Girls, we are truly magnificent creatures, regardless of the daily wobbles and occasional spurts of chaos that comes alongside the privilege. We get to experience it all, hormonally speaking, be it bleeding for an entire week and still managing to check tasks off our to-do lists, to even growing an actual real-life human being inside of us.
Cycle syncing, in my mind, is interchangeable with cycle support. A clever little lifestyle and diet adjustment that can ensure you approach each phase of your glorious cycle with the tools to help you thrive. After all, in hindsight you are a different person throughout each stage, so why move, nourish and live the same way throughout.
Zoning in on each stage of your cycle is incredibly empowering and keeps you hyper-aware on why you might be feeling a certain way. Trust me, knowing that sudden emotional breakdowns and are a side effect of your luteal phase and that in reality, you are a bloody strong woman, help keep things in perspective. Cycle syncing helps get absent and confused periods back on track, helps with painful PSM and can be great for prepping for conception, whether that time is now or many years in the future.
That’s all you really need to know about the concept. There are stricter guidelines regarding exactly what to each week, which I’ll run through, but ultimately just do your best for your body and your hormones will do the same back. If you’re one of the lucky ones like I am, who suffer from PCOS or a similar hormonal imbalance, and your periods are irregular or completely absent, sync up with the moon, to begin with.
Waxing crescent to waxing quarter - Follicular
Full moon - Ovulation
Waning quarter to waning crescent - Luteal
New moon/no moon - Menstruation
Follicular Phase 7-10 days
The first, or last stage – however, you want to look at it. You’ll be energetic and full of life. Eat to nourish the follicles in your ovaries, vital for healthy ovulation. Do this by upping your fat intake, avocados, coconut yoghurt and glorious spoonful’s of almond butter (also containing vitamin E, another key mineral your body needs right now). Utilize excess energy with lots of cardio, it’s the perfect time to hit that Britney VS Christina themed spin class you’ve had your eye on.
Ovulatory Phase 3-4 days
In nature, we’re looking for a mate at this time, as naturally, your body wants to partner up and reproduce. So you’re chatting and looking for an outlet. Opt for sociable forms or exercise, like team sports of a power walk with your best girl mates. Eat fermented and fibre-rich foods to support healthy digestion and flush away excess estrogen, and ensure you’re guzzling a tonne of filtered water every day.
Luteal Phase 10-14 days
Your body is in preparation mode to either grow a baby or menstruate. Sudden Shifts in mood can be expected, and you may be feeling a little crappy. If you’re feeling exhausted, respect your body by taking it easy (my inner lazy girl love this phase) with restorative yoga and slow walks. Eat food rich in magnesium to battle your fatigue (cacao, pumpkin seeds and spinach).
Menstrual Phase 3-7 days
Ah, that time of the month. Your uterus is quite literally shredding, so be kind to yourself. Continue your body and mind nurturing behaviours that you started in your luteal phase, and then enjoy the flush of energy once your period has passed and you enter your follicular phase once again. Hug your body from the inside with comforting meals and inflammation fighting, warming spices.
Image Source - WomanCode by Alisa Vitti
Apps such as MYFLO and Natural Cycles (although this one is more so for contraception purposes) can lend a helping hand, and WOMANCODE aka The Bible has loads more info on all things regarding your cycle.
Also, a fun last minute bit of information you may not know. Whilst our cycle lasts roughly 28 days, boys have their cycle across a day. They wake up with testosterone levels peaking (I’m sure I don’t need to explain what this looks like) and it gradually declines throughout the day. That’s why they get all annoying and cuddly in the evenings, when estrogen is at its peak. It’s also best for men to work out in the AM too. Who knew.