Is there a ‘best time’ to eat chocolate?

Hmmmm what a good topic to talk about. Most women crave chocolate before their period. Normally it’s cause a) they want sugar to give them a release of serotonin (as this is lower in your luteal phase) and/or 2) their body is needing extra magnesium.

lxcacao which actually translates into SHE chocolate is the goddess of the creamy, brown, heavenly stuff. She’s a rich, sexy, abundant earth goddess and she is oooosing sex and power. She’s feminine and fierce. Something that most women struggle to encompass these days. We are constantly being told to keep a lid on things. Don’t be a show-off, don’t think so highly of yourself, don’t get a big head, don’t don’t don’t. As a result, we have turned off our libido for life. Our life force. our feelings, our sensuality, and as a result our fierce feminine.

Lxcacao’s medicine is just that, medicinal. In the right form of course. I’m talking about the 100% raw cacao sorta stuff. Without the sugar ’cause that won’t help your PMS. You can treat your ceremonial cacao during this time as just that, a ceremony for your feminine. Praising the beauty of your cycle and honoring it.

However you choose to communicate with your divine feminine, having some cacao during your luteal phase can help you reach that higher level.

Not to mention, cacao has phenylethylamine to make you feel as sorts of delicious feelings. Phenylethylamine boosts your libido and mood which is fantastic for this phase where most of the PMS shows up, especially as post-ovulation depression.

Lastly, raw cacao is high in magnesium which is fantastic for bloating, inflammation, water retention, anxiety, heavy periods, migranes, sleep, period pain and sugar cravings. In fact, magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems in the body, so just eat chocolate and everything will probs work 😉

Try some of my recipes!

Buttery Brownies from my Sugar Free Sweets eBook

Chocolate Bark from my Sugar Free Sweets eBook

Choc-maca gummies from my Sugar Free Sweets eBook

Really Healthy Rocky Road
Chocolate Crackles

Mint Slice // Peanut butter cups // Almond butter cups 

Butter Filled Easter Eggs
Melted Chocolate Choc-Chip Cookies which you get as a free download when you subscribe

You might also like: 

How to WANT to have sex

Is your energy affecting your cycle? 

How can light & the moon affect your cycle?

Traditionally speaking, women would be ‘in sync’ with the lunar cycle due to the change in light. Before the invention of lights, when there was a full moon, there would obviously be more light at night, and then when there was a new moon is would be virtually pitch black at night.

Now whilst I believe (and have read somewhere but now can’t find it again) that the moon has magical powers and affects us in more ways than one, I’m presenting you with the science today of how light affects our cycles and how the moon affects us (limited research has been done because it is so complex).

Melatonin is the hormone that we make as bedtime gets closer and as our body works as a whole, when one thing is off, it can throw everything off. Melatonin is a vital part of your endocrine (hormonal) system and affects ovulation and thus estrogen and progesterone.

When you are exposed to light at night, this can stop your pineal gland from making melatonin. This will throw off your body’s rhythmic activities from sleep, to appetite and even the onset of puberty. Without darkness, this hormone cannot be produced (unless of course you pop some drugs – pls don’t)[1].

Your hypothalamus is also affected my melatonin and this regulates your blood pressure, emotions, temperature and your whole endocrine system. It stimulates the thyroid, adrenals and ovaries to secrete their given hormones but without melatonin, this process can be disrupted[2]. It has even been stated that the ovaries and testicles are thought to contain melatonin receptors[3].

E.M Dewan found that women can regulate their cycles by sleeping in complete darkness on days 1-13 of their cycle, sleeping with a 100 watt bulb on all night (under a lampshade in their bedroom) for days 14-17 and then returning to sleeping in complete darkness until your period starts again[4].

Light cycling can also help in the following ways:

  • Having ovulatory cycles if you have an anovulatory cycle
  • Getting healthy cervical fluid<
  • Short cycles becoming longer (27-31)
  • FSH levels becoming healthy
  • Spotting is reduced
  • Increase progesterone
  • Sustained pregnancy if you have a history of miscarriage.

When it comes to the moon – clearly there is a link between melatonin production and the phases of the cycle, but with our modern life, can the moon still play a role in our cycle?

Short answer: hells yes!!

Animal studies have shown that the lunar cycle can affect hormonal changes in insects and in fish, the lunar cycle influences reproduction and involves the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. In birds, the daily variations in melatonin production and corticosterone go away during the days of a full moon. It is said that the release of neurohormones may be triggered by the electromagnetic radiation and/or gravitational pull of the moon[5]. HOW AMAZING IS THAT?!

We are influenced by electromagnetic waves and gravitational force. The moon is the nearest celestial object to the earth and it affects all living beings more than any other planet. It is clear that the moon has an effect on the tides of the ocean, and as the moon affects the water, it also affects the liquids inside the human body such as blood and secretions of glands as we are composed of 70% water[6].

Additionally, the heart pulse of females is significantly affected when it is measured during the days of the full moon due to the electromagnetic waves that are emitted from the full moon[7].

