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Muffins for Menopause Symptoms

Okay, so they’re not exactly magical. I’m just a fan of alliteration. They are safe for people without any menopause symptoms so I advise hiding them.

While you might have had a bad experience with gluten free muffins in the past these ones have such a great texture that you wouldn’t even know they were gluten free! I know… that’s a bold claim. If you’re wondering what does a Functional Health Coach know about baking? I used to own an award winning gluten free bakery.

The magic comes from the following ingredients which all support the (peri)menopausal woman:

High fibre – almond flour, flaxseed, psyllium husk

Good fats – coconut yoghurt, coconut oil, flaxseed, eggs

Antioxidants, Anti-inflammatory, Positive impact on blood sugar – cinnamon

Low sugar – you could switch to the same weight of a liquid sweetener like maple syrup or even make them keto by switching out the sugar for erythritol, I don’t because these sugar alcohol substitutes aren’t good for your gut health.

Ingredients

Wet-

80g coconut oil, melted and cooled

100g coconut yoghurt

4 medium eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

Dry-

45g freshly ground flaxseed (I use a little spice blender)

150g almond flour (ground almonds will do in a pinch)

60g brown or coconut sugar

2.5 T cinnamon (yes, that’s Tablespoon)

1 tsp psyllium husk

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

Decoration-

150g Blueberries, washed and dried

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C or 350°F. Line a muffin tray with 10 silicon or paper cases.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together.
  3. Whisk wet ingredients together.
  4. Add the wet to the dry gently mix together with a spatula.
  5. Fill muffin cases a little over three-quarters full.
  6. Place your blueberries gently into the top of each muffin.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Cool for 10 minutes or so.
  9. Eat.

Seriously that’s it! They’re great to keep on hand for snacking emergencies. Sadly that never happens in my house as I haven’t told my husband and boys that these are magical menopause muffins and they just keep eating them.

Here’s a link to my midlife program https://practicalhealthcoach.uk/making-midlife-better/ or, if you’d like to have a chat about whether coaching could help you here’s another link https://calendly.com/practicalhealthcoach/coachingmagic

The Japanese have no word for menopause

Why is nobody asking why the Japanese have no word for menopause or perimenopause or hot flash?

Perhaps because it’s complicated without a one pill fits all answer, and is further compounded by the medical data gap which results in excluding women from research as we’re not as simple as men.

For me the glaringly obvious answer lies in diet, lifestyle and environment changes. How can we create shifts away from our current Western approach to use what works better in other countries? I’ve lived and worked in lots of different countries. Singapore was hands down the easiest place to be a working parent. The UK has been the worst.

Crash and Burn

To be honest it’s not surprising that we crash and burn during this midlife hormonal shift. Most women have been running on empty for years and entering perimenopause is the proverbial last straw.

When I say running on empty I’m talking about women in their 30s with children who have already done the equivalent of a full day’s work before 9am, and then they begin their paid work. By the time that they’re in their 40s they’ve already had over a decade of this and childcare doesn’t stop just because kids become teenagers.

Let’s add in some additional stressors like maybe a separation or divorce, a house move, financial worries, a renovation, a child with additional needs, caring for aging parents… and let’s manage these extras with, perhaps, alcohol. You’ve had a tough week and you absolutely deserve that glass of shiraz on Friday. That one glass becomes a couple, and you repeat on Saturday too, why not?

You don’t have time for exercise, you’re far too exhausted. Dinner is whatever’s quick and easy, it might be a takeaway. Your sleep isn’t great. In fact when was the last time that you woke up feeling ready to go get ‘em?

Perimenopause – a health disaster waiting to happen

Against this background it’s not hard to see why perimenopause completely derails you. In fact it would be astonishing if it didn’t.

While there’s a place for HRT (although it’s generally prescribed without any testing…) there’s so much that you can do with lifestyle changes. If you want to find out how I can help, here’s a link to my program: https://practicalhealthcoach.uk/making-midlife-better/

hormones and gut health

Maybe you’re in that mid-life zone and not feeling like yourself… for example clothes aren’t fitting
like they used to, and diet strategies that used to work no longer help you to shift those couple of
extra pounds. You’ve noticed that your brain feels a bit ‘foggy’ and you don’t wake up feeling
refreshed and ready to go and get the day. In fact now that you think about it you’re feeling worn
out and don’t recognise the woman in the mirror.

