5 Foods That Are Making Your PMS Worse

It comes and goes with a vengeance. Or sometimes, it comes and goes with ease. Maybe it’s so erratic that you really don’t know what to predict. 

I’m talking about your period. Your monthly flow helps to flush toxicity from your body, it’s the reason you are a WOMAN and most importantly, can allow you to make a baby! Your period is powerful. 

I dreaded my period back in my teenage days. I mean no one wants to get their period when it’s long weekend and everyone’s getting ready to party and you’re curled over with cramps, feeling bloated and your mood swings are fierce! It’s not pretty. 

But like all the other teenage girls, I went on the birth control pill and completely shut down my endocrine system, ovulation and impaired my gut health and created deep hormonal chaos. You can read more on that story by clicking here and learn why the pill is ruining is your health. 

The pill never really “solved” my PMS. I was still popping advil and using a hot water bottle to ease my cramps. Not to mention the bags of chips I would demolish in an attempt to fix my erratic cravings. Salty? Sweet? I wanted both!

I never really paid attention to what I ate during the month, or how it could relate to my PMS. It wasn’t until studying nutrition and adopting the Qualitarian diet that everything came into perceptive. I ditched the pill and healed my hormones, with food. 

I also learned the very foods I needed to avoid in order to balance my hormones and heal my PMS for good. So if you can relate to this story, which I’m sure so many women can, I highly recommend you ditch these 5 foods that are making your PMS worse. (*they are also causing weight gain, unstable moods, digestive upsets, fatigue, aging and impairing your liver). 

So listen up ladies… 

It’s time to grab the bull by the horns and heal your hormones naturally by eliminating these inflammatory culprits from your diet. High inflammatory foods cause hormonal chaos, spike insulin levels, lower immunity and make PMS symptoms worse. 

You Ready?

FOOD CULPRIT #1 – Sugar. Ugh! I know you’re sick of me talking about ditching the sugar, but this inflammatory food is impairing your liver, spiking your insulin and is the very reason behind your cravings, irritability and mood swings. Now when I say sugar, what I am referring to is a high concentration of fructose + glucose, such as soft drinks, candies, sweets, baked goods, breakfast cereals (yes, I know, I said cereal! It’s high in sugar so ditch it), fruit juices, large amounts of fruit, honey and chocolate (typically milk chocolate). Starches in the form of sweet potato, quinoa, squashes and rice are ok to eat. They still fall into the “carbohydrate/sugar” category but are much more nutritious then eating baked goods and cereals. Stick with these dense, more nutritious starches are you’re golden. 

FOOD CULPRIT #2 – Wheat. I’m sure you’ve heard that gluten and wheat are the root of all evil. And well, for some, it most definitely is. It really all depends on the state of your digestive health. If you are a celiac or suffer with crohn’s or colitis, then you most definitely need to ditch the gluten. The problem with our wheat today is that it is hybridized. It is NOT produced the traditional way and contains a ton of herbicides and pesticides. I use gluten and wheat interchangeably here because wheat contains gluten, so if you avoid one, you avoid both. Wheat is an inflammatory food and most people find they suffer with bloating, gas, digestive upsets, headaches and migraines and some women who have ditched the wheat, have found a dramatic improvement with their cycle and pre menstrual symptoms. 

FOOD CULPRIT #3 – Dairy. Second to wheat, dairy is a very common food sensitivity. Aside from the antibiotics and hormones which you are eating and drinking, dairy contains a protein called A1 casein. This protein is inflammatory and over stimulates your immune system. As a note, A1 casein is found primarily in Holstein cows and very small amounts in Jersey cows, goats and sheep. With my one-on-one clients I eliminate dairy to help calm down the inflammatory response which in turn helps to support a health menstrual cycle. Also, I eliminate dairy in ALL my clients who are suffering with eczema, acne, sinus infections and asthma.  

FOOD CULPRIT #4 – Vegetable Oils. Soy, corn, canola, cottonseed, safflower and sunflower oils are cheap, contain toxic trans fats and are highly inflammatory. These cheap oils increase your Omega 6 fatty acids. Although omega 6 is important, we want to ensure we get these fatty acids from nuts and seeds instead. Too many Omega 6’s will throw off the delicate balance to Omega 3’s which are anti inflammatory and needed for a healthy hormonal response. Replace these oils with grass fed butter, ghee, coconut oil, fish oil, avocado and olive oil. 

FOOD CULPRIT #5 – Alcohol. Your liver is your main detoxifying organ and one of it’s many jobs, is to metabolize hormones. Alcohol will slow down your livers ability to detoxify, which in turn will slow down how effectively you eliminate and metabolize excess hormones. Alcohol is also highly estrogenic and 2 glasses of wine a night can increase your chances of breast cancer by 250%!!!! That.Is.Crazy! Eliminate or drastically reduce your alcohol intake and if you’d like to enjoy a glass of red or white on the weekends (notice I said GLASS, not glasses), try mixing it with some kombucha. 

Make the effort to reduce or eliminate these foods from your diet and your hormonal health will improve drastically. PMS symptoms is all about managing hormones and being able to provide our body with the right nutrients and support throughout the entire month, not just 1 week prior to your period. An easy breezy period with little to no PMS symptoms is a sign that your hormones are in a good ratio, healthy and happy.

