If I asked you when you had your last period, could you give me an answer? What about if I asked you when you ovulated? Could you give me an exact date and share the tale-tell signs with me?
Many women couldn’t.
I certainly didn’t have a clue before I started tracking my menstrual cycle to get pregnant. But once I started, I soon realised that my body had been sharing the signs of ovulation with me all along. I just hadn’t been connected to what my body was telling me.
Better still, I realised that this phase, the ovulatory phase was when I was on fire! I was always bursting with energy, uber-creative, hyper-productive, and ready to rock and roll with whatever project life might throw my way when I hit this phase of my cycle.
By aligning my habits, my schedules, and my focus with this phase, I could feel fantastic and get a ton of shit done!
And you can too!
Listen to this fourth part of the podcast series ‘Harnessing Your Female Cycle and Learning to Live in Flow’ to understand more about what is happening in our bodies at this exciting time.
Whether you’re planning a pregnancy, want to avoid pregnancy, or simply want to maximise your productivity, you need to listen to this episode!
We will be talking about everything from our hormones and our oestrogen-progesterone balance, our changing food choices are affected, which essential oils can help with our energy, and even a few tips to help you take your business to the next level.
Join us for this eye-opening episode and subscribe to The Eleshia Show to feel empowered about your cycle and right there in the driving seat of your life.
Remember to have a look at the tracker that we shared in the previous episode.
Click here for the full show notes.
How mapping out what you want can boost your focus, and productivity and help you make those dreams come true (Need more help? Come along to my FREE weekly planning sessions. Find out more here)
Intro: Hi, I'm Eleshia Harris and I am your host of The Eleshia Show. I am also the founder of eleshialifestyle.com, and I'm so excited that you're here with me and I am here with you. I'm also really appreciative. Each week, I'll be sharing strategies and stories, and insights to help you enhance your wellbeing and to build your business while still navigating life.
Because sometimes we often try and separate the two, and let's face it, if you are not well, you have no business. So let's try and work with these two things combined because we can, to enhance your lifestyle. Again, I'm really excited to have you here. I have wanted to put together a podcast for over two years, and so here I am ready to share. Let's get into this week's episode.
Eleshia: Hello, and welcome back to part four of the Harnessing your Female Cycle and Learning to Live in Flow Series. I cannot believe we're at part four already. I really hope that you've been enjoying and learning from all of these episodes. We've covered a lot of ground, so I hope that it's all been useful information for you, and if it has been that you're sharing with your loved ones and your partners and so forth.
Today, we are talking about out, out with ovulation and it's all about how we can really use this phase to the best of our advantage with networking and really getting things done in our business. But also equally, what we can be doing for ourselves to support this time and this phase.
So again, I hope you love this episode. Mairi and I are here to answer any questions that you may have in between the episodes. We would love to hear from you. You can find us on our Instagram handles which I will link in the show notes, and don't forget, I've put together checklists for each of the phases for you.
And again, you can find the information on how to receive these straight into your inbox in the show notes. Enjoy this episode.
Hello, and we're back with Mairi today. We're going to be talking all about the ovulation phase, and this is exciting for me because this is when we get to do it.
Mairi: Absolutely. We're in the do, do, do phase. Our estrogen is rising. We get a massive testosterone spike. We are ready to rock and roll, so yes. Welcome back everybody, I hope you've been tracking your cycle and starting to really link in. It might take a couple of months of tracking it to really see where you are. Obviously, there are all kinds of amazing apps out there, or you might just have a good old-fashioned piece of paper and a pen and a diary.
Obviously, for all our perimenopause and menopause women, you can just work with the new moon cycle. We're here today on the 14th of, what is it? I was going to say May, but it's not. It's April. I'm wishing this year away. Two days ago on the 12th, we had a new moon. Look at when the new moon is, you can easily find that just by Googling. You could use a new moon to track, start tracking and just look at your energy, your mood, what you're saying yes to, what you want to say no to, and then you'll start to see a pattern.
You can do the same for your hunger when you're craving as well. So let's just dial back a little bit and think about the hormone focus. So as we've said, we get this sharp rise in follicle-stimulating hormone followed by an increase in the luteinizing hormone afterward. Stimulating one act to burst and travel to the uterus. Estrogen continues to rise thickening the uterine lining, and this is why for some women, ovulation can feel quite crampy and quite uncomfortable.
