I don’t often post recipes as I am building up a library on my Nutritional Therapy website before I launch it. I do have one recipe book call Feel Fabulous which will be on sale in the next week or so and I am slowly putting together a recipe book aimed at women for womens health.
Anyway, I do love cooking and experimenting and I made these super tasty ‘fat bombs’ at the weekend. My default comfort food is carbs and sugar but they mess with my mood, energy and gut health. Once of the ‘tools’ or ‘hacks’ I use to help those pesky cravings is to eat a fat bomb. They really help 🙂
My 15 years old daughter loves these 💚
These took me 20 minutes to make (you need a food processor) plus time for 1 hour chilling (you can chill while the bombs chill)
1.5 cups of dried shredded coconut
1/4 cup of virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup organic crunchy nut butter
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (depending on your preference)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
For the chocolate ‘icing’
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup organic butter
2 tablespoon cocoa powder
1-2 teaspoon of maple syrup
You will need silicon mini muffin/fairy cake moulds or ice cube trays.
Preheat the oven to 180∘
Spread the coconut flakes evenly on a baking tray and lightly toast for 6-8 minutes, giving them a stir half way through. You need to watch they don’t burn 🙂
Once toasted,remove from the oven and place in your blender/food processor and pulse until finely cut and starting to go mushy.
Add the coconut oil and mix to blend.
Add the cinnamon, salt and vanilla extract.
Add the nut butter and mix it in but not too much so you keep that lovely crunch
Pour a thin layer into each mould.
Pop these into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes while you prepare the chocolate ‘icing’
Mix the coconut oil, cocoa and maple syrup until blended and smooth.
Spread thinly over the well chilled first layer and pop back in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
Once they have set hard pop them out of the moulds and store in a glass container in the fridge.
Enjoy the smooth, chocolatey, melt in your mouth deliciousness.
I’ve never questioned the history of international women’s day (IWD) until I mentioned it to my (Russian) good friend. She said in Russia it’s a big thing, lots of celebrations with gifts of flowers and jewellery!
It’s a public holiday in many countries though sadly not in the UK! (i’m booking 8th March off next year)
Hmmmmm…….not sure my husband is going to buy into this….he annoying rolls his eyes at anything remotely related to ‘feminism”. Not that i call myself a feminist….I believe in equality.
Don’t tell the men but there is an international mens day too on 19th November…. but we’ll keep that quiet ha ha. Joking aside I think it should be equal and we should celebrate each other.
The theme this year is for positive role models which is a great theme 🙂
Objectives of International Men’s Day include a focus on men’s and boy’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models. It is an occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care while highlighting the discrimination against them.
“International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe.”
1909 The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States on 28 February.
1917 Against the backdrop of the war, women in Russia again chose to protest and strike for “Bread and Peace” on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar). Four days later, the Czar abdicated and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote.
1975 During International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on 8 March.
Celebrate Every Day
Today I celebrate myself, all women, the ones without a voice, the ones that will never experience equality, the women fighting for equality, all the women in my community and the women I admire.
Mothers, daughters and sisters.
BUT I also celebrate all HUMAN BEINGS….we ALL deserve to be treated equally, with love and respect.
Let’s do this EVERY DAY…..not just on a designated day…….EVERY.DAMN.DAY……celebrate, support, encourage humanity.
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If you google ‘supplements for menopause’ you will see there are hundreds of supplements available. There is a mind boggling number of pills, potions and powders available that seem to be able to ‘cure’ anything and everything. It’s no wonder you are confused about which ones to take.
What is a supplement?
“A food supplement is defined as ‘any food for the purpose of which is to supplement the normal diet and which is a concentrated source of a vitamin or mineral or other substance with a nutritional or physiological effect, alone or in combination and is sold in dose form’.”
In the UK most products described as food supplements (such as vitamins, minerals or amino acids) are regulated as foods and subject to the provisions of general food law such as the Food Safety Act.
Even with the best diet in the world we cannot avoid the fact that our food has less nutrients then in past generations. Poor soil quality and modern farming methods mean our food is lacking the vitamins and minerals we require for optimum health and vitality.
Do they work?
Many people don’t like the idea of supplements; they believe they are an expensive waste of time and money. And they can be!
I’ve seen newspaper headlines saying “Supplements are a waste of money”, “Supplements are like peeing you money down the toilet”
Taking a cheap multi-vitamin whilst eating a diet full of processed foods, poor sleep, chronic stress and lack of movement will not have much of an impact on your body. So in this case they won’t work.
When they are taken for a specific reason, in a therapeutic dose, are regularly reviewed and to supplement an already healthy(ish) diet then many people have success.
Remember supplements are not a magic pill – they are designed to supplement a health conscience lifestyle.
Like many things in life you get what you pay for. Many cheaper and ‘own brand’ supplements that you can buy from a supermarket tend to use cheaper ingredients, unnecessary fillers and have a lower amount of nutrients.
Buy from brand who have been recommended by a professional or the brand that uses good quality ingredients and uses research methods.
How do you choose the right one?
I would recommend not guessing and go and see a specialist like a nutritional therapist (like me J), herbalist, naturopath or a functional medicine doctor and get an individualised recommendation.
When working one to one with clients I always check the interactions between certain vitamins and minerals in supplements and the clients medications. If you are on any medication always check the interactions.
Many vitamins, minerals and herbs are potentially very powerful and one of the reasons why the the range of supplements we see on the shelves have a limited dosage.
I tend not to use vitamins and minerals in isolation as this is not how you would find them in nature. An orange contains more than vitamin C and Mother Nature uses these combinations together to work in synergy.
I also like to use ‘blends’ that are designed for specific use. For example, a blend to support adrenal function may contain a combination of; vitamin c, theanine, adrenal glandular, Rhodiola.
In the local health food shop I often see bulging baskets rattling with bottles of supplements and while I applaud people wanting to help their health I think it’s wise to think before you buy.
Before you fill your basket with the latest ‘superfood’ or super supplement you have read about in a magazine ask yourself:
1. What is my goal from taking a supplement?
2. Is there any way I can achieve the goal through diet and lifestyle change? 3. Is this supplement right for me, my symptoms and any medical conditions?
If you are buying from a health food shop ask the assistants for advice as they are usually trained in giving general (not individual) information.
The power of herbs
Black cohosh, sage, red clover and Agnus Castus are all traditionally useful herbs in the menopause. There is much research on how these herbs can have similar effects to HRT and may help with the symptoms of menopause.
Black cohosh has been used for many years for the treatment of hormonal imbalances.
“In a study of 120 women with the menopausal symptoms, black cohosh was more effective in relieving hot flashes and night sweats than the antidepressant fluxetine (Prozac).” (University of Maryland Medical Center, 2018)
Sage – in one study sage tablets were shown to reduce hot sweats in 50% within 4 weeks and by 64% within 8 weeks. The average total number of hot flushes per day decreased significantly each week from week 1 to 8. (Bommer, Klein and Suter, 2018)
Red Clover – The conclusion from one study stated “Compared with placebo, red clover isoflavone supplementation in postmenopausal women significantly decreased menopausal symptoms and had a positive effect on vaginal cytology and triglyceride levels.”
Side note: I have been sprouting red clover seeds to produce ‘micro greens’. These sprouts are packed with Isoflavones, vitamin A, B, C and E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and other trace elements. Now that’s a perfect menopause ‘supplement’ J
(I highly recommend the book – Grow your own HRT by Sally J. Duffell)
Agnus Castus (Chasteberry) – After a treatment period of three menstrual cycles 93% of patients reported a decrease in the number of symptoms or even cessation of PMS complaints. (Online.liebertpub.com, 2018)
According to official data 72% of women and 42% of men in the UK fail to consume sufficient dietary magnesium which is largely due to the processing and refining of foods which can remove a large proportion of the magnesium from a food. Multivitamin supplements typically provide little or not enough magnesium.Amongst other benefits magnesium can help your muscles relax, aid sleep, help bowel motility and ease restless legs at night.
If you take calcium supplement, ensure you take a magnesium supplement too.
