Balanced Bites Podcast #428: PCOS: what your doctor won’t tell you with Tianna Trinidad

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#428: Tianna Trinidad is a Masters Prepared Registered Nurse and 5x certified PCOS hormone coach. She created Love Served Warm after struggling with Hormonal Imbalances and losing her first pregnancy at 6 months pregnant. Tianna helps women build body literacy and self advocacy through learning how to manage hormonal imbalances naturally in a way that is easy and sustainable long term.

Tianna provides mini trainings on hormonal health 3x weekly on Instagram and her signature program the Healthy PCOS Protocol is a 12 week journey to help women reverse their hormonal imbalances naturally through lifestyle and dietary changes.

Instagram.com/loveservedwarm

www.TikTok.com/@loveservedwarm

www.YouTube.com/loveservedwarm

Balanced Bites Podcast #428 with Tianna Trinidad

Welcome to the new Balanced Bites Podcast! I’m your host, Liz, a nutritional therapy practitioner and best selling author bringing you candid, up-front, myth-busting and thought-provoking conversations about food, fitness, and life. Remember:  The information in this podcast should not be considered personal, individual, or medical advice.

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About today’s episode: 

This is one of the first interviews in my memory that I’ve done straight up on PCOS.

It’s a condition that I have totally glazed over as one that’s basically applicable only to fertility. And clearly all one has to do is sit down and think about it for five seconds and you’ll understand that this is not a condition that’s just relevant to fertility.

We’re talking about a full on multifaceted issue of the interplay of hormones. Blood sugar and multiple other systems and organs in the body that are contributing to PCOS. Another thing that I learned was that PCOS does not have a look. And I knew that I have a good friend that I talk about in this podcast who was diagnosed with PCOS, who looked like the picture of health.

And I think both of these things, number one, thinking about it in the context of fertility only, and also assuming that PCOS has some kind of standard look is really contributing to not just the underdiagnosis of PCOS but also to the treatment of PCOS both in the medical model and in the holistic world, there’s so much more that we can do for people with PCOS and with the symptoms of PCOS than what we are currently doing. And I think Tiana is a really wonderful example of that in her offerings to really look at not just what you’re doing with diet and lifestyle, but also mindset, stress reduction, all of the important things that play into becoming healthy on the whole. Because PCOS involves so many different things, not just blood sugar regulation, not just fertility hormones. And so you really do have to approach it in a multi-faceted multi-pronged way. So this was a really enlightening conversation. And Tiana is a full of statistics around PCOS that are really surprising. And we also navigated into some territory around the multi-generational impacts of not just PCOS, but also becoming empowered to address your own issues and how those resonate throughout a family.

 Tianna talks about being a special needs mom and how her healing and her approach has actually impacted not just how she relates with her clients, but also how she’s shown up for her kids and how our kids have benefited from it too.

And it really is just like a give you chills type of moment. So I’m really thrilled to bring you Tianna Trinidad. You can find her online at instagram.com/love served a warm get also find her on Tik Tok same handle and on YouTube as well and we’ll put all of that in the show notes. Let’s get to the interview.

Liz Wolfe: It’s so funny. I was just watching, um, one of your lives, Instagram lives on pc. It’s just funny when you’ve been watching somebody on Instagram and then you actually like connect with them

Tianna Trinidad: face-to-face.

That’s amazing. Thank you so much. I get that a lot. People are like, I feel like I know you everybody. Yeah. I’ve been watching you for some time. Yeah. Um, so I love

Liz Wolfe: that. Yeah. It’s cool. It’s part of, I mean, it’s part of putting yourself out there like you do, you know, people just feel like, people feel like they know

Tianna Trinidad: you.

Yeah. And that’s, that’s the point of it all. It’s to create a space where people can relate and they feel seen and they feel heard for the first time in a long time. After suffering for so long. They come and they feel the love, the love surf warm, right? Yeah. Um, so it’s the goal.

Liz Wolfe: Uh, I love it. All right. Well, I do have, I, I have a lot of questions for you, but my first question is probably the most important one, and it is, how was Disney?

Tianna Trinidad: It was amazing. Um, I actually got a little bit emotional, you know, because I waited so long to become a mom, and I mean, every parent loves their children, but when you’ve gone through so much turmoil to get here, it just, and you dreamed about being this Pinterest mom and doing the Disney, it just hit so differently.

Um, she got so excited to see Elsa, and she was, her eyes got so big and my heart was just like, I could just get emotional thinking about it. I was just like, I, I lived for this moment. Like I waited for it, and it’s here. So, Was everything Just

Liz Wolfe: magic? It’s just magic. I mean, I’m not a Disney person, but like I told you in our dms, I think we took my daughter when she was four and they’re just so enveloped in the magic of it. Like they, she really felt like she was having these conversations with Elsa and Tiana and Tinkerbell, , you watch that and you just like, you wanna tear up your whole heart

Tianna Trinidad: just swells.

