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Dr. Beth Westie

A Guide To Eating For Your Cycle

I tried this method of eating back when I was looking for any way to reduce my PCOS symptoms. And it changed my life, so I never stopped. And today I’m sharing it with you! 

Here’s what you need to know: 

First things first, let’s ditch the diets made for men. Which is pretty much every diet out there, because it does not account for the hormone fluctuations that the female body experiences every month. Simply put, the first half of the month is marked by a rise in estrogen, and the second half is marked by higher levels of progesterone

Think about it – why should we expect our bodies to respond to a mono-diet when our hormones shift and change? 

Every craving, mood swing, or bout of fatigue is your body’s way of communicating its needs. By paying attention to our cycle, we can mitigate these symptoms with the right foods, spices and herbs.  

Ever wondered why you crave chocolate before your period? It could be your body’s way of signaling a need for magnesium. 

Basal Body Temperature

Here’s where we get the data – basal body temperature. Did you know that your basal body temperature fluctuates across your cycle? During the follicular phase, it’s lower, while it rises after ovulation during the luteal phase.

This temperature shift is linked to our hormonal needs. During the estrogen phase, cooling foods support our body’s natural state, while warming foods complement the elevated temperature of the luteal phase.

Tip: start tracking your BBT every morning for a whole month and watch how the cycle repeats. 


The estrogen or follicular phase, which begins the day bleeding starts and ends around ovulation, typically lasts 14 days. During this phase, estrogen is on the rise, and your body enters it’s cooling phase. 


  • Cooling foods: Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, lettuce, Cucumbers, Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, Citrus fruits: Oranges, lemons, limes, Melons: Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, Coconut water, Mint, Cilantro, Green tea, lean meat like chicken and turkey. 
  • Electrolytes: Especially important during menstruation, make sure to add minerals to your water for optimal hydration. 
  • Estrogen-balancing seeds: Because estrogen is also ramping up during this phase, I focus on foods that help balance estrogen production, like pumpkin seeds and flax seeds. Take 1 Tablespoon of each per day. 


The progesterone or luteal phase typically takes place roughly 14 days after the first day of your period and is marked by ovulation and the rise of progesterone. 

This phase follows ovulation and typically spans approximately two weeks until the onset of the next menstrual cycle. Following ovulation, both LH and estrogen levels decrease, although estrogen levels typically stabilize again midway through the luteal phase. This rise in progesterone persists until just before menstruation begins.

The increase in progesterone during the luteal phase stimulates a rise in both appetite and resting metabolic rate. Consequently, our bodies not only crave more food during this time but also require increased energy intake. 


  • Warming foods: Red meat (beef, venison, bison, etc.), Cooked vegetables (heating up the fiber components helps your digestive system break it down easier), Spices such as cinnamon and ginger, Hot sauce and peppers
  • Electrolytes: continue adding minerals to your water during the progesterone phase, especially leading up to menstruation.  
  • Progesterone-balancing seeds: to support progesterone balance, I focus on seeds like sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. Take 1 Tablespoon of each per day. 

As with any transformation, patience is key. Your body isn’t Amazon Prime – it won’t take 2 days to see results. It may take two or three cycles to fully experience the benefits of this approach. 

By nourishing your body with the right foods at the right times, you’re laying the foundation for long term results. 

My recommendations: Get to know your cycle. Track your basal body temperature and ovulation for a few cycles. Start seed cycling and implementing cooling and warming foods and check in with your symptoms. 

Snag my free getting started guide


I'm Dr. Beth

After my own journey with hormone issues and ovarian cysts, I sold my chiropractic clinic to create solutions for women like me. I love my dogs, Gary and Murray, everything from Costco and Minnesota summers. My mission is to use nutrition to help women work with the natural cycles of their bodies to achieve lasting health. 

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