Eating For Your Cycle

Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad Bowl with Tahini Dressing

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This is a great recipe to prepare during the luteal phase of your cycle, if you are supporting your body in order to conceive, and for preventing PMS symptoms.

Here’s why:

Tahini is high in Vitamin B6 which has been shown in research to prevent PMS and support progesterone levels.
Quinoa is high in protein and fiber, which means it is great for blood sugar balance. This grain is high in magnesium which also prevents PMS symptoms. Read More

Miso Mushroom ‘Moon Stew’ For The Menstrual Phase

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This ‘Mushroom Miso Moon Stew’ for the Menstrual Phase is full of nutrient-dense and blood-building ingredients. I recommend that you eat mostly soups and stews when you are on your period because they are easy to digest, time saving (if you make them in advance) and a great delivery system for key nutrients. I love to call the stews you make on your period ‘Moon Stews’ and over the years I’ve formulated many recipes that I provide my clients and those who take my Eating For Your Cycle online course.

This one-bowl-meal is so great for the Menstrual Phase because of:

Miso is a fermented soy and rice paste.  During the Menstrual Phase your body has an increased tolerance for estrogens, such as the ones found in soy products, because your estrogen levels are so low. I don’t recommend soy during your Luteal Phase (the 10-14 days between ovulation and your period) because it can imbalance your estrogen and progesterone hormones and cause PMS. Read More

Lunch Bowl Series: Roasted Roots & Greens Bowl For The Luteal Phase

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Eating this lunch bowl during your luteal phase can help you reduce PMS symptoms and support conception.

The Luteal Phase lasts 10-14 days and starts right after ovulation. The follicle that the egg burst from grows on the surface of the ovary and starts to produce progesterone. The progesterone signals the body to keep the uterine lining intact. Estrogen and progesterone slowly decrease which signal the body to release the uterine lining.

It’s important to note that progesterone is the dominant hormone during this phase of your cycle. If estrogen gets too high or if progesterone is too low then it can cause PMS, breast tenderness, heavy period or other menstrual issues. PMS may be normal but it’s not natural. It’s actually a sign of estrogen dominance. If progesterone isn’t high enough it can decrease serotonin which can cause anxiety, depression and mood swings during your luteal phase. Eating specific foods during your luteal phase can help support your estrogen and progesterone balance.  

Here are the benefits of some of the ingredients  in this recipe:

Roasted Root Vegetables During the luteal phase, your body become more insulin sensitivity so it’s important not to spike your blood sugar with sugar and high carbohydrates. However, you do need some carbohydrates to support the seratonin in your brain. Roasted root vegetables such as carrots, squashes and parsnips are great options to have in your luteal phase because they provide you with a complex carbohydrate that will keep you satisfied but won’t spike your blood sugar.

Leafy Greens Eating your greens everyday is essential during your luteal phase because they contain calcium, magnesium, b vitamins, iron and fibre. All of these nutrients are important to support you in creating and processing proper hormone levels to reduce PMS and support conception.

Soft Boiled Eggs  One little known fact about hormones is that the building block for progesterone, estrogen and testosterone is cholesterol. Having a source of cholesterol, such as eggs, in your diet can help support optimal hormone levels. Eggs also give you B vitamins and choline which are important in processing and building your hormones.


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Lunch Bowl Series: Walnut Goji Shrimp Salad Bowl For The Ovulatory Phase

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This recipe is designed to support you during the ovulatory phase of your cycle when your estrogen levels are highest. You can tell you’re in this phase when your cervical mucous has an ‘egg white’ or watery texture.

It’s important that your body has the nutritional support necessary to remove the high amounts of estrogens you’re body is producing and the xenoestrogens you get from the enviroment out of your body during this phase. This will help reduce symptoms of estrogen dominance during your luteal phase such as sore breasts, bloating and mood swings.

Here’s why the ingredients in this recipe support you during your ovulatory phase:

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Eat For Your Cycle with Four Toast Toppings

By | Blog, Breakfast, Eating For Your Cycle, Fertility, Menstrual Health, Snacks | One Comment

Toasted bread (ideally gluten free , sprouted or fermented) makes for the perfect backdrop for all sorts of healthy and hormone balancing toppings and spreads. We’ve put together four toast topping ideas to showcase how ‘Eating For Your Cycle’ works in optimizing your fertility and balancing your menstrual cycle. You can enjoy toast topped with avocado and smoked salmon to support natural ovulation or beet hummus and seaweed to help prevent PMS and support your progesterone levels.

