My 3 Secret Top Foods for healing with Endo

My 3 Secret Top Foods for healing with Endo

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Here are my top 5 foods which I have found to be consistent at reducing pain and aiding in healing with endo within the body. An interesting concept which I guess I need to mention is that pain is closely linked to inflammation within the body so if you are ever unsure, think of foods which are anti-inflammatory and you will be heading in the right track in trying to use foods as a source of medicine for your body.

Black Cumin or Nigella Oil (also called black caraway, kalonji)

I won’t lie to you. This stuff is strong and it tastes strong but the benefits are incredible! If ever you have wanted something that addresses a bunch of stuff at the same time – this is your miracle juice! It fights off some of the nastiest bacteria – some which have become antimicrobial-resistant. Things like staphylococcus, tuberculosis, influenza, gonorrhoea and of course good old candida. The reason it is so powerful against these is the key phytochemicals found within the nigella seed – namely Thymoquinone and Thymol. These key phytochemicals fight off moulds, fungi and bacteria.

What is even more cool about Nigella Seed oil is that these same constituents also fight free radicals and preserve some of our most important enzymes, namely glutathione peroxidase and glutathione-S-transferase. For those of you, who have joined my REACH beyond Endo program, you know that these are key within the detoxification processes within the liver.

This is really a secret formula for health and I put a splash of it on my food as often as I can. My favourite way to have it is in some lightly steamed spinach with salt & pepper.

Discovered over 293 researched articles on the benefits of Nigella Seeds and oil

 

Moringa (also called Ben oil tree)

This is a fabulous tea and can easily be taken in a powder form and hidden in a smoothie if you don’t like that “green” taste. With over 1300 studies and with the National Insitute of Health calling it the “plant of the year”, you will want to get this stuff into your body!

The biggest benefit here is that Moringa is a natural antioxidant. This means it reduces inflammation in the body and aids in your liver. Anything that hurts, is swollen, causes pain or persists is generally related to inflammation and this little tree can help! Think of stomach pain, endo pain, bloating, diarrhoea, gas pain, adhesion pain, chronic headaches, kidney stones, interstitial cystitis, thyroid disorders and fluid retention. Moringa will aid in reducing all of those!

The greatest benefit of Moringa is that it also contains heaps of natural healing nutrients like protein, vitamin A, potassium, calcium and vitamin C and offers a whopping dose of each of these – hello nutrient-rich diet!

Some studies have suggested that it can aid in balancing hormones naturally as it aids in the detoxification pathways with natural increases shown in glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase.

Once again this fabulous plant also has fungal and yeast fighting abilities (bye, bye Candida) and can ease stomach pain, kidney damage and ease digestive complaints.

Start slow on this one with 1/2 a teaspoon of dried moringa per day for 3-5 days and then gradually increase. Don’t overdo it as it can have a laxative effect on some people. *Avoid during pregnancy.

 

L-Glutamine

This is one of the 20 naturally occurring amino acids (think protein) in the body and it gets used a heap by your body. I get it in a powder form and take about a teaspoon on an empty stomach in a little water. It doesn’t really have a taste but has oh so many benefits.

It helps our bowel health tremendously and helps reduce any inflammation you might be experiencing. It is quite common for us endo ladies to also experience bowel issues such as IBS, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis and leaky gut. This can cause similar pain to endo and sometimes it is hard to distinguish between the two!

L-Glutamine helps repair some of that inflammation and any gut-related immune response that might be going on. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Immunology discovered that THS 2 response stimulates inflammatory cytokines to be released. This is common with anyone who has food sensitivities and L-Glutamine has been shown to reduce this response significantly.

Many of us with endo would have damaged our gut and potentially caused stomach ulcers by taking pain-killers for years and year – I certainly did! L-Glutamine has been proven to heal these for us.

It is also a fabulous way to improve recovery after an intense workout – hence why it was first discovered within the bodybuilding industry!

You can get L-Glutamine from foods too – like bone broth, spirulina, asparagus, wild-caught fish and turkey but I prefer to supplement with it as it is super easy, doesn’t taste bad and I can feel the effects immediately.

