Each month I pull a question from the ladies in my FB group and answer it here on the blog and in my newsletter.
The terms “glycemic index”, “blood sugar imbalance” and “insulin resistance” are often thrown around on the internet, but what the heck do they actually mean? And furthermore, how do they impact my period and fertility?
I see this question a whole bunch, and it’s really valid.
So what’s the answer? Hint: It’s also the name of a leading adult diaper brand.
That’s right! Depends. (Sorry, was that a bad joke?)
Okay so it depends on a number of factors: Diet, lifestyle, where you live, your relationships, etc etc etc.
BUT. There is always a but girl.
The one thing that I have had incredible success with for myself and all of my clients is blood sugar regulation.
What does that even mean Nicole?
Blood sugar regulation is the same as blood sugar balancing. It means eating in a way that allows you to step off the blood sugar roller coaster (where your blood sugar and insulin spikes and crashes continuously), and onto a level playing field where your blood sugar and insulin stay stable (at least most of the time).
Unbalanced blood sugar
Crazy energy highs and crashes
Sugar & caffeine cravings
Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
Trouble waking up in the morning
Moodiness – you’re happy one moment then melting down for no apparent reason
Anxiety or panic
Balanced blood sugar
Consistent energy throughout the day
Minimal to no cravings for the “crack”
Ability to fall asleep and actually stay asleep
Wake up with energy for the day ahead
Stable moods – yaaas!
Less or no physical pain – especially period cramps
Which one would you choose? I’m going to go with balanced blood sugar yes?
What does all this have to do with my hormones though?
Excellent question my dear! I’ll start with the food first.
It all starts with eating foods that cause a big fat spike in your blood sugar. Y’all know the culprits but here they are again – all kinds of sugary treats (obvi), bread, pasta, and even some high sugar fruit like mango and pineapple. Yes, I’ve had a sugar headache from mango before.
Your blood sugar goes up and your pancreas responds by releasing insulin to move that sugar into your cells so you have energy to do all you do.
A consistent excess of insulin in your body is where the problems begin. Insulin is a powerful hormone that’s not to be messed with, and if it is out of whack, other hormones will be out of whack too.
When insulin levels go up, so do cortisol (the stress hormone) levels. Cortisol competes with progesterone for the same receptors. Unfortunately cortisol always wins this fight. So, progesterone often goes down, eventually leaving you in a state of progesterone deficiency or estrogen dominance – think PMS, PCOS, Endometriosis, Fibroids, heavy and painful periods, migraines, depression, anxiety, acne…and the list goes on.
As if that’s not bad enough, there are insulin receptors on the ovaries so excess insulin causes the ovaries to produce more testosterone rather than the normal estradiol and estrone they usually make.
This excess testosterone can cause your ovaries to malfunction, which can lead to sporadic ovulation or lack of ovulation. Think PCOS and all the symptoms that come with it, irregular periods, and Amenorrhea (no period for three or more months).
High insulin also lowers Sex Hormone Binding Globulin. SHBG binds up testosterone so that it’s not all available at once. When SHBG goes down, it allows more free testosterone into the bloodstream and this can trigger even more issues.
So as you can see, just about every cell in your body is affected by too much insulin. This link between too much insulin and your sex hormones, is why hormonal imbalances always improve when you eat to stabilize your blood sugar.
By the way, it’s not just your hormones, but your overall health too!
Research suggests that your immune system is depressed for a full 5 hours after consumption of refined sugar. I used to wonder why I was sick all the time – eventually I figured out my diet had something to do with it!
Eat to stabilize your blood sugar – the #1 step to balance hormones naturally
But I digress. As I said, eating to stabilize your blood sugar is where it’s at and if you’re ready to start feeling ah-mazing in your body again, then I want you to follow these basic steps each morning to set you up for balanced blood sugar throughout the day.
Wake up –
Do drink 8-10oz of water (preferably filtered). You can squeeze some fresh lemon juice into it if you want.
Don’t drink caffeine before breakfast!
Within 60 minutes of waking up –
Do eat a protein-rich breakfast to set you up for stable blood sugar throughout the day. Think eggs, greens, chicken sausage, sweet potatoes, oatmeal with nuts and seeds, a smoothie with protein powder and healthy fats (avocado, coconut butter).
Don’t eat high-carb foods like bagels, bread, cereal or anything sugary, including juice.
Other helpful tips:
Make sure you include protein, complex carbs, healthy fats and fiber in each meal you consume.
Eat in a calm environment – sit down and chew your food well
You should feel full and satisfied for about 4-6 hours after you’ve eaten.
If you feel hungry sooner, then have a small snack immediately to avoid any blood sugar crashes.
You should not crave sweets or sugar after you have eaten and you should feel energized, not tired.
If you want to get a full morning, lunch and dinner protocol along with the exact steps you need to take to reclaim your energy, sparkle and inner happy girl (TODAY), then check out my Fix Your Blood Sugar Protocol.
We’ll spend time together chatting about the best foods for your hormones, caffeine, alcohol, inflammation, cravings, migraines and cramps! I’ve only shared this information in my private and group program courses so this will be a treat for you!
What you’re going to learn in this protocol:
How to test your blood sugar so you can figure out if you are eating the right foods for your body
How and why sugar and alcohol (even a little bit) can wreak hormonal havoc & what to have instead
The relationship between insulin, hormonal imbalances, PMS, PCOS, & Amenorrhea – and how to kickstart the healing process with food & supplements
What is inflammation and how it contributes to migraines and menstrual cramps + the top three food contributors to inflammation.
Why “bad cravings” happen and a step-by-step guide on how to crave healthier foods
Get a proven plan to begin reducing and eliminating sugar from your diet so you can finally balance your blood sugar. This includes something called the Superhuman breakfast!
What you’ll get:
A content-rich recorded webinar and full transcript that reveals all the groundbreaking, mind blowing information that will be the catalyst for some serious (and positive) change in your life
The audio version of the webinar so you can listen on your phone or in your car
PDF worksheets & protocols packed full with super juicy, yet scientifically-backed solutions that will provide the foundation for you to learn about how your body works, why she’s being such a jerk, and how to make her happy again
Information in this post and on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. The information is a result of practice experience and research by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem.