Hormones are something a lot of us write off as being something we deal with as teenagers and move on from; in reality, they play a huge role in our lives, especially as moms. If you’ve ever felt out of tune with your body, or are struggling to figure out why you’re feeling tired or weak, then you’ve come to the right place. Holistic nutritionist Laura Martire is here to go over everything, and give us some easy changes we can put into our lives. And don’t worry, I know it seems a little daunting to introduce new tasks and things while being so busy as moms, but we’ve got some really great and easy solutions to help improve your overall well being!
Today I am really excited to be talking with Laura Martire, a holistic nutritionist who is going to be talking to us about balancing our hormones. Hormones play a huge role in our lives, and there’s a lot of things that affect them that we don’t even know about – which is why Laura is here to help!
Laura Martire is a registered holistic nutritionist and the founder of Laura Martire Holistic Wellness. Through her own journey to wellness, she has come to understand the importance of providing our bodies with the right nutrients to help our body and mind feel great. She specializes in helping women balance their hormones, lose weight (without resorting to deprivation and fad diets) and fall in love with healthy eating.
In This Episode We Talk About
00:22 – A brief introduction of Laura Martire.
00:45 – What are hormones and what do they do?
1:32 – Signs of hormonal imbalance.
4:49 – How birth control affects hormones
6:32 – How to balance hormones.
14:18 – How does this work with your thyroid?
14:52 – How to help the thyroid.
16:44 – Eating well to keep your hormones and everything balanced.
20:40 – Gut health.
26:32 – Foundational items.
28:13 – What it means to get a ‘good sleep.’
28:47 – Magnesium
30:03 – Starting to use organic products.
31:25 – Fasting.
34:08 – Supplements.
35:49 – Supplement Brands.
37:37 – Where to get your supplements.
Make sure to check out our list under the resources section!
39:51 – Where to find Laura!
Watch the Video
Listen to the Audio
Read the Full Conversation
Thanks for chatting with us. So let’s hear a little bit more about you. Could you do a brief introduction for us?
Absolutely. So I’m Laura. I’m a registered holistic nutritionist. And I support women in balancing their hormones so that they can lose weight (without having to go on a restrictive diet), reclaim their lost energy, and their lost libido. And just feel good again.
Fantastic. I think we all want to feel great within our bodies. So for baseline, let’s briefly talk about what our hormones are and what they’re responsible for.
So your hormones, you can think about it as like the chemical messengers in your body. So they are sending out all sorts of different signals, they’re performing hundreds of functions. So whether it’s your thyroid, that is helping support your metabolism, your energy levels; your cortisol, which is your stress hormone, so helping support your body when it’s under periods of stress; your insulin, so your blood sugar plays a huge role with your hormones. So it’s basically, again, little chemical messengers that are firing out signals to your body so it can function optimally.
Okay, I already feel like I’ve learned a lots. So what are signs that you have a hormonal imbalance? I’m guessing based on what you said, kind of low energy is probably going to play into that.
Absolutely. There’s many symptoms of hormone imbalances. And depending on what your symptoms are, it will kind of lead myself, as a nutritionist, or other trained practitioners, down the road of which hormone is actually out of balance. So think of things like PMS, heavy periods, irregular periods, low libido, hair loss, bloating, constipation, mood swings, anxiety, depression, all of those things can be indications that we have a hormone imbalance going on in our body. And I find a lot – and I’m sure maybe this will resonate with a lot of your club members – is that as women, we’ve kind of been trained throughout our life to just accept a lot of those symptoms as just a normal part of being a woman like PMS, or menopause symptoms like hot flashes, we just accept that that’s a normal part part of us transitioning into that phase of our life. And in fact, it’s not. That’s a cue from your body that something is off. And when you start to make the right kind of strategic changes, our symptoms will almost always go away.
Wow, yeah, hearing you list off those symptoms and other things that my community struggles with all the time, it comes up every single week in my stories. And I know a lot of people, myself included, have been seeking out mental health support as things play into anxiety and stuff like that. So it sounds like we should also be looking into our hormones as well.
Absolutely, your hormones are very much tied to what’s going on with your moods, your anxiety, your depression. So it all kind of factors in together and can be a contributing factor.
