377-Menopause, Perimenopause and Nutrition with Dr. Jenn Huber

by | Oct 5, 2023 | 0 comments

Non-Diet Approach to menopause & perimenopause

Non-Diet Approach to menopause & perimenopause with Dr. Jenn Huber. 

Non-Diet Approach to menopause & perimenopause 

Do we really need to eat high protein to avoid symptoms of perimenopause? 

Is it normal to gain weight after menopause?

Today we discuss all things menopause & perimenopause with Dr. Jenn.

Dr. Jenn Salib Huber is a Canadian Registered Dietitian, Naturopathic Doctor, and Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor and she’s on a mission to help women thrive in midlife. 

She helps women navigate the changes that happen in midlife, including their search for food freedom and body confidence. 

She’s the host of ‘The Midlife Feast’ podcast and community that helps women “undiet” their lives so they can nourish a relationship with food that helps them discover the magic of midlife!

What you’ll learn listening to this episode on Non-Diet Approach to menopause & perimenopause:

  • Is there such a thing as an hormone balancing diet
  • The best question to ask yourself for your nutrition in that phase of your life
  • What about weight gain- is it normal?

Mentioned in the show: 

Health Habits School as bonus in Undiet Your Life Program

Health Habits Checklist

Non-Diet Coaching Certification

Connect with our guest:

Jenn Huber’s Free Masterclass – Menopause Made Easy

Instagram – Jenn Huber

Facebook – Jenn Huber

Transcript

Episode 377-Non-Diet Approach to menopause & perimenopause with Dr. Jenn Huber

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This is episode 377 of the Beyond the Food Show and today we talk all things. Bowie menopause menopause nutrition with dr. Jen Huber, stay tuned.

Hey my sister, welcome back. I am so proud of this episode and. So excited to put this on our podcast feed. I have been wanting to do an episode about perimenopause and menopause that doesn't involve diet culture and I found perfect person to do this with me. It's Dr. Jen Huber. She is a registered dietitian and a naturopathic doctor and a certified intuitive eating counselor.

So I knew we're not going to get a side of diet culture and wellness culture and yet get super powerful, intelligent, science based advice for all of us that are either in the midst of perimenopause, menopause, Or that is coming up for you. You don't want to miss this episode. I think it's going to be one of those archived episode that is going to serve you very well.

We're dismantling all the myths about like high protein and muscle building and hormones and even I share about, I'm coming out actually. on this podcast. I'm not going to tell you what, you're going to have to listen, but I'm making a coming out on the podcast. Now, before I roll in with the interview with Dr. Jen, I want to invite all of you to join us inside of Undie at Your Life for Health Habit School that is It's going to be happening in less than 10 days. We're going to be starting on October the 15th, to talk about health behavior in a completely disruptive counterculture way that does not involve willpower, self discipline, and self discipline.

Losing weight as the motivator for actually engaging and help promoting behavior. So I'm going to break down four steps that I have been using with my client and I have used myself in my life to create health promoting behavior that

And one of the shifts around thinking about how promoting behavior differently, we kind of talked about it in the last episodes. If you haven't listened, episode 376, and you're considering getting support with your health promoting behavior, go and listen to 376 where I talk about the three shifts that we need to make in our belief.

And that's where we start when. We teach health habits inside of On Diet Your Life. We don't talk about being more productive and how to maximize our willpower. But instead we're talking about beliefs and belief system and how we've been socialized to health and behavioral changes and how that impacts.

The on and off cycle with our health habit that we've been on most of us our entire life. So what do we need to unlearn? What we need to learn? That's where we start. And then we're gonna then take on the journey of setting what I call a liberated goal around your health. And then how to walk through weeks and months of learning this new behavior.

For the rest of your life and what happened when you want to stop and you want to quit? what does that mean? And how do we handle that without self criticism judgment and quote unquote beating the shit out of ourselves? So it's a revolutionary way of thinking about health habit And I want to invite you if you're ready for that if you need that we will be there To support you in creating new health habits That's for the rest of your life and that's starting October 15th.

If you're listening to this after October 15th, no worries. We are recording all the sessions and they will be available permanently inside of Undyette Your Life coaching program. So you can join us at any time and inside of your student portal, you'll be able to catch up. and then get support on our bi weekly coaching call.

Okay, I hope many of you will come to join us. And now let's talk about menopause, perimenopause and nutrition with Dr. Jen Huber. Let's roll in the interview.​

Stephanie: Welcome to the show, Jen.

Dr. Jenn: Thank you so much. I'm so excited to be here.

Stephanie: I'm excited to have this conversation with you. I've been like a child playing around this morning, trying to write down all my questions because I've got so many for you. We're going to talk all things menopause, perimenopause. And I've been answering that question and I want to get us started on the diet from perimenopause and menopause. Your opinion as a specialist of that and this whole conversation around needing more protein.

Dr. Jenn: Yeah. Well, you know. the good thing and the bad thing about all things menopause being in the media and having its moment spotlight, the good thing is that we're having the conversations. The good thing is that more people who are going through perimenopause, who would have otherwise not been supported now have access.

Dr. Jenn: But A big problem with that access is too much and, you know, just because the information is out there doesn't mean it's good information. And so we, there's a lot of people who are giving opinions about things that I don't necessarily think they're qualified to do. and Oftentimes it's revolving around this diet and wellness culture conversation of what is the best diet.

Dr. Jenn: There's all kinds of people talking about hormone balancing diets and what you need to cut out and you know, women can't have carbs and all these kinds of things. And at the end of the day, what I like to tell people is that for the most part, our nutritional needs don't change all that. Much

Dr. Jenn: at the end of the day, we are human beings going through different seasons of life. The foundations and the basics don't change. We still need to have balance plates most of the time imperfectly in ways that fit our life that are about nourishment and pleasure and joy. But if we're talking gentle nutrition, if we're talking about, okay, I'm 45, I'm 55 and I want to stay healthy, well active, whatever it is through the next 30 or 40 years, because we know that, you know, most of us are going to spend at least 30 percent of our life in postmenopause. What can we add in?

Dr. Jenn: And protein does come into that conversation, but it doesn't come into the conversation in the way that I think most people see represented on social media. Nobody needs to be eating, you know, six chicken breasts a day. Nobody needs to be aiming for protein at the expense of everything else. So when I'm talking about it, I'm saying, what can we add in to what you're already doing to what you're already enjoying so that we can build and maintain muscle to the best of our ability so that we can support your bones because protein is actually an important component of that. And. If we're talking about, you know, people's relationship with food and people who have, you know, dieted chronically and who maybe who have never felt satisfied in full in a long time, protein can be a nice addition to that conversation too.

