14 Natural Remedies For Joint Pain

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Joint pain can leave you stopped in your tracks. It seems that it is becoming more and more common, especially amongst adults. Typical intermittent aches and pains can plague all of us, but when joint pain begins to become chronic, it can feel like it is becoming a way of life. And, simultaneously taking away from the ease of your life. 

Joint pain is most often felt in areas such as knees, hips, low back, shoulders, ankles, and wrists. Inflammation is the main culprit but the root cause could come from overuse, injury, muscle strain, muscle weakness, autoimmune disease, and general systemic inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medications can help to ease the discomfort in the short term, but rarely addresses the root cause of that inflammation. Not to mention, in some cases, these medications can make you feel great in the short-term but actually worsen the root cause. 

There are many options to naturally decrease joint pain. If the joint pain onset is related to a deeper foundational root cause (i.e., weakened gut health, leaky gut, systemic stress, etc), then implementing some of these natural remedies could greatly decrease your joint pain and also heal your body on a deeper level. You don’t need to do all of these tips, but picking the ones that seem to work for you could greatly decrease your pain and discomfort (and bring more ease back into your life!). 

  1. Drink plenty of water (and stay hydrated). This tip is one of the most important and most foundational, yet one that gets overlooked all the time. Water lubricates and cushions the joints. Make sure that you are drinking half of your bodyweight (in lbs) in ounces of water daily, more if you consume dehydrating beverages (i.e., coffee, teas, and juices) and/or sweating often.
  2. Remove gluten, dairy, and sugar from your diet. Your body becomes more inflamed the more you eat foods that can increase inflammation. These are the main foods that cause inflammation and body flare ups. This includes not only joint pain, but also acne, rashes, and other inflammatory-related symptoms.
  3. Eat the right kind of fats. Fats are essential for overall body and hormone functioning, but the right kinds of fats are important. Remove inflammatory Omega-6 fats, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, and other seed oils. Add in more Omega-3 fats and monounsaturated fats, such as wild-caught salmon and extra virgin olive oil. These are excellent for managing and decreasing inflammation. If you don’t do fatty fish, you could try consuming a fish oil supplement to help get these healthy benefits. 
  4. Get plenty of sun (with skin exposure) or take a Vitamin D/K2 supplement. Vitamin D is important for supporting healthy bones. It helps with calcium absorption and those with low levels of vitamin D are linked with higher levels of osteoarthritis. 
  5. Consume plenty of high-quality animal protein. Your body needs the full set of amino acids to keep your bones strong, support muscle recovery, and decrease inflammation/joint pain. Animal protein will give you the complete range of amino acids, B-vitamins, choline, magnesium, and iron that you need to support healthy tissue. The key word, however, is high- quality — grass-fed beef, pasteurize- raised poultry and eggs, and wild game such as venison. The muscle meat is not the only part that is nutritious for your joints…
  6. Consume a form of collagen. Along with the animal protein, consuming forms of collagen are super helpful in calming joint pain. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the your body and it helps to build joints and keep connective tissue strong. Consuming collagen, gelatin, or bone broth are ways of getting in natural glucosamine, which have been shown helpful in reducing joint pain. 
  7. Use high doses of curcumin. Turmeric has become popular specifically because of it’s active ingredient curcumin. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  8. Up your magnesium intake. Most people are deficient in magnesium, even if they are eating a nutrient-dense diet. Low levels of magnesium can cause muscle aches, joint pain, leg spasms, weakened bones, and unhealthy nerve function. If you are low in magnesium or suspect that you are, try taking a high-quality magnesium supplement. 
  9. Get active. Regular exercise is critical for healthy muscle and joint function. It helps to strengthen the muscles and joints and decrease your potential for injury. Exercise is also important for balancing hormones such as human growth hormone, cortisol, and other hormones that play a role in appetite and aging. Make sure that you lift heavy weights (appropriate for your body) and stretch regularly to loosen the pressure placed on your joints. 
  10. Eliminate nightshades foods. Nightshades include foods like peppers, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, goji berries, paprika, and ashwagandha. These foods can play a role in joint pain and muscle aches — inflammation — possibly due to the alkaloid content, or toxic compounds, that those plants can give off as a self-defense. 
  11. Try a glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM supplement. This combination has been shown to be helpful in nourishing the joints for some people. It can support the health of the cartilage. There are some people who notice worsening effects, so if you try it and your symptoms get worse or you don’t notice anything, stop taking it. 
  12. Try a high-quality CBD or hemp oil daily. CBD and hemp oil have very powerful anti-inflammatory effects and can be the “thing” that helps lessen the effect of chronic pain and inflammation. Make sure that when choosing one of these oils, that you find a company that is high-quality, tested for metals or toxins, and is sustainably resourced. 
  13. Use essential oils. Lavender, Frankincense, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Rosemary are just a few of the essential oils that have been linked to decreasing joint pain. Dilute 1-2 drops in a carrier oil (coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, etc) and rub over the affected area to help decrease pain and discomfort. 
  14. Try the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol), if you are still have joint pain. If you are still having problems after doing the foundational steps, you may need to take a deeper dive. Eliminating foods such as coffee, eggs, grains, and nuts can help to calm your body’s inflammation and chronic pain. Doing this for a few months has given some people great relief and has helped them to discover exactly what foods are triggering their joint pain. 

