The ultimate guide to taking control of your health and beauty during menopause
Age: 49, At the start of the year I was depressed, stressed, and way over a vaguely healthy weight, let alone my ideal weight.
Hot flashes were exhausting me, my joints hurt, my blood pressure was creeping up, I looked and felt like a frump.The Menopause Makeover is FAB - it worked for me!
I was a doormat to everyone in my life, and I felt powerless to change.
It took a night in the hospital with a heart attack scare (thankfully not!) to make me realise no-one else was going to change my life for me.
Thanks to Staness' help I've lost over 40 pounds in six months, and become far more confident and assertive.
I look and feel 10 years younger, my joints don't hurt, my blood pressure is back to normal.
Even better, I welcome rather than dread turning 50 next month and moving on into the next decade of my life.
What helped most- getting my protein/carb ratio right, keeping a food diary, increasing exercise, and clearly and publicly stating my goals to keep me accountable.
I'd recommend the Menopause Makeover to any woman looking to change her health and her life. It's realistic, evidence based, supportive, and caring. This plan really makes a difference!
PS: I've actually lost another 6 pounds since the weekend the "after" photos were taken!
6 months later!Jane's latest update: Hey, Staness, thought you may want to know I now weigh 15 pounds less than when those photos were taken- two dress sizes smaller! Thanks so much for your help! BEFORE (Jane in orange) AFTER (SEXY JANE!) I'm wearing a dress size I haven't fitted into since before I met my husband- from UK size 22 to UK size 12 in under a year!!!! I'm using a lot of exclamation marks, because this time last year I would truly not have believed this was possible. I'm happier, healthier, stronger, more confident, and meeting my goals in other areas of my life too. The Menopause Makeover works! And not just for weight, Staness has created a fabulously holistic plan that takes in all aspects of a woman's life. I would recommend this 110% to any woman wanting to make changes in her health, happiness, or general well being. I didn't set foot in a gym either, waaaaay to busy for that, or invest in expensive exercise equipment. My exercise is walking which I incorporate into my daily commute in a way that it uses up NO additional time out of my day (using those fitness shoes with the curved soles really helped power up my walking too), and doing some light strength training with a resistance band. Okay, the sun is shining, I have the day off work, I'm out for my walk!
Love and hugs,
Share YOUR Menopause Makeover story!
Click here to email: Staness@MenopauseMakeover.com.
Chili contains lots of protein. This recipe is made with turkey, so it is a leaner alternative to ground beef. Chili can help you lose weight. The “capsaicin,” a colorless compound found in the chilies used to season this dish, can increase your metabolic rate by increasing your body heat production. Chili is also high in iron thanks to the turkey and beans and has vitamin C thanks to the tomatoes, peppers and chilies. Plus, it’s a great source of fiber that helps keep you feeling full for a long time after eating. Enjoy the healthy benefits of chili!8-10 servings prep time = 30 minutes Ingredients 2 medium onions, chopped (1 cup) 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup) 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup) 2 pounds ground turkey 2 tablespoons ground cumin 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained 2 jalapeño chilies, seeded and chopped 28-oz. can of whole Roma (plum) tomatoes 3 cups water for thick meaty chili, or 4 cups for “soupier” chili 2 cans (15 ounces) black beans, drained 1 can (15 to 16 ounces) kidney beans, drained Salt and pepper to taste Sweet onions, sliced Low-fat sour cream Directions -Cook the onions in vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the onions are tender. -Add garlic and the green and red bell peppers, cook 2 to 3 minutes. -Add turkey and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until the turkey is no longer pink. -Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, green chilies, jalapeño chilies, tomatoes and water. Reduce heat to low. -Cover and simmer about 30 minutes. -Add beans; simmer 15 to 20 minutes longer. I simmer for a total of 2 hours for a rich flavor. -To serve, add sliced sweet onions to the top and a dab of low-fat sour cream. If you want to make this recipe spicy, add one whole red habeñero or one whole serrano chili (deveined, deseeded and chopped). Or if you like a Tex-Mex flavor, add an envelope of taco seasoning as you simmer this recipe. Calories 175 Protein 15 grams Carbs 13 grams Fat 6 grams Fiber 5 grams By Staness Jonekos, The Menopause Makeover
Women who had severe PMS in their younger years may experience more severe mood swings during perimenopause. There are many factors that can cause an increased risk for depression from your genes, to having a prior history to taking certain medications. Certain endocrine disorders, such as hypothyroidism, or other illnesses, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, are also associated with depression. Signs and symptoms include:
A depressed mood --This is a normal, brief period of feeling blue or sad that is commonly experienced and rarely requires treatment.
