Got a sweet guest post for ya today! I’m psyched about this one, because it’s a topic I feel pretty lost on, and based on several conversations with friends, I think a lot of other people do too.
Understanding hormones has for a long time been impenetrable for me. Sort of like Microsoft Excel, or Bitcoin. And yet I know how vital they are to our health. Hormones affect everything from our weight and our mood, to our ability to conceive naturally and our risk for disease.
Reading this post made the various phases of the female cycle simpler, more digestible.
Laura Charelle has a knack for explaining how this works. And that’s great news, because understanding the phases of your individual cycle will allow you to give your body exactly what it needs, when it needs it, and avoid hormonal symptoms like bloating, acne and mood swings that so many of us confront.
I found this incredibly helpful, and hope you do too. My confusion around Bitcoin still remains though, if anyone wants to come teach us how that whole thing works.
Laura, take it away!
How to Live Your Best Life Through Cycle Syncing
When I first heard of cycle syncing, I was a bit overwhelmed. “Balancing hormones” was something I had been taught to fear, or that “everyone” deals with PMS, bloating, acne, and a foul mood.
The moment I learned these symptom weren’t actually normal, and I had the power to live without them, I was dumbfounded.
Why was no one talking to us about this?!
If you’ve never heard of cycle syncing, here’s the inside scoop – it’s when a woman partners her food, workouts, and daily habits to where she’s at in her cycle. In turn, you’re able to give your body exactly what it needs, when it needs it, and avoid hormonal symptoms that plague so many of us ladies.
For me, I pay close attention to how my energy and brain shifts in my cycle (we can quite literally, think, feel, and act differently in each of the four phases that make up our monthly cycle). Now, I know what my body needs and when, which has helped me avoid things like PMS, brain fog, skin breakouts, that dreaded belly and hip bloat, achieve a calmer and shorter period, and even helped me discover the root cause to my symptoms.
When a woman learns the root cause to what’s causing these symptoms, she becomes unstoppable (watch out world!).
To help you get started with cycle syncing, here’s a look at the four phases of a woman’s monthly cycle:
1. Menstrual Phase
The phase we all know about! The first day of our cycle starts the day our period begins. Most women have a period that lasts 3-7 days.
At this time, we really crave comfort and warming foods. I like to wear clothes that feel good against my skin and make me feel good about myself (my tight, booty-lifting skinny jeans can wait until next week!). Then I sip on tea, cook my vegetables, and find myself craving soup. Staying away from raw salads and smoothies at this time helps us warm our blood and increase circulation. Stagnate blood flow in the uterus is the perfect breeding ground for menstrual
During our period, our bodies are physically releasing old blood to welcome the new. This week is an opportunity for reflection and renewal, as we go through this in-depth cleansing process. Our right and left brain hemispheres become the most aligned, so our creative and analytical sides collide, which can make us feel discontent with ourselves and others. If women feel moody during this time, it’s a chance to tune in and ask ourselves if we’re living our lives the way we want to. Even acknowledging our truth can make us less bitchy during our period! This is the best time to get in a yoga class, pilates, or do some light cardio.
2. Follicular Phase
This is the phase right after our period ends and lasts for 7-10 days. Our brain’s mental activity starts picking up as our sex hormones were at their lowest levels. As they start to increase, we gain more energy and stamina, meaning we can push harder in our workouts and career! This is the best time to try a new workout class (Barry’s Bootcamp, anyone?!).
During our period, we may have witnessed some grand dreams we’ve longed for. Our follicular phase is all about creating a plan of action and taking those first baby steps forward. Often times, I plan out my entire month in this phase – from social engagements, blog posts and social media to mapping out projects and travel plans. It’s like my monthly strategy session and I feel so good knowing everything is already planned out.
Foodwise, our bodies crave light and fresh foods like salads, fruit, smoothies, and my personal fave, sushi!
3. Ovulation Phase
Ahhhhhh our ovulation phase – the most glorious time of the month! Our energy is through the roof here and this phase lasts for 3-5 days. It’s the time of month, where if you’re looking to get pregnant, you better get busy!
Our communication skills are spot on and our charming, charismatic selves are attracting anything and everything we want in life. This is the best time to book a new client, ask for a raise, find a mate (since nature designed us to be more social so we can reproduce!), and head out for group workout classes. Anything social here is where your brain and body wants you to be.
Since your energy is so high, you can push through your endurance workouts, tackle that HIIT sesh, and focus on your strength training.
4. Luteal Phase
Our luteal phase lasts for 10-14 days, and I like to think of this in two separate weeks. The first week, our energy is still high as we come down from ovulating. Anything social feels good, as does a more strenuous workout, light foods, and showcasing your charming personality. The second week is what most women identify with as a tough week. It’s the one where nearly 80% of women struggle with PMS. As you learn your cycle and start to balance your hormones,
this will soon be a thing of the past!
During this phase, your brain wants to focus large chunks of time on your to-do list, so you might notice you’re extra focused here. You’ll be able to take those action plans you created during your follicular phase, and CRUSH through them (I totally cycle synced my taxes this year).
Just like pregnant women go through a nesting phase before baby, we get this every month before our period. It’s like our bodies are trying to clear out what no longer serves us, so I take full advantage of this cleaning frenzy and clear out closets, organize files and paperwork, and deep clean my entire space. It’s become so therapeutic!
This is also the perfect time to say goodbye to old relationships, shift to eating more warming foods, and vamp up dark, leafy greens for a magnesium and calcium boost.
And this is your cycle syncing snapshot! Are you intrigued to live by your cycle? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Want to take this to the next level? Check out the Balanced Bombshells Lifestyle Plan to learn the science behind your hormones, cycle syncing, and other ways to live the life you want. Use code BALANCE100 to save $100!
Laura Charelle is the Founder of Balanced Bombshells, a women’s health organization empowering women to use food, fitness, and their lifestyle to balance their hormones, so they can feel happy, confident, and stress-free. After leaving numerous doctors’ offices in tears and without answers, Laura sought a holistic approach to her health. Sparked by the desire to learn why good or bad things happened in her body, Laura has been studying hormones and how they relate to the female body for over six years.