I take about 1 teaspoon in water before food, after my fitness routine or Yoga routine in the morning.

 

What are your favourite foods and supplements that you would recommend to someone with endo?

Diet Choices: The 3 Key Components to look for

Diet Choices: The 3 Key Components to look for

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If you spend any length of time searching for information on what to eat to better support yourself with having endometriosis, you’ll eventually find that information contradicts itself and you are simply not sure what to believe anymore. One website says you should totally eat a Paleo diet for endometriosis, another says to avoid meat at all costs and then a third says you should go 100% vegan. What is a girl to do?

I want to make this easier and simpler for you by focusing on 3 key areas to look at and to help you direct your focus towards the things that actually matter.

1. Look at the goal you are trying to achieve

Within the REACH beyond Endo program, we specifically look deeper at triggers for pain with having endometriosis. One of the key reasons for pain is a heightened inflammatory response by the body. This can show up for you with elevated pain levels, high amounts of bloating, puffiness around the face and arms, an intolerance to certain foods and allergy symptoms.

So, our first goal with our diet is to attempt to lower this inflammatory response by the body. Therefore, your diet needs to have a strong focus on avoiding things that trigger more inflammation and also ensuring you eat enough foods that reduce inflammation.

When looking at our example above on whether to avoid meat or not, we need to look at the scaling of meat in terms of how inflammatory it is on the body. When your body processes meat, it will use much more energy resources to break down that meat. This means, your body will produce far more metabolic reactions and waste just to break the meat down. High levels of these metabolic reactions could be a contributing factor leading to oxidative stress on your body. The more oxidative stress, the more of an inflammatory response you will experience.

We can apply a ranking scale towards most foods and you will find that typically the most favourable foods to eat, which lower that inflammatory response are your dark leafy greens, plenty of fruits and vegetables and anything that is really fresh and close to nature. You can also assess the inflammatory levels of your foods by looking at an acid/alkaline charting of foods to give you a good indicator on which foods to have less of – even if they are a healthy food choice. For instance, nuts which are a great source of heaps of valuable good fats, are still considered reasonably acidic on the body and should therefore only be eaten in moderation.

 

2. How do you feel?

This is a fairly obvious question but one we seldom consider. We often get swayed by what someone else has said or what is perhaps trendy at the moment but the reality is, we are all different and certain foods appeal to us, certain foods make us feel better than others.

I’ll give you an example. For months I had been trying to come up with a good breakfast to eat. I had been told by an Osteopath that I should avoid fruit as it was simply too high in fructose and that it wasn’t good for my liver. So, I avoided fruit of any kind for months. I tried all sorts of other weird and interesting breakfasts but most of them left me feeling more hungry, slightly deprived or just tired after eating them.

We recently moved house and for the first few days it was just too challenging to try and prepare my fancy breakfasts that had by now evolved to require a stove, heaps of crumbing ingredients, frozen fruit etc. etc. *I’ll share that recipe with you soon ;). It was far easier to just pop down to the shop, by a few varieties of fruit and top it with a few nuts or some mixed muesli. So, I did and I instantly felt different. I had more energy, felt fuller for longer, didn’t feel super tired after eating and also felt more satisfied somehow.

This, of course, may not be the case for everyone who eats fruit but ultimately we need to eat what makes us feel good.

I do just need to mention a caveat though. I don’t mean “feel good” on an emotional level. Because, we have all had those cravings for biscuits or a tub of ice cream when we’ve had a bad day and yes, at that moment it does fill some kind of emotional void but ultimately, it doesn’t make you feel good on a physical “body level”.

Tuning in towards what makes you feel good on a “body level” is about listening, acknowledging what you ate and how it made you feel and connecting to dots between what you eat and how you feel both physically and mentally. Then, go out and eat the foods that really make you feel good – regardless of what the current diet trends might tell you!

