THE MENOPAUSE… PART 1

I so believe this time in a Women’s life should be embraced and with some simple and sustainable lifestyle management and tweaks it can be… Why is it feared and dreaded? I’m here to tell you there is no need! Although like aging it cannot be avoided there are certain things that we can do to help make this transition easier and more enjoyable helping you to emerge wiser, healthier and stronger in both mind and body than ever before.

As you know the definition of menopause is when there is no menstruation over a 12-month period – when the periods actually cease permanently. The average age for menopause is around 51 years old but there are certain lifestyle and diet changes that we can make prior to this to ensure we are soooo ready when it comes!

How do you know its on its on its way?

Some of the most common symptoms can include a variation of the below:
Irregular periods
Hot flashes
Night sweats
Cognitive decline/problems (memory loss)
Sleep problems/insomnia
Mood changes
Weight gain especially around the middle and slowed metabolism
Thinning hair and dry skin all over
Loss of breast fullness

The Diagnosis:
Signs and symptoms of menopause are usually enough to tell most women that they’ve started the menopausal transition! Typically the cease of menstrual periods accompanied by the above symptoms will determine the diagnosis of menopause but various tests can be done to further confirm this stage, including follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen (estradiol).

Management (The most important part!):
1. Consistently follow an anti-inflammatory + anti-oxidant rich diet

2. I cannot stress how important it is to include your healthy fats in the diet for maximum hormonal balance. Your body needs these now more than ever so it’s not the time to be skipping lunch and reaching for the ‘low cal’ sugary granola bar.

3. Be sure to look after your adrenals as well. Say no when you need to and rest when your body feels pushed.

4. A protein at each meal and snack is important for repair, especially good quality fish for the omega 3 benefits. Around 3 servings per week is recommended.

5. Important to include phytoestrogens in the diet such as legumes, beans, flaxseed and fermented organic soy like tempeh. These foods can actually mimic the role of estrogen and have mild estrogenic effects. I would highly recommend 1-2 Tbsp. flax daily.

6. Fiber is important for healthy bowel elimination (of toxins), up your veggies sneak them in at every meal! A handgul of spinach in your smoothie, or with your eggs, a side of steamed broccoli/roasted courgettes, swap your wholemeal pasta for pea pasta (extra vitamin C AND greens) You can see how easy it is to do and I cant stress how much better you will feel!

7. Minimize alcohol and coffee intake – These are stimulants and inflammatory foods

8. Cut back on refined sugars- It’s important to keep blood sugars stable

9. Include menopause loving and hormone balancing herbs and adaptogens daily. My recommendations would be organic raw maca powder, rhodiola, st johns wort, lemon balm, red clover, ginseng, chaste tree, ashwaghnada, shatavari. These can be used for a combination of things from irritability and moodieness to de stressing and helping with sleepness nights, hot flushes and night sweats. They can be taken in powder form in your smoothies or brewed as fresh herbal teas and sipped throughout the day.