Peri-menopause is the transition period leading up to the end of a woman’s moon cycle. It typically starts between 47-50, however, nowadays, it’s starting as early as 32-35. We can contribute that to food and environment which cause our hormones to fluctuate earlier than normal. It’s a good idea for women to prepare for the change so that the symptoms aren’t so drastic. Here are a few suggestions
- Limit your protein intake to under 90 grams per day and eat high quality meat. Extreme meat consumption promotes an acidic environment in the body. It also produces mucus which can cause problems if in the vaginal lining. It also increases the likeliness of hot flashes. Do not consume low quality meat, especially processed lunch meat. Make sure your chicken and turkey are free range and pastured, meaning, the animals are free to forage and eat on their own versus being fed genetically modified soy and corn feed. Soy and corn are cash crops and tend to not be the best quality, especially in animal feed. The fish you consume should be wild caught and preferably frozen immediately afterwards. Also, be sure that the animals aren’t given antibiotics or growth hormones. Many local grocery stores are starting to carry better quality meat at affordable prices. I’ve also found that our downtown market and farmer’s market tend to carry this kind, as well. When you do consume meat, make sure it’s no bigger than the size of your fist. Why? Not only is it acidic and produces mucus, it’s also a low vibration food because it takes so much energy to digest it. When your body is busy digesting excessive amounts of heat, it takes energy away from your healing process. Hard boiled eggs, dark leafy green vegetables, and beans are a good replacement for extreme meat eaters.
- Limit your soy intake. This may seem contrary to the advice many of you have heard in the past. We’ve been told that soy produces phytoestrogens that can help replace the hormones that have been lost during this phase of life. Let’s talk about the origin of soy. Soy was originally used as fertilizer, not food. Over 2,500 years ago, Asian cultures began using fermented soy as a protein source in their diets. They understood that it was toxic in any other state. Now, most of these cultures use it as a condiment, not a main dish. Tofu was originally used in Chinese over 2,000 years ago in monasteries to lower testosterone levels so that the monks wouldn’t have the desire to get it on. 1,000 years later, we find tofu’s cousin tempeh being used in Indonesia to feed the poor. Unfortunately, eating too much soy can cause your body not to absorb other important nutrients such as B12 and vitamin D. Since it’s a cash crop, it’s on the list of the top genetically modified foods. Also, some peri-menopausal and menopausal women have experienced serious thyroid issues when they have increased their soy intake. While it’s promoted as a way to get phytoestrogens, it’s mimicking of the hormone can actually block true production of estrogen and cause disorders in a woman’s reproductive system. Instead try red clover infusions. According to herbalist Susan Weed’s article Healthy Menopause Years The Wise Woman Way, “Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is better in every way than its cousin soy. It contains four phytoestrogens; soy has only one (isoflavone). Red clover infusion has ten times more phytoestrogens than soy “milk,” fewer calories, more calcium, and no added sugars.” If you choose to eat soy, make sure it’s fermented and not genetically modified.
- Eliminate refined sugar from your diet. Refined sugar increases the acidity in our bodies. Lacking in nutrition, it adds to a woman’s weight gain and can even cause hot flashes. Instead, consider raw cane sugar, raw honey, stevia, coconut sugar crystals, dried dates, or fresh fruit juice as your sweeteners of choice. Stevia (in moderation) is the only option on this list that will not cause any issues. All of the others should STILL be consumed in moderation and rarely if ever as an ingredient in processed foods. Dates and fresh fruit juice are acceptable in a plant based, primarily alkaline eating lifestyle.
- Incorporate herbal infusions in your diet. The infusions to consider are red clover (can reduce hotflashes and promote an alkaline environment in the vagina), sage (reduces night sweats), motherwort (strengthens nerves and balances hormones), and ginkgo biloba (enhances memory). Check with your medical professional to learn about the benefits and side effects of these herbs as well as whether or not they will counteract with any prescription medications you may be taking.
- Incorporate light aerobic activity, yoga, and meditation into your routine. These activities increase the blood flow and sharpen your mental and spiritual focus.
Preparing our bodies is the key to limiting the symptoms of menopause. When adopting this lifestyle, some women have reported no symptoms at all, while others have reported an extreme reduction in the symptoms they were experiencing. Whatever your circumstance may be, I encourage you to embrace this time of your life and know that it’s taking you to the next phase of your womanhood. And oh, what a journey that will be.
Love and light