Category Archives: Nutrition

My Experience With Everlywell Women’s Health Test

Read my honest review of Everlywell Women’s Health Test, and how I applied the results to improve my PMS symptoms, anxiety, sleep, and other hormonal health issues!

Everlywell Women's Health Test

Hey friends! So many of you appreciated my review of Everlywell’s at-home Food Sensitivity Test, and the results from it were so helpful in me pinpointing exactly what was causing my symptoms and alleviating them with an elimination diet.

To further improve my health after some recent issues I’ve been dealing with, I thought it would be wise to take another test to see how my hormones were doing. I ended up taking the Women’s Health Test and I want to share my experience with you, in case you were curious about doing something similar.

Why I Chose Everlywell Women’s Health Test

If you’ve been following me along on the blog for a while, you know I’ve gone through several hormonal health issues in the past and it’s one of the reasons why I’m so careful about the food I eat and the products I use on my skin. I had a long period recovering from adrenal fatigue, suffering from stress-induced hypothyroidism for a few years, and not having my period for several years after I went off of hormonal birth control.

I’ve been slowly recovering for the past several years by taking extra caution to take care of my health, but there are still some issues that linger that seem to be hormone-related, like:

  • not sleeping well at night,
  • being super sensitive to stress,
  • intolerance to cold at all times,
  • painful menstrual cramps,
  • anxiety,
  • and being easily fatigued.

It was time for me to tackle these issues and see where I currently stand, and the hormones measured by Everlywell Women’s Health Test seemed to be the ones that would be the most helpful to know. With the positive experience I had with Everlywell taking the Food Sensitivity Test, I decided to try out the Women’s Health Test as well.

Test Process

Everlywell does a really great job of making their at-home tests easy to take with simple step-by-step instructions, as well as a video tutorial, to help guide you through the entire process. Once you order the test through their website, you get it in in the mail and the kit has everything you need, as well as a prepaid shipping label to send it back to their lab.

The first thing you do is to register your kit online so you can receive updates about your shipping and test results. Then, I had to collect 2 blood samples and 4 saliva samples within 18 days of my cycle. I actually couldn’t take the test for a few weeks after receiving it because you have to wait until day 3 or 4 of your menstrual cycle to take the first blood collection. Here is the schedule for the samples you take:

  • Day 3-4 of menstrual cycle: take first blood sample
  • Day 19-21 of menstrual cycle: take 2nd blood sample + 4 saliva samples (in the morning, at noon before lunch, before dinner, and before bed)

Taking the blood sample

Everlywell Women's Health Test

The blood samples were actually easier for me to take because I’m not afraid of needles and I’ve gone through the same process with the Food Sensitivity Test. They provide alcohol swabs, a few lancets, bandaids, and a blood collection card that you have to fill with your blood samples. You pierce the end f your finger with the lancet provided and fill 6 circles on the collection card, and that’s it.

Taking the saliva sample

I found it a bit more challenging to provide saliva samples, especially the first sample of the day which you have to collect in the largest tube within 30 minutes of waking up before food and water. I honestly didn’t feel like I had enough saliva to fill up the large tube first thing in the morning so it was a bit of an effort for me. The samples for the rest of the day were a bit easier because the tubes were smaller and my mouth wasn’t as dry as it had been in the morning.

Once you label the tubes, you can keep them in the freezer until you ship them out. When you have all the samples collected, you fill out a form that they provide. You input your personal information on the form and then you ship it out, along with all the samples, in the prepaid envelope that they provide. They then reach out to you once the results are ready.

The Results

I couldn’t believe it but my results were ready just 2 days after the lab received my samples!

The Everlywell Women’s Health Test measure 11 different hormones that are known to be instrumental in women’s health:

  • Cortisol

For the women’s reproductive system, as well as our overall health, to be functioning properly, all these hormones need to work together in a harmonious balance.

I got my results via email, and was able to look at them through the Everlywell online portal that you can access when you register your kit. You also have the the option to download the PDF version that you can print out to look over and/or share with your doctor. Here’s what it looked like at a glance:

Just from looking at the color code next to each hormone, I was fairly within the normal range for most the most part. I was actually thrilled to see that my cortisol was at a normal range throughout the day, because I’ve had blood sugar issues in the past which now seem to have normalized. I was also very happy about my thyroid numbers (free T3, free T4, TSH, and TPO antibodies) being well within the normal range, because I suffered from hypothyroidism for a little over a year during my worst days of adrenal fatigue

However, the red dot next to Estradiol and yellow dot next to Progesterone/Estradiol Ratio gave me pause, although I wasn’t surprised by them.

