Hi. I’m 30 years old and just learned about cycle syncing. My brain hurts.
Chances are you’re here because you saw me ranting in my InstaStories about the phases of our cycle and cycle syncing and WHY DO I KNOW ABOUT THE LIFE CYCLE OF A PLANT BUT NOT MY BODY and then told you I had done tons of research and was going to share it here. After a lifetime of just feeling out of whack, I stumbled upon Alissa Viti’s WomanCode and changed my life. I’ve only been implementing cycle syncing for one cycle and y’all - I want to yell from the rooftops so every woman learns about it!
Okay, phases? What’re you talking about?
Apparently we learned this in high school biology, but excuse me for not remembering what I learned in an extremely clinical setting 15 years ago. There are four phases to a woman’s monthly cycle: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal. Four phases. Four different energy levels, different nutritional and social needs, four different mindsets and hormonal levels. And here we are, treating our bodies the same every week and not understanding why everything feels off.
So what is cycle syncing?
Cycle syncing is the idea of planning (or syncing) your life around the phases of your cycle. It’s being intentional about how you’re working out, communicating, taking care of yourself, eating, etc. throughout the month to optimize your mind and body. In the beginning (where I am currently), it takes some work/planning/intentionality to know where you are and what you need, but from my research, over time your body begins to instinctively know/remember and it starts to become second nature. Imagine that, your body knowing what to do and actually listening to it?!
What’re the phases about?
Below is a layout of all of the research I’ve put together over the last few weeks about the four phases. I’ve broken the needs down into 5 “categories”.
“You’ll probably feel” :: I think we naturally know we feel differently leading up to and on our period, but learning about the other three phases and realizing that I’m giving myself no grace as I move through them was super eye opening to me. Being in touch with how I feel and creating space to feel them is huge!
“You should move your body by” :: This was another huge discovery for me. I enjoy intense workouts like running and kickboxing, and would get super frustrated with my body when I couldn’t keep up (& often end up throwing up my hands and quitting all together). Over the last month I've changed my workouts to match my energy level in each phase and Y’ALL! I feel amazing!
“You should eat more” :: You have different nutritional needs as you move through the month, and I would be willing to bet you’re not meeting them. Talk about taking your meal planning up a notch!
“You should add” :: This one is super optional and something I’m implementing slowly because supplements are expensive.
“This is the best time to” :: GUYS. THIS. HOLY SHNIKES! Learning that there are things I’m going to be better at through my phases blew my mind. I mean, it makes sense, sometimes I feel hugely creative and others all I want to do is organize and nest, but I just assumed those things ebbed and flowed at random. Knowing these things makes you SO much more productive!
Menstrual Phase :: Days 1-7
You’ll probably feel: low energy (lowest of cycle), introspective, intuitive
You should move your body by: resting, doing yoga, walking
You should eat more: foods rich in iron and zinc - seafood, spinach, avocado, berries, pork
You should add: collagen, fish oil, magnesium, balancing teas
This is the best time to: make decisions, build ideas, journal, reflect, analyze what’s working/not
Follicular Phase :: Days 8-13
You’ll probably feel: creative, clear minded, outgoing, higher brain power
You should move your body by: running, cardio, increasing intensity
You should eat more: protein, chicken, sprouts, fermented foods, citrus
You should add: fermented greens powder, probiotic
This is the best time to: set goals, do creative work, plan ahead, face new challenges
Ovulatory Phase :: Days 14-21
You’ll probably feel: high energy, connective, horny
You should move your body by: HIIT, heavy weight lifting, most intense workouts
You should eat more: raw foods & juices, flax & chia seeds, lighter grains like quinoa & corn
You should add: fermented greens powder, fish oil, collagen
This is the best time to: have important conversations, socialize, public speak, get freaky
Lutal Phase :: Days 22-28
You’ll probably feel: your energy begin to decrease & turning inwards
You should move your body by: full body workouts with light weight, decreasing intensity as you move towards your period
You should eat more: leafy greens, quinoa, apples, sweet potatoes
You should add: fish oil, probiotic
This is the best time to: do administrative work, nest, organize, focus on self-care
Take it even further
Download MyFlo, the only period tracking app I’ve found that also teaches you about your phases (and I think I’ve downloaded every single one that exists)
Read WomanCode. This is an extremely consolidated version of the four cycles and cycle syncing because…Alissa already wrote an incredible book about it, ha.
Make a plan. I grabbed a monthly planner at the Dollar Store and literally wrote out what phase I’ll be in, how I intend to work out to better care for my body, how I can expect to feel, and what I need to eat more of. I’ve found myself referencing it daily (I’m sure that will get more second nature) and I just can’t even explain the impact it’s had.
Talk to your significant other. Once I had a grip on this stuff I started explaining it to the Husband, how I was feeling and why, because he’s not a mind reader and I’m just now figuring this stuff out!
I made a handy dandy little printable PDF that I literally have taped to my mirror. I don’t even care if you think this is overkill, I’m determined to force my brain to learn this stuff so I can have a better life (and be a better person!)