How can I help you?

    141: Fix Your Period w/ Nicole Jardim

    No matter how old you are, if you’re still cycling it’s not too late to rewrite your period story. I’m joined byThe Period Girl herself, Nicole Jardim, to talk about how you can fix your period in as little as six weeks.

    Or listen & subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts | Android

    About Nicole Jardim

    Nicole Jardim is a Certified Women’s Health Coach, writer, speaker, mentor, and the creator of Fix Your Period, a series of programs that empower women to reclaim their hormone health using a method that combines evidence-based information with simplicity and sass. 

    Her work has impacted the lives of tens of thousands of women around the world in addressing a wide variety of period problems, including PMS, irregular periods, PCOS, painful & heavy periods, missing periods, and many more.

    Rather than treating problems or symptoms, Nicole treats women by addressing the root cause of what’s really going on in their bodies and minds. She believes that the fundamentals to healing any hormonal imbalance lie in an approach that addresses the unique physiology of every woman. This is essential to reclaiming and maintaining optimal health and vitality at any age.

    Nicole is the author ofFix Your Period: 6 Weeks to Banish Bloating, Conquer Cramps, Manage Moodiness, and Ignite Lasting Hormone Balance, and the co-author of The Happy Balance, a recipe book filled with over 80 hormone-balancing recipes. 

    Finally, she’s the co-host of The Period Party, a top-rated podcast on iTunes—be sure to tune into that if you want to learn more about how to fix your period—and is a women’s health expert for sites such as The Guardian, Well+Good, mindbodygreen and Healthline. 

    Take Nicole’s Period Quiz to find out what’s up with your period! Once you take the quiz, you’ll get her Fix Your Period Quickstart Kit, a FREE 7-Day E-Course, to discover the top secrets doctors don’t tell you about your hormones, your symptoms, and how to finally fix them!

    Fix Your Period talks to women who still have their menstrual cycle, mainly in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. So long as you are still cycling, you can absolutely fix your period story no matter what’s currently going on with your menstrual health.

    Nicole urges women to track their periods. This is so vital to being understanding what our cycle actually looks like and how this impacts our overall health. For example, Estrogen plays an important role in our health and when our cycle is irregular, our body isn’t getting the vital nutrients and hormones it needs.

    Another reason for tracking your cycle is because it provides so much information into your body, more than you probably think it does. Nicole believes women should get to a place of comfort and joy with their periods, rather than one of irritation and misery - something women expect.

    Even with your menstrual cycle, what food you eat plays an important role. Nicole explains what foods you can cut out of your diet to have a positive impact on your period and, almost more importantly, the cramps and pain you get before, during, and after.

    There are also foods you should increase in your diet. Nicole gives examples such as cruciferous vegetables, like spinach and broccoli, and foods high in iodine, like seaweed. In fact, eating seaweed regularly can significantly improve your breast pain!

    What’s your next right step on your journey to fixing your period? How can you help others? As always, you can ask me anything and let me hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you have questions, email team@drannacabeca.com.

     

    In This Episode:

    • Fix Your Period is for women who are still cycling
    • How you can rewrite your puberty story
    • Why you should track your entire cycle
    • What role Estrogen plays in our body
    • How to view your period as information, not irritation
    • The impact certain foods have on your menstrual cycle and pain
    • Foods you should eat to master your period

     

    Quotes:

    “When we can empower women with this knowledge, we can 100% shift that conversation that they’re having with their doctor.” (14:26)

    “We have to become our own advocates, we have to educate ourselves. It’s our job. Nobody’s going to care about our health more than we do, and so ultimately, we can’t keep outsourcing our health, we have to look inwards.” (18:53)

    “We’ve been conditioned to believe that women need a great deal of medical attention to get better or to feel better but we don’t. We actually just need to start with some basics.” (24:12)

     

    Resources Mentioned

    Buy Fix Your Period: Six Weeks to Banish Bloating, Conquer Cramps, Manage Moodiness, and Ignite Lasting Hormone Balance

    Find Nicole Jardim Online

    Follow Nicole Jardim onInstagram |Facebook |Twitter |YouTube

    Join the KetoGreen Community on Facebook

    Buy Keto-Green 16

     

    Transcript: 

    Nicole:

    She was amazed by the difference, in just a month, with her period pain and the PMS symptoms that she was experiencing too. Her mood's stabilized, and that was literally just with taking out a few foods that were potentially problematic and starting to pay attention to our blood sugar. We've been conditioned to believe that women need a great deal of medical attention to get better or to feel better, but we don't. We actually just need to start with some basics and it is amazing what can happen from that.

    Dr. Anna:
    So what exactly is happening when you have your period? And what does it mean? What are the symptoms telling you if you're experiencing PMS, irritability, weight gain, mood swings? And I know from women in my Keto-Green Community, in my challenge group, they're telling me that they're starting their periods again or what's even better is that their periods are coming on without any symptoms and it's regulating. I think that's truly, truly a gift. As we regenerate our body, we age backward, we improve our overall physiology and hormonal balance. Now, women can struggle from a young age, from when our periods just start, or throughout their life or not at all. We want to be in that not at all, no struggle. We honor our body's natural design and it is smooth sailing. Well, I definitely wish that for everyone, but I know it's not often the case.

    Dr. Anna:
    So today I'm going to bring a dear girlfriend and a colleague, Nicole Jardim who wrote this amazing book called Fix Your Period. Well, Nicole is also known as the period girl. She's a certified women's health coach, a professional period fixer, and her mission has been to empower women to take back control of their hormonal health in a fun and sassy way. She's outspoken and opinionated, one of the many reasons I love her, and she is just encouraging women to be educated about their bodies. So her goal is to provide women with the tools they need to make radical and long-lasting changes so they can live their best lives.

    Dr. Anna:
    So we're going to hit a few fabulous topics today that relate to us at any age. [inaudible 00:02:15] mom of four daughters myself, this is really important and this is one of the reasons why I've dug deep into hormonal balance at all stages of our lives, but especially in the transition where it can get kind of sticky there. So stay tuned. Let me introduce you to my dear girlfriend, Nicole Jardim. Nicole, welcome to the Girlfriend Doctor podcast. I'm so glad to spend this time with you today.

    Nicole:
    Thank you so much for having me, Anna. I'm thrilled to be here.

    Dr. Anna:
    Well, I'm excited about your book. My daughter, actually, one of my daughter who's in college right now, she read it. She saw it on my counter and she took it from me. I actually had to go in her room and get it, right now, so that I could show it to the audience and then re-review it. As I was mentioning, I mean, this is a fabulous resource for women. Every woman needs to read this, whether you're starting your cycles, ending your cycles, and or know people who are having cycles. I mean, just this awareness about our body and our physiology.

    Dr. Anna:
    And we're so likeminded. I love how you talked about, I mean, head-to-toe information from how stress affects us, our major hormones versus our minor hormones, you put it in a hierarchy. I mean, I'm not going to give away everything in the book, but I'm telling you it is so good. I wish I had this when I was having my periods when I was struggling with fertility and all of that. This is just really well done. Thank-

    Nicole:
    Wow, thank you.

    Dr. Anna:
    So talk to us about this, tell us your impetus. I know how hard it is to write a book. And this is a life works and what you've put into it, it's a gem, really is Nicole. I'm not just saying that my audience knows I do not fawn. This is really, really good.

    Nicole:
    Oh, wow, Anna thank you so much for saying that. Truly, it means so, so much coming from women like you who I really admire in this women's health space. It was a beast to write. I don't even know. You've written two books. I can't even imagine getting into this process again anytime soon, but I felt the impetus for me was my 21-year-old self. I had a horrible birth control pill side effects. I had had terrible periods, which was the reason why I went on the birth control to begin with. I was like the poster child for period problems and birth control problems. And then, I had no answers. I went to so many different doctors who basically said, "Well, you should probably just try a different birth control pill, or..." I had gut health issues, so I saw a gastroenterologist. I saw my OB-GYN often because I had UTIs and yeast infections. No one really had any sustainable answers or solutions for me.

    Nicole:
    And finally, I saw an acupuncturist who completely rocked my world and changed the trajectory of my life really. But for me, the frustration and the lack of understanding of my body was too much for me to bear. And this led me down this path of doing the work that I do. And really, it was obviously for myself, but for the women who have struggled I've encountered over the last 10 years, who have not had the answers, who felt like, they've read a book and they're like, "But I don't know what to do still." And I really wanted to create something that had a very linear protocol for people to follow. That we're really touching on the basics because I find that we tend to, as a culture, go towards just taking a supplement instead of just working on our diet to start, and I wanted to lay that out for everybody.

    Dr. Anna:
    And you did. And you did such a good job with it, so I'm thrilled with it. And this, it's really... Who is this book for?

