I change my foods roughly once a week in line with my menstrual cycle. It helps balance my hormones, avoid health issues based on an hormonal imbalance, and it helps me know where exactly I am in my cycle, so I can assess how I feel and act accordingly. I can give my body what it needs because I’ve learnt to read the signs it gives me and I know what it might be missing in terms of nutrients when I can tell that something’s off.
WHY syncing your cycle with food works
The female menstrual cycle is made up of four different hormonal stages - the follicular, ovulatory, luteal, and menstrual phase. Each hormonal ratio changes our body’s neurochemistry from week to week throughout the month. If our body literally isn’t the same from one day to the next, why should we keep doing and treating it the same way day in and day out?
If we work with what’s going on in our bodies, it allows us to get the most out of our natural energy and to support our health to provide us with all the benefits possible. Each of the four hormonal phases throughout the menstrual cycle comes with different natural gifts and advantages that we can make use of if we support our body throughout each phase. Cycle syncing means we select the behaviours, foods and activities that nurture our bodies based on what’s going on with our hormones and physiologically. This includes:
Choosing the right foods that provide the nourishment and nutrition our body needs at each point throughout the menstrual cycle.
Choosing the right types of exercise at the right time - not putting unnatural strain on the body, but maximising our potential for energy when we’re at a natural high. This part is also connected to adrenal burnout and other health issues which are due to an imbalance in hormones and lifestyle. I talked a bit more about it here (see point 2).
Picking the right tasks and activities to focus on each week that we’re naturally more inclined to do and find easier to get done. Making advantage of different types of natural mental energy.
HOW syncing your cycle with food works
In this post I’ll focus on cycle syncing specifically in relation to food. It’s what has made the biggest difference for me in gaining more energy and healing my hormonal issues. And also, who doesn’t like to talk and think about food? It’s the best and most exciting part.
Syncing your cycle with food is based on three factors, including food energetics, micronutrients supply, and estrogen metabolism.
1. Food energetics
There’s a book by Steve Gagne called Food Energetics, which I haven’t read myself yet, but Alisa Vitti mentions in her book Woman Code (note: I first started learning about all this via Alisa Vitti’s amazing resources. Woman Code is what got me into researching more on the topic - it’s such a great starting book to get all this information and more).
Food energetics is the idea that different foods create different experiences and energies in your body after eating something. For example, you’ll feel very different after eating greasy Chinese food than after eating some fresh vegetables with whole grains.
2. Micronutrients supply
The foods perfect for each phase provide the body with the nutrients it needs to support and produce the right hormonal ratio for your cycle to function naturally. As mentioned before, our hormonal balance changes throughout the cycle, so our body needs different nutrients to support that phase-specific hormonal pattern.
3. Estrogen metabolism
This one’s a big one. Estrogen levels, as all other hormones, change throughout the different phases. During the first part of the menstrual cycle estrogen is still quite low, then increases throughout the cycle before it drops again. So so many hormonal and health issues go back to an excess of estrogen, where we have too much of it in our bloodstream, affecting other ratios of hormones, for example keeping progesterone too low, which in turn causes other health issues. It’s a cycle where even just one seemingly small thing being off affects another one, and so on.
The best types of foods you can eat according to your cycle help eliminate estrogen and keep it moving, so the body can detoxify properly and not store any excess estrogen.
Now I’ve covered the basics of cycle eating, but haven’t gone into the different phases yet or talked about what foods are great for your body during each one.
I’m writing a follow-up post on this right now to keep the topic digestible by breaking it up into different parts and make it easier to get your head around. It can be such a new way of looking at our health, the way we eat and nourish our body, so I don’t want it to be overwhelming.
In the second part on cycle syncing I cover the four distinct female hormonal phases, what goes on in our body during each one, and share some specific foods that support it accordingly.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in this topic - have you had any experience with cycle syncing before? Is this something you’re familiar with or the first time you’ve really heard of it?
Have you got any questions? Share in the comments below! It’s a topic I’m very passionate about and love to have conversations and discussions around. I believe it’s so incredibly powerful and can really empower us to live up to our full potential.