• Iris Grattan

A 5-Day Meal Plan for a Better Period

Here's breakfast, two smoothies, one lunch, and two dinners you can make to jump-start your PMS-free, better period experience. They're anti-inflammatory, blood-sugar balancing and hormone supportive. Plus, many of the ingredients you can reuse in another meal. With less than 10 ingredients and a short prep time, you'll be eating dinner within an hour of walking in the door!




Oatmeal's a staple. Think oatmeal cookies, oatmeal pancakes, oatmeal smoothies, and of course oatmeal for breakfast.


Why not change it up? Here's an easy, overnight recipe for muesli - but you can substitute oats.


Overnight Muesli/Oatmeal


8 Hours - 10 Ingredients - 3 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups muesli/oats (rolled)

  • 1/4 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 1/4 Cup sliced almonds

  • 2 Tbsps ground flax seed

  • 1/4 Cup organic raisins

  • 1/4 Cup hemp seeds

  • 1/2 Tsp Ceylon cinnamon

  • 1 Cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 2 Cups unsweetened coconut yogurt

  • 1 apple (medium, grated)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the muesli/oats, shredded coconut, almonds, flax seeds, raisins, hemp seeds, and cinnamon.

  2. Stir in the almond milk, yogurt, and grated apple.

  3. Mix well.

  4. Cover and let soak in the fridge overnight.

  5. Divide into bowls or jars in the morning, and enjoy! Or, warm up in the microwave.

Notes:

  • Leftovers Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days.

  • Prep Ahead The dry muesli/oat mix can be stored in a jar in your cupboard for up to 2 months.

  • Like it Sweet? Serve with fresh berries and/or a drizzle of honey or agave.

  • More Protein? Make with Greek yogurt instead of coconut yogurt.

  • Oatmeal options Try Bob Mill's Extra Thick Cut oats instead of steel-cut. It's heavy like steel-cut but less chewy.



I love me some smoothies. The simplicity of it all with the nutrient-dense ingredients makes my no-cooking-self happy. And my body feels better as I drink them regularly. (In this post I relay my PMS-free experience with green juicing - a similar approach to eating more veggies.)


Here's an easy-peasy green smoothie packed with protein, fat, and fiber.


Even if you avoid veggies because of taste, you'll enjoy this one. The avocado, which adds velvety texture more than flavor, with the banana will hide the spinach.


You can also add ginger, coconut cream, another banana or more protein powder to further hide the taste of fresh green vegetable.


Post-Workout (or anytime) Green Smoothie:


5 Minutes - 5 Ingredients - 1 Serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 Scoop of vanilla protein powder

  • 1 Cup of cold water

  • 1/4 avocado

  • 1/2 of a frozen banana

  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach - preferably organic; frozen spinach is too mushy for this

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

  2. Divide into glasses and enjoy!


If this doesn't make you get out of bed and do a little dance of anticipation, then something's wrong. (I didn't either, to be honest.)


Peaches are pretty and remind me of spring though. And that does make me happy. So, here's a little spring in your blender!


Peach Cobbler Smoothie:


5 minutes - 6 Ingredients - 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups of unsweetened cashew milk

  • 2 peaches (pitted)

  • 1/4 Cup of oats (quick or rolled)

  • 1 Cup cottage cheese

  • 2 Tbsps pitted Dates

  • 1 Tsp cinnamon

Notes:

  • Dairy-Free Use coconut yogurt instead of cottage cheese.

  • No Cashew Milk Use almond, rice, coconut or your choice of alternative milk instead.

  • No Dates Sweeten with agave, honey, xylitol powder or banana instead.

  • Storage Refrigerate in a sealed mason jar up to 24 hours. Shake well before drinking.

  • More Protein Add hemp seeds, a scoop of protein powder or spoonful of nut butter.

  • More Fiber Add ground flaxseed.



Green salads are healthy enthusiasts' first choice. Combine it with tuna salad to mix things up a bit.


Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad


15 minutes - 10 ingredients - 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup brown rice fusilli (cooked)

  • 2 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 juiced lemon

  • 1 1/2 Tsps Italian seasoning + sea salt + black pepper (to taste)

  • 1/4 Cup green olives (sliced)

  • 1/4 Cup sun-dried tomatoes (sliced)

  • 1/2 Can tuna (drained and flaked)

  • 4 Cups arugula

  • 2 Tbsps hemp seeds

Directions:

  1. Cook the brown rice pasta according to directions on the package.

  2. While the pasta is cooking, make the dressing by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to mix well.

  3. When the pasta is done cooking, drain it and rinse with cold water until cooled.

  4. In a large bowl, toss the pasta, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, tuna, arugula, hemp seeds, and dressing until well combined. Divide between plates and enjoy!

Notes:

  • Other protein options Use chickpeas, lentils, salmon, grass-fed chicken, or turkey instead of tuna

  • Leftovers Keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days.

  • Arugula Add arugula right before eating to avoid a soggy, wilted salad



I think everyone loves pasta. This may become one of your favorites. It's delish.


Lemon Pesto Penne


20 minutes - 7 ingredients - 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups cherry tomatoes

  • 2 Tbsps avocado Oil

  • 4 Cups quinoa penne (dry, uncooked)

  • 2 Cups broccoli (chopped into florets)

  • 1/3 cup pesto

  • 1 lemon (juiced)

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Adjust oven rack to the top, closest to the broiler. Set oven to high broil. Place tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and toss in oil. Broil for 10 to 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add penne and cook according to instructions. Add broccoli during the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking. Drain the pasta and broccoli, and return to the pan.

  3. Add in the pesto, lemon juice, sea salt, and broiled tomatoes, gently tossing until combined. Divide into bowls and enjoy!

Notes:

  • Leftovers Best enjoyed immediately as quinoa pasta will get stiff and dry once refrigerated. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days and enjoyed hot or cold.

  • More Protein Add cooked chicken breast or any ground meat.

  • No Quinoa Penne Use any other type of pasta instead.

  • No Broccoli Use broccolini or any other veggies on hand.

  • No Avocado Oil Use ghee, coconut oil or olive oil instead.

  • Gas oven Consider moving the tomatoes to the second rack so they don't burn.




And of course, salmon.


I'm always a bit surprised to find salmon at my local grocery store. It just seems that with as much salmon as we eat in this country, we'd run out!


If that's even possible, let's hope it happens after you cook this meal.


One-pan Mediterranean Salmon


25 minutes - 10 ingredients - 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup basil leaves

  • 1/4 lemon (juiced)

  • 1/2 garlic (clove)

  • 1/8 Tsp sea salt

  • 2 Tbsps hemp seeds

  • 2 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 salmon fillets

  • 3/4 Cup artichoke hearts from the jar

  • 1/4 Cup pitted kalamata olives

  • 2 tomatoes (large, quartered)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF (232ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment.

  2. Make the pesto by combining basil, lemon juice, garlic, sea salt, hemp seeds, and olive oil together in a small food processor. Pulse until smooth. (Can also buy in a jar.)

  3. Lay salmon on a baking sheet and arrange the artichokes, olives, and tomatoes on the baking dish around the fillets.

  4. Top each piece of salmon with a generous spoonful of pesto.

  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until fish is cooked through. Divide onto plates and enjoy!

Notes:

  • No salmon Use trout fillets instead.

  • More Carbs or Want Sides Serve with rice or quinoa.

  • Vegan Replace salmon with chickpeas

  • Not a fan of olives Serve with capers; or leave out altogether

  • Different tomatoes Try with cherry tomatoes instead

Additional Thoughts:

  • Double your ingredients so there's food for lunch the next day.

  • Smoothies last about 24 hours if refrigerated.

  • Soak more than 2 cups of oats at a time so there's some leftover for the peach cobbler smoothie. Or vice versa, the overnight oatmeal.

  • The two dinners have overlapping ingredients that save money and prep time. Plus, if you like pesto you'll have two chances to eat it with a delicious meal.


I'm getting hungry so I'll close this with a short note.


Fix your period with a better diet. Taking supplements alone will get you just so far.


To heal your body, provide it with the nutrients it needs to produce enzymes, hormones, proteins and other building blocks for optimal functioning. And a better period.

Join the weekly KISS Naturopathic newsletter for evidence-based nutrition, natural medicine, and mind-body therapies geared to a better period and balanced hormones. When you join you'll learn about the top 31 natural therapies for a PMS-free period. Because it's possible to have a PMS-free, enjoyable period.


Keepin' it simple, scientific, and natural

Dr. Iris

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