Yes, exactly. That’s exactly how

Liz Wolfe: it felt. It’s so sweet. I mean, it’s overwhelming. It’s a lot, but somehow Disney knows what they’re doing. They just, that you, you’re fully immersed. You just let go of everything else that’s going on, and you’re just in it and you just, you’re just

Tianna Trinidad: in it. Yeah. And I feel like the amazing thing about Disney is that age is not even a factor.

There’s like older people who are like mm-hmm. So, you know, enveloped in it. There’s younger kids and there’s like magic for everyone no matter what your background, your age, um, there’s something for everyone. And I, and I love that. I love to see other people like enjoying themselves that deeply. Yeah.

Feels good.

Liz Wolfe: Everybody in the same boat, just loving life, enjoying just letting go of the little petty stuff. Yeah. Yeah. That’s great. Well, you alluded to this just a moment ago. You alluded to how long you waited to become a mom.

Are you up for sharing some of your personal story around P C O S and how you got here?

Tianna Trinidad: Yes, definitely. So, , when I was 18, my mom had a 23 week, , preemie who was given 0% chance to live. I wanted to be like an English major, but I started to.

Go into nursing because the baby had so many complications. She had a tracheostomy, a feeding tube, a colostomy bag, um, and the doctors were starting to think that she would never be able to come home because her medical needs were so great. And, um, my mom also had P P C O S and this was her miracle baby, the only child she had out outside of me.

, and it was really breaking her down mentally and physically. So I thought I, I watched the nurses day in and day out and I thought, I, I could do this. So I began training with them and I went to nursing school, I received a $40,000 scholarship from the hospital that my sister was in so that I could, you know, go ahead and go to be a nurse.

And I had a guaranteed job when I was done within the nicu, , level three, high risk critical babies. And I just felt like, In a way, like I was a superwoman so I just felt like naturally when my time came that it was going to be so smooth and so easy, and I was just gonna get pregnant and have the most beautiful delivery.

And it didn’t necessarily occur like that. I waited until I finished my master’s degree. I went to law school. I married my Prince Charming, and when I was finally ready to get pregnant, um, I struggled a little bit. And then when I got pregnant, I lost my first pregnancy at six months pregnant.

that experience was just, So traumatic for me in so many ways. I felt like there were so many signs but even, and even as a master’s prepared registered nurse, I had no, had not the slightest indication that I was at so, so much risk

And I just remember that just being like a bomb to my s my like identity.

I had like an identity crisis. Mm-hmm. Partially because, the healthcare system in the United States doesn’t really recognize pregnancy loss for women. , there’s no, like bereavement. It’s not the loss of a person, so you don’t really get, you know, time off from work. , there’s no sort of benefits for the woman who’s lost a pregnancy and also being this highly trained nurse that no one could just come in and do my job for me.

, I was expected to come back to work relatively quickly and. When I got back to work, I just felt like everyone remembered me pregnant. They knew I was an imposter. They would call me out at any minute and I didn’t. I developed P T S D and I just couldn’t be in that environment for too long. I became obsessed with looking at women’s charts and seeing if there were indications that they could possibly suffer a miscarriage or deliver a baby early.

And I saw so many things, so many women with, hormonal imbalances, painful irregular periods, histories of P C O S, endo, and they were going through cycles of I V F 3, 4, 5 cycles. And I was just like, who’s gonna tell them? Like, you know, like, I need, I need to say something. ,

and then I decided like, this is not the side that I wanna be on.

, So I left and I went into doing, medically complex pediatrics and, , I went into labor and delivery. So for women who are not so, so as critical. And when Covid came, I wasn’t able to see the patients in the same way. And, , I lost my job around that time, , because I got sick. And then, it was recommended that I not do patient care for a little while.

And as a nurse, you know, there’s really no space for you if you’re not in patient contact. So I thought at that point, I need to go full throttle with love, serve warm. I was already working on it, but I was like, this, this redirection is for God’s protection. Like this is the sign that I need to finally get started.

And that’s where I really took it serious. And I’ve been full-time with love serve form ever since. ,

, when I had my daughter, I have a five-year-old, son but, when I was pregnant with my daughter, I was able to advocate for myself. I knew I needed progesterone, because I knew I didn’t have a menstrual cycle,

and I felt like had I known that just a little bit before, it would’ve saved me, not only my six month miscarriage, but other miscarriages that I had, , , just a cascade of things that were really preventable. But I feel like. In our healthcare system that is for profit, it’s really reactive instead of proactive.

So they often wait until you are already pregnant or you suffered a miscarriage to even begin the process of educating you on anything.

Liz Wolfe: First of all, I’m so sorry that you went through all of that. I also just have to extend my gratitude to you for turning it into something like love served warm because many people probably could have retreated and shrank back and thought, I just can’t, I can’t channel this in any way.

