Angelique Panagos

It’s a joy to welcome author of brilliant The Balance Plan and nutritionist Angelique Panagos to share her wisdom here on the blog.

Angelique is a registered nutritional therapist, author, thought-provoking speaker and absolute foodie. She specialises in hormonal health, stress management, weight management and digestive wellness. Her philosophy is that food is healing and nourishing, affecting each cell in our body – impacting our lives, bodies, emotions, and even our thoughts. Her approach works to make people feel their best in a supportive yet inspiring way.

Angelique runs her own successful West End practice and features in ITV’s Sugar Free Farm series one while contributing to I Quit Sugar with Sarah Wilson and publications such as Women’s Health, Tatler, Cosmopolitan, InStyle, Top Sante, and Red Magazine.

Over to Angelique…

It’s official, I am finally part of the ‘mama club’ and I am absolutely thrilled! I now fully understand how a little smile or chuckle can lift your day, or how sticky fingers wrapped around your neck can make all problems melt away. You see I wasn’t sure I would get here and almost gave up trying. I am the girl that has been overwhelmed by hormonal conditions like PCOS and hypothyroidism, I am the girl that had constant PMS, I am the girl that had two miscarriages, but now I am girl that has her gorgeous bundle of joy

Our little ones spread love and joy like no other. Yet, it’s not always so easy for some of us mamas. Though I have seen many beautiful friends and clients in clinic navigating motherhood it still came as a huge shock – my get up and go, got up and went!

For the first few months, I stumbled around, bleary-eyed and un-kept. My hormones were in a complete tiz, I felt exhausted, irritable at times, and I would often bawl over the smallest thing. I had the appetite of one hundred hungry men, I retained constant water, and I felt anxious over the smallest things. What if I dropped Isabella? What if I cut her finger when trimming her tiny nails? Why won’t she stop crying? Then there’s the ‘mum tum’ and wobbly bits that won’t go away plus the Zombie-like sleep deprivation and the constant brain fog adding a new dimension to it all. .

The point of this? Well, it’s to remind you ever so gently that you’re not alone. Even though you absolutely adore your child there is no shame in feeling like you have run 5 marathons back to back in high heels!

If you reading this and nodding your head and thinking ‘yes this is me’, if you own get up and go has got up and left the building it might be your hormones! The word hormones fills many of us with dread, its almost become a ‘4 letter word’, we don’t give our hormones much thought until something is going wrong but hormones are there every single day of the month governing our lives. When in balance our hormones can create a beautiful, synchronized dance, like a graceful Viennese waltz. But many of us walk around feeling like we are doing the hokey cokey using the wrong feet!

Is it your hormones?

Here are some signs that you hormones may be in need of some TLC. Each of us mamas are beautifully and wonderfully different. Because of this, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer – signs of hormonal imbalances may different for each of us.

However, some of the more common signs, and symptoms I often see women suffering with, include:

Mood swings, anxiety and baby blues or depression

This one hits so many of us new mamas. You see, after we give birth, there are huge, sweeping changes in our hormones. Levels of hormones that we needed during pregnancy suddenly plummet, while others (such as oxytocin for baby bonding and those that help with milk production) soar. On top of this, we have a new, tiny human to take care of, and very little sleep to help us to adjust. Is it any wonder we can struggle? Of course, the baby blues should last for only a few days. If you find they won’t go away, then please seek help or support with your GP. But its not just new mamas, if you feel like a big ball of moody your hormones need some balancing

Skin deep

If your skin is looking anything less than perfect with extra lines and wrinkles or you feel like you have the skin of a teenager again, all spotty and red then its time to look at the balance within. Many of us experience breakouts during pregnancy and after giving birth, and they’re all down to those crazy roller-coaster hormones again! Other reasons could be that your testosterone, progesterone, oestrogen and cortisol levels may be out of whack.

Feeling fatigued

Let’s face it, children don’t allow us to get much sleep at the best of times never mind keeping up with their endless energy! But, if you find yourself constantly fatigued, or if you have brain fog, then it could also be a sign those dreaded hormones.

Muffin Tops

Many of us mums aren’t blessed with figures that snap straight back to our pre-pregnancy weight straight after birth. That’s OK, it’s normal, and we need to be kind, loving and gentle to ourselves. However, if you continue to put on weight, or simple can’t shift that muffin top (or the all over bulge) through time, then it could be a sign of haywire hormones, such as excess cortisol (the stress hormone), sex hormones such as oestrogen or even thyroid hormones (the master metabolism hormone).

Tummy Woes

Bloating, cramping, constipation and an upset tum can also be a sign that things aren’t quite right within. An oestrogen imbalance, poor diet and stress (excess cortisol) can all trigger tummy woes.

Getting Your Spark Back

If you found yourself nodding along to some of those symptoms, then it’s likely that you feel you’ve lost your spark. But, there is good news ladies – there are plenty of things we can do to help steer us back on track, and to balance out those crazy hormones (we’ve all been there!) and create healthy, happy hormones once more! Here are my top tips and advice on getting that spark back.

Nourish

When you’re Zombie-like, I know that it’s even more tempting to skip meals and to reach for the biscuit tin. However, think of your hormones – you want happy hormones, not angry, irritated ones! To enjoy that happy balance, pile your plates with nourishing, whole foods and ditch refined carbs and sugars

Ideally, you want plenty of healthy fats (these are what feed our hormones) such as avocados, oily fish, flax seed and nuts. Load up on rainbows of fruit and veg, aka my Detox Warriors (beautiful leafy greens, such as spinach and kale), protein with every meal or snack and plenty of whole grains to help to keep your bowels regular and energise.