It’s a little frustrating that I haven’t been able to find any science (as yet) about how exactly the moon affects each cell in our body, but what I have found so far continues to show me how fricken amazing the female body is and our cycle. It’s another reason why I want to keep helping women to fall in love with being a woman because this shit is amazing!!

So, if you are struggling with anything period related or just want to learn more, please email me and we can book you in for a 1:1 appointment with me so you can change your life forever!

[1] Marieb, Elaine N., Human Anatomy and Physiology, 4th Edition, Addison Wesley Longman, 1998.

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17601857

[3] https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/109528

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2243890

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16407788

[6] http://www.macrothink.org/journal/index.php/jsr/article/viewFile/4839/4134

[7]http://www.macrothink.org/journal/index.php/jsr/article/viewFile/4839/4134

 

Do you have low progesterone?

Mmmmmm, progesterone. It should literally be like that; calming, relaxing and soothing. That’s the point of this hormone. However, most women don’t reap these benefits because they have low progesterone, which is often packaged with the 2 for 1 bargain of high estrogen too. A mix that you really do NOT want. Let me explain why….

Progesterone counterbalances estrogen and helps prevent breast cancer, boost thyroid hormone, keeps your nervous system calm, reduces inflammation, builds muscle, promotes sleep and lightens your period (your period shouldn’t be too light though!). Basically, is the pretty much the opposite to estrogen.

However, due to our modern world, many women (including my old self) are low in progesterone because their cortisol is so high. In order for your body to make cortisol, it has to tap into your progesterone stores because it is the precursor to cortisol. So as your cortisol increases, your progesterone decreases, and you feel more anxious/stressed and more cortisol is released and it’s a fricken circle of DOOOOOOOMMM. Just kidding, I can help.

Whilst progesterone deficiency can be tied to many different health issues, which I won’t go into right now, here are some of the most common symptoms of low progesterone:

  • You know when your period is about to come because you look like a puffa fish (fluid retention), you look 6 months pregnant from bloating, your cramps are pretty damn horrible and/or you are anxious AF or depressed.
  • Your cycles are short- less than 26 days
  • You get angry at the most random things. Like this is legit you:

  • Your weight fluctuates throughout your cycle
  • Your sleep is disrupted
  • You turn into a monster in the second half of your cycle and your boyfriend/husband is walking around on eggshells
    Exhibit A:
  • You’re missing your period

The good news is that we can fix it and relatively quickly with a combo of lifestyle, diet, and supplements you’ll be well on your way to loving your cycle a bit more!

My top tips are reducing stress (both internal and external), eating sweet potato, unblocking emotional blockages, increasing vitamin C and taking Vitex.

If this sounds like you and you need help navigating the murky waters, email me or book in for a strategy session and we can fix you right up (and educate you) FOR LIFE (band-aids in the MYHealth HQ)!

Is you energy affecting your cycle?

The first thing to note, is that everything is energy. Just notice how a very white, clean space feels very light and calm, whereas a messy space feels like chaos. There you go – that’s an example of energy. Or have you ever noticed that after seeing a friend, you feel very heavy or very light? That’s because you have ‘caught’ some of their energy and it’s now affecting you.

There are many issues that can contribute to an energy blockage in your body which can result in a lack of a period, a heavy horrible period or a struggle to conceive. Unresolved grief or anger regarding a past experience, childhood trauma, unsettled issues with a parent, friend or past lover, the loss of a loved one, our own expectations or judgement, fears around getting pregnant or having a period (because of the pain it comes with), etc …

This post is not about any judgement. Don’t judge yourself for having these pasts, just learn from them. We’ve all got our own past stories that we are afraid to tell the world or to release from ourselves. That’s okay, just honour yourself for showing up and reading this post. This post is about investigation, another idea, something new that you maybe haven’t tried.

You can’t clear your energy if you don’t know it’s there. You must be able to recognise that something is holding you back or affecting you. So sit with yourself for a minute. Close your eyes, ground your bum bones into the chair and your feet on the floor. Breath innnnnnn and outtttt. Do it now…..

What do you notice? Can you think of things that are holding you back or affecting your energy?

You just grounded yourself. Grounding is important for fertility because when the body feels physically save (grounding helps the body achieve this), it allows the body to relax. It brings awareness into the body as well which is an essential aspect of the fertility journey (remember fertility is a sign of full health).

The first Chakra which is located at the base of your spine, has to do with grounding and it’s connection to the earth. It is about safety, security, home and finances. Basically – survival. It motivates you to take care of yourself….most of which women do NOT do.

The energy of fear can be held in this space and if you don’t feel safe in your body, there is no way that your body is going to allow you to even have the chance of falling pregnant. (Hence no period or painful periods that place more pain and fear in your mind so you struggle to conceive because pain and fear blocks the energy of conception).

An interesting thought about this first chakra is that an imbalance can manifest on a physical level as immune system issues and endometriosis has been linked to a compromised immune system (1).

