We all need to “reset” our nutrition habits every once in a while. Most often, we may feel like we need to reset after a vacation or the holiday season. Or maybe certain eating behaviors have led to less than ideal nutrition, and you’re seeking a bit of focused structure with your meals again. By the way, this is all very normal, and “resetting” can be a good way to reboot, support your body, and feel your best - especially throughout menopause.

At Gennev, we educate and support our patients on finding a sustainable way of eating that doesn’t focus on restriction. Research shows that weight loss diets can work, but many of the benefits are short-term versus for the long-haul. And they can leave women feeling deprived and frustrated to only gain back the weight they lost (and sometimes more). By approaching instead with a nutrition reset that modifies one focused behavior at a time, we are much more likely to be successful in the long term. And you may find that just a couple days of being intentional with what you are eating can lead to feeling more confident and comfortable in your body. You may also experience less bloating, better energy and even a boost in mood!

Our 4-week Nutrition RESET is about just that - supporting you in feeling more empowered and confident in your own skin. Each week of the Reset has a focused goal. Aim to work on each reset challenge, one day at a time. After one week, that behavior may start to feel more like a habit. But be compassionate with yourself! It takes more than one week to make sustainable changes stick.

As the 4-week Nutrition Reset Challenge evolves from one week to the next, you will be adding one new behavior change, while continuing with - and building upon -the previous week’s focus. By the end of four weeks, you will have four KEY healthy behaviors in place which will support you in feeling your best. Ideally these new nutrition habits will continue on far beyond the 4-week Reset. But if you should stray off track, use this Reset as a way to “steer your ship back on course”. One thing at a time.

The 4-Week Nutrition Reset starts here

Week 1: Make ½ Your Plate Veggies

First up in the 4-Week Reset Challenge is all about vegetables! We all know we need more vegetables and most of us still don’t get enough. How many do we really need? Health experts recommend at least 3 cups of vegetables per day and this doesn’t change in menopause. However, we suggest that vegetables are even more important as we age to support our heart health, stabilize our blood sugars, regulate our digestion and provide a healthy gut biome, and deliver the antioxidants that eat up free radicals in our bodies and prevent disease.

The simplest way to put this into action is the make “1/2 your plate veggies” concept. This pattern on your plate is often easiest at lunches and dinners (considering the typical American diet), but including vegetables at breakfast are an added bonus, and you should add them whenever you can!

By planning meals around the vegetables, you will naturally prioritize them too. Sometimes these vegetables are mixed into a recipe and sometimes they stand alone on the side. Nevertheless, they are present and doing their job. Here are some sample ways to add vegetables to each of your meals.


  • Add spinach, onions, mushrooms and chopped tomatoes to an omelet or scramble. You can change up the veggies depending on what’s on hand.
  • Blend up a smoothie with kale, berries, beets and yogurt. You can cram 1 cup of packed smoothie greens into a smoothie and barely taste them when blended with fruit.
  • Try a breakfast burrito with added peppers, spinach and onions. These can even be made in advance and individually frozen for later.
  • Top your avocado toast with microgreens, tomato slices or pickled vegetables. Adding a little crunchy to the toast is delightful! Squeeze a little lemon and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
  • Give savory oatmeal a try with shredded zucchini and a green side salad tossed with olive oil and lemon juice.


  • Add a cup of roasted vegetables to any lunch (on the side with a sandwich, bowl of soup or with any dinner leftovers). This is a perfect thing to add to your meal prep for the busy week and of course these can be eaten at any meal too.
  • Make a vegetable heavy soup that can be portioned out over the week. This is a perfect way to use up any random veggies in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator.
  • Include a handful of raw veggies on the side with any lunch. Make it easy with veggies that are pre-cut or already bite-sized such as snap peas, baby carrots or cherry tomatoes.
  • Add a big salad to lunch. Big salad prep can be as simple as grabbing a bagged salad that requires nothing except opening a bag and pouring it onto a plate. You can add healthful toppings or dressing as needed.
  • Skip the bread, and wrap up your sandwich or burger in lettuce. And don't just stop with 1 leaf – use a whole stack!


  • Make your vegetables into noodles. A spiralizer is an easy and convenient way to transform zucchini, carrots, beets, broccoli and more.
  • Make over your spaghetti night.  Add mushrooms, carrots, onions, peppers, kale, squash or cauliflower to marinara sauce for a veggie-heavy spaghetti meal.
  • Top your pizza with fresh arugula or tomato slices. And include a side salad to get your veggies on pizza night too.
  • Use zucchini or eggplant very thinly sliced in lasagna or other layered casseroles.
  • Instead of taco night, make it taco salad night!  You can use all the same ingredients but put a bigger focus on the veggie part by adding lots of pico de gallo, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, and more.

Week 2: Add Phytoestrogens to Your Meals

Week 2 of the Nutrition RESET is all about adding phytoestrogens to your daily meals. These are plant-based compounds that bind to estrogen receptors and mimic the effects of this hormone in our bodies. Phytoestrogens may be particularly beneficial during menopause, as studies show they may help with hormone balance and reducing hot flashes. However, it’s important to be consistent with eating these foods to experience the potential benefits.

There are three different types of phytoestrogens: isoflavones (found in soy and legumes), lignans (in most vegetables, fruits and whole grains), and finally coumestans (found in some beans). The highest levels of phytoestrogens are found in soy, soy products, and flaxseed.

While the research on consuming phytoestrogens for menopausal relief is still limited, Gennev Dietitians agree that people can glean many other health benefits from eating these foods as they are rich in fiber, protein and antioxidants to support overall health. Give this healthy addition a try, and remember consistency is key!  