Another huge one that I specifically work with a lot of women on is either unexplained weight gain, or stubborn weight that they can’t get rid of. So often, again, as women, we’ve been kind of trained throughout the years to resort to restrictive measures or diets, in order to lose the weight or hit our happy weight for good. When in reality, what you need to be doing is addressing what’s the root cause of that weight gain, or that stubborn weight; nine out of ten times it has something to do with your hormones.
Interesting, really nice to hear you talk about that. Because generally what I hear for people in those situations is, “oh, your body’s just used to your workouts, you need to try something different and restrict more.”
Exactly. So that whole, “eat less exercise more,” it drives me crazy as a nutritionist, because it’s just not as simple as that. And also women will rely on willpower to get them through. So they start that diet on Monday, they try to push through. And by Friday, they’re off the rails again. That’s because they’re not addressing their hormones, and getting their blood sugar balanced, and doing all the things they need to do so they can easily go through the day without craving you know, all the sugar and carbs, or wanting to eat every hour.
Yeah. And again, interesting. I’ve never heard of insulin and blood sugar’s tie into all this either.
Yeah, it’s just foundational for hormone health.
And how does birth control affect this?
So birth control can actually have – another very frustrating thing is that often if women are struggling with it irregular periods, heavy periods, or whatever, the doctor’s first line of defense is to prescribe the birth control pill to kind of help moderate and everything even keel. The problem with the birth control pill is that A.) it impacts your hormonal harmony, and B.) it can also impact the way that you’re absorbing certain nutrients. So particularly like your B vitamins can become depleted when you’re on the birth control. And so it can lead to things like low libido, extra fatigue, that’s going on. So you’re just kind of putting a bandaid fix on the problem. And you’re not addressing the root cause of what’s going on; nine out of ten times when a woman comes to me, and they’re struggling with heavy or irregular periods, that’s a sign that they’re potentially estrogen dominant, which means their balance of estrogen and progesterone, is out of whack. And so that’s leading to that, plus a whole host of other symptoms. And the birth control pill also is known for reducing your libido. So all the things that we don’t want as a woman.
And then I’m curious, once we go off birth control, does that kind of throw our body off then too because we’re not getting that hormone from that pill anymore?
Absolutely, it can take quite a while; for some women, it can take up to six months to a year to kind of get yourself back to where you need to be. Because it obviously has an impact on your estrogen levels and everything. And so it can take time to kind of let your body reset and get back to where it needs to be to feel like you’ve got your libido back again.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, libido and energy are kind of the big ones. So what can we do to help balance our hormones? How does insulin and blood sugar play into this?
So blood sugar balance is number one. It’s kind of mission critical when we’re dealing with our hormones. And it’s because you do not want to be writing that blood sugar rollercoaster, where your blood sugar is spiking up and down, crashing up and down throughout the day. It just has a ripple effect on the body, it causes your stress hormone cortisol to go up. And then when your stress hormone is up, it will lead to other a cascading effect, so all your other hormones will begin to become imbalanced.
So it also has effects if you’re the person who is riding that blood sugar rollercoaster. You’ll know this because you eat a meal and an hour later you are hungry again. Or you’re the person who’s always craving sugar and carbs, that’s an indication. It is going to lead to energy slumps in the day, it’s going to lead – insulin as a fat storing hormone, do not want that. So when you have excess insulin coming around, and you’re dealing with stubborn weight, that’s usually a sign that you’ve either got a blood sugar dysregulation or something going on with your stress hormones.
To keep your blood sugar stable, here’s what you can start thinking about doing. So just making sure that with every single meal, it’s well balanced. So it has protein, fiber, and a little bit of healthy fat. So that combination of those three nutrients will help; instead of your blood sugar spiking up really quickly and then crashing down, when you’re eating like a lot of processed carbs or sugars, you eat protein, fiber, and healthy fats, it’ll kind of like slowly spike and then kind of come down.
Okay, is protein any kind of protein – like what comes to mind, say like, eggs, beans, chicken, turkey? I’m guessing red meat, you would probably want to limit it, or is that the case in this scenario?
