empowering your perimenopausal journey: insights, challenges, and success stories with tina haupert

perimenopause, women's health, hormone fluctuations, stress management, lean muscle, wellness industry, intermittent fasting, strength training, alcohol and stress, protein intake, mineral-rich diet, hormone replacement therapy, talk therapy, professional support

Emily Field (00:00:00) – Welcome to episode 18 of the Macros Made Easy podcast, where I’ll be talking about moving through perimenopause. It’s a phase that often sparks a quest for understanding and self-care, leading many women to seek guidance on nutrition for the very first time. I partnered with Tina Haupert, who is a functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner, certified nutrition coach, podcast host, and the founder of Carrots and Cake, which is a popular healthy living brand in online functional nutrition practice. Tina’s mission is to empower women through their perimenopausal journey, fostering a sense of control and well-being in their bodies. So I thought she’d be the perfect co-host for an episode like this one. Perimenopause, the precursor to menopause, is a significant chapter in a woman’s life marked by various physical and hormonal changes. It’s a time when many women seek answers and strategies to feel back at home in their bodies again. Today, Tina and I will explore the common struggles women faced during perimenopause, the mistakes they make in navigating those changes, and most importantly, the empowering steps to thrive during this transformative period.


Emily Field (00:01:06) -Welcome to Macros Made Easy, the podcast that takes the confusion out of tracking macros. I’m your host, Emily Field, a registered dietitian that specializes in a macros approach. In each episode, I help you learn how to eat in a way that supports your health, body composition, and athletic performance goals. We’ll cover the basics of macronutrients, how to track for various goals, the role of macros in your health, and how to make sustainable changes to your habits. I’ve helped hundreds of people experience more food freedom and flexibility while navigating their nutrition. So whether you’ve tried macros and it just didn’t stick or you just heard the word macros yesterday, I can’t wait to help you too. 


So we’re going to talk today all about perimenopause. And we oftentimes see women in perimenopause. Tina and I and our own individual practices. It can be a time where women feel like this is a catalyst for seeking nutrition education and coaching, because they all of a sudden do not feel at home in their bodies. Perimenopause, as you know, is a transitional phase leading up to menopause, and it’s a natural and normal part of a woman’s life.


Emily Field (00:02:11) – But it can bring on a ton of physical and hormonal changes that make you feel like you don’t even know yourself. So, Tina, tell me a little bit about like in your practice, you know, we see a ton of fear, especially in nutrition and wellness space around aging and particularly in entering that phase of perimenopause. So why do you think that is?


Tina Haupert (00:02:31) – Yeah, that is a great question. And from working with clients, I would say it’s a mix of things. It’s probably just not having the information. And then I don’t want to say perimenopause comes out of nowhere, but I just think we’re not really fully prepared for it. I think we hear a decent amount of stuff about menopause, and it just seems so tragic, at least from like talking to women. But we don’t really talk about that, like perimenopause time where you’re not officially in menopause, but you are going through all these changes and a lot of times are a few times I’ve heard that it can be attributed almost to like reverse puberty, just as far as like instead of hormones increasing, you know, as you’re going through puberty, they actually decrease in that same way.


Tina Haupert (00:03:14) – But I just think we are just not totally informed about it, and we don’t talk about it a lot. So I think that’s why I’m so into it. And I’m so into trying to reach women. Because you’re not nuts. You’re not crazy. Like these things are actually happening. And I just think the conventional medical world, they are not fully up to date on what happens either. And a lot of times it is not always depends on the doctor, but doctor blowing off symptoms, offering hormonal birth control, the fixed problems. When I think there’s so many things that you can do to support this natural transition, food and lifestyle and behaviors and you know all the things that we preach and talk about with our clients. But yeah, I just feel like there’s just not a ton of info for us out there.


Emily Field (00:03:59) – Yeah, it is probably a fear based in like, lack of knowledge. It’s a shroud of mystery around this phase where men don’t understand it. Your doctor doesn’t really understand it, and there’s barely any, like, female role models that we have that truly can, like, articulate what’s happening and why.


Emily Field (00:04:15) – And I think to your point, perimenopause can be extremely slow in that I think the definition of perimenopause is up to ten years prior to your loss of menses for an entire year. So this is a very slow process. So you might be like thinking to yourself, is that am I crazy? Is that is that something that’s a part of menopause or is that just me being stressed, or is it, you know, you’re kind of second guessing yourself, maybe even gaslighting yourself that things aren’t changing. So I can see that that’s probably probably where that really all comes from, that mystery around it.


Tina Haupert (00:04:46) – I mean, 100%, and there’s just so many hormonal fluctuations during that time. So I think a lot of times we think like periods and menstrual cycles, but there’s blood sugar issues that pop up suddenly. Then you. Have insomnia and then you have no energy. So it’s not like one thing that happened. It’s a whole bunch of things. So yeah, you are gaslighting yourself, questioning yourselves. And one month you can feel great and wonderful, and the next month you feel like the sky is falling and everything is the worst.


Tina Haupert (00:05:16) – Yeah, just a lot of changes kind of all at once sometimes.


Emily Field (00:05:20) – Yeah. And I think with the whole piece around the mystery that really speaks to our industry, right. Like there’s a predatory nature of the wellness industry in the nutrition and fitness industries that some experts, some programs, some method possesses the keys and the tools to your success. You just haven’t found us yet or you just haven’t tried our method yet. I do think that women in perimenopause can start to feel that even more so, not only do we have this lack of knowledge and this like shroud of mystery around what’s happening in our bodies, we’re gaslighting ourselves. But do you feel like that’s also true where like, this is an often a very predatory time to be like looking for information on how to help yourself?


