How to Use the Paleo Diet Based on Your Enneagram Personality Type

Ginger Mint Shrimp © lynette sheppard

How to Use the Paleo Diet Based on Your Enneagram Personality Type 

Interesting take in this guest post by freelance writer Jackie Young.  Enjoy!

Have you ever thought that your personality can influence your life? For instance, if you’re a Type One Enneagram Personality Type, you’re a perfectionist who probably strives for great success in all areas of your life, which could result in you being a tad too extreme. Your personality type can even affect your diet.

It can show you how you approach food: are you an emotional eater or are you too strict on your dietary choices? Are you always striving to be perfect in your healthy eating lifestyle, and is this harming you? Australian research found that there’s a definite link between personality traits and diets. It found that people who are open and conscientious are more likely to consume more fruits and vegetables, while avoiding unhealthy habits.

If you’re interested in the Paleo diet, it could help you to first establish your Enneagram personality type to ensure greater success and wellbeing on the diet, whether that means cultivating a healthier approach to food or losing weight to feel more confident. Let’s look at the nine Enneagram personality types, followed by what constitutes the Paleo diet, before seeing how our personality types can work with Paleo to provide us with greater health.

What Is the Enneagram? 

There are life strategies that help us cope with difficulties, but we might not even be aware of them. The Enneagram, which is a description of human psyche, brings these strategies to life with its nine personality types. These are:

  1. The Perfectionist – one who has idealist qualities.
  2. The Giver – someone caring, generous, and perhaps possessive.
  3. The Performer – someone success-oriented.
  4. The Romantic – someone sensitive and withdrawn.
  5. The Observer – someone who’s perceptive and secretive.
  6. The Devil’s Advocate – one who’ll think of worst case scenarios, but is committed and responsible.
  7. The Foodie – fun-loving and spontaneous person.
  8. The Boss – someone confident and confrontational.
  9. The Peacemaker – someone agreeable yet complacent.

What Is the Paleo Diet?

Paleo is a diet that copies the cavemen. It follows the idea that if cavemen didn’t eat certain foods, neither should we! Many popular foods, like junk food, are therefore banned. If you consider that Harvard reported Americans mainly get their calories from unhealthy foods such as grain-based desserts, yeast breads, pizza, alcohol, chicken, and sugary drinks, the Paleo diet makes total sense. It can also help you lose weight because sugar, grains, and processed foods are not on the menu. Your diet will likely contain meat, egg, natural oils, vegetables, and some fruits. It’s a good idea to follow the rule of having protein with every meal and some vegetables to give you the nutrients you need every day. The bonus: you don’t have to count calories!

How Can You Succeed At The Paleo Diet According To Your Enneagram Personality?

It’s not always easy to start a new diet, and the Paleo is no different. The diet does have some cons people complain about, such as that it’s not easy to restrict one’s diet and maintain it for years. If you regularly eat processed or sugary foods, completely cutting them out of your diet can be stressful. The same goes for dairy products, which some Paleo dieters completely ban from their eating plans.

However, one of the important elements of the Paleo diet to consider is that it’s about changing the way we look at food. When you make healthier food choices, this nourishes your body and soul. If you’re interested in the Paleo diet, approaching it from your Enneagram personality type could help you achieve a healthier relationship with food and your body. Here is how to use your Enneagram personality type with the Paleo diet:

  1. The Perfectionist  

You might have goals to achieve perfection with the Paleo diet. For instance, you might think that you have to be very strict with your diet in order to achieve your food goals. Perfectionists are usually extreme, and this can show up in their use of diets, diet pills, and vitamins. It’s important to see the Paleo diet as a lifestyle change, not as a diet trend that won’t last or can harm your body. A more balanced approach can be much more positive and healthy. For instance, if you’re cutting out dairy, make sure you’re getting your calcium from plant sources to stay on top of your body’s nutritional needs.

  1. The Giver 

As The Giver, you don’t focus on your needs and tend to prioritize everyone else’s. Feelings of resentment and low confidence might occur as a result. You might turn to food to distract you from your real, negative feelings, and you might even abuse food, such as by binge-eating on unhealthy fatty foods. See the Paleo diet as a way to clean up your lifestyle, focusing on healthy foods. View nutritious foods as an act of self-care. Start keeping a journal so that you can focus on your real feelings instead of hiding your emotions in comfort food.

