I have to get something off my chest that frankly, really pisses me off.
As a society, we have been trained to ignore our bodies.
“No pain, no gain” has been the rallying call of an entire generation, and as we dig into the 21st century the expectations for working harder, smarter and faster have only grown.
The human hormonal system is designed to fluidly transition from stress to rest, but for a lot of people the messages being sent from the brain to the pituitary, adrenals, thyroid and sex organs are getting jumbled.
This “hormonal confusion” can cause a confluence of symptoms that go undetected by a routine doctor visit.
To make matters more complicated, the relationship between hormonal balance, gut health and the immune system is often misunderstood, treated with pharmaceutical drugs and brushed under the rug.
This is how I went from chronically exhausted, in pain, constipated, searching for my lost period and in general hating my body to building my dream business, running after my rambunctious toddler and fostering a deep connection with my body.
When I sit down with a new client for the first time, they often have a hard time believing that I deeply understand what it’s like to be in their shoes.
I wish I could say that I was naturally gifted at science and physiology. I’m not.
I was an English Literature and Women’s Studies major, and I had (and still do have) a love that verges on obsession with yoga, Pilates and all things spirituality and self-development.
No wonder I spent the first 15 years of my career as a yoga and Pilates therapist.
I wish that I could say that my path to functional nutrition and hormone health was a choice. It wasn’t.
I am where I am today – the proud owner of a thriving functional nutrition and hormonal wellness practice – because I was absolutely desperate.
They say “everything happens for a reason”, and while the struggles I’ve faced brought me to my knees, they also delivered me to my purpose.
My health issues started in my early teens. I was plagued with unrelenting sinus infections which were unsuccessfully treated with countless rounds of antibiotics.
By the time I was eighteen, I had spent years constipated, and like a tidal wave the chronic symptoms started to pile up.
Unlike most college students, I needed to take a nap every day, and I was the first person to say sayonara at a party – or more like it – to fall asleep on the couch just as the party was ramping up.
At the time I didn’t think much of it. I had given up years ago trying to understand why I was sick so much, and my doctors couldn’t find anything of note in my lab tests.
Flash forward to my late twenties, and I hit a place that maybe you can relate to – if I didn’t get answers and start feeling better, I wouldn’t be able to live into the dreams I had for my life.
My fatigue and the depression and anxiety that went along with my hormonal waves had gotten so bad that it was no longer possible to work a full work week.
Inexplicably, my period began to dwindle away, and with it an onslaught of what felt like chronic PMS took its place.
The constipation I had always struggled with seemed to take on a life of its own, and I began to suffer from food sensitivities I couldn’t identify and would often find myself so bloated I looked like I was six months pregnant.
I stuck to what I thought was a really clean diet, but the constant sugar cravings were intense, and I often felt worse after eating.
The confusion of trying to figure out what was driving all of my symptoms was truly maddening.
I went to see several different specialists, naturopaths, functional medicine doctors and acupuncturists. I was fortunate to find a doctor who discovered I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. This diagnosis explained a lot, but the diagnosis didn’t come with much hope.
I was told I would never have children.
I was told I would be 50% more likely to develop heart disease and diabetes.
I was told the fatigue, chronic pain, gut issues and hormonal symptoms were just a package deal with a diagnosis like mine.
Gratefully, my internal knowingness told me there was another way.
I became a Functional Nutritional Therapist and Restorative Wellness Practitioner, and I learned how to integrate nutritional science with functional tests in order to specifically target my symptoms with a curated blend of supplements, diet and lifestyle changes.
Today, I enjoy daily bowel movements (what a gift!), a regular monthly period with no PMS, a balanced mood, no musculoskeletal pain and a deeply seated sense of vitality and peace.
Why am I so confident that you can “get there”? Because I did, and I’ve seen so many of my clients do the same.
“Since I started Ishbel’s nutrition programs I have lost 29 lbs. and 21 inches.”
More importantly however, I have alleviated morning stiffness and pain in my feet, lowered my resting heart rate by 10 beats per minute, and improved my sleep quality tenfold! With Ishbel I learned how to mitigate food cravings.I now know they are not a matter of willpower but my body’s feedback. For the first time in my life, I have made a sustainable life-style change in my diet. It is not based on deprivation, but instead on knowledge of what my body needs to function at its best. Now refined-carb treats have become just that – treats – not gateways to over-indulgence. Ishbel has an amazing judgement-free manner of eliciting accountability. I have learned to listen to my body and now recognize the interconnectivity of body, mind and spirit. My improved quality of life is a direct result of Ishbel’s three-discipline approach – body, mind and spirit. If you are wondering if Ishbel’s programs will work for you, I encourage you to try it.
