Golden Rule: Don’t Work Out on Day 1 (and Possibly Days 2 and 3) of Your Period!
Every other day of
the month, we encourage you to get out there and exercise in some
form or another, but there’s no spandex allowed on the first day of
your period! It’s a workout Sabbath.
period, your body is hard at work— shedding the uterine lining,
cleansing the reproductive system, and readying it for the next
When you add
exercise on top of this built-in “workout,” you overtax the whole
body/ mind/ spirit system in three basic ways:
exercise warms you up (as evidenced by your sweat), when you work
out during your period, you run the risk of overheating your system.
While it’s good to be warm all cycle long, there is such a thing
as too warm. Flushed skin, shallow breathing, and dizziness all go
along with too much heat.
pulls blood away from the womb— where it is currently needed most—
and sends it to the limbs and heart. This could cause overall
discomfort and interrupt menstrual flow. (It’s the same way
digestion pulls blood away from the brain and into the belly,
meaning that eating a big meal before a big test could impair your
doesn’t feel good. There’s a reason that all you want to do on
Day 1 is lie on the couch: Your body is tired from the work of
menstruation. Ignoring this desire for rest overrides your
intuition. It’s a subtle form of self-abuse, disconnecting body
Is it okay to ware a menstrual cup for the duration of your period (emptying and then replacing it immediately)? Even at night?
Just pour the blood into your toilet bowl (or a jar so you can water your plants with it later if you’re a weirdo like me)
Then rinse it out under the sink
Pop it back in until it’s full again!
At the end of your period, boil it in your designated period-pot.
Yes, you can use it at night, though if you have a very heavy flow, start with your cup and a pad at the same time to watch out for leaks. Once you have a good relationship with your menstrual cup, you can ditch the pads all together.
“There’s something about not having a period that makes you feel less like a woman and a little bit alienated from your female friends. ”
I have never related to anything less. The whole period, moon cycle cis goddess womanhood thing honestly makes me laugh. I mean, good for you if you like menstruating, but it’s so foreign a concept to me that it gives me the lols.
Sure, I can do a strong practice anytime I like, but I have to say, I love to treat myself to a menstrual sequence at that time of the month.
A truly restorative menstrual practice allows me to feel nurtured and supported and, by the end of it, more focused and energized. What’s not to love?
A moon-time practice includes all kinds of poses— mostly restorative— but what sets it apart is the focus you bring to it: an opportunity to listen deeply, relax completely, and allow your body to work its apana magic.
Choose poses that create space between your rib cage and your abdomen. Pay particular attention to your breathing.
Leave the standing pose sequences until you have more strength and energy.
If your belly feels tight, breathe into that space, softening and releasing. If your chest is constricted, direct your breath there. If you have cramps, allow your breath to flow all the way into your uterus, releasing and relaxing your entire body.
A menstrual practice allows you to open the pelvic area, bring space to your abdomen and reproductive organs, and even has a bit of a drying effect on your uterus.
Create a practice that will make you feel like a princess— cared for and pampered.
Cramps are like felines not liking the decoration. They’re clawing it down saying “I don’t like this red wallpaper, let’s make it burgundy!” and the Advil is the lion and tiger tamers whipping them and saying “No!”
Any woman with a menstrual cycle has heard of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Information about the dangerous condition is listed within the packaging of every box of tampons and warned against in puberty talks from the school nurse.
Although cases of TSS have been on the rise in the U.S. (5k-10k cases annually, as common as Lyme disease),1 the illness remains low on the list of health risks for women, despite incidences of death. To reduce your risk of TSS, use tampons made of organic and unbleached cotton (these have no known cases of TSS), such as those from brands like Maxim Hygiene, Natracare, Puristics, and Seventh Generation, which avoid the use of synthetic materials–materials proven to harbor an environment for TSS-1 toxin production.2
If you want to choose the safest option for both you and the environment, you’ll ditch tradition and fall in love with a menstrual cup. A menstrual cup is a small, bell-shaped cup that is generally made from medical grade silicone and used internally like a tampon.
