The dialogue around menopause is changing. When Laura and I started writing our Eating Well for Menopause booklet, we felt that there was not enough conversation around health and food for women at this time in their lives. We felt that it was time to reframe menopause and improve the conversation and we were not alone. We seemed to hit on a hot topic and the landscape has changed radically in the last year or so.
It is great to see new charities appear, celebrities using their position to be vocal about this topic and businesses beginning to understand that women in the workforce should have support. Menopause is becoming more open meaning that it easier to get information and to talk about it.
Menopause can occur any time between 40 and 60 with the average being 51 years. Peri-menopause is when hormone levels start to shift leading to the last menstrual period and covers the first year after menopause. The effects of peri-menopause is different for every woman and can last on average between 2 and 5 years. The effect on women’s lives varies enormously.
The symptoms that peri-menopause can bring like poor sleep, hot flushes, feeling more emotional and maybe a bit of brain fog to name a few, can be uncomfortable or inconvenient. When you add to the mix the general stuff of life that women will be managing during peri-menopause this really makes it a time where women need to prioritise their own well-being. Many women are working either full or part time and may be holding senior jobs, many will have dependent children or needing support through university and may also be supporting older relatives as well.
Retreats are a great way to take a bit of time out from the chaos and carve out space to consider yourself. I have been working on the idea of a retreat for women going through menopause for a little while now and I am happy to say that the test run retreat is ready to take bookings.
Situated in Brittany, the venue is small and intimate – space for just 6 women to relax, unwind an learn how to make food part of their toolkit to manage menopause and health long after. I will arrange several session tackling different aspects of food and menopause including the benefits of phytoestrogens.
Our host, Anita Valero, is a long time vegetarian who lived for many years in Japan. Owning a cooking studio in Yokohama called ‘Do you Tofu?’, she is an expert in cooking with soya and tofu and will be demonstrating her skills, cooking all our meals and providing tasters throughout the weekend.
For more information have a look at the video or click here.