fbpx

Month: October 2017

How well do you know your menstrual cycle?

swan at the round pond

This isn’t a trick question!

 

There are a few signs that tell you it’s worth becoming more familiar with your menstrual cycle.

 

Are you surprised every month when your period arrives? Do you get hit like a brick with PMS every month, feeling like it’s come out of nowhere? Do you track your period by when you get PMS symptoms?

 

Ladies, there is a better way!

 

Knowing more about your menstrual cycle and embracing it can benefit you in so many ways.

 

Firstly, I encourage you to download one of the many period tracker apps out there and start tracking your menstrual cycle and symptoms. At the very least, you won’t be surprised when your period arrives every month #whitejeansallyear

 

After a few months, you start to get a sense of the length of your cycle. And it’s really important to know  that not every woman has a 28 day cycle. Some women’s cycles can be as short as 21 days and as long as 35 days. Every woman’s cycle is different so don’t compare yourself or your cycle to your friends.

 

Once you know when your period is scheduled to arrive, you can then start tackling your PMS. Many women get PMS in the 7 days before their periods, with symptoms like bloating, anger, irritability, brain fog, weepiness, pain and acne. PMS is a sign that something is wrong, so please don’t accept it as normal!

 

But your cycle isn’t just about when you get your period. Did you know that you have four phases to your cycle, where each of your sex hormones will peak or decrease depending on the phase?  This is why you might have more or less physical and emotional energy at certain times of your cycle or your libido might be higher or lower. It’s all connected to your hormones.

 

Knowledge is power. Knowing the ins and outs of your menstrual cycle can help you manage it better, get to grips with PMS, period pain, heavy bleeding and emotional ups and downs.

 

Do you need help understanding your cycle and your hormones? Book in for a free 20 minute Hormone Health Review!

SaveSave

Stories I loved this week.

hampstead heath

No more ‘mysterious blue liquid’ and more realism in adverts for tampons and pads. Finally. (The Pool)

 

Prebiotics can potentially reduce stress response in those suffering from anxiety and depression. (NCBI)

 

Losing weight in the ‘anti-dieting’ age. (New York Times)

 

The case for letting fevers run their course: taking paracetamol can reduce your body’s ability to fight a fever. (The Daily Beast)

 

The world’s first non invasive diagnostic test for endometriosis. Hurrah! (Medium)

 

When anxiety feels more physical than mental. (The Cut)

 

I love this kitchen utensil set for kids. (Food52)

 

How to do the perfect plank. (The Guardian)

Alcohol and your hormones

christmas lights

We’re creeping up on Christmas party season, traditionally a time when many of us indulge in a tipple or two and let our hair down.

 

We all know that alcohol is a toxin. Yes, I said it! It tastes great and can loosen you up, but your body has to work hard to clear this toxin from your body. And guess what organ does most of the work? Your liver!

 

Your liver is an incredible organ. It has over 200 functions, including cholesterol production and fat & protein metabolism. For women, the liver is where we metabolise or break down hormones like oestrogen, testosterone, progesterone and remove the excess from our bodies.

 

Because the liver does so much for us, when we drink alcohol, we put an extra burden on our livers. Alcohol is very toxic and cannot be stored by the body, so the liver prioritises clearing it from your body above its many other functions.

 

The thing is, if you have PMS, heavy & painful periods, PCOS or are perimenopausal or menopausal, alcohol can throw a spanner in the works, affecting your hormones and throwing them out of balance.

 

So when you drink a lot, your liver’s number one priority is removing alcohol in the form of ethanol from your body. And while it’s doing that, it can’t do things get rid of excess oestrogen that might by causing PMS or perimenopause symptoms.

 

More bad news: all of this means that your oestrogen levels are raised and your body’s capacity to burn fat slows down.

 

So what does this mean for you?  If you’re having hormonal issues, it’s time to think about much alcohol you drink. If you’re worried about losing weight, then it’s also time to think about how much alcohol you drink.

 

The British government recommend a maximum of 14 units of alcohol each week for men and women, which is the equivalent of 6 pints or 6 small glasses of wine. Not in one session, mind!

 

Have you found that alcohol has had an effect on your PMS or perimenopause symptoms?

 

Are your hormones getting the better of you? Get in touch for to book a free 20 minute health & hormone review to find out more about how you can get things back into balance.

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

Stories I loved this week.

 

hampstead heath

Have you ever considered moving towards a minimalist lifestyle? I have. We seem to accumulate so much stuff, especially with a child and despite my regular clear outs, they never seem to make a dent in the stuff. (The Cut)

 

How getting rid of stuff saved this woman’s motherhood. (Motherly)

 

The speculum finally gets a redesign. (Wired)

 

“Light remains one of the most powerful influences on our wellbeing and behaviour.” (The Guardian)

 

How to care for your mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell!). (The Chalkboard Mag)

 

Why are more American teenagers than ever suffering from severe anxiety? (New York Times)

 

More than half of girls in the UK are too embarrassed to talk about their periods. This blows my mind!. (The Telegraph)

6 ways to take care of yourself this weekend.

flowers in autumn

It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it?

