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Episode 12 kicks off our exploration of cycle related issues that are common to many women. And dieting within the setting of the cycle is a major topic! If you’ve ever been successful with a certain diet plan and then found that you failed repeating it at a later date, it likely has nothing to do with your willpower! There are types in the cycle where your body is naturally primed to stick with healthy habits…and other times that aren’t ideal for starting these kinds of ventures. Linking your diet to your cycle is also important for finding a balance between new healthier ways of fueling yourself and living a practical life where you enjoy your food!

Important Links: to learn more about the 4 Phase Cycle Approach. to get our FREE Wild Feminine Cycle Guide to get started with everything you need to know about living in sync with your cycles. 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.

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Transcript for This Podcast

Hello. This is Alex again. We are here with our thirteenth podclass. Welcome. Welcome. I hope that you guys have been following along. We are done with all the basic classes. So all of the classes leading up to this have been describing the cycle. We’ve figured out all the phases. There’s four phases. We figured out what happens in the body for all of them. We talked about all the action steps. And we literally talked through all the different aspects of your life. Everything from mental, physical, food, how you view your body, how you view your life. All of that good stuff. We have talked about that within the context of the cycle and the four phases that make it up.

Now, the classes that are going to follow are going to be sort of sub specialized classes where we talk about certain aspects of syncing up with your cycle. And understanding and healing your hormones, and your entire endocrine system.

This podclass I wanted to teach a little bit about the elimination diet, and talk about diets in general.

Now we hit on this subject in the previous four podclasses because we talked dieting and when is the best time to do it and when is it not. And the bulk of this I’m going to talk about the specifics of doing an elimination diet during your cycle because we are very strong believers that we need to be doing this. And Megan and I physically live this: that at least once a year, if not more often, you are doing an elimination diet that checks in with the food that best works for you. In an ideal world we, as we heal, we expand on the foods that our bodies tolerate. So our goal we know many women who are dealing with autoimmune issues, health problems, infertility, you name it. And what ends up happening is as they acquire more diagnosis’, their food options get more and more and more limited. And we very much believe that the goal is to, as you heal, is to re expand back out. And so our goal is never to sit and only eat a very limited diet, or something that makes you feel really deprived. And we’ll talk about deprivation later more. But what you want is that over time as you heal, when you repeat elimination diets you will see that your body is able to utilize the nutrients and assimilate the nutrients from a variety of different sources. And there’s lots of really great foods out there that are available to us.

For example, for a long time I didn’t do well with dairy. And that was an easy way for me to, when I would say, “oh dairy snuck back into much, that must be why I’m having some cycle related problems.” That was kind of my scapegoat to be honest. It was like a really easy thing for me to say, “oh it must have been, must have been all that dairy and that’s why this is happening.” And in a way that’s hard because it’s hard to give up cheese, it’s hard to give up grass fed milk or cream or whatever. I don’t drink much milk but I like cream every now and then. Then that actually became easy. But what I was avoiding was doing work like “what I actually believed about my health.” And my belief was that I was unhealthy and that I was never going to be a healthy person.

I had this belief that I was the weird freak because everyone I know eats whatever they want, sleeps whenever they want, does whatever they want, and they feel totally fine. And I was like the one over here doing everything I possibly could and have an entire closet full of supplements and I’m still just dying over here. And that always made me feel very isolated. But it got to the point where I believed that. And so I was like, “well I’m just the freak among… my body’s just weird.” My husband and I would always joke about something would happen and then I’d have a symptom and my husband would be like, “who knows? Your body’s just a weirdo.” And we would always make jokes at that expense. And it took me a long time to realize that I had to change how I believed and how I talked about my body to actually get to the point where I could make any sort of real lasting changes. Because with that belief that I was unhealthy, I would always find a way to get back to being unhealthy. Right? And that’s just how, that’s how our minds work. And our minds will always find proof of what we already think is happening. And so, that’s why you know that car that you’re thinking of getting, you keep seeing everybody driving it. Your brain is primed to point that car out to you. And the exact same thing will happen whether that’s a good belief you have, or a bad belief. And so for me that was a big thing.

