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5 WAYS TO BEAT THE HEAT WITH SMARTS & STYLE

5 WAYS TO BEAT THE HEAT WITH SMARTS & STYLE

Summer can be hot enough without hot flashes, and when you add them to the mix, it can feel downright sweltering. But with a few smart and stylish habit changes, you can find yourself cooler and just might discover a new favorite workout routine or wardrobe addition. Check out our five simple ways to stay cool during the hottest days of the year.


1. Slip Into Something Breathable

When it comes to summer fashion, you can stay looking hot, but dress cool. Free-flowing styles made from breathable fabrics are a good place to start. So, for summer staples like tanks, T-shirts, and sundresses, shop for cotton options.

However, if a cotton sundress is a little too casual for an event like a wedding or a summer night out, slip into a more refined linen dress, which is not only a cool option but classic one. Accessorize it with a belt of your choice for a breezy, beautiful look. Also, be sure to round out your wardrobe rotation with other pieces like chiffon broomstick skirts, balloon-sleeve blouses, and crochet tops for a look that’s both on trend and temperature-friendly.

2. Switch to Water Workouts

If the summer heat is making you feel sluggish and not motivated to work out and sweat even more than you already are, try switching up your workouts to incorporate some pool time. Not only will the cool water feel great, but swimming laps and other water workouts can provide both a cardio workout and resistance training that’s great for bone health.

3. Grab a Cool-Me-Down Pick-Me-Up

If you need a cup of hot coffee or tea to get going in the morning or pick you up in the afternoon, you could find that it not only peps you up but heats you up too. However, by switching to a glass of smooth and refreshing cold brew coffee or iced tea, you can keep your daily ritual and keep your cool.

It’s simple to make a week’s worth of either cold brew coffee or iced tea and keep it cold and ready in your fridge. And for an extra cool sip, try making ice cubes out of your brew. That way when the summer heat starts to melt your ice, your drink won’t get watered down. Just remember to keep an eye on your caffeine intake—cold brew coffee often contains more caffeine than regular coffee.

4. Make the Bed You Want to Lie 

Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean the heat does. For a cool, comfortable night of sleep, make your bed with breathable cotton sheets and for extra heat relief try a cooling gel mattress cover and pillow.

If you have a ceiling fan in your room, set it to rotate counter-clockwise to blow cool air down on you. And if you don’t have a ceiling fan, you can create a cooling crosswind by directing a fan to blow out of a room or window, with another fan across the room directing air toward the first fan.

5. Get to the Pulse Points

For a more direct way to cool down quickly, try cooling your body at your pulse points, where your blood vessels are closest to your skin. You’ll find them on your ankles, neck, elbows, and the backs of your knees.1 Apply a cool, damp cloth or a cold compress to one or more of these points, and you’ll be able to bring down your internal temperature more effectively.


Sources

1Nursecore. Keeping Cool This Summer. Version current 10 August 2012. Internet: http://www.nursecore.com/2012/08/keeping-cool-this-summer/ (accessed 12 December 2018).

SIMPLE WAYS TO CELEBRATE THE SOLSTICE WITH SELF-CARE

SIMPLE WAYS TO CELEBRATE THE SOLSTICE WITH SELF-CARE

You’re probably not planning a trip to Stonehenge or designing a maypole for your backyard, but that doesn’t mean you need to let the longest day of the year go unnoticed. The solstice is a great time to look at refreshing your self-care routine. To help get you started, here are five ways to practice a little extra self-care all summer long.

1. Start your morning with a long walk
During the summer months, it can be difficult to get enough physical activity. Talking yourself into a strenuous workout when the temperatures are in the triple digits isn’t exactly easy. But by taking advantage of the summer’s extra sunlight with an early morning walk, you can beat the heat, enjoy a boost of endorphins, and get a little exercise to boot.

2. Meditate or practice yoga
Meditation has many benefits for women in menopause—including reducing anxiety and improving sleep quality. (For more on the benefits of meditation, check out 5 Ways to Naturally Manage Menopause Symptoms.) And your body will see those benefits no matter if you prefer a sedentary practice or a more active one, like yoga. In 2014, The United Nations declared June 21 the International Day of Yoga.1 And many yoga studios and community centers host special solstice practices to celebrate. Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced yogi, taking to the mat is a great way to practice self-care throughout the summer.

3. Tend (or start) your garden
Vitamin D plays a vital role in bone health, and the summer months are a great time to get some. Regularly setting aside a little time to tend to your garden allows you to take care of your plants and yourself at the same time. If you haven’t started your garden yet, it’s not too late. Annuals like impatiens and sunflowers grow well over the summer months, as do herbs like basil and sage and vegetables like squash and zucchini.

4. Set intentions
It’s been nearly six months since those New Year’s resolutions were made, and now is a great time to pause and take stock. Think about the steps you’ve taken and the goals you’ve made so far this year and think about what you’d like to accomplish next. This isn’t a time to beat yourself up over all of the things you haven’t done. It’s a time to celebrate the ones you have and set your sights on the ones you will.