 

3. Does it really address endometriosis?

One of the most common diets out there is the Endo Diet. The purpose of the endo diet is to give us guidelines to follow on what to avoid and eat with having endometriosis. The problem I have found with this diet is that most of us tended towards focusing on the “things to avoid” list and didn’t give enough thought to what we were eating instead.

Within my REACH Technique©, the first step and focus is on truly replenishing your diet with the right amounts of nutrients and in the high doses that your body needs. With women with endometriosis, I have found that certain minerals and vitamins tend to be low, such as selenium, magnesium and the Vitamin B group. What we need to do is ensure we are amping-up the number of nutrients we can possibly get from our food.

So, to give you a simple example of how this looks different.

If we were simply following the endo diet, we might choose to have some gluten-free toast with peanut butter for breakfast. Though this is an ok meal and it certainly avoids some of the inflammatory culprits like gluten, butter and sugar (peanut butter instead of jam), it doesn’t truly nourish or replenish what might be missing from your body nutritionally. So, instead, we could opt for a smoothie made with a frozen banana, barley grass powder, some cacao powder, almond milk, slippery elm powder and a dollop of nut butter. We could have a bowl of fruit to go with our smoothie such as blueberries, strawberries and cut up apple. We are still full, we are still satisfied but with option 2, we have avoided inflammatory culprits but also loaded the body up with heaps and heaps of anti-oxidants, liver cleansing nutrients and supported our bowel health at the same time. See the difference?

With having endometriosis, we want to focus on how we can use our food as medicine. What foods, powders, phytonutrients, spices, superfoods etc, can we add in, to truly nourish and support our body to feel better? Our key focus here is to find foods that are high in anti-oxidants, high in specific vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, B, iron, selenium, zinc and foods that aid and support our liver health. Not a small task but totally possible. Get the total picture within the REACH beyond Endo program.

 

In Conclusion

This is your journey and only you can determine what really helps you feel better but there are also fundamental considerations with having endometriosis that can be better supported by what you eat. Food is a great source of medicine and we have it accessible to us, each and every day.

[Recipe Idea] Testing out Smoothie Bowls

[Recipe Idea] Testing out Smoothie Bowls

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While away in Christchurch for a wedding we found this fabulous cafe called the Park Ranger which we landed up going to almost daily. One of the things they served was these Smoothie Bowls – which I believe were first introduced to us by Sarah Wilson and her book Simplicious. She creates different various of these smoothie bowls in her recipe book – which of course I have a copy of.

The Park Ranger Smoothie Bowl

So, when I got back from Christchurch, I decided to experiment with the idea a little more and thought I would share my experience with you.

The concept

To make a smoothie, loaded with loads of nutritional elements and then top it with yummy sprinkles to make it more like a bowl of breakfast.

The Recipes

You can really experiment with these and create different variations of your favourites. The fun thing is actually the toppings where you can add freeze dried raspberries, lightly roasted coconut flakes, raisins, sprouted buckwheat grouts, goji berries, nuts & granola.

Here are some ideas for the smoothie part:

Berry Combo

  • Start with a frozen banana (for the sweetness)
  • Add in frozen berries
  • Some kind of milk – I use Almond Milk
  • Coconut Yoghurt
  • Cocao powder
  • Sarah adds in frozen beetroot (pre-cooked and then frozen)

 

Banana Nut

  • Frozen banana
  • Nut butter
  • Milk
  • Maca powder or Ashwaganda powder

Apple Spice

  • 1 green apple
  • cinnamon
  • spice mix
  • nut butter
  • 1/1/2 cups spinach leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk

 

My review

What I like about the smoothie bowl idea:

  • It is super easy to make breakfast. You can simply chuck a bunch of ingredients into a blender and then simply top it with all sorts of delicious toppings.
  • It somehow feels more filling than just drinking a smoothie.
  • You are getting a nice dose of nourishment first thing in the morning as you can hide a bunch of “not so tasty” powders and supplements in smoothies. For instance, you could hide Chaga Mushroom Powder, a green healthy powder like Spirulina or Barley Grass. You can also add probiotics or other supplements quite easily, avoiding the need to take a bunch of tablets first thing in the morning.