**Click here for easy access to recommended supplements above.

Joint pain and body inflammation does not need to stop you from enjoy all that life has to offer. There are plenty of natural approaches you can try to help give you relief. Not only will these help to give you relief, but they also help to support the body as a whole!

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How Exercise Can Cause You To Gain Weight

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Are you exercising too much?

Being in the health and wellness world for over 17 years, I have seen my fair share of exercise advice — push harder, do this new program, slow it down, lift heavier — the advice goes on and on.

Yet, proposing the question of how much is too much is rarely asked or even encouraged. It seems that the fitness industry often speaks to and caters those that are in need of that extra push. That extra encouragement. That little kick you might need to move your body and better your physical health.

But what about those fitness enthusiasts that are regularly pushing themselves? Or, those in love with high intensity competition? What about those who are already living stressful lives and want to incorporate the right kind of exercise?

They are a special breed when it comes to exercise, at least exercising the right way for the best results.

It is common knowledge that exercise is one of the healthiest forms of self-care that we can indulge in. Strength training helps to build muscle and cardiovascular exercise helps to keep your heart healthy. But, if you do too much of either of these, a normally healthy habit can begin to break the body down and, inversely, cause you to be weak and overly stressed. It doesn’t stop there…

If you live a lifestyle that is high in stress, this is going to compound and add to the extra stress placed on your body from regular intense exercise. It doesn’t matter if your stress is related to  work, family, mental health, or emotional turmoil — it all equates to extra stress in the body.

How do you know if the exercise you are doing is placing too much extra stress on your body? It is not always so easy to spot, but there are a few signs that do begin to present. When your body can no longer take the over-exercising, signs of overtraining typically creep in. Overtraining can signal the body to start burning muscle for fuel and store more fat, resulting in some weight gain.

Overtraining shows up as —

  • Persistent muscle soreness
  • Elevated resting heart rate
  • Increased susceptibility to infections
  • Increased incidence of injuries
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Loss of motivation
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased appetite
  • Muscle loss
  • Increased weakness

Probably not what you are hoping for with your exercise plan!

How Over-Exercising Impacts The Body

Over-exercising places excessive stress on the body. With this onset, your hormone levels begin to change — especially testosterone and cortisol (yes, women have testosterone too!).

Testosterone is important to help build lean muscle, increase bone density, and keep your heart and blood healthy. Having healthy, balanced, levels of testosterone are super important for gaining the results you want in your workouts. When excessive stress is placed on the body, cortisol levels increase and steal from your testosterone, throwing off your healthy hormonal ratios.

