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Do you feel like you’ll never escape the dreaded symptoms? Are you so debilitated every month that you can’t even imagine a life without PMS, let alone honoring your moon cycle as a time of feminine power and creativity? Want to stop wasting money on Midol (glorified ibuprofen), chocolate, milkshakes and all the other things you spend money on during that time because your cravings are so strong? Wondering how to keep your relationships flowing smoothly through all times of the month?  Or do you simply want to make your already-minimal symptoms a non-issue? Or maybe you’re a man who knows someone who could use this information – pass this along to her in as kind a way as possible!

First, understand that PMS is a symptom of out-of-control hormones. Here are six very powerful ways to get your hormones under control in order to reduce PMS:

1. Cut out animal products. For at LEAST the week before your symptoms would start, cut out all meat, dairy, eggs, and other animal products. This is because animal products are inherently full of hormones, and they throw your own natural hormones out of whack. Even better, cut out animal products for an entire month before your symptoms start and you’ll notice a dramatic difference. I suggest “Breaking the Food Seduction” by Neil Barnard about the effects of animal products on your body, including PMS. 

2. Taking Calcium and Magnesium supplements together. Phyllis A. Balch, CNC and author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, recommends taking 1,500 mg daily of Calcium in the citrate or chelate form and 1,000 mg daily of Magnesium. Taking Calcium supplements have been shown to reduce PMS by 30%. And magnesium deficiencies have been shown to cause PMS. Foods that are naturally high in magnesium are: Dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils, whole grains like brown rice (no, whole wheat pasta is not a whole grain, sorry), avocados, bananas, dried figs, and dark chocolate (YAY!)

3. Cut out salt, sugar and processed foods. This is huge. When you are eating a clean, healthy, nutritious diet, you are supporting your body in producing the correct amount and type of hormones required for reproductive health. Salt, sugar and processed foods only create damage and wreck havoc in your body. Period. You will experience less bloating, moodiness, pain, and so on. 

4. Eat foods high in phytoestrogens: Phyto means plant and estrogens are estrogens (duh), a hormone in your body important for all female reproductive processes. Some great sources: soy, apple, fennel, nuts, whole grains, celery, parsley, alfalfa, and flaxseeds are great. This just goes back to eating a whole foods diet- one that includes foods that have been minimally processed since they came from the ground. These foods are especially helpful. Eat them in the time before and after symptoms start. 

5. Drink lots of water. Being properly hydrated helps your body maintain all its normal processes, flush toxins, and regulate hormones. This will significantly ease symptoms. 

6. Stay active!! Exercise increases oxygen in the blood, which helps nutrient absorption and elimination of toxins from the body. It also helps regulate hormones. 

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ImageJenna Pacelli is a Holistic Health Coach and yoga teacher at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She coaches yoga practitioners and busy professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area and all over the world have more energy, curb cravings naturally, lose weight and keep it off without dieting, reduce stress levels, and live from a place of joy and authenticity. Her clients create lasting change and fully embodied health and wellbeing.

Jenna believes that by creating health and wellness at the physical, emotional and mental levels, it is inevitable that joy and a deep understanding of one’s purpose follow.