Happy Hormones Treatment
Why Nutrition Is Important?
When it comes to balancing hormones, the first place to start is with a
healthy eating program. Many foods benefit our natural production and
balance of hormones, whereas other foods can decrease the production of
beneficial hormones, increase production of hormone disruptors, and
decrease our detoxification pathways.
Quite often you can restore your hormone health just by adopting a
healthy eating program. We are what we eat, so if you eat a healthy,
balanced diet, your body will also come into balance. You can be well on
your way to balanced hormones and a healthier body and mind simply
by following these guidelines.
By following this general nutrition program, you will notice increased
energy, better sleep, weight loss (if not already at your optimal weight),
and less digestive disturbance. Try not to think of this program as a diet.
It is merely a set of guidelines to help you have a more nutrient-rich diet
so your body can function at its full capacity. Some people find it helpful
to have a “free” day, as this will decrease the urge of wanting what you
can’t have. Once a week go out and enjoy dinner with friends or have
that food you’ve been thinking about all week.
After following this program for a few weeks, you will notice a
significant decrease in your food cravings. Once our bodies get
accustomed to eating healthy whole foods, the desire and taste for
sweets and more processed foods decrease. You won’t feel the same
the satisfaction you did before when you eat them. So, try your best to stick
to the guidelines for the first few weeks to give your body time to get
used to healthier, natural foods and develop its “do not eat” signal
for junk food.
Foods to Eat Freely
The foods that must comprise the majority of your diet are foods that we
have eaten for thousands of years that are found naturally in the
environment and have not been altered by today’s manufacturing
processes. These foods are organic vegetables, fruits, lean meats, eggs,
seeds, herbs, spices, and fish.
Vegetables are high in many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
All of these are necessary to maintain hormonal balance and overall
health in general. We have been eating vegetables since the very
beginning, so our bodies are quite efficient at digesting and utilizing the
nutrients obtained from them.
It is important to buy organic vegetables to avoid exposure to the
pesticides and herbicides that are so commonly sprayed on them. These
chemicals have many health-related risks.
The vegetables to focus on include:
• Brussels sprouts
• Collard greens
• Beet greens
• Collard greens
• Dark lettuce
• Mustard greens
• Red and yellow peppers • Squash
Like vegetables, fruit contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and
fiber. We can easily digest, absorb, and utilize the nutrients found in
fruit. However, some fruits are also high in sugar and should be eaten
only occasionally. These fruits include pineapple, mango, papaya, and
other tropical fruits It is important to buy organic fruit to avoid exposure
to the pesticides and herbicides that are so commonly sprayed on
fruit trees. These chemicals have many health-related risks.
The fruits to incorporate into your program include:
• All berries
Organic Lean Meats and Eggs
It’s important to ensure adequate protein intake. Protein is needed to
maintain muscle and bone mass, energy, detoxification, and hormone
production. However, you must be cautious with meat as many types of
meat contains traces of antibiotics, hormones, and nitrates, all of which
disrupt hormone balance and the immune system.
Rule of thumb: Eat organic, grass-fed, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free meat
The lean animal protein you should incorporate into your program
• Organic bison
• Organic chicken and turkey • Organic eggs
• Wild game
Seeds and Healthy Oils
Seeds and oils, such as pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, olive oil, coconut oil,
and flaxseed oil, contain healthy fats called omega-3 fatty acids. These
omega-3 fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatories, support our immune
system, and play a critical role in hormone production. Seeds also
contain vitamins and minerals, such as zinc, selenium, and B vitamins,
which are vital for optimal hormonal balance.
The healthy fats found in seeds and oils are necessary to build our cell
membranes, allow for nerve transmission, protect our organs, and
support the production of so many different hormones. There are some
fats, however, that we do not need in our diet. These are the fats that are
superheated, overcooked or burnt. High temperatures change the
structure of the fat, making it unhealthy for us, so avoid fats and oils
heated at high temperatures.
Rule of thumb: Include healthy, unheated fats, oils, and seeds in your diet.
