Fifty and Fabulous

The thoughts, loves, rants, interests & inspirations for Gen X


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Blogging Hiatus

Hello my lovely followers,

I’ve been putting off making the decision to take a break from blogging but I can’t put it off any longer.

Hubby lost his job again last month for the second time in twelve months and although I’m now on HRT, as you know, my symptoms are playing havoc. I’m trying to stay me but I can’t cope and rather than helping see me through this tricky period, blogging and going to Slimming World group have become demands that stresses me out.

I need to take a break.

My SW consultant, Carol, has been brilliant and has agreed to set my PAT to whatever I weigh on Wednesday. This means that as a target member I no longer pay the weekly fee and am not obligated to attend group.

I REALLY appreciate your support and I hope to be back in a few months. X


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Menopause Monday – Baby Steps to Improve my Wellbeing

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to another Menopause Monday post, can you believe this is the final one in April!

If you are one of my nice new followers Hello! I would like to take a moment to explain to you what Menopause Mondays are all about. I feel that Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – we’re back to work after the weekend and the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening back in January, I shared a post about being perimenopausal; my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies. I found it quite therapeutic getting it all out there and decided to do it on a regular basis. Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born. If you are interested in reading any of my previous post, just search the tag #Menopause Monday or click here.

I have been on HRT for almost a month now and although my menopausal symptoms have seen various degrees of improvement, I’m still feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious all too frequently for my liking.

Last week, I re-blogged a very helpful post by the lovely Shaz about how to deal with stress and anxiety. I loved the advice that she included in her post so much that I started her Mindfulness Challenge the very next day! Shaz created a daily task check-list in the form of a calendar that can be downloaded from her blog; I downloaded it, printed off a copy and stuck it on our fridge.

What I like, is that none of the tasks are daunting – apart maybe no.8 Turn your phone off for 2 hours which I have to do tomorrow and no.26 No gadgets for at least 2 hours (and I don’t think switching it off when I’m asleep counts)- eek!!

I’m hoping that Shaz’s daily tasks will help eliminate my anxiety, stress and feelings of being overwhelmed; I will let you know if I notice a change.

Have you tried any mindfulness techniques? Have they worked for you? At school we use mindfulness colouring sheets to give the children periods of calm. I used to love colouring when I was young; perhaps I should allow myself time to do a bit of colouring down the week…

x


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Menopause Monday – The Demons of Stress and Anxiety

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to another Menopause Monday post.

If you are one of my nice new followers Hello! I would like to take a moment to explain to you what Menopause Mondays are all about. I feel that Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – we’re back to work after the weekend and the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening back in January, I shared a post about being perimenopausal; my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies (you can read it here). I found it quite therapeutic getting it all out there and decided to do it on a regular basis. Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born. If you are interested in reading any of my previous post, just search the tag #Menopause Monday or click here.

I have been on HRT for almost three weeks now but it hasn’t stopped my feelings of  being overwhelmed, stressed and anxious. Do you believe in fate? Well I was having a particularly bad day today – Easter goodies surrounded me while I’m trying (and failing) to stick to the Slimming World plan – but while I was checking my email and visiting some blogs I follow, I saw a wonderfully helpful post by Shaz talking about stress and anxiety. How did she know I needed this, now? I wanted to share it with you, so I’ve copied & pasted the whole thing, including her links which will open in a new tab.

I love the advice that Shaz includes and although I haven’t read all of her related posts that she mentions (yet), I’m already feeling more positive that I’ll be able to find a range of strategies to help with these blasted menopausal symptoms. I’ll let you know next week.

x

Source: How to deal with stress and anxiety – Jera’s Jamboree

 

How to deal with stress and anxiety

Stress is an important part of life.  We do need it! However, it becomes a problem if we’re continually on high alert and we perceive a threat where there isn’t one.  There are different ways to deal with stress and anxiety and, in my experience, we all have favourite activities that help us to unwind and step away, giving us time to look at a problem logically (rather than our primal instinct to survive).

