Aligned Birth

Ep 155: Embracing Your Feminine Cycle

May 15, 2024 Dr. Shannon and Doula Rachael Episode 155
Ep 155: Embracing Your Feminine Cycle
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Aligned Birth
Ep 155: Embracing Your Feminine Cycle
May 15, 2024 Episode 155
Dr. Shannon and Doula Rachael

In this episode, Dr. Shannon and Doula Rachael discuss the feminine cycle and how to embrace and honor it. They cover topics such as menstruation, the follicular phase, and ovulation. They emphasize the importance of understanding and tracking your cycle, as well as listening to your body's needs during each phase. T

They also touch on the nutritional aspects of supporting your cycle and the importance of self-care and rest. Understanding and embracing your menstrual cycle and its hormonal fluctuations can help you optimize your energy levels, mood, and overall well-being. 

Tracking your cycle and aligning your activities with each phase can be beneficial. During menstruation, rest and reflect. In the follicular phase, plan and initiate. Ovulation is a time to connect and be visible. In the luteal phase, focus and complete tasks. Balancing your diet with healthy fats, complex carbs, and protein can support hormone balance. Hydration and electrolyte balance are also important.

Honoring your cycle and the phases of the moon can provide additional guidance.


00:00 Introduction and Overview

08:05 Nutrition and Self-Care for a Healthy Cycle

41:24 Balancing Your Diet for Hormone Health

54:30 Honoring Your Cycle and the Phases of the Moon

Resources mentioned:

Kate Northrup - Egg Wisdom and Do Less

Body Love (book) by Kelly LeVeque

Support the Show.

Want to show your support? Want to help us continue doing this important and impactful work: Support the Show (we greatly appreciate it!)

Don't miss new episodes: Join the Aligned Birth Community

Instagram: Aligned Birth


Find us online:
Sunrise Chiropractic and Wellness
North Atlanta Birth Services

Editing: Godfrey Sound
Music: "Freedom” by Roa

Disclaimer: The information shared, obtained, and discussed in this podcast is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional consultation with a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your individual medical needs. By listening to this podcast you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having. This disclaimer includes all guests or contributors to the podcast.

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Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Dr. Shannon and Doula Rachael discuss the feminine cycle and how to embrace and honor it. They cover topics such as menstruation, the follicular phase, and ovulation. They emphasize the importance of understanding and tracking your cycle, as well as listening to your body's needs during each phase. T

They also touch on the nutritional aspects of supporting your cycle and the importance of self-care and rest. Understanding and embracing your menstrual cycle and its hormonal fluctuations can help you optimize your energy levels, mood, and overall well-being. 

Tracking your cycle and aligning your activities with each phase can be beneficial. During menstruation, rest and reflect. In the follicular phase, plan and initiate. Ovulation is a time to connect and be visible. In the luteal phase, focus and complete tasks. Balancing your diet with healthy fats, complex carbs, and protein can support hormone balance. Hydration and electrolyte balance are also important.

Honoring your cycle and the phases of the moon can provide additional guidance.


00:00 Introduction and Overview

08:05 Nutrition and Self-Care for a Healthy Cycle

41:24 Balancing Your Diet for Hormone Health

54:30 Honoring Your Cycle and the Phases of the Moon

Resources mentioned:

Kate Northrup - Egg Wisdom and Do Less

Body Love (book) by Kelly LeVeque

Support the Show.

Want to show your support? Want to help us continue doing this important and impactful work: Support the Show (we greatly appreciate it!)

Don't miss new episodes: Join the Aligned Birth Community

Instagram: Aligned Birth


Find us online:
Sunrise Chiropractic and Wellness
North Atlanta Birth Services

Editing: Godfrey Sound
Music: "Freedom” by Roa

Disclaimer: The information shared, obtained, and discussed in this podcast is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional consultation with a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your individual medical needs. By listening to this podcast you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having. This disclaimer includes all guests or contributors to the podcast.

Dr. Shannon (00:02.974)
This is the Aligned Birth podcast. You are listening to Dr. Shannon and Dula Rachel today. We're the hosts of the show and we talk about all things typically prenatal. I like to use the word perinatal because that encompasses everything. Preconceptive, pregnancy, and postpartum as well, that journey into motherhood. Today, it's almost like we've done a little series, but we haven't really done a series on hormones.

And so we've talked about key pregnancy hormones and understanding that, but today we're really embracing the feminine cycle. So understanding what's going on in the phases of the cycle, the hormones that are at play, the nutritional things that could help balance some of those hormones, exercise that can be good, and looking at like honoring this feminine cycle.

and trying to incorporate it into your daily life and what you do and then understanding that there's those ebbs and flows that you have and when you embrace it, it makes it a lot easier. It's not like fighting, you know, like swimming upstream. So we wanna go into all of those things today. And then we wanna touch on, if you do not have a regular cycle, say you're pregnant or postpartum or for whatever reason, then there are some things that you can look at and track as well. So.

Yay! I'm excited to dive into our wonderful feminine cycle. Hi Rachel!

Rachael Hutchins (01:36.22)
Hey Dr. Shannon, definitely looking forward to this conversation. I continue to learn so much as we dive deeper into these topics when we have time to, when we choose the topic and it's like, okay, now we're gonna learn even more about it than we might already know. And I, as I was telling you before we started recording, you know, feel like I spent a huge portion of my life from the time I got my first period until I really started.

digging into learning about my own cycle at the age of like 30, which feels really late in the game to be learning about your own body. And so I really think it's so incredible what our bodies do. And the more we know, the more we can kind of trust ourselves and not feel so much shame or, or distrust or ick feelings around.

Dr. Shannon (02:10.142)
Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (02:32.604)
what's what is just a normal physiological process that many women experience, especially during the reproductive years. So it's like, I just, I feel like all the time I want to take young women and be like, here's what's happening inside of your body. It is normal. It is healthy. It is amazing. It can be a gift. And like you were saying when we were talking before the show about like the kind of negative connotation that comes with the woman's

Dr. Shannon (02:45.79)
I know. And like honor it.

Rachael Hutchins (03:00.444)
or a period, you know, bleeding, hormones, PMS, all those things that really shame women instead of empowering them. And it really should be an empowering cycle. And one of the really important things I think it's that we also wanted to touch on was how you really have to kind of break some societal like,

Dr. Shannon (03:09.63)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (03:13.822)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (03:30.3)
boxes or whatever that were like put in for how we're supposed to show up in the world because Whether we like it or not, it's kind of a man's world

Dr. Shannon (03:31.582)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (03:41.47)
Right, and men are on a totally different cycle than women. They're on a 24 hour, they're just like, it's like Groundhog Day over and over again, I feel like, you know, for them, whereas they reset, they're just constantly making sprints, like it's just, that is their cycle, which is cool and awesome in its own way, but that's not ours. But when we're told to fit in that box, uh -huh.

Rachael Hutchins (03:45.276)

Rachael Hutchins (03:50.492)
Mm -hmm. They do their hormones reset every day.

Rachael Hutchins (04:00.092)
No, yeah, there's no nothing wrong with that. But when we're when the woman goes. Yeah, well, we kind of have to if you have a traditional job that's a nine to five, five days a week, however many weeks, 50 weeks, 52 weeks a year. It's school. There's no, you know, school is structured that way. Work is structured this way where we kind of have the expectation sports, you know.

Dr. Shannon (04:09.246)
Uh huh.

Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (04:26.622)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (04:27.964)
This is totally a side note. I saw a standup comedian on Instagram, like a reel that popped up and he was talking about watching some of the women's basketball that's been going on and how incredible that they're they're leveling up the sport. And I mean, women's sports in general, this could apply to. But then he goes, and then I realize they are doing this on their period. Most likely, right? Like at some point, like they are and they have to.

