Video: The Happy Menopause – A nutrition book to eat up

Book given for review purposes

We all know nutrition can have an impact on our menopause (check out Emily Fawell’s guide to health eating if you don’t!!), but it can be confusing knowing what that means. Step forward Jackie Lynch, who has tackled this exact dilemma in her brilliant new book The Happy Menopause.

Jackie is a registered nutritional therapist, which means she knows a lot about food and the impact it has on our health. And while she helps many people from her Kensington clinic, her passion is helping midlife women cope with their busy lives through their diet.

Now, I don’t know about you, but busy midlife women rarely have time to sit down and go through realms of information about what is best for them (I think I’m winning if I find out what’s new on Netflix this month). Which is where The Happy Menopause comes in.

A user’s guide to The Happy Menopause

Let’s start with the disclaimer: I met Jackie when she asked Pausitivity to appear on her podcast, which features a wide range of women and experts sharing their stories, and we kept in touch.

It’s a great podcast, but when Jackie said she had a book coming out, I gave an inward groan. As I said last month reviewing Meg Mathews’s The New Hot, there are so many menopause books coming out and many are little more than “How wonderful am I to get through menopause?” with no real help.

After listening to Jackie’s podcast, I shouldn’t have worried. The Happy Menopause is a practical guide – a proper, real-life, helpful guide for those busy midlife women. It’s like the old medical encyclopedia your gran used to have, only for nutrition.

Rather than a broad overview of how food can help menopause, Jackie has turned it around to focus on individual symptoms and advise what part of your diet you could improve. So if you’re suffering from hot flushes (and how many of us aren’t in menopause?), you simply look them up (pg48) and find out what food stuffs could be triggering them and what you can do to try and tackle this.

Small changes, permanent success…

Symptoms tacked include skin, hair, mental health and genitourinary (vaginal atrophy, sex, UTIs etc). Each one comes with lifestyle tips, recipe ideas and handy hints.

All sorted in three-four pages with no lectures. Brilliant.

But what I really like about The Happy Menopause is it’s not about completely overhauling your life. Too often these types of books inspire you to throw out your entire kitchen larder and head off to the nearest (overpriced) “health” food store to stock up on items that in two weeks, you won’t even remember are there.

There are no complicated recipes requiring 59 million spices, no crazy ingredients you’ll never get at Lidl. Instead, you’ll get simple tips like using turkey mince instead of beef to boost levels of an amino acid that helps you sleep (tryptophan, if you want to be pedantic), or adding blueberries to your porridge to help support your urinary system. Yup, having a Happy Menopause could be that simple…

Now meet the author…

Jackie kindly gave me some of her time this week to chat about The Happy Menopause and explain more about the role of nutrition. If you’re curious about whether supplements or real food are better, or want to know how to help fight the menopause weight gain, check it out here.

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Eating for your menopause with Jackie Lynch

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