My long-time favourite de-stressor is reading in bed.  I can’t just slip into bed and fall asleep straight away.  Thoughts whirl round in my head and make me restless.  I’ve tried making notes before going to bed but that just seems to focus me on the problems I want to solve!  We all know that a good night’s sleep goes a long way towards functioning appropriately the next day and reading is my panacea.  The good thing is that I step into another world.  Not so good is when I tell myself ‘one more chapter’ and before you know it you’ve lost a couple of hours of sleep 🙂

Crochet is another activity that helps me wind down.  The rhythm and movement are meditative and often a solution will just pop into my mind (even when I think I’m not focused on an issue).  Walking does that too!

Resilience is something we talk about a lot in my team at school.  We share different strategies with children helping them to build a tool kit in the hope that when life throws them challenges in the future, instead of reacting with fight or flight they can be in control of how they view the challenges and react in a different way.  Resilience is not innate, we’re not born with it but we can improve it.

April is National Stress Awareness Month so I thought I would take the opportunity of gathering together the articles I’ve already written on the blog.

A mixture of tips and resources on how to deal with stress and anxiety (mostly for adults but a couple for children too) I hope you’ll find something useful to help you.

How to deal with stress and anxiety

Articles on Jera’s Jamboree

Gratitude Challenge : Journal a positive mind

30 day Mindfulness Challenge


How to identify emotions and make a change

How to find your silver lining

How to turn a negative into a positive

How to find peace in a frantic world

How to take control of your life


Natural Mood Booster

5 tips to relieve stress and anxiety

Mindfulness Resources


Children and Emotional Health

How to help a child with anxiety


I recommend you check out the National Stress Awareness website.  It’s a fabulous resource for:

  • Explaining stress
  • Resources and guides
  • 10 step stress solution
  • Stress at work

What do you do to de-stress?

Do you have any tips to share?


Giveaway

Last summer I gave a shout out to my blogging buddy Kate’s new venture, Book Spot Box, a subscription box which has gone from strength to strength.

With reading being one of my favourite ways to de-stress, I’m giving away to one of my UK readers the April Book Spot Box.

Rivals theme from Book Spot Box giveaway in the article how to deal with stress and anxiety

The ‘Rivals’ box features some of Kate’s favourite fictional rivalries and is perfect for fans of ACOTAR, Shakespeare and The Wicked King. Each box contains 6 items (5 of which are exclusive to the April box), a paperback book, signed bookplate and a bonus item from the publisher.

The featured paperback was published in 2018 and is the first in a series. Set in a dangerous broken world, it represents the ‘Rivals’ theme beautifully with its split narrative and tension of all kinds. Kate literally could not put this book down! (Please note, this book is not suitable for younger readers)

Easy entry on the Rafflecopter below.  Please read the Terms and Conditions before entering.

Good Luck!

 


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Menopause Monday – A New Beginning

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to another Menopause Monday post.

If you are one of my nice new followers Hello! I would like to take a moment to explain to you what Menopause Mondays are all about. I feel that Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – we’re back to work after the weekend and the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening back in January, I shared a post about being perimenopausal; my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies (you can read it here). I found it quite therapeutic getting it all out there and decided to do it on a regular basis. Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born.

You may remember last week I told you about my adventures to get the HRT prescription that my GP had written – read about it here. My GP prescribed a daily tablet of 1mg of Femoston to help with my menopausal symptoms.

Before I started taking it, I read through the leaflet inside the box to check whether I needed to take it before or after food and whether I needed to take it at a specific time of day. You all do that, right?! Read the small print.

Anyway, I was shocked when I came to section 4 – Possible side effects.

Most of the stuff listed was what I was hoping these tablets were going to get rid of; headaches, migraines, vaginal thrush, nervousness, feeling sick, feeling unwell, weak and tired, unscheduled bleeding or spotting!! OMG! These potential side effects are confirmed on the NHS website too if you want to check them out. Could it get any worse?!

