• From Almonds to Wellness: Nut Milk for Menopausal Women

    Are you looking for milk alternatives to eliminate dairy during menopause? Well good news there are some very yummy and nutritious alternatives that you can make at home. In this article we will discuss briefly about the advantages and disadvantages of cow’s milk and alternative milks during menopause, after that I will give some easy recipes to make the alternative milks yourself at home, totally natural and cheaper than the ones you buy in the grocery store. This article is very long so I will divide in three parts: 1 part Which is better cow’s milk or alternative milks. 2 part: Should you go dairy free during menopause 3- Part alternative milk recipes, alternative cream recipe, Nice cream recipe and additional comments.     

    As you know our food takes center stage during menopause. Here is where alternative milks such as almond milk, cashew milk, oats, rice milks and many other come into play. For many women drinking cow’s milk is not healthy, for others is a matter of preference. In any case you can make your own delicious alternative milks at home.

    Advantages and disadvantages of dairy and alternative milks

    As you the movement against consuming cow’s milk or animal’s milk in general is very strong right now. I like to give an objective view of the trade-offs and the benefits of giving up dairy for alternative milks. These benefits are for all dairy products including milk

    Health benefits of dairy

    These benefits are for all dairy products including milk

    • The health benefits of dairy include being a rich source of calcium, essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth, and providing high-quality protein, necessary for tissue repair and immune system support.
    • Dairy products also contain vitamin D, which aids in calcium absorption, and other essential nutrients like potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12.
    • Additionally, the protein and fat content in dairy can contribute to satiety and weight management.
    • Fermented dairy products like yogurt and kefir contain probiotics that promote a healthy gut microbiome.

    Disadvantages of dairy Products during menopause and perimenopause

    • The hormones naturally present in dairy could potentially interfere with hormonal balance during menopause, leading to symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings.
    • Digestive issues such as lactose intolerance or decreased lactase production can cause bloating and discomfort.
    • Dairy consumption has also been linked to inflammation, which may exacerbate joint pain and stiffness during menopause.
    • Some individuals may develop allergies or sensitivities to dairy products, and excessive dairy consumption may not necessarily improve bone health.

    Advantages of alternative milks during menopause

    • Alternative milks offer advantages such as being lactose-free, plant-based, and providing a variety of options for different dietary needs and preferences.
    • Store bought milks can be fortified with essential nutrients, making them comparable or to cow’s milk in terms of nutritional value.
    • Perfect for individuals with dairy allergies or sensitivities to enjoy milk-like beverages
    • Moreover, choosing alternative milks can have environmental sustainability benefits.

    Disadvantages of alternative milks during menopause

    • The nutrient content may vary.
    • People with allergies or sensitivities to specific ingredients used in alternative milks need to be cautious.
    • Most store bought alternative milks may contain additives, stabilizers, or sweeteners, so it’s important to read labels and choose options with minimal additives if desired.
    • Availability and cost may be considerations.
    • The taste and texture of alternative milks can differ from cow’s milk, requiring adjustment.
    • Environmental factors related to farming practices, water resources, and packaging need consideration.

    Most popular alternatives milks

    •  Almond milk: Made from ground almonds and water. It has a slightly nutty flavor and a creamy texture.
    • Soy milk: Derived from soybeans, it is rich in protein. It has a mild taste and is used in beverages and cooking.
    • Oat milk: Made from oats and water. It has a creamy texture and a subtle sweetness.
    • Coconut milk: It has a rich and tropical flavor. It is commonly used in Asian and Caribbean cuisines and adds a distinct taste to dishes.
    • Rice milk: Made from milled rice and water. It is a good option for individuals with allergies or intolerances to nuts, soy, or dairy.
    • Cashew milk: Made from ground cashews and water, cashew milk has a creamy consistency and a naturally sweet flavor.

    The most nutritive milks are made from nuts or soy.

    About soy milk in menopause and perimenopause

    Soy milk is rich in plant-based proteins and it is often fortified with essential nutrients. Soy milk also contains phytoestrogens called isoflavones, which are compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.

    There has been some debate regarding the potential effects of soy and its isoflavones on hormone levels in menopausal women. Some studies suggest that consuming moderate amounts of soy products, including soy milk, may provide benefits such as alleviating menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and supporting cardiovascular health.

    Soy milk during perimenopause is more complex. Some women during this time have what is called estrogen dominance. This condition happens when there are weaker estrogens, normally from environmental toxins circulating in the body. If the person has symptoms of estrogen dominance it is better not to consume soy products.   

    Should you go dairy-free in menopause?

    If you are having menopause symptoms, excess weight, difficulty losing weight, indigestion, gases, skin issues (pimples, hives etc.), you can experiment going dairy free for a week or a month and see how you feel. If you experience relief avoid dairy for a while. After a few months you can return to dairy and observe if the symptoms come back. Of course you can consult with your doctor.

    If you decide to go dairy free make sure you are consuming enough calcium rich food or taking a supplement. 

    There is insufficient evidence to say that all woman benefit from a dairy free lifestyle. However many women consume excess milk products and that will cause problems. The dairy propaganda that every person needs 5 servings of dairy is false. Every person needs the recommended amount of calcium, but milk is not the only source of calcium. That amount of milk products every day can be excessive.

    In general fermented milk such as in the case of some cheeses, kefir and yogurt is a healthier alternative to unfermented milk such as the one people drink and the one contained in ice cream.

    Notice that there is milk in a lot of products. If you decide to go dairy free you will need to read labels and make sure that the product doesn’t contain milk.      

    Should you buy or make alternative milks?

    I prefer to make my own milks as they are more natural and I know what they have. The disadvantage is that your own homemade milk is not fortify with nutrients but you can compensate for this with your own supplements.

    Another disadvantage is that you have to make it so it cannot be practical for some people.
    If you don’t have a powerful blender to have to experiment to get the right texture.

    Now here are some great recipes to make your own milk, cream and plant-based ice cream (called nice cream).

     I invite you to get your free menopause symptoms tracker and join my Facebook group where you can ask questions and find community support. And of course feel free to leave me a comment below

  • How to use guided imagery for menopause and perimenopause?

    Did you know that you can use guided imagery during menopause and perimenopause to alleviate your symptoms and to be happier? Guided imagery can help us relax, promote healing, and manage stress and anxiety which are very common and very painful during this time.  Furthermore, stress and anxiety are the causes of other menopause symptoms.

    Stress, as I keep repeating in my articles and to my clients, is one of our biggest enemies during menopause and perimenopause. Stress causes hormonal imbalances and cellular inflammation. Stress is detrimental at any time, but during perimenopause and menopause when our hormones are already in disarray, stress is even more damaging.

    In addition to lowering stress, guided imagery is also wonderful to heal trauma, to overcome doubt and to discover ourselves, to get in touch with our inner child, and it can help us grow and be the best version of ourselves. These are also important emotional aspects during menopause and perimenopause and they also have an effect on symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, fatigue, memory fog, and others.

    What is guided imagery?

