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Middle Aged- is there anything worse than being called middle aged?

Middle aged, overweight, irrelevant. Middle aged is the ultimate insult because you can’t do anything about it! Middle age is defined as the ages between 40 and 65. Our bodies are slowing down, we become more sensitive to our diet and stress and we need more rest.  We lose an average of 1 cm. of height a decade due to muscle and bone loss, faster if you have osteoporosis. We actually start to look older as changes occur to our skin and hair. Menopause brings on a whole host of problems as well with our changing hormones. Declining estrogen and progesterone levels can affect your sleep, moods and energy levels. Menopause can also cause memory loss, anxiety, weight gain, and you lose interest in things that once brought you joy. You notice that what once worked stops working and everything just seems to be a little harder.

By middle age, you will likely experience some trauma or loss. Divorce, the loss of a parent, empty nest syndrome or a loss or change in your job can all leave you with a sense of grief. You may also feel invisible once you reach middle age as our society tends to value youth over age. The urge to find the perfect face cream or under eye concealer has never been stronger.

You may be spreading yourself thin as you care for your children and your aging parents at the same time. Life stress, work stress, emotional and physical stress all take a toll and increase how fast we age.

Midlife is a pivotal period in life, research shows that happiness reaches a low point before rebounding as we age.

 We can’t do anything about getting older but we can control how we age and how we feel about getting older.

 At this stage in your life it’s going to take more commitment, focus and effort,  plus a new strategy, to break from the status quo. “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

 Here are 3 things you can start doing.

Hold on to your muscle mass. As we get older we lose muscle, men do as well, but women typically have a lot less to begin with. Having a body with some muscle mass will make you look leaner and toned and improves balance  and mobility as you get older. Weight training may be the last thing on your mind but challenging your muscles regularly is one of the best things you can do at this stage.

Get adequate protein to support your muscle. Try to get at least 25-30 grams of lean protein at each meal, spreading it throughout the day rather than just having it all at once at the end of the day.

 Increase your Metabolism

Metabolism slows down as we age, starting in our 20’s at about 2-3% per decade, and then becoming more noticeable between 40-60. With a slower metabolism you burn fewer calories throughout the day and that leads to weight gain unless you make an adjustment calorically or physically.

Implement that strength training routine. Muscle is metabolically active, much more than fat, so you burn more calories at rest.

Sit less, move more. Metabolism slows as we age because we are less active in general. Go for a walk after dinner rather than grabbing a glass of wine and watching TV.

 Make Better Food Choices

Take a look at food quality and quantity, you don’t need to eat less, just differently.

Start making a shift on your plate by increasing the amount of vegetables and decreasing high calorie portions of pasta, bread and other starches. This will enable you to get more quality nutrients without increasing calories or feeling hungry. Plus, all those veggies will help with digestion and go a long way to speeding up your metabolism.

Swap your sweetened yogurt and extra additives for plain Greek yogurt and add your own fruit.

Ditch the supersized caffeinated beverages. That Starbucks Venti may seem like it helps you get through the day but raising your cortisol to increasingly high levels will keep you in a state of hyperarousal. When cortisol is high it signals the body to shut down melatonin production which you need to help you sleep.

Quality fruits and vegetables bring you nutrients to your body, healthy amounts of carbs give you energy and protein helps maintain and build muscle and bones.


These are the 3 things that you can start doing to improve your health, attitude and life as you are in “gasp” middle age!

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The Mastering Menopause podcast values every question or inquiry our listeners might have. So, if you have something you’d like to ask regarding fitness, nutrition, or menopause, send them my way.