My heart sank when I read that increase in weight was also a possible common side effect (in less than 1 in 10 but more than 1 in 100 patients treated). Although in the next paragraph it warned that less than 1 in 100 but more than 1 in 1,000 patients treated experienced a decrease in weight. I’m hoping I’m one of them! Lol!

So since taking Femoston have I noticed a change in my menopausal symptoms?

Migraines have reduced but i still get headaches almost daily, some of which are painful ice-pick ones.

Hot flushes do seem to have reduced during the day and they definitely don’t go on for as long as they did but I’m still getting them regularily at night.

Mood swings have improved. I still cry at the drop of a hat but I don’t seem to get as angry.

I am still feeling completely overwhelmed and unable to cope with demands. I have a new sympathy with kids/adults with PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance).

Menstrual symptoms haven’t improved yet, all day Friday I suffered with stomach crampIt’s and headache.

I’m going to end on a positive and say that I’m generally sleeping better. Last Wednesday night I had a glorious 6hrs of sleep for the first time in I don’t know how long. I know I’m on Easter holidays but I plan to celebrate every little success!

It’s still early days but I will continue to post my thoughts and symptoms while on this menopausal rollercoaster.


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Menopause Monday – Why Does Everything Have To Be An Epic Quest?

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to another Menopause Monday post.

You may remember a while back, I bit the bullet and made an appointment to see my GP about all the symptoms I was having; he booked me in for some blood tests and scheduled an ECG for me. Read about it here.

Last week he confirmed that I was going through the menopause. Well, I think we all knew that, right?! Lol! He prescribed HRT in the form of a daily 1mg tablet of Elleste Duet and even sent my prescription direct to the pharmacy of my choice. Now that’s service!

I elected to pick up my magic pills from the Boots in town as I was going in the next day anyway; perfect.

I paid for an hour parking and Child2 and I went around town working our way through our “to do” list. I had left picking up my Elleste from Boots till last and stood patiently in the queue waiting to be served. Imagine my disappointment when the lovely pharmacist told me that unfortunately, it was out of stock – problems at the manufacturers – and wouldn’t be available until 3rd May!

Boots kindly released my prescription back to me so that I could try another chemist. I did. They were all out. 😦

So I decided to go back to my medical practice, explain the situation to my GP and get a prescription for another brand – the pharmacist in Boots recommended Kliofem or Kliovance as a suitable alternative – as I said, she was lovely.

My GP was busy but I left a message at reception explaining what had happened. I wasn’t planning on going into town for another week, so I also asked that my replacement prescription be sent to a different pharmacy closer to my home – Tanday Pharmacy+. The receptionist said that was OK, tapped away on her computer and told me that my doctor was usually very efficient and to phone back either later that day before they closed or tomorrow to make sure it had been done. Again, another very helpful lady to assist me on, what was turning into, my epic quest to get menopause relief.

I dutifully phoned first thing the next morning and was told, sorry the doctor hasn’t written my new prescription yet. I must confess to have been rather disappointed but I am known for my patience, well, that was until the Menopause hit and now you just have to take your chances on my Russian Roulette of mood swings! Lol!

It seemed I was having a “I can be patient” moment. I left it until after lunch and called again – *phew* yes, my new prescription had been written and sent as requested. I was halfway there to getting my hands on my magic pills. I decided to give the pharmacy a few hours and phoned them while I was waiting to collect Child1 and Child2 from school.

When I phoned Tanday Pharmacy+ they confirmed that that had received my prescription and that it was ready to be collected! I almost jumped for joy, however,  I was sat in the car outside of school, so I thought better of it. 😉

Tanday Pharmacy+ is on my way home, so I parked outside and went in. I waited for less than 3 minutes before I was paying the £18.00 prescription charge for the 3 months supply of my new magic pills.

