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Episode 210: Periods Should Be PAINLESS w/ Leah Brueggemann, FDN-P

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HORIZONTAL HEADSHOT, LEAH BRUEGGEMANN, PAINLESS PERIODS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

Introduction

[00:00:00] Detective Ev: Hello my friends, and welcome back to another episode of the Health Detective Podcast by Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. My name is Evan Transue, AKA Detective Ev. I will be your host for today’s show on painless periods. This is an interesting episode with fellow FDN practitioner, Leah Brueggemann.

PAINLESS PERIODS, HORMONE BALANCE FOR WOMEN, USING NUTRITION, LIFESTYLE, GETTING TO ROOT CAUSE, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

Leah specializes in hormonal balance for women. She helps women balance their hormones naturally with nutrition, lifestyle, and finally getting to the root cause of what might be going on. At the time of recording this, she has already helped over 300 women get painless periods, stabilize their moods, lose weight, and even scale to six figures in their business.

What’s really interesting is when we say scale to six figures, she’s not a business coach, not at the time of recording this, at least. She meant that in a completely different way, and you’ll get to hear that in the podcast. I’ve never heard anyone else get someone to six figures in this way. I think you guys will like that.

In this episode, we’ll be discussing the hormonal side of things. Again, success that she’s had in business and how she already went full-time as a practitioner, even though she had no business experience. She had a different degree and industry that she was in. She was a full-time music director because her bachelor’s degree was in music and vocals. And then she had no trainings, no formal trainings at the time and was going out there already getting clients.

We have way more than this here at FDN. We have trainings for the health side, we have trainings for the business side.

Anyone Could Replicate This Business Model

I really want you to listen to this episode. Then say, if she could do this, even though she’s a very impressive person, what is so complicated here that I couldn’t do and I couldn’t replicate?

YOU CAN REPLICATE THE BUISINESS MODEL, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST, PAINLESS PERIODS

I think you’ll come to the conclusion that there isn’t anything that you couldn’t replicate. You probably could go do this for yourself. Without further ado, let us get to today’s episode. Alright. Hello there Leah. Welcome to the Health Detective Podcast. How are you?

[00:04:49] Leah Brueggemann: I’m doing well. Thanks so much for having me on.

[00:04:51] Detective Ev: Yeah, thank you for not only coming on originally short notice, but then also rescheduling with me short notice. Today we’re here to talk about you though and the things that you’ve done.

We’re going to start out with the health journey. But again, this is one of those cases, you and I were talking about this off air, where I’m actually really excited to dive into some of the successes that you’ve had. You’ve done a lot of stuff on the business end. Well, not that health coaching wouldn’t be the business in and of itself but helping people with the business and health side. I’m excited to go there.

But before we get to that, you know the question that I ask people on this, cause you told me that you had listened before. So, when did the health journey start? Because not many people get into this space accidentally. Was it with you or someone else? I’m curious.

Painless Periods Were Not Leah’s Reality in High School

[00:05:34] Leah Brueggemann: Well, it was a little bit of both. Growing up, my youngest brother is special needs. He has a chromosomal disorder that is so rare that they don’t have a name for it. The name is the chromosome. He’s 18 years old and he is non-verbal, still.

Growing up, my mom was, after so many years, was definitely looking into alternative health because what she was finding in conventional health wasn’t helping him at all. That kind of started opening my mind to more of a natural route.

But I was a typical child growing up. I was like, if you make me healthy food, I think that’s gross. It was there, it was present. I knew that that was an option. My mom would bring in homeopathy and herbs and was always telling us, you can’t have your waffles for breakfast unless you have protein with it. We had that growing up, but it just kind of was very much in the back of my mind.

I started my own journey when I graduated from college. I discovered and got diagnosed with fibroadenomas, which are benign breast tumors. That’s what kind of jumped me in even though looking back I had a lot of health issues. I had a lot of hormonal issues. I had hormonal acne. My periods were really irregular and on top of that, they were super painful.

SICK WITH PERIOD, VOMITING, PAINLESS PERIODS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

In high school, I remember calling my mom and having her come pick me up because I was so sick from my period cramps. I would be the person vomiting and all that kind of stuff. We’ll get graphic. So, I had that. I just thought it was normal, you know, part of being a woman.

Most People Don’t Believe in Painless Periods

[00:07:08] Detective Ev: I think this is such a key point and anytime this comes up, I’ll always reemphasize it on this show. Even with the most serious diagnoses that seem to come out of nowhere. A lot of times I feel like people describe cancer coming out of nowhere. Oh, I don’t know what happened.

Then I always ask them like, well, how have you felt like the last several years? I can’t speak for everyone cause I don’t know everyone. Almost universally, it’s like, well, I get headaches five days a week and I take Motrin for it. What has happened in society is just like what you were experiencing through no fault of your own, it’s said that this is normal.

PAINLESS PERIODS, BELIEF THAT PERIODS ARE SUPPOSED TO SUCK, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

Every woman that I know that’s my age, that’s not in this space, absolutely believes that periods are supposed to suck. And that’s just what it is. No one wants to hear it from me as a guy, but that’s why I love bringing people like you on to let them know the good news. This probably isn’t meant to be this way.

I always ask people to just think from a logical perspective if nothing else. Let’s take your example, right? You’re down for the count for a few days, you have to leave school. If we are supposed to be living in the wild, how would it make sense from an evolutionary perspective that for a few days out of each month for a good chunk of your young life, that should be the best time where you know you’re able to produce babies and stuff like that.

Looking For Health Options

I’m just saying this, again, totally from the biological tribal perspective. Why would nature want it that you literally cannot survive and that the tribe has to take care of you and you’re feeling like you’re dying out here. Again, that’s not the only case that I would make, that’s for sure.

