HPN 32: Seed Oils At Restaurants, Tips To Alleviate PMS/PMDD in Your Menstrual Cycle, Sourdough Love and More!

May 6, 2022


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Welcome to episode 32 of Holistic Performance Nutrition (HPN) featuring Tawnee Gibson, MS, CSCS, CISSN, and Julie McCloskey, a certified holistic nutrition coach who you can find over at wildandwell.fit.

On this episode:

Homemade sourdough & more

  • Tawnee talks sourdough with Julie; her husband John is baking it at their home now and it’s been a process to get it up to par but once it did, what a treat it’s been, even with a history of having to avoid most gluten.
  • Talking long-fermentation sourdough and how the gluten content might be decreased in this form and easier to digest for those otherwise sensitive to gluten (Celiac is a different story though and GF is still recommended). 
  • Safety for patients with celiac disease of baked goods made of wheat flour hydrolyzed during food processing
    • This study shows effects of sourdough that was fermented so that part of the gluten was degraded, or sourdough that contained only 8 ppm of residual gluten.
  • Long ferment is usually around 30 hours; important to note that not all sourdoughs are baked this way or the same way, many are not long-ferment and more like regular bread. 
  • Julie shares about her food freedom and the occasional treat such as a hot-crossed bun on Easter that she had, but how those things are not.

Ari asks:

How “careful” should you be at restaurants?

Hi guys! Love the show. I am all on board with clean eating: eliminating seed oils, buying organic, grassfed, wild, etc., gluten free, and don’t do a ton of grains. My question is: How do you navigate eating out at restaurants? Namely, the oils they use to cook, whether organic or grassfed meat is used, that kind of stuff. Do you avoid certain foods if they don’t fit these criteria? Some proponents of healthy fats and oils recommend avoiding seed oils at all costs, but this feels like it could be a slipper slope. I don’t eat out much, maybe 1-2x a week, and I never really thought about it but now I find it constantly on my mind at restaurants.

What the coaches say:

  • It depends, frequency matters.
  • If you’re eating out a ton all week long, every week, then it may have a greater negative impact. But just a couple times a week or less may be insignificant to cause any problems. 
  • Reading ingredient labels is important but giving yourself permission to eat it anyway is ok sometimes, especially as athletes who should not be over-restricting 24/7.
  • Eating out is something to be enjoyed not feared and has a lot of positives despite the occasional exposure to seed oils, etc. “Good enough” is often ok (not every single thing always has to be organic and grassfed). 
  • Social aspect of dining out together and letting go of the fear that would otherwise hold us back from those experiences. 
  • Go out and be with your community, don’t let fear rule you. We can’t control everything, and that’s ok.
  • For many of us loosening the reigns is just what we need rather than over-obsessing and nit-picking every aspect of food and meals, especially those you aren’t preparing yourself. 
  • When is it time to be more strict with these things? If you’re suffering from chronic inflammation, obesity or another health ailment which may benefit and improve with a better quality diet then mostly eliminating things like seed oils, etc., may be in your best interest. People have made incredible health transformations in changing their diet to largely avoid these foods.
  • Many of us, however, may be more prone to orthorexia and fear of foods.
  • Most restaurants are not using olive oil, coconut oil, butter, etc., as their main oils, and are using vegetable and seed oils. But does that mean we live in fear and avoid going out? No.
  • Awareness is helpful, but obsession is not healthy.
  • How this ties into raising kids and teaching youth to have a healthy relationship with food; as parents and mentors we have a huge influence over the development of healthy habits surrounding food.
  • Social media’s role and how “influencers” who avoid “toxic” ingredients anyhow this can actually be toxic for our mental health.
  • Monitor your health, see if what you’re consuming is having a negative impact at all, eg seed oils and inflammatory markers. 
  • Last word on seed oil: If you are overdoing it with seed oils, you may find that your skin burns in the sun pretty easily… and in eliminating seed oils completely or mostly you may find a healthier internal state that leads to healthier skin which won’t burn in the sun so easily like it once did.
  • Make these changes and make your choices from a place of self-nourishment. 

Jamie asks:

Late luteal support?

Hi! Love the show. I am one of those women who really see the effect of sex hormones in my menstrual cycle, particularly about a week before I start my period. It’s ok that I’m not “optimal” during that time and I try to better prioritize recovery while avoiding too much HIIT, but is there anything I can do nutritionally to help me feel even just a little better during that time? Why do we actually feel so cruddy and moody in that week before starting?!

What the coaches say:

This time of month


  • Food and behavior are linked. Managing blood sugar is especially important for managing your mood. Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense diet. Whole foods. Balanced meals. Balanced snacks. Grounding foods like soups, stews, broths, meats, and fiber.
  • Omega 3s up to 1g/day.
  • Cruciferous vegetables contain something called Indole-3-Carbinol that help metabolize estrogen.
  • Cruciferous vegetables also contain DIM that helps (or can supplement with DIM to lower estrogen).
  • Water! It’s insane how dehydrated most of my clients are without even knowing it.
  • Fiber! Fruits and veggies with the skin on. Chia and flax to help out.
  • Gut heath – part of estrogen metabolism happens in the gut so having a good ratio of good guys to bad guys and making sure you’re not constipated will help get it metabolized and eliminated.
  • Limit: added sugars, pastries, candy, fried food, cows milk (especially if you get acne)
    • A study from Egypt revealed the positive association between PMS and excess intake of sweet-tasting food items. It also showed that other factors, such as intake of junk food and coffee, were significantly associated with PMS. Thus, making it evident that lifestyle factors have a significant association with PMS and PMDD.[3] Cheng et al. did a similar study among women university students for assessing the factors associated with PMS and revealed that dietary factors such as consumption of fast food, drinks containing sugar, deep-fried foods, and lifestyle factors such as less habitual exercise and poor sleep quality is significantly associated with PMS.
  • The histamine connection: histamine response can happen more in the luteal phase.
    • With histamine though, be sure to consider the role of the immune system not just hormones!
    • Supplements with DAO to help histamine. 


  • To help alleviate luteal phase symptoms:
    • CoQ10 – acute: boosts cardio, decreases oxidative stress; long-term: may increase time to exhaustion, enhances mitochondria, etc.
    • L-Carnitine – helps maximize fat burning capabilities, boost energy, cardiovascular benefits, keeps blood sugar levels even and can also help minimize food/carb/sugar cravings and overeating.
    • Tart Cherry Extract – shown to reduce pain perception during and post-exercise soreness, attenuates catabolic response, reduces inflammation.
    • Beetroot extract – continue normal dosage.
    • BCAAs or Perfect Amino.


  • Organizing, creative projects, Me Time, walking, yoga, stretching, not planning anything huge.
  • Orgasms!
    • Reduce stress and anxiety, increase circulation to the pelvis, relieve migraines, better skin, improve your menstrual cycle. You release oxytocin which can counter the negative effects of cortisol.
      • “Research has shown that women who have sex on a weekly basis also have more predictable mednstrual cycles. Women who don’t have sex regularly may have more sporadic cycles, which tend to be shorter, a possible indication of low progesterone and estrogen dominance, but regular orgasms can have a hormone-balancing effect. They also can hep relieve menstrual cramps because releasing oxytocin and other endorphins during orgasm may reduce pain.” Dr. Jolene Brighton, Beyond the Pill

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