How eating for your cycle works?

Your menstrual cycle has four distinctive phases; follicular, ovulatory, luteal and menstrual. In each phase, your hormonal levels change to prepare the body for a potential conception and pregnancy. The hormone shifts that happen in each phase of your cycle have a profound impact on your nutritional requirements, food cravings, energy levels, communication skills and neurochemistry.

You can use food to help support this natural process. For example, some nutrients help build progesterone which is dominant in the second half of the cycle while some nutrients detox or build estrogen. If you’re experiencing PMS, painful cramping, heavy periods, infertility or PCOS, eating for your cycle can be a powerful tool in getting your body back in balance.

Here are some examples of how you can eat for each phase of your cycle:

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Roasted Beet Hummus

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I love this bright and vibrant hummus. It’s great for entertaining or making a batch to snack on with veggies and crackers during the week. Portion out 1/4 cup in a 250 ml mason jar with chopped veggies for an easy grab and go snack option.

This recipe has hormone balancing properties and it beneficial to eat in the luteal phase (the two weeks before your period) and during menopause.

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smoothie bowl

Beautiful & Delicious Cherry Berry Smoothie Bowl To Balance Hormones

By | Blog, Breakfast, Eating For Your Cycle, Recipes, Smoothies | One Comment

This delicious smoothie bowl reduces PMS symptoms, supports adrenal health, and improves sleep quality.


Here’s why this smoothie so great for you and your hormone balance:


Banana- is high in B6 which helps support natural progesterone production. Low progesterone is one of the causes of PMS.

Edible Flowers-many edible flowers have properties that help synergize and balance a women’s reproductive system. They are the sexual organs of the plants after all! Add edible flowers to your salads, smoothie bowls and desserts.

Cherries- contain a bio-available form of melatonin which can help promote a deep restful sleep.
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5 Easy Bring-To-Work Hormone Balancing Lunch Recipes

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Back to school season is a great opportunity to step up the self-care by making some nourishing lunches to bring to work with you. We’ve put together five lunch recipes that are designed to support balanced hormones. Click on the images to get redirected to the recipes.

Want to learn more about nutrition for hormone balance and eating for your cycle? Check out the events page for upcoming classes.

Recipe and photos brought to you by Sarah Steffens of Savor & Fancy

Sarah Steffens is a Personal Chef based in Los Angeles.  She specializes in Paleo, Autoimmune and Whole30 cooking and believes food is the starting ground for practicing kindness to one’s body, mind and spirit.  In addition to cooking for private clients, she also creates recipes and photography for Whole30.  She shares recipes and kitchen tips at Savor & Fancy.

Red Cabbage Chicken Salad Bowl With Walnuts & Fresh Mint

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This salad helps detox ‘bad’ estrogens from the bodies which may help reduce PMS and menopause symptoms. The walnuts provide liver supportive nutrients and omega three which help support healthy hormones. It’s also great to eat during the ovulatory phase of your cycle.

Serves 1


  • 4 ounces cooked Organic Chicken
  • 1-2 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs. Lemon Juice
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
  • Dash of White Pepper
  • 1 large Red Cabbage Leaf (2-3 Radicchio leaves will also work well)
  • 2 cups chopped Baby Spinach or Chard
  • ½ cup shredded Carrot
  • 1 Tbs. chopped and toasted Walnuts
  • 3 Fresh Mint leaves


Start by cooking your chicken (time saver: purchase a cooked organic rotisserie chicken from your local market) and once cooked, allow to cool in the fridge.

Toast chopped walnuts in a small frying pan on low heat, stirring frequently (about 3-5 minutes).  Let cool on a plate.  

Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and white pepper in a mixing bowl.

Add chopped baby spinach and shredded carrot to the mixing bowl and toss to combine with the olive oil mix.

Carefully tear a leaf off of the red cabbage and place in a portable storage container.  Scoop salad into the cabbage leaf and top with cooked chicken and chopped, toasted walnuts and additional sea salt and white pepper to taste.


Sarah Steffens is a Personal Chef based in Los Angeles.  She specializes in Paleo, Autoimmune and Whole30 cooking and believes food is the starting ground for practicing kindness to one’s body, mind and spirit.  In addition to cooking for private clients, she also creates recipes and photography for Whole30.  She shares recipes and kitchen tips at Savor & Fancy.