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The Fertility Kitchen and How to Beat Cravings: Emma Cannon

30/06/2013 by Kate in Ask Kate 2

I was recently asked by a female member for any tips on how to balance out hormone-related cravings at certain times of the month. I thought about it and realised that my friend and amazing fertility expert, Emma Cannon, writes about this subject so well that the best thing would be to ask her if we could share a few tips from her new book Total Fertility. Emma’s approach to food and how we eat is so wonderfully balanced and healthy, and in the book she lists foods and included recipes for the four different phases of the month. These foods complement the shifts in hormones through the month, from oestrogen boosting foods in the lead up to ovulation to warming foods (helpful for progesterone) in the latter half. Emma also suggests we eat a little more in the second half of the month, so don’t let yourself go hungry as that’s when sugary cravings will hit hard.


Phase 1: During Your Period

Include foods that encourage blood movement and avoid sour (constricting) foods like yoghurt, pickles, oranges and grapefruit.

Good: aubergines, butter, eggs, crab, leeks, onions, peaches, turmeric

Just after your period including nourishing foods such as aduki beans, beef, beetroot, figs, dark leafies and oily fish is a good idea.


Phase 2: Pre-ovultation

Include foods that support the gentle build-up of fluids:

Asparagus, avocado, cheese, eggs, honey, lemon, milk, mango, oysters, pear, pomegranate, pork, seaweed, sesame, spelt


Phase 3: Around Ovulation

Plenty of slow-release energy foods in the morning and eat light in the evening. Drink plenty of green tea.

Almonds, carrots, chicken, coconut, figs, lentils, molasses, oats, quinoa, rice, shiitake mushrooms, squash


Phase 4: Before Your Period

Plenty of warming, healthy comfort foods.

Basil, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, garlic, ginger, lamb, quinoa, rosemary, thyme, walnuts



A rescue remedy of a tea, it gently balances energy and calms the mind.

Makes a big potful
1.5 litres water
6 dried figs
1 tbsp camomile flowers
1 tsp fennel seeds
zest of an orange, peeled into strips with a veg peeler

Put all the ingredients in a big pan and cover with the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or so until the liquid has reduced by about a third. Strain, keep warm and sip throughout the day (warm up as needed).

To find out more about Emma’s acupuncture clinic (which from personal experience I can tell you is such a tonic), click here



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2 Responses to “The Fertility Kitchen and How to Beat Cravings: Emma Cannon”

  1. Julia says:

    Hi Kate,

    Just wanted to thank you and Emma for your valuable insights on this tricksy subject. I must admit, I have struggled enormously on the run up to that time of the month, and did feel that I was letting myself down and undoing all the good work I’d done with the onset of those deadly cravings.

    I’m going to look up Emma’s book, it sounds really interesting, and make a point of introducing those foods on the lists you’ve shared and seeing if it makes a difference (which I’m confident it will).

    Thanks to you and your down to earth guidance I am now 11 and a half pounds lighter than I was before Christmas, it’s taken me six months but I reached my goal eventually and feel much better for it. Now to tackle the cravings bit, and I’m sorted! Massive thanks,

    Love Julia x x x

  2. Kate says:

    What a lovely message, I have passed on to Emma too. Thank you xx

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