Tasty, healthy chocolates are actually good for your hips and thighs!
Mango Chocolates are sugar free (almost), gluten and grain free and dairy free (almost). One of our favorite recipes….much more than a healthy snack. Mango Chocolates include a medical food called “Estrium,” a product by Metagenics. Estrium offers rice protein and numerous vitamins, minerals, herbs and other nutrients that work synergistically to assist your liver in getting rid of xeno estrogens (the estrogen-like toxins in the environment) in a health promoting way.
Don’t worry, Estrium does not change your estrogen level. It simply helps your liver metabolize estrogenic compounds in a health promoting way.
Your liver has lots of choices when it comes to how it will metabolize various compounds. In the case of estrogens, your liver has the choice (depending on what enzymes and minerals are available, and your genetics) can transform them into something healthy or something unhealthy.
The Estrium helps your liver, by giving it good and proper nutrition, to biotransform estrogens into healthy metabolites. Those metabolites are estrogens that are good for you and send the right messaging to your cells.
On the other hand, we are all affected by toxins in the environment called xeno estrogens, found in plastics, fake scents, factory farmed animals (poor quality meat) including dairy and eggs and chicken. Birth control residues are found in the water and toxic dumping by various companies also ends up in our water supply and many of these chemicals dumped are xeno-estrogens.
The xeno-estrogens are estrogen look-alike molecules that, once in your body, can bind to your estrogen receptors. Good, healthy estrogens send healthy and good messages to your cells. Xeno-estrogens send unhealthy signals and messages to your cells, resulting in deteriorating health and setting you up for hormone-related problems including cancers.
Men, boys, young girls, babies, as well as women are affected by xeno-estrogens. It’s not a women’s only problem. Men and boys are affected with breast development or “man boobs”. Men can experience hormone imbalance such as low testosterone, prostate trouble and even leading to an increased risk of prostate cancer from the excess of xeno-estrogens.
Young girls can experience early puberty. Later, they can be affected by PMS, infertility, fibroids and possibly hysterectomy. Later, women experience more trouble with menopause.
Another related issue is the pesticide Atrazine. It’s not a xeno-estrogen, but it affects your sex hormone status. Atrazine stimulates an enzyme called aromatase, resulting in a large amount of your testosterone (and yes, women have and need testosterone too) being turned into estrogen compounds. Excess estrogen leads to decreased testosterone, a problem for everyone, not just men.
The key here is to stop ingesting Atrazine. Eat and purchase organic foods without pesticides. Atrazine has contaminated our water, so filter your water. Zinc is an aromatase inhibitor which can help counter the effects of too much testosterone biotranforming to estrogen. Another good reason to focus on increasing your mineral intake.
Hormones govern where your fat gets stored. Excess estrogen, including xeno-estrogens, contribute to excessive body fat on the hips and thighs of women.
Our clients using Estrium (along with cruciferous vegetables) experience loss of fat in the hip/thigh region. If you’re a woman who stores excess fat in the hip and thigh area, it’s an indication you are not effectively metabolizing estrogens through your liver.
Cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, etc) containing a compound that also helps your liver clear xeno-estrogens. The Estrium and cruciferous veggies are most effective when either eaten together or at least in the same day. We recommend you eat cruciferous veggies in at least 2 meals a day.
The Mango Chocolates are healthy and therapeutic. The fats are stable and excellent for your brain, nerves and gut lining. You have a bit of protein and the nut flour adds a bit of carbohydrate.
Some people substitute maca flour if the nut flour causes allergy or intolerance.
You’ll find a small amount of sugar in the Estrium. And you’ll find dairy in the butter. To avoid dairy, use all coconut oil and no butter at all. That’s the version I always use for myself.
To make the fancy shapes you see in the photo above, use a candy mold. Find those at a craft store or kitchen store in the candy making area. Simply pour the mixture into the mold, freeze, and pop the shapes out. I used a small heart shaped mold above. Great for gifts!
A word of caution: Estrium will help you eliminate xeno-estrogens. Birth control pills are xeno-estrogens. If you are taking BCPs and do not want to get pregnant, either do not use Estrium or use a different form of birth control.
3/4 Cup Melted Pasture Butter (or substitute all butter for coconut oil)
2 Tbsp Melted Coconut Oil
1 Cup Estrium
1/2 Cup Almond Flour (or Hazelnut Flour) (or maca flour)
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Organic Cocoa Powder
2 tsp Almond Extract
1-2 tsp Liquid Stevia
Melt butter and/or coconut oil on the stove on low. While that is melting, combine all other ingredients in a mixing bowl. Once the fats are melted stir those in until everything is combined.
