Difficulty sleeping

For me the killer, next to chronic fatigue is poor sleep. I guess because one impacts the other.

Poor sleep causes my depression in a huge way. It zaps an already flagging energy. And my body just doesn’t get the time it needs to heal, and cope with the changes its going through.

But as I write this, I am hopeful I have sourced a solution.

Bedtime

The quick version is I take a ton of magnesium glycinate* before bed and a handful of pecan nuts. An epsom salt bath before bedtime is also wonderfully relaxing. And we are on a form of keto diet now, which has removed most sugar.

  • Magnesium glycinate – this helps relax me and I feel very sleepy before bed (I never had trouble falling asleep to be fair. Just staying asleep. But with this, I don’t start to wake up until around 5am instead of 2am.
  • Pecan nuts – these are low carbs and slow release energy. So my stomach isn’t hungry at 2 or 5am. And it was those hunger pangs that triggered the hot flushes to woke me up.
    Now I can go to sleep at 11am and wake around 6.30. The minute I wake up though, hot flush city!

*Make sure you take magnesium glycinate and not malate. Malate is for the morning and wakes you up. Glycinate is for the evening and puts you to sleep

Diet change

Six weeks ago, my partner and I embarked on a Keto type diet. We aren’t strict but the changes we have made have made a huge difference.

It was easy for us as we were already part way along this journey having spent the past two years trying to remove foods that exacerbated my menopause symptoms. The trick is to make only one change a week. So its not a quick fix.

We had already removed a lot of sugar from my diet. And gluten. So my partner was used to eating sweet potatoes instead of potatoes. And rice instead of pasta.

Then my partner’s sister-in-law said she was on Keto and she could eat as much bacon and mushrooms as she liked. This made my partner very happy. He is a big guy. 6’5″ and 25 stone. In six weeks, with relatively little effort, he has lost three stone. He has actually missed meals because the diet below keeps him sated.

For me, Keto has seen my hot flushes almost disappear. My energy levels fluctuated but stabilised once I added a few more non-sugar carbs. What I have noticed with this diet over the past 3 weeks is I get a hot flush about 15 minutes before a hunger pang. So now I’m not afraid to graze during the day. And despite the grazing, my weight has stablised. I fluctuate between 1 or 2 kilos a week. But after a gradual increase before the diet, it’s edging back down again.

Typical daily food plan

So our typical diet now is:

Breakfast:
Smoothie made from strawberries, blueberries, some avocado (makes the smoothie creamy), Oatly milk and coconut water.

Lunch:
HIM: 4 x rashers of bacon, or tin of tuna, 2 x fried eggs, fried mushrooms, whole avocado.
ME: 2 x eggs scrambled with knob of butter and some cheese, half avocado, sliced tomato, half tin tuna mayo, or smoked mackerel mayo.
I also have a kiwi, satsuma or apple.

Snacks:

  • brazil nuts and pecans are best for low carb
  • fruit – apples, oranges, apricots, kiwi, plums, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
  • we have found the Misfit bars are good (quarter at a time is usually enough)
  • plantain crisps (only a few at a time)

Dinner:
We have signed up to Hello Fresh. I accept this is not the cheapest food solution, but when lacking in energy and imagination, to have it all delivered and ready to go is a god send.

We pick meals which are as close to Keto-friendly as we can find. And sub the following**:

  • butternut squash instead of potatoes
  • cauliflour rice (you can buy bags in supermarkets, or blitz your own) instead of rice
  • spiralised courgette and carrot instead of pasta

The rice and courgette can be microwaved, but I love them baked in the oven sprinkled with paprika and turmeric.

**we have teenagers in the house. The potatoes and pasta don’t go to waste!

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