Cycle syncing: the luteal phase
Unlock the potential of your luteal phase! Discover how to harness its unique energy and support your body with diet, exercise, and self-care.
Get the 411 on the luteal phase
Let's talk about the luteal phase — the unsung hero of your menstrual cycle. This often-overlooked phase occurs between ovulation and menstruation, during which your body undergoes significant hormonal changes. Hello, shifts in mood, energy, and cravings!
Thinking about your own luteal phase, you probably associate this time of the month with PMS symptoms and feeling sluggish. But what if we told you the luteal phase can be a period of productivity and focus? It’s all about working in tandem with your body, not against it. Let’s dig in.
Craving solitude and inwardness
Thanks to fluctuating hormones, the luteal phase will begin energetically, then wane. As the fourth week in your cycle, you may notice yourself feeling more inward. You may become agitated by excessive demands, thus craving more alone time. This is totally normal! It's a wonderful time to nurture your creative insights, write poetry, draw, or come up with strategic ideas for your business. Remember that if you disown our body’s feedback, PMS can intensify.
How to shift your diet and lifestyle during the luteal phase
Did you know that you can increase your intake of complex carbohydrates during this phase? That’s right. Carbs provide glucose (the energy our bodies need). And during the luteal phase, our bodies require more energy to support the rise in progesterone. Foods such as brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates that will help fuel your body.
In addition to carbs, it is also essential to focus on foods that contain magnesium, vitamin B6, and calcium. These nutrients can help alleviate PMS symptoms such as cramps, bloating, and mood swings. Foods such as leafy greens, nuts, pumpkin seeds (which we've included in our seed cycling blends!) and dairy products are excellent sources of these nutrients. This arugula potato salad is perfect for the second-half of your cycle!
When it comes to exercise, the luteal phase is a wonderful time for low-intensity workouts — such as yoga, pilates, or walking. These activities can help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation, which can be beneficial during this phase when we may feel more emotional and fatigued. Ultimately, syncing your diet and exercise with your luteal phase is crucial for optimal health and wellbeing.
InsightTimer: luteal phase meditations
No matter which cycle phase you’re in, it’s always important to give your body the energy and nutrients it needs. That said, remember that nourishment comes in many forms — beyond what’s on your plate. Make self-care during the luteal phase is non-negotiable.
Given that you may start to feel more anxious and tired during the luteal phase, rechannel this into more centered and spiritual exercise like yoga, pilates, or meditation. We’ve been loving InsightTimer’s phase-specific meditations, like these for the luteal phase. These meditations help honor this part of your cycle and support your emotional well-being during time.
Nourish with magnesium-rich foods
Want an easy way to support your body during the luteal phase? Eat more magnesium-rich foods! Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including muscle, nerve function and blood sugar control. For menstruators, magnesium can be particularly beneficial because of its ability to alleviate PMS.
Thanks to its ability to relax muscles in the uterus and reduce the production of prostaglandins (hormones that cause menstrual cramps), it’s a must-have nutrient before your period starts. Magnesium is also known to increase energy and libido!
A few of our favorites: pumpkin seeds, spinach, Swiss chard, and dark chocolate. Make a lentil soup with sauteed leafy greens and top your bowl with pumpkin seeds (found in our seed cycling blends)! For dessert, enjoy dark chocolate and a handful of walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids.
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Click here to learn more about our seed cycling blends and try them out for yourself. If you have any questions, hit reply on this email. We're here to support you!