Guest Post By: Allison Thompson of Paleo Living
Today I want to share a guest post with you from Allison Thompson from Paleoliving.com. She talks about how a Paleo diet helped her cope with menopause and avoided needing any type of medication.
5 years ago I found myself facing a major scare in my life. It was the morning of my 48th Birthday. Whilst having a cuddle with my husband, he said, “have you felt this lump?” You can imagine my shock. I was someone who checked her breasts regularly.
Immediately we rang the doctor who asked us to come straight in. We live in Spain and have chosen to take out private healthcare. After seeing the doctor I was immediately sent for a mammogram. I then headed back to the doctors with x-rays in hand.
Although the doctor I’d seen said he couldn’t see any problems. An appointment was set up for me to see the gynecologist. To cut a long story short on the Monday they rang to give me the all clear.
Whilst this was going on I’d also started to notice some other changes. A friend suggested I may be having a problem with my thyroid, but I felt it was just me getting older.
One my friend’s suggested I arranged an appointment to see her doctor. He is a specialist in natural and homeopathic remedies. I first had to have some blood tests done. The results showed no problem with my thyroid. What it did show was that I had started going through menopause.
He suggested I use a natural progesterone cream to help deal with the symptoms associated with the menopause.
I did as he suggested for a year, but then decided to see if my Paleo lifestyle would help.
I had been following the Paleo diet for a while by then. I’d chosen to follow it as my friend had recommended it to my husband to help him lose weight.
The only thing was at the time I could only find information about Paleo helping to deal with other medical conditions. Plus most people tended to follow it to lose weight. So finding information to help me proved quite challenging.
Although there was little information available I still decided to stick with it.
Over the last five years, I’ve learnt a great deal about the kinds of foods that help me. But it isn’t just Paleo that has helped me, I’ve chosen to include a few supplements into my diet as well.
I chose to follow a Paleo lifestyle because it felt right for me. Plus I wanted to ensure that my husband stuck with it as well.
Even if you were to make only a few small changes in your diet and lifestyle you may be surprised just what effect they have on you.
Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Cut Out Fast Food And Processed Food
The problem with most fast and processed foods these days is the amount of sodium, sugar, and fat they contain.
As well as these causing you to put on weight, they can also cause fluctuations in your mood.
Up Your Healthy Fat Intake
You don’t need to remove fat from your diet altogether.
What you should be doing is eating more of the healthy kinds. So look for foods that contain high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids in them.
For me, the best sources of such fats are from fish such as salmon or sardines. I include these in my diet at least once a week.
Also, I like to include some flaxseed in my diet by adding a spoonful into a fruit smoothie.
Even just a handful of chopped walnuts can provide you with a good amount of healthy fats as well.
Reduce Refined Carbs
This means cutting back on foods such as rice, pasta, and bread.
You may find it hard, I thought I would, but now I don’t miss them at all. You may not realise it but just 1 cup of pasta or rice will provide you with 200 calories.
In place of the rice or pasta have some vegetables instead. There are some great Paleo recipes you may want to try.
In place of pasta, why not give zucchini noodles a try, as for rice cook up some cauliflower instead. Not only do these contain far less calories, but contain a lot more fiber.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
The biggest problem with drinking too much alcohol is that it can lead to weight gain.
Another problem is that it can also increase the severity of some of the symptoms associated with the menopause. The main ones it tends to affect are hot flashes and night sweats.
But it isn’t all bad news.
Have Some Dark Chocolate
An ounce of dark chocolate can make a difference. Not only can it help to reduce any sweet cravings you have, it contains certain compounds that will help improve your mood.
Another benefit to include such food into your diet is that it’s rich in magnesium. This mineral helps to reduce levels of cortisol in the body as well as reduce levels of bad estrogen in the body.
Unfortunately, I’m not a huge fan of dark chocolate so to help me I take a magnesium supplement.
I would suggest eating it before you go to bed as you’ll find it helps you to sleep better.
As I’ve said I’ve chosen to follow a Paleo diet because I’ve found it has helped me.
But I’ve not just limited myself to changing my diet, I’ve also made sure that I exercise more.
Yes, you need to be willing to stick to such a regime, but your body will be grateful if you do. I know my body is.
Allison Thompson, a mother of 1 daughter who has been living in Spain for the past 12 years. For the past 5 years has been following a Paleo lifestyle that has helped her to deal with the effects that going through the menopause can have on women, without the need to use any kind of medication.