Two of the biggest roadblocks to making healthy nutritional changes for endometriosis are time and energy. Many of my clients are overwhelmed by the task of eating more anti-inflammatory foods. I help them find easy meals they love that suit their lifestyle. If they’re a slave to the kitchen, they’ll soon wear out, so we look for meals that are ready whenever they want to eat.
Following are some of my favorite dishes that I hope will help if you’re also struggling:
Be sure to always have adequate fat (period expert Nicole Jardim suggests about two tablespoons), protein, and fiber from plants. This combination will keep you full and allow a steady release of energy, helping to combat fatigue and keep your hormones balanced to ensure better periods.
I love using two types of frozen vegetables (you can’t taste them) and berries. I tend to use steamed and frozen kale, sweet potato, squash, carrots, and cauliflower. I also use raw and frozen zucchini, beetroot, spinach, and avocado. You can add more flavor with raw cacao, nut butters, and spices, such as cinnamon. Check out my pumpkin pie and red velvet smoothies for inspiration!
One of the easiest ways to prep smoothies is by steaming and freezing large quantities of veggies and chopping or freezing raw fruits and vegetables in advance.
For some, oats can cause blood sugar spikes.
One of the ways I get around this is by using steel-cut oats, which take longer to break down in the digestive tract than rolled oats. This helps delay the release of glucose to the blood. I also like to add fat and protein, such as nuts, seeds, nut butters, and yogurt to further support balanced blood sugar.
Topping your oats with berries, such as strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries, allows you to get in some of your fruit intake first thing, and adds an anti-inflammatory boost, too.
To keep it endometriosis-friendly, try to steer away from adding sugar, such as honey or maple syrup, and opt for a sugar-free or low-sugar alternative, such as stevia drops or inulin syrup.
I like to make a batch on Monday and separate into jars for the week ahead. It makes a great snack, too!
OK, I hear you — don’t you need to make salads fresh? You can make a big salad that’ll last three days before you need to make a new one. The only exception is that I would always chop the cucumber just before eating and sprinkle it over the pre-made salad, as it tends to turn quicker than the other veggies.
We love making up antioxidant-rich Mediterranean salads packed with black olives, avocado, peppers, tomatoes, sliced fennel, artichoke, beans, and lots of leafy greens in the summer. In the winter, we tend to roast trays of vegetables for something a bit warmer and heartier.
My boyfriend and I are pretty time-starved, so our go-to dinner is a homemade soup. We batch cook it on Monday and it lasts us until Thursday night. Each week, we cycle through different vegetables to ensure we’re getting variety in our diet.
We actually have a formula now to make creamy, hormone-loving soups: a base of stock and cauliflower blended with cashew nuts (for fat) and the key flavoring vegetable. We then top the soup off with roasted chickpea “croutons” (for protein) and some kind of leafy green stirred through, such as kale or collard greens. Our favorites are carrot and coriander soup, broccoli and “cheese” soup (just add nutritional yeast!), parsnip and nutmeg soup, and cumin red pepper soup!
If you don’t have the time or energy for batch cooking, there are now loads of beautifully healthy pre-made soups you can buy in the supermarkets.
Stews and curries
Similar to soups, stews are great for cooking ahead and freezing, and are wonderful for our luteal and menstrual phases when we’re craving something comforting. They’re also a great way to get more beans into your diet, from a black bean stew to a lentil curry.
Other foods you can make ahead include homemade nut trail mixes and turmeric lattes!
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.