healthy living

EliteFTS: How to Be a Healthy Competitor

Competing places a huge toll on the human body - and sometimes it can get out of hand. As a result, one 'thing' can go astray - like digestion or sleep - and in turn, this causes a chain reaction. Suddenly, your entire system is in meltdown mode.

Instead of getting to this point, it is important to focus on being proactive instead of reactive in the way you treat your body. The best way to do this is to maintain your body’s foundation.

You can’t manipulate or enhance something that isn’t there. Build your foundation first, and continue to manage it in order to help mitigate the risks associated with performance.

Read the full write up here.

 

EliteFTS: Menstrual Cycle Myths

Menstrual myth busting with the help of @elitefts. I’m so grateful to @underthebar and EliteFTS for providing me with a platform to talk about one of the biggest barriers to women’s health.

It’s easy to blame “stupid” coaches for manipulating women’s hormones, or point the finger at #fitchicks for perpetuating nothing more than rubbish rumours about periods and PCOS. Getting to the root of the problem is the hard part.

Overtime numerous myths and misconceptions have shaped our knowledge and understanding about women – their health, hormones and lives. Today, these myths continue to linger within most aspects of society, including medicine, science, and fitness. Although I'd like to believe that the cute infographics posted by the #fitfam are done with good intentions, the truth is, often these do more harm by continuing to produce, reproduce, and magnify not just bad - but wrong information, about women's health.

For the last two decades, there has been an epidemic of hormonal disturbances within women’s life cycles. Oral contraceptives use, enivornmental toxins, eating or training too much or too little, layering stress on more stress, and A LOT of other variables and triggers are contributing to this. My goal is never to simplify the situation or reduce it to any one factor. The body is really, really complicated and there are no easy or unified solutions. It always must come down to the individual in question. It should always be about her. Her body, her health, her life in context today, years past and those still to come.

With that being said, we must start recognizing that when it comes to women's hormones and menstrual cycles, there is a lot that we think we know, don't know and may never know.

Breaking down myths, speaking to the knowledge gap, and critically thinking about the information you read and receive will go a long way in helping to improve the current state of women's health. Blissful, willful and reckless ignorance won’t help the situation, or the women affected by it. Get informed, get critical, and let's start building knowledge by breaking myths.

Check out the write up: https://www.elitefts.com/educa…/watch-menstrual-cycle-myths/

 

                                         

 

Ask Me Anything E5: Why blood work is more complicated than you think

Finally another episode of Ask Me Anything.

For the fourth episode, I tackle a question about ‘normal’ values for blood work. Ultimately, this was a really personal question about an individual’s own lab work, so I took it as an opportunity to talk about some really important aspects of blood work that often don't get discussed.

In a nutshell, I cover three main sub-topics:

  1. A broad discussion of the various internal and external factors that influence blood work
  2. Getting labs and why it’s important to be critical of the analysis process
  3. What do the results actually mean, and the power of creating personalized data

 

 


Want the quick notes version?


It’s complicated.


I fully support individuals taking an active role in understanding and managing their own health state, and the importance of working with health practitioner(s) to do so. I don’t support DIY lab analysis, conventional medicines use of testing as a singular, static and completely depersonalized diagnostic tool, and the overall ignorance towards the multitude of other crucial internal and external variables that must be accounted for, explored and discussed.

Blood work should not be the judge, jury and executioner.

It should be one of many tools used to examine an individual’s health state. Additional methods should be used in conjunction with bloodwork, such as tracking and applying other markers of biofeedback, and then looking at everything in individual context. Building personal data is how you can begin to build a healthier and sustainable body from the inside and out.


If you like what you see - feel free to share and comment below. Want me to cover a topic or quesiton a video? Please shoot me a message. 


Video by: Alora Griffiths
aloragriffiths.foliodrop.com
FB: Alora Griffiths
IG: @aloragriffiths

 

 

Ask Me Anything E3: Women & Hair Loss

Ask Me Anything

Internal and External Variables for Female Hair Loss (including androgen use)

From hats to hormones, seasonal changes to genetics, there are a lot of internal and external variables that make this topic a complicated one!

