• Mindful eating for weight loss

    If you are trying to maintain your weight or lose some weight, mindful eating is very important, especially when we are dealing with hormonal fluctuations in midlife, perimenopause, or menopause.

    Mindful eating for weigh loss in menopause and perimenopause

    Imagine yourself eating a super healthy dish full of nutrients and veggies really, truly, yummy. Sounds awesome, right? Yes, that meal will be amazing. Visualize yourself there, how is the décor, how is the environment, how are you eating (slow, fast)?

    Now add to that a little drama, such as a very noisy environment, you checking messages on social media on your phone, an unpleasant conversation, a lot of soda or wine drinking, worry feelings or just watching TV and not paying attention to the food, just walking around while eating thinking about something else.

    You get the idea. Mindful eating is precisely the contrary of that. And it has many benefits to your physical and mental health.

    What is mindful eating?

    Eating mindfully is enjoying your food and the act of eating. Mindful eating is, in a nutshell, eating with all your senses and at least most of your focused attention. It is paying attention to your food and your body’s reaction to the food and the environment.

    Mindful eating for weigh loss in menopause and perimenopause

    Why is mindful eating important to maintain or lose weight?

    You probably have read that eating in front of the TV makes you fat. The reason is that when we are distracted we don’t pay attention to our body’s reaction and we don’t realize when we get full. In other words, we eat mindlessly.

    Let’s see some of the reasons to eat mindfully if we want to maintain or lose weight during perimenopause and menopause.

    • If you pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite, you will slow down naturally. As you know, the brain is slow to get the message from the stomach “stop eating, I am full.”
    • You will chew your food more. This helps to have better digestion and better nutrient absorption. When we have the nutrients we need, that it helps you to control cravings and avoid illnesses and hormonal imbalance.
    • You will enjoy your food. This will help you to eat less and control cravings
    • You will be in more control over portions
    • You will drink less liquid. When you chew your food, you have more saliva and you need less liquids. Excess liquids interfere with digestion.
    • You will be conscious of the quantities you are eating as well as the foods you are eating.
    • You will be happier. This is enough reason to eat mindfully. Your emotions affect your hormones, this will help you with hormonal balance and better digestion.

    How to eat mindfully for weight loss?

    There are no hard dos and don’ts, the following are only guidelines to eat more mindfully. Eating mindfully is not difficult, but in our culture we have gotten used to eating fast and while doing something else. Here are some tips to eat mindfully.

    1- Sit down at the table to eat

    This is the reason we have dining tables. Hopefully the table and the environment will be clutter free and peaceful. If you make eating a ritual, you will enjoy your food more and eat more mindfully.

    2- Lower the noise

    It is best to eat in relative silence, meaning no TVs, no cell phones, no loud music. If there is conversation, it should be a nice, easy topic. Of course this is not always possible but you can try to minimize what is in your control.

    3- Chew and chew a little more

    We don’t have teeth in our stomach, the more we chew the less the stomach works. In other words, the easier and faster is our digestion. This allows for faster elimination and more nutrient absorption. It also slows us down and we get full with less food.

    4- Don’t drink too much

    We are not talking alcohol, but all liquids. In natural medicine, we believe that drinking large amounts of liquids interferes with digestion.

    5- Enjoy your food

    Try to eat with all your senses. Look at your food, smell it and observe the textures and colors. After that you can put the first bite in your mouth and enjoy it.

    Mindful eating for weigh loss in menopause and perimenopause

    6- Give thanks

    Grace is a beautiful word. Give grace or thanks for your food and for that moment. Read stress and weight

    7- Make it special

    Avoid eating while walking or driving even if you are eating something small. Multitasking is a bad idea in everything. While eating you are going to eat more and not really enjoy your food.

    Avoid eating while watching TV or looking at your cell phone. This is especially difficult for most people, but I least you can try to put more attention on your food. Try to limit your time on the phone and turn off the TV.

    Try to avoid eating in a hurry. It is not always possible but avoid it to the max, for some people this is a habit and it is a habit that makes you anxious and contributes to weight gain.

    8- Avoid guilt

    Many people, especially the ones who count calories or fat grams can feel guilty when eating. Don’t, it doesn’t help, give thanks for your food and eat with gusto. Once you have decided to eat a certain food, just enjoy it or don’t eat it, but don’t overthink it.

    If you feel guilty or you feel that you should be eating better, just plan for better the next time, but enjoy the present.

    9- Be present

    This is the heart of mindful eating. Don’t let your mind wander or get lost in conversation or social media. When eating, your focus is your food and the act of feeding your body.

    Should you try mindful eating?

    It is easy, it is free, and it is effective. It will help you to be healthier, skinnier and happier and it will help you balance your hormones and prevent illnesses. I think it is worth trying it. It is a gift to yourself and one of the highest forms of self-care.

    Can you lose weight with mindful eating?

    Let’s be honest, someone can practice mindful eating and eat large amounts and that will not be helpful, but in general mindful eating helps us eat less. Once we start mindful eating it is easier to pick healthier dishes and control cravings and those are habits that will result in weight loss and help us with hormonal balance.

    Do you eat mindfully?

    Learn more about how to thrive in menopause and recover your body and your health. Read about my program, the same steps I use with private clients: BLISS in Menopause

  • Healthy habits for life

    Do you want to sleep more, be more organized, eat healthier, drink more water, drink less soda, less alcohol, etc.? Changing habits is not easy for most people.

    Healthy habits for life in midlife

    Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

    When it comes to habits, most of us are old dogs and some people think that the older we get the more difficult it is to develop new habits. That is not my experience, people of all ages can learn new habits, if they want to.

    There are zillions of books on how to change your habits. They all have good advice, but not all advice works for everybody. There are books about different styles, different techniques, etc. What I have found is that what matters when we want to acquire healthier habits is:

    • Do you really want to do it?
    • Put systems in place

    If you want to eat healthier, workout, have a strict morning routine, control stress, etc. you really have to nail down your WHY.

    Why should you do it?

    Why do you want the results offered by healthier habits? We don’t want healthier habits, we want the results of healthier habits.

    We want to sleep more because it has health benefits such as: more concentration, it makes us happier, more productive, skinnier etc.
    We want to eat healthier because: we want to be healthier, control our blood pressure, blood sugar, look skinnier, put less pressure on our knees etc. and why do we want those effects? Because we want more energy to do what we want to do. We don’t want to spend money, time and effort going to the doctor, taking a zillion pills, lowering our quality of life, we don’t want aches and pains, we want to avoid the “side” effects of drugs etc. We want to keep our bodies young and strong.

    Find the root, why do you want healthier habits

    You have to nail it down, go to the root. For example: I want to lose 10 pounds. Why? Because I will look and feel better. Why will you want to feel and look better? Because I will feel happier and be healthier. Why do you want to feel happier and healthier? Because I want to be there for my children when they need me, I don’t want to be sick and become a liability.

    OK, that is your why. Your why is your children and your future self. That is huge. That is not feel better and look better as you initially thought. Now you have something tangible. Every time you don’t want to work out, picture your kids and you will feel the energy to workout at least a few minutes even when you don’t want to do it.

    If you have a strong why, you will have a strong will

    Sometimes you are going to discover that you don’t have a strong why for something and it will be your decision to do it or not. For example, running a marathon. It is mostly a badge of honor, but for some people it is about self-determination. This is something optional in life, but your health is not optional.

    how to create healthy habits

    Put your habit changing systems in place

    Now that you know your why you are totally convinced that you have to do it, then comes another important part: put your systems in place. Without systems it becomes difficult to change a habit. These are tips that help a lot of my clients:

    Begin with the end in mind.

    What is the goal? Imagine yourself at the end, how will you feel? Savor that moment, keep it in your mind.

    Plan the way.

    Every goal needs to be divided in small steps to measure success. When are you going to do it, how are you going to do it.

    For example, you plan to eat a healthier lunch, maybe a salad, but you don’t really like salads. What else can you eat? Instead can you bring soup and a healthier sandwich from home? You want to eat healthier snacks, you need to plan it, and in most places the snacks are not healthy.

    You want to sleep more. How can you do it? What do you need to do in order to go to bed earlier?

    Invest in yourself

    Invest time and put resources on it if you need to. Maybe an online fitness membership to workout at home, maybe once a month a meal delivery service or menu planning service, maybe a personal trainer, a health coach (contact me), maybe a life coach, a new pair of sneakers, a yoga class, etc. However be careful, as you know most people who buy gym memberships almost never go to the gym.

    Make it easy

    For example workout at lunch time, if you plan to work out in the morning leave everything ready the night before. If you plant to thoroughly clean your teeth, allow time for it, don’t wait until you are sleepy and tired.

    Take the path of least resistance

    Some people complicate their lives looking for exotic solutions. To start with something, do the easiest thing you can do.

    If you want to be fitter, move more in your daily life don’t wait to have everything you need to go to that famous Barre class. If you want to eat healthier, start by drinking more water and eating more vegetables don’t wait to find out which is the perfect diet for you.

