Updated: Jan 8
Whether you're reading this in the middle of winter in the UK or the height of summer in another country now isn't the time for you to say 'right, regime change, I'm kicking this body back into shape!' What is a great way for you to start making effective changes is to start introducing some small habits into your life that are going to make an accumulative change. Give it the month of January to see how these changes effect you positively, then as we edge into the the Spring energy (and hopefully weather!) we can look to being more dynamic and ramping up changes, which will be far easier when good habits are already in place.
HOW TO THINK OF YOUR SYMPTOMS
The way to getting rid of your symptoms is to bring your body back into balance. If you think of the symptoms you have as 'pains' they are your body's way of telling you that something is wrong, so you don't want to live with them, you want to learn how to make them better, solve the problem, relieve the pain :)
There is a set list of ways to remove menopausal 'pains' from your body and this is done in a number of ways:
Hydrate your body and brain!
Rebalance your body chemistry - wonky vitamins and minerals
Put back in things that are missing - like lack of collagen
Give your body extras that you never needed before - the missing parts of the puzzle
Getting types of exercise right (did you know you can do too much?
Fresh New Year Tip #1 - Hydrate Your Body & Brain
I'm sure you've all heard 'drink more water', and many of you say 'but I do'. I feel for you because you can pour in as much as you can and still have some symptoms. There are women who are naturally 'hot' so water is effectively evaporating inside of you, so its about having regular amounts. If you're a 'cold' person then the more water you have, the more you pee... this is your body naturally dumping fluids that are cold.
Here are some handy points:
If you pee a lot, have your water warmer, or as a herbal tea with flavours that have spices in like ginger, cinnamon, chai, but only if you like the taste of them. Avoid peppermint as this is cooling
If you're a hot person, avoid spices in herbal teas. Take a high dose of vitamin C that helps with collagen boosting and therefore holds onto the fluids better
Have a glass of room temperature water before going to bed if you get a dry mouth. This comes from the declining Oestrogen not retaining fluids as well. Again take vitamin C
A dehydration headache is right between the eyes, sip water regularly to keep your brain fluid and active
Stop drinking shop bottled water, these bottles are lined with preservatives, and these are nasty chemicals (also have bad estrogen in them). Treat yourself to a nice water carrier, maybe even one that holds fruits to diffuse in!
The best thing I did was give up caffeine, known as a diuretic, it dehyrates you badly, which you don't need now. I switched to organic decaf tea and 3pm energy slumps stopped too
Fresh New Year Tip #2 Rebalance your body chemistry ... This is where we sort out wonky vitamins and minerals, and its good to understand why this has happened, so you know why its so important to take supplements. Do you have any of these symptoms: Brain fog, achy joints, low moods, insomnia, fatigue If you have a couple of these your body is chemically out of balance, if you have all of them, then we really have to do something about it (check out my ebooks and videos for pukka help!) These symptoms are your body telling you its in pain and can't function properly, aching joints are pain, and it's miserable, but its so easily sorted. SO WHAT'S GOING ON? Your body used to get by on the nutrients you got from food, but now with the stress of the hormonal changes that doesn't cut it anymore. This is a real upheaval on your body and it's asking you for help. If you've got my free guide 'How to have a Successful Menopause', they are all there! Next step is to start taking them There is a starter list of supplements and it begins with a multi vitamin - so simple and your body will thank you! I prefer wellwoman (as its an oil and contains Evening Primrose too!), but there are some good online alternatives too, for the list to get started just scroll down this page: https://www.cotswoldmenopause.co.uk/shopmenopausesupplements
Fresh New Year Tip #3 - Put back in the things that are missing!!
This is the mystery one as you don't yet know what's missing, and though it'll differ for each of you, putting in the vitamins and minerals that I suggest is a very strong start.
One of the biggies that is missing as we get closer to the menopause is Oestrogen, but whilst you're in the perimenopause you still may have plenty, if this is the case you won't require HRT as that is just adding in Oestrogen, which can exacerbate a lot of symptoms.
MY TRIED AND TESTED PHILOSOPHY
Is to put back in exactly what is starting to disappear, its not oestrogen, its what this lack of hormone effects - like collagen and fluids. The reason why I don't believe we need to put oestrogen back in is because its not supposed to be in our bodies after 50 or so, and can cause various cancers. I much prefer holistically ensuring my body has all the nutrients it needs rather than a processed overload of one thing.
WHY COLLAGEN IS SO IMPORTANT
By the time you've gone through the menopause you'll have lost an estimated 75% of collagen. This WILL affect your joints, your skin, your gastro-intestinal tract, its also why women get prolapses of uterus and bladder and wounds are slower to heal (like ulcers)
Here are my top tips:
More fluids in your diet, whether as herbal/decaf teas, warm water, especially with a squeeze of lemon/lime in the mornings
Take a 1000mg of a good vitamin C a day, one that is slow releasing so that you don't wee it out to quickly! Vitamin C is a strong collagen booster, and will also really boost your immune system too.
