- Do things about your partner really annoy you when they never used to?
- Do you slam the door?
- Are you on the verge of tears constantly?
- Is road rage something that rears its ugly head?
- Do you need a glass of wine two hours earlier than usual?
- Middle-age Spread?
- Night Sweats?
- Hot Flashes?
- Does everything in general just “piss you off”?
This is what happens when you are peri-menopausal and that means your body is not making the same levels of hormones that it used to. All quite normal and happens to everybody but it’s really annoying! The first thing you need to know is that you DON’T need HRT.
Our hormones won’t drop equally as we deplete progesterone sooner than oestrogen. Progesterone is the hormone needed to reduce the symptoms of peri-menopause. It improves your mood and your sleep and protects from oestrogen’s potential effects of breast and uterine cancer. Progesterone is made primarily by the adrenal glands but most of us have low level adrenals due to our hectic lifestyle. Depleted progesterone causes some women to have really bad periods. This is definitely the case for sufferers of endometriosis because the minute you start using a product called wild yam cream (progesterone) your periods become normal. I suffered from endrometriosis until I was 48. After doing the research for my menopause book I started using wild yam cream and my hormones became balanced, I had my first “normal” period.
Science tells us that if we keep our levels of hormones, vitamins and minerals up, then we can age without the negative symptoms associated with it.
So we can supplement our hormone levels naturally with foods such as yams, fennel and kale or, we can just take a chemically created pill as in HRT, but why would anyone want to take hormones made from the urine of pregnant horses? (Google Premarine Mares)
Your body is its own laboratory and will use whatever natural biologically identical supplement you give it, or pee it away. With HRT which is a one pill fits all synthesised product, your body will store it and after 4-5 years you have to come off it or risk getting cancer. Some women can be on HRT for 30 years and have nothing happen to them but, that’s usually women who started out with no hormones in the first place i.e. hysterectomy or removal of ovaries.
For most of us 48 and over we can diagnose ourselves, we know what’s due to happen at this stage in life and we can just start using the all natural products and never feel a symptom. I’m 62 and never had a hot flash and neither have some of my clients because we nipped it in the bud. We didn’t let our hormone levels fall so we’re not suffering. It wasn’t necessary for doctors to tell us what was needed, in fact most of them don’t believe in natural alternatives and will give you HRT.
Women like ourselves who want to take responsibility for our own bodies. This is what the government want us to do but take away our ability to do so away by only giving us one option, the Doctor. One common herb used for thousands of years by women to control hormonal imbalances was recently banned for sale in the USA and the UK for our own safety. After Government research it was discovered to cause non-fatal liver damage, but on further investigation it was in fact due to poor Chinese farmers adding a similar herb of the same family to increase the crop yield. So instead of telling us that and what to avoid, they simply took it off the market leaving us high and dry. With no explanation until my chemist dug deep to find this out.
Girls, it’s really not that complicated. We can fix ourselves easily.
Yours in health always
I’m lucky enough to be judging the Miss Galaxy Universe Competition this weekend. It’s a growing group of girls who work tirelessly all year on their physical fitness and their individual beauty. They come together to compete, although in my eyes every single one of them deserves a prize. It’s so much more inspiring and pleasing to us all to see these women who really work on their physical health and beauty as opposed to complaining about their muffin tops!
Having said that it isn’t always our fault because there are so many chemicals used in packaged foods and we don’t know what they are doing to our health and body weight. Scientists have named them Excitotoxins. Using rats, sadly, they proved four particular excitotoxins cause cancer, adult-onset diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s and strokes, which just happen to be the major health epidemics we are experiencing today. Excitotoxins have no nutritional value and are flavour enhancers to get us hooked or extend shelf life. Excitotoxins interfere with and alter the chemical make up of the brain, (ADHD), liver and kidneys (obesity), pancreas (adult-onset diabetes) and heart (stroke).
