Detoxification for Hormonal Balance

Your liver is an important fat-burning organ that helps regulate the balance of hormones in your body.   It produces cholesterol, which is the pre-cursor necessary for the creation of hormones.   The liver also breaks down and removes excess hormones and waste from your body.  In the same way a pool filter cleans a pool by catching the dead leaves, dirt and insects, the liver transforms and eliminates harmful toxins and excess hormones from your body.

If the liver is sluggish or clogged with waste material, excess hormones build up in your system (and around your waistline), leading to hormone imbalances like estrogen dominance.  Once estrogen has done its job in the body, it is sent to the liver so it can be broken down and removed through your gallbladder, kidneys, colon and urine.  If your liver is congested or overwhelmed, it is unable to function optimally and thus cannot remove estrogen at its normal rate.  Estrogen can be reabsorbed into the body contributing to symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, weight gain, irritability, low libido, and depression.  Excess estrogen can make your bile from the gallbladder too thick and stagnant to efficiently flow out of the body and detoxify excess hormones.

Continue reading “Detoxification for Hormonal Balance”

Part 4 – Healthy Digestion and Good Gut Health

Gut Flora and Stress

An imbalance in your gut flora doesn’t just affect you physically, it can affect you mentally.  Studies show that having an overgrowth of certain bacteria in the gut can trigger a systemic stress response that keeps you in fight or flight mode, which is characterized by increased heart rate, high blood pressure, increased blood glucose, difficulty focusing and slowed digestion at all times.  Staying in fight or flight long-term can cause chronic inflammation that leads to chronic diseases.  Conversely, having the “right” balance of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus can turn off the hormonal signals that cause that chronic stress response.

Importance of Probiotics

Probiotics are live cultures that provide some type of benefit to the host-you.  In the case of gut dysbiosis, probiotics help repopulate the gut with good bacteria to help restore the balance.  There are two major ways to introduce probiotics into your gut.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are not a new thing.  Fermented foods are those that have been preserved using a process called lacto-fermentation.  During this process, bacteria feed on the sugars and starches naturally present in the food.  Fermentation does more than increase a food’s shelf life.  It makes the food more digestible, changes flavor and texture, reduces the presence of carbohydrates known for causing gas, and synthesizes vitamins like vitamin B12.

Supplements

Continue reading “Part 4 – Healthy Digestion and Good Gut Health”

Part 3 – Healthy Digestion and Gut Health

Avoiding Chemicals and Processed Foods

Our typical diet is all about convenience.  When it comes to food choices, the top three criteria for many of us are convenience, potability and taste.  Processed foods contain many artificial ingredients and chemicals that your body doesn’t recognize them as food.  When you regularly eat foods like this, your body responds by attacking the ingredients it doesn’t recognize – end result?  A damaged gut!

Don’t be fooled by buzz phrases like all-natural, gluten-free or made with natural ingredients.  These phrases are designed by manufacturers to make you think a packaged food is a healthy choice even when it’s not.  Just because a processed food doesn’t contain gluten doesn’t make it healthy.  It may be filled with other gut-damaging ingredients like soy and sugar.

Make your own meals at home whenever possible using fresh, whole ingredients.  If portability and convenience are your concerns, spend a few hours on a day that you have some time prepping and preparing meals for the week.  Cook in bulk and separate food into single-serving containers.  Cut up fruit and vegetables and put them in baggies that are easy to grab on the go.  Buy raw nuts and unsweetened dried fruit in bulk and put single servings into sandwich bags.  Keep these bags on hand wherever you think hunger might strike unexpectedly.  Put some in your desk drawer at work, leave some in the car or keep them in your purse.

Continue reading “Part 3 – Healthy Digestion and Gut Health”

Part 2 – Healthy Digestion and Good Gut Health

  A Natural, Real-Foods Approach

Focus on filling your plate with natural, real foods.  Vegetables should take up the remaining 80 percent of your plate, while high quality proteins and fat make up the remaining 20 percent.  Fruits are full of beneficial nutrients, but should not take up a significant percentage of your plate.  You can add a piece of fruit to your balanced meal or snack.

