How to Use Seed Cycling in your Armour of Happy Hormones

Balanced happy hormones really are a Mums best friend. They help us to raise happy humans, calmer moods to deal with erupting tantrums as in the case in my house, sleep, fertility, mental, physical, and emotional energy, libido, clearer skin, stronger hair and our happy weight place. Pretty long list right!? Learning how to use seed cycling in your armour of happy hormones is a must for any struggling mums.

Hormones can be pretty tricky, and easily can get their noses out of joint (A bit like my 15 year old self). If we are not doing a few things to support them, giving them no excuses not to play fair and be in perfect balance. But hail above, when things go wrong, and they sometimes do we can be prepared.  Turning to food which can be our medicine if allowed to be mother nature and mother moon are always my first ports to call to.

 

The role of seed cycling and hormones

Seed cycling was actually how I got started in my Menstrual cycle syncing journey many moons ago when I was experiencing my miscarriages from 2009-2014. How seed cycling works is the consumption of ground, if possible, seeds in your diet during different phases your female cycle. All these seeds have amazing health benefits (of course some may have a particular intolerance to seeds as some people have with different foods so pay attention to this). Different seeds have different nutritional properties and play a role in supporting healthy levels of specific hormones at the certain times of your cycle. What I love is how seed cycling can be used in our armour of happy hormones and can benefit Women of all ages in their hormonal health.

 

Which seeds do I take and in which phase of my cycle?

As I teach in my week 4-week self-study Align & Thrive course we have 4 phases to our cycle.

  1. The Menstrual phase.
  2. The Follicular phase.
  3. The ovulatory phase.
  4. The luteal phase.

Seed cycling focus on boosting oestrogen levels during the first 2 phases, and boosting progesterone levels and oestrogen metabolization during the next 2 phases.

  • During the first 2 phases, I recommend eating 1 tablespoon of both ground flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds which are rich in phytoestrogens, a natural source form of oestrogen. I mention ground as its easier on the digestive system to extract the nutrients and kinder on digestion.
  • During the next 2 phases I recommend eating 1 table spoon of both sesame and sunflower( The power of the 2 S’s)  containing zinc (sesame)and Vit E (sunflower) both needed for the production of progesterone  which we cannot get alone from food.

 

Why are we experiencing unbalanced hormones?

My opinion on this and I know also shared by others is that we are living in a very different world then perhaps our grandparents, maybe even our parents were. In some cases, this is a positive. Except in the case of our hormonal health as women today.  In an ideal world as women, we would have an ideal ratio of oestrogen & progesterone which ebbs and flows through the month. However, our role as women and mums has changed through the years. We are constantly juggling stressors, including environmental toxins, food toxicity  digestive issues, a rise in food intolerances, and of course the crutch a lot of us have relied on to get through over the 2 years is more  alcohol and coffee consumption. All of which can send us into hormonal chaos.

That is why my word of the year is progress not perfection. If we can focus on some small changes through food, movement and mindset we can steer our hormones towards a space that is kinder to you, especially if you’re heading into or already in your 40’s. Seed cycling is a simple way to get started on nourishing your body.

 

Is seed cycling for me?

If you are experiencing sign of low oestrogen or oestrogen dominance which could also mean low progesterone, then my answer is yes. How we support each phase of our cycle with food including seed cycling could have a balancing effect on the above. Of course, this is not some magic spell, there are several other factors we need to address. But this is a great way to start introducing you to how to balance and support your hormones through food and mother nature.

 


Ways to work with me

  1. Book a free no obligation hormone clarity call
  2. Buy my 4-week self-paced Align & Thrive cycle syncing course.
  3. Join my 3 month Nourish Move & Thrive group Programme.

Don’t forget to join my FREE Facebook members group

 

Disclaimer-All the information here is not medical advice. Please be advised if you have any particular disease or are being treated to always get advice from your practitioner.  

A Happy Hormones sign with a bowl of cereal in front

The 3 worst foods you can eat for imbalanced Hormones

Do you know what the 3 worst foods you can eat for imbalanced hormones?

