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abbeydaw

Balancing Hormones with Whole30.. Tips?

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Some background info: I am a holistic nutrition student and have always ate very well and focus on high quality foods (grass fed, organic, local), but my diet did contain whole grains and some legumes (always soaked). Back in September I went off of birth control as I didn't want to keep messing with my hormones. Within 2.5 weeks I gained about 30 pounds, no exaggeration. I have always worn the same size jeans so emotionally it has been kind of rough, but also just frustrating because of my knowledge in health and nutrition. I was vegan for about 6 years and then reintroduced eggs for about a year after that, and have added meat back into my diet as of October - I feel like the low cholesterol from my veganism has also played a part. I haven't had my hormones tested as I believe I can correct this through food, and frankly it is expensive. 

I have been fed up with feeling uncomfortable with my body in its current state and just feeling OFF, so I just started Whole30 in hopes of figuring out what my body doesn't agree with and also as a way to hopefully kickstart the process of balancing my hormones. I 100% think that a paleo template will help with this. I am currently on Day 5 and have lost a TON of bloating in my stomach that I didnt even really realize was mostly bloating.. wish i had taken measurements just to show how much the bloating decreased in such a short time. 

 

I know my adrenals are taxed and that caffeine is far from the best thing for that... I don't need coffee, but I enjoy a cup as part of my morning ritual and I don't really want to give it up. Any tips on how you did give coffee up, or your thoughts on whether it made an impact would be appreciated.

 

Any general tips for hormone balance that have helped you would also be appreciated!

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 

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A few things that help with hormones - 1. Maintain the same schedule all week in terms of when you wake up and when you go to sleep. Sleeping late some days and staying up late some days pushes your hormonal rhythms around. 2. Eat a substantial breakfast within one hour of waking in the morning. This coaxes cortisol to rise in the morning and helps keep it down at night. 3. Avoid stimulants like caffeine. 

 

To maintain much of your morning ritual, you can drink hot herbal tea or bone broth in place of coffee. A hot cuppa, but no caffeine. :)

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Coffee use can also strain your adrenals in relation to cortisol insufficiency. Giving it up is essential to speed up adrenal healing, or you're constantly whacking your adrenal glands and they're probably already stressed.

 

If you need to wean off the coffee and switching to decaf is too hard, try cutting it half/half and lowering down to all decaf and then ditching it altogether. You may get headaches, having any coffee once the headaches start only feeds the addiction.

 

I find ginger & lemongrass (strong brew) has a nice morning "pow" without any caffeine. There are loads of wonderful herbal teas. If you know any tea fans, you may be able to ask for a couple of samples :)

 

While hormone checks are more expensive, you may also find some benefits from cheaper blood tests. It's easy to develop deficiencies when vegan and some of these have ongoing impacts which take time to heal. Some deficiencies can have hormonal impacts.

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Tom Denham thank you! Do you think it would be safe to eventually reintroduce coffee once things are balanced out?

 

Most people can handle a little coffee, so reintroduction some day may work for you. But I would encourage you to fully explore life without caffeine before attempting to see how much you can handle again. 

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