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Period lowdown no.1 Understanding your hormones

There are times

Have you ever felt at a certain time of month, you can clean the house like a madwoman because you have this boost of energy? Have you ever become creative or managed to finish a task that has been on your to do list for a couple of weeks? These feelings and actions are closely linked to the four phases within our period’s cycle.

  1. Menstrual
  2. Follicular
  3. Ovulation
  4. Luteal

Our hormones, the chemical messengers within our bodies, control the phases of our period. The more we understand about our phases, the better we will be in understanding our bodies and navigating through the month.  Here are some tips to see what you can do to ride the flow.

Menstrual Phase 3-7 days:  Time for some downtime

  • I know you don’t feel like it, but go for a walk.  Instead of getting in the car to buy some milk or bread, walk or cycle.  Getting light exercise will not only help your body but also your mind.
  • Lie like a sloth.  It’s ok to relax.  Give your body the freedom to rejuvenate.  Spend this time to free your mind and just chill. (yes, you can exercise and relax.  It’s not one or the other!)
  • Eat comforting stews and soups that are packed full of flavour and nutrients. Can’t be bothered cooking?  Snack on watermelon, strawberries and drink some yummy bone broth or miso (you can source this online, in health food stores or make your own!). Check out some of the recipes that help with the phases.

Follicular Phase 7-10 days: Energy levels are soaring from all that downtime!

  • Your energy levels are great. You can also feel a bit adventurous. Try something outside of your comfort zone. Go for a hike, try water aerobics. Sign up for Karate!
  • You have so much energy you can power through the most mundane task.  Set these days in your calendar to achieve and close out those items that have been sitting in your in tray, or clogging up your kitchen bench for far too long!
  • Eat fresh, crunchy vegies and fruits that are full of colour.  Try out a new recipe that looks good, because I’m sure it will taste great too!!

Ovulatory Phase 3-4 days: Time to speak your mind!

  • Communication levels are high at this point, so savour this time to ask the boss for a raise, tell someone you love them or speak openly about your feelings to those close to you.
  • Your energy levels are still great.  Keep your regular workouts going, but possibly step it up a notch.  Add an extra exercise to your routine or shake them up a bit, introducing slowly so as not to strain yourself!
  • Still concentrating on raw, fresh fruit and vegies with some meat or seafood. I personally love a good plate of raw veggies with a hummus and pesto dip, olives, sauerkraut and some dolmades (I buy the canned variety!)

Luteal Phase 10-14 days: Focus, be honest and cry if you want to!

  • Often considered the time where women suffer from PMS or PMDD, our progesterone levels are on the rise.  It’s a time to be mindful of this and be aware that as part of our menstrual cycle, hormones will fluctuate causing reactions in our thinking and doing. And that’s not a bad thing.  We all experience highs and lows and at different levels.  If you are feeling overwhelmed by any of your emotions, then it’s time to CHECK IN in with yourself and also seek professional advise if they are getting too much to deal with on your own.
  • This is your clean-the-house moment!  You still have great energy levels at the beginning and the need to restore order in your life is at the forefront of your thinking.
  • Don’t cook the Sunday roast each week?  Well now is the time to get the yummy root vegetables and slow cooked meat on the table.  Comforting food that makes you feel good and warms the belly!
  • Get sleep!