Optimize Your Diet for Happier Hormones
Are you starving?
No sex drive?
Calorie restricting, under eating and over exercising has left women exhausted,
malnourished and depressed. The mixed messages that we are getting from the media about how we should eat, how we should exercise, what we need to look like and how we should be pushing ourselves to do more is destroying our hormone balance. We have created an environment for ourselves where we are stuck in a cycle of sleep deprivation, calorie restriction, sugar cravings, low sex drives and unhealthy body images. It’s time to take back your health and your life.
Let’s start with breakfast, do you tend to grab a bite or two of whatever your kids are eating? Or are you a coffee and no food until lunch kinda gal? Maybe you’re still eating cereal and milk or no brekkie at all?
Breakfast is an important meal especially for blood sugar balancing which is directly connected to hormone balancing. It’s so important to start the day full and satisfied. Well, how do we do this?
Quality protein – organic pasture raised eggs, full fat or coconut yogurt, salmon, fresh caught fish, organic chicken, grass fed beef
Fiber- having vegetables, gluten free whole grains or tubers with your breakfast broccoli, sweet potatoes, flaxseeds, chia seeds
Leafy greens- raw or sautéed dark leafy greens like dandelion, kale, collards, spinach or arugula
Ferments- sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, cultured veggies like radish and beets
Omega 3 fatty acids- Avocado, ghee, yogurt, salmon, nuts and seeds
My favorite way to start this day is this breakfast right here!
Breakfast should keep you full for up to 4 hours for when it’s time for lunch.
Lunch and dinner should include all of the above and maybe some complex carbohydrates like quinoa, wheat berries, brown rice, tubers or legumes. On the days that you work out it’s important to include starchy foods, on rest days it is better to limit these foods if you are trying to lose weight.
Mindfulness is also is very important while eating, tune into your body. Don't eat while scrolling through Instagram, checking your emails or reading this blog! It's crucial to chew your food to liquid form before swallowing, typically 20-30 times per bite. Also try putting your fork down between bites, this helps you to slow down and tune in to know when you are actually full and your meal is over.
In addition to high quality food sources, it’s important to think about these vitamins and minerals for balanced hormone function.
Magnesium- most women are deficient in this crucial mineral and it plays a big role in PMS. Did you know that it takes 57 molecules of magnesium to process one gram of sugar? WOAHHHHH that’s insane. Foods that are high in magnesium are dark chocolate, avocados, nuts, legumes, seeds like flax, pumpkin and chia, bananas and leafy greens. Or supplement with magnesium glycinate 300mg/day especially for the two weeks before your period.
Vitamin B6- this vitamin is essential for the development of the corpus luteum, this glad is produced in the ovary after the egg has been released and what makes the hormone progesterone. Food sources that are high in vitamin B6 are salmon, tuna, eggs, chicken liver, beef, spinach, sweet potatoes and chickpeas.
Selenium is a key nutrient for progesterone production, and is also essential for production of the corpus luteum. The best food sources are seafood, Brazil nuts, and organ meats. You can supplement 100mg a day but do not exceed 200mg including from food sources.
Always check with your doctor before you start any new supplements especially if you are taking medication.
Exercise is important of overall health and well being, but too much can have adverse effects especially on your hormones. Exercise in excess adds even more stress to the body raising cortisol levels. Many women under eat and over exercise, wreaking havoc on their hormones. There are plenty of ways to incorporate exercise into your life in a healthy, hormone friendly way.
There are two phases of your cycle where HIIT (high intensity interval training) style workouts are appropriate, follicular and the first week of your luteal phase, for more information on this check out my blog all about this here.
Taking care of your body and your mind is important for hormone balance. Optimizing your diet and focusing on anti-inflammatory foods with help you start optimizing your hormones and your energy levels by balancing your blood sugar. Skipping meals is the WORST thing you can do for your hormones. Set yourself up for success by meal planning, having snacks with you all the time, skipping the caffeine, carry a reusable plastic free water bottle with herbal tea or water, and make time for fresh air and sunshine. Especially during menstruation, do your best to find time for yourself (even if it's just an hour!). This is naturally a time for restoration, honoring your body and your mind by practicing self –care as much as you can, take a nap, or a bath, get a massage, journal, start a book you’ve been wanting to read.
If you want support on how to start this journey please schedule a consultation with me by clicking here.