my belly.
I have a headache now and still not feeling 100%. My legs are still hurting from the exercise, three days later (!), not as badly as yesterday but enough to make it a little bit difficult to walk and to go up the stairs. My neck also feels stiff.
Sunday, 31st August, 2014
Day 27 of Menstrual Cycle
I just checked, and my menstrual cycles this year have ranged between 25-30 days. Still no sign of menses, though, but I keep having some air movements, gas, and slight ache in my lower belly, so something is going on.
I felt quite dizzy this morning when getting out of bed as well.
4.50pm: Feeling very tired and sleepy, went for a walk.
Monday, 1st September, 2014
Day 1 of Menstrual Cycle
Woke up at 8.30am. Looks like the menses might be starting. No pain yet.
9.50am: Smoothie, about 750ml: Mixed berries, lettuce, 1 teasp Siberian ginseng, 2 teasp marshmallow root, 2 teasp turmeric, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 heaped tbsp hemp leaf powder, 1 tbsp dried dandelion.
Supplements: Vit K, vit A, enzyme, probiotic, chromium, Endo-Dren adrenal glandular, 7 drops of vit D3.
10.05am: Feel a bit better now after taking the supps and the herbs. Also just put three drops of Vitex berry essential oil (from Living Libations) on my wrists.
10.15am: Feels like the pain is maybe reducing a little bit. I have my feet on a heat pad which feels very good and I'm sitting up at my desk, trying to lean back so as to keep the belly area as 'straight' as possible and not crunched. But I suddenly started feeling really spacey, must be the herbs and supps, it never happens just because of the menses. Maybe the Vitex Berry oil... it has made me feel a bit dizzy before.
10.36am: Took two charcoal capsules to try to remove gas from my belly (apparently drinking a capful of peppermint cordial would work well for this purpose as well). Also took Vitex Agnus Castus tincture in spring water.
11am: Ok I have absolutely no pain now, but the proper menstrual flow hasn't started yet either, just spotting. I also just took 8x Chinese Doctor's 'happy pills' which are meant to support the liver. I also put transdermal magnesium oil on my belly, lower back and thighs because it helps to relax muscles. Now drinking chaga mushroom and dandelion tea. Chaga is a very powerful antioxidant and will help fight inflammation that may be causing pain, and dandelion supports the liver and reduces menstrual discomfort.
By the way, I still have a little bit of ache left on my legs from exercise five days ago!
The moon is at the first quarter now after new moon, so my menses are almost as far away from the full moon as they can be. In the past my menses have been in sync with the full moon, which is said to be a good sign.
12.50pm: The pain is coming back a little bit now. I took another adrenal glandular, GB3, vit K, probiotic and enzyme. Also took B12 as well. Drank the juice of two lemons mixed with spring water.
1.15pm: Just massaged the adrenal gland, kidney and liver acupressure points on both of my feet. Some of these spots felt a bit sore. The slight pain I had momentarily disappeared while massaging, and my face heated up. I also massaged the uterus and ovaries points, which are not on the bottom of the foot but on the sides. The uterus point felt the most sore of all, on both feet. Definitely feel better.
1.30pm: Drinking marshmallow and liquorice root tea, made from dry powder of each. Also, took 1 teasp of kelp powder with water to support the thyroid.
1.40pm: The pain seems to be completely gone again. Feeling a bit spacey and slightly dizzy now.
So far I haven't had any cravings today which is unusual but I just started feeling very tired.
3.50pm: Slept a bit and was lying down on the bed for the last two hours. I feel more weak now, a little in pain but not much. I have that kind of nervous energy feeling in all my limbs, chest, upper back, neck and head. The whole body feels tense and bordering on shaky. I feel a bit too hot and slightly nauseous. Generally I just feel, weak, irritable and unwell. I also have a bad taste in my mouth now, typical of the menses. The amount of flow is still just spotting. My belly is very bloated and I can hear the air moving when I massage it. I can feel a hard swollen bit, which is probably intestine, on the right-hand side just by the hip bone.
4pm: Put two more drops of vitex essential oil on my wrists.
4.50pm: Had home-made brown rice and salmon curry dish, the curry base was lots of onions. So tasty! I ate only a small portion although I was very hungry, because I am worried that too much digestive work for my body now will compromise its delicate balance, trying to cope with the menses.
Supplements: Vitex drops, one adrenal glandular, chromium, enzyme.
Did 20 minutes of trauma release exercises, because I thought that the tremors would move the air and 'massage' the belly. I didn't feel like I could do any other type of exercise, the TREs are relaxing enough. Afterwards I feel like a little bit of the nervous energy got released.
5pm: Feeling quite a bit better now, no pain.
Took a third probiotic for the day (3.5 Billion microorganisms per capsule) and 2x more A-vitamin (5,000 IU per capsule).
5.10pm: Feel almost back to normal, apart from a bloated belly. Happy! :)
6pm: Took a bath and seems like it made me feel a bit worse. I wonder if I should get a shower filter, worried about the chloride and copper in the water. Alternatively, the shampoo and conditioner I used were quite chemical, maybe they weakened me. I have some belly ache now and some gas. Still feel too hot and the belly is very bloated. Feel a little nauseous too.