  1. The Performer 

Otherwise known as The Achiever, Performers are focused on the image they show to the world. You might want to go on the Paleo diet to lose weight, for instance, thinking that it’s important to be a certain weight.

It’s worth noting how our bodies have changed over the years. For instance, since the 1990s to the present day, people have been putting on more weight. Although obesity is dangerous, the point of any diet change is to focus on prioritizing your health. So sometimes, it can actually be better to put on a bit of weight and be healthy, instead of losing lots of weight just to fit in with the latest trends.

  1. The Romantic  

You sometimes tend to be dramatic and temperamental, which can cause you to over-indulge in “mood-boosting” foods on bad days, such as fatty or sugary desserts. If you experience depression, you might lack motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle change such as the Paleo diet. It’s a good idea to try to replace negative lifestyle habits with positive ones, such as by reaching for nutritious foods that boost your mood rather than rich foods which can spike your blood sugar and make you feel worse.

  1. The Observer  

You like to feel capable, and since you’re quite perceptive it could be good to use this in your Paleo diet. For instance, by focusing on gaining more understanding of the Paleo diet, you could understand it better to see how it could benefit your life. One of your risk factors for addictions is poor eating habits because you don’t focus on your needs. Rather, you’re too busy collecting ideas and information. Make sure you focus on how you feel on a diet, and make adjustments to it if it falls short of enhancing your wellbeing.

  1. The Devil’s Advocate 

Once you decide to follow a diet, you can become quite rigid. This commitment can actually be a downfall, such as if you’re completely cutting out food groups to the point where you’re lacking nutrients. On the other hand, you might find that you think of the worst-case scenarios, such as “What if cutting out sugar is impossible?” Try to find a more balanced approach and deal with anxiety that comes up in healthy ways. Focus on health and harmony.

  1. The Foodie  

You’re spontaneous and fun-loving, sometimes referred to as The Enthusiast. You can stay committed to the Paleo diet by trying to find interesting foods to add to your eating plan. Regularly add new veggies and fruits to your meals to keep them interesting. There are many wonderful veggies out there that you might not have heard of, like salsify, a vegetable that tastes a bit like oysters when cooked, or tomatillos that can vary in taste from sweet to mild. Perfect for adding more flavor and fun to your diet.

  1. The Boss 

You have a strong will, which means you’ll easily commit to a new diet plan. Although this is remarkable, sometimes it can become too extreme. You might, for instance, neglect your physical needs or go on an extreme diet. Although the Paleo is sometimes criticized for being extreme, it shouldn’t result in your starving yourself. If you’re often hungry, it’s a sign you’re not eating enough. You should be increasing your healthy food intake, such as by adding more healthy fats to your diet that leave you feeling satisfied. Use your will to seek out healthy Paleo tips.

  1. The Peacemaker 

You might be easygoing, but your tendency to lack self-awareness could result in you under-eating or over-eating. That’s why it’s important to use the Paleo diet to become more aware of what you’re eating as well as your relationship with food. For instance, when you’re stressed, do you crave sugar-rich foods? When you can’t have them because of the Paleo guidelines, how do you feel? Understanding your motivations can help you stay on track with a healthier lifestyle and gain self-growth along the way.

The Paleo diet is a nutritious eating plan that can boost your wellbeing and help you maintain an energetic life. When starting any new diet, however, it’s important to consider your Enneagram personality type so that you prioritize your wellbeing and eliminate potential obstacles to leading a healthy life.

Note from Lynette:  The Enneagram is a deep and rich map of human personality and potential. Only the most cursory view can be highlighted in this post.  For more in-depth info, check out my book: The Everyday Enneagram on Amazon.

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The Alchemy of Menopause

© cathy skipper

Enjoy this guest post by Menopause Goddess, Cathy Skipper. And check out her workbook for growing and thriving through this life transition.

The Alchemy of Menopause by Cathy Skipper

Menopause is a celebration. We must raise the status of post- menopausal women and restore their value. We must return them to to where they rightfully belong.

