Sweet Potato Toast is delicious, nutritious and so easy to make!
This is the perfect healthy breakfast alternative or make-ahead take-along lunch.
SWEET POTATO TOAST is for you if:
You need to remove gluten or wheat from your diet or just feel blah & bloated after your morning piece of toast?
Not sure what you could replace bread with or feel you don’t have time in the morning to think about options?
Are looking for a healthy alternative to the standard cereal or toast and peanut butter or Vegemite.
Your just looking for a healthy nutritious, delicious brekkie or lunch!
🍠 cut sweet potato lengthwise in 1cm slices (don’t peel, just scrub skin and leave on) 🍠 put in the toaster, as you would bread and toast (yep that easy!) – it may need to be pushed back down 2-3 times depending on thickness. 🍠 top with any combination – mine are from left to right:
🥜 nut butter, cinnamon & a
drizzle of maple syrup, topped with banana slices & blueberries
🥚 tahini & 🥑 smashed together, topped with a poached egg & drizzled with olive oil, balsamic & lemon juice
🍠 slice the sweet potato and roast in the oven the night before till just cooked – pop in the oven or toaster to warm in the morning 🍠 make toppings ahead the night before and have ready to go in the morning (leafy greens & tomato salads, dips like guacamole, tzatziki or hummus are good, or avo smashed with any of these boiled egg/feta/ricotta/tahini and drizzled with lemon juice all work well). 🍠 hemp seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds all make great additions. As do nuts like almond, pistachio, cashew, walnuts and pine nuts! 🍠 if your heading out early or lack time in the morning, make a take along brekkie before you go to bed – it’s a much healthier option for your mind & body then relying on coffee alone! 🍠 Switch out the sweet potato for thick pumpkin slices (they’ll need roasting not in the toaster) for a delicious alternative! 🍠 Works well cold as a lunch for school or work too!
In part 1, we discussed the signs, symptoms & possible causes of hormonal imbalance. In Part 2 we will be looking at Natural ways to restore hormonal balance and harmony.
Women often don’t realise there is a disharmony in their hormones, or that natural hormonal balance and harmony can be achieved.
One of the most common questions I ask in clinic is “what is your cycle like? Tell me about your cycle“, to which i receive “just the normal PMS, anxiety, cramping, headaches, bloating…….” These are NOT NORMAL!!!
So when did COMMON become NORMAL?
From talking to many women about their monthly cycles, there is definitely a sense among women that there should be a level of pain & discomfort associated with the arrival of menstruation. Is it any wonder when:
That’s right 85 – 90% of women suffer monthly!!!!
However, hormonal imbalance is not only linked to the menstrual cycle. It can effect so many facets of our life & the signs, symptoms & causes are varied. If you haven’t already read part 1 on the signs, symptoms and possible causes of hormonal imbalance, you can find it here.
1. Diet & Nutrition
The food we eat or don’t eat can have a huge impact on our hormonal balance. Eating a nutrient dense diet provides us with the macronutrients (fats, protein & crabohydrates) and the micronutrients (vitamins & minerals) for healthy balanced hormonal harmony.
Where do you start?
Start with removing excess sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed chemical laden foods and takeaways. Replace them with more fresh vegetables, quality fats and proteins. This is known as the “crowd out” method. The more you introduce in these quality foods, the more you will eat less of the “nutrient poor” foods.
Ever noticed the difference in your energy, mood, ability to cope with stress & your productivity when you start the day with avocado & eggs on your toast, rather than just a coffee or jam on your toast?
A great way to start looking at how to eat is the 80/20 rule. Simply, eat Nutrient Dense Wholefoods 80% of the time and allow yourself to eat “nutrient poor foods” 20% of the time. After all, it’s not about deprivation, it’s about nourishment. Sometimes that 20% is just as important to nourishing the soul & social interaction, as the 80% is to nourishing the body.
Making changes and knowing where to start can be overwhelming sometimes. If you need help in changing your diet & nutrition for hormonal harmony, get in touch!
Sleep is essential to hormonal harmony, as well as overall health and vitality. The quality & quantity of our sleep effects our bodies ability to heal & restore itself.
Implementing a sleep hygiene plan and strategy can be helpful in improving sleep onset, sleep quality & sleep quantity.
But what to implement?
My biggest 3 sleep tips:
No technology for at least an hour before bed and never in the bedroom
Aim to go to sleep and rise at the same time everyday
Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, comfortable and used for sleep & sex only. If you want to read, watch TV, chat on the phone, do all of this in another room before you head to bed.
3. Reduce Stress
Reducing stress is another important factor in balancing your hormones. Stress increases Cortisol, excess cortisol production has an effect on both oestrogen and progesterone production and ovarian function.
The impacts of stress are far reaching, but one of the biggest is it’s effect on glucose & insulin. This is one of the reasons hormonal imbalance is often seen with weight gain or an inability to lose weight. Cortisol causes a rise in glucose, leading to increased blood sugar and after time insulin resistance.
How can you reduce stress?
My top 5 stress-less tips:
Learning to say no & putting your health before everyone else’s
Mindfulness or meditation practice
Regular exercise (walking, yoga or pilates are great)
Reduce alcohol, sugar and caffeine in the diet
YEP! by now you might be starting to see the link between each of the main contributors to hormonal imbalance & the best ways to naturally restore hormonal harmony.
Daily movement is essential for hormonal balance, not to mention essential for general health & wellbeing.
