It’s not a dazzling topic to talk about, but I want to anyways. My blog. My content. Me me me me me :) Here’s the thing, pms happens to me, and most women, every month more or less and it sucks. It’s disruptive in my everyday life, it’s tough to manage because literally everything I do needs to be pretty much flawless (diet, workouts, sleep, social interactions etc.) leading up to it in order for me to not have to deal with it, and since I’m flawed by nature a cycle with zero pms symptoms has happened…..never? At least not from what I can remember. Either way. Here I am, grateful to once again be out of the pms-bullshittery-deluxe-weeds. This gnarly creature will manifest itself differently in all women. For me, it turns my heart hypersensitive, combined with raging hypochondria. This round I had cervical, ovarian and skin cancer all in one day. Super solid. And I was bloated on top of that. Normally it’s not this bad for me (like I don’t have to live through epic pms stints like so many women out there) but this one just hit me hard, I felt so anxious, and I have some theories about why, so figured I should share. Because who knows, maybe it will bring some level of comfort to another fellow little crazy monster out there? To know that at least you’re not crazy all by yourself, and how you’re feeling is most certainly not just in your head. Ya hear that, dudes?!
Pms will happen sometime during the luteal phase of your cycle (post-ovulation) and it’s the balance between estrogen and progesterone that stirs shit up. If you for some reason have a cycle where you’re extra low on progesterone this will affect serotonin more. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a big role in stabilizing our mood, so keeping it balanced will make a huge difference for our well-being. Obviously not the only function, but it’s an important one. Low levels can make us anxious, sad, feeling depressed etc., and it can also drive us straight into multiple nights with Ben & Jerry’s without really knowing what happened until it’s too late. Feel me?
Naturally boosting our serotonin is possible, but it requires a little bit of planning. Meaning, don't try any other method other than the ice cream method if you're currently living downtown pms-ville, it’s kinda too late for this month. But for all of you other ladies who can be saved this cycle, I'll give you my (very personal) take on what can be done.
Since some studies estimates that about 90% of serotonin is produced in our gut, I think the gut approach is the way to go. I’m not going to try to back this up with any scientific studies, this topic is just too damn personal and abstract. All I can really talk about here is myself and my personal experiences.
I genuinely believe that all disease begin in the gut, so keeping my gut healthy is my primary focus with my diet these days. A great way to help heal out our guts, and restore the gut microbiome is to keep it simple with our diets. First get rid of anything that we know is disruptive (grains, legumes, dairy and even nuts and seeds). Eat veggies, but focus on those that grow above ground. Eat plenty of fat in the form of grass fed butter, coconut oil, avocado oil and olive oil. Then eat normal amounts of high quality protein. In addition to this, eat a little bit of raw, fermented veggies daily to ensure a solid flow of good probiotics. I stick to regular sauerkraut for the most part (just cabbage and salt), but sometimes I ferment veggies myself, or eat kimchi. Whatever gets you going. Then consume a little bit of prebiotics. If you don’t want to carb out, then drink potato water (slice up a potato, put it in water over night and drink the water). I like sweet potatoes. My best carb treat.
Second tip is to sleep! Serotonin is replenished during our sleep, and to be honest, this is usually my downfall. I have a busy mind and I tend to be a light, anxious sleeper combined with being a master at staying up late for no reason. It's just not a great combo.
When I’m 100% good with my diet and sleep, I pretty much bypass the hassle of pms completely. For this cycle I feel like I’ve screwed myself for a few reasons.
1) Diet. Too many cocktails. Sugar sugar sugar.
2) Sleep. Hasn’t been that great.
3) My immune system got a little stressed a while back (gut gut gut).
Again, not claiming this to be the truth, but it works for me. Everytime. And when all else fails, there’s always Netflix, wine and ice cream. XO