Daily Notes for Day 15 – 21
We’ve come to a NEW part of our cycles! The focus of the first half of the menstrual cycle was on optimizing inflammation, but it’s now time to start time to start focusing on detoxing. To kick this off, we wanted to share a special new detox support tool that we feature in our upcoming 4 Phase Cycle Detox program! (Keep your eyes out for when that program becomes available!)
Cilantro Liver Compress
This works well to stimulate good natural detoxification during the Plateau (3rd) and Pause (4th) phase of the menstrual cycle.
Here’s how to do it:
- Brew a cilantro tea with either 1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro in 8 oz of hot water or 2 tablespoons of dried cilantro in 8 oz of hot water.
- Let steep for 15 minutes.
- Then let cool for 20-30 more…or until you can dip a finger into it without it being too hot.
- Gently dip a clean washcloth into the tea and then squeeze out the excess liquid.
- Apply to right upper abdomen (right below the ribs on the right side) for 5-10 minutes.
Note: Make sure to check your skin regularly to make sure it’s not being irritated by the cilantro! Decrease the amount of cilantro you use or leave the compress on for shorter periods of time if that’s the case.
We strongly believe in the power of rituals. There is something very deliberate in creating a self -care ritual that reminds you that your first and foremost responsibility is to yourself! That can, at first glance, sound selfish. But how can you be a great mother, Boss, employee, and partner if you’re coming from a place of weakness??
So here’s your suggested ritual: take a relaxing detox bath. Fill up your bathtub as much you can with the hottest water than still feels comfortable to you.
Add to your bath 1-2 cups of magnesium flakes(or epsom salts) and a couple scoops of bentonite clay. You can also add detoxifying essential oils to your bath, such as lavender and grapefruit.
You can get bonus points for dry skin brushing before getting into the bath.
Pretend that you’re an Egyptian Queen in your bath: what do you want that will make you happy? Some music? A champagne flute of kombucha? A hair mask while you soak? Bringing an adult-themed toy with you in the tub?
A tablespoon of coconut oil before bed can help with restful sleep, hormones balance, and detox functions.
Coconut oil has become a big hit in the whole food, integrative medicine world because of its unique composition. When it comes to producing hormones (which share the common precursor of cholesterol) such as the sex hormones, stress hormones (like cortisol), sleep hormones, and blood sugar regulating compounds, coconut oil has the ability to provide us with some of those important, basic building blocks.
A tablespoon of coconut oil or coconut manna before bedtime let’s you get those processes rolling while you’re off getting some beauty sleep.
Tomorrow is the first day that you can start your DUTCH test based on a 28 day cycle. If you are planning on testing your hormones this month, now is the time to start reading through the instructions and preparing for tomorrow.
Magnesium – The last time I got anxiety recently (see post about caffeine and high estrogen during ovulation!) I also noticed that my legs felt like they were about to cramp. They never quite did, but for those of you who had you calves cramp during pregnancy, you know that feeling when it is coming?! I was scared to point my toes for a year after pregnancy for fear of the cramping that was SO painful!
So as the good health detective that I like to be, I started to think about whether my magnesium intake was up to par.
Magnesium deficiency can manifest as anxiety since it is an important part of the GABA cycle, leg cramps, fatigue, migraines and insomnia. I had forgotten about my spray for a while, wasn’t taking regular baths and also wasn’t taking it in the form of a supplement anymore (I did for almost a year while I worked on hormone balancing and then moved to the spray). Magnesium can be found in foods like leafy greens, sunflower seeds and chocolate of course, but with the recent depletion of soil quality, we don’t always get as much as we bargained for.
Since Alex and I are working on anticipating the changes that come with out cycle, I am upping my magnesium level for the next week. I have entered day 19 (when estrogen & progesterone are at their peak in relationship to each other) and this is a time where you can really set yourself up for a smooth transition to your period or PMS!! Depression and anxiety that may accompany shark week are exasperated with low magnesium.
Craving and blood sugar regulation are also affected by magnesium. Guess what happens when you crave sugar and give in to the craving and mow down on that bag of candy or pie during the time before your period? Sugar causes the aromatization of androgens such as testosterone to be converted into estrogen.
Inflammation and insulin resistance also caused aromatase to be upregulated. Since excess estrogen is linked with PMS symptoms, heavy or irregular menses, fluid retention & bloating, breast tenderness, weight gain, headaches, depression, being weepy and emotional (do I need to go on?!) then you can see why this is not ideal to support a smooth cycle.
If you have PCOS then magnesium can double down as support for your PMS symptoms because magnesium can help to regulate your blood sugar which is so common to be fluctuating in people with PCOS as well with minimize the whole aromatization process we talked about above!
At this point in our 28 day female cycle, this is a great time to stick to your movement and health goals and see advances as you begin to settle in for the long haul. It can help to keep track of your accomplishments so that you can gain insight into your progress.
Whether you’re rocking out a stellar walking routine or shooting for a new Crossfit PR, begin to establish a routine that is sustainable over the long term. The body was never meant to go all out, all the time! Take note of how you feel after your movement sessions.
❤️ Do you feel more energized, glowing, and refreshed?
❤️ Or do you feel fatigued, get a headache, and seem to recover for days?
Listen to what your body is telling you in response to your movement choices. Listen…and respect what it has to say.
Estrogen & cycle
Are you in the Plateau phase of your cycle (see Day 1 post for descriptions)? Although we always want to watch our intake of Xenoestrogens, this is an especially important time to pay attention to this. Whether you have high or low estrogen (like me!) you still want to avoid xenoestrogen exposure.
What are Xenoestrogens? Xenoestrogens are human-made chemicals that have estrogen-like activity in the body. They mimic the effects of estrogen in the body by binding to our estrogen receptor sites. By doing so, they prevent other estrogens (such as our naturally produced estrogens) from binding to those sites. Xenoestrogens, which elicit a very strong estrogenic effect, can be found in plastics, pesticides, and body care products.
Ovulation phase – this is when our natural estrogen is at it’s highest
Luteal Phase – this is when we do a test like the DUTCH so that we can see how our estrogen to progesterone ratio is. Progesterone ideally will be higher than estrogen at this time, and if it isn’t then say hello to estrogen dominance symptoms: PMS symptoms, Headaches , Weight gain, Heavy or irregular menses, Fluid retention & bloating, Breast tenderness , Brain fog , Mood swings , Depression , Weepy and emotional , Irritability Low libido, Sleep disturbances & Sugar cravings .
Since excess estrogen leads to so many symptoms that we wouldn’t categorize as fun, it is best to focus on minimizing all incoming forms of xenoestrogens.