5 Natural Remedies for Treating Menopause

5 Natural Remedies for Treating Menopause

5 Natural Remedies for Treating Menopause

Five natural remedies for treating menopausal symptoms.

Menopause. It comes with it’s perks.

No more period! No more buying tampons! No more buying pads! No more menstrual cramps!

But, to get there we have to put up with:

Irregular periods

Hot flashes and night sweats

Sleep problems

Mood changes

Weight gain

Thinning hair and dry skin

Vaginal dryness

Low libido

Now, this doesn’t mean all of us will get the above symptoms, and for those of that do it also doesn’t mean we have take this lying down.

There are natural ways we can manage our menopause symptoms.

(NOTE: If your symptoms are severe, though, you may need HRT. Talk to your doctor or menopause specialist.)

5 Natural Remedies for Menopause

1/ Exercise.

Go figure I would list this as the first natural remedy to menopause. But, it’s also what all the experts recommend as well.

First, exercise releases endorphins, thereby improving our moods.

Second, exercise has a positive effect on cognitive functioning. Helping us through that brain fog that plague so many women in menopause.

Third, exercise lowers blood pressure, improves lipoprotein profile, C-reactive protein and other heart disease biomakers.

Fourth, exercise helps to enhance insulin sensitivity that gets impaired as we age.

And finally, exercise can help prevent weight gain.

This is particularly important for menopausal women as our weight tends to stick to unusual places (hello meno-pod), and our scales refuse to budge.

Which is super frustrating! Isn’t it??

However, one of the reasons that this is so common in menopause is because of our fluctuating estrogen levels.

You see estrogen tends to cause our body to hold onto fat. And then on top of this fat actually produces more estrogen, which then creates even more fat.

Therefore, the vicious cycle continues.

Start adding fitness slowly into your routine.

Add a HIIT, or higher intensity, cardio workout once a week into your routine.

Strength train 2-4 times a week.

If you’re a beginner, get a workout program designed with you (and weight loss) in mind.

2/ Eat well.

What we put in our bodies has a huge impact on our menopause symptoms.

Foods to keep an eye that could trigger your menopause symptoms:

Fatty cuts of meat: for heart health and your waistline

Sugar: for fatigue and weight gain (eliminate completely!)

Refined carbs: mood swings, fatigue and weight gain (eliminate completely!)

Caffeine: hot flashes, increased cortisol levels and sleep problems

Alcohol: hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, weight gain (eliminate completely! Haha, just joking. Scared ya though, didn’t I?)

Spicy foods: hot flashes

Hot foods: hot flashes

What to eat instead?

Clean sources of protein (such as free-range beef, bison, chicken, turkey, fish, beans and legumes)

Soy: the isoflavones in soy foods are thought to balance the hormones levels. There is research about soy both working and not working (very confusing Mr and Mrs Researchers), as well there are questions about the safety of soy too (in some studies the participants have seen an increase in breast cancer). Experts recommend avoiding supplements, and instead, choose from food sources such as tofu, soy milk, roasted soy nuts or tempeh.

Vegetables: aim for at least a pound a day and make half of that raw. Also please choose green whenever you can – green is the new black.

Fruit: get sugar out of your life and add fruit instead. For weight loss, I would recommend 2 pieces of fruit a day (no more), and earlier in the day when the body processes carbs better.

Complex carbs: oats, brown rice, veggies and fruit, beans, legumes, quinoa, grains and ancient grains

Healthy fats: avocados & avocado oil, coconut oil, organic butter & ghee, extra virgin olive oil, eggs with the yolk, nuts and seeds, and omega-3s

Flax seed: the lignans found in flax seeds are thought to balance our hormones, however according to the Mayo Clinic flax does not provide any benefit from hot flashes. It’s worth a try though. Now, it needs to be pointed out that the study that the Mayo Clinic is referring to used breast cancer patients and all were postmenopausal.

My question: would a woman without cancer, and in peri or menopause see benefits?

