menopause diet blog

Time for a Change

Day 63: Eat Raw

While the summer is here its easier to eat as much of your food as possible raw…

raw food diet pyramid

Here’s why you should do it…

  1. Raw foods have more nutrients – vitamins, minerals and enzymes that aren’t destroyed by cooking
  2. Eat as much as you want – see pyramid above – its pretty hard to overdose on raw food
  3. No bloating
  4. Quick and easy to prepare
  5. Less cleaning up!
  6. Healthy regular bowels

Take advantage of the summer season to boost  your raw food intake and save the wonderful stews, soups, bakes and casseroles for the cooler weather.

Food Diary Day 63

Breakfast: menopause muesli – see breakfast recipe page

Lunch: Smoked salmon salad with green leaves, edamame beans, pine nuts, tomatoes, beetroot and snow peas.

smoked salmon salad

 

Dinner: Feta salad with green leaves, three bean salad, beetroot, tomatoes and coleslaw

feta salad

 

Drinks and Snacks: 4 bourbon biscuits, strawberries and raspberries, 2 squares dark chocolate

I had run out of dark chocolate the last few days and I’m sure that has contributed to me raiding the biscuit tin. I do like a sweet finish after a meal and a couple of small squares of plain chocolate, savoured slowly, really do the trick. The one I buy has 5 squares in a row and the whole row is about 100 calories… well worth it for me.

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Day 41: Sardines Superfood

I hadn’t really planned supper tonight (yes I know, likely reason to abandon diet) but I opened the cupboard and a tin of Portuguese Sardines caught my attention. I had half the tin with a green salad, tomatoes, cucumber, cold steamed broccoli leftovers and beetroot – quick, easy, delicious, healthy and ticks all my diet rules.

portuguese sardines

Sardines are a definite addition to my superfood list… here’s why – apart from being a versatile, healthy store cupboard ingredient

Heart Health – rich source of Omega 3, EPA and DHA

Bone Health – good source of vitamin D, phosphorus and Vitamin B12, calcuim and selenium

Energy and muscle building – good source of protein

Buy ones packed in olive oil or simply grilled. Try to avoid ones in brine due to high sodium levels

Food Diary Day 41

Breakfast: menopause muesli -see breakfast recipe page

Lunch: Peppered mackerel, green salad, ready made quinoa salad, beetroot, cucumber, green salad – same as yesterday – you don’t need to reinvent the wheel!

Dinner: Sardines, green salad, tomatoes, cucumber, beetroot and cold steamed broccoli leftovers & avocado, drizzled with lemon infused olive oil and balsamic vinegar

sardine salad

Snacks & Drinks: herbal tea, 4 squares dark chocolate

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Day 36: Broad Beans & Eating Out Success

Today I went out for lunch and managed to stay pretty much spot on with the diet. I had the most exquisite salad of warm beetroot, which was so sweet and not at all vinegary, baby broad beans, watercress and cubes of goat cheese…I didnt want it to end! After the soup for a starter I was luckily too full for dessert so wasn’t tempted there!

beet and broad bean salad

Food Diary: Day 36

Breakfast: Menopause Smoothie – see breakfast recipe page

Lunch: Pea and Ham Soup, Beetroot, baby broad bean, watercress and goats cheese salad

Dinner: Green salad, grated carrot, mixed bean salad, felafels, pine nuts and raisins

Snacks & Drinks: Herbal tea, 3 squares dark chocolate

broad beans

Broad beans are an excellent vegetable source of protein and fibre – a winning combination for weight loss. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010 found that overweight women on a high-protein, high-fibre diet lost more weight than those on the standard high-carbohydrate, low-fat regime that currently forms the basis of government “healthy eating” advice. Broad beans are also rich in both folate and B vitamins, which we need for nerve and blood cell development, cognitive function and energy.

