Have you ever wondered why some days you feel like Superwoman ready to take on the world, and some days you’re just tired and want to stay in bed with your favorite book, or maybe watch your favorite TV show? Perhaps even binge on Netflix 🙂
We all need that break to do nothing at all, whatever it may be. Then there are times when your body is sensitive to blood sugar swings. Not to mention having cramps way before your period is due and bloating that makes you gain the extra midsection weight, which sets you back on the clean eating you’ve been on.
So juggling the extra few pounds and trying to manage that crazy blood sugar roller coaster just leaves you feeling guiltier each time you pick that box of chocolate up. Enough with this chaotic emotional ride! Having a clear picture of what happens each cycle will get you back in control of your Superwoman powers 😉
Let me help you understand what happens during your cycle. We have four phases in our monthly cycle just like the four seasons which is pretty neat. Each phase has a unique emotional and physical super power. The menstrual cycle should last between 25-35 days and be consistent. If it fluctuates it means you might have an irregular hormonal imbalance and seeing your doctor or functional medicine doctor would be wise.
Phase 1: The Bleeding Phase / Winter Season
The winter season is cold and dark and we tend to stay in and relax rather than being outdoors enjoying the sunshine. This season is similar to the bleeding phase. This phase lasts approximately 3-7 days long. Your progesterone levels drop, which causes your uterine lining to shed that leads to menses.
Your period should look bright red like cranberry juice and have a consistency of maple syrup. If the blood is darker, brown or has blood clots like crushed blueberries your uterus might have a sluggish flow. Being Superwoman is demanding during this time and your energy will be at its lowest.
- Bone broth during this phase is healing because our ligaments tend to be more prone to injury during this time. It’s very high in the amino acids proline and glycine which are vital for healthy connective tissue (ligaments, joints, around organs).
- Add some magnesium in your life, it can be through dark leafy greens, supplements and/or Epsom salt baths.
- Get in Vitamin D, not only does it boost energy but it’s essential for our reproductive system and balances hormones. Making sure to get you D levels tested before supplementing. A good daily intake for maintenance is 5000 IU to 10 000 IU.
- Enjoying organic dark chocolate anything above 70% which has iron, magnesium and potassium and creates endorphins.
- Writing in your journal, reflecting on your past month and goal setting is a great time.
- Applying Castor oil directly on abdomen or a hot water bottle.
- Stretching, short walk, yin yoga even a light intensity weights workout is great for boosting energy and blood circulation keeping away from intense activities like spinning, CrossFit type workouts.
Enjoy these self loving and nutritious foods in this phase. Have a date with yourself and connect with your intuition. Think about goal setting and create your next month goals. Think about what has worked and what isn’t going well that you can improve. Lastly, take it easy so you’re feeling ready for the next phase.
Phase 2: The Follicular Phase / Spring
Spring is the follicular phase where there’s more light and growth starts. It is called the follicular phase because the follicle, (which contains the female egg), is maturing during this phase mainly under the influence of follicle stimulating hormone.
As the follicle matures it releases estrogen from the ovaries. During the beginning of this phase estrogen and testosterone levels are low but they gradually increase till ovulation. The pituitary gland then starts to release Luteinizing Hormone (LH), which is responsible for ovulation and your cervical fluid starts becoming a wetter consistency.
Benefits of testosterone and estrogen:
- Boosts in energy.
- Increases mental productivity.
- Increases confidence.
- Increases libido.
- Feel stronger so go do your strength workouts and have a sweat.
- Estrogen makes you feel more extroverted so go out on dates.
It’s the time to shine and be superwoman. This is an excellent time to schedule dates with your loved ones or maybe ask someone out! Play with your kids, go to networking events. Take on new tasks and try something new!
Phase 3: Ovulation / Summer
This phase is the shortest phase of all lasting about 2-3 day sadly. This is when LH surges right before ovulation and causes the follicle to burst open in the fallopian tube which then gets fertilized or will die in 12-24 hours.
During this time your cervical fluid has a wetter consistency as ovulation approaches and is the number one sign that ovulation has occurred. Most women don’t know how their cervical fluid changes through their cycle so learning how to chart is useful not only to see how their body and energy shifts but it’s a great tool to understand what’s happening to your body during each phase. So if you see something is off you can see your doctor right away. I personally use Kindara’s app to chart and their website has all the knowledge you need to learn how to chart Four Rules for Charting Birth Control.
Testosterone and estrogen continue to rise and you feel the maximum benefits you’ve been enjoying. All the hard work your body was doing during the last few phases has reached its max. Your energy levels are at their highest in this phase. Benefits from the last phase continue during this phase.
- Do the challenging workouts you enjoy because your body is able to tolerate more physical demand.
- You’re super confident if you’re single ask someone out!
- Let your inner seductress out and have more sex!
- You’ll be able to burn more fat and tolerate more carbs during this phase so enjoy your complex carbs.
- Estrogen levels are at their highest, around days 13 through 17 and the brain’s ability to suppress pain is enhanced, so booking your OB/GYN, or waxing appointments are excellent during this time.
Phase 4: Luteal /Fall
This phase has two parts in the cycle and typically lasts from 12-16 days. Ideally the luteal phase should be closest to 14 days. The sex hormones estrogen, testosterone, luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone decline and the follicle that released the egg will start to produce progesterone, that raises your basal body temperature for the remainder of the luteal phase. Your cervical fluid will lose its wetter consistency and start to become dry. During the first half of the luteal phase you are still feeling the highs off of the effects of the ovulatory phase.
The second half of this phase Progesterone production increases This phase can be extremely difficult so nourishing your body this week is extremely important. You will find yourself starting to wind down because progesterone acts like a natural valium.
Symptoms you’ll feel in the second half of the luteal phase:
You might feel isolated and crave carbohydrate rich comfort foods. Feel PMS like symptoms. Also, procedures like waxing will hurt more during days 23-28 days. Due to lower estrogen levels.
- Honor your body’s need for rest during this phase so you can maximize your energy during the active phases.
- Have well nourished meals with wild grass fed protein and healthy fats with low glycemic carbs to stabilize your blood sugar every 3-4 hours.
- Get massages.
- Do activities like reading, yin yoga, anything that adds Zen into your life.
Keeping your blood sugar stable will help minimize your symptoms. Staying active and being in tuned to your body with charting is an excellent way to connect to your emotions. I hope you enjoyed these tips and have healthy, vibrant cycles 🙂