- MSG aka monosodium glutamate — a flavour enhancer that tricks the brain into thinking foods taste better, creating a craving, stopping the pancreas recognising when blood sugar levels are too high, and sending insulin to change sugar into fat = obesity. It is that toxic it is used in the Philippines to kill dogs, why should it bein your food?!
- High fructose corn syrup — implicated in adult-onset diabetes because it reduces stores of chromium which are essential to balance insulin levels. It bypasses leptin, which is needed for appetite control, allowing you to eat a whole packet of biscuits and still not be full. It alters magnesium balance which leads to bone loss and low magnesium is also associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- Hydrogenated oils — lower good cholesterol and cause serious issues with bad cholesterol. They make fat cells resistant to insulin causing obesity and diabetes. They are used by every fast-food restaurant, and if the label says 100 per cent vegetable oil it is probably hydrogenated oil, otherwise known as trans-fats.
- Worst is Aspartame/Nutrasweet/Splenda. The Food and Drug Administration in USA lists 92 symptoms caused by Aspartame, from arthritis, asthma to migraines, memory loss, vision loss and obesity. In the body Aspartame breaks down into methanol, which converts to formaldehyde, causing your body to turn to acid. Too acidic, you crave carbohydrates — a vicious circle.
Neuro-surgeon, Dr Russel Blaylock MD, has written a book, A Taste that Kills. Visit Amazon for more details and download a Kindle Sample of it to read.
And remember — read your labels.
If you’re one of those girls that finds losing weight very difficult try my MetaSlim to boost metabolism.
Yours in health always
“What is a vitamin?”. It is a substance essential for your metabolism and well-being, but which your body does not make for itself e.g.vitamin C which caused the scourge of scurvy in sailors of old. So if your body does not make it you have to either eat it or take supplements, or, as is common, do both from time to time. The gaps in the vitamin B series are caused by declassification of the missing substances (B4, B8 etc), originally believed to be vitamins but are not essential ones.
All vitamins are important to us but the vitamin B series of 8 ranging from B1, Thiamine, to B12, Cobalamine must take the gold medal for the pain and damage that their absence can inflict on us such as:
- irregular heart beat,
- tissue swelling,
- mental confusion and memory loss (dementia),
- cracked lips and sore mouth,
- a type of acne,
- peripheral nerve damage (pins and needles and pains),
- high blood pressure,
- premature aging,
- retarded growth in infants,
- birth defects,
- ocular effects.
The list is endless and a hypochondriac’s charter sent from heaven above to explain some if not all of their ailments, so beware of jumping to conclusions. The chances of your body being genuinely deficient in this vitamin series are increased if:
- Your diet is unbalanced , and is mostly processed food, or hastily grabbed sandwiches with bottles of coke,
- You consume more than the recommended daily and weekly total units of alcohol, because your liver is busy destroying alcohol instead of processing the vitamin B’s. Otherwise said the “bioavailability” of the vitamin B’s consumed is reduced to very low levels. Alcholics suffer acutely from B deficiency.
- You are a child, because children’s daily needs are higher than those of an adult (weight for weight) and they have much less storage capacity in their liver.
- You are pregnant.
- You have coeliac disease (malabsorption).
- You are a vegan (particularly applies to vitamin B12).
- You have had surgical removal of parts of your digestive tract.
- You are getting on a bit and have a low appetite.
- You are on one of a range certain medications which interefere with absorption (see your GP for much more detail).
So if you are a surrogately pregnant, aging vegan alcoholic, on medication, who is undernourished, frequently grabs a sarny from Tesco’s and has a gastric band don’t bother reading any further!
Some deficiencies of the B group can be improved by diet, but there is a notable exception in severe B12 deficiency which requires medical intervention in the form of injections to restore body stocks and prevent irreversible damage. Other deficiencies may be improved if you pay attention to eating:
- foods which are associated with supporting independant life such as eggs, which are an embryonic packed lunch and survival pack containing every vitamin and mineral required for a chicken to grow initially.