Tina Haupert (00:05:57) – Yes, yes. And I think, yeah, in this space, being on Instagram all the time, influencers, all that, I think everybody leans into like the hormonal stuff. And yeah, sure, hormones are very much impacted during this phase, but I do think the basic boring stuff works again and again.


Tina Haupert (00:06:16) – And a lot of times, especially in perimenopause, less is more. And I think a lot of the old tactics that we’ve used in the past as far as like weight loss and health and everything, you almost want to do the opposite of them. So I think a lot of times, you know, people are speaking to women and they’re just blaming the hormones. But I feel like there’s so many other things going on here. So yeah, I just feel like it’s not one thing when it comes to perimenopause. And I think it can be a little bit confusing. Like I was saying, there’s some weeks you might feel great and wonderful and you can kick butt in your workouts, and the next week you’re crying in your car because you heard a song that made you sentimental. You know what? Yes, you feel like so much can happen in a week to week. That really just threw me back to puberty.


Emily Field (00:07:01) – You’re singing like perimenopause is the reversal of puberty. I was like, wow, that sounds a lot like my teenage years, so I can totally identify with that.


Emily Field (00:07:09) – So basically, you’re getting the essence of this episode, right? We want to help women age gracefully and to have the least disturbances possible when it comes to perimenopause. No doubt there will be some disturbances, but I usually say there is kind of a handful of habits that you can actually really harness right now. If you’ve never started, you can harness right now, or if you’re free perimenopause, you can start them right now and make for the best possible chances that you have the least amount of fluctuation, or at least consequences or challenges during perimenopause. But before we move into that, I want to talk a little bit about the cluster of symptoms and struggles that women experience during this time, and it really can be attributed back to the hormone fluctuations. This is at the root of it. We know that our fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone during perimenopause leads to, you know, things like hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disturbances. It can also contribute to the emotional and physical challenges as well. So when it comes to working with women in perimenopause, I often see that we get the hyper fixation on the fluctuating hormones and maybe the slower metabolism, the weight gain.


Emily Field (00:08:18) – But I think what people don’t talk about enough is the lack of confidence you’re feeling. The lack of confidence in your body don’t know what’s going on, and that can trickle into a lot of different areas of your life. I’m just curious if you have experience with that, Tina. And, you know, what did that feel like?


Tina Haupert (00:08:35) – Yes, 100%. I feel like I am the poster child for going through perimenopause and not realizing what the heck was going on with my body and questioning everything, overthinking things. And I do think it goes back to like, I don’t want to say crazy symptoms because when you, you know, start to realize what happens during perimenopause and your hormones slow down and whatnot, it kind of makes a little bit more sense. But yeah, I mean, I definitely had a lack of confidence because the things that worked in the past for me were no longer working. So it wasn’t about eating less, exercising more. I really think there was a point in my life where that behavior caused me to gain a bunch of weight and caused me to have so many different symptoms.


Tina Haupert (00:09:22) – Like my periods became terrible. I started having heavy periods and cramping and clotting, and I was dragging my butt out of bed every day, and I was having headaches before my period. So I do think doing a little too much in that direction of trying to lose weight and quote unquote, get healthy actually worked against me because our bodies really become less resilient to stress in this phase of our lives. And I think going through my 20s and my 30s, it was always more is better, go harder, go faster, restrict. Or if you just eat less, exercise more, the weight is going to come off and I. Really think that worked against me and I probably gained, I don’t know, probably 10 to £15 in a very, very short period of time. And I didn’t know what the heck was going on. And all the things that I had done in the past didn’t work anymore.


Emily Field (00:10:14) – So to piggyback on that, you said all these changes were happening. You were trying to combat that with your old tactics going harder, going faster, trying to do more.


Emily Field (00:10:24) – So was there not an inkling in your mind like this could be perimenopause? Did you fear perimenopause before you were going through it? I’m just curious about your timeline there.


Tina Haupert (00:10:33) – No, and that’s the thing I feel like I don’t want to say it was in the dark, but I really just did not know enough about this period of time and I didn’t know what was going on. So I have shared my orange theory story many a time over the years, and an orange theory when in In Our Town it was six minutes from my house and I joined and I loved it. At first I literally joined because I wanted to lose weight, I wanted to get fit, and I started going probably, you know, 2 or 3 times a week, and then I really enjoyed it. So then I was going 4 or 5 times a week, and I was just doing way too much high intensity cardio at that point in my life. And I started having blood sugar issues. I was waking up in the middle of the night eating cereal.


Tina Haupert (00:11:17) – I was having terrible sleep. I had crazy sugar cravings. Like I said, my periods were a disaster. I just dreaded them. Every single month I was crashing on the couch. And I mean, I don’t want to blame just perimenopause, but I also in my 20s or in my 30s when I was younger, I probably could have got away with those workouts and I could have just kept crushing it on the treadmill and lifting weights and all the things. But it was a real surprise to me, because I actually gained weight in the few months that I was at Orangetheory instead of losing weight, and my body composition changed a ton. So instead of, you know, being fit and lead and strong, I was a lot more puffy and not, as you know, lean and fit as I had been. So it was interesting. It was interesting. But I just think my hormones and that resilience to stress just went out the window once I hit my late 30s, early 40s.


Emily Field (00:12:07) – And that’s such a good point.


Emily Field (00:12:08) – You know, we tend to get used to a certain type of exercise in a habit of eating, and we have our quick tricks that work to slim us up quickly if we need to for an event. We know what works for ourselves. We got stuff in our toolbox in our 20s and 30s. But to your point, because our hormones are changing and the responsibility of production and regulation of hormones is moving from the ovaries to the adrenal glands, which are already busy managing our stress response and everything else that they do. It becomes overwhelmed for those organs, and we are less resilient to stress. So if you’re going to add more stress or continue to do the stressful activities and engage in the stressful lifestyle habits that you have, your body is going to fight back and they will not be. Your old tricks will not work the same. And that’s kind of what you’re describing. With Orange Theory, you added a stressor, a brand new stressor, and while you might have been able to do that in your 20s and 30s, it was just not the time for you in your 40s.


