Meet expert nutritionist Lucy Miller, founder of Lucy Miller Nutrition, where evidence-based programmes are delivered without the scientific jargon to make good change easy and accessible in midlife.
Lucy has just launched a programme specifically focused on supporting the body through perimenopause. We caught up with her following her first event, in partnership with MPowder, at Babington House. It’s a conversation peppered with invaluable insights and tips. Enjoy the read.
With love, the MPowder Team.
Tell us a bit about your work. What motivated you to do what you do now? What principles have driven what sits at the core of what you offer.
I am a Nutritional Therapist based in Bath and London. I carry out group workshops and events in the areas of detoxification, skin health and women’s health and hormones.
I used to work in the health and beauty industry both in London and New York. After taking time out to have my four children, I saw how the industry had shifted and evolved to encompass a much more multi-faceted approach to wellbeing that incorporated nutrition.
I had always been interested in nutrition, but it was the diagnosis of cancer within my family as well as having a child with epilepsy, that led me to look at what people can do to support their health alongside conventional medicine.
However, it was difficult to navigate, so I spent the next 3 years studying to become the registered nutritional therapist that I am today.
How has your own peri-meno transition influenced your outlook towards work and life?
I don’t overly worry about ageing. However, I recently did the DUTCH hormone test and some of the results made me realise in black and white that I have entered a different phase of my life.
I had a brief moment of not feeling sad, but philosophical. However, I think it’s important to look forward and embrace it, to take control but not fight it. I think more about what I’ve achieved and what I still want to achieve.
How do you define success – both within work and yourself individually?
I would say that in work it’s to make my family proud and for my kids to see what hard work brings. I am inspired by what I do every day and love it, so that’s what matters to me the most. Occasionally I worry that the balance has shifted too much towards work and I’m not giving my family enough time, but I know that’s the nature of juggling the two and I remind myself I can do both.
For myself individually, it’s to be the best mum, wife, sister, daughter and friend that I can be. Oh, and to be able to buy myself nice shoes!!
Has your definition of success changed over time as an entrepreneur/individual?
Yes and no. I’ve always been driven and determined to succeed for as long as I can remember, and so from a work perspective it’s probably fairly similar. As an individual, I look at success with a much more mature head than my younger self. I understand now that’s it’s the simple things in life that bring success.
What correlation, if any, do you see between age and ambition?
My mantra is; I’m 46 so I can take a ‘No’ from anyone! I have been through so many life- changing experiences and without a shadow of a doubt, they have altered my perspective on life.
I am not afraid to ask and I’m not afraid to try. Having lived in New York for 7 years, I have learned to be more confident in believing in myself and if you never try something, of course you’ll never fail, but equally you’ll never succeed.
What are your aspirations for your business over the next 24 months?
To continue to empower women with the knowledge of everything I know about Nutrition and how it impacts Women’s Health, through workshops and retreats. I have so many ideas buzzing in my head about what comes next, but for now, this is my main aim.
What do you wish your younger self had known about:
Life; enjoy every stage and don’t look too far into the future.
Love; trust in it but work at it.
Health; be grateful for it; without it, we have nothing.
Work; do what you love and the rest will follow
What would be key advice to women transitioning through menopause today? What practical steps could they take to better support their minds and bodies?
Most importantly educate yourself. That way, you know you are not alone and that this is ‘normal’. You also then have the ability to take control and make this transition as smooth as possible. There is help out there in so many areas and the more you know, the more you can do to help yourself.
Of course, nutrition is key. As our hormones change, so should the way in which we approach nutrition. Not only can we balance our hormones through the right nutrients, we can nurture and support our systems that are affected by these changes.
We need to focus on stabilising blood sugar, consuming ‘good fats’, plenty of protein, some complex carbs, fibre, lots of greens, cruciferous vegetables and phytoestrogen foods. Look after the gut with plenty of pre and probiotic foods and avoid processed foods as much as possible. This is the time your body needs good nutrients more than ever before.
