This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Bridgit Danner. In her own words:
“When you have being trying to get pregnant, and it’s just not happening, it’s very disempowering and frustrating. Bridgit Danner specializes in helping women get pregnant and stay pregnant through a very focused, yet also well-rounded and natural approach.
She understands the body system breakdowns involved in your infertility, as well as the emotional roller coaster that happens. She has helped many couples find healthier habits and a happier mindset, and become parents. Her clients have described her as, ‘open and approachable,’ ‘thorough and holistic’ and ‘exceptionally knowledgable about fertility issues.’
Bridgit also appreciates that there all all kinds of mammas, and she knows that’s a good thing! She is happy to be a busy career mom, who also loves her yoga center, cooks well at home, and gets her sleep! And she loves to help women embrace their lives and who they are NOW on the way to becoming healthy, happy mammas.”
The Slim Is Simple.org Non-Profit Nutrition Education Effort
Jonathan: Hey everyone Jonathan Bailor back with another bonus, Smarter Science of Slim podcast. You know we talk about Smarter Science of Slim, but really we’re talking about the smarter science of just living better. Certainly a part of living better for many of us is enabling other people to live better, specifically miniature versions that are 50% genetically identical to us. But in the modern society some of us struggle with that more than we would expect. So in order for us to live better I wanted to bring today’s guest on because she is super, super passionate about this subject. In fact, she created a resource called ‘Joyful Mammas’ – you can learn more about joyfulmammas.com and she calls helping people with fertility her soul’s work and you can see her passion in her efforts. They are continuous, they have changed her life as they’ve changed other people’s lives. So I wanted to bring her on the show so maybe she could change your life. Bridget Danner with Joyful Mammas welcome to the show! How’re you doing?
Bridget: I’m great! Thanks for having me!
Jonathan: It’s my pleasure, Bridget. Let’s start with your story because I can imagine this subject hits home for you.
Bridget: Well, yeah, yes and no. I actually don’t have a long dramatic story about how long it took me to get pregnant. So I’m kind of coming to the fertility topic a little differently than some may expect. However, I, actually there’s a twist on it.
So I actually got into fertility after going through my own birth of my son and actually a really rough postpartum period for me. Luckily during that period where I was really struggling, I found coaching as a resource and it really opened me up to tools to taking charge of my own life and improving my happiness. Around that same time I was more introduced to holistic nutrition and functional medicine. So you know actually for me this fertility business was imbursed out of my own struggle with being a woman in the postpartum phase, being a working mom and you know juggling a lot of things and my changing hormones. So kind of a different angle but really wanting to just support other women through the process of being a woman and that’s sort of my bumpy road to specializing in fertility.
Jonathan: Funny that you said ‘bumpy road’ when we think about the little baby bump. Your bumpy road to enabling others to have baby bumps.
Jonathan: Well Bridget fertility and more specifically infertility is becoming more and more common issue today. What have you found to be the most common sources of infertility struggles?
Bridget: Well that’s a good question. Well I’ll give you a little overview. In any couple’s case you know there is usually about 33% of the time it’s just a female issue; 33% of the time it’s just a male issue; and 33% of the time both partners are involved. What’s affecting those partners, well one thing that’s changing is that we’re having kids later. Another thing that’s changing is that we’re very busy and under a lot of stress in our society. A third thing that’s changing has been the way we eat and take care of ourselves, it’s changed a lot in the last 100 years. So I would say you know as a global umbrella those are the factors.
Jonathan: So it’s breaking it down, stress, food or let’s say stress, food and drink, and age seems like maybe what we eat and drink is the most flexible of those categories. Like if we’re not going, if you’re like me and my wife we’re not going to have kids for another few years that’s not negotiable because of other things going on. But we can change is what we’re putting into our bodies. So if we were to focus on our stress levels, what we’re eating, what we’re exercising, what could we do in those arenas to maybe enable us to have more success in the future when we want to get pregnant?
Bridget: Yeah that’s a great question you’re right. We can’t change the fact that we’re aging. I’m actually a supporter of having kids when you want to have kids. I like your approach is like let’s just conserve our health so that when we’re ready, if we choose to do that, that our bodies are good to go. So how can we do that? Well, I’m going to start with maybe a different sort of suggestion which is just keeping play and fun a part of your life. So yeah, our rising stress levels are decreasing our sex hormones. So the more that we can stay in pleasure and fun, you know the more, actually the juicer our sex hormones are. So that’s an easy and enjoyable place to start.
