We tend to eat pretty much the same lunch (or late breakfast) every day - maybe changing it up on the weekends - but during the week it’s usually a meal we don’t dedicate that much thought or time to (or skip it all together). I would like to encourage you to give it a second thought and make it something tasty but with a purpose (especially in the second half of the cycle where it's crucial to adapt your meals to hormonal changes in order to prevent PMS). The idea is that you are re-using leftovers, store-bought products and items from the fridge so it's still a rather quick lunch which can also be wrapped up to go.
The only "work" is to prepare the flatbread which really is the easiest thing and takes less than 10 minutes to roll and fry in the pan (no oven needed). Plus you will have fresh and fermented dough in your fridge for a week!
Crust: 1 package active dry yeast 500 g spelt flour, gluten-free flour or a 50 : 50 mix of both 1 tsp (coconut) sugar 350 ml warm water 3 Tbsp olive oil 1 tsp salt
In a large mixing bowl, add the yeast, coconut sugar and 100 ml of warm water. Stir to combine and to avoid any lumps. Set aside for 10 min. Sift the 2 flours together over the yeast mixture and add the salt, oil and remaining water. With a hand- or stand mixer, using the dough hook, knead until smooth but still a quite sticky and wet. You can also do it by hand with a wooden spoon. Cover with plastic wrap and let ferment for at least 1 hour at room temperature or ideally 24 hour in the fridge. When you are ready to use it, add some flour on the surface, take a pam sized piece of dough, flour your rolling pin (or wine bottle if you dont have a rolling pin like me :-) and roll the dough into your desired shape (you can also stretch it with your hands - it doesn't have to be perfectly round. Heat up a pan (I love to use my cast iron skillet), add some olive oil and cook the flatbread 2-3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and baked through.
You can keep the dough for 3-4 days in the fridge so you can make your own fresh flatbread for breakfast, lunch or dinner (tastes amazing with dal!)
For the luteal phase chose nuts, seeds, protein sources and fats that support progesterone production while helping to eliminate excess estrogen. Also keep in mind that due to a faster metabolism in the second half of your cycle you need to eat around 300 - 500 calories more (depending on your activity and training).
Topping ideas for a (NO) PMS Lunch:
- Sunflower Dill Spread (see below)
- flaked salmon (leftover cooked salmon from the night before, reheated in the same pan as the flatbread)
- leftover roasted fennel (or other vegetables)
- leftover carrot salad (marinated in white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, flat- and olive oil and salt)
- sprouts and nuts
Sunflower tahini tofu spread with dill *
Soak 1 cup of sunflower seeds overnight or at least 1 hour in some water. Drain and rinse.
In a food processor add the soaked sunflower seeds, 2-3 Tbsp tahini, 1/4 cup of plain tofu, 1 pitted date, salt, lemon juice, olive oil and dill (or any other herb you like) and blend until smooth and creamy.
* During the second phase of your cycle (luteal phase), sesame seeds and sunflower seeds help boost progesterone production. Sesame seeds are a rich source of zinc which help boost progesterone production and also contain lignans that help block excess estrogen while progesterone rises.