As young women, we’re typically not presented with sufficient information that empowers us to proactively care for our bodies and support hormone balance as we flow from our first period to monthly cycles and through the various stages of our life. Most of us don’t learn much about hormones at all until something like PCOS, infertility, endometriosis or PMDD sends us running to our doctor. But, why wait until something is amiss to support our hormone health? Hormones affect everything from mood and digestion to skin and sleep, so we might as well do what we can daily to create greater balance. From puberty to menopause and at every stage in between, we can make little changes that can have a big impact on our hormone health – and that can mean the difference between surviving and thriving as a woman.
Here are a few things that have made a big difference in my life and the lives of my clients that I recommend:
Empower Yourself with Knowledge
Alisa Vitti’s WomanCode and Dr. Sara Gottfried’s The Hormone Cure are two quick reads full of validating eye openers, helpful distillations of the science behind our hormonal cycles, and most importantly, tools to help us better navigate them with holistic approaches. You don’t know what you don’t now, and unfortunately the women’s health knowledge gap is a huge impediment to achieving and maintaining optimal wellbeing. Pick up one of these books and bridge that gap!
Manage Your Blood Sugar
Little known fact: unstable and/or high blood sugar is the number one factor affecting your hormone balance. Because the standard American diet is loaded with added refined sugars and processed foods that wreak havoc on blood sugar, this is a factor that likely affects more women than not. The easiest way to balance your blood sugar without having to overthink it is to eliminate processed sugar and processed foods from your diet. Easier said than done, though right? Here’s a baby step in the right direction if that’s biting off more than you can chew. Balance your carbohydrate intake (fruit, starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, grains like rice or any sweets) with the protein + fiber + fat trifecta. Together, these foods will minimize the spike in blood sugar, provide valuable nutrients AND keep you full longer so you’re less likely to reach for empty carbs an hour later!