    Nicole:
    Oh yes. This book is for women who are still cycling. For me, that was the goal, to really create a resource for anyone who has a period or doesn't have a period and should have a period because, again, we are not given the answers. The mainstream narrative and the mainstream medical narrative is that we are just supposed to be on the pill or some other form of hormonal birth control or contraceptive, and that is going to solve all the problems. And ultimately, it doesn't, as we well know. And so I, again, wanted to provide a resource that was easy to understand.

    Nicole:
    I love that the name of your podcast is the Girlfriend Doctor because a lot of people say the same thing to me. They say something along the lines of, "I just feel like my older sister went to medical school." Something like that. Went to learn about nutrition and came back and told me all the secrets. And that's really what I wanted to provide. Something that was easy to understand, but also break down the science because I believe women really deserve the answers. They deserve to know how their bodies work. We have not at all... I feel like we failed women actually, in that aspect. We have not taught women and girls how to understand what's going on under the hood.

    Dr. Anna:
    It's so true. It's like the unspoken don't complain, power through. It's the private parts, right? It's the "This is something we don't talk about." And not in my family. I'm kind of wishing some of them would not talk about it sometime. But there is a great amount of openness. I think that's really important. Confidence in your body and you're understanding your hormones and being able to triage this out. So I'll share it with you, again, now I was 12 months. If anyone's listened to my earlier podcast, I'm like, "In a month or two, I'll be completely... I'll let you know for sure I'm through menopause." Well, 12 months hit, menopause.

    Dr. Anna:
    My daughters were home, it was their second... And I was like, they're all home from the quarantine. So four daughters in the house, three of them menstruating at the same time, one is premenarchal, so she hasn't started her period yet. And I'm like, "Okay, they all have their periods at the same time." They had synced up, right? As that happens in dormitories and everything else, every one of them had synced up, they were on their periods at the same time. I'm like, "I've made it through this powerful, feminine energy. Then I'm not having my period, I'm good." The second month, lo and behold, full-blown period. Full-blown period, Nicole. I am back into... Like I start the clock again. I mean, how crazy. That's why menopause is such a terrible term and definition. I'll be 54 this year in just a couple of months. So next month, I'm 54. And so by the time this is released, I am 54.

    Dr. Anna:
    I mean, it's incredible that our body can just regenerate, but of course, being a gynecologist with this, I did my work. I went, did... Actually, my gynecologist retiring, and so I had to... His ultrasonographer's having a baby, so I'm like, "Give me the ultrasound." And I did my own vaginal probe ultrasound. I mean, thank God for flexibility and yoga, I'm just saying. And so, did just check out everything. The endometrial lining, what's going on, a small simple ovarian cyst I'll rescan in three months. But I'm like, "Okay, it makes sense." I completely have spontaneous ovulation and a cycle. How cool is that? And how freaking scary.

    Nicole:
    I just love this story so, so much. Very clear on all about quarantine periods right now. A lot of women are talking about the problems that are coming with that, but also the syncing up with their family members. My sister and I totally synced up. We were actually on opposite ends of the spectrum, and by the end of quarantining together, we were fully aligned, which was amazing to me because I couldn't believe how fast it happened. And now you're telling me you had a period after 12 months. I mean, you cannot make this stuff up. It's incredible.

    Dr. Anna:
    It is. It is. It really is fascinating. And that's something in our Keto-Green Community, women are like, "I haven't had a period." A 43-year-old hadn't had a period in two years and she started cycling. I'm like, "Thank you, consider that a blessing." Right? Of course, I'm all with a gynecologist, let's triage it, get a pelvic ultrasound. But how cool is that right? And women in their fifties, in this strange irregular cycle to have a nice regularity again. So let's talk about that because we both know women, as well as yourself, that have struggled with menstrual cycles from the time they start having a menstrual cycle.

    Dr. Anna:
    And I had one client tell me since she had started her periods at 14, she had pain where she needed to miss school and then work for at least two to four days, every month, because of her period pain. And honest to goodness, within six weeks, working and doing things. For me, it's the avoid dairy, and I start the Mighty Maca and Omega-3s, and iodine, fish oils, things like that. Breakaway from sugar. And look, if you spell it out in the butt, week one, week two, week three, week four, week five, week six, I mean, it's really well done. But these kinds of concepts are... And she said, "I couldn't believe it, my period came on. I didn't even expect it." And so that's beautiful because you restore that balance, restore that sense of loving your body, and it working for you as opposed to against you.

    Nicole:
    I love that so much and it actually makes me think of this idea that I try to convey to women in that you can rewrite your period story. Because we all know, right? That went from puberty, when your first periods, they're usually fraught with all kinds of terrible things happening. Whether it's... One woman said to me that she was in a white bikini, on a boat, for her friend's birthday. She was 12 and got her period, and she cried all day because there was no way to get back to shore. And she was in her 20s when she told me this.

