If you have been following along, you know that I have had my fair share of hormonal imbalances in the past. These imbalances reached a peak in my life when it came time for my husband and I to try to start a family.
Not having any background knowledge at the time, I trusted what the reproductive endocrinologist told me. In a nutshell, she told me I didn’t ovulate and the only way to fix it was to take synthetic medications. Okay, so I did. Except I still wasn’t getting pregnant. Two and a half years of weekly doctor appointments and invasive procedures still left me without a baby.
When I began asking more in-depth questions about my hormones I was quickly dismissed. When I inquired about alternative approaches or things I could do at home to help along with the traditional medication route, I was again told there is no evidence to support any alternatives.
But here is the kicker- I didn’t stop asking questions.
I knew, deep in my gut, that when something is out of balance there is most certainly a way to bring it back into balance.
So I began talking with naturopaths, acupuncturists, and holistic healers. They taught me that there is a GREAT deal you can do to begin to bring back your hormonal balance and it is ridiculously low cost.
The secret? Foods. Specifically, Greens and Healthy Fats.
One very specific method they taught me is called Seed Cycling.
I had never heard of it and it sounded really bizarre at first.
But in reality, it was incredibly easy and really cost effective.
Now, I am not saying that this was the only reason, but after working with an acupuncturist, focusing on vitamins, and cycling with seeds I became pregnant without the aid of medication in only two months time. I. was. floored.
So now I want to share with you a little about what Seed Cycling is and why I am about to start it up again.
What is Seed Cycling?
Seed cycling is a way to naturally rebalance your hormones, specifically your reproductive hormone production. The reason for this is that certain seeds contain different types of essential fatty acids and lignans. What are lignans? They attach to and bind up excess hormones like estrogen. On The other side of things, the essential fatty acids, are what help boost hormone production.
There are four different seeds that you eat in this process. They are Flax, Pumpkin, Sunflower, and Sesame.
Flax– High in Omega 3 and contains lignans, which block excess estrogen
Pumpkin-High in Omega 3 and high in zinc, which supports progesterone release
Sunflower– High in selenium, a mineral essential for liver detoxification
Sesame– Full of lignans, which block excess estrogen
How You Can Seed Cycle: The Protocol (It is crazy simple!)
The seeds are rotated based on the two different phases of your cycle.
- The Follicular phase which is the beginning of your cycle or day 1 (the day of your period).
- The Luteal phase which begins the day you ovulate to the day your period begins (roughly day 14 through day 28)
However, not all women have a regular 28 day cycle making. Especially those of us who have had difficulty with fertility. If you do not have a 28 day cycle, then you would start Phase 1- The Follicular phase, on the first day of the new moon (which you can google) and then begin Phase 2- The Luteal, approximately 14 days latter when the moon is full.
Phase 1 Protocol:
- Follicular Phase- take 1 tbsp of freshly ground raw Pumpkin and 1 tbsp of Flax seed.
Phase 2 Protocol:
- Luteal Phase- 1 tbsp of freshly ground sunflower and 1 tbsp of sesame seeds
Yes- That is it! It is so simple, right?!?
How to Eat The Seeds
You can grind the seeds up and put them into smoothies (that is what I do), you can put them on top of salads, in soups, or even sprinkle on your oatmeal to add some crunch, flavor, and healthy fat.
(Make sure you keep the seeds stored in a container to keep them fresh throughout the month)
You follow this protocol daily throughout the month rotating between the follicular and luteal phases of your cycle, your goal is to start to remove excess estrogen and bring back your progesterone levels. Which means more stable periods and optimizing fertility.
What To Expect
Usually whenever starting any new habit or protocol it takes a month or two to see the benefits. You may notice some changes in your PMS symptoms after the first month, but after 3-4 cycles you should see a significant improvement in your PMS and menstrual symptoms. What this means is that your hormone levels are balancing. You will stop making excess estrogen and balance this hormone with your progesterone. When progesterone and estrogen are balanced your body is less stressed, releases fat more easily, and is less likely to feel like a rollercoaster ride. The key is to stay consistent with the protocol so that your body can get into a rhythm.
After breastfeeding my daughter for the last 18 months, my hormones are pretty off balance when it comes to my monthly cycle. So I have decided to reintroduce this protocol back into my daily routine. My goal is for it to restore my estrogen and progesterone balance and ultimately bring back my period! I’ll keep you all posted on how it goes 🙂
If after three months you are still not feeling better or seeing an improvement in your cycle, you may have a more substantial hormonal imbalance that may benefit from the help of a naturopath or holistic doctor. I also have a protocol I use to help you learn how to get to the root cause of your hormonal imbalance and begin taking steps to improve it. If this is something you want to learn more about, contact me and we can get started on a plan customized just for you.