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Be sure to always consult with your doctor before commencing any new health, fitness or nutrition program. While we’re always here to provide general help and support, this should not be used in place of professional advice.
Congratulations, lady! You’ve just done the hardest part by choosing to get started. Take a moment to thank yourself for doing something positive for YOU.
Let’s start by heading straight to the planner. This is your go-to tool for staying on track and hitting your goals. Get in the habit of checking it first thing each morning when you wake up so you can plan your day – deciding when you’re going to work out and getting into a positive mindset.
Our number one tip for KIC’ing butt is organisation. Setting aside time each week to plan and prep meals will make it much easier to create (and stick to) a healthy and happy routine. We’re all about making things as easy as possible by removing last-minute tasks.
Of course, where would we be without a little help from our girlfriends? That’s why you’re invited to join our private Keep it Cleaner FB Community. It’s full of amazing people just like you, with advice, support, live videos and exclusive competitions (hello freebies!). You have to be a paid member to join so be sure to let us know if your Facebook profile name doesn’t match your registered name.
We can’t wait to see what you achieve with us!
Oh, girl, YES. This health and fitness plan is practically made for you. Grab the nearest scrunchie and the daggy t-shirt you reserve for movie nights. You can get as sweaty and messy as you like and not a soul will ever know. Win.
Too easy! If you get the most out of yourself at a gym, simply take Keep it Cleaner with you and do the exercises there.
If you have an existing illness, injury, physical disability, or are pregnant, please consult your medical practitioner before KIC’ing off your health and fitness journey.
As for the superwomen breastfeeding their bubs, it’s always advised to mention your Keep it Cleaner plans to your doctor before you begin. Consider adjusting the intensity of your workouts to best fit your needs. If we were you, we’d pick the ‘Get stronger & fitter’ stream – those extra calories will give you the energy you need to be running after a tiny human.
Along with our dietitian we have created two versions of the meal plans Lean & Strong.
The lean recipes and meal plan are slightly lower in calories and carbohydrate than the strong recipes. The strong recipes and meal plan contain slightly more carbohydrates and calories and are suited to those looking to maintain weight, increase muscle mass, get stronger or those that are highly active and need the extra energy! Essentially carbohydrates are our bodies fuel so when we have serious goals to hit or just need that extra sustenance we need to also increase our carbohydrate intake.
When choosing between meals, remember that it comes down to a ‘whole day’ or even ‘whole week’ approach. If you are choosing the lean meals most of the time but have the occasionally strong meal, it will not impact your progress. The same goes if your goal is to maintain weight or build muscle mass, you can still choose lean meals however you may wish to increase the portion size, add extra healthy carbs like brown rice, spelt pasta, potato or fruit or alternatively you could have bigger snacks in between your meals to increase your intake to achieve your goals. Don’t forget to always look at the bigger picture rather than focus on one meal.
It’s typical to have a headache or two while your body adjusts to this new, clean lifestyle. You might be in slight discomfort because of dehydration; remember to keep a water bottle with you all day (get those two litres in!) or sip on a herbal tea. If you’re concerned, or if the headaches persist, make a trip to your doctor.
WELCOME! To access your program, log in using your email and password. While you’re at it, go to Settings and check that Updates & News are set to ‘ON’ – that way we can send all our best info and special announcements straight to your inbox. As for your planner – the home to all your recipes, workouts, and shopping lists – that’ll be unlocked each week!
All the best plans start on a Monday, right? Why not prep all your meals on a Sunday night to give yourself the best possible chance to start the week off?
That said, this is your journey, and you should do it according to what works for YOU.
As soon as you sign up to Keep it Cleaner, your Day 1 begins the very next day. The planner updates each Friday for the week ahead, with the weeks running from Monday to Sunday.
Impossible! No, in all seriousness, don’t stress too much. Shoot through an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work through any concerns with you.
