Foods That Aren't Benefiting Your Hormones

Photo credit of Sakara Life.

Photo credit of Sakara Life.

Lately, I’ve talked with so many women who are suffering from hormone-related problems: acne, PMS, infertility and mood-swings. While hormones can be tricky to manage (I’m currently dealing with my own struggles), there is one thing that significantly plays a role in healthy hormones: FOOD. Food is medicine, and in this day and age, there are many foods that don’t benefit our hormones, and in fact, can make them more screwed up. Today, I’m talking which foods might be worth considering to ditch, in order to help your body heal.

** Please note: I am not a medical professional, and am not recommending, or promoting any specific lifestyle, or diet. These opinions are my own, based on research and experience. I follow the idea of bio-individuality, which means that everybody and every BODY is different. What works for me, might not work for you. Also, I am not advising you 100% remove these all from your diet. This is just a post offering suggestions, if you’re struggling. Through my education and experience, I’ve learned a lot about hormones and holistic ways to heal. I’m always offering coaching options, if you struggle with hormones.


Many of the dairy-options out there contain synthetic hormones, and antibiotics, that contribute to your body’s toxic-load. A1 casein has been shown to cause higher levels of inflammation, which can contribute to leaky gut. When the gut isn’t working properly (and when toxins are seeping out of it, into your blood stream), other health concerns can become prevalent, such as acne, and a compromised immune system.

What’s a better option?

DIY Nut Milk! Seriously, making your own milk has never been easier! Plus, it’s free of added ingredients and crap your body doesn’t need! Maybe you’re more of a “BUT WHAT ABOUT CHEESE!” person. Girl, dairy-free cheese options are better than ever!! Do yourself a favor and say no to Daiya (it’s gross)! Choose nut cheeses (like Miyoko’s, which is my current favorite)!


Like dairy, gluten contributes to inflammation of the gut, and is often laden with pesticides. Many pesticides contain synthetic estrogen, which can disrupt your hormones and cause hormonal health issues like irregular cycles, PCOS, and infertility. Research shows that 75 percent of endometriosis-sufferers will see improvement after 12 months on a gluten-free diet

What’s a better option?

Going “gluten-free” has almost become a fad of its own; it’s not HARD to be gf these days, however, try to stay away from all of the packaged gf products, as much as you can. A lot of these products can come along with lots of unwanted, unhealthy additives. Remember: being “gluten free” doesn’t mean “being healthy”. Eat whole grains: quinoa and brown rice are fantastic options, and baking with coconut and almond flours are wonderful. Cassava flour is my go-to or things like taco shells and chips!


Soy is highly-debatable, nowadays. Processed soy is not good for women, whereas unprocessed, organic, fermented soy, in small amounts, can be helpful. The phytoestrogens in soy can contribute to estrogen-dominance, which is especially not great for women with hormone imbalance conditions (like Endometriosis, PCOS, fibroid sufferers and those with ovarian cysts). Processed soy is anything that substitutes like soy milk, soy meat, soy cheese, soy yogurt. 

What’s a better option?

Unprocessed, organic, fermented soy (like miso, natto, tempeh, soy sauce) is very good for you in small amounts. During your menstrual phase is the time to indulge in these, as your body will best benefit from the nutrients and phytoestrogens.


Coffee and black and green teas strip your body of essential B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc (which can interfere with your gut). Caffeine can also cause cysts (in breasts and ovaries), and for women with PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis, Ovarian Cysts, and Fibrocystic breasts- caffeine is a guaranteed way to make more cysts. For everyone else with hormonal sensitivity, it might not cause cysts, but it will disrupt your system. Caffeine can also contribute to fertility issues, disrupting ovulation by increasing cortisol and putting stress on the adrenals.

What’s a better option?

This one is hard, I understand! “Not my coffee!” Giving up coffee is hard! First, if you find you NEED your morning coffee to function, please consume food BEFORE your morning cup of joe; that is essential! If you’re wanting to cut ties, all-together, there are some wonderful ways to make it easier. I’ve developed MANY caffeine-free latte recipes, so check them out (type “coffee” in the search bar). *And check out my newest post, “Swap Coffee for Cacao”.

red meat

Red meat is inflammatory, and it often comes loaded with synthetic growth hormones, antibiotics, and from animals fed with pesticide-laden crops. This study compared 504 healthy women and 504 women with endometriosis, finding that women who ate beef every day were nearly twice as likely to have endometriosis, while those who got seven or more fruit and vegetable servings a week were at least 40 percent less likely (Flo Loving).

What’s a better option?

