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.
Detox is not a diet – but a function our body carries out every day!
Detoxification is a very important metabolic process carried out daily by our liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, skin and lymph system. But what does detoxification mean? Put simply it is the metabolic process whereby toxins and chemicals from outside the body and within the body go through a series of enzymatic reactions in 3 phases of detoxification, to enable them to be transformed into a less toxic more water-soluble compound that can be excreted by the body.
Now when I say detoxing is not just a fad diet, I don’t mean it isn’t important and that detoxification diets don’t help – when these systems are not working properly it is important to support them and return them to proper functioning, to ensure the body does not accumulate harmful toxins. The accumulation of harmful toxins both from our external environment, lifestyle & diet and our internal metabolic processes, can lead to inflammation, disease, illness, infertility, hormonal imbalances, mental health problems like anxiety and depression and so many other conditions related with poor health. What I am saying is that if your detoxification pathways are not working well, it is best to seek the help of a qualified health practitioner to help you on this journey and not just Dr Google!
“What happens to our body if our detoxification pathways are not functioning in the way they should be? “
“What symptoms might I see if I have toxic build up?”
However, these symptoms can also be linked to other health conditions and illnesses, it is important to seek advice from your general health practitioner if you are concerned about any symptoms you are experiencing.
“10 WAYS TO HELP REDUCE OUR TOXIC OVERLOAD”
Eat organic foods – a huge part of our chemical and toxic overload comes from the foods we eat (try to eat about 8 serves of different coloured fruit & veg daily – bitter foods are also great for increasing detoxification).
Eat wholefoods – packaged, junk and take-away foods contain preservatives, additives, colours and other chemicals that can overload our liver and cause a breakdown of the detoxification pathways & leaky gut leading to an accumulation of toxins in tissues.
Eat fibre – most people are not eating enough fibre, without fibre our bodies can not effectively excrete wastes and if you aren’t using your bowels regularly, toxins are not being removed from the body!
Drink water – Like fibre, people don’t have enough, water aids our kidneys to filter and clean the toxins from our blood! Aim to drink at least 1.5 – 2 litres of filtered water daily.
Watch what you put on your skin – our skin is our largest organ and everything we put on it gets absorbed. Many body and beauty products contain harmful chemicals that are absorbed through the skin entering our blood system.
Exercise daily – it is so important for so many aspects of health – it aids in keeping our organs healthy, our digestive system moving to eliminate waste and our blood and lymph circulation moving. Get outside in nature if you can, as it aids in reducing stress which can have a major effect on increasing toxic overload.
Cut out (or at least significantly reduce) alcohol, drugs and non-essential medications – besides causing toxic overload, while the liver is removing these toxins as a priority, it is not doing other important jobs like converting our B vitamins into active forms for use by the body!
Heal the gut – a healthy digestive system will aid in detoxification, rather than allowing toxins to seep into the body through leaky gut junctions, gut imbalance can be a major source of toxic burden.
Relax – in today’s society stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, lack of time & many other lifestyle factors cause us to be in a constant state of activity. Take time to relax each day, as these stresses on the body can add to the toxic load.
Seek help – see a qualified nutritionist to have your diet and lifestyle assessed for possible toxic accumulation and overload, so an individualised treatment plan can be developed to get your detoxification organs and pathways working at their optimal best!
“WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO SEEK HELP FROM A QUALIFIED PRACTITIONER IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE TOXIC ACCUMULATION & OVERLOAD”
The signs and symptoms associated with toxic accumulation and overload, may also be related to other health conditions, that need evaluation and consideration.
Detoxification phases require specific nutrients to work efficiently, if you are deficient in these nutrients, detoxing may actually create harmful metabolites, creating more toxic load, instead of reducing it.
Detoxification in the case of toxic overload requires a slow and measured individualised approach, to prevent harm to the body – you can detox without feeling ill!
Detoxing can sometimes cause side effects like headaches, nausea, digestive upset and more. These symptoms need to be monitored and mitigated to ensure health not harm.
Detoxification in children is often needed (especially in relation to heavy metal accumulation), this should always be carried out under the care of a health professional and monitored closely.
Detoxification is not recommended in pregnancy, as harmful metabolites may cross the placenta, reaching the growing baby.