a woman over forty? No? Well, one day you will be. Yes? Have you noticed (unwanted) changes creeping up on you? Things like, you know, sagging here and there, some extra padding in most unfortunate places, jiggly thighs and water retention, puffy face or eyelids, lack of energy and/or inability to fall asleep or stay asleep? Darn, yes. All of the above or some of the above… You can’t deny that there have been changes happening (for years) and now you might want to consider making changes in your lifestyle if you want any easing off with the unpleasant part of it.
I have not figured out how to be free from the changes – probably never will be. The wise ones tell us that everything is changing all the time after all. It’s like in meditation – not always easy. But here are some things that I have found helpful in my experience of going hormonal:
- drastically reduce or quit sugar and high carb foods, eliminate refined carbs altogether, that includes alcohol. Very bad. (LOL)
- add omega-3 fats to your diet (best from animal sources such as deep water fish) and fish oil supplements (note to self: do that).
- keep the weight down (or bring it down) to reduce the risk of heart disease, breast cancer, and estrogen dominance.
- exercise for bone health (and mental well-being) – choose something you enjoy doing and definitely add weight lifting; read up on short intense workouts as opposed to long aerobic training (time savers and efficiency there).
- reduce salt intake – consuming high amounts of sodium can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and heart failure.
- reduce or quit alcohol to reduce cancer risk and the extra (empty) calories plus – who needs alcohol? Life can be intoxicating on its own.
- add small quantities of fermented soy products (miso, natto) and others such as sauerkraut, kombucha etc.
- add herbal teas (hot or cold) such as sage – a wonderful herb that balances hormones and benefits digestion, if you have ‘sleeping inconsistencies’ try chamomile, valerian, lavender, passion fruit or combination of them.
- stop dieting and find a good balance of whole unprocessed foods that work for you.
- eat but the right foods – most people at this stage of life benefit from lower carb content (unless you’re quite active physically), add flax or chia seeds, coconut oil, leafy greens and lean protein.
- if you feel your hormones are imbalanced try supplementing with vitex (extract of chaste tree berry); I found it very helpful – it’s supposed to bring a balance as opposed to increasing one hormone.
- if you get migraines consider quitting coffee.
- manage your stress levels – walk, do yoga, tai chi, and meditate.
- generally slow down and keep in mind the impermanence of everything.
In general, I feel, to make this time of life what it really is – a transformation – we benefit from listening to the needs of our body and mind. Finding quiet time and being open to hear a new direction calling; trying new things; not boxing ourselves in our routines (note to self: do that more).
What’s your experience during the ‘hormonal time’ of life? Share in the comments.