Episode 52 Transcript
[00:00:00] Welcome to be about Being Better podcast, where we empower you to make evidence-based, sustainable and transformative changes for your health, leading to a more vibrant and fulfilling life. I'm your host, Abbie Stasior a non-diet registered dietician, certified intuitive eating counselor, and master's graduate from Columbia University.
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, healthy 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 is not meant to substitute or replace medical advice.
A diagnosis or serve as treatment.
Abbie: Hello. Hello y'all. I am so excited for this episode. I have my really good friend, Amanda Wahlstedt, coming on to speak with us all about how to align our life to our menstrual cycle. And y'all know I'm obsessed with cycle sinking. We've talked about cycles sinking before. However, we're gonna be diving into not just the nutrition considerations for cycle sinking, 'cause we've talked about in the future episodes.
We definitely head to the show notes to see those. We're gonna be kind of expanding beyond that. What are some other ways that you can align your life to your menstrual cycle through self-care at work, movement, exercise, all of the things. Um, so this is really gonna help you fully integrate into cycle sinking and really expand like the number of ways and just ideas you could align your life to your menstrual cycle.
And it's not just through nutrition. So I'm really excited , to chat with Amanda about this and y'all, Amanda is just amazing. So we met at Columbia. We were getting our master's at the same time. I was getting my master's in nutrition and exercise physiology. She was getting her master's in nutrition and public health.
She got her bachelor's from Cornell and Communications, and you'll hear in this episode, she is such a good communicator. She is so articulate, so knowledgeable, so evidence-based and I just love that. And we share. our values for a non diet approach we're, we're just so aligned. So I really, I really love all that.
She is a registered dietician and she's the founder of Roots to Leaves and her online practice is a dietetic and lifestyle practice that supports women from post birth control to postpartum. Love that. Love that. So definitely , check her out. And all of her social media stuff is linked up in the show notes.
She has a focus. For functional and holistic women's health. She's a certified yoga instructor. She's received training in yoga and also a vida. She's just overall so fabulous and I'm really excited for you all to hear her wisdom and learn more about cycle sinking.
All right, y'all, see you in the episode.
Abbie: Hello? Hello. Yes, we are live. Hey Amanda. I'm so excited to have you on the Be About Being Better podcast. How you doing, girl?
Amanda: So, so excited to be here. I am doing so well. just just like to be connecting with you and to be on this platform. So how are you doing so far?
Abbie: doing great. It's a Friday. We're recording. So happy Friday in the summer.
Amanda: Happy Friday. Yes, exactly. A few summer Fridays left.
Abbie: I know it really has flown by. I like cannot believe it's August. I’m like, wait, what? Where did things go?
Amanda: Went by so fast this year.
Abbie: Yeah. And most of the time I always just had my head in the book studying for the RD exam, which, you know what that's like. Last year.
Amanda: And say congratulations again on passing.
Abbie: Thank you. It's a big feat, but I'm happy to have that behind me. Um, so good. All right. So. We start this question off with all of our guests, so definitely wanna hear and dive into the deep end with you. What is something that you've been through an obstacle, something that was really hard that now looking back, that hindsight’s 20/20. You're really grateful that you went through that because it ultimately made you better.
Amanda: Yeah, so actually I thought a lot about this topic and considering the theme of today, I thought I would actually bring it into more of like a cycle related challenge. So about a year and a half ago, two years ago, I I all of a sudden started to feel like a very intense pain in my lower abdomen, and I thought it was just a cramp at first. So tried to ignore it. Just moved on, like told the voice in my head. You're fine. Like it's a cramp. and then it just kept building and building and it really got to the point where I was like kneeled over at some point and in so much pain, basically crying and still telling myself like, Amanda, you're being so dramatic. It's a cramp. Like just breathe through it and then it got to the point where I actually thought I was gonna be sick. So ended up like running to the restroom, almost threw up, but then started to get super dizzy and like had spots in my vision. I was shaking, was sweating, ended up like collapsing basically on the bathroom floor and like putting my head on the tile and just like closing my eyes and passing out there. I woke up the next morning and all of the strange like lightheaded symptoms were gone, but the pain was still really intense in that lower abdomen area. And I remember thinking to myself like, Like trying to logic my way through it. Maybe you are just having some cramps and like this weird bout of food poisoning or reaction to something. So really trying to downplay my own pain and ended up going to work that day. ended up actually seeing clients. I think I called my mom and some friends and everyone was like, oh, I'm so sorry. That sounds like bad cramps.
Amanda: There was this like little voice in the back of my head that kept being like, this isn't a cramp. Like Amanda, you know your body. You have studied your body in relationship to this. This is not what that feels like. And I kept just wanting to shush it up very honestly. So finally end of the day, I was like, you know what, I'll just go in. I'll listen to you fine, just so you almost like stop bothering the little voice. I'll go in and get it checked out and ended up getting a sonogram done the doctor came back in and was like, I am so surprised you were even able to walk here. I essentially had like a really large cyst that ended up rupturing and the doctor basically said based on the size of it as well as like the severity of the bleeding that was happening around it that she literally, I think, phrased it as like, this was a no joke cyst situation. Um, and I had to like, keep an eye out for bleeding going into my rib cage and if I couldn't breathe. And so it was this really scary and intense. Thing that my body went through. And the reason I'm really bringing it up in this context is because it really highlighted to me the importance of listening to that inner voice that we have as women. And as women. I think that we have been taught for such a long time to push down our pain and our discomfort and to do that in an effort of not being dramatic or overly sensitive or causing a fuss, and the importance of not doing that, of pushing up against That and knowing. When that inner voice is coming in and is saying, you know, this doesn't feel right, or, Hmm, like, this isn't gonna serve you right now, or, you know, you don't feel good in this situation. To really listen to that because you are your own best expert on your body and your own best health advocate, and to kind of continue to build that trust with yourself and with that voice is so important in the context of, of women's health.