I say try it. You have nothing to lose and if flax doesn’t help your menopause symptoms at least you will be giving yourself a good boost of fibre and healthy fats.

3/ Decrease your stress.

Stress can be the culprit behind additional imbalances in hormones and neurotransmitters that affect mood, as well as mental function, thyroid function, digestive function, and especially blood sugar imbalances.

Stress has also been linked to symptoms such as hot flashes and low libido.

In addition, stress can make the body hold onto fat, and create more fat. Since the brain thinks the body is under attack.

Learn to decrease your stress with meditation, yoga or by performing a few deep belly breathes next time you are feeling anxious.

Lie on your back with a book resting on your belly. Inhale deeply and feel the book rise under your belly. Exhale fully and feel the book lower toward the spine.

Repeat for 2-10 minutes daily to improve your vagus nerve function – which can calm an overactive central nervous system.

4/ Acupuncture.

Many women find relief from menopause symptoms with acupuncture.

Even the experts say that acupuncture (as well as hypnosis, meditation and yoga) can help and have good safety records.

This means that acupuncture has worked in women to help relieve the symptoms of menopause and have done so with no risk to our health.

So even if it doesn’t work for you, you won’t put yourself at risk for trying.

On a different note, I personally have used acupuncture in the past for low back pain, and with complete success.

5/ Herbs, supplements and essential oils.

The following natural products are what some women take to help with their symptoms.

However, none have clearly been shown to be 100% helpful. There is also little information on the long-term safety of natural products, and some can have harmful side effects or interact with drugs.

With all that said, I know of a lot of woman who use natural products and with great success.

My suggestion is to discuss using any of these treatments with a menopause specialist, or a naturopath who specializes in women’s health.

Black cohosh – one of the best studied traditional herbs for menopause. Black cohosh seems to work by supporting and maintaining our hormone levels.

Vitamin E – a daily dose of 400 IU could help alleviate hot flashes.

B vitamins – these water-soluble vitamins may help deal with the stress of menopausal symptoms.

Evening primrose or black currant oil – these are sources of essential fatty acids that can help moderate menopausal symptoms.

Dong quai – a herb that could help support and maintain the natural balance of our hormones.

Bottom line

Begin the process of managing your menopause symptoms with tips 1 through 4 first.

None of these have side effects, and each has been researched and shown to help support our bodies – at any time in our lives.

If your symptoms still persist see a menopause specialist, or a naturopath who specializes in women’s health to discuss the use of herbs and supplements, or even HRT.

 

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A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 3

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 3

I have been planning and prepping my meals for the week ahead for over 19 years. It has been the one constant in my life, next to loving husband and my eyelash curler (read here about how much I love my eyelash curler).

You need to start planning and prepping, too, especially if you are serious about:

  • Eating healthier
  • Eating in more than eating out
  • Controlling your waistline
  • Feeling nourished with the foods that you eat

Cause life it ain’t gonna hand you good food through the week. You gotta plan it, prep it and then grab it for yourself.

>>> Download your FREE weekly meal planner here. <<<

Notes about last week’s meals

  • Read Week 2 food menu here.
  • Last week didn’t quite go according to plan. When I realized on Sunday that I had a lot of yogurt leftover from my Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal I decided to scrap the Herb Frittata with Goat’s Cheese for breakfast and move it to lunch with a BAS (big ass salad). For breakfast I ate the rest of the yogurt with berries and Weeds & Seeds until the yogurt ran out.
  • You see I hate throwing away food. So, I am very fluid with my meal planning to adjust for times like these.
  • The Herb Frittata with Goat’s Cheese, with the adjustments I stated in my blog last week, was amazing! I ended up using fresh dill and chives, and what a treat. This recipe is a keeper and if you are looking for a high-protein, low carb meal this is it!
  • The Crockpot Split Pea and Ham soup was awesome too. Even loving husband enjoyed it. It was so easy to prep, and instead of bacon I cut up two thick slices of deli ham. I also had more than enough to freeze for a future meal. I love it when a recipe works out like that. 🙂
  • The White Bean Chicken Chili was good too. Mine wasn’t as thick as she said it would get and I used 3 cans of white beans, not 2.

