Seed Cycling

Seed Cycling for Hormone Balance at Any Age

Do you suffer from hormonal imbalances? Seed cycling is a natural, cheap home remedy for hormone balance. Learn how you can customize seed cycling to fit your specific situation.

Case Study: A Functional Approach to Hormones and Gut

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How Functional Health Coaching Treats Mood, Gut and Hormones in an Integrated Way

The Symptoms

When Emily joined our coaching program, she was struggling with depression, anxiety, fatigue, and brain fog. She said that she did not have the energy to improve her diet or exercise regimen to support her health. She feared that trying to make major changes could have the potential to elicit panic attacks that would prevent her from moving forward.

Photo by Jason Briscoe

Photo by Jason Briscoe

Emily felt “tired almost all of the time.” Up until a few years before joining our functional coaching program, she had lived an active life. She had spent years gaining her education and working as a public health professional. And, at 38-years-old, she found herself barely making it through the day.

Emily had resorted to some of the most common coping mechanisms available: coffee in the morning to give her enough energy to get going, and alcohol at night to help her sleep.

Emily had resorted to some of the most common coping mechanisms available: coffee in the morning to give her enough energy to get going, and alcohol at night to help her sleep.

She suffered from symptoms of gas, bloating and indigestion. Her symptoms eased when she was strict about her diet but returned whenever she wavered slightly. 

The First Steps

The first thing we advised Emily to do was to take the huge step of removing coffee and alcohol from her diet. Within a matter of a couple of weeks, she was amazed at how much better she felt, just from those small changes. While this is not always as impactful for everybody as it was for Emily, it does show that sometimes a couple of small tweaks can have big effects.

The Labs

As Emily made those early changes to diet, we ran a handful of functional labs, including:

  • DUTCH Complete hormone panel

  • Comprehensive thyroid panel

  • GI-Map stool pathogen test

  • Micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) test.

The Test Results

The test results showed that Emily was quite deficient in the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone but it is also responsible for providing a sense of energy and plays an important role in regulating the circadian rhythms controlling sleep/wake cycles.

Emily was also very low in all of her female sex hormones (the estrogens and progesterone) and she was also very low in melatonin, a hormone that helps promote restful sleep.

Emily's thyroid appeared to be slightly sluggish and she was deficient in seven different important micronutrients.

Her stool test detected two different parasites, an overgrowth of two different opportunistic yeast species, suppressed immune response in the small intestines, and a very strong sensitivity to gluten-containing foods.

Part of the Hormone Report

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Stool Test Results

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The Protocol

Emily remained free from coffee and alcohol and began to adopt a gluten-free diet.

She started doing moderate exercise, managing her stress levels, eradicating gut pathogens through an herbal protocol, and supporting her healthy hormone balance through diet, herbs, and lifestyle changes.

She introduced some herbal tinctures such as black cohosh, red clover, vitex, and motherwort to support her female hormone levels. She used a product called Adrenotone from Designs for Health to support the adrenal glands and the balance of stress hormone production through the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

Emily supported her micronutrient balance through the introduction of a complete mineral support formula and used the Designs for Health GI Microb-X product as one of the antimicrobial blends for eradicating infectious microorganisms. She also introduced Megaspore probiotic to rebuild beneficial gut flora and to support the immune system. 

For dietary support, Emily began seed cycling and introduced more healthy fats into her diet. She also incorporated detoxification strategies such as dry brushing and rebounding into her daily routine to help her move toxins out of the body in a natural way.

The Transformation

Photo by Patrick Hendry

Photo by Patrick Hendry

As Emily gained energy, she was able to reintegrate exercise into her life and she enjoys mountain biking and outdoor sports of many kinds.

After six months on the coaching program, Emily reported feeling better than she had in years despite experiencing some extreme stress, including the sudden death of her partner’s mother.

Over the course of her six months on the program, Emily gained enough energy and mental clarity to make big decisions about her life, including the purchase of a new home and a desire to have a baby.

Emily is now thriving, pregnant, happy in her life, and excited about her future.

 

 

Are You Ready for Your Transformation?

Work With Us!

We would be honored to work with you as a private client. We provide testing and coaching options to women in most every state and country. Come check out our coaching options to see if it’s a fit.


