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Eating for your cycle: From Ovulation to Luteal phase.


Illustration by Marta Pucci


So you've been building and nourishing your body throughout your follicular phase. Next up I will be going through food and recipe ideas for ovulation and the luteal phase.


This part of the cycle is about movement, warmth, explosions, dramatic shifts.

Ovulation is particularly exciting as there are "explosions" and the journey of the egg goes through twists and turns.


Looking closer at ovulation, this phase is seen as moving qi and blood in Chinese Medicine. From the follicle rupture to the egg travelling down the fallopian tubes and cervical position shifting its where the plot thickens and gets real interesting. From a dietary perspective foods that are pungent, aromatic, slightly sour, and slightly bitter will aid the important dynamics that need to take place during ovulation.



OVULATION FOODS

Onions, garlic, leeks, chives

Cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, mustard greens, turnip, kale

Radish, basil, cilantro, arugula, coriander seed, fennel, turmeric, cayenne, cardamom, and mint.


A small amount of sour foods will help with digesting these foods so don't be afraid to sprinkle or add them into your meals/drinks.

Lemon, grapefruit, vinegar, plums, and green apples.


Hot Tip: Want to get in the mood for baby making? Here are some foods with aphrodisiac properties :) Fenugreek, oysters, pistachios, saffron.



After ovulation we move into the luteal phase which is the yang part of the cycle. This means your temperature rises naturally due to the higher levels of progesterone, keeping the proverbial bun in the oven safe and warm. Your endometrium will also be at its thickest forming a cushion like environment for implantation.


LUTEAL PHASE FOODS


Luteal foods are warming and activating in nature.


Grains: Quinoa, sweet (glutinous) rice, wheat germ


Vegetables: Leek, mustard greens, onion, radish, scallion, squash, sweet potato, turnip, watercress, dark green veg.


Fruit: Cherry, lychee, peach, raspberry, strawberry


Nuts and seeds: Chestnuts, pinenuts, pistachio nuts, walnuts


Protein: Anchovy, lobster, mussel, prawn, shrimp, trout, chicken, lamb, kidneys (both beef and lamb)


Herbs and spices: Basil, black pepper, caper, cayenne, chive seed, cinnamon bark, clove, dill seed, fennel seed, fennugreek seed, garlic, ginger, horseradish, nutmeg, peppermint, rosemary, sage, spearmint, star anise, turmeric, thyme, white pepper



What your meals could look like.....



SUN

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with chives (Scrambled tofu for vegans)


Lunch: Roast chicken with lemon and rosemary. Roasted leeks, cabbage and brussel sprouts as sides. (Roast more veg with garlic and rosemary for veg/vegan)


Snacks: Plums & handful of roasted chestnuts




MON


Breakfast: Baked grapefruit with maple syrup and cinnamon


Lunch: Southern style mustard greens with bacon or your choice of protein

Image: The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen

Dinner: Tandoori (chicken, tofu, your choice of protein) with arugula

(Make your own tandoori rub with coriander seed, cayenne pepper, cardamom!)


Snacks: Green apple slices with peanut butter



TUES


Breakfast: Cinnamon Quinoa breakfast bowl (yes you can have quinoa for breakfast!)


Lunch: Sweet potato and squash soup


Dinner: Steamed mussels with garlic (oyster mushrooms/shitake mushrooms as veg/vegan alternative)


Snacks: Raspberries, strawberries and a handful of walnuts





Image: Love and lemons

WED

Breakfast: Omelette with your choice of filling

add some chopped up scallion and sprinkle with plenty of black pepper.


Lunch: Roasted veggie quinoa bowl


Dinner: Slow cooker lamb tagine


Snacks: Cherries plus handful of pistachios



DESSERT IDEAS

Cherry Bakewell Tart

Montblanc Chestnut Dessert

Apple Crumble


Happy cooking!


Missed the first part of eating for your cycle? Click here. The advice above are just general guidelines. However, when addressing specific concerns like PCOS, endometriosis, PIID etc I have individualised advice that is more appropriate. Contact me here for more info.



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