TRAIN TIP: Did you see the workout I released on Tuesday? If you own a stability ball and are looking to work the glutes and target the abs you’ve got to check it out!

>>> Download your FREE weekly meal planner here. <<<

BREAKFAST

  • This week I am amping up my protein in the AM with this Blueberry Lemon Quinoa hot cereal. Looks great, however if you decide to make it as well be sure to read the reviews (the first one) as the recipe developer added some additional tips to the recipe.
  • Subs I will be making: I will not be adding the maple syrup and, instead, will sub in some stevia.
  • Reading this made me so THANKFUL that I froze 3 boxes of blueberries from the summer. Love those blueberries!

Blueberry Lemon Quinoa - Allrecipes.com
Blueberry Lemon Quinoa – Allrecipes.com

LUNCH

  • Since I did not get a chance to make last week’s lunch choice, Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoe Chicken & Quinoa Soup, I am going to make it this week.
  • It just looks too good, and it is too easy to prep, to pass up.
  • I will accompany this soup with a BAS (big ass salad), which I will prep at the same time as the soup.
  • For your BAS to last a whole week I suggest using hearty veggies like peppers, cut up red/purple cabbage, snap peas, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and cherry tomatoes (not cut). I always make my salads on Saturday or Sunday and they last me till Thursday/Friday.

>>> Download your FREE weekly meal planner here.<<<

DINNER

Sunday

  • We went for a HUGE hike yesterday. It is one of our faves, but it’s work (it’s a 5 hour hike, 3 hours straight up). So, to con/convince/coerce loving husband to do this hike with me I promised him spaghetti tonight.
  • He absolutely LOVES spaghetti, so I will make him a big plate and instead of pasta for me I will roast a cauliflower and some broccoli and put my meat sauce on those.
  • It grosses loving husband right out, but I absolutely LOVE this combo. It fills me up, tastes awesome and does not leave me feeling all yucky and bloated – like pasta would afterwards.
  • I have been doing this trick for a long time now. Try it, next you are having pasta.

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

 

Monday

  • I am going out on a limb with Monday’s meatless recipe, and if you are unaware of how picky loving husband is you can read his massive list of what he won’t eat here.
  • Monday night we are going to have Crockpot Vegan Chili by Holy Cow Vegan Recipes.
  • What sold me is she writes vegan recipes that even kids like, and since I described loving husband’s tastebuds to those of a 10-year old boy last week I thought “perfect!”.
  • Her chili asks for mushrooms, which I love and he hates, so I will keep them whole so he has an easy time picking them out.
  • The recipe also calls for diced tomatoes, which he will not eat, so I will buy crushed tomatoes and use those instead. He loves tomatoe sauce, he just can’t see any semblance of a tomatoe in his meal or he will not eat it.
  • Accompanying the vegan chili will be some of the BAS I prepped for the week.
  • So, a meal I will love and loving husband will not.

Crockpot Vegan Chili - Holy Cow Vegan Recipes
Crockpot Vegan Chili – Holy Cow Vegan Recipes

Tuesday

  • Loving husband has volleyball tonight and by the time I finish work and my workout I won’t be done till 6:30. So, an easy meal is required.
  • Kale salad with grilled salmon.
  • I will buy the store-bought, bagged kale salad with the cranberries and pumpkin seeds. Loving husband will eat this one (much to my surprise), so that’s the only one I buy.
  • For the salmon, I am addicted to this salmon rub that I buy locally at Coastal Olive Oil. It is the BOMB!! You have to try it.

TRAINER TIP: After you are done sitting and reading this ol’ blog try this 20-minute hamstring stretch and hip opener workout. Your low back, hips, glutes and hamstrings will thank you for it.

