Monday, March 10, 2008

Crazy Sexy Mommies

Hi cherished health seeking sages!

WOW! Lot's of guest bloggers this week/weekend. Everything from veganism, aromatherapy and a new favorite topic fertility! I've had the privilege of meeting some fabulously interesting women lately, two specialist in particular who ya'll just have to know. First up,the dynamic Jan Roberts. Her story says it all. For more information and to ask questions or start conversations please go to

Take it away Jan.....

Hi Crazy Sexy Crew,

My name is Jan Roberts and the lovely Kris has asked me to introduce myself and give you some insights into key areas of women’s health - preconception, fertility, beautiful, happy, healthy babies and the other end of the reproductive cycle - menopause.

First a little about me…I began my career as a pharmacist in Sydney Australia, way back in 1967. I then spent fifteen years in community pharmacy, before my frustration with band-aid medicine led me to bat for the complementary side of medicine. I was tired of handing out prescriptions for people who never got better … at the time I simply thought that people were sick and were staying that way because of “the goodness that was missing from modern diets.” I’d grown up with a very insightful mother who sent me to school everyday with salad in a Tupperware lunch box. The other kids all had chocolate spread on white bread (mind you, I dearly longed to have these sandwiches)… now I’m so glad my Mom insisted on salmon on wholegrain! So I was raised with some understanding of the importance of nutrition, but had no idea of the other factors that impact our health, (the common social poisons, the oral contraceptive pill and other pharmaceutical “solutions,” toxicity in the environment and in our water, electromagnetic radiation and much more).

My then partner, also a pharmacist goaded me into learning more instead of as he said …“just talking through my hat about things I knew nothing about.” Well, I learned more and then some. He probably regrets to this day that cattle prod because it set me on a path that took me down an entirely different road (and eventually away from him, but that was much later and after we had our two children).

So I embarked on a postgraduate diploma in clinical nutrition and was particularly inspired by a lecture from a remarkable doctor in England…he talked about the work of Foresight, an Association involved in the promotion of preconception healthcare. It was a light coming on for me! Having staunchly resisted the idea of children for 35 years, I made an instant decision …when I eventually DID have my kids that would be how I’d prepare. Once I’d made that decision, I started looking at the whole reproductive cycle and was shocked at how far women had strayed (thanks largely to the medical profession) from what nature intended. So for 25 years my passion has been the promotion of preconception healthcare as the way to improve fertility and to prevent miscarriage and other reproductive problems. It’s also the best foundation to ensure that you will have a wonderfully healthy pregnancy, that you can (and will feel confident to) give birth without any help at all from modern medicine (hey, women have been doing this stuff for a few millennia), that you can and will breastfeed your baby for as long as he or she wants… and much more.

My little newsletter that ran to 12 pages and was created on one of the earliest Apple Macs turned into four books on natural ways to improve every stage of reproduction from preconception through to breastfeeding and they are all based on my personal experiences. My two boys who are now 18 and 22 were the inspiration for the series. At 38 and 42 years old, I didn’t have fertility problems, but could see that all the things that my partner and I did in preparation for conception meant that everything unfolded easily and naturally! Of course there’s nothing like writing from personal experience! But life moves on and babies grow up and personal experience is now at the menopause stage, with exactly the same diet and lifestyle factors important for an easy transition into that phase of life.

Today, women and men have greater needs for optimal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing than ever before. Corporate, work place, family and community demands place increasing pressures on all of us. Our reproductive capacity and reproductive outcomes are compromised, as well as being increasingly medically managed. Mothering no longer unfolds naturally and easily. Sexual health is compromised by the same factors adversely affecting reproduction. I could go on, but I think you get the message … 21st century diets and lifestyles have created a bunch of problems…but there’s a huge amount that we can do to redress the damage.
I will be posting some more detail in the near future on Crazy Sexy Life and answering any questions you may have. If you are in the area I am currently touring the West Coast of the US talking about all the things that need attention if you want to have a really healthy baby, and all the things that need attention if you want to cruise through menopause. Hope to see some of you there!

Click here for San Diego lecture
Click here for Costa Mesa and Vista (CA)
Click here for Seattle
Click here for San Francisco (Menopause)
Click here for San Francisco (Fertility)
Click Here for Pharmaca San Francisco
Click Here for Pharmaca Napa
Jan's Elephant Pharmacy lectures


Jenny said...