Menstrual cups have no known instances of TSS, as they catch menstrual flow instead of absorbing it. Menstrual cups are reusable, and, with care, can be used up to 10 years.Your immediate reaction might be, “Oh, heck no! I’m eco-friendly, but not THAT eco-friendly!” After the initial concept sinks in, you’ll want to take some time to read reviews online. Many women rave about menstrual cups, and it might be just enough to give you the courage to try one. Be sure to keep in mind that there is a slight learning curve, so practice while not on your period to get the hang of it and go into your next cycle with confidence.
Using a menstrual cup means no toxic chemicals and no micro-abrasions (caused by the tampons fibers) to the vaginal walls. As an added bonus, most women find that they need to change their cups only once every twelve hours, making it perfect for an active lifestyle. Cups can be worn while sleeping, swimming, exercising, or during any other activity involving a wide-range of motion (chasing a toddler, anyone?). Consider a cup from well-known brands like Diva Cup,Lunette or MCUK.
Just not for you? You may want to consider cloth pads, or “mama cloth,” as they can be known. Gone are the days of pads chaffing your thighs. Cloth pads are soft, they work great. A number of online retailers exist (Try Homestead Emporium or Lunapads, for instance) or you can make your own. Another product on the market is underwear made specifically for your period, like these breathable versions from Sexy Period.
Investing in reusable menstrual products is a great way to ensure that you are practicing safe feminine hygiene while also minimizing waste.
I don’t know about your gals, but periods can be a pain. Especially when it ends up showing up at wrong moments. Personally mine is not the most regulated period of all. - Which is why we should talk about a few things of what do, to help with the pain, the stress and the hormones!
1. Drink loads of tea!
Personally, I don’t know about you. But a lot of my friends I’ve talked to, don’t really drink tea?! Isn’t that insane? Then there’s the other half of my friends that love it. - Tea isn’t just a warm beverage to have a nice chat with friends, or to read a nice book. Or even to keep you warm. - It also has various healing properties! Rasperry Leaf Tea are known to help with period cramps, crazy huh?
Tip: Try Woman Kind tea by Pukka!
Bed rest is fantastic for periods. But sometimes a nice stretch will make you feel so much better! Another day I had a friend over and she was experiencing some pains and it had been during the last days of her period. A lot of the time. It’s good to do Yoga on your period. It helps relieve stress. Creates blood flow through the body and helps chill the cramps!
Tip: Try looking up ten minute Yoga videos on Youtube!
This is more of a natural alternative version. It isn’t what everyone would pick but it certainly helps! For my gals out there with severe cramp pains who tried just about everything. Cannabis(weed) is known to be a great pain killer for migraines and cramps. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be through smoke, you can vaporize or try an edible. Like a cannabis brownie!
Tip: Weed tea works too!
4. Take a hot bath or shower!
Sometimes a hot bath is all you need! I know there are so many myths out there saying that it is unhygienic. I have never had a problem while bathing during a period. If anything, it’s magnificent. And you’re talking to a girl who doesn’t like baths! - A nice bath will helps relax your muscles. Epsom salt baths are fantastic too. Even some nice bath bombs. - Some bubbles. - You can even read a book! Better yet place some nice candles around. Play your favourite tunes and relax! Periods are a time to pamper yourself!
Tip: Try showering after a bath! Helps get rid of any excess soaps and overall feels great!
5. Eat healthy!
Ease down on the junk food! Except for that chocolate! Chocolate has magnesium in it which is highly necessary during your cycle and all the blood loss that happens during a period. - Also loads of fruits and veggies are fantastic for your skin, your health and will help you feel less bloated!
Tip: Try looking up some recipes online! Oh She Glows is a perfect page for healthy eating. (Plus they have fantastic desserts!)
I think it’s pretty self explanatory why water is great for your period. But to break it down to you. You lose loads of blood get dehydrated faster, get cramps, feel bloated. All that can be solved with your daily water intake! And ironically, a lot of us forget to drink it!
7. Cut down on the caffeine
Me too girl, me too. - I can’t say much, cause literally just drank a cup of coffee and I’m on my period. BUT. I don’t have excruciating cramp pains. It’s very mild. Though if you’re in pain, avoiding caffeine is probably best. That includes pops/sodas with caffeine in them too! If you love coffee like me and still wouldn’t give it up for the world. Just minimize it. Be aware of your intake and don’t overdo it!