But I think just logically speaking, it doesn’t really seem to add up that we should feel that way. I don’t think it makes sense, so I’m excited to get to that too eventually. It’s always very helpful for the women that listen. We do have a female dominated audience, no surprise, in the functional space. We need to get more men doing this.

But you had these benign breast tumors come up. I think that’s what you said was kind of starting to make things turn a little bit for you in your brain.

[00:08:50] Leah Brueggemann: Well, the only option the doctor gave me was to have them surgically removed. So that’s when I started, you know, I went to Dr. Google, which I really don’t recommend doing. But that’s where I started.

I found that most women, their tumors return after having them surgically removed. So, I had gone to college for music. I have my bachelor’s in piano and voice, and I was self-employed. I wasn’t about to shell out thousands of dollars on a surgery, because my insurance was paid for by myself, to have them come back. I was like, well, that’s pointless.

LOOKING FOR HEALTH OPTIONS, FUNCTIONAL HEALTH, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

I decided to look into other avenues. That’s when I went and started looking at functional health because my mom had put that in my ear. I’m like, okay, that must be an option, right?

Painless Periods: Needing a Holistic Approach

I went and I started asking around. Every single practitioner and naturopath that I talked to, I always led, of course, with my main symptom which was fibroadenomas. I’d be like, hey, I have fibroids. They’re like, oh, yeah, we can totally fix those.

They went at it from a very direct approach of let’s get rid of your fibroadenomas. Nobody asked me about my cycles. It was not much of a holistic health, like look at everything. It was very direct. You have fibroadenomas; this is an estrogen issue. We know you have the MTHFR gene mutation, so it’s like very just targeted at estrogen. Like, let’s put you on progesterone cream, let’s put you on a really strict diet, all that kind of stuff.

PAINLESS PERIODS, ESTROGEN ISSUE, ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

Looking back now, knowing what I know, it’s like why on earth, if it was an estrogen issue, were they not talking to me about endocrine disruptors? Why were they not educating me on my skincare and my hair care? Why were they not educating me on my cleaning supplies, like where I could be getting this estrogen in? You know?

Because I ate really badly up until this point. I was the queen of, all through college, live off of coffee and bagels, and it was really bad. But then once I started, once I got diagnosed, I was like, maybe I shouldn’t eat bagels for three meals. I should try and get some other food in.

It got a lot better. So, it was like, why is this such a continual issue?

Painless Periods: No One Asked About My Cycles

At this point, I’m going to be honest, I had tried everything. I had done the supplements; I’d done the really restrictive diets. I had done oils, all sorts of therapy things. It was just crazy. I had spent so much money.

I would spend a certain amount of time with one doc, and it wouldn’t get there. Then I would try something else. I also fell into that category of shiny object syndrome where it was like, oh, I’ve been doing this for three months. It’s not working, let’s go on to the next thing.

PAINLESS PERIODS, NO ONE ASKED ABOUT MY PERIODS, HIGH ESTROGEN, LOW PROGESTERONE, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

So, I was about to get married. I’d been doing this for about three years, I was trying for a while. I started tracking my cycle. Nobody had asked me about my periods at this point. Nobody had asked me about my cycles. It was just, you have high estrogen, you have low progesterone. End of story. But my cycles were truly all over the place.

They should come very regularly for you. Mine were like 30 days, 90 days, 60 days. I had no clue. Well, I found out then when I started tracking that I wasn’t ovulating. So, I was like, okay, there’s the problem, there’s the issue.

Then when I did ovulate, my progesterone was so low that like ovulation to period, it was eight days. Just for perspective, you want that to be 12 to 14 days to have like a healthy rise of progesterone, a strong enough corpus luteum so you can get pregnant. I’m over here like, well, I do want to have babies, and this isn’t looking very possible in my near future. I ovulate so irregularly and then I don’t have enough progesterone to sustain a pregnancy.

Painless Periods: Supporting & Nourishing the Body

That’s when I just threw all the books out the window, everything that everyone had been teaching me, and I started reading. I entered the reading space, started educating myself. I’m not just saying Google. I went and I got books from a lot of writers and authors and doctors in this space.

That’s when I started going, oh, you should be not just on restrictive diets, you should be eating to nourish your gut. You need to actually be having regular bowel movements. You need to be opening your drainage pathways. I was like, what? That’s when I entered that space and started really just switching my mindset from food.

Food isn’t good or bad. Some food is more nourishing and other food is not nourishing. At that point, the diets I had been put on had just messed up my relationship with food because they were so restrictive for so long. It was just like; you just have to do this for 30 days. They never set me up for success in that sense.

So, that’s what I started doing. I started supporting those drainage pathways and switching up, getting a wide variety of food in, supporting my gut microbiome. I started learning about endocrine disruptors. I cleaned out the toxins and removed that source from my life. It was just slowly switching over all these things.

PAINLESS PERIODS, FIBROADENOMAS, BREAST TUMORS, BENIGN, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

Yeah, fast forward I was able to regulate my cycles, have great painless periods. I remember my first painless period. I like, thought the world was going to end. Cleared up my skin. I was able to lengthen my luteal phase to 12 days, so I raised my progesterone. My fibroadenomas, I shrunk them. And I have two healthy boys, so I was able to get pregnant.

Painless Periods: Learning to Look at the Full Picture

[00:14:08] Detective Ev: All right, cool. I love getting to the best parts of the story so quick. I appreciate you sharing that. It was just so concise and a great answer because it brought us through kind of all of it. Then it gives me a lot to unpack.

One of the first things, just in case people sometimes are listening while cooking or while driving. When we’re talking about, no one had ever even asked about the cycle. You’re talking about none of the natural and quote/unquote “functional” people had ever even asked about this, correct?

[00:14:33] Leah Brueggemann: Correct. Yeah, this is crazy. I think that’s changing in the health space. I think it’s changing, but they were just so laser focused on those fibroadenomas, which I was too.

