Is there a diet for PMS? What is the link between diet and PMS? Is it possible to get relief from PMS?
This post is from guest writer Lori Valentine Rose, PhD, CNP, BCHN, FDN-P, RH (AHG), NBC-HWC of Lori Rose Holistic.
I’m personally really looking forward to figuring all this out, since I’ve always had weird cycles – we don’t need to go into too many details (you can read more about my journey with super heavy periods and continuous, yellow, sticky cervical mucus later), but my friend’s jaws drop when I tell them the variance in my number of days, just for starters…
This topic may not be “kitchen” related, but life is one big messy bowl of “us” and it’s hard to disconnect the way we feel with the energy we have left for cooking from scratch, etc. We have to be good stewards of our total health – and I have a feeling some of Lori’s tips will help us choose the best time of the month to prep bulk freezer food vs. use our freezer meals! Let’s get in tune with our rhythms, ladies! Here’s Lori…
My mom always knew before I did when I was about to get my period.
Apparently, I had extreme mood swings accompanied by hating everyone in the world, and I guess during my teenage years my mom was the proverbial whipping boy of my hormones.
Like most women, I thought PMS was just part of Eve’s Curse, the burden we as women were meant to bear throughout our reproductive years. I didn’t learn until I became board certified in holistic nutrition that this supposed inevitable burden simply wasn’t true.
PMS and other women’s reproductive related issues like PCOS, endometriosis, infertility, and difficult menopause are largely isolated to developed nations with standard American diets. Imagine my surprise when I learned for the first time, after having been teaching biology and holistic nutrition for 10 years, that the hate-filled week I had experienced since puberty at 9 years old (and that my mom, friends, and husband experienced most of all I am sure) weren’t just a part of being female.
In fact, these painful weeks weren’t Eve’s Curse at all!
Diet for PMS: Controlling Pre-Menstrual Syndrome is Possible
According to my research during my herbalist (Sage Mountain Herbal Center) and holistic nutrition training (Energetic Health Institute), including Holistic Health Coach Alisa Vitti’s book “Woman Code” and multiple case studies through Michael McEvoy’s Metabolic Healing, my PMS symptoms were a product of my standard American diet, and were therefore totally in my control. It was time to experiment! (As far as Eve’s actual Curse, I am pretty sure childbirth accomplishes getting those dues paid!).
What I am about to reveal to you during this guest blog series completely changed my concept of what it is to be a woman, and the cyclical magical powers we possess as part of our gift of femininity.
Not only can we from relief from PMS symptoms once and for all, but we can actually thrive at optimal performance if we can figure out a few patterns in our bodies having to do with:
- Blood sugar
- Adrenal and thyroid glands
- Liver and organs of elimination
- Lifestyle and cycles
If they taught this in 6th grade “puberty class” instead of the normal lesson plan, I think we would have a country of much more empowered women harnessing each week for the unique hormonal gifts it offers us. Those informed girls would also know how what we eat every day can either result in us leveraging our hormones to achieve our hopes or dreams or in turning our hormones against us in a chaotic dysregulation of our body’s intended physiology.
Even if you don’t have any pre-menstrual symptoms or are past your reproductive years, you can still learn this “dance” in order to harness your feminine powers. Femininity is a gift given to all females that unfortunately, we have been taught to view as a curse. BUT we can actually USE our changes to maximize our potential and fulfill the destiny we were sent here for, with just a little knowledge.
Puberty, Hormones, Mood Swings and Cycles – They Don’t Have to Control Us!
Starting with puberty, women’s bodies begin an ever-changing weekly dance of shifting hormones that provide a map for how we can structure our food, spirituality, and social calendars to “dance” in rhythm with the nature of our bodies.
If you learn the steps well and wear the proper nutritious shoes, you can lead the dance.
If we don’t learn the dance steps or wear the wrong shoes, however, then the dance gets sloppy, our feet start to get blistered as we’re dragged around just trying to follow, and the night can end pretty badly with symptoms like:
- mood swings
- breast and abdominal pain
Note from Katie: If polycystic ovarian syndrome is your hot button issue, this series will be perfect for you, but also check out my friend Donielle’s post on natural remedies for PCOS because she has a wealth of experience with fertility issues and personal success beating PCOS.