Brushed my skin in the bath to move lymph.
Drank a cup of tea made of the angelica herb. Magnesium oil on the skin as before.
Ate a nectarine, which was extremely tasty.
Making chaga mushroom, dandelion and marshmallow tea again.
Weight: This morning I weighed 56kg and now I weigh 58kg!
Did some yoga movements, skipping the hormone-affecting moves because I'm not sure you are allowed to do those during menstruation. Also did the Five Tibetan Rites; exercises.
9pm: Slept on the sofa until now. Still some belly ache, but tolerable, feel tired but ok. More menstrual flow now. Will go to bed. I feel a little happy that I managed to get through today without painkillers, but I'm wondering whether I will wake up at some point at night in a lot of pain. Will sleep with the grounding sheet wrapped around my belly which should help.
Tuesday, 2nd September, 2014
Day 2 of Menstrual Cycle
Last night I had pure nightmares for the first half of the night. (I think it has to do with my body struggling and putting me in low vibrations.) I sweated a lot as well and had a bad taste in my mouth when waking up, as usual during the menses. It is as if the body has to do more detoxing overnight than usual.
Woke up at 8.30 with a little worse menstrual pain than yesterday. Went for a 20-minute run/ walk outside along the river. I thought that would completely eliminate the pain but it only helped a little bit (although it's possible that it improved the whole day). Then I had a smoothie, supplements and took a bath, and the pain left. Still feel a little uncomfortable afterwards, and the pain is trying to come back slightly but I'm much better than when I woke up.
I am very phlegmy today, keep blowing my nose and sneezing. I often get cold-symptoms during the menses.
Breakfast before running: Juice of two lemons with spring water (to help cleanse liver, strongly alkalizing, slight pain-killer effect).
Breakfast smoothie after the run: Mixed berries melted from frozen (B-vitamins and antioxidants, reduce inflammation), piece of cucumber (fibre and nutrients), spring water, 1 tbsp dandelion (for liver), 1 tbsp hemp leaf powder (for oxygenation of the blood; clorophyll), 1 tbsp hemp seeds (for protein), 1 teasp turmeric (antioxidant), dash of cayenne pepper, 1 teasp siberian ginseng (to support adrenal glands), 1/2 teasp liquorice powder (to support adrenal glands), 1/2 teasp dried lemon peel powder (for hormone balance), 1/2 teasp fennel seed powder (hormone-boosting, estrogenic).
Supplements: Vit K (for hormone balance), vit A (for hormone balance), adrenal glandular (to strengthen adrenal glands), chromium (to help blood sugar balance), enzyme (to ease digestion and strengthen pancreas), probiotic (to improve gut health, B12 (to correct deficiency), GB3 (from ARL labs, ingredients: pancreatin (an enzyme), black radish root, ox bile extract; to strengthen the pancreas, the gallbladder and the liver), vitamin D3 (for general health and pain killer effect).
11am: Drinking chaga mushroom (reduces inflammation - antioxidant) and angelica (relaxes uterine muscles, balances hormones, etc.) tea. No pain, a little fatigued.
11.50am: Drank a glass of spring water with 1/2 teasp pink Himalayan salt. (To support the adrenal glands, to improve immunity, possibly to aid hydration). One nectarine.
1.30pm: Spinach-omelette made with garlic, cayenne pepper, salt and olive oil. Rocket salad, three grapes. Supplements: rhodiola tincture, vitex agnus castus tincture, enzyme.
My nose is very runny now and very much the same as if I had a cold. I have a red nose and have to keep tissues with me all the time. My throat also makes me feel a bit congested.
2.30pm: Had 100ml (half a small glass) of apple and ginger juice.
My nose is so runny now, I have to keep blowing it every 5 minutes, it's tickly and congested.
Not much menstrual flow since the morning, just a little bit. Quite a lot of flow during the night though. I think the worst might be over in terms of menstrual cramps and pain.
5.20pm: Seems like the cold symptoms are getting a bit less severe. My nose is still runny and I have a bit of a throat ache. Slightest pain left in the lower belly but not much.
7pm: Dinner: Mashed potato, rocket salad, capers, hemp seeds, cayenne pepper, olive oil, salt, pepper.
8.30pm: Still sneezing but less. Nose red and runny but getting better. No more menstrual pain! Took another vitamin K and a probiotic.
11pm: Going to bed. Had a little bit of mashed potato with hot chilli sauce.
The runny nose is getting better too, though my nose is still runny, blocked and my throat is a bit swollen, too.
I started getting some heart-palpitations last night but they disappeared very quickly. I think the no-sugar diet is making me less likely to get anxiety. I have previously noticed the same thing.
Weight this morning: 55kg, back to where I started before the juice fast.
Woke up at about 9.30am, slept about 12.5 hours. Seems like I still need a lot of rest, but that's ok.
Breakfast: Two fried eggs, rocket, salt, pepper, olive oil.
Supplements: Probiotic on empty belly, adrenal glandular, vit K, vit A, chromium, B12.
2.50pm: Nose was still tickly and runny quite badly so I boiled some water, put lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils in it, and kept breathing the steam in under a towel. This helped quite a bit and I feel better now.
Took a probiotic
3.50: Home-made salmon curry with brown rice.