I've never known when I was ovulating, so it was a real shock to me when women used to say to me, oh yes, I know when I'm ovulating. I didn't even know that was a thing. Everybody's different, everyone's experience with their cycle will be different.
Eleshia: That's really interesting for me because I didn't think I knew until I started to track it. When I was trying to conceive and I started to track it, then it started to become really apparent. As Mairi said, it's really interesting, the kind of data you can get when you really dial into tracking the cycle. I just want you to add that.
Mairi: Absolutely. This is why it's so great that we're sharing this space together because we both got very, very different experiences. But one of the things we do have in common is as we've got older and wiser, we have started to get more in tune and more connected to our own bodies, and more empowered about how our own bodies are behaving rather than relying on what someone else is telling us.
That goes for all of the listeners then, we're very much sharing our perspectives. Of course, we're sharing some genuine facts from a physiological perspective, but again, every woman is a bio-individual. We're telling you that this is the phase when the girl's on fire. You really are like calling it in particular with that high estrogen and high testosterone, then someone else might be thinking, "Yes, but I feel like a back of poo." That is your cycle, but ideally, we want to be feeling that this is our best.
So again, for me, if you weren't, maybe something to look at in terms of lifestyle, having your hormones checked, looking at what else is going on in your life. Also with that thickening and that estrogen spike, we also support the growth of immune system cells in the uterus as well. So that's something to be aware of is that estrogen is quite immuno-protective. It's not always the body that most of us can be. But again, like anything, we don't want too much and overstimulating those immune cells either. And then as I say, testosterone takes this great big, huge surge and then drops right around ovulation.
Women do have testosterone, we need it. In terms of the body folks, as I say, some people may feel pelvic pain with the release of the egg as well as a huge surge of energy. As we've already said, some people may feel a huge sense of depletion along with cravings or a headache or migraine. So again, if any of the listeners are women or you've got men listening who've got girlfriends who are regularly getting migraines, maybe track where your migraines are coming up in your cycle because, for some women, it could be mid-cycle.
There's meant to be this swap over our ovulation. For some women, it feels like a rollercoaster, it's too steep. It's like streaming on the way down. There should just be this beautiful passing over as we move into the second phase of our cycle, but we do hang around ovulation for a couple of days.
Certain foods can trigger migraines at this time of the month, and they're in particular foods that contain compounds called amines. They can be in some of our healthy foods like avocados and bananas. So all of a sudden the avocado that you're having every day might be triggering you at this time of the month. It's just about becoming your detective and really dialing in and thinking, what's working for me, what isn't working for me? Because what works for Eleshia doesn't necessarily work for Mairi, and vice versa.
But we want to have the conversation, we want to share, we want to inspire and get people really thinking. So again, that cramping phase, I know we've spoken about essential oils before. We've got some of the oils that support muscular aches and pains, are good to be using at that time of the month if you are somebody that is suffering.
In terms of a lifestyle focus at this phase, this is when connecting with the community is at the heart of the phase. This is the time to have those important conversations because not only are you in that heightened sexuality and sensuality, but also towards the latter phase of it. You are also in, have I come to be taught as the mother energy? That isn't about mother as in child, but you've got the devoted listening of the lover energy, and then you've got the unconditional love of the mothers.
So when you bring those two together, we're really in a good place to be having those difficult and challenging conversations because one, you're going to be prepared to listen to the other person, but you're going to be listening from a place of love and respect and compassion rather than tyranny or you've annoyed me, et cetera, et cetera.
It really is, whether that's in business or relationships. As I said, you feel better and able to hear, and share your thoughts and opinions and those of others. At this time, even though we're at our peak, there's less need for scaffolding, but that doesn't mean we throw it all out of the window.
A little bit like we said in our last session, we do need to be aware of that testosterone spike making us just a little bit risk-averse, and all of a sudden saying yes to everything and then two weeks later thinking why on earth did I agree to this.
This is definitely where if you can, you want to be networking, you want to be out there doing your Facebook lives or your Instagram reels or whatever is connecting with people because you are just going to be in the energy that is going to be magnetic and bring people in.
As you said, it's our do phase, all those plans, all that reflection, all that reviewing, the strategizing, doing your plan do-check action, your Kaiser, and whatever you want to call it. Now you're ready to do, do, do, and take action.
If you've looked after yourself through the rest of the month, you've scaffolded, you've nourished, you've replenished, you've supported, you really are as we say, going to be on fire. So you've got lots of natural energy, your mood is stable because of all the estrogen floating around.