Food Quality

Purchase organic fruit and vegetables that are free of chemicals and pesticides.  While getting organic produce from your grocery store is good, local farmers’ markets are better. 

Eat with the seasons.  If a fruit or vegetable doesn’t grow in the winter where you live, skip it at the grocery store until spring or summer, the time it naturally grows.  Your body was meant to eat with the seasons.  This helps prevent food sensitivities and ensures that you are getting a wide range of nutrients from foods that you may not normally eat.

Many conventional meats come from cows, pigs, and chickens that are fed a grain or corn rich diet.  Farmers give grain and corn to animals in an attempt to fatten them up quickly and inexpensively.  Since this isn’t the animal’s natural food source, it affects the quality of the meat.

The best meat carries three labels:  organic, grass-fed and pasture-raised.  Do your best to choose the highest quality meats while staying within your budget.

Continue reading “Part 2 – Healthy Digestion and Good Gut Health”

The Importance of Healthy Digestion and Good Gut Health

Your body uses nutrients like vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein and fatty acids to carry out every single one of its physiological processes, such as fixing damaged cells and making new ones.  Nutrients give cells what they need to work, grow and divide.  The only way to get most of the nutrients your body needs is through the foods you eat.

When your gut is healthy and your digestion is working properly, your body has access to everything it needs to keep itself healthy.  When your gut is imbalanced and your digestion is out of whack, your body cannot absorb nutrients no matter how clean your diet is.  Adopting a clean diet only one aspect of gut health.  You must also work to fix your damaged gut so you can absorb nutrients by taking the proper supplements, engaging in stress-reduction techniques and staying properly hydrated.

Identifying Digestive Problems

  • Bloating, belching, burning, and flatulence after meals
  • A sense of extreme fullness after eating
  • Indigestion, diarrhea or constipation
  • Rectal itching
  • Weak or cracked fingernails
  • Dilated capillaries in the cheeks and nose
  • Post-adolescent acne or other skin irritations, such as rosacea, eczema and hives
  • Iron deficiency
  • Chronic intestinal infections, parasites, yeast and unfriendly bacteria
  • Greasy stools
  • Easily bruised skin
  • Fatigue

Continue reading “The Importance of Healthy Digestion and Good Gut Health”

Garlicky Veggie-Packed Omelet

Gut Health Recipe

Gracious Garlic

A member of the lily flower family, garlic is a beautiful plant that can give your meal a tantalizing aroma and a unique flavor that can’t be found in anything else.  Use garlic or garlic powder to dress up dishes or create a savory flavor.

Garlicky Veggie-Packed Omelet

Delicious vegetables and garlic combine with fluffy eggs and egg whites to make a simple, satisfying and savory meal that will start off any day right! Protein-packed and rich in complex carbohydrates from the vegetables, this is a tasty way to get some valuable nutrition.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 1
Calories 357 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced button or cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup torn spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 2 large whole eggs
  • 4 large egg whites

Instructions
 

  • Heat olive oil or coconut oil in a small frying pan over medium heat.
  • Saute' onion for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and water, and saute' until mushrooms are softened, about 3-4 minutes
  • Sprinkle mixture with garlic powder and add spinach leaves and tomatoes, stirring constantly.
  • Whisk together eggs and egg whites and pour over the sauteed vegetables.
  • Immediately begin pushing the outer edges into the center with a spatula for one turn around the whole pan. Let omelet set for 2 minutes.
  • Gently slide the spatula under omelet and quickly flip.
  • Continue cooking omelet for another 3 - 5 minutes or until no longer runny.

