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Balancing Acts: Ana Herrera, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Hormone University

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background, and how it relates to health.

My name is Ana G. Herrera and I am the CEO and founder of Glow by Hormone University. Our mission is to empower women to take control of their hormonal health and optimize overall well-being. My personal connection to the brand and its purpose comes from my own experience battling stage IV Endometriosis. I know firsthand the challenges that come with hormonal imbalances and my journey has motivated me to help others and raise awareness and provide product solutions about this condition.

What inspired you to pay more attention to your hormone health and make it a part of your routine?

Dealing with stage IV endometriosis has been a monumental challenge in my life. The relentless struggle against excruciating pain, surgeries, infertility, surgical menopause and the emotional toll it had in my life  has significantly influenced my perspective on health, particularly with regard to hormones.  The struggles have made me realize the importance of hormonal balance in our overall well-being. Adopting healthier habits, from mindful nutrition to tailored exercise routines, all aimed at supporting hormonal harmony, has become my number one priority. The journey with endometriosis and surgical menopause motivated me to create Hormone University and Glow, an evidence-based product line that naturally supports hormonal balance.

To deal with menopause, I have been using Glow’s Menopause SOS to help with hot flashes and night sweats, our Magnesium and Collagen Lotion for better sleep and Intimate Hydrator for a pleasurable time and to take care of my vulva! They do wonders and I am so proud of each and every product we created and launched to help millions of women. Besides personally dealing with my hormonal health, I have found that seeking guidance from reading and empowering myself with the ammunition I need to know what to do daily it’s a way to love myself. Also, amazing healthcare professionals have been instrumental. Although it remains a continuous learning process, the empowerment derived from feeling more attuned to my body and its needs is invaluable.

What specific hormones or hormone-related issues do you focus on in your health routine, and why?

In my health regimen, I pay close attention to vital hormones that exert significant influence on my well-being. Firstly, stable blood sugar levels and managing insulin sensitivity take precedence. As a founder, managing cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, holds immense importance for my overall health. To achieve this, I prioritize stress-relief practices like mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. These techniques assist in maintaining hormonal balance, consequently enhancing my overall well-being. As I was saying earlier,, I also use Glow’sMagnesium Lotion for easing stress and improving mood. Monitoring and supporting thyroid function is also a cornerstone. The thyroid plays a pivotal role in regulating metabolism and ensuring optimal energy levels.

Achieving a healthy equilibrium in sex hormones—estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone—is fundamental. This balance is essential for reproductive health, mood stability, and overall vitality! Our products help support the balance of these hormones. For instance, Glow’s Menopause SOS has Wild Yam and Vitex, which are extremely beneficial to help keep my estrogen levels and progesterone levels in balance.

Lastly, prioritizing quality sleep and adhering to a consistent sleep routine are crucial. This supports optimal melatonin production, essential for a well-functioning sleep cycle. Focusing on these specific hormonal aspects forms the core of my holistic health routine.

Could you share your daily or weekly health and hormone-balancing routine with us? What does it typically involve?

My approach to health revolves around a comprehensive routine aimed at nurturing hormone balance and overall well-being. Each morning, I prioritize hydration by starting my day with warm water and lemon, followed by a nutrient-rich breakfast to sustain energy levels. Exercise holds a significant place in my daily schedule, whether it’s a gym workout, a jog outdoors, or yoga / pilates sessions. I find that physical activity not only helps manage stress but also contributes to maintaining hormonal equilibrium!

Throughout the day, I punctuate my routine with moments of mindfulness—brief breaks for deep breathing exercises or short meditation sessions. These practices have proven instrumental in managing stress levels, allowing for a more balanced hormonal response. When it comes to meals, I place emphasis on balance and variety. I aim for well-rounded, nutritious meals that include a mix of proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, and an abundance of fruits and vegetables. This diverse diet supports hormone health and provides essential nutrients. I find that following this routine helps boost my mood, keeps me energized and lets me be the best version of myself!

How do you stay informed about the latest developments and research related to hormone health?