Pour the mixture onto a flexible cutting board or a tray or pan that fits into your freezer. Place the tray in your freezer until the Mango Chocolates are firm and frozen.
Cut your Mango Chocolates into squares and store them in a glass container in the freezer. Enjoy!
***Optional: You can sprinkle unsweetened coconut flakes, chia seeds, unsweetened cacao nibs, or a few chopped nuts on top before you put the tray in the freezer.
Experiment with how much oil/butter. You can make these very thin or thicker depending on the amount of oils added. For the molds, you’ll need the mixture thin enough to pour. If yours is not that way, simply add more melted oil.
You’ve made it through week 2 of the Body Blitz. If you’re just starting the book now, or if you’ve been sick and haven’t made it in to your classes, no problem. It’s never too late. Start now.
Lots of you have done food diaries this week. Was it helpful? Did it help you make changes or give you information on what you need to do? For those who made significant changes, do you feel better or worse? Let me know!
Let’s recap our reading from last week:
Identification of your hormonal phase:
Normal: estrogen and progesterone normal levels in normal sequence
PMS: normal estrogen, low progesterone
Perimenopause: erratic high estrogen not following normal highs and lows, low progesterone
Menopause/hysterectomy: low estrogen, no progesterone
Knowing your hormonal phase helps you understand changes in mood, energy level, personality, appetite and more. Blood and saliva hormone testing is useful in combination with monitoring your symptoms. If you test, be sure to do it on the correct day of your cycle if you have one. It’s best to work with a practitioner on testing and supplementing. Twin Cities resources were given in a prior blog.
Don’t forget testosterone and DHEA. If you use testosterone, be aware that high dose testosterone is not a good idea. You may feel great at first, and as time passes, testosterone turns into estrogen, which can bring back negative symptoms. Important for men too. Measure estrogen levels if you supplement with testosterone (men too). Do not supplement DHEA without monitoring your levels. It’s sold over the counter and can cause problems if not used correctly.
Identify your Emotional Type
1. Revved up and anxious (useful aminos)
2. I Can’t Get Off the Couch
Start with calming (5-Htp, GABA, etc) for 1-2 weeks
Once you sleep better and feel more calm, start the L-phenylalanine/L-tyrosine “wake up and alert” formula.
If you have cancer, serious physical illness, severe liver or kidney problems, ulcers, pregnant or nursing, schizophrenia or other mental illness, or you are taking medications for mood problems, especially MAO inhibitors or more than one SSRI, consult a knowledgeable practitioner before taking ANY amino acids on your own.
Lots more information on aminos and neurotransmitters in the books The Diet Cure and The Mood Cure by author Julia Ross.You’ll learn more about L-glutamine and food cravings and DL phenylalanine for increasing endorphins and reducing pain. Lots more detail
You can easily start using aminos on your own. You’l need to pay close attention to how you respond to them to learn the proper timing and dosages for you. Take aminos on an empty stomach (30 minutes before eating). They compete with other proteins (in your diet) to get to your brain. You’re targeting the brain with these aminos.
Use Mia’s troubleshooting on page 111.
Action Plan for Week 3:
Read pages 113-135 in Female Brain Gone Insane. You’ll continue learning about aminos and about how a good diet can improve your neurotransmitters.
Watch video on Vitamin D by Dr. Mercola (next blog).
Get your vitamin D level checked and make a plan to increase your level if necessary.
Stay on track with your exercise and dietary changes. Evaluate how your plan went last week, make adjustments, and plan your week 3.
You are! You’ll get the best results by putting yourself in the driver’s seat and learning as much as you can.
Your hormones affect everything in your body. Your thinking, your energy level, your fat to lean ratio, your sleep and your appetite and much more. Hormones are of the sex hormone type (testosterone, DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, etc) and the insulin type (cortisol, adrenaline, relaxin, insulin, etc).
If you’re not getting the results from exercise and diet, sometimes hormones are the trouble. Remember, hormones include insulin, cortisol, adrenaline and thyroid. Don’t think you have to be menopausal to have hormone problems.
The best way to learn about hormones is to read. The information is out there and you CAN learn on your own. A book list is included at the bottom.
First, keep in mind that hormone therapy is not necessarily the first step. Work with your diet, supportive supplements and lifestyle before diving into hormones.
However, if you’re unable to sleep and/or you’re having severe symptoms, starting with hormones can certainly make sense. Just know that it’s not wise to use hormone therapy in place of a healthy lifestyle. Not everyone needs hormones.
Once you have a working knowledge of hormones, find a health care practitioner you can work with. This isn’t necessarily easy. Not many doctors work with bioidentical hormones. Don’t expect your doctor to have all the answers. You must form a successful partnership with your provider and do your part. No one can do it all for you.
