Small changes to your diet can make a world of difference to how you transition through the
menopause. I’ve identified some simple swaps that can turn a standard family staple into a
hormone-balancing meal and still work for all the family.
You probably already have your own recipe for shepherd’s pie, so all you need to do is tweak it a bit
to give it some extra health benefits. Here are my top 3 tips to give this popular dish a makeover.
- Swap some of the meat for lentils, stirring them into the mince and onion mixture, once it’s
browned and is ready to be cooked through. You’ll probably use about 500g of lamb for a pie
that serves 4, so I’d suggest you halve that and use 250g, topping up the protein content
with a 400g can of green or brown lentils.
– You’ll reduce the level of saturated fat in the meal, by limiting the red meat content.
Heart health is a key consideration for women in midlife, because we lose the
cardioprotective properties of oestrogen as it starts to decline and this increases the risk
of coronary heart disease post-menopause.
– Lentils are an excellent source of soluble fibre which helps to regulate cholesterol levels
by forming a gel that binds to the bile that contains cholesterol and carries it out of the
– Highly nutritious, lentils contain a range of vitamins and minerals and are a very good
source of iron, which could be very helpful if you’re experiencing heavy periods or
- Swap the mashed potato topping for sweet potato – or do half and half if this is likely to
cause a revolt in the household!
– A sweet potato is much higher in fibre than a white potato, which means that the body will
break down the carbohydrate into sugar much more slowly, keeping you going for longer
and helping to support weight management by stabilising your blood sugar levels.
– It’s packed with beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A and plays a key role
in supporting the integrity of our tissue and keeping the skin smooth and healthy. It’s also
important for eye health and night vision and we need it for an effective immune function.
– Sweet potato is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that
supports the immune function. The body uses it to create collagen, which is a key
component of bone matrix and that keeps our skin plump and elastic.
- Add a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves to the meat and lentil mix towards the end of the
cooking process to retain the flavour and the nutrients.
– It’s delicious and helps to elevate a simple meal to something tastier and more
– Thyme contains antibacterial and antimicrobial compounds which help to take action against a host of potentially harmful bacteria or fungi. It can be used therapeutically to manage bacterial or fungal infections of the gut – It’s an excellent source of vitamin C and a surprisingly good source of iron.