Dr. Shannon (04:51.486)
That's right. Uh -huh. Oh, yeah, the games don't care. Yeah. Yeah. Uh -huh.

Rachael Hutchins (04:57.372)
I think you got to keep showing up, you know, just like in my, it's like a super, it's to me again, it's this reference to like this superpower of like, we're able to figure out how to cope and, and have this cycle that changes us. Our hormones are changing and fluctuating in a way that we actually feel different at different points in our cycle, which is on average about a month. So every month, and this is what we're going to talk about, we're going to talk about the cycle that we go through, but it's a month period versus a 24 hour period. So.

Dr. Shannon (05:08.158)
Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (05:19.134)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (05:25.886)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (05:26.748)
For one week, I feel a certain way. And for the next week, I feel another way. And the next week, I feel slightly different. And then the fourth week, I feel different. And then we still got to show up and work and take care of, and if you have kids, take care of your family or all the things. And it's not to say you just shut down and you don't do those things. I think it's just that we need to figure out, and I just wish I had known earlier, if you could understand your body, you could be more empathetic of your body and maybe do things differently to support your body.

Dr. Shannon (05:34.398)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (05:39.998)
Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (05:48.158)

Rachael Hutchins (05:56.732)
so that you feel better overall.

Dr. Shannon (05:56.926)
And that's, yes, and that's kind of, I really think that one of the big take homes that we wanted to do today was that, because I too, you know, when I first got my period, it was more of that like, yeah, I mean, there's that general excitement, like, oh, you're becoming a woman, you know, aspect in society, but.

It was very much like, I don't know, in our childhood, it was just like, ugh, this is what's happening. And so I have seen, I feel like Rachel Hart did this, or I saw something, they had like a blessing ceremony for either her daughter or a friend's daughter when she started. And it was just like this beautiful women's circle, women of all ages coming together and just like honoring and supporting this young woman that had, you know, had just started her cycle. And so I was like, oh my God, that would have, maybe that would have changed, that can change so much if you.

frame it in a different, and I'm not trying to be like, you know, just ignore it and it's not, there aren't parts that suck. Yeah, I get that, but it's, and it's not like toxic positivity, but it's just when you frame it differently and look at it differently. And so you can be like, yeah, I'm feeling pretty crappy and I'm really ticked off at everything right now. So I'm going to go be alone. Like if you can go and be alone, like it's, it's honoring that not shaming yourself for, you know, those fluctuations. So, mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (07:09.34)
Exactly. Yeah. Mine was just a problem that needed to be fixed. Like it wasn't, um, uh, I wasn't taught an understanding of the, the science behind it, the biology behind it, the, you know, the changes you might experience from 15 to 25 or whatever. Like, I can, we are, I am all about just understanding yourself better and your body better so you can show up better and definitely not to be toxic.

I do not want it to be like, oh, it's all rainbows and butterflies. No, it's actually giving you permission to say this sucks at times. You know, because, but then you're like, but I know why it sucks versus it just sucking and you not knowing why, or you're not able to kind of put words around it of like, this is where I'm at in my, in my cycle. Oh gosh, my internet is glitching. Am I still here?

Dr. Shannon (07:40.766)

Exactly. Uh huh. Nah, yeah.

Dr. Shannon (07:53.278)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (08:02.078)
You are still here. You're like fuzzy in video land.

Rachael Hutchins (08:05.788)
I hope I stay because if my power is glitching, that means my internet will go down and it will take me a minute to come back up.

Dr. Shannon (08:11.678)

Rachel is glitching as my YouTube sons say, I'm glitching.

Rachael Hutchins (08:15.452)
Fingers crossed.

Rachael Hutchins (08:20.7)
And I'll give you a heads up, because it might be worth it just to keep going. I can cut this out if needed, but you can keep going, and then if I lose my internet, I'll hop out and hop back in.

Dr. Shannon (08:30.334)
Oh, okay. All right, I'll try to keep going.

Rachael Hutchins (08:32.444)
Cause if you keep the call going, that way we don't just stop the recording and lose the, I think if you keep it going, I can hop out and hop back in. Hopefully. Okay. Um, yeah. Yeah. So just, you know, on, yeah. Uh, don't know where I was at.

Dr. Shannon (08:37.15)
Yeah. Okay.

Okay, I know. I'll just keep talking then.

Dr. Shannon (08:49.694)
Honoring our cycle. Yes embracing the feminine cycle. I love it. So We're gonna kind of break it down into the four main phases of our cycle there's also kind of there's also some people that just break it down into like two aspects of it and then there's other little phases that happen within those so I Don't know. It's interesting because there's overlap. I guess that's the big thing too. Is this is not so set in stone we've already said it's typically a 28 day cycle, but I

It's worth tracking to know what your cycle length actually is. And so that's what we wanted to go in as well. But there's variations.

Rachael Hutchins (09:27.676)
Yeah, the 28 days is an average, which means there's people, lots of people who go longer and there's lots of people who actually have shorter. Shorter can get more complicated because you still need certain amount of time. Like I actually learned I had a short phase when I was trying to conceive my second. It's like I wasn't, my body wasn't giving itself enough time to have the whole process. So shorter.

Dr. Shannon (09:44.382)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (09:52.22)
within a couple days could be a variation of normal but definitely longer is a variation of normal. 28 is the average and tracking your cycle is so helpful in learning what your body does on a regular basis. So 20 we will loosely use the 28 day as a guide but please know it's not a written in stone.

Dr. Shannon (10:08.126)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (10:14.462)
Mm -hmm. Yeah. It's not written in stone. Yeah, exactly. And then, oh, fun, like I forgot our little, we're gonna put our seasons in there too. So since there's the four parts of the cycle essentially. Okay, so we're gonna start with menstruation though, which actually, follicular phase starts at the beginning of menstruation as well, but, because that goes all the way until ovulation. So, but we'll start with menstruation, which is when you start to bleed.

This is the one this is probably I guess one part of the cycle where it's kind of You can get that ick that like this is what I'm going through, you know, and I always tell this is side note any spouses any male spouses or males listening to show this you need to listen to this show because you need to know your partner's So I constantly tell my husband these things like as far as I always say my body is

Rachael Hutchins (11:05.212)
Mm -hmm. Truth.

Dr. Shannon (11:13.214)
shedding its uterine lighting. That's how I just tell it to him. He just rolls his head and calls me a nerd. But I'm like, I'm shedding my uterine lining. So I'm like, okay, like be nice to me, right? Like, let me do what I want to do. Yeah. So they need to understand too. But yes, this is, yeah, the shedding of the uterine lining. You can experience fatigue and cramps. It's day one. That's that starts, yeah, that first day of bleeding. Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (11:25.02)
This is what's happening to me. Be nice to me.


And it's the first day.

The first day of your cycle, it kind of resets your cycle when you start bleeding.

Dr. Shannon (11:41.918)
Mm -hmm, exactly. You can have the mood swings, you can have cramps. And it's typically, this is two, there can be variations in the length. So one to five days. Some things I had read recently too, what I've actually started looking at was the quality of the blood. Like are there clots in it? This is not even in our outline, but it just reminded me of it. Like are there clots? Is it thick or the color of it? Like is it bright red and like really good oxygen in blood or is it like?

old blood where it turns like that little bit of a brown. And so I will even look at that and track that as well too to be like, okay, and it'll change. Every cycle is a little bit different. So I'm like, oh, backtracking 30 days, was something going on then? Was I getting enough nutrients? Was I tired? You know, it's just interesting to look at that and kind of take that investigative eye to it as well. But, mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (12:14.172)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (12:35.132)
So question, because I hadn't heard that before. I know that the brown blood kind of means older blood and that it could have been from your last cycle or something that. So is it always reflective of your nutrition and lifestyle and stress when it's either bright red or brown? Do you know?

