Seven tips to support hormone health

As a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist, too often, I see people focusing on “Move More” and “Eat less,” but there is so much more to fat loss-for people.  So much more involved than just moving your body and eating less. If that were the case, weight loss wouldn’t be the billion-dollar industry it is today.  A caloric deficit is necessary for sustainable fat loss, but what about supporting the hormones that affect your metabolism.  

I am a brand partner of Organic India USA.  Although, I am in partnership with Organic India USA as an ambassador my opinions are my own. My Full Disclosure Policy 

Support your Hormones to achieve sustainable weight loss

Hormonal support is often missing in people’s weight loss program, and if you’re overtraining and undereating, you may be compromising your weight loss.  The hormone runs your body, and a disruption in the chain or over/underbalanced can result in stagnant progress, weight gain, or even weight loss.  Supporting your hormones is key to helping you optimally and sustainably lose weight. Over a hundred hormones in our endocrine system regulate our respiration, metabolism, reproduction, sensory perception, movement, sexual development, and growth.

Understanding your Hormones is Important to your health

When you speak about hormones, far too often, people think of reproductive hormones and teens’ attitudes, but there is so much more to hormones than teenage lust. Many of the attendees of my Understanding of your hormones workshop were in disbelief in all the functions of their hormones and how they overlook their endocrine system in their health. 

Check out my post Understanding your hormones for a basic understanding of how your hormones.

There are a few hormones that regulate your metabolism. I am going to share with you seven that have an effect on your weight loss and, with support, can help you achieve better results than “moving more and eating less.”

Some metabolic hormones and functions

According to Hormone.org the following hormones are defined as: 

Leptin 

One critical hormone that affects your metabolism is your leptin hormone.  Leptin is a hormone made of cells in the small intestines called adipose cells and enterocytes cells.  Leptin hormones are responsible for regulating your hunger and transmit the signal that you are full.  People who are leptin resistant have a hard time realizing they are full and utilizes fat storage.  

Ghrelin

This hormone, or what I affectionately refer to as the “gremlin” hormone (80’s babies may know this reference), is the hormone that tells you that you are hungry.  When I am angry, I can turn into a gremlin unless you feed me fast.  Like leptin, the Ghrelin is released in the small intestines and stimulates your appetite, how much food you intake, and encourages fat storage. 

Cortisol 

Cortisol is considered a hormone that is considered a steroid hormone and regulates many things in the body. It is responsible for regulating processes such as metabolism and immunity.  It has a great impact on our response to stress and can be attributed to stalling weight loss

Human growth 

HGH and popularized in the eighties bodybuilding era as well as nineties baseball. HGH is more abundant during childhood and helps to maintain and initiate tissue and organ growth. 

Progesterone 

Progesterone hormone is specifically a female hormone that is produced in the ovaries monthly during ovulation.

Estrogens 

A chemically similar group of hormones that are commonly known as female sex hormones. Estrogen is mainly in women during their reproductive age.

Insulin 

Insulin sensitivity is your body’s response to insulin. Some people are highly sensitive, which is preferred because your body utilizes blood glucose and reduces blood sugar more effectively. If your body is insensitive, your body doesn’t process blood glucose and effectively reduces blood sugar. You can improve your insulin sensitivity through lifestyle and dietary changes.

If you believe you have a hormone imbalance, set up an appointment and speak with your doctor. You can also seek the assistance of a local Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner in your area.  There is a directory at  www.bonesandhormones.com that may help you find one if you are unsure.

Here are seven simple ways to support your metabolic hormones:


1. There is a way to support your estrogen to progesterone ratio with vegetables.   Storing fat in the lower body and/or breasts often indicate elevated estrogen (compared to progesterone). The imbalance of estrogen to progesterone can affect your ability to burn fat.  Support a lower estrogen relative to progesterone by increasing foods that help reduce elevated estrogen-like cruciferous veggies and green tea. I am a big fan of cruciferous veggies and use them often in my Detox & Devotion cookbook.  As part of my 2-4p craving window, I sip  Organic India Tulsi teaIt has been scientifically found that drinking green tea significantly reduced fasting blood sugar and increased insulin sensitivity. Incorporating Green Tea, you incorporate in your diet daily, is recommended for many benefits. I also believe the Ayurveda, which is known as the science of life, and Tulsi’s healing properties and start and end my days with Tulsi green tea.

