MenuPause: Five Unique Eating Plans to Break Through Your Weight Loss Plateau and Improve Mood, Sleep, and Hot Flashes304
MenuPause: Five Unique Eating Plans to Break Through Your Weight Loss Plateau and Improve Mood, Sleep, and Hot Flashes304
“Dr. Cabeca shows us how to take charge of our health in midlife, using the power of food to start feeling better—and find optimal weight, improved mood and more energy along the way!”—Izabella Wentz, PharmD, New York Times bestselling author of Hashimoto’s Protocol
A major hormonal shift in every woman’s life, menopause heralds a time of new freedoms, potential, and empowerment. But this necessary shift often also brings with it uncomfortable symptoms like brain fog, reduced libido, joint pain, constipation, and hot flashes. And even while eating and exercising as usual, most menopausal women also experience frustrating weight gain—in and of itself a symptom that can make the other symptoms worse. We seldom make the connection between what we eat and how it affects our hormones. But food is a direct hormone regulator, so when hormones shift, we must shift as well. Choosing ingredients wisely is the best way to reduce all your symptoms, including that frustrating weight gain.
Drawing inspiration from the cuisines of countries where women experience fewer menopausal symptoms, Dr. Anna Cabeca offers five unique, six-day eating plans that put a “pause” on the use of symptom-exacerbating ingredients. Depending on your health goals and the symptoms you’re experiencing, choose from these five plans:
• The Keto-Green Extreme Plan pauses inflammatory foods but includes stomach-soothing alkaline ingredients for an overall reduction in menopause symptoms.
• Keto-Green Plant-Based Detox pauses animal proteins to stoke your fat-burning metabolism, ease hot flashes, and reduce brain fog.
• The Carbohydrate Pause puts a temporary pause on all carbohydrates and sugar to help you break through a weight loss plateau, sleep better, and combat bloating.
• The Keto-Green Cleanse briefly pauses solids to gently restore and energize you at the cellular level, leading to greater energy, less joint pain, and less constipation.
• The Carbohydrate Modification Plan is the perfect feasting plan, allowing for the reintroduction of healthy but gluten-free carbohydrates to reduce restriction fatigue and maintain metabolic flexibility.
With more than 125 delicious recipes—many of which fit more than just one eating plan—MenuPause is your guide to a more comfortable menopausal transition, and ensures you won’t go hungry in the process!
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Welcome to the process of reclaiming your health and your life through food that both tastes great and is great for your body. In so doing, you are joining a family of like-minded women—women who have “gathered” on my Facebook communities and who take part in the Girlfriend Doctor Club via my website. Our shared goal is to support one another openly and honestly through various life stages, including—and mostly—menopause, which can be the most challenging time of your life.
Let’s be honest, ladies: the hormonal fluctuation that precipitates menopause wreaks havoc on our otherwise normal and happy lives. I know, and I can relate. I’ve been through it not once but twice. The first time I was 39. My toddler son was killed in a tragic accident and the ensuing stress, lack of sleep, and bonedeep sadness effectively stopped my periods. It plunged me into what doctors diagnosed as an “early menopause.” Menopause wasn’t even on my mind—I was certain it happened mostly to women who were 50-plus years old. Then came the symptoms, starting with weight gain. I had struggled with my weight all my life, once being well over 240 pounds. This was all so frightening, and I wasn’t ready, nor did I feel capable of dealing with it.
Eventually (no thanks to anything that any doctor did for me!), I was able to reverse my early menopause and, miraculously, I had another baby. But then I got to 48 years old, closer to the start of the traditional menopause age range, and it all began to happen again, only worse. This time, my joints ached, I slept less and struggled with depression, and I had a hard time zipping up most of my clothes. I felt betrayed by my body. The experience was like PMS on steroids, and I couldn’t be sure when or if it would ever end.
Both times, it took all my willpower to get my hormones and life in order. I remember hitting such a low point that I didn’t want to get out of bed. But I needed progress. I needed to feel better, I had to.
And I did.
The way I did it was through natural means—primarily nutrition and lifestyle! Yes, my entire approach to self-care started with food. I cut out all gluten, refined sugars, and processed foods, and I upped my protein, green veggies, and healthy fats. I refined my supplement intake. I began journaling how I felt, which helped me confirm that food was healing me in truly great ways.
Soon, I began to feel terrific, whole again, and ready to engage life, full steam ahead. I went on to create online programs to help women balance their hormones and heal their bodies. I wrote two books on the issue—The Hormone Fix and Keto-Green 16—which featured plans to help women (men, too) overcome the almost-universal fallout from hormonal changes: weight gain. And I’ve developed platforms like my website (dranna.com), podcasts, and The Girlfriend Doctor Show to spread healing and support to women everywhere.
