Tip #1: Eat 3 balanced meals each day
Including a protein, healthy fat, something green and something colourful with organic, sustainable and locally sourced foods as much as possible.
Why? This will balance blood sugar patterns throughout the day and optimise nutrient density. Feeding your body consistently with quality nutrition may be the simple shift you need to improve your energy levels, boost low cortisol and decrease mental stress; while also improving gut microbiome health and minimising xenoestrogen (Conventional, non-organic fruits and vegetables contain pesticides, herbicides and fungicides which are known endocrine disruptors) exposure (in dairy foods, non-organic proteins, grains sprayed with glyphosate or rich in arsenic, etc.).
When we are under-nourished (even accidentally under eating) or exposed to toxicants in our food and lifestyle, the body and our hormones are not in an optimal state of ‘homeostasis’, as a result, our energy reserves (both mental and physical) are decreased and we also become more sensitive and susceptible to feeling out of balance in other areas (psychologically, emotionally, hormone balance). Balanced blood sugar, enough energy (calories/food) and a nutrient-dense diet is associated with increased fertility and less stress—the body is in a state of ‘peace’ and balance to be able to cultivate and sustain another life inside.
Tip #2. Consume 20 to 30 grams of protein within the first 1 to 2 hours of waking.
Why? Eating protein early on in the day sets the tone for balanced hormones and blood sugar throughout the day and promotes more mental and emotional stability.
Tip #3: If you need a snack, reach for a protein-based snack.
This includes bone broth, quality protein powder, leftover protein, 1 to 2 times per day between meals.
Why? Protein is a slow burning fuel to keep blood sugar steady and give you natural energy - similar to the effects of glucose, but without the rapid spike in blood sugar, followed by a decline every 2 to 3 hours.
Tip #4: Hydrate
Why? The same region of our brain (hypothalamus) that signals hunger also signals thirst. If we are under-hydrated, then we may also experience low energy, just as if we are under nourished we have low energy. Poor hydration is also associated with sodium/mineral imbalances, common in hormone imbalance as well.
Tip #5: Aim for 6 to 10 servings of produce daily
1-2 fruits and 6 to 9 servings veggies—including 2 to 3 servings of dark leafy greens. Include colourful antioxidant-rich veggies, prebiotic fibers and herbs with meals.
Why? Prebiotics and fiber are ‘slow burning’ sources of carbohydrate, as well as “gut food” for healthy bacteria. Antioxidant rich foods (colourful produce and herbs) are supportive for hormonal tissue and cellular structure and function.
Tip #6: Eat 1 to 2 fermented foods daily in addition to probiotics.
Why? Incorporate at least one serving of coconut or water kefir, sauerkraut, fermented and pickled veggies, kimchi, kombucha or a half-cup of grass-fed yogurt (if you tolerate dairy).
Tip #7: Avoid greasy, fatty foods and industrial seed oils.
Incorporate 1 to 2 servings of healthy fats with meals and take digestive enzymes/bitters support with meals to support the gallbladder and digestion.
Why? Healthy fats are an essential part of a balanced diet and increased fertility. Long term low fat diets actually can create gallbladder congestion and bile sludge (related to hormone imbalance) due to the fact that the gallbladder does not get ‘exercised’ (as fats are the #1 fuel source that stimulates gallbladder contraction).
Additionally, a history of birth control pills or other xenoestrogen exposures (ie. Antibiotics, mycotoxins, conventional cleaning and hygiene products, BPA in plastics) can contribute to a sluggish gallbladder. Opt for a variety of omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids found in foods like extra virgin olive oil, avocado, raw nuts and seeds, ghee and grass-fed butter. Healthy fats are essential for hormone balance.
Tip #8: Consume 1 500g of cold water fatty fish each week.
Why? Boosts omega 3 fatty acids and promotes a positive omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid ratio, associated with less inflammation in the ovaries.
Tip #9: Support the gallbladder with cholagogue rich foods.
Why? In addition to digestive enzymes and bitters, cholagogue rich foods like celery, apples, artichoke, fennel, dandelion, carrots and beets are supportive for healthy gallbladder function and bile stimulation. Delicious ways to incorporate these foods include celery juice, pickled beets on a salad, roasted rainbow carrots, sautéed dandelion greens and dandelion tea, paleo spinach artichoke dip, stewed apples with cinnamon and coconut oil drizzled on top.
Tip #10: Sip bone broth
Especially if you are having a low energy dip or need a snack between meals.
Why? Bone broth contains 10 to 20 grams of protein (1-2 cups) and amino acids, both great for stabilising and boosting blood sugar.
Tip #11: Listen to your body
Why? Thirsty? Drink some water. Tired—despite sleeping? Have you eaten breakfast today—especially some protein? Shaky ad light headed? How about an apple and nut butter to bump your blood sugar up? Feel better when you allow yourself to eat some carbs or fruit? Carbs are not the enemy. Your body is super smart—especially the more balanced your microbiome is to signal the “right” cravings. We crave what our gut bugs crave. When our gut is balanced, our cues are more accurate for overall body balance.
Tip #12: Incorporate 1 “treat” each day or vitamin P
Pleasure—something you enjoy once per day.
Why? Rice cakes, chicken and dry broccoli are not necessary for hormone balance. When we feel deprived in our diet and relationship with food, we increase cortisol (stress hormone) and decrease our metabolism.
Dieting increases perceived stress. The bottom line: Nourish your body with nutrient dense foods and practice 80/20 rule (no perfection).
I encourage my Vixens to incorporate 1 to 2 “treats” per day. This may include a scoop of vegan ice cream, gluten free overnight oats, a paleo cookie or one to two meals out per week.