Tina Haupert (00:13:06) – Mhm, mhm.


Tina Haupert (00:13:07) – And that was a wake up call for me to just do things differently. And that was also kind of right before the pandemic hit. So I think a lot of things changed for me. But that was very eye opening because those symptoms I just couldn’t ignore. And I think up until then I was like, oh, maybe I’m a little tired after this workout, or maybe I’m not recovering as well as I used to. Maybe there’s a little more, you know, weight gain in my my hips and my butt area. And that experience, it just those symptoms were just so awful. I just couldn’t ignore them anymore.


Emily Field (00:13:38) – So you already mentioned a few things that you did to combat it in the right way, or we’re going to we’re leading into that, like in the right way. You were able to transition what you were doing and work with your body, but what were some of the things in that in-between period where you’re noticing the weight gain, you’re noticing your periods are changing a little bit, you’re a little bit more tired.


Emily Field (00:13:57) – Maybe you’re experiencing some mood swings. What did you do that you would call the wrong thing during that time?


Tina Haupert (00:14:03) – I mean, all those things for sure. I think the biggest one was not stopping that exercise. I carry on for a significant amount of time and just not realizing what was going on. And then also I didn’t manage the stress in my life. I think that was a big thing because like you were saying, I just added another stress to my plate in the form of physical activity. But being a business owner, I’m also a mom. I just had a lot on my plate already, so I wasn’t great at setting boundaries for myself. So I really was like running around like a lunatic every day. And I also have a little of that type A perfectionism in myself as well. So I just wanted to do everything perfectly. I wanted to do more. I wanted to be perfect with everything, and I think I just put a lot of pressure on myself. So I think what actually made a difference.


Tina Haupert (00:14:59) – Was quote unquote managing stress. And I think really setting boundaries around things was the big thing for me. And I know a lot of us are so focused on the fitness and what to eat. But for me, it was really figuring out that stress and getting my nervous system to essentially like, calm down because like I was saying with like the blood sugar in my adrenals and whatnot, I was flying by the seat of my pants. I just felt everywhere, like I at night could not get a restful night of sleep. I would wake up like every two hours because with my racing to do lists running through my head, I’d be waking up at, you know, four in the morning trying to get a head start on work for the day. I just it was too much of everything, too much overtraining, probably a little bit of underreporting because I was too busy to eat and then flying around with my hair on fire. Yeah, they tried to take care of everybody in my business and my son and my husband and the dog, and it just it was too much.


Tina Haupert (00:15:58) – It was too much.


Emily Field (00:15:59) – And as I really do resonate with that, and I know you probably think through this with your clients, as someone who works in the nutrition space, we often we focus obviously a lot on food and we are giving some education on exercise as well. But one area that not a lot of us are very comfortable with is telling and teaching our clients to deal with their stress. And so it’s becoming, I think, a little bit more acknowledged that we do need to be approaching these subjects with their clients. And that’s the piece that you needed most. Like, yes, we can lead with eating more and exercising differently or even exercising less, but none of that will matter if you’re not addressing the internal stuff, the way that you’re building resiliency and how you’re managing your stress. We have to stop making withdrawals from that bandwidth tank, and we need to start making deposits, and that can be a really tough lesson to learn when think about it, you might be at the height of your career.


Emily Field (00:16:53) – You are killing it in a lot of different aspects of your life. You finally feel like you’re like in your body or at home, but then you’re dealing with aging. You got that kind of creeping up, very physical reminder that you are aging. You are getting old. Maybe you’re in that age group where you’re sandwiched between taking care of kids at home, but also aging parents. Super stressful. We also have this like culture of drinking, and you might be going out and socializing and, you know, doing your happy hours and dealing with stress with alcohol. So there’s like a lot of moving pieces here. So I find it fascinating that you really touched on all of that. I think to round that point out, we need to become more comfortable with talking about stress with our clients, because that is going to be the biggest needle mover when it comes to managing perimenopause symptoms.


Tina Haupert (00:17:39) – Yep, 100%. We actually recently added a day in the life stress assessment for our clients because, you know, it’s more info for us to understand how our clients are living their lives, but also info for them, like how are you actually starting the day? What are you doing during the day? You know, how do you prepare for bed at night? Because I think a lot of us don’t realize just how stressed we are.


Tina Haupert (00:18:02) – And I can’t tell you how many women say, oh, I’m not that stressed. But then when we dig into it a little bit more, this could be driving hormonal issues, sleep issues, weight gain, blood sugar issues. So it’s all all connected.


Emily Field (00:18:15) – Um, absolutely. So we’ve kind of talked about your mistakes that you made when it came to dealing with your perimenopause symptoms prior to changing the whole script and doing things differently, but let’s really outline that for a listener. What are some common mistakes that we oftentimes see when people start to take their nutrition seriously, take their health seriously, and they hire us, what are some things that they’re doing around this age that are probably very terrible for managing your menopause symptoms?


Tina Haupert (00:18:44) – Oh, I don’t even know where to start. Okay, so I’d probably say skipping meals is probably one of the biggest one. And I think this whole idea of intermittent fasting so hot right now. But I think if you actually want to change your body and build some muscle, and I think a lot of women miss the mark a little bit on the building lean muscle part of perimenopause because, you know, as we age, loss of lean muscle mass, I mean, estrogen plays a big role in maintaining and building muscle.


