Podclass Show Notes and Links
Episode 6 jumps into the third phase of the cycle, the Plateau Phase. This phase happens from days 15-21 (for a 28 day cycle) and gets its name because hormone levels even out following ovulation. Our actions for this phase mimic what is happening in the body because we want to keep moving forward with the goals we set for ourselves in this cycle.
The start of the Plateau phase following ovulation shifts the focus from supporting the inflammatory system to supporting healthy detoxification, which is crucial for healthy hormonal levels. This episode explains why we believe the health of the liver, lymphatics, gut, skin, and kidneys is necessary for all portions of the detoxification process…and how hormones get processed by each of these organ systems.
Zestyginger.com to learn more about the 4 Phase Cycle Approach.
Zestyginger.com/cycle to get our FREE Wild Feminine Cycle Guide to get started with everything you need to know about living in sync with your cycles.
Zestyginger.com/healthyhormones to join our 3 month Healthy Hormones Group Program. This program includes functional lab work with a complete hormone and neurotransmitter panel, with a personalized protocol created for each participant based on their results.
Transcript for This Podcast
Hi there. This is Alex. Welcome back to our podclasses. We are just going right along with our phases and we are beginning to understand how our body works and how our female cycle works, and taking all of that knowledge and actually applying it so that we optimize our lives. And beginning to have our physiology serve us instead of being a slave to trying to make our body work better, or something.
We are going to dig right into it because hopefully you guys have been following along. These classes very much build on each other, so if you are listening out of order I highly recommend listening to them one by one because it will give you the most clear understanding of what’s happening. This stuff can be a little bit complicated because, you know, that’s the beauty of the female body, is that it’s a little bit complicated. But that’s alright. We’re going to make it super accessible and really easy. Just make sure you’re following along in the right order. And if you ever feel like you need a refresh, you can go back and listen to some of the other classes and then come back around. Just because it can take a little bit of time to get into the groove with all this stuff. But alright, let’s get started.
The Plateau Phase is the third phase. We’ll do a little recap of the phases. The first one is the Release Phase. The second one is the Rise. The third one, that we’re going to talk about today, is the Plateau. And the fourth one is going to be the Pause. We’ve gone along in our cycle, the Release Phase was our time to let go of what no longer serves us and consciously make decisions on what we want to bring into our lives, in every single facet of our lives that impact us. And that is also physiologically when our brain, our hypothalamus and pituitary, tell our ovaries to go ahead and start maturing multiple eggs, about 8-10, maybe 12, to begin to develop. And so then that’s what kicks us off into the second phase, which is the Rise Phase. And the Rise Phase is when things really kick out of the gate. One of the eggs will become the dominant egg of that cycle, and our ovaries take turns doing so, that dominant follicle is going to send messengers back to the hypothalamus and pituitary to communicate what is happening, and that will go on from the pituitary to send out LH and FSH, which is the signal for the ovaries to go ahead and release that one egg. And that will end the Rise Phase. So that’s the first half of the cycle. And that is all focused on impacting inflammation. And so our homework has been to do rest and retrospection during the Release Phase. That’s also when we added in some tart cherry juice, probiotics, and we started pairing down and addressing any addictions to caffeine that we may have. And then during the Rise Phase your homework was to incorporate some green juice in your diet, to focus on nutrient diversity and density in all of it’s forms, and branch out from what ever rut you were stuck in. And then also that would be the time to begin to implement the most high yield things. So I had you create to-do lists that were very paired down in each individual section of your life. And to get very clear on what you are going to do and be very clear about what you are not going to do. And so that is where we are at.
And now we are ready to go on to the third and fourth phases. So today we’ll talk about the Plateau Phase, which is the third. And that will kick off our focus on detoxing.
