For the past several months, I have shared my menopause experience in my Facebook community Journey to Joy. During that time, it has been my intention to make other women aware of the many changes and challenges which comes with this season of life and the resources available to help women, like me, live a happy, healthy, joy-filled life.
During a woman's transition to menopause and years beyond, the hormone estrogen begins to decline, which can disrupt the normal patterns of estrogen and progesterone. When estrogen levels decline, one's metabolism is impacted which may lead to weight gain. Yep, the dreaded weight gain. Sigh. Not only that, the changes in the body can also affect cholesterol levels and how the body digests carbs, including (and surprisingly) some foods from the legume family, starchy root vegetables and grain-based food categories (think doughnuts, bagels, croissants)
While I won't dive into the specifics of foods which can help balance hormones, I will say my decision to reintroduce some animal proteins to my diet has been life-changing. The decline in estrogen from menopause has been linked to decreased muscle mass and bone strength.
For this reason, women going through menopause should eat more protein. Guidelines recommend that women over 50 eat 0.45–0.55 grams of protein per pound (1–1.2 grams per kg) of body weight daily — or 20–25 grams of high-quality protein per meal. I recommend consulting with your primary heath practitioner for guidance and to make sure you are consuming adequate amounts of protein. While I am not suggesting you discontinue your plant-based journey, if you experiencing peri/menopausal symptoms, I am suggesting you have an honest discussion with your healthcare practitioner about your health and what makes sense during this season of life. For me, including eggs, fish and wild game meats into my diet made sense for me and I feel so much better.
Now, onto the recipe.
Let me be honest, I love bread and giving up grain-based foods, especially baked goods has been very challenging. However, I have found ways to accommodate my taste buds using ingredients which my body loves. This Herbed Egg Wrap recipe provides the essential protein I need to start my day and it allows me the option of including vegetables or plant-based fillings, as well as animal protein fillings, if I so desire. In this case, I decided to fill my wrap with some leftover turkey taco meat filling since my body cannot tolerate corn or flour at this time, and topped with fresh cilantro and pico de gallo. In addition, I am all about ease and not spending as much time in the kitchen as I used to. This recipe can be prepared in less than 12 minutes and is oh so tasty! Don't believe me? Well, try it out and let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. By the way, you can play with this recipe by adding your favorite herbs and seasonings to suite your personal tastes.
Alrighty then...download the recipe and let's get cooking.
Regina Thomas Dillard is a certified chef, founder of Inner Sanctum Wellness, Regina Cooks Culinary School and the author of FEED: Living Food Recipes to be Made and Eaten with Love. Available softcover, digital download and Amazon.