Women's Health Week // Nutritional Biohacking


It’s Women’s Health Week and studies show that while women today are leading healthier lives physically, there are still quite a few missing pieces to the overall picture of health and well-being. This week is all about reminding and encouraging women to: listen to their bodies; put their own needs first for a change; be kinder, gentler and more compassionate with themselves; and to share knowledge to help make better informed decisions about overall health and well-being.  

Over 6 days, I’m sharing scientifically proven biohacking tips on taking charge of your overall health and wellness. Men, stay with me. You’re up in June — and you’ve got ladies in your life that can use your support.


Biohacking is the process of making changes to your lifestyle in order to “hack” your body’s biology and feel your absolute best. As humans, we are made up of very complex systems. Everything we put into our bodies — our foods, our thoughts, our physical movement ­— are inputs to our biology and have an enormous impact on our outputs — how we behave, feel, function, and perform on a daily basis. 

If the goal is better outputs such as increased energy, clearer thinking, better moods, happier relationships, reduction in illness, optimum performance, and so on, then we need to adjust our inputs.

DAY 2 // Biohacking with Food

Women are biochemically different than men so it’s important to adopt different approaches that are designed to work for each of our unique differences. And although proper dietary intake can help maintain hormonal balance, reduce symptoms of PMS, improve energy, mood, and fertility, it’s too often overlooked. Below are a few tips on biohacking your system with food.


Low calorie intake and high energy output is not the end-all-be-all equation for fat loss, weight management, or body composition changes. While this method can work for some, it’s not sustainable, it’s not universally applicable, and can be detrimental in certain situations.

Calorie restriction has been linked to thyroid imbalances, a sluggish metabolism, sleep issues, fatigue, brain fog, lackluster hair, skin and nails, and an increase in cortisol (which aside from the hair, skin and nails symptom) are all factors in weight gain.

  • Stop restricting and start eating balanced meals every 3-4 hours to manage blood sugar levels, avoid cortisol spikes and mood swings, and help regulate metabolism


Balance your hormones, maintain a healthy weight and keep your body working FOR you with the following tips.

  • Choose organic as often as possible and always wash your food (see Day 1 about EDC’s)

  • Choose fresh and frozen (but not processed) food as often as possible and limit the amount of processed foods, which contains preservatives, dyes, and added oils and salt (again, Day 1).

  • Make sure to incorporate healthy fats in your meals such as avocado, walnuts, and salmon

  • Eat more plants. Always.

Cycle Syncing:

Once you understand how your hormones shift throughout your cycle and what phase you’re in, you can begin to maximize (and appreciate) your hormonal superpowers (again, see Day 1) and gain better control of your overall health through the foods you eat.

Menstrual Phase During this phase, progesterone drops and estrogen rises and then falls. It’s best to focus on blood-building foods that restore and re-mineralize the body while avoiding high fat and heavily salted foods, limiting your caffeine intake, reducing or eliminating alcohol and sugars, and drinking soothing teas if you experience cramping.

Specifically: kale, mushrooms, beets, adzuki beans, kidney beans, watermelon, warm soups or bone broth (rich in collagen to help with rebuilding), sea vegetables, flaxseed

Follicular Phasethe body is preparing for ovulation, hormones are at their lowest point (as well as your energy), and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) rises to tell the ovaries to prepare to release an egg and increase estrogen. Support healthy gut balance and help metabolize estrogen with probiotic-rich foods and boost energy with iron-rich foods and vitamin B-12.

Specifically: sprouted and fermented foods like broccoli sprouts, kimchi, pickled veggies, sauerkraut, grass-fed beef, wild fish, pasture-raised eggs, organic chicken, and dark leafy greens.

Ovulation Phaseestrogen is at an all-time high, testosterone surges, FSH continues to rise, LH (luteinizing stimulating hormone) increases, an egg is released and you’ve got yourself an increase in libido and sexual energy (praise the lord). Since estrogen has an appetite-suppressing effect, you’ll feel less hungry yet still have lots of energy. As a result, focus on protein and fat for energy and incorporate foods that are high in fiber and antioxidants to support the detoxification of the increased in hormone levels.

Specifically: brussels sprouts, berries, coconut, almonds, seeds, dark leafy greens, and asparagus and choose lighter carbohydrates like quinoa and lentils.

