Two weeks ago I decided to test my hormones checked. I really wanted to know where I stood after eating a low carb high fat diet. The Christmas season had thrown me off a it because of how busy business had been. I knew something was off but I didn’t know what. I could literally feel it in the pit of my stomach. I have had this ball of fiery energy in my stomach that I can’t get rid of. I’ve felt like my skin was super sensitive. I had been feeling off for about a month. I developed this horrible anxiety that working out hard couldn’t touch. I was crying a lot, so much so I was driving myself crazy. I felt like I needed a hug but also wanted to break everything around me. So when I got my results back it all made sense. My estrogen was really high and my progesterone was almost none existent. Ding Ding Ding! Not good!
So how did I get here? I’m a pretty healthy person, I workout everyday, I eat healthy, I try to be as mindful as I can, I do what I can to reduce stress, and yet my hormones were out of whack!
After crying, then researching, and crying some more I got myself together. I’m a solution kind of person who likes to get to the bottom of things and I refuse to give up or pity myself, so I found that men and women react differently to a low carb high fat diet. Men are really responsive to a keto diet and women are too but you have to make sure you’re getting your macros right. By macros, I mean your proteins, carbs, and fats ratios. If a woman goes too low in her carbs for too long it actually will push your hormones in a negative direction. I also had been doing intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting has so many benefits and I was loving how I looked and felt until about after about 2 months of it. I was going too long between meals. Too many days in a row. After the new year and a really stressful one at that, my body just gave up. I went into famine mode. Our bodies intuitively go into flight or fight mode whether you tell it to or not. Which is a good thing as long as you don’t over do it. Picture the caveman age. Your out hunting trying to find food. It could be days before you eat. So what the body does if this happens too much is it creates a hormone response to the dangers of not having food. Your body can’t carry life when it’s constantly in danger or without proper nutrition. Therefore your estrogen rises and your progesterone goes silent, and cortisol goes up, up, up! Cortisol the stress hormone will ruin everything for you. I have cortisol to thank for pumping the breaks on things.
I knew that with all the holistic nutrition I’ve been studying through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition that I could heal myself with my diet and get back on track to where I needed to be. I listened to a podcast about the hormone reset diet. It is still more low carb but the main objective is to lower your protein intake especially red meat. Red meat is high in estrogen, so that was out. This diet focuses on eating at least 1 pound of colorful veggies per day, no meat for the first 3 and then slowly incorporating lean cuts of meat and fish. You also cut caffeine, dairy (because hormones are in all your cheeses and milk), very little fruit except berries, and of course sugars. It also keeps in a small amount of grains like a gluten free oats and some legumes such as lentils. As I understand, this way of eating resets things and detoxes the system in the first 72 hours and then encourages you to keep it up for a month. Fiber is also key to losing weight and resting your hormones. If you don’t get enough fiber from veggies then the bile from your liver has nothing to grab onto and can’t get flushed out. It’s imperative to make sure you’re eating your green veggies. So at this point I’m 4 days in an I’m going to keep it up for another 26-60 days and then go back to test my hormones again.
So why is it important for your estrogen and progesterone to be balanced? Plainly speaking, if you don’t have high enough progesterone you can’t carry a pregnancy. If your estrogen is too high for too long you literally make yourself into the perfect ecosystem for estrogen cancers like breast cancer. If you don’t know what your hormone levels are I highly recommend asking your OBGYN for testing. Don’t let them tell you that you should just take birth control!!!! Please you can do more damage by taking them. Just as it takes time for the body to get sick it takes time for it to heal, so patience it key. A pill is not always the answer.
I plan on sticking to my low carb high fat diet but will carb cycle and cut my fasting windows. The goal right now is to control my hormones and start feeling well again. When you control your hormones, you control your weight, don’t have bloating, feel more energetic, don’t have mood swings or cravings, and overall have balance. Plus the people around you will enjoy you much more, ha!
So I will check back in and give you updates on how the next couple of weeks are going. I’ll also make sure to post some of the recipes that I’ve found I like.
Thanks for listening and always listen to your body. It is always speaking to you, you just have to learn to listen!