➥ Dr. Isabel MD chats with women's fertility expert, Monica Cox about her struggles, and what they taught her.
* Side note; Monica's husband is a Kiwi (New Zealander) and we love that!
🔶 Monica is a qualified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner & infertility survivor. She was told by the fertility doctors, that there was nothing she could do to improve her chances. Two beautiful baby boys later, you can only assume that they were wrong!
Surviving all the hard times that years of unexplained infertility, failed IVFs & heartbreaking miscarriages can give you; she’s now honoured to support you to make the right steps, maximise your chances & to get closer to your dream family.
🔶 She is the author of the best seller Baby & Me mindfulness journal and host of the highly popular podcast Finding Fertility, her signature online program The Finding Fertility Formula and personal Fertility Focused Coaching. All have helped woman increase their chances of creating the family of their dreams.
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➥ Where listeners can find Monica Cox info and website -
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Speaker 0 (0s): Coming up on this episode of the MD and chef team show.
Speaker 1 (8s): And that's when it all shifted for me. And I must admit, I spent the first four months really pissed off that, even though it was hard to change my diet, to change my lifestyle, to give, you know, rewire my brain, like all those things, it was doable. And even if I paid for a health coach for a whole year, it would have been a fraction of the cost of all the medication, all the treatment, all the heartache.
Speaker 0 (40s): Well, it's come to the show from DMD shop team. I'm Dr. Isabel medical doctor here at the MD and chef team.
Speaker 2 (50s): I'm chef Michael Coleman nutrition expert. I'm the chef at the kid.
Speaker 0 (54s): And what are we going to talk about bed? Now? I can see that because he's my husband.
Speaker 2 (59s): We'll be talking about marriage relationships, parenting intimacy. Talk about mindsets of success, overcoming depression, anxiety. I'll be getting into functional nutrition, recipes, and tips from the kitchen. And we're going to both get into how to live a long, healthy, vibrant life.
Speaker 0 (1m 17s): Yes, I love it. Our mission is to help you prevent and reverse the disease and give you hope in the process. Oh yeah. We like to have fun. So let us get on with the show. Hi Monica. How are you doing?
Speaker 1 (1m 37s): Good. I'm doing good. Thank you so much for having
Speaker 0 (1m 39s): Me. Oh, I'm so glad you're here at the MD and chef team. I wanted to ask you, where are you now?
Speaker 1 (1m 46s): Right now? I am physically in California, in Southern California.
Speaker 0 (1m 51s): And what did you do the other day?
Speaker 1 (1m 55s): The other day, I was actually snowboarding up in mammoth lakes, California. I live in Hawaii, but my heart is in the mountains and that's where I met my husband, who is a Kiwi. And we now take our two little boys snowboarding. So it's, it's really amazing. I love, I love my life.
Speaker 0 (2m 14s): And you go snowboarding too.
Speaker 1 (2m 16s): Yes. Yes.
Speaker 0 (2m 18s): And how's the powder, is it crackly or is that white soft?
Speaker 1 (2m 22s): Oh, well there was no powder. It was a, the snow was three weeks old, so it was a little bit hard, but the ma the whole mountain was open, which I have not written there for over 20 years. So I was excited to get back and just see the mountain again.
Speaker 0 (2m 38s): I miss skiing and calling out. I have to be honest with you. I am such a snow snob. Like I will not ski a New Zealand unless it's powder and it's at least, well, in America, it would be about 12 inches, but here at least 30 centimeters of powder. Yeah. It's got to be a sunny warm day. I just we're so spoiled.
Speaker 1 (3m 5s): Spoiled. I know it was funny. Cause my husband was just talking about his youth snowboarding in New Zealand and he was like, man, I put up with some really crappy days there. I was like, yeah, you did. Yeah. But we're snobs to where we're snobs. We, there was a few days that it got a little bit cold and we just went inside and had a hot chocolate.
Speaker 0 (3m 24s): Yum, yum. And so, and then where do you live?
Speaker 1 (3m 29s): We live in Hawaii. We live on the main island, a wahoo over on the Windward side. So we kind of get the best of both worlds.
Speaker 0 (3m 37s): Yeah, you too. And, and how long have you been living in Hawaii?