With the body’s delicate hormonal balance upset, it begins to signal to the body to burn muscle instead of fat. As a result, you may notice that the lifting of your usual amount of weights, running your usual distances, and performing the same type of exercises may be much more difficult than easy.

If cortisol levels rise too high and stay elevated for too long, the adrenal glands may become imbalanced and cortisol levels drop below normal. This is when weight gain occurs.

Your body has an amazing capacity to adapt, which is what makes your body so resilient.  If you keep demanding too much from your body, without the necessary rest and recovery, it will start to compromise and compensate in an effort to keep functioning.  Your stubborn body fat —especially belly fat — is just one of the ways in which your body compensates when exposed to too many stressors.

What You Can Do

Here is where I want to emphasis the importance of looking at the stress in your everyday life. Not every day will be stress-free — every day shouldn’t be — but it is about the flow of how stress enters, exits, and dances around the moments in your day. When you step back and look at the big picture, this will help guide you in the right kind of and right amount of exercise for you and your lifestyle in this moment of your life.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest), how much stress do I realistically have at work, at home, and in my personal life? List out the stressors if this helps you see the big picture more clearly.
  • How am I feeling right now (i.e., tired, sore, heavy, sad, stressed, light, happy, so-so)?
  • Would pushing harder make me feel better or worse? Would slowing down make me feel better or worse?
  • Can I give my body what it really needs?

You may be quite surprised to find out how much stress you unknowingly deal with on a daily basis. When you can honestly say how much “daily stress” you are experiencing, then you can step back and look at your exercise regimen. If your “daily stress” is high, then it might be counterintuitive to hop on the elliptical trainer for an hour. It is common that people who lead a more stressful lifestyle tend to gravitate towards longer cardio as a way to deal with stress — the inner push is already in their nature. Instead, try yoga or a stretching class to emphasis stress-relieving and add gentle movement that your body is craving.

If this sounds like you and you believe you are over-exercising, here are some places you could begin:

  1. Add in more energy balancing practices. Perform low to moderate amounts of exercise and save some time to do daily stress relieving practices, such as meditation, visualization, deep breathing, and journaling. You could even sign up for a Reiki session or other energy work to help you get realigned. This allows your adrenal gland hormones to begin balancing and it helps to stabilize your blood sugar, both important for properly functioning adrenals.
  2. Stop doing long cardio sessions. If you’re doing long cardio workouts, you’re only adding to the problem.  Long cardio eats away at your lean muscle mass which is essential for increasing your metabolism to burn more calories.  And it dramatically increases your appetite making you more susceptible to unnecessary snacking and over eating. Not to mention that it can create imbalance in your blood sugar, opening you up to more food cravings and inflammation in the body. Instead of long cardio, try doing short, high intensity workouts (i.e., HIIT programs).  These workouts are much more effective at promoting fat burning hormones that target your stubborn fat. It is important to mention that if you are already dealing with more severe over-training symptoms or adrenal issues, high intensity workouts may still be too aggressive for you at this time.
  3. Change the way you lift weights. Lift heavier weights at lower repetitions instead of lower weights for higher repetitions. Lifting heavier weights has been linked to increasing testosterone levels, therefore, helping to keep the hormone balance more, well, balanced. It will also help to increase lean muscle mass and increase your overall metabolism.
  4. Make sure that you are getting adequate rest. Recovery and rest are often more important than exercising.  If you’re feeling sluggish or drained of energy, do an active recovery such as an easy walk, hike, or a leisurely bike ride. If you’re really tired, take the day off! It’s during periods of rest that your body does most of the fat burning, so don’t short change yourself.  Proper rest and recovery means you’re enabling your body to burn more fat.
  5. Feed your body (the right way). The foods we eat can place large amounts of stress on the body. A diet full of sugar, processed carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats can place a significant amount of stress on the body and increase systemic inflammation in the body. Eat a well-balanced nutrition plan of whole foods that contain plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, high quality carbohydrates, healthy fats, and a few fruits. Plenty of vegetables and colorful fruits are also high in anti-oxidants (which helps to fight the negative effects of stress on the body)! Limit your alcohol and sugar because as the body become stressed, you crave both of these more!

