There is nothing worse than a hot day and a bloated belly, swollen fingers and toes and thatirritable, uncomfortable feeling in your skin. It can reallysabotage your summer fun.
Sure it’s the ice creams, BBQ’s and alcohol, but it’s also what these foods do to your metabolism, hormones, endocrine system that sets you up for a bloated summer.
1. Lower Aldosterone:
To put this simply, this is the hormone produced by the adrenals responsible for water retention and can send signals to your body to hold on to water when too much of the wrong sodium is consumed without adequate potassium and other minerals to balance fluid regulation. All those chips, burgers, sauces, alcohol and a lack of water on hot days will send this hormone skyrocketing to tell your body "re-absorb all water and puff up like a balloon”
Regulating your electrolytes will chill this hormone out, especially consuming enough potassium (at least 4500 milligrams a day).
Here is my fave summer drink for reducing water retention, cooling the body while strengthening digestive fire:
·4 stalks celery,
·Piece of ginger: juice and enjoy first thing in the AM with a lot of water.
Other ways to reduce aldosterone and water retention is to eat potassium rich foods especially dark leafy greens, kiwis, yams, avocados and tomatoes. Drinking dandelion tea is excellent as well as detoxifying to the liver, and making sure to get your B vitamins daily.
2. Lower bad estrogens and stress hormones.
A lot of my clients and women in my online group, the "Whole Body Makeover" talk about work stress and how it drives them to eat bad carbs and sabotage their efforts. Managing stress is so important, as it can crank up adrenaline and cortisol, which makes us store fat, become fatigued and feel burnt out. Stress hormones also increase bad estrogens, which packs on belly fat and fat around the hips that won’t budge.
Let’s start with the bad estrogen elimination protocol first:
1.Throw out all toxic body care and replace with natural products from your health food store- The average woman is expose to 516 "xenoestrogenic chemicals” every single day. This is a huge contributor to why our estrogen clearing pathways get blocked and then our bodies can’t effectively detoxify from the system, so they re-circulate and cause hormonal havoc, making us gain weight and have a never ending endocrine disorder no doctor can seem to pinpoint. If you are serious about your health and want to see changes, replace all your soaps, moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste, hand sanitizers(the worst) and household cleaning products to natural ones free of sulphites, parabens, cancer causing agents, synthetic fragrances and petrochemical byproducts. It may cost money up front, but what price can you put on your health?
2.Eat 80% vegetables- whatever your health concern is, vegetables are the answer. If you have weak digestion, cook all your veggies, if your digestion is alright then have about 50% raw. Go for dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables as these contain compounds that clear our bad estrogens from our pathways and scrub out our colon and digestive tract, making our body even more proficient at clearing out harmful chemicals and relieving the liver of the toxic load. Without this the colon won’t be able to do it’s job. Then the liver becomes stagnant and nothing will move and shift.
3.Eat fermented vegetablesYou can make your own or you can buy them at your health food store. My favorites are all types of saurkraut and cabbage with spices! Fermented vegetables move through your digestive tract and rebalance the good bacteria for weight loss, balance blood sugar, detoxify the body of harmful chemicals and heavy metals, sweep out bad estrogens, and even assist in increasing your neurotransmitters for better brain function and mood! Anyone who follows me knows how much these guys have changed my life and I cannot live without them.
Here is a great example of what I would eat in my estrogen reducing diet following these guidelines:
When I’m hungry I eat breakfast which is about 30-60 minutes after:
·2sc of either one,
·1/2sc chocolate whey protein isolate,
·1sc chocolate hemp protein,
·1tsp yellow maca for hormone balancing and energy,
·1 big tbsp coconut milk fat,
·water- blend in blender and wait for 10 mins then enjoy.
Some days I wake up and my body wants food instead of a shake in which case I will do organic eggs or egg whites sautéed with some coconut oil and fresh garden chard and peppers, a few ounces of sauerkraut on the side with some healthy mustard.
Then before I head out for my gratitude walk or hike I take about 2 caps genesis.
After this I come home and drink about 2 cups water and prep my next meal or shake. I usually have the solid breakfast meal above if I opted for a shake ealier or two smaller meals below so I can sustain my energy throughout the day and not feel sluggish. I find I do best and have more energy when I am "slightly empty”.
If I am really going for the lean summer look I will do:
·about 4-6 ounces of fish(cod, trout, wild salmon, or coho),
·2c steamed broccoli, 4 ounces fermented veggies mixed with a summer salad with fresh greens from my garden.
I will have these meals about 2-3 hours apart, or when my body tells me it’s time to feed again. If I am running around doing errands I will replace one of these meals with a shake similar to breakfast.
By the late afternoon I usually want something sweet, so I will make another protein shake, as this fuels my evening lifting sessions quite nicely. For my treat I usually eat two bullet proof collagen protein bars or do about:
·1.5sc whey protein isolate
·1-2 big huge scoops of conscious planet chocolate hemp protein (it’s so freakin good!)
