Cycle-Synced Veggie Bowls
When you begin learning about cycle syncing, or catering your diet and lifestyle to your hormonal cycle, you realize how badass it is to have a period…honestly. As women, we get to experience a month-long dynamic cycle that affects us in every single corner of our lives, and we have the privilege of making each individual phase a time for kicking ass in different ways.
Our bodies go through changes during the month, so it’s really important to supplement ourselves with foods and activities that cater to where we are at in our cycle. I try to eat according to my cycle by opting for vegetables, fruits and herbs that help provide my body what it needs at different times, and I’m excited to share some of my cycle-synced veggie bowls with you all so you can both be inspired to eat according to your cycle and have some options for what to eat when each phase comes around!
For prep (globally):
For roasted veggies: Pop the vegetables into an oven heated at 390 degrees (F), drizzled with olive, coconut or avocado oil and seasoned with sea salt & pepper. Cook them for about 25-30 minutes, or until they are soft and slightly browned.
For sautéed veggies: Sauté the greens in 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and sea salt & pepper over medium-low heat until soft.
For steamed veggies: Simply use the microwave. In a bowl, microwave the vegetables with 1 cup water for 2-3 minutes, or until veggies are soft. You can also steam the vegetables on the stove if you’d rather.
For putting it all together: When vegetables are done cooking and greens are ready, prep your dish by adding the greens to a wide-set bowl. Top the greens with your baked/raw veggies and sprinkle your seeds or nuts on top! I don’t include dressings in the following recipes because I'll be sharing those recipes in the future (and via a new medium, WOOP.) Also, sautéing greens and topping them with baked vegetables and seeds/nuts provides enough flavor in itself. Although, mashing ½ an avocado with some lime juice, sea salt and pepper makes for a nice addition to any bowl—same goes with sauerkraut or coconut yogurt!
Menstrual Phase Veggie Bowl
During menstruation, restful exercise, epsom salt baths, self-care practices and journaling are great activities. It’s a week for you to focus on truly giving your body what it needs—dark greens and foods that contain calcium, iron and zinc, which are three elements that you lose a lot of during your period.
The focus of this veggie bowl is to provide the body with plenty of vitamins and nutrients to help stabilize mood and appetite.
2 cups sautéed Kale, leaves separated from stems (you won’t need the stems)
½ cup roasted beets, pieced
2 teaspoons Pumpkin seeds, raw
Handful of chopped water chestnuts, raw
½ cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced and roasted
Sea salt & pepper
Follicular Phase Veggie Bowl
Your follicular phase is when your hormones are at their lowest—a time when you might feel ready to try your first SoulCycle class and your food cravings have subsided. Eating light, veggie-based meals and upping your fermented-foods game during this time helps you feel more energized and keeps your GI system on fleek.
The focus of this veggie bowl is to keep you feeling light and energized, while giving your gut some good bacteria with fermented veggies.
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup steamed broccoli
½ cup chopped carrots, baked
½ cup pieced rhubarb, baked
½ cup zucchini noodles, can be found at Whole Foods (game-changer) or homemade
3 chopped Brazil nuts, sprinkled over avocado
¼ cup sauerkraut
Ovulatory Phase Veggie Bowl
You might feel a surge of confidence and self-awareness during your ovulatory phase because of the quick rise in estrogen, so going out on a first date or having a tough conversation with your boss might feel more natural during this time. As for food, I continue to up my veggie game during this phase—reaching for colorful veggies, healthy fats and greens.
The focus of this veggie bowl is to keep your elimination system functioning well and to aid in the detoxing of estrogen from your body (due to ovulation) before your hormones begin to climb again during your luteal phase.
2 cups Swiss chard, sautéed
2 cups spinach, sautéed
1 cup chopped Brussels sprouts, baked (I could eat these for days)
½ endive, baked
4 oz. piece of wild-caught salmon, seasoned with sea salt, pepper, lemon and olive oil, and baked at 400 degrees (F) for 12-15 minutes
1 teaspoon sesame seed, sprinkled over top of bowl
1-2 figs, sliced
Optional: Turmeric, sprinkled over baked veggies prior to cooking
Luteal Phase Veggie Bowl
Ah, the phase when PMS can become a real downer for a lot of women. Fortunately, when you take care of yourself, your what-were-once-unbearable PMS symptoms near disappear. I find that I might feel irritable or low energy for a few days, and I might be a little crampy, but the big breakouts, killer cramps and extreme fatigue that I experienced often in high school and college are a distant memory now. Hormones are climbing during your luteal phase, and so might your desire for sugar and unhealthy fats. Baking vegetables can make them taste sweeter, and upping your water & fiber intake can help your elimination system stay on track during a time when a lot of women experience bloat. So, the purpose of this veggie bowl is to aid in stopping PMS symptoms in their tracks! (This bowl just happens to be my go-to when I have the ingredients on hand simply because I love the veggies in it.)
1 cup sliced cabbage, baked (sprinkle a bit of lemon juice over the veggies before baking—makes them amazing AF)
2 cups cauliflower, baked
Slices of cucumber
2 radishes, pieced and baked
½ sweet potato, baked (potatoes usually take longer in the oven, so maybe leave them in an extra 10 minutes)
4 oz. wild-caught cod, seasoned with lemon, parsley, salt and pepper
Even if you don't have ALL of the ingredients to create a cycle-synced veggie bowl, it's still fun to make a bowl pretty using vegetables and greens, and you can always just add or substitute vegetables that sound good to you. Truly, the main purpose of this post is just to encourage you to start exploring the foods that can supplement you in each phase. You don't have to eat 100% according to your cycle, but what if you were able to eat 60% or 70%?
I think cycle-syncing is sexy, and I also believe that it really does impact the way that we feel all month. After all, what you put into your body is what you’re going to get out, so why not nourish ourselves in a way that will make us feel like superwomen?
Do you have any favorite recipes for your cycle? Or have you recognized a change in your symptoms after embracing cycle-syncing?