    My niece and a friend wanted to do yoga. The friend spend a year reading about yoga, my niece started to do it right away with youtube videos. The friend goes to classes once in a while, my niece has been doing yoga at home few times a week since the first conversation. Guess who is better at yoga and fitter.

    Doing something always beats thinking about something. You know the term paralysis by analysis, this is a problem for me and for many people. Sometimes it is better to go Nike “Just do it”

    Don’t fear failure

    There is no bigger failure than never trying

    Make time

    We all have 24 hours a day. There is that saying, an activity stretches itself to the time allowed. We can limit the time of some activities in order to do others. We can also prioritize, for example no social media until this or that gets done.

    For some people the problem is not time, it is energy. In order to have energy you need good nutrition, sleep well, and have less stress.

    Eat the frog

    This means do what you dread more first thing in the morning. That way it will be out of the way and you will not be thinking about it.

    Be realistic

    You are wonderful, but you aren’t perfect. Life is beautiful, but it isn’t perfect. Always plan for more time, more effort and more energy than you think you will need. If you don’t do it you may be putting unnecessary stress on yourself and it will be more difficult to reach your goals.

    Find joy in the journey

    Life is a journey and the joy is in living that journey. Be present as much as you can and just smile at life. Tomorrow you can try again. Always be kind to yourself.

  • August self-care challenge

    Join me for this fun summer challenge. It is super easy self-care challenge to help us relax. You can join the Facebook group or follow our page to comment and tell me and the other members how you are doing .

    30 day self care challenge for women

    The only rule in self care is say no to perfection, be kind to yourself. Summer is wonderful and it goes by so quickly, sometimes even planning fun activities can be stressful, so let’s chill together.

    self care challenge for middle age women.
    Self care challenge for women

  • 7 Awesome self-care activities for perimenopause and menopause

    What comes to mind when you hear the word menopause, perimenopause and post-menopause? Old age, becoming old? Illness? Goddess time? Rebirth? Renew? Another female time? Hot flashes? Mood issues? What about self-care?

    self care for menopause and perimenopause

    What if you could use self-care or self-loving activities, to combat some of the most common perimenopause symptoms and develop a more loving relationship with our bodies. During this special time we for sure need an extra dose of self-care. Self-care can come in many forms. The activities I suggest here are to address some of the worst premenopausal and menopausal symptoms and they are easy, cheap, and fun.

    Do a happy list

    What activities make you happy? Do you like to paint, to sing, to sew, to garden, to ….? Think back to your childhood and develop a list of the activities that make you happy. This is for you, not for anybody else; it doesn’t matter if your kids or partner don’t like them. The cheesy phrase “do more of what makes you happy” is true and effective.

    self care for menopause and perimenopause

    Pick some of them and try to do them. You have to write them down on your calendar and make them happen. If money is an issue, look for cheaper ways; if time is an issue, look for shorter activities; if energy level is an issue, try less tiring activities.

    How will this help you? It increases good hormones and lowers stress. Less stress is less hot flashes and more sleep. Good hormones is more energy and happiness, less depression, sensitivity and irritability.

    Discover your inner dancer

    My favorite dance is belly dance. It can be hard on your knees, so it may need modifications in midlife. Dance is a great exercise and happiness booster during perimenopause and menopause. Dancing makes us feel sexy and feminine. Some women tend to let their femininity go down with age and responsibilities. It is important to keep our femininity up, because that is part of our power.

    Dance is also exercise. The exercise helps us relax and eliminate toxins. Dancing is a powerful, easy therapy for women. Take some dance lessons (it can be free online) and dance.

    There are many women after 40 who join dance groups to develop closer relationships while doing something so pleasant. If you prefer the gym, try Zumba or similar exercises.

    Clear your mind of nocebo

    Nocebo is the evil brother of placebo. In placebo, we believe that something does good to us and it does it, although it is not supposed to. For example, medicine and sugar pills; some people take the sugar pills and get cured because of the placebo effect. It is our minds telling our cells to get healthy.
    Nocebo is the contrary.

    In nocebo, we believe that something has a negative effect in us and it does, although it is not supposed to. For example, if someone gets convinced that she has an allergy to gluten, although that person does not have it, every time she has gluten she gets sick. This is how superstitions also work.

    If we believe that we will suffer hot flashes because it is common for women in their 40s or 50s, we will. Remember common does not mean normal. Hot flashes and other symptoms are not normal even if they are common. Many women like me don’t suffer them. Don’t expect them; your mind is very powerful, if you expect them they will come.

    Every time a negative age or menopause stereotype comes to your mind, negate it with something positive. For instance you can say things like: age is just a number, I am healthy and strong, I love myself, everything is OK, etc. Create your own mantras and repeat them.