Jonathan: Well Bridget I like that too because it is very global. Instead of thinking these 100 tips and tricks you need to do more, if you feel stressed out and rundown it’s probably unlikely that your body is in a position to create life. So if you’re in a state of play and happiness there’s a bunch of global things happening that are positive it sounds like.
Bridget: Yeah exactly, exactly. Our body doesn’t know what our deadlines are about or why we didn’t get a good night’s sleep. It just knows that hmm this doesn’t seem like a good time to reproduce. It’s just under a lot of stress, so, yes to start with keeping youthful in your spirits and your habits.
Jonathan: Okay cool. So we’re youthful in our spirit and our habits, what’s next?
Bridget: Let’s see well I’m going to say getting a good night’s sleep I think is really important too. A lot of healing happens when we’re asleep. Our adrenal glands are rebuilding and resetting and there’s lots of cellular repair happening. So that’s another one that is again enjoyable but sometimes not as easy in this modern life. But I would say getting to bed by 10 P.M., ten is a really key number that’s when, that’s when your body naturally wants to start sleeping and repairing so getting to bed by ten and getting at least eight hours of sleep and sleeping in or taking naps when you can, sleep is a very powerful free resource for us.
Jonathan: Bridget you mentioned these top two items being play and sleep. So can you, can you help with the following? I hear so much that when people are trying to maximize their health, their go-to thing is wake up at 4 A.M., wake up really early, so compromise their sleep to go do some form of aerobic exercise that they hate that stresses them out so they are sleeping less to have a more stressed-out day. It sounds like that’s not the right approach.
Bridget: I would say no. I mean you can get up at 4 A.M. if you went to bed at 8 P.M. and if you’re really getting rested. Some traditions of yoga or Tai Chi waking up early is part of that. But yeah I would think you don’t want your life to be a grind right? If you aren’t having time to work out in an enjoyable way that’s just something to look at you know.
Jonathan: Alright. So we’re playing, we’re sleeping, what are we doing next?
Bridget: Well we can talk about food. Definitely what we eat affects the quality of our sperm and egg. It affects the rhythm of our hormones. It affects our testosterone levels and how we ovulate. So I’m sure you know all about this Jonathan but you want to avoid food that is processed and has a low-nutrient value for sure. I’m just writing an article right now on organic food and especially for men it can be really important because all of those toxins floating around the sperm are very vulnerable.
They’re made almost on the outside of our body, they’re made in very much exposed to our bloodstream and our toxins and nutrients. So keeping, keeping an organic diet which in the olden days was just regular food. Keep having sources of meat and eggs that are really clean and pastured and grass-finished is important. Definitely avoiding all the junk, diet soda and those creamer things you put in coffee.
All those ingredients that you don’t know what they are, are introducing toxins to your body and it’s going to affect, it’s going to oxidize your sperm and egg. So just for starters yeah we want to have real food, whole food diet, with lots of cooking ourselves, with lots of homegrown food from our local area and just avoiding the junk as much as possible.
Jonathan: Bridget what’s the role of fat? Because it is so demonized but Biology and Endocrinology 101 shows us that eating whole food, natural sources of fat, is actually critical to hormone production and maintenance both in men and women. Can you talk a little bit about, and if you disagree, feel free to disagree. But if you agree, please also talk about the importance of natural fat in healthy testosterone, estrogen, yada yada yada.
Bridget: No I totally agree. I totally agree. I was just chatting with a client yesterday who is doing a cleanse put together by a famous cardiologist and it sounds really great, except there is no saturated fat in that. I said, “Well, he’ll come around. He just doesn’t know about that stuff yet.” Saturated fat is really important. Cholesterol makes hormones. So we need cholesterol and our body makes a lot of cholesterol. My ladies trying to get pregnant and men too would say, you know I’d often say, Two tablespoons of pastured butter a day.
Two tablespoons coconut oil a day. Nuts every day. Avocado often. Red meat a few times a week. Yeah in my world I definitely encourage the use of healthy fats. I cook with bacon fat that I save and you only want your bacon from the best source you can. So in short we need those saturated fats for our brain, for our hormones so don’t shy away from fats when you’re trying to get pregnant.
Jonathan: Bridget why is there, to the point of fats are not bad for you; in fact, they’re good for you, there seems to be a bit of a disconnect in terms of a woman when she is pregnant is told by the mainstream to eat one way and then when she is no longer pregnant she is told by the mainstream to eat another way. It would seem that the way to eat to optimize health is the way to eat to optimize health. Why is there a divergence between those two?
