It came out of the blue
and made me do a reappraisal of my lifestyle
Last Sunday my husband said that he had pain in his chest and felt tired. It has been a stressful time with the youngest one whose 16 (TikTok has a lot to answer for in its promotion of gang culture as cool) and has some less-than-great friends and influences.
By Monday lunchtime two super-efficient Swedish ambulance women were here and he was taken to a hospital in a nearby town. He only came yesterday after multiple tests to ascertain the state of his cardiovascular health.
It has been a wake-up call for him but it made me pause and rethink my lifestyle and diet approaches. I have struggled on and off with high BP since perimenopause and currently take a low dose of medication.
Heart disease is the number one killer of women over 50 worldwide and we are more susceptible to cardiovascular disease post-menopause. Menopause compounds many traditional CVD risk factors, including changes in body fat distribution from a gynoid to an android pattern (think apple-shaped vs pear-shaped), reduced glucose tolerance, abnormal plasma lipids, increased blood pressure, increased sympathetic tone, endothelial dysfunction and vascular inflammation. If we suffer a heart attack we are more likely to die within 12 months of the event compared to a man - sobering thoughts.
So here’s my approach to reviewing where I’m at and some of the changes that I have implemented
Is my diet as good as heart healthy as it could be?
Is there an alternative to my losartan medication - I am always conscious of the side effect.
How can I improve my exercise regime?
Does my sleep need more attention?
Am I carving out sufficient time to de-stress?
From a diet perspective, the DASH diet is highly recommended and I follow much of that advice on a daily basis. As a TCM practitioner, I went beyond to see what Chinese medicine offers in specific diet suggestions.
In TCM, the foods that lead to high blood pressure are what we call ‘hot, warm’ food—they are thought to create heat in the body. This is leading me to explore how I can incorporate more ‘cool’ foods into my diet. These include dark leafy greens, celery, cucumber, green apples, and, in particular, the mung bean, which can be made into a hearty soup or an Indian dish called Kitchari I made the latter last night and it was yum! Hit me up if you want the recipe.
I felt particularly buoyed to see a report in the American Heart Association journal in February 2022 showed the result of a multicenter, randomized, double-blind trial of 628 patients with mild essential hypertension (systolic BP 140–159 mm Hg and/or diastolic BP 90–99 mm Hg). The trial demonstrated that a Chinese herbal patent formula, Songling Xuemaikang Capsules (SXC), has the potential to replace losartan or other ACE inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers in treating mild essential hypertension, rather than merely acting as complementary medicine. his isn’t available yet in Sweden so I am taking Hawthorn capsules daily which have also been proven to support healthy blood pressure levels (while still taking my meds)
I can admit my weight training had gone a bit stale after the winter, especially since I do a lot of it online. Sometimes we need a reset and fresh eyes. So I’ve booked an hour with a PT at my gym to help me put together a better routine that I can do for 30 minutes two to three times weekly. I will post here on social how I go.
Like exercise, we can sometimes get into habits that don’t serve - like looking at our phone before bed (guilt as charged) and not doing my daily mindfulness practice but watching TV or working instead. We can gently shepherd ourselves back if we have the basic knowledge and tools.
More anything this incident with hubby has taught me that we can all fall off the wagon in places or need to do an upgrade from where we are.
Menopause is an in-between time, a time of transition. And it is the PERFECT time to do this kind of meaningful reflection around your health and wellness, you’re able to move forward into the Second Spring spring a bit wiser, and a bit more evolved. It would be my honour to support you in this. You can book a free discovery no obligation call with me to see if we are a good fit to work together.
Inspiration, news, podcasts, books….
Mindfulness Shamash Alidina has been one of my favourite teachers to follow for many years and he has launched a 31 days super simple challenge. I am loving it. Do check out his website and maybe jump onto the next one
More mindfulness …just in case you were like me beating yourself
Menopause gets its own session…
I am thrilled to be a speaker at the upcoming Well-Tech World Summit alongside Alessandra Henderson of Elektra Health and Loretta Dignam . Don't miss this opportunity to hear from some of the most innovative leaders in the digital health space. Register for your free ticket (welltechworldsummit.com) and join us for a day of learning, networking, and professional development.
With all that happened with hubby, I honoured my needs and took a week away from the podcast. This week we will be back with coach Bria ( I love her energy), in the following weeks I have beautiful interviews with Jann Scott and Dianna Philips two beautiful souls who are hosting an amazing Bali retreat for menopause as well as Wayne Altman the founder of Melody Clouds (tinnitus, binaural beats and sleep).
Thank you for being a subscriber to the free version.If you want more health coaching and TCM support through menopause then do to subscribe to the paid version where I share more in those spaces.