I can’t create anything good out of something that’s difficult. So I think that’s amazing that you’ve created what you’ve created. So thank you for that.

Tianna Trinidad: Thank you. Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: This is actually probably the first podcast episode I’ve done specifically on P C O S, and I was thinking like, gosh, I actually know very little about it. It sounds like there are better known signs and little known signs of P C O S

can you outline some of the more hallmark signs of P C O S and also talk about the signs that people might have that they

totally

Tianna Trinidad: miss. So P C O S is an endocrine disorder, but it’s been labeled as a reproductive disorder, so it gets very little research funding for that reason. Mm-hmm. But It’s really an endocrine disorder and it affects every single system in your body.

, the average woman takes anywhere from five to 10 years to get a diagnosis. And research suggests that something like 50% of women, um are undiagnosed with P C O S. Wow. Which is very unfortunate. Um, although its name suggests that you need polycystic ovaries to be diagnosed with P C O S, the hallmark sign of P C O S is actually menstrual dysfunction.

, it’s also known as diabetes of the ovaries because it’s largely related to our diet. , , the ovaries become overwhelmed and they begin to shut down and malfunction. a lot of women don’t really know that they have P C O S until it’s time to get pregnant and have a baby.

And they realize that they are not ovulating, that despite maybe bleeding every month or every few months, that they are not, um, releasing a matured egg to be fertilized. And this is the first time that they really know that they have P C O S. But when they look back in their history, they’re like, oh, you know what?

When I was 13 and I got my first period, I was put on birth control for 10 years. Right. And it’s like we really put bandaids over it instead of getting to the root cause. So the signs are there, it’s just like in our generation, I feel like in 50 years we’re gonna look back. And in the same way that we have discussed that doctors told women to smoke while pregnant for nausea, we’re going to be disgusted by, , Birth control is the first treatment for women with irregular cycles because we have to understand that your menstrual cycle is the basis of your hormonal health, and it’s related to things so much greater than gesture fertility, right?

So some of the common effects of P C O S are menstrual dysfunction. Whether your period comes and stays for a long time, , you might be spotting for 30, 60, 90 days, , or your period disappears altogether, right? , you don’t have a period for maybe months to years. Some of my clients don’t experience menstrual cycles.

The other common sign is facial hair, right? Women of color, there are certain symptoms that affect different ethnicities differently. , so facial hair is more intense for women, what color?

But it does affect women across the, the spectrum. Facial hair, , chin hair. It could also be hair on the, on the breast, around the nipples, , just overall increased growth of hair, the thickness of the hair all over the body. , other symptoms that are not so common, , but related to P C O S’s brain fog, , you feel like you have trouble remembering things, trouble sleeping.

Women with P C O S often feel tired, but wired. It’s like their body is physically tired, but their mind cannot shut down. , they often need naps throughout the day. They need this 12 o’clock nap because the body is having trouble metabolizing glucose because their insulin hormone is resistant. , that’s the, the co, the, the top form of P C O S is insulin resistance.

It’s when the insulin hormone stops being so responsive to glucose. So you eat the food and you expect to have energy, but the glucose molecule stay floating in the blood and can’t be transported in the cells to be utilized for energy. So you wind up feeling just tired and groggy. , a weakened immune system.

 Hair thinning, that’s one of the mo more uncommon symptoms intense cravings.

Women feel like. They know they’re not hungry. And it could be like after you eat something really sweet, you need something salty to balance right? Because those hormones are in balance. So it it, it causes you feeling like, you know, you’re not hungry, but you need to snack. , weight gain, specifically around the stomach area, it’s a big sign of inflammation and usually insulin resistance.

 Dark patches on the, on the neck, thighs, or face area. This is related to our insulin resistance. , mood swings. Mood swings is a big one. So progesterone is the hormone that we can only make as a result. Ovulating, and it’s also known as nature, Xanax because it’s the calming, soothing hormone.

So women who are not ovulating as they should, they’ll notice that they sometimes have irrational bursts of emotion, whether that be sensitivity or rage. And they look back and they’re like, that situation wasn’t that intense. Like, what was that?, vaginal dryness, low libido, , excessive sweating,, thyroid imbalances.

So we have to understand that. That, , our hormones are our body’s messenger system. And when our hormones are imbalanced, then the brain cannot communicate adequately to the other systems in the body. And that’s why it’s so important that P C O S is acknowledged as an endocrine disorder and not just as a reproductive disorder.

Women with P C O S are also more likely to suffer from mental health disorders because they have this underlying inflammation, body-wise and it affects the brain. And so not only do they have anxiety and depression and that increased risk of Alzheimer’s and bipolar, but they have like the trouble remembering things a higher, in a higher probability of having or being diagnosed with A D H D.

So it really affects a woman on so many levels. And it’s important that we educate women because I feel like oftentimes parents who, are trying to get the best treatment for their daughters don’t know any better and they fall victim to birth control as the first treatment option. , and birth control literally disrupts the communication between, the brain and the normal hormonal system and infuses you with all of these artificial hormones.