For most people, if you aren't, maybe it's worth getting your hormones checked and just seeing what's going on. But I'm also a big believer as much as I love the Dutch test, the gold standard of hormone testing and both of us know a number of excellent practitioners that can support in that way is that all of our work, whether you've had the Dutch test or not in line with lifestyle.
Eleshia: Yes, I'm so glad you said that because I know, and I always say this, but it's really important that even if you are thinking about testing, that you actually look at your lifestyle first. That's going to give you a lot of indications as to what is actually going on and as to why it's happening as well.
Mairi: Yes because if you're a complete superwoman all the time and just pushing, pushing, pushing, pushing, you're not sleeping, you're hustling, you're working to whatever, you're running on adrenaline and sugar and coffee, but then you're also flawed by your periods every month, you're getting acne and you're the tyrannical queen rather than the graceful queen.
Yes, let's look at that first because that might just bring the balance in. It always comes back to this whole list approach. Both of the practitioners that I know who do the Dutch test always come down to lifestyle review.
When I had mine done, my years of being in superwoman had basically worn my body out. I really had to take that step back and say, If I want to get back to being energetic and vibrant, then I need to start the scaffolding and make those changes. This is a time for optimal fat intake, there are lots of veggies.
Again, you want that fiber to help aid the elimination. We're very much looking for the fiber to come from the plants rather than the grains because there's a lot of natural substances in the plants, particularly your green leafy and your cruciferous vegetables that are going to support estrogen detoxification because estrogen is very much something we want to be making, using and then losing.
Again, we want to be losing it through the detoxification pathways, AKA ladies, we want to be pooping it out.
Eleshia: Yes, let's talk about that. Exactly.
Mairi: If you are listening to this podcast and you are not doing a poo every day, we need to be talking. We need to be talking. We need to be looking at your water because fundamentally it's just sitting there in your colon being reabsorbed back into your body ladies, and then we're ending up with those post-detoxification metabolites, just coming back into the body. They can almost be more harmful than what was going in the first place.
So we want our water, we want our veggies, and we want to be looking at the plant-based fiber not relying solely on our grains. As I say, lots of getting rid of any surplus estrogen and that's not fruit-averse. We don't want to be going crazy for me. Fruits are always a condiment. So again, remember the seven portions of fruits and veggies we have every day. It should be seven portions of vegetables and fruit, not all the way around.
I know alphabetically, but if you're having seven tangerines, that is not getting your seven portions in from my perspective. I'm not fruit-averse, but again, one of the things you need to be aware of is in some women, too much fruit fiber could be affecting your progesterone levels, and therefore that could be putting your estrogen-progesterone out of balance.
Again, if you are somebody who finds in the second half of their cycle that you're not getting that nice calming effect. If you've got tender boobs, you've got all those symptoms of estrogen dominance, heavy periods, heavy cramping, and you're eating lots and lots and lots of fruit, I'm just going to throw that out there. Try swapping it out and seeing what a difference it makes. For me, that was really, really useful when I came across that research.
Eleshia: Can I also just add, because we talked about drinking your fruit and vegetable. Can I just also say, we're saying that it is important to think about when you're having your juices and your smoothies as well that you're not just filling them up with fruits because remember ladies, that turns to sugar.
Mairi: Yes. But what we can't forget is the antioxidants that are in fruits. So we're not saying don't, again, we need those antioxidants to support liver detoxification. Just be aware. The government guidelines, it should be vegetables and fruits. Fruits should be a condiment, it should be something that we enjoy.
If you think about ancestrally, we did not have access to mangoes and pineapple, and all of those things all year, every year. In fact, for most of us on the British island, those beautiful fruits were introduced there not where we came from ancestry. Unless of course, as we now know, when we do ancestral DNA we're all a mixture of everywhere and anything.
But those are just things to be aware of. Don't get me wrong, I'll put half a banana in my smoothie.
Eleshia: Oh, yes. Yes.
Mairi: We're not being like, don't do it. It's just I think sometimes people will say, I've had some portions today, and it's all fruit.
There are no green vegetables are going in there whatsoever, and then the other thing is from an exercise perspective, this is when I, and I hate the term now but we use it. We're smashing it out in the gym. If we've got the system working the way the system works, energy levels are at their max. We're primed to take on more strenuous exercise, high-impact, and group settings that we really want to be because as you say, the community is at the heart of this.