Tina Haupert (00:19:17) – So I think a lot of women don’t realize that they need to eat food and consume calories in order to build muscle, and it doesn’t just come out of nowhere. So I think a lot of women, they think, oh, I want to lose weight, so I need to skip meals or I need to cut back and they’re not consuming enough calories. So I guess I’m saying like two things at once here, but I just feel like this is the area where a lot of women don’t realize that them not consuming enough food, not consuming enough protein, is actually not helping them in the long run, because I think a lot of women want to lose weight on the scale, but they don’t realize they actually want to change how their body looks. And a lot of times a body is going to look way better with some muscle on it and just menopause. You’re working against age and hormones at this point, so like you really need to make it a priority. And I just think skipping meals, you know, drinking coffee for breakfast, like it’s just not helping you out in the long run.


Tina Haupert (00:20:14) – And I guess what goes hand in hand there is really prioritizing strength training. And I am not a cardio hater. I don’t hate Orangetheory, but I just think the strength training should really be the foundation of what you do as far as fitness goes, and then you’re just sprinkling in the cardio and the more fun workouts. All movement is wonderful and amazing and you shouldn’t do what you enjoy. But if you’re not strength training on the regular, you really are missing out on actually changing your body and actually changing it for the long term. I mean, if you just think about metabolism, I mean, so many women complain I have a sluggish metabolism, I have a slow metabolism. And one of the best ways to boost your metabolism is building muscle and eating more food. I just think it goes against everything that we’ve learned as far as like weight loss and diet culture goes. So yeah, so probably start there.


Emily Field (00:21:06) – I think you’re completely spot on. I mean, when we talk about strength training in our practice, it’s the entryway to starting strength training might be leading with like the physique changes and fat loss and having a more athletic or fit looking physique.


Emily Field (00:21:21) – But the big picture of the strength training, where I want more women to really like, hold on to and stay consistent for these reasons are your bone health. When we have loss of estrogen, we’re going to have more brittle bones. We have a higher metabolism. To your point, the way to improve your metabolism and be able to handle a fluctuation in calories or high calorie meals and days is by having more muscle mass on your frame. You know, we know that hormonally, your muscle mass is a lot more metabolically active tissue versus fat tissue. The more muscle mass you have on your frame and the less fat mass you have on your frame. It’s a better hormonal picture from an insulin perspective and estrogen perspective, a cortisol perspective. All the things you say you care about, you know you’re leaving a ton of benefit on the table if you’re not strength training. So if we’re talking about common mistakes that women make during this time, it’s about not prioritizing strength training, not making it the foundation of their exercise routine.


Emily Field (00:22:17) – Number one. But then you also said not eating to match that activity level. So in order to build the muscle, you need to have the building blocks. You need to be eating enough calories and enough and enough protein. So that’s another big, big hole there. I would say. I would add using alcohol to cope with stress. I see this a lot in my practice. People try to like work in alcohol to their macros and trying to justify a couple glasses of wine multiple times per week. And from a calorie perspective, it may seem pretty benign, but what people don’t often understand during perimenopause, we have such a strain and impact happening on our adrenal glands. Again, like I said, your ovaries are out of work, they’re turning down, they’re sun setting, and the hormonal production and regulation shifts to the adrenal glands, which are also responsible for regulating all the other stressors and navigating your stress response for all the other stressors you put it under, including alcohol use. So you’re putting another burden on this already fatigued organ.


Emily Field (00:23:16) – So I don’t know if you can add a little bit more there about what we see for alcohol use in this age group. But I just find that to be one of the main behavior change things we work on in practice.


Tina Haupert (00:23:25) – Yep, yep I see that a lot, especially for quote unquote stress reduction. But just what you were saying about, you know, how it impacts the body, it also really affects blood sugar levels. And being in perimenopause you’re going to have a lower levels of estrogen. And that can also lead to increased risk for insulin resistance. And that’s why. We see more blood sugar issues in perimenopause? I just think most of the women that come to us and have trouble losing weight, there is some sort of like insulin resistance or insulin, something going on, and you can go to your doctor, have them run the bloodwork, and a lot of times everything’s going to be quote unquote normal. But you might not have diabetes, but you might be trending in the direction of having some sort of insulin resistance.


Tina Haupert (00:24:08) – Add in some alcohol. Alcohol just spikes your blood sugar. It’s really not offering you much if it’s a nutrient to go, if not offer you any nutrients. But a lot of times, like we are drinking alcohol in an empty stomach, we’re drinking alcohol at night with no activity around it. And it’s just it’s not helping us out as far as that weight loss goes. And then also what it does to our liver, and I mean our liver is a really important part in processing hormones as well. So if there is any sort of hormonal imbalance, maybe you have some estrogen dominance going on. Adding some alcohol to that just kind of fuels the fire when it comes to estrogen issues. So yeah, alcohol is not great for menopause or.


Emily Field (00:24:49) – Yeah, it’s one of the biggest things, like I said, that we work on and it’s bigger than just quit drinking. It is probably about boosting our other habits that will relieve your life stressors or relieve your stressors in general, more so than alcohol. So if we’re using alcohol to cope with a high stress environment, feeling like uneasy not at home in your body, you know all the things that you have going on in your life.


Emily Field (00:25:13) – We have to replace that habit with something else that actually does process those emotions out of the body helps you feel and doesn’t numb you out. So obviously there’s a lot that we can do from a nervous system support standpoint and a stress reduction, resiliency building standpoint. But what are some of the things that you love when it comes to stress reduction or resiliency building?


