Best-selling relationship author gives advice on hormonal balance in his new book.
By Kari Arneson for Cupid's Pulse
It’s no wonder that relationship therapist and healthy living coach John Gray, Ph.D., is the best-selling relationship author of all time. His enlightening, instructive and hugely popular Mars-Venus series has sold more than 50 million books, including 1992’s groundbreaking Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, which was the New York Times‘ number one best-selling book of the last decade. But Dr. Gray’s quest to help men and women understand and appreciate their differences is far from over. The latest addition in the series is Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice: Hormonal Balance – The Key to Life, Love & Energy. Dr. Gray says, “This is not only a fun book, but highly informative, explaining the importance of hormone balance in order to have good relationships.”
How can hormonal balance help improve your relationships?
Hormones affect everything from your libido and moods to health and energy, and even stress levels. In his new book, Dr. Gray writes that the differences between the sexes and how they relate to each other are managed by hormones. See what Dr. Gray has to say on the topic:
Can you explain the meaning behind the title and cover art of your latest book?
The meaning behind the title and cover art of my latest book, Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice, is that the differences between the sexes and how they relate to one another are biochemically based. The differences can be explained by their hormones. Without an ample supply of these hormones, our bodies suffer both mentally and physically. In this book you will learn new tips and knowledge of how the stress hormone can harm our health and relationships, how achieving hormonal balance will improve our lifestyles as well as relationships, and the importance of superfoods and how good nutrition can replenish our hormones.
In the book you talk about the importance of eating “superfoods” and avoiding processed foods. What impact does food choice have on hormonal balance, and in turn, on things like stress and happiness?
Processed foods are deficient in the natural fibers that would normally slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Sugars that are added to products cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate. Processed foods are deficient in minerals, vitamins and good fats. Superfoods provide the nutrients we need for optimal health and vitality. In order to enjoy more stable blood sugar levels, we need to cut back on the sugar and processed foods and eat more unprocessed foods. This will allow our hormone factor, the adrenal gland, to produce feel-good hormones and reduce stress.
You talk a lot about stress and how to deal with it. What kind of effects does stress have on people and what is your best advice to manage it?
Stress inhibits the product of healthy hormones resulting in sugar cravings, which causes excess free radical damage to the arteries, which results in strokes and heart disease. Avoiding processed foods and limiting sugar intake will help reduce blood sugar spikes. It is important to eat superfoods that work synergistically to provide the extra nutrition our brains require to cope effectively with stress. These superfoods also compensate for our nutritionally deficient food supply. Superfoods are those that have been used by different cultures for thousands of years and are known for their extra-nutritional benefits. They are super rich in amino acids, good fats, vitamins, minerals and medicinal phytochemicals.
What kind of benefits can a person expect from hormonal balance and what’s your best advice on how to achieve it?
Getting to the root cause of hormonal imbalance is the key. When blood sugar fluctuates it uses cortisol to raise blood sugar. This causes adrenal burnout. When the adrenal gland is making cortisol it stops making testosterone, progesterone and estrogen. This causes women to have hot flashes, mood swings, depression and waking in the night. Along with PGX to balance blood sugar, maca, the Peruvian herb, will stop hot flashes in a couple of days. It will also lower stress in men and women and help balance hormones.
The body requires a steady supply of blood sugar to make serotonin. Stabilizing blood sugar is as least as important as balancing hormones. Blood sugar is the lynchpin in terms of understanding the effect of brain chemistry on relationships. We have found that blood sugar is more important to women than it is to men.
As the brain functions it needs to draw steady supplies of energy in the form of sugar or glucose from the blood. Without ready access to blood sugar, a brain under stress can’t make the serotonin it needs to relax and feel good again. Any time blood sugar surges too high or drops too low, brain chemistry is immediately thrown out of balance.
The issue is most critical for women because they tend to deplete their supplies of serotonin more easily than do men. There’s more women in the workplace today and they are making testosterone and less of the stress-busting oxytocin they need. This results in skyrocketing rates of cortisol, the stress hormone. I t is important to maintain a diet that supports a steady level of blood sugar.
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus was hugely popular and really seemed to resonate with a lot of people. What do you think it was about the book that people identified with? What would you say is the overall message and what can women in particular take away from the book?
I wrote Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus to help men and women understand their differences. The genders come from worlds practically next door to one another, yet – in many ways – they may as well have come from opposite ends of the solar system. Men and women came away from the book accepting their differences.
Do you have any more books, seminars, videos, etc. in the works?
My PBS special, Venus On Fire, Mars On Ice, is still airing across the United States and has been very well received by people. I also host three-day transformation weekends at my home in Mendocino, Calif. Stay tuned for a major motion picture to be released and another book soon.
To purchase Dr. Gray’s latest book Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice, visit Amazon. To learn more about Dr. John Gray and his books, seminars, relationship coaching, and other upcoming projects and events, visit MarsVenus.com.