I knew that because of my past of chronic stress and how sensitive I am to stress still, that my estrogen levels would be higher than normal. Estrodiol is one of the 4 main estrogens occurring in women and it is the most predominant one. Estrogen dominance is a common health issue in the modern world because of everyday stressors, environmental toxins, and the harmful chemicals prevalent in the personal care products we use.

Here’s what showed when I clicked on each of these hormones:

everlywell women's health testeverlywell women's health test

Beyond these explanations, Everlywell gave some basic tips to regain my hormonal health like making changes to my diet, and more importantly for me, managing my stress. It’s something I struggle with the most so I wasn’t surprised to see this recommendation:

everlywell women's health test

While the rest of the hormones were within the normal range, I still looked them over to see if they were within the high or low ranges of normal just to make sure. Thankfully, my levels looked really good for the rest.

In addition to the practical recommendations, Everlywell also suggested various articles that I may want to check out about different hormonal health conditions like thyroid disorders, testosterone levels in women, PCOS, and more, which I found interesting and helpful. Even if they didn’t directly apply to me, I loved learning a bit more about various conditions and it also kept me aware of how I can keep my hormones healthy and happy.

Lifestyle Changes I Made Since the Test

After learning that I am estrogen dominant from the Everlywell Women’s Health Test, I decided to take further action to help regulate my hormones. It became clear to me that my stress level was a huge contributor to a variety of health issues I was dealing with.

Here are some actions I’ve taken to reduce stress in my life:

  • Meditation at the end of the day for 10 minutes.
  • Trying to journal everyday. Writing down my thoughts like what’s giving me anxiety and what I’m thankful for each day has been such a game changer.
  • Working smarter. Instead of trying to multitasking or doing all the things at once, I’ve been better about breaking up my tasks and doing one thing at a time. I’ve also been putting away my phone when I work so I’m not distracted by social media and notifications.
  • Giving myself weekends. It’s difficult as a business owner and as someone with a type A personality to stop working when you have free time. This one is still hard for me, but I’ve been trying to put work aside and give myself time to do nothing when I need it.
  • Cleaning up my personal care products. I started doing this a long time ago and I’m so glad that I did. Turning to safer brands like Beautycounter who make amazing products without harmful chemicals that disrupt our hormones has been the best decision.
  • Taking chaste tree supplements. Chaste tree supplements are amazing for PMS symptoms, estrogen dominance, and hormonal imbalance. I’ve been taking this one for about 2 weeks now, and I’m excited to report that my latest period cramps and pain have been significantly diminished! I plan to keep taking it for 3 months. Please consult with your doctor before taking this, especially if you are taking exogenous hormones.

Take the Test Yourself!

If you are having hormonal issues like menstrual cramps, irregular periods, low sex drive, hair loss, infertility, depression, and/or insomnia, Everlywell Women’s Health Test is an easy-to-use and comprehensive test that lets you get a snapshot of your hormonal health by testing out the levels of your various hormones. The test is easy to take with well written instructions to help you guide you through the process.

I’m honestly so glad I was able to take this test and see how my hormonal health was doing. I knew that I needed to take action because I was going through several symptoms which I mentioned earlier in this post, but I didn’t know exactly what was wrong with me and what I specifically needed to do to improve my health. The test has been such a great tool, and I plan to take it again in the future to see if and how much my numbers improve.

Ready to take the test yourself?

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE EVERLYWELL WOMEN’S HEALTH TEST!
Take 15% Off Orders Up to $249 or 20% Off $250+ Orders with code GIVETHEGIFT! Ends 12/24.

This post contains affiliate links. In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

5 Things I Do For Better Sleep (Fall Asleep and Stay Asleep!)

Learn the 5 things I do that help so much with getting better sleep every night and have drastically improved the quality and length of my sleep! 

Sleep Better

I am not a good sleeper. I’m so so jealous of people like my husband who can sleep anywhere anytime without a care in the world. But me? I have anxiety issues that keep me up and are much worse when I’m stressed or my diet is high in sugar.