Wednesday

  • I teach until 7:10pm on Wednesday nights so we usually have left-overs, or I prep a slow cooker meal in the AM.
  • Since Monday we already did a crockpot recipe I will pull the healthy version of Pork Fried Rice that I have in the freezer (note: I also added an egg and a half cup of egg whites while stir frying).
  • Accompanying that will be the BAS prepped on Sunday.

Download your FREE weekly meal planner here.

Thursday

  • Trying some turkey cups tonight, Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups, from Bev Cooks. And, I am making loving husband eat them with lettuce cups too, should be interesting.
  • Accompanying the meal will be broccoli-slaw (that awesome bagged and chopped broccoli and cabbage that kinda looks like coleslaw). Yes, loving husband eats this. Surprises the hell out of me, but I do not dare say a word.

Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups - Bev Cooks
Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups – Bev Cooks

 

>>> Download your FREE weekly meal planner here. <<<

Friday

  • Since Saturday is Halloween we will probably go out tonight. Our fave thing to do is dinner and a movie. Both loving husband and I are movie addicts – so if you ever need a recommendation just email me.

TRAINER TIP: While I love movie theatre popcorn just as much as the next person (I get mine with extra butter and layered so that every handful is a greasy, cardiac-induced hangover), I don’t eat it all the time. Once in a while I go for it, but 75% of the time I don’t. Why? Well, you would be shocked to read how many calories a small popcorn is, and how two quarter pounders with cheese from MacDonald’s would be a better choice than a large popcorn. Read more here, it will shock you!

Saturday

  • Happy Halloween! Alright, that was said a bit sarcastically. I, personally, think Halloween is one of the most dumbest-ass “holidays” ever, but I get it. Some people love it. I am not one of those people so I apologize for raining on the parade of all those Halloween-er’s.
  • We do not give out candy on Halloween (surprise, surprise). In fact we keep the lights out – all night. I have given out candy once in my adult life and ended up with half a bowl of chocolate by night’s end. The following week loving husband and I promptly ate it. Neither one of us needs candy, and he definitely does not need any more sugar in his life (he’s sweet enough). So, I don’t buy candy, so then there is no candy leftover and no chance of eating it. Problem solved.
  • As for the kids, sorry tykes. But, we don’t have any children ourselves out there trick or treating on other people’s homes so I don’t feel the need to reciprocate by handing out sugar to the neighbourhood’s children.
  • I also hate getting dressed up, it’s kinda ridiculous I think.
  • And I can’t stand fire crackers. I don’t like loud noises and fire crackers scare Bella. So, tonight we will stay home and chill with baby-Bell and order in take out. And that’s Halloween at our house.

>>> Download your FREE weekly meal planner here. <<<

 

Bella & I - out for a fall stroll.
Bella & I – out for a fall stroll.

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What I’m Eating This Week

What I’m Eating This Week

What I’m Eating This Week #1

Week 1

I thought I would try something new. Something to help you out if you are struggling with weight loss, or weight maintenance.

Each week I will be releasing my meal prep guide for the week ahead, including links to the recipes that I plan to use that week (where available).

For decades I have meal planned and prepped every Sunday, and I also coach my clients to do the same. When we are prepared, in the kitchen, we make healthier choices. It’s that simple.

You see, once our week starts the busy-ness and craziness takes over, and if we haven’t set ourselves up with some planning and prepping come 6′ o’clock we will be forced to follow our stomaches instead of our hearts.

And our stomaches, sadly, can get us into trouble (ie. take-out versus garlic chicken kale sauté).

I also love prepping on a Sunday because then I really only have one big mess to clean up, once a week.

In addition, it forces me (and it will force you too) to eat the healthy foods that I bought on Saturday and Sunday at the grocery store – because I have a recipe and a home for them.