    Don’t let books, magazines or websites tell you that you will get sick, that menopause is a terrible time in a women’s life. They are trying to grab your attention and scare you into buying something.

    Track your symptoms

    If you are experiencing any perimenopause symptoms, keep a diary. Write down what you eat, your emotions (example: angry in the morning, sad in the afternoon etc.) and the time and situation the symptom presents itself. This is especially important for hot flashes (or hot flushes, if you are in Europe). If you identify the triggers you can manage them and have less symptoms. Get our free menopause symptoms tracker

    self care for peri menopause and menopause

    Look for good company

    Avoid negative people. Avoid negative talk about aging and menopause. Don’t hang around in websites and forums discussing symptoms (remember, nocebo is powerful). Look for positive, uplifting company in real life, online and in books and media.

    Elect the positive

    Listen to your inner dialogue and try to change negative thoughts with positive or neutral ones. Worry and stress create addiction. Avoid becoming an addict to these negative emotions.

    Feel beautiful as you are

    Every time you catch yourself saying something negative about your body, change it to something positive.

    Love yourself

    The media is telling us to hate ourselves, because we are not … skinny enough, rich enough, elegant enough, sexy enough, strong enough, etc. Reject these negative manipulations. They only do it so you buy their products. Remember fear sells.

    I hope I gave you food for thought and you can implement some of these ideas. You may also enjoy other articles on the self-care topic: 7 Day must o self-care challenge

  • Aromatherapy for menopause and perimenopause

    Can you smell something delightful to reduce or eliminate perimenopause and menopause symptoms? I am talking of essential oils and aromatherapy.

    I love essential oils. I started to study aromatherapy in the early 90s, almost 30 years ago. I have used aromatherapy for many conditions and I find it works really well for hormonal and mental balance. These attributes make essential oils perfect to improve some of the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause.

    Aromatherapy for menopause and perimenopause

    Why aromatherapy for perimenopause and menopause?

    There are many essential oils that can help us during this time. This is in part because aromatherapy is very good at lowering stress and promoting joy. By lowering stress, our estrogens are available to fulfill their role instead of helping to keep cortisol in the body.

    Those preserved estrogens will help in many aspects, including to sleep well, avoid hot flashes, keep weight under control and protect the skin and vagina against dryness. (Suggested reading: stress during menopause and perimenopause).

    Promoting joy and wellbeing is another important role of essential oils. Depression, insecurity, irritability, and sadness are very common in women during perimenopause and menopause. These feeling are bad enough, but in addition they can help to trigger other bad symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia and low libido.

    Essential oils with phytoestrogens

    Many aromatherapy experts and fans believe that some essential oils have molecules that have similar effects as sex hormones. There are only small studies on this subject. Only a few essential oils have been found to have a possible phytoestrogen (estrogens from plants) effect; these oils are geranium and rose otto. However there are studies proving that certain essential oils alleviate the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. With or without phytoestrogens, essential oils are still very effective.

    Which are the best essential oils for menopause and perimenopause?
    There are two ways to approach this question. We can treat specific symptoms or use oils to balance hormones.

    Essential oils for hormonal balance

    Essential oils for hormonal balance


    There are a few small studies suggesting that geranium has an estrogenic effect on the body and it helps to balance hormones. I have noticed that when people have too much estrogen they tend to dislike geranium, finding it too strong, too floral or too sweet. Maybe it is a natural body response to avoid more estrogen. During menopause and perimenopause we normally need more estrogen, so it works very well.

    Geranium has many other properties and benefits including reducing stress and improving blood circulation.

    Rose otto

    I could write a book describing this marvelous oil. Imagine holding sixty beautiful roses on your hands, picked for you at dawn, so they are at their peak. Imagine the incredible aroma and the lavish, delicate beauty of these flowers. Imagine how many bushes it took to produce those roses. From all these 60 roses it is said that one precious drop of essential oil will be produced, that’s right one, uno, eins.

    This oil is the stuff of legends, from queens in biblical times to the Maharanis of India. It is one of the most expensive oils and one of the most adulterated ones, it is difficult to buy the real thing.

    Ok, back to menopause and perimenopause. Rose otto may be estrogenic, this will help increase our estrogens and alleviate some menopausal symptoms. It has been used for a long time as an aphrodisiac. Beyond that it is very powerful for relaxation, happiness, and to induce calm.

    At a spiritual level, rose otto helps to resolve anger, fear, and jealously, and it boosts confidence and happiness. We all can use these benefits.

    Clary sage

    This is the most recommended oil for women’s issues, including perimenopause and menopause. Many people with expertise in aromatherapy believe that it has phytoestrogens, but some experts who have studied the chemistry of the oil believe that that is not accurate. In any case this is a wonderful oil.

