Final Holiday Hormone Tips [inside]
How are you feeling in your body as we wrap up the last week of the year?
These posts have been full 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 minimize the impact the holiday season can have on them.
Hormones can take a hit during the holiday season, as you tend to focus SO much on giving to others this time of year and maybe less on giving to yourself with all the holiday festivities, 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 the new year, 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 do during the holiday season as you stay up late…
- 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’s cycles. This internal clock determines specific times of day when the body does critical functions to help keep our hormones balanced.
For example, from 10 pm to 2 am, 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 2 am to 4 am…The liver and gallbladder do 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 hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 hours of rest!
When you can, get to bed by 10 pm 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 your body a full 24-hour break to normalize estrogen levels.
Aside from alcohol, we come in contact with more xenoestrogen-type toxins, such as plastics that increase estrogen in the body this time of year.
Consistently elevated estrogen levels can contribute to estrogen dominance, weight gain, 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.
See where you can incorporate some of these cruciferous veggies for the rest of the year and beyond…
- 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
Whether it’s cold outside or not, start your day with warm, lemon-salted water while brewing your usual cup of coffee or tea to boost hormone balance!
Make your hormones happy this holiday season with a cup of warm water, a slice of lemon, and a pinch of Celtic, Himalayan, or sea salt.
Lemons have been known to help detoxify the liver, which plays a major role in hormone balance by facilitating actions such as thyroid T4 to T3 conversion and eliminating excess estrogen, to help achieve ideal weight, sleep, and mood.
A pinch of Celtic, Himalayan, or sea salt promotes important hydration and electrolyte balance for hormone and cellular function. Plus, the magnesium, sodium, and potassium in the salt nourish the adrenal glands that produce cortisol and DHEA hormones, along with some 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 or excess hormones that impact body balance. Warm water gives 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 Facebook and/or Instagram notifications for my pages 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 because these tips can help balance hormones all year long!