Dr. Shannon (12:43.422)
Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (12:59.486)
I don't know. I think one of the articles I had read was relating it to like just because you bleed doesn't mean you have a regular cycle. And even if you just bleed within the regular days, because you may not be ovulating, but it was also talking about like that quality of it. So looking at like the overall quality of your cycle. So yeah, maybe assessing it as far as like, am I getting enough nutrients or do more iron or something along those lines.

But then there's a tendency to have a little bit of that brown at the beginning, because that's maybe the leftover from that. But just knowing that's also something within the cycle to look at and track. Because I'll have women come in the office and we'll talk about our cycles, especially if they're a little bit later in life. And so they're looking at, and they've got hormone replacement therapy and all kinds of stuff. And if there's...

Rachael Hutchins (13:33.436)
Yeah, right.

Rachael Hutchins (13:40.924)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (13:52.094)
I have some women that are like, I'm passing a lot of clots. I'm like, okay, well, let's talk to your provider about that and make sure everything is good. So it's really looking at the quality of the bleed as well too. So.

Rachael Hutchins (14:05.212)
Yeah, and bleeding heavily doesn't have to be chalked up as like, oh, this happens for everyone. This is normal. I mean, having the type of bleeding like clots and the heaviness, you know, if it's disrupting your life significantly, I think it's, it doesn't, shouldn't be chalked up as normal. I've heard that from, I've read that with from Aviva Ram who we have her book here and we reference her a lot, uh, linked at the bottom of our show notes, like,

Dr. Shannon (14:22.302)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (14:27.678)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (14:31.356)
I know she talks about like, this shouldn't just be like, oh, this is normal. It's kind of like incontinence, like with women, like it might be common, but it's not always normal. And there could be something to explore there. So I love like, if you can have a practitioner that you work with regarding your reproduction and your hormones and your bleeding and talking to them and being like, is this normal?

Dr. Shannon (14:36.382)
Mm -hmm. Yeah, like maybe you have a heavier flow, but yeah, what's going on? Is there something more?

Dr. Shannon (14:57.758)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (14:57.98)
And even like, what should I be focusing on nutrition wise? Um, or, and supplement wise and maybe getting your hormones tested to see like, what do I need? Am I iron deficient and vitamin D deficient and stuff like that. So really being, um, no, I think we are, I think so many women, myself included are like, this is normal. This is, this happens to everybody. Surely everyone bleeds this long and has this heavy of periods. And, and that was me when I was 15. And sure enough, it wasn't normal.

Dr. Shannon (15:01.79)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (15:06.366)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (15:23.902)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (15:28.06)
was not normal and I needed some additional help. So like, you know, some additional support. Yeah. So, um, you know, I think the, I like to talk about the, the, the phases of the cycle and bring in the seasons and you touched on it because for my brain, I'm able to visualize where I'm at in my cycle with a season and it makes sense. So winter,

Dr. Shannon (15:28.446)
Mm -hmm. You're like no no no, it was not normal support. Yeah

Dr. Shannon (15:43.678)
Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (15:54.238)
and how you feel in that season. Mm -hmm. No, I love it.

Rachael Hutchins (15:56.828)
yeah how you feel in that season for most people so winter is typically colder you're inside more you're covered up more you're kind of maybe doing less and so menstruation is that winter phase and that is um kind of how you can support yourself and be more gracious with yourself during menstruation and it's like the winter so going you know you can still do definitely we think i think you agree encourage exercise.

Dr. Shannon (15:59.934)

Dr. Shannon (16:21.694)
Uh huh.

Rachael Hutchins (16:26.684)
throughout is just sort of changing.

Dr. Shannon (16:29.182)
But no, yeah, like I will look at races that I have planned and I'll be like, dang it, I am supposed to be on day two of my period, which day one I can handle, day two and three are a little bit heavier for me and I'm just a little bit more sluggish. And so honestly, what was it? A race I did recently, I felt like I had to work so hard and push so much harder because, and I was like, gosh, dang it, I'm on my period. You know, I was like, this didn't line up. But understanding that, so like outside,

Rachael Hutchins (16:38.204)

Rachael Hutchins (16:42.492)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (16:56.86)
You had to overcome.

Dr. Shannon (16:59.006)
Uh -huh. I was like, I just knew I was gonna have to push a little bit harder. So like I did actually eat a bigger breakfast that morning. Like I tried to do a few things to to support that. The energy deficit there as well. But so looking at...

Rachael Hutchins (17:13.084)
Like if you know it's gonna be harder for you know You're not gonna have the same energy that you have in different other phases of your cycle like you can either Acknowledge like hey I went for this run and it felt like it was harder than normal I did this workout and it felt harder than normal, but hey, I'm on my period that makes sense Doesn't mean you don't have to do the workout No, but it kind of makes sense. So you're not beating yourself up or questioning yourself or giving up or You if when you get real nitty -gritty, which I encourage I?

Dr. Shannon (17:15.742)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (17:20.862)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (17:34.334)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (17:43.068)
planning ahead if you're doing your workouts like hey I started my period today so today is gonna be a low intensity workout maybe I'm gonna walk but I'll walk further I'm gonna do some power yoga or you know take the day off and sleep in but not you just like I mean doesn't mean you sleep in every day of the month but like give yourself permission to rest more during menstruation and to do slower maybe you know more low -intense workout.

Dr. Shannon (17:45.438)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (18:08.67)

Rachael Hutchins (18:12.764)
during menstruation and that feels better I think when you give yourself that permission you feel better versus doing that uphill battle for the workout.

Dr. Shannon (18:13.918)

Dr. Shannon (18:18.398)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm when Yeah, when you try to push and it's like well am I pushing and trying to be You know gritty and and get this done cuz I know I can or just honoring that cycle a bit more I mean again, too I know I like that and then there's also the aspect of what I had started doing and looking at a lot of Kate Northrips

Rachael Hutchins (18:35.036)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (18:42.846)
stuff, which her mom, Christine Northrup, I believe she's a medical doctor and focuses a lot on women's health. And so her daughter is Kate Northrup and almost takes a different look at it. But I read her book, Do Less, and I used her planner for several years. And it's she even has an egg wisdom. There's a whole section in her book, Do Less on egg wisdom. And so we'll get I guess I could talk about that ovulation, which was really cool. But it's a lot of honoring your cycle. So sometimes, too, I'll even look at my work schedule to know like,

Rachael Hutchins (18:57.244)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (19:11.582)
Oh, is this going to be tough? Do I need to put in more hours here? Can I change my hours? Or knowing it's that there's that work -life balance with it as well too in understanding your cycle. And so sometimes I will plan ahead with things as far as I may not try to be doing a lot of like networking events or something like that, being out and visible. Because again, it's winter, it's rest, reflect, and it's okay.

Rachael Hutchins (19:20.444)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (19:26.588)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (19:33.052)
Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm. It's normal.

Dr. Shannon (19:37.438)
I'm also a type A, so then it's kind of like, no, no, no, no. I feel like I need to push, push, push every day. It needs to be 100 % energy all the time. And so that I think this has given me a better self -worth. I don't know, just a better ability to not be hard on myself because I'm not a man. I'm that 24 -hour cycle. So that's menstruation. Now...

Rachael Hutchins (19:44.124)

Rachael Hutchins (19:57.276)
Mm -hmm. Right.

Rachael Hutchins (20:06.588)
Did we talk about this, the shedding? Did you talk about how you did say administration is the shedding of the uterine mining? That is what's happening. You said that, I think. Okay.

