In August, Veracity is celebrating our inaugural Hormone Health Awareness Month. Join the conversation at one of our virtual panel discussions throughout the month and post on social using the hashtag #ItsYourHormones.
In her mid 20s, Cecilia Blanco thought she was at the top of her game, until she started having health problems. After finding and treating the root cause — a gut imbalance — Blanco’s skin cleared up and she experienced a full health transformation that inspired her to launch The Healthy Gut Club.
I have always been interested in health and wellness. At Boston University, I bopped around between majors like physical therapy and occupational therapy, but it wasn't until I started my own personal training business after college that I realized my true passion was nutrition.
Around that time, I also started competing in bikini competitions and was shocked when my health began to deteriorate. It’s kind of ironic because people look at bodybuilders and bikini competitors and think that they are so healthy because they are really fit and lean. In reality, I was in the worst health of my life.
Bodybuilders have to have a pretty strict diet. Although you're not eating “bad things,” you are eating things that don't have a lot of nutritional value and you're not eating a lot of variety. My menu included a lot of egg whites, rice cakes, plain chicken, and plain veggies. It really wasn't enough calories, and it definitely wasn’t enough nutritional diversity. I later learned that the number one thing that's important for gut health is a variety of foods because that's how you get different strains of fiber to feed the good bacteria in your gut. When you're repeatedly eating the same thing, you're just feeding the same gut bugs, and eventually that can create dysbiosis, or an imbalanced microbiome.
I started experiencing bloating, acne, and acid reflux. On top of dealing with these symptoms, I was also really stressed. Competing is a big stressor on your body because you're working out and pushing yourself every single day. I wasn’t sleeping that much because my body was in a constant state of stress, and I would wake up in the middle of the night hungry. My issues compiled over time.