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Healthy Habits

Nutrition and Libido

feetIf you’re GreenSmoothieGirl, many people know you’re single, some people know you’re a former sex therapist, and everybody knows you know a lot about nutrition…..my point is, people tell me stuff. Turns out, lots of women, and some men, too, are suffering with sexual dysfunction, or just a lack of interest in sex, period.

Historically, at least when Masters and Johnson were doing their landmark work on North Americans and sexual practices and attitudes, women hit their “sexual prime” at 40, but these days, researchers see less of that. More and more, some women don’t even HAVE a sexual prime. They’re perennially exhausted, and with reserves running low, sex is the first thing to go.

Moms of young children are very often less interested in sex than their partners. Husbands are frustrated and wonder what happened to the energetic woman they married. (Have a little patience, guys. It very well may be temporary. Kind of a LONG temporary, I know, but still—it’s a season.)

Another growing phenomenon is low testosterone in men—so men have less interest in sex now, many of them, than they did 50 years ago. (Not all of them, of course. But a surprising number.)

I have a few tips for those suffering from lack of libido–or maybe it’s your partner whose sex drive doesn’t match yours.  I’m going to start with the DON’Ts, and move on to the DOs:

1.  One thing everyone needs to do, to clear all the negative energies from your endocrine system, male or female, is get away from endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Don’t drink out of plastic containers or microwave stuff in plastic (or heaven forbid, Styrofoam).

2.  Don’t drink tap water–avoid fluoride and chlorine. Get a carbon filter on the whole water system in your home. Get a reverse osmosis filtration system, at a minimum. Best of all is if you have R.O. water, and a water ionizer.

3.  Don’t eat soy! Most of it in the U.S. is genetically modified, but also, there is soy protein isolate and soy lecithin and a dozen other processed soy fractions in everything boxed, everything canned, everything manufactured by humans these days, including almost all BREAD products. Soy mimics estrogen in the body and disrupts normal hormone function. Don’t use soy milk or any other products—occasionally, organic only, small amounts of miso, edamame, tofu, nama shoyu or Bragg’s, are okay.

4.  Quit using chemical skin-care products. Putting it on your skin is the same as eating it. Your skin is a living, breathing organ, and it takes what you put on it into the bloodstream. Make a shift to the things you put on your skin being only natural. My moisturizer is organic coconut oil. And doTERRA essential oils, especially lavendar, for the sun damage.

Now for the DO’s:

1.  Get on my diet. It’s called 12 Steps to Whole Foods. When greens are what you eat most of, then vegetables, fruits, legumes…..guess what, those are the most nutrient-dense classes of foods…..weight loss is nearly invariable. Green smoothies are just a good first step.

Even being 10 pounds over your normal weight can very noticeably affect libido. You think depressed libido is because you don’t feel sexy or uninhibited when you’ve got love handles or thigh flab. That’s only part of it. (An important part! Feeling sexy and energetic DOES lead to you being your best self—in all ways. On the flip side, having to turn the lights off, avoid certain body parts being visible, or worrying about insecurities, leads to nothing good in the bedroom.)

The other part is how even just an extra 10 lbs. truly depresses circulation and endocrine functions. You really need those functions, for good lovin.’

When your energy is depleted, as it always will be on the Standard American Diet diet, you lose the sexual interest and stamina you once had. Sexual dysfunction happens the same way all degenerative disease does: it is linked to lifestyle choices. Your reproductive system, after all, is affected by the same things your cardiac, circulatory, and endocrine systems are–they are are inextricably linked, as they are all part of one complex organism.