    Guided imagery is a mind-body technique that has many therapeutic effects. Guided imagery normally uses your imagination to talk to your subconscious and communicate messages that will promote healing.
    Guided imagery has many uses including relaxation, personal growth, trauma healing, to overcome fears, and to heal physical and emotional illnesses.  It is widely used in professional sports to reach higher performance levels and in psychology.   

    Guided imagery involves using your imagination to visualize vivid scenarios in your mind. It is like running a movie in your mind or virtual reality in your mind. As the name indicates, it is guided by a script. Just like movies need a story, guided imagery also needs a story or script.

    Following is the Wikipedia definition of guided imagery.  Let me tell you it’s a mouthful; they didn’t make it easy for everybody to understand, but I already paraphrased it above for you.   “Guided imagery (also known as guided affective imagery, or katathym-imaginative psychotherapy) is a mind-body intervention by which a trained practitioner or teacher helps a participant or patient to evoke and generate mental images that simulate or recreate the sensory perception of sights, sounds, tastes, smells, movements, and images associated with touch, such as texture, temperature, and pressure, as well as imaginative or mental content that the participant or patient experiences as defying conventional sensory categories, and that may precipitate strong emotions or feelings in the absence of the stimuli to which correlating sensory receptors are receptive.”

    Why guided imagery in menopause and perimenopause?

    We kind of covered this above, but let’s discuss it a little bit further.  One of the goals of guided imagery is to create a mental state of peace and calm, which can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression, fear and other symptoms related to menopause. I find that guided imagery is very effective, especially for people who are afraid of menopause and perimenopause or when there are negative thoughts about these natural seasons in our lives.

    Research has shown that guided imagery can be effective in reducing stress, improving sleep, and reducing hot flashes and other symptoms associated with menopause and perimenopause. Guided imagery is also an effective tool for managing stress and anxiety in women who are undergoing other medical treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

    Guided imagery is a low-risk technique that can be easily practiced at home or in a therapeutic setting. People who suffer bipolar should consult an expert before using it

    How to do guided imagery?

    In guided imagery you use a script. The script guides you, and you play it in your mind, you imagine the story with all the details in your mind. The play in your mind has to be vivid, you have to smell, feel the temperature, appreciate textures, it has to be like you are really there in order to be effective.     

    You can do guided imagery by yourself or with someone. You can use your own script or other person’s script. If you use someone else’s script that person can guide you either in person, with audio or video or just with a written script that you will read and try to apply it (kind of memorizing it).

    You can also write your own script or modify someone else’s script.  In order to write guided imagery scripts you need to have some understanding of how the human mind works. The scripts use symbolic objects or situations that may or may not make sense to us, but that make sense to our subconscious.  

    How to do guided imagery for menopause and perimenopause?

    To improve menopause and perimenopause symptoms we can use scripts for healing, relaxation and better sleep or we can use specific scripts for menopause. Usually you will practice one script for a week or longer. You can do it every day or a few times a week, but you will use the same script. You can use the same script for as long as you want to. Try not to mix scripts; when you finish with one you can start with another script.

    The duration of a guided imagery session is from 5 to 20 minutes. You can tailor the duration to the time you can devote to it. You can find a lot of scripts through Google searches and I am giving one of my scripts at the end of this article.  

    Is guided imagery similar to hypnosis?

    Guided imagery and hypnosis are similar in that they both involve using the power of imagination to create a state of deep relaxation and calm. However, there are some differences between the two.

    Guided imagery, as previously stated, is a visualization technique in which a person is guided to imagine scenarios in her mind.  Hypnosis, on the other hand, is a trance-like state in which a person is highly suggestible and open to suggestion. During hypnosis, a person may be guided to imagine scenarios or experiences that can help to alter their thoughts, behaviors, or emotions.

    Both guided imagery and hypnosis are very beneficial during menopause and perimenopause to alleviate symptoms and improving overall well-being. Both guided imagery and hypnosis can be effective in reducing stress and anxiety, releasing hidden emotions, healing trauma, but the approaches may be different. Some people may find guided imagery to be more relaxing and accessible, while others may prefer hypnosis. I think both of them are wonderful, but guided imagery is easier for beginners.

    What can you expect during a guided imagery session?

    Guided imagery is a type of meditation. It is easy to follow and very relaxing. Although it is easier to focus and keep focused in a guided session, the mind can start to wonder, if that does happen, gently try to bring your attention back to the imagination. You can also feel sleepy – that is ok – but try to finish the session. In general, during the session and after the session, you will feel more relaxed and joyful.

    Note: On some occasions, people can also have vivid dreams when doing guided imagery, if this is your case, try to analyze what the dreams are telling you.  

    Guided imagery script for menopause and perimenopause: The menopause garden

    • Try to sit or lie down in a comfortable position, but try to observe good posture.       
    • Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Inhale through your nose and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this deep breathing several times, allowing yourself to relax more with each breath.
    • Now, imagine yourself in a peaceful place, surrounded by Nature. It might be a beach, a forest, a mountain, or any place that feels calm and serene to you.
    • Take in the sights, listen to the sounds, smell the aromas of this place, feel the temperature, it is perfect. You are there. Let yourself feel the peace and calmness of this environment. Take a couple of deep breaths as you take in the beauty and peace that surrounds you.
    • Now you see a path in front of you. Walk on this path, breath and relax as you walk. See beautiful flowers and scenery. You feel safe here and you like being here. Keep walking on the path.  
    • Now you see a door. You feel safe, the place is breathtakingly beautiful and calm. Slowly approach the door, take a deep breath as you reach out and turn the handle, you feel safe and happy.
    • Open the door and step through the door.
    • As you step through the door a warm and comforting light comes to welcome you. The light makes you feel happy and safe.  You feel welcome and happy. As you walk, the light surrounds you and fills you.   
    • Take a moment to reflect on your body, and imagine that each cell and organ is receiving the warm and comforting light. Feel the light calming and healing every cell of your body. You feel strong, empowered and happy.
    • Imagine that you open your arms and take more of the light and hug yourself with the light. You feel joyful and light.   
    • You continue walking and you see a river. You walk to the river. The river flows calmly and peacefully. Notice the water, the peace and the ease of the water just flowing.     
    • Suddenly you see a small boat painted in your favorite color.
    • You step into the boat, and allow yourself to be carried by the flow of the peaceful river.
    • As you float down the river, imagine yourself feeling peaceful, calm, happy, healthy and confident. The water is calm and it is very nice to be there.  
    • The boat stops at a beautiful garden. Smell the flowers; you are safe and happy.
    • You get out of the boat. You can stay a few minutes in this garden and smell different flowers and admire their colors and beauty. You feel happy here.  
    • When you’re ready, take a deep breath, and slowly open your eyes. Remember the peaceful and calm feeling that you experienced during this journey.

    Repeat this meditation three or more times a week, for a week or longer.


