Do not underestimate the power of hormones! They affect people in so many different ways, and are crucial to good moods and a healthy body.
So What Exactly Are Hormones?
Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs and affect many different processes, including:
- Growth and development
- Sexual function
- Endocrine glands, which are special groups of cells that make hormones. The major endocrine glands are the pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, pancreas and adrenal glands.
SIDE NOTE: If you prefer watching videos instead of reading articles, check out my video on the subject:
It can be a complicated process but I am sure these tips will help you:
1. Get some Maca Root
Maca root is a tuber in the radish family that has a history of boosting hormone production and libido. Many women notice fewer PMS symptoms, increased fertility and improved skin while men notice increased sperm production, libido and better sleep. Maca is also high in minerals and essential fatty acids, making it great for hormones. It tastes great in smoothies, and is available in capsule form or powder form.
2. Cut out the bad fat
Bad fats, such as high omega 6 polyunsaturated fats, are simply not meant to be consumed. These are man-made fats, they are not natural. The human body is about 97% saturated and monounsaturated fat, with only 3% Polyunsaturated fats. Half of that three percent is Omega-3 fats. If this ratio is imbalanced, it can cause serious issues. The body needs the good fats to build cells, but if it doesn’t have them, it will have no choice but to use the highly unstable polyunsaturated fats, which cause mutated and inflamed cells. So basically, don’t eat fats like vegetable oil, peanut oil, canola oil, soybean oil, margarine, shortening, or other chemically altered fats.
3. Limit or Avoid Caffeine
Too much caffeine can wreak havoc on the endocrine system, especially if there are other hormone stressors involved too. Avoid coffee, chocolate, cut down on tea, and replace with herbal teas instead and decaffeinated green tea.
4. Avoid Toxins
Toxins found in pesticides, plastics, household chemicals, beauty products and even mattresses can contain hormone disrupting chemicals that mimic hormones in the body and keep the body from producing real hormones. Things like the contraceptive pill do the same thing. Consider natural ways of preventing pregnancy, I suggest the book “Taking charge of your fertility.” Use a glass bottle instead of a plastic one for your water. Use a water filter, and eat organic produce and meat whenever possible. Make your own natural beauty products. Avoid these:
- Bisphenol-A (BPA)
This one is as simple as that – Sleep! It is so crucial, if you are not getting enough sleep, then your hormones won’t be in balance. If someone created a pill that gave you the same benefits as sleep does, they would surely win a nobel prize! You might even want to consider sleeping for 10-12 hours a day for a while if you really have a hormonal issue, to allow yourself to heal.
6. Consider Supplementing
- Iodine – Iodine is a trace mineral most of us are deficient in. The Japanese have one of the lowest rates of breast cancer. I believe this is partly due to the fact that they consume large quantities of iodine, but unless you are eating fish broth and seaweed everyday, then take 12.5mg of iodine daily. This is the same amount the Japanese get, so you know it works.
- Vitamin D3 – This is a pre-made hormone that supports new hormones. You can get it by getting enough sun but during winter or certain parts of the world this just isn’t possible, so either supplement, take fermented cod liver oil, or eat foods high in vitamin D. Do not ever take synthetic D2.
- Fermented Cod Liver Oil & Butter Oil – I’m putting them both together because you can usually find them in supplement form together anyway. It provides many of the necessary building blocks for hormone production including Vitamins A, D and K. It also is a great source of Omega-3s and beneficial fats. It is much better than fish oil or normal cod liver oil. Butter oil is high in the essential nutrient vitamin K2, which works alongside hormone builders such as Vitamins A & D.
- Magnesium – This supports hundreds of reactions in the body and often contributes to better sleep (which is great for hormones, obviously). The best way to get magnesium is actually through your skin, either through a oil, a spray, or magnesium flakes inside a homemade skin cream!
- Gelatin – This is a great source of calcium, magnesium and phosphate. It supports hormone production and digestive health and helps sooth inflammation. It’s great for making healthy gummy sweets!
7. Exercise Correctly
If you are trying to balance your hormones, strenuous exercise is only going to make things worse. Sleep is actually more important to help heal your body during this time. Don’t turn into a couch potato just yet though. Light exercise is best, such as swimming, walking and rebounding. Short bursts of heavy lifting (kettlebells, deadlifts, squats, lunges) can be beneficial since they trigger a cascade of beneficial hormone reactions. So avoid the extended running, cardio and exercise videos, for now.
