Updated: May 9
Our bodies feel different from week to week. The more we can own this part of ourselves, the happier and healthier women will be! When you make strategic changes in each of your cycle phases, that's when you start seeing the results you want.
Your cycle phases compound on top of each other, building upon your habits and driving the change you want to see mentally, emotionally, and physically. This rang the most true in my life when I stopped trying to "push through" and began taking breaks when I could feel the fatigue starting to creep in. Shocking, I know. Something so simple like taking a 10-15 minute break has been one thing to dramatically change my life!
We all have our weak spots.
Mine was the few days leading up to my period where I'd cry over nothing, isolate myself from the world, and fell into this state of depression. Then the first 1-2 days of my period, I'd just feel so lost. And anxious. It felt so unlike who I am on a regular basis and it was really hard to deal with every month.
Other women feel really tired during ovulation, or bloated. Some notice a struggle AFTER their period ends, not during. Not everyone notices a dip before and during their period. It really comes down to what is predictable for YOU and knowing you do have the power to smooth our your cycle.
Here are four of my simple cycle fixes that deliver stellar results:
1. During your menstrual phase, focus on eating warm foods and stick to little or no sugar
Warm foods will promote more blood circulation to your uterus and can help ease cramps. It can also make food easier to digest since your stomach is working over time to cleanse and heal your body.
Many women crave sugar during their period, but excess sugar aggravates period symptoms. We all know that moody state and bloated belly feeling. Sugar will make these symptoms worse.
I focus on 1-2 pieces of fruit for something sweet, or 1-2 squares of really dark chocolate (85% or higher). This way I feel like I can still indulge the craving, while still giving my body what it needs.
Just by going through one to two periods with this little fix, you may notice you no longer have the same cravings, period pain eases up, and you feel happier and less bloated. The holy grail for us ladies!
2. During your follicular phase, start eating liver cleansing foods
Hormone levels are starting to increase this week and helping the liver process any excess hormones really helped smooth out my cycle.
During this week I focus on drinking water with lemon, adding ground flaxeed to a smoothie, making a salad at lunch with dandelion greens, and eating cruciferous vegetables like kale, brussel sprouts or broccoli at dinner.
3. During the ovulation phase, the #1 thing I do is avoid alcohol
For women who don't have an issue with increased levels of estrogen don't need to worry about this the same way. But for me, this was the part of the month I'd struggle most with if I drank alcohol.
Alcohol can increase estrogen levels and lead to more period problems later in the month. It also always made me feel bloated in my hips, thighs, and butt area. So yeah, I rethink that glass of wine or cocktail out at dinner.
Instead, I treat myself to trying out a new kombucha flavor and putting it in a champagne glass to feel extra fancy.
4. During the luteal phase, eat more good mood foods
This phase is when I noticed my mood would suffer the most. I focus on eating good mood foods like bananas, walnuts, dark chocolate, dark turkey meat, and chia seeds.
Then the week before my period I start introducing beets, either in juice form in hiding in a smoothie. This really helps me with blood circulation and I've noticed way less cramps, irritability or bloating by the time my period arrives.