How Every Woman Older than 40 Should Eat

inttermiteng fasting menopause perimenopause Dec 30, 2021
menopause hormonal imbalances fasting

As we enter and live through the transitional years when our hormones begin their retreat, many physical, emotional, and mental changes occur as well. I discovered that it’s a great time to review our diet and identify how every woman older than 40 should be eating.

I’ve been a registered nutritionist for many years, but as I entered my 40s, I began to explore different dietary choices as my body changed.

As hormonal changes were in the air, and I decided to alter my eating habits to meet the needs of the new evolving me.

That’s when I discovered intermittent fasting and the benefits it provides for women living with hormonal changes. 

Intermittent fasting isn’t about depriving yourself. It simply involves eating during specific windows of time and abstaining during others.

One of the great things about intermittent fasting is that you can choose the approach that works best for you and your lifestyle. 

One of the more popular approaches is the 16/8:

you abstain from eating for 16 hours and eat during the remaining eight. For example, you might have breakfast at 11AM, lunch at 3PM, and dinner at 7PM.

During the 8 hours you would consume the same amount of calories you would if you ate your meals spread out during the day.

If you are looking to drop a few pounds, you can reduce the number of calories you eat during those times.

If the 16/8 plan doesn’t fit your schedule, you might like another approach. For example:

  • Eating a normal amount of calories five days a week and limiting your calories to only 500 to 600 daily on two days of the week
  • Alternating your food intake by eating a normal amount of calories one day followed by a limited amount the next day, and repeating this pattern
  • Eating one meal a day, typically later in the day
  • Limiting your eating to a four- or six-hour period during the day; a 20/4 or 18/6 plan

These are some popular approaches, but you can make your own.

You probably wonder whether you can have anything at all during the fasting times, and the answer is yes!

You are encouraged to stay well hydrated with calorie-free fluids, such as water, carbonated water, black coffee, tea (black, green, oolong), herbal tea, and apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.

In fact, the vinegar and lemon juice mixed with water are excellent for digestion, and I make sure to have a glass every day.

Why should you adopt intermittent fasting?

I believe it’s a fabulous way to navigate your way through the weight gain, hot flashes, brain fog, and other symptoms associated with hormonal changes.

Some of the benefits of this eating program include:

  • Helps with weight loss, especially when you add exercise to your routine. Fasting allows your body to switch from burning carbs to burning fat. It also stabilizes ghrelin, a hormone that regulates hunger.
  • Helps make sugar cravings gradually disappear, which also helps with weight loss and may assist in evening out your mood swings 
  • Suppresses inflammation, which can reduce some symptoms of hormone fluctuations as well as support heart health
  • Promotes insulin sensitivity, which helps with diabetes control
  • Reduces triglyceride levels, which helps with heart health
  • Fights free radicals, which helps with aging and supports the immune system

Let’s say I’m convincing you to try intermittent fasting, but you want to know more.

For example, which foods are best to eat to break your fast? 

Choose foods that are easy to digest and contain lots of nutrients.

These include bone broth, fresh fruits, fermented foods (such as coconut yogurt, sauerkraut, pickled vegetables, coconut kefir), leafy greens, and healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocadoes, and olive oil.

Be sure to eat slowly and chew everything well to aid digestion. 

Later during your nonfasting time, focus on unprocessed foods such as berries and leafy greens, nuts, seeds, organic chicken or turkey, and wild caught cold water fish.

Now I’d like to share two recipes to help you break your fast.

One of the best is homemade bone broth.

Commercial brands are available, but for the best bone broth, make it from scratch.

Here’s a recipe I use all the time, followed by a super smoothie recipe.

Bone Broth 

10 servings

  • Bones from a whole chicken (about 3 lbs)
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 medium leek, chopped
  • 3 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 10 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbs dried rosemary
  • Enough water to cover the chicken by 4 inches
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Place the chicken bones in a 12-quart stock pot and cover with water. Add the vegetables, herbs, and apple cider vinegar. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat, and simmer partially covered for 5 hours. Strain and store the broth in the refrigerator. You can use the vegetables and herbs you strain out in soup—simply puree!

Break-Fast Smoothie

  • 1 Tb each organic apple cider vinegar, lime juice, raw honey
  • 1 cup coconut yogurt, vanilla
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 cups fresh organic spinach
  • 1 green apple, seeded
  • Ice cubes as needed

Combine all ingredients except ice cubes in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Add ice cubes as needed.

Intermittent fasting has helped me manage hormonal changes and weight gain, and my energy level is great.

Read more about intermittent fasting and other helpful nutritional tips on Divine Renewal.