Natural Ways to Reduce Symptoms of Menopause

Most women enter menopause between the ages of 40-50.

Some symptoms that they may start to notice are a change in frequency of blood flow (menstrual periods), irritability, hot flashes, night sweats emotional swings, headaches, depression, insomnia, loss of sex drive and weight changes.

A poor diet, increased emotional stress and lack of exercise will worsen menopausal symptoms.

Optimal Diet: fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains, poultry, eggs, milk products and cold-pressed oils. Foods to avoid are sugar, refined flour products, cured meats, fried foods and chemicals.

Osteoporosis is a concern with women entering and going through menopause because bone loss may start to occur. Osteoporosis is the loss of bone density, bone minerals and bone strength and there is no easy way to notice early warning signs.

To be proactive and prevent bone loss from occurring, start with a good diet and exercise that includes a little muscle building with weights. Some examples of exercise include walking, biking, swimming, golf or tennis.

Nutrients and herbs to help with specific menopausal symptoms:

Hot Flashes, Irritability and Night Sweats:
Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, the herb “motherwort”

Insomnia and Irritability:
The herb, “valerian root”

Aiding Sleep, Lessening Depression and Food Cravings:
The amino acid “L-tryptophan”

Muscle and Back Pains or Cramps:
Calcium and Magnesium

Support Thyroid Function:
Kelp tablets

This information is for informational purposes only and not to be considered as medical advice. This information is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat, or cure any medical condition. Statements should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice from a licensed physician. It is recommended to consult with your physician before implementing any dietary or lifestyle changes.

Fudgey Brownies

Ingredients:
– 2 sweet potatoes (peeled, cubed and steamed)
– 1 cup almond flour
– 1 cup oats
– 5 medjool dates
– 5 tbsp Dutch processed cocoa
– 3 tbsp coconut oil
– 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax whisked with 3 tbsp warm water and left to sit for 5 min)
– 1 tsp vanilla

Method:
Mix all ingredients in the food processor and then pour into a parchment-lined 9×13” pan and bake at 350 for 15 minutes!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are to die for… and the best part is, they are actually pretty good for you!

They are gluten-free and dairy-free and made with wholesome ingredients. The best part is they are made with coconut palm sugar which doesn’t spike your blood sugar like regular white sugar does. Coconut palm sugar is rich in vitamins, minerals and contains 16 amino acids. As with any sugar, it’s best to use it sparingly, but it’s a much better alternative!

Okay, now for the recipe!

I like to simplify recipes as much as possible because then it makes me want to make it again. For these cookies, I use just one bowl, whip it all up and then use a cookie scoop which makes quick and equal dough balls.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¾ cup coconut palm sugar (I get mine in the natural foods section at Independent)
  • 6 tablespoons natural almond butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt (or sea salt)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate mini chips

Method:

Beat together coconut oil, coconut sugar, almond butter, vanilla, and egg, then stir in almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips. Spoon heaping tablespoons of dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes. Try not to eat the whole pan! 😛

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Chocolate Pie

Protein-packed and very low in sugar. I could seriously eat all of this to myself!

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 c nut of choice (I used almonds)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Caramel Layer

  • 10 Medjool dates, pitted, soaked in boiling water for 10 min and then drained
  • 3 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp almond butter

Pie Filling

  • 1 pkg organic firm tofu
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 12 oz melted dark chocolate chips

Instructions:

Blend ingredients of each layer separately in food processor or blender and press into springform pan lined with parchment paper. No need to clean blender in between layers! After the pie filling layer, I drizzled the leftover chocolate and crushed some peanuts on top. Freeze for about an hour or refrigerate overnight. Let sit at room temperature before serving. You are probably sceptical of the tofu layer but TRUST, it’s so good!!!🍫🥜🥥

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Vegan Lasagna

Traditional lasagna has sauce, meat, noodles and cheese, so you’re probably thinking that there’s no way that a lasagna without meat or dairy could taste any good – think again!