Abbie: Wow. Wow. That is, a really powerful story. Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for sharing that. And you're so right. Like how many times did we get our period and we're like, all right, I'll just suck it up, throw some dirt on it, take some Advil, just suppress the pain, versus using that as an indicator. How can I. Like really heal the pain and not just work through it, but rest and allow ourselves to take a step back.
Amanda: A hundred percent. And again, and if the Advil ends up coming in, okay. But at least first acknowledging, you know, this is what my body is telling me right now, and how can I understand what that message is so that I can act from a place of empowerment or intention, rather than just trying to shut off our connection to it or trying to suppress it.
Abbie: Yes, exactly. Oh, so is that what got you into cycle sinking? Or like, what was
Amanda: So that was a yeah, that was like a, a part of the cycle syncing journey, if you will. But it actually started a long time ago. So I actually was on birth control pill from the age of 14 to 25. So like a decade plus. And at that point I actually responded like really well to it, if you will. I had no side effects, no mood swings. I didn't bleed for over a decade and I sort of thought like this was the dream, right? Like this was great, like no periods, and that was the norm in my social circle, that every young woman that I knew was either on hormonal birth control, either the pill of the IUD. So I really didn’t question it Then it was actually during a yoga training, uh, that I met a woman who was a little bit older than me who had never been on birth control before. And she was saying something like, oh, I'm actually lower energy today because I'm in my luteal phase. I'm gonna take it easy. And it was like a different language to me. And it just started to dawn on me in that moment, like, wow, I actually do not understand. What my body feels like without synthetic hormones. I don't know what I look like or feel like as a fully embodied, you know, adult woman, Amanda. And so it kind of sparked my interest in getting off of it. And literally like that day, there really wasn't too much thought after that. I was just like, you know what? I'm gonna stop. I'm, I'm done with birth control pills. There wasn't much thought there, but what I did think was, okay, uh, I'm gonna meet this like beautiful, incredible version of myself off of birth control. And that was kind of my, my, thought going into it. And that is just not what happened the next three to six months. I had excruciating cramps like, Nausea, throwing up sometimes crying, not being able to walk for like three days. My digestion like seesawed all over the place and I had no idea why my kind of teenage acne started coming back up. Um, and I had that ruptured cyst happen in that time period too so
Amanda: I ended up going to OB-GYNs and trying to talk to my healthcare team at the time, asking about what I should do, and their response was sort of like, well, this is a part of being a woman, or you can go back on the pill
Abbie: Oh, that might
Amanda: And I was just like, that
be the answer. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. It's like that cannot be the only answer. And I understand why that is approach, that's
a whole other conversation, but
it was not
me So that's what got me to really start digging. And
I discovered some
Aviva ROMs lovely. Um, Alyssa
is that her.
Abbie: Yeah. Lisa Bete. yeah. Love her.
Amanda: VT with a cycle sinking.
to create the foundation. I looked more
into different cultural period habits Over the centuries. And then I started to really
my own inner
started to notice, okay, maybe I'm , feeling irritable
this day, but
is there a reason?
Can I see if there's
a trend that's coming
up? Can I start to connect
the dots? Is my
you know, feeling more sluggish at certain
time periods and
essentially, Through these practices, what
is that I'm not going to
let my cycle
control me, and I'm also
not going to try and
control it. So rather I'm going
to form relation with it and find a way to
listen, right? Like
we're talking about, listening
Understand it and
honor it. So that's what got me into kind of
sinking to my cycle. And after doing that for, I think it
was like three
or six, three cycles
was like my period barely phased me.
And so at this point I've seen firsthand
how powerful it
can be. and I've also now watched
my clients really see how
much it can play a role in their
Abbie: Yeah. I love that you said that you are partnering with your body because that forces us to turn inward versus looking to external cues, external things to tell
to do with our body.
It allows us to recognize that we do have an innate
wisdom and we
can trust our body. and if we want to have a
better relationship with our body, Food, exercise, our cycle, all of the things are just ourselves in general.
have to have that partnership.
We have to
spend time with it,
And so often we are living outside of ourselves, looking outside of ourselves
for the answer
Abbie: we can
feel so much better and
actually see the
answers that we desire by turning
inward and partnering with ourselves.
Amanda: Completely agree. And to your point too, I think we often move
trying to kind of change our outer environment in an
effort to change our inner one, when really if we actually go inward,
to sit into that and see what's coming up. And rather than trying to fight against that, but just have that, that befriending that partnership.
I love the word partner
used there to able to be like, okay, this is
what's going on inside. It's not good. It's not bad. There's no judgment. But
how can I be curious about it?
what messaging can I gain
Be like, okay,
well now I can see that I probably wanna respond
this way instead of this
Right? And start to make little subtle shifts
Abbie: Ugh, I
love that. Yes. Getting
away from judgment,
leaning into curiosity. So good. Okay, great. Can you run us through, I know I've mentioned it on the podcast a lot, and I think it's also beneficial for our audience to hear from someone else
as well, but just
run through the different phases
their season equivalence. like.
would you. What would be your elevator pitch for
phases of your
Amanda: So I, I love this
topic. I could
feel like I could speak about this for like hours on
end. Um, but basically, and I know your listeners
about this a little
before, but it's the idea that we have these four
phases of our menstrual cycle and with them there are kind of four
corresponding seasons that allow us to
generally understand the ebbs and flows that are going on.
different phases. So we have the menstrual
or winter, if you will, and that really starts day one of our cycle is marked by our, by our bleed. So our period, and
that's caused by a
hormones. So hormones are at an all time low. That
means that energy's at an all time low.
