Ladies, you know how it is. We don’t usually enjoy that time of month when we turn into a psycho b**** and crave all the chocolate in the world. I’m the type of person that will be like “Ain’t no body got time for woman problems!” and still workout, do my normal activities, but just with some random spazzes and mood swings. I’ve never taken medication for cramping or had pains severe enough to not get out of bed, but there have been many times (I repeat, MANY) where I just want to munch on everything and cry for no reason. Can anyone relate? Periods aren’t fun, but over time I’ve discovered some ways to make that time of month more bearable. Sometimes I’ll still have a rough period, but usually if I follow these tips I’ll feel more energized and be less of a crazy monster during that time. So hopefully these will help any of you ladies out there suffering from not-so-nice periods!
1) Eat organic, hormone-free meat! (Or go vegetarian/vegan)
Some of you may be skeptical about organic products; however, I’ve tested this multiple times with my own body and I can confidently say that hormone-injected meats (non-organic) are not healthy for you. To test this, I was aware of what I ate the week before my period and was conscious of how my body felt during my period. The first time, I started eating only vegan/vegetarian meals about one week before my period. Once it arrived, I had no cramps or bloating at all. NONE. The next month, I ate regular non-organic meat and when my period came, it didn’t surprise me that it came with cramps and stomach pains. Another time, I had about half of my meals vegetarian during the week before, the other half of my meals with organic meat and I also drank organic milk. I was a bit tired during my period, but again, almost no stomach pains at all.
Therefore, the hormones and other chemicals in non-organic meat are very real and do cause the hormones in your body to react. I’m not a scientist so I don’t know exactly what happens, but it’s very evident to me that eating non-organic meat takes a toll on your body. I also noticed less hormonal acne on my face when I ate organic/vegan.
2) Sleep enough
Normally, we need about 6-8 hours of sleep a night, but during that time of month our bodies may feel more drained and need more time to recuperate. Go to bed a little early than you usually do, to get more zzz’s.
3) Eat less salty foods & Drink plenty of water
When you eat too much salt, your body retains more water which may cause you to bloat. An adequate amount of sodium for healthy adults is around 1000-1500 mg per day. Also, if you don’t drink enough water, your body will become dehydrated and end up retaining more water as well. It is recommended that women drink 2.7 L daily and men 3.7 L and more if you are exercising and sweating. For me, I normally drink about 500mL of water every 1.5 hours up until dinner and less afterwards.
4) Exercise – but less intensely during your period
If you have enough energy to still do those intense workouts then go for it! It’s good to stay active, so go for a light jog or do some stretching. However, if you’re feeling tired, it’s okay to give your body a break! It’s alright to rest and not workout for a couple days. Listen to your body and sometimes we just need to recover.
5) Eat less sugar/junk food overall
We crave foods that we eat often. Therefore, if you normally eat a lot of sweets, fried foods, chips, and other junk food – then don’t be surprised when you crave these foods during your period. The recommended daily amount of added sugar is around 25 grams for women, so keep that in mind when you’re choosing foods. Since I changed my lifestyle and started eating healthier, I don’t crave so many unhealthy foods during my period anymore. Sometimes I’ll still want a treat, so I’ll treat myself! The key is moderation. If you’re craving sugar, have some fruit. If you want some chocolate, break a couple pieces off from the bar instead of eating the whole thing.
6) Choose to be in a good mood
When you wake up in the morning, decide that you are happy and going to have a good day. This is still challenging for me sometimes! But if you decide your mindset first thing in the morning, it can help the rest of your day go better. Happiness is a choice and we all have the power to choose.
Lastly, the thing I always say – don’t be so hard on yourself! If you have a crappy period, do something you love. Pamper yourself. It’s only a few days, so don’t let it ruin your whole month. Pick yourself back up and make healthy choices going forward!