You might have heard this before- good, real food based nutrition, plus a reasonable and consistent fitness plan is perhaps the best thing you can do for your hormones and overall health. But you might not have truly internalized this for yourself. Or you just don’t know how it applies to you in a practical way and for your body type and phase in life. With older adults, especially, taking charge in this area will give you a new outlook on life and overall better health- but the sooner, the better. With or without knowing it, a number of women develop hormone imbalances which throw a wrench in the kind of results they see even after committing to a healthy lifestyle and regimen. These can be caused by a number of chemical toxins from stress, food, medication, birth control pills, sugar, pregnancy, etc.
A hormone balancing diet and lifestyle will help improve your health, help control cravings, sugar peaks and lows; encourage better sleep, reduce inflammation and even improve the look and feel of your skin.
Just a side note on those controlling cravings… Regardless of what you’ve heard, they are NOT normal and they could be a sign of hormonal and blood sugar imbalances. When you crave, crave, and crave (you know, sweets, chips, cheese, salt, bread, alcohol or meat) it means that your blood sugar levels have dropped. And then you try to eat the right foods, but your willpower loses often because it’s not a match! Your hormones and physiology must be fed by your thought process to even support your thought process. The best thing your mind can do then is strategize before your feelings, hormones and physiology play out whatever they’ve been fed. Therefore the only way to stop a craving is to prevent it from happening, and this is actually easier to do than you might think. Here is one delicious way:
HORMONE BALANCING SNACKS
You know when they say “eat about 6 meals throughout the day” and you’re thinking “What? I don’t have time for that, it’s too tedious.” If you’re like I was, you’re thinking of every meal as a plate, and if you’re taking advise from a fitness or nutrition coach, you assume they also mean a meal plate you cooked and prepared yourself! So 6 of them in a day just sounds impossible!” Here’s the probability though- You’re probably already doing more than 3 square meals a day through your snacking habits (yes including the late night ones) and it’s time to harness them to your advantage. We often tell you that your snack is a meal, so I’ll say it again. Your snack counts as a meal.
I for one lived life mostly as an intermittent faster (a huge meal in one sitting a couple of times a day during my most active hours, followed by a longer period of not eating). It wasn’t a targeted “diet,” it was just the way I had learned to eat. My metabolism is great, I built muscle and burned through calories pretty well, and you know what, it worked for me, it worked for my body type, I barely snacked, and I had energy. I preferred proteins and meats to sweets and I joked that I ate like a man… Until my hormones shifted… for good reason 😉 And then I really learnt why Intermittent Fasting is not usually recommended for women for a long period of time when used as a weight loss diet. Because chances are, most women will experience their hormones shifting and this is not a bad thing. Hormones shift through cycles for different purposes. It’s when they get out of whack and aren’t supported that problems arise. So here’s something I stress to my ladies- if you’re struggling with imbalances, or adrenal fatigue, or whatever, you should not go long periods without food; and you must start your day with food (especially a good dose of protein and healthy fat). So while you hope your possibly unruly snacks don’t count against your caloric intake because they’re so small (sorry but they do count… sometimes even more than your healthy meals), use them to your advantage. Turn them into your power tools. Take your 2-3 square meals, factor in a couple of “snacks” inbetween and you’re already at 4-5 meals.
So here’s what I want you to do: plan on having Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, as usual. Then simply snack in-between. A purposeful small meal, that is. If you’re not that great at getting breakfast going yet, then at least start by treating it like a “snack”. Start with my suggestions below so that you can get that fuel your body. You have to start somewhere.
Studies have shown that snacks are the biggest area where most people have trouble controlling their diet. But if you add purpose to your snack, you can basically snack all day, making all your meals small but packed with nutrition. This will trigger the right signals for your body and boost your energy through the day, plus increase your ability to burn off fat and lose weight properly. To help support your hormone balancing diet we have compiled a few superfood, healing food based yummy snacks that are simple to prepare and keep on hand. Again. this should make it easy for you to balance hormones and enjoy the benefits of your active lifestyle.
Krispy Garlic-flavored Kale Chips
- 2-large bundles of kale, washed and dried completely
- 1/2 -tsp garlic sea salt
- Grapeseed Oil
Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl tear kale leaves into medium chip-sized pieces. Sprinkle lightly with garlic salt and drizzle Grapeseed Oil evenly on all pieces. Single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake ten to twelve minutes turning once. Krispy kale chips may be kept in an airtight container for up to two days.
Healthy Five-Minute Hummus (perfect for dipping the Kale chips)
- 2-TBS sesame seed paste ¼ cup Olive Oil
- ¼-teaspoon paprika 2-TBS fresh lemon juice
- Dash of salt 1-fifteen ounce can chickpeas (rinsed)
- 1-tsp ground cumin 1-clove garlic
Using a food processor, puree all ingredients except the paprika and a small amount of olive oil until smooth. If necessary add water for desired consistency. Transfer to serving container and drizzle the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with paprika.
Chicken Breast Stuffed Tomatoes
- 2-medium chicken breasts
- 1-small red onion
- 1 1/2 TBS Grapeseed Oil
- 3-medium vine ripe tomatoes
- ½-tsp chopped cilantro
- 1/8 cup walnuts
- 6-washed spinach leaves,
- sea salt, pepper, garlic powder
Heat Grapeseed Oil on medium heat. Wash, pat dry and cut chicken breast in small cubes. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Sauté chicken until completely cooked. While chicken is cooking cut vine ripened tomatoes in half and remove all seeds and core. Finely chop 2 TBS of red onions. Tear each spinach leaf in half and place one in the bottom of each tomato. Divide red onions and sprinkle evenly over spinach leaves. Remove chicken from heat and add cilantro. Divide mixture evenly among tomato cups. Sprinkle walnuts on top.
Other Snacks on The Go
If I don’t even have an extra minute to prepare cool snacks you can still find in my purse (yes, purse) a boiled egg, a piece of fruit, or nuts and seeds. And who can forget my favorite quick snack- Kefir with coconut flakes, chia and blueberries? It’s important to have your real protein (please!), healthy fats (pretty please!) and carbs with you. I burn excess fat and lose weight with this Ketogenic approach than anything else and that means more healthy fats in the diet, ladies! So for ultra-quick treats keep walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, kefir, goat cheese, and coconut milk handy; and alternate with vegetables and munch on some raw cauliflower, celery, etc. With these yummy snacks, staying healthy, balancing hormones and supplying your energy regularly is easy and the benefits are amazing. Really, it can be that simple.
P.S. If it’s been too long or you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you. Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $30 – and we’ll be donating a portion of that to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve.
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre.