Female, Food

How to change your diet to make you feel better during menstruation

Being on the period can feel like a curse sometimes. We have cramps, our energy levels are as low as our mood and we crave unhealthy food. Many of us struggle with PMS, turning our bleeding time into pain and exhaustion. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Contradictory to what most people believe, it is not natural for us to suffer during our menstruation. It only our unhealthy lifestyle that makes us suffer. Too much stress and unhealthy eating habits lead to more problems during our menstruation.

PMS and other symptoms are indications which point out that we need to take better care of ourselves. You’re body is telling you to slow down and listen to it. If  you just take pills you basically tell you’re body to shut up, setting yourself up for even more pain in the long run. So while it’s of course completely okay to take a pill against the strong cramps when needed, medication can’t be the permanent solution.

A way better, more holistic and healthy way is changing your diet and being aware of the special needs your body has while you’re on your period. By eating better you can heal your body and decrease PMS and other problems naturally. 

During menstruation, our main reproductive hormones decrease. Due changes in hormone levels our body needs some specific nutrients more than usually. 

Especially important nutrients are:


  • Magnesium


  • Omega-3

  • Iron


  • Vitamin B6

During menstruation it is important to increase the intake of these nutrients. Supporting your body in this way you create the optimal base for a healthy moontime.

As our bodies are especially sensitive in this time, there are some foods to be avoided during our period:


  • Too much salt 

Salt causes bloating and water retention, which is something that for most of us already happens during our period so we really don’t want to increase that.

  • Coffee or other caffeinated drinks

Consuming caffeine during menstruation can lead to some serious issues like increased PMS symptoms, anxiety and sleep problems. For more information read this.

  • Animal products

Animal products are generally problematic and contain loads of hormones and medications that can mess with a woman’s cycle. Just let them animals live it’s also healthier for you!

  • Processed foods

Okay, we all know how bad these are for us. But especially during our periods it’s hard to ignore our cravings. But good news – literally every unhealthy snack can be made healthy. There are so many amazing recipes out there, just google your craving and see what you find.
Balance is key. During your period, you should be extra mindful of your eating habits. Keep eating a balanced diet, increase the intake of the important nutrients and cut out unnecessary junk (of course some chocolate here and there okay) and you’ll have a much better experience of your moontime.

Namaste 💜


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Body

How to eat healthy

📸 Header Picture by @livepurejenna
The right diet is an essential topic as we are literally made out of the things that we consume. Our cells are build from the nutrients that our food contains, so we know that we are better off eating healthy foods. But in a time where every kind of information is available for everyone, it is hard to discern myth from truth and most of us are confused when it comes to healthy eating.  

As it turns out there are at least some guidelines in which most scientists agree:

  • Plants are the most important food

They are rich in fiber nutrients and phytochemicals, which our body needs to stay healthy. Have you ever seen someone who claims that they are only eating raw fruits and vegetables? Many of those people seem to be glowing from the inside out. That’s phytochemicals at work there. For more information see this site.

  • We should eat lots of raw foods
  • We should avoid “bad” processed foods and refined sugar

Apart from that opinions differ so vastly, that it is nearly impossible to really set up one standard for a “healthy diet”.
Still, most of us know that we should avoid the “bad”, processed foods and opt for a natural diet. But there are so many trends concerning the “right diet” that it’s easy to get lost and confused. Diet is a very emotional topic. As the saying goes “You are what you eat.” When questioned about their beliefs about diet people are easily offended and therefore discussions about nutrition can get very heated and misleading. 
Furthermore, we tend to rely solely on outside information for what we should eat to be healthy. Which, in my opinion, is completely crazy. Most people would rather type everything that they eat into an app that should tell them how much calories they still need and which nutrients are missing, than simply check how they feel. I’m not saying these apps are completely useless, but they only provide general information for nutrients and are in no way suited to the person. Even if the app knows your weight and activity level, everybody is different and it’s not possible to determine your need for nutrition just by these two measurements. What just baffles me is  that we would rather trust some random statistic than our own body. This distorted belief and too much sugar, addictive chemicals and mental conditioning have left us completely out of touch with our inner wisdom. 

❗️In order to be healthy we need to reclaim the connection to our body. 

It is important to learn to trust that your own body knows best what it needs and that it tries to communicate that to you.
So how can we restore the connection to our body’s needs?

  • Listen to your cravings

Craving certain foods might be just a mental habit to numb certain unpleasant feelings (in that case you should try to work these feelings out instead of eating, try these techniques).
But most of the time cravings tell you that your body lacks a certain nutrient. For example, craving chocolate can indicate a deficiency in magnesium. If you want more information, checkt out this site.

  • Do this magical exercise to let your body tell you if it likes a food 

This might seem a little super stichious, but magically it does work. I learned this technique from the wonderful book “Finding your way in a wild new world” by Martha beck (an amazing book by the way!) and it really is an amazingly easy guidance excercise. So here is how it works:

1. Find out your body’s positive and negative sway reaction  

Stand tall and straight, directly over your feet. Repeat the word “pain” three times and see in which direction your body sways (this can be really subtle so stay attentive) This is your negative reaction. Then repeat the word “calm” three times and again see in which direction your body sways, this is your positive reaction.

2. Check if a food evokes a positive or negative reaction 

Take the vegetable or fruit in your hand and try to become really aware. Then see where your body sways to.

3. Eat the foods which evoke a positive reaction 

Simple as that. And enjoy it.

  • Get creative with healthy foods

Even if you are a person who doesn’t like vegetables, trust me there’s a way in which you will enjoy them too. You just got to find out what you like. There are so many ways. You can eat raw, steamed, mashed, put plants in (green) smoothies… the possibilities are endless, you just have to be creative.

  •  Eat when you are hungry

That may sound simple but in reality most people don’t do it. Sometimes we eat out of boredom even if we’re not hungry, other times we refuse to eat at all because we want to stick to some rule that we think will make us healthy. That’s crap, your body knows exactly when it needs food and when not. Listen to it, not to some guy on the internet.

These methods will reinstall a connection to your inner wisdom. On top of that there are some simple guidelines which will increase the benefit you get out of your food immensely:

  • Eat with awareness 

Being aware while you eat makes it easier for your body to digest the food, increases you connection with your body and will prevent overeating. Sometimes this can be hard as we are so used to eating in front of the TV or while using our phone, but trust me if you practice this for some time it will become easier and you will enjoy your food so much more.

  •  Celebrate every meal

It is amazing that your are blessed to eat this wonderful food that nourishes and heals your body on a daily basis! So every meal should be given the time and space it deserves. Feel grateful for this gift and enjoy it fully.

  • Eat with somebody

Try to celebrate your meal with somebody else. On top of the other benefits just mentioned this will also increase your connection and will make you feel nourished on a soul level.

  • Presentation matters

We are visual animals, so we choose the food that looks appealing to us. If you want your food to make you really happy, just arrange it beautifully. If you need inspiration, just head over to instagram, you will find the most mouthwatering pictures there.

(Just look by looking at this food I become way happier!)


Picture by @thrivingonplants
I hope that this will help you to reclaim you own inner wisdom! And remember, eating is a wonderful thing that should bring us joy, not stress.
So what kind of diet do you eat? Do you have any other tips about how to get back in touch with our bodies?

Namaste 💜