All my ladies out there, this post is for you! I’m sure we all know the basics of what to do and what not to do when our periods come around each month. I refer to it as when “ TOM” comes to visit. Today, I want to talk about a few tips on how to give your body the care it needs during TOM’s visit. I will also be sharing some good & not so good foods & drinks that can help or hinder your body during that “Time Of Month”.
First, let’s talk about some of the symptoms that come with TOM. I know I usually get hit with cramping and bloating before TOM even makes an official appearance. It’s like a warning my body gives me, this has always been the case for me. Most women I talk to deal with cramping, bloating, moodiness, cravings, fatigue, etc. While there are so many ways to relieve pain and discomfort out there, here are just a few I have found that really help me during this time.
#1. Hot Shower – Exfoliate your entire body, shampoo and deep condition your hair, and shave Everything if you feel like it. Doing this always helps me feel pampered, calm, and most importantly, clean.
#2. Hot Tea – I love drinking hot lemon tea in the morning and before bed. This is a great way to wake your body up and help you fall asleep at night.
#3. Exercise – I know this is probably the last thing you feel like doing during this week, but I have to say, adding a 15-20 minute yoga/stretching session or a slightly brisk walk to your day can seriously do wonders for your mind and your body!
Alright, now let’s talk about some foods and drinks that are great for you and your body during your TOM. Our bodies lose so much blood during our TOM’s and depending on your flow and duration, you could lose up to 80mL. That’s a lot! In order for your body to replenish this loss, there are some key things you should incorporate into your diet.
Leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, and kale are key items that will aid you and your body during this time. Kale is a great source of iron which is amazing for your body during your TOM because you lose quite a bit of iron during this time. Lean meats such as fish, chicken and turkey are great sources of protein. Whole grains and fresh fruits should also be key components in your daily diet. If you are craving something sweet, reach for bananas, figs, watermelon, or dates. As always lots and lots of water will help replenish your body better than any drink out there.
So basically, whole foods, lean protein and tons of water.
Now, for those things that most women should be avoiding during TOM’s visit.
High – sodium foods such as bagged chips, fried foods, and canned foods are known for increasing any bloating or discomfort you may already be feeling.
Fried foods have actually been found to mess with women’s hormones. Foods that contain or have been cooked in trans-fat or hydrogenated vegetable oils (like fried foods) can elevate estrogen levels which causes mood swings. For me, red meat is also a big no no. I find that red meat, while a good source of iron, can sometimes cause my cramping to get worse and lead to my face breaking out the next morning.
I would also recommend staying away from sugary drinks and foods as well as dairy products. Foods like milk, cheese, and ice cream contain arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that can increase inflammation and severe cramping. Try replacing some of your most loved items with healthier alternatives like, almond or rice milk, vegan cheese or nutritional yeast, and “nice cream” or blended frozen fruit. These little substitutions could make the difference between a somewhat peaceful TOM and a very uncomfortable TOM.
Make sure to listen to your body. If you feel like you are craving something, indulge yourself. Just be mindful of the quantity of “unfriendly” foods and drinks you consume. When you take care of your body, it will take care of you. I’m still learning this as I grow and continue in my wellness/lifestyle journey. Take it day by day and be patient with yourself, and try not to compare your journey to anyone else’s. Every journey and every body is unique. Someone you follow on Instagram or YouTube may be able to eat dark chocolate every single day, whereas someone (like me) can’t even look at any kind of chocolate without having breakouts all over their face the next day.
Find what works for you and your body. Especially while TOM is in town, make sure to take care of yourself, relax, and be kind to your body.
XO my loves,
I am not a doctor and do not claim to be. The things mentioned in this blog are not meant to replace any over-the-counter medications you may need or any doctors orders. If you feel that you experience extremely heavy periods, you may need to make an appointment with your gynecologist (OBGYN) and go from there.
Love you all and thanks for reading! <3