Menopausal women – enjoy these tips before you take those prescriptions
Menopause is a stage deserving celebration just like puberty and other cycles of life. Of course, like all stages, it may be accompanied by mild to extreme discomfort or symptoms. Sometimes, these extreme symptoms for menopausal women are caused moreso from built up dietary and lifestyle choices than the menopause in itself. But “Menopause” just takes the rap for it, unfortunately.
We know that what you eat and how you move can make a HUGE improvement in some of the symptoms accompanying menopause. Not to mention how common it is for ladies to gain weight during this period. (Grr!)
We also know that eating better and moving more can help you stave off other issues like heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. So we’re going to look at seven strong strategies that I recommend to help you eat better and improve the way you move; to help reduce menopausal symptoms and other issues:
So first, listen to what your body is saying. For some, you may need to get to know your body all over again.
And of course, listen to what your physician suggests.
Tip #1 Boost You Water Intake
Drink more water. Really. Wait, don’t scan so quickly. You might have heard it before and it’s on the list of what you “already know.” But have you practiced it enough to enjoy the benefits?
The general consensus is to drink 8-10 glasses per day, but mores half of your body weight in ounces. And, if you don’t feel you need that much you definitely need to at least drink enough throughout the day so that you’re not thirsty – hopefully you still experience the feeling of “thirst.”
I know that’s easy to say but really it’s also easy to do.
Try having a full glass first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything. Remember that a full glass is usually already two measured 8 ounce cups.
If you don’t like plain water, squeeze in some lemon, add a spoon of raw, organic apple cider vinegar; or add in some berries or chopped frozen fruit.
If prefer tea and herbs, that’s perfect! Simply steep some sliced lemon and/or ginger or your favorite caffeine-free herbal teabag. This, unlike several other “beverages” counts towards hydration.
I suggest keeping a large bottle or mug with you all day wherever you work so it’s always easy to grab and have sips throughout the day to make sure you’re not getting thirsty. Sometimes I simply split my hydration moments into 3-4 times a day along with meals, working with fun cups and bottles (I have a thing for them) that are no less than 24 ounces so that I can be aware of when my bathroom breaks will come up.
Second – Increase intake of real plant foods
Things like (yes, you guessed it) green, leafy, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds. And I mean increase in major quantities here. Include them in every meal and most of your snacks.
Would you like another major reason to eat more plants?
Plant-based diets and lifestyles are associated with fewer hot flashes. Bam!
You’ll enjoy the recipe below as an “excuse-free” solution to getting more vegetables everywhere you go.
Tip #3 – High-quality proteins too!
As you add in your green, leafy vegetables and other plant based foods, remember to include good quality protein (and healthy fats) from eggs, fish, meat, nuts and seeds (and their butters).
With animal based foods, aim for quality; so try to get organic, wild, and/or pasture-raised as much as you can.
Tip #4 Cut back on these
Reducing and/or eliminating alcohol, caffeine and processed foods can have a tremendous impact on balancing your hormones naturally without the help of pharmaceutical medications.
What you do every day always matters the most! So with these increases in water intake, real plant based foods, and quality protein, you just won’t have as much room or desire for alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods with added processed sodium and refined sugar. That will revolutionize the way you feel!
Tip #5 Get Moving
Have you heard the saying that the “best exercise” is the one you will actually do? If you’re not regularly moving already, it is crucially important that you start now. Moving at least 30 minutes a day will put you at just 3.5 hours a week and over time you can increase that to 7 hours a week. You will always look back and thank yourself!
To start moving include activities like daily walking (especially outdoors in the sun, if possible), cardio blasts, strength training and stretching.
Tip # 6 – Get more than enough Sleep:
I say more than enough because what too many consider to be “enough” is simply “not enough” and it’s chipping away at their health and life span. Seriously, you need 7-9 hours each night!
And a times, menopause can introduce sleep problems. Or rather, you may simply need more sleep once you get into menopause.
A very important strategy is to create a daily routine where you’re relaxed away from visible screens (devices like televisions, tablets, computers, cell phones etc) before your bedtime. Screen devices emit strong blue light which could prevent the release of melatonin, your sleep hormone. Try reading a book, some easy listening or soft white noise, or having a bath. It’s also important to have dim lights and preferably a completely dark room to reduce your exposure to blue light before bed. As regular indoor lighting is usually “blue light” using amber or red lights as you start to “set the mood for sleep” would be ideal. Hey you could even style some “blue-blocker” sunglasses.
Tip #7 Get into great stress relieving activities:
The choices are many, therefore do what floats your boat! Just be sure to do it regularly so that it is actually a significant measure to ward of built up stress.
Have you tried reflecting, deep breathing, or soaking yourself in a warm bath? And how about the curious new fad of painting and coloring?
Of course, you get extra credit and extra benefits when you use movement/working out as a form of stress relief.
You now have an arsenal of great ideas to stave off those menopause symptoms naturally.
Now go ahead and make two of these mason jar salads to eliminate any excuse of not being able to get fresh veggies when you’re out and about.
RECIPE: Mason Jar Salad
3 Tablespoons Almond Butter
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
2 Teaspoons Sesame oil
½ Granny Smith Apple (diced)
4 Radishes (sliced)
2 Celery stalks (diced)
4 Tablespoons of your favorite nuts or seeds (walnuts, slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
4-6 Cups of your favorite 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.
Wide-mouth jars work best for this ah-mazing way to bring veggies with you wherever you go!
Image by By Peaksel (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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