Luteal Phase hello rollercoaster. the phase before your period includes a wave up and down of estrogen and progesterone and a time when many women experience more symptoms (aka PMS filled with bloating, mood swings, forgetfulness, and irritability), an increase in appetite and a craving for more comfort foods. Support this phase first and foremost with making sure you are eating enough calories to prevent dramatic shifts in mood and eat at regular 3-4 hour intervals throughout the day. Opt for foods that are rich in B-vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and fiber help reduce sugar cravings, fight fatigue, and promote elimination to flush hormones. Additionally, attempt to avoid foods that may trigger discomfort, cramps, or mood swings like caffeine, sugar, and alcohol for a more balanced mood.

Specifically: sweet potatoes, squash, dark chocolate, spinach, and pumpkin seeds; produce serotonin, like leafy greens and quinoa

Adaptogens for Women’s Support:

Below are two adaptogens I personally swear by throughout the month…

Maca — an indigenous Andean nutritional powerhouse shown to boost energy and mood, enhance sex drive, support a healthy libido, aid the body in natural liver detoxification, stimulate the adrenal glands to balance hormone levels, support a balanced transition through menopause, help with fertility, and studies have shown it may help with hormonal issues, including PMS, menopause, and hot flashes, as well as psychological and sexual symptoms during post-menopause. Add in to your morning smoothies, or simply mix with water and drink before you head out for the day.

Chaste berry - a member of the mint family with health benefits mostly related to reproduction and menstrual health. This herb stimulates the pituitary gland to create more luteinizing hormone (LH) which triggers the ovaries to increase their production of progesterone. Balancing the ratio of progesterone and estrogen has shows to: alleviate PMS symptoms such as bloating, depression, and irritability; decrease breast discomfort, cramping, and painful periods; regulate periods for those with an irregular cycle after long-term hormonal birth control use; ease endometriosis symptoms. This herb requires consistency to feel the benefits.


Day 1 - Hormones. Are. Real.


Have you tried biohacking with the foods/nutrients you put in your body? What other adjustments have you made to your lifestyle to support your overall health and wellness? Share your favorite tips in the comments below — others in the community might benefit from your recommendations!

Come connect with me on Instagram @running_with_forks

Do you have any questions not answered in this post? Comment below or send me a note so I can continue to add information to answer your questions.

Curb Your Cravings With These Blood-Sugar Balancing Tips

Question of the week: “How do you deal with cravings?! I eat one sweet thing and then end up gorging all day!!!” 

sugar cravings.jpg

Our cravings are primarily related to blood sugar, stress, hormone imbalances, and food choices. By keeping nutrition quality high, getting adequate sleep, calming the nervous system, reducing stress, and getting in daily physical activity, you can help keep your cravings at bay.

Understand that cravings come and go and if you can accept their presence while trying to determine why they’re happening, you can change your reaction to them.

Here are a few reasons you might find yourself with a hankering for that 2pm cookie:

  • Low blood sugar

  • Consuming an imbalanced meal

  • Stress

  • Lack of sleep (less than 6 hours)

  • Dehydration

  • Hormonal changes during pre-menstrual period

  • Travel, especially with time-zone changes

  • Attempting to soothe boredom, anger, sadness, anxiety, depression, etc

  • Looking for a distraction

  • Overly focused on food and nutrition

The more honest you can be in recognizing your cravings, understanding the reasoning, and addressing them appropriately without giving in to them, the more you'll feel in charge of your own decisions.

How food choices affect blood sugar:

Don’t get me wrong, I love sweets and recommend you live a little, too. But understanding how and what affects your blood sugar can help you in making the right choice and how to prevent yourself from spiraling on the rollercoaster that can be the blood sugar response.

A diet consisting of a high intake of carbs with a minimal amount of fat and infrequent protein feedings (hello, American diet), eating carbs by themselves, or choosing high glycemic index foods (candy, sweets, bread, pasta, natural sweeteners, etc) causes frequent spikes and drops in blood sugar, which in turn, makes you crave more sugar and more carbohydrates.  


Sleep, emotions and stress all negatively affect cortisol levels (the stress hormone), blood sugar, inflammation, hunger hormones, and mood, all which lead to more sugar cravings. And reversibly, your ability to control blood sugar can also affect your sleep, mood, and stress. Welcome to the vicious cycle.

