6

votes

Ladies: does PMS affect your ability to be primal?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 10, 2012 at 1:15 AM

I love primal eating, but the few days before my monthly visit ALL I want is carbs and chocolate. I do my best to stay away, but the dark chocolate can get out of hand, and I have to admit sometimes I use a "cheat meal" to munch on some quinoa cereal (I am celiac, so I always have to stay away from gluten and most grains).

Have you found a surefire way to beat this, or is it one of those things that we are stuck with alongside the extra leg on our second chromosome? (XX instead of XY)

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on January 11, 2012
at 02:56 PM

Lies! All lies about me! Wallowing is good every once in awhile.. I will concede that point. Jammies, whiskey, movies, books. I try to coordinate my few times so ladytime doesn't get all the blame :)

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on January 10, 2012
at 04:13 PM

No. You're too sweet. (Sigh) I guess I'll have to look at your suggestions and pull myself out of the muck into progress. Too bad...wallowing is my favorite thing.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on January 10, 2012
at 01:16 PM

BHC.. am I fired from being a girl now? I can totally pretend! Give to me the chocolate - ROWR!

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on January 10, 2012
at 06:58 AM

Sorry, I guess I didn't clarify that. I don't have milk because I have an allergy to the proteins. I can handle goat cheese and a tad bit of goat milk in my coffee when I run out of coconut cream. I have been having goat cheese more though, and I notice my appetite is larger. I have also re-introduced eggs, which I used to react to. I might cut these things again, and see if that helps with my other cravings. Thanks for the input and advice.

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on January 10, 2012
at 06:56 AM

Dude, chocolate covered kettle popcorn. Nuff said.

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on January 10, 2012
at 03:29 AM

Agreed on the coffee to help with cramping. I have been primal for a little over a year now. I have noticed the cramps are much better than they used to be, but the carb cravings are still there. For some reason we seem to lack the ability to say no that we regularly do.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on January 10, 2012
at 02:58 AM

J.J nobody wants to hear a success story on this. How will we commiserate? :)

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on January 10, 2012
at 01:51 AM

totes agree, almost double on the food for me during that time.

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14 Answers

4
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on January 10, 2012
at 01:50 AM

I posted something similar, some really good stuff in Ladies! PMS: How Do You Deal that you may definitely find helpful. The winner is @TexasLeah with "90% Lindt and bourbon."

I'm very lucky that I'm not affected by mood swings and such but when the time is near it's big salty crunchy food with loads of texture that I want. I don't crave sweets, whew :) but things that are really toothsome. Chopped veg. I'll cook up a quick steak. Roasted sweet potatoes that are thinly sliced so crunchy on the edges tender in the middle. Apple with a bit of almond butter. Carrots. Fermented pickles. A bowl of smashed avocado with celery.. or bacon. I also seem to have excess energy on those days and will usually add in another day of weights or CF.

I've read that a diet rich in Vitamin B can help with PMS relief as does upping fat and carbs when the time is near.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on January 10, 2012
at 02:58 AM

J.J nobody wants to hear a success story on this. How will we commiserate? :)

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on January 11, 2012
at 02:56 PM

Lies! All lies about me! Wallowing is good every once in awhile.. I will concede that point. Jammies, whiskey, movies, books. I try to coordinate my few times so ladytime doesn't get all the blame :)

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on January 10, 2012
at 01:16 PM

BHC.. am I fired from being a girl now? I can totally pretend! Give to me the chocolate - ROWR!

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on January 10, 2012
at 04:13 PM

No. You're too sweet. (Sigh) I guess I'll have to look at your suggestions and pull myself out of the muck into progress. Too bad...wallowing is my favorite thing.

