A Hormone Balancing Smoothie

Are you troubled by hormonal problems, perhaps you have an estrogen dominant condition such as fibroids or endometriosis? Hormones control nearly every aspect of how we feel and could be behind a whole range of symptoms such as joint pain, fatigue, headaches, depression, and digestive issues.

My top 5 smoothie ingredients for happy hormones include fibre, healthy fats and lots of antioxidants. 

Avocado – A healthy fat which helps to reduce the absorption of estrogen so if you are estrogen dominant this would be a good option. It’s also rich in Vitamin B6 which supports healthy metabolism and nervous system. Avocado can also lower stress hormones in the body and improve serotonin levels needed for a healthy mood

Broccoli – Contains natural compounds such as glucosinolates and sulforaphane, which helps reduce the risk of estrogen-linked cancers and eliminates excess hormones from the body that can disrupt our cycle. Kale is also great for balancing your adrenal glands, which help regulate the hormones necessary for fertility, mood stability, and energy levels, it is also rich in iron and contains sulfur which detoxes the liver.

Flaxseeds – Rich in antioxidants and compounds called lignans which have been shown to help regulate estrogen levels. Chia, Pumpkin or Hemp seeds would also work well for hormone balance.  Hemp is an excellent source of protein if you are a vegetarian and supplies the body with all 3 omegas.

Blueberries or Kiwi – Too much fruit in your smoothie can cause high sugar spikes which would create an imbalance of blood sugar levels so its best to only add a small addition of fruit to your smoothie, kiwi is abundant with vitamin C and blueberries have high antioxidant activity so either a small handful of blueberries or a kiwi is enough fruit for your smoothie.

Maca –  originally from Peru this superfood enhances energy, vitality and is proven to support hormone balance and improve fertility chances, it also tastes great so is a goodie for your hormone balancing smoothie.

Mix all your chosen ingredients with your favourite plant-based milk, dairy from cows is full of hormone disruptors so avoid cows milk, I love Rude Health almond milk or coconut milk, coconut is rich in amino acids, healthy fats, minerals, and B vitamins which would be beneficial to your hormones and almonds are a source of vitamin E, copper and magnesium which is vital for a healthy endocrine system.

Berry Nice Hormones Smoothie

  • 1 hand full of Blueberries
  • Half Avocado 
  • 1 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Maca Powder
  • 4 Broccoli Florets
  • A glass of Coconut Milk

 

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Then drink at room temperature, Ayurvedic practitioners believe that icy drinks can interfere with your digestive fire and cause dampness in the body so it’s always better for your system to drink your beverage at room temperature to avoid causing strain on your kidneys and liver.

 

 

 

Is This The Endo Me?

I was 30 when I first heard that word, Endometriosis. I was having a routine smear test and the nurse said to me, “if you want children, you should start trying soon as it looks like you have a touch of endometriosis.” OK, I said.

I went home and thought nothing of it, this was just before the internet generation, so I didn’t really know how to research it other than to go to the library, it wasn’t as easy as it is now. I was also in a band and too busy having a good time, children were not on my agenda. How I wish it was easier back then to google the condition, to see what it was all about as my doctor had no useful advice for heavy painful periods and endometriosis symptoms, he said it was normal for some women to get painful periods and offered me the contraceptive pill when I was 16. I had been taking it for 14 years, but what happens when you want to stop taking it?

This common, painful inflammatory condition affects 1 in 10 women which means 178 million women all over the world suffer with it.

The endometriosis word came back into my life at 34, I stopped taking the contraceptive pill as I wanted to try for a child with my partner, soon after stopping the pill, I developed severe pains in my tummy, a scan on my pelvic area revealed two big ovarian cysts measuring 8cm each, called ‘chocolate cysts’ as they were filled with old blood, yuk. This was when I realised the severity of the condition and how much it was going to affect my life in more ways than one.