To get to the root of female hair loss, within the video I talk about →

  • Why hair loss is more than just about androgens 
  • The multi-factorial basis of hair loss
  • Internal & external variables that contribute to hair loss including
  • Some factors that aren't often get considered
  • My own experience with PCOS, hair loss, and frustrations with physicians
  • Androgenic alopecia (AA), PCOS & anabolic-androgenic hormones
  • The combination effect: managing individual precursors & variables for AA
  • Various treatment routes for AA
  • Why knowing the ingredients of your hair products matters
  • PEDs and their influence on hair loss

 

If you like what you see, feel free to share. If you have any questions you'd like me to cover please feel free to shoot me a message.

Video Location: Android Bodies
www.androidbodies.ca
FB: Android Bodies Inc.
IG: @androidbodies

Video by: Alora Griffiths
aloragriffiths.foliodrop.com
FB: Alora Griffiths
IG: @aloragriffiths

Muscle Expert: Hormone Manipulation & Food as Therapy

Muscle Expert Podcast with Ben Pakulski #58

USING food as a therapeutic tool and hormone manipulation in sports

 

Can’t thank Ben Pakulski enough for having me on The Muscle Expert. I'll admit, I was nervous as all when I found out that I was the first female guest - but I think he managed to keep the entire conversation organic and flowing by not telling me we were even recording! Seriously, though - this was such a good podcast, and it was great to catch up, talk shop and educate on some really critical topics. Thanks again Ben!

 

Key Highlights:

  • How to balance fat ratios.
  • The menstrual cycle myth and why women should be wary of missing their menstrual cycle.
  • Glucose disposal agents, sex hormones, sleep deprivation, post-diet binge eating mitigation strategies.  

 

"Just don't eat like an asshole" 

 

EPISODE LINK:

http://www.benpakulski.com/podcasts/victoria/

 

ITUNES: 

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/ben-pakulski-podcast-muscle/id725296816

 

STITCHER: 

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ben-pakulski-podcast-muscle-expert-interviews-how-to-build/ben-pakulski-podcast-muscle-expert-interviews

 

Learn more about Ben Pakulski & The Muscle Expert podcast:
http://www.benpakulski.com
FB: @IFBBbenpakFANPage
IG: @ifbbbenpak
Youtube: MI40 Muscle Intelligence

 

 

Time Stamps:

4:00 Victoria's dissertation topic, exploring the world of female hormonal manipulation in elite sport.

10:47 Hyperandrogenism in females. 

11: 40 Metformin for women post competition.

13:40 Strategies for women recovering from androgen use. 

16:12 Progestron, chronic inflammation and more.

17:35 Reducing dietary triggers, changing your breakfast and eliminating the major allergenic foods.

20:06 Testing for gut health, food mapping protocols, and biofeedback.

21:50 Using food as a therapeutic tool. 

23:38 Balancing fat ratios. 

25:29 The modern American diet,

25:1 omega 6:3 ratio? 

28:50 Women, the first line of defense to overcome the psychology the binge and purge mindset. 

33:43 Glucose disposal agents, hormones, sleep deprivation. 

38:05 Less is more when it comes to training and more is more when it comes to food.

39:00 The menstrual cycle myth.

42:10 Victoria's book, nonhormonal ways to fix hormonal imbalances. 

45:50 The critical biopsychosocial physical ecological model of dynamic relations. 

52:00 Finding gratitude and acceptance.

56:42 Managing variables. 

1:00:20 Morning routines and avoiding emails.  

 

 

 

Health Advocacy

Work files? Not exactly... 

Work? Not exactly.

You're probably thinking, what's reflective about a giant stack of paper?

I get it. It's a little odd for an article that's supposed to be reflective.

Here's the thing. That's not work.

What you see is all of my medical files from 2008 onward, neatly organized and ready to go for when or if I have new meeting with doctors and specialists.

It's been a hell of a long road and I've learned so much along the way about medicine, health and hormones. But, possibly just as important, I've learned how to 'play' the system.