Dr. Jenn: So to answer the protein question, Yeah, it does matter. It does matter a little bit more in perimenopause and menopause. It's not the be all and end all.

Stephanie: It mattered all along. That's what I'm hearing. Yes. It mattered all along. It may matter a little bit more, like we're talking here like 5%, but not like 50%.

Stephanie: It mattered that much more and it's going to save your life out of all your symptoms of menopause or perimenopause.

Dr. Jenn: Exactly. It doesn't fix anything in and of itself.

Stephanie: You said, you mentioned the term hormone balancing diet. Is there such a thing? is food, diets, nutrition able to balance our hormone?

Dr. Jenn: Not in the way that it's portrayed. So, hormones for people who have ovaries, who have working ovaries, We have upstairs hormones that come from our brain and we have downstairs hormones that come from our ovaries. Food can't influence those in a significant way. Cutting out sugar is not going to balance your hormones. Adding in protein isn't going to balance your hormones.

Dr. Jenn: But there are foods, including phytoestrogen rich foods that may help to manage the symptoms of the rollercoaster of hormone changes that are happening. But I try to never use the word balance and hormone in the same conversation. Because it gets really confusing because what's balance, you know, in perimenopause, we're on a roller coaster that literally changes from day to day, month to month.

Dr. Jenn: So balance for me and balance for you can be two very different things. We, even within the same individual one month, we can have really high levels of estrogen and the next month they can bottom out. There's nothing that we can do to balance that with food. So no. Short answer.

Stephanie: Okay. We got the two most hot question out of the way.

Stephanie: Now I'm going to have a conversation about menopause and perimenopause. What does it mean for you? Like going through perimenopause and menopause. How do you define that for you? How do you live with that?

Dr. Jenn: Well, I think that for, I don't know how old you are, I'm 46.

Stephanie: I'm 47 going through perimenopause, so I have, I can't, we can talk about that for a long time. Right. And so I have to refrain myself from sharing my personal story. Tell us what you think it is.

Dr. Jenn: Well, and it's a great example. So I'm 46 and post menopause. So we can have a huge range of experiences within, you know, decades. So it's not unusual for people in their 40s to be in perimenopause. It's by far the most common.

Dr. Jenn: It's a little bit less common, but not rare to go into menopause before the age of 45. It's considered early. If you go into menopause before 40, that's premature. That's a little too early. And then there are some people who are almost 60 before they finally get rid of their period. So, for each of us, our own experience is going to be very different, but I think that for our generation, if I can make a sweeping generalization, we were raised with the message that menopause was the end.

Dr. Jenn: That menopause was the end of your period, it was the end of your reproductive years, your best years were behind you, and everything went to shit after that. But I think we're redefining that. I know we're redefining that, because we now know. You know, I'm going to spend, I hope 40 plus percent of my life is put as a post menopausal active person, right. Who's, you know, trying my best to live my best life within the means of expectancy, like normal expectations. I'm not fighting aging, but I'm trying to age well. you know, and so I think that for many of us, this is an opportunity to see it as a new beginning. And there are so many. You know, great examples and analogies of like, this is just a second season.

Dr. Jenn: Yeah, you've got a bit of a storm to go through before you get to the other side, but you know, your menopause is just the end of your period. It's not the end of you.

Stephanie: I totally agree with you. It has a lot to do with. Ageism, right? We see ourselves as coming to be useless. Like I, I don't because of all the thought work and the mindset that I've done.

Stephanie: But for many of my friends, they are fearing that face of their life because what society has told them that it means. But what I'm hearing you say is we can redefine that, redefine what menopause and perimenopause means to us.

Dr. Jenn: And it's not just humans. The grandmother hypothesis is such a great example from the animal kingdom of other animals, orca whales, giraffes, where the female members of, you know, their groups live long beyond their reproductive years and it serves a purpose. It's because we're wise.

Stephanie: Yes, I love that we have the same mindset.

Dr. Jenn: Yeah, it's we are wise. We have the experience. we know through lived experience, what matters and what doesn't, and it's our job to pass that on. So, you know, really kind of coming into owning that. Yeah, my period is over, but I am okay with that for one.

Dr. Jenn: I have a whole bunch of lived experience now and there's so much more to do with that than just wait for life to be over.

Stephanie: For me I see what I'm going through right now is really embracing the I don't give a f I don't give a fuck of what's going on like I'm doing me. And I'm living my life the way I want to, and it's almost like shedding my period is shedding that social conditioning that I have to live my life the way people told me I had to, and now I'm shedding that part of me, and I'm really.

Dr. Jenn: The greatest gift of midlife is the inability to do the things that you don't want to do anymore. Oh,

Stephanie: I love that. Tell me more.

Dr. Jenn: Yeah. I mean, it's Brene Brown's, a variation of Brene Brown's quote that middle grabs you by the shoulders and says like, you know, I'm not messing around, like get to it. but really this inability to do things that we don't want to do anymore become so uncomfortable that it often comes out as rage.

Dr. Jenn: When we're forced to do the things we don't want to do, resentment and, you know, there's so much turmoil happening inside and on the outside as a result of that, that there are many reasons why midlife is uncomfortable for people. I, you know, I'm the last person to ever deny someone's experience that it sucks sometimes, but if you can work your way through it, including the messy parts, there's so much clarity that can come out of it.

Stephanie: Like, I'll just give you a short story on me. I have, it's presenting itself a lot in sleep, like I want to go to bed at eight 30, but I'm awake at three 30. And for the first six months I used to fight it and I fought it because I needed like the eight hours sleep from like 10 to 6 a. m. like the normal standard linear way of sleeping and I was exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically.

Stephanie: Yeah. Right from fighting it and thinking something is wrong and it should be like the proper way of sleeping and I stopped fighting it true working through like, this is it. This is it's present for me in my life. I'm not fighting it anymore. Then my day starts at 4 am. What can I tell you? Like, and it goes to bed at 7.

Stephanie: 30, but it starts at 4 a. m. I don't fight it. I've learned not to fight my body at all for any reason.

Dr. Jenn: Yeah. Yeah. And I think that sleep is a great example of something that most people going through perimenopause notice huge changes with. and it's often that waking at 3 a. m.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Dr. Jenn: Oh, yeah. No, that's like, I mean, it's almost a meme.

Dr. Jenn: I think it is a meme, you know, kind of waking up at 3 a. m. and just being like wide awake. and it's fabulous. If you, if your life allows you to go to bed at 7 or 8 o'clock, it's definitely a struggle. I think when people can't do that for whatever reason. And, you know, it becomes such a slog to, you know, to Try and sleep and to try to get back to sleep and to worry about sleep.

