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Menopausal hiccups...and tea!

Slight hesitation before writing this post, my aim for the blog being a place where you can go to dip in and out of interesting and relevant blog posts, gaining pertinent insights into the complexities of the menopause which will then help you to manage your symptoms more easily and effectively…but…not to be faced with my personal ramblings and menopausal hiccups!

It is however also my aim to try to demystify and normalise everything and to point out that everyone encounters the same pressures and struggles in areas like motivation and such like, just to differing degrees. Life would be terribly dull if we were all perfect after all wouldn't it…

So …the other morning when I was catching up on the Winter Olympics, whilst doing the ironing, it made me realise I needed to practice what I preach, standing there amongst the steam, large mug of tea clasped in the other hand feeling decidedly inadequate watching the womens' skiathlon — flip they are fit, definitely nothing wrong with any of their pelvic floors I thought to myself!

Which is why I then found myself out for a quick run following the skiathlon - appreciate not quite emulating the ski-athletes levels of fitness I had just been watching, but each to their own I say…as I wobbled at a gentle pace down the track!

Forgive me for digressing slightly here a small rant — why oh why own a dog if you can’t exercise and train it properly! To explain … (we have two labs so am used to dogs, who weren’t with me as had just been taken for their morning walk)… whilst running - ok technically jogging - a mass of chestnut fur and teeth charged towards me out of the long grass nipping my backside on passing. I realise I have an ample target which could be rather appealing but really… the owner from afar eventually decided to break into a poor impression of a jog towards us ( me and said dog) whilst I carried on running, ( jogging had now transformed into running by this time ), barking expletives at dog and owner who didn’t even mutter an apology leaving that to his companion further down the track! Most annoyingly all those endorphins I was busy trying to release were now getting replaced with cortisol from ‘fright and flight’ and my jogging/running pace, which is dubious at the best of times, had gone completely to pot, plus my breathing - always find it hard to run and talk at the same time don’t you? Dog owners get your dogs under control please or if your dog does take a funny turn at least run at full pelt yourself to try and take control and apologise … ok rant over …

Back to practicing what I preach — so exercise underway again … I have since managed to maintain doing the odd run, swim, game of netball interspersed with short sharp bursts of HIIT — family members finding me flapping about with a skipping rope puffing like a pit pony at various times of the day. Boy do I feel better though …

Sometimes life takes over doesn’t it, getting in the way of maintaining that healthy lifestyle, fitting in the exercise, making sure you get all the right foods in to create those healthy options or getting enough sleep instead of doing the ironing at 6am - bonkers I know but I’d had a busy week ! Don’t beat yourself up if you slip back into bad habits, everyone does it - that’s life, you just have to sometimes give yourself a kick start now and again!

If you are having a particularly busy or stressful time due to either work, family commitments, unexpected stresses of life just try and keep doing 10 mins of HIIT throughout the week and then when more time is available incorporate a bit more variety. Life just gets busy and unpredictable sometimes.

Alongside my exercise levels I had a quick look at my diet which on the whole isn’t too bad we eat a variety of fish and lean meats accompanied by vegetables and fruit in abundance, yes I have the odd treat here and there which everyone needs otherwise life just becomes too dull but one area that needed attention - tea!

Anyone who knows me well knows my two weaknesses in life are tea and the odd gin & tonic — the gin and tonics are fine I’ve found with age that I’m becoming such a light weight I really can’t drink more than a couple, but the tea…ah now that needed to be addressed. Being originally from Yorkshire I naturally start every day with a good brew …the teapot is regularly on the go from 6.30am and probably stays topped up and piping hot for the next hour or so… tea leaves are a must I hasten to add. However tea being full of caffeine I know I should drink less so first aim along with increasing my exercise - am reducing the intake, this also has the advantage of not spending the next hour on and off the loo! Go onto herbal I hear you cry, drink Rooibos tea … no chance — I reiterate am from Yorkshire and there are limits! Although after reading the article below am desperately making an effort to cut down from my usual 10ish cups a day to the average recommended 3 or 4! Think of the amount of time and loo roll I’m going to save - hurrah!

