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Peri-Menopause: I'm Not Quite Menopausal Yet But...

Sep 24, 2016

At the end of my newsletters I’ve been asking you to get in touch and let me know you most challenging problems, your questions and anything else that you might want to know. Thank you all so much for hitting that reply button and getting back in touch with me- I really value learning more about your lives and having the opportunity to make a difference.

Out of all the questions I received this week, the one that really stuck out for me was one I received from Claire* (not her real name) who asked:

“I’m not quite in your menopausal bracket yet at the tender age of 35, but I’d like to know what I can start doing right now before I hit the menopause? What can I do to prevent the worst of those symptoms from popping up and trying to ruin my life? Thanks.”

Great question Claire. It turns out that there’s a lot you can start doing to take great care of your hormones and keep yourself happy and healthy throughout the peri-menopause and menopause. It doesn’t matter if you’re barely out of your teens or travelling the menopausal years- taking care of yourself now could be the difference between clawing your way through the transition or sailing effortlessly through.

The ripe old age of 35

It can be strange to be 35. It’s strange because you still feel just as young as you ever have and (hopefully) vibrant too, but you can’t help but notice the odd line appearing on your face, the occasional grey hair putting in an appearance, or even a slight change in your menstrual cycle. And you know that change does lies ahead at some point in the future. You’ve always known, but now it seems more imminent.

Suddenly, looking after your body and mind becomes much more of a priority as you realize that you aren’t as invincible as you felt in your 20s, nor are you as immune to the ravages of time as you thought. It’s time to start caring about your health and your hormones.

But knowing what exactly to do can be tricky. Because there’s so much conflicting advice out there and so many fads and celebrity diets set to lead you down the wrong path, or just trip you up.

So let me present to you what I like to call my ‘Secret Seven’- my tried-and-tested solutions that will help balance your hormones whatever age you are and keep you feeling young and energetic for longer.

The Secret Seven

#1: Sleep!

Getting more sleep is the most important change we can make for our health. But sadly so many of us think that we can sacrifice a dose of rejuvenating shut-eye for the sake of the other things in our lives. We have so much to do and so little time. At least that’s what we think.

But here’s the thing. Sleep is your body’s primary opportunity to repair itself and to keep you looking young. Sleep is when your body balances your hormones, best fights illness and disease and quite literally recharges your batteries. Sleep is vital for your health and happiness.

So get more of it. Instead of watching endless episodes of your favourite TV show or using the time to catch up on your emails, get to bed.

The hours before midnight are the best for optimal health and healing, so aim to get to bed no later than 11pm if you can. Your health will thank you.

#2: Minimise your refined sugar intake

Eating sugar is one of the most damaging things you can do to your body, and it’s especially troublesome as you grow older. You see, when you eat sugar, your body releases a hormone called insulin to help keep your blood sugar levels stable. But when you eat too much of this sugar, you’re placing your body under constant stress, your pancreas constantly needs to produce insulin to keep up, and all too often your system hits meltdown. This can cause insulin resistance, inflammation and eventually type 2 diabetes.

The answer is simple- stay away from processed foods as much as you can. I’m not asking you to completely give up eating your favourite Bourbon biscuits or tucking into a Chelsea bun for all eternity. What I am asking is that you become more mindful about what you are putting into your body.

Instead of nibbling on biscuits every break time, limit it to once per week. Instead of eating processed and sugar-laden desserts, have one on a special occasion. Additionally, keep an eye out for added sugar in processed foods and stick to healthier options.

#3: Enjoy protein & healthy fats

Protein and fat are essential for human health, especially when you move towards the menopause. Protein helps ensure healthy hormone production and balance whilst helping to repair your muscles and also keeping you feeling fuller for longer.

Healthy fats are also needed for skin, brain and heart health, and are directly linked to healthy hormone production. This doesn’t mean you should go crazy with the fry-ups and takeaways through- stick to the health fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.

#4: Detox

Our bodies are full of chemicals that can imbalance our hormones and impact upon our overall health, even if we consider ourselves to be mindful of our lifestyle choices.

These come in the form of additives and preservatives in processed foods and also the packaging that these foods come in. Included in the mix are compounds known as xenoestrogens which leach into our food and drink, and mimic natural oestrogen. This disrupts our natural hormone balance, and can actually increase your risk of developing certain cancers.

To avoid this happening to you, avoid plastics (even the BPA-free ones) as much as possible, cook from scratch more often, increase your water consumption and also eat as many mineral-rich green leafy veggies as you can. All of these things will minimise the impact xenoestrogenic chemicals have on your body and help the detoxification process.

#5: Move your body!

Sorry. Despite how you feel about exercise, you’re going to have to get more active if you care about your hormonal health. Our bodies are designed to move, and staying active will help you achieve the health that you deserve. More than that, it will help reduce any symptoms of the menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances and depression once you do reach those years.

Aim for at least 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise that gets you out of breath at least three times per week. Almost everyone can manage than.

#6: Love thy self

It’s time to start loving yourself. How did you feel when you read that last sentence? Did you feel yourself inwardly tense or feel stirrings of negative emotions in there somewhere? If so, we have much work to do.

How you feel about yourself significantly impacts upon your experience of the ageing process, as well as the quality of your life, your happiness and even your menopausal symptoms. You are everything you have, and if you don’t love yourself, who else will?

#7: Disconnect and recharge

It’s essential that we disconnect and recharge our batteries from time to time for both our mental and physical health. But most of us associate busyness with productivity and success. We believe that we don’t need time ‘off’, that downtime is just sign of weakness or lack of ambition, and that we can carry on regardless. But we really can’t.

Instead of staying productive and active from dawn ‘til dusk, start including some relaxation time. Take up meditation, try your hand at yoga, start journaling or even just pick up a good book and read. You’ll be glad that you did.

By keeping my 'Secret Seven' in mind, and sticking with these recommendations you should notice a significant improvement in your PMT and energy levels, plus give yourself a head-start when it comes to gliding through the menopause effortlessly.

If you have any questions you'd like to ask, don't forget to contact me and I'll do the best I can to help out. And don't miss out on my brilliant newsletter- sign up to receive your very own issue plus an exclusive FREE relaxation recording

 

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