LOOK AT WHOLE PERSON, LOOK AT STRESS LEVELS, PAST TRAUMA, BOWEL MOVEMENTS, GUT, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

But knowing what I know now, I have a lot of clients that come to me with fibroids, fibroadenomas. I’m like, let’s look at your stress levels. Let’s look at past trauma. Let’s look at your bowel movements. Let’s look at your gut. Let’s look at all these things. They’re like, what does that have to do with my fibroids? You know? You have to really look at the full picture. And I just wasn’t getting that.

[00:15:04] Detective Ev: Well, and just if you don’t mind, let’s put this in context. How many years ago when you graduated college and were fully experiencing this stuff?

Painless Periods: Clear Protocol Spawned Massive Results

[00:15:11] Leah Brueggemann: I’m aging myself at this point, just kidding. I graduated college in 2015. That’s when I got diagnosed and that’s when I started really changing everything. I really started seeing those massive results before I had my first kiddo who is three, so I would say four years ago.

PAINLESS PERIODS, CLEAR PROTOCOL, MASSIVE BENEFITS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

For the large majority of that time, it was throwing spaghetti at a wall. Once I finally had much more of a set protocol and knew what I needed to do, then it was like a year and a half.

[00:15:42] Detective Ev: Sure. The reason I ask is, I mean, I started really getting into this stuff around the 2013, 2014 era. And you can just actually learn a lot even from grocery stores. What I mean is the same grocery store that I went to in my local town back then, I try to go to a specific store now that’s more local health food, but I’m talking about the chain grocery store. Their organic section expands and expands and expands, and you see more and more options. You can kind of see what’s going on.

The grocery stores, this is what people don’t realize, they don’t care. They’re responding to the demands of the consumer. That’s why you can go some places and they’ll sell you absolute crap and you go to other places and they’re charging through the roof but if people are going to come in and pay it, and that’s what they’re demanding, they’re going to fill that demand. That is their only job. We can get mad at them, or we can love them, but the truth is they’re just responding to us.

I’ve been shocked by the progression.

College and Stress

You know, when you’re first into this, I’m sure you felt the same way, you kind of feel isolated, especially as younger people. You’re like, this isn’t cool, what’s going on? Then, what I fortunately, or unfortunately realized, depending on how you want to look at it, is I just realized people like us were kind of a part of one of the first waves of really getting fully hit by some of these things that we were experimenting with in our generation. Because now a lot of the people that are calling me half the time are people that are fresh out of college, my age, or a little bit older.

I think college, my God, man, it’s so sad. But it seems like where kids go to die half the time. I don’t mean that so literally. But I mean as if you weren’t stressed enough from the terrible school system, all the crappy foods that you had to eat as a kid and all this stuff, now we’re going to put you into college. Not everyone does these things, but we are going to highly encourage the whole binge drink culture, eating bagels three times a day, coffee grind, stay up later, all these things. I feel like that is just the last little straw for many people.

COLLEGE, WAY TOO MUCH STRESS, UNHEALTHY FOOD, UNHEALTHY SLEEP, CRAZY SCHEDULE, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

Then they come out and all of a sudden, they have Hashimoto’s. All of a sudden, they have this. It can be a variety of things depending on the person’s genetic makeup and other factors. But it’s like, wow. College is just that final thing where we will take you out and we’ll get the worst stress on your body that you can imagine and surprise! Here you go!

Painless Periods: Periods Should be Symptomless

I know it probably felt like a while, but I’m still glad that you’ve been able to make these changes and this transformation in a relatively short period of time compared to some people who come on the podcast. This is awesome.

[00:17:47] Leah Brueggemann: I have a very one-track mind. Truly I do.

[00:17:51] Detective Ev: Yeah. One thing I want to go back to is the cycles. Again, definitely no one wants to hear this from me. What do you believe is the actual state of a woman’s cycle? How should they feel? Because obviously they should feel something. I don’t think it’s something that they should be unaware of. At least that’s not my belief.

So, what is your belief now? Like what was it supposed to be?

PAINLESS PERIODS, PUKING, PERIODS SHOULD BE SYMPTOMLESS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

[00:18:09] Leah Brueggemann: Yeah. So, if you have really bad periods, this is going to be the last thing that you want to hear. The first time someone introduced this to me, I was ready to punch them. When you’re puking, the last thing you want to hear is that you should have a symptomless period, but you should.

Painless Periods: Learn to Recognize the Red Flags

Your period should come every 26 to 36 days and in whatever your length is. It should be very consistent for you. If one time it’s 26 and one time it’s 30, that’s kind of a big discrepancy there. You should bleed for three to seven days. That’s it, shouldn’t be more. If it’s less, you might not be ovulating. There’s some things to check in with there.

PERIODS WITH SYMPTOMS ARE THE BODY'S RED FLAG, BLOATING, CRAMPING, HEAVY BLEEDING, BLOOD CLOTS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

Leading up to it, you shouldn’t be dealing with PMS. You shouldn’t be dealing with bloating, mood swings, or breakouts. You should just bleed. You may feel like a little bit of a warming sensation in your abdomen area. But if you’re having cramps, if you’re having any of those symptoms, really heavy bleeding, clots, or anything like that, that’s a red flag to your body.

I get that all the time from past clients. They’re like, so I know you talk about painless periods, and I got a painless period. But you didn’t tell me that I could have a symptomless period. She’s like, if I wasn’t bleeding, I wouldn’t know that I’m on my period.

[00:19:19] Detective Ev: Wow. And just in case you’re listening to this on an Instagram reel or YouTube short, don’t get mad at us. She has actually accomplished this herself. Click the link and listen to it before we get some bad comments here because you’re trying to help people. This is a great thing.

I mean it’s hard for me to comprehend. Women obviously aren’t quite as open as this with me, other than in a client sense. But even like close friends, like yes, as a guy, if something major’s going on, they’re going to tell you that. It’s like, these people are suffering. It’s not like they’re having a good time.

