10 Steps to a Healthy Menopause Journey
Nutrition and Lifestyle are at the Core to Balancing Hormones
Aim for 8-10 glasses of clean, fresh water daily.
Drink one full glass in the morning 30 min before eating.
Add berries, cut oranges, or herbs to give your water flavour.
Herbal teas another great option to getting in your daily fluids.
CUT OUT SUGAR, PROCESSED FOODS & ALCOHOL
Eliminating added sugar and processed or packaged foods has a tremendous impact on balancing hormones naturally.
Your adrenals depend on it.
Giving the adrenals the rest they require so they can do what they are meant to do after menopause –> make estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
When your adrenals are healthy and doing their job efficiently, symptoms disappear.
Sugar leads to increased insulin —> diabetes, weight gain and hormone imbalances.
One of the most reported triggers for hot flashes is red wine!
EAT HIGH-QUALITY PROTEINS
Chose quality protein in the form of eggs, fish, meat, nut & seeds (and their butter).
If you are eating animal foods, choose organic, wild and/or grass pasture-raised.
INCREASE INTAKE OF PLANT-BASED FOODS
Include more veggies, beans, nuts & seeds to your meals and snacks.
Plant-based diets are associated with fewer hot flashes.
Diets high in plant-based options are higher in fibre.
Fibre is required to detoxify and remove excess hormones and toxins we ingest daily or take in from the environment.
EAT QUALITY FAT
Aim for 2 tbsp fat at every meal from good quality fats.
Coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, hemp, chia, avocados, cold water fish, flaxseed, grass-fed butter, ghee, olives are all great options.
All cells of the body contain a fatty lipid bilayer.
Depression can be alleviated by feeding our brains healthy fats.
Lifestyle is one of the biggest determinants of hot flashes and other menopausal issues.
Aim for 5 hours per week.
Walking (outside in the sun), tai chi, yoga & resistance training are all ideal.
Menopause can bring on joint pain. Movement and eating healthy fats are very important for supple joints and tendons.
Resistance training is important for bone health, but keep in mind that high-intensity exercise may put further strain on the adrenals and may lead to adrenal fatigue.
Aim for 7-9 hours per night. Menopause is associated with sleep issues
Set & stick to nightly routines.
Increase intake of melatonin-producing foods (chicken, turkey, cherries, oats, bananas)
Try reading, taking a bath and sleep in a very dark, cool room.
Any stress turns on your sympathetic nervous system, the fight or flight response, and changes the way all hormones are metabolized in the body.
Weight gain during menopause is common and is due to excess cortisol.
Stress hormones cortisol & epinephrine are secreted from the adrenals & secreted before the sex hormones – estrogen, progesterone, & testosterone – also secreted from the adrenals after menopause.
Overworked adrenals (adrenal fatigue) is what is the cause of menopausal symptoms.
Do whatever works for you to decrease stress to turn on your parasympathetic nervous system – the ‘rest & restore’ mode.
Do it consistently as a preventative measure not just when you are feeling it.
Meditate, yoga, baths, painting, walk instead of driving, reading, massage, listening to relaxing music, learn to say no, etc
Breathe in and out through your nose to turn on your parasympathetic nervous system. Breathing deeply into the diaphragm begins to break down the stress hormones cortisol & epinephrine.
Breathing through your mouth is a ‘stress response’.
When you are relaxed the levels of DHEA produced by the adrenals are increased.
DHEA is the mother of hormones & is the precursor of all the hormones your body needs. Win! Win!
DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE SUN
Vitamin D is a nutrient as well as a hormone and is generated in the body naturally from sun exposure.
Can be found in some foods.
5000 IU/day of vitamin D3 – and some of us don’t make vitamin D from sun exposure so may need more.