What will you put in yours?
Become a Hormone Detective and tune into you. Before you can truly find the best bits for you you need to stat with some solid data. Once you have that you can then turn it into simple, sustainable actions. (Grab a copy of our tracker sheets here)
What do you want and need to add to your menopause toolkit?
1 . Stress reduction
The connection between stress and menstrual health, perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms is undeniable. So, even before we look at supporting hormonal fluctuations using nutrition, movement, or hormone replacement therapy, dialing down your cortisol levels is a MUST DO. The simplest way is to add some Virtual Vitamin O – aka Oxygen.
Think of it as “breathe and be still”. This is a simple self-care step. No need to spend any money on this one, you just need to remember to do it.
Top-tip: High levels of cortisol make it difficult for your other hormones to do the job they need to do.
Virtual Vitamin L – Laughter is the best medicine. Finding joy, fun and social connections is a deep-rooted desire and need for humans. However, during certain times of the month or menopause transition we can become distant and remote. Look out for opportunities to generate some Virtual Vitamin L and grab them when you can. You will be surprised how much better you feel, even if everything hurts.
Laughing reduces hormone levels such as cortisol (linked to stress) and adrenaline, and increases health-enhancing hormones, like endorphins. Laughing gives us physical exercise that’s fun as it contracts out abdominal muscles, diaphragm, shoulders, face and even gives the heart a bit of a workout too. The physical release after a good laugh is so beneficial. It even supports the immune system. Plus it distracts us temporarily and allows us to add perspective to the situation of the discomfort we may be experiencing with symptoms.
I know how it feels to wake up and not want to move. I know how it feels to ache when you walk downstairs. I know you will not want to add a movement goal but it’s a MUST DO. Even a gentle walk will help. Focus on mobility and movement, then upgrade to exercise when you’re ready.
Movement makes everything well, move – inside and outside. This helps with circulation, joint mobility and stress reduction. Doing it outside in the fresh air can add to your Vitamin D and improve bone density. It helps with Virtual Vitamin O too and if you do it with friends perhaps even Virtual Vitamin L.
10,000 steps a day is a good activity goal, and strength training to maintain muscle mass is also highly recommended.
Start with nutrient dense real food, that comes in its own packaging, and no label. Processed foods, vegetable oil, seed oils and sugar are going to increase inflammation. This is not good. Your primary objective with nutrition is to fuel your body with as many nutrients on one plate as possible.
Eat food made by people in white coats, see people in white coats.
Nature not number of calories counts. Fibre is also important but should come from vegetable sources rather than grains, when possible. Seeds, nuts and berries are great, but in small quantities. Dairy needs to be ‘normal’ and not low fat. Fruit is full of nutrients but sometimes the natural sugar can also be inflammatory and may pose a challenge with menstrual or meno symptoms. Time restricted eating, with 3-4 meals spaced out for example in a 10 hour eating window, and no eating for 14 hours, supports hormone health in all sorts of beneficial ways. e.g breakfast 8am, lunch at 12pm, snack 3pm last meal 6pm.
5. Menopause Feng-shui
What else needs to change? How can you improve the energy flow in your day, house, work, relationships? Sometimes even after adding various tools to your tool-kit some symptoms simply need to be managed. For example:
- If hot flushes and night sweats are one of your regulars then perhaps you can try different clothes, fans, locations in the house to sleep etc. And have the spare bedding and PJ’s ready to replace with minimal disruption.
- If you wake at night regularly to got the toilet, make sure the pathway there and back is clear. No one needs to trip over slippers in the middle of the night when you have your eyes closed!
- If you choose to take supplements are you placing them where you remember to take them and make it easy to become a part of your daily routine.
- Share the journey with someone and create your own Team Meno. Build a collective of people who w ill be positive and enable you to make the best choice for you. A meno-moan is great every now and then but having a mindset that lifts the spirits is far more beneficial long term.
Hormone health is a lifetime occupation.
The journey along the Hormone Highway is not optional, but how you choose to support yourself, and others, is.
For Menopause Care and advice please contact us via our online Menopause Clinic here.