So, lovely peeps, I have my magic HRT pills and have been taking them each night before I go to sleep since I picked them up. Are they helping with my menopausal symptoms? Read my next Menopause Monday post to find out. 😉

 

 

 


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Menopause Monday – Trying To See The Funny Side

Hello Lovely Followers,

If you are one of my nice new followers Hello! I would like to take a moment to explain to you what Menopause Mondays are all about. I feel that Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – we’re back to work after the weekend and the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening back in January, I shared a post about being perimenopausal; my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies (you can read it here). I found it quite therapeutic getting it all out there and decided to do it on a regular basis. Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born.

So on to this weeks post.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I had an appointment with my GP to discuss all these symptoms I’ve been having – read about it here. He booked some blood tests and scheduled an ECG which I have now had and tomorrow I find out my results and his diagnosis.

In the grand scheme of thing, I suppose I haven’t had to wait long but we all know that when you’re in that position, a couple of weeks feels like years! So tonight, to help pass the time, I thought I’d just share some funny memes that I’ve found…

That’s better, I’ve actually got a smile on my face now. 🙂 I’ll let you know next week how my discussion with my doctor went as well as what he and I have agreed to do next.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your experiences; I’m continuing to feel less of a freak after joining the Facebook group for women in the UK going through the menopause and it certainly helps to talk to others in the same boat or to just vent.

Hope you have a good week.


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Menopause Monday – Perfect Mother’s Day Gift

Hello Lovely Followers,

Here we are again, another Menopause Monday post and the last one of March! Where did that month go?!

If you are one of my nice new followers Hello! I would like to take a moment to explain to you what Menopause Mondays are all about. I feel that Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – we’re back to work after the weekend and the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening back in January, I shared a post about being perimenopausal; my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies (you can read it here). I found it quite therapeutic getting it all out there and decided to do it on a regular basis. Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born.

Here in the UK, Mothering Sunday is at the end of this week on 31st March. Is it coincidental that the clocks Spring forward an hour that weekend too? Loosing an hour of sleep doesn’t fill me with joy considering the night sweats, hot flushes, headaches and insomnia that being perimenopausal is causing. Plus it’s Mother’s Day FFS that’s just completely unfair! I want more time in bed, not less!

I don’t know if you remember my post a couple of weeks ago – Relief In A Box – I ordered a beautiful set from the lovely Karen at Wish U Well and fell in love with her products because the water spritzers and linseed eye pillow have helped with my symptoms. Well, Karen is also happy to make up custom orders too, which I thought would be perfect for a post about the menopause and Mothering Sunday; a beautiful gift box filled with goodies that would be perfect for any Mums out there plagued with menopausal (or perimenopausal) symptoms. *hint*hint*

The Menopause R&R gift box below, was a popular choice on the run up to Christmas – I wish that I’d seen it and added it to my wish list – but I thought I’d share it with you anyway to give you some inspiration for buying that perfect thank you gift for the Mum in your life as we’re all loosing an hour of sleep. A gift like the one below would go a long way to making me feel happier about the loss of sleeping time. 😉 Sorry, I just can’t let that go, can I?! Lol! Just blame it on my irrational mood swings.

Restore and Relax with this blissful Menopause kit.

Everything you need give yourself some TLC during the times you most need it.

The essential oils are carefully selected to support you through your menopausal symptoms. The Avacado Oil included is a perfect base oil for adding your favourite essential oil to use in massage.

Use the essential oils in burners, or for massage, or even add to a warm bath. The addition of infused Epsom Salts to help detox and cleanse works wonders alongside your essential oils.

This Menopause R & R kit includes a gorgeous smelling lavender heat pack to soothe aching joints and muscles, or just provide comfort in tense areas.

An eye pillow infused with Chamomile and Lemon to de-stress your eyes, meditate, or simply block out the world and melt into a blissful sleep.

Lavender and Ylang Ylang have been added to our Menopause candle to ensure the benefits of the essential oils are experienced by all your senses.

Comes beautifully packaged. A truly gorgeous gift for yourself, or to treat a friend who needs some TLC.