A couple of days later I’m back early morning ironing again, (sons home from uni washing escalated !), catching up on the Olympics, this time it’s the Mens skiathlon …yep back out for a run! But instead of large tea mug have down sized to bone china tea cup!


Written By Emma Louise Pritchard | 28 January 2016

Good Housekeeping

What do you drink? English breakfast tea, decaffeinated tea, herbal tea, green tea, black tea? The list could go on.

And then there's how you make it. Bag in or bag out? Milk first or milk after? The politics of tea making are constantly on the boil but, when we get to the nitty gritty, how does tea actually affect us?

( Just interjecting into article here - personally I would say always go for tea leaves ladies! )

Last week, we found out how many cups of tea Nigella Lawson drinks a day (it's quite a lot!). With that in mind and the nation's tea debate top of our list, we asked NetDoctor nutritionist Naomi Mead to reveal the health truths behind our favourite drink.

Here are your tea questions answered...

Q: What, if any, are the health benefits of tea?

A: Tea is a good source of polyphenols, which are antioxidants with proven health boosting properties that include cardiovascular benefits. It also contains another antioxidant, called theaflavin, which is thought to help alpha wave activity in the brain, and enhance cognitive function.

Q: Which tea is the most beneficial?

A: Black, green, white and oolong tea all come from the plant Camellia sinesis, and are all high in polyphenols. There are some studies that suggest these polyphenols could have a beneficial effect on lowering blood pressure.

In addition, green tea contains catechins, which increase the body's ability to burn fat as fuel, and can boost exercise endurance.

Q: Is decaffeinated tea better than caffeinated tea?

A: It is thought that the decaffeination process may remove some of the antioxidants from tea. For those who are sensitive to caffeine, I would recommend decaf. Otherwise, I would suggest sticking to normal tea, but just having no more than two to three cups a day.

Q: When should we have our last cup of tea for the day?

A: This depends on the individual. For those who have trouble sleeping, I usually recommend that they have no caffeinated drinks after 2pm. Non-caffeinated or herbal teas are fine after this time, although I recommend going easy in the evenings, so they're not up all night going to the loo.

Q: Does tea age you?

A: There is no evidence to suggest that tea can age you. In contrast, the antioxidants found in tea may help to fight the free radicals in the body linked to cancer, heart disease and neurological degeneration.

Q: Can tea replace the hydration value of water?

A: I wouldn't advise that tea should replace water, but it can certainly provide hydration to the body (being 99% water). Tea should be enjoyed alongside pure filtered water for good hydration.

Q: Which has more caffeine – tea or coffee?

A: Coffee. A regular sized cup of tea contains around 50mg of caffeine, in comparison with a regular cup of instant coffee, which contains around 100mg. A cup of filter coffee can contain up to 150mg of caffeine, depending on its strength.

Q: How many cups of tea would you recommend a day?

A: For the average person I would recommend up to three or four cups of tea a day. However, this would very much depend on the individual. For example, it would be less if they exhibited a particular sensitivity to caffeine.

To benefit from the potential fat-burning properties of green tea, studies suggest that you would need to drink around seven cups a day, and combine this with exercise. However, this is still an area of ongoing research, and we are not yet able to make any clear recommendations on this.

To benefit from the potential fat-burning properties of green tea, studies suggest that you would need to drink around seven cups a day, and combine this with exercise. However, this is still an area of ongoing research, and we are not yet able to make any clear recommendations on this.

Any information is as accurate as possible at time of writing and is for information purposes only. The information and support that Let's Talk Menopause provides is for your own personal use. It is not intended to replace or substitute the judgement of any medical professional you may come in contact with. You should always seek advice from your healthcare professional regarding any medical condition.


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