This blog post has been brewing for a while. I’ve been putting it off because, well, while I’m comfortable talking about poop and digestion all day long, for some reason, sharing my period problems with you feels kind of intimate.
However, my life has literally changed because of beans in such a crazy way, I just have to share the info with you. I would be doing you all a disservice if I didn’t.
If you are averse to period talk, skip this one.
Let’s back up.
In college I started getting really painful and heavy periods. They became nearly unbearable over the following 15+ years, leaving me scared to plan anything around that time of the month for fear I would be in too much pain or worried that I would leak. My periods also coincided with exhaustion, acne, bloating, and PMS. Then, when Brian and I started trying to conceive, I found out that I had fibroids.
I won’t get into any more graphics, but my menstrual cycle and fibroids were pretty alarming to most of the doctors I saw.
When we started going through fertility issues, I decided to really dive in and try to figure it out. I went to countless doctors, fertility clinics, naturopaths, acupuncturist, herbalists, and so on. You name it, I’ve tried it. Legit, some of the things I’ve done are kind of embarrassing.
I would see a little bit of improvement here and there but nothing really worked.
It was infuriating. I had healed my digestive issues years before, but my periods and hormones just wouldn’t give.
Until about 9 months ago when I learned about the Bean Protocol.
You might be thinking, “why beans?”
Beans have a type of fiber called soluble fiber. They have more soluble fiber than anything else we eat, by a landslide. One cup of black beans has 7.2 grams of soluble fiber, whereas one cup of oats (the next densest food with soluble fiber) has 1.9 grams.
This soluble fiber (which I’ve been talking about for years for gut health) not only nourishes our gut by feeding the good gut bacteria and bolstering our gut lining, it also helps sweep things out we don’t want.
Soluble fiber binds to any excess waste that isn’t serving us, and possibly hurting us, and sweeps it down and out of our digestive tract, helping us poop it out.
We all have excess hormones or waste in our body that aren’t helping us. They cause inflammation when they accumulate for too long in the body, which leads to chronic illnesses or health issues. When we consume a healthy amount of soluble fiber, that glorious fiber binds to those excess hormones or waste and ushers them out of our system, leading to lower inflammation.
For me, the soluble fiber in beans started to bind to the excess estrogen my body was creating and helped clean it out. And it did it much faster than anything else could. Rather than my estrogen piling up in my body day after day, slowly exiting, but only after it’s created a bigger backup, soluble fiber keeps that excess estrogen moving out of my system faster, lowering my inflammation.
Less inflammation means healthier periods for me. Note: Inflammation can show up in different ways for different people. Estrogen, hormone imbalance, and fibroids is what it lead to for me.
Now, I’ve been eating beans for quite a while to support my digestion. But after learning about the Bean Protocol, I’ve increased my consumption considerably, eliminated foods that disrupt the beans work, and learned when to eat what foods, and that’s what has made the difference.
I’ve started to share the Bean Protocol (created by Unique Hammond and originally brought onto the scene by Dr. Karen Hurd) with my clients and they are starting to reap the same benefits. Not only has it helped them heal some digestive issues and health issues related to their gut, it’s also helped many manage their cravings, lose weight, and increase their energy.
Now, the coolest thing about increasing bean consumption and decreasing other inflammatory foods/lifestyle habits is that the protocol actually helps to heal most health issues.
As most health issues are derived from inflammation, and beans minimize inflammation and anything else you have too much of, the protocol is healing all kinds of other issues.
The full Bean Protocol is much more involved, and is something you should really do a deep dive into if you have extreme health issues (I can support you) but to start out, shoot to eat beans 3x a day at about 1/4-1/3 cup per serving. Additionally, you want to try your best to eat beans without fat. I go in depth with my clients about why that’s the case, but basically the soluble fiber likes to bind to fat, shoveling that out first and leaving the inflammatory substances lingering in your body. Again, reach out if you want more info!
Eating beans 3x a day in an enjoyable way might sound a bit overwhelming. But I promise, once you get the hang of it, it’s so worth it, and you actually start to crave beans as many of my clients have found!
We actually batch cook meals together 2x a month that support digestion, and you guessed it, beans are always included!
Learn more about the Digestive Fire Membership here https://mailchi.mp/615d048b396e/untitled-page .
Early Bird Registration is open now and if you enroll soon you will get a sweet discount! It’s such a fun membership to be a part of because we get to cook together, and you have access to tons of digestive healing blog posts and podcasts in a private library!
If you are looking for a more individualized approach, my one on one health coaching program goes in depth with the Bean Protocol where I get to support you every step of the way.
Either way, upping your bean intake will help. You don’t have to do the full blown Bean Protocol to get benefits from beans.
Reach out if you are interested in giving it a try, or leave any questions you have down below!