Menopause Mondays: Weight Gain -CHEWing with Jessica Marie - Ellen Dolgen
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Menopause Mondays: Weight Gain -CHEWing with Jessica Marie

menopause nutrition


Last week I was in Chicago. During my trip, I had breakfast with Jessica Marie, Certified Holistic Nutritionist. We had a lot in common: she’s an expert on selecting food, and I’m an expert on consuming it! All kidding aside, she’s a pro with some fantastic insights about fitness and fun, so I thought I’d put her in the hot seat and ask her a few questions. Here’s what she had to say:

Q: Most of us act as if it’s our job to feel fat our whole lives and we dread the idea of starving ourselves to look good. I know you approach this differently, can you tell me more about your philosophy?

A. Jessica believes the ‘diet is dead’ and that people should take a closer look at their relationship with food.  I like to keep things simple, get back to basics, and it’s amazing how well that really works. Our deep-rooted belief in clean living, whole foods, and lifestyle change, is the reason our clients and community have been able to change their lives. We’re all about putting great things INTO the diet instead of taking things OUT of the diet, allowing the body to naturally crowd out less healthful options.  We don’t focus on deprivation and restriction, instead we identify what foods will and won’t work for your body.  Every individual is different, so shouldn’t every diet be different?

Q:  LOVE that! At, we believe there’s not a one-size-fits all approach to health as well, especially for women in perimenopause and menopause! Do you have any nutrition pointers that women in perimenopause and menopause might want to keep in mind as part of their pursuit of hormone happiness?

A: Menopausal women have to find balance.  A great way to do this is with food!  I take a holistic approach to health and wellness and look to food to heal and food as medicine.  I also take a realistic approach and know that sometimes, food alone can’t do the trick.  Integrating these foods may not eliminate symptoms, but integrating vitamin-rich choices will help on your quest for good health!

Here is my mini Approved List:

  • Vitamin E may help reduce hot flashes and mood swings.  Vitamin E can be found naturally in dark leafy greens like kale, collards, and chard.  Not only are greens full of nutrition, they are kind to the waistline.
  • Vitamin C may help ease hormonal shifts.  Vitamin C can be found naturally in oranges and papaya.  Papaya is full of digestive enzymes, so this will help keep things moving.
  • Magnesium has sometimes been shown to be helpful for irritability, sleeplessness, anxiety, and irritability.  Magnesium can be found naturally in whole grains like brown rice and rolled oats pack a ton of soluble fiber and Magnesium.  Make sure to pay attention to portions with these complex carbohydrates. Magnesium also helps the body absorb Calcium!
  • Flax seed oil & Primrose oil may help some fight depression, fatigue, and may also alleviate skin breakouts.

Q: Oh, if only cookie dough were on that list! Exercise is very important to mental and physical health. I love riding my bike and working out with my trainer – what exercises do you recommend?

A. I think yoga is one of the best things a woman can do for her body and her mind.  Get into a class, stay present, and find your breath.  It’s amazing how grounding yoga can be.  It’s like talk-therapy for the body and soul.  If you can’t get to a studio, download a class at

Q:  Fabulous – any excuse to use my orange yoga mat! Last question: It’s summer, how can we prep for BS season (bathing suit season!)? Do you have any warm-weather recipes you recommend?

A. Here is a healthy, dairy-free, BS friendly ice cream recipe that is super easy to make and tastes like heaven!

Banana-Cashew Ice Cream

3 ripe bananas
2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours
1 cup water
¼ cup agave nectar or honey
1-tablespoon natural vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt

Throw everything in the blender and keep tweaking until you are satisfied with the texture. Pour mixture into Popsicle molds and freeze.  If you don’t have Popsicle molds, just toss everything into a freezer-safe container and freeze.

Jessica is fabulous! For more information about Jessica Marie and CHEW Chicago visit


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