Look after yourself. As women, we are torn in every which direction and often we put ourselves last. Find time for yourself and most importantly don’t feeling guilty about it.
2 Recipes I love from my new Perimenopause programme are great breakfast and lunch swaps:
Sweet Potato Toasties (serves 2)
As an alternative to toast, these sweet potato toasties create the perfect bar to dress up with your favourite breakfast toppings.
1 sweet potato sliced in 6mm thick pieces
Trim the pointy ends of the sweet potato then cut lengthwise into 6mm slices to create long toast-like pieces.
Toast twice on high heat or until golden brown.
Once the sweet potato has cooled slightly, add your favourite toppings!
1 tbsp of almond butter, handful blueberries & chia seeds
1 tbsp of peanut butter, handful raspberries & hemp seeds
1 avocado & shredded spinach, drizzle of tahini
1 avocado & poached egg/smoked salmon
1 avocado & top with sauerkraut or kimchi
Miso and Sesame Rice Bowl with avocado, mixed beans and broccoli (serves 1)*
100g cooked brown rice
1 tsp miso paste ½ tsp of coconut aminos or tamari
1 tsp sesame oil
120g broccoli florets
100g mixed lentils/ beans, cooked and drained (substitute: fresh or frozen peas)
50ml garlic dressing
1 tbsp cashew or almond butter + 1 tbsp water
½ avocado, sliced
2 tbsp pickled red onion
Steam broccoli for 2 mins. If using peas, cook with broccoli. Otherwise drain and rinse the mixed beans well, then set aside until ready to serve.
Evenly mix miso, coconut aminos, and sesame oil through cooked brown rice.
Add tahini to the garlic dressing and mix well. (Or add dressing ingredients to a jar with tahini and shake to combine.)
Serve rice in a bowl with the broccoli, beans (or peas), avocado, pickled red onion, recommended toppings and dressing.
Ginger and turmeric yoghurt dressing (enough for 3 servings!)
3 tbsp, fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp, fresh grated turmeric or 1 tsp turmeric powder 5 tbsp lemon juice, approx. 1-2 lemons
5-6 tbsp coconut yogurt
1/4 tsp sea salt
1.Mix all dressing ingredients together and store in a glass, airtight container in the fridge.
2 tsp almonds, roughly chopped
½ tsp sesame seeds seeds
1/2 tin sardines, drained
*With thanks to the team at Maple & Co for this delicious recipe.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the MPowder community about our second spring?
I prefer the idea that menopause does not to define me. It’s simply a transitional period of time where your hormones are flying around and then depleting. Educate yourselves and get help. It’s not always a straight forward pathway as the hormone system is complex, but it’s so important to work through it with a support network around you.
Stress has exacerbated menopause symptoms and we’re living in an increasingly anxious and unstable world. What have you done to better support yourself in the last 24 months? What have you learned? And what are you carrying with you as the world once again shape shifts?
For a number of reasons, we recently moved our family from London to Bath. I love London and it’s still my home, but having more of an opportunity here to be in nature is so good for the soul. I never used to understand this, but then maybe I didn’t need it then. I work out almost every day, but I’ve changed my exercise from high impact and fast paced classes, to running outside, Pilates and Barrecore.
I make sure of course that I take all my nutritional supplements (always a multi vitamin, antioxidant, omega 3 fish oil from Bare Biology, MPowder Peri-Boost - of course! - and a probiotic). I nourish myself with good food and I go to bed so early, it’s ridiculous!! I realise I am sounding like a saint now – of course I do all the wrong things sometimes too, but I try to balance things out with the ‘good stuff’ as much as I can!
I try to compartmentalise world events and as much as they play on my mind, I try to live in the moment that surrounds me and appreciate what I have right now.
Thank you Lucy. For your wisdom and reflections.
Curious to find out more? Head to Lucy’s website or give her a follow on instagram @lucymillernutrition
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