After turning 40, I started noticing changes. My period and it’s symptoms where changing, I was feeling more sluggish and tired, I was moodier at times and just felt off. My hubby suggested that I see a holistic nutritionist he worked with, Roxanne Brooks, at Food for Sleep. She specialized in utilizing food and other natural remedies to help with issues such as sleep, gut health and yes, how to balance hormones naturally.
I put it off for a little while but since I didn’t want to use any drugs or pills to try balancing my hormones, I knew a holistic nutritionist would be the best person to help me.
After an initial consultation and some tests, Roxanne put together a 6-week plan for me to start on my journey to balance hormones naturally. The main things that we would be working on were increasing cortisol levels (they were below the normal range in the afternoon and evening, hence the feelings of exhaustion,) addressing adrenals which also affect energy levels, improving moods, gut health and balancing hormones.
Roxanne did tell me that balancing hormones can take 4-6 months and starting with a 6-week plan was the best way to begin..
A big part of this program was the food that I was going to eat, and Roxanne gave me a basic meal plan (that I could adjust and find recipes for) that would kick start my journey. With the food, there were other parts of the program that would all work together to help me on my journey to balance hormones naturally.
Along the way, I shared a lot of what I was doing and eating on my Instagram and there was a lot on interest in it. So today I’m going to share some of the things I learned about how to balance hormones naturally.
Tips on How to Balance Hormones Naturally
One important part of the plan was light therapy. I was to use the “happy light” twice a day, once in the morning and once in the early evening for 15-30 minutes each time. Sometimes I would do it while I was sitting at my computer. On busier days, I would put it on the island while working in the kitchen!
(PS. I got my “happy light at Costco.)
If you’re wondering how the at-home light therapy works, our brains and body are affected by light. The light stimulates our hormones and affects our feeling of well-bing. So getting light exposure daily can stimulate serotonin which improves our mood and our feelings of happiness.
Eating Leafy Greens
Getting enough leafy greens in your diet is another factor that helps when it comes to balancing hormones naturally. Foods like spinach, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and other leafy greens help prevent inflammation, lower the levels of stress and help with improving cortisol levels as well as estrogen balance.
And if you find that you’re not able to get enough leafy greens in on a certain days, you can supplement with liquid chlorophyll. I really liked the mint flavor and use to add it to my smoothies. So remember when your mom used to tell you to eat all your greens, there was good reason for that. 🙂
.Getting Enough Good Sleep
A really important part of trying to balance hormones naturally is getting a good nights sleep. Roxanne, prescribed a sleep routine each night and this is how it worked:
Turn off all technology an hour before bed; phones, TV, computers. (This one was really hard for me because I use my phone for so much, plus part of my job requires computer work, when I don’t have time in the day. )
Drink a cup or passion flower tea or take a tincture of Night Night, (a blend of herbs to promote better sleep.)
Do something relaxing as part of your bedtime routine whether it’s reading a book, practicing yoga, a bath or shower or even your skincare routine.
Keeping a good sleeping routine is important for overall health and for helping to balance your hormones. It can’t be perfect every night obviously, but do it as often as is possible.
For more tips on how to get a better nights sleep, read 5 Tips for a Better Sleep.
Eating Healthy Fats
Healthy fats like avocados, nuts, coconut oil and ghee are important to include in your diet because they are helpful for balancing hormones. Healthy fats are important for hormone production, they keep inflammation levels low and boost your metabolism.
Adaptogen herbs have been used for centuries and have only recently become popular in Western medicine. They are used to manage stress, support adrenals, increasing energy and balancing hormones. The most common ones that you can buy are maca and ashwagandha They can be found in pill or powder form.
For myself, I used to put maca into my smoothie or sometimes I would just mix it in with a little water and drink it in a shot size glass.
Eating Whole Grains and Fibre
In the plan, Roxanne said it was very important to include at least one whole grain and fibre rich foods in my diet each day. Foods like quinoa, steel cut oats, brown rice, and faro are perfect examples of whole grains. Flax seeds, beans, vegetables and chia are all fibre rich foods!
This is important because fibre helps balance blood sugar. It also supports elimination (going to the bathroom regularly) which in turn supports hormone balance (especially estrogen.)
As for whole grains, they contain B vitamins (and other vitamins and minerals) that support mood which is helpful for everyone but especially for sleep deprived individuals (think of when you most often turn to ‘bad’ foods – when we’re upset and tired.)
A probiotic supplement each day can also help in the journey to balancing hormones naturally. Probiotics are essential for a healthy gut which in turns supports hormones, mood, the immune system and sleep. Make sure to take a good quality supplement as well.
And the last but definitely not least, tip to help you balance hormones naturally; Roxanne prescribes self care at least once a week. This is where you take time out to do something for yourself. Whether it’s soaking in the bath, going for a massage, meditating, make sure to do something just for you.
You might want to read: 5 Ways to Practice Self Care
These are a few of the important ways you can start to work on to balance your hormones naturally. There are of course other things you can do as well, but these are a good start. You can always contact Roxanne from Food for Sleep with any questions or if you wanted to learn more. Roxanne was really helpful in answering all my questions and helping me to get into a routine.
She said that all of these lifestyle items that I was working on would help me shape an routine that would support hormone balance and better sleep.
The great thing about a holistic approach is that you’re layering all the different activities that support your end goal. There is no magic pill to fix everything just like that, but with the right practices, you can feel your very best.
When naturally trying to work on your hormones, it’s important to remember that it takes time to re-balance and you may very likely experience tired spells (which I do!) for a while longer but keeping up with the right steps will help in the long run! We have to remember it has been a long time coming, possibly years of taxed adrenals and we can’t expect to see a world of difference after only 6 weeks.
I still feel like it’s a work in progress for me and there have been setbacks, but slowly I am starting to feel better. And what makes me feel stronger is that I have the tools and I know what I need to do to continue on this journey.
If you would like to learn more, you can contact Roxanne directly and she is happy to talk to you. You can find her at Food for Sleep or you can email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Roxanne also shares a lot of great info on her Instagram and her Facebook.
Do you struggle with exhaustion, moodiness or hormone balance?