PMS, mood swings, pain, pimples, that dreaded time of the month is probably what you’re used to associating your hormones with!
And if they haven’t bothered you by now, you’re really hoping they don’t flare up during menopause!
Hormones have gotten a bad wrap for far too long, and I’m about to open your mind to the superpowers that these little chemical messengers can give us!
But before we dive into that… chances are your hormones need a bit of TLC, after all, if you have been ignoring them or hating them all these years, we need to bring them back into harmony first!
So…what are hormones?
Aside from the obvious ones like testosterone that’s associated with muscle growth and sex drive, or even cortisol which is our stress hormone. Females have 2 dominant hormones; oestrogen and progesterone… and it is when these two are out of balance with the rest of the hormones that most of the havoc happens!
I like to think of oestrogen as the BEYONCÉ of hormones, it’s your sexy, confident, curvy self that shows up at its peak in the middle of your cycle to give you a boost in energy and libido in attempt to fulfil your body’s goal of falling pregnant every month.
Progesterone on the other hand, is like your fairy godmother… a calming presence that helps keep the anxiety and water retention away! It’s also closely linked to maintaining a healthy pregnancy - it’s in the name ‘pro-gestation’
Now we have a bunch more hormones in the body, but cortisol, testosterone, oestrogen and progesterone are the ones I want you to focus on bringing into harmony!
The first place to start when harmonising your hormones is to understand what’s actually going on with them!
Which is why step ONE is to track your cycle…
1.Track Your Cycle
You might already be doing this, with an app like Flo or Clue or MyFlo or even manually, all of which are great methods!
But a lot of women only track one thing… their PERIOD. Whilst this is a great place to start, it’s actually (believe it or not) NOT the main event of your cycle…
Which is why there are a few things I suggest you start tracking on top of your monthly bleed to see where your hormones are at and then start bringing them to balance.
I suggest you start by paying attention to ONE of these three initially and if you enjoy it, dive into the other two, or you might notice other signs or symptoms - for me it is confidence and sex drive that are big indicators of ovulation - that help you know you are regularly ovulating.
If you choose to track your temperature, make sure it is the same time each day, or you use something like Ava or Tempdrop. You should notice a direct spike in temperature by at least 2/10 of degree after ovulation.
Cervical mucus is something that happens in the lead up to ovulation. The consistency will get wetter, stickier, egg white-like and potentially thicker. All signs that ovulation is coming. This will slow down the day before ovulation, so is a great way to track.
As for the cervical position, this opens, is softer and more supple in the lead up and during ovulation. It will close after ovulation (unless you have had children).
Great! Now that you have a handle on your cycle, step TWO is to balance your blood sugar levels.
2. Balancing Your Blood Sugars
In all honesty, you have no hope of balancing your beautiful sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone), if you don’t balance your blood sugar hormone - insulin.
Your body has an insulin response after each meal, and if these stay nice and stable like a gentle wave then the body can focus on balancing the other hormones and isn’t stressed by the insulin rollercoaster that can happen.
So, how do you balance your blood sugars?
Focus on your food… the timing and type of food is key. Too much sugar, say hello to a blood sugar high, then a massive crash, too little sugar/infrequent meal timing, and you’ll dip in your energy before forcing the body to give you a big spike in its attempts to help.
Protein is the best place to start with when you are looking at your main meals and snacks, this has a slower insulin release, as does fats. This doesn’t mean carbs are bad, but just that they need to be paired with a high quality protein or fat and be a high quality carb themselves.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
An apple on its own, you will probably feel pretty hungry an hour or so after, which will lead to a blood sugar imbalance, however an apple with a small handful of almonds will slow down the blood sugar spike and keep you sustained for longer.
A chicken salad, without any carbs like sweet potato or pumpkin, you might find you crash shortly after the meal and are constantly hungry looking for something. Adding in the carb or boosting it with a fat like some olive oil dressing or sunflower seeds can be great too.
Missing breakfast everyday and swapping it for a coffee or nothing at all, this sends your hormones into a spin, cortisol levels go up, insulin jumps on the rollercoaster and so do your energy levels. This is why eating something within the first hour of waking is essential to your hormonal balance. Try having a few eggs or a protein rich smoothie to start your day.
Once your blood sugars are balanced regularly, that is when you can truly step into harnessing the superpower of your hormones. Which is where the final step comes in…
3. Step into Your Feminine Flow
You may have already guessed, but I am a HUGE hormone fan… I love my hormones and all they do for my body. BUT, it wasn’t always this way. It wasn’t until I applied what I have shared with you and what I am about to share that my mind was truly blown at what the female body is capable of.
Learning about the feminine flow and the deep intricacies of the incredible cycle females experience each month is what unearthed an underlying superpower most of us never knew existed… It’s a little something called your infradian rhythm.
This is where you honour the four phases of your cycle, what your body is going through, how you can best nourish, train and live in sync with each phase to truly harmonise your hormones.
There’s a LOT you can learn about this, but the key is to start simple and connect with how your beautiful body feels in each phase. The best way to describe the four phases is through the seasons.
Menstruation: Days 1 - 3 (or up to 7): your inner winter, feminine energy, a time of releasing and letting go of what is no longer serving you, a time for rest and warm nourishing foods like soups and stews.
Follicular: Days 6 - 13: your inner spring, masculine energy, a time to implement new things, plant new seeds, be adventurous and make the most of the energy you are in more of an abundance of, lighter foods, and more fun yet intense workouts are great during this time.
Ovulatory: Days 13 - 17: your inner summer, masculine energy, whilst you only ovulate for one day, the phase lasts 3 - 4 days, a time to embrace your sexy, confident, feminine self, to create and communicate with ease, to push your limits in the gym and in life and support your body with foods like juices, smoothies and salads.
Luteal: Days 18 - 28 (or longer): your inner autumn/fall, feminine energy, a time to be a little more introverted, focus on smashing your to-do list, feel into the consistent energy you have and wrap things up before you head into your winter phase. Focus on less intense exercise like yoga and walking, or conditioning at the gym, and warm, nourishing foods like roasts.
So there you have it, a quick-start guide to harmonising your beautiful intricacy of the female body! Remember to start one step at a time, build up consistency and before you know it, you’ll feel the underlying superpowers that come with being the divine goddess you are!
WRITTEN BY Sheree Beaumont
Sherre is a holistic nutritionist, specializing in hormones and gut health, and has a huge passion for personal development and deep inner work. She has served hundreds of people in their wellness journey’s after healing herself!
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The views expressed in the article are the views of the cited guest/expert and do not necessarily represent the views of PRISM.
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