Foods for Happy Hormones & Waistlines

I cannot believe July is already on us. If you are a mom like me suddenly the holiday season is descending on us pretty fast and I am doing my best to get through the “To lists “. With July on us, it means our big day (our wedding is in August) is getting closer. I am paying extra attention this month to maintaining happy calmer hormones (A wedding is slightly stressful but magical) and a happier waistline to feel comfortable in the dress I am so excited to be wearing.

But also having this goal means I am more mindful of my eating habits and my stress levels. I know when my hormones are happy, my skin is brighter, I have less bloating, better moods, and a clear more reasonable mind.

It is the way all my clients want to feel, including you, I am sure! So, I guess you are wondering exactly which foods for happier hormones & waistlines should I be consuming Michelle!

 

WHICH FOODS TO CONSUME FOR HAPPIER HORMONES AND WAISTLINES?

 

As a busy mom, it is about convenience and taste. I want the best bang for my buck. If I am going to eat something I want it to taste good. That makes sense right! If you like it then you are more likely to stick with it, getting you the results. Now not all my clients are the same so we can swap out ingredients and I work with them on this. That is the best thing- there are no rules. No healing journey is linear so be patient, and play around with ingredients that heal and support your hormones, body and mind.

The ingredients I have included in these recipes are foods I encourage my clients to start introducing daily and weekly. From working in my Nourish Move and Thrive they understand why we eat these foods and their healing properties.

I hope you enjoy.

 


 

Spicy Turmeric Breakfast Smoothie

(Serves 2)

What a vibrant glass of healing this is! Packed full of sugar balancing fiber, liver loving cruciferous veggies, and gut loving fiber and good fats.

 

Ingredients:

1 banana, peeled, chopped and frozen

1 apple cored and roughly chopped.

Handful of leafy greens(kale, cavolo Nero, watercress)

4 medjool dates, pitted

2 tablespoons cashew butter

350ml cashew milk (oil free if possible such as the brand plenish)

3 teaspoons ground hemp seeds

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

½ teaspoon mixed spice

 

Method:

Put the frozen banana in a food processor or blender and blitz until ground down. Add the rest of the ingredients and blitz for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.

Pour into two large glasses and serve immediately with ice if you like.

 

Happy hormones Breakfast Patties

(Serves 2)

Makes: 10-14 patties (depending on size)

 

Ingredients:

Lamb patties:

450 g of grass fed/organic lamb mince

2 tablespoons ground fennel seeds

1 onion finely chopped

4 garlic cloves finely sliced

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons coconut aminos

Dash of quality sea salt & pepper

1 tablespoon ghee (much kinder then inflammatory oils such as sunflower)

 

Method:

  • Mix all the ingredients together until well combined and shape into patties. I normally make them burger sized.
  • Fry in some ghee for about 3-4 minutes each side depending on thickness.

I normally serve these with a big green rainbow salad of watercress, parsley, pomegranates, roasted pumpkin & cauliflower, and toasted seeds such as sesame or pumpkin depending on where in my cycle I am. Not sure what seeds to add in where? Check out my Seed cycling blog here.

 


 

I normally cook a batch on a weekend and freeze so I can use through the week on those busy mornings. Life is not perfect as we know, but food plays a huge role in how we feel, look and behave. My passion is supporting women and mums such as yourself to work smarter not harder so you can just be the best version of you.

 

I hope you enjoy my lovelies and be sure to share the love with any women needing some kitchen healing medicine in their life.

 

Want to know how can we work together?

  1. Sign up to my Nourish Move and Thrive programme HERE waiting list kicking off in September 2022,)
  2. Get started with your Align & Thrive self-paced menstrual cycle syncing course HERE.
  3. Book a 1-1 Hormone clarity call HERE and we can chat through what is the option that will get you the best results.

Why Every Women Needs a Green Smoothie For Hormone Balancing

Hormonal imbalance can manifest in everything from mood swings and cravings to PMS, cramps, and even infertility. From the annoying to the devastating, the truth is that hormonal imbalance doesn’t have to be part of your reality. Now I am not saying they are not common! Let’s be honest I speak to women on a daily basis who are struggling with all of the above. But it does not have to be your normal!

 

Wouldn’t it be great if there was something quick, easy, and tasty that could help support your hormones? Something tasty ( yes its green!) and so packed full of hormone goodness  that you’ll be licking your lips and wondering, “how on Earth can this be good for me Michelle?” Well, you’re in luck, oh did I mention I am Irish,  so green and good luck are very much part of my game plan 😊.  I’m going to share one of my Hormone reset plan smoothies. A true gorgeous green smoothie that every woman needs for hormonal health and balance.

