Cycle Syncing: How I Got Started - Mel Kovacevic

Cycle Syncing: How I Got Started - Mel Kovacevic

I'm Mel Kovacevic, the founder of The Seed Cycle, and I'm thrilled to share with you the journey that led me to the concept of cycling syncing and within that seed cycling a way of balancing your hormones through food as medicine.

About me:

As a Functional Nutritionist and an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, or 'tapping') practitioner, my career has always revolved around holistic health solutions. I've spent countless hours in my wellness clinic, helping women navigate the complex world of hormonal imbalances. From mood swings and acne to weight fluctuations and fertility challenges, I've seen firsthand the struggles women face in their quest for balance and well-being.

My introduction to the concept of cycle syncing came from a place of both professional curiosity and personal commitment to finding natural, empowering solutions for hormonal health. The idea that we could use the body's own rhythms and the nutrients in our diet to promote hormonal balance was both fascinating and promising.

This curiosity led me down a path of extensive research, where I discovered the power of seed cycling. This method, gaining popularity in wellness communities in the US and prescribed by leading hormone experts like Dr. Brighton, offered a simple yet profound way to harness the nutritional benefits of seeds to support the menstrual cycle's phases.

Inspired by this knowledge, I began integrating seed cycling routines into my clients' wellness plans, tailoring them to their unique hormonal landscapes. The results were nothing short of transformative. I witnessed incredible stories of healing and empowerment, from clients conceiving after years of trying to others regain control over their acne or weight issues.

However, a recurring challenge emerged: consistency. The busy lives of my clients often interfered with their ability to maintain their seed cycling routine. It was clear that what they needed was a convenient, reliable solution that fits seamlessly into their daily lives.

This realization sparked the creation of The Seed Cycle. Our mission is to provide a tailored, easy-to-follow seed cycling solution delivered directly to our clients' doorsteps. We're more than just a business; we're a family-owned passion project based in Canberra, Australia, dedicated to rekindling the connection between women and their hormonal health.

Seed Cycling for Hormone Balance
Seed Cycling is a trend that has picked up popularity especially in the last two years and, although there is no real scientific research to back seed cycling specifically, there is research supporting the benefits of individual seeds.

Through The Seed Cycle, I'm excited to share the beauty of this natural approach and the remarkable stories of transformation that come with it. It's not just about seeds; it's about planting the foundation for a healthier, more balanced life.

Before we commence, here is what you need to know

What is cycle syncing?

"Cycle Syncing" is a practice of aligning your lifestyle, nutrition, exercise, and daily habits with the hormonal fluctuations that happen in the menstrual cycle. The concept of cycle syncing or aligning one's lifestyle with the different phases of the menstrual cycle supports women in understanding their bodies and making informed decisions about their health and wellbeing. It also ensures that we tailor our daily life in a way that supports our hormones, rather than working against them.

This is where the concept of Seed Cycling was born as we consume 4 different seeds in relation to the phases of the cycle.

Menstrual Cycle Phases:

The menstrual cycle, outlined follows a 28-day guide. It's important to note that individual women may experience cycles ranging from 21 to 35 days. Understanding and tracking your unique cycle length is essential for accurate phase identification and personalized health insights

  • Early Follicular - Days 1-7: Day 1 is marked by the shedding of the uterine lining (aka the first day of your bleed) where estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest.
  • Late follicular - Days 8-14: Estrogen and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) begin to rise and prepare the growth & maturation of an egg to be released during ovulation. Around day 14, estrogen and luteinizing hormone (LH) an egg is released from the ovary in the hopes of being fertilized.
  • Mid-Luteal - Days 15-21: Estrogen starts to decrease and progesterone rises as the body prepares for potential egg implantation by maintaining the uterine lining.
  • Late Luteal - Days 22-28: Progesterone continues to increase, but if there's no fertilized egg by sperm, both estrogen and progesterone decline toward the end, prompting the shedding of the uterine lining and marking the start of a new menstrual cycle.
Nutrition for the Different Phases of the Menstrual Cycle | Elara Care
In this post, we will cover how our nutrition should change at different stages of the menstrual cycle and other supporting topics.

