Menopuase

Support These Three Systems for Smoother Peri-menopause

We'll focus on three systems to support the most while in peri-menopause.

1. Balance Your Blood Sugar

This tip is HUGE for peri-menopause, so pay close attention.  When you were younger, you could maybe get away with late-night pizza or drinking binges.  You body is much less forgiving at this age, which you probably already realized.  

You don’t want to gain weight, feel cloudy, or sleep poorly, but, if your like most of us, you want to have you cake and eat it too.

It’s super important to keep your blood sugar balanced to prevent the symptoms of peri-menopause.  Spikes and dips in your blood sugar create an additional stress on your body, and your body is already going through the stress of changing hormones.  

These spikes and dips in your blood sugar also make you cranky, craving carbs and gaining weight.  Sugars also feed the unhealthy bacteria in your gut, and you need a healthy gut to clear old hormones and to make chemicals that make you feel good.

Here’s my best tip for blood sugar: start the day with low sugar and high protein and fiber.  When you start you day this way, you will have less cravings and make better choices.  

Some options:

2.  Love Your Adrenals

Your adrenals are two glands in your lower back that make hormones for energy and stress.  They also make some female hormones (sex hormones) and you rely on them more as your ovarian function declines.

Your adrenals make hormones for stress, energy and sex.  You probably want lots of energy and great sex, but less stress. So create less stress in your life.  

Now, you probably think of stress as being stuck in traffic and late for an important appointment.  That is stressful.  But stress to your body comes in lots of other forms too, like: 

  • The blood sugar spikes and dips we discussed
  • The late nights of work
  • The stress of caring for kids or elderly parents
  • Chronic pain
  • Eating low-quality foods or inflammatory foods

This list could be longer, but I’ll stop here and give you tip #2 to love your adrenals. Get to bed by 10 PM, take rest breaks during the day, and have fun!

3. Support Detox Pathways

To have hormone balance, you need to clear toxins. Excess hormones re-circulating in your blood stream, or toxins that mimic hormones can lead to peri-menopause symptoms.

Today we’ll talk about two mechanisms that clear toxins and how to support them: the liver and the digestive tract.

The liver is the best known detox organ, for good reason.  It breaks down toxins and used hormones into a form that can be eliminated.  To support the liver, eat foods that contain the nutrients your liver needs to do its tasks.

Some liver-loving foods include: pasture-raised eggs, beets, carrots, lemon, broccoli, chard, dandelion, cabbage, onions and garlic.

Once toxins and used hormones are broken down, they need to be eliminated from the body.  The main exit route is the digestive tract.  If you are constipated or have an inflamed digestive tract, these waste products may not be eliminated.  

Natural sources of fat, such as coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, unprocessed meats and fish, are needed by the gallbladder to make the bile that the toxins travel with from the liver to the digestive tract.

Once in the digestive tract, keep your bowels moving with regular exercise and drinking plenty of water.  Reduce inflammation by avoiding inflammatory foods such as sugar, alcohol, gluten and processed dairy products.

Please take one tip from above and get started!

Love these tips?  Want to learn more?  

Learn more about peri-menopause from experts like Ann Louise Gittleman, Dr. Anna Cabeca and Tana Amen at the free, online Hormone Balance After 40 Summit!  

The summit happens live June 5-11, 2017, but recordings will live on after the live summit.

REGISTER HERE.

You’ll hear 30+ experts on the topics like: 

• Boosting your Metabolism

• Reclaiming your Sex Drive

• Restoring Mental Clarity.  

The best part is that it’s all free and you can attend online from any computer or smartphone.  Register here for your own Hormone Balance After 40!

Contributed by Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative

Natural Solutions for Hormonal Imbalance with Dr. Carrie Jones

You are in for a treat with this interview with Dr. Carrie Jones!  Dr. Jones is a naturopathic physician who specializes in women's health.  She currently works as the full-time medical director for Precision Analytical, Inc, makers of the DUTCH test.  

You have heard me sing the praises of the DUTCH test on a past episode with functional medical practitioner, Ann Melin. DUTCH stands for Dried Urine Test of Comprehensive Hormones.  I really like this test because it is a great way to measure adrenal function, female hormone status and detox capacity.

Dr. Jones has looked at many thousands of these tests, and she recaps the common patterns she sees on this episode. She also talks about why and when to take such a test.