    Nicole:
    This is not stuff that you live down, it becomes a part of your fabric of who you are. And there's definitely inbuilt shame and mortification, and embarrassment. And I really think that that travels with us our lives and certainly plays a role in the symptoms that we're experiencing. And so we can rewrite that story when we start to, of course, correct our periods and all the problems that we're dealing with. And so addressing the underlying causes and not just the symptoms is really what we need to do.

    Nicole:
    But we've moved so far away from that. I feel like we're at the point where, in our society, we just treat symptoms. And so women have absolutely no idea. We were just talking about the hormonal hierarchy and the fact that there's... Cortisol and insulin are basically at the root of so many of our problems. We do not know how to connect the cupcake to our ovaries at all. And I wanted women to really understand that because we're far more inclined to make better choices and make decisions for ourselves that are self-serving if we know why, why we're doing it.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah. I agree. And the fact that you put that cortisol and insulin at the top of the hierarchy is just, I mean, exactly in line because that's where work on these major hormones first and our reproductive hormones step into line, get in shape, right?

    Nicole:
    Right? They definitely do.

    Dr. Anna:
    So let's talk about these steps in the perimenopausal timeframe, when we're getting increasing PMS, irregular cycles, where, oftentimes, a patient comes into the gynecologist, like myself, and says, "I'm having these issues. Irregular bleeding, more painful periods, PMS." And often the answer is, "Here's a Prozac and birth control pills." So, and I know just from in my work, that we can totally... There's a better way as we empower our body to heal itself and get rid of some of those hormone disruptors. So I want to talk about, especially this timeframe because it is a delicate transition timeframe for women and I don't think women absolutely do not need to be on the birth control pill to menopause.

    Nicole:
    No, I know. Obviously my work is centered around women in their 20s and 30s, and early 40s for the most part, so it has been shocking to me to see how many women, who are in their late 40s and 50s, who are on the birth control pill. And I know you see this a lot, but I was pretty stunned by that. By how many women I've encountered who are just put on it and they've been on it, they don't really even know why they're still on it, but that's just what they've been told to do. And because we don't have a fundamental understanding of how our bodies work, we just say yes to it. And so when we can empower women with this knowledge, then we can 100% shift that conversation that they're having with their doctor. And so I think that's the first thing.

    Nicole:
    I would say that... I started out the book and I've always started all of my training with, "Can we track our cycles, track our symptoms, so that we understand what is happening?" And that ovulation is so unbelievably critical to our health. And when we get that part, just that one fact, it's a game-changer. So, for many of us, we've just been told ovulation is sort of a... It's one of these things that's optional and we don't really need to have it, and yet it's connected to so many aspects of our health. I mean, it's when we don't make these sex hormones that are so critical to every part of our health, we run into all of these deficits, and then it feels like a system-wide problem.

    Nicole:
    So this is why I say to women all the time when you're on the pill and you're having all of these seemingly unrelated symptoms, there's a reason for that. And it's because ovulation is a driver of estrogen production, testosterone production, progesterone, of course, and when we don't have these inadequate amounts, it hurts. It feels really bad. You just feel universally terrible. And I think that the other problem with that is the unseen issues that crop up later on, especially if you've been on the pill for 10 years and you started... I had another woman tell me the other day, she was put on it at 11. At 11 years old! And she'd been on it for 14 years, she was 25. And of course, she was having a whole plethora of problems.

    Nicole:
    And what I want women to understand is that estrogen, and you know this, but estrogen plays such a huge role in our bone health, our brain health, our heart health. And progesterone, the same thing. Progesterone plays a role in our breast health, brain function, cognitive function, all of it. And so when we have all of these symptoms, it's because we're basically walking around in a hormonal deficit. But we can actually fix the problem. And I'm not necessarily saying anything different to what you're saying and what others are saying in our women's health space, it's just that I wanted to connect it to the menstrual cycle. And how those symptoms relate back to not eating well or eating too much sugar, or not getting enough sleep.

    Nicole:
    And I think that women understand period problems. They don't necessarily understand hormones all the time because it's often presented as this thing that's somewhat complicated, but they really get period issues. And so if we can talk about the pain points and then relate it back to what it is they need to do, then I feel they are more motivated, for sure, to make changes.

    Dr. Anna:
    You have a section in your book that says, "What is your period telling you?" And I really like that section. So what are some of the things that our period is telling us?