What I’m Eating This Week – October 12 – 18, 2015

BREAKFAST

Monday & Tuesday Breakfast

  • Greek yogurt mixed with blueberries (I froze a bunch of boxes from the summer), mixed with Weeds & Seeds Cereal (freaking love this stuff, and locally you can buy it at Meridian Meats.)
  • I prep this the night before by simply mixing in a cup of frozen blueberries in a 3/4 C 0% Greek yogurt with 2Tbsp of Weeds & Seeds Cereal. Cover and put in the fridge. Yes, that was a cup of blueberries. I love blueberries. Don’t judge.

Wednesday – Sunday Breakfast

  • This morning I made a big batch of Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats and will bowl and re-heat through the week.
  • I also like to add a dollop of Greek yogurt on top of my pumpkin oatmeal. This makes it creamier and ups my protein.
  • Click here for the recipe.

Slow-Cooker-Pumpkin-Spice-Oatmeal

LUNCH

  • Southwest Kale Power Salad – Cookie + Kate
  • I eat the same thing lunch every week Monday – Thursday (Friday’s are my meeting days with peers, business contacts or my business coach, so I usually eat out) and prep it on Saturday or Sunday so it is ready to go for the week.

DINNER

Monday

  • Since this is the Thanksgiving long weekend for us Canadians, and loving husband and I will be eating pizza and pumpkin pie tonight (yup, that’s how we celebrate. – that and sitting on our butts all night and binge-watching StrikeBack. Addicted to that series.), I have a light, meat-free, low sodium dinner planned for us for Monday.
  • Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes for me, baked potatoe for loving husband (he won’t eat sweet potatoes, sigh), and a kale salad.
  • Recipe for my Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoe is an old Go Fit Gals recipe that my sister from another mister developed, Risse. So, I suggest that you go bug her nicely (click here to find her), and let her know that you would love to see the Twice Baked Sweet Potatoe recipe re-released. Tell her PJ sent ya.

Tuesday

  • Larry has volleyball Tuesday nights so it’s usually an easy grab and go meal.
  • This week he’s making dinner and will be making his favourite (and only) dish, Tuna Salad.
  • All you do is:
    • Mix 6 cans of tuna, 6 chopped hard boiled eggs with some mayo and relish. He LOVES this and eats tuna fish sandwiches, non-stop, for days whenever he makes this. I enjoy mine on Wasa Crisp bread and will have some of the leftover kale salad from the night before. He will have potatoe chips, sigh.

Wednesday

  • I work late on Wednesday nights, so Wednesday’s are all about whatever I have prepped either on the weekend, or made double batches of in the past and froze.
  • This week it’s Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken, that I found in the freezer. I totally forgot that I had this prepped, so how excited was I to learn that I had one less meal to prepare today? Very. Excited.

Asian Peanut Noodles & Chicken - Skinnytaste
Asian Peanut Noodles & Chicken – Skinnytaste

Thursday

  • Baked salmon, with lemon juice and dill, accompanied with baked sweet potatoes (for me) and baby potatoes (for loving husband) and baked green beans. Wow, that’s a lot of “baked”, isn’t it? Haha.
  • Baked green beans is my newest obsession. They are so easy! Simply toss green beans with some olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes at 425 degree. Yup, they are that easy.
  • Green beans are also one of the few green vegetables loving (picky) husband will eat.

Friday

Grilled Steak Fajitas - Two Peas and their Pod
Grilled Steak Fajitas – Two Peas and their Pod

Saturday

  • Date night! Out for dinner.

Sunday

  • Sunday’s I leave loosey-goosey. You see if it’s not raining (and I can convince loving husband), we go hiking. This means that I need to get a slow cooker meal going because we won’t get home till late.
  • However, if we don’t go hiking then I check the food blogs on the ol’ web and pick a recipe and double batch it so I have a meal in the freezer for the future.
  • Yes, I double batch new recipes. I know this is risky, since I don’t even know if the recipe is good, but I love trying new recipes and I have really had only one dud in all the years that I have been doing this.

 

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