• Iris Grattan

My One-Dish Hack For Painful Periods.

Eat the right combination of foods to balance your blood sugar. Then reap the rewards of lowered estrogen, reduced inflammatory pain, and restful sleep.

Image by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Fibroids often come from excess estrogen, as you may or may not know. Dysfunction in detoxification, blood sugar imbalance, and inflammation cause excess estrogen.

However, certain diets and foods lower estrogen. They can reverse estrogen dominance and possibly shrink your fibroids. Even heavy bleeding, anemia, and painful periods can improve with food. That means you can eat your way to balanced hormones!

Since I'm getting some good results in these areas I wanted to share what’s working.

Fat. Fiber. Protein. - Why it Works.

I eat according to the principle of FFP. Fat. Fiber. Protein. Whenever I’m making a meal or snack I combine foods that fall into the categories of fat, fiber, and protein.

At first I didn’t think about food in this way. Instead, I ate what I generally knew to be good for me. I’d already become a vegetarian and lost a ton of weight. All my acne cleared up too - even the cystic, painful, mega-sized ones. I thought it was enough.

Turns out I needed to do something beyond that to handle my hormonal issues. While I ate a vegetarian meal I didn’t always eat a balanced blood sugar meal. And that's the secret sauce to eliminating excess estrogen and detoxifying the body. Even inflammation subsides with a blood sugar balanced meal.

According to renowned nutritionist Andrea Nakayama, fat, fiber and protein balance the insulin and glucose (blood sugar) levels after a meal. Otherwise, you may raise your glucose insulin levels.

Too much insulin...

  • Makes your cell walls rigid, hard, and resistant to insulin >>>

  • Glucose can’t enter the cells >>>

  • Inflammation increases >>>

  • Inflammation stimulates estrogen production>>>

  • Excess estrogen causes/is a risk factor for fibroids

  • Decreases the proteins that carry estrogen through your blood >>>

  • Estrogen flows unbound through your blood >>>

  • Free estrogen isn’t pooped out with your bowel movements >>>

  • Estrogen levels increase >>>

  • Excess estrogen causes/is a risk factor for fibroids, endometriosis, and/or breast cancer

  • Stimulates an enzyme called aromatase

  • Aromatase converts other hormones to estrogen >>>

  • Estrogen roams unbound through your blood >>>

  • Excess estrogen causes/is a risk factor for fibroids, endometriosis, and breast cancer

Healthy dietary fat, found in plants and seafood, prevents insulin spikes. This lowers the risk for insulin insensitivity and excess estrogen production.

Fiber also micro-manages the insulin response; the more fiber in the diet the less insulin.

Carbohydrates and foods with high fiber are the ones to eat. They're lower on the glycemic index and glycemic response/load list - two ways to measure a carbohydrates’ effect on insulin.

Whole-grain carbohydrates tend to have more fiber.

(Fiber is one type of carbohydrate. Starches, sugars, and oligosaccharides are other types of carbohydrates.)

Here’s a long list of American and international foods ranked by their glycemic index and load. It’s one of the most comprehensive despite being a little over 10 years old.

Choosing foods that are low-to-moderate on the glycemic index and glycemic load automatically lead you to eat healthier carbs with a measured insulin response.

And carbohydrate quality, like fiber and non-starchy carbohydrates, are your best choices.

Protein barely affects insulin. At mealtime, if eaten with vegetables (and/or fat) before carbohydrates, then glucose and insulin levels remain low.

Eating a high fiber, healthy fat, and protein meal balances blood sugar.

This decreases excess estrogen and reduces the risk of breast cancer.

It also leads to hormone balance.

FFP & Buddha Bowls - The Good Stuff

Whew! Thank goodness that's over. Let's get on to eating.

Here’s my FFP charts. I mix and match foods from these lists when I'm planning meals.

For breakfast, I may eat...

  • Omelet + kale + feta cheese + avocado/guacamole topping

  • Split pea soup (w/potato + mushrooms blending in) + feta cheese melted on top

  • Stone ground grits + fish or shrimp + gluten-free or sourdough toast w/butter

  • Bob Mills Oatmeal + vanilla protein powder mixed in or Greek yogurt + gluten-free or sourdough toast w/butter

  • Lentil soup + feta cheese melted on top

And for dinner, I use...a buddha bowl.

Alexandra Lein from the Instagram account @veggieinthecity sums up a buddha bowl:

“It’s a nourishing meal that’s just little bites of everything,”

Here’s my favorite one - sweet potato chickpea by the Minimalist Baker.

Doesn't it make you hungry! You can eat this one for hormone balancing too.

As a certified non-chef, non-cooker, inedible-food maker, buddha bowls keep me fed.

I love the simplicity of cooking all my food at once and then dumping whatever I like into my bowl.

It ain't elegant but it works.

What also works? Finally getting a goodnight’s sleep. Blood sugar imbalances often caused my night-time wakefulness and bathroom breaks.

I get a restful and complete night of sleep when eating the FFP diet.

FFP and juicing made my PMS go away too.

Excess estrogen causes inflammation and inflammation causes pain, including menstrual cramps (1, 2). So, balancing my blood sugar and detoxifying with green juices reduces excess estrogen thereby lessening my pain.

Even the first day is pain-free. While the next two only require one Alleve each instead of six or more NSAIDS and Tylenol as before.

I'm still working on a long-lasting, natural anti-cramp option.

Do you feel ready and inspired to make your own? If so, here’s what to do next:

These ladies make simple food beautiful.

Hey, I'm sure you have a lot going on. But I encourage you to make shift happen in bite-size pieces (pun intended!). Balanced blood sugar, FFP, and buddha bowls make that possible. Soon you’ll have the lifestyle that leads to your lasting health and wellbeing.

Well, I’m going to end this post now. I need to eat. (No more pushing past my limits either!)

I’ll see you in the next post as I share more foods that lower estrogen.

By the way, do you want the mother lode of foods, supplements, and lifestyle choices that punch estrogen in the gut, rev up your detox, and balance your blood sugar? Download my infographic, "31 Natural Therapies for a PMS-Free Period". You'll receive your free email copy, get the weekly posts to your inbox, and join the KISS Nat community - all at once! It can't be any easier than that to get started.

Keepin’ it simple, scientific and natural,

- Dr. G

(1) Evans, JM. Fibroids and endometriosis. In Textbook of Functional Medicine (Ch. 32, Clinical Approaches to Hormonal and Neuroendocrine Imbalances). Jones DS (Ed), Institute for Functional Medicine; Gig Harbor, WA: 2005. Pp. 635-638

(2) Lerman, RH. Essential Fatty Acids. In Textbook of Functional Medicine (Ch. 27, Clinical Approaches to Immune Balance and Inflammation). Jones DS (Ed), Institute for Functional Medicine; Gig Harbor, WA: 2005. Pp. 420

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