Cramps. Bloating. Acne. The mood swings! Yes girls, it’s that time of the month. Yay. Fun.
Said no one ever.
Over the past few months, I have been experiementing a little bit with a few things to see if I could possibly get past the cramping/bloating/my face is blowing up phase that happens each month. I mean, let’s keep it real – all’a that is due to hormones, sis. It’s not “oh this is just my norm”. Now I’m very aware there are conditions and other things that the female body goes through that can cause these symptoms, but for the most part, outside of a medical condition, these are symptoms.
Too much sugar, caffeine, salt, artificial foods, etc. are the culprit. Eating foods like these can cause your hormones to go rampant, which in turn will cause your body to start tripping each month. Think about it. You have cravings for chips, cookies, cakes, and anything that is remotely bad for you, all to finally get your period and you want to toss your flaming uterus down a hallway. I get it sis. This was just me a few months ago. My cramps were so bad I was getting them up my butt. Yes. My booty. Not in the front like a normal human, up there!!!! There’s nothing more fun than being woken up out of your sleep at 3am due to cramping up there. I knew I needed to make a change.
Ya’ll stop laughing. Those cramps were a pain in my butt. Ha.
Here are some changes I’ve made to go from lighting up my butt to barely a cramp and pretty normal moods leading into my cycle.
1. Eat leafy greens – I’m not sure if it’s the follicular phase or what, but I typically crave salt like no other during this part of the cycle. Instead of grabbing or potato chips or fries, replace with leafy greens, like kale or spinach. Lots of it! If you want chips, make kale chips, instead. Kale is a great hormone balancer! Once the luteal phase hits, I could eat an entire row of Oreos by myself. Judge me not.
2. Skip the dairy – Oh yes, I said it. The casein in dairy has been directly linked with inflammation. Dairy produces mucus in the body, particularly in the gut. Opt for plant based cheese, nut milks and even almond or coconut milk yogurt, to get those probiotics your body needs.
3. Magnesium – My secret. This is has been my secret to getting rid of cramps. This actually happened by accident. I was researching natural ways to help my milk supply during my cycle because my supply takes a huge dip every month. One of the suggestions was to take a Calcium Magnesium supplement. I grabbed this one from my local market and didn’t think anything of it. Not only did it help my supply, but I didn’t have one single cramp when my period came on. Thinking it was a fluke, I took a look back at my habits for that one month.
Not a big deal or so I thought. Then I tried it again for another month. Same approach. I just finished my cycle and not one cramp in sight!!! After coming across this article during that time, it confirmed that what was happening was a lack of magnesium. According to the article,
“When it comes to menstrual cramps, magnesium works to relax the muscles in the uterus. Once the muscles are relaxed, the prostaglandins that cause period pain are reduced significantly. This allows symptoms like nausea, severe cramps, and headaches to subside.”
This is the one I got, sis. Buy it.
4. Bone Broth – Packed with the same calcium and magnesium I take as a supplement, bone broth can help alleviate those PMS symptoms, as well. Drink a nice cup of warm broth at night as a tea or find bone broth recipes that you can make and drink before bed. It’s also amazing for gut health!
5. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea – This is a great tea to drink a few days leading into your cycle because it helps combat muscle spasms that we have. Skip the pain killers and reach for this team. Trust. Me. Sis.
Hope you all have a great cycle!