Hormones act as messengers in our body. The more we nurture them, the more they return the favor and the healthier lifestyle we can plan for ourselves. Especially during women’s menstrual cycle and later menopause, our bodies experience enormous hormonal changes on a daily basis.
Too often we might find ourselves reaching for comfort foods, which in turn makes us feel worse physically. We might not necessarily feel guilt. Or at least I know I have gone far beyond regretting my guilty pleasures when it comes to food. I instead look on indulging from a different perspective. Call it indulging instead of cheating and keep in mind that one piece of chocolate once in a while will not make me fat after all.
Let’s have a closer look at carbs and the deeper reasoning why gluten-free diets might be on the rise lately. They affect sugar levels in our blood, which then affects the symptoms we feel – hot/cold flashes, digestion abnormalities, weight gain, mood swings or even more concerning conditions like depression, insomnia or anxiety. Processed, or what are simple rather than complex, carbs affect our insulin levels. They make blood sugar levels fluctuate. And hormones start to run wild.
It all begins with a simple, and what seemed to be an easy decision, of indulging in al-dente cooked, homemade egg noodle bowl that your Italian grandma made you – or whatever the carb preference might be.
I am not suggesting that the bowl was not a good food choice, it was rather brilliant. But you just need to hear out what your body needs and how it reacts to different types of foods during various stages of your cycle. And then go on to embrace it and collaborate with it like it is your best partner in crime.
Find out your best way to stabilize your blood sugar levels as even as possible. Here is my quick dinner fix which usually leads me to better digestion, better sleep at night and better performance in sports, business, and as a mom.
Quinoa with seasonal veggies, lightly grilled on olive oil and garlic. You could skip garlic, but studies have shown that garlic is highly nutritious with only a few calories:
- It helps fight illness, including cold
- It reduces blood pressure
- Improves cholesterol levels
- The antioxidants in it might help prevent dementia
- It helps athletes perform better
- Detoxifies heavy metals in the body
- And improves bone health.
I like to pair the mix with a salad and some hummus (in place of a dressing), sprinkled with roasted sunflower seeds, and a side of seasonal fruit or coconut shaving when no other fruit is in season.
Healthy nutrition will not only affect your mood on a daily basis but will also make you a stronger person in the long run. Naturally, change doesn’t happen overnight, but it starts with a push of the button to embrace a healthier lifestyle. The change can be as small as cutting out sweets, dedicating a couple of minutes a day to yoga or meditation, or a plan to eat more vegetables. When adding one healthy habit on top of another, it can have a stronger snowball effect to a lifestyle healthier then you envisioned. So, next time when you’re about to throw in the towel, rewind to how you have been nurturing your body lately. Slow down. Plan your meals. Possibly journal. And note the difference. I guarantee you that you’ll excel at whatever once seemed impossible.