My diets and these programs have succeeded beyond my expectations. They are responsible for tens of thousands of women preventing and reversing menopause symptoms, along with losing weight safely and easily—all while rebalancing their hormones.
Which brings me to MenuPause. This is a novel cookbook filled with tasty, satisfying recipes, along with five breakthrough 6-day diet plans backed by self-care guidelines to help you on your healing journey. The variety of plans are to help you break free of a plateau and accelerate results. Just like you have to change your exercise routine, you have to change your eating routine. My goal in writing this cookbook is to share with you how delicious, nutritious foods will ease your symptoms and help you achieve amazing well-being. This cookbook will help you discover the quality and variety of flavorful dishes so that you can live a fulfilling life, a life in which you wake up every day, loving the woman you have become.
All health begins with nutrient-rich foods. This is not a new concept, of course. Since ancient times, food has been central to medicine and healing, as well as to illness prevention. The father of medicine, Hippocrates, is to thank for the famous quote: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Food was the first medicine used in ancient times to restore harmony in someone who was ill. And it still works wonders today.
Women in other parts of the world know this! Many of us in the Western world approach menopause with fear and dread: weight gain, insomnia, brain fog, anxiety, depression, hot flashes, loss of libido, loss of memory, and more. Not coincidentally, we suffer greater menopausal symptoms than other women around the globe. Is our diet to blame? Very much so!
After my precious son died, my family and I took a trip around the world. One of my missions was to discover the very best natural practices of healers all over the globe—practices I could incorporate into my life and into the lives of women everywhere. On this worldwide journey, I discovered that menopause and other phases of women’s lives cause fewer symptoms elsewhere than they do in American women. An older woman is revered, listened to, and respected for her wisdom.
Why is this? Because menopause in other cultures is treated with natural methods— with diet being the number-one way to reduce symptoms and ease the transition.
Yes, diet! Dietary steps and other lifestyle changes not only make menopause more manageable but also perimenopause and postmenopause.
So, as added features in this cookbook, I include sections called “Menopause Around the World,” illustrating how women in other countries go through natural menopause and have very few menopause-related complications. It is believed that their natural, hormone-balancing diets, as well as high levels of physical activity, help reduce the negative effects of menopause. And many women in these cultures have naturally high levels of sex hormones, like estrogen, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), and progesterone as they age—levels that are higher than those of American women of the same age. Again, the reason has to do with diet, but also with maintaining a positive outlook. Although women in other countries experience stress, they’ve created cultures to cope with it, including having supportive communities, multigenerational households, and a deep sense of spirituality, meaning, and purpose. This is certainly true in the Blue Zones—areas of the world with the highest numbers of people over 100 years old.
There’s nothing to say that we can’t develop the same powerful lifestyles and attitudes. Toward that end, I’ve created many recipes that reflect cultures in which the transition to menopause is largely symptom free and a time to be celebrated.
When you learn how to prepare yummy meals filled with healing nutrients—rather than relying on convenience or processed foods—you take giant leaps forward to feeling and looking your best, and that’s for a lifetime. When you know how to cook healthful meals, you will heal your menopausal symptoms. When you start enjoying this way of living, you walk into a life full of happiness and wholeness—a life you deserve.
MenuPause is about upending the way you eat, cementing new food habits, and taking care of your health and excess weight. It is all about eating real foods. Fresh, organic foods. Foods that are full of nutrients, good proteins, and healing fats that keep your body in peak health. Frankly, this food is good for you no matter what your age or stage in life. And your whole family can enjoy it with you!
But for women in the throes of perimenopause or menopause, I’ve seen near-miraculous changes. They were feeling ill, fatigued, and out of sorts, suffering from depression and anxiety, and burdened with excess pounds. But once they changed their nutrition, they got sexy and slim, their moods brightened, their thoughts sharpened, their bodies strengthened—and more.
Table of Contents
Part 1 The Magic Begins
Chapter 1 Pause a Few Things on Your Menu to End Your Menopausal Symptoms 16
Chapter 2 How MenuPause Heals Your Body 28
Chapter 3 6 Days to Menopausal Weight Loss, Energy, and Feeling Great 34
Part 2 The 6-Day MenuPause Plans
Chapter 4 Keto-Green Extreme 44
Chapter 5 Keto-Green Plant-Based Detox 60
Chapter 6 The Carbohydrate Pause 70
Chapter 7 The Keto-Green Cleanse 86
Chapter 8 The Carbohydrate Modification Plan 104
Part 3 The MenuPause Recipes
Chapter 9 Keto-Green Extreme Recipes 119
Chapter 10 Keto-Green Plant-Based Detox Recipes 163
Chapter 11 The Carbohydrate Pause Recipes 195
Chapter 12 The Keto-Green Cleanse Recipes 231
Chapter 13 The Carbohydrate Modification Plan Recipes 249
Chapter 14 Pause What No Longer Serves You 288
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