Recipe: Hormone Balancing Smoothie
Cover Photo by Natalia Dworniak
By Leigh Reagan Smith
In our modern world, it can be tough to juggle everything that life throws our way—work, fitness, health, kids, a partner, friends, hobbies, pets…how do we do it all? It sometimes feels impossible! In my experience, achieving a perfect balance in life is an ongoing journey, not a destination. While it’s the ultimate goal to feel balanced in our lives, life unwittingly throws us twists and turns and unwelcome change can come like a fast moving, smoke spewing freight train. It can be overwhelming.
Achieving Hormonal Balance
During my most overwhelmed states, I remind myself that what we can control, or should I dare say balance, is our inner selves, and our hormones are a big part of that inner balance.
As a woman in my 40s wanting to desperately conceive a baby, I was deeply invested in learning about hormonal balance. As I delved deeper and deeper into the critical importance of functioning hormones, I began to think of them as busy little honey bees making sure my body’s nectar was flowing to all of my cells.
You see, our hormones behave similar to the operating system of a computer. They relay information throughout our blood stream to all of our vital organs. Hormones are our body’s hardwiring, ensuring everything is running smoothly. If our hormones get out of whack by raising too high or dropping too low, we can experience a range of issues from fatigue to immunity and metabolic disorders to reproduction issues.
Properly functioning hormones boost brain health, control much of what we feel, fight off harmful viruses and bacteria, and keep us youthful. (Who doesn’t want glowing skin?)
One of the biggest ways to help ensure hormonal health is to manage stress. When our stress hormone cortisol frequently spikes or stays high, it can result in anxiety, lowered immunity, kidney malfunction, suppression of the body’s natural sex hormones and fatigue to the point of adrenal exhaustion. Stress can’t always be avoided but it can be managed. Meditation and yoga are two medically proven ways to dramatically reduce stress.
Meditation + Yoga Asana
A daily five minute meditation can do wonders for lowering pesky cortisol. One of my favorite meditations is focusing on a four-count breath: inhale for four counts then exhale for four counts. Counting while meditating assists in deeper breaths as well as a focus shift away from the constant mental chatter.
One of my favorite yoga positions while I was trying to conceive was camel pose. Camel pose helps to regulate hormones by triggering the hormone glands in the neck region.
Reducing sugar intake is another way we can control our hormonal balance. Balanced blood sugar is critical for hormonal health. When we eat too much sugar or refined carbohydrates, excess insulin is produced and this, in turn, increases an enzyme responsible for estrogen production. Excess estrogen causes irritability, chronic fatigue, inability to concentrate and lack of sex drive. I am a recovering sugaraholic so my go to sweetener to start my day is a fruit smoothie. Who needs sugar cane? If I can happily reduce sugar as a complete addict, you can too!
I add maca powder to my morning smoothie for an additional natural hormone balancer. Maca is deprived from a Peruvian root crop and it is most known for increasing stamina and libido. This superfood supports the body’s natural production of numerous hormones, increasing or decreasing their levels according to what you individually need.
An added benefit of this powerhouse food rich in magnesium, healthy fatty acids, vitamins C, A, B2, B6, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and potassium, is the suppression of cortisol. Maca gives cortisol a one two punch.
When purchasing superfoods and supplements, always know where they are being sourced—not all superfoods are created equal. I like Mighty Maca Plus because it’s organic and sourced from Peru.
See recipe below for a quick, easy and delicious way to incorporate Maca powder into your diet!
Recipe: Hormone Balancing Smoothie
1 medium ripe banana (either frozen or at room temp)
1 cup | 250 ml. hemp milk (Hemp has more calcium than dairy, is packed with essential fatty
acids and is a body anti-inflammatory.)
1/2 cup | 70 gr. fresh blueberries (Blueberries are superfood heroes!)
1/2 avocado (Avocados are loaded with fiber, potassium, healthy fats, and make smoothies
super creamy - YUM!)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (Cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar levels.)
1 tsp Maca powder
1 tsp Shatavari (Balances the female hormones, strengthens the eggs and increases fertility.)
1/4 tsp Ashwaganda ( Ashwaganda helps to regenerate the endocrine system and it strengthens the female body in any phase of the menstrual cycle.)
Quick Tips for Hormonal Balance:
Eat a healthy balanced diet
Incorporate a daily 5 min. breath meditation
*Please always consult a doctor if you are having any questions or issues about your hormonal health.