Healthy In-expensive Weight Loss

Our nutritional intake of some foods is somewhat similar to the harmony which exists in a functional family, wherein each member plays his or her part, at the right time for the right reason. Did you know that Pairing certain ingredients, allows the components of the nutrients of the foods you pair to join forces; which then give your body the benefits of fighting inflammation among other things? I have seen changes in my skin tone, texture, and appearance as well as noticeable differences in my weight over a six (6) month period of learning this and testing it myself.

The suggestions I am sharing here are not meant to be “hard and fast” rules, but something you may experiment with. I am aware that it is not a ‘one size fits all’, but I believe it is worth a try. I had several reasons to try different things because in the year of my 49th birthday I started noticing changes I felt uncomfortable with. I started having the bulges, which was surprising to me since I was practicing what I considered healthy eating for years. I did not drink sodas, artificial juices, nor did I consume a lot of processed foods and meats.

My research led me to Jordan Rubin,  http://makersdiet.com/about.php.  It was quite life-changing, so I bought two of his books.  The first thing I learned was the need to have an internal body cleanse. He suggested a 10 day Daniel fast cleanse, because he believed it would help spiritually, emotionally and physically.  He gave 12 physical benefits of fasting, all of which are very beneficial. However, I will only elaborate on four now, with the others to follow in subsequent writings.

Fasting Helps Break Addictions to Junk Food, Drinking and Smoking

I am not a smoker, and I occasionally a glass of red, white wine or Irish cream if I feel like it, which could not be construed as addicted to drinking. However, I developed a sweet tooth just about when all the changes began. So with the weight piling on fast, I took on the challenge of the fast. I must confess that I was not as strict as was required, due to the fact that I am on prescribed medications. However, with my adjusted version of the fast, the sweet tooth was definitely reduced. Even today, I still do not like having anything sweet. Some dark chocolate once in a while and a Jamaican coconut ‘drops’ here and there, but that’s about it.

Fasting Promotes Healthy Weight Loss

During and after the fast I was given specific food groups to consume and in specific proportions. I was directed to have my first meal later in the day, as opposed to having breakfast early; and have my last meal earlier in the evenings, as against having dinner later. According to Rubin, this allows the body more time to breakdown and absorb nutrients at a more efficient rate. The diet for the fast and the early days after, consisted of fresh raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds (organic preferable). The key to my success though was continuing most of the rules used throughout the period of change, (cleanse and fast).

Fruits

I started consuming organic green tea, natural fruit, and vegetable juices (carrots, cucumbers, beets, apples, and ginger), in special combinations which I will write on in future pieces; and eat fruits such as watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple and papaya at least five (5) days per week. This was done for breakfast and lunch between 7:00 am and 12:00 noon. Firstly, I would have tea, then an hour later juice. Approximately two hours later I would eat the watermelon and honeydew (if it’s available), and another hour later, I have the cantaloupe and or pineapple. I realized I was on a positive path and I no longer had the bulging problem.

Healthy-Juices

Fasting Promotes Healthy Energy Level

My desire to exercise returned and I added walking to my daily routine. I started walking three (3) to five (5) days per week, and loss even more weight, to the point where my husband started teasing me that I was disappearing. It felt really good that I had gotten results without spending a whole lot of money, and I was not on anyone’s time or program. Today, one year later, the challenge I have is a wardrobe malfunction, in that, it is costing me to replenish my ‘stock’. This does not bother me one bit, as I am feeling great about the new me.

Fasting Supports Cardiovascular Health

My research so far has provided no documented scientific evidence that fasting supports cardiovascular health, the regimen and the actions taken while fasting provide the body, and heart with a healthy boost. Gaining weight and developing diabetes, are risk factors for heart disease. Therefore, regular fasting may give your body time to metabolize the sugar and caloric intake, and allow the organs of the body, such as the heart, kidneys and liver time to break these down efficiently. One key component of fasting and heart health is water. Rubin in his Daniel fast plan recommended ‘the consumption of four 16 – ounce bottles of purified water before consuming the first meal of the day, at about 2 p.m. Then the rest of the day, he recommends another three to four additional bottles’.

