Days of Wine and Roses (And a Seed Cycling How To)

I am obviously doing a fantastic job of sticking to my resolve to blog once a week…although I’m not too annoyed with myself. Sometimes it’s just better to live life than write about it.

Those “Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer” are here and so full. I try to remember to thank God every day for all the prayers that have been answered this year. I’m so thankful for this time of life – time to hike up mountains with beloved friends, to make noodles from scratch, to get accidentally tipsy on homemade limoncello over life-giving conversation, to get my hands dirty and plant a garden, to skinny dip in the hot afternoon sun, to play music, to make soap from scratch with my mother. To learn, to take care of business, to be fearless, to explore. I’m thankful for this season of rest and cultivation after a season that was full of difficulty and pain.

But this post is meant for you. The woman who is feeling the need to nourish and balance her hormones, or to just tune in to her cycle and honor her incredible design. We as women are made so beautifully and uniquely, and as I learn more through personal study and my course with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I am becoming more and more aware of how important it is for women to embrace their womanhood. As Psalm 139:14 states, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Unfortunately, most of us have been raised in a culture that is unfriendly towards the feminine, and can even be detrimental to women’s health and wellbeing. Our culture has been one that frowns on rest, play, creativity, and nourishment, and instead has replaced them with over-work, over-exercise, and under-nourishment.

I feel like I could talk about this for days. My dream is for our society to develop a culture that is well-suited to both the female and male strengths. One where our gifts of nuture, playfulness, and creativity encourage and lift men up, and where their gifts of protection, victory, and strength create a safe haven for us. But that is not what this post is about. I write this for all the women in my life who I’ve shared with,  who have asked me to share my experience, and what I have learned about Seed Cycling.

I began seed cycling in February in an attempt to improve my hormones. When I moved to Napa last Summer, I experienced a crash after a long period of dieting, over-exercising, ridiculously long commutes, and a lack of community and social life. I had some hormone testing done which showed a Pregnenolone Steal (your body needs more cortisol to deal with stressful situations, so it steals Pregnenolone to compensate). From what I’ve learned, this often follows a time of high cortisol, which is what I had been experiencing for about two years. Seed cycling is a method of using specific seeds during specific phases of the female cycle to support healthy hormone production. For me, it has boosted my mood and energy, further regulated my cycle (Menstruation comes on the day it is expected), cleared up hormonal acne, and my “lady balls” are the most satisfying thing I eat each day! It is a simple, natural, and delicious way to nourish your hormones. It is not a quick fix, and from what I’ve learned, is not effective while taking HBC (hormonal birth control).

This is not meant to treat or prevent disease. My intention through this post and this blog is to share with you some things that have helped me to live a better life, in the hope that it might help you as well!

Here’s the gist:

Your cycle is split up in to 2 big phases; Follicular (days 1-14) and Luteal (days 15-28), and 4 sub-phases; Menstrual, Follicular, Ovulatory, and Luteal.

For Seed Cycling, you consume a Tablespoon EACH of fresh, raw, ground up Pumpkin and Flax seeds during your Follicular phase, and Sunflower and Sesame seeds during your Luteal phase. Some people choose to sprinkle them in smoothies and on salads, but I like making them into a 1-hit snack.

If your cycle is fairly regular, you can just start there. On day 1 or day 15. I jumped in on day 15 when I first started.

If your cycle is irregular (shorter than 25 days, or longer than 30 days), then you can cycle with the Moon. Start cycling your Pumpkin and Flax seeds with the New Moon, or your Sunflower and Sesame seeds with the Full Moon.

Here is a great resource on Seed Cycling for the Beginner:

A Beginner’s Guide to SEED CYCLING

If you have no idea where you are in your cycle, or where the Moon is, here are my favorite apps for tracking my cycle.

DaysyView is the app that goes along with the Daysy Fertility Monitor. I use this to track my BBT. Daysy is beautiful German device, but I (and many more users) have had difficulty with syncing the device to the app, as it’s still a fairly new product.

Flo is where I track everything that goes along with my cycle – menstruation, CM, mood, exercise, etc. I also use the Cronometer app to track my food and exercise, and this app connects to Flo, which I love!

Moon is just what it says. It is a very simple app showing what phase the Moon is in, at what percentage, and when the next Moon is due.

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Now that you know how to get started, I’m going to give you a recipe for each of the two phases. This recipe makes 14 good-sized snack balls. One for each day of that phase of your cycle. Eat one each day, and when you have a couple left, make a batch for the next phase of your cycle. The recipe is one I originally got from The Natural Fit Foodie. She’s a great resource for cycle syncing. I love her recipe, but made a few tweaks to tailor the consistency to my liking, and I wanted to throw in one more superfood! Here is the original recipe: https://naturalfitfoodie.com/fudgy-almond-butter-fat-bombs/

Pictured below are my “Flumpkin Lady Balls”

Processed With Darkroom

Flumpkin Lady Balls (Follicular Phase/Days 1-14):

Ingredients:

14 heaping Tbsp. ground Pumpkin Seeds

14 heaping Tbsp. ground Flax Seeds

2 Tbsp. shredded Coconut (I like to grind this with my seeds)

1/3 c. raw Cacao

1/2 c. raw Almond Butter

1/4 c. just melted (but not hot!) Virgin Coconut Oil

1 Tbsp. Lion’s Mane Mushroom Powder (I get mine from Thrive Market)

1 Tbsp. Lucuma Powder (Amazon!)

1 Tbsp. Baobab Powder (Thrive Market! Extra Vitamin C boost!)

1 heaping Tbsp. ground Cinnamon

2 Tbsp. raw Honey

1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix everything together in the bowl of a standing mixer, or in a big bowl with a handheld mixer. I like to mix the dry ingredients together, then add the wet, slowly pouring in the melted coconut oil last. Form in to balls using a cookie dough scooper or ice cream scoop the size of a golf ball(ish). Refrigerate on a cookie sheet before transferring to an airtight container or jar.

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Sunsame Lady Balls (Luteal Phase/Days 15-28):

Ingredients:

14 heaping Tbsp. ground Sunflower Seeds

14 heaping Tbsp. ground Sesame Seeds

2 Tbsp. shredded Coconut (I like to grind this with my seeds)

1/3 c. raw Cacao

1/2 c. raw Almond Butter

1/4 c. just melted (but not hot!) Virgin Coconut Oil

1 Tbsp. Lion’s Mane Mushroom Powder (I get mine from Thrive Market)

1 Tbsp. Lucuma Powder (Amazon!)

1 Tbsp. Baobab Powder (Thrive Market! Extra Vitamin C boost!)

1 heaping Tbsp. ground Cinnamon

2 Tbsp. raw Honey

1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix everything together in the bowl of a standing mixer, or in a big bowl with a handheld mixer. I like to mix the dry ingredients together, then add the wet, slowly pouring in the melted coconut oil last. Form in to balls using a cookie dough scooper or ice cream scoop the size of a golf ball(ish). Refrigerate on a cookie sheet before transferring to an airtight container or jar.

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And there you are! It’s fairly simple, just make sure to plan ahead so you always have the ingredients on hand! As soon as I see myself running low on an ingredient, I add it to my grocery list, and order it or grab it from the store the next time I have a chance. When using food this way, I truly believe consistency is key. Be consistent, give it time, and I hope it will bring improvement to your cycle! Please reach out if you decide to give it a go, and let me know what you think!

Love,

Mandie ❤