Dr. Jenn: But that those early sleep changes are definitely one of the first symptoms of perimenopause that I think most people go through.

Stephanie: Am I correct to say that menopause and perimenopause. Almost became like, a continuation of our thin ideal, like we're both in the non diet space where the body of a woman should be all looking the same way, and we should all fit the same way.

Stephanie: And we're going through menopause, and the more I'm hearing and I'm paying attention to the narrative, like, We shouldn't be having symptoms. Like there's a way to avoid the symptoms and if you do this, you're going to sleep. And if you do this, you won't. Is that really possible to not have symptoms? And if we're perfect enough, we're just going to ride that sucker up?

Dr. Jenn: Well, it's an interesting question that I don't know exactly the answer to. I know that there are, you know, there's research from other countries where menopause is not described in the way that we describe it. Is that because it doesn't exist, or is it because those are patriarchal cultures that have never cared about women's health?

Dr. Jenn: I was going to say, who's writing the research? Exactly. but, you know, if we look at North American experiences, European experiences. We're going to notice a huge range and again, that probably comes down to genetics. We know that genetics are a big driver of when we go into menopause and your mother's experience of menopause can hint at what yours will be like.

Dr. Jenn: It's not perfect, obviously, but then, you know, we have all of these other factors that can influence. Not only our symptoms, but also just our experience, how much support we have, access to health care, stress, companionship, you know, all of those things can influence our experience of it. So I think it's a really hard question to answer as yes or no.

Dr. Jenn: I think that we're just scratching the surface, though, of the things that we can do to make the experience more positive and comfortable.

Stephanie: I love that more positive and comfortable. But not thinking there's something wrong with the experience.

Dr. Jenn: It's not, you know, it's not a pathology. Yes. So just like pregnancy can come with all kinds of ups and downs and complications and not so fun parts, but it's not a pathology.

Stephanie: Just like large body are not a pathology. Menopause is not a pathology. It comes in body diversity and menopause diversity, I guess.

Dr. Jenn: Yeah, absolutely.

Stephanie: and we're sold by the industry, the illusion that there is a product, there is a process, if we sacrifice enough and if we're hard enough. then we can avoid all the symptoms,

Dr. Jenn: and I don't think that exists, obviously.

Stephanie: And as I'm saying that, like, it's because I was just teaching a class on healthism, and I'm not niche in menopause or perimenopause, but it's almost like we feel a shame of having symptoms and not being able to solve them. Could you say that, your observation of life in population?

Dr. Jenn: Yeah, I think that, you know, when, especially when it comes to things like hot flashes, you know, in the workplace, for example,a lot of women will apologize for them.

Dr. Jenn: We'll try and hide the fact that they're having them. and I think that it's just like everything else. We just need to name it and call it, you know, and. The more that we talk about it, the more that we normalize that, like, this is something that literally every woman on the planet or every person with a uterus and ovaries on the planet is going to go through, and 75 percent of them will experience hot flashes.

Dr. Jenn: Like, why don't we normalize that? Right. So taking away the shame for that is, I think, a big part of how we improve the experience. you know, being able to name it and also being able to name it accesses solutions more easily and readily because people aren't afraid or ashamed to ask for help.

Stephanie: Yeah, so I'm going to come out and say, like, I've started to take the birth control pill for my perimenopause. Yeah. And there's a, like, when I listen to wellness culture, because I still have a lot of colleagues entrenched in wellness culture, and it's just a shame of doing that, like, they shame people for going to take birth control pill to manage their symptoms.

Stephanie: Yeah. It's sad. I mean,

Dr. Jenn: it's crazy because, yeah, wellness culture tells us that we are a better person for suffering through it. Right.

Stephanie: Talk to me about that. Yes.

Dr. Jenn: And so if we can manage menopause without any hormones, without any help, then somehow we are, we emerge more virtuous on the other side and that's ridiculous.

Dr. Jenn: Right. And I mean, and that is, that's so rooted in patriarchy and ageism and wellness culture and all of that, you know, and a lot of the symptoms that we need help managing directly impact our quality of life, mood, heavy periods, what I call crime scene periods that like make it so that you're afraid to leave the house, let alone stand up.

Dr. Jenn: Or sit anywhere exactly, you know, and that leads to iron deficiency and like all, you know, it's this trickle down effect. I mean, when I was in the thick of my perimenopause, I was having to set 2 alarms at night, not to bleed through and I was going to bed with like towels down and I would wake up with like, and I'd be like, Oh, and I'd like run to the bathroom. Like, you know, why is, okay. Why is anyone expected to suffer through any of that? you know, the mood changes and the risk of depression and anxiety is increased. And so we need to just normalize that, Hey, this can go on for 10 years, folks like. You don't need to suffer through a decade of your life just because somebody tells you that you should, because there is no value in that.

Stephanie: As you were talking, there was a word that kept ringing in my brain, Like the obsession of the perfect menopause and perimenopause? Like, it's almost the same thing as alphism.

Dr. Jenn: Yeah. I think that there is this, you know, wellness culture likes to develop these rituals, right?

Dr. Jenn: and these rhythms that if you do these things in this order, you will unlock this next level. which of course we know is bullshit, but so I think that what we really need to do is create community where we're talking about the range of experiences so that no one ever thinks they're alone in their suffering in perimenopause,

Stephanie: so that, normal. Exactly. Normalizing it, right?

Dr. Jenn: The number of people who have reached out to me and have said that the only place they have ever heard anyone talk about the things that I talk about is on my podcast, because they don't have any friends who are going through it. They don't have any family, their mother either.

Dr. Jenn: didn't talk about it, isn't around anymore, or had a hysterectomy, like, we're just not talking about what is normal. And normal doesn't mean like, oh, it's normal and I just have to suffer through it. Normal means like, what can you expect, right? Like, what can you expect in the next five or ten years so that you know what to look for?

Stephanie: And whatever comes doesn't mean anything about you. Exactly. Might it doesn't mean you didn't work hard enough and try hard enough. It's just part of this package of being a person with ovaries. Exactly. Including we're going to go down the topic of weight gain.

Dr. Jenn: Yes, which 80 plus percent of people going through perimenopause and menopause experience. Sometimes it's. Or I should say often it's the number on the scale, if they're using a scale that has changed or their clothing size, but probably even more common than that is this redistribution of assets as I call it. Where, because we are moving from this higher estrogen state to a lower estrogen state, and the hormones are all shifting.

Dr. Jenn: We go from the pear shape to the apple shape. So, even if. Your body isn't changing in mass what you see in the mirror and how your clothes fit is changing. And that is uncomfortable because our default programming tells us that there's something wrong with that and that there's something wrong with us because of it.

