Tuesday, January 30, 2018

My Journey With Cycle Syncing-Part 1

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I've been Cycle Syncing for almost three weeks now. The main reason I chose to do Cycle Syncing was for my health as well as weight loss. I've been dealing with health issues for these past few years. And they started interfering with my daily life. Especially my stomach issues, fatigue, and my anxiety. After reading Womancode by Alisa Vitti it put a lot into perspective for me and made me think that maybe there was a correlation between these issues and my hormones. Plus, that I tend to have difficult periods which contrary to popular belief should not be the case. It actually is not normal to suffer during that time of the month according to Womancode and a few other books I have read on the topic. Of course, if you have health issues or female issues you should always check with a doctor and do your own research. 

Cycle Syncing and Flo living are about living as much as possible around your cycle. Obviously, for various reasons this is not always possible but if you can live as closely synched to your cycle as possible the better. This might mean changing your workouts (some points you will have more energy and other times you will be more tired), eating various foods depending on where you are at in your cycle, and spending more or less time on projects or more time on planning. 

I started Cycle Syncing towards the middle of my Follicular Phase which is right after the period. My energy was still pretty low at this point. But, my anxiety was less. It is recommended that you do light exercise and then gradually go into cardio as your energy picks up towards the middle or end of this phase. I admit I got out of my workout habit and still am struggling with getting back into it. However, I did sign up for DailyBurn and I am loving Barre Harmony with Becca Pace. I have always wanted to try Barre but couldn't find a class so it is so fun to be able to do it at home. Right now it is the perfect speed for me since I'm getting back into a workout routine. I was doing really yang type workouts that made me get out of breath and sweat like crazy. Don't get me wrong I still like those workouts and I hope to get back to it. But, Now that I know about Cycle Syncing I know that sometimes depending on my phase those workouts will be a little too much for me. It's really teaching me to listen to my body. 

The First week was not as hard as I thought it would be. I've eaten this way in the past the only thing that really changed was adding in more of certain foods depending on where I was in my cycle. I've mostly cut out Gluten, Dairy, and Soy. I might eat these foods occasionally now but I was getting into the habit of eating these foods almost every day. I don't think I have an allergy that is severe like celiac but I do notice that I am less bloated and generally feel better. I've also cut down on sugar except for occasionally or I'll have Stevia instead. I try to stay under 50g sugar which is not always the easiest. But, it is making me much more aware of what I am eating and putting into my body. 

One of the biggest changes for me was increasing my meals. That has always been hard for me. I would usually eat a small breakfast, a medium lunch, and no snacks then I would be starving at dinner and end up overeating. Especially if I'm eating in front of the tv and not paying attention. So, now I try my best to eat at least one or two snacks throughout the day. I notice a difference if I don't in my hunger level, energy level, and mood. In carb cycling, if you have followed that it suggests a similar eating pattern to cycle syncing. In cycle syncing, it suggests eating within an hour in a half upon waking and carb cycling suggests eating within 30 minutes of waking. 
 My Breakfast is typically oatmeal with fruit and some cinnamon, A protein shake, or eggs and some gluten-free toast with avocado or grass-fed butter. I try to have at least one carb with breakfast but keep it under 30g carbs as Womancode suggests. 

Lunch is typically a salad with the cycle syncing recommended foods. I usually have organic Chicken, Free-range hardboiled eggs, Avocado, and/or chickpeas depending on my cycle phase. 

I try to keep my dinner filled with more protein and fewer carbs except for some Quinoa or a sweet potato. But, it depends on the cycle I'm in. Currently, I'm in my menstrual/moon phase so I need more fat and protein. I've been under the weather this past week so I haven't been following the cycle syncing as well as I would like to and was earlier in the month. However, I'm already noticing changes. My cramps really have not been that bad like they usually are. I'm still really lethargic so I'm upping my protein, fat, and iron-rich foods like kale, spinach, beef, and beets. Although me being lethargic could also be due to having a nasty cold this week. So, it's hard to say for sure. 
In my luteal/PMS phase, I enjoyed some chocolate vegan gluten-free hummus that I found with fruit. I ate it was strawberries and raspberries and it was delish. 

It's called Brownie Batter Hummus and it is made by Delighted by Dessert Hummus. And it legit tastes like chocolate frosting. #notsponsored 

My goals for this month are to come up with some more creative recipes. So, if you have any recipe books you really like drop them in the comments below. I will be sure to check them out. 
Some good cookbooks I've found that I think would match up with cycle syncing well are 

My second goal for the new month is to start carb cycling and doing IIFYM If it Fits Your Macros. I've briefly done carb cycling but this time I am going to implement more high carb days. And count my macros. The past few days I've actually been tracking with My Fitness Pal. I'm thinking I will upgrade to the premium version of My Fitness Pal for better macro tracking. Once I'm well I plan on working out more including lifting weights and doing more cardio. 

So, we will see how month 2 goes with cycle syncing. I also noticed during my luteal phase/pms I usually get horrible monster headaches. I only got one headache that was a monster this month and it was during my ovulation phase. So, that is for sure progress. I also noticed my anxiety is 10X worse during my PMS phase and about 5X worse during ovulation. The other times I noticed slight anxiety. Between being sick and my PMS cravings I didn't follow the plan as well as I would have liked.

So my third goal for this next month is to be more vigilant about what I'm eating and to figure out why I'm having the cravings and overeating during my PMS phase. 

Progress, not perfection.
I am excited to see what month 2 holds. 

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