Decolonizing the Cycling Body with Saran, Hot + Brave Podcast



This week Bianca chats with Saran James-Vaughan from Wellness by Saran about menstrual wellness, reclaiming our place as experts in our own health and the importance of simple traditional practices as part of a mission to decolonizing the cycling body.

Click here for the transcript!

This week featuring:                                                                                                                                                          

Bianca Sprague feels especially passionate about creating access to quality pre & postnatal care for marginalized communities. She is an advocate for mental wellness for the entire family, and especially for the birthing parent, after suffering from PPD in silence and losing her father to suicide in 2012. She recognizes the barriers put in place for female entrepreneurs and believes that understanding the evolving online space can even the playing field for women in business.





Saran is the Founder of Wellness By Saran, a full-service Holistic Wellness Education platform dedicated to Menstrual Health and a decolonized approach to well-being. Saran is also a Cultural Curator and Advocate, creating safe learning spaces for Afro-diasporic People at the intersection of wellness, and culture.






Hot + Brave The Blog-Cast:

For this week’s podcast Bianca is joined by Saran James-Vaughan from Wellness by Saran to talk about getting in touch with our bodies and seeking care for decolonizing the cycling body. For those of us who menstruate “that time of the month” (our periods), are often something we dread. We suffer with immense pain, bloating and mental fatigue. In this episode, Saran provides listeners with some helpful tools that help us listen to our bodies and be better prepared and more in tune with our cycle. 

Healing our bodies or decolonizing the cycling body is hard because of so many external factors. We struggle so much in our lives, whether it is with paying our bills, dealing with family, or overall high levels of stress. So much of our bodies healing requires us to listen to its ques and to learn why it is reacting the way it is and what it is asking for. This can be so hard when a person already feels overwhelmed. All of these external stressors lead us to believe that we don’t know we have the mental ability to change things on our own. 

This said, in building cognitive confidence; the ability to trust our instincts, is something that can be honed over time. While we cannot simply wake up one day and say, “my period won’t get the best of me anymore” – this does not mean that we can not change our experiences on our own. Further, while we may not be able to do this overnight, Saran discusses the ways in which this process is more accessible to us than we think. 

First, on the path to changing our relationship to menstruation and our decolonizing the cycling body is the role of recognition. We must recognize that the pain is not normal. Having a period defined as near torture is not “just the way it is”. Moving past these beliefs and recognizing that pain is not the default is the first step in really getting in touch with your body. 

Throughout the episode, Saran Therefore Saran gives some additional steps that we can follow that do not require pills, doctor visits or surgeries. In line with the important role of recognition is the act of just listening to your body. This doesn’t mean that one is fixing themselves, just observing.  This helps gain bodily awareness. For example, “when do I feel this emotion” “when does my pain set in and what parts of my body are impacted?”. Journaling about body sensation and your emotional state can help tracing events and finding patterns. One might notice that they also have the same bodily reaction on a specific day each month, or that eating a specific food always triggers a negative response. Finding these patterns is a major step in identifying what your specific needs are. 

Next, Saran advises that we reach out for support to make change. This requires not just making a plan but ensuring you have support for the enactment of that plan. Next, it is helpful to address the foods you are choosing. This does not mean food restriction or dieting. Instead, this means identifying how your body reacts to certain foods at certain times. This is about  how you are nourishing your body, not the goal of changing our body with food. 

Noticing shifts in one’s cycle, and what external things are making us react makes us better prepared, so that we can anticipate things in context and not as a generalization of “my period sucks!” Being more aware of what our bodies are doing and what they are asking of us helps us better navigate different times in cycle. Again, this gives us an opportunity to notice patterns in our cycle so that we can take charge of our own healing. As such, we are able to reintroduce ourselves to our inner healer. 

What else is going on at bebo mia?

Book Club!

Doors are now open to register for our next book club which is happening on Tuesday February 28th, 2023 at 1pm EST. The book we’re reading this month is The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

How can I register?

Sign up for free at or via the link in our bio


Support a great cause!

The Ember Blueprint is raising funds for tuition for women in trades as well as stipends for students to provide care to under-resourced families. With over one thousand applicants in the last 5 years, it is clear that access to tuition is a barrier for women entering the trades.

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