5 Filling Foods That Love Your Waistline

Cartoon girl eating with orange juice

Our waistline often becomes a big deal during the meno years because it often changes shape and its measurements increase.

Weight Gain

Indeed, one of the biggest challenges of midlife for Meno-She’s is weight gain. This happens due to a number of reasons including our waistline storing estrogen as fat in a bid to make up for the depleted estrogen in our ovaries. You can read more about the reasons why here and here.

ERF: Eat Real Food

We personally know it’s not much fun to pack on the pounds. It’s why we always suggest swapping refined sugar and high carb foods for real foods packed with nutrients. They not only make you feel happier – seriously they act like a magic feel-good bullet – they also take the edge off hunger and make keeping your weight under control easier.

The Little Things

It’s hard making big lifestyle changes though and sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. So if you’re finding cravings getting to you here are five delicious, nutritionally good for you treats, that’ll take your not-so-good desires and kick them to the curb.

1. Coconut oil

If I want to drop a couple of kgs I always do a bout of intermittent fasting because it’s what works for me and my lifestyle. I give myself an eight-hour eating window from 10 am to 6 pm (you can read more about it here). However, initially, I can get the munchies in the mornings so I take a tablespoon of coconut oil ‘neat’ and it satisfies me. I like the taste and know it’s also great for my skin and hair and joints. It’s a trick you can use anytime. Yes, it is a fat but it’s a ‘good’ fat meaning it’s good for you.

2. Fresh Herbs

If sometimes you feel like managing your weight is a bit ‘blah’, and it seems like you’re repeating your recipes over and over again add some punch by adding lots of fresh herbs to your victuals 😀. The intense flavours of rosemary, parsley, coriander, oregano, basil, and chives et al. have the power to take things up a notch as well as providing lots of nutritional benefits. Gotta love that!

3. Kumara (sweet potato)

Kumara sweet potato

You know those days where nothing seems to touch the sides? Kumara rocks. It’s incredibly nutritious, delicious and filling. Plus it’s full of fibre, which our bods love. Granted, they’re a little bit expensive in New Zealand sometimes (you ladies fair much better in Australia), but one can go a long way. I love to finely slice them with a mandolin and crispy bake them. If you don’t have a mandolin or similar slicer, cube them. They’re delicious with sea salt and whatever herbs take your fancy. Rosemary’s good. You can make these slices with pumpkin, zucchini and eggplant too.

4. 85%-90% Dark Chocolate

Blissful right? But before you run off to grab a Snickers bar come back a minute and register the 85%-90% dark chocolate bit. You need to study the ingredient list and look for the highest percentages of cacao (preferably) or cocoa because these have less sugar along with nutritional benefits like iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, zinc, selenium and antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonols (more than blueberries!). And, btw, we’re talking a TREAT, and a couple of squares, not the entire bar though it has to be said that would be quite hard to achieve in one sitting!

Update: There’s also the new secret weapon I shared recently: Well Naturally No Sugar Dark Chocolate. You can read about it (as well as why we get sugar cravings) here.

5. Warm Lemon Water & Cinnamon 

You may be thinking ‘that old chestnut’ but the truth is this is a bit of twist on that time honoured favourite. The cinnamon adds a bit of spice along with weight management aids. If you want to amp it up a bit swap the cinnamon for cayenne pepper for the same benefits. The temperature recommendation comes from Ayurveda, which teaches that warm water helps the body by moving the Kapha element or sluggishness that can get created in the body. “It provides less of a shock as it’s more aligned with the natural temperature of the body than cold water,” says Vandana Steadman, Ayurveda practitioner @ the Yoga Therapy Centre. “This applies to almost all drinks – smoothies, juices etc.”

Bon appetit my friends 💃🏼💃🏼💃🏼

Please read ‘The Sugar Series’ also.


A big thanks to Pixabay for the gorgeous images.


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This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.


Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.