How to Handle Your Hormones

Mood swings can strike at any time and although there are certain common likely causes, it is something that can’t always be managed in the same way.

What Are Mood Swings

Your mood swings may be characterised by a variety of things, such as unexplained crying or unjustified irritability. It is important to remember that although your emotions may seem out of proportion, your feelings in each moment are still valid and true, and there is no need to beat yourself up about this!

Diet & Gut Health

A hormonal imbalance is a likely cause when it comes to mood swings, and this can be handled by addressing your lifestyle and making positive changes where necessary. This will largely be in relation to your diet. Your diet can impact your emotions in several ways, and it will also have an impact on the health of your gut. Your gut health is linked to your mood, and it is important to play close attention to this aspect of your overall health. The bacteria in your intestines will influence your hormones, and this of course will then impact your mood. So, a large presence of good bacteria will go a long way to helping!

Blood Sugar Levels

Keeping your blood sugar levels consistent is one of the best ways to keep your mood from fluctuating. You may think that skipping a meal will help you to lose weight, or save you time if you have a busy schedule. But doing so can actually wreak havoc with your hormones and leave you feeling annoyed, fatigued and generally unhappy. Fortunately, you can keep your blood sugar levels up by regularly eating nutritious foods, and avoiding processed foods and sugary snacks!

Sleep & Stress

In addition to your diet, certain lifestyle factors such as sleep will also influence your hormones and therefore your mood. When you do not get enough sleep your body will produce excess levels of cortisol – the stress hormone. This will put unnecessary stress on your adrenal glands, and can cause your serotonin levels to drop. Serotonin is super important for keeping your mood up, and you should always try to get between seven and eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. If you have trouble getting to sleep, or find that you are often waking in the night, then you may find some relief by drinking soothing herbal teas before you go to bed.

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

Top Perfect Sportswear Picks

As a yoga teacher, author, nutritionist and a parent I am constantly on the go! Cycling is one of my great loves and I always prefer to go by bike from A to B, whether I’m off to teach a class or go to a meeting!

Dressing appropriately is a must when you cycle a lot and you should always choose comfort and practically over style. However, I’ve found some great choices from Matalan that mean you don’t have to choose between these things and they are all super affordable, super comfortable and super cool!

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The Souluxe Sports Leggings are GREAT for cycling and also for teaching yoga in, meaning that I don’t have to get changed between cycling to a lesson and teaching one. This variety of Souluxe Sports Leggings with breathable mesh panels are also just as great and help your skin to breathe as you exercise.

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The Souluxe Double Layer Jacket is another favourite of mine from Matalan and has a super useful money pocket at the back. This jacket is a good choice for the colder seasons if you are into running. It will keep you warm but is lightweight enough that you won’t overheat. Also, it is designed to limit moisture! If you are into running then you should always choose a supportive and comfortable running shoe to help avoid injury.

When I’m teaching yoga outside then the Souluxe Zip Through Hoodie is always my first pick. It is super comfortable and not at all restricting, meaning I can keep it on for the entire lesson. This hoodie also has zip pockets at the front which is perfect for me as a lot of sportswear doesn’t have pockets!

How to Make Time for Yourself

Wishing for extra hours in the day is certainly not a new concept and many of us are often left wondering where the time goes! With such busy schedules and such limited time to fit it all in, the idea of finding additional time for yourself may often seem laughable, and even verging on impossible! 

There is certainly nothing wrong with being organised, but if it seems like every moment of your life is scheduled and accounted for, then you may actually be doing more harm than good. If this sounds like you, then taking a step back, and giving yourself permission to just be, could be the best decision you can make.

Starting The Day

A lot of discussions around being more time efficient centre around the morning routine. How you start your day is often seen as a benchmark as to how successful the rest of your day will be. However, putting too much emphasis on the first few hours of the day can actually cause unnecessary stress that you then take with you into the rest of the day.

The way in which you find it best to start the day is of course individual to you! If you feel inspired to meditate, do yoga or cook a healthy breakfast for yourself from scratch, then certainly you can benefit from these things, but don’t beat yourself up if you do not feel motivated to do so!

