Or is it…
I always try to be transparent with my readers. In my journey here with everything life has thrown me in the last 5 or so years, I’ve shared the good, the bad, and the ugly. One of the recent highlights though, pertains to my success at losing weight (finally!).
One of the elements I chose to incorporate after, what I thought was, careful consideration, was Seed Cycling. If you’re not familiar, there are 4 types of seeds and two cycles in which you eat 2 different combinations of the seeds.
I read article after article, extolling the benefits of the naturally balanced cycle. Since one of the criteria that led me to my inquiry into the process was wonky cycles, especially regarding consistent weight loss, I wanted to see if this would be a good fit for me.
All natural, right?? I shouldn’t even have to worry. Here’s a funny little thing about myself, though – I’ve had horrific acne since the moment I turned 13. Now that I’m in my 30’s, it has FINALLY gotten itself under control. What did I do? I don’t have a specific formula, to be perfectly honest. Do I eat better? Sure, but I never ate “horribly” to begin with. Did I start specific intermittent fasting? Yes, but this began long before I began IF. Here’s what I think the key was for me: controlling my overactive inflammation.
I take a highly bio-available CBD oil fairly regularly. I drink plenty of water, and almost exclusively water or coffee. I take highly bio-available supplements that have been confirmed as necessary by routine bloodwork, or by specific symptoms (for example, muscle twitching or cramping, when I’m definitely well-hydrated is generally a sign of a lack of magnesium or potassium. Potassium rarely does much for me, but magnesium bisglycinate works wonders). Bottom line: I’ve done significant work to relatively naturally get my inflammation levels to a reasonable status. My joints don’t hurt like I’m 90 anymore. I get fewer headaches. In conjunction with IF, I’ve lost a more significant amount of weight than ever before. But I still felt like I was missing a key to “balancing” those hormonal fluctuations that still plagued me.
Now, if we want to talk psychology, I was mentally and emotionally quite numb to all emotions until I was in my 30’s. Depersonalizing and dissociating are powerful tools the mind uses to keep one safe from external circumstances. So when my body was no longer harboring pharmaceutical hormones from birth control and I came into some emotional and mental maturity in this new phase of life, I was appalled that this roller coaster of emotional “feels” was going to slap me silly every month. Even now, no longer experiencing the physical doom of a menstrual cycle, I still experienced essentially every other part. I was desperate to come up with a solution.
Enter seed cycling. Absolutely ~glowing~ reviews from all corners of the web. I took a concerted effort to find any articles condemning the practice. Even when I searched “could seed cycling cause XYZ problems,” it was still several results down before I got to anyone saying “hey, you might have a bad time.”
Because my inflammation is well managed already, I think this cycling and its ingredients and nutrients threw my system into utter chaos. My skin was NUTS (pun definitely intended). I attributed my joints aching to the weather getting colder, but could it be part of this? I felt like I was weirdly bloated at odd times. I started digging. “Could seed cycling CAUSE acne.”
Here’s an excerpt from the lone page I found that was not so fond of Seed Cycling:
The idea that nuts & seeds are anti-inflammatory is partially true. You see, the polyunsaturated fats in nuts and seeds have an immunosuppressive effect by suppressing the cells that drive up inflammation.
Remember, inflammation is an emergency response to danger, damage or stress. It is the body’s way of dealing with it.
Something that SUPPRESSES inflammation is NOT the same thing as removing the root problems driving inflammation.
Many women with PMS, PCOS, hormonal imbalances, irregular cycles, etc. are in a serious state of metabolic stress.Jessica Ash Wellness
Basically, what I figure I did to myself, was taking a relative balance (or at the very least, consistent balance) of hormones, stress, and inflammatory homeostasis, and threw it into utter chaos and imbalance. This path may work wonders for some people, but please know that this could cause bigger issues. Stay vigilant if you decide to try this route.
Another thing I discovered in my further research is that Pumpkin seeds, 25% of Seed Cycling, are extremely high in Arginine, which is a major irritant for anyone prone to suffering from HSV-1 or HSV-2 (cold sores; oral or genital herpes). In reality, peanuts and seeds are to be avoided in general because they can break down whatever defenses your body may have built to successfully suppress the virus. Its estimated that 67% of the world population suffers from HSV-1 and about 11-13% HSV-2, and that is just what we know about who it has actually been detected in. It can lie dormant for long stretches or completely undetected for an entire lifetime. Of course, most everything affects people differently, and even with a known infection, it may not cause you any issues! But it is something to be aware of, in case you’ve been considering Seed Cycling.
I hope that my limited experience and research will help at least one person make a fully educated decision about approaching this “natural” route to health care. It may not be as beneficial as one had hoped.
~ Much Love and HEALTH! ~ Jess