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Melissa Mishler
Health Coach, Pharmacist, Home Cook
 Bucks County, PA


Supporting Your Journey to Create a Balanced Lifestyle 
Through Nutrition, Healthy Cooking & Healthy Living


HEALTH IS A  JOURNEY NOT A DESTINATION!

Welcome to Wholistic Melissa!

I'm so glad you are here...

Being here means you are taking a step in a healthier direction.  

Have you often thought about what a HEALTHIER YOU might look or feel like?  Maybe you're sleeping better, eating more nutritious foods, are more energetic and happier in your own body.  

Maybe you have read countless articles on nutrition and wellness and would like someone to help you sift through all of the information.

Have you tried dieting or counting calories without much success or only to "fall off the wagon"? 

Have you wished there was someone that could point you in the direction of wellness?  

What if I told you that by WORKING TOGETHER, we will explore basic improvements and implement gradual changes to improve your overall health.  We WON'T restrict food or count calories, but we WILL discover what foods nourish your body and make you feel your best, inside and out.  

As your health and wellness expert I will help you rewrite your story. Together we will find a healthy lifestyle that is best suited for you.  

If you are ready to take these steps towards your wellness journey, I encourage you to explore everything I have to offer.  I have something for everyone, whether you are just starting out or need to connect all of the nutrition dots you have already discovered.  I invite you to commit to becoming the healthiest version of you!



Wholisitc Melissa
It's rare for anyone to get an hour to explore their wellness goals with a trained professional.  As your Health & Wellness Coach I create a supportive space that enables you to articulate and achieve your goals. 

SIGN UP FOR A FREE 1 - HOUR ONE-ON-ONE CONSULTATION TODAY!

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What Now? Hormones

If your like me, you've researched and read and read some more, and thought, ok, now what?

Not only does it feel daunting, but...

What do you do first?

What will make the most impact?

Is what I'm doing right?

How long before you know what to do next?



When I began my personal journey after reading Woman Code, I dove in head first. I drove my family crazy! 

I cycle synced my food.

I did a round of Whole30.

I went dairy free for a week then broke down and ate yogurt and got so sick!

I went on a rampage about our cleaning products and skin and hair care products.

I literally tried to do everything ALL AT ONCE.

This was not a good plan, because it was difficult to sustain and and I failed, A LOT. 



estrogen

Most often when we think of hormone imbalance we think of an estrogen dominant state. There are several hormones in our body that play a vital role in hormonal homeostasis, but estrogen dysfunction seems to play a large part in issues so many women face today. However, as you can see, symptoms of estrogen dominance definitely mimick other imblances in our bodies, making it even trickier to parse out. 

But, I will just focus on hormones for now. 

When it comes to our hormones there are numerous factors that affect our ability to maintain a healthy balance. 

-genetics
-stress
-sleep
-diet
-lifestyle
-environment
-beauty products
-household products
-alcohol
-caffeine
-adrenal function
-exercise

Imagine taking this list one day and deciding it's all going to change. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE THAT OPTIMISM, especially if you have some not so healthy habits holding you back. However, like I said before, it's not going to be sustainable for you if you feel like you are in a tidal wave of change. 

For me, it was easiest and most effective to work on what I put into my body. Looking back on it, I defeinitely had an intoxicated approach, weaving back and forth trying to get it right

What helped me the most was figuring out how food affected me.

I began cutting out big things like gluten, dairy and sugar (the three biggest hormone disruptors). I was so naieve that I had to read EVERY SINGLE LABEL, EVERY SINGLE TIME I purchased something new. I quickly learned that processed foods (the stuff in a package) were not for me. The more whole food I consumed, the easier it was and the better I felt. I realized that I wasn't the 'cleanse' or elmination type of person either. I needed to eat, otherwise I would leave the cleanse and binge on whatever I could find. 

Removing foods and food products from your lifestyle that are harming your body on a hormonal and cellular level every day, will not only help you stave off chronic diseases, it will also help you FEEL BETTER

For me, this also meant taking a hard look at how much alcohol and caffeine I consumed. Both of these substances were key in gaining control over all three areas I was struggling with (hormones, IBS and adrenal fatigue)

Alcohol has an insane effect on our hormones, including insulin, and the effects in women last twice as long as in men. Meaning, when we overdo it, we are left reaping the negative effects (blood sugar disregulation, cravings, fatigue, bloating) for days. 

Caffeine, just like alcohol, can disrupt our hormone balance by blocking the absorption of key nutrients that help make our hormones and it can also cause cysts to form in our breasts and ovaries. And, just like alcohol, women metabolize caffeine slower than men, so it's effects are sustained for longer periods of time. 

