I don’t know about you, but I often come out of the holidays feeling a little more exhausted than I do any other time of year.
And it’s no wonder, because there’s a LOT going on!
⏰ Burning the midnight oil to meet last-minute work deadlines⠀
🎁 Wrapping presents when everyone’s asleep⠀
💃 Dancing or socializing the night away at holiday parties⠀
✈️ Taking red-eye flights to save a few bucks⠀
🥮 Eating all the sugary foods that we don’t usually eat except for this time of year
🍷 Having a few drinks at Christmas dinner or on New Year’s Eve
Due to all of this, our hormones can take a bit of a hit – leading to crashed out blood sugar, making us crave more sweets, and leaving us feeling a little sleepy and bloated!
I have a few secrets in my back pocket that I use to help combat this crash – and today I want to share them with you.
Trust me, these have literally been a game-changer for me!
The best part is that they are really easy to implement and may only require adding a few items to your grocery list before you go pick up those last minute items in the next couple of days!
So let’s check these out:
1. Eat healthy fats
This likely sounds counterintuitive, but trust me, it’s not when it comes to your hormones, energy levels and kicking cravings! ⠀
Filling up with healthy fats can also help to balance your blood sugar for longer-lasting energy, to reduce inflammation and to kick cravings.⠀
So what kinds of healthy fats should you indulge in during the holidays?⠀
🥑 Avocado on its own, as guacamole or as an oil⠀
🥥 Full fat coconut milk in your coffee, tea and/or smoothies⠀
🥓 Organic, nitrate-free and gluten-free bacon⠀
🕊 Cold-Pressed and organic olive or coconut oil in cooked or baked goods⠀
🧈 Grass-fed ghee instead of butter (less inflammatory) ⠀
🥩 Fatty cuts of organic and pasture-raised meats and eggs⠀
I always fill up on a healthy fat before I hit a holiday party to keep my hormones happy and my hunger under control.
Focus on filling up with healthy fats at least once a day and notice the way it makes you feel more full, more energized and craving free.⠀
2. Start your day with warm, salted lemon water
Did you know that lemon and salt are amazing for your hormones? 🍋 🧂 🤔
Beyond just warming you up, your hormones can greatly benefit by starting your day off with warm water enhanced with a slice of lemon & up to 1/4 tsp Celtic Sea salt. ⠀
🍋 Lemons have been shown to help detoxify the liver, and the liver is where we convert hormones, such as thyroid T4 to T3. And it helps us to excrete excess hormones such as estrogen which can lead to weight gain, sleep and mood issues if it builds up.⠀
🧂 Celtic sea salt promotes better hydration and electrolyte balance which is important for hormone and bodily functions.
Plus the magnesium, sodium & potassium in the salt nourishes the adrenal glands which largely produce cortisol and DHEA hormone and also contribute to the production of adrenaline, estrogen & other hormones as well.⠀
The best salt to use is grey or white unrefined Celtic sea salt. Stay away from table salt.
💧 Warm or room temp water aids in the absorption of the lemon and salt nutrients into the body in addition to promoting digestive function and bowel movements, which is how we excrete toxins that can impact hormone balance or excess hormones themselves.
This holiday season, give your hormones a healthy boost first thing with a glass of warm salted lemon water and then aim for drinking 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces daily to help you stay hydrated.
3. Sip on some bone broth
Bone broth is a superfood for your immune system & gut health, which is where a LOT of hormone interactions take place such as…⠀
✓ The conversion of thyroid T4 to T3⠀
✓ Conversion of glucocorticoids into androgens (a group of steroid hormones)⠀
✓ Where neurotransmitters such as serotonin & dopamine are made⠀
Approximately 80% of your immune system is housed in the gut. The immune system cells also synthesize, store & secrete hormones, which are identical to the hormones of the endocrine glands (thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, insulin hormones etc.) ⠀
Bone broth helps to keep your gut healthy & therefore your hormones healthy too because it is rich in minerals for immune system function plus it has healing compounds for the intestinal lining.⠀
Don’t get it wrong though, bone broth is different than your everyday chicken, beef or vegetable stock. Bone broth is made by simmering the actual bones of the animal (commonly chicken or beef) which is where all of the beneficial nutrients come from to support your hormones!⠀
There are great recipes for it on Pinterest – make a big batch to sip on all week & freeze the rest! ⠀
To save time, you can grab grass-fed, organic bone broth at just about any health food or grocery store, or snag it on Amazon.⠀
Pacific Foods Organic Bone Broth is my favorite – I really like the taste of it compared to other brands.
Here are some ways you can incorporate bone broth into your day to support your hormones through the holidays:⠀
☕️ Drink it as a hot cup of tea with some added spices; ginger, sea salt & cayenne are great!⠀
🥣 Use it in any recipe that calls for any kind of stock or broth (gravy!)⠀
🍲 Make a simple soup of celery, carrots, sea salt & pieces of chicken (boil then serve)⠀
I sip on it daily this time of year, which is perfect with it being chilly out! ⠀
4. If you’re going to drink, do this
With the holidays, we tend to indulge a little more in general. With big at-home meals, family gatherings, and all the beer, wine, and selzer advent calendars you can pick up at the store, it just seems that alcohol consumption is just more prevalent.🍷🍹🍻🍸
Alcohol can cause our blood sugar to crash, and blood sugar has a direct impact on our hormones. This can leave us feeling hungrier and fatigued the next day.
And of course, if we’re already dealing with fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, anxiety, and headaches…it can make those issues feel magnified.
That’s why I recommend that if you are going to have a couple of drinks, be strategic about it.
Always pair a cocktail with food! It’s always best to have it with a full, balanced meal if you can. The combination of healthy fat, protein, and carbohydrate will slow the negative effects of alcohol and help your body process it easier.
So here are a few strategies to help you out!
Pair your alcohol with…
- a full, healthy meal that includes protein, carb, and healthy fat.
- healthy fats like avocado, cheeses, and nuts.
- fiber from vegetables like hummus/guacamole with veggie slices, vegetable appetizers like roasted brussel sprouts.
- protein like cheese, meat plates, chicken, lettuce wrap burgers, etc.
Avoid drinking alcohol…
- by itself
- just with fruit
- meals that are only starches like potatoes, pasta, and bread (find a protein and healthy fat to add in)
Also, try drinking a glass of water between each drink to help keep you hydrated!
Keep in mind these tips are suggestions when drinking in moderation. A big night of partying may not be any match for these tips!
Bonus – These tips are great not only during the holidays but really all year round!
Try these simple strategies out the next two weeks to give your body a bit of a boost and hopefully keep your hormones from taking too big of a hit!
I wish you the very best Christmas!