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Cycle Syncing 101: How to Optimize Your Health & Life Based on Your Menstrual Cycle

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

Ladies, let's talk about cycle syncing. It's a term that refers to the practice of aligning your diet, exercise regimen, social activities and work schedule with your menstrual cycle phases to optimize your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. This means that instead of fighting against your hormones, you work with them to create balance and achieve your goals. Have you ever noticed that at certain times in the month you feel flirty, confident, and as if you can take over the world? While others days, you want to crawl in a hole and watch Netflix all day? You're not crazy and you're not inconsistent- it could just be your hormones.

Phases of the Menstrual Cycle Infographic

I want to invite you into a lifestyle habit that will help you tune into the ancient wisdom of your menstrual cycle and work WITH your hormonal fluctuations instead of against them.

You might be wondering how this is even possible. Well, in this blog post, I'm going to break down the different phases of the menstrual cycle and what to focus on in each phase based on nutrition, exercise, social life, and work.

*It's important to note that your cycle may not follow this schedule completely. This is just a GUIDE and you need to tune into YOUR BODY'S natural rhythms. I also urge you to use discernment when practicing cycle syncing (and any other health/wellness or lifestyle tips for that matter). You know your body best. My content is designed to help guide and inform you, but I am not in your body. :-)

Phase 1: Menstrual Cycle Phase (~Days 1-5)

Woman reading in a snowy day by the window

I like to think of menstruation as the "Winter" of the menstrual cycle. A time to rest, stay in, introspect, eat nourishing foods, and take it easy. The menstrual phase is when you're actually on your period. During this time, it's important to listen to your body and give it the rest it needs. Don't push yourself too hard, especially if you're experiencing cramps or any other discomfort. Focus on nourishing foods such as iron-rich leafy greens, dark chocolate, and legumes. Also, foods rich in magnesium such as bananas, nuts, and seeds can help reduce cramps and other symptoms. Gentle exercises like yoga, walking, or swimming can help ease cramps and also boost your mood. As for your social life, it's okay if you don't feel up to hanging out with friends. It's important to prioritize self-care during this phase.

Phase 2: Follicular Phase (~Days 6-14)

Purple Flower Bush

The Follicular phase is the "Spring" season of your cycle. During this phase, estrogen levels are increasing, and you might start feeling more energetic. Focus on incorporating protein-rich foods such as eggs, chicken, and fish, as well as complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and quinoa, which can provide energy needed for challenging workouts. Speaking of workouts, this is a great time to try new activities or push yourself further in your fitness routine (I love to do more HIIT workouts during this time!). Also, being social and connecting with friends can boost your mood and energy during this phase.

Phase 3: Ovulatory Phase (~Days 14-16)

Woman dancing at a festival

The ovulatory phase is the "Summer" part of your cycle (and my personal fave!) This is your most fertile phase. During this phase, your body is primed for reproduction, and your libido might be higher than usual. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of healthy fats, like salmon and avocados, can improve your body's ability to produce hormones necessary for fertility. Also, strength training can be especially beneficial as it can increase testosterone levels for both men and women. So, hit those weights! And don't forget to plan some fun social activities or date nights- thanks to higher levels of testosterone, you'll be feeling flirty and confident during this time.

Phase 4: Luteal Phase (~Days 17-28, or until you start your period)

Trees in a path on fall

The Luteal phase is often referred to as the "Autumn" of the menstrual cycle- a time to slow down, tie up loose ends, and collect your "harvest". This phase is where things slow down. Progesterone levels increase, and you might experience mood swings, irritability, or bloating. During this time, it's important to eat foods rich in vitamin B6, such as bananas and chickpeas, which can help alleviate PMS symptoms like mood swings. Low-impact exercises like Pilates or long walks can aid in reducing stress levels. Also, prioritize self-care and take some time to relax and unwind (bubble baths every night for me). Don't over schedule yourself, and practice saying no if you're not feeling up to it.

Again, your energy levels and social battery may not match what I've shared exactly- and that's OK! The goal here is to give you some ideas on how to use your unique hormonal fluctuations to bring more ease and flow to your life.

Cycle syncing is a game-changer when it comes to your health and happiness. Getting in tune with your body's natural rhythms and working with them instead of against them can help improve your overall well-being. Remember to focus on nourishing foods, challenging workouts, social connections and self-care during each phase of your cycle. And most importantly, listen to your body and honor its needs. Happy cycle syncing!

Want to learn more about cycle syncing? Join me on Saturday, November 11th for a masterclass on women's hormones.

Haley Fountain at Soul Tribes

You'll learn about how to:

  • Understand the unique hormonal fluctuations of your menstrual cycle.

  • Tune into YOUR body’s innate wisdom.

  • Adapt your nutrition, exercise, work schedule, and personal care routine to align with your menstrual cycle.

You’ll leave with a handout that includes:

  • A short nutritional guide on what foods to eat to support your body at each stage of your cycle.

  • A guide on what exercises work best for each phase of the menstrual cycle.

  • Tips on how to optimize your work day/week/month using your menstrual cycle as a guide.

  • Haley’s monthly cycle tracker printout.

In-person in Houston, TX ($45 investment): Sign up here

Virtual over zoom ($35 investment): Sign up here

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