I'm not sure if I mentioned it on this thing, but I started taking maca not too long ago. I randomly stumbled upon an article about it... and I saw a few key words that struck my interest and was I like "hmmm this might not be a bad thing to try." I've written about hormones a few times in the past--- mostly about my struggles with them (meh). But now, finally, after 15 (plus?) years or struggling with my hormones, I'm finding a way to NATURALLY improve them. I wish, so bad I would have heard of maca years and years and years ago... I could have saved, or at least helped a lot of hard times I've gone through. But either way, I'm happy to have it now, make a drink out of it every morning, and FINALLY get my hormones into better shape.
If you struggle with any hormonal issues, this post, recipe, and definitely maca, might be for you.
More specifically, this post is for you if you struggle with:
infertility (yes, not my issue, I know)
skin mustache/mask of pregnancy, or other skin discolorations (totally my problem)
(lack of) libido
general mood or depression
and/or your overall hormonal well-being.
Read more and check out the easiest morning feel-good 'recipe' behind the cut. Warning: I get personal. If you don't want to read about womanly monthlies, ya might want to skip over this one ;)
Once I got pregnant, I got off the pill and never looked back. I'm never again going back on the pill or putting any sort of hormones into my body. There is no way in hell--- I felt crazy, psychotic, and like a mess more days than not. I felt normal during pregnancy. And mostly normal after my pregnancy. Breastfeeding was hard for me. The hormones released during feedings made me sad and want to cry. I was a disaster during weaning. Since those times--- pills, pregnancy, breast-feeding, weaning, miscarrying, whatever--- I feel like my hormones have mostly stabilized, with the exception of my still lingering pregnancy mustache and my deathly menstrual cramps. Once a month, I'm a mess. A huge mess. Like, standing seems like an impossible task. Sure my emotions are a bit out of whack, but it's really the physical struggles that affect me. I've been on and off the pill forever, mostly (almost completely?) to try to lesson the blow of my monthlies. Not to be overly graphic (but this will be), but the amount of blood I shed each month is worrisome, really worrisome--- think bleeding through the heaviest tampon you can find, within an hour. Not exaggerating, it's awful. Nothing about my bleeding or periods has ever been easy (is it for anyone? no.) Everything is affected by my periods. My digestive system gets turned upside down and for about five days prior and all during my flow, I'm experiencing major dysmenorrhea. Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal death, all of it.
Hormones affect everything. Everything. If you're hormones aren't regulated, nothing is going to feel right. Off balanced hormones will affect your cycle, weight, mood, cause depression, keep you from sleeping, make you infertile, make your skin and hair look gross, everything. Having healthy, natural, regulated hormones is important.
No, I'm not a doctor, and no, maca is not some magical wonder drug, but now, after one month after taking it, I can tell you, I absolutely feel a difference in so many different aspects of my body and life. Within a few days, I felt a change. I'm not sure how to describe a lot of what I felt... and some stuff, well, maybe it's better left not written about on the internet, but really, there was an overall difference in how I was feeling, in general, and in my gut and ovaries. (warnings: sex dreams may occur with regular maca intake). I've been taking maca everyday in hopes to come here in a month and say "woohoo! periods: gone! magic! tada!" And well, I'm here, just finishing my week long struggle with my cycle... and while it was still a struggle... it wasn't even half as bad as it normally is. One week of cramping, nausea, and digestive issues, followed by five days of over-bleeding has turned into 3 days of mild cramping and nausea and two to three days of mild, maybe average bleeding. I'd like to think this new period I have, is probably more like what a normal woman with an average period experiences. No, it wasn't pure bliss and my periods didn't disappear completely, but the difference is noticeably better and I'm absolutely convinced I need to continue taking maca everyday. My sleep, well it still isn't great. My mask of pregnancy (mustache), I think it's getting better. I've been tackling it with the maca, my clarisonic, and as little facial sun exposure as possible. I feel like my metabolism is better. I've noticed, that I find myself more hungry than usual and I'm eating more, but I'm not gaining weight. Oh and you know what else? I totally forgot... (kind of important here) I found a lump in my breast a few months ago, it's not my first and it probably won't be my last (I've had a golf ball one removed in the past). I wasn't tremendously nervous, I figured it was hormonal since it would grow with each period and shrink a few days later. Well, three weeks of taking the maca and my lump is gone. I'm happy. And I'm thinking if it can do this much for me, then it can completely rid of an average woman's hormonal issues.
Maca isn't delicious by itself, unless you like all things malty. The smell made me gag the first time I opened the package, but within three days of taking it, I wanted more. I began to crave it. I felt better and wanted to keep feeling better. Then and even now, I'm so excited to see how much more my hormones can improve with time and regular maca intake. I'm not writing this to convince anyone that they should take maca, because I'm sure not everyone *needs* it, but hopefully, if you're struggling from hormonal issues, this post clicks for you, and I've introduced you to a new option you may not have heard of to improve things... naturally.
I've added maca to my mornings. I tried out a few different ways to take it each day, and this is what I've grown to love. It's easy, it's delicious, and you can make big batches to drink it throughout the week if you have no time to prepare a cup each morning. I typically have unsweetened almond milk in the house, so I like to add a touch of honey to my hot espresso before mixing with the other ingredients--- but of course, sweetener is not needed. Also, vanilla almond milk in this? Ooof that's good.
> MORNING MACA SHAKER <
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon maca
1 shot espresso (or coffee)
honey or sweetener of choice (optional)
1 jar (with lid) or tuppleware--- basically anything liquid tight
Mix honey and espresso first, otherwise your honey will solidify with the ice. Put all ingredients in one jar. Secure lid. Shake the crap out of it. Enjoy.
And if you're a true coffee purist and the idea of 'ruining your coffee with maca' is turning you away.... blending maca in a chocolate cashew protein shake or in a healthy 'chocolate' smoothie is totally the way to go. It's like a perfect and really, really delicious meal.
pst. ps. maca has proven to increase sperm count in men, so if you're trying to conceive, I'd recommend giving this to your partner. (I'm keeping it away from Alex).
Have a great friday, friends!