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  • Dr. Katelynn Nardulli DC, FDNP

Hormone Balancing Blissful Bites for Seed Cycling

Updated: May 17, 2021



Do you feel as if your hormones are a blessing or a curse???


Now we have a lot of different hormones circulating throughout our bodies that are important for a number of different functions, such as thyroid stimulating hormone and the stress hormone cortisol. But today I’m specifically focusing on the female sex hormones - estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. And yes, testosterone is very important to a woman’s health and wellness; it is not just for the men!


Whether you are trying to conceive or just live a happy healthy life, hormones are very important.


A majority of women that I have worked with in practice suffer with hormone imbalances of some kind. The two most common patterns that I frequently see are estrogen dominance and a state of burn-out when all of the sex hormones are bottomed out and extremely low. Both are equally dangerous and can come with some nasty symptoms and side effects.


When your sex hormones are out of balance, it can lead to symptoms and problems throughout the whole body such as severe PMS, cramping, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, irregular menstrual cycles, acne, brain fog, mood swings, nausea, anger, irritability, anxiety, depression, severe fatigue, pregnancy struggles, inability to lose weight, osteoporosis, cancer development and more.


Now let’s not cast a negative shadow on our hormones...


Your hormones make you divine; your hormones make you the superwoman that you are! When your hormones are in balance they give you energy, vitality, focus, confidence, empathy and allow for the miracle of birth. Your hormones make you uniquely complex and uniquely you.


The first step in balancing your hormones is accepting and honoring the fact that your hormones are a blessing and not a curse!


The second step that I often recommend to patients is something as simple as seed cycling. Before recommending supplemental hormones I like to focus on incorporating nutrient dense seeds into the diet at different times during the month.


What is seed cycling and how do you do it?


Seed cycling is a very simple and natural way to begin addressing hormone imbalances. The concept is simple - the first half of your hormonal cycle you incorporate flax and pumpkin seeds into your diet to promote estrogen production and the second half of your cycle you incorporate sunflower and sesame seeds to promote progesterone production.


The first half of your cycle is the Follicular Phase when estrogen levels are gradually rising. During days 1-14 of your cycle consume 1 Tbsp each of flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds. Flaxseeds are extremely high in lignans, which act as estrogen blockers to reduce excess estrogen buildup. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which sets the stage for progesterone production in the second half of your cycle.


The second half of your cycle is the Luteal Phase when progesterone levels are rising. During days 15-28 of your cycle consume 1 Tbsp each of sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. The lignans in sesame seeds are slightly less than that of flaxseed, but continue to prevent the buildup of excess estrogen and their abundant zinc content promotes progesterone production. Sunflower seeds contain a high concentration of selenium to support liver detoxification and lots of vitamin E, again contributing to healthy progesterone levels.


Now when I was personally seed cycling, I quite honestly got very sick of chomping on raw seeds after only about 2-3 days... so I came up with this blissful treat as a way to incorporate phase specific seeds into my daily routine.


Hormone Balancing Blissful Bites for Seed Cycling:


First things first, always buy organic and raw seeds for this recipe! Some of these ingredients you might have in the kitchen and some might be new to you - such as the maca, cacao or dates. So if you don’t have these items readily available, you’ll want to buy an organic bag of each. The bonus is, cacao and maca also have hormone-balancing properties!!! As far as equipment goes, all you will need is a high powered blender, some measuring cups and your hands. I make my bites fresh at the beginning of each phase and now that I've been doing this awhile the process takes me no more than 20 minutes. I also make my bites pretty big (2 tablespoons approximately) so that I only need one a day and they are easy to grab and go.


Ingredients:


Blissful Bites for the Follicular Phase:


  • 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds

  • 3/4 cup flax seeds

  • 10 dates

  • 1/4 cup cacao powder

  • 1 tablespoon maca powder

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

  • 1 pinch celtic sea salt




Blissful Bites for the Luteal Phase:

  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds

  • 3/4 cup sesame seeds

  • 10 dates

  • 1/4 cup cacao powder

  • 1 tablespoon maca powder

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

  • 1 pinch celtic sea salt




Preparation:


  1. Add the seeds for the Follicular Phase to your high powered blender first; Pulse until the seeds are blended smoothly.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients: dates, cacao powder, maca powder, unsweetened shredded coconut, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract and sea salt. Process until smooth.

  3. Roll the mixture into balls with your hands and drudge in additional coconut flakes. Bites should approximately 2 tablespoons in size.

  4. Refrigerate bites for at least 1-2 hours.

  5. Store the bites in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and enjoy one or two a day during the Folliluar Phase.


*Repeat this same recipe and process for the Luteal Phase using sunflower and sesame seeds.


Give these Hormone Balancing Blissful Bites a try and let me know what you think and how you feel!!!

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