revive your self-care

Let’s Chat: Revive Your Self-Care

Back-to-School, Back to YOU!

Most women are more relaxed with their schedules in the summer months. We might stay up later, indulge in extra sweets and alcohol, and have fewer rigorous, consistent exercise days. We could get away with this without too many consequences when we were younger. But as women age, repairing the damage becomes much more difficult! Weight gain and bad habits can not only make symptoms of menopause worse, but they can also impact your long-term health. Now that the kids are back in school, it’s time for YOU. Fall is an excellent time for a fresh start before the holidays. Learn how to regain control with Dr. Diana Bitner and Dr. Celia Egan in true.’s latest Let’s Chat: Revive Your Self-Care. 

SEEDS®: Seven Essential Elements of Daily Success

While medicine can help alleviate symptoms, they aren’t a magic ticket. To truly experience healthy aging, you must also implement lifestyle changes. SEEDS® focuses on the seven basic essentials that impact your midlife transition. Supplying your body with these basic essentials daily helps to alleviate symptoms often associated with menopause and, overall, promotes a better quality of life.


Water is important for the body in many different ways. If you are feeling fatigued, anxious, or just feel off, it could mean you are dehydrated. Getting enough water can also help to regulate hot flashes and better manage weight. At true., we recommend drinking 80 net ounces of water daily (total water intake minus coffee, soda, caffeine, etc.). 


Sleep is a critical part of healthy aging and daily success. Humans cannot function without sleep, which can put you at higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. When life is hectic, and patients ask about prioritizing sleep or exercise, we recommend listening to your body! If you are feeling really fatigued, taking a week off from exercising is okay to reset, refresh, and get better sleep. You should aim for 50 hours of sleep each week. 


Your body needs vitamins and minerals daily to function optimally, and for women, Vitamin D, Calcium, and Multivitamins play a significant role in maintaining good health. Vitamin D is especially important in northern climates that experience less sun in the fall and winter. Vitamin D and Calcium are also essential for bone and cardiovascular health! 


What goes into your body is just as important as what comes out! Bowel health is a vital part of taking care of your overall wellness. Fiber helps to keep your body in a healthy balance. It is important to get 35 grams of fiber daily to stay regular. High-fiber diets help maintain a healthy weight, lower cholesterol levels, eliminate toxins, and balance gut bacteria. Getting enough daily fiber can also help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms and reduce your risk of colorectal cancer


Your body needs a healthy balance of complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats. Incorporating foods such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, fish, tofu, and avocado can help kickstart your daily energy and is a great first step to combating the dreaded belly fat we all disdain in midlife. To start eating a more balanced diet, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What are my treats?
  • What does my body need?
  • What should I eat?
  • What ways can I make healthy eating easier?
  • Do I have the ability to make a good food choice in the moment?

Activity and Exercise 

Staying active helps our body to maintain a healthy weight and release endorphins for a natural mood boost. Combining aerobic, strength training, and stretching is key to improving hot flashes, heart health, function, and muscle mass. Even simple stretching each day can help the body release tension and prepare the body for sleep. The key is selecting an activity that you already enjoy and doing that activity for 20 minutes a day! 

Mind-Body Connection

Five minutes of daily affirmations, gratitude, and metered breathing can help to renew your sense of optimism and refocus your thoughts away from irritation and anxiety. Practicing gratitude can also improve focus and ability to sleep and can even calm a hot flash! 

Learn more about getting back to basics and aging well with Dr. Bitner’s SEEDS® eBook. 

Menopause Transition Scale

The Menopause Transition Scale® (MTS) is a validated tool to quantify and track your midlife and menopause symptoms. Most women think menopause equals hot flashes, but that is not always the case. There are many different symptoms associated with menopause. If you are over 35 and your periods have changed by more than seven days for even one cycle, you are in at least early perimenopause.

Once you understand your triggers and track your symptoms, you can control your future. Over 1,000 women use MTS® each month on our website! It is a great way to check in and hold ourselves accountable. Using the MTS® quiz each month can also help determine the best treatment methods for you.

Listener Q&A

Q: I’m definitely interested in speaking with a nutritionist to see what works best for my body. Is this something you recommend? 

A: Yes! Speaking with someone to go over new food plans and ideas is always helpful. At true., we help patients understand their risk of gaining weight and their body’s insulin resistance. Our Nutrition Coach and Chef Anna also develop healthy recipes and tips for success. 

Q: I’m very curious to hear your thoughts on the use of herbal supplements to prevent mindless eating.  

A: I think herbal supplements could be available to bring down the craving wave. It is first essential to understand why you are feeling these cravings. Are they due to stress? Anxiety? Low energy? Once you know the reason behind the craving, it’s easier to devise eating strategies and possible herbal supplements. Ashwagandha, for example, can be helpful to curb stress-induced cravings. Vitamin B Complex can also be an effective option. While none of these findings are evidence-based at the population level, if certain herbs and supplements help make you feel better, they are worth a try! Suzanne, true.’s Physician Assistant, knows a lot about functional medicine and can help with safe herbal recommendations as well!  

Dr. Bitner loves creating a drink called “rocket fuel.” It mixes a scoop of Isagenix’s Greens, a scoop of Ashwagandha, and a scoop of orange-flavored hydrate. This drink only has 3 grams of sugar and helps Dr. B get through her afternoon cravings and stay focused throughout the day.  

Q: Is there still hope for those of us who went through menopause without you awesome experts as long as we focus on striving to be healthy?

A: Yes, it is not too late! Well-balanced aging is about striving to be healthy, having clear goals, and knowing your progress. Any step forward (i.e., getting better sleep or increasing your water intake) is a step forward. Some health improvements are better than none!

Take-Home Tips To Revive Your Self-Care Routine

  1. If you take care of yourself, you can better take care of others. 
  2. Midlife predicts how well you will function at 80. The time to take action is now! 
  3. Confirm you are consuming enough protein in your diet.  
  4. Know your muscle mass and belly fat. Your medical waist (above your hips a few inches below the belly button) should be 35 inches or less.   
  5. Take the MTS® Quiz on our website, list out your SEEDS®, define your barriers, and have a plan.

Five Questions You Can Ask Your Healthcare Provider

  1. What is my phase of ovarian function?
  2. What is my body composition?
  3. How do I prioritize habits to optimize healthy aging? What does healthy aging mean to you? What is your Picture of Self as you age?
  4. What are night sweats doing to my health? If a doctor says, “That’s just the way it is,” consider seeking a Certified Menopause Practitioner. You don’t have to suffer from menopause symptoms alone. Getting your night sweats under control and getting back to better sleep will help you feel better and lower your risk of dementia.  
  5. What nutrition choices should I prioritize? What are your nutrition goals? And how fast do you want to get there (i.e., how restrictive do you want to be)? At true., we highly recommend getting enough protein and fiber on a daily basis. It is important to develop a customized strategy with your doctor based on your body’s unique needs. 

Keep the Conversation Going 

NOW is the time to take charge of your health – before preventable and often silent health conditions impact your quality of life. If you have neglected your needs to care for your family or friends, now is the time to reclaim autonomy over your health journey. At true., your health is our top priority 24/7, 365 days a year. We see you as a WHOLE person, listen to your health story, and guide you toward total wellness. Make this year the year you revive your self-care routine and focus on YOU.