Tag Archives | MenopauseGoddessBlog

Feeling Beautiful in 2014

Bird of Paradise Plumage © lynette sheppard

Bird of Paradise Plumage © lynette sheppard

Sarah from the Daxon blog across the pond shares this infographic citing 15 ways to find ourselves looking fabulous. The best part? It doesn’t involve fancy creams, sadistic workout regimens or cosmetic surgery.

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Does Estrogen Increase Risk of Breast Cancer?

Painted Lady © lynette sheppard

Painted Lady © lynette sheppard

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we bring you this informative guest post from gynecologist Bill Rawls. Estrogen sources run the gamut from oral contraceptives to HRT to surprising areas of everyday living. Women of every age should read this article with common sense advice for our health.

Does estrogen increase risk of breast cancer?
Proving that breast cancer is linked to estrogen is not difficult.  
If a woman has her ovaries removed at a very young age, and does not receive estrogen replacement, her risk of breast cancer decreases profoundly.  Of course, it’s not a very nice thing to do to someone, because risks of all other diseases, especially heart disease go up, and the body begins aging rapidly.  Even so, removing ovaries at a young age is sometimes necessary to save a life or halt a disease process.  It has occurred enough times over the years to recognize a link between estrogen (or lack of estrogen) and breast cancer…having functional ovaries that produce estrogen defines a certain risk of breast cancer.

But the baseline rate has not been stable; the past seventy-five years has seen a dramatic rise in breast cancer.  The increase has to be estrogen related, and the extra estrogen has to come from somewhere, but where?  Initially experts speculated that birth control pills might be the source.  Obvious choice – oral contraceptives contain estrogen, and if breast cancer is estrogen related, adding estrogen would increase risk, right?   Actually it doesn’t work that way.  Low dose birth control pills suppress estrogen produced by the ovaries, so the little bit of estrogen added by the pill does not raise total estrogen levels; in other words, it’s a wash.  And even though the type of estrogen in oral contraceptives is synthetic, it is metabolized similarly to natural estrogen, and therefore extra stimulation of breast tissue does not occur.  Thirty years of studying use of low dose pills has not defined any significant increased risk of breast cancer – deep breath, relax…  (Taking oral contraceptives for ten years or greater does, however, decrease risk of ovarian cancer by 50%!)

Postmenopausal estrogen replacement has also been targeted as an explanation for the rise in breast cancer...and here we might have some traction. For the past fifty years the standard for postmenopausal hormone replacement has been conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin).  Not a single estrogen, but a combination of different estrogens derived from horses, this product is very stimulating to breast tissue.  Twenty-five percent of the product’s estrogens have no look-alike in the human body and are slowly metabolized. The process of conjugation slows metabolism and increases potency even further.  When the Women’s Health Initiative, (a large study done in 2001 to evaluate postmenopausal hormone replacement) showed that conjugated equine estrogens increase risk of breast cancer, it should not have been a surprise…but use of Premarin does not explain the dramatic rise in breast cancer that has occurred in premenopausal women.

It has to be related to estrogen; and if women are not producing more estrogen and birth control pills have been proven safe, then it must be coming from the environment.  Bingo…the rise in breast cancer has directly paralleled the rise in environmental toxins; many (if not most) of which have estrogenic activity.  Virtually all pesticides have estrogenic activity and many byproducts from the plastic industry are estrogenic.  Insidiously, these chemical compounds make their way into the food supply and water supply. Even meat from the grocery store is suspect.  Hormones are readily used in the livestock industry to encourage growth.  Add to that pesticides from the corn and soybeans the animal consumes every day and finding an association between red meat consumption and increased breast cancer risk is not surprising!

And so, how do you enjoy a normal lifetime of having ovaries, live in the modern world, and still not get breast cancer?  The answer really has two parts.  The first is awareness.  Toxins with estrogen-like activity (sometimes called xenoestrogens) can enter the body by only three different routes.  They can be ingested in drinks and food, breathed in a through the lungs and absorbed through skin.  The solutions are obvious.  Eat organic whenever possible.  Lean toward fresh vegetables and fruit and cut back on meat and dairy (with the exception of fresh fish and farm eggs).  Avoid processed food.  Filter your water.  Never microwave food in a plastic container.  Keep your drinking liquids in glass containers.  Live in a place with clean air.  Be careful about things that you rub on your skin.

