On June 2nd, I get to chat to Dr. John Grey on Sexy in Vancity Radio on CITR 101.9FM about his new book Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice. If you want to meet him in person, he will be in Vancouver doing a book signing at Chapters on Robson Street from 4-5pm on Friday, May 14, 2010.
Here are some exerpts from the press release:
Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice: Achieving Hormonal Harmony is Key to Happiness
Recent scientific discoveries have proven that the difference between the sexes and how they relate to one another are biochemically based and can be explained by our hormones. “These hormonal differences don’t just determine whether we like to shop or fix things; they reveal the unique ways that each gender deals with stress,” explains bestselling relationship author John Gray. In his new book, Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice, Gray, well-known for his international bestseller Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, delves into providing a plan to ensure ample production of the hormones that our bodies need both mentally and physically.
The Hormones of Fire and Ice: Oxytocin and Testosterone
“Women and men aren’t different because they grew up differently or came to look at the world in differing ways, though both can be true,” explains Gray. “It’s because the bodies of men and women are hormonally poles apart. The biochemical makeup of the two genders is not the same.” We have known this, in broad terms, for a long time. But it’s only recently that we’ve gained the scientific knowledge to pinpoint which hormones are most influential in the success and failure of relationships.
“For a man, increased levels of testosterone reduce stress,” explains Gray. “For a woman, increased levels of oxytocin reduce stress.” Gray emphasizes it’s important to understand that both genders do make use of both testosterone and oxytocin, but, both men and women differ greatly on how much of each hormone they need.
Testosterone: Men Must Make 30 Times More than Women to Cope with Stress
Without testosterone, a man’s stress level rises quickly. “When a man’s hormonal testosterone level goes up, his stress level comes down. That’s not true for women.” Too much testosterone can cause aggression and impulsivity and can actually raise a woman’s level of stress. To cope with stress, a man is drawn to situations that either release testosterone or rebuild testosterone, which is why men enjoy fixing the toaster or changing the oil. “As he acts, a man feels competent and powerful, “says Gray. “But soon thereafter he needs to kick back and recover, because resting or taking time for recreation gives him a chance to rebuild his stores of testosterone.”
Oxytocin: Women Deplete Their Supply Faster than Men
To cope effectively with stress, women are more drawn to situations that stimulate the release of oxytocin and facilitate the rebuilding of oxytocin. “By sharing herself in nurturing situations, oxytocin is released and her stress levels decline,” explains Gray. “By receiving nurturing support, she is able to rebuild her oxytocin levels.” Availing themselves of opportunities to rebuild oxytocin levels by receiving nurturing support is the greatest unmet challenge of women today. Finding time to receive nurturing is often the last thing a woman is willing to do when she’s under stress.
Good News: We Can Change the Way Stress Effects Our Bodies
“Anyone who has ever been in love knows that when you’re sharing love, feeling loved or giving love, you feel wonderful, “ says Gray. “This feeling of wonderful is actually the release of stress, and the dissipation of cortisol levels.” Cortisol, a hormone released by our adrenal glands in times of stress, is the culprit that shuts down the production of the other hormones our bodies need. Under stress and high levels of cortisol, the body stops making feel-good hormones that keep us healthy and happy. Often cortisol levels remain higher than need be because we don’t use it up by physically running away, etc. “Clearly, what we must do is to fix the adrenal switch so that we produce only the cortisol we need, when we need it,” explains Gray.
Nutrition for Healthy Hormones: Steady Blood Sugar and Superfoods
“We must fuel our bodies with the nutrients that are so essential to providing the physical foundation for our brains,” explains Gray. Steady blood sugar prevents spikes in cortisol, the stress hormone, thus preventing adrenal burnout and promoting the production of healthy hormones. Healthy blood sugar levels also provide fuel to make feel-good brain chemicals, such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins.
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. Some superfoods include:
• Maca powder: derived from a root that grows in Peru at some of the highest altitudes on the planet. Maca is known to lower stress levels and increase the production of hormones. Maca can help stop hot flashes in women and increase libido in men.
• Goji berries: most commonly grow in Tibet and Mongolia. Research in China has shown that these berries help stabilize blood sugar.
• Cacao nibs: pure source of chocolate. Rich in magnesium and are an excellent source of iron. Known to uplift mood and feelings of love and happiness. Like goji berries, a super-concentrated source of antioxidants.
• Açai berries: from Brazil, where they are known to raise the metabolism to increase energy levels without the side effects of caffeine. While caffeine increases stress levels, açai berries lower them.
• Molasses: contains all the minerals that are stripped away from processed refined sugars. Only a small amount is needed.
• Coconut Oil: stimulates the body to burn more fat. Helps body shift from the emergency state of sugar burning to the relaxed and longer lasting energy state of fat burning.
John Gray, Ph.D is the bestselling relationship author of all time. The author of 16 books, including the relationship classic, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, John Gray is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of communication and relationships. His unique focus is assisting men and women in understanding, respecting and appreciating their differences. John Gray lives with his wife and family in Northern California.