2.  Add six things to your green smoothie. Call the recipe Good Green Love. Or Sexy Smoothie 2.0. Half for you, half for your partner. Here they are:

a. Maca.  Add it to a green smoothie. It’s the “Peruvian ginseng,” a root vegetable prized by the Incans for thousands of years for its ability to improve athletic endurance and sexual stamina.

b. Bee pollen. Look what it does for the queen bee! It’s a powerful aphrodisiac. Bee pollen has been a fascination of European researchers for a long time. The dust from the stamen of blossoming plants collected from bees is fairly well documented to improve a lot of things most of us care about. First of all, it increases your energy throughout the day and stamina for physical activity–it’s a powerhouse nutritionally, with 35 percent protein. It has natural weight loss properties that have been mimicked chemically in various weight-loss drug remedies. Bee pollen not only stimulates metabolism, but also suppresses appetite naturally. It slows aging and prevents cancerous tumors from developing. It also contains a gonadotropic sex hormone and contributes to improved sexual performance and reduction of PMS symptoms. Perhaps most interestingly, it may prevent seasonal allergies, like eating raw honey allegedly does, but in a more direct way and without the blood sugar impact. If you can buy it collected from multiple sources instead of one source, that’s a better product. Try one grain to make sure you’re not allergic, then two grains the next day. Take a teaspoon a day when you’ve ascertained you don’t have a sensitivity to it. Eat a spoonful or put it in a smoothie. It also has a potentially helpful effect on seasonal allergies, and immune function!

c. Wild Orange essential oil (therapeutic grade only, doTERRA or Young Living, not the kind you buy on store shelves). Just because it has “WILD” in its title. Just kidding, that’s not why. Wild Orange leads to dopamine increases, your body’s natural “pleasure” chemical. You can get these from the GreenSmoothieGirl.com shop.

d. Cinnamon essential oil. It’s warming. As such, it increases blood flow and circulation. You know how that helps your sexual experience, right? If not, lemme know so we can back this conversation down to a more primer level. Sometimes sexual problems can be caused by not understanding how sex works.

e. Ginger essential oil. Again, it has a warming effect, gets the blood pumping. Your body knows where to take the blood flow.

f. Celery. Yes, the vegetable I affectionately like to say comes from the cardboard family. Put it in your smoothie where you won’t notice it, since it contains androsterone, a precursor to pheromones that positively affect the sexual behavior of your partner.

3.  Get more foods containing ZINC, which blocks the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. Soak raw pumpkin seeds and put them in your oatmeal or granola. Watermelon relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow and lubrication. You can get a supplement of L-arginine, which is an amino acid which can dilate the right blood vessels to improve arousal. Asparagus is rich in folate, which regulates histamine (released during orgasm). Bananas have several compounds that lead to testosterone production and blood flow, and therefore great sex: potassium, B vitamins, and the enzyme bromelain.

4. Figure out what your time of day is, and take advantage of that. Some people are simply more interested in sex in the morning, rather than at night. It’s a truism that many folks are either “night people” or “morning people.” Nothing wrong with that–you might have to compromise if your partner is the opposite.

5.  If the nutritional and timing suggestions don’t do the trick, consider visiting a bioidentical hormone specialist.  Women, get a full blood-panel workup to find out if progesterone or female testosterone is the root of the problem. More and more women are suffering from endocrine disruption and imbalance, probably partly because of things like soy in all our foods, hormones in our animal proteins, etc. A little yam-based progesterone or hormone cream may work wonders. (However, you want this only if it’s warranted by your test results!) Testosterone cream is appropriate only if you are 40 or older.

Please get these ONLY from a bioidentical practitioner. The drugs, from the other guys? The substances are not identical to what your body makes. They are harmful and may have some symptom-abatement results in the short term, but they are also associated with negative side effects and disease risk

Other remedies your natural-care practitioner may recommend, like DHEA, or flax oil, could be easily located at a health-food store.

So try those ideas, and get in the bedroom and see what happens.

Enjoy! (Also, have a little moment of grieving silence, will you, for your SINGLE friend GreenSmoothieGirl?) Regardless of whether this is all academic for me personally at the moment, I want y’all happy in every area of your life, including and especially the part that happens behind closed doors.