So if we consider
our menstrual period, that menstrual
phase as a time of winter, well then it makes sense.
It's intuitive that we would think of it as
a time of
hibernation, of going inward, of moving slowly, of listening
to what the body
needs. I always like to tell people when they're just starting to get familiar with cycle sinking, that when
it comes to the, uh,
menstrual phase, It's kind of intuitive to think that you wanna be like
warm and cozy the same way that you wanna be warm and cozy during
I. Right, so you probably on that first day of your bleed,
you wanna have like soups and stews and a warm cup of tea and a, and a hot water bottle. You don't really wanna
like jump into a
freezing cold ocean and like drink a smoothie. So again, if we think about it in terms of winter it, it's really intuitive in terms of what we would want to do to soothe ourselves during that time
Amanda: One other thing I do actually want to
add about the menstrual phase in
particular, because I think that
hear coming up around
this topic is that when we talk about going inward and thinking about hibernation during that winter menstrual
phase, that there's this idea that
we're hiding. That
is something I really want to make clear is that this is
not a time of
I think periods have a long history of being viewed as dirty or shameful, and
that's not what we're talking about here, but rather a very intentional and empowered choice to go inward,
to connect with yourself. And that's kind of how periods
have been honored across various cultures from indigenous America to India for
centuries, as a time of strong intuition and connection to self and, and to nature
general womanhood. So
just wanna add that little caveat
on there for
Abbie: Yes. I love that.
Amanda: Yeah, so then
then the follicular phase,
right which for the sake of simplicity is, is right after the
menstrual phase to ovulation and that's when estrogen is getting
back up. We have our energy starting to rise.
spring back in our step. So the season of spring, no, no surprise
are starting to
blossom and bloom,
And then we have
ovulation. Which is marked by that LH surge, that release of the egg from the ovary, and
that's our summer.
a little hot and
that libido is, is starting to, to get high
and peaks then too.
And then we have luteal,
which is really more of a
rollercoaster lasting from postulation to right before
our period, and it's marked by that high of progesterone,
followed by like a second wave of estrogen and
then a dip in hormone. So,
Things are really changing
internally during this time period, and that's just
like autumn or fall with the change of the leaves and the dropping
leaves, preparing for winter.
So those are the the four overarching phases we have. Menstrual winter, follicular spring, ovulation, summer,
Thank you. You said that so well, and just so
you're just Oh, I love it. And , there are definitely exercise. Lifestyle,
considerations for each
And y'all know, if
listening to me about Being
for a while, that we've talked about
nutrition a bunch, and we will continue to talk about it,
but I'm gonna link that up in
the show notes
you can listen to a
previous episode on the nutrition consideration
specifically for each
of the phases.
I really wanted to bring Amanda
to some of these other components of movement, self-care and work-life
all of those things that you can really align your whole life to your
menstrual cycle. So let's start with movement. Amanda. How would you
recommend that somebody start to
align their movement
different phases and like what
the exercise considerations that you have?
Amanda: Yeah. So again, I think this
such an interesting topic, especially with movement. And Abby, I'm not sure if you've seen, but there have actually
been a couple of articles coming out in the
weeks, months pushing back on
this idea that we should
be aligning our movement to our cycle. Have
you seen those popping up
Abbie: I've heard
But I need to look more in depth
Amanda: Yeah, it's, it's been
interesting to see and to read. So I just wanna nod that a little bit
I think it's important to remember that with
most topics related to women's health, there is not
the best research available. Um, and so we
keep that in
mind when we're talking about
these things because just because the research
doesn't mean that it's not valid.
a gap, and I think that's really
important and. With that, what we can start to understand is we do know how hormones fluctuate in
the body. We do know the impacts that those can have on the body. So even if the research isn't clear cut
on movement and cycle phases, we can use that information to
infer how our energy is going to be with movement, how our body's gonna respond
And and so on.
And with that, I'll just add to that, you know,
every woman is
Different ebbs and flows going
on, potentially different ranges of hormones. So it's never like a
size fits all approach, but just a general
And with that, you can start
tune into you and see what
of movement is going to be
the most beneficial and honoring of what your
that in mind,
we have the menstrual phase. And again, this is marked by
that lower energy, right? So
with lower energy, A little intuitive to then also start to think, okay, lower movement, slower
movement, lower impact.
it's the time of rest, but with a
movement. So especially for like releasing cramps or relieving
tension with our cramps for, uh, trying to boost mood for supporting overall body and circulation.
So a great time to be doing yin yoga, gentle stretches,
walk in nature. I
connecting back to that nature too.
I would say that's, that's what really marks
the menstrual phase. Now, if you are someone
who really wants to work out while you're on your period, and there's some women who get a surge of
energy during this time too, always listen to your body.
But then I'll just add in the note of making
sure you're really well hydrated to prevent also
as well during this time. So that's, that's menstrual.
we have follicular,
energy is picking back up. And so with that, it makes sense that we'd want to
engage in more
So a great time for cardio or for more higher intensity kind of workouts, a powerful yoga practice or vinyasa or cycling or,
nature. Then ovulation. I mean, this is when
energy is peaked. Motivations peaked
in many ways.
