September 30, 2021
Today’s episode is for the ladies in the house because today we’re diving INTO all things menstrual cycle.
Now you might be wondering, “Uh… this is a business and marketing podcast… why are we talking about our periods?”
We’re talking about our menstrual cycle from a holistic perspective which like it or not affects your business AND life SO SO much. We’re chatting cycle syncing with the expert herself Berrion Berry.
Berrion is a Menstrual Health Educator, Certified Integrative Health Practitioner & the Creator of Optimize Your Flo. She helps modern women have simple & uncomplicated periods, through cycle syncing. Focused on fusing biology with practicality Berri helps people with periods create a new menstrual reality.
Her work has been featured on top podcasts like the Balanced Black Girl with Lestraundra Alfred, the Goal Digger Podcast with Jenna Kutcher, SHE by Jordan Lee Dooley, as well as, in leading publications like Shape Magazine, Thrive Global, & The Every Girl. From hormone balancing to cycle syncing, to mood-enhancing and self-healing, Berri covers it all and is excited to help you have your best period yet.
Today Berri covers one of the most powerful tools a female entrepreneur (or heck ANY female) can utilize: cycle syncing. Cycle syncing is working with the hormonal changes that your body goes through each month, and harnessing that power to get MORE done while FEELING better. We dive into the overall concept of cycle syncing, the first steps you can take, how to harness your cycle when it comes to work or entrepreneurship, nutrition and food, and SO much more.
This episode is not only PACKED FREAKING SOLID with mind-blowing information, but Berri is also just such a joy and a delight and you’re going to walk away feeling like you’ve met your new best friend who’s ready to help you change your life.
So ladies… are you ready to charge of your period and kick butt month after month???
Starting as a personal trainer and certified nutritionist in 2019, Berri was searching for her niche. During an interview for her podcast, the girl says, “Periods are not supposed to be painful”. That was the first time Berri ever heard that and at that moment she found her passion for women’s health. Having always been passionate about women’s health and rights, that’s what Berri went to university for thinking she was going to be a diplomate, and then decided that’s not what she wanted to be.
Fast forward a few years later and she’s interviewing this girl and says, “periods are normal, pain shouldn’t be”. That’s it, that’s all she wrote. She started fixing her own period problems and did it completely naturally, she always tells people that she ate her way to a better period.
Then from there, she started testing things out with her clients at the time who were also dealing with period pain, and fast forward several years later she is an integrative practitioner with a focus on menstrual health.
Cycle syncing is aligning your life and everything in it with the phases of your menstrual cycle.
Phase 1: Menstruation
When you are on your period when the uterine lining is shedding. Generally during this time, your hormone levels are going to be kind of in an off position. There are key hormones that rise and fall throughout the entire cycle, but during this time you will notice that your energy is lower.
Phase 2: Follicular
Post period and pre-ovulation, generally this will be days 8-14 of your cycle depending on how long you bleed. Your hormone and energy levels are on the rise and you are kind of feeling a bit social and better.
Phase 3: Ovulation
We are all familiar with ovulation, ovulation is when you are fertile. When the egg is released in the cycle from your ovaries. There is also a surge in your estrogen and testosterone and you feel a little zesty. You can accomplish anything attitude. If you are an extroverted person, you go from being on ten to being on a ten thousand during this time. You also notice your skin is a little bit clearer, this is most people’s favorite phase. Ovulation only happens from 16-32 hours max, however, most people will feel the effects of it for about 5 days. Sometimes seven if you are lucky.
Phase 4: Luteal
Most people call it PMS, Berri likes to call it Personal-Mystery-Solved because during that time you understand maybe why you are more irritable. During this phase there is a dip in your estrogen levels, most people notice moodiness, irritable and imposter syndrome. That is expected because as your estrogen dips there is a dip in your serotonin levels. So your happy hormone isn’t necessarily there. There is an increase in another hormone called progesterone, which helps increase oxytocin, it’s job is to protect the egg and support it for three months until the placenta is fully developed. This is happening after ovulation. So let’s say you ovulate on day 14 of your cycle, day 15-28 will be that luteal phase, but there is an early luteal phase where you still feel like you are ovulating and there is a late luteal phase where you’re like “I dare say someone to try me”. During that phase, your energy levels are a little bit lower as well.