 

You might be thinking why should I care about my hormones Michelle.  I just wanna feel happy, have clothes that fit and stop the bloating.  It’s not too much to ask is it? Absolutely not and you deserve all those things and more. Firstly, as a women you should absolutely understand your hormones and the role they play in helping you feel energised, confident, healthy and happy.  Moreover, did you know hormones help control every physiological process in your body.  Starting with  a strong healthy metabolism, your menstrual cycle to reproductive health, your immune response, and mental health. So if we think about it our Hormone balance is vital to feeling confident, happy and being healthy. To start with I am going to be sharing the 3 worst foods you can eat for imbalanced Hormones

 

What you eat  can help and hinder hormone balance.

It really isn’t that complicated, but it takes dedication and a little time to plan ahead at first. But once you get the hang of it you will never go back. Because you will feel like the women you deserve to feel like, you, but a better happier version of you.  Starting with eating a well-balanced diet, not restrictive nutrient deprived diets. And also by consciously looking at  reducing stress- all kinds of stress is key to happy healthy hormones. I am not talking extreme restrictive diets that lets be honest just don’t work for busy working mums.  I wanted to share my top three foods to avoid if you are struggling with hormonal weight gain, anxiety and overwhelm,  You may be surprised by what makes the list. Let’s look at 3 of the naughty offenders that you can eat for imbalanced Hormones:

1.Sugar

Sugar is an obvious first ladies. It can wreck your health and hormone balance. It raises insulin, which puts stress on the pancreas.  I would like you to think of insulin as the housekeeper of your body. If you were a fan of father Ted, I am Irish,  then think about Mrs doyle the housekeeper. She is  running around all day mopping up the sugar in your bloodstream and moving it into the cells to be used as energy. The majority of times our muscles are full so off it goes to the liver as stored energy. Unfortunately if there is still sugar left  it’s off to our fat stores which for most women is around the midsection or hips and thighs.

2. Gluten

Gluten is a big problem, Ladies. Because it is known as a hormone disruptor, driving  inflammation up in our body. inflammation means one thing, stress!! Therefore it will react the same way to gluten or stress from your boss roaring at you. So the idea behind balancing our hormones is to reduce the stress load on the body. This helps to bring inflammation down which can be contributing to bloating, weight gain, anxiety, messed up periods. Gluten is also known to increase intestinal permeability (leaky gut), inhibit thyroid function, stress the adrenal glands, and also affects immunity. So you can start to see a picture emerging here right?

3.Mass-Produced/Factory Farmed Animal protein

Sadly Ladies we no longer live in a generation like our grandparents. In short the quality of our food has quickly gone down hill and unfortunately animals raised in factory farms are a lot of times unfit for human consumption.  If we look at some of the issue to start with there are a host of problems. Ranging from improper sanitation to use of antibiotics (an attempt to prevent overcrowded animals from getting too sick to be harvested).  Even  hormones are thrown in the mix (designed to make animals bigger for more meat yield or to produce more milk for the dairy industry). Making better decisions around the quality of your meat is a great way to start. Meat is an important source of quality complete protein.  Of course it’s role is crucial in Hormonal Health.

Conclusion

Look my lovely the world of health and Hormones is a lonely and confusing time. But it does not have to be. Strive for  progress not perfection. Always ask for help its a sign of strength not weakness. Begin with one area such as one of the three worst foods above for your hormonal health. This is a change for life not just a quick fix and I would love to support you on this journey.

Connect with me on instagram  as Id love to connect and  I share some great tips  on how to make better choices on your budget for your particular goals.

If you would like a little more help be sure to book a free call and lets have a chat. Hundreds of women have gone on to achieving happier more confident lives by making that first step. To hear more about some real women’s stories  and their amazing results pop here and meet some fab ladies just like you who got meaningful results that mattered to them.

Hugs & Moon magic

Michelle x

A post with signs of imbalanced hormones written

What is the dirty dozen & clean fifteen food list?

What is the dirty dozen & clean fifteen food list?

Each spring, the EWG publicly publishes a list of the top 12 fruit and vegetables that they say contain elevated levels of pesticides and that may be concerning to people. It explains what is the dirty dozen & clean fifteen list. Details on amounts and percentages you can check out the website directly on 

https://www.ewg.org/foodnews

Why should I care what the dirty dozen & clean fifteen is if I am a menstruating women?

