Today I’m talking with a 54-year-old rock-star named Geri Newell.
Why do I consider that she is rocking it? Well, she has embraced dramatic changes in her life in order to achieve her best health and happiness. Let me share her amazing story with you.
Years before I even met Geri she had already committed to a huge lifestyle transition. As a corporate executive, her life consisted of long hours and unrelenting stress. She had experienced increasing hormone imbalance symptoms as she went through perimenopause. Her husband, too, was experiencing hormone symptoms (later diagnosed as Hashimoto’s thyroid disease); both had agreed that they needed to make some significant changes to better support their health. They were too young to feel like they did.
So they took control of their health. They did research on Hashimoto’s and found functional medicine offered many lifestyle-based treatments. Her husband quickly left conventional medicine in the dust and pursued holistic alternatives to help him lower his thyroid antibodies and reduce his symptoms. She decided to follow functional medicine lifestyle protocols to address her hormone imbalance symptoms as well.
Big lifestyle changes helped her hubby’s hormones…but what about her?
They embarked on a healthier Paleo diet as one initial step. They soon decided to make an even more drastic change by completely uprooting and moving to a less stressful, less toxic, rural environment. They moved far from the city, to a farm in the country. There they also created a whole new business producing their own maple syrup and natural soap. They completely changed their everyday lives, eating farm-fresh and local just as a start. In a few years, there was a significant improvement in her husband’s thyroid health.
But as Geri transitioned into menopause she was not experiencing the same hormone-balancing effects as her husband. Menopause was making Geri feel as though she was completely losing it. She was stressed, had gained about 30 pounds and was not feeling balanced, with mood swings and difficulty getting quality sleep.
After researching all of the health benefits of ketones, she and her husband decided to adopt a ketogenic diet, but it didn’t seem to work for her. She couldn’t understand why the diet and other lifestyle changes that she and her husband had made (it has now been some 5 years since their move) was working at supporting his health, but not her health.
She also had tired of hearing (from her doctors, the media, and pretty much everyone she talked to regarding her symptoms) that women just needed to “deal with” quality-of-life-affecting menopause symptoms as the “norm!”
Geri started reading whatever she could on hormone balance including my book, The Hormone Fix. After reading the book she thought to herself, “This is me!”
The next weekend she was attending a Paleo conference that I just happened to be presenting at. Although she had travel plans to leave a day before I was due to speak, she wanted to come see me, so she extended her stay. We had the blessed opportunity to meet and I told her about my Keto-Green® diet and lifestyle and that there was a new Magic Menopause class starting up in another month. Well, she started her prep for the class the very next day and has never looked back.
As she did the Magic Menopause pre-work she also had lab testing done and found that she had low levels on all of her major hormones. It was no wonder she had suffered through both perimenopause and menopause from so many hormone imbalance symptoms.
She also did her pre-Magic Menopause toxicity quiz and found she had a score in the mid-60’s. This was somewhat surprising to her given that she and her husband had already “cleaned up” their eating and reduced the toxins surrounding them. They were eating keto at this time and had removed the common food sensitivity culprits like gluten; they ate organic. They had removed toxins from their homes, household products, and even skincare products. What was causing the toxicity?
Turns out she had a lot of inflammation, much of it likely due to stress. I had also suspected she had leaky gut (based on some bowel symptoms she had) which would, of course, cause a variety of inflammatory issues. With detox and healing nutrients those symptoms started to resolve; bone broth and intermittent fasting were very helpful.
After actively participating in the Magic Menopause program her toxicity score was reduced to about 28, and she feels that as she continues to address her stress and leaky gut that will only continue to improve. She fully expects all of her labs to improve as well and is planning on retaking those tests soon.
At the end of the program, she had lost about 16 pounds, about half her goal. And she feels confident she will reach her goal by continuing with the Keto-Green lifestyle.
So what were Geri’s big “ah-ha” moments?
Alkalinity was the key to feeling better – Geri had been on keto but hadn’t lost weight or seen symptom improvement. After getting consistently alkaline she was sleeping better, had fewer mood swings, and saw a reduction in hot flashes. She still does baking soda and apple cider vinegar am and pm to help give her an alkaline boost. She also focuses on the non-dietary impacts on her alkalinity, of which stress is a big one – including a still too-overly-committed work schedule.
She embraced journaling to identify some of her triggers and initially did urine pH testing 4 times a day to discover how her body was responding to her day. She found that she had a lot of habits that threw her out of an alkaline state, most associated with her work such as late-night dinners, business meetings, wine, etc. While she tried to circumvent some of this, she also realized that if her job threw her a curve she could just get back into her routine the next day…so she stopped stressing over it. She also found MUSE, which she absolutely loves and uses daily.
Stress management needed to be a daily focus - The Magic Menopause class that really was an “ah-ha” for Geri was the class focused on stress management. Sure, you can’t always get rid of the stress…she certainly couldn’t get away from her management responsibilities and the need to always be “on” and present for others at her business. But she could support her body to be more resilient to the ongoing stress, and she learned to always schedule a little “me” time, even if only a short walk during the day. Along with the MUSE and journaling she determined she had a seasonal affective disorder from not getting outdoors enough, so she bought a sunlight lamp. She also found that taking a sauna made her feel great.
A little hormone support can work wonders - While her symptoms and toxicity scores had improved, Geri felt she still needed a little more support to get her hormones completely balanced. She decided to try bio-identical hormones which worked wonders on her brain fog, that feeling of “being crazy” and other lingering hormone imbalance symptoms. She also started using Julva® for the little bit of leakage she was experiencing when she sneezed; as well as starting to use my progesterone cream, Balance. Geri doesn’t know what made the most difference, the alkalinity or the hormone support, but she started to feel terrific.
“Dr. Anna’s team has been amazing. She is so wonderful, so real, relatable, and down to earth…I felt such a connection to her and her messages.”
Geri felt the Magic Menopause experience was so worth it. She felt the cost was reasonable (even low for the incredible value), that the weekly calls were informative and efficient (she said she continues to re-watch them even now, always catching new “ah-ha” moments from other class members’ questions and discussions). She loved the Magic Menopause Facebook support group and helpful alumni.
She’ll totally sign up for the next class. Why? She realizes that her body will continue going through phases of aging, so her routine may need to be tweaked. She wants to continue to optimize her health and the health of those around her. She has even bought The Hormone Fix for girlfriends and recommended they take the program.
“I really walk the talk and I want to share what I’ve learned,” Geri said longevity runs in her family, even to the ripe old age of 105! So she wants to age gracefully. “How I feel and age has an effect on everyone in my life (my husband, my family, friends, people I work with…everybody) so why wouldn’t I want that effect to be positive and beautiful?”
Such a wonderful story, Geri…thank you so much for sharing. I know so many people will be inspired to take their next right step now too!
P.S. Want an easy way to make sure you stay on track?
I've found over the years that the key to real results is keeping track of your progress. Use these Urinalysis Test Strips to start tracking your body's pH so you know for sure if you are on track to less bloating, healthy fat loss, and balanced hormones. Get your own here!