Thursday, February 14, 2013

Relief For That Time of the Month

Warning in advance: This may get a little to close and personal especially if you are a guy who just doesn't understand the female body. If you are uncomfortable feel free to read my other blog posts.

For those who want to continue allow me to remind you that I had been rather sick in the past after losing a lot of weight in a rather fast period of time. This also lead to me being Hormonally empty inside which also meant I had no menstrual cycle. For two years, for two beautiful two years (saying this while PMSing by the way) I have been bleeding free, cramping free, and saving money not having to go to the store to by tampons or pads. It was a couple years of greatness in my opinion. 

Now here is the thing of having two beautiful years of being menstrual free: YOU HAVE NO HORMONES IN THE BODY or they are out of wack. This can be a huge issue that can lead to cancer, osteoporosis, and infertility along with other side effects. Needless to say although I do miss the days of not having to worry about whether or not I have enough products stashed and knowing that when I am angery it's just cause someone pissed me off rather than because I couldn't watch my shows or because the waiter forgot my water. The truth is when I was menstrating naturally I didn't have a lot of cramping or bloating. It was rather easy to go through with it every month unless you were everyone else around me. A few months ago due to Osteopenia (pre-osteoporosis) in my lower spine and body it was time for my doctors to actually to some extent force me to attempt the pill. I HATE PILLS (especially this one)! Being on the pill is seen to actually do the complete opposite for a person with a normal cycle but for me a was diagnosed with Amenorrhea (absent cycle) which if put on the pill can be reversed. There are however differences in naturally occurring monthly periods and chemically forced menstrual cycle. As mentioned I would have a pretty easy cycle for myself when it occurred naturally but on the pill things have changed. I have beyond painful cramps, bloating that makes me look like I have gained 5 pounds, headaches and at times my anxiety levels will reach an all time high (especially at night) and the biggest change is the excessive cravings. I crave every fat there is, along with every type of meat there is. 

Why am I being all personal with you all to the point of it being Taboo? I love researching how to change the position I am in and being the all awesome nutritionist that I am I did it looking for foods and supplements I can find which has also lead to me writing about it so for those women who are having similar issues with their cycle may gain a tip or two that helps them. Here is what I have learned: 

PMS stands for Premenstraul Syndrome. It is a syndrome that varies from woman to woman and it's unknown why it exactly happens although there are some theories placed. One of the theories from  studies show some correlation with bloating to the Hormonal changes that happen in the body. As your bodies hormones fluctuate it also is given signals to reatin water and salt causing you to bloat and to crave salty foods like salted nuts, chips, and sodas. Another theory I stumpled upon is that your body is in such dier need for nutrients and minerals that it just can't keep up. A woman who experiences abnormal pain is believed to need more Vitamin K, A woman who is tired, moody and/or constipated may be low in their Vitamin Bs and an Iron deficiency can also be the cause of the tiredness along with breathlessness and is seen to cause the exreme side effect of birth defects when pregnent or infertility. 

So? What can you do to help yourself? Listen to your body and give it what it needs. My body has been craving all of the above and more like Fatty Acids (Omega's which help distribute these nutrients) So I eat fish. Go to a fish joint and get a delicious Ahi tuna or stay at home by finding the freshest fish put it in the steamer with some lemon and pepper and if needed light salt (salts not wise while menstrating) and enjoy.
For the listed Vitamin K, the darker the green the higher the intake. Go for some kale or spinach add it to the side of that fish you just cooked up. Sauteed the kale with some garlic and lemon and you have deliciousness and you can do the same with the spinach or you can find kale chips just about anywhere today. 
Need your Iron? As a meat eater myself I say splurge on the steak or lamb. As someone who appreciates those on a Vegetarian diet go for the herbs, chocolate and seeds (from gaurds, sesame, or sunflower).  For those going for the meat liver is your best bet but I despise liver so if you can do so any Jewish or New Yorker deli will have some liver dish you can go for. For me I like getting a filet or any lean cut of beef and putting it on the grill with a light mustared sauce (mustard, stevia, spice and lemon) or I love doing a cocoa mole sauce which I couldn't explain even if I tried but is a great place to look. For the vegetarians go for some homemade granola with whole grain oats, nuts and some dark chocolate
Your Vitamin Bs are found in numerous foods mainly in high protein foods. You can find a great amount of B Vitamins in chicken and turkey along with beef and fish. Vegetarians will be glad to know that Vitamin B is found in Lentils, whole wheat products (especially wheat bran) and in chickpeas. blend in some lentils with that kale and you have a great side or grab some Hummus from the store. Here in Israel my new favorite way to get some B Vitamins in me is a trip to Abu Hassan. It's a Hummus restaurant with the best Hummus in Israel, literally! It has been voted the best Hummus in Israel. 
Lastly be aware of your salty sweet cravings. these are the two cravings you really don't want to give int to too much. Your body is already retaining water and holding on to the salt that is already in your diet which is also the reason for your sugar craving by the way. If you want something sweet really badly go for some fruit. Apricots, strawberries, oranges and citrus fruit are great choices. For your salty cravings go for some goats cheese. Goat cheese is high in calcium which is needed for the bones and it is easier for the body to digest then cows milk and the natural saltyness of goats cheese will help you settle that salty craving. 

Aside from food there are other ways you can enjoy some healing from your PMS symptoms. Here are five ways you can start feeling a little better during that time of the month. 

- Go for a walk
- Try a new work out like yoga
- accupuncture 
- rest! 
- a warm bath 

Needless to say I have had a bath the past few days every morning, am going to get some accupuncture done tomorrow and going for a walk soon. I hope this helps you as much as it has me. 

Till Next Time!



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