 

Before we jump into the recipe, let’s take a moment to dish about the WHY behind this choice.  Why is my gorgeous green smoothie the perfect choice to help balance your hormones? It is not the only thing we focus on, but as I always say- Start with what you can include daily instead of focusing on what you need to take away.

 

Green Smoothies are all the rage (and rightly so)! Dark leafy greens are among the most nutrient-dense and nutritious foods out there. Every food post I do contains the power of green leafy’s. If you’re like most people I know, the idea of eating more greens may make you scroll to the next post!  But hear me out…. There’s a bit of a fear factor with greens.  We are afraid that they’re going to taste gross and so we avoid them! I mean most of us to carry this from childhood when we were served overcooked, boiled to within an inch of our life broccoli.

 

Enter the gorgeous green smoothie. It’s really a secret weapon and something I now include daily. As a busy mum getting 2 small humans to school, I need something I can prep the night before, keep me full for a few hours and also the knowledge that I am actually healing my body with food not killing it! (slightly dramatic maybe).

 

Blending is part of the magic.  Blending breaks down all the ingredients, which is especially helpful with those greens!  A high-powered, high-speed blender, I invested in a nutri bullet which is amazing for the texture and is key to making a gorgeous green smoothie that you will love.  We want smooth and creamy smoothies.  Gritty, grainy green smoothies will sooner hit the bin than warm your cockles, so make sure you start with the right equipment.

 

Balance is the other key to the gorgeous green smoothie’s success as a hormone helper.  Fat, fiber, and protein are a powerhouse combo that helps you achieve stable blood sugar, the removal of toxins and excess hormones and supply the building blocks for hormones. Yes, I know you hear me bang on about the 3 amigos but it’s true.

 

Why I choose blended juices for breakfast

  • Blending retains the fiber (juicing does not). Fiber acts as your body mop in the intestines. It helps bind to toxins and waste products thrown off by the liver and the digestive process so they can be excreted. When excess hormones are in the body, they can wreak havoc, so fiber becomes an important friend for balancing hormones that helps get them out so they can do no harm.
  • The base greens are great for getting crucial vitamins and minerals that are essential.
  • The bitter greens help stimulate the liver, (which is the organ largely responsible for cholesterol production and of course our friend bile. The liver produces almost 80% of the cholesterol in the body.  Cholesterol is the precursor to steroid hormones and is critical for hormone balance!) Read more on the liver and its role here.

 

The Ingredients for Your Hormone-Balancing Smoothie

  • 1 cup baby spinach, baby kale or Swiss chard OR I love a combination
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley & coriander
  • One peeled fresh or frozen banana
  • 1 Tablespoon organic dandelion greens
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup hemp seeds
  • ½ cup of frozen berries
  • ½ cup of filtered water
  • Liquid stevia, if needed, to sweeten
  • OPTIONAL 1 serving of quality protein powder(I use sun warrior but feel free to use another quality bran but be sure to do your research)

 

Benefits of the Hormone-balancing Smoothie

 

1.    The Base Greens

  • Kale – Kale is a superfood that contains indole 3 carbinol and calcium D glucarate. Both help to detoxify and metabolize estrogen through the detox pathways.
  • Spinach – Spinach is rich in iron, magnesium, and micronutrients.
  • Swiss chard – is rich in antioxidants like beta-carotene and lutein. Antioxidants help the liver produce glutathione, which is a powerful detoxifier.

2.    Herbs and their Benefits

Our green smoothie includes dandelion greens, coriander, and parsley – all of which are powerhouses for liver health. These herbs are considered bitter, and bitter stimulates the liver in a good way that supports assimilation, detoxification and secretion of bile.

3.    Fruits and their Benefits

Fruits are nature’s sweets and help balance out the earthy, bitter taste of the greens. I mean I love this taste but for most a little fruit helps the balance of the green smoothie. Berries are so yummy and nutritious, but if you need to mask the green flavour, opt for pineapple! All are rich in fiber, vitamin C, antioxidants and flavonoids which support healthy hormones.

