You have arrived! You have worked hard building a career, taking care of your home and family and building relationships with friends. Now it’s time to start focusing on you. There are so many things you want to do….and then IT starts. Insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, aching joints, mood swings, forgetfulness, weight gain, anxiety, vaginal dryness, sagging libido AARGH!! All the things you have done in the past to maintain your weight, your mood and your energy levels aren’t working anymore. The menopause monster has sneaked up behind you and pulled the rug out from under you. Your hormones (or lack of them) are taking control. But you can take back that control.
You have probably heard the term “eat clean” floating around and may have wondered what that means. There is no better time to make the change to clean eating than during menopause. You will be able to take back control of your weight, feel more energized and reap the benefits of stable blood sugar, lower cholesterol and a whole host of other good things. Here’s seven ways to make your diet a cleaner place to be.
1. Eat more foods in their natural state
The more packaging and processing a food undergoes, the less it can do for your health. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, unsalted nuts, whole grain breads and pastas, unprocessed beans and legumes, and animal products that have been grass fed or free range.
2. Eat local and in season
Whenever possible, buy locally grown fruits and vegetables. Our town has two farmer’s markets that I like to frequent in the summer. The fruits and vegetables there are always tastier and cheaper than at the supermarket, plus I have the added benefit of knowing where they came from.
3. Eat at home
Your own cooking will contain less calories and more nutrients than restaurant fare. It doesn’t matter if you are eating fast food or at a fancy restaurant. It’s most likely you are cooking for fewer people now. Making larger batches of food ahead and freezing it for quick heat-ups later is a good strategy. So is finding healthy meals that aren’t complicated. Check out my Pinterest site for some insanely easy yet healthy meals.
4. Eat foods that have less ingredients on the food label
Beware the complicated and hard to pronounce ingredient list on the food label. A good rule of thumb is; if you can’t say the ingredient, you probably shouldn’t eat it.
5. Eat lean meats
Chicken breasts, cold water fish like salmon and tuna, lean cuts of beef and pork are your best bets.
6. Eat healthy fats
Fat was once demonized and we started eating “low fat” everything. Unfortunately packaged and processes “low fat” foods gave us way too much carbs and sugar. Now we realize that certain fats are good for our diets and necessary for health. Avocados, chia seeds, coconut oil and butter (yes butter) are all on the good fat list.
7. Eat spices
Replace salt and sugar with nutrient filled spices like ginger, thyme, turmeric, cinnamon and rosemary. Just be careful not to overdo it. Spices do tend to trigger the dreaded hot flash!
If you want to give clean eating a trial run, sign up for these seven menopause friendly recipes. They’re free!