Getting to know your monthly cycle is a powerful tool as you work to naturally balance your hormones.
Many women at Wildcraft Medicine are working through hormone imbalances – from mood, stress, gut health, thyroid, and more.
Or they’re looking for the best approach to preparing their body to come off birth control and trying to conceive when they’re ready.
Cycle syncing is a powerful tool for menstruating women to help you reach your goals!
In order to find success, you must first know how your monthly cycle works – you have four phases your body flows through each month, which can dictate how you think, feel, and act.
This means we think and behave differently each week of our monthly cycle – which can explain our varying mood, stress, productivity, and energy levels.
With cycle syncing, you can adapt to these changes by making strategic tweaks to your food, fitness, productivity, and self-care routines.
Here is a closer look at your four cycle phases, along with helpful tips to optimize your food, fitness & mindset:
Phase 1: Menstrual Phase | 1-7 Days
Your period typically lasts 1-7 days.
Day 1 of your cycle is the day your period starts.
Your menstrual phase is the perfect time for rest and reflection.
Your right and left brain hemispheres become the most aligned (think of your analytical and creative sides),
allowing you deeper access to what you desire, along with the creativity on how to achieve it.
- FOOD FOCUS: To promote more blood flow that’ll improve your mood, menstrual cramps, and energy, fill up on warm foods – think soups, stews, oatmeal with a warm berry compote
and seeds, and your favorite cup of tea. Say no to alcohol this week to help keep inflammation down.
- FITNESS FOCUS: Many women find they need more rest during the first 1-3 days of their period, while others love a slow and steady endurance workout (long hike/walk, casual run).
Listen to your body and be ok with stepping back if needed. Lowering the intensity of your workouts can help you gain more energy for the month ahead.
- MINDSET: Write a list of what feels really good in your life and what you’d like to change.
Acknowledging what serves you and what doesn’t will guide your steps this month, while creating more peace in the process.
Phase 2: Follicular Phase | 7-10 Days
Your follicular phase is the week or so after your period ends. It typically lasts for 7-10 days and your body is busy preparing a healthy egg for ovulation.
This is the best phase for taking action in your life and challenging yourself to something that pushes you outside of your comfort zone.
Maybe it’s applying for that dream job or can be as simple as trying a new fitness class/networking event.
Shaking up your normal routine will feel really good this week.
- FOOD FOCUS: Your body craves light and fresh this week – so fill up on smoothies, salads, fish and vegetables, light grains like quinoa and fresh fruit.
- FITNESS FOCUS: Your energy levels naturally increase as you move through the week and you’ll have more stamina for tougher workouts.
- Get in your strength training and harder cardio sessions, while balancing it out with walking and yoga.
- MINDSET: Is there a new direction you’d like your life to take?
Set an alarm for 20 minutes and have a mini strategy session with yourself – this is the time to tune into how to make your dreams a reality.
You’ll naturally come up with a good game plan.
Phase 3: Ovulation Phase | 3-5 Days
Your ovulation phase is when your body is ovulating – so if you’re ready for a family, this is the time of the month you can get pregnant.
Estrogen also peaks here allowing you to feel more sociable, and charismatic and have more energy to burn.
Higher estrogen levels can also impact some women if their detox pathways are blocked.
You might notice more bloating in your hips, thighs, and butt areas, along with breakouts along your jawline.
When you’re in the ovulation phase, your communication skills are at their best – so schedule your work presentations this week and be open to that heart-to-heart you’ve been avoiding.
You’ll more effectively get your points across this week without feeling overly emotional.
- FOOD FOCUS: Continue eating light and fresh, while focusing on proteins and healthy fats.
- FITNESS FOCUS: Your stamina peaks this week and you’ll naturally crush a tough workout.
- You will also recover faster and may notice you need less rest time.
This is the week to really challenge your strength and stamina.
- MINDSET: You’re feeling all the high vibes this week – how can you share them with those around you?
Schedule a coffee date with a girlfriend and make time for that special someone.
Phase 4: Luteal Phase | 10-14 Days
Your luteal phase is the time after you ovulate to when your period starts.
The first week you’ll still feel higher energy levels, can work out longer and harder, and love being around others.
It’s the second week that trips up most women.
This is the week before your period and instead of pushing through, it’s the best time to scale back on the intensity of workouts,
and meetings, and take more alone time – which feels hard for most of us!
This doesn’t mean you won’t have the energy to live your life – your mind naturally caves inward and wants to dive deep into
projects without having to communicate with others.
You may also find this deep need for cleaning/tidying up your spaces, which allows you to clear out what doesn’t serve you and make room for new opportunities.
Just like a pregnant woman nest before a baby arrives, we have that same nesting energy every month before our period starts.
- FOOD FOCUS: Opt for warm and grounding foods like root vegetables and brown rice.
Build your iron stores with red meat, spinach, and sesame seeds.
You’ll promote more blood flow to your uterus and prepare your body for menstruation.
- FITNESS FOCUS: Keep up with your workouts for the first week of your luteal phase, while scaling back the intensity the week before your period.
Taking more rest before your period will help you recover from this past month and help you feel more energetic when your period starts.
- MINDSET: It’s normal to reflect on your life during this phase and question what is serving you. Instead of nitpicking your life, take time to journal what comes up for you.
Give yourself permission to let go of what you no longer wish to carry – from work, relationships, your living situation, etc.
Partnering your daily habits with your monthly cycle will help you balance your hormones, and reduce PMS & period issues.
While naturally increasing your energy and fertility, improving your mood, and helping you sleep better.
You align yourself to the natural ebb and flow of how your hormones change weekly and can take advantage of the energy/mental shifts each week.
Need more for cycle syncing? Our health coach, Laura Presnall often walks women through their monthly cycle in the Wildcraft Medicine Membership Program.
Download her Cycle Sync Bundle here, complete with a cycle sync guide, grocery lists tailored to your cycle phases, a cycle tracker, and more!