Hormones out of whack? Too many snacks? Overdone midweek comfort eating and underdone the exercise?
Our simple clean, hormone balancing eating plan is perfect for when you have a ‘quiet weekend’ on the cards to give your body and mind a chance to reboot, so you can feel rejuvenated and balanced.
In just 48 hours, cleanse your body, overcome oestrogen withdrawal and take a fresh step to feeling fantastic (and hopefully, drop a few pounds too!)
What’s In & What’s Out
The basic rule about food over the next 48 hours is nothing from a packet and nothing you haven’t made yourself. We want to cleanse your system of additives, salt, refined carbs and unhealthy fats, and replace them with nutrient-rich, hormone balancing, wholesome foods.
This also means no tea or coffee (not even decaf), no alcohol, squash or fizzy drinks!
* Plenty of filtered or bottled water
* Electrolyte drinks (recipe below)
* Herbal Teas
* Lemon & ginger inner cleanse (300ml hot water, juice of ½ a lemon and 1 tsp of grated ginger)
* Lots of coloured fruit and vegetables
* Live yoghurt (to support healthy gut bacteria)
* White fish, oily fish and organic chicken breasts
* Unsalted nuts and mixed seeds
Your Daily Schedule
* Plan at least two 30 minute walks each day
* Plan to eat between 11am-7pm
* Listen to your body – If you’re tired in the afternoon, take a nap; it’s your meno-tox weekend!
* Allow at least two hours to read and listen to relaxing music.
* Try journal writing. Record your feelings and emotions, highs and lows etc. It’s very therapeutic and can help focus you.
* Each evening take a long warm bath with relaxing oils and salts. Light a candle and relax
The 48 hour Meno-tox Plan
Friday (early evening)
When you’re finally ready to relax, kick start your meno-tox weekend with your first Inner Cleanse drink and a simple supper of 120g chicken breast, 80g kale stir fried in garlic, chopped spring onions, chilli, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, pumpkin seed, maca root powder and a little sesame seed oil. Serve over 80g brown rice or couscous. Follow with 3 figs and a chopped banana. This meal is light and easy to digest and contains good sources of hormone balancing nutrients and amino acids, which will also contribute towards a restful sleep. (Remember, no eating after 7pm)
Saturday and Sunday
Start each morning with your Inner Cleanse drink, followed by a herbal tea. You will not be eating until 11am, so keep yourself occupied. Start with a few simple stretches, or go for a brisk 30 minute walk and pick up the papers or magazines on the way, so you have plenty of reading material to indulge in over the weekend.
(If you are not used to restricted eating, or have diabetes or blood sugar problems, you may want to discuss this with your doctor before starting – Alternatively you can eat breakfast earlier, just allow 20 minutes after your Inner Cleanse drink and have a light breakfast of: 120g live yoghurt, a handful of mixed berries and 50g unsalted nuts and pumpkin, flax and sunflower seeds. Finish with a sprinkle of maca root powder.)
Lunches and dinners need to be hot and made up of steamed vegetables – choose as many different colours as you can, and be sure to include lots of dark green leafy veg and cruciferous veg to top up on phytoestrogens and to get the best mix of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Add a small portion (120g) of white fish, oily fish or skinless chicken – these will be easy for your system to digest and are best steamed or baked; don’t add any fat to them. Add either some brown rice or beans like butter beans, chickpeas or aduki beans (80g). Beans and pulses are full of B vitamins (for energy and hormone regulation) and protein to help you feel full for longer, they are also easier to digest than heavy breads or potatoes.
Remember not to eat after 7pm. If you do feel hungry, try sipping on herbal tea.
Before you go to bed do a few stretching exercises and have camomile tea or passion flower tea, which will help calm and relax you for a restful sleep.
Snacks – choose from live yoghurts, any fresh fruit or some more nuts and seeds and make sure you drink ½ pint of water, herbal tea or electrolyte drink regularly throughout the day.