So you come off of the hormones when you’re ready to have a baby and your body doesn’t know how to regulate its hormones, it’s never had the opportunity before you even started the birth control, you already had the irregularities. Women with P C O S are 50% more likely to experience a miscarriage, and I feel like that’s another point that should be, um, shouted from the rooftops.

Women should be made aware of this so that it’s something that we learn to deal with before we get to the states that we want to get pregnant. Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: The birth control pill seems to be treating the symptoms obviously and not the root cause, and you can come off it after 5, 10, 20, or more years.

And those problems not only could return, but also you end up with a whole host of other problems because you’ve literally educated your body out of its normal standard functions.

Tianna Trinidad: Yeah. And on top of that, birth control is a known carcinogen, so it’s known to cause cancer and it depletes your body of vital nutrients so you come off of it and you have all of these nutritional deficiencies. It just creates a, a really low valley, even lower than where you started, where your baseline was initially.

Liz Wolfe: Is there a genetic component to P C O S? You talked about your mother having P C O S and then you suffering from P C O S.

Have you noted a genetic component, or is that known in the literature?

Tianna Trinidad: Yeah, so the researcher suggested that there are both genetic, , and lifestyle factors to P C O S. So women who have a parent, , a mother with P C O S are more likely to have P C O S and women who have a father with diabetes, , are more likely to have or develop P C O S.

Women who experience trauma in their childhood. They remain in the state of fight or flight. And as a result, they can develop P C O S. So the research is still out on it, but there’s, but there’s a small spectrum.

We have some information available and like I mentioned before, because so little research funds is allocated to P C O S, um, there’s not as much research as we would like to see to give us some of the much needed answers.

Liz Wolfe: So what is your first step in figuring all of this out? Is it an official diagnosis, actually going to a doctor and getting an ultrasound on the ovaries or doing blood work?

Or do you just start with like whatever the symptoms are, we know enough about what your symptoms are that we should treat this like P C O S.

Tianna Trinidad: Yeah. So I feel like, um, in terms of my clients and just women that I’ve dealt with in general, I feel like 90% of them go to the doctor and they get the lab results back, that everything is normal despite having all of the signs and symptoms that something is actually wrong.

So I never, um, while I think it’s great, I never recommend that women start there because a lot of times they’re gas lit and they go home just feeling unseen, unheard, and they begin to internalize their symptoms. Um, a lack of self-control. I’m just lazy. I’m just, when it’s really not that. So what I recommend is that women look at the symptoms and that we group those symptoms and we research and see what those symptoms can mean, and then we reverse engineer by looking at our symptoms.

Because even if your lab results are within normal range, normal doesn’t always mean optimal. And you can have symptoms even within normal ranges.

Liz Wolfe: So if blood work were to come back normal, like I’ve never had this experience before, but I’m really curious what that might look like in a doctor’s office that just has no grasp of what needs to happen.

Will they say you need to lose weight or you need to, whatever. What’s, what do the doctor say other than birth control and lose weight? Or is that

Tianna Trinidad: about it? That’s about it. Wow. Um, the other thing is understanding how our healthcare system works. Doctors have 15 minutes per appointment. Um, they only have 15 minutes, so they don’t really have the time to, to investigate your lifestyle.

What beauty products are you using? What cleaning products are you using? Um, how much sugar are you ingesting, processed food, things of that sort. So really they just suggest lose weight, take birth control, come back when you wanna get pregnant. That seems to be the, the common narrative. But the problem with that is that we have to understand that weight gain is a consequence of P C O S and not the cause.

So with that, sometimes women, lose hope and they internalize what’s going on.

Liz Wolfe: I have a very, very close friend who had fertility issues who was diagnosed with P C O S, and she is

she looks like an athlete. She just looks like the picture of fitness. And so she was completely shocked to find out that she had P C O S and it was impacting her fertility. So I feel like that might be that that idea that P C O S has a look like it’s someone that needs to lose weight or that is this age bracket that that is causing so many under diagnoses or misdiagnoses

Tianna Trinidad: correct. Yes. Um, P C O S does not have a look. And, and like everything else, there’s a spectrum with P C O S.

While some women can have trouble losing weight, some women can actually have trouble gaining weight. So there’s, um, A P C O S that’s known as Lean, P C O S, which is women who are, um, not overweight, um, very lean and still suffer with the signs and symptoms of P C O S. And what’s interesting is that you mentioned that your, um, friend is an athlete or that she works out, um, That’s another one of the components is that P C O S can be due to an inability to manage our stress levels.

So if we’re working out very intensely, right, just giving an example, if we don’t know that our menstrual cycle is going to start and our hormones are trending downward, and then we are doing cycling and we’re doing intense cardio, we can actually spike our hormones because our cortisol level is going up.

