The one key factor for a smooth transition beyond the childbearing years is preparation because the earlier you start nourishing and supporting your body, the easier this transition will be.
Habitually, regarding health, we wait for symptoms to appear before we fix them, but if we wisely pre-empt these, we can avoid them altogether. We often view our various health issues as separate, but looking at the whole picture, it makes sense that anyone in supreme good health will effortlessly overcome any alarming hormonal behaviours.
Whilst much information dwells on the negative aspects of menopause, there is no need to dread this mature rite of passage. Despite the much heralded, crabby moods, supercharged hormones, and clothes on, clothes off internal heat thermostat issues - every woman does survive. Some even thrive!
Fluctuating oestrogen levels are held the most responsible for the disturbances wrought, but of course, these have a knock-on effect, as our body is always reaching for a state of balance. Hormonal imbalance can be adjusted, and in ways which are not intrusive or put us at risk of side effects from HRT. The adrenals and the liver need support now, and this can be quite simple to implement, but it does need to be addressed with consistency.
Reducing stress and getting long nights of good sleep are particularly helpful: “Reduce your workload, if possible, go to bed much earlier – by 8-9 pm at the latest every night and get 10+ hours of sleep, reduce vigorous exercise… this rests the adrenals and the thyroid and even the ovaries, and is most helpful.” Dr Laurence Wilson! (1)
Tempting as it is to laugh hysterically at the likelihood of being able to spend this long asleep, just do what you can! Much easier to implement into your routine is altering how you eat.
Commencing with a clean natural food diet some years before the menopause will radically reduce any symptoms. This does not mean years of deprivation. It simply means educating yourself about the variety of wonderful super foods there are, and introducing these on a gradual but regular basis. Start incorporating a juice or smoothie each day with powdered greens such as spirulina. Add in a raw meal once a day, and then build up from this to a level you enjoy.Diet has a huge effect on overall health and when the body is undergoing changes, it is particularly important to support it by what you put into it.
Herbs and super foods that help your body deal with unusual hormonal activity can also be easily incorporated into your diet, either by adding to a smoothie or by taking as capsules. Both Maca and Suma (known as Brazilian ginseng or Pfaffia), are adaptogenic herbs, particularly helpful in menopause. (4) An adaptogen works at correcting individual imbalances. Extra iodine, magnesium and B vitamins are all helpful. If you’re looking for menopause supplements to combat its symptoms at once, try Meno-Time capsules which are all natural, plant-based and vegan.
There are many anecdotal accounts of women who eat a high raw diet and who manifest few menopausal symptoms. One such raw foodie writes: “I didn’t expect to menopause until my mid-50s and the perimenopause hadn’t been invented when I began thinking about my future hormonal agenda, so it is only looking back I realised for me it commenced when I was 48.
Coincidentally, the same year I made the big leap to raw… I am convinced - with no room for doubt - that this is what gave me virtually symptom-free menopausal years. I had some hot flushing, which I did not enjoy, (too much akin to the panic /anxiety attacks I had suffered in my 30s), but never to the point of sweats, even at night. Another issue was that my skin elasticity altered. Nothing else. Nada. Zilch.
My raw diet was almost vegan as I consumed bee pollen and honey. Coconut oil, sprouted wheat bread, sweet potato raw crisps, and homemade raw chocolate; all played a large and delicious part of my diet, as well as plenty of salads and smoothies.” (2)
Our cells are communicating with each other all the time. When they are given the necessary components to work with, they function at optimum level and so do we! This is surely what real health feels like. Note the words of postmenopausal beauty writer and raw food expert, Tonya Zavasta: “I believe that, for the truly healthy woman, menopause is symptomless, and will tend to occur later in life than is presently the norm… I’ve been raw sixteen years, now.
My periods have been getting progressively lighter over the last 10 years and then stopped recently at 55. This happened 10 years later than in my mum's case. That's good, and I credit raw foods. It all happened naturally, gently, no discomfort, whatsoever…And the best part of it…The raw food lifestyle prevents opposite-sex resemblance that inevitably happens to everyone on cooked food.” (3)
“On the last day of the study, Langer wrote, men "who had seemed so frail" just days before ended up playing "an impromptu touch football game on the front lawn." When you believe that something will affect you in a way, it often does.” (5)It is becoming increasingly evident that our thoughts have a huge impact on how we feel and how our body responds. One famous example of this is the experiment conducted by Psychologist Ellen Langer in 1979. She took a small group of 70-year-old men back to the time of their youth, by recreating the conditions they lived in, and the group subconsciously reacted to this by exhibiting behaviours associated with their younger years:
It is vastly important, therefore, to look upon the menopause as a positive experience. It is the portal to the rest of your feminine life! Take note of women who have experienced the constructive aspects. Dr Christiane Northrup author of, ‘The Wisdom of Menopause’, suggests this is a healing time:
“The menopausal transition is actually a profound developmental stage in which unfinished business from the past comes up once again for resolution and healing so that we can free ourselves from the outmoded beliefs and behaviours of our past. All the issues that weren’t resolved during puberty and early adulthood—such as body image, relationships, vocation, fear of ageing, and self-esteem issues—now arise once more to be healed and completed.” (6)
Written by Kim Amaranth
1) Menopause. Retrieved November 17, 2016, from http://www.drlwilson.com/Articles/menopause.htm
2) Lifeco, T. The Easy Menopause: Raw and Vegan | The LifeCo. Retrieved November 17, 2016, from http://www.thelifeco.com/en/blog/the-easy-menopause-raw-and-vegan
3) Raw Foods and Menopause. Retrieved November 17, 2016, from http://www.beautifulonraw.com/raw-foods-and-menopause.html
4) Taylor, L. Suma. Retrieved November 17, 2016, from http://www.rain-tree.com/
5) Freidman, L. F. (2015, April 06). Retrieved November 17, 2016, from http://uk.businessinsider.com
6) The Many Faces of Menopause. Retrieved November 17, 2016, from http://www.healyourlife.com/the-many-faces-of-menopause
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