Limit it. But like,again, I find this is something I see so often with my clients. They’re under eating in protein, unintentionally. So they think they’re hitting the mark. Ideally, we should be aiming for about 20 to 25 grams per meal.
And so for reference, what would, say, a chicken breast be in grams, roughly?
Around the like the size of your hand, maybe like ten grams. I think one hard boiled egg would be about six grams.
Wow, I am not getting enough protein.
And so another thing, if you’re that person that’s starting your day by skipping breakfast, because you’re in mom mode and just kind of racing through the day, or it’s just breakfast isn’t your thing and you’re just reaching for that cup of coffee. You’re right there, you’ve set yourself up for the entire day for your blood sugar to be spiking up and then crashing down. It’s probably contributing to those late night cravings that you’re having. Or those three or four o’clock energy slumps, because coffee on an empty stomach will cause both your insulin to spike and your cortisol to spike. And that’s what kind of sets you up later in the day. So in the morning, even something as simple as throwing collagen a scoop of collagen powder into your coffee.
Oh okay. So collagen powder has protein in it then?
Collagen powder has protein, yeah.
What are other ways, because 26 grams of protein per meal to me sounds like a lot. So how is it kind of achievable to work that into your meals?
So even for breakfast, you could think smoothies; if you put one scoop of protein powder in your smoothie, right there, you’re getting up, depending on the protein powder, about 25 to 35 grams. Or even a bowl of Greek yogurt, which already has some protein in and then again, throw in some extra protein powder, throw in some seeds, so like some hemp hearts would be great to add in there, maybe even some nut butter or nuts, all of those things kind of cumulatively will add up to giving you the protein that you need.
Okay, nuts and seeds, snacking on trail mix I imagine could be good, rather than like salty chips or something, and get the protein through the trail mix.
Yeah, and then just make sure when you’re thinking about it starting, you make this a slow transition. Because you’re kind of learning to adopt these different ways of eating but thinking about protein, so when you look at your plate, where’s my protein? Where’s my fiber? And where are my healthy fats? So healthy fats, it would be if you’re having a salad, your extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil, or it could be avocado with your toast in the morning.
Okay, yeah, those are the two main ones that come to mind is like olive oil and avocado. What are other healthy fats? Would nut butter kinda plan to the healthy fats as well?
Yeah, absolutely. Even the seeds. So hemp hearts again, that’s another great source. You’re getting a little bit. But it again, it all adds up.
Yeah. And I imagine fish would be kind of the combo to where you get the protein and the healthy fats.
Okay. And then how about fiber sources. I know like in our house that’s primarily, say, multigrain bread, pasta, we do have a lot of white pasta. What do you recommend for good fiber sources?
So good fiber, your fruits and your veggies. Really, it’s like your whole food sources of carbohydrates, right. So I’m not saying we have to give up carbs, because that’s your body’s number one source of fuel, but just be strategic in the carbs that you’re consuming. So steer clear of like, the highly processed carbohydrates, and try and opt for getting your carbs from fruits and veggies or from whole grains instead. And then another kind of trick that you can implement is no naked carbs, so do not eat your carbs alone. Sif you pair them – when you eat them alone, that’s what causes that spike in that crash in your blood sugar, which is the opposite of what we want. When you pair them with some healthy fats and a little bit of protein, that goes away, it’ll help your blood sugar go up much slower.
Okay, so it’s really about having the balanced meals to keep things on an even keel.
It is really about that, yeah.
So that is that primarily for the blood sugar and insulin levels? Or does that help balance our hormones in other ways as well?
It helps overall your hormones, because like I said before, when your insulin starts to spike, your cortisol, your stress hormone, starts to spike up. So cortisol, just briefly to give some context, it’s your stress hormone. So when your body is under stress, whether it’s from work, family life, whatever you got going on, that’s going to go up. It’s kind of like your fight or flight response. But it also will go up in response to perceived stressors in your body. So if you are under eating, chronically dieting, pushing yourself way too hard at the gym, lacking key nutrients, if your blood sugar is rising and dipping a lot, then that’s a perceived stressor and your cortisol is going to go up. So what happens is when cortisol goes up chronically, like day after day after day, it keeps being pumped out to help support your body, it’s going to divert attention away from other hormones. So that’s when things like estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, will all fall out of whack, because your body is prioritizing producing cortisol.