Dr. Shannon (20:06.59)

Dr. Shannon (20:11.326)
The shedding of the uterine letting. Yes, yes, because then, yes, that's what the blood is. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's what bleeding is, yeah. And your hormones level drop. So estrogen, progesterone drop, but that's where some of the emotional aspects of things can come into because your hormones impact that. Okay, so next would be that follicular phase, which again, too, follicular phase actually starts at the beginning of menstruation and goes until ovulation, but after bleeding,

then before the egg is released, you've got that follicular phase. So this is, so I wanted to go into a little bit of like, it's a full body thing. So hypothalamus tells pituitary to release follicle stimulating hormone. That tells your ovaries to make follicles, which make the, that becomes the immature eggs.

So it's full body though. It's you know, and the body communicates because the ovaries are sending out hormones as well So it's this beautiful when you understand that and you're like, oh, that's really cool. I'm ovaries are talking to my brain My brain is talking over here and trying to like coordinate They're trying to coordinate Everything is this they can So you've we've finished our bleed cycle end of menstruation and then

Rachael Hutchins (21:04.828)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (21:27.358)
estrogen can begin to rise and so this can give you a little bit more energy, a little bit help with the mood aspect of things as well too. And there's a big, I guess, range of dates because it can be anywhere from 11 to 27 days if you're looking at follicular phase starting at the begin of menstruation. If you're looking at the end, it can be more of like that 6 to 14 days. So again, it's a big, it's a window there. It's a window.

Rachael Hutchins (21:47.42)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (21:56.446)
This might be more higher intensity workouts or beginning to get into that zone and then maybe some strength training as well there too. But also listen to it because not every time in that follicular phase you're going to feel the same thing because not only are there variations in it but you know through that month but then over time as well too you may not. I don't know sometimes I'm like well I'm just not feeling it still. And then our

Rachael Hutchins (22:24.028)
Yeah, it's not a guarantee that you're going to feel a certain way at each point in the cycle. It's definitely varies.

Dr. Shannon (22:26.206)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (22:29.95)
Mm -hmm.

But sometimes I'll be like, why am I feeling a certain way? And I'll go and look at the app that I use to track it. And I'm like, oh, okay, this is coming up or I'm here now. I'm like, okay, that makes a little bit more sense. We wanna go into the nutritional aspect of things with the cycles. Did we wanna talk about, I can't remember what we said we wanted to do. Do we wanna put it in and talk about now with follicular phase? Because again,

Rachael Hutchins (22:46.204)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (22:58.14)
Mm -hmm. Yes.

Dr. Shannon (23:02.814)
The hormones are made from the nutrients that you eat and consume. And so that's where we want to get here. And the hormones are what are orchestrating this entire symphony of this 28 -ish day cycle. So you've got to have all the parts of your orchestra and you've got to have, they got to be able to like pull their load. And so, so I wanted to talk a little bit with...

So if you're looking at follicular phase, again, iron rich foods because you did just have a blood loss. And so you do need to be able to replenish that. Leafy greens, lean proteins, nuts can help replenish some of the iron that's lost then too. Yeah. I mean, supplements as well, but yeah.

Rachael Hutchins (23:39.676)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (23:51.548)
in the

Yeah, starting there. Yeah, for sure. And then this is like referred to as the spring season. And that's where that increased energy improved mood, you know, shifting towards. Yeah, and moving towards ovulation, which is like full creativity and full out, full forward facing. And spring is the one step in that direction. So I like I like spring.

Dr. Shannon (23:56.126)
Mm -hmm.


Dr. Shannon (24:04.318)
You're out of the darkness of winter.

Dr. Shannon (24:19.262)
Mm -hmm. I like spring. I know I mean minus the pollen, right? So there's still some things to work on with it But yes, so now we have pushed through to the end of follicular phase which moves into ovulation and You know the tracking app that I use Again ovulation. It's like a window of time there. So yeah, there's like a what a 24 -hour like a one -day period where there's that maximum

Ability for you to be pregnant. So ovulation is when that egg is released from the ovary estrogen levels peak can dream you get Just heightened feelings a heightened libido Just being out and about That can be incorporated with ovulation as well that estrogen peak triggers pituitary to release luteinizing hormone and that is what essentially starts like egg is released and so

Rachael Hutchins (24:52.764)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (25:14.334)
my app will have a bigger window of that ovulatory period than just like what that specific day is. So I think it's important to understand that. And there, you can have a period, you can menstruate and not have an ovulatory period as well too.

Rachael Hutchins (25:23.708)

Dr. Shannon (25:38.622)
So like all the parts need to be here for you to have a healthy cycle. It's easy to know when you menstruate because there's an obvious, you can see it, it's obviously there, but some ovulation, you don't necessarily know when, at that specific time, when that egg is released. Now sometimes you can have, I'll have those pains, those ovulatory pains. I think they're called like middle Schmitz, middle Schmitz. I love that, the German heard.

Rachael Hutchins (25:46.492)
Right. Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (26:02.652)
Yeah, yes, yep.

Dr. Shannon (26:04.926)
You can have that, but then there's more of like the discharge change and tracking your basal body temperature changes as well too. And then there's ovulation strips. Like you can, you know, if you are trying to conceive, you can use those to...

Rachael Hutchins (26:09.692)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (26:19.228)
Yeah, you can test and you can use those strips also to just confirm what you're tracking. Like to be like, I think this is what I'm, I'll be like, even if you're not trying to conceive and it just gives you some positive feedback, but I do think it's, it's cool to watch. Cause diving into like taking charge, your fertility type stuff of like the, it's not just the bleeding that you can track. It's your, the discharge, how it changes over the course of your cycle, as well as like you said, your body temperature, which.

Dr. Shannon (26:24.414)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (26:39.166)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (26:48.892)
you can you have to use a very specific the basal body temperature thermometer that gives two tenths of a degree because it's like so has to be so accurate and you have to take it at the same time every day. It's such a slight drop and that is or it's an increase and it increases after ovulation has occurred. So if you're tracking and you're trying to hit ovulation like you would have to track for a few months and be able to say okay.

Dr. Shannon (26:54.814)
Yes, yes.

It's because it's a slight. Yeah, like you do need to be. It's a slight change, but you do need to be regular with that. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (27:08.67)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (27:16.796)
basal body temperature is increasing on this day, but you don't really learn it until the next day based on your body, you know, so, but then you can look back and say, okay, this is the day on average. And you know, you can do natural family planning that way, trying to conceive that way or prevent that way. It can work, you know, but if you're doing prevention, it's usually like a five day window around ovulation that you got to be careful. Um, cause sperm can live for five days and then that egg has a journey it takes. So it's not just like one.

Dr. Shannon (27:21.79)
Mm -hmm. You're like, wait a minute. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (27:31.742)
Exactly. It works both ways.

Yeah. Yeah.

Rachael Hutchins (27:45.596)
one day. It's one day that it's like the highest, but, but, and then learning about the discharge, which again, TMI, but Hey, we're talking about periods, but it's so cool to learn about how the discharge changes so that it can be more conducive for helping sperm reach the egg. Yeah. And so when you can be like, Oh, this is the kind of discharge that helps the sperm get to the egg. And now I'm having that kind of discharge. Okay.

Dr. Shannon (27:45.79)
Exactly. Yes, but it's not just the one day possible. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (27:55.742)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (28:02.174)
Yeah. For the sperm.

Rachael Hutchins (28:13.02)
Like you learn that, and like, okay, my body's giving me the signal. This is not a good time to have unprotected sex. If you're trying to avoid, or it's game time.