Exercising daily does not mean you need to head to the gym every day and sweat it out (although sweat can help eliminate toxins), with high intensity training. However, mixing up low, moderate and high intensity exercise throughout your week, is a great way to achieve hormonal harmony.
Moving daily with a walk, yoga, pilates, swim at the beach, bike ride, gym class or whatever you love to do, about 5 times a week is optimal for hormonal balance.
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress, however high intensity or prolonged exercise can increase cortisol & reduce progesterone.
Everyone is very individual! Depending on the reasons for your hormonal (or suspected) hormonal imbalance, or if your trying to conceive, the amount and type of exercise you do can be helpful or harmful. So it’s always best to seek a little professional guidance .
5. Gut health & Detoxification
Quite often hormonal imbalance is closely linked to poor gut & liver function. The liver is the main detoxification organ and responsible for neutralizing and excreting both excess hormones and toxins (internal & external).
If the liver is over burdened with toxins and excess hormones, these recirculate around the body and are reabsorbed. Leaky Gut and poor gut health contribute to this re-absorption and an increase in toxic load.
When looking at optomizing detoxification pathways, we need to address not only diet but stress, movement, mindset, relationships, sleep & environmental toxins.
In clinic, I often work with women and men on a tailored detoxification program that addresses all of these areas. To aid in improving both detoxification & gut health, to help restore hormonal harmony.
You can find out more about my available online detox program and tailored detox packages here.
It would be great if we could obtain all our nutrients from the food that we eat, after all ‘food is medicine‘. Sometimes it’s not always possible, due to many reasons like changes in farming practices & poor soil quality, poor dietary choices, preservatives & additives in processed foods, poor gut health & reduced absorption capabilities, stress &/or lifestyle choices.
Nutritional Supplements used in the right form & therapeutic dosage, can be of benefit in restoring nutrient levels to optimal levels and aiding in the restoration of hormonal balance.
However it is important to note that it is best to seek professional help in determining a supplemental program right for your specific needs. Always advise your nutritionist or naturopath of any medications you are taking or your health provider of any supplements you are taking, to ensure their are no interactions.
If you missed Part 1 of the Hormonal Imbalance Series you can find it here
DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice, nor is it intended to lead anyone away from a qualified health practitioner or medical care. We make absolutely no claims to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition, it is advisable to speak to your qualified healthcare professional.
“Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine Be Thy Food
But really, what does this mean?
Quiet simply it means the food we consume has the ability to nourish us, keep us healthy, and aid in the treatment and prevention of diseases and their symptoms. When we eat wholefoods from nature we are providing our bodies with the balance of macronutrients, micronutrients and phytonutrients it needs to work in its optimal state. Health after all is just this, the optimal functioning of the whole person: mind & body!
“A Healthy Diet satisfies our physiological needs (energy & nutrients) while minimizing our exposure to harmful toxins/substances”
– WITH THAT IN MIND –
Let’s look at some simple nutritional principles, to aid us in reaching optimal functioning and good health!
Eat lots of fresh veggies every day – about 40% of your diet!
Eat lots of leafy greens – they contain lots of the essential vitamins and minerals our bodies detoxification pathways use, to help rid our bodies of toxins!
Eat a rainbow every day! Lots of colour = lots of different vitamins & minerals
Eat quality protein every day – about 25% of your diet (with 60% plant-based: nuts, lentils, beans & seeds and 40% from good quality meats, fish & eggs)
About 10% of your diet should include whole grain carbohydrates – brown rice, quinoa, spelt, rye, oats and whole wheat all fall into this category.
Include 1-2 serves of fruit a day – they contain wonderful vitamins, minerals, fibre & antioxidants, but also fructose (“fruit sugar”) so enjoying, but not overindulging is the key!
Treats are ok – never feel guilty or restricted but do keep them to around 5% of the diet! And aim for treats that are made with wholefoods and are refined sugar/flour free!
Chew your food properly at every meal to aid digestion.
Spend time cooking – its not only therapeutic, but you’ll know what is going into your food, so you can take control of your health!
Drink lots of water! Dependent our our life stage our bodies are around 55 – 80% water!
Don’t be afraid of FATS – healthy fats that is! These include olive oil, avocado, coconut milk/cream, omega 3 fats like fish oil & flaxseed oil (about 12% of your diet).
Don’t eat on the run – practice mindful eating: take time to savor, enjoy and be present at your meal – it’s good for mind and body!
Stop eating take-away – its often full of hidden sugars, bad fats & is nutritionally poor in comparison to cooking your own meals.
Steer clear of highly processed/packaged foods – refined carbs (simple sugars) lurk in these, along with bad fats, preservatives, fillers and toxins. These foods cause inflammation in the body and can contribute to risk factors for disease. TIP: shop on the outer perimeter of the supermarket, this is where the wholefoods live!
Limit nutrient devoid treats (eg. potato chips & biscuit packets) – by making each mouthful nutrient dense you can increase energy levels, immunity & general health!
Don’t let the packaging of products fool you – their claims can often be misleading and confusing – read both the nutritional panel and ingredients list to ensure foods are as healthy as they claim! TIP: If it reads like a chemistry lab – it probably was made in one!
If your feeling overwhelmed by the confusing health messages thrown at us everyday and would like to learn more about EATING for OPTIMAL HEALTH.CONTACT ME, I would love to help you on your WELLNESS JOURNEY and help you FLOURISH in GOOD HEALTH.