Candice Csaky, INHHC

Four Tips To Help Balance Hormones


Balancing hormones is complicated. But you have to start somewhere and there are three things you can do to help which can give you a good idea as to how much work you have to do.

 

Tip #1

 

Lower Stress:  When we are stressed, the adrenals work overtime to protect us from what they consider physical stress (even though we are not really in danger). This is our fight or flight response. It causes the adrenals to produce higher levels of adrenaline and cortisol.

 

Because we can only produce adrenaline for a few seconds, our fight or flight response is dependent on excess cortisol, and this is where the havoc begins. Excess cortisol has been linked to depression, blood sugar problems, reproductive issues, anxiety and weight gain around the middle.

 

The key is to support the health of the adrenals with foods rich in B vitamins, vitamin C and potassium. Practising meditation or deep breathing helps lower cortisol.

 

Tip # 2

 

Support the Liver:  Excess hormones like cortisol, estrogen and testosterone all need to be detoxed out of the body. This is a key process that the liver performs to make sure we do not suffer from the excess of these hormones. Supporting the health of the liver, therefore is critical. Milk thistle tea or a whole foods milk thistle supplement helps the liver function more optimally. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and kale, apples, grapefruit, garlic, onions, Jerusalem artichokes, lemons, limes and berries are just a few foods that help support the liver.

 

 

Tip # 3

 

Support the Gut:  We also need good gut health to help make sure that excess hormones and toxins leave the body, so supporting gut health is also important. This is easier said than done but it starts with adding probiotics and fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, kimchi or sauerkraut. Prebiotic foods such as garlic, onion, potatoes, wheat, broccoli, berries and apples, just to name a few, feed our good bacteria and help keep our gut healthy.

 

Tip #4

 

Balance Blood Sugar:  Bad eating habits and stress can cause our blood sugar to swing up and down throughout the day. When our blood sugar drops, we can experience anger, fatigue, weakness and depression. Normally, we then receive a signal to do something such as a sugar craving or a desire for a coffee or a beer. If we respond to the craving, and consume something, this will bring our blood sugar back up. Caffeine, sugar and alcohol all cause the blood sugar to swing up high. This causes a high insulin release. And too much insulin can affect other hormones.

 

If we do not respond to the craving, then our adrenals send a signal to tell the liver to release stored glucose and bring up blood sugar. Again, it tends to be a lot of glucose since adrenaline is a powerful hormone. Blood sugar swings high and again, large amounts of insulin are released.

 

To keep blood sugar stable, eat small meals throughout the day with fiber and/or protein. Blood sugar stabilizing foods such as Jerusalem artichokes, cinnamon and legumes can be very helpful. Lowering stress also helps keep blood sugar stable.

 

These are just four simple steps that you can add in to support more balanced hormones. Give them a try and see the difference they can make.

 

If you are looking for more support in hormone rebalancing, book your free discovery call with  Integrative Nutrition Holistic Health Coach, Candice Csaky today and find out how you can start feeling energized and sexy in your body again!  

 


Candice Csaky, INHHC

Essential Oils 101: All the Basics You Need to Know!


The power of essential oils (EO’s) is real - have YOU made them part of your everyday life yet?

 

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We’re going to lay out all of the basics so you can get on this one bandwagon that’s here for the long haul. And when you learn about the history of EO’s, you’ll know that they’re not even new. In fact, EO’s have been around for centuries!

 

Some essential oils come from seeds while many others are extracted from the leaves of the plant. Because EO’s are so highly concentrated, it takes a tremendous amount of plant to produce just one ounce of oil.

 

Due to this level of concentration, essential oils are incredibly powerful, so a little bit goes a long way!

Some “essential” terms you should know:


AROMATIC

Essential oils are basically the natural aromatic compounds extracted from seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Diffusion is one of the most popular ways to enjoy the aromatic benefits of essential oils.

 

CARRIER OIL

This refers to a lipid- or fat-based liquid used to dilute EO’s. Olive, coconut, almond, jojoba and argan oils are the most common ones.

 

DISTILLATION

The process of extracting essential oil from plant material.

 

Steam distillation is the most common distillation method that uses low-heat pressurized steam to circulate through plant parts and extract oils.

