By now you have probably figured out whether or not your hormones are out of whack. Fatigue, emotional ups and downs, trouble falling/staying asleep, PMS, sore breasts around your cycle, the need for caffeine to stay awake, overly oily/dry/acne prone skin, menopausal symptoms, irritability and infertility are all linked to hormones that are not in alignment.
Hopefully you have been able to implement some changes to your diet and life that are helping you to balance your hormones. Foods that cleanse and support the liver (cruciferous vegetables, bitter foods, etc.), maca root, deep belly breathing and morning lemon water are all good starts to getting your hormones in check (for more information on hormone balancing see here).
But I want to give you another tool to help your body come back and stay in alignment.
It's called seed cycling.
Seed cycling can help you balance your hormones so that your menstrual cycle can balance out, you can gain more energy, your skin can become smooth and conception can happen (if that is your goal).
And guess what? It's really easy. With seed cycling you will be rotating different seeds during your cycle to support optimal hormonal balance. The vitamins, nutrients and oils in seeds help support your body's creation, release and metabolism of hormones. The lignans in the seeds help bind excess estrogen and the omega 3's help keep the hormones in balance.
The seeds used in seed cycling are flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds. Flax seeds in particular have been shown to lengthen the luteal phase and result in a less likely chance that you will not ovulate. The zinc in pumpkin seeds helps the body release progesterone, as well as the zinc in sesame seeds. The selenium in sesame seeds also helps the body release progesterone. Try to seed cycle for about three months, or longer, for optimal results.
How To Seed Cycle
During your Menstrual (when you menstruate) and Follicular Phase (the few days following menstruation) :
Consume 1Tbsp raw ground Flax Seeds and 1Tbsp raw ground Pumpkin Seeds daily
During your Ovulatory (just after the follicular phase when you release an egg) and Luteal Phase (the phase following ovulation):
Consume 1Tbsp raw ground Sesame Seeds and 1Tbsp raw ground Sunflower Seeds daily
Grind your seeds in a clean coffee grinder or mini food processor every morning, or if you are short on time, grind your seeds for a few days worth and store them in the fridge to keep them fresh. As with any food, it is best to buy your seeds organically. This lessens the chance that your hormones will be disrupted by hormone disrupting chemicals found on and in conventional foods.
An easy way to eat your seeds every day is to consume them at breakfast. Sprinkle them on your oatmeal, put them in your smoothies/smoothie bowls or on top of your yogurt. You can also sprinkle them on your salads or blend them into energy balls.
Love and light xo,
I am writing today's post on transitioning to a plant based diet. There are a lot of people in the world today that are looking for a better, cleaner way of eating that makes them feel good. People are sick. People are tired. People and sick and tired of feeling like crap, being ill, being overweight, having hormones out of whack, feeling sluggish, having migraines, being infertile and being exhausted.
Right now is the time for change. Really.
Have you seen the proposed new Canada Food Guide? While it isn't perfect it is definitely a step in the right direction, leading people to eat more plant based foods and skip out more often on animal products. I say hallelujah for this because finally the consciousness of people is starting to shift to realize that yes, eating plants is healthier for your body and the environment. Finally all of us radical plant loving 'hippies' can start to have the labels removed. Not that I mind being a plant loving hippie. Not in the slightest.
Maybe you are wanting to add more plants to your diet, maybe you already are a vegan or vegetarian but need more information on how to properly be feeding that glorious body of yours, maybe you want to completely revert to eating only plants or maybe you just want to know what all of the fuss is about.
Well it's good you are here because I am about to give you the lowdown. The REAL lowdown. So you can stop being confused and start nourishing your body in a way that makes you FEEL good, LOOK good, BE good. Inside and out.
Here we go!
What is a Whole Food/Plant Based Diet?
-There are 20 different amino acids that can form a protein, and eight the body can’t produce itself. These are called Essential Amino Acids (E.A.A). We need to eat them because we can’t make them on our own. For a protein considered “complete” it must contain all 8 of these E.A.A. If you are missing just one of the 8 E.A.A then important body functions can’t be performed (such as enzyme building).
-Protein makes up about 20% of our body weight.
-So what does it mean for a vegetarian/vegan? If we don’t supply the body with enough protein it can’t repair and rebuild muscles which can lead to muscle loss and fatigue. This is especially crucial for people who are active. When we exercise hard or for long periods of time we use protein stores to fuel our body to keep us going (after the carb stores have run out).
-Amino acids are found in all foods. More abundant in “animal foods” (chicken, beef, eggs, dairy) but we can get enough by eating a variety of plant based whole foods in different combinations.
-Women need about 46 grams of protein per day, men need 56 grams. By eating one cup of beans (dried) you are getting 16grams of protein.
-Pasteurized milk is not actually a great source calcium because it loses its calcium and enzymes needed to digest calcium during pasteurization. Many people are unknowingly intolerant to milk. (For more info. on the calcium misconception, read my blog post on Making Nut and Seed Milk).
My diet consists of about 70% organic foods. I eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. I eat fish occasionally if I know how it was caught. I try to limit my dairy consumption and if I am eating dairy I am usually choosing goat. I try to eat as seasonally as possible and focus on foods that are locally grown and GMO free. We cook a lot at home and we’ve found that the more we prepare ahead of time, the more likely we are to choose healthy choices.
I am not an anomally. Of course I know more about foods than the average person but anyone can educate themselves these days. It took me about 3 years to get to the point with my diet that I’m at and happy with today. It just takes time, perserverance and a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone.
Light and love xo,