We are nature and nature is us. Look at the nature that surrounds you. They have a few important goals in life: to get as much nutrition as possible from the soil, to get just the right amount of sun to photosynthesize into energy, to produce the most beautiful, strong, & healthy offspring to bring into the world.
Have we forgotten what we are? Let’s connect back to our inner nature by understanding our hormone cycle, the way we’ve all been programmed…
Hormones are the messengers between the mind and the body, constantly signaling to us what’s best for our reproduction. If our two top tier hormones (cortisol/stress & insulin/blood sugar) are off, this will show through symptoms of any kind (skin, digestive, mood, etc) like PMS, which is abnormal! We live in a society where we are told to work harder, buy this next fast fashion (aka synthetic material aka hormone disrupter), take this pill and that pill, & eat fast food. We were not meant to live in pain and fear, we as women have a right to our inner natural wisdom: the female hormone cycle.
Women have two dominant female hormones during their reproductive years: estrogen & progesterone. Ovaries produce estrogen (our extroverted, active hormone) after our period for us to become wiser, stronger & more beautiful to find that perfect mate during our fertile days in ovulation (when testosterone also rises, giving us that extra confidence). Then as the follicle releases the egg, our temperature rises and a temporary gland forms as the corpus luteum, releasing progesterone (our introverted, sedating hormone) to raise sensitvity, awareness, & calming energy as our hormones think we’re pregnant until our oven’s temperature drops, signaling of the new cycle with menstruation, to try again & again to reproduce.
Our hormone cycle writes out our path, telling us what to eat & when, how to think & react, basically everything to do to have the biggest and best chance at being the healthiest, strongest, most beautiful versions of ourselves to reproduce the same outcome. How cool is that?
Let’s tune in…
While men have a 24-hour hormone cycle (higher testosterone in the morning which declines throughout the day, regenerates with full sleep especially between 4-6am), in tune with the Sun…
Collaboratively, women are in tune with the moon’s 29-day cycle with four distinct phases or seasons. You can clearly see why women have different mindsets, intentions, bodies throughout a month, which calls for different nutrients, exercises, and decisions to balance our hormones for each phase of our monthly inner cycle.
Many women will either bleed with the new moon or the full moon, and being in transition is okay as we all go through them, however I believe there’s something extra special about being in tune with Mother Earths’ new moon introverted self, it’s when Mother Earth and you are most fertile, whether that may be a real life baby, or a new business project or opportunity. Women are supportive in nature, so there’s a time when you ovulate with high energy to support a sister who’s menstruating where her energy is lowest, and vice versa. There’s a time for everyone to support & be supported, and we all give and recieve at some point in time, and transition in between.
Embrace the cycles and let it open up new opportunities with each phase.
Winter ~ Menstruation : For a period (pun intended) of about 3-6 days with a healthy cycle, our menstruation is the time when our hormones are the lowest out of any other time of our cycle, meaning energy is lowest. This is a time for us to fully relax & restore as we lose mainly iron, magnesium & zinc through our stem-cell enriched lifeforce blood. Our body temperature has just dropped, making this the winter phase of our cycle. Warm up with nourishing foods & cozy, introverted times. Really focus on relaxing and having boundaries set to take it easy.
- Hormones & Energy are: lowest
- Eat: sources of iron, magnesium & zinc (warming, nutrient-dense winter foods)
- Mindset: introverted & present
- Movement: yin yoga
- Intention: let go, self-love
- Best time to: relax, restore & receive
Spring ~ Follicular : This is the preparation phase of our cycle, planting seeds of intentions as estrogen rises for about 10 days until ovulation. Estrogen makes our verbal skills more articulate, our muscles gain strength and recover quickly, our bones denser, and our brain stores more information for long-term memory. This estrogenic energy allows us to plan ahead & think forward, making it a great time for mind-mapping and scheduling, but with that also comes some negative thought patterns like fear (being scared of the future), so we know to let go of these hormonal thought patterns as they do not help us. On our digestive level, this is the gut-healing phase of our cycle, so spring-like foods like fermented foods & sauteed vegetables and Omega-3’s like fish and seeds are essential. We use fat as stored energy here while metabolism is low & digestion is high, this is a great time for muscle building as pain tolerance and muscle recovery are higher.
- Hormones & Energy are: rising
- Eat: omega-3s, lightly sautéed vegetables (especially cruciferous like kale or brocolli)
- Mindset: extroverted & forward-thinking
- Movement: build muscle with weight-training, cardio, strong vinyasa yoga
- Intention: plant seeds, grow
- Best time to: plan ahead, work out, & learn a new skill
Summer ~ Ovulation: The main event! Ovulation is a vital sign of our health, without it, we are not fertile & would not produce progesterone, a super important hormone for our health that helps keep PMS away. Ovulation is a moment in time when the egg gets released from the follicle, but the high feeling lingers for about three to four days, making our face most symmetrical and we want all the attention to attract that perfect mate (watch out for interrupting). Many women will ovulate around the full moon or the new moon, we’re so in tune with the Moon!
- Hormones & Energy are: highest
- Eat: light caloric foods like salads, raspberries, phytoestrogens to detox excess estrogen
- Mindset: extroverted & abundant
- Movement: grounded & strong like a slow, engaged, & flexed yoga flow
- Intention: gratitude
- Best time to: be seen & heard (without interrupting of course, partner with your ego)
Autumn ~ Luteal: After ovulation comes the 10-14 day harvest, the autumn phase of our cycle, the Luteal phase. Progesterone starts to rise, same with temperature, and estrogen drops for a couple of days where we’ll notice a change in our mood from being overly positive to mellow. Don’t worry, just about two to three days of low estrogen until it rises again, where intuition is highest and our brain loves to focus on details, making it a great time to make important decisions when both estrogen and progesterone are up. We’ve also entered a very reflective mindset, thinking often of the past. We might be having negative thought patterns like shame or guilt, but let these go, it’s just our hormones.
Our hormones think we’re pregnant, want our homes to be clean and to wash our hands more often to “protect the baby”. Our metabolism rises (we need about 300 more calories as we get our energy from food now), and our digestion slows down to simmer on the nutrients longer. Cortisol (stress) hormones go up, creating more awareness which means higher sense of smell, touch, hear, taste, and sight! However, we don’t want to over-exercise and put our body into more stress during this phase as it’ll turn on fat storage, muscle wasting and bone density loss (remember, priority is to “protect the baby”). And thank goodness for progesterone, a sedating hormone, making us relaxed and balances out our naturally higher levels of cortisol. It’s very much an introverted and creative time of our cycle as both hemispheres of our brain are more actively connecting, allowing us to think outside the box and let our intuition paint the canvas.
- Hormones & Energy are: progesterone dominates, estrogen dips for a couple of days then rises again before fully dipping right before menstruation.
Mellow energy if in balance. PMS if out of balance
- Eat: slow-burning carbs & healthy fats to produce more sedating progesterone
- Mindset: introverted, intuitive & creative
- Movement: flexible, embodied dance flow with twists and hip openers
- Intention: listen
- Best time to: focus on details, be creative, make important decisions, lower stress, be introverted
Let this be a guide to balance your hormones & live naturally. When investing in your health, buy organic, natural, non-gmo products as anything synthetic or uses pesticides will disrupt your hormones. Let’s live in harmony with our hormones and keep this right of knowledge known to all women to live naturally, peaceful, blissful lives.
~ Journal by our beautiful friend Pauline Goossens, founder of Omcycle Yoga