The second is detoxification.  Elaborate detoxification protocols are really not required; the body is designed for detoxification; it just needs a little help.  Cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, kale and especially broccoli) help the liver detoxify estrogen and estrogen-like compounds through a pathway that actually decreases risk of breast cancer.  Fiber from fresh vegetables and fruit helps pull toxins out of the body.  Hydration is also important, and the best hydration is from a source that most people don’t think about.  Living cells inside fresh vegetables and fruit hold a lot of water.  As the food is digested during the day, clean water is slowly and continually released; perfect for the detoxification process (compare this to the dehydrated stuff in processed food that actually requires water for digestion).

Certain supplements can enhance the detoxification process.  Milk thistle is top on the list.  This well-studied and well-tolerated herb is known to protect liver cells, increase bile flow (important for flushing the liver and getting toxins out of the body) and encourages regeneration of liver cells.  About 400-600 mg per day is enough for the average person.  Beyond milk thistle, there are scores of natural and herbal supplements that can protect liver function, improve detoxification and decrease cancer risk…anyone and everyone should take advantage of this extraordinary resource.

Awareness is essential!  Cultivate good health into your life!

Dr. Bill Rawls practices gynecology at Soundside Healthcare (Morehead City, NC) and is also the co-founder and medical director of Vital Plan (https://vitalplan.com), a wellness and herbal supplement company. For more information, visit his blog at http://rawlsmd.com.

 

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Red Hat Sisters Embrace Menopause and More

© dewitt jones

© dewitt jones

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the most important Menopause help is not a prescription or book, not a fan or linen sheets, not even chocolate (although it is very important in many ways.) The sisterhood and support of other women is the lifesaving grace for every perimenopausal, pausal, and post menopausal woman. Literally, the goddesses don’t know how they’d have survived this transition, let alone thrived. And ladies, we have thrived!

We had our annual meeting in early September. This slumber party with a focus was our best one yet, we all declared. And in the coming blog posts, we will explore the topics uppermost in our minds at this latest gathering. Hint: we talked about Health with a capital H, our vision for five, ten, fifteen years down the pike, weight gain and loss (some really amazing things), best new products we’ve found, and brain training.

We also talked about aging/ailing parents and how to be proactive in our own eventual changes, including death. Yeah, I know. Heavy topic, but our folks are a preview of coming attractions and we’d best have a plan.

Stay tuned, and be thinking about these issues. We’d love to know your thoughts as well. Women sharing wisdom – that’s what keeps us going. We have a huge community – and we are growing all the time. You never know when you might run into a “sister”. Or a bunch of them.

Case in point: after our gathering, I took off for Colorado to meet hubby Dewitt for some golf therapy. (Considering my scores sometimes, maybe I need therapy to help recover from my golf.) Still, wide open spaces, fresh air, natural beauty as far as the eye can see – Ballyneal Golf Club definitely qualifies as therapy in my book.

I was relaxing one evening on the restaurant patio, awaiting yet another glorious sunset, when I looked up to find several spunky, gorgeous women. Wearing red hats! And purple! Now I’m not a Menopause Goddess for nothing – I recognized a group of sisters right away.

© dewitt jones

© dewitt jones

Clearly these ladies belonged to the Red Hat Society, a global group of women that connects, supports and encourages women in their pursuit of fun, friendship, freedom, fulfillment, and fitness.  They are dedicated to reshaping the way women are viewed in today’s culture. Oh, and when they go out together, they wear red hats and purple everything. They make a statement.

Before I knew it, we were chattering away about all the things women of a certain maturity (and style) talk about: hot flashes, travel, getting together with other women, hobbies, Menopause Goddess Blog, etc. We ladies even had a group portrait taken by my Dewitt (before he escaped to the room.)

