We get up at 5:30 a.m. for a pre-workday run or early morning vinyasa to keep our muscles toned. We juice and blend and chop to keep our weight under control. But when those hormonal monsters rear their ugly heads we back down and ride it out. One minute life is beautiful, the next we’ve transformed into a screaming mad woman. For some reason we think that suffering with painful periods, weight gain, depression, painful cystic acne, and exhaustion is just the price of being a girl. This is what we’ve been told to expect by or mothers, sisters, and health teachers, right? I say it doesn’t have to be this way!
The way to get control of your own body back from the hormonal monsters is to take a very close look at the food you are putting into your body and evaluate your lifestyle. Rest assured your body is designed to be healthy and you can help to balance your hormones naturally with food. In fact that’s the first thing you should be doing for most annoying hormone disruptions. Before you pop a Midol that will only manage things for 4 to 6 hours but not do anything to solve the root problem, go through this checklist of five things you can do to soothe your hormonal monsters.
Fill your refrigerator with anti-inflammatory foods to reduce pain associated with your cycle and also decrease risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and more. Steer clear of foods containing hydrogenated fats, sugar, refined flour, and gluten which increase your inflammatory response. Choose those that counter inflammation like spinach, broccoli, blueberries, flax seeds, turmeric, and wild salmon.
Stabilize blood sugar levels because is it critical to keep insulin and blood sugar steady. Skipping meals, waiting too long for meals, eating too little, or eating unhealthy processed foods or drinks will throw off your blood sugar and insulin levels. Wavering levels result in hot flashes, weight gain, inability to concentrate or think clearly, and low energy. Put cinnamon, avocados, organic, hormone-free meat, and loads of vegetables on your grocery list to have the ingredients ready for a stabilizing meal or snack.
Decrease your bloat and optimize your gut health. Make space in the fridge for probiotic foods like kefir, fermented vegetables, and yogurt. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can actually improve your hormones which control appetite and weight. They also benefit your digestion and immune system. But the really exciting news is that they metabolize and recycle hormones, including estrogen, thyroid hormones, and phytoestrogens from the food you eat, which can help minimize symptoms of menopause, PMS and perimenopause. Probiotics are crucial to maintaining proper hormonal balance, and may protect bone and breast health as well.
Prioritize a good nights sleep. You’re on the computer or staring at the TV until late. Worrying about work or family issues makes you anxious and sleep doesn’t come easy. You end up going through your day tired and wired. To maximize healthy sleep hormone function, ideally shut down the screens and try to get to bed by 10 p.m and stick with a regular wake and sleep patterns. Sleep helps keep stress hormones like cortisol balanced.
Eliminate foods that contribute to PMS and moodiness. You don’t feel like yourself. You usually enjoy life but a few days every month it feels like you’ve been taken over by an evil witch! Or instead of looking forward your day, you feel overwhelmed, desperate, or even just numb. This is your body’s way of telling you your hormones are not balanced and you can make the changes needed to balance yourself. Engineer your meals and snacks to include good quality protein, carbs from nutrient-dense vegetables, and a bit of healthy plant oil to become your happiest, most pleasant self. Try these tacos or this light snack.
Understand that you can enjoy relief from agonizing symptoms of hormonal chaos. Get yourself the information you need to create and maintain a lifestyle of comfort and balance. Need some guidance about how to get started resolving your symptoms? Send me a message and we can create a solution designed just for you!