Okay, so it’s like the cortisol just kind of takes over and then everything else starts to drop off?
Correct. So if you are constantly eating in a way that’s causing your blood sugar to fluctuate, cortisol is going to be spiked, and there’s going to be a cascading effect.
Yeah. Okay, interesting. How does thyroid play into all of this?
So your thyroid, it will be impacted, again, by your cortisol production as well. Your thyroid is responsible for many functions in your body, but it does also support a healthy metabolism and your energy levels. So if you’re gaining weight, or you’re not able to lose weight, or you have a lot of fatigue, or dry or brittle hair and nails – those can all be indications that something is going on with your thyroid.
Oh, okay. And what do you recommend for helping thyroid, and assuming the food kind of plan we had just talked about, are there other things or specific foods?
Yep, there are specific foods for your thyroid. So things like selenium. So to get your daily amount of selenium, it could be as simple as eating three Brazil nuts.
Oh, okay, that sounds simple. I’m like – I honestly don’t know what selenium is.
It’s a mineral and it’s in Brazil nuts, which is the easiest way to get it. And again, just other lifestyle factors like managing your stress, that’s another key one next to blood sugar, kind of the next foundational thing for supporting healthy hormones is stress management. It’s in relation to the cortisol staying elevated and then causing that cascading effect.
Yeah. And so it’s really just kind of managing what’s on our plate, asking for help when we can, meditation, exercise, that sort of thing. Do you have any other suggestions?
Yeah. And it’s also being aware of certain habits that you may be engaging in, that are unintentionally putting stress on your body. So if you’re chronically under eating, if you’re going through a really stressful period in your life, but you’re still pushing yourself hard at the gym, and over exercising, that’s going to impact your cortisol. If you’re not prioritizing sleep, that will have a ripple effect. Sleep is a huge one. So there’s all those kind of lifestyle habits that will also – if you’re having too much processed foods, that will cause a lot of inflammation in your body, and that will increase your production of cortisol.
Okay, and so that’s – you hear about how you want to stay away from inflammation, and that can relate to disease and different things like that. So part of that is from the cortisol hormone spiking.
And then the other kind of foundational thing for hormone health is your liver health. We often don’t think of that.
Not at all, tell me more.
But it’s critical. Your liver is your number one, it performs over 500 functions in your body, but it’s like your number one. It helps to detox your excess hormones. So if your liver isn’t functioning properly, what can happen is estrogen will then just be recirculated in your body. That’s when again, you see women who are struggling with symptoms of estrogen dominance, so things like heavy or irregular periods, painful PMS – those could all be indications that we need to give your liver a little bit of extra support. Things like eating three to four cups of cruciferous veggies a week, can go such a long way.
Okay, so like broccoli, kale, that’s what comes to mind.
Exactly. Spinach, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, try and include like three to four cups of those per week to support your liver.
Okay, that sounds doable, spread throughout the week. At first, I thought you’re gonna go towards a day, I was like “wow, that’s a lot.” But that’s over a week, that’s doable. We can add some kale and cauliflower into things.
Exactly. Yeah, so that will just really go a long way in just giving your liver a little extra support. Even just starting your day with a little bit of lemon water.
Oh, okay. So lemon water, what does lemon do?
The lemon is just like – lemons, limes, those kind of citrus or bitter foods, like dandelion, are very supportive of liver health.
Okay, so like dandelion tea.
Dandelion tea is a great one. Yep.
Yeah. How about sweeteners? Because I’m assuming – we want to stay away from processed foods, like you mentioned, high sugars for having that crash. But what if you do just enjoy sweet things? Like is honey a good alternative, or stevia? Or what are your thoughts on that?
I would say honey and maple syrup would be my two go-to’s. But obviously, I know some people with their coffee, their tea, whatever they’re having, they like that little bit of sweetness. So you could use a bit of stevia, but again, keep in mind that it’s a processed form of sugar. So I would try, slowly if possible, wean yourself off of those.