Seeds and oils you can incorporate into your program include: Oils
• Coconut oil
• Flaxseed oil
• Olive oil
• Chia seeds
• Hemp seeds
• Pumpkin seeds
• Sesame seeds
• Sunflower seeds
Fish contains the same healthy fatty acids as oils and seeds. However,
fish is prone to mercury contamination, so it is important to eat only fish
containing the lowest mercury levels. It is beneficial to focus on small,
fatty fish from cold bodies of water, as they have higher amounts of
omega-3 fatty acids and lower amounts of mercury.
Rule of thumb: Include small, cold-water fish into your diet and avoid larger
fish, like tuna or swordfish.
Fish to incorporate into your program include:
• Arctic cod
• Trout (freshwater)
Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices have been used for thousands of years to treat all kinds
of illnesses and afflictions. Some have antibacterial or anti-inflammatory
properties, while others work to increase circulation, promote healthy
digestion, or elevate mood. Plus they add flavor and color to your meals.
Experiment with different herbs and spices to find out which ones you
enjoy the most.
Herbs and spices to incorporate into your program include:
• Black pepper
• Cayenne pepper
• Celery seed
• Mustard seeds
• Vanilla bean
Water and Unsweetened, Caffeine-Free Herbal Tea
Be sure to drink at least two liters of water or herbal tea per day. If your
water source is chlorinated or fluorinated, purchase a highly rated water
filter to filter out those contaminants. There are many different kinds of
filters: some attach to your faucet, while others are mounted underneath
the sink or sit on the countertop.
Bottled water does not count as filtered water. Bottled water is
surrounded by plastic, which eventually leaches harmful chemicals into
the water. These plastic chemicals are incredible hormone disruptors and
need to be completely avoided.
Coffee and tea plants are heavily sprayed with pesticides, so try to use
organic tea as much as possible.
Rule of thumb: Drink filtered water, not from a plastic water bottle, and use
this filtered water makes caffeine-free, organic herbal teas.
Red meat should be eaten in moderation, as it has been linked to an
increased risk of heart disease. Red meat contains saturated fats and high
amounts of arachidonic acid, a compound that leads to inflammation in
the body. Inflammation is a precursor to many illnesses, including
cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Furthermore, red meat is often contaminated with colorings,
antibiotics, and hormones, making it a somewhat processed food. So
when you do have red meat, ensure it is organic, grass-fed, antibiotic-free,
Rule of thumb: Red meats should be eaten only occasionally and must be
organic, grass-fed, antibiotic-free, and hormone-free.
Nuts and Legumes
Nuts are full of healthy oils, and legumes (such as beans and peas) are
great sources of protein. The downside to these is that they are difficult
for us to digest. They contain compounds that inhibit the enzymes
necessary for their digestion and metabolism. However, if you sprout or
cook your nuts and beans, these enzymes are deactivated, making them
much easier for your body to digest.
One nut to avoid completely is the peanut. Peanuts are more prone to
fungal contamination, which, when eaten, can contribute to the growth
of candida (yeast-like fungi) in the intestines. Candida overgrowth can
be the cause of gas, bloating, fatigue, and even weight gain. Peanuts, like
red meat, also contain arachidonic acid and are great at activating our
immune system, triggering an allergic response.
Rule of thumb: Sprout or cook your legumes before eating; limit to three times
Whole grains contain many essential vitamins and minerals, but like
legumes and nuts, they are difficult for us to digest. Be sure to cook your
grains thoroughly before eating and keep the portion to no more than ¼
cup cooked with each meal.
Rule of thumb: Cook your grains.
Some grains to incorporate into your nutrition program include:
• Brown rice
Wheat and Gluten
About 85 percent of people I see in my practice have wheat and gluten
sensitivities. This sensitivity results in symptoms of Crohn’s disease,
ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), low mood, weight
gain, and low energy. I have seen the elimination of gluten and wheat
dramatically improve health.