This is the time where our, the, the communication between our brain hemispheres is at its greatest. So this is really a time for rest and, and inner reflection, right? just like the moon has these phases, right? Men have a 24 hour hormonal, um, hormonal phase.

So their hormones replenish every 24 hours, but women have more like a 28 day hormonal cycle, right? And in that cycle we experience highs and lows. So we really have to be cognizant of that and what our hormones are doing and try to play that into our lives. Um, and sometimes when we are constantly on the go or doing intense cardio, we can be spiking our cortisol, which can in turn spike our testosterone and cause our, um, ovaries to shut down.

So it doesn’t always have to be that a woman is overweight. It could be that she is constantly in fight or flight. She’s constantly in these high stress, um, intense stress situations. And the adrenal glands, they kind of get fatigued and they shut down.

Liz Wolfe: So it’s like the appearance of overweight is sort of misinterpreted as the hallmark sign of P C O S, whereas it’s just one of a multiplicity of signs and symptoms that may or may not be present when you’re suffering with ovarian dysfunction.

Absolutely. Now you talk about cycle tracking, and I just had a really fascinating conversation with Alisa Vitti from Flo Living who was one of the pioneers of cycle tracking, and I would love to hear what that looks like, particularly when you are working with someone with P C O S where the cycle might just be completely out of whack.

What kind of information are you hoping to gain from cycle tracking and how does it help people in that situation?

Tianna Trinidad: Yeah, so I think that cycle tracking can be difficult for women with P C O S because that there’s this area of like, um, unpredictability when it comes to their cycles. Um, so ensuring that you have a body basal thermometer that.

Excuse me, is created specifically for women with P C O S. Um, so one that has, um, the one that I use particularly has artificial intelligence, um, and has tracked over 10,000 cycles of women with P C O S. The other thing is that we wanna promote body literacy and body advocacy.

So we’re not only looking for the B B T, but we’re looking for our body to confirm what we suspect on the graph. Um, and then what we’re looking for is to create lifestyle changes and, um, evidence-based practice of certain nutrients that are necessary at certain phases of our cycle so that we can really.

Bring down the length, bring us back into a normal range, um, with our cycle. And for my clients, that looks like not only looking at our cycle, but looking at all of our biometric indicators. So, um, how often are we sleeping? How often are we moving? Um, what are our micro and macronutrients? What are we missing?

What do we need to supplement? What is the quality of our supplements? Is it third party, um, tested and verified? Um, because brand, brand quality matters just as, um, just as much as brand name. Um, so there’s a multitude of factors there. Cycle tracking is just, is just one part of the puzzle. But it really gives us insight into what’s going on in our cycle and ultimately what is improving or making it worse.

So we understand, we all know when we’re menstruating, we’re actively bleeding. But what’s more important is to understand are we ovulating? Um, we’re looking for a spike in our, in our, in our baseline temperature to identify that our body has progesterone and it’s the hormone that can only be made as a result of ovulating.

Um, there’s no other time that we can make it. And while cycle tracking is so important, it’s because it’s not only important for our fertility, but it can tell us so much beautiful insight into our bodies. Um, it can tell us when is best to do certain workouts, right. Um, a as our cycle is coming on, We can feel ourselves become weak and tired.

As our cycle is beginning to start, we get a little bit moody. Um, right? We understand that our hormones are trending down. But on the flip side, after our menstruation is over and we’re in the follicular phase, um, which means that our hormones are revving back up in anticipation of ovulation, we feel a little spicier, right?

We feel like we have a little more energy, we have a little more libido. Now our, our. Boyfriend or significant another is not so aggravating. Now he actually looks good looking to us.

Our skin is starting to clear up, right? And then we understand that in our luteal phase, towards the end of our luteal phase, our hormones start to trend down. Now, the other thing about cycle tracking is that we understand that at different phases of our cycle, our body has different requirements of us.

 

Giving an example of this is that sometimes we crave like chocolate right before our period. We’re like, oh my God, I just need some chocolate. And that’s an understanding that dark chocolate is an amazing source of magnesium. And magnesium is , a nutrient responsible for, , really soothing , those muscles.

So if you ever go to preterm labor or if you’ve ever delivered and, and you’re after delivery, we give women magnesium to stop the contractions. It’s what you’ll be given in the hospital. So if you feel like on the way to your cycle you have these intense cravings for chocolate, it’s really your body communicating to you that it needs magnesium.

So understanding, it’s being really in tune with your body’s needs and what nutrients you need for each stage, what building blocks you need to make it to the next stage of your cycle. Mm-hmm. When women have prolonged missed, , cycles, they’re experiencing some trouble.

 In one of those phases, so it’s in finding out where they’re having trouble providing their body with the nutrients necessary, to help them complete that cycle, have the building blocks so that they can make it over to the next cycle.

Liz Wolfe: Let’s get into your approach to P C O S, because as I’m listening to you, it’s very clear that it’s more than just what you’re eating.

