Is a common problem going up to menopause. According to a 45-year-old reader, who had been suffering from menopausal symptoms, taking Sage Complex has helped her greatly. ‘I knew it was working because I felt so much better. I stopped taking it and my symptoms came back. This time I will carry on.’ Sage Complex contains a number of phyto(plant)- oestrogenic herbs, all of which have been linked to balancing hormones and so helping to relieve hot flushes, night sweats and vaginal dryness. £24.50 for 90 capsules.
TAKE THE FUSS OUT OF FUSSY EATING
Fussy eating not only causes stress at mealtimes but almost half of parents worry that it will impact on their child’s wellbeing, according to a recent survey for Abbott Nutrition, manufacturer of PaediaSure Shake, a special supplement for children who may not be getting the optimum nutrition from their food. Working with a specialist psychologist and nutritionist, Abbott has developed a branded website, fussyeaters.co.uk, offering guidance.
However, the second ingredient by amount after hydrolysed corn starch in PaediaSure Shake (£9.99, boots.com) is sugar, which may not suit every child.
Leading nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville (marilynglenville.com) recommends Floradix-Kindervital, a liquid multivitamin, which comes in a fruity formula without added sugar (£9.25, hollandandbarrett.com): ‘It tastes good enough to take on a spoon or you could add it to a shake.’
SUGAR-FREE MINCE PIES, ANYONE?
With many of us looking for substitutes for refined sugar, I was interested to try medicinal chef Dale Pinnock’s recipe for mincemeat, made with a plant-derived natural sweetener called palmyra jaggery. Known in India as ‘sugar for diabetics’, palmyra jaggery is low GI (glycaemic index) and rich in B vitamins, iron, potassium and magnesium.
MAKES 4 JARS
500g apples, finely diced with the skin on (golden delicious and pink lady are naturally sweet)
250g mixture of raisins and sultanas
100g cranberries or sun-dried cherries
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
zest and juice of 1 medium orange
100ml fresh apple juice
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract (from Waitrose)
50g palmyra jaggery by Conscious Food (available from amazon.co.uk)
1 tbsp brandy (optional)
Put all the ingredients except the brandy in a heavy pan. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then check and add more apple juice if needed to keep the mixture plump and moist. Simmer for another 30 minutes. Take off the heat and cool. Add brandy if liked, and decant into sterilised jars.
3 OF THE BEST RUCKSACKS
FOR COMMUTERS: Montague by Knomo, in black and aubergine, £119, knomo.com.
We love this slim, chic, lightweight bag in quilted nylon for striding round town. With two A4-size zipper compartments, plus two smaller ones, it also has a carry handle at the top for more elegant entrances. The padded straps sit at the top, making it fit snugly on your back. Osteopath and chiropractor approved.
FOR CYCLISTS, WALKERS AND TEENS: Market Shopper by Goodordering, in four colours, £60, goodordering.com.
Market Shopper by Goodordering, in four colours, £60, goodordering.com. This multitasking water-resistant nylon shopper/rucksack/ pannier is lightweight and roomy with multiple compartments and outside pockets, plus an inside sleeve for a laptop.
FOR RUNNERS: Nike Performance Cheyenne Vapor II Backpack, in four colours, £65, zalando.co.uk.
A ‘runsack’ must have capacity without being bulky, be breathable, have plenty of pockets – and mustn’t bounce around. Our tester, who runs to work, likes this one for its adjustable shoulder and chest straps and snug-fitting curved back. High-visibility trims make it great for running at night. There are three zipped pockets and a main cavity.