Thank you so much for this post....I love hearing from anyone who has dedicated so many years to naturally taking care of ourselves...mind, body & spirit!
What a wonderful gift to give our future children....optimizing our health before conception!
That is true Mommy Love!

Dr.Sue said...

Hi Jan,
I too am a pharmacist, though I went back to school in my 30's, started from the beginning math & science classes & got my PharmD in 2000. I was interested in nutrition since a kid, but when I finally went back to school in 1992, I looked into the BS program for Nutrition, started classes & ended up changing to pharmacy. At least now in pharmacy school, you can takes classes in natural meds & herbs, but it isn't mandatory, it's an elective. I too got frustrated in community pharmacy, but was able to steer people to herbal remedies for various conditions. I think it's wonderful what you've done & am looking forward to hearing more. I'm getting closer to menopause, and already know that my diet & exercise program will help me sail through it! Thank you for your post.

librarymom said...

The subject of natural childbirth and natural and attachment parenting is near and dear to my heart. I have two children, 10 and 12.5. I am a Bradley Method Natural Childbirth instructor, have been a doula and a breastfeeding consultant.

Definitely pre-conception nutrition and avoidance of toxins for both mom and dad are the single most imporant things under our control to work towards a healthy pregnancy and child.

In a normal healthy pregnancy, there is no need for medical intervention/interference, and it can actually be dangerous. A woman's body is amazing, beautiful and efficient!

Almost 13 years ago when my husband and I were pre-conception planning, people thought we were going overboard, but we knew we were doing the right thing! It is still difficult today to do other than what the medical establishment wants or deems "normal", but then again, for those of us fighting cancer in alternative ways this is not news to us! Whether it's cancer or your baby, be firm, stick to your instincts, do what you know is right, and find a practitioner that is not only comfortable with being a team and working together towards a healthy baby, but embraces the idea.

scnewme said...

Hi Jan, Thanks for sharing a bit of your life with us. Fortunately, I'm blessed to have my two beautiful healthy children. My daughter is 12 and my son is 9. I'm at the opposite end now. About midway through my chemo, I had to get a shot to stop my bleeding...three weeks and the counts were falling to the basement. Long story short, the docs are pretty sure that the whole thing shoved me right into menopause. I'm not sure what to expect from my body now and I'd love to know more about this. Hopefully you will pop over the bridge to my CSL and bring some powerful knowledge our way.

LYB said...

Wow, this is perfect for me. Thanks so much for posting this topic. I went through treatments for breast cancer and as a result am being medically thrusted into ovary suppression and estrogen suppression.....hello menopause, and all that comes with it! I hate it! My biggest complaint is the weight-gain. Since going vegan and raw based I have stabilized my weight, but I can't seem to loose this stomach. Any tips of the trade....It is really depressing, nothing fits and I don't feel comfortable in my own skin. I am fortunate I have my 2 boys, but the decision to have a 3rd child was robbed from me and now I have a menopaused body at 35.....not so fun! From what I understand being medically thrusted into menopause makes the symptoms worse, but is there anything to do to alleviate the side effects of menopause.


Basic Me said...

thanks for all the info love the post.. my comment from yesterday disappeared.. sorry... well hugs.. and keep up the goof work. Loved the speeches.. callie

strongerthanit said...

Callie - I'm glad you are on the blog.....AKA: dark-ages version of communication I suppose! I am slowly re-entering the world of cyberspace - a tad difficult when leaving that "other world" called NIH; ugh, what a journey; the place is absolutely phenomenal - after Georgetown, then Hopkins, now this - no comparision - I will never complain about paying taxes again........this latest blog post by Jan is interesting; seems as if the majority of cyber-ers are responding/discussing via forum. Alas. I'm not ready to navigate that yet - at least not until I've settled back into some normalcy with family, four sons, work - you can imagine how far behind I am with everything. The starts and stops of my medical therapies have driven me, and them, to distratction. I had an awful reaction to one of the chems - now that the dose/timing is correct, I can at least anticipate the infusions, down-times and plan accordingly. You'd think after 7 years of this I'd be an expert....but no. Hey, I am not complaining! Thankfully, NIH continues to infuse me with wonder-chems to keep me alive and kicking. And now I'm beginning to feel that little "kick-ass" in my step!