This is not meant to be a scare mongering blog. It is one to highlight the point of understanding where food comes from and the choices you make can affect your health and wellbeing. Most women I work with are between the ages of 32-45. It is a time where hormones are running the show ladies, especially around managing stress, more balanced moods, less angry mommy, weight that’s creeping on and not budging. We are going through one of the biggest shifts apart from puberty. And what we put into our body influences them either negatively or positively so its worth paying attention.

What are the signs of imbalanced hormones in a women?

What are the signs of imbalanced hormones? Great questions and something all women should be educated on from an early age. Would you agree?

Symptoms  vary from person to person which is why it’s important not to self-disguise. Examples of the ladies I have worked with include

  • Difficulty shifting weight and over exercising.
  • Some experience Period problems such as painful, irregular, heavy, clotty which by the way may be common but are not normal.
  • Are you Waking up with Foggy brain, low moods, low energy?.
  • Libido has gone walkies back to the year 2000 where parties still exist.
  • Problems getting pregnant or staying pregnant which was how I got into Women’s hormonal health having experienced 4 miscarriages over a no of years trying to get pregnant.

 

What sort of things negatively impact a woman’s hormones?

Hormones are heavily influenced by endocrine disruptors such as pesticides and chemicals in food and skin products. Other hormone disruptors include stress, over exercising, inflammation, mis managed blood sugar levels and impaired gut function. Which is why on my Nourish- Move -Thrive programmes we focus on managing all of these week by week in order to create long term habits that change lives(My clients words not mine in case you think I am tooting my own horn).

Do I have to buy everything organic to help balance hormones?

Listen I am a big believer in Imperfect action. Why? Because it gets the ball rolling, right! My mission is to encourage women to understand their bodies better to make their own individual choices. I have a little girl and I want her to understand how food and her body is connected. I want her, as I want you, to make choices because you understand the connection. Not because you read in a magazine it was something you should do by a celebrity. Of course, there will be armies of different opinions on these lists but we can’t dispute that food is heavily sprayed now. Another point worth mentioning is our soil is not an nutrient rich as it perhaps once was. The link below is a great overview if you wanted to know more on the effect of soil on human health.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5800787/

How to shop organic on a budget

Look at the list. Do you identify any foods that you eat a lot of? Then I would recommend you swap that particular food  to organic if it’s something you consume on a daily basis. Make your budget work by choosing organic for the foods on the list that you eat a lot of.

  • If you are on a budget, or just a savvy women or mum who wants to be smart with choices around   food and their health. Sounds like most of the amazing  women I work with 😊  Swap out some of the culprits for a food on the clean list (I will be adding a post on this next week with some recipes including clean 15 foods) that is similar in nutrients. For example, swapping out Potatoes for sweet Potatoes which on the clean list.

So I know you are waiting for me to tell you exactly what is the dirty dozen and clean fifteen food list. So here it is..

The 2021 dirty dozen list (sourced from the EWG site)

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

The 2021 clean fifteen list (sourced from the EWG site)

  1. Avocado
  2. Asparagus
  3. Broccoli
  4. Cabbage
  5. Cauliflower
  6. Cantaloupe
  7. Eggplant
  8. Honeydew melon
  9. Kiwi
  10. Mushrooms
  11. Onions
  12. Sweetcorn
  13. Pineapple
  14. Papaya
  15. Frozen Peas

It’s so overwhelming where do I start with balancing hormones?

The world of Nutrition is a busy and noisy space where information is constantly changing and being updated. Would you would like some information and support on overcoming any of your symptoms which are causing you un-necessary stress and anxiety ?

Step 1 Book in a free 30 minute no obligation chat where I can listen and advise you on the best possible place for you to start.  Allowing some time for small consistent habits to develop is why I have helped hundreds of women such as yourself live a more balanced, less anxiety filled life. I hope you have got value from this blog What is the dirty dozen and clean fifteen food list and do sign up to the monthly newsletter on tips and recipes to help incorporate more of these foods.

Do not suffer in silence anymore.

Book your free 30 minute discovery call via the link below.

Yes please mIchelle I need some help https://Nourishmovethrive.as.me/

cycle syncing meal of beef and cauliflower dish

What are the benefits of eating cyclically?