The biggest tip is to avoid the sugar! However tempting it may seem for a quick energy fix, I promise it won’t help – it will disrupt your hormones (especially our insulin levels, which can also impact on oestrogen and testosterone), and will lead to that dreaded bulge around the tum. Plus those quick release sugars roller-coaster you down to a dreaded crash, while sugar also stimulates the breakdown of collagen and elastin, the very fibres that keep our faces plump, juicy and youthful.. Have a look at these tips to bust those sugar cravings.

Be Kind

Such an important message – be kind, and be gentle! Treat yourself just as you would treat a loved one. Talk kindly to yourself (no berating your tum in the mirror, or bemoaning your stretch marks – think of them as your tiger stripes!), don’t act like super woman, and ask for help and support from your tribe.

Being kind also means getting plenty of R&R. I know it’s not always easy with a screaming little ones to contend with! Yet, take ten minutes a day to enjoy a blissful shower or hot bath, read a book, take a nap, do some deep breathing or watch your favourite TV show. The housework can wait!

Stress Less

Easier said than done, I know! Especially when you have a hundred things to do all at once. However, stressing less will help to keep excess cortisol – our fight or flight hormone – at bay. This is why it’s so important to be kind to ourselves (see above), and to also meditate or practice gratitude whenever you can. I also find a spot of gentle Yoga in the morning or a walk with baby can work wonders!

Cut Down on Caffeine

I get it. When you’re overwhelmingly tired, all you want to do is reach for mug after mug of coffee. However, try to resist that urge next time you’re at the kettle. Caffeine can disrupt our hormones and cause our cortisol levels (and, you’ll know that us mamas are already stressed enough as it is!) to spike. Since it masks tiredness, it can also mean we overdo it.

Instead of reaching for endless coffee, try sipping on water instead, adding slices of lemon, cucumber or mint if needed. Green tea is also a fantastic option as it’s full of antioxidants and lower in caffeine.

* It’s important to point out that, if you are suffering with depression, or feel overwhelmed, please go and chat things through with your GP first. It may well be that you need a little extra support and advice.

Follow Angelique:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/angeliquepanagos/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/apnutrition

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/angeliquepanagosnutritionist/

Excitingly, I have 3 copies of The Balance Plan by Angelique up for grabs.

Enter via Rafflecopter below.

the balanced plan

Ends 3rd December 2017.

Open to the UK, Canada and the US.

No cash alternative.

If the winners do not reply within 7 days of the notification email, sent, new winners will be selected.

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Promoted on Prize finderBritMumsumeandthekids.comLoquaxSuper Lucky and Competition Database.

Like what you've read? Then why not follow Vicki on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram

Never Miss A Post!

Subscribe to HonestMum for my weekly email newsletter where I share my new blog posts, blogging tips, event invitations, competitions and news about my new book. I never share your personal data with third parties.


37 Responses

  1. Laura Pritchard

    I feel really sluggish and unhealthy at the moment and these would help me focus!

    Reply
  2. Elizabeth Cooke

    I wanted to read this for ages!! I think it would be so interesting and helpful

    Reply
  3. maria

    I totally need this my skin is far from perfect and my stress/fatigue levels have been quite high

    Reply
  4. Leila Benhamida

    I suffer from hormonal imbalance and already cut out the caffeine. Will love to discover more tips

    Reply
  5. Hollie Gregersen

    I’d love to learn more about this. Sugar causes inflammation in the body and I’ve been told to follow an anti-inflammatory diet so this would be ideal.

    Reply
  6. Adrian Bold

    It’s something I know very little about, so it would make an interesting read. Thanks for the competition.

    Reply
  7. Lynn Neal

    I would like to learn more about managing hormones and understanding why I feel like I do!

    Reply
  8. Lindsey Martin

    I would like to win this book because i feel tired all the time, I have a 3 year old and find it hard knowing what to cook in the short time I have available. It would be lovely to know that what i am eating is going to contribute not only to improved energy levels, but also improve my outlook.

    Reply
  9. Kristie Metcalfe

    I know my hormones are not right at the moment, and i really need an aid on how to combat that. I am the worst when it comes to sugar in my tea, i usually have at least 5 spoonfulls!

    Reply
  10. Helen Thurston

    I would love a copy of this book – am not quite at the menopause yet, but it’s not that far off and some guidance on balancing my hormones would be useful.

    Reply
  11. Victoria Prince

    I would love to win this because I was reading down the list of symptoms going “yes, yes, yes, yes…” and I have suspected my hormones are all over the place so I really feel this could help me enormously

    Reply
  12. claire woods

    My skin gets very dry over winter and I’d like to try to improve my diet to see if it helps.

    Reply
  13. Lisa Conn

    I think the winter drawing in has affected my mood and motivation, need a push to look after myself.

    Reply
  14. Karen Richards

    Would love to win. Need to get my life back on track, pick up my energy levels and live it to the full.

    Reply
  15. hannah igoe

    I am really thinking about my eating habits right now and how they effect my hormones so this would be a great help

    Reply
  16. jo liddement

    This book looks just up my street as i have just started the menopause and am on HRT but would love to see if i can manage the hormonal changes with diet instead.

    Reply
  17. Deirdre M

    Well, I’ve definitely lost my spark in the past few months. Too much of putting everyone & everything else ahead of me, and it is really beginning to show! I definitely need to put the brakes on, and even if I can’t make time for myself, at least start nourishing myself better!

    Reply
  18. Rachel Craig

    Feel I am in need of information, support and guidance which the book seems to contain. Having worked in active, demanding roles, whilst also supporting loved ones :- Busy, busy lifestyle takes it’s toll, and only so much can be done. Work changes, which included reduced access to healthy meals :- Not good, and worked in Health Care. Aging, arthritis, etc, oh, I think I need to think of and deal with (kindly) my hormones.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.