Speaker 1 (3m 41s): Just about three years. We moved there actually from the United Kingdom. We spent almost two decades over exploring almost every single area of the United Kingdom.
Speaker 0 (3m 53s): I love it.
Speaker 1 (3m 54s): I love it. It's got to do it.
Speaker 0 (3m 56s): I know. I love it. And then the big C happened, right? Yeah. Okay. Well, listen, let's not talk about that. How about if I go ahead and interview, introduce you to our listeners and we'll take off, we'll pretend like we're actually taking off in a beautiful first class jet. Okay. Or we're going to go in and you're going to tell us about your life, but I'm going to introduce you to first. Okay. Great. All right. So Monica Cox is a qualified, functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner and infertility survivor.
I love that you are a survivor. I love that she was told by the fertility doctors that there was nothing she could do to improve her chances. Two beautiful baby boys later. How old are they now?
Speaker 1 (4m 49s): A four and six. Good girl.
Speaker 0 (4m 52s): You can only assume that they were wrong. Yeah. Surviving all the hard times that years of unexplained, infertility failed IVF and heartbreaking. Miscarriages can give you, she's now honored to support you, to make the right steps, maximize your chances, and to get you closer to your dream family. She's the author of the best seller baby and me mindfulness journal and host of the highly popular podcast called finding fertility, her signature online program, the finding fertility formula and personal fertility focused coaching have helped women increase their chances of creating the family of their dreams.
I love that you have taken your tragedy and your pain and made it possible and give people hope. I love that. That's a lot of that's courage.
Speaker 1 (5m 54s): Yeah. You know, looking back, it is a little bit courageous, but after I got pregnant naturally with my second child, after eight years of infertility BS, I was pissed. I was really mad that this information wasn't out there and that doctors were literally telling me that it was made up science. That there's nothing you can do. Your gut health and your autoimmune issues have nothing to do with your fertility.
It was just time to start making waves and making changes.
Speaker 0 (6m 31s): Can you tell me a little bit about your, your story? You know, tell me, tell me what happened, tell us what happened. Cause we, yeah, we all get hope from people's hard times.
Speaker 1 (6m 43s): Yeah. The inspiration now
Speaker 0 (6m 45s): We see you now and we're like, wow, she made it. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (6m 49s): Yeah. I was 27 and I was kind of normal. I didn't have any big fertility signs or issues that led me to believe I was going to have fertility issues. And three years later, no one can explain anything. We were living in 90 kingdom. They said just do a round of IVF. So we tried IVF at the age of 30 and it was a shambles. We walked away with no healthy embryos. And the doctors just said, well, you're a quality, obviously is poor.
And there's nothing you can do about it. Just try another round of IVF. And my husband and I didn't have any knowledge about health and wellness at that stage. I mean, we were fit. We were active. My husband was a fast jet pilot in the Royal air force. I was an early education. And, but we just kind of looked at him and we're like, what are you going to change our drug regime? You can change something about our situation with the medical procedure. And they're like, no, we'll just try it again. And I was like, what does that make sense?
Like, why would you do the same thing over? It's not going to produce a different result. And luckily a friend was on his own health journey and he just said, you know, work with a functional health coach. And we're like, we don't eat. McDonald's, we're not big sugar eaters. Like, okay, y'all are alcohol is like a little bit too much, but, and he was like, no, you need to change your diet. And so we just started walking down that path and I saw a lot of improvements in my health.
I basically went paleo and I worked on my mental and emotional issues that I didn't know I had and I couldn't give, I still wasn't getting pregnant. And so we went back and did another round of IVF. And this time we got five healthy embryos. So we were incredibly excited that that worked. And we specifically went to this clinic because I had got wind of auto immune issues. And we for the testing before the round of IVF and they said, no, we don't recommend it.
You're not having reoccurring miscarriages. Don't do the testing, just see how the next round of IVF goes. And even though we had amazing looking embryos, it failed. I didn't even make it to day 28. And so I demanded the testing and to my surprise, even after a year of healthy eating, you could not lay one symptom down on me. I had high natural killer cells still. So I can't even,
Speaker 0 (9m 27s): And not, what's a high, natural killer solid to for the audience.