    Nicole:
    Oh, yes. Oh, I feel like we need all day for that one.

    Dr. Anna:
    I know. I know. What are the most common things?

    Nicole:
    Oh yeah, totally. No, I can definitely share some common ones. I would say the women who come to me oftentimes have really heavy or painful periods. And so that's the one issue that I see most. And I think the women who take my quiz probably... It's like 80% of them have period pain. And so when we have period pain, there're multiple underlying issues happening, and oftentimes, it's a condition that has either not been diagnosed, it's just gone on for a long time. And usually, that's either endometriosis or adenomyosis, or a combination of the two. Oftentimes it's uterine fibroids.

    Nicole:
    And then other times, it's just ongoing chronic inflammation. And when I think about what our kids are eating now, and then they're going into their teenage years and then into their college years, I don't know about you, but I ate terribly as a teenager and a college student. It was bad. And so I know that this is so much of what's driving these problems. And then you compound it with the fact that our food supply has just, I mean, it's completely gone down the drain and so we have a situation where so many young women have gut-related problems. But again, all of this is perpetually normalized.

    Nicole:
    And then we add the gender bias to this problem and the fact that women do not get the medical care that their male counterparts might get. They don't get the attention that they need, they certainly don't get the investigation, and this is why something like endometriosis takes, on average, about 10 years to be diagnosed. So coming back to all of this, I really think that ultimately, we have to become our own advocates, we have to educate ourselves. It's our job. Nobody's going to care about our health more than we do.

    Nicole:
    And so ultimately, we can't keep outsourcing our health, we have to look inwards. Because we have a lot of answers already. Our bodies are talking to us every day. And so period pain, for me, is your body just telling you something's wrong. It's not your body rebelling against you, it's not your body saying that it's broken or you're unfixable. That's not what it is. It is telling you that there's underlying inflammation, which means there's something going on with your gut health, with the food that you're eating, and it also could potentially indicate an ongoing issue, a condition like endometriosis.

    Nicole:
    And then also too, your liver. We forget our livers play this huge role in how our periods manifest. And so for heavy periods, oftentimes, our livers are just not breaking down estrogen effectively, they're not doing it the way they're supposed to. And then your gut is usually clogged up, and so that estrogen is now recirculating into your bloodstream. And then what happens? You have a higher estrogen to progesterone ratio, you end up with these heavier periods, you also end up with PMS symptoms, acne. I mean, the list just goes on and on. Bloating, all of it.

    Nicole:
    And so ultimately your period is... I've talked about this in the book, it's the fifth vital sign, right? So it's a sign of what is happening with your body. Men do not have this warning system and we do. And so if we can start to maybe see our periods as information versus being just a pain in the ass, then we will start to change the dialogue that we have with our health and our bodies.

    Dr. Anna:
    Give us an example of a client that you've worked with and had that issue and how you helped them.

    Nicole:
    Yes. Oh, so many, but there was one in particular who had ... She had really heavy, painful periods and was really struggling. She was working in a job that she wasn't loving, so she had a lot of stress. She was also planning a wedding and she was getting a degree, a master's degree online. I'm like, "Women are just incredible." Our capacity to hold a lot of things is remarkable. And so she was doing all this stuff and so she came to work with me, and she was like, "I am losing more and more days in my life, every month, to my period and this can't be how it's supposed to be." And that's the other thing, right?

    Nicole:
    Changing the belief system around it just being your lot in life, I feel like that is something that we 100% have got to shift, to, actually, my period can be completely manageable. In fact, it might be even semi enjoyable and it doesn't have to be as horrible as it's been made out to be. And so she was losing all these days. We first talked about the hard stuff. Which was, do you actually have the capacity to hold all of this right now? And she made a hard decision, in the beginning, to actually push out her wedding date. Which not a lot of people would be willing to do, but she did it because she realized when she understood how much the stress in her life, the psychological stress, was impacting her menstrual cycle. That this was something that she had to do in order to move forward with her life and to live in alignment with her female cycle, with her cyclical rhythm.

    Nicole:
    And so she did that and that freed up some space. She also asked her boss if she could work from home one day because she had a long commute. And her period pain was so bad that she was just popping tons of pills and was really needing time off anyway, so the one day off a week helped with her time management... Or not one day off, but one day working from home. So we did all of that and we... So we started with the hard things. And then we worked on her diet, and that was one of the biggest things that I think we, again, we have not really been educated about, just about how much it impacts every aspect of our health. And the first thing that we worked on was an elimination diet. And again, this is nothing new to any of us for the most part, but when you-

    Dr. Anna:
    For our clients. I mean, it is to the majority of people. It really is.

