Monday, February 21, 2011

it may be years until the day.




To say the last year has been rough for my hair and my skin would be a huge understatement. I have easily had five times as many bad hair days as good, and my skin has been nothing short of awful at some points.

But now, my bangs are finally long enough to stay brushed to the side or tucked behind my ears. And finally long enough that I can part my hair down the middle sometimes and embrace my inner hippie. (Growing them out was ridiculously hard; I don't think I've ever been more frustrated with hair in my whole life. Remind me that next time I want to chop them off.)

And as far as my skin... sorry if all of this is TMI, I'm going to share anyway...

When I stopped taking birth control over a year ago, my body went a little crazy. I suddenly had a serious hormone imbalance that came with a whole bunch of fun problems: a major lack of energy, weight gain, a bad immune system, terrible skin, and more (including some even bigger issues, like the one that mattered most to us - an inability to get pregnant).

It took me a long time to realize what the problem was, and I'm super grateful that I went to see a naturopathic doctor when I did. It has made all the difference. Because of her treatment and suggestions (to name a few: cutting back on wheat, eating less sugar, detoxifying my liver, taking specific vitamins and herbs) -- I'm feeling way better, and it seems like my body is finally returning to a normal, healthy, natural balance (fingers crossed). Thank goodness! I will never take good health for granted again.

74 comments:

  1. you are gorgeous girl!

    so, a lot of those things you just mentioned about going off birth control have happened to me as well. naturopathic docs are EVERYWHERE here. maybe i should check one out. i'm so tired of feeling like crap all the time.

    love your hair btw. i tried. SO hard to do the split down the middle no bangs thing. i'm weak. i couldn't take it obviously.

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  2. Good for you! It takes such discipline to change your diet and I really admire you for sticking to it. I've fallen off the wagon in the last year and feel pretty low about it at times. It's encouraging to read this post.

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  3. That second picture doesn't look like you. It's kind of creeping me out.

    Glad you're feeling better.

    I'm pretty sure Rachel said the same thing about her bangs. Maybe we just aren't meant for bangs.

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  4. anna - i think it's just the "better" side of my face.

    it reminds me of this insane/awesome/creepy project about symmetrical portraits.

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  5. Oh honey you are so beautiful! I adore your hair. Glad you are feeling better. ♥

    xo.

    Pea. Ess.
    I totally adore your blog, I read every post but I don't always get over to comment! Just wanted you to know that! =]♥

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  6. Thanks for sharing... I can't even tell you how long I've been on the BC, and I am definitely worried about the side effects when I'm ready to go off it it Thanks for the info and hang in there! Sounds like you are on the right track!

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  7. PS... can I ask what birth control you were using?

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  8. I'm so glad you are feeling better!

    I haven't worn my hair parted that way since junior high. I love yours that way! Gah, I wish mine would hurry and grow. I'm seriously about 5 seconds from cutting it myself at any given moment.

    P.S.~ My word verification is "waffloph". As in, "A cross between a waffle and a loaf of bread." I think Blogger wants you to eat more wheat.

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  9. I always loved your bangs. When I cut some a couple years ago, I showed my stylist pictures from your blog and asked for the same cut. Your hair still looks beautiful but I always liked how the bangs framed your face.

    Having met you a couple times in person, I know you are just as lovely in person as in your pictures.

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  10. jess - i used YAZ for about 3.5 years.

    i didn't say this in the post, but i've decided that birth control is kind of evil and ruins your body. i know it affects people differently... but i also know i'll never use it again. (bring on the babies! ha)

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  11. I feel ya, I'll be off my birth control for a few days and my skin goes cray cray. You are my hero for eating so healthy, as well as my idol.

    As far as the baby thing goes, I know that wait can be way hard, but as soon as you have a baby, it'll be so dang cute. Can't wait!

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  12. I have been there! The short term effects (and relatively unknown LONG term effects) of birth control can be killer.

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  13. The pictures are beautiful :)

    I think it's all kinds of scary that our body and mind can be easily dictate by the everyday medicine we consume without many thoughts. I'm glad all is well with you, though! :)

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  14. The pictures are beautiful :)

    I think it's all kinds of scary that our body and mind can be easily dictate by the everyday medicine we consume without many thoughts. I'm glad all is well with you, though! :)

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  15. you are looking gorgeous! love these pics. and yess..i hear you on not taking good health for granted. i'm on the same boat. and yesss to eating healthy. <3

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  16. I keep trying to grow out my bangs but cut them in frustration. You look great!

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  17. I started birth control last November and the two months on the one were really horrible. Weight gain, mood swings, depression, skin problems, and I finally started a new one (nuva ring) and those things seem to be going away.

    I still feel a little anxious about it all, but I hope you are able to find what is best for you.