Foods containing wheat and gluten that must be avoided include:
• Meat replacements
• Packaged foods
• Pastries and baked goods
Foods Containing Yeast
Any food containing yeast will contribute to the overgrowth of candida
in the intestines, which can then spread to other areas, such as the skin,
Symptoms of candida overgrowth include constipation, abdominal
bloating, gas, fungal skin infections, skin rashes, weight gain, and
fatigue. If you have any of these symptoms, completely avoid foods
containing sugar and yeast.
The foods containing yeast that must be avoided are:
• Pastries and baked goods
Coffee and Black Tea
Both coffee and black teas are diuretics, which lead to dehydration by
increasing urine output. This dehydration is often the culprit in difficult
digestion, constipation, headaches, and dry, wrinkly skin.
Caffeine also stimulates the stress response. Over time this stress
response can contribute to a hormonal imbalance by overworking the
adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are responsible for our cortisol and
DHEA production, as well as some testosterone, progesterone, and
estrogen production in postmenopausal women. They are crucial for our
overall hormonal balance and often need extra support.
Substitutions: You can substitute coffee and black tea with water and
herbal, caffeine-free tea.
Alcohol not only contributes to candida overgrowth, but it also burdens
your liver. The liver is the main organ responsible for the detoxification of
our hormones and waste products. If it is busy dealing with the
detoxification of alcohol, it won’t have time to rid our body of these
excess hormones or waste products.
Condiments and Sauces
Condiments are often loaded with salt, sugar, colorings, preservatives,
and flavorings. There is very little natural about them. Avoid these as
much as possible, and when you do have them, ensure it is only in small
Substitutions: Experiment at home by making your own salad dressings
(olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice), sauces (homemade
hummus, pesto, salsa, and guacamole), and marinades; See the “Happy
Hormones Recipe Collection” in the Appendix for more ideas.
Sugar and Foods Containing Sugar
Candida loves sugar and will rapidly grow in its presence. Sugar also
significantly decreases our immune system, rendering it susceptible to
various bacterial and viral infections and cancer. A diet high in sugar
also contributes to low energy and an increased risk of diabetes.
High-fructose corn syrup must be avoided at all costs. This substance
has been linked with excess weight gain and obesity, as well as diabetes
and heart disease. Check all of your condiments for high-fructose corn
syrup and, if it contains it, throw it out.
Sugar sources to be aware of include:
• High-fructose corn syrup • Honey
• Maple syrup
• Products containing sugar • Sorbitol
We are not designed to digest dairy products. No other animal drinks
milk past infancy, and we shouldn’t either. The enzymes needed to
digest breast milk decrease throughout childhood, so as adults, we have
an incredibly hard time digesting it.
Because of this lack of enzymes, the dairy products we eat can end up
sitting in our intestines for up to three days before they’re fully digested.
This results in an overgrowth of candida and an increase in
fermentation. This process creates digestive difficulty with gas and
bloating, as well as a state of toxicity.
The dairy industry has us believing that dairy products are the only
source of calcium, but this is absolutely untrue. You can find calcium in
higher levels than many dairy products in the following foods:
Foods containing calcium include:
• Blackstrap molasses
• Collard greens
• Dark, leafy greens
Packaged and Processed Foods
Canned, bottled, boxed, and other packaged and processed foods usually
contain refined sugar products, preservatives, and colorings, as well as
other harmful hidden ingredients. These need to be completely avoided.
Bread, Pastries and
Other Raised Baked Goods
These all contain high amounts of sugar. Sugar increases weight, energy
dips, and hunger, and decreases your immune response to infections,
cancer, and injuries. A high-sugar diet will also contribute to blood-sugar
imbalances and an increased risk of diabetes.
Processed and Smoked Meats
Deli meats, sausages, and smoked meats contain high amounts of salt, as
well as preservatives, colorings, and nitrates. These chemicals promote
heart disease and cancer and need to be avoided.
Fruit Juices and Soda
These all contain high amounts of sugar. Canned, bottled, and frozen
juices, as well as all sodas, need to be avoided. Freshly squeezed fruit
juice is fine.
