A brand new, amazing guest post by one of my Fall 2015 apprentices Melanie Haraldson. She went off the pill and didn’t look back. Here, she describes her lessons and tips from her experience. 

I went off the pill for the first time shortly before I graduated college 10 years ago. Not long after I stopped taking the pill my skin broke out in horrible cystic acne. I felt so much shame when I looked in the mirror and all I wanted to do was hide my face.

I started doing research on ways to begin to heal my skin. First, I tried different food theories to understand what worked best for my body. I eliminated dairy and sugar from my diet and began to see a big difference.

While my skin started improving, I was still having consistent breakouts, so I went back to what I knew best, and got back on the pill…and yes my skin cleared up!

Fast forward 6 years later – still on the pill – getting married in 6 months – wanting to get off the pill, but completely terrified that my skin would break out as it did before, and would be a mess during my wedding.

As the universe would have it – Nicole Jardim was magically brought into my life, and in more ways then one has completely changed my life. I ended up getting off the pill a little more than a year ago. It blows me away to say this, but my skin was completely flawless at my wedding. I truly believe wholeheartedly that because of proper nutrition, targeted supplementation, detoxification and managing the stress in my life I was able to bring my hormones back into balance, and most importantly my period without going back on the pill. NEVER AGAIN!

My greatest lesson: My body is my greatest teacher.

For the longest time I was so afraid to really face what was going on in my body. I knew my acne was hormonal, but I didn’t know how to address it, so I went to what I believe was an easy fix (the pill) – as many women do for a number of period-related problems.

Getting off the pill is as easy as that. You quit. But your body needs time to recover and heal from the pill.

Here are a few things that helped me come off the pill and balance my hormones:

  1. Eating a whole food, nutrient dense diet, including darky leafy green vegetables, healthy fat and protein such as avocado, wild caught salmon, grass-fed butter, nuts and seeds, coconut oil, and probiotic-rich foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut.
  1. Natural supplementation:
    • B-Complex, one of the key sets of nutrients depleted by the pill. These vitamins are incredibly important for overall and reproductive health.
    • Omega 3’s – highly recommend adding in a good quality fish oil daily. I have been using Rosita Real Foods Cod Liver Oil – it’s tough to get down, but chase it with lemon water and you are good to go. I can’t say I am in love with it, but I am in love with the results.
    • Vitamin D helps to regulate your immune and hormonal function.
    • Vitex Berry – this herb promotes and has been shown to regulate ovulation. It has been shown to be very effective, but can take time to achieve desired results. Important note: Vitex is not for everyone, and I recommend seeking out the advice of a trained herbalist for the correct dosage for your particular needs.
    • Probiotics – In case you didn’t know, taking the pill for an extended period of time can really mess with your gut flora, so a good probiotic can be incredibly important to help heal your gut.
  1. Detoxification – something else that has been incredibly beneficial to regulating my hormones has been seasonal food-based detoxes. Ridding the body of toxins through a detoxification plan is an essential tool in natural medicine because of its relative simplicity, low cost and effective therapeutic results.

The body continuously detoxifies itself naturally, but when this mechanism is overloaded, the process becomes less efficient and symptoms like allergies, PMS, indigestion, headaches or skin problems may occur. It’s important that our bodies eliminate these toxins quickly and efficiently. That’s why it’s a good habit to do some type of detox a few times a year. I have seen incredible results in my own health through seasonal detoxes, as well as my clients.

The best changes are the ones that are cultivated over time. Don’t expect a brand new body over night. We are all healthy inside. It’s just a matter of how well we’ve covered it up overs the years. This will often determine how quickly we see changes.

It’s important to remember that less is more. When we’re busy or stressed, sometimes slowing down and doing less can be more potent. There are many ways to nourish ourselves, including the often-overlooked practice of non-doing. We can nourish ourselves by cooking a simple meal, practicing yoga, taking a warm bath, going for a relaxing walk or by simply sitting in meditation.

The most important part is to move forward with a clear intention, priorities and goals. Life is beautiful. Don’t forget to stop and notice. Now is when everything happens!

Michelle Lawson Photography-86

Melanie Haraldson is a RYT-500 Yoga Teacher and Holistic Health Coach. Melanie trained under Nicole in the 2015 Fix Your Period Apprenticeship and is currently completing certification as a Women’s Holistic Health and Functional Nutrition Coach through the Integrative Women’s Health Institute. You can find her at www.melanieharaldson.com.