How much do you love and appreciate being a woman?
Come on, be honest.
How much do you really love bleeding every month?
How much do you really appreciate the fact that your mood shifts every two seconds?
How much do you really love the fact that anything can make you cry, that you can’t shut your mouth when needed, you feel guilty about pretty much everything, that everything feels right and wrong at the same time, oh and you know that feeling that you have to apologize for everything? How much do you really love that about yourself?
How about your constant search for balance? I don’t hear men looking for balance. How come they have it and we don’t??
Admit that you feel unappreciated at home because it is clear that you do much more than your partner. Your work never ends. We’ve all been complaining that we have two shifts, one starts once you leave home and the other starts once you come back home.
How do you feel about the biological clock question (is it time to have a baby, should I wait should I not).
How much do you love your female body? How much do you love these curves of yours, stretch marks, the saggy belly that you’ve earned after multiple pregnancies, oh and don’t get me started talking about being pregnant, I mean up to six months is was kinda cute but after that, I felt like a whale or a sea lion)?
Are you with me so far?
Then there are deeper layers to this question, deeper layers pertaining to your womanhood.
As women, I think we all struggle with setting boundaries, to protect ourselves and our families (but how to do it in a way that doesn’t make us look bad?).
How about knowing what you want with regards to your life’s purpose? I hate this question! What do you mean what I want? I want everything and I want it now!
How about the feeling we all have that we are in constant competition with no other than other women? How absurd is that? I love this quote “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
How are you doing with regards the most complicated relationship you’ll have, which is with your MOTHER?
So yeah, being a woman is messy, juicy, complicated, chaotic (sometimes) but so beautiful, wild and majestic. Unfortunately, so many women (and I include myself in this as well) would much rather be men. Life seems easier as a man. However, If there is something the world is missing at this point in time is more feminine power. More flexibility, fluidity, and compassion. Which are all qualities of the divine feminine.
What is a woman? What does it mean to be feminine?
Womanhood and femininity both embody polarity. There is softness on one side but harshness on the other, compassion on one side and ferocity on the other. As women, we all strive to live in contentment and adventure, freedom and service. We all, in some way, possess beauty, creativity, intuition, and love, although most of us have no idea how to embody womanhood and live in alignment with our divine feminine superpower. I’m not pretending to know more than you on this topic, I do admit, however, that I am super curious and thirsty to figure it out and hope you will join me on this journey.
What you need to know is that you are made for love, and you are loved, cellulite and all. My goal with this particular podcast episode is to expose every woman to the richness and beauty of her female body and how to use this knowledge so you can live your life with ease and flow.
Many of us don’t know that the female body is cyclical in nature, meaning it restores itself in a cyclical rhythm (as opposed to the masculine nature which is linear for the most part). Don’t get me wrong, men cycle as well, however their cyclicality culminates every 24 hours, as opposed to women who cycle for 30 days. What are some examples of nature’s cycles? Seasons (weather and climate change appx every quarter), day and night (change every 24 hours), the moon (which goes through four phases each month).
As human beings we are not disconnected from nature, the contrary is true, we are part of nature and, as a result, our bodies also go through cycles and changes. Females, in particular, cycle through menstruation which averages 28 days, which, interestingly is very similar to the phases of the moon, and we’ll talk about that in a second.
Before I go any further into this topic, I want to include a side note. If your cycle is less than 28 days or more than that you can still benefit from this as well. We are talking about an average here, but the point to remember here is the predictability. If your menstrual cycle is pretty regular and repeats regularly, this info is relevant to you.
First of all, you need to know that we, women, are connected to the moon (which also is on a 30-day cycle), so in case you no longer menstruate, you can still benefit from cyclicality by following the four phases of the moon every 30 days. So, If your menstrual cycle is irregular, due to conditions such as polycystic ovaries (aka PCOS), PMS, weight gain, or if you are still breastfeeding and haven’t gotten your period yet, you can still live in cyclicality, but instead of your body’s rhythm, you can sync yourself to the four phases of the moon.
If you are interested to learn more about this you can follow Dr. Ezzie Spencer online who is the creator of LunarAbundance.com, where she teaches women how to benefit from your relationship with the moon. I know this sounds woo-woo, but believe me, this stuff actually works. Think of it as a lost wisdom which you are relearning. I am actually working on bringing her on the show for an interview, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, I will include her website in the show notes so you can check her out.
Just like most things in nature (four phases of the moon, four phases of seasons), there are 4 different phases of the female cycle:
Menstrual Phase – begins on the first day of menstruation and lasts until the 5th day of the menstrual cycle. The following events occur during this phase:
- The uterus sheds its inner lining of soft tissue and blood vessels which exits the body from the vagina in the form of menstrual fluid.
- Blood loss of 10 ml to 80 ml is considered normal.
- You may experience abdominal cramps. These cramps are caused by the contraction of the uterine and the abdominal muscles to expel the menstrual fluid.
Follicular Phase – This phase also begins on the first day of menstruation, but it lasts until the 13th day of the menstrual cycle. The following events occur during this phase:
- The pituitary gland secretes a hormone that stimulates the egg cells in the ovaries to grow.
- One of these egg cells begins to mature in a sac-like-structure called follicle. It takes 13 days for the egg cell to reach maturity.
- While the egg cell matures, its follicle secretes a hormone that stimulates the uterus to develop a lining of blood vessels and soft tissue called endometrium.