Tip: Try drinking 1 cup a day or max 2. Make sure you minimize the sugar too!
You don’t have to be a professional in order to do this! It isn’t rocket science. - Aromatherapy is great for many things. Illnesses, migraines, stress, hormones. It can help with anything! Sometimes I have digestive problems, and aromatherapy helps big time! Same with menstrual cramps! Lavender Oil is actually very masculine. So to ease our estrogen it helps balance it out as well!
Tip: Diffusers are a fantastic investment for cleaning the air and helping with aromatherapy! Check out; http://saje.ca
9. Heating Pad.
Sometimes a heating pad is your best friend. If you do all these things. Your body now needs rest! So grab a heating pad and or a heating blanket. Lay down, watch a show or just take a nap! It helps loads!
Back in the day, periods were a sacred thing. It was a time to be pampered. It was a time or relaxation and reflection. But now it’s just a regular thing, but we forget that we should feel beautiful, feel great and be pampered once in a while! Let your cycle be your saviour! After all, you queen girl!
These guys are Perfect Period Powerhouses, and are one of the biggest
keys to unlocking easy period and happy cycles. Make sure to have at
least one serving of dark leafies every day to gain their full,
Before your period, dark leafy greens have an
anti-inflammatory and diuretic effect, so they are perfect for your
luteal phase. Make sure to have a green salad or cooked greens every
day during your luteal phase, and throw fennel, parsley and celery into
your meals, especially if you’re prone to bloating. Dark leafies are
also amazing sources of B vitamins, which are important for balancing
your hormones in your luteal phase, as well as calcium and magnesium,
which are crucial for keeping cramps and headaches at bay.
During your period, dark leafies are your best
friend, since they’re loaded with calcium, magnesium, and potassium,
which are amazing for minimizing and preventing cramps and headaches.
They are also full of vitamin K, which slows down blood flow, and iron,
which supports your energy levels as you bleed.
After your period, dark leafy greens help to
replenish all the minerals you may have lost during your period. They
cleanse and detoxify your blood, energize your system, and are all
around amazing for your health.
2. Whole grains
The second most vital perfect period foods, whole grains balance your
blood sugar, prevent cravings, and balance hormone levels. Eat at
least one serving of whole grains every day throughout your cycle to
reap their amazing, period-perfecting benefits! Quinoa, brown rice,
buckwheat, millet, and amaranth are all great options.
Before your period, it’s super important to balance
your blood sugar levels, and slow-digesting whole grains are perfect
for that. If you’re prone to cravings before your period, this is
especially important for you! Whole grains provide your body with
natural energy, fiber, and loads of nutrients, which are all super
important for balancing your hormones.
During your period, whole grains continue to help stave off cravings for period foods like sugar and simple carbs.
After your period, whole grains help to rid your
body of excess estrogen and keep blood sugar levels in check, which is
important all through your cycle.
3. Omega-3 Foods
These foods have a potent anti-inflammatory effect on the body, which
is crucial for minimizing cramps, headaches, and other period-related
pain, and for maximizing energy and great moods throughout your whole
cycle! Low-mercury seafood like salmon, sardines, anchovies, herring,
shrimp and scallops are great options, as are walnuts, chia seeds, and
Before your period, load up on omega-3 foods, which
decrease inflammation in the body and boost mood, and therefore create
the foundation for an easy period. Opt for eating low-mercury seafood
at least 2-3 times a week during your luteal phase! Throw walnuts, chia
or flax seeds into your morning smoothies or granola, add them to your
salads, or sprinkle them on top of your lunch!
During your period is the perfect time to amp up
and diversify your omega-3 foods, which will boost your mood, reduce
clotting and heavy bleeding, and minimize cramps, headaches, and body
aches to boot! Try to eat an omega-3 rich food every single day of your
period to maximize your results!
These guys are loaded with protein, which is great for balancing
blood sugar and minimizing cravings. They also have lots of iron and
calcium, which make them a perfect period food!
During your period, beans will minimize cravings
and help to keep you sane. They also have tons of fiber, which ease the
digestive upset many women experience during their periods. An added
bonus is that they’re high in iron as well, which helps to offset the
fatigue that can come from losing blood!
After your period is the time to protein up.
