Of course, you should listen to what your doctor says.
But you should also listen to what your body says.
We all know that what you eat and how you move can make a MASSIVE improvement in some of the symptoms of menopause. Not to mention how common it is for ladies to gain weight at this time of life. (Boooo!)
And we both know eating better and moving more can help you ward off other issues like heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis among other things.
What do I specifically recommend to help you “eat better and move more”?
Seven things. Let’s start from the top:
First – Hydrate:
DRINK MORE WATER.
The general thinking is to drink 8-10 glasses per day. But, if you don’t feel like your body needs that much you definitely need to at least drink enough throughout the day so that you’re not feeling thirsty at all.
I know it’s easy to say and we hear it all the time but it really is important and is easy to do!
Try this- Have one big full glass first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything else for the day.
Plain water not really your thing? No worries! Add in some berries or some of your chopped frozen fruit.
More of a tea drinker? Steep some sliced lemon and/or ginger or your favourite caffeine-free herbal teabag. This counts toward hydration as well.
Another tip is to keep a large bottle or mug beside you all day wherever you work so it’s close by and always easy to grab and have sips throughout the day to make sure you’re not getting thirsty.
Remember, if you feeling thirsty you’re already dehydrated.
Second – Boost your intake of whole plant foods:
Things like (yep, you know it) fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and seeds. Quantity is what we are going for here. You really should try and make every effort to include them in every meal and most (if not all) of your snacks.
Need another reason to eat more plants?
Plant-based diets are linked to having fewer hot flashes. Brilliant!
Plus, I’ve included a recipe below that is your “no excuse” solution to getting more veggies wherever you go.
Third – Don’t forget high-quality protein:
While you’re chowing down on your plant foods don’t forget to include good quality protein (and healthy fats) from eggs, fish, meat, nuts and seeds (and their butters too).
With animal foods you want have really good quality stuff so try to get organic, wild, and/or pasture-raised if you can.
Fourth – Some things you want to cut back on:
Reducing and/or eliminating alcohol, caffeine and processed foods can have a huge impact on balancing your hormones naturally without the help of pharmaceutical medications.
With the increases in hydration, whole plant foods, and quality protein listed above, you really just won’t have as much room for alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods with added salt and sugar anyways!
How’s that for good news, right?
Fifth – Move:
We like to move it, move it!
If you are not already, try to move up to 5 hours per week. Over time you can gradually increase this but at least 30mins a day is a great place to start. You will thank yourself for it!
To do this, include things like walking (especially outdoors in the sun, if possible), swimming, yoga, group classes or even some weight-training.
Heard the saying that the best exercise is the one you’ll actually do?
Well, go on and do it. 🙂
Sixth – Get enough sleep:
Seriously, I’m talking about 7-9 hours per night!
For some women menopause can bring on (or increase) sleep problems.
One of the most important things you should do is to set up a routine where you’re relaxing with no screen-time (computers, tablet, phone, tv) a couple hours before your bedtime.
Electronic devices emit strong bright blue light which can prevent the release of melatonin, your sleep hormone which in turn makes it harder for you to fall asleep. Instead, try reading a book or having a bath. It’s also a great idea to dim lights in your surroundings to reduce your exposure to blue light before bed. Normal indoor lighting is usually blue light. Ideally you would use amber or red lights, or even be super-stylin’ with blue-blocker sunglasses.
Seventh – Find great stress relieving activities:
Do whatever floats your boat and whatever works for you. Just make sure you do it on a regular basis as a preventative measure to avoid a build up of stress.
Have you tried meditating, salt therapy (salt room or flotation), or having a warm bath? You can even give colouring a go!
If you use exercise as a form of stress relief than gold star for you!
You now have a whole heap of great ideas up your sleeve to stave off those menopause symptoms naturally.
Now go ahead and make two of these mason jar salads to get rid of any excuse for not being able to get fresh veggies when you’re out and about!
Recipe (Veggie): Mason Jar Salad
3 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp sesame oil
½ granny smith apple (diced)
4 radishes (sliced)
2 celery stalks (diced)
4 tbsp of your favourite nuts or seeds (walnuts, slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
4-6 cups of your favourite greens (spinach, kale, mixed greens, etc.)
Add first four ingredients to a small bowl & whisk until smooth.
Add apple to dressing (so it’s covered and won’t brown) and divide between two mason jars.
Layer the radishes, celery, nuts/seeds, and greens on top and seal.
When ready to eat shake up the jar, open and enjoy or pour it into a large bowl to mix more thoroughly.
Tip: Wide-mouth jars work best for this ah-mazing way to bring veggies with you wherever you go!