Hormone Healing Foundations

Last week I talked about how compensation is at the root of all hormone imbalances. Our bodies work so hard to keep us alive and responding to stress that this often leads to dysfunction down the road. So how do we combat this? What are the absolute basics when it comes to healing our hormones and getting out of a compensated state?

There are 2 main areas of focus for setting this foundation:

  1. Managing cortisol levels
  2. Balancing blood sugar

If we look at the image above, it’s clear what causes compensation AKAstress in the body. Under eating, poor/inadequate sleep, over or under exercising, and mental/emotional stressors all impact cortisol levels. Excessive levels push the body into a state of fight or flight.

We get the body of this state by first focusing on blood sugar balance. When our blood sugar drops too low, the body responds by releasing cortisol, which tells our liver to release glucose to raise our levels again. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if we are having this happen multiple times throughout the day this is going to contribute to putting us in that compensated state. It’s also much more likely to happen at night and lead to very poor sleep and difficulty staying asleep. That’s why focusing on this first is an amazing way to support your hormone health and pull you out of that constant fight or flight mode.

How To Balance Blood Sugar

  1. Balance your meals with protein, fat, and carb. Yes it is that simple. It doesn’t matter how frequently you eat if you aren’t balancing your meals so make sure you start with this step. The amount of fat, carb, and protein depends on your unique needs. I’ll be talking about how to use body temp, pulse, and other signs from your body to figure this out in a future online workshop.
  2. Eat every 3-5 hours. If you are in a constant fight or flight state, have low body temperature (less than 97.8F waking), and/or struggle with fatigue, I recommend eating more frequently (closer to the 3 hour mark). If you don’t struggle with those issues and have healthy periods, try 4-5. Most of struggling with hormone problems need 3-4 though. I like to do 3 regular size meals and 2-3 small snacks that are still protein, fat, and carb.
  3. Avoid eating protein or carbs alone. If the body needs carbohydrates, it will take protein and turn it into carbs via a process called gluconeogensis. Although this is not an efficient process, the body will still resort to this when necessary. This why eating protein alone can spike your blood sugar just like eating carbs along can.

How To Have A Healthy Cortisol Pattern

  1. Follow the instructions for blood sugar balancing above. This is something you have control over and will get you feeling better right away.
  2. Eat within 30-60 minutes of waking. Cortisol is naturally the highest in the morning and then goes down throughout the day, reaching its lowest point at night. While we want high cortisol in the morning, we don’t want to exacerbate this by putting off our first meal/snack. If you have a poor appetite or have a hard time of getting out of bed, this step is especially important for you. Even if you just have a few bites of something first thing (balanced of course) that will help manage cortisol levels. I personally make a smoothie and drink half first thing and half later in the day for a snack.
  3. Moderate your bluelight exposure to match the sun. Blue light tells our bodies that it’s day time, which increases cortisol levels. Blue light is not bad but we want to minimize it as much as possible once it’s dark out. I use blue light blocking glasses once the sun goes down and turn off as many lights as possible inside our home. You can use code HPP to get 15% off. I use the orange ones at night that block all blue light (unlike most pairs). You can even get prescription, which is what I did.

Are you curious if your hormones need some support? Check out my free mineral quiz!

And learn more about creating better nourishing foundations for your health in my podcast episode, Nourishing nutrition foundations.

reminder: i’m currently taking on 1:1 clients. if you’d like to explore what it would be like to work together and if we are a good fit, fill out this form to get more details!​

Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

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