what to eat during your luteal phase: 7 simple recipes

what is your luteal phase?

The luteal phase length (the second half of your cycle after ovulation) is constant, rarely changing by more than a day or two from cycle to cycle for the same woman. The luteal phase usually lasts from 12 to 14 days but may last from 10 to 16 days. The best time to conceive is just before and during ovulation. Progesterone is the hormone that dominates this phase. If you become pregnant progesterone keeps rising and it helps to maintain your uterine lining throughout pregnancy (hence no period!)

*Did you know there are 4 phases of your cycle? Learn about all 4 phases here. 

what to eat during your luteal phase, luteal phase recipe dinner

what to eat during your luteal phase: the benefits of cycle syncing

By aligning with you cycle phases, you become more in tune with yourself. This allows mood, productivity, sleep, digestion, and even energy to be predictable. Being able to plan your life better leads to a happier you. This is what cycle syncing is all about.

Now, I think it’s important to note, if you’re on hormonal contraception like the birth control pill, you’re not going to experience the same phases as you would on a natural cycle. This is because the pill supplies your body with synthetic forms of estrogen and progesterone that shift your natural hormone levels — this prevents ovulation. You can still track your mood and energy the month and make adjustments, but your symptoms won’t necessarily align with your natural cycle.

During your luteal phase, you may feel sleepier and slower. That is thanks to the hormone progesterone which increases during this phase. You are also less able to handle stress, so try to avoid putting too many things on your calendar. You’ll feel a desire to just rest and retreat. Don’t feel guilty about closing your calendar and saying no to social outings to spend time alone.


what to eat during your luteal phase: 4 key nutrients

+ Fiber

As you transition into the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle, the hormone progesterone rises. This may cause constipation and cravings for refined carbohydrates. Eating the proper amount and type of carbohydrate can help boost energy levels. This meal plan is lower carbohydrate and pairs high fiber foods with protein and fat to keep blood sugar and energy levels stable and prevent constipation. This Chocolate Zucchini Bread Smoothie is loaded with fiber.

+ Healthy Fats

Healthy fats can improve the regularity of periods and reduce premenstrual symptoms (PMS). Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce symptoms of PMS including bloating, headache, and breast tenderness. These recipes incorporate many sources of omega-3 fatty acids including almond butter, avocado, walnuts, and salmon. Check out this Walnut Crusted Salmon with Asparagus!

+ Protein

During the luteal phase, the natural increase in progesterone levels causes protein breakdown. Getting enough daily protein will help prevent muscle loss, balance your blood sugar, and maintain a healthy weight. This meal plan will help you reach your protein goals by providing 30% of your calories from protein. If you’re looking for a protein powder to add to smoothies, I can’t recommend Garden of Life enough! It is plant based and delivers a nice clump-free consistency. It’s available in vanilla and chocolate in my supplement dispensary!

+ Iron
Iron is an important mineral that helps produce red blood cells and transports oxygen throughout the body. Eating iron-rich foods during the luteal phase can help prepare your body for the loss of iron stores during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. These recipes contains good iron sources like beef, shrimp, tuna, and turkey. Specifically, the Steak, Butternut Squash, + Broccoli and the Pasta with Spinach + Turkey. These iron sources are paired with foods that have vitamin C to enhance iron absorption. 

* A special note on meat: Make sure to buy organic meat as the other meats contain hormone additives. Organic meat is usually more expensive, so I like to keep an eye out for sales. Minimizing the amount of hormones you consume in your diet is crucial to achieving hormone balance. If you don’t want to swing the extra money for organic meat (I hear ya!) then I recommend choosing meatless protein options like lentils and beans. These are much more cost-effective and still pack a protein punch. 

7 simple recipes
to eat during your luteal phase //

If you want to download the entire meal plan with the shopping list and nutritional info, click the link below! There are a few bonus recipes in the plan that aren’t mentioned here. 

// Download My Free Luteal Phase Meal Plan + Shopping List