 

Digestive Enzymes and Hormones

digestive enzymes

So, how can digestive enzymes help with hormone balance?  Food and digestion is at the center of our overall health and hormonal balance.  We all have heard “you are what you eat”.  This new term holds more truth:  “You are what you can digest and absorb.”  If our digestive function is compromised, we cannot fully benefit from the nutrients in our diet, no matter how high the quality of our foods.

Since we have many feasting opportunities ahead of us at this time of the year, I would like to help you digest food more efficiently.  It will help you feel and look better during times of feasts and beyond; and good digestion prevents putting on those extra pounds!

So what about hormone balance and gut health?  Good gut health is crucial to re-balancing your hormones regardless of the imbalance.  Poor digestive health is especially impactful on women because of their physical and hormonal
makeup.  All of our hormones are processed through our gut.  When our food is not properly digested, all of our systems are compromised.

Who needs digestive enzymes?

This is where digestive enzymes come into play in our digestive health.  Who needs digestive enzymes?  Anyone who displays any of these:

  • Occasional bloating and gas, particularly after eating
  • Feeling full after eating only a small quantity of food
  • Infrequent mild indigestion/heartburn
  • Bowel irregularities such as occasional diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Undigested food in stools
  • Allergies
  • Estrogen dominance
  • History of gallbladder problems
  • Lost gallbladder due to surgery

What to expect from Digestive Enzymes

Women who add digestive enzymes to their regimen often feel:

  • Lighter and energized after a meal
  • Improvement in digestion
  • Less food intolerances
  • Better bowel movement (less constipation or loose stool)
  • Less allergies ( this is because the liver gets a break from undigested food)
  • Improved energy and overall well-being (nutrients get properly absorbed)
  • Improved thyroid function (especially with Hashimoto’s)

You have probably heard that your gut is your second brain.  If your digestive system is on track you are set up for our whole body system to be on track.  The opposite is also true.

TerraZyme, my go-to Digestive Enzyme Complex, is a proprietary blend of active whole-food enzymes and supporting mineral co-factors that are often deficient in cooked, processed and preservative-laden foods.  TerraZyme’s powerful combination of digestive enzymes support the body’s constant production of enzymes critical for healthy biochemical functions throughout the body including healthy digestion of food nutrients and cellular metabolism of nutrients to energy.  TerraZyme includes a variety of whole-food enzymes that help with digestion of proteins, fats complex carbohydrates, sugars and fiber.

Here is a list of benefits
  • Supports healthy digestion and metabolism of enzyme-deficient, processed foods.  Speeds conversion of food nutrients to cellular energy
  • Promotes gastrointestinal comfort and food tolerance
  • Supports healthy production of metabolic enzymes
  • Provides important mineral co-factors for systemic enzymatic activity
Enzymes do more than we think

Enzymes are not only necessary for digesting food nutrients and converting nutrients to energy in cells, they also function as catalysts in almost all cellular functions and chemical reactions throughout the body.  They are also necessary for breathing, thinking, immune function, hormone regulation, detoxification, and thousands of other biochemical functions.

The body’s constant need to produce digestive enzymes can result in chronic deficiencies in metabolic enzymes that re critical for optimal health and cell function.  One example of an important metabolic enzyme is superoxide dismutase (SOD) which protects cells from free-radical molecules.  Metabolic enzymes are also Continue reading “Digestive Enzymes and Hormones”

Using a Multivitamin While Preparing for Conception and Maintaining Hormone Balance

Multivitamin for Conception and Hormone Balance?

When you are trying to get pregnant or trying to maintain hormone balance in general, we are hearing from many different sources that is it a good idea to begin using a prenatal multivitamin before you get pregnant.  The same is being said for maintaining hormone balance outside of conception.  There are now studies backing this advice.  Multivitamins serve as a type of “back up” plan to our diets.  While eating a healthy diet is of utmost importance it is always good to include a whole food prenatal for pregnancy and a whole food multivitamin in who general.

