As the title suggests, this is going to be a pretty girly post. I plan to talk about things like birth control, cramps, and maybe even tampons. So if that sort of thing scares you, I invite you to not read any further… and also to maybe revisit some middle school health curriculum. But there’s your warning, anyway.
Yesterday I mentioned that last Friday was potentially the hungriest day of my life. I’m pretty sure that this had to do with PMS, and although I did have to squelch some particularly aggressive nachos cravings, overall I was just ravenously hungry. It was not so bad. Today, however, is a very different story.
When I did my first Whole30 I didn’t really run into this problem for a few reasons. One, the first time we did Whole30 we actually only lasted 3 weeks, and none of those days coincided with PMS. Two, now that I’m in the 4th week of Whole30 I am realizing that the first 3 weeks aren’t really where your willpower is tested–it’s the fourth week. The week when you are staring at Day 30 on the calendar, and the little devil on your shoulder is saying, “Oh come on, you made it this far, you should just stop now, what are you trying to prove?!” while the little angel on your other shoulder tries to butt in with, “No no! You’ve already made it this far! Don’t give up now!” I know that some of the rest of you are experiencing this as well–but unfortunately the little devil and the little angel are nothing compared to PMS.
The last reason that I didn’t run into this problem last time is because in November, I was on birth control and had been for about 7 years. However, right around the end of the year I experienced some minor health problems that led me to decide to stop taking birth control. While the minor health problems are gone, I had really forgotten what a normal period is like, because I hadn’t really had one since high school. I had barely experienced any cravings, cramping, or general misery since I went on birth control, and in the past few months as my normal hormones have come back on track, it has been pretty rough.
Today I am tired and lethargic, as is expected with PMS. I am craving salt and grease, and/or sugar and flour. If someone walked into my house right now with an order of fries and a chocolate shake, I would probably marry them on the spot.
But, I know that I can’t do that. So instead, here is what I have been doing:
- Tea. So much tea. For some reason, the hot liquid seems to quiet even my seriously unrelated cravings for a little while.
- Bone broth. Same reason as tea, except as a bonus it’s also kind of salty.
- Pickles. No, I am not pregnant. But these salty, crunchy little miracles are a pretty good stand-in for french fries.
- Coconut butter. It’s kinda sweet. It’s kinda creamy. It’s kinda working.
- Just so much food. If I am almost uncomfortably full at all times, it keeps me from really craving anything. And I’m hoping it’s worth it to eat an extra 2000 calories of good stuff rather than fall off the Whole30 wagon and start shoving nachos in my face. Mmm nachos…
Things I tried that did not work:
- Banana + coconut water + cacao powder smoothie. I thought it would be like a chocolate banana smoothie, but it was not. In fact, it was horrible. Turns out unsweetened chocolate is not the same thing as a chocolate milkshake.
- Salted nuts. Usually these work for me, but I think I am experiencing a bit of palate fatigue with almonds and cashews. So no dice.
I am also considering giving myself the night off from CrossFit. I am still in that stage where I can’t decide if working out is going to help by taking my mind off it, or hurt because I am feeling so lethargic that I might just crash and burn. I know the best rule is to just listen to your body, but if your body is being a moody little brat, that’s easier said than done.
I need some help here, people. What do you do to stay on track when PMS grabs your craving steering wheel?