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HORMONES - THE KEY TO SUCCESS

A message to women

If there is one message you take from the following information it is this: You are more insulin sensitive during the first phase of your cycle (menstruation through follicular phases) and more insulin resistant during the second phase of your cycle (ovulation through luteal phases - up until you bleed). Therefore - your body is more hormonally balanced due to the presence of increased estrogen levels - the more estrogen during our cycle the less impulsivity we experience. The same cannot be said for the 2nd 1/2 of our cycles when progesterone peaks and estrogen drops. This is WHY we tend to feel less than optimal right before our periods. *Remember this* What you may consider emotional eating is often hormonal eating. The key: emphasize protein and minimize, if not eliminate sugar all together in order keep insulin stable and facilitate smoother cycles. The more balanced your cycle - the less emotional and physical repercussions you experience. Take my word for it.

 

YOUR MENSTRUAL CYCLE

Your body's secret weapon - Your key to to balanced eating

MENSTRUAL PHASE

days 1-7

Focus on blood building foods. Water rich fruits and vegetables. Kale, kelp, wakame, mushrooms, water chesnuts, beets, artichoke, broccoli, carrot, green beans, zucchini. Include antioxidant rich smoothies. 
*You may be craving: Chocolate. Enjoy it! Try and stick to dark chocolate that is also dairy free to minimize dairy related hormonal breakouts. You're probably feeling a mix bag of emotions - both relief and fatigue. Lay low. Recline. Read and nurture yourself.

FOLLICULAR PHASE

days 8-15

Focus on foods that metabolize estrogen. Sprouted and fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi etc. Opt for dark leafy greens. Add vitamin C to help absorb iron. Nuts & seeds. Emphasize light, fresh & coloful foods. You're likely feeling energized and motivated! This is a great time to recommit, make plans and eat healthy because it's so much easier during this phase.
*You may be craving: Healthy foods! Relish in your favorite nourishing dishes! If there is a good time to eat carbs - this is the time - because we retain much less water during the follicular phase. Don't go crazy here but enjoy your favorite healthy starches and carbohydrates as they'll likely leave you feeling better, rather than worse (can't be said for the luteal phase).

OVULATORY PHASE

days 15-21

Estrogen spikes = support your liver. Whole fruits, veggies, nuts & seeds. Focus on fiber rich veggies. Brussel sprouts, chard, dandelion greens, okra, spinach, asparagus, escarole, scallions. Plus antioxidant rich fruits such as raspberries, strawberries & coconut increase glutathione and support the liver to detoxify rising hormones. 
*You may be craving: SALT & SEX...and maybe sushi, chips, popcorn. Try getting sodium through mineral rich crystal salts and whole foods. This is a good time to cook from home and avoid eating out. Increase protein and limit/reduce carbs if you're feeling sluggish. (oh....and indulge in some safe intimacy with your lover. Just be careful because you're highly fertile during this phase unless you're looking to conceive).

LUTEAL PHASE

days 22-28/35* depending on the length of your cycle

Estrogen & Progesterone rise and fall. It's good to eat foods that contain serotonin such as leafy greens & protein. Magnesium rich foods are also helpful such as dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds & spinach. Choose foods rich in B Vitamins, calcium & fiber to reduce sugar cravings, mitigate fluid retention & promote flushing of the hormones. Include cauliflower, collard greens, daikon, onion, parsnip, radish, squash, sweet potato. Sip on peppermint tea & low sugar smoothies

*You may be craving: Coffee, chocolate, steak. Eating during this week is usually hormonal eating and not emotional eating. Try Matcha tea, dark chocolate, grass fed meat & chlorophyll. If this time of the month is particularly difficult for you, aim to intentionally limit/reduce carbohydrates and sugar while focusing on healthy fats and protein.