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Wondering about the women code diet?

Woman Code by Alisa Viti explains the hormone imbalance epidemic that is going on. Many women get put on birth control and when they come off, they experience hormonal problems like never before.

More than any other time in history, women are struggling with

  • PCOS
  • Infertility
  • PMS, mood swings
  • Endometriosis
  • Irregular or heavy cycles

We have gotten so disconnected from our bodies- it is time to understand how our bodies work, what they need, and how to get our hormones working for us and not against us.

Your brain, thyroid, adrenals, liver, ovaries, all work together to create a delicate balance of hormones and neurotransmitters. When we do not give our body the building blocks it needs, it simply will not make what it is supposed to make.

Key Insight from Woman Code by Alisa Viti

Women Code Diet: Stabilize your blood sugar:

The pancreas, liver, and brain function as blood sugar– stabilizing organs in the body. Unstable blood sugar is the most important underlying cause hormonal problems because your entire endocrine system relies on your glucose levels staying as balanced as possible and your body perceives mismanaged blood sugar as a stressor. This, in turn, sends your adrenals into overdrive and they begin to pump out a cocktail of cortisol and adrenaline— which then throws off the balance of your sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) the ones that make you look and feel good!

When you eat meals high in sugar- your body secretes hormones like insulin and cortisol which give you a quick rush of energy, and then stored fat, a bad mood, and a crash in energy later.

Consuming sugar, high carbohydrate meals, and caffeine sends our bodies and hormones on a roller coaster and causes major imbalances. The body needs certain building blocks to make hormones and brain chemicals. If you do not consistently give your body these building blocks and manage your blood sugar, then they will not be made, or at least not be made in balance.

Imbalanced blood sugar causes:

  • anxiety
  • mood swings
  • weight gain
  • PMS
  • low libido
  • heavy or irregular periods

Balance blood sugar by:

  • Not eating meals high in sugar and carbs: fruit juice, cereal, pasta, bread, candy, cake etc.
  • Do not drink caffeine on an empty stomach
  • Start your day with a good amount of healthy fat, fiber, and protein.
  • Eat every 3-5 hours- make sure you have balanced meals with protein, fat, vegetables, and complex carb at each meal!

Following this way of eating will nourish your thyroid, adrenals, protect your sex hormones, balance mood and energy, and stop cravings!

Support Your Adrenals:

How do you feel in the mornings? Do you get stressed out easily? Do you have low energy? Do you have low sex drive? If so, your adrenals may need some help. 

The adrenal glands are small endocrine glands that sit on top of the kidneys. They produce the hormones DHEA (the Mother Hormone) and testosterone, the steroids cortisol and cortisone, and other chemicals such as epinephrine (adrenaline) and dopamine.The adrenal glands are your body’s first line of defense against the stresses of daily living – they give orders to the reproductive organs, play a role in metabolism and regulate the fight-or-flight response.

When you are dealing with a lot of external stress, your adrenals over-produce the stress hormone cortisol. When your body is constantly making cortisol, it cannot make progesterone(your calming hormone)

When cortisol is too high it inhibits the production of DHEA, the “mother hormone” from which many of the hormones that support your menstrual cycle, your energy levels and your libido are derived.

Basically, we need to learn how to manage our internal and external stressors so our body is not constantly in ‘fight or flight’ which is a state where our hormonal system is shut down.

High cortisol also raises you blood sugar (which throws off all other hormones as mentioned above)

Adrenal Stressors

  • Food: sugar, caffeine, vegetable oils, GMO’s, pesticides
  • Medications: Birth control, antibiotics
  • Life stress: family, work, money, etc.
  • Exercise: Too much for your body can overwork your adrenals, especially if they are already overworked if you are stressed often.

Nurture your adrenals:

  • Eat anti-inflammatory diet
  • Balance blood sugar
  • Relaxation and breathing daily
  • Adaptogens and B vitamins

Support Organs of Elimination

Your organs of elimination such as liver, intestines, and gut are extremely important for hormonal balance. If your liver is overloaded with toxins, your body cannot break down and eliminate excess hormones like estrogen.

Once estrogen has done it’s job in the body, it is sent to the liver so it can be broken down and removed through the colon. Unfortunately, if your liver is all gunked up from the excess toxins it is exposed to then it is unable to function optimally and thus cannot remove estrogen at it’s normal rate. Estrogen that is not metabolized properly and can be reabsorbed back into the body.

When you excess estrogen in your body, it causes: PMS, mood swings, weight gain, acne, low libdio, and so much more. 

A build-up of estrogen in the bloodstream results in a condition called estrogen dominance, where estrogen becomes dominant in the body, especially in relation to progesterone.

Another problem is constipation. If a woman is constipated, then toxins and hormones also get reabsorbed into the bloodstream, causing estrogen dominance and toxicity.