4
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on January 10, 2012
at 01:42 AM

I never really struggled with this until this past year or two. I really tried to wrestle with it but I kept failing miserable so now I just go with it for those few days and try to do as little damage as possible. I am normally low carb and I definitely increase carbs during this time and add a little chocolate if needed. I also just eat more of everything I normally eat. I increase my calories quite a bit which helps me stay on the straight and narrow. For me hunger + PMS = unplanned trip to the bakery or Godiva boutique.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on January 10, 2012
at 01:51 AM

totes agree, almost double on the food for me during that time.

2
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on January 10, 2012
at 03:03 AM

After lots of experimentation my best defense has been intermittent fast during mid-week before my cycle starts followed up with aggressive re-feeding few days before. My rule is no snacking and large meals with extra fat. When that fails...I eat pizza.

2
0d0316bfd35ffab6fa000120b978f303

on January 10, 2012
at 02:13 AM

The last 2 months have been bad for me. I am dealing with a lot of stress at work, and it shows during my monthly visit. All I want are M&M's. I can pack healthy food for work, and it just has no appeal...I want M&M's. So I give in, knowing it is a combination of stress and hormones, then I make every effort to eat clean for rest of the cycle.

1
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on January 10, 2012
at 02:29 AM

I'm on my mine right now and for lunch had a 5pc tender meal from Popeye's chicken, with green beans and a biscuit. And more chocolate throughout the day than I'd care to admit :/

Dinner was a bit better though, being left over taco meat, baby spinach and polishng off the remaining strawberries in the fridge. And more chocolate ;)

If I wasn't feeling so tired and crabby, I would whip up some starchy Paleo foods to bring to work tomorrow. But to heck with it...

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on January 10, 2012
at 06:56 AM

Dude, chocolate covered kettle popcorn. Nuff said.

1
980acf31034fb9511e4a6027211866ee

(416)

on January 10, 2012
at 01:19 AM

How long have you been primal? I've found that my symptoms, both before and during menstruation, have lessened with each passing month. One thing that helped me through the months that were a little more rough was coffee. Coffee always helps to kill carb and sugar cravings for me, and it was no different while dealing with PMS. It also seemed to relieve some of the pain associated with cramps. I'm anxious to see other answers. Great question!

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on January 10, 2012
at 03:29 AM

Agreed on the coffee to help with cramping. I have been primal for a little over a year now. I have noticed the cramps are much better than they used to be, but the carb cravings are still there. For some reason we seem to lack the ability to say no that we regularly do.

0
6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

on March 19, 2014
at 09:49 PM

In the week before my period I always want more carbs but I can deal with that with having nuts and raisins and/or sweet potato.

(why do I have no menopause symptoms at all at age 52 - really weird)

0
Fbe7a077442b2ef5c41ea93aa89d7705

on March 19, 2014
at 09:37 PM

Yes, I eat a ton and crave sugar, about 2-3 days before my period starts. I don't limit my eating. I do try to abstain from the sugar as much as possible. I buy 85% dark chocolate. If I'm PMS'ing, I sometimes will eat 3/4 of a bar in a day, all during the after-dinner hours.

0
82fc5f4dfef906de8ce02dfec961f393

on March 19, 2014
at 07:26 PM

Thank you, I'm glad I'm not alone on this. I have been doing fantastic on Primal, my Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms have mostly gone (that's if that's what it is!) My energy levels are AMAZING and I am NO LONGER TIRED/EXHAUSTED (sorry!!) but then this is my 3rd week in and BAM!! the first day wasn't too bad (oh yeah and my Endo isn't half as bad or flared up as usual either!) but then yesterday I gave in and hand a small dairy milk bar, and felt better, today I forgot to have lunch (oh and breakfast) which sometimes I'm okay with, (thought I would never be!!!) but then tonight I just felt super grumpy snappy very PMT(ish) and just wanted CHOCOLATE (which considering I was also a chocoholic and the craving has been gone, I haven't done too bad!) so I had a piece of that super dark chocolate (that is basically pure cocoa!) but that didn't help! My hubby said perhaps I just needed to eat more, so a big salad and quater of a melon later, and I am feeling much happier! So I guess I might need to snack tonight on some meat, salad etc and it might help, and tomorrow I will let my hair down a bit and have a couple of non primal things at a little family gathering we are having, I shall take it all as a New experience. So after this very long post I just wanted to say THANK YOU for letting me know that it's normal to feel this way :)