Organic India Tulsi Tea

2. A way to support your cortisol is through low impact exercise. Incorporating Pilates into my weekly movement for core strengthing and low impact movement. I also try to walk leisurely. I know it’s easier said than done, but you really need to stress less!  Why?  Stress is probably the main factor in your ability to burn fat. When possible, try to lower cortisol by doing restorative activities like leisurely walking and having quiet time to distress; pilates and meditation are helpful (even if it’s just 5 minutes!)

De Bolton in Side Bend

3. You can Increase fat-burning hormones potential with the right type of workoutImplementing high-intensity exercise like weight-training and HIIT can help lower cortisol over time and increase testosterone, a fat-burning/muscle-building hormone that people need to help burn fat. Movement aids you to burn the fat; exercise provides additional hormonal benefits. Other hormones are released during movement that helps to improve your mood. If your time is limited, get a quick moment of movement, you can move anywhere you have space to extend your arms and legs. Find short, effective workouts when you can on the FaithFueled Life app. I have exercise workouts you can choose from ranging from 15-45 minutes with different levels of intensity. If you are suffering from an imbalance that causes Adrenal fatigue, we also have a low impact exercise for you based on your level through my FaithFueled Life app.

4. Another way you can support or improve your insulin sensitivity is something we need to work towards.  Highly active insulin sensitivity is a desirable state because it prevents your body from storing excess fat. Insulin is an anabolic storage hormone produced by the pancreas and regulates carbohydrate and fat storage in the body.  When insulin levels are high, extra calories are stored as fat.  Also, insulin inhibits glucagon release; this causes the body to use fat as an energy source effectively. 

  • Things that can help are Movement, adding more soluble fiber-which are foods that help feed healthy bacteria in your gut-Like Pre & probiotics. Organic India has a Psyllium husk powder that is an easy and effective way to add more soluble fiber. Use Faithfueled for 15% off
  • Another nourishing source is adding more legumes, oatmeal, flaxseeds, vegetables like Brussels sprouts, and fruits like oranges.
  • Other suggestions to improve insulin sensitivity is to lose weight, reduce stress, and taste the rainbow by adding more colorful fruits and vegetables to your diet.

 

My new program is coming out called Nourish Better. It takes you through six weeks of education and a step-by-step guide to help you honor your temple and support and offer great resources to help you increase these fruits and veggies in your life.  Help you to stop obsessing about food, neglecting your body, and helping you to find the tools to nourish your body better. All while devoting through God’s word to convict you from the inside out to honor your temple.

  • Adding herbs and spices specifically to your meal. Herbs and spices have so many benefits and add flavor and pizzaz to food. Being strategic and utilizing the herbs God has given us is so easily accessible in our modern world. 
  • A few effective ones to explore and add to your pantry to support your insulin sensitivity through foods are fenugreek, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and garlic.  
  • You can add these through seasonings, teas, and tinctures. Apple cider vinegar also assists in lowering carbs– it doesn’t remove them. 

Change how you eat to increase Insulin sensitivity. 

Most people have a C.R.A.P diet and don’t eat nearly enough F.O.O.D, which you can help you get your daily necessities of carbohydrates. And carbohydrates are a necessity, but not all carbs are made equal. Some are made from God, but the ones most people consume are made from man. We explore the differences in my new program of Nourish Better based on my concept of Biblically-based eating and nourishing our bodies with what God has provided for us to eat. A little sneak peeks Cheez-its and Chips Ahoy is not on the list. 

Avoiding trans fat and reducing sugar and added sugars will support your insulin sensitivity. It is possible to live a “no-to-low” refined sugar diet and still enjoy sweet indulgences. Just like carbs, there are natural sweeteners provided by God, not man. Adding supplements like chromium, berberine, magnesium, and resveratrol have also been found to help with insulin insensitivity.

