Written by Gabby Borgerink
Charting can be an extremely useful tool on your journey to improving your health. Even if you are not looking to conceive or use it as a form of contraception, charts can give us a lot of insight into our menstrual cycle and overall health. Charting helps us to identify hormone imbalances and when we have pinpointed them, we can better support our body and implement changes to truly make an impact.
Are You Ovulating?
Ovulation is not just something we should care about when trying to conceive - it is a huge factor of your overall health. The menstrual cycle is even now being considered a fifth vital sign by many. After ovulation, the body starts producing progesterone - the only significant amount that our bodies produce on their own. And when you aren’t ovulating, this is a sign the body is somehow stressed and needs support and extra resources - whether it be more rest, nutrients, and/or stress management.
Progesterone has a whole host of benefits for your body, other than impacting your menstrual cycle and hormones:
- improves sleep quality.
- is anti-aging.
- acts as a natural diuretic.
- increases internal temperature.
- regulates immune function.
Metabolic health is the foundation of everything. By tracking your temperatures, you can see if your temperatures are staying low (indicating metabolism is slower) or if your temperatures increase (suggesting metabolism is thriving) in your luteal phase.
In your charts, you want to see lower temperatures in the follicular phase (the phase prior to ovulation) and higher temperatures after ovulation (the luteal phase) for at least 10 days. Progesterone not only increases your temperature, but it also increases the activity of our thyroid. The thyroid works similar to progesterone - with increasing temperature it promotes the utilization of fat for energy production.
The good news is that having this knowledge and charting data handy, you can easily make small changes in your daily routines to help promote ovulation and healthy hormones. Even better news - by tracking our temperatures you can start to see your cycles improve and your bodies respond positively to the changes you are making!
Invest in Healthy HabitsMany healthy habits are simple, but they can make a large impact on your overall health. You can often see the impacts on your charts before much time has passed, so it's an easy way to see progress!
Here are a few easy habits to promote ovulatory cycles and improved metabolic health:
- Eat regular meals every 3-4 hours. Focus on meals having a combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to give you energy and balance blood sugar.
- Don’t be afraid of carbohydrates: Potatoes, root veggies, fruits, rice, maple syrup, and honey are all good, healthy fuel sources.
- Morning and night routines: Create a morning and night routine to help you set yourself up for ideal sleep and a good day.
- Get quality sleep: Focus on both length of sleep and deep sleep by creating an ideal sleep environment.
- Go outside in the sunshine: The sun provides us with Vitamin D and is very healing in small doses everyday.
By making a few simple changes in your daily habits, your body will be better supported to maintain a healthy cycle and metabolism.
If you do make changes in your lifestyle, watch your charts to see how the changes are reflected!
Gabby Borgerink is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner who works with women to educate about hormones and how they can support their body through nutrition and lifestyle. After her experience coming off hormonal contraception and trying both conventional and alternative health care, Gabby believes in the power of listening to your body and getting to the root cause of your health problems through a holistic approach. Her goal is for women to take back the power of their menstrual cycle and support them in balancing their hormones from a bio-individual approach. Visit her website or find her on Instagram to connect and learn more.