4.    Chia and Hemp Seeds

All seeds have wonderful health benefits and I use a lot of seed cycling in my programmes including my Align & Thrive 4-week cycle syncing course.  Both seeds are great sources of fiber, omega-3 fats, and protein.  Balanced blood sugar relies on all three. As does balanced hormones. I am yet to meet a woman with balanced blood sugar who is experiencing hormonal chaos.  Hemp seeds also contain an especially beneficial type of omega-6 fat called gamma linolenic acid or GLA for short. GLA is a direct building block of good anti-inflammatory hormones.

 


 

We then just blitz everything together. I love mine to be cold which is why I’m like to add my frozen fruit on the day, but I add the other ingredients the night before to save time.  You could even make a big batch, store it in the fridge and sip throughout the day.

Have I tempted you to give it a try?

Are you looking to step away from hormonal chaos and deprivation? Focusing on food is one of the first places I work as it is the foundation of everything I do as a Nutritionist, Personal trainer, mum and a woman in her 40’s.  

I have a step-by-step plan packed full of 21 days of recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including smoothies, soups and snack recipes. More importantly, it does not take hours of cooking or fancy equipment which can halt you in your tracks with your progress.

You also receive as a bonus for the month of June as it is my birthday month a Free 30-minute consultation. During this time we will address any symptoms your experiencing and areas to pay particular attention to.

 

Book your 21 day Hormonal reset here.

How to Use Seed Cycling in your Armour of Happy Hormones

Balanced happy hormones really are a Mums best friend. They help us to raise happy humans, calmer moods to deal with erupting tantrums as in the case in my house, sleep, fertility, mental, physical, and emotional energy, libido, clearer skin, stronger hair and our happy weight place. Pretty long list right!? Learning how to use seed cycling in your armour of happy hormones is a must for any struggling mums.

Hormones can be pretty tricky, and easily can get their noses out of joint (A bit like my 15 year old self). If we are not doing a few things to support them, giving them no excuses not to play fair and be in perfect balance. But hail above, when things go wrong, and they sometimes do we can be prepared.  Turning to food which can be our medicine if allowed to be mother nature and mother moon are always my first ports to call to.

 

The role of seed cycling and hormones

Seed cycling was actually how I got started in my Menstrual cycle syncing journey many moons ago when I was experiencing my miscarriages from 2009-2014. How seed cycling works is the consumption of ground, if possible, seeds in your diet during different phases your female cycle. All these seeds have amazing health benefits (of course some may have a particular intolerance to seeds as some people have with different foods so pay attention to this). Different seeds have different nutritional properties and play a role in supporting healthy levels of specific hormones at the certain times of your cycle. What I love is how seed cycling can be used in our armour of happy hormones and can benefit Women of all ages in their hormonal health.

 

Which seeds do I take and in which phase of my cycle?

As I teach in my week 4-week self-study Align & Thrive course we have 4 phases to our cycle.

  1. The Menstrual phase.
  2. The Follicular phase.
  3. The ovulatory phase.
  4. The luteal phase.

Seed cycling focus on boosting oestrogen levels during the first 2 phases, and boosting progesterone levels and oestrogen metabolization during the next 2 phases.

  • During the first 2 phases, I recommend eating 1 tablespoon of both ground flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds which are rich in phytoestrogens, a natural source form of oestrogen. I mention ground as its easier on the digestive system to extract the nutrients and kinder on digestion.
  • During the next 2 phases I recommend eating 1 table spoon of both sesame and sunflower( The power of the 2 S’s)  containing zinc (sesame)and Vit E (sunflower) both needed for the production of progesterone  which we cannot get alone from food.

 

Why are we experiencing unbalanced hormones?

My opinion on this and I know also shared by others is that we are living in a very different world then perhaps our grandparents, maybe even our parents were. In some cases, this is a positive. Except in the case of our hormonal health as women today.  In an ideal world as women, we would have an ideal ratio of oestrogen & progesterone which ebbs and flows through the month. However, our role as women and mums has changed through the years. We are constantly juggling stressors, including environmental toxins, food toxicity  digestive issues, a rise in food intolerances, and of course the crutch a lot of us have relied on to get through over the 2 years is more  alcohol and coffee consumption. All of which can send us into hormonal chaos.

That is why my word of the year is progress not perfection. If we can focus on some small changes through food, movement and mindset we can steer our hormones towards a space that is kinder to you, especially if you’re heading into or already in your 40’s. Seed cycling is a simple way to get started on nourishing your body.

 

Is seed cycling for me?

