Do you recognise yourself in any of the following?
“I wish I could just stay home, eat chocolate and lie in bed all day.”
“I can’t get rid of that extra weight, and I’ve been trying to lose it for AGES!”
“My partner seems to have a much higher libido than I do.”
“I’m just. Not. Ready. To deal with people today.”
“I’ve been working out quite a lot; I was promised to get abs. Now where on earth are my abs?”
“It’s only 14 pm… Why do I feel like I need a nap?”
“OMG, I LOVE THIS!!! – Oh, wait… No, I don’t. – BUT I DO! – Nah, not anymore. – YES, I DO!”
“I’ve been trying EVERYTHING to get clearer, healthier-looking skin, but nothing seems to work.”
“My boobies have been super sensitive lately. It even hurts to walk up the stairs or work out.”
“Every time I have my period I feel like crying for a week.”
“Oh look a bird! Let’s get up and make tea for the 40th time today! I wonder if anything’s happening at the water cooler. Did I put my clothes in the dryer? Mmm.. I think I forgot to bring my concentration to work today.”
Oh dear! If these thoughts cross your mind a little too often, you’re probably suffering from some hormones bouncing around that are messing with your systems.
Of course, to some extent, it’s completely normal to have fluctuating hormonal levels as you go through your monthly cycle. But if you’re experiencing the above you’re officially out of the “normal zone”.
These are things you should never be suffering from! Hormonal problems can have an enormous impact on your mood and body. Even things you think are “just you”, might very well be the result of hormonal imbalances.
But Isn’t This Normal “Women Stuff”?
Too bad society has conditioned us into thinking that PMS is totally normal, that mood swings are gender-related, that women just have to deal with fat retention on their hips and have a pair of boobs that hurt like hell.
Well, darling, we’re happy to tell you that this isn’t true! These are real symptoms, meaning your body is signalling you that something is NOT right.
And as with every health problem, you should never ignore the signals your body gives you. And these symptoms all lead point to one thing: hormones.
So What’s Making Your Hormones Mess Around?
The most common causes of hormonal imbalances are poor diet, doing the wrong exercises, exposing your body to toxins, and chronic stress. Your hormone levels are pretty sensitive to these factors. And the solution to restoring the balance is often found in lifestyle changes in these areas.
It’s a process, and there’s no quick fix. A lot of women have suffered from hormonal problems for years and years, so reversing the switch can be quite challenging. But it’s absolutely possible!!
So let’s focus on the positive and work towards happy hormones together.
Want to learn more about hormonal imbalances? You can find more on this topic here: This Is What Happens When You Suffer From Hormonal Imbalances
If you really want to step up your game and balance your hormones once and for all, go see if our 6-week program The Personal Body Reset is something for you!Read More
Take your smoothie game to the next level with these three delicious and health-boosting recipes.
Our whole food combinations help regulate your blood sugar levels because of their plant-powered protein-rich ingredients, healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins and fibres.
A Few Smoothie-Making Expert Tips
1. Blend Like A Pro
Liquids first, then veggies and fruits, and then the seeds or other goodies.
2. Go Slow On The Liquids
It’s better to start with too little liquid than too much. Build up your blend by tasting in between before deciding to add more fluid.
3. Organic = Fantastic
When you use organic fruits and vegetables, you enhance the taste and avoid unnecessary toxins.
4. When Going Green
When using leafy greens such as spinach, start blending the liquids with the leaves and add the fruits later.
Crunchy Raspberry Smoothie
Surprisingly, raspberries are one of the fruits highest in protein. And a great tastemaker too! The chia and pumpkin seeds are great protein-boosters as well and give this sweet pink smoothie a delightful bite.
INGREDIENTS (1 SERVING)
- Raspberries – 150 gr
- Banana – 1
- Chia seeds – 1,5 tablespoon
- Pumpkin seeds – small handful
- Water – 1/5 cup (add more to make thinner)
Green Mango Mint Smoothie
This is a greenylicious vitabomb! The mango’s bright yellow brings out the stunning greens of the spinach, cucumber, kiwi and fresh mint. The ginger gives it that zesty oomph. And our protein hero in this smoothie is… the spinach! Who would’ve known: 100 gr of spinach contains more protein than 100 gr of ground beef!
