So, you’ve decided to start afresh, you have got excited about a new menu plan, you have even done all your shopping. It’s all stacked in your fridge. Now, the only thing to do is to cook and eat the said food in the order in which you intended……
- Remember the reason why you wanted to plan your meals in the first place Are you meal planning to save money? To help keep you organized? To avoid food waste? To have better control over your eating habits for losing weight, or eating real healthy foods! When you feel yourself straying from the plan you’ve created, remind yourself why you have a plan in the first place. What was the “goal” you had in mind when you started?It takes time for creating a meal plan for health benefits, and hard work to keep it within your budget. Straying from your meal plan too much will cause you to un-do all the time you put into it in the first place.
- Put all the foods you DON’T want to stray to in a place which is hard to get at I have a special treat bag, in here are all the cakes, biscuits, chocolate, crisps which are for the rest of the family. I will put that bag in a different place this week, so I don’t mindlessly wander to the place it was originally at a moment of weakness.
- Plan to be flexible Your meal plan doesn’t have to be set in stone every single day of the week. If you want the fajitas you have planned on day 3 for dinner tomorrow, make a switcheroo!If you think rice will go better with your dish instead of pasta, go ahead! In fact, some people plan seven meals for the week, and then each night chooses from that list of meals.
- Do your shopping online, so those supermarket end of aisle discounts do not lure you in. Only buy the foods on your planned list and don’t buy any snacks/treats.
- Plan in a treat day. On the treat day you can have anything within a 2 hour window, take away, snacks, chocolate. This will help you to transition to the second week of meal planning. Also, it gives you a target, something to look forward to.
If you asked me the one thing you could do to improve your nutrition in Menopause and beyond, I would say.
Improve your gut health.
Whilst gut health research dates back to as early as 1840, In 1998, Michael Gershon published a popular science book titled The Second Brain, in which the author elaborates a scientific discovery called revolutionary for its time: that the nerve cells in the gut have an independent, not brain-controlled influence on the functions of the intestine. The gut brain connection was discovered. So quite a new phenomena, and the research continues.
Menopause can have several gastrointestinal symptoms, ranging from constipation and diarrhoea to bloating, indigestion, weight loss or gain to heartburn and vomiting. Most people think about changes to the ovaries and the uterus when considering menopause.
Decreasing amounts of oestrogen and progesterone during menopause can slow down the process of food passing through the GI system. When the digestive process takes longer, more water is reabsorbed back into the bloodstream, which can lead to the constipation, increased gas and bloating
Another key finding is that menopause changes the community of bacteria living in the gut, which is called the microbiome. There is a link between certain gut bacteria and better memory.
Probiotics may help ease menopause symptoms and regulate body weight, but their effectiveness remains controversial. More research is needed to explore and support the health benefits associated with probiotic use during the various stages of menopause.
In the meantime the foods I am suggesting you eat regularly here can also help with the following symptoms of ageing:
Improves joint pains
Improves weight loss
So what should you be eating on a gut healthy diet?
Some of those foods you probably won’t even recognize their names or even know what they are. Here is a video of me going around the supermarket finding these foods to help you to get them into your life.
Gut health is the future key to optimum health for the meno and beyond woman.
If you would like help to build these foods into your daily/weekly menu come and join me online for the next 7 day Menofit Midsection Meltdown on 12th June 2023. CLICK HERE FOR EARLY BIRD OFFER
Flax seeds are tiny oil seeds that originated in the Middle East thousands of years ago. Today they have gained popularity as a health food due to their high content of unique plant compounds, heart-healthy omega-3 fats, and fiber, all of which link to numerous benefits.
With their mild, nutty flavour and crispy, crunchy consistency, flax seeds are an all-around ingredient that can enhance the taste and texture of almost any recipe.
Flax seeds have been linked to slight increases in oestrogen, improved hormone metabolism, fewer hot flashes, reduced vaginal dryness, and better overall quality of life in menopausal and postmenopausal women
Let’s explore the many ways to savour the health attributes of this potent seed.
- Swirl into SmoothiesPut a couple of tablespoons of flax seeds in your blender and pulse for 10 seconds (Or you can buy them ground.)
Now you are ready to boost your healthy fat intake by blending a tablespoon or two into your favorite fruit smoothie.
Use, for example, ½ banana, 1 cup of berries, 1 cup of almond milk, and two tablespoons of flax seeds.
- Add to Granola Two tablespoons of flax seeds contain 4 grams of fiber. So, boost your fiber intake by mixing two to four tablespoons of flax seeds into your granola.Try this homemade granola instead of the store-bought: 110 grams of almonds, four tablespoons of peanut butter, one tablespoon of cinnamon, 150 grams of oats, two tablespoons of maple syrup, and three tablespoons of flax seeds.
Bake everything for 12 – 15 minutes.
- Use instead of oils when bakingTry replacing oils for ground flax seeds in baking goods in a ratio of 3 parts flax seeds to 1 part oil, which means, instead of 1 tablespoon of oil, use three tablespoons of ground flax seeds.
- Swap out eggs for flaxseedFlax seeds create a viscous liquid that mimics an egg. So, if you are out of eggs, mix one tablespoon of ground flax seeds and two tablespoons of water.
Let the mixture rest while you gather the rest of your recipe ingredients.
- Substitute for MeatAdding flax seeds to a vegetarian burger recipe is a great way to get a meaty flavor. The flax seeds will help bind the ingredients together.
Use ¼ cup of ground flax seeds instead of breadcrumbs.
And a bonus here is that flax seeds are gluten-free!
- Salad DressingSwirl ground flax seeds into your favorite salad dressing to make sure you get tons of good minerals like phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, zinc, selenium, copper, and iron.
Try this delicious salad dressing recipe:
- One cup of water
- ½ cup of lemon juice
- Two cloves of garlic
- One teaspoon of salt
- One teaspoon of granulated onion
- ¼ cup of fresh basil
- ¼ cup of finely ground flax seeds
Mix everything except flax seeds in a blender until smooth. Then add flax seeds and blend thoroughly
- Make a healthier nut spreadFlax seeds have enough healthy fats to create a creamy and buttery spread. The taste of flax seeds butter on its own may not be as appealing to you at first.
So, the first time you try, add ground flax seeds to your favorite peanut butter or other nut spread
- Boost your Soup RecipesSwap out part of the butter or cream for two tablespoons of ground flax seeds in a creamy soup. That will create a velvety and nutty finish in soups. Add a dash of whole flax seeds on top for a crunchy finisher for the finishing touch.
- Use in PancakesMake delicious flax seed, gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free pancakes
Use ¼ cup of flax seeds, one ¼ cup of gluten-free flour, two teaspoons of baking powder, 1 cup of almond milk, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and two tablespoons of maple syrup.
Serve your pancakes with your favorite fruits.
- Sprinkle on TopThe easiest way to add flax seeds to your daily diet is to sprinkle them on any yogurt or oatmeal, giving you a healthy start to your morning.
Including flax seeds in your diet will give you a tasty experience and provide your body with many health benefits.
The high fiber content in flax seeds may relieve constipation and positively affect your gut microbiome.
Research suggests that flax seeds may be helpful for some people diagnosed with heart and blood vessel diseases. Apart from this, flax seeds may also help blood sugar in some people with type-2 diabetes.
Studies also show that due to the nutrient lignans found in flax seeds, eating these seeds may help decrease cancer growth and lower the risk of several types of cancer.
So, go ahead and give these nutritious seeds a try.
I have been teaching fitness for over 21 years now. Back in the early 90’s when I qualified, aerobics classes in Village Halls were the norm. No need to pay huge gym fees, just pop along to your local post office and take a look in their window for posters advertising their local classes. Usually pay as you go option and and away you go.
On ALIVE eating plans, you may have noticed foods such as avocados, seeds and nuts, fish, full fat Greek yoghurt – which in other diet clubs you may have been told to eliminate.
Fat is broken down very slowly and released into the blood stream, so it keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Plus at least 30% of your calories per day should be from fat – good fats, and most specifically Omega 3.
People following low fat diets have experienced all sorts of fat cravings indicating the body is lacking something – fat! Don’t go for skimmed milk either; it is too processed and full of hormones. Don’t use low fat spread as it contains so many chemicals that mess with metabolism – and anyway anything low fat will have sugar added for taste.
Sugar = insulin = fixing fat in the cells.
Change your view of fat – it is good for you in its natural state. Transfats and homogenised fats in baked goods and processed foods are the ones you need to be avoiding. With urgency!