Do you start your morning with a cup of coffee? Did you know that kicking the (morning) coffee habit could be the best thing you can do for your hormones, therefore your persistent acne breakouts? Read on to find out why. Plus, get the recipe for a delicious alternative that not only tastes similar coffee, but is also full of goodness that will help balance your hormones and set you on the path to clearer skin.
Never drink coffee on an empty stomach
A few weeks ago I tuned into a webinar from the amazing Alisa from Flo Living where she discussed how drinking coffee first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, was one of the worst things you can do for your hormones. One reason coffee can be problematic for those with hormone imbalances is because it depletes vital nutrients for clear skin and balanced hormones such as Magnesium and B vitamins. However, the biggest problem with coffee can’t be rectified with some additional supplements….
When you drink coffee on an empty stomach, the caffeine alone causes a massive cortisol and insulin surge which plays total havoc on your hormones for the rest of the day! That’s right, 24 hours of blood sugar ups and downs – it’s so bad that your body won’t actually recover till you wake up the following morning, where you’ll probably start the whole process all over again. This reaction is amplified if you take milk or sugar with your morning cup of coffee so if you do one thing this week, stop the early morning coffee and switch to a caffeine free alternative instead.
For this recipe, you can use chicory root, dandelion ‘coffee’ or kukicha tea instead of coffee, all these beverages are a caffeine free alternative that also helps to protect your liver, improve gut health and reduce inflammation! They all have a similar taste to coffee and are perfect for helping you detox your coffee habit. I recommend trying them all out to see which one works best for your tastebuds!
A high protein breakfast is key
Adequate protein is essential for balanced hormones, especially if you’re struggling with insulin resistance or PCOS. Protein slows down the effect sugars have on our body prevents blood sugar spikes as it digests more slowly than carbs. Our bodies also need protein to make the amino acids that then go on to produce hormones. The problem is, we’re often not getting enough protein at the right times of the day, or we’re not getting enough full stop!
Skipping breakfast or eating a low protein/carb loaded foods like cereal, pastries or toast is a sure fire way to send your hormones crazy before you’ve even left the front door. Opt for high protein foods first thing in the morning such as protein powder (not whey), eggs, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, chia or chickpeas to keep your blood sugar levels stable till your next meal.
Selenium for clear skin
Selenium is a great supplement if you suffer with acne and PCOS. An Italian study showed that supplementing with 200-400mg of selenium per day had the potential in increase progesterone levels. When it comes to acne, selenium also provides promising results as it dramatically increases antioxidant levels. One study in 2012 showed that selenium reduced acne count by 40% when supplemented over an 8 week period.
Instead of taking another expensive supplement, try eating 3 Brazil nuts a day. They’re completely natural, food-source and just 3 Brazil nuts will provide you with your daily dose of selenium! You can eat them as a snack during the day but I prefer to add them to my morning protein smoothie so I don’t forget them!
Cinnamon for balanced blood sugar
As well as providing a hint of natural sweetness to your smoothies, cinnamon can also help control blood sugar levels, a vital step for anyone struggling with acne. It’s very common for acne sufferers to also suffer from insulin resistance. Insulin is a key hormone that helps move glucose (blood sugar) from the bloodstream into cells throughout the body where it can be used for energy. Insulin resistance occurs when the body is subjected to high insulin levels for a prolonged period of time due to poor diet, excess weight or lack of exercise. Unfortunately, too much insulin can trigger a release of androgen hormones, which means that our skin will produce excess sebum, which can then lead to clogged pores and acne inflammation.
Studies have shown that Ceylon cinnamon can be excellent at helping to manage blood sugar and insulin levels which in turn can help to regulate hormones and reduce acne – try getting 1-2 tsp of ceylon cinnamon into your diet each day for best results.
Vanilla latte protein smoothie for acne healing
This protein rich smoothie is the perfect alternative to your morning latte, except without the hormonal imbalances!
Healthy fat is the key to balancing hormones and repairing the body/gut and every client I’ve ever coached hasn’t been eating anywhere near enough – it really is the secret to clearing acne, balancing hormones and over coming so many other health issues! Protein and fat are the two most important nutrients to load up on at breakfast to keep blood sugars balanced throughout the day so no matter what you have for breakfast, make sure it’s main focus is fat and protein to get you through the morning without reaching for the snacks!
- 1 scoop of vanilla plant based protein powder
- 250ml full-fat coconut milk
- 50ml boiling water
- 2 tsp chicory/dandelion root powder or 1 tea bag of kukicha
- 2 Brazil nuts
- 30g melted grass-fed unsalted butter (or coconut oil)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Ice to serve (optional)
- Dissolve (brew if using kukicha) the coffee alternative in 50ml of boiling water.
- Add the ‘coffee’ mixture and other ingredients to a blender and blend till smooth.
If you’re not a coffee drinker you can simply remove the water and coffee alternative and add 2 tsp of cocoa powder and a few drops of stevia for a chocolate protein smoothie.
Have you managed to ditch the morning coffee addiction for the sake of your hormones? Let me know if you give this vanilla latte protein smoothie a go in the comments below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Peace, Love & Clear Skin