I want to put out a disclaimer that I am by no means a health practitioner and I highly encourage you to speak with your GP or gynecologist if you decide to incorporate any new practices into your routines.
In this blog post, we are going to dive deep into the ovulation phase of our cycle. I have already covered the menstrual phase and the follicular phase in previous blog posts. If you haven’t read through those posts I will link them for you below. I highly recommend you give them a read, so you can gather information on each phase and take notes if you desire.
The ovulation phase is truly wild + wonderful in every way, and in most cases it’s every woman's favourite part of their cycle. The ovulation phase is linked with the season of summer. Think high energy, a time to socialise and interact with others, a season of fun and excitement. Your ovulation phase is a short window of time where your estrogen and testosterone are at their peak. This is when your sex drive is going to be extremly high because your egg is ready to be released into the fallopian tube. HELLO BABIES! The window is around 4 days give or take, but you only truly ovulate for 12-24 hours.
The more in tune with your body you become, the more aware you become of when you are ovulating. The tell tale sign is a change in your cervical fluid. It will become very sticky and stretchy. In a way it can resemble egg whites. Some women, including myself, experience ovulation pain and I personally get breakouts. They are usually on my jawline and the lower half of my face.
There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to your cycle and women are under the impression that they can get pregnant at any time during the month. You can only get pregnant during that fertile window (ovulation phase of your cycle). Think about it, 14 days after you ovulate (this is assuming you have a regular cycle) you are either going to get a period or you’re not. It really is that simple. This is why natural family planning can work IF, and only if, you know exactly where you are at in your cycle. Being off a few days on either side of ovulation can definitely lead to pregnancy. So, it is always good to take precautions and be as careful as possible if you aren’t planning on having children any time soon.
I believe it’s important for every woman to really honne in, understand their body and their individual cycle. It makes preventing or falling pregnant that much easier if you know where you are at depending on the phase you are in.
There are so many different variables that come into play when it comes to our cycles and depending on your individual circumstances, how stressed you are, your diet and what exercises you are doing can all affect your hormones. These changes can impact how long your menstrual, follicular, ovulatory and luteal phase is. The more you practice the cycle syncing method, the more you are able to decipher your body and it’s individual needs + cues. Your body has a way of telling you if something is off, sometimes it is by breakouts, sleeping patterns, weight loss or gain, moods etc.
Our hormones should be working synergistically with the rest of our body systems to create harmony all year round. There are SO many beautiful practices you can incorporate to support your ovulation phase, and I would love to share a few different ways you can be doing that. Unlocking your feminine energy feels incredibly empowering and it makes all the difference to your cycle when you really nurture your hormones properly.
Let’s start with some lifestyle practices!
Alisa Vitti talks about our second clock, our infradian rhythm, in her book: in the FLO. She breaks down the myth that women should be functioning only on a 24 hour clock. I mentioned briefly in my follicular phase blog post that Men work on a 24 hour cycle, but as women ours lasts for 28 days (give or take) and we really need to be creating more space to nurture and embrace that.
As I mentioned above, during your ovulation phase is when you are going to have the most energy. It’s important to be aware and conscious of your schedule during each phase of your cycle. Your ovulation phase is typically when you are going to actually feel like socialising, so try to make sure you schedule time with friends, go on a date night with your lover, go hiking, if you have speaking events or interviews now is the time to put them in your diary.
I LOVE that we get the opportunity to sync our cycles with our lifestyle. It has been such a transformative experience for me and I just want every woman reading this to experience the same thing.
Another thing to consider as you approach your ovulatory phase is that your sex drive is naturally going to be higher. That is a good thing and it's normal for your body + hormones to experience during this phase. Take advantage of that! Know that it is normal for your libido to fluctuate through-out the duration of the month.
SIDE NOTE ON THE PILL:
Growing up I never really understood why my cervical fluid varied at each different phase and being on the pill completely stopped all of my natural bodily functions from occurring each month, including my actual period. While I still bled on the pill, it’s not a real period because you don’t ovulate. The synthetic hormones suppress proper ovulation from occurring and in turn you end up with a withdrawal bleed at the end of the month instead of an actual period. I personally would have loved for my doctor to go through this explanation with me before I decided to go on the pill. It is vital and valuable information we as women should learn when we are making a decision on birth control, or in my case, a means to clear my skin from hormonal acne. I truthfully don’t know if I would have made the decision to go on the pill if I was better informed on the effect it has on my body and my hormones. I want to encourage and empower you to take control in this area of your life. If you go to the doctor don’t be scared to speak up and ask questions. I understand not all doctors like going in depth with these conversations, but it is their duty to inform you and make you aware of what is going in your body or what will be going on in your body.
Now onto the food!
One of my most favourite ways to support my body and the different phases of my cycle is through the foods I choose to nourish myself with. While some people don’t like the quote by hippocrates “Let food be thy medicine”. It is something I truly believe in and stand by. The foods you consume have such a large impact on your overall health and I love sharing how different ingredients can impact your body in a positive way.
There are so many beautiful foods and meals you can be incorporating during the ovulatory phase of your cycle.
This is a time where you are able to easily digest foods. It is a great time to continue eating raw salads, smoothies and raw veggies.
Below I am going to outline some recipes for you to try during ovulation. I have personally noticed such a difference when I have a variety of different foods throughout the duration of my whole cycle.
Before we dive into the different recipe ideas, I want to walk you through seed cycling again. I wrote about it previously in my follicular phase blog post, but now that we have hit ovulation, we are going to be switching the seeds we consume. During your ovulation phase and your luteal phase you will eat sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. There are so many different ways you can incorporate these two types of seeds into your diet. You can swap out peanut butter for sunflower butter (just be sure that the only ingredients are sunflower seeds and salt). You can make hummus because it contains tahini, which is just ground up sesame seeds. You can also incorporate either one of those butters into some bliss balls. There is always the option of topping your meals with those seeds. Sesame seeds pair wonderfully with asian cuisine and sunflower seeds taste delicious on top of smoothies and/or salads. There are endless options and I just absolutely love, love, love this sweet little practice.
If you are overwhelmed or don’t know where to buy seeds, I have found natural grocers to be a great + cheap store to purchase my seeds. That is of course if you live in the States. If you are reading this in Australia, you could definitely try the source bulk food store.
Alright, The first recipe is obviously going to be a smoothie bowl. If you can’t already tell, these are my kryptonite and I am absolutely obsessed in every single way.
This is my strawberries and cream smoothie bowl and it tastes SO good.
1 cup of strawberries
½ frozen banana
1 cup of frozen cauliflower
A big handful of baby spinach
240 g or 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
A dash of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of almond butter
1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds
Add all ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor
Blend until thick and creamy
Pour into a bowl, add toppings and enjoy
Red Lentil Dahl
I have recently fallen in love with lentils again, especially red lentils. They are filled with SO many beautiful + nourishing vitamins and minerals. Red lentils are an incredible food option to include in this phase of your cycle. They are high in fiber, folate, manganese, iron, phosphorus and copper to name a few. Red lentils contain high amounts of polyamine spermidine which can potentially help sperm fertilise the egg.
This is such a nutritious and simple meal that will leave you feeling satiated and full. I know lentils don’t always sit well with some people, but I HIGHLY encourage you to soak them for 8 - 12 hours before you cook them. It helps to break them down and our bodies are able to absorb the nutrients better. I noticed I wasn’t left feeling bloated or gassy after this meal at all, which is saying something because I always used to feel that way after I consumed legumes of any kind.
2 cups of dried red lentils (soaked for 12 hours)
1 tin of coconut cream or coconut milk
½ a yellow onion
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 heaped tablespoon of gevity RX lemon and herb bone broth body glue
1 tablespoon of curry powder
½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of paprika powder
½ teaspoon of chilli powder
1 teaspoon of caraway
Salt + pepper
Dice yellow onion
In a large pot over a medium heat saute garlic and onion in some water
Cook until the onion is translucent
Turn heat to high
Add in the 2 cups of dried + soaked red lentils
Add in bone broth body glue, coconut milk and spices
Allow the lentils to boil for around 10 minutes (be sure to continue stirring
Once your dahl starts to thicken, turn to a low heat (if you need to add a little more water, feel free because the lentils are going to soak up alot of the liquid)
Once you reach a nice thick consistency you are ready to serve
If you want to serve with an extra source of animal protein, you can. I also love to bake some brussel sprouts and have them on the side too. It’s SUCH a beautiful meal.
Quinoa + Shrimp Salad
This is such a beautiful salad to include during your ovulatory phase. We are going to be focusing on fiber-rich veggies that help support detoxification of rising hormones.
½ cup of cooked quinoa
2 handfuls of baby spinach
6 cherry tomatoes
4 baked brussel sprouts + baked asparagus
Tahini + Maple dressing
2 tablespoons of tahini
½ teaspoon of maple syrup
A pinch of himalyn pink salt
Set your oven to 375 F
Line a baking tray
Chop brussel sprouts and asparagus and place on tray
Coat in olive oil and himilayan pink salt
Bake for 30 minutes
To cook your quinoa, you will need to add ½ a cup of quinoa and 1 cup of water to a small saucepan on a high heat
Allow it to come to a boil
Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer until the quinoa has completely absorbed all the water
Fluff up quinoa and set it aside to cool
In a pan cook your shrimp in some chives, garlic and olive oil on a medium heat
Cook until the shrimp is cooked through
In a bowl add in all your ingredients and pour your tahini + maple dressing on top
Time for exercise!
As we have mentioned before, this phase of your cycle is linked with the season of summer. This is where you are naturally going to have the most energy and I highly encourage you to take advantage of that, especially because after your ovulatory phase you are going to head into your luteal phase and you aren’t going to feel like being as active or feel drawn to do high intensity workouts in the later part of that stage.
Exercise routines to incorporate during this phase are boxing classes, kettlebell workouts, cycling, boot camp and HIIT training. Don’t be scared to book into that gym class and maybe even try something you haven’t done before. This is a time where your estrogen and testosterone are at their peak. It’s a time you are going to feel your absolute best and a phase where higher intensity workouts seem much more appealing. As we continue to learn, it’s not like that in all phases of our cycle. This is another reason why the cycle syncing method is so incredible. It can be tailored to your individual cycle and your individual needs. It is truly something I believe any and every woman can benefit from.
There are so many beautiful + simple and affordable practices you can be incorporating during this phase of your cycle. I could keep going with the amount of information I have on this topic and this phase in particular but I want to leave you feeling empowered to embrace this phase and feel confident when incorporating these practices.
My heart is to help you navigate each phase and give you easily digestible information to take away and implement into your routines that are simple and long lasting. My hope is that you feel empowered and inspired by this series of blog posts. There are SO many natural and beautiful practices you can be doing in your everyday life to support your hormones for FREE!
Learning more about our cycles and how we work as women is beyond fascinating to me. This is a topic I have become extremely passionate about in the health + wellness realm and will definitely be diving deeper into. Be sure to subscribe so you can stay up to date with everything I am sharing.
Thank You so much for taking the time to read this post. I would love to know if you learned something new or what fun new practices you want to incorporate during your ovulation phase!
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Together, Let's flourish, lovely.
In the Flo Book.