5.Increasing protein and fiber will help support your Ghrelin hormone. Plant-based proteins have both in abundance, as well as whole grains. Grehlin is a hunger hormone produced in your stomach and the pancreas and alerts your body to feel hunger. It feels less ravenous when you intake more protein and fiber. Think of Ghrelin as your hunger alarm. Levels will increase before meals (sending hunger signals to the brain) and likewise decrease after meals. Alerting you that you are full and engaging the Leptin hormone.  

6.When you support your Leptin hormone, you reduce cravings!  Leptin is a hunger hormone, which is considered the counterpart to the hunger hormone ghrelin, its produced by the adipose (fat) tissue. While ghrelin is produced in the stomach and pancreas, but they work together. When you are craving food, it is an indication that you are not producing leptin.  Also known as leptin resistance. Too many processed foods can cause leptin resistance, stress, and sleep deprivation tend to produce leptin resistance, causing your body not to feel full.  It dulls the senses that tell your body you’re full. Movement and proper nourishment have the opposite effect. This is why most people CAN’T simply “eat less” to lose weight. It’s also why I got my NASM Weight Loss Specialization to help people with their weight loss goals and learn the science behind weight loss.

7. Pray and find community. There is power in accountability. You can have all the tools but not have the strength for the labor. “Give it to the greatest Carpenter.” Through daily prayers, devotions, and walking through your journey with Jesus, you can find all the strength, energy, and nourishment you need. He will meet you where you are and free you from your bandage, whatever is tethering you to neglecting your temple for temptation. When transforming, you need to die to the old to brace the new. Jesus gave us a real-life example of the sacrifice and obedience it took to set us free. Seek and trust in Jesus, Die to old ways, and adopt new habits that can lead you to a new lifestyle approach to wellness and honoring your temple. 

For November, we are doing a 30 Day Steadfast Challenge. I will be sharing a verse and balance pose for you daily to meditate on God’s word as we navigate November. The community also helps you along the journey. Finding support and someone to hold you accountable makes a huge difference when trying to make a Transformation. This is not just about fitness. It’s about living a lifestyle that honors your temple and glorifies God. Suppose you’re looking for direction. I’d say join my FaithFueledLife group and get encouragement and direction to honor your temple. 

FaithFueled Life Facebook Group

What was helpful in this post that you want to learn more about?

 

Giving Back with Advancing Native Missions

This post was written in partnership with Advancing Native Missions. I did not receive compensation but a donation on my family’s behalf. All my opinions are my own. My Full Disclosure Policy 

Sharing the gospel through service

This year I was introduced to Advancing Native Missions which is an organization that shares the same values as my family. Our family is always looking for simple ways that we can give back.  In the past, our family volunteers at soup kitchens. Organizing Backpack and Holiday Donation Drives, but amongst a pandemic, it seems in the time people need it the most, we can’t be on the front lines serving. But there are still simple ways that we can even give back to our community and beyond.  Every year, our family participates in various ways of giving back, but we have to play it safe this year.  Our family loves to serve.  My oldest daughter and I were planning a mission trip to Liberia last June, and COVID, like many other plans, deferred our intentions. 

the bolton family volunteering at the sunday morning mission breakfast

Giving missionaries hope and helping communities

When I heard of Advancing Native Missions, offered us a way to give items more valuable than donated money. We were all in. 
Advancing Native Missions is so much more than donating money. It is an opportunity to spread the gospel and love others like Jesus.  There are so many places that don’t know about Jesus, and missionaries share the gospel in these out of reach communities.  They are serving the Lord and helping communities that need more than just money. They need to hear about hope.  As a family, our mission is to reach and teach others about Jesus.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19

Through Advancing Native mission, we can share the gospel reach others, and help those who are less fortunate.  Advancing Native Mission has a holiday gifting catalog that gives communities gifts that directly impact their community. 

What is Advancing Native Mission?

Advancing Native Missions organizes the gifts and deliver them to the communities in need. ANM is sharing the gospel and resources.  They have been serving missionaries and communities for over twenty-eight years. They are Advancing Native Missions partners with over 97 counties and thousands of churches and organizations.  

How do I get involved?