What are the benefits of eating cyclically?

Being a woman we truly have the power to achieve so much on our terms. When we decide to tap into the innate wisdom of the female body- our hormonal superpowers.  Have you ever wondered why we wake up feeling differently daily maybe weekly throughout your cycle? By the way this is a pretty real experience, for me included. So how does that work Michelle? What are the benefits of eating cyclically? Well hear me out my friend. Your hormone levels rise and fall throughout the month, I like to call it the monthly hormonal dance. Meaning no day is ever the same really. If we really think about this for a minute.. Do you think now it kinda makes sense to support our bodies throughout each phase with nutrients from food to support those shifts?

How do I eat to balance hormones for weight loss?

If we think about the 4 phases, what is happening, what do you we need to support? Perhaps we want to help balance oestrogen and progesterone out during the middle of our cycle when hormones are their highest? One thing we may do is add lots of fermented and high fibre foods to ensure our gut and liver  is detoxifying and eliminating old hormones. Include foods high in zinc and B6 to support progesterone production. Did you know we can get oestrogen from food but we cannot get progesterone from food. Bottom line is we need to include key nutrients to help and support progesterone. Addressing some stressors in our life may be necessary as may be negatively impacting our hormones.

The result of balanced hormones

To be honest this shows up very differently for women. You are as individual and unique as your cycle so those breadcrumbs may show up very differently in your sister or best friend.  What are the benefits of eating cyclically? A few common symptoms of unbalanced hormones.

  1. Maybe you experience sore breast around ovulation or menstrual cycle.
  2. Ever experienced a strange early or late periods.
  3. You notice Belly fat that increases the more exercise you do.
  4. Don’t get me started on hip and back fat increasing.
  5. Problems getting pregnant.
  6. My own experience of recurrent miscarriages.
  7. Feeling low moods or depression.
  8. Monthly bloating & fluid retention.

Which phase would benefit most from this recipe?

This weeks recipe can be adapted to any stage of your cycle by swapping some ingredients around. I love to add this recipe in mid cycle during the follicular and ovulatory phase. Lamb is a great source of lean protein and zinc, which we need for progesterone production during the second half of your cycle. Cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable supports the liver and supports detoxifying old hormones such as oestrogen. This ensures we have balanced levels of progesterone and oestrogen. Pomegranate can help boost fertility in women by increasing blood flow to the uterus and thickening the uterine lining. It is also a rich source of Vitamin C, B6 needed for progesterone production( Chickpeas are also a great source) and magnesium(Natures tranquiliser).

Magnificent creatures

So ladies we are truly moving on from the days of starving ourselves for  weight loss and hormones balancing goals. Focusing on Nourishment not deprivation. Focusing on what you can add to your daily meals and not about what you have to give up.

Roast Lamb with rose harissa chickpeas & spiced pomegranate cauliflower.

Ingredients

  • Medium size rump of Lamb.
  • Half a head of Cauliflower.
  • A small pomegranate.
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes.
  • Half a tin of chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons of rose harissa paste.
  • Half teaspoon of cumin seeds & ground cumin.
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle of black sesame seeds.
  • 1 tbl spoon of coconut oil.
  • Table spoon of olive oil.
  • Couple of sprigs of rosemary.
  • Pinch of salt pepper.

Method

  • Scour the lamb skin.
  • Season well with a little oil, salt and pepper.
  • Seal in the pan skin side down on a high heat.
  • Place in oven for 30mins for medium rare-medium(If using a bigger cut increase the time)
  • Next move onto the cauliflower.
  • Cut into small chunks and place in a bowl.
  • Mix all the spices, harissa paste and coconut oil and rub well together.
  • In an oven tray place in oven for about 15 mins.
  • Remove the cauliflower mix and add the chopped tomatoes and half tin of chickpeas.
  • Back in oven for another 10 minutes until chickpeas and tomatoes are roasted down.
  • Remove the lamb and leave to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Serve up the cauliflower mix on the side of the lamb.
  • Sprinkle the pomegranate & black sesame seeds over the dish.

Looking for a bit of science behind the menstrual cycle?