My Experience with Cycle Syncing as a Functional Nutritionist

For me, embracing Cycle syncing has unlocked a deeper connection with my body’s natural rhythm, positively impacted my relationship with food, and empowered me with the resources to know how to support myself across the month.

Initially, I began cycle syncing and seed cycling out of curiosity and as a way to support my clients on a holistic level that didn’t require more pills, supplements, or artificially made products. After a couple of months, I was impressed to note that my weight had shifted, I was healing my relationship with food, my skin was glowing, my periods felt easier each month and I was feeling so much more energized!

As a business owner, you are constantly switched on, doing 100 things at once and it can definitely get overwhelming! Once I implemented cycle syncing with how I showed up to work each day, things felt more in flow, I was less stressed and even more productive.

Even after years of implementing both Cycle Syncing and Seed Cycling, I continue to see new benefits daily with my overall energy, vitality, and how vibrant I feel.

Negatives I experience with Cycle Syncing

I can confidently say that I haven't experienced any negatives when it comes to cycle syncing! There are days when I may get frustrated if my energy is low but my mind wants to go, however, I am learning to have compassion and maintain what my body needs during these times of my cycle.

Example of How I implemented Cycle Syncing into my life

For me, implementing Cycle syncing across all areas of my life didn’t happen overnight. I slowly began integrating the things I learned over the years into my routine and now I couldn’t imagine a life without it!

Nutrition for the Different Phases of the Menstrual Cycle | Elara Care
In this post, we will cover how our nutrition should change at different stages of the menstrual cycle and other supporting topics.

Early Follicular Phase Cycle Syncing:

  • My approach to Exercise: Gentle activities like walking or yoga to honor my body's need for rest.
  • My approach to Nutrition: Focus on warm & nourishing, iron-rich foods to support blood loss- my favorite meal is grass-fed bolognese which the kids enjoy too! I also love the phase 1 Seed Cycle brownies here when I crave a chocolatey sweet treat.
  • My approach to work: I try to ease into work tasks gradually and ensure my to-do list isn’t unrealistic. I tend to use this time to reflect on what may be working or not working in the business and how we can improve it rather than doing tasks that require greater creative energy.
  • Things to be mindful of: If I don’t adequately slow down during my bleed, it negatively impacts the energy I have across the other phases of my cycle. I tend to create more space in my calendar so I can rest where I need.

Late Follicular Phase Cycle Syncing:

  • My approach to Exercise: I often embrace higher-intensity workouts to match increased energy levels such as HIIT classes & boxing. I have an amazing PT who understands cycle syncing which has been beneficial for my training and results.
  • My approach to Nutrition: Includes a variety of whole foods with as many colors as possible. I focus on fiber-rich, light foods such as big Buddha bowls, plenty of greens, and fresh produce. I also incorporate phase 1 seeds daily with e.g. yogurt or in a smoothie.
  • My approach to work: My mind is most clear during my late follicular phase so I make use of being productive, and creative and tackling the hardest tasks on my to-do list. During ovulation, I try to schedule any video recordings, interviews, and podcasts because I know I'll typically feel my best!
  • Things to be mindful of: Usually I have quite a lot of energy during this phase, so I try to stay mindful of over-exerting myself and staying balanced with commitments.
What to Eat During the Follicular Phase | Elara Care
In this post, we share what to eat during the follicular phase to give your body what it needs to perform at its best.

Mid-Luteal Phase Cycle Syncing:

  • My approach to Exercise: I usually tone down the high intensity and move toward weights or pilates as my energy shifts
  • My approach to Nutrition: I focus on eating balanced meals rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. I love a bowl of roast vegetables with chicken drizzled with extra virgin olive oil- yum! I also incorporate phase 2 seeds daily.
  • My approach to work: I am still productive but I notice my levels of creativity and energy shift. I try to prioritize regular breaks in between tasks and be gentle with myself.
  • Things to be mindful of: My appetite increases so I ensure I have healthy snacks on hand e.g. Seed Cycle phase 2 cookie, a protein ball, and some fruit or avocado and rice cakes to keep away the hangries.
What to Eat During the Luteal Phase | Elara Care
The Luteal Phase is the second half of your menstrual cycle. It occurs after ovulation and before menstruation, typically lasting 14-16 days.

