Seed Cycling for Hormone Balance

Seed Cycling for Hormone Balance

In a perfect world where women are healthy and feel great, the menstrual cycle and hormone production will happen naturally with no help or intervention – and many of the issues listed below would not exist.

  • Irregular cycle
  • Painful or heavy periods
  • Tender breasts or menstrual headaches
  • Acne
  • Mood swings or anxiety
  • Not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Post-menopausal hormone symptoms
  • Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Infertility
  • Breast or ovarian cysts
  • Breast or ovarian cancer

Unfortunately, in today’s world there are many factors working against healthy female hormones, including:

  • High stress (leading to excess cortisol production)
  • Environmental toxins
  • Low-quality diet and sleep
  • Digestive issues and food sensitivities
  • High caffeine and alcohol consumption

What is seed cycling?

Seed cycling is a systematic way of incorporating seeds into your diet to bring back the important balance of estrogen and progesterone for menstruating, menopausal and post-menopausal women. This simple food-based technique can help to reduce or eliminate many of the hormone related issues that women experience in as little as one or two months.

Seed cycling for hormone balance

How seed cycling helped me 

An irregular cycle, heavy periods, pimples and debilitating cramps were my “normal” for as long as I can remember …

Prior to 16 years old, my cycle was very unpredictable and my period cramps were debilitating, to the point where I had to call my mom and have her pick me up from school because I was in so much pain. Strong pain meds were the only thing that helped to relieve the pain.

My confidence took a hit when I was 14 and started to experience acne. I visited an acne clinic and tried every lotion and potion to help, but nothing seemed to work, so the clinic recommended that I try Accutane. Although Accutane did get rid of my acne, I later learned about the dangers of this medication and it’s long term side effects.

After finishing a course of Accutane, the clinic then recommended that I start on a birth control pill to prevent my acne from returning. As you can see, these doctors were well trained on how to slap one band-aid on top of another.

Being on the birth control pill did control my acne. It also regulated my cycle and significantly reduced my period cramps. BUT I eventually learned that the birth control pill was a band-aid solution to my problems and I was just masking my messed up hormones with a daily pill. 

After 10 years of being on the pill, I made the educated decision to stop. When I stopped the pill, I realized just how messed up my hormones were. My cycle quickly shifted to being irregular (even more so than before the pill) and pimples started to pop up, AGAIN!

At the age of 26, I made some pretty big changes to my diet and lifestyle because of other health challenges I was facing at the time (learn more here). Cleaning up my diet and lifestyle helped to improve my hormones, but I was still missing something.

I didn’t prioritize my hormones at the time mainly because I didn’t realize the importance of them. In addition, my family physician considered my irregular cycle and symptoms as “normal” – and told me that I only need to worry about it if I want to have a baby. Basically, it wasn’t important for me to have healthy hormones and be fertile if I didn’t want kids. Knowing what I know now, this school of thinking is total BS.

A few years later, I came across some great leaders in female health and hormones and discovered seed cycling. Check out some great resources at the end of this article. 

I can honestly say that seed cycling has been a game changer for me – and my hormones. Within one month of seed cycling, my cycle length changed from a wide range of 27-48 days to a consistent 28-31 days (you can see the change in the graph below).

I have to say, even more exciting then a regulated cycle was the change in my skin health. All those annoying pimples that would leave behind months of scarring on my face had all of a sudden stopped popping up. This was a pivotal moment for me – and my self-esteem.

I still experience period cramps, but they’re not disruptive like they use to be; and I now know how to manage my pain/discomfort with more natural approaches. That being said, I’m still working on further fixing my hormones so period cramps become a thing of the past.

seed cycling before and after graph

How to seed cycle 

If you’re menstruating, here’s how to apply seed cycling:

1st day of period – mid-cycle/ovulation: Eat 1-2 tablespoons each of raw, fresh ground flax seeds and pumpkin seeds. These seeds can naturally increase estrogen levels.

Mid-cycle/ovulation – day prior to period: Eat 1-2 tablespoons each of raw, fresh ground sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. These seeds can naturally stimulate progesterone production.

If you’re pre-menopausal or menopausal, start seed cycle at any time and do two weeks of each seed rotation, as shown above.

How to seed cycle

How I incorporate seed cycling into my life

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that smoothies are an important part of my life and have played a big role in my health journey. So, to keep things simple I just toss seeds into a blender, along with all other smoothie ingredients, and voila – I have a nutrient-dense, hormone balancing meal in 60 seconds!

Want to incorporate seeds into healthy smoothies? Join my FREE 14-day smoothie challenge and I’ll teach you everything you need to know about creating smoothies for weight loss and better health + you’ll receive 16 dessert-inspired smoothies that you can easily add seeds to.

Other ways to incorporate seeds into your diet

  • Stir into yogurt or grind into “NOatmeal”
  • Add on top of salad or blend into salad dressing
  • Create no-bake snacks that include seeds
  • Munch on them as a snack (pumpkin & sunflower seeds)
  • Smoothies (add seeds to this mint chocolate chip, pumpkin pie or easy green smoothie)

Green smoothies

Tips for seed cycling

1. Buy whole, raw seeds and not ground or roasted. The oils inside seeds are very delicate and can oxidize easily, so you should grind your seeds the same day you consume them OR you can grind a batch and store in the freezer for use throughout the week. I also recommend going organic with your seeds if possible.

2. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds can be easily broken down through chewing, so you don’t have to grind these seeds if you’d prefer to chew them. Flax and sesame seeds are smaller, making them difficult to break down through chewing, so you’ll have to grind them before consuming. A coffee grinder works well for this.