Every time you pay, you get access to the workouts and meal plans for four weeks, or longer if you have a longer subscription. If you don’t pay again, you’ll have access to general information only. If you want to keep being part of our community, just pay for another four weeks! Simple.
Think of them like big, green ticks against your name. Smashed a workout? Cooked that delicious dinner? Gave your mind a meditation sesh? Tick, tick, tick. That’s three activities completed. To watch that number grow, click the top right of each activity before you move on to the next!
Sure can, lovely! Keep it Cleaner is $19.50 per month and that gives you access to all of our workouts, meals, meditations and more! Or if you’d like to sign up for longer, we have a 3 month subscription for $49.50 (15% off) and a 12 month subscription for just $115 (that’s over 50% off)!
To make this as seamless as possible, we use a snazzy payment system called Stripe – a leading company in secure online payments. Stripe has been audited by a PCI-certified auditor and is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1. This is the most stringent level of certification available in the payments industry. To check out Stripe’s security guide, head to https://stripe.com/docs/security/stripe
Boo! Have you entered your card details correctly? If still no luck, it could be your bank being a bit cautious of a foreign payment system. Have a chat with them about it and, if you’re still having trouble, send the Keep it Cleaner team an email at email@example.com. We’re always here to give you a helping hand.
You have a subscription, so once you make your first payment, all the work is really done. Payments will come out on the date of subscription, and each month after (unless you’re on a longer subscription). You can cancel any time via your profile with complete access to Keep it Cleaner until the end of your paid period.
Abso-freaking-lutely. Our privacy policies are stronger than our abs (which after all this KIC’ing it, is rather impressive). You can read them here.
If you have signed up through our website, you can upgrade or cancel your account through the ‘Profile’ section of the website. If you are upgrading your account, please be mindful to do this just before your current membership runs out so you are not charged twice.
If you cancel through our website, please look out for an email confirming your subscription has been cancelled. If you do not receive this, please contact us to check you have cancelled correctly.
If you signed up through the iPhone app, please use the following steps to change your subscription…
Launch the Settings app.
Tap iTunes & App Store.
Tap on your Apple ID.
Tap View Apple ID when the pop up window appears.
Enter your Apple ID password or fingerprint ID when prompted.
Tap the Subscription you want to edit.
If you signed up through the Android app, please follow these instructions…
On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Play Store Google Play.
Check if you’re signed in to the correct Google Account.
Tap Menu Menuand then Subscriptions.
Select the subscription you want to cancel.
Tap Cancel subscription.
Follow the instructions.
If you have a subscription with an app and the app gets removed from Google Play, your future subscription will be canceled. Your past subscriptions will not be refunded.
Our group is exclusive to our Keep it Cleaner tribe, and we’d love to have you in there! If things are moving slowly, it might be because your Facebook name isn’t the same as the name you used to sign up to Keep It Cleaner, or because your Facebook email and Keep It Cleaner email are different. If that’s the case, no problemo, just let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and our squad will sort it out. There might be a tiny delay (our inbox is always buzzing with requests) but we’ll get to you ASAP!
If you’re somewhere special without wifi (lucky you – read a good book or two for us) simply screenshot our recipes and the workout breakdown before you go. Pre-watch the videos to get comfortable with the technique and complete your workout using a timer on your phone.
Don’t stress – we’re getting to your request as soon as we can!
UGH! That’s not ideal. Despite having a speedy internet connection, networks can have random cut-outs which will interfere with streaming some media content. Try updating your browser to the latest version possible. Then clear your cache (following the instructions here http://www.refreshyourcache.com/) and restart your computer. While you’re playing Miss Fix It, can we suggest switching browsers to Chrome or Firefox?
They’re our top picks. If you’re still having problems, try calling your internet provider. Unfortunately, connection issues can’t be crunched or lunged away by the Keep It Cleaner team.
Yessir! Step one: quit your browser. Step two: try logging in and out again. Step three: update your browser to the latest version. Still nothing? Step four! Clear that pesky cache (following the instructions here http://www.refreshyourcache.com/) and restart your computer. Losing hope? Never fear – we have some technological wizards over here at Keep It Cleaner, so send us an email to email@example.com.
Been there, friend. See that ‘I forgot!’ button? Click that and we’ll email you a reset link. Consider yourself saved.
Hmmm. Double check you’re using the email you signed up to Keep It Cleaner with. Nothing? How odd! Just shoot us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well, that’s rather rude and lazy of them. If it’s a link to Facebook, you’ll need to be a member of our glorious private group to see it. If you want to join – we mean, who wouldn’t? – search for ‘Keep it Cleaner’ on Facebook, request access, and we’ll get you in ASAP!
Ah! That’s because you already have a Keep it Cleaner account, you lucky thing. Simply login instead. If you’ve forgotten your email address or have accidentally entered the wrong one, send an email to email@example.com.
Gee you’re missing out! Here’s where they might be hiding:
Spam folder (probably alongside the emails saying you’ve won $1,000,000 from a mysterious foreign prince) Settings: just make sure your email is entered correctly and that Updates & News is turned ‘ON’!
Alrighty. Let’s do some investigation work. Try updating your browser to the latest version, then check that your cookies aren’t set to ‘blocked’. Next, clear your cache (following the instructions here http://www.refreshyourcache.com/). If it’s still giving you headaches, make sure you’re using the correct email and password for the account you’re signing into – it’s easy to get them confused!
Oh no! Poor you! There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to workout and not being able to.
Please do us a favour and force quit and restart your app. Also check you have the latest version of the app updated.
If all else fails, please delete your app from your device and re-download! This usually solves most issues.
Sure can, girlfriend. It’s roughly 180mb per video, which is like watching a 30-minute snippet of The Bachelor. For that reason, probably don’t stream our videos on your phone (unless you have a snazzy plan with infinite data). Try watching them when you have access to wifi – save all that data for Insta, okay?
Of course! Use the Print Screen function on your web browser.
Oh dear! Okay, before anything else – check you’ve selected the meals you want to make. You can choose ‘0’ as the serving size if you don’t want to make a particular meal. Don’t forget you can also swap meals if something doesn’t tickle your fancy!
While we have you, can we suggest doing a big weekly shop, instead of heading to Coles every day? This will save you so much time and ensure you’re always fuelling your body with the best foods.
Grab a good pair of runners, your favourite activewear, and a positive attitude. You’ll also need dumbbells and kettlebells, a skipping rope and a yoga mat which can be found at basically any department store (budget-friendly options are great). Oh, and don’t forget your water bottle!
All of the food we recommend under Keep it Cleaner has been given the tick of approval by our dietitian Marika Day, along with our team of chefs, foodies, and researchers.
Choose your goal, specify your gender, then take your pick between regular or vegetarian menus (they’re both gluten friendly!).
If you’re a snacking fiend – ahem, aren’t we all? – choose two to three snacks per day from the list that fit your goals.
Oh, and always check the serving sizes on each recipe! Most generally suit one person with leftovers (or a ravenous partner) catered for. Breakfasts tend to be single serves, lunches will be for one or two people, while dinners will feed two to four. Remember, leftovers are AMAZING. At least three meals every week will be scheduled leftovers, which means less time cooking, more time KIC’ing goals.
We practise Meat-free Mondays because our vegetarian recipes rock (and are like a cuddle for the planet).
When it comes to calories, we’ve done all the maths for you, but if you’re curious here are the approximate totals (including snacks):
Fit, lean & healthy / female: 1500-1600
Fit, lean & healthy / male: 2400-2600
Stronger & fitter / female: 1800-2000
Stronger & fitter / male: 3000-3200+
Everyone is welcome to enjoy our colourful, yummy food. Just make sure the serving sizes and ingredients are suited to all ages and lifestyles.