Tianna Trinidad: Definitely. Um, so I have a five step approach.

The first one is mindset. We are the generation of technology. We have Google available and it’s really important to, to note that information doesn’t equal transformation, right? The GI Jane fallacy, we know that eating McDonald’s is not good for us, but we take our kids there every once in a blue, right?

So it’s understanding that knowing better is not enough to do better and we really have to create change on a deep intrinsic level. And that looks like, um, Understanding the habits that we want to change and creating just a 1% change, right? Uh, we don’t want to create Mount Everest. We don’t want to create so much friction.

Um, because chances are that once we rage a small bump in the road, or uh, period of stress in our lives, we will naturally tend to fall back into our comfort zone. So we have to make the changes very small and very gradual so that they can be sustainable and permanent. So that’s the first thing, is that we have to address our mindset.

We have to understand that change and transformation doesn’t look the same for everyone. We have to identify exactly what in our lifestyles are we willing to sacrifice and change. Because the other thing, if we’re being a hundred percent honest, is that there’s some comfort related to our inability to change.

Right. We only change because we are forced to change or because we get sick or because we are discomforted. Um, there’s often a lot of comfort in remaining where we are, whether that’s getting to enjoy your favorite foods, not having to cook, not having, right. So we really have to face these things head on first and really be honest with ourselves in what we’re willing to sacrifice and what we’re not willing to sacrifice.

Um, so that’s really the first part. The second part is nutrition, ? Let food be thy medicine. Um, we really have to understand that living in the United States, um, means that we have foods that are overly processed. That carbs is , probably like the thing that we eat the most, that we eat a lot of highly inflammatory foods with ingredients that we cannot pronounce. Um, that sugar has over 60 different common names to redirect the, the, the everyday consumer from understanding what you’re really eating. So it’s really in a lot of nutritional education and counseling. Um, understanding first are macronutrients, right? We have to make protein the goal, ? In the same way that you drive down the highway and there’s those little speed bumps that kind of like slow you down as you’re on the way to the toes, right?

Protein kind of works in the same way. Protein helps you sustain muscle and it also helps you remain fuller for longer. And it also helps you to kind of not have these elevated blood sugar spikes that carbs alone can cause, we fall victim to places like Starbucks and and, and other fast food places. And everything is so carb heavy. When we have a breakfast that is so high in carbohydrates, not only does it spike our blood sugar up, but it spikes it way down past the baseline.

So with that result in this hypoglycemia and then the brain in an attempt to bring us back, back to baseline, we start to crave, um, foods that are high in carbs. And the other thing is understanding how our macronutrients break down. So carbs can break down within two 15 minutes to two hours.

Meanwhile, protein takes anywhere from four to six hours to break down, and healthy fat takes up to 10 hours to break down. That’s why it’s so important to have a balanced meal, because if our meals are carb heavy, then we will consistently find ourselves hungry looking for something else to snack, which means that we never allow our blood sugar to relax, which means we never allow our insulin levels to relax.

And our pancreas is always working on overtime. And this results in insulin resistance. so we really have to make protein the goal of each meal, and then carbs and then fat, and then healthy sources of fat. We don’t want to restrict carbs.

I think carbs in itself gets a bad name. It’s the refined carbohydrates. It’s the really highly processed carbohydrates, right? So maybe instead of potatoes, we swap it out for more complex carbs, such as sweet potato, right? It’s really making those small changes. Um, also looking for foods that have, um, small ingredient lists, right?

Ingredients that we can actually pronounce or going for foods that have no ingredient list altogether, right? Healthy, healthier foods. , and then secondary to that is our micronutrients, right? Supplementation is meant to supplement a healthy diet and lifestyle. So how we really personalize supplementation is we have to be tracking, um, our nutrients and understanding what are we not getting our daily recommended values of?

Are we getting enough magnesium? Are we getting zinc right? Because the best sources of these nutrients are through the foods that we eat, right? Supplements are good, but the best way is to get it naturally. So then we wanna look at our food and something like, my FitnessPal is a free app that can help you, right?

But then we wanna notice, okay, I’ve tried eating right and I just, I just can’t get Brussels sprouts to go down where you’re like, I just, I can’t eat almonds. I don’t care how hard I try, I just can’t get the magnesium in. That’s when you supplement. Right. So it’s really unique to you and your lifestyle, how that supplementation works.

But that is, that’s really major. Um, the hormones that respond to fullness don’t respond to carbs the same way they respond to protein. So for that reason, you can go out to eat and someone will come say, oh, just, just try this piece of steak. And you are like, I, my, I will explode if I have another piece of steak.

But at the same time, the same person could come around with a piece of cake and say, try it. And all of a sudden you found the extra room for the carbs, but you couldn’t find it for the protein. That’s the reason why we make protein, the goal in every

Liz Wolfe: meal. So I was gonna ask you, one of the things that I’ve seen you talk about quite a bit is micronutrients.