 

The news has been overwhelming recently, with stories of loss, craven abuse of power, sexual misdeeds and stories of utter bravery.

 

It’s a lot to take in, and for many of us, these stories unearth old memories that we thought we had tucked away.

 

So be gentle with yourself this weekend.

 

Here are a few ways to practice self-care and healing.

 

1. Find an affirmation for the week to that you can say to yourself when you need to be lifted up. This was my affirmation last week.

 

2. Take a deep breathe (or two or three) and let the week wash away.

 

3. Get outside and enjoy the autumn foliage.

 

4. Take an hour or two to plan out and cook some of your meals for the week. Knowing you have a plan to nourish yourself well when things are hectic can take some weight off.

 

5. Have a good belly laugh. Or have a good cry. They’re both a form of emotional release, which helps.

 

6. Have a long hug with a loved one.

SaveSave

Stories I loved this week.

sunday at the circus

How has your week been? I’ve been in training most of the week and all of Saturday, so I’m looking forward to some down time on Sunday. Here are some of the interesting health and wellness stories I’ve found this week.

 

Are you an oily person? This is a fascinating piece on the backstory of the two powerhouse essential oil companies, Young Living and DoTerra and how they’ve moved into the mainstream. (The New Yorker)

 

Middle age can fatten you up if you don’t increase your physical activity. (Science Daily)

 

Do you have a cast-iron pan? I have a few and I absolutely love them. They need a lot of love and attention, like a little pet. (Bon Appetit)

 

Women aren’t nags, we’re just fed up. (Harper’s Bazaar)

 

Why most diets fail. A first hint: diets are short term, lifestyle changes are for life. (goop).

 

Have you been following the vaginal mesh scandal? (The Guardian)

Do you get enough sleep?

do you sleep enough

How many hours do you sleep a night?  Ideally, according to the World Health Organisation, we should be sleeping at least 8 hours a night, uninterrupted. Anything less counts as sleep deprivation. And guess what: on average, most of us get 7 or fewer hours of sleep a night.

 

According to Matthew Walker, the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley, we are suffering from a sleep deprivation epidemic in the Western world. We work longer hours, have less down time, are more stressed and spend our evenings staring at screens emitting blue light. All of this effects our sleep length and quality.

 

And to be clear: sleep deprivation is not heroic, despite the machismo around getting by on as little sleep as possible.

 

Sleep deprivation reduces the body’s ability to repair and heal itself, as most of these processes happen at night. It also increases the risk of insulin resistance, susceptibility to weight gain, cardiovascular disease and developing Alzheimer’s, amongst many other morbidities.

 

So what can you do to get more and better quality sleep?

 

1. Go to bed around the same time every night and wake up around the same time, even on the weekends. Deep sleep is essential for our physical and mental health, especially between 12am – 4am, so get to bed before midnight!

 

2. Create a digital sunset: turn off your devices at least 1 – 2 hours before bedtime. If you have to use your devices, use night shift mode to reduce the blue light, which affects melatonin production (this is the hormone that helps you get to sleep!).

 

3. Get your bedtime routine down pat: Unwind with a book (a physical one) or a bit of journaling, have a hot bath with a few scoops of magnesium salts (magnesium is a great relaxer), get some cosy, clean pyjamas and make sure your room is cool and pitch black, as even the smallest amount of light affects your circadian rhythms.

 

4. Try a lavender spray on your pillow. It’s not woo: lavender contains compounds that have a sedative effect.

 

5.  If you have kids that still wake up in the night (still in that boat!), go to bed a bit earlier so you’re getting an extra hour or two of sleep. It’s hard to sacrifice that time you get to unwind with your partner in the evening, but the health benefits are worth it!

 

6.  Stop drinking coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages after midday, as these stimulants can affect your circadian rhythms. I love a cup of Pukka Night Time tea just before bed.

 

7.  Eat tryptophan foods. Tryptophan converts to serotonin and melatonin, to help you feel good and sleep well. Try adding some of these foods to your meals and see how you feel: almonds, organic chicken & turkey, wild salmon, avocado, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds.

 

What are your top tips for getting a good night’s kip? Here’s what happened when I tried going to bed early and prioritising a good night’s sleep.

 

Get in touch for to book a free 20 minute health & energy review to find out more about how you can improve your sleep and reduce your stress.

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Subscribe to weekly notes from our founder, Le’Nise!