16 March 2018

Controlling PCOS Symptoms Naturally


I’ve deemed this month “Hormone Health Month,” because lately everyone I talk to is concerned about their hormone levels. Since I have been so open about my struggle with PCOS, I have had many friends approach me asking about ways I have balanced my own hormones. The truth is, I am not a healthcare professional, and I am not going to pretend I know what I am talking about when it comes to hormonal health. But, I did do A LOT of research when I was diagnosed with PCOS because I was determined to control the symptoms naturally - aka NOT relying on synthetic hormone treatments such as the Birth Control Pill. That being said, if you struggle with PCOS and want to know some of the ways I have managed my hormones, read on ...

Manage Stress
I manage stress with exercise. I go to the gym 4 days a week and hot yoga 2 days a week, with one day for my body to rest. Exercise is essential to happy hormones. In lamens terms, when you sweat you release endorphins, a hormone that essentially gives you a “high” feeling. If you exercise in the morning you are starting your day off with an immediate positive outlook. Which is why I workout for an hour before work every day. As long as I manage the day-to-day stress of work, I am generally a happy person and feel stress-free.

Eat Well
A healthy and well-balanced diet is also essential to controlling PCOS symptoms. The first thing I tell people is to start controlling their sugar levels. I have read over and over about how high insulin levels are the biggest contributor to PCOS symptoms. Since insulin resistance causes your body to create higher than normal levels of male hormones, you are suffering from unwanted hair growth, acne and irregular periods. I notice immediately when I eat something with a high glucose level that my skin starts to tingle, as if I am developing acne as it melts in my mouth. I love dessert, and I love candy and FRUIT! So, I still indulge, but I definitely pay the price. I also swap out white sugar for coconut sugar whenever I can, or I sweeten smoothies with dates. There are so many great ways to sub white sugar with low-glycemic options and I am excited to share these ideas with you through my blog.

So to reiterate, avoid caffeine, eat a high protein, high fibre, iron-rich and low-glycemic diet and avoid processed foods. You will start to notice a difference in your skin, your hair growth patterns AND I think you will notice losing weight becomes a lot easier. Keep checking back for amazing PCOS-approved recipes I plan on sharing in the near future!

Meditate and Sleep Well
This is everyone's favourite time of day - ha! As I lay in bed every night listening to the Calm App and Tyler has to listen. One day I am determined he will join in this few moments of solitude. But until then he will snore beside me - the sounds of his snores are quite soothing! This is another way for me to manage stress, but it also helps with my sleep patterns. The nights I meditate, I wake up less throughout the night, and wake up in the morning feeling more rested. Rest is crucial to EVERYONE, not just those suffering with hormone-related illness.

Clean Up Your Skincare Routine
Many cosmetic companies use hormone disrupting chemicals in their products. This is because there is little to NO regulation in the cosmetic industry. Ingredients such as phthalates and parabens, when absorbed through the skin (remember it's your body's largest organ!), can disrupt hormones and cause a multitude of health problems. Toxins in cosmetics are linked to nervous system damage, body acne, allergies, skin sensitivity and cancer. I joined Beautycounter to spread my knowledge and share my love of these clean, toxic-free, luxury beauty products. They have formulated amazing products free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates and more. All of their banned ingredients -- there are 1,500 of them! -- are listed on the Never List on their website.

There are so many other amazing brands on the same path to CONSCIOUS consumerism. Some of my favourites are: Juice Beauty, Honest Beauty, The Honest Co., RMS, Tata Harper, Herbivore Botanicals, Grown Alchemist, Kypris and Native. I will continue to share more and more about these brands and their AMAZING products as I try them, see results and learn more about the company's values! So stay tuned.

Indulge in Raw Cacao
Our body craves chocolate before our period because we need these two minerals to menstruate regularly. Avoid sugary chocolate bars and add a tablespoon of raw cacao powder, which is high in magnesium AND iron, to your morning smoothie. Or, have a square of Giddy Yoyo's 100% Raw Dark Chocolate when you are craving something sweet!

As always, if you have any questions please reach out to me!

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