The second chakra, located just below the navel, is about emotions, sexuality and desire. All of which I’m pretty sure every woman struggles with. Having balance in the second chakra is vital for a healthy relationship with fertility and your cycle. It is also all about the element of water….watery thinks like yin, menstruation and orgasm (both of which are barely talked about openly and without some fear). Movement is important for the workings of this charka and so dancing and moving your hips can help open this space. (Check out my playlists for you to move to).

This chakra also has a lot to do with feminine energy, yin and water like processes. However most of us either 1) don’t know how the f to connect with our feminine or 2) are afraid to do so because people won’t take up seriously or shit won’t get done….am I right?

We don’t want to let go, most of us (including me) want to control and plan ahead. This is doing the exact opposite of what we need for the balance of this chakra. Try to relax your resistance. Let your hips go, let your reproductive organs relax and soften. Just imagine that. Relaxing your uterus, womb, ovaries, vagina. See how you soften? That’s what we gotta do more of (I’m literally doing this as I write, so please do this as you read).

If you haven’t just done that, stop, and do it for 5 seconds.

Being in nature can also help us to connect with the feminine side of ourselves and open up blockages or resistance in this chakra.

Just like trauma can have an effect on the energy we hold, so can past lovers. When you are with someone, you share their energy and if you don’t release theirs’s, you can hold onto it for a long time. Additionally, many of us (myself included when I first started having my period before I went on the pill), are not in touch with our body and we are always frustrated with it. We don’t look how we want, we get sick, we can’t have an orgasm, we can’t can’t cant’!!! All of this crap can also hinder fertility and our ability to have an enjoyable cycle. If you don’t like being a female cause you hate your fucking period, then this will also affect your cycle.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding how your energy and emotions affect your body. The power of your thoughts is absolutely astounding and studies have proven the power of your mind to manifest in your physical body (2).

If you are struggling with past experiences or letting go of energy and want some techniques and support, please reach out to me for some life coaching. As a life coach and a chick-obsessed-about-periods, I’m able to combine the two to help you achieve the goals you are after and stop having horrible periods. If you’ve tried everything nutrition and lifestyle-related, maybe you’ve got an energy blockage? As women, we carry a lot of other people’s energy and it’s so important to clear this out. Please feel free to email me at hello@monicayates.com.au xx

Also, does this post resonate with you? Let me know in the comments below <3

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28575420
  2. https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3196007/langer_excersiseplaceboeffect.pdf?sequence=1

Is your flow all g?

Sometimes women say to me that their period is so light it’s FABulous and I’m like hmmmmm….no. I know that most of us hate having our period, but that’s why I’m here. To help you fall in love with your monthly cycle and the beauty of it.

However, I do want to explain what a normal period should be looking like.

Your cycle should be 3-6 days and has a pattern that is like a crescendo or decrescendo (so it starts light and gets heavy or visa versa). (1)

You can expect that about 90% of all your blood during your period will be let go of within the first 3 days of your period (2) and the second day of your bleeding will be the heaviest day. (3)

Your period should be a variant of red. Bright red, deep red wine or something like beet juice is normal and expected. A normal amount of blood that is lost is about 25-80ml from the first to the last day of your period.

Brown blood is leftover old blood that didn’t’ come out of your uterus on your last cycle. This can be a sign that your flow is sluggish or there is a lack of circulation to your uterus, so make sure that next cycle you include more warming foods like ginger, turmeric, soups, curries and stews to help boost blood flow and circulation.

If you get spotting between period, this is often due to a lack of progesterone. Progesterone is what “holds in” your period, so if you don’t have enough, it can’t hold it in for a long enough time and you will start to spot. Start taking 1000mg daily of vitex.

 

If you period is RAGINGLY heavy and looks like someone had dumped a pile of clumpy strawberry jam in your undies (hello blood clots), this can be a sign of estrogen dominance or an iron deficiency (heavy periods can cause an iron deficiency, but an iron deficiency can also cause heavy periods) so making sure that you are consuming chicken liver for iron and lots of brassica vegetables to flush out estrogen is a great first place to start.

If your period is very light (pale pink, or blood that is thin and watery), this can be a sign of not having enough estrogen and thus poor blood quality, which isn’t great for your health either. A lack of estrogen can also show up as low libido, loss of bone density, dull looking skin amongst other things. Try including maca (4) and 1000mg of Vitex daily (5) as well as trying out Dong Quai, red raspberry leaf (6) and nettles. Also, ensure that you are eating LOTS of healthy fats as they are the building blocks for your estrogen and progesterone to be made.

Got more period questions?! I’d love to work with you! So many women have now come to me to get an understanding of their cycle, what they can do to support it and improve it, and walk away feeling empowered and excited on their new journey to self-discovery. I would love to be able to do the same for you. Please don’t hesitate to book in for a strategy session, or if you’ve got hesitations about working with me, book in for a 20-minute free chat and I can hopefully clear those up for you.

1. https://www.popline.org/node/295425

2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/00016347109157279

3. https://www.popline.org/node/295425

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18784609

5. https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy.laureate.net.au/science/article/pii/S221080331730074X

6. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(00)71348-1/abstract