Many women do not see peri-menopause as an empowering, beautiful, natural transition to the next part of their lives. They may feel disconnected from themselves and from the secrets of the wise crone. The secrets are like a buried treasure hidden in society’s false image of the wizened, wrinkled, mean old lady. We become frightened, afraid of being rejected, of not being loved anymore, of not being seen or listened to and of not being respected. We search for surface solutions for eternal youth, not realizing that the true beauty of a women comes from inside. Inner beauty is eternal. It can only be obtained through cultivating the soft strength that exudes from a woman who has transformed herself. Such a woman can see through the eyes of all and has become universal and unique at the same time. She who has become woman.
Woman is she who has lived through the maiden, the mother or the motherless, the wife or the divorced and the lover or the loverless. Woman encompasses them all and has stepped beyond them all into herself.

Nothing can rush the passage of time. There are certain wisdoms only time can bring. Menopause marks a passage from apprenticeship to mastery. The crone that has embraced the passage of menopause has mastered what it is to be fully woman. Her perspective has changed from receiving life’s experiences to becoming life’s experiences. She has given birth to her own maturity and to herself, finally.

Our bodies and ourselves are the vessel through which this transformation of consciousness will happen. Our wombs are the crucible that contains the alchemical process. Before menopause, our wombs may have developed a new human being, but this time, in menopause, we ourselves go through all the stages of development and become independent beings ready for our new life.

Menopause is not something to be cured. It is an opportunity for new growth.
This feminine energy is contained in both men and women. Women have a responsibility to remember, heal and activate this feminine power for themselves and to enable men to recognize it in themselves, too. Many traditional cultures recognize that women are ready to take their role as healers and leaders when they reach a certain maturity. The passage to this maturity is the transformative process of peri- menopause.

We must be careful of the symbols we attach to menopause! Menopause is a woman-centered experience and needs a woman-centered approach.

“Medicine women among the Pomo of California cannot practice until they are sufficiently mature; when they are immature, their power is diffuse and likely to interfere with their practice until time and experience have it under control.” (1)
Recognizing that menopause is woman’s age of maturity and independence relieves younger women from the pressure “to have to know” and “to be in their power” right away. They can relax into their lifelong journey of transformation, knowing that they are still apprentices to themselves before menopause.

“ Wholly unprepared, we embark upon the second half of life…we take the step into the afternoon of life…with the false assumption that our truths and ideals will serve as before. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning—for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at the evening have become a lie. For a young person it is almost a sin, or at least a danger to be too preoccupied with [the] self; but for the aging person it is a duty and a necessity to devote serious attention to [the] self.” (2)
Are you ready to birth yourself?
Are you ready to become who you really are? Are you ready to love yourself?
Are you ready to restore balance in yourself? Are you ready to become powerfully woman?

As we feel the call of menopause ; these are the questions we need to ask ourselves as we journey into the unknown potential of our future selves.

(1) Paula Gunn Allen “The sacred Hoop – Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions”, 1992
(2) C. G. Jung, “The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche” (Collected Works Vol. 8), Bollingen, 1960

About the Author

Cathy Skipper trained in France as a herbalist and aromatherapist and is now living in Taos, New Mexico. Her journey in plant medicine lead her to working with plants intuitively and helping others to reconnect with nature. Using the alchemical journey towards individuation and aromatics, she guides healers and therapists in ways to heal their own wounds and find their personal myth in order to help others. She believes for men and women to embrace the divine feminine within, women need to lead the way. She is devoted to transforming the way women experience menopause, using intuitive plant communication, art and inner journey work, she leads them through their own authentic inner journeys towards true empowerment in order for them to become the wise women elders we so badly need.
Cathy is the author of two books, Aromatic Medicine and The Alchemy of Menopause
She teaches “Intuitive Plant communication”, “hydrosol distilling” and “Alchemy, aromatherapy, the wounded healer and medicine of the soul” as online classes through ‘The School of Aromatic Studies’  https://aromaticstudies.com/

The Alchemy of Menopause workbook

www.cathyskipper.wordpress.com
www.aromagnosis.com
https://www.facebook.com/cathy.skipper.3

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Menopause: The Natural History of a Life-Changing Transition

Why does menopause happen? Enjoy this fascinating look at evolutionary biology. Alas, it won’t change the facts and foibles of the Big M, but it may shed a little light on the why.

