Category Archives: Women over 50

Quick Face Fix

According to some estheticians and dermatologists, the easiest way to achieve glowing skin that has lasting effects is with food. Eating foods that are low insulin and inflammatory triggers will help de- puff your eyes, help ease dark circles and red eyes, perk up tired, dull looking skin and overall give your skin a refreshed and naturally moister completion.

Dr. Perricone, Yale University School of Medicine, recommends a three-day diet of fish, preferably salmon, for its high omega content that will fuel your skin and plump it up ─ the quick fix to get ready for a special event.

What to try a three-day experiment? Eat only the foods below and let us know if you see the difference.

• Mixed fruits such as cantaloupe, honeydew, apples, oranges, pears and berries

mixed-fruits-450

• Eggs ─ poached or omelet’s

17is4vmhrqmmbjpg

• Lots of leafy salad greens, red peppers, broccoli, broccolini, broccoli rabe, kale, spinach, etc. A healthy portion of vegetable should accompany most meals.

br

• Avoid starchy foods like potatoes and cauliflower.

potatoes-no

• Fish anytime is a good food choice. I frequently will eat fresh fish for breakfast ─ no sides, just a piece of fish. Pure Protein is a satisfying way to start the day. It keeps my energy up and hunger at bay for hours.

salmon

• White meat chicken

• No alcohol, pasta, rice, red meat, bread, sugary sweet foods and desserts, no salt or very little salt, no canned or prepared foods, no junk food, no soda or fruit juices, no cheeses and keep all dairy to a minimum.

iStock_Soda2

Keep in mind incorporating this way of eating with modification into your daily lifestyle will not only improve your skin, but it will also put your body on a path for healing and good health.

Maybe even put you on track to lose those pounds you’ve wanted to get rid of!

Let us know how you do in the comments below.

Till next time- Sabina.

Female Viagra & Sexuality

Last August the FDA approved a new drug “Addyi” to treat low libido. The drug was specifically approved to treat perimenopausal women not yet in menopause.

The drug is meant to be used by women with no existing medical or psychiatric conditions, never had a previous problem with sexual desire or low libido and her low libido is not due to relationship problems or the effect of other medications. Addyi users must reframe from drinking any alcohol because of the severe interaction.

The basic overview is our physiology and psychological status at the moment can either perk up or muffle an orgasm.
The basic overview is our physiology and psychological status at the moment can either perk up or muffle an orgasm.

From the very beginning, Addyi showed little improvement in sexual desire or satisfying events and also showed worrisome side effects such as dangerous and abnormally low blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, depression and a constant feeling of drowsiness. I was surprised to learn that one out of three women taking Addyi experience these side effects.

Addyi is a serotonin 1A receptor agonist and a serotonin 2A receptor antagonist that affect brain receptors. In other words, the drug is an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication, and when the FDA approved the drug, they stated that the mechanism by which the drug improves sexual desire and related distress is not known.

 

Relax, enjoy the moment and dwell on the beauty of life.
Relax, enjoy the moment and dwell on the beauty of life.

Addyi is also something that needs to be taken every day and comes with a black-box warning stating that consuming the drug with alcohol may lead to severely low blood pressure and fainting and taking the drug along with certain medications may also be dangerous.

 

Sexuality is different for everyone and with age what’s important in a relationship and intimacy also changes. Low libido is not a disease that needs to be treated with anti-depressants or any drug for that matter.

Sometimes we find ourselves at a choice point and need to step out in a direction that feels more comfortable and we believe right for us as individuals rather then follow the crowd with the notion all women should be having orgasm’s that blow the roof off the house!

I love people who take bold action toward the change they want to see in themselves and if it’s increasing your libido and restoring harmony to your love life naturally and safely, here are a few strategies to keep in mind:

1. High levels of sugar in your bloodstream can turn off the gene that controls your sex hormones. Significantly reduce or eliminate sugar, especially high fructose sugars. Grains also convert to sugar, so it is best to keep them to a minimum.

flower hand2. Eat a healthy diet with plenty of greens and other colorful vegetables and high-quality proteins. This simple measure can have a profound influence on every area of your health, including your sex life.

