Montreal in Canada is cooling down as winter knocks on its door. I know this because Michaela told me so today. It’s a long way between where I am in New Zealand and Montreal, but the beauty of the MyMT™ community, is that we are all part of the ‘global village’. Michaela joined the programme over a year ago now. With triplets, now grown up, she has been busy for years. Then menopause arrived and with symptoms over-whelming her and her weight going up, she headed for the gym and began doing lots of exercise to manage her weight – as many of us have done for years. It was no surprise to me that it wasn’t working for her.
I say ‘no surprises’ because the type of exercise she was doing at the time, wasn’t helping her weight, because she wasn’t sleeping well. And as I say time and time again, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from my years lecturing in health and human performance, if you aren’t sleeping and you are exercising vigorously, then you will quickly head down into adrenal fatigue, more exhaustion and for women in their menopause transition, this can then result in further weight problems.
It’s been such a privilege to help Michaela understand her symptoms and why she was gaining weight during her menopause transition. When she asked me to share an interview with her, I didn’t hesitate and if you scroll down below the recipe, it’s there for you to listen to sometime too.
“I was at my wit’s end with my menopausal weight gain” she told me.
I exercised a lot and ate relatively well but kept gaining weight. I was told to just move more and eat less. When I discovered Wendy’s program, she explained why I was gaining, with the exercise I was doing whilst not sleeping and I learnt that what used to work, does not work the same at this stage of our lives.
7 weeks into the program, I was sleeping through the night, I stopped the heavy exercise, lost weight and my menopausal anxiety and hot flushes, have gone. I feel like my old self again and understand that this is now a way of life for me as I get older.
What a difference to how I’m now feeling! I am sleeping 7 hours a night and wake up so refreshed and do not put on my alarm as I am up about the same time each morning now ready to walk. Thanks Wendy.”
When Michaela told me that she enjoyed cooking and produces an almost daily inspirational cooking post on her Coo’s Kitchen facebook page, I invited her to share some of her ‘MyMT™ – approved’ recipes with the women in my coaching community. We love her Aussie-Canadian accent inspiring and motivating us to cook in ways that meet the criteria for the Mediterranean Dietary approach that I have in the 12 week programmes.
So, whether you are in winter or summer, here’s a family favourite of Michaela’s. When she discovered through my programme that beetroot contains compounds which help to dilate our blood vessels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as we age, Michaela shared her Beetroot Burgers with us. If you don’t want the bread (although sourdough or rye grains are important for heart health), then wrap them in large lettuce leaves instead.
INGREDIENTS [serves 4 – I make 6 patties as 4 are huge, you can also freeze them individually].
If I have time I make the sweet potato and onions as well. The burgers can also be served with no bread roll but a dollop of hummus, tahini or tzaziki on top and served with a green salad.
2 large beetroots, peeled and grated
1 handful fresh basil, finely chopped
1 handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
8 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 medium sweet potato, thinly sliced
1 large onion, cut into rings
1 lemon, juiced
2 handfuls lamb’s lettuce or arugula (also known as Rocket Leaves)
4 large burger buns (preferably sourdough buns)
2 handfuls sprouts (alfalfa or other)
Mix beetroots, eggs, basil, cilantro, mint and oats. Make sure to add enough oats to have a manageable patty mix. Season generously with salt and pepper. Now form four large patties and set aside.
Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a pan and fry the sweet potato until slightly brown. Place them on plate and set aside. Now fry the onion rings until nicely browned. Set aside.
Slice or mash the avocados. Season with salt, pepper and half of the lemon juice.
Prepare a simple side salad of lettuce and a dressing made of the rest of the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Slightly roast the insides of the burger buns with some olive oil. In a pan, shallow fry the patties in 2 tablespoons oil for about 5 minutes per side. When assembling the burger, be creative! Here is how I like to do it: bun, thick layer of avocado, fried onions, pattie, sweet potato, sprouts, salad, top bun with more avocado and hot sauce on the side. Make sure to have napkins at hand!
Please follow this link HERE to read about the 12 week programmes and how they work – I’ve attached a video for you below as well. I hope you can join me sometime if your menopause symptoms and/or weight gain is troubling you.
Dr Wendy Sweet (PhD)/ Member: Australasian Soceity of Lifestyle Medicine.