So you do feel like supplementation is a viable strategy depending on

Tianna Trinidad: who you are. Correct. I just think that there’s this like one size fits all and with the surge of TikTok, we’re watching other people’s transformations and we’re, and we’re in so much despair that we often think that what works for someone else will work for us.

Right. And we have to understand that there are spectrums to everything.? For instance, not too long ago, ashwaghanda was really big and everyone was like, I need to be taking this, right? But for some women, it actually can, can spike your testosterone level. So it’s really important that your supplementation is personalized to you.

And more than that, you have a system in place to help you identify if what you’re taking is making your symptoms better or worse.

Liz Wolfe: Now, I come from a paleo. Origin story. It’s been many, many years since I was fully paleo, but that’s sort of what got me into my professional life, how I eat personally, all of that.

Now, one of the things that would happen with the paleo diet for a lot of people that I would notice, especially after I became a nutritional therapy practitioner, is that people got so lost in what they should be eating that they would end up eating like chicken breast broccoli and coconut oil. And that’s about it.

And when you talk about micronutrients, it reminds me of those days, those paleo days where people are eating chicken breast, which great protein, not a lot of nutrients, broccoli, cool fiber, some good, I mean, some good nutrients for estrogen detoxification. But you know, you need more of a variety and coconut oil, which is a great fat, but doesn’t have a lot of nutrition in it.

And that’s where I think the argument for variety and for really paying attention to your personal needs and. Even tracking comes in. And I guess my question around that would be, I used to think that tracking was only useful for driving people crazy, for making them completely neurotic, and J just going completely off the rails with this stuff.

But I’ve come to realize over the years that there are times when tracking is useful and actually yielding good, solid, applicable information. When you actually have something real going on, that’s when it’s really useful. Correct. I believe that what’s not measured is not managed Right. 50% of the women with P C O S will develop type two diabetes by age 40.

Um, P C O S is also known as diabetes of the Ovaries. So for that reason, there has to be, um, there has to be this concentration on what you’re eating. The micro and macronutrients, I don’t feel like for everyone that’s really major, but in something where it’s known to affect your ability to metabolize glucose, um, and cause overall inflammation in the body.

I feel like in those instances it’s really important to understand and to have a baseline and to, and so that you can better navigate your symptoms. . And I feel like, women with P C O S are 2.2 times more likely to have a child with autism.

I am a mom of two autistic children, um, with sensory disorders, And I feel like this is related to the underlying nutritional deficiencies and the underlying inflammation that we have. As much as we don’t wanna acknowledge it, we have to understand that our diets are not as nutrient dense as they once were. They’re highly processed, they’re highly inflammatory. So while it, while it feels good not to have to know for a lot of women, we do need to track just because of the, the system and the time that we’re living in this, I

Liz Wolfe: had no idea about that statistic related to autism.

I realize that P C O S is treated, like you said, as a fertility problem that applies to a certain subset of women during a specific time in their lives. This, to me sounds like, like an epidemic akin to the diabetes epidemic, where it is something that we absolutely have to take incredibly seriously.

And the only manifestation of blood sugar dysregulation is not diabetes. It sounds like it’s P C O S and probably a host of other issues that are reaching epidemic proportions and affecting the next generation. That is, that’s heavy.

Tianna Trinidad: Exactly. And PC women, P C O S I increased risk for Alzheimer’s because of the, so a lot of these things that we really don’t look into, but this underlying inflammation being in a state of fight or flight for so long, right.

Has these long-term effects and I feel like no one’s really. Um, creating the connections , , kidney disease is on the rise, Alzheimer’s is on the rise. Um, bipolar disorder is on the rise.

A lot of mental health disorders are on the rise, and we’re really not linking it back to our diet and everything else. We’re just trying to, to focus our attention on that small window of reproductive health, of, of when a woman is trying to get pregnant. And we have to really look at it as a whole.

 Even my son.

 There was a point that he was labeled emotionally aggressive and he stopped eating solid food. He, he just, um, he had this really bad sensory thing and I went to the doctor and they told me to put him on Pediasure. And I did. And I, you know, um, but he was so hyperactive, so impulsive, and it was like he was trapped in his little body.

And as I began to research, I noticed that PD Shore was the equivalent of one snicker bar, and he was drinking eight of them a day. Wow. When I started to do heavy metal detoxing and I started to change his diet, um, he is a different child who, the doctors have asked me, are you gonna write a book? Can you explain, I have a 21 year old.

Can you explain exactly. I need to step by step what you did. And I’m just like, I just changed his diet. Um, there is research to indicate that children with hyperactivity is linked to a there’s an uh, um, a vitamin specifically for that. But when I started to reintroduce these nutrients, He could concentrate, he could sit still. He was no longer emotionally aggressive. Um, he could wear, he could, he could tolerate certain fabrics on his skin and body. And people look at my children and they know what they were like before, and they’re like, this is a miracle.