10.10pm: I had two plums, two apricots, a small handful of cashew nuts, and lemon water between the curry and now.
Still have a blocked nose, keep blowing my nose every once in a while.
Did some yoga moves and the Five Tibetan Rites. Also did the Spinal Twist for the first time in my life. The hair mineral analysis came back a couple of days ago and they recommended I do the Spinal Twist. There are instructions for how to do it here: drlwilson.com/articles/SPINAL TWIST.htm.
I thought the exercise felt easy and not very effective, but when I was sleeping I felt a 'click' in my spine and in the morning my back was a bit sore in the middle, like it had been exercised. So I think the exercise might be more powerful than it feels.
Dr. Lawrence Wilson and some You Tube Videos claim that the spinal twist can be as good or better than a chiropractor for some people when done correctly and they also say that it will help the energy flow along your spine better.
I'm gonna keep doing it - I hope it will resolve the slight sciatica pain I've had on my right side for 10 months now. It's not real pain, it just shows up if I sit badly or sleep on the train, or if I sit on the sofa too long or if I do certain exercise movements (bending forwards or backwards).
Last week's menstrual pain was a lot less than usual, so the hormone balancing diet seems to work. I will now continue taking the supplements, as well as do another juice fast, and continue with the rest of the efforts, i.e. exercise etc. I will report on the more important parts of this journey, not writing a full day-to-day diary this time.
Thursday, 4th September, 2014
Day 4 of Menstrual Cycle
Woke up at 9.20am.
After waking up and before breakfast my uterus started feeling unhappy. Got slight pain again and started feeling very irritable. This seems to be going away after I had breakfast and the supplements. But I'm feeling very cold again, an internal cold as the flat is quite warm.
Breakfast: Probiotic, and a green juice made of: kale, celery, cucumber, lemon, and very little rocket.
Supplements: Vit K, vit A, chromium, adrenal glandular
Tea: Chaga mushroom and angelica tea.
I still have a blocked and red nose but I don't have to blow my nose as often.
11am: No more pain, uterus getting happier :) But I don't feel 'on-top-of-the-world' yet, still fatigued and a bit worn down by the stuffy nose, ears and throat. This also gives me what feels like the beginnings of a headache.
11.20pm: I got a bit of a nosebleed, I guess it's because of all the mucus drying my nose up.
1.20pm: Lunch: A little bit brown rice and fish curry.
Two eggs fried in cacao butter, mozzarella cheese, romaine lettuce, half a nectarine. An enzyme.
6.30pm: A handful of cashew nuts, water.
In the evening I did more touch muscle-exercises, then spinal twist, trauma release, bath with hydrogen peroxide, skin brushing, magnesium oil on legs.
For dinner I was just snacking on: a kiwi, a half a handful of cashew nuts, two apricots and lemon juice. Took Endo-Dren, chromium, B12, selenium, and an enzyme.
Midnight now, going to bed.
Friday, 5th September, 2014
Day 5 of Menstrual Cycle
This was the last day of real menstrual cycle, very light flow, although the following day I still had very slight spotting. So the menstruation lasted in total 5.5 days, shortened from last month's seven days. It is all good news!
From now on I won't write a full daily diary, but will write updates on the supplements I am taking, the diet, juice fast, exercise etc. And of course an update on the next month's menses to see how they go.
During this first week of the menstrual cycle the hormone levels are quite low, and so in my case energy can be quite low as well. Next week, roughly around day 8, estrogen should start rising again until ovulation. This normally seems to make me feel better but other people may feel worse.
Tuesday, 9th September, 2014
Day 9 of Menstrual Cycle
Started another live green juice fast today.
Also started an evening ritual which includes 20 minutes of yoga, including hormone-balancing movements, as well as lung and thyroid strengthening movements. I also do the Five Tibetan Rites and the Spinal Twist.
For couple of days I was drinking tap water but now another spring water delivery has arrived. I am also getting a delivery of herbs, superfoods, botanicals, nuts, seeds, essential oils and foods from Tree Harvest either tomorrow or the day after. I have also started making water Kefir again.
Writing an update to my hair analysis report as I got the results last week. Not too much has changed, although everything seems to be going to the right direction. Copper is still detoxing, adrenal glands still show up a little overactive although the nutritionist suspects they are still tired and in need of support. A lot of emotional frustration is showing up still, which should hopefully clear in the next analysis since I've taken time off from my day job.
Supplements: Currently taking vit A, probiotic, chromium, selenium and B12. I ran out of vit K yesterday but will continue taking it soon. I may take some adrenal or thyroid glandulars once off the juice fast, and will also continue taking enzymes when on solid foods again. I have also ordered Limcomin and Paramin supplements from the hair analysis nutritionist. The first one contains copper, manganese, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins A, C and B6. This product is for raising the sodium-potassium ratio of the mineral analysis and it is also used as an immune-system booster. Paramin, on the other hand, is a calcium-magnesium supplement, which helps to calm the sympathetic nervous system. According to Dr. Lawrence Wilson it will also help to improve the oxidation rate (metabolic rate) which in turn will help with the correct pH balance of the body.