    Nicole:
    True. Yeah, you're right. It is. That's true. And so we took out the foods that were causing an inflammatory response in her body, and typically these would be things like gluten and sugar and dairy, and you just said dairy, and that's a big one for period pain in particular. And it was remarkable. I mean, it's so amazing to see that. And even the women in my group program right now too, the same thing, they're... Just after a few weeks, you really start to notice and that you have more energy, first of all, and that your period of pain almost disappears.

    Nicole:
    The next thing we worked on was blood sugar. That's the other thing that we don't really even understand. We relate blood sugar to diabetes. We don't quite understand that actually all of us need to be paying attention to this. So for her, she was going to the office and eating a bunch of candy every day because it was there in the kitchen, and it tends to be what happens when you're in an office environment. I worked in [inaudible 00:23:46], there was a lot of junk. So when she cut all of that out and started testing her blood sugar, just to see how food was impacting her, she was amazed by the difference, in just a month, with her period pain and the PMS symptoms that she was experiencing too. Her mood's stabilized, and that was literally just with taking out a few foods that were potentially problematic and starting to pay attention to our blood sugar.

    Nicole:
    We've been conditioned to believe that women need a great deal of medical attention to get better or to feel better, but we don't. We actually just need to start with some basics and it is amazing what can happen from that.

    Dr. Anna:
    I agree. You are speaking my language. And so how long did it take her to regulate her cycle, doing this?

    Nicole:
    It took about six months and she got to the point where her pain had dropped from like a nine to a three, and she was not experiencing the PMS symptoms she was experiencing before. I mean, at one point, she was like, "I don't even know if I can marry this guy," because the PMS symptoms were making her majorly clash with him every single month.

    Dr. Anna:
    You know what I say there? If you only hate your husband two weeks out of the month, it's your hormones and not necessarily your husband. So-

    Nicole:
    It's so true.

    Dr. Anna:
    It's so true. It's so true, right? We joke, but it is so true.

    Nicole:
    It really is. I'm completely in agreement with that, and that, to me, was the biggest thing, that she'd stabilized her relationship, and then she was able to get married the next year, and she finally got her degree. She got a job that she was really in love with. So I think that so much of this has a ripple effect and it requires us sometimes to make hard decisions in the beginning because we have to figure out our capacity. And that to me is one of the... I think the biggest part of all of this. As women, we're yes people, we want to please, we want to show up for everyone in every single way we possibly can, but when you start to institute boundaries around your energy, life can completely change. And it's hard for us, I think in our 20s and 30s, to really recognize that.

    Dr. Anna:
    So true. So true. Another topic I want to talk about because this can flare in the perimenopause is endometriosis.

    Nicole:
    Yes.

    Dr. Anna:
    So in this concept of that period pain, there often time is this underlying endometriosis. Our pelvic pain or dyspareunia pain with sex. This underlying endometriosis issues. How do you work with clients when they have endometriosis?

    Nicole:
    Yeah, it's interesting because I feel like so much of what I'm teaching is applicable to everyone. I really want to help everyone have a foundation so that they're very clear on what does work, what moves the needle on their health. And so with endometriosis, I do a lot of what I would do for someone who has PMDD, for instance. Because, ultimately, at the end of the day, so much of this comes back to this inflammatory response that's just happening unabated in our bodies. And so the way I tried to explain this to women is, say, you get a cut on your arm and every single day you scratch it, and you scratch it and you scratch it. It is never going to heal. And that is what inflammation looks like on the inside. We just don't really see it. We just have all of these random symptoms that don't seem to make any sense.

    Nicole:
    And so that's what I say to them, that if we can take away all of the things that are scratching that little cut, then you're going to start to find that you start to see improvements and normalization in your symptoms. And so with endometriosis, just for anyone who doesn't know, this is an inflammatory condition that is actually causing a whole host of symptoms and we often don't even realize we have it. I mean, it affects a significant portion of women. It's about 10%, although I have a feeling it might be more, just because there's so many who are undiagnosed. But ultimately, one of the biggest symptoms is period pain and heavy periods or heavy bleeding, and also things like spotting or just bleeding throughout the cycle and not really knowing why or understanding why.