What I don’t like so much:

  • The key thing I don’t like is that these are cold and they feel cold to eat. Inevitably you are using frozen ingredients like frozen banana or berries. Most of us feel the cold quite easily and personally I don’t like feeling cold first thing in the morning. My natural desire is to eat something warming and soothing for my tummy – like a porridge of some sort. I did try heating some of these but they just didn’t do very well and turned into a goopy mess! I think it’s the banana that doesn’t appreciate being heated – LOL.
  • It can also make you feel kinda full of liquid – the secret is to add more toppings 😉

 

Conclusion

I think I will experiment a little more with this idea as I like the concept but I think I would prefer to have it warmed up a little. Sarah does have one recipe which she warms up – so I might need to just test out using a heated version of these. If you want to try Sarah’s recipes, check out her website www.sarahwilson.com.

Have you ever tried smoothie bowls? Want to experiment with me?

Forget about “Gluten Free”

Forget about “Gluten Free”

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I recently spoke with a lovely woman who wanted to know if she should join the Endo Wellness Technique program. She expressed to me that she felt she already knew a heap about how to eat healthy and wasn’t sure she particularly needed to join my program.

She was really wanting to know if she could just skip the first module where we talk all about how to replenish the body with the right nutrition. I of course, wanted to dive in and make sure that she truly was supporting her body in the best way possible with her food choices… so, I began asking her what she ate in a typical week. What she shared really shocked me!

This young girl was eating gluten free toast for breakfast and lunch, every day. She also ate heaps of gluten free pasta, gluten free cookies and a whole bunch of other highly processed gluten free products.

When woman come to me and they eat a healthy diet, I never realised until I started doing these free chats, at how varied a “healthy diet” can be. There have certainly been women who do truly eat healthy but sadly many women also follow what I would describe as the “advertisers world of healthy”. They are foods which are sold as healthy. They put on pretty labels and home-made branding and use words like “natural”, “sugar free” and “gluten free” to lure us into believing that these food choices are truly better for us.

So, this is why I tell you to forget “gluten free”. Stop searching for the label that gives you a false impression that something is good for you. In most cases, it isn’t. It is very likely that the foods that are labelled this way, are created by huge manufacturers who have realised that there is a market for these “gluten free” products. In most cases they are filled with cheap nasty ingredients and loaded with things that are far from good for you.

I once looked at the ingredients list for gluten free banana bread. The only reason I landed up doing this was because after I ate it, I got a screaming headache! What I read really shocked me! That banana bread was loaded with sugars, maltodextrin, highly processed fats and the types of flour that really spike up our glucose levels (Tapiaco flour).

We have all become so incredibly reliant on convenience foods that we seldom consider that they are not convenient for our bodies. Our bodies can assimilate and use natural foods – that have come straight out of the ground, or off a tree, or are just more “real”  far more readily and easily. This means, you will gain vitality and energy far more readily! All that processed stuff with heaps of ingredients is hard work on your digestion and on your liver.

So, if you are reviewing your diet and considering if it truly is healthy, then consider your food, where it comes from and what it contains. Don’t just fall for the pretty labels and the hyped up marketing. Real food doesn’t live on shelves! Real food needs preparation and love! Real food will sync with your body and provide it with what it truly needs.

In other words: screw the gluten free and eat foods that are alive and truly nourish your body!

 

Top Ten Foods for Hormonal Balance

Top Ten Foods for Hormonal Balance

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Guest post by Krista Goncalves

Hot flashes, unrelenting fatigue, thinning hair, joint pain, no libido, dry skin, brittle nails and weight loss resistance? Oooohhh, the resistant weight! Any of that sound like you?

Are you struggling with hormone balance? Foods can aid our bodies in creating better hormone balance. Here is Krista’s top 10 list:

 

My Top 10 Hormone Balancing Foods

1) Dark chocolate

As I wrote in my blog post: Chocolate: Friend with Benefits, chocolate made from 70% or more natural cacao has been shown to:

  • have a blood-thinning effect
  • lower blood pressure
  • reduce bad cholesterol and inflammation in the body
  • boost memory
  • be a stress-reliever

Dark chocolate is also a great source of the mineral Magnesium – critical in many of the body’s hormonal processes.