Dr. Shannon (28:13.374)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (28:19.422)
Exactly. If you're trying to avoid it, which is my current situation. Yeah, exactly. It could be two totally different things. Well, then too, and I love how the egg chooses the sperm. I know this is like outside of that, but the egg is like, no, no, no, not you. No, no, no, not you. And I just feel like like they're like puppy dog. But I just think that that's that sidebar. That's fine. And.

Rachael Hutchins (28:39.004)
The sperm are fighting like crazy. It's like, oh, yeah.

Dr. Shannon (28:48.35)
So I follow Missy Burgess, who's a local midwife. Is she homegrown birth, I think. I can't remember, but I follow her. And she had posted something recently about, a lot of times I feel like I will check that cervical fluid only like with urination. So you go to the bathroom and you'll be like, oh, this cervical fluid has changed a bit here. This is a little bit different.

Rachael Hutchins (28:54.236)
Oh, uh huh, yeah, homegrown birth, that's it.

Rachael Hutchins (29:16.27)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (29:16.99)
She has mentioned that not only checking it during urination, so like making that conscious effort to be like, okay, this is how it looks normally outside of that. So just a little, I thought that was interesting too, because I was like, oh yeah, you know, you can get a little bit more, you know, investigative with it. Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (29:33.244)
Yes to more accurate and more in the no. Um, yeah, I think the more you know about your body, the better. I use full disclosure. I was terrified of batch on discharge as a young woman. I was like, this is, this is so embarrassing. This is the worst thing ever. And now I'm like, this is a freaking just part of life. Like this is just a part of being a woman. This is a part of.

Dr. Shannon (29:41.246)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (29:46.078)
Mm -hmm. Uh -huh. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (29:52.766)
Mm -hmm.

I know. I'm like, oh, this is cool. Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (30:00.22)
I just it happens just like everything else in our body happens like nothing to be ashamed of

Dr. Shannon (30:04.382)
Mm -hmm No, no Knowing about it is good Okay, so during ovulation this is definitely like energy endurance levels are going to typically be increased so like the high intensity exercise can be Can be good again, you know go with what you feel but

Rachael Hutchins (30:27.612)
Listen to your body always.

Dr. Shannon (30:28.766)
I have found that I'm ready to exercise and workout. And this is also if you're looking at a calendar, that's when you're like, I'll be more active with even with social media stuff. It'll be easier for me to post or do something or to get something out there. That's when I'll send emails or something to like tackling creative projects. I tend to get that stuff done a little bit. It's easier.

Rachael Hutchins (30:32.636)
on the same way.

Rachael Hutchins (30:56.22)
Yeah, if you want to know when I'm ovulating, check my social.

Dr. Shannon (30:59.262)
Uh -huh. Exactly.

Rachael Hutchins (31:02.332)
I'm like so creative. I have all the ideas. I want to like put myself out there for like six days of a month. And that's it. But it's so funny how that and it when you're away, like you can feel it a little bit and be like, okay, I want to have this meeting. I want to have this conversation. I want to start this project or you know, kind of saving it for those times. But that's where it's really hard because sometimes you have things you have to do regardless of feeling the energy.

Dr. Shannon (31:07.294)
Out there, yeah. Exactly. The rest, please leave me alone. Oh yeah. Uh -huh. Uh -huh.

Dr. Shannon (31:30.366)
regardless. So here is, here's where you can go with that though, is you can really pick like, I know, say you've got a school function at like your kid's school and like you have to be there, you have to be present. Well, it's like, can some other things give throughout your day that gives you the energy to get that done? Because when you look at it like that, instead of, nope, I had this to -do list and it's, I wrote this to -do list when I was...

Rachael Hutchins (31:32.252)
But where you can choose it, let's choose it.

Rachael Hutchins (31:49.98)
Right, right.

Dr. Shannon (31:58.75)
in ovulation phase and now I'm in administration and I don't want to do anything. And it's like, understand yes and kind of saying, okay, these things can give because I'll get back to them. And I'll notice too, I'll be like, man, why am I getting so much done today? And I'll show my calendar here in a minute because I've got some things marked in there and it's like, oh, now I know why I am trying to plan and initiate all of these activities. I'm at this part of my cycle. So let's embrace it.

Rachael Hutchins (32:03.548)
Prioritizing, kinda.

Rachael Hutchins (32:08.956)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (32:20.636)
Mm -hmm Yeah, there needs to be the meme of like the I've made all these plans during Opulation, but come menstruation Don't know nothing's happening You

Dr. Shannon (32:27.358)
That's why, yeah, ovulation. I don't want to. I think that's where that comes down to. Okay, so creative projects require focus inspiration that can happen during ovulation. Nutrients, dense foods, fruits, veggies, healthy fats, we'll go over that too, I guess in a little bit more in depth, can support that phase as well.

Rachael Hutchins (32:56.38)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (32:56.478)
Okay, so moving into our last, oh no, wait, did we talk about the season? Did you wanna talk about the season with that one? I can't remember if we did. Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm. Woo! Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (33:03.836)
summer. ovulation is summer which makes sense for most people. that summer is where you are typically having more fun, more out there, more energized, more forward -facing, wanting to do more longer sunlight days. yeah so summer. ovulation is summer.

Dr. Shannon (33:17.31)
The sun is out. Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (33:24.542)
Summer, ovulation is summer. Okay, so moving into the next phase, last phase would be luteal. So this rounds out the end of the cycle. So maybe 15 to 28 days -ish. I'm just always going to say ish. This is, everything's an ish. Progesterone levels start to rise, which can lead to bloating, irritability, cravings for carbs. I definitely feel that in my luteal.

Rachael Hutchins (33:41.788)
I know.

Dr. Shannon (33:54.622)
I feel like that is yes. I don't know. I definitely feel it but that follicle that Released the egg and ovulation it becomes the corpus luteum Ludium corpus luteum and releases progesterone estrogen and that gets ready like to prepare for Baby if Fertilization occurs so it's kind of like we don't know what's gonna happen So the body's like I'm going to help prepare this uterine lining because remember we're moving into menstruation which I

Rachael Hutchins (33:55.068)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (34:23.262)
would occur if no baby and if there is a baby then we continue down that right or if there is fertilization I guess I should say. Exactly.

Rachael Hutchins (34:28.764)
And then your body keeps producing progesterone if there's implantation and then if not, then the progesterone drops.

Dr. Shannon (34:37.822)
Exactly. And you got to like look at that those orchestration of the like peaks and drops and where one is at indicates what the other one needs to do because that's all sending information back up to the brain about what's going on. Yes. So if no implantation, you shed the uterine lining and have menstruation. If there is implantation, then you have HCG, the human coronary gonadotropin. That's what's signaled on those pregnancy tests.

Rachael Hutchins (34:50.044)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (35:04.51)
So you will have that produced. And again, too, baby is like bathed in progesterone as well. So that continues to stay up and high. So and that's your cycle, which is kind of cool when you look at it. Luteal is like cardio exercise, like walking, cycling can help alleviate symptoms because this I think I tend to have more of my me personally, I think I have more of my PMS symptoms during luteal.

Rachael Hutchins (35:12.508)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (35:34.812)

Dr. Shannon (35:34.91)
Um, and it can be like a week before my cycle. Uh huh. Uh huh.

Rachael Hutchins (35:38.332)
Well, so it's kind of like late luteal. I mean, that would be that's like, cause every, like most of the PMS symptoms come before you actually start bleeding. And that too, so that's like me, I'm the late luteal phase is when I feel, and it's like a, you know, three, four days before I actually bleed. And then I, I'm like, oh, there we go. That's why I was feeling this way. So, you know, that makes sense.

