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Maca, Everyday. A Recipe To Fix Your Hormones

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:
difficult periods
infertility (yes, not my issue, I know)
skin mustache/mask of pregnancy, or other skin discolorations (totally my problem)
sleep/fatigue issues
(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 <
you'll need:
ice
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

how to:
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! 

54 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting your experiences. You described my struggles with my hormones and weekly battle with my cycle to a T. I've been trying everything I can to make them better and even comtemplated surgery. I hate surgery. So, in a nutshell and without filling up the comment box, you've made me curious enough to try. So, off to Amazon I go. Thanks!

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  2. When I read: " Breastfeeding was hard for me. The hormones released during feedings made me sad and want to cry. " I knew this post would be one I could heavily relate to. Thank you for this.

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    1. There's actually a word for the depression/sadness that some women feel during breast-feeding, but I forget what it is. It's really almost never talked about.... maybe because it's rare or confused with PPD, but i dunno. I had it, I hated it.

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    2. The depressed feelings during letdown is called D-MER http://d-mer.org/site/a651d55f655840e1b0616e8f84dbdf47/home?url=http%3A%2F%2Fd-mer.org%2F#2753

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    3. It is called D-MER http://d-mer.org/site/a651d55f655840e1b0616e8f84dbdf47/home?url=http%3A%2F%2Fd-mer.org%2F#2753

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  3. Yay Maca! I do 1 tsp in my daily morning green smoothie as well. I fell off my green smoothie wagon for awhile, and just started up about a month ago... And it's funny, I didn't think about it until I read this post, but my least period was almost nonexistent, and I wasn't all moody & irritated. AND my libido has def increased, more to my bf's pleasure (ha). Thanks for posting this, I believe 100% that we can tackle what ails us at our food source, and I'm happy to see that being spread by you! Also, I applaud the TMI, it's good to get real! I also eliminated the pill & all hormones from my body long ago. But seeing as I'm fertile myrtle, a copper IUD has the best choice I've made staying baby free until I'm ready again! xo

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    1. I've been debating about the copper IUD for a long long time. I've always been super scared though. I don't handle pain well at all. Maybe one day.

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    2. Seriously, I think it's such a great option. No hormones, no worries, as effective as tubes tied, and lasts 10 years, or can take out whenever. When they put it in, you get a strong cramping feeling, but then it's gone. I've talked so many of my friends into getting one, and getting off hormones, and they are all happy they made the switch! If you ever want to know more first hand facts, feel free to email me! I've had mine for 4+ years & never any trouble with it :) Collinsmama1@yaghoo.com

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    3. Ok I know this is a majorly old thread but I wanted to caution you against the copper IUD if its still being considered. I had it for almost two years after my last baby. Wanted to keep it until we knew for sure we were done having kiddos. It gave me copper toxicity! Horrible depression, suicidal thoughts, weight gain, etc. Nasty symptoms, and all associated with the IUD. Once I made the correlation between the two I had it removed asap and I've been fine since! My husband is now fixed so no further worry about babies but I would really be careful with the copper IUD. I would never get it again!

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    4. Helle, maybe not an issue for many, but my hair fell out because of it. Had it taken out after about 3 months.

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  4. My periods aren't nearly as bad as yours, so maybe using maca could take all my problems away. Sometimes I feel sad, but mostly I get either a headache or back pain or both. I'm on a pill that makes my periods a lot shorter and that helps a lot because the whole thing is over in 3-4 days. I've used maca before, but not on a regular basis. Maybe I'll try it just around my period, because it's kinda pricey where I live. And definitely keeping it away from my boyfriend after reading this too :) Good luck for next month, I hope it keeps getting better.

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    1. that's what I was thinking... if mine are so bad and are getting so much better, then someone with a "regular" period could really, really benefit! Yeah, the bag was a bit intimidating to buy at 18$, but really, with only one tsp a serving, it kind of lasts for-ev-er.

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  5. Great post. Thank you for sharing. You mentioned that you got off the pill. Out of curiosity, what method do you use to prevent pregnancy (if anything)? Sorry if that's way too personal.

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    1. Nothing is too personal (for me).... email me though!

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  6. Drea, thank you thank you a million times over for this post! About 6 months ago I found this amazing super food and was excited for what it could do for me, but I haven't been able to find away to stand the nasty smell/taste! I cannot wait to try this tonight!

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    1. I hope you lie it this way! I really like it a lot with vanilla almond milk. I don't do a lot of sweet stuff/sugar, but making it sweeter def. makes it extra delicious!

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  7. i really like the taste of maca & certain things it does for me, but i've found it makes me really moody. i've tried taking it quite a few time with no luck. i know lots of people swear by it & i wish i could take it too! glad that you've gotten some relief by using it!