“A study from Harvard Medical school involving 18,000 has shown that taking a multivitamin, particularly, folic acid, can improve chances of pregnancy.”

That study followed nurses who have hoped to get pregnant for an eight year period.  Women who took their multivitamin six times a week were 40% less likely to fail to ovulate than women who took none.

The Importance of Nutrients for Fertility, Pregnancy and Hormone Balance

Nutrition plays a big role in having healthy fertility and experiencing a healthy pregnancy.  Nutritional deficiencies have been linked to ovulation issues hormonal imbalances poor egg health, low sperm count and so much more.  We are literally what we eat.  Every cell in our bodies that makes up our organs, creates hormones and enzymes that make us function is created by the food we eat and the nutrients we take in.  If this is being compromised due to poor diet or poor digestion, the side effects could affect fertility and hormone balance.

Did you know that there are specific nutrients like folic acid that are needed by the young fetus before you can even detect pregnancy, and a deficiency in this nutrient could cause serious birth defects?  Another example is iron – iron deficiency and low levels of iron in the blood has bee linked to lack of ovulation.

So, nutrition does play a big role in our health, fertility and hormone balance.  Taking a whole food multivitamin daily can help to fill the gaps where diets may be falling short.

Do You Need a Multivitamin?

Multivitamin Checklist
Ask yourself these questions-check all that apply to you

Important Nutrients for Fertility and Hormone Balance

Vitamin D:  Vitamin D is needed to help the body create sex hormones which in turn affects ovulation and hormonal balance.  Yale University School of Medicine conducted a study of 67 infertile women.  It was discovered that  mere 7% had normal Vitamin D levels.

Vitamin E:  Vitamin E has been shown in studies to improve sperm health and motility in men.  Studies have shown a diet deficient in Vitamin E to be the cause of infertility in rats.  The meaning of the name for vitamin E ‘Tocopherol’ literally means to bear young.  Vitamin E is also an important antioxidant to help sperm and egg DNA integrity. Continue reading “Using a Multivitamin While Preparing for Conception and Maintaining Hormone Balance”

Natural Remedies for PCOS

Today many women are turning to natural remedies for getting their PCOS symptoms under control.  And, the good news is – these remedies are working!

One of the remedies that is working is essential oils.  When using essential oils, it is important to remember that a little goes a long way because of how potent they are.

Today we will explore the best essential oils for PCOS; how to use them and a  potent DIY Essential  Oil Blend to support you on your healing journey.

What is PCOS?

PCOS (Polycystci Ovary Syndrome) is a set of symptoms that come about because of increased androgens (male hormones) in women.  PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder affecting women between the ages of 18 and 44.

One or both the ovaries can be affected by PCOS which is characterized by a collection of cysts on the ovary, which causes it to bulge and produce more androgens than normal.

PCOS is also one of the leading causes of infertility.  It is a combination of genetic and environmental factors.  Some risk factors of PCOS include

  • Obesity
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Family history of someone with the condition

Symptoms of PCOS

Some women experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Heavy periods
  • Excess hair
  • Acne
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain or trouble losing weight
  • Insulin resistance
  • Low sex drive
  • Thinning hair on the scalp
  • Pelvic pain
  • Difficulty getting pregnan
  • Patches of thick, darker velvety skin

To see if your symptoms indicate PCOS, use our questionnaire here.

How do Essential Oils Help with PCOS

Essential oils are highly concentrated substances.  They are made up of many chemical constituents – terpenes, ketones, acetates and more.  These constituents are what makes each essential oil special and different from each other.  They give an essential oil its numerous therapeutic properties.  Some of these properties include hormone-balancing, cytophylactic, anti-inflammatory, tonic, stimulant, antibacterial, analgesic and more.

