YOUR HAPPY HEALTHY MAMA GUIDE
building the foundation of happy hormones
Read below or download step 1 here.
Why it matters?
When your blood-sugar spikes (for ex. after you eat something high in sugar or you skip breakfast in favor of a latte on the go), 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 hormonal chain reaction that also spikes your stress hormone cortisol (more on how your body reacts to high cortisol in the next step), which is bad news because cortisol negatively impacts progesterone and makes it increasingly difficult for you to get &/or stay pregnant and have proper hormone production and regulation before during, and after pregnancy - which are exactly the times you want your hormones to be as well supported as possible.
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 -> not what you want if you wish for a baby or a balanced emotional and physical existence.
And lastly, lack of ovulation reduces the amount of progesterone your body makes, leading to estrogen dominance, which is a major cause for emotional rollercoasters, headaches, PMS and other physical imbalances.
Blood-sugar balancing is not only crucial to support hormonal balance in order to get and stay pregnant, but it' s also important in order to feed your baby optimally in utero, and in fending off morning sickness and emotional rollercoasters when you are pregnant as well as in order to produce nourishing breastmilk while having enough energy to recover from birth and taking care of a newborn (not to mention be an even, calm, grounded mama and wife;)).
6 key steps to begin balancing your bloodsugar
1. Have breakfast within an hour of waking up.
2. All your snacks and meals should contain a high-quality protein, a healthy fat, and fiber (think veggies and low glycemic fruit)
3. Eat every 2-3 hours
4. Reduce your carbohydrate load (esp. flours, breads, pastas, pastries!)
5. Reduce your sugar consumption both in food and liquid form (especially before bed)
6. Avoid caffeine and other energy drinks.
*Note: I share all my favorite foods, recipes, grocery store lists, time-saving tips in my Well Mama program as well as in both of my hormone balancing, food-based cleanses: The Spring | Summer Cleanse and The Fall | Winter Cleanse. Important: do not cleanse while you are pregnant, otherwise this cleanse is appropriate and delicious for your whole family.
Best foods for blood sugar balancing
Best if sustainably sourced without antibiotics or hormones!
§ Free-range organic chicken
§ Free-range organic turkey
§ Grass-fed organic beef
§ Free-range/pastured eggs
§ Wild caught Alaskan salmon (Coho) or whatever is local
Fat is not bad! Your body needs fat to digest fat-soluble vitamins –A, D, E, K + keeps us feeling full and prevents over-eating because it stimulates the release of leptin, the hormone that tells the brain you are full.
§ Coconut oil
§ Cold-pressed olive oil
§ Coconut butter
§ Almond & Peanut butter (unsweetened)
§ Unsweetened apple butter
§ Grass-fed butter (unpasteurized)
§ Pumpkin seeds
§ Sunflower seeds
§ Brazil nuts
§ Chia seeds
§ Black Sesame seeds
Low GI carbs:
This category includes veggies & leafy greens , grains, and low sugar fruit.
Veggies & leafy green:
§ Collard greens
§ Swiss chard
§ Mustard greens
§ Broccoli raab
§ Beet greens
§ Dandelion greens
§ Red/Green leaf lettuce
§ Romaine lettuce
§ Bok choy
§ Brussels sprouts
§ Cabbage (purple)
§ Chinese cabbage
§ Bell peppers
§ Snap peas
§ Sea Vegetables
§ Sweet potatoes & Yams
§ Acorn squash
§ Butternut squash
§ Kabocha squash
§ Spaghetti squash
§ Beans (great source of carb, fiber, protein, mineral, and anti-oxidants)
§ Short grain brown rice
§ Long grain brown rice
§ Brown basmati rice
§ Steel-cut oats
§ Buckwheat (aka kasha)
§ Soba noodles (buckwheat)
§ Brown rice or lentil pasta
§ Goji berries
A quick note on supplements
I have found that CORRECT supplementation from HIGH QUALITY producers can be immensely powerful in supporting a balanced blood-sugar and proper hormone production and regulation.
However, I do not recommend taking too many supplements at once, replacing a healthy diet with supplements or buying them from a generic drug store.
You always want to work with a skilled professional, such as a functional or integrative doctor, naturopath, herbalist, or certified health coach who can point you in the right direction and make recommendations based on your individual needs. This is especially true when you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding.