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Bye bye hormonal binge eating: how can you support your cycle with nutrition

2 min read
Cycle Care

Approved by

Annelies Deleu - Holistic chef
How? Annelies Deleu explains. Annelies is a holistic chef & creative food consultant. She has created a masterclass where she talks about nutrition and hormonal balance.

The cycle often has a rather negative connotation. Being on your period means being grumpy, binge eating, and period leaks. But contrary to popular beliefs, we have so much potential during the various phases of our cycle. How to support that potential? With nutrition of course!

In recent years, something seems to have changed in the way we view the menstrual cycle

“I feel that as well. I remember my male teacher in high school talking about the menstrual cycle with cheeks as red as Snow White’s apple during biology class. And two years ago, when I gave my first workshop on the subject, the entry barrier was high for women. I could recognize that it was difficult for a lot of women to share their experiences, but I can see that this has already changed now. In 2022, the cycle is no longer viewed as nothing but a burden, but rather as something more positive, something that we can use to the fullest. Women are highly involved in creating a healthy cycle, and we increasingly understand the connection between self-care, nutrition, and hormonal balance. Because at the same time, our hormonal balance is under a lot of pressure.”

How can we get the most out of our cycle?

“Through cycle syncing, in other words, aligning yourself with your hormones. You can compare your cycle to the 4 seasons. Winter - the menstrual week - is a great opportunity for some big cleanups and to focus on the inside. During summer - around your ovulation - hormones surge through your body and your creativity, energy, planning, and organizational skills are at an absolute peak. This is an excellent time to take on new projects. The trick simply lies in learning to recognize your body’s needs.”

And this also includes nutrition? 

“Exactly! If I fill my shopping cart with brown rice and pumpkin during grocery shopping, I already know what time it is. I am nearing my period and I start craving more grounded foods with resistant starches. This is exactly the case with chocolate as well. Craving chocolate during your period is not a myth. Dark chocolate in particular contains a lot of magnesium and during your period you can lose important minerals like iron and magnesium." 

What types of food are best during your ovulation?

“Due to the various hormone spikes, your liver is under a lot of pressure. This can affect those who eat unhealthy, drink alcohol, or experience heavy stress. I recommend eating fermented vegetables and fresh foods to support the liver during this period.”

You've experienced firsthand how nutrition can balance your body. 

“When I stopped taking the pill two years ago, my body had to regulate all the hormones itself for the first time after years. My body went haywire. I got acne, felt continuously bloated, and all sorts of intolerances surfaced. Eventually, I started to adapt my diet to my cycle. I became connected to my body for the first time in my life, as a result, I have more energy and my skin is glowing. I even get compliments! Now I combine the two in my workshops. My body was constantly screaming out its needs, but I was completely ignoring all the signs. I try to teach women how to listen to their body’s whispers so that it never has to scream like mine had to. And good nutrition is the foundation.”

Finally, do you have some practical tips?

  • If you feel that something is off or you have doubts about something, please talk to your friends, mother, or a doctor. Our intuition is almost always right, so listen to yourself. 

  • Your period is on its way? A good time to start meal prepping. When you’re on your period, your energy levels usually deplete and you start craving unhealthy foods. If there’s a delicious premade pumpkin soup in the fridge and some oatmeal cookies in the pantry waiting to be devoured, you can eat healthily without any additional effort. 

  • Are you ovulating? Then get out of your comfort zone and take some risks in the kitchen. Organize a dinner party, or try eating plant-based foods for a week. This is the opportunity to discover so many fun things about yourself. 

Would you like to try out some recipes? Click here


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Cycle is a community where all aspects of the female body are discussed freely. From menstruation to menopause: we'll help you understand your body, mind, cycle and sexuality better, with the help of our Cycle Experts.