    Nicole:
    So those are some of the symptoms. And then of course, painful sex as well is another one, and pelvic pain, generally speaking. But ultimately, if we can start with the food that we're eating, that, to me, goes a really, really long way, and bringing in... I always ask women to just bring in more nutrients, because for a lot of us, we have a hard time removing sugar and other problematic foods. So I start with just bringing more of the healthy foods into our diet. So the leafy greens, of course, the cruciferous vegetables, things like that. And then from there, where we work on gut health because the correlation between endometriosis and gut-related problems is huge, it just cannot be ignored. And oftentimes, endometriosis sufferers don't even have period pain or period-related symptoms, they have gut-related symptoms. And then they come to find out that they have endometriosis when they've been trying to get pregnant for a long time.

    Nicole:
    And then with someone who is in perimenopause, totally makes sense when your ovulation is sputtering and you are no longer making progesterone in the way that you were before, so your estrogen is now becoming dominant, so it makes sense that it would just continue to feed the disease. So the point is, is that, with the gut health stuff, I have women do an elimination diet. I also am now really getting into mold and mycotoxins, and also parasites, and I feel like that is playing a really big role in all of this too. It's sort of this unseen thing that we don't really talk about. And then parasite testing and gut health testing, in general, is a little opaque. There're a lot of different test options, but there isn't a whole ton of accuracy with some of these tests. And we spend a lot of money on this and then we still feel like we have these ongoing symptoms. So that's another aspect of people's health that I've started to look into as well when it comes to conditions that are just so perpetual and causing so many ongoing problems.

    Dr. Anna:
    I agree. GI-MAP is probably one of my favorite tests for stool testing, founded by Tony Hoffman, he's been doing stool analysis for so long. But the GI-MAP has really helped with some difficult cases and honestly, it is such a good thing to look at. And look at our stool to just identify gut health and absolutely, from operating on many people with endometriosis, looking at the endometrial cavities, looking at the issues. It's sticky membranes, right? It's leaky gut, it is inflammation, and it goes beyond.

    Dr. Anna:
    And endometriosis, women with endometriosis, we know the degree of or the amount of endometriosis does not necessarily correlate with the amount of pain. You can have very severe pain and very minor stage one endometriosis. So it's fascinating. There's a lot more to it. And I agree, because of the inflammatory components of endometriosis, that there is some mycotoxin embedded issues in there as well. So I'm 100% with you. Give us some of the top foods we should eat, we should include to master our period, to fix our period.

    Nicole:
    Yes. Oh my gosh. I mean, there's so many, I feel like... I was saying this before, the leafy greens are so critical and that's like my little challenge for everyone is to just incorporate a few cups of those into your diet daily. When you think about calcium and the fact that it can help with PMS symptoms and actually support you during your luteal phase when you are experiencing these symptoms. And magnesium which is a big part of leafy greens and green vegetables in general. Magnesium supports floating and breast tenderness, and PMS-related anxiety and sleeplessness, and things like that. Migraines as well. The leafy greens also contain the B vitamins, so we have folate in particular, and that is so supportive of our mood and it sort of acts as a mild antidepressant. So to me, those are the best things that you can bring into your diet.

    Nicole:
    And then the cruciferous vegetables, of course too, because they're going to support your liver and its breakdown of not only estrogen but other hormones too. So leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables are a big deal. I also think of sweet vegetables. Those are another thing that we tend to overlook and I find that they're so helpful for us. They're very grounding, they're super helpful in that second half of our cycle when things feel a little all over the place. So I'm a big fan of sweet potatoes and carrots, and onions and plantains, and all of those mildly sweet vegetables that are full of fiber and tons of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A, which is great for healthy skin. Vitamin C as well, which will support your corpus luteum and progesterone production. I mean, I could go on and on, but leafy greens, yeah. Cruciferous veggies, sweet potatoes or sweet veggies, and then also too, I feel like the sea vegetables are often overlooked.

    Nicole:
    And I find that we are just so lacking in micronutrients, in those minerals, that... I just mentioned magnesium, for instance, iodine, selenium exactly. And when we think about the fact that selenium is required for healthy egg follicles and iodine plays a role in pretty much every function in our bodies because your thyroid basically supports every aspect of your health. So I feel like sea vegetables are another one too. And we have to be careful, of course, if someone has any kind of autoimmune thyroid condition, but they can be really beneficial.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah. Yeah, I agree. We can see amazing shifts right away with that. I've had clients with severe fibrocystic breast issues and just by changing, like eating sushi seaweed, eating the nori rolls, using that as your sandwich wrap, but just by adding that into her diet, by her next cycle, her breast pain was completely gone. And so just from the nutritional, because I was like, "Let's try this for one to two months and then we can add some additional iodine supplementation." I didn't have to. And I think that was really beautiful to see, again, from food we eat and the experiences we have with the food we eat. That is really healing and nurturing, and definitely 100% agree we need to do more. So I'm on sushi, seaweed, those are vital. I love it.

