Tag: hormones

Healthy Hormone Lifestyle Tips

The Lifestyle Habits You Need for Healthy Hormone Balance

Lifestyle habits are a huge component of healthy hormone balance. We live in a go-go-go time where we forget to honor ourselves. When we have poor stress-management, lack of movement, and a toxic environment it’s a recipe for hormone imbalance; manifesting as skipped periods, infertility, mood dysregulation, and general malaise. The five areas I look at that fall into ‘lifestyle’ include your diet, your exercise routine, your self-care, your sleep, and your environment. Poor performance in any of these areas can contribute to hormone issues that manifest as physical symptoms. Here are 5 categories of lifestyle habits for healthy hormone balance. 1 – Diet Your diet has a major impact on hormones. Start by eliminating any suspected food sensitivities or food allergies. If you’re not sure how to do that on your own, check out my Elimination Diet Guide. Next, start to evaluate the overall nutrient density of your diet. Choose real, whole foods. Eat plenty of high-quality protein, fats, and fiber. Do your best to ‘eat the rainbow’ daily to cover an array of phytonutrients. Incorporate Hormone-Healing foods like seeds, oysters, leafy vegetables, and legumes. Even when your nutrition is on-point, it may be useful to supplement with certain vitamins that are difficult to obtain from our diet. Things like Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Folate can fall in this category. Learn more about my top recommended supplements here. Lastly, make sure you stay hydrated! Aim to consume half your body weight in ounces or more, and drink to thirst. 2 – Movement Do your best to make movement a priority in and out of the gym. A successful exercise routine is any activity that you enjoy doing! This could be yoga, HIIT training, rowing, swimming, weight-lifting, or hiking. Don’t be afraid to change things up. There’s big power in listening to your cycle and adjusting workouts depending on how you’re feeling (a concept known as Cycle Syncing). A good start is adding movement after meals. Even a short, brisk walk can support cortisol and insulin balance. These hormones are tightly regulated by the liver and adrenal glands. Cortisol and Insulin are both involved in the endocrine system and will have downstream effects on sex hormones. Use your in-the-gym time to focus on resistance training. Even if it is just bodyweight resistance, this is important to increase/maintain muscle mass and support bone health. The more muscle you can build and preserve, the ‘hotter’ your metabolism will run. 3 – Stress Management / Self-Care Re-engage with yourself. Strive for balance, but recognize the natural cyclical changes that hormones bring. Get in tune with when you are at your highest energy (typically at ovulation) and when you need a slowdown (before menstruation). By leaning into your natural rhythm, you’ll be less frustrated when you do feel emotional. Find a regular self-care routine. This could include breathing exercises, meditation, journaling, yoga, time outside, prayer, art, or anything else that brings you joy. Not sure where to start? Kristen Milliron, LCSW, shares her tips for starting a journaling practice here.  You may never have a ‘stress-free’ life… but how you manage your stress makes a difference.  Also in the self-care realm: finding a way to connect with yourself (or your partner) is essential for hormone health. Oxytocin, the hormone of connection, is released during orgasm, breastfeeding, as well as massage, holding hands, and hugs. Sexual intimacy is not just important for trying to conceive, but also helps to regulate your menstrual cycle and improve moods. 4 – Sleep Get in bed. You likely need 7-8 hours of quality sleep to feel your best. Make this a habit by setting a bedtime alarm that says, “hey, time to get IN bed” in addition to your usual morning alarm. If you can establish a regular routine, your body will adjust.  Optimize your sleep environment. Turn off screens a few hours before bed, wear blue blocking glasses, sleep in a dark room, and perfect your evening routine. The better control you take over these manageable habits- the better quality sleep you will achieve. Ask for help. If you find yourself waking at regular intervals through the night, unable to fall asleep, dealing with negative thought patterns, or having physical symptoms preventing good sleep (night sweats, restless legs).. ask for help. A Mental Health Therapist, Functional Medicine Doctor, or Nutritionist can evaluate your symptoms and offer intervention. 5 – Environment A big part of Healthy Hormones lies in making an effort to decrease your toxic burden. We live in an increasingly toxic world and it seems to be closing in on us. Our personal care products, makeup, cleaning products, and food storage likely contain harmful chemicals that CAN be avoided. Do a deep dive of your environment by considering these questions: Do you buy organic food and/or avoid the Dirty Dozen? Do you use glass/stainless steel for food storage and avoid plastics? Do you drink filtered water? Do you buy pharmaceutical grade supplements? Do you use clean makeup and skincare products? We can best support detoxification in the liver by staying hydrated, pooping daily, and consuming adequate protein & fiber. ((Learn more about detox here)) Related: Dietary Fiber: Understanding Soluble vs Insoluble Fiber Changing Lifestyle Habits for Healthy Hormone Balance takes time. These habits are things to slowly adopt to get you more in tune with yourself. One day at a time. Free Managing Stress & Anxiety Cookbook: Want 20 recipes to manage stress & anxiety? Click here to get Kate’s Stress&Anxiety Cookbook that includes recipes that supply adequate magnesium, B6, iron, and fiber!  Want to work with a functional nutritionist to personalize your diet? Struggling with hormone imbalance, IBS, weight gain, mood changes? Let’s look at FOOD FIRST. Read more about Functional Nutrition at The Facility here. CLICK HERE to schedule a FREE 15-Minute Nutrition Consult with Kate to determine your best course of action!

