How to Age Gracefully and Support your Vitality at Any AgeMay 11, 2023
While society deems aging something we should be ashamed of or try to hide, the life of a woman is truly a magical process. Just like the cycles occurring within nature, the stages of a woman’s life represent a beautiful story of growth, maturation, and winding down as we prepare to pass on our wisdom. Nature functions with so much grace and we too as women can follow its lead and align ourselves with its cycles rather than trying to force, fight or control.
Looking at a woman’s life in stages helps us understand how we can support each phase as we transform.
There are four main stages of a woman’s life cycle: puberty, reproductive age, mother, and post-menopausal and I’m going to share here how best to navigate each stage. By being aware of these shifts and the needs you’ll have in each phase, you can fuel yourself with the most supportive nutrients, supplements, and supportive lifestyle that will help you thrive at every stage.
PUBERTY: 12 years old through the end of high school
During this time focus on: Growth, hydration, nourishment through food, stress management, and body image
During these years, young women go through intense physical and emotional development as they enter puberty. Their physical bodies will change and their emotional and mental states will develop more based on social experiences. This experience is heightened even more because of body image awareness.
NUTRITION: It’s becoming more and more prevalent for young girls to restrict food these days as a way to deal with body image concerns. However, this actually damages the metabolism. On the other hand, some young girls will overeat processed foods which leads to hormonal imbalances and issues with mood.
Because of the onset of menstruation, the body needs nutrient-rich and blood-building foods that support the body through multiple chemical processes and help regulate and create hormones like eggs, lean meat, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens + plenty of water.
•physical activity to increase circulation, raise energy levels, improve absorption of nutrients, and support detoxification.
•social media boundaries to create deeper relationships with the people around you and to help improve mental health
•breathwork for anxiety
REPRODUCTIVE AGE: 20s until mature or until the conception of the first child
During this time focus on digestion, absorption, maturing and aligning with your true purpose/identity, and stress management
This stage of life is characterized by finding one’s purpose and aligning with one’s identity which in American culture can lead to increased competitiveness and stress. Overworking, high cortisol, and inflammation can often be accompanied by this. Because of this, women in this phase are more prone to imbalance and irritability. This can cause heartburn, and other digestive disorders, and is often followed by hormonal imbalance.
NUTRITION: During this time women need food that will be energizing and grounding so having things like vegetables, greens, nuts & seeds, healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocados), organic eggs, wild-caught fish, lean organic meats, and grains like brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat. Probiotic-rich foods are also highly beneficial for digestive health.
LIFESTYLE: focus on activities that promote relaxation
•develop daily self-care practices like meditation or walks in nature
•meditation to calm the mind and relax the nervous system
•move in a grounding way like with yoga or Pilates
MOTHER: from the conception of a first child through age 55
During this time focus on disease prevention, conception, and long-term wellness
Many women at this phase of life have the desire to become a mother, but an increasing number of couples are having difficulties conceiving in today's society.
However, if we intentionally focus on supporting the mind and body to prepare for a healthy pregnancy, we can shift how we move through this time.
Women who have intentionally chosen not to become mothers can also struggle with imbalances during this time. Career and social expectations can also put extra pressure on women during this time. So for women who choose not to become mothers, there are other ways to experience the nature of motherhood during this time through nurturing others, caring for animals, volunteering, and using creativity in their careers.
NUTRITION: Fresh vegetables especially dark leafy greens and root vegetables, fruits, pastured eggs, wild-caught fish, organic lean meats, nuts and seeds, legumes, lentils, and whole grains like oats, quinoa, and buckwheat. Omega-rich foods & healthy fats are also critical for mothers like olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados.
You’ll want to avoid things that deplete nutrients like alcohol and processed foods.
LIFESTYLE: focus on activities that energize you and provide nourishment for both you and your baby
•movement outdoors like hiking, swimming, and walking in nature
• self-care like dry brushing, long baths, and saying no to things you don’t want to do
POSTMENOPAUSAL: 65 through the end of life
During this time focus on using your wisdom to teach and pass on to a younger generation, spiritual development, and reflection
As we get older, the body loses lubrication and fluidity and it becomes slower to rebuild. It also becomes harder to rid the body of toxins. But this can be countered with proper nutrition and good self-care rituals.
NUTRITION: With food, the focus during this stage should be on absorption and digestion. Your diet should be made up of simple, whole foods that are cooked well and are easily-digestible, like soups and stews. This promotes lubrication of joints and tissues, proper nourishment, and allows older women to feel grounded in their bodies. You will want to limit foods that are drying like raw vegetables, too much caffeine, alcohol, or processed food like popcorn.
LIFESTYLE: it’s important to be really gentle during this phase
•get plenty of good sleep to help the body repair and stay rejuvenated
•walking and gentle yoga are great ways to combat a naturally slowing metabolism
•gentle breathing and time in nature to calm the mind
•stay social to maintain energy and feel a sense of connection
By supporting the life stages of life that were in and the natural shifts that we go through as women, we can be more in tune with ourselves and the world around us. While society has taught us that aging should be anxiety-inducing and something to fight against, by supporting the stages of our lives and treating ourselves with self-compassion, we can find the strength to transition through these phases gracefully and to truly enjoy all that life has to offer, at every stage.
If you’re looking to support your health in a more detailed way, email us at [email protected] to find an option through our care that works for you, or click the link here for ways to work with me and do testing!