I want to live in a world that honors women’s cycles as they move through the childbearing year and beyond. Our current model celebrates constant striving, overwork, busyness, and women putting themselves last in the name of productivity, sacrifice, service, and selflessness, but it isn’t making our lives better. Period pain, disrupted ovulation, and postpartum depression are just some of the symptoms we’ve normalized, but are actually signs of dysfunction and dis-ease in our culture and in our bodies.
Our periods (or lack thereof), mood swings, hormonal imbalances, and cravings offer information and clues as to how well we’re taking care of ourselves. There’s a reason we call the “time of the month” periods and cycles. When we honor this time by listening to our bodies and giving it what it needs (rest, nourishing food, movement, healing touch, etc), we become more tuned in and turned on to our true nature.
Women thrive when they feel safe enough to take up space, when they feel supported in their work and their life, when they are in the company of likeminded women.
As an integrative nutrition and women’s health coach, full spectrum doula, and bodyworker, I show women over 35 how to live in their bodies by making peace with their periods, heal mother wounds, and tap into the creative potential of their orgasm so they can become the wildest and juiciest versions of themselves.
Through in-person and online coaching and events, my clients uncover the truth of their desires, connect with other women as collaborators and co-creators, and become more embodied in life, love, and work.
The following resources may contain affiliate links, of which I may receive a commission from the sale of any purchases made through that link.
Cultivate Body Literacy: educate yourself so you can empower and advocate for yourself
Many women live in fear and dread of their bodies and menstrual cycles. Few look forward to getting their period, PMS and other period problems keep them trapped in a negative feedback loop, and the risk of unwanted pregnancy keeps many women from being fully self-expressed sexually and creatively.
Body literacy includes a broad base of self-knowledge and tools to help you make fully informed choices for your health. Understanding the phases of your menstrual cycle, knowing what each hormone is responsible for as you move in and out of your fertile period, and charting your cycle so that you know your fertile days is the most powerful way you can reclaim your health.
Oftentimes, we bounce from one doctor or practitioner to the next, expecting them to diagnose, cure, and heal what ails us. But no one knows your body better than you do, and nothing will change until you do. As an integrative nutrition health coach, I work best with women who have already taken proactive measures to improve their health outcomes and reach their goals, but have hit a plateau, aren’t satisfied with previous recommendations, or feel stuck. If you don’t know where to start, here are my best practices.
PMS and Period Repair
A healthy period is one that last four days with a medium, bright red flow, and no cramps, or clotting. With some exceptions, most PMS symptoms and period problems can be addressed through diet, physical activity, rest, and self-care. I found Period Repair Manual to be very helpful in address common issues such as fatigue, heavy flows, bloating, and cramps.
Menstrual Cycle Awareness + Fertility Awareness
Menstrual Cycle Awareness is a daily practice of tuning in to the ebbs and flow of the menstrual cycle. It is a spiritual practice, and an art. When a woman develops menstrual cycle awareness, her period becomes a tool for consciously creating a fully-engaged and well-nourished life. Learn more about Menstrual Cycle Awareness by reading Wild Power or Moon Time.
Fertility is a 5th vital sign for women. Any irregularities with your menstrual cycle is an indication of hormonal or metabolic imbalance in the body. These imbalances can cause cardiovascular disease, diabetes, digestive disorders, thyroid dysfunction, and more. By tracking your fertlity as a measure of your overall health, you can make informed decisions regarding your healthcare.
You can track your menstrual cycles, either manually or via an app such as Kindara, Ovacue, or Flo for at least three months, even if you are not getting a period, even if you’re not trying to get pregnant. To learn basic fertility awareness, read The 5th Vital Sign, Natural Birth Control: Intro to the Sympto-Thermal Method of Fertility Awareness or Justisse Method: Fertility Awareness and Body Literacy.
Eating for Fertility and Hormone Balance
When it comes to food and nutrition, I recommend focusing on gut health, regardless of your personal food philosophy. The Body Ecology Diet and Clean Gut are two books that offer in-depth guidance on restoring healthy gut flora and improving digestion, two areas that are instrumental in achieving optimal health and improving fertility, especially for those trying to conceive.