8. Get in those healthy saturated fats
Low-fat diets are probably the number one reason people are having problems with their hormones. Hormones are made out of cholesterol. What are good fats? Traditional fats that have been around for centuries, such as grass-fed butter, cream, egg yolks, ghee, coconut milk, lard, beef tallow, coconut oil, palm oil and extra virgin olive oil. Remember though, oils have different smoke points before they go rancid, so the best ones for cooking are coconut oil, palm oil, animal fats and ghee.
9. Fix your leptin
Leptin is a master hormone that regulates hunger and metabolism. We can create a deficiency in our leptin levels by consuming too much sugar or processed foods, or by skimping on sleep—and as a result, we can experience more food cravings and a slower metabolism. It is very important to get your leptin back into balance, and that really needs a whole post to itself to fully explain.
10. Eat nutrient dense foods
This is something we should all be doing and it really helps you to get all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need. All you have to do is eat balanced, real food meals (not packaged or processed) that are nutrient dense. You don’t have to go crazy with this though. Prepare your food properly as well, as this can enhance nutrient absorption and reduce nutrient inhibitors such as phytic acid. So soak or sprout your nuts, seeds and grains before consuming. Some of the most nutrient-dense foods are:
- Organ meats – liver, heart, kidney and other organ meats have 10-100 times more nutrition than muscle meats such as chicken breast or ground beef.
- Shellfish – including crab, oysters, shrimp, clams and mussels. Fish broth is especially good as it’s high in Iodine, and so is seaweed.
- Organic Meat – Mutton, bacon, chicken, steak, it’s all good.
- Fish – Salmon especially and maybe avoid tuna due to risk of it being radiated.
- Bone Broth – One of the best sources of minerals.
- Eggs – Nutrient dense and full of healthy protein and cholesterol, vitamin D and A, and cheap as well!
- Fermented or Fresh fruit & vegetables (an obvious one!)
White flour and sugar are nutritionally empty and strip your body of nutrients, so replace those with healthier options.
- Bread – Sourdough or Sprouted grain bread.
- Flour – Use coconut flour or almond flour instead.
- Sugar – Use natural sweeteners such honey, grade B maple syrup, yacon syrup (contains prebiotics, similar to molasses in taste), molasses, palm/coconut sugar or nectar, and stevia.
11. Avoid Soy
Another thing that is prevalent in peoples diets that is causing issues is Soy, and it never used to be. You may think you are not eating soy because you don’t drink soy milk or eat tofu, but unfortunately, soy is in almost everything. Most restaurants use soybean oil to cook with, and most packaged and processed foods contain soybean oil and/or soy lecithin. Most of the meat and dairy we consume is from animals fed soy. Most mayonnaise and salad dressings contain soybean oil.
I’m sure most people have heard of the hormonal imbalances it causes. Soy is a goitrogen, which blocks iodine uptake in the body. As stated throughout this article, you will see why iodine is important for hormone health. In women, iodine is stored in the thyroid gland, the breasts and the ovaries (all hormonal places). It is okay to eat soy in small amounts, as a condiment, as long as it is naturally fermented (such as soy sauce, miso, tempeh, or natto).
12. Get more fiber
Get more fiber into your diet with raw fruit, raw vegetables, and things like chia seeds. Fiber binds itself to old estrogen, clearing it out of the system, and leading to better overall balance. This is good for men and women who suffer from estrogen dominance.
13. Manage Stress
Even if you’re doing everything else right, if you’re stressed out, high levels of cortisol will throw all your hormones off balance. Both overweight and thin people are affected by this, contrary to popular belief that only overweight people have issues with this. Researchers at Yale University, for example, found that thin women who had high cortisol also had more abdominal fat. Managing stress is important for every aspect of health, and I know it is not always easy to manage, but it is important that we all try. The Okinawans are some of the most laid back people, and they live to over a hundred! Try deep breathing exercises, even if it is only for a few minutes each day, it does make a difference. Or try meditation.
As you can probably tell, these are great things to be doing anyway to be a more overall healthier and happier person. Balancing hormones will really come naturally if you follow these general health practices and help to educate yourself on being a healthier person overall. Just do your best though, don’t stress out over it!
A Potential Solution To Reduce Snoring & Sleep Apnea
I’d like to share with you a convenient alternative remedy that has helped all of my clients to reduce snoring and sleep apnea, and that is by wearing a tape to keep your mouth closed during sleep. A new study published this year also showed the efficacy of this treatment.
