If there’s one thing I’ve learnt with the thousands of women who have joined me in the MyMT™ community over the past few years and this is that when I mention food that helps to reduce hot flushes and improve our mood, I get the most reaction!
Christmas is always a challenging time when we are in our menopause transition. Not only with all the preparation if you have family arriving on the day, but also because numerous studies on midlife women report that midlife women’s lives have complexities that are unique to this life-stage.
In her studies on midlife women, Professor Margi Lachman presents middle age as a pivotal period in the life course in terms of (a) balancing growth and decline, (b) linking earlier and later periods of life, and (c) bridging younger and older generations (Lachman, 2015). Often sandwiched between care-giving roles for teens and ageing parents as well as work and home commitments, there is a lot going on to distract women from looking after themselves. I used to find this as well.
What I didn’t realise at the time, was how the ‘busy-ness’ of life would impact my feelings of anxiety, brain-fog and my weight as I transitioned menopause! I also wasn’t focused on foods which would help to reduce my temperature. So, with Christmas on the horizon, I hope you will love these recipes that my daughter, Georgia, has modified from the MyMT™ principles for hot-flush management, for you to meet your nutritional needs on Christmas Day!
No matter how you might celebrate the festive season, it’s just around the corner, so in this newsletter, I wanted to share some foodie-tips which I’ve researched specifically for you. If you watch the Masterclass, I talk about our hot flushes and why these occur. I also talk to you about low glycemic index foods so that we don’t overload our ageing pancreas or our ageing liver, with excess glucose.
Eating the right food helps to achieve this. As does (re) learning to sleep all night as this helps to control our blood sugar levels and hot flushes well. Your goal? – To adjust your diet so that you are including foods that don’t spike your blood sugar levels and insulin. These foods are known as low glycemic index foods. They help to boost your mood and help you to manage your blood pressure.
When blood sugar levels are high, then your pancreas is produces more insulin – this hormone regulates glucose in the blood. Higher levels of insulin increase your heart rate and temperature and you get a re-bound drop in blood sugar which then makes your moods go all over the place too. This chaos can lead to hot flush chaos at Christmas.
These fabulous Christmas recipes are modified to meet your needs during menopause. Having the right nutritional compounds as we age, is such an important part of managing our menopause symptoms and our weight. I hope you enjoy trying the Rosemary, Lemon and Tomato Butterbeans and the Butternut Pumpkin Salad any time throughout the festive season.
Happy Christmas from MyMT™.
Butternut Pumpkin Salad with Orange Oil
Modified from Ottolenghi Recipe
- 1 butternut pumpkin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1.5 tbsp runny honey
- 1.5 tsp cider vinegar
- 1.5 tbsp oregano
- A handful of pumpkin seeds
- Parsley or rocket
Infused oil – Start this at least an hour before you need the meal ready.
- 2 oranges
- 45ml olive oil
Method (serves 4 as a side)
- Infused oil: Start this an hour before you need the meal ready. Finely shave or peel the oranges and cut the peel into thin strips. Add the olive oil and shavings to a food processor and blitz until the peel is very fine. Leave to infuse for 60 minutes. Strain through a sieve into a bowl and discard the solids.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, Fan Bake.
- Remove any excess peel from the oranges, then cut into small segments.
- Put the pumpkin, nutmeg and a grind of salt and pepper into a bowl. Toss to combine.
- Place the pumpkin on a lined baking tray, spacing the pieces so they don’t overlap. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning the pieces halfway through until cooked through.
- While they are cooking, put the honey into a small frying pan on a medium heat. Bring to the boil then cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the honey turns to a deep brown. Remove from the heat and immediately stir through the orange segments and the vinegar.
- Place the pumpkin onto a serving plate. Pour over the honey mixture and the infused oil. Top with parsley and pumpkin seeds.
Rosemary, Lemon and Tomato Butterbeans
Modified from Ottolenghi recipe
- 5 garlic cloves
- 2 mild chilies
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 lemon
- 1.5 tbsp thyme
- 4 rosemary sprigs
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 100ml olive oil
- 2 cans of butter beans
- 2 large tomatoes
- You may like to serve it with a bit of sourdough toast or crackers.
Method (serves 4 as a side)
- Put the first 8 ingredients and a bit of salt and pepper into a medium sized pan on low heat. Heat gently for 25 minutes, or until very fragrant but not at all browned. If the oil gets too hot, turn the heat down.
- Stir in the butter beans then turn the heat up to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse.
- Grate the two tomatoes all the way through. You may be left with a skin at one end, which can be discarded. Transfer tomato flesh into a serving bowl. Add a good grind of salt and pepper.
- Pour the butterbean mixture over the grated tomato. Bon Appetit!