If you’ve been dipping your toe into the world of cycle syncing, this article is for you! Here is an in-depth description of how I “cycle synced” my exercise and nutrition during the ovulation phase.
I have been slowing integrating cycle syncing habits into my daily life throughout the past year and I have been amazed by the hormonal changes and the difference in my mood and health. If you’re interested in learning more about cycle syncing, I’ve written a whole blog post about it. Here’s a day-to-day schedule of what I ate and how I worked out during the week while in the ovulation phase.
Why Start Cycle Syncing?
Since I got my period over 10 years ago, I have felt like my life has been spent in miserable 3-week cycles then one week of peace before starting the process all over again. PMS symptoms, mood swings, cramps, and fatigue, became almost normal to me because of how often it happened. All this time, I thought this is what womanhood was. When I would bring up my concerns to my doctors, they would tell me that unless I wanted to take birth control, then they couldn’t help me.
After hearing about the horrible symptoms my friends have had getting on and off the pill and doing research on the impacts of birth control on the body, namely how it interrupts the menstrual cycle and causes an a-ovulatory bleed, I personally wasn’t interested.
Until I discovered cycle syncing, I had pretty much resigned myself to enduring painful symptoms for the rest of my life. However, once I learned that by tracking my cycle and syncing my nutrition and workouts with my cycle phases, I could experience nearly pain-free periods and drastically reduced PMS symptoms. I don’t think it’s dramatic to say that cycle syncing is life changing. It’s my hope that other women could experience pain-free periods by using this method too!
A Week in the Life of Cycle Syncing During the Ovulation Phase
Monday (Cycle Day 16)
Workout: 20 Minute Outdoor Run
I woke up feeling REALLY good and excited to move my body and get my heart rate pumping. So I decided to do a 20-minute run. I typically run in intervals because A) I get bored while running for long periods of time and B) I get shin splints easily, and like that intervals put less strain on my body. I like to run for 1-minute and do a brisk walk for 30-seconds.
Plain greek yogurt, homemade granola, berries, and honey.
Like I mention in my video, there isn’t a ton of benefit to eating yogurt or berries specifically in the ovulation phase, but it is a great breakfast choice that supports balanced hormones by preventing an insulin spike. The protein from the yogurt paired with the complex carb from the berries means the breakfast should keep you fuller from longer and keep your blood sugar from spiking.
I also chose to use homemade granola because most granola has oils (canola, safflower, sunflower, etc) in it that may be connected to causing inflammation in the body. I’ve noticed that I feel a lot better when I avoid these foods.
Homemade chicken salad on spring mix
I make my simple healthy chicken salad by replacing half of the mayonnaise with greek yogurt! I put celery, pecans, and grapes in mine as well. While there isn’t a ton of ovulatory phase-specific healthy benefits to eating chicken salad, it’s a tasty meal full of whole food ingredients and protein. I also put it on a bed leafy greens; they are full of fiber, which helps support glutathione production. This helps the liver detox from of excess hormones.
I like to try and stay very in-tune with my energy levels throughout my entire menstrual cycle and take lead from there. After work I felt like I still had a bit of energy left, so I decided to capitalize on it and go for a walk around the neighborhood.
Leftover chicken salad on corn tortillas with a side salad
Instead of using a croissant or wrap to eat my chicken salad, I like to opt for corn tortillas because they don’t contain any oils and are lower in carbs!
Lindt dark chocolate squares
I have a big sweet tooth and usually eat something sweet after dinner. Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, which is important for hormone function. According to Flo Living, “In our experience, there is not one woman we have met who has not needed a boost to her magnesium levels. Magnesium is magic for your hormones. It is a foundational support to all hormone functions in the body – without it you will not produce hormones at levels you need, and ovulation will become irregular.”
Tuesday (Cycle Day 17)
Workout & Walk
5-minute lower abs
I’ve been trying to strengthen my lower abs to support my pelvic floor so I like to sprinkle these in throughout the week.
Decaf cold brew | Old fashioned oatmeal, chia seeds, natural peanut butter, and strawberry jelly.
Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that caffeine makes me feel like my blood sugar is dropping and makes me feel anxious. Switching to decaf has make me feel so much better and made such a difference in helping my hormones feel more balanced.
Oatmeal is a great thing to eat during the ovulation phase, it is a healthy whole grain that fuels the body with B-vitamins, iron and heart-healthy fiber. It can even help support a thick endometrial lining, which can help in conception.