According to Dr Axe, Experts believe that one of the reasons magnesium supplements are so beneficial is because they help counterbalance high levels of calcium that can accumulate in the body when people take calcium supplements regularly. Similarly, taking vitamin D in high levels, or being deficient in vitamin K2, can lower magnesium stores in the body and contribute to a deficiency.(Dr. Axe, 2018)
“Magnesium deficiency has been found in 84% of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis diagnosed by low magnesium trabecular bone content and Thoren’s magnesium load test” (R, 2018)
Magnesium is an important mineral that contributes to the maintenance of normal bones and the normal functioning of the nervous system. It also contributes to maintaining normal muscle function, including the heart muscle. Magnesium is also increasingly recognised as a nutrient that contributes to a reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are a specific type of polyunsaturated fatty acid, meaning they contain more than one double bond in their chemical structure. The three omega-3s found in food are ALA, EPA and DHA.
Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA):
A plant-based omega-3 is found in green, leafy vegetables, flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnut oil. This type of omega 3 has to be converted by the body to a ‘body ready form’ of DHA and EPA. This is an inefficient process and a very small amount of ALA is converted.
Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA):
These are found in algae oil, oily fish and krill. Your body is able to use this in its original form. EPA and DHA are what your body needs to achieve the benefits.
Your body also needs omega 6 but we have this in (over) abdundance in the average western diet. It is found in vegetable oils, meat, egg and safflower oil.
It is reported that the ideal ratio of omega-6:omega-3 is 1:1 to keep inflammation at bay. However in the western world it is closer to 20:1 or higher leading to inflammation in the body.
According to the Australian Menopause Centre omega 3 can help:
Reduce triglycerides in post menopause women which can lower the risk of coronary heart disease.
Reduce joint and muscle pain commonly associated with menopause. Omega 3 work in a similar way to anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen).
Can help fight depression and improve cognition (LifeExtension.com, 2018)
One study shows that omega 3 can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. (Maggio M, 2018)
Some women find that omega 3 can reduce the frequency of hot flushes
Just 1 soft gel a day is all you need. Peak EPA is purified and concentrated to provide a Peak dose of EPA in every soft gel. Peak EPA is clinically proven to increase Omega-3 levels in human muscle tissue and red blood cells.
100% vegetarian Algae Omega is the ideal alternative to fish oil. Made from microalgae, it offers a plant-based source of beneficial marine omega-3s EPA and DHA without the use of fish. Algae Omega’s unique combination of EPA and DHA is a pure, safe, and effective source of both of these omega-3 essential fatty acids.
The ‘Selfhacked’ website lists over 35 researched benefits of vitamin D.
These include, amongst other things, bone health, mental health, mood enhancer, brain cognition, helps sleep, anti-inflammatory and obesity prevention.
Vitamin D is made in our bodies via exposing our skin to the sun. This is fine and dandy if you live in a warm climate and can expose enough of your skin regularly.
“A good rule of thumb is if your shadow is longer than you are tall, you’re not making much vitamin D. In winter, you’ll notice that your shadow is longer than you for most of the day, while in summer, your shadow is much shorter for a good part of the middle of the day.” (Vitamin D Council, 2018)
If you live in the northern hemisphere, then you will probably benefit from vitamin d supplementation during the winter months.
GP’s will may test your vitamin D levels if not you can get it tested here.
Blood sugar balance is key to managing menopause symptoms. For best results change your diet to your body’s peri-menopause needs. Reducing simple, processed carbohydrate rich foods (bread, pasta, rice, sugar, alcohol) will help greatly. The mineral Chromium can really help with ‘sugar cravings’ which will lead to more stable blood glucose levels.
Menopause can mean that we are more sensitive to carbohydrates meaning that we can’t tolerate as many as we could when we were younger (boo). A high carbohydrate diet could lead to insulin resistance and stubborn, unhealthy ‘fat around the middle’.
“Chromium enhances the actions of insulin and is necessary for maintaining normal metabolism and storage of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Inadequate intake of chromium has been linked to the development of glucose intolerance, a condition seen in type 2 diabetes. Chromium can also help raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, and may play a role in preventing heart disease.” (Vitamins and Remedies, 2018)
With emphasis on a synergistic balance of nutrients and botanicals all shown to have either supportive or direct effect on the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar balance.