I’d always suffered from painful and heavy periods but just thought they were normal and that every woman goes through the same torture each month. However, when I came off the pill I was older and wiser, the symptoms and consequences of my symptoms which caused low B12, anemia and infertility meant that I needed to try to find ways to heal myself through diet and lifestyle choices and I knew there would be no short cuts.

As I have knowingly lived with this condition for 10 years now, I have grown to understand what makes it worse and what eases the symptoms. I have learned that I also need to make peace with my uterus, so instead of calling my period “a b*tch of a period” which I did every month for the past 20 years, I now send it loving thoughts, which isn’t easy to do when you are in excruciating pain.

Here are just some of the alternative methods, and products that I find have really helped my endo condition so far that you might not have discovered already;

  • Castor Oil Packs – This was a big game changer for me. Castor oil helps to bring circulation to your uterus and help bring in new fresh oxygenated blood which is what you want for a healthy uterus. Check out this video I found on how to do a Castor Oil Pack, I find the Pukka Castor Oil brand a really nice organic brand which is cheap and easy to find in most health shops or on Amazon. I found it really helped me to relax too as you cannot do anything for 45 mins to 1 hour so just lie down and listen to meditative music or whatever you find relaxes you.
  • Magnesium Spray – Apparently many women with Endometriosis lack magnesium so it’s a good one to have in your armour, it helps to relax your muscles which helps ease cramps. I found this really helpful to spray at night as it also promotes restful sleep. My favourite is by Kiki Health.
  • Clary Sage – Clary Sage oil contains natural phytoestrogens from plants and I was a little dubious at first as estrogen is usually a no-no with this condition, but apparently, good estrogen is ok just the bad ones like xenoestrogens from toxins and plastics are the bad guys. I found the oil really helped my pains if I put the oil on my tummy and then had a hot water bottle on top.
  • Supplements – If you haven’t tried ‘Endo Complex‘ yet, Its a food grown natural supplement from Wild Nutrition which provides all the right nutrients to help ease the complex endometriosis condition. I find it works really well with their ‘Methyl Connect’ supplements too which help your body to absorb folate and B12. Methylation is a biochemical process involved in almost all of your body’s functions. It controls everything from your stress response and how your body makes energy from food to your brain chemistry and detoxification.
  • Another supplement I also find useful which I formulated is ‘Woman’ by We+People, its an organic natural superfood supplement which contains maca root to help balance hormones, ginger to help fight inflammation and also a prebiotic which promotes a healthy gut and immune system. All required in abundance to tackle this often debilitating condition.
  • Ashwagandha – One of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing, has been used since ancient times for a wide variety of conditions including stress and anxiety. This one is a new one for me as I have been researching the connection between stress and endometriosis recently as I personally suffer a lot with anxiety. So it turns out stress really affects our adrenal function and it’s our adrenals which play a huge role in keeping our hormones balanced, so it’s really important to keep them calm. I find Ashwagandha has totally stopped me from waking up with anxiety caused by high cortisol levels that peak in the morning. My favourite is the Organic India brand.
  • Fibre – I know this sounds totally crazy but after 10 years of having this disease, I have only just worked out how important fibre is. I mean, it took a herbalist to tell me that I should buy a fibre powder. I added a spoonful to my smoothies and started to go to the toilet twice a day instead of once and almost immediately it solved my constipation issues which I didn’t realise were related to my endo. It helped me to expel the excess estrogen and toxins which were clogging up my system. Be careful with it though as it does make you dehydrated if you don’t drink enough water. It’s better to get your fibre from food but I did use Lepricol which I found good to get me started and it also includes digestive enzymes and probiotics.
  • Tulsi Tea (Holy Basil) – This is a tea that I find really good for keeping my adrenals calm and there are other great teas too which are supposed to help reduce endometriosis and fibroids such as green tea which is full of antioxidants. I use the Pukka Tea variety.