What makes essential oils special is there therapeutic properties. Here are the following benefits of essential oils for PCOS:

  • Help balance hormones
  • Reduce inflammation in the body
  • Reduce thinning hair on the scalp
  • Fight acne
  • Increase fertility
  • Act as natural aphrodisiacs
  • Regulate menstrual periods
  •  Help in weight management
  • Reduce pelvic pain
  • Increase energy and boost mood

Here are my top 10  Essential Oils for PCOS:

Clary Sage Essential Oil
  • What it does:  Balances hormones; assists in hair growth; acts as a utrine tonic; boosts estrogen levels; works in synergy with geranium essential oil for ovarian support.
geranium essential oil
  • What it does: Supports women’s health; regulates hormones; promotes healthy functioning of reproductive system; fights hormonal acne.
Lavender essential oil
  • What it does:  Quells anxiety; reduces stress; regulates scanty periods; balances the endocrine system; blends well with geranium and clary essential oils for ovarian support.
Sandalwood essential oil
  • What it does:  Balances out testosterone levels which bring symptoms like male pattern baldness; excess body hair and acne.
Cypress Essential oil
  • What it does:  Promotes proper  blood circulation; supports fertility
cinnamon essential oil
  • What it does:  Supports weight loss; regulates insulin levels
frankincense essential oil
  • What it does:  Helps in getting rid of ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids; balances the endocrine system; strong anti-inflammatory.
Rose otto essential oil
  • What it does:  Natural aphrodisiac; beautifies skin and fights acne; strong anti-inflammatory; supports fertility; normalizes irregular periods.
german chamomile essential oil
  • What it does:  Supports women’s health; strong anti-inflammatory; soothing and calming properties for the mind and whole body.
myrrh essential oil
  • What it does:  Normalizes scanty periods; helps clear a congested uterus.

How to Use Essential Oils for PCOS

Continue reading “Natural Remedies for PCOS”

Holiday Stress Relief

Holiday stress relief is a challenge.  We would like to give you some ways you can de-stress during the holidays!   Take our quiz and see if you may become a victim of the holiday blues.  

  • Does the thought of holiday celebrations and  customs make you feel sad instead of excited?
  • Do you have the support system to help you thrive instead of just surviving the holidays?
  • Can you create a memorable holiday for yourself instead of stress and depression?

Fill out the form below and you will automatically receive three downloads that will help!

Read on for more ways to help with holiday stress

Making the Holidays More Positive
Set realistic expectations 

Most holiday depression is caused by unrealistic expectations.  Plan how to achieve your goals.

Set a budget

Plan, shop sales compromise and stick to your budget.

Avoid hectic schedules

Get enough rest.  Discuss your calendar with your family.  

Regroup and revitalize

Set aside time for your favorite holiday activity.

avoid family differences

Heal past hurts.  Share fun family memories.

Help those less fortunate

Visit a nursing home or help a less fortunate family. Volunteer at a shelter or soup kitchen.

cultivate spirituality

Recognize and explore your spiritual beliefs during the season

prepare a self-care plan

Taking time out for self-care can do a lot for releasing the stress of the holiday season.

We would like to offer you some guides that may help during this stressful time.

Use the form below and your guides will be on their way!  You will receive our:

  • Gratitude Journal – being in gratitude can do a lot to lift our spirits.  When we are thankful and in gratitude, even of the smallest of things, we can feel our stressors lift and our moods lighten.
  • Practicing Self-Care Guide – our guide provides some easy and helpful ways to practice self-care at this time and throughout the year.  Some helpful practices include:  Favorite Tools for Self-Care, Practicing Self-Care When You Are Stressed, Some Home Remedies for Un-stressing Our Body!, Acupressure Tips for Relieving Stress, Self-Care Routine for Stress,  Yoga Strategies to Stress Less, Nutritional Guides for Stress Depletion,
    Reset Your Health – Reset Your Life 
  • Stress-release coloring pages – coloring has a way to help up let go of stress.  Enjoy these downloadable pages and color away!

We hope you enjoy these complimentary products and hope that this article gives you some ideas for how to handle holiday stress.