Ovulation Phase – (day 14)
On the 14th day of the cycle, the pituitary gland secretes a hormone that causes the ovary to release the matured egg cell. The released egg cell is swept into the fallopian tube by the of the fimbriae. Fimbriae are finger-like projections located at the end of the fallopian tube close to the ovaries and cilia are slender hair-like projections on each Fimbria.
Luteal phase (day 15-28) – This phase begins on the 15th day and lasts until the end of the cycle. The following events occur during this phase:
- The egg cell released during the ovulation phase stays in the fallopian tube for 24 hours.
- If a sperm cell does not impregnate the egg cell at that time, the egg cell disintegrates.
- The hormone that causes the uterus to retain its endometrium gets used up by the end of the menstrual cycle. This causes the menstrual phase of the next cycle to begin.
Throughout these 4 different phases, your hormones are at alternating levels. Your energy, diet, willingness to socialize and emotions differ from phase to phase. As females, we are only thaught about the menstrual cycle and most of us know nothing about the other three phases and how to eat, exercise and optimize them for overall health and vitality. Today I want to teach you how you can use this information so that you can THRIVE at work, your relationships, parenting, marriage and other important aspects of your life.
This is what I mean by saying – own your divine feminine superpower!
Here we go.
Let’s start by talking about how your diet should vary during each phase:
The one thing to remember throughout this entire process is that estrogen, the female hormone, needs to be excreted properly and efficiently from the body. And the best way to do it is via food.
Most symptoms that occur from hormonal imbalance issues are the result of excess estrogen. The foods I’m going to mention here support the metabolization of estrogen through your elimination organs and the removal of that unwanted excess from your body.
I am going to talk about generic foods here, however, inside the THRIVE mastermind is where we are going to go much deeper into this and you will actually get a complete meal plan with recipes from me based on this philosophy.
Follicular phase (before you ovulate, after your period)
Artichoke, broccoli, carrot, parsley, green peas, string beans and zucchini
Ovulatory phase (when you’re ovulating)
Asparagus, brussels sprouts, chard, escarole, scallion, spinach
Luteal phase (before you have your period)
Cauliflower, collard greens, daikon, onion, parsnip, radish, squash, sweet potato
Menstrual phase (your period)
Beet, kale, kelp, mushrooms
If you eat in accordance with your cycle, your body will get the support it needs to live in alignment with nature, excrete the estrogen efficiently and your painful symptoms will be eliminated. Help your body do what it was designed to do!
How your exercise regime should be different in each cycle:
Again, since each phase has a different level of hormones, it is not wise to always follow the same exercise regime for every day of your cycle. Here’s what you can try instead.
Workout: Walk – keep your workouts mild, even if you’re not feeling major discomfort.
When: An evening stroll is a perfect way to get some simple movement.
Follicular Phase (the week after your period)
When: Mid-day – your estrogen will be low and your cortisol levels will be just right for a challenging cardio burst.
Workout: Intense cardio, dance, or bodyweight circuit
When: Early morning – you’ll have tons of energy during this time of the month, so take advantage of that natural high! Your testosterone is higher during this phase, so whatever you do, feel free to go all out!
Workout: Pilates, yoga
When: Keep it early during the first half, and then transition into the early evening. You might still feel full of energy during the first days of your luteal phase, so feel free to keep kicking butt in more intense workouts early in the day. But if you start to experience PMS symptoms in the days before your period, it’s time to tone it down and switch to Pilates or strength training in the early evening. Restorative (yin) yoga before bed can also be hugely helpful in combatting issues like moodiness and bloating.
Let’s talk about how your social and mental state changes during each phase:
You know how sometimes you’re feeling magnetic, energized, and dying to meet new people, and other times in the month you feel withdrawn, anti-social like you need to do some meditating/reflecting? If yes, then you’re actually already cycling syncing without even knowing! I’m going to talk about where to put the female social and energetic focus during each phase.
In general, during my period I spend lots of time alone, reflecting, journaling, and taking long baths. I say “no” to most social situations and use this time as a way to reflect on the past month to see what worked and what didn’t. Think of it as a time when your body is shedding a lining, and for you to shed specific habits, people, or hobbies that are no longer serving you. A little “spring cleaning”, if you will.
In the follicular phase, I set goals for myself and plan out my month. I also set intentions for myself and my career. It’s a great time to start projects as your brain is most active with structural thinking.
During my ovulation phase, I’m normally most social. I crave time with my girlfriends and say yes to all social invites. I also plan my own calendar according to my cycle. When I’m ovulating, I am most communicative so I plan important business meetings and first dates around this time. I’m also most apt to collaborate during this time. It’s a great time to call an old friend or your mother.
In the first half of my luteal phase, I feel still social so I still go out and hang with friends. I’m usually most assertive during this phase, no BS. Halfway through, I begin to feel agitated if I am around people too much and begin to feel myself turning inwards. Obviously, in modern day America I don’t have the pleasure of saying “no” to all social obligations and meetings, so I practice grace here and do my best to honor my body while staying realistic.
If you are at least curious about this way of living, I recommend to check out Alisa Vitti’s work about Cycle Syncing, I definitely recommend picking up the book Womancode, get the Floliving myFLO app, and following the FloLiving blog. And you can find links to all that in the show notes. If you are ready to take back control over your health and are looking for someone who will guide you through this process, apply to the THRIVE Mastermind, again, there’s a link to apply in the show notes below. We’ll do cycle-syncing, meal plans, nutritional coaching, learn how to break through resistance and learn to love your female body. If you are interested, fill out the application and let’s see if we are a good fit!