Maca may be useful in lifting libido and easing anxiety and depression during the menopause flux.
Maca is a root vegetable belonging to the same family as cabbage, broccoli and radish.
In this double blind study of 14 post menopause women (1) who took maca over a 6 weeks period there was improvement in their symptoms. They received 3.5 g/day of powered Maca for 6 weeks and matching placebo for 6 weeks. The study found Maca “reduces psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression, and lowers measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women independent of estrogenic and androgenic activity”. (Brooks et al., 2018)
Legend has it that Inca warriors used to consume Maca as an energy source before going into battle. They were, however, prevented from consuming it after conquering a city, in order to protect women from their sexual impulses.
6.St John’s Wort
If your menopause symptoms include feeling low or anxious, St John’s Wort may help. It is a traditional herbal medicine used to relieve the symptoms of slightly lower moods and mild anxiety. It’s thought that St John’s Wort helps boost levels of serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ chemical in the brain.
A 100 women (average age 50.4 years) took part in a clinical trial to see if St John’s wort can help hot flushes. “The fall-off in frequency of hot flashes on the 4th and 8th weeks of intervention was more evident in women receiving St John’s wort, and the differences between groups were statistically significant (Abdali, Khajehei and Tabatabaee, 2018)
Our Food-Grown® Menopause Complex has been expertly formulated to support the natural shifts that occur during the menopause. We have selected organic botanical ingredients that have been traditionally used to support the transition from pre-menopause to post-menopause both physiologically and emotionally. Our product does not contain any soya or soya derivatives.
A special organic food supplement for women during the menopause. A number of phytoestrogens are in the supplement including soya, red clover, hops, sage, alfafa and flaxseeds. The organic soya is fermented to make it easier for the body to use and it is in this form that it is traditionally eaten. Dandelion helps support the liver during this stage in your life.
Bone density drops sharply after menopause leading to osteopenia and osteoporosis so it’s important to look after your bones.
In addition to ensuring we have the correct nutrient for bone health remember that you need to use your bones to keep them strong and healthy. Weight bearing exercise like jogging, walking, aerobics, weigh training is essential during menopause and beyond. Bone Complex 50’s – Bio-nature
With emphasis on a synergistic balance of nutrients and botanicals all shown to have either supportive or direct nutritional value to a healthy skeletal system.
Do you struggle to get in your veggies every day? Maybe a greens drink is a good choice for you? Green powders tend to contain a variety of fruit and vegetables; some also contain other ‘super food’ ingredients. Most green drinks taste a bit like pond water, Lean Greens is the best one I have tasted.
Vitamin M – Movement is part of being a human being, it’s in our DNA. Do what you can to add Vitamin M into your daily life. Exercise is great as it keeps up your muscle mass, builds stronger bones, keeps your heart healthy and lifts your mood. But can you add more daily movement into your life? If you live the average sedentary life; work at a desk and drive to work, then you may also enjoy a smattering of vitamin M throughout your day.
For example, I tend to always use the stairs instead of the escalator/elevator (it’s more fun if racing someone, bonus points if it’s a stranger) – a vitamin M win☺
Spend more time in different positions; get up and down from the floor in different ways.
Vitamin R – Relaxation
Chronic, ongoing stress is not good for us but especially as we head into the menopause transition. We will have less chance of symptoms if we enter the peri-menopause years with a full tank rather than running on empty. Our body will only put up with so much pushing, forcing and cajoling and eventually the wheels will start to fall off.
What brings you joy? What makes your heart sing? Whatever it is do-more-of-it! Fun and laughter is the antidote to stress.
Don’t forget about food too!
It’s easy to slip into the “I’ll just take a magic pill” mentality. The best place to get our nutrients from is food so don’t forget to eat a delicious, healthy and menopause friendly diet.
