12 Healthy Hormone Hacks for the Holidays!
It’s that time of year again – the holidays!
The holidays can wreak havoc on your hormones as you tend to focus SO much on giving to others this time of year and not so much on giving to yourself as you run around from holiday parties, last minute gift shopping and visiting family or friends.
By the end of it all, I bet you usually feel wiped out and wondering why you feel so fat, tired and sick all the time – it’s because your hormones took a hit!
Over the next 12 days on Facebook and Instagram, catch my videos and posts where I’ll be delivering simple tips for practical things you can do to keep your hormones balanced while you enjoy the holiday season!
Here’s a sneak peak at what I’ve got lined up for you starting today…
Day 1 – Fill Up With Fat
This likely sounds counterintuitive, but trust me, it’s not when it comes to your hormones, energy levels and kicking cravings!
In order for the body to make hormones, it needs you to eat healthy dietary fats that are broken down into LDL and cholesterol to make hormones along with other nutrients such as B vitamins. Yep, you heard me right. LDL and cholesterol are actually necessary to make hormones. They get a bad rap, but they are not bad for you if sourced in a healthy way.
Filling up with healthy fats can also help to balance your blood sugar for longer-lasting energy, to reduce inflammation and to kick cravings.
So what kinds of healthy fats should you indulge in during the holidays?
- Avocado on its own, as guacamole or as an oil
- Full fat coconut milk in your coffee, tea and/or smoothies
- Organic, nitrate-free and gluten-free bacon
- Cold-Pressed and organic olive or coconut oil in cooked or baked goods
- Grass-fed ghee instead of butter (less inflammatory)
- Fatty cuts of organic and pasture-raised meats and eggs
One of my favorite fat-bomb beverages is a matcha latte with full fat coconut milk and vanilla bean ghee. This keeps me feeling full and energized for 5 hours or more!
I always fill up on fat before I hit a holiday party. or aim to eat the fattiest snacks while I’m there, to keep my hormones happy and my hunger under control.
Focus on filling up with healthy fats at least once a day and notice the way it makes you feel more full, more energized and craving free.
Day 2 – Breathe Deeply
This time of year we are in constant movement – decorating, planning, working, shopping, traveling, cooking, cleaning and socializing. While all of that is necessary and some of it is fun, it does take a toll on our hormonal health.
Constant movement triggers our sympathetic nervous system and elicits a stress response in the body, aka the fight or flight response. In a stressed state, our body uses a lot of valuable hormonal resources. Cortisol is one of the primary hormones at play but not the only one impacted in a negative way.
In fight or flight mode, our body directs all of its valuable resources outward for quick thinking and quick moving, leaving little resources left for the rest of the critical functions in our body to take place to keep our health in line.
BUT there is something you can do that takes 2 minutes or less to snap yourself out of this reactive place and quickly into more of a rest and relaxation mode so your hormones can come back into balance and your body can heal from all the work it has been doing…
It’s as simple as that. When we adopt the deep, rhythmic breathing patterns of a relaxed person, we can automatically and instantly flip the switch from being in fight or flight mode into a more relaxed state.
Try this ten times…
- Inhale for a count of 5
- Hold the breath for a count of 5
- Exhale for a count of 7
You can use this simple breathing technique anytime you notice yourself moving too fast or when you’ve gone a long time without taking a break, to instantly bring cortisol and other hormones back into balance.
I often do this once in the morning, afternoon and before bed. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to stop at least once a day this holiday season to breathe deeply and promote hormone balance.
Day 3 – Go Green
During the holidays, inflammation is on the rise as we indulge in different foods or beverages that might have a more inflammatory effect on the body, from toxins we encounter while traveling and as a result of any mental or emotional stress we might experience this time of year.
Inflammation is at the root of all hormone dysfunction or any chronic disease. It drives cortisol out of rhythm, creating a negative domino effect on other hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and thyroid. And over time, chronic inflammation, even at low grade levels, can overwhelm the immune system, kicking it into overdrive and eventually leading to autoimmunity or other chronic conditions.
Sure you’re going to indulge, it being the holidays, and you can’t always control your exposure to toxins or the need to travel, but there are things you can do on a daily basis to calm down the inflammatory fire.
To help you reduce inflammation on a daily basis – GO GREEN!
One cup of green tea has an abundance of anti-inflammatory effects that can positively impact your hormones and even your gut health. EGCG is the active ingredient in green tea which modulates genes to produce an anti-inflammatory effect.
To keep that inflammation fire contained, aim to incorporate a cup of green tea daily during the holidays.
This is such an easy task! You can grab a cup of green tea almost anywhere while on the road or in an airport, or pack your favorite green tea brand to always have with you. It’s the perfect drink to start your day or keep you warm when it’s cold outside.
As I mentioned in tip 1 when talking about filling up with fats to keep your hormones healthy, one of my favorite fat bomb beverages is a matcha latte with full fat coconut milk and 2 teaspoons of vanilla bean ghee. This keeps me feeling full and energized for at least 4 hours, plus has all the added anti-inflammatory benefits.
Go with green tea this holiday season to keep that inflammation under control for healthy hormones.
P.S. Turn on your notifications so you don’t miss a single simple tip to keep your hormones intact this holiday season, AND remember to save the posts for future reference!