HEALTHY HORMONES: BUDDHA BOWL RECIPE + 5 EASY TIPS
THE RECIPE: HEALTHY HORMONES BUDDHA BOWL
Colorful meals aren’t just for pretty pictures. Eating a rainbow of veggies, as cheesy as it sounds, is a great way to ensure you’re getting a variety of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Add macronutrients like healthy fats, clean protein and complex carbs and you have a Buddha bowl that’s fulfilling, delish AND packs a whole lot of hormone balancing punch. Interested in supporting your hormone health beyond this yummy meal? Don’t miss the tips below the recipe.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- 4-5 oz wild-caught salmon
- 1/2 cup steamed brown rice, quinoa (sub skin-on sweet potatoes or winter squash for you grain free folk)
- 2 Cups pre-washed organic spinach or spinach arugula blend
- 2 radishes, raw
- 1 large carrot, raw
- 1/2 seasonal fruit (loving peaches right now!)
- 1/4 avocado, mashed or spooned right out of the skin & sprinkled with a pinch of sea salt
- 2 lemon wedges
Preheat your broiler and cover a small baking sheet with foil. Drizzle a little heat stable oil in the center of the pan to keep your salmon from sticking. Salt and pepper both sides of the salmon and place in the center of the pan then under the broiler. Broil for 4 minutes, flip and broil another 4 minutes. Remove from broiler and allow to rest for a minute or two on the stovetop.
While the salmon cooks & rests, toss your steamed grain and greens with juice of 1 lemon wedge right in your bowl. Set aside.
Slice your carrots, radish and seasonal fruit and arrange on top of greens mixture.
Scoop out the avocado and arrange next to veggies. Add a pinch of sea salt atop the avo.
Lay the salmon in your bowl and squeeze the second lemon wedge over the salmon and avo. Add the wedge to the bowl.
OPTIONAL: Drizzle up to a tablespoon of nice extra virgin olive oil, tahini or your favorite dressing atop your finished bowl. The lemon and fruit add tons of flavor already BUT if you have a big active afternoon ahead or are fueling up after an intense workout, extra calories from healthy fats will serve you well.
THE TIPS: 5 MORE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO SUPPORT HORMONE HEALTH
- Minimize added sugars. This one is always a challenge for this former sugar junkie who still loves her treats as much as her yoga mat. I have to say I do try harder now that I know sugar is one of the biggest endocrine disruptors and a HUGE culprit when it comes to PMS insanity. You don’t have to win every battle, I certainly don’t, but you do need to win the war. Start by making small changes that will add up to impact your overall sugar intake. Eliminate beverages like soda and fruit juices, swap fruit for sugary desserts a few times a week, try hummus & veggies for a snack instead of something processed out of a package. Excess sugar spikes insulin which disrupts the balance of testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. What does that mean for you? Hormone related mood swings, weight gain and other fun stuff like insomnia. Slam enough cupcakes and cokes on a regular basis and over time you’re going to tax your liver and arteries too. Sugar is no joke people, no joke.
- Watch your caffeine. I know, I know, I’m being no fun. But caffeine causes you to release extra cortisol, (the stress hormone,) which tells your body to send sugar right into your bloodstream, which spikes your insulin, which we know from the above just isn’t great for you. If no one is going to pry your caffeine from your cold dead hands, try reducing your intake slowly over time to decrease withdrawal symptoms and/or try lower caffeine alternatives like matcha (my fave) or green tea.
- Avoid skipping meals & do your best to eat well-rounded nourishing meals when you do eat. What the heck does that mean? Try this: Fill 1/2 your plate with colorful veggies, the more green the better. Add a serving of plant based protein (1/2 C lentils, beans, chickpeas), or animal protein like 5 oz wild caught fish or organic chicken breast. Finish it off with some complex carbs found in things like sweet potatoes (skin on!), starchy vegetables like squash or corn, or nutrient dense grains like quinoa or brown rice. Incorporate a healthy fat through an EVOO based dressing or drizzle, 1/2 an avocado or a small handful of nuts or seeds.
- Do a simple assessment. Before you turn to quick fixes to remedy that weight gain or pop some sexy new pill to tackle your intermittent depression and mood swings, ask yourself these simple questions: are you getting enough sleep? Nourishing your body with healthy food? Managing stress with healthy coping mechanisms like meditation or exercise? Moving your body on a regular basis? Finding fulfillment in your work and relationships? More often than not, quick fixes can wreak havoc on your hormones and damage your endocrine health. (Take it from someone who has experienced this first hand. I’ve tried many a quick fix in my day and I’m still paying for them years later. To say I wish I started with the above assessment instead is an understatement.) Lifestyle adjustments, although not always the easiest solutions, are usually the healthiest, cheapest and most sustainable. Want proof? Sleep is a remarkably powerful, restorative, nourishing thing for your brain and body. Start by making sure you’re getting enough of it for 7 days straight and see the difference it makes.
- Listen to your body. Pay attention to the signals it is sending through symptoms you probably know in your gut aren’t quite right but have been ignoring because they’re inconvenient (yup, I've been there). Skin freaking out? Chronic diarrhea or constipation? Zero energy without 6 cups of coffee? Don’t ignore these signals or let them pile up before addressing them, damage is always much harder to undo when you let it go too far.