Since I’ve gained a little more knowledge and insight into this condition and through research and trial and error, I am now mostly pain-free. I do have an endometrial polyp which has shrunk in size so this has made me more determined than ever to get my reproductive health back. When I stick to my well-balanced whole foods diet, get plenty of exercise and take supporting supplements, I manage pretty well. Now all I need is to get my fertility back. But at 44 I know that I am wishful thinking. If you think you have endometriosis don’t leave it until its too late to take control and get to know this condition so you can manage the symptoms and get on with enjoying your life.

There are lots of support groups and awareness of this condition out there nowadays so don’t suffer alone. Try ‘This Endo Life’ for a great blog and website dedicated to living and thriving with this condition. Also, check out UK charity group https://www.endometriosis-uk.org which organises several meetups and events throughout the year.

5 Simple Ways to Create Hormonal Balance

Most people just assume that our bodies just figure it all out for themselves and as long as we are eating a varied healthy diet and have a good life-work balance with no stress it pretty much does….. most of the time. 

But sometimes just sometimes it gets thrown out of whack, maybe you are working too hard, maybe you have been through a traumatic episode in your life or maybe you have had an injury, a serious illness or you’ve been eating a poor diet. 

Men and women can suffer from hormonal imbalances however women are more likely to pick up on an imbalance in their hormones due to our monthly cycles and if somethings not feeling right we tend to get strong signals each month such as PMT, PMS, Endometriosis, PCOS and lots more. But it doesn’t end with our menstrual cycle as our hormones also control our sleep patterns, digestion, and overall health. 

Balancing hormones requires lifestyle and diet changes and here are our 5 steps to help you get back your happy hormones. 

1. Nourish

Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers which control most major bodily functions so if our hormones aren’t balanced it will have a direct impact on how our bodies perform. Start by eating less processed foods and refined sugars which cause our hormones to behave erratically and eat a healthy diet rich in good fats and protein. Did you know Hemp contains a whole spectrum of all the amino acids our bodies need and includes omega 3 and 6 which is directly linked to hormone health? Hemp also contains heaps of healthy protein too. 

2. Exercise 

It’s really important to exercise our bodies every day even if just for 30 minutes, exercise creates harmony in our hormones and breaking a sweat will also get rid of any excess toxins in our bodies through our sweat glands, so drink lots of water and get exercising. Try adding Maca to your daily routine. It’s the champion superfood for hormonal balancing and it has also been claimed to help increase strength, boost energy and improve exercise performance. Maca oxidises quite quickly so it can lose 50% of its powerful health benefits within 3 months so for best results we recommend to take it in supplement form which is protected by the plant based capsule. 

3. Laugh 

Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, adrenaline, and dopamine. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones, like endorphins which means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress. Have you tried cacao, cacao is chocolate in its purest form without all the added sugars, the mood-boosting effects of cacao really can lift our mood. Researchers have discovered that cacao can help stimulate the brain into releasing neurotransmitters, which can in turn release feel-good hormones.

4. Eat Your Greens 

Making sure you eat lots of greens such as kale and spinach will assist your liver which is vital for hormone health. We are exposed to toxins every day and some of these toxins such as those found in plastics can even mimic the hormone oestrogen and cause serious hormone imbalances. It’s the liver’s job to cleanse these out of our system. So to support liver health try taking wheatgrass which contains many nutrients such as chlorophyll, folic acid, and B12 which can help detoxify an overburdened liver and help to cleanse the blood. 

5. Keep Your Gut Healthy

Our overall health starts in our digestive system and if you consistently eat processed food and high sugar foods, the chances are pretty high that your digestive system will be toxic and sluggish and this will have a direct impact on your hormones.  Eat plenty of foods which will restore your gut health, such as fermented foods and bone broth. We include Inulin in our supplements as this is a natural plant fibre which acts as a prebiotic and our gut bacteria converts that into fatty acids which nourishes our colon cells and provide a healthy environment in the gut and therefore happy hormones too.