Depression as a symptom – This type of depression may be due to a wide variety of medical or psychological problems, or to intense reactions to life events (such as divorce, losing a job, death of a loved one). It is usually short-term and most often does not require treatment, although it can progress to clinical depression.
Clinical depression -- This is a pathologic disorder believed to result from a chemical imbalance in the brain. A clinical (major) depression requires treatment.
- Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Overeating, or appetite loss
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.
According to the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN): The risk of major depression is greater for women during and immediately after the menopausal transition than when they are pre-menopausal. If you suffer from depression whether mild, moderate or clinical, get support and visit your health care provider to discuss your options. By Staness Jonekos Co-Author, “The Menopause Makeover”
If you are still feeling very stuck and sad, talk to your clinician so you can get a referral to a good psychotherapist. If you need medication, in the broader context of menopausal symptoms, there is some evidence that hormone therapy can augment treatment and help people who are on anti-depressants feel even better. That is a decision for you and your clinician.
Menopausal Weight Gain: How To Get Your Body Back
- Loss of estrogen may make insulin less effective at lowering glucose, and more effective at storing fat.
- Suffering from menopausal symptoms can affect a woman’s emotional health…weight goes up, self-esteem goes down.
- Normal life and environmental changes, such as children leaving or coming back home, divorce, death, career changes, can be stressful.
- The stress hormone, cortisol, directly affects fat storage and weight gain in stressed individuals. Cortisol is associated with increased appetite, cravings for sugar, and weight gain.
- There's a link between estrogen and body fat storage. Post-menopausal women burn less fat than they did in their pre-menopausal years. Cells not only store more fat but are less willing to part with it.
- Medical conditions such as insulin resistance (when your body becomes resistant to the insulin it produces) or suffering from an underactive thyroid can pack on the pounds.
- Medications that can trigger appetite, slow metabolism, increase fluid retention, and cause muscle cramps decreasing desire to exercise are: antidepressants, antihistamines, beta-blockers, corticosteroids, insulin, statins and tamoxifin.
- Eat Protein: Women naturally have less muscle mass and testosterone than men, so lean proteins such as, chicken, turkey, fish, beans, soybeans and tofu, dairy protein/Greek yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, egg whites, are a woman’s best friend during menopause. Your body expends more energy (calories) to process proteins.
- Consume healthy fats: olive oil, flaxseeds, salmon, halibut, tuna, avocados, almonds, and walnuts.
- Manage blood sugar with low to medium glycemic index foods: beans, apples, oranges, cherries, plain yogurt, sweet potatoes, oatmeal.
- Fiber is your friend keeping you feeling full longer and regular.
- Limit alcohol to 2 or less glasses per day: That totals less than 10 fluid ounces of wine, 24 ounces of beer, or 3 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits. More than two drinks per day may increase the risk of cancer and stroke.
- Don’t smoke.
- Watch salt intake to reduce fluid retention.
- Practice portion control. Using smaller plates can help.
- Keep a food diary and create a food plan. There are many great apps for your mobile that may help.
- Eat every 3-4 hours so you don’t get hungry. Three meals and two snacks per day (three if you wake up early).
- Exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week to maintain a healthy weight; increase workout time if your goal is to lose weight.
- Make breakfast and lunch your largest meals.
- Nourish healthy emotions: are you happy, are you surrounded by healthy relationships, is your self esteem high?
Will Your Marriage Survive Menopause?
