Because so many of my patients have been fertility patients this season, most of my books have been focused on hormonal regulation. First it was finally picking up Lisa Hendrickson-Jack’s book. This time it was Nicole Jardim’s Fix Your Period. Fix Your Period is a hands-on, six week program that will take you from morosely menstrual to period positive. And it’s all because Nicole Jardim has been where you are. Featured image and cover photo by Mark Arron Smith from Pexels

Fix Your Period by Nicole Jardim

The slow pace of quarantine life means that there has been a drastic uptick in my reading time.

Pretty much daily, the intern and I will be at the table with our respective pineapple agua freca and black coffee, quietly paging through books.

Mornings are not for talking in the Gustafson household.

Because so many of my patients have been fertility patients this season, most of my books have been focused on hormonal regulation. First it was finally picking up Lisa Hendrickson-Jack’s book. This time it was Nicole Jardim’s Fix Your Period.

Fix Your Period is a hands-on, six week program that will take you from morosely menstrual to period positive. And it’s all because Nicole Jardim has been where you are.

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Friends. I don’t often kill a non-fiction book in two days (too many notes to write.) But the Fifth Vital Sign by Lisa Hendrickson-Jack? I legitimately got hand cramps from the notes I took and I read the whole thing in less than two days. The Fifth Vital sign is now a book I will recommend with the same passion that I evangelize Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler with and for many of the same reasons. Lisa Hendrickson-Jack presents an evidenced-based body of work with over 1,000 scientific references to improve your body literacy and ultimately your health. But that’s not the only reason I love this book. Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels

The Fifth Vital Sign by Lisa Hendrickson-Jack

Friends. I don’t often kill a non-fiction book in two days (too many notes to write.) But the Fifth Vital Sign by Lisa Hendrickson-Jack? I legitimately got hand cramps from the notes I took and I read the whole thing in less than two days.

The Fifth Vital sign is now a book I will recommend with the same passion that I evangelize Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler with and for many of the same reasons.

Lisa Hendrickson-Jack presents an evidenced-based body of work with over 1,000 scientific references to improve your body literacy and ultimately your health.

But that’s not the only reason I love this book.

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October is a season of change and transformation. The days get shorter, the nights get longer and colder. Trees shed their leaves and their skeletal branches are a stark contrast to the pale, cloudy sky. Fall is the season of all things witchy. There has been a recent uptick in the number of people calling themselves witch and I think it’s because there is a call for us to change. People don’t seem to mean that they’re making a theological change to Wiccanism. Rather, they are embracing this power of transformation. “Witchiness” has become synonymous with feminine-power (though not all witches identify as female!). It’s raising up our voices, taking care of ourselves, and yeah, sometimes sage sticks, tarot cards, and crystals. So to celebrate this witchy season I want to share with you some of my favorite books about female empowerment, healing, and transformation. Featured image and cover photo by Spencer Selover from Pexels

Five Witchy Books for Fall

October is a season of change and transformation. The days get shorter, the nights get longer and colder. Trees shed their leaves and their skeletal branches are a stark contrast to the pale, cloudy sky. Fall is the season of all things witchy.

There has been a recent uptick in the number of people calling themselves witch and I think it’s because there is a call for us to change. People don’t seem to mean that they’re making a theological change to Wiccanism. Rather, they are embracing this power of transformation.

“Witchiness” has become synonymous with feminine-power (though not all witches identify as female!). It’s raising up our voices, taking care of ourselves, and yeah, sometimes sage sticks, tarot cards, and crystals.

So to celebrate this witchy season I want to share with you some of my favorite books about female empowerment, healing, and transformation.

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When you work with the seasons and death cycles, you learn that decline is a part of life and it’s usually a healthy part of the process. Trees wouldn’t flourish in the summer if they didn’t rest in the winter, the day doesn’t happen without the night and we wouldn’t continue our reproductive cycle without healthy menstruation. Have you been told your entire life that your period is gross, something you shouldn’t talk about, something shameful or even, sinful? What would happen if you saw it has a healthy sign of ovulation and embraced it as a time of rest? My bet is that it would be life changing and if you’re interested you should definitely read on. Featured image and cover photo by Tyler Lastovich from Pexels

Taming the Red Dragon: Menstruation in Chinese Medicine

When you work with the seasons and death cycles, you learn that decline is a part of life and it’s usually a healthy part of the process. Trees wouldn’t flourish in the summer if they didn’t rest in the winter, the day doesn’t happen without the night and we wouldn’t continue our reproductive cycle without healthy menstruation.