INGREDIENTS (2 SERVINGS)
- Spinach – 1 big handful
- Cucumber – 1/3
- Kiwi – 1
- Mango – 1/2
- Ginger – 1 by 2 dice
- Fresh Mint – small handful (try some and add to taste)
- Water – ½ cup
Brocco Blueberry ‘Nicecream’
This satisfying blend helps you power through the longest days. The avocado provides healthy fats and gives this smoothie that velvet-like structure. Broccoli is one of the vegetables highest in protein per serving. One cup already equals 3 gr of protein! The frozen berries keep this smoothie nice and cool, making it a real ‘nicecream’. Happy spooning!
INGREDIENTS (2 SERVINGS)
- Broccoli – 1 cup
- Avocado – 1
- Frozen berries – 150 grams
- Fresh pineapple – 4 slices (1 cm thick)
- Water – 1 cup
What’s your favourite smoothie? Do you have a secret smoothie tip you’d like to share with the tribe below?
We’d love to see your creations. Tag @healthcoachfx and use the #nourishlovegrow hashtag on Insta so we can find you!
Keep rocking your kitchen, beautiful! xRead More
Your hormones could be the missing link in your weight loss journey!
Losing weight in an unbalanced body is nearly impossible. Not only is it incredibly hard – it also harms your health. Choosing a lifestyle or diet that harms your hormones, will only worsen any health or weight problem you’re currently dealing with.
4 Hormones You Need To Balance First, Before You Can Lose Any Weight.
Are these hormones blocking your weight loss?
1. Stress Hormones
Too much stress might be the reason you gained weight in the first place, or why you’ve trouble losing weight at the moment. Here’s why.
Stress Makes It Impossible To Burn Fat
Did you know that as long as you’re stressed, it’s physically impossible to burn fat? That’s why you’ll crave much more sugar in stressful times than you normally would! Now how does that work?You need oxygen in your cells to be able to burn fat. Unfortunately, stress keeps oxygen from reaching your cells, forcing your body to remain in a “sugar-burning mode”. You can compare sugar burning with burning newspapers, you’ll constantly need more paper to burn. Sugar is a dirty and inefficient fuel source compared to fat. When your body can use fat for fuel it’s like burning beautiful logs of oak, which will keep you warm and satisfied for a long time. Fat is much healthier and sustainable fuel for your body.
Also read: 3 Ways Stress Affects Your Body & How To Stop It Immediately
Stress Triggers Other Hormone Imbalances & Problems That Block Weight Loss
Unfortunately, stress causes many other health problems as well. For instance, the imbalances in your sex hormones could very well be induced by your chronically high-stress levels. When you’re constantly stressed, you’ll need an unhealthy amount of stress hormone (cortisol) and your stress system will start to “steal” from your other steroid hormones such as progesterone, throwing off your sex hormone balance.
Chronic stress can also cause gut problems, giving way to bad gut bacteria. The prolonged activation of your stress system can even cause insulin resistance and has an inflammatory effect on your cells.
Stress is so much more than work and worries. Do you want to empty your stress bucket? Join our free masterclass!
2. Sugar Hormone
Do you have frequent sugar cravings? Are you having a hard time skipping a meal without feeling dizzy or low in energy? Do you crave something sweet after every meal? You’re probably suffering from insulin resistance.
Sugar Addicition & Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is the result of eating too much sugar and comfort carbs, eating too often, and an overactive immune system. Because of continuously high blood sugar levels, your body is forced to produce too much of the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin, to help sugar get out of your blood and into your cells.
The insulin overload eventually makes your cells insensitive to insulin, which makes it impossible for sugar to enter your cells. Because sugar isn’t reaching your cells anymore, your body will make you think that you need to eat more sugar; even though you have too much of it in your blood already. At this point, you’ve become insulin resistant.