I wasn’t even married when I slammed into menopause months before my wedding day at the age of 47. Despite being completely in love, I almost ran away and my fiance almost married bridezella! Experts say the number one reason for divorce is lack of communication. My response from the ladies corner, “When everything you know to be normal is being kidnapped by changing hormones, communication may be last on the list. Throw in lifestyle changes, health and aging issues, and you are left in a small evaporating puddle of low self-esteem feeling hopeless.” Many men blame lack of sex as the leading reason for midlife divorce. But is it? AARP poled 1,682 adults ages 45 and older on the importance of sex. Two-thirds of men (66 percent) and about half of women (48 percent) agreed that a satisfying sex life was important to their quality of life. That is only an 18 percent difference. So is it lack of sex, or a breakdown in communication chasing the women away? Navigating a course in uncharted territory can test any relationship emotionally and sexually. It can also bring a couple closer — it did for me. Purchasing midlife marriage insurance can help combat the unforeseen hazards during the menopause transition. How do you qualify for this love insurance? The first step is to understand how menopause can affect your love life. Ladies first. Menopause is a life transition that can affect you physically and emotionally. Your body is experiencing fluctuating hormones that can cause hot flashes, night sweats, itchy skin, migraine headaches, breast tenderness, vaginal dryness and irregular periods. Eighty percent of women will experience uncomfortable symptoms, and the majority struggle with midlife weight gain. Many women feel unattractive going through so many uninvited changes. Some suffer from exhaustion, depression and moodiness leaving them feeling isolated and confused. During menopause a woman’s brain also goes through changes. Dr. Louann Brizendine (author of The Female Brain) says, “The mommy brain unplugs. Menopause means the end of the hormones that have boosted communication circuits, emotion circuits, the drive to tend and care, and the urge to avoid conflict at all costs.” There are additional factors on top of fluctuating hormones that may contribute to a lack of communication and interest in sex. Dr. Wendy Klein, co-author of The Menopause Makeover and leading menopause expert, informed me, “If a woman is taking medications, such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, contraceptive drugs, antihistamines, sedatives, antihypertensives and/or medications for blood pressure, this can also decrease sexual desire.” Midlife stresses brought on by career change, the loss of a loved one, empty nest syndrome or caring for elderly parents can contribute to a declining libido. Throw in aging issues and the last thing on a menopausal woman’s mind is communicating. This woman is in self-survival mode, and may be in no mood to connect or make whoopi. If she is in an unsupported relationship while managing this collection of changes, leaving the marriage may appear like her only salvation. Gentlemen — your turn. How many factors listed above is your partner experiencing? It is no surprise why men are afraid of menopause. His woman is changing in front of his eyes. Women are not alone suffering from changes. Men also have midlife challenges, both physically and emotionally. Declining testosterone can affect libido, moods and sexual performance. Generally a man’s hormones change gradually compared to the woman’s experience during menopause, so it may not be obvious to the man that he too is changing. Some of these unwelcomed changes may include midlife stress, as well as health and aging issues. If both partners are experiencing change, the relationship may be on an emotional roller coaster. Approximately 47 percent of women experience sexual difficulties with a decrease of sexual desire being the most common, according to the National Health and Social Survey and the Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors. It is no surprise that most men associate menopause with having less sex. But, it does not have to be this way. The man can actually help save a shaky midlife marriage with some handy tools to power charge the relationship. Women who have a supportive partner often have a smoother transition through menopause. When she is happy, he is happy. Acquiring midlife marriage insurance takes action to make a difference. Midlife Marriage Insurance For Him 1. Listen to her; don’t criticize or try to fix her. 2. Go with the flow; be prepared for mood swings. 3. Be compassionate, and validate her experience (that means agree with her, don’t try to fix her). 4. Be romantic. Bring her flowers for no reason. Make her dinner. Give her a massage. Make it about HER. 5. Cuddle more. Tell her you love her and that she is beautiful. You may just get lucky. If not, do not take it personally. 6. If YOU are not in the mood, keep her company shopping, she will love the company 7. Support healthy eating and exercise choices. Join her for a walk or go on a hunting expedition at the grocery store to find new healthy foods. 8. Don’t ignore her menopause symptoms. Talk about it. Ask her what she needs to feel better. 9. Offer support if she needs to visit her healthcare provider to discuss menopause symptoms, a low libido or depression. 10. If numbers one through nine fail – disappear for a while. She may be seriously cranky and need space to focus on herself. Success depends on going through this transition as a team! Both partners must contribute to have a successful marriage. Midlife Marriage Insurance For Her 1. Track menopause symptoms and discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider. 2. Make a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Exercise most days of the week. Eat nutritious meals. Watch portions. 3. Update your beauty regimen. 4. Build a support group. 5. Communicate with your partner. Don’t shut him out – let him know what you need. Understand he may be confused by your changes. 6. If you are not happy in your current relationship, discuss counseling. 7. Be receptive to creative adjustments in lovemaking activities. 8. If your libido is low and/or you are suffering from vaginal dryness, discuss your treatment options with your healthcare practitioner. There are hormone and non-hormone options available. 9. Pamper yourself. 10. Try to stay positive. Communicate, support each other’s needs, get counseling if needed, add romance, adjust lovemaking activities, and your odds increase that your marriage will survive menopause. Being on the same team will nourish a healthy, loving relationship that can last a lifetime. Life is constantly changing, and marriage is no different. Have real expectations, and acknowledge that your relationship goes through transitions. This will help you weather difficult times. Midlife is an opportunity for both men and women. If you are prepared, informed and willing, your marriage can survive menopause. A loving relationship supported with good communication can strengthen your love life at any age. This menopausal bride made it down the aisle of love. Both my partner and I said “I do” to communication and romance during menopause. We are still happily married five years later and ready to leap over the seven-year itch together.BY STANESS JONEKOS
References: Montenegro, X. The Divorce Experience: A Study of Divorce at Midlife and Beyond. AARP, May 2004. Brizendine, L. The Female Brain. New York: Broadway Books; 2006. Jonekos, S. and W. Klein. The Menopause Makeover. Ontario, Canada: Harlequin Enterprises; 2009.
Ankle Osteoarthritis and Stem Cell Therapy
“The goal is to reduce pain and keep mobility.”He knew I had a fantasy that those stem cells would grow new cartilage, which it would not in my case of almost total bone on bone. For many who have a smaller injury, stem cells are now an excellent option, even on ankles. During the surgery they had to collect the stem cells from the hip joint and distract my ankle joint (separate it from my leg) for the injection of bone marrow aspirate. Concentrated bone marrow aspirate contains healing and growth factors, as well as healing cells called pluripotent cells. Bone marrow is the tissue that is found in the hollow spaces in the interior of our bones. A centrifugation machine called the Magellan® MAR0Max™ was used to concentrate the platelets and growth factors, as well as the pluripotent (or stem) cells, creating an injectable product that is delivered directly to the ankle. The processing time is about 12-17 minutes, and the entire surgery was less than an hour. My personal ankle plan now is to wait for another ten years until I am a candidate for a total ankle replacement. I will continue to utilize hyaluronic acid injections, take Celebrex when needed and be open to new options until it is time for my total ankle replacement. We are all different, and fortunately there are good options available for ankle osteoarthritis now. My hope is that those with similar injuries catch it early so new treatments like stem cell therapy may stop the progression of osteoarthritis, and joint replacements become a thing of the past for everyone. By Staness Jonekos ************************************************************************************* References: Wodicka R, Ferkel E, Ferkel R. Osteochondral Lesions of the Ankle. Foot Ankle Int. 2016 Sep;37(9):1023-34. Ramponi L, Yasui Y, Murawski CD, Ferkel RD, DiGiovanni CW, Kerkhoffs GM, Calder JD, Takao M, Vannini F, Choi WJ, Lee JW, Stone J, Kennedy JG. Lesion Size Is a Predictor of Clinical Outcomes After Bone Marrow Stimulation for Osteochondral Lesions of the Talus: A Systematic Review. Am J Sports Med. 2016 Nov 16. pii: 0363546516668292. Jo CH, Lee YG, Shin WH, Kim H, Chai JW, Jeong EC, Kim JE, Shim H, Shin JS, Shin IS, Ra JC, Oh S, Yoon KS. Intra-articular injection of mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee: a proof-of-concept clinical trial. Stem Cells. 2014 May;32(5):1254-66. Mehrabani D, Mojtahed Jaberi F, Zakerinia M, Hadianfard MJ, Jalli R, Tanideh N, Zare S. The Healing Effect of Bone Marrow-Derived Stem Cells in Knee Osteoarthritis: A Case Report. World J Plast Surg. 2016 May;5(2):168-74. Burke J, Hunter M, Kolhe R, Isales C, Hamrick M, Fulzele S. Therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cell based therapy for osteoarthritis. Clin Transl Med. 2016 Dec;5(1):27.
Do Menopause and Alcohol Mix?
What’s One Drink?This is how the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) defines one standard drink:
- 5 fluid ounces (one glass) of wine (about 12% alcohol). Don’t let your wine glass fool you—most hold much more than 5 ounces.
- 12 fluid ounces (usually one can or bottle) of regular beer (about 5% alcohol)
- 1.5 fluid ounces (one shot) of 80-proof distilled spirits
- Light: less than one drink per day
- Moderate: one to two drinks per day
- Heavy: more than two drinks per day
How Much Is Good?
- Light to moderate drinkers have a significantly lower risk of coronary heart disease than nondrinkers. For women, the heart benefits of moderate drinking become apparent at menopause when their heart disease risk normally goes up, and the heart benefits continue after that. Hormone therapy doesn’t affect that benefit.
- Women who drink moderately have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Those who drink moderate amounts of alcohol, especially wine, have a lower risk of dementia than those who don’t drink at all.
- Women who drink lightly or moderately have a lower risk of stroke than nondrinkers.
- At and after menopause (ages 50-62), women who drink moderately have stronger bones than nondrinkers.
- Midlife and older women who drink lightly or moderately have a lower risk of becoming obese than nondrinkers.
How Much Is Bad?
- Drinking may trigger hot flashes for some women, although that isn’t based in research. So determine whether it’s a personal trigger for you. (As for a general risk of experiencing hot flashes and night sweats, some studies find alcohol increases it, whereas others find the opposite.)
- Any amount of alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. The increase in risk is there, but small, for women who drink one drink a day. Women who drink two to five drinks a day have about 1.5 times the risk of nondrinkers. (The increased risk doesn’t seem to have anything to do with alcohol’s effect on estrogen levels.)
- Drinking alcohol increases the risk of many other cancers. The risk rises with the amount of alcohol consumed. (And the risk rises higher if you smoke as well.)
- Alcohol has harmful interactions with many medications, even ones you may not think about, such as medicines for arthritis, indigestion or heartburn, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and more. Check out which ones here.
- More than moderate drinking increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Among heavy drinkers, women are more susceptible to alcohol-related heart disease than men.
- Women who drink heavily are prone to central obesity—the apple shape that is a big risk for cardiovascular disease.
- Heavy drinking can lead to osteoporosis that cannot be reversed. It’s also a risk for fractures.
- Binge drinking increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Women at menopause are especially vulnerable to depression, and heavy drinking can just make that worse. Heavy drinking itself can lead to depression, and women who show signs of alcoholism are two to seven times more at risk of developing depression than men.
- Alcoholic women are more susceptible than men to key organ system damage, including heart muscle damage, nerve damage, cirrhosis, and possibly brain damage as well.
Take It EasyIf you drink alcohol, enjoy yourself, but make sure your drinking is light to moderate. For women, the NIAA puts its low-risk drinking limit at no more than seven drinks a week and no more than three drinks on any single day. Provided by: The North American Menopause Society
Learn More:Need to know more about alcohol and your health? Try the NIAA’s Rethinking Drinkingsite.
FREE essential planner downloads! Create your own personalized Menopause Makeover planner! Set goals and track results, document symptoms, journal your feelings, prepare your food plan and shopping lists. Click here (not image)