A Common Progression?

I also want to know this before I start talking about your work with clients. This is kind of a good way to segue. I’m curious if you’ve seen this. As a, again, fairly young person myself, a lot of the people that have called me are 20-something year old women. Regardless of what they are calling me about, always the cycle is messed up. That’s why I’m like, I cannot believe people weren’t even asking this, because it’s one of the first things that I ask.

I want to know, are you taking birth control? Oh, you haven’t been taking birth control in a year. You haven’t had a cycle that you know about in a year. Okay. That’s not normal for a 25-year-old, just so you know. Half the time they think it’s a great thing. It’s like, oh, I don’t have to deal with this. I’m like, oh my goodness, no.

CYCLES, NO PERIOD, SYMPTOMS PERIOD, NOT BAD PERIOD, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

But what I’m curious is if you’ve seen this. As they get healthier, let’s assume that we’re talking about a woman right now that has no cycle. Like it’s gone. I almost find that there’s these phases where they go from no cycle to becoming symptomatic again, and it kind of sucks. Then the next level is, have a healthy cycle, but the symptoms are either non-existent or it’s so minimal that it’s great for them. But we don’t want nothing at all.

So, do you find that that progression is something that is common?

Painless Periods: Go Steady and Slow

[00:20:46] Leah Brueggemann: Not typically, no. I find that if they’re doing that by themselves and they get their cycle back, it’s kind of horrible. They want to go back to not having it.

IF YOU PUSH TOO HARD, HORMONES RETALIATE, REVENGEFUL PERIODS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

But I feel like when we’re working together, I think sometimes if you push too hard, that’s when your hormones kind of retaliate a little bit against you. That comes back in a revengeful period. But as long as you’re going steady and slow and supportive, typically, it will come back. It just keeps improving from there.

You don’t really have a horrible period when it first comes back. The only time I’ve had that happen is I had one client who hadn’t had a period in 12 years.

[00:21:26] Detective Ev: Well, I appreciate the straightforward answer. Cause I mean, I’m already not surprised that I have plenty to learn with this sector because it’s not really my thing. But that’s good to know.

I want to be clear; I’m not suggesting anyone’s ever gotten to the point of vomiting or something. It’s kind of like this arc of no period. They’re assuming that that’s just great, I don’t have to have this anymore. But I’m like no, that means your hormones are completely tanked. Then it’s like, ah, okay. This isn’t so much fun. And then bam, we’re kind of in a better place there.

So, who do you work with now? Because people might have heard the bio, but in case they skipped that, like who’s your clientele? From my understanding, you’re working with people exactly like this.

Painless Periods: Client Success Story

[00:21:57] Leah Brueggemann: Yeah. So, I work with women, I don’t really work with men. I do work with some men if it’s like a couple dealing with infertility.

Pretty much anything that has to do with hormones. I think a lot of women come to me for painful periods. They come to me for missing periods, a regular cycle, struggling to get pregnant. They have hormonal migraines, hormonal acne, thyroid issues, chronic fatigue, things like that I would say are some of their biggest symptoms of who I work with. Then definitely a massive increase with endometriosis clients recently. That’s typically who I work with and it’s awesome.

PAINLESS PERIODS, WANTED TO DIE SHE FELT SO BAD, AFTER PROTOCOL WENT CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

I have so many. I just love all the women I work with. To take it from somebody having to call in sick to work, to somebody literally just having massive depression because they have no energy, and they feel sick all the time. One of my past clients, she had just gotten married. She didn’t tell me this till way later. She had told her husband, she was just like, I feel like I’m slowly dying. That’s how horrible I feel. Then halfway through working with us, she went cross country skiing with her husband.

[00:22:56] Detective Ev: Nice. I get to talk to a lot of women practitioners, and I think this is a testament to you guys. I really need to work on this with the males. Like if I’m working with someone, I gotta dig information out of them. They’re not very open to things. I’ve been there too.

But there’s almost like this sisterhood that gets developed especially with this stuff where you’re helping them with some of the largest challenges in their life.

Leah’s Preliminary Education

Especially if we’re talking about something like infertility, because the woman’s probably, I would have to imagine, thinking from this perspective of, I have this time limit on when this can work and when it can’t work in my life. So, every day is adding more and more stress as you realize this clock that you don’t really know when it’s going to end, but you have a general idea. You know it’s coming and so yeah, there’s more and more stress.

Then to be able to help someone with that and allow them to do one of the coolest things that the human body can do, that’s pretty amazing.

One thing I want to go back to, cause this is my fault, I forgot. Prior to you being an FDN, you were already taking clients. Did you do any other certifications or how did you get into working with people? That’s a lot different than just getting yourself healthy. Not everyone who goes through these programs works with people. What called you to do that?

NUTRITION, BASIC COURSES, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

[00:23:56] Leah Brueggemann: Yeah, it just kind of dropped into my lap. I did go through some nutrition, basic health courses and things like that, not anything super rigorous. I had really just stumbled accidentally on D.R.E.S.S without realizing I’d stumbled upon D.R.E.S.S. I remember when I first started FDN I was like, that’s what I do with my clients. It has a name? So cool.

I just started talking about periods just because I share information that maybe people don’t want to hear about. I started getting just this massive influx on social media of people being like, wait, you got rid of your period cramps? Period cramps aren’t normal?

Painless Periods: Brilliant Marketing

This is probably a little bit too simplistic, but everybody thinks about period cramps as contractions of your uterus. Labor hurts, like your uterus should hurt, it’s contracting. You guys, you can do a bicep curl and it doesn’t hurt. That’s a muscle contracting, and your uterus is a muscle. So, it’s like if you are having period cramps, we need to look further. That’s a very, very simplistic view of it.

