Low Progesterone? Do This.

Photo by Liz West
Progesterone works in partnership with estrogen throughout a woman’s cycle to prepare the uterus for conception. Estrogen is the dominant hormone during the first part of a woman’s cycle (the follicular phase), while progesterone is the dominant hormone during the last part (the luteal phase). The two hormones must be in balance to achieve optimal health.

If you’ve been charting your cycles, you can see where progesterone takes over - it’s responsible for the rise in your temperature.

Not sure if you have low progesterone? Check out Katie Singer’s book The Garden of Fertility for tips on how to read your charts to find out whether they might indicate low progesterone levels.

Low progesterone is quite common. It’s actually not surprising when you consider that estrogenic compounds are everywhere nowadays - in our environment, food, plastics, personal care products, and more. And the higher estrogen is, the more progesterone we need to be in balance.

If you’d like to avoid synthetic progesterone shots & creams, there are some natural alternatives you can try to boost your progesterone level (and/or reduce your estrogen level):

  • Cut out dairy. One Harvard scientist & physician found that dairy accounts for 60-80% of estrogens consumed!
  • Go organic. Minimizing pesticides and hormones in your food can help avoid estrogen overload.
  • Eliminate other estrogenic compounds. Stop eating phytoestrogens like soy (click here for food sources), and stop using plastics and personal care products that could leach xenoestrogens (click here to find out where they’re lurking and how to avoid them).
  • Stop eating sugar and refined carbohydrates. Consumption of refined carbohydrates can indirectly exhaust your adrenals, suppressing progesterone1.

If further supplementation is required, you might ask your doctor about natural or bio-identical progesterone from a compounding pharmacy.

1. Singer, K. (2004). The Garden of Fertility. New York: Avery.

Kale, White Bean & Brown Rice Bowl

As most of you know by now, I'm mildly obsessed with 101cookbooks.com. Every recipe is delicious, and the presentation is documented so artistically - I just love it.

Most of her recipes are pretty easy, but I usually either try to figure out ways to simplify them further.

This is an example of one of her pretty easy recipes made even easier. Another thing I love to do whenever possible is make things in bulk and then dress up the leftovers - this is a perfect recipe for that.

Kale, White Bean, and Brown Rice Bowl
Inspired by 101Cookbooks' Kale Rice Bowl recipe
4 c. cooked brown rice (I love the frying pan method - cuts cooking time in half!)
1 can white cannelini beans, rinsed (I like Eden Organics - their cans are BPA-free)
1 bunch organic lacinato/dino kale, washed & chopped
4 pastured eggs
raw sheep- or goat-milk feta
extra-virgin olive oil
jalapeno flakes
Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a generous pour of olive oil - enough to coat the pan. Add beans and saute until lightly browned. Add kale and stir until bright and wilted. Transfer kale & bean mixture to bowl. Add rice and stir to combine. Crumble feta into the mixture and stir to combine.

In a small pan, heat about 2 inches of filtered water until steaming but not bubbly. Carefully crack an egg into a ramekin and gently pour into the hot water. Repeat with remaining eggs. Cook for a few minutes - when whites are set, poach another minute or so and remove eggs with a slotted spoon.

Divide rice mixture onto 4 plates and drizzle with olive oil. Top each portion with a poached egg and sprinkle with jalapeno flakes. Mangia!

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