I started eating to support my menstrual cycle about two years ago. If you’re interested in learning more I wrote about the best foods for each phase of your menstrual cycle. It’s also so important to switch our diet up as the seasons change. Eating seasonally shifts the things that I eat to support my menstrual cycle, witch means each month I change up what I’m eating. I started this series of “things I ate to support my menstrual cycle” to showcase what cycle syncing your diet looks like in practice and not just in theory. Here are the things I ate this month to support my menstrual cycle: September 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.
Here are The Things I Ate this Month to Support My Menstrual Cycle: September 2023
In the menstrual phase it’s important to focus on taking in the nutrients and minerals that our body loses as we begin to bleed. During this time of the month is when I eat red meat (to focus on iron). It’s also a great time to include warming spices and foods into our diet. Here are the things I ate this month to support my menstrual cycle:
Beet, Carrot, Apple, Ginger Juice: Root veggies like beets and carrots and warming ginger are wonderful additions to add into your diet during the menstrual phase. I added apple for some sweetness as well as the vitamins B and C we want to load up on during the menstrual phase.
Beef + Beef Liver Stew: I’m not the biggest fan of liver (read: I don’t like liver). However, when I add it into a stew with stew beef, carrots, potatoes, celery, onion, herbs and spices.. you really don’t notice it’s there! This stew is super nourishing for the body in the menstrual phase.
Steak, Steak, Steak🥩: My body really wanted steak this cycle. I started craving steak in my luteal phase, about four days before my menstrual phase began. One day I made a side of French fries (I fried them up in a combo of bacon fat and beef tallow, tossed them with salt and paprika and they were AMAZING). I also made a second steak some pan seared potatoes with onions and a side of cheese and honey.
Other foods I ate in the menstrual phase: oysters, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, raw milk with raw honey, red-raspberry leaf, nettles, and hibiscus tea.
The follicular phase is a time to focus on a simple diet with lots of whole ingredients. Be sure to find a balance in this phase and focus on anti-inflammatory ingredients! In the follicular phase I focus on complex carbs like fruit and beans and put an emphasis on probiotics and fermented foods.
Bacon🥓: I don’t really often reach for bacon but this month, during my follicular phase, my body was craving it. On top of eating with my cycle – I also intuitively eat. Meaning that I give my body what it is craving. You can read more about intuitive eating here. I made “chicken, bacon, ranch” .. wrapping chicken thighs around some bacon and raw cheese with a side of Primal Kitchen ranch dressing and some pickles. I also made good old bacon and eggs with a side of tomatoes.
Sushi🍣: During my follicular and ovulatory phases I place an emphasis on fish as a protein. I love sushi so when I’m in a rush and/or don’t feel like cooking – I lean on ordering sushi to support my menstrual cycle. I always do a combo of sushi and sashimi.
Fruit + Yogurt Bowls: Complex carbs, like fruit, are great to lean on during the follicular phase. I like to add fruit (in this case – the last of summers figs!) with some yogurt and bee pollen (below left) for a sweet, probiotic rich, treat. I also made a delicious grilled peach and granola bowl (below right). I really enjoyed sending September out with this homage to summer fruits.
Other foods I ate in my follicular phase: kimchi, kefir, flax and pumpkin seeds, cottage cheese, avocado, grapefruit and oranges.
During our ovulatory phase we might begin to experience some sugar cravings. I always like to have fruit or fruit juice on hand for this time! This is also the time of the month where I do more intense workouts so I make sure to replenish my nutrients and minerals properly.
Salmon: This isn’t the prettiest presentation but I made some delicious salmon with an Asian inspired marinade. I paired it with an Asian inspired veggie stir fry of baby corn, zucchini, onion and mushrooms.
Adrenal Support: As I mentioned, I do more intense workouts during this time of the month. I always make sure to get some rest and rejuvenation in the sauna after a big workout. When I know I’m going to be pushing my body, and sweating, a lot I like to make a natural electrolyte beverage (an adrenal cocktail). This month I juiced two oranges, added some sea salt, 2 tablespoons of coconut cream, the juice of half a lemon and topped it off with coconut water. It’s delicious and nutritious!
Lamb Burger: I love lamb and the farm I order from had some ground lamb in stock so I had to get some! I made a lamb burger with raw cheese and tzatziki on the side. I also made a tomato and green bell pepper with olive oil, vinegar and a bit of spices as well as some pickles.
Fruit + raw yogurt: One of my favorite desserts in the ovulatory phase is a bowl of yogurt topped with some fruit and bee pollen. I had my last set of berries for the season, as well! I’ll definitely miss raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries until next spring/summer.
Some other foods I leaned on during this ovulatory phase: tuna, eggplant, tomatoes, eggs and eggs.
Chicken wings🍗: Chicken is a great protein to eat during the luteal phase as its high in the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan isn’t something that the body can produce naturally – it must come from our diet. It also gives us a boost of serotonin, which tends to be on the lower side in our luteal phase just before we menstruate.
Soups: As autumn starts to roll in I start to eat more and more warming soups. I like to create soups that will cater to those carbohydrate cravings as my serotonin begins to drop. This month I made a good old creamy tomato soup with gluten free macaroni (below left). I also made a butternut squash/garlic soup topped with bacon and apples. Neither of them disappointed.🤤
Beans and Beans: Another thing I like to ease those carb cravings with is beans. This month I took some of the green beans we grew and cooked them in a simple tomato and onion sauce with cilantro (below left). I also made some black beans cooked in tomato sauce with cumin, paprika, cayenne, and then topped it with egg whites, avocado and cilantro and then served on top of a corn tortilla (below right).
More Butternut Squash: we harvested a TON of butternut squash this season (with much more still growing!). I love playing with different recipes for both sweet and savory meals and side dishes. I mashed up some butternut squash with butter and then topped it with cinnamon, raisin and sunflower seeds. It was a great sweet treat without over loading up on artificial sugars.
Other things I ate in my luteal phase: beef and liver stew, potatoes, tuna, apples, ginger.
Just for Fun:
While I try to eat to support my menstrual cycle – I’m also a human! I like to have fun and I love to eat. I just make sure that I don’t find myself leaning on certain foods to feel good about myself. Here are some of the things I ate just for fun this month.
Gluten: I went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant for my moms birthday and ate all the gluten. I had the bread to start (they serve it with a creamy whipped ricotta and it’s so delicious). I also had pizza and zeppole’s.
Coffee☕️: I don’t often drink coffee anymore. I gave it up in early 2022 and haven’t really looked back. While I don’t need the caffeine fix for an energy boost the way I used to – I do still occasionally like a nice cappuccino or latte. I still very much love the taste of coffee! I made a salted honey butter cappuccino this month and it hit all the right spots.
Pancakes for Dinner: Who doesn’t love sporadic breakfast for dinner? This month I made some gluten free pancakes from Simple Mills (I also added in a banana) and topped them with a berry, maple, butter syrup.
It’s great to give your body the different nutrients, minerals and enzymes that it needs to function. However, it’s also important not to stress too hard about the foods you’re eating! You don’t want to put your body under unnecessary stress. If you’re working on getting your body out of fight or flight mode – you might enjoy My Favorite Ways to Activate my Parasympathetic Nervous System as well as Things I Stopped Doing to Support my Parasympathetic Nervous System.
I hope that my meal options throughout the month gave you some inspiration on how to cook for your menstrual cycle! I also hope that I can inspire you to find some balance with the foods we eat. What are some of the foods you ate to support your menstrual cycle this month?