Before I begin, I want to reinforce that I consider hormone therapy to be a last resort to boost my low progesterone levels. Fortunately, I’ve found a naturopath that is working with me to help me boost my progesterone levels and also properly fuel my body as a runner, in his words, an “elite athlete” (bless his heart). During my second appointment with him, we reviewed my food and sleep journal and conducted a physical exam.
The physical exam didn’t show anything unusual, which is what I expected. My food journal provided some insight into some improvements that could be made but also showed that I didn’t have terrible eating habits, I just needed to eat more leafy greens and increase my consumption of phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are found in soy, legumes, and flaxseeds. I also needed to increase my fat consumption to support my body when it comes to running. I ask a lot of my body during training, so I need a diet with a very high nutrient profile in order to keep my body performing at a certain level.
This was tougher than it might sound. To be honest, I was a VERY picky eater growing up. I didn’t start eating a wider variety of vegetables until I was pregnant with my son. Like, I wouldn’t eat salad. Knowing now that vegetables and legumes are important in my journey to feeling better, I am prepared to dive in. My doctor recommended the “Oh She Glows” cookbook as a starting point for creating yummy meals that incorporate many of the foods and raw vegetables he recommended. So far, I’ve been satisfied with all of the recipes I’ve tried in the book. My go-to smoothie is the Tropical Green Monster. I’ve also even eaten salads most of the days this past week — which is something I thought I’d have a harder time incorporating. I am not big on dressing, which probably isn’t a terrible thing. My favorite ingredients to mix into a salad so far are pears and walnuts with carrots and spring mix.
In addition to the dietary inclusions, I’m starting two supplements. One is magnesium and the other is ADR Px Balance Capsules. According to my naturopath, the adrenal capsules will help with adrenal function. Since stress impacts cortisol levels and acts as a progesterone blocker, these capsules should help with proper adrenal function. Magnesium helps with a variety of things, including muscle function, aids in balancing cortisol levels, and assists in a range of other areas that will get me back on track. You should always consult with your doctor (or naturopath) before taking any supplements.
Finally, sleep is another area on which I am focusing. I do my best in this area, given the fact that I have young kids that still wake up in the night. Right now, I’m trying to justify the price of the gear in the Under Armour Sleep Recovery line. Hey, if it works for Tom Brady, it must good — right?!
I’ll check back in with you in a few months to give you an update on how things are going. I’m hoping to report some consistent improvement, both in how I’m feeling and how I’m running!
How do you incorporate more leafy greens into your diets? What are your favorite salad combinations?