Myth vs Fact : Hormone Therapy for Women

Hormones, hormones, and more hormones. Let’s get real about the subject. There is many myths out there when it comes to treatment, so on today’s post I will do my best to dispel some of the most common misconceptions.

Myth: Bioidentical hormone therapy is natural and therefore superior to CHT. (Conventional Hormone Therapy)

Bioidentical hormone therapy are derived from plant products but are far from natural.
Bioidentical hormone therapy are derived from plant products but are far from natural.

Fact: Hormones used in bioidentical hormone therapy may be derived from plant products such as yams, but they need to be commercially processed to become bioidentical and hence not “natural.” Many FDA-approved estrogen products including pills, patches, gels, sprays, and creams are, in fact, bioidentical products that may be derived from equine or other sources. The term “bioidentical” is not synonymous with “natural.” “Bioidentical” refers to the structure of the product, whereas “natural” refers to its source and processing. Bioidentical is a marketing term and not a medical term.

Myth: Compounded bioidentical hormones are better than CHT.

Fact: Compounding is simply a process of mixing different hormonal preparations. Compounded therapies may consist of FDA-approved as well as non-FDA-approved products. Compounded products cannot be individually FDA regulated because of the variation in types and proportion of hormones in each product.

"Hormone therapy should be individualized by symptom relief and side-effect profile and not laboratory test results."
“Hormone therapy should be individualized by symptom relief and side-effect profile and not laboratory test results.”

Myth: Custom compounding individualized to the patient using salivary hormone assessment is superior to CHT because it mimics the patient’s own natural hormone levels.

Fact: Individualizing hormonal therapy by monitoring hormone levels has not been shown to be efficacious. Salivary levels do not necessarily reflect tissue levels and can depend on time of day, meal times, and dietary intake. Women with similar salivary or serum levels of hormones may metabolize the hormones differently. Hormone therapy should be individualized by symptom relief and side-effect profile and not laboratory test results.

Estrogen products will not go away and they perhaps shouldn’t. But one can only wish as I do that they will be used sparingly and with a great deal of caution based on straightforward evidence and not one-sided journalism.

Let us hope.

Information obtained from Conventional Hormone Therapy or Bioidentical Medscape: Clarifying Myths about Bioidentical Hormones. Désirée A. Lie, MD, December 15, 2015

Creating a sound Menopause plan

There simply is no guarantee how HRT’s will work inside your body.
There simply is no guarantee how HRT’s will work inside your body.

Entering menopause and remaining healthy should be planned. By the time you are 40 you should be thinking about your future. When you’re 50 you should have a good doctor you trust and can speak openly with about your preferences this is your partner in health. You should have a healthy routine and life style in place as your foundation. Drugs like HRT can be a quick fix but that quick fix may come with the unexpected down side. There simply is no guarantee how HRT’s will work inside your body.

Taking a natural treatment such as a multi-herbal formula is a great first step for symptom relief and you may find it is all you need.

Ellie’s Sweet Potato Pecan Casserole

Living gluten-free is easy; finding good recipes is the challenging part! Here is one of my favorites, so easy and works either as a desert or a side dish.
Ellie’s Sweet Potato Pecan Casserole

Gluten-free and super tasty!
Gluten-free and super tasty!

• Organic Olive or Coconut Oil Cooking spray
• 3 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
• 1/3 cup honey
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
• Kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
• 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mist an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a pot with a large steamer basket in place. Put the sweet potatoes in the basket, cover and steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and let cool slightly. Add the honey, egg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the nutmeg, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt; whip with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread the sweet potato mixture in the prepared baking dish.

Mix the brown sugar, pecans and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl; sprinkle over the potatoes. Bake until hot and beginning to brown around the edges, 40 to 45 minutes.

Bon appetit!

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Menopause Musings: The Need for a Wellness Routine

The first sign of menopause is hot flashes, right? Menopause is the culprit behind heart disease and osteoporosis, or no? Menopause means weight gain, or does it? Will menopause affect my health? Once I’m in menopause I will no longer produce any estrogen correct? I will no longer feel like a woman.

healthy-people-woman-girlMenopause is defined as twelve full months without a monthly period, at which time you are considered to be in menopause. Perimenopause and menopause doesn’t need to be filled with anxiety and confusion. Menopause is not something bad that happens to you! Nor is it something that you have no control over. Menopause can be an opening to your true self; a normal and natural part of your life where you experience fantastic health with a great deal of happiness.