While I believe that there’s no one-size-fits-all diet for everyone, especially for women with PCOS and fertility issues, I’ve seen successful outcomes in myself and in women who transition to a whole foods diet higher in fat and protein, with most of their carbohydrates coming from vegetables, especially leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables. If you have thyroid concerns you will need to adjust your intake of cruciferous vegetables and raw vegetables in general. A health coach or functional medicine practitioner who specializes in thyroid health can support you with this.
One of the best ways to explore different ways of eating without dieting and deprivation is to focus on meal planning. I recommend PlateJoy, a meal planning app you can personalize to your food preferences and cooking goals. PlateJoy offers recipes that span several food theories, such as vegetarian, Paleo, and Whole30, and you can swap in and out as you’d like. When you plan your meals, you learn to shop only for what you will actually eat, minimizing food waste and food choices that don’t support your wellness goals. If you are looking for a tool to help you organize the recipes you already have, check out Plan to Eat, a recipe clipper and organizer for meal planning.
If you’d like something more structured and specific, you can try the Happy Keto Body program by clicking here.
PCOS and Fertility
PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is both an endocrine and metabolic disorder with a host of symptoms that may seem unrelated to reproductive health, such as insulin resistance, inflammation, and high cholesterol. Hormones are influenced by food and lifestyle choices and environmental factors such as stress, exposure to chemicals and pollution, which in turn can have an adverse affect on our metabolism.
For supplements, resources and mind-body support with PCOS and Fertility, visit
Preparing for Preconception, Pregnancy, and Postpartum
Pregnancy and postpartum take a huge toll on the human body, so it’s important that we build up as much as we can so that we can minimize the negative effects on our body and well-being.
If you’re preparing to conceive, it’s highly recommended that you give yourself three months to a year to prepare your body and your life for what’s to come. Balancing your hormones through nutrition and physical activity, building up your nutrient stores with supplements (prenatal, DHA, etc), working through any childhood and relationship trauma, strengthening your relationship with your mom and partner, cultivating a healthy relationship with money, and designing your life to make room for baby are just some of the things that will help take the edge off your experience.
Doulas are professionally trained support partners in pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. They can offer education, guidance, and comfort measures for every stage. The investment ranges anywhere from free to several thousand dollars, depending on whether your state accepts insurance for Doulas, an organization offers free doula services, and/or the education, training, and services offered by the doula. To find a doula in your area, visit National Black Doulas Association, Sista Midwife, or DoulaMatch.
The Birth Partner, Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn, Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth, and Build Your Nest: Postpartum Planning Workbook are helpful resources to help you prepare for pregnancy and postpartum.
Stress and sedentary lifestyles can negatively impact fertility and overall health. Rather than seeing exercise as a tool for weight loss, I invite you to see it as a way to improve cardiovascular function, increase your insulin sensitivity, and improve your mood through the release of endorphins. That said, it is important to minimize inflammation, which can exacerbate PCOS symptoms. Working out for an hour or more a day for more than an hour a day can have the unintended opposite affect on women living with PCOS.
Two of my favorite ways to move my body so that I can feel strong and grounded are HoopYogini and Beachbody. You can learn more about them by joining me in Muscle + Flow, Heart Hips Womb, Black Fit Moms, and Fit, Fertile, and Free.
To facilitate your wellness journey, I invite you to develop body literacy and learn to tune into the wild feminine wisdom that resides in all of us. Here is a short list of some of my favorite books on these topics:
- 5th Vital Sign
- Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
- Period Repair Manual
- Taking Charge of Your Fertility
- Beyond the Pill
- Healing PCOS
- PCOS Mood Cure
- Own Your Glow
- Wild Feminine
- Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth
- Mothering from Your Center
- Mama Glow
- Nurture – A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood
- How to Conceive Naturally and Have a Healthy Pregnancy after 30
- Pussy Prayers
- Postnatal Depletion Cure
- The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions, and Restoring Your Vitality