In summary, your meals should consist of vegetables, fruit, healthy fats
and oils, and lean protein. Ideally, half of your plate should be vegetables
and the other half should be a combination of lean protein, healthy fats
and oils, cooked legumes, and/or gluten-free whole grains.
Include Foundation Supplements
I believe that everyone can benefit from three foundational supplements:
a high-quality multivitamin, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D. They
all play such important roles and we really cannot afford to have
deficient levels in any of them.
A high-quality multivitamin is important to supply your body with the
nutrients that you may not be getting in your diet. I believe that, no
matter how healthy we eat, we are still at risk of having some
deficiencies because of overused and nutrient-depleted soil, and the
abundant use of pesticides and herbicides.
Pesticides and herbicides protect fruits and vegetables from disease,
but by doing this, the fruits and vegetables do not have to produce as
much of their own protectants and phytonutrients. But it is these
phytonutrients that supply us with powerful antioxidants, such as
carotenoids, flavonoids, and ellagic acid, and function to fight particular
cancers, decrease inflammation, and prevent allergies. It is important to
have enough of these phytonutrients in our diet to prevent chronic
disease and illness.
Soil conditions are the other big influence on the number of
phytonutrients a plant contains. Modern farming practices now allow for
soil and fields to be used multiple times in a row for crop production.
However, the overuse of these fields results in the soil being constantly
stripped of its nutrients (phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, zinc, selenium,
etc.) and not having the time to replenish. So the crops grown in these
stripped fields are not able to uptake as many of the nutrients as they
would have in the past, simply because those nutrients are not present in
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are very important to have in our diet because our
bodies are unable to produce them on their own. They are crucial for
optimal health and illness prevention. Omega-3s are essential for optimal
brain function, nerve cell transmission, and cell membrane structure and
function. They decrease inflammation and blood clotting and promote
hormone synthesis. Omega-3s are found in high concentrations in fatty
fish, flaxseed, and chia seeds, as well as kelp and walnuts. It is best to
aim for at least two grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day.
Vitamin D is a powerful antioxidant, anti-cancer, and bone promoter. It
helps regulate our immune system, promotes hormone synthesis, and
increases mood. I test all of my clients for vitamin D3, and only about 10
percent of them have optimal levels. This decreased level of vitamin D
increases the risk of immune disorders, poor mood, particular cancers,
The primary source of vitamin D is sunlight; however, cod liver
oil, halibut liver oil, and fatty fish also contain vitamin D. In order to get
enough vitamin D from sunlight, you should be in the sun for at least 25
to 30 minutes every day with face, chest, and arms exposed.
Avoid Food Sensitivities
I also recommend being tested for food sensitivities. If you have
unknown food sensitivities that you are eating on a daily basis, you will
have increased inflammation in your body, possibly resulting in gas and
abdominal bloating, acne, eczema, weight gain, migraine headaches,
and/or fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, I highly
suggest food-sensitivity testing.
Food sensitivity testing is different from food-allergy testing in that
food-allergy testing most often involves an allergist’s skin-prick test. The
allergist is testing if you have an allergic reaction instead of sensitivity.
Allergic reactions can present themselves as hives, eczema, breathing
difficulties, and anaphylaxis, and generally involve the IgE antibody and
histamine release. People with food allergies typically present with
symptoms within a few minutes to a few hours after eating the allergic
Food sensitivities, on the other hand, involve the IgG antibody and
often do not show symptoms for at least 2 to 48 hours later. The
symptoms are more generalized and often hard to trace back to a
particular food. This is why it is important to actually get a food sensitivity
In order to make this diet transition easier for you, try making extras at
dinner and save the leftovers for lunch the next day. See the “Recipe
Collection” section for more ideas and recipes. If the diet described here
is a dramatic change for you, your body may require a couple of weeks
to adapt. Because this program is in part a detoxification program, you
may feel tired for the first week or so, but keep with it. It will pay off in
After about three weeks, you will begin to feel much better than you
did before. And you will start to see your body, energy, weight, and
mood change for good!