My HormonologyWhich week are you on in your cycle?

Week 1
First day of period to Day 7
Today’s hormonescope: If you need more friends in your life, this week is the time to seek them out. Rising estrogen is making you comfortable talking with new people and rising testosterone is making you bold enough to attend new events. So, head to meetup.com, where you can find like-minded folks near you and start doing both.

Week 2
Day 8 to Day 13
Today’s hormonescope: You ever notice how a tree branch starts off at the trunch with one branch, then as it gets longer it splits into two, then it splits off into three or four, and then it splits off into lots more. That’s a lot like how your train of thought will be today: you’ll be working on one idea or doing research on one website only to have your interest sparked by something else, which then leads you to something else and then something else. The reason? Rising estrogen and testosterone are making you easily excited and super-curious about things you see, read and hear, so you get a thrill by investigating further. And, as long as you have the time, go ahead and do it. This type of free associating can help you stumble upon your next big idea!

Week 3
Day 14 (or ovulation) to Day 22
Today’s hormonescope: You may need to rehearse that little exit speech you’ve been meaning to hone. You know, the one that you give to chatty co-workers, neighbors and other folks who want to talk your ear off when you just wanna go home or back to work or do anything else other than sit and listen to them drone on and on and on and on about, well, isn’t is always about nothing? Today’s rising progesterone makes you less interested in listening to boring chit-chat and even less interested in coming up with mundane non-offensive chit-chat to deliver back. My hubby feels his exit technique is best, so you may want to try it, too: he slowly backs away as he “Uh-huhs” until he’s finally so far back, he just waves, says “Okay, bye”, then turns around and leaves. I’ve seen him do it and it really works. Not that bold? Try making a getaway with a phony phone call.

Week 4
Day 23 to the end of cycle
Today’s hormonescope: I was recently asked a question on the My Hormones Made Me Do It Facebook page about my advice for indulging in your favorite foods during Week 4 of one’s cycle. After all, aren’t bad foods bad for you? Well, yes and no. Yes, salt exacerbates premenstrual bloat; yes, sugar and fat can make premenstrual breasts more tender; yes, caffeine sparks premenstrual irritability. However, when used in moderation, these same naughty foods can actually do some good. For instance, switching to sea salt, which doesn’t cause bloat like table salt does, can fulfill salt cravings when you sprinkle it over popcorn (a healthy whole grain) so you’re less likely to dive into a bag of Doritos. The combination of sugar and fat actually slams the brakes on stress hormones, which means that one or two, okay, three doughnut holes or a cookie can help banish premenstrual anxiety triggered by plunging estrogen. And if you regularly consume caffeine, cutting it out entirely during Week 4 would result in headaches and other withdrawal symptoms during a week when pain sensations are more intense. Switching to green tea not only gives you a lower dose of caffeine to sidestep withdrawal, it’s packed with health-boosting antioxidants that have been credited for everything from lowering your cancer risk to making you look younger!


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