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Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

Eating for Your Hormones with Katie Bressack

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Katie Bessack is a Certified Holistic Health Coach from California. She's also a Corporate Wellness Expert who supports companies through corporate wellness programs. In this episode we talk about some of the fundamentals of self-care for women's health like getting the right kind of fats, finding healthy snacks and getting a good night's sleep.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 01:25 Introduction to Katie Bressack
Min 05:00 Katie's transition to women's health
Min 11:00 Eating for your hormones
Min 15:20 How healthy foods contribute to hormonal health
Min 18:10 Eating fruits
Min 25:50 What to eat for breakfast
Min 27:45 Food recommendations for women's health
Min 33:10 Uses of iron & magnesium
Min 32:15 Katie's seed recommendations & tips for cramps
Min 36:45 Katie's resources
Min 39:45 Detaching yourself better every day

To learn more about Katie, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook page 
Facebook group 
Twitter 
Instagram 
Pinterest 

Resources:

Katie's Free Gift
Women’s Hormonal Balancing Trail Mix 
Clinical Practitioner Training survey

Here's a video version of the interview with Katie Bressack:

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

June Seed Cycling Challenge

In Portland, OR (my hometown), the city hosts a cycling challenge, challenging you to ride your bike to work as many days as you can.

This is a different cycling challenge!

Seed cycling - alternating the consumption of certain raw seeds every 2 weeks - is intended to support the production and clearance of hormones.  It's very safe and gentle, but always ask your doctor first if you are on medications or in poor health.  

This protocol is NOT intended for pregnant women.  It is safe for breastfeeding women, women trying to conceive, menopausal women and even for men!  My husband will unwittingly be on the rotation as I'll put the seeds in our shakes.

How to Do It:

Seeds:

Phase 1:  Raw, freshly-ground (same day), pumpkin and/or flax seed

Phase 2:  Raw, freshly-ground (same day), sunflower and/or sesame seed

Dosage:  You will see slightly different recommendations in different places.  You can do rounded 1 T of each, 2 T of just one type, or up to 4 T total (measurement is made before grinding) in a day.  I think what is most important to to get at least 2 T a day (size before grinding.)  If you happen to get in extra servings, no problem!

Timing:

Cycling women: If you are currently cycling, you start phase 1 of the seeds on the first full day of your period. Day 1-14 is your follicular phase. You will then switch to phase 2 on day 15 of your cycle.  Day 15-28 is your luteal phase.

Non-cycling women:  This goes for menopause, breastfeeding women, or women with amenorrhea (no cycle in 3 or more months.)  Start phase 1 of the seeds on June 4 (the new moon.)  You will switch to phase 2 of the seeds on June 20, or the full moon.  

To see a lunar calendar, click here.

Notes:

When do I switch the seeds exactly?

Seed cycling is recommend on a 28 day cycle.  However the lunar cycle is 29.5 days.

I would say if you are going with the lunar calendar, stick to the lunar schedule.

If you are a cycling woman, always switch on day 15, but if you cycle runs longer than 28 days, it's ok to keep taking phase 2 seeds a couple extra days, but no more.

This is a tip from the website of Dr. Amy Neuzil, ND, "If you’re trying to get pregnancy it’s important to continue the luteal-phase seeds (sesame/sunflower) until you actually have a period, just in case you are pregnant that month. This gives the egg the best chance at implantation."

Can you just take the seeds whenever?

It depends.  If you are trying to really stick to the phase 1 and phase 2, avoid eating a bunch of tahini (contains sesame seeds) in phase 1.  But, sure you can have hummus a couple times, no problem.

The other side of the coin, say if you are post-menopausal, or have a healthy cycle but just want to eat these foods as boost, you can take the seeds whenever, but just know you aren't really seed cycling anymore, but you are instead just getting some healthful, hormone-boosting foods throughout the month.

What if my diet doesn't allow me to eat some of these seeds?

If you are avoiding, for example, flax seeds and sunflower seeds, then just use the pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds in rotation. If you are avoiding all nuts and seeds, then you can rotate fish oil supplement in your phase 1 (2 caps a day), and then use borage oil in phase 2 (2 caps a days).

You can purchase these at our supplement shop under the names GLA 240 and OmegAvail Ultra.

Do I need to soak the seeds?

No, you don't need to soak the seeds, but you are welcome to do so to increase the digestibility.

Community:

We are mainly hosting the chat for this event on our private Facebook group. You can ask to join that here.  (It's free.) If you do use Facebook, I highly recommend that you join!

If you aren't a Facebook person, it's no problem.  You can also leave comments or questions at the close of this blog.

We had a super fun Q and A webinar, Fixing Your Hormones with Food, to talk about seed cycling and balancing hormones with food (especially estrogen dominance) on 6/23/16 with Magdalena Wszelaki of HormonesBalance.com.

Watch the webinar replay here.

Magdalena offers a really great, free, online cooking class called Cooking for Balance.  Watch it here.

Recipe Links:

Estrogen Boosting Crackers

Progesterone Boosting Crackers

Recipe Videos:

Please be sure to watch this first video, as it is the main instructional video. The other videos are recipes.  We have two and will be adding more on June 15!