[00:00:00] Welcome to The Be About Being Better podcast, where we help people make evidence based sustainable. Small changes for their health that compounded the huge shifts towards a better, more vibrant life. I'm your host Abbie Stasior, a health and life coach, future registered dietician, a master's graduate from Columbia University, and a certified intuitive eating counselor.
And I believe that we can't make lasting or meaningful change single handedly. So I'm so happy that you're here so that together you can see that a diet free, sustainable lifestyle is possible, and you can leverage that to live a better life. And remember my disclaimer, This podcast is meant to give you general information.
And it's not meant to substitute or replace medical advice, a diagnosis or serve as treatment.
Abbie: Hello. Hello, y'all. Welcome back to the Bee about being Better podcast. I am so excited to dive into this today because y'all Yeah, I finally got my regular cycle back, got my period back. I am so. Happy y'all know that I love my period when even when I was growing up, I loved getting my period. I don't know why I'm literally psycho, but I would even when I was in like high school, middle school on a I m, I would change my status to a bunch of red hearts whenever I got my period.
Like that's how much I love my period. Literally had to make it my status. On a am instant messaging and now here I am whenever I get my period of just announcing to the world in my podcast. Hi. Um, I don't know. I've just always loved my period and for the last eight or nine months, I've only had like three periods.
Not good. That's technically in the Amen range, where if you don't have a period for like more than two months in a row like you, Are technically, it's not just irregular like you amens like without a period, so it's. Just not good has, you know, longer term health consequences. And because our period is our fifth vital sign, it's just as important as our blood pressure and it's just as important as an indicator to our health, how our body is functioning.
So obviously if I wasn't getting a regular cycle, things were not optimal. So this was very concerning to me. And I was trying for months and months and months to cycle sank and make sure I wasn't deficient in any vitamins or minerals. And. I just felt like my body was working against me because everything was fine.
Blood work was fine. I don't know what was going on, but now my cycle is back and it came on time and it's regular and it is such a relief. So here are the things that I've done that I have found to be the most effective and that also were effective, uh, with other clients too. Cuz I coach everyone through this.
Everyone that comes through the be about being Better Academy that has a period I'm helping you optimize it. So definitely head to the show notes if you want more cycle syncing support and how to eat, how to exercise. Get my health tips for your cycle freebie in the show notes, but also take my quiz to see if the Academy is for you because you might need more personalized support with your cycle.
I'd say the biggest thing that helped me, like looking back on what helped me get a regular cycle is going through my breakup. I didn't realize how much this relationship was stressing me out, and it was chronic low grade stress. That was my baseline. Now being out of my relationship for three months, my body has been able to relax, come back to a base.
I feel like I'm coming alive again. I just have so much inner peace and. This is how we know that breakup was for, for the right reasons and was the right decision. But I didn't realize how much my body was keeping score and how much my body was internalizing the stress of this breakup. Uh, not even just the breakup, I think the stress of the relationship, because this started, like my period problem started six months before we broke up.
So that was kind of like the beginning of the end. Like my body was storing all of that. So by removing this huge stressor in my life, My body could relax. I was out of fight or flight and I just had more internal peace, and my cortisol wasn't spiking up all the time. Cortisol is our stress hormone, so my hormones could function more optimally without so much stress.
Now, you might not be able to remove every big stressor in your life, but I just encourage you to view your life objectively and. Examine your life and what stressors can you remove? Can you say no to a commitment? Maybe you do need to go through a breakup. Maybe you need to break up with a toxic friend.
Maybe you need to change jobs or work less hours. I was just working with a client over these last few weeks. She has been so stressed out. So this, this client's been living in fight or flight and. You know, having discussions back and forth, like, I'm not necessarily giving her suggestions. I'm kind of asking her open-ended questions like, what do you think you could cut?
What do you think you could change to give you more time to yourself and more peace and and less stress? Because clearly the schedule that you're on right now working so many jobs and traveling so much and having to, she also, you know, was working at Orange Theory, have to get up super early. To teach those classes, you're burning the candle at both ends, like something's gotta give.
And she finally decided to stop coaching at Orange Theory because it wasn't lighting her up as much. She was lacking sleep, she wasn't enjoying it, and it was hard for her to get water in. So she was dehydrated and it was just more stress than it was worth. And financially she was able to do that and take a step back and she's so much better for it and she feels so much more aligned.
So there might be some things that you can do in your life. There might, there's probably things that you can't change, but there might be some opportunities to make some shifts to alter your stress levels. You might need, need to go super radical like breaking up with your boyfriend over uh, over the phone on Christmas Eve.
Oops, my bad. But, uh, you might be able to, um, to find some other ways to reduce stress and especially removing major stressors. And it starts from viewing your life objectively, like what is really stressing me out? And I can't keep burning the candle at both ends. Something's gotta give. I gotta make a change.