Also read: Always Hungry? How To Kill Your Sugar Addiction Before It Kills You
Why Diets That Ignore Insulin Resistance Are Doomed To Fail
When sugar doesn’t reach your cells anymore, but you’re in sugar burning mode, your body will always feel like it needs more energy (more food). It’ll be very hard to stick to any diet because you’ll feel energy depleted as soon as you cut down on meals, which will trigger even stronger sugar cravings.
A lot of popular diets are calorie restrictive or make you eat certain foods in unusual proportions, making it even harder to stick to your weight loss plan. And once you’ve finished these diets and reached your ideal weight, you’ll be gaining weight again in no time if you haven’t fixed your insulin-resistant cells.
Beating insulin resistance and all of its symptoms can only be achieved if you really commit to making a lifestyle change for good.
A healthy diet avoids refined sugars and processed foods; is low in high-glycemic foods; high in plant-based fibers, minerals and vitamins; and won’t make you eat more than 5 times a day. It’ll recommend you to move more, especially on an empty stomach and relieve stress and inflammation.
3. Misfiring Sex Hormones
Regardless the type of hormone imbalance, ignoring your hormonal health makes it virtually impossible to shed any weight.
One of the most common hormonal imbalances in women nowadays is estrogen dominance: when estrogen levels are too high compared to progesterone levels. Estrogen stimulates fat retention, resulting in weight gain. To make things worse, estrogen itself is produced in fat cells. So the higher your fat percentage, the more estrogen is produced in your body.
When you suffer from estrogen dominance, and you start a diet without restoring your estrogen-progesterone balance first, you won’t get the weight loss results you want. And even if you do manage to lose the weight, estrogen dominance will soon trigger weight gain again. The process is so much easier when you first restore this hormone imbalance.
Low Testosterone Levels
Losing weight is just as hard when you suffer from low testosterone levels. Testosterone (in men AND in women) is the hormone that promotes fat burning and muscle building. Naturally, it becomes virtually impossible to get or stay in shape when you’re low on testosterone.
Also read: This Is What Happens When You Suffer From Hormonal Imbalances
Luckily, there are ways to address your weight and hormone imbalances simultaneously. By choosing the right diet for your body type, and do mental and physical exercises built to balance your hormones, reduce inflammation and heal your metabolism, you can achieve everlasting weight loss.
If you follow this path, you won’t get trapped in yo-yo-ing back into your old weight and can finally experience what it feels like to feel healthy and happy again without the struggle!
4. Gut Problems
A fourth common factor that triggers weight gain is bad gut health. Your gut is one of the most import systems in our bodies to promote weight loss and is closely related to hormones.
Gut health determines whether certain nutrients, vitamins, and good bacteria can enter and whether bad substances are rejected. If your intestines aren’t functioning well, bad substances can enter your bloodstream and other body systems, slowing down your metabolism and activating your immune system.
Also read: The Ultimate Guide To Gut Health & How To Hack Gut Problems
A problematic gut might very well be the reason you started to gain weight in the first place! A malfunctioning gut barrier means you can’t process your precious nutrients the right way and will lead to digestive problems such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, belly aches and… weight gain.
If you start dieting without taking your gut barrier into consideration, you’ll probably notice that your digestive problems worsen.
When you suffer from bad gut health, you should prioritize a diet that’s high in fibers (from plants), low in sugar and carbohydrates and that doesn’t contain toxic antinutrients such as gluten or legumes which will further damage your intestinal wall.
What To Do When You Have Hormones Blocking Your Weight Loss
Now you know that it could be your hormones blocking your weight loss. Imbalanced stress-, sugar-, and sex hormones, as well as poor gut health, are 4 reasons why you aren’t losing any, if not gaining weight.
But beware that health and weight problems are almost always a combination of all these factors. Chronic stress, insulin resistance, misfiring sex hormones, and gut problems often go hand in hand.
You should, therefore, be very considerate when it comes to any diet and lifestyle changes. A diet that ignores these problems will only worsen them and won’t give you the results you’re looking for.
When we speak of a “diet”, we never mean a short-term diet such as the restrictive fad diets that are so popular. For us, a diet literally means “a way of eating”. It’s far more permanent and always with consideration of your hormonal balance, body type, metabolism, gut, stress-level or any other system that’s influenced by your nutrition.