    • The first path symbolizes your life path, the normal path that we all take.
      This door symbolizes the beginning of your journey through menopause or perimenopause.
    • The light represents your inner strength and wisdom, and it will guide and protect you as you navigate through menopause. Your body knows menopause is normal and it is looking for balance. 
    • The river symbolizes the journey of menopause, and it flows towards its destination, which is health and balance.
    • This garden symbolizes the completion of your journey through menopause, and it represents the growth, wisdom, resilience, strength and beauty that you will gain along the way.

    Have you tried guided imagery? Tell in the comments how was your experience.

  • How to improve memory during menopause and perimenopause part 2

    Do you want to improve your memory in menopause and perimenopause? Let me tell you, improving memory during menopause and perimenopause can be fun and the way to attain it benefits all other aspects of our health. This is the second part of this article, you can read the first part here.

    These are more tips to improve your memory

    Good foods to improve memory in menopause and perimenopause

    In general, a healthy diet with a variety of natural foods is always great for your health, and it also benefits your memory. A healthy diet includes minimal amount of processed foods and uses good quality ingredients.

    There are several foods that are believed to help improve memory and cognitive function. These include:

    • Fish: Fish, particularly fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which have been found to help improve memory. Look for fish with low levels of toxins.
    • Berries: Berries, particularly blueberries, are rich in antioxidants that can help protect the brain
    • Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, and chia seeds, are rich in healthy fats and antioxidants that can help support brain health.
    • Leafy greens: Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, are rich in nutrients that can improve memory.
    • Whole grains: Whole grains, such as oats, quinoa, and brown rice, are rich in vitamins and minerals that can help support brain health and improve memory.
    • Dark chocolate: Finally, one that we love, dark chocolate contains flavanols which have been found to improve blood flow to the brain and improve cognitive function. Be careful because it can have a lot of sugar and sugar is bad for memory.
    • Turmeric: This spice contains curcumin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may help improve memory and cognitive function.
    • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that has been found to improve cognitive function.
    • Water. Dehydration causes confusion and makes it more difficult to focus and remember.

    Essential oils to improve memory during menopause and perimenopause

    I love aromatherapy, but there is limited scientific evidence on its effectiveness. I think it works because I have seen its effects on clients and on myself. There are some preliminary studies and anecdotal reports that suggest that certain essential oils may improve memory during menopause, but they are preliminary.

    There are promising studies on the following essential oils: Rosemary oil, peppermint oil, lemon oil, sage, and lavender oil. Some of these oils are calming and relaxing and they have been found to improve cognitive function, memory and concentration in some studies. If you use essential oils, always try to use high quality essential oils (they don’t have to be expensive).

    For memory improvement, you can use these oils in diffusers either one oil or a mix of a few of them. You can also use a roll-on applicator and smell it frequently.

    Do memory exercises work during menopause or perimenopause?

    Are you curious about memory exercises to improve memory? Some evidence suggests that memory exercises can help improve memory during menopause. However these findings are not solid, and memory exercises should used together with other techniques.

    You don’t need to spend a lot of money on exercises or apps, simple techniques that you can find from a Google search can help you. Remember, that there are proven things such as exercise and healthy diet that help more than memory exercises.

    Some activities to improve memory

    Some of my favorite memory exercises that I recommend to clients are not exercises but new activities to awaken other areas of the brain such as, if you don’t sing or play a musical instrument maybe take it as a hobby, or language learning, dance, bird watching, using your non-dominant hand for some tasks, paying attention to small things, etc.

    I also recommend simple techniques to lower stress and manage memory issues such as writing things down, simplifying things and using apps to remember important data. There is no reason to try to remember everything; you can develop lists and write things down. Don’t beat yourself up if you forget something. The following are some other activities that are good for memory.

    • Nature walks and hiking: Walking in nature, particularly in green spaces such as parks or forests, has been found to improve memory, as well as to reduce stress.
    • Gardening: Gardening has also been found to improve memory and reduce stress. Gardening combines some physical activity, exposes us to nature, and it is almost a form of meditation.
    • Forest Bathing: a fancy term to spend mindful time among trees. Forest bathing, also known by its Japanese name shinrin-yoku, is a practice that involves spending time in nature, focusing on the five senses.
    • Natural light exposure: Spending time outdoors in natural light is very good for memory. It is also critical to regulate the body’s internal clock (circadian rhythms) and that improves sleep quality.
    • Stress management. As I said previously, stress causes a lot of memory problems. It makes it difficult to concentrate, remember and even think straight. Any activity that lowers your stress can help you improve your memory. In my program BLISS in Menopause, I teach many easy and effective stress management techniques. If you are interested visit this page for more information.

    Difference between memory problems and dementia

    This is a delicate topic. One example given by doctors is that if you forgot where you left your keys it is just normal forgetfulness. If you forget what the keys are and what is their function that may indicate more serious problems, but not necessary terrible problems; however the person needs to go to the doctor and be evaluated.

    Other controversial aids to improve memory during menopause and perimenopause

    I hang out a lot in menopause forums and there are many discussions about Cannabis and CBD to improve menopause symptoms. These substances can be beneficial to lower anxiety, and in some cases, depression and they lower stress, all of this can help alleviate some menopause symptoms. CBD is considered safe. Cannabis is controversial, illegal in some places, and it can also cause other issues to some people. So be mindful of that. There is no solid evidence that they help to improve memory. But in general, they don’t solve the problems that are causing memory issues and it is always better to find the root of a problem and correct it.

    Find the root of the problem

    If you are experiencing memory issues during menopause or perimenopause try to find out what is causing them and this needs to be resolved. As I said before (part one) hormonal fluctuations are part of the problem but there are other things making it worse. You need to find what those other things are and manage them. My program Bliss in Menopause includes many therapies to improve memory. You got this, girl. Leave me a comment.

  • How to improve memory during menopause and perimenopause

    How to improve memory during perimenopause or menopause is one of the most asked questions by woman going though this season of our lives. The reason for that is that many women experience memory issues during menopause and perimenopause. The most common memory issues include general forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, confusion, slow thinking, getting easily distracted, among others.

    Can you improve memory during menopause or perimenopause?

    Yes you can (but I forgot how to do it, (bad joke!)). We will discuss here what causes memory problems during menopause and perimenopause and the options we have improve them.


    What causes memory problems during menopause and perimenopause?

    Common memory problems are a result of many factors. Let’s review some of them:
    Hormonal changes: As you know, menopause is characterized by a decline in estrogen and progesterone levels. Both hormones have a role in memory, and therefore, a reduction can affect memory and cognitive function. But normally this is not the only cause or the main cause. The changes in memory due to hormonal fluctuation can be small or even non-existing. However, when we combine the hormonal deficiencies with some of the other causes discussed here, the memory problems can become more intense.

    Insufficient sleep:
    Many women experience sleep disturbances during perimenopause and menopause. As you know lack of sleep is terrible for memory and concentration.

    Stress: Stress is one of the biggest villains during menopause. Stress, as we know, can have a terrible effect on memory. Many women experience increased stress during menopause and perimenopause due to the physical and emotional changes they are experiencing.

    Nutrient deficiencies: Nutrient deficiencies, particularly in vitamins B6, B12, folate, iron, and vitamin D, have been linked to memory problems.