I don't know about you, but when I read all of this, I took a sharp turn towards detox town. Was it easy, hell no. Was it worth it, hell yes. 



Lucky for us, so many amazing companies have emerged over the past couple of years that make it easier (albiet more expensive) to choose better foods and food products. 

Some of my favorites are:
Primal Kitchen
Vital Proteins
Tessemae's
Steve's Paleo Goods
Applegate
Amy's 
Purely Elizabeth
Sir Kensington's
Chosen Foods
Jovial Foods
Woodstock Foods
Organic Valley
Califia Farms
Vital Farms
Siete Foods
CoYo Yogurt
RxBar
Epic

You can also begin by looking for this symbol when you shop:

non-gmo-project
When you see this symbol on a product, you know it's also organic per the labeling requirements. So it's a double win!

Remember, the way food is grown, raised and fed has just as much effect on OUR bodies as it does the plant or animal's bodies and our environment!

If you're really interested in learning more, check out this article I wrote. It breaks down the whole organic, non-GMO thing for you!



The next big thing I tackled was changing my household and beauty products, because what we spray in our house and put on our skin is JUST as important as what we put into our bodies. 

Environmentally speaking, we are exposed to thousands of hormone disrupting (estrogen mimicking) chemicals every day. 

These chemicals wreak havoc on adult bodies and are even more disruptive to developing children's bodies. Numerous studies and statistics show a definitive connection between these hazardous substances and asthma, diabetes, obesity, autism, arthritis, menthal health, digestive and skin disorders, allergies (food and environmental), and even cancer. 

The importance of changing the way we view these products isn't just for the sake of our environment's health, it's for the sake of our health and our family's health. 

Seriously Melissa? 

I know, I'm sorry to be such a bummer, but if you think about it, every one of you knows a child (or has a child) that has one of the issues I mentioned above. 

SO! Start small like I did and change the products you use most; your detergent, dryer sheets, surface cleaners.

I personally like to use the EWGs Healthy Living App or the Think Dirty App. These allow me to search the products I use to determine their safety.

Eventually you can tackle your beauty products. From soap to shampoo to face cream, it all matters. 

Today I shared my favorite deodorant, Nfuse, via IG and FB (don't forget to hop onto INSTAGRAM for the giveaway!). I have a drawer full of products as proof of my never ending search for the one that works for me! So, when I'm ready to share, it's because it's been road tested and researched! 

*The lovely women at Nfuse, Ann & Emily, are offering my readers 10% off of their online purchases through January 1st by using the code, 'wholistic10' at checkout. PLUS, you'll get free shipping when you order two or more bottles!*

If you think about the positive impact on your hormone balance by changing something you literally do EVERY DAY, like applying deodorant, it seems to be so simple. 

And, that's because it is.

It's simple because when you make small changes, eventually the sum will be greater than the parts and you will be feeling better on so many levels. 



The very last pieces of my hormonal puzzle were found at my holisitc practioners office. I wanted to be able to turn to someone who wasn't me for some final answers. 

Supplements have been a key part of this journey as well. Lab work and conversations have allowed us to tailor an approach that is right for my body. 

And, if you have been following my Instagram story this week, you'll know that I finally embarked on my meditation journey too. I can eat kale alllll day every day, but find it so hard to intentionally disconnect and go to my happy place (other than sleeping). 

If you've been thinking about adding meditation to your life, join me this week! I'll be checking in on my IG story daily. Maybe we can even keep it going through the holidays!



One final thought for you as we head into the CRAZIEST (and most wonderful) time of the year. 

We need to find OUR balance. 

I know I post all about health and wellness and what healthy things I'm cooking or eating, but there's a reality that exists beyond social media.

We are not here for perfection, but for progress. 

Be kind and be true. 

Be you.

Until next time, (which might be after Thanksgiving).

Be Well,
Melissa

P.S.

I can work with you to help you find your balance.

Email me. 

Let's get the conversation started. 

wholisticmelissa@verizon.net


My Why: Adrenal Fatigue

Hello and Happy Friday! 

I still can't believe the positive responses and feedback I've received over the past couple of weeks. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to share my story with you!



This weeks' topic is kind of a culmination of everything I've discussed so far. 

I've pointed out before that not one system in our body, (hormonal or chemical) works autonomously. Which makes our bodies an amazing wonderment but also a hot mess sometimes!



After years of struggling with hormones and IBS I hit a giant wall in my mid-thirties. 

Here's how it all went down (hind sight is truly 20/20)

I had spent a better portion of my early thirties trying to attain and maintain what I thought was my "ideal weight" (especially after having my last baby at 31). As it turns out, what worked for me in my twenties surely wasn't working in my thirties and was a detriment more than I realized. Also, I had a pretty crappy body image and had my expectations all in a bunch. 

