The last days of summer are for savoring. Fall will be here before you know it (with its plugged-in, back-to-school energy), so it’s time to make the most of August. It’s a month for getting outside, hanging with friends, and making a dogged commitment to rest and (cyclical) self-care.
Happily, summer eating doesn’t mean sacrificing your hormone health. Food is the foundation of optimal hormone balance, and what you eat (and don’t eat) can mean the difference between experiencing period problems — like PMS, heavy or irregular periods, severe cramps, bloating, acne, moodiness, fatigue, and migraines — and having a seamless, symptom-free period.
So think of the last days of summer as the time when you can have your chocolate—and eat it, too!
Here’s one of my favorite hormone-supportive summer meals. It’s great for dinner parties and backyard cookouts and provides a few days of leftover meals for maximum relaxation!
Appetizer: Gluten-free bruschetta with chopped tomatoes, basil, and olive oil
Chop up your best heirloom tomatoes, place in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Rip up some basil leaves in your hands and drop in the bowl, stir well with a fork and let sit while you toast the bread. Top toasts with tomato mixture and serve immediately. Save the remaining tomato mixture for leftover recipe below.
Main course: Salmon en papillote on the grill
“En papillote” refers to cooking something wrapped in parchment paper (or foil). Place individual portions of salmon on a sheet of parchment, top with 2 lemon slices, and 1 TB chopped parsley.
Fold half the parchment over the fish so it touches the half under the fish and fold from one corner to the other until the parchment is completely sealed. Wrap the parchment in 2 sheets of foil to protect the parcel on the grill. Grill for 10-12 minutes.
If you want to bake in the oven, omit the foil, bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. If you’re not a fan of salmon, use chicken or another cut of fish instead.
Cooking it this way does two things: First, it keeps the steam in, ensuring moist salmon every time. Second, it protects the meat from charring on the grill, which creates carcinogenic chemicals.
Side dish: Grilled corn on the cob with goat butter
Soak the corn with the husks still on in a large pot of cold water for a minimum of 20 minutes before grilling so the husks don’t burn. Grill the corn in the husk to minimize the dangerous compounds generated by the grilling process. Will take about 15 minutes.
Side dish: Sautéed Greens with garlic
Chop and steam any fresh greens you like with a pinch of salt in an inch of water in a shallow pan with the lid on. When the greens are wilted, add sliced garlic, shut the heat and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Find a local organic farm to get greens that are farm fresh and in season!
Side dish: Zucchini Salad
Lidia Bastianich, famed chef and author, changed my zucchini experience with her fail-proof technique.
Add whole uncut zucchini into rapidly boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove from water and let cool.
Slice it and dress with garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and minced parsley for the most refreshing cool summer salad.
Dessert: Cherries and dark chocolate
Summer desserts are the easiest with an abundance of fruits and berries in season.
Choose a dark chocolate with at least 75-percent cacao content.
Next day leftovers: Lunch
Salmon-salad sandwiches (instead of tuna) with fresh lettuce and basil on GF bread. (Use honey mustard instead of mayonnaise when mashing the salmon with a fork.) Served with crudite of cucumbers, bell peppers, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes.
Next day leftovers: Dinner
Cut the corn off the cob, chop remaining leftover zucchini mix, and mix both together with leftover bruschetta topping. Serve on top of fresh greens. Top with a boiled egg and goat feta, if desired.
Happy eating, and happy August!
Always remember that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you. You can do this – the science of your body is on your side.
Is Your Period Healthy?
How do you know if your hormones are healthy? The answer is in your 5th vital sign – your period.
The color of your flow, frequency of your period, and symptoms you have each month can tell you a lot about your health. There are 5 different V-SIGN TYPES, and knowing which one you have will help you get healthy now and prevent disease in the future.