Now, I don't like to generalize at all. The world is a unique and beautiful place, but if there is one thing that I can share with others regarding my experiences it is this.

Pretend like every doctors appointment is a job interview.

NEVER assume that they have your file or have taken the time to read it. You have to make them care. Come prepared. You have to show them that you are serious about your #health and that you are doing the necessary steps to get better.

You have to be your own advocate. I always type a list of time-lined symptoms, medications & supplements (type, dose, duration), current diet and training program, and QUESTIONS for them. It may sound trivial but this has proven to be SO crucial in my many years in the system. It allows me to keep calm, focused and ensure that I don't forget anything.

My personal background, education and research, as well as having a mother who is deeply embedded in the medical system as a hospital administrator/nurse practitioner/nursing school instructor has lead me to these insights.

Research shows that when people take an ACTIVE role in their care, they have a greater sense of satisfaction - and yet, research also shows that many patients don't speak up for themselves or communicate effectively with doctors. 

By sharing my story I hope that I can help others navigate the sometimes long and unpredictable journey back to health. 

 

With love & gratitude,

Victoria Felkar

 

 

 

 

Cinnamon Coconut Covered Almonds.

One of my simple, favourite sweet treats for a high fat day.

1oz raw almonds (around 23)
1 tsp. virgin coconut oil melted
A dash of cinnamon, pinch of sea salt and sprinkle of powdered Stevia (use a cup-for-cup brand such as Stevia in the Raw)

Melt coconut oil in a small dish. Add in almonds and mix. Add powered ingredients ensuring almonds are coated. Throw in freezer for 15mins or until coconut oil has hardened. Break up the almonds with a spoon & enjoy! 

(223.5cal; F19.5g, C6g, P6g)

A VF Kitchen Secret: Cube Life

Nut butter, portion control & ice cube trays.

Did you know that 1 tablespoon is equal to 1 cube in a basic ice cube tray?

This discovery helped me with my day-to-day eating on the go and also has been a brilliant solution for nut or seed butter portion control 101 ... we all know how easy 1 tbsp can turn into 1/2 cup when eyeballed and measured with our stomachs. 

Here's what I do. Add a bit of melted coconut oil to my softened nut butter (for me it's sunflower seed).

Why?

Coconut oil is solid at room temp and condenses quickly at lower temperature, which allows for the cubes to be stored in the fridge as solid squares and not gooey messes. I like to add in some cinnamon and maple extract, then portion and stick in the the freezer for a bit to harden. Pop out the cubes and store in the fridge.

There you have it - an easy grab and go fat serving without the mess, fuss and no chance to deviate! 

Protein YamOatie Waffles

Wet Ingredients:
20oz yams, cooked & mashed
3 tbsp Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
2.5 tbsp All-Natural Egg Replacer pre-mixed with 5 tbsp cold water
2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract (alcohol-free)
2 tsp Pure Maple Extract

Dry Ingredients:
14 scoops @truenutrition Vanilla Birthday Cake Cold-Filtration Whey Isolate or a Dairy Free protein option
1.75 cup Gluten Free Oat Bran (blended into flour - I use a coffee grinder) 
1 tsp baking powder + 1 tsp baking soda
Dash of sea salt
1.5 tbsp cinnamon
3 packages of Pure Via Stevia

Using a food processor or mixer pre-blend the yams to make sure they are lump-free. Add in rest of "wet" ingredients and blend. Add in "dry" ingredients and blend until just mixed (to reduce making bubbles!). Should be a lava-like consistency. 

Once waffle iron is pre-heated (I use setting 3 on mine - not too hot) spray with coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray. Pour 1/2 cup of batter into iron and cook until done.

Makes x11 classic-sized waffles.


Each full waffle = 39g PRO / 32g CHO / 7g FAT (347 calories)

 

Muscle Minds: FemChem

Advices Radio: Muscle Minds with Dr. Scott Stevenson and Scott McNally #17

 

I joined my good friend Dr Scott Stevenson, and his partner in podcast crime Scott McNally, on Muscle Minds to help dispel myths and inform our community about hormones as they relate to females.

