A room full of beautiful women in their Second Spring, bodily questions burning on everyone’s lips, all searching for solutions, piecing together their own personal puzzle. So where to begin when the chicken no longer has the egg?
Menopause gets a bad rap. But ask if there is a post-menopausal woman who misses menstruation, monthly fluctuations, pregnancy anxiety, cyclical moods, and it will be difficult to find a single one.
What we are really talking about is not the cessation of fertility as a shaming and fearful time, but a new freedom and a new sense of purpose.
Menopause is simply a part of the ageing process. It is how we manage the transition and how we pay attention to the messages of menopause that can make all the difference to our quality of life going forward.
Take Home Messages:
- Menopause is not a disease, instead it is an early warning system that action, letting us know that action is required now.
- It is a chance to make changes to our 4 Pillars of Health that will create long term health benefits. We have the power to optimize our hormones by focussing on: Exercise, Food, Sleep and Wellbeing
- There are many natural options for dealing with short term symptoms as we respond, re-act and rebalance to our changing hormone levels
- Menopause is an adventure unique to each of us
- Stress= Emotional, Physical (your environment) and Chemical. (Toxins accumulate in our systems as a stress)
- Two recurring concepts to aid ongoing wellness and symptoms: Stress Management and Muscle Mass Maintenance
Simone Jeffries, Naturopath
Symptoms & Solutions
· Aches and Pains: Minimize inflammatory influences including sugars, alcohol, processed food and stress. Be mindful of consuming too many foods over the course of the day containing histamines including anything aged, avocados, bananas, kombucha, left-overs but do not exclude these foods entirely
· Consider changing exercise routines to less repetitive variations.
· Weight Gain: Two most common causes of weight gain during menopause are Food Choices and Stress
· In peri and post menopause, elevated cortisol encourages fat storage and will lead to insulin resistance (inhibiting the usage of food as energy). Post menopause, low estrogen also contributes to reduced muscle mass therefore 2 possible solutions are stress management and coping strategies, prioritizing sleep and consuming phyto estrogens
· Phyto estrogen Foods to keep in the diet throughout the day: Fennel, flax seeds, red clover tea
· Exhaustion and Energy levels: Possibly caused by low estrogen and or testosterone and DHEA (growth hormone), try phyto estrogens and focus on building muscle mass gently
· Simone’s blog on Perimenopause: https://www.simonejeffriesnaturopath.com.au/post/sydney-naturopath-blog-the-ultimate-guide-to-perimenopause. Check out her other blogs as well.
Brigette Egan, Women’s Health Physiotherapist
Square One Women’s Health, 0402 816 299 firstname.lastname@example.org
Taking Control of Down Below
- The Pelvic Floor is a large, saddle -like muscle compromised by 3 openings: the anus, the vagina and the urethra
· the Pelvic floor needs to be body builder strong for ongoing sexual performance, bladder control and to minimize the risk of prolapse.
· Cue for exercises – squeeze anus 10 x 10 seconds.
Orgasms also good, toys recommended!
· Encourage blood flow to vagina to minimize atrophy – “take your vagina to the gym every day”
· Seek advice regarding utilizing pessaries, weighted balls etc to build strength
· Utilize daily creams or lubes to relieve symptoms of dryness – easy fix! Recommended: Olive and Bee, Uberlube, YES
· It is important to keep entire body’s muscle system strong to reduce the stress of pelvic floor when body is challenged eg lifting heavy weights. The stronger you are physically, the less strain on the pelvic floor
· Keep weight gain to a minimum – abdominal fat places pressure on the pelvic floor
· If any leakage or other symptoms, see specialist for strategies
· EXHALE ON EXERTION for all exercises to minimize intra-abdominal pressure
Juicy VJ Muffins (1 dessert spoon of flaxseeds per muffin)
· 12 dessertspoons linseeds · 1 cup chopped dates · ¼ cup boiling water · 1-2 ripe bananas · 60g butter, melted (and allowed to cool) · 3 teaspoons baking powder (gluten free, if required) · 2 eggs, lightly beaten · ½ teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Soak chopped dates in boiling water while preparing the rest of the recipe.
Prepare muffin tins by lining with baking paper.
Grind linseeds in an electric seed/spice grinder or coffee grinder until it is a fine meal.
Use a fork to mash bananas in a mixing bowl. Add nutmeg and combine well. Mix through the date mixture and cooled melted butter.
Fold through the linseeds and baking powder followed by the eggs.
Spoon even amounts of the mixture into prepared muffin tins, starting with about 2 heaped dessertspoons in each.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove from tin when cooked and cool slightly on a rack. Delicious eaten while warm!
Phyto Estrogen Bread
2½ cups soy flour or chickpea (besan) flour or wheat flour, sifted
¼ cup freshly ground linseeds
½ cup mixed seeds (sunflower, sesame, pepitas)
3 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
250ml whole bean soy milk
250-300g silken tofu
1 cup fresh herbs, finely chopped (combination of rosemary, thyme and flat-leaf parsley)
Extra seeds for sprinkling on top
For a lemon zing to complement the herbs, add zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½
Preheat oven to 180°C.
In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and chopped herbs. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl, mash the tofu with a fork or, for a smoother consistency, use a food processor.
Gradually add soy milk to tofu until smooth. If using lemon, now add the juice and zest.
Stir through, then add dry ingredients, mix until combined.
Place mix in a loaf tin lined with baking paper and press down with back of a spoon.
Sprinkle extra seeds on top.
Bake for 1 hour.
Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before turning out from tin.
Slice into 10 pieces.
Serve fresh and warm, drizzled with olive oil, or as a bread topped with avocado and cheese or feta.
The sliced bread freezes well and can be toasted (after a day it starts to dry out just like fresh bread does).
1 C coconut oil melted
¾ C peanut butter
½ C Cacao
½ C Maple Syrup
½ C Flaxseed
1/3 C Sunflower Seed
1/3 C Pepitas
1/3 C Chopped Almonds
1/3 C Craisins
1/3 C Chopped almonds
1/3 C Cacao Nibs
½ t seasalt
Pinch of chilli powder
Mix well, spread on baking paper on a tray and pop in the freezer.
Finally, thank you for sharing your stories, creating the collective girl-power and embracing all things feminine!
Let’s keep this conversation going….
Belinda Eady, Outdoor Fitness Specialist
chocolatefitness.com.au, 0413 120 768