Hot flashes that start as a light full body warming sensation and then move on a full-on red-in-the-face dewy and glistening situation both during the day along with night sweats that drench the sheets, leading to throwing the duvet off for a minute, then feeling chilled after. Headaches and migraines that are not touched by any medication can last as long as a week. Rapid weight gain, but especially around the middle, often called a muffin top, that will not shift despite the best muscle tone beneath or dietary efforts. Mood swings and temperament changes from rage to anxiety, to anger and your lowest moments, depression, interrupted and crappy sleep, bone loss, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and irregular periods that can range from incredibly heavy and never-ending to next to nothing, incontinence and bladder issues, higher risk of prolapse which is your internal organs like your uterus that housed your babies, falling out of you. Thinning hair, thinning skin. Dryness on the outside, from the skin, hair, nails, and even eyes, to the inside, like vaginal dryness that can be painful during intercourse if you feel like having sex because of low libido. The memory loss or inability of the brain to connect to words that you’ve used your whole life but that just can’t reach your mouth to speak them, body and joint aches that make you feel 20 years older than you are, and more…
Can you believe this is a list of what women are dealing with anywhere around the age of 40 to 60, but most commonly in their 50s, will experience as they enter the perimenopause stage of life, leading to when the menstruation cycle finally stops, that’s called menopause? While this is a progression that can start slowly, a symptom here and there to full-on, who am I, and what happened to the person that I have been my whole life? And as Mother Nature and her sometimes sick sense of humour would have it, all this can hit as the tween to teenagers in the home goes through their own hormone shit-storm of puberty.
This topic has not been talked about nearly enough, and some say that if all this happened to men, things would be different. No education is offered at any school stage; if it were, no one would believe it. Historically, women have been sent to mental asylums for their behaviour during the perimenopause years.
Luckily my generation is starting to speak up about this baffling situation and is trying their best to educate, validate and create a community for women who have all too often been told that their symptoms can’t be helped, they’re dismissed or told it’s all in their head by their doctor. Actress Naomi Watts founded Stripes or @iam_stripes on social media to support women with perimenopause and menopause solutions, the Menopause Chics.com with Shirley Weir, and my dynamo smartypants guest today, Angela Foster, who is going to share her incredible wisdom for women, and the men who love them because this is a conversation that must happen for women in this stage of life and every woman, mother, or daughter out there who will go through this. So today, on EAT THIS with Lianne, Perimenopause, menopause, all the symptoms, and what you can do about them.
I came across my guest today, over a year ago, and I’ve taken her with me on many walks, having a-ha moments both for my situation and because of what I do here and with clients. Recently I heard her masterclass, introducing Biosyncing, a female version of BioHacking, and I reached out for an interview. Angela Foster is a functional nutrition practitioner and executive health & performance coach. Angela is the host of the top-rated High-Performance Health Podcast, where she interviews the world’s top experts in health optimization for high performance. While your high performance might be getting through the day, reading her quote, “To perform at our absolute best, we each need to become the CEO of our Health,” I knew we’d get along! From across the pond, please welcome Angela to EAT THIS with Lianne.
- What drew you into this particular area of health? (Share your story)
- Take us through the changes in hormones that typically happen on the journey to menopause – so early perimenopause to later.
- What can we do at various stages so women can keep going? Hot flashes, sleeplessness, dryness, low libido, anxiety, brain fog, depression, weight gain.
- What do you suggest to help with weight management and the typical new distribution of fat that happens and increases around the belly?
- What needs to change with diet and exercise?
- Can diet, exercise, adaptogens, nootropics, and seed cycling keep many of these symptoms at bay? What about HRT, and what is the difference between HRT and Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
- Tell my lovely loyal listeners where they can find out more about your groups and your offerings
- Talk about diet during peri-menopause. How much protein do we need to eat?
We have a lot stacked against us.
- More chance of insulin resistance and difficulty with blood sugar levels.
- Harder to put on or keep muscle mass.
- Hormones decrease, so we lose our sex drive.
- Brain fog and anxiety.
To sum up, what is helpful at this stage of life and where to focus:
Lower inflammation through diet. Colourful foods and superfoods are found in dark pigment foods that are high in polyphenols, like wild blueberries. Skin Boost has it all. Essential fats like fish oils in Omega Boost. Mushrooms like Reishi, vitamin C that you can get in Alka C, and vitamin D from Sunshine D3 + K2. Avoid seed oils: Soy, canola, and sunflower because they increase oxidative stress and inflammation.
Increase of oxidative stress – lots of antioxidants in food. The darker the pigment, the more polyphenols, the better – wild blueberries are better than conventional.
Workout support to muscle mass to support sensitivity. Exercise during perimenopause changes and using heavier weights and HIIT-type workouts are more appropriate, along with pilates and yoga for stress balance. The more muscle mass, the better our glucose control. Redistribution of fat from the thigh and hip area, which is not the dangerous visceral fat around the organs, shifts to the abdomen in part because of a lack of glucose control and also contributes to insulin resistance.
If you still have your period, try Seed cycling:
– flax* and pumpkin first 14 days. 1 tbsp of each daily.
– Sesame and sunflower for the second 14 days. One tablespoon of each daily.
*Flax is an estrogen modulator.
Maca can help estrogen levels.
Glucose control – listen to episode 143 about eating and using a glucose monitor to understand your body in episode 149. Ashwagandha helps to control glucose and hot flashes and works well with Holy Basil.
Energy and resilience to stress – Schizandra berry and Rhodiola can help. Schizandra berry is in Skin Boost, and Physica Energetics HPA Axis LF supplement has both Ashwhanga and Rhodiola.
Hot Flashes – Ashwagandha, holy basil.
Brain fog and anxiety – happen from a drop in progesterone—adaptogens – lion’s mane, eating eggs, acetylcholine.
Sleep – I’ve been taking HPA Axis, Magnesium Bis-Glycinate, Reishi, and Bio Boost at night, and my sleep cycles have improved—more on those in ep 150. It’s essential for blood sugar control too.
Angela Foster is a Nutritionist, Health & Performance Coach, Creator of BioSync and host of the Top 10 Alternative Health Podcast, High-Performance Health.
As a former partner in a large law firm, Angela is no stranger to the demands of long working hours and the difficulties facing women in combining high performance with family life while still optimising their health & longevity.
After suffering burnout and major depressive disorder culminating in a life-threatening battle with pneumonia, Angela used biohacking, holistic health and spiritual practices to rebuild her mental and physical health. As a regular podcaster and speaker at events and to large corporations, Angela shares the science and practical tools unique to women to empower them to optimise their health, performance and longevity while embracing their female physiology…
Angela is the creator of BioSync, a unique programme for the high-performance woman who wants to step into the most authentic and empowered version of herself and achieve longevity in business and in life.
Link to Angela’s Female Biohacker Collective