Hey y'all!!! I'm back with a little write up about how to tame that menstrual cycle. I know, as women sometimes we feel like we got the short end of the stick..hormones, cycle, birthing, breastfeeding...liiiiike we don't catch a BREAK!
However!! I am here to tell you that you CAN manage this time a little better. You alllllready know how I feel about your diet but it most certainly has a huge influence over our hormones as well as our cycle. Even with my vegan lifestyle I've made small changes that STILL make an impact on my cycle each month. Because, as we know...you can be vegan and be "unhealthy". We still have to be mindful of oils, additives and sugar just like the next person...so let's dive in!
When I share my story I always include how it completely shifted my cycle. I'm saying, liiiike I didn't believe it myself at first!! I was having EXTREMELY heavy cycles each month and I could not for the life of me figure out why. I, reluctantly, went to my OB at the time to inquire about what was going on and why? Y'all KNOW it had to be serious for me to go to the doctor, because liiiike I neva go. Anyhoo, I went got tests ran and the usual western medicine approach:"here is your prescription." NOPE wrong answer doc! I was not under any circumstances taking a pill without knowing the ACTUAL cause of my issue. Fibroids-nope, cysts- nope, any other disease or ailment-NOPE so what WAS it?!!
Through my OWN countless hours of research it seemed as though my body was in an estrogen dominant state...ion know how it got there, but it was. It could be that after having three children in 18 months and breastfeeding for 3.5 years that my body was catching up to itself and just responding this way. Either way, I had to find an answer...and as most of you know. Since going vegan I haven't had that issue since!
So why am I telling you this? 1) changing your diet shifts the way your body responds and operates on a daily basis. Dairy and meat consumption lowers this ability to regulate our hormones because we are constantly bombarding it with additional hormones. Yeah, you might buy the organic "no hormone added" products but by NATURE all mammals especially those that give birth have hormones and those hormones are what make that animal function for their particular growth. Soooo, if we ingest those hormones and mix them with our own...wellll, I think you kinda get it, right?
2) Herbs and teas are another great way to keep your body and hormones at ease. No headaches, cramps, lengthy or heavy periods?! YES PLEASE!! Plant based eating + herbal teas = success.
Some amazing herbs/teas that assist with your cycle are: red raspberry leaf, chaste berry, nettle, irish moss, blue vervain, chamomile, rose, holy basil, burdockroot, maca and ashwaghanda, just to name a few. Now, don't be overwhelmed! hahaha! You don't need to go out and buy all of this...instead research them and see what YOU think. Here is a link to one of the websites I use that helps break down when to best use certain herbs during your cycle.
Now, menstrual cups....for those that don't use them, trust me...I can see the look on your face! I was once there!!
I was initially like NOPE! It sounds scary and I just...can't! hahahaha! Follow me. It was one of the best decisions I could have ever made, Fo REAL! I bought my first cup around the time I went vegan so that's been almost 4 years ago. Now, just like with anything else new in life, there is a learning curve. Be sure to have liners on hand for the slip ups!!! It takes about 2-3 cycles to get it right...but if it takes you more, don't feel like a failure. You have to get reeeeaallly comfortable with yourself and it teaches you a lot about your body that maybe you didn't realize before.
Mmmmk, so here we go. The first cup I bought was a Lunette menstrual cup. I did some research ( of course) and compared the famous Diva cup to the Lunette. The Lunette seemed more of my speed and I went with it! Prior to this I wore SUPER PLUS tampons...yikes!! I know...so I was really really hesitant when reading about cups and them saying you can wear it for up to 8-10 hours without changing it?! I was like, yeah right...but then...it actually happened. After a couple of months I noticed that unlike with tampons... I was not running to the bathroom every couple of hours to "change". It's sorta like a "free flow" where your body naturally flows and isn't being plugged up. Additionally, this was also around the time that more information was coming out about how toxic tampons can be and AGAIN how this can manipulate your cycle to seem so much heavier than it actually is! I was proven wrong, the cup changed the game for me and I would NEVA go back.
Fast forward to 2020...whew, issa lot happening. But one things remains...that cycle ain't going nowhere anytime soon right?! Honey Pot releases their own menstrual cup. Now, yes..I already have one...why do I need a new one?! For one, Honey Pot had JUST come off of some "bad press" about a Target ad which was an amazing spread during Black History month highlighting change makers. So, I wanted to support for the culture! Cause ya know #buyblack Secondly, I had been teetering on the idea of getting a new cup anyway and this came at the perfect time.
I was sooooo STOKED when it came in the mail. I literally received it two days prior to my cycle and I was elated! So, the moment of truth comes and...YALL! THIS WAS THE BEST THING EVER!! You may be thinking, aren't they all the same?? NOT AT ALL!! The Honey Pot's cup was very light and pliable. Meaning it was not super firm and very flexible. It was so light that I kept forgetting I had it in!!! I would be in a panic looking for it thinking I left it sitting in my bathroom..and then realize, WOW, Aimbriel, you're "wearing" it! haha!! It does not stain easy...meaning even though you are bleeding in it and there may be extra fluid, it rinses sooo well and stays clean.
I kept my Lunette as a back up...IF for some reason I need a second cup. And that's also a benefit. Having a cup is eco friendly!! You're not constantly throwing away waste adding to our ever growing environmental issues...but that's another blog for another day :-) I will say that I DO still buy liners (eco friendly liners) but I don't need as many as I only change my cup 2 times a day AND my heavy day is only 1.5 days. So, typically I am wearing my cup throughout the day and that's it because I don't have extra leakage and I'm not spilling out of it! Click Here to check it out!
So, innnnn conclusion..ladies, you HAVE to take care of yourself. We spend so much time caring for others that we leave ourselves to the back burner. Which can sometimes mean we make up for it by binge eating, and filling ourselves up on sugary, fatty snacks that adds to the pain and discomfort we experience with our cycle. Eat better, drink/take herbs, buy a cup, meditate, do yoga, and CHILL! I'm thinking of doing an online "class" that offers more in depth info about this topic...if you're interested, send me a message!
I hope you all found this helpful! Until next time :)
In health and love,