Dr. Jenn: So, you know, when I ask people, what is your most bothersome symptom? it's the body changes that always come out on top. They're like, I'd love to be done with the hot flashes too, but it's really, it's this body stuff that I just am having such a hard time with, but it does get even more nuanced or complicated because there's, we now know that we're seeing in the research, there's a second peak of eating disorders that is happening in perimenopause.

Dr. Jenn: So the same changes that are happening in our brain. In puberty that lead to or contribute to body dissatisfaction and body dysmorphia, we're seeing again as women go through perimenopause. So we have this physiological process that is changing what our body looks like on the inside and the outside.

Dr. Jenn: And our brain is going through reverse puberty. And so it is a damn uncomfortable time for anybody in the middle of an already busy time of life. So it is, it does feel like a big flaming bag of garbage most of the time. Like that is a normal experience that we need to talk about.

Stephanie: And I believe so from my world being a lot about body image. Here's my perspective on this is that women come to perimenopause or menopause the weight gain happened and it's the trigger to body image issue that perhaps before the escape to controlling food or perhaps the had 10 privilege. It wasn't a thing. And all of a sudden the thing that was stable now flares up quote unquote. And now their body image stuff comes up.

Dr. Jenn: It's exactly what happens.

Stephanie: Because for me, as a person who's done because of my weight, body image long time ago, gaining weight is not a big bag of problem, it's just, oh, my body changed, but I'm already, I came into it neutral. And that's not the position of most women.

Dr. Jenn: no. And because we also get the messaging from diet and wellness culture that we need to fight that tooth and nail, because of all of the. you know, implied and stated complications of gaining weight. it becomes a really fear based conversation. And, you know, I'm sure you see it as well, that people will come in and just say, I'm terrified and I need to do something.

Dr. Jenn: And yet they also know in their heart of hearts. Because of this gift of midlife that they cannot start another diet. So they feel stuck in this rock in this hard place and they just don't know where to turn.

Stephanie: And that's why people like me and you, our message needs to get broadcasted louder. So people have an option to say, like, it's not true. You're stuck. We're here. We can help you go through that differently without putting you on another diet and losing weight being the solution.

Dr. Jenn: Exactly.

Stephanie: So. What I hear from you is that weight gain is normal and it's not a sign that something has gone wrong with your menopause and you need to control it. It's instead just part and parcel of perimenopause and menopause. And perhaps Another call to do the work of body neutrality or acceptance, whatever school you're in and truly make peace with your body.

Dr. Jenn: Yeah, because at the end of the day, we can't reverse it, right? You know, this is a change that's programmed into our DNA.

Dr. Jenn: and so if we think about. The purpose of it, you know, one of the leading theories is that extra fat around our midsection produces estrogen, helps to protect our bones and our heart and our brain as we go through menopause. and so if we start to see purpose to it, I think that it helps us to have a bit more compassion for why it's happening.

Dr. Jenn: And if we can have that body neutral, you know, foundation. Then we can just kind of see it as something that is happening around us and not something that's happening to us. Yeah. I love that. You're going gray. Right. Like, yeah, my hair's going gray. and I like to diet right now, but at some point I, I won't feel like that's worth it.

Dr. Jenn: you know, I'm getting wrinkles. or I should say I have wrinkles. I don't particularly feel a strong inclination to, to change that. Right. Because I know that that's happening. That's part of the process. That's part of the privilege of getting older.

Stephanie: And I don't, for me, the way I teach body neutrality is your body is a tool to experience life is just one of the thing that your tool has as a way of aging, which is gray hair, which is weight gain on the belly. It doesn't mean anything about you as a. Spare it to a person behind the body. Now, do you, and this is where often people, my message gets like overtaken.

Stephanie: Like, if it's a tool that I need to maximize its efficiency. No, no, no, no, no. Like we don't need to like, this is why I started with a high protein conversation. We can also talk about muscle building. People have this representation that we degrade, we shrink and we lose all our muscle because now we're in perimenopause or menopause.

Stephanie: Is that the case?

Dr. Jenn: no, not in that way. but all humans, not just women, but all humans, you know, really kind of start to become challenged at building and maintaining muscle as we get older. It's much easier at 18 than it is at 68 to build muscle, but there are huge returns on investment if we can.

Dr. Jenn: build or maintain a bit of muscle as we get older. and it has nothing to do with appearance and everything to do with how you live in your body. and you know, from maintaining your balance and being able to carry your groceries up the stairs, to being able to live your best life when you retire.

Dr. Jenn: So shifting the focus from, I need to work out to shape what my body looks like. To I want to move my body and make it as strong as I can within reason and my means so that I can feel healthy and well, as I go through the season of life, I think is a huge part of that body neutral conversation too.

Stephanie: And I have the same opinion as you. It's like all human lose muscle. Now, what kind of life do I want to lead when I'm 70, when I'm 80, if I. have the choice to let it be what it is, but I also have in today's world the privilege to be able to do some muscle building exercise that will allow me to be a kick ass 70 years old that travels the world, that can walk around for miles on end and just enjoys her life.

Stephanie: I get to choose how I want to live. That part of my life. Exactly. Any parting words for our audience or any topic I haven't talked about that you absolutely want to put on the forefront of women as they're going through peri and menopause.

Dr. Jenn: I think we've covered a lot, actually. I mean, the biggest thing that I always tell people is that, you know, just because it's normal doesn't mean that you have to wing it.

Dr. Jenn: And so, so many people are focused on having the natural menopause experience or just, you know, biding their time to wait until it's over, believing that like they just have to get to that last period. But regardless of whether you're having a lot of symptoms or not, If you're noticing these perimenopausal changes, it's a great time to actually start thinking about the next season of your life and how can I plan, prepare, get excited about it.

Dr. Jenn: life without a period is pretty awesome. Not going to lie. Right. And so, just being able upsides. To midlife, there are upsides to being in menopause and you don't have to fear it because it is not the end.

Stephanie: And it's true the 2nd season of life is often triggered by perimenopause and menopause and that's the opportunity for us to ask ourselves, what do we really want?

Stephanie: How do I want to live the rest of my life? Yeah, exactly. Where can people find you, Jen? I know you got some pretty cool stuff. You haven't talked about it so far, but it's time now to tell people where they can find you.

Dr. Jenn: Well, I mean, I hang out on Instagram too much, so it's probably where people can find me easiest. It's at menopause. nutritionist, but my podcast, the midlife feast and the community, my membership community by the same name are really where people can connect and learn with me if they want to dive a little bit deeper into anything that we're doing here. And I can share those links with you

Stephanie: and the podcast because they're going to listen to this on the midlife feast.

