Sylvia Hall


gut health

My Postpartum Depression (Part One)

Life Coach Kansas City, guthealthSylvia HallComment

Over five years ago, shortly after having my daughter, Olive, I was struck with postpartum depression. 

Duuuuuudes. Hard. Stuff. 

I wasn’t sure what was going on, because I wasn’t sitting around crying like I did the first few weeks after having my first child, which had been just a couple of years earlier.

No. This was different, and it was scary. 

There were no tears.

My Olive. 

My Olive. 

Instead, there were irrational, obsessive thoughts; stacked, one, on top of the other, on top of the other.

They didn’t make sense and I knew that.

They were not rational and I knew that. 

But they were persistent and heavy and scary.

And they felt very, very real.

For instance, when my baby cried I knew for sure, FOR SURE, she was dying. I would go weak in my knees.

I would have to sit down. Because I felt like I was going to faint from the (very real) thought of it….

Of course, if I tried to verbalize this, but I knew how ‘crazy’ it sounded.

It still felt so very, very real.

Amidst this madness, I would also get stuck in various ‘thought loops’ about things that had happened, and I couldn’t change, and I would obsess on them.


Truly, this was a mental hell.

This wasn’t my first dance with feeling totally and utterly crazy, unfortunately.

About five years before that, I was dealing with migraines. So many migraines!

My doctor at the time prescribed me a particular seizure medicine which was thought to help with migraines. Within a few short weeks, I was experiencing regular panic attacks.

It took me a while to put together that the new medicine was CAUSING the panic attacks… So I got to experience A LOT of them…

Now, if you’re not accustomed to panic attacks, it may just sound like a bad case of anxiety. 

But if you’ve experienced one, you know they equate more accurately to heart attacks.

Seriously! Oodles of people go to the ER thinking they are having a heart attack, when it’s really their first dance with a panic attack.

While experiencing a panic attack, my body would ‘freeze up"

and my mind would go on overdrive, almost like in those cartoons where a machine goes out of whack, freaks out, sputters, and then let’s out a loud KABOOM. (And then it’s broken.)

That’s what it felt like, anyway.

There are more stories that have made mental wellness a VERY big priority of mine, and one that happened fairly recently…

(WhewWeeee…. that one was a doozy!), but this feels like enough vulnerability for now (gulp.)

What I REALLY want to say is… my BIG aha, was NOT just that I learned how to manage my mind, although that has been extremely useful.

Mindset is just one piece of the puzzle. A VERY important piece, but just A piece, nonetheless.

And that is why I am telling you this story.

Because I want to share my even bigger A-HA with you.

And if I can… alleviate some unnecessary suffering.

More to come…


What You Really Need to Know About Probiotics

Sylvia HallComment

Okay, first of all. I slapped some sense into myself.

I REALY wanted to use a super cheesy title for this post. Really. And it looked a little something like this:

"What if There Really is a 'Magic Pill' for Optimal Health"

Because, I feel like probiotics are borderline magical and most certainly life-changing.

I also feel like they are a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to feeling so good. 

So, yea. The "magic pill" I'm talking about is Probiotics. 

Here's the scoop:

  • Probiotics, simply stated, provide our bodies with 'good bacteria.'
  • You can purchase them in capsule, tablet, chewable, or powder form.
  • Taking probiotics will enhance and optimize your gut health.

Why focus on gut health? Because gut health leads to digestive health, immune health, physical health, and mental health. 

Okay, okay. I know what some of you are thinking.

what you really need to know about probiotics

I eat healthy, Sylvia. Why should I have to take a "pill" to be this well?

And the truth is, if you are consuming plenty of probiotic food, you might not need to.

But for the rest of us, probiotic supplements are a great way to ensure we are getting enough 'good bacteria,' which is required for optimal health. 

Another good question you might have: why is our gut health in such bad shape, anyway?

The main reason is likely due to numerous doses of antibiotics. 

Did you know that the job of an antibiotic is to WIPE out all bacteria? That includes the GOOD kind of bacteria that we need in our bodies.

Antibiotics can be life saving, so I'm not pretending they aren't. But it's important to note that they can also be damaging to our health, especially in excess. 

There are other reasons why our gut health might not be so great, but a lot of research points to rampant antibiotic use as the main problem.

maybe you are sold on the idea of probiotics. Great! But hold up a pretty little minute.

There are a ton of products out there and not all of them are created equally.

Many brands even declare themselves as "#1 Doctor Recommended." And yet, their product doesn't really stack up.

Here are the TWO MAIN things you need to look for in a good probiotic:

  • Multiple strains. Don't buy something that has just one strain. At least five to seven different strains of bacteria are preferred. (You will find the strains of bacteria listed on the back label.)
  • Multiple billion CFUs. Probiotics in the "Millions" of CFUs are weak and not worth your money. Five billion CFUs or 10 billion CFUs might be ok to start, but I recommend at least 20 billion CFUs. Therapeutic doses can range from 50-100 billion CFUs. Starting lower is ok, though. 

When it comes to probiotics, some is better than none. So don't get overwhelmed with all of the products on the market and freeze with indecision. Buy something and try it out.

The really cool science behind all of this is that certain strains can help with certain symptoms. This is the future of medicine, in my opinion.

So, commit to taking something daily and see how you feel.

Maybe. Just maybe, you aren't convinced yet. Did you know...

Early findings showcase that probiotics can help enhance mood, improve allergies, and regulate constipation/diarrhea (Yes! It helps with both of these problems. Fascinating, no?).

But that's not all. Research also shows probiotics can help with weight loss, anxiety, depression, lactose intolerance, and so much more.

Probiotics are now am INTEGRAL part of our family's health protocol. Yes, I give my kids probiotics. Yes, I just said health protocol. Serous business around here, folks.

And, speaking of serious business. One: please don't forget to consult your doctor. Two: I would never tell you what to do, but if your doctor isn't keen on probiotics, you might want to consider getting a second opinion. 

I am not a doctor, but I do believe in the power of probiotics. And I do want to help you FEEL SO GOOD. 

Cheers to OUR optimal health!