Trying something new (or that you haven’t loved in the past) can be slightly daunting, but give it a go! We have a feeling we can change your mind. If we’re wrong (it happens) simply swap the ingredient for something you do like, for example: spice for spice, veg for veg, meat for meat, etc.
You’re not alone! Here’s how you can work around it:
Reach for almond, coconut, rice, oat, or hemp varieties.
Soy, rice and coconut alternatives to yoghurt, ice cream, cheese, and cream are fab!
Substitute onions and garlic for chives or the green leafy part of spring onions. Also experiment with asafoetida as a spice replacement. Please be mindful that fructose intolerances are a very subjective thing, so thresholds may vary from one tummy to the next.
For scrambled breakfast dishes, try firm or silken tofu.
Try Orgran’s No Egg replacer OR ½ cup mashed banana OR ½ apple puree OR 1 tbs chia seeds soaked in 3 tbs water (these each equal 1 egg).
Experiment with roasted chickpeas, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower kernels.
Finely desiccated coconut, ground sunflower or pumpkin seeds, breadcrumbs, or oat/wheat bran are great alternatives.
Try a few combos of corn, buckwheat, chickpea and rice (brown and white), and quinoa flours, as well as maize/polenta, soy, potato starch, tapioca, millet, and amaranth.
Gluten-free oats and corn flakes, millet flakes, puffed rice, and quinoa (seeds, flakes or puffs) make for epic brekkie ingredients.
Are we human? Of COURSE they are. We like – wait, no, love – a good snack. Just check out our snack recipes and choose two to three options every day. You will, however, need to buy the ingredients as snacks aren’t included in your meal plan or automated shopping list. We did it this way to give you more freedom from one day to the next.
Some of our snacks are more indulgent or ‘treat’ snacks. We recommend making 1-2 of our snack recipes at a time, using that as just one of your 2-3 snacks each day. For example we wouldn’t suggest you have cake for morning tea and cookies for dinner every day. What we would suggest is to choose one snack per week. For example you might make the choc chip cookies and have them as an afternoon treat snack each each day that week. Your morning snack should be something simple like 30g nuts or a piece of fruit or some greek yoghurt. This means you can enjoy your healthy treats as part of a balanced diet.
We made our meal plans with you in mind, sister! Some recipes make four servings, meaning one cooking sesh will sort out multiple meals across different days. How good.
If you’re still a busy bee who’s struggling for time, why not try making breakfasts the night before, or grabbing ingredients in pre-cut, pre-cooked form?
And don’t forget you can do heaps of the cooking in bulk – that’s what Sunday nights are for, right?
Our ‘Get fit, lean & healthy’ meal plans focus on reducing your refined carb intake while boosting your intake of protein and good fats. This helps you maintain lean muscle mass while burning any unwanted fat.
If you’re looking to grow stronger – say, if you’re training for a sporting event, or one of those sweaty endurance runs – opt for ‘Get stronger & fitter’. This includes a teeny tiny increase in carbs on the meal plan to allow for higher energy levels and muscle growth.
Our hunger levels can fluctuate depending on a range of things (extra physical activity, mood, fluid intake, sleep, what our hormones are doing that day…), but what’s important is how we deal with big changes.
Did you know that thirst is often mistaken for hunger? If you’re feeling a bit peckish, reach for a glass of water or herbal tea first. If you’re still not satisfied, just grab a light snack from the Keep It Cleaner planner.
We recommend about two litres per day – even more if you’re KIC’ing it at a high intensity. The best tricks for staying hydrated are drinking a glass of water each morning and making sure you have a water bottle handy wherever you go (seriously, that thing should be like your shadow).
Getting a tiny bit bored of plain water? Try adding some fresh lime, lemon or orange juice to zest it up.
Drinking enough water every day can prevent headaches caused by dehydration, boost the appearance of your skin (sayonara, pimples), increase your athletic performance, AND keep you fuller for longer. Win, win, win, win.
F-U-L-L! Foods are best when they’re closest to their original form – also, good fats keep you feeling fuller for longer! The same goes for all dairy products; just keep an eye on your portion sizes.
