Women's Health Week // Hormones. Are. Real.


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.  

For the next 6 days I’ll be 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.


Seriously. Hormones change week by week and affect your brain and body in powerful and positive ways. They play a key role in your sex drive, sleeping soundly, feeling happy, creativity and productivity, maintaining a healthy weight and regular cycle, and getting pregnant.

While it’s normal to have gentle fluctuations throughout the month, I promise you, it’s not normal to be a crazy lady. If you’re experiencing wild shifts in mood, energy, sleep, or stress, your body is speaking to you.

GET YOUR LEVELS CHECKED. Make an appointment to see your doc and request blood work to check the levels of your reproductive, metabolic, and stress hormones.  

Cycle Superpowers:

Since the ebbs and flows of your hormones throughout your cycle are predictable, I recommend you use them to your advantage to help you work smarter, get tasks completed, plan and schedule important things in advance, and ask for what you need.

You may have noticed that some weeks during your cycle you feel extra creative, some weeks you’re super focused and productive, and other weeks you either need to hunker down at home and not speak to a soul or are maybe you feel like a super human communicator.

Of course, there might also be times you feel like scratching someone’s eyes out, and this can either be an indicator to get those hormones checked OR you may need to pay a bit more attention to your personal needs as each week goes on and learn how to ask for what you need.

RECOMMENDATION: Check out a Hormone Horoscope or Cycle Tracking App for more information on what’s happening each day of your cycle. It’s wild. And truly helpful.

Oral Contraceptives:

Some women attempt to control their hormonal fluctuations with birth control or want their periods to go away altogether, but; I highly recommend against it. Oral contraceptives only mask the underlying health issues that are causing the rollercoaster effect in the first place and press the pause button on getting the proper care you need and will eventually have to face.

To ignore your cycle is to do your body a disservice as it’s an important indicator of your overall health.

If possible, CHOOSE ALTERNATIVE OR NATURAL BIRTH CONTROL methods to resume a self-regulated cycle and limit external hormonal input.

Endocrine Disruptors:

EDC’s or endocrine disruptive chemicals are chemicals commonly found in cosmetics, shampoos, cleaning products, plastics, and pesticides in food that not only disrupt your hormonal cycle, but increase your risk for cancer as well as affect your fertility.

RECOMMENDATION: Do your best to GO GREEN in your home, CHOOSE ORGANIC as often as possible, ELIMINATE USE OF PLASTIC water bottles and food containers, and SWAP OUT YOUR SKINCARE products for clean and safe ingredients. Look for more conscious brands that eliminate parabens, phthalates, and petroleum chemicals.

Stay with me OVER THE COURSE OF THIS week for more tips on biohacking your health and empowering the amazing women around you to do the same.


Have you gotten your hormone levels checked? Have you worked towards eliminating endocrine disruptors as best you can? 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.

Alcohol + Fitness: How to find a healthy balance - Part 1

The Science: How Alcohol affects our Bodies


I frequently get asked if I drink alcohol and if I make clients cut it out, and if you know me, you know that answer!

It’s not uncommon for alcohol to be on the “avoid” list in the wellness community, and recent studies have shifted from the once held belief that alcohol in moderation can be beneficial to our health. Now, this doesn’t matter all that much if you’re someone who doesn’t care to drink, but for those that do choose to enjoy it, and want to keep it in your diet, it can be a confusing topic when it comes to your health and fitness.

If alcohol is something you’ve decided can be a healthy part of your life, I’ve compiled some clear information on how it affects the body and how to take care of and replenish your body before, during, and after in this 3-part series.


Okay, here is the simple science behind alcohol and how the body digests it. First, understand that alcohol is not processed like other foods and the body has no place to store it, therefore, it has to be immediately metabolized. 

As a general guideline, our bodies are only able to process about 1 drink per hour, which will vary with gender, weight, food intake, supplements, medications, etc. With that in mind, if you’re drinking faster than your liver can metabolize it, the alcohol hits the blood-brain barrier – which is why you start to feel tipsy and uncoordinated, those inhibitions go to the wayside, and your appetite is stimulated. Avoid drinking with an empty belly to help slow down the speed of absorption into the bloodstream.

Because alcohol elimination becomes top priority, your metabolism on the whole transitions to a fat-storing state until it’s eliminated. So, that pizza you think is a really good idea on your way home from drinks…not so great for your fitness goals. 



