Is one of the keys to feeling better in our bodies during menopause (and gaining menopause relief) in our… refrigerator?
While menopause is inevitable, our relationship to and decisions around food can be a powerful tool in relieving symptoms and helping us feel more like ourselves again.
Up until now, many of us have probably felt like perimenopause and menopause symptoms were just annoyances that we couldn’t do anything about. Maybe some of us have even gotten used to feeling…well… pretty miserable and defeated.
Let’s reset our mindset and view this time of our lives as an opportunity and a game-changing phase where we can empower ourselves, uplevel our wellness, and become even stronger than we were in our 20s and 30s.
Yes! It is possible!
Just as we adapted to embrace the impacts of puberty, the stages of perimenopause and menopause require us to take a deeper look at our wellness and the choices we make for our quality of life.
With that deeper look, examining our relationship with food is crucial to achieving menopause relief.
The love/hate relationship we may have fostered with our bodies will no longer serve us. We are entering a new phase of development, and we need to uplevel our nutrition to match our new bodies’ needs.
In decades past, we could cut calories and see an aesthetic change… sometimes within days. Those extreme and unhealthy measures no longer serve us (not that they ever did!), so we need to change the narrative: Food isn’t to be weaponized, food is a source of fuel that will help us thrive through this extraordinary phase of our lives.
Food is a tool we can utilize, intentionally and mindfully—one that can work for, rather than against, us.
Flip the Script
No one is immune to the changes this phase brings, and my menopause journey flipped the script on what worked for me. Before menopause, I used to eat the same amount and make the same food choices as my 6’2”, 210-pound husband. I used cardio to “erase” excessive alcohol and sugar consumption, and I was constantly fretting about the number on the scale.
Now, in my 50s, not only have I developed a growth mindset that has proven to be essential to my confidence and strength, I have also changed my fueling strategy to one of abundance instead of deprivation. I know my wellness is dependent on taking care of my body with foods that nourish me.
With this in mind, I encourage us all to reflect on our current food mindset. Remember, we’re aiming for strong, not skinny. We are WORTHY of the benefits of nutrient-dense foods – the benefits we cannot get by restriction and guilt. As a society, we tend to demonize certain foods, saying they’re “bad” for us. We have even demonized carbohydrates, even though they are our primary source of energy to live!
Small Changes = Menopause Relief
Small and achievable changes in how we approach fueling our bodies are the key to lasting change:
- Focus on your PROTEIN needs FIRST when constructing a meal plan. Protein is more satiating, therefore you’ll be less likely to binge on foods that aren’t as nourishing, and you won’t feel cravings shortly after you finish eating.
- Fill the rest of your plate with WHOLE FOODS. Select foods that are as close to their original source as possible, and incorporate ample nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables.
- SIT when you eat, and choose a peaceful location. Your body needs to be in a completely relaxed, rest-and-digest mode while eating.
Remember, our relationship with food is just as important as what we eat. When we neglect to think of food as fuel, we can easily go down the path of restriction, dieting, and mind-numbing emotional eating. Choosing delicious foods that fuel us can greatly improve our quality of life, ease our menopause symptoms, and make this new stage of life vibrant and full. Don’t let a negative mindset about food consume you – food is fuel for life and vital to our menopause experience.
If you’re overwhelmed by where or how to navigate this new phase of life, I’m here to guide you! Join the waitlist for one of our three new Small Group Concierge Wellness cohorts, launching this fall.