Read the full video transcript below
Hello, and welcome to my weekly video blog. Now, here in the UK, spring is coming, and it’s a great time for change. And as you can see, we’ve had a little bit of a change here. We’ve also changed the name of the weekly videos, and we’re now going to be called A.Vogel Talks Menopause. But don’t worry. We’re still going to be out at the same time, every week on a Monday evening, and the format is going to be exactly the same.
So, today, because spring is starting to arrive, I’m going to talk about spring cleaning. Now, I can remember when I was little that every spring my mum would spring clean the house, and everything would be washed, and tidied up, and brightened up. And it was a wonderful feeling after the long, dark months of the winter to have a lovely, fresh house. And our bodies need a little bit of a spring clean or a detox after the long winter months. Now, for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere who are coming up to autumn, autumn is another great time to do a detox as well. So you can do it either spring or autumn, or you could do it twice a year if you want to.
How hormones affect the body
Now, we know that in the menopause the changing hormones can slow down our digestion. They can cause bloating, and they can cause wind and cramping. Our circulation can get really sluggish, and that can cause mental fogginess. It can cause palpitations. It can cause feelings of fatigue.
And we know, too, that we can get joint pains from the hormonal changes as well. And our livers get really stressed, especially during the winter months when we’re eating lots of higher carbohydrates and more comforting food. And all these things can have an effect on our energy. And doing a little bit of the detox or a little bit of an internal spring clean can often sort out a lot of these symptoms as well.
Gentle spring clean
So all you need, basically, is to give yourself 10 days for a nice, gentle spring clean. And just pamper yourself, give yourself a little bit more time, and it’s amazing how different you can feel after the 10 days. You don’t have to give up your work. You don’t have to change things dramatically. So this is not like shutting yourself away, but you’re just going to maybe need to organize your time just a little bit more and give some more time to yourself.
Questions, questions, questions
But before I talk about the actual plan, there’s quite a few questions that people ask as you start a detox. So I thought I would go through those first, just to maybe shatter some of the myths. A lot of people think that a detox is gonna be really horrible. You’re going to feel ill, and you’re going to have to eat the most awful food. Well, yes, you know, if you’re going to follow some of these really weird detoxes where you’re drinking strange things for three days and not eating anything, or if you have to give up meals, or you have to restrict your calorie intake, then, yes, you will feel really awful. And that’s the most important thing in the menopause, is that going on any kind of low-calorie diet is really not going to help you at all and can actually cause weight gain. So this is not about counting calories. It’s just about changing our diet in some very, very simple ways.
Tea, coffee and fizzy drinks
A lot of people worry about giving up tea or coffee and fizzy drinks. Yes. This is probably the most difficult thing to do, because caffeine is addictive, and if you give up on the spot, you’ll probably gonna end up quite ill. You’re gonna have these horrible, detoxing headaches, which are really not nice at all. So it’s really important if you drink tea, or coffee, or fizzy drinks to actually start decreasing a couple of weeks before you actually jump into the detox itself.
Do I have to give up my favourite foods?
We get asked, “Do I have to give up my favorite foods?” Well, again, if you eat lots of high-salt, high-sugar foods and processed foods, then, yes, these really need to be cut out your diet. But what we’re aiming for here really is just to adapt your own diet to be a little bit more healthy, so you’re not actually feeling deprived. If you feel deprived, then, you know, we’re just going to give up. So it’s important that you’re actually eating foods that you’re going to enjoy. Now, and the great thing is that after the 10 days you’re likely to feel so much better that you won’t actually want to jump back into your old ways anyway.
How do you prepare for a detox?
So, how do you prepare for the detox? First of all, as I’ve said before, give yourself a 10-day window so that you can really look after yourself, so that you’re not particularly stressed, and so that you’re going to have time to do all the things that you need to do. Two weeks beforehand, if you’re drinking tea or coffee, start to cut down slowly and just start to increase your water, your fruit or vegetable-flavoured waters. Maybe you could try rooibos tea or some of our Bambu coffee, if you want a nice coffee substitute.
Remove all tempting foods
Remove all the tempting foods from your cupboards. And this is why I never recommend going on a diet or doing a detox straight after Christmas or into the new year, because we still have so many of those foods in our kitchen cupboards. So, we always wait at least one to two months afterwards so that things are a little bit clearer. So clean out your cupboards, and start making a list of all the foods that you’re going to need.