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An Influencer's Perspective on Clean Beauty

An Influencer’s Perspective on Clean Beauty: And Her Top Products

Guest Post by Lauren Miller Clean Beauty products changed my life. Here’s my perspective and my top recommended products… I was treated to the dreamiest facial last week and the esthetician told me that I had great skin elasticity and wonderful skin tone with no hyperpigmentation. Good thing I was already laying down or I probably would have fallen over, because I have never in my life  heard a compliment so good, especially from a professional! I walked out of there glowing both on the outside, and the inside. You see, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, my skin was something that I always struggled with. I had acne most of my life. I still remember being called “sideburns” in the 7th grade because my acne was so bad.  At 24, I was diagnosed with PCOS and that is when my low-tox journey began. I started learning about ingredients in both food, and in the products I was using. I started managing my hormones by seeing functional medicine practitioners and nutrition specialists, and swapping my skincare and makeup for clean beauty products.  It wasn’t an easy switch for me. I’ve been wearing makeup since 7th grade and grew up in the generation that used alcohol as a toner and didn’t think my face was clean unless I used harsh, beaded cleansers that smelled like strawberries. Intense acne treatment was prescribed left and right, but it was not an option for me– especially once I learned about the side effects, impact on hormones, and ingredients. Man, did I have a lot to learn—and still do.  Why The Beauty Industry Needs A Revamp: While on this journey, I learned that the beauty industry is one of the most unregulated industries. It literally allows toxic chemicals and endocrine disruptors to be used in the products that we use on a daily basis. The United States only bans 30 ingredients in cosmetics, compared to Europe who bans 1300. Clearly, this isn’t okay- we all deserve better. Enter: Beautycounter. A company whose mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone. Beautycounter bans over 1800 harmful or questionable ingredients in their products. Beautycounter products are ethically sourced and USA made. They are sustainable, a certified B-Corp, Leaping Bunny certified, and high-performing. Beautycounter triple screens every ingredient to test for heavy metal contamination and toxicity. The best part? They are a company that advocates to change beauty laws at both the state and federal level in the United States and Canada.  We are exposed to hundreds of toxic ingredients from our personal care and beauty products daily. Women use an average of 12 products a day, exposing themselves to 168 different chemicals before walking out the door in the morning, while men are exposed to an average of 85 from their products (Environmental Working Group, 2015). Currently, there’s an overwhelming burden of hormone-altering cosmetics for teen girls. I’m so grateful the idea of “clean” is starting to trend more and more. I have been able to squash my own notion that “clean” doesn’t perform because I have completely transformed my skin with clean products. Trust me, I am far from perfect, but this was without a doubt a change I needed to make. Here are my Top 5 Must-Have Beautycounter products: Counter+ Overnight Resurfacing Peel: Hands-down the product that has probably transformed my skin the most, getting rid of dullness and welcoming the “glow”. It’s a leave-on multi-acid AHA/BHA peel that improves skin texture and boosts clarity without over-drying or irritation. Countertime Collection: This collection is designed to visibly firm, brighten, and plump the skin. Hello, aging gracefully! Beautycounter coined the “Retinatural Complex” by combining two of the most powerhouse plant-based ingredients: Bakuchiol and Swiss Alpine Rose. Bakuchiol has been shown to provide skincare results that are comparable to retinol, without the harmful side effects. Swiss Alpine Rose boosts the skin’s antioxidant defense. It’s truly never too early to set your skin up for aging well! All-Bright C Serum: If the fact that this smells like a golden-milk latte isn’t enough, then the results will be! Vitamin C is all the craze now, but the problem is that most Vitamin C serums are made with unstable forms. With an ultra-potent 10% blend of two forms of Vitamin C, this serum instantly brightens, helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots, while turmeric and camu-camu protect against new ones and environmental stressors. Combine with the Resurfacing Peel, and you have a game-changing duo.  Skin-Twin Featherweight Foundation: I never thought it was possible to find a foundation that was clean, and also covered well without making my skin look “cakey”. But this breathable, buildable formula packed with hyaluronic acid not only does the makeup job, but it provides skincare while wearing it to visibly plump the skin. It’s weightless, long-wearing, provides hydration, and comes in 18 beautiful shades.  Countersun Daily Sheer Defense (SPF 25): Yes, it’s reef-friendly! It’s formulated with non-nano zinc oxide to protect against UVA, UVB, and HEV blue light rays while leaving no chalky whitecase. It’s lightweight, and packed with antioxidants to protect the skin from pollution, while also supporting the skin’s moisture barrier. >>Click Here to Shop Lauren’s Clean Beauty Recommendations<< Clean Beauty is a GAME CHANGER It’s never too late to start taking care of your skin. Transforming your skin starts on the inside, followed by good skincare. You no longer have to sacrifice quality to get the results you want with clean products. So eat the nourishing foods, drink all the water, and start swapping your products if you haven’t already. Little by little you can reduce your toxic load, while also taking care of your skin.  For a great free resource, check out the Environmental Working Group. It’s easy and does the research for you. Want a personalized skincare and clean beauty consultation? Reach out to me on Instagram!   Related: The Hormone Healing Diet Clean Beauty New Customer Offer: Did you know NEW Beautycounter customers get

