The Hemp Connection + thinking

Research institute update

For those of you who are not on our Facebook fan page, here is an update about our progress! And a recent photo of me if you've ever wondered what I look like.

With all the positive energy and support surrounding this effort, we've got some great and exciting things to blog about coming up!

All these years I've been studying hormones, it's always seemed to me that one of the main reasons their disorders are so hard to figure out and help…is that the research that needs to be done to find the answers is not highly likely to be funded by pharmaceutical or food corporations. Sure there are are other grants, but a bottleneck is created when everyone wanting to do research about foods, herbs, sleep, acupuncture, etc…, is forced into competing heavily for the other money that is available. The politics and competition for that money become pretty incredible.

That leaves people with hormone disorders to their own devices and what they find on the Internet, which is often presented by one person based on their personal experience, or someone trying to sell supplements and capitalize on another person's fears. Not always smart, not always safe, not always successful.

I kept thinking there had to be a better way.

Then, a few months ago, twice in 36 hours, I was asked where money could be devoted to MY research institute. And a reporter who was following my blog asked me if I had a picture of my institute (I didn't think my dining room table piled with papers and a sleeping kitty would provide much credibility…so I declined at the time.)

However…I did realize that it was time to stop thinking someone else was going to do this and that life was surrounding me with people and circumstances that made it possible for ME to get it going.

I was finally pushed into action when a woman with PCOS, (who happens to be organizing one of our fundraisers) could not get anyone to accept money for PCOS research, and who was actually told the disorder"was not sexy enough to merit that kind of fundraising". Really? One in ten women? Leading cause of infertility? Most common endocrine disorder in women? You have GOT to be kidding!?!?!

So I've been doing the legwork to get the inCYST Institute for Hormone Health up and running. We're opening up headquarters, to be housed in the new Blank Spaces coworking community in Santa Monica, CA next month. (Lucy, #1 on my list after signing the lease and writing the check…is getting you that picture.)

And while I'm sticking my neck out and willing to be the face, mouth, and typing fingers behind this organization, it's really designed to be user driven. I really want this to be as volunteer-oriented as we can be. Thus far, we've got two fundraisers planned:

1. (Late summer, date TBD, Los Angeles) Bootcamp with celebrity fitness trainer Craig Ramsay.

2. (September 17, rain date 18, Nashua, NH) 5k walk. The organizers of this fundraiser are also working to figure out a way for walkers to participate if they are not geographically near this location.

All it took was for me to say I would do this for people to begin volunteering their time. It's simultaneously humbling and inspiring! There's a lot to do in order to live up to these expectations, and I'm doing all that I can. I'm sending you this announcement so you know we're out there and to share with you a few ways you can help us out.

1. Tell your friends! The more people we have on our fan page, the easier it is for us to publicize events. Here is also where we'll be providing updates on our official activities in the research arena.

2. Volunteer! If you'd like to help out with either of these events, or have an idea for a fundraiser of your own, please let me know what you would like to offer in terms of time and talent.

3. Of course, donate. I just spent a day at a nonprofit summit learning about the nuts and bolts of efficient nonprofit management. I intend to make our foundation very lean and mean so that the bulk of the money earned goes directly to our cause. It's too important to not prioritize that. I've got a Paypal address where you can send money,, or until the foundation's California mailing address is set up, you can send checks to inCYST Institute for Hormone Health, 4201 East Camelback, Unit 16, Phoenix, AZ 85018.

BTW, I am teased by my family for being more than a little driven and nerdy. Once my mom wanted to spank me for something I had done and she found me sitting cross-legged on the floor reading a book. I obliged her by standing up, letting her punish me, and immediately sitting down. Never stopped reading the entire time. When she tells this story she always pauses and says,"That is when I knew you were not the average child." That drive and passion I commit to everyone who supports the Institute. Thank heavens we're about healthy living as it will give me an excuse to put the books down, get out, move around, and meet some of you amazing people from time to time.

I may be overly nerdy and driven, but I work hard to also be human and compassionate. Please know that any thoughts you have to share are more than welcome.

If you ever wish to contact me my email is, and my phone number is 623.486.0737.

Here's to learning great things about hormones!

Monika M. Woolsey, MS, RD

Founder and CEO

inCYST Institute for Hormone Health

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Research institute update + thinking