There are so many communities that need our help and need to hear about Jesus.  In Israel, there are few resources for mothers to care for their newborns.  You can give a Newborn care package that will provide mothers within Israel essentials like baby clothes, strollers, diapers, formulas, and counseling with your one-time donation. 

Advancing Native missions catalog

Or you can help schools and children by giving them opportunities to learn the gospel and tangible things like Schools supply, sports equipment, shoes, bricks to help build classrooms, and you can even choose Christmas Gift Box. 

Missionaries and pastors who are serving these communities, need resources too. Your gift can provide a bicycle so church planters and pastors can get around to the different facilities faster than on foot.  The Advancing Native Missions Catalog shares opportunities like these and more and has partnered with over 97 countries.   

Our family contribution

After carefully praying over the catalog, our family chose to give a persecution aid package.  When we heard that over 60 million Christians practicing their faith in other countries face persecution and even worse, we knew that’s where we wanted to give.  Our donation provides safety for those who suffer persecution and opposition from their family for their beliefs.  It can help provide temporary housing, primary medical care, food, and other things that these victims may need in their transition to religious freedom with our gift.  

our families contribution to advancing native missions

How do I give?

It’s easy to give just go to the Advancing Native Missions website. Pray and review the gifts. Choose one and share them with a community in need.  There are other ways you can help the Advancing Native Missions ministry.  Through mission trips, prayer guides, and so much more.  There are over 20 easy ways that you can help the Advancing Native Missions cause. Visit the catalog online: https://catalog.advancingnativemissions.com/. Request a mailed catalog: https://advancingnativemissions.com/request-anm-catalog/  Visit the record online: https://catalog.advancingnativemissions.com/

You can also win a giveaway from ANM of a painting created by a partner in Bulgaria. Enter here https://www.blessedfreebies.com/advancing-native-missions-giveaway.html

 Has the pandemic hindered your family from serving? 

 

20 Best Snacks for Youth Athletes

Just like adults, youth athletes need to nourish and fuel their bodies. Here are 20 best snacks for youth athletes.
youth athletes

I am a #NOWWellness Influencer. I have included an affiliate link in this post that I receive a commission from purchases, and I am compensated for my post. All my opinions are my own. My full disclosure policy

I don’t remember when I didn’t have youth athletes. Whether it was busy playing, going to the park, these little divas have always been on the move.  Maybe this post should just be a snack for kids, but I have some tips on mostly what to snack on pre- and post-activity.  I am the Mama of three little divas that aren’t so little anymore for those who don’t know. The older they get, the more places I have to drive them, and when I am trying to think of snacks not only for my kids but also for myself, I have a small criterion.

Snacks before activity

  • Snacks should not make me mindless choices to keep you occupied.
  • Pre Workout Snacks should be intentional small meals to fuel your body for the demands of the activity.
  • You should also account for proper hydration and fluid pre and post-meal consumption and their effect on their performance.
  • Everything we put in our bodies has the purpose of nourishing our bodies. You should be making intentional decisions.

What kind of snack should youth athletes have?

Including more than one light snack daily with an active kid is recommended.  These “light snacks” should provide a significant amount of carbohydrates, which is known to be one of the primary fuel sources for highly active cells and helps avoid gastrointestinal  (GI) issues that occur with substantial meals to meet calorie needs. (Kerksic, C, Harvey T, Stout J, et al. 2015)

Your snack should also contain a protein source.  Studies reveal an improvement in both strength and body composition with frequent protein intake throughout the day, not enough protein intake doses.4  (Mamerow MM, Mettler JA, English KL, et al. 2014)

best snacks for youth athletes

Things to eat pre and post-workout:

The snacks you choose pre, and post-workout need to help optimize glycogen stores and maintain glucose levels, so the body is ready to adapt to training needs.  The closer you get to your training session, the meal should be smaller and less protein, fat, and fiber but not too small that you get hungry during your workout.

You also don’t want a too large snack because it can give you gastrointestinal issues (GI) during your training.  Snacks should also be high in carbohydrates. You want foods that are high-glycemic because they are easier to digest and enters the bloodstream faster.7

Pre- Activity

30-60 minutes Prior:

 

Eating too heavy can put your child’s digestive system on overload. It’s best to leave the massive meal hours before activity or afterward.