Cocoa butter, the natural source of fat that is extracted from cacao beans is what gives chocolate its silky “mouth feel”. It’s also amazing in DIY skin beauty products!

Why dark and not milk chocolate?

Milk chocolate typically contains only 30% cocoa, or less and the average candy bar only 15%.

A study posted in Nutrition and Metabolism suggests that milk interferes with the absorption of flavonols (the key antioxidant in cacao) and this is especially true if the milk is pasteurized.

How much?

As much as your chocolate-obsessed heart desires…is the answer you were seeking. Hmm, better reel that one in a bit. One to two ounces per day of the good stuff = 70% or more cacao content and sugar should not be the first ingredient. Organic, fair trade – even better. Avoid the ones with Soy Lecithin in them!

2) Cruciferous vegetables

Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, and oh yes – the all-mighty kale!

Vegetables like broccoli are from the Brassica family of plants – actually related to mustard. Not only do they contain a whack of health-promoting vitamins, minerals and fibre, but they also contain high amounts of two important and notable phyto-nutrients: sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol (I3C) — these both increase our liver’s capacity to detoxify harmful compounds, like cancer cells and xenoestrogens.

Sulforaphane increase the liver’s phase II enzyme activity, while I3C helps to breakdown a harmful estrogen metabolite (2-hydroxyestrone) that may otherwise promote tumour growth, especially in estrogen-sensitive breast cells. This is super important to manage estrogen dominance, commonly seen with endometriosis.

How much?

You would need to consume about 3-4 cups of cruciferous vegetables weekly to get the benefits.

I would recommend trying them raw in one dish and lightly steamed in another. Be sure to serve your green leafy, crunchy veggies with some good fats to maximize absorption and the benefits!

3) Cinnamon

According to Ayurvedic principles, cinnamon is a “warming” spice that can support a “cold” uterus. Umm, I’ll just trust that it’s good for my important lady parts!

Summarising from Green Med Info, cinnamon has also been shown to:

  • normalize blood sugar levels in type II diabetics
  • lower cholesterol
  • support healthy blood clotting
  • fight bacteria & fungi
  • boost memory and be neuro-protective
  • improve digestion

How much?

Add cinnamon to your food and hot drinks (including coffee) as often as possible.

Just ½ teaspoon a day for at least 30 days to see an improvement in your insulin response.

 

4) Berries, especially blueberries

According to Rodale’s Organic Life:

“Blueberries may help lower blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, as researchers in Canada have found. In a small study, overweight men at risk of heart disease and diabetes drank 1 cup of wild blueberry juice every day for three weeks. Their blood sugar dropped by roughly 10 percent, and their insulin resistance also fell compared with that of the control-group participants who drank a placebo. The benefits may come from the effect of the fruits’ high levels of anthocyanins on the pancreas, which regulates blood sugar by producing insulin.”

Insulin as we all know, is released from the pancreas in response to blood sugar levels. Insulin is also known to be one of our “fat storage” hormones.

Better insulin response = better blood sugar control = better weight management.

How much?

1/2 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries per serving. It’s suggested to consume a serving of berries several times per week to get maximum berry benefit! Choose organic when possible and rinse your berries well before eating.

5) Avocados

According to Rodale’s Organic Life:

“Avocados are rich in beta-sitosterol, a natural substance shown to significantly lower blood cholesterol levels. That same compound also helps to balance the stress hormone cortisol, and it may help restore low DHEA (a hormone produced by the adrenal gland) and decrease the inflammation typically associated with the stress of intense exercise.”

How much?

1/4 – 1/3 of a ripe, medium avocado per serving, up to 1 whole daily! (but be mindful of the rest of your good fat intake)

Nutri-Foodie Tip:

Scrape all of the flesh closest to the skin – it’s the most nutrient-packed!

