June Enrollments Open

‘4 seasons’ approach to tuning into your cycle

Joel Radley Functional Nutrition

Joel Radley

joel radley functional nutrition menstrual cycle 4 seasons approach

When I began my nutrition studies in my late teens, to when I qualified in my early 30’s I dont think looking back I could see myself writing articles, making videos and helping women 1:1 in clinic to balance hormones, help with period, menopause, energy and thyroid issues. But when I think about the struggles my mum went through and also my experiences with my girlfriend and wife being in an almost 10 year relationship, it was as if women’s health chose me not the other way around. 

In this article I want to briefly discuss a very important topic of tuning into one’s cycle with the 4 seasons approach. Many women report the rough times experienced after stopping birth control modalities. Many feel helpless, with painful cramps, irritability, fatigue without the mental fortitude to cope with impending and ever growing work tasks. Naturally due to lack of awareness and support many women assume they can just drop the contraceptives and immediately continue on with their daily tasks, but for many there is simply not enough fuel going around to accomplish this. 

Here is the hack, there are hormonal rhythms of your cycle and your rhythms should be honored which can be achieved by cycle syncing. This is the act of honing in on your hormonal fluctuations throughout the month of your cycle. Then planning your life & work tasks around these changes. In this way one can adapt your work, sociability, fitness and nutrition around the phases of your monthly cycle.

Why get more in tune with your cycle? 

There is a misconception that one just needs to connect and track one period for trying to get pregnant or fertility. Women experience fluctuations throughout the month that affect hormones.  This affects women from day to day in terms of their focus, energy and mental clarity and their physiological needs can alter day to day as well. When you can learn to master your attention to your cycle and honor your hormonal rhythm, you can draw upon more energy and perform at optimum capacity, rather than juggling your cycle around your life, strategically manoeuvring your life around your cycle. 

Tracker App vs Diary?

There are many period tracker apps that are helpful as they can alert you. However there are also lovely diaries/journals and some of which are linked to the moon where you can learn to sync your cycle to the moon. Some clients like to use one or the other, some use both, it’s a personal choice but tracking is very helpful and over time it becomes very natural. 

Day 1 of your cycle is your first day of your period. Even if you use an app, it’s good to note it down in your calendar on your phone, or if you journal to make note as this allows you to start planning the weeks that follow in alignment with the 4 seasons of your period. 

The 4 season phases 

This is a simple breakdown of the 4 seasons or phases of your menstrual cycle in an easy to comprehend way. 

Menstrual phase –  Winter

This phase runs from anywhere between 3 and 7 days and it is fitting to call it the winter phase as it is when the uterus lining is shed. This is when you experience a ‘period’. Estrogen and progesterone levels drop which is the hormonal reason that one may experience low energy at best, irritability, mood swings, cramping, tender breasts and sensitivity if more prominent. 

Follicular Phase – Spring

The follicular phase is referred to as a “spring” phase as spring is the time for sowing seeds, planning for the summer crops and preparing for the change in climate. Just like a spring clean, this is a perfect time to get rid of excess clutter and plan for the weeks to follow, intentions, manifestations and considerations for the energy that follows. 

This Phase starts on your first day of your period and ends when you ovulate. It lasts between 12 and 15 days. As the period ends you will feel more energy. Luteinizing hormones and Follicular stimulating hormones increase to thicken the uterus, with the help of an estrogen surge all to prepare one’s body for ovulation (release of the ovum(egg) from one of the ovaries). 

joel radley functional nutrition menstrual cycle 4 seasons approach 2 1

Ovulation Phase –  Summer 

Ovulation takes week 2 weeks before your period, shorter cycles may be sooner like day 10 and others day 20 if longer, but a 28 day cycle would be day 14. The hormone levels of FSH, LH and estrogen will be increasing and are at their peak, prompting your body to release an egg for ovulation. 

This is akin to summer as you will be in high spirits, good energy levels, enjoy sociability and more daring or adventurous hang outs, outings, dates etc. 

Luteal Phase – Autumn

This phase lasts between 12 and 14 days, and begins after ovulation until your next period begins. After ovulation, progesterone starts to rise as well as some estrogen which continues its dirty of thickening the uterine lining for pregnancy. Initially in the luteal phase you will likely continue high energy yet as your period gets closer energy will start to swindle. Fatigue, PMS, cravings. 

This is a time to be mindful of the impending winter of the menstrual phase. Learn to take care of yourself and prepare for the following week to follow. 

