Understanding the Menopause

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I have hesitated for two years, experiencing the Menopause, before feeling that I had anything valid to say about it, beyond this:
The menopause: The gradual acceptance of the rapid and visible signs of ageing, the experience of the physical structure of the body changing, getting used to the complete and utter lack of patience and the oddly wide-angle view that it seems to bring to “life” is all a cruel joke that one has options with, but essentially, I think:
”a sense of humour is essential”…..
All of the above rolls along beneath the weight gain, the hot flushes, the sleeplessness, the anxiety and the un-relenting sense of near-hysteria.
The expectations of a woman ageing are quite something, and I looked into having fat sucked out, or my jawline remodelled and honestly, became mesmerised by quite how appalling the procedures and their consequences, are! It was like watching a terrible Netflix series that one cannot quite put down. And the research led me to discover “problems” I did not even know I had.
Honestly, I did consider plastic surgery. My ex-husband had suggested it shortly before I filed for divorce. Ironically for me, not for himself….. which if you saw him would have been the better option. I flirted with HRT For three months, at the point where I had not slept for three months, was experiencing 34 hot flushes a day and only could consider sitting in the floor, crying.
I went into HRT with low blood pressure and normal weight, came out after the three months with a vastly swollen abdomen and elevated blood pressure both of which freaked me out completely!
So I have tried everything…. No wheat, no caffeine, no diet drinks, the 5:2 diet which left me obsessing about food 24/7, and in the process discovered that oats make me anxious. That was unexpected, and I went back to them after several anxiety-free months, only to discover that they really do make me anxious.
So here is my personal recipe for halting many of the symptoms of the menopause:
Totally dairy free.
Totally soya free.
Almost totally coconut free… This one is important. Don’t believe all the hype about it being miraculous. You will gain weight and I am unconvinced about how fabulous it is.
No sugar. No agave. Some honey.
Good black coffee
If not vegetarian, only organic meats, and sea-caught fish.
No junk drinks
No sweeteners
All of the above are a big leap, but that is not all…………..I try to eat 70% raw food.
I make water kefir, the recipe is available with the grains that are sold on Amazon and Rejuvelac. Both are probiotic drinks that I make with spring water. The latest research into hormones and moods shows that 95% of your bodies dopamine is made in the gut. So what you eat, have eaten, and how you medicate mood with carbs, sugars, sweeteners and anti-biotics, all take their tool on your gut which it now seems, completely affects the mood.
Added to all of the above, since December I have been on the “8 hour diet” as espoused by David Zinczenko.
It is a repetitive read, I know, but if you do your research, and I have made so many inroads into these concepts, particularly for women and fasting using these words in Google 
women fasting menopause to fast for 16 hours a day and eat in an 8 hour window is life-changing.
I did not think I could do it, but once I decided, within two days, I started to feel amazing. Almost 40 days in I have lost 3.5 kilos, feel 10 years younger and love the avoidance of dairy, which was the first change I made that really did bring change. A huge burst in energy levels, but no weight loss. oddly. It takes time to get used to black espresso, and to no Buffala Mozzarella, but now, I am not tempted… except I do still miss cold butter on hot toast.
The pro-biotic drinks are extraordinary. Beautiful to make, and delicious to drink, I find this did shift much in my mood and my sense of myself.
The 8 hour diet is the first time in the last few years that I have made life-style changes that have led to weight loss and a significant adjustment to my mind, sleep and mods.
So good luck in your research, and if you decide to try any or all of the above, do let me know!