© dewitt jones

© dewitt jones

Lucky me! I went from one sisterhood to another and there is nothing more interesting or rejuvenating. Here’s a shout out to my Red Hat friends from Holyoke, CO, Lamar, NE, and Imperial, NE. You go, girls! Love ya all!

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Learn All About Menopause At The Free Menopause Summit

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I am so excited to be a part of this event (and to partake of the wisdom of so many experts!) From September 22-29, Kris Smith of My Menopause Fix is hosting 20 presenters on every aspect of Menopause Health and Wellness. And this summit is online, so you don’t have to leave home or your office to partake.

Topics include:

How to naturally balance and stabilize your hormones
How to get even keeled moods
How to get better sleep
How to reduce anxiety and decrease stress
How to lose or maintain your weight
How to deal with diabetes and menopause
How to have a better sex life and stronger libido
How to create a new and improved you

Each day there will be 2-3 online video presentations from Menopause experts (yours truly is on the first day – I hope to “see” you there.) For more info and to sign up, just click here.
And please forward this link to all your Menopause Goddess sisters or those who love them so we can demystify and ease the Change together. I only wish I’d had such a wealth of information when I started my transition. Lucky us, it’s here now!

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This Is Just Menopause, Right?

Femininity © lynette sheppard

Femininity © lynette sheppard

September is ovarian cancer awareness month. This week’s guest post  by Karen Ingalls illuminates the symptoms and how they can be confused with the signs of Menopause.  She tells us how to be proactive in our own reproductive system health.

This Is Just Menopause, Right?

In the spring of 2008 I believed that my bloating stomach was because I was post-menopausal. I had started menopause in my late 40’s and even though I was now 68, I felt confident that I was gaining weight due to hormonal changes. I decided I just needed to exercise more and eat less. Every morning I faithfully did 30-45 minutes of aerobics and abdominal sit-ups. I have never had a weight problem and always ate nutritiously, so I just decreased my caloric and fat intake.

Three months later I had increased a full pant size and was beginning to see I might soon have to go up one more. I was scheduled for my annual PAP test and mammogram in a couple of weeks, and decided I would talk to my gynecologist then about what I still thought was post-menopausal symptoms. Four days prior to my appointment I started to see a change in the form of my bowel movements. I was sharing these concerns while I had my legs up in the stirrups when suddenly I was aware of unusual pain. The doctor could not get the speculum in despite a couple of attempts and maneuvers. She palpated my abdomen and felt a mass.

My bloating and bowel changes were due to a mass the size of a Honeydew sized melon sitting on my left ovary. Two weeks later I was given the diagnosis of ovarian cancer, Stage IIC; had a hysterectomy and colon resection; and then 6 rounds of chemotherapy.

The typical symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
*pelvic or abdominal bloating,
*pelvic or abdominal pain,
*difficulty eating or feeling full quickly,
*frequent need to urinate, increased fatigue,
*or painful intercourse.

Are these not symptoms that a female can experience from adolescence and into adulthood? Do not some of these occur during ovulation, days before and during menstruation, and the years of menopause? Can these also be symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Urinary Infection, Back Pain, Gallbladder Issues, and many other ailments? The answer is yes, which means ovarian cancer is often misdiagnosed.

I am grateful that I am now a 5-year survivor with no recurrence and the message I want to leave is the following:

1. Ladies, be proactive when such symptoms continue on a daily basis for 2 weeks.
2. Write on a chart or calendar, or in a diary of any body changes.
3. Know and write down your family’s health history.
4. Seek out a gynecologist for initial evaluation,
5. And then a gynecologic-oncologist if cancer might be suspected.

6. Know, listen, and respond to your body’s warning signs.

Karen Ingalls is the author of the award winning book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, which provides information about this lesser known disease, and offers hope and inspiration to women and their families. Proceeds go to ovarian cancer research. She writes a weekly blog about health/wellness, relationships, spirituality, and cancer at: www.outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com.

Her book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and her own website: Outshine. Follow Karen on Facebook.

