Menopause has many faces…sleepless nights filled with hot flashes, mood swings and of course… those cravings! Which one bugs you the most? Hmm, tie between hot flashes and cravings? From muffin tops to hormonal headaches, Regina Ragone and I (we call ourselves the Power Surge Sisters, follow us @powersurgesis ) are sharing secrets to deal with menopause. You know Regina, she’s also the food Director at Family Circle magazine.
Have you ever been sitting in a business meeting and had your face turn beet red from a hot flash? Do you have mood swings that feel like your riding a never-ending roller coaster? Or maybe these scenarios sound like what you’re wife’s been experiencing. Do you think you’re losing it? Hold on…you’re not!
Regina said she was pulling off her clothes in the middle of the night (no, not for that) due to hot flashes. She found these pjs called Cool Nights that she raves about made with a special wicking material. Says they are cute and on target to help tame those flashes.
Want more food ideas to help keep your immune system perking along? Listen to this week’s podcast.
When these crazy events start, you may wonder what’s happening to you but it’s natural and called perimenopause. It’s the time before menopause where these changes start to happen. Your periods may become irregular and there are fluctuations in the two major hormone players: progesterone and estrogen. You might notice some of these changes as early as your late 30s or maybe not until your early 50s.
Check out these two recipes to help calm raging hormones from the Family Circle test kitchens:
Veggie Bowl: http://www.susanmitchell.org/recipes/veggie-bowl/
Grilled Hoison-Glazed Halibut and Bok Choy: http://www.susanmitchell.org/recipes/grilled-hoisin-glazed-halibut-and-bok-choy/
One minute you’re on fire and want to pull your clothes off and the next you’re freezing and need a blanket. Hot flashes love to occur about three in the morning.
Here’s secret #1: caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol, and hot drinks are common triggers that set off hot flashes.
Be aware and work around them using your favorite substitutes for now. Regina likes Polar beverages and Sparkling Ice, particularly the crisp apple flavor and substitutes it for wine when calming those flashes. I like LaCroix sparkling flavored waters.
What you eat now becomes priority one. You’ll notice that fat moves from the hips and thighs and relocates itself to your belly. You take on more of an apple shape similar to men versus the traditional pear shape. You know what I’m talking about… that overflow of fat where you put on a pair of jeans and the extra weight rolls over the top like a muffin. It can affect your psyche…how you feel about yourself.
Secret #2: Now is the time to either eat three meals and a snack during the day or try frequent, small meals/snacks …say every 3-4 hours. Make sure each small meal or snack contains protein and a high fiber carbohydrate. Protein helps keep your brain sharp and focused to prevent brain fog while high fiber carbs provide energy for the day.
Some of the Power Surge Sister favorite protein/carb snacks are: egg white omelet with veggies, Greek yogurt and fresh fruit, cottage cheese and fruit (there are small containers that are easy to take for lunch or a snack and anything peanut butter goes with. Have a great tip to share? Post it in the comments.