3. Get adequate amounts of vitamin D; it increases testosterone levels, which may boost libido.

4. Exercising regularly can enhance your human growth hormone (HGH) production and libido.

5. Don’t smokelay down

6. Avoid drinking alcohol excessively.

7. Get restorative sleep. A well-rested body is more willing to engage in intimacy.

8. De-stress at the end of your day. Stress can dampen your libido and make sex the last thing on your mind.

9. Try Femmerol. 42% of the women in our clinical trial reported relief from low libido, and 47% reported relief from vaginal dryness.

The Art of Being

This March I’ll be celebrating my 64th birthday.

I’m comfortable with aging. I’m healthy, fit, and confident, no major complaints although it ‘d be good if someone handed me a big check!

There are a few things about aging that I find annoying. Fine lines and wrinkles, and a jawline less defined, the remnants of aches from years of skiing, biking, hiking and climbing mountains with the occasional crash landing.

pexels-photo-24746The outdoors has always been my gym, but these days I live more thoughtful of my body, reminding myself I have probably taken my lifetime quota of falls. I now run and do yoga/mat pilates, sometimes ride my bicycle, other than the seemingly unconscious behind steering wheels, they seem pretty harmless activities.

And then there is the reprising of memories mostly in my head of the wonderful, the sad and the unmentionable.

Nonetheless, I have so far lived a very blessed and full life that I’m extremely grateful. There is also something profoundly liberating about aging: an attitude hard earned. What once seemed important, I now hear my soul say to all things and people not worth mentioning; I’m too old for this, and I happily go about my day. There was a time when exasperations would knock me off my perch.

As I approach mid-60, I feel 30.

As a teenager and young woman, there was not a body part or feature that spared judgment. I still want thicker hair and thinner ankles, but one thing I’ve learned with age about beauty is that no one cares.
Somethings stay the same. In the depths of heartbreak, nothing feels right. I think I feel the loss more so now than ever before.

Family and friends, we love each other even more as we watch each other age.

Appreciation. I do appreciate my ankles and hair.
What torture we girls inflict upon ourselves.

In the past two years and three months I have moved twice. From NY to FL and from apt 104 to 208 in the same building. It was easier to move from NY to FL then it was to move one floor up.

Before moving to NY, my mother passed away, and I spent months cleaning out our family home of 60 years. My father never threw anything out because it was “still good.” My mother, on the other hand, put things away because “someday you may need it.” The challenge was finding it when it was necessary.

There was a book case in the den filled with photo albums and boxes of photos buried away in closets. I spent days sitting on the floor looking at photos that told the stories of time past.

There I was as an infant, first grade, graduations, my travels. After all those years spent in despair about my looks, I was now looking for someone who didn’t look so bad! Perhaps when I’m 80 and look at pictures of myself at 60 I will notice the same older, but a still beautiful woman.precision-nutrition-barefoot-running

The smiles, radiant youth, eyes that twinkle all reminded me of my nieces, so young and glowing, but doing the same thing, all girls do -angst over a spot on their skin or their hair.

I’m happy to have the body I have, it’s healthy and fit and gets me where I want to go. I no longer have a need for five and a half inch stilettos. Three inches is fine. Flats are better.

With age comes wisdom. I accept I can only control what goes on inside me; I can’t monitor the world around me. Faith and trust sustain my soul and hope.

My health was saved when I discovered the keys to healthy living and the importance of maintaining healthy hormones balances without HRT in any form.

Today, I continue my pursuit of maintaining my health and hormones and feminine self with herbs, food, exercise and mindfulness.

My quest continues to transform the hormone health of women with safe, natural means one at a time –beginning with you! If every woman just kept her eyes on the ball and followed through each swing, together we would all be healthier, happier and more resilient.

When I was getting divorced my mother gave me a card with the poem The Art of Adventure by Wilfred Peterson. I still have it. It’s about creating the life you envision and never allowing your dreams to die.
The philology applies to life, health, career and family ties.

nature-sunset-person-womanSomeone said by the time you are middle age; you have started over, and over again. It doesn’t matter if it is new health goals or career changes or relationships ups and downs. Resilience is the key to doing that.