When choosing a provider, be sure he/she works with adrenals and thyroid, in addition to the sex hormones.
It’s important you first understand how your body works and a good understanding of hormones before you go to your first appointment. You’ll learn more as you start your therapy and see how your body responds.
Here is a short list of Twin Cities health care providers who work with bioidentical hormones:
Noelle Radcliffe M.D at Edina Sports Health and Wellness
Rob Bruley, MD, DC at the Bruley Center in Linden Hills
612 455 0444
Sandi Greenquist at the Minnesota Menopause Center
Nancy Gossard NP at Park Nicollet 952 993 3282
________________________________________________________ Book List:
For men: The Testosterone Syndrome by Eugene Shippen, M.D.
Change Your Brain Change Your Body by Daniel Amen M.D. (also good for men)
Female Brain Gone Insane by Mia Lundin, R.N.C., N.P.
The Schwartzbein Principle II, by Diana Schwartzbein, M.D.
The Miracle of Bioidentical Hormones by Michael Platt, M.D.
Before the Change, Taking Charge of Your Perimenopause, by Ann Louise Gittleman, M.S., C.N.S
Perimenopaue the Natural Way, by Deborah Gordon, M.D.
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Perimenopause, by John Lee, M.D.
Bioidentical hormones are composed of the exact hormone molecule your own body makes. Bioidentical hormones are the ones your body easily recognizes. Sometimes called “natural” hormones, a more accurate term is “bioidentical.”
Synthetic hormones (premarin, Provera, etc) are not composed of the hormone molecule your body makes, thus creating unwanted side effects.
The conclusions that hormones cause cancer are from studies using synthetic drugs (Premarin and Provera). No studies have shown that bioidentical hormone replacement causes cancer. Instead, literature supports the claim that bioidentical hormones have distinctly different and often opposite physiological effects to those of their synthetic counterparts.
In terms of breast cancer risk, heart disease, heart attack and stroke, sunstantial scientific and medical evidence shows that bioidentical hormones are safer and more effective than synthetic versions.
The rest of the points refer to bioidentical hormones:
They ARE hormones and can cause problems if taken incorrectly.
Should only be used if you have a deficiency. More is not better.
The right hormone balance keeps you brain focused. Hormones affect neurotransmitters.
Bioidentical hormones are maufactured by traditional pharmaceutical companies and are FDA approved. Upjohn has been manufacturing bioidentical hormones for over 70 years. The product is sent as a powder to compounding pharmacies where they make the hormones into the preparation you need, sublingual, cream, suppository, etc.
Progesterone is the first hormone that declines with age. The decline starts about age 35. It can start earlier. Deficiency shows up as PMS, irritability, belly fat, weight gain, agitation, insomnia, anxiety.
While most women (and men too) produce estrogen their entire lives (from fat cells and elsewhere), progesterone production can get close to zero.
Estrogen is a brain booster, a natural antidepressant and mood stabilizer. Estrogen works closely with serotonin, your “feel good” neurotransmitter.
Progesterone helps estrogen work better by assuring the estrogen receptor sites are able to receive estrogen.
Many people never need to take additional estrogen.
Most people benefit from taking additional progesterone.
Progesterone cream is available over the counter. Other hormones and progesterone in other dosage forms require a prescription.
It’s best to measure hormone levels and get help from a health care practitioner if you use hormone therapy. You usually won’t get the full benefit from hormone therapy by using over the counter progesterone cream on your own.
Depending on the stage of life you are in, your hormones can be a moving target. Just because the hormone therapy is working today, doesn’t mean it will work in 6 months. you need to pay close attentions to your symptoms, keep charts for each month, learn about how the hormones affect you, and make changes along with your care provider.
Why do we need to replace hormones? Our ancestors didn’t need that. We now have an excess of estrogen-like substances (xenohormones) in our environment…in plastics, car exhaust, pesticides, solvents and adhesives, industrial waste, estrogenic drugs in the livestock we eat, preservatives and emulsifiers in lotions and cosmetics, nail polish and much more.
Exposure to xenohormones mimicks estrogen (in a bad way) and affects the balance of all other hormones. It’s impossible to avoid all xenohormones in our environment.
You CAN limit your exposure by avoiding foods containing hormones (meat, eggs, milk…buy these foods without hormones), using cosmetics without xenohormones, avoiding as much plastic as possible (avoid microwaving food in plastic), avoid food sprayed with pesticides.
Tomorrow you’ll get a book list for further hormone education and a short list of Twin Cities health care providers who work with bioidentical hormones.