6) Raw Carrots

“One vegetable has a special place in a diet to balance the hormones, and that is the raw (unpeeled) carrot. It is so nearly indigestible that, when it is well chewed or grated, it helps to stimulate the intestine and reduce the re-absorption of estrogen and the absorption of bacterial toxins.”

~ Dr. Ray Peat, PhD.

The fiber in a raw carrot binds to excess estrogen, helping to safely remove it from the body. The carrot fiber also prevents the re-absorption of estrogen back into the small intestine. Too much estrogen out of balance with progesterone (estrogen dominance) can lead to array of unpleasant hormonal disruptions such as severe PMS, irregular cycles, endometriosis, PCOS, acne and weight gain.

How much?

I’ve read that just one medium sized raw, organic carrot a day is all you need to get these “bad estrogen” -lowering benefits.

Get my super easy Raw Carrot Apple Salad recipe.

7) Grass-fed Butter & Ghee

Butter’s back baby – and I’m not talking about that “buttery flavour” fake oil-products either!

Saturated-fat-lover & Bulletproof Coffee founder David Asprey is famous for his butter-infused coffee concoction (which I have to say I am a big fan of), and is also a big proponent of the high-fat diet.

Where grass-fed butter and its cousin ghee are concerned, it’s all about the Vitamin K, CLA and butyrate. The what and the who-now?!

And what the heck is ghee anyway?

It has roots in the ancient tradition of Ayurveda, where it was considered a sacred, medicinal, cleansing, and highly nourishing food.

Ghee is 100% butterfat. Flavourful, nutrient-rich butterfat…mmm.

Butter contains primarily butterfat, but also milk proteins and water. It is also lactose-free, casein-free and stable for high-heat cooking making it a great choice for those who otherwise can’t tolerate dairy.

To make it, butter is simmered to separate the oil from the other components, which are strained off. It is best to use organic, grass-fed butter to make your beautiful golden ghee.

Back to the benefits:

  • Supplementation with Conjugated Linolenic Acid (CLA) has been shown to cause fat loss and improved body composition in humans. The CLA found in grass-fed butter & ghee is dramatically higher than that found in “factory cows”. CLA has also been shown to inhibit cancer cells.
  • You can take in plenty of calcium but it won’t help strengthen your bones unless it is accompanied by it’s critical co-factor Vitamin K2, also called menaquinone, which helps transport calcium into your bones. As a fat-soluble vitamin (along with Vitamins A, D & E), it requires fatty acids like those found in butter or ghee for absorption. [source: The Vitamin K2 & Calcium Paradox]
  • Butter and ghee are also loaded with butyric acid (butyrate) – a short-chain fatty acid that appears to fight inflammation.

How much?

One serving = 1 teaspoon.

8) Virgin coconut oil

Now don’t roll your eyes because you’re seeing coconut oil on yet another list of “healthifying foods”! It is worthy of making this list for many reasons, according to FloLiving:

“When you add more coconut oil to your diet, you’re increasing the saturated fats made up primarily of medium-chain fatty acids that aren’t found in many other oils. These medium-chain fatty acids (have been shown to) increase metabolism and promote weight loss. In addition, coconut oil can increase basal body temperatures, which is super important for women with low thyroid function.”

Also, 50 percent of the fat content in coconut oil is composed of a fatty acid rarely found in nature called lauric acid – a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-microbial.

How much?

One serving = 1 teaspoon of unrefined virgin coconut oil, but you can work up to 1 tablespoon for supplementary purposes.

9) Turmeric (curcumin)

Curcumin is the main active component in the spice Turmeric, and is a natural and powerful anti-inflammatory agent that has been shown to inhibit all steps of cancer formation: initiation, promotion and progression. Curcumin also supports the liver and can greatly reduce pain and swelling.

How much?

Adding curry powder or turmeric directly to your food will certainly spice it up! But the strong flavour isn’t for everyone, so you may want to consider supplementation.