  • Slow down how quickly alcohol is absorbed by keeping a moderately full belly when drinking and primarily choose fat and protein combinations to help stabilize the blood sugar.

  • Limit your intake to no more than 2 drinks/day for men and 1 drink/day for women and no more than 8 drinks/week for both men and women.


Alcohol consumption interferes with your blood sugar, the hormones that help maintain healthy levels, as well as many other major bodily functions. So while you might be craving carbohydrates and are thinking it will help absorb some of the alcohol, in actuality, you’re craving carbs due to a blood sugar response and the effects of alcohol on hunger and inhibition. The bad news, refueling with carbs will only leave you crashing again a few hours later, or in the middle of the night, thus interrupting your sleep.



  • It's ok to occasionally choose a fresh muddled cocktail or margarita (the real kind obviously), but if you plan to have more than one drink, fully enjoy, sip, and savor that delicious cocktail but then switch over to a low sugar beverage.

cropped muddled.jpg


Have you ever noticed that you toss and turn a bit more on nights you’ve had a few drinks, or that you crash when your head hits the pillow but then lay wide awake at 3am? Alcohol elevates certain hormones that make you more alert, preventing deep REM sleep, and causes a nighttime dip in blood sugar (hypoglycemia) that can lead to restless sleeping.

So if you have plans for a workout the next morning, be aware that the lack of sleep, added fatigue, and impaired muscle recovery will in turn affect your performance.

If you’re someone who already has trouble sleeping or has issues with hormones related to blood sugar (insulin) and stress (cortisol), alcohol will only make matters worse. 



  • If you're feeling hungry before bed or know you experience nighttime hypogycemia, eat a small snack of healthy fats to help you stay more stabilized throughout the night.


The effects listed below are more likely related to alcohol intake above what is considered 'moderate consumption', but more than 1-2 drinks a day and you could start to experience problems and wreak havoc on your hormonal and long term health.


Ladies – what doesn’t affect our hormones?! Seriously. Alcohol affects our hormonal cycles by increasing cortisol (stress hormone) and estrogen, and decreasing progesterone. If you’re someone who already wildly fluctuates with your hormones and your mood, you may want to consider how much you consume and begin tracking how your body reacts at each phase. 

Additionally, studies clearly show that alcohol creates a moderate increased risk of developing breast cancer. If you know you carry the gene for breast cancer, you may want to consider how drinking affects your long-term health and wellness.


ACTION: Use a tracking app such as Clue to track drinks, mood, and physical response and if you carry the breast cancer gene, speak to your doctor and consider cutting back or eliminating from your diet.


Gents – (and the ladies too, actually!) – while your body is metabolizing alcohol, the liver is unable to produce testosterone. Testosterone is an important hormone for both men and women in regards to building muscular strength and making changes to your body composition, therefore, decreased levels may make it more challenging to reach your goals. If you have a specific goal you're working toward, it may be more beneficial in the short term to cut back or eliminate during this time. 

Additionally, low levels of testosterone can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, decreased motivation, decreased sex drive, and fertility issues. 


ACTION: Consider cutting back and moderating your intake if you experience the negative symptoms above or are having difficulty conceiving.

further READing/tips:



The Take Home Message:


You can still enjoy moderate alcohol consumption and the social aspects of drinking and stay on track with your health and fitness goals. Determine how important your goals are, consider your personal bio-individuality and genetics, pay close attention to your motivations behind drinking, and follow my healthy tips for before, during, and after.

And make sure that whatever you choose to drink, that it’s totally worth it! Because life is too short for it not to be enjoyed and a good cab tastes extra delicious with a healthy meal. 

IMPORTANT: Make sure your consumption is enjoyable rather than a form of therapy, numbing, social anxiety, or peer pressure. Our relationship to alcohol, knowing our personal limits and how to maintain a healthy balance is extremely important.

Let’s Chat!

Do you have a question regarding social drinking 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.

Hydration Basics: Are you Drinking Enough?


We are made up of roughly 45-60 percent water and how much you need to drink each day depends on a number of factors such as:

  • age and gender

  • body type and composition

  • activity intensity and duration

  • sweat rate

  • stress

  • illness and inury

  • climate

  • supplements

So, whether you’re sitting at as desk all day, getting multiple workouts in, headed out for a hike, recovering from an injury, or relaxing in the sun on vacation, it’s always important to hydrate properly and recognize when you may or may not be getting enough in.