One of the finer parts of aging are the relationships that ebb and flow through the years. Women bond with other women in unexpected ways. I’m so fortunate to have known a select few; we have been each other’s friend, buddy, pal and cohort in crime when needed. My two best girlfriend lost their lives to breast cancer, too soon, too young.

I’m not too old for desire or to love again; I never know who will enter into my life or when. It’s much easier to navigate anticipation and disappointment when you’ve had some experience.

I’ll take a pass on unconsciousness, self-absorption, rudeness and bad manners. I rather cozy up with a good book. I just can’t see the sense in squandering valuable time.

That’s my old soul speaking her mind.
I believe with each year comes opportunity. My new mantra is hopefully a goodbye to all that may be holding me back.
To health and beauty,
Sabina

Beautiful Women by Erma Bombeck

Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a Queen.

Age 8: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella.

Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an Ugly Sister (Mum I can’t go to school looking like this!)

Age 20: She looks at herself and sees “too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly”- but decides she’s going out anyway.

Age 30: She looks at herself and sees “too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly” – but decides she doesn’t have time to fix it, so she’s going out anyway.

Age 40: She looks at herself and sees “clean” and goes out anyway.

Age 50: She looks at herself and sees “I am” and goes wherever she wants to go.

Age 60: She looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who can’t even see themselves in the mirror anymore. Goes out and conquers the world.

Age 70: She looks at herself & sees wisdom, laughter and ability, goes out and enjoys life.

Age 80: Doesn’t bother to look.  Just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the world.

4 ways to get your groove back during Menopause

Most of us live by rhythms that are not our own. Our days are shaped by the demands of our environment whether they come from the people we love, or our work or everyday life, and it creates a physical and mental tug of war between our rhythm and the needs of others. What I have learned over the years is that no matter how chaotic the day I can still come home to my internal rhythm.

Here are four great ways to get your groove back during menopause.

Take care of the basics first ─ your outlook.

A phlegmatic temperament will give you the ability to think things through and envision your future, and to create a plan for the fulfillment of your goals. There is a part of us that loves routine and finds safety in it; it creates rhythm, consistency, and stability.

Exercise your Zen

In additional to physical exercise several times a week, schedule at least 25 minutes once a week in which your only activity is to sit comfortably in a quiet place and listen to your thoughts and feel your feelings. If you can do this more than once a week, that’s even better.59-years-old-grandma-fashion-model-yasmina-rossi-2__880

This practice will help you get in touch with what’s true for you, if you feel emotional simply let it emerge, crying is a healthy way to release stress and feel compassion for yourself. If the editors of Vogue Magazine are afraid of aging, that’s their problem!

Daily meditation 

waves of wellnessMeditation comes in many forms, and it’s different for everyone. It doesn’t mean you have to sit like a monk –or live like one. Meditation is a spiritual practice and one of the most powerful antidotes to chaos and fear. Meditation can be as simple as giving 15 seconds before a meal to thank you for anything that you are grateful for. Meditation can be a warm bath at the end of the day, and that is 20 minutes of pure bliss to be naturally warm and quiet and undisturbed, allowing the stress to melt away!

Meditation is the time you give yourself to be fully back in your body without outside or environmental stimulus. It has been said 20 minutes of meditation a day is ideal. My time is watching the sun come up with my cup of tea, it’s so quiet, I love it and my early morning jog sets me up mentally and emotionally for the day ahead.

The healing power of plants

Vegetables, fruits, culinary and medicinal herbs are the foundation of health.  Food and plant based medicine fall into a class known as adaptogens. They refer to nonspecific endocrine-regulating, immune modulating effects that help increase the body’s ability to adapt, adjust and maintain balance when faced with physical or emotional stress, such as the changes that happen with natural menopause and aging.healthy-people-woman-girl

In addition to eating a healthy well-balanced diet, medicinal herbal formulations such as Femmerol can be considered tonics for the whole body because they strengthen resistance to negative influences and limit the consequences on our physical and emotional wellbeing. Your goal should be to strengthen your hormonal system and keep it strong your whole life, at every age. Your balance is unique to you, and frankly, there is no drug on the market that will ever know your body as well as you do ─ and know what it is you needs to heal.

