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My basic Christmas survival toolkit

Perimenopausal Christmas Survival Guide Part 1: Top Tips

In the throes the transition or post menopause? Then Christmas holiday season can become overwhelming, tiring, push anxiety levels through the roof and generally take the joy out of it for you and that means your loved ones too. 

Never forget you are still that powerful woman you've always been but now you need to bring in the cavalry on your journey through the menopause. 

Are you wanting a great time but dreading putting on lots of weight so are thinking you have to deprive yourself? 

My Menopausal Christmas Survival Toolkit will give you some ideas for what to do, what avoid and what fabulous healthy and delicious choices you can make in order for you to look good and feel healthy in January! 

Yes we all know it is very easy to throw caution to the wind and indulge a little too much over the Christmas holidays, then feel down beat, upset and disheartened as the New Year begins as you bemoan the excesses. There's enough going on in 2021 with the pandemic and possible more lockdowns happening to be adding more angst to your plate (pardon the pun!) and to our gorgeous peri/postmenopausal bodies and minds.

Some of my suggestions may be off limits due to possible restrictions so ignore these for this year. 

Let's go...

Lets' start with key basic tips:

(1) Bring in the cavalry

If you ban everyone from the kitchen on Christmas day as you spend hours cooking the starter, main course, dessert and other nibbles, oh and don't forget the mulled wine, then it's time to share the workload.

  • Make it fun, light and happy. Hopefully this will mean those playing cards or busy talking work stop so they can listen and join in on the conversation.

  • Delegate the 'duties'.
    In our house there are two of us for dinner. Over the years Tony is the main chef and I'm floating around washing dishes, pots and pans and generally pottering around keeping on top of the extras Tony is too busy to get to. I am in charge of making the dining room look festive, the Christmas music playlist and desserts (one vegan, one with dairy etc)

  • Prep is Key
    Map out the work load and decide what you need to keep calm, focused and still loved at the end of it!

  • So in the lead up to Christmas sit down for a couple of hours and map out the jobs you want to delegate on Christmas day. Decorating the house can become a family event, with nibbles, kombucha, drink of choice, Christmas music. You know the drill, what needs to happen? Agree with your 'cavalry'.
     
  • What else do you need to happen
    I don't know your circumstances. With two of us it's easier to manage. I hope the above empowers you to shine over Christmas holidays and I don't mean with hot flushes. 

Remember: You're in charge of what goes in your mouth, not the waiter, or your friends.

(2) Set a maintenance goal on your eating habits. 

Setting a maintenance goal is more realistic and much more achievable. This will give you the freedom to enjoy yourself without the feelings of deprivation or the pressure to rebel... Remember the tip of 80% nourishing, 20% dipping into the the foods best kept at a minimum. Caffeine, sugar, alcohol and smoking are not your friends in peri / post menopause.

(3) Normal routine tends to go out the window!

However, make sure you don’t forget about yourself and still take the time to plan your food. That way, you will still have the right choices in the house and it will be much easier for you to succeed. If you have a specific health goal, it is a shame to fail just because you don't have the right foods to hand. This is so easy to avoid just by giving it a few minutes thought and preparation. Your aim is to hold steady, if you can lose weight good on you. 

(4) Don't go to a party hungry.

If you do, if will be harder to make healthy choices. Enough said on that one.

(5) Make good alcohol choices

Avoid creamy or sweet drinks. Try to drink with food as this will reduce the impact of alcohol (and sugar) on your blood stream. We need to balance our blood sugars so be mindful of how much and what type you drink. 

(6) Try and continue with your exercise programme

If your usual classes aren’t running, choose other options instead e.g. brisk walks with friends and family. Keep as active as you can. Maybe you have weights at home that help to keep your resistance exercises up. Our bones are vital in future-proofing our health. Do as much as you can and ensure it is beneficial. 

(7) Be gentle with yourself

If you do happen to overindulge, to enjoy whatever you are indulging in and get back on track afterwards. It's one meal, one night, on day. Just dust yourself off and continue with your healthy plans. 

(8) Drink plenty of water

This will encourage you not to overeat and will also improve how you feel the next day. 

(9) Take a walk together

Encourage the family to get out in the fresh air with you for a morning walk - it’s a great way to start the day and spend quality family time together too. Especially good if you live near a beach and/or forest. 

(10) Have fun!

Keep it light, fun, plenty of laughter, go with the flow, sh*t happens. If at any stage it is all getting too much take time out and meditate or journal. I meditate every morning but if I get overwhelmed out comes my phone and I'll find a quiet corner to switch off for 30 minutes and either meditate, up to 3 x 10 minute meditations or one 10 minute mediation and sit quietly for the rest. 


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