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“Managing Menopause: Bloating Prevention with a Sample Week Menu”

Alas, the time has come. my friends. Menopause, the time in a woman’s life when our hormones go haywire, and we start experiencing symptoms that can make us feel like we’re losing our minds (and our waistlines). One of the most common symptoms is bloating, which can make us feel like we’re pregnant with a watermelon. But fear not, my fellow menopausal sisters, (if you’re here for that) there are things we can do to prevent this dreaded bloating.

First things first, let’s talk about food. I know, it’s hard to resist that bag of chips or that pint of ice cream (I’m guilty as charged), but unfortunately, these foods can make our bloating worse. Instead, we should be filling our plates with fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. I know, I know, it sounds like a punishment, but trust me, these foods will keep us regular and prevent bloating. Plus, they’re good for us, and we’re not getting any younger.

Another great food to prevent bloating is yogurt. I know, it’s not as exciting as a pint of ice cream, but yogurt is full of probiotics (good bacteria) that help keep our gut healthy. These good bacteria can help reduce inflammation and promote regular bowel movements, which can prevent bloating. Plus, it’s a great excuse to eat more of that delicious Greek yogurt.

Now, let’s talk about what foods to avoid. Processed foods, artificial sweeteners, and foods high in sodium are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to bloating. Unfortunately, these are also some of the most delicious foods out there. But, as the saying goes, “no pain, no gain.” In this case, no bloating, no pizza. It’s a tough sacrifice, but it’s worth it to feel comfortable in our own skin.

Now, I know some of you might be thinking, “But wait, I’ve heard that drinking water can also prevent bloating.” And you’re right, it can. But let’s be real, drinking water can be a real drag. So, I propose a compromise. Instead of plain old water, jazz it up with some lemon or mint. Not only will it add some flavor, but it will also provide some added benefits. Plus, it’s much more exciting than just chugging plain water.

Menopause can be a real pain in the gut (literally), but with the right foods and a little bit of sacrifice, we can prevent bloating and continue to rock our menopausal bodies. So let’s raise a glass (ahemm, of lemon water) to feeling comfortable and confident during this new chapter in our lives.

And as a bonus, here is a sample week menu to gently ease yourself in. It’s a Pinoy meal plan (or as Filipino as it gets -it’s a bit hard to choose haha). And I admit, a bit repetitive but our regional foods on their own are actually very rich in fiber.

Sample Week Menu

Monday:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with diced tomatoes and spinach, served with garlic fried rice

Lunch: Grilled fish (such as tilapia or bangus) with a side of steamed vegetables (such as bok choy or okra) Dinner: Pinakbet (a vegetable stew made with eggplant, bitter melon, and okra) served with steamed rice

Tuesday:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with sliced banana and topped with chopped nuts

Lunch: Tinola (a ginger-based chicken soup) with steamed vegetables

Dinner: Pork adobo (a popular Filipino dish made with pork, soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic) served with steamed brown rice

Wednesday:

Breakfast: Fried rice with diced vegetables and scrambled eggs

Lunch: Chicken inasal (grilled chicken marinated in a blend of spices) with a side of steamed vegetables Dinner: Sinigang na baboy (pork in tamarind broth) with steamed rice

Thursday:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with diced vegetables and served with garlic fried rice

Lunch: Grilled porkchops with a side of steamed vegetables (such as bok choy or okra)

Dinner: Vegetable Kare Kare served with steamed rice

Friday:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with sliced banana and topped with chopped nuts

Lunch: Fish Fillet with steamed vegetables

Dinner: Pinoy Style Pork Katsudon served with steamed brown rice

Saturday:

Breakfast: Fried rice with diced vegetables and scrambled eggs

Lunch: Hainanese Chicken with a side of steamed vegetables Dinner: Sinigang na baboy (pork in tamarind broth) with steamed rice

Sunday:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with diced vegetables and served with garlic fried rice

Lunch: Grilled Octopus with a side of steamed vegetables (such as bok choy or okra)

Dinner: Chopsuey served with steamed rice

This sample menu includes a variety of foods that are rich in nutrients, low in fat and sodium, and easy to digest, which can help avoiding bloating. Of course, the usual disclaimer, I would recommend to consult with a nutritionist or a doctor to check what might be the best options for you given your specific health conditions.

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