Where to begin?!? There is so much information that I want to share. So I’ll make this as short and sweet as I can. But we will be focusing on my top nutrients you should be getting, gut health (which is SO important!) & overall well-being.
Premenopausal is the stage in a women’s life when hormone levels start to decrease. This is a gradual change that could take place over a few years. Most commonly women experience this stage in their 40’s, but it can also occur in your 30’s. Either way it’s important to start eating to nourish and fuel your body well before you begin these stages in your life to have already created healthy habits for yourself.
I’m here to help you focus on the positive!! What we can do to ADD in to our life, not cut out! Theres no such thing as “bad” food. Yes, there are foods and drinks we should limit and consume in moderation. But don’t ever deprive yourself! Create smarter habits.
Declining estrogen levels can slow down your metabolism. Which of course can lead to weight gain. Eek! As your hormones change it can also lead to decease in bone density, hot flashes, mood changes & difficulty sleeping. All these changes can negatively affect your metabolism.
This is a sensitive time for a lot of women➡️ weight gain, loss of lean body mass & bone density loss. This is a time in your life when you should really start focusing on how you feel and connect to your body. Gaining and maintaining strength is essential. Eating to keep you healthy and happy.
During this time it’s important to stay active, build lean muscle, eat a well balanced diet with enough protein, get your calcium + Vitamin D, Potassium, fiber, get plenty of sleep, focus on gut health, and limit those processed carbohydrates.
It’s important to increase your Calcium + Vitamin D intake well before you’re even premenopausal!!
Women need more calcium at this time to help with that decrease in bone density. Obviously get that dairy!! But if you’re like me (dairy-free 😉) then you need to find other ways to get your daily dose of calcium. I love unsweetened almond milk ❤️ Check to make sure there is at least 30% calcium in each serving and you will NEED Vitamin D to absorb the calcium 👌🏼
Speaking of Vitamin D. Soak up that sunshine!!! Sunshine and fresh air are amazing for your mind and body, but just don’t forget your SPF. If you can’t get outside – take a high quality supplement. But you always want to try to get those vitamins from their most natural source. 🌱
Vitamin D keeps your bones, teeth & muscles healthy . And it may even help you get some better sleep at night 💤 Basically Vitamin D gives you a better quality of life. So get that sunshine or opt for a supplement. Just know when you take a Vitamin D supplement it is a fat-soluable vitamin. So it will absorb better with food, especially foods that have high-quality fats.
Another important nutrient is potassium which can help maintain a normal blood pressure. Eat some potatoes, avocados, sweet potatoes, bananas, beans, cooked spinach, oranges, watermelon, edamame, dried apricots…just to name a few.
Having a diet low in potassium can cause muscle spasms, cramps, weakness, fatigue & digestive problems. Potassium in your diet is more important than you might think 💯
Healthy fats!!! Yes!! Especially those Omega-3’s ➡️ Fatty fish, flax seeds, avocado & chia seeds. Watch your portion size-> a little goes a long way!! 😉 If you can’t get those in your diet you can always take a high quality supplement! But keep in mind —> let’s try to limit our cholesterol & saturated fats!!! Healthy Fats are best! Cholesterol and saturated fats are in a lot of processed foods, fatty meats & fried foods. Try to eat food in it’s most natural form 🥑
Some other essential nutrients that needed a quick mention that I don’t feel the need to go to in depth with are Iron, Fiber, Lean Protein + lots of Water!
All these nutrients combined will help nourish you, keep your body healthy & help minimize that unwanted weight gain.
When I eat I like to think about a Flexitarian/Mediterranean Diet. Where your plate should consist of mostly veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts & fish. When eating meat try to opt for leaner meats because they are great for that source of protein and look for organic grass-fed meats (helps decrease inflammation). I focus on filling up on veggies, plant-based protein sources & healthy fats. If you can’t or don’t like eating fish- get a good omega-3 & DHA supplement. 🐟
Lastly, avoid highly processed foods like sodium, caffeine, alcohol & fatty meats. But don’t cut them out (unless you have to for health reasons). Because what fun is that?!? Moderation is key! You want to live your life to the fullest right?!
Speaking of living your life to the fullest, I 100% believe that stress plays a huge role in weight management. So if you’re constantly stressing about the “numbers” then you’re just stressing yourself out which means you are susceptible to weight gain!! Stop stressing- numbers don’t define you 😉
It’s all about moderation and being intuitive. Think about what you’re putting into your body. How will you feel after you ingest it? How will you feel the next day? Is drinking that wine going to make you feel good while you’re socializing with friends??? HECK YES!!! Just drink some extra water (a glass of water in-between each glass of wine). Eat some lean protein before you drink to limit those munchies while you drink. And enjoy yourself with NO regrets!!
Never punish yourself! Exercise should be a reward for your body!!! Use it to energize yourself in a positive way! It’s all about mindset.
This all leads me into my next and last section of importance -> Gut Health. This deserves a whole different article- because there is an abundance of information that I love to talk about! But for our purposes here I’m going to discuss the basics. Here is a list of some amazing ways to help your digestive system ⤵️
- Pre & Probiotics
- Collagen Protein Powder
- Bone Broth
- Digestive Enzymes
- Apple Cider Vinegar (“the mother”)
Why is gut health so important?? A healthy gut has a huge impact on the whole body. It communicates with your brain through your nerves and hormones. Menopause causes a lot of imbalances in our digestive system-> more bloating, constipation & acid reflux. And we want to get started a good regimen to maintain health & balanced body & mind.
Respect your body, nourish your body, be patient with your body & be kind to yourself.