You’ll likely have tons of energy after your period, and you’ll want to
support that with more healthy proteins. You’ll also want to restore
your iron levels after bleeding, so eating lots of beans for a few days
after will be a great iron insurance policy.
It is crucial to stay hydrated throughout your cycle. Before,
during, and after your period, water helps to fight bloating, hormonal
and blood sugar imbalance, and pain. Opt for half your ideal body
weight in ounces of fresh, filtered water every day.
As someone who has PCOS, I have experienced years of excruciating menstrual cramping, and just unbearable periods. With that in mind, I have tried numerous products and remedies to find out what would ease the pain, and let me function a little bit better throughout the day. So I wanted to share what has worked really well for me.
Enzymatic Therapy Aunt Flo™ Cramp Relax
This has become a must-have in my household, and I will never be without it because I stay stocked up on this product. While on vacation, I couldn’t do anything because of how much pain and discomfort I was in, but a trip to the health store, and I discovered Aunt Flo Cramp Relax. After taking two pills, I felt relief within an hour! During my periods, espcially when I am in pain, I become tense, but this actually relaxed me. Now it is a product I recommend to anyone who deals with menstrual cramping!
This product contains a calcium and magnesium for cramp relief, but also a blend of cramp bark and dill, both used traditionally to sooth menstrual cramps. It also contains L-theanine which reduces irritability and muscle tension, dandelion to fight bloating, vitamin B12 to boost energy,and ashwagandha to support the body’s natural anti-stress abilities.
In the morning, and in the evening, I dab Lunablend to my wrists for some PMS relief, and to de-stress. Occasionally I’ll add it to a bath for a treat to the senses, body, and mind. I enjoy the blend of aromas, and it’s small enough to be tucked away in my tote bag throughout the day.
Lunablend is a blend of orange, lavender, and geranium essential oils, in a base of jojoba oil and vitamin E. It can be applied directly to skin, or a few drops added in the bath to, “help remind you of the goddess that you truly are.” according to Lunapads, or to relieve cramps. It’s an interesting combination of scents, but soothing.
Chamomile is one of the longest-used medicinal herbs known, and it has many benefits from menstrual cramp relief, anti-anxiety, and anti-inflammatory. I remember the first time my grandmother brewed me a cup of chamomile, and all I can remember is that I thought it was such a soothing tea. It not only ease my cramps, but it helped me relax enough to sleep throughout the night.
This tea is calming and pleasant. It can reduce muscle spasms throughout the body, such as the wall of uterus during menstruation It has gentle sedative effects while encouraging your body to relax! It truly is an all-around herb for physical, emotional, and mental wellness.
Despite the spicy flavor, this tea is soothing, and has many benefits that include wading off colds, soothing aches, and encouraging good digestion. It took me a few cups of ginger tea to get past the spicy zing, but it was fragrant, and comforting. I prefer making homemade ginger tea– all you need is fresh ginger, filtered water, raw honey, and lemon juice! You can even add in cinnamon, mint, or chamomile flowers, or extra flavor. Although, you can buy it in the store, too. It can be quite potent for some, so make sure to adjust it to your liking.
Besides cramping, what is one other symptom that many can relate to? If you said nausea, then you’re correct! Ginger tea is a fantastic remedy for nausea, and can be sipped throughout the day for relief. Ginger contains a natural anti-inflammatory called ‘gingerol, which can help for menstrual cramps, and muscle aches that are quite common during menstruation.
Heating Pad or Hot Water Bottle
Before the thought of heating pad on my lower stomach made me cringe because it actually made my pain worse! However, after trying again–this time with damp cloth heated in the microwave–I found it my aching lower stomach to be at ease.
To soothe contracting muscles, and aches, apply heat to the area. Whether you are using a heating pad or hot water bottle, it can not only soothe the pain, but help you relax, and ease tension.
Soak in the Bath
If you are one who is OK with stepping into the bath and soaking during your menstrual cycle, you’ll notice that it can not only be relaxing, but bring quite a bit of relief! My menstrual cramping begins a week prior to my period, so I take that time to enjoy a hot bath to calm my tense muscles, and sooth any body aches. Mineral salt included for the extra benefits.
Lavender and chamomile oils are great for that added relief and relaxation, but make sure to use them safely, and properly.