To stay informed about hormone health, I maintain a multifaceted approach. I regularly read our own articles at Hormone University (of course!), read books and delve into scientific journals, other reputable health websites, and research findings in endocrinology. Attending webinars and conferences dedicated to hormone health allows me to access presentations by experts, giving me firsthand knowledge of emerging trends and breakthroughs. Engaging in discussions with healthcare professionals specializing in hormones is crucial. Their insights and guidance based on the latest research keep me updated on advancements in the field. Additionally, I find value in participating in peer discussions and support groups where experiences and recent findings are shared among individuals navigating similar journeys.

Are there particular foods or dietary choices that you find helpful in maintaining hormone balance?

For me, incorporating certain foods has been a game-changer in supporting my hormone balance. Avocados and nuts are staples in my diet; their healthy fats seem to make a real difference. They are  not just delicious but also crucial for hormone-regulating compounds. I’ve noticed that including enough protein, like lean meats and plant-based sources such as lentils, helps me feel more balanced overall. Plus, colorful veggies like spinach, bell peppers, and broccoli have become regulars on my plate. The antioxidants they contain seem to keep inflammation at bay, which I’ve found impacts my hormone levels. Whole grains and fruits rich in fiber are my go-to for gut health. I’ve also learned to be mindful of processed foods and sugars—limiting these has helped prevent those energy spikes and crashes that affect my hormones. I do like my coffee and the occasional drinks, but I’ve found that moderation is key! Ultimately, it’s about listening to my body and understanding how different foods affect me individually.

What role does physical activity and exercise play in your hormone health routine?

Physical activity and exercise are foundational elements in my hormone health routine, playing a crucial role in maintaining balance and overall well-being. When I engage in physical activity, it triggers the release of endorphins, commonly known as “feel-good” hormones!These endorphins help alleviate stress and boost mood, contributing to a more balanced hormonal state. Moreover, regular exercise aids in managing cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. Physical activity also supports insulin sensitivity, an essential factor in managing blood sugar levels. When I exercise regularly, it enhances the body’s ability to utilize insulin efficiently, promoting stable blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of insulin resistance. Additionally, exercise positively influences sex hormone levels and honestly…I also look better!.My skin clears from toxins and I see that Glow we all like 🙂

Can you describe any stress-reduction techniques or practices you use to manage cortisol levels and stress-related hormones?

Sure, managing stress is crucial for maintaining a balanced hormonal state in my routine. To counter cortisol levels and stress-related hormones, I employ various techniques. Regular mindfulness meditation sessions ground me, allowing for deep breathing and momentary presence to alleviate stress. Yoga and stretching exercises are also integral, easing physical tension and fostering a sense of tranquility. Physical activity, be it a challenging workout or a serene stroll outdoors, serves as a potent stress reliever by releasing endorphins, enhancing mood, and dissipating stress. Nature walks are particularly therapeutic, offering an escape from stressors and inducing relaxation. Another effective practice is journaling or expressive writing, providing an outlet for emotions and aiding in gaining perspective on stress triggers. Additionally, listening to calming music or sounds creates a serene environment conducive to stress reduction. Setting boundaries, managing time effectively, and seeking social connections for emotional support all play significant roles in mitigating my own stress. Practicing deep breathing exercises during stressful moments activates the body’s relaxation response. We should teach breathwork at schools!As mentioned earlier, I also use Glow Botanica’s Magnesium Lotion to alleviate stress. This is because it has magnesium which not only regulates cortisol release but also blocks the activity of more stimulating neurotransmitters in the brain. Lastly, I have a few people professionally supporting me: I have a brilliant coach who has great tailored techniques for stress relief and well-being.

Do you have any favorite supplements or natural remedies that you incorporate into your hormone health routine?

In my hormone health routine, I’ve found certain supplements and natural remedies to be particularly beneficial. Vitamin D is a priority as it plays a role in hormone regulation, either obtained through sunlight exposure or supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fish oil, support hormone production and help reduce inflammation. I love topical supplements more than oral ones, it’s just easier to incorporate into my routine. Adaptogenic herbs such as Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, or Holy Basil assist in managing stress levels, supporting adrenal health, and contributing to hormone equilibrium. Additionally, I take probiotics for gut health. Herbal teas like chamomile or ginger help me  in stress reduction, contributing to a more balanced hormone profile. Alongside these, a diet rich in macronutrients—protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates—supports me  overall hormone production and health.