A lil’ change is always good. Just head to your Settings (under your Profile) and click ‘edit’ to bring up the meal options. Selecting something here will flip your entire meal plan, but PLEASE NOTE: if you made any swaps before changing, they won’t be saved. Also, if you do successfully swap, you’ll need to make a new shopping list.
We designed the meal plan to work in sync with the fitness guides, so if you want optimal results please try following both as closely as possible!
If that first receipt is stressing you out, keep these things in mind: you’ve just bought some staple ingredients that will last weeks, potentially months. That’s why you’ll find the cost of the meal plans decreases the longer you do the program. After a few weeks, you’ll mostly just be replenishing the fruit, veg, and meat sections every week. Also – keep in mind this is all for an amazing cause, YOU.
If you’d still prefer to keep costs down (life is exxy, we get it) here are a few tips:
The best prices aren’t necessarily at the big supermarket chains – ALDI is an affordable and fab alternative. Local markets also have amazing produce at a fraction of the price. Go towards the end of the day and snap up those bargains!
Jump at those specials, lady. LEAP! CRUNCH! LUNGE! RUN! If there’s an approved ingredient or product on sale, stock up! Also consider the freezer your best friend – that wizardly appliance will make sure any leftovers and ingredients don’t end up at the bottom of a bin.
For the record, things you can freeze include soups, stocks, berries, fritters & patties, muffins, balls & slices, pasta, pasta bakes, and stews. We wouldn’t recommend popping anything plant-based in there that has a high water content (we’re talking cucumber, celery, or lettuce), or storing any meat or seafood that’s already been defrosted and cooked. Another word of caution: dairy products like yoghurt can turn a bit icy and yuck when frozen – so leave them in the fridge!
YES! (It would be positively evil to say no to that question.) It’s great to catch up with your loved ones over a yummy breakfast or dinner.
If you want to choose a healthy alternative from the menu, here are our tips:
And if you do accidentally gorge on a calorific meal, don’t be hard on yourself! If today’s food sitch wasn’t ideal it’s just one, little day. No biggie! We’re focusing on long-term goals, so just start off tomorrow in the right way with a clean brekkie.
Firstly, major props for picking a lifestyle that’s so mindful of our earth – go you. Eating vego or vegan can require a touch more prep, but it’s certainly doable with Keep It Cleaner. Here are the things to look out for:
As much as we love plant-based foods, they’re not always amazing in the amino acids department. That said, you can boost a meal with the helping hand of legumes, tofu, soy milk, nuts and seeds, eggs, and dairy. Vegan girls – you will just need to pay some extra attention in this area to make sure your body isn’t missing out on any essential proteins.
Plant-based foods and iron are BESTIES. Only thing is, the iron found in veg and fruits can be tricky for the body to absorb on its own. Because of this, heaps of vegos and vegans take an iron supplement, especially if they avoid animal-based foods altogether.
Gotta give those bones what they want – especially when boxing’s involved! Adequate calcium intake is vital for a healthy diet, particularly in women, so if you avoid dairy products please chat with your doctor about a potential calcium supplement.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Your gut and brain LOVE Omega-3 fatty acids. If you don’t return that love by eating fish, incorporating flaxseed oil or algae oil instead can work wonders.
Again, your brain will thank you every time you consume Vitamin B12. This little beauty is only found in animal products, so vegans should be taking an appropriate supplement as advised by their doctor.
For a detailed review of your vegetarian diet and supplements, discuss with an accredited practicing dietitian.
Here are some alternatives you might like…
Coconut, soy or almond yoghurt.
The substitute for eggs depends on the recipe. In baking you can make a flax or chia egg by combining 1 tbsp flax meal with 2.5 tbsp water, mixi it together and allow to sit for 5 minutes until thickened. This will replace 1 egg. For breakfast recipes you can make scrambled tofu in place of scrambled egg.
