The holiday season is filled with family, parties, friends, traditions, and…sugar, alcohol, shopping, stress, and other out-of-the-ordinary activities. In other words, it’s a wonderful and a hormonally disruptive time of year.
You know that holiday hangover feeling where you’re moody, bloated, prone to breakouts, and your pants no longer zip? That’s holiday hormone madness. But here’s the good news: you’re not doomed to a winter filled with crummy symptoms. There are simple strategies you can use to have (a little) cake and eat it, too!
The first, best step is to do a simple, easy reset after indulging in holiday hedonism. By taking a few days to focus on healthy food (and when to eat it), getting the right micronutrients, and engaging in strategic self-care, you can reverse the hormonal chaos and lay the groundwork for a lighter, brighter holiday season and New Year.
And if you think a reset requires strict deprivation, think again. Recalibrating your endocrine system is easier than you think.
Why The Holidays Wreak Havoc On Your Hormones
The post-holiday hangover is a result of putting too much pressure on one of the body’s most important detox organs: the liver.
Your liver is responsible for breaking down toxins and getting them ready for elimination from the body. This happens naturally when you eat a diet of FLO-friendly foods, but when the holidays interfere with their pies, cookies, and mulled wine, your liver gets overwhelmed and can’t detox efficiently. The symptoms you’re feeling on the outside—like fatigue, brain fog, acne, weight gain, bloating, heavy or irregular periods, severe PMS, mood swings, and hormonal headaches—are the downstream effects of having a sluggish liver. When this happens, toxins recirculate through your bloodstream and estrogen, which is also detoxed through the liver, backs up in your body.
When you have too much estrogen circulating in your bloodstream relative to progesterone, it’s called estrogen dominance and it will make any symptoms you’re already experiencing even worse.
The real goal in doing a detox or cleanse isn’t to starve yourself down to a smaller size; it’s to support the liver. Rather than depriving yourself, you should focus on feeding yourself the right micronutrients to help your liver move toxins more efficiently. Doing that will rev up your energy and strip away the sluggishness so many of us feel during the season.
How to (Easily) Detox From Holiday Hormone Havoc
Trigger #1: Too much sugar. I believe in the occasional sugary indulgence, but the holidays often come with more sweet treats than other seasons. Extra sugar is one of the biggest reasons our hormones go off the rails.
Here’s why: When you eat a lot of sugar or carbs and flood your system with glucose, your body sends out insulin to deliver it to your cells. This overexposure of glucose and insulin sends your blood sugar levels soaring and then crashing, which can disrupt ovulation and set off a cascade of hormone imbalances. The sugar will also prompt your body’s fat cells to secrete more estrogen, compounding estrogen dominance and fueling symptoms like PMS, cramps, irregular cycles, acne, PCOS, and even infertility issues.
Detox tips: Allow yourself some sweet treats this season, but stay mindful of the kind of sweetener and the amount you’re consuming. To avoid overindulging at holiday parties, eat a healthy, low-sugar and cycle-synced meal before hitting the town. Always eat a good breakfast within 90 minutes of waking up in order to safeguard your blood sugar and, if you can, make lunch your biggest meal of the day and include complex carbs (like black beans) and good fats (like avocado).
Trigger #2: Too many simple carbs. White bread, mashed potatoes, pastry-heavy desserts— sometimes it seems like carbs make the world go ‘round from November through January. You already know the kind of chaos sugar creates in your body. Add foods that mask as healthier options (like mashed potatoes) to the mix and it can spell real trouble for your hormones.
Detox tip: Having just one “carb-free day” each week can help with carb control. The rules are simple: For breakfast, have eggs with coconut oil. For lunch, have turkey with avocados and greens along with a cup of bone broth. Steer away from the grains and gluten-free carbs today to give blood sugar spikes a break and take a fiber supplement to sweep out the white flour residue. When you switch back to eating complex carbs the rest of the week, try to add in a brisk walk after eating to help your body use the glucose for fuel.
Trigger #3: Too much alcohol. A glass of red wine now and then won’t hurt you, but more than the occasional glass can start to mess with your hormones. Sugary cocktails can make matters even worse. Alcohol raises your estrogen levels and slows liver function, once again fueling estrogen dominance.
Detox tip: Concentrate on detoxing your liver so it can go back to processing your hormones and moving them through your body efficiently. Try my special liver detox juice: combine a handful of spinach, 4 stalks of cucumber, half a bunch of cilantro, one-third a bunch of parsley, half a lemon with rind, half a green apple, and a small carrot in a blender or juicer.
These tips will go a long way in helping you feel your best through the holidays, but the best way to do major damage control is by committing to my super simple, delicious (and FREE!) 4-Day Hormone Detox Plan. Get all the recipes and step-by-step assistance you need to get real results and head into the new year feeling recharged and rejuvenated.
If this holiday season hits your hormones particularly hard, consider supplementing with the key micronutrients your liver and endocrine system need to function optimally. The liver needs support to do its job properly, especially when we’ve put it under a lot of strain.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
Tame Your Cravings
Whether it’s just during your PMS week or every single day, we all feel like we’re constantly at the mercy of feeding the cravings beast. Join me to learn the 5 food craving types you have and what that is telling you about your hormones. You’ll discover
- Where you are most vulnerable during the day
- How to survive the 5 cravings-crisis times of day
- And my personal strategies for more stable energy