Look into collagen supplements, Marine collagen tends to be more for skin, where as a combined collagen from various sources will contain types that also help joint health.
Fresh New Year Tip #4 - The Missing Ingredients Your Body Now Needs This week we're working through all the great tips you need to start making real changes to your quality of life, and the great news is none of them have anything to do with a diet!!! I'm not a fan of starting different eating changes in the middle of winter, instead I encourage you to eat hearty and wholesome - thick stews and soups, roasted veg and the like. If however you're really suffering from night sweats then we'll look at the eating side of things next week. In the mean time if you can't wait heard to my website for my ebook 'Eating for the Perimenopause and Beyond' to give you a heads up! WHAT YOUR BODY NOW NEEDS IS HELP.... Anxiety has now become the top symptom of perimenopause, and I know, as it got bad for me a few years back. There is a very real reason why this happens now, and its not a brain thing, its a body chemistry thing, so we need to look to the harshest climates in the world to get the supplements we need. There are a group of plants called adaptogens, this means they adapt to alleviate stress. They grow in places like Siberia and the Himalayas and they have names like Ginseng, Rhodiola and Ashwaganda. They've been tested and proved to help us destress, and this is why they combat anxiety very effectively. Our adrenal system is stressed by the very nature of the hormone change, then add in that we live fast passed, adrenalin fuelled lives with a lack of sleep and proper rest, and this is a perfect breeding group for anxiety. I've got a plan to create an anxiety masterclass video, let me know if this interests you. This will be where I completely explain what is going on and most importantly how you combat it once and for all - please comment below if you want me to get onto this next week! In the meantime my TOP TIP is to start taking Ashwagandha, nearly all my clients take it and it helps some in a matter of days!
Fresh New Year Tip #5 - The Right Kind of Exercise!
This is another one up there with the dreaded diet, I must exercise more. This can be because you're noticing the belly fat, or you're feeling sluggish, or you just feel that you 'should'.
There is also the other camp of women who do a crazy amount of exercise, and it's a real lifestyle need.
So here's the kicker, if you have these symptoms you may be doing TOO MUCH exercise:
Fatigue to the point of exhausted, low moods, crying, mood swings, anxiety and joint /muscle pains. Wanting to eat refined carbs post exercise, feeling hungry all day no matter what you eat. You're slim but still getting belly fat.
If you have these symptoms and do no exercise, then we need to introduce a little something into your life
So, its split isn't it? Not doing enough, not doing the right exercise, and doing too much exercise. The lesson here is that there is not a one size 'fits all' but there are some general rules you can look to to help you:
You should feel revitalised and positive for 24 hours AFTER exercise, and sleep well too. You also shouldn't ache the following day once you're used to it.
Exercise like circuits and high impact should be reduced to a maximum of 3 times a week. Don't do HIIT/Spin classes
You shouldn't crave refined carbs after exercise, you also shouldn't be hungry
Do exercise at the time of day that feels right too you, don't force yourself to do something, especially at the expense of sleep. Dog walking everyday is absolutely valid exercise
Think how to incorporate these different types into your life - impact, flexibility, cardio, balance, mindfulness - it can be 10 minutes dancing around your kitchen!!
THE BEST EXERCISES FOR COMBATING FATIGUE AND ANXIETY
Rejuvenating Yoga/Qi Gong - the benefits of these eastern meditation and movement styles are THE BEST for dealing with a host of symptoms from low moods to joint/muscle problems. If I'm 'too in my head' 10 minutes of Qi Gong completely changes my mood - You Tube it!
As part of my 28 Days video series I really look at the links of symptoms and exercise and how to make you feel great again - I've decided to knock down the price of this great series for the month of January - packed with so much information but in easy to watch format. Find out more here
Make a lot of little changes, that don't impact on your life too much and they will add up to making a real impact on your life and symptoms :)
JOIN ANDREA ON '28 DAYS TO A HAPPIER AND HEALTHIER MENOPAUSE' ZOOM GROUP EXPERIENCE
Kicking off in Febraury , join the waitlist here
This group is for you if:
You don't know where to start easing your symptoms
You are really suffering with a lot of different issues
You are tired and overwhelmed
You can't face going on like this
You love being in a group and interacting with other women
You want to beat your symptoms and for all!
FINDING SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS YOU
One of the major issues with your menopause is that no one else quite gets it. GPs can be helpful but still aren't getting where you're at, you may have friends in the same boat where you support each other but are you moving forwards with solutions?
If you're the type of person that wants to relieve your symptoms not put up with them, and you really need someone to talk to then I'm here and most importantly - I understand.
I understand what's going on with your hormones, I understand health patterns, I know about the emotional impact, and I can appreciate from my previous career what it must be like to have these symptoms and try to work. I'm also always looking to find solutions and give practical advice on what you can do naturally to not only alleviate symptoms but have a healthier and happier menopause.