Dr. Shannon (35:46.014)
Uh -huh. You just like that little heads up. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (35:56.51)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (36:02.91)
I will say too that I tend to have, this might be TMI, but here we are talking about our cycle. I'll have bowel movement changes and fluctuations as well too, because it talks about like that bloating, your ability, you're craving different foods. So I might be eating different, but my, the frequency and...

Rachael Hutchins (36:16.796)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (36:25.662)
aspects of bowel movements, mine will change with the cycle as well too. And that's almost more of a giveaway for me and knowing, oh, this is what's coming up than necessarily maybe more of the mood things. I tend to, I'll probably just cry a little bit more. That tends, I get more weepy before, you know, but I will notice that the bowel movement change, which I don't know, which is pretty interesting, but that's, I mean, that's hormone related as well too.

Rachael Hutchins (36:32.38)
Yeah. Yeah.


Rachael Hutchins (36:39.964)
Yep. Yeah.

Rachael Hutchins (36:46.971)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (36:52.252)
And also just like such a benefit of tracking. And like, when I, like, I believe in like writing it down or putting it in an app, or I just put it in the notes app on my phone. Um, because I think it's easy to kind of look back and be like, yeah, like in general, this is what happened. But when you can really kind of get into the nitty gritty, like bowel movements, discharge, um, mood.

Dr. Shannon (37:01.662)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (37:17.278)
Energy levels, cravings.

Rachael Hutchins (37:18.524)
Cramping backache like I get a like I can tell which side I'm ovulating. I got my lower back hurts on that side Every and it alternates. I'm like, oh my lower right back hurts. I'm ovulating on the right side my lower left back hurts I'm ovulating on my left side, but I don't know that unless I Track like track track like write it down and you don't have to do that forever and ever it really helps Especially if you are regular it just helps you get a good picture

Dr. Shannon (37:25.63)
Mm -hmm. I know.

Dr. Shannon (37:36.766)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (37:43.358)
No, yeah.

Rachael Hutchins (37:46.204)
But I think that's the best way to get the picture and be able to identify like bowel movements and moods and bloating and, and cramping and any other things sleep. Cause sleep is another thing that can be disrupted because when your hormones are fluctuating, your sleep is directly impacted by your hormones. So like I have disrupted sleep in the handful of days before I start my period, um, because of the hormone disruption. So, or the changes, not disruption necessarily, but the shift. Um,

Dr. Shannon (37:50.782)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (38:14.846)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (38:15.356)
But I really didn't learn that until I tracked it like very closely. And I think apps are great. I personally found some of the apps cumbersome because I only wanted certain information and I wanted to see it in a certain way. So I started putting it just into the notes app and I came up with my own little like codes, colored hearts and stuff that I can kind of look back on easily and see. Um, but I know you like the apps, which app do you use?

Dr. Shannon (38:33.47)
Hmm. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (38:42.206)
Well, I just use with my Garmin. So I wear my watch so much. So and the Apple watch. Yes. So whatever you feel comfortable with, but because that's where that's where I that's where I track a lot of things. And so because it tracks my sleep, my heart rate. Yeah, like those kind of help things. And so I just put in there and it's so funny because Garmin will be like, hey, your period is about to start. And I'm like, ugh.

Rachael Hutchins (38:45.756)
Oh yeah, Apple Watch has it too. I forgot about that.

Rachael Hutchins (38:56.028)
Yeah, wherever it works, wherever it makes sense.

Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (39:08.348)
You're like, stay out of my business.

Dr. Shannon (39:08.83)
Screw you man. I know I'm like honey, you know, and so, you know, yeah There's the whole aspect of like privacy and crap, but then I'm also like I'm I already knew that thank you, you know I'm on it but then I get it's nice because I'll get like a big picture of Of the cycle and I can look at it and then I can go in it's just very easy But there's a little note section that you can like type in there, too And then I just go into the little calendar and I just click like it started this day. Yes, it didn't start that day, you know and just make

Rachael Hutchins (39:13.468)
then you're of course I know you like it it's like

Dr. Shannon (39:37.918)
like really quick changes to it, but that's just typically what I use. So, and I know I've had moms use a bunch of different ones, but yeah. But I think tracking. Now I do, I still have a paper calendar. And so I put, I have a little, maybe I'll share it in a minute. Cause I want to share it when we go in more with like,

Rachael Hutchins (39:40.06)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (39:46.46)
There are a bunch, but I do encourage tracking. Just test it out. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (40:05.822)
Exercise work schedule planning. Yeah, and the moon stuff like yeah and the pregnant that type of thing. So I'll show I'll mention it there but luteal Let's see, this is so after summer comes fall so this is our Yeah fall leaning into that that winter season Hibernation

Rachael Hutchins (40:05.916)
The moon. Oh, uh -huh.

Rachael Hutchins (40:26.268)
Preparing for winter. Yeah. And for food, you want to opt for those complex carbs, whole grains, sweet potatoes, and that can help stabilize your blood sugars because during this time you do tend to have an increase in those cravings for carbs. And while I'm all about like, listen to your body, eat what you want. Also, when you can choose carbs that are going to help stabilize your blood sugar versus cause blood sugar crashes. So those complex.

cards like I love a sweet potato with some almond butter whole grains are great and that's going to help with your mood swings. It was another thing I wish I had learned. I was always like the hangry one when I was younger and would like have terrible blood sugar crashes and never understood how to eat to stabilize my blood sugar and that you don't have to be that way. And as an adult I've learned this and I

Dr. Shannon (41:13.918)

Dr. Shannon (41:17.854)
for mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (41:24.38)
don't have those sugar crashes I very rarely get hangry because I've learned how to stabilize my blood sugars and complex carbs help with that.

Dr. Shannon (41:34.206)
I'm so glad you mentioned that because I forgot too that yeah, a lot of those PMS symptoms, even cramping can be related to that diet and what you're eating because I think I have found, what was it? I know if I usually don't have cramping that much, but I...

Rachael Hutchins (41:45.084)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (41:54.91)
I have this acupressure mat that I use and love and that can help because it's like a whole body like relaxation type of thing. So sometimes I have found that that has helped a bunch. If I did have a history of cramps, but I know if I had too much sugar or too many carbs, like not good carbs, that I tended to have more, I felt more achy, you know, and had more of those cramps. So yeah, I'm glad you mentioned that because I forgot that, you know, that food plays a big role in how your body.

Rachael Hutchins (42:24.38)
food plays a, I believe a huge, huge, huge role. And that, I mean, I know we could probably talk endlessly and we did, yeah. And that maintaining that balanced, balanced diet so that your hormones can be balanced overall. Now we touched on some foods that are good to eat at each phase, but really thinking about balancing.

Dr. Shannon (42:24.67)
Feels. Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (42:32.414)
That's a good segue into the nutritional needs.

Dr. Shannon (42:45.79)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (42:52.572)
your hormones overall is going to help you feel good through or feel better throughout your whole cycle. I think it honestly can help maximize the best parts of your cycle and make the harder parts not as hard when you are focusing on nutrition. And I learned, um, I will look it up. Her name is Kelly. I read her book and it's not like, I don't, she's probably not the first person to come up with it. I think it's called love your body or something like that, but.

Dr. Shannon (42:54.974)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (43:23.164)
This is when I really learned how to eat in a way that supported my hormones and stabilize my blood sugar. And a lot of it was at every meal focusing on a, you know, lots of greens and lots of veggies, you know, leafy greens are great. A healthy protein, healthy fats at every meal. So regardless of whatever I'm eating, I'm getting

a little bit of healthy fat because that combined with everything else, like if I eat a meal without the healthy fat, I notice it. And when I eat a meal with the healthy fat, I feel like I'm more stable. And then fiber. So incorporating fiber for every meal and those four things at every meal, regardless of where I'm eating, even if I'm out to eat, I'm like, where like I'm trying to fill my plate with mostly healthy vegetables, little bit of good protein.