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  18. you are so beautiful, angela.

    it took me SO long to grow my bangs out. my lame hair is so body-less that the middle part didn't work for me... boo because i LOVE it.

    and freaking birth control! it's the cause of my many problems too. it so frustrating because i'd always been so normal, healthy and regular until BC. i won't ever use it again (pill or iud) it's frustrating that something that seemingly insignifigant can cause such huge problems. starting a family is one of the biggest events in our lives, i hate that something i did postponed it.

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  19. you look radiant! i really like your hair that way.

    i was on YAZ for about the same amount of time, and when i quit, it just ruined me... my hair was a mess, my skin was a nightmare, and my cycles were non-existent. it took about a year for me to get to a healthy place.

    i'll never go back to birth control. have you read 'taking charge of your fertility' by toni weschler? i highly, highly recommend it.

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  20. Yeah. I'm afraid to go off it for those reasons, but I also know I can't stay it on forever.. *sigh* it's catch 22... Thanks again for sharing (oh and no worries: skin problems or not, you are still gorgeous!)

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  21. you look so elegant!

    birth control made me craaazy, so i stopped taking it about a year ago and have felt so much better. i also just went to a naturopath and am now on liver support too! she also has put me on adrenal support to help with all the stress-induced issues. she really recommended ashwagandha.

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  22. You are SO pretty! I'm willing to bet you're one of those that wakes up looking that good. Also, would be an odd request for me to ask you to teach me how to eat like you?? haha thanks.

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  23. My body freaks out with bc too. Never again.

    And you are so beautiful. I'm jealous that your bangs are long enough to get out of the way. Next time I think, "Hey, I want bangs!" I want someone to beat me over the head until I remember the pain of growing them out.

    And this is such a good reminder to get myself back on the wagon. I've been eating WAY too much sugar and junk. Time to overhaul our eating again!

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  24. I'm so happy you're feeling better. I myself come from a family that has some crazy so the fear of hormones kept me away from hormone birth control. When trying to prevent I really do like VCF a type of spermacide. I have always been super fertile but never got pregnant while using that. Although now that I'm 32 this last baby I would like to have is not coming along as I would like. Good luck! And trying for the baby, not too troublesome!

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  25. I'm going through the same thing! A couple months after I stopped the pill, my skin went crazy. But I've been doing this food allergy detox lately, and my skin cleared up quite a bit! I'm thinking dairy was the problem, but I can't pin it down just yet. Maybe sugar, too. Sugar always causes problems, haha. Bodies are confusing.

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  26. We've been learning similar things at my home over here. Health is indeed valuable.

    I love your hair this way. You are beautiful!

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  27. I'm just glad you figured out how you can improve your health. I've finally figured out (I think) how to take care of my face. Some of this taking care of yourself seems so complicated.

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  28. You are a fabulous girl! thank you for sharing! I'll remember you in my prayers tonight! You'll make a great mother!

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  29. and these photos show just how legit your hair really is. i digs.

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  30. Your hair looks darling and I am SO glad to hear that you are feeling better.

    Sending lots of love your way<33

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  31. You're such a beautiful woman. In and out. And this is really great to me that you're so honest about your feelings here on your blog. I really enjoy reading your words. xo

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  32. You look beautiful. Thank you for sharing. So many of us can relate in our own ways. Being a woman is tricky and hard sometimes! Enjoy your confident self.

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  33. first of all, you look beautiful. Second of all, thank you for this post. I've never been one to take medicine. Birth Control was the first thing I ever took regularly. We've felt like it wasn't a good thing for a while now, and I feel like my feelings have been solidified. I'm glad things are looking up for you and we'll keep you in our prayers. :)

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  34. it takes a lot of courage to just open yourself up like that- so thanks! talking about the hard stuff (birth control, fertility) always seems to bring about better community. glad to hear your starting to feel better, and you look gorgeous, too.

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  35. im so glad youre starting to feel better! isnt it crazy how what you eat takes a toll on your body and mind? I'll be praying for you and Clint and your babies! :-)

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  36. first off, you are beautiful, inside and out. secondly, i went on birth control in college after a dermatologist suggested it might help clear up my skin. and it did. at first. lately, though, my skin has been an absolute mess, and i've got to tell you: it's been embarrassing. would you be willing to give a few more details about the steps you took health-wise to get back to feeling and looking healthy again? i know each person's body is different, but i have a feeling some of your food and lifestyle choices might help my skin and body return to some sense of normalcy as well. i'm 25 and tired of my face being a constant state of distress, and even though i feel pretty healthy, i'm sure i could use some improvement in that area too. my face clearing up would be a bonus...