If you eat, move and rest to balance your body first, the rest will fall into place.
The nutrient-dense, hormone-balancing and metabolic-healing recipes, exercises and workbooks in our Personal Body Reset Program are specifically designed to solve any hormonal imbalances while helping you lose weight. We’ll always put the emphasis on getting healthy first. Losing weight is just a result of that!
You’ll see the real results of addressing health issues reflected in your waistline already in 6 Weeks.
The gut is an essential team player for your health. A normal immune reaction, blood sugar regulation, healthy hormone balance and even the production of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters: each is dependent on good gut health.
Could the gut be one of the most underestimated organs…?
An unhealthy gut triggers many health issues, but a gut blocking weight loss? Yes, your upset gut might be the number one reason your gaining weight.
When your digestive system isn’t functioning properly, your body can’t process food the way it should and your metabolism won’t be able to do its job. Let’s have a closer look at gut-induced weight gain and what to do about it.
Thousands, millions, BILLIONS of different microorganisms live together inside your gut, each with vastly different and unique functions. Together they comprise your gut flora. That’s quite the community you’ve got going on in your lower belly!
Every human being has a unique universe living inside his or her gut. Just like a fingerprint, no one’s gut flora is identical.
You can see your gut flora as its own little world. The first time bacteria “populate” your gut is when you leave your mother’s womb. At this point, your gut flora is still very similar to your mother’s, but you might also get some bacteria from the doctor who brought you into this world.
From then on, more and more bacteria inhabit your gut: until you’ve got your own unique set of bacteria around the age of 3. From that moment on, your gut flora stays relatively stable but is still influenced by things like age, lifestyle, and diet.
A Healthy Population
A healthy population of microorganisms such as yeasts and bacteria is essential for a healthy gut.
‘Bacteria’ often have a bad reputation, but the opposite is true. Having a variety of good bacteria in our system is crucial for good health! Having a lot of good bacteria also leaves less space for bad bacteria to settle in.
The most important thing for a healthy gut flora is to have a VARIETY of good bacteria strains. The same goes for your different bacteria families: the more, the merrier! Just like biodiversity is better for the preservation of our planet.
Unhealthy Gut Blocking Weight Loss? The Influence Of Gut Flora On Your Weight
Many studies link gut problems to body weight:
Research shows that certain populations of gut bacteria are related to obesity and metabolic problems as well as type-2 diabetes, colon cancer, and other metabolic diseases. Prebiotics and probiotics have proven to be beneficial in the treatment of obesity and related disorders. When germ-free mice were colonized with “obesity-prone” gut bacteria they gained more weight than other mice who had normal gut flora.
Other research shows that diversity of gut flora is an important factor too in preventing insulin resistance and inflammatory diseases. Insulin resistance triggers outrageous sugar cravings, making it so much harder to lose weight.
The population of your gut is crucial to stay healthy, but also to maintain a healthy weight. Trying to diet without considering your gut health first will make it very hard to reach your goals, if not impossible! A diet should be fitting to your metabolic body type and promote good gut bacteria. Something we take into consideration in the nutrition plans of our 6-Week Personal Body Reset Program.
Want to learn more about gut health? You can find more on this topic here: This Is What The Ultimate Guide To The Gut & How To Hack Gut Problems
Shen, J, Obin, M. S & Zhao, L. (2013). The gut microbiota, obesity and insulin resistance. Molecular Aspects of Medicine, 34(1), 39-58.
Tilg, H. (2010). Obesity, metabolic syndrome, and microbiota: multiple interactions. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, -(-),-.
Tsai, F. & Coyle, W. J. (2009). The microbiome and obesity: is obesity linked to our gut flora?. Current Gastroenterology Reports, 11(4), 307-13.
Laura van de Vorst
Laura van de Vorst is a certified functional nutritionist, hormone expert, women’s health biohacker, entrepreneur and speaker. Her message - that women can naturally free themselves from suffering anchored in hormonal imbalances - has empowered thousands of women across the globe to take back their life and activate their wildest dreams.