Hormones & Seed Cycling

Did anyone else's cycle get messed up a bit in 2020?

I love the app Clue and have been using it for years, which is great, because it's always been so helpful to predict when things will happen - particularly as someone who struggles with a little time blindness, but this year I've been all over the place.

It's super frustrating after almost 10 years of being regular, but I was interested when a couple of my friends mentioned that they were struggling with the same problem.
Obviously we're not seeing much of each other this year so the whole 'syncing up' theory is out of the question, but I wonder if a year of lockdowns and pandemic news is placing more stress on our bodies than most of us are aware of.

I haven't always had regular periods, in fact, my dysmenorrhoea was so bad I used to be regularly hospitalized and we never knew when it was coming, leading me to pass out in public places or collapse vomiting in a bathroom somewhere unable to get to class.
Over the years I learned that diet had a HUGE impact on my ability to function as a woman, and I genuinely, for almost a decade had everything under control and happening on a nice 25-27 day cycle.
Until this year.

I'm fortunately not back to my early 2000s state, but I'm definitely reaching more and more for my 'monthly' roller blends, and suffering with PMDD and inability to sleep for around a week each month.
Not only that, but my cycle is so unpredictable, sometimes up to six or seven weeks long!

As this is becoming a pattern, according to my Clue app, and not a 'one-off', I've decided it's time to start taking a bit more of a proactive response again.  If you're struggling too, here's what I'm going to be adding to my routine which you might like to try too.

1. Low Carb, no processed food diet

Okay, so I'm actually already doing this, but this was a complete game changer for my periods when I made the transition nearly a decade ago, so if you haven't tried it yet, you should. Eating 'real food' can have a huge impact on your health, and your period isn't based on just what you do when it starts, but the whole 30 days or so before hand, so start eating well for next month!

2. Oils Everyday

Similar to above, whilst most people use ClaryCalm 'when they need it' I have found that using it at least once per day throughout the month is really helpful for me.
The week before I'm due, when I get insomnia and anxiety, using it multiple times a day is key to supporting my sleep.

3. Seed Cycling

I haven't done this for years, but it's time to reset. Seed cycling is an easy way to balance your hormones naturally, simply by eating what you need, when you need it. Flax seeds and pumpkin seeds contain phytoestrogens which can give you an additional boost of this healthy oestrogen whilst also suppressing estradiol (which is the culprit for most estrogen dominant situation). You can consume 1 tbsp of each for the first two weeks of your cycle.

After that, you will want to eat sunflower seeds and sesame seeds (one tbsp each) daily for the next 14 day (or until your period begins). These seeds have large amounts of zinc and vitamin E which support your body's production of progesterone.
You can eat them however you want, but currently I'm just stirring them into my 'pumpkin spiced porridge' each morning. in the spring when I stop eating hot breakfasts I'll probably just add them to some peanut butter on sliced apple.

Want to chat more about hormones?

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