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  8. thanks for sharing. hormonal imbalances like whoa over here. any chance you still have the article that sparked your interest?

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    1. oof no. It was one of those nights where I was procrastinating from life and one click led to another and another and I ended up somewhere and closed it. Sorry!

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  9. thanks for sharing. hormonal imbalances like whoa over here. any chance you still have the link to the article that sparked your interest?

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  10. Hi Drea! I'm relatively new to your blog but have found your posts thoughtful and relatable, and your pictures fabulous! I've been curious about maca as well, but some research led me to to find that apparently it should be consumed cooked for maximum benefit, and that it might actually cause gastrointestinal and hormonal harm if ingested raw. I was wondering if you had come upon any information on this when you started taking the maca powder you mention here?

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    1. I've been taking raw maca in for a long time, and have never experienced any GI issues. Everyones body chemistry is different and there is no one fix that works for everyone. Talking with a naturopathic doctor is your best bet, as internet sources are heavily biased.

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    2. I am also curious about this, I was so excited to read this and try, then I clicked on the amazon link from your post and was surprised to see so many bad reviews, some said it can be harmful raw...I really want to try it but now am scared!

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    3. I was so excited to try this after reading and i went to the amazon reviews from your link and was surprised to see so many bad ones..now im scared to try it! lot's saying it is harmful raw.

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    4. I think it's possible that it might be better digested cooked--- I mean, even salad greens and things are more easily digested once cooked--- you get more nutrients absorbed in your body cooking spinach, than eating it raw that's just one example of many--- but you get it. I'm not sure if maca is better for you raw or cooked, and I doubt there's been enough studies on it to really show anything. I haven't had any stomach issues with taking it--- and I'll admit I probably took more than I should for the first few days out of shear excitement--- but like sarah said, everyones body chemistry is different. When I mentioned I was taking it to the doctor who examined my lumps-- she wasn't surprised it helped them disappear and didn't seem worried AT ALL about me taking it, but seemed pretty pleased. With EVERYTHING in life--- everything in moderation.

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  11. I've been using maca for the past couple months and definitely can feel a difference. I stand by this plant (er, root)
    i'm trying this recipe tomorrow. I usually just add it to my smoothies or cereal. thanks for the suggestion.
    xo

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  12. I had never heard of maca before. I am not looking to conceive right now, but definitely could use a boost of energy every day! Thank you so much! - Leith
    http://outsidelanddiaries.blogspot.com

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  13. I really, really need to look into maca. This is the second reference to maca I've seen this week, and I am in that part of life where I'm past having babies, but my body is going ape trying to get that last baby (I really wish I could inform my ovaries I'm super done, no really, we took the husband to the 'vet') 3 wk cycles (only one week between beginning of cycle and ovulation, then 2 wk luteal phase like normal) and it's just wreaking havoc on my mood, skin, and just everything and everyone. I am over this crap. It's also giving my daughter, who is not fertile yet, but must have *something* going on, cramps when I get hormone surges, the poor thing!
    http://muffeeeeeeee.blogspot.com/

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    1. You're like me--- messing with everyones flow around you! I hope you're woman junk settles down! good luck, mama!

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    2. I am looking at it online right now, and it also comes in capsules. Given that it's stinky and I also am not the biggest malt fan (I can deal, but it's not a flavor I "go" for) is there a reason you went for the powder over capsules? I like the idea of it in my coffee okay (because I have to have my morning coffee--let me have one drug, okay??), but the idea of gulping down a couple of capsules might be even more attractive. Thoughts? (Thanks again. As you may see by my post farther down--didn't see you replied here--I am just OVER this BS. OVER IT!)

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  14. If not formulated properly, maca can do more harm than good in the long term.

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  15. THANK YOU!!! I realized birth control made me ape-shit years ago, and haven't taken it since. But, I am also a hormonal mess many other times too. So it's safe to take while breastfeeding? what about while pregnant? (I'll ask my midwife about it at my next appointment too). But I can't believe I've never heard of this. Thank you thank you thank you!

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    1. no idea, absolutely ask midwife! I'm sure she would know a bit more info about it!

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  16. Wow, I had no idea! I'm currently pregnant but can't wait to try this when the baby is here and the dreaded monthlies return. Birth control pills give me debilitating migraines, so I can't take them, but I would love something to help out with the crazy moodiness I get.

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  17. maca powder seems to be a magic remedy.
    do you think it is compatible with the pill? (to get only the good aspects of it)
    thank you for sharing, i hope my days will be brighter

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    1. no idea! I haven't seen warnings against it, but I would def look into it/ask a doctor! I personally think it would only do good, but unfortunately, contrary to marlowe's beliefs, I am not a doctor (and she is not a fashion designer) ha!