Royalty-Free-Footage-Water.jpg

I know this is a lot of water, especially for someone who does not normally drink that much; but the body requires flushing of the toxins that are expelled during the period of fasting. It is recommended that a glass of water be consumed, first thing in the morning, one or two before a meal, one sometime after a meal, and one before bed. Care should be taken to ensure that the water being consumed is not municipal tap water (chlorinated), but as much as is possible, purified water and where possible natural spring water. Spring water occurs when water flows to the surface of the earth from underground without man’s intervention.

Conclusion

I hope that this information on fasting and its benefits will assist you in some way, to manage your weight, take back your health and well-being and look and feel your best self. It may take some willpower and strength to train your taste buds, to naturally accept the taste of water, raw vegetable juice, and unsweetened teas.

 

Healthy Ways to Mix and Match Your Food

What do you like to eat?

What are your favorite foods?

Do you know that it may be good to eat things you may not enjoy, but may be good for you?

Are you aware that there can be harmony in mixing and matching some of your favorites and not so favorite foods?

The food pairing suggestions I am sharing here are not meant to be hard and fast rules to follow, but to help us have fun with our food while we prepare and create our meal specials. These mixes and matches provide us with simple approaches towards eating, which is important considering that our bodies handle and digest foods differently as we age.

Taking time to properly pair and combine our foods, provide benefits; in that there is evidence that it helps to improve our digestion and the absorption of nutrients in a way that is helpful to those of us who have a sensitive or compromised digestive system.

Macronutrients such as protein, carbohydrate and fat digest at different speeds, and are often consumed in large amounts. Each of these requires the release of different enzymes and digestive juices to break them down for the effective and complete process of digestion to take place. When we eat these foods at the same time, they having different digestive requirements, symptoms such as gas, bloating, belching and upset stomach may occur.

Arugula, Kale and You

Combining baby arugula, kale, extra virgin olive oil, and freshly squeezed lemon juice is very beneficial to the body, in boosting the absorption of antioxidants to help fight free radicals in our system. These leafy greens also contain lutein which is known to reduce inflammation and helps in preventing disorders such as age-related macular degeneration, (a common cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older). Beta carotene, another antioxidant, is also found in these green leafy goodies that have been proven to help lower inflammation in adults.

Love the Berries

Try Them Out I have presented you with a few combinations which you may try. I would be happy were you to incorporate your own and provide me with feedback.  I am pleased to have written this piece. Ladies who are trying to bump up their healthy eating habits may refer to these suggestions. It is my absolute pleasure to share with you, my sisters and I sincerely hope that you may benefit from using them.

Did you know that berries are some of the healthiest foods around? They are high in fiber and low in calories. Many of these berries have proven benefits for a healthy heart, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. They are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that help in keeping Alzheimer’s, diabetes and heart disease at bay. Frequent consumption of these also helps to keep our memories sharp. There are several berry-combination smoothies that I have included in my daily diet. These serve as a meal replacement or to meal complement, the choice is yours. My favorite is ‘berries combined with home-made almond milk, flaxseed, chia and hemp seed with a bit of organic honey’.

Beans and Lentils

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Being a premenopausal woman puts you at risk for both calcium and iron deficiency, which is really saying that your bones may be weak and brittle and you are not producing enough healthy red blood cells. Eating iron-rich and calcium-rich foods, such as beans and lentils together may provide you with the nutrients you need and a very satisfied palate. To enhance the body’s ability to absorb the iron from this combination, a bit of citrus in the form of freshly squeezed lemon juice, or the zest/rind of half of a lemon may be added to the dish. I have been experimenting with different combinations of peas, beans, and lentils and my husband and I love them. We sometimes replace meats for a whole week, while we feast on the various stews.

We have done the Goya 16 bean stew, the red kidney beans and black beans stew, and the mixed lentils stew/soup. They may be ‘jazzed-up’ with coconut milk, turmeric, Jamaican scotch bonnet peppers, and other natural seasonings. You may put your own spin accordingly. Recipes can be shared on request.

Couscous Raisin Salad

Couscous-raisin-Salad

A few years ago I was searching for healthy food substitutes that I could use to replace rice once in a while. I came upon a number of different grains, some described as ‘superfoods’. I read what I could find on them and their preparation. I immediately took an interest in couscous because it was the easiest to prepare. I bought the product, prepared it according to the instructions on the package and was a little disappointed in the taste. My husband was unimpressed.