Snoring and sleep apnea not only represent a holistic health risk to an individual, the irritating noise at night can often create conflict in a couple’s relationship. I’d like to share with you a convenient alternative remedy that has helped all of my clients to reduce snoring and sleep apnea, and that is by wearing a tape to keep your mouth closed during sleep. A new study published this year also showed the efficacy of this treatment.
Major Cause of Snoring & Sleep Apnea
One major cause of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea is mouth breathing during sleep, especially when you sleep in the supine position. When you sleep in the supine position with an open mouth, gravity pulls down your jaw and tongue, which then compresses your throat. As a result, your airway gets suppressed and narrowed, leaving less space for the air to pass through.
Mouth breathing also introduces stronger air flow as you inhale and exhale, which exacerbates the airway soft tissue vibration, causing the loud snoring noise. Strong air flow during mouth breathing also induces strong negative pressure that sucks in the soft tissues around the throat area, further narrowing your airway and eventually causing it to collapse, resulting in obstructive sleep apnea.
The Quick Fix? Wear Tape To Keep Your Mouth Closed
As I mentioned earlier, one of the main causes of snoring and sleep apnea is mouth breathing. A quick fix to keep your mouth closed during the night is to apply a small piece of tape over it. When your mouth is closed and lips are together, it is harder for you jaw to fall back even when lying in a supine position. Keeping your mouth closed also forces you to breathe through your nose, which not only helps to regulate the airflow to reduce the negative pressure inside your airway, but also reduces soft tissue vibration
An otoralyngology study published this year in the American Academy of Otolaryngology Journal demonstrated the effectiveness of this technique, showing significant reduction in median AHI (Apnea-Hypopnea Index) score and snoring index .
In the past few years, ENT specialist Dr. Hung Cheng Tseng and I have recommended wearing tape for all of our clients as part of our AirwayFit training program, and the feedback has been great. For some CPAP users, wearing tape on their mouth can help to eliminate the air leakage issue. In addition, if you often find yourself waking up with a dried mouth and throat, this method will also help you keep your mouth and throat moisturized throughout the night.
How To Apply?
In practice, wearing tape to sleep is actually a lot less daunting than it sounds.
Visit any drug store near you and pick up a small roll of medical grade paper tape. It should cost you no more than $10. I recommend ones that are hypoallergenic, porous, and non-waterproof. When you wear the tape, you want to roll your lips slightly inward so you don’t apply it directly onto your lips. Otherwise, your lips can really hurt when you remove it in the morning. Some people apply some lip balm or vaseline onto their lips first as a layer of protection.
You don’t have to wear the tape over your entire mouth. You can start by wearing it vertically, in the center, right beneath your nose, and that should suffice; as long as the tape keeps your jaw up, you should be fine. I also recommend you to pre-fold one of the corners of the tape, just so that there’s a corner you can grab onto easily in the morning to tear it off. If you have sensitive skin and you find removing the tape hurts, you can wet it with water before you remove it in the morning. You could also reduce the stickiness of the tape prior to use by sticking it onto your forearm a couple of times before applying to your lips.
If you really are panicked by this idea, then as I mentioned before, you can try wearing it only at the center portion of your mouth. This will leave gaps on the two sides of your mouth but still keep your jaw in the upright position during sleep. Also, if it’s your first night trying this method, wearing the tape 30 minutes before you go to bed can help you adjust to the feeling.
Most people who have tried the tape method to keep their mouth closed find it convenient and more comfortable and cheaper than the alternative methods. However, I would caution against wearing tape to keep your mouth closed if you experience the following: nausea or epilepsy, or if you have consumed alcohol or any pill or medicine prior to sleep. Otherwise, give it a try today and you will find yourself waking up feeling much more energized and hydrated the next morning!
To learn more about your sleep trouble, visit www.AirwayFit.com
 Huang TW., Young TH., “Novel Porous Oral Patches for Patients with Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Mouth Breathing: A Pilot Study” American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery 152.2 (2015): 369-373. Print.
A Simple Recipe For A Homemade Non-Toxic Fabric Softener
- The Facts:
Many fabric softeners are loaded with toxic chemicals that may cause harm to our health.
- Reflect On:
Have you looked for alternatives to make or to buy? There are plenty out there.
Fabric softeners are one of the most unnecessary dangerous chemicals that you may be using in your home, and it’s important that you stop right away. There are much better, safer, all natural alternatives that will keep you, your family, and the environment safe. The natural alternatives can also prolong the life of your clothes. Really, we have no reason to have ever invented such a toxic product in the first place.