Menopause: The Natural History of a Life-Changing Transition
An evolutionary perspective on a virtually unique life stage only seen in humans: menopause.
By Dr. Robert Martin and Dr. Lu Yao
(reprinted with permission from the great folks at NeuEve.)

Image credit: Alex Martin

When Samantha from Sex in the City was entering the United Arab Emirates, her luggage was searched for drugs, which can carry the death penalty. Her bags filled with creams and vitamins were confiscated. But Samantha was still very worried because of her belief that the cosmetics control her hormones and hold off menopause, the abrupt end to fertility commonly known as change of life. When Carrie told her she would only be a week without them, Samantha replied, “Tell that to the beard I will be growing”.

Overview of Human Menopause
Around the age of 50, women worldwide undergo this challenging mid-life crisis with a slew of physical changes that may be hard to handle. Symptoms often include, but are not limited to, weight gain, hot flashes, bladder control problems, mood swings, and dryness of the vagina making it irritable and painful to have sex. So why do women undergo these physical ordeals while aging?

The Decline of Eggs over Time

Cloutier et al. (2015)

A simple interpretation of human menopause is that a woman’s ovaries run out of eggs. At birth, a girl has about a million egg starter cells in each ovary. This is her lifetime supply. Beginning with puberty, eggs are used up with every menstrual cycle until only about a thousand are left. That threshold level marks the beginning of menopause. So women who start menstruating (menarche) early in life might be expected to enter menopause early. However, studies indicate that the age at menarche has no connection whatsoever with the age of menopause.

It has been claimed that abrupt fertility loss in middle-aged women is just an extreme form of fertility decline shown by certain nonhuman primates, such as macaques and chimpanzees, during the last few years of life. However, fertility loss in women commonly occurs long before the likely age of death. Nowadays, women in industrialized countries have an average life expectancy of at least 80 years, 30 of which are post-menopausal. Indeed, the maximum length of the human lifespan is around 125 years, so a woman who lives close to that limit will have been infertile twice as long as she was fertile!

Human Menopause vs. Primate Menopause

In fact, there is a major difference in the depletion of egg starter cells between women and female nonhuman primates. In a nonhuman primate, such as our closest zoological relative the chimpanzee, reduction in numbers of egg starter cells is a uniform process throughout life. In women, by contrast, the loss of starter cells accelerates with age. Calculations indicate that accelerated loss begins at an age of about 38 years. Apparently, natural selection has increased the rate of loss so that a woman becomes infertile a few decades earlier than would otherwise be the case.

The “Grandmother Hypothesis”
As a highly unusual feature, human menopause has understandably intrigued evolutionary biologists. One widely favoured explanation for the evolution of human menopause is the “grandmother hypothesis”. Simply put, older women’s genes are spread more effectively by promoting the survival of their descendants, notably grandchildren, through altruistic activities. Various studies have yielded evidence that the presence of grandmothers is in fact associated with enhanced survival of grandchildren. However, such findings are based on correlations, and we must remember that correlation is not the same thing as causation. It is surely true that the presence of post-menopausal grandmothers can benefit subsequent generations, but it remains possible that menopause actually evolved for other reasons.

Fundamental Challenges of an Evolutionary Basis for Human Menopause

It is often assumed that modern survival potential has remained unchanged since our species emerged over 300,000 years ago, or at least for some considerable part of that period. Survival of significant numbers of women beyond the age of 50 throughout an extended geological period (probably at least 100,000 years) would have been essential for natural selection to drive the evolution of human menopause. Some authors have concluded that survival to advanced age was quite likely in prehistorical times, but others have inferred that the likelihood of survival beyond the age of 50 was very low until relatively recently. In a nutshell, human menopause may be an artifact of modern medicine and easier lives. As the jury is still out on this, a major question-mark hangs over all discussions of an evolutionary basis for menopause.

Looking for Clues in Menopause of Killer Whales


Fortunately, although genuine menopause is unique to humans among primates, a few whale species do show something similar. A lengthy infertile phase resembling human menopause has been reported for killer whales, short-finned pilot whales and possibly sperm whales. In these species, females lose fertility at about 40 years of age, but commonly survive for several decades more.

