How to Eat Healthy For Menopause 5 Ways To Hack Your BodyNov 18, 2021
So you've joined the club, congratulations! You're officially a member of the "I'm going through menopause and I am not happy about it" club.
This is not an exclusive club by any means, almost all women get to join at some point in their life but there are steps we can take to make our experience more enjoyable.
If you're like me then you'd rather eat your way through this than suffer with hot flashes and mood swings (but I digress).
So what do we do?
Also, if you are like me, you might be experiencing some not-so-fun symptoms right now. I'm talking about mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain (oh hey there muffin top!), and insomnia.
Sooner or later it will start, maybe not all at once.
There are all sorts of things that will run through your head. One is "Where did my life go?" Another might be "I'm going crazy."
But you are not crazy...
I know it's hard to eat healthy when the world around us is telling us that we should just go buy a pint of ice cream to make ourselves feel better. Well congratulations because today is your lucky day!
The thing about eating ice cream is that it's such a love hate relationship. One minute you ban it from life and the next minute you're up at night satisfying that inner craving. You just can't get enough of your favorite brand. Vowing to buy no more, just this one last time.
When you're in your 40s, married with kids, have a stressful job, tight deadlines and you just want to be able to enjoy your family without feeling exhausted or cranky all the time.
So, how can I eat healthy for menopause?
I'm here to tell you that it's not too late! It might take some effort but when you start eating healthy for menopause it will pay off in spades.
As a woman in your 40s, you feel like the world is against you. You're not as strong as you used to be and it's harder to stay healthy or focused.
We all know that eating healthy is good for us, but it can be hard to stick with this habit if you're not in love with the taste of fresh vegetables.
No matter why you want to eat healthier during this time in your life, here are 5 ways to hack your body so you can live life on YOUR terms! You're welcome!
The Color Me Beautiful Gourmet Cooking + Wine Chicshop teaches you how to make delicious meals using only whole foods ingredients without sacrificing flavor or satisfaction - so your body will thank you while your taste buds sing! Limited Space Sign Up Now.
Fall in love with the taste of fresh vegetables
It's Fall, and for many of us that means new wardrobes, pumpkin spice lattes, football games. But it also means that Winter is coming (ugh), cold weather will be here soon enough, the days are getting shorter and darker, and it's time to start eating healthy again. Add kids in the mix and life becomes that much more frustrating cooking.
It's not an easy task to get your kids to eat their veggies. It seems like all they want is pasta, pizza, and burgers, but the truth is that vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. We can't live without them!
The best way to do this? Start cooking fresh vegetables! Not only are they delicious but they're good for you too!
Here are some tips on how to make them taste even better than their frozen counterparts:
- Start with the basics - try cooking up some broccoli or spinach in olive oil and garlic
- Try roasting them in the oven with olive oil instead of boiling or steaming
- Add spices like cumin seeds or curry powder
- Add an acid like lemon juice or vinegar near the end of cooking
- Add salt and pepper if you need to spice it up a little bit more
- Get creative - use cauliflower instead of rice or potatoes
- Add shredded carrots into tomato sauce for spaghetti
- Replace lettuce with cucumbers or radishes in sandwiches
It's time to stop hating on vegetables and start eating them. There are so many ways to enjoy fresh produce which is part of a plant based lifestyle, but we often cook them in the same way: boiled or steamed. I know you love your veggies, but it's worth experimenting with new recipes that will excite your taste buds while still being healthy for you!
Eat a lot of leafy greens, like spinach and kale
Leafy greens are good for you, but they can be boring. I know that if I'm making a salad and there's no variety of flavors, then it just doesn't seem like something to look forward to eating.
That is why adding in some feta cheese and fruit makes the perfect combo! The ingredients listed below will help me make my salads more enjoyable while still getting all the nutrients from leafy greens.
Salads are a great way to get your plant base greens, but it can be hard to stay on track with the flavor and not get sick of them. With all the nutrients from greens and protein, they make for a healthy lunch or dinner. But salads can get really repetitive and boring after awhile if we don't mix it up.
Here are some simple tweaks that will make salads more enjoyable while still getting all the nutrients from greens.
- Add variety by adding fruits like apples or oranges that add sweetness and flavor
- Mix different types of lettuce together to change the texture and flavors
- Use different dressings from acid and fat instead of a basic balsamic vinaigrette
- Add nuts and seeds for added protein
- Add dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, frisy, butterhead, microgreens or romaine
A salad is a healthy meal that can be enjoyed any time of the day. However, salads can get boring and repetitive if you don't have enough variety in them.
Don't forget about the following which are some delicious things you can put into your next salad to make it more enjoyable: bacon bits, avocado, chopped walnuts or pecans, sunflower seeds, goat cheese crumbles...
It's really easy to feel like you're missing out on something when it comes to eating and salads. There is no fun in a dish that doesn't taste good! But with these tips, your salad will make you want to keep coming back for more.
Eat foods high in magnesium and calcium
I'm sure you've been told that magnesium and calcium are important for your health, but have you ever wondered what foods contain these minerals?
But do you know what foods are high-magnesium and high-calcium food options?
- Spinach - 1 cup cooked spinach has 208mg magnesium and 534mg calcium
- Sardines - 3 ounces sardines have 893 mg of magnesium and 710 mg of calcium.
- Almonds - 1 ounce almonds contains 36 mg of magnesium and 41 mg of calcium.