Drinks that are Ideal for Pre Activity

Some better choices in Pre and post-activity drinks are drinks that are high in dietary nitrates. For example, beet and cherry (for the flavor) juice before a workout is a better alternative to drinks on the market. Beet juice is a high source of nitrates, polyphenols (a great source of great source antioxidants). Cherry juice is also a common pre-workout for the positive performance benefits it has during exercise activity.  (Jones AM, Vanhatalo A, Bailey SJ.2013) 

youth athletes

Can you snack during exercise?

Most children don’t need to snack for moderate-intensity and last up to 90 minutes. Endurance-type or high-intensity sports lasting longer than 60 to 90 minutes, you need to try to get in at least 30-60g of protein within the hour to help extend endurance performance. Still, again that is dependent on your child’s activity.  It is also acceptable to consume carbohydrates during exercises for children who are not well-nourished or didn’t have a pre-workout snack.  That is also something that you should speak to your pediatrician. 

Ideas of during-exercise snacks, as tolerated:

  1. Branch Chain Amino Acids 
  2. Applesauce Pouches
  3. Bananas
  4. Crackers (Try: Gluten-Free Cracker Recipe

best snacks for youth athletes

What do I feed my youth athletes after a “workout”?

After a workout, I want to get protein and carbohydrates in at least 30-45 minutes after the girls finish their activity. It is essential to help them recover, and I think what they eat is critical. It’s also larger than their pre-workout snack because they just burned many calories and are usually aggressive and hungry. 

Ideas of post-exercise snacks:

The Worst Snacks for Youth Athletes

I think that it can be straightforward to fuel your youth athletes. Ultimately, when considering choosing snacks for your active child, not choose only processed sports foods as snacks. When only highly processed sports foods replace whole foods at snack time, an excellent opportunity to consume fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals is missed. Eat real food and limit the junk.

best snacks for youth athletes

My biggest tip would be when thinking of nutrition, be intentional, not mindless. Eat well and eat often and try to make quality, deliberate nutrition choices.

What are some of the best snacks for youth athletes that you would add?

You can grab your NOW products here! Click on the coupon and enter “FAITHFUELEDNOW10” in the promo/coupon code to receive $10 off your $40 purchase. 

 

Reference:
  1. Burke L. Practical Sports Nutrition. Human Kinetics; 2007. Print
  2. Kerksic, C, Harvey T, Stout J, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: Nutrient timing. J Intl Soc Sports Nutr. 2008;17. Accessed January 5, 2015.
  3. Carlson A, Nippe S, Heydenreich J, Meyer F. Carbohydrate intake and food sources of junior triathletes during a moderate and an intensive training period. Int J of Sports Nutr Exerc Metab. 2012;22:438-443. Print
  4. Mamerow MM, Mettler JA, English KL, et al. Dietary protein distribution positively influences 24-h muscle protein synthesis in healthy adults. J Nutr. 2014;144::876-880. Print.
  5. Phillips S, Bandini LG, Naumova EN, et al. Energy-dense snack food intake in adolescence: longitudinal relationship to weight and fatness obesity research. Obesity Res. 2004;12:461-472. Print.
  6. 6.Andrea Q. Vintro, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, owner of Nutrition Logic, LLD in Portland, OR.
  7. Burke LM, Hawley JA, Wong SHS, Jeukendrup AE. “Carbohydrates for training and competition. J Sports Sci, 2011;29 (suppl1): S17-S27. Print.
  8. Van Loon LJC. Role of dietary protein in post-exercise muscle reconditioning. Nestle Nutr Inst Workshop Ser. 2013;75:73-83. Print.
  9. Spiegel K, Tasali E, Leproult R, van Cauter E. Effects of poor and short sleep on glucose metabolism and obesity risk. Nature Rev Endocrinol. 2009;5:253-261, Print

 

 

Grace in Loss

 

Learning something new

Every time I think that I have this Christian walk thing figured out God gives me another challenge to master. Not that I think that I could be perfect and walk like Jesus, but I make a conscious effort to live and abide in Christ. There are so many challenges that I face in my attempts but this one in particular keeps coming up in many different ways. It’s something that is multi-faceted but people seem to pigeon hole in one or two areas; grace.