I tried out this recipe with some friends who are meat and cheese lovers and it was a hit!

Try it for yourself!

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat oven ready lasagna noodles
  • 2 jars of good quality pasta sauce (I like PC Organics)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 packages of mushrooms
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 package extra-firm tofu
  • 1 cup of hummus
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Chop up your onions, mushrooms and spinach and sauté with extra virgin olive oil. (Tip: I like to put everything into the food processor so it’s very finely chopped before I start cooking. This is especially helpful if you are serving this to picky eaters and you want to disguise the veggies!)
  2. While the onions, mushrooms and spinach are cooking, prepare the “tofu ricotta”. First, crumble the block of tofu, then add in hummus, nutritional yeast and garlic powder. It should have the consistency of ricotta cheese.
  3. Time to layer! In a 9×13 glass pan, layer: pasta sauce, oven ready noodles, ricotta, veggies, and repeat! Make sure your last layer is sauce that covers the noodles evenly or else you will end up with crunchy noodles on top. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and a few pieces of chopped spinach.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 45 minutes and then remove and cook uncovered for an additional 10 minutes. If you insert your fork into the dish, the noodles should be soft.
  5. Let sit for a few minutes before enjoying. I love preparing this dish on Sundays and then eating it for lunches or dinners throughout the week. To reheat: bake in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 large butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger (grated)
  • 2 containers of veggie broth (2 x 900mL)
  • 3/4 cup original unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if you like a kick!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Slice the squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, coat with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place flesh down on a roasting pan and roast for approximately 30 minutes or until skin begins to brown and the squash is fork tender.
  2. Sauté the onions in a large pot over medium heat in olive oil with the ginger and garlic until the onions become translucent. Once the onions are cooked, you can turn off the heat and let them sit until your squash is ready.
  3. Once your squash is cooked, remove from oven and scoop out the squash from the skin. Add squash to the large pot along with 2 containers of veggie broth.
  4. Also add in almond milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, sea salt, ground black pepper and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add mixture to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Be sure to keep the vent open and be careful as the soup will be very hot! I like to use a ladle to transfer the soup to the blender and blend in 2 batches as this recipe makes a lot of soup!
  6. Once your soup is blended, you are ready to enjoy! It can be stored in the fridge for about a week.

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Healthy Twix Bites

Ingredients:

  • 15 medjool dates (pitted)
  • 1 bar of dark chocolate
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • Sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Slowly melt chocolate in the microwave. While you are waiting for chocolate to melt, scoop peanut butter into a piping bag fitted with a small circular tip.
  2. Pipe peanut butter into pitted dates, dip in melted chocolate and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
  3. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and allow to cool in the fridge for about an hour.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

This smoothie is so festive, yet so healthy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  • 2-3 chunks of frozen mango
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • About 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (fill to the top of your ingredients for best consistency)

Instructions:

  1. Blend and enjoy! If your smoothie is too liquid-y, add a couple more mango chunks, and if it’s too thin, add a little more almond milk.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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Guilt-Free Brownies

Sweet potato brownies with avocado cacao ganache! It’s crazy how amazing these taste with such diverse ingredients. They are gluten-free, refined-sugar free and vegan – and so fudgy and delicious! Original recipe from: twistingmymelon on instagram

Ingredients:

For the Brownies:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 medjool dates
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 cup ground almonds (can be substituted for oats)
  • 1 cup oats

For the Ganache:

  • 1 mashed avocado
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter (can be substituted for peanut butter)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Steam or boil the sweet potato until soft and tender. Cut into very small pieces to make this process faster. Then, combine with dates in the food processor.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and blend until very well combined. There should be no chunks, just a smooth batter!
  4. Pour batter into lined baking tray and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. While brownies are cooking, combine all ganache ingredients in food processor. There is no need to wash it in between! Place in fridge until brownies are completely cool.
  6. Spread ganache on brownies and slice into bite-size pieces.

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