I am lifting pretty heavy right now and find my body needs a lot of protein to get that lean tight look a well as keep my cravings at bay, as I don’t eat a lot of carbs every day when I am leaning out. I will do about 2-3 days pretty low carb aside from eating carbs in my last meal, then one day carb up to lean out without going crazy.
Dinner will usually be some sort of:
·Organic turkey, fish, chicken or wild game meat like elk, venison or kangaroo (about 4-6 ounces)
·1c cauliflower rice with lemon, olive oil, sea salt, rosemary
·2 ounces fermented veggies and a big salad or
·Steamed chard from the garden or broccoli and zucchini.
I love sauces and usually will get avocado mayo from the health food store and mix it with the juice of a fermented veggie and use that as a tasty drizzle if I find I am very hungry and really need the fat satiation and flavor.
A healthy pesto added to any veggie always satisfies as well! I also cook with a lot of spices in every meal, so every meal is so unique, flavorful and soul satisfying.
My fave combinations are also good for hormones and include curry, cumin, fennel, tumeric, ginger, malay spice, and garam masala.
2-3 hours after dinner:
This is a great time to eat a small meal of carbs and fats to provide energy the next day as well as enhance your sleep. If I am lazy I will do:
·3/4c cooked Organic gluten free oatmeal
·2tsp sweetener: monk fruit or truvia is what I currently use and it is so good!
·1 tsp coconut oil
·Pinch of sea salt
·Few tsp coconut milk fat
To me this feels like a cheat! It is so satisfying and no guilt.
This meal is best eaten around 1.5 hours before bed. I eat with body mindfulness. Meaning, I eat just until I am satiated and then stop. Another great option would be to replace this with a baked sweet potato with sprinkles of all the above and even some cashew butter, it is so satisfying you will not miss unhealthy carbs!
Managing stress hormones:
We all know that meditation does wonders for this, so it is crucial for allowing the peace within you to manifest without, but I also like a good cortisol manager or the herb holy basil to drop cortisol fast. When I am feeling stressed out, I take:
·½ tsp of a full spectrum extract of holy basil
·½ tsp full spectrum extract of ashwaganda
·and combine it with rhodiola and find this works well.
I also have P.S (phosphatydleserine) and a supplement called "stress care” kicking around and alternate between these options depending on what my body tells me. I am always tuning in and asking my body what it needs and listening for the subtle shift of "yes” which is a lightness and gentle response internally. A ‘no” will feel heavy and draining, this is a good way to build a loving relationship with your body and allow it’s wisdom to guide you.
Get in touch with your flow:
Women’s bodies have an amazing monthly rhythm that can work for us instead of against us. Contrary to popular belief, PMS is not normal nor do you have to put up with it. During the time our monthly cycle we have our main hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone that rise and fall, and if we eat to support their production, we will have a happy monthly flow with no weight gain, no PMS and no craviness- the cravings that make you crazy!
The start of your cycle: This is when you first get your period. Estrogen and testosterone will start to climb until ovulation, so eating foods that support healthy estrogen production instead of bad estrogens- is key. Go for nature's natural estrogens like tofu, tempeh, and 2tbsp flaxseeds a day. These phyto-estrogens bind to our "beta” estrogen receptors and block bad estrogens from attaching to the "alpha” part of our receptors and allow our bodes to stay in balance quite nicely.
The second part of your cycle: this happens after ovulation, your body is switching to progesterone production and this is when women tend to get the "cravies”. Eating foods that will support your healthy progesterone production is the ticket.
My "go to” is hummus and veggies, as the hummus has chickpeas, tahini which support healthy progesterone production as well as garlic and olive oil. Chickpeas are high in B6, which helps with progesterone production as well as water retention. During this time I replace my evening oats with hummus and fresh peppers and cucumbers. Sesame seeds are fantastic as well to sprinkle on your salads and other dishes. I also make sure to be diligently taking my B vitamins at this time.
Throughout your whole monthly cycle healthy fats are a must. If you want to have healthy hormones, being mindful of the types of fats you consume is so important, they literally become your cellular matrix and create healthy cells that are able to function optimally. The best fats for a happy flow cycle are
·Hemp oil which is high in GLA for hormone production and regulation,
·Fish oil especially one that’s high in DHA- this acts as a natural anti depressant
·ALA or alpha lipoic acid- this is very detoxifying to the brain an helps remove heavy metals form the pituitary, I usually suggest this one for vegetarians who don’t want to do fish oil.
I know the above can seem like a lot of info, but that’s why I created my online course whole body makeover, to take all my expertise and body wisdom and put it into a program any woman can follow and achieve success.
For more info on the Whole Body Makeover eCourse, please go tohttp://www.dailyom.com/cgi-