So many of you have said "I would love to have an appointment with you, but I just can't afford it".
I get it..
We all have to manage our budgets especially with the way 2020 has played out. So I am about to give you a truck load of help that is low cost or free.

There are plenty of things you can do that make DRAMATICLY improve your quality of life in peri-menopause and menopause that don't cost the earth. Many of you think it can't be that simple or this won't work for me, my symptoms are to strong.

Do it for 1 month. Do all of it for one month. Really give yourself the best chance at success. Then decide.

Sunshine

Health exposure to sunlight can support your bone density with natural vitamin D production through the skin and also prevent depression. Many women complain of seasonal depression. Feeling low and terrible during winter. Getting 15min of sun exposure to the top half of your body will help bring your vitamin D levels up for free. This needs to be direct sunlight (not through a window) and preferable early morning or late afternoon to minamise you cancer risk. Alternatively you can purchase a full spectrum light and have it on through the day, when you are at your computer, or reading a book, to help your vitamin D levels.

Meat-free Monday

Start a new tradition in your house. Meat-free Mondays! Keeping your protein levels up will help maintain muscle mass. This is important, but we also need to watch excessive read meat intake. So having one day a week to experiment with vegetarian options is a fun way to introduce plant sources of protein without getting overwhelmed. Legumes, nuts, tofu, eggs,are all great options.

Linseeds

Also called flax seeds, they are high source of phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens (plant oestrogens) are substances that occur naturally in plants. They have a similar chemical structure to our own body's oestrogen (one of the main female hormones), and are able to bind to the same receptors that our own oestrogen does.

Phytoestrogens behave differently to female hormone oestrogen. Think of it like a key to start the engine in your car. There are many keys that can fit that lock, but only one will start the engine and cause and action. Phytoestrogens fit the lock but don't start the engine. This tricks the cell by blocking the lock, making it think it has the oestrogen it needs and decreases demand (hot flush) without turning the cell on and causing an action.

You can take this one step further and do something called seed cycling (see chart). Please grind your seeds fresh when you need them. The healthy oils and enzymes are destroyed rapidly with exposure to air. So grab a cheap coffee/spice grinder and only grind the serve you need.

alt

Decrease your caffeine intake

I'm sorry ladies but caffeine will increase your hot flushes both number and intensity. So save the coffee for when you are out with friends and drink herbal tea at home. There has been some research on sage, lemon balm, and peppermint tea helping to decrease hot flushes so if you enjoy this, great.

Exercise

Depending on your physical challenges and the demands on your time, you are probably avoiding this one.. It really is crucial.
For your bone density, to maintain your muscle mass and balance, your mental health, your blood pressure. I can't stress to you enough just how important this is! and can be free! So get out there and find something you love. Persist with it. Set yourself small goals so you can see your success. Pay for or enlist help to keep you accountable. Start with just a gentle walk around your block and build from there every day.

Decrease simple carbohydrates in your diet

Your metabolism isn't the same anymore... sorry... When you were younger you could eat almost anything and hardly gain a kilo or get indigestion. Now it's a different story. You need to adjust our environment to look after your body now.

You need to DRAMATICALLY decrease your intake of bread, pasta, pastry, rice, cakes, biscuits, muffins, lollies, pastries.
Not stop.
This isn't keto...
Decrease!

So instead of your day being:
Cereal, toast, sandwich, muffin, rice/pasta/potato.
Your new day will be:
Egg, fruit, wrap, crackers, sweet potato.

Some of you will need more support through this change than others. Don't be hard on yourself. Chromium, Gymnema and B6 all help decrease the cravings as your body adjusts to a new normal. If you need extra help in this area then make an appointment as we can chat about your personal circumstances.

In the mean time swap things, don't go cold turkey, gradually change things. Swap pasta for zucchini, eggplant, or cabbage. Try Cauliflower rice. Get temptation out of the house or at least out of sight. If you need to have muffins for the kids, freeze them or place in container you can't see through. If you can't see if you are less likely to crave it. Keep your blood sugar stable with protein and fiber so you are less likely to crave and do the grocery shopping online. Often our weakest moments are when we are doing the weekly shop.

Set yourself up for success because will power doesn't exist.

alt

Get your water intake UP

Its easy on a warm day to feel thirsty and drink water. Other times you really have to remind yourself. You need to average 2 litres of water every day. This will change depending on your weight and level of physical activity.

Black tea and coffee do not count as water intake. They are diuretic and will pull water out of your body. Herbal teas are fine. If you really don't like the taste of water then use mineral water with a squeeze of fresh lemon, lime, crushed mint, sliced cucumber or ginger. No cordial or fruit additives as it will be too high in sugar.

If you are burping and having reflux from water start having 5-10ml of apple cider vinegar in 10ml of water in the morning and adding fresh, sliced, ginger to your water. Or make an appointment so we can fix your digestive system.

alt

Poo every day

To help your body remove the excess hormones we need to do a poo every day. We don't want 3 poo's a day (unless you are eating a lot of fiber). We don't want it once every 3rd day. There needs to be balance.

1 poo every day.

So get your water intake up.
Get your simple carbohydrates down which will help your fiber intake.
Exercise to help move that material through your bowel.
The Linseeds will help with bowel function.
If after all that your bowels are still slow or fast, make and appointment to chat with me.

EFT - Emotional Freedom Technique

Also called Tapping, EFT is a great way to bring your anxiety and hot flushes back under control. This therapy works in the moment and allows you to turn down the dial of your stress response. It is used for many areas of health, from pain management to PTSD, with fantastic results. It may look a little strange when you first see it and you may feel a little silly doing it, but once you start you won't go back. It's a game changer.

Here is a great EFT instructional video.

Find your new tribe, find a support group

Whether it's online, in your neighborhood or in your house, find your tribe. It's important to know you are not sick, this is not an illness, you are not alone and it's natures way of telling us that life has to change for your health. Let's face it, we don't want to be dealing with our period into our 80's.

Menopause is not something to fight against any more than puberty or pregnancy was. If you have been fighting your body all your life, now is the time to realise it is telling you what direction life is in. If you don't adjust course, you will continue to fight it... why?

Menopause is guaranteed for every single woman on this planet. So find your new tribe. Hey, come and join mine! I have created Positive Empowered Women of Menopause group for this very reason. To give all women a space to connect, share and support each other in a positive and empowered way.

But I want to give you this gentle nudge. If after you have read this article and you still haven't started looking after yourself, when will you?

Published September 2020

All health content on thebyfordnaturopath.com.au is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider or make an appointment.