Finally, she dishes on all her favorite herbs and supplements for female hormonal complaints.  We put this together in a handy sheet for you. You can get a copy by using the button below:

 

Thanks for listening!

Bridgit Danner, Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

June Seed Cycling Challenge

In Portland, OR (my hometown), the city hosts a cycling challenge, challenging you to ride your bike to work as many days as you can.

This is a different cycling challenge!

Seed cycling - alternating the consumption of certain raw seeds every 2 weeks - is intended to support the production and clearance of hormones.  It's very safe and gentle, but always ask your doctor first if you are on medications or in poor health.  

This protocol is NOT intended for pregnant women.  It is safe for breastfeeding women, women trying to conceive, menopausal women and even for men!  My husband will unwittingly be on the rotation as I'll put the seeds in our shakes.

How to Do It:

Seeds:

Phase 1:  Raw, freshly-ground (same day), pumpkin and/or flax seed

Phase 2:  Raw, freshly-ground (same day), sunflower and/or sesame seed

Dosage:  You will see slightly different recommendations in different places.  You can do rounded 1 T of each, 2 T of just one type, or up to 4 T total (measurement is made before grinding) in a day.  I think what is most important to to get at least 2 T a day (size before grinding.)  If you happen to get in extra servings, no problem!

Timing:

Cycling women: If you are currently cycling, you start phase 1 of the seeds on the first full day of your period. Day 1-14 is your follicular phase. You will then switch to phase 2 on day 15 of your cycle.  Day 15-28 is your luteal phase.

Non-cycling women:  This goes for menopause, breastfeeding women, or women with amenorrhea (no cycle in 3 or more months.)  Start phase 1 of the seeds on June 4 (the new moon.)  You will switch to phase 2 of the seeds on June 20, or the full moon.  

To see a lunar calendar, click here.

Notes:

When do I switch the seeds exactly?

Seed cycling is recommend on a 28 day cycle.  However the lunar cycle is 29.5 days.

I would say if you are going with the lunar calendar, stick to the lunar schedule.

If you are a cycling woman, always switch on day 15, but if you cycle runs longer than 28 days, it's ok to keep taking phase 2 seeds a couple extra days, but no more.

This is a tip from the website of Dr. Amy Neuzil, ND, "If you’re trying to get pregnancy it’s important to continue the luteal-phase seeds (sesame/sunflower) until you actually have a period, just in case you are pregnant that month. This gives the egg the best chance at implantation."

Can you just take the seeds whenever?

It depends.  If you are trying to really stick to the phase 1 and phase 2, avoid eating a bunch of tahini (contains sesame seeds) in phase 1.  But, sure you can have hummus a couple times, no problem.

The other side of the coin, say if you are post-menopausal, or have a healthy cycle but just want to eat these foods as boost, you can take the seeds whenever, but just know you aren't really seed cycling anymore, but you are instead just getting some healthful, hormone-boosting foods throughout the month.

What if my diet doesn't allow me to eat some of these seeds?

If you are avoiding, for example, flax seeds and sunflower seeds, then just use the pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds in rotation. If you are avoiding all nuts and seeds, then you can rotate fish oil supplement in your phase 1 (2 caps a day), and then use borage oil in phase 2 (2 caps a days).

You can purchase these at our supplement shop under the names GLA 240 and OmegAvail Ultra.

Do I need to soak the seeds?

No, you don't need to soak the seeds, but you are welcome to do so to increase the digestibility.

Community:

We are mainly hosting the chat for this event on our private Facebook group. You can ask to join that here.  (It's free.) If you do use Facebook, I highly recommend that you join!

If you aren't a Facebook person, it's no problem.  You can also leave comments or questions at the close of this blog.

We had a super fun Q and A webinar, Fixing Your Hormones with Food, to talk about seed cycling and balancing hormones with food (especially estrogen dominance) on 6/23/16 with Magdalena Wszelaki of HormonesBalance.com.

Watch the webinar replay here.

Magdalena offers a really great, free, online cooking class called Cooking for Balance.  Watch it here.

Recipe Links:

Estrogen Boosting Crackers

Progesterone Boosting Crackers

Recipe Videos:

Please be sure to watch this first video, as it is the main instructional video. The other videos are recipes.  We have two and will be adding more on June 15!