My hormone levels should be slowly rising now, and around day 13-14 should be ovulation (mid-way through the cycle). That's when testosterone will peak for a brief while on the day of ovulation, then all hormone levels will drop the following day and I will probably feel tired, and then hormone levels will start rising again. During the higher hormone levels I normally feel better, whereas other people may feel worse, depending what their hormone levels are.
Friday, 12th September, 2014
Day 12 of Menstrual Cycle
Couple days away from ovulation, still green juice fasting, with a little bit of nuts and raisins added, or sugar-free dark chocolate, depending on the day.
I had a bad headache yesterday, starting in the afternoon and getting worse towards the evening. I suspect it was to do with taking either too many or specific kinds of supplements. That day I had D3 vitamin drops, selenium, chromium, rhodiola tincture, epimedium, vitamin A, probiotic, B12, and I think that was all. I definitely didn't have B-vitamin complex or valerian tincture, both of which I have suspected for causing headaches before. I also had a lot of chaga mushroom, angelica and dandelion tea. I really think the headache is supplement-related as I have had the same exact thing before when I wasn't juice fasting, but was trying to be very healthy and eat a low-carb diet. I was taking supplements then as well, however.
Christine Meehan, the hair mineral analysis nutritionist thinks that it might be due to heavy metal detox.
I started taking Paramin and Limcomin supplements today by ARL labs, as recommended by my hair mineral analysis but I am not taking any of the other supplements, and testing whether I get a headache today or not.
Paramin, ingredients per capsule: Vitamin D3 133 IU, calcium 250mg, magnesium 150mg, boron 500mcg, etc.
Limcomin: Vitamin A 170 IU, vitamin C 50mg, vitamin B6 10mg, magnesium 20mg, zinc 8mg, copper 0.75mg, manganese 5mg, etc.
I also have had the classic juice fasting symptom, metallic taste in my mouth, which I hate. I remember now I have had it many times before when fasting (and possibly when eating raw foods) but I didn't know what to call it then. It makes me feel like I need to eat something to get the taste out.
I am also doing the 'evening ritual' exercises every night, Yoga, Five Tibetan Rites, and the Spinal Twist.
I can't say I feel comfortable on this juice fast. I do, in a way that it will be easy to keep this going temporarily. My energy is good and I have almost no complaints, apart from the metallic taste in my mouth, coated tongue, and some back ache but the back ache is not detox related, it's from the way I've been sitting. But I don't feel comfortable in that the metallic taste bothers me and at the moment I feel a little tense and hungry.
They say hunger is a sign of cellular detoxification but I want to understand how to feel comfortable on a very healthy diet in the long-term. Short-term this is easy to do but I wouldn't want to continue this long-term. Hopefully it's a detox phase and eventually I will feel very balanced and good. The psychological aspect is definitely involved as well.
Benefits so far: Potential hormonal benefits (which we'll find out around day 28 when my menses start), less puffy face, good energy levels, more balanced moods, feel a little more mindful and focused.
Saturday, 13th September, 2014
Day 13 of Menstrual Cycle
Day 5 on Green Juice Fast
Slept so much last night, some 11 hours. Had nightmares all through the night. I've read nightmares can be a detox reaction.
Last night I got cravings for alcoholic drinks, I felt like I wanted to go and eat out and have a couple of drinks. I thought of writing that 'the juice fast makes me feel unrelaxed'. But then I thought about my situation, and tried to pay attention to my body's and mind's feelings. I realized that it wasn't the juice fast that was making me feel unrelaxed, but I was just feeling unrelaxed because I had been sitting in front of the computer all day. So I decided to stop working and just relax for the evening. I did the usual yoga etc, and relaxed for the rest of the evening, always being careful to check back with myself to see if I was really enjoying what I was doing or just doing it out of habit and mechanically. Mindfulness. This approach worked and I didn't crave for alcohol in the slightest for the rest of the evening. So I guess behind cravings there are often emotional triggers, that have nothing to do with the foods.
I didn't have headaches yesterday despite taking 3x Paramin and 3x Lincomin supplements. I'm quite certain that the headache is due to some of the other supplements, either because they are bad quality, or because they speed up detox too much (e.g. of heavy metals), or because I have been taking too much. Today I am taking Paramin, Lincomin, EndoDren (x1), and probiotics, and will see how I feel.
I was eating non-organic cashew nuts and almonds yesterday, and woke up at night with a very mucussy throat. Today I am eating only organic (and partly raw) nuts, hopefully they won't cause mucus.
Just drank chaga mushroom, angelica and dandelion tea, as well as hibiscus tea, and took the supplements. Feel like a very slight headache afterwards. And I'm feeling a bit sleepy as well.
After drinking the kefir, which I think may have been too sugary, I started getting huge cravings for solid foods. And junk foods, and fatty foods. I resisted, but am annoyed about this taste of 'greens' in my mouth, which might also be the metallic taste, not sure. It seems difficult to get rid of it, even eating some nuts and goji berries didn't help. Perhaps the kefir grains have still not recovered completely from their travel here by post, or perhaps I am following bad kefir instructions. It would make sense that the sugary kefir caused my cravings. Otherwise I feel well, though.
Saturday, 20th September, 2014
Day 20 of Menstrual Cycle
Ok, a week's gone by, quite a bit to report.