I was insistent on us enjoying this product, hence the desire to find a way to enhance the flavor.  So the next time I decided to prepare it, I came up with a plan to use coconut milk instead of plain boiled water. I spiced up the coconut milk, brought it to a boil, allowed it to reduce a bit, then added the couscous, and the rest is history. We enjoyed it, it was indeed very good.

I continued to experiment with it by adding different ingredients to make the liquid/water tasty. I have olive oil, butter, coconut oil, raisins, carrots, cranberries, red onions, escallion (Jamaican seasoning plant), and other spices. Today my favorite style is to make it into a salad with raisins and other veggies.

Conclusion

Whether your preference is smoothie, salad or stew, there are benefits in pairing and combining foods. Smoothie with berries and spinach, or berries and almond with other ingredients, studies have shown that over a period of time, fitness conscious women could benefit from a reduction in post-workout inflammation, improved breathing and oxygen flow during workout. The components of the spinach help the muscles work more efficiently during the exercise period, the berries may help to decrease muscle soreness after the exercise.

The overall health benefits of consuming the fiber from the beans and lentils are responsible for several health benefits. They are high in protein and low in fat and make an excellent substitute for meat. Among the many benefits of lemon, it provides Vitamin C and aids in weight control and digestive health.

Try Them Out

I have presented you with a few combinations which you may try. I would be happy were you to incorporate your own and provide me with feedback.

I am pleased to have written this piece. Ladies who are trying to bump up their healthy eating habits may refer to these suggestions. It is my absolute pleasure to share with you, my sisters and I sincerely hope that you may benefit from using them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Based Business Marketing

Home-based business is an awesome way for entrepreneurs to start and develop their businesses without utilizing a “brick and mortar” structure. If you operate a business that can use your home as a base, you will save a lot of money on operating costs. In order for a home-based business to thrive, one needs to promote and advertise the products or services one provides. There are several ways to market a home based business, – by developing a website, expanding your network, establishing yourself as a professional authority in your field and promoting what you do for the customers you hope to serve. Something very important to keep in mind, is who will be your target customers, what solutions will you be providing for them, and how will they know that you possess these solutions. That needs to be very clear as you select the media. The selection should match the audience/customers.

Besides providing quality goods and services, marketing is one of the most important daily undertakings in any business. Without marketing, you will not have customers; and as a consequence, you will not have a business. The real challenge is in finding your market and enticing them to check out your business.

Where Do We Start?

Below I will discuss several methods you can use to market your home based business, but before get into that, we should first answer some important questions such as:

1. Who is our target market?

Many would say, “Everyone.” However, even if your product or service has a wide market demand, to be effective, you should narrow your choices down. You can do this by defining what problem your product or service solves, and then figure who needs that solution. Or you may first research who has problems, what they are and then create a solution for them.

2. Where is your market?

The most successful home based business owners connect directly to their market by going to where the market hangs out. This comprises websites, blogs, social media and even offline options such as service clubs, seminars and other related events.

3. How can you get your market to check out your products?

The best way to do this is to create offers that solve the problems your market has.

Once you have answered the aforementioned questions, you can now utilize the suggested list provided below to discover the options that best fit with your product and market.

Method 1 – Marketing Online

Develop a professional website, it should describe your business, as well as the services and products it provides. Be careful to include information about how to contact you, and if you sell products, make sure customers can buy them from your website.

Use social networking – in addition to a website, your business should have a Home-based-Business-Marketing Facebook page, Instagram and a Twitter feed. Consider your consumers and target customers when determining where to establish a social networking presence. For example, if your audience is tech-savvy about their social news, make sure they can find you on the popular social media platforms. If your business is creative, consider a board on Pinterest; and if video is an important part of it, then get on YouTube.

Writing a blog is also an excellent idea. Having a blog on your website or social networking sites will allow you to disseminate information about your business, and offer insight into the field or industry you are aligned with. Update your blog frequently; that actually give people a reason to revisit your sites, and fresh content will do that.

Send out e-newsletters – collect contact information for current and prospective clients, and deliver a weekly or monthly newsletter to their inboxes. Provide information about new products, services and other updates significant to your company and your clients.

Advertise your business online. Pay-per-click online advertising is popular with many home-based businesses because it can drive business to you based on what people are searching for online. Check out websites such as Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter to get going. When you use this, you are only paying the publisher, or the website your ad is posted on, for the number of times that viewers click on the ad.