    Nicole:
    I know.

    Dr. Anna:
    My daughter eats those... What they're seaweed snacks? S-N-A-S.

    Nicole:
    Oh, yes.

    Dr. Anna:
    Oh my gosh and she just... Her and her girlfriends will just eat those. I've got to stock back up.

    Nicole:
    I know, I feel like that requires a Costco run because they-

    Dr. Anna:
    Totally.

    Nicole:
    Go so fast. Yeah.

    Dr. Anna:
    Absolutely.

    Nicole:
    I know.

    Dr. Anna:
    And it's so good. And that's a great thing. I look, there's just one gram of carb, so it's good. Those things to look at too and I'm definitely glad my 12-year old took, we're going to just breeze in through puberty. That's my goal.

    Nicole:
    Yes, you are.

    Dr. Anna:
    Lots of prayers. Lots of prayers. Nicole, thank you so much. I'm going to ask you a couple of surprise questions. So Nicole, tell me, how do you start your morning? What's your morning ritual?

    Nicole:
    During the book launch, the writing of the book, it was not pretty. But now that I'm back into my life, my routine, I usually start with a morning of warm lemon water. I feel like that's my first thing. And then just a little bit of meditation and sitting outside in the sun. I opened all my windows and get sunlight into my eyes first thing so that I can get my cortisol working the way it needs to throughout the day. So that's basically it, it's pretty simple.

    Dr. Anna:
    I love it. I love it. And simpler the better, right along. Okay, second question. Which of my products do you love the most?

    Nicole:
    Oh girl, Julva. I actually have been traveling so I haven't had it with me. Look at your, you're so funny.

    Dr. Anna:
    At my counter side.

    Nicole:
    Right, you're hilarious. Yes, I love Julva, I've been using it for years now. It's been on and off because of travel, but yeah. I was actually just saying the other day, I'm like, "I can't wait to get back to the east coast and find my Julva."

    Dr. Anna:
    Oh my gosh, I will send you some.

    Nicole:
    It's hilarious.

    Dr. Anna:
    That's so awesome. I know every woman needs this in her medicine cabinet. I say that unashamedly, on her vanity actually.

    Nicole:
    Truly, that's exactly where mine is.

    Dr. Anna:
    And tell people where they can get a hold of you and your great book.

    Nicole:
    You can go to fixyourperiod.com. You can go there and it... Well, that's nicolejardim.com, but you can go there too. Order my book is right there.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yup, here. Fixyourperiod.

    Nicole:
    But yeah, fixyourperiod.com has all of the different sellers that you can buy the book from. It's also available on Amazon, on Barnes & Noble, independent booksellers, highly encourage the independent book sales, and also in the UK because I also have a UK book deal and it's a separate paperback book. So you can find that on Amazon in the UK and Waterstones, and I believe Foyles. So there are a few places there. And then Amazon worldwide. Pretty much anywhere Amazon is right now you can find it. And then there are quite a few bonuses that come with it.

    Dr. Anna:
    I love it. I love that you have this quiz, the period quiz. Tell us about that.

    Nicole:
    Yes. It's one of these things that women really just want to know, and I walk you through a series of questions about your periods specifically. How much you're bleeding? Are you on birth control? How painful is your period? Do you get acne? All of these kinds of pain points that women struggle with, and then, from there, I give you video results depending on the answers that you have shared in your place.

    Dr. Anna:
    Love it. Thank you so much and I really do. I honor you for this great masterpiece, this fabulous work, and for sharing your story and your journey with us. And to all our listeners for being here and being advocates for your own health, for participating, for investing in yourself, for caring enough about yourself to share this information, to take this information in internally. What's your next right step from this conversation that I've had with Nicole? In our amazing conversation, what's your next right step? What can you do and how can you help others on their journey as well? So this is Dr. Anna Cabeca, the Girlfriend Doctor. Thank you for listening. And I will see you next time.

    Dr. Anna Cabeca

    Dr. Anna Cabeca

    Dr. Anna is a Triple Board Certified OB/GYN, Anti-Aging Medicine expert, and author of the best selling book, The Hormone Fix.

    Dr. Anna helps women heal the 9 most dreadful symptoms of menopause with natural, safe solutions. Follow her for content on hormonal imbalances, vaginal dryness, menopause (and more) that are medically backed, and created to empower women — not just treat them.