Prerequisite Functional Testing: it’s important that we gather data before you sign up for the program. Book a complimentary consult to discuss which tests you need so that we can determine if this program is a good fit for you.
- GI Map: a stool test that measures pathogens, viruses, bacteria, normal bacteria, and gut function which will illuminate how we can amplify digestive function for optimal nutrient absorption, immune health and hormone production.
- Adrenal Testing: a saliva or urine test that measures cortisol and DHEA to better understand the body’s stress response, sleep issues, fatigue, anxiety / depression and energy crashes.
- Sex Hormone Testing: a saliva or urine test that measures estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, luteinizing hormone, follicular stimulating hormone. In addition, these tests allow us to have a bird’s eye view of the complex balance between all of these sex hormones as well as the key relationship with the hypothalamus and the pituitary.
- Bone Health Panel: hormones have a huge impact on the maintenance of bones, especially through the latter half of life. This saliva and urine test measures estrogen (estradiol), progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, cortisol, and follicle stimulating hormone and pyrilinks-d which measures bone loss and gives valuable information on bone health.
Once you join the Ultimate Healing Program, you’ll have access to everything below:
Food Sensitivity Testing + Continuous Glucose Monitoring
- The MRT Food Inflammation Test: identifies immune reactions from 170 different foods and chemicals. Unlike other food sensitivity tests, the MRT tests for a wide array of inflammatory pathways. This test costs $350 and is included in the cost of the program.
- Blood Sugar Testing: a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) provides hour-by-hour feedback on the ebbs and flows of blood sugar so that we can understand the deeper impacts on cortisol balance, sleep, weight gain, energy high’s and low’s, macronutrient needs and adrenal function. The cost of the CGM is included in the cost of the program.
- Intensive one-to-one support and a uniquely curated program that fits you like a glove.
- Compassionate guide from someone who has totally be in your shoes!
- Dietary, supplement and lifestyle changes can be hard to make on your own. Enjoy the support, knowledge and guidance of a seasoned practitioner with years of experience.
- It’s not uncommon for people to have “healing reactions”. Working closely with Ishbel ensures that you can easefully work through each component of the healing process.
20% Off on Supplements for:
- Normal gut flora to support beneficial bacteria that directly influence the immune system and gut lining integrity.
- Antimicrobials to address pathogens that can cause constipation, diarrhea, bloating and stomach pain.
- Digestive function to optimize fat, protein and carbohydrate digestion.
- Detox support
- H. Pylori eradication
- Leaky gut
- Hyper / Hypo Adrenal function that can reflect itself in chronic stress and / or fatigue.
- Estrogen excess or deficiencies
- Progesterone excess or deficiencies
- Testosterone excess or deficiencies
- Hypothalamus and Pituitary excess or deficiencies
- Blood sugar irregularities
Meal Plans powered by Living Plate RX
All meal plans include automated shopping lists and are editable and searchable so you can “heart” the recipes you like and replace the ones you don’t.
- The 28 Day Happy Gut Meal Plan
- The Ultimate Blood Sugar & Hormone Balance Meal Plan
- Food Cycling for the Female Cycle
Integrative Protocols for the WHOLE person that take into consideration:
- Learning style
- Emotional wellbeing
Intensive One-to-One Support:
- Two, sixty-minute appointments per month
- Stay in constant communication with me via the “Chat Box” on Practice Better
- Small changes can make a big difference. Receive ongoing and nuanced changes to your protocol based off of your unique experience.
eBooks & Guides
- The Ultimate Guide to Allergens, Intolerances and Digestive Diseases
- Take Care of Your Metabolism with Daily Self-Care Habits
- Nutrition Myths & Facts
- Gluten Free Living
- The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Liver Health for Optimal Hormone Function
- How to Optimize Your Diet for Your Specific Hormonal Needs
- The Blood Sugar and Hormone Dynamic: Why balancing your blood sugar is key to balancing your hormones.
- Adrenals are King: an investigation of the master-conductor of the endocrine system.
Deep Dive Educational Pre-Recorded Workshops
- Lifetime of Wellness Workshop
- Defining your vision for your health.
- Why the body’s communication and learning how to develop a relationship with your symptoms is so important to your healing.
- Emotional eating
- How to use the Food and Mood Journal as well as the Vitality and Hunger scale.
- How to make the best use of your 28 Day Refresh Meal Plan.
- Therapeutic, Functional and Replacement Supplements
- MRT Food Inflammation test + Understanding the various immune reactions to foods.
- The 3 Day Meal Plan, and why planning ahead is essential to your success.