This love or energy, this mother energy that I've learned about from one of many programs, we want to be around other people. There are other times in a month when we are completely wanting to fly solo and we're like, oh my God. Hell no. Do I want to be socializing? We just want to be lying with our legs up against the wall doing some Yoga Nidra.
When we're thinking about our business and we're thinking about our exercise, when you're doing that planning with your clients, you're not only thinking about, when should you start networking?
When is the best optimum time for networking? When's the best optimum time for admin? When's the optimum time for planning your content for next month? But you're also going to be enigmatic and vibrant. So let's get some lives recorded, let's get some reels recorded, videos, et cetera, et cetera. And the same with your exercise, you keep that energy up. Energy feeds energy but making sure that we're nourished and make sure that we're then replenishing, and knowing that we've got the content in the bag, we've done the networking, then the next couple of weeks are going to be more about follow-up and the admin, and building the connections.
I'm hoping that now that we've got to the third phase of the cycle, this is really starting to make sense to a lot of the listeners.
Eleshia: I hope so too because as you said, it's all coming together now. But we're also just making sure that we're still insensible, so even though we've got the energy to do these exercises as Mairi said, this is the time for you to be going to your boot camps, your HIT classes, your boxing, doing your advanced Pilates and all of those kinds of exercises.
But if you feel depleted, then you need to dial it back. I keep on saying this because obviously, I don't want you to push through and then go into the next phase where you're just like, I'm done.
Mairi: Yes, and then you don't follow up on the networking.
Eleshia: Exactly, exactly. Although this is the three or four days that you've got to do, do, do, don't try and squeeze it all in. Be really pragmatic about it and just make sure that you give yourself that energy and that self-care because that's really important that you give yourself more self-care in this phase as well, so you're ready for the next phase.
Make sure you've got your magnesium coming in, all of that lovely stuff that you can be doing to help you relax and recharge as well.
Mairi: This might be that short period of time where you are burning the midnight oil, so to speak, but knowing that's because you've given yourself a couple of days just to regroup and so on and so forth. We got this peak of high intensity. It's not meant to be like that all month every month, all year every year because otherwise, you'll end up where I was, which was basically my cortisol are completely flat-lined and I have no energy.
That then becomes a frustration as well, particularly as you're coming into your perimenopause and menopause, you do not want to be arriving on the door of menopause depleted, because then it is not going to be an enjoyable journey or less enjoyable than it possibly can be.
Eleshia: Thank you for sharing that because again, that's a really key point. As women, we don't always share our experiences of how we felt and the fact that we did burn out, and then the steps to how we got back.
Mairi: Yes, definitely and let's not underestimate either. I was having this conversation with a client today, the trials and tribulations of the last year, we've lost a lot of some of the social ability, the church, and hands up to all of the women who've been running their businesses or holding down their careers whilst also trying to homeschool.
While she may have been able to juggle all the balls, it may be time now to let a few go and just get yourself, particularly now, our kids are back at school and things like that. It's just making sure you're not trying to catch up for a lost time, but you're just keeping, getting back in your rhythm, your swing, and your sway. Also remembering that at this time of life, obviously, I'm that little bit older than you, but I know that you've gone through grief and trauma and losing loved ones.
The impact that all of that has is we're coming into our prime. We should be at a point where we can let go of things, and instead, we become the parents of our parents. All of that, and again because of our culture and the way that we've been brought up and probably by our mothers as well, to be those independent women. We don't ask for help. We try and do it all on our own, and then we find ourselves rocking in a corner wondering what the hell went wrong.
So again, whilst we're talking about this is our do phase, let's not forget to call in our tribe, find our sister circles and really find the women and men around us that can support us and hold us up and break away from this, I've got to do it all and I've got to do it all by myself.
Eleshia: Yes, because it just makes sense to everything that you just said about community. It's not just being in communities, actually working with your community as well to help you.
Mairi: That's one of the biggest things. It's really interesting because I was doing a little bit of research looking into the impact of the last 12 months' lockdown on mental health. One of the most important things to mental health is not just a sense of belonging but a sense of doing and making a difference to our communities, and for many people that have been taken away over the last 12 months, in particular, that ability to do it for their families and those that they love.