Stephanie: Perfect. Let's all go in and listen to that. Thank you very much, Jen, for sharing your time with us today.

Dr. Jenn: Thanks so much for having me.

Non-Diet Approach to Menopause & Perimenopause with Dr. Jenn Huber

This is episode 377 of the Beyond the Food Show and today we talk all things. Bowie menopause menopause nutrition with dr. Jen Huber, stay tuned.

Hey my sister, welcome back. I am so proud of this episode and. So excited to put this on our podcast feed. I have been wanting to do an episode about perimenopause and menopause that doesn’t involve diet culture and I found perfect person to do this with me. It’s Dr. Jen Huber. She is a registered dietitian and a naturopathic doctor and a certified intuitive eating counselor.

So I knew we’re not going to get a side of diet culture and wellness culture and yet get super powerful, intelligent, science based advice for all of us that are either in the midst of perimenopause, menopause, Or that is coming up for you. You don’t want to miss this episode. I think it’s going to be one of those archived episode that is going to serve you very well.

We’re dismantling all the myths about like high protein and muscle building and hormones and even I share about, I’m coming out actually. on this podcast. I’m not going to tell you what, you’re going to have to listen, but I’m making a coming out on the podcast. Now, before I roll in with the interview with Dr. Jen, I want to invite all of you to join us inside of Undie at Your Life for Health Habit School that is It’s going to be happening in less than 10 days. We’re going to be starting on October the 15th, to talk about health behavior in a completely disruptive counterculture way that does not involve willpower, self discipline, and self discipline.

Losing weight as the motivator for actually engaging and help promoting behavior. So I’m going to break down four steps that I have been using with my client and I have used myself in my life to create health promoting behavior that

And one of the shifts around thinking about how promoting behavior differently, we kind of talked about it in the last episodes. If you haven’t listened, episode 376, and you’re considering getting support with your health promoting behavior, go and listen to 376 where I talk about the three shifts that we need to make in our belief.

And that’s where we start when. We teach health habits inside of On Diet Your Life. We don’t talk about being more productive and how to maximize our willpower. But instead we’re talking about beliefs and belief system and how we’ve been socialized to health and behavioral changes and how that impacts.

The on and off cycle with our health habit that we’ve been on most of us our entire life. So what do we need to unlearn? What we need to learn? That’s where we start. And then we’re gonna then take on the journey of setting what I call a liberated goal around your health. And then how to walk through weeks and months of learning this new behavior.

For the rest of your life and what happened when you want to stop and you want to quit? what does that mean? And how do we handle that without self criticism judgment and quote unquote beating the shit out of ourselves? So it’s a revolutionary way of thinking about health habit And I want to invite you if you’re ready for that if you need that we will be there To support you in creating new health habits That’s for the rest of your life and that’s starting October 15th.

If you’re listening to this after October 15th, no worries. We are recording all the sessions and they will be available permanently inside of Undyette Your Life coaching program. So you can join us at any time and inside of your student portal, you’ll be able to catch up. and then get support on our bi weekly coaching call.

Okay, I hope many of you will come to join us. And now let’s talk about menopause, perimenopause and nutrition with Dr. Jen Huber. Let’s roll in the interview.​

Stephanie: Welcome to the show, Jen.

Dr. Jenn: Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here.

Stephanie: I’m excited to have this conversation with you. I’ve been like a child playing around this morning, trying to write down all my questions because I’ve got so many for you. We’re going to talk all things menopause, perimenopause. And I’ve been answering that question and I want to get us started on the diet from perimenopause and menopause. Your opinion as a specialist of that and this whole conversation around needing more protein.

Dr. Jenn: Yeah. Well, you know. the good thing and the bad thing about all things menopause being in the media and having its moment spotlight, the good thing is that we’re having the conversations. The good thing is that more people who are going through perimenopause, who would have otherwise not been supported now have access.

Dr. Jenn: But A big problem with that access is too much and, you know, just because the information is out there doesn’t mean it’s good information. And so we, there’s a lot of people who are giving opinions about things that I don’t necessarily think they’re qualified to do. and Oftentimes it’s revolving around this diet and wellness culture conversation of what is the best diet.

Dr. Jenn: There’s all kinds of people talking about hormone balancing diets and what you need to cut out and you know, women can’t have carbs and all these kinds of things. And at the end of the day, what I like to tell people is that for the most part, our nutritional needs don’t change all that. Much

Dr. Jenn: at the end of the day, we are human beings going through different seasons of life. The foundations and the basics don’t change. We still need to have balance plates most of the time imperfectly in ways that fit our life that are about nourishment and pleasure and joy. But if we’re talking gentle nutrition, if we’re talking about, okay, I’m 45, I’m 55 and I want to stay healthy, well active, whatever it is through the next 30 or 40 years, because we know that, you know, most of us are going to spend at least 30 percent of our life in postmenopause. What can we add in?

Dr. Jenn: And protein does come into that conversation, but it doesn’t come into the conversation in the way that I think most people see represented on social media. Nobody needs to be eating, you know, six chicken breasts a day. Nobody needs to be aiming for protein at the expense of everything else. So when I’m talking about it, I’m saying, what can we add in to what you’re already doing to what you’re already enjoying so that we can build and maintain muscle to the best of our ability so that we can support your bones because protein is actually an important component of that. And. If we’re talking about, you know, people’s relationship with food and people who have, you know, dieted chronically and who maybe who have never felt satisfied in full in a long time, protein can be a nice addition to that conversation too.

Dr. Jenn: So to answer the protein question, Yeah, it does matter. It does matter a little bit more in perimenopause and menopause. It’s not the be all and end all.

Stephanie: It mattered all along. That’s what I’m hearing. Yes. It mattered all along. It may matter a little bit more, like we’re talking here like 5%, but not like 50%.

Stephanie: It mattered that much more and it’s going to save your life out of all your symptoms of menopause or perimenopause.

Dr. Jenn: Exactly. It doesn’t fix anything in and of itself.

Stephanie: You said, you mentioned the term hormone balancing diet. Is there such a thing? is food, diets, nutrition able to balance our hormone?

Dr. Jenn: Not in the way that it’s portrayed. So, hormones for people who have ovaries, who have working ovaries, We have upstairs hormones that come from our brain and we have downstairs hormones that come from our ovaries. Food can’t influence those in a significant way. Cutting out sugar is not going to balance your hormones. Adding in protein isn’t going to balance your hormones.

Dr. Jenn: But there are foods, including phytoestrogen rich foods that may help to manage the symptoms of the rollercoaster of hormone changes that are happening. But I try to never use the word balance and hormone in the same conversation. Because it gets really confusing because what’s balance, you know, in perimenopause, we’re on a roller coaster that literally changes from day to day, month to month.

