An Introduction to Cyclical Eating
If you've been around here for a minute, you know that we prioritize our eating here! Better eating leads to better hormones which leads to a healthier cycle. We put together this "cheat sheet" to help you ease in to cyclical eating. Enjoy!
Swap the way you cook for each phase
In each phase, there's a different cooking method that is ideal for the body. This practice is rooted in Ayurvedic medicine which follows a seasonal cycle for eating as well.
Beginning with the Menstrual Phase, we want to eat well cooked foods like soups and stews. These will be easy to digest, and therefore easier for our body to get the nutrition it needs despite having low energy.
In the Follicular Phase, we're swapping to lightly steamed foods and probiotic rich fermented foods. A light cooking helps break down the foods we're eating, making the vitamins and minerals inside more available. Our bodies are ramping up in energy during this phase, so steamed veggie helps us stay balanced and fermented foods help prime the microbiome for the cycle ahead.
During the Ovulatory Phase, you may find yourself gravitating towards a salad! Weird! This phase is the best one to eat raw foods. We have a lot of estrogen to make digestion a breeze, and our body is its "hottest" (remember, this is our summer). Thus, raw foods can help cool us down and feel better. This is a good phase for that green juice.
In the Luteal Phase we want to swap to roasted and baked food and veggies. Roasting foods breaks them down pretty thoroughly, and again makes them easier to digest during a phase where our hormone levels are declining by the day.
Add a few common, easy to use veggies to your daily meals
Even eating 1 or 2 of these per day can make a difference.
Follicular: Parsley, green beans, carrots, broccoli
Ovulatory: Brussel sprouts, asparagus, scallions, spinach
Luteal: Cauliflower, onion, squash, sweet potato
Menstrual: Beets, kale, seaweed (sushi, anyone?), mushrooms
Remember, your body is wise. You may find yourself gravitating to these veggies naturally, or similar ones that aren't listed. Trust your intuition, and do your best to follow the recommended cooking methods for the phase you're in!
Eat to fight PMS
The late Luteal Phase is arguably the most important one to sync to because of PMS. Adding complex carbs like sweet potato, grains like wild rice, chickpeas, and apples are all difference makers! Complex carbs keep you fuller longer during a phase when your metabolism is sped up (yup, for real!) and fiber rich foods help flush excess estrogen and bring it into balance with your progesterone.
Which of these methods will you be trying first? Let us know in the comments!