WEEK #1: Balance hormones:

Your hormone levels fluctuate throughout the course of your lifetime and at times may cause you to suffer (pain, aches, mood swings, fatigue or acne). Hormonal imbalances may be the result of natural biological cycles in your body, but are no less disruptive to your life or sense of well-being. Fluctuations in hormones can likely be kept in check with a proper balanced diet. Consult with your physician(s) about any symptoms you are experiencing and they may also be able to guide you as needed.

Let us take a look at some of the steps that you can take to help you balance your hormones, clean up your diet, and see better results from your workouts:

  • Minimize your intake of saturated fats and sugar. Look at your diet (now) and note how much of it consists of processed foods high in fats and sugars. Also, take note of your red meat and dairy intake. High saturated fat content in red meats and dairy may cause an increase in estrogen. High sugar intake, aka refined carbohydrates, will increase insulin levels. Increased insulin levels can lead to: the pancreas getting worn down and insulin production slows down to abnormal levels -causing type 2 diabetes OR you don't develop diabetes due to the pancreas still providing adequate insulin production, but you develop hyperinsulinism due to high levels of insulin in the blood. Hyperinsulinism can cause chronic obesity as well as high blood pressure, high levels of triglycerides, low HDL (good) cholesterol, heart disease, and possibly some cancers.
  • Increased intake of low G.I. (sugar) fresh fruits and vegetables, including those high in phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are plant hormones, when included in a diet by humans, take on the effects of naturally occurring hormones produced by the body. Foods included are: kale, broccoli, cabbage and turnips.
  • Do NOT skip MEALS. Your body is a machine and machines need fuel! When you eat in the morning, your body and metabolism get a jump start on the day that lies ahead. If you continue to "fuel" your body throughout the course of the day, this will help avoid unnatural fluctuations and imbalances to your hormone levels. 
  • Find a way to incorporate good fats! Including foods high in omega-3 and omega-6 (i.e. fish & nuts) are essential to any good diet because they assist in the production of hormones that transmit biological information throughout the body. A diet lacking in these "good fats" have been linked to inadequate or irregular hormonal function.
  • Keep an eye on the carbohydrate intake, as these impact insulin production. Insulin production in turn impacts hormone levels. A balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, fatty acids and a moderate amount of carbohydrates creates harmony and balance within the body.
  • Get in those high fiber foods. Fiber binds to estrogen, allowing the body to process and eliminate any excess hormone. The best types of these foods are: oatmeal, avocado, blackberries, cabbage, asparagus, eggplant, spinach, broccoli, & etc. Pending on which one of these you chose, you may need to eat them in small portions to avoid carbohydrate overload (the ones listed above *minus oatmeal* are all low carbohydrate and high fiber).

Use these steps to start cleaning up your diet today and there is NO question that you will begin to see and feel the results.