In Exercise

Call it the Menopausal Makeover

You’re at that age. You’re going through it or have been. You wake damp. You have a few flashes. You’ve put on a few pounds. You’re assuming that’s normal based on what you’ve heard.

It is normal?

Or is it your normal because you’re not making changes to save yourself. You do have the life raft right there. Here’s what you’ll find in it once you decide to save yourself.

1. What’s that saying? If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. The opposite may be a part of your makeover. You need to get in the kitchen in a whole new way potentially.

2. You also need to run out of excuses. I was raised Southern.  You’re not there now? For how long? Does what you’re doing work? You’re educated? Let’s figure out first of all what’s better to eat than what you were raised with. Let’s figure out what the way you were raised has to do with it now that you’re over 50. Is it comfort food? You want some of those memories?

3. You are not responsible for getting adult children in your household to eat their veggies. Not your problem. You’re not completely responsible for taking complaints from adolescents in your house if they aren’t willing to help with the meal prep, clean up, and if not costs, share in the planning. You’re not running for office. You don’t their vote. You are IN office and responsible for the health in your house. Your house.

That alone should make things a little easier. Before you read further consider if any of those things apply to you! Your obstacle may not be knowing what’s good for you, or getting in the habit of making it, but the thoughts around “having” to do it, and “make everyone happy” with the food you make.

Next up, if it comes in a package already seasoned and ready to make your life easy it has more sodium, sugar and artificial goo in it than your best body and energy want. If this is about convenience consider this:

If you have a one-to-five ingredient marinade for chicken, fish, or beef and prep it in the morning and walk in and grill at night you have dinner on the table in about 10 minutes. You can make a crockpot full of sweet potatoes, tear fresh greens into a salad, pull your raw veggie tray from the refrigerator and be there.

If you rotate between the chicken you grilled, the leftover chicken you grilled, the grilled cod or tilapia and a burger of some type during the week you’ve got the work week done.

Plan ahead.

  • Instead of buying a bag of pre-cooked pre-over-seasoned meat from the freezer, make a double batch, Have leftovers the next day or thaw and use the second half of your recipe in another dish.
  • There is no law against using the crockpot in the summer but you’d think there was! explore summer-flavored recipes. Prepare your taco or fajitas in the crockpot. Have everyone tackle chopping a topping or setting the table. Use endives, lettuce gluten-free wraps to accommodate everyone at the table.
  • Make a couple huge salads on the weekend or one mid-week to freshen your selection.
  • Keep it simple. Plan around lean protein and then make the rest of the plate look like a garden.
  • Green beans, steamed or stir-fryed don’t take much time if you have them prepped. Clean, cut or break into pieces and while you’re grilling you can make a dish of PF Chang’s-worthy spicy green beans in minutes.

Here’s what I’ve heard over the last week:

“I was raised Southern, so….”

“I love it but my husband hates it.”

“I’ve got five kids, two still in high school, three in college or older living with us.” 

First, I love my heritage too. By the time you’re 50 though it can’t still own you. There are ways to make anything healthier. Occasionally, have that regional meal you love but that doesn’t love you, but 80-90% of the time live so you love your energy and your life.

Next, no way no how is it reasonable or rational to think you are responsible feeding someone who is in college or older. Enlist their help in planning, in preparing, in not expecting that you will either pay for it, cook it, clean it up for them and then look forward to doing it again tomorrow for them.

Last, if you’re using the excuse that you have to prepare foods they’ll eat you’re not standing up for what you know you need. Why? You have to decide if you really want to do it. If that’s it, no one will convince you otherwise. Do you need to know what to do?

NEWS FLASH: 50% of the women who tell me they “Know what to eat” don’t! They have old ideas and don’t know so even if you did that…you’d be going down the wrong street to get to your destination. It’s one of those instances when Siri got it wrong. 

A day in the life of a frustrated Mid-Lifer:

BEFORE and MAKE OVER SUGGESTIONS
9am fruit flavored yogurt sugar, low protein Plain greek yogurt. Add nuts, fresh or frozen berries
11am packaged peanut butter crackers carbs, processed, sugar Too soon – u nless you’re already sugar doomed for the day.
Noon leftovers: mashed potatoes, gravy, half a frozen packaged chicken breast, cucumber salad carbs, low protein, sugar Big green salad, full chicken breast, boiled egg, red wine vinegar and olive oil, cucumber salad
1:30 Cheesits carbs, processed Too soon after lunch to be hungry if you’re eating protein and low sugar
Small cookies sugar, carbs, processed Almonds, walnuts or sunflower seeds
Banana bread sugar, carbs No need to have carbs mid-afternoon now that you’ve had a high protein/fat snack you’re satisfied.
6:00 Baked potato, corn, grilled chicken from frozen package carbs, starchy veg, processed/packaged small baked sweet pototato (lower glycemic load), fresh summer NON-starchy vegetables:green beans, spinach, garden lettuce, and butcher-bought chicken marinaded in prepared mustard, lemon juice, garlic and thyme or choice of seasonings from your spice rack
BEFORE and MAKE OVER SUGGESTIONS
9am fruit flavored yogurt sugar, low protein Plain greek yogurt. Add nuts, fresh or frozen berries
11am packaged peanut butter crackers carbs, processed, sugar Too soon – u nless you’re already sugar doomed for the day.
Noon leftovers: mashed potatoes, gravy, half a frozen packaged chicken breast, cucumber salad carbs, low protein, sugar Big green salad, full chicken breast, boiled egg, red wine vinegar and olive oil, cucumber salad
1:30 Cheesits carbs, processed Too soon after lunch to be hungry if you’re eating protein and low sugar
Small cookies sugar, carbs, processed Almonds, walnuts or sunflower seeds
Banana bread sugar, carbs No need to have carbs mid-afternoon now that you’ve had a high protein/fat snack you’re satisfied.
6:00 Baked potato, corn, grilled chicken from frozen package carbs, starchy veg, processed/packaged small baked sweet pototato (lower glycemic load), fresh summer NON-starchy vegetables:green beans, spinach, garden lettuce, and butcher-bought chicken marinaded in prepared mustard, lemon juice, garlic and thyme or choice of seasonings from your spice rack

This is not a made-to-look-bad example. It’s a literal example given to me by a woman doing recall. From the breakfast that came 3 1/2 hours after she woke to the dinner she had planned she was doomed on this day. She started with sugar on an empty stomach after 15 hours of fasting overnight. The halt in fat metabolism was helping all day store more fat as the carbs and starchy, packaged and processed foods got into her.

This is a weight-gain formula in the left column. The middle column explains why, and the right a few suggestions for improving.

The chain of events you can see just sets you up for wanting more. Having a few X “for my sweet tooth” is not realistic. You don’t have a disease. You have a poor eating habit that causes the sweet tooth in the first place. You tend to eat sugars, and carbs and thus your body wants more and more of them like a drug addict wants a fix.

You wake up in the morning not very hungry and probably a bit sluggish. Your body is having to process all the junk in processed foods and chemicals, as well as the rapidly-absorbed carb roller-coaster you just rode. Your system is overwhelmed and not functioning well. Makes sense when you eat poorly that you won’t be hungry after that time you’ve finally let your body try to deal with it while you went to bed.

This isn’t really a menopause problem that will be solved by prescribing hormones. You have to do the work. You may feel much better after making lifestyle changes that positively change your hormones. Don’t resort to a pill for a situation you’re causing yourself.

You can make the changes. Step by step. Find out where you’re going wrong that you may never have guess. It takes less than a week for a lot of women to begin feeling better – whether that’s digestion, sleep, daytime energy or just motivation.

~Debra


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