There’s a lot of things that go into it like uterine placement and that kind of stuff. But if you’re having cramps, if your period is getting in the way of your quality of life, that is a red flag.

I just had so many women that were like, what? I was asked by somebody, if I could do a free training on this? I was like, sure, I can do a free training. So, I did. I did a free training then that was my inbox of people being like, how do I work with you? And I was like, I don’t know. I don’t have anything. That’s how my business got started.

[00:25:36] Detective Ev: Well, you had genius marketing here, whether intentional or not. You’re addressing a problem, first of all, but you’re also challenging a deeply held belief amongst even many men out there that periods are supposed to suck. They’re not fun and everything about it’s going to hurt and you’re going to be in misery for one to several days depending on the person.

BRILLIANT MARKETING, EXPERIENCED IT YOURSELF, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

This is brilliant from a marketing perspective because you’ve experienced it yourself. It’s not like someone could even get that mad at you. You can be like, well, I’m talking about me, what I’ve experienced.

Painless Periods: Growing a Referral-Based Business

[00:26:05] Leah Brueggemann: They do. Even when you tell them that you’ve done it yourself. Internet has some angry, angry people.

[00:26:08] Detective Ev: I feel like I’m going to sound so cheesy saying this, but it was something along the lines of, if you don’t have haters, you’re not like popping off yet. Hey, you must be doing well.

You realize that there’s a huge demand for this and then you have this degree in music and vocals. Was that like a big consciousness shift for you to be like, all right, maybe I’m going to go work with these women on health stuff when I have a bachelor’s degree in something different?

[00:26:30] Leah Brueggemann: There was some mindset issues there for sure. Like I definitely had some limiting beliefs with doing that. And I was a full-time music director at this point. I was still working, and I just started marketing on social media. I never marketed in real life; I was always virtual. Which my husband was getting his doctorate in physical therapy at that time.

So anytime some of his classmates would follow me on social media, I’d be like, how do I like block them? I don’t want any medical people out here judging me. But yeah, I don’t know how much you want to go into the business side. But it started out, I remember, I just had the testimonials come back.

GOT HIS WIFE BACK AGAIN, PAINLESS PERIODS, REFERRAL- BASED BUSINESS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

One of my first clients, her husband was like, you gave me my wife back. She had like migraines, she had no energy, she had depression. Her periods were really bad. She kept miscarrying. He was just like my wife’s human again. That is how my business grew is straight off referrals.

Painless Periods: Getting into FDN

My referral game is really strong because I feel like my clients are like a cult in not a bad way, but they’re awesome. After working with them, they’re like, I talk about periods all the time now. I share your podcast with everybody because when you have that deep-seated belief that hormones suck, hormones control you, periods suck, being a woman sucks. Then you can transform that into having a wonderful period, having energy, and truly using your cycle as your superpower. They’re like, oh my gosh, everybody needs to know this.

When I first started it was like, wow, if I could make $5,000 in my business, the world would end. That would be so cool. Then we just kind of grew from there. I got to the point where I was like, I want to do more. I want to do labs. I would like to expand my expertise. A lot of the stuff in my references were all these books, which books are great, especially written by some of these amazing people. Books and studies. But you know, if I’m pulling from all these different books, just like people pulling information from all over, it’s much easier when it’s clear, concise.

HTMA, LOOKING INTO CERTIFICATIONS, FOUND FDN, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

I actually had an HTMA, I ran that test. Victoria Franca actually, we got connected through a business coach and she read my test for me. I was like, yeah, I’m looking into certifications. She’s like, what about FDN? And here we are.

[00:28:47] Detective Ev: You beat me to my question cause I was kind of still wondering. I’m like, I understand that you related to the D.R.E.S.S thing perhaps, but I’m like, how did we get into there?

Painless Periods: No Shortcuts

For those that don’t know, Victoria’s actually been on before. You guys can check out her episode. She’s doing some really cool things. Yeah, that’s a heck of a good connection for you guys to have cause it sounds like you’re both doing really well on the business side.

So, was it just the idea of testing even in general? I’m unclear that way. You’re not using testing at all, and you were still helping people in this way?

Leah Brueggemann: No.

Detective Ev: Nice!

[00:29:12] Leah Brueggemann: D.R.E.S.S, you guys, D.R.E.S.S is like so important.

Actually, I’m a little bit of a rebel here, but I will not run one-off labs for people. I refuse to do it because I’ll have people be like, can you run a DUTCH test for me? Can you run a GI MAP? Can you run? And while I think that those labs are so valuable, I feel like I am taking their money and doing them a disservice by just running a lab, giving them a protocol, and not building those foundations.

I only work with people in my hormone reset program and my premium access which is much more high touch. Because I’m like, if you want this true transformation, we need to figure out the lifestyle that got you sick in the first place. That means reworking habits, reworking your mindset with food and nutrition so you can truly heal.

PAINLESS PERIODS, DO ALL THE LABS, GREAT RESULTS, NO SHORTCUTS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

That’s why I just don’t do one-off labs and that really annoys people sometimes. But that’s okay because that’s why I have such awesome clients at the end. They see that massive change in their health because we don’t want to take the shortcut.

Painless Periods: You Can’t Screw this Up

[00:30:22] Detective Ev: I like this. You might be a rebel in the practitioner’s sense, but like Reed Davis is probably high off of this somewhere from hearing you say that, because that’s what he wants. He wants people to do the labs.

IF RUNNING ALL THE LABS AND ADDRESSING HEALTHY HABITS AND DIET, YOU CAN'T REALLY SCREW THIS UP, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

Because you really kind of can’t screw this up. If you run all the labs, you’re going to find a lot of stuff, especially if you’re addressing the other things there, like the habits around eating and addressing that. I mean, that’s amazing.

I feel like men have this problem a lot too. Maybe it is more prevalent in women, I don’t know. But either way, women are more aware of it. They’re more willing to work on it. I’ve even had my own things with food where I wasn’t even conscious of it and I’m listening to other people talking about problems with eating. I don’t know if us men are just not as receptive or it’s not as common. I don’t know.

But I definitely feel like these diets that people get into trying to heal, trying to do the right thing end up being so counterproductive on so many fronts. Yeah, maybe you didn’t heal what you were trying to heal and now you have a terrible relationship with food where you’re scared of every little thing thinking that it’s killing you. When really there’s like 10,000 other things going on, which could be found on the labs. Might not need labs for it.

I’m really impressed with a couple of things here and I hope people are getting this. Leah, we have a lot of trainees that listen to this podcast or people that are about to go into FDN.

Painless Periods: Getting People Well Without the Labs

Three key things here. One, you are coming from a completely different industry. You are coming from music and vocals. Two, you don’t have the business experience. You literally just said, I just started sharing this. I started telling my truth online and yes, I can acknowledge that you hit on something that is really big. It’s a huge market, but this applies to anything.

You could start talking about cystic acne like I do guys. You could talk about panic attacks. You could talk about depression, Hashimoto’s. Sometimes actually, even being more specific might make you less competitive. Because quite frankly, there’s a lot of people talking about what you’re talking about.

PAINLESS PERIODS, NO LABS, D.R.E.S.S., FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

You just got on there started sharing some stories. Don’t have any crazy business experience as far as I know, and then look at what’s already happening. You’re getting people well; you didn’t even have the labs.

I think some people don’t buy this. They hear it in FDN they’re like, okay, yeah, D.R.E.S.S. but really, it’s about the labs. Look at what you were doing for people and yourself even before that. I love this testimonial to not only FDN because it is in a way, but really just to how to get out there and do this.

You were doing it in a recent time. It’s not like you were doing it before everyone else does. Nope. You came into a pretty busy market and just did your thing and now have a largely referral-based business. Bravo. That’s awesome.

Build Your Business Your Way

[00:32:42] Leah Brueggemann: I’m sure there was a ton of people doing hormones. I know about them now from networking. But when I started it was like blinders on, man. I had no idea what anyone else was doing in their business.

I saw someone talk about free challenges and growing their business and I was like, cool, I’m going to do that. And I didn’t connect with business coaches, I didn’t connect with anybody. It was just blinders on. Help people. That’s all I did. I served.

BUILDING A BUSINESS, BOOTSTRAPPED EVERYTHING, KEPT BLINDERS ON, HELPED PEOPLE, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

I think a lot of people are like, oh, it just happened right out of the gate, and it didn’t. It was a lot of bootstrapping. Now I have a full team that works for me. If I would’ve known back in the day that my overhead would be at the level that it is, I probably would’ve fainted. I’d be like, no, we’re not doing that. I bootstrapped everything, kept my blinders on, and just helped people.

I have a lot of people, for example, reach out to me. They’re like, oh my gosh, you went through FDN. I want to work with hormones and do that. I was like, awesome. But understand that just by getting your certification doesn’t mean that you just walk into a business. You still have to build your business.

I just think I did things so backwards. Now when I look at business coaches, they say work with one-on-one clients first. Home in on your messaging. Other people are like, don’t give out free tips and advice, make people pay for it. You could write a book with the free content that I put out there. But it has to be generalized cause we can’t get specific on social media obviously.

Don’t Be a Copycat

But I came from that place of truly wanting to help people. I was just so specific on who I wanted to help, and I just didn’t pay attention to anybody else in the health space. I didn’t try to copy anybody. I just was like; this is what I’m doing.

I didn’t even know there was other people out there until people were like, have you heard such and such podcasts? They do similar things to you. And I’m like, oh, really? Never heard of them. Not because they aren’t important, it’s just I knew that I needed to stay out of that comparison and that copycat. I needed to have my blinders on.

I give a lot of credit of that to my business coach at the time. She’s still my coach. I know that she really did an awesome job of bringing me out into my marketing, which was really helpful. My dad owns his own business, so I did have a little bit of an uptake there cause I did kind of see a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes a little bit.

BUILD A BUSINESS, PUT BLINDERS ON, DON'T COPYCAT, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

But yeah, man, put your blinders on because the health space is saturated. Nobody’s going to hear your voice if you’re trying to sound like somebody else.

[00:35:18] Detective Ev: This is a really good point. You’re right, it is saturated on one hand and then on the other, it’s like if every practitioner out there right now was still at max capacity with clients, we haven’t even scratched the surface of how many sick people there are out there. It’s kind of interesting.

So, I have this question. What would be your advice to the FDNs out there who are just starting right now?

Talk to One Person and Be Specific

On one end, it sounds like you’ve learned a ton and might have some better advice, but at the same time you’re very adamant like, don’t copy other people. And this is what worked for you, it clearly did. So, what would be your advice? Would you do the same thing, or would it be something a little different if I’m just starting out my FDN business?

[00:35:55] Leah Brueggemann: I think you need to decide, do you want to do in-person or do you want to do virtual. Marketing’s going to be a little bit different for that.

You are right. I think the health space is saturated to those in the health space. Because I could throw a rock and hit a million practitioners that follow me, or same thing with business coaches. I’m in that space. But one of our accountability coaches, her husband was like, what does Leah actually do? People do health stuff online? Because he’s just not in that space. He has zero idea that there’s this whole community of people that want that. So, yes, it’s saturated because you’re in it, but I bet you there’s a very large majority of your audience that has no idea what you do.

MARKETING, NICHE, TALK TO ONE SPECIFIC PERSON, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

Honestly, if I had to go back and I had to start from scratch, I would start talking about one person that you want to work with. Be very specific. I see a lot of people come out of FDN and they’ll say things like, if you have fatigue and you have this, and you have that and you have this, we can do all of these things. Then people just kind of go, get lost. There’s too many things to choose from.