 

Cold press distillation uses a mechanical press to squeeze essential oils from plant parts, and is the most commonly used method for obtaining citrus oils - a classic ingredient in DIY household cleaning products. This is to preserve their aromatic bounty!

 

Historic Essential Oils


Despite being suddenly catapulted into popularity, essential oils are not a new thing.

 

The ancient Egyptians were among the first to use aromatic essential oils for daily life, and pure EO’s were prized and saved for priests and royals. Other ancient societies, such as those in China, Greece and Rome used EO’s for aromatherapy, illness, and personal hygiene.

 

Essential oil starter kit:


Are you a newbie to EO’s?

 

Here are 4 of the most popular ones to try first, and a few suggested uses. They make great staples in your medicine cabinet too!

 

TEA TREE OIL (Melaleuca): Soothing, cleansing & healing

 

●     Combine 1–2 drops with your preferred facial cleanser (or moisturizer) for added cleansing properties

●     Mix 1-2 drops with pure aloe vera gel and apply to skin after shaving

●     Use diluted with water and/or vinegar as a surface cleaner - see recipe!

●     Add a few drops to shampoo and massage into the scalp - use in your conditioner too

●     Add a drop to toothpaste or swish with water for a quick and easy mouth rinse - but do not swallow or ingest

 

LAVENDER: Soothing & calming

 

●     Add a few drops to your pillow or bottoms of your feet for a restful night’s sleep - or use in a diffuser near your bed

●     Apply topically to help heal pimples, skin inflammation and irritation - be sure to test a drop on your skin to test for sensitivity; dilution may be required

●     Soak away stress! Add a few drops to a warm bath

 

LEMON: Cleansing, revitalizing & uplifting

 

●     Use to remove gum, glue, or any other sticky residues from surfaces

●     Use in a diffuser to purify the air, creating an uplifting & refreshing aroma

●     Add to a spray bottle full of water to clean tables, countertops, and other surfaces - recipe!

 

PEPPERMINT: Cooling & energizing

 

●     Apply a few drops directly to the skin of the back of your neck to cool off

●     For a refreshing aroma, diffuse at night by your bedside

●     Feeling tense? Rub on head and neck for a soothing, calming sensation

●     Add to shampoo or conditioner for a stimulating & invigorating scalp massage

●     Use as a natural bug repellent

 

Other popular ones for beginners are essentials oils of frankincense, clove, eucalyptus, clary sage, sweet orange, grapefruit, and rosemary.

 

Applications, skin sensitivity & ingestion


Essential oils can be used topically, which means you can apply them directly on the skin, mix them with carrier oils or mix with other personal care products.

 

DILUTE — A category of essential oils that should be mixed with a carrier oil. The carrier oil will help transport the EO’s onto the skin.

 

NEAT — A category of essential oils that can be applied topically without dilution because of a chemistry that is considered mild.

 

INGESTION— While there may be indication for internal ingestion of EO’s for therapeutic purposes, many of the ailments that we experience do not need such a heavy dose internally and may be more effectively addressed through inhalation (diffusers, personal inhalers, etc.) or topical application (salves, massage oils, baths, etc.). Personally I do not recommend essential oils for internal ingestion on a regular basis.  Be sure to consult a professional aromatherapist before ingesting essential oils. Always make informed choices and do your own research when choosing to use EO’s.

 

Essential oils are incredibly powerful and serve many purposes for the home, and in daily health routines. With some basic knowledge, and having a few high-quality oils on hand, you can DIY dozens of homemade products, and enjoy many therapeutic benefits.

 


RECIPE

 

Natural All-Purpose Household Cleaner

 

Ingredients:

●     ½ cup plain white vinegar

●     2 Tb baking soda

●     10-15 drops tea tree, lavender, lemon, eucalyptus &/or rosemary essential oil (or any combo of these) for their disinfectant properties

 

Preparation:

 

In a clean 12-ounce spray bottle (glass is best), mix the vinegar, essential oils and a splash of water before adding baking soda *important*.

 

Then fill to top of bottle with water, and gently shake to mix ingredients. Then spray area, wipe with a clean cloth, and allow it to dry. Dirty areas are now clean and disinfected!


Candice Csaky, INHHC

Why Does Every Nutrition Pro Tell Me To “Heal My Leaky Gut” -- How Can It Be Leaking?!