    : Chronic inflammation in the body can affect memory and cognitive function.

    Genetics: Some studies suggest that certain genetic factors may make some women more susceptible to memory problems during menopause.

    Emotional problems: Such as depression and anxiety.

    Thyroid disorders. The thyroid is a very sensitive gland that is affected by stress, liver problems, adrenal problems, and hormonal fluctuations. Many women have thyroid issues during menopause and perimenopause.

    Life. By life I mean, in midlife, we have many emotional problems in our careers as well as personal lives. This is going to create stress and affect our memory.

    How can you improve memory during menopause and perimenopause?

    You have many options to improve your memory. From the previous list, evaluate what do you think is affecting you the most. For example, are you a vegan and maybe you have B12 deficiency? How is your sleep; are you under stress?

    Let’s discuss some of the potential solutions. Before we talk about each activity let me say that the best solution normally is a combination of activities.

    • Stay physically active. Regular exercise can help improve blood flow to the brain and increase the production of brain-protective chemicals. In addition, it lowers stress and inflammation and helps to regulate hormones.
    • Eat a healthy diet. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, good fats including omega 3 oils, and good proteins can help support brain health. Make sure you are having all the nutrients that you need.
    • Get enough sleep: During menopause, many women may experience sleep disturbances, such as night sweats and difficulty sleeping the whole night, which can affect memory. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. This can be difficult and we will discuss it in another article. In my online program, BLISS in Menopause, we have specific techniques to sleep better because lack of sleep aggravate almost all other menopausal symptoms.
    • Manage stress: Stress can greatly affect memory. It’s important to find ways to manage stress such as prayer, meditation, and other relaxation techniques. My favorite is to spend time in nature.
    • Good hormones. Activate your “feel good hormones” dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin. To have more of these hormones is easy for example hug people and pets, smile and laugh. Think happy thoughts and watch funny movies. Anything that makes you happy makes more of these good hormones. These hormones eliminate stress.
    • Illnesses. If you have anxiety or feel depressed, look for professional help, why suffer more.
    • Drink water. Dehydration is terrible for brain function.

    Supplements to improve memory during menopause and perimenopause

    There are several supplements that are believed to help improve memory and cognitive function. There is no definitive proof that they work. Also the effectiveness of these supplements can vary from person to person. Some of the most commonly used supplements for memory and cognitive function include:
    Omega-3 fatty acids: These are found in fish oil and have been found to help improve memory and cognitive function in some studies. Look for good quality supplements.

    • Ginkgo biloba: This is an herb that is believed to improve blood flow to the brain and may help improve memory and cognitive function.
    • Bacopa monnieri: This is a commonly used herb in Ayurvedic medicine to help improve memory.
    • Phosphatidylserine: This is a chemical that is found in cell membranes and is thought to help improve memory.
    • Vitamins. Vitamin E, D, all the vitamins B, particularly B6, B12, and folic acid.
    • Medical treatments to improve memory during menopause and perimenopause
      In medicine there are limited options to improve memory during menopause and perimenopause, but the one available is very effective, hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) or its more “natural” cousin bio identical hormonal replacement therapy (BHRT). You can read here which one is better in this article. The doctors will also try to find out if the patient has other conditions, such as depression. It is always a good idea to consult with the doctor to rule out other causes, even though most doctors tend to just tell women in menopause that “it is normal.” I believe only being healthy is normal, don’t accept this answer and look for a solution for you.

    Improving memory during menopause with functional medicine

    Functional medicine is a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on identifying and addressing the underlying causes of disease, instead of treating just the symptoms. In functional medicine, in addition to the tips above, the practitioners may also recommend:

    • Bio identical hormonal replacement therapy (BHRT). Many practitioners of functional medicine love to prescribe BHRT and one of the reasons could be financial; keep this in mind.
    • Nutritional therapy: Functional medicine practitioners may recommend specific nutrient-dense diets. Some of these practitioners use Paleo or Keto, Vegan diets and others.
    • Detoxification: Many functional medicine practitioners believe that some symptoms are caused by toxins in the body and they use different methods to remove them.
    • Other treatments: Some practitioners may recommend thyroid, adrenal or liver treatments as these organs may have an impact in memory and other menopause symptoms.

    Activities to improve memory during menopause and perimenopause

    Activities that reduce stress and challenge your brain and body are good for your memory. Among these are:

    • Yoga: Yoga has been found to help reduce stress and improve memory.
    • Tai chi: Tai chi is a form of martial arts that has been found to improve memory, particularly in older adults. Qi Gong is similar and equally beneficial.
    • Dance: Dance is a fun way to improve memory, as it involves learning and performing choreographed movements. I recommend dancing to my clients because it helps in many other areas, such as self-esteem and feeling sensual.
    • Being in nature has been found to have a positive effect on overall health and well-being, and some research suggests that it may also help improve memory. Become a green goddess.


    Memory issues are common during menopause and perimenopause, but remember common doesn’t mean healthy. Not every woman in this stage of their life has them, I don’t have any issues and I have many clients who don’t have them either. You can improve your memory and you have many options to do it. If you want to explore a natural, holistic way, I invite you to consider my program BLISS in Menopause. Leave me a comment and tell me is you are using any supplement to improve memory.

  • Types of belly fat in midlife

    Belly fat reaches a new high during midlife, it even gets its own name, midlife spread. For most women in midlife one of the most traumatic changes is the change in body shape. The tummy starts growing out of the blue and the waist line becomes a distant memory. Pear and upper triangles body types become apples. There are different types of belly fat. If you are asking why does this happens and what can one do about it, keep reading.

    How to stop belly fat accumulation in midlife

    We can blame it all on hormones and certainly they play a role, but there can be many other causes or contributing factors. Although most abdominal fat requires the same advice to eliminate it: healthier eating, more movement and less stress, there are some differences between the different types of belly fat or abdominal fat require more than the conventional advice, specially during perimenopause and menopause.

    Let’s take a look at the different types of belly fat and potential solutions for each type. Let’s keep in mind that excess fat always requires eating a healthier diet.

    Lower body fat

    This type of fat can be hormone-related or inactivity related. Even very skinny people can have it. Usually this type of body fat is more common before perimenopause and menopause.

    Excess estrogen can play a role in this type of belly fat, but inactivity, too much sitting, and poor posture are more common as well as a combination of these factors.

    What can you do about it?

    • Eat a healthier diet and drink plenty of liquids.
    • Try not to sit down for long periods of time
    • Workout and try to add more activity to your life. Try exercises to strengthen your core.
    • Cut down on sugar and dairy
    • Watch your posture during the day. Try to sit correctly and stand up straight, lightly contracting your tummy
    • Try to move during the day

    Belly fat that looks like pregnancy

    This fat can be common during midlife. It tends to be firm and it can have many causes. This can be hormonal body fat, and is not directly linked to estrogens but to cortisol and/or insulin. It is very common in people with insulin resistance.

