“Nutrition for Cycle Syncing”
Feeling a bit robotic and foreign to yourself? Should I eat the apple or not? Too many sugars? Do I need more fiber? Life starts to make sense when we start to listen to our body. So what is all the hype about cycle syncing and is it right for me? Well here is a quick run down. Let’s get started!
There are 4 phases of your cycle. Menstrual, Follicular, Ovulatory & Luteal. When we recognize each of these phases for what they are and honor our body through each we begin to see a transition of not just our health but of our whole life. Everything falls into place.
During the first phase, the menstrual cycle we bleed of course, but it’s so much more than that. This is where we shed the lining and the unfertilized egg. This process weakens our immune system, lowers estrogen and progesterone and we experience a multitude of symptoms. This phase can last 1-5 days on average but every women is different and should track her individual needs. In a later blog I will cover syncing our cycle to the full moon so stay tuned.
During the menstrual cycle we should rest, reflect and pamper ourselves. We should AVOID excess fat, alcohol, and caffeine and focus on consuming iron and zinc rich foods. By consuming zinc we can boost our weak immune system and by consuming iron we can begin to replenish what we’ve lost. I have a nutritional cheat sheet for cycle syncing, so if you are interested in trying my 30 day cycle syncing program check this out!
Once we are done with our menstrual cycle we begin our second phase, the follicular phase. During this phase our estrogen and progesterone slowly start to rise again. As these hormones start to rise we would do well with a higher protein intake and fermented foods and beverages. These items help to metabolize estrogen and fermented foods are high in probiotics.
The follicular phase usually lasts between days 6-14 and ushers in creativity and energy. Here we should focus on consuming iron, iodine, and fiber. Iron is still being restored. Iodine is needed to make thyroid hormones that control the body’s metabolism, including the reproductive system.
During the follicular phase, the body increases levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to help the eggs mature. Thyroid hormones also help regulate FSH and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels, which are important for the release of an egg. If a woman doesn’t get enough iodine, her thyroid hormone production can be disrupted, which may cause menstrual problems, fertility issues, and other reproductive problems.
During our hormonal peak we enter into the third phase, the ovulatory phase. Here our energy is at its highest because our testosterone and estrogen peak. We typically have a higher libido, enjoy engaging in social activities and are up for challenges. This is where you will be most likely to perform your best physically.
During ovulation you should consume foods that support your liver and whole foods that are high in anti-inflammatory properties. Ladies, go out and tackle the world. If you don’t typically notice this phase look for a thin clear discharge similar to egg whites somewhere between days 15-17.
The fourth and final phase is our luteal phase which usually occurs somewhere between days 18-28. During the luteal phase estrogen and testosterone are still high but begin to lower. You may still feel strong as you enter into this phase but be mindful.
During this phase you may start to notice the typical PMS. Be aware that you may require in increase of calories as your body prepares to purge your unfertilized egg. Take in additional complex carbohydrates, foods rich in vitamins B, C and magnesium.
This phase is a great time to plan and organize yourself. Your energy is still high enough for focus and completing tasks but you may feel less like entertaining the world around you. This is also a time to be mindful of avoiding caffeine, alcohol, high fats, artificial sweeteners, fatty low quality red meats, dairy and high sodium.
Regardless of the phase you are in I always recommend eating a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables. Clean produce before you consume it to remove any extra chemicals. Take a multivitamin geared towards women and their needs. Move your body. Go for a walk in the sun. Get at least 8 hrs of sleep. Read a good book. Participate in a hobby and interact, encourage and empower other women to do the same.
So, what do you say ladies? Who’s with me?
Interesting in learning more about cycle syncing? Check out this book by Alisa Vitti, Functional Nutritionist, HHC, AADP. “Cycle syncing” is a term coined and trademarked by Alisa Vitti. Vitti founded the FloLiving Hormone Center, created the MyFlo app, and first described the concept in her book, Woman Code.
Regardless if cycle syncing is for you or not your main goal should be variety. I cannot stress variety enough for the health and wellbeing of your body, mind, and spirit. Variety in foods, workout routines, as well as habits. I’ll leave you with this: When was the last time you tried something for the first time?
As always, with love till next time – Amanda