Killer whales live in groups organized around the females. Research indicates that the presence of post-reproductive mothers in a social group is correlated with enhanced survival of male, but not female, offspring. Post-menopausal females lead collective movements through salmon foraging grounds. Such leadership is especially evident in challenging years when salmon are scarce. It emerged that females are more likely to lead sons than daughters. In short, transfer of ecological knowledge by post-reproductive females may enhance the survival of kin.

But here’s the thing: Female killer whales generally stop breeding when about 40 years old but can survive into their 90s. By contrast, males rarely survive beyond the age of 50. So humans are radically different in that lifespans of men are little different from those of women. Why the difference between killer whales and humans? At least the evidence from killer whales does raise the intriguing question as to why men live beyond 50.

More Questions to Explore

For now, the origin of human menopause remains shrouded in mystery. One possibility that should really be explored is whether the genetic benefits of investing in children and grandchildren outweigh the benefits of starting another pregnancy with a genetically dubious egg that has steadily accumulated mutations. One immediate objection to this would be that sperm cells in men also accumulate mutations (in fact four times as fast as eggs). So why do men not have menopause as well? Here, the “randy grandfather hypothesis” comes to the rescue. A woman’s investment in pregnancy is hugely greater than a man’s contribution to conception. So it may be beneficial for men to keep their options open at little cost, maybe with a prospect of impregnating a younger woman.

About the Authors:

Robert Martin, Ph.D., an international expert on primate evolution and human origins, is Emeritus Curator of Biological Anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago, a member of the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago, and Academic Guest at the Institute of Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zürich (Switzerland). With over 300 published items to his credit, he is the author of the widely used textbook Primate Origins and Evolution and of How We Do It: The Evolution and Future of Human Reproduction, written for a general readership.

Lu Yao, Ph.D., is an evolutionary biologist working on ancient DNA, morphology and biogeography in primates. She gained her doctorate degree in biological sciences at the University of Chicago and is currently a Gerstner Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

“This post original appeared on the NeuEve blog” We thank them for sharing it with us!

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Cool Opportunity to Help Yourself Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Most of you know how much I support research that might help with the symptoms of menopause. And I’ve not been shy about being a proponent of natural modalities without side effects. I’ve written about the Bedjet previously – now the company is looking for participants for a study of their Climate Comfort System to help women with nocturnal hot flashes or night sweats. Those chosen to participate will test and get to keep their Bedjet. I’ve used it – it’s simply wonderful for promoting cool, restful sleep. Here are the details:

BedJet Sleep Study:

If you’re suffering from perimenopausal/menopausal night sweats, now is your chance to get a FREE BedJet (a $500 value!) by participating in consumer study. The BedJet company is seeking 10-20 participants to enroll in a trial study of the BedJet Climate Comfort system for beds with menopausal or postmenopausal women suffering from poor sleep quality due to hot flashes and/or night sweats.

To qualify for the study:
You must be a female experiencing sleep disturbance due to perimenopausal /menopausal hot flashes and/or night sweats
Be able to use the BedJet Climate Comfort System for beds and AirComforter during sleep for two consecutive weeks (14 nights in a row)
Own/have access to a smartphone or tablet and be able to download the free BedJet app (Apple Store or Google Play)
Be able to answer a brief questionnaire about your experience at the start of two weeks and the end of two weeks
Be willing to communicate periodically with the study team
Live in the United States

Participation is limited and enrollment is on a first-come first serve basis with qualified candidates. Candidates will need to fill out a study participation questionnaire to determine study eligibility. Participants can keep their BedJet & AirComforter setup at the conclusion of the study (a $500 value!) If interested, please email sarahmcclutchy@bedjet.com with your name, address and phone number where you can be reached.

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Create a Ta Da List instead of a To Do List

Star Burst © lynette sheppard

New Year’s resolutions. They can be a setup for judgment, stress, and failure. While the “clean slate” of January 1 can certainly inspire us to set goals and intentions, it can also overburden us with expectation.

This year, why not make a “Ta Da” list looking back at 2017instead of focusing on To Do’s for the year ahead?

Your list need not focus on accomplishments (although those are worth a “Ta Da” certainly.) More important:  what inspired you? Touched you? Gave you joy?

