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Menopause Made Easier with Food

Written by Identity

At one Thanksgiving meal, a friend of mine from India said she didn’t have any hot flashes when she avoided sugar completely. I was all ears! I wasn’t able to sleep through the night, as I kept waking up with tortuous hot flashes every two hours, or even more often. After following her advice, my menopausal symptoms improved.

Menopause affects women differently.  What if you could control some of those insane symptoms by eating the right foods?  Debbie offers advice and a delicious recipe for finding solutions to your worst hot flashes, mood swings and other crazy menopausal symptoms.

By Debbie

Every woman goes through menopause.  My menopause, though, consisted of torturous hot flashes.  Finally, a friend of mine from India said she didn’t have any hot flashes once she eliminated sugar from her diet completely. I was all ears! I wasn’t able to sleep through the night, as I kept waking up every two hours or so with the intense hot flashes. After following her advice, my menopausal symptoms improved.

I was desperate after trying every herb and potion on the market, going to every doctor, whether conventional or alternative, and I was eating fruits and grains, knowing that they did not agree with my body.  Where did that leave me?

I love cooking for special diets, so I went back to the kitchen and started experimenting. What I came up with actually launched a restaurant and everyone else felt great! But I still had some hot flashes. I did a book-signing in Canada, and the woman who was my local contact told me she had hot flashes, as well as joint pain, whenever she ate nightshade vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers.

After hearing her story, I wanted to make sure I was getting enough healthy oils and fats for optimal nervous system function. Since I tend to get stressed easily, it helped to keep me calm. And that, my friends, is the real secret. The source of most illness is stress. So whatever you can eat to lower your stress level for your body type is key for you.

The following recipe is a gift for you from my cookbook, based on my gluten-free, low-glycemic, allergy-friendly, nightshade free (mostly), vegan to meat restaurant:

Golden Chalice PESTO UN-PASTA

I used to love pasta, but since eating “un-pasta” for so long, it doesn’t even appeal to me anymore! Now I love vegetables in their most flavorful outfits. Our guests at The Golden Chalice loved this dish, too. Serves: 3 – 4 people.


One medium organic Spaghetti Squash

½ cup thinly sliced organic Red Onion

2 Tblsps. of Unsalted Ghee or virgin Coconut Oil

1 cup Organic Zucchini slices, julienne (cut lengthwise in thin strips)

3 tablespoons Organic Classic Pesto Sauce (recipe follows this one)

1. Cut Spaghetti Squash in half and clean out seeds. (If you don’t have a sharp enough knife to do this, simply bake whole and clean out seeds after baking.

2. Drizzle one tablespoon of Unsalted Ghee on each half (or Grapeseed Oil, if Vegan) cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or more, depending on whether or not you like your un-pasta “al dente” — a little more chewy. Scoop out two cups of squash, which should now look somewhat like spaghetti. It’s easier to keep in strands using fork to take out.

3. Sautee Onion and Pepper in Grapeseed Oil or organic Unsalted Ghee.

4. Add Zucchini to above and continue to sauté.

5. Add Spaghetti Squash and Pesto Sauce and Blend in well.

Success Secret: On all amounts and measurements in this or any recipe, please adjust to your personal taste.

The key to different eating needs is in variety.


1. Top with toasted or sprouted Pine Nuts (Soak for at least four hours, then rinse) and grated Pecorino Romano Cheese (from Sheep) or organic Goat Feta Cheese, if you desire, just before serving.

2. For meat or seafood lovers you may want to add sliced grilled or sautéed organic chicken or shrimp. Have cayenne or crushed red peppers available as condiments for certain friends who love it hot!

3. If you are in a hurry or do not like squash, feel free to use exclusively julienne vegetables such as Zucchini, Red and Yellow Bell Peppers, Onions, etc. for base instead of spaghetti.

Vegans and Dairy-free: Add sprouted Nuts and Seeds or other protein of choice. Nutritional yeast in place of cheese, or almond –cheese, available in health stores.

See how Debbie answers our Identity Five Questions:

1. What have you accepted within yourself and/or within your life? Is there anything you are working on accepting?

Accepting the fact that health and life are never perfect, but I’m learning more compassion with every turn of events, every discomfort.

2. What do you appreciate about yourself or your life?

I love that I can be a loving vehicle for Divine Spirit even more as I experience the challenges life brings and can laugh at myself more!

3. What have you achieved, or what are you working to achieve personally, physically, or mentally?

I’ve achieved peace of mind, mostly, and a wonderful life that is exactly what I’ve created: working part-time at home in a beautiful log cabin on a river, staying young at heart and even physically, compared to most, still being creative in my career and opening my heart more and more to the lovely gifts life brings daily, from the deer outside to the great food in my kitchen!

4. What is your no-so-perfect way? We are all unique with quirks and imperfections, so why not flaunt them and embrace them!

I’m prone to being hard on myself and pushing myself too hard, not trusting life to work as it should at times, but thinking it’s up to me alone!

5. How would you complete this sentence, “I Love My…” This has to be about you, physically or mentally.

I love my way of being mentally positive in the most dire of situations.

Debbie Johnson is author of Fun with GF/LG Food and former executive chef/owner of The Golden Chalice Restaurant and Gallery (GF/LG, allergy-friendly establishment). Visit for more information.

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About the author



Identity is a National online magazine that empowers women to Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Through a hand-selected team of writers and expert Q & A columns, our mission is to empower women to get all A’s in the game of life by accepting, appreciating, and achieving. We believe that once you accept a situation or circumstance and show gratitude and appreciation for what you currently have, it is then that you can achieve at a greater level within yourself and your life.

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