Catherine O’Keeffe: Every day I will hear a different yet similar story from women of how they are feeling and what symptoms they are finding challenging.
This week I’m sharing a chat with the wellness warrior, Catherine O’Keeffe. She is a Menopause Workplace Consultant, founder of Wellness Warrior, and creator of the Menopause Success Summit. She helps organisations implement a comprehensive menopause strategy that leads to meaningful change. Catherine is on a mission to shatter the menopause taboo, for good. Catherine is going to share with you some invaluable information about menopause and I have a delicious sides recipe.
Catherine is an amazing advocate for women’s health and here is some of the advice she kindly shared with me.
“What are the most common problems women come to speak to me about? That’s a long list! Memory issues causing work-related stress, loss of confidence, anxiety, vaginal atrophy, urinary issues, relationships, loss of libido... all the general symptoms to be honest.
“Every day I will hear a different yet similar story from women of how they are feeling and what symptoms they are finding challenging. The vast majority of my corporate work revolves around loss of confidence, anxiety and sleep issues and the knock-on effect they have.
“We are much more conscious now of future-proofing our health — we are living longer; menopause is happening now at the mid-life of our years. Years ago, menopause happened closer to a women’s final years — so we have to think not just about menopause but about the future. How best can we live into our 80’s and 90’s.
“Sleep and stress are big factors when it comes to brain health — these are the key areas to tackle in your younger years to prepare for the future. They cannot be underestimated in terms of long-term impact. So, make sure you review your sleep pattern, the quality of your sleep and how rested you feel the next day….if you need to work on this do it now. Pull out all the stops to get your sleep right. It all starts and ends with sleep.
"Stress has to be managed, we all know some level of stress is good for us and keeps us ticking but ongoing chronic stress depletes your adrenal glands and is not friend to our brain health. Start meditating, exercise, eat well, talk about what is causing you stress — look at every way you can eliminate stressors from your life."
Top tips for women heading to perimenopause/menopause:
1. Knowledge is power - make informed choices on your treatment options.
2. Drink more room temperature water - moisture is key at this time.
3. Monitor your caffeine intake - it triggers many of the symptoms of menopause especially sleep and anxiety issues.
4. Watch your alcohol intake - our livers are working hard at this time without the addition of excess alcohol.
5. Connection - chat to your family and friends about how you are feeling, keep talking about your menopause it will help you feel supported through these years. Keep connected to your friends — a walk in the park, a run together, a zoom coffee whatever it is keep talking.
6. Keep moving - great for your moods and for your brain and bone health.
7. Prioritise sleep - I always say it is the bedrock of thriving through menopause.
8. Food first - get your good nutrients through a healthy diet.
9. Investigate supplements to support you through these years.
10. Ask your employer to support the menopause conversation!
Wellness Exercise: Look into your health. If there is something you have been putting off, get it done. A visit to the dentist, a GP check-up, getting your bloods checked, give your health the priority this week!
Exercise Tip: Lunges — standing with knees bent slightly — take a step forward and lower yourself down into a lunge pose. (If you struggle with knee exercises, have a chair beside you to lean on). Step back up straight and repeat with your other leg. Repeat 10 and do it twice. These are great for waking up tired legs.
Pea and mint dip recipe by:Derval O'Rourke An easy dip best served with veggies and crackers. Servings 2 Preparation Time 10 mins Total Time 10 mins Course Side Ingredients ½ bag frozen peas handful of fresh mint leaves zest and juice of 1 lemon 2 garlic cloves 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 1 tbsp tahini coarse salt and pepper Method Cook peas in salted boiling water until tender, 1 minute. Set aside to cool. Pulse peas in a food processor with mint, lemon zest and juice, garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and tahini. Season with salt and pepper; drizzle with oil. Serve with veggie batons and crackers.
recipe by:Derval O'Rourke
An easy dip best served with veggies and crackers.
handful of fresh mint leaves
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Cook peas in salted boiling water until tender, 1 minute. Set aside to cool.
Pulse peas in a food processor with mint, lemon zest and juice, garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and tahini.
Season with salt and pepper; drizzle with oil.
Serve with veggie batons and crackers.
Read MoreDerval O'Rourke: My oaty breakfast muffins and five easy ways to increase your fibre intake
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