The Plateau Phase is all about our hormones balancing out and create – that’s why we call it Plateau – they’re all becoming stable. And that, what it translates to in the real world in our actions, is that we are going to find that new balance. So as we came in from the Release Phase we did a lot of planning. And then during the Rise we begin to start to kick off all the new stuff we wanted to bring into our lives. And that has a certain, starting something new has a certain energy to it. That energy gives way to something that is a little more long lasting. So after you’re out of that initial start out of the gate, you want to find a new balance of incorporating that into your life. So we are going to Plateau. We’re going to push forward. It’s going to be all about maintaining and building on all of the things we’ve done before. And physiologically that’s actually exactly what’s happening. So now that we’ve ovulated, that dominant follicle that released the egg in the previous phase is now going to secrete signals and hormones. Estrogen and Progesterone is going to be made, as well as Testosterone to a certain extent. Obviously there’s lots more compounds that interface, especially the adrenals like cortisol and things like that, but you know most importantly for what we’re talking about in the cycle, especially for symptoms, is going to be the positive creation of balanced hormones. Especially Estrogen and Progesterone. You’ve probably heard things like Progesterone deficiency, or Estrogen access. And both of those things will cause eather spotting or PMS respectively. Just as an example. And we want to create and environment in our bodies that allows that dominant follicle to signal for the healthy creation of balanced hormone levels. And it’s not just what is being made. It’s also what we’re being exposed to. Which is why detoxing becomes so important. We are exposed to a mind boggling amount of hormone mimicking substances in our environment. It’s in the water, it’s in our air, it’s in our food, it’s on our food, it off gases from our furniture, it is in our cleaning products, it’s in the candles that we burn, it’s in the body wash that we use. Unfortunately we are bombarded with it. But before you go freaking out about everything I just listed, we’re really really good at doing this. Right? It’s not that we can’t, we don’t what to underestimate that body, the body is amazing. And there’s all these normal people walking around despite the crazy amount of stuff we are exposed to. So it’s not something that is intended to make you anxious. It’s more when you understand that the body is finding that balance and exposing it to outside hormones is detrimental to that. We want to impact our lives positively by removing those sources, but we don’t want to go to such extremes that we are now adding stress as that external toxin. Don’t replace your body products and just replace it with more stress. Replace your body products because you love your body and you want to support it, and that is what you are choosing to do. It’s a subtle difference, but it makes a really big impact on the experience that you will have when you think of it that way. Yes, we are up against a lot, but it’s not something that we want to freak out about and just let it consume us. I want to be very clear on that.
So for that reason, during this phase, we’re going to continue doing all of the stuff we have been choosing in the previous phases, and we are going to find a balance that works for us. So if you last week came out of the gate, you’re really excited, everything’s going great, this phase is the one where you say, “Okay, am I overshooting? Am I undershooting? How can I…” And you’re basically course correcting along the way because just like your hormones are beginning to stable out, you are finding that equilibrium between the old and the new. And this will continue into the Pause Phase. But this is when you kind of “eyes to the road,” and you say, “where’s the next step? Where’s the next step? How can I do this better? How can I do it more efficiently.” And all of these goals begin to align in that direction that you’ve set your sights towards. So that is the Plateau Phase.
The rest of the body, in addition to the ovaries, is also beginning to make for a homey environment for a possible baby – whether you’re trying to get pregnant or not. It’s still important to have these processes happen for your health and your ability to enjoy your body. So even if you’re not trying to get pregnant, this still sorta matter. So hang with me here while I talk about baby stuff. In your uterus in the first half of the cycle, that Estrogen that you are building while you create the dominant follicle will go on to make the lining of the uterus sufficiently thick enough so that a baby can implant. During the second half, it’s a little bit more focused on the Progesterone, even though the Estrogen matters of course, Progesterone is going on to make that lining more cushy. It doesn’t necessarily make more uterine lining. What Progesterone does is thickens that lining and makes it more hospitable for a baby to come to implant. It’s kind of like the difference on if you have a friend staying at your house and you’re like, “hey you can stay, but here’s like a cot, and I have like an extra sheet, but I don’t have extra pillows and stuff like that.” Or being like, “here’s our guest room, and here’s our WIFI password, and here’s clean towels on the heater, and all of this stuff.” Progesterone is what makes your uterus a homey little place for a baby to hang out in. And so without that, that’s what causes a lot of the unstable endometrium symptoms that play into spotting and sometimes miscarriages, and of these other things that our body needs to feel healthy. And so the other thing about this phase is that it’s actually not really the absolute numbers of what the hormones are. Although of course that matters, and we do look at that when we run our DUTCH test in our Healthy Hormones Group program for our ladies to create their protocols. But it’s that ratio between Estrogen and Progesterone that most matters and determines how you will feel during this time, and leading into the next phase. It’s all about letting the body find that natural equilibrium while still giving it what it needs to process the stuff that we are exposed to, and making everything work nicely the way that it should. Because that is what makes our symptoms go away. And so that hopefully explains, if you are listening you might be having total AHA! moments because you’re saying, “oh yeah! I do have totally, I’ve had that happen. I’ve had these symptoms. That actually makes a lot of sense.” And we’ll talk a lot more about Estrogen Dominance in the next phase, but I just wanted to touch on that to explain.
