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I Tried It: Seed Cycling For Hormone Balance

Do you feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster throughout your menstrual cycle?   Do you suffer from mood swings, acne, fatigue and nausea in the week before you get your period?   Maybe it’s time to try seed cycling to address this hormone imbalance. […]

Exercise and your menstrual cycle.

Have you ever thought about how your cycle affects the way you exercise?   The highs and lows of hormones means that at certain times in your cycle it’s better to slow things down and do very light, gentle exercise. And at other times in […]

Eating for your menstrual cycle

eating for your menstrual cycle

 

Since I started tracking my period a few years ago, I’ve become much more aware of the different phases of my period, the dips in my energy and mood and what I can eat to support my hormones in each phase.

 

Menstrual Phase

The menstrual phase is when many of us feel super low with less energy and cramps and pain, to boot. During this time, I love eating lots of iron rich foods like grass-fed organic beef and lamb, dark leafy greens, chickpeas and lentils to rebuild my iron levels and lots of vitamin C foods like citrus, berries, peppers and broccoli to help absorb the iron from the iron-rich vegetables. 

 

I continue to eat lots of good fats to fight any sugar (chocolate!!!) cravings.

 

Do you notice a difference in what you eat in the week of your period?

 

Follicular Phase 

This usually happens for a week after your period ends.  This is the time in your cycle when you feel amazing, with great, glowing skin and loads of energy. Can anyone relate to this?

 

I love eating lots of leafy greens, flax, pumpkin, beetroot, chilli, watermelon and oily fish during this time of my cycle to support hormone clearance, blood circulation and give my immune system a boost.

 

Do you notice a difference in what you eat (and crave!) in the week after you finish your period?

 

Ovulatory Phase 

Yes, this phase is still important even when we’re not trying to get pregnant! The menstrual cycle has been called the fifth vital sign and ovulation is a sign that things are working as they should.

 

So what do you eat to support your body when you ovulate? Well, eating a diet rich in fruit and veg, free-range meat and dairy, wild fish and some whole grains will support ovulation – this is something that’s helpful through your cycle.

 

Vitamin D foods like mushrooms, wild salmon, sardines, organic milk and eggs  and a variety of fruit and veg in a range of colours have loads of antioxidants and phytonutrients that help support the immune system during this phase.

 

Luteal Phase 

My luteal phase, which is at the end of my cycle, right before my period, is when I need lots of healthy fats to support skin health and prevent the breakouts that are so common during this time. I also eat lots of magnesium and tryptophan foods to help support my mood – avocado, wild salmon, sesame and sunflower seeds are great during this time.

 

Would you eat for your cycle? For some, this is too much detail, so here’s a few basic food principles that will support your cycle no matter what phase you’re in.

 

  1. Eat lots of vegetables every day, especially green leafy and cruciferous vegetables. 
  2. Eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables.
  3. Drink lots of water.
  4. Eat and drink fermented foods.
  5. Eat wild caught fish a few times a week.
  6. Be mindful about the way you eat sugar and drink caffeine and alcohol.

 

Do you eat to support your cycle? Would you try it?
Are you feeling perplexed by your cycle? Do you want to finally get to grips with period pain, mood swings and sugar cravings? Book in for a free 30 minute Hormone Health Review!

 

Natural ways to manage mental health

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK and it’s so important that we continue to have these important conversations about mental health and wellbeing.   I know what it’s like to be depressed, anxious and have that feeling that you’re never going to […]

Do you track your menstrual cycle?

Do you track your menstrual cycle?   As you would expect, I’m a huge advocate of this. Our menstrual cycles have been called the fifth vital sign and when you keep track of it, you can get so much amazing information about: the length of […]

Want to start running? Here’s a guide on how to do it!


 
The lovely Dorota from Isleworth Running Club has written a post to help anyone who’s thinking about starting to run with all the things you need to know. 

 

Commit!

In my opinion, nothing happens for us until we actually commit. You have to really make a conscious decision that this is what you want to do. Once this is clear in your mind and in your heart, you won’t hesitate about going for a run the next time it rains. Understand your WHY, commit, pick a start date and tell everyone about it. Hopefully, you won’t want to disappoint them.
 

Find Running Buddy or Join A Running Club

Most people will need some additional motivation to start running and to keep at it. One of the best methods is to find a running buddy. Ideally, someone at a similar level to you. You can then go through the journey together and share your highs and lows with each other. Or join a running club. They are full of people who are passionate about running and will do a lot to support you.
 

Running Apps

It might just happen that you will not be able to find a buddy or a running club. Nowadays, there are multitude of running apps which you can use in different ways to stay focused. You can collect distance badges/medals and setting up a weekly/monthly goal is an option. Some runners join virtual runs. Some apps have commentary and can crack jokes during your run which makes the whole experience a bit more fun. Just figure out what suits you best.
 

Running Shoes and Clothes

You can start with a cheaper pair of running shoes but my advice is – go to a shop and try them on. Rather than just looking pretty on your feet, your shoes should fit well and be slightly bigger than your standard walking shoes to avoid blisters or losing your toenails. No one can criticise you for going on a run in a cotton T-shirt and many people do just that. If you tend to sweat a lot and you often run in a cooler weather, you should consider a polyester running top. It will dry much faster and you won’t feel cold after the run. If you’re a woman you should invest in a sports bra. Trust me, it’s worth it.
 