3. It’s very important that seeds are thoroughly chewed or ground so they don’t pass through your digestive system completely undigested. Incorporating seeds into smoothies makes seed cycling very easy since the blender will thoroughly grind all seeds.

Seed cycling

Join my free smoothie Challenge

Get started on your journey back to health by joining my FREE 14-day smoothie challenge. It’s a simple and natural approach to weight loss & better health. 

Lemon Sesame Protein Balls (Keto, Paleo, Hormone Balancing)

Lemon Sesame Protein Balls (Keto, Paleo, Hormone Balancing)

DID YOU KNOW? Sesame seeds are beneficial for female hormones – at any age.

Sesame seeds contain phytoestrogens, plant compounds that are similar to the hormone estrogen.

Therefore, sesame seeds might be beneficial for women during menopause when estrogen levels drop. Phytoestrogens may help counteract hot flashes and other symptoms of low estrogen.

What’s more, sesame seeds are a rich source of lignan precursors. These specific compounds are produced by the microflora in the colon and have been shown to have powerful cancer-fighting effects on several specific types of cancer.

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that dietary lignans may act as a natural cancer treatment to reduce breast cancer risk by modifying tumor characteristics. In the study, lignan intakes were associated with a lower risk of estrogen receptor negative breast cancer. The study found that women with the highest intake of lignans compared to the lowest intake had a 40 percent to 50 percent lower chance of developing breast cancer.

If you’re looking for an easy way to add more sesame seeds into your diet, try my Lemon Sesame Protein Balls.

These protein balls are great for a healthy mid-day snack or quick pre/post workout fuel.

Make a batch and store them in the fridge or freezer, so you’ll always have a healthy snack ready to pop or take with you when you’re running out the door.

Lemon Sesame Protein Balls

INGREDIENTS: (15-20 balls)

1 cup sesame seed butter
3/4 cup PurePaleo Protein Powder vanilla (or PurePea Protein – vegan version)
6-8 drops food-grade lemon essential oil OR 1.5 tsp. lemon extract
2 tbsp sesame seeds (black or white)
1/4 tsp sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Add sesame seed butter, protein powder, lemon oil or extract and sea salt into the food processor and combine ingredients. Use a spatula to scrape sides if needed. Mixture should be dense and smooth so it can be pressed together. If it’s too wet, add more protein powder. If it’s too dry, add more sesame seed butter (1 tsp at a time).

2. Using a teaspoon, scoop mixture and form into small balls. If balls are too sticky to form, place mixture into the freezer for 10-minutes then remove and form balls.

3. Roll balls into sesame seeds then place them in large shallow tupperware so they are not touching one another.

5. Store protein balls in the fridge – or freezer for a frozen treat. Once the balls have firmed up, feel free to stack them in a smaller container.

Get 24% off all Young Living essential oils (including food-grade oils) here.

lemv

No-Bake Pumpkin Seed Protein Balls

No-Bake Pumpkin Seed Protein Balls

5 reasons why you should eat pumpkin seeds

1. High in magnesium. 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium. This important mineral is vital for many physiological functions, including proper bowel function – yet an estimated 80 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium!

2. Restful sleep. Pumpkin seeds are high in tryptophan, which is needed for serotonin and melatonin (the “sleep hormone”) production. Both of these hormones help promote a restful night’s sleep.

3. Post-menopause symptom relief. Pumpkin seeds are rich in natural phytoestrogens which can help reduce hot flashes, headaches, joint pains and other menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women.

4. Healthy hormones. Pumpkin seeds can help naturally increase your estrogen while also providing fiber to support healthy estrogen metabolism. It’s an excellent way to create a healthy level of estrogen without leading to excess levels, also known as estrogen dominance.

5. High in antioxidants. Pumpkin seed may help fight the growth and spread of cancer cells due to their high antioxidant content. Diets rich in pumpkin seeds have been linked to a lower risk of several types of cancer, including breast, stomach, lung and colorectal cancer.

Add more pumpkin seeds to your diet with this simple no-bake protein ball recipe.

These protein balls are great for a healthy mid-day snack or quick pre/post workout fuel.

Make a batch and store them in the fridge or freezer, so you’ll always have a healthy snack ready to pop or take with you when you’re running out the door.

No-Bake Pumpkin Seed Protein Balls

INGREDIENTS: (15-20 balls)

1 cup pumpkin seed butter
3/4 cup PurePaleo Protein Powder vanilla (or PurePea Protein – vegan version)
1 tbsp. raw coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp sprouted pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp toasted coconut chips or shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/4 tsp sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Put pumpkin seeds and coconut chips into food processor and process into a fine crumble. Set crumble aside on a plate.

2. Add pumpkin seed butter, protein powder, coconut oil, vanilla extract and sea salt into the food processor and combine ingredients. Use a spatula to scrape sides if needed. Mixture should be dense and smooth so it can be pressed together. If it’s too wet, add more protein powder. If it’s too dry, add more coconut oil (1 tsp at a time).

3. Using a teaspoon, scoop mixture and form into small balls. If balls are too sticky to form, place mixture into the freezer for 10-minutes then remove and form balls.

4. Roll balls into the pumpkin seed and coconut crumble then place them in large shallow tupperware so they are not touching one another.

5. Store protein balls in the fridge – or freezer for a frozen treat. Once the balls have firmed up, feel free to stack them in a smaller container.

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