    This type of tummy fat is directly related to high stress levels (physical and emotional) and high sugar and/or alcohol consumption. This type of belly can also indicate liver problems such as fatty liver; this is the reason it is associated with alcohol consumption. Read about thyroid and weight gain

    What to do to lower this type of belly fat?

    This type of fat is the most damaging type because it is directly affecting the vital organs and it’s the result of a combination of unhealthy habits. To lower this type of belly fat, the keys are stress management and toxin elimination. You can accomplish it with these recommendations:

    • Lower stress levels
    • Sleep at least 7 hours a night
    • Lower alcohol and carbohydrate consumption
    • Make sure you are eating only healthy fats
    • Try to eat only healthy animal products
    • Avoid regular dairy
    • Avoid commercial baked goods
    • Eat enough omega 3
    • Lower or eliminate caffeine intake
    • Try to eat healthy most of the time. Be careful following any diets that will contribute to more stress in your life. The best way to eat is to follow anti-inflammatory guidelines
    • Try to include activities to relax, such as participating in sports, yoga, dancing, arts, walks in nature, etc.
    • Be kind to yourself
    • Workout, but avoid workout stress such as running too much, boot camps, CrossFit, competitive apps, etc.
    • If you have a religion, pray, ask for help and leave it to God; if not you can practice meditation. The bottom line is to relinquish control, worry and other emotions that generate stress, anger and sadness.
    • Observe yourself to identify allergies such as those from foods, molds, pollen and others. These are physical body stressors that can cause thyroid problems.
    • Remove or lower toxins from your life such as regular cleaning products, cooking at high temperatures with Teflon, etc.
    • For some people, a paleo or keto lifestyle for a short period of time can be very beneficial. For me the answer was intermittent fasting and you can follow this way of eating for long time.

    Upper tummy fat (AKA love handles)

    This is pure fat and an active lifestyle and healthy food in the right amounts can correct it.

    Hormonal belly fat

    During menopause and perimenopause, we are very likely to accumulate belly fat. This is the result of lower estrogens and higher cortisol. It can be solid fat as in the previous case or loose fat all over the tummy area.

    To eliminate this type of belly fat there is no one size fits all cause, because there are many causes. Usually it comes with other body changes such as bigger or smaller breasts, bigger back and in some cases, smaller butt.
    In general, to improve this situation we need to bring more balance to our hormones, lowering stress and making sure our thyroid is doing its job. To accomplish this we need to strengthen the liver, adrenals and thyroids. You can read this article where I have more detailed information on menopausal belly fat.

    You can read more on why we gain weight during perimenopause and menopause

    Fluctuating belly

    This is fake belly fat. You get up in the morning with a flat tummy and this keeps growing as the day progresses. This is caused by gases and/or liquid retention and not by fat accumulation.

    The next question is why does it happen? There are many reasons, though, the most common one is food intolerances. There also can be digestion issues caused by stress, illness or allergies.

    What to do?

    • Do an elimination diet to identify if you have allergies
    • Eat slower, chew your food very well; this improves your digestion
    • Avoid drinking large amounts of liquids during meals. Warm or lukewarm liquids are better than cold liquids.
    • Lower stress
    • Ayurveda can be very effective to treat and correct these digestive issues

    Sudden tummy

    This is the tummy that comes out of nowhere and it is loose. If you are gaining weight and it is mostly going to the tummy, but you feel that you are eating the same and having the same level of physical activity and you are in midlife, this is probably hormonal weight. Read why this happens

    However if the fat is solid, and hard in very few cases, it can be related to conditions that need medical attention so you should see your doctor.

    What not to do when you are experiencing hormonal belly fat

    • Don’t worry, there is a lot you can do to reduce your tummy. Think of a growing tummy as a messenger, telling you to watch out because something may need more balance in your body.
    • Avoid extreme diets. If you have a lot of weight to lose or if you suspect that you may be insulin resistant then a Paleo or Keto diet can be appropriate for some time. But if you are experiencing many other menopausal or perimenopause symptoms, for most people it is better to start eating healthier and do some light intermittent fasting. There has to be a balance between weight loss and stress reduction.
    • Remember joy. Joy is very important in our lives, joy makes our body healthier and contributes to hormonal balance. Look for joyful activities outside food. Make your food delicious.
    • The main thing you can do for your health is to cook at home from scratch. If you use some organic ingredients even better, but just eating home cooked meals will make a difference in your health.

    What about liposuction

    It certainly works, but it is a surgery and you have to consider it carefully. However, if the weight comes back (the person gains the weight back) some of the fat will go directly on top of vital organs. Most people who have liposuction end up gaining back the weight, because they haven’t learned a healthier, happier lifestyle.

    During perimenopause and menopause it is important to pay attention to the hormones and try to balance them because if not, they will also cause other issues, the tummy is only one of them. Perimenopause and menopause are a good time to recalibrate our bodies to have a healthy second half of our lives.

    What about hormonal replacement therapy (HRT)

    HRT and BHRT will help control tummy or abdominal fat while taking the hormones. You can read this article about HRT and BHRT. I personally will still recommend lifestyle changes to avoid other problems and to develop a tummy as soon as the hormones are stopped. Read more about HRT and BHRT

    Learn more about how to be healthy during menopause and avoid symptoms: BLISS in Menopause

  • How to stop hot flashes naturally

    Hot flashes, or flushes as they are called in some places, are common in women going through perimenopause or menopause. They are also very bothersome and greatly disruptive, especially if they happen at night, called night sweats.

    Hot flashes at night disrupt sleep and with that a whole plethora of symptoms can develop, such mental fog, lack of energy, irritability, weight gain, etc. That’s why it is very important to deal with hot flashes.

    how to stop hot flashes naturally

    What to do to eliminate hot flashes naturally

    Before moving into potential solutions we need to understand what the causes of hot flashes are. Doctors don’t know what causes them, not all women get them (I didn’t) and in many cultures they are almost unknown. We need more research to find out what causes hot flashes. Doctors know that there are some things that make hot flashes worse for some women, such as:

    • Spicy foods
    • Foods with caffeine
    • Alcohol
    • Some medicines
    • Certain health issues, such thyroid problems and diabetes
    • Smoking
    • Anything that makes the normal body temperature rise such as exposure to high temperatures, thick clothing, saunas, etc.
    • Emotions such stress, fear and anxiety

    The first thing to do when suffering hot flashes is to try to identify which items on that list make your hot flashes worse. Then you can at least lower your exposure if not totally avoid it.

    easy ways to stop hot flashes naturally

    How to eliminate hot flashes naturally

    A healthier lifestyle can greatly reduce or eliminate hot flashes. A healthier lifestyle will help you eliminate toxins, eliminate excessive bad hormones, make your organs work better, and more. All of this will reduce or stop hot flashes. What is a healthier life style? Eat clean, drink your water (hopefully purified) and avoid stress.

    Move it baby

    Working out is one of the most effective ways to reduce or eliminate hot flashes. There have been many studies on this topic and all of them have found a relationship between working out, especially sweaty workouts, and a reduction in hot flashes. Working out checks off many boxes, including eliminating toxins and stress, and helping the body generate good hormones, as well as maintaining muscle and bone mass.