How Much Do You Need To Be Drinking

A good general recommendation is about half your body weight in ounces.

That may sound like a lot if you're someone who currently only drinks a glass here and there, but as you start to become more aware, you'll be able to fine-tune how much you drink and when. Paying attention to your urine, your skin, how many glasses you're consuming each day, and the foods you're eating, will help you better understand your body and how it's responding.

And just in case you're thinking you need to go pound 12 glasses of water, your intake doesn’t come only from drinking water. It also makes up your coffee, tea, milk and nut milks, and certain solid foods such as watermelon, lettuces, cucumber, broccoli, etc. With thirst and awareness as a guide, we as humans are generally able to stay pretty well hydrated, but for those not particularly aware of the body's messaging, below are just a few reasons it's so important to drink up and tips for ensuring you're taking care of your body for the long haul.

Why Hydration and Water is Important

  • Water is the primary building block of cells

  • Regulates internal body temperature

  • Metabolizes proteins and carbohydrates

  • It is the primary component of saliva and is used in digestion and swallowing

  • Lubricates joints and acts as a shock absorber

  • Insulates the brain, spinal cord, organs, and fetus

  • Flushes waste and toxins from the body

  • Carries oxygen and nutrients to cells

  • Promotes healthy weight management

  • Boosts the immune system

Tips for Staying Hydrated

ALWAYS CARRY A WATER BOTTLE: Keep a water bottle in your bag, in your car and at the office. You can never be too prepared. Refilling your water bottle at the office also requires you to get up and walk around which helps prevent long periods of sitting when you get caught up in that pile of emails.

DRINK OFTEN: Keeping your water bottle handy helps with this, but you have to remind yourself to actually use it. Rather than chugging water infrequently whenever you remember, drink consistently throughout the day to continually hydrate.

DRINK WHEN YOU WAKE UP: After a long (or short) night's sleep, you'll want to rehydrate with a glass of water. My recommendation: drink 8 oz water with the juice of half a lemon to stimulate your liver and digestion, flush toxins and boost metabolism before anything else enters your body.

SET AN ALARM: If you tend to lose track of the last time you drank, set a timer or alert on your phone every 30 minutes as a reminder to take a sip.

REPLACE ELECTROLYTES: For workouts less than an hour, this usually isn't an issue, but if you sweat a lot or if you're doing a long workout, it's important to replenish your lost electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium) as well as water. You can do this through food in your post workout meal and adding salt to foods (1/4 - 1/2 tsp), but the easiest way is to add an electrolyte sports drink to your water bottle during your longer workouts.

POST WORKOUT MEALS: Consume nutrient dense foods and drink water after exercise to assist in the re-hydrating process.


How to Test Your Hydration

Dehydration can be detected primarily by paying attention to symptoms. And if you're thirsty, you're on your way to dehydration.

Another way to test is through skin elasticity. Pinch the back of your hand and lift the skin. If a fold of pinched skin returns to its original shape especially slow (called tenting), then you may be dehydrated. 

skin test.png
urine chart.jpg

And the best way in my opinion to check for hydration levels is to pay attention to your urine. If your urine is transparent, you may be drinking too much water. Pale straw to transparent yellow is observed as normal hydration levels. And if you are seeing dark yellow, you may be on your way to dehydration or already dehydrated and should drink water soon. Anything beyond that, schedule to see your doc. 

Early signs of dehydration:

  • thirst

  • dry mouth, eyes and nose

  • decrease in energy

  • fatigue and weakness

  • increased body temperature

  • muscle cramping

  • headaches

  • nausea

  • dark urine with less volume (note that certain supplements and vitamins, such as B12, can cause urine to be bright yellow, which may not be indicative of dehydration)

Severe dehydration can also include:

  • muscle spasms

  • vomiting

  • dark urine

  • decrease in performance

  • vision problems

  • loss of consciousness

  • kidney and liver failure

The remedy for dehydration is simple: Drink water. It’s better to take frequent sips of water rather than chugging larger amounts infrequently. Adding in sport/energy drinks can help restore carbohydrates and electrolytes and pay attention to that pee!

The only frittata recipe you'll ever need

Running With Forks Frittata

One pan, easy and fast, and packed with a bounty of nutrition. Frittatas are my go-to for eggs when I'm entertaining friends and also one of the easiest things for having healthy breakfast on hand in the morning. Make it on a Sunday and have a delicious go-to Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – unless you have a giant family an big eaters and it might not even make it off the table – so worth it, regardless. These one pan winners are packed with protein and veg and ideal for using up any leftovers you might have in the fridge.

