What Now? Hormones

If your like me, you've researched and read and read some more, and thought, ok, now what?

Not only does it feel daunting, but...

What do you do first?

What will make the most impact?

Is what I'm doing right?

How long before you know what to do next?



When I began my personal journey after reading Woman Code, I dove in head first. I drove my family crazy! 

I cycle synced my food.

I did a round of Whole30.

I went dairy free for a week then broke down and ate yogurt and got so sick!

I went on a rampage about our cleaning products and skin and hair care products.

I literally tried to do everything ALL AT ONCE.

This was not a good plan, because it was difficult to sustain and and I failed, A LOT. 



estrogen

Most often when we think of hormone imbalance we think of an estrogen dominant state. There are several hormones in our body that play a vital role in hormonal homeostasis, but estrogen dysfunction seems to play a large part in issues so many women face today. However, as you can see, symptoms of estrogen dominance definitely mimick other imblances in our bodies, making it even trickier to parse out. 

But, I will just focus on hormones for now. 

When it comes to our hormones there are numerous factors that affect our ability to maintain a healthy balance. 

-genetics
-stress
-sleep
-diet
-lifestyle
-environment
-beauty products
-household products
-alcohol
-caffeine
-adrenal function
-exercise

Imagine taking this list one day and deciding it's all going to change. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE THAT OPTIMISM, especially if you have some not so healthy habits holding you back. However, like I said before, it's not going to be sustainable for you if you feel like you are in a tidal wave of change. 

For me, it was easiest and most effective to work on what I put into my body. Looking back on it, I defeinitely had an intoxicated approach, weaving back and forth trying to get it right

What helped me the most was figuring out how food affected me.

I began cutting out big things like gluten, dairy and sugar (the three biggest hormone disruptors). I was so naieve that I had to read EVERY SINGLE LABEL, EVERY SINGLE TIME I purchased something new. I quickly learned that processed foods (the stuff in a package) were not for me. The more whole food I consumed, the easier it was and the better I felt. I realized that I wasn't the 'cleanse' or elmination type of person either. I needed to eat, otherwise I would leave the cleanse and binge on whatever I could find. 

Removing foods and food products from your lifestyle that are harming your body on a hormonal and cellular level every day, will not only help you stave off chronic diseases, it will also help you FEEL BETTER

For me, this also meant taking a hard look at how much alcohol and caffeine I consumed. Both of these substances were key in gaining control over all three areas I was struggling with (hormones, IBS and adrenal fatigue)

Alcohol has an insane effect on our hormones, including insulin, and the effects in women last twice as long as in men. Meaning, when we overdo it, we are left reaping the negative effects (blood sugar disregulation, cravings, fatigue, bloating) for days. 

Caffeine, just like alcohol, can disrupt our hormone balance by blocking the absorption of key nutrients that help make our hormones and it can also cause cysts to form in our breasts and ovaries. And, just like alcohol, women metabolize caffeine slower than men, so it's effects are sustained for longer periods of time. 

I don't know about you, but when I read all of this, I took a sharp turn towards detox town. Was it easy, hell no. Was it worth it, hell yes. 



Lucky for us, so many amazing companies have emerged over the past couple of years that make it easier (albiet more expensive) to choose better foods and food products. 

Some of my favorites are:
Primal Kitchen
Vital Proteins
Tessemae's
Steve's Paleo Goods
Applegate
Amy's 
Purely Elizabeth
Sir Kensington's
Chosen Foods
Jovial Foods
Woodstock Foods
Organic Valley
Califia Farms
Vital Farms
Siete Foods
CoYo Yogurt
RxBar
Epic

You can also begin by looking for this symbol when you shop:

non-gmo-project
When you see this symbol on a product, you know it's also organic per the labeling requirements. So it's a double win!

Remember, the way food is grown, raised and fed has just as much effect on OUR bodies as it does the plant or animal's bodies and our environment!

If you're really interested in learning more, check out this article I wrote. It breaks down the whole organic, non-GMO thing for you!



The next big thing I tackled was changing my household and beauty products, because what we spray in our house and put on our skin is JUST as important as what we put into our bodies. 

Environmentally speaking, we are exposed to thousands of hormone disrupting (estrogen mimicking) chemicals every day. 

These chemicals wreak havoc on adult bodies and are even more disruptive to developing children's bodies. Numerous studies and statistics show a definitive connection between these hazardous substances and asthma, diabetes, obesity, autism, arthritis, menthal health, digestive and skin disorders, allergies (food and environmental), and even cancer. 

The importance of changing the way we view these products isn't just for the sake of our environment's health, it's for the sake of our health and our family's health. 

Seriously Melissa? 

I know, I'm sorry to be such a bummer, but if you think about it, every one of you knows a child (or has a child) that has one of the issues I mentioned above. 

SO! Start small like I did and change the products you use most; your detergent, dryer sheets, surface cleaners.

I personally like to use the EWGs Healthy Living App or the Think Dirty App. These allow me to search the products I use to determine their safety.

Eventually you can tackle your beauty products. From soap to shampoo to face cream, it all matters. 

Today I shared my favorite deodorant, Nfuse, via IG and FB (don't forget to hop onto INSTAGRAM for the giveaway!). I have a drawer full of products as proof of my never ending search for the one that works for me! So, when I'm ready to share, it's because it's been road tested and researched! 

*The lovely women at Nfuse, Ann & Emily, are offering my readers 10% off of their online purchases through January 1st by using the code, 'wholistic10' at checkout. PLUS, you'll get free shipping when you order two or more bottles!*

If you think about the positive impact on your hormone balance by changing something you literally do EVERY DAY, like applying deodorant, it seems to be so simple. 

And, that's because it is.

It's simple because when you make small changes, eventually the sum will be greater than the parts and you will be feeling better on so many levels. 



The very last pieces of my hormonal puzzle were found at my holisitc practioners office. I wanted to be able to turn to someone who wasn't me for some final answers. 

Supplements have been a key part of this journey as well. Lab work and conversations have allowed us to tailor an approach that is right for my body. 

And, if you have been following my Instagram story this week, you'll know that I finally embarked on my meditation journey too. I can eat kale alllll day every day, but find it so hard to intentionally disconnect and go to my happy place (other than sleeping). 

If you've been thinking about adding meditation to your life, join me this week! I'll be checking in on my IG story daily. Maybe we can even keep it going through the holidays!



One final thought for you as we head into the CRAZIEST (and most wonderful) time of the year. 

We need to find OUR balance. 

I know I post all about health and wellness and what healthy things I'm cooking or eating, but there's a reality that exists beyond social media.

We are not here for perfection, but for progress. 

Be kind and be true. 

Be you.

Until next time, (which might be after Thanksgiving).

Be Well,
Melissa

P.S.

I can work with you to help you find your balance.

Email me. 

Let's get the conversation started. 

wholisticmelissa@verizon.net


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