This episode is an oldie but goodie. It was previously released on Mar 5 2020 (pre-pandemic!) but the nutritional information is timeless. Listen in to discover how to: eat healthy with minimal preparation and time; what foods should be on your plate; which foods may wreak havoc on your hormones; and how to eat to balance blood sugar levels, energy and hormones.

As perimenopausal mamas, it can be tough to eat healthy when life is busy. Preparation can be key, especially to help make it easier at the end of the day after working and running around picking up kids from school or daycare.

Quick tips for food prep:

  • Pick a day on the weekend to do quick meal prep for the week, make a grocery list and get your groceries for the week
  • Keep frozen veggies on hand to roast, steam or saute as an option for quick nutrient boost to meals

What does a healthy, balanced diet look like? Macronutrients found in food include:

  • Protein – animal and plant based
  • Fats – animal and plant based, unsaturated and saturated (avoiding trans fats!)
  • Carbohydrates – simple and complex including fibre

There is no one size fits all when it comes to a healthy diet! There is no one master diet that is the right way to eat for everyone and your nutritional needs can change depending on the stage of life you are in.

While a healthy diet can vary from person to person, there are some nutrition guidelines to consider:

  • Aim for covering half your plate in vegetables, especially colourful veggies and leafy greens
  • Eat more Brassica family veggies to support estrogen detoxification, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kale
  • Cover a quarter of your plate with healthy sources of protein like wild caught fish, organic chicken, grass fed beef, beans and legumes 
  • Complex carbohydrates like whole grains or starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash and beets can cover the remaining quarter of your plate
  • Add healthy fats like avocado, coconut and olive oil, ghee, nuts and seeds like almonds and walnuts

Start your kids early with healthy eating to avoid having to make more than one meal – see Episode 5 with Amanda Beatty for more tips!

Remember that your portion control and balance of carbs in your meals will most likely be different than your kids! Your kids may need more simple carbs in the form of fruit and grains. 

Read the label when you’re picking out processed foods and looking for healthy snacks. A snack may say gluten free or natural, but can still have a whole lot of added sugar in it in the form of evaporated cane juice, sucrose, glucose, fructose or other words that end with “ose”.

Are you eating enough protein? 

Protein is important for hormone balance for a number of reasons:

  • Acts as essential building block for hormones and enzymes
  • Supports muscle mass, which is metabolically active tissue that burns more calories!
  • Has higher thermic effect of food, which means that your body will burn more calories when digesting and processing food with higher levels of protein

Make sure you have a breakfast that contains protein with:

  • Eggs in scrambled, omelette, frittata or hard boiled form
  • Quinoa porridge with seeds like hemp and ground flax
  • Chia seed pudding 
  • Smoothie with nut butter, protein powder 
  • Adding in an extra scoop of collagen or protein powder to any of the above

Other goals to use your food as medicine can include:

  • Balance your blood sugar to prevent energy dips, insulin release and fat storage
  • Stay more full and satisfied with protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and fibre
  • Get a mood boost with complex carbohydrates and tryptophan-containing foods like chia and sesame seeds
  • Avoid inflammatory foods like processed sugar and find out if your body is not happy with other normally healthy foods 
    • Common food sensitivities can include dairy, gluten, corn, soy, eggs and even almonds!
  • Avoid drinking too much water with your meals so that you’re not diluting your stomach acid which can impact your ability to digest and absorb your food properly

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Toni believes that every mama needs a go-to healthy snack to fuel yourself and your kids and her go-to snack is her hemp protein power balls. Here’s her recipe:

Dr. Toni’s Hemp Protein Power Balls:

  • ½ cup hemp protein powder (from Manitoba Harvest)
  • 1 tbsp organic cocoa powder (from Camino Cuisine or Rodelle)
  • ½ cup sunflower seed butter (from Nuts to You, or use almond/pumpkin seed butter)
  • 1 tbsp organic blackstrap molasses (from Wholesome)
  • ½ tbsp hemp seed oil (from Manitoba Harvest, or use MCT/flaxseed oil)

Optional:

  • Coconut flakes
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Dried cranberries (sweetened with apple juice from Patience)

Mix dried ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then add wet ingredients. Consider adding more oil if using optional ingredients. Roll into bite sized balls and store in the refrigerator.

Thank you for joining us today! 

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