There’s a lot of hullabaloo around hormones lately, and as a woman, I completely understand why. The hormonal balance in a woman can be quite delicate, and with all the birth control, chronic medication, hormones in meat, mass-farmed foods and chemical items in our every day lives there’s bound to be an effect on our bodies.
Balanced hormones means healthier skin, more energy, a stronger immune system, a regular and ‘easier’ monthly cycle and, of course, a bit more vuma in the bedroom. Whether you suffer from any negative effects of an imbalanced hormonal system, or you’re simply looking for a way to ensure a healthy, thriving body, there are a few simple dietary changes you can make to help!
- Get those Phat Fats – we mean those good, healthy fats like coconut (oil, milk or flesh) avocados, nuts (butter, milk or raw) and seeds (raw or oils).
- Clean & Lean Proteins – the non-traditional protein sources are actually some of the cleanest and highest protein-per-gram. Instead of reaching for a steak, try adding legumes, quinoa, sustainable fish or grass-fed chicken to your dish!
- VEGGIES! Always, always it comes down to the good greens and a nice colourful plate of vegetables and whole foods.
- Healing Herbs & Spices – these should be a staple in your cupboard and you should try get them into your drinks, smoothies, salads, bowls, soups, stews, anything you can think of. Cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic & ginger are amazing natural sources of glucose control, anti-inflammatory or immune boosters.
- Try and avoid stimulants like caffeine or alcohol. You don’t need to do it completely or forever, but a lot of studies show women who suffer from PCOS, hormone imbalance, adrenal fatigue or anything similar have massive improvements when cutting out stimulants!
Then there’s this sneaky little clean Hot Choc recipe, to help you get some of the good stuff in every day this winter. It includes some good fats, plant-based protein (nut milk) and some healing herbs so all you need to get in the rest of the day is a plate full of colourful fruit and veg and you’ll be feeling balanced and in control. We also added a special superfood that is specifically useful when it comes to hormones – Maca powder (made from an ancient Peruvian root, it aids in balancing hormones).
Hormone-Healing Hot Choc
2 tbsp raw cacao
½ tsp cinnamon (add more to taste)
1 tsp coconut oil
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp Maca powder (optional)
Honey, maple syrup, xylitol or stevia (to taste)
Pinch of Himalayan salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional, for a bit of a kick)
Heat the almond milk in the microwave or on the stove until almost boiling. Add it and the rest of your ingredients to a heat-proof blender and blitz for a few seconds until it goes light and frothy. Serve with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon on top and enjoy!
It’s the perfect way to start your day, especially if you’re trying to reduce your coffee intake – it’s warm, delicious, and packed with energy!
Lexi Monzeglio (@leximonzeglio) is a plant-based chef and food creative from Joburg. She started out in advertising, but through her food blog (@plantlifeblog), food styling and recipe development, she made her way into a kitchen over the years. Lexi qualified through Matthew Kenney’s plant-based culinary course and now works as a chef, stylist and consultant full time.