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.  

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

A white bowl of soup with roasted pumpkin seeds on top

Using food in your armour of health & happy hormones.

Roasted Cauliflower, garlic, turmeric soup topped with roasted pumpkin seeds.

Using food as medicine could be one of the most valuable weapons in your armour against imbalanced hormones. Digestive issues, brain fog, weight gain, depression,insomnia and tiredness. Only some of the common complaints I have helped my clients bounce back from. Using food in your armour of health & happy hormones is something all of us can start with.

Magic spell?

Unfortunately there are no magic spell when it comes to Happy hormones. But one thing is for sure, hormones are responsible for how we think, feel and look. And the sooner we realise that our thoughts, actions, even feelings all influence the delicate orchestra that is our endocrine system the smoother the journey will be . Again an easy place to start is in our kitchen. Using food in your armour of health & happy hormones is something all of us can start with.

Are you ready to take the journey to a happier, confident you?Using food in your armour of health & happy hormones.

The journey to a happier, more confident you really doesn’t have to be on top of a forbidden mountain. I like to think of it as a journey of self discovery. A journey where you learn to listen to your body, what works for you, to be kinder and more tolerant. It is not just another diet, but a way of living that will nourish your mind and your body. On this journey I will share my knowledge, education, recipes, and my experiences. Allowing you to be a vibrant, happy, confident women. Something we all have the right to feel without guilt or question. Using food in your armour of health & happy hormones.Today I am sharing a wonderful tasty recipe with you.

Endless health benefits

  • This recipe is packed full of pro & prebiotics for gut health.
  • Amazing Anti-inflammatory herbs & veggies.
  • Packed full of sulphur veggies to support the liver & excess oestrogen detoxification.
  • Source of low gi carbohydrates for slow energy release and balancing blood sugar levels.
  • An amazing recipe for any stage of your menstrual cycle but particularly great for the mid to second half of cycle. This is where hormones are on the rise so we want to ensure good detoxification & stable blood sugar to help prevent cravings, Pmt, bloating.

Ingredients

  • 1 big head of cauliflower cut into small pieces.
  • A few pieces of the cauliflower leaves.
  • 1 whole head of garlic peeled and whole
  • 1 whole onion chopped
  • 3 stems of fresh turmeric cut up to nail size(dried also fine)
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • Pinch of pepper(needed for good absorption of turmeric)
  • 1 & 1/2 litres of veggie stock.
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Method

  1. In a roasting tin mix the turmeric, cauliflower pieces, garlic, pepper, cumin together.
  2. Rub all the pieces with the coconut oil.
  3. Roast until caramelized about 30 minutes.
  4. Once cooked chuck it all onto a big pot with your stock.
  5. Blitz until smooth or the consistency you like.
  6. Dry fry some pumpkin seeds for 2 mins until golden.
  7. Chop roughly and serve on top of your soup.
  8. Enjoy, cook a batch for the busy week ahead.

If you liked this recipe be sure to sign up to my monthly newsletter(link below) where I will be sharing lots of tips and help to get you started on your Happy Hormone journey.

http://www.newbodyandsoul.com

Michelle xx

a picture of a white and bluebowl of kale and chicken chilli

How much protein do I need to eat for weight loss & hormone balancing?.

The role of protein in weight loss & hormonal balancing. How much protein do I need to eat for weight loss & hormonal balancing.

I describe protein as the building blocks of our body. It plays a part in so many different essential functions in the body. Including building lean muscle tissue, making hormones, enzymes, healing and repairing your body and cell development. And of course the purpose of the blog is weight loss & hormone balancing. Pretty important stuff right? By not giving our body the correct amounts it’s easy to see how we can suffer as a result! And our body, your bestest friend is pretty good at giving you little clues or breadcrumbs if she is not happy. So the question is how much protein do I need to eat for weight loss & hormonal balance.