Contents:

1 Natural Lavender Wheat Pack.
1 Eye Pillow infused with Chamomile and Lemon.
350g 100% Pure Organic Epsom Salts infused with Lavender flowers.
I Lavender and Ylang Ylang Candle.
50ml Avacado Base Oil.
10ml Ylang Ylang Essential Oil.
10ml Lavender Essential Oil.
10ml Clary Sage Essential Oil.
10ml Orange Essential Oil.
10ml Peppermint Essential Oil.
1 Information leaflet detailing menopause symptoms and Essential Oil properties.

Some key properties of the specifically selected Essential Oils are detailed below:

Clary Sage:
Clary sage is an excellent essential oil for hormonal balancing. Its properties are known to reduce the intensity of hot flushes and night sweats, whilst aiding relaxation for better sleep. It helps to lift mood and improve mental clarity, so helping to fight the low moods caused by the menopause. The addition of improving digestion, lowering blood pressure and its estrogenic compounds make this an all round must have oil for menopause relief.

Peppermint:
Peppermint oil is a very versatile essential oil. It improves energy levels and increases concentration. It’s great for soothing aches and pains and combating headaches. Peppermint oil tops the list for easing hot flushes and night sweats due to the menthol it contains. When applied on your body the menthol kick starts your brain into telling it its cooling down.

Lavender:
Lavender is renowned for its relaxation qualities and is ideal to promote feelings of calm and uplifts mood. With its blissful aroma and the belief that it aids better sleep it is the perfect accompaniment to any bedtime routine.

Ylang Ylang:
For its uplifting smell Ylang Ylang deserves to be in every women’s wellness regime. The properties of Ylang Ylang help to relieve depressive moods, reduce stress, lift mood, induce feelings of joy and activates sensual emotions and so benefits women experiencing loss of libido. An impressive range of benfits from one oil.

Orange:
Alongside Ylang Ylang, Orange has mild aphrodisiac properties and is grouped within the citrus oils which benefit mood and muscle aches. Its smell evokes happiness and its mood lifting qualities make this an ideal oil for menopausal relief.

All Essential Oils are 100% pure unless otherwise stated.

 

If you have the time, click on any of the links above to check out Wish U Well for yourself, I’m sure that you’ll be able to find something to show the Mum in your life how much you appreciate her or be tempted to get a little something for yourself as a much needed treat!

As I’ve already said, although this amazing Menopause R&R set is no longer available – having sold out far too quickly – Karen is happy to accept custom orders. I found her really lovely and only too happy to help.

I hope you have a wonderful week and find some time for yourself in the chaos around you. 😉


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Menopause Monday – Time To See The Doctor

Hello Lovely Followers,

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that my hours at work were changing and that I would be having Mondays and Tuesdays off school. As you can imagine, although the financial implications of this are somewhat straining on the family purse-strings, it does now give me more options to see friends, visit my Mum more regularly and it’s definitely easier to make appointments without the time constraints of “school holidays only“. Not a week has gone by when I haven’t had somewhere to be or someone to see since starting my new hours!

My Mum told me recently, that she started going through The Change in her 40’s, it was tough and her migraines were off the scale during that decade but by the time she was 52 it was all done. Thinking about it now, I do remember that she seemed to always be in bed with a migraine at the weekends during my middle teenage years. Well, following advice from Mum, other family members and friends, I used my medical practice’s online system a couple of weeks ago to pre-book an appointment with my GP.  Today, I want to tell you how I got on; I think Mum and my friends were right and I’m glad I bit the bullet and saw him – I feel as though a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

So before I went to my appointment, I had to write down all the symptoms that were bothering me otherwise I knew I’d forget to tell him one (or more of them). I felt really stupid and pathetic but apparently he told me that it’s actually really helpful when patients come in with lists like that. That made me feel better straight away. So what did I have on my list of laments?

Headaches – I can’t remember a day when I haven’t had one. Especially over the last few months. I’ve taken Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Co-codamol (codeine/paracetamol), Migraine Relief from my local supermarket (ibuprofen/lysine). They dull the pain for a couple of hours but the pressure is back when it wears off.