Alright, so let’s get on to homework for this to get you started. During this Plateau Phase we are going to shift gears from inflammation to detoxing. And so if you haven’t tried doing so, we would like you to get yourself a tongue scraper and scrape your tongue in the morning and before you go to bed. Here’s the reason why that matters: Our tongue, or our mouth, is actually just an extension of our entire GI tract. The things we see happening in our mouth actually happen throughout the GI tract. It’s just that we can’t see them. And so our mouth actually gives us a ton of clues about what’s happening inside the body. For many women who have issues with their cycle, they’re a little bit off and backed up in their detoxing capabilities. And so many women will have kind of a coating on the tongue that they can scrape off. And even if you don’t, it’s still good to do this because we don’t normally, we can’t always see exactly, it’s not visible to the eyes, but it can still be there. So while you sleep, especially, your gut is receiving all of the toxins that have been cleared, that it’s job is to clear, and then it’s going to secrete into the inside of your gut, and then you’re either going to see it on your tongue – you know in the morning you sort of spit stuff out- or you’re going to go to the bathroom and get rid of it that way. Either way the tongue is just the little bit that you see. But know that that’s happening everywhere along the way. Getting a tongue scraper, especially first thing in the morning, scraping off that whatever was secreted, basically means that you get rid of those toxins instead of having to swallow them or reabsorb them. And so a tongue scraper is a really really easy, cheap way to start impacting the toxins that your body has to process, and it takes like 2 extra seconds. So that one is an easy way to get started if you haven’t already.
The other thing you can do to impact your oral health positively is oil pulling. That’s when you pop in a tablespoon of oil into your mouth. Traditionally sesame oil, but a lot of people love coconut oil. And that is when I first wake up I usually drink my warm lemon water, that’s also for detoxing and for digestion, and then I will oil pull. And while I walk around feeding the cat, feeding the dog, taking the dog out, I’m doing my oil pulling. It’s usually early enough that no one is trying to talk to me, and I just swish it around and then spit it out into the trash. And so if you haven’t tried that, that’s a really great way to go.
The other things is, you might not have heard of this one, this one even Megan and I hadn’t heard of it but learned recently, you can do a cilantro liver compress. So that’s when you take fresh or dried cilantro – general rule of thumb is that you want to use twice as much dried stuff as the fresh stuff – like a tablespoon or two of cilantro, and basically make a tea out of it. So pour some boiling water over the cilantro, let it steep, cover it with a lid, and then once it’s cool and warm to the touch but not hot you dip a washcloth in the cilantro tea, ring it out, and then place the washcloth over your liver for a couple minutes at a time, and then keep doing that until you’ve spent about 10 minutes to 15 minutes with this cilantro compress on your liver. And your liver is right underneath your rib cage on the right side. And you can just place the face cloth over that – washcloth, that’s the word I was looking for – you place the washcloth over your liver, and just hang out. It’s a great time to do some meditating. It’s a great time to read a book. It’s a great time to just stare off into space, or listen to some music, or whatever it is that you want to do. But it’s a really good way to support your liver, because your skin will actually absorb a lot of the cilantro goodies that support detoxification. And it will naturally that blood flow will get to the liver. And it’s very gentle though. It’s not like taking a supplement where all of a sudden you went from nothing to a bunch of cilantro, or whatever the compounds are, but you’re just gradually exposing yourself to substances that are going to help carry out processes that your body is already doing. Okay. So these are all things that we’re simply helping our bodies, working with our bodies, not trying to force something down our bodies. Okay, so tongue scraping, oil pulling, cilantro liver compress, and then if you have been doing an elimination diet or any sort of diet where you are reintroducing foods back in, this is the week to do so. Because in this Plateau Phase, you still have the action oriented, outward goals that were characteristic in the rise phase, but you are continuing to make progress. The whole point is that you are putting one foot in front of the other, taking the next step, learning what you need, and continuing to go forward.
Okay, let me take a sip of water.
Alright, that’s it for the Plateau Phase. We are going to wrap that up. Thank you so much for joining me. Make sure you are doing your homework. And we can’t wait to talk to you next time. Alright, Bye!
The Plateau Phase is all about our hormones balancing out and create – that’s why we call it Plateau – they’re all becoming stable. And that, what it translates to in the real world in our actions, is that we are going to find that new balance.
And we want to create and environment in our bodies that allows that dominant follicle to signal for the healthy creation of balanced hormone levels. And it’s not just what is being made. It’s also what we’re being exposed to. Which is why detoxing becomes so important. We are exposed to a mind boggling amount of hormone mimicking substances in our environment.