I’m so bad for the flavored creamer. I have to admit, I love myself some Silk vanilla almond creamer, but I know it’s so high in sugar and especially since I’m having it on an empty stomach too.
Yeah, so and a lot of those like creamers or the nut milks that are all the rage right now, and everybody seems to love having those as a healthier option, but you have to be very careful because a lot of those can include extra fillers and ingredients in them that can contribute to inflammation in the body and also a lot of like digestive issues.
Oh, okay, interesting. And I imagined digestion plays a big role into this too, because you need things to work well to actually absorb everything.
Yes. So actually, your gut health is very foundational as well for hormone health. So usually when I’m working with a client, a lot of the time they’ll come to me with both some hormonal issues and some digestive issues. So kind of at ground zero we start with their gut health. Even for your thyroid, your gut health is foundational, because part of the conversion of your T4 to T3, which are your active and inactive thyroid hormones, happens in your gut. So we need to make sure that it’s working properly and doing everything it needs to.
So what do we do for that? The only thing that’s really coming to mind for gut health is probiotics, which you hear a lot.
So probiotics and prebiotics.
Prebiotics? What are prebiotics?
With probiotics, you’re introducing more gut bacteria. Prebiotics, you think of it like you’re feeding the bacteria that’s there. It’s food for the bacteria that’s there.
Okay, so one is like the programming, this is how you do things. And then the pre is “this is what you actually want.”
Absolutely, yeah. And so here’s something super simple that you can do to support gut health. Every week or two, whenever you’re getting your groceries, rotate the fruits and veggies that you’re having. So I know for a lot of us, you’ll have – I always buy apples and oranges. Or I always have tomatoes and cucumbers in the fridge. And we don’t veer out into other different types of fruits and vegetables. But each different fruit and veggie has different benefits for our gut, and will eat different gut microbes. So if you could just every couple of weeks switch up, instead of getting apples this week, get pears; instead of getting tomatoes, get some kale. You’ll be supporting your gut in a tremendous way.
Yeah, that’s a great tip. I’m totally guilty of buying kind of the same fruits and veggies. I’ve started trying to swap out just one or two items of new fruits to get my kids to try different things. But it’s interesting to hear that I should perhaps start doing that for other things and for our whole family to be eating that variety of foods.
Yeah. So that’ll go a long way. Even just like having you know, sauerkraut or kimchi. Those are all good sources for gut healthy foods.
Yeah, so the fermented is good too?
And this may sound like a dumb question, but I know there are no dumb questions. Do pickles fall into that?
Not your like regular run of the mill pickles that you’re getting at the store, you have to get properly – I’m trying to think of the brand name now, I can’t off the top of my head. But not like your regular that you’re grabbing off the shelves.
Yeah, not like the Bicks pickles. But if it’s even someone who’s picked them from the garden and is fermenting and canning them themselves.
Yeah. That’ll all go a long way,
And so with the probiotics and prebiotics, I just want to confirm, are both of those in yogurt and fermented foods, or do you need to kind of actively seek out for the other one?
If you are eating a lot, if you’re getting your required amount of fruits and veggies, you’re getting enough prebiotics, that’s not something that you would need to supplement with. And then probiotics you can get through like your yogurts and that kind of stuff.
Okay, so you don’t need to worry about it too much. It’s mainly just that balance of the meals with the fiber, healthy fats, and proteins.
Exactly. And it’s also foundational, because I deal with a lot of clients that will come to me who are constipated, which has a big impact on your hormonal health. Because if you’re not having daily bowel movements, and get rid of – basically your liver is preparing the excess hormones to be removed from your body. Right? So if your liver is already not functioning properly, and then you’re not having a daily bowel movement, to get rid of the excess hormones, it’s staying in your body, it’s going to have a ripple effect and cause all those symptoms that you don’t want.
Okay. And I would like to clarify for everyone because I didn’t know this previously until he had issues throughout pregnancy. Constipation looks very different. It’s not just – I know, I personally had in my mind where you’re sitting really struggling to have a bowel movement, and it’s days and days. But it’s actually more than that. Is it just not having a movement on a daily basis?
Yes. Every client that comes to me, they’re like “oh, it’s probably every three to four days” and think that it’s normal. They’re like “my doctor says that’s normal.” That’s not the way it should be.