There’s A LOT of talk in the health world about gut health these days. You’ve probably even heard that the key to reversing a whole host of health issues, ranging from skin issues to serious autoimmune conditions, starts with healing your so-called leaky gut. 

 

After all, Hippocrates is famously credited with stating that “all disease begins in the gut”.

 

Several factors are thought to disrupt the normal intestinal environment and contribute to a leaking gut.

 

But what the heck is a “leaky gut” – and how do I know if mine is actually leaking? (Eww!)


This refers to damage and/or thinning of the lining of the small intestine (aka, your gut). Your small intestine acts as the barrier between the outside world and the rest of your body – a pretty important job!

 

The small intestine is also where partially digested food from the stomach (and anything else you take in from the outside world, like medications and supplements) is further broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream, where it is then carried for use throughout the rest of the body.

 

If your intestinal wall is damaged, thinned, or has gaps in it – known as impaired intestinal permeability, the breakdown and absorption of the food you eat is also impaired.  I recently spoke with a client who shared with me about the high dose vitamins he had been taking for years, and yet his blood test results showed that he continued to be deficient in these vitamins.  This is exactly one reason why you might see a vitamin deficiency, even when you are religiously taking your daily dose of vitamins. 

 

Partially digested compounds, bacteria, and chemicals that shouldn’t be absorbed can quite literally “leak” across the intestinal membrane and into your bloodstream.

 

The immune system then kicks into action, reacting to these foreign substances that have crossed the intestine as dangerous intruders.

 

It is believed that this immune response (from leaky gut) may be the underlying cause of other diseases, like:


 

  • Systemic inflammation
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Food allergies and intolerances
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Celiac disease
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Skin conditions like eczema

 

Several factors are thought to disrupt the normal intestinal environment and contribute to a leaking gut.

 

Contributors to leaky gut include:

 

  • Excessive intake of calories, unhealthy fats, refined grains, sugars, and alcohol, which promote inflammation and digestive trouble.
  • The use of antibiotics and NSAIDs (i.e. ibuprofen). These can disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut and cause damage to the lining of the gastrointestinal system, respectively, if used frequently.
  • Disturbances in the gut microbiome. Overgrowth of bad bacteria in the small intestine in relation to the good, healthy bacteria (your gut flora) that help digest your food.
  • Chronic stress, which can also cause inflammation throughout the body, including your gut.

 

Most healthcare professionals don’t recognize leaky gut as a real diagnosis and there isn’t a standard test to determine if you are suffering from it.

 

Whether the claims about leaky gut are true or not, gut health is something to consider when it comes to your overall health.

 

If you’re experiencing digestive woes, like bloating and irregularity, it’s possible your gut health and digestion may be impaired and that your gut is, in fact, in need of healing.

 

Good habits to support a healthy intestinal environment and properly functioning gut include:

 

  • Eat whole, minimally processed foods with a focus on fibre-rich plant foods.
  • Include fermented foods, like raw sauerkraut or kimchi, naturally cultured yogurt & kefir (unsweetened), or kombucha, which contain good-for-your-gut bacteria.
  • Sip bone broth or take a collagen supplement. Collagen is thought to help rebuild and restore the gut lining.
  • Take an omega-3 supplement or include 2-3 servings of fatty fish each week to help combat inflammation.
  • Take a daily probiotic supplement to support your gut microbiome.
  • Find natural alternatives to pain relief, like essential oils or meditation, instead of relying on over-the-counter NSAID’s which are known to damage the lining of the gut and cause digestive issues.

 


RECIPE

 

Gut Soothing Banana Berry Smoothie

 

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Ingredients

 

-       1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk

-       ½ cup kefir (or plain, unsweetened whole milk, naturally cultured yogurt)

-       1 banana

-       1 cup berries, any kind

-       1/4 tsp fresh rosemary 

-       1 Tbsp chia seeds or ground flax

-       1 scoop collagen powder

 

Preparation

 

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until desired consistency reached.
Blend in a few ice cubes if you prefer a cold, frosty smoothie OR use frozen fruit.
 


REFERENCES

 

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2009: Intestinal Barrier Function: Molecular Regulation and Disease Pathogenesis

 

BMC Gastroenterology 2014: Intestinal Permeability - A New Target For Disease Prevention & Therapy

 

Is Leaky Gut Syndrome a Real Condition? (An Unbiased Look)