HORMONE SERIES | Get to Know Your Luteal Phase (+ Smoothie Recipe!)
Ideally, the Luteal Phase is your Progesterone Dominance phase and lasts from 12 to 16 days (approximately Days 14 to 28 of your cycle). Estrogen levels gradually decline and the follicle that released the egg, the corpus luteum, will start to produce progesterone. Progesterone is your relaxing, anti-anxiety hormone that stimulates the growth of the lining of the uterus in preparation for pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels drop signaling the uterine lining to shed. You may notice that you are hungrier and don’t quite lose weight as easily during this phase as your body is attempting to hold onto nutrients for a potential fetus.
Food Focus – During the Luteal Phase, modify your diet slightly to include more foods that support your body’s natural production of progesterone. Look for foods high in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, zinc, and magnesium, such as citrus, peppers, salmon, bananas, walnuts, and cacao. It is also crucial to keep blood sugar levels stable during this phase to avoid PMS symptoms like moodiness and anxiety.
Exercise Focus – Honor your body’s need for rest and relaxation during this portion of your cycle. Long walks, pilates, and restorative yoga classes are ideal.
Luteal Phase Smoothie (serves two)
· 2 cups coconut/almond/hemp milk
· 1 scoop vanilla plant-based protein
· 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
· 1 tbsp chia seeds
· ½ cup raw walnuts
· 1 cup frozen cauliflower
· 1 frozen banana
· Handful of spinach (optional)
Blend and enjoy!