How to Optimize Your Health During the Menstrual Cycle
You may notice when your period starts and ends, but did you know that there is SO much changing within your body and mind between period bleeds? This is what is commonly referred to as the menstrual cycle (or ovulatory cycle) and is comprised of four different phases: period, follicular, ovulatory, luteal. It is recommended that women who are actively menstruating change their foods, workouts, skincare, and their lifestyle while shifting throughout the four phases.
For more information on tracking your menstrual cycle, read here.
For more information on the Fertility Awareness-Based Methods, and the symptothermal method, read here.
Here are a few of my favorite tips for optimizing your overall health during each phase of your cycle:
1. Menstrual phase (period)
- Food: eat nourishing, grounding foods and include anti-inflammatory spices. Here is one of my favorite menstrual phase recipes.
- Exercise: walks, stretching, yin yoga, gentle yoga.
- Herbals: drink lavender, chamomile, and ginger teas. Take Bitters to support digestion, healthy bowel movements, and to support your liver (and reduce cramps). Soothe will support cramps, mood shifts, and PMS. To support sleep and nervous system regulation, take Sleepy.
2. Follicular phase
- Food: Focus on replenishing your body of all nutrients that may be missing post-bleed. Here is one of my favorite follicular phase recipes.
- Exercise: Cardio-focused. Jog/run, cycling, power yoga, dance, hiking, swimming.
- Herbals: drink rd raspberry tear. Take Soothe to support your liver, gut, hormone regulation, and to prepare for a health ovulation and cycle.
3. Ovulatory phase
- Food: Prioritize fiber, protein, and healthy fats. You may notice a naturally reduced appetite. Prioritize organic berries, citrus, and cruciferous vegetables to support liver detoxification.
- Exercise: You may be feeling your most energized yet! Due to peaks in estrogen and testosterone, you will not only have energy and motivation, but you will be able to build muscle and recover better. Focus on strength workouts with a bit of cardio mixed in.
- Herbals: Dandelion root + leaf tea. Bitters to support liver detoxification and Soothe to support ovulation and overall hormone regulation.
4. Luteal phase
- Food: You may notice your appetite ramping up during this phase. Listen to yourself and nourish. Opt for roasted root vegetables, healthy fats, and 20-30 grams of protein at every meal to keep your blood sugar stable. Here is one of my favorite luteal phase recipes.
- Exercise: During the first half of the luteal phase, you may be feeling energized enough for moderate-intense exercises. Towards the end of this phase, you will notice energy levels decreasing, and a craving for slow, intuitive movement. Yoga, pilates, barre, bodyweight sculpt, long walks, gentle dance, easy bike ride.
- Herbals: Bitters to support your digestion as this is when many women experience changes in bowel movements an overall gut health. Soothe to support healthy progesterone levels. Sleepy to support deep, restful sleep.
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