Fabric softener is one thing, among many household items, that absolutely must go, and hopefully from the awareness that is raised from this article and many others that are exposing these harmful chemicals for what they are, we will continue to see the decline in their use as people continue to opt for safer, cleaner alternatives.
So, What Is So Bad About Conventional Fabric Softeners?
First of all, the majority of conventional cleaning and personal care products can essentially be thrown in the garbage as they are absolutely loaded with chemicals, many of which are completely banned in other countries. We have many safer, all-natural alternatives to these types of things and we simply do not need to be using these to clean ourselves, our home, or our clothes. People sometimes assume that our governments have our best interests in mind and wouldn’t allow ingredients that are toxic to our health into the products that we use on a regular basis, and while that’s a nice thought, it is a naive one.
Fabric Softeners are among the worst offenders in terms of toxicity and it really makes one wonder how these chemical pollutants were approved by the U.S. Environmental Agency in the first place. The purpose of Fabric Softeners is to free your clothes from wrinkles and static cling and of course leave them smelling mountain fresh or like a field of lavender, but at what cost is this “fresh” smell?
According to the Environmental Working Group, fabric softeners contain chemicals and fragrances that can cause skin irritation and respiratory irritation. The fragrance element alone can come from hundreds of different chemical compounds, and yes many of them are toxic.
Interestingly, according to what Anne Steinmann, Ph.D., professor at the University of Melbourne in Australia and a world expert on environmental pollutants and their health effects, said in an interview with New Scientist, “Most exposure to hazardous pollutants occurs indoors, and a primary source for these pollutants is our everyday consumer products.”
New Scientist also has stated that there are no legal requirements that all the ingredients, including potential toxins be listed for most of the products we use every day. While the compounds they contain have been tested individually for toxicity, scientists admit it’s hard to say how dangerous they might become when some are mixed.
Conventional fabric softeners are either a liquid that you pour into the rinse cycle of your washing machine, or a sheet that is thrown into the dryer with your clothes. Both contain compounds that are especially harmful to children. Toxic chemicals can easily enter your body through the skin. One of the worst is phthalates, which are added to emit a fake fresh fragrance, the University of Illinois Cancer center had the following to say about phthalates,
“Phthalates [are a] synthetic preservative that’s carcinogenic and linked to adverse reproductive effects (decreased sperm counts, early breast development and birth defects) and live and kidney damage.”
Steinmann also noted,
“Using a liquid fabric softener? You are pouring these toxic chemicals into the ocean every time you use it. Even worse than liquid fabric softeners are dryer sheets, whose chemicals are heated and then shot into the air for you to breathe into your lungs.
That ‘fresh-from-the-dryer’ smell that fabric softeners impart to your clean load of laundry? Don’t breathe it in, if you like your lungs to function. That super floral smell is masking a seriously unhealthy chemical stench.“
So, What Are The Alternatives?
Luckily, there are lots, which begs the question, why did we ever start using these horrible toxic products in the first place? Every chemical product that is in use today for personal care or home cleaning could essentially vanish from the Earth and you know what? We would make do.
A simple recipe for a homemade fabric softener is as follows:
2 Cups Epsom Salts or 2 Cups Coarse Sea Salt
20-30 Drops Essential Oil
1/2 Cup Baking Soda
Simply mix all ingredients together and store in a container with tight-fitting lid, add ½ cup directly to your load of laundry.
Some even more simple ideas are as follows,
One half cup pure baking soda added to your laundry.
One cup of distilled white vinegar and about 15 drops of your favorite essential oil shaken in a spray bottle, give your wet clothes a spritz after they are washed, before you put into the dryer.
Don’t worry the vinegar smell will go away.
A crumpled up ball of aluminum foil tossed in the dryer with your clothes can help to get rid of the static cling.
Another great alternative, that is simple, cost-effective, economical and environmentally friendly is the use of dryer balls. You can get the plastic kind that can cut your drying time in half and reduce the static cling in your clothes, but to be more environmentally conscious there are also wool dryer balls that you can purchase or easily make your own.
Here’s what it comes down to, as consumers we have been gravely misinformed and maybe we have believed that there are some kind of standards set in place by our governments, unfortunately, it seems that these protection agencies, for the most part, don’t have our best interest in mind. So, with that in mind, it is up to us to be aware of what we are purchasing, if we stop purchasing these conventional products which contain harmful ingredients such as phthalates and fragrances, then the big corporations will either change their recipes, stop using these chemicals or simply go out of business. As the consumer, we have a direct vote for the types of products that are being produced by how we are choosing to spend our money. If WE don’t want chemicals in our products, we must simply stop buying them and start making our own. We must take responsibility for our own lives and create the type of world we want to live in. It is up to each and every one if us.
