We’ve learned there’s not a one-size-fits-all “diet” for PCOS. This will be a very individualized journey for each of you. What is right for one person may not work for another. Whether you’re dealing with chronic low-grade inflammation, insulin resistance, a gut imbalance, or stress and adrenal dysfunctions, food can provide natural healing to the body. This section of the book will introduce our approach to food along with staples, techniques, and recipes to support each phase of your cycle.

Each phase has a list of foods that are here to help in a number of practical and medicinal ways. Some foods activate the metabolism, some generate warmth in the body, some help your liver metabolize estrogen, and so on. Each list is comprised of unprocessed, real foods filled with micronutrients that will support your overall health. We love that these lists take out the dreaded”what’s for dinner?” question because now you will have a reference guide to consult when grocery shopping and planning out your meals. We want to reiterate that this is a guide, not a rule book. While these foods are listed in specific phases, you can absolutely overlap them.

Phase 1 – Menstrual

During this phase, the body prepares for ovulation by developing follicles in the ovaries. With rising hormone levels, we need a wide variety of nutrients and a healthy balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to support this process. On the food list, you will find items that aid in estrogen production, as well as foods that support estrogen metabolism, like flaxseed and broccoli. Incorporating fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, will help cleanse and support gut health.

Seeds


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds

Nuts


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Chestnuts

Grains/Beans


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chickpeas
  • Green lentils
  • Kidney beans
  • Wheat germ
  • Wild rice

Vegetables


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Arugula
  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Kelp
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potatoes

Fruits


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Pineapple
  • Prunes
  • Watermelon

meats/Proteins


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Duck
  • Lean Pork

Seafood


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Clams
  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Mussels
  • Octopus
  • Oysters
  • Salmon
  • Scallops

other


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Bone broth
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Light teas
  • Miso
  • Probiotic Yogurts
  • Salt
  • Tumeric

Phase 2 – follicular

During this phase, the body prepares for ovulation by developing follicles in the ovaries. With rising hormone levels, we need a wide variety of nutrients and a healthy balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to support this process. On the food list, you will find items that aid in estrogen production, as well as foods that support estrogen metabolism, like flaxseed and broccoli. Incorporating fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, will help cleanse and support gut health.

Seeds


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds

Nuts


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Chestnuts

Grains/Beans


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Brown Rice
  • Lima Beans
  • Quinoa

Vegetables


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Artichoke
  • Broccoli
  • Bibb, Boston, butter crunch, butterhead, or four seasons lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Edamame
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Rhubarb
  • Zucchini

Fruits


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Avacado
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Plums
  • Pomegrante

meats/Proteins


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chicken
  • Eggs

Seafood


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Trout

other


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Kimchi
  • Nut butter
  • Olives
  • Pickles
  • Sauerkraut

Phase 3 – ovulatory

During this phase, we want to improve egg quality. Your estrogen reaches its peak levels, triggering the brain to surge with luteinizing hormone (LH), and then ovulation occurs. You may notice an increase in your sex drive. Aphrodisiacs such as dark chocolate, figs, and strawberries are a couple of foods that will help boost the libido. During ovulation, we want to support the liver as it breaks down and removes excess estrogen. To do this, we want to fill up on veggies high in fiber and incorporate foods that boost glutathione levels, the antioxidant required to properly detox every day. This includes asparagus, spinach, and okra. Dandelion is also a supertood during this phase, so this is a good time to try out a new food if you’ve never had it.

Seeds


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Sunflower seeds

Nuts


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios

Grains/Beans


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Corn
  • Green & red lentils
  • Quinoa

Vegetables


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Asparagus
  • Bell peppers
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Chard
  • Chives
  • Dandelion greens
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Fennel
  • Green Onions
  • Okra
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes

Fruits


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Apricot
  • Cantaloupe
  • Coconut
  • Figs
  • Guava
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

meats/Proteins


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Lamb

Seafood


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna

other


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Ketchup
  • Turmeric

Phase 4 – luteal

During the luteal phase, it’s important to aid in progesterone production and prioritize blood-sugar balance. At the end of this phase, your progesterone production stops, which brings on your period. Supporting progesterone production up until then will help to relieve PMS symptoms. Foods containing vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, B., B,, and E have been shown to increase progesterone. To aid in blood-sugar balance, we want to make sure we don’t skip any meals, stay hydrated, and choose balanced meals that contain complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fat.

Seeds


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

Nuts


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Hickory Nut
  • Pine nuts
  • Walnuts

Grains/Beans


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Brown rice
  • Chickpeas
  • Navy Beans

Vegetables


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Collard greens
  • Cucumber
  • Daikon
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Leek
  • Mustard greens
  • Onions
  • Parsnip
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Shallots
  • Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Watercress

Fruits


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Dates
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Raisins

meats/Proteins


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Beef
  • Turkey

Seafood


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Cod
  • Flounder
  • Halibut

other


  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Mint
  • Peppermint
  • Spirulina
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meals She Eats

First-of-its-kind, functional lifestyle guide for PCOS, complete with personal stories and nourishing recipes just like this one!