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-32647-0

I hope you enjoy Ladies and Happy international Women’s day for tomorrow.

xx Michelle

a bowl of mung bean prawn curry

Lose pounds and support your liver through food.

Mung bean, spinach and prawn coconut curry.

Hands up if this has happened to you too? You’re doing your cupboard clear out when suddenly, a packet of strange looking beans jump out. Your mind flashes back to January, an article you read in the latest Health magazine- they were good for weight loss or something!  Maybe it even mentioned lose pounds and support your liver through food?!

Listen up, I am here to tell you not to fear the funny little beans. The health magazine was right they have amazing weight loss, energy boosting, nutrient packed qualities. But most of the time we read it, we buy them, we leave them to grow roots….. Literally growing roots in the darkest corner of the cupboards. Fear not, I’m here to help you overcome your fear of cooking with beans. The benefit being, lose pounds and support your liver through food. Through this we can work towards hormone balancing, reducing stress, low moods and gut issues.

Benefits of yummy Mung beans

  • A great source of B vitamins, Vitamin C, folate, iron, copper, magnesium, and vitamin K.
  • Fantastic amount of fibre which helps eliminate toxins through the gut quicker. Around 15 grams per cooked cup. That’s about half your recommended 30 grams a day. BAM…..
  • High in antioxidants and flavonoids which helps the liver detoxify unwanted substances.
  • High in veggie protein, which as we know is essential for hormone production and weight loss to name just 2 benefits.. The protein & Fibre combo is a win win when it comes to weight loss and cravings. One cup of cooked mung beans has about 15 grams of protein. That’s the same as 2 medium eggs. BAM….

Cycle syncing phase?Lose pounds and support your liver through food

Again eating well has its place in any part of your cycle. But when eating cyclically we want to ensure we are getting the nutrients our body needs during each phase to support balanced hormones, detoxification, gut health, stable blood sugar, fertility, bad pmt & weight loss. This recipe is great during the middle part of your cycle- Follicular & ovulatory phases. When hormones are on the rise during these phases one priority is looking to support digestion and detoxification. Packed full of lean protein, greens, & sulphur veggies it’s a win win recipe. You can adapt some of the ingredients to fit whatever phase of your cycle your in. Remember cycle syncing nutrition & movement is about small consistent lifestyle changes to support you, not to overwhelm you. If one goal is to lose pounds and support your liver through food, your inn the right place.

Recipe ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil.
  • A Tbsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, ground chilli, turmeric
  • 7 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 can of 330ml coconut milk
  • 1 packet of 330ml of pasata
  • 3 cups of mung beans
  • 3 cups of water
  • Bag of Prawns(optional)
  • Cup of chopped broccoli and cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons of grated ginger
  • Half a bag of spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt
  • Juice of 2 limes & the zest
  • 1 tablespoon of lemongrass puree

Directions

  1. Heat the cooking oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the cumin seeds & cumin powder and cook for about 1 minute, be wary not to burn.
  3. Crush the garlic and for about 2 mins keep stirring so it doesn’t stick and burn the garlic.
  4. Next add the pasata, ginger, coriander, turmeric, salt, and cayenne.
  5. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes, and keep stirring.
  6. Add the water and mung beans. Increase the heat to high , bring to boil, then reduce to low, and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, stir to prevent the mixture sticking to the bottom.
  7. I always suggest to taste a few mung beans to make sure they are cooked. Once cooked, stir in the coconut milk, and lemongrass simmer for about 10 minutes.
  8. In a separate pot steam the broccoli & cauliflower. Once cooked put aside and add to the bottom of your serving bowl( I don’t like the veg breaking down in my curry.
  9. Now you can add the lime juice & grated zest.
  10. Add the raw prawns and spinach about 1 minute before finishing.
  11. I am not a fan of coriander( I know weirdo right!) but if you like feel free to add as garnish on top. If you would like more heat try adding some chopped chillies on top.

Other articles of interest

The benefits for other health conditions is also evident. I have included a link if you wanted a little more information.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324156#how-much-to-eat

I hope you enjoy and look forward to hearing your comments and pictures. Please share all your pics to ..

Http://www.instagram.com/newbodyandsoulmom

Michelle xx

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