Speaker 1 (9m 31s): Yeah. So it's your immune system. Basically, everyone has natural killer cells. They help fight off disease and they're only supposed to be elevated when there's something foreign in your body. When you have leaky gut foreign agents are getting into your bloodstream and your immune system is like attack, attack, attack. And for me, a lot of people get thyroid issues or have like some kind of like diagnosed autoimmune issue. Like it was really silent other than, you know, the classic symptoms of IBS and bloating and things like that.
So my natural killer cells were so high. They weren't even letting an embryo attach. And then on the other side, my inflammation was so bad. I was, I had low air quality because of that.
Speaker 0 (10m 25s): H how, how did you know that you were inflamed? What was, what, what markers did you use
Speaker 1 (10m 32s): Like functional testing wise? They did the clinic has this test called the Chicago test and it's a pretty thorough kind of blood auto-immune test. And one of the markers is high natural killers or the killer cells, nothing. I don't think anything else showed up on that report, but it's kind of the standard now for fertility. So if someone comes in with unexplained or reoccurring miscarriages, a lot of clinics are using that test.
Unfortunately, a lot of clinics don't believe in it either. So
Speaker 0 (11m 12s): I promise you in 20 years, this will be commonplace. It's just breaking ground. Breaking ground is always painful and,
Speaker 1 (11m 23s): And lonely. Yeah, definitely. I mean, people thought I literally went to crazy town because once I was diagnosed with the high natural killer cells, I had already been well into my diet and lifestyle. So luckily the paleo mom was talking about auto-immune issues and talking about night shades and how these could be, you know, big gut irritants for people. And that's when I learned, I was actually highly intolerant to paprika and tomatoes, especially most nightshades shades, but for me, the two big ones are those.
And I was eating those almost daily, right? Like tomatoes are healthy. I loved making chili. I loved making a bolonaise. So
Speaker 0 (12m 5s): How did you know that the night shades were affecting you? Was there a test or did you, what did you do?
Speaker 1 (12m 11s): So there was one little niggly symptom that I didn't link and it had to do with my stools. I was basically still getting the mucus that some people get, you know, in their stools. And when I cut out the night shades that went away at three weeks and that it was gone. And now if I do ever attempt night shades, about three days after I have them, depending on my gut health, I will get constipation and then I'll get diarrhea.
And then if my gut health is really low, or if I've had like a really large helping, I'll get that mucus back. So I, yeah. Yeah. So it's, it's really getting to know your body, right? Like even
Speaker 0 (13m 0s): Your poop.
Speaker 1 (13m 1s): Yep. You could get it, you know, it's crazy that we don't give a second thought to it. Right. Like it's so important. So yeah. But people thought I went crazy. Yeah. They think they really thought I went mad
Speaker 0 (13m 15s): And it kind of go back on poop for a minute because poop is like taboo. It's like anxiety and depression and Alzheimer's and all this stuff. But Pope is so important. I mean, it's, it's how your body is detoxifying, you know, and if we're not pooping right. And making sure that we're pooping right. Then that's, that's like the theater doctors saying, hello. Yeah. Can you see me? I'm not well, or I'm doing great.
So exactly a good poop is important.
Speaker 1 (13m 49s): It is. And every day what the fertility doctors need to be focusing on poop, way more than what's going down in your lady beds. And that's why they failed to properly diagnose me. Cause they were completely looking in the wrong place. And even after I got the diagnosis, it was just, here's the immune suppressing drugs. Do you know? So
Speaker 0 (14m 14s): Press the killer, the T killer, the killer cell. Yes.
Speaker 1 (14m 18s): Yeah. And that's a bit controversial. And I would agree with doctors on that. They don't want to use that medication because it's steroids is into lipids Clexane and they're like, there's no studies. There's like nothing to say that this is a good thing for your future child. And I would say not only that, but if you're not doing anything towards your diet and your lifestyle to help even combat these issues, you know, the epigenetic studies are, are very clear that S H I T can hit the fan for you, but for your future children.
Yeah. So, yeah. So
Speaker 0 (15m 5s): How did you press on, like when, when did you start getting hope?