- other dairy products,
- single cell products such as yeast and marmite, (at last someone has found a use for marmite), but not beer (because of the imparment to liver metabolism of vitamin B’s), molasses,
- blood products (single cells again), such as red meat, liver, black pudding,
- oily fish
- beans and lentils (self contained survival pack again)
- chilli peppers,
- potatoes, preferably not fried and overcooked,
- enriched cereals, foods which would normally have little intrinsic value if the law had not insisted on “enrichment”,
- whole grain products and breads, particularly not white bread which has to be enriched.
The vitamin B series is truly a remarkable set of life catalysts which is sometimes undervalued, but has alarming results if neglected.
As with all vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements, not having enough can be equally detrimental as having too much. Always consult your doctor if you are not sure are have medical concerns.
Yours in health
Yours in health
BOTH here and in America Governments implement BMI (body mass index) tests to schoolchildren because many of them are overweight. The BMI is a simple formula using height and weight to determine if a person is overweight, underweight or in a healthy range.
The body mass formula was developed by Belgian statistician Adolph Quetelet back in late 1800s, quite a long time ago. The problem with this very simple formula is that it doesn’t take into account gender differences or anatomy differences, such as body types, i.e. endomorph, ectomorph and mesomorph.
Ectomorph are for the most part fragile, thin, lightly muscled, tall. Mesomorph’s are athletic, muscular body, thick skin, upright posture. Endomorph are soft body, round shaped. If and when your child gets this test don’t worry too much about it, all results are up for consideration and as usual in 15 years’ time they will recognise the errors of their ways.
BUT if parents and governments really want to help, then they would be better served by making sure that packaged foods don’t contain flavour-enhancing, non nutritional chemicals such as high-fructose corn syrup, MSG, aspartame, fluoride and hydrogenated oils. They are flavour enhancers intended to get you hooked but they interfere with and alter the chemical make-up of the brain (ADHD), liver and kidneys (obesity), pancreas (adult-onset diabetes) and heart (stroke).
Pharmaceutical companies and food manufacturers continue to feed chemicals to the public and we blame ourselves for becoming obese. Remember the Fifties and Sixties when we had real sugar, bacon and eggs, bread, biscuits and no chemicals yet introduced, this happened in the late Sixties. If you watch TV footage from this time, there were very few fat people, almost no diabetics, very little heart disease, one person in town was obese and that was due to a hormone problem, one person in town had cancer and that was due to smoking too much. Here we are 40 years later and all these health problems are running rampant.
It’s wonderful to see children making informed, healthy choices and now we should take the next step and help them understand which foods will prevent certain health problems and how their bodies can heal themselves. Thank goodness the governmemt is paying attention and our schools are implementing nutritional guidleines i.e. balance of carbs, protein, fats and veggies. Locally sourced and in some cases organic.
We are living in a century of chemicals so it’s up to us to help our bodies help themselves, they are very capable machines so long as they are given the right tools as in food, exercise and water.
Interestingly, since the Chinese have developed our western diet, 20 per cent of them are now overweight.
Yours in health
WHEN I lived with Cher, many, many years ago in my 20s, we had an organic health food cook who washed all her fruit and vegetables religiously. Back then I thought she was going overboard but now I see just how smart she was. Crops in this country are sprayed with billions of pounds of pesticide a year.
About 70 per cent of livestock are regularly doused with the same pesticides and I find it hard to believe they didn’t play a major role in the proliferation of mad cow disease and other such viruses.
The Environmental Protection Agency has banned many pesticides that have proved to be harmful to humans, the problem is that a significant amount of our food is grown in other countries, where the use of these chemicals is still legal. We poor souls living in the industrialised world have as many as 75 pesticide and herbicide residues stored in our fat cells. Most of these compounds are fat soluble so they stay trapped in our bodies for an entire lifetime. A recent study showed a strong correlation between pesticide exposure in young men and the early development of prostate cancer. Those exposed to pesticides lived only half as long as those not exposed.
Another study found that post-menopausal women exposed to PCBs, (polychlorinated biphenyls although banned here, they aren’t everywhere) had a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Pesticides also give the human papilloma virus more power to induce breast cancer. All these cancer-causing chemicals act together in a process called synergism, to become infinitely more powerful than they would be alone.