- Gut Function and Healing
- Why gut health is the foundation of overall health and influences mental health, immune function, vitality and hormone balance.
- What symptoms are influenced by gut health. Hint: it’s not always what you would expect! We will go far beyond classic gut symptoms.
- What external and internal factors influence gut health.
- The “Digestion Journey”. We will talk through every action of the digestive process from mouth to anus. This is a presentation that I’ve given for years to my clients, and it’s an essential tutorial for creating lifelong change in your gut health.
- The “Five R’s”. The “Five R’s” is the step-by-step supplement, diet and lifestyle journey you are currently traveling to rehabilitate your gut function. We’ll dig into each “R” so that you understand every step of the process.
- Lifestyle Practices to maintain healthy gut function for a lifetime.
- Deep-dive of the cycling female hormone pattern.
- The cycling female hormone panel is incredibly complex, AND if you’re a cycling woman – you need to understand it so that you can start feeling better.
- Deep-dive of the male hormone pattern & adrenal function.
- The How and Why of adrenal health and its direct impact on balancing male hormones.
- Deep-dive of the pre and post-menopausal hormone pattern.
- The How and Why of supporting waning hormones to positively impact mood, bone health, brain function and energy.
“The personalized treatment that Ishbel offers is unparalleled.”
Ishbel was recommended to me by a close friend. I had been trying to lose weight, but was stuck after some minor initial weight loss. What I found most refreshing about Ishbel’s approach was that she catered my program to my body. It wasn’t a generic diet. She ran tests and learned about my personal habits. From there, she created a protocol personal to me. I had always struggled with upset stomach and belly pain. She helped me revamp how I eat and gently changed my diet in a way that I never deprived myself. I was able to eat foods I enjoyed and learned how to take better care of myself. She also helped me with an exercise plan that was personal to me as well. Over the past months, I’ve lost 40 pounds, no longer struggle with upset stomach and have gotten off my high blood pressure medication. The personalized treatment that Ishbel offers is unparalleled. I’m so grateful that I was introduced to her. It’s been life changing for me.
- Review and integrate MRT Food Inflammation Test Results
- Begin Gut Healing Supplement Protocol
- Lifetime of Wellness Workshop and Gut Function and Healing Workshop
- Begin The 28 Day Happy Gut Meal Plan
- Introduce adrenal supplements if needed
- The Ultimate Guide to Allergens, Intolerances and Digestive Diseases eBook
- Take Care of Your Metabolism with Daily Self-Care Habits eBook
THE EMOTIONAL BODY & THE HYPOTHALAMUS-PITUITARY-ADRENAL AXIS
- Integrate lifestyle changes and stress-relief practices to directly address adrenal tests and symptoms.
- Intensive self-care scheduling, organizing and implementation.
- Symptom tracking education and implementation.
- Thought work: understanding how your thoughts are affecting your stress-handling system + how to match self-care practices with different spiritual and emotional states.
- Adrenals are King ebook: an investigation of the master-conductor of the endocrine system.
- Embodied eating: understanding emotional eating and hormone-based eating.
THE HORMONE MATRIX
- Deep Dive Hormone Workshop (See above: we will choose which one applies to you).
- The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Liver Health for Optimal Hormone Function eBook
- How to Optimize Your Diet for Your Specific Hormonal Needs eBook
- How to exercise for hormone balance.
- Integrate liver detox practices and supplements to optimize hormone detox and balance.
- Introduce hormone support supplements.
BLOOD SUGAR MONITORING
- Introduce NutriSense Continuous Glucose Monitor
- Track and correlate symptoms and hormone fluctuation with NutriSense data.
- Make dietary and supplement changes / introductions to support blood sugar balance.
- The Blood Sugar and Hormone Dynamic eBook: Why balancing your blood sugar is key to balancing your hormones.
GUT HEALING WRAP-UP & FUTURE PLAN
- Reintroduce MRT Food Sensitivity “yellow” foods (these are foods that were once perceived as moderately inflammatory by the immune system).
- Curate an ongoing diet that meets both your gut and hormone needs.
- Begin to reduce gut healing supplement protocol.
- Develop on-going gut function supplement protocol.
- Nutrition Myths & Facts eBook.
- If possible, intensify exercise regimen and track hormonal response.
DETOX, LONGEVITY AND WEIGHT LOSS
- Introduce the 21 Day Standard Process Detox Program
- Consider intermittent fasting / Prolon / other weight loss programs that will help you meet your weight loss goals without sacrificing your vitality.
- Self-reflection on the relationship between emotional wellbeing and food, and how we might support your mental health in other ways aside from food.