But it’s, it’s really not. It’s just understanding that when you restrict your body of the much needed micronutrients, that it needs to thrive. There are real consequences for that. And instead of treating it with more medication and more medication, if we begin to actually do the opposite and peel back the layers, start removing some things, then we can get down to the root cause of these issues, um, and fix them.

Liz Wolfe: Gosh, did you ever think that going down this road of P C O S would lead you to not just like healing yourself and creating these programs for people, but also. To have the wherewithal and the knowledge to actually address something that seems completely unrelated in your own

Tianna Trinidad: children? Correct. I have a lot of clients who are special needs moms.

Um, they have a lot of a, d d and a lot of autism. And what I’ve found, and I even get goosebumps just talking about it, is that they tell me, not only do they feel like their life has changed, but they notice the change in their children. Um, one of my clients had two boys and she’s like, Tiana, my boys, they started talking.

They can read, they’re like more calm. And it just goes to show that these nutrient deficiencies can show up differently in all of us. But I believe that as a whole, we’re all suffering from the same thing. It just presents in different. Different ways. Right. Um, so I never in a million years expected that when I was doing, um, learning about nutrition and P C O S and going down this route, that the effects would be so broad and that they would not only change the lives of women, but change the lives of their children as well.

And it has just been, it has been so, such an overwhelming blessing, um, to say the least. And I’m just so grateful for, grateful for. The storms that have later produced, like the, the Sunshine, you know, and I’m just, I, I understand that sometimes you have to have a test so that you can have a testimony.

Sometimes you have to go through things because as I mentioned before, pain is the biggest teacher that we can ever have. And I just felt, I just feel lucky enough, um, that I had enough inner strength not to let that situation crumble me, but instead to create something so beautiful out of it. So every day I’m so thankful to be in this position.

There’s nothing that I would ever want to do more than what I do now, and I’m just so grateful for this. It is a feeling that no amount of money could ever ignite in my heart. Just knowing and, and clients who two years later, they still follow up with me and they wanna know about my kids, and they’re still like, this was the best investment ever years later.

And it just, it just reconfirms that I’m in the right place and I’m doing exactly what I was called to do. Speaking

Liz Wolfe: of what you are doing, can you give folks an idea of where to find you and what they can expect when they engage

Tianna Trinidad: with you? Of course. So, um, I can be found@loveservedwarm.com and on all social media platforms.

TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, at Love Served, warm, um, and what they can expect when they engage with me is just an overwhelming sense of calmness and love and support. Um, as someone who has dealt with this both personally and professionally, um, I just feel like I provide a different inside, a different, um, perspective on this all.

And I really personalize everything to my clients, to their unique lifestyle, to their unique goals. And I help women really peel back the layers, not only, um, with their nutrition, but in their mental blocks, right? Um, I help women learn to advocate for themselves to just take back control of themselves.

I always say I promote body literacy and body advocacy, right? Because it’s really in learning that the same thing can affect a plethora of women in different ways. Um, and the other thing I also take pride in is that healing looks different for different women culturally, right? For Americans specifically, we celebrate around carbs, ? It’s, it’s always some function, some celebratory function that we feel like we need to enjoy. So I feel like, um, I’m able to help women without having these restrictions, without feeling guilt, but to really just create a lot of balance in their lifestyle and to have.

Patience with themselves and to really understand that learning is not linear and healing is not linear. Um, and I hold, I hold so much space and so much love for my clients, and I often feel like that’s the missing link in our healthcare system, um, is that love and that individualized support and caring.

Um, so I feel like when clients interact with me, whether it’s they’re just watching my, my content, I feel like they can really feel it. They, they oftentimes tell me, I feel like I know you for so long. I’ve been watching you for so long. Um, and I tell them it’s, it’s the love. It’s, it’s really the love. And I really work to infuse that in everything that I do.

And I work to ensure that women can feel it, um, in the work that I do. And I feel like that’s really what sets me apart, um, from other P C O S coaches is, is the love.

Liz Wolfe: Well, I love that and I’m so grateful you were able to come on with me today and talk about all of this. Folks, you can find all of Tiana’s offerings in the show notes.

Just one tap away. We’ll make it really easy for you. Can’t thank you enough.

Tianna Trinidad: Thank you for having me. I appreciate being here and, and any opportunity that I get to spread the message about P C O S and and women’s health.

Thanks for listening to the new Balanced Bites Podcast! Before you shut down your podcast app, PLEASE take a moment to subscribe and leave a review! It’s a small thing you can do that I appreciate more than you can imagine! And speaking of what we can do for each other, if YOU have a question you’d like to have tackled on this podcast or an interview you’d like to hear, submit the details at balancedwithliz.com. Let’s keep unpacking, unraveling, contextualizing and nuance-ing the important questions together so we can be empowered, informed, active participants in our own health and happiness.

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