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  37. Unfortunately for me, I HAVE to be on BC-- let's just say I would be MIA for 3 days a month from being REALLY sick. It's saved me, although I hate being on it.

    I love this post & you are gorgeous. Love your shirt too. I read your blog all the time but this is the first time commenting. <3

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  38. You're so pretty. I can relate to nearly 100% of what you've said. Health is such a blessing when we have it, and a beast when we don't. Here's to good health and babies!

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  39. I just went off birth control this past October. My husband and I are trying for our first child. I too have been frustrated. You look great though.

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  40. this give me much hope! i've been growing my bangs out as well and ,after a rough weekend with then, flirted with the scissors. it's a tough road getting reacquainted with your forehead. haha

    and i really appreciate your honesty with your bc. it's such a scary thing, toying with hormones. i'm so happy you're in the right hands!

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  41. with each baby, the longer I took birth control, the longer it took me to get pregnant. Cam is six years older than Dallan, and it took me months and months to get that stuff out of my system.

    Oh and as for your skin & hair, you're the only one who noticed... you always look beautiful:)

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  42. Everyone is different. And it takes time and mistakes to figure out your body, no question. Good luck on the journey!

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  43. My sister got horribly sick when she went off birth control and her symptoms lasted for over a year. It was terrible and I decided then to never take birth control. Glad you found a way to feel better-I will have to pass this info on to my sister.

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  44. oh my gosh. i went through the same thing when i stopped putting those horrible hormones in my body. it took a year for me to regain a balance! worth it though!!!

    i'm having the opposite hair problem. mine is the longest it's been in yeeeeears and i just don't know what to do with it! i keep wanting to shave or etch or cut! but NO, it's time to try something new!

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  45. Those pictures are gorgeous. You have such a serene beauty : )

    I quit birth control pills after about a month because they made me horribly depressed. Bleh. I'm glad you've found some things that work for you towards getting back to your normal, healthy self!

    Good luck with the baby-making!!

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  46. This was such a lovely post to read. I'm SO glad you're finally getting to be happy with your body and, in turn, yourself! They do say good health is one of the most important things in life and you don't realize it until you've had so much bad.

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  47. P.S. I just read your comment: "i didn't say this in the post, but i've decided that birth control is kind of evil and ruins your body. i know it affects people differently... but i also know i'll never use it again. (bring on the babies! ha)"
    I was wondering if you'd come to that conclusion. Luckily, I've read so many horrible things about birth control that I'll never use it!

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  48. I hate birth control. Seriously. I'm on it right now, have been for 6 months. But for the majority of our relationship, we've managed to go without it. It effects me in ways it shouldn't, it keeps me locked up in rooms not wanting to talk to anyone. It gives me infections. makes me gain weight. No energy. I seriously feel so much better when I'm not on it! I'm not sure how long I'll last. I'm glad you went to the nature doc and got some great answers.

    I just cut my bangs and I really like them, at least I think. But I know how hard they are to grow out. Ugh. Hopefully your hair/skin/body situation is on the up and up!

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  49. You are gorgeous! ( I know everyone is going to say this or already said this, but it's true).

    I hate birth control too. I think it messes up the body.

    And the skin thing- my skin gets terrible when I am pregnant and when I'm nursing. I'm sure you'll be like the other lucky girls who have the pregnancy glow instead of the pregnancy pizza face. :) Actually, as I type this I realize that I'm eating a bag of Cadbury mini eggs- maybe the reason why my skin is so bad is because of how I eat when I'm pregnant or nursing? Or all the time?

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  50. you are so gorgeous! glad you're feeling better

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  51. YOu look great Angela. Good luck with the getting pregnant! We had a hard time too and it gets so stressful but it will happen in time. Best of luck! - Dom

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  52. thank you for reminding me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel....ughh. I've been trying for a year and keep trimming them because they'll look awful. BUT, I don't work at aveda anymore and I don't CARE how they look. I think I will conquer!

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  53. Yay for feeling better. Now I feel really bad for eating 5 of the whole wheat cookies I just made. Wheat can be so harsh as with all of that sugar.

    Hopefully we will talk soon pretty girl.

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  54. so happy you are getting back to your old self. I am in need of this too. BC is awful to our bodies, cant wait to get off of it for good.

    You inspire me angela.

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  55. You look beautiful, and I love your top.

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  56. Yay for you! I'm two weeks gluten-free and am feeling so much better. I have had the same problems you did and am hoping this works! I just feel so lucky that there are so many more options for eating gluten free now.

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  57. wow, that symmetrical face link was crazy! I makes me want to try it myself. ha!