    Cool it

    Controlling stress, is another important aspect to controlling hot flashes. Stress causes a lot of problems in the body and they result in more or more intense hot flashes. You can read this article about stress and hormonal balance.

    Can herbs help to eliminate hot flashes?

    Herbs can certainly help. Black cohosh is the most studied herb against hot flashes and definitely worth trying. Herbs combined with a healthier lifestyle are more effective than only taking the herbs. Other recommended herbs are: ashwaganda (to strengthen adrenals), maca (testosterone), chaste tree, Dong Quai, Ginkgo biloba and red clover. There are many teas and supplements that use some combination of these and other herbs. Some of these herbs interact with other medications so it is important to check for potential issues.

    Beyond herbs, Ayurveda, aromatherapy, homeopathy and other natural medicine modalities have treatments to effectively lower hot flashes and other menopause and perimenopause symptoms.

    I have an article on aromatherapy for menopausal symptoms that explains how it can help.

    Hot flashes in Ayurveda

    Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, has complete treatments to treat hot flashes. In Ayurveda, we believe that hot flashes are an imbalance, and there are herbs and treatments to bring back the balance. All Ayurveda treatments, as well as Chinese medicine treatments, include lifestyle changes and they can be very effective without negative side effects.

    Functional medicine

    You can also consult a functional medicine expert. In functional medicine, we look at the cause of the symptoms to treat them at the root level. However, functional medicine can be expensive and many practitioners order too many tests that many times are redundant. But if you are suffering from severe flashes and want natural alternatives this can be one of the best options.

    Easy ways to eliminate hot flashes naturally

    Some tips to eliminate or reduce hot flashes

    Keep a diary and write down what did you do or eat prior to a flash. After a week or so you will be able to identify some culprits.

    • Try to work out at least 30 minutes 3 times a week or more
    • Try some yoga to lower stress
    • Practice deep breathing
    • Talk to yourself kindly
    • Reduce or avoid coffee
    • Reduce or avoid alcohol
    • Lower sugar intake
    • Stop smoking
    • Keep your room temperatures on the cool side
    • Have an electric fan on hand (handheld or normal) in case you need it
    • Wear layers of clothes. This way you can easily add on or take off according to your needs.
    • Sleep with layers of blankets and/or sheets to adjust your temperature
    • Try to keep cold water at hand. If you feel a hot flash coming apply some water with a cotton towel or spray on your face and drink some cold water.
    • Use cold gel pack if water is not possible.
    • Avoid hot showers and baths. You can use lukewarm water instead

    If your hot flashes don’t improve with lifestyle changes, look for professional help; there are many therapies that can help you, including traditional hormonal replacement therapy and bioidentical hormonal replacement therapy. Read more about hormonal replacement therapy here  you can also take the natural path either with HRT or without, check out my program BLISS in Menopause.

  • Healthy bones and teeth with smoothies

    Our teeth and bones need vitamins and minerals to keep strong and healthy during menopause and perimenopause. Smoothies are a delicious way to eat those nutrients. As you know smoothies are in fashion. And there are good reasons for it. They make it easier to drink something healthy and consume some powerful foods in a delicious and convenient form.

    Smoothies for teeth and bone health in menopause and perimenopause

    We can use smoothies to strengthen, protect and even heal our bones and teeth. After 40, during perimenopause and menopause and beyond, we need to take care of our bones and teeth, because the hormonal changes that take place can weaken them.

    Sometimes when we think of good foods and nutrients for bones, we think of milk. But in reality we need more than milk, and in fact we may not need milk. We think milk, because of the propaganda. While it is true that milk has a lot of calcium, and calcium is great for teeth and bones, we also need other nutrients.

    Teeth and bones need vitamins and minerals during menopause and perimenopause. Bones can regenerate and strengthen, about 5 to 10% of all bone tissue is renewed each year.

    Teeth also need food, the same foods as bones. Your teeth are stronger if you eat the right foods. Dentists don’t teach patients to eat for teeth health, but it is fundamental. If you eat healthy your teeth don’t develop many cavities.

    Nutrients for teeth and bones during perimenopause and menopause

    The nutrients that strengthen our teeth and bones are the same at any age. However, at times of hormonal fluctuation we need to make sure we are having them. Some of the most important nutrients are:


    The best and easiest calcium to absorb is from animal sources, but there are also many veggies that have it such as spinach and other green leaves as well as soy and white beans. (Read calcium in bone broth)


    This mineral is needed for bone and teeth health as much as calcium. One study found that potassium reduces bone degeneration and increases the rate of bone formation in women. Bananas, sweet potatoes, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, apricots, grapefruit, prunes, raisins, dates, peas, cucumbers, etc. are wonderful sources of potassium.

    Vitamin K2.

    This one is difficult to add to smoothies. The richest natural source is a Japanese food called natto (fermented soy beans), which doesn’t taste that good. (I take a supplement of K2 every other day or so)

    Smoothies recipes for healthy bones and teeth


    This you are probably consuming enough in you meals


    You can find it in green vegetables, such as collards and kale, in some seeds such as poppy, sesame, chia etc., some nuts, legumes, whole grains and avocado. Avocados, seeds and nuts add a lot creaminess to the smoothies, but be careful because they have a lot of calories.


    You can find them in soybeans, fish, meat, milk, eggs, in legumes and whole grains. You can add oats to your smoothies.


    • Vitamin D. You can get it from the sun and supplements.
    • Vitamin A. You can find it in sweet potato, spinach, carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, eggs and others.
    • Vitamin C. There are a lot of fruits with this nutrient such as, citrus, berries and many tropical fruits. You don’t need any specialty fruits to get your daily requirements of vitamin C.


    You can find it in seeds, nuts and some grains. The most abundant sources are meat and shellfish. One powerful source is broccoli sprouts, and you can add them to smoothies or salads.


    There are also other minerals that are required in small amounts. These are part of many fruits and veggies.

    Did you know?
    Sesame seeds are a good source of calcium, magnesium, copper, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. A quarter cup of sesame seeds has more calcium than a cup of milk. It also has a lot of calories, but you can add a tablespoon of tahini to your smoothie.

    Now some recipes

    Smoothies for teeth and bone health in menopause and perimenopause

    Collagen, anti-inflammatory smoothie

    1 cup water
    1 scoop of powdered collagen or gelatin
    1 cup fresh mix berries
    2 teaspoons of seeds such as sesame, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower or others
    ½ frozen banana. For potassium, fiber and sweetness. It also makes the smoothie very creamy
    1 pitted prune. For boron, fiber and sweetness
    ½ tsp of turmeric powder
    A bunch of broccoli sprouts
    Optional: If you like more sweetness add stevia, date sugar, maple syrup or sugar.

    Put all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Drink right after. You can adjust to your preferred thickness adding more water. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients, use what you have.

