If you haven’t yet heard, Wednesdays are our Guest Blogger Series day! It’s a day where Matt and I get a bit of a mid-week break while getting to share with you some of our favorite online bloggers. And for their hard work, they get the benefit of your readership – we encourage you to please show all of them your support by visiting their blog and social media links at the end of this post!
I am a father of three young boys and, to me, that is quite a stroke of luck. As Stacy has often written about, her hormones often go out of wack, particularly due to diet. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a young daughter go through the same thing! So when Jessica Drummond offered to write a post on how paleo can help out young girls, I thought that it would be very informative and useful!
How a Paleo Diet Can Help You and Your Tween Daughter Maximize Your Hormone Health
As a women’s hormone expert and mother, I am constantly being asked what others should feed their children. I have an 8-year-old daughter, so I know how challenging it can be to get kids off of mac and cheese, pizza, and ice cream. I am not successful 100% of the time, but there is a very important reason that I keep at it day in and day out… the hidden superpowers in my daughter’s maturing hormones.
Let me explain.
Once a girl begins cycling she has access to some interesting strengths that vary fairly predictably through the course of each monthly cycle. To optimize these strengths, she must optimally nourish herself (or be optimally nourished by her mom.)
I like to think of the adrenal glands as the foundation of our feminine hormone systems. When these glands are optimally nourished, and rested by stable blood sugar levels, they can support the ovaries in producing appropriate amounts of estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. These hormones in turn, help to produce “just right” amounts of feel-good brain chemicals like serotonin.
During week 1 of your daughter’s cycle (and yours!) there should be a steady rise in the levels of estrogen and testosterone. If her body receives the building blocks to help to create exactly the right amount of these hormones in her body this week, her hormones will affect even her brain. She will feel increasingly Courageous (an key strength for any tween girl today!) and her body will use some of that estrogen to make the serotonin that her brain is hungry for to help her to remain calm under pressure and to sleep well.
Week 2 brings even higher levels of estrogen and testosterone. They both peak this week bringing her the strength of Charisma! This is the best week for her to rock her history presentation, or to talk you in to that slumber party that you have been resisting (so be warned! J) Again, these hormones affect organs far beyond her ovaries. Weeks 3 and 4 bring other unique strengths. All of which are supported by whole foods nutrition and can be sabotaged by the blood sugar roller coaster and nutrient starvation that is created by the Standard American Diet of bagels, crackers, cookies, and other processed foods.
To be more specific, here are a few ideas for how to feed your tween daughter (and yourself!) to maximize your body’s ability to produce exactly the right amounts of hormones and neurotransmitters that you will both need to calmly and joyfully survive the tween and teen years!
The adrenal glands are hungry for B-vitamins, found in great quantities in delicious paleo foods like eggs and turkey. And, in order to keep the blood sugar balanced it is essential to eat a combination of a high quality protein, fat, and low-glycemic carbohydrate at each meal and snack. What this looks like on the plate is something like a veggie omelet with a side of guacamole and salsa for breakfast, apples and almond butter for a snack, grass-fed beef burgers, roasted sweet potatoes, and salad for lunch, and grilled salmon, broccoli (dressed with olive oil dressing or butter) and grilled zucchini for dinner. This little meal sampler is beginning to look rather paleo, is it not?
The next time that you feed your daughter a delicious paleo meal, know that you are affecting far more than her weight, you are actually affecting her ability to use her amazing feminine superpowers to one day achieve greatness. And, in the meantime you’re giving her more physical, biochemical strength to stay strong in the midst of the heavy pressure of tween and teen drama.
Jessica Drummond, MPT, CHC is passionate about helping women and their daughters to optimize their hormone health. As her client, you will love her expert support and integrative tools. You will also love loosing stubborn weight, getting your libido back, having great energy, and understanding how your unique physiology can give you a leg up in leadership, your career, and even mothering! She was educated at UVA, Emory University, IIN, Duke Integrative Medicine, and is currently a doctoral student in holistic nutrition at Hawthorn University. For Free Guides to Harnessing Your Hormones and Surprising Ways to Get More Energy, sign up at jessicadrummond.com