Achievements might be just as easily be shifts in attitude, changes in self knowledge, feelings of connection, or new worldviews. All too often we don’t take the time to savor or appreciate what we have done, seen, or felt over the past 365 days. We don’t allow for the “Ta Da” before we rush on to the next “To Do”. Sheesh, no wonder we’re stressed sometimes.

So for the next few days, Menopause Goddesses, let’s compile a list of all we have done and experienced during 2017. In this eye-of-the-storm lull between Christmas frenzy and New Year’s celebrating, let’s ruminate on the past. Give yourself a great, glorious pat on the back for all that you have done and been this year.

We can work on our walloping To Do list later. For now, shout “Ta Da” out loud and celebrate all you’ve experienced over the last twelve months.

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Christmas Destressing for Menopause Goddesses

Menopause and Christmas can combine to produce exponential amounts of stress. In our constant desire for peace, harmony, and joy, Theresa-Venus and I have a few ideas for more ease and less pressure this holiday season.

1. Give the best Christmas gift ever to your girlfriends: no gift. Theresa-Venus and I did this last year and liked it so much we are doing it again. Let’s face it. Most of us at this stage of life feel that we already have too much stuff. The pressure to buy the perfect gift, then wrap it and deliver it is more than we need and can precipitate menopause meltdown.

2. Jettison the Christmas card or letter. Most of us are deluged by either chatty, newsy (read long) holiday letters or a lovely card containing nothing but a signature. Some cards have only a printed signature, which may have you wondering “What’s the point?” If you wish to send a yearly update to friends and family, wait until February 14. Frankly, most of us will appreciate it so much more and it won’t get lost in the flood of holiday greetings.

3. Do not bake cookies. With our metabolic rate slowing down and the sedentary days of winter just beginning, we don’t need the sweets or the guilt that comes with eating them. Buy those packages of little carrots shaped like tubes for snacks. Mmmmmm yummy. If you must eat cookies, know that someone else will be giving you some anyway. Do not bake any. And definitely NO cookie exchanges!

4. Do not wrap gifts. Purchase Christmas gift bags or boxes from your favorite big box or warehouse store. Place each gift in a bag and voila, all the gifts will be wrapped. You will have reclaimed several hours and taken nearly all the stress out of gifting.

5. Decorate sparingly. Try getting a smaller tree and let the grandkids decorate it. No grandkids yet? Consider no tree unless you feel that it isn’t Christmas without it.

Put less (or no) lights outside. Strategically placed Santa, Reindeer, and Angel cloth dolls can make your home festive with very little work or time expenditure. You can find these at your local craft fair, drugstore or even grocery store.

Unless you are preparing for a shoot for Architectural Digest or House Beautiful, a frenzy of decorating just isn’t worth it.

6. Have a Christmas potluck. Don’t spend all day cooking as if you were creating a second Thanksgiving. Go for a walk, have a snowball fight, play with the kids instead. Read a book aloud as a family or sing carols together.

Your friends and family will not miss any of the usual Christmas trappings and if they do? They’ll soon find that they enjoy being in the company of a relaxed, pleasant, unstressed you much more than all gifts, cookies, and decorations in which you can bury yourself.

There’s a saying most of us have heard. “This moment is a gift, that’s why they call it the present.” Sure, it’s a little corny, but it really is true. Happy holidays.

(A version of this post was published on the blog in 2009 – and it’s still relevant today.)

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Stay Cool This Holiday Season With Wicking Sleepwear: Cool-Jams Contest

Flame On © lynette sheppard

In the very beginning of my menopause journey and this blog, I discovered wicking sleepwear by Cool-Jams. Those pajamas saved me and my sanity.

Every night I would drench my cotton nightgown as hot flashes woke me from a sound sleep. Moments later, I’d be shivering in my wet sleepwear. To say that this scenario was not conducive to a good night’s sleep is an understatement! I’d change my nightgown only to repeat the searing heat – freezing damp cold act several times during the night. I was NOT a happy camper.

I got a set of Cool-Jams (I chose the tank capri set) and FINALLY was able to sleep comfortably. Wicking sleepwear does just that. The breathable fabric wicks away  moisture away from you to the outside of the jammies where it dries quickly so that horrible cycle of furnace to ice floe doesn’t interrupt a night’s rest.

