Last time I shared with you all about stress and why it's so oppositional to your fertility and hormonal health, but also to your identity as a mom. If you missed that post and want to catch up, go here.
I hope you learned some things from that post and I was able to give you a clearer understanding for the hormonal mechanism of stress instead of just telling you "stress is bad," because, let's be honest, just because we know something isn't that good for us, doesn't mean we are going to take serious action.
Alright, love, today I am going to share with you the second biggest culprit that is causing hormonal imbalances, including PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, infertility, low libido, irregular cycles, menstrual headaches, cramps, emotional meltdowns and all sorts of other aches and pains.
Yes love, I am talking about blood-sugar imbalances.
Many women start their day by skipping breakfast and grabbing coffee, rushing through a quick lunch without chewing properly, snacking on high-sugar treats (& more coffee) around the office, mindlessly overeating in the evening, and forgetting to take their supplements.
Even if you personally aren't THAT bad, learning how to keep your blood-sugar balanced is key in order to create true hormonal health as well as a positive, clear mind.
This is especially important for women because of how hormonally sensitive our reproductive system responds to mismanaged blood sugar.
2. Blood-Sugar Balancing
The physical why:
When your blood-sugar spikes (for ex. after you eat something high in sugar), your pancreas releases a sh*t-ton of insulin to transport all the sugar molecules that are now having a formula 1 style race in your bloodstream to the right organs and tissues.
High insulin unfortunately sets off a chain reaction and also spikes cortisol, which brings us back to the whole stress discussion from my last email. As you know by now, this is not good news (--> reminder: I told you all about how cortisol negatively impacts progesterone and makes it increasingly difficult for you to get &/or stay pregnant).
In addition, high insulin also triggers your ovaries to produce more testosterone (instead of estradol), which means that your ovaries are malfunctioning, which can lead to sporadic or lack of ovulation -> again, not what you want if you wish for a baby, because lack of ovulation reduces the amount of progesterone your body makes, leading to estrogen dominance.
That is also why women who suffer from PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) want to pay special attention to this because you are already producing excess androgens. Some of the symptoms of PCOS include acne, facial hair growth, hair loss on head, long menstrual cycles, ovarian cysts, oily skin.
The emotional why:
One of the key reasons I became educated as a women's health coach in addition to being a life coach was because I strongly felt that I couldn't fully help women who felt anxious, irritable, had difficulty concentrating, felt unmotivated or uninspired, were struggling with lack of energy and difficulty sleeping (to name a few) without focusing on creating physical balance as well.
Dragging your body through the ups and downs of a sugar spike followed by a sharp drop doesn't set the foundation for an even, resilient, creative, and positive mindset.
In fact, in order to create hormonal harmony, emotional balance and a thriving fertility, we must fuel and nourish ourselves appropriately and with care.
Blood-sugar balancing is not only crucial to reduce stress and support hormonal balance in order to get pregnant, but it's also important in fending off morning sickness when you are pregnant as well as in order to produce nourishing breastmilk and have enough energy to recover from birth and take care of a newborn (not to mention be an even, calm, grounded mama ;)).
Here are 6 steps to begin balancing your blood-sugar:
1. Eat within an hour of waking up
2. Eat a snack or meal that contains a healthy protein, a healthy fat, and fiber every 2-3 hours
3. Reduce your carbohydrate load
4. Reduce your sugar consumption (especially before bed)
5. Avoid caffeine and sugar drinks
6. Heal your gut (hint: more on this in my next email to you)
I know this may sound like a lot, so remember it's about taking small consistent steps. Start with one thing at a time -perhaps having a blood-sugar friendly breakfast for one week before you add blood-sugar friendly snacks into your daily routine!
I know you can do this. Plus, keep in mind that your fertility will thrive because your foundation is becoming even, grounded, and balanced.
Oh and if you are scared of gaining weight, then trust me, love, that especially if you are struggling with too much weight around the middle (typical for hormonal imbalances), you will see positive improvements if you get serious about keeping your blood-sugar balanced.