Confidence is peaked, socialization peaking. So it's really important to, or I think it can be very important, I should say,
to use that to go to group workout classes, go for runs with friends, do the HIIT class that you know, you're gonna feel really
confident and great in.
find that it can be, depending on
your personality, a great time to engage
in some. Very mild, but healthy competition. So for
me, I know this is when I love to do an Ashtanga yoga class because
I'm in competition with myself
and I feel
in that. And I'll also just add
that for both the follicular phase and the ovulatory
phase, more so follicular, we're at a slightly
And that's because estrogen, uh,
starts to cause our tendons and our ligaments to be a little bit more
lax. And that's something
that research has
actually shown time
and time again. So if you are a trainer or
an intense athlete, a good time
mindful of your limits And maybe bring in, you know, some
collagen or some vitamin C as a little.
Extra buffer, if you
will. Mm-hmm. Then finally
luteal. So again,
during the luteal stage, we have different states of energy, depending on
that first half or
second half. Um,
but in general,
especially in the beginning, we see an
strength and endurance along with a
metabolic rate. so meaning a faster metabolism, so an increased need for calories and for protein
and increased cortisol. So we also wanna be mindful of
extra stress on the body
during this time. So that's why the luteal phase is a great time to be
in strength training
intense or lasts
too long, that way we don't spike
cortisol even more.
So I would say mat Pilates, weights, resistance bands,
things of that
Abbie: Yes. Oh, I love all of this because like you said,
You could be
all month long, but there's different types That will serve your
depending on what your
hormones are doing at that time.
Um, so I love that
still be doing strength
throughout your whole cycle.
But you're gonna change up the volume, how many sets and reps and. How much cardio is involved with all of
that, depending on how your body is feeling. And
like you mentioned earlier on, luteal phase is the most. Complicated, uh, because it feels different. It's the longest phase.
coming out of
but then you're going into
the beginning of
that high from ovulation. Things are starting to come down, but
it almost mimics sometimes the levels of.
A follicular phase as far as hormones goes, as things
down, as they were coming up in follicular phase. But then there is that switch, the closer and
closer you get to actually
bleeding. The more
lower energy you,
you start to get. And that
switch and transition looks different for everyone
amount of days looks different for everyone. It also depends on what other things you're
going through in your life, what
You have the season of work you're in. If you have kids, you know, just what your nutrition is like your caffeine intake. There's so many things that
can impact that. So I think there's this.
when people start to engage in cycle sinking. However, I would
empower you all listening
right now to view luteal phase as an invitation.
Like there's so much to discover. And
be curious and
judge yourself for not having the same
Abbie: you did in during ovulation or
during follicular phase, but see
that the energy that you
have during luteal
phase is such a gift and it can open a door for a
way to care for yourself and
with your body's
Amanda: I, I so agree, Abby. And it's funny 'cause yeah, I feel like that luteal phase
people tend to get the most. Nervous. It's
what's, you know, I think typically marked by like p M Ss, if you will. Um, or different, you know, lesser desirable
symptoms that may be
arising Or not even symptoms, just states of being And.
It's funny 'cause I actually like the
luteal phase the
currently in my luteal phase. Yes. I think it
because while maybe
the follicular phase or ovulation things are
a little bit more easygoing,
if you will, like, my clients are often
saying like, I feel like I'm at my
during that time period. which is also an
interesting way to look at it.
But with the luteal
phase. to your point, it really allows us to
listen. Like our body is going through so many changes that we can really feel
and we can identify clearly. And so I actually think it
provides this invitation,
you said, to really start to honor what's coming up and to start to be curious with
of like, okay, you know what I'm feeling.
Really exhausted today. Way more
tired than I did a week ago. Even though I wanna do the same workout in my maybe more conscious
I wanna go to the gym. I want to run 10 miles on the treadmill.
But your body is
capacity right now isn't there. And so it really allows you to again, engage in
that partnership with your body of, okay,
well then what Can
What Can I do?
Because I know I still wanna add
in movement. I
still want to maybe go to the gym or do some level of cardio.
And again, like you said too, you don't have to stop doing your favorite workouts depending on what cycle you're in.
But Maybe you moderate the intensity. Maybe it's, even the
mindset you go
it is different, right?
In terms of, you know
just gonna see where I go on the
treadmill today and take it from there without, again, without that
judgment, with a
bit more compassion.
Abbie: Oh, that's so good. Yes.
just being flexible with yourself, and I think that
Skill and a lesson that people need to learn.
is that it's okay to go into a workout and not have a set plan, but just get on the treadmill. Just start lifting weights and see intuitively what your body
that day being okay with that outcome. And some of the people that I follow on, on social media that are really into.
Weightlifting strength training and Just really
the fitness world have started to combat
this notion that
we need to decrease our
intensity during luteal
phase, because they're like,
you know, we have spent so much time focused
on women empowerment that like now we're telling women that they can't lift weights and.
It's, it's like, we're not telling you that you can't lift weights. But you have to listen to your
body. And I also think, I've worked with
many clients that
like have P C
O S or are, you know, really struggling coming off of birth
control. Like, and
very, you know, very much similar to your experience.
having these awful symptoms after
control for A decade.
they, when you start cycling and start, start
you need. A very
between follicular and ovulation. In luteal and menstrual. I, I truly to
try and get your body to start to feel
the phases again.