You gotta advocate for yourself and your body if you are going to really align with your cycle. I've said this before, and I'm gonna say it again. If you do not have a regular natural cycle, if you've never experienced that or it's fully optimized, you do not fully know yourself. You just do not have access to being so in tune with how your body as a menstruating woman and person is supposed to function like Mm, like.
You just don't have access to that. If you have medication in your body, hormones in your body that are artificially changing your hormones to mask certain symptoms, or if you're not on any form of birth control, but your cycle's not optimized, you just feel off. There's something that clicks just into place.
That makes sense. When your cycle is optimized. And for these last nine or so months, I've been feeling really outta sorts. And I contribute a lot of that, I mean, to the stress and relationship that I was under, but also because my cycle wasn't regular. I just felt like my body was working against me. So when your cycle is regular, it's like your body is just working the way that it's supposed to and you just have such an attunement.
Mm. To your body, like I just. For those of you that have a regular natural cycle, you'll know what I'm saying. But because I've been on both ends of the spectrum where I've been on birth control for almost a decade, and now I have like a regular cycle again off of birth control, like I thought that I was happy on birth control.
I thought that I had energy. I thought that I was self-aware and knew myself. And like, oh no. Like for the amount of self-awareness and peace that I have, the, like the natural energy that I have, how I just know myself and can tap into my creativity and the connection that I have with my body. How feminine I feel, ugh.
Like how I feel now is not even a fraction of what I thought I was experiencing when I was on birth control. And I just want this feeling in this. Type of like synchronicity in this clicking into gear to be available to so many more people. I don't know if this is making sense, but it, it does because it's more of a feeling, so it's hard to take this feeling and say it and put it into words.
But you just gotta try it for yourself. You, you gotta, you just gotta start cycle syncing and you might need to be on birth control for certain reasons. And I'm not advocating against birth control. What I'm advocating for is a regular cycle and inhaling our hormones naturally. And you can even cycle sync when you're on hormonal birth control.
Um, And there's gonna be a time where eventually you are not on birth control and that your cycle is going to be available to you. So how do we tap into it? How do we optimize it? So the first thing is to reduce stress. The next is to try and get my cycle back and back on track. I had to create a pretty big juxtaposition, create a big difference in my workouts, depending on what phase I should have been in at the time when you're not regular.
It's this push and pull, it's knowing where you should be using like an app or something. I use the Flow app, the one with the pink feather to track my cycle. It's a push and pull cause it's like, mm. I know that I should be in Ludial phase right now, but for whatever reason, I weirdly have a lot of energy as if I'm in follicular ovulation or, hey, I should be in follicular right now and I should have a ton of energy.
I should be extroverted, but, I feel like I'm in ludial phase, like I just feel wiped out and depleted. So it's like you wanna try and do things to honor the phase where you should be in to try and push your body to where you should be while still honoring where your body is in its current state.
So, If you should be in follicular phase, but you're feeling like you're in ludial phase and you just feel tired and like pm M s E and just exhausted, I would not push myself to do a crazy intense hit workout. Even though doing higher intensity exercise and doing more cardio, doing more heavy lifting is the type of workout that we are by body more naturally wants to do during follicular phase.
I'm not gonna push myself through that. However, what I will do is. Cy as far as nutrition for where I should be. So I'm gonna put lemon in my water. I'm gonna have, um, lighter foods. A lot of citrus. I'm gonna steam and saute things and have poultry and Turkey. You know, I'm gonna do those things because that's what I can control.
But , I'm not gonna overdo it with the exercise cause I'm gonna honor my body for where it is. So that's how you can kind of push and pull to try and get your body back to where you should be and what phase is regular for you while still honoring their current state. You don't want to.
Not treat your body with respect and push yourself too much, cuz that's gonna be counterproductive for your hormones. The more rest that you have and honestly, the less that you do. And this kind of goes back to the first point, like the more that you rest, the more that you de-stress and find peace, versus forcing yourself to do something and like overdoing it.
The more that your body can just chill out and reregulate. Sometimes we just have to , like just as we're resetting things and we unplug something for a couple minutes and plug it back in or restart our computer. Sometimes for us, this is an Anne Lamont quote, but sometimes we need to unplug ourselves too so that we can plug back in and we can reset.
So that is a huge tip of like doing what you can as far as cycle thinking, socially, nutritionally, and with exercise to get yourself where you should be. While honoring where you are and not overdoing it with how you currently feel in the moment. Like if I was in follicular phase and I felt really energized, I would do an energizing workout.