I have just written: Why Can the Raw Food Diet Make You Feel Worse? This article reflects some of the thoughts on my health journey so far.
I am just back from holidays in Finland and have great news to report! My menses came on day 28 but there was minimal pain! The menses started in the evening, with slight discomfort and pain in the belly. However, I slept through the night with no pain at all, whereas usually I would have woken up because of the pain, unless I was using grounding sheets. I didn't have grounding sheets this time. When I got up, I first went for a swim in the cold sea, and then had some breakfast and drank angelica tea. The pain started as I got up but angelica tea seemed to lessen it a bit.
I then went on a walk in the forest with my boyfriend and as I was walking briskly the pain would not be too bad, but stopping for a longer time would start to bring it back. As long as I kept walking I felt quite well. When back indoors, I drank angelica tea here and there but was not taking any other supplements than Limcomin and Paramin. After half a day there was no menstrual pain left at all! So in total, it was very easy to get through the beginning of the menses. There was no need for pain killers, and no need to lie down. These are the big results of the hormone diet to report in this part 4 of the diary, but below I will give some additional information and try to understand why my menstrual pain seems to be history. I just hope it won't come back next month, and will keep reporting.
Thursday, 25th September, 2014
Day 25 of Menstrual Cycle
I flew to Finland and managed to get through the journey without buying anything at the airport or on the airplane. I packed some solid foods and bought some sugar-free "Bounce" protein balls to take with me as well.
The above travel snacks worked well although I should have taken more nuts and kept the vegetables whole. I could have carried a plastic knife and taken big pieces of washed cucumber, radishes, and a full red pepper. The problem this time was that the cut vegetables started perspiring water and also didn't stay too fresh-looking too long, so when you open the container you have slightly soggy vegetables with water at the bottom - not very appetising!
I also had a container with fried potatoes mixed with spices, very little oil and some mushrooms. You have to minimise sauces and oils because they are not allowed across the airport security checks. I carried lots of water as well but had to make sure to drink it all before the security, as you can't bring liquids through. I then had to buy bottled water on the other side before getting on the plane.
So the whole trip went very well and I didn't feel hungry or have any need to buy food. I saved a lot of money too since the airport meals seem to be at least double compared to the prices elsewhere.
Once in Helsinki we ate out - Chinese food - and slept early, tired of the trip.
Friday, 26th September - Monday 6th October, 2014
Days 26 onward of the Menstrual Cycle
Weight when returning from the trip: 56kg on the day of the flight back (water retention due to dehydration); 55kg on the day after.
While in Finland I swam in the cold sea almost every day, sometimes from sauna and sometimes just upon waking up. The sea water was approximately 10 degrees Celsius, which is cold enough to hurt your legs as you wade in the water. The trick, then, is to get in and get out very quickly. And the point of doing this is that you feel very awake and good afterwards, your body feels relaxed and full of vitality. But it is very important to get properly dry and warm quickly after the swim, which can mean wearing a lot more clothes than you would otherwise for a little while. You only feel cold as you go in and come out of the water, but then you can stand outside in your towel in the cold air but actually feel very warm. For a limited time only, of course. Swimming in the sea also effectively grounds you.
I also walked quite a bit in the pine forest, which is meant to have some of the cleanest and best quality air in the world. Perhaps these things contributed to the success of balancing my hormones.
In terms of eating, I ate lots of fish, smoked and otherwise, and plenty of good vegetarian food made by my mum and dad. This included vegetarian cabbage burgers, mushroom soup, grilled potatoes, root vegetables and soya sausages, fresh berries, many salads, smoothies, potato bread, fishcakes, blueberry pie, oven cheese, etc. Also my boyfriend cooked some curry with plenty of onions and we ate it with white rice.
For breakfast I had mostly bread, and once tried to have yoghurt but my nose got blocked the same night so I gave that a rest. Generally I ate a lot of rice pies (Karelian pies) and too much cheese. I also ate out a few times and had some beers here and there, but not very much. I also had a few sweets on some of the days because I love Finnish sweets!
I drank tap water and some juice and was a bit sleep deprived on some of the days, but generally slept very well.
So mostly I was eating fresh wholefoods but of course the diet was still too high on carbohydrates, mainly because of bread. I noticed again that when I ate sugar (blueberry pie), my face went red a little time after. Most of the time I managed to completely avoid sugar, however.
On day 28 of the menstrual cycle I got my menses, and if you read the beginning of this article you will have a general account of how the day went. There was only half a day of moderate pain (on and off) and then no problems. This is a huge achievement and I am extremely happy about it!
The confusion in my mind now is about what exactly caused these results to happen. This is a summary of the efforts made between the first menses and the second menses during this hormone diet plan:
- Another five-day green juice fast.
- Mostly drank live spring water.
- Took Limcomin and Paramin supplements.
- Probiotic capsules and some water kefir.
- Some other supplements but phasing out towards the end of the cycle.
- Avoided sugar quite well.
- Limited alcohol intake.
- Limited carbohydrate intake.
- Angelica herbal tea, especially during menstruation.
- Hormone-balancing yoga and walks in nature, not every day.
- Have been eating some organic nuts (pecan, walnut, Brazil) almost every day. It seems that organic nuts (from Tree Harvest) don't cause mucus the same way as non-organic ones do.