How to add more phytoestrogens into your diet:

  • Sprinkle some edamame (soy in its purest form) on a salad, in a power bowl or make into a delicious Edamame Hummus with whole grain flaxseed crackers.
  • Add ground flax (or purchase ground flax meal) into your smoothies, oatmeal or yogurt. Flax tends to pass right through our digestive system unless it’s ground up. Try this nourishing Blueberry Lemon Power Seed Baked Oatmeal which is loaded with phytonutrients.
  • Try using firm tofu or soy crumbles in a breakfast scramble. You can also use it in place of meat in tacos or chili, and in stir fries or soups.
  • Replace cow’s milk with soy milk in your coffee, cereal or smoothie.
  • Add lentils, chickpeas to your favorite stir fries, casseroles or salads.
  • Try sunflower butter in place of peanut butter for a tasty new twist.
  • Replace ricotta cheese with blended up tofu in lasagna or other recipes.
  • Try tempeh, a fermented soy/grain food, in tacos, sandwiches or curries.
  • Order some edamame and miso soup next time you’re out for sushi.  

Week 3: Audit Your Supplements

Week 3 of the Nutrition Reset challenges you to take a look at your supplements, and determine which ones you really need, and which ones you can ditch (and start saving some dollars). Think of this as a “supplement audit.”

Supplements are intended only to supplement the diet. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, protein, healthy fats and fiber may not need additional supplemental nutrients. Many individuals take vitamins to help “fill in the gaps” where the diet is lacking, or to address certain symptoms related to menopause. As women age, their nutritional needs change and certain nutrients may be needed in higher amounts than before. Conversely, women may not need the same supplements they were taking during child-bearing years (folic acid for example) and when menstruating on a regular basis (extra iron for some).

What are the common “gaps” where supplements are needed in midlife? And which vitamins help us to fill those gaps?

There are some key supplements that may be more beneficial during the menopausal transition and to help manage symptoms. Remember, every person is different so every woman in menopause will not require the same dietary supplements. Some common gaps in the diet include:

  • Vitamin D for bone health and immunity (especially for those who live in a colder, darker climate and/or do not regularly expose their skin to sunlight)
  • B12 (mostly for people who eat little to no meat or animal products of any kind)
  • Omega 3 fatty acids (especially if not eating fatty fish 2-3 times per week)
  • Magnesium (for anxiety, sleep and regular digestion)
  • Melatonin (for falling asleep and staying asleep)
  • And you may even want to try black cohash (for hot flashes).

A Registered Dietitian can help you audit your supplements, and take your personalized supplement plan to the next level. They will consider your diet, lifestyle, current medications and menopause symptoms to provide tailored recommendations specifically to you. They will also help you determine if you’re taking the correct dosage, ensure you are using a safe and reputable brand, and identify if there are any contraindications for using it.

It’s important to remember that supplements are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as food, not as drugs. This means the FDA does not have the authority to approve the labeling, safety or efficacy of dietary supplements before they are on the market. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with your health care professionals to ensure safety, potential drug interactions and overall potential effectiveness of the supplement.

Week 4: Hydration

This final week of the Nutrition Reset is all about hydration. We have all heard it’s important to drink water, but why exactly? And do we need to drink more water in menopause? We sure do! This is due to the declining estrogen making it harder for the body to retain moisture. Drinking adequate water is a fairly simple behavior change that can improve many menopausal symptoms such as dry skin, hair or nails due to estrogen decline, combat bloating or constipation, prevent headaches, reduce bladder urgency and irritation, improve menopause related nausea, ease cramps and even help with maintaining a healthy weight and preventing food cravings. Even mild dehydration can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like dizziness, fatigue and brain fog.

How do I know if I’m dehydrated?

The simplest way to determine if you’re already dehydrated is urine color. A well-hydrated person will have pale, light yellow urine. If it’s beginning to look darker yellow or even slightly orange, that’s likely dehydration. But, be aware some supplements such as multivitamins with high B vitamin concentration can make urine color very bright yellow-like a highlighter.

By drinking water early and consistently in the day, you’re much more likely to maintain adequate hydration. Remember if you tend to sweat a lot with exercise, hot flashes, or hot weather, you are more prone to dehydration. Also, as we age our natural thirst mechanism doesn’t work quite as well, so we may not feel as thirsty as we did earlier in life.

How much water do I need?

The easiest way to approximate your water needs is to aim for half your body weight in ounces. For example, a person weighing 150 pounds would need about 75 ounces of water per day.

Adequate hydration can be met with any unsweetened, non-caffeinated beverages such as plain water, sparkling water, herbal teas or infused water with foods like citrus fruits, berries or fresh herbs.

Tips to increase your water intake:

  • Make your water bottle your constant companion. Keep it with you anywhere and everywhere. If you see it, you’re much more likely to drink from it. Bring it to the office, in the car, at your desk, in the kitchen, on your nightstand.
  • Treat yourself to a new water bottle. The novelty of something new may bring some additional inspiration to this daily goal.
  • If plain water doesn’t appeal to you, mix up an infused water with cucumber slices, mint or basil leaves, lemon, lime, or orange slices. Infusing your water like this can be an easy way to add flavor, and boost your intake.
  • Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to drink throughout the day. For example, 20 ounces done by 10 am, another 20 ounces by 1 pm, and so on. By spreading out your water consumption, you’re less likely to get dehydrated and need to play catch up later in the day (which can cause nighttime bathroom breaks).

Proper nutrition is key to warding off disease as we age. If you need guidance on how to incorporate healthy foods into your diet on a regular basis, consider working with our integrated care team who are experts in supporting women in menopause. They will create your personalized plan that will optimize your nutrition and other lifestyle factors, plus provide the support to create healthy habits for the long-term.


Monika Jacobson

March 20, 2023

Medically Reviewed By

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