So I almost tell clients to collapse
those two phases and
really have a stark difference or else, and especially like
culture and this need to
Be doing high
intensity exercise all of the time,
we need to.
Learn that lesson of
giving ourselves grace and
to be attuned to our body's innate wisdom because we're so used to,
number one, not feeling that
if you have birth control, that's suppressing it, but also just diet culture telling us that we need to push through anyway, even if your
feeling it because we're relying on those external cues.
So I'd be
curious to hear like what you think about that, and if you agree and.
You know, some of the rumblings from fitness people out there that are Um,
talking about cycle sinking specifically for the luteal phase.
Amanda: Yeah. So I'll just start off by saying, and I think you just touched on
and I'll re
reiterate it again,
that when we're talking about cycle
sinking, of course we're talking about
things that are better in one stage than another and listening
to your body. But at no point is that saying that as a woman, you.
can't do this at this time period. Right. It's always up to you. And again, going back more into
the the female empowerment side
The whole idea of cycle thinking is around empowerment. So we're not trying to disempower anyone from engaging
in things they want to engage
So let's just be like super clear about that. So that's number
But number two is I think with the luteal
phase if for, especially for those that are maybe really trying to optimize fitness and trying to,
really understand more of like the biohacking and how to optimize their body
and energy levels. It can actually
interesting to get more
hormone picture there. So like I mentioned too,
to be higher during that time period, which means if
we are pushing ourselves
as hard as we can possibly go in that luteal phase, we are
adrenal glands out so much, and that is not
gonna be productive long-term in
general for our overall muscle mass
building. It can actually be really counterproductive to push yourself as hard as possible during the luteal phase.
Abbie: That gives people a lot to think about, lot to digest when it comes to movement, exercise, working out. So we just
empower you all to start exploring this in your own body. We're obviously
anything, but for the form of
you like to do, start to explore this.
And we also wanna give you
tips for each phase. So Amanda, what would you
recommend for, each phase?
Amanda: Yeah, so I mean, similar to what we were
just saying with
exercise two, number one will
be to just sit into how you feel in your body in each
feel like the self-care practices that will be the most beneficial will be made pretty
apparent if you just start to again, Meet yourself
with some curiosity. But with that, a couple things that I'll just put out there is, is during
our bleed, so during our
menstrual phase, when we tend to be very within
ourselves, self-care can seem a little
bit more intuitive
again, right? I think it's more commonplace for women to understand when we're bleeding
that we maybe wanna have
some chocolate to boost
mood or maybe
some rest or some hot tea. But I also wanna put out there that
your bleed is a
really. Powerful time of letting
whatever our body has built up and has been responding
to for the last month. So I actually think it's a really wonderful time to reflect, maybe journal
on the past month and notice what you want to let go of.
So really bringing in that, that reflection and
evaluation that way. Then during our follicular phase, we tend to have less vulnerability overall to
stress. So self-care practices or self-soothing practices, I should say, are usually not
front of mind. So I actually think it's a really
time to start to build out habits around
self-care practices so that when things maybe are a little bit more.
and you have the energy and the motivation during the
to start to build these out. so maybe you start your meditation practice so that
becomes a habit. Maybe you pick
up a really fun hobby that you wanna start
engaging in to be a creative outlet. But I find that the follicular phase offers a lot of ripe opportunity for that
ovulation, pretty similar
to the follicular phase two. You know, you may not
need soothing per se, but I like to encourage clients to lean into practices that will support
their high confidence
during this time, and maybe sensuality or connection to others.
things that. Honestly make you feel sexy and beautiful, like giving yourself a self
oil massage or maybe getting dressed up and going on a girl's night out or
a romantic date night, but connecting to others in some ways and
always like to
put out there that dance, I feel like is a really
fun practice. To bring in during
I love that.
So like we just mentioned too, with working out, we have higher
cortisol during this time period So we can feel more reactive under
stress, so Something to keep in mind and the
self-care practices during this time period, and then especially towards the latter
half of that luteal phase.
When we have that dip
in estrogen, our serotonin dips, our mood can start
to dip and we might potentially have a higher pain sensitivity to. So a really, really
to Start to listen to what your body needs and to
create more space for yourself. And I always say the power of no during this time period is
saying no to
engagements or events
projects or whatever it may be that you know won't
serve you right now. And to instead surround yourself with people
who make you feel safe and loved, and to bring in the
practices that hopefully you built out a little bit
in the follicular phase
to connect you to your
true self rather than you just your emotional responses.
So various meditations or breath work practices
or things of that
that is so good. And you
me some new ideas too, and stuff that hasn't been said already on the podcast,
I really appreciate that. And some of those new
Now we know. Corporate America. Hello.
We don't wanna go there with the patriarchy, but especially with the Barbie movie
out, I feel like we need to go there and like we're having
these discussions, but
menstrual cycle is just, it does not
America is very nine to
five and it fits the
male hormone cycle.
Which cycles in
like, well, we go through
in about 28
days. Sometimes it's longer, shorter
than for people, but about 28 days as women
men go through in 24 hours.
