Are you one to turn to pumpkin spice lattes once the air turns crisp and the leaves start changing colors?
I am too, however, I'm not really a coffee drinker and I usually feel ill after drinking most latte type drinks from coffee shops as they contain high amounts of sugar, caffeine and chemicals. I recently created this healthified version for Moga Moms and am very pleased because it also helps balance horomes!
And seriously, who doesn't need help with that these days?
Feel free to scroll down to make this drink right away so you can get cozied up, put on your slippers, snuggle in your comfy chair and read what I am about to tell you about balancing your hormones naturally.
Ok so first let's talk about what it should feel like to have balanced hormones:
Sound like you? Maybe some of it, but probably not all of it I bet. Most of us have some sort of hormonal imbalance (including men and women at all stages of life). Maybe this sounds more like you:
So why are we all walking around with these hormonal imbalances in the first place?
Well first we have to acknowledge that our planet is full of chemicals. Pesticides on our food, toxins in the air, chemicals in our drinking water. We slather ourselves in chemical laden beauty products and use toxic cleaners in our homes.
The toxins that we absorb through our skin, lungs and digestive tracts disrupt our hormones. They stress our bodies. Hectic jobs and our never ending to do lists also stress out our bodies and throw them out of whack. Something else throwing our bodies out of whack? Birth control pills. BC pills create hormonal imbalances, especially for women who have been on them for years. The hormones in BC pills (as well as hormones for HRT) end up in our water supply so people who aren't taking them are still unknowingly absorbing them.
Something to note: when I talk about hormones I'm not just talking about estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. We have many different hormones in our bodies interacting with each other and keeping things regular (or trying to). Reproductive, adrenal, intestinal, digestive, thyroid and liver hormones are all working in your body.
But one of the hormones that really gets thrown out of whack is estrogen. Have you heard of estrogen dominance?
Estrogen dominance happens because of a number of different environmental factors including pesticides, chemicals in the air, hormones in meat, petrochemical compounds found in consumer products (think shampoo, makeup, lotion, etc.), car exhaust, plastics, industrial solvents, estrogen from urine of women taking HRT and birth control pills, stress, obesity, caffeine, deficiency of nutrients B6, folate and magnesium among many other things.
Symptoms that may signal an estrogen imbalance are: heavy bleeding during periods, clotting, fibroids, swollen or tender breasts, endometriosis or painful periods, abnormal pap smears, PMS, mood swings, trouble sleeping, memory issues, cold hands or feet and hair loss.
If you are estrogen dominant or believe you have any kind of a hormonal imbalance you need to consume foods that support balanced hormones and foods that help detox excess hormones.
Before we discuss what kinds of foods these might be, there is one other thing to note. Sometimes our own hormones can act as toxins as well.
Let's take adrenaline for example. We pump out adrenaline when we become stressed. Have you heard of fight or flight? If we were to encounter a bear in the woods we would make adrenaline to either fight the bear of flee. Once the danger has passed our body should be able to stop making the adrenaline. But because we are living in a world where we are stressed out all the time our body doesn't stop making adrenaline. So whether it is a bear you are encountering or the demands of everyday life, our bodies are all having trouble shutting the adrenaline production off. When our body can't shut adrenaline production off it becomes a toxin that our body has to try to get rid of.
So what are we going to do about it? How are we going to balance our hormones naturally and start to feel better? How do we get more energy, lessen the PMS, sleep better, improve our appearance and have level emotions?
Let's start with some key foods. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, bok choy), fibre (specifically soluble fibre from apples, oatmeal and ground flax), bitter foods (dandelions, collard greens), sulfur rich foods (onions and garlic), green tea and fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, tamari, sourdough) all help to improve the liver/digestive/intestinal organs to help with the detox of excess hormones. Sea vegetables help balance the thyroid which helps balance cholesterol leveles (related to healthy hormones) so ensure you are getting these as well.
Maca root powder and schizandra berry are very helpful with hormone balancing as is milk thistle. Maca tastes good when added to chocolatey foods or avocado (like a chocolate smoothie or guacamole) and schizandra berry is good with citrus. You can get milk thistle as a tea.
Lemon/ginger water in the morning helps to detox the body first thing and stimulate the digestive system. Infrared saunas, dry skin brushing and certain essential oils can help with detoxification of excess hormones. Activities that help release stress such as yoga and meditation, taking a hot bath or simply doing things that make you feel good can help release stress. Deep breathing also helps to release stress and promotes detoxification.
And how can you avoid hormonal imbalance in the first place? Try to limit your toxic exposure. Use natural beauty products, make your own household cleaners, eat certified organic foods and drink purified water.
Following these tips can help get your hormones back on track and get you feeling really good again. In the meantime, check out this steamer recipe below for a fall drink that feels good and is good for you too.
Pumpkin Pie Maca Steamer
1.5 cups plant based milk (almond, coconut, rice. etc.)
1/2 tsp maca root powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup (or more/less to taste)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat, whisking frequently. Remove from heat when milk starts to simmer. Pour in a mug and enjoy!
Love and light xo,