Hormones and Gut Health

We know. We’ve been there and (thankfully!) come out the other side. We created the hormones
and gut health workshop to support and inform you with regards to optimal nutrition and lifestyle
changes for this time in your life.

This day was dreamt up through shared experience, research and many conversations surrounding
nutrition, lifestyle, and wellbeing. We’re incredibly passionate about sharing this message as many
women are needlessly suffering from the effects of hormonal imbalances.

Invitation

We’re inviting you to spend the day with us in the lovely setting of Rudyard Lake to explore and
understand our hormones and gut health to gather a tool kit which will work for you and your body. When we
support our hormones, they in turn can support us.

A full day which is all about YOU

In addition to discussion and insights on nutrition, stress management, resetting your body clock and
other Functional Health protocols. You will have the chance to create a ferment to take home, spend
some time in nature, and experience a guided breathing session. During the day you’ll enjoy a healthy lunch, light snacks and herbal teas.

It is worthwhile booking early as places are limited. (Not just saying this! We’re purposefully keeping the group small).
You’ll leave us at the end of the day with a goody bag, the ferment you have created, and more
information to focus on areas where you need additional support.

Who are we? Well there’s me, I’m a board certified Functional Health Coach who specialises in working with mid-life women to improve their mental and physical health. Emma Cronin from Wild Pickle http://www.wildpickle.co.uk is a creator and educator in fermented foods for 10 years, forager and maker of delicious and nutritious foods.
The day is aimed at women approaching perimenopause and onwards. It’s a great opportunity to draw a line in the sand, and create change.

We are excited about hosting you day and look forward to seeing you there!

Here’s the link for tickets: https://buy.stripe.com/4gwaIzeXLeO3aJibII

Women's hair loss

Breaking a taboo. That’s what my new course on How to Manage Women’s Hair Loss does. Nobody talks about this. Women (who generally discuss everything with friends) don’t talk about this. It might possibly be something that your hairdresser brings up if you have a solid long-term relationship.

Hair shedding

When it first happened to me I was already hyper-aware of the subject of hair loss as my son had been diagnosed with alopecia the year before. That said, I thought I was just noticing the shedding BECAUSE I knew about alopecia. In truth I was completely in denial.

While I didn’t have lots of hair on my pillow, I did notice a lot of shedding after washing my hair. Again, I could dismiss this as ‘normal’… it’s wonderful how we can rationalize what we don’t want to deal with! The moment when I realised that this wasn’t actually normal was when (and this is gross, if you’re eating please stop reading) my hair kept turning up in food that I’d prepared. When that happens repeatedly it’s really not something that you can ignore.

This was just one of the side effects of my hormones being completely out of whack – that’s a technical term, and it wasn’t even the worst symptom. Looking back stress was a big trigger. I’d had a major health scare in 2014. Then I started a gluten free bakery business which looked good on paper. It was making money, we’d won many national awards for our bread, cakes and biscuits, and my team was brilliant the flip-side of that was working 60+ hours a week, while looking after my three children by myself (my husband worked away). Oh and doing all of the other stuff that women do when they run a household.

Did I ask for help? Nope. I thought that the answer was just to work harder…

I managed to create an exit strategy after getting off the hamster wheel for a short break in France. This brief pause made me realise how unsustainable both my business and family life were. The holiday was in August and by the following January I’d turned the door sign to ‘Closed’ for the final time. While my customers were sad, I was euphoric and turned my attention to my health.

Your body’s signal for help!

So yes I know all about how we fool ourselves into thinking that hair loss isn’t really an issue. Think of it like the canary in a coalmine. Your body is sending you (not so subtle) messages that all isn’t well. If you don’t listen these signs become even more obvious until you really can’t avoid them. Like getting a mouthful of hair. Yum.