Meat V veggie protein

So let’s break down the nutrition jargon. When we eat protein we break it down to usable pieces called amino acids(Think carbohydrates are broken down into a useable form, glucose-sugar) There are 20 amino acids, 9 essential and the 11 the body can make the other 11. Animal sources contain all of the 20 amino acids and are commonly known as complete proteins. Plant proteins are known as incomplete, which means that they are missing at least one of the essential amino acids. They still absolutely have value and don’t forget all the other amazing health benefits. Fibre, antioxidants, abundant amounts of vitamins and minerals. I personally aim to eat 50% vegetarian a week and love the challenge of getting a wide array of veggie sources. Thinking outside the box with cooking and recipes is also fun and I love to pass this knowledge onto my clients and friends.

Sources of veggie protein

Some examples of plant-based foods rich in protein.

  • Nuts & seeds.
  • Bean & Pulses.
  • Some fruits like avocado
  • Peas & seeded veggies.
  • Hemp.
  • Soy and tempeh.
  • Quinoa, whole wheat, oats, amaranth & buckwheat.

Sources of animal protein

  • Red Meat
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Fish & shellfish

Protein -its Thermic value & why its pretty cool!

When you eat , some of the calories from that particular food are used for the purpose of digestion and metabolism of that food.

This is often referred to as called the thermic effect of food (TEF).

We are not entirely sure of exact amounts as expert opinions vary. But what they can seem to agree on is that protein has a higher thermic effect around 30 % compared to  carbohydrates 10 %(estimate) and fat 3%(estimate)

What does that mean for me Michelle? Breaking it down it simply means, if we look at protein rich meals such as my Turkey , bean and kale chilli? And look back to the numbers above -Thermic effect of 30% for protein, would that 100 calories of protein only end up as 70 usable calories, and the other 30 will be used for digestion & metabolism of the protein..

How much protein a day should I be eating for hormone balancing & weight loss?

How much protein should I be eating for weight loss & hormonal balancing. There is no simple answer I am afraid. It comes down to you as as an individual. When I am assessing a client’s food diary there is a number of questions I take into account. All of these questions will make a huge difference to the amount of protein they may need to achieve their goals of weight loss and balancing hormones.

  • Their age.
  • Their exercise activity level.
  • How are their stress levels.
  • How well is their sleep.
  • Weight.
  • Recovering from any illness or surgery.
  • Pregnant, postpartum & breastfeeding or trying for a baby.
  • Breadcrumbs such as skin, hair and nails health. How are their periods? Tiredness, indigestion or any gut issues. Cravings and intolerances.

Government guidelines

I have included a link from the British nutrition society which gives their recommendations on protein intake. But take into consideration all of the questions above. I myself aim for about 1.2-1.5 grams per kg of bodyweight for my weight loss goals, exercise goals and role in balancing my hormones. .

https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients-food-and-ingredients/protein.html?start=2

What’s the bottom line when it comes to adding protein for weight loss & balancing hormones.

I believe protein, carbohydrates and fats all have an essential role in the body. So please do not start cutting out carbohydrates and fats just because we have heard all the wonderful jobs that protein does. . rather look at your plating up and allow it to represent your goals. Each food group deserves its spot on your plate. So let’s start being more mindful and aware of our plate. Let it be a representation of our future self and all our wonderful health goals. Here is one of my super easy and tasty protein and fibre rich meals. I can t wait to share more in my new Ebook which will be available in spring. x Michelle

Turkey, bean & kale chilli

  • 400 grams of lean turkey breast mince
  • Tin of kidney beans
  • 1 packet of kale
  • 1 big onion
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • teaspoon of paprika, turmeric, cumin.
  • 1 carton of passata
  • Cup of veggie stock
  1. Chop roughly the onion & garlic
  2. Saute the onions and garlic in a teaspoon of coconut oil.
  3. Add the spices for 30 secs.
  4. Add the turkey mince and brown.
  5. Once browned add the stock and passata.
  6. Gently simmer for about 20 mins.
  7. Add the kale and simmer for another 5 mins.
  8. Add the kidney beans in at the end and serve.