In part 2 of this series I talked about reclaiming our cycles. Reconnecting to the moon and the mystery is one step in bringing wellness back to your menstrual cycle. This part is about diet and lifestyle changes you can make that will contribute.
There are many habits we all know help us feel healthier. We get told about them all the time. We all know better. We do. That doesn’t mean we always do better. I’m here to tell you again – these habits make a difference. I also know it is hard work to create all this change. Start with one. Pick one thing from this list that you can add to your life. You will be glad you did.
Lethargy and stagnancy can contribute to PMS. Moving the body is key to keeping the blood flowing well throughout the whole body. This keeps your energy flowing. Vibrant and flowing energy is healthy. Let’s think of the body like a river. When the river becomes slow or stuck in anyway it becomes stagnant. Algae develops, insects breed, the water gets stagnant. All movement helps keep the blood flowing and the body healthy. Pick a form of movement that you enjoy, walking, yoga, zumba, jogging, all that matters is that you like it and you do it.
What you put inside your body is what fuels you. Put in good fuel and your body runs at its best. Put in poor fuel and you will get a poor result. Processed foods lead to stagnancy. Whole, clean foods, as close to their original state at possible keep the rivers of the body flowing freely. The simplest way to achieve this is to cook your food yourself most of the time. If it comes from a plastic package it is not the best choice.
Veggies! Veggies! Veggies! Cooked, raw, fermented
Whole grains and seeds
Meat, seafood and eggs
Buy ingredients to make food
Fried or heavily fatty foods
A note about dairy – Eliminating this one food can be the biggest contributor in improving PMS symptoms for many women.
What about cravings? Often times a craving is the body telling you there is something missing. Pay attention to the signals your body is sending you. Begin to notice if the craving is an emotional lack or a physiological need. Boredom, big feelings (happy or sad), needing to express something, these can all feel like cravings for a special food. When you are feeling these try a glass of water or cup of tea. Take the time to observe yourself so you can learn the difference between a physiological need and an emotional gap needing filled.
Cravings for carbohydrates are often common in the days leading up to menstruation. Increasing protein intake at this time can help. Add protein to each meal, nuts, lentils, fish and meat, you will notice a reduction in your cravings.
olate cravings are of course infamous during times of PMS. For years we have been told that this is because of the magnesium in chocolate. A serving of raw cocoa powder has about 92mg of magnesium in it. This is a significant amount of the daily recommended intake. This is not however permission to eat all the chocolate you want, sorry. Just to say, if you find yourself craving chocolate a lot consider adding a magnesium supplement to your regime.
Two of the key things that magnesium does in the body is to relax the muscles and it is required for enzyme creation. So if you have muscle cramps, get twitchy muscles, painful periods, tender breasts, or get irritable your body is telling you it needs magnesium. You can take 300-800mg of magnesium a day. Magnesium citrate is also used as a stool softener, so start your doses low and work your way up. Topical magnesium in an Epsom salts bath or as magnesium ‘oil’ that you apply to the skin is also a good way to increase your intake. Figs, dates, spinach, swiss chard, beet greens, pumpkin seeds, collard greens, avocado, parsley, beans, barley, dandelion greens, almonds, brazil nuts, filberts/hazelnuts, wheat germ, kelp, dulse, pecans, walnuts, sesame seeds are some foods that are high in magnesium.
When making these kinds of diet and lifestyle changes expect to see improvements in your cycle within about 2-3 cycles. It is really useful to keep a journal or note book. Record the things you are doing and any symptoms you are having. It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. Create yourself a scale for the list of symptoms, each month rank your symptoms on your chart. With this you can keep track of the improvements and tweak your plans as needed.
If you want help deciding which lifestyle changes are best for you book a consultation with me. I am here to help you make the best choices for you.