Sight – white lights/flashing spots/fractured/tunnel vision. Sometimes leads to numb face. None of the above painkillers stop it or reduce the symptoms.

Heart flutters – don’t happen every day but they’re happening more frequently than they used to. Had a funny five walking back from doctors to my car.

Bleeding – even with IUD I’m spotting or light bleeding most months. In Feb it was a full period! I haven’t had one of those since before the kids were born.

Trouble getting a good night sleep – 5hrs max. Wake up frequently. Even when I took “drowsy” cough medicine I woke up feeling tired.

Temperature – keep getting high spikes. Had one when I was with the Dr so he witnessed that.

Memory – forgetful and easily distracted.

Emotional – I cry at the drop of a hat. My personality isn’t ‘happy, glass half full‘ these days.

Do any of you suffer with these too? All these health “niggles” started while I was still at my previous job, so I’ve been putting up with them for a good few years now but they’ve definitely getting more frequent over the last year. The trouble is, I always feel like such a fraud going to the doctors and moaning about anything. In the grand scheme of things I could name half a dozen friends plus my mother-in-law who are living with worse health complaints than I’m moaning about. I told him how I felt and he reassured me that pain was relative, that I shouldn’t compare myself to others and it’s his job to help me with my health issues.

During my appointment, my GP took my blood pressure – it’s low but within range – and listened to my heart while taking my pulse. Again very low resting heart rate at 52bpm; apparently I’ve got an athlete’s heart rate! Miracles can happen right, just need the athlete’s body to go with it?!

My GP sent me for blood tests on Friday; they needed to drain four vials of the red stuff to include thyroid screening and menopause screening. At the end of the month, I’m also booked in at my surgery for an ECG to check out my heart; I don’t know what to expect as I haven’t had one of those before. Feel free to leave a comment if you’ve had an ECG, I’d welcome any information or experiences that you don’t mind sharing. I didn’t come away from my appointment with any prescriptions for pain relief for my headaches, but he wanted me to complete a headache diary; which I’m doing.

My GP also talked about HRT and gave me some informational print outs to read. I don’t know how I feel about that; I wanted to keep to nature remedies but the couple of things I’ve tried – black cohosh and evening primrose oil –  didn’t magically erase any of my symptoms, in fact, I swear that while I was taking the black cohosh to reduce my hot flashes and night sweats, my high libido took a hit instead. Not the desired effects at all!!

I’ll keep you all posted in a couple of weeks after I’ve had all my results back and have discussed my options with my doctor. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your experiences; I’ve recently joined a Facebook group for women going through the menopause and it certainly helps to talk to others in the same boat or to just vent.

Hope you have a good week.


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Menopause Monday – Relief In A Box

Hello Lovely Followers,

Here we are again, another Menopause Monday post.

If you are one of my nice new followers, (hello) I would like to take a moment to explain what Menopause Mondays are all about. I feel that Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – back to work after the weekend and the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening back in January, I shared a post about being perimenopausal – my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies (you can read it here). I found it quite therapeutic getting it all out there and decided to do it on a regular basis. Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born.

This week, rather than ranting or complaining about being perimenopausal, I wanted to share with you a wonderful little set that I bought from EtsyUK. It’s it a beautiful little Menopause set, sold by Wish U Well – a Southampton based company owned by wellness consultant, Karen Debra Lendon – that is supposed to help relieve those most common menopause symptoms; Hot Flushes and Mood Swings.

I have certainly been enjoying the benefits of using the sprays and oils that came in my box. The sprays give me an instant cool down that I need during a hot flush and the aromas help to keep my mood calm and relaxed; I keep the Peppermint Water Spritz next to my bed while the Camomile Water Spritz comes with me to work in my handbag and then sits next to me each evening in the lounge while I watch telly.

The beautifully scented linseed eye pillow not only helps to calm my mood as soon as I place it over my eyes but when I put it in the freezer and then use it, it’s coolness also works miracles at easing my headaches too.

