If you’re one of those models that misses shifts because of severe period symptoms, this article is just for you. Nutrition is one of the most important parts of your self-care, and as a model you must be sure to have that part covered. This is what gives you that healthy glow on your skin, what keeps your energy levels in check, what makes your health stable. It’s not as complicated as it seems, a little organizing might just change your life, your mood, and in the end, your earnings.
Your menstrual cycle has four phases: menstrual, follicular, ovulation, and luteal. You period refers to the days on your period (usually about 3-7), your menstrual cycle refers to the length of time from day 1 of your period until your next period. Day 1 of your cycle = day 1 of your period. So, let’s get straight to it.
1. Menstrual – end of period
Lasts for about 3-7 days, your estrogen and progesterone are at the lowest and it triggers your period. Your energy is the lowest and your period blood should be a bright or deep red with minimal clots.
Shrimp – lean protein & zinc
Citrus – vitamin, anti-inflammatory
Dark chocolate ( 70% ) – magnesium to ease cramps
Ginger – gut soothing, anti-inflammatory
Grass-fed beef – replenish nutrients lost in the blood
Right after your period your estrogen levels start to pick up. Your pituitary gland in the brain releases FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) that triggers the follicles in the ovary to mature. Estrogen, testosterone, your energy, mood, and libido all rise. You follicular phase starts the day after your period ends and goes until ovulation occurs.
Crucifers: healthy estrogen detoxification
Yogurt: probiotics for gut/ support estrogen metabolism
Avocado: healthy fat for healthy hormone production, magnesium and zinc
Bell peppers: provides vitamin C for antioxidant benefits to combat stress and inflamation
Ground flax: healthy estrogen levels
Dandelion root tea : estrogen metabolism
Right before you ovulate your pituitary releases luteinizing hormone (LH) that stimulates the egg to release from the follicle. Even though the egg only lives for 12-24 hours, since sperm can live 5-7 days it widens the number of possible days you can get pregnant (this is your fertile window – when you likely see cervical fluid changes). Your estrogen and testosterone peak and your energy is highest at this time.
The food reccomandations for this time of the month: oats, berries, protein, crucifers, sunflower seeds, sauerkraut.
Focus on supporting gut health, estrogen metabolism, blood sugar balance, and antioxidant-rich foods during this phase
Once the egg is released your body produces progesterone, which peaks right after ovulation. If your body gets the signal that you are not pregnant then all hormones decrease. Your energy decreases and it’s important as you approach your period to honor resting, restoring, and nourishing your body. Your luteal phase is a consistent 12-16 days after you ovulate (you want at least 10 days minimum for adequate progesterone production).
Your insulin sensitivity reduces so it’s extra-important to be mindful of blood sugar balance. You may experience more cravings – include naturally sweet foods and slow carbs and pair with protein and healthy fats to satisfy cravings like dark chocolate, sweet potatoes, fruit, yogurt, nut batters. Include omega-3 foods like salmon to balance inflammatory markers that can cause cramps. Ginger is great for nausea, bloating and digestion.
It is really important to know your body in order to fix it. Hormonal imbalances are normal, but it’s our duty to take care of our bodies, especially for maintaining mental health.