Marketing Niched Down but Helping all Kinds

I got very specific. I am literally known for period cramps. But all of my clients come to me for so many other things besides period cramps. I’ll get messages. They’re like, I know you specialize in period cramps, but can you help with X, Y, and Z?

PAINLESS PERIODS, NICHE DOWN INTO ONE CATEGORY, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST, BUILD A BUSINESS

That’s how I started and built that business is by becoming very niched down into one category. I just talked about it all the time in a very polarizing way, accidentally. I found out that was polarizing when all the hate comments started rolling in.

[00:37:42] Detective Ev: That’s what I just saying, it’s like unintentionally marketing genius over here. Cause this is perfect. It’s brilliant.

I appreciate the emphasis on the specificity. I know this, I learned it. I was always a sales guy. I wasn’t the marketing person. FDN has taught me so much from working with them. I have an in-person business now where we do light therapy and things of that nature.

Even when I started, I knew in my head, go specific. I’m like, well, I’ll try to start it just a little broader. What started out as, this was our headline – we help you improve your mood, increase your energy, and reduce your recovery time. We did get people from this; it did work overall. But the issue is there’s like three or four different things here.

Now, the headline on the website talks about skin and we’re actually niching it down even further into cystic acne, cause that’s something I dealt with. I have the transformation photos to prove it. Our practitioners have, I mean, no one’s dealt with acne in the way that I had, but they still have things that they’ve struggled with, and they can use this.

Fear in Marketing

I think what we all fear is not being able to help everyone because we know that we can. But you just hit the nail on the head when you said, I still work with people who have other things. They message me all the time.

So, talk to someone, otherwise you’re not really talking to anyone. Then yeah, there’s going to be people that come in our red-light studio that are coming in for athletic performance. We have people find us randomly all the time. They already know what red-light therapy is, they did not need me to educate them on it. They were going to use us regardless of whether I said I’m helping people with acne or a mood disorder or whatever it might be. They know what Red light does, they’re coming in for athletic performance.

Those people will find you and that’s just a bonus when it happens. If you don’t talk to someone specific, you’re really talking to no one. That is probably, I’m imagining, just cause I see the way that this goes in myself and others, there is never going to be a marketer out there that’s not going to make money from just telling people that exact thing and getting them to do it. People just don’t want to do it and I don’t know what it is. Maybe it just causes fear, like, I don’t know what your opinion is.

SCARED TO NICHE DOWN, FEEL LIKE YOU'RE LEAVING SOMEONE OUT, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST, TURNING AWAY CLIENTS

[00:39:26] Leah Brueggemann: I definitely think it’s fear. You think you’re turning away clients. You think you’re niching down too much. And I think that’s the thing with marketing is everything is fear, you know?

Believe in and Share Your Story

People are afraid to show up online. They’re afraid to share their story, but your story is the most powerful.

Remember before I became an FDN, that’s all I had was my story. Now I can be like, hey, I’m a certified FDN, I do X, Y, and Z. I’ve helped this many women, blah, blah, blah. But when I first started, alls I had was my story. I was like, I was here. I was with you, and I’m here now. I’ve helped this many women get here; I can help you too.

MARKETING, TELL YOUR STORY, IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE YOU CAN HELP PEOPLE, NO CERTIFICATION CAN TAKE YOUR VEIL, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

That’s all I had was my story, and I think your story is your most powerful asset no matter how many certifications and knowledge. I’m not talking in helping clients, I’m talking in marketing for a second. I think your certifications and increasing your knowledge is going to help you help your clients. But in terms of marketing, if you don’t truly believe in your story and that you can help people, there’s no certification that’s going to take that veil away from you. You have to really be able to share that story.

You get all sorts of people. I mean, I’ve been turning away a lot of guys recently because women that I’ve worked with start sending me their brothers and their husbands. I’m like, I don’t really work with guys. I just don’t really want to bring guys into my program because that would be awkward for all the women that are talking about their periods.

But once you start helping people, they don’t really care what you specialize in. They’re just like, she listened to me, she heard me. She personalized my protocol. She walked me through that and look at my results. I’m sure she can help you too.

Do Not Guess, Everyone is Different

[00:41:00] Detective Ev: That’s awesome advice. I hope people take this seriously. This is someone having success, has a team under her, relatively young person. Hopefully people can kind of grasp that concept.

One thing I wanted to make sure we got to, I know it’s a little out of order, but I had to hit on this before our time runs up today. If we go over a couple minutes, it’s not a big deal whatsoever. But I wanted to know if there’s common themes on the labs that you’re seeing with the clients. I find this fascinating with people who actually do all the labs and then have worked with a lot of people.

Like with your clientele, are there patterns that you’re noticing that you have found to be of interest over time? Or is everyone kind of that much different?

[00:41:34] Leah Brueggemann: It depends on the symptoms. I would say chronic, low energy all the time, I typically do see a pattern of really low minerals, really sluggish detox pathways. Things just aren’t moving. Honestly, that’s the only mega pattern that I ever see.

That’s why I always say don’t guess, especially when it comes to your estrogen. Like, whew, do not guess. Because I’ll have so many people who come in with high estrogen symptoms and their estrogen is in the tanker. It’s just that their progesterone is so low in comparison to their estrogen. That’s why they have those symptoms.

CLIENTS HAVE CLASSIC SAME SYMPTOMS BUT VERY DIFFERENT LAB RESULTS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST, EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT

Or they have those symptoms because their methylation pathway is so bad, and their liver is so congested. I will have people come in with classic same symptoms and have completely different labs. That’s the only pattern I have is don’t guess.

Patterns and Personalities

[00:42:26] Detective Ev: Well and no worries, that one can always be hit or miss. I find sometimes people have a pattern that they’ve noticed other times not.