During this time, I spent a good year using a food diary app (which I will not name, because I don't want to get all negative Nancy on companies that actually do good for people).  I set the most unreasonable limit of 1200 calories per day and worked tirelessly to stay within those parameters. I tracked every meal, snack, bite, "cheat" and drink down to the calorie.

The trouble was, not only was I under eating and lacking key nutrients, I was also over exercising (6 days a week), addicted to coffee (3-4 cups a day), suffering from major anxiety,  and binge eating/drinking on weekends because my body was starving (on so many levels!).

My body and brain didn't know WTH to make of the conditions I had it working under.

I spent many nights staring at the fridge looking for ways to feed my exhaustion and quiet my anxiety. It was usually binging on almond butter or ice cream or both! 

In August of 2014 I stopped working (out of the house) and by November I was sitting in my family doctor's office getting my blood drawn because I felt so awful. 

I wanted answers as to why I couldn't wake up in the morning. I don't mean the typical Monday morning, ugh I don't want to work today feeling. What I felt was so physical and chemical that my arms and hands were literally numb when I woke up, because my brain thought I should still be asleep, it was actually kind of scary. Oh and yes, I would get that crash and burn in the afternoon, only to rebound around 7 or 8pm like I was ready to party!

I had literally torched the candle on both ends.

But, guess what? My blood work was PERFECT...according to my doctor. My thyroid function was fine, my white blood cell count was great and my iron was good

So, you know what she said?

Have you considered going on an anti-depressant?

My face: poker. My brain: was screaming, are you flipping kidding me!!!!

Here I was thinking I was going to gain a little insight as to what was going on with my body, but instead was offered a prescription. If you read my last two posts, you know that medications had been tried and tried again since my twenties, with no success.

BUT, when the answers you're seeking aren't coming from a pill bottle, what do you do?

I left the office that day without a prescription and a lot of questions.

I spent the next 2 years seeking information. I saw one physician who sent me away with rough instructions on an elmination diet.
The first three days of which were a bone broth cleanse (at that time I was like a who in the what now cleanse?), followed by eating certain foods for a period of time. TODAY, I totally get it, but THEN, I didn't have the capacity nor the proper information to properly follow through (insert your health coach, me, here!)

Eventually, I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition after reading my holy grail, Woman Code (the author is a graduate of IIN), and began my deep dive into how food affects our body. 

I was amazed at the how the dots began to connect; from changes on a cellular level to immune system reactions to chronic imflammation. 

My tipping point, which brough me to the adrenal fatigue diagnosis, was when I could no longer function and manage on any level. 

When standing made me dizzy. 

When I would wake up at 2am EVERY night unable to fall back asleep.

When I was trying to start my business but felt like, "how can I be this great sharer of all things heathly, when I myself feel so terrible?".

My first phone call.

Was acutally to a bioidentical hormone physician. I was desperate. I wanted so bad to just fix it. I thought that considering my hormone history, this was the answer. I didn't care how much it cost or what the risks were, I just wanted to feel better. 
 
However, I knew in my heart this wasn't the right choice for me. I didn't want to feel so clinical in my approach to my body and knew there had to be a better way, FOR ME. 

My second phone call.

Was about 1 year ago now, to a holistic physician

AH-HA

As it turns out, I was doing everything right that I had in my power to do. 

What I didn't have was access to was someone who knew to look beneath the surface.

Through blood tests and conversations, we unearthed adrenal fatigue, vitamin D deficiency (so common but so detrimental for hormone synthesis and production) and B12 deficiency

Which connected the dots to my hormone imbalances too.

We also chatted about my life, kids, relationships, work, food, menstrual cycles, sex, you name it. We also talked about solutions. Some that come in supplement form and some that I have to manifest throughtout my day.
 
I have left her office each time so EMPOWERED. More than I every thought was possible, feeling the way I did.



It's been a year since my first visit. 

A long year.

But, I feel good

I feel like I have regained control of my body. 

I also know that I need to be kind to myself, love MY body, be more mindful and live each day with as much intention as a mom, with 3 kids, a dog, a hubby (that sometimes acts like a kid) and a new business can. 

I'm excited for my journey now. Even more so because I can SHARE this with you and hopefully creat a ripple effect. 

Thank you once again for reading!



Feel like I've left you with a lot of story and not a whole lotta solutions? 

Don't worry, I got you!

Starting next week, I will post a follow up for each story so far, entitled; Now What? 

I'll give you a sneak peek into my daily routine and what has helped me over my many humps! 

Stay tuned for special colaborations and giveaways via Instagram too! 

Enjoy your weekend and as always, thank you for your support!

Be Well,
Melissa








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