Hormonal changes can create challenges but there’s nothing that can’t be overcome. The best plan is one that begins in your forties, you should start thinking about the rest of your life and making the lifestyle changes that support your goals. By the time you are in your fifties, you should have a good wellness routine set up as your foundation. Don’t have one yet? No matter what you age, it’s never too late to get started.

But where should you get started?

waves of wellnessConsider starting with a natural approach. My experience shows the most effective and lasting way to manage the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause is to listen to your body and begin by making dietary and lifestyle changes that build a strong foundation you will have for the rest of your life. For most women, optimal nutrition and herbal remedies are all they need to feel fabulous again. Look into Femmerol an all-natural, clinically tested herbal supplement specifically designed to support hormones during the transition into menopause and beyond, without the risk or side effects associated with HRT’s.
Want more information about menopause? Visit

Seven Menopause Myths Debunked

Seven Menopause Myths Debunked
When it comes to menopause there is no shortage of health advice out there, and no shortage of bad advice to go along with it. Some misguided notions are harmless, but others add to the bulk of confusion. The good news is that slowly, some truth finally appears to be reaching women. To help eliminate some on the misnomers, I’ve compiled a few straightforward answers to separate fiction from fact.
Myth #1: the first sign that I’m in perimenopause or menopause is hot flashes.

This is how a hot flash can feel.
This is how a hot flash can feel.

Not necessarily. We have been told for years when you feel that first rush of heat, that’s how you’ll know. But in fact not all women get hot flashes. Some women will experience fatigue and general achiness or moodiness before ever noticing a hot flash.

Perimenopause can be a crossroad with many unexplainable happenings. To help you better understand what you are feeling and their connection to perimenopause and menopause, first signs also include: irritability, mood swings, food cravings, hair loss, feeling sad or anxious, heavier or lighter periods, mental fog and forgetfulness, changes in sexual desire, headaches and heart palpitations.
With such a wide variety of symptoms, it’s no wonder making the connection is often missed. It’s been my experience women in their 40’s who start planning ahead and developing better health strategies, manage perimenopause and menopause better and avoid more severe symptoms down the road.. What symptoms they do have are easily managed by taking a natural menopause support supplement.
Myth #2: Menopause causes weight gain and health issues

You don’t have to settle for menopause weight gain.

Body shape will change with age depending on the food you eat and the amount of exercise you get, but Menopause alone doesn’t create weight gain or illness, but an unhealthy lifestyle WILL.
Metabolism of fats and carbohydrates changes with age, but with a wellness strategy you will be able to keep your health and weight in check. If you need help getting started, speak with a nutritionist who can help you build an overall plan you can stick with. Each day will become better than the last and eventually it just becomes a natural part of your daily lifestyle.

I can’t emphasize it enough, keeping your body in motion and choosing food wisely will help you create and maintain good health as you age, not just as you transition into menopause.
Exercise is a scientifically and medically proven way to burn calories, keep fit, develop physical balance and strength, help control osteoporosis, heart disease, blood pressure and blood sugar, release physical and mental stress, clear your mind and help you sleep better. Exercise has also been proven to help lower risk of breast and other cancers.

Myth #3: Soy is health food and good for hot flashes.

Unfermented soy products are NOT healthy.
Unfermented soy products are NOT healthy.

The absurdly huge rise of soy as a health food is a perfect example of how the infinite wisdom of marketing can fool millions. But make no mistake—unfermented soy products are NOT healthy to eat, regardless of your age or gender. Properly fermented and preferably organic soy, such as tempeh, miso, and natto offer health benefits because of the beneficial probiotic the fermentation process produces.
Thousands of studies have linked unfermented soy such as soy milk, tofu, soy protein, soy flour, soy oil etc. to a number of health problems, and more than 90 percent of American soy crops are genetically engineered, which only compounds its health risks.
Science has linked unfermented soy to breast cancer, cognitive impairment, heart disease, thyroid disorders, potentially fatal food allergies and digestive problems and more.


Myth #4: Menopause begins at 50
Natural menopause can begin in your 30’s or as late as 60 and anywhere in-between. Technically menopause is defined as 12 months without a period, but symptoms of menopause can begin while you are still having monthly periods. Some of the most common are fatigue, metal fogginess and irritability, hot flashes, night sweats and changes in sexual desire. These changes signal hormones are starting to shift, leading into menopause. Every woman’s body is different and will experience menopause in her own way and in her own time. If you are an otherwise healthy female your age at menopause really has little meaning. My mother went through menopause at 42 and I stopped having periods at 50, and I know someone who was still having normal periods at 59, as long as you are healthy, estrogen and progesterone will naturally fluctuate and change in function according to each individuals system.

