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Natural Health How to Optimize Your Hormones Throughout Your Cycle

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THE VENUS WEEK,YOUR FERTILE DAYS

Cycle days 3-14You have these days every month, but often take them for granted. These are the good hair and skin days, and the best time for romance as Mother Nature is on your side here. Hormones are simply tools that Mother Nature uses to sculpt the future of our species. She designs a hormonal recipe to try and direct us toward a romance, as these are the days leading up to the fertile time of the cycle.Your ovary is gradually sending out soaring amounts of estrogen along with peaking testosterone; the combination helps to clear your skin but also adds lubricity, and a subtle glow. With this ideal hormonal combination food cravings are down, and romantic thinking is up. But be careful, as you are looking through rose-tinted glasses that can cause those ‘what was I thinking?’ moments. Also, these are the days that estrogen helps with your metabolism. If you are going to cheat on your diet, the Venus days are more forgiving, because estrogen helps you process carbs. This means you can briefly forego calorie counting, and enjoy some ice cream with your date.Take advantage of your energy efficiency to accomplish a task you’ve been putting off all month. If you need to do a presentation, plan it in your Venus phase, as your energy and focus will be optimised. Estrogen and testosterone increase dopamine, the creativity brain chemical. Do not go shopping unless you are prepared for restraint; the optimised hormones will enhance your hourglass figure that may not be quite the same later in the month. These are your ‘skinny jeans’ days; ideal for a photo session. If you are single and have a crush, this is the best time to reach out; your confidence and body language will be aided by soaring estrogen. Your pain tolerance and flexibility will be better in this phase due to higher endorphins… so try to max out that yoga pose you’ve been struggling with.


THE MINERVA PHASE

Cycle days 15-25These are the days that Mother Nature (and your body) assumesthat you are pregnant…even if you have never met a man! Just after ovulation estrogen and testosterone take a dip as progesterone takes charge. Progesterone gets its name from the fact that it is literally‘pro-gestation’… its job is to encourage rest and eating to benefit the embryo, hence energy goes down and appetite goes up.At this time your mood can be a little more inwardly directed; a time for focusing on individual goals and increasing organisation. As progesterone rises it has a calming effect on sleep, but it makes metabolism a little sluggish, so the cravings and calories result in more bloating and a tendency to gain weight faster, also causing more breast tenderness.Be careful with carbs during this phase, as your body tends to store fat more easily because progesterone causes insulin levels to creep up. Cut back on caffeine, as it is known to increase breast pain.Even as progesterone is dominant, estrogen and testosterone are still present in the background, contributing to an interesting mix of brain chemicals, mainly serotonin and GABA – anti-anxiety substances known to increase with high progesterone levels. Take time to meditate with calmness, focus and stillness about your plans for the upcoming days. If you need to push up your creativity and libido, increase foods that support dopamine, the main brain chemical inspired by estrogen and testosterone.To push up dopamine eat more fatty fish, oysters, flax and chia seeds, and take omega 3 fatty acid supplements. Increasing exercise will amplify dopamine; especially balance-related disciplines like skating, dancing, or tai chi. The minerva phase is the perfect time to appreciate and take in the beauty of your hormonal design.


RESET

Cycle days 26-2What goes up must come down, and the descent of the major sex hormones during the reset can sometimes feel like a big let-down. As the cycle progresses around or before day 26, the brain senses that a pregnancy has not happened and progesterone, testosterone and estrogen begin to fall.Your mood and metabolism can take somewhat of a dive in response to the ‘big three’ hormones dropping. Since the hormones support feel-good brain chemicals, the sudden drop causes dopamine, endorphins and serotonin to all fall as well. The secret solution is that physical exercise can reboot all of the feel-good brain chemicals. It may not seem the right time with cramps and bleeding coming on, but actually there is no better time to push up the workout than during the reset part of the cycle. A combination of any aerobic workout with a meditative core-focused practice (yoga, Pilates or tai chi) is ideal.Also, even though testosterone falls, estrogen plummets faster, resulting in skin breakouts. A good exercise and nutritional programme can help solve this temporary imbalance. Avoid many of the things you will crave as the sugar and carb-laden comfort foods will worsen your negative hormonal ratio, pushing it toward testosterone dominance, resulting in acne and mood agitation. Look for mood-stabilising foods such as herbal teas, things high in omega 3s and phytoestrogens (flax seeds, nuts, nut butters, legumes and lentils). This is the most important time to shore up your body’s defenses with fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, miso and raw cheeses.


The bottom line is that once you understand and recognisethe design of your hormonal phases, you can optimise them to match your own priorities; you will change the venus week into the consistent venus effect!

What they Say:

"Dr Rebecca Booth Shows You How to Optimize Your Hormones Throughout Your Cycle

Most of us have at some point blamed things on our hormones. Perhaps we were snappy with our partner, overly sensitive to a friend's comments, or burst into tears over something so trivial we're embarrassed to admit it. And while w readily lambaste our monthly cycle for all the negative things it can bring, we rarely pay attention to how much it can also be our ally.


Think about the times when you've felt vibrant, confident and sexy. When you've walked down the street knowing you're looking your best; it's a good hair day, you feel attractive - nothing can phase you. Chances are, it's your venus week. "Mother Nature designs three phases of your hormone cycle," says Dr. Rebecca Booth, leading gynecologist and author the Venus Week. "The fertile phase, beginning about three days after the start of your period, which I call the venus week, the progesterone phase or minevera phase, beginning after ovulation on cycle day 15, and a reset phase that begins around day 26, when your hormones drop to low levels, triggering a period. Around cycle day three, hormones once again resume their elegant puroseful dance, over and over again across a woman's lifetime until menopause."


The good news is you can use these phases to your advantage. Here Rebecca explains how to maximise each stage of your cycle, supporting your body and giving it what it needs....READ MORE BELOW



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