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Day 31: Summer Salads

It been really hot here this weekend so salads have been the order of the day. Here’s a great motivational poster that I like. I can but dream!

fit body

Food Diary Day 31:

Breakfast: Mango menopause smoothie – see breakfast recipe page

Lunch: Mixed prawn salad with green salad, beetroot and adzuki/edamame bean salad and crumbled cheshire cheese – the adzuki beans were particularly delicious – common in japanese cooking, adzuki beans are a good source of  iron, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, fibre and protein and, of course, phytoestrogens! At least half the plate is vegetables and the rest protein.

prawn salad

Dinner: Trout with Coronation Rice, Edamame bean salad and beetroot

Snacks & Drinks: herbal tea, fresh cherries

 

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Day 30: Coconut oil and hormone health

Today I met a nutritionist by chance and I was telling her about my endeavours to control my menopause symptoms through diet and she told me I should use coconut oil as it has wonderful health benefits including a hormone balancing action. I went home and did some research online and it is recommended for this along with its excellent antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral and antioxidant properties.

Coconut oil is a saturated fat however and we are continually being advised to avoid saturated fats. So why is coconut oil different? Is is because the fatty acids found in coconut are short and medium chain molecules which are easier for the body to digest. Most of the medium chain fatty acids in coconut are in the form of lauric acid which is present in human breast milk and has superb immunity boosting properties.

Coconut oil

How can you incorporate coconut oil into your diet?

Use coconut oil in smoothies

Cook using coconut oil – The oil has a high tolerance to heat, so it is one of the best oils for frying and cooking. Add it to baked goods like muffins and cakes instead of the

Use as a spread– Mix with raw chocolate powder and make your own chocolate spread, eat with fruit.

Use it as a body moisturiser

Here is an are two excellent articles from Wellness Mama and The Nourishing Gourmet on ways to incorporate coconut oil into your diet and advice on what kind of coconut oil to buy.

Food Diary Day 30:

Breakfast: Menopause Muesli – see breakfast recipe page

Lunch: Felafel, Cottage Cheese, carrots, olives, beetroot and alfafa sprouts, kiwi fruit

Dinner: Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Dahl – see dinner recipe page

Snacks and Drinks: Herbal tea, 2 squares dark chocolate

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Day 29: Two Great Menopause Diet Recipes

Today I had some delicious food!

It is interesting how since I have been doing this diet I have enjoyed the taste of food much more. I noticed when I was eating lots of junk, particularly high sugar/fat I felt that ‘real’ food tasted bland and uninteresting. This was because my palette was attuned to the taste of high fat and high sugar and when that’s what you want, nothing healthy matches up to it.

Today for lunch I made a quick mackerel salad that was fast, easy and very tasty and very good for skin, hair, anti-aging, joints, blood pressure and heart!

mackerel salad

This is what the salad contained:

Peppered mackerel – great source of Omega 3

Half an avocado – anti oxidants, Vit E, monounsaturated fatty acid, carotenoids

Sprouted Alfafa  – antioxidants, vitamins & protein

Hummus – chickpeas are a great source of phytoestrogens – essential in combating menopause symptoms

Olives – monounsaturated fats

Tomatoes – vitamins, antioxidant lycopene

Beetroot – antioxidants, vitamins and minerals

It was from a diet point of view probably fairly high in fat – but all the ‘good’ kind and half my plate was vegetables/fruit.

For Dinner I made a wonderful red lentil and sweet potato dahl – see dinner recipe page – full of phytoestrogens & protein (lentils)  and antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, complex carbs (sweet potato), plus mushrooms, onions, garlic and miso!

red lentil and sweet potato dahl

so heres my Day 29 Food Diary:

Breakfast: Menopause Muesli – see breakfast recipe page

Lunch: Peppered Mackerel salad – see above

Dinner: Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Dahl

Drinks & Snacks: herbal tea, pear, slice of menopause cake – see snack recipe page – with tahini

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Day 22: Stone Soup Cookbook

I want to recommend and online cookbook I came across called The Stone Soup. Brainchild of Jules Clancy, her focus is on recipes that are simple, quick, delicious and healthy and can often be made with store cupboard ingredients. There are always lots of alternatives given within a recipe if you don’t have all the ingredients or don’t like one of the ingredients so they are very flexible.