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Meet Mr. Menopause

 Kris Smith aka Mr. Menopause

When I was first contacted by Kris Smith aka Mr. Menopause, I have to admit I was intrigued. He posed a question: how did a 35 year old male fitness trainer become focused on healthy menopause? I couldn’t wait to talk to him. I loved his story and what he is doing for Menopause Goddesses everywhere so I asked him to tell you his story in his own words. Here it is: enjoy!

Becoming Mr. Menopause
Hi I’m Kris Smith here, Personal Trainer, Bodybuilder, and Now… Mr. Menopause Here’s my story.
Why did I become a personal trainer?
Someone once told me I didn’t look like one! I wasn’t your typical Adonis with blond hair, blue eyes and washboard abs for the women to ooh and aah over. But, I didn’t let this keep me from going for what I believed was the career for me.  No one was going to tell me what I could or couldn’t do. Within 90 days of being told I would never make it as a trainer, I got my certification from the International Sports Science Association. Attaining my first certification gave me the confidence I needed to jump head first into my new career and never look back.
I first became interested in exercise and nutrition when I was a child. I was born with a leg disability and it helped build my confidence, despite the negative news the doctors gave my mother and I about my condition. They believed that by the time I was 18 I would be in a wheelchair.  Of course being in a wheel chair would have kept me from participating in any sports or physical activity that didn’t involve sitting in the chair. That was the first time I refused to listen to someone tell me I couldn’t do something and set out to prove them wrong. I started training my body way before I ever thought I would fall in love with helping other people change their body through health and fitness.
Once I was certified as a personal trainer, I discovered that I really enjoyed helping people learn about how they could change their body for the better just by exercising and changing their diets. After just over eleven years of helping men and women all over the world in countries like Ireland, London, Australia, and the U.S. lose weight, get motivated and inspired to reclaim their lives through living a healthier lifestyle.

 

On September 23rd of 2011, I came up with the idea of My Menopause Fix. The idea actually woke me up out of a dead sleep.  So I wrote it down and dozed off again, thinking I’d look at it again in the morning. My subconscious must have been working overtime, because by the time I woke up, I had created and planned out a complete new business opportunity. I took that plan and decided that I would set up a special community where women going through menopause could come and get answers for all their questions surrounding this change. This new community would revolve around three areas of expertise exercise, nutrition, and stress reduction methods which I had invest thousands of hours researching and mastering in my private personal training and coaching practice.
Initially, I was only going to launch My Menopause Fix as an offline community for my existing clients, but decided to start the My Menopause Fix Blog in February 2012. The blog is primarily focused on the topics like menopause and weight gain, proper diet for relieving menopause symptoms, and how to reduce stress to control menopausal hormone changes. I wouldn’t consider myself a great writer, but I had a vision, and mission, and passion for helping women overtime a challenging time with peri-menopause and post menopause symptoms.
I interviewed and surveyed my existing coaching clients to get their take on my new blog and community.  They told me all the challenges they faced as they were going through peri-menopause as it pertained to lifestyle, diet, exercise, and stress. After taking in the data I found out that 90% of my clients were women over 43 years old, having some type of peri-menopausal symptoms. They claimed my system was the reason they felt great and their symptoms had lessened or completely vanished.  They also told me that they stayed with me because I listened to what they had to say, unlike some trainers, and didn’t try to fit them into a one-size-fits-all weight loss program.
This got me really excited and I thought that if this was working so well offline, maybe I could take it online to reach more women who might be experiencing the same problems. That’s when I decided to set up the My Menopause Fix blog. From there, I started the My Menopause Fix coaching program, which reached women all around the world. I was able to keep in contact with them by phone, Skype, and other forms of technology so that I could provide the support they needed.
Then I had an AHA moment!
I decided to create and host a summit called World Menopause Day Health and Wellness Summit on October 18, 2012. I interviewed six other health experts about menopause nutrition, exercise, and hormone balancing through lifestyle modifications.  The summit was a success, we had over 160 people listen live and thousands have downloaded the audios over the past eight months.  With the momentum of the summit I decided that I wanted to set a goal for myself. This goal was to assist 1 million women coast through the menopausal process using my tools, tips, and services via my blog and podcast.
I wanted to teach them how to accept how beautiful they are, to get more active daily, and to learn how to use their positive mental mindset to overcome any menopausal challenge that they might encounter.  After coaching more than 17,000 hours of one-on-one in the trenches, hands on training, I’ve been able to study the trends and create a coaching system that I know can assist any woman who is willing to follow and trust the program.
Here is the first paradigm shift I ask new visitors to my blog, and listeners of my podcast. Borrow a little of my faith so that I can help them reset their body hormonally through proper exercise, nutrition, and stress lowering methods until they developed their own faith in the process. Next they must be willing to take immediate action on their goals. Lastly they must be willing to focus on the present, forget the past, and embrace the future. This mindset allows them to truly become immersed in the process of creating dynamic life changing results.
With the success of the blog I launched the My Menopause Fix Podcast early this year.  I’ve also written an eBook, and I’m working on a physical book, called “Menopause Success Triangle: How to Live a Happy, Healthy Menopausal Life.”  I believe that my system works because everyone has the capability and desire to change their body and transform their lives.