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How To Easily Decrease Your Aches And Pains

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Living life can be painful.

From tight shoulders to achy knees to low back strains — they can all creep in unexpectedly and leave you feeling like you have aged decades.

She prided herself on being fierce in life; Always on the go and challenging her body in ways that would make Superwoman jealous. Long days of taking care of the kids, fitting in her workouts, cleaning the house, or working a physically demanding job. Some days if was all of the above.

But as she got older, things started to change. She started to change. Her body wasn’t as flexible and her mind stopped her from trying feats that were never previously questioned.

She couldn’t squat down as low because her knees ached and her hips hurt if she sat too long.

She had chronic pain in her upper back and neck and noticed that even turning to reach in the back seat of the car caused jarring pain to shoot into her shoulder.

She would wake up in pain, wondering how she could possibly injure herself while sleeping.

She felt decades older than she really was and would say over and over, “I am getting so old.”

The worst part? She felt unattractive and uncomfortable in her own skin. She no longer felt like this young, attractive, vibrant, energetic woman. Life’s sparkle dulled a bit.

Does this sound like a version of you? I hear this story from women all the time. I have been a version of this woman myself!

It can feel daunting to take care of yourself and your body when you have so many demands on your plate. It is easy to push away what doesn’t seem immediately necessary — to change it to another day. But for many of us, that other day never really comes and if that is your story, then you may be left with years of built up tension and tightness spreading throughout your physical body.

You are an energetic being. And being an energetic being, your energy needs to flow through your body or else it could get trapped in areas throughout your body. One example of this is shoulder tightness. Stress and pent up emotion may result in you clenching your neck and shoulder muscles, unknowingly squeezing them upwards towards your ears and creating this tightness to start setting in. That continual contracting (squeezing) of the muscle creates a muscle spasm, which is a continual dose of energy being given from that muscle. This then causes the muscles and other soft tissues (tendons, ligaments, fascia, etc) to start tightening even more, decreasing the flow of natural energy movement through that area. The more energy that gets stuck, the more you are thrown off physically, emotionally, mentally, and so on.

Where To Begin

There are many places you can begin when trying to get rid of the physical aches and pains that may be holding you back. You want to reevaluate questions such as :

  • Are you eating a whole foods, low processed, low sugar nutrition plan?
  • Is your gut health strong? Food allergies, autoimmune disorders (i.e., Celiac disease, IBS, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus), Rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory diseases, Alzheimers, and even mood imbalances may be signs that it is not.
  • Are your shoes supportive?
  • Do you need orthotics in your shoes?
  • Are you stretching regularly?
  • Do you get massages or other body work?
  • Are you getting enough sleep and rest?
  • Are your workouts supporting you or breaking your body down?
  • Are you getting adequate nutrient support like magnesium or Vitamin D?

This is not an exhaustive list, but it can help you get a little closer to honing in on the long term support you are giving your body.

I am going to give you some pro tips you can do at home or whenever you need immediate relief. But before I do, let’s talk about some areas that will help support you in the long term.

Massage and Other Alternative Medicines

Massage is fantastic to ease pain in several different ways. It affects your nervous system through the nerve endings in your skin. This stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural “feel good” chemicals, and they promote feelings of relaxation, a sense of well-being, lowered stress, and lowered pain. But it doesn’t stop there. Massage can also increase blood flow to sore or stiff joints and muscles, assists the lymphatic system in flushing away waste products and toxins, helps to ease tightness and break up scar tissue, and it has been shown to be a natural painkiller because of it’s trigger to release opioids into the brain (and speeds up the flow of the hormone oxytocin, a hormone that relaxes muscles and encourages feelings of calmness and contentment).