Karen’s philosophy of looking at the whole picture rather than just the symptoms is something close to my heart which is what drew me to her Etsy shop in the first place. This is how Karen explains what Wellness means to her on her website;

Wellness is the positive union of mind, body and soul.

Hi and welcome to Wish U Well.

I am Karen, a wellness coach, teacher, mentor and founder of Wish U Well.

Wellbeing is at the heart of my personal and professional life and I believe that physical and mental wellness go hand in hand.

Through workshops and seminars I began sharing my knowledge and expertise with others. Realising that there is a wealth of practices and products that others are keen to benefit from I felt inspired to create a wellness brand.

Interest grew and with the encouragement and support of my family Wish U Well was born.

I am passionate about health and a firm believer in the mind, body connection. I am continually researching and developing products to support the needs of modern life and specifically targets common health concerns, such as anxiety and stress.

Self-development, an open mind and a holistic lifestyle has taught me the power of self healing and consciously creating better health.

Meditation, exercise and positive practices have had an immense impact on my wellbeing.

I bring my mind into focus with Peppermint Oil and relax to the smell of Ylang Ylang.

Positive energy combined with loving self-care is the best recipe for improved well-being.

Wishing you well.
Karen 🙂

 

If you have the time, click on any of the links above to check out Wish U Well for yourself and give one of her delicious products a go for yourself! Although my little set is no longer available – having sold out – Karen is happy to accept custom orders. I found her really lovely and only too happy to help.

I hope you have a stress-free week and find peace in the chaos. 😉


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Slimming World vs The Menopause

Hello Lovely Followers,

If you are one of my nice new followers, I should explain that I publish two regular posts a week. Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – back to work after the weekend, the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening I shared a post about being perimenopausal – my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies (read it here). Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born.

Back in August 2017 I was persuaded to join Slimming World by my mum (read my post here). I have done really well and decided to start sharing my weight loss journey with you, my lovely followers. I attend my local group on Wednesday evenings to get weighed and get inspired, so when I get back home I post how I’ve got on, any tips and what my loss or gain is for the week using the Weight Loss Wednesday tag.

Last week I was overjoyed to come in with a fabulous 2.5 lbs loss! My focus has been rewarded again this week with a 1.5lbs loss!

I have struggled with emotional eating and cravings this week; imagine my surprise and joy at finding this article on Slimming World about weight loss while going through the menopause! I just had to share it.

Many of you have been in touch with us to ask how the menopause might affect your weight loss journey – we’ve taken a look below.

The good news is that there’s little evidence that the menopause should be a direct cause of weight gain or inability to lose weight. Some people see an increase in weight particularly during middle age – this is thought to be primarily due to change in lifestyle and a gradual decrease in the amount of physical activity we do. So a healthy diet (Food Optimising!) and exercise (Body Magic!) will help you reach your ideal weight.

Staying on your weight loss journey

Increasing your level of physical activity can not only help weight loss by helping you expend more energy whilst active but it also helps preserve muscle tissue, and with maintaining your metabolic rate.

As at any time during your weight loss journey including plenty of Free Foods and Speed Free Foods in your daily Food Optimising will help satisfy your appetite and give your weight loss a boost.

You are what you eat

Eating a varied, well balanced diet during the menopause is beneficial to overall health, as it is at any time of life, but there are also some specific nutritional issues that are worth considering at this time.

Calcium

During the menopause, a good calcium intake along with a physically active lifestyle is considered important to help ensure that bones remain as strong as possible. Bones become weaker as we age due to the loss of calcium. Large losses can result in osteoporosis whereby bones become so weak and brittle they easily break. Women lose bone at a faster rate during the menopause due to changes in hormone levels, particularly oestrogen. Oestrogen normally helps maintain bone strength by preventing the loss of calcium but levels of oestrogen fall during menopause. The importance of calcium in bone health, particularly in maintaining bone strength as we age, has been the subject of much research. The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) recommends that women ensure a good dietary intake of calcium during the menopause.