    Very cherry

    1 cup of fresh or frozen pitted cherries
    ¼ cup of oats
    ½ tsp of turmeric powder
    1 cup of milk or water. It can be almond or full fat or 2% pasture-raised, grass fed, organic cow’s milk, or goat’s milk
    1/2 cup of organic Greek yogurt (full fat or 2%)
    ½ frozen banana
    Optional, pitted dates or prunes for added sweetness or stevia, maple sugar or sugar
    Optional, one scoop of powdered collagen or gelatin

    Put all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Drink right after. You can adjust to your preferred thickness adding more water. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients, use what you have.

    The smoothies can also be consumed as smoothie bowls. The only difference as you know is that you will eat them with a spoon/fork, instead of drinking them.

    Make your smoothies or bowls pretty and sit down and enjoy the flavors.
    Read: Recipes for infused water

  • The most important nutrient you need in menopause and perimenopause

    Do you know what is the most important nutrient your body needs during menopause and perimenopause? Take a guess. If you said water, you are correct.

    Water is fundamental to our lives, and to life in general. The easiest thing you can do to improve hormonal balance and with that all perimenopause and menopause symptoms is to drink the right amount of water every day. Easy!

    Water to improve menopause and perimenopause symptoms

    Water for hormonal balance

    In order to have hormonal balance we need to help our body work more efficiently with minimum effort. Lack of enough water, or dehydration, makes everything more difficult for our body. Dehydration can make perimenopause and menopause symptoms worse.

    Symptoms like lack of energy, mental fog, aches and pains, dryness everywhere, and others can feel worse, because those are also symptoms of dehydration. Dehydration can also contribute to toxin retention, makes our organs work harder and it can make nutrients more difficult to be absorbed.

    Some benefits of drinking water

    • Water helps deliver nutrients and oxygen to the cells
    • The right levels of water improve cardiovascular function. The heart works less
    • Water keeps your joints hydrated and avoids joint pain
    • Water helps eliminate toxins from the body. High toxicity is one of the reasons for hormonal imbalance.
    • Water keeps you regular. If you are constipated you are keeping more toxins in the body.
    • The right hydration makes your skin look and feel better. Lines and wrinkles are less pronounced and the skin looks supple. The vaginal tissues also benefit with the right amount of water.
    • Dehydration makes mental fog worse
    • Dehydration makes you tired
    • Dehydration can be confused with hunger, and therefore, it can make you fat
    • Dehydration has an effect on your mood. It can make you irritated

    importance of water for menopause and perimenopause hormonal balance

    How much water do you need?

    There are no studies showing us exactly how much water we need. You are probably thinking, what about the famous eight glasses of water a day? There is no evidence that we need eight glasses of water a day. The reasons are the following:

    • How much you sweat?
    • How many fruits and veggies you eat?
    • What is the weather like?
    • What medications are you taking?
    • What is your body size?

    Even with all these variables, the 8 glasses a day goal is a good place to start. It can be 6 glasses, it can be 12 glasses. The more veggies and fruits you eat, the less water you need.

    According to the Mayo Clinic, in general, you should try to drink between half an ounce to an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day. For example if you weigh 140 pounds, you should consume from 70 ounces to 140 ounces of liquids. Although we are calling it water, in reality we are talking of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated liquids.

    Eat your water

    You probably had read that you can eat your water. This is according to Dr. Howard Murad, an associate clinic professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of The Water Secret. He is also the founder of Murad cosmetics. He says that fruits and vegetables can hydrate the body twice as effectively as a glass of water. When we drink water it gets processed immediately and some is not absorbed.

    You eat water when you eat raw or lightly cooked fruits and veggies and cooked beans and lentils.

    The foods with less water are dried foods, such as processed meats, some breads, candies, cookies, potato chips, etc. In general many shelf stable processed foods have very little or no water.

    foods with water for hormonal balance

    The best water

    If your local water has fluoride, you need a filter right away. Fluoride is really bad for your health.

    What about chloride? Chloride is necessary, but it isn’t good either and it doesn’t taste that good. A filter easily eliminates it from the water.
    There are also a lot of contaminants in the municipal water, because of the pipes used (that are old and may have lead) and toxins that cannot be eliminated, such as pesticides and chemical residues. Again, a good filter can eliminate a lot of them.

    What is the best water?

    I have done a lot of research on water and my conclusion is that the best water in most places in America and Canada is from the faucet using a double osmosis filter. The regular filters don’t eliminate many toxins. Where I live, the water is not so bad, it doesn’t have fluoride and it has fewer toxins, but still a filter is a good idea.

    You don’t need bottled water. This water is terrible for the environment and for your pocket. It is best to carry a refillable bottle (keep it clean). Of course this doesn’t apply if you live or are in a place with terrible water.

    Do you need a filter?

    A filter could be a great addition to your home, but don’t wait to have a filter to start drinking more water. The most recommended filters are the reverse osmosis types.
    Reverse osmosis filters for under the sink installation cost from $100 to $400, plus $80 to $250 a year for filters. Filter for the whole house can range from $500 to thousands and installation costs can be high for the whole house.

    Easiest ways to add water to your life

    Drink more water. Just put a goal like 1 glass after waking up, 2 or 3 glasses of liquid during the morning, 1 glass during lunch, 2 to 3 glasses in the afternoon and early evening. Avoid drinking a lot of water two to three hours before going to sleep.
    Eat soups, fruits, salads and vegetables in your meals and beans and lentils.

    Water with meals

    In Ayurveda and in Chinese medicine it is believed that drinking too much water at meal time is not healthy, because it dilutes the stomach acids. I recommend my clients to drink no more than a small glass of liquid preferably at room temperature or warm; this is the Ayurveda recommendation.


    Dehydration can make menopause and perimenopause symptoms worse and even produce some of them. A first step to improve hormonal balance is to drink more water.

    You can read some delicious infused water recipes here

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  • Delicious soda substitutes

    If you are trying to either drink more water, stop a soda addiction or just lowering your consumption of commercial drinks, there are a lot of healthy, delicious, options.

    These are some easy, healthy options to sodas and commercial drinks.

    Healthy, delicious alternatives drinks to soda

    Infused waters

    Try to take maximum advantage of the opportunity to create a healthy habit. You are trying to change a habit, so it is better to change it for something healthy instead of switching soda for other sugary drinks. Infused water is a great choice. Let’s see some infused water examples.

    Add zest

    You may add any citric fruits and a little of their zest to your water. Orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit and other citric fruits taste great on their own. Just cut the fruits in rounds (don’t peel it) and add the water. Let it absorb the flavor for about 30 minutes and it is ready to drink. You can use the same fruit by just adding more water, as the flavor goes down you will know it is time to make a new batch.

    Add Spice

    You can use many spices to add more flavor and benefits to your water. For example, to the citrus mix you can add even more flavor with ginger. Ginger and lime infused water is one of my favorites. You can also use ginger on its own.

    Ginger is great for flavor and health. It improves the immune system, helps with digestion and elimination, improves blood circulation and more.

    You can also use cinnamon. As you may know cinnamon is good for our metabolism. Cinnamon goes well with apple and some berries.

