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What I would tell my younger self

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

... as a 30-something, millennial Naturopathic Doctor.

This is a list of things I wish I knew sooner, including how to set myself up for success in health and life.

Now that I have experienced adulthood for some time, there are things I wish I knew sooner. I reflect daily saying to myself, "If only I knew or realized this sooner..."

When they say hindsight is 20/20, they are not lying.

Here is what I would tell my younger self if I could:

#1 - Know your body

The female body is a complicated work of art and it is not enough to expect a period bleed every month. There are 3 main phases of the menstrual cycle and each one just as important as the next.

I urge you to dive deeper than what our basic biology and sex-ed classes taught us. I recommend you read Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler because the author talks about the different signs of the menstrual cycle that indicate key events like ovulation. The author also talks about how to spot early signs of pregnancy, and even how to avoid pregnancy without the use of the birth control pill.

Also, get familiar with your basal body temperature to confirm the LH surge and ovulation. This is an important sign for tracking how your hormones are doing during your menstrual cycle.

#2 - Avoid the pill if you can

The birth control pill comes with SO MANY side effects!

Side effects of the birth control pill include:

  • Depression

  • Vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, including B vitamins, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, selenium, and more!

  • Bloating

  • Breast tenderness

  • Water retention

  • Decreased sex drive

  • Headaches

  • Blood clots

  • Weight gain

  • Mood swings

That list of side effects makes #1 so much more important. So avoid the pill at all costs. I promise you will be better off not taking it.

But if you do end up taking the pill and you need a good resource to get off of it (assuming you're not in med school yet), read Beyond the Pill by Dr. Jolene Brighten. She spells out what you need to do to get back on track with your health after taking the pill. Also, visit a naturopathic doctor to get on the right health regimen after getting off the pill.

#3 - Make your health a priority and don't go into your mid-twenties dehydrated

Get yourself a cute water bottle and electrolytes and drink it all day! Lack of water will be the cause of many of your ailments, so get hydrated ASAP.

Health is so important. Learn to eat well and don't be intimidated by exercise.

I know cardio is not a favorite for us, but do it anyway. Find yoga and pilates sooner and stick with it. Carve out time for exercise and cooking.

Learn nutrition sooner so you can decipher an ingredient list and nutrition label. Don't wait until medical school to learn the basics of nutrition and ingredients. Take the initiative as soon as possible.

#4 - Learn how to cook better sooner

During college you were able to get away with cooking the basics, but you will learn cooking is more than just a necessary activity for you. It will be another way to express yourself.

Cooking is also a way to be more proactive in your health because you have control of the ingredients you're consuming.

Huge bonus: you will have gourmet food at the fraction of the price of restaurant meals.

Also, this is a good time to say, you'll spend a lot of money at boutique coffee shops. Do yourself a favor and invest in a Moka pot and learn how to make the fancy espresso drinks at home. It will taste a whole lot better when you know you are saving about $7 a drink per morning.

#5 - Take risks and learn how to fail... often

Do not forget life will always be like a rollercoaster. It's easy for us to strive for perfection, but know it will always be okay and no matter the outcome, you will always find your way.

Do not be afraid to face failure. Look at set backs as learning opportunities and make it a point to do better next time.

Become clear on your goals and organize your thoughts and goals daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Reflect on how far you've come often and remember each step, no matter how small, is progress.

Keep moving forward and always be grateful in the journey, and know you are not in this world to experience life alone. Look to your family and friends for support.

#6 - Social media is not as glamorous as celebrities make it out to be

However, I have to say social media is necessary for business and networking. So, establish your boundaries with social media and learn to work with it, rather than it being a nagging elf on your shoulder.

Live your life away from a screen. Experience life without the compulsion to post about it to a bunch of strangers on the internet.

Remember, not everything is as it seems on the internet. Trust, but always verify. Don't forget, fact-checking is free.

With all that said...

I am grateful to have figured all this out and am living my life the way I feel I'm supposed to. The mysteries of life are not unnoticed by me and I do not think things happen randomly. Rather, there is a divine purpose in every life event, no matter how small.

Here's to the many more events and milestones that have yet to be experienced! I embrace all that is awaiting me.

Want to work together?

If you’d like to work with me and get a more in depth look at your hormones and cycle, call The Adapt Lab clinic at 858.209.2400 to make an appointment. I look forward to helping you get your health back on track!

*Disclaimer: Although I am a doctor, I may not be your doctor. The information contained within the pages of this site are for educational purposes only and should not to be used to treat conditions. Please consult with your doctor before implementing any of the treatments, diets, supplements, etc. mentioned in this blog.*

*As an Amazon and Tempdrop affiliate, Dr. Francesca receives a small commission from the products linked in this blog.*

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