If you are experiencing sign of low oestrogen or oestrogen dominance which could also mean low progesterone, then my answer is yes. How we support each phase of our cycle with food including seed cycling could have a balancing effect on the above. Of course, this is not some magic spell, there are several other factors we need to address. But this is a great way to start introducing you to how to balance and support your hormones through food and mother nature.

 


Ways to work with me

  1. Book a free no obligation hormone clarity call
  2. Buy my 4-week self-paced Align & Thrive cycle syncing course.
  3. Join my 3 month Nourish Move & Thrive group Programme.

Don’t forget to join my FREE Facebook members group

 

Disclaimer-All the information here is not medical advice. Please be advised if you have any particular disease or are being treated to always get advice from your practitioner.  

A Happy Hormones sign with a bowl of cereal in front

The 3 worst foods you can eat for imbalanced Hormones

Do you know what the 3 worst foods you can eat for imbalanced hormones?

 

You might be thinking why should I care about my hormones Michelle.  I just wanna feel happy, have clothes that fit and stop the bloating.  It’s not too much to ask is it? Absolutely not and you deserve all those things and more. Firstly, as a women you should absolutely understand your hormones and the role they play in helping you feel energised, confident, healthy and happy.  Moreover, did you know hormones help control every physiological process in your body.  Starting with  a strong healthy metabolism, your menstrual cycle to reproductive health, your immune response, and mental health. So if we think about it our Hormone balance is vital to feeling confident, happy and being healthy. To start with I am going to be sharing the 3 worst foods you can eat for imbalanced Hormones

 

What you eat  can help and hinder hormone balance.

It really isn’t that complicated, but it takes dedication and a little time to plan ahead at first. But once you get the hang of it you will never go back. Because you will feel like the women you deserve to feel like, you, but a better happier version of you.  Starting with eating a well-balanced diet, not restrictive nutrient deprived diets. And also by consciously looking at  reducing stress- all kinds of stress is key to happy healthy hormones. I am not talking extreme restrictive diets that lets be honest just don’t work for busy working mums.  I wanted to share my top three foods to avoid if you are struggling with hormonal weight gain, anxiety and overwhelm,  You may be surprised by what makes the list. Let’s look at 3 of the naughty offenders that you can eat for imbalanced Hormones:

1.Sugar

Sugar is an obvious first ladies. It can wreck your health and hormone balance. It raises insulin, which puts stress on the pancreas.  I would like you to think of insulin as the housekeeper of your body. If you were a fan of father Ted, I am Irish,  then think about Mrs doyle the housekeeper. She is  running around all day mopping up the sugar in your bloodstream and moving it into the cells to be used as energy. The majority of times our muscles are full so off it goes to the liver as stored energy. Unfortunately if there is still sugar left  it’s off to our fat stores which for most women is around the midsection or hips and thighs.

2. Gluten

Gluten is a big problem, Ladies. Because it is known as a hormone disruptor, driving  inflammation up in our body. inflammation means one thing, stress!! Therefore it will react the same way to gluten or stress from your boss roaring at you. So the idea behind balancing our hormones is to reduce the stress load on the body. This helps to bring inflammation down which can be contributing to bloating, weight gain, anxiety, messed up periods. Gluten is also known to increase intestinal permeability (leaky gut), inhibit thyroid function, stress the adrenal glands, and also affects immunity. So you can start to see a picture emerging here right?

3.Mass-Produced/Factory Farmed Animal protein

Sadly Ladies we no longer live in a generation like our grandparents. In short the quality of our food has quickly gone down hill and unfortunately animals raised in factory farms are a lot of times unfit for human consumption.  If we look at some of the issue to start with there are a host of problems. Ranging from improper sanitation to use of antibiotics (an attempt to prevent overcrowded animals from getting too sick to be harvested).  Even  hormones are thrown in the mix (designed to make animals bigger for more meat yield or to produce more milk for the dairy industry). Making better decisions around the quality of your meat is a great way to start. Meat is an important source of quality complete protein.  Of course it’s role is crucial in Hormonal Health.

Conclusion

Look my lovely the world of health and Hormones is a lonely and confusing time. But it does not have to be. Strive for  progress not perfection. Always ask for help its a sign of strength not weakness. Begin with one area such as one of the three worst foods above for your hormonal health. This is a change for life not just a quick fix and I would love to support you on this journey.

Connect with me on instagram  as Id love to connect and  I share some great tips  on how to make better choices on your budget for your particular goals.

If you would like a little more help be sure to book a free call and lets have a chat. Hundreds of women have gone on to achieving happier more confident lives by making that first step. To hear more about some real women’s stories  and their amazing results pop here and meet some fab ladies just like you who got meaningful results that mattered to them.