    Many studies have confirmed that it is very relaxing, antidepressant, calming, and can produce an almost anesthetic effect. Clary sage oil has been shown to lower blood pressure, relieve anxiety and stress, and boost memory. This will help many menopausal symptoms.

    Other oils

    Other oils commonly used are fennel, cypress, angelica, lavender, peppermint and coriander.

    Beyond hormones

    We can also use essential oils that treat specific issues such lack of sleep, depression, irritability etc.

    A study to lower menopausal symptoms

    There was one study with about 52 women with perimenopause symptoms. The women got massages every day for 8 weeks. Half of the women had massages with essential oils and the other half without essential oils. The women with the essential oils experienced a lot of relief in their symptoms, the other women did not. (I am surprised with this result as I believe both groups should have benefited from stress reduction).

    The oils used during this experiment were:

    4 parts lavender, 2 parts rose geranium, 1 part rose (not clear which type), 1 part jasmine (not clear which type).

    The carrier oils were almond 90% and primrose 10% at a 3% concentration of essential oils.

    For people not used to essential oil preparation this is a more of a do-it-yourself recipe that I prepared for you if you want to try it.

    Massage oil for menopause and perimenopause symptoms

    You will need a 4 ounce (120 ml) bottle to store the oil
    Carrier oil
    3 ounces (90 ml) almond oil
    1 ounce (30 ml) primrose oil

    Essential oils (EO)

    • 36 drops lavender EO
    • 18 drops rose geranium EO
    • 9 drops of rose EO
    • 9 drops of jasmine EO

    Mix the essential oils separately, let them settle for a few minutes and add it to the carrier oils. You have now got your massage oil.


    Aromatherapy is without a doubt a good solution to treat perimenopause and menopause symptoms. It is easy to access and normally without side effects. The essential oils can be used in personal care products, inhalers and in diffusers and burners. You can use essential oils to treat specific symptoms or to balance hormones. Get our free menopause symptoms tracker

  • Favorites this week

    This is my collection of interesting things that I read, watched, ate, smelled, tried during the week, and that I think they are so good I have to share them with you. If you have your favorites leave a comment and share them.


    The Sinus Cure
    This is the newest version of an interesting old book. For allergy suffers, or people who suffer nasal congestion, the book offers interesting tips. The author is a MD who worked mostly as a functional doctor. I do not share all the opinions with the author, but I think it has some good advice when it comes to nutrients to treat sinus infections. I want to clear my sinus and there are no effective medical treatments, so I am hopping I can find something natural. This book was a first step in that direction.

    weekly favorites


    La Tribu
    If you want to have a good laugh, this is a great choice. I am into comedy and laughs lately, it was one of my New Year resolutions. This Spaniard comedy, La Tribu, is super funny. I am new to standup comedy and I am also loving some old stand up comics such as: Trevor Noah and Ali Wong.


    I am loving Tory Burch Bel Azur. It is a very refreshing, but sophisticated fragrance. Maybe it is more summer than spring, but still wonderful for this time.

    weekly favorites


    Viceart mini palette eye shadows. Viceart has an amazing quality. The fall out is minimal, they blend beautifully, and the colors are highly pigmented. Their prices are very high and this small eight color palette sold in Sephora offers a lot of value. It is a very warm palette with four matte colors and four shiny ones. I took it with me to Europe because of its size and versatility and it delivered.

    Skin care

    I tried a new sunblock, Anthelios 60 by La Roche-Posay. It is a favorite of many magazine editors and I understand the reason. It spreads easily, it does not leave a residue, tackiness or color on the skin. It did not cause me any irritation and it held well under the foundation. If you do not have problems with a chemical sun block this is a good product. I prefer a physical sunscreen and for that reason I will not continue using it. I wish I could find the same quality in a physical sunblock. However a few reviewers are saying that with heat it turns yellow on the skin, it did not happen to me, but the weather is pretty cold here.

    making bread


    My husband and I are into the Great British Baking Show and it was one of my goals to start baking bread this year. Oh well, he started to bake ahead of me and we have been eating a lot of awesome homemade bread. I got two books from the library and we have been trying a lot of recipes including pop-overs, I used to love them in the Neiman Marcus’ café and now I can make them at home.


    Days are getting longer and it is time to spring-clean. I am getting ready to celebrate this wonderful season and Easter. I have a list of activities I want to do and cool new things to try. Did you read my 20 ideas for health and beauty in spring?

    How was your week?

    Photos by Nadya Spetnitskaya Melissa Walker Horn on Unsplash