Hello , friends! Girl Crush interviews are back. I was so excited to talk with Fercci of @AskFercci and the Women's Only Community. Fercci is a popular Holistic Health Coach who helps women optimize and understand their cycles.
She's extremely educated in an area that effects all of us - women's hormone health. It's one of those topics that was widely ignored in the Wellness space for years, and I'm so happy to see it getting more attention lately.
It's no secret we all get our periods, and it's not something we should be embarrassed to discuss. Read on for our conversation - we talked hormone myths, PMS remedies that actually work, seed cycling and more.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from?
Hi all! I'm Fercci, the founder of FERCCI and the Women's Only Community. I'm originally from Venezuela (hi to mis Mujeres Latinas!) and have been in the states for over 7 years! I lived in NYC until last year, and now I'm a nomad! Currently in Asheville, NC. I empower women to learn more about their bodies and menstrual cycles and break the stigma around their periods.
What made you interested in pursuing a career in wellness?
When I started suffering from my hormonal imbalance, I struggled with being misled by google (Uhm and AD company) on what to buy, who to listen to, and what to do to find balance once again in my own body. But I ended up spending tons of money and time on treatments and products and beliefs that just made my healing journey longer! Today I offer women worldwide a place where they can get REAL and FACT-BASED information about their health and wellness! We have to break the circle of an AD company telling us what to do!
What do you think is the most misunderstood part of hormonal health and hormonal balance?
Everything? Haha, maybe not EVERYTHING but A LOT OF IT! We are first of all thought by a society that, as women, we are unstable beings due to our periods. Also, we are conditioned to believe that PAIN and discomfort every month is NORMAL. Well, ladies, this is a big lie. When we understand that these chemical messengers are the ones we need to talk to whenever we feel "off" or whenever we want to lose, or gain weight, feel more energized, enhance our libido, feel happier and more in peace, or even control the cravings we start seeing real changes!
What do you think are the best remedies for bad PMS symptoms?
All my work is based on science, so whenever I share tips and natural remedies, I know that there are many medical trials behind them! Whenever we go to the doctor and explain our symptoms, the easiest and most often answer is the pill, but in reality, this is only a band-aid approach to our imbalance! We are all able to ease our monthly symptoms with habits; some of the ones that have been proven to work for PMS are:
- Getting more calcium: One of the largest studies on calcium for PMS, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found that women who took calcium had a 48% reduction in their total symptom scores. If we do not get enough calcium, it can lead to painful cramping and cause hormonal imbalances. Some great natural sources of calcium include sesame seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, quinoa, and beans.
- Limiting our sugar intake: Eating sugary foods will cause your blood sugar levels to go up, and the higher your blood sugar goes, the more severe your period symptoms may be.
It’s important to keep them steady, so we recommend natural sugars in moderation. For a blood sugar control guide, head to the #womensonlycommunity
- Eating more complex carbs, especially during our luteal phase: Complex carbohydrates are an essential source of energy; they also support our immune function, thyroid health, nervous system (preventing spikes in cortisol) and contain important soluble fiber, which feeds your gut bacteria and promotes the healthy metabolism and the detoxification of estrogen. A low-carb diet can increase cortisol, slow down the thyroid, and cause insomnia, constipation, and hair loss. A low-carb diet can also cause you to lose your period because women need carbohydrates to ovulate eventually.
- Regular monthly exercise: Research suggests that aerobic exercise can help improve PMS symptoms, such as depression and fatigue. One study found that women who did 60-minute aerobic sessions three times a week for 8 weeks felt much improved physically, mentally, and emotionally. Regular aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling releases endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin (chemical messengers that can boost mood) and positively benefit energy and sleep.
- Managing our stress and emotions: A study from the Journal of Women's Health showed that women who reported high levels of stress in the two weeks before they got their period were two to three times more likely to experience depression, sadness, and crying spells as well as physical PMS symptoms such as body aches, bloating, low back pain, cramps, and headache, compared to women who did not feel stressed early on in their cycles. Breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga are some natural ways to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
How have you been staying sane through this stressful past year? Any tips?
Mindset is everything when it comes to inner peace and sanity. Although there have been many unfortunate events like lost jobs, opportunities, relationships, and even sadly, loved ones, this pandemic has reminded us of the importance of taking care of our health and helping us rearrange our priorities. Enhancing my meditation practice and doing things I enjoyed, like new hobbies, has been really fulfilling and connecting more with nature. Real peace and contentment are achieved when we can sit still in a quiet room with our emotions, this is a tough thing to do, but without all the noise and chaos from our pre-pandemic life, we could not do this work. Focus on things you really want, and use this extra time we have at home to do so.
What's your go-to healthy weeknight dinner?
Anything cooked on my instant pot! Lately, I've been obsessed with this chickpea stew that I make in 10 minutes! (cooks in 30 min) although it's in Spanish, you can get all you need from the video :P
Anything else you'd like to share?!
When women come together, we form stronger communities, and we can lift our gender! Our periods are not the enemies! Our hormonal imbalances are, but we have to remember that even conditions like PCOS and Endometriosis are conditions that we can control with lifestyle changes. If you want balanced hormones, you must live a balanced life, and this is why women like Beth and I work hard on helping you grow into something awesome! If you ever have any questions shoot me a DM. I'm always happy to make new friends!
Thank you, Fercci! You are such an inspiration, and a positive example of the power in being an advocate for your own health.
For more interviews with seriously inspiring women head here .