Hugs & Moon magic

Michelle x

cycle syncing meal of beef and cauliflower dish

What are the benefits of eating cyclically?

What are the benefits of eating cyclically?

Being a woman we truly have the power to achieve so much on our terms. When we decide to tap into the innate wisdom of the female body- our hormonal superpowers.  Have you ever wondered why we wake up feeling differently daily maybe weekly throughout your cycle? By the way this is a pretty real experience, for me included. So how does that work Michelle? What are the benefits of eating cyclically? Well hear me out my friend. Your hormone levels rise and fall throughout the month, I like to call it the monthly hormonal dance. Meaning no day is ever the same really. If we really think about this for a minute.. Do you think now it kinda makes sense to support our bodies throughout each phase with nutrients from food to support those shifts?

How do I eat to balance hormones for weight loss?

If we think about the 4 phases, what is happening, what do you we need to support? Perhaps we want to help balance oestrogen and progesterone out during the middle of our cycle when hormones are their highest? One thing we may do is add lots of fermented and high fibre foods to ensure our gut and liver  is detoxifying and eliminating old hormones. Include foods high in zinc and B6 to support progesterone production. Did you know we can get oestrogen from food but we cannot get progesterone from food. Bottom line is we need to include key nutrients to help and support progesterone. Addressing some stressors in our life may be necessary as may be negatively impacting our hormones.

The result of balanced hormones

To be honest this shows up very differently for women. You are as individual and unique as your cycle so those breadcrumbs may show up very differently in your sister or best friend.  What are the benefits of eating cyclically? A few common symptoms of unbalanced hormones.

  1. Maybe you experience sore breast around ovulation or menstrual cycle.
  2. Ever experienced a strange early or late periods.
  3. You notice Belly fat that increases the more exercise you do.
  4. Don’t get me started on hip and back fat increasing.
  5. Problems getting pregnant.
  6. My own experience of recurrent miscarriages.
  7. Feeling low moods or depression.
  8. Monthly bloating & fluid retention.

Which phase would benefit most from this recipe?

This weeks recipe can be adapted to any stage of your cycle by swapping some ingredients around. I love to add this recipe in mid cycle during the follicular and ovulatory phase. Lamb is a great source of lean protein and zinc, which we need for progesterone production during the second half of your cycle. Cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable supports the liver and supports detoxifying old hormones such as oestrogen. This ensures we have balanced levels of progesterone and oestrogen. Pomegranate can help boost fertility in women by increasing blood flow to the uterus and thickening the uterine lining. It is also a rich source of Vitamin C, B6 needed for progesterone production( Chickpeas are also a great source) and magnesium(Natures tranquiliser).

Magnificent creatures

So ladies we are truly moving on from the days of starving ourselves for  weight loss and hormones balancing goals. Focusing on Nourishment not deprivation. Focusing on what you can add to your daily meals and not about what you have to give up.

Roast Lamb with rose harissa chickpeas & spiced pomegranate cauliflower.

Ingredients

  • Medium size rump of Lamb.
  • Half a head of Cauliflower.
  • A small pomegranate.
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes.
  • Half a tin of chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons of rose harissa paste.
  • Half teaspoon of cumin seeds & ground cumin.
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle of black sesame seeds.
  • 1 tbl spoon of coconut oil.
  • Table spoon of olive oil.
  • Couple of sprigs of rosemary.
  • Pinch of salt pepper.

Method

  • Scour the lamb skin.
  • Season well with a little oil, salt and pepper.
  • Seal in the pan skin side down on a high heat.
  • Place in oven for 30mins for medium rare-medium(If using a bigger cut increase the time)
  • Next move onto the cauliflower.
  • Cut into small chunks and place in a bowl.
  • Mix all the spices, harissa paste and coconut oil and rub well together.
  • In an oven tray place in oven for about 15 mins.
  • Remove the cauliflower mix and add the chopped tomatoes and half tin of chickpeas.
  • Back in oven for another 10 minutes until chickpeas and tomatoes are roasted down.
  • Remove the lamb and leave to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Serve up the cauliflower mix on the side of the lamb.
  • Sprinkle the pomegranate & black sesame seeds over the dish.

Looking for a bit of science behind the menstrual cycle?

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-32647-0

I hope you enjoy Ladies and Happy international Women’s day for tomorrow.

xx Michelle