If you’ve ever experienced the intense hunger that often comes with PMS, I’m sure you know your flow is about to start once you have that infamously ravenous sugar craving. I’m well aware of how stereotypical that sounds, and I wish I was exaggerating, because the dire need for my insides to be christened with chocolate anything during my period is so damn real — which might explain why, when I stumbled upon Moon Cycle Bakery, a dessert subscription service that specializes in hormone-supporting treats, it felt like the skies had parted, and a shining beacon of hope had rained down on my uterus. I needed to find out if these so-called PMS-relievers were legit.
I first came across the sweet treat delivery service via — can you guess? — Instagram, when a bunch of my favorite holistic wellness gurus raved over founder Devon Porrino Loftus’s remedial goodies. The no-filter-needed photographs of decadent indulgences like matcha coconut bites, no-bake oatmeal cookies, and chocolate cups were enough to make my mouth water (on or off my period), so naturally, I was on a mission to taste-test for myself, and for the sake of my grueling PMS.
So what, exactly, is a dessert subscription service for your period, and how does it work?
To begin, you simply set yourself up by logging on to Moon Cycle Bakery’s website, and create a profile that delves into all the tastes that turn you on, allergies to be aware of, and the like, so they know what kind of treats you’re hankering for during your cycle. The entire experience is 100 percent catered to your individual needs. The brand is even launching an exclusive Moon Cycle Bakery app in 2018, which will allow you to track not only your treats, but your period, as well.
The goal is to sync your subscription with your cycle so that every month, like clockwork, you’ll receive a pretty package layered with treats to curb your cravings, and fuel your body with nutrient-dense ingredients that ease PMS symptoms. Trust me, this is a literally sweet alternative to going HAM on greasy French fries and dairy-rich chocolate bars that taste good in the moment, but leave you feeling lousy after the fact.
In an exclusive interview with Elite Daily, Porrino explains that the brand's intention is to "support our customers with knowledge behind what happens in their body on a monthly basis, potentially helping people learn more about themselves, what works best for them, and to deconstruct the stigma that is menstruation."
But what is it about Moon Cycle Bakery's treats that are so good for you?
There are a ton of social media foodie trends that swear you'll feel immune to PMS symptoms with just one bite, and a lot of the time, they're bogus — aesthetically pleasing, yes, but still bogus. So why, then, should you take the bait and give Moon Cycle Bakery a try? Because unlike a lot of passing fads, these products have the science to back up their medicinal claims.
Initially, Porrino tells Elite Daily, she and her husband, Brian, worked with Katie Lemons, a nutritionist and soon-to-be PA, to create recipes that tasted delicious, but were also made from ingredients proven by scientific studies to help PMS symptoms. What's more, they've provided a page called Mission Control on their website that lists what ingredients they regularly use — like cacao, coconut butter, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and honey — in tandem with links that bring you to studies that back up the science.
"We focus on creating treats that are gluten-free, dairy-free, and stay away from refined sugar, as these can easily inflame the body (something we want to stay away from, especially during our cycle)," Porrino tells Elite Daily. "Because of this, we collaborate with brands or people who we feel are in alignment both holistically and message-wise."
My box arrived the second day of my cycle (mother nature came early this month), and I opted to sample the chocolate cup sweetened with honey and ginger to start.
When I browsed through Moon Cycle Bakery’s offerings, I instantly zeroed in on their chocolate cups. I lust for peanut butter cups all day every day, and even though MCB’s chocolate rounds weren’t stuffed, they definitely satisfied all the right cravings. To put it simply: It was love at first bite, and not just for me, but for Porrino, too.
The West coast native shares with Elite Daily that her bakery's signature chocolate bars were her favorite of the batch because they’re a combination of decadent, sweet, and have “just the right amount of ginger spice.” They're especially great for people who struggle with menstrual cramps, Porrino explains, because ginger contains carbohydrates, free fatty acids, amino acids, proteins, and gingerols, which all have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-nausea effects. Her chocolate cups can "decrease pain when taken two days before a person’s period starts,” she tells Elite Daily. Can a sleeve of Reese’s cups do that? I didn’t think so.
The next day, I decided to put Moon Cycle Bakery's matcha coconut balls to the test.
To be honest — and this is in no way a reflection on Moon Cycle Bakery’s product — I just don’t think I’m a fan of matcha-flavored things, aside from maybe a latte, and even then, I can only get through half of the bev before my taste buds are bored. But, if you’re on the matcha-loving train, these balls are sure to satisfy your palate.
I took a few small bites to get a feel for the taste, and I can vouch that these treats — which, BTW, measure up to about the same size as a Dunkin’ Donuts munchkin — are incredibly dense. Made from almonds, matcha green tea, coconut butter, chia seed, flax seed, and generously spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla extract, the brand says just one serving offers a ton of fiber and omega 3s to ease cramps in a hurry.
I didn't get far enough to feel the effects, but judging by how happy the chocolate cup made me, I'd take their word for it.
On the fourth and second-to-last day of my cycle, I sat down with a cup of tea and Moon Cycle Bakery's black bean brownie for dessert.
Generally, I’m not much of a brownie person, but this decadent square just might change my mind. I personally nicknamed this superfood “The Mother” because it provides everything you need, and could ever want to gain from a PMS-inspired treat.
Porinno tells Elite Daily that their signature black bean brownie with primrose is made with an extra special ingredient: cordyceps. Cordyceps are a type of mushroom which, Porinno explains, are known to “increase energy, heighten libido, oxygenate the blood and brain, and increase feelings of alertness.”
This treat was probably my second favorite as far as taste goes, but in terms of legitimate effects, let's just say after my last bite, I was feeling pretty good and, I'll admit, a tad bit promiscuous, to my husband's benefit. If these treats were served for dessert at a social event, I'd definitely go back for a second square.
Overall, I'd definitely give Moon Cycle Bakery two thumbs up — four, if I could borrow my husband's thumbs for emphasis. Each treat looks artisanal, and they all have that kind of rich, good-for-you taste that's deliciously nutritious. Trust me when I say these indulgent gems are the real deal, and can be enjoyed all month long — menstruating or not.