My understanding of grace is God showing unmerited favor to us in the form of blessings. A pretty generalized idea that can be applied in many situations right? Yes, so with that interpretation I never realized how much grace God really does show us daily. There are the obvious, and there are the not-so-obvious ones that we take for granted and then there are the really big ones.

graceinloss
Different types of grace

1 Corinthians 15: 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

The obvious graces that I recognize and give praise to God daily for: I woke up this morning, food to eat, clothes to wear, home, healthy family, great husband. There are the ones that we take for granted but still are His grace nonetheless. These are the ones that I never praise Him for nor do I recognize as grace but I should and need to work on. The tedious tiresome task of our everyday life is God’s grace too.  For me being a stay at home mom’s those are the ones that I tend to complain about the most. I am grateful for God’s grace I am able to stay at home. I am grateful that although I complain and behave ungratefully; he still shows me favor. Things like laundry, dishes, bathrooms, and kitchen floors (to name a few). These are the ones that I am still trying to master and he is challenging me with everyday.

Then there are the really big ones, those are monumental moments in my life that I can pinpoint the effect His grace had on me. It was by God’s grace that I married my husband. The house that we live in was definitely through His grace and direction.  One that really stands out in my mind lately and I don’t really think I have thoroughly processed is the birth of my third daughter.

 

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Life changing Grace
My youngest one was what would be refer to as an “accident.” We weren’t intentionally planning to conceive her and I was in complete denial that I was pregnant in the beginning. All the signs were there but I was passing them off as other things. Until, I was unbearably sick for days.  So, took the test, came out positive and headed to the doctor. Went through all the general procedure and had an ultrasound to measure the baby. At the ultra sound found out that “Yay! ( a little sarcasm) not only did we accidentally conceive one child but there were two in there.” Have you ever seen the commercial where the dad passes out over learning of triplets? Imagine my husbands face just before he passed out but didn’t actually fall to the ground. I wasn’t exactly thrilled but I was ready for whatever God had given us.

We continued to live life and scheduled another ultrasound appointment 3 weeks later. Still unbelievably sick to the point I had lost 10 pounds in three weeks. Was very weak, tired and couldn’t get much accomplished. Went in with my little sister and soon to be middle daughter for the ultra-sound excited to see how my two lil ones had progressed in the 3 short weeks.  At 11 weeks, I went in for the next ultrasound; Get in, lathered up, after a few swipes the ultrasound tech brow furrows, a few more swipes and she says, “I will be back I have to go talk to the doctor.” Hind sight, I should have known something was wrong but dealing with a curious 5 year old and chatting with my sister I didn’t pay attention.  The doctor comes in,introduces her self and after few swipes regretfully tells me,”I am sorry but “Baby A” no longer has a heart beat.” Seriously, how do you react to something like that? You only have had 3 weeks to process that everything will be multiplied times two and just as quickly as you come to terms with that; you subtract it back down to one.  I am not a very emotional person and I admittedly can be slow some time so it took me a long time to process that, honestly I still am working on it.

pregnancyinfantloss

Ephesians 2:8  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—.

We left and I had the mommy task of answering lots of questions that I couldn’t answer myself. Got seen by my doctor the next day and she explained to me that it was probably the best thing that “Baby A” didn’t make it. It probably had some “cell abnormalities, defects, they were fraternal so that should have no effect on Baby B, blah blah blah,” doctor talk. The gist is that then I was on bed rest for 6 weeks, lots of doctors appointments to make sure that “Baby B” would be okay. Fast forward 6 months and I had a wonderful, natural delivery of a 7 lb 8 oz. healthy little girl who was perfect in every way. Her name is Milah and she is my happiest child, super intelligent and a weird and funny fact was born with four nipples. We jokingly say in remembrance of her twin but there might be some truth to that we have yet to find out. (Insert twilight zone music now). Through God’s grace he had spared her from her siblings fate and she is now our little happy survivor. Her middle name is Taryn-Grace and every day I am reminded of God’s unmerited favor of  not taking both babies but sparing me one. There are days that I look at her and think, “What if there had been two?” and there are others day that I look at her and think, “What would have I done with two?”