So, with all of that in mind, we are going to talk about diets. And specifically elimination diets. And because we feel so strongly about it, we – and many women, many of our ladies have done this – we want to teach you the correct way to approach any sort of diet. But what I’m going to use is an elimination diet because I think it will be the most widely helpful example. But please understand that whatever diet you’re doing, follow this same pattern within the setting of your cycle.

We’re going to kick off with a very broad overview.

This is – if you remember nothing else from this podclass this is what I want you to remember. Of the four phases, the second phase, the Rise Phase is by far the physiologically most appropriate time to start a new way of eating. And we talked about in that week section, in that phase section – I keep saying week, even though for some women it’s going to be a shorter or longer week than the seven day, it’s just the phase, what I mean to say is the phase. When you start that phase it’s going to be the time to kick everything off. And we’ve talked about in that phase why that is. And so that’s going to be the quote on quote “will power requiring time to do that.”

And then the third phase is generally a good time for maintaining and establishing this new way of being. So you’re really just allowing yourself to repeat the new actions over and over and over so that they now become habit. And then in that process you’re also doing a little bit of course correction. So if you’re finding that something isn’t sustainable, or something isn’t working and you’re constantly hungry in the mornings, or your constantly hungry at around three PM cause you’re lunch just isn’t cutting it, that’s the time to make corrections in small ways and make sure that whatever you are doing is working for you and not against you.

And then the Pause Phase is going to be all about reintegration and finding a balance that is sustainable. And then also in that time of reflection there may be aspects that you just simply drop entirely because even if you initially thought that they were a good idea, they may not pan out to be. Or you might realize that now’s not the time to do this. And that’s totally fine.

So that is the 30,000 feet view. That is the overview. That is why, that right there is why if you have ever started a diet in the Pause Phase, so right before your period without realizing it, you probably were not that successful and you’ve felt like, “man, every cookie I see just has my name on it and it’s trying to jump into my mouth.” Where we’ve all been there. And that is just a matter of when you don’t set up everything physically and mentally and emotionally for yourself like this, then just trying to one off, force yourself to not do something, or to do something, ultimatly ends up falling short of what you are going for. And you have likely experienced this in more than just the food area. You’ve probably done this over and over in your life. And it’s just a matter of looking back and recognizing when those times were.

It actually makes you feel a lot better too because it’s not that you’re lazy, it’s not that you don’t have willpower, it’s just that you didn’t know that there were forces fighting against you at that time. And you didn’t know that on the flip side there are all these other forces that are helping you be successful if you just work at that time. So that’s going to be the point.

The elimination diet that we do during our Four Phase Cycle Detox is the standard elimination diet that will kick off and be able to help virtually anyone. And so that’s why we did it this way. Whether you are kind of a newby, or an advanced person, the idea is still the same. And so during our Four Phase Cycle Detox, we have our ladies in the Release Phase. That’s just when they are buying everything, meal prepping, their picking the recipes out of the recipe guides that they want to make. They are thinking about what their weeks look like, when are the great days to meal prep, how can they have help with this, are there things that their going to purchase that will help offload some of this. Sometimes people are will be like, “okay, now I’ve really been wanting a slow cooker. Now’s the time I’m going to kick that off.” Because it’s really your time with all that planning and introspection that you’re doing, then you can really be very smart and very impactful about all the things that you’re going to prep ahead for this!

This is also the time that we have our ladies begin to decrease their caffeine consumption. We start to just keep tabs on how much sugar has snuck back into our life. How much empty calorie, nutrient poor food has snuck back into our life. Are we guilty of skipping a lot of meals. And it’s just, you’re not necessarily doing something in the very beginning during the Release Phase to impact it, but you are gathering data. You want to see a real honest look at your life. What is working, what is not working. And where are you starting so that you can begin to step by step plan for where you are going. Okay? So that is the Release Phase.

Then during the – and whether you do an elimination diet or not – that’s the time to, if you’re starting a new diet like Whole30, that week you may want to simply plan out meals, prep, buy things. All the same rules apply. You’re just going to – instead of doing an elimination diet per se like i’m going to describe – you’re just going to get ready for doing the Whole30. And then during the Rise Phase that’s when you’re going to take all of that planning, take all of that thought that you’ve given it, and the decisions that you’ve made to consciously include into your life, and you are going to take action.

