A Guide to Buying Sweeteners

From maple syrup to stevia to raw cane sugar, there are a wide variety of sweeteners out there that may have you questioning what’s best and where to use them. Most sweeteners are made with sugar – a simple carb that is quickly converted into energy and known for giving a quick boost of energy followed by a crash that often leads us seeking out another quick energy source.  Read More

Summer Lovin

 

June marks the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. All things nature are in full swing of growth and the heat of summer starts blessing us for the first time since September last year. Frankly, it’s my favorite time of the year! For most the agendas at work start to slow down, schools are out of session and people begin to take vacations. It’s truly the perfect time to allow yourself time to pull back from the consistent go-go-go and take in nature’s beauty. Which can also means taking your yoga practice outside!

 

I find in the warmer months my yoga practice not only gets outside more, it changes as I find myself outside more doing outdoor activities (walking, biking, swimming, and gardening) and due to the summer heat, I find a vigorous practice/exercise is not what I need as it tends to exhaust me rather than my intent to feel nourished after my exercise, especially while trying to conceive. So if I’m limited on time or energy due to other summer activities my go-to pose is Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana).

 

I chose this pose because it’s a pose that’s a one stop shop, it stretches my shoulders, hamstrings, calves, feet and hands. It strengthens my arms, legs, wrists, belly and muscles along my spine. It energizes my body, mind and often my digestion if it’s stagnant.

 

If you’re new to yoga or this pose you can modify the pose by placing your hands at the wall until you build more strength in your body. Click on hyperlink link above for video instructions of the pose.

 

Lastly, when your body temperature is up from the summer heat or maybe your flushed with anxiety or anger and need some settling in your body and mind. Try out Sitali Breath (cooling breath) below.

 

How to practice Sitali:

• Start seated comfortably with a head, neck and spine in alignment;
• Close your eyes and take a few natural breaths in and out of the nose;
• Make an “O” space with your mouth;
• If you can curl the tongue into itself and stick it out of the mouth (no worries if you cannot, not everyone is able);
• Inhale deeply like drinking through a straw (bring in the cooler air through the tongue as your belly, ribs and chest fill up);
• Exhale completely through the nose, closing the mouth.
• You can practice this for 2-3 minutes. Come back to the natural breath and try again if needed.

 

I hope you’re able to enjoy your summer outside as much as possible. Classes will still be held at the Moon this summer so don’t forget to visit us on the rainy days :)

Need help on your journey? Sign up for a free 20 minutes consult today!

 

Be well,
Diana


Soothing a Sunburn Naturally

The benefits of the sun stretch far and wide – sun exposure is essential not only for vitamin D production but also for hormonal balancing, mood improvement, and even a strong immune system. Read More

What Are Fiddlehead Ferns?

This month, you may start to notice fiddleheads at the farmers’ market. As the name suggests, these green veggies have a curled shape that resembles the top of a fiddle or violin. They are a good source of iron and fiber and make for a striking vegetable dish. Fiddleheads are also an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Read More

How Sitting Can Affect Health

If you work a 9-to-5 job, chances are much of your day is spent sitting – whether during your commute, at your desk, or in meetings. But recent research has highlighted that long periods of sitting can be bad for your health. Read More

Mindfulness and Heart Health

Have you ever been so engaged in something that you love to do that you completely lose track of time? You were so present and attentive to a creative activity that everything else seemed to just fade away. In those moments of authentic joy, you experienced mindfulness. Read More

How to Take a Technology Detox

There are many benefits to using technology – traveling around the world, connecting with loved ones, learning in the classroom, and even saving lives in hospitals! However, like anything else, technology can be overused and even abused. Read More

Fertility Tip Friday - In honor of Endometriosis Awareness Month

 

 

I am extremely empathetic to those women with endometriosis as I used to suffer from pelvic pain, heavy menstrual flow, and at times vomiting and constipation dating back to the age of 12. Although I haven’t been diagnosed with the disease, I’m pretty sure the rupture of my appendix when I was in 3rd grade paved the way for my discomfort around my menstrual cycle.

 

For those reading this and are unsure of what endometriosis is exactly, according to Mayo Clinic, “it is often a painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus – the endometrium – grows outside your uterus. Often times it spreads to the fallopian tubes, ovaries and the ligaments that hold the organs in place which may cause trouble when trying to conceive and cause pain.

 

Many women do not realize that they have it until they are trying to conceive. As it’s hard to diagnose without laparoscopic surgery  which I’ve done and it’s not the greatest experience as you can imagine, but can help clean up scar tissue temporarily which can relieve discomfort and offer a window to try to conceive, but it’s likely to come back if the root cause isn’t found.

 

Also, I believe because so many women are suffering from pelvic pain and PMS symptoms it’s become seen as a cliché to have these symptoms so they are brushed off as normal.

 

The symptoms of endometriosis are typically associated with the menstrual cycle and unique to each woman and may include: Pain during sex, extreme cramps that don’t go away with anti-inflammatories or that impede daily life, bowel and urinary disorders, periods that last longer than seven days, heavy cycle (changing pad or tampon every hour) and nauseas or vomiting. YUCK!

 

Good news! There are ways to decrease symptoms in a non-invasive way FIRST!

