When I was in my 40’s I had a lot going on. Raising teens, caring for our home and building what might have been a lifelong career had I not followed my passion and done what I really love. As I progressed through my 40’s I noticed a few things that weren’t ideal, as health goes. Ten - twenty extra pounds, elevated cholesterol (the bad kind), elevated triglycerides, inflamed gums - nothing terribly serious, but not especially good either. What really bothered me was my doctor’s response to my questions about these issues. “Well, you are over 40, so you have to expect these things. We have medications that can manage your cholesterol and triglycerides if they continue to climb.” Somehow that didn’t feel like a solution to me, so much as a bandaid.
If you are in your 40’s and are seeing symptoms that are new to you, here is my advice: Do not accept that this is because you are in your 40’s! The only thing relevant about being in your 40’s and having these symptoms is you’ve probably had some poor lifestyle issues like I did for a long time, and they are finally catching up with you.
Now you might say that you also have hereditary factors that influence your health. Multiple research studies show they only play a small role in predicting your health. I like to think that if you know one or both parents had heart disease that you would use that information to adjust your lifestyle so you could prevent the same outcome.
Women and Peri- , Menopause
In traditional Chinese Medicine, menopause signals great internal change in women in all aspects - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. It can signal a new era of vitality and change in focus, or if one’s state of health has been chronically compromised, it can be much more challenging. In my work with women, it is clear that self-care while approaching menopause can greatly affect the way you emerge into your fifties. The basics - getting enough rest, exercise and eating clean balanced meals go a long way in making for smooth sailing.
Small Steps Lead to Big Changes
If you’re lucky, those health symptoms that show up in your forties are not life-threatening, but only the beginning signs of life being out of balance. Of course, having them occur right when you’re at your busiest doesn’t make it easy to make course corrections. But the truth is, minor symptoms require minor course corrections; take care of them now and they won’t grow bigger.
Take One Small Step - you choose
I have suggestions for you. Each one of them can improve your health in significant ways if you are not doing them now. If one seems the most manageable at this moment for you, do only that. If you can do more, great, but at least start with one.
5 Starters for Improving Your Health
- Get your Vitamin D levels tested. Having adequate Vitamin D is very important. It is a nutrient that protects you from some cancers,heart disease and it supports bone health. You must be tested to know how much you need to supplement. Start by getting tested.
- Use olive or coconut oil or small amounts of organic butter for cooking. Other oils are less healthy.
- Eat 3 portions of green vegetables every day - google green vegetables and you will find a huge list. Choose the ones you like and spread them out through the day
- Eliminate all artificial sweeteners and foods that contain them. They are unhealthy and can confuse the brain and pancreas and lead to fat storage
- Experiment with lentils, chick peas and kidney beans as sources of protein and fiber.
For more on the subject of self care, see my blog posts:
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