Dr. Shannon (43:59.742)

Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (44:15.198)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (44:21.788)
Where's the fiber in my meal and some healthy fat? Like, if I do that, overall, I feel like I'm able to keep a good, stable diet.

Dr. Shannon (44:25.79)
Mm -hmm. It's overall.

Dr. Shannon (44:33.374)
And I think that's important to mention as far as looking at that overall picture. So yeah, you can focus on certain foods in different parts of the cycle. Sometimes that feels overwhelming to me. I'm like, okay, well, you know, I want, what can I do for that balanced diet? Like what you were saying. I think a key thing to understand is that fats and cholesterol are like the building blocks of hormones. And when I say building blocks of hormones, like literally the shape and structure of the actual.

Rachael Hutchins (44:47.068)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (45:00.702)
molecule. So like the cell wall around hormones and all these, you know, messengers are not in cell wall, but like the aspects of how they're made and how they communicate is through healthy fats and healthy cholesterol. I guess I should say healthy of both of those because then there's a lot of different, you know, there's lots of different omega -3s, omega -6s, omega -9s. Like, yes, we're not getting into all that now. It's more of like the healthy fats and healthy cholesterol because then your body can make those hormones and then the orchestra can play.

Rachael Hutchins (45:05.244)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (45:15.1)
Of course, yeah.

Dr. Shannon (45:28.958)
Nicely, all the parts are there, they're in tune, they're in sync, and that can help a bunch. So I eat a lot of fish, and I do enjoy that. So that's a really good protein, but it's also, there's good healthy fats in it as well too. So even tofu, lentils, chicken and fish for that.

Rachael Hutchins (45:29.98)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (45:40.316)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (45:46.332)
You got the healthy fats in there and the omegas, the good omegas are in there.

Dr. Shannon (45:58.11)
Complex carbs, so making sure again to healthy carbs, whole grains, legumes, fruits, veggies, understanding how your body processes those, healthy fats, talked about nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado is really good too, because you can get some good fats in salad dressings, you get your dark leafy greens, you can do salad dressing there, iron rich foods, so again to spinach, kale, red meat, beans.

that is going to be beneficial. So it's not like dark leafy greens, you're only going to be getting iron from them. There's going to be other aspects as well too. So incorporating that into the diet and then calcium rich foods as well too. Leafy greens, not just dairy products, but there can be dairy products that contain, all the dairy products do contain calcium. But looking at it as a whole picture, I have some people that like a...

an 80 -20 style diet as far as like 80 % good, 20 % bad. I have some people that are like, I have to do, it has to be 100%. Like if you know your personality and like what you can do and how you can support your body with food as far as like all or nothing or giving yourself a little bit of grace in there as well, you know, not being so strict with yourself. Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (47:17.276)
Whatever you can sustain for the long term, I think is the best. That it's not a diet, it is a lifestyle. And if you want to look at it at 80 -20, I don't see that 20 as bad. I just see that 20 as living and eating what you want in a way that fuels you and serves you. And if, you know, I've changed or removed things because of how they make me feel, not because I think they are bad. Like when I was not eating things because I thought they were bad, that didn't work for me. So...

Dr. Shannon (47:28.83)
Mm -hmm. Yeah.

Dr. Shannon (47:42.206)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm. Uh -huh.

Rachael Hutchins (47:46.94)
I kind of had like a quinoa. Okay, quinoa is like queen complex carb, right? Like it's supposed to, it's like the powerhouse. The more quinoa I ate when I was a vegetarian, the worse I felt. My body did not like quinoa. I had to stop eating quinoa, right? Like I avoided dairy or certain dairy products because I thought it was bad.

Dr. Shannon (47:55.518)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (48:06.206)

Rachael Hutchins (48:12.252)
But then I realized I actually don't have a sensitivity to dairy and having a little bit of dairy in my life actually helps me. So like, and I feel okay eating it. You know, I've learned over time that really sugary stuff disrupts my sleep. So if I eat sugar or like a treat, I'd eat it in the middle of the day versus seven or eight o 'clock at night where I know it's going to disrupt my sleep. Same thing with alcohol.

Dr. Shannon (48:14.974)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (48:18.974)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (48:30.078)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (48:36.348)
I'm not a no alcohol. I've significantly decreased how much alcohol I drink. And if I drink it, I drink it earlier. Not like I'm a day drinker, but like on the weekends, like I'm earlier, if I'm going to have it maybe five or 6 PM and we have like one, maybe two so that my body has a time chance to metabolize it before I go to sleep because it disrupts my sleep. And sleep is beneficial for hormones and how we show up and our energy levels and everything. So like paying attention to how things.

Dr. Shannon (48:36.606)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (48:44.67)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (48:55.774)
Oh, it disrupts the sleep, yeah.

Rachael Hutchins (49:05.916)
affect your body and then choosing to eat them versus saying no just because you think it's bad. I don't know. I don't know if that makes sense.

Dr. Shannon (49:12.574)
No, that's huge because we did Whole30 as a family, golly, five, six years ago. And that was life -changing because I did cut everything out because I wanted to see, like I was kind of trying to hit the reset button. Then you add things back in. And when I added stuff back in, I realized like I can't handle hummus. Hummus and chickpeas, which is a staple of like gluten -free food, which we do a lot of. And I was like, it made me so bloated. And so, but now I don't avoid it.

Rachael Hutchins (49:25.148)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (49:36.636)
Thomas, I can't eat it.

Dr. Shannon (49:42.718)
I just avoid it because I'm like, I don't want to feel like that. So when you get to that point when you're like, how do I want to feel and what are the ways that are going to support me? A lot of that nutrition I'll be like, because dairy didn't really disrupt me as much as I thought it would. Bread did, especially with like the gluten aspect of things. So like I learned how my body reacted to that because I eliminated it and brought it back, saw how I felt and then made the decision like you had said, based on how am I feeling, how does this support my body versus this is just something I really want and I can't have.

Rachael Hutchins (50:00.22)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (50:03.836)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (50:12.094)
I think it's that, mm -hmm, it's the mindset, yes.

Rachael Hutchins (50:12.572)
Right, exactly. Shifting of, I think it's a shifting of sort of how you view it and it makes it, I don't have a lot of guilt around when I do enjoy certain things because I know the thing I'm choosing to enjoy, my body tolerates fairly well, it's not gonna be too disruptive and I'm moderation but I don't like having the bad, I don't like having that like there's bad foods for you out there, you know, we know that if you eat ice cream twice a day every day for your whole life, that's probably bad.

Dr. Shannon (50:21.662)
Mm -mm.

Dr. Shannon (50:27.902)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (50:40.222)
Yeah. Yeah. Mm hmm. Yeah. Moderation.

Rachael Hutchins (50:41.66)
But like it doesn't make ice cream bad. Like I think they're, you know, it's, it's all about moderation and how it makes you feel. Like I, I don't know. I could go on and on about that topic, but one example I wanted to give about like balancing the meal with the fat fiber, healthy fat and protein is with oatmeal. Cause oatmeal is a carb.

Dr. Shannon (50:56.126)
I know. No.

Dr. Shannon (51:04.83)
I like that. Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (51:11.582)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (51:11.74)
And it's a complex carb. It does have a lot of good properties in it, but it is very high naturally in carbs. It can spike your blood sugar. However, if, so we make oatmeal for the boys that I feel like is a good way to eat oatmeal and that they don't get the blood sugar crash from it. So you get oatmeal and then we add a collagen protein powder to it, a tablespoon of chia seeds.

