Phase 1: Menstrual Phase: The Chocolate Cup with Ginger + Honey
We've got willy wonka (+ his golden ticket) beat with this decadent chocolate cup, which is sweetened with natural ingredients to ensure it's sweet without causing your blood sugar to spike and then plummet (because the last thing we want is to feel even more tired during our cycle). Cacao is chock-full of magnesium, a key nutrient we lose while on our periods. It helps to relax our muscles and keeps our digestive track moving in the right direction. A go to treat for a cozy monthly moment.
Phase 2: Follicular Phase: Cinnamon Oat Cookie
Our Cinnamon Almond Butter Oatmeal Cookie is subtly sweet and nutty and falls apart in your mouth. It contains homemade cinnamon chips, greeting you with a burst of cinnamon-y honey flavor with each bite (and helping you stabilize blood sugar) and is our new breakfast treat alongside an iced chai tea latte. In the follicular phase, our bodies are working hard to grow a new egg, properly metabolize estrogen, and prepare for ovulation. Hormone experts like Alisa Vitti recommend supporting our gut as much as possible during this time by eating sprouted and fermented foods and using gentle cooking (think steaming or lightly sauteing) methods to help pre-digest nutrients so our digestion doesn’t have to work extra hard. Oats are a great source of a specific type of fiber called beta-glucan, which acts as a prebiotic for beneficial bacteria in our gut microbiome. Some of these little microbes in our gut help eliminate excess estrogen, which is important throughout the entire cycle, but especially as our hormone levels begin to increase (we don’t want to build estrogen up too high, too quickly). And what makes sprouted oats even better? Research shows that sprouted grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes are easier to digest, which means we can absorb even more of those sweet nutrients found in oats like protein, iron, phosphorous, and magnesium. All the warm and fuzzies.
Phase 3: Ovulatory Phase: Lemon Poppyseed Bite
Lemon me tell you..this raw bite is a DREAM. It’s refreshing and perfectly sweet taste makes it the perfect snack to wake up to, to sneak off to during that 3 pm slump or to savor as an after dinner snack. Estrogen levels continue to rise and peak just after ovulation, so it is important to continue to reach for fiber- and antioxidant-rich foods during this phase to support the body’s production of a powerful antioxidant called glutathione, which helps support the liver in detoxifying. This ensures any excess estrogen can be metabolized (read: flushed out so that it doesn’t hang around your body) and help avoid excess build-up and in turn, PMS symptoms. Foods rich in vitamin C, such as lemon, help the body produce more glutathione through recycling. This phase is all about focusing on fresh, vibrant foods to keep your energy levels high. Plus — besides being totally delicious, lemons are high in vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron. This is a reason to cheer when we're losing anywhere from four tablespoons to one cup of blood every month. Time to replenish.
Phase 4: Luteal Phase: The Sweet Potato Brownie
If you haven't noticed already, we're a lot about comfort and these Sweet Potato Brownies created by recipe-developer-extraordinaire Rachel Mansfield are no exception. This treat is perfect for when those carb-cravings kick in and help support your body with their vitamin-b packed goodness. They also contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which studies show can help reduce cramping pain. With their counterpart, Maple Syrup, they are comfort creatures waiting to cuddle up with you and the third season of Outlander. If only we could deliver Jamie to your door...