What do you think? Sound off with your opinions in the comments below.

 

 

Take Twenty-Four: The Importance of Work-Life Balance 

When I lived on the west coast of Florida, I became friendly with my neighbor Father Johnathan, a retired priest. He loved going out to dinner and telling me stories of when he was an active pastor living in a monastery, and I equally enjoyed listening, he was witty and intelligent. These dinners always came with advice that emanated from his deep faith. I may not have always agreed with his position, but I always took note. It is funny how we remember the individual conversation or words when we need then the most.trees-countryside-green-chill

One Sunday over dinner we got on the topic of my demanding work schedule and the pressure I put on myself to succeed.  He made a good point by asking “have you ever stopped to ask yourself why?  You know the Sabbath is a day of rest, and a commandment and its right up there with thou shalt not kill.”

Of course, I know this because I went to Catholic School for 12 years! However, there was a deeper meaning to what he was saying.

That was 15 years ago and writing this post is one of those times I recall his advice.

Today most people live even busier lives with cell phones, tablets, laptops, texts, email, instant messaging, Facetime and blurred boundaries between work and home ─ it is no surprise we feel fried and exhausted.

pexels-photoThe solution is not better time management or being a better juggler; I think it is re-learning something we already know ─ take a one day break out of the seven day week. Sitting in traffic, checking in, getting a jump start on tomorrow, searching the internet, managing job, and household has become the new Sabbath tradition.

Father Johnathan was right, the Sabbath serves as a day to recalibrate the soul, brain and body and unwind, be grateful, and a day to spend with loved ones, even if that means just spending the day with yourself, a superb self-care day. In other words ─ take a complete break for 24 hours out of the 168 hour week.

My friend reminded me of the Christian story of Creation God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh to reflect on the week’s accomplishments and be thankful. For practicing Jews and Christians, the Sabbath is the holiest day of the year even though it happens 52 times a year.

What if everyone in the world adopted the notion there is nothing else to do on the Sabbath except relax, celebrate, and love?

There probably would be more converts, and we would live on a more peaceful planet.

 

Gluten Free Asparagus, Edamame, and Parsley Salad

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

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 healthy snack or side dish.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons avocado or olive oil divided
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed off
  • 6 cups of lettuce, washed and torn
  • 1 cup frozen, shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 cup parsley, coarsely chopped

Directions:

aa114191763fec5b4c66a03584ec337fFor dressing, combine 1 tablespoon of oil with the mirin, rice vinegar,  salt, and garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add asparagus and cook for 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and crisp-tender.

Transfer asparagus to a large bowl. Add lettuce, edamame, and parsley. Drizzle with dressing to taste and toss gently.

The History of HRT Part 3: Is HRT Safe?

This is Part 3 of 3 on the history of HRT, please click here to read Part 1 and here to read Part 2.

Is there such a thing as a harmless hormone? That seems to be the question I get asked the most by women looking for answers.

Dr. Fugh-Berman, photo courtesy of Georgetown University Medical Center.
Dr. Fugh-Berman, photo courtesy of Georgetown University Medical Center.

“Even hormones made by your body can hurt you,” says Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, who teaches in the complementary and alternative medicine program at Georgetown University. “There’s lots of data that indicates women with higher natural levels of estrogen are at a higher risk for breast cancer.”

Bioidentical hormones have not been studied in clinical trials in the U.S., which frees promoters to claim that, among other things; Estriol is not only safe but may prevent cancer because it is weaker than the other estrogens.

The reality, any estrogen needs to be taken with caution.

Lena Rosenberg of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden
Lena Rosenberg of the Karolinska Institute  in Sweden

institute

For years, oral estriol was prescribed in Europe without the standard progesterone accompaniment to protect against endometrial cancer.

Then a study in Sweden revealed that taking one to two milligrams a day of estriol alone doubled the risk of endometrial cancer. In another study in Sweden of 5,000 women, published in February 2006, stronger estrogens increased the risk of ductal and lobular breast cancer. That’s really no surprise, but here’s what was — even low-dose oral estriol (about one milligram a day) doubled the risk of lobular breast cancer in women who took it for fewer than five years.

