You can use the following wisdom to create harmony within your body whether you’re pregnant, nursing or do not have a menstrual cycle for other reasons. Did you know that the phases of the moon mirror the phases of our cycle? We can tap into this celestial rhythm in order to maintain our own feminine rhythm while cycling our food and movement routines alongside. This can be very grounding, especially for a women going through the motherhood transition.
Follow the Phases of the Moon
Grab yourself a lunar calendar and sync right up! I will take you through each moon phase and the menstrual cycle equivalent, followed by the recommended food and movement. If you don’t have a cycle, I suggest you follow the moon and let it be your guide to a feminine rhythm.
New Moon – Menstruation
The new moon is equated to the menstrual or bleeding phase. Typically, this is Day 1 of your cycle.
Food qualities to look for: low glycemic index, water-rich fruits and vegetables, warming foods and blood builders, which help replace lost blood from menses. Blood building foods are rich in iron. For example, red meat, organ meat, legumes, dark leafy greens and even dried fruit.
Example foods: beet, kale, kelp, mushrooms, and red meat
Movement to perform: As energy turns inward, schedule some rest, walking, or restorative yoga. This is also a great time for journaling and goal setting.
Waxing Moon – Follicular
During the follicular phase, the follicles in the ovary (fluid-filled sacs containing eggs) mature.
Food qualities to look for: lighter foods with vibrant colors, fermented foods, veggies, and lean proteins. Prepare foods by steaming and sauteing.
Example foods: artichoke, broccoli, carrot, parsley, green peas, string beans, and zucchini
Seed cycling: Pumpkin seeds, flax seeds
Movement to perform: Try something new! This is a great time for starting new projects, making decisions, and/or taking a new class. Maybe try a new skill you’ve always been intrigued by. Your body wants to be active during this time, so get out and move!
Full Moon – Ovulation
During ovulation, the egg is finally released from the follicle and is waiting for fertilization.
Food qualities to look for: lighter carbohydrate load, cruciferous vegetables, and a variety of seafood.
Example foods: Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, chard, escarole, scallion, spinach, and almonds
Movement to perform: Your energy and desire to connect is at an all time high, so choose a high-impact group class or running with a friend. You may also feel more connected and attracted to your partner, so setting up a sexy date night would be perfect.
Waning Moon – Luteal
The follicle transforms into the corpus luteum which makes progesterone and prepares the uterus for implantation of a fertilized egg.
Food qualities to look for: those rich in B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and fiber. Consume natural sugars as well as soups and stews which are great for adding warmth to your womb.
Example foods: cauliflower, collard greens, kale, daikon, onion, parsnip, radish, squash, and sweet potato
Seed cycling: Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
Movement to perform: lower resistance exercise such as pilates, vinyasa yoga, or elliptical. Also consider going to bed early as your body slows down and prepares for menstruation (or the new moon).
Finding balance within your body during the motherhood transition may be challenging. However, using the phases of the moon as your guide may be very beneficial. As you can see, many small changes in the way you cycle food and movement have the ability to impact your feminine rhythm to help restore balance within your body, with or without a menstrual cycle.
Dr. Whitley Jagnanan, DC, CST, BS
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