There is going to be two weeks out of the month for your external world. Two phases for everybody else and two phases for your internal world. Think two for me, two for you. Two phases where you are focusing on yourself and your needs and desires. Then two phases for everyone else and everybody else.
During your PMS phase and your period, this is the time in life where you are focusing on resting and recovery and filling your cup up. Be very reflective and take it slow during this time. A lot of people like to power through but then they don’t like what is produced when they are powering through, so chill out.
In your business, you are going to do anything that is internally related. If you want to show up on your Instagram stories do it but if not that’s fine. Look at your analytics, look at numbers, and all the things that are necessarily not so sexy about business.
Now your two phases for the external world where you have a higher energy level. Your follicular phase and ovulatory phase, in life, look like nurturing those relationships. Whether it is the relationships with your partner, husband, or with your family members or clients, team, etc. Or it will look like communicating, launching, negotiating, all of those things in life and business.
Phase 1: Menstruation
Is always going to be ideation for business. There is 25% more connectivity between the right and left hemispheres of your brain. Both your hippocampus and amygdala get larger. So in English, set your goals and do your vision casting. Take advantage of the fact that your brain is operating differently.
Phase 2: Follicular
This is the perfect time to create in terms of a strategic plan. First, we are looking at the vision, and now we need to write and make it as plain as possible and clarify what that is going to look like. What is your strategic plan in achieving your Q3 and Q4 goals? How are you going to hit 6 figures? The nitty-gritty details.
Phase 3: Ovulation
During ovulation, this is execution and communication. Earlier on Berri shared that estrogen and your testosterone surge during this phase and you feel like you could go run a marathon. This is the phase that people need to maximize more and utilize to their advantage. If you are someone who creates content for a living or an educator, this is the time you show up on camera and batch it all out and get it done for the month.
Phase 4: Luteal
This is a time for evaluation and analysis. Instead of being out front, customer or client-facing, you are on the back end looking at numbers. Look for your problems in your business, you want to be proactive instead of reactive for the holes in your business. Then get prepared to fill those gaps. You are problem solution-oriented in your PMS phase.
Concerning nutrition, the main thing is protein, healthy fat and fiber in every single meal is the most important. That is at the most basic level of nutrition.
Phase 1: During that first phase in your cycle when you are on your period. Eat cozy things. You want to focus on things like bone broth and mac and cheese, we want to make sure we are getting complex carbohydrates in there as well as micronutrients, minerals, and vitamins. Such as iron, zinc, and selenium. That is because of menstruation, the process of actually bleeding each month is very energy-intensive. We want to make sure we are refilling our cups as our body is physically and emotionally releasing, make sure we’re also replenishing and restoring.
Phase 2: That second phase of your cycle, your follicular phase you want to keep it fun, keep it light and fresh. This is where you’re going to be eating things like beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds. Probiotic-rich food and focusing on your gut health. A lot of people don’t know the relationship between your gut, liver, and mensural cycle. The reason we are focused on nourishing our gut in the first half of our cycle is that estrogen is very dominant during those phases. When estrogen is high or too high it can lead to period pain and a lot of discomforts. We want to support our liver and eat dark leafy greens, pastured raised meats, kimchi, and fermented foods because it will help the body get rid of excess estrogen, which will ultimately make our periods less painful in the long run.
Phase 3: During the third phase of our cycle, ovulation, it’s all about dense and light. We want nutrient-dense meals but we don’t want them to be super carb-heavy. During ovulation our metabolism increases, our resting metabolic increases and that’s because it is preparing the body for menstruation and a very energy-intense process about 14 days later. Yes, you can up your caloric intake no problem but you don’t want the empty calories. You want complex carbohydrates, our raspberries, our strawberries, our sesame seeds, lentils, quinoa. Dense and nutrient but also very nutritional.