Okay, yeah, that actually used to be my normal in my 20s was every couple of days but that has since changed. Are there any other foundational things we should be thinking about?
So being very conscious of the products that you’re consuming. So by that, I mean your household products, your skincare products, a lot of the main ones that we find at our local grocery store, local pharmacy contain a lot of extra chemicals. And those can impact your hormones, particularly estrogen.
Okay, yeah, they’re endocrine disruptors, right?
Exactly. So just being aware of that and trying to make switches slowly. So when I started on this journey, making the switch for our own household, honestly, it took me probably three years to make the entire switch over, because it takes time to research and figure out what new products you want to add into your house and you know, the ones that you already have. So where I would recommend to start is pick the ones that are staying on your skin, your skincare products, so your body lotion that is going to just sit on your skin all day. And then slowly work your way to things like shampoos and conditioners that are less toxic.
Yeah, definitely. Just start with what has the most interaction with you and kind of go from there. And it can be a daunting process at first. But if you just think about one product at a time, and kind of slowly chip away, it really adds up.
It really does add up over time. Yeah, it’s a huge impact.
Are there any other foundational items?
So I would say prioritizing your sleep, your nutrition, getting your blood sugar balanced, your liver health, your gut health, your stress management. And by that, you don’t even have to think of it as you have to go and take a one hour meditation class or a one hour yoga class a day. Nobody has time for that on a regular day to day basis. So it could be something as simple as you are loading your groceries into the car, and you’re taking three deep breaths, just to like calm that fight or flight response in your body. Or shifting when you wake up in the morning. Often, especially as busy moms, we wake up in the morning, and we’re like, “I gotta go, here’s my to do list. And I’m racing and going.” So just taking one minute to calmly think about what you want to call more of into the day, like what’s one good thing you want out of the day. It just has a calming effect on your body and will go a long way in supporting your hormones.
Yeah, just really checking in. And you can feel it too, as we talked about before, we officially started the interview, I had a hectic morning this morning. And when I sat down at the desk, I was like, “okay, I need to calm that stress down,” and just have those few breaths. And it’s honestly pretty wild to me how just a few breaths can make such a big difference on how your body feels; you feel your heart rate slow down and the stress calm down.
Absolutely, yeah. And then just, like I said, your sleep. So kind of setting a good sleep routine, where you’re trying to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, avoid your electronics within an hour of going to bed.
Would you say eight hours is always the goal, or like six to eight, or what are your thoughts? Because sometimes with eight – it’s hard, busy mom with school schedules and all that sort of thing.
It is absolutely hard. So if you can get eight, great, you know, seven to eight would be ideal. But if you can only get the six hours, then that’s what you get. But try and create those evening routines that are calming and help get you into a good sleep. Magnesium is a great supplement in the evening to kind of help calm and de-stress you and get you ready for a good sleep.
Okay. How does magnesium work? I’ve always been curious, like you hear how it can be good for helping sleep, but I’m curious how it actually works.
So magnesium, again, that’s a key mineral, and so many of us are deficient in it now because of just the quality of soil that our crops are grown in. But there’s different types of magnesium. So magnesium bisglycinate is the one that helps with supporting stress and sleep in your body. Then there is a magnesium oxide or magnesium citrate, those ones help with constipation. So there’s different magnesium that will help with different functions in the body.
Oh, interesting. And when you mentioned the soil quality, that has me thinking we would see a lot of benefits sourcing more locally and from smaller farms rather than the really big mass produced farms.
Absolutely. Yeah. And then just even in terms of knowing where your crops or your food is coming from, you know, is it leaden with pesticides, so trying to get organic whenever possible, for certain foods. That will help be supportive of your hormones as well, because you’re reducing your toxic load.
Okay. And for organic, that’s another thing that can be really overwhelming to go full organic, where do you recommend kind of concentrating as a start if you’re wanting to make the switchover?
So I would say your fruits, like berries, would be a big one that I would make that switch, because those are very porous, and will take in a lot of the pesticides or whatever they’re using on them, and sourcing high quality protein. So if you’re eating animal protein, sourcing high quality animal protein.
Oh, okay. Good to know.
