“HELP” is exactly what I was screaming last Fall. And to be very honest, I’ve been hesitant to talk about what I’ve been going through with my body the last several years hormonally. But I’ve decided it’s time to share in the event it might help someone else who might personally be going through some of the same things or know someone that is.
I’ll first start with my age. I turned 54 last November, so it’s no surprise that the ol’ reproductive train is literally pulling into the station for the last time with no further trips planned. Not unexpected, but this last trip has been very HARD physically and emotionally. Not having my mom alive, so I knew what she went through with her body, was a big obstacle since most likely it would be similar to hers. I only have younger sisters, so they’re not quite there yet in terms of their reproductive cycles. So I dug in and was determined to educate myself and learn…which I have been doing along the way.
First and foremost, I am willing to allow my body the grace it needed. It is after all, the vessel for creating/bringing the four incredible human beings into this world that are my children. I have three daughters and one son…all of them gifts in my life and such amazing young adults. That alone was enough to motivate me to work with my body as it moved into this stage of life. It’s earned it on that merit alone. It’s not like this whole process of moving into the pre-menopause/perimenopause/menopause stage of life is a new thing for women, it’s obviously been going on for a very long time and completely natural. All the grace it needed, I am willing to allow.
Back in the Fall of 2015 when I encountered my first “warm flash” (not hot by any stretch compared to what I experienced last Fall) I chatted with an herbalist friend of mine who basically explained that once a women’s body enters this phase, it’s the liver that takes over the responsibility of cleansing your blood since you’re not having a period, a function your uterus normally manages monthly. It’s this extra work for your liver that generates the heat, therefore causing a “hot flash” ~ made perfect sense. It was at this point that I began using some essential oils rubbed on my liver each night to help my liver make the transition easier. Ahhhh, found some relief and this helped for a time.
What came next was irregular menstrual cycles (I’d been a normal every 28-30 days gal) along with some HORRIBLE heavy periods. The “warm” flashes were subdued, but WOW, I couldn’t believe you could bleed so much and still be alive. These episodes left me lethargic with an overall feeling of blah…most likely because of an iron deficiency based on how heavy my flow was. This went off and on for about 18 months, through the end of 2017.
Early 2018 – guess what was back…the hot flashes! Back with a vengeance this time and beyond uncomfortable. By the end of February/early March, I was already at my wits end. Waking up multiple times each night uncovering then waking up to cover back up because I was cold. Getting out of bed to stand on my bathroom floor since it was cooler and using the door as a fan to cool myself. Not restful. During the day, I’d dress in layers so that I could disrobe and still have some clothes on, but the fewer clothes touching my skin the better. In April I had some light spotting and a short reprieve from the hot flash madness…I literally thought I’d passed through it and enjoyed about 7 weeks of calm.
I then had my wisdom teeth removed (I only had three, but they finally needed to come out, cavities with no way to fill them) and within days the hot flashes were back with a mighty roar! Gah!!!!! Not sure there was a correlation between the two, but I vividly remember it being days after the oral surgery. July through early October began the worst days/nights of hot flashes. OH MY WORD!!
I was back to being up 5-6 times a night, literally up…out of bed trying to cool off. I’d get out of bed in the morning completely exhausted only to deal with more of the same throughout the day. I had a very large fan I kept in the kitchen, so I could turn it on and stand in front of it when I knew there was a hot flash coming. I kept a small fan by my bed side so I could turn it on and cool off in the night as well as using the bathroom door to fan myself on a larger scale. Not real restful. It got to the point that this little fan was on ALL night long and I slept about 10″ away from it…face first. It was hard to go places since disrobing in a public place can cause a multitude of other problems 😉 so I’d deal with the sweat running down my face by keeping tissues handy at all times, and kept a portable mini fan in my purse. Exhausted, dark circles under my eyes, at my wits end and close to tears most of the time.
In all my research early on, I’d read that going through this hot flash/phase of life could cause emotional problems, depression and anxiety. I’d brushed that off, since I didn’t feel like that’s what I was experiencing, at least not before 2018. By mid August last year, I gained a new perspective about those feelings and quickly learned just how that could, in fact, be the case and I was so close to letting this whole experience get the best of me mentally. I decided to dig in and look for more answers. Clearly I hadn’t found what my body needed to this point.
I’d seen seed cycling mentioned here and there around the Instagram-iverse (new word I’ve coined…it’s a real thing) but had always thought it only related to helping ladies that had irregular periods, had come off of birth control and were trying to get pregnant, painful cramps, heavy flow…etc. Being past the “reproductive years” I always dismissed it thinking “it didn’t apply to me” since I had my last baby over 24 years ago (hello Miss Makenna 💕) so I always went looking elsewhere for help. This time around looking for answers I saw it pop up when I Googled something (can’t remember what it was) and an article came up from Krystal over at @naturalfitfoodie ~ bless her and all her wisdom!!!!
To quote this wonderful article:
Seed cycling is especially beneficial to women who experience menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and insomnia…
WHAT?! I was SOLD! I hit up Amazon and had seeds on their way. As it was, the seeds arrived on the 20th of August and for whatever reason (fate, destiny, tender mercy) I failed to get things ready to go until the first week of September. In a moment of panic I asked Siri “Hey Siri…when’s the next new moon?” ~ it was that very day! Sunday, September 9th ~ are you kidding me? Wow (as I scrambled to see what ingredients I had on hand to make Krystal’s scrumptious fat bombs) how fortunate and blessed! Here’s the deal, since I’m dealing with pre-menopause issues and don’t have a regular period, I needed to begin seed cycling on a “NEW MOON” so that afternoon was spent grinding seeds! I’m not going to go into all the details of the why’s and how’s of why seed cycling works. Reading Krystal’s article(s) will provide you all with a bounty of those details…absolutely wonderful!
Here’s a link to our Intstagram post from that day if you want to go back and have a look at all the chatter it created after we posted that we were giving seed cycling a go! Clearly there’s lots of us ladies interested in it or those that have been doing it and are loving it!
Basically, there are two phases to our cycles ➀ Menstrual/Follicular & ➁ Ovulatory/Luteal and the process of seed cycling helps to regulate our hormones/cycles with the lunar calendar of the moon. Creating balance and healing. Since I’m in “that season” of life ~ I begin the flax/pumpkin seeds with the new moon and on the full moon I transition to sesame/sunflower. Rotating seeds every 14-15 days or so. Pretty easy to keep track of, especially if you invest in a lunar calendar like the one I got from Amazon and keep it posted in the kitchen so you know when it’s time to SWITCH! If you’re experiencing a regular menstrual cycle, there is another method to follow. I’ll post to some informative links below from other sources that provide LOADS of information.
Let me first make it very clear, that everyone’s body is different and you may have completely different results than I have been having. That being said, what have you got to lose? It’s worth giving a try if you’re looking for help in balancing those female hormones we have!!
I’ve also been taking several supplements for a while that I have to think have helped as well but it wasn’t until I’d partnered that with the seed cycling that I started seeing results. I’ll list those out below so you can see them, but again…do some research and see if they are something you want to consider for your best “hormone health” self. I am not a professional ANYTHING just a gal on a mission to improve my hormones and feel better. So, maybe I could say I’m a professional “answer finder?”
After some of the chatter on our IG post from Sept. 9th, I also decided to start taking some black seed oil after a follower suggested it, mentioning that she had great results taking it. I began this a week after starting the seed cycling. Ask Google about that as well. There is growing evidence that it’s helpful for lots of things and since one of them was HOT FLASHES I threw that into my daily routine as well.
I would say that around early October (so about 3 weeks or so into seed cycling) I started noticing that my hot flashes were “calmer” and far less intense than they had been. I was thrilled and felt like I was headed in the right direction. I would take warm flashes over the “I have to strip so nothing is touching my skin, intensely fast hot flash” insanity I’d been dealing with.
After another 4-5 weeks my body felt like it was in a good place and although my hot flashes weren’t completely GONE like I know some ladies had experienced, I was happy with the progress I was making with my body. WELL DONE US (US as in me and my body) – staying positive and allowing my body the continued grace is my constant. Wondering if I could add another layer of help I continued to look for more answers and I found more.
And that will be part #2 for a later post!
Fat Bomb Recipe
On to the seed fat bomb recipe!! It’s adapted from Krystal’s Fudgy Almond Butter Fat Bomb recipe – which is delicious for sure! Since Makenna and I were doing a Whole30 last September – I adapted her recipe using dates. I’m posting our adaption here with her permission, since it’s literally because of her recipe that our recipe exists today.
The variable here is how many days you’re preparing seeds bombs for. In some cases it’s 14 sometimes it’s 15. Check your calendar, ask Siri or Google when the next new moon and full moon are in the coming cycle and prepare the fat bombs accordingly by simply adjusting the amount of seeds you use. The pairing should always be:
Flax & Pumpkin
Sesame & Sunflower
I’m obsessive and a bit OCD so I like to weigh out the full mixture, once combined, on my kitchen scale then divide the weight by the number of days I need seeds for. As an example:
Full mixture weighs 728 grams – divide that by 14 days and each serving would need to be approximately 52 grams. Or if it was for 15 days each serving would be 48.5 grams per serving.
I weigh each serving individually, then shape into a disc. I have a small plunger measuring cup I use to do that, but you can simply roll them in a ball. You can also approximate and scoop the mixture into servings, typically they’re a little bit larger than a golf ball. Stir ins are optional, but they do add a great texture. I have half in the morning and then half at night! I’ve found that having the whole disc at one time is a little too many seeds at one time for my tummy.
I grind my seeds fresh each time I make these and never buy pre-ground seeds. Once they are ground, they can go rancid quickly and lose some beneficial properties…at least from what I’ve read, so I take the time to grind them each time. You do you though 😉 I will say, rancid ground seeds will make for a bitter tasting fat bomb…just sayin’!
Lastly, these are not sweet! They have dates in them so they have sweet undertones and the lucuma does add some sweet tones as well, but it’s not meant to be a cookie. Don’t expect a “cookie” type taste…you will be disappointed.
To keep things simple, I’ve created a dedicated “Seed Cycling Must Haves” page over on Amazon to links for all the products and kitchen gadgets I use when I make them. So regardless of which item you click on below, you’ll get taken to this page.
Ready, set…SEED CYCLE!!!
seed cycling fat bomb discs
unsweetened seed cycling fat bombs
- 8-10 medjool dates, seeded
- ⅓ cup raw cacao (cocoa powder would also work)
- ¼ cup almond butter
- ¼ cup pili nut butter
- 14-15 tablespoons of fresh ground raw golden flax seeds (or raw sunflower seeds)
- 14-15 tablespoons of fresh ground raw pumpkin seeds (or raw sesame seeds)
- 2 tablespoons coconut manna
- 1 tablespoon maca powder
- 1 tablespoon lucuma powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon Redmond Real Salt stir ins (opt)
- 2 tablespoons shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 2 tablespoons granulated bee pollen
- ¼ cup chopped nuts of choice
- Place dates in a bowl and cover with warm water, let them soak for a minimum of 15 minutes to an hour.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S blade, add soaked dates (reserve water), cacao, nut butters (½ cup in total), ground seeds, coconut manna, maca, lucuma, cinnamon, vanilla (omit for Whole30), and salt. Process until dates are fully incorporated and all ingredients are well combined adding reserved date water through spout to get a nice shape able consistency. Depending on the size of your dates, you may only need 1-4 tablespoons of the reserved water.
- Carefully remove date mixture to a bowl, add coconut, bee pollen and nuts if using. Mix with your hands until all the add ins are distributed evenly.
- Weigh or scoop into 14 or 15 servings, place in refrigerator until set and then place them all in an air tight container or plastic bag. Enjoy one each day!
Krystal @naturalfitfoodie links:
Fudgy almond butter fat bombs
Seed Cycling for Beginners
No Bake Sandwich Cookies for Seed Cycling
Blair Horton @holisticrendezvous
Hot off the press is this incredibly insightful resource that’s all things feminine and goddess like! It’s an ebook filled with the spunk and personality (just like Blair 😎), and PACKED with information to help you get to know yourself and your body.
Dr. Jolene Brighten @drjolenebrighten
Seed Clycling for Better Hormonal Balance
Her new book on Amazon: Beyond the Pill
My Current Supplements:
- Liver Support: Dandelion Root, Milk Thistle
- Hormone Support: Black Cohosh, Maca, Woman’s Natural Transition
- Stress: Rhodiola
- Overall Wellness: Black Seed Oil, CBD Oil, Turmeric, Probiotics, VitD, Desicated Beef Liver, Zinc, Fermented Cod Liver Oil