Dr. Natasha Turner, ND & Author of The Super-charged Hormone Diet recommends:

“Dosages of curcumin supplements range from 500-2000 mg daily, taken on an empty stomach, 30 minutes before a meal or two hours after one. If you experience heartburn simply take it with food.”

Nutri-Foodie Tip:

Take your turmeric &/or curcumin with some black pepper (peperine) to increase its potency, along with some good fats to increase absorption and therefore overall effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory.

Ginger and other aromatic spices are also great additions to your hormone-balancing, inflammation-squashing cooking routine.

10) Green tea

A well-known 1999 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that green tea extract could significantly increase metabolism and fat burning. Hence all of the green tea extract supplements now on the market 😉

While the small amount of caffeine in green tea (35-70 mg as compared to 150-200 mg in coffee) does provide an energizing boost, the tea also contains L-theanine, a natural compound with calming effects that blocks the release of cortisol, which is great for conquering belly fat.

The high amount of beneficial polyphenols (natural antioxidant plant compounds) found in green tea in the form of catechins – mostly epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, make up the bulk of green tea extract supplements.

How much?

SF Gate Healthy Eating advises:

“To maximize the health benefits of green tea safely, the University of Maryland Medical Centre recommends drinking 2 to 3 cups daily, giving you 240 to 320 milligrams of polyphenols. If you take green tea extract supplements, 100 to 750 milligrams per day is recommended.

Opt for caffeine-free products when possible. Because few studies have been done on green tea’s effects on children, it is safest not to give it to them.”

Nutri-Foodie Tip:

My personal fave for a morning pick-me-up is matcha green tea due to its exceptionally rich antioxidant & chlorophyll content. I even include matcha powder in my Green Goddess Smoothie!

BONUS: Water!

Dehydration increases the release of hormones like ghrelin, which stimulates our appetite. Get it? Grrrr, ghrelin? It’s the hormone of hunger. Sufficient water is crucial for preventing joint stiffness, headaches, decreased athletic performance, poor recovery after exercise and weight gain. ‘Nuff said.

How much?

The standard 8 glasses per day, which could include green & herbal teas. You could also go by the rough calculation of half your body weight in ounces. For example, a moderately active 150 lb woman would need approx. 75 ounces of water daily.

What’s the trend you see on this list?

Well, 4 out of 10 were some type of FATS…good ones! And I could have listed many more like salmon & extra virgin olive oil. That’s because hormone synthesis and optimal functioning relies heavily on the inclusion of the right kinds of fat in your daily diet.

According to Dr. Josh Axe:

“Eating a variety of foods high in short, medium and long-chain fatty acids is key to keeping your hormones in check. Your body needs various types of fats to create hormones, including saturated fat and cholesterol. Not only are these essential fats fundamental building blocks for hormone production, but they keep inflammation levels low, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.”

FYI…

Short-chain fatty acid sources = grassfed butter & ghee.

Medium-chain fatty acid sources = coconut oil, coconut products & MCT oil.

Long-chain fatty acid sources = macadamia nut oil, marine fish & shellfish.

Healthy Omega-3 sources = wild-caught salmon, walnuts, chia & flax seeds.

Healthy Omega-9 sources = avocados, almonds & extra virgin olive oil.

Healthy Omega-6 & Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) source = hemp seeds + evening primrose & borage oil supplements.

*Steer clear of other Omega-6 sources = oils made from safflower, sunflower, corn, peanut, soybean, cottonseed, canola and pretty much any other chemically altered fat. “Heart healthy” margarine, I’m looking at you!

To sum up:

Eat more “good fat” and plenty of it! Did you just do a happy dance too?

And FYI, fat doesn’t make you fat – SUGAR does! But that’s another blog post

 

What DON’T you see on the hormone balancing foods list?

Wheat/gluten, dairy, alcohol & sugar.

But I’ll save the Mom-tritionist lecture on these bad boys for another day 😉

Now go shopping and get rocking (those hormones) again!!

 

Thank you Krista for this post!