So this is for us the true elimination diet portion. People tend to have a lot of energy and stamina for things like this. And so they just kill it at this part. For our Four Phase Cycle Detox to kick off we generally recommend at least spending the entire phase in the elimination diet portion. You can take longer if you did the actual course, but this is just to get you started. And what we have people drop are the most common allergens. More than likely these are not all things you are going to be allergic to or reacting to. But it’s good to do a complete elimination diet occasionally so that you can really get a true look at what is going on under the hood. So what we generally recommend dropping is:

  • Dairy products
  • Grains and other gluten containing compounds
  • Where going to have you drop coffee – I know, very sad, although we have a whole caffeine guide because as an addict I’ve gotten really good at knowing how to wean myself off coffee  
  • Any fake sugar – so white sugar, corn syrup, agave, cane juice, all of that we’re going to nix, and then any artificial sweeteners we’re going to get rid of.
  • Eggs are a good thing to take out
  • Soy products
  • Yeast
  • Nuts
  • Alcohol

We’re also going to, although most of the ladies that we work with are already eating pretty healthy, but the sugar and the processed foods we’re going to try to begin to limit those. Although I do have to say we don’t work with a whole lot of ladies that do, but we also have all kinds. So no matter where you are, you can totally get started. And if in this first cycle you’re kind of listening, you’re like “yeah I really want to do an elimination diet, but that sounds like a lot of food to take out.” That’s totally fine. If there’s a lot of processed foods in your diet, or a lot of sugar, you can just do one cycle where you do an elimination diet for this.

So you’re going to spend one week cutting out all processed foods and sugar and just eating whole foods – whatever it is, you know, grains, cheese, whatever, just as long as it comes out of the ground or out of an animal to eat. And then you will, in the next Plateau Phase, begin to find more of a balance. So instead of always saying no, no, no, you’re going to begin to address all those things we talked in previous exercises. Why do you reach for the processed foods? Is it because you don’t have time to cook? Why don’t you/why haven’t you made time to cook a priority? What are the other things taking into your life? So maybe you’re doing a lot of things for other people. Maybe you are working longer work hours even though your boss doesn’t pay you and they just take advantage of your niceness. Maybe…whatever it is. I can’t even think of all of it. But there’s a lot that goes into it. Oh, maybe you look at your phone and Facebook all the time. You know a lot of us spend I guess the statistics are close to 3 hours a week on our phone looking at social media. Imagine taking that time and doing something like consciously and lovingly preparing some food for yourself, even if that is partially cooked, or someone else has done some of the work for you and you finish it off. Even something simple like that. Then that is the cycle work that you’re going to do.

So that can be its own little elimination diet. Otherwise these common allergens I would say if you are totally new to getting started, at lease the thing to do is to trial out getting rid of gluten containing grains and dairy and seeing how you do. Because those, just by the numbers, more common allergens than anything else. Everythings else though, if that’s where you are and you want to do the complete diet, you can follow that complete list that I gave you. And if you really want to see it, obviously you can join our Four Phase Cycle Detox, or you can just Google doing an elimination diet. And there are lists on Pinterest and on Google and everywhere that people have just listed. So stick that bad boy on your fridge and get it where you can see it. But yeah, this Rise time is the time to really knuckle down. You’re going to check out how you feel, you’re going to implement changes, and then you’re going to be up and running with them for that week.

Then, let’s talk about all this stuff that you will eat. So you’re going to actually try to incorporate a lot of extra food that you may not be eating. So when you go dairy free we can do – and if you are also getting rid of nuts there’s sunflowers an option – but if you’re going dairy free you could do almond milk, coconut milk, flax milk, hemp milk. Anything, any kind of seed that you want – nut or seed – you can pretty much make a milk out of it. And so that’s a really great way to get started.

If you are not sure about things like almonds, what you can do to make them a little bit easier to digest is to soak them. So instead of getting the roasted, get raw almonds and soak them, and then dry them out. And that will help a lot.