 

I BELIEVE in You!
Free 7 Day Menopause Diet Guide ebook for Menopause Goddess Readers ==> Instant Download
Stay Active, Stay Positive, and Embrace Your Beauty
Kris T. Smith, MPT, CNC
Author-The Menopause Success Triangle – A practical guide to living a healthy, happy menopause life.

Visit Kris at his site: My Menopause Fix.

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Creating A Menopause Goddess Group Part 3

Butterflies Together © lynette sheppard

Butterflies Together © lynette sheppard

Here’s the final instructions for starting your own Menopause Goddess group. It’s not hard at all – and if you are worried about leading it or being in charge – just get one friend to co-create with you. That’s what Theresa and I did to start. Now all the goddesses participate. And you KNOW how much can get done when a group of women put their minds to it! So here goes, the final piece. We know you’ll come up with more – and hope you share them here.

5. Set Ground Rules – What Each Woman Agrees To Bring And Keep

None of us is sure that we verbally articulated each of these rules as such.  It seemed that they were just understood.  Looking back, we think it would have been a good idea to clearly state the ground rules as we saw them.  Our “rules” were essentially a set of values that we lived as members of the group

A.    Respect
Mutual respect and unconditional positive regard were a must.  This was pretty easy for us, and likely will not be difficult for any Venus group, but it needs to be understood.

B.    Confidentiality

Personal info that is shared stays with the group only, but the knowledge gleaned can and should be shared generally, especially with other women and our spouses.

C.    Safety

Trust is an absolute necessity for any Venus group.  We agreed to take the outer layers off and bare our souls. No envy, no cliques, no hidden agendas would be tolerated.  (and that included the book, which was secondary, even tertiary.  In fact, I didn’t even want to write a book, but my sisters prevailed upon my better nature after a couple of years.)

D.    Focus

Establish an agenda and focus, but allow the organic movement of the group.  Venus gatherings were not business meetings conducted with Robert’s Rules of Order nor was any agenda carved in stone.  Be focused but not rigid.

E.    Work Ethic
Show up to share and to work, as well as play.  As we said earlier, we’ve heard from so many women that they are members of “women’s groups” that never seem to grow or get anywhere as a result of their propensity to degenerate into bitch sessions. While we’d be lying if we didn’t cop to the fact that we occasionally enjoy a good “whine and wine” get-together every now and then, in our Venus group  we had some serious issues we wanted to tackle and we sure didn’t want to waste time.

Other than these five core values, we had no rules.  However, we did set some intentions in order to get the best from our efforts.

6. Set Intentions

A.    Compassionate Truth Telling

We would ask hard questions of one another with compassion and commitment to reflecting back what we heard to the group. We also would provide a reality check when a Venus was too hard on herself.

B.    Sharing and Examination of Dilemmas

We would hold nothing back.  We would indeed bare our souls.  No question was too weird or trivial to get our full attention.

C.    Sharing of Epiphanies Created By Our Synergy

We were committed to sharing all that we realized or learned without censoring or wondering if it was relevant.  Our entire raison d`etre was to share our bits of insight, cobbling together a whole of wisdom that might help all of us.

