Hello and happy Friday! It’s been a fun week of old school blogging. Yesterday was another fairly normal day with school and haircuts for the kids that were long overdue. Kaitlyn decided to switch to a side part and Hailey added some face framing layers, so they walked in to the salon looking 8 and 11 and walked out looking 17. They can go back to pigtails now please.
By Thursday we are always low on groceries, as Friday is my typical shopping day. I felt like genius when I realized I could use my precision dutch oven to slow cook chicken in the morning instead of the afternoon so it would be ready by lunch. Just chicken breast and a splash of mushroom chicken bone broth, and 3 hours later I had chicken to make chicken quesadillas and to top salad with. Little wins.
As we head into the weekend I’m feeling the need for some R&R. Are y’all familiar with cycle syncing? It’s time for my .01% of male readership to check out, unless you want to learn more about how to support your lady during each month, in which case, kudos to you!
It’s a concept that’s been around for a few years and one I started learning more about about 18 months ago when (finally) my hormones were under control enough to have regular cycles. For more on my hormone journey, click here.
Cycle syncing essentially is paying attention to which phase of your monthly cycle you are in and learning what the strengths of each phase is and what your body needs for support during it. Note, this only works for women not on hormonal birth control of any kind who are experiencing the normal hormone fluctuations of a monthly cycle and ovulating (something I wasn’t doing regularly for years). Here’s a very basic breakdown:
Menstrual Cycle: Day 1 of your period and lasts 3-7 days. You will feel slow, inward, and restful. This is a great time for self reflection and letting go of things not serving you. You should focus on rest but if you want to exercise, it’s best to do gentle yoga or Pilates. Eat warm, nourishing, iron-rich foods like grass fed meats and cooked dark leafy green vegetables.
Follicular Phase: Begins when your period ends and lasts 7-10 days. You will feel your energy rise, get new ideas, feel creative, and inspired. This is a great time for problem solving, social events, and trying new things. This is the time for more powerful workouts, like HIIT, heavy weights, and other challenging workouts. Your body is more insulin sensitive during this phase and you can get away with a higher carb intake so enjoy whole grains and potatoes. You will probably crave lighter foods so enjoy leafy greens and focus on fiber and fermented foods along with lean protein.
Ovulatory Phase: Begins roughly 14 days into your cycle and lasts only 3-4 days. You will feel social, confident, and outgoing. However, as soon as you ovulate, progesterone begins to rise so expect to feel more sluggish and introverted. You can keep up with higher intensity exercise like spinning. Eat a lot of high fiber and cruciferous veggies to help flush out estrogen.
Luteal Phase: Begins after ovulation and lasts 10-14 days on average, until the first day of your period, though this is the part of the cycle that usually varies the most for women. You will feel your energy begin to decline and you’ll have an urge to withdrawal, and spend more time at home. You are more detailed focus during this phase and it’s a great time for checking of projects that have been hanging over your head. You’ll want to keep moving for exercise, but dialing back the intensity and listening to how your body feels each day is important. More walks and lighter weights. Transition into cozier foods like stews with sweet potatoes (helps with progesterone production) and fiber-rich foods.
Once I began having regular cycles, learning these things BLEW my mind. Realizing there were biological reasons why sometimes I could run a mile in 9 minutes no problem, but barely make it a quarter mile without stopping another day. Or why sometimes I was bursting with energy and ideas I wanted to share with everyone to only feel like curling up and deleting IG forever a week later.
I was thinking about cycle syncing a lot yesterday as I acknowledged my craving for a lower key weekend and understanding the reasoning behind it. I know this might sound a little “woo woo” to some, but I continue to learn more about this more my own benefit, but also because I’m raising two girls and I hope to be able to empower them with this kind of body knowledge early on so they can harness the power of each phase and make their biology work for them.
If you want to learn more about cycle syncing, give it a quick google, as there are SO many in-depth articles that go into the hormonal reasoning for the shifts, best dietary support for each cycle, how to match your job tasks with your cycle, how to eat specific seeds for each phase, and so on and so forth.
How is this for a random Friday post, but it’s just something I was thinking about a lot. Is it something you’ve heard of? Does it interest you too? Or do you think I’m a bit crazy? 😉 Have a great weekend friends!