Ineffective Relief for PMS
How Modern Medicine Controls PMS and Women’s Health Issues
According to the National Institutes of Health, women spend at least 6 billion dollars (and it might be closer to 34 billion dollars) every year on women’s health issues, and allopathic medicine “treats” these conditions with prescriptions of:
- birth control pills that cause nutrient depletion and side effects
- expensive fertility treatments
- even hysterectomies
All to mask the symptoms of what it considers “incurable diseases” or simply “part of being a woman.”
Relief from PMS: My Story of Pushing the System
I am what health coaches call “motivated by rebellion.”
If you tell me something will work, I will follow the rules 100% just so I can prove you WRONG!
In fact, my entire holistic nutrition practice is built around controversial topics that I tested out through doubt but now adopt not because the science supports them (although it does), but because I lived them and they worked (despite my original rebellious intentions to prove them wrong).
We’re talking about flawed conventional nutrition concepts like:
- cutting calories
- low-fat diets
- high-grain diets
- using weight as a metric of health
- exercising to lose weight
They have been disproven not only by science, but also by my rebellious experiments.
This PMS-alleviating protocol was no different: I followed the steps perfectly and succinctly because I KNEW nothing could decrease my monthly week of rage, let alone decrease more serious manifestations of women hormonal imbalance like PCOS, endometriosis, or infertility. And just like the above concepts, my rebellion once again ending up proving ME wrong (for which my husband and kids are terribly grateful)!
Now I know that the reason why this protocol worked for me (and why now the only person who knows when my period is coming before it does is me because I track my cycle each month!) is because our bodies have an interconnected hierarchy of functioning, and therefore a hierarchy of healing.
I have since integrated the information I learned from my biology degree, my nutrition training at the Energetic Health Institute, Alisa Vitti’s book The Woman Code, my herbalism training through Sage Mountain Herbal Center, Learning Herbs, Herb Mentor, and the International Integrative Educational Institute, and multiple functional medicine trainings through Metabolic Healing, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, and the Institute of Nutritional Endocrinology into my own version of the steps that I now recommend.
I also developed an image for my own brand of the root requirements for health and the sequential steps to healing up the branches of the wellness tree. I use these not only for hormone regulation, but for all clients who come to me with health issues.
The good news for you is, no matter how badly your nights after the hormone dance have been ending, or for how long, the steps can still be learned and the shoes can still be changed.
You’ll get lots of info about the superfoods, essential oils, and simple, natural remedies that can heal urinary tract infections, bacterial vaginosis, and yeast infections… naturally!
Relief for PMS: My Plan for You to Change Your Monthly Woes
Your night at the ball can start ending differently. In plain terms, with very clear changes in diet and lifestyle, these symptoms that we have been told we will be stuck with our whole lives can be diminished. By honoring the hormonal interrelationships of our bodies and the nutrients they require to dance their beautiful dance.
And although these steps might seem like a lot to tackle, I am going to help break them down for you in doable steps through this series, every Tuesday for the next 5 weeks:
- Optimize your mitochondria
- Balance your blood sugar
- Balance your adrenal and thyroid glands
- Optimize your liver and organs of elimination
- Align your lifestyle with the natural hormonal changes of your body
If you decide to grab my hand and have this dance with me, you might see that with some dance practice you’ll get relief from PMS as your symptoms might start to decrease as well (disclaimer: as a clinical herbalist and holistic nutrition consultant, I do not diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease and I do not pretend, nor would I want to, that I am a medical doctor)!
So, may I have this dance?!?!
For today, I want to give you a week to sit with two facts:
- PMS is not mandatory
- It can be controlled by something other than medicine – there is hope and freedom to be found!
Lori Valentine Rose, PhD, CNP, BCHN, FDN-P, RH (AHG), NBC-HWC is a college biology and nutrition instructor, board certified nutrition professional and holistic nutrition consultant, clinical herbalist, wife, mother, organic vegetable, fruit, and medicinal herb gardener, school garden planter, city class teacher, and passionate Zumba dancer! She loves spreading love and light, and helping others feel awesome on the inside and out so they can live their dreams and make this world more awesome! Lori Rose Holistic does not replace medical advice or working with your doctor, and she does not diagnose, treat, or cure disease. Her goal is to educate, and any actions you take are voluntary and of your own free will. Check out her blog or follow her on Facebook to learn more about holistic ways to support your body’s healing from chronic health issues! You can also take her FREE Simple Healthy Choices Course to learn simple steps that have a huge impact on your health!
LET’S GET YOU FEELING AWESOME SO YOU CAN DO AWESOME!!!