Back in July 2019, after discovering Kate Northrup’s work, I started tracking my menstrual cycle.
If you’re wondering who Kate Northup is, check out my post titled ‘How I Found My Own Rhythm To Do Life My Way’.
As part of this journey to discovering my rhythm to life, I had to know what it currently was to be able to change it for the better. So every night, as I jump into bed, I take three to five minutes to fill out my daily energy tracker.
After doing this for a few months, I noticed a few patterns emerging . . .
- Headaches in the days leading up to my period.
- Discomfort in my lower back the day before and first day of my period.
- My PMS symptoms lasted around 5 days.
After seeing these trends I said to myself, “Shit! I don’t want to lose 5 days every month because of my period.”
I’m a member of Kate’s Origin Collective and in her membership she has a guest interview with Alisa Vitti. Alisa is a Holistic Health Counselor and founder of FLO Living. I LOVE her menstrual tracker app MyFlo (details below).
Anyway, after watching this interview I went and bought her book WomanCode. You know how much I love to read ACTUAL books!
I read WomanCode in one weekend. I highlighted ‘the shit’ out of it. This book BLEW MY MIND!
I learnt more about my body and how it works in one weekend from one book . . . than I have ever learnt in my 39 years of existence.
I came away from reading WomanCode feeling ripped off. All humans have the right to know how their body operates. Right?!
Why are we not taught this at school? Especially in the years where our female bodies are changing and developing SO MUCH and SO QUICKLY.
I agree with Alisa when she says:
“. . . women tend to get ‘sucked’ into believing that our bodies are wild, scary, shameful places that need to be managed by an outside source, medicated, controlled, and sterilized.
. . . We’re conditioned to think that our periods are shameful and disgusting.”
I’ve always thought my period was this inconvenient ‘thing’ that happened to me every 26-28 days. And like Alisa said above, I controlled my period for years by using the contraceptive pill. I never read the box or pamphlet that came with the pill to know the potential damage I was doing to my body.
When I decided to head down the natural route with my mental health, I stopped taking the pill along with reducing the toxic load of other personal products I was using.
I had a vague idea on the connection between depression and gut health but it wasn’t until reading WomanCode did I truly understand how food, antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, stimulants, our environment etc. massively affect the way our organs and hormones function
This book opened my mind to the way I’ve been mistreating my body . . . and I thought I was doing pretty good overall.
The main things I learnt from WomanCode are:
- Our hormones are responsible for telling all body systems what to do. This includes kidneys, liver, metabolism, digestion, nervous system, reproductive organs.
- When our endocrine system, that generates the hormones, is exposed to or bombarded with ‘disruptors’, it can’t do it’s job properly.
- Acne, oily hair, dandruff, dry skin, cramps, headaches, irritability, exhaustion, constipation, irregular cycles, heavy bleeding, clotting, shedding hair, weight gain, anxiety, insomnia, infertility, lowered sex drive, bizarre food cravings . . . are all signs or symptoms of a disrupted endocrine system.
- Our modern diet, and not just food but all things we expose our bodies too, is a huge player in this disruption. The chemicals in our foods, antibiotics, added hormones in body products, insecticides and more, all contribute to the disruption. Our organs get exhausted in processing all this ‘stuff’ that they can’t do the job they are actually designed to do.
- Each phase of our menstrual cycle is unique and has a specific role in how our bodies operate. At each phase our hormones are doing different things. “. . . a woman’s menstrual health acts as a gauge of her vitality and overall health throughout her life.”
- Our liver does most of its work at night so doing Number Two’s in the morning is hugely important in getting rid of the waste our bodies no longer need. If not, our bodies reprocess that waste instead of doing a new day’s work.
- Most important learning . . . our hormones affect EVERYTHING! And we can nurture our hormones really easily!
Being in the Luteal Phase, I focused on adding root vegetables and greens to my meals. It was Winter so went with seasonal root vegetables.
I made it SUPER easy for myself by cooking up a large tray of vegetables on Sunday afternoon. No excuses to not eat more vegetables because they were in the fridge and ready to go.
For a week I added root vegetables to every meal. I even had vegetables for breakfast!
When my period started showing signs of arriving, I incorporated my essential oils into my daily routine. I applied the Women’s Monthly Blend to my tummy and the inside of my ankles. I did this morning and night. And I kept up with my root vegetables.
After the first day or two of my period I realised that my back ache was reduced, I didn’t experience days of headaches, my period pain was hugely reduced AND my energy levels were great!
I felt SO different . . . better . . . compared to my periods of the past five years since having kids. I even said to Phil, “I’ve got my period. Can you even tell?” And he hadn’t. CRAZY!
Here are the phases of the menstrual cycle with the corresponding food and type of activities that are ideal for that phase:
And while there’s other things I’ll look at adding in the future, these improvements were a result of just adding the right types of foods to my diet, for the cycle I was in. It was SO easy!
Of course, I tell every woman who will listen about this now! What power and control we have when we have the knowledge and when we listen to our bodies.
So if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms I mentioned above, and you want to try a different way, get yourself a copy of this book and take the time to ‘heal’ your body.
It also makes me wonder how I can educate my boys on how their bodies operate. They deserve to know how to care for their bodies in a way that results in healthier energy and a ‘one-ness’ with their bodies. So if you know of a great resource that will teach me about male hormones and cycles, so I can teach them, please let me know.
And if you have girls, invest in this book, read it and educate them on how their bodies work. They have a right to know!
I’ll leave you with Alisa’s words:
“. . . you’ll be able to trust that your body will always be there for you, to support you through the process of designing your very best life.”
Who wouldn’t want that?
Until next time, take care.