By Patricia F. Danflous
Now, not later.
Magdalena Wszelaki’s mantra for living to the fullest is short and powerful. She might have used such a statement during an advertising career that included Nike, Johnson& Johnson and Volkswagen as clients. It was a glamourous lifestyle that took her around the world with dinners at the finest restaurants and opportunities to vacation in Spain and run in the Great Wall of China Marathon.
That was then. The days when her fast-paced and seemingly enviable professional success masked pain and discomfort of Graves’ Disease, Hashimoto’s Disease, digestive disorders, PMS, and a host of on-going infections. “Don’t forget lumpy breasts,” she said with a smile.
Things are different today. No longer a high-powered executive pitching campaigns to Fortune 100 companies, a symptom-free Wszelaki is a highly-acclaimed certified holistic health coach. She’s a blogger, Facebook live host, podcaster, speaker, nutrition consultant, founder of the Hormones Balance online community, and author of the recently released “Cooking for Hormone Balance.” “I feel better today in my mid-forties than I did in my twenties,” she said.
“As women, we push ourselves to our utter limits in the workplace to gain confidence, self-esteem and validation. This can be one of the leading causes of hormonal imbalance.”
Recognizing that “hormone balance” was the answer to a life of frustration, illness and fatigue, she is now a leader on the journey toward hormonal balance. Based on personal experience, continued research and education, Wszelaki emphasizes a natural way of appetizing and healthy eating with a focus on bio-individuality. A native of Poland and daughter of a Polish diplomat, Wszelaki lived around the world before settling in Boulder, Colorado. “There’s quite a big business start-up culture with very health-minded and mission-based entrepreneurs,” she said. “I moved here temporarily to finish my cookbook but then I fell in love with Boulder and thought, ‘why would I want to move away from this health conscious and environmentally conscious community?’ That’s really important to me.”
Finding a new home was relatively easy. It took a few “aha” moments before she changed career directions. “I was living in Shanghai and in the midst of a booming career,” she recalled. “It was ten years ago, but I remember this like yesterday. I walked into an endocrinologist’s office and told her that the thyroid issues I had in my twenties seemed to be back on.”
Following a panel of tests, Wszelaki learned she had Hashimoto’s Disease, the autoimmune condition that causes hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue. “That explained why I was feeling so tired,” she explained. “I had to have two strong cups of double expresso to get me going in the morning. I was completely exhausted all the time. It’s hard to explain thyroid-related fatigue. It’s not what you feel at the end of the day or when you went for a run or a five-hour hike, you just feel literally like your whole energy in your life has been sucked out of you. You’re totally empty from inside.”
With little hope or compassion from the medical world and the start of anxiety attacks, Wszelaki realized she was in over her head. “Imagine that you know who you are as a person and then suddenly, you are having irrational fears about your clients or about your own future,” she said. “I just became a totally different person. With no medication prescribed to control Hashimoto’s, I felt incredibly powerless. Ten years ago, I could only find one book on the disease with a recommendation to avoid eating soy and chocolate.”
Desperate enough to consider a $10,000 flight to Venezuela to consult a doctor specializing in Hashimoto’s, Wszelaki took a step back and saw a traditional Chinese physician. Although herbs helped, she realized that thousands of years of Chinese medicine did not address the stress, food sensitivities, toxicities, sugar dependency and environmental pollution of today.
Forfeiting a million-dollar payout in a three-year contract, Wszelaki quit her job. “I was a million dollars poorer, but it was one of the best decisions I had made for myself,” she said.
Noting that every part of her healing journey incorporated dietary and lifestyle changes, Wszelaki says the decision to pursue a holistic-oriented career is founded on her belief in sleep, emotional healing and good, clean food with no restricted dieting.
Her comprehensive cookbook, “Cooking for Hormone Balance” is filled with diverse and savory recipes utilizing hormone-supporting superfoods and super herbs. In addition to the easy to prepare suggestions, Wszelaki provides a guideline to rebalancing hormones based on research and experience.
“One of the things you’ll see in the cookbook is that the recipes are either very low in sugar or they’re savory in nature,” she said. “The breakfast recipes are an inspiration from my global travels and having lived in Asia for 22 years. Western breakfasts are full of carbohydrates, and sugary foods. A savory breakfast is profoundly changing to most people. If you balance your blood sugar level first thing in the morning, you feel very satisfied, very grounded. It’s what I do and I don’t crave anything. Sometimes I don’t even eat lunch. It’s a different way of eating and it works.”
You may not have Graves’ or Hashimoto’s Disease, Wszelaki noted. “But what woman hasn’t had lumpy breasts?” she asked. “That condition disappears with hormonal balance. Get started eating right today – don’t wait until later.”
For more information on Magdalena Wszelaki and hormone balance, start at her website www.cookingforhormonebalance.com.