You need to be conscientious about the red meat you do choose to eat – make sure it’s pasture-fed and organically raised. Limit your red meat intake to once, or twice a week (and if you can, eat it only during your Luteal Phase), which is the best time for your body to process it, according to Cycle Syncing. Remember all of the other protein options out there!

Canola, sunflower, safflower, vegetable oil 

These cooking oils have more omega-6 than omega-3 and this produces inflammation. Check out my blog post on choosing better cooking oil alternatives.

What’s a better option?

General best practice: If an oil is heated beyond its smoke point, it gives off toxic smoke. Olive oil has a low smoking point, so cooking with it runs the risk of creating smoke that contains compounds that are harmful to human health.

  • For salads: Olive oil is my favorite.

  • For baking/cooking/sautéing: Coconut and avocado oil is better, since they have a higher smoke point. Trader Joes has the cheapest, high-quality coconut oil I can find, FYI! Primal Kitchen makes a delicious Avocado Oil! Buy it from their website and get 10% off, using “KATE10”, or on Thrive Market. 25% off your first order! *Both of these oils are excellent on hormone health!

    *These are my favorites, but this does not mean there aren’t other options out there!

Pesticide-laden foods

Pesticides add synthetic hormones to our bodies, and compromise our liver, which can lead to excess estrogen. These synthetic hormones can contribute to hormone issues.

What’s a better option?

This study shows the positive effects of going organic, for just two weeks! Follow the Dirty Dozen, when you can - not all foods have the same pesticide-load.


Alcohol impairs our liver function and increases the amount of excess estrogen circulating in the body. Women process alcohol at a much slower rate than men, meaning that the impact is faster and stronger. Drinking alcohol forces your liver to use antioxidants and vitamin C to break it down, which leaves you vitamin and mineral deficient. It also raises your estrogen levels, which worsens symptoms of PCOS, fibroids and endometriosis – and any estrogen-dominant hormonal health issue.

What’s a better option?

Take a B-complex supplement earlier, before you know you’ll be drinking. Drink up, when it comes to water, and take Vitamin C! Limit your intake to two glasses, and red wine is best! Make sure you never drink on an empty stomach, either; snacks and food are important!

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I know reading this might seem a little overwhelming! The sad truth is that the foods and beverages we consume have an impact on our bodies, always. Am I saying you have to eliminate all of these in order to be healthy? No! Am I saying that by eliminating these you WILL find hormone-balance? No! I just want to help you become more conscious of what you decide to put in your body, and the effects it does have on your body!

Remember, you DO have options! Click here to receive 20% off your first Sakara Life order, which delivers food free of everything we just mentioned! Code: “XOKATES”

Where’s your head at? Anything you want to try to crowd out, or cut back on? Remember, I’m here!


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My Favorite "Good for Me" Period Meal!

Periods. We all get 'em, and we all find ourselves craving nothing but that chocolate bar, or bag of chips. While those goodies are essential at times (in my book), they definitely can affect how your body detoxes, when it's already going through some CRAZY, natural detox of its own!

Hydrating foods can be so beneficial in aiding in the detox process, and keeping the body feeling as good as it can be!

I made a batch of these burgers and salad last Sunday, and just finished them all up tonight (Thursday). Meal-prepping is the!

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Kale & Watermelon Salad

  • 2 tbsp basil

  • 1 1/2 cups cucumber, chopped

  • 1 bunch kale, red or green

  • 1/4 green onion, chopped

  • 2 cups watermelon, seedless, cut into small chunks

  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I used blueberry flavor)

  • 3 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 kosher salt (I used Trader Joe's "Everything But the Bagel")

  • 3 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin


  1. Clean kale and massage for a few minutes (to make it easier to digest)
  2. Add all ingredients to kale and mix.
  3. Eat right away, or cover and leave in fridge for up to four days

Bean & Kale Burger

  • 1 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 15 oz can red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 15 oz can white kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 TBSP chopped garlic
  • 4 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt/pepper to taste (I used "Everything But the Bagel" from Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oats


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flax meal and water and set aside.

  4. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the kale, carrots, and garlic a few times to start to break them down, but don't puree them!

  5. Add the beans, tahini, tomato paste, vinegar, honey, paprika, and oregano to the veggies in the food processor and pulse until combined, but still a little chunky.

  6. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the oats, flax egg, and salt/pepper. Stir until fully incorporated. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

  7. The mixture should come together easily and hold together well. (If it is too wet, add a tbsp more of oats. If it is too dry and crumbly, add another tbsp of tomato paste or tahini. Mix again.)

  8. Using your hands, divide mixture into 8 sections and form each one into a patty. Place the burger onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

  9. Bake the burgers for 35-40 minutes. They will resemble an oatmeal cookie when done!