After my February period, I decided to stop using the progesterone cream altogether. Instead, I began listening to many of the suggestions I’d been reading and had been offered by people in the health and wellness field:

#1: Stop Having a Smoothie Every Morning. I began drinking berry smoothies with a scoop of Vega One protein and kefir at least a decade ago. Every single morning, with the exception of the weekends (weekends are for waffles), I’d had this smoothie combination. The issue with this is strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries are high in phytoestrogen. And without having any bloodwork done, I found out symptoms of excess estrogen include the following: heavy bleeding, depression/sadness, moodiness, and brain fog. Instead of having a berry smoothie, I now alternate with a bowl of oat bran or a mango-based smoothie.

#2 Include a Few Plant-Based Meals. Because my youngest daughter doesn’t eat meat, our family had already begun incorporating vegetarian meals for dinner. However, after I spoke with Karen Cerezo, she reinforced the idea that some meals should be plant-based. Consequently, I became more intentional about making dishes like vegan coconut curry. Plant-based meals are helpful if you suffer from the bloating that accompanies low progesterone levels.

#3 Drink Less Alcohol. Full disclosure…I used to have four drinks on Friday and four drinks on Saturday. These mostly included those tasty fruit-infused vodka drinks, along with some Simply Made fruit juice. A few years ago, I replaced them with a sugar-free vodka or an organic one (my favorites are Ketel One Botanical Cucumber & Mint and Prairie Organic, Apple, Pear, & Ginger). I also swap out the juice for seltzer water. I imagine this decreases sugar, which also decreases inflammation, which then decreases symptoms, such as hot flashes and insomnia. And I definitely don’t drink wine. Wine is all sugar and no bueno for my menopausal self. Why Alcohol Affects Women More in Menopause does a great job of explaining why women should drink less at this age.

#4 Eat a Variety of Foods. I don’t know about you, but it’s very easy to get into a cooking rut. My husband knows I’m making salmon and some type of curry meal each week. I know he’s gonna grace us with some spaghetti, and if he’s feeling fancy, black bean burgers. Lish Danielle, over at LegitFit LLC suggested women over forty vary their meals. In order to do that, I buy a food magazine. One is 400-Calorie Meals; another is Better Homes & Gardens Mediterranean Diet Recipes. Flipping through (healthy) magazines and trying out a new meal is a great way to introduce different foods into your diet, and most of them are either low-cal, low-carb, or plant-based, so it’s a win-win.

So far, these four shifts have helped tremendously. I’m sleeping soundly at night. I haven’t had any night sweats or hot flashes, and I’ve stopped gaining weight.

April 8, 2021

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