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Beyond Hot Flashes: Menopause, Nutrition, and Plant-Based Living

"So many women I've talked to see menopause as an ending. I've discovered that this is your moment to reinvent yourself after years of focusing on everyone else's needs."

Oprah Winfrey



Do You Feel Isolated

My journey through menopause started at the age of 38, bringing a challenging and isolating phase to my life. While the commonly known symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings are discussed, the effects on our bodies extend beyond these. In this blog, I aim to explore the correlation between menopause and a plant-based diet, and I would like to start the conversation so our girls know what is ahead of them and not feel lost and our men understand where we are. This is such a huge part of our life and it shouldn't be in the shadows, it's a conversation worth having. I will be drawing insights not only from my own journey but from research studies and Dr. Mary Claire Haver who inspired me to share my experience.


Power of Whole Foods

Having followed a plant-based diet for more than four years, I have always believed in the healing power of food. Despite adhering to a whole food lifestyle and steering clear of processed foods for over two decades, my symptoms were overwhelming. From severe mood swings, disrupted sleep, and intense hot flashes to vision issues, mental health challenges, and joint pain, the list seemed endless. Seeking medical assistance led to a prescription for anti-depressants, but I felt the need to delve deeper into what was best for my body and the role of nutrition and anti-depressants didn't fit into my personal lifestyle.


Transitioning To A Plant-Based Lifestyle

Through my exploration, I consistently found evidence of the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, with emerging studies supporting this connection. Transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle revolutionised my well-being in just two months. I experienced improved sleep, reduced hot flashes, elevated mood, glowing skin, and better digestion. As I reflect on Oprah’s quote, at the top of this blog,  I realise that this phase of my life, at 51 years old, has given me resilience and determination. I have crafted a career that expands on my passion for sharing my food and finding a tribe of incredible women on the same journey. Women who refuse to let this stage of their lives stop them from becoming even more vibrant for the next chapter in their lives. These positive changes fuelled my journey to gaining my Diploma in Plant-Based Nutrition and a Certified Lifestyle Coach. I remain dedicated to continuous learning to support women navigating this transformative phase of life.


80% of Menopausal Women Endure Hot Flashes

Research indicates that over 80% of menopausal women endure hot flashes, which can pose health risks and disrupt sleep patterns. Recent studies by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine highlight the significant impact of a low-fat vegan diet rich in soy in alleviating menopausal symptoms. This diet resulted in a remarkable 95% reduction in hot flashes among participants.

Dr. Hana Kahleova's study underscores the role of a vegan diet in weight management and inflammation reduction, crucial factors in mitigating hot flashes. The findings emphasise the importance of gut health in managing menopausal symptoms, with specific changes in gut microbiome composition linked to decreased hot flashes.


70 Different Symptoms Associated with Menopause

I recently listened to a podcast where Dr. Mary Claire Haver spoke with Steven Bartlett (The Diary of a CEO) about an issue related to menopause. According to Dr. Haver, there are currently 70 different symptoms associated with menopause. Unfortunately, many women who experience these symptoms are often dismissed and prescribed anti-depressants without receiving proper evaluation, including blood tests and discussions about other aspects of their lives. I highly recommend listening to this podcast if your concerns are being ignored. It may illuminate your experiences and provide valuable insights into your menopausal journey.


I am here to offer my support as you consider incorporating more plant-based options into your diet, whether it's just for a few days a week or more regularly. My aim is to assist you in exploring the tools and strategies that can help you seamlessly integrate plant-based choices into your daily life. You don't have to go through this journey alone - we can work together to ensure that you feel supported and empowered throughout this process. It's important to have access to a variety of resources to help inform your decisions. Below are the links to the resources I have included in this blog, plus two additional podcast by Simon Hill's which provide valuable insights into the impact of a whole food, plant-based lifestyle on our health. I hope you find all the the below helpful as you continue your research.


Resources


The transformative effects of a plant-based diet on menopausal symptoms emphasise the importance of embracing dietary changes to enhance the quality of life during this significant transition. I am genuinely excited to highlight and share the studies of a whole food plant-based lifestyle with how soy can lead to a substantial decrease in menopausal hot flashes, showcasing the power of nutrition in promoting holistic well-being during menopause. You can schedule a free 30-minute clarity call using the link below to discuss how I can help you move vibrantly into your next chapter. I enjoy spreading this conversation with you!

 

Note: The information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any dietary changes.



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