graceinloss

 

Depths of His Grace

Just as God is infinite with His love for us, I find He is even more so with His grace. Every day at every moment we are walking, talking, breathing and basking in His grace. The birth of my daughter was death of me relying on the world, it strengthened my faith and made me the strong Christian woman I am today. That in itself if you knew the path I was on is God’s grace. Seeing this perfect little person that from the very beginning before she even came to us God showed favor. That was more than enough proof that my God is an awesome God.  Every day when I sit and reflect on the grace that He shows me in the obvious, the routine and the really big ones. (Not every day but some days there are those neon light big moments) Where not only He show me faith but glimpse of the immensity of His love for me through His grace.

How has God showed you grace today? Yesterday? In a big way?

Understanding Your Hormones

Through my journey, I have discovered many things that have aided me in my weight loss.  Through my certifications, I have learned a lot about the human body and anatomy, and through researched studied, come to my conclusions.  I want to begin by saying I am not a doctor.  I cannot diagnose nor treat you, and you shouldn’t either. This post reflects the research that I have done on the Endocrine system, which controls hormones and glands.

Through research, I have realized that many people, women, and men are not considering their hormones when trying to make lifestyle changes.  The human body is fascinating, and its primary purpose for us to survive.  It will adapt and metamorphosis based on the stress and changes that we put on it to serve us at its best when we create a kink in the chain or a disruptor in the system that is where we find disease. 

I feel like understanding your hormones will inform you so that you can go to your doctor with information to advocate for your wellness.   I am just a woman who was doing some research almost two years ago and stumbled upon a book that was like a light bulb for me. Hormones matter!

A basic understanding of the hormones would begin with the endocrine system- which is a series of 

What is the Endocrine system?

Endocrine System The endocrine system is a series of glands that produce and secrete hormones that the body uses for many functions. These control many different bodily functions, including:

  • Respiration
  • Metabolism
  • Reproduction
  • Sensory perception
  • Movement
  • Sexual development
  • Growth

What is the glands’ role in the endocrine system?

According to YourHormones.info, A gland is an organ that produces and releases substances that perform a specific function in the body. 

When talking about glands, there are two types: endocrine glands, which release chemicals that produce hormones into the bloodstream.  They are ductless and internal.  Then there are glands exocrine glands, which are sweat glands and lymph nodes.  They do not produce hormones, and they are released through ducts in our bodies to help regulate. These glands produce sweat, salivary, mammary, ceruminous, lacrimal, sebaceous, prostate, and mucous. For my post, I won’t go into detail, but I recommend researching these glands to see how your body operates effectively. 

Why do glands matter?

There are eight major endocrine glands, but I will focus on five glands in my workshop that play a crucial role in producing and developing your hormones.

  1. Pituitary gland 
  2. Thyroid
  3. Thymus, 
  4. Adrenal glands 
  5. Pancreas 

And the common link of these five glands is they play a crucial role in developing your hormones.

What are hormones?

Hormones are defined by Medlineplus.gov as chemicals that deliver messages throughout your entire body via the bloodstream. 

They send messages to different bodily functions.   These messages are delivered to your tissues and organs. Hormones are specific to the physical process they are responsible for regulating.   Only the cells that correspond with the particular hormone will respond and become activated when receiving your hormones’ signal. They’re like the command center for our body, and each hormone and gland has a specific role they play.

Hormones are very influential and highly reactive to the body. A minimal amount can create a significant response in the body. Hormones cannot be stored in the body and are continually being produced and released at the time of need, maintaining homeostasis or balance in the body. You must continuously maintain your endocrine system.  

Your body is always undergoing hormone regulation.  

For example, if your one hormones increase too much, the body may release hormones that are not needed to balance the increased hormones.  Hormone balancing is reliant on your body’s physical and mental function, so you need to be mindful of both.  Hormones and their responses work together. 

What is a hormone imbalance?