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  58. wow - i'm loving your blog and esp appreciated your post, having suffered from a hormonal imbalance myself. in my case, it came 9 months after i had a baby in the form of post partum anxiety. my doctor suggested i get back on birth control and it worked like magic. only problem is that i didn't want to be on the pill b/c i think it's evil, too, so i got off 3 months later - but apparently, it's all i need to re-align my hormones b/c i've felt great every since. i'd be so curious as to which herbs you are taking. happy to hear you're feeling better! xo p.s. found the wheat thing interesting, too! i just bought some coconut milk - i hear it's good for your complexion.

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  59. Angela, you are one hundred percent gorgeous.

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  60. Whoaaa! congrats! really! I'm so happy you gave up the pill! I gave up 12 years ago. And it took me two years, at the time,to get my body back on track. So grateful it did! I will never, ever pile on hormones treatment! Like you said, bring on the babies! (and there are more effective, less damaging birth control methods - I bet it all on the copper iud).

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  61. not tmi. good to know.

    can you please tell me where that top is from 'cause i need it yesterday.

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  62. you are so beautiful, inside and out. i'm sorry you're having to deal with that struggle. i really am changing my mind about BC too as i'm having my own struggles coming off of it. argh.

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  63. wren - the top is vintage. i've been considering selling it because it's a little too short for my liking. if that's the case, i'll let you know ;)

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  64. Thanks for sharing! BC does bad things to my body, but I didn't know it could lead to bigger issues. It seems like such a common medicine, yet has so many horrible side effects people don't talk about. I'm glad you were able to get your health back!

    P.S. You are so beautiful!

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  65. I meant to post a comment the day you posted this, but thanks for writting this. Chris and I have been struggling with infertility as well. Maybe I need to cut things out of my diet to help!

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  66. You are absolutely gorgeous.

    First, you are so lucky you can part your hair down the middle and look great. I look like a boy when I try. And my nose is just really flat so it just draws attention to it. Bleh.

    Second, I'm so glad your health is getting better and that you're working so hard to maintain that! I hope so much that you are able to get pregnant. You guys will be amazing parents. I just got on BC this summer, and it is super awesome right now... but I am so so afraid of the side effects of getting off of it.

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  67. came across your blog.. linked from another blog - turning pages. I went off of BC a few months ago due to some pain issues and wow - i think BC is evil too. My hair is falling out and my skin is bad and im tired a lot, to name a few. I have no idea how its affecting my fertility b/c we are not trying yet.. Just looked up naturopathic doctors but dont see any in my area.. im in NC. Would love any recommendations from your doctor that I can try. I understand your frustration! and am glad you have found some help. BC is so scary and I don't ever want to put something so controlling like that in my body again!

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  68. Thank you for this post! I am a new follower. I have been off birth control for 6 months, and just until I read this post, I have not put together that I have experienced all those things! I've been feeling bad, but just didn't really know what it was.

    Oh, and I have been trying to grow my bangs out too, but I just caved the other day and got them trimmed. It is so hard! :)

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  69. Just today I found your blog through someone else through someone else - that's how it always is, right?

    And this post, your TMI about birth control: A little light just went on inside my head.
    I struggled with weight gain and puberty like skin four years ago (the weight refused to come off again until I went back on the pill). It all started - come to think of it - about 6months after I stopped the pill.
    It had never occurred to me that the one can lead to the other.
    So coming to the point: thank you for pointing this out even though it wasn't your intention. And I am happy for your that you are feeling better!

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  70. angela~

    i want you to know that I am absolutely *inspired* by you in a rainbow of ways. today is my first visit to your blog, and wow. the beauty of you shines through your design, your photographs, your words, and most particularly, your spirit is so sweet and so moving.

    i am rooting for you with your wellness and your fabulous choices in eating well. i am getting a babysitter for my three young girls and flying out-of-state to a naturopath this month, because my health has been significantly compromised the past year. i too have gone on sugar fasts, and reading about yours today is inspiring me to start another one today. big step. fingers crossed. not easy, but satisfying spiritually, physically, emotionally.

    cheering and joy to you. :)

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  71. i'm new to your blog and love it! added it to my "daily reads" on google reader now :)

    i have been going to a homeopath since august and am loving it. she has treated me for all kinds of things and it has helped me so much better than a "normal doctor". so glad it works so well for you!

    cheers from sweden!
    senja

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  72. Thank you so much for your honest post, Angela. Beautiful inside and out, just as others have said. I don't even know you but can't help knowing that you'll be a great mother. Something I've found is that even though it's hard at times, Heavenly Father's plan for us is greater than anything we can plan for ourselves! I'm thinking of and praying for you. :)

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  73. I just found your blog and it gives me hope. While I have never been on birth control I am overweight and have not had any success with conception. I believe by diet may be to blame. I feel that a 50% raw diet may do the trick! Thank you for the hope and sharing.

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