Moon Cycles – the last taboo

God it’s embarrassing isn’t it? The Curse, periods, that time of the month, on the rag, cousin red, on the blob, have the painters in, the crimson wave, on the flowers, and, wait for it, women’s troubles. 

Oh man, that is the one that really sticks: Women’s Troubles?

Why has the monthly cycle that every single female (more or less) experiences from the moment she begins to enter womanhood become our troubles? Why has this natural cycle become so shameful, so accursed, become literally: the curse?

Is this really the message we should continue to teach our daughters, nieces and goddaughters and, even, ourselves? Why should this be the last taboo – the one subject that men cannot bare to mention, or even women – for that matter, without shuddering or feeling embarrassed.

Yet this natural rhythm follows the waning and waxing of the moon. The moon regulates the movement of liquid on earth and its 29.5 day cycle is very similar to the natural cyclical cycle of female menstruation, which runs between 28-30 days, suggesting that women can and do ovulate around the full moon and that their hormone levels are changing during its waxing and waning.

300-womans-moon

How cool is that?

Last week, I was incredibly lucky to be invited to join a women’s circle. It was a wonderful, healing and bonding experience for all concerned. Our cycles were discussed and although a natural embarrassment was felt, we questioned why this area of feminity is so utterly, deliberately cloaked. And why a kind of simple cover-all, men – so often use, when we ladies are stressed, or angry or just plain pissed off – is: “Oh it’s that time of the month is it?” And think they are clever or in touch?

Indeed, several women amongst us revealed that their mothers had never so much as had the courage to explain that this eventuality would happen, they found themselves one day at age 12 or 13 bleeding, and not understanding why, and feeling, naturally, terrified.

But, we cannot blame their mothers, this behaviour was, just a product of the culture of the time. We have progressed since 1970 haven’t we?

Maybe not, apparently in 1997 Johnson & Johnson went looking for a female celebrity to  promote its sanitary towel brand of the time. The company found no celebrity willing to associate themselves with such a product, even the Spice Girls refused; so much for girl power.

But can we gently change this kind of thinking? By informing the up coming fertile and youth-filled girls in our lives, maybe we can alter the path and stop this area of womanhood continuing to be one of shame and anxiety. Perhaps we could celebrate a first period? or is that taking it a step too far, too quickly?

Like the Navajo Indians?

What do you think?

5:2 Diet

Correct me if I’m wrong but do you really need to buy a whole book based on the 5:2 diet? The principles are simple and the practise even easier. Here is your one-way ticket to feeling a whole shit load better in a simple and manageable way…

The 5:2 diet is basically eating normally for five days of the week and fasting for two. Fasting refers to restricting your calories to a limited intake of 500 for women and 600 for men.

Why?

The theory is that our bodies produce growth hormone IGF1, which, when we are young helps us grow. As adults this same hormone appears to cause aging and high levels of it are linked to cancer and diabetes among other illnesses.  According to some studies, fasting lowers IGF1 levels, slowing the growth of new cells, which in turn allows your body to repair existing cells. And, wonderfully, it also encourages fat to burn so that you can lose weight, but slowly. Other studies claim that fasting protects you from brain diseases such as Parkinsons and Alzheimers. Furthermore, experiments in mice have shown that fasting increased their lifespans.

However, none of this is proven, and therein lies the rub for many, so of course you have to look at this objectively and decide whether it would work for you personally.

It all seems waaay to good to be true, you can live longer, look leaner and feel younger: BRING IT ON! I hear you shout.

For some people eating very little, even if it is only twice a week can be truly hard, almost impossible, especially if you work in a very physical industry or you are just one of those weirdoes who get the shakes and need to eat, as soon as you feel hungry, or you start shouting LOUDLY at passers by. This, obviously isn’t for everyone, plus, none of the above research could be in anyway factual or right – so you could spend the next ten years denying yourself sarnies and victoria sponge for two days out of every seven…hmm.

BUT, there is no denying the fact that physically it makes you feel leaner and healthier, mentally it makes you feel ready for; anything, AND you get to be a normal person, i.e. share a meal with friends, drink wine on Fridays, for the rest of the week – it is a win-win situation.

So what do you actually eat?

This could cause anxiousness and palpitations amongst those of you who do not know what 500/600 calories look like; let me tell you it isn’t a whole lot,  but, remember: THAT IS THE POINT….don’t forget that now. But, the VERY NEXT day you can have cheese on toast and a pint of ale for breakfast – OK?

As a mama of trois, and counting, (just kidding) friends, well one anyway (Hi Reb) wonder how can you fast and feed your ever-demanding trio of offspring and hunk of man (unless he’s on this path with you) without stuffing your face with biscuits and leftover pasta? I feel like a preacher here, it takes just one teeny tiny thing: WILLPOWER…yes, my friends, or friend, willpower, a beautiful thing and one a lot of women find tricksy (unless they are, very, anal).

Up my fasting sleeve lies my super weapon: a cucumber…yes, I love cucumber and boy there are so few calories in cucumber you can eat them all day – is this helping you? Image

No. Ok.

it works like this, either eat your entire 500 calories in one clean sweep – for lunch or supper or just spread it out. For me its all about the cucumber, I have no breakfast, some crackers with marmite and, yup, cucumber, at lunch and then I splurge on my supper with my chou chou soup or a piece of fish simply baked in the oven with lemon juice, freshly sliced ginger and fresh chilli – eat this with a large cruncy salad or some steamed vegetables ands it is just the ticket before retreating to le boudoir to fantasise about breakfast: a pint of ale and cheese on toast.

(Also, pour moi, I do not, and cannot and WILL not measure the milk in my tea or cafe as part of the 500 calories. She’s cheating, you mutter, yes, well, maybe – but it is the only way to get through this, trust me: with plenty of cups of the old rosie lea.)

Fresh chilli, ginger, salt, pepper and lemon juice is my hot tip, these are your new best friends Image(and salad and vegetables of course): use these in abundance to flavour any soup or salad and you’ll wonder why you ever used olive oil or butter in the first place, until the next day that is…

One last thing, I am no doctor, please do this of your own free will and don’t blame me if you suddenly feel a zillion times better and can, finally, get those skinny jeans over your arse…