Hormonal Balance with Christy Halvorson Ross
May 12, 2021
We had the recent honor of having our friend Christy Halvorson Ross - CHC, CRFE, and Founder of Little Green - write this incredible piece on hormonal balance, especially as it relates to women in perimenopause and menopause. She shares how we can best support our bodies through this transition as well as a delicious recipe to get your started.
Women in their 40’s and 50’s--even if they don’t know it yet--are often entering perimenopause and on their way to menopause. During these decades of hormonal change, we need both adrenal and blood sugar balance in order to prevent common side effects like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, loss of sleep, anxiety, fatigue, and skin problems.
Adrenal imbalance is often caused by stress. The adaptogenic mushroom, Reishi, can have cumulative effects on supporting adrenals and relieving stress. Its Chinese name, ling zhi, means “spirit plant” and it has long been used in Chinese medicine for quieting the mind, improving cognitive function and promoting longevity. Reishi is an anti-inflammatory that helps strengthen the immune and cardiovascular systems and significantly increase cancer-fighting compounds (Winston.)
Blood sugar imbalance can occur because we tend to over-consume foods rich in easily absorbable carbohydrates (alcohol, refined carbs and sugar.) Our blood sugar and, therefore insulin, skyrocket. If we consume these foods all the time, we ask our bodies to deal with chronic high blood sugar. This decreases our sensitivity to insulin (causing insulin resistance), in turn making it harder for our bodies to handle getting sugar out of the blood. Chronic high blood sugar creates a stressful environment in which excess glucose becomes toxic to the body. High Blood Sugar causes us to feel lousy, unbalanced, and jittery. Reishi helps normalize insulin and balance blood sugar, resulting in a healthier body and a happier mood.
Getting your blood sugar in balance can have other positive effects beyond your insulin levels and mood. Lowering blood sugar can decrease brain fog, which is another frequently complained-about perimenopausal symptom. Brain fog can also be improved via consistent use of Lion’s Mane. Lion’s Mane Mushroom is being studied for its observed ability to protect, maintain and regenerate neurons. In a 2009 double-blind trial, Lion’s Mane improved mild cognitive impairment of 50 to 80 year-old Japanese patients (Li et al.) It may also be protective against neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinsons and Alzheimers.
Mind Over Matter by Apothékary contains Lion’s Mane and Reishi, as well as Chaga mushrooms. An amazing way to integrate this adaptogen blend into your daily ritual is by making Little Green’s Crystal Chocolate Smoothie, which can either be a breakfast, a snack, or a dessert.
Crystal Chocolate Smoothie
● 1 frozen banana
● 2 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
● 2 Tbsp. coconut crystals
● 1 Tbsp. peanut or almond butter
● 1 Tbsp. hemp hearts
● 1 tsp. Coconut oil
● 1 1/2 cups almond milk
● 1 tsp. Mind Over Matter Adaptogen blend
● 1 cup crushed ice
Place all ingredients in the blender, add a handful of ice if desired, and blend.