• Iris Grattan

Period-Supportive Foods You Should Eat Everyday During A Pandemic.

You can still enjoy your period during a stressful time with a staple of period-supportive foods.

In the midst of a pandemic - or any highly stressful time - your health may take a back seat.

You know it shouldn’t. But there are so many things to think about.

Plus, there’s the stress of being in a scary situation that’s a high risk to your well-being. And the well-being of your family.

Yet, funny enough, this is when you must stick to your period-optimizing habits. Or, expend a little energy creating them.

Food must be and can be, the easiest default.

What you eat from day to day will sustain you without thinking about it.

When is it a good time to start? Well, considering we’re all on lockdown for an unknown amount of time - “today” would be the short answer.

Normally, you wait until a stressful event recedes into the background to make food changes because change requires energy.

And if you’ve got a wedding to plan, a thanksgiving dinner for 20 to cook, or a vacation on the horizon (which, unfortunately, doesn’t apply to you or I right now) creating new food habits, like different types of food, cooking styles, a new prep schedule, etc., can be overwhelming.

However, I’m not suggesting you dive into such a big overhaul right now either. The best way to eat more period-optimizing foods, and do it more often, is to

  1. Pick a food you want to try

  2. Find a number of ways to add that to your daily meals

  3. Try a few new ways of eating that food

Once it becomes a staple, you move on to something else.

My training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) health coaching program taught me that. And I’ve seen it work over and over again with clients.

Using will power is not the way I approach eating healthier.

I did eliminate foods for a short time while at IIN. Our professors invited us to complete an elimination diet.

I discovered my sensitivity to gluten, dairy, and soy.

To this day I eat very little gluten. With dairy, I only eat fermented forms like Bulgarian yogurt.

When I became a vegetarian by inadvertently following the blood type diet, I lost weight without trying. And my acne cleared up.

I also don’t have PMS. Eliminating meat except for turkey, eating more veggies, and balancing my meals with fat, fiber, and protein shifted my body permanently.

You can read more about eating the FFP way - or fat, fiber and protein diet - here.

So, in each situation food made the difference.

I did not supplement my health concerns away.

Just like medicine, supplements alone will not save you.

If you don’t want to do the work (yes, I said the “w” word) to change your diet, you will not get the results you want.

And during stressful times taking your supplements may fall to the waste side.

But, if you’ve trained yourself to eat right, you’ll fall to your default every time.

Even if you start eating cheese puffs (hmm, I may be confessing a bit here), your habits won’t allow you to fall off the wagon completely. No overturned horse buggies and tears because you ate an entire gallon of ice cream.

Instead (as I recently learned while planning my grandmother’s wedding and relocating her to Florida in the midst of this pandemic), you’ll notice how bad you feel from that crappy food and you’ll be hitching up your skirt and running back to Walmart for mangos, spinach, oats, and almond milk so you can drown your body in health and wellness!

*Sigh* It feels good to be normal again.

So. Let’s get you eating right. Not just for your period but for your general well-being.

You never know when those good habits will come in handy.

Here’s a list of staple foods for a better period:

  • Flax seeds

  • Chia seeds

  • Nuts and nut butter Ex: almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds

  • Green veggies: collard greens, spinach, kale, dark green cabbage

  • Fish low in mercury: Alaskan salmon, Albacore tuna from Alaska/Canada (if you can’t give up tuna altogether), Pacific sardines, Black cod.

  • Meat: organic, grass-fed poultry (chicken or turkey)

  • Organic fruits: frozen or fresh

  • Juice: pomegranate

  • Water: filtered

  • Fermented foods: Bulgarian yogurt, sourdough bread, sauerkraut, kimchi (fermented, spicy cabbage), kefir yogurt drink, miso (add to hot water to make a salty, delicious soup)

Yes, I know some of those foods can be expensive. I’ve dealt with the struggle as well. And to that, I say, “At the minimum, buy the organic fruits and veggies and healthy fish. Limit the amount of meat you eat.”

Yes, those foods may be new. To that, I say, “Try them in ways that are familiar to you”.

  • Add flax seeds to a salad

  • Mix flax, chia, or nuts into a smoothie

  • Buy sourdough bread instead of your normal bread

  • Substitute sesame seed butter instead of peanut butter in your PB&J sandwich

  • Toast your bread and add sesame seed butter w/a drizzle of honey beside a bowl of oatmeal in the morning vs toast + butter

  • Mix Bulgarian yogurt + organic blueberries + drizzle of honey for dessert. And if you’re still craving ice cream - have a smaller portion.

Hmm, what other objections can you come up with? Email me so I can think of some solutions.

Seriously, please do.

Here are a few links to recipes that include the above foods:

Or, just visit Minimalist Baker to search for recipes. Lol. (Obviously, I like her stuff.)

Alright, I’m too distracted by food to write anymore. It’s time to sign off.

If you want more food options then the ones I mentioned above, download the free infographic "31 Natural Therapies for a PMS-Free Period."

I deep dive into specific foods that support a better period.

And, you'll receive recommendations for evidence-based natural medicines and lifestyles that do the same.

Until the next article, happy shopping, happy eating, happy period.

Dr. Iris G.

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