Dr. Jenn: So balance for me and balance for you can be two very different things. We, even within the same individual one month, we can have really high levels of estrogen and the next month they can bottom out. There’s nothing that we can do to balance that with food. So no. Short answer.

Stephanie: Okay. We got the two most hot question out of the way.

Stephanie: Now I’m going to have a conversation about menopause and perimenopause. What does it mean for you? Like going through perimenopause and menopause. How do you define that for you? How do you live with that?

Dr. Jenn: Well, I think that for, I don’t know how old you are, I’m 46.

Stephanie: I’m 47 going through perimenopause, so I have, I can’t, we can talk about that for a long time. Right. And so I have to refrain myself from sharing my personal story. Tell us what you think it is.

Dr. Jenn: Well, and it’s a great example. So I’m 46 and post menopause. So we can have a huge range of experiences within, you know, decades. So it’s not unusual for people in their 40s to be in perimenopause. It’s by far the most common.

Dr. Jenn: It’s a little bit less common, but not rare to go into menopause before the age of 45. It’s considered early. If you go into menopause before 40, that’s premature. That’s a little too early. And then there are some people who are almost 60 before they finally get rid of their period. So, for each of us, our own experience is going to be very different, but I think that for our generation, if I can make a sweeping generalization, we were raised with the message that menopause was the end.

Dr. Jenn: That menopause was the end of your period, it was the end of your reproductive years, your best years were behind you, and everything went to shit after that. But I think we’re redefining that. I know we’re redefining that, because we now know. You know, I’m going to spend, I hope 40 plus percent of my life is put as a post menopausal active person, right. Who’s, you know, trying my best to live my best life within the means of expectancy, like normal expectations. I’m not fighting aging, but I’m trying to age well. you know, and so I think that for many of us, this is an opportunity to see it as a new beginning. And there are so many. You know, great examples and analogies of like, this is just a second season.

Dr. Jenn: Yeah, you’ve got a bit of a storm to go through before you get to the other side, but you know, your menopause is just the end of your period. It’s not the end of you.

Stephanie: I totally agree with you. It has a lot to do with. Ageism, right? We see ourselves as coming to be useless. Like I, I don’t because of all the thought work and the mindset that I’ve done.

Stephanie: But for many of my friends, they are fearing that face of their life because what society has told them that it means. But what I’m hearing you say is we can redefine that, redefine what menopause and perimenopause means to us.

Dr. Jenn: And it’s not just humans. The grandmother hypothesis is such a great example from the animal kingdom of other animals, orca whales, giraffes, where the female members of, you know, their groups live long beyond their reproductive years and it serves a purpose. It’s because we’re wise.

Stephanie: Yes, I love that we have the same mindset.

Dr. Jenn: Yeah, it’s we are wise. We have the experience. we know through lived experience, what matters and what doesn’t, and it’s our job to pass that on. So, you know, really kind of coming into owning that. Yeah, my period is over, but I am okay with that for one.

Dr. Jenn: I have a whole bunch of lived experience now and there’s so much more to do with that than just wait for life to be over.

Stephanie: For me I see what I’m going through right now is really embracing the I don’t give a f I don’t give a fuck of what’s going on like I’m doing me. And I’m living my life the way I want to, and it’s almost like shedding my period is shedding that social conditioning that I have to live my life the way people told me I had to, and now I’m shedding that part of me, and I’m really.

Dr. Jenn: The greatest gift of midlife is the inability to do the things that you don’t want to do anymore. Oh,

Stephanie: I love that. Tell me more.

Dr. Jenn: Yeah. I mean, it’s Brene Brown’s, a variation of Brene Brown’s quote that middle grabs you by the shoulders and says like, you know, I’m not messing around, like get to it. but really this inability to do things that we don’t want to do anymore become so uncomfortable that it often comes out as rage.

Dr. Jenn: When we’re forced to do the things we don’t want to do, resentment and, you know, there’s so much turmoil happening inside and on the outside as a result of that, that there are many reasons why midlife is uncomfortable for people. I, you know, I’m the last person to ever deny someone’s experience that it sucks sometimes, but if you can work your way through it, including the messy parts, there’s so much clarity that can come out of it.

Stephanie: Like, I’ll just give you a short story on me. I have, it’s presenting itself a lot in sleep, like I want to go to bed at eight 30, but I’m awake at three 30. And for the first six months I used to fight it and I fought it because I needed like the eight hours sleep from like 10 to 6 a. m. like the normal standard linear way of sleeping and I was exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically.

Stephanie: Yeah. Right from fighting it and thinking something is wrong and it should be like the proper way of sleeping and I stopped fighting it true working through like, this is it. This is it’s present for me in my life. I’m not fighting it anymore. Then my day starts at 4 am. What can I tell you? Like, and it goes to bed at 7.

Stephanie: 30, but it starts at 4 a. m. I don’t fight it. I’ve learned not to fight my body at all for any reason.

Dr. Jenn: Yeah. Yeah. And I think that sleep is a great example of something that most people going through perimenopause notice huge changes with. and it’s often that waking at 3 a. m.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Dr. Jenn: Oh, yeah. No, that’s like, I mean, it’s almost a meme.

Dr. Jenn: I think it is a meme, you know, kind of waking up at 3 a. m. and just being like wide awake. and it’s fabulous. If you, if your life allows you to go to bed at 7 or 8 o’clock, it’s definitely a struggle. I think when people can’t do that for whatever reason. And, you know, it becomes such a slog to, you know, to Try and sleep and to try to get back to sleep and to worry about sleep.

Dr. Jenn: But that those early sleep changes are definitely one of the first symptoms of perimenopause that I think most people go through.

Stephanie: Am I correct to say that menopause and perimenopause. Almost became like, a continuation of our thin ideal, like we’re both in the non diet space where the body of a woman should be all looking the same way, and we should all fit the same way.

Stephanie: And we’re going through menopause, and the more I’m hearing and I’m paying attention to the narrative, like, We shouldn’t be having symptoms. Like there’s a way to avoid the symptoms and if you do this, you’re going to sleep. And if you do this, you won’t. Is that really possible to not have symptoms? And if we’re perfect enough, we’re just going to ride that sucker up?

Dr. Jenn: Well, it’s an interesting question that I don’t know exactly the answer to. I know that there are, you know, there’s research from other countries where menopause is not described in the way that we describe it. Is that because it doesn’t exist, or is it because those are patriarchal cultures that have never cared about women’s health?

Dr. Jenn: I was going to say, who’s writing the research? Exactly. but, you know, if we look at North American experiences, European experiences. We’re going to notice a huge range and again, that probably comes down to genetics. We know that genetics are a big driver of when we go into menopause and your mother’s experience of menopause can hint at what yours will be like.

