Food is very powerful and probably the most important component when trying to achieve hormonal balance.
But most women find the amount of contradicting opinions out there, totally overwhelming.
And because they don't know where to start, they don't start at all.
In this episode, I share with you 7 strategies to start building hormone healing meals.
You can find my 4-week, Hormone Healing Meal plan with amazing recipes here: FEAST: 4 Weeks To Healthier Hormones
Well hello again and welcome back to another episode!
I’m wondering if you have some health goals.
I’ve never set some health goals for myself. I’ve always just what I knew was best and sort of took life as it came.
Until my health was not really what I thought it should be.
So I wanna make sure you think about your health.
Because if you don’t, you’ll sort of just take every day as it comes, and before you know it, you may be a long way off from where you would like to be in terms of your health.
Maybe you can just take a moment right now to think about how you wanna feel on a daily basis.
What are the things that you can’t compromise on, to ensure that you are the mom, wife, friend, colleague that you really want to be.
Let me share a little bit about what my health goals are. Hopefully that will help you to think about what it is that you really wanna feel on a daily basis.
First of all, I wanna ALWAYS feel energized and ready for whatever life throws at me.
I wanna have enough energy to invest in my kids, do my job well, prepare healthy meals for my family, do fun activities that I enjoy but also the activities that we enjoy as a family. So consistent energy levels are really important to me!
I wanna feel joyful and focused, so I can give my full attention where it is needed at all times.
At this stage in my life, I’m not only building a business, but I’m also homeschooling my sweet 10 year old boy, AND we are in the final stages of a major reno, of which we do most of the work ourselves.
So I really need to have mental clarity, focus and joy to be able to do all of those things well.
Once I’m clear on what these non-negotiables are for me in terms of my health, I make sure that I create habits that will get me there.
And the 3 habits that I do every single day, that I really try hard to not compromise on are:
Exercise - very often this will be walking outside in nature.
Walking, especially after meals, makes a major difference in hormonal and overall health and wellness.
Next is at least 20 minutes of self care every single day, and most days, that would be my long, warm bath at the end of each day.
And thirdly, it’s eating meals that are metabolically healthy and supports all of my body systems and organs to do their job well, so that I CAN feel my best.
I really find that all 3 these things are non-negotiables for me. If I don’t get to these things for a few days in a row, I really experience the effect it has on my body.
But I’ll be focusing specifically on how to build hormone supporting meals today!
I wanna share with you 7 strategies to create meals that your metabolism will love, but also, that will stabilise your blood sugar, support your liver and feed your gut, which will all lead to healthier, more balanced hormones.
We wanna focus on giving your body the best fuel and foods so that it can perform all of it’s functions really well.
Here’s what I want to you to hear today.
Food is incredibly powerful
It WILL support your body towards health and healing.
If you think of it, food literally creates the structural components of your body. It includes all of your cells, mitochondria, DNA, hormones, everything.
And the food that you eat also affects your microbiome, which is the bacteria in your gut which impacts gene expression and cell signalling. So this is really important stuff!
Remember, when we put food into our body, this is literally what will become your future body!
Once you understand the important elements of a diet that supports your gut health, liver health, metabolism and hormones, it will become so much easier to put together meals that support your and your family’s health.
Ok, so let’s get going.
The first really important element of a metabolically healthy meal, is lots and lots of fibre!
We know that more than 90% of women do not meet their daily requirements for dietary fibre. And sadly, this is talking about only 30g of fibre per day. We now know, that we likely need closer to 50g of fiber per day or more. Especially for us women, as we need lots and lots of fibre to clear excess hormones from our gut. If there is not enough fibre in your gut, there simply is nothing for those hormones to bind to to be eliminated, and they get recirculated back into the bloodstream.
Not only that, but fibre is important for feeding your gut bacteria and this bacteria plays a crucial role in metabolic health, including regulating insulin and glucose levels.
Fiber also keeps gut inflammation down, protects the gut mucous membranes and slows down glucose absorption to avoid spikes in your blood glucose which is super important. You can refer back to episode 24 to understand more about why blood glucose is important for ensuring healthy and balanced hormones.
There is strong evidence to suggest that fibre is a large part of the solution for obesity epidemic.
So here are some practical ways of increasing the fiber intake in your diet:
Incorporate foods that are very high in fibre, such as chia seeds, flax seeds, lentils, beans, lots of veggies and fruits with the skin still on.
I make a conscious effort to include a variety of fruits and vegetables at every single meal. That means I have either fruit or veggies for breakfast in the form of smoothies or fried veggies with egg, I have tons of nuts and seeds as part of my snacking, I’ll have between 4 and 6 different veggies for lunch and dinner.
So i make plant foods the focus and then add in my protein and fats to go with it. I’d say more than half of my plate is plant foods, every single meal
If you are a long way off of this, start by adding more hidden veggies in your foods, when you cook something like bolognaise, add in some lentils and beans to bulk up the meat, add some plant based foods for breakfast.
Maybe just have a think right now about where you can increase your plant food intake.
Number 2: Load up on antioxidant and micronutrient rich foods.
Research shows that people who eat more than 30 different types of plant foods per week, have healthier and more diverse gut bacteria
Micronutrients and antioxidants are crucially important for every single system in your body. These nutrients often come hand in hand, so you’ll be hitting 2 birds with one stone.
Micronutrients include all of the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
These nutrients are critical for all biological processes.
Antioxidants protects the body against oxidative stress, which is when free radicals cause damage to cells in your body. And this leads to disease such as cancers and diabetes.
So it’s critical to consume enough antioxidants through your diet to protect you against this oxidative stress.
Many vitamins, such as Vit C and E, also work as antioxidants.
Now we wanna eat as many antioxidant rich foods as possible, so think bright colourful plants. The colours of the rainbow.
These include green leafy veg, cruciferous veggies, berries, cherries, coloured peppers, omega rich fish such as salmon which is also very colourful. So the brighter the food, the better.
A great idea, which is what I often do, is when I roast these kinds of foods, I make them in bulk so that we can have heaps of leftovers for the rest of the week.
I also try to feed my family cruciferous veggies every single day, since it’s so amazing not only for supporting detoxification pathways in the liver, but also great for gut health.
So you may be wondering how i do this every week. Well, I do almost all of my grocery shopping online.
And I start off in the fresh produce aisle and go through the entire product list and load as many different fruits and veg into my cart. You can do the same walking through the actual aisles in the store. There is no need to follow complicated recipes or cooking instructions. Lots of veg can literally be chopped and thrown together to make delicious salads. I would say 80% of what I’m buying every week, is produce and plant based foods, such as beans and lentils.