Despite the controversy and polarization surrounding menopause, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t agree that eating well in perimenopause is one of the keys to managing your symptoms. Eating well in perimenopause is also important for your overall health and longevity. But it’s really freakin’ hard to do consistently.
We All Struggle with Eating Well
We all struggle with eating well. Life is busy. You probably aren’t sleeping. You crave sugar. Your NEED sugar to get you through the day. And the coffee. Oh, the coffee! What would we do without the coffee? We get it.
Sometimes we do well, but it doesn’t take much to get off track again. A bad bout of insomnia. A vacation that was fantastic, but totally upended our healthy eating habits and routine. And frankly, time. None of us seem to have any time.
That said, we believe that perfection is the enemy good. Especially when it comes to nutrition. It’s not about getting it right all of the time. Instead try having some go-to healthy meal options to round out the takeout and the evenings where all anyone could muster was a bowl of cereal.
Tips for Eating Well in Perimenopause
If you can spend a little time planning ahead on the weekend and get a few groceries, you’ll be increasing your odds of success significantly. To help with this process I bought Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients Cookbook several years ago, and it has become a dogeared favorite in our house. The food is good, and every recipe has only 5 ingredients. So prep can easily happen in less than 30 minutes. All you need, in addition to the 5 ingredients, are some basic kitchen equipment, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt & pepper.
I’ve noticed after a period of indulgence, when I’m eating more sugar than green leafy vegetables, my PMS is worse. My anxiety spikes. And I don’t sleep well. Instead of beating myself up, I remember that eating well in perimenopause is a powerful tool to manage these symptoms. And I start planning the next 7 days of meals. One night of takeout, maybe a dinner out, and then I strategize about how I and my family will eat well on the other nights.
Eating Well in Perimenopause: Smoky Chorizo Salmon
One of our favorites (yes, even for my kids) is Jamie’s 5 Ingredient Smoky Chorizo Salmon. It’s delicious! Jamie’s recommended cooking method for the fish is super easy. So even if you don’t normally prepare fish, don’t be intimidated. Watch this video to see just how easy this meal is to prepare:
And this dish delivers a whopping 34. 3g of protein! Super important, as maintaining muscle mass needs to be everyone’s priority in perimenopause. As a general guideline, you want to try to get 20 to 25 g of protein in each of your meals. That’s tough to do consistently. Note that your recommended daily protein intake will depend on your activity level, body composition, and your health goals. Consulting a dietitian to understand your unique macronutrient needs is a good investment in perimenopause. If your fitness level is on the higher end of the activity scale, you may want to check out this resource.
If you decide to give any of these recipes a try, or have a favorite you’d like to share, seed us an email. Or better yet, take a picture of your meal and tag us on Instagram and/or Facebook. We’re always on the lookout for inspiring ways to make eating well in perimenopause easier!