Speaker 1 (15m 11s): Well, I suppose when we started making the diet and lifestyle changes, I notice things like my brain fog, my, my gut, like my skin, my sleep, like things were improving. So focusing on that then with the healthy embryos that gave me hope, we went back after the failed second IVF and did a frozen embryo transfer with the immune suppressing drugs. And I got pregnant for the first time. Unfortunately, I did have a miscarriage, but I think every step, it was just a little bit more hopeful.
Right. Like even though I maybe was failing to the outside, like I was improving every level. So the second frozen embryo transfer, we had our first son and
Speaker 0 (15m 59s): Everything went well for the pregnancy, the pregnancy.
Speaker 1 (16m 2s): Well, everything went well because I, I was the healthiest I could have ever, possibly been because I knew the diet I should be on. And I was very strict with myself because I was seven years in. I was done. Right. Like I was exhausted and I didn't want to look back at my journey and go, I wish I would've stuck to this. Or I wish I would've done that. I was very strict with my diet during the pregnancy, because I had no guidance or support that one incident with night shades, wasn't going to cause a miscarriage.
Right. Like, so I w I just stuck to it really carefully. Right. Right. So, so that, that's what kept me going. And then we went back for our last frozen embryos. We had two left, we got pregnant. But once again, I had an early miscarriage and it was like a very bittersweet time. But I think all the hard work I had been doing on my mental health, which was another big piece of the puzzle. I, I didn't walk, I wasn't walking way better.
Right. I was walking away with my health. I was walking away as a better mother than I would've ever been at the age of 27. And I had a beautiful baby. I like, he was cute. Am I alive? His baby should have been a model.
Speaker 0 (17m 28s): Oh, funny. That's what I thought about my kids. I was like, Hey, you're, you're a, a model baby, but that's a good sign. That's a good sign.
Speaker 1 (17m 39s): And we just lived our life. And literally the first time that we had unprotected sex after my son, my first son was born. I got pregnant naturally. And that's when it all shifted for me. And I must admit, I spent the first four months really pissed off that, even though it was hard to change my diet, to change my lifestyle, to give, you know, rewire my brain, like all those things, it was doable. And even if I paid for a health coach for a whole year, it would have been a fraction of the cost of all the medication, all the treatment, all the heartache, like all of it.
Right. So that's, I had already decided that I was going to do health and wellness that was moving from early education. And I was going to work with children, but ironically, I didn't want to work with their parents. So when I got pregnant, naturally, I was like, this is, this is where I'm supposed to be. I'm supposed to really inspire women to take control of their health because we are really consciously shifting into a new paradigm in our world. And we're all waking up that things just aren't right.
And we need conscious mothers to bring healthy babies into this world to, you know, keep this planet going. So, yeah, it's a big mission, but I'm up for it.
Speaker 0 (19m 10s): I mean, we need that. I need you to be like that, you know, for, for women. I mean, we need that. So yeah. It's huge, you know, and you can't do it alone. I know, but I love it. I just love that. And I love that you did the work because people just don't do the work. It's too hard.
Speaker 1 (19m 30s): It is hard. It is hard, man. I, I don't know. I think what it was, I really want to say that I wanted to be a mother and I, that was the only thing I ever wanted in life, but that's not my truth. It was because people were telling me, I couldn't, the doctors were sat there saying, Nope, you can't. No, you can't. And I don't know, the Scorpio in me was just like, I'll show you I can't. But I think it's, I'm with me and many, many other amazing women out there.
I hope that we can really change the narrative that, you know, a quality is not dependent on your age. It's dependent on your cellular health and you are, you're the train driver in that. And you get to decide what yourself, how yourselves you act and how your genes express, you know, it's not set in stone and, you know, growing up in the eighties, you can do about it where that's just not the truth anymore, but it's, it's a very uphill battle to, to fight because you have a lot of doctors who are traditionally trained and that's so true.
Speaker 0 (20m 49s): Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, you said, you said, Y you know, you're, you're being pissed off. I get that. I I'm in the system as a medical doctor and I get upset that there's not more of this, but, you know, just because I have mercy on my colleagues, we're not taught this stuff. And you know what, we, aren't encouraged to learn this stuff unless life happens. Yeah. And it's really only when life happens. And you're like, ah, I'm not going to stay here for the rest of my life.
