This month’s topic is a very sensitive one, not just because it’s about women but because personally, as a man, learning what women go through monthly, daily and even yearly is truly something I admire in a woman. The hormone balancing activity is incredibly fascinating yet a difficult thing to manage.
For men, hormonal life is a breeze if we think about it. After puberty sets in we are pretty much set to go, as research shows that we don’t have any hormonal imbalances until we reach 50 to 60 years of age. Women are different: Once they get their first menstrual cycle it becomes a monthly thing and can last anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks. Talking to my wife and daughters, they discuss how it can be difficult to perform daily activities every time their menstrual cycle is near and begun. The body experiences fatigue, low or no energy, pain, and feeling grumpy and/or upset. My daughter Sonia who had a baby 7 months ago has been experiencing a lot of hormonal changes. She can speak from experience about how these changes have made her feel and how she has been handling them, so I will pass the pen to her.
Hello, as my father Luis stated above I am a first time mom to a beautiful 7 month old baby girl. I cannot tell you what joy she has brought me, but when I experience hormonal shifts, my smiles often turn upside down. Learning how to manage the fluctuation of hormones post-baby was a challenge, but making sure I stay on point with nutrition, exercise and sleep has made me feel like myself again and avoid post-partum depression symptoms which can really take a toll on the female body. In order for this not to happen it is very important to have your liver working properly.
Amazingly, the liver is responsible for 75% of cholesterol in our body. The other 25% comes from fats we consume, without it we would not have the raw materials required production of hormones to keep our endocrine system working at its peak. Modern day philosophers would tell you to avoid fats for all sorts of reasons. However, healthy fats are essential and your body would thank you to include them in your diet. When we restrict good fats that come from animal tissue, (e.g. raw butter, fatty meats) and polyunsaturated fats (e.g. variety of nuts and seeds), the liver has to work harder to compensate, causing all sorts of problems. In moments of stress, your cortisol levels spike and your blood sugar elevates, leaving fat around the hips, thighs and belly.
There is so much to say about this topic, but the most important one is to stay healthy by consuming a lot of green leafy vegetables which will allow the liver to continuously detoxify itself without having any serious side effects. Also, eat healthy fats and unprocessed meats, as we discussed in our last newsletter. Eat according to your metabolic type. Consuming 80% of good foods and 20% of the not so good foods is a great rule to live by. l recommend sticking strictly to really great nutrition, avoiding sweet and salty foods one week before and during your menstrual cycle to avoid any hormonal side effects (e.g. hot flashes, cramps, acne). Other things to avoid are certain skin and hygiene products: lotions, makeup, deodorant, etc. Most of them contain an estrogen-mimicking chemical that just adds more stress to your liver and disrupt the proper function of hormones. Thankfully, there are natural products available that do not contain chemicals and are made of natural oils. For more information log onto www.skindeep.com and see if any of your skin products are in the safe zone!
There you have it! It is helpful to have a female professional’s view when learning about such a complex topic. There are general health guidelines for both men and women that are exceptionally important especially for a woman’s fluctuating hormones. Please remember to keep your body hydrated, drinking ½ of your weight in oz. per day. Consume a minimum of .6 grams per lb. of your present weight of high quality protein in order to supply your body with essential amino acids. Essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 oils, organic butter, wild caught fish, hormone free beef, chicken and eggs are important to rebuild your body. Exercise a minimum of 4-5 times a week for 20-30 minutes. Do your best to be in bed by 10:30 pm and sleep 7-8 hours to allow your body to heal physically and psychologically.
If you are interested in more specific information on nutritional and hormonal testing please give us a call at Mind Body Motion and find out what holistic alternatives are available to fit your personal challenges.
Looking forward to next month’s newsletter on Men’s Health!
Keep on Moving!
Luis Ponce Sr.