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Sliding Down a Sugary, Slippery Slope

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Sliding Down a Sugary Slippery SlopeAre you sliding down a sugary, slippery slope?  You know the one I mean.  The one that begins innocently enough in the fall with a slice (or two) of Thanksgiving pecan or pumpkin pie and then a wee bit of Hallowe’en candy a few weeks later.  You gain momentum with heaping helpings of holiday treats followed by boxes of Valentine’s chocolate.  Before you know it, you’re gathering and gobbling the Easter bunny’s chocolate eggs (not to mention, if you love them as much as I do, hot cross buns).  Suddenly, you find yourself awash in sugar.  You have more of a sweet tooth than you used to and sugary treats have become a daily ritual, not just a holiday indulgence.

Does this sound familiar?  If so, you’ve just slid down a sugary, slippery slope.  I know I have.  Read on for more about how easy it is to do this and why you really, really want to climb back up.

And I hope you’ll join me for my I’m Sweet Enough 7-day No Sugar Added Challenge (more on this at the end of this post).

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Vitamin D for the dark days of winter!

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Vitamin DThis morning as I was getting ready to head outside, I lamented/cursed having to layer on just about everything in my closet.  Yes, I am a wimp and I really do not love the cold.  As I covered up every exposed bit of me (I would have donned a balaclava if I owned one), I thought that now would be a very good time to remind folks to up your vitamin D supplement if you haven’t already.

The reason I say “up it” is because vitamin D is a good supplement to take all year round, particularly if you are a vegan or vegetarian, as the only good food sources are animal products.  Of these, the richest sources are fatty fish (and cod liver oil…yum!) and, to a lesser extent, beef liver, egg yolks and milk.

That said, the human body doesn’t really need to get vitamin D from the diet.  In fact, it is quite difficult to get adequate amounts from food even if you aren’t a vegan/vegetarian.  Our bodies, however, are quite adept at synthesizing it from cholesterol in our skin in the presence of sunlight.

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Does pomegranate seed oil douse the fire of hot flashes?

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhailCould pomegranate seed oil be an effective treatment for menopausal hot flashes?  According to a 2017 study conducted in Germany, perhaps the answer is yes.  I recently attended a symposium at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine entitled Advances in Women’s Health, presented by supplement company Nutritional Fundamentals for Health (NFH). One of the featured speakers was Dr. Tori Hudson, who provided an excellent update on recent research conducted into women’s health issues.  Dr. Hudson is an esteemed naturopathic physician and proponent of women’s health (in practice for over 30 years in Oregon), author of the Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, researcher and Program Director for the Institute of Women’s Health and Integrative Medicine.

The pomegranate seed oil study she mentioned particularly caught my attention because I was preparing for my Meno-Party menopause workshop at Prashanta Yoga at the time.  Published earlier this year, Pomegranate (Punica granatum) Seed Oil for Treating Menopausal Symptoms:  An Individually Controlled Cohort Study tested the efficacy of pomegranate seed oil as a remedy for several symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, disrupted sleep, depression, exhaustion and irritability.

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