I still wear wicking sleepwear, even though the worst of menopause is behind me because these pj’s are just more comfy overall. (I’m wearing them right now as I write this post.) The microfiber fabric is soft and silky; it feels wonderful.

Here’s the really good news:

The wonderful folks at Cool-Jams are sponsoring a contest for Menopause Goddess Blog readers. They will give away a $50 gift certificate for Cool-jams Sleepwear to one of my lucky readers. To enter this giveaway… just visit the Cool-Jams site and let them know which style you like best. You should select” Cool-jams Contest” from the dropdown menu (under Regarding) on the Contact Form and enter which item you want to win in the comment section.

The contest begins today, November 22 and lasts for 2 weeks. The contest ends December 10 and the winner will be chosen and notified on December 11.

Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving! Stay cool, goddesses.

Click here to enter the contest.

PS. Cool-Jams has several pertinent articles on their Resources page: Click here to see the articles.

 

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Sleep Apnea in Menopausal Women

Please read this important and informative guest post on sleep apnea in women by Alex Deckard. Better still, have your spouse or mate read it if you suffer from the symptoms and determine if testing might be for you.

Sleep Apnea in Menopausal Women by Alex Dickard

The symptoms of menopause are well known: weight gain, hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, migraines. Some people assume slowing down is part of the natural aging process and accept it. Even though our bodies do change as we age, you should be aware that some symptoms related to menopause could be an indication of something more serious.

Symptoms such as irritability, fatigue, and migraines might be from a more dangerous culprit: sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s sleep is interrupted. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex.

Obstructive sleep apnea happens when the upper airway partially or completely collapses during sleep. To catch your breath, your brain sends a signal to slightly wake you up. Central sleep apnea happens when your brain doesn’t send the signal to breathe. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of both.

Everybody knows how languid you feel following a poor night’s rest. Now imagine experiencing that every day!

25 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, but sleep apnea is typically seen as a man’s disease. A 2013 medical study from UCLA found that women are less likely than men to be diagnosed with sleep apnea. In fact, women are more likely to have sleep apnea misdiagnosed with depression, hypertension, and hypochondria. Because women aren’t in as many clinicial trials, doctors don’t recognize sleep apnea symptoms.

Fortunately, a recent study found hot flashes and night sweats may be linked to an increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea in middle-aged woman.

Sleep Apnea in Women
The answer as to why men do not have this problem can be found in the male sex hormone testosterone. Testosterone is known to decrease insulin and increase muscle mass. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect helping to manage stress hormones for men.

While women have some testosterone, they are much more dominant in estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are not known to have a stress managing effect on a woman’s body. Estrogen also has an anti-inflammatory effect — as women move into menopause, estrogen levels tend to drop, making falling asleep a lot more challenging.

It turns out female hormones are likely to play a role in women of that certain age group experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea.

Estrogen and serotonin (one hormone that transmits nerve signals) are directly related. When estrogen is higher in the body, so too is serotonin. When serotonin is lower, due to a drop in estrogen from menopause, the signal from your brain to muscles, including your tongue. When the tongue relaxes, the airway is blocked causing breathing problems. Here lies the complicated relationship between menopause and sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Testing

For a middle-aged woman, it can be difficult to determine if your symptoms are due to sleep apnea or a hormonal imbalance. Most people seek out sleep apnea testing because a loved one notices the stoppages in breathing.

A sleep test is the most effective way to diagnose a sleep apnea. Most people pack their overnight bag and head to the sleep lab. A polysomnogram will detect a wide range of sleep disorders. A sleep test in a laboratory can be expensive (up to $3000), and many people have difficulty sleeping outside of their bed with so many sensors.

Fortunately, a study confirmed that at-home sleep tests are just as effective in diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea. In-home sleep tests costs a fraction of a lab test (around $250), and you can sleep in the comfort of your own bed.

A home sleep test uses a finger probe to measure the blood oxygen level and pulse rate. The device can also measure the patient’s Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI), which is the number of times in one hour an individual experiences a pause in breathing for ten seconds or more. AHI is the primary unit of measurement to determine the severity of sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment
While a cure for obstructive sleep apnea might not be possible, there are different types of sleep apnea treatment. Some lifestyle changes can help such as eating better, abstaining from smoking and alcohol, and losing weight.

