First, let’s talk about what actually happens to women during menopause, because this is an often misunderstood time in women’s lives. As women approach midlife, sex hormone production slowly begins to decline over the course of 10-15 years, aka menopause!
Written by Guest Blogger: Dr. Mindy Pelz, a best selling author, keynote speaker, nutrition and functional medicine expert.
During this process, ovaries hand over the job of making sex hormones progesterone, estrogen and testosterone to your adrenal glands. If you are like most women I know, your adrenals might already be taxed with everyday stress, family, work obligations, etc. When the added work of making hormones is given to adrenals, it often leads to a sudden onset of unpleasant symptoms—low energy, weight gain, hot flashes, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, anxiety and depression.
The decline in estrogen often results in an increase in the tendency towards insulin resistance. So the weight loss habits that once worked for you in your 30’s may suddenly fall short. This means that menopausal women must implement lifestyle changes that adapt to the changes happening in their body, specifically giving more attention to managing blood sugar and insulin levels with fasting and diet, to avoid insulin resistance.
The final thing you might notice during menopause is the effects of testosterone and progesterone depletion. Symptomatically this often looks like irritability, anxiety, poor sleep, low libido and motivation and an inability to put on muscle. This often requires giving additional support to the adrenal glands in the form of stress reducing activities and adrenal support supplements.
So now let’s talk about what you can do…
5 Hacks for Menopausal Women
Hack #1: Stop eating all day.
You’d be surprised by how many women are still following the outdated model of eating 6 meals and snacks throughout the day. Adopting a fasting lifestyle will have dramatic effects on relieving menopausal symptoms. I discuss exactly how to do this in detail in The Menopause Reset book, taking you through all the fundamental steps on how to build a fasting lifestyle, starting with intermittent fasting.
Hack #2: Vary your eating style and foods. While the foundational eating style is ketogenic, you always want to be changing the way you eat to keep the body adapting. For example, did you know that there are many styles of keto, for example low keto, carnivore, keto vegetarian and ketobiotic. Varying your eating style is key to successful results with fasting, as well as incorporate enough hormone building feast days that nourish and support healthy hormones.
Hack # 3: Build a bulletproof microbiome. Women need a strong gut microbiome to efficiently break down and use the little estrogen they are producing. There are a lot of things that affect the microbiome, like diet and lifestyle, but your microbiome is especially vulnerable to toxins.
- Are you eating organic foods? Pesticides will deteriorate the inner lining of the gut, creating permeability and what is commonly referred to as “leaky gut”. If you’re drinking coffee, make sure it’s mold free and organic, like Camano Island.
- Are you drinking clean water? The Environmental Working Group found more than 250 contaminants in tap water. You can check your tap water here. Water filtration is a must, as well as avoiding bottled water and plastics exposure. You can shop my favorite water filters here in the HOME section of my shop.
- Are you using non-toxic personal care products? Chemicals found in popular beauty, cosmetics and personal care products like shampoos, body wash, hand soaps, toothpaste and deodorant are absorbed or ingested directly into your body. Shop my favorite beauty products here!
- Are you using non-toxic home cleaning products? Chemicals found in commercial cleaning products like Lysol, Clorox and 409, destroy the microbiome. Our favorite is Branch Basics because it is so versatile and can be used for cleaning and laundry.
Hack #4: Stop the “rushing woman’s syndrome”. This is a term I learned from Libby Weaver who wrote the book by the same name. It is a fantastic book that helped me understand that how I was living my rushed life was not sustainable. I highly recommend this book to women struggling to manage the daily stress of life.
Hack #5. Mind your melatonin. Melatonin decreases with age, so it becomes important to protect melatonin to prevent sleep issues. My favorite and free melatonin hack is walking at sunset, this helps the body register that bedtime is near and will start producing melatonin. Blue light emitted from screens, like phones, tablets and television deplete melatonin. If you are going to be on your screens, make sure you are wearing blue light blocking BLUblox glasses.
Dr. Mindy Pelz
Dr. Mindy Pelz, D.C is a best selling author, keynote speaker, nutrition and functional medicine expert who has spent over two decades helping thousands of people successfully reclaim their health. She is a recognized leader in the alternative health field and a pioneer in the fasting movement, teaching the principles of a fasting lifestyle, diet variation, detox, hormones, and more. Her popular YouTube channel combines the latest science with practical lifestyle tools every person can use to reset their health. She is the host of one of the leading science podcasts, The Resetter Podcast, and the author of three best-selling books; The Menopause Reset, The Reset Factor, and The Reset Kitchen.
P.S. Today is a big day, Dr. Mindy’s book, The Menopause Reset is finally out and on bookshelves worldwide! Drawing on her own personal experience with menopause, She wrote this book to help women get rid of their menopausal symptoms and feel like their younger self again, totally naturally!
P.P.S. Catch this week’s episode of The Hormone P.U.Z.Z.L.E Podcast – Menopause, Fasting and Your Hormones with Dr. Mindy Pelz.