Perimenopause, nutrition and wellbeing: “Become an expert on your own body”
Naturopathic nutritionist and health coach Claudine Thornhill joins Happiful’s podcast to share practical tips around optimising your nutrition, managing your wellbeing and becoming an expert on yourself in perimenopause
Claudine Thornhill is an advocate for women’s mental, physical and nutritional health and, as she shares with Happiful, believes that with good nutrition, self work and self-compassion we can navigate the perimenopause and menopause more positively.
Speaking on our I am. I have podcast, Claudine outlines some of the practical and everyday ways we can address, support and protect our wellbeing.
- One of the key things is really just to increase that connection and awareness with your body and your emotions. That's the first step. This will help you if you’re speaking with a GP or a healthcare professional.
- Come from the position as the expert on your own body. Track your symptoms. Whether you use a period tracking app, note things down on your phone or write it on a piece of paper, tracking your cycle, sleep, your stress levels and also what you've eaten as well is important. See what patterns there might be.
- If we eat in a way that balances blood sugar levels, that’s a good way to go and that includes a decent amount, in quantity and quality, of carbohydrates. It might be whole rolled oats, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and white potatoes as well. This should make up around a quarter of your meal plate.
- Protein is also important as we move through perimenopause. Osteoporosis can be a concern and so thinking about the protein and minerals that will support our bone health is key. So lean chicken, fish and foodstuffs like that. Also, if we’re starting to see unwanted weight gain around the middle, protein will help keep us fuller for longer. This should make up around a quarter of your meal plate too.
- Vegetables play a key role in our diet at this time of life, particularly dark leafy vegetables, as they support our liver function which is vital. Vegetables will also provide energy, which we all need. Veggies should make up half of your plate.
- Be mindful around stimulants like sugar, alcohol and caffeine which can cause insulin spikes or have an impact on cortisol, the stress hormone. Try not to drink caffeine too late in the day, and choose green tea which still has some caffeine for that kick but also contains flavonoids.
- Address stress! Find activities that help you cope and destress. That will be different things for different people but breathwork, meditation, drawing, painting, writing and singing. Singing and the expression that comes with it is so good for you as it moves and shifts energy through your body.
Recommended reading and listening
Le’Nise Brothers - Period Story Podcast and You Can Have a Better Period
Masie Hill - Period Power Podcast, Period Power and Perimenopause Power
Karen Arthur - Menopause Whilst Black Podcast
Find out more about Claudine and her work.