Eating for the phases of your cycle

Reading Alisa Vitti’s book, “In the Flo,” sparked a profound awakening in me, encompassing spiritual, physical, and mental realms, particularly when it comes to embracing the eating phases of my cycle.

I no longer felt alone in the struggles I’d faced with balancing my hormones.  

I suddenly let go of the incessant guilt of needing a “rest” day or wondering why my brain would literally shut off around the time of my period.  

If you haven’t read “In the Flo” I would strongly encourage you to pick up a copy ASAP.  “Food cycling” isn’t just for women with a menstrual cycle.  This book is geared towards women, but I find that the knowledge in this book is truly universal.

We all can benefit from cycling our food throughout the month to support gut microbiome diversity and hormonal balance.  It takes a lot of nutrients to build hormones, and eating a varied diet throughout the month gives your body the tools it needs!  

As an aside…

I’ve written this blog post specifically for my clients who are in my Gut Healing and Hormone Healing Programs to act as an educational adjunct to the work we are doing together.

As a general rule, I have not found that hormone imbalances are not rectified by making these changes alone, but when combined with hormonal testing and a bio individual approach, it can be the cherry on top. That is why it is important to learn and understand ways of eating for the phases of your cycle

“In the Flo” Food Cycling : Eating for the phases of your cycle

The phases of below are based off a 28 day month


(Approximately Day 1 of menstruation – Day 7) 

“Your hormones are at their lowest levels…but you can compensate by increasing your intake of protein and healthy fats.  Doing so will keep your energy and moods stable while your brain adjusts to the downshift in hormones.”

  • Grains: Buckwheat (kasha), Wild Rice
  • Veggies: Beets, Burdock, Dulse, Hijiki, Kale, Kelp, Kombu, Mushrooms, Wakame, Water chestnut
  • Fruits: Blackberry, Blueberry, Concord grape, Watermelon
  • Legumes: Adzuki bean, Black soybean, Black turtle bean, Kidney bean
  • Nuts & Seeds: Chestnut, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds


(Approximately Days 7 – 14) 

“Fresh, vibrant light foods make you feel more energized during this phase…focus on those phytoestrogens…plant-based compounds that mimic the body’s natural estrogen.” 

  • Grains: Barley, Oat, Rye, Wheat
  • Veggies: Artichoke, Broccoli, Carrot, Lettuce, Parsley, Green peas, Rhubarb, String Bean, Zucchini
  • Fruits: Avocado, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Plum, Pomegranate, Sour cherry
  • Legumes: Black-eyed pea, Green lentil, Lima bean, Mung bean, Split pea
  • Nuts & Seeds: Brazil nuts, Cashews, Flaxseeds, Lychee, Pumpkin seeds


(Approximately Days 14 – 18) 

“Ovulatory foods promote antioxidative well-being and provide vascular support…these foods will also ward off estrogen-driven symptoms, such as acne and bloating.” 

  • Grains: Amaranth, Corn, Quinoa
  • Veggies: Asparagus, Bell pepper (red), Brussles sprouts, Chard, Chicory, Chive, Dandelion, Eggplant, Endive, Escarole, Okra, Scallion, Spinach, Tomato
  • Fruit: Apricot, Cantalope, Coconut, Fig, Guava, Persimmon, Raspberry, Strawberry
  • Legumes: Red lentil
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almond, Flaxseeds, Pecan, Pistachio, Pumpkin seeds


(Approximately Days 19 –  28) 

In the luteal phase, your body needs more calories…along with B vitamins to pump up the production of progesterone and to stabilize blood sugar levels…Consuming high-fiber foods…will help your liver and large intestine flush out estrogen more effectively, reducing the effects of estrogen dominance.” 

  • Grains: Brown rice, Millet
  • Veggies: Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Collard, Cucumber, Daikon, Garlic, Ginger, Leek, Mustard greens, Onion, Parsnip, Pumpkin, Radish, Squash, Sweet potato, Watercress 
  • Fruit: Apple, Peach, Pear, Raisin, Legumes, Chickpea, Great northern bean, Navy bean
  • Nuts & Seeds: Hickory, Pine nut, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, Walnut 

Rome was not built in a day.

As you review this list, please take the recommendations from someone who has been there – Rome was not built in a day.  Choose two or three new foods to include in your diet each week.  

You may be unfamiliar with some of the foods listed above.  I know I was!  Research one new recipe a month that includes a new food you’ve never tried and understand your ways of Eating for the phases of your cycle.

Stretch your taste buds, and don’t let overwhelm intercede where hormone balance can flourish.  

If you’re interested in restoring your gut function and balancing your hormones, check out my Gut Healing and Hormone Healing programs.

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About Ishbel

For the last twenty years, I have helped people take charge of their health and feel better. I have been in your shoes - sick, tired, and overwhelmed by how to actionably care for myself. If you want to feel better, but don't know where to start, you've come to the right place. Learn More >


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