Why We Need Strength and Serenity in Menopause: My Tips for Thriving

Menopause is a significant transition in a woman's life, bringing about various physical and emotional changes.

But it doesn't have to be daunting.

I often hear from women "I am doing the same things I have always done; eating healthy and exercising but I can't seem to stop gaining weight or get back to the body I had in my 20s, 30s or 40s."

Welcome to Menopause! 

Menopause is associated with a natural decline in estrogen, that increases visceral fat mass, decreases bone mass density, muscle mass, and strength. (Source: PubMed)

By focusing on nutrition, movement, stress management, avoiding toxins, and sleep, you can navigate this phase with strength and serenity.

My Nutritional Tips:

Nutrition plays a vital role in managing menopause symptoms and overall well-being. During menopause, protein intake becomes even more crucial.
  • Protein-Rich Diet: I ensure each meal includes a good source of protein, such as lean meats, fish, eggs, beans, or nuts. Protein supports muscle repair and growth, keeping us strong and avoiding sarcopenia. Protein also helps to keep your blood sugar stable and without adequate amounts of protein to balance blood sugar, the high amount of carbohydrates you're consuming in the form of glucose gets stored as fat if not used. 
  • Healthy Fats and Fiber: Incorporating healthy fats from avocados, nuts, and seeds, along with fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (quinoa, brown rice), aids in digestion and satiety. This is where your carbs come into play. They are still an important part of your healthy nutrition in order to give you much-needed fibre, vitamins and minerals. Go for unrefined carbs (e.g. sweet potato, leafy greens) over white bread, pasta, rice. 
  • Hydration: Drinking plenty of water keeps my body hydrated and helps manage weight. Aim for at least 2L daily of fresh water and keep caffeinated drinks to a minimum (coffee/tea) as they negate hydration efforts. 

Here's a visual of how to build a balanced plate in menopause:

eating in menopause for healthy balance


The Power of Movement in Menopause:

Here's how I move my body to stay strong and reduce stress during menopause, and why every woman should consider these strategies.

Regular physical activity is a cornerstone of my menopause wellness routine. Exercise not only helps maintain muscle mass and bone density, which are crucial as estrogen levels decline, but it also boosts mood and reduces anxiety.

But let me also say that I am huge proponent of Intuitive Movement which means listening to what your body needs each day. Basically my "routine" as outlined below is subject to change if I don't feel well, if I didn't sleep well, or if I am just feeling like my body needs a break. 

The key is consistency. If I do take a break one day, I get right back into it the next when I feel energized again. Try not to lose your groove! 

Resistance training and adequate protein intake can help reduce the risk of sarcopenia and the loss of muscle. (Source: PubMed)

My Menopause Movement Routine:
  • Strength Training: Twice or three times a week, I lift weights or use resistance bands. This helps in maintaining muscle mass and improving bone health. In fact, increasing muscle mass offsets bone loss in menopause because it forces the bones to be more dense. I have a leg day, back and biceps day, and a chest and triceps day. 
  • Cardio: Two to three times a week, I engage in cardio activities like brisk walking and/or cycling (I am hooked on spin class!). These exercises improve cardiovascular health and help with stress reduction. I aim to walk 10,000 steps a day as a goal because the outdoor fresh air is good for mental health too. 
  • Flexibility and Balance: Yoga, Pilates and Barre are my go-to for enhancing flexibility, balance, and mindfulness. They also provide a calming effect, reducing stress levels. In fact, I teach all three of these mind-body movements and you can do them along with me on Youtube @cleankisslifestyle!

Managing Stress

Stress management is essential during menopause. High stress levels can exacerbate menopausal symptoms and negatively impact overall health.

My Stress-Busting Techniques:

  • Mindfulness Meditation: Daily meditation helps me stay centered and reduces anxiety. Just 10 minutes a day can make a significant difference. I personally love the Calm app and use it daily before I start my day. 
  • Breathing Exercises: Practicing deep breathing techniques calms the nervous system and lowers stress.
  • Hobbies: Engaging in activities I love, like gardening, cooking and reading, provides a mental escape and joy.

The Magic of Sleep

Adequate sleep is non-negotiable. Menopause can disrupt sleep patterns, but prioritizing good sleep hygiene helps. I aim for 7-9 hours per night. 

My Sleep Strategies:

  • Consistent Schedule: I go to bed (10pm) and wake up (6am) at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Sleep Environment: Keeping my bedroom cool, dark, and quiet promotes better sleep. I also love sleeping naked to regulate my body temperature and to feel unrestricted while sleeping. Try it! 
  • Relaxation Routine: A calming pre-sleep routine, including reading, drinking an herbal tea (at around 8pm so my bladder doesn't keep me awake) or taking a warm bath, prepares my body for rest.

Menopause is a natural part of life, and with the right approach, it can be a time of empowerment and growth. By moving your body, managing stress, eating more protein, ditching toxins in personal care products and prioritizing sleep, you can navigate this transition with strength and serenity.

Remember, every woman's menopause journey is unique—find what works best for you and embrace this new chapter with confidence and grace.

About the Author:

Jodie Pappas is a holistic lifestyle wellness practitioner helping ambitious menopausal women to feel great in their body. Jodie draws upon her three pillars of expertise as the path to total health for midlife. She helps women to find balance in their skin, gut and hormones through non-restrictive holistic nutrition, movement (yoga, pilates, barre, strength), and living toxin-free to promote healthy hormones.

Jodie is a Certified Organic Skincare Formulator and Brand Founder of Clean Kiss, Certified Nutrition Practitioner (CNP-holistic nutritionist), Certified Nutritional Aesthetic Practitioner (CNAP), and a Yoga (250RYT) and Barre Teacher. She helps women to improve their skin issues, gut imbalances and hormonal issues in midlife by getting to the root causes.

Jodie offers 1:1 Health Consultations to clients as well as a Health Membership group, in-person workshops and retreats.  

You can find Jodie on Instagram, LinkedIn and Youtube under @cleankisslifestyle. 


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