Dr. Jenn: It’s not perfect, obviously, but then, you know, we have all of these other factors that can influence. Not only our symptoms, but also just our experience, how much support we have, access to health care, stress, companionship, you know, all of those things can influence our experience of it. So I think it’s a really hard question to answer as yes or no.

Dr. Jenn: I think that we’re just scratching the surface, though, of the things that we can do to make the experience more positive and comfortable.

Stephanie: I love that more positive and comfortable. But not thinking there’s something wrong with the experience.

Dr. Jenn: It’s not, you know, it’s not a pathology. Yes. So just like pregnancy can come with all kinds of ups and downs and complications and not so fun parts, but it’s not a pathology.

Stephanie: Just like large body are not a pathology. Menopause is not a pathology. It comes in body diversity and menopause diversity, I guess.

Dr. Jenn: Yeah, absolutely.

Stephanie: and we’re sold by the industry, the illusion that there is a product, there is a process, if we sacrifice enough and if we’re hard enough. then we can avoid all the symptoms,

Dr. Jenn: and I don’t think that exists, obviously.

Stephanie: And as I’m saying that, like, it’s because I was just teaching a class on healthism, and I’m not niche in menopause or perimenopause, but it’s almost like we feel a shame of having symptoms and not being able to solve them. Could you say that, your observation of life in population?

Dr. Jenn: Yeah, I think that, you know, when, especially when it comes to things like hot flashes, you know, in the workplace, for example,a lot of women will apologize for them.

Dr. Jenn: We’ll try and hide the fact that they’re having them. and I think that it’s just like everything else. We just need to name it and call it, you know, and. The more that we talk about it, the more that we normalize that, like, this is something that literally every woman on the planet or every person with a uterus and ovaries on the planet is going to go through, and 75 percent of them will experience hot flashes.

Dr. Jenn: Like, why don’t we normalize that? Right. So taking away the shame for that is, I think, a big part of how we improve the experience. you know, being able to name it and also being able to name it accesses solutions more easily and readily because people aren’t afraid or ashamed to ask for help.

Stephanie: Yeah, so I’m going to come out and say, like, I’ve started to take the birth control pill for my perimenopause. Yeah. And there’s a, like, when I listen to wellness culture, because I still have a lot of colleagues entrenched in wellness culture, and it’s just a shame of doing that, like, they shame people for going to take birth control pill to manage their symptoms.

Stephanie: Yeah. It’s sad. I mean,

Dr. Jenn: it’s crazy because, yeah, wellness culture tells us that we are a better person for suffering through it. Right.

Stephanie: Talk to me about that. Yes.

Dr. Jenn: And so if we can manage menopause without any hormones, without any help, then somehow we are, we emerge more virtuous on the other side and that’s ridiculous.

Dr. Jenn: Right. And I mean, and that is, that’s so rooted in patriarchy and ageism and wellness culture and all of that, you know, and a lot of the symptoms that we need help managing directly impact our quality of life, mood, heavy periods, what I call crime scene periods that like make it so that you’re afraid to leave the house, let alone stand up.

Dr. Jenn: Or sit anywhere exactly, you know, and that leads to iron deficiency and like all, you know, it’s this trickle down effect. I mean, when I was in the thick of my perimenopause, I was having to set 2 alarms at night, not to bleed through and I was going to bed with like towels down and I would wake up with like, and I’d be like, Oh, and I’d like run to the bathroom. Like, you know, why is, okay. Why is anyone expected to suffer through any of that? you know, the mood changes and the risk of depression and anxiety is increased. And so we need to just normalize that, Hey, this can go on for 10 years, folks like. You don’t need to suffer through a decade of your life just because somebody tells you that you should, because there is no value in that.

Stephanie: As you were talking, there was a word that kept ringing in my brain, Like the obsession of the perfect menopause and perimenopause? Like, it’s almost the same thing as alphism.

Dr. Jenn: Yeah. I think that there is this, you know, wellness culture likes to develop these rituals, right?

Dr. Jenn: and these rhythms that if you do these things in this order, you will unlock this next level. which of course we know is bullshit, but so I think that what we really need to do is create community where we’re talking about the range of experiences so that no one ever thinks they’re alone in their suffering in perimenopause,

Stephanie: so that, normal. Exactly. Normalizing it, right?

Dr. Jenn: The number of people who have reached out to me and have said that the only place they have ever heard anyone talk about the things that I talk about is on my podcast, because they don’t have any friends who are going through it. They don’t have any family, their mother either.

Dr. Jenn: didn’t talk about it, isn’t around anymore, or had a hysterectomy, like, we’re just not talking about what is normal. And normal doesn’t mean like, oh, it’s normal and I just have to suffer through it. Normal means like, what can you expect, right? Like, what can you expect in the next five or ten years so that you know what to look for?

Stephanie: And whatever comes doesn’t mean anything about you. Exactly. Might it doesn’t mean you didn’t work hard enough and try hard enough. It’s just part of this package of being a person with ovaries. Exactly. Including we’re going to go down the topic of weight gain.

Dr. Jenn: Yes, which 80 plus percent of people going through perimenopause and menopause experience. Sometimes it’s. Or I should say often it’s the number on the scale, if they’re using a scale that has changed or their clothing size, but probably even more common than that is this redistribution of assets as I call it. Where, because we are moving from this higher estrogen state to a lower estrogen state, and the hormones are all shifting.

Dr. Jenn: We go from the pear shape to the apple shape. So, even if. Your body isn’t changing in mass what you see in the mirror and how your clothes fit is changing. And that is uncomfortable because our default programming tells us that there’s something wrong with that and that there’s something wrong with us because of it.

Dr. Jenn: So, you know, when I ask people, what is your most bothersome symptom? it’s the body changes that always come out on top. They’re like, I’d love to be done with the hot flashes too, but it’s really, it’s this body stuff that I just am having such a hard time with, but it does get even more nuanced or complicated because there’s, we now know that we’re seeing in the research, there’s a second peak of eating disorders that is happening in perimenopause.

Dr. Jenn: So the same changes that are happening in our brain. In puberty that lead to or contribute to body dissatisfaction and body dysmorphia, we’re seeing again as women go through perimenopause. So we have this physiological process that is changing what our body looks like on the inside and the outside.

Dr. Jenn: And our brain is going through reverse puberty. And so it is a damn uncomfortable time for anybody in the middle of an already busy time of life. So it is, it does feel like a big flaming bag of garbage most of the time. Like that is a normal experience that we need to talk about.