Here’s what you WILL find on StoneSoup

Quick, easy to follow recipes that are hard to mess up.
New ideas for ways to use commonplace ingredients.
Inspiration to get out of your cooking rut and make tasty, simple meals.
Fresh, healthy ideas using real whole food.
Variations to suit your dietary requirements or if you’re missing ingredients.
Encouragement to try new (simple) things.
A unique approach to take the stress out of coming up with good food at the last minute.

There is a FREE downloadable eCookbook available if you sign up for updates and there are further books to buy in print or downloadable format… such as:

stone soup cookbook

  • The Tired and Hungry Cooks Companion (I have this one)
  • The 2 Minute Meal Plan
  • 5 Ingredients, 10 Minutes
  • Love your Waistline, Love Your Food
  • 30 Dinners in 30 Days

Food Diary Day 22

Breakfast: Mashed Banana and Tahini on multiseed toast – see Breakfast recipe page

Lunch: Various Sushi at Yo Sushi!

Dinner: Prawn, vegetable and egg noodle stir fry

Snacks & Drinks: Herbal tea, Oat and Apricot bar, 1 profiterole, 2 squares dark chocolate, fresh cherries

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Day 20: Lentils for cheats

One of my secret ingredients are these pouches of cooked lentils.

lentil pouch

 

They are quick and easy to use and taste delicious. Here’s what you can do with them:

Add them to soups

Have them on the side with any fish (especially salmon and trout)

Add to casseroles or stews

Mix with left over rice and cooked vegetables

Just heat them on their own with multi-grain toast or pitta for a really quick and healthy lunch

Use cold straight from the pouch in a salad

Mix with roasted butternut squash and crumble feta cheese over the top

Mix with cooked sausages or grilled chicken

Remember lentils are a good source of phytoestrogen – good for the menopause  – they are low in fat, high in fibre and a good source of protein and iron.

Food Diary Day 20:

Breakfast: Menopause Muesli – see Breakfast recipe page

Lunch: Chicken and sweet potato soup – see Lunch Recipe page

Dinner: Lentil Chile – see Dinner Recipe page

Snacks & Drinks: Herbal tea, fresh cherries, 2 squares dark chocolate

Pretty good day today – I keep thinking about yesterday’s motivation poster – see Day 19 post!

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Day 13: Linseed (Flaxseed) the Wonder Seed

In my Day 12 post on managing menopause symptoms through diet I wrote about the benefits of eating foods containing phytoestrogens. Linseeds or flaxseeds are packed full of beneficial goodies for the menopause and they are easy to incorporate into you diet.

linseed flaxseed

Linseeds (or flaxseed) are rich in a type of phytoestrogen called lignans, in fact they have the highest concentrations of lignans of any food.

Apart from the oestrogen-like hormone balancing effect of phytoestrogens, lignans are also anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, plus there is evidence that links good lignan levels with lower incidences of certain cancers. Lignans are a good source of both Omega 3 and omega 6 oils, in fact it is the highest known plant source of Omega 3 (Alpha linolenic acid).

Linseeds are also an excellent source of fibre, particularly as unbroken seeds.

To ensure maximum absorption of nutrients from linseeds they are best cracked or ground in a pestle & mortar. You can also buy ready milled linseed, otherwise the unbroken seeds work a treat for constipation!

milled flaxseed

How to incorporate linseeds into your diet:

Linseeds are quite small, just bigger than sesame seeds so they are easy to mix in with other foods. I always add linseeds (either cracked, milled or whole) to my homemade Menopause Meusli (about a tablespoon) and add milled linseeds to my Breakfast Smoothie. Linseeds are also an ingredient in the Menopause Cake. Alternatively, mix them into yogurt, porridge and add them to any baking, e.g. muffins.

Food Diary Day 13:

Breakfast: Mango Menopause Smoothie

Lunch: Scrambled egg & mushroom and parma ham on multi-seed bread, spread with hummus with cherry tomatoes – see lunch recipe page

egg mushroom scramble

Dinner: Peppered mackerel, broccoli with soy sauce and sesame seeds, lentils, salad with buffalo mozzarella and garlic mushrooms. Notice how I am trying to follow my portion control advice with half the plate given over to vegetables. Actually I was pretty full after this and probably ate a bit too much!

peppered mackerel salad

Snacks & Drinks: Herbal tea, 4 squares dark chocolate

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