Oh, that special time of the month. I usually refer to it in the sweetly euphemistic yoga term, “ladies’ holidays,” although in reality it is less “holiday” and more “shark week.” When I look at my husband and wonder why he is being such a JERK, and why my children are TALKING so much, and why everyone in the world is so ANNOYING, and, good grief, I’m STARVING, and this song on the radio is so SAD, and I hate my HAIR, and my pants feel too TIGHT—when all of those things happen within a half-day span, I generally remember to look at my calendar, which will inevitably show me that I’m due for a visit from Auntie Flo.
It doesn’t have to be that way! Did you know that there are a number of foods that you can eat to help alleviate those nasty PMS symptoms? No, I’m not talking about a giant bag of salt and vinegar chips or a hot fudge sundae—although those treats might feel good in the moment, they won’t help your premenstrual bloat/ irritability/ feelings of despair. Instead, give these snacks a try!
Mood-Altering Sweet Treats
These Gluten-Free Almond Butter Blondies are rich in calcium and magnesium, thanks to the almonds, flax, and quinoa. Calcium and magnesium are not only great for your bones, but they have been shown to improve mood and lessen bloating, especially during that time of the month. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take a smiley face and pants that button, thanks! Speaking of bloating…
Fight Fire With Fibre
I know you don’t want to talk about it, but sometimes constipation can be a problem around “ladies’ holidays.” Fight it with these high-fibre Cranberry Blueberry Bran Muffins! Remember those old commercials for fibre cereal wherein everyone is amazed at how good fibre tastes? Well, these muffins are a testament to good-tasting fibre—think a healthier version of Tim Hortons’ signature muffin.
I’m Strong To The Finish 'Cause I Eats Me Spinach
Spinach is also an excellent source of magnesium, not to mention iron. Shark week can deplete your iron levels, so why not partake in a Tropical Green Smoothie? It’s tasty and energy-boosting, and the hemp seeds in the smoothie are a huge source of iron, magnesium, and manganese, which has been shown to reduce feelings of irritability, depression, and tension. I'm pretty sure my husband is going to be checking my "special calendar" in order to desperately blend up some of these as a "surprise" for me. Extra hemp seeds, stat!
Vitamin B6 is vital in the production of dopamine, which is the body’s “feel-good” neurotransmitter. The humble chickpea is one of the best sources of Vitamin B6; therefore, eating this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus will bring joy to your life. QED!
Must Eat All The Chips
Here’s a confession: I cannot keep potato chips or other salty snack foods in my house. They are my Kryptonite. When faced with an open bag of potato chips, there is only one possible outcome—me, lying bloatedly on the couch with crumbs all over my shirt. Needless to say, this is not a great situation, especially if one is already premenstrually bloated and puffy. Skip the potato chips, give these savoury Kale Chips a try—not only will they help curve cravings for salty snack food, but kale is also a great source of calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Next month, when the kids' discussion of Minecraft is threatening to make you lose your mind, when you have to pull the car over to cry because you heard Foolish Games on the radio, or when your husband "forgets" to unload the dishwasher and you find yourself secretly plotting his demise, stop. Stop right there and try a few of these snacks—you'll be glad you did!