 

  • Be mindful. Start to track your symptoms daily: mood, stress levels, diet and exercise to see if there’s a pattern to your pain.
  • Try an elimination diet. Certain foods many be triggering inflammation in your body.  See my co-worker Mia Zarlengo, MS, RDN recommendations here
  • Balancing your hormones. High levels of estrogen is connected to endometriosis. Studies show when estrogen is dominant over progesterone, or progesterone is too low, it can set a woman up for pelvic pain.
  • Seek out a pelvic physical therapist or massage therapist specializing in fertility. Listen to my interview series to learn more about my experience with a pelvic physical therapist Dana Sackar here

 

Do you have or think you have endometriosis and are trying to conceive? Do you want support to help guide you to the root cause of your pain and heal your body?

 

Reach out for a complementary 20 minutes consultation now!

 

Be well,

Diana 

 

 


Fertility Tip Friday! Tips for Boosting Testosterone

 

 

This week’s tip is for the men out there trying to get more healthy and fertile. Typically, the fertility path begins with all the focus on the woman’s health and zero talk about the other 50% of the equation, which in my opinion is inefficient. For example, it wasn’t until I got to the reproductive endocrinologist stage in my fertility journey that my husband was addressed, crazy! Which is why I would like to share a few tips I’ve learn from Dr. Susie Gronski for the guys out there who would like to be sure they are doing their role in creating a healthy baby!

 

Here’s a couple tips to naturally boost your testosterone gentlemen:

 

  1. Establish or maintain a health weight. I’m sure you hear about all the benefits of keeping this in check: improves cardiovascular health and vitality, positively impacts sexual health and function and keeps testosterone levels in check. Excess belly fat can lead to excess estrogen which is said to lower testosterone.
  2. Eat testosterone boosting Diet: crowding out fast food, process food, starchy carbohydrates and sugars with lots of veggies, high quality protein, and healthy fats;
  3. Regular exercise. She recommends high intensity interval training and I would recommend yoga (of course) which tackles the stress, anxiety as well as the exercise component.

 

Need help getting started or wanting to learn more natural boosting tips? Reach out to me here! I’d love to help you get healthier!

Be well,

Diana


Too Smart for Our Own Good?

 
Winter in Chicago is great for hibernating, restoring, and replenishing the body, mind, and spirit after a hot (sorta) summer and fall, but by the time February comes, I’m done with it all and ready to blossom out again! Which is exactly when my husband and I can fortunately leave town and visit one of our favorite countries: Jamaica.

 

If you haven’t visited I strongly suggest it in the Wintertime; less hot and humid. It’s lush and green with colorful vibrant blooming flowers; it’s what I would describe as alive and fertile. I would describe the people just the same – in fact, so welcoming often you’ll here “welcome home” with a big warm smile. One of my favorite signs I came across this trip was “Jamaica makes the world shake”. I can attest as every where you go there’s Reggae music playing and people dancing and/or singing a bit throughout their day – even if they’re doing a job that seems less than desirable.

 

I’m sure you’re thinking, of course they’re nice you’re in the resort area and they are paid to be that way; but the truth is we’ve been to Jamaica 5 times (they call you Jamericans after a couple stays) and gone to a few different areas, including where locals live and hang out and it’s the same! Big warm welcoming smile each time.

 

I don’t know about you, but each time I take a leave I get more clarity about my needs and wants and the world around me. On this visit, I was reminded of my mantras for this year, “Be the Change You Seek” and “Happy, Healthy and Whole”. Which got me thinking, how can Jamaicans be so damn happy, healthy, and whole – when it “appears” they struggle with the basic necessities in certain areas – clean water, sturdy homes, clean clothes, access to vitamins/minerals, doctors, dentists, work long hours, not working at all, lacking variations of healthful foods, certain areas a ton of marijuana smoking, and away from family and friends often.

 

As someone who struggles to conceive a child, I’ve made it my mission to help others get more fertile and am always curious about all things fertility, I decided I would research a bit about Jamaica’s fertility. I was curious to see if their fertility was being jeopardized by their lifestyles. As it turns out, they too have a decline in their fertility, but not primarily being tied to lifestyle issues.


Records showed the most fertile point in their history thus far was in the 1960’s with 6 children per woman to 2.1 in 2017. USA’s most fertile point was in the 1950’s and was 3.7 per woman to 1.01 currently (2018).

 


What was interesting to me was their decline was seemingly a purposeful choice versus the USA’s decline rate of fertility is mostly due to lifestyle choices (what we consume, what we don’t consume, exercise [or lack thereof exercise], career choices, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.).


In the 1970’s, Jamaica’s government launched a nationwide campaign “Two is Better Than Too Many” to try to help the community from continuing to have more children than they can manage to take care of monetarily – trying to avoid further poverty in the communities.


According to a 2016 article in The Jamaican Observer … “increased or improved participation of women in the labour force, increased educational attainment of women, these are just some of the factors that contribute to women delaying having children and also reducing the number of children they have." Which is also a reason the USA’s fertility has declined. Basically, more women working on their education and careers before deciding to have children, if at all. Also, over the last year the government has recommended to holding off getting pregnant due to the Zika virus.


As you can probably relate, I love my life and my lifestyle choices currently, but they haven’t always been great. Nevertheless, those choices got me to where I am now and that’s a pretty great place so I wouldn’t change them.

 


BUT, seeing and reading about how Jamaicans live their lives, I can’t help but think, are we too smart for our own good? Could having too much at our fingertips be a bad thing for our fertility? Too much information? Too many options? Could going back to the simpler ways of living be our ticket back to fertility?

 

I think in some ways it may help us be more happy, healthy and whole!  

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

Reach out to learn more about my mission www.dianazic.com

 

Be well,
Diana


Next Previous