- Kale - 1 cup kale chopped provides 69mg magnesium an 117mg calcium.
Menopausal women are often told to take calcium supplements, but did you know that magnesium is equally important for good bone health?
Magnesium-rich food sources include not only green leafy vegetables, but whole grains, nuts and seeds as well. When you have low levels of magnesium in your body the symptoms can manifest as mood swings, irritability and insomnia.
Ask yourself a few questions then add in more foods in your diet. Just because we need the same nutrients doesn't mean we need them to the same degree. That's right! You have your own Unique Biochemical Individually.
Here are 2 questions to ponder over to see what foods you need more of.
-Do you find yourself feeling a little bit more emotional than usual?
-Are your muscles tight and sore, or are you feeling restless at night?
You may be experiencing some of the symptoms of menopause. To help relieve some of these uncomfortable symptoms, make sure to add foods high in magnesium and calcium to your diet. Here are a few other foods if you are going through perimenopause: 1) yogurt 2) leafy greens 3) almonds 4) tofu 5) eggs 6) beans 7) sardines 8 ) salmon 9 ) blackstrap molasses 10 ) figs.
I want you to be well informed because in the never-ending search for a good night's sleep, it is important to consider what you're eating. Foods that are high in magnesium and calcium can help with sleep quality.
Our list of foods may include some surprises! Let me know how you feel, leave a comment
Don't eat at night or late in the evening
Eating late in the evening disrupts your circadian rhythms and makes you gain weight because your metabolism slows down while sleeping (do not go over 8 hours without eating).
I'm sure you've heard by now that eating at night or late in the evening will make your menopausal symptoms worse. But if you're like me, sometimes it's hard to control when and what I eat.
Maybe you've had a long day with your kids are too tired to cook dinner, or maybe your husband is hungry for a midnight snack- either way, you may find yourselves eating at an undesirable time of day.
If this is happening to you too, don't worry!
As a woman over 40, your metabolism is slowing down. This means that you may be unintentionally gaining weight.
If you are married to someone over 40 too, it's likely that he's gained some pounds as well!
Whether it's him or you who have put on the extra lbs., both of these things can be prevented by making healthier nighttime food choices.
To add matters worse when you don't get enough quality shut-eye, it's common to crave food as a way to fight fatigue. However, eating before bedtime is not recommended because snacks high in sugar or fat could cause heartburn and disrupt your rest even more.
Instead of reaching for those late-night snacks that aren't going to help you feel better anyway, try these five healthy nighttime rituals instead:
- Avoid eating large meals within 2 hours before bedtime
- Add more whole grains and fiber to your diet
- Don't forget veggies at night - they're low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals
- Keep caffeine intake low after 12 pm so you don't stay up all night
Eat more plant-based foods than normally
While it is easy to think that your choices to eat good food is limited once you are past 40 and entering menopause, there are actually many plant-based foods that you should be eating more of.
One great example is quinoa, which has high amounts of protein and fiber for very few calories. Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids; this makes it a complete protein source.
The combination of these two things means that it will keep your full for longer periods of time than most other foods!
Additionally, quinoa provides manganese (helps with bone formation), magnesium (a muscle relaxant) and phosphorus (for strong bones). It also contains iron, which helps carry oxygen throughout our bodies so we can stay healthy!"
Admit it, your not eating as healthy as you should be. Sometimes it seems easier to eat a burger and fries than some veggies and salad.
But there are some really great plant based foods that can make your life that much better!
So if you want to try something new don't worry about going vegan if it doesn't sound appealing; many plant based foods can easily be added into any meal plan.
When you find yourself in a place where it feels easier to order fast food, go for the burger and fries. But don't forget that there are plenty of nutrient-rich foods out there too!
With Color Me Beautiful Gourmet Cooking + Wine Chicshop help, we can show you how easy it is to get more plant-based meals into your diet without sacrificing taste or quality. Sign up today for for one of my cooking classes. See what delicious dishes await you on the other side!
If you find yourself feeling stuck or unsure about your next step at 40+, please don't hesitate to reach out for help it's never too late (or early) to start making better choices and living healthier.
A lot of women start dieting because they want to lose weight. But eventually most people end up gaining back more weight than they lost. This happens because diets are usually about cutting calories and depriving yourself, which leads to cravings and bingeing later on.
Our bodies are changing in ways we never expected! We want to look good for our age but it's hard to do when you're exhausted all the time. Plus there is so much conflicting information out there on what foods will help or hurt us.
The Color Me Beautiful Gourmet Food + Wine Cooking Class offers recipes that are easy to follow with ingredients you can find at your local grocery store. Each class includes wine pairing suggestions from our chef & consultant Milan as well as tips on how to incorporate healthy habits into your daily life even if cooking isn't something you normally enjoy doing. Join now before the price increase!
About the Author
Milan Perry, HHP, MH
World-renowned wellness chef with an extensive background in nutrition, wellness and herbalism. She is the Culinary Nutrition & Wellness Chef of the Chic Women Don't Diet (CWDD) culinary + wellness coaching program. And serving a small local Chicago clients as a Gourmet Chef. Milan went from working as a commercial print model which emphasized focusing on self to reinventing herself to focusing on the inner beauty that starts with health, wellbeing and the quality of food we eat.
**If you are looking for a new, healthy way get healthier without dieting, I hope this blog post has been helpful in helping you find that path.
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