Women are often confused as to what they can eat to optimize their hormones. In my book, The Qualitarian Life I provide a delicious and healthy meal plan with over 60+ recipes you can choose from. All recipes are great for supporting your hormones and are free from all the inflammatory culprits. You can get my book by clicking here. It’s a digital book and can be downloaded instantly.  

If you’re looking to dive deeper into healing you hormones, easing your menstrual cycle, regulating your cycle, reducing or eliminating your PMS symptoms or thinking about ditching the pill, feel free to reach out to me at samanthagladish@gmail.com. We can set up a 20 minute consult call to discuss your health and outline the best approach and protocol for you. 

In the meantime, comment below and let me know how you manage your PMS symptoms, what foods you need to eliminate and what your PMS cravings are! I’d love to know 🙂 

Cheers to healthy & happy hormones
Samantha xoxo


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Broccoli Avocado Detox Soup

Broccoli is one vegetable that I don’t enjoy eating. It’s true. 

Serve it in a soup however, and I’ll eat it. 

With all the fiber and incredible health benefits, like supporting the liver and detoxing excess estrogen out of your system, how could you not want to eat it! This veggie is truly beneficial for health. So if your not a broccoli lover like me, please find a way to enjoy it. Maybe this soup will be the trick?

You can whip this soup up in 15 minutes. It really is a fuss-free soup to make. Its loaded with hormone balancing fats, immune supportive vitamin C, plus iron, magnesium, calcium and fiber. 

Avocado lends the perfect creaminess to this soup without having to add any cream. So for all the lactose intolerant and non-dairy drinkers out there, you can enjoy a creamy broccoli soup minus the dairy! 

So eat up and stay warm. It’s chilly out there 😉

  • Broccoli Avocado Detox Soup
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    Prep Time
    5 min
    Cook Time
    10 min
    Total Time
    15 min
    Prep Time
    5 min
    Cook Time
    10 min
    Total Time
    15 min
    1. 1 Tbsp coconut oil or grass-fed butter
    2. 1 medium yellow onion, diced
    3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
    4. 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
    5. 4-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (enough to cover the broccoli)
    6. 1 head broccoli, trimmed and chopped (about 6 cups)
    7. 2 cups baby spinach
    8. 1 avocado, chopped
    9. Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add broccoli and cook, covered, until bright green and tender, about 3-5 minutes.
    2. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Remove from heat, and stir in spinach.
    4. Transfer soup to a blender and puree with avocado.
    5. Adjust seasonings and garnish with fresh pepper.
    Holistic Wellness https://holisticwellness.ca/
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Modern Day Shepard’s Pie – Turkey and Cauliflower Mash

Nothing beats a warming and comforting meal like Shepard’s Pie. My mom makes a delicious Shepard’s pie and I remember having leftover for days. It’s one of my fathers favourite meals that my mom makes 🙂

I like baking casseroles mainly because of the leftover factor. Reheating a delicious meal for lunch the next day served up with a side salad gets a thumbs up in my books! Casseroles are great if you have kids or a large family, as they can easily be frozen and heated up during a late or busy weeknight.

This recipe is more of a “modern-day” Shepard’s pie. It still contains delicious and flavourful ground meat, but I’ve opted for a cauliflower mash instead of potatoes. Trust me, if you’re a potato lover, you wouldn’t even know the difference.

Cauliflower contains a powerful compound called sulforaphane. This a sulfur compound that has been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth. How amazing is that?! Sulforaphane can also improve blood pressure and support the detoxification process of the liver and kidneys. Bonus!

So let’s get to this cancer-protective recipe and get our cook on!

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Turkey & Cauliflower Shepard’s Pie
Serves 6-8


1 large head cauliflower
1 ¼ cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 ½ lbs ground turkey
1 red onion, diced
1 garlic cloves, minced
½ green pepper, diced
½ red pepper, diced
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp smoked hot paprika
1 400ml can diced tomatoes
2 tsp balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Cut cauliflower into small florets. Spread onto a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes until soft. Add to food processor with ¼ cup broth and combine until mashed. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, cook turkey over medium-high heat. Break up with a wooden spoon and cook until no longer pink, approximately 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add onions, garlic and peppers. Cook for 3 minutes stirring frequently. Add in spices/herbs and cook for 1 minute. Add in turkey, with remaining 1-cup stock, tomatoes and vinegar. Cook for 5-6 minutes until thickened slightly. Transfer to a baking dish and smooth out with a spatula.
  4. Spoon cauliflower mixture puree over turkey. Gently smooth out. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until top is slightly golden.


* If you’d like to freeze this dish to serve at a later time in the week, allow turkey mixture to cool in pan before adding to baking dish. Once cooled, add to dish with cauliflower mash, cover with plastic wrap/foil and freeze. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 and bake for 45 minutes covered. Removed foil and bake an additional 15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.


Serve this with a simple side salad and you have yourself an amazing, nutrient dense meal that is oh-so-satisfying!


Happy Cooking!

P.S. Looking for more great healthy recipes to cook up!? I’ve got you covered! Check out The Qualitarian Life Cookbook that is full of 40+ gluten free recipes that are incredibly delicious and super healthy! Get your copy HERE!

To Your Health & Abundance,
Samantha xo

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