HERE ARE A FEW WAYS WOMEN CAN STAY ON TRACK WITH THEIR MIND, BODY, AND HEALTH AS IT EVOLVES.
Q: What are healthy fats?
A: Low fat diets were the rage for the last 30 years but there has been an uptick in the number of people with both heart disease and diabetes from our increased intake of carbohydrates, particularly simple ones like bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and sweets. We now know that eating fat in appropriate amounts does not cause high cholesterol or make us fat as long as they are HEALTHY FATS. These are fats such as fish, avocado, pistachios, Brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, olives, olive oils, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, flax oils, and nut butters.
Q: Is my thyroid causing me to gain weight?
A: When you have a difficult time losing weight it can be caused by several things, but undiagnosed thyroid issues is a common cause. If you have tried to decrease your food intake and increase your activity level and still your weight is not budging, this may be a possible cause. Other symptoms may be constipation, fatigue, diffuse body pains and hair loss or thinning. Often doctors do a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), which may be in the “normal” range and yet you still may have thyroid dysregulation. A TSH, FT3, FT4 and RT3 are recommended tests to assess what may be contributing to your difficulties.
Q: I am very stressed. How can I stay calm and centered in my crazy world?
A: Become mindful of your breath. When we stand back and become aware of our breathing, it helps to calm the body and mind. Mindful breathing helps to relieve tension and restore energy. The breath anchors us, reminds us to get out of our minds/thoughts and tune in to our bodies, so we can bring awareness and feeling to our experiences. Breathing in and breathing out can teach you to release and go with the flow. The same could be said about life as events come and go, nothing stays constant except change.
Q: Should I change my diet during menopause?
A: As we age, particularly after menopause, our metabolism often slows down. This means that if we eat the same as we did before menopause that we will gain weight. However, if you are already eating a diet low in simple carbs and high in veggies, good fats and proteins, then a moderate decrease in the amount of food or an increase in activity will help balance the hormonal changes. Eat adequate protein and healthy fats to maintain hormones, muscle, and mental clarity, but do not over eat. Stop when you are 80% full, put your fork down between bites, chewing food well. This allows time for your stomach to tell your brain that you are satisfied and you are less likely to overeat.
By CAROLYN S. GEORGE, M.D.
VIDA Integrative Medicine