You're forgiven for thinking I'm a hypocrite. One minute I'm talking about why you can't stop eating meat and how in fact your hormones pretty much depend on it and then in the next breath I'm banging on about my almost vegan, Gentle Body Cleanse which finished on Friday (stay tuned for the next date coming soon). I don't like being the source of your confusion – there are so many conflicting ideas before us, it's not any wonder you can't sleep at night because your mind is doing cartwheels trying to decide whether green juice is a good breakfast idea or should you be switching that for a pork chop.
Let's put an end to the confusion today. It's high time things were made clearer and I helped you to understand things on the the next level when it comes to that complex but oh so beautiful body you have. You see, in my experience for your body to be rocking gangnam style there are a couple of key players. And then of course, you must come back and remember that we are all unique and sometimes a little trial and error thrown in is going to be that icing on the gluten free cake. So let's break it down.
Your Liver is the bomb
Literally – it controls much more than you are probably giving it credit for. If it's sluggish, and failing to cleanse your body because it's so clogged and backed up nothing else will function well. Think of a sponge that's full of grease and grime and toss in a bit of mould in for good measure and now go on washing your virtual dishes – start with the glasses first… you getting the picture? If your liver can't break down the toxins, it literally redistributes them around your body, much like that sponge would be doing to your glasses and dinner plates, leading to hormone imbalance in several ways. It will tuck toxins our of harms way (in adipose tissue) which makes you gain weight. This then becomes a vicious cycle since this leads to higher levels of oestrogen which in a round about way results in more weight gain – since fat cells feed oestrogen. And we've talked about why too much oestrogen is a huge issue here . Your liver will do a fine job of cleansing if we take good care of it. And in a perfect world, free from harmful toxins, chemical filled water, refined foods, over indulgence and STRESS, there may not be the need for 'cleansing.' That said, fasting and cleansing goes back to biblical times – I'm pretty sure it's part of the plan that's been lost in translation somewhere in time.
So now you understand that your liver really must be in check, there's another key player in fixing your hormones.
Your gut needs to be awesome
You know, your gut is the master controller. It's your second brain, it shapes your immunity and it ensures that your body is well nourished on almost every level. You see, 3kg of essential bacteria call it home. The pill, much like antibiotics and stress (and poor diet and lifestyle) all act like a demolition ball on your gut – they strip away this essential bacteria and upset the intricate balance that is absolutely necessary for digestion. This bacteria also lines your gut like a force shield preventing food from leaking into your body. The actual gut wall and your food aren't supposed to communicate – they shouldn't really know one another exists – it is this gut lining & presence of bacteria that does the job of protection, assimilation and digestion. If the gut lining isn't present or the bacteria balance is upset, you can't adequately absorb nutrients, assimilate food, nourish your body and essentially you can't make hormones. This is the key to wellness and hormone balance. The secret lies within your gut. Because of course if you can absorb nutrients, your body can be fuelled on every level (lets not stop at hormones. Think weight gain *hello more oestrogen!*, irritable bowel, bloating, anxiety, depression, stomach pain, poor immunity, skin problems… need I keep going?). And the best way to heal your gut is via probiotic and fermented foods as well as some nurturing – leaving food that doesn't serve you on the 'not now' list and including foods in your diet that heal.
Now the quickest way to rev up healing is by way of maximising liver function which is why I created my Gentle Body Cleanse. I get emails from women telling me how they know the cleanse assisted in the process of rebalancing their hormones and for some (and those that wanted, and only then) how they attribute that to their successful pregnancy or healing PCOS. This is why 5 days of vegan cleansing and giving your body a well deserved break is in fact essential in paving the way to hormone balance. But for most, it isn't ideal as a long term way of eating. As you see in Fertilise Yourself , hormones are made up of fats and proteins. We need to include meat in the diet to provide the body with essential amino acids that are key players in hormone health. These amino acids aren't found anywhere else. It doesn't mean you need to sit down to a cow every other night – in fact far from it. I'm a huge advocate for plenty of plants on your plate. But it is important that you work out just how much your own body needs in order to support hormone health. For some (like me) that may mean sitting down to some grass fed, organic meat once every 2-3 weeks and for others this may need to be more. The point is, that there are some basic principles that need to be considered to keep your body happy. The amount of which you require will differ. But the health of the gut is the vital player here, because you can eat all the meat in the world to balance your hormones, but if your gut can't assimilate, then there is just no way it's going to have a healing effect.
You might like to do a little more research into gut health and how to heal your gut. Check out these healthtalksTV clips – not only do we talk the heck out of gut health but we show you how to make foods that help heal your gut too!
Did you take part in my Gentle Body Cleanse this month? Did you enjoy it? I'd love to hear. Stay tuned for the next date. I will be running another round of the cleanse in March – it is without doubt one of the best things you will do for your health this year.