- Took some superfoods on and off, including kelp. Maca and dandelion greens were regularly included in smoothies but not every day.
- Had pink Himalayan salt instead of normal table salt with most meals.
- I ate a usual amount of fat, didn't try to limit it.
- Drank herbal teas regularly, such as chaga mushroom, red clover, rosemary, Siberian ginseng, dandelion, reishi, schizandra berry, hibiscus, etc.
- Tried to ensure protein on most meals, e.g. spirulina, nuts, fish, eggs, beans, etc.
- Ate only partly organic.
Thursday, 1st November, 2014
Day 9 of Menstrual Cycle
For one month, after coming back from holidays, I didn't follow the diet too carefully. I ran out of spring water and I didn't do another juice fast. I kept taking Limcomin and Paramin supplements, however. I ate semi-healthy, staying away from processed carbs but not as carefully as before, and more than 50% cooked foods I would say.
The end result was that the last menses were worse again, and the cramps came back. They didn't come back quite as powerfully before, but enough to have me bedbound for a day. I didn't need painkillers, but had to keep the grounding sheet wrapped around my belly all day and night, and kept drinking angelica tea as well.
It was 24th October when the menses started, which was the 28th day of the cycle again, as before. The menses lasted for five days.
It seems that the juice fasting and possibly the live water had the most beneficial effect on reducing my menstrual cramps and pain. It thought before that it might have been copper detox, but since that is a long-term gradual process, it doesn't make sense that the menstruation would first suddenly get better and then suddenly worse again. If the copper detox was causing these benefits, you would expect the benefits to increase over time.
This has lead me to question whether I need to do hair mineral analysis or not, because it seems that I can receive more concrete benefits more quickly through juice-fasting, which is much cheaper and doesn't rely on unnatural supplements. (The ARL labs' supplements are not organic and not food concentrates, but potentially lab-derived substances.)
Also, all this makes me think about the Chinese Medicine experience. I asked the Chinese Doctor how long it would take to heal my menstrual pains and she said maybe six months if I took the supplements she gave me regularly. I couldn't and still can't afford that, plus the regular appointment fee, so I thought I would try another route. And funnily enough, it seems to be a much cheaper and more efficient route! I find it very hard to believe because I have a lot of respect for the Chinese medicine. However, I have to conclude that when it comes to healing menstrual pain, juice fasting and live spring water seem to be much more affordable and effective methods - at least in my experience. Of course everyone's body is different.
I will juice fast again this month to see whether I can eliminate the menstrual cramps again.
Note: I have now stopped taking limcomin and paramin, because I have still had slight problems with headaches. I think I will generally need to eliminate all tablet-form supplements, because of the fillers they use. Instead I am taking megadoses of Vitamin C and Niacin, the first one as ascorbic acid powder and the second one in capsules. I have so far - in the last two weeks or so - built up the Vit C dosage to 12-16 grams per day, depending on the day. Niacin I only started taking a few days ago but have built it up to 1500mg per day now (non-flush niacin).
I also occasionally do 'spine twist' and every time start getting trauma release shakes in my shoulders and back when I do it. I also exercise half an hour most days in the morning, including muscle exercises, yoga and Five Tibetan Rites.
So one month went past, without much effort from my part on following the diet. I ate basically healthily, but didn't end up fasting. I also didn't drink live spring water because I couldn't afford it. And the menstrual pains got worse. I waited too long for the pain to start as well, at which point it is difficult to stop it. So grounding sheets and angelica tea didn't work anymore. I was in a lot of pain, and my whole body was feeling like it had this nervous energy, which was very uncomfortable. I felt depressed and nauseous as well - these are the usual symptoms I get during menstruation. I ended up taking pain killers for the first day of the menses, and even those didn't help for a long time.
However, for some reason the menses lasted less time than usual, only four days. And from day three of menstruation, I resumed juice fasting for three days, this time with nothing but juices - no nuts for snacks, no fat in any form either - a true juice fast.
I have a few new interesting realizations to report on, which are only indirectly related to hormones. However, since these are lifestyle changes and may have some effect on my menses next month, I will note them here.
First, I got some blood work done and although the doctor thought everything was within normal limits, Dr. Mercola and other sources have more strict ranges for the ideal levels of different substances in the blood. According to these more strict ranges, I am vitamin D deficient, vitamin B12 deficient and my ferritin levels are too low, meaning that I am anemic. This is despite having a good hemoglobin level. So, correspondingly, I have started to take vitamin B12 sublingual spray supplement (more explanation here), iron-rich water supplement, occasionally vitamin D, and using a sunbed regularly. (I am not convinced that sunbeds are healthy but am also not so convinced that they are horribly dangerous. Read more here: Are UV rays good for you?)
Second, I started thinking that perhaps the headaches I started having some half a year ago, and which I suspected may have been linked to supplements, were to do with my eyes. So I got my eyes checked and sure enough, I have some astigmatism and needed glasses. I haven't had glasses up to now although the optician explained that this problem usually exists from birth, but over time the eye muscles get tired at correcting it. They are not very strong glasses but nevertheless, the world looks different! When I compare how everything looks without the glasses, and with them, the glasses make everything sharper, in focus. Without them the world is slightly blurry. Like one of the sales assistants said, it is as if I got high-definition (HD) vision again! So I really hope that the glasses help with my headaches. The first impression is that they may do. Yesterday (28th Nov) was the first day of wearing the glasses and I didn't have any headache, despite working on the computer for much of the day.