This is not going to be my story. That's when you see change. And there's a lot of medical doctors out there that have said, ah, you know, that have had mold toxicity, brain issues, anxiety, and depression, like ma you know, there's you, you just like, okay, the way the treatment is right now is not working. I'm going to figure this out because I know in my soul, in my spirit that this is not the way. And that's what you did. And you were like a dog on a ball. And I'm like, I am not letting go of this until I figure it out.
And now you've got two beautiful kids.
Speaker 1 (21m 54s): Yeah. Yeah. And, and I'm a healthy mom. I mean, that is like, I just feel so grateful for is like, my infertility really just gave me my life back. I, I honestly believe if I didn't face those challenges, I would be on thyroid medication. It would eventually really have started attacking my own body. And sometimes when you go really far, it's hard to come back or you, you do have to use medication. And I'm just grateful that I didn't get there.
And I would go through infertility again, if I had to. Yeah. It it's like you say, life happens and you get to decide what you do with it.
Speaker 0 (22m 39s): And I applaud you for what you did with it. Hey, I wanted to ask you my pleasure. I wanted to ask you what we always love to give action steps. You know, just three simple action steps because you know, us women, we put way too much on our list. Just three action steps for our listeners that they can implement right away to get went, to win,
Speaker 1 (23m 5s): To win. My Vegas thing is find your food intolerances, you know, stop messing around with these diets and just focus in, listen to your body, what works for you and what doesn't. The second would start relaxing. Like this whole type, a woman BS just needs to stop, like put your feet up and relax a little. And I have to take this advice all the time for myself.
And the third thing is focused on your sleep. You know, we, especially mothers, we tend to put our kids to sleep and then work another four hours, whether it's in the house or on our businesses, and just make that a priority. I feel like it's one of the most underrated things you can do and it's free, right? Like we spend all this money on all these holistic things, red light therapy and all these things. It's like just sleep. So those would be my top three.
Speaker 0 (24m 8s): And so just to recap, so the number one is find your food intolerances. How do you do that?
Speaker 1 (24m 15s): Well, you can just do the elimination diet, and it is sometimes it's a long road, but now there's some great information and great ways to follow. Especially if you have an auto-immune disease or if you are dealing with some unexplained symptoms going auto-immune paleo for 14 to 30 days and re-introducing, and then just high quality food sensitivity tests can help you out there too. If, if you just don't want to mess around with that.
Speaker 0 (24m 43s): So the first is find your food intolerances. The second is managed stress. Ladies managed stress. Okay. Learn to take a break. Yes. And then the third is, remember to get your sleep. Yeah. So important. Monica, thank you so much. You're so great. I love the warrior in you.
Speaker 1 (25m 6s): Oh, thank you so much for having me on your pink background has given me this globe.
Speaker 0 (25m 12s): Well, you know, the pink grant background is actually a piece of material I found in the store, the fabric store here in New Zealand. I was like, I want that. I mean, I love sunflowers and I saw material that was sunflowers, but that's way too crazy for it. So I just did the pink because I love pink it's before we go, where can people find you and get more of,
Speaker 1 (25m 36s): Yeah. So I'm at finding fertility. Everything is finding fertility on Instagram. I love tech talks. I'm on there a lot. And my website is binding facility.co.
Speaker 0 (25m 46s): And that will all be in the show notes for everybody. Great. Right. Great. So when do you head back to Hawaii?
Speaker 1 (25m 53s): Wednesday. So in a few days.
Speaker 0 (25m 55s): Great. All right. Hey, thank you so much. You've been a blessing and you're going to help so many women. I see you helping millions of women, beautiful children that are helping the moms going to be healthy, and you're going to give them hope, you know, and, and show them the way through this crazy system that we have right now that it's getting repaired slowly, but it's gonna take time and we don't really have that time. And you're just writing a new definition for women's health, which definitely needs to be put into place.
Speaker 1 (26m 30s): Yeah. So thank you so much for having me on my
Speaker 0 (26m 33s): Pleasure and everybody out there listening. I see. Yeah. I want to thank you for joining us at the MD and chef team. I'm your host doctor, Isabel, and I thank you for being with me and Monica today. Have a wonderful day and remember, stay on stoppable. I'll talk to you later. Bye for now.
Speaker 3 (27m 1s): Hello, chef Michael here. If you enjoy today's episode, we would love it. If you subscribe to the podcast and left us a review.