That's when I would do about a cardio. That's when I would lift heavier weight. And I would really go after it. So then I had a big juxtaposition, a big change, a big shift for when I was in Ludial phase. It was a very distinct difference. I wasn't lifting heavy weights, which you can lift weights during ludial phase.
There's a lot of research that supports this, that you just need to fuel yourself more and eat more. In ludial phase and menstrual phase, you can still lift weights, however, I put the research aside because I was like, my period's not regular right now. I really need to create a stark difference between the different phases.
So I'm going to reserve forms of exercise for each phase. So I would, when I was feeling up to it, do more intense exercise during follicular ovulation phase and during ludial phase and menstrual phase. That's when I would just walk, no weights. No cardio. Like I, if I was walking, I was walking slow, not really at an incline, not pushing it.
I would stretch. I would do yoga, very restorative yoga, if I did any Pilates, it didn't like bring my heart rate up so much. It was very, very light and very low impact in, in shorter duration. I had shorter workouts during that time and I rested a lot. So that when I was in a phase follicular ovulation where I could really be going hard, I went hard.
I maximized my time in the gym. I spent as much time in there as I could, and I lifted as heavy as I was able to in those moments to create a bigger juxtaposition, a starker difference between the forms of exercise. So hopefully this makes sense, but that's how you can get your body back, back on track by.
S more strongly, not with force, but just more distinctly doing things that cater to each phase. And sometimes this is helpful, like even though each phase has its own, cuz there's four different phases of the menstrual cycle. Even though each phase has its own nutrition considerations and exercise considerations and lifestyle things, it's easier sometimes to divide it up.
Two and two. So to almost collapse, follicular and ovulation, especially if you're not regular, you might not really know when you exactly switch from follicular to ovulation. And you might have an extended ovulation, you might have an extended gluteal phase. You might have extended follicular you don't like if your cycle's going on like eight weeks, which mine were like, you don't really know how long you're in each phase.
So it might be easier for you to collapse and combine the considerations for follicular and ovulation, and then combine the considerations for cycle sinking for ludial and menstrual phase to keep them separate. So you're kind of just doing two different things. Versus trying to do all four. And the nuance.
Once your cycle is regular, then you can get more into the nuances of all four phases. I just think that that's easier. Hopefully this is making sense, and I think especially as you're starting out with cycle psyching, it's so much easier to collapse follicular and ovulation and then collapse and combine ludial and menstrual as you're starting to get used to it.
So that's where I would start. And to create a pretty stark difference between what you do socially, nutritionally with exercise for follicular and ovulation, whatever you think you're in those phases, and then really dial it back. We need to R S V P no to things we need to do, low impact workouts. We need to prioritize rest.
We need to have more calories and soups and stews and warm foods, and roasted and baked things. In Lal and menstrual phase. So we really need to have the stark difference, and I think it's easier to kind of combine or collapse those two phases instead of trying to do all four when you don't really know where you are.
And then I would make some small nutrition tweaks. Like if I was in follicular and ovulation, I would definitely be putting lemon in my water, but I didn't for ludial and menstrual because we wanna be having more citrus and follicular fades. So I would make that difference with my water. And y'all know I'm obnoxious with my huge pink water bottle.
So like it was, for me, it was like visually a good difference, which visually telling my body this is what it is, and then I'm getting that taste. Of like, here's the lemon water for the first couple weeks of the month and then no lemon water for lal and menstrual phase. Um, and then I don't know what it is about sweet potatoes y'all, but sweet potatoes, like, I think single-handedly gave me my period pack.
Like if I could recommend one food before you're period, whenever you feel like you're about to get your period, like maybe even like a week or two before your period have sweet potatoes, meal prep, sweet potatoes. A lot of people have P m s symptoms, food cravings, and breakouts and bloating because they, they need what sweet potatoes are going to provide.
A lot of times in ludial phase p m S phase we are vitamin B deficient. Sweet potatoes are like a vitamin A and a vitamin B pill. They have so much vitamin B in them, so it's a natural source of that vitamin. We also crave a lot of sweetss during this time because our metabolism increases, we're burning through calories a lot faster in P m S phase, so we need a.
Starchy carb, a longer acting carbohydrate, a longer-acting energy source, like a sweet potato to keep us full for longer. And because we tend to have sweet cravings during gluteal phase and menstrual phase, having the sweet potato with a little bit of sweetness can curb a lot of our sugar cravings because it has sugar in it, because it's a carb source.
And because it's got the fiber from the skin and just it's got vitamins and minerals in there, it's gonna keep us fuller for longer and it's gonna help balance our blood sugar. And because it's a little sweet, it will satisfy and curb a lot of our cravings. And by keeping our blood sugar balanced because it's a longer acting carb sore and a starer carb versus like a fruit, for example, is a simple carbohydrate.
