Updated: Apr 19, 2022
Luteal phase is the phase in between ovulation and your period. It should be the phase of your cycle where you feel like completing tasks, cleansing your space, and making improvements that make your life work better for you. Unfortunately, PMS gets in the way of that for every as much as 90% of menstruating women. PMS comes with symptoms like irritability, mood swings, fatigue, break outs, bloating, migraines, and more that can ruin your day, impact your relationships, and make life less enjoyable. Aside from minor and manageable cramps (since the uterus contracts) and feeling more mellow, luteal phase should feel chill and organized. PMS occurs when something in your hormones, environment, or personal life is out of balance. After nearly a year of working with my cycle to naturally balance my hormones, I've officially experienced a cycle 100% free of PMS. That's right! Zero symtoms and feeling cool as a cucumber. It's been truly amazing! The best part is, I know exactly how I got there. The most important thing you can do to prevent PMS is to take care of your hormones all cycle long (and working with a coach, like me, could really help a lot of women figure out how best to do that!), but there are things you can start doing now that aren’t overwhelming or difficult and can make a huge difference! Here are three easy tips that anyone can begin using today to start seeing decreased PMS and feeling better.
Magnesium and B6 Taking Magnesium and B6 can improve your mood and calm your anxiety. Magnesium helps you chill out, while B6 lifts your mood. Magnesium supports the clearance of estrogen when it’s time for it to leave your body (through bowel movements), and because magnesium helps you relax, it can also help soothe cramps. Eating foods like chickpeas, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, bananas, oats, and dark chocolate can keep you full, satisfy cravings, and support your mood. Personally, eating one cooked, vegan meal every day during my luteal and menstrual phase helps me feel calmer and less bloated!
Take care of your environment I’ve been told by friends with babies or who are pregnant that pregnancy can feel like “one long luteal phase.” There’s an appetite increase, energy decrease, and the nesting phase-- all of which are normal. Every month during our luteal phase, we get a little taste of what this is like. Signals that your body is asking for you to take care of your environment can include feeling irritable, getting distracted more easily, or even remembering things that you’ve forgotten earlier that month. Your brain is in “life edit” mode and might benefit from you popping on Home Edit on Netflix or another improvement show and reorganizing, cleaning, decorating, or decluttering. It doesn’t even have to be a huge project to satisfy the part of your hormones that want to see improvement in your life during this phase. This will also set you up for success during your menstrual phase, when your mind wants to be more introspective, by clearing away excess distractions and creating the mental space for new ideas. Your mind is so powerful, so taking care of this emotional aspect of PMS can make a huge impact on your body!
Beetroot Beets contain iron, calcium, folic acid, nitric oxide, tryptophan, and betaine. Consuming beets several days before your menstrual cycle can help decrease bloating and low mood associated with PMS. If you don’t like to eat beets, you can juice them, add them to a fruit-based smoothie, or get a beetroot powder to add to smoothies. I use Sunfood Organics Beet & Mushroom Powder which has beets, adaptogenic mushrooms for stress, maca, coconut water, and pomegranate. Aside from a daily smoothie, I avoid cold beverages and choose room temperature or hot beverages instead from about 3 days before my period until the end. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, they teach you to avoid cold foods and drinks because they can increase discomfort. Choose foods that feel warm, cozy, and nourishing.