Eating along with the different phases of my menstrual cycle has helped me so much over the last few years. I wrote about the best foods to eat for each phase of your menstrual cycle here, if you’re interested in learning more. I also believe it’s super important to eat in alignment with the seasons! I wrote up an easy guide to eating with the seasons which you can read about here. In keeping up with the themes of eating for my menstrual cycle as well as eating with the season.. each month I write about the things I ate to support my menstrual cycle. Here are the things I ate to support my menstrual cycle this December 2023.
As a reminder: I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be! Any claims in this article are based on my personal experience and research. Please read my full medical disclaimer before engaging with my content or anecdotes. Also, as a reminder, this post contains affiliate links to certain products and I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) if you make a purchase based off of my suggestions.
Things I Ate This Month to Support my Menstrual Cycle: December 2023
During the menstrual cycle, we want to prioritize nourishing and warming foods, with a focus on iron-rich options and those high in Vitamins B and C to support red blood cell production. It’s important to emphasize foods containing zinc and magnesium. As the weather cools we want to continue this focus on nourishing and warming foods. I like to focus on the importance of replenishing nutrients lost during menstruation, incorporating red meat for iron and integrating warming spices into the diet for added comfort and support.
As such: I had lots of bone marrow and bone broths this month. When I was feeling particularly ~lazy~ I chose to order some pho with bone broth and ordered/added some extra beef on top of it, as well.
Pasta Sundays are big in my family! I had some extra meatballs with my gluten free pasta to support me during my menstrual cycle this month.
I like to make fresh juices to support my body with extra nutrients, year round. When juicing in the winter I make sure that the fruits I’m going to juice are room temperature – if they are cold it gives my body some extra work to have to heat them up! This juice was made with pomegranate, ginger, golden beets and apples (all organic!).
Because not everything needs to be super healthy and our bodies love craving extra sugars during our menstrual cycle… I had some honey comb ice cream, a few gluten free cookies with a clean “Nutella” and some pomegranate seeds.🤤
Other foods I ate during my menstrual cycle: butternut squash, pumpkin, mushroom soup, warm raw milk with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, hibiscus tea, red clover blossom tea, raw honey, potatoes, chicken liver pate, liverwurst.
During the follicular phase it’s important to prioritize a well-rounded diet featuring complex carbs such as fruits and starchy foods like potatoes. I put an emphasis on anti-inflammatory foods, including a mix of complex carbs like fruits, whole grains, and potatoes, while incorporating probiotics, fermented foods, and fiber-rich options. It’s also important to maintain a simple and balanced diet during this phase, focusing on whole ingredients and anti-inflammatory components.
I almost always lean on chicken and eggs in the follicular phase. This December I ate lots of chicken thighs! Some with potatoes and raw dairy tzatziki (below top left) some with eggs cooked in raw butter (below top right). I also had lots of eggs and sourdough – some scrambled with chicken sausage (below bottom left) and some with avocado (below bottom right).
I love fruit but especially love to lean on circuses like mandarins (below left) in the winter, when they’re in season. I also made a giant fruit salad with black grapes, mandarins, pomegranate, kiwi, pineapple and sprinkled with blue cornflower for ✨pretty effect✨.
Avocado is one of my favorite fruits to lean on, especially in the follicular phase. I made guac with red onion, garlic, cilantro and topped it with pomegranate seeds.
Other foods I ate during my Follicular Phase: lots of raw yogurt, raw milk, kimchi, raw cottage cheese, stewed apples, salmon, chicken soup, pickles, grapefruit, sauerkraut, flax and pumpkin seeds.
The the ovulatory phase is characterized by increased energy and libido along with potential sugar cravings. As such, I prioritize a diet rich in low-glycemic carbs, high-fiber options, and antioxidant-rich foods. I also ensure adequate intake of vitamin D and folic acid during this period. To address sugar cravings, I like opt for healthier sweets like fruit, dates, apple chips, and dark chocolate.
Avocado and eggs are two things I lean on heavily during the ovulatory phase! I had lots of fresh fermented sourdough so I made egg sandwiches with raw cheese and avocado (below left) and avocado toast with eggs (below right).
Lamb is a great meat to lean on during the ovulatory phase and this month I made some lamb meatballs and gluten free, creamy, lemon orzo. I topped them with raw dairy tzatziki, pomegranate, and fresh mint.
If you’re new here I’m going to let you in on a little secret – I always have sushi during my ovulatory phase! This month was no exception.
When giving into my cravings for sweet things in the ovulatory phase, I always find my way to fruit! This month we had a cute little fruit Christmas tree for the holidays.
Other foods I ate during my Ovulatory Phase: raw cottage cheese, almonds, onions, tuna, salmon, raw dairy kefir/yogurt.
Entering the luteal phase, where sleep issues may arise, I like to prioritize magnesium-rich foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, and bananas to support better sleep. I also combat bloating by avoiding salty and processed foods. As I was beginning to prepare for menstruation, I focused on iron-rich foods and foods high in Vitamins B and C. During this phase, I also try to be mindful of carb cravings due to decreased serotonin, and prepare by having healthier dessert options on hand to satisfy those cravings.
I was super busy with clients in December and I had to order out. I ordered a lamb gyro, tzatziki, keftedes (greek meatballs) and lemon potatoes.
I always like to prioritize red meat in the luteal phase. This month I opted for boneless spare ribs (yes, yes, I cook them very rare – its how I like it! I’m caucasian, what can I say??).
I had some extra sourdough left over so I made a winter classic – grilled cheese with a homemade tomato soup. I even made the soup with tomatoes that my mom grew and jarred herself! This was 10/10.
As I mentioned, this month was pretty busy for me with clients. Easy, quick meals were something I had to lean on. I used a jarred sauce (GASP! I KNOW! Don’t tell my Italian ancestors) and browned some ground beef with onions and garlic and made a super quick meat sauce, topping it on gluten free pasta.
I lean, heavily, on intuitive eating. If that’s something that is new to you.. I suggest reading into my article: What is Intuitive Eating + How to Do It. Logically, it doesn’t make sense for a woman to fast during her luteal phase… however, my body was calling me to fast. I was moving through a lot of deeply seeded emotional issues that I had to metaphorically “digest”. So, for me (at this particular time) it made sense to fast. However, I did still feel called to juicing while I was refraining from eating and I had a lot of beet, pomegranate, apple, ginger, carrot juices.
Just For Fun
I always like to add a little just for fun into the bottom of these articles because eating can be for pleasure and doesn’t always have to be “healthy” or “aligned to our cycle”. Life is about balance! I aim for 80% healthy and aligned and 20% everything else. As I mentioned, I was super busy this month so I ordered in way more than I usually do. I had Shake Shack and Chipotle.
I bought some Pastel de Nada’s in Portugal and froze them when I got home. They were a sweet and delicious treat this month!
I was on my way home from Philly with family and we were stuck in so much traffic. My uncle took us on a detour for some pizza and it did not disappoint!
On Christmas morning we went over to my grandmas for breakfast and in true Long Island fashion, we had bagels. It was my first proper bagel in damn near three years! I’ve only had gluten free (read: fake) bagels in the last few years. I had half with butter and half with cream cheese and it was delicious!
I hope this post serves as inspiration for creating meals aligned with each of your menstrual cycles! My hope is that in sharing the meal options I lean on throughout the month it can provide inspiration for cooking in harmony with your own menstrual cycle. What are some of the foods that have supported your menstrual cycle this month?💖