1. Tell us your story. What inspired you to become a health coach and focus on treating hormonal imbalance and fertility?
My story with infertility started over 7 years ago when I got married and started trying for my first. After months and months of trying and nothing happening, we thought something might be wrong and went to see our doctor. Long story short and after many tests and procedures we finally got the diagnosis of “unexplained infertility”.
This was heartbreaking, since from the time I was a little girl, I wanted nothing more than to be a mom and have a large family. I continued down the western medical route and was approaching advanced maternal age, which no young 35-year-old woman wants to hear. This is when my fertility clinic recommended IUI and if that didn’t work, IVF. I knew that since nothing was medically wrong for me, there shouldn’t be a reason why I wasn’t getting pregnant and I was going to figure out why.
That is when the researcher in me came out. I read and researched everything on ways to naturally boost my fertility and balance my hormones, from eating a fertility friendly diet to the exercise I was doing and the products I was using. If I thought it could positively or negatively affect my fertility in any way, I was going to figure out a way to add it in or take it out.
Over the next six months I got super intentional. I put my mind and my body on fertility duty, and I didn’t sway in the least. I had my eye on a prize and that was my future baby, my future family, my dream, my world. I began eating specifically for fertility, I cut WAY back on my exercise and only did things to support and pamper my body, not stress it out. Speaking of stress, I made sure to take anything out of my life that didn’t serve me and only do things to lift me up. I focused my mind on things I could control and didn’t let any negativity seep in. It was truly a magical and special time in my life and to this day has changed me for the better.
I knew in 6 months, IUI and IVF would be there if I needed them, but for now, I chose to focus on me and how to boost my fertility and balance my hormones naturally. So, I bet you are all wondering how this story ends…. After about 6 months and at 36 years old, I was able to get pregnant naturally and that pregnancy is now my 7-year-old little boy. Once I figured out how to do this and my body decided to cooperate, I was able to get pregnant again and had my second at 40 years old.
2. What is the Hormone Puzzle Society and how did you create the Hormone P.U.Z.Z.L.E. Method?
After struggling with “unexplained infertility” and figuring out how to reverse it and get pregnant not once, but twice, I wanted to teach others how I was able to do this and help them from suffering the way I did. I wanted to think of an easy way to remember all the steps I took to put my hormone puzzle back together, and the Hormone P.U.Z.Z.L.E Method was born. Once I began working with women all around the world, I felt like I was leading this really amazing club, and as my friends at Fertility Rally call it, “the worst club with the best members”.
Thus, the Hormone Puzzle society was formed. This is a women’s health hub for fertility, hormones and coaching. The society helps provide education, support, community and tons of fun during a season of a woman’s life that, let’s face it, is just not a lot of fun!
3. What are the benefits of holistic treatment and how does it differ from traditional medication?
Holistic treatment looks at the entire person and tries to get to the root cause of the symptom in order to heal and eliminate it. That includes hormone imbalance and fertility. In western medicine, they treat the symptoms with prescriptions and/or procedures. In holistic, integrative medicine, we want you to heal from within so your body and mind operate naturally. This promotes homeostasis (balance) in the body and frees it from illness and disease. It’s truly a wonderful concept.
4. Tell us about the different parts of the P.U.Z.Z.L.E. method and how they can impact hormonal health.
The hormone P.U.Z.Z.L.E stands for P- proper, whole food nutrition, U- Understanding supplements, Z- Zapping Stress, Z – zzzzz’s (sleep), L- Love and Encouragement, and E- Exercise and Environment. These are all the pieces I took to put my own hormone puzzle back together, and it’s what I use with all my clients. They bring balance into the body and optimize health.
5. As a former professional fitness trainer, how can exercise impact hormonal health and fertility?
Exercise is so very important to our health, but overexercise can cause the opposite effect. Too much exercise causes the adrenal glands to be taxed, and your body goes into fight or flight response. Cortisol goes up and sex hormone production is shut down.
So how do you exercise properly to keep your fertility and hormones happy? You cycle sync your exercise. This is a functional medicine concept where you partner the phases of your monthly cycle with your exercise program. You turn up the intensity when your hormones are high, like in the follicular and ovulation phases, but do more low, slow and restorative movements during the luteal phase and your period week. Listen to your body and flow with it instead of pushing against it.
6. Explain cycle syncing and how can it help us balance our hormones.
Cycle Syncing also works with food, social and work life as well as your fitness. By using this functional medicine concept, you are giving your body food to make the hormones it needs. For example, you can eat more protein during your period to boost amino acids, or more vitamin A from beets to help your liver process estrogen.
This also works at the end of your cycle by eating foods that naturally detox you such as celery, lemons, and fiber rich foods. Using your hormones for your work and social life will also benefit you because your hormones control all the processes in your body. There will naturally be times in the month that you feel more social and times when you will do more self-reflection. Listen to your body and give it what it needs based on where your hormones are. At first, this may seem very overwhelming, but once you begin this practice, it becomes second nature and part of your lifestyle.
7. What was your journey with infertility like? What is something you wish you knew before?
My journey with infertility wasn’t as long as some, but for me 2 years felt like 2 million years. Every day I didn’t get pregnant, every month I got a negative test, or my period came. It was heartbreaking, devastating and earth shattering but I wasn’t broken, and I wasn’t giving up. I fought my way to my most fertile self.
I wish I had known that things I thought were healthy were actually not so healthy, like my low-fat diet and militant exercise to be skinny “healthy”. I wish I had listened to my body to give it what it needs.
8. What inspired you to launch a podcast and why do you think it is important to normalize conversations surrounding reproductive health?
I launched my podcast because this had been something that had been on my heart for many years. When I started my journey 7 years ago, nobody was talking about this and there weren’t social media, podcasts and IG accounts like there are now. My journey was very lonely, isolating and not very much fun.
I want my experience with infertility not to be in vain. I want to create a platform for change where it is acceptable to talk about all things related to fertility and women’s health. We as women should have access to this information and it should be accepted and praised to talk about it. I hope this podcast brings education, inspiration, hope and a little bit of fun to a time in most women’s lives that is anything but fun.
Thank you for having me. If anyone reading this wants more information about my programs or I, please visit my website at www.coachkela.com. Check out our newest project, The Hormone P.U.Z.Z.L.E membership. A monthly membership program for education, inspiration, and lots of fun!
Love and Health,