 

EPISODE link:

https://www.advicesradio.com/track/episode-17-3

 

ITUNES: 

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/advices-radio/id1104299645?mt=2

 

Stitcher: 

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/scott-mcnally/advices-radio/e/51397151

 

 

Learn more about Advices Radio:
www.advicesradio.com
FB: @advices.radio
YOUTUBE: Advices RAdio

 

 

#iamworthit: What is PCOS

#iamworthit with Abbey Orr of First Base Fitness #009

What is PCOS?

I joined Abbey Orr of First Base Fitness to about the history of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and how there is much more research needed in this area. No two people have the same symptoms. We bust through the myths around PCOS, discuss ways in which you can help your self by being your own researcher, tips on nutrition and exercise to give you the best chance to reduce inflammation. As Abbey said, this discussion is helpful to all women regardless of whether you have PCOS or not. 

 

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/009-victoria-felkar-what-is-pcos/id1233608388?i=1000390145928&mt=2

LISTEN NOTES:

https://www.listennotes.com/iamworthit-a-women-s-educational-platform-to-build-a-healthier-body-inside-and-out/episodes/16800109/009-victoria-felkar-what-is-pcos/

 

Learn more about Abbey Orr & First Base Fitness: 
www.firstbasefitness.com.au
IG: @firstbasefitness
FB: @firstbasefitness

EMBody Radio: Females & Androgens

EMBody Radio with Emily Duncan #11

PART 2: Female Athletes and Androgenic Drugs

Part 2 of the interview I did with the wonderful Emily Duncan of EMBody Radio. In the second half of the podcast, we chatted about the pink jacked elephant of the fitness industry - women and anabolic steroids, the implications of AAS on female athletes, if steroids can be taken safely, and some of the more intricate workings around females and anabolic drugs. 

 

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/embody-radio/id1245411599?mt=2

 

SOUNDCLOUD:

https://soundcloud.com/user-250742329

 

Learn more about Emily Duncan
www.emilyduncanfitness.com
IG: @em_dunc
FB: @emilyduncanfitness
 

EMBody Radio: PCOS

EMBody Radio with Emily Duncan #10

Part 1: PCOS History, Causes, Symptoms and Management

Super excited to share part 1 of the podcast I did with Em Duncan of #embodyradio on PCOS. In this episode, we chatted all things PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), why it's such a mystery in the medical community, the history of PCOS, causes, symptoms, and strategies for PCOS management.  

 

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/ep-05-pcos-history-causes-symptoms-management-interview/id1245411599?i=1000390308576&mt=2
 

SOUNDCLOUD:

https://soundcloud.com/user-250742329/ep-05-pcos-history-causes-symptoms-management-interview-with-victoria-felkar

 

Learn more about Emily Duncan
www.emilyduncanfitness.com
IG: @em_dunc
FB: @emilyduncanfitness
 

 

Elite Muscle Radio: PCOS

Elite Muscle Radio with Phil Graham #67

GETTING IN SHAPE WITH PCOS

Super excited to share with you the latest podcast that I had the honor of being apart of! Thanks to Phil Graham for letting me chat about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) on Elite Muscle Radio.

As someone who has PCOS, a consultant working within the industry with countless women who have hormonal imbalances of all types, and as a researcher working to better understand androgens and the female body, this is a topic near and dear to my heart.

Going into this podcast, I really wanted to host a honest conversation about PCOS. Simply put, this syndrome is dynamic, it's complex, and even within the 21st century it is still virtually 'unknown.' As a result, PCOS has become a blanket term - one without medical consensus, or a clear definition, symptoms and treatment protocols. With that being said, by talking about it openly through a multi-disciplinary perspective, my goal is to better understand the elements that make up PCOS - and more importantly, reduce the stigma and misconceptions that surround them.


Itunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/67-getting-in-shape-with-pcos-with-victoria-felkar/id771021324?i=1000383283644&mt=2

Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/elitemuscleradio/67-getting-in-shape-with-pcos

 

Learn more about Phil Graham:
www.phil-graham.com
www.diabeticmuscleandfitness.com
IG: @philgraham01
FB: @philgrahamfitness