Mm. So they actually have that, you know, the same
rise and fall of the seasons too.
they start their mornings,
follicular phase, riding
go into ovulation,
but then as the afternoon goes and they really hit that three o'clock slump, that's kind of
They get home, they're kind of moody,
and then menstrual phase, they've totally
that's why your significant
Maybe coming home, it's like, I
don't wanna talk to you, but we're all
chatty Cathy, like,
tell me about your day, blah,
blah. This is what I did. And
have spent two years, I lived
with two different men and I had the same experience with both of them. That they were going, literally they would get home and I'm
like in my
wanting to talk about my day. And they're both in street luteal or menstrual. I'm like,
Abbie: Love it. Um, so what would
you say , as
like, Career, productivity, workplace, how can we optimize
and align our
life to our menstrual
cycle? In that
Amanda: Yeah. And so I love the way that, that you te
that up too. I
to note the difference there because it's, it's apparent and we all
live through it, right? We can feel that in our relationships and in
And so with that, I also wanna bring in the point here too, that especially because of like the
very. Historical and
deep rooted sexism that has been brought into the workplace with women
we are not saying that there's not a period in a phase
where you can't do something
with work. Like
as women, we can do anything we want at
any time we
want. So with that, it's more that understanding our hormones allows us to maybe better understand what our
strengths are at certain times. Um, or even just better understand what our
responses are so we can be more
compassionate with ourselves or more encouraging of
During the menstrual
know, I know there's a
recommendation out there to like, maybe take a day
off work. Well, most of
can't usually do that.
Abbie: simply cannot
Amanda: power to
you. But yes, usually not the case.
Um, so what I usually recommend
to try and do
prioritize, right? So not overexerting our energy, which
we currently are already low on, and
instead asking ourselves,
what really has to get done right now and are there maybe.
emotional or less energy intensive work projects that I can start to
focus on for these few days. And then similar to the idea of the
bleed being a time of letting go, um, a great
for evaluation. So I actually think this is a really wonderful time to start to have conversations with yourself
around how am I feeling in my
career? You know, do I like what I'm
doing? Is there
this last month
that didn't really work for me?
So again, bringing in that evaluation from a career perspective I think can be
really helpful during the menstrual phase.
I always make a point whenever, whenever I'm bleeding, to always ask myself those types of like,
introspective questions, because I find it's when we have our strongest intuition, at least in my
great time to start strategizing, collaborating, networking, uh, planting the seeds.
new ideas, right? It's spring, we're cultivating, uh, it's a great time for new
clients. Um, big plans, things of
Then during ovulation, execution and communication are like the
two, I would say, biggest factors. So if you're able to
schedule a big presentation around your ovulation, I mean,
amazing, you're probably gonna crush it. Um, confidence will really carry you through there. Again, most of us
can't really do that. So instead just noticing when you ovulate, seeing
into your work projects, how your energy is higher allows you to get things done.
be a, a fun sort
And then also a really great time to go into a
or to schedule
conversation with your boss about a raise or promotion because our energy is, and our
confidence is peaked
I was like, what's the last one, Luteal. So during luteal, we are our most
sensitive, right? And
but I think in the workplace it's
important to start to recognize that it may not be the best time for
higher stress tasks. So a great time for more admin work. Again, if
you have that flexibility there, great time to wrap up projects or to go into deep work with yourself in
I think it's really
just a great time to start to notice how you're feeling, and especially if you're
you're kind of
tired at work
and you don't know why, and you're getting frustrated with yourself. Or
maybe if you're hurt by something a colleague did, but you feel like it's not usually how you'd react to that situation.
To just start to have that self-inquiry of, okay,
well where am I at in my cycle? Am I in my
luteal phase? And
if I am, can I offer myself
some grace and compassion right now knowing
that information and what
can I do moving forward
So, That's, I think really the power of, of
cycle thinking, especially
in the workplace, is not an effort to control, you know, every
single project, every single deadline, but rather to better
understand what's going on in your body so that you can better understand
how you're going to show up or move through
how to utilize that understanding of yourself to support your
own emotional wellbeing in the
Abbie: Yes, I love that. And just as we mentioned with
sometimes you might be approaching the
same workout, so you might be doing the same task
at work, but
you shift your
mindset and you say,
okay, I'm in
phase right now.
So you just
wrap your head
around that. My
productivity might look different.
This might take me longer than it did
phase. I might have
to be more reflective or speak slower or,
just really get my words. Sometimes with luteal phase, I'm like,
I a brain fogs. Not every cycle, but some cycles.
I'm like, oh my goodness. So I was like, I really gotta
gather my own thoughts and so just give yourself some grace.
Show yourself some warmth.
And I was able to ask this question to Elisa Beatie at her book launch for her book in the
uh, she just gave such a beautiful answer.
And similar to what you
we can't control.
When we have a work presentation sometimes, or when we have a job interview
or when we have
event where we
need to exert a lot of energy and be social, even if we feel
called to turn inward and say no to social
engagements and just
So there's something, we really have
to exert that energy.
However you can plan ahead for that and
say, okay, great. I can't control this. I gotta put all my energy that I have
into this one task, but I'm going to counterbalance it. I'm going to compensate. So I know the self-care is coming afterward.
know that I'm gonna have all Saturday
just myself with no plans, and I'm looking forward to that. Like
to refill my picture.
Amanda: Oh, I, I love that. And I'll just
add, like I mentioned earlier, so I'm in my luteal phase right now. and I was like, yesterday, I was like, oh gosh, like
I really, I wanna
show up with full presence for the podcast.
I I feel like super
super prepped. , and similarly, I
was like, well, I'm so excited to do this.
There is no negotiation here for me to change the date or to, or to not show
It's important for
me to be here.
