We have a bunch of amazing experts giving advice about the topics we talk about on our Wellness app.
Let’s meet Sarah McLachlan, who is a naturopath, who decided to go into the profession after feeling tired and stressed.
“I had quite a health journey when I had my kids. For more than ten years I was feeling stressed, tired, overwhelmed, depressed and anxious,” she says.
“Like many mums, post-pregnancy I had ignored my health, pouring my energy into my kids. My kids were starting to repeat the health patterns of my childhood with persistent rashes, allergies, asthma, and anxiety.
“Our journey back to health began when I took one of the kids to a naturopath. The diet advice they gave us was simple but life-changing.
“I wanted to help people back to health like that too. So I set about it! Back to university at 33, with two kids – I had four kids by the end of my degree!”
What Sarah specialises in
Sarah calls herself ‘The Perimenopause Naturopath’ as her passion is for helping women in their 40s (or thereabouts!) feel calm, balanced and in control amongst the chaos of changing hormones, mood and body, so they can make it to menopause without it ruining their lives.
“You can’t go wrong with 3 nourishing meals per day and remembering that the foods you eat directly affect the way you feel,” says Sarah.
“A nourishing whole foods diet that consists mostly of the foods that are suited to you and your body’s biochemistry, will directly improve your energy levels, sleep patterns, hormone balance & general health… Leaving you fresh and ready to handle life’s day-to-day challenges.”
What are the most common problems you face at work?
“Many times women are under-eating when they come to me – heavily restricting kilojoules or over exercising. It’s so harmful for the body, particularly women’s hormones and in perimenopause especially this can have the opposite effect on their health goals, i.e. they put on weight, hormones go more out of balance and have less energy.
“Be open and honest with yourself about what you’ve eaten or drunk (hello caffeine and alcohol!) and how much or how frequently you’ve had it and reflect on how it has you feeling.
“Sometimes you need to let go of those that aren’t serving you or your body well – and embrace the ones that are.
“Other times we can work out a balance that suits your body and your lifestyle. Good health doesn’t have to be all or nothing, there’s nearly always a way to find compromise or a balance.”
Are there any foods or exercises that you recommend to help?
“Generally speaking – I recommend 3 meals per day (no snacking), balanced with protein, fats and carbohydrates. (Yes, women do need some carbs for their hormones!)
“I also encourage women in perimenopause to enjoy 1-2 tablespoons of organic flaxseeds (also called linseeds) each day to help balance the oestrogen roller coaster that comes in your 40s.
“Flaxseeds are best used by our body when they are lightly cracked or ground. I like to grind about 300-400g in my Thermomix, then keep in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for freshness.
“Those little flaxseeds are super sensitive to light, heat and air. So definitely don’t buy pre-ground, and don’t grind too many at once.”
What’s your favourite quote?
“Common doesn’t mean normal!”
What are the most common mistakes or misconceptions people have about your area of expertise?
“That the transition to menopause (perimenopause) is horrific, you can’t do anything to change it (except take HRT), and you just need to grit your teeth and bear it.”