Managing Menopause


Menopause is not something I’ve discussed up to this point on my blog. However, it’s been an important learning point for me in my studies as it’s something all women will encounter sooner or later. I’ve been counseling clients about managing menopause more often, and I wanted to share some information with you, too. This can be a very challenging time in a woman’s life. However, I tell my clients to see it as a time of wisdom.

Dr. Christiane Northrup’s book, “The Wisdom of Menopause,” shows that women can make menopause a time of personal empowerment – emerging wiser, healthier and stronger in both mind and body than ever before. I so believe this is true. The definition of menopause is when there is no menstruation over a 12-month period – when the periods actually cease permanently. The median age for menopause is around 51 years old, over an age range of 39-59 years. (Kotsirilos, V et al, 2011). It is a time of significant reproductive transitioning – accompanied by both physical and psychological changes.


According to the Mayo Clinic symptoms include:

  • Irregular periods
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Cognitive decline (memory loss)
  • Sleep problems
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain and slowed metabolism
  • Thinning hair and dry skin
  • Loss of breast fullness


Signs and symptoms of menopause are usually enough to tell most women that they’ve started the menopausal transition. Typically the cease of menstrual periods accompanied by the above symptoms will determine the diagnosis of menopause. Various tests can be done to further confirm this stage, including follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen (estradiol). Your FSH levels increase and estradiol levels decrease as menopause occurs (Mayo Clinic).


  • An anti-inflammatory + anti-oxidant rich diet is recommended
  • Important to include healthy fats in the diet for hormonal balance

Be sure to look after your adrenals as well. I talk more about adrenal care in this post.

  • A protein at each meal and snack is important for repair, especially good quality fish for the omega 3 benefits. Around 3 servings per week is recommended.
  • Important to include phytoestrogens in the diet such as legumes, beans, flaxseed and fermented soy.  These  foods  can  mimic  the  role  of  estrogen and have mild  estrogenic  effects. 1-2 Tbsp. flax is recommended daily.
  • Fiber is important for healthy bowel elimination (of toxins)
  • Minimize alcohol and coffee intake – inflammatory foods

Lifestyle Tips

  • More down time – 30 minutes a day of rest/solitude (away from the phone or computer)
  • Restorative exercise recommended- such as yoga
  • Water – increase to 1.5-2 liters a day
  • Practice deep belly breathing
  • 15 minutes a day of sun exposure for Vitamin D – lowers risk of osteoporosis and supports the aging process
  • Counseling recommended

As you can see, menopause management requires a holistic approach. Mind and body must work together throughout this major life change.




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Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My  copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time.  My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.

With kindest regards Samantha

I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.

When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.

I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.


Hey Jessica!
I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again

- Jacinta

I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!


Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.

– Sophie

Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!


I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).

– Helene

I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud

Michelle Curtis

My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.