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27 Mar, 2023

Hormonal Health & Nutrition with Jodie Brandman

We ask our brand ambassador and female health expert for the lowdown on hormonal health and nutrition. How to take a hormonal approach to nutrition and how to cycle-sync to feel our best. Plus some extra tips on how to balance hormones.


As women, our periods are our fifth vital sign- every month they shed light on the health of our whole body, and we can learn so much by tuning in. As well as a circadian rhythm, women have an infradian rhythm, which means our body works on a monthly cycle, but it’s not just about our period, it affects our entire wellbeing. Our hormones, brain, metabolism, immune system, stress response and digestion all change throughout the month, and it’s so important that we work with the changes if we want to optimise our hormones and feel our best.

As well as digestion changing throughout the month, believe it or not our gut health is also integral to the health of our overall hormones. Having a balanced gut flora means that we can utilise the nutrients in our food (needed to make our hormones), and excrete toxins and excess, unwanted hormones like oestrogen more effectively (through our bowels)!

Within this cycle we actually have four distinct phases:

  1. Follicular
  2. Ovulatory
  3. Luteal
  4. Menstrual

We can optimise each phase by adjusting our diet and lifestyle accordingly.

  • Menstruation (days 1-3 or 7, depending on how long menstruation lasts) is when our hormones drop to their lowest levels and its better to rest. If we try and power through, we may see more period problems and PMS. It’s a time to hibernate, like Winter, consume easy to digest soups and stews, and iron rich foods (pulses, lean meats, leafy greens), and quit exercise for a few days (other than walking). We are so much more intuitive here so a great time to make decisions, and self care is vital! If we start to sync with our cycle and work with them rather than against them, we will ultimately feel so much better. We recommend our Protein or Vegan Cleanse plans for this phase delivering sustaining, balanced foods to support a slower lifestyle.
  • Our follicular phase (days 3-11 or 17, depending on how long menstruation lasts) is a time when our oestrogen starts to rise and is comparable to the season of Spring; our energy goes up, we're perhaps more creative, more sociable and have more stamina. During this phase, you may want to eat light, fresh foods with lots of veggies like salads, smoothies and stir fries, as this supports our gut health and oestrogen clearance. It’s a time when we can do more intense exercises like HIIT and a little cardio. It’s a great time to set goals and start new projects. We recommend our Vegan or Active Maintain to support a more active lifestyle.
  • Ovulation (any day from days 12-18, depending on how long menstruation lasts) is when we release an egg and oestrogen surges. Just like the season of Summer, we tend to have loads of energy and we’re more outgoing. Raw foods are tolerated well and it’s great to add lots of leafy green veg to help detoxification. This is when confidence and libido may be at it's highest, and we can really start to make things happen in our life! We recommend our leaner, high-protein plans - our Green or Green with Protein Cleanse. Otherwise, you might feel this is a good time to practice intermittent-fasting for gut-healing and metabolic benefits, with our 3-Day Reset, depending on how you feel.
  • Our luteal phase (days 13-24 or 35, depending on how long menstruation lasts) is the time between ovulation and our period, and it’s when we may want to start slowing things down. Oestrogen dips and progesterone, our calming hormone, starts to rise. Just like the cooler season of Autumn, we tend to need more calories and warming foods with root veggies. We ideally calm down our exercise and focus on restorative practices like yoga. It’s a great time to reflect and use critical thinking! We recommend our Vegan or Protein Cleanse again at this time. Our fresh juices, puddings and herbal teas on these plans should provide that satisfying nourishing sweet treat to beat those sugar cravings!

    Along with this there are also four important tips and tricks that you can incorporate all month long to hack your hormones:

    1. Balance your blood sugar levels by swapping your simple carbs for complex ones. I.e., if you ditch the sugar and refined foods like cereals, biscuits, pastas and white breads and replace them with more complex carbs like whole grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice) and starchy veg (potato, sweet potato, carrots, squash, parsnips etc) you can start to reduce glucose spikes, which will have a positive effect on all other Hormones.
    2. Give your carbs a friend at every meal and snack i.e. combine your carbs with a protein or fat. If you include protein (meat, fish, eggs, beans/ pulses, protein powder) or fat (nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil etc) at every meal and snack, then this also helps slow down your glucose release, and proteins and fats provide the all important building blocks for your hormones. For example, instead of grabbing a banana for a snack, have it with a handful of nuts or spoon of peanut butter; or if you eat a bowl of porridge for breakfast then crack in an egg or include some protein Powder.
    3. Stay hydrated. Our body is made up of so much water, so if we get dehydrated this can trigger a stress response, which has a knock-on effect on our hormones. Aim for 6-8 glasses of filtered water a day, or more if it’s hot out!
    4. Ensure that 50% of your plate is made up of veggies of all different colours, as this will help you to pack in fibre, vitamins and minerals, essential for female health. Leafy greens like kale, spinach and broccoli are extra amazing as they help with the detoxification of excess hormones, but just make sure you cook them lightly rather than eat them raw!
    Put intention into action and discover the long-lasting pleasure, joy and healing aspect of food and movement with our 10-Day Balance Plan. Feel empowered to take your health and the health of your hormones into your own hands. Our Balance Plan delivers 10 days of a fresh, daily menu to support your hormone health by targeting your gut health, balancing blood sugar levels and supporting the natural detoxification system. Including is a series of movement and mindfulness classes from The Yoga Class Co and a bundle of amazing gifts to optimise hormonal balance, and provide extra nurture along your way.
    Balance out your hormones and feel happier and calmer than ever before with Jodie Brandman, The Female Health Coach, Find her on Instagram (@jodiebrandman) and join her online hub: The Female Health Hub, where she’s helped hundreds of women to sync with their cycles and feel incredible!