    Add cucumber

    Cucumber is so refreshing. You can just add cucumber slices to water or mix it with other flavors such as citrus and berries.

    Add herbs

    All minty herbs are great so you can also try basil. Use them on their own or mix it with fruit.

    You may store the flavored or infused water in your fridge for up to 2 days. If you want to store your infused waters for longer than a day, eliminate the fruit, spices or herbs.

    Some tasty infused water combinations

    Here are 10 of my favorite fruit, herbs and spice combinations to add flavor to my water:

    • Lemon and orange
    • Raspberry and lime
    • Pineapple and mint
    • Lime and mint (let’s call it mojito)
    • Lemon and cucumber
    • Grapefruit and orange
    • Watermelon and basil
    • Strawberry and basil
    • Lemon and ginger
    • Peach and ginger

    Herbal tea

    In addition to infused waters you can drink herbal teas. There are a lot of awesome herbal teas. You will need to make the tea in hot water and let it cool or drink it hot.

    Green tea

    Green tea has less caffeine that regular tea and much less than coffee and a lot of antioxidants. If you like the flavor, it is a good substitute for soda. Matcha tea is in fashion right not, but all types of green teas are great options. Prefer organic tea over regular tea.

    Viva Agua Fresca

    If you are not ready to kick off sugar, natural fruit drinks are a better choice. Agua Fresca is a Latin American drink made with a little bit of fruit, water and sugar. You can use small amounts of sugar or stevia. These are like diluted juices made in a blender.

    An example of this is, some pineapple, add all the water you want, ice if you want and sugar or stevia. Blend it and enjoy it. If you add sugar, try to limit these types of drink to one a day.

    Diluted juices

    You can buy regular juice and add 3 parts or more water and 1 part of juice. This will add flavor without adding too many calories.

    What about kombucha?

    Kombucha is a good drink if you make it at home. If you buy it, be careful with the amount of sugar. I personally don’t like the flavor, but some people love it. The advantage of kombucha is that it has probiotics. A glass of kombucha a day is healthy. However, don’t feel that you have to drink something, because everybody is talking about it. As you know today it is kombucha and tomorrow who knows what.

    Coconut water is also popular right now. It is healthy, but only one glass a day or so.

    Bad options

    Bottled teas, lemonades, and similar drinks are not good options because they are very acidic. Some of them are even more acidic than sodas. They are also full of sugar and/or artificial sweeteners and other ingredients. There are some better than others, so check the labels.

    Other bad options are coffee and sugary coffee drinks. They have too much caffeine, the coffee used in these drinks is low quality and full of mold and tend to have a lot of sugar. Coffee in moderation is OK.

    Water flavoring powders is another tricky option. Some of them maybe good, but they are still mostly artificial.

    Read the first part: How to stop soda addiction

    I hope these tips can be helpful to you. Subscribe to our newsletter if you like these type of topics. If you have any other tips and recipes please comment below.

  • Why do we gain weight during menopause?

    No doubt gaining weight is easy, but during menopause even the skinniest people add on some pounds, especially around the tummy. In the past everything was blamed on hormones, but that has changed. The reasons for menopausal weight gain are complex. Let’s take a look at some of them:

    Calories add up

    Through the decades of our lives most of us gain a little weight every year. Little by little it becomes more noticeable.

    Drug effects

    Many drugs cause weight gain. Some of the worst are anti-depressants and antibiotics. Antibiotics are now part of our normal food; they are fed to animals so they become fatter. Even some vegetables contain tiny amounts of antibiotics because animal manure or feces get in contract with the vegetables.

    Our gut bacteria is affected

    Our gut bacteria is fundamental to controlling weight. During midlife the gut bacteria is under a lot of pressure caused by antibiotics, stress, hormonal changes, and others. (Read gut bacteria during menopause).

    Lack of muscle

    As we age and don’t work out, we lose muscle. With muscle loss we need less calories to maintain our body so the extra calories go to our fat reserves. In other words, our metabolism slows down.

    Weaker organs

    By midlife some of our vital organs are tired or overwhelmed. We are surrounded by toxins and have not-so-healthy eating habits that affect our liver and thyroid. We have a ton of stress that affects our adrenal glands and some mindset habits affect the whole body. If the liver and/or adrenals are not working properly that will further affect our thyroid. This will have a direct negative effect on our weight, energy levels, mental clarity, happiness, hot flashes, etc.

    Combination factors for weight gain

    Some menopausal symptoms such as insomnia alter our gut bacteria and this causes weight gain. On top of that we don’t have enough energy during the day and move less. Some people suffer from depression during menopause and tend to eat a poor diet. This and other causes create the perfect storm for weight gain.

    Stress at midlife

    Stress causes weigh gain in most people. Many people resort to calorie-rich foods such as sweets, carbohydrates, fats and alcohol during stressful periods. For many women these are years of changes or personal dissatisfaction that result in stress, sadness, and worrying a lot. Stress creates many hormonal issues that contribute to weight gain. (Read stress in menopause)

    Menopausal weight gain is different than previous weight gains

    This is something that shocks many women. During perimenopause and menopause we don’t only gain weight, our body shape changes. We accumulate weight around our tummy and in the back. Belly fat is the main characteristic of menopausal weigh gain. In some women the breast may also grow, in others the contrary happens.

    The worse type of weight gain

    Belly fat is not good news. Belly fat is associated with heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and other illnesses.

    Menopausal weight loss is totally possible

    Weight loss is always challenging because it requires habit changes. Menopausal weight loss can be more challenging because there is no one size fits all diet, or no calories-in-calories-out. Our hormones and gut bacteria are different and are stopping us from losing weight. And as always there are a lot of diet options and misinformation and selecting the right choice is not easy. Totally not fair, but do not worry menopausal weight loss is possible.

    How to lose weight in midlife?

    The first thing that many women (including myself) find out is that the diets that used to work so well, do not work anymore. It is important to understand the causes of weight gain in midlife, because this makes it clear that it is not only a matter of a diet; we also need to:

    Control stress, eat healthy, eat nutritious food, be happy, sleep well, etc. And the hormones? We also need to balance our hormones. Fortunately the same things that help us balance the hormones and strengthen our organs help to lose weight and to have a happier life. If we see the whole picture:

    During midlife, our bodies are calling us to live a fuller, more meaningful life, to live every moment and protect our bodies.

    That is the gift of menopause, an invitation to live a better life during our second half, or as it’s called in Chinese medicine “second spring.” Spring is a time of re-birth and awakening.


    To lose weight during perimenopause and post menopause we need a gentle reset. Good news, it is possible, more good news, it will improve your total health.

    At this time more than a diet we need some lifestyle changes. I lost weight doing just that and you can do it too.

    That is our motivation during midlife. Weight control is not about vanity, it is about health and quality of life. We are improving and protecting our current and future health, both physical and emotional, by learning to control our weight.

    This is a series of articles in which I will share how you can lose weight during perimenopause and post menopause. Next article: Intermittent fasting to lose weight in menopause