There are many plant based milk substitutes. We suggest choosing a milk that is fortified with calcium. Milks like almond, soy or macadamia are all readily available and supermarkets and health food stores. It is best to choose unsweetened varieties.
Vegan cheese alternatives can be found in the chilled section of most supermarkets where you would find the tofu. Alternatively for that cheese flavour nutritional yeast can make a good parmesan substitute.
Tummy giving you a few troubles? That tends to happen to the majority of people who move to a vego diet. Don’t fret – the culprit here is all that extra fibre you’re consuming (which is awesome for your gut health, by the way). If the increase in gas is causing you discomfort, slowly incorporate legumes into your diet so it’s not too much of a shock to the system.
Start with a very small serve of legumes and gradually increase this over a week if you want to give your digestive system time to adapt. If the yuck symptoms (like bloating) just won’t subside, it might be best for you to switch to an another vegetarian protein source like tofu, dairy, or eggs.
We want to make our meal planner flexible to your needs. That’s why some of our recipes recommend adding your choice of dairy, pasta, rice or bread. We advise that you choose the one that best suits your dietary requirements.
Our dietician Marika recommend whole wheat, buckwheat or spelt pasta.
We personally recommend unsweetened Greek yoghurt and love YoPRO!
If you drink lots of milk choose a low fat or skim milk, if you only have small amounts choose whole milk. Choose organic or local product where available. If you milk doesn’t sit well with you lactose free milk is a good alternative otherwise use plant based milk such as unsweetened oat, almond or soy milk.
When it comes to bread, the more visible grains and seeds the better! Choose sourdough or wholegrain.
When it comes to cheese it is best to choose the variety you enjoy most and keep portion sizes to ~30g per serve. If you are someone who eats cheese regularly or likes to have lots of cheese choose a low fat cheese, otherwise enjoy the real deal in moderation.
Wholemeal pizza base
We don’t count calories here at Keep it Cleaner. We believe in fuelling your body with healthy, nutrient rich foods, not stressing out counting calories.
There’s no need to worry, our dietician has analysed each and every recipe to ensure it falls in line with the recommended amount for each meal plan – e.g. lean and strong.
We generally use grams and ml in our recipes but we know some people prefer to use cups. To make things easier for you, here are some common ingredient conversions…
1 cup = 250ml
1/2 cup = 125ml
1 tbsp = 20ml
1 tsp = 5ml
Almond Meal, 1 cup = 120g
Almonds, 1 cup = 140g
Dates, 1 cup = 155g
Desiccated Coconut, 1 cup = 85g
Flour, 1 cup = 140g
Oats, 1 cup = 105g
Peanut Butter, 1tbsp = 20g
Quinoa, 1 cup = 190g
Rice (uncooked), 1 cup = 210g
Oh, lady. Just you wait.
Mindfulness is a fancy-pants term for the mental state of being totally aware of your surroundings. Here at Keep it Cleaner, we think looking after our minds is just as important as looking after our bodies, which is why our planner includes quick and easy meditations. These will help you stop, sit, be present, and get a terrific night’s sleep. Practicing mindfulness is great for alleviating stress or anxiety, so please try it out – your mind will thank you for it.
We all feel stressed or anxious from time to time. If you feel your anxiety and stress levels exceed a normal level, or what is characteristic for you, please do not hesitate to seek help.
What you’re feeling is very common, which means there are so many people out there who can help. Consider reaching out to your family and friends to express how you’re feeling, and see a doctor or psychologist as soon as possible. For urgent mental health support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
If you are experiencing any kind of medical issue, please see a doctor or specialist ASAP. While our community will be there to support you, you should never take medical advice from anyone but a certified professional.