And if I can fall asleep easily, I would wake up way too early around 3 or 4am without being able to go back to sleep. My mind would race and I’ll think of all the things i have to do or just worry about things that were not within my control. And if this continues for a few nights (TORTURE), it would spiral into depression, low energy, and loss in productivity as my brain health would decline. I’m sure many of you who have suffered from insomnia before could relate. It’s no fun at all.

Throughout the years, I’ve tried out various methods to help myself get better sleep, some that worked and some that didn’t. And some that would work at first but stop once my body got adjusted to that new method. However, there are a few habits were consistently effective and they have helped me so much with improving my sleep.

Of course, keeping a healthy diet, eating low in sugar, and managing your stress help tremendously, but besides those obvious tips, here are my top 5 things I incorporate to ensure that I get a good night’s sleep, meaning I fall asleep easily and stay asleep throughout the night.

1. Epsom salt bath

What at first was just a feel-good self care activity for me is a non-negotiable these days if I had a stressful or energizing day. Magnesium epsom salt baths are known to relax your muscles, decrease inflammation, improve circulation, heal skin issues, and more!

I usually take a bath after finishing up work either before or after dinner, to mark the end of the day. I love having a specific nighttime routine to signal my body that it’s time to unwind. I usually pour in 2 cups of Epsom salt (I get this bulk size) in a tub full of warm to hot water with several drops of lavender essential oil.

Bath Time-Sleep Better

I make a ritual out of it by turning down the lights, lighting up candles, and putting on some relaxing meditation music. It’s such an enjoyable activity that relaxes my mind and body, and I definitely get a better night’s sleep afterwards. It’s actually quite difficult for me to do anything that takes even a moderate amount of physical or mental strength right after an epsom salt bath because it lowers my energy drastically, so I like to plan my chores and activities accordingly.

2. Reduce inflammatory foods

One of the best decisions I made in the past year was taking the Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test to find out what foods were inflaming my body. I was going through some uncomfortable bloat and digestive issues that were caused by what I was eating, along with sleep issues. When I took the test and eliminated the foods I was sensitive to like eggs and green beans, it was like my body could finally relax and get better sleep throughout the night without its immune system being attacked.

When we have food sensitivities, our body can react in a variety of ways from hives, digestive issues, acne, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, to weight gain. Interference of sleep is another huge symptom as our body cannot fully relax while being inflamed. And inflammation is also a stressor on the body, which affects our blood sugar level to spike and drop, keeping us awake in the middle of the night.

If you are experiencing these food sensitivity symptoms, I highly recommend you find out what foods may be bothering you through an elimination diet or taking a test. You can read all about my experience with Everlywell testing here. My 12% discount is still live if you want to use it:

Use the code EVERLY at checkout for 12% off Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test!

3. Eat more carbs for dinner

One of the reasons why you may wake up way too early in the morning around 3-4am without being able to go back to sleep is there may be a drop in you blood sugar level. This can happen because your body is going through stress, you have food sensitivities (see #2 above), you drank alcohol the day before, or you have a diet that’s high in processed sugars.

One of the ways to combat this is to reduce inflammatory foods like alcohol and sugar. Also, for those of you who eat a low carb diet, increasing your carb intake during dinner may help cause drowsiness and and help you sleep. This has helped tremendously for me. I usually eat low in carbs during the day, but will increase my intake for dinner to a moderate amount.

Carbs help lower cortisol, the stress hormone, while synthesizing seratonin, that feel good, calming neurotransmitter. It also prolongs the release of insulin, helping you stay asleep. Make sure to stick with healthy, real food carbs like fruits, white rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other starchy vegetables.

4. CBD tea and other relaxation techniques

It seems like CBD is a new emerging health trend, and with good reason. Unlike THC, CBD alone doesn’t give you that high feeling associated with smoking or ingesting marijuana. When isolated and taken alone, it’s known to have so many calming benefits like relieving inflammation and pain, reducing anxiety, relieving nausea, and giving that relaxing feeling we need at night for a good night’s sleep.

I’ve recently been drinking CBD teas from Buddha Teas after dinner, and it really has been helping with promoting that calming and happy feeling. My favorite is the Organic CBD Chamomile Blend because chamomile is known for its calming effects, which make the tea extra beneficial for promoting sleep.