“We need more studies, but at this point.” Says lead researcher Lena Rosenberg, MD, of the Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm, Sweden. We cannot rule out an increased risk for breast cancer even with the less potent estriol.”

Sex: Mind and Body

The other day I received a call from a young woman I met not too long ago, and we became friendly. We were chatting, and catching up on the small stuff when she asked apprehensively: “Sometimes my orgasms are very powerful and sometimes they’re just okay. Why does that happen?”

Relax, enjoy the moment and dwell on the beauty of life.
Relax, enjoy the moment and dwell on the beauty of life.

I wanted to hug her! I applaud women brave enough to ask embarrassing questions. It obviously was something that troubled her and her boyfriend. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or 90; we all have something about sex or our bodies that we don’t quite get. What she’s experiencing is an absolute realistic experience for any women at any age ─ and a reasonable question to ask.

Orgasms are not like Kentucky Fried Chicken where you are guaranteed the same product every time.

Some orgasms may feel nothing more than a pleasant flutter while others are of the peel off the ceiling variety.

Medical explanations of sexuality suffer from a severe case of terminology overload. The basic overview is our physiology and psychological status at the moment can either perk up or muffle an orgasm or mute it out completely.

The basic overview is our physiology and psychological status at the moment can either perk up or muffle an orgasm.
The basic overview is our physiology and psychological status at the moment can either perk up or muffle an orgasm.

Mental attitude, mood, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, the ebb and flow of hormones, where you are in your monthly cycle (if you still have one) foreplay, how many organisms have you already had, the depth of penetration, position, what you ate beforehand, alcohol, medications, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse or simply being too tired ─ these and more all play a role in outcome.

Relax, enjoy the moment and dwell on the beauty of life. If everything was always perfect we would literally astound ourselves!

Sometimes, we all need a little help.

Asking for help when you need it seems like a no brainer, a pretty straightforward obvious strategy for self-care.

In the scheme of life, as it is for many busy professional women we tend to be resourceful and show up prepared to take care of what we need to get done. Letting go and happily accepting or asking for help when we need it doesn’t come as naturally as it should. When someone offers to help me, I often find myself saying “no, I’m good, I got it”.

It's ok to need help, it makes us human.
It’s ok to need help, it makes us human.

I think most of us have a little bit of control freak ingrained into our psyche and we think the only way anything will get done right is if we do it ourselves. I’ve gotten better with experience, at accepting offers of help and asking for help when I need it but I have been guilty of a damn the torpedoes mentality, I got it under control and it’s full speed ahead.

I touched this with my face....
I touched this with my face….

As an example of how insane one can be, one day I was working in a colleague’s office and I volunteered to go get food and coffee. On my way back, my hands were full and I was now on the elevator packed with people. They were pushing buttons to their floor when I realized no one pushed the button to my floor. Instead of asking for help, I tried to push the button with my nose, when that didn’t work I used my chin. The guy standing next to me just laughed and looked at me like I was crazy and said “if you asked I would have done that for you.”

Asking for help and freely accepting it is important. It’s a good trait to have; when you ask for help and graciously accept it sends a message to your brain that you are worthy. It also gives people the opportunity to be kind.

Take care, stay well.

Sabina

Gluten Free Apple Cranberry Crunch

 Desert or Side Dish ─ pairs well with roasted chicken or turkey.This delicious dish is chock full of nutrient-rich fruit and grains. It’s equally good warm or cold. I like it as a side dish but also makes a wonderful desert served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Filling
3 cups McIntosh apples chopped
1 ½ cups fresh cranberry or ½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup sugar

 

Topping
1 ½ cups gluten free oats
¾ cups walnuts
¼ cups brown sugar
1/3 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
1/3 cup melted butter
Cinnamon to taste
Preheat oven to 350
Use a shallow baking dish
Mix filling and turn into ungreased dish
Mix topping and crumble over filling,
Bake 45 minutes.

Notes:
I used 1 bag organic Granny Smith apples plus 2 Gala apples to add a sweet variety
I also poured the butter over the top instead of mixing with the dry ingredients.
Adjust the sugar and cranberries to your own taste.