0
B9b739e406d30e2b168aed8e9c93add5

on January 10, 2012
at 04:06 PM

I've heard that when your body's magnesium levels are low, you tend to crave more chocolate. Also, my own personal hypothesis with no real scientific evidence: since dark chocolate is high in iron, we tend to crave it since we're losing a lot of iron when menstruating (I think this is also the reason I tend to crave really rare red meat right before/during my period). So maybe seek out foods that are high in iron, take a magnesium supplement, and for sweetness: drown yourself in a baked sweet potato with lots of butter! YUM!

But I still think it's okay to have some dark chocolate this time of the month. I think the pastries/refined carbs are probably the worst way to go...

0
54578cc6508b657cad1da21cdf76d74e

(149)

on January 10, 2012
at 03:37 PM

I used to junk out PMS before going primal, but now I just find I need to eat TONS for about three days. I take an herbal supplement called PMS HARMONY which has improved life for my whole family ;) - but still once in a while, when I know it is hormones (not hunger) I cave - for a lindtt hazenut bar.

0
A1774fb1fcb6c7a072a5e424544ef62e

(255)

on January 10, 2012
at 09:42 AM

I've been PMS-ing for the past two days, and I feel like a bottomless pit of hunger. The dark chocolate's definitely gotten out of hand, along with the macadamia nuts, avocadoes, coconut cream, and, er, hard-boiled eggs xD

0
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 10, 2012
at 03:36 AM

No, ever since I went Paleo, my cravings for chocolate are completely gone (and this is considering that I was a chocoholic and used to beg my colleagues for anything chocolate).

As a matter of fact, I just got my period yesterday and I have noticed how much improvement Paleo diet brought in my life. I don't have the PMS symptoms like I used to.

It used to be so bad for me - not only I would binge on chocolate the day before, I would also be completely dysfunctional on my first day. I experienced horrible pains for the first four to six hours. I had to take some very very strong pain reliever that would put me to sleep. If I did not take pain reliever, I would throw up multiple times.

What really made the difference, I think, is eating at meal times. It keeps my sugar levels constant and I make sure to eat enough at each meal.

Also, I eat a combination of Lean Protein + Tubers (Carrot, turnip, parsnip, beets) + green vegetables or cabbage family + fruit. I found this combination works wonders for me.

Since you are eating Primal, I guess you are still consuming milk products. Try not consuming them for one month and see if it makes a difference for you. Eliminating dairy products (and substitutes) really worked for me.

Good luck!

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on January 10, 2012
at 06:58 AM

Sorry, I guess I didn't clarify that. I don't have milk because I have an allergy to the proteins. I can handle goat cheese and a tad bit of goat milk in my coffee when I run out of coconut cream. I have been having goat cheese more though, and I notice my appetite is larger. I have also re-introduced eggs, which I used to react to. I might cut these things again, and see if that helps with my other cravings. Thanks for the input and advice.

0
B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on January 10, 2012
at 01:54 AM

Most women's serotonin levels decrease during their monthly menstuation which triggers carb cravings since the body uses carbs to make serotonin. We often go for the simple carbs in chocolate because it tastes good, it delivers the carbs (and serotonin) quickly, and because we feel crabby and think "Who gives a damn? I'm going to eat what I want to eat!" For me the key is increasing my good carbs when PMS strikes so I can get my carb fix in a way that doesn't sabotage my health for days. I eat a little more fruit and starchy carbs like butternut squash with my meals. And yogurt with blueberries is my go-to carb snack. It also helps not to have chocolate in the house . . .

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