Here’s something you probably have found a pattern in. Is there anything that comes up more often than not in the personality of the clients? Are these typically more like Type A people or what?

[00:42:43] Leah Brueggemann: As I have really homed in on the women that I truly love to work with, I have noticed a pattern of they’re educators and they’re nurses a lot of times. They have tried everything under the sun. These are typically people that have tried a lot of things, and they come to me because I’m like, yeah, I tried a lot of things too. But that’s more recent.

PAINLESS PERIODS, FOUND LEAH'S STORY, NEVER TOLD ANYONE THEIR HEALTH STRUGGLES, THOUGHT IT WAS NORMAL, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

I would say beforehand, I worked with a lot of personalities, a lot quieter people actually, much more introverted. They found my story and they’re like, that’s exactly what I have but I’ve never shared it with my doctor cause I just thought it was normal. They’re not more of the outgoing type.

Yeah, I don’t know if that’s helpful.

[00:43:25] Detective Ev: No, it is. I just find it fascinating. It’s like really for me, and then maybe hopefully the listeners can grab something from it, but I just find it cool.

Then that was actually one of the more unique answers I’ve ever gotten. Because in the world of FDN, it’s a lot of the Type A – go, go, go, go, go. So, to hear someone describe them as almost introverted, in the background, not that an introvert couldn’t be Type A, of course. It was a unique description of the people that you’re working with.

Where to Find Leah Brueggemann

My point is it just goes to show there’s all types of people out there that need this. There are many people, unfortunately, suffering with these symptoms and diagnoses for many, many years, and sometimes they’ve never even told people about everything that they deal with.

You really might be, sometimes as a practitioner, the first time that they gave the full story. They might have given the doctor 80% of it. Maybe this practitioner got 70%. But when you connect in the way that you’re talking about today, Leah, that lets a person open up and they might give you a hundred percent of their story.

Then again, would I ever know if they didn’t? I’m not sure.

[00:44:18] Leah Brueggemann: Probably not, but I mean, you can tell from some conversations. For doing it for so long, you start to learn to ask the questions that probe a little bit deeper.

[00:44:27] Detective Ev: Absolutely. Okay. So where can people find you if they want to do a couple things? I mean, one is just work with you, but two, where can they listen to your podcast? Who should listen to that?

WHERE TO FIND LEAH BRUEGGEMANN, PAINLESS PERIODS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

[00:44:34] Leah Brueggemann: Yeah. So, my podcast is Balancing Hormones Naturally. We have some awesome guests on there.

On social media, it’s Leah, l e a h, underscore, b r u e g. That’s me on all the platforms. So, I mean, we’re on Instagram and TikTok.

[00:44:50] Detective Ev: Of course that’ll all be in the show notes.

One thing I had to address too, just in case people are interested in this, in your bio, you included to me that you’ve helped actually multiple women or the business side of stuff too. Are you now offering that too?

You Feel Better so You Do Better

[00:45:03] Leah Brueggemann: Maybe in the future.

Detective Ev: Okay. Just wondering.

Leah Brueggemann: I have a little bit on the sidelines. I’ve helped women with their business. Right now, we’re just trying to keep up with our clients to be honest.

PAINLESS PERIODS, FEEL BETTER DO BETTER, BUSINESS SUCCESS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST, CLIENT SUCCESS STORY

But I’ve had quite a few entrepreneurs that have gone through my programs with their hormonal issues and just by fixing their issues and getting their energy back and applying it, I had a client hit six figures. The only thing we did was work together. She was like, I don’t know what happened, but like I just had so much more energy and obviously confidence and you feel better, so you do better.

[00:45:35] Detective Ev: That’s an excellent point. Maybe I didn’t understand that at first, I guess, when I read the bio. But that’s actually kind of cool.

I’m thinking for myself, well yeah, like 18, 19-year-old me where I was struggling with the financial side, I was embarrassed about my cystic acne. I had no story other than the bad parts, cause I was still in the midst of it. It’s not that someone couldn’t make money like that, but if this was a video game and you could choose your character, I would choose bearded adult Ev now that’s a little more confident in himself and feels really good and has super high energy rather than low energy, depressed Ev that was super embarrassed of cystic acne.

That kind of makes sense that that other character would be the optimal one to go win the game with and start making some money. I guess I interpreted that bio as like a literal business coaching sense.

Signature Podcast Question

Sometimes the best business coaching could just be, I mean, Napoleon Hill talked about this in Think and Grow Rich. One of the best gifts is a sound mine and healthy body. I think maybe people underplayed that when the book first came out, cause that was in the thirties. Hopefully these chronic health issues weren’t as big of a thing then. But that matters.

I am so lucky in a sense that I had these health issues because I think I would’ve gotten trapped in that entrepreneurial grind, and I would’ve been the person sleeping four or five hours a night just to go work. You know what? That’s going to catch up with you eventually. I’d rather it catch up with me in the beginning, and I learn from that and now can kind of scratch that entrepreneurial itch without killing myself. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to do both.

So, we know where people can find you. Thank you so much for all that. And if you’ve listened to these podcasts all the way through, you know, I’m going to finish with our signature question. That question for you, Leah, is if I could give you a magic wand and you could wave it and get every single person in this world to do one thing for their health, whether that is literally do one thing or stop doing one thing, what is the one thing that you would get them to do?

BALANCE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR, CURB CRAVINGS, BETTER MOODS, BETTER ENERGY, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

[00:47:13] Leah Brueggemann: Balance their blood sugar. If we can just balance our blood sugar, your cravings are going to be better, your mood’s going to be better, your energy’s going to be better, and you’ll be able to figure out everything else. So, start with balancing your blood sugar.

Conclusion

[00:47:27] Detective Ev: Excellent. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story and your business success today on the podcast.

[00:47:32] Leah Brueggemann: Thanks for having me.

You can always visit us at functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com.

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