I'm so far behind with the blog-stuff - Kris: holy cow - you screaming, wild, kick-ass cowgirl....LOVE your card-swipe story!! You go girl!!! We all have our limits.....AND we live in the here and now.....after mastectomy #2 I had an infection and had home-infusion...our next door neighbors left the country for the summer and rented their house to a bunch of early evening I had just had my "fill" of their beer-drinking, dope-slinging parties - phone calls and kind words didn't cut it. So, in anger I walked over, IV pole in tow, lifted my shirt to reveal a totally scarred and flattened chest and told them if they don't stop NOW I will call the cops and put an end to their "fabulous summer flings"! Well, need I say more??? Nary a peep!!!!!!!!! That Miracle Mineral concoction sounds, uh, interesting -need to look it up. And Dee?? Goodness how she has suffered. I've been blown-away by the support of everyone.....just lovely beyond words. I hope she is finally on the mend. I know how great it felt to have that support from Leenda, Debbie, Sandy, Skyecat, Scnewme, Belinda, Dr. Sue, and Heather....every little bit of support and positive reinforcement helps!!! M

RachelRae said...

Jan~Wow, very interesting! Thanks for your insights.

It's so neat that there are some guest bloggers on this site! Would love to hear a post on "How to Go Raw: Baby Step Style" for those of us who are aspiring raw foodist but need to slowly transition!

Basic Me said...


karengberger said...

Thank you for this information. Is it possible that Jan will address health issues for those of us who are past reproductive age and our older children? We have a 15-year old son, and our daughter, Katie, just passed away in August at 12 years of age from adrenocortical carcinoma. I really wonder whether pesticides in the food chain, contaminants in our air and water, chemicals used in buildings and autos, etc. are contributing to the incidence of cancer in childhood. We have no history of cancer in our close family tree, we live in a beautiful rural area and we eat pretty healthily. We started an endowment at our local Children's Hospital in her memory, so I am always looking for more info to give to our researchers, and to use in lobbying for funding!

janwrites said...

librarymom is right - folk do tend to think you're over the top when you tell them you're preparing for your pregnancy. But the crazy thing is, what happens during that period prior to conception has a greater bearing on the outcome than what happens during the pregnancy itself. I try to encourage couples to think of it as the TRUE first stage of pregnancy. The good thing is, when the preconception foundation is laid, everything else unfolds more readily, especially the attached parenting - and the world needs more attached parents!!

janwrites said...

Hi Sue,
I think pharmacy provides one of the best places to integrate orthodox medicine and CAM. I've seen some really exciting examples of that on my tour in the US - back home it's happening too and this year one of the major Australian pharmacy chains will incorporate my Better Babies Programs into all their locations.

Basic Me said...

strongerthanit. thank goodnss you come could we get intouch I have talked to almost all the origional csc friends.. wellI would love to have our little clique` not lose its own momentium. I dont want to lose anyone please when you feel up to it email me at
I am not sure if all us olld dogs wont always want to come here to home. that is a young perons playground I just miss having a discussions an a train of thought to follow an the daily support. I miss my girls and clint. I love th forum bit it is far to much stimpulation for me. I just likecoming here nd being home. Love yo email me please ai would love to call you.
HUgs callie

huxley said...

Hi Kris & Jan,
THANKS sooo much for this post.
Jan you may have seen me over at Better Babies or our Infert group. Would love to hear more from you on diet - I have been slowly moving towards a vegan, semi-raw diet and I would like to know more about supplements that you would suggest.
I'm concentrating on the 'whole body' through diet, exercise, meditation & yoga, herbs and acupuncture and will head back to IVF for a frozen embryo cycle in June after an 8 month break...
Thanks again,
huxley : )

Dani said...

Jan & Kris,
This post was wonderful! What an inspiration! I am 34 and was recently told I need to wait about two years to become pregnant. Obviously I felt devastated considering that hormones and most IVF treatments are not an option for a twice-liver cancer survivor. Glad to hear that Jan was able to conceive at 38 and 42. Please let us know when you come to the East Coast. I would love to learn more about your experiences.

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