The information contained on this website should not be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified Doctor or other Health Care provider and is intended as a guide and for information purposes only. Please consult a registered medical practitioner if you have any health queries or concerns. We attempt to provide accurate and up to date information but no guarantee is made to that effect.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition affecting up to 18%of women of child bearing age. It is a condition whereby the ovaries produce excess androgens (hormones such as testosterone) and this results in the ovaries often failing to release an egg each month. This can lead to irregular or missed periods, excess hair/acne and the appearance of multiple small cysts on the ovaries. Some women also experience weight gain, trouble conceiving (Infertility) and thinning of their hair on the scalp. PCOS can also be associated with having anxiety and depression and it is not known whether or not this is due to the hormones or the symptoms such as weight gain, acne or excess hair.
Dr Bronwyn suggests seeing your Doctor to perform a thorough assessment and make a plan for treatment of PCOS. It depends on the types of symptoms and problems you are experiencing as to how things need to be managed. Healthy lifestyle measures such as: eating a low GI diet rich in fresh unprocessed foods, brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, fish, and ‘good oils’ such as olive oil; engaging in regular aerobic/moderate intensity exercise (aiming for 20-40 mins of moderate intensity exercise daily); and maintaining a healthy weight may assist in achieving regular periods, and/or reducing excess testosterone levels and therefore symptoms. There are also medications which can be used to help regulate your periods and/or reduce the appearance of acne and excess hair. The ability to use these medications depends on individual factors such as whether or not you are trying to conceive, wanting to regulate your periods, and if you have any other health concerns.
There are many causes for having a late period or missing a period. Reasons may include exposure to stress, jet lag, recent changes in weight or diet and extreme exercise/physical activity. You must always rule out pregnancy also.
There are some medical conditions which can cause you to miss your period that require you to see you doctor. These include Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and rarer conditions such as Thyroid disorders and high Prolactin levels which may require a blood test to diagnose. Some medications can also cause you to miss your period too. If you miss a period as a once off and you have confirmed you are not pregnant, this should be nothing to be overly concerned about. However, if this continues to be a regular occurrence you should ensure you see your Doctor (GP) to get things checked out.
Don’t we all! The theory is that in the week week leading up to your period, your hormone levels drop and as a result your serotonin (feel good chemical) levels can plummet. Eating carbohydrates can lead to a rise in your serotonin levels in your body. A rise in serotonin assists with making you feel good to cope with the PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) symptoms. Cortisol levels also surge just prior to your period and your body craves carbohydrates to assist in reducing your cortisol levels. There is also some thought that your sugar levels decrease just slightly due to the body being more sensitive to insulin in the latter part of the menstrual cycle hence the craving for carbs. Any carbohydrates such bread, cereal, fruit, potatoes etc. can assist in elevating your serotonin levels and glucose (not just ‘junk food’). Other foods which can lead to an increase in serotonin levels are foods high in vitamin B6 such as tuna, turkey, chicken, beef, bananas, nuts, and some fortified breakfast cereals. Taking a vitamin B6 supplement is also an easy and safe way to help PMS symptoms. Low magnesium levels can contribute to PMS symptoms so taking a magnesium supplement is also a safe way to help you feel better. Chocolate (especially dark) is also high in magnesium hence why you often crave this yummy treat. Other strategies to boost your mood include engaging in regular exercise and getting exposure to adequate sunlight.
Period pain occurs when the muscles of the uterus contract/tighten in response to the shedding of the lining of the uterus and is increased by the local actions of prostaglandins (pain causing chemicals). It is often experienced as a dull ache or heaviness in the lower abdomen and can sometimes radiate to the lower back or thighs. It can also be associated with nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, back pain and dizziness. Most women have experienced some kind of period pain at one time or another. Normal period pain should be self limiting and usually last only the first couple of days of your period and should respond to pain killers such as Panadol/Nurofen/Ponstan and/or taking the COCP. You should also be able to still go about your usual activities as normal. Should the pain not improve with the use of over the counter medications and it is interfering with usual activities you should see your GP. Your GP will take a thorough history and may order some investigations such as an ultrasound to work out what is going on and work out the next steps, which may include a referral to a Gynaecologist to help treat your pain.
For general enquiries, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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