User Training Plan

The most popular training plan for beginners is Couch to 5k (c25k). It involves a 5min warm-up, 20 to 25 min walking/jogging intervals and a 5 min cool down, 3 days a week. There is a day or two of rest in between for your body to recover. Each week, you increase the jogging and reduce the walking. This method is great because it splits your main goal into manageable chunks. Every week, you get a sense of achievement. If you don’t manage to keep up with the schedule, then repeat a week if necessary. If you feel like it’s too easy start from week 2 or 3 but always remember to have a rest day in between.
 

Pre & Post Run Advice

Firstly, your meal before the run should include some carbohydrates and some protein. If you have a substantial meal, then make sure you have it 2 hours before the run or 1 hour before in case of a lighter meal.
 
Secondly, warm up before the run by doing a few minutes of brisk walking. You are then less likely  to get out of breath too quickly or get a stitch.
 
Thirdly, cooling down after helps you lower your heart rate and slow down your breathing gradually so you avoid feeling dizzy. Also, when you keep moving after the run it helps your lymphatic system to get rid of lactic acid from your muscles.
 
Fourthly, do some stretches of your quads, hip flexors, calves and hamstrings to prevent cramps, relax muscles and makes them more flexible.
 
Finally, have some protein after then run to help your body recover and be ready for the next challenge.

 

Thanks, Dorota!

 

Are you inspired? Check out the Isleworth Running Club for their runs for runners of all levels. 

Photo by Roman Koester on Unsplash

Managing endometriosis pain

Did you know that a significant amount of endometriosis pain is driven by inflammation? And this inflammation is typically at its worst in the week you have your period. If you have endo, you won’t be surprised by this at all, right?   What do […]

What are the best foods to support good thyroid health?

To round out the thyroid health series, let’s look at how we can eat to support our thyroids!   Making sure you have enough zinc, iodine and selenium in your diet are key ways of supporting your thyroid health.   Including lots of fruit and […]

Let’s talk about endometriosis!

What is endometriosis?

 

Endometriosis is one of the most common chronic hormonal disorders affecting women in reproductive age, affecting up to 10% of women.

 

Endometriosis has been described as an autoimmune condition where endometrial tissue typically grows on the outside of the uterus instead of on the inside. The tissue is most commonly found around the organs in the pelvis, but can grow anywhere on the body, turning into growths and lesions in the intestines, bladder, rectum, even as far up as the nose!

 

Endometrial tissue typically responds to the changes in our hormones across each phase of our cycle, as it would if it was in our uterus. Endometriosis sufferers usually have excess estrogen in relation to progesterone, which drives the ongoing hormonal imbalance.

 

The primary symptoms are pelvic pain and infertility, as well as painful periods, painful sex and painful urination.

 

There are four stages of severity to endometriosis; ranging from stage one: minimal endometriosis to stage four: severe endometriosis. The level of severity depends on the number, size and location of adhesions and endometrial tissue.

 

Diagnosis is usually done through a surgical laparoscopy.

 

Getting a diagnosis

 

Did you know that it can take up to 7.5 years and sometimes even 10 years to get a full endometriosis diagnosis?

 

It’s so important for women to feel confident about advocating for themselves in medical situations and empowered to ask the right questions so that we get the answers and diagnosis we deserve.

 

Pain is not normal and is a sign that something is wrong. If you’re experiencing pain, never let someone tell you that it’s all in your head! You know your body best!

 

Endometriosis pain can be severe and it can be systemic, with inflamed endometrial tissue appearing outside of the uterus.

 

If a doctor tries to minimise your pain, then get a second, third or fourth opinion. Do what it takes to get a medical professional that will listen to you, take what you say seriously and help you find the answers you need and deserve.

 

Do your research. Knowledge is power and will help you advocate for better health outcomes.

 

Keep track of how you feel and your pain levels, so you’re armed with evidence that will help you fight your corner.

 

Most of all, be relentless in your pursuit of good health.

 

Do you want help improving endometriosis pain? My short e-book, ‘Six Ways To Fix Your Period Pain‘ will give you practical tips to change your period for the better.

 

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Let’s talk about how our thyroids are affected by stress!

  Let’s talk about your thyroid and stress!   Good thyroid health is closely connected the health of your glands that produce your stress hormones – your adrenals. These tiny glands are located on top of your kidneys.   Chronic stress is the enemy of […]

Do you need to care more about your thyroid in your 40s and 50s?

Do you need to think about your thyroid health more as you move into your 40s and 50s?   In short, yes!   Research shows that hypothyroidism tends to be more common in women over 40, as thyroid hormone production gradually decreases as we get […]

Why you need to care about your thyroid!

 

Over the last week, we’ve been talking about our thyroids. We’ve talked about what happens when you produce too much thyroid hormone and when you produce too little.

 

We’ve learned that the thyroid is a bit like Goldilocks – you want to make sure that you get the balance just right.

 

You might be thinking, “well, Le’Nise, neither of those apply to me, so why do I need to care about my thyroid?”.

 

Your thyroid controls your body’s metabolism and energy (that’s pretty important, right?), however nothing in our body works in isolation. Research shows that imbalances in our progesterone & estrogen levels can have an effect on our thyroid hormone production and vice versa.

 

Taking care of your hormone health (with sleep, a balanced diet, stress reduction, regular emptying of the bowels and lots of physical movement) isn’t just about caring for reproductive hormones – your thyroid and stress hormones will also benefit too!

 

Would you to find out more about your thyroid or ask specific questions related to your thyroid or hormone health? Book in for a free 30 minute Hormone Health Review!

 

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

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