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    Make your hormones work for you

    Hormones written across pink scrabble tiles

    Did you know that you can use your hormones to work for you, not against you?

    First, it’s important to understand what goes on during our menstrual cycle, because every single day is different.

    On a typical 28-day cycle, there are four different phases. Let's dive into what happens hormonally during these phases and how you can use your hormones to work for you.

     

    MENSTRUAL PHASE (Day 1 is the first day of your period)

    Cycle Powers: Evaluation, Analysis and Intuition.

    What to focus on at work:  

    • Evaluate how you are doing with your current career or a project you are working on
    • Reassess your goals (perhaps re-visit your planner)
    • Analyze your last month or upcoming month as far as goals are concerned
    • Take a personal day (perhaps day 1 or 2 of your cycle)
    • Trust your gut during this phase
    • Take lots of breaks. Your body is going through a lot during this phase.

    What exercises your hormones will love:

    • Yoga
    • Stretching
    • Walking 
    • Pilates.

    What foods your hormones crave:

    • Nutrient-dense foods
    • Warmer foods
    • Focus on berries, red meat, beans.

     

    FOLLICULAR PHASE (Days 8-13)

    Cycle Powers: Creativity and Planning: estrogen is rising - let’s use estrogen’s effects on the brain!

    What to focus on at work:

    • Mentally challenging tasks that you have been dreading because it uses so much brain power
    • Plan a new project
    • Reach out to new clients
    • Brainstorm/mind-map.

    What exercises your hormones will love:

    • Running
    • Hiking
    • Biking.

    What foods your hormones crave:

    • Similar to the menstrual phase, but adding in more nutrients like flax, pumpkin and chia seeds

     

    OVULATORY PHASE (Days 14-16)

    Cycle Powers: Collaboration and Communication: estrogen is at its peak!

    What to focus on at work:

    • Have important conversations because your communication skills are at their best (for example, ask for a raise!)
    • Plan your social media and blog posts
    • Record videos during this phase because energy levels peak (hello testosterone and estrogen!)
    • Attend networking events
    • Host a webinar or live event
    • Looking for a new job? Now's the time for interviews.

    What exercises your hormones will love:

    • Boot camps
    • Boxing
    • HIIT.

    What foods your hormones crave:

    • Cold/raw foods (the heat is up during this phase!)
    • Fiber to flush out estrogen
    • Lighter foods.

     

    LUTEAL PHASE (Days 17-28)

    Cycle Powers: Productivity (I call this the “Get Sh*t Done Phase!)

    What to focus on at work:

    • Get those to-do list items done
    • Aim for fewer social events so you can focus on getting work done and the menstrual phase is knocking on the door so you don’t want to over-exert yourself
    • Organize your life.

    What exercises your hormones will love:

    • Strength training
    • Yoga
    • Pilates.

    What foods your hormones crave:

    • Increase your calories, but watch those cravings!
    • Slow burning carbs (sweet potatoes, brown rice)
    • Protein
    • Healthy fats
    • Dark leafy greens.

    So, are you ready to start using your hormones to work for you!? Give it a try, your hormones will thank you!

     

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Dr Erin Ellis portrait, Naturopathic Doctor

    Dr. Ellis is a Naturopathic Doctor who helps women balance hormones, fix crappy periods and regain energy they once had to be their happiest, healthiest selves. In 2010, Dr. Ellis was diagnosed with a rare form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which was the turning point in her life and prompted her to pursue her dreams of becoming a Naturopathic Doctor.

    Having had a cancer diagnosis at such a young age, Dr. Ellis’s mission is to empower those to take control of their health. Life is too short to feel sub-optimal and given the right tools, your body has the innate ability to heal itself.

    When she’s not empowering others to become their best versions, Dr. Ellis enjoys helping her community, spending time with her dog, having game nights with family and friends and making new memories with her fireman.  

    To find out more about Dr. Ellis, visit her website at Hope Natural Health and follow her on Instagram or Facebook.  

    Disclaimer: All information provided within this blog is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not to be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken solely on the contents of this blog. Please consult your doctor or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health and well-being or on any opinions expressed within this blog.