Hi Tracy,
I have something to ask you regarding avocado which you included in a video earlier about top ten anti-inflammatory foods. The omega 3 to omega 6 ratio for avocado is an unhealthy ratio – excess omega 6 is inflammatory, so in your opinion, do you think eating an avocado everyday is beneficial?

Hi there!

You are right that avocados do have more Omega 6s than Omega 3s. For those of you not familiar with this concept, let me explain:

We need these two fats in our diets in a specific ratio of approximately 2:1 Omega 6s to Omega 3s. When this ratio is in line, your body produces tons of anti-inflammatory compounds. When this ratio is not in line, inflammation flourishes.

Because Omega 6s are found in abundance in modern foods like processed vegetable oils (such as corn oil, soybean oil, etc), and quality Omega 3s are found in so few foods, most modern people have a ratio of like 20:1 6s to 3s as opposed to the ideal 2:1. So inflammation abounds. And it’s not really good enough to simply up your Omega 3s – you also have to lower your Omega 6s for it to make a difference.

Now, as for avocados, while it does have some Omega 6 and hardly any Omega 3, I don’t think it’s a huge problem in this case. As far as I know, most of the avocado is monounsaturated fats as opposed to polyunsaturated (which houses the Omega family), so the amount of Omega 6 you are getting is still quite small. If you have cut out processed foods and commercial seed oils from your diet and do not eat a ridiculous amount of nuts like almonds (which are another fairly large source of Omega 6s if you eat a lot of them), and you take a good Omega 3 fish oil or cod liver oil every day, then one avocado per day shouldn’t be a big deal.

Plus the reason I included avocado in my anti-inflammatory list was because it has a diverse range of vitamins, anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, and antioxidants.

Hi Tracy,

Can i ask a question? I, like you, find myself breaking out a lot the week before my period. do you have any idea what is going on during this time of the month? is it androgens, progesterone or estrogen? i have done a lot of research on this but havent come to a conclusion. How can we fix this? 

Hi there!

What is supposed to happen in a regular cycle is that estrogen is the dominant hormone during day 1 – 14 of your cycle, and then after you ovulate and before your period (called the luteal stage), estrogen is supposed to fall and progesterone is supposed to be the dominant hormone.

What I think is happening in my most women that have classic PMS symptoms and pre-menstrual acne is that our progesterone levels end up being lower than estrogen in the luteal phase of our cycle and it doesn’t balance out the estrogenic effects. This is generally referred to as estrogen dominance. This could either be because you have normal progesterone levels and high estrogen levels, or you could have normal estrogen levels and a lower progesterone level…. you could even have low estrogen levels, but still have estrogen dominance symptoms if your progesterone is even lower.

So anyway… hormones don’t get out of whack for no reason. They get out of whack due to lifestyle problems, so things like a nourishing, anti-inflammatory diet (including lots of Omega 3s and a good Omega balance!), lowering stress, and exercise are going to help fix this problem.

There are supplements out there that can also help you such as Vitex Chasteberry, Evening Primrose Oil, or Dong Quai but I really think it’s best to see a natural therapist who can test you for hormone levels and recommend what will work for you before you start blindly messing with your hormones.

However, there is a supplement that you may find interesting called DIM or diindolylmethane, which is a natural compound found in broccoli and cruciferous vegetables. What it does is help your body to metabolize bad estrogens that we’ve acquired from our environment (from plastics and pesticides and things), so that your estrogen levels can come back into a natural balance.

Fran from High on Health has been using a DIM product called Estroblock three times per day and apparently it was the last piece in her puzzle that finally brought her body into balance and got rid of her mild acne. I find that very interesting and positive. I personally have been trying a different brand of DIM for a few months, and haven’t seen any improvement, although I only took one per day so I may not have been using enough. I may one day give Estroblock a shot, but I’d really like to get a saliva hormone test done before I start on any more hormone supplements.

Hey Tracy,

You see, I’m in my first semester studying nutrition and what makes me really nervous is that next semester I have three laboratories and I won’t be able to wear any piercings, rings, watches, makeup etc.. not to mention I will be forced to wear black pants, a white labcoat and nasty ass black shoes.

I always rely on my makeup, clothing and etc to give me my personality and give me a self esteem boost. Now i will have to go to classes everyday looking like shit. I’m really afraid that this will make me realize that i have a lot of work to be done on myself on the inside and will really make my feel worse about myself. i’m even thinking of changing careers just because i can’t bear the thought of others looking at my bare skin. Do you have any advice for me?

Thanks in advance!

Hi there!

Wow, that is a really tough situation. I’m sorry you’re being forced into it! I understand that it is always a major self esteem boost to be able to dress and look your best, and I wouldn’t be happy in that situation either.

I can definitely feel first hand the anxiety that this situation is stirring up in you because I was someone who used to not be able to imagine ever, EVER going anywhere, let alone somewhere with people I knew, without makeup on and my spots covered up. The thought of people seeing that I wasn’t perfect that was not something I could handle.

However, I never liked this. I didn’t want to be this way. I was envious, yet perplexed by girls who could be around others when they didn’t have any makeup on – how could they do that? Aren’t they self conscious? Yet this problem was not something that I ever planned to face or change, because to me, it still wasn’t enough of a problem to bother moving from my comfort zone.

“I’m really afraid that this will make me realize that i have a lot of work to be done on myself on the inside and will really make my feel worse about myself.” – you already know there are things that you need to address and work on otherwise you wouldn’t have written that sentence. The truth is that facing your fears and demons is never going to be comfortable; it’s never going to be fun. And often it takes a situation like this one to force you to do it, because most of us would never make that leap voluntarily. For me it took the experience of my mild acne (that I fretted so much about) turning to severe acne before I was able to see that the way I felt about myself was unhealthy.

You’re obviously not ready for this transformation and growth – hey – I wasn’t ready to deal with severe acne either – but sometimes we are just thrown into these situations and we must weather them as best we can. I don’t think it’s bad unless you choose to not learn from it or use it as an opportunity to grow. I feel like I’ve come out the other side and I have a healthier way of looking at my imperfections now – I can honestly say that your situation would not stress me out nearly as much as it would have before, even if I happened to have some mild breakouts. That feels pretty good.

I’d highly suggest you do not ditch your career over this, especially if it’s what you really want to do. You will regret it, and I would be very disappointed. You will get through this – just remember that every single person in your lab is going to be in the same situation and NO ONE is going to be looking at you. One thing I’ve learned is that people just don’t care about you the way you think they do. I mean, they care about you as a person – but they don’t care what you look like. They are way more concerned about what they look like.

You can do it. Be strong!

Lots of love,
Tracy x

PS – I think I’m only going to do the Q & A article every second Monday, instead of every week. Some people like this article, and others don’t seem to… so I will be sure to save up some really good q’s for the bi-weekly sesh!

photo by Darwin Bell