So your hormones are your body’s checks and balance.  Think of a domino effect. If you push on one, they all fall out of order.  When your body fails to keep your hormones at a regulated level or surpasses limits, then your hormones become imbalanced.  

Hormone imbalance can happen, no matter what age. For example, pediatric obesity is causing an increase in imbalanced reproductive hormones in our youth. That’s because disruptions in the endocrine system are causing our children’s hormones to react.

Because there are so many hormones that work together and are dependent on each other, it can cause various symptoms. 

Examples of the effects of hormone imbalances

For example, a woman with an estrogen and progesterone imbalance may experience hot flashes, weight gain, decreased bone density, and unwarranted fatigue.  Or men whose testosterone levels are imbalanced notice a decrease in sex drive or increase infertility.  

A more common imbalance in people is insulin imbalance, which will cause diabetes, frequent urination, unquenchable thirst, and muscle weakness. 

I remember I had a friend who was Type 1 diabetic and very thin. She had a hard time strength training due to muscle weakness when her insulin levels were off.  After my research and discovering the effects of insulin imbalance is muscle weakness, it made sense why my friend felt extreme weakness when her insulin levels were off.  I have to be honest; I thought it was an excuse to get out of strength training, but it was a genuine manifestation of her imbalanced insulin hormones.

Thyroid disease is becoming more prevalent in American culture. Many people are experiencing either underactive thyroid, which can cause hormonal imbalance.  If you have an underactive thyroid, you may gain weight that is hard to lose.  If you have an overactive thyroid, you could result in weight loss and hair loss.  The symptoms can and will vary based on how your thyroid reacts to hormonal imbalances.

What should you do if your hormones are imbalanced?

If you believe you have a hormone imbalance, set up an appointment and speak with your doctor. You can also seek the assistance of a local Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner in your area.  There is a directory at  www.bonesandhormones.com that may help you find one if you are unsure.

Make some changes to help your hormones.

You may need to consider your skincare or your household cleaning products. The food that you eat can all be endocrine disruptors that cause hormonal imbalances in the human body. 

The most natural way to combat imbalance is by eating a healthy diet and moving your body through exercise. Lowering your stress and getting adequate rest can be very useful in regulating and balancing hormones and any recommendations from a doctor.

Changing your diet to regulate your hormones

  • Nourish your body with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and lean proteins. Some people have found help in eating an all plant-based diet.
  • Reduce or eliminate processed foods such as chips, candy, cookies, white flour, and white sugar.  
  • Commit to an exercise program, and find someone to keep you accountable.  
  • Try to remove phthalates and synthetic chemicals from your hygiene and cleaning products.
  • Making lifestyle changes that reduce stress 
  • Getting enough rest and reducing chronic stress 

Honoring your temple and treating your body inside and out can help to alleviate symptoms of hormonal imbalances.

Join me for my Understanding Your Hormones Workshop

On October 17, 2020, at 10a ET, I will be hosting a FREE workshop sharing in more detail the glands and hormones that we should be supporting to help contribute to our overall health.  Would you join me for this event? In this workshop, I will share my research over the years, foods, and herbs that can naturally create a nurturing environment for your hormonal health.

 I am a NASM CPT and FNS, and I am not a doctor.  I cannot diagnose nor treat you, and you shouldn’t either. This workshop will inform you to go to your doctor with information to advocate for your wellness.  I hope that you can join me!

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://bryanuniversity.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUkdu-uqD4sH9KFWalShRUUH3OQAC_TuNDD 

Managing your health will be beneficial toward helping to alleviate the symptoms of hormone imbalance.

Do you have questions about your hormone health?

 

 

 

 

Other Informational Sources I used:

http://www.fibromyalgiafortmyers.com/page171412.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormone_imbalance

http://www.jovemedical.com/BHRT.html 

http://www.livestrong.com/article/220790-what-are-the-symptoms-of-hormonal-imbalance-in-men/

http://www.patientsmedical.com/healthaz/hormonalimbalance/default.aspx

http://diabetes.about.com/od/symptomsdiagnosis/p/Symptoms.htm

http://www.ehow.com/about_5243539_symptoms-thyroid-imbalance_.html

 

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