Last Saturday I made my way on a ridiculously GORGEOUS Melbourne winter’s morning to the Melbourne Museum to Nat Kringoudis’s Debunking Stress seminar*. I have a few “brain crushes” on people, meaning I kinda have the hots for their brains. Nat’s brain is one I have a total teenage-girl-drawing-love-hearts-and-initials-on-my-notebook crush on. Her mission to spread the message of natural fertility, happy healthy hormones, and stress-less living is one I am totally on board with.
Last year I went to her Debunking Ovulation seminar where I sat with about 40 other women in a room completely riveted by all this mysterious information being imparted to us about how our ovaries actually work; information that got lost after the sexual revolution of the 1960s; information that our grandmothers took completely for granted.
I went to this session because I was desperate to get off the Pill. I had been on and off (mostly on) the Pill for about six years and I had some pretty feral side effects that took me years to realise were caused by this supposedly safe medication: monster mood swings, constant raging anger, itty bitty short fuse, weight gain, boobs blowing out three cup sizes, hair loss twice when I went off it (including last year…still suffering the after effects of that one), breakouts across my face, chest and back…yeah, the Pill which often gets prescribed for hormone problems, CAUSED my hormone problems.
Turns out I’m not alone. SOOOOO many people that I speak to and see posting on Nat’s Facebook page and especially the women in the room with me last year at Debunking Ovulation have experienced similar, and sometimes much worse, problems due to this abuse of and misinformation about the Pill and other synthetic contraceptions.
It has taken me an entire year off the Pill for everything to finally calm down. Lucky for me, I lost about 5kg almost instantly, went from a DD to a B (yes, I see this as a GOOD thing!), and got my period pretty much straight away followed by only three missed cycles – I have friends who haven’t had their periods for months or YEARS. Unlucky for me, I lost about half my hair and had to deal with break outs for a year (preceded by another year of zits while on the Pill) while my angry hormones became happy again.
Too much information?? Not really. Ask most women in their 20s and 30s and with a bit of nosing around, many will open up and say they have experienced similar, or some kind of, woes from synthetic contraceptions – many without knowing that they can be avoided or that the contraceptions are the cause of said woes! Just goes to show how clueless our generation is about something our female ancestors simply knew about: your natural cycle.
By the way, just because I am off the Pill doesn’t mean I want to get pregnant. As Nat says, fertility is not just about babies. If you think of your reproductive system as the most “useless” function of your body, meaning, if it doesn’t work, you won’t die, it is therefore the first thing to switch off when you health is slightly out of whack. Bit stressed, run down, sick, toxic? Ovaries will switch off – they aren’t needed because as IF your body wants to prepare to support and grow another life if it is feeling like it can’t support the functions of one life?!
Think about that one…
Nat has a wealth of information on her website and a bunch of courses and books you can download to learn about your hormones and why they might be cranky. Check her out, go on, develop a brain crush of your own!
In the meantime, here is a modified recipe of one of Nat’s hormone friendly recipes (original recipe here). It is super easy and tasty and has a bunch of good fats and protein which hormones just love to gobble up. Oh and it’s gluten free and organic (if you buy organic ingredients of course…).
Spinach & Ricotta Pie with Carrot & Celeriac Salad
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
2 cups cooked brown rice
40g butter or coconut oil
2 egg yolks
1/2 diced onion (red or brown)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 whole eggs
2 egg whites (reserved from the pie base)
2 bunches of spinach or silverbeet chopped
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
2 carrots julienned or grated
1/2 celeriac julienned or grated
2 tbls chopped parsley
6 tbls olive oil
2 tbls apple cider vinegar
1 tbls dijon or whole grain mustard (you can also use hot English, but only a very small amount ie: the tip of a knife)
salt and pepper to taste
Combine the ingredients of the pie base into a bowl and transfer to a pie dish. Pat down gently to form and even layer and place in a pre-heated moderate (180 degrees) oven for 15 minutes until slightly golden in colour.
Meanwhile, sauté the onion and mushrooms in a frying pan with a tablespoon of coconut oil until soft. Set aside.
In a salad bowl, combine the carrot, celeriac and parsley. Place the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a jar and shake to combine before pouring over the salad. Mix until thoroughly covered with the dressing and set aside.
For the pie filling, mix together the ricotta, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Fold in the onion and mushrooms followed by the spinach or silverbeet – I find this the best order to allow everything to combine well. Pour over the pie base and spread evenly and to the edges. Place in the oven for 20 minutes until the top is browned and the middle of the pie feels springy (if it gives to your finger or feels really wobbly, it needs some more time).
Serve pie hot from the oven with a side of the salad.
- The pie is also great cold and reheats in the oven really well. Cover it with foil to stop it from drying out or burning while reheating. Please don’t microwave it – it will just go limp, watery, and generally a bit gross.
- The salad can last up to 36 hours after being dressed before it starts to get sad so don’t throw out the leftovers! It will also go great accompanying any other protein: chicken, fish, pork, or even in a salad wrap for lunch the next day!
- If you are going to add cooked ingredients to the pie filling, try and let them cool first otherwise the eggs in the mixture will start to cook and go a bit lumpy before it hits the oven. This isn’t essential and won’t ruin you pie, it just helps keep the consistency and prevents the eggs from separating and going watery.
- You can use lemon juice in place of ACV in the salad dressing.
- You can use any extra veggies you like – I just happen to like onion and mushrooms
- Likewise for any herbs or spices – go nuts, this is just a base recipe so you can customise it to your tastes!
- When mixing the pie base, don’t fret if your butter is hard – just chop it up and stir through the freshly cooked (aka hot) rice and it will melt down. Perfect for those who don’t a microwave (like me!).
*Download version of ‘Debunking Stress’ is now available on Nat’s website for pre-order. I thoroughly recommend it!