Late-Luteal Phase Cycle Syncing:

  • My approach to Exercise: My exercise slows to match my energy needs so I incorporate more restorative movement e.g. beach walks, gentle stretching or yoga
  • My approach to Nutrition: Similar to my early luteal phase, I focus on balanced meals. If I crave comfort foods, I focus on healthier alternatives like dark chocolate, homemade cacao, and of course, seed cycling biscuits!
  • My approach to work: I try to focus on more analytical tasks rather than creative ones. I also have a lot of self-compassion if I feel slower and try to create more space in my diary.
  • Things to be mindful of: I try to stay aware of my energy declining and mood shifts. I always communicate with my husband when my period is approaching so he knows I may be a little more sensitive and this has positively impacted our relationship!
How to increase energy levels during the Luteal phase
The luteal phase starts post-ovulation and ends when menstruation starts. This phase of the menstrual cycle is often characterized by several symptoms, such as mood fluctuations, cravings, higher basal body temperature, and a dip in energy levels, to name a few. However, there are strategies you can…

My Cycle Syncing Tips

It takes time to start implementing cycle syncing so my advice is to go slow!

  • Tracking your cycle daily is a must! I use the app MyFlo to note what day and which phase I am in across the month.
  • Work with your energy across the month e.g. plan the style of exercise you do in accordance with each phase of your cycle. I schedule my high-intensity PT sessions during my late follicular and ovulation phase which has been a game changer for my energy and results.
  • Adjust your diet to support hormonal fluctuations. Prioritize iron-rich foods during menstruation, complex carbohydrates in the follicular phase, and focus on healthy fats and antioxidants during the luteal phase. Seed Cycling has been the easiest thing to adopt as it is there and ready to go each day, i just add the seeds to my daily breakfast or in a smoothie.
  • Structure your calendar with your cycle e.g. I plan more social events, meetings, or recordings during ovulation when I know I’ll have the most energy. I try to keep more space in my calendar during my bleed because I know I’ll be more depleted.
  • Have flexibility. Not every month will be perfect and we won’t always be able to adopt cycle syncing during each phase. For example, if I know I’ll be bleeding but have to attend an event, I will just schedule more rest time before or after it.
Menstrual Cycle Food Chart
Cycle syncing is when you align your daily activities such as nutrition, exercise, meetings etc, with the different phases of the menstrual cycle. It has been gaining more and more attention as it incentivizes and promotes a better understanding of ourselves and how hormones impact us throughout the…

Additional Reading for Menstrual Cycle and Hormone Health

  • Seed Cycling for Hormone Balance by Dr. Jolene Brighten
  • Menstruation: The Sacred Cycle: Redefining our menstrual cycle and PMS by Gina Cloud
  • Period Power: Harness Your Hormones and Get Your Cycle Book by Maisie Hill
  • Period Queen: Life hack your cycle and own your power all month long Book by Lucy Peach
  • Beautiful Girl: Celebrating the Wonders of Your Body, a guide for girls on the power and beauty of becoming a woman by Christiane Northrup, MD
  • The Ecology of Estrogen in the Female Body, a superb and in-depth article by herbalist Juliet Blankespoor
  • Alisa Vitti - In The Flow

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and is not meant to substitute professional dietary advice or treatment.

About the Author - Mel Kovacevic

Mel Kovacevic is a Functional Nutritionist and an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, or 'tapping') practitioner, and the founder of The Seed Cycle. As a mum of two beautiful babies, Mel knows first-hand that being a woman can be just as challenging as it is rewarding. As her mind and body transformed, nutrition and health quickly became far more than just a hobby for Mel. It became her passion and career. Since starting her EFT and functional nutrition clinic, Mel has helped hundreds of clients release limiting beliefs and mental blocks and find optimal health and happiness.