HORMONE SERIES | Your History with Diets
One subject that is often ignored on our hormone balancing journey is our personal history with dieting. Most of us grew up in the era of low fat diets and most of us have slashed fat and calories for years on end to achieve our weight loss goals. And let's not talk about all of the processed and sugar-filled foods we ate growing up. Whether living on Frosted Flakes or Lean Cuisines, we were depriving our bodies of the fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients necessary for building hormones and maintaining hormonal balance.
This dieting culture stresses the body and can manifest in any number of conditions, including amenorrhea (loss of your period), stubborn weight gain, insulin resistance, PMS, and just generally unpredictable hormones. But the thing to think about is the number of years it took for this malnourishment to catch up to us. And it's important to keep that in mind when setting your expectations for healing. Eating leafy greens at one meal won't translate to perfect hormone balance the next day. It takes time and commitment.
That doesn't mean you won't feel the immediate benefits of upping your veggie intake. You likely will. And that's fantastic. Additionally, this longer timeline for healing our hormones is kind of liberating. Why? Well rather than thinking of balancing your hormones as one more quick-fix cleanse or diet, you can approach it from a place of sustainability. Your long term solution. Fat, protein, fiber, veggies - this is your new life. Yay! And dietary slip-ups? What slip-ups? There is no falling off the wagon anymore. A cookie here and there is fine because the majority of the time you are eating to nourish your body and endocrine system (rather than deprive it).
It's also incredibly important to focus on what feels nourishing to you. Start with plants and then build your ideal diet around that. The diet that gives you the most energy and vitality and minimizes cravings and blood sugar ups and downs. Do your best to shut out the dietary noise around you (I know, it's really hard). If eliminating gluten, dairy, soy, etc. is making you stressed and crazy, then don't do it. If your body is thriving without these foods, then keep it up.
Nourish your body. Feed your hormones. Most importantly, do it from a place of love, not fear.