Many women actually experience an increase in sexual desire with hormonal changes.
Many women actually experience an increase in sexual desire

Myth #5: Sex drive will decrease or disappear with menopause
I have a wonderful friend who is 75 and she spoke with me openly about her continuing sexual desire. She has never taken HRT or used vaginal estrogen, she is sexually active, slim and fit, and walks her dog several miles a day. This is the power of self-care, exercise, eating healthy, having a positive outlook on life and keeping an open mind.
Sex can be enjoyable at any age. Media and doctors repeat that lost desire is a normal part of aging like it was a mantra. I’m in a position where I get to listen to other women and ask questions about all kinds of juicy girl stuff. With the number of conversations I’ve had on the topic, low or no libido is much less of a problem then finding creative ways to deal with vaginal dryness.
Intimacy and sexuality can be a complicated issue with many contributing factors, but for the average healthy female, in or out of a relationship, sex is a normal and lasting part of life.
Decreased interest is often a sign of hormonal imbalance, which can cause both a physical and emotional upset to your sex life, but it should only be temporary. Many women actually experience an increase in sexual desire with hormonal changes. If you take care to nurture your transition into menopause, you may find your sexuality renewed and a more gratifying experience.


Myth #6: After menopause hormones are no longer produced
No matter how far into menopause you are, you still have hormones! Most of the production is from the adrenal glands and in fact once we reach menopause about 50% of our estrogen and progesterone is produced by the adrenals. The reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone do decrease once your child-bearing years end, simply because they are needed less, but rest assured your body still produces hormones. By taking care of yourself, you can enjoy a long and healthy life, keeping weight gain, heart disease and osteoporosis at bay. It has been medically and scientifically proven age related disease can be delayed or avoided with diet that supplies key nutrients and plant-based hormones, exercise, mental and emotional awareness and having a spiritual connection.


Myth #7: The only way to get through menopause is to take hormones
It’s important to know that you always have choices when it comes to your body and to your health. Being aware of your options is especially crucial when considering hormone replacement therapy because of the proven harmful side effects and potential risks to your health.
You now know more of the truth about menopause, as well as natural ways to feel restored. Keep it safe and healthy. Want more information about menopause? Visit

Going Silver

Going for the Silver

Last September I decided to stop dying my hair. I simply felt it was my time to reinvent my look. Once I got past the point of looking like I desperately needed a touch up, I began to like my new look.

“This is my venture into silver; doing something about the gray roots that would appear a week after an expensive visit to the salon.”

I would not consider myself a vain individual, but lets just say, I do not shy away from a mirror. I practice what I preach and will do what it takes to age attractively, stay fit, and maintain a youthful appearance by exercising, eating healthy and taking care of my skin. What I’m learning about going silver is that it’s another level of change that both reflects and encourages personal growth, awareness and acceptance.

Unfortunately, growing hair out doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve been told there are ways to highlight hair that disguise the process but I decided to live through it in real time and face any insecurities and fears head on.

Personally, I feel that gray hair could use better P.R. I would start by referring to it as silver, it sounds more vivid and brilliant, gray just sounds dull.  I refer to my own hair as highlighted silver.

“Last September I decided to stop dying my hair. I simply felt it was my time to reinvent my look.”


Cultural narratives can sometimes shape the way we think about ourselves. When the media puts young women up on a pedestal, older women compare themselves. I think men do the same thing, comparing themselves to male icons.  If Hollywood and fashion magazines honored women of all ages in the same manner as young women, more men and women might come to believe a I have, that gray hair and wrinkles are also beautiful. We may see the character that is apparent in physical signs of aging as sexy; a deeper, richer, sexy that young women are lacking. The fashion makers should take lead from dames like Jamie Lee Curtis and Diane Keaton, who are both silver and stunning!

Aging does not mean you have to limit your choices. Gray or silver hair, crow’s feet, laugh lines, changes in skin, and hair texture or density: none of these detract from desirability. Being beautiful, attractive, sexy and desirable at any age comes down to one thing.


This is my venture into silver; doing something about the gray roots that would appear a week after an expensive visit to the salon. I doubt there will be an anti-graying breakthrough in medicine anytime soon.  In the meanwhile I’m committed and will keep you posted.

Stay well, take care.


Embrace Change

Change is Good!

