I received this message from one of my previous menopause coaching clients.
Hey Mrs Menopause! Can we have your top 3 tips for a getting healthy before the Christmas madness? I’ve been ill with one thing and another for the pretty much the last month and feel I need a bit of a boost! – Nic
Sleep is you easiest, cheapest and most effective way to keep your immune system purring, hormones dancing and waistline shrinking. Yes really! Good quality sleep is essential for us human beings. We need it to feel rested, full of energy and able to deal with the curve balls that life throws at us sometimes (especially when in busy periods like Christmas) . Ironically (ha-bloody-ha!) many women going through the menopause transition struggle with sleep. There are lots of ways to help you overcome this problem. Check out this bog post on sleep.
2. EAT YOUR GREENS
Now we all know by now it’s important to eat plenty of vegetables. Are you eating enough greens? Half of your plate should be full of the green stuff. Kale, broccoli, sprouts, beans, cabbage, etc. Not only will you be filling up on essential vitamins, minerals and fibre which are essential for your immune system, you will feel satisfied and your hunger and cravings will diminish. I call this ‘nutrient loading’ and is one of the first steps in my Women’s Wisdom – Menopause coaching program.
With Christmas nearly upon us which can inevitably mean lots of food and drink that will sap our energy and grow our waistlines it’s even more important to up the greens.
Tip: Before a Christmas night out make sure your nutrition has been spot on all day, lots of water, fats, protein and veggies.
Have a sall serving of veggie soup or a smoothie before you go out to reduce your temptation for sugary/salty snacks.
Green smoothies and juices are a great way to get a large amount of real foods into your system quickly. Personally I prefer smoothies as you get the whole food which includes fibre which is vital for women. Fibre encourages regular bowel movements which is not only a way of removing waste it removes excess toxins and hormones from our system. Fibre also creates satiety and keeps your full up for longer.
3. VITAMIN C
Humans, guinea pigs, fruit bats and other primates cannot synthesise their own vitamin C. Vitamin C is water soluble which means the body cannot store it so we should have a regular supply.
We need vitamin c for growth and repair to the body. It is needed for the production of collagen, which is needed to make skin, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. It is also needed for repairing and maintaining bones which is very important peri/post menopause. Lower estrogen levels reduces bone density which can lead to osteoporosis.
Here is a link to foods with Vitamin C in them
Vitamin C is stored in the adrenal glands. These pair of walnut sized glands sit on top of the kidneys and their purpose is to enable the body to deal with stress from all sources; whether it’s the kids, work, relationships or a poor diet. Your adrenals produce cortisol which is one of your stress hormones. If you live in a constant state of stress; rushing from one thing to another, not resting and using food/alcohol to feel better then your adrenals will not be able to keep up. This can result in Adrenal Fatigue, the result of the 21st century roller-coaster.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue:
- Hard time falling asleep at night
- feeling overwhelmed, unable to cope with life
- feel dizzy when standing from sitting or from lying down
- cannot wake up in the mornings
- bright lights bother you
- feel tired but wired – tired 9-10pm but resist going to bed
- get a ‘second wind’ after 10pm
One of the most essential nutrients for healing the adrenals is cholesterol. This is because steroid hormones (like cortisol) are made from cholesterol. So when under stress eat cholesterol rich foods like full fat dairy (if tolerated), fatty meats, offal, eggs and cod liver oil.
Tip: high good fat/cholesterol foods will also satisfy you and reduce your carbohydrate cravings.
There is mixed research on the impact in taking vitamin C for the prevention of the common cold but it has been shown that taking it can reduce the length by one day.
Ideally we should get our vitamin requirements from natural food sources but sometimes we may need an extra boost (especially in times of stress and the winter months)
Dosage: minimum 1000mg per day in divided doses between meals
I take collagen formula by Phil richards https://www.philrichardsperformance.co.uk/index.php/jointhealth/collagen-formula.html
Source: Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) | University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-c-ascorbic-acid#ixzz3LITdSOqR