Dr. Shannon (51:16.414)
Mm -hmm. It can spike that blood sugar. Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (51:26.782)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (51:40.22)
So you get fiber and more protein from there. They either get full, like whole, whole cow's milk or coconut milk. So like an enriched milk supplement. And then like a nut butter. Is that it? That's the liquid. Yeah. And then mixed up, oh, cinnamon and a little bit of salt for some seasoning. But the fat, the getting a fat in there, the fiber in there and the protein help make that meal stick and not...

Dr. Shannon (51:40.478)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (51:54.174)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (51:59.07)
I just sent them in.

Dr. Shannon (52:03.87)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (52:08.158)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (52:09.308)
it helps supporting the carb. So I think a carb, like a sweet potato, like one of my routine breakfasts used to be like a half of a sweet potato, nut butter and like hemp heart sprinkled on top. Cause like you're kind of balancing it with some fiber and some protein versus like that carb by itself, even if it's a complex carbon, a good carb could spike your blood sugar. So if you don't balance that out.

Dr. Shannon (52:12.318)

Dr. Shannon (52:21.15)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (52:24.798)

Dr. Shannon (52:30.494)
It's pairing it. Exactly. Pairing it with other foods that complement it, but balance it out. No, that's key. That is key. Okay. So foods. We talked about foods. Oh gosh. Yes. Water. Water, water, water. Plenty of water.

Rachael Hutchins (52:44.444)
Mm -hmm. Oh, hydration.

Rachael Hutchins (52:51.26)
Well, and I think we're also learning a lot about electrolytes and adding electrolytes to your hydration routine to maximize hydration can help support.

Dr. Shannon (52:54.814)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (53:02.302)
Mm -hmm or and making sure that you do have That's also part of that proper diet as well too in making sure that you're getting proper like minerals and The aspects that are needed for electrolytes too. Yeah, but adding them to water as well With so if you so that's kind of the cycle in a nutshell and

Rachael Hutchins (53:13.564)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (53:21.66)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (53:32.158)
little bit of the exercise, foods to eat as well. If you're pregnant and even newly postpartum and it can change when your cycle comes back but you don't necessarily have that regular cycle and I guess I mean pregnancy you've got your own hormone cascade going on and things change there but I guess I'm thinking more of this of looking at how to

help you honor like what your body naturally wants to do in that 28 day cycle and having those fluctuations. If you don't have the cycle, then luckily our moon is also on very similar cycle with the phases of the moon. And so I've seen and I had heard this from Kate Northrup and that's when I had started tracking this a lot as well too, but the flowing with the phases of the moon and you can honor.

the changes of the cycle, just kind of what we did with the seasons, you can honor that as well too. And so it's kind of like another little layer of it. But again, just using the moon. So we would start with, we started with the menstrual cycle at the beginning, then here you would start with the new moon. And so new moon is when it's like very, very dark, like the slither of the moon that you see that would be related to...

menstrual bleeding phase. If you look at it from the work life aspect too, then this is more of like a rest and reflect. And so that's, I have this written, maybe I'll show it now. And then I'll put it, I'll probably do it on, I'll do a post too on social media. So you'll have to, I wonder if this is gonna work, if you're gonna be able to see it. But I have, let's see, my,

So watch the YouTube video, but I have it written out. So this is copied from, um, do less and her planner, she would have the phases you would go through and write the phases of the moon and put that in your calendar to kind of move forward with embracing your cyclic into and then using the moon as well. Um, and sometimes you're not in cycle with the moon, but if you don't have the cycle, you can use the moon. So we've got new moon menstruation, rest and reflect. So that's more calming.

Dr. Shannon (55:56.414)
Moving into the waxing quarter. So this is where we're getting a bit bigger. This is that follicular phase. This is like plan and initiate. And a lot of times I'll look at this in my planner where I'm like, okay, this is where I'm like, okay, I can get things planned and start the process on things to then move into full moon, which is big bright moon in the sky. That's that ovulation connecting being visible. Again, this is like when the egg is being released, then moving into that waning quarter. So it's moving back towards.

Rachael Hutchins (56:10.268)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (56:26.27)
seeing less and less of the moon. This is blue teal. And this is like focusing on tasks, completing things. I feel like I wrap up a lot of things that I need to do with the office when I'm in this phase, because then that gets me prepared to rest and reflect. So when you honor those sections of it, I think it's beneficial. That's been a pretty big, big, big game changer for me. I used...

Rachael Hutchins (56:40.092)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (56:51.516)
And I think having it visible where you're seeing it daily, wherever you kind of control your calendar, your day or your life, you know, I have actually the moons on the face of my watch. So I'm always seeing like where we're at and connecting it to the the rest, reflect, plan, initiate, you know, connect, be visible, focus, complete cycle, which is reflective of because I go sometimes months without having a cycle because of.

Dr. Shannon (56:57.022)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (57:13.95)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (57:19.196)
the hormones I'm on. So I do like to have that information stored away in my brain.

Dr. Shannon (57:23.934)
Mm -hmm. So, um, I have it I'm glad you have like kind of in a space in a calendar too because in mine I used to use like I said Kate Northrop's do less calendar It just got to be a bit like it was thicker So she had even a whole section there where you could do daily energy trackers So then you could track daily how you're doing and I did that for a month I wanted to know exactly how I was feeling in the morning like each single day and I do recommend like

tracking that and then I was kind of like, okay, I'm good. I've looked at that information, I got it. Now I look at kind of like, you know, that weekly, monthly aspect of things and knowing what I can do to go back and support myself for if I feel off track. And so now I have in my calendar too, I have little, I do put my phases in there. I'll put what's going on with the moon, those types of things, because it all plays a part. It's all connected. It's all connected.

Rachael Hutchins (57:56.828)
You got it, yeah. Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (58:11.036)
Mm -hmm.

Rachael Hutchins (58:20.828)
Yeah, it is all connected. I love it. This has been super great.

Dr. Shannon (58:23.294)
Yeah, so I know it has we talked I'm gonna link to Kate Northrop and her do less book and The planner that she has we talked about it. Dr. Aviva rom for hormone intelligence. There's also the taking charge of your fertility book You mentioned something from that that Kelly lady, so I'll see if

Rachael Hutchins (58:40.156)
I think it's called body love and her name, her first name is Kelly. And I can look it up when we hop off and we'll put that in the show notes too. It was just a great, really helpful, not about a diet. It was about just like framework for understanding how to stabilizing blood sugar. Cause I think that was when I realized that needed to be my goal, everything else fell into place. Like just focusing on stabilizing my blood sugar helped so many other things, including my hormones.

Dr. Shannon (58:47.358)
Yeah, no, that's good.

Dr. Shannon (58:53.374)
Mm -hmm, changing that.

Dr. Shannon (59:01.182)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (59:05.054)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm. That has a huge, I know, that's huge. And then we have a episode 151 where we talked about key pregnancy hormones. So that's kind of a little bit extra information into like the pregnancy realm of what's going on with the hormones, hormones of labor and birth as well too. But fun little things there to check out. So yeah, this has been fun. Hopefully you find an appreciation for your cycle now.

Rachael Hutchins (59:16.796)
Mm -hmm.

Dr. Shannon (59:34.654)
or your partner cycle, whoever's listening to this, so that you can begin to honor it and embrace it.

Rachael Hutchins (59:42.62)
Yes, and take it one little bit at a time. I feel like it can be overwhelming when you try, if you've never learned one thing about it and now you hear all these ideas and things, it could feel overwhelming. So as always, one little like seed, plant the seed, let it grow, take your time, be gracious of yourself and know that every new thing you learn will lead to another great thing. So just take your time and be gracious of yourself.