Third, I stopped taking the vitamin C and niacin for a while, because I was not eating much while on the menses and feeling nauseous. Then I didn't want to take supplements before the blood test in case they skewed the results. Only now have I returned to taking vitamin C, I took 8 grams yesterday and the same today. But it does seem to make me feel much stronger, and it seems to really help the low blood sugar feelings as well.
Fourth, regarding what I thought were symptoms of low blood sugar... I got the feeling quite strongly two days ago, towards the end of the day, I was a little tired from doing so much in the house, and my arms and legs started feeling weak and aching. I have put this feeling down to low blood sugar for a long time now, but this time I thought that perhaps it had something to do with my blood. It is an odd kind of ache - it is not a normal muscle ache, it's not in a specific place like the bones either, so a thought occurred to me that there may be something in my blood causing the feeling, like microbes, or something. So I did Bob Beck's blood electrification (using Sota Instruments device) for one hour, while drinking plenty of water and lying on the sofa, and the feeling went away. So now I will try to stick to doing blood electrification almost every day, building up to two hours per day, to boost my immune system and strengthen my body in general.
Fifth, my sugar intolerance seems to have gotten a little less, for whatever reason, even when I wasn't taking vitamin C for a while. The vit C (in megadoses) helps very noticeably and quickly, but now I can include a couple of dates in my meal or have a tiny bit of maple syrup on protein-rich (paleo) pancakes, without any noticeable problems. I suspect this is because of following a low-sugar diet for a while and also because the different supplements may be collectively and slowly be making me stronger. Or perhaps copper has stopped coming out of my body? Not sure. In any case I feel better eating tiny bits of sweet things here or there, the diet feels less strict that way and life more enjoyable.
Sixth, independent of the previous point, during the three-day juice fast I was drinking fruit juices as well as green vegetable juices. Generally I had one pint of green juice per day and one pint or a smaller glass of fruit juice with only some greens mixed in. Especially tasty was the mandarin-apple juice, as I found some nice juicy mandarins. So not much juice, more like a real fast rather than a juicefeast, where you drink as much juice as you want. I wasn't hungry at all, though, most of the time. But I did drink herbal teas: angelica, St. John's wort, hibiscus, holy Basil, and a mix of fo-ti, Siberian ginseng and liqorice. Funnily enough I like the bitter taste of angelica tea. The point I'm meant to be making here is that while juice fasting, and not eating any fat, I had no problems with the live fruit juices, in terms of blood sugar or feeling weak. Maybe one day a little, but generally not. So perhaps blood sugar regulation works completely differently when you eat absolutely no fat and all raw food? Maybe Douglas Graham is right when he says that a low-fat raw vegan (high-fruit) diet is perfect for blood sugar control. According to him, high-fat is what causes blood sugar problems and not sugar itself. I don't know, just a thought and an observation.
Seventh, my current diet endeavours have yet again a new, different focus. Watching Hungry for Change and Food Matters once again (and writing summaries) made me think about why I sometimes have cravings for junk foods and tend to overeat them, while other times - for example on a raw food diet - feel perfectly fine without. And Moein, whom I recently interviewed, said something about starches in general being a problem. So I thought, let me just stay away from all the food additives and starches for a while, especially MSG, and if I do eat them, note how they make me feel - do they create or increase cravings. So I haven't even had any potatoes or brown rice for a while... Yesterday I made stuffed peppers with quinoa! And so far it feels quite easy to eat this way, and it looks to me as if eating processed carbs, grains in general and chemical additives may increase cravings for these and other unhealthy foods.
Regarding the supplementation and herbs talked about at the beginning of the hormone diet, I will return to those once I have made sure that my headaches are not caused by supplements. For now, I will continue to keep supplements to a minimum for a while and have even cut out niacin.
By the way, as Moein pointed out, it is quite useful for many people to be able to read different people's reports on what works and what not on your health journey. So if you are publishing your own experiments online, get in touch, as we can exchange ideas and I can feature your blog on my site for it to reach a wider audience.
I think that's all my points for now. Today is the 29th November 2014, Saturday.
11th December 2014
I have now realized that my headaches were a tension headache, and not caused by supplements or eye-sight problems like I previously thought. The headaches can be easily eliminated by using hot compresses on the neck, shoulders and/or upper back, massage, using bongers on the stiff neck muscles, some careful stretching and exercise in general. I'm quite happy that I can now go back to taking supplements and herbs without worries!
I have not really been following the diet recently, and I will try to be semi-healthy through the holiday period.
I have decided, from the beginning of January, to do two diet experiments: 1) 25-Days of 100% Raw Food Diet, making it the best possible raw food diet I can think of. It will possibly be low-salt and fairly low-fat too, just because I haven't tried that before.
2) The second experiment will be a paleo-type diet, but with less meat and fat. So eliminating all grains and starches, low-carb, high in raw vegetables but also cooked food, and incorporating a little organic meat daily, together with cooked vegetable dishes. This will be the best possible low carb/ paleo-inspired diet that I can plan with the knowledge that I have now.