So instead, what can
to help bring
self-care practices today so that I can feel like I can show up for this more? collaborative, you know, more , follicular phased project with a presence.
right before this I, I meditated for,
10 minutes and just tried to connect back to myself,
offer some ease, offer some grace, some compassion. And then similarly my
Very chill. That's the plan.
that so much. Thank you for that real, real example. Now, the question that I always
get when I talk
What if I'm on birth control? What do I do and how do I approach cycles sinking? So what would you
Amanda: Yeah, so I know we spoke about this a little bit
before in the
but in general with birth control, because
dose of synthetic hormone that is gonna shut off our
own body's hormonal cues and
instead keep us at a steady state so we don't have those
ebbs and flows, right? It's just keeping us
at a steady level with our hormones. We are, in many ways disconnected from those
It's a little bit hard to offer the
around learning to listen because
are just going
to be different, right? They're, they're not gonna be
the same as when we have those peaks and
valleys. That being
said, uh, you still can start to bring in different practices that overall
support your hormone health, and
especially if you're thinking about getting off birth control at some point, it just allows you to continue to
flex that muscle of knowing.
how to bring
in different foods, different lifestyle interventions to just overwhelmingly
your body and its hormones for when they start to be revved back up or have those
peaks and valleys later on.
be ready for
that. You'll have the habits in
place. You'll be more aware of it too. Like it takes a little bit, because we don't learn this
we don't learn about the different phases. So you're gonna hear about this now. But you learn better by doing and internalizing it and
So if you
could do that for several months
before you go off
birth control, or for years before you go off, It will
be a smoother transition off.
I mean, I've had clients get their period
back and it's
a very manageable cycle. One or two months. After
they go off of birth control
just for cycle syncing for three months prior.
Um, so it will really help with smoothing out
that transition, but then also just making sure you have the lifestyle
in place for when. You do transition off and it can also help to
heal any underlying
hormone imbalances that may be there,
have been the reason why you
started on a synthetic
form of birth control
in the first
maybe off of birth
control now and
they're having a really
they want to
start cycle syncing, where would you recommend that
Amanda: Yeah, so I get this question a lot too,
practice because I feel like irregular periods,
and that means whether you're not sure when they're gonna come or if they're longer than, 35 days or shorter than 25
or maybe heavy bleeding, uh, tends to be
the norm in
many ways. So I kind of
approach it from three different
lenses. One is
I really think above all else, it's important
to try and
figure out what
be causing those
irregular periods. And that's a lot of the work that I do with my clients
too, is can you start to gather information around what may be
contributing to this irregularity that we're seeing, Just so you have a better understanding of what your hormonal
baseline is that we're
So that's number one.
Number two is can you start to practice
gentle ways of listening
your body? And
I think a great
regardless of whether
a regular or
starting with the menstrual phase so long as you are bleeding, I think that's a really wonderful time to really
start to check in and listen to your body that way, knowing that then we have the follicular phase and you can start to see the subtle shifts in
are going on.
And with that, I'd
Really important to make
sure that you also have the
basics down and those are rock solid before going into any of
intricacies of cycle
sinking. So this
goes for anyone really,
but especially if you have
IR regular cycle, that
before you start trying to, you know,
change around work projects or
fitness classes to
can we first make sure that we are providing a
sense of safety?
body from the
So right. Can we nourish fully? Can we move our
body respectfully? Can we
our minds consistently? And from there, oftentimes I see in my practice that a lot
start to fall back into place.
And then we can start to get
with cycle sinking.
Abbie: Yes, I, I see the same thing with
my clients as
I won't even introduce cycle sinking until they have those foundations there or else it really can
turn into a diet. I. And it can just
be the plan that you're following and you can
be so rigid with it. And diet culture
all of the good things in our lives, and we don't want it
And it's a really intuitive,
flexible process, and there's so many different ways to cycle sync, which
I hope that this episode has opened y'all's mind up to that, but I totally agree. man, that you need. The foundation's there. You need to start like meal prepping, grocery shopping,
consistently, uh, just
caring for yourself.
Choosing any form of, of movement.
having a schedule for that. A morning and evening routine, like
some of these very foundational drinking water, hello, high,
uh, maybe less caffeine. Um, so yeah, you need some
you know, basic foundational things.
once you get
into that groove, then
it becomes very,
Easy to loop in.
Oh, okay. If I'm
already exercising now I can start to loop in and change up.
Okay, what weights am I gonna choose? Am
do cardio here or there?
Am I gonna
do yin yoga
What am I gonna do to kind of change it up?
Because I already have that practice?
Whereas if you don't and you just go into it, that's okay.
I need to do Ashtanga at this time. I need to do yin yoga at this time. I need to go for
a walk at this.
It's like, no, we don't need to do. Anything. We just Something.
Amanda: And that's, I mean, I get that a lot, and I'm sure you
do too, because again, both dieticians here, but around food a lot
both on clients and on Instagram. A lot of the questions I get is, oh, well, should I
omega three rich foods in that, uh,
of ramp up?
And I mean, the answer is yes, it's
not going to hurt. In fact, it's, it's
lovely to add in. However, if you are filling the rest of your plate up
with, you know, More processed
whole foods or uh, foods that are not really serving your body, or if you're, again, more in a, a diet culture mindset or
a cutting calories or are restricting, adding in that omega
three rich food in the endo luteal phase
likely isn't gonna move the
needle so much.
And that's where, again, understanding how to
fuel yourself fully And through an abundance mindset is always step one. And then we can start to talk about different seeds or vegetables or products to bring in at
Abbie: Yes, exactly. I totally agree. And I
was having so
much caffeine and I've
shared this on my Instagram.
having so much caffeine to study for
my RD exam, and I'm not proud of this, but I need
I need to be honest.
I was having so much
Amanda: let it out.
