Anxiety | Food | Menopause

Coping with hot flushes in the heat.

I am not complaining about the heat, but I wanted to let you know; I really do feel for you who are suffering with hot flushes, These tips helped me when I was suffering really badly, so I thought I would share these with you to help you help cope a bit better during this heat. These tips helped me when I was suffering really badly.
A reminder re food
Our adrenal glands are overworked during menopause, so we need to look at ways of calming these down as they are linked to your nervous system. Therefore, anything that is going to stress these out will exasperate your hot flushes.
Caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods and sugar can trigger hot flushes. You may have swapped your latte for an iced latte, but unfortunately it is the caffeine that may be contributing to your hot flushes and unfortunately a cold beer or wine that at the time feels good will not help with those pesky flushes or sleep!
Just for the record, in India they say hot drinks help cool the body in the heat, but unfortunately this is not the case if you are a menopausal woman!
Everyone’s reaction to food triggers will be different but if you are suffering, it is worth cutting back on the above. It cannot do any harm, I know when I was suffering badly cutting back really helped my anxiety and therefore my hot flushes. Everything in moderation, you know your body better than anyone.
Looking at ways to help with anxiety can be beneficial as it can be a viscous cycle that needs to be broken. It is tempting to sit in the shade with a glass of chilled wine or beer but if the consequences are hot flushes swap the wine/beer for a lovely iced sparkling water. (CBT study on anxiety and hot flushes see link below).
Other tips to cope in the heat
Can you change your working hours and start/finish earlier? That way you miss the worse of the heat and crowds, therefore you will be less stressed! Arriving home, a little earlier to have a cool shower and have time to unwind before bed, as I don’t know about you but I am finding it hard to sleep during this weather.Try and keep certain parts of your body cool: where your major arteries are – neck, inside thighs and wrists.Put small water bottles in the fridge and take them to bed wrapped in a small towel and put under your neck and/or inside your thighs. Put one of the frozen bottles by the bed so you can sip on it throughout the night as it defrosts – it will be nice and cold.Put your pillow cases in the freezer before going to bed, have a couple stocked up so when waking up during the night you can swap over. You could also try putting flannels in the freezer that you can put on your neck throughout the night and across you wrists/legs.Download a relaxing app that is ready on your phone before you go to sleep with earphones plugged in, you will only have to press play once on your phone and not look at the screen for longer than a few seconds; I seem to be waking up at 4am at the moment so have reverted back to this coping strategy!Try running the insides of your wrist under cold water as much as possible throughout the day, therefore keeping the blood cool. When we have a hot flush blood comes to the surface of the skin as our capillaries open, so keeping your body temperature down will really help.Keep calm and take you time, look at your day and see how you can minimise the stress, do you really need to see that person or go to the shop? Try and keep as cool as possible before over heating therefore bringing on a hot flush, move more slowly!If you want to go to sleep at 10 then make sure you start to unwind around 8.30. Take a cool shower, make sure you turn off any blue lights, TV, phone and laptop as these will stimulate the brain making it harder to switch it off. A cool beer or wine sounds tempting but if sleep is a problem as well as hot flushes then try not to be tempted, also so many more calories, if we carry more weight not only are we at higher risk of heart disease and related health problems such as diabetes. Carry more weight will make symptoms of menopause worse. It sounds obvious but just stay away from that oven! There are some great precooked fish and meat in the chiller cabinet, so easy to have with some salad, keep it simple! Make a big salad, see recipe below.
If you prefer to eat a more plant-based diet why not have this fab bean salad? When I notice my jeans becoming rather tight I opt for lots of veggies and beans as it will not only help my expanding waste line but also my digestion, keeps me full – therefore taking on less calories over the day this type of salad also helps with my energy levels and gives me a clearer head, therefore helping my menopausal brain fog.
Fab bean salad
1 15-oz can kidney beans
1 15-oz can cannellini beans
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1 green pepper, cored and chopped
1 red pepper, cored and chopped
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 cup chopped red onions
1 1/2 tbsp capers
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
10-15 fresh mint leaves, torn or gently chopped
10-15 fresh basil leaves, torn or gently chopped

For the dressing – obviously you can buy one that you fancy – keeping it light of course, or try this, which is yummy;
Garlic Dijon Vinaigrette
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper
In a large mixing bowl, combine the beans, chopped peppers, onions, capers and fresh herbs. Mix using a wooden spoon.
In a small bowl, add the vinaigrette ingredients. Whisk vigorously to combine.
Add the vinaigrette to the salad bowl. Toss to coat.
For best results, cover and refrigerate for a bit before serving so that beans soak up the vinaigrette flavours. Give the salad another quick toss before serving.
If you are suffering with hot flushes I hope these tips help, but if you are able to enjoy the sun please do so as it is great for topping up our Vit D!!
Do I need to remind you to drink more water!?
No hugs today Meno’s just air kisses! Far too hot!
Jane xx
Thank you for for the recipe and image