As written for Hip & Healthy
So, your period is due? Ergh, I feel you. Is there a woman on earth who actually enjoys ‘that time of the month’? Sluggish, bloated, weepy, aggravated, sore, starving…all the feels, yuck. Whether you are someone that feels the effects in the lead up, the week of, or in the aftermath – everyone experiences some level of discomfort thanks to their monthly visitor. Here are my top tips to make you feel better!
HEALTHY CRAVING CURES
If you’re anything like me, you get your period and you just want to eat everything and anything. It has actually been proven! Menstruation increases your appetite and your desire for sweet treats (thank you fluctuating serotonin levels). But never fear, here are our period proof snacks;
Nice-cream, is the most amazing healthy alternative to ice-cream. Chop up a banana, freeze it, wait a few hours and then blend it…yep, that’s seriously it. The banana once blended takes on a creamy consistently that is honestly heavenly. My favourite add in is frozen raspberries, topped with some shaved dark chocolate, but you can do any flavour you want – blueberry and vanilla, peanut butter and cacao.
Banana Bread, because there is nothing better than a warm gooey banana bread when you’re feeling a bit…ick and also because the potassium in bananas can help with muscle cramping. Who would have thought!? Thankfully, this is an easy, healthy one to do that packs as much punch flavour wise as the refined sugar-laden varieties. (Recipe by Cookie & Kate).
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil, ½ cup honey, 2 eggs, 1 cup mashed banana, ¼ cup milk (or water), 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp vanilla extract, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour.
- Beat oil and honey together, add eggs then whisk in bananas and milk. Add soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon and lastly flour (mix last ingredient until just combined)
- Bake for 55 minutes in moderate oven
Apple Crumble, another warming favourite to curl up in bed with guilt free. Make a big batch at the start of your period week, and you’ll have a delicious afternoon snack or after dinner delight to look forward to every day. Yes, it’s that healthy you can have it every-day – it’s even good enough for breakfast!
- 5-6 green apples chopped roughly and covered in boiling water on the hob, with a handful of saltanas and 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Crumble: Blend together macadamias, almonds, oats, desiccated coconut, vanilla essence, honey, coconut oil
- Put the crumble on top of the apple mixture in an ovenproof dish and cook for 35 minutes in a moderate oven.
- If feeling particularly naughty, once served pop some shards of dark chocolate on top so they melt into the mix.
Choc-date boats, are a lovely little alternative to the sugary packaged chocolate bars you’re oh so tempted by when you enter craving mode. Simply chop some medjool dates in half, put a nut in the half (I love almonds – which are a great source of magnesium, an important mineral for women during time of the month!) and fill with melted 70% dark chocolate. Freeze and enjoy.
EXERCISE FOR EVERY MOOD
Yoga, is the perfect way to de-stress, stretch out sore muscles and ease period pain. If you suffer badly from PMS, it’s best not to push yourself into any vigorous exercise so yoga is a good way to get moving while taking is easy. The cobra and camel pose are the best positions for period relief.
Boxing, is great for when you’re approaching your period, or nearing the end and just want to let go. There ain’t no better cure for the cranky irritable PMS emotions, than taking it out on a punching bag!
Note: Try Boxing Yoga, if you’re feeling like you’re in a little bit of column A, little bit of column B.
And lastly – Sex, yes sex! Is actually a great cure for period pain. So grab your partner, and get busy. During orgasm, the female body produces a chemical called oxytocin, which can help ease PMS symptoms.
Bath time, is age-old advice for a reason. Cramps and heat go hand in hand. Add in a combination of, or any of the following for even greater relief; eucalyptus, Epsom salts, peppermint oil, ground ginger.
Face masks, are a lovely way to indulge and spoil yourself. With PMS often comes pimples, so this is a good little trick to do in the week leading up to your period, when your skin is most susceptible. This recipe penetrates deep into the skin, promotes elasticity and reduces blemishes:
- Tsp extra virgin olive oil, ½ tsp honey and 1 tsp baking soda mixed into a thick paste. Apply and relax, you’re on your way to glowing skin!
Lavender oil, on your pillow, helps remove restlessness making you sleep more soundly. Not only that, lavender oil helps headaches, acne, fights bacteria, sunburn and stress. As well as on your pillow cases, if you are having particularly bad cramps, rub it directly into your abdomen.
Get to the hairdresser, for a wash and blow-dry. Because nothing feels better than a head massage and a lovely fresh wave to give you a renewed bounce to your step.
DITCH THE COFFEE, UP THE WATER
Drink more, it’ll make you feel so much better. Staying hydrated is even more important during your time of the month. You might be tempted to steer clear, due to period-time bloat, but upping your H20 will actually decrease your chances of water retention, and help prevent cramping.
Wash your face, more often! Especially in the week leading up to your period. Jawline pimples? yep, they’re period related. Wash and clear your pores twice a day to keep your skin nice and clear, and try to wear a little less foundation in the lead up so your skin has room to breathe.
Ditch the coffee, or reduce your intake. Unfortunately, your long black actually exacerbates uncomfortable period symptoms. Caffeine restricts blood vessels and ups tension and anxiety, which is exactly what you want to avoid, when you’re on your period.
GET DRESSED UP
Usually during period week, you feel a bit gross and a little bit sorry for yourself, so putting on a nice dress and a pair of heels is the last thing you feel like doing. But slapping on a bit of lippy, or wearing your favourite outfit can make the world of difference. This month, don’t hibernate from your social calendar during that week – embrace it! Organise date night, or plan a BFF catch up. Distraction and a good giggle with your girlfriends can go a long way.