In our everyday lives we are exposed to carcinogenic agents, some weak, some strong, but they act synergistically to enable two weak carcinogens to have a very strong cancer-causing effect. This makes having the choice of organic fruits and vegetables so important for those of us who want are able to afford to take responsibility for our health — BUT if the European Union is allowed to pass the Codex Alimentarius we will all be eating genetically modified, chemicalised, irradiated food, and the availability of vitamin and mineral supplements to substitute for what is lacking in our foods will not be available and neither will various types of natural medicines. ????? this last bit
It even goes so far as to eliminate organic produce. When you watch the video about the Codex Alimentarius it talks in a very polished way about regulating every aspect of food production.
I say we’ve done just fine for the past few thousand years don’t you? OK. I’m off my soapbox. Here’s a list of a few compounds found in everyday food items that can help neutralise the cancer-causing effects of pesticides and herbicides:
- Curcumin: found in the spice turmeric.
- Green Tea: mix it with your black tea every day.
- Quercetin: found in cranberries, apples, onions and tea.
- DHA: found in fish oils.
- Glucosinolate: found in brussels sprouts, kale and broccoli.
And like our cook from many years ago, use a vegetable brush, found in all supermarkets. Some produce — peppers, squash, cucumbers, etc. — are coated in wax which your body does not know how to assimilate, so they need to be scrubbed with a vegetable wash too.
There are vegetable wash sprays available on the market or you can make your own like below:
- 1 cup cooled boiled waterwater
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon grapefruit seed extract (Your local health food store or you can use lemon juice)
Mix the ingredients and put into a spray bottle with a pump. Spray onto your fruit or veg and leave for a few minutes before rinsing in cool tap water.
Yours in health
The time comes for every single one of us when we start to feel “different”. Our periods are stuttering or completely disappearing, then the heavens open up and all the rest of the symptoms happen, for instance:
- Getting tired easily and needing a nap.
- Getting anxious and agitated.
- Getting a middle-agespread.
- Getting daytime hot flushes that stop you in your tracks.
- Getting night-time sweats so that even the dog leaves the bed.
- Your short term memory gets lost.
- You never want sex — you think your husband’s an alien.
These symptoms are caused by a depletion of oestrogen, commonly thought of as a sex hormone, strictly tied to the reproductive process, but it’s not.
The bladder, the skin, the bones, the arteries, the heart, the breasts, the liver and the brain all have oestrogen receptors, meaning they need oestrogen to function. It is also needed to keep the body’s internal thermostat operating properly. Hot flushes/night sweats are because your thermostat is out of kilter, quite simply, you’re lacking in oestrogen.
Other organs start to take over and produce some oestrogen, which is why supplementing with an all-natural or bio-identical oestrogen/progesterone hormone is preferable as you’re not interfering with the production of the little bit you make. Because I had done my homework for “Change for the Best”.
The New England Journal of Medicine has reaffirmed the link between HRT and cancer. The reason HRT causes so many problems is because synthetic oestrogens are manufactured in laboratories from pregnant female horse urine (Premarine Mares) and not easily broken down by the body’s natural enzymes, accumulating in the body causing metabolic changes in the liver resulting in high blood pressure, fluid retention and blood clots. Need I say more? A little change in diet and starting to exercise can get rid of that middle-age spread, also diet supplementing can help with your sleep, anxiety and enable your brain to remember why you walked int the room. All of these will definitely minimise, if not eliminate menopausal symptoms. Because it’s not exact science there are some women this doesn’t work for, those who have had previous problems but for most of you, it’s an easy fix.
“A great deal of confusion exists regarding the use of the term “bio-identical”, particularly as it applies to the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. The term “bio-identical”, when used in regard to these and other important hormones, simply means that molecule for molecule they are absolutely “identical” to hormones produced by the human body.” Here is a link for more info on bioidenticals for you to read later by my friend and longevity doctor, Dr David Allen.
