September has been designated as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) Awareness month and I want to share with my readers some important information about this condition that afflicts only women.
In this article I am only going to touch of some of the more topical aspects in an effort to bring awareness, but know that it is very complex and has long-reaching implications. It is a condition that affects millions of women around the world and the incidence is growing.
In continuing my series on hormones, we are going to tackle the hormone Cortisol in this article. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is released by the adrenal glands. The pituitary is the master gland in the brain that controls the activity of most other hormone-secreting glands and tells the adrenal glands to release cortisol when the body goes into stress. It is your built-in alarm system.
Insulin is a hormone at the heart of some of our most common chronic health conditions, and a huge contributor to the rise in obesity.
It is a hormone that is connected to what and how we eat, sleep and move. Insulin works to control our blood sugar levels by providing fuel for all cells in the body so they can do their work. However, the role it plays in fat storage is one that maybe unfamiliar.
Hormones. Everybody has them, yet many of us don’t really know or understand much about them. We are born into these exquisitely complex bodies but since we don’t come in with an owners manual, it can be challenging to understand how they operate in our bodies. If you are a woman, the hormonal connections can really make you feel at times like you are losing your mind!
A common nutrition challenge that many people struggle with is consuming plant food. I am specifically referring to fruits, legumes, beans, and vegetables. In my experience vegetables are the most challenging. In this article interview my colleague Michelle Smith, MS, RDN, an expert in plant-based eating, vegan and vegetarian eating styles is sharing some of her knowledge, wisdom and tips.
In this sleep series we have discussed habits, your sleeping environment and now in part 3, we will take a deep look at the physiology of sleep and medical conditions that are related to sleep patterns.
A friend once told me that in their opinion, sleep was a waste of time and there would be plenty of time for that when they were dead. This friend suffers from serious FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and this perspective is literally putting that friend at health risk. After reading this article you will understand why your life might depend on the sleep you get.
In our last article we discussed how our habits affect sleep, but we often give little thought to our sleeping environment. Basically, if there is a bed, we plop down onto it when bedtime rolls around, maybe turn on a TV and wait for sleep to come. For some, it may be a long wait.
I consider sleep, much like eating, a sacred act because it is literally life-giving! Perhaps it’s time to bring a new awareness and new intention to the space in which we sleep. Let’s explore the often-overlooked issue of your sleeping environment.
Let’s just start off this 3-part sleep series with a simple truth. Sleep is complicated!
Sleep is something that is often overlooked as a foundational part or our health and wellness. Anyone who misses a good night’s sleep can attest to that! I decided to write a series of articles on this topic for my readers because good quality sleep is not a nice-to-have experience, but literally one that can profoundly affect your health and even your life, no exaggeration, you’ll learn why in this series.
I recently had the opportunity to attend a special viewing of an excellent and empowering documentary film that explores women’s body image. The film by Taryn Brumfitt is “Embrace: One woman’s journey to inspire everyBODY.” I laughed, I cried, I got angry and I mourned as I watched. I saw myself, my mother, my daughters, my sisters, my friends and my clients, in the the stories shared, and in the alarming statistics cited. The questions were provocative and invited self-reflection. I appreciated the filmmaker looking at both the blatant and subtle influences that shape women’s body images. I admire her courage and passion in bringing this project to the world.
THE CHALLENGES OF BODY IMAGE
As women we continue to face challenges about body image both from a societal level, and from those we internally impose on ourselves. One thing is certain. As long as we are at war with our bodies, we will cause ourselves physical, emotional, and psychological damage. Our spirits will be wounded and a sense of peaceful contentment will elude us.
As an Integrative Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, specializing in women's health, I really resonated with what the documentarian presented.
Ever since the mid-1970’s when well-meaning politician, George McGovern, spearheaded the move to create the first set of US Dietary Guidelines the battlecry against eating fat began.
Authors, like Gary Taubes (“Why We Get Fat”) and Denise Minger (“Death By Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science, Sketchy Politics and Shady Special Interests Have Ruined Our Health”) have done an excellent job of writing about this if you're interested – but I digress.
It has only taken about 35 years to finally correct the bad rap that fat was branded with! In late June 2015 a press release announced that the US Dietary will no longer focus on fat restriction and instead will focus on food quality. HALLELUJAH!
I'm Carmina McGee, MS, RDN, and my mission is to support women to live their happiest, healthiest lives and THRIVE!