Just when you thought I couldn’t get any more weird, I started cycle syncing. Say what?
Every 28 or so days, women’s hormones go through a number of changes that impact energy levels, digestion, mental clarity, and, of course, reproduction. Most people think of a woman’s “cycle” as her period, but we have to remember that the changes in our hormones impact far more than our menstruation. Cycle syncing is a term that refers to eating and living in a way that supports our hormones (check out Lee from America’s post about cycle syncing for way more information if you’re curious).
(Side note: to any guys that have made it this far in the post, just know that I made my 18-year-old brother and his best friend listen to this whole spiel so I bet you can do it too.)
I have struggled to regain and rebalance my hormones after experiencing a complete HPA axis shutdown a few years ago. The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulates hormones in addition to other processes and systems in the body (read more about this complicated system here or via the Google). A few years ago, the stress of my low body weight and raging autoimmune diseases caused my HPA axis to shut down completely and stop producing all sex hormones. It has taken years of healing and weight gain for my body to begin producing hormones again but it is still far from producing hormones at the right levels and intervals.
After having too many doctors tell me I need artificial hormone replacement or there is nothing more that I can do, I made it my personal mission to find a way to heal my hormones naturally. I don’t think that cycle syncing alone will be enough to completely rebalance my delicate hormones, but I do think it will support my body’s natural hormone cycles that I am trying so desperately to restore!
The most basic form of cycle syncing is seed cycling, which involves eating different seeds during different phases of your hormonal cycle. More specifically, seed cycling consists of eating 1 tablespoon raw flax seeds and 1 tablespoon raw pumpkin seeds daily during the first half of your cycle and eating 1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds and 1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds during the second half (see chart below). If you don’t have a consistent cycle, you can sync with the lunar cycle. I know this may seem psychotic and/or bizarre to some of you, but it’s a low-stress, low-risk possible solution so I figure it can’t hurt to give it a try.
If you’re looking for a good way to get your seeds in, try this recipe for cycle-syncing fat balls. These coconutty, chocolatey, nut-free balls of goodness will provide your body with the healthy fats it needs to regulate hormones AND help you incorporate the seeds you need for each phase of your cycle. In other words, these things are girl power in ball form. Try them out and let me know what you think!
Cycle-Syncing Fat Balls (Paleo, Nut-free, Sugar-free)
A nut-free, sugar-free, delicious snack or treat that will help you balance your hormones.
Ingredients–1 heaping cup organic shredded coconut
–1/2 cup coconut butter, melted
–1/3 cup organic coconut oil, softened
–1/2 cup hemp hearts
–1/4 cup chia seeds
–2 scoops Vital Proteins collagen peptides
–2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
–1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
–1/2 teaspoon sea salt
–1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
–1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- Add all ingredients EXCEPT the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to a food processor. Process for about one minute. The ingredients should form a thick paste/dough.
- Scoop out about half of the mixture and place it to the side. Add the sunflower seeds to the remaining mixture and process for another 30 seconds or so.
- Remove the paste/dough with sunflower seeds from the food processor and put it in a silicone mold tray or roll into 1-inch balls. This half of the recipe should yield about 12 balls.
- Add the other half of the mixture back to the food processor and then add the pumpkin seeds. Process for another 30 seconds or so.
- Once again, remove the paste/dough from the food processor and put it in silicone mold tray or roll into 1-inch balls. This half of the recipe should also yield about 12 balls.
- Place the silicone mold tray or a flat plate or baking sheet with the rolled balls into the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Store in the freezer.
- Defrost for 3-5 minutes before devouring. Remember to eat the balls with pumpkin seeds during the first half of your cycle and the balls with the sunflower seeds during the second half of your cycle!