"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

22 April 2012


Are you somewhere in the age category of 35-55? If yes, then you are most likely either starting peri-menopause, in the middle of peri-menopause, or perhaps just about to be completed with menopause (12 months with no menstruation).  I am in the midst of peri-menopause although trust me, I had my last child at age 39 and would NOT have minded going through menopause early. We knew we were done having children, after prayer and discussion.  I was 39 when I gave birth to my now 13 year old and although everything went well, and she was healthy, I was much more tired than for my first daughter at age 33.  I also went through a season of undiagnosed/untreated lyme disease for a little over 8 months. By the time I was treated and under antibiotic therapy with vitamin supplements, I had just started the "peri-menopause" years with some mild PMS symptoms which I had never had before. (about age 42) SO....it's now 10 years later and I am STILL in peri-menopause! Some of the symptoms are mild like an occasional "night sweat" (similar to nursing baby days!), joint pain (exacerbated by the lyme because lyme lies dormant and can flare up), achy muscles and bloating.  I sometimes get hormonal headaches although they are easing up lately.  I do have a prescription for those if they get bad.  BUT...I much prefer natural remedies for "Change of life" things or just for better nutrition.

I started researching super foods and  began talking with my former ob/gyn who is a naturalist...meaning she doesn't recommend hormonal treatments, etc. although she will leave it up to the patient. I don't want any kind of hormone treatments so I am learning what foods to add and what to take away from my diet.  

I want to share my discoveries.  

There are SIX SUPER FOODS that all women (even teen girls) can highly benefit from.  Besides drinking lots of water. Lots. As in at least 32 oz a day.  I cut out soda about 2 years ago and have felt great!  I never did like diet soda and don't ever plan on drinking it.  When I am at a party or social event and the only choices are sodas or high fructose drinks, I choose water.  In fact, most of the time I choose water. It is one of the most effective ways to totally cleanse your body of toxins. You really don't need over the counter cleanses...they are just a waste of money...unless of course your doctor has recommended it for some reason like for a cancer screening)

So....besides water, what are the SUPER FOODS??

  1. LOW FAT YOGURT!  This is something I have never liked. At all. Unless it's been frozen yogurt.  But....I am now adding low fat yogurt to my daily diet and I am going to have to learn to like it.  I tried one today that my husband likes called Orange Cream.  It is similar to a creamsicle (remember those?). I will add low-fat granola to it and this will be one of my snack choices or part of my lunch at work.  Benefits include: excellent source of dairy requirement as it is high in calcium; can help to decrease your risk of breast cancer, and aids in digestion or irritable bowel syndrome.  Why am I adding this food? for the extra calcium.
  2. FATTY FISH (SALMON, MACKEREL, OR SARDINES). Sardines are just....ew...my hubby loves them, I do NOT! I've never had mackerel but I do have salmon and often. Even my daughters love it. We tend to grill it but you can also bake it.  Fatty fish is essential for lowering cholesterol due to the omega 3's.  Because I live in a part of NY where it is diffcult in the winter months to get good salmon at a good price, I take 2 Omega 3 plus Flaxseed Oil supplements per day. Benefits?  Omega 3's found in the fish can help keep the following diseases away:  heart disease, arthritis, joint pain, lupus, stroke, high blood pressure, and depression. AND!  I can personally testify that since taking the Omega 3's, I have had less joint pain as a PMS symptom. (Working out with weights helps with this too)
  3. BEANS!  All kinds of legumes are good for you.  Try adding black beans to homemade chili or soups or serve over whole grain rice on a tortilla with other fresh veggies.  Beans are naturally low in fat and an excellent source of fiber and protein (much better source than beef). Benefits? Beans have protective effects against heart disease and breast cancer. Beans can also play a role in helping to stabilize female hormones! What are some legumes? Peas, beans, peanuts, and lentils.  These foods also aid in cardiovascular health and can lower pms symptoms and other menopause symptoms. If you are still in your child-bearing years, beans are a natural source of folic acid.
  4. TOMATOES,WATERMELON, RED GRAPEFRUIT, RED NAVAL ORANGES! These should be consumed 3-5 times per week.  These foods are high in lycopene!  (good for men, too!). The benefits include: helps to decrease breast cancer risk, and contains antioxidants to help ward off heart disease. Some of the latest research is showing that it can help with protection from UV rays from the sun. (but you should still use sunscreen!)
  5. VITAMIN D FORTIFIED SKIM MILK OR ORANGE JUICE!  Women in their child-bearing years should be drinking milk.  This was difficult for me as I am NOT a milk drinker!  So...I had to force my self to drink milk during both pregnancies. My ob/gyn told me I had to drink at least 2% for my first pregnancy as I was very thin, and for my 2nd pregnancy I was allowed to switch to skim.  I have only had skim milk (usually in coffee or on cereal or when baking/cooking) for 13 years now.  The benefits to drinking milk are for the calcium and vitamin D. Because I am not a milk drinker, my doctor has now informed me that I MUST take 2 Calcium supplements of 600 mg a day with the Vitamin D added.  I have no problem going out in the sun so I can also get some Vitamin D that way as well. Vitamin D has the potential of preventing up to one half of all the breast, colon, and ovarian cancers in the United States! (info taken from WebMD)
  6. BERRIES!  Any or all of the following berries are an excellent choice as a natural anti-cancer nutrient source:  raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and cranberries.  These berries contain something called anthocyans which aid in cell repair. They can actually decrease the risk of breast and gastrointestinal cancers. They are also high in Vitamin C which is helpful for women of all ages, especially if you are still planning on having babies! The berries help protect against urinary tract infections and helps your vision!  They also are chock-full of antioxidants that help ward off heart disease and keeps your skin young. I use berries in a variety of recipes and I will be featuring some of those recipes under my faithfixes label or under this label, Nutrition Nuggets. Berries are an excellant choice for keeping colds away (as is grapefruit).  If eating berries with skim milk, don't be tempted to add sugar!  Berries are naturally sweet (other than cranberries).  Cranberries can be added to cereals, oatmeal, muffin mixes, and certain chicken dishes. I will be featuring berry recipes throughout the summer.

