• Stephanie Rouillard

Menopause Matters

If you have been on a roller coaster ride lately, it is possibly due to your hormones. In the light of recent woman’s month, we have taken some time to help out our menopausal women.

As we age, our hormone levels begin to fluctuate. Menopause is often framed simply as the loss of estrogen, however the road from pre- to post-menopause is not necessarily smooth. Women spend 1/3 of life in menopause so it is essential that we support this phase as much as possible!

Menopause-associated symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, sleep problems often occur during changing levels of hormones, particularly estrogen. In order to get a hold of these symptoms, we need to apply strategies which help to modulate our hormone levels.

One of the biggest myths in women’s health is that once hormone levels begin to change, belly fat is immoveable – however, addressing modifiable factors in our diet and lifestyle can assist in the menopausal transition.

For those of you who missed out on our ‘Menopause Matters’ talk, here’s a snippet of some key points discussed:

What’s the story on soy?

Specific foods contain compounds that can act like ‘favorable or beneficial’ forms of estrogen in the body, as well as modulate the levels thereof. Soy is one of them, however most soy is genetically modified (GMO). Choose non-GMO, fermented forms of soy (e.g. miso, tempeh, tofu); or consider soy as an isoflavone in a good-quality supplement.

Hormones in foods?

Most fats in commercial animal products (meats, dairy etc.) contain synthetic hormones. Buy pasture-fed, organic, free-range meats when possible. If not possible, cut off visible fats on meat; consume low fat, organic, natural dairy products; and eat a predominantly plant-based diet.

Ingredient of the month:

Black Cohosh is a herb with acts as a phytoestrogen, meaning it acts like a beneficial form of estrogen in the body. Black Cohosh extract is commonly used to address menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances. Black Cohosh extract can be found in many supplements – it is recommended to take it for a duration for 2-3 months, according to the suggested dosage on the bottle or as prescribed by your healthcare professional.

*Please be cautious (consult your health care professional) if you have breast cancer, history of breast cancer, liver problems, or on HRT before considering use thereof.

- Stephanie Rouillard, RD

Try this recipe to support healthy hormone levels:

Tofu Stir-fry

Serves 6

1 cup brown basmati rice

Approx. 500g Tofu (organic, non-GMO)

½ tablespoon garlic, chopped

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

1 tablespoons sesame oil

Stir-fry pack of your choice (e.g. spinach, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, mange tout, mushrooms etc.)

Juice of ½ orange

2-3 T tamari (fermented, organic, non-GMO soy)

A small bunch of coriander

1t sesame seeds, toasted

1. Cook the brown basmati rice

2. Cut the Tofu into blocks, pan-fry the Tofu with the garlic, salt and pepper

3. Remove the Tofu

4. Add the sesame oil to the pan and, once hot, stir-fry the vegetables with fresh orange juice and tamari.

5. Stir-fry until vegetables are done. Add the brown rice and Tofu to the pan. Fry for a few minutes.

6. Place into a bowl and top with fresh coriander and toasted sesame seeds.



1. Black cohosh. University of Maryland Medical Center. 2017. Available at: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/black-cohosh.

2. Shams T, Setia MS, Hemmings R, McCusker J, Sewitch M, Ciam A. Efficacy of black cohosh-containing preparations on menopausal symptoms: a meta-analysis. Altern Ther Health Med. 2010;16(1):36-44.

3. Jiang K, Jin Y, Huang L, Feng S, Hou X, Du B, Zheng J, Li L. Black cohosh improves objective sleep in postmenopausal women with sleep disturbance. Climacteric. 2015;18(4):559-67. doi: 10.3109/13697137.2015.1042450.

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