I dont get a regular period?

This is a great opportunity to get started on your healing jounrey. This is likely due to a hormonal imbalance. This can be due to nutritional deficiencies, detox inability, poor gut health, exposure to toxins and phytoestrogens and more. You may be on a  keto or carnivore diet that is now affecting your period, if your stressed, your body is stressed, this can lead to weight gain, you could be having emotional issues in your life, there are a myriad of contributing factors. You may need some menstrual cycle tweaking to get back on track.

I am on birth control?

If you are on birth control this by design alters your hormones and suppresses your ovulation. This can prevent you from your monthly bleed therefore you wont have the same hormonal shifts and the associated energy changed as women who are not. In this case depending on your circumstance you may wish to come off the birth control and utilize other options for contraception, whilst slowly rebalancing your hormones that can take a while, I never suggest just stopping birth control but tapering off them with guidance. 

What if I cant plan ahead well or take time off during my sensitive phases? 

We must be mindful that whilst cycle syncing can help many women by being more concosu and realistic of their energy outputs, it is not a magic pill. You may have certain tasks and respsonsibiities that just dont match up to yoru energy flow. Yet even in these instances you can help yourself by say bringing extra snacks to work, making sure you take that lunch break, asking your partner, or flat mate for extra support, or simply take on less burdens where possible in these phases as your now synced and more conscious, honoring your period for the best hormonal balance and energy to smoothly maneuver through the seasons. 

1 to 1 professional support? 

Whilst knowledge is power, sometimes we cant do it alone, either there is too much information, we need someone to coach us, we dont even know exactly what our issue is, or we are dissatisfied with the service of the consultants we have seen thus far. If this sounds like you, worry no more.

My Four-Pillar Protocol is designed to heal you on four planes, the physical is the bulk of our work together (Nutrition + Exercise + Grounding + Therapeutics), yet we will also touch on the emotional (Self-enquiry, Experiential-therapy, Connection to others + Objectivity to emotions), the Mental (Perspective + Meditation + Goals + Objectivity to thought), & the Spiritual ( Connection to higher self & all + Gratitude + Breath-work to reconnect.)

It is assumed a nutritionist will force someone on a diet, this could not be further from the truth. Rather we work to change how you perceive and eat food, learning about its many healing properties to lead to long term sustainable positive change in your health and well-being. 

I will assess your overall health including your medical history

Looking into lifestyle & emotional factors that most practitioners wont

Individualize the protocol to implement suitable changes for you

You will be sent a bespoke eating plan

You will be sent a bespoke therapeutics plan if needed

Lab testing will be recommended if necessary

Finally follow up or pay-as-you-go appointments enable you to get the hands on one to one coaching with me throughout the healing journey 

Book a free call now on my calender booker 

Share this Article

Picture of About Joel Radley

About Joel Radley

Joel Radley dipNT, BSc (Hons), mBANT, mCNHC, functional nutritionist specialising in root-cause natural healthcare, ancestral eating & lifestyle. Developer of the four-pillar protocol to help clients holistically, covering nutrition, energetics, emotions and mindfulness. I help concerns of the thyroid, adrenal, fatigue, hormones, gut health, eating disorders & chronic pain.

For over a decade supporting individuals like you and me, high performers, creatives, public figures and entrepreneurs, unlock their dormant healing power and optimize their health potential. I hope you will enjoy the videos, articles & recipes I share on my website, blog & social media. If you have a deeper concern that requires the help of an expert practitioner, do not hesitate and join the waiting list by booking a free call on the calendar. Warmly, Joel

Picture of About Joel Radley

About Joel Radley

Joel Radley dipNT, BBC (Hons), mBANT, mCNHC, nutritional therapist and naturopath specialising in root-cause natural healthcare, ancestral eating & lifestyle.

Developer of the four-pillar protocol to help clients holistically, covering nutrition, energetics, emotions and mindfulness. I help concerns of the thyroid, adrenal, fatigue, hormones, gut health, eating disorders & chronic pain.

For over a decade supporting individuals like you and me, high performers, creatives, public figures and entrepreneurs, unlock their dormant healing power and optimize their health potential.

I hope you will enjoy the free videos, articles & recipes I share on my website, blog and social media. If you have a deeper concern that requires the help of an expert practitioner, do not hesitate and join the waiting list by booking a free call on the calendar. Warmly, Joel