forgot that extra cup of coffee, try this instead!

Are you constantly wondering how you can have enough energy, without drinking more coffee?

Yes, it is possible even if you don’t feel like that on most days! When we work with our body, especially our hormones, we can leave our PMS symptoms behind and find a way to feel more calm and balanced in our body.

Before I started to understand my monthly cycle, I had no idea why I was so moody, irritable and super sensitive on certain days of the month and then on other days I would feel energized, alert and focused. Since I wasn’t in tune with my body and my cycle, I pretty much dreaded that time of the month every month.

I started to track what I was eating to see if it was having an effect on my mood and that led to tracking my cycle. When I recognized a pattern, I could then pinpoint how different days of the month were affecting my work and relationships.

Having this information is so beneficial. I can now let my husband know that it’s not me, but my hormones talking and he can better understand my sudden mood changes (So helpful in our marriage). Trust me, it wasn’t an overnight change! I still have my ups and downs (I am a woman with hormones after all), but I know now when to avoid overdoing exercise and how eating real chocolate can be a life-saver.

Whether you are preparing your body for pregnancy, just had a baby or are looking for another way to feel more comfortable and in tune with your body understanding your monthly cycle, even if it’s irregular, can reset your mood and energy levels.

If you are not currently doing so, start tracking your period either on a calendar or an app such as Period Tracker or Flo Living. By taking the time to track your cycle, you will soon begin to predict how you will feel throughout the month so you can stay balanced and sane, even though your hormones are constantly changing. This is also very helpful when you are trying to pinpoint the day you are ovulating if you are trying to get pregnant.

For example, let’s start at the week you get your period. The day before is when you might feel the most exhausted and moody. If you are tracking, this is an important day to avoid overextending yourself. I suggest moving big meetings at work, not having too many social events on the calendar, and maybe even getting a babysitter for a few hours. It’s important to slow down, even if you only have a few minutes and try to get to bed early!

On day three of your period, you will start to notice an improvement in your mood and an increase in energy levels because the estrogen levels in your body start to rise. You are going to feel more social and will want to plan meet-ups with friends and important work meetings all the way up until day 15 of your cycle. From day three to day 15, you’ll have your highest estrogen levels. You’ll also look your best, so save your favorite outfit for the week you are ovulating, anytime from day 12-15, depending on the length of your cycle.

The first two weeks of your cycle is also when you’ll have the energy for more high intensity workouts. This is a good time to do spin, HIIT, running and more challenging yoga classes. As you head into the second half of your cycle, you will start to notice your energy levels decreasing and you’ll want to take more walks and do less intense workouts. You could do the exact same workout on day seven of your cycle and feel energized and then on day 17 of your cycle, feel depleted after the same workout. When you move your body in a way that supports your hormones, you can often see better results like weight loss.

Right after day 15 of your cycle, you may start feeling more introverted. Rather than scheduling major presentations or public speaking, this will be a very productive week at work for research and focusing on long-term projects. This is also a good time to plan play dates and get organized at home.

The week before your period is when you might want to avoid the mall! Towards the end of the week and right before you will start to feel bloated and will most likely not like the way your clothes fit. I suggest planning your outfits and wearing loose dresses rather than trying to squeeze into your skinny jeans during this time of the month. This is also when you might start to feel more agitated, so let your partner know that it’s your hormones talking!

The week before your period is when I’d love for you to eat more foods with iron and magnesium . . . like raw cacao, aka real chocolate. Raw chocolate has no sugar and tons of nutrients in it which will keep your hormones balanced. I like to add raw cacao to my smoothies and I always keep my raw chocolate macaroons on hand for this time of the month. Try this easy to make recipe. http://katiebressack.com/simple-delish-recipe-raw-chocolate-macaroons/

If you are having trouble sleeping at night and are getting cramps, I also suggest taking a magnesium supplement before you go to bed. I really like this one. http://astore.amazon.com/kbressack-20/detail/B000WVYB8Y

The few days before your period is also when you will be more apt to start a fight and reach for that ice cream, so try to plan more grounding activities like yoga, walking, or reading and take some time for yourself. When you get your period, try to eat more healthy fats like avocados and root veggies like sweet potatoes and carrots to help you feel nourished and grounded.

The good news is that within a few short months of tracking your cycle, you’ll be more in tune with your body and you should notice an improvement in your relationships at home and at work. Bonus: Knowing why you are feeling a certain way instead of blaming it on psychological moodiness should help you to feel more sane and calm. Who isn’t looking for that?!

If you start tracking your cycle, let me know what you notice about your body and your moods. If you are curious to see how nutrition can support your hormones and health you schedule a time to speak with me at katie@katiebressack.com.

KatieBressack27.jpg

about katie ... 

Katie specializes in pre and post natal nutrition, hormone balancing, healthy weight loss, as well as stress reduction. With Katie's support, the women she counsels lose weight, eat healthier, maintain a balanced mood, prepare for pregnancy, increase energy levels, and live a healthier and more vibrant life.

She has also supported businesses through corporate wellness programs for six years in New York City and Los Angeles, and her clients include companies such as Mattel, Digitas, Karl Storz, Publicis Modem and Prodege amongst others. Katie previously worked in digital advertising and print journalism before pursuing a career in nutrition and wellness. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and dog , Piper. When Katie is not health coaching, you can find her on her yoga mat, watching movies, walking on the beach, hiking and spending time with friends. You can learn more about Katie at www.katiebressack.com and feel inspired to live a healthier life by following her on Instagram @katiebressack