Pamela Anderson Speaks Out Against Porn & Explains How It Can Ruin Lives & Relationships
- The Facts:
Pamela Anderson has called out the pornography industry and has provided a warning about the damage it can cause.
- Reflect On:
Think about the porn industry, it's origins, and what it has become today. How can porn impact us psychologically, physically, and what impact is it having on the younger generation and their overall perception of sex and sexuality?
Perhaps one of the most iconic sex symbols of our time, former Baywatch star and Playboy Bunny Pamela Anderson, has a warning for us all. In an op-ed piece published in the Wall Street Journal, entitles “Take The Pledge: No More Indulging Porn,” Anderson andrabbi-counselor Shmuley Boteach warn about how watching too much porn can ruin lives and relationships.
She’s been quite an activist as of late, the picture you see above was taken in her support for Wikileaks’ Julian Assange.
For those of you who may be thinking how hypocritical this sounds coming from a former porn star, (I can hear the comments now) just remember, people can change and often do. Who better suited to know about the porn industry than an insider? There was a lot of backlash for her article, but perhaps she is onto something here.
“From our respective positions of rabbi-counselor and former Playboy model and actress, we have often warned about pornography’s corrosive effects on a man’s soul and on his ability to function as husband and, by extension, as father,” the pair continue. “This is a public hazard of unprecedented seriousness given how freely available, anonymously accessible and easily disseminated pornography is nowadays.”
“How many families will suffer? How many marriages will implode? How many talented men will scrap their most important relationships and careers for a brief onanistic thrill? How many children will propel, warp-speed, into the dark side of adult sexuality by forced exposure to their fathers’ profanations?”
The Problem With Porn
I’m not here to demonize an entire genre and subculture, but there are a few things that we should all consider when it comes to porn. This topic is fairly taboo, even though it is extremely prevalent in our current society — just from a couple clicks of your fingertips a whole world of all kinds of sexual fantasies and fetishes are available. Online you can find anything you want, and the “selection” of what is offered has certainly ramped up in the digital age. What used to be seemingly innocent magazines and videotapes is now a whole underworld of anything you could imagine — often including crude and violent scenes of degradation and objectification of young women and men, too.
Watching porn frequently is not only highly addictive, but overtime it can also lead to desensitization. This could be the reason that the porn seems to be getting more and more violent and grotesque over the past decade or so. Viewers are needing more and more to simply feel something.
It’s Okay To Play
When it comes to sex, we all have different desires, fantasies and wants and this information is not intending to shame anyone for their own. There is a whole subculture of people who are aroused by BDSM, and other fetishes, which is absolutely fine. However, this type of sexual play is often consensual, with strict rules in place. Some of the porn that is emerging is known as abuse porn and does not depict a consensual experience.
“The sensual revolution would replace pornography with eroticism—the alloying of sex with love, of physicality with personality, of the body’s mechanics with imagination, of orgasmic release with binding relationships. In an age where public disapproval is no longer an obstacle to personal disgrace, we must turn instead to the appeal of self-interest,” they write.
“Simply put, we must educate ourselves and our children to understand that porn is for losers—a boring, wasteful and dead-end outlet for people too lazy to reap the ample rewards of healthy sexuality.”
It’s Time To Talk About It
Of course in an effort to remain neutral we shouldn’t generalize the entirety of porn and judge those who watch it, but it is something that we should be openly discussing more often. Raising awareness of the potential consequences and effects of porn would be a great place to start. Especially because the younger people are likely accessing this type of material online and there is a good chance that what they are seeing is their first glimpse of sexuality.
Are the scenes depicted in porn how we want our children to be viewing sex? Do we want our sons and daughters to believe that this is what sex is all about and all there is to it? Or should we be teaching them that although it can be fun to play games that both parties should be respecting each other and consenting to the experience before engaging in this type of play? And that sex can be a beautiful, loving and sacred act. It’s time to open up the conversations and bring awareness to the consequences of watching too much porn and the potential for addiction.
There is an excellent movie about this very topic called “Don Jon” a young man who is totally addicted to porn and hooking up scores a “perfect 10,” unfortunately, even she is not enough to satisfy his desires and he actually prefers watching porn to being with her. I won’t reveal how this movie ends, but it is very enlightening around the topic and is an enjoyable film.
For more information on this topic, read, “The Problem With Porn: Something We Should All Consider”
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