Massage is not the only avenue to explore. The following have been showing high levels of effectiveness in decreasing pain and body aches from a root cause level:

  • Acupuncture
  • Reflexology
  • Reiki
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Nutritionist for dietary healing
  • Herbal remedies 
  • Essential oils
  • Yoga, Qigong, and Tai Chi
  • Meditation
  • Hypnosis or guided imagery
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or Tapping)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

What Can I Do For Immediate Relief?

  • For tightness and pain and tension, you can try one of the above therapies that is easy to implement at home. Try 5-10 minutes of quiet or moving meditation (which could come from yoga, qigong, or tai chi). You could also perform some self-massage on the affected area using some healing salves or gels to increase the healing process. For this, I love using Badger’s Sore Muscle Rub. It has a nice soothing warming effect by using cayenne extract and it helps to ease some of the muscle tightness with it’s essential oils.
  • If it is tight muscle spasms you are experiencing, try some trigger point release. This is a technique in which you apply deep, constant pressure on the sore muscle spasm with your finger, elbow, thumb or whatever is most comfortable for you. It that is uncomfortable or you need to get deeper, you can use household items, such as a tennis ball, lacrosse ball, or golf ball. Hold each muscle spasm for about 10-90 seconds or until you start to feel some release in the tightness. You can either hold each with a constant pressure or use small, kneading, circular movements to help loosen. Again, whatever feels most effective for you.
  • For tight and sore muscles, you can try foam rolling for an at home self-massage that massage the muscles and the fascia in your body. Here is a link to show you how to get started.
  • If you are experiencing tight feet, arch pain, or a sharp pain in your heel, you may be on the verge of (or already experiencing) some plantar fascitis. Try stretching and self massage. Perform a standing calf stretch or a standing step stretch. To loosen up the arch, roll a golf ball under your foot with moderate pressure,or whatever pressure feels comfortable, for a 3-5 minutes. For better results, you can use a small water bottle with frozen water inside to add the cooling effect and calm down the inflammation. For heel pain, try some light massage over the painful area, again for 5 minutes or until it feels as though the pain is subsiding slightly.
  • For cuts and burns and scraps, there are a few easy home remedies to give you relief:
    • Mix three or four drops of lavender oil together with a few drops of coconut or tamanu oil, always after it is cleaned.
    • Cayenne pepper can be used on minor scrapes and scratches for quick relief, but never on open wounds. Cayenne contains capsaicin, which helps speed healing and blocks pain messages to the brain — wipe off when pain is lessened.
    • You can also try an aloe vera plant.  Break off a leaf and squeeze gel directly onto the affected area. Aloe vera seals the injury, relieves pain and provides quicker healing. Reapply 3-4 times daily.
    • Limes and lemons have been proven to have an antibiotic effect and can kill bacteria.
    • Tea tree oil is great because it is antiseptic, antimicrobial, and has many healing properties.
    • Arnica gel provides excellent pain relief and healing of cuts, scrapes, and burns.
  • If you got an upset stomach or nausea, try sniffing some lavender essential oil and/or ingesting real ginger. There are ginger chews and ginger snacks that can relieve an unsettled stomach. I also like using Doterra’s DigestZen for immediate relief in bloating, indigestion, and nausea. It is my go-to oil for motion sickness!
  • If you are looking for some over the counter products that are reliable and easy to use, I recommend the following:
    • Topricin for soothing relief associated with arthritis, lower back pain, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, or work and sports related injuries.
    • Arnicare by Boiron is an excellent homeopathic medicine to assist with pain relief, stiffness, swelling, and bruising.
    • Skin Gel by AloeLife is my go to for burns, wounds, and scars (and much more).

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The REAL Reason You Can’t Lose Weight And 6 Ways To Fix It

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Eat less, move more.

That’s what mainstream wellness advice is often telling you to do.

Sprinkle that plate of advice with eat more veggies, drink more water, get more sleep, and boost your diet with fibrous foods.

Sound advice? For some it is, especially if you are doing little to none of that. But for others? Perhaps not as in-depth as you may need.

