Thanks for tuning in to Twelve Minute Health Bits. This is your host, Christen Hull, providing health and wellness support for the 21st century. We will be talking about using simple methods from today and centuries ago to keep our bodies healthy. Our goal is to daily stay “Above the Wellness Line.” In this podcast I will be giving you tips and tricks on how to daily make small changes to your life in order to keep your body well.
Episode 43 - Guest Speaker Nutritionist: Kimlyn Powers Role of Food in Hormone Health and Pregnancy Part 2
Today I have once again our guest speaker Kimlyn Powers. She is joining us to talk about pregnancy, hormones, and even fertility. She will discuss what things you can do with nutrition to make your pregnancy incredibly healthy. Maybe you are in that stage where you want to start planning a family, or you are already in that stage, and want to make your next pregnancy even healthier than the last one. Kimlyn is going to give us tips on what that looks like and some tangible ideas.
Kimlyn, please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your background with nutrition.
Thanks Christen for having me back. I am a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) which means I look at the function of the body and how nutrition and food interacts with the body. We look at things like digestion, blood sugar management, and how food interacts with the body so that we can make a bio-individualized plan that will help your body function optimally. It sounds simple but it does require dedication and work, and helps me prioritize bio-individualized or specialize my protocols for my clients.
Honestly, that is so much of what I push for people. Everyone is so different, not one thing is going to work for everyone. We need to move away from “you take this one pill and you are better.” It is not going to be the same for everyone, we need to look at the individual person.
When you have a new person to meet with you and they are looking at starting a family, or getting pregnant, and have had struggles with that, have you helped women with fertility struggles?
Yes, this is the heart of what I love! Mainly it is my passion because it is a lot of my personal story. Your fertility and menstrual cycle, are a sign of your overall health. Your body is not going to prioritize fertility if you have other things that are imbalanced - inflammation, blood sugar imbalances, digestive issues. So being fertile is a sign of overall well being. When I work with people on this, it works not only with their fertility, but their overall health. Because then we get to improve on the other systems, they autocorrect themselves and then fertility happens. It is a really fun way to work with people because they get to see all kinds of benefits, not just getting pregnant.
You have a little bit of a fertility story yourself. Can you share a snippet of that so we can get some background?
I was raised with a health conscience mother, very health and food aware. But I also grew up in the 1980s where it was low fat food, and a lot of carbs. I thought I was super healthy, I was an athlete and I thought because I had regular cycles I was going to have no trouble getting pregnant. I got married in my late 20s and I thought I did not want to wait too long to get pregnant because I would like to have children soon. And it was not happening. I was convinced I was super healthy and you know how things just happen and you cannot explain how a practitioner came into your life? Well, one day I came across a chiropractor who had an ad in the newspaper and it was about doing a New Year’s cleanse. I thought it sounded interesting and thought maybe I should do the cleanse. Maybe that would help my hormones and help me get pregnant. That was an introduction into hormone health. She started educating me on the effects of diet and hormones, and particularly the fats and hormones. I was blown away, because in my mind fat was bad. Fat had to be trimmed away, you could not eat the skin on the chicken, butter was a huge no no. So I had to wrap my mind around this new paradigm. But when I started to eat fat, the change in me physically and mentally was unexplainable. I was calmer, I stopped having painful cycles, my face acne cleared up. My body was screaming thank you for giving me fat! With that physical experience, and that huge change in one food - I did not go and change my entire pantry, I just started adding in healthy fats. It was like my open door down this rabbit hole. It started this amazing journey. I did not get pregnant right away, there was still a lot of work that had to come into play. I had to cleanse my body, decrease inflammation, improve digestion, and reduce stress. I was working as a nurse in a very stressful job. I liked working as a nurse, but at this particular time when I was trying to get pregnant, this job was very stressful. Changing jobs was 50% of me improving my odds of getting pregnant. It took me almost two years to get pregnant but what happened was I did not know I was pregnant. I felt so good, I missed a cycle, and took 10 pregnancy tests, but felt so great I did not believe I was pregnant. I felt amazing! I had no nausea, I could not tell you I was pregnant until I could see a bump and felt movement. My rabbit hole journey continued after that experience and I found a whole new world of foods for preconception, optimizing fertility with nutrition, and that was the beginning. My personal experience was the beginning of the career I am in now.