How to Support Organs of elimination:

What you avoid is almost more important than what you eat. The main things to avoid for balanced hormones are:

Avoid

  1. Toxic personal care products 
  2. Inflammatory foods like vegetable oils, sugar, wheat, factory farmed animal products.
  3. Tap water
  4. Genetically modified foods. 

Do:

  1. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet 
  2. Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces daily
  3. Eat plenty of veggies daily at each meal
  4. Drink 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in water daily.
  5. Do one activity a day that relaxes you and brings you pleasure

Hormone Synchronization: Women Code Diet

Woman are not the same throughout the month, you probably already figured that one out 😉

We go through 4 menstrual cycle phases each month. In each phase, our brain, hormones, and body are completely different.

This Means:

  • We have different levels of energy and athletic ability
  • We have different social needs
  • We have different creative and critical thinking abilities
  • We have different nutritional needs

So WHY do we constantly do the same things each week out of the month?

Instead of letting this work against us, we can begin allowing it to work for us by doing certain activities at certain times of the month to maximize our brain chemistry and potential.

I have a detailed post about Cycle Synching here.

The Four Menstrual Cycle Phases

Follicular Phase:

  • Energy: Energy levels begin to increase and you are feeling more energized than the week before(menstrual cycle)
  • Hormone: Low levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Estrogen begins increasing.
  • Mood: Most creative and outgoing.
  • Thinking ability: Now is a good time to start new projects, plan goals for the month, and brainstorm for the future.
  • Exercise: This is a good week to do more cardio and challenging workout- take advantage of higher energy levels.
  • Nutritional Needs: This week is a great time to eat sprouted and fermented foods! These foods contain 3-endole-carbinol, which helps the body metabolize and break down estrogen- which is the main cause of PMS.
  • Cervical Fluid: None to sticky/creamy.

Ovulatory Phase

  • Energy: Your energy levels are at their highest of the whole month during ovulation week.
  • Hormones: You get a spike in estrogen and FSH(follicular stimulating hormone)  Your testosterone also rises.
  • Mood: This is a good time to connect with community and have important or hard conversations with people. (MEN- best time to talk to your wives;) )
  • Thinking ability: Your hormone levels at this time strength your communication skills. Now is a good time to work on projects with people are share your plans.
  • Exercise: This is the best time to do higher impact training such as: weight lifting and HIIT.
  • Nutritional Needs: This week is the best time to eat plenty of raw foods. Estrogen dominance is the main cause of PMS symptoms- you want to eat things that help break down estrogen in your body. The fiber and antioxidants in raw veggies break down and move estrogen out of the body. Raw juices and fresh veggies also ensure that the liver gets glutathione, which is required to break down estrogen in the liver.
  • Cervical Fluid: Vaginal discharge increases and is clear, wet, slippery, or stretchy on your day of peak fertility.

Luteal Phase

  • Energy: Energy is beginning to lessen slightly- especially days before your cycle.
  • Hormones: Your body increases in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in first half then a decrease in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone right before the menstrual phase.
  • Mood: Now is a good time to take care of personal tasks, errands, and household duties.
  • Thinking Ability: This week is the time to take care of administrative work like bills, and finish projects you are working on.
  • Exercise: The 3 days before your cycle, begin doing more restorative exercise like yoga, walking, pilates etc.
  • Nutritional Needs: This is the week to eat foods that are rich in B vitamins, magnesium, and fiber. Like leafy green veggies, liver, and quinoa.
  • Cervical Fluid: Creamy/Sticky

Menstrual Phase: 

  • Energy: Energy is at his lowest.
  • Hormones:Hormones are at their lowest: progesterone, and testosterone take a dip.
  • Mood: Your menstruation week is the BEST time for self-reflection and evaluation because this week your brain has more connections to both the right and left side, allowing you to see the big picture of things and evaluate how the month went and your future.  Many women feel relieved when they learn that feelings such as restlessness and dissatisfaction during the menstrual phase are completely normal.
  • Thinking ability: Now is an amazing time to see what has been working, what has not, and what you want to change going into the next month. Your intuition and ability to hear God is also strengthened at this time. Evaluate life and your goals in this phase.
  • Exercise: Restorative exercises like walking, yoga, and pilates are best at this time.
  • Nutritional Needs: Now is a good time to eat foods that stabilize mood and cravings as well has eat foods that are rich in minerals to restore what you are loosing. Healthy Fats, cooked veggies, and Root Veggies are great at stabilizing mood and cravings. Recipes like out coconut milk latte and coconut cookies will do the trick!
  • Cervical Fluid: Blood

Key Insights

Action steps from Woman Code by Alisa Viti:

Eat an anti-inflammatory women code diet: eat balanced meals with protein, fat like brain octane oil, fiber, and complex carb each meal

  • drink 1/2 ounces of water body weight a day
  • Do 1 thing a day that relaxes you- take b vitamins vitamin c and adaptogens when stressed
  • Eat tons of veggies and support liver with water, avoiding xenoestrogens,
  • Do certain activities that are best for your body at certain times of the months: adjust eating exercising for different phases of cycle.
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