Femmze life


Eating for your cycle

Nutrition greatly impacts our hormonal health. Food truly can be medicine, and eating a wide variety of wholefoods with a balance of proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates can make balancing the ebbs and flow of a healthy menstrual cycle possible. 


WORDS Katie Gregory

Nutritional requirements and what your body craves can change with each phase of your cycle. Learning to understand where you are in your cycle and what foods may nourish you the most can enhance a positive connection with your hormones. 


Below, I will walk you through four delicious recipes to support you through each phase of your cycle. 



Menstruation phase . Iron-rich beef & thyme stew
Beef, thyme, and nettle are all rich in the mineral iron. As menstruation is a time of blood loss, replenishing iron will help to keep you grounded. 


Serves 4


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

Small handful of dried nettle leaves 

1kg of chuck beef (preferably organic, grass-finished), chopped into chunks
1 tsp of salt and pepper 

1 onion, chopped 

2 cloves of garlic, crushed 

2 carrots, cut diagonally 

2 celery stalks, chopped 

3 cups beef broth 

1 tsp organic Worcestershire sauce 

1 tbsp tomato paste 

1 bay leaf 

3 sprigs of thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme 

250g of sweet potato, chopped 

2-3 tbsp of gluten free flour (can add more if it needs additional thickening) 


Sprinkle salt and pepper onto beef.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a heavy based pot or casserole dish on high.

Add ⅓ of the beef (ensuring the pot is not becoming overcrowded) until beef becomes brown on all sides. Remove and place aside on a plate, repeat with the remainder of the beef, adding more oil if necessary.

Turn down the heat to medium and add more oil if needed. Add onion and garlic, cooking for two minutes until the onion is soft and glassy looking.

Add celery and carrots.

Pour flour into the pot, covering evenly and stirring to coat.

Add broth, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce, stir to blend flour (add more flour if needed).

Add cooked beef, thyme, nettle leaves, and sweet potato. Stir. (Water can be added if needed.)

Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 1 hour and 45 minutes (or until tender). 

Remove the lid and simmer for 30 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper

Remove bay leaf before serving.

Follicular phase . Flaxseed crackers
Flaxseeds may be supportive in the follicular phase as they help to improve oestrogen levels without contributing to excess oestrogen. 


1 cup ground flaxseeds 

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds 

¼ cup of chia seeds 

½ cup of water 

½ tsp of salt 

Any dried herbs you like. You could try smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder or zaatar.

Preheat oven to 150°C. 

Blend flaxseeds, chia seeds, water, salt, and herbs in a food processor. 

Pour mixture into a bowl, adding the pumpkin seeds. Stir together and allow the seeds to gel together. 

Spread onto a cooking sheet (reusable or parchment paper), cut/score crackers into desired shape and cook for 30-35 minutes (check if they need longer before removing from the oven). 

Cool, then store in a sealed container. 

Serve with your favourite dip or nut butter.

Ovulatory phase . Cauliflower and chickpea mexican-inspired bowl
Cruciferous vegetables help to rid the body of any excess oestrogen. Cauliflower is a great cruciferous veggie to include during this time, and chickpeas are a good source of vegetarian protein.

Ingredients . Salad bowl

1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into pieces 

2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil 

1 BPA-free tin of drained chickpeas 

3 tsp of ground cumin 

¼ tsp of onion powder 

2 tsp smoked paprika 

1 tsp of salt 

1 cup finely diced cabbage 

1 avocado, sliced 

Corn tortillas 

Freshly chopped coriander 

2 cups of baby spinach 


Ingredients . Almond and tomato sauce
4 cloves of garlic (skin intact) 

¼ cup almonds 

1 BPA free tin of diced tomatoes 

1 peeled clove of garlic 

2 tbsp olive oil 

1 lime juiced 

¼ tsp smoked paprika 

½ tsp cumin 

1 tbsp Yacón Syrup


Preheat the oven to 200°C. Add cauliflower, oil, chickpeas, spices and salt to a baking dish. Combine and roast for 20 minutes or until soft and brown. 

 In a separate baking dish, add almonds, unpeeled garlic and roast until almonds begin to brown (around 10 minutes)- remove and set aside. 

In a blender mix tinned tomatoes, almonds, roasted (peeled) and fresh garlic, lime, olive oil, Yacón Syrup (or can use maple syrup instead).

In a large bowl lay baby spinach down as the base, followed by cauliflower and chickpea mixture, and top with tomato sauce, sliced avocado, and cabbage. Serve with toasted corn tortillas if you wish or enjoy alone as a salad bowl. Add a squeeze of lime and chopped coriander. 

Luteal phase . Oysters with pickled ginger
Now is the time to be incorporating foods that enhance the support of progesterone production to help the foundations of your uterine lining grow. Foods that are high in zinc should be encouraged. Oysters are a magical food, rich in zinc, to be included in this phase of your cycle. 


4 fresh oysters 

2 shallots (green onions), chopped into fine pieces 

1 tbsp of pickled ginger 

1 tbsp tamari 

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds 

Small chunk of cucumber, finely diced 

1 wedge of lemon or lime 


1.Put shallots in a bowl of iced water for 15 minutes until the shallots begin to curl.
2. Spoon over oysters with tamari, pickled ginger, sesame seeds, cucumber and serve with a wedge of lemon or lime. 


Read our guide to cyclical living for more ways to nourish your body during your monthly cycle.