Electrolyte Drink – Hot flushes and hormone imbalance can cause depletion of potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium, also known as electrolytes. These crucial nutrients have many important functions; including regulating heartbeat and allowing your muscles to contract so you can move. They stimulate nerves throughout the body and balance fluid levels, an imbalance can cause a variety of negative symptoms. If you suffer with severe hot flushes, you may want to consider incorporating an electrolyte drink into your daily diet on a regular basis, as sweating is one of the main causes of electrolyte depletion. Water will hydrate you, but it will not replenish your electrolytes!
There are many recipes for electrolyte drinks on the internet, this is one of my favourites
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups of water (filtered or purified) or raw coconut water
2 tbsp organic raw honey or organic maple syrup
1/8 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt or Celtic Sea Salt (I prefer Himalayan salt as it has 84 trace minerals)
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend well.
Store in Mason jars or reusable glass cap bottles
Do not be tempted to buy ready-made electrolyte drinks, they are usually full of far too much sugar.
Benefits Of Restricted Eating During Menopause.
Unfortunately, your body is not on your side as you try to lose weight during menopause, making it much harder to shed those extra unwanted pounds.
* Lower levels of oestrogen promote insulin resistance and higher levels of insulin in the blood, or hyperinsulinemia, can promote weight gain. Research also suggests that levels of the “hunger hormone” ghrelin increases during menopause.
* Moreover, low oestrogen levels during and after menopause may impair production of leptin and neuropeptide Y, hormones that help regulate appetite and weight balance. The resulting increase in appetite and lack of satiety can lead to overeating and weight gain.
* The fundamental shift in hormones will also causes fat to now be redistributed to mid-section of the body rather than hips and thighs, and as those pesky fat cells contain small amounts of oestrogen, your body is very keen to hold on to them.
* The natural ageing process also causes the metabolism to slow down, so you body will not burn calories as efficiently now.
Remember, your body is changing dramatically without the influence of hormones, so don’t expect it to react the same way towards weight loss as it used to.
If you’re feeling despondent and struggling to lose the extra weight, restricted eating may just be the jolt your body needs to kick start it into action.
If you find you adjusted well to the restricted eating on this Meno-detox, then you may like to incorporate it into your lifestyle. There are many variations of restricted eating, whether it’s the 5:2 diet or only eating between certain times; find the one that suits you best and tweak it if necessary to fit in with your requirements.
A Word On Exercise
Exercise is without doubt on of the best things you can do for your body, but………. it is not effective for weight loss in the short term.
If you’re looking at joining a gym, or have recently started going, do not expect to lose weight for the first few months at least!
Most of us start with good intentions when we join a gym, we have mentally prepared ourselves and are feeling positive about this new healthy lifestyle regime we are embarking on – So the weight will start to fall off, right?
Unfortunately, this is not the case, and many of us get de-motivated when we don’t see the results. You can pound the tread mill or cross trainer for 30 minutes and only burn around 300 calories,- You could easily lose that by shaving a 100 calories off each meal!!
But, before you think this is your golden pass not to exercise, it’s not!
It’s important to go to the gym with the right mind set. Exercise is not efficient at burning calories, so do not go thinking you are going to miraculously lose weight in a couple of months!
Make a commitment to go to the gym to improve your heart health, muscle strength, balance, metabolism and overall health of the body and mind.
Do not put an un-realisitc time pressure on yourself to lose weight quickly. As much as we all want to, it rarely happens, or if we do lose the weight, it goes back on again! So, look at 6 months to a year to get yourself back to a healthy shape.
We are looking at permanent lifestyle changes, not quick fixes!
Eventually, you will have built up the fitness of your body to such a level that you will begin to reap the rewards and now it will start to help you lose weight. Strong muscles need energy to constantly move and vibrate, they get this energy from the food you eat and from your fat cells, so the fitter you are, the more energy your body needs and it needs this energy 24/7, so once you have reached a certain level of fitness your metabolic rate will have improved and your body will be burning calories even while you sleep!
Going to the gym or doing some form of exercise is a necessity for your overall health and to ensure you future is as pain free as possible. Just don’t get too disillusion or give up when the weight doesn’t start coming off as quickly as you had hoped.
You will get there, persistence is the key!
*This Meno-tox may not be suitable if you have low blood sugar, diabetes or an eating disorder. Please discuss with your doctor beforehand.
The Meno-tox is subject to copywrite.