Leftover chicken salad, cucumbers, and carrots
Bell pepper nachos with homemade tortilla chips
Bell peppers are full of vitamin-c, which help with absorption and utilization of iron, this supports healthy and regular ovulation. I chose to make my own chips, because it’s difficult to find reasonably priced chips that are made without highly processed oil. While I want to share my own recipes for these dishes, here are similar recipes for the bell pepper nachos and the homemade tortilla chips.
Wednesday (Cycle Day 18) – Ovulation Day
Workout & walk
30-minute outdoor interval run and walk
I’m always surprised by how much I noticed a difference in how I felt once I started tracking my cycle and making note of what part of my cycle I was in. During the ovulation phase, I wake up in the morning feeling ready to LEAP out of bed and get in a good workout. I certainly can’t say the same for when I’m in my menstrual phase. It just feels so good to be in sync with my body and to be aware of the chemical processes that are happening inside of me at any given time.
This is one of my favorite breakfasts that is full of healthy fat and protein, but doesn’t contain any actual protein powder. To me, it kind of tastes like a frosty! Who doesn’t like that for breakfast?
Leftover bell pepper nachos and homemade chips
Adrenal cocktail, and instant pot coconut curry
I’ve been really enjoying adrenal cocktails lately, they help ensure that I’m getting a healthy dose of vitamin C everyday, they help with my absorption and utilization of iron, and they detox my adrenal glands. However, even if that wasn’t true, I’d still drink them just because they’re tasty! Here’s a few examples of adrenal cocktail recipes.
By this time in the week, I was starting to feel a little tired, so I wanted something quick and easy. While I thought about ordering in, I wanted to make a healthy and filling meal instead. I made this quick Instant Pot coconut curry chicken with brown rice. It was a filling meal rich in protein and whole grains!
Decaffeinated earl grey tea and Trader Joe’s Almond Biscotti
Thursday (Cycle Day 19)
Workout & Walk
I woke up this particular morning not feeling as energized. Since this was technically the first day after ovulation that makes sense. However, once I got moving, I knew I made the right choice to still workout!
Cage free eggs and sourdough toast
I noticed I felt REALLY hungry, so I wanted to make sure I got in a protein-rich breakfast to help my blood sugar stay balanced. Eggs are packed with protein, Vitamins B12 (aka Folic Acid), E, Zinc, and fat, which supports ovulation.
There is no ovulatory phase benefit to eating this food ;). In fact, it’s probably FULL of inflammatory ingredients. However, I believe an important key to cycle syncing and healing hormones is balance. If I spent every moment stressing out about everything I eat and never taking the opportunity to enjoy special foods, then I’d be pretty miserable. Surely the cortisol surge that would come from all of that stress would send my hormones into a tailspin. So, when my work offers to send me a free lunch once a week, I pick what I want to it and I enjoy it. 🙂
Broccoli, potato, and pepper egg hash
This is a great dinner for the ovulatory phase, it contains broccoli, which helps metabolize excess estrogen in your body, eggs, vitamins B12 (aka Folic Acid), E, Zinc, and fat, which supports ovulation, and complex carbs from the potato, which will help keep you full.
Friday (Cycle Day 20)
30-minute outdoor run
I’m still trying to find a good recipe for my favorite protein pancakes that don’t have protein powder in them. I found this protein pancake recipe and replaced the protein power with collagen. They were good, but I want to find something better.
Snack plate: apples, natural peanut butter, cheese, crackers, and cucumbers
Because I knew that I was going to have a bigger dinner for our date night later that evening, I chose a little snack plate full of (mostly) whole foods. I tried to incorporate as many healthy fats and protein as I could to ensure I keep my blood sugar balanced and stay full until dinner.
Date night: chicken and steamed broccoli
I look forward to date night all week! Not only do I get to spend some quality time with my husband, but we always pick a restaurant that we’re excited to eat at. I try to find a good balance of enjoying myself and also making good decisions to support my health. That’s why I chose to get a side of steamed broccoli instead of a side of fries.
Culver’s frozen custard
Another reason I knew that I wanted to make somewhat good choices at dinner was because I wanted to really enjoy my frozen custard without worrying and I did without question.
Have Questions About Cycle Syncing During The Ovulation Phase?
Feel free to leave me a question below about cycle syncing and I’d be happy to answer it. It has really made a difference in my health, and I’d love for other women to experience a healthier and happier life too!