Like you eat a piece of fruit, you're hungry two seconds later, but. With something like a sweet potato, that's a starchy carb that's gonna keep us fuller for longer, keep our blood sugar balanced for longer, and that is also going to curb cravings because a lot of the times we crave something sweet because our blood sugar has dipped and our body knows that sugar is quick energy, our bodies are so smart, our body will send us cravings for quick sugar to try and get a quick boost of energy, not because we actually want.
You know, pasta or cake or cookies or a fl. For me it was always like getting french fries from McDonald's and a mc Flury and dipping it in, um, literally dipping the fries in the mc flury. So that was always my in high school, my p m s period stack. Because I was just craving so much sugar when really I could have just been eating sweet potatoes and I probably would've been fine.
And it's not that you can't eat the mc flury, like go get it. But if your blood sugar is so low and that's why all of a sudden you're craving this, it's like, well, we might need to be consuming more calories and consuming different types of carbohydrates that keep your blood sugar more stable because your body is burning through calories and sugar a lot faster at this point in our cycle.
So we might just need to make some nutrition tweaks. So I'm not saying that you can't have a ick flury. All foods can fit. However, if we're just turning to the McFlurry, like the McFlurry's, not gonna have the vitamins and minerals that we need to actually support our body. So we need to make sure that we're getting the nutrition that we're deficient in and that the nutrition and vitamins and minerals that our body is calling for at that time.
So, sweet potatoes and honestly, lemon in my water really, really changed my life and really changed my life, but helped me get my cycle back and changing up the proteins that I had. Like I really stuck with chicken and Turkey. During follicular and ovulation in the beginning of my period, keeping those things light.
But then I had like ground beef steak and fish, like salmon, like the fattier fishes that have more omega-3 fatty acids. I saved those. And shrimp too. I saved like the seafood and the beef and pork for. Gluteal and menstrual phase. So I had a con, a big juxtaposition as far as nutrition goes, but just a couple things.
It's not like I radically changed everything that I was eating, but I know what foods I like and I was able to swap some things in and out. Like I know I'm always gonna have a protein source for dinner, but depending on what phase I was in, I'm either gonna choose chicken or maybe make Turkey meatballs, or I'm gonna have seafood or some ground beef like hamburger, something like that.
So I hope that that helps. Just making some small nutrition tweaks depending on what part of the month you feel like you're in at that time, where you should be, can make a huge difference. And I also changed how I RSVP'd. I really prioritized rest. I have been prioritizing rest in the last couple months and I started RSVPing No to things and kind of postponing like, Hey, let's meet up down the line.
Or like, this month is really busy but like let's try for next month. And I just saying no to a lot of things so that the things that I had to say yes to that I couldn't really say no to. Cause we all have those commitments in our lives and the things that I did commit to, I could show up more fully.
And I created more space in my life. Obviously my breakup did this too, uh, but I created more space in my life to spend more time with myself and just rest and just be. And when you just let yourself be, your body can regulate and get back on track. Our bodies are so smart, and especially when it comes to our menstrual cycle, our body naturally wants to do this.
Our body naturally wants to get a recycle back, and a lot of the times we feel like our body's fighting against us when in reality, We're fighting against our body. We have a lifestyle that's going against the natural fluctuations of our hormones. We have a lifestyle that's not preventing our body to regulate out again.
So we need to change things in our lives and make room to let our body just sort itself out. So you have to honor your rest. You have to say no to things. You have to change how you r SVP to things. You gotta make some small nutrition tweaks. You gotta have a bigger starker difference in the types of exercise that you do while still honoring where you are.
Like even if you're infl, like you're in ovulation, but you're not feeling up to it, don't force yourself to do a workout. But maybe that's a time to. Do something more nutritionally when it comes to that phase. And I think it also will be helpful for y'all to collapse and condense the phases as you're trying to get a regular cycle.
So combine follicular and ovulation considerations. Combine ludial and menstrual phase considerations, um, and just overall audit your life and see where you can reduce stress because the more rest that you get, the more successful you'll be. Rest is success. And head to the show notes, get my psycho psyching freebies so you can see what foods.
And some meal ideas are appropriate for each phase. And also take my quiz if you feel like you need more support with this. I find that some people don't even know where they are. And I'll have clients message me all the time that are working on cycle syncing and that are currently irregular. Be like, goodness, like this is how I'm feeling today, but this, this is where the flow app says I am.
Like what do you think I should do? And sometimes it's so nice to just talk it out with somebody else that has been through it and that has coached other people on how to do this. Sometimes it's. Really great to just talk it out with someone so that you know that what you're doing is best for your body to get your cycle back.
I hope that this was helpful. Let me know if you have questions and head to the show notes for all those resources .
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