Some women sail through the change of life without too much turmoil but many are faced with all manner of physiological and emotional disruptions which can make life challenging to say the least! Mind-numbing tiredness, hot flushes during the day, hot sweats during the night, crazy mood swings and weight gain are not unusual and research reveals that many women simply suffer in silence. But you don’t have to! A change in focus, a diet rethink, a few alterations to how and when you exercise, perhaps a supplement or two to meet hormonal changes head on and a little more time spent concentrating on me rather than continually endeavouring to fulfil the needs of others, can work wonders.
a few diet secrets
Stay well-oiled. Fats are fab from cradle to grave and especially at this time in your life. Healthy fats are essential for hormone, brain, nerve and bone health and that includes saturated fats from the flesh and dairy produce from happy and healthy animals fed on luscious green pastures. Saturated fats provide us with a concentrated form of energy, they are essential carriers of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K throughout the body and they cushion and protect our essential organs so ignore those who harp on about cutting them out of your diet - a small but regular daily dose is important. And, Omega 3 fats are even more important for hormonal imbalance, the relief of menopausal symptoms and weight loss.
Play clever with starches. Whole, unrefined grains offer fibre, vitamins and minerals but they are still packaged sugar and we don’t need many of them in a day unless we regularly partake in very strenuous exercise. Include them in your breakfast if you exercise in the morning but if not, stick with protein, vegetables or fruit and a little fat. Lunch is the perfect time to include a portion to help meet your afternoon and early evening energy requirements but cut back or exclude them in the evening to discourage blood sugar swings that can easily upset your sleep and pack on the pounds.
Say yes to seaweed. The thyroid gland, which controls our metabolic rate is very sensitive and can easily become over or underactive pre, during and post menopause so may need a little support. The mineral, iodine is one of the thyroid gland’s best friends and seaweed is a major source. If you like sushi, make it a regular snack, spirulina also offers excellent levels and can be added to juices and smoothies and pink-fleshed fish and shellfish are a great choice because they are rich in a protective plant chemical known as astaxanthin which is produced thanks to their diet being rich in algae.