5. Dinner alfresco
Whether it’s a picnic in the park or a full-blown garden party, the summer months are a great time to dine outdoors. Call up a friend or two (or three or four) and make plans to take advantage of the lingering sunlight in a way that suits your style. (If you’re looking for a few new, hot-weather-friendly recipes to add to your repertoire, check out 3 Summer Recipes for Making Menopause-Friendly Meals.) After successfully refreshing your self-care routine, it’s important to remember that celebrating your accomplishments is an accomplishment in itself.

Sources

1United Nations General Assembly. Resolution 69/131. International Day of Yoga. A/RES/69/131 11 December 2014. Internet: http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/69/131 (accessed 6 December 2018).

3 Nutritious Recipes to Beat the Summer Heat

3 Nutritious Recipes to Beat the Summer Heat

It’s no surprise that clean eating can help you manage menopause weight gain. But did you know that there are other ways clean eating helps support your body throughout menopause too? An Australian study of 6,000 menopausal women found that those who stuck to a Mediterranean-style diet reported fewer hot flashes and night sweats.1 So, to help you get ready for all of this season’s backyard barbeques and picnics in the park, here are three summer recipes that are packed with the nutrients your body needs and the excitement your senses want.


1. Crunchy Vegetarian Spring Rolls

These colorful little spring rolls aren’t just clean, they’re filled with many of the nutrients your body needs during menopause. The spinach in this recipe brings calcium and magnesium to the table—two nutrients that are important for supporting bone health.

The avocado adds biotin to the mix, which helps your body manage the hair and nail brittleness that often comes with menopause. And the peanut dipping sauce packs in the protein—something that’s especially important during perimenopause, when your body is at risk of muscle loss.

Pro tip: Assembling the spring rolls too far in advance might cause the rice paper to dry out. However, the veggies can be chopped, and the sauce can be made and refrigerated a day in advance to cut down on prep time. Just be sure to bring the dipping sauce up to room temperature before serving.


Spring Roll Ingredients:

  • 20 rice papers, 9 inches in diameter
  • 8 oz. maifun rice noodles
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups alfalfa, broccoli, or clover sprouts

Peanut Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1–2 medium garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Instructions:

  1. Combine all peanut dipping sauce ingredients—except for the green onions—in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth. Garnish with green onions.
  2. Bring a 2-quart saucepan of water to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook for 1 minute until the noodles are pliable, but not yet falling apart. Drain and rinse with cold water.  
  3. Assemble the spring rolls one at a time. Submerge a rice paper in a shallow bowl of water until it bends easily (about five seconds). Move the rice paper to a dry plate and load the center with rice noodles and a small amount of each veggie. Fold the left and right sides of the rice paper in toward the center before rolling the rice paper from bottom to top to create a nice, tight spring roll. Repeat with the remaining 19 rice papers.
  4. Cut each spring roll in half and arrange in a single layer on a serving platter. Serve with dipping sauce on the side.


2. Zesty Kidney Bean Salad

Kidney beans are one of the best plant-based sources of calcium, and they happen to pack a punch of magnesium too. But they’re not the only things that make this salad great. The tomatoes in this recipe are a great source of lycopene, a key carotenoid with antioxidant activity. And the cilantro tops off the dish with some vitamin A—which helps support the immune system during menopause and beyond.2 If you’re looking for a side dish that’s as powerful as it is pretty, you can’t go wrong with this recipe.

Pro tip: Tossing the salad with dressing and keeping it in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving allows the veggies to soak in more of the dressing’s zesty flavors.


Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes (preferably orange), chopped
  • ½ English cucumber, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. fresh lime juice (about 2 limes worth)
  • 3 oz. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients. Whisk until smooth.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients. Toss with dressing. Serve at room temperature.


3. Savory Salmon Pilaf With Kasha

There are some pretty good reasons salmon is called a superfood. It delivers omega 3-s for heart health; vitamin D for bone health; vitamin B12 for cellular energy; and biotin for skin, hair, and nail health—all in one savory little package. As if that weren’t enough, this recipe rounds out its nutritional content with kasha (dried buckwheat), which is rich in calcium, iron, and protein.  

Pro tip: Kasha can often be found in the rice aisle of the grocery store or through online retailers.

Kasha Ingredients:

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup kasha

Pilaf Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • ½ cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
  • 12 oz. cooked salmon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Begin preparing the kasha by bringing the broth, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the egg and add the kasha, turning to coat. Cook the egg mixture in a skillet set over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until the egg is cooked through (2–3 minutes). Add the kasha to the boiling broth, cover, and simmer for 7–10 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.
  2. Begin preparing the pilaf by heating the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and vegetables and sauté until the produce is tender (approximately 5 minutes). Add the salmon and cook until heated through.
  3. Add the kasha to the pilaf, season with salt and pepper, and stir until well mixed. Serve warm.   

Sources:

1Herber-Gast GC, Mishra G. Fruit, Mediterranean-style, and high-fat and -sugar diets are associated with the risk of night sweats and hot flushes in midlife: results from a prospective cohort study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2013;97(5):1092–1099. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.112.049965.

2National Institutes of Health Offices of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin A Fact Sheet for Consumers. Version current 5 June 2013. Internet: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-Consumer/ (accessed 11 December 2018).