Yeah, so there’s a lot of, depending on where you’re from, but if there’s access and you can access that from a local farmer, or Tru Local is another one that I will often use – not sure if you’ve heard of them.
No, I haven’t heard of them.
They source high quality proteins from this organic, hormone free, just good high quality meat. You can kind of do like a meat subscription where they deliver right to your house.
Oh, so it’s like an online subscription model?
Yep. But they source from local farmers in the area. So I think they have one in BC, Ontario, Quebec, and I think there’s a couple in the United States.
Oh, interesting. I’ll definitely look into that. We’ll make sure it’s linked in the show notes.
Yeah. So that’s a good option.
Okay. I’m curious, what are your thoughts on fasting and how it affects your hormones? We hear a lot of things right now about fasting. How you lose weight, kind of fast for 12 or 14 plus hours. What are your thoughts on that? And how it affects hormones?
Absolutely, love this question. I am not a fan of intermittent fasting. I know it is all the rage, and a lot of people will use it as a tool for weight loss. The issue I have with it is twofold. A.) it’s only focused on the window that you’re not eating, it’s not focused on the foods that you’re consuming throughout the day. Oftentimes, it leads to under eating, which now we know will place unnecessary stress on your body and cause cortisol to go up. And it’s not really a sustainable practice; you are getting a natural fast every day. So if you finish eating at 7pm, and you’re not eating again, until 7 or 8 in the morning, you’ve already got a huge window where your body has been able to rest and digest and do all of its functions. To be pushing it even longer, especially if you’re someone who is already dealing with symptoms of hormone imbalance, you’re just kind of digging the hole even deeper.
Okay, and making that stress and cortisol spike, and all of the stuff that comes from that.
Okay. Good to know.
Yes. It kind of goes with keto, I know that’s another one that’s kind of very popular over the past few years. Not really a fan of that as well. Again, it’s more focused on making sure you’re getting enough fat in the day to fuel your body, because your body is now using fat as its energy source instead of carbohydrates. But you’re missing out on key nutrients. And in the long run – so even though a lot of women will say, “oh, I feel fantastic on keto,” those first five or six months, after they’ll come to me and they’ll say, “well, my hair is starting to fall out. And my PMS has gone off the rails and I’m feeling awful.” It’s because it’s placed so much unnecessary stress on your body. And now your other hormones are impacted. And it impacts your gut health in a huge way. Because if you’re cutting out major food groups, there’s a lot of fruits and vegetables that are just not permitted on keto, you’re limiting the amount of probiotic and prebiotic foods that you’re consuming. Which is really going to impact your gut.
Yeah, and fiber too I’m assuming.
Okay, that’s really interesting. I like that you mentioned too that it can be five or six months later, because generally, when symptoms start showing up, we’re looking more in the immediate, what changes happened. We might need to look longer than that.
Okay. How about supplements? When should we think about adding in supplements? What should we be looking at? Let’s hear more about that.
Yeah, so supplements are just that: supplements to kind of help you once you’ve got the foundations of a healthy diet in place. There’s some supplements that I call foundational, I would just recommend for any woman to be on. It’d be things like your Omega 3, that will help to tamp down any inflammation that you’ve got going on in your body.
And I’ve heard Omega 3’s are really good for helping with brain fog.
Exactly. Yep. So that would be supportive of that. Magnesium bisglycinate in the evening, just to help support good quality sleep. But also think about it like as an active busy working mom, for many of us that’s a stressful period in our life. And when you’re under periods of stress, certain nutrients can become depleted very quickly. So magnesium being one of them, B vitamins, vitamin C, those can all be used up very quickly in the body. So it can lead to deficiencies. So magnesium is a good one, the bisglycinate in the evening.
And then B complex is a great one to support energy. It’s just overall supportive, I usually always recommend that in lieu of a multivitamin. And probiotics. Those would be kind of my foundational, and then any other supplements, like when I’m working with clients, we kind of layer them in as needed, depending on what we’re trying to support at that time.
And another thing on supplements is that you need to make sure you’re choosing a high quality professional brand.
That was going to be my last question!
