I wish we could micromanage menopause, along with micromanaging other things and/or people in our lives (yes, I know we all try!). But as we have all experienced, it just does not work. However, if we put the work into managing our menopausal journeys (as delightful as they are🙃), we will get results! The key word is work, as when you put the true time, effort, and dedication into taking care of yourself, anything is possible.
As challenging as it may be, it is possible to be healthy and weight happy despite the ever-changing hormones during perimenopause and menopause. Let’s dig into some of the facts here, as well as what exactly is this work I am speaking about 💪🏽:
✨Finally, remember that you don’t have to strive for perfection, especially when you are just starting out. Taking small steps can ultimately lead to significant achievements. ✨
**In additional news, the WHO (World Health Organization) has put out a statement that I felt was important to share. They advise against all NonSugar Sweeteners (NSS) for weight control, unless you have pre-existing diabetes. This statement is based on the lack of science in the benefit of weight loss when using these products. They mention some possible safety issues, and suggest sticking with natural sugars (like fruit) or unsweetened beverages. I recently discussed the latest scientific news about NonSugar Sweeteners (NSS), stating pure Stevia should be okay, but we need more studies…What to do? When sweetening your beverages with a packet of something, 1 packet of sugar = 10 calories, 3 grams of carbohydrates (which is 3 grams of sugar). Really not a big deal if you use just one! Or skip it all together and start to lower your level of sweetness desired. It takes some time, but it is worth the effort.
SUMMER STRAWBERRY SALAD WITH STRAWBERRY YOGURT DRESSING
“Strawberry fields forever”... is all I keep singing when making this recipe, as well as looking as the picture. It is such a delight of sweetness and summer - hard to get enough! What a great way to consume vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Just be sure to add your lean protein of choice on top!
INGREDIENTS — dressing
½ cup fresh strawberries, washed and cored
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt, plain
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon water
¼ teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
INGREDIENTS — salad
4-5 cups romaine, washed, dried and chopped into bite-size pieces (any favorite greens!)
½ cup fresh strawberries, washed and sliced thin
¼ cup roasted walnuts, chopped
¼ cup feta cheese (optional)
freshly ground pepper
Optional protein toppings for a main dish: grilled or blackened chicken, tofu, shrimp
Place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender. Blend for about 30 seconds, or until smooth. If too thick, add another tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency. Taste and add more ground pepper as desired. Set aside.
Place salad greens in medium salad bowl. Toss with 3-4 tablespoons of prepared dressing. Top with strawberries, walnuts, feta cheese, and protein. Drizzle with and additional 1–2 teaspoons dressing and freshly ground pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.
SWEET AND SPICY TRUFFLE MARINADE
The intense flavor and aroma of truffle oil brings a smile to your meal😀. Truffle oil is another good source of the antioxidants called polyphenols (just like strawberries), which help to prevent cardiovascular disease by helping to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels down. Smile and enjoy this delicious marinade with your favorite lean protein source.
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 ½ Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon hot honey
2 Tablespoons fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
3 Tablespoons white truffle oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Protein options: 2 pounds of fresh fish, chicken tenderloins, tofu, or shrimp
Optional garnish: freshly ground pepper and basil
Whisk together lemon juice through garlic in a small bowl. Remove 1 tablespoon and set aside.
Place your protein of choice in a large sealable baggie. Add the rest of the marinade, seal, and shake well. Marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator or overnight, turning frequently.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, depending on your protein. Cook for 5-7 minutes per side, flip, and continue cooking until cooked through and the desired doneness. Place on serving platter. Pour saved marinade on top, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and basil. Makes 6-8 servings.
CHOCOLATE GRANOLA CRUNCH
This could be part of your breakfast, mid-afternoon snack, or dessert. It is fun to make, as you do you, adding any of your favorites. This granola is sweetened just a bit with maple syrup for a natural flavor boost. The chocolate certainly adds to the sweetness, not too mention balancing hormones. Hormonal changes from menopause, menstruation, pregnancy, etc, all cause a dip in our serotonin levels. Thankfully 🙏 chocolate increases serotonin in the brain, a neurotransmitter responsible for better mood, sleep, and reduction of anxiety.
4 cups old-fashioned oats
½ cup pecans or walnuts (or your favorite nuts)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
⅓ cup canola oil
½ cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips (mini or chopped)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, add oats, nuts, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix until well-combined.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together canola oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Add mixture to the large bowl and stir until evenly combined.
Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Stir one more time, turn oven off, and let the granola sit in the oven for another 5 minutes, or until all is lightly toasted and golden in color. Remove from the oven and slide the granola on the parchment paper onto the counter. Mix in the chocolate chips immediately, so they melt into the granola. Allow to cool completely. Add any desired additional toppings. Enjoy on top of your yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, or just a tasty snack! Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
For comments, thoughts, consultations, requests, or anything else you feel the need to share, please do: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit me at rebelliousrd.com.
The rebellious Rd
As a longtime promoter of healthy cooking and eating, Amy's focus is on plant-based eating, with a rebellious twist - that she and no one, needs to be perfect.