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8 Small Steps to Improve Your Fertility Naturally

If you’re a woman with a goal of having babies, fertility is probably on your mind. Sometimes it isn’t until you’ve been trying; but these small steps to improve your fertility naturally are things you can put into practice now.  Infertility affects 7.4 million women in the U.S. The good news is that with lifestyle and nutrition changes, you can help tip the odds of getting pregnant in your favor.  Here are 8 small steps for improving fertility naturally while also boosting your overall well-being.  1 – Set a Consistent Bedtime Sleep is underrated as a tenet of wellness. When trying to conceive, getting good sleep is essential. When we are not sleeping well, our body tends to be in a chronic inflammatory state that can interrupt normal hormone rhythms. If the sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system is in overdrive we are ill-suited for reproduction! Think about it.. if you are chronically stressed your body is NOT primed to grow and nourish a baby. To begin improving sleep habits, simply holding yourself to a consistent bedtime can be an easy first step.  2 – Move Everyday Daily movement doesn’t have to be a structured gym routine. It can be as simple as adding more steps to your day by parking farther away. Or, it can be mindful stretching while relaxing and watching TV. Regular movement increases your metabolism, decreases your stress hormones, and puts you in a better state for improving fertility naturally.  3 – Nourish Your Mind This goes back to stress relief and minimizing the impact on hormones. Trying to conceive can be a stressful process if you’re not seeing results. Take a step back and ground yourself with inspiration from books, podcasts, or journaling. Not sure where to start? Kristen Milliron, LCSW, shares her tips for starting a journaling practice here.  4 – Cook at Home The best way to ensure the quality of the food you’re eating is to prepare it yourself at home. You can choose anti-inflammatory cooking oils, organic vegetables, and grass-fed or wild-caught proteins. An excellent diet for improving fertility naturally is one filled with colorful, nutrient-dense foods high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats.  5 – Decrease To-Dos We live in a go-go-go world where everyone pulls us in different directions. Learn to say “no”. By decreasing the growing list of to-dos you give yourself time to slow down and focus on YOU. (And your partner!) If you’re over-stimulated you can enter that constant fight-or-flight state that diminishes inherent reproductive drive.  6 – Track your Cycle As a starting point, tracking your cycle is so powerful for understanding your own body. You’ll learn WHEN ovulation is actually happening, the length of your luteal and follicular phases, and when pre-menstrual or ovulation symptoms show up. More data gives you actionable steps for improving fertility naturally. Learn how to track your cycle here.  Related: Dietary Fiber: Understanding Soluble vs Insoluble Fiber 7 – Evaluate Nutrients Low-nutrient status can affect your ability to get pregnant. For an optimal environment to reproduce, it’s a good idea to check how well you’re digesting and absorbing vitamins and nutrients in your diet. Some of the key nutrients for fertility include Folate, Zinc, B-Vitamins, Omega-3s, and Magnesium. A functional lab test like the Metabolomix+ by Genova is a comprehensive look at your internal biochemistry. Schedule a consult with me to discuss functional lab testing.  8 – Hydrate More water = better digestion, better detoxification, and overall better health. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces. If drinking plain water is challenging, add electrolytes like Ultima or LMNT. Dehydration has a major affect on most of the processes in our body, and is ‘low-hanging fruit’ for improving fertility naturally with little effort. If it’s overwhelming to commit to ALL 8 steps, choose one or two things to start to improve your fertility naturally. Over time, implement more until you get yourself into an optimal state for baby making (and growing!).  Free Managing Stress & Anxiety Cookbook: Want 20 recipes to manage stress & anxiety? Click here to get Kate’s Stress&Anxiety Cookbook that includes recipes that supply adequate magnesium, B6, iron, and fiber!  Want to work with a functional nutritionist to personalize your diet? Struggling with hormone imbalance, IBS, weight gain, mood changes? Let’s look at FOOD FIRST. Read more about Functional Nutrition at The Facility here. CLICK HERE to schedule a FREE 15-Minute Nutrition Consult with Kate to determine your best course of action!

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