There are surgical options that shrink or remove excess soft tissue. Speciality mouth guards move the lower jaw forward to increase the size of the upper airway.

The most common and effective treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy. CPAP or “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure” delivers pressurized air to keep your airway open. Because it reduces the number of apnea episodes, CPAP machines allow you to experience REM sleep.

Undiagnosed sleep apnea creates or exacerbates a host of other health conditions such as: headaches, diabetes, depression, anxiety, heart disease, weakened immune system, and more. Sleep apnea treatment can improve your long term health and your day to day life.

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Book Review: Hot Flashes, Carpools, and Dirty Martinis

I’m guessing that many of you have already downloaded a free copy of Juju Hook’s fabulous midlife book:  Hot Flashes, Carpools, and Dirty Martinis. If you have not yet done this, go right now and get it – you pay only shipping and handling: click here for free copy.

I’ve finally been able to read the whole book – and it’s a treasure. Not only is it uproariously funny, Juju offers brilliant suggestions for making this the best time of your life. I actually learned a few great techniques (whoda thunk it?).

Juju wants us to rock Primetime as she refers to our Second Adulthood. This is the time to tap into a new confident and passionate way of being. Juju helps us remove our self-imposed roadblocks such as the lies of midlife and worry about what others think. This is our midlife guide to a vibrant US! Find out how to celebrate the rest of your life with Hot Flashes, Carpools, and Dirty Martinis.

 

 

 

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THE LIES OF MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN BRAND

We have a special treat for this blog post: amazing Menopause Goddess Juju Hook shares her take on the Middle Aged Woman Brand. Even better, she has written a new book called Hot Flashes, Carpools, and Dirty Martinis. It’s a hilarious, no-holds-barred look at the Pause. Here’s the best news: she is giving away the book to all Menopause Goddess blog readers – all you pay is shipping and handling. And to whet your appetite , the first chapter is enclosed at the end of this post. Link to get your book is also at the end. Enjoy!

THE LIES OF MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN BRAND by Juju Hook
I’ve never once in all my years heard a woman gush, “Oh, my God! I can’t WAIT to be 50!” Have you? It’s such a shame, really. Because midlife is where it’s at. We’re so much better in midlife… at everything.

In fact, I have a theory that if you want something done right—something that’s complicated, that requires multi-tasking, or secrecy, or duct tape—then you call a midlife woman. There’s simply no one else as prepared and qualified as the women in our menopausal posse, is there?

Here’s the thing, though. This all came as an absolute shock to me. That I’d be happy at 50. That I’d love life more than ever. That I’d be thrilled about beginning again in so many ways… that I could finally give myself a chance to be whoever I wanted to be.

Because the whole world told me it was gonna suck.

The world told me I’d be irrelevant. Invisible. Diminished in capacity. Hanging around doing things I felt “meh” about, because my ship had sailed.

And when I walked away from a 25-year-career to write the book I’d always wanted to write, the world fed me more than a handful of lies. The same lies, over and over again. What’s more, when I reached out to other middle-aged women, they were being fed the same sack of lies.

For more than 25 years, I was a brand strategist. And I have never seen a brand more in need of an overhaul than the “middle aged woman” brand. The messaging is off. The unique selling proposition is entirely out of whack.

So I decided to do something about it. To re-brand middle age for women. To tell the truth about how amazing this time should be. To pull the rug out from under the anti-aging industry… the liars, the nay-sayers, and the Chicken Littles. I shined a big fat spotlight on 3 problems and 6 lies that plague us all. That aren’t our fault. And that are easy to overcome, once you see them in the light of day.

In this moment, you have more power and potential than the world wants to give you credit for. But I see you. And I think you’re the bee’s knees.

Join me inside, Hot Flashes, Carpools, and Dirty Martinis: The Quintessential Guide for Turning Midlife into PrimeTime… We’re about to rip some shit up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s Chapter 1:

Hot Flashes, Carpools, and Dirty Martinis_Chapter1

Once again, click here to get your free book: Hot Flashes, Carpools, and Dirty Martinis.

 

 

 

 

 

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