Phase 4: During the fourth and final phase, we are going back to that comfy cozy stuff. During this phase, we are all familiar with our comfort foods naturally, but then there are also things that we crave like chocolate. It’s not the chocolate that you are looking for, what you may be looking for in that chocolate craving is the magnesium, calcium, and vitamin d that, that chocolate has. Not necessarily your favorite chocolate bar, this is because our body needs a lot of nutrients and micronutrients. Some of the things you might want to eat during this time are those starchy vegetables, maybe sweet potatoes, cauliflower, mac and cheese, and caffeine-free herbal teas.
Cyclically living allows you to listen to your body. Trust your body. The best way to truly heal your body, heal your period pain, beat burnout, is to trust your body. Ultimately our body shows us so much unconditional love that we don’t even think about it regularly. Think about how many times your body has just overcome a fever, an infection, or a stressful situation.
1. The first and most important thing is understanding that there are two phases of higher energy and two phases of lower energy. That is the first thing to know. Once you understand that you have 14 days where you can be everything to everyone and then you have 14 days where you need to focus on yourself, then you are good to go. That is most important.
2. The next step is finding out where you are in your cycle. The best thing is to wait for your period because then you know you are in phase 1. If you are inpatient and want to know, then check your panties. We have something called cervical mucus, so in the morning when you wake up and you go tinkle you’re going to wipe your vagina and what you are looking for is your cervical fluid or mucus. If it looks like raw egg white, this is generally a sign that you are ovulating. If it doesn’t look like that then you are not ovulating. Ovulation is the main event of the menstrual cycle. You can also check your cervix placement. Your cervix rises and falls throughout the month just like your energy. You insert your finger into your vaginal cannel and you are trying to find something that will feel like your cupid’s bow (the top of your lip) or it feels like the tip of your nose. That wil tell you if you are ovulating, again ovulation is the main event of the menstrual cycle, so 9 times out of 10 you will feel where you are at. If your cervix feels soft, high, open, and wet, that means you are ovulating. If it feels like your cupid’s bow you are ovulating, if it doesn’t you’re not ovulating. To know if you are high, if you can stick your pointer finger to your knuckle in your vaginal cannel then you are high.
3. Use a period tracking app. If you are somebody who is just starting, get the apple health app. The second app Berri recommends is called Femometer, there is a free version of this, but she recommends the $50 version. Here is why, it will tell you things you never knew, it will allow you to track your systems, it will also give you additional information. This app might be the best $50 you’ll ever spend.
If you are somebody with an irregular cycle, the first thing Berri recommends is checking your stress and anxiety levels. People don’t realize that stress has its own hormone, her name is cortisol, she will shut down anything at any moment in time. Such as your menstrual cycle. If you don’t have a good handle on your stress and anxiety levels you need to start with that.
Next is nutrition, nutritional therapy is what Berri does with all her students and clients to get results. Take charge of your fertility. One that is a phenomenal book that everybody needs to read, it is about body literacy and knowing how to check your panties. Reading our cervical mucus, checking our cervix’s placement but also if you have any missing periods you need to start tracking your BBT (basal body temperature) every single morning at the same time. We are tracking it again to figure out when you are ovulating, once that happens, once that awareness is there, you begin to align your lifestyle habits around it.
The Heart Shop Website Templates: www.theheartuniversity.com/website-templates
The Posing Minor: www.theheartuniversity.com/posing-minor
Follow along with Berri & other resources:
Signature course, Optimize Your Flo –https://www.berrionlberry.com/oyf-level-1
eBook, Nourish Your Flo – https://www.berrionlberry.com/programs
Phases of the cycle – https://www.instagram.com/p/CKOxlPDjkG8/
How to Eat for Your Cycle – https://www.instagram.com/p/CTKVk0VLQNp/
If you want to connect with us and other listeners in the Heart and Hustle community join our Facebook group here.
WASSUP FRIENDS. We’re Evie + Lindsey, co-founders of this wild partayyy called The Heart University. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs to kick freaking BUTT in their businesses, dive down into the heart of their why and how, and serve you with all possible tools you’ll need to up-level your business game and CRUSH those goals of yours.
Whether you’re coming to an in-person workshop, joining our online course, or soaking up all the strategies via this blog or our podcast, we’re STOKED you’re here + can’t wait to see you out there kicking butt.
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