Other super foods that are good for people of all ages:

Oatmeal (top with one of the berry choices!)
Ground Flaxseed (check with your doctor first)
Brown Rice

Start trying some, or all, of these super foods and let me know how you feel!!

Do you eat any of these items....what is your favorite way to prepare beans or fish?  Please share in the comment section and your answer might be featured in a future post!


Anonymous said...

Hi Faith, so excited you're talking about this topic. I had my last child at 40 and he's 12 now and I'm really not sure where I'm at in menopause. But I know my diet needs adjusting...and I love fish! But I really don't know of many different ways of fixing it. I normally bake it (either white fish or salmon) with a few scant pats of butter, a little fresh lemon juice squeezed on it and either fresh dill or dry sprinkled on. Then I serve it with either brown rice or baked potato and a vegetable, usually broccoli.

Faith said...

Rosie: There are so many good marinades for salmon! One that is really nice is this: take about 1/4 c. of olive oil and place in a shaker bottle that has a good top. Add about 2 tsp of basil, parsley and minced garlic. Shake. Then add about 1/4 c. of lemon juice. Shake again. Pour over salmon and let marinade in fridge for about 30-60 minutes. Grill it on medium heat on a gas grill for about 10 min. Add a dash of paprika and lemon slices just before serving. enjoy!! You can tell where you are in menopause by if you have regular periods or not. If you are still having regular periods you are still in peri-menopause. check with your ob/gyn for hormone levels.

Susanne said...

I need to find a good low fat yogurt available around here that I would like. I usually avoid them because in order to make them taste better after removing the fat they fill them chock full of sugar free sweetners and I find them sickeningly sweet.

I already love most of the other stuff on the list. But I'm wondering why check with your doctor before adding flaxseed?

Faith said...

I'm not sure... but I read to check with your doctor before flaxseed oil mixed with omega 3s. Mine said the omegas with the flaxseed oil is fine but a friend of mine asked her doc and was told not to take too many (as in no more than 2 a day even tho the bottle says you can take 3).

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Faith, for the info and the great marinade for the salmon...I'll be sure to try!