- Ishbel’s Embodied Eating Guide: helps you to tune into your hormone fluctuations and your hunger while releasing emotional eating.
- Consider re-testing if needed.
DREAMING A NEW DREAM FOR YOUR HEALTH & YOUR LIFE
- Reintroduce MRT Food Sensitivity “red” foods (these are foods that were once perceived as highly inflammatory by the immune system).
- Develop an on-going dietary and supplement plan for how to support hormone and gut balance.
- Meal Plan: Food Cycling for the Female Cycle
- Refining self-care and thought work that seamlessly fits into your life.
- Develop a master list of symptoms to be aware of, patterns to track and daily systems to automate self-care, diet and supplement routines.
- If we re-tested: review test results.
The Ultimate Healing Program Bonuses
The Ultimate Healing Program includes everything from the Gut Healing Program (GHP) and the Hormone Healing Program (HHP), plus these bonuses:
- Two, sixty-minute appointments per month. (This is 50% more one-to-one time than the GHP & HHP.)
- The GHP and HHP follow a pre-determined schedule, whereas the Ultimate Healing Program moves at a pace that is determined by your priorities.
- Intensive coaching tools to support you through the emotional struggles that come along with major health challenges and changes.
- The Weekly Education Modules Bonus provide next-level guidance and education.
- Re-testing protocol development at the end of the program.
- Support during reintroduction of “red” foods from the MRT food sensitivity test.
Weekly Education Modules
By the time you graduate from the Ultimate Healing Program, you will enjoy a working knowledge of your digestive and endocrine systems as well as the tools you need to both understand and meet your body’s daily needs.
Education truly is power, AND you need to know what’s going on with your body better than anyone else. Sure, you need the know-how of experts like me, but the truth is that there’s only one person who’s the expert on their health – and that’s you.
By learning the in’s and out’s of your physiology, you can more easily converse and advocate for yourself both in and out of the doctor’s office.
You will receive:
Brief physiology tutorials:
- The hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal (HPA) axis, and the direct link with chronic stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, weight gain and hormonal imbalances.
- Gut function and the relationship with the immune system, hormonal balance and blood sugar balance.
- Liver function and the interplay between detox and hormonal balance as well as longevity and weight loss.
Meditation, yoga & Pilates classes for strength training, stress-relief, and pain-relief.
- Education on how stress-relief practices influence your gut and hormone balance.
- Deep-dive education on how to exercise to support your hormones. (Hint: constant exercise does your body a disservice and stresses your digestive and hormonal systems.)
- Restorative Yoga for sleep, stress-relief and deep stretching.
- Express Pilates Routines for abdominals, arms, legs, glutes and back strength
- Express Yoga Routines for stress-relief and full-body strength and flexibility.
- Meditation Sessions to promote a deeper relationship with your emotional body and the impacts of trauma and stress.
At-your-fingertips cooking videos, recipes and IshbelWELL Healing Food guides.
- Food as Medicine: healing food guides for different symptoms.
- Food and Fun: how to fuel yourself for optimal energy, performance and a positive mood.
- The Comfort Food Redux: healthy recipes to replace your favorite comfort foods.
At-your-fingertips IshbelWELL guides, workbooks, checklists and journals to track your daily symptoms and your progress.
- Tracking symptoms is incredibly important to understand cause and effect as well as help you to build a deeper relationship with your body.
- Success breeds success. Tracking your progress can help you to see how far you’ve come and deeply influence your motivation and forward movement.
- Humans thrive in an environment where self-care is prioritized. Mark your daily self-care objectives as “done” and get a dopamine hit every time!
- Download or print your guides, workbooks and journals.
Coaching resources to help you make the mental and spiritual shifts that create lasting change.
- Embodied Eating Guide: helps you tune into your hormones and your hunger while releasing emotional eating.
- Observing, processing and changing thoughts that drive feelings and actions.
- Guidance on how to track the impact of stress, negative thoughts and trauma on your gut and hormone function as well as overall wellbeing.
Ishbel’s Signature Programs & Workshops
- Simple Back Relief Program: this is a 30 day program that takes you step-by-step through designing your own back relief protocol. Includes daily videos, guides and tutorials. This program also doubles as a full-body yoga and Pilates program!
- Rest and Restore Workshop: this workshop integrates meditation, tapping, journaling and restorative yoga to help transition the body from a fight and flight (sympathetic) state to a rest and digest (parasympathetic) state.
- Clean Beauty & the Endocrine System Workshop: this “spa treatment meets science” workshop investigates the current research on how chemicals in personal care products are influencing hormones and provides extensive resources and options for making the switch to cleaner products.