That is a great story!
How many kids do you have now?
Two kids. I got pregnant with the second one right away. I had my first one at 32 and my second one at age 34, so pretty close together. Truly that is not ideal, there are a lot of nutritional needs that have to be replenished post-pregnancy especially if you are a nursing mom, you have an even higher nutritional need at that time. It is optimal from what I have learned, researched, and from personal experience to give yourself at least 2 years, closer to 3 years between pregnancy.
Last week we talked about healthy fats and how it is a pivotal addition into your diet.
What is another food you would say you were cutting out that you thought was harmful or bad, but it was really helpful? What is something that you decided was okay to eat?
Raw milk. I grew up with skim milk, and I did not know you could drink milk raw. I did not know that was a realistic thing until I started reading about ancestral foods and powerful nutrients. Milk is the perfect food where it has protein and fat and the enzymes to help you digest the lactose. No wonder people cannot digest milk, it does not have the enzymes. I found in my life it was really easy to use raw milk to make a smoothie or even by itself it was very filling. Fats are very satiating or satisfying. They also play a role in balancing the blood sugar. I started eating more eggs, pastured eggs. Eggs not bought in the store, that had been washed, from chickens who had never seen sunlight. I learned it was important to prioritize specific nutrients, so I started connecting with farmers and finding raw milk and grass fed chickens and their eggs with these super orange yolks. These foods seriously calmed my brain, fed my nervous system and hormones, and all the fats in these natural foods is what was so amazing. So I would say raw milk is what caused me to fall back in love with food, real food.
And not being afraid of it. I went through a phase of “I am going to get really fat if I drink this!” Drinking too much obviously will, but being reasonable, it will nourish your body and help you live and thrive instead of this place of, whatever - if I have brain fog or I am tired it is okay. When really we can live above that line. We really should strive for it!
What else would you like to add?
I would like to touch on the ancestral and tribal foods that people used to eat during pregnancy. I have learned that food is not food, going back to the source of it is really important. I want to touch on the work of Weston A. Price. His book on Nutrition and Physical Degeneration was kind of the book that turned me onto the concept of ancestral foods and prioritizing foods for certain wellbeing and function. What Dr. Price found, as a dentist who practiced out of Ohio in the early 1900s, that his patients who were children were all coming in with terrible tooth decay. I think what stirred part of his passion is that he lost a son himself. He decided at that point, he wanted to travel and do this experiment and visit tribes across the globe and around the world and look at their teeth and what they were doing. He went to 12 or 13 tribal groups around the world - Africa, Alaska, and mountainous groups who had never been introduced to modern foods. Modern foods being sugar, refined sugar, and grains, and those foods had never come into these people groups. He found they had perfect teeth, slimy dirty teeth, but not decayed rotten teeth and they had nice wide jaw bones. This is fascinating! He also connected that their heads were round causing their teeth to have enough room to grow. Their eyes were spaced apart which meant their brain had enough room for development. There was an obvious physical difference between the kids in America and the kids in these countries. Their resiliency to life and to disease was exponentially better. And the one difference was the food. I am not demonizing or bad-mouthing missionaries, but they would bring in these sugars and flours, things they thought would help them be more efficient, so they would not have to work so hard. Those foods ended up, by the next generation, causing huge teeth decay. Dr. Price could see the parents, and the grandparents, and then the offspring of these people and it made a huge difference in teeth health, body build, and the younger generations were weaker overall. He studied these groups long enough to see a native diet compared to a modern one and it was fascinating. It was an unofficial study of food and how it affects the body. In my journey, that is what I always come back to, are we meant to be eating these foods? What foods are the human body meant for? And yet, we live in the modern age where you cannot get away from white flour and processed foods, they are here and we have to deal with them. So, how can we optimize and deal with that the best way we can, and how can we improve the function of our overall body and produce healthier offspring and those offspring can produce those offspring?
