The PMS Cookie was developed around the same time as my Female Balance Elixir - out of desperation to break the intense sugar craving, bloating, moodiness and cramp cycle.
5 years ago I was running my own restaurant in Berlin in collaboration with the Adidas Runbase which allowed me to work closely with (pro-) athletes and active people who wanted to learn more about training, recovery, mindfulness, medical aspects, gear and of course - nutrition.
I was fortunate enough to be in the centre of the hub for innovation, education and the freedom to offer something NEW to our customers. As an athlete / dancer myself I already had a good understanding of what my body needed in terms of performance but little did I know what I needed to recover & rest.
After meeting and talking to hundreds of women during that time I learned that a lot of us just didn't know enough about our monthly cycle - not just in terms of fertility but also regarding the effect on our overall health (mental, emotional, physical and hormonal).
As a chef I already had all the tools to provide different options but for a better understanding I needed to dig deeper into the medical as well as neuro-science
department. I am currently studying at the "Health & Science University" of Irland "Fundamentals of Menstrual Cycle Health and Awareness" which I will finish by the end of the year. With this knowledge, coaching skills as well as my background as a chef I can connect the dots and offer hands on classes, workshops and retreats as well as real life skills application for people to apply in their daily life at home.
If you are interested in booking a 1:1 "Nutrition for women" coaching - keep your eyes peeled as I will offer a registration platform where you will get more information and available dates for 2023.
I have always had a sweet tooth and "needed" something sweet during the day to keep me going but although I (and many other active women) burn a lot of calories / energy during training / busy lifestyle - there is still an effect and consequence of WHAT we eat - regardless if we gain or lose weight from it. Food is complex information for our bodies especially looking at our organs and hormonal system - there is more to the story than calories in / calories out. I will get deeper into these topics over the next few months but I think this is a good starting point to understand our nature of being cyclic human beings.
The whole point of the Luteal Phase (straight after ovulation) is to take things a wee bit easier, slower, calmer and more mindful in preparation for the menstrual phase.
PMS (= premenstrual syndrome) is not a given diagnosis just because we are women and we have our periods - it stands for the overall problem we are facing right now - NOT living, eating, moving, resting and socialising in harmony with our cycle.
And although we can't just make these "issues" disappear there are a couple of things that can help us not reach for the refined sugar treats (although you should NEVER feel bad eating those too!!!) and being prepared is rule number 1 in that case. I usually make the #pmscookies in the first half of the cycle when I am still energetic, motivated and organised with my food prep. You can freeze them raw as dough balls so you only have to bake them once you need and want them (add at least 5-6 more minutes) or you freeze them after baking a big batch. I prefer them cold out of the fridge anyways and they also easily last for a week in the fridge (and months in the freezer).
I tried to make them as nutritious as a sweet treat can be (never a substitute for a proper meal of course) but sometimes all we need is a chocolatey snack to help with intense cravings and uncontrollable overeating.
Despite having ‘wheat’ in its name, buckwheat is actually glutenfree and sometimes referred to as a ‘pseudo-grain’. Buckwheat seeds, also called “groats” or kasha (toasted) in certain parts of the world,” are packed with nutrients and antioxidants − like rutin, tannins and catechin. In fact, due to buckwheat’s polyphenol content, buckwheat seed is considered by many to be a superfood. A major benefit of buckwheat compared to other grains is that it has a unique amino acid composition that gives it special biological activities. These include cholesterol-lowering and anti-hypertension effects and the ability to improve digestion by relieving constipation. Buckwheat is also a great source of plant-based protein as it contains 12 amino acids — the “building blocks of protein” that support energy, growth and muscle synthesis. In fact, it has more protein than any form of rice, wheat, millet or corn which is an important factor especially during the luteal phase.
And while I’m an advocate of always honoring your hunger, it’s especially important to pay attention to your appetite during the luteal phase. Reason being, we require around 300 more calories, every day, during this phase. Why? Because our basal metabolic rate (the number of daily calories required to stay alive) increases by 10-20%. As progesterone rises during the luteal phase, it signals the body to consume more energy. Many women notice an increase in appetite before their period starts but don't always follow their hunger cues. That's why this cookie has fibre, fat and protein-rich ingredients that also keep you full and satiated longer.
A dark brown thick syrup that remains after extraction of sugar from raw sugar cane. It has a robust flavor described as bittersweet and unlike refined sugar, blackstrap molasses contains essential vitamins and minerals — boasting a number of powerful health benefits. As opposed to refined sugar, molasses has the power to help naturally relieve PMS symptoms, stabilize blood sugar levels, improve bone health and symptoms of ADHD, and boost skin health.
Helps Relieve PMS Symptoms
Blackstrap molasses is a high source of iron, which has proven to be an important nutrient for women. Women need more iron than men because they lose a certain amount of iron during their normal menstrual cycles each month.
Starting at around the time of adolescence when a woman begins having her menstrual cycle, her daily need of iron increases, but then the level decreases once again as the woman reaches menopause. Studies indicate this direct association between iron depletion and menstruation. Iron can also improve your mood, which relies on a balance of hormones — including serotonin, dopamine and other vital hormones — that cannot properly be synthesized in the brain when oxygen levels are low. This is why iron deficiency sometimes results in a poor mood, bad sleep, low energy levels and a lack of motivation.
If you notice changes in your mood and feelings of mild depression or anxiety, especially during menstruation, an iron deficiency could possibly be a contributor.
Also, essential minerals in blackstrap molasses, such as magnesium, manganese and calcium, prevent the clotting of blood, which relieves menstrual cramps and maintains the health of uterine muscles.
250 g extra virgin coconut oil, room temperature
4 Tbsp soy milk
180 g coconut sugar
OR chia “egg” = 1 ½ Tbsp chia flour (ground chia) mixed with 50 g soy milk - let soak for 5 min
1 Tbsp molasses
200 g buckwheat flour
100 g almond flour (= ground blanched almonds) 40 g unsweetened cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder) 2 teaspoon baking powder 200 g chocolate (85%) 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (optional) Pinch of salt
Female Balance Drizzle
200 g chocolate
2 Tbsp Female Balance Elixir
Flakey salt for sprinkling (optional)
In a medium bowl, sift and whisk flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder together. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat coconut sugar and coconut oil in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add (chia) eggs, molasses, salt and vanilla and mix again. Gradually add dry ingredients and beat on medium-low until no dry spots remain. Add chopped chocolate and fold in with a spartular. With an ice cream scoop or large spoon form equal balls (around 50 - 70 g) and place them on a plate with parchment paper.
Place the cookies for 1 - 2 hours in the fridge to set.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Place the cookies with the parchment paper on the tray and bake for 10-12 minutes. Just before they come out, gently press them down with a spatular. You can either them eat warm or place them in the fridge to firm up and make a “chill cookie” (my preferred version :-)