It’s a monthly subscription which is priced at around a third less than my coach advised… I don’t want price to be a barrier. (Yes, I know that price can be used as an excuse for not spending cash, i.e investing in yourself). If it makes you feel better about buying it now the price will be increasing in January! And if you’re wondering why, you should meet my coach.

I’m happy to run the first three months as a pilot and then re-evaluate. This means that rather than waiting until the New Year to start making a big change, you can start now and actually start experiencing regrowth by January (it takes 2/3 months for growth to start).

How to Manage Women’s Hair Loss is an online self-study course, plus a monthly group coaching session (third Thursday of the month 19:30 UK time). Yes, this means that the first one is next week.

I’m delighted to include this group coaching session as this is where you’ll have the chance to learn from others and start to put the pieces together yourself.

Interested? Here’s the link: https://practicalhealthcoach.thinkific.com/courses/how-to-manage-womens-hair-loss

Practical Health Coach

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while as I’m aware that my happiness levels have increased quite dramatically over the last six months. What’s changed? Well in a nutshell, it’s me. In April 2021 I began a program with the purpose of improving mental fitness. It was a 6 week program which included daily exercises, videos and a monthly live coaching program. which assesses then builds upon your Positive Intelligence Quotient (PQ).

As a Health Coach I was highly skeptical at first as I already had fitness and meditation routines in place. My sleep patterns were pretty good, but this is an area that I’ve struggled with in the past. I’m no stranger to the devastating impact of being woken up by whirling thoughts at 3 am which would stay with me for hours and took me back to the sleep deprivation of being a new Mum.

I already had an awareness of the impact of negative thoughts from my study of Dr David Hawkins work. For example, 80% of your thousands of daily thoughts are negative, and 95% of these are circling around subconsciously on repeat. In the past this supported our survival as it was helpful to remember that when your friend Brian ate those berries he had diarrhoea for a week, or that that bear asleep in a cave didn’t appreciate being woken up. These evolutionary traits are slow to catch up with how we’re actually living today.

PQ Program

The PQ program helped me by specifically identifying my personal saboteurs that were having a negative impact on my life. Once I started to recognise them I could see that they were showing up everywhere. I could look back on decisions that I’d made with a knowing Aha! It could easily have become overwhelming, however the PQ program teaches you how to fundamentally change your response rather than continue with the default decision-making that you have in place. In my case that default process had been reliably used for the last 40+ years. Incredibly you can shift this in as little as 6 weeks.

The game changer is having the ability to shift your personal saboteurs which means that you stop sabotaging your own life.

What changes did I make?

My diet and exercise program both received an upgrade, my sleep improved. However the biggest change for me was stopping drinking alcohol. I knew that it wasn’t good for me, and drinking even one glass of wine would make me feel unwell in the morning. My body was definitely sending me signs that alcohol didn’t suit me. Despite knowing all of this, and even being aware of it for years I continued to drink socially. After a couple of months of the PQ program I was able to say ‘Enough’ and was able to stop. It was as if my brain was finally able to catch up and listen to the signals that my body had been sending. I’m four months in and am feeling fantastic, plus I keep receiving compliments on how ‘healthy’ I look.

How can improving mental fitness help you?

Let’s see! What are your goals? What do you have a niggly feeling that you want to change? What do you regularly do that annoys you, and you wish that you could stop? The brilliant thing about this program is that you bring the goals that you’ve had in the back of your mind for a while, but have struggled to achieve. Upgrading your mental fitness has the versatility to be applied to ANY area of your life. For example, your weight, exercise, sleep, relationships, decision-making ability, stress management, being a better parent, driving (!). The PQ program adapts to fit your unique needs, your particular saboteurs and your goals. If you’re interested to find out more here’s a link to the Saboteur assessment. https://practicalhealthcoach.uk/mental-fitness/

I always have new group programs starting (videos are out on a Saturday, live group coaching is on a Monday), please get in touch if you’d like to find out how to be happier. As a board certified Health Coach I’m delighted to partner with Shirzad Chamine and bring his life-changing ideas to you, here’s his TEDx talk if you’d like to know more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zdJ1ubvoXs