Abbie: I'd be wired
all day. I would need
to take Benadryl to fall asleep
and then I'd be so tired. 'cause we know
Benadryl just makes us feel so drowsy
in the morning and almost hung over in a sense. I'd have to have even more caffeine the next day to wake me up. because I'm like, I need to
study for the RD exam.
And it was horrible on my
body. And that coupled with the stress
Abbie: I mean,
my period was so late breaking out
symptoms up the wazoo. It was
It was a horrible experience and uh, I felt like I was
choosing health in a lot of ways
'cause I was meal prepping and I was moving my body and I was listening to myself.
But in that sense, I, I wasn't
listening to myself
and my body really took a hit. And y'all know that
I'm not about
fit, however. I am
about intuitive eating. I am about listening
to your body's
cues and responding
out of care, love, and respect for yourself. And that
an example of
me listening to my body's
I knew my
body wasn't responding to the
caffeine well, but I
those cues and I wasn't responding to my body's cues out of care, love and respect for myself.
I have really taken a step back from caffeine intake. and It
it was rough at first
cold Turkey and now I'm
loop in some matcha.
And you have some green tea there, and
I know you love your maas, and I miss, I miss having macho with you in New York City. I miss our
Amanda: I know. Come back.
Abbie: Oh, I know. I really need to, I, I do
the city sometimes.
I don't miss the
cockroaches, but I do miss the people and just, you know, the vibe of the
city. I do miss that. And obviously
the matches. So that has been so helpful
me. And my
last cycle was
Less breakouts, and I feel so good. I have so much more
and I'm like,
wow, like speaking to what
you were talking
have to change a lot,
Abbie: to ask
what is, if I could just do one thing or
what is the thing that's really affecting
my hormones the most?
And I was like,
common denominator for me,
the rate limiting step
was the caffeine
Amanda: Yeah. I, I so hear you. I got off, I still do my
matcha, but I got off coffee, uh, I think about a year and a half ago too,
because it just, it was that thing that was really
making my cramps more
painful. Um, and there's interesting
conflicting research on that, but similarly, it's like when you start
pinpoint one or two things, alcohol for me too,
I. Almost two years ago now too, just because I realized it wasn't serving my body and
I didn't like the way I felt anymore when I drank it, and I didn't like how it was interacting with my
and my cycle.
So again, it's, it's having the foundations, but then also
recognizing there might be, you know, that one factor that your body is
And I also talk to my
clients about that with travel. And when we, when we're traveling,
when we, disrupt our routine like that, when we go into a
different time zone, especially,
it's stressful on the body, And as a result, your cycle
off that month, and that's okay. It's not that you did
something wrong, right?
It's not about the judgment there. If you had the coffee and the Benadryl, it's not that you're judging yourself or that you're,
like, okay, I have more information about what
me and what doesn't, and I now know how to move forward,
um, either to better support myself
or now support myself given the reaction that it had
to x, y, and
Abbie: Yes. And I really
employ that for sure, for myself. I needed to show myself some more warmth and understanding and I'm so
happy that it, 'cause
I'm feeling so much better now.
Amanda: I, I do wanna nod to,
'cause I get asked about
a lot and
research, so I like to be clear about that. But if you're someone who especially is
not cycling, um, or you have really irregular
cycles, then from a more.
medicine perspective and also
cultural wisdom practices. Um, you
into potentially different
moon phases and seed cycling. So again, that's like a whole other topic, but just wanna put it out there too, because it is something that is recommended depending
on what practitioner you're going to around, uh, sinking to your cycle with irregular
Abbie: Okay. Great. Yeah, and if people have more specific
that too, please,
Amanda and I,
'cause we have
both. Walked clients through that with the
of the moon and seed cycling too.
yeah, please, you know, message all of
us and we're linking up Amanda's,
you know, Instagram website, all the things for
Amanda in the show notes.
So definitely check that out. Follow
her. Um, is there anything
that you're promoting right now or, because I know you have your practice as well.
Amanda: Yeah. So I mean, as you know,
I, I, Only work with women who are trying to support their hormones. So this is what I do day, day in
Um, but with that, I'm actually coming out with a, a body
wisdom kind of mini
course at the end of
which is going to be all about aligning your life to your hormonal
So keep, keep an eye out for that. It's coming
Abbie: Solay girl.
Oh, I love that so much. Yes, we will definitely get
that in the
show notes depending on when you're listening and when you're launching, we can update the show notes as well.
Um, so we'll make sure that that's in there,
Amazing. And then we always end our episodes
with, um, what are you going to do this week to make your
better? Just a little something,
something from a
healthy habit or cycle
so like I mentioned, I'm in my luteal phase, so I am
self. I am meditating. I've fallen off my meditation bandwagon a little
bit, so I'm bringing that back in. Gonna make it a point today, and I've
like really craving chocolate, which I think I
said that already earlier
in the episode.
So it's on my mind. So I'm gonna be getting
and enjoying that fully.
Abbie: Yes, as you should, girl. Oh, I love it. Well, thank you so much for being
with us today, Amanda. I
really appreciate you and your wisdom, and your inner
wisdom because when
you do that for
yourself, I mean, you
can't help anyone transform, past what
you have gone through
yourself. So thank
you so much for leaning in, getting curious with yourself, going through these transformations 'cause it's not easy
and working on healing
because you have
much wisdom to provide all of us.
So thank you so much.
Amanda: Thank you so much for having me, Abby.
Abbie: Love you girl. Bye.
Amanda: you. Bye.
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