D.    Sharing of Remedies and Advice

It is our belief that the way in which women truly get their information about remedies and treatments is through the sharing of actual experiences with one another.  We intended to share it all sifting through the gravel for the gold.

E.    Mutual Compassion

Perhaps our most important intention, we would honor each goddess’s thoughts, feelings, ideas, and  stories.  We want most to be understood and heard, not simply ‘fixed’.  Especially since there seems to be no real FIX for menopause and midlife.  We need all the support we can get.

Our Venus group is like therapy with someone who loves you.  We are physician, homeopath, counselor, patient, sister, and best friend to one another.  As is the case with therapy, we contract to do some work:  exploring, accessing, shaping, and growing through our tears and laughter.  But our sisterhood extends beyond therapeutic relationships.  We’ve created a community that allows, no not allows, expects us to thrive. Thrive we have.  Individually and collectively, the Venuses are healthier and happier than we were just ten short years ago.  We’re still menopausal and we are still confronting challenges.  But together we’ve come a long way and we owe much of our progress to the synergy of our goddess group.

We wish you good luck in bringing together your own group of goddesses, though you won’t really need it.  All you need is desire and commitment.  If we can help at all, please let us know.  We can be found anytime on Facebook or here on our Menopause Goddess Blog.

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Medical Information in Your Smartphone? Yep, There’s An App For That!

ipad iphone App RX

ipad iphone App RX

If you are like me, you don’t lug your computer everywhere you go, but you always have your smartphone readily available. And too, if you are like me, you may have questions about anything from diet regimens to treating symptoms while traveling. Now, there’s an app for that – actually several apps. HealthTap has just released their newest venture for taking charge of our own health and well being:  AppRX.  Here’s what is so great:

“Download Two and Call Me In the Morning”: Doctors Review and Recommend the Best Health Apps with HealthTap’s all new AppRx

Revolutionizing app discovery in health and wellness, HealthTap brings its vibrant network of top doctors to rate and “prescribe” mobile apps.

Palo Alto, CA – May, 2013 – HealthTap, the premier mobile health platform that connects people with a network of more than 40,000 top doctors, today unveiled AppRx, the only place for consumers to discover the best and most useful health apps recommended by top doctors.

With more than 40,000 health and wellness mobile apps on the market, and no easy way to determine whom to trust, people looking for help are left alone to navigate a thicket of apps that are of questionable relevance and quality. HealthTap’s all new AppRx alleviates the pain of health app discovery by making it easy for anyone to select doctor recommended apps in 30 different health and wellness categories.

App Rx Categories on Health Tap

App Rx Categories on Health Tap

“There are more than 600 different diabetes apps, 231 different children’s health apps, and more than 105 period trackers with new ones popping up almost every day! With only user reviews in app stores, it’s very difficult and time consuming to assess the quality and personal fit, let alone discern which apps are best suited for specific health issues,” said Dr. David Wyatt, a Family Practitioner from Atlanta, GA. “Together with tens of thousands of my colleagues, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to objectively and professionally rate the quality, reliability and helpfulness of the best apps on all platforms. We’re committed to putting people’s mind at ease with the knowledge that their selection is ‘just what the doctor recommends.’ ”

“AppRx is the latest step in making HealthTap everyone’s one-stop mobile health hub. Each month, millions turn to HealthTap to get the best answers to their health questions and valuable tips from top doctors,” says Ron Gutman, HealthTap Founder and CEO. “Now everyone can also learn from our doctors which apps can help them stay healthy, or improve their health and well being. Connecting consumers with the right apps will also help realize more of the cost-savings potential of data apps in healthcare, which McKinsey & Company estimates at $300 billion. We’re delighted to help consumers and our healthcare system save money, while  continuing to enhance people’s health and save lives every day.”

About HealthTap
HealthTap is the best way to connect with the most trusted health information and doctors. With top-rated web and mobile apps, HealthTap offers immediate and free access to relevant, reliable and trusted health answers from a network of more than 40,000 U.S.-licensed doctors. Sign up today and download HealthTap’s free apps for iPhone, iPad or Android at www.healthtap.com.

Htap2

Stay tuned for Part III of Creating Your Own Menopause Goddess Group in the next post. I didn’t want to wait on letting you all know about the launch of this cool new tool.

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Summer Style with My New Sunglasses

Lynette and sunglasses © dewitt jones

Lynette and sunglasses © dewitt jones

I’ve worn glasses since I was thirteen years old. Except for a spate of time when I wore contacts, I’ve worn them every day until now.

I love my progressive lens eyeglass prescription. No longer do I whip off my distance glasses and fumble for my reading glasses and vice versa. I can see far, middle, and close-up with no problems.

My only problem is the need for sunglasses. Oh sure, I have a pair of prescription ones for driving, but they are never with me when I need them (there’s that memory thing again.)

So, when Vibrant Nation contacted me to see if I’d like to try a pair of Solar Shield sunglasses by Dioptics, I jumped at the chance. (I am part of the Vibrant Nation Influencer Network: how cool is that?) They let me pick out a pair as a free sample to try .

What really sold me is that they have sunglasses that FIT OVER your prescription glasses. And they are – wait for it – stylish. I remember having a pair of fit-over sunglasses years ago that were huge, clunky, and downright ugly. Not these. I feel like I look good in them (and not just for my age.)

Dioptics also has clip-on versions (which I don’t really use, but some people like them better than the fit-over version.) The Solar Shield sunglasses are super easy to use, inexpensive, and there are loads of styles and sizes to choose from. They sell them at Walmart, Walgreen’s, CVS, and other big retailers. Even if you live on a tiny rural island like me, you can still get them by shopping online.

I have a pair that lives in my purse, I’m going to have to get a pair for my car. No more sighing and squinting because I forgot my prescription sunglasses (yet again!)

Ladies, if you are interested, check out their website: www.solarshield.com. Just because we are Menopause Goddesses doesn’t mean we can’t look cool and protect our eyes at the same time.

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Sweet Six-ty

Change For The Better © lynette sheppard

Change For The Better © lynette sheppard

Enjoy this guest post by one of our favorite Menopause Goddesses, Saskia Andreola.

Embracing 60 this past year has been far better and, in many ways, serendipitous than I could have imagined when I was that 16-year-old, wildly-impetuous Jersey Girl. The only thing I miss is my butt. A girlfriend of mine use to tease me that I should turn around and introduce myself sticking out my derriere because of the compliments I’d get. I would have rather had her wonderful breasts, as I was lacking in that department.

There are parts of me that have been rejuvenated and enhanced and didn’t come with my genetic packaging; but that’s been a conscious choice. Because the simple truth is that when we look our best, we feel our best, and everyone in our inner circle “wins.”

Running a plastic surgery practice while working closely with patients on a very personal level has taught me that we all have a basic need to be paid attention to and feel recognized. I admire women who choose to age gracefully, however, I’m not one of them…yet. It is a relief/maybe a release not to have the 3-inch heels taking up real estate in my closet. Gone are the tight jeans, long nails and extra time in front of the mirror. I don’t miss them anymore because I’m not interested in pretending to be younger than my hard-earned and well-deserved years on the planet.

These days it’s much more intriguing to me hearing someone’s story of what hoops they’ve had to jump through, lessons they’ve learned and choices they’ve made that makes them who they are instead of wanting to know where they bought their shoes or had their hair done. Doesn’t mean I don’t ask, I do, because to be noticed and to be complimented is one of life’s easy pleasures.

There is a ring of truth to the statement, whether it is fair or not; “When a man gets up to speak, people listen. When a woman gets up to speak, if they like what they see, then they listen.”

Having 5 planets in Leo, born under the sign of the Dragon, and being an 8 on the Enneagram scale has given me plenty of fire this lifetime. Now that I’m 60, it feels great to be comfortable in my skin….of course if it were a little tighter, I wouldn’t complain (smile).

Saskia Andreola RN runs Dr. Clyde Ishii’s plastic surgery practice in Honolulu Hawai`i. She is also one of our satellite Menopause Goddesses. To learn more, click here.

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