Bridget: So what, so you feel like, tell me a little more. So what kind of diet do you hear recommended for someone who is pregnant?
Jonathan: Well in the mainstream for example, a strictly and let’s call it maybe more of a sloppy vegan diet. Just universally avoiding animal foods of all kinds and not really paying attention to what plant foods you’re eating, just not eating animal foods. Which of course any advocate of vegan lifestyle does not advocate that type of lifestyle but when the mainstream talks about just not eating animal products. When you’re pregnant however, there is mention of the importance of fats and the importance of eating red meat but those are almost demonized than when you are not pregnant by the same mainstream. Why the difference?
Bridget: Oh that’s interesting. Yeah I don’t think I have fully picked up on that current. Yeah that’s, maybe there’s a sense that when we’re building a baby we need more of these kind of hearty foods. We definitely when we’re building a baby we definitely need a lot, lot, lot of protein and it’s going to be pretty hard to get that on a vegetarian diet. We need for example, DHA from seafood fat to build your baby’s brain.
It’s actually you know, if you’re listening to this and you’re trying to get pregnant there is one thing I’d love for you to do is have fish oil when you’re trying to get pregnant all through your pregnancy and when you’re breastfeeding, either through wild fish or through a supplement like cod liver oil. So yeah these foods maybe there’s still a sense of we need these foods to build our baby. But yeah you’re absolutely right. When we’re thinking of getting pregnant we need these foods too. These are traditional nourishing foods that these kind of rich foods have been used as fertility foods for thousands of years.
Seafood’s and liver and butter have been traditional fertility foods. Yes in any stage of our life these things are important. Even when we’re getting older these are still important. Once you’re looking at menopause do you still need healthy fats to build hormones? Yeah you need them even more. At any stage of your life we certainly need these rich, nutritious foods. To me, there’s never a stage that you don’t that’s I, that’s coming to mind right now.
Jonathan: Bridget I love that you said, Maybe the thought is well when we’re building a baby, we need X,Y,Z because I wonder if we pop that up and we just say when, to build people, because our body is constantly rebuilding itself. We go through muscle protein synthesis. Our cells regenerate. We’re always, even the guys out there. We’re always building a person. It might just be ourself most of the time. So it seems like there’s just one good way to eat that enables humans to develop and that this false dichotomy might just be that. This false dichotomy between when to eat when you’re building a small person and when to eat when you’re building yourself.
Bridget: Yeah. I totally agree and I’ll tell you my little secret about my fertility business is I’m teaching all this about fertility but really anyone could use it. It all applies. I just take it to the angle of Why does this help my egg quality? Why does this help me build sperm? But yeah this is building you in all sorts of ways in your body. You know just for, we all need a little bit of a different diet than each other but the main building blocks are generally the same for everybody.
Jonathan: Well helping people on a global level is certainly something I want to salute you for. I think that’s lovely and wonderful. We all need more of that. So, thank you and what’s next for you, Bridget?
Bridget: Well let’s see. I can tell you something’s going on in our Joyful Mammas world. I have a tele-summit coming up in late October on the subject of fertility. We’ll have 15 different speakers and it’s a free event. So if that is of interest to you, you can join our newsletter it’s on the main page of our website at joyfulmammas.com. It’s J-O-Y-F-U-L-M-A-M-M-A-S. So, that will be coming up and you’ll hear about that. We have a cleanse coming up in the fall. I have my own radio show that we do only once a month right now but it’s about to be on iTunes and it’s on Blog Talk Radio. So I announce the newest show. So yeah if you’re in a stage of your life where you’re thinking of getting pregnant down the road or it’s getting a little closer or you’re in the process and you’d like some more information on how to do that healthfully and successfully I’d love for you to hop over and check out our site and join the newsletter that’s really where you stay the most informed about what’s going on in our world.
Jonathan: I love it. Well thank you for bringing your passion to the public Bridget. We always need people out there doing good. So again, her name is Bridget Danner. You can learn more about her at joyfulmammas.com. Bridget, it’s been a pleasure thank you so much.
Bridget: Oh thank you.
Jonathan: Listeners I hope you enjoyed today’s conversation as much as I did and please remember this week and every week after, eat smarter, exercise smarter, and live better. Chat with you soon.
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