CBD tea

In addition, I incorporate other relaxation techniques. After dinner, I refuse to do any kind of work or anything that requires intense focus on my computer or my phone. Some people avoid screens altogether, but I find that watching TV relaxes me and helps me with my sleep. I also meditate after dinner for 10 minutes, and depending on how my body is feeling, I’ll also do some at-home cupping (more about the amazing benefits of cupping here) or I’ll lay on my electronic massager which always feels amazing. I use this massage pillow, and it’s one of the best purchases I’ve made and I highly recommend it!

 5. WishGarden Sleepy Nights

Okay, I’ve tried soooo many supplements and drugs to help me sleep when I really needed it. Sometimes they are necessary especially during traveling or stressful times. I’ve found that things like melatonin and valerian root will work well for the first few times and then my body will get adjusted to them and they aren’t as effective anymore. Anything stronger that you can get over-the-counter will put me out but I’ll be so groggy with a headache and dehydration the next day.

After many trials and errors, one thing that always works for me consistently is WishGarden’s Sleepy Nights formula. Made with a clean herbal blend to promote sleep, I’ll take this before going to bed and it literally works in 15-20 minutes. I can’t even keep my eyes open when it’s in full effect. And the best part is that I wake up so refreshed without feeling tired and heavy like I do on other supplements I’ve tried.

Sleepy Nights SupplementNot only that, WishGarden also has this formula for kids or pregnant women that you can check out here. They are also having a 20% discount with free shipping for all domestic orders for a limited time so I highly recommend you go check it out!


I hope these tips and habits that I’ve fallen into help you with getting better sleep at night. Of course, our bodies are all different, so what may work for me may not work for you. However, I think we should keep trying new things until we find something that’s consistently effective. It took me years to find what works for me after trying countless methods, so don’t lose hope! Getting quality sleep makes a tremendous difference on our health, mood, productivity and happiness.

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
 
Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

My Experience With Everlywell At-Home Food Sensitivity Test

Read on for my review of Everlywell at-home food sensitivity test, along with why I chose it, my results, and how it changed my diet!

Holiday Everlywell discount!: Take 15% Off Orders Up to $249 or 20% Off $250+ Orders with code GIVETHEGIFT! Ends 12/24. Check out tests HERE.

For a few months now, I’ve been experiencing some unexpected digestive discomfort and bloating and I couldn’t figure out exactly why. With my IBS history, these things come and go depending on my stress level, but it felt more acute and longer lasting than usual. I immediately suspected some kind of a food sensitivity, so after doing some research, I decided to try out an at-home food sensitivity test called Everlywell.

Why Everlywell?

I wanted to choose a comprehensive at-home food sensitivity test that’s accurate, affordable, and provides detailed and easy to understand results. Everlywell checked all those boxes for me and I loved how quick their turnaround time is once you send in your sample.

Their test measures your body’s IgG immune response to 96 foods that are commonly found in western diets. Most traditional allergy tests measure just the IgE response, which only tests for an immediate response your body has to a food or a substance (typical allergy responses such as hives, swelling, difficulty breathing), missing out on subtle sensitivities your body may respond to long term.

This is why measuring the IgG response is much more accurate and comprehensive, since it can capture the less obvious and much delayed and long term reactions your body may have such as:

  • headaches and migraines
  • anxiety
  • digestive issues
  • autoimmune diseases
  • skin conditions
  • bloating
  • fatigue
  • joint pain

What is the process?

The process is actually surprisingly simple. Once you order your test, the kit is mailed to you and you can take the test right away. The instructions inside are easy to follow, but if there’s any confusion, they direct you to their site where they have detailed video tutorials on how to take the test.At-Home Food Sensitivity Test

First step is to register your kit online so you can receive updates about your shipping and test results. Then, to take the test, you clean your hand with an alcohol swab, prick your finger with the lancet in the kit, and squeeze out the blood on the blood collection card. It took about 5-7 drops to fill up the required amount. If you can’t handle the sight of blood, you may want someone to help with this process.

After the blood drops have dried completely, all you have to do is send it back in the prepaid and pre-labeled envelope that’s in the kit. Then you just wait for your results! I was honestly surprised at how easy the entire process is. Everything you need to do the test is in the kit, from alcohol pad, bandaids, gauze pad, biohazard bag, and more.

