Five Steps You Can Take TODAY To Improve Your Hormone Health
These five steps will kick off your journey to a healthier lifestyle.
In my last blog, I shared the changes I’d made to reverse my hypothyroidism and pre-diabetes. It was a thorough article, but I realise that for some, it may feel daunting to take on everything at once. That’s why I’m sharing the first five things you could do TODAY that would start you on the path to better health.
I can’t guarantee that they’ll improve your thyroid levels or symptoms of thyroid disorder.
I can’t guarantee they’ll reverse any type two diabetes or prediabetes.
But I can guarantee that your health will be improved by doing at least some of these.
One – Cut Out Gluten and Grains
Many of us are reactive to gluten and don’t realise it. I am gluten intolerant and it took me years to find out why I bloated so badly after meals.
I do not advocate for the lifelong elimination of food types, so this suggestion is for a limited time. I would try removing gluten and grains from your diet for at least three months. This will give you a good idea of what affects your physical and mental wellbeing.
Gluten and grains can cause inflammatory reactions in the body. The inflammation can remain for up to six months in the case of coeliac disease. This is why it makes sense to eliminate for a period of months, keeping notes of any change in your symptoms.
If this feels too dramatic, you might want to try reducing your gluten and grain intake to a couple of times a month. This will also give you a good idea of how your body responds to them.
Personally, every few months, I consume gluten after taking a gluten ‘cutter’ tablet. This supplement has extra enzymes in it to help digest the gluten in what I eat. It is not something I would use regularly, but it has been helpful for the odd treat night.
Two – Call Time on Hardcore Cardio
I was doing hardcore cardio for months. I wasn’t losing weight. In fact, I was gaining weight. I didn’t understand how raising my heart rate and working up a sweat could have a negative impact on my weight.
A lot of researching later – and, let’s face it, a lot of denial of facts at first – I realised that inflammation was my issue. I pushed myself enough to induce inflammation that caused excess water and swelling.
It was no wonder my weight was climbing.
Once I replaced the cardio slogs with gentle yoga, gardening, and walking, I started to lose weight. I felt less fatigued, too: another sign my body was feeling ‘overworked’.
Let me give you an example. Louisiana has faced a tropical storm, a hurricane, and the ongoing health pandemic. All in a few days. The emergency services can handle all three at once, as they’ve proven. But it would have been easier for them if each of these events had happened separately.
Similarly, my body would choose to concentrate its healing on my thyroid, not post-exercise inflammation.
The more inflammation in the body, the harder it has to work.
Three – Play with Your Veggies
Do you like vegetables?
Do you eat them?
If you don’t, it’s time to start getting friendly with them.
Start by making a list of all the vegetables that you like the most, excluding potatoes. You’ll be surprised that there are veggies you like, even if you feel intimidated by them!
Once you know which veg you enjoy, begin to replace high carb dinner accompaniments with them. Play with them – steamed, pan-fried with some butter, roasted in the oven with olive oil, pureed, so many options!
When I’m craving old or new potatoes, I opt for butternut squash or sweet potato, which are my go-to treat vegetables.
Four – Read the Packaging
Start looking at the packaging of the foods you enjoy regularly. In a perfect world, we’d only eat unprocessed foods, but let’s ensure we know what we’re consuming in processed foods.
What’s the portion size?
Measure it out, so that you know how much the nutritional information relates to.
How much carbohydrate do they contain per portion?
Each week, I try to keep my total carbohydrates below 30g on four days, and below 120g on three days.
Finally, what are the ingredients, and can you pronounce them?
If the names are overly scientific, they’re probably not things you want to be consuming. Other ‘no no’s for me are any kind of corn syrups or trans fats.
Five – Find Recipes You Adore
Run some online searches for recipe inspiration that fits your new way of eating. The words I often include in my searches are “keto,” “low carb,” “LCHF” (i.e. ‘low carb, high/healthy fat’), “paleo,” or “bulletproof.” You can also try pairing those words with a dish you already love to find a version that fits your new protocol.
Begin to save recipes that appeal to you, and commit to just two new recipes every week. In time, you’ll build a brilliant repertoire of recipes.
If you’re limited on time, there are plenty of quick options and things like chillies, curries, and stews for batch cooking.
Remember that you don’t have to use these tips full time to start with. Perhaps you want to start with just a few days a week, or for a month, whatever feels comfortable.
Your body will thank you for whatever steps you take on the path towards a healthier lifestyle.