Another way to benefit from these pay-per-click ads is to make your business searchable; that way if someone is searching the Internet for “ABC interior design” they might be driven to your ”Master design business”. It is also a good idea to make sure your business is listed in online directories. Yahoo Local and Google Maps are good ways to help local customers find you when they search for an online service.

Method 2 – Marketing in Person

Conduct a demonstration or a mini seminar, use them as a way of sharing your knowledge. This will help the community understand more about the business, as well as promote your company and help you reach potential customers. Find free or inexpensive space to hold your seminars, such as a library or community center.

Use family and close friends to assist by asking them if they will help you demonstrate your services. If you are a caterer for example, you could ask them to host a cooking class in their home.

Develop a diverse selection of printed marketing materials. Your business can truly benefit from business cards, flyers, brochures, postcards and other materials that can be handed out or mailed.

Grow your professional network, by joining your local chamber of commerce, and other business and community groups. Visit home based and network marketing seminars and other related events. That way you can garner the knowledge and education you need to become an expert in your new profession. Introduce yourself at those gatherings and talk about what kinds of services and products your business provides.

Talk to people when the opportunity presents itself. Whether you are flying, in line at a store or sitting at a park, everyone around you “can potentially be a customer”, (within reason). Practice communicating with everyone you come into contact with. However, you have to know how to approach persons. Learn the art of forming relationships and build them into trustworthy connections before you try to promote your business with strangers/new people.

Tips & Warnings

Tips

Remember to ask for referrals when you have done good work for a customer or you have a happy client. You may also offer incentives, such as discounts every time one customer refers you to another. Ask clients to put their satisfaction in writing so you can post testimonials and reviews on your website and social media sites.

Warnings

Refrain from mentioning that your business is home based to start. Like I said, build relationships first, then those can be great customers in the future. After both sides of the relationship develop the trust that is required, and move into a “business-to-client” relationship, then it may be ok at that point. Unfortunately, some people might hesitate to take you seriously if they know your business operations happen in the same place that you eat and sleep. You do not need to advertise the fact that your business is run out of your home; the location is really not that important, except in the case of credibility verification.

Conclusion

There are millions of home based business owners making billions of dollars annually. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this profession. If anything it provides a lot of opportunity for you and your family. Not only financial, but a better quality of life for families who want to spend more time together with loved ones. The ability to retire when you want to and a host of other tangible and intangible benefits. The few things it needs for success are: “your idea, backed by faith and definiteness of purpose”, (Napoleon Hill – Think and Grow Rich).    Think-and-Grow-Rich

 

 

Ladies Pamper Yourselves – ‘It’s one you’

Pampering yourself can cover a wide range of activities, all of which should be designed to make you feel happy, relaxed and at peace. Whether you are locking out the world, being careless in a good way or just being ‘selfish’ for one day, you should enjoy it to the fullest. There are numerous benefits to be derived from pampering you. Not only do you benefit but by extension your spouse and family at large.

Pampering Your Physical Body

Enjoy a luxurious day, the best that you can afford. Select a spa where you have the option to rest, relax and rejuvenate. These spas usually have hot tubs, cold plunges where you can soak and bubble if that is your preference. They also offer other services, to include massages and facials. In my experience, facials give your skin a renewed glow and youthfulness, that all of us sometimes need, after a hard month working and encountering the elements of the environment

Spa-pic

Soak away some of the tiredness and stress that have gotten you feeling miserable. Soaking in a hot tub with one of several essential oils can be both peaceful, healthy and rejuvenating. This can be done at home – set a warm bath and add some bubble bath, bath salts, or an essential oil of your choice. To make it even more relaxing, light a few scented candles, there are many to choose from coconut, soy, beeswax, etc.), and enjoy the moment. Put on some soft music of your choice; preferably classical music, and pour yourself a glass of wine as you are soaking.

