During the ovulatory (i.e. ovulation) phase, your body is the most fertile and is working hard to create the healthiest egg possible. This phase occurs typically in the middle of your monthly cycle and lasts 3-5 days. The ovulatory phase is caused by a natural increase in the hormones testosterone, Lutenizing Hormone (LH), and estrogen. Foods high in antioxidants and fiber can best support your body during this time. Antioxidants support the body to create a healthy egg, while fiber helps to flush out excess estrogen.
High estrogen levels during this phase can cause the body to produce estrogen-driven symptoms such as acne and bloating. You can assist your body in minimizing these symptoms by eating high-high-fiber and high-antioxidant foods. In addition, try to use minimal cooking methods such as light steaming or, when possible, eating foods raw.
This Warm Quinoa Spinach Salad is light, yet filling, and is well-suited for the ovulatory phase. Fiber-rich quinoa serves as the base; raw red peppers, cherry tomatoes, green onions, almonds, and spinach provide antioxidants; and a zesty balsamic vinaigrette dressing joins all the flavours together. This versatile salad can be eaten right away while warm, or saved in the refrigerator for an anytime meal.
Warm Quinoa Spinach Salad
1 cup (180g) Quinoa, rinsed
2-1/4 cups (500ml) Filtered Water
3 cups (100g) Raw Spinach
1 Red Pepper/Capsicum, deseeded and chopped
1 cup (100g) Cherry Tomato, halved
2 Green Onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp Almonds (sliced or chopped)
4 Tbsp (60ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp (30ml) Balsamic Vinegar
¼ tsp Sea Salt
¼ tsp Cracked Black Pepper
- Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
- Whilst quinoa cooks, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine quinoa, all vegetables, and almonds.
- Pour dressing over salad and gently mix.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate to keep for later. (If refrigerated, consume within 2-3 days.)
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Read more about the 4 phases of your menstrual cycles here in my previous post.