Trying to cram too much into the beginning of the day can leave you feeling overwhelmed and then less able to make time for yourself during the remainder of the day!

Re-evaluate Your Routine

You may find that having a routine helps you to commit to doing the things that you need to do. However, it is important to take into consideration that no two days are ever going to be the same. It is often impossible to predict what your life and your mind will have in store for you. By this I mean, events may occur that throw your schedule off, and that your mood can fluctuate from one day to the next, making certain things seem harder to accomplish.

For these reasons, it is important not to overload your days with scheduled activities and commitments. Of course there are going to be things that you need to do, but there is no harm in spreading these activities out, and in doing so you will naturally create a larger amount of time for yourself within each individual day.

Understand Your Importance

Making time for yourself is a super simple but seriously underrated form of self-care! If you are someone who spends a great deal of time caring for others then you may have forgotten how important your own health, happiness and time is!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

The Super Nutrient: Vitamin D

Finding ways to boost the presence of vitamin D in the body is a great idea for improving and maintaining your general health.

With our busy modern day lives it can be super easy to negate our own health, and to pay little attention to the nutrients that we are consuming. However, this can quickly lead to our health and happiness becoming compromised.

As discussed in a previous blog post, Vitamin D is an incredibly important vitamin. And, since there is not something that can be found in abundance in many foods, it is essential that you get an ample amount from sunshine!

Your body utilises stores of cholesterol to convert sunlight into usable vitamin D. Although it is a vitamin, it actually acts more like a hormone in the body and contributes to many essential regulatory functions. Every cell in your body relies on vitamin D and a deficiency can cause long-lasting health issues.

Mental Health

The incidence of depression can be seen to increase during the winter months, and this can be linked (in part) to less sunshine during the day. In order to combat this issue it is important to aim to get more vitamin D from dietary sources during the winter, and you can also opt for supplements.

Immune System Function

Your immune system relies on vitamin D to function effectively. Low levels of vitamin D can contribute to the onset of several health conditions and ensuring you get an adequate amount is a great way to help protect yourself.

Bone Strength

This super vitamin is incredibly beneficial when it comes to the health of your bones. It helps to prevent the breakdown of the bones, as well as increasing the overall strength of your entire skeletal system.

Brain Health

It may surprise you to learn that your memory can actually be affected by long-term vitamin D deficiency. Persistent low levels of this vitamin has also been linked to the development of certain neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

As you can clearly see, there is much to be gained from vitamin D and much to be lost by not making sure you have get an adequate amount!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

Aubergine Dip

This dip is absolutely amazing both hot and cold, and is bursting with both flavour and nutrition! Aubergines are packed full of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. They are particularly prized for their ability to help lower cholesterol and assist those who are trying to lose weight.

Sweet red peppers are an excellent source of carotenoids, which are thought to help to prevent the onset of several diseases. Carotenoids are particularly beneficial for preserving the health of the eyes, as well as the appearance of the skin.

To make this dip you will need the following ingredients:

1 aubergine
2 sweet red peppers
1 clementine, peeled
1 tsp of miso paste
Pitta bread
Olive oil
Sea salt

The first thing that you will need to do is take your aubergine and chop it into small chunks. You can then slice the sweet red peppers in half. Place the aubergine chunks and the sweet red pepper halves onto a baking tray and drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil. Add a sprinkling of sea salt on top of the olive oil and then you can place the tray into your oven at 180C.

Leave the aubergines and the sweet red pepper in the oven to roast for approximately 30 minutes. After this time you can remove the baking tray from the heat and place all of the aubergine into your food processor with half of the sweet red pepper. You should also add the clementine into the food processor with half a teaspoon of sea salt and the miso paste. Before you turn the food processor on to blitz your dip, add in four tablespoons of olive oil and then you’re good to go!

Once you have blitzed your dip you will notice that it is still hot once it is ready! This means you either have the choice to serve as a hot dip, or leave to cool down and enjoy it later. All that is left to do is break up the remaining sweet red pepper and add it to the top of your dip as a garnish.

Enjoy this dip with hot or cold pitta bread, or as a creative side-dish to a main meal!

If you want to see this recipe in action then you can head to my YouTube channel and watch me creating it!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!