My-spa-pics

A manicure and pedicure are also in order at this time. After all this soaking, pull out the nail polish, colour of your choice, and the toe dividers and put on the finishing touches to a well organised, personal work of art. If you chose to go for the professional spa day, then just add a manicure, pedicure and possible hairdo. Steaming with hot water and essential oils is another great treat after a tiresome day or week. Aromatherapy is an excellent way to clear the pores and the nasal cavity. Once the water is steaming, remove the pot, pour the water in an easy to handle container, add your favourite fragrance of oil, place a towel over your head and container and breathe in the scented steam. Scents that may help you relax are:

Bergamot

CedarwoodRoyalty-free-essential-oils

Jasmine

Lavender

Indulge in a treat you never normally would. This may vary, it is entirely up to you. This could be tickets to a concert or a movie you have been waiting to see. It could be some exotic food to treat your palate, or it may be a new piece of clothing, the decision is yours. A part of pampering your body is enfolding it, in comfortable, gorgeous clothes. As a side note, you could donate those items of clothing that you plan to replace. That act could possibly bring you some satisfaction.

Do something you do not normally have time for. Have you been meaning to listen to music or poetry? Now would be a good time. Do you like gardening? Why not lock out the world for a day, and plant some seeds. Pampering yourself can be accomplished through making time for your hobby, doing the things that you love but have not been able to because you are so busy. Now is the time, your time.

Be Careless for a Day in a Good Way

From the day before, pre-plan this: send the kids to relatives or make other arrangements. No alarm clock, wake when you want, take a longer than normal shower, put on the comfiest clothes of your choice and eat yourself into oblivion if that’s what you want. Sit in your favourite chair, read a book, maybe one you have started and have not finished. If books aren’t your thing, pick a newspaper, a blog or a magazine.

Curl up in bed and watch some television. It’s your day so you may pick and choose whatever channel you feel like watching – Pretty Woman, Chick-Flick guilt-free, or watch a documentary. Remember, this day is all about you.  You could also try meditation, releasing your worries and allowing yourself to mentally decompress. Find yourself a quiet spot, close your eyes and practice some deep breathing exercises. Release the tension build up, from work, bill paying and family issues that you have to solve. This simple exercise of deep breathing, concentrating on your breathing for at least 10 minutes can help you de-stress.

Thinking about your goals is another way to relax, usually, there are things that you are really passionate about, and these can often get swept aside in the insanity of the present. When pampering yourself, set aside some time to consider your life and what you hope to achieve. Most of us have plans, hobbies and things we would personally love to accomplish, and then life happens. Create a bucket list, update your bucket list or revisit a past bucket list that you made, and consider how your goals have changed, (if they really have).

Consider your goals – Thinking about the things that you are really passionate about can often get swept aside in the insanity of the present. When pampering yourself, set aside some time to consider your life and what you hope to achieve. Create a bucket list, update your bucket list or revisit a past bucket list that you made and consider how your goals have changed (if, they really have).

Emotional pampering

Practice self-love – look in the mirror and list everything that you love about yourself. Tell yourself how wonderful you are, that you deserve to be loved, respected and cared for. Spend time with your God, reflect on your blessings, the fact that you are alive and well. Think of your accomplishments, and the experiences you have had, and reflect on how they have shaped you as a person. Conversely, consider the things you would like to improve, without thinking negatively about those things.

Spend time with the people you love. Set aside some time from your busy schedule to pamper your heart, by making plans with the people you love to be around, to spend some quality time with them sometimes doing nothing. For example, one evening you could just sit outdoors with your spouse after dinner, watch the sun go down and the moon rise (if the weather permits), gaze upon the beautiful blue sky with the occasional patch of fluffy white clouds. Listen to some music of “yester year”, songs that remind you of your earlier years, or those that have special meaning to you both.

Pampering yourself can also mean pampering your spouse. Spend some time planning a getaway – it may be a week or just a weekend but make it count. It does not mean you have to spend a lot of money or you have to go far, as in flying to a destination. You could just book a hotel for one night, just for a change of scenery. Forget work, forget the bills, just be yourselves, and get lost in the company of each other.

You could call relatives and friends you have not spoken to in a while. Catching up with them can be a great way to revive and emotionally strengthen you. It allows for a chance to laugh and be funny no matter where in the world you all are. With technology where it’s at today, your other options include Skype, Facetime, and WhatsApp video calls, which are all free with data. The technology available is a most helpful alternative to the real face to face meeting.

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Conclusion

Life is short, and so many of us have not gotten the chance to, or allow ourselves to really live and enjoy it. We place everyone else’s needs and well-being ahead of ours and neglect ourselves. It is important though to have balance. Love our families, but love ourselves enough to take care of our own needs, stay healthy and strong so we can be a better support system for our family and friends. Never neglect yourself for anything or anyone.

