Your cycle is your guide to living, eating, and loving.

Your body’s wisdom is profound.  She is speaking to you in the most basic primal ways.  In a world where we are bombarded with external stimulation, it is easy to forget the magic our own body has for us.  When we allow ourselves to step back and tune-in, she is there with the wisdom and guidance we long for. Use this guide as a way to honor your body’s natural rhythm.  Follow her lead on how to eat, move, work, play, rest, and love.cycle

(1)  Menstrual Phase:  lasts 3-7 days ~ Dark/New Moon ~ Winter ~

Energy/Emotions Energy at its lowest.  Tired. Withdrawn. Emotionally raw. Restless. Dissatisfied.
Hormones Progesterone plunges at the start. Estrogen peaks and then drops.
Exercise Rest.  Slow movement like stretching, gentle yoga and walking.
Foods Focus on nutrient density.  Sea veggies, Fruits and veggies. Soups and Stews. Buckwheat.  Wild rice. Beet. Burdock. Kale. Kelp. Mushrooms. Seaweed. Blueberry. Blackberry. Adzuki beans. Duck. Pork. Sardine. Scallop. Mussels. Crab. Clam. Tea. Miso. Tamari.
Work/Career/Home Rest. Unplug. Honor alone time.  Go deep within. Reflect. Clear your social calendar. Sleep a lot.  Stay at home.  Organize and clean out your room. Journal about your dreams and visions. Evaluate and course correct. Most connected to your intuition. Open to the divine.
Love and Sex Go on a date with yourself.

 

“It is a time in a women’s cycle when she is especially sensitive and has access to her deeper levels of intuitive knowing” – Dr. Hanley.  This knowing is often filled with pain and repressed negative emotion and guilt for having those emotions. PMS gives you an opportunity to accept, acknowledge and work with the feelings underneath the symptoms. PMS may push a woman to know that she needs to have limits and those limits are not shameful; they need to be honored.  It is a time to explore pressures and expectations put on by others and self. Accept it as a gift and open up to the wisdom being relieved.

(2)  Follicular Phase: lasts 7-10 days ~ Spring ~

Energy/Emotions Physical energy rises. Outgoing, upbeat, and renewed. Confident. Adventurous.
Hormones The pituitary sends follicular stimulating hormone to your ovaries. They are getting ready to release an egg. Estrogen increases. Overall hormones at their lowest and increase toward ovulation.
Exercise Try something new and stimulating. Best time to learn something new. Go for more challenging workouts. Work it!
Foods Eat fresh, vibrant, light foods. Steam and sautéed.  Lean proteins. Lots of veggies. Sprouted seeds and beans. Whole grains. To improve ovulation eat:  artichoke, broccoli, carrot, lettuce, parsley, zucchini, avocado, citrus fruit, plums, lentils, beans (lima, mung, split peas), brazil nuts, cashew, lychee, chicken, eggs, clams, crab, trout, pickles, olives, sauerkraut.
Work/Career/Home The most creative phase. Brain skills at their best. Start new projects. Take on your mentally challenging tasks. Brainstorm. Problem Solve. Plan ahead. Develop ideas. Be social.  Say “yes” to new experiences.  Get out and about. Socially on fire.
Love and Sex Get out there, date! Sex drive typically lowest during this phase.  Put extra attention and time into arousal and foreplay.  Be creative.

 

(3)  Ovulatory Phase: lasts 3-4 days ~ Summer ~ Full Moon ~

Energy/Emotions Mood stable. Content. Relaxed. Energy levels at their max. Confident. Powerful. Capable. Receptive to others.
Hormones Estrogen abundant. Peak in testosterone. Surge in follicular-stimulating and luteinizing hormone.
Exercise High-impact and with others. Intense group classes.  Team sports or activities. Spin. Running. Boot camp. Dance class.
Foods Go easy on carbs. Choose lighter grains. Focus on veggies, fruit, and fiber. Light cooking methods and raw foods are great. Great foods include quinoa, amaranth, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, chard, bell pepper, endive, dandelion, scallion, spinach, tomato, apricot, cantaloupe, coconut, fig, raspberry, strawberry, red lentil, almond, pecan, pistachio, lamb, salmon, shrimp, tuna, chocolate, tumeric
Work/Career/Home Connect with community. Have important conversations. Communication skills at their best. Go on interviews. Speak out. Take the stage. Ask for what you want. Put effort into feelings and looking your best.
Love and Sex Most attractive and desirable. Desire and energy boosted. Best time for passionate sex. Fertile. Libido at its peak. Mix and mingle. Plan a fun, sexy date with your partner.

 

(4)  Luteal Phase: lasts 10-14 days ~ Fall ~ Pre-menstrual

Energy/Emotions Energy declines. PMS can start to creep up – moody, doubtful, cravings. Inner critic shows up. Tender. Emotional. Inward. Connected to inner self. More connected to personal wounds. Scattered. Disorganized. Right Brain more active.
Hormones Testosterone declines.  Progesterone rises.
Exercise Continue strenuous exercise at the start of this phase. Take it easy and slow down for the second half of this phase; yoga, walking, elliptical.
Foods B vitamins, Calcium. Magnesium. Fiber
Work/Career/Home Awareness, attention, and comfort are key. Evaluative and reflective mode. Turn inward. Take care of things around your home.  Nest. Prioritize self-care. Nurture yourself. Slow down social interaction. Take care of detail-oriented responsibilities. Chill-out.
Sex Libido declines

 

Resources:  Women Code by Alisa Vitti, Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom by Dr. Northrup, and Code Red by Lisa Lister.

I would love to know how this lands for you!  Let’s keep the conversation going.  Contact me at faith@faithshevlin.com for more =)

Leave a Reply