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Health and Wellness in Menopause

Between hot flashes, insomnia and mood swings, menopause can be very difficult—both physically and emotionally. Here are some tips from menopause expert Rebecca Hulem on how to enhance your quality of life during this challenging time.

Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
One unfortunate symptom of menopause is weight gain. And while eating healthy is important no matter what age you are, there are certain dietary measures you can take to help.

  • Try to eat 5 times per day (3 meals, 2 snacks), every 3-4 hours.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables (9 servings per day).
  • Eat more fiber (20-30 grams per day, or the equivalent of 6-7 apples a day—though of course, there are plenty of other high-fiber foods you can eat).
  • Remember, just because you could eat it when you were younger doesn’t mean you can now.
  • For hot flash relief, avoid wine, chocolate and cheese.

Exercise Regularly
It’s hard to argue against the benefits of regular exercise. Physical activity can benefit your heart and bones, help regulate weight and sleep, reduce stress and enhance your mood, creating a better sense of well-being.

  • Try to exercise at least 30 minutes per day.
  • Low-impact exercise like brisk walking is a great activity for all ages.
  • Research shows menopausal women who exercise daily are less likely to suffer hot flashes than women who don’t.

Make Sleep a Priority
You need sleep—now more than ever. And menopausal women not only have a difficult time falling asleep, but staying asleep as well.

  • Try to get at least 8 hours every night.
  • Sleep in cool clothing to help reduce “night sweats.”
  • Avoid warm rooms, hot drinks/foods, alcohol, caffeine, bright lights, naps, stress and nicotine.
  • Establish a relaxing ritual for going to bed every night.

Reduce Stress

  • Practice deep breathing.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Try yoga, tai chi or meditation to help calm the mind, reducing those feelings of anxiety that can pop up unexpectedly.
  • Have a support system of family or friends.
Limit Hot Flashes

Consider taking supplements containing soy isoflavones, like those found in Novasoy. Scientifically proven to reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes, soy isoflavones are naturally sourced, plant-based ingredients with a structure similar to your body’s estrogen.

To find products that contain Novasoy, click here.


Recipes
Eating foods rich in soy can also help reduce hot flashes. Try the recipes below for a delicious way to add soy to your diet.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 cup chocolate soy milk

1/2 cup silken tofu

1 ripe banana

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1 cup ice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in blender; puree until smooth. Serve immediately.

 

 

Tofu Bolognese

Serves 8

Ingredients:

2 (14 ounce) packages extra-firm tofu

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 stalks celery, diced

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

2 bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

12 ounces pasta, such as linguine or fettuccine

Parmesan cheese and Italian parsley, for serving

Directions:

Press the tofu blocks between paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. Then, using your hands, crumble into smaller pieces. Set crumbled tofu aside.

In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat, add onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté 10-15 minutes, until onions are translucent and vegetables are soft. Add garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes, until garlic is fragrant. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add crumbled tofu and Italian seasoning to pan and increase heat to medium-high. Cook about 30 minutes, breaking up tofu into smaller pieces with wooden spoon or spatula, stirring every 3-5 minutes. The tofu will gradually turn golden brown - be patient, as it takes some time! 

Once tofu is broken down into ground meat-size pieces and golden brown, add tomato paste. Sauté 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Then, add crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, red pepper, chicken broth, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and then drain pasta. Add pasta to skillet with sauce and toss to combine, adding some of the cooking liquid if needed to achieve desired consistency. Serve immediately, topped with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.