I am thrilled to bring you a very special post from Dr. Mariza Snyder, a holistic health practitioner and hormone expert. She was serendipitously introduced to me through a childhood friend from my hometown (who so happens to be her body butter-making husband mentioned in the article below), and I was immediately impressed with her expertise, tenacity and warmth. When she told me she is dubbed, "the hormone whisperer," I knew I had to have her write a guest post to tell me and all of you more about what she does!
For those of you unfamiliar with why you should even care about hormones, here's a synopsis: hormones are like little conductors throughout our bodies that regulate a plethora of processes like growth, metabolism, fertility and behavior. Their health is essential to our health. Hormone imbalance can lead to weight and mood issues, poor sleep, digestive issues and can affect your libido, to name a few. Needless to say, it's important to keep those suckers in check. So what you can do to make sure your hormones are supported and in balance? I'll leave it to Mariza to tell you all about it:
Daily Habits for Hormone health
by Dr. Mariza Snyder
Well the good news is that the way that I keep my health and my hormones in check is through simple, repeatable, daily health habits. These are simple choices that we can make every day to ensure we are giving our body the necessary fuel and tools to not only survive our day to day, but to thrive in it.
If you’re open to making a few simple changes to help avoid hormone chaos and maintain optimal energy and mood, I’m here to help. It all begins here, and this is also how we can stay consistent in living a healthy lifestyle. These are healthy, all-natural habits that can truly help your body function at its peak potential.
1. Create a Daily Ritual to De-Stress
Daily rituals often make sense to start your day, but they could also be done in the middle or the end of the day as a way to help melt away that stress. My morning routine consists of essential oils, green smoothies, and positive journaling. I’ll touch on the first two later, but as far as a positive daily ritual, nothing tops my daily journal. It has a pre-made template where I fill in my priorities for the day, I manifest the outcome of a perfect day, and also manifest wild-hair intentions, that believe it or not – often come true. This helps to put me into a positive mindset, and helps me to put my intentions and wishes out to the universe so I can see them come true.
There are many other forms of rituals that you could partake in too. I try to sneak away to a mid-day yoga class several days per week, but I know many people who start each day with their yoga class or routine. Meditation is something else I like to accompany my daily journal sessions with if there is time, and even my daily green smoothies are an important part of my ritual. You could create rituals in your life with a brisk walk in the morning, mirror affirmation exercises, or whatever it is that helps you to set your intentions, put your stress into perspective, and create balance and routine within your hectic week.
2. Provide the Right Fuel
As I mentioned, I start every day with a green smoothie. Here is a link to one of my favorite starter green smoothie recipes. I started drinking green smoothies about 7 years ago, and I haven’t looked back since. If I had to suggest only one habit, I would say that drinking green smoothies every morning is my number one habit for maintaining healthy nutritional function and hormone balance.
With one green smoothie, you are drinking up to 12-15 servings of fruit and vegetables – enough for the entire day! Greens such as kale, chard, spinach, etc. provide numerous health benefits that can help prevent sickness and disease. In addition to eating greens and other antioxidant and phytonutrient-rich foods, it’s very important to avoid certain foods that act as triggers as well. Everyone’s body is different, so it’s important to try short-term eliminations to see how your body responds with or without certain foods. I can tell you that one ingredient that we could all use less of is sugar. I break up with sugar for several months minimum each year, which helps keep weight off, regulate my hormone levels, and gives me more sustainable energy. You’ll be surprised how good you’ll feel, (and how quickly your taste buds will adjust) from a reset like this. Other foods that act as triggers for many women include gluten, soy, coffee, alcohol, some meat and all processed foods. I recommend making small, temporary adjustments to your diet and see how your body and energy levels respond to those changes.
3. Supplement Your Hormones
In addition to eating the right foods, it’s important to supplement your diet as well. Our bodies rely on dozens of hormones to run efficiently, and any deficiencies can cause disruptions in your life in any number of ways. I take a core group of supplements including a multivitamin, a plant-based omega, along with other vital nutrients and antioxidants. They help give me that extra boost of energy I need in the day.
The other way that I support healthy hormone levels is through regular essential oil usage. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years, and these aromatic compounds come from the flowers, leaves, roots, seeds and other parts of plants. Some oils I use for energy, for mood, and even to flavor my water and foods. Wild orange and peppermint are two of my favorite essential oils that I use daily for energy, mood and focus. There are also many essential oils that are great for women in particular. Some of my favorite oils for women include geranium, clary sage, bergamot, lavender and ylang ylang.
4. Moving the Body
One thing that I cannot emphasize enough is regular movement of the body. At the minimum, I recommend 30 minutes of exercise per day, even if it’s just walking. Our bodies are meant to move, and getting our hearts pumping and muscles moving is one of the most impactful things we can do on a regular basis. Regular movement helps keep me in tune with my body, and also helps to release endorphins that can lower cortisol levels. I personally keep my exercise routines varied. Sometimes it’s yoga, sometimes it’s a boot camp class, and sometimes I just use a fitness app for a convenient and quick workout. It’s all about getting in where you fit in! Recently I’ve been doing more boot camp classes for maximum calorie burn, but I make sure to supplement with yoga once or twice for flexibility and to reduce stress.
5. Reducing Toxic Load
My last healthy hormone habit is more something that’s engrained in my life, and that is reducing toxic load. By toxic load, I mean any of the toxins, chemicals and heavy metals that we might be exposed to in our environment. The first and most important way that I reduce toxic load is by controlling what we use in our household and what I put on or in my body. I use nontoxic hair and skin products, as well as makeup. I use essential oils to make nontoxic cleaners, moisturizers, and other personal care products. In fact – and I kid you not – my husband just made a non-toxic body butter and shaving cream from scratch. If he can get on the train, you definitely can too! I also try to avoid toxins in the foods that I eat, especially heavy metals like mercury from fish. There are certain environmental pollutants that can’t be avoided, which is why I try to maximize everything within my control. I also do a detox 1-2 times per year to do a system reset and help reduce my body’s toxic load.
I could go on for days about my healthy habits, because they are the foundation for how I live my life. I believe healthy should be simple, and it all starts with these simple, repeatable habits. And if you can only start with just one habit, then start with just one! Don’t let the idea of ‘perfect’ get in the way of ‘better’. Our health is a journey, and every step in the right direction counts. While there are many healthy regimens that I participate throughout the year that fall outside of my daily routine, it’s these core principles and habits that set the tone for a healthy body and happy hormones. If I am having an off-day, I can usually run down this list and find a solution. These are the habits that help me stay consistent and balance my busy work and family schedule while feeling my best.
Dr. Mariza Snyder is a passionate functional wellness practitioner and public speaker, committed to inspiring people to live a healthy and abundant life. She graduated Cum Laude from Life Chiropractic College West in 2008. She has a background in biochemistry and certifications in nutrition and aromatherapy.