Have you ever noticed that your energy levels fluctuate throughout the month, and there always seems to be one week you just feel, well, “heavier”?
Each month your body works hard to prepare itself for ovulation and menstruation.
And even if you’re not still menstruating, you may experience these affects.
During the four phases of your cycle each month, your body’s nutrient needs vary. That’s why nourishing your body through food, movement and sleep can look different with each phase of the month.
Providing your body with the right nutrients during each phase of your cycle – or cycle syncing – will help keep energy levels steady, cravings at bay, and make PMS symptoms almost nonexistent.
Week 1 – Menstruation Phase – It’s day one of your period – you may feel like you can barely lift your head from your pillow. Estrogen is low at the beginning of this week but will increase as the week goes on and so will your energy.
Supportive foods to incorporate the first few days of your cycle:
- Iron Rich Foods – red meat and dark leafy greens
- Warming Foods – rich spices that can be used in soups and stews
- Low Glycemic Foods – choose fruits and veggies that offer a high water content as well as fiber
- Kale, organ meats and mushrooms are great choices this week.
Week 2 – Follicular Phase – Energy levels have picked up, and light, bright colorful foods will keep you satisfied this week. Salads, stir fries and sautés are a great choice this week.
- Lean Proteins – easy to prepare and keep on hand for quick meals.
- All The Herbs – herbs will offer powerful nutrient boosts while adding color and flare to your meals.
- Crispy, Crunchy Veggies – carrots, snap peas and string beans can be easily prepped ahead.
- Think Simple – easy sautés and stir fry’s are best this week. Use leans meats and lots of colorful veggies to fill your plate.
Week 3 – Ovulatory Phase – This week estrogen levels are at their highest as well as testosterone levels are beginning to rise. You may notice that you feel more social, positive and frisky this week. With estrogen high, your need for carbohydrates will decrease due to estrogen’s appetite-suppressing effect. Think protein, fat, and fiber this week.
- Fiber From Greens – choose fibrous greens like asparagus, chard and dandelion greens to help flush the increased levels of hormones from your liver this week.
- Nuts and Seeds – This is a great week to use nuts, like pecans and pistachios, and seeds, especially sunflower and sesame, as your carbohydrate source.
- Antioxidants – increase antioxidants this week by incorporating berries and coconut into a morning smoothies. Antioxidants will help with detoxification this week.
Week 4 – Luteal Phase – This is the last week of your cycle and you may find yourself dealing with some PMS symptoms. To avoid indulging the entire box of cookies be prepared by having the right foods on-hand. Plan out three really nutritious meals that will help keep cravings away. Digestion also slows down this week so opt for foods that are rich in fiber and magnesium.
- Roasted Carbohydrates – roasting root veggies like sweet potatoes, pumpkin or squash make digestion easier and offer tons of fiber. This also helps combat sugar cravings!
- B Vitamin Foods – Foods rich in vitamin B6 can aid in fluid retention as well as continued detoxification and removal of excess hormones from the liver. Awesome meats Include wild caught salmon or lean chicken breast.
- Prebiotic Foods – Include foods like onion and garlic this week to keep good gut bacteria working hard. This will help with elimination during this week.
Incorporating cycle syncing foods during each phase of your cycle can offer some great benefits. Keep it simple at first and each month add in something new. Remember, your body’s hormone levels are varying throughout the month, there are many things you can do to work WITH your cycle, rather than fight against it. The right foods can be so supportive and nourishing for your body!