For what it’s worth, change is a good thing and it’s never too late to reinvent yourself. Be whoever it is that you want to be. There is no right or wrong time for change. We can keep moving forward or we can stop; we can change or stay the same. Some of life’s most important lessons are learned through change.

“There is no right or wrong time for change. We can keep moving forward or we can stop; we can change or stay the same. “

Menopause is change. Some might feel as though we should try and stop it, or try turn back the clock. Try as you may, the clock will still tick forward. The goal at this point should be to do all that you can to age well; Maintain your health, stay active, and keep a positive outlook. While menopause is a change, it is a part of life, a part that we must embrace.

What happens when you reach menopause? The end of monthly periods is preprogramed into your wiring and so is your ability to adapt to that hormonal change. The transition into menopause doesn’t cause disease to happen, if it did most of us would already be dead! The manufactures of Hormone Replacement Therapies may offer a compelling argument to use HRT to ward off disease that you don’t have, but the fact still remains the risks of HRT outweighs the benefit (WHI 2012). I’m here to remind you the best way to prevent disease from happening is to take control of your mental, emotional and physical health with diet, exercise and positive attitude.

“We can make the best of the situation, or worst of it,”

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. We can make the best of the
situation, or worst of it, may you be able to make the best of it. I keep a positive outlook by contemplating the alternative, and being honest with myself about the outcome. Change is learning and growing. Menopause will open you up to many new, good experiences, if you want it to.

With that said, I hope you open yourself up to things that completely amaze you and accomplish things that surprise you. At the moment, I’m finding my voice in writing, which completely amazes me! This is not something that I feel I would have been able to do ten years ago.

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”

-JoyBell C.

Stay well, take care.


My New Year Wish

Live like YOU want to

My wish for the New Year is that you all live each day as you would wish to live your life.

“My wish for the New Year is that you all live each day as you would wish to live your life.”

We are surrounded by gurus of exercise, weight loss and feel good mantras, but at the end of the day, the best days lived are the ones that leave you feeling happy and fulfilled.  My work, family, maintaining my health, aging well, and feeling proud of my body are at the top of my list. The day is busy, so I need to keep what I do realistic. I have learned to write my own ground rules about what I can and will do; these are the things that have become as regular a part of my day as brushing my teeth.

What has guided me is, the accumulation of advice, strategies, tools and principles found in the books I’ve read, and to the words of wisdom found on greeting cards. Creating a guide to living your day will ultimately give you the life you want. If it’s an exercise routine you’re after, try different things, when you find that motion that resonates with you, it’s pretty amazing how it can change your mind about exercise; and your body!

“Find what YOU enjoy and incorporate it into your day. There is no secret to living the life you want. The only way to learn and live is to press your own play button.”

I like to run. Over the years I’ve heard about barefoot running and several months ago I looked into it online and decided to give it a try. It’s really not as crazy as it sounds. My biggest concern was wrecking my pedicure!  My first attempt at this was ripping out the inside of my sneakers. The theory behind running barefoot is that it creates better body alignment therefore taking the pressure off your joints and allows the foot to move freely. Instead landing flat on your foot, you naturally roll on and off the ground, minimizing ground contact (watch the way little kids run when they’re barefoot).  Running sneakers pitch your body forward and as I have discovered, the reason why my right knee was bothering me when I ran. My first run without the inner soles of my sneakers sold me on the concept.

I now run wearing a pair of Vibram Five Fingers™; they are a lightweight, unstructured, rubber soled slip-on, with a stretch upper that wraps my toes and foot, just like a glove. Mittens encase the whole hand, gloves separate each finger. The Vibram™ shoes have the same structure, a very unique concept but, they really are amazing. I love feeling the ground under me; it’s gentler on my joints and my knee no longer hurts. I’ll never win a marathon (or sign up for one) but I enjoy my run more than I ever have before.

To me, running is the ultimate fitness. It keeps me in shape, burns calories, and it’s my time to be with me.  I find running just after sunrise the best way to start my day; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Any exercise will give you a dose of endorphins and increase your physical and mental energy. Find what YOU enjoy and incorporate it into your day. There is no secret to living the life you want. The only way to learn and live is to press your own play button.

Stay well, take care


A New Year


This year will be different than any other year we have lived. Our understanding and knowledge will grow, our personal compass will keep us on a path with our values and our capacity to change will develop in new ways. Every year brings opportunity for wonder, new ideas, accomplishments, adventure, inner peace and peace in the world around us. We have the ability to give and receive love defining our character and how we live our life, each day of the year.


Create a beautiful year.

Many blessings.