So let's not underestimate where we are at and hopefully people are listening to this, in two years time in 2023 and life it's like this is now history, and so on and so forth, and that we don't forget the importance of the impact on our mental health, of being part of a supportive community and pulling on each other. Because that's what we used to do in the old days, the tribe we gather in the morning, check-in with everybody, and then they all go off and do their jobs.
Eleshia: I was speaking about this with my godmother the other day and I said exactly the same thing. In the summer holidays, our parents would talk to each other and we'd be at this person's house or that person's house. People would bring food in. It was just more of a sense of community when I was growing up, and that seems to have drifted away a little bit, especially as you said in the last 12 months. Let's get back to it.
Mairi: Yes, absolutely because that is going to help your hormones.
Eleshia: So before we leave the listeners, can we just discuss some essential oils that we could lay around for energy?
Mairi: Yes, definitely peppermint is a great oil for energizing the system and really getting you going. Lemons had good oil for focus because again, we don't want to be like our head on all over the place. There are also oils like Cedarwood is a good oil for immunity, so if you think about some of the tree oils and that trees work in the community and enhance each other. There are some proprietary blends, but again, a lot of them have got things like peppermint, they've got cinnamon in them. Just all oils that just make you zing and make you feel alive.
So for some people they might be into citrus oils as well. Maybe if you're going out and you're doing your networking and your public speaking, you want your lavenders and your spearmint, so they're both oils for communication and confidence speech. There are lots of different ways that you can bring the oils in to support you.
I love what I'm doing and still do public speaking, I'll put lavender and spearmint on my throat. I'll take it straight to the area where I'm working so that I've got that confidence to speak, but I'm also clear in what I'm wanting to say, or I might have it diffusing if I'm doing an online webinar.
There are other blends, as I say, you've got your cinnamons and your spicy seeds and cardamoms, and things like that for that extra love energy and that extra magnetism, just to enhance in that way.
Eleshia: Yay. Was there anything else you wanted to tell the listeners?
Mairi: No. I think we've shared everything and anything today. I'm actually in my ovulatory phase at the moment, even though I'm now two years post-menopause. This would have been my ovulatory phase.
Eleshia: Again, it just comes back to the fact by tracking you got all of this information.
Mairi: Yes, and also I recognize the energy now in my body. I'm like okay, yes. I'm talking, I'm calling, I've been, voice messaging, how are you? Just checking in with my community, and I'm like, yes, how funny when it's not. That I'm going to be talking about the ovulatory phase whilst I'm in what would have been, and this is the thing for any of the post-menopause women listening, do not lose the energetics in your body. You did not lose them, they're still there so even though you're not menstruating.
We tend to hang around in this ovulatory phase of that switch over, so there are no hormones, but I definitely notice when I want to be chatting and talking, as you can see now that you can't shut me up. When I'm like, no, I don't want to talk to anybody for a few days.
Eleshia: I love it. I love it. I'm in my Venus phase. I'm in the follicular phase. It's as I said, since I've been tracking and actually working with my cycle and how I can be more productive and all of that, it's been so interesting to how many things I've got done without even thinking about it. Does that make sense?
I was just about to say I'm literally in my flow with things, and it doesn't always feel as hard as it did when I wasn't. So yes, I love all of this.
Mairi: I hope our listeners do too.
Eleshia: Me too. So we'll be back with you next week where we'll be talking about the last phase.
Mairi: Yes. The luteal phase, so this can be the two weeks of how, for some women. So we're going to help you and wrap it a little bit and make it that you don't lose basically two weeks of your month. That's not good for productivity, it's not good for relationships and it's certainly not good for your heart.
Eleshia: Exactly, so you definitely want to tune in to that because there will be a lot of goodness in that conversation.
Okay then listeners, thanks again for joining us, and we're going to sign off. Thank you, Mairi, as always. Those are great conversations.
Mairi: Thank you. Bye.
Eleshia: Wow. How much information did you just get in that episode? I really hope that it served you well and please, if you know anybody else that may need to hear the information that we are sharing, please share this info with them. It's so important, and this is the whole reason why Mairi and I wanted to do this whole series for you. We're talking about the luteal phase, until next week, bye.
Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this week's episode of the Eleshia Show. If you know somebody who needs to hear the conversations that we're having, please share it, take a screenshot and send it to them. Also, I would really love for you to rate and review the podcast as this really helps, and I'd love to read your comments. Lastly, remember you need to invest in yourself first because you are important and amazing. Take care, until next time, bye bye.