The reason for these experiments will be to test which one makes me feel better. Because I keep being undecided about whether all raw or some cooked is healthier, and also whether I need some organic meat or not. I have been a vegetarian for a long time but can't completely dismiss the claims that some people need to include some meat in their diets.
Both diets will be dairy, gluten and grain-free because I have established that those don't work for my health. They will also be alcohol-free and free of chemical additives.
So this will be the ultimate experiment, sticking to the eating plans 'no matter what', 25-days raw first and paleo after.
After these experiments I will be able to establish more carefully what my ideal diet is. I will write a separate diary on each diet, but update here on any hormonal discoveries. I will at the same time take some herbs and supplements as detailed at the beginning of this hormone diet plan. I will not be juice fasting, however, as I would like to establish an optimal diet that I can follow, instead of having to rely on juice fasting to heal my hormones. Of course if neither of the diets show sufficient promise in healing my menstrual pains, then I will have to establish a habit of juice fasting regularly, 2-days per week perhaps.
Exciting development on the hormone diet! It seems that a raw food diet can drastically reduce menstrual pain in as short time as 15 days, as well as the related symptoms of irritability, nausea, depression and (presumably) inflammation.
Update: The 25-Day Raw Food Challenge is now complete. The diary summary, as well as full notes, can be accessed at the link.
Over the Christmas holidays my menstrual cramps had returned to pretty much 'normal', and I had to take pain killers, etc. However, the raw food diet seemed to have an almost equally powerful effect in reducing menstrual pain as juice fasting had earlier.
I began this raw food diet on the 4th January, 2015, and my menstrual period started on day 15 of the above raw food diet trial. There was some pain, but not much. Absolutely no need for pain killers. Some of the other problems I usually have during menses were reduced as well - less cravings and less bloatedness. But I still needed a lot of sleep during this time, and funnily enough, the menses were different from usual. I got some spotting before the menses started, which I never get, and the slight pain kept coming and going a lot longer than usual.
There was tiny bit of spotting on day 11. The menses started on day 15 and finished on day 21. So the proper menstruation lasted for seven days. There was absolutely no pain on day 11 and on day 12 I got some feelings in my belly, as if the menses were starting, but no pain. Kept feeling tired all through these days. On days 13 and 14 I felt quite normal, but on days 15 and 16 there was some belly ache and I was also feeling thirsty and unable to take stress - the usual signs that my body is weak. On day 17 I felt exhausted and spiritually and mentally weak as well, but there was no pain. I also had symptoms of a cold. On day 18 I had sudden stomach pain for a couple of hours, combined with nausea and diarrhea. The pain subsided on its own as lay down horizontally and kept warm near a radiator. Lying down horizontally generally seems to be a much better position during menses than standing or sitting up - a little less difficult for the belly. But walking and moving is good too. On day 18 I was feeling very cold as well. On day 19 there was no pain but I was feeling very worn out and sorry for myself. On day 19 I only felt a little irritable and my eyes felt tired, otherwise was fine. On day 20 I had good energy all day, and on day 21 I was a little tired and had a little nausea, but this might have been due to what I was eating or detox symptoms, and not the menses.
But my body was still clearly weaker during menstruation. Anxiety was more easily triggered and I got some cold symptoms too.
The benefits of greatly reduced pain, etc., came despite the fact that the raw food diet I was eating was not ideal, despite my best attempts.
For the first week I ate too much fruit, and got blood sugar problems. And throughout the 15 days and the rest of the diet I stayed away from caffeine, dairy, all cooked foods, gluten, grains and bad quality oils. I made sure that the olive oil I had was truly cold pressed and not rancid, whereas the ones you buy in a supermarket may be rancid despite being labelled as 'extra virgin' or 'cold pressed'.
I did have some non-raw nuts, however, and wasn't sure if all the dried fruit and seeds I was eating were still live or whether they had been heat-dried. I also drank Brita-filtered tap water, whereas spring water would have been better. Check the above diary for more details.
After 25-days on raw foods, I transitioned to the healthiest possible cooked food diet I can think of. I remain dairy- and mostly gluten-free, and don't eat any grains, and also no quinoa, which proved to be too starchy for me. I have eliminated all foods that I have found myself intolerant to, and don't drink any caffeine - though I did fall into drinking fake 'grain' coffee, which has guarana and gluten-containing grains in it.
I am also experimenting with adding small amounts of organic meat, because during the McCombs Diet my menstrual pain was eliminated despite the fact that I ate a little organic meat.
I am staying away from all chemicals and additives, all starchy foods, including beans, and I also remain alcohol-, sugar-, and dairy-free.
Please return to the diet diaries for any updates on my diet experiments.
Book: 'The Vitamin Cure for Women's Health Problems' by Helen Saul Case and Andrew Saul:
Book: 'Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit' by Queen Afua:
The introduction to this diet - the supplements and foods
Natural Remedies for Menstrual Cramps: General information on women's hormones
Best Aphrodisiac Plants and Foods
Juice Fasting - A Collection of Articles
25-Day Raw Food Challenge - diary
Ulla is the Editor of Cheap Health Revolution, covering natural remedies and health solutions.