To keep your blood sugar stable throughout the night, eat a snack before bed consisting of a healthy fat and carbohydrate. This is the only time I don’t recommend protein, as the digestion of protein can interfere with sleep.

A single night of inadequate sleep can elevate blood sugar levels and when we consistently don’t get enough sleep, our body enters a state of chronic stress. Improve your overall health by creating a sleep routine that enables a consistent 7-9 hours of sleep.


Pre-Menstrual Period

While the hormonal effects during the a woman’s cycle varies from person to person, it’s not uncommon for there to be greater fluctuations during the pre-menstrual period. If you’re someone who tends to be more irritable and notices significant swings in mood, it may help to increase your exercise and decrease the amount of carbohydrates consumed during this week.


Consistent blood sugar balance is KEY:

Begin your day with a healthy breakfast consisting of at least 15-20 g of protein, a high quality fat (like avocado, grass fed butter, or a straight tablespoon of coconut oil), greens, and a low glycemic carbohydrate (brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, or seasonal fruit).


Ex: 2-3 eggs (12-18g protein), arugula, ½ an avocado, ½ c brown rice, lemon, olive oil, salt, tablespoon of pesto

Eat at consistent intervals throughout the day, feeding yourself every 3-4 hours.  Lunch and dinner should consist of a fish or animal protein (the size of 1-2 palms), 2 fists of vegetables, 2 thumbs of healthy fats, and an optional 1 cupped handful of whole grains.

Snacks in between meals can consist of seasonal fruit or vegetables and a smaller amount of protein such as a serving of nuts or a serving of greek yogurt. 


  1. Eat at consistent intervals throughout the day, feeding yourself every 3-4 hours. 

  2. Always eat a balance of protein, fat, and carbs and try to avoid eating carbs by themselves. If you can’t find all three macronutrients, choose at least 2 of the 3.

    - Lunch and dinner should consist of a fish or animal protein (the size of 1-2 palms), 1-2 fists of vegetables, 1-2 thumbs of healthy fats, and 1 cupped handful of whole grains.

    - Snacks in between meals can consist of seasonal fruit or vegetables and a smaller amount of protein such as a serving of nuts or a serving of greek yogurt. 

    - Eat a snack before bed consisting of a healthy fat and carbohydrate.

  3. Get adequate sleep (7-9 hours) for more stabilized blood sugar, more energy, less hunger, better decisions, and a happier mood.

  4. Take frequent “breath-breaks” throughout your day (10 focused breaths of a 5-count inhale and 5-count exhale) to calm the nervous system and lower stress hormones.

  5. Adaptogens can help regulate the hormonal imbalance in the body. Use this guide to help you in determining what your body might benefit from.

  6. If you’re a female, increase your exercise and decrease the amount of carbohydrates consumed during your premenstrual week.


5 Tips for KICKING CRAVINGS when they arise:

  1. Keep healthy food choices on hand always, not only for balancing blood sugar quickly, but also healthier options for when you still need to satisfy that craving for something sweet -  keep these in your bag, in your car, in your desk drawer, etc:

    - avocados, olives, nuts, seeds

    - primal kitchen bars

    - chia seed pudding (3 tbsp chia seeds, 8 oz almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon

    - fresh pressed green juice with half an apple and half a lemon

    - coconut water

    - apples, berries

    - seasonal fruit

    - 70% cacao dark chocolate

  2. Drink a full glass of water

  3. Take a “breath-break” of 10 deep breaths (5 count inhale, 5 count exhale) and check back in

  4. Chew a piece of gum

  5. Eat a protein/fat combo or a serving of almonds (17) and then check in with your craving 10 minutes later.


When you first begin thinking about your craving, ask yourself if anything was missing from your last meal. Did it contain enough protein and fat to keep your blood sugar stable? Are you actually hungry? Is what you’re about to eat what your body actually needs in that moment? Eat it if you know it will bring you true joy and isn’t an attempt at filling a void, calming your stress, or your body’s cry to boost your energy levels.  If you do eat it, balance it, savor every bite, relax, and move on.

If you find that you still can’t kick your cravings after following this advice, you may want to consider getting your hormones checked.

Let’s Chat!

Do you have a question regarding blood sugar, nutrition choices, and your fitness goals? Do you have any words of advice for others trying to navigate creating a healthy lifestyle? Ask or share below or start the conversation on social using #runningwithforks.