You also want to, like we’ve also talked about in other things, as you take away some food, you want to expand the foods you can eat. So as you go to the store try fruits that you haven’t tried before. Try a veggie you haven’t ever cooked before. And sometimes you can buy things that are already prepared, like in the chopped up deli portion of a lot of stores. You can actually buy premade things. And you can just say, “I’ve never had okra, but let me try it and just see how it goes.” Because you never know, you might really like it. I used to hate brussel sprouts a lot, and then I did brussel sprouts cooked with bacon, and cooked on the bacon fat that was leftover, and I was like, “oh my god, I’ve been missing out this whole time!” So you never know. But you might all of a sudden find 10 new foods that you can’t wait to eat. And that cereal that you were really sad about earlier, you’re not really thinking about it. Because you’re thinking about like, “look at all these new recipes I can have. I’m so excited to eat lunch today.” And your life just, it’s like more fun that way.

We want to include plenty of healthy fats. So coconut oil, flax oil, grapeseed oil, almond oil, sesame oil, olive oil. All of those awesome varieties that we have. We can get different kinds of seed and in our – again I’m talking about our Four Phase Cycle Detox, you certainly don’t have to do it – but what we do is a little funny version of seed cycling. Where we do protein ball recipes for each of the phases. So I’m telling you that as an example of what you can do. But we take all of these seed – pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, hemp, chia, and flax – and we incorporate them into the protein ball recipes that we have for each phase. And it’s a combination of providing the fat that provides that building blocks for hormone creation, and then also providing you with fiber and protein that all help with metabolism, of hormones, and the promotion of healthy endocrine function. And so all of those seeds end up being rotated throughout the phases. And you can totally do the same thing on your own.

Other things that you can have: drinks. We talked about earlier in another podclass where teas are a really amazing way to get a huge variety of nutrients in a really concentrated form. Because you’re basically taking that dehydrated plant with concentrated nutrients and you are reconstituting it in the water. And so different teas. I love tea blends. You know, if you drink two tea blends twice a day, one in the morning while you’re going your work, you have – I’ll just give some examples off the top of my head – it’s like green tea and nettle. Nettle is amazing for minerals and that’s a great addition, and green tea has a lot of great anti inflammatory compounds. So that’s a great one to have at lunch or during the morning. And you’re like, “that was so easy. I got to enjoy a cup of tea, but it brought me all these extra nutrients.”

And then at night if you want to do your camomile and lavender tea to get you all ready for bed, and zenned out, and just sit there as part of your ritual, and drink your tea and smell it and get ready for snoozing. That ends up being a really really easy and cheap way to get all of this nutrient density in.

We also can do certain sweeteners like honey, raw honey, maple syrup, dark liquid stevia. All of those are great. Then there’s elixirs like the cranberry cleanser, and the lemon water elixir that you can do. Warm lemon water is a great thing to sip on throughout the day as you stay hydrated. And then all of the cultured foods. Coconut water, coconut kefir, kombucha, fermented veggies. All of that good stuff. And then also seaweed and all of those kind of sea products. Kelp. Things like that can all be included as well.

So hopefully you can see that when I talk about diets, I know we were talking about elimination diets here but this really applies. My list of eating and incorporating foods is way longer than my don’t eat foods. You know, if all you say is, “I’m not going to have gluten and dairy, but I’m going to have all of these other new things,” you’re going to be so much more excited. And you’re going to take off running. And the thing is, after a cycle you’re going to be hooked. Because you’re going to be like, “I can actually do this.” When people try to do this outside, you may be listening and you’re like, “that is so overwhelming. Why would I ever want to do that.” But what you get is you come out of the cycle with such a great understanding of all the foods that work for you – not that someone told you, but that actually work for you. We say no to prescription diets or prescribed diets. And then you also come out with all this insight on yourself as a person and you’re relationship with all the things you quote on quote “struggle with.” And all of a sudden it’s going to transform that from a struggle to something that fulfills you. And something that you feel really really good about.

Alright. Hopefully that was a nice little overview of all the dietary considerations within the setting of the cycle and how to work with that. If you have questions about how to customize your diet, please come on over. You can either email us at or you can come over to Instagram, it’s @zesty_ginger over on Instagram which is where we hang out the most. And definitely come ask and we can definitely clarify anything. Because anything diet related can be done within the context of the cycle. You just have to get a little bit creative depending on what it is.

Alright ladies. It’s been such a pleasure doing this podclass with you again. I will be back soon for the next installment. So I’ll catch you later.

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