You can find out more about Krista through her website:

Krista Goncalves is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist (CHN), Registered Nutritional Counsellor (RNC) & Women’s Health Expert. She runs women’s health programs online and in her hometown of Kelowna, BC.

She also blogs daily about current topics in Women’s Nutrition Health & Hormones at MakingLemonade.ca – empow(her) your health!

 

What Diet should you follow to optimise your Endometriosis healing?

What Diet should you follow to optimise your Endometriosis healing?

1.Replenish

Within the Endo Sisters Support Group, we have frequently had discussions around which type of diet to follow to really optimise healing. Sometimes, it can get quite heated as we go back and forth around whether we should eat meat, not eat meat or what sort of diet is truly beneficial to support our bodies and our health. With new diet trends popping up all the time, selling us on the benefits of one diet versus another, it is very easy to get confused and question which diet is really the best way to eat to really help support us in managing endometriosis.

Why I don’t follow a specific diet trend

I have often been tempted to recommend a specific diet or to find one that really resonated with me and promote that one as it would be much easier for me to then guide you on what to eat. Here is a couple reasons I don’t:

  • I don’t like the word “diet”. To me this implies having to “stick to something” and treating it as dogma. This prevents us from truly connecting with our bodies and what we feel like eating at any given time. We start to believe that if we are “strict” then we will get results and if we are “naughty”, we won’t.
  • The key message of nutrition can get lost or confused. I watched the TV Show with Pete Evans who is all about eating Paleo. Within the show he talked about “Paleo” desserts and how delicious and easy they were to make. Though they were certainly “Paleo”, if someone misinterpreted this, they could believe they could eat it these frequently just because they believe that because it is “Paleo”, it must be healthy.
  • They truly come and go. I have followed many diets in my past and though they offered some benefits, they eventually die off. They pass, like a season or a moment in history because generally they have too much restriction and not enough nutritional grounding. Ultimately, everything we eat needs to focus on how it truly nourishes our bodies and if our diet is able to do that successfully.

 

How to decide what to eat

So where does that leave you, in terms of what to eat? Here’s the thing… if eating according to a specific diet helps you, stay more healthy, then certainly follow it but don’t go against how your body feels just because you are following a diet. Here are some easy tools to help you decide if a food helps and supports your body:

  • Be present with your food and recognise how it tastes and feels in your body. Most of us rush through our meals. We barely know what we have been eating and have little recollection of taste. Slow down enough to enjoy each mouthful, without the distractions of TV, your phone or emails. Sit and enjoy your meal and be fully present with it. You will soon recognise if you truly enjoy it and if it is something your body really wants.
  • Recognise how you feel after eating. Do you feel tired? Swoopy in the head? Bloated, drained or tired? I usually find a good timeframe to measure is around 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating.
  • Pick foods based on nutrition rather than taste, diet or popularity. How much of the good stuff does it really contain. Go beyond just looking at protein, carbs and fats and think about how many vitamins and minerals it contains. Where did it come from? How fresh is it? How long has it been sitting on the shelf?

 

What do I eat?

I recognised early on that the best forms of nourishment come from foods which are fresh, picked and come from the ground. These include our fruits and vegetables and the more variety we can get, the better! I incorporate a wide range of green foods, including wild foods, seaweeds and algae. They are fabulous for aiding the body in detoxifying.

I do eat animal products but not in the huge quantities we typically see in the western diet. I prefer to focus on good quality and have it less often, than having it each and every day. My decisions on what to eat are based on a gut instinct and I really feel into what I want to eat each day. If it is colder, I feel like different foods than it is warmer. If I have done heaps of muscle building exercise, then I feel like different foods than if I have done Yoga in the morning.

To me, our gut health is imperative and I base a huge amount of my decisions on how my gut is feeling each day. I make an effort to support my body with foods that nourish and heal the gut each day.

 

How to decide what is right for you?

You can either simply join a program, like my REACH beyond Endo Program, which guides you on how to make food choices based on how foods nourish your body or you can experiment with different diets. The key is not to be too ridged with anything and to explore this as an adventure in trying different things that truly resonate with you.

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