Nobody really asked me why I don't die during menstruation. Unless you count me asking myself! Which I apparently do. It's nice to have an ego with whom you can keep yourself company.
Oh, um, disclaimer and stuff: dudes might want to sit this one out. Do any guys even read my blog? There'll be hardcore man-threatening heavy duty estrogen in this post. It might make you less manly.*
Here we go! Seriously. Next sentence is going to involve blood coming out of my lady bits.
I used to have THE WORST periods.
No, you don't understand. The. WORST.
This was back before I was vegan. I had awful cramps and a week-long flow that was just too heavy. My emotional ups and downs gave me whiplash and tears. Ugh. And the worst part was the digestive mayhem. There were at least 5 periods I clearly remember my body dealing with as if I'd had food poisoning. Stuff came out both ends (once at the same time!). And during the weeks I managed not to spend completely in the bathroom, I still felt like the chunks could bubble forth from my mouth at any second. Not the best feeling. Once a month I ranted to anyone who would listen about how much I wanted a hysterectomy and how biologically inefficient menstrual cramps and bleeding are. (Well. I mean. THEY ARE.)
Then came my long relationship with oral contraceptives. I didn't start taking the pill to avoid getting pregnant; I started taking it because my periods sucked and I wanted in on that plan where you have 9 weeks between cycles. The fewer periods in my life, the better. End of discussion. It worked out well for a few years.
I came off the pill several months ago - just because I didn't want to be polluting my body with something as risky as hormones for too long. You know, possible cancer and all that. (Major props to Valynne, who knows everything about the female reproductive system and helped me realize how unnatural oral contraceptives are!) Plus my periods, although still on the 9-week plan, had gotten bad. I wondered what my vegan diet would do to my natural menstrual cycle. The two had never collided.
And you know what? My first period off the pill - and every single one since - was a piece of cake! Seriously! I get cramps, but mild ones. So mild I haven't even looked at Midol. No PMS whatsoever. My flow is much improved. I'd say about half of what it used to be. I have one day of heavier bleeding and 2-3 days of light stuff, then it's over! Not even a whole week! On top of it all, I never feel like dying. Not even a little. I don't even feel like complaining that periods are a waste of blood and energy.
There's a reason for this magical change. The Kind Diet divulges that dairy products are so full of artificially administered hormones that it does stuff like cause reproductive cancer and premature puberty in human females. Well if dairy can cause such severe problems, of course it's also meddling with your monthly cycle. Ever read Skinny Bitch? (I recommend it - it's a totally fun, informational, and sassy vegan treatise.) It explains how the average American diet with its meat, dairy, and junk has lots of fat in it. (Duh.) This fat ramps your estrogen levels up too much; but then during your period, estrogen makes itself scarce. This swing in hormones is linked with all the crappy symptoms of menstruation. Ew.
However, a vegan diet is statistically proven to reduce cramps, cravings, and bloating. It's not just me having a fluke. The fiber and low fat content of a vegan diet keeps your estrogen levels balanced throughout the entire month, period included. It's pretty freaking amazing.
I'm glad we had this talk. We bonded. Isn't that simple? Doesn't that just make so much sense? Artificial, meaty, and dairy foods create your own personal hell on earth once a month. A natural, healthy vegan diet gives you a natural, healthy period that doesn't suck. And rainbows and sunshine will burst forth from your loins.
* SO TONGUE IN CHEEK OMG masculinity is funny get over yourselves.