What were my results?

I received an email and a text alert that my test results were ready, about 1 week after the date I mailed out the completed kit. The results break down the 96 most commonly consumed foods in the western diet into 4 categories: Very High Reactivity, Moderate Reactivity, Mild Reactivity, and Low Reactivity. I didn’t have any foods that were in the Very High Reactivity group, probably because I actually do not consume many allergens in my everyday diet.

Keep in mind that if you don’t consume a specific food (gluten and dairy, for me), it won’t reveal in this test that you have a sensitivity to that food, because the antibodies that react to that food in your body won’t be present. This is why neither gluten nor dairy came up as highly reactive food for me.

If you want to make sure you are reacting to a certain type of food and you want it to show up on this test, make sure to consume that food within the week before you take the test. I already know that I feel crappy eating gluten and dairy, so I didn’t feel the need to test those foods and kept it out of my diet leading up to the test. So it’s really up to you if you want to test those foods out or not.

Now, the heartbreaking part:

I found out that the food I was most sensitive to in my current diet is eggs. If you’ve been following for a while, you know I’m obsessed with eggs and I eat it almost everyday. Honestly, this didn’t surprise me too much because if you consume one type of food on an everyday basis, it’s likely that you will become sensitive to that food. I just didn’t want it to be true.

This is especially true for anyone with a compromised immune system, and honestly, that’s most of us today living in this modern world surrounded by toxins in our food, cleaning products, and environment. So I highly recommend adding a variety of food into your diet and rotating them so you don’t consume one food every single day.

Now, for the mild reactivity foods:

As you can see, gluten and dairy are in this category even though I know I’m highly sensitive to them, because I haven’t consumed these foods (intentionally) in months. Had I eaten these foods in the recent weeks, they would have showed up in the Very High Reactivity group.

For the foods in this category, I think I’ll be reducing the amount that I consume instead of eliminating them altogether. For example, I eat quite of bit of almonds in milk and butter form, but I can start substituting with coconut milk and sunflower seed butter. I also eat ALOT of green beans (basically my favorite veggie), so I’ll probably reduce the amount that I eat them to once every 2 weeks or so. I will, however, do a complete elimination of eggs for several weeks to build up my tolerance to them.

It’s important to note that just because you are reactive to a certain type of food, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t eat it for the rest of your life. It may take a few weeks, months, or even years, but once your gut heals enough after not being exposed to an offending food for a long time, you may be able to reintroduce it back into your diet with success.

Things you should know before taking the Everlywell Food Sensitivities Test

At-Home Food Sensitivity Test

  • Just because you aren’t experiencing digestive issues, doesn’t mean you do not have food sensitivities. Symptoms can vary from: headaches, joint pain, fatigue, and skin problems. If you are experiencing any of these, it’s a great idea to take this test to find out how you can reduce those symptoms.
  • This is a blood sample test. You need to be comfortable with pricking your own finger then squeezing out the blood. Have someone help you if you have hard time seeing or dealing with blood in any way.
  • If you suspect that you have a sensitivity to a food, but you still want to be sure that you are, you have to eat that food several times within the week leading up to taking the test in order for it to show up. Your body needs to create the antibodies to that food, or the results won’t indicate that you are reactive to that food.
  • If the results come back showing that you are reactive to a food, the best course of action is to eliminate that food from your diet for several weeks.

Take the test yourself!

I hope this breakdown of my experience helped you. I’m honestly so glad that I took the test, because I would have never given up eggs on my own without being 100% sure that I was intolerant to them (I just love them TOO much!). It’s been several days without eggs and I actually feel less bloated than I have been for the past several months.

I also loved knowing about “Mild Reactivity” food items because I can start reducing those in my diet. If I keep eating those foods frequently without knowing, there’s a chance that I’ll become highly reactive to those foods as well. The test is such a great way to take control over your health, and it’s so empowering when you start feeling better with the choices you make in your diet.

Ready to take the test yourself?

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE EVERLYWELL FOOD SENSITIVITY TEST!
Take 15% Off Orders Up to $249 or 20% Off $250+ Orders with code GIVETHEGIFT! Ends 12/24.

This post contains affiliate links. In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.