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  18. This is so good to know. Seriously. I have suffered from such intense periods and I don't want to go on birth control because I am terrified that it will fuck up my reproductive system and leave me unable to have children, so this is an amazing alternative that may really help me. Thank you.

    The Rambling Fangirl

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  19. So great to know, thank you! I am wondering what kind you take (brand & type)? As I was reading more about Maca, it was suggested that different types yellow, black, etc. are better for certain issues.

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  20. I've been hearing about maca more and more lately. I'd be interested in trying it-I too have monthlies like yours. Horrendous. But I'm breastfeeding right now so they have not returned yet-yeah! I also have fertility issues, so maybe this will help in the future. Have you ever been diagnosed with endometriosis?

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  21. I have the exact same periods... I find it skips a month, which is strange... They are always really bad but every second one seems to be that much worse... I have tried lots of things...this seems amazing! Getting some tomorrow. Also, I know what you mean when you say you felt normal when you were pregnant. That's what I miss the most, no period!

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  22. I knew Maca was a good food, but I didn't know why or that it could help with hormones - I'm so grateful you shared (all) of this and can't wait to add it to my smoothies!

    Your coffee drinks sounds great too :)

    Thanks so much!

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  23. Ohhh good idea! Never thought to put it in coffee!
    I was having it in smoothies most days a while back, but I haven't been having smoothies as often now. I do have coffee every morning though!

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  24. Thanks for the great candid post. Though I'm almost two years postpartum, still kind of stuck in hormone rut. I am interested to see if I will have similar success! Thanks again!

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  25. Thank you so much for this post! I have struggled for years (since 12!) with awful, painful cycles. I was put on the pill by age 15 to help with them, and it worked for a while, but it never eradicated the issue. Then in my early 20's I was diagnosed with high blood pressure (hereditary) and was immediately taken off the pill. Since then, I've tried tons of other remedies, including hormone creams, and not one thing has really helped. I'm excited to see if this regimen will do the trick - drinking my first shake right now and it's pretty delicious! The vanilla almond milk is totally the way to go, with some raw honey and strong coffee...yum!! THANK YOU! (PS: I'm not much of a commenter, but I follow your blog and really enjoy it. I love that you are raw and honest here, it's refreshing!) *abby

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  26. This is awesome. Thanks for sharing. I don't have bad periods, but I am trying to conceive and so maybe I will share this with my husband! Haha!

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  27. Okay, this is getting RIDIC. I know I commented on this when you first posted, but since then, I just got my stupid period AGAIN after 17 days. WTH. I am going to make good on my word to research maca and will try this shake. Thanks for the recipe. *ugh, so tired of being hormonal, and I can't have much iron in my blood the way I'm going lately*
    http://muffeeeeeeee.blogspot.com/

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  28. i just wanted to say after reading your post and completely relating I decided to give maca a try (again). I took it briefly last year in pill form, but not consistent enough to see any results. This morning i made your milkshake and it's delicious (i used vanilla almond milk for a bit of sweetness). I'm excited to feel the positive changes that will come. Thanks for sharing!

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  29. I decided to give this a try! Started today, hopefully I will already notice a difference in the smell of my sweat during my period. Thanks for the recipe :)

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  30. i can completely relate to this post, and when i first read it i jumped on the maca wagon as well. Then kinda fell off. Back on it again and was wondering how you are going with it... a few months later?

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  31. im in the same boat and jumped on the Maca wagon a while ago...then fell off. Back on it again and was just wondering how you are going with it? :)

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  32. You inspired me to take to a trip to my local health food store, so I have and stocked up on a few things, including Maca. I'm having the shake now (it's the morning in australia) and it's delicious excited for it to become a regular thing and observe some changes :)

    honeybunchofoniontops.com

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  33. Thank you for sharing this. I've been having intense cycles and dysmenorrhea for many years and I've started to take maca as well recently. Reading about your development in just 3 weeks really gives me confidence and motivation! I'm definitely going to give this to my man, as we are trying to conceive. The part about sexual dreams are actually quite true, they've been occurring since starting to take maca. I use it in my morning smoothies, and I think I will try out this recipe(although I'd have to leave out the coffee since I'm extremely sensitive to caffeine).

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  34. Hey Drea, I'm going to start making this! I was wondering if you use sweetened or unsweetened vanilla almond milk? I can't decide! If I used the sweetened version should I still use the honey? Thanks!

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  35. Is the maca that you link to in this post (Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Maca Powder) the same maca that you use in this recipe? I'm seeing reviews where they say you need to cook it first... just want to make sure I'm purchasing the correct product.

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