Master the basics and then get creative.  Here are my frittata rules:

  • 1 dozen eggs : 1/2 c dairy

  • well-seasoned 8-10 in cast iron skillet for a dozen eggs or more (less eggs for this size will result in a thin, dry frittata)

  • well cook all ingredients first

  • 350 degrees, 20-30 min

Here I made my favorite spring herb frittata.  We are starting to see more and more nutritious green vegetables which makes me want to put them in everything. And that's what I did here.


Prep Time: 10 mins | Total Time: 40 mins | Serves: 6-8 


  • 12 farm eggs

  • ½ c coconut milk (or heavy cream if ok with dairy)

  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 medium leek, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1 medium zucchini, halved and thinly sliced

  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

  • 12 stalks asparagus, 1 inch pieces

  • 3-4 Tbsp chopped parsley

  • 2-3 Tbsp dill, chopped

  • 2 Tbsp chives, thinly sliced

  • ¾ c shredded fontina or dairy-free cheese such as daiya

  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Heat a cast iron skillet or deep sauté pan or over medium high heat. Once hot, add leeks and a small pinch of sea salt and sauté until softened. Add mushrooms in a single layer and brown on each side. Once mushrooms are cooked through, add zucchini, asparagus and a small pinch of sea salt to season and cook until just softened.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, parsley, dill and chives. Stir ½ c cheese into egg/herb mixture and season with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

  4. Pour egg/herb mixture over sautéed vegetables, shaking pan to distribute (do not stir) and sauté for 5 minutes until edges are just set. Sprinkle ¼ c shredded cheese over the eggs and place in oven for 20-30 minutes or until beginning to brown on top.

  5. Remove from oven, let cook slightly and top with fresh spring herbs to serve.

Benefits of Coconut

C O C O N U T // The benefits and excitement of coconuts shouldn't end with the water.

Running With Forks Coconut Benefits

I know it's popular B U T ... there's a wide variety of coconut-derived ingredients that allow you to get those beneficial nutrients in various ways.

Open your eyes and discover different ways to incorporate this goodness into your cooking and your diet.

Running With Forks Coconut Oil

Coconut OIL: use in place of butter or other oils in your cooking. (And rub it into your body! This oil is great for the body both internally and externally) Try adding 1 Spoonful of coconut oil to your morning routine to BOOST YOUR METABOLISM.  This oil contains MCT's (medium chain triglycerides which help you feel more energized, curbs your appetite and revs your metabolism to start the day. 

Running With Forks Coconut Benefits
Running With Forks Coconut Benefits

Coconut MILK: Use canned coconut milk to make creamy dishes like spicy curries or creamy fall soups.  This one here is amaaaaaazing! You can easily  use in place of cream in recipes, but note there will be a hint of coconut if swapping it into another recipe, so make sure it'll work with the flavors!  It adds a richness and luxury to everything it touches and adds a sweet tropical touch. (note: avoid coconut milk that has added stabilizers or gums, or has been homogenized or shaken.  You want to open the can and clearly see the distinction between the milk and the cream on top).

Running With Forks Coconut Water

Coconut WATER: hydrate yoself! Use in place of sports drinks when sweating for an extended period of time for enhanced and healthy electrolyte replenishment or use in smoothies in place of milk. Harmless Harvest 100% Raw Coconut Water is my absolute favorite.  

Running With Forks Coconut Benefits
Running With Forks Coconut Meat

Coconut MEAT: it's delicious, it's low carb and high in good monounsaturated fat necessary for fat loss, but note that it IS high in calories. Eat with care, but savor it!

Running With Forks Coconut Flour Benefits

Coconut FLOUR: use it in baked goods for enhanced fiber and a lower glycemic index. It's one of my favorite flours to use when creating recipes that are gluten free or grain free and it contains lots of fiber! It is tricky to use sometimes, due to the fact that it absorbs a lot of liquid and you will need to use more eggs to help bind the ingredients together, however, once you get the hang of it, it's fantastic and those baked goods leave you feeling way better than regular flour. 

Running With Forks Coconut Flakes

Coconut FLAKES: shredded coconut and coconut flakes are the most common usage of coconut. It's extremely convenient for cooking and baking and tossing into granolas.  You can even use as a healthy crust for meat or fish.

Explore and experiment with this gem!