Follicular Phase Support
During the follicular phase of the cycle, estrogen is again on the rise, and your body is preparing to drop an egg and ovulate. For most women with a 28-38 day cycle, the follicular phase starts happening about 4 or 5 days after the first day of bleeding, but for those with longer periods, it might start 7 or 8 days after day 1 of their cycle. During this time, because hormones are again on the rise, you most likely feel better and more energized than you did while on your period.
How to Support Your Body With Movement:
Choose exercises that are more intensive, and require more energy. During this part of your cycle, you have more access to energy, so it's a good idea to take advantage of this and move your body. If you choose to do HIIT, this is the one part of your cycle where it should be done. I do not, however, suggest HIIT often for women who are struggling in their health. For those who are struggling, a simple workout (weights/light cardio) during the follicular phase and then rest after ovulation and while on your period might be the best option.
Support Your Body With Food:
Two things that your food during this time should be aiming to accomplish are: follicle support and estrogen metabolization. Because your body is preparing to ovulate, supporting follicular health is vital, as is clearing estrogen.
Nutrients for follicle support: eggs (choline, vitamin A, b vitamins), fish (trace minerals, like iodine, amino acids that support the liver to help clear estrogen), well-cooked green veggies (organic chard cooked in butter, organic spinach cooked in coconut oil, for example), raw carrot salad, broccoli sprouts (in moderation, this can impact digestion) and raw apples to clear estrogen
Foods and drinks to avoid during follicular phase: alcohol (this impairs estrogen mobilization), excess grains, polyunsaturated fatty acid oils (sunflower, canola, soy, corn, etc.)
Supplements To Support During the Follicular Phase:
CoQ10 - this nutrient is essential for reproductive and follicular health. I suggest getting CoQ10 through beef heart before supplementing with a CoQ10 extract. You can either add ground heart in with ground beef, or take capsules.
Milk thistle, burdock root and dandelion are great additions for the liver during this time. Try these nutrients in capsule, tincture, or tea form!