If you are a women who is going through hormonal changes (at any life stage), in peri-menopause, or in menopause itself, you probably know that real struggle of body change and how mainstream wellness advice may not give you the results you are looking for. 

Weight gain, weight shift, mood changes, digestive problems, fatigue, joint pain — you may know these all too well. But if you are doing all the right things, or at least most of them, and still not getting results, what do you do?

First stop? Make sure that your hormones are being supported.

Imbalanced hormones create a whirlwind in the body that can cause a spiraling effect of physical symptoms and problems. Your hormonal needs are going to be different than mine, but there are a few hormones that are key factors in the balance game for all of us. Let’s take a quick look at them…

Insulin

Insulin is a fat-storage hormone. Insulin resistance or block means your cells can’t absorb the extra blood glucose your body generates from the food you eat—when that happens, your liver converts the glucose into fat. Insulin resistance usually causes weight gain and sugar addiction. This is one reason that it is imperative to keep blood sugar levels balanced when looking to balance out hormonal levels.

Leptin

Leptin is nature’s appetite suppressant. When you’ve had enough to eat, leptin says to your brain, “Hey it is time to stop eating.” High leptin can cause weight gain and excessive hunger. When you are overweight, your fat cells produce excess leptin. When your brain gets bombarded with leptin signals from too many fat cells, it shuts down; leptin levels keep rising, receptors stop functioning, your body doesn’t get the leptin signal, and you don’t feel full. You keep eating the wrong foods in an addictive pattern, and you keep gaining weight. An imbalance in this hormone can really make it challenging to gather your willpower to push away food that you know is not going to help you achieve your goals. 

Estrogen

For women, estrogen can greatly fluctuate through many stages of life — pregnancy, peri-menopause, menopause, etc. Estrogen dominance is when you have too much estrogen compared with its counter-hormone, progesterone. Having too much estrogen in the body causes a number of symptoms, including resistance to weight loss, moodiness, PMS, and heavy periods.

Thyroid

Your thyroid is directly tied to your metabolism. It is like the gas pedal, managing how fast or how slow you burn those calories. When the thyroid is sluggish, hypothyroidism, it can cause weight gain, fluid retention, hair loss or thinning, depression, and constipation, among other problems. When it is excessive, hyperthyroidism, it can cause appetite changes (decrease or increase), difficulty sleeping, fatigue, frequent bowel movements, heart palpitations, heat intolerance, increased sweating, irritability, just to name a few. 

Getting Your Hormones Back On Track 

Addressing your HPA axis is going to be the first step. If you missed my blog on the HPA axis and it’s involvement in hormonal balancing, make sure that you read that first. After addressing that, now we have to look at the other lifestyle changes essential to getting your hormones back on track. There are 4 main essential changes needed to correct the hormonal misfiring. These are changes in:

  • How you eat (this makes up approximately 80% of your overall results)
  • How you think
  • How you move
  • How you supplement 
  1. Choose wisely what you eat and drink. Eating whole, unprocessed foods that are abundant in healthy fats, vegetables, protein, and some fruits are the best place to start. Each person’s needs will be different, but if you start incorporating more of these foods, you will start to notice differences. Greatly limit processed foods, refined carbohydrates, sugars and sugar substitutes from your diet. These foods create an imbalance in your blood sugar levels and an imbalance in your overall hormonal disposition. Eliminate alcohol for 30 days. A single serving of this can reduce a woman’s metabolism by more than 70% and, even though, it is temporary, it can add up if you have a drink most nights.
  2. Support your digestion. Hippocrates stated that “All disease begins in the gut.” It is not only where approximately 80% of your immune cells reside, but it is also the gateway to nutrient absorption. If your digestive health is out of whack (think excessive gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pains after eating, etc), then the way your body uses your food and your hormonal balance will be following suit. Foods such as processed foods, sugar, gluten-containing foods, refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats (i.e., vegetable oils, canola oil, trans fats), and foods you are allergic/sensitive to can all decrease the health of your digestion (aka your gut health). Eating supporting foods (refer back to #1), fermented foods (i.e., sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, etc), decreasing your stress levels, and taking supportive supplements can all help to get your gut health solid. 
  3. Watch your thoughts. Stress and our reactions to life start with the thoughts we think. Finding ways to alter your inner dialogue and understand why you think and believe what you do can make a significant difference on your stress levels. It really is about discovering yourself, what stresses you out, and how you can change your approach so that it is not so taxing on your energy (and your hormones). Negative thoughts and increased stress also raise your cortisol levels, putting you in a fight or flight mindset. And, the more you go to that place of being, the more your cortisol levels chronically stay elevated. Long-term exposure to cortisol and other stress hormones can wreck havoc on almost all of your body’s processes, increasing your risk of many health issues, from heart disease and obesity to anxiety and depression. 
  4. Add targeted body movement into your day. It is important to move the way that you and your body love — that will help to keep you committed to moving. But when balancing hormones, there is a hierarchy in what will get you the best results. Chronic cardio and long distance training are not as likely to stabilize your cortisol, which can actually be raised dramatically after these sorts of activities. Burst training, HIIT training, and adaptive exercise (i.e. Pilates and yoga) are more likely to stabilize cortisol. Burst training is incredibly efficient because it involves short periods of high intensity exercise with moderate-level exercise as recovery. This allows your body to raise cortisol, but only for a bit, allowing you to get the benefits of exercise, but not create a huge imbalance. Not only that, but it is extremely effective at raising growth hormone, the growth-and-repair hormone that maintains your lean body mass, a crucial indicator of how your body is aging biologically. 
  5. Consider genetic testing. It can guide the best ways for you to eat, move, think, and supplement for hormonal harmony and weight loss. This way, there is no guessing game and you can truly discover what might be the factors holding you back. 
  6. Use supplements as needed to improve your hormone levels. In a perfect world, you can get all you need from the food you eat and the healthy lifestyle choices you make. Unfortunately in our modern society, that becomes a challenge. Our food system has been so greatly depleted nutritionally and replaced with much processed, chemically-laden foods. We are inundated with environmental hazards such as toxins, pesticides, EMF’s, and poor air quality that our body is under daily attack — more for some people than others. Adding appropriate supplementation into your nutrition plan can greatly enhance how your body manages all of these modern day obstacles, but can also help offload some of the stress so that your hormones can get better balance. Outside of the adaptogens that are often associated with hormonal balances (ashwagandha, rhodiola, maca) and the common vitamins and minerals that can offset other health woes (Vitamin D, B complex, magnesium, etc), there are a few others that are highly researched: 
  • Cortisol Manager: You need 7 to 8.5 hours of sleep to break through weight loss resistance. An excellent supplement for improved sleep and less stress is called Cortisol Manager, by Integrative Therapeutics. It is a combination of phosphatidyl serine and ashwagandha. It dials down the HPA so that you don’t feel stressed and can wind down for a good night of sleep. Too much cortisol raises blood sugar and deposits fat at night. 
  • Berberine. Berberine, (a great brand is Integrative Therapeutics) is the most proven supplement to reset insulin and support weight loss in women. It activates an important enzyme called adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, or AMP, nicknamed the “metabolic master switch.” It has been shown to work better when combined with milk thistle.
  • ION Biome Gut Health. Want a supplement that not only supplements, rather it supports your health? This is it. The active ingredient, Terrahydrite, has been shown to support the integrity of the gut lining, even in the face of damage from toxins such as glyphosate. I use this when I know that I will be consuming foods or drinks that may not be the healthiest or when I suspect potential issues may be present.

If you suspect that you are struggling with imbalanced hormones and they are causing you to not get the results you want, it doesn’t have to be that way. There is hope. I encourage you to investigate all areas of your life and get really real with yourself to see what might be the main culprit in holding you back to going exactly where you want to go!

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