Not your Costco, or your Centrum, or Jameson or any of those. A.) they have a lot of unnecessary fillers in them. A lot of them even have like yellow dye, blue dye, red dye, which are known carcinogens.
I didn’t know that. Okay.
Aside from that, though, you’re still paying a lot of money for those supplements. And if you look at the quality, so you think, “oh, it’s got magnesium in it,” but it has magnesium oxide, which is probably like the lowest. A.) it’s not helping with what you want it to help with most likely. And B.) it’s either usually sourcing the lower quality, the least absorbable forms of the nutrients. So you’re taking this supplement thinking, “okay, it’s going to help me,” but your body’s not really necessarily absorbing it.
So that’s something to consider too, if you’re not noticing any differences after making some changes, adding in some supplements, to look at the quality.
Yeah, and also, before you start supplementing, if you are someone who is struggling with digestive issues, so bloating, constipation, any of those things, acid reflux, whatever else you’ve got going on. Probably supplements wouldn’t be your first line of defense. First, we need to get your gut health in order, in order for your body to be able to actually even absorb it. And utilize it.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I can imagine it just kind of plugs up your body if it’s not being absorbed, and it’s not going to help, and just contribute to other negative things you don’t want.
Exactly. So even something like probiotics wouldn’t be what I would recommend for a client right out of the gate who’s having digestive issues. First, we need to pull out all the things that were contributing to that fix the gut, and then introduce the probiotics.
Okay, that makes sense. And so we know to avoid getting supplements, at say like Costco, Shoppers, things like that. Where should we be looking to get them?
So get them at a natural or a health food store, where you’re going to get a good quality brand. A couple of the brands that I really like are Genestra, Canprev, AOR. Those are all good quality supplements.
Okay, I’ve been seeing AOR, they’ve been doing a lot of social media campaigns recently. I was curious on the quality of them, so it’s good to hear that you like the quality.
Yeah, or even the St. Francis herbs, they have a lot of different tinctures and things for whatever you’ve got going on in your body. Those are all great options as well.
Oh, great. I’ll get my VA to kind of put a list of those for people so it’s easy to access. I know it’s really helpful when you know kind of the brands and things to look for instead of just what to avoid.
And just make sure – obviously if you decide to go the supplement supplement route, I’d make sure that you’re checking with a qualified practitioner before you do, because in some cases, it can have interactions with medications. You know, particularly things like if you’re going to go in and try some of the adaptogenic herbs out there, you have to be very cautious if you’re taking any kind of prescription medications.
Oh, okay. That’s very good to keep in mind. Well, that was a ton of information. And I feel like I learned so much. And I have a lot of things I want to personally work on now. Is there anything else you want to add that you think people should know that we haven’t covered?
Just when you’re starting to make changes for your own, for your health and that, it can be overwhelming, because I’ve just shared a ton of information with you and it’s kind of like, “okay, well, where do I start with that?” Just think about it as like even just one or two small changes that you make, each and every week, because that will go such a long way in supporting you.
Yes, I’m all about the baby steps for all aspects of life. It’s just those little incremental changes are more approachable and doable, and they really add up over time.
Well, thank you so much for being here and teaching all of us this wonderful information. Where can our community find you and connect with you? And if they want extra help, what can you do for them?
So I do one-on-one online coaching. I mean, you can check out my website at Lauramartire.com. I also am on Instagram at @LauraMartire.hw. So I’m on there every day sharing hormone healthy tips. And then also, if anyone is interested, I have a free guide, six steps you can take right away to support your healthy hormones, and a 3-day meal plan to kind of get you started and moving in the right direction. And you can grab that through my Instagram.
Oh, fantastic. We’ll chat after and maybe there’s a way we can add that into this for you too.
All right. Sounds great. Well, thanks again, and to everyone inside UM Club, we will be diving into this within our Facebook group, our group chat, and our bi-weekly hangout. So make sure you take time to actually sit and reflect on this and then we will dig into it together as a community. Talk to you later!
Thanks for listening to another one of our UM Club episodes! If you want to discuss what you’ve heard today, make sure to check out the UM Club Facebook page, where I’ll be going over everything from this episode. I love chatting with everyone about their thoughts from the episode, and I can’t wait to hear from you!