How do you address sleep and its impact on hormones in your daily life?

Sleep is a cornerstone of hormone health, and I prioritize it in my daily routine. Setting a consistent sleep schedule helps regulate my body’s internal clock. I aim for a regular bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends, to support my circadian rhythm. Creating a calming bedtime routine—like reading or practicing relaxation exercises—are very helpful , as they signs that it’s time to wind down.

Have you encountered any specific challenges or setbacks in maintaining hormone balance, and how have you overcome them?

I’ve faced a few challenges on my hormone health journey, and each has been a learning experience. One significant hurdle was managing stress. Stress can be a real disruptor of hormone balance, and finding effective ways to handle it was key. Initially, I struggled to incorporate consistent stress management practices into my routine. It took trial and error to discover what worked best for me. I experimented with various techniques—mindfulness, breathwork, yoga, journaling—and eventually found a combination that helped me unwind and manage stress effectively. Another challenge was understanding the impact of certain foods on my hormones. Identifying which foods supported balance and which triggered imbalances was a process. It required patience and careful observation of how my body reacted to different dietary changes. Gradually, I tailored my diet to include more hormone-friendly foods and minimized those that caused disruptions. Overcoming these challenges involved persistence, education, and seeking guidance.

Are there any specific lifestyle changes you’ve made to improve your hormone health that you’d like to share with our readers?

Yes there indeed have been. When I began exploring hormone health, it felt like stepping into a vast world of unknowns, which is one of the reasons why we created Hormone University). . To navigate it, I started by educating myself Understanding how different hormones influence our bodies and learning about their functions was eye-opening. It helped me grasp why hormonal balance matters so much. Taking that knowledge, I made adjustments to my lifestyle that gradually became my routine. I overhauled my diet, focusing on nutrient-rich foods and cutting down on processed sugars and unhealthy fats. It wasn’t about drastic changes but small, consistent improvements that made a real impact. Exercise became a key player too. I experimented with various workouts until I found ones that I genuinely enjoyed. And when stress started to play a big role, I turned to mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga. Managing stress levels turned out to be a game-changer for my hormonal well-being. I didn’t do this alone, though. Consulting with my Dietitian and Endocrinologist  was crucial. These regular check-ins helped me track my progress and fine-tune my approach based on my body’s responses. It provided a sense of guidance and reassurance, especially on days when progress felt slow. It’s been a journey of patience and persistence. Little by little, these changes became ingrained in my daily life. There were ups and downs, but looking back, I can see the positive impact it’s had on my overall well-being.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to explore hormone health and wants to establish a balanced routine?

Exploring hormone health and establishing a balanced routine can be a transformative journey. To anyone who is considering exploring their hormonal health, I would recommend to go for it! To achieve a routine, I would encourage them to first understand their body. This can be done through understanding the various hormones and their impacts on the body. Test them periodically. Once you have educated yourself on hormones and their impact, you can start making adjustments to optimize your hormonal health. This can be through lifestyle modifications such as introducing a balanced diet, establishing an exercise routine, getting proper sleep, and practicing stress management techniques like yoga. Incorporating these tiny changes into an established routine and practicing them daily and honestly can help you achieve wonders in terms of your hormonal health!

What are your future goals and aspirations regarding your hormone health journey?

My goal is to continue refining my approach to hormone health. I aim to deepen my understanding of how different factors—nutrition, exercise, stress management, and more—affect hormone balance uniquely for me. It’s about fine-tuning what works best for my body and lifestyle. I hope to share my experiences and insights with others,

fostering a supportive community where individuals can learn and grow together on their hormone health journeys. Building awareness and understanding around this topic is essential, and I aspire to contribute positively to that conversation via our platform – Hormone University. Ultimately, my goal is to achieve a state of balanced hormone health that supports my overall well-being, allowing me to lead a fulfilling and vibrant life.

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