Eating a well-balanced diet is essential for good menopausal health, but what exactly is a healthy diet? With so many fad diets available and inconsistent nutritional advice, it can be overwhelming and exhausting to establish what this means.
I believe food is medicine and base my nutritional advice on a Mediterranean diet that is predominantly wholefood, plant-based, high in fibre, vegetables, fruit, beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts and seeds. This type of diet is nutrient dense and the best to create healthy and sustainable eating patterns that improve your general, metabolic and gut health.
A whole food, plant-based diet has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of common chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes and is beneficial for gut good gut health. It also helps you to maintain a healthy weight, improve your energy levels and in some cases may help relieve some of your menopausal symptoms.
Don’t worry if your diet is high in the consumption of meat, dairy or processed foods. I help you to achieve small changes that introduce you to a healthier plant-based style of eating. And this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to become a vegetarian or vegan, it’s just a simple healthful diet for life.
I also help to manage irritable bowel symptoms which can occur due to hormonal changes in the perimenopause.
We are increasingly living in society conducive to obesity – we drive everywhere, have predominantly desk based jobs, and rely heavily on technology for most of our life needs.
If physical activity were a medicine, it would be the most commonly prescribed medication in the world.
Regular and consistent physical activity that can be maintained on a daily basis throughout life is essential for overall health and wellbeing. And you’d be surprised how even just a modest amount done at regular intervals can have profound benefits.
During the menopause, exercise can improve your bone health, heart health, mood, maintain a healthy bodyweight and help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
I help you to identify which physical activity is best for you and how to incorporate this and regular movement into your daily lifestyle, even when you have little time, feel fatigued or have little motivation.
We all know that poor sleep is bad for our overall health but for menopausal women, getting to sleep and trouble with staying asleep is a real and common problem and is often associated with perimenopause and menopause symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety, restless leg syndrome, urinary issues, and pain. Poor sleep also is exacerbated as we get older and can place a heavy burden on the immune system.
Even those unaffected by sleep issues may be surprised to know how some small changes can massively improve the quality of their sleep and thereby their overall health and wellbeing.
I help you to identify dietary and environmental factors and other common sleep pattern dysfunctions that cause poor sleep quality and provide simple recommendations to improve your overall sleep hygiene. I can also assess your use of sleeping medications and supplements and whether your medications may be contributing to insomnia.
Everyone experiences stress at some points in their lives and this can deeply affect our physical and mental wellbeing. However, the perimenopause and menopause in particular, can be unsettling and bring a host of changes to how you feel about yourself, your mood, emotions, and levels of motivation. Common symptoms include anxiety, low mood, mood swings, and a lack of interest or motivation in doing things you usually enjoy.
I support you with practical tools and stress reduction techniques that help with your emotional and mental resilience and help you reconnect with the leisure and relaxation activities that you love doing.
I'm also a qualified Indian head masseuse which really helps bring about a deep seated sense of relaxation and wellbeing. Ask me if interested in a treatment.
Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK and increases the risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions. Quitting smoking not only increases your longevity but also allows you to breathe more efficiently, gives you more energy, reduces stress levels, improves your sex life, improves your sense of taste and smell, decreases the risk of passive smoking and can improve symptoms of hot flushes.
Similarly, persistent alcohol misuse increases your risk of serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, liver disease, pancreatitis and various cancers. During the menopause, your body becomes more sensitive to its effects and it can have a negative effect on your sleep, mood and mental health. It can also exacerbate symptoms of hot flushes or headaches.
I help identify if your alcohol and smoking has reached risky levels and help to create positive health behaviours that limit your intake of alcohol and encourage you to stop smoking.
Social connections are the relationships you have with the people around you. Positive social connections with people who have a positive outlook and are supportive of you, are important to building and strengthening your emotional resiliency, that is, your ability to bounce back after stressful situations.
Truly connecting with others and giving and receiving support can also add to your sense of purpose in life, which in turn adds to your resilience. The menopause also allows you to take stock of your life and make changes to your health, wellbeing and how you spend your time in a more meaningful way. Some women experience a renewed sense of self confidence in the process.
I can assess your level of resilience and provide advice and support on how your home, community and environment can improve your overall level of emotional health and wellbeing so that you can live a more purposeful and meaningful life.