Have you been told your entire life that your period is gross, something you shouldn’t talk about, something shameful or even, sinful?

What would happen if you saw it has a healthy sign of ovulation and embraced it as a time of rest? My bet is that it would be life changing and if you’re interested you should definitely read on.

Featured image and cover photo by Tyler Lastovich from Pexels

Fresh Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Last weekend I was sitting in my mother in law’s house and I found myself craving a cup of red raspberry leaf tea. Sometimes your body just tells you that you need something. One problem: I was in the middle of the woods, half an hour away from a store that might have red raspberry leaf tea.

But I was a five minute walk from a raspberry patch.

I love red raspberry leaf tea in general, but there is something about a fresh tea that is so much more bright and whole. So for today’s blog post I wanted to show you how I made my North Woods fresh Red Raspberry Leaf tea and how you can make some of your own.

Last weekend I was sitting in my mother in law’s house and I found myself craving a cup of red raspberry leaf tea. Sometimes your body just tells you that you need something. One problem: I was in the middle of the woods, half an hour away from a store that might have red raspberry leaf tea.

But I was a five minute walk from a raspberry patch.

I love red raspberry leaf tea in general, but there is something about a fresh tea that is so much more bright and whole. So for today’s blog post I wanted to show you how I made my North Woods fresh Red Raspberry Leaf tea and how you can make some of your own.
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When it comes down to it, boobs really only have one purpose: breastfeeding. That purpose is not (as was once told to me by my favorite five-year old) “to look like we have boobs.” No. It’s to feed babies, for as long as we are willing and able. Breastfeeding is great for both parents and kids. For moms, 2 years of breastfeeding throughout her life is linked to significant decreases in rates of breast cancer. The CDC also reports that breastfeeding reduces the rates of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and ovarian cancer in women. More often we talk about the benefits to our babies. Breastfeeding children significantly reduces the rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), lowers the rates of colds, flus and ear infections, lowers the risk of asthma, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Breast milk is an amazing substance. So when is it safe to stop breastfeeding? What is the best cut off for mom and baby? The answer is more complicated than you may think. Cover photo and featured image by willsantt from Pexels

When to stop breastfeeding

When it comes down to it, boobs really only have one purpose: breastfeeding.

That purpose is not (as was once told to me by my favorite five-year old) “to look like we have boobs.” No. It’s to feed babies, for as long as we are willing and able.

Breastfeeding is great for both parents and kids. For moms, 2 years of breastfeeding throughout her life is linked to significant decreases in rates of breast cancer. The CDC also reports that breastfeeding reduces the rates of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and ovarian cancer in women.

More often we talk about the benefits to our babies. Breastfeeding children significantly reduces the rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), lowers the rates of colds, flus and ear infections, lowers the risk of asthma, obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Breast milk is an amazing substance.

So when is it safe to stop breastfeeding? What is the best cut off for mom and baby? The answer is more complicated than you may think.

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Women’s Water: A Yin Tonic

Yin deficiency signs are pretty clear:

  • flushing face
  • night sweats
  • hot flashes
  • dry throat
  • insomnia
  • racing thoughts when you try to go to bed at night
  • sore back
  • constipation
  • ringing ears/tinnitus
  • dizziness

You know what this sounds like? Menopause. Or for some women, menstruation. Or others just…life.

You see, women are mostly yin. We are yin to the masculine yang. So yin deficiency tends to be a bit more obvious in us. Maybe that’s why in my practice this recipe is the one I tend to recommend the most.

So why is it that this simple tonic can be so helpful for women? Read on.

women's water
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Essential oil safety in pregnancy

Support for patient advocacy has never been higher than it is today.

Never before in my life have I seen patients able to have so much say in their care. This is something that excites me. As a practitioner, I see myself as a partner in care – a guide who has been trained to understand things that patients may have difficulty comprehending. My job is to educate and based off that education, the patient and I can make informed decisions about their care.

But this newfound agency comes at a high cost. The plethora of information available to the consumer is overwhelming and it’s very easy to get caught up in bad and even dangerous information.

One of the complementary medicines that is most effected by this trend is aromatherapy and one of the most vulnerable populations using aromatherapy is pregnant women.

​Pregnant women must be very careful about consumption of foods and beverages, but also topical exposure to and inhalation of natural and unnatural compounds. Here are some general guidelines pregnant women can follow to make sure that the choices they are making are the best for themselves and their babies.

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