Introduce fresh foods to your diet
We’re looking at introducing fresher foods into your diet. So, you probably will need to shop little and often rather than doing just one big weekly shop. And just give yourself that little bit of extra time. Now, what are the softer foods that we’re looking at for eating? Obviously lots of water and look at plenty of fresh vegetables, one or two pieces of fruit a day. Don’t eat too much fruit, because remember that can give you a bit of a sugar hit, which is not particularly good for you.
Add plenty of protein to your diet
Get plenty of protein into your diet. We know that protein needs tend to go up, and if you’re having problems with your hair and your nails are soft, and an indication that your protein is maybe not high enough. So go for really nice low-fat meats, your fish, your oily fish, and some maybe free-range or organic eggs. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, then just increase your normal protein combinations that you would have normally, and maybe just add in a protein powder drink on a daily basis as well.
Cut out sugar
Cut out sugar. That really is the important thing. Try to cut out sugar completely if you can. If you need a little bit of sweetness with anything, then go maybe for just a little bit of honey, but don’t go overboard on that.
Cut out white foods
Cut out all your white foods, so that’s your white bread, white flour foods, white rice, white spaghetti or pasta, and go for wholemeal instead. So you’re gonna have a nice variety of good wholesome foods that are going to make you feel nice and full after each meal.
Cut down on dairy
Try and cut down on dairy as well if you can. Dairy’s a little bit mucus-forming. It can cause bloating in some people. A little bit of plain organic yoghurt can be really good for our lovely, friendly bacteria in the digestive system.
Add healthy fats
Healthy fats, really important. We need good fats in the menopause, contrary to belief. So go for your organic olive oil, your coconut oils as well. And for those of you that have dairy, maybe just a tiny little bit of organic butter if you absolutely need it.
Helpful remedies during your detox
Herbs such as Milk Thistle Complex and Solidago Complex are known to help support liver and kidney function respectively. If you tend to get bloating you may find adding Molkosan Vitality to your daily plan eases it, and taking a probiotic can help with making your elimination better.
Relax and give yourself time
And plenty of time. Do that relaxation. Remember 30 minutes 'me time' every day is absolutely worth its weight in gold. And remember to breathe. We breathe toxins out on a regular basis. So deep breathing will actually help with the whole detox process. So, remember to do that maybe two or three times a day, just a few minutes of slow, deep breathing. And this is also great if you tend to get a little bit wound up or anxious.
What can you eat?
So, there we go. It’s really, really simple. I’ve got a list here of the sorts of meals that you can plan for the next 10 days, so please have a little look at those.
My detox meal suggestions
This is just a basic suggestion – there are lots of simple healthy eating books around, so check out your local library, bookstore or Amazon.
Breakfast could be a choice of:
- Fruit salad or muesli (without sugar!) with a little organic plain yogurt
- Organic or free range egg with a choice of veg such as tomatoes, mushrooms, sautéed red onion etc
- Smoked salmon spread with low fat cream cheese and tomato
- Organic porridge with rice milk
Lunch could be a choice of:
- Homemade vegetable soup
- Mixed salad with protein such as tuna, boiled egg, cooked chicken, tofu, or beans etc.
- Wholemeal sandwich or wrap with a healthy filling such as guacamole, hummus, salad and either lean meat or a bean mix.
Dinner could be:
- Fresh fish and a combination of fresh vegetables
- Vegetable or chicken curry with brown rice
- Nut roast with steamed veg
- Stir fry
- Spag bol with wheat free or wholemeal pasta
If you find that your blood sugar levels are a bit jumpy then have a mid-morning and afternoon snack. A mix of dried fruits, nuts and seeds is great for a pick me-up or for satiating a hunger attack.
For lots of healthy recipes and food inspiration check out our recipes.
If you decide to do the detox, let me know how you get on afterwards. Tell me how you feel, if you feel better, if your symptoms have decreased a little bit, which they may well do. Just sometimes cleaning up your diet can actually help. And the great thing about doing this detox is that it’s a little prelude to going on and maybe doing some weight control work, which I will be talking about in a few weeks.
So, hope you’ve enjoyed this. And I will look forward to seeing you again next week for another edition of A.Vogel Talks Menopause.