Yours in health
I always talk about the dangers of protein-only weight loss. That made rather a lot of you ask me what else I would recommend and what do I do?
In the summer I replace either lunch or dinner with a smoothie. That smoothie consists of a juice with a purpose — for example, blueberry for my brain or pomegranate for its antioxidant properties. Check your labels though because our local supermarkets have started to add high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to their fruit juices for no reason other than to make you drink more. Remember HFCS is an excitotoxin (inhibits your brains ability to say stop) and has no nutritional value whatsoever! See article about Swapping Fizzy Drinks for Water
It’s a chemical added to fruit juice — but why? OK, back to our smoothie, Hemp Protein (try goodhempnutrition.com) is what you add to your fruit juice. Hemp Protein is the richest andpurest plant protein available complete with all the essential amino acids, omega 3, GLA and fibre. It alkanise’s your body so reducing acidity. Add some berries or seasonal fruit and blend with maybe an ice cube or two.
You’ll be surprised how good you feel after your smoothie when your body has been fed non-fattening, natural sugars, nutritional food! Remember it’s not the diet plan you choose, weight loss comes from a reduction in calories! Less calories in and more calories expended = weight loss.
Five foods that make you look old and are the worst offenders for premature ageing:
2. Bacon, hot dogs, pepperoni….
3. Chips, fries and anything deep-fried in oil.
4. Doughnuts and pastries. 5. Saturated fats.
During the summer eat like you are in the Mediterranean!
Yours in health
A LOT of people have asked me about protein-only diets. To me they are a little worrying because protein makes your body acidic and acid disease can flourish. Just to make sure I asked our nutritionist of the moment Natalie Grimm “are protein-only or high-protein diets really bad for me?” She said yes — read on…. 1. Consuming excess protein has been linked to the following:
- Liver and kidney damage.
2. Imbalance within the body. Excess protein can unbalance acid/alkaline levels, potassium/sodium levels, calcium/magnesium levels and omega-6 to omega-3 ratios. 3. What you could be putting into your body:
- Animal hormones.
- Sugar, salt and preservatives and “fillers”.
- Artificial sweeteners which your body doesn’t recognise and may be carcinogenic.
4. What you are missing out on by excluding fruit and vegetables:
- Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Enzymes which help break down food.
- Pre-biotics which feed good gut bacteria.
5. Let’s not forget fat. Too much fat (Atkins) may lead to cardiovascular disease and stroke. Too little (Dukan) and you are looking at hormonal imbalances, dry nails, hair and eyes and mood swings. 6. Speaking of mood swings….your brain relies on glucose (derived from carbohydrates) to function, so restriction leads to headaches, irritability, anxiety and foggy thinking. 7. Limited effectiveness. Once you start eating carbs again, your body will try to put away reserves as it is adapting to an environment of “starvation”. Even if you don’t, your metabolism will adjust and you’ll have to eat less to maintain weight loss. Both Atkins and Dukan diets ease up in the later stages but continue to be very high-protein and the earlier protein-only stages may have a lasting impact on your body. If you are looking to lose weight responsibly, it’s better to work with your body, not against it. By all means, eat reasonable amounts of lean protein and good fats, just don’t neglect your veggies. Do you remember the expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor’s away”? Well there was a new study presented at the experimental biology 2011 conference held in Washington DC showing evidence that the tasty, crunchy fruit regulates blood sugar, controls your appetite, safeguards your lungs, blocks cholesterol absorption and the peel is full of polyphenols, an antioxidant that prevents damage to your cells, so make sure it’s organic or very well washed. Thanks for reading and if you’re in the Henley area come and visit us at Metaphysical Gym. Angie PS I must tell you about the Field Kitchen in Nettlebed www.thefieldkitchen.co.uk It’s my new hangout for lunch and I take away dinner because I hate to cook and their food is extraordinarily fresh and healthy using locally-sourced ingredients. Best of all they have a juicer so they make me a juice with beetroot for my brain, fennel for my hormones, ginger for inflammation and carrots for my eyes and skin.