This post comes to you from our pal Carrie, who creates recipes, stories, and community over at Our Stable Table.
Period cravings. Friends, they are REAL. If you’re like me, (a.k.a. born with a uterus), you get cravings, too.
Cravings are important, though. They tell us what our bodies need when we are even slightly attuned to what’s going on physiologically. It’s not just about chocolate or spice or fat or carbs. Cravings mean something. They are our bodies’ innate signals that we need to create a better period-host environment. We can listen.
I tend to crave chocolate during my period. I know, it’s not even a little bit original. As it turns out, dark chocolate is high in magnesium, which is a natural muscle relaxer and a mineral that many people are deficient in. If you’ve been pregnant, you are almost definitely low in magnesium because that tiny little fetus leaches it straight from your bones. As a primal survival mechanism, women don’t easily absorb magnesium during pregnancy because magnesium relaxes smooth muscle. It’s kind of mean and also cool. Our bodies know what to do. So, eat that chocolate and give no bothers.
I don’t just crave chocolate, though. I crave spice and fat and comfort. I also crave sweet, which is a little tricker because I have PCOS. I have to be thoughtful about sugar intake because my body doesn’t know what to do with it. It converts it to estrogen and makes my ovaries fuzzy and sad, which is the opposite of how ovaries should be.
In order to say yes to my body, and I believe this is of the utmost importance, I sometimes have to get a little creative. I believe food holds healing and vital properties that help restore balance, so if I can honor my body while giving it an extra boost, I will take that option 90% of the time. (The other 10% of the time I take the Eff It option, because I’m not a robot, y’all.)
A few months ago, I started experimenting with turmeric. I know, it’s like the next big thing right now. However, turmeric has many anti-inflammatory properties and has been used for centuries in ancient healing traditions. It can potentially calm muscle aches, reduce overall inflammation, and increase circulation. So, this gets an A+ for gentle period support. The same is true for ginger.
Cinnamon is another fantastic spice for increasing circulation. Cinnamon is also a blood builder and supports blood sugar regulation, so if you tend to have heavy periods or PCOS, cinnamon is your menstrual BFF.
Cardamom possesses cooling and soothing properties, and adds sweetness to anything it touches. This is the perfect spice to ground you, and help you keep your cool. A little dab will do you, though.
Add a little coconut milk to the mix and you’re set for the best Golden Period Latte ever.
1 can coconut milk (make sure to get BPA-free cans)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 peeled cardamom pods, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch of black pepper
1/4 cup hot water
1. In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk on medium-low.
2. As your coconut milk heats, combine all of your spices in a small pitcher or oversized jar. (I used my french press for this because it’s the perfect size.)
3. Cover spices with water, but use only enough to cover them. Give a little stir.
4. Add coconut milk and stir briskly with a fork. Cover for 5 minutes and allow to steep.
5. Remove cover and stir a bit more, and sweeten to taste. I like a touch of raw honey, but stevia or regular sugar works well. Because of the coconut milk’s natural sweetness, you won’t need much.
*Optional Step: Remove cardamom pods and blend, or use milk frothier to create a little foam.
6. Drink and enjoy the lovely support you are providing for your body. And maybe nom a square of dark chocolate while you’re at it.