Stephanie: And I believe so from my world being a lot about body image. Here’s my perspective on this is that women come to perimenopause or menopause the weight gain happened and it’s the trigger to body image issue that perhaps before the escape to controlling food or perhaps the had 10 privilege. It wasn’t a thing. And all of a sudden the thing that was stable now flares up quote unquote. And now their body image stuff comes up.

Dr. Jenn: It’s exactly what happens.

Stephanie: Because for me, as a person who’s done because of my weight, body image long time ago, gaining weight is not a big bag of problem, it’s just, oh, my body changed, but I’m already, I came into it neutral. And that’s not the position of most women.

Dr. Jenn: no. And because we also get the messaging from diet and wellness culture that we need to fight that tooth and nail, because of all of the. you know, implied and stated complications of gaining weight. it becomes a really fear based conversation. And, you know, I’m sure you see it as well, that people will come in and just say, I’m terrified and I need to do something.

Dr. Jenn: And yet they also know in their heart of hearts. Because of this gift of midlife that they cannot start another diet. So they feel stuck in this rock in this hard place and they just don’t know where to turn.

Stephanie: And that’s why people like me and you, our message needs to get broadcasted louder. So people have an option to say, like, it’s not true. You’re stuck. We’re here. We can help you go through that differently without putting you on another diet and losing weight being the solution.

Dr. Jenn: Exactly.

Stephanie: So. What I hear from you is that weight gain is normal and it’s not a sign that something has gone wrong with your menopause and you need to control it. It’s instead just part and parcel of perimenopause and menopause. And perhaps Another call to do the work of body neutrality or acceptance, whatever school you’re in and truly make peace with your body.

Dr. Jenn: Yeah, because at the end of the day, we can’t reverse it, right? You know, this is a change that’s programmed into our DNA.

Dr. Jenn: and so if we think about. The purpose of it, you know, one of the leading theories is that extra fat around our midsection produces estrogen, helps to protect our bones and our heart and our brain as we go through menopause. and so if we start to see purpose to it, I think that it helps us to have a bit more compassion for why it’s happening.

Dr. Jenn: And if we can have that body neutral, you know, foundation. Then we can just kind of see it as something that is happening around us and not something that’s happening to us. Yeah. I love that. You’re going gray. Right. Like, yeah, my hair’s going gray. and I like to diet right now, but at some point I, I won’t feel like that’s worth it.

Dr. Jenn: you know, I’m getting wrinkles. or I should say I have wrinkles. I don’t particularly feel a strong inclination to, to change that. Right. Because I know that that’s happening. That’s part of the process. That’s part of the privilege of getting older.

Stephanie: And I don’t, for me, the way I teach body neutrality is your body is a tool to experience life is just one of the thing that your tool has as a way of aging, which is gray hair, which is weight gain on the belly. It doesn’t mean anything about you as a. Spare it to a person behind the body. Now, do you, and this is where often people, my message gets like overtaken.

Stephanie: Like, if it’s a tool that I need to maximize its efficiency. No, no, no, no, no. Like we don’t need to like, this is why I started with a high protein conversation. We can also talk about muscle building. People have this representation that we degrade, we shrink and we lose all our muscle because now we’re in perimenopause or menopause.

Stephanie: Is that the case?

Dr. Jenn: no, not in that way. but all humans, not just women, but all humans, you know, really kind of start to become challenged at building and maintaining muscle as we get older. It’s much easier at 18 than it is at 68 to build muscle, but there are huge returns on investment if we can.

Dr. Jenn: build or maintain a bit of muscle as we get older. and it has nothing to do with appearance and everything to do with how you live in your body. and you know, from maintaining your balance and being able to carry your groceries up the stairs, to being able to live your best life when you retire.

Dr. Jenn: So shifting the focus from, I need to work out to shape what my body looks like. To I want to move my body and make it as strong as I can within reason and my means so that I can feel healthy and well, as I go through the season of life, I think is a huge part of that body neutral conversation too.

Stephanie: And I have the same opinion as you. It’s like all human lose muscle. Now, what kind of life do I want to lead when I’m 70, when I’m 80, if I. have the choice to let it be what it is, but I also have in today’s world the privilege to be able to do some muscle building exercise that will allow me to be a kick ass 70 years old that travels the world, that can walk around for miles on end and just enjoys her life.

Stephanie: I get to choose how I want to live. That part of my life. Exactly. Any parting words for our audience or any topic I haven’t talked about that you absolutely want to put on the forefront of women as they’re going through peri and menopause.

Dr. Jenn: I think we’ve covered a lot, actually. I mean, the biggest thing that I always tell people is that, you know, just because it’s normal doesn’t mean that you have to wing it.

Dr. Jenn: And so, so many people are focused on having the natural menopause experience or just, you know, biding their time to wait until it’s over, believing that like they just have to get to that last period. But regardless of whether you’re having a lot of symptoms or not, If you’re noticing these perimenopausal changes, it’s a great time to actually start thinking about the next season of your life and how can I plan, prepare, get excited about it.

Dr. Jenn: life without a period is pretty awesome. Not going to lie. Right. And so, just being able upsides. To midlife, there are upsides to being in menopause and you don’t have to fear it because it is not the end.

Stephanie: And it’s true the 2nd season of life is often triggered by perimenopause and menopause and that’s the opportunity for us to ask ourselves, what do we really want?

Stephanie: How do I want to live the rest of my life? Yeah, exactly. Where can people find you, Jen? I know you got some pretty cool stuff. You haven’t talked about it so far, but it’s time now to tell people where they can find you.

Dr. Jenn: Well, I mean, I hang out on Instagram too much, so it’s probably where people can find me easiest. It’s at menopause. nutritionist, but my podcast, the midlife feast and the community, my membership community by the same name are really where people can connect and learn with me if they want to dive a little bit deeper into anything that we’re doing here. And I can share those links with you

Stephanie: and the podcast because they’re going to listen to this on the midlife feast.

Stephanie: Perfect. Let’s all go in and listen to that. Thank you very much, Jen, for sharing your time with us today.

Dr. Jenn: Thanks so much for having me.

 

 

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I’m Stephanie Dodier – Non-Diet Nutritionist and Coach. I help women fight diet culture by reshaping their mind not their body. I have been hosting a million downloads podcast- It’s Beyond The Food for over 8 years and created the Going Beyond The Food Method™️, which was born from my own journey with a 25 years dieting career  and has since grown into a global movement.

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ARE YOU READY

TO STOP STRESSING ABOUT YOUR WEIGHT?

3-Part Masterclass Series 

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diet quiz

IS IT YOU...

OR IS IT YOUR DIET?

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TO END YOUR BATTLE WITH FOOD?

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