On a funny note, the egg you were fertilized with was in your grandmother. So the egg you grew out of was not only in your mother but in your grandmother. Your food choices affect generations down the line. That is POWERFUL! Powerful to me. If you can impact the health of your great grandchildren just by the foods you eat right now why would you not invest and do that. You can change the health outcome of your offspring. That is mind-blowing to me!
I have heard that before! It makes me think, let’s put down the McDonalds and pick up the whole foods. That was great, thank you!
If you want to look more into that, the modern way of looking at this is called epigenetics. Dr. Price did this in the 1900s unofficially out of his own curiosity and what he was doing was the study of epigenetics, which is what they are doing now. The premise of that is you can change the outcome of your DNA. What you do, what you eat, how you act, how you exercise, your stress level, those can turn on and off certain DNA switches and therefore, you are not just stuck with “oh it is just my genetics, I cannot do anything about it.” That no longer is an option, it is no longer an excuse. You have the power to change the outcome of your physical health and that of your offspring right now. If you want to look more into that just look into epigenetics and that whole rabbit hole!
You are preaching to the choir here! I listen to a lot of Caroline Leaf’s stuff and she speaks about the brain. She says, that if you are saying to yourself, “my mom had depression, so I am going to have depression.” You are telling your body it is okay to be depressed, you are telling your brain to expect it. You can turn that off. It starts in your mind. You have to start with your thinking and thought pattern and then your food, and everything after that. If you do those little changes, you are eventually going to affect your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren down the line.
Last time we chatted you said that one health routine that you make sure you keep sacred for yourself everyday is to honor your sleep.
When you were pregnant, what is one thing that you did that you think was pivotal and really necessary every day?
Definitely supplementing with fish oil! My supplements were key to filling in the gaps in my food, because our food is not what it should be! You can buy organic and everything, but the soil our food is grown on is nutritionally depleted. You have to supplement to optimize your nutrition stores. So I would say not only during pregnancy, but the key time to improve your nutrient stores is before you get pregnant. Because before you even know you are pregnant you already have development of organs, spinal nerves, and the brain. So I would say, before and during pregnancy supplementing with powerful nutrients, one of which fish oil is probably the most important, is the number one tip I would give you. There are other supplements that rank close to that, but taking fish oil, and a high quality fish oil, is very very important, for nervous system development, heart development, brain development, and things like that when you are pregnant and growing a baby.
If someone wanted to get a hold of you to do a wellness consult or a coaching call, how would they do that?
It is very simple, go to my website vibrantgoddessnutrition.com right on the front page, there is a link to sign up for a free 20 minute consultation and that will help you pick a time and day that works for you and me. We can chat about my services and your health goals, and see if my services are right for you. That is the best way to get started.
I hope you found value in this episode. I want to encourage you as much as you can, to get rid of some processed foods and replace them in your diet with healthy whole-fat foods such as grass fed butter, raw milk, and nuts that are soaked. If you have any questions about those please let me know. If you would like to become a member of my Wellness Team, I would love to add you! We have an amazing team and the knowledge of all these people working together to support everyone is fascinating and was life changing for me. If you are thinking you need a more individualized program or information, you can be part of our Wellness Team but you can also contact Kimlyn Powers. Please go to her website, and not everything is for everybody. Maybe raw milk for you is an inflammatory food, but is great for your kids. Sometimes it is helpful for someone to look at some testing and hormone panels and see where you are at, so you can have the best possible health and live above the wellness line. Praying for great health for you my friends, be well and be blessed.
Products Featured on Today’s Broadcast
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- Fish oil
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