The main sources of calcium are dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurts. Low fat dairy products such as skimmed milk still contain plenty of calcium.

Extra calcium from supplements has not been shown to have much effect on bone loss during the menopause. However, supplements may be of more benefit in later stages – some studies found that calcium supplements slowed the loss of bone in women five years post-menopause. If you’re considering taking calcium supplements we’d suggest you discuss this with your GP first.

Vitamin D

This vitamin is also important for bone health as it is needed for calcium to be absorbed from food. Most of our vitamin D is made in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Dietary sources include fortified spreads, meat and oily fish and are important for those whose exposure to sunlight is limited. However, as sunlight is mainly relied on to produce vitamin D, and there are few dietary sources, many individuals may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency. As such everyone aged one year and over has a recommended dietary intake of 10 micrograms per day of vitamin D. Public Health England recommends that:

  • All individuals aged 5+ should consider taking a 10 micrograms supplement to ensure their intake is adequate between October and March when the skin is unable to produce vitamin D from sunlight
  • People with limited exposure to sunshine (i.e. those seldom outdoors, or who cover their skin when outdoors) or those from minority ethnic groups with dark skin, such as those from African, African-Caribbean or South Asian backgrounds, should consider a daily 10 micrograms supplement throughout the year.

Iron

Women’s iron requirements decrease at the time of menopause when periods stop. Requirements are then reduced to the same level as men (8.7 micrograms/day). Therefore, although there is a reduction in requirements, it is still important to include a variety of sources of iron in the diet. The best sources of iron are lean red meat, poultry and fish. Iron can also be obtained from plant foods such as dark green vegetables, pulses and nuts but is not absorbed as well as that from meat. Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron from plant foods so it helps to include vitamin C containing foods (such as fruits, salad and green vegetables) within a meal.

Physical activity

It’s recommended that we should all aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 times a week to stay fit and healthy and help control our weight. This can include activities such as walking, swimming or gardening and doesn’t have to mean taking part in strenuous sports. Any activity that makes you feel warmer and speeds up your breathing and heart rate, while still being able to hold a conversation, counts as moderate activity. Including more activity into daily routines all counts, for example:

  • taking the stairs instead of the lift
  • walking short distances instead of taking the car
  • getting on the bus one stop further away

You’ll find lots of Body Magic inspiration in our activity section, including Building your steps to activity, Easy exercises at home and Choosing the right fitness class.

Phyto-oestrogens

Many women experience a range of symptoms during the menopause such as hot flushes, night sweats, dry skin, poor concentration and mood swings. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) often helps relieve these symptoms and has been shown to help prevent the development of osteoporosis.

There has been recent interest in the role of phyto-oestrogens as a more natural alternative to HRT to help alleviate some menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes. The idea arose due to the fact that women in Japan tend to have a much higher intake of phyto-oestrogens in their diet and a much lower prevalence of menopausal symptoms than women in Western countries. Phyto-oestrogens are a group of substances found in plant foods, such as soya beans, and resemble oestrogen hormones. They have been found to act in a similar way to oestrogen hormones but have a weaker effect.

The potential benefits of phyto-oestrogens are currently being investigated in a number of studies. However, at present the effects are not clear – while a number of studies have shown a beneficial effect, others have not. The British Nutrition Foundation suggests that further studies are needed before firm recommendations can be made and appropriate advice given. They advise that anyone suffering from menopausal symptoms consult their GP to discuss the most appropriate treatment. However, those wishing to try increasing their intake of phyto-oestrogens could include more of the following foods in their diet:

  • soya beans (Free and also an F symbol)

  • tofu (plain or naturally smoked tofu is Free)

  • soya milk (calcium-enriched soya drink can be used as a Healthy Extra choice)

  • linseed (4 Syns per level tablespoon, 6½ Syns per 25g or 2 level tablespoons can be used as a Healthy Extra choice)