This Healthy Sweet Potato Quick Bread will satisfy your PMS craving without breaking the calorie bank. Don’t allow cravings to wreak havoc on your normal healthy eating routine, be prepared for when they strike.
Do you find yourself craving carbs and sugar during your pre menstrual week? You’re not alone sister! Yours truly too : Krystal – Clean Eating Nutrition Coach falls victim to the occasional craving the week before my period aka the Luteal Phase. This usually happens when I haven’t followed through with cycle syncing my diet, but either way, instead of fighting what will no doubt be a losing battle against cravings, what do I do? I bake a healthy treat. I actually have an alert set in my Hormonology app to remind me to bake this healthy sweet potato bread.
Why am I craving carbs and sugar?!
There are two main reasons for cravings during the luteal phase
- During the luteal phase estrogen and progesterone plummet taking with them your serotonin levels. Serotonin is the feel-good chemical in your brain. When serotonin levels are low we crave carbs and sugars because the body uses carbs to make serotonin. Makes sense huh!
- During the luteal phase your body is extremely sensitive to insulin levels. This means that if insulin levels dip your body will compensate by ramping up the production of leptin and ghrelin which causes insatiable hunger that manifests as cravings. This is your body’s way of protecting a potential foetus. Something to note on this point – if like myself you do intermittent fasting you’ll want to be especially diligent at listening to your body during this week. I often find that during my luteal phase I struggle to maintain an 16/8 spilt of fasting and that’s A-Ok.
To some extent cravings are ‘normal’ at this time but more serious symptoms such as breast tenderness, insomnia, headaches etc indicate an imbalance.
What foods help period cravings
Eat foods rich in potassium, magnesium & B vitamins like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, bananas and dark chocolate. The Luteal phase is our internal autumn and if you think of the foods that we would normally eat at that time you can see why this sweet potato bread is a good choice.
Eat high protein foods to keep blood sugar levels balanced. Include protein with every meal or snack. Foods such as free range eggs, chicken, turkey, fish and almonds.
At the end of it all it’s important to know that it’s not all cravings and gloom during your luteal phase. You’ll be happy to know that during this week your metabolism also increases and you tend to burn an extra 100 calories daily without effort. Please note than 100 calories is equivalent to about 1 medium sized banana so don’t use PMS as a free pass to eat whatever you want ok… lol The types of food you choose are just as important.
How to enjoy this healthy sweet potato bread
Slice and top with:
How to store this healthy sweet potato bread
Because the vegan version of this sweet potato bread does not contain any perishable ingredients such as eggs or dairy the bread keeps well at room temperature for a couple days. Beyond that and I would recommend storing it in the fridge or placing slices in parchment paper and freezing it.
Healthy Sweet Potato Quick Bread (gluten free, vegan)
- 1 cup sweet potato purée⠀ 1 large sweet potato steamed or roasted them mashed
- 1 whole banana ⠀
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 1 egg or flax egg (to make flax egg : mix 1 tablespoon flax meal +3 tablespoons water)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups gluten free oat flour
- ½ cup almond meal / flour
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon⠀⠀
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt⠀
- Chocolate chips and nibs (optional)⠀
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- In the bowl of your food processor, mix all the wet ingredients together. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients.
- Incorporate the wet ingredients into dry. Mix until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Transfer the batter into an oiled loaf pan. I used a 9x5x3 inches pan
- Bake for 50 - 60 minutes or until top is golden brown and tooth pick comes out clean when tested.
- Allow bread to completely cool on a cooling rack. Slice and enjoy!⠀