Hot flushes are driving me mad especially at night, sometimes keeping me awake at night for a few hours. I saw that your Women’s Health factsheet suggests a low fat diet. I find it really hard to be low fat on the failsafe diet. I will make some changes slowly to see if it has an effect on the hot flushes. It would be good to lose some weight too.

After 3 weeks

 I have made some progress on the low fat diet. Since I started my sleep has been better and I have had no nights staying awake for hours and go to sleep quicker. I still get hot flushes but they don't seem to be as intense and are not worrying me so much. I have lost some weight, gone down a hole in my belt. I very rarely have IBS now and I put it down to more fibre in my diet. It improved once I started having gf weetbix for breakfast and upped my vegetable intake. Not keen to eat fatty sugary food - must have lost the addiction to it.

After 3 months

I have lost about 8 kilos since going on the low fat diet, clothes are hanging off me. It seems the best way to lose weight is to not try to lose weight!  I have been experimenting with ways to change recipes to no fat or low fat and have minimal menopause symptoms. What annoys me is everything you read about how to help menopause never mentions to try a low fat diet. (Other than from you).

After 12 months

I have lost about 17 kilos. I am down to size 8 after being size 14 for years. Can’t get enough calories into me without fat! People are saying "Don't lose any more weight”.  I have found that my fat intake has a direct effect on my menopause symptoms. If I eat more fat the symptoms creep back.

My Typical day is

Breakfast: gluten free weetbix with low fat milk, decaf with sugar

I sometimes have scrambled eggs with 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites and chives, or an occasional boiled egg, not very often. It does affect the hot flushes I am sure so don't eat them often which I find annoying as we have our own chooks.

Morning tea: hummus made with water, not oil and some plain sakatas or cruskits or a fat free muffin

Lunch: Leftovers or homemade soup or homemade pie with potato pastry or chicken and salad or a chicken, lettuce and hummus sandwich.  I use the Laucke gf bread, mostly without nuttelex. Afternoon tea: A pear and a few cashews or sometimes a piece of fat free cake or a slice

Only water or decaf to drink almost every day (occasional lemonade)

Dinner: Steamed fish and salad or chicken breast and veg or lentil sauce with spaghetti or rice or No Tomato spaghetti sauce (make my own low fat mince out of steak) or chicken and chickpea casserole with dumplings or steak casserole or rice noodles with veg and chicken or San Choy Bau or chicken spring rolls. I do a Roast on Sundays, mostly chicken, sometimes lamb or beef. I do notice more hot flushes if I have lamb. Usually do something with leftover roast on Mondays.

Sweets: I often have sweets. When I don't have energy/time to do anything else we have pear and spoon of yoghurt (sometimes a squirt of carob syrup). Otherwise we have rice, sago, custard and there are a few no fat or low fat recipes I have like carob mousse, carob self saucing pudding, pear jam steamed pudding, a Rice pear dish, a couple of rhubarb dishes. Rarely I have a sponge carob biscuit in the evening.

Some recipes:

Potato pastry (contains wheat, dairy and egg)

   Combine 1 egg white and 2 tbsp water, stir into 1 and a half cups of mashed potato cold. Add 1 and a half cups of plain flour and half a cup of skim milk powder. Use like pastry.

Delicious carob black bean brownies

San Choy Bau

   I either buy mince and cook it with a little bit of water and drain the fat off or make my own fat free mince, and I don’t use oil.