Consume food filled with phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are plant oestrogens believed to have oestrogen-like effects on the body. You can find them in soy foods, lentils, chickpeas and kidney beans. Add some flaxseeds, chicory, endive and celery to your diet, too, as they contain a fibre called lignin which is a major phytoestrogen. Incorporate liver-supporting foods into your diet
Oestrogen is redistributed by the liver so eat plenty of bitter foods and spring onions, artichokes, asparagus and fennel, which have been shown to help support liver function. Coffee, processed foods and alcohol can over work your liver and make hot flushes worse, so try to reduce/avoid them during the perimenopause.
Eat plenty of fish oils
Fish oils are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids which are important for lubricating the whole body. As already discussed; they can help tackle joint pains, dry skin, low mood and vaginal dryness associated with the menopause. You can find EFAs in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, in linseeds, and smaller amounts in nuts and seeds.
Disclaimer: The recommendations in this article are generalised and do not take into account individual cases. Please consult with a doctor or qualified professional before using any supplements.
I recommend the Natural Dispensary to order my supplements. If you order from them, please put my name as the referring practitioner (Tanith Lee).
Full transparency: I will earn a small commission which helps run my free support group and blog.
Menopause is the time for self-care – it’s not optional it’s vital
When our bodies go through any big changes we have more need for optimal nutrients. Entering the peri-menopause years running on reserves does not work for most women. If you want to thrive through menopause, then you must up your ‘game plan’. We need vitamins/minerals/fat/proteins as they are necessary for normal hormone function.
If you want to have a smooth transition through menopause years, as well as getting your diet back on track you need to look at your lifestyle and ‘life laundry’. This is the type of conversation I have with my clients. It’s not just about the food we eat but it’s also about the messages we are feeding ourselves. How do you talk to yourself? Do you feel positive about your post-menopause life? Do you say no enough? Are your needs being met? Who is your support network?
Does it feel like a massive leap from where you are to where you want to be?
Feeling crap in peri-menopause is awful; you know you need to make some changes but you are exhausted and confused. Where do you start? Break it down in baby, bite-size steps. A small action in the right direction can have a big impact over time.
In my programmes and with my one to one clients I find that once we start getting the basic foundations built life becomes much easier and in flow. Women re-discover themselves, feel more in control and have renewed confidence.
Need more help or clarification?
I help women transform. This is done with a blend of nutrition therapy, coaching and of course love and support. I LOVE to see women transform from feeling invisible and helpless into empowered, heathy and happy.
I went to see Tanith after I had been suffering from the menopause for about 3 months. It was a relief to sit with someone who really understood what I was feeling. We talked through how I felt, my diet and exercise.
Tanith suggested some supplements that would help me and we came up with a menu plan too. Once I started to take the supplements and sorted my diet out I started to feel so much better. I am now going to the gym twice a week and doing yoga once a week.
– Sam Mann
I invite you to have a ‘no obligation’ telephone conversation with me in which I can help you identify what’s stopping you move towards feeling happier and healthier.
Midlife and the menopause is, whether you like it or not, a time of TRANSFORMATION. Who do you want to transform into?
Imagine how your life will be when you decide now who you will be and how you will feel when you go through the change? That power is at your fingertips.
Last week I was pretty productive but lacking creativity.
I struggle to be creative at home when surrounded by mess, clutter and distractions.
I told to my husband that I ‘needed a wife’ so I could hide in my office and work and someone would look after me!
I guess that’s not going to happen….So I took action ✅
I asked my client if I could use her cute country cottage for 4 days and 3 nights. I told my husband and teens they’re on their own 👋🏻
I packed my bags and my dog 🐶
And here I am …. focused and distraction free.
Minimal cooking, cleaning and no looking after anyone else but ME!
I love my life but I need a break and that’s 👌🏻 ok.
By fulfilling my needs and charging my ‘self care battery’ I will be able to serve my clients and my family.
Is that selfish?
Nah! It’s essential. I have my needs to and they’re as important as anyone else’s.
Not only am I writing my book ‘’midlife manifesto’ I’m living it too.
One body,one mind, one menopause….I get to choose who I want to be in the next adventure.
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A message from Tanith
Founder, Mrs Menopause
Your forties are a time of change, I’m sure I read once that’s when the fun starts. The body changes and you cannot stop it. I want to help you accept it and embrace it…..cellulite, flabby bits and all!