 

Perimenopause – The Effects On Your Sex Life

Perimenopause can cause physical and emotional side effects that interfere with a healthy sex life. This happens in the years before periods stop and is characterised by hot flashes and other symptoms. Menopause begins when the menstrual cycle has stopped for at least a year.

While every woman’s experience is different, an estimated 17- 45 percent of Perimenopausal women say sex can be painful. Luckily, there are options to help treat the most common complications. In this piece, I am looking at perimenopause effects and some helpful treatments.

 

Physical Effects

During perimenopause, the hormones that bring about fertility and pregnancy decrease, including the hormone estrogen. This results changes in the blood vessels and tissues of the vagina and vulva, making the organs more susceptible to damage.

Most sexual complications at this stage, stem from vulvovaginal atrophy, a condition manifested by severe dryness, a loss of elasticity, and thickness of the vulva and vaginal tissues. The physical changes here can vary from woman to woman and usually cause some emotional side effects as well.

At this stage tissues of the vagina and vulva receive less estrogen. As a result, these tend to thin, lose their folds, and dry out. Thinner tissues are more easily broken, bruised, and irritated. Here, the woman becomes scared of intercourse; which can put stress on her relationship with her partner and even put her in a state of depression. The tissues also receive less lubrication, which intensifies the friction they are exposed to during intercourse, so increasing the risk of damage.

Other Physical Symptoms May Include:

Decrease in vaginal tone or loss of stretch in the vaginal wall

Pain, bleeding or burning during sex

A feeling of tightness during intercourse

Decreased libido or sexual drive

Difficulty becoming or staying aroused

Repeated urinary tract infections

Some women also experience atrophic vaginitis, which causes inflammation of the vaginal tissues. Again, atrophic vaginitis stems from reduced estrogen levels and can cause pain, swelling, itching and burning.

Not all women see the same physical changes during perimenopause, and the severity of symptoms can vary. It is recommended that women see their doctor if symptoms begin to affect their daily life or diminish the quality of life.

Emotional Effects

The physical symptoms of perimenopause can cause emotional side effects too. Changing hormone levels can interfere with sleep and mood, causing tiredness, anxiety, irritability, and depression. Decreased sex drive or inability to enjoy sex can also lead to loss of self-esteem and intimacy.

What perimenopause represents can also cause emotional problems. These side effects are just as debilitating as physical effects, especially when it comes to sex. During times of stress or sadness, people often lose interest in activities that would otherwise bring them pleasure. In this respect, pain and discomfort can make it difficult to enjoy sex.

Many of the physical changes that occur with aging can also intensify the emotional symptoms of perimenopause. If sexual arousal or sensitivity is also affected, some women will shy away from sexual activity altogether, which can worsen symptoms.

The Most Common Emotional Side Effects May Include:

Anxiety, nervousness, or uncertainty

Irritability

Lack of concentration and motivation

Fatigue

Depression or sadness

Sense of loss or regret

Loss of sexual desire or interest

Loss of self-confidence

Loss of intimacy

Feelings of worthless or helplessness.

Results of one survey found that, 70 percent of Perimenopausal women who experienced pain during sex said the problem also caused tensions with their partner; and in their relationship.

Not all women experience negative emotional symptoms linked to perimenopause. Some women gain additional wisdom, confidence, and ability to speak for themselves. Those who do experience negative symptoms should talk to a doctor or a counsellor, if they interfere with healthy sexual activity or everyday life.

Reducing Sexual Complications

The sexual complications of perimenopause may be helped by maintaining an active sex life. Staying sexually active is one of the easiest ways to lessen the sexual complications of this condition.

The physical and emotional side effects of perimenopause cause many women to reduce or refrain from sexual activity. However, the vagina needs consistent use to remain healthy, especially during this life transitioning phase. Regular sexual stimulation helps promote blood flow to the vagina.

Over-the-counter products and behavioural changes are often the first recommended treatments. In worse cases, a doctor may prescribe hormone therapies to help reduce severe vaginal dryness or hormonal creams to apply to the tissues.

 

Tips and Treatments For Sexual Side Effects:

Regulating or reducing stress through exercise and therapies

Engaging in regular sexual activity

Vaginal lubricants applied before intercourse

Using lukewarm versus hot water for cleansing

Vaginal moisