The ultimate guide to taking control of your health and beauty during menopause

testimonials

Heather's Menopause Makeover Story

BEFORE                                                            AFTER Age:  38 I am 38 and lost 52 pounds.  Yipee!!!  I went from a size 14 to a 4!  I proudly strutted myself into my high school reunion knowing I weighed just a couple of pounds less than I did when I graduated! I had a total abdominal hysterectomy at the age of 29 – my doctor left one ovary to keep me from going through menopause.  Six months later, I was back in surgery to remove a large cyst. Two months after that, the cyst had returned and the ovary was removed just before my 30th birthday.  An estrogen patch was slapped on me in the recovery room and I was on estrogen therapy for 5 years. The weight gain seemed unstoppable and I became miserable.  I did not want to go anywhere or do anything. Then I found Staness’ Menopause Makeover – this changed my world!  Her words made me realize that even though I was young, I did not have to PAUSE! It took time, but I have found myself again!  I have more confidence and even made my way to my 20th high school reunion this past fall! Thank you Staness for showing me the way to gain strength I never thought I had! PS:  Here are the before and after pics I promised…you can see that my sweet little family has reaped the benefits of your program. I cannot thank you enough for the motivation, tools, and support! BTW – The after pic was taken before my son’s first band concert.  He has struggled with asthma since pre-school and has been doing so much better!
I am a much happier person than I was in July of 2010!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!!!
CONGRATS Heather - you are truly an inspiration!  You did it!  Me-No-Pause!  Wahoooo!

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How To Relieve Menopausal Vaginal Dryness

If hot flashes, night sweats, cranky moods aren't enough to drive you crazy during the menopause transition, get ready for changes to your vagina too! One common issue is vaginal dryness. As we get older, especially after menopause, the delicate vaginal tissue begins to lose natural oils. Even more, “declining estrogen levels during the menopausal transition can lead to itching, irritation, and painful sex,” says Dr. Alyssa Dweck, gynecologist and sexual health expert. With a number of treatment options out there, it’s important to know that all vaginal moisturizers are not created equal. Many cleansers on the market, from soaps to body washes, have harsh ingredients and properties which can actually damage your intimate areas. Unlike other feminine care products, Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion does not foam, which allows the vaginal tissue to maintain its protective barrier. The lotion also contains the super-moisturizer, hyaluronic acid, to keep your tissue hydrated throughout the day. “Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion is a rich vaginal moisturizer to prevent and alleviate these symptoms,” Dr. Dweck notes. Lubrigyn has been a feminine care bestseller across Europe since 2004, and is now available in the United States! Learn more about Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion and take advantage of the $5 off discount.

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Ankle Osteoarthritis and Stem Cell Therapy

By Staness Jonekos My future was changed forever when I sprained my ankle in a college ballet class. This injury was 40 years ago yet a third degree sprain like mine was treated the same way as today: P-R-I-C-E (protect from further injury, restrict activity, apply ice, apply compression, and elevate the injured area). Little did I know that the ligaments I injured had started physiological changes that would compromise my joint stability. The healing response that was initiated in an attempt to repair the damage actually increased my risk for degenerative changes that eventually led to osteoarthritis. It is the most common type of arthritis caused by the degradation of a joint’s cartilage. There are up to two million acute ankle sprains each year in just the USA alone. Fifteen years after the initial ankle sprain I had severe pain and was forced to seek out medical attention in an attempt to walk normally again. Being in my mid-thirties and hearing that my only option was an ankle fusion, limiting motion for the rest of my life, was devastating news. My new mission was to find an ankle expert that was a pioneer. NOTE reference photo of my left ankle X-ray 40 years after the injury, bone on bone, compared to a healthy normal ankle on the right side. After five appointments with orthopedic surgeons in the Los Angeles area, I discovered Dr. Richard Ferkel at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute (SCOI). He became my lifetime ankle hero. He specializes in arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery of the ankle, as well as cartilage restoration, but it was his work with the U.S. Olympic teams, the NFL and NBA that really impressed me. If professional athletes entrusted their careers and joints to him, so would I. Dr. Ferkel did a procedure to clean up the bone spurs, called arthroscopic debridement, and microfracture and drilling to help stimulate cartilage growth. This procedure, along with lifestyle changes that included eliminating all high-impact activities, bought me over 20 years of good mobility with manageable pain. Once I hit my fifties with an injury over 30 years old, my quality of life was once again compromised with limited motion and bad pain. Dr. Ferkel then suggested viscosupplementation, an ankle injection procedure with lubricating fluid. It is also called hyaluronic acid injections and commonly used to treat knee osteoarthritis. It was not FDA approved for ankles (and insurance would not cover it), but I wanted to proceed if it meant a decrease in pain and an increase in mobility. It worked, and I did the injection every year for five years. After each injection, it felt like a little cushion in my ankle; there was a spring in my walk again. Acupuncture also greatly helped manage the pain when I could find the time to do it. Although it was not a cure, my quality of life improved. When I traveled and needed to do a lot of walking, I would take Celebrex, (also know as a COX-2 inhibitor) a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. There were no real fixes, just management options. Total ankle replacements (TAR) only last about eight to ten years, so that was not an option either. Fortunately for knees and hips total joint replacement surgery is an excellent option with longer-term beneficial results. Looking at the end of my fifth decade, I was still not interested in ankle fusion, ankle arthrodesis, which can relieve pain but it also limits motion. I still had decent ankle motion and an ankle fusion would reduce existing mobility. My other fear was it could compromise other functioning joints that would eventually become taxed when the injured ankle joint was no longer mobile. After extensive research there was promise for adult stem cell therapy that is an intervention strategy that introduces new adult stem cells into damaged tissue in order to treat disease or injury. Stem cells are unprogrammed cells in the human body that have the ability to change or “differentiate” into other types of cells. Since they are obtained from the patient, the risk of rejection is almost non-existent. Knees have shown good results with stem cell therapy. A 2014 study revealed that mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) therapy on knees with osteoarthritis had the potential for cartilage regeneration. Today this procedure is considered a reliable alternative treatment for chronic knee OA. Ankles are still the last frontier in this area. After 40 years since the initial injury, the biomechanical changes across my ankle joint surface had produced severe osteoarthritis. Daily walking became so painful I started planning my day around managing how much walking was needed to accomplish basic life duties. I had dreams about running, and being free to move without pain. Friends no longer called to go hiking or power walking. It was difficult to maintain a healthy weight without being able to just simply walk. I was envious of friends who counted steps to lose weight, I planned my day around how few steps were needed to survive daily tasks. Something had to be done, and it wasn’t going to be ankle fusion. That said, I spoke with many people who opted for ankle fusion and it changed their lives. Many even returned to athletic hobbies. Stem cell therapy was my next move and Dr. Ferkel felt it could be a good option to help reduce pain and increase mobility. It was an “experimental” procedure because it is not yet FDA approved. Based on research using stem cells from the iliac crest (hip bone), it had promise. Dr. Ferkel told me,
“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. ************************************************************************************* 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.

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How To Invest In Your Long-Term Eye Health

Fluctuations in our estrogen levels during menopause bring all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms, from dry vaginas to dry eyes!  I can't even wear contacts because of dry eyes! If you’ve already begun or completed menopause, you’ve probably noticed a decline in your overall vision-- it simply isn’t as sharp as it once was, even when you’re wearing prescription glasses. One common complaint is driving at night-- 40% of drivers over 40 feel uncomfortable behind the wheel after dark. Why your vision declines after 40 Changes to our eyes occur gradually, over decades, until we suddenly recognize changes in our vision. As we age, our pupils shrink and dilate less in the dark, which reduces the amount of light entering our eyes. This can even make it seem as if we’re wearing dark sunglasses at night. We’re also at greater risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the deterioration (or thinning) of the macula, a critical part of your eye responsible for your central vision. In some cases of AMD, blood vessels can form under the retina and leak blood and fluid into the eye. Macular degeneration is the number one cause of vision loss in adults over 55. Two crucial nutrients, zeaxanthin and lutein, can help protect our eyes against further deterioration and support the natural functions of your eyes. “Zeaxanthin and lutein protect the most important retinal real estate of the eye–-the macula–which allows us to see detail. It is therefore critical to maintain the quality and health of this area of retinal tissue in a modern society that depends upon using computer screens and driving automobiles safely,” said Dr. Stuart Richer, doctor of optometry. Even through a healthy diet including leafy greens, certain fish, and other foods, you’ll still only absorb  a trace amount of these nutrients. The dose of zeaxanthin and lutein we need to protect and improve our vision can be found only in a supplement like EyePromise Vizual EDGE. The natural supplement helps dim the harsh light from glare, improve contrast when looking ahead, and reduce eye stress from bright lights. I encourage you to take the time and invest in your long-term eye health and feel more confident driving at night.

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Menopausal Weight Gain: How To Get Your Body Back

By Staness Jonekos, Author “The Menopause Makeover” It is estimated that the average weight gain during the menopause transition is about 10 to 15 pounds.  Well, I must not be average, because I gained almost 30 pounds in less than a year when I slammed into menopause!   Frustrated that I could not find a solution, I sacrificed myself as a human guinea pig and figured out how to lose it all in just 12 weeks. To be successful, weight loss during menopause demands a new strategy.  It takes more than cutting calories to lose weight during this life transition! I was surprised to discover, according to new research, that for many women menopausal weight gain is not entirely their fault. The first culprit is aging. Both men and women lose muscle mass as they age, which can lower the body’s resting metabolism, therefore increasing the risk of weight gain and accumulating body fat around the waist. Many women become less physically active in their 40s, 50s and 60s because life is busy; it’s a challenge to find time to schedule exercise. Less activity means less muscle mass, which means weight gain. Now get ready for the double whammy:  Aging plus hormone changes. Studies claim that the perimenopause transition may contribute to increased fat in the abdomen, changing a woman’s shape from a pear to an apple with more of the fat disturbed around the waist. Here’s proof that weight loss is an uphill battle. As we age and slide into menopause, it is suspected that declining estrogen levels may lower the rate of energy used during exercise.  Weight loss habits and workout routines used in younger years often aren’t as effective as we age.  It takes more work to lose weight. Not achieving your desired results within a certain time frame may increase frustration and decrease motivation. Declining estrogen levels wreak hormonal havoc that can cause night sweats, and that is a formula for sleepless nights. Sleep deprivation produces increased levels of ghrelin – the hunger hormone – and decreased levels of leptin – the “stop eating” hormone.  This can equal weight gain. The list continues. Grab a glass of wine and settle in:
  1. Loss of estrogen may make insulin less effective at lowering glucose, and more effective at storing fat.
  2. Suffering from menopausal symptoms can affect a woman’s emotional health…weight goes up, self-esteem goes down.
  3. Normal life and environmental changes, such as children leaving or coming back home, divorce, death, career changes, can be stressful.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
                It is no surprise that most women going through “the change” struggle with weight gain more than with troublesome hot flashes. Weight management during menopause is important because weight gain increases the risk of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and some types of cancer, including breast and colon. There is good news! Put that glass of Merlot down and walk into your kitchen, because incorporating a new strategy can help you obtain and maintain a healthy weight. How food can set you free.  Feeding the new you!
                1. 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.
                2. Consume healthy fats: olive oil, flaxseeds, salmon, halibut, tuna, avocados, almonds, and walnuts.
                3. Manage blood sugar with low to medium glycemic index foods:  beans, apples, oranges, cherries, plain yogurt, sweet potatoes, oatmeal.
                4. Fiber is your friend keeping you feeling full longer and regular.
                5. 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.
                6. Don’t smoke.
                7. Watch salt intake to reduce fluid retention.
                8. Practice portion control.  Using smaller plates can help.
                9. Keep a food diary and create a food plan.  There are many great apps for your mobile that may help.
                10. Eat every 3-4 hours so you don’t get hungry. Three meals and two snacks per day (three if you wake up early).
                11. 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.
                12. Make breakfast and lunch your largest meals.
                13. Nourish healthy emotions: are you happy, are you surrounded by healthy relationships, is your self esteem high?
                If you want to enjoy some dessert after dinner, then don’t eat a starchy carbohydrate, such as white rice, with that meal.  For example dinner can be broiled chicken, steamed veggies and a glass of red wine.  Then you can have your cake and eat it, too (small serving). Weight loss is possible with a few changes.  Negotiating the Glycemic Index is a powerful tool.  Aim for low to medium glycemic foods, toss in some physical activity and have realistic expectations. Focus on you! Me-NO-pause!

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                What's Your Ideal Weight?

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                recipes

                Pita chip and Vegetable Platter Low-fat Hummus Dip by Staness Jonekos The Menopause Makeover 10-12 servings Ingredients 2 cans garbanzo beans drained, and save the juice 6 teaspoons lemon juice 4 tablespoons sesame tahini 6 cloves garlic peeled 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper Directions -Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. -Process until smooth, and add the reserved garbanzo juice for a nice creamy texture. -Serve with vegetables. Bell peppers, celery, cucumbers and carrots make a lovely and tasty presentation. -This recipe makes it possible to prepare two bowls of low-fat hummus.

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                downloads

                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.

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                giveaways

                Enter to win the next giveaway, coming soon!

                Go to the Menopause Makeover Facebook page, "like us" and leave a comment that YOU want to enter to win the next giveaway, and be automatically entered! Click here. Check out a few of our incredible testimonials! Click here.

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