Final Holiday Hormone Hacks
I’ve been giving away all kinds of helpful insights over the past week along with practical things you can do to keep hormones (such as cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, melatonin, insulin, and leptin) balanced during the holiday season, to mitigate the impact the holiday season can have on them.
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 holiday parties, last-minute gift shopping, and visiting family or friends.
By the end of it all, I bet you usually feel wiped out or wonder why you feel so fat, tired, and sick all the time just like I used to.
To help you keep your hormones intact this holiday season and breathe life back into them for 2023, on December 12th I kicked off my annual Instagram and Facebook series called the “12 Days of Healthy Hormone Hacks for the Holidays”
Here’s a recap of a few simple tips I recently shared…
Day 6: Bank Some Sleep
Sleep is the first thing to go during the holiday season. We stay up late this time of year…
- Burning the midnight oil to meet last-minute work deadlines
- Wrapping presents when kids or loved ones are asleep
- Dancing or socializing the night away at holiday parties
- Waiting for Santa or loved ones to arrive
- Or by taking red-eye flights to save a few bucks
Have you noticed that even when you get 8 hours of sleep or allow yourself to sleep in after a late night, you just don’t seem to wake up feeling rested?
Our body has an internal clock according to the sun cycles. This internal clock determines specific times of day when the body does critical functions to help keep our hormones balanced.
For example, from 10pm to 2am, it…
- It releases human growth hormone to repair damaged cells and create new ones.
- Cortisol levels are at their lowest and melatonin hormone peaks to support restful sleep
And from 2am-4am…the liver and gallbladder to their deepest detox work to get rid of toxins.
The body does not shift its internal clock if these critical sleeping windows are missed, it simply can’t perform these functions well, and our hormones take a hit. Regularly staying up late can flip the cortisol rhythm, mess with melatonin production, and disrupt all other hormones.
Obviously, there are some fun-filled and valid reasons to miss some shut-eye this time of year, but you can make up for it by banking on sleep on the days you can get to bed at a reasonable time.
Every 1 hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 hours of rest!
When you can get to bed by 10pm or earlier to bank sleep for late nights ahead, or to make up for the ones already had.
Getting good quality sleep at optimal times will help you wake up feeling rested and support hormone balance through the holidays.
Day 5: Crush Some Cruciferous Veggies
It’s the last full weekend before the holiday season reaches its peak and all through the town, celebration cocktails are going down… meaning estrogen levels are on the rise..
ONE alcoholic beverage can increase estrogen levels in the body for up to 24 hours, but this time of year there’s bound to be more than one drink with back-to-back holiday festivities not giving our bodies a full 24-hour break to normalize estrogen levels.
Aside from alcohol, we likely come in contact with more xenoestrogen toxins this time of year that also increase estrogen such as plastics.
Consistently elevated estrogen levels can contribute to estrogen dominance, which can trigger thyroid imbalances, sleep issues, mood swings and more.
But don’t worry about indulging this holiday season if you focus on crushing some cruciferous veggies.
Cruciferous vegetables are known for their anti-estrogenic effects. They contain a compound called DIM (3’3 diindolylmethane) which helps eliminate estrogen through the liver.
Most of them also contain chlorophyll (found in the green leaves), which aids in reducing estrogen through improved liver health.
Next time you eat, see where you can incorporate some of these cruciferous veggies…
- Bok Choy
- Brussels Sprouts
- Collard Greens
- Mustard greens
Some of my favorite holiday side dishes include roasted Brussels sprouts and arugula-based winter salads.
Keep that estrogen in check by crushing some cruciferous veggies as we wind down the year!
Day 4: Wake Up with Warm Water
It’s cold outside, so why not start your day off with some warm, lemon-salted water while brewing your usual cup of coffee or tea to boost hormone balance?
Beyond warming you up, your hormones can benefit from starting your day with warm water enhanced with a slice of lemon and a pinch of Himalayan or sea salt..
Lemons have been shown to help detoxify the liver, and the liver is where hormones are converted, such as thyroid T4 to T3. It also helps eliminate excess hormones such as estrogen, which can lead to weight gain, sleep, and mood issues if it builds up.
A pinch of Himalayan or sea salt promotes hydration and electrolyte balance, which are important for hormone and cellular function. Plus the magnesium, sodium, and potassium in the salt nourishes the adrenal glands, which produce cortisol and DHEA hormone and also contribute to the production of adrenaline, estrogen, and other hormones as well.
Warm or room temperature water aids in the absorption of the lemon and salt nutrients in addition to promoting digestive health and bowel movements, which is how we get rid of toxins that impact hormone balance or excess hormones. Warm water gives the insides of your body a gentle nudge to get going instead of a cold electric shock.
During holiday craziness, we are more likely to forget about drinking water throughout the day and to indulge in dehydrating things such as alcohol, coffee, and traveling.
This holiday season, add a cup of warm, lemon-salted water to your morning to start your day with a hydrating healthy hormone boost!
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!