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.
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.....
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
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
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
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
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.