Tag Archives: menopause

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 www.Femmerol.com

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.


Say Yes To Change

It’s not just menopause

The greatest reward to writing this blog is the opportunity to write about things that are significant, and reach a greater audience. As women we share a common thread; it is my hope that revealing what guides and influences me will resonate, and act as a reminder that no matter what is going on for you it’s not the end of the world, although at times it may feel that way!

“All emotions are pure which gather you and lift you up; that emotion is impure which seizes only one side of your being and so distorts you. -Rainer Marie Rilke”

Each individual woman is wired into her own unique outline of thoughts, beliefs and genetic coding. Accepting this about myself gave me a renewed sense of inner freedom and peace. It is the place from which I live, and it’s where I go when I need to make decisions that influence my life, health and future in any way. It is really just thinking things through before making a decision.

Change is constant; is does not begin or end with menopause.  We cannot change what is going on around us, but we can change what is going on for us and inside of us. The world is in crisis but that does not mean that we have to be. Every day of my life I’m creating my own future by maintaining a constant practice of caring for my body and mending my mind.  I’m not perfect (ask my family) but maintaining my health, well-being, physical, mental, emotional, and spirituality is how I love myself as I love my family and dear friends.

powerful-womenMenopause is here to stay. You must consider what you need to do to help your body adjust to physical and emotional changes. The more we resist, the more we lose our ability to be resilient. Think of symptoms between PMS and menopause as a continuous biological feedback loop that is constantly sending status reports on how you are doing. If your body is shouting out for attention during monthly menstrual cycles and menopause, it’s doing it for a reason.  Eating real food, getting plenty of exercise, and developing healthy lifestyle habits will make a significant difference. An herbal supplement is even worth a try, I have been taking them for years.

I understand that not everyone will use all natural methods of relief, but please be fully aware of the dangers in all forms of hormone replacement therapy before you start. Research and ask questions that apply specifically to you.  If you are on hormones, please do not stop educating yourself on the lifetime risks involved. You can find peer reviewed information and articles on my Facebook page.

All emotions are pure which gather you and lift you up; that emotion is impure which seizes only one side of your being and so distorts you.

-Rainer Marie Rilke

Stay well, take care.



The Estrogen Dilemma


You will quickly realize my goal is to help other women find peace with their hormones without the use of HRT.  Don’t get me wrong, no women needs to suffer through hot flashes or any annoying symptoms of perimenopause or menopause but, we don’t need to play roulette with our health either.

Even though my perimenopause was a like a trip to hell and back, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I’m now 63; between then and now came experience, mounds of research and many conversations with menopausal women about their challenges.

Direct experience and closeness with others during their transition has brought me here and now. I hope what I share will also enrich your life, health and help you find peace with your hormones.

Medical treatments have their proper place, however, not in perimenopause or menopause care.  I am not alone in my opinion or findings. It has been known since the 60’s, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) increases for breast cancer, heart disease, blood clots and stroke. Its simple biology; pharmaceutical or steroid estrogen stimulates the growth of estrogen sensitive tissue in the breast and uterus. It is a risk that is easy enough to avoid.

Barbara Seaman, a women’s health advocate since the 70’s has written extensively about the use of menopausal hormones. I recommend reading or even just flipping through her book, The Greatest Experiment Ever Preformed on Women (copyright 2002). It’s, educational, eye opening and guaranteed to change your mind if you are considering taking HRT in any form.

I believe that most of us understand the new health care is self-care. The highest level of health care emphasizes positive health through lifestyle and nutrition. Eating real food and choosing herbs that are tonic and adaptogenic, will help restore, tone, balance, invigorate and reduce the response to stress. Working with the core of our individual constitution and helping the body regulate its own hormones, the way nature intended.

Trust you intuition, stay true to yourself.

Stay well, take care.


The Boy Scout Motto

Be Prepared.

The Holidays are here again and honestly, this year was like a blur. It was busy, very full with exciting, nail-biting, educational, eye opening stuff. I laughed and shed some tears, but all in all I must say a blessed year. That’s life and something I’ve learned, no matter what life throws at me, it goes on.

Do you ever stop and wonder how being busy has become the norm?  Feel a bit guilty if not involved in a project? Modern technology has us wired into being continuously productive and we have become slaves to cell phones, computers, tablets, texting, email, junk mail and walking around with headphones in our ears in our ears; heaven forbid we miss something.

I have to admit I love the holidays, I come from a big Italian family and our traditions, inherent family values, and love for each other keep bringing us together. The annual marathon also keeps getting more challenging; Making time to write cards, decorate, shop, bake, see family and friends, cook and get the house ready for guests. All setting the stage to bring everyone together for this day that happens but once a year. And when we think we have it all taken care of, we second guess ourselves and feel like we’re forgetting something or someone!

This is also the time of year that I hear from exhausted women, not necessarily complaining, but just trying to make it through a season meant to be filled with joy and fun – by the way that goes for everyone!

Our female hormones never forget us, keeping in touch with us, giving us status reports on how we are doing, every day. If you’re already  dealing with symptoms of menopause, this time of year can easily have you feeling hormonally turned inside out and upside down. Increased stress, changes in diet, over eating, eating things that you normally don’t eat, lack of sleep, change in routine and too much Champagne! No wonder so many feel overwhelmed by the pressure of the holidays; physically, emotionally, energy levels near depletion, hot flashes and impatience penetrating your otherwise cheerful self. Listen to the voice in your heart and head that says the holidays are a gift in themselves to be enjoyed, not a chore and a race to the finish line.

Endurance Strategies

Give up perfectionism

Ask for help

Powers whine

Keep repeating: Joy is not in things, it is within us.

Make a list of all the things you will and won’t do next year

Take care of yourself; it’s not selfish, it’s the most important thing to the people who love you.

Stay well and enjoy the holidays!



My Favorite Things

Ho! Ho! Ho!

This year, I wanted to share with you some of my gifts ideas. If you have run out of creative ideas check these out…

The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg

Winner of the 2009 James Beard Book Award for Best Book

This is not a cookbook- it’s learning how to season ingredients to coax the greatest possible flavor from them. This is a guide to creating deliciousness in any dish. Readers learn to work more intuitively and effectively with ingredients to excite the nose and palate with herbs, spices, and other seasonings; and balance the sensual, emotional, and spiritual elements of an extraordinary meal. I only have two books in my kitchen and this one is by far my favorite. Buy The Flavor Bible

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

This book was first published in 1982, truly a classic and one of my favorite books, a magical saga of the women behind King Arthur’s throne from the perspective of the women. A great read for anyone, man, woman or teenager who likes to read! Buy The Mists of Avalon

Erin McKenna’s Bakery

Know someone whose gluten free? DO you want to get them something special and yummy? Erin has Gluten Free down to a science, I know because I’ve been gluten free for so long that I’ve forgotten what real pizza taste like! Her shops are in NY, LA and Orlando and ship throughout the US.

Everything she makes is refined, sugar-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan and kosher. www.erinmckennasbakery.com/

Willow Curve

If someone you love suffers from chronic joint pain and inflammation, the Willow Curve is an innovative, portable digital pain-relieving device designed to help temporarily reduce minor joint pain. The Willow Curve has been used successfully to treat a number of conditions in thousands of hospitals and clinics nationwide, as well by the Navy SEALS and in professional sports training facilities. www.willowcurve.com

Kee’s Chocolates

Sometimes I torture my NY heart and soul and think about all the endless scrumptious things NY has to offer tucked away in its streets! I didn’t think about that when I decided to move to FL!

If you happen to be in NY and have never been to Kee’s Chocolates, it is a mist! Their truffles, chocolates, and macaroons are to die for! What can I say that hasn’t been said already in Gourmet, New York Times and Zagat’s to mention a few.  Kee’s is one of New York City’s BEST chocolatier’s.  They do ship, weather dependent. Buy Kee’s Chocolates


Zona Plus

Anyone can suffer from high blood pressure at any age. Medication is not always the answer, and they come with side effects that may be unpleasant such as water retention and insomnia.  The Zona Plus is a computer-controlled device designed to improve cardiovascular health which fits easily into the palm of your hand. It is easy to use and safe, with no known negative side effects. Young or old, early stage or severe hypertension, medicated or not, nearly everyone could use and benefit from Zona Plus. (Please note, always consult your doctor before making changes to you blood pressure treatment.) www.zona.com


You’re baking, cooking, shopping, wrapping presents, sending cards, decorating and going all out for all those you love. Don’t let the symptoms of menopause take away the joy of the season. This is the gift you buy for yourself and the women in your life you cherish. No one needs to suffer through the holidays! www.femmerol.com


Dr. Alkaitis Skin Care

Love your skin, celebrate your beauty. “If you can’t eat it don’t put it on your skin”. Dr. Alkaitis uses this absolute guideline in formulating his products. These products are a meticulously formulated and highly effective skin food. I have to say I love everything from this line. My daily favorites are the cleanser, toner and face oil. A LITTLE really does go a long way. Buy Dr. Alkaitis Skin Care


Create a beautiful day! Stay well, take care.


The Moment of Truth

When the unexpected happens…

It was a moment of truth that liberated me from my own resistance. It opened my heart, a door to knowledge, awareness and truth; it taught me to listen deeply, both to myself and others. This is when compassion became the foundation of my career, and the countless women I’ve spoken to over the years are a good reason for me to recommend,  judge not the change.  Offer further insight and wisdom as a means to rectify what has become, honestly, a situation that is causing more stress than any woman needs to deal with.

What was my resistance? I was at war with my hormones and because of the way I was going about it, they were winning. That was 25 years ago.

Like many women going through perimenopause without a clue, and a life of stress, mine was a divorce, the loss of my brother, a move across the country ─ I felt like a train wreck. The medically recommended birth control pills and antidepressants turned me into a burned out shell. I was afraid of what I didn’t know, but today I am completely and eternally grateful I listened to the voice in my gut that pushed me in the complete opposite direction for help. Life gives trials and also offers salvation! The drugs were short lived and replaced with a lifestyle and mindfulness that works for this high octane woman and it’s the way I live my life and maintain my health to this day.

It’s a Normal Life Cycle and Time to Move Beyond What We Have Been Taught

It’s wonderful and perfect to see perimenopausal and menopausal women changing their perceptions of aging and what “old” means in this era of longer lifespans, what they want and, what is really important  ─ women, especially who are 40+ are tiring of the obsession with endless youth. They are more interested in aging well—feeling good, remaining active, and maintaining their health, fitness, finances, and independence. Collectively we are also learning all forms of prescription Hormone Replacement Therapies are unnecessary and cure nothing ─ and come with many health risks and side effects that don’t fit into our desired way of life.

Our perception is consciousness and about truth and trust; being true to ourselves, trusting our own decisions, knowledge, taking an active approach in our health and well being, we gain a better understanding of our female body. Acknowledging that menopause is not a defect, but a time frame meant to happen for a reason. Menopause is not a disease that needs to be treated. We are learning more every day that menopause does not cause disease, but that life style does.

Life is about minding the body and mending the mind with strategies for transforming life at any age.

Welcome to my blog!

Stay well, take care and stay tuned.