Healthy Hormone Series

The Healthy Hormone Series – Cortisol. Is it standing between you and your excess weight?

Last week we explored DHEA, the hormone that helps keep cortisol in check among other things.  If you didn’t get a chance to read it you can catch up here.  Cortisol is a hormone you may have heard swung around the traps as if it were the Coca-Cola of neurotransmitters – that is, it’s not one bit good for you.  But as you’ll learn, it’s quite the contrary.  Cortisol is one of the many hormones we all need that performs many functions we must tap into to survive.  The issue of modern living is that cortisol is way too often out of control, much like King Kong on a bad day.

Cortisol, produced by your adrenal glands which sit above the kidneys, is that hormone that helps to manage things like digestion as it regulates hunger and cravings.  It’s also important to regulate blood pressure, our sleep/wake homeostasis AND where you might have heard it mentioned most, it’s ability to help us cope with stress.

Cortisol isn’t exactly the bad guy.

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How to shape up (or ship out) your cortisol for better hormone balance

I recently posted over on Instagram that I was calling in the troops to help better manage my cortisol levels, since it’s something I feel the need to constantly reassess.  Some of you asked if I would share my tips and since I’m a lover and a giver I’m keen to give you a little more on what works and why.

If you’re unaware as to who cortisol is or what its role is, here’s the 101.

The two main groups of hormones I’m most interested in are your stress hormones and your sex hormones.  Cortisol is the king of the castle and one of your main stress hormones.  As the boss, it is designed to save us from danger, to be released when we are under pressure to allow us to cope and bring on the fight or flight alongside adrenaline.  But you see, given it’s super bossy nature, it impacts our sex hormones (mostly progesterone) and over time can lead to oestrogen imbalance – after all if progesterone can’t do it’s job to kick start and maintain the luteal phase (from ovulation to the next period), oestrogen will continue to climb and lead to oestrogen dominance which comes with a host of symptoms including ovulation pain, weight gain and long cycles.  You might like to read more about that here.

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Is coffee really the enemy?

Image found on Pinterest.

When is the last time you’ve woken up in the morning and thought, ‘that was the best sleep of my life?’ When was the last time that was followed by “AND my weight has been super easy to manage lately too?”
I’ve been exploring this deeper and I think I’ve found the answer to a better nights rest (and a whole lot more).

At least twice a year, I give up coffee.  Let’s get one thing straight up – I love coffee.  I love the ritual, I love how it brings people to together, I love how it smells and the variations of how it’s prepared.  Each year, as we approach the Spring, I set myself up to do my Cleanse Yourself 5 day program, although I tend to set aside a good few weeks (rather than just 5 days) to really do some good inner work.  I find my body loves this.  A. Lot.  Every time I cleanse, I learn new things about myself.  Each time I cleanse I feel something different.  Some cleanses I feel more emotional, some the withdrawals are hideous and other times, I’m in struggle town for longer than anticipated.  But every year one thing remains – by the end of those 5 days, I always feel amazing.

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Is your perfectionism ruining your hormones?

Perfectionists and friends of perfectionists, unite.  Maybe you are one?  You definitely know one.  Actually, I ask this question to my patients daily.  Being a perfectionist is darn hard work, I should know, I almost became one full time.  I come from a long line of perfectionists (who I love to bits and they know who they are) but for me the constant nagging thoughts and ideas doing the swirl in my mind one day became too much.  I had to choose before I self combusted.  I had to let it go.

Don’t get me wrong – there are still very much perfectionist traits that creep back in at times.  Just ask my husband. He’ll list my triggers – there are two main offenders.  Packing and visitors.  Packing for a holiday brings out something in me that resembles the devil on red cordial.  Apparently my horns come out – and I know they do, it’s all too consuming.  I’m very particular when it comes to packing.  I don’t want to over pack, I like to keep it minimal, pack it all in very neatly and avoid forgetting anything.  I hate pushing weight limits and I don’t want to pack 100 items because I know in my heart of hearts I’ll end up wearing the same 3 outfits for the week anyway.  I put great thought into it.  It doesn’t help that I generally leave it until the night before heading away – perhaps that is too, somewhat a conscious choice to sink my fierce energy into a small packing window.  I can try and be a nicer person for the rest of the time.  Whatever the case, I’m learning to become very conscious about my behaviour when it comes to putting my belongings into a bag before I’m ready to set sail.  Who would have thought packing brought out my inner perfectionist?

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healthtalks – busting through the menopause myths with Dr Sherrill Sellman

Here’s something every women must watch. And don’t let the title put you off – even if you’re light years off menopause – this is quite frankly, one of the most important things you’ll ever hear with regards to your health as a woman and a human. Because hopefully I’m not attracting martians or elephants to my site – but even then, they could learn from this too I guess.

In a special first on healthtalks, today I’m chatting with Dr Sherrill Sellman. You met her last week here on my site and there’s still a few more interviews in the kicker -but today we’re talking menopause – a topic many women are busting to know more about. And the key to a smooth menopause transition begins right back in your early years. Click on the play button and learn!