Blog Post By Zoe @ WePeople

Simple Seed Cycling

If you’ve recently been hearing the words, ‘seed cycling’, Its nothing to do with bicycles. It’s a new brilliant way to make sure we are getting the right nutrients throughout our menstrual cycle.

Seed cycling is an old naturopathic therapy that uses nutrition, to support the body’s production, metabolism and detoxification of hormones in order to bring hormones back into balance, naturally.

Our female bodies are so complex, that we often find ourselves a little bit bemused by them, for years I suffered from heavy periods that I thought was normal, turns out I had endometriosis and I only found out 10 years later. So if you suffer from painful heavy periods and you have signs that something feels wrong, then get it checked, chances are it could prevent problems later on. 

Our cycles are divided into phases.

  1. The follicular phase, day 1 to 14 of your cycle. when your estrogen is increasing and an egg is maturing in preparation for ovulation.
  2. Ovulation typically occurs on day 14 for women with a ‘normal’ 28-day cycle which is characterized by the release of an egg,
  3. Luteal phase. This usually happens on day 15 of your cycle, the follicle turns into a structure called the corpus luteum, which produces progesterone and helps thicken your uterine lining to prepare for a pregnancy.
  4. Menstruation: If the egg is not fertilized, the lining of your uterus, also known as the endometrium, will shed and this becomes your period.

Do I need to seed cyle?

Our bodies are usually naturally very good at keeping our hormones in balance, but with the number of hormone disruptors in our everyday environment, its easier than ever for our bodies to get confused. For example, drinking from plastic bottles exposes you to estrogen-mimicking compounds called xenoestrogens and not only is it in plastics, but it’s also in the chemicals we are exposed to every day such as detergents, cosmetics, receipts, even the clothing on our backs, which can cause a lot of us to suffer from estrogen dominant conditions such as Endometriosis, PMT, PCOS, and Infertility.

Why Seeds?

Seeds are rich in essential fatty acids and nutrients, like zinc and selenium, which are the building blocks needed to create happy healthy hormones.  So this is why seed cycling could just be what we need, to keep things in balance.

Flaxseeds in-particular are rich in lignans, which have been shown to be beneficial in improving estrogen and progesterone ratios. There have also been studies showing that breast tenderness related to our cycles is improved by including flaxseeds in your diet too. Sesame and sunflower seeds also contain lignans and essential fatty acids which support the hormones. So by choosing the right seeds needed for each cycle phase, it could vastly improve your menstrual health, less pain, regular periods, less breast tenderness etc.

Where To Start?

I made some seed balls as they are really easy to snack on, rather than having to make a smoothie or carry lots of packets of seeds around. I prepared 14 and took 1 a day or you could take 2 a day and make more. So far my menstrual pain has eased, and my breasts don’t seem so tender before my period, its supposed to be 3-6 months before you see any improved results, so give it time.

Heres a really simple guide to which seeds would be good to start with, simply put the chosen seeds which preferably are organic and high quality, into a food blender with some cacao powder, and a little raw honey to make them stick, you could also try adding dates which give a good source of fibre, a good digestive system is vital, which can aid your body in expelling those pesky excesses estrogens.

Day 1-14

Flax seeds and pumpkin seeds work well for this phase as they  work to detox any excess estrogen whilst preparing the body for adequate progesterone production in the second half of the cycle.  pumpkin seeds are also high in iron which is beneficial in this half, if you have heavy periods. 

Day 15-28

Sunflower seeds and sesame seeds work well for this phase as sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E to support progesterone levels and sesame seeds are high in zinc and selenium which block excess estrogen.

Happy Hormones

So if you want happy hormones, or if you just like the sound of these as a tasty healthy snack, and they are tasty especially when you add a little coconut oil, honey, dates and raw cacao. I prefer to use raw cacao than dark chocolate as this is the purest form of chocolate, which contains magnesium and zinc, also known minerals to be lacking in people with endometriosis and other estrogen dominant conditions. So maybe worth giving a try.