Dealing with menopause is no laughing matter! Some people (mostly men) say it is all in your mind . . . believe me, it is not!
My personal story of going through "the change" was quite challenging and my hope is to share some tips to help women who are about to have to experience this or currently experiencing the change to find some relief throughout the process.
I am 55 years old now, but when I was around 52 I began to experience symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, horrible mood swings, irritability and no energy. When I approach my doctor on the subject, she simply said, "Yes, it sounds like you are going through pre-menopause. When it gets bad enough, I will give you a prescription."
There were two thoughts going through my mind when I left the doctor's office: (1) I need to find a different doctor who won't just pushed pills on me, and (2) I needed to research to find alternative means in dealing with the horrible symptoms I was experiencing!
In researching this topic, I found several articles that provided helpful nature ways in dealing with your symptoms, and I want to provide them here to hopefully help anyone dealing with this nature process that happens to all women:
1. No Processed Foods. In a recent study, it was found that diets high in refined carbs may increase the risk of depression in postmenopausal women and diets high in processed foods may also affect bone health. Eliminating processed foods and adding plenty of fruits and vegetables can help prevent a number of menopause symptoms. Fruits and veggies are low in calories and can help you feel full, so they’re great for weight loss and weight maintenance.
2. Drink Lots of Water. During menopause, women often experience dryness. This is likely caused by the decrease in estrogen levels so drinking 8–12 glasses of water a day can help with these symptoms as well as it can also reduce the bloating that can occur with hormonal changes. In addition, water can help prevent weight gain and aid in weight loss by helping you feel full and increasing your metabolism.
3. Take Vitamin D & Calcium. Hormonal changes during menopause can cause bones to weaken and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Calcium and Vitamin D are key vitamins linked to good bone health, so it is important to get a good amount of these nutrients in your diet.
There are many foods that are calcium-rich, including dairy products like yogurt, milk and cheese. Additional foods that have high calcium level are green, leafy vegetables (such as kale, collard greens and spinach), tofu, certain cereals, fruit juices or milk alternatives.
Vitamin D can be found in such foods as fish and eggs. Sunlight is your main source of Vitamin D since your skin produces it when exposed to the sun, but, as you get older, your skin gets less efficient at making it. Be cautious with getting too much sun as we are all aware of skin cancer! It may simply be a good idea to either take a supplement or increase food sources of Vitamin D. If you have any interest in learning more about the importance of Vitamin D, take a look at this short video below.
4. Avoid Trigger Foods. Avoid key common trigger foods and drinks such as caffeine, alcohol and foods that are sugary or spicy. (Be aware, they may be even more likely to trigger you when you eat them at night.) I would suggest keeping a symptom diary to help you determine what foods and/or drinks trigger your menopause symptoms. If you determine that particular items trigger your menopause symptoms, try to reduce your consumption or avoid them completely.
5. Achieve & Maintain a Healthy Weight. Believe me . . . it is common to gain weight during menopause and such extra weight may affect your menopause symptoms. This can be due to a variety of different reason such as aging, lifestyle, changing hormones and genetics. Gaining excess body fat, especially around your mid-section, increases your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. Evidence supports getting regular exercise helps in maintaining a healthy weight among other benefits which include better sleep, increase energy, decreasing stress level and promoting healthier joints and bones.
It has also been proven that regular exercise can protect against diseases and conditions that come along with aging including high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis. For example, one study found that exercising three hours per week for one year improved physical and mental health and overall quality of life in a group of menopausal women. Another important thing to note is in another study of a little over 17,000 postmenopausal women, losing at least 10 pounds of weight over a year were more likely to eliminate hot flashes and night sweats.
One additional tip I would like to share to help with menopausal symptoms is a key supplement I found that made a world of difference! Tre-en-en Grain Concentrate is a whole food supplement that I took and found to be one of the best products to help with my hot flashes, night sweats and low energy level. Our cells are surrounded by special membranes that allow nutrients to get in and waste to get out. If these cellular membranes are starved of vital nutrients (lipids and sterols), they become inflexible and can't perform these critical functions. Whole grain lipids and sterols allow your cell membranes to become their flexible best, making it easier for nutrients to get in and waste to get out.
In an independent study by Texas A&M University when Tre-en-en is present in the diet, overall growth and development, nutrient utilization efficiency, and cardiovascular development improved. (Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.)
If you are looking for a community to help you with your 2021 health goals whether it be losing weight or setting and achieving your fitness goals . . . contact me and let’s get you motivated!
Need help during the holidays to keep on track with your health goals and avoid overeating? Then you won't want to miss this short video to learn ways to avoid overeating this holiday season, including tips and some fun unique healthy recipes, while still having some of the traditional indulgences!
Starting this month to be cautious of what and how much we are eating is a good start to continuing on with healthy choices in 2021!
Are you interested in getting a entry into my December 2020 drawing for free products? If so, please watch this video and then email the answers to these questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be entered!
Can't for an Accountability Partner to help you stay on track during the holidays? Reach out to me and let's get your plan in place. Hope you found the video helpful and good luck during your holiday season staying healthy. You can do it!
1. What is one of my favorite desserts in the holiday season I allow myself to have some of?
2. What is one of the benefits I mention regarding drinking water?
P.S. Stay tuned for updates on this blog with my Healthy Recipe book I promised including the different recipes I mentioned during the video as well as additional I found since!
It's Christmas time! While most people are excited and ready to spend time with their loved ones, it is important to remember those who might be having a little harder time being in good spirits during the holidays.
I would like to share my story and why I know from first-hand experience that the holidays can bring on unwanted feelings of sadness and overwhelming emotions ... some even sneak up for years until you actually figure out what is triggering them!
I hope by sharing my story it will help others remember the importance of reaching out to loved ones who might need a little extra care this holiday season . . .
My story started in March of 2012 when my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. She went through all the treatments of radiation and chemo for eight weeks only to find that she would have to begin going through another round . . . one she was not looking forward to. But in December she was admitted back into the hospital with fluid on her lungs causing her not to be able to breathe. They did a scope on December 24th to look around, but the doctors didn't come back to talk with my dad and mom on Christmas Day, they waited until December 26th to report the bad news that the cancer had spread throughout her body and gave her anywhere from three weeks to three months to live.
Throughout 2012, I flew back to Texas from Washington state every four to six weeks to spend time with my mom and dad. I am thankful for the many memories I made during these last months of my her life, and I know it was good for my dad that he was able to get out of the house to recharge his soul without having to worry about my mom being home alone. My mom passed away on January 3, 2013. This was one of the hardest losses I have ever had to experience.
It is important that I share when we lived in Texas that the holidays, for me, were about family. Starting with my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, and moving through Christmas and spending her birthday with my momma . . . New Year's Day! I believe Thanksgiving was my mom's favorite too. Everyone wanted to come to my dad and mom's for Thanksgiving and they brought their own Tupperware dishes to take home leftovers. Mom was known for her turkey and dressing! We sat around for hours playing card games and board games . . . such incredible memories.
That first holiday season without my mom was a difficult one. Even though we didn't live in Texas anymore and the holiday seasons were different, the fact that my mom wasn't there for me to call anytime I wanted to was very hard to accept. It seemed that every November I would start to go into a depression. One that was so difficult to pull out of ... I moped around, I could cry on the drop of a dime, and I just had a hole in my heart that I couldn't get past. I finally put two and two together and figured out that the holidays were triggering this sadness! And I know that over time, the heartache dulled some, but just realizing what was the trigger made it easier to get through as I did several things that helped me stay positive.
As we approach this holiday season, I write this for two reasons:
1) I hope if you know of someone who lost a loved one this year you will remember to reach out to that person and check in on them. Especially with the crazy year was have had with lockdowns and isolation, I know this time will be very difficult for them and hearing from someone ... knowing someone is thinking of them will mean more than you can imagine!
2) For those who are grieving and going through your first Christmas without your loved one, I wanted to share five tips that might help you get through this tough time:
My personal note to those who are struggling this holiday season . . . I am praying for you daily and hope you know God is always there whether you feel Him or not.
There really are many different ways you make make a difference during the holidays and, to be honest, many won't take much effort on your part but would mean the world to someone in need or feeling alone. Here are ten ideas to giving back during the holidays:
1. Donate to a food bank. A lot of food banks have been hit hard during 2020 and are in need of dry and can goods. When you go to the grocery store for your Christmas meal, put some extra can goods in your cart and take them over to the local food bank.
2. Write Christmas cards to residents at a nursing home or assisted living facility. Most nursing homes and assisted living facilities residents have been in isolation and not able to visit with their family or friends since March of this year. Chances are they will not be able to do so for Christmas either! You can make their Christmas a little brighter by dropping off a card and/or present! If you call a nursing home or assisted living facility in your area and talk to the facility supervisor, they should be able to give you the first name only of each resident so you can make each card more personal before dropping off at the facility. What a wonderful way to spread God's love by helping someone remember they are not alone and being prayed for!
3. Adopt a family. By contacting a local church or welfare agency in your area, you can find out a family that might be in specific need and take them a Christmas meal as well as buying a present for each one of the family members or one present the whole family can appreciate.
4. Clean out a toy box. Many children today have tons of toys they never play with and are in pretty good condition. What a way to teach your children about being blessed and that not all children are as lucky. Have your child go through his or her toy box to decide what toys they would like to give to a needy family. It gives a gift to someone less fortunate as well as teaches your child to appreciate the many blessings they have in their life.
5. Phone a friend. Text messages are okay, but there is nothing like getting a phone call from an old friend. It doesn't have to be on Christmas day, but since Christmas is falling on Friday this year what about taking time over the weekend to call and old friend (especially one who may have lost a love one recently and this is their first Christmas without them) and check in on them.
6. Remember your four-legged friends. Winter is always a time to remember our four-legged friends who are living in the shelters and don't have a family to spend it with. The shelters are always in need of blankets and old towels to help keep the animals warm so why not go to a thrift store or Goodwill and see what you can find to donate to your local animal shelter. Of course, taking bags of food, treats and toys can help make their time at the shelter just a little more pleasant! Volunteering for a local shelter and taking the animals for walks and playtime would be a great way to give back throughout the entire year!
7. Pack stockings for homeless people. It is not our place to judge why someone is homeless. We don't know what circumstances may have happened in their life to cause them to be where they are now. God tells us to love and take care of those less fortunate. The song by Mark Wills "Don't Laugh at Me" is such a great reminder that we truly never know why a person is in a position that they are in life. Go to the Dollar Store and purchase some stockings as well as every day essentials such a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, socks, deodorant, etc. and find someone in need that will appreciate being thought of during the holiday season.
8. Bake cookies or casseroles. Homemade cookies or dinner would always be greatly appreciated by someone that has to work over the holidays whether that is a policeman, firefighter or even your neighbor or friend. My husband was a firefighter for Austin Fire Department for many years, and I know how his crew always appreciated being thought of during the holidays!
9. Send a care package to the military soldier. The holidays can be especially hard on our soldiers! Sending them an extra care package to open for Christmas could really make their Christmas a little more special. Currently Soldiers' Angels is having a "Holiday Stockings for Heroes Drive" and have extended their deadline because of so many requests received. If you would like donate some stocking for this great cause, click here for more information. If you would like to give back year round, they have Special Campaigns that you can also participate in. Check out their home page for more information.
10. Raise money for a charity. Find a charity that you feel strong about and give money to it as opposed to buying Christmas gifts for everyone this year. You can include in your Christmas card message that you decided this year to give to a worthy cause for those who are in need. This may inspire someone else to do the same thing!
As you can see, there are many ways to give back during the holidays! I hope you will consider doing one or more of the suggested ideas above and make someone else's Christmas special . . . I know it will be good for your soul too! God Bless and Merry Christmas!
We all deal with stress and mood swings from time to time, but if we are aware of what is going on in our life and take action to focus on the positive, we can be happier in our day to day life.
Below are ten tips I use in my every day life to help me stay positive and live a healthier and happier life. I hope you find them helpful and can work some of them (or all) into your life!
If you would like a PDF version of this document, please click here.
Experts say Vitamin D is very important to our health and immune system! What are the signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency? Fatigue, bone pain, muscle weakness, muscle aches, or muscle cramps, mood changes (like depression), loss of appetite, or frequent cough and cold. With us heading into the winter time, are you prepared or do you need some extra help?
Here is a short 30 minute Zoom Chat I did to explain more about what you can do to improve your immune system and get the recommended Vitamin D into your diet.
Hello and welcome to my Weekly Health Chat! I am excited to share with you each week some "Food for Thought" to help you with your health journey. As we are about to start the 2020 year, I hope you find this blog helpful of research that I will share concerning our health and how we can reach our goals together this year.
As my first blog, I would like to share with you some information I found from various health websites concerning "fad diets." The reason I am interested in such research is because one of my main goals in 2020 is to help you reach your health goals whether it be losing weight, gaining weight, putting on muscle, lowering your blood pressure, getting your cholesterol numbers under control, or just staying active. I see a lot of people these days trying such fad diets, and I want to help people determine what diet might be best for them. I know that I am not an expert on such topics by any means, but I have done some research I want to share with you in a hopes that it gets you started in doing your own research and talking with your doctor about what you should do to reach your health goals.
To start with, let's find out what a fad diet means. The definition of a fad diet, or novelty diet, is a diet that is popular for a time, similar to fads in fashion, without being a standard dietary recommendation, and often promising unreasonably fast weight loss or nonsensical health improvements. There are many fad diets out there that have come and gone. There are also many that some call fad diets, but they have been around for some time. I am going to list several below for you to read about and hopefully help you decide what type of health journey you want to start in 2020.
Before you start any diet, let's take a look at what the American Heart Association suggest you have in your daily diet. It suggests a diet filled with fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats, and fish. To read a great article by the American Heart Association that gives you the suggested servings, click on this link.
South Beach Diet: The first book describing the diet was created in 2003 by cardiologist Arthur Agatston. The diet has three stages, and gradually increases the proportion of carbohydrate consumed as it progresses while simultaneously decreasing the proportions of fat and protein. It includes a number of recommended foods such as lean meats and vegetables, and has a concept of "good" (mostly monounsaturated) fats. It makes no restriction on calorie intake, includes an exercise program, and is based around taking three main meals and two snacks per day. To learn more about a summary of this diet, click on this link to read an article from the Mayo Clinic.
Keto Diet: I found many sites that talk about the Keto Diet and how it is a good way to lose weight quickly. For an interesting article by Women's Health on the History of the Keto Diet, check out this link. You can also find out more information on the Keto Diet by clicking on this link to an article from the University of Chicago Medicine.
I found another informative article from the Mayo Clinic staff that gives you a short summary of how several fad diets work, the upside, the downside, and their overall opinion. The diets they discuss in the article are the Whole 30, the Ketogenic Diet, Anti-Inflammatory Diet, and Intermittent Fasting, You can find that article at this link.
Please know, it is not my intention to tell you what diet you should try or not try. I simply would encourage you to do your research and determine what diet is best for you. I would also recommend talking with an expert such as a nutritionist or dietician that can help you determine a plan that is best for you.
Whatever your health goals are for 2020, I wish you much success! You can do it!
Check out my recent Baby Steps Motivating Your Monday Newsflash. Hope you enjoy it!
Good Monday morning! I truly believe that we alone can change our circumstances. To see my Motivating Your Monday newsflash I recently did providing more thought to this, click here.
Do you ever have those God moments? The ones where you hear that voice in your head telling you to do something that you really didn't want to do. I had just such an experience last Friday and wanted to share the moment with you . . .
Last week for some reason I was struggling. Can't really tell you any one reason why, but it was just tough. Those feelings of depression, not being smart enough, not doing enough, what is my purpose here on earth . . . can any of you relate to that? It is amazing how the mind works! I know if I get out and walk, my spirits get lifted. I know if I just do some sort of exercise for 10 to 15 minutes, I will get in a better mood. Even listening to a motivational podcast can help in this situation, but I wasn't trying to get better I was just there floating along in my darkness.
Each week I have team calls on Friday morning, but this week I truly did not want to get on that call as I wanted to sit around and wallow in self-pity. I could hear that little voice inside my head saying, "Rey, get on the call." After much reluctance, I got on the call . . . a little late, but I did it. I am so glad!
One of our team members was sharing from her heart about feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, and not up to the tasks she is asked to do sometimes. She referred to Moses doubting God's decision to send him to Egypt and be the voice to Pharaoh to set the Jews free because he didn't feel like he could handle the task. But with God by our side, how could we not accomplish anything we set our minds to?
It was the most powerful team call I had experienced in a while and just what I needed to help get me started out of the state of depression I found myself in. This lady is someone I truly look up to as an inspiration as well as an awesome speaker and presenter at retreats and conventions. To hear her speak of her doubts in herself as well as opening her heart about life experiences, it truly helped me realized all I have and all that I am thankful for! It reminded me that I am here for a purpose and with God by my side I can't fail. I just have to be myself . . . flaws and all! Accepting the times that I am not a "Rey of sunshine" and asking for prayers when I need them.
Being ourselves and being authentic is one of the most important thing we can do. It helps people understand that we all have moments of self-doubt and lack of confidence. We all have moments of feeling sad and alone without a plan for what we are doing here. Being ourselves truly can help those around us see that we all live on an emotional rollercoaster, but believing in ourselves and seeking God's guidance on our daily activities can help us understand the journey He ultimately wants us to follow.
Today I wish you to be your authentic self and encourage you to share with those around you who might need an uplifting story to get them on the right path of being grateful and content in where they are on their journey. God bless and have a wonderful day!