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Easy & Healthy Protein-Packed Meal Ideas To Help You Feel Good During Perimenopause

As you enter perimenopause, typically in your 40s and 50s, you'll be navigating significant hormonal changes that can impact your weight, energy, mood, and overall well-being. One of the key dietary considerations during this time is protein intake. Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass, supporting bone health, and ensuring that your body functions optimally as you age. Yet with almost every client I work with in my 1:1 Nourish To Thrive program, we find that they are not eating enough protein day to day.

So let's take a closer look at why protein is crucial during perimenopause and beyond, and explore various ways to incorporate more protein into your daily diet.

The Importance of Protein During Perimenopause

Maintains Muscle Mass

As you age, you naturally lose muscle mass. This process can be accelerated during perimenopause due to hormonal changes. Consuming adequate protein helps to slow down muscle loss and maintain strength, which is crucial for overall health and weight management.

Supports Bone Health

Estrogen plays a significant role in maintaining bone density. As estrogen levels drop during perimenopause, the risk of osteoporosis increases. Protein works alongside calcium and other minerals to keep bones strong and healthy.

Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels

Fluctuations in hormones can lead to insulin sensitivity and changes in blood sugar levels. A protein-rich diet helps slow down sugar absorption into your bloodstream, keeping your energy levels steady and reducing cravings.

Aids in Weight Management

Protein helps boost metabolism and reduce appetite, aiding in weight management during a time when many women struggle with weight gain.

Easy Ways to Add More Protein to Your Day

Incorporating more protein into your diet doesn't have to be difficult. Here are some simple ways to ensure you're getting enough + a few easy protein-packed recipes to try:

Start with Breakfast

Begin your day with protein-rich foods like Greek yogurt, eggs, or a smoothie with protein powder. Or try this protein-packed avocado toast. With avocado, navy beans and hemp hearts you've got yourself a high-fiber, high-protein breakfast that is so easy to prep. Grab the recipe here.

chicken and chickpea kale salad

Upgrade Your Salads

Add grilled chicken, tofu, beans, canned tuna, pumpkin seeds, quinoa or a hard-boiled egg to your salads for a protein boost. Try This grilled chicken and chickpea kale salad. it has 49 grams of protein per serving!

Switch to Whole Grains

quinoa, brussel sprout and sweet potato bowl recipe

Whole grains like quinoa and farro have higher protein content than their refined counterparts. Use them as a base for meals or salads. Try this super simple quinoa, brussel sprouts and sweet potato bowl.

Choose Protein-Rich Snacks

Cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, or a small portion of nuts can be excellent snacks to boost your protein intake between meals.

Use Protein Powders

Adding a scoop of protein powder to smoothies, oatmeal, or homemade baked goods is an easy way to increase your protein intake. You can read more about how to choose the right protein powder for yourself here.

Remember, the key is not just to focus on quantity but also on the quality of the protein sources. Aim for various foods to ensure you're getting all the essential amino acids your body needs. With these strategies, you can easily incorporate more protein into your diet, helping you feel energized and strong during perimenopause and beyond. If you need more ideas on how to boost your protein or add more of the key nutrients your body needs to thrive in perimenopause and beyond check out some of my meal guides here.

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