Dress: Off the Shoulder Dotted Dress (maternity and only $88), also love it in black, similar non-maternity version here | Bag: Vagabond Crossbody Bag | Shoes: Leather Mules, old, similar here and here
Last Thanksgiving we were sitting at my friend Steph’s house for their annual Friendsgiving and one of those all too perfect moments happened that led to a conversation that ended up changing my life. The guys had left to go to a nearby bar and the girls stayed home drinking too much wine and babies came up. After mentioning that I was planning on getting off the pill soon, Steph immediately suggested I read Woman Code. She had taken a really natural approach to her first pregnancy and I really admired that about her and was willing to listen to any advice she would share.
I finally bought the book just before the Christmas holiday and dove in. Each day, I’d cozy up to the fire and read another chapter, becoming increasingly excited about the information I was learning. Not only did I feel like I was giving myself the best chance possible of getting pregnant, but it was the first time that I felt like I actually had the knowledge and power to make a real difference in how I felt day to day.
I was immediately hooked and felt this new sense of empowerment and control over my body—something I’d been lacking for years. I don’t know about you, but the last time I really learned anything about how hormones or my body worked was in 8th grade health class, and let’s be real—I don’t remember any of that!
I expected this book to teach me plenty about fertility, but what I wasn’t expecting was how much the book would shape my relationship and partnership with my body and how monumental those changes would be.
It’s hard to know just where to start, but I’ll start with the real reason I decided to read this book in the first place, and you’ve probably already guessed it—because we wanted to have a baby. The overarching theme of the book is to teach you natural ways to preserve and boost your fertility, which is something I was concerned about after being on birth control for ten years. I had no idea if it would be easy or hard for us and I wanted to do everything in my power to make it as easy as possible for us to get pregnant.
In the book, the author, Alisa, outlines her 5-step protocol that teaches you how to naturally balance your hormones with diet and lifestyle to boost your fertility and make it easier to get pregnant. Essentially it teaches you to live in sync and in partnership with your body and hormones. I was clueless to how powerful my hormones were and when I nurtured them and got them balanced, things just clicked. I had no idea that most of my other weird “health issues” like digestive distress, brain fog, fatigue and frequent breakouts could also be directly linked to a hormone imbalance. Sadly, those things had become so normal for me, I assumed it was all part of being a working adult.
Wow, was I wrong. After just a few months of following her protocol, all of my symptoms had drastically improved and my whole outlook on life, work and relationships really changed. I was pretty shocked that I could feel so much better in such a short amount of time. Feeling that good is addicting, and is the reason I kept following her protocol and still do (as best as I can while pregnant) today.
The best part about her protocol is that it’s totally attainable. It doesn’t require you to go on some crazy restrictive diet or pickup an intense workout routine. Instead, it really teaches you to be kind to your body and how to listen to its cues to make the right decisions so that you can feel your best every day. When you honor what your body is telling you, and provide it with what it needs, some seriously awesome things can happen.
It’s not a quick fix though, and Alisa makes that abundantly clear throughout the book. Following her protocol is a shift in how you live, but if you’re like me and have felt sort of (or really) crappy for a long time, it’s well worth it, especially once you start feeling the effects! Not only did following the book’s protocol for 3 months make it possible for us to get pregnant when we wanted to, but it’s also taught me how my unique female body actually functions. I was able to find balance in so many other areas of my life as well, which is truly what has made it so life-changing.
Woman Code got me hooked on safer skincare and taught me about the negative effects that chemicals and toxins in conventional skincare and beauty products have on our bodies. No, my skin isn’t perfect, but knowing that I’m helping my body heal by putting cleaner products on it everyday makes me feel better and it’s definitely improved quite a bit without any prescription medication—woo hoo!! Speaking of cleaner skincare, I’ve received so many questions about safe haircare, and I’m so excited to tell you that Beautycounter just released three new hair care lines—all the details are here! My hair has been feeling especially dry and frizzy lately—maybe due to pregnancy, so I’m ordering the Repair & Nourish Shampoo & Conditioner. The split-end serum is tempting too!
That being said, I’ve had some ups and downs since then, especially during my first trimester when certain foods didn’t sound good (and donuts sounded delicious everyday!). But, I let it slide. Obviously pregnancy has it’s own set of hurdles and I’m doing my best to stick to the protocol when I can, but even if you’re not pregnant, life happens and you can’t expect to be perfect 100% of the time. I aim to eat healthy at least 80% of the time and find that it makes maintaining a healthy hormone balance easy and totally attainable! When certain symptoms start making their way back into my life, I know that I’ve strayed too far. Since I’ve learned to listen to my body, I quickly recognize those symptoms and their causes, which makes it easier to get my hormones re-aligned and back to functioning at their best.
I also mentioned that I didn’t have any morning sickness or rough pregnancy symptoms at all. There was one day where I felt nauseous and one day where I got a headache, but in 24 weeks (today!), I’d say that’s pretty good! I don’t know for sure, but I really do believe that sticking to a healthy diet and working to keep my hormones balanced played a major part in having an easy first and so far second trimester!
So, no, I’m not kidding when I say that this book literally changed my life.
Many of you read my health journey and biggest diet changes posts back in March, and all those changes were spurred by this book. When I wrote that post, I was finishing up my third month of Alisa’s protocol and had already experienced drastic changes in how I felt both physically and mentally and you can totally tell in that story! I received so many heartfelt emails after that and was truly shocked by how many of you were suffering from similar things and still looking for answers. That’s why I wanted to write this post. I really wanted to post it earlier, but was nervous about sharing it too early in our pregnancy and having everyone know what we were up to, ha!
If you’re still looking for answers, thinking about starting a family, or simply curious about how your body works, you need to read this book! I recommend buying the paperback version so you can dog ear pages and make notes along the way. I’ve literally recommended it to my sisters and all my girlfriends, regardless of whether or not they’re experiencing health issues or trying to get pregnant. There’s just so much good information in there and it’s good to be educated, don’t you think?!
On another note, I recently launched my Be Well email series that delivers a boost of encouragement or a wellness or health tip to your inbox every Friday. They’re quick reads aimed to help keep you stay motivated and on track while working to achieve your own goals. You can sign up for the emails here or by clicking the button below!
Hopefully I’ll be seeing you in your inbox on Fridays! And, in the meantime if you have any questions about the book, feel free to leave a comment or email me! I’m always happy to chat more!