How to tune into your female cycle phases?

Being a woman is a gift! There is so much wisdom in each of our cells in our body. Knowing and understanding our female cycle phases can change our lives.

But let’s back up a little first.

Just so we’re clear, both men and women have a cycle. The male cycle last 24 hours, while the female cycle lasts in average 28 days.
And here is our biggest culprit. Our society is set up by the male cycle, expecting each day to be from a hormone level and the consequences of being the same than the next.
For us, women, this doesn’t hold. Our female cycle phases last longer and have much higher hormonal fluctuation, and with that, it changes what we need and how we feel during this period.

Have you ever wondered why you are more social at times than at others?
Or why at times going for a run excites you and at other times it seems so hard?

Why is that?

Your body goes through 4 phases in each cycle – Follicular, Ovulation, Luteal, and Menstruation.
And during each of these phases, your hormones and hormones level changes.

During the first part of your cycle, your energy will naturally be higher, and high-intensity exercise comes more natural, and you are more social. During the second part of your cycle, your hormonal ratio of estrogen and progesterone shifts again making more restorative activities and more downtime the preferred option.
On a side note: Even if you had already your menopause, your body still follows this cycle, even though you’re not bleeding anymore.

Your Female Cycle Phases

Follicular phase (that’s just after your period)

After your period, your hormones are on low levels and will in the next days start to increase slowly. With the increase of hormones, we become more open and receptive to new things. The Follicular phase is all about new beginnings and creativity.
In this face, fresh, vibrant foods or fermented foods are excellent. Raw salads, Sauerkraut, lean protein, and nutrient dense grains like buckwheat or quinoa are great.
Check out this kale salad recipe to get inspired and set you up for success during the Follicular phase. Now it’s also the perfect time to try new workouts.

Here I chose three Youtube clips to try out:

5 min Quoya work out to release stagnant energy
10 min Cardio workout for your kitchen
15 min Dance workout

Ovulatory (in the middle of your cycle)

During ovulation, the egg releases, and you are at you’re most fertile. Your energy is soaring, and your estrogen is high. During ovulation, you’re at your most social and radiant. Perfect for having a meaningful conversation or building your community.
Now your body has a lot to burn and loves light food and fruits.
Try this Salmon and Egg Wrap to keep you going during this phase.

Now it’s the time to go full in during your exercises:
10 min Full body work out
15 min Fat Burner

Luteal (after you’ve ovulated)

Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone reach their peak concentration and then begin to fall to their lowest level right before bleeding. Now it’s time to start completing projects; you’re detail oriented and task driven. While at the beginning of this phase, you will still have energy, it will start to decrease now. Make sure you start having more time for yourself and say no more often.
During this time, foods rich in B vitamins are beneficial to prevent sugar cravings. Roasted and baked goods are now good food to help you feel more grounded. This White Bean Stew is warming and rich and a great recipe to use during your Luteal Phase.

During this phase start to scale back on your exercises and start to choose gentler and more relaxing exercises.
10 min Workout
15 min Stress Relief Yoga
20 min Kundalini Yoga

Menstrual (your period)

“Many women feel more tired during the bleeding phase of their menstrual cycle,” says Scott-Hudson. “If your egg is not fertilized, those hormones creating the environment are no longer needed, and so these particular hormones plummet.” In other words, your hormone levels are now at their lowest, which might mean you feel exhausted even though you get plenty of sleep.
On the other hand, the menstrual phase is incredibly amazing too. The communication between your two brain hemispheres is now highest – there are more neurons now moving from your left analytical side to your right feeling side. You ’re now best able to evaluate your feelings against the facts to take the best actions. Now it’s time for flexible thinking. This time is perfect for holding in and listen to yourself, to analyze, review, and think strategically.
Now that your body is in the process of bleeding eat nourishing, warming foods. Lots of root vegetables to deal with sugar craving and providing you grounding. Perfect time for soups, stews and a Dhal.

Many women feel more tired during this phase; there is a higher inward focus to it, so take it easy with exercise. Try Yoga Nidra or Yin Yoga, or just plain old walking. Doing nothing for a day or two is also absolutely perfect.
10 min Yoga

Many women feel more tired during this phase; there is a higher inward focus to it, so take it easy with exercise. Try Yoga Nidra or Yin Yoga, or just plain old walking. Doing nothing for a day or two is also absolutely perfect.
10 min Yoga
20 min Yoga Nidra

female cycle phases

Looking at your female cycle and the wisdom it holds is pretty amazing. It might take a few months to notice the differences during the phases and to get accustomed to the changes that already happen. We’re often so trained to ignore and just keep going.

If you would like to track your cycle and get more tips, I can highly recommend the MyFlotracker App. It’s easy to track, and you get great recommendations for each phase.

Also check out my blog post on weekly planning, where I talk about my system to prepare for the week and talk about checking in with your cycle. You can also download a special weekly planner there.

Hugs, Kisses, and Chocolate,
Cathleen

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