Tina Haupert (00:25:34) – Yeah, I love this question because this is something I talk about our clients as well. And that whole idea of like managing stress. It’s so vague. It’s a little like, woo, I think, you know, there’s no like real direction there. But I think the biggest thing or the thing that made the biggest impact for me, which I always joke about, is going the f to sleep. But what I say to our clients and I was always that person. I was up scrolling, I was on Netflix, I was doing work late at night. I just I think it’s also being a mom, too. And, you know, running a business, you have a lot going on.


Tina Haupert (00:26:07) – So the only hours where I could have time to myself were kind of late in the evening, and I would be kind of a night owl and then get up early and work out, or you’d go do more work, but just going to bed made such a difference as far as my mood, my energy levels, my blood sugar. So now I have a full on bedtime routine. And I talk about this with our clients too. Like especially those who have kids. You know, when you have kids, there’s a whole rigamarole to get your child to go to bed at the end of the day. And if you think about it, that little kid has done so much all day long. You need to wind their body down. You need to get them physically and emotionally ready to relax and go to sleep. And I just think as adult, we demand so much of ourselves all day long, and then we just get in bed and it’s like, okay, go to sleep. And I just think that’s some of the reason why we have so many sleep issues.


Tina Haupert (00:27:00) – But for me, this idea of managing stress really came to my evening routine, which now starts after dinner. I’ll go up and I’ll take a shower and I’ll put my PJs on, and I’ll put my son to bed and read with him and everything. But then I get in our bed and I read, I read, I journal, and then I go to sleep. And that was those were all the things that I was like, I don’t have time for or like, what is the point of doing that? But I got to that point in my life where I just knew I needed to calm my body down if I was going to get a full night of sleep. And I just prioritized it. And I started small, too, because it was one of those things I didn’t have time for. I’d much rather zone out and scroll and just watch Netflix, and I don’t even know what I was doing late at night, but I made it a point. But the phone way, I don’t watch TV late at night anymore, and I just go the F to sleep.


Tina Haupert (00:27:52) – I get in bed, I’ll journal for five minutes sometimes. It’s not a big to do and sometimes I read for five minutes. It’s not like a big thing, but I think just getting in bed and relaxing and having this routine, it has made such a difference for me and it’s such like a small thing, but it’s actually like quite a big thing for me now because now I look forward to it. And sometimes I’ll be reading for 30 minutes or 40 minutes or something like that before I go to bed. It depends on the night, but I really started small with it because I do think it was one of those things that I was just like, I don’t know if it’s gonna help. It’s not really what I do. I’m too tired to do it. But that was busy scrolling all all evening.


Emily Field (00:28:31) – But go to sleep, I love that. Great advice there. But I think what’s ironic is that as a parent, you know how powerful a good night’s sleep is for your child. But for whatever reason, we don’t apply that same logic to ourselves.


Emily Field (00:28:44) – To your point, like we are at this age, I perimenopause, you are likely at the height of your career. You are likely killing it in so many areas, like I said, and you are using your brain and your body in crazy, amazing ways. You need to sleep. You need to like, recover. There’s so many things that happen during sleep that will support our hormones, so that’s great advice. So to round out that point, the most common mistakes that we see with women in this time is really like not eating enough, overtraining in that cardio, or maybe not enough strength training. We see using alcohol to cope with stress, or using alcohol in general, and then not having a great stress management or resiliency building routine. And for Tina, it sounds like the best way for her to really combat that nervous system dysregulation was to go the F to sleep. So let’s talk a little bit more about the women who have the least disturbances through perimenopause. What are they doing? What are the things that these women are doing.


Emily Field (00:29:45) – We’ve already talked about what not to do, but what are some things that a woman can. And do if they really need to make some changes there in the midst of this right now, or they’re approaching this age and they want to make for the least disturbances during this time.


Tina Haupert (00:29:58) – Yeah, I mean, probably start with that stress management, as we were talking about leaning into the strength training. I would start probably paying a little bit more attention to your diet in the sense of, you know, getting more whole foods. I’m sure we hear that all the time. But increasing your protein intake, I just think so many women come to us under eating protein and a lot of times over eating carbohydrates, dealing with sugar cravings and things like that in protein. It’s so important for so many things. I mean, I just think cravings, you know, feeling full and satisfied after a meal, building and maintaining muscle. I just feel like you can’t go wrong with protein. And it’s also the macronutrient that we’re just not as used to eating on the regular, you know, just how we grew up or how we planned our meals all these years.


Tina Haupert (00:30:45) – And it is something that you kind of need to plan ahead for. Or maybe you need to cook it ahead of time. It’s just not as easy to find in our food. And I think it’s one of those things that we know we need to do, but we’re just not consistent with it. So that would probably be one outside the things that we’ve already talked about. Another thing to really focus on, to figure out where your protein is coming from throughout the day and, you know, spacing it out, eating regular meals throughout the day. But that protein thing, I think can change so much for so many people, and they don’t even realize it is the protein. I just feel like you start to have these improvements in your body composition. You’re building muscle, you feel better, your energy is more stable, and a lot of times it’s just increasing that protein intake.


Emily Field (00:31:31) – Yeah, that’s a really good point. We’re talking about the habits that are really going to move the needle. They have tons of downstream impact sleep eating enough and eating enough, protein and strength training.


Emily Field (00:31:42) – These things sound so basic, but they, when mastered, have the huge impact on your hormones in the way that you feel. So really good point there to add to your eating enough protein. You said like spacing throughout the day. We obviously really recommend that in practice as well because it keeps blood sugar stable. So to piggyback on eating protein throughout the day, I would love to see more women having a balance of those macronutrients from whole real food when possible that P, F, and C macro in most meals, or if not all meals because that supports great blood sugar balance and that blood sugar balance when you’re not skipping meals. And we’re eating balanced macro meals is going to make for stable energy is going to make for no hangry going to minimize cravings. It’s just gonna make you feel a lot more at home in your body. And that’s one of the biggest benefits that people notice about starting to track macros is that balanced meal approach. They feel so much better. It’s just a simple change. It’s just rearranging the way that you eat throughout the day.


Emily Field (00:32:37) – I would say that eating a mineral rich diet, and this is something that we’ve been talking about a lot in practice, is really looking for the deep, dark colored foods in your diet over the ultra processed foods that you might be reaching for because of time issues like your your lifestyle issues. You’re looking for something quick off the shelf, something that is going to bridge the gap between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner, but you’re not really sitting down to eat. Whole real food that is going to, especially in perimenopause, have a big impact. So I would say if you’re able to reprioritize that whole real food, cooking for yourself, prepping a little bit more, that’s going to have a huge impact on your ability to handle stress, because the minerals that come into our bodies from nutrition are going to help improve the bandwidth that our adrenal glands have. When managing stress, how do you recommend people get a more mineral rich diet? What are some of the bigger recommendations you have for that in your practice? Because I know you do talk about minerals a fair amount.


Tina Haupert (00:33:34) – I love minerals, I love minerals and just recorded a mineral podcast. These are before I started talking to you. But yes, love Minerals and I think the best way is really just seeking out whole Foods. And I talk about the adrenal cocktail a lot. I’m not sure if you’ve gone down this rabbit hole, but we’ve been talking about the adrenals and just how depleted they can become. And yeah, when we’re stressed out, you know, our bodies lose vitamin C and we need to replenish that. Especially if you’re somebody who is active and lives kind of a chronically stressed out life, that vitamin C can be really, really helpful. And then also when we’re stressed we lose electrolytes. So with this adrenal cocktail it’s loaded with vitamin C because there’s orange juice in there. There’s coconut water which is high in potassium. And then you just throw a little sea salt in there to get a little bit of sodium. But it’s really great bang for your buck because you’re getting, you know, OJ, coconut water, sea salt all in one beverage.


Tina Haupert (00:34:26) – And it can be really nourishing. And I mean some people actually really energizing. So that could be a simple thing to add into your daily routine. And I don’t want to say it’s magical, but I have had so many clients say how much better they feel just getting this adrenal cocktail into their daily life. And it really.


Tina Haupert (00:34:44) – Can be.


Tina Haupert (00:34:44) – Nourishing. So that’s one thing. And then yeah, just focusing on. Good quality meat, you know, not fearing red meat, love red meat. And then we often recommend fruits and roots to our clients. Fruit. Fruit is wonderful. Also very, very nourishing for the adrenals, vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, so much good stuff in fruit and then root vegetables and squashes, which are also really high in minerals and very, very nourishing and satisfying and fiber and all the things. And a lot of times they are high in minerals that our bodies. Lose when we are stressed out. So potassium, magnesium, sodium, they’re really important is just far as feeling our best.


Tina Haupert (00:35:24) – And those minerals as well as calcium are our macro minerals. And they make up 80 to 90% of the minerals in our body. So they really are important as far as just feeling our best, nourishing our bodies. So we’re constantly talking about minerals over here and just really prioritizing good quality whole foods and just staying away from like the process stuff. The quest bars I have like a thing out for quest bars just because of.


Emily Field (00:35:49) – That’s really funny.


Tina Haupert (00:35:50) – What they do to people.


Emily Field (00:35:51) – GI systems with all the you were thinking about the sugar alcohols and things like that, the fiber, the fake fiber.


Tina Haupert (00:35:58) – Yeah, yeah, yeah. I can’t tell you how many clients have, you know, said that they have bloating gas and they just don’t feel well. And then we look at their diet and they’re like, oh, it’s the quest bars. And like, stop eating the quest bars. And they feel so much.


Emily Field (00:36:10) – I’m like kind of a down a rabbit hole right now with the the labeling of what? What do we call an ultra processed food and what do we call a minimally processed food? And it’s something I’m still really flushing out for to be able to teach that to someone.


Emily Field (00:36:22) – Right? Because while I have an understanding of what I would consider a processed food or not, we need some clarification on some definitions here. And one of the main things that’s still in my diet that I would consider ultra processed is like my fair live shakes, or like a protein shake that is bridging a gap for me in the protein realm. And it’s quick and it’s easy and it, you know, 20 to 30g of protein right there. But I’m in this in 2024. My goal is to really reduce some of the ultra processed foods that come across my plate. And that was probably the thing that’s going to go I it’s the last thing to go, really. So I’m on the search for a protein powder that is a lot fewer ingredients and a lot less process. But that’s a tangent for another day. You know, there are times where you want to prioritize the protein intake over the quality of the food, and it’s not going to kill you. But maybe understanding, like you said, with your clients, you do like kind of an assessment of the stressors and the, you know, the things that are coming in on their lifestyle.


Emily Field (00:37:17) – Maybe ultra processed food is higher on that list than it is for me, and that is a place where you want to do some digging and restructuring in order to have more whole real food. Okay, so I would say we’ve covered this pretty well. The women who move through perimenopause with the least amount of disturbances. We really talked about that strength training, making a foundation for strength training in your routine 3 to 4 days per week, really hitting the major muscle groups, challenging yourself, having progressive overload in your routine is going to be essential. Eating in regular intervals, emphasizing that protein at every single meal. And if you need to, maybe downloading a guide to teach you how much protein you actually need so you can work towards getting that, I would say we also talked about working on resolving stressors and building resilience. To Tina’s point, go the F to sleep. Just go to bed. That can really help eating a mineral rich diet and really emphasizing those whole real foods over ultra processed foods. We talked about reducing and eliminating alcohol because it’s another stressor, really doing anything for you, especially if you’re using it as a means to cope with stress.


Emily Field (00:38:22) – And then I think I would just lastly add that you might consider using HRT, and that’s hormone replacement therapy. And this is not something we’re going to get to really in this episode. But I just wanted to share that, you know, because we’re living longer and because we have expectations for what we can do and what’s allowed as we age, there’s kind of no real reason if you don’t want to experience a crazy drop off in your estrogen, which can increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, many of these health risks are because we have a sudden drop off in estrogen, and that can be optional for you if you want to talk to your doctor, your health care provider about beginning some sort of HRT, that’s absolutely something that we work with clients on as well. I’m not sure where you guys stand on that, but usually we just take the stand of like asking a lot more questions. And, you know, making the best decision for you is how you transition through menopause and into menopause.


Tina Haupert (00:39:21) – Mhm. I agree I hundred percent and it’s not something that we do in our practice, but we will absolutely refer. And you do need to work with somebody who is educated and knows how to measure these hormones and distribute them and whatnot. But I agree with you. I mean, perimenopause can be a really long time, and if you are really suffering, I don’t think you should have to suffer. I mean, over a keratin cake. We try all the natural, holistic methods first, but we’re not opposed to it. It’s just not something we do. But we are. We more than happily, will refer people out to practitioners who do HRT because, yeah, perimenopause can be a long time and nobody should be.


Emily Field (00:40:02) – Okay, so in closing, I just want to wrap up this full circle story. You know, you kind of really shared, Tina about how you were feeling when you started. Orange theory is the start of the pandemic. You’re noticing some things are changing with your body and you weren’t really addressing it, but at.


Emily Field (00:40:16) – At some point you had enough and you did address it. So tell us what that was like and what you outside of the sleep, what did you also start doing?


Tina Haupert (00:40:24) – Ah, yeah. So it was around my 40th birthday and I had these big plans of ringing in my 40th, my happiest and healthiest self. And the pandemic hit and I just was so unhealthy. And I always refer to as my basement days because I was just so depressed, like I just didn’t want to do anything. But I think it really was kind of a slow and steady approach, and I’ve almost stopped listening to all the noise. And again, this is going to sound like a little bit vague, but I just feel like we are so influenced on what we see on social media, what our friends are doing and whatnot. And I just got to that point where I just needed to listen to my body and listen to what I needed, and stop listening to everything else. There was way too much comparison. There was way too much I need this supplement or this thing.


Tina Haupert (00:41:14) – And I just started doing less, like I said, like a little bit vague at everything, but I really just started to be kinder to myself. Just how I approached fitness, how I approach my nutrition. I wasn’t so hard on myself. I didn’t expect perfection all the time, and it really translated to just being way happier and way healthier. And it didn’t happen overnight. It probably took me years to really, like settle into a routine and doing things differently. And now I joke that, you know, my ideal self, like who I want to be like as if principle. How I’m going to act is somebody who is not lazy and somebody who really just like, nourishes my body and just really like, cares for it. Because I think I was just focused on the wrong things for too many years. And a really put me at a disadvantage as far as my health goes. I just feel like I was so undernourished, so depleted, so burnt out. And yeah, just got to that point in my basement where I was like, I have to do things differently.


Tina Haupert (00:42:17) – And it really started with managing stress and really getting a hold on how much I was working and doing everything for everybody and setting some like real boundaries around work, life expectations and just being kinder to myself. I mean, it sounds like a little bit cheesy, but just everything had to change because I just so unhappy at that point.


Emily Field (00:42:41) – I really applaud you for being able to do that. It sounds like you did that on your own. Unless did you seek therapy or did you have kind of like a come to Jesus moment with your husband? For a lot of people, it’s super hard to be that introspective. What you’re describing is taking a bird’s eye view of your body and your life and saying, I need to make an overhaul. And I, I don’t know that that’s tangible for a lot of people without some assistance. So was there any assistance there?


Tina Haupert (00:43:07) – Yes. Talk therapy, which I should have mentioned. And I had my first session, I think February, before the world shut down.


Tina Haupert (00:43:16) – Wow. The timing was just perfect. Like I wasn’t one of those people that was seeking out therapy during Covid and the pandemic and everything. Like I had already kind of started it, but talk therapy was amazing for me. I still do it. It’s still so, so helpful to me. But yeah, I needed it outside party. As far as just helping me put the pieces together and having me take action, because I think a lot of times we know we want to do things or we say we want to do things, but it’s hard to actually implement them consistently. And I mean, this is why we are coaches and do what we do. I was going to say it’s the plug for coaching. Yes, yes. But on the mental health part of it, because I knew I was in a dark place, I mean, things were just bad with my health. I had gained all this weight. It was a pandemic. I just knew something needed to change. And I really did get to that pain point where I just I didn’t want to feel any worse.


Tina Haupert (00:44:07) – Like, that really was my rock bottom. And the only way out of that was up. And thank God I was able to secure a therapist who is still my therapist today. I still love her, but yeah, I just feel like everything changed. Everything changed.


Emily Field (00:44:21) – Well, I love that you shared that. We’re very pro therapy over here too. And I do think that to your point, this is why we are coaches. Perimenopause, like I said in the start of this episode, can be such a transformational phase in more ways than one. And one of the reasons why might be because you’re shedding an old identity and starting a whole new one. You have so much more life to live, and probably live even fuller if we’re able to nail down some of these basic habits. But it’s way easier said than done, and I know that a lot of the information that you’ve heard today is not necessarily new or novel. I mean, if you’ve been listening to this podcast for any length of time, a lot of these topics have been reoccurring.


Emily Field (00:44:59) – But there is a difference between knowing what to do and getting yourself to do it consistently. And so having help in the form of a coach or a therapist, or a really supportive partner or friends can be a really great way to do that. So if you’re feeling like you’re on the fence about hiring help so that you can go through. Menopause that the least disturbance is possible. I really do think that a coach can be such a catalyst and just a guide for you to help you on this journey, so I know you feel the same way in your practice.


Tina Haupert (00:45:26) – Tina 100%.


Tina Haupert (00:45:28) – 100%.


Emily Field (00:45:29) – So thank you so much for being here. I really loved this conversation. I’d love for you to tell my audience where they can find you, and how they can connect with you further, if they’d like to.


Tina Haupert (00:45:38) – Yeah. Thank you for having me. This is a lot of fun. All my favorite topics and I’m keratin cake on Instagram. Carrots and cake on the web, carrot Cake podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify.


Tina Haupert (00:45:50) – And it’s carrots, the letter N and cake. But I’m most active on Instagram in the podcast.


Emily Field (00:45:56) – Perfect. I will make sure to link all that in the show notes. Have a great rest of your day.


Tina Haupert (00:46:01) – Thank you. You too!


Emily Field (00:46:03) – Thank you so much for listening to the Macros Made Easy podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, take a screenshot of the one you’re listening to right now to share it on your Instagram Stories, and tag me @emilyfieldrd so that more people can find this podcast and learn how to use a macros approach in a stress free way. If you love the podcast, head over to iTunes and leave me a rating and a review. Remember, you can always find more free health and nutrition content on Instagram and on my website at emilyfieldrd.com. Thanks for listening and I’ll catch you on the next episode.

If you’re currently navigating perimenopause, you know that it can sometimes feel like a maze with no exit…

In this episode, I’m joined by Tina Haupert, a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, as we dive deep into the world of perimenopause. 

Together, we unravel the maze of physical and hormonal changes that come with this phase of life. We chat about the pitfalls of skipping meals, the stress mismanagement that so many of us fall into, and why strength training and balanced nutrition are vital during this stage. Tina also opens up about her journey, giving us a real-life perspective on adapting to these changes. 

If you’re a woman who is in or nearing the perimenopause stage, you won’t want to miss out on our conversation where we dive into:

the physical and hormonal changes during perimenopause

Perimenopause marks the transition leading up to menopause, characterized by a myriad of physical and hormonal changes. It’s a time when many women, like you and me, are desperately seeking answers to feel comfortable in our own skin again. Unfortunately, the lack of information and awareness can lead to fear and confusion, as the conventional medical world may not always provide the clarity we need.

This period is marked by a decline in estrogen and progesterone levels, leading to irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood swings, and weight gain. These hormonal fluctuations can also affect bone density, heart health, and skin elasticity. Understanding these changes is the first step toward managing them effectively.

One of the key points Tina and I discussed was the slow and gradual nature of perimenopause. It’s not uncommon for women to question themselves and feel uncertain about the changes they are experiencing. Hormonal fluctuations can lead to symptoms like blood sugar issues, insomnia, and a general lack of energy, which can be quite disconcerting.

common mistakes women make during perimenopause

During perimenopause, women often make the mistake of neglecting their nutritional needs and mismanaging stress. 

A common mistake many women make during perimenopause is skipping meals or believing that intermittent fasting is the answer. However, building lean muscle is essential during this time, and estrogen plays a significant role in maintaining and building muscle mass. We emphasized the importance of eating enough food and consuming calories, particularly protein, to support muscle growth.

It’s essential to maintain a regular eating schedule and find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as through exercise, hobbies that bring joy and relaxation, or as Tina says during our chat, “going the F to sleep!”.

why strength training and balanced nutrition is especially vital during perimenopause

Strength training should be the foundation of fitness during perimenopause, with cardio being secondary. We discussed the benefits of strength training for building muscle, boosting metabolism, and supporting bone health. 

Incorporating strength training into a routine 3 to 4 days per week, focusing on major muscle groups, and progressively challenging oneself is vital. Strength training is crucial during perimenopause because it helps combat muscle loss and bone density decline associated with aging and hormonal changes. 

A balanced diet rich in nutrients supports overall health and can help manage symptoms. Prioritizing protein intake, healthy fats, and a variety of fruits and vegetables ensures that the body receives the necessary building blocks for maintaining muscle mass and energy levels.

insights into hormone replacement therapy during perimenopause and the wellness industry

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can be a valuable tool for women experiencing severe perimenopausal symptoms. However, it’s important to approach HRT with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

We also touched on the predatory nature of the wellness industry, which can pressure women into finding the “right” method or program to address their symptoms. It’s crucial to understand that perimenopause isn’t just about hormonal changes; it’s about managing stress and making sustainable lifestyle changes. 

The wellness industry often offers quick fixes, but a personalized approach that considers individual health history and lifestyle is more effective for long-term well-being.

tina's personal experiences with perimenopause

Tina shared her personal journey through perimenopause, discussing her lack of confidence, weight gain, and other symptoms she faced. She emphasized the gradual nature of her transformation and the significance of managing stress, setting boundaries, and seeking talk therapy to support her mental health. Her story underscored the importance of shedding old identities and embracing a new, empowered sense of self during this stage of life.

By sharing her experiences, Tina offers hope and practical advice for other women going through similar challenges.

My conversation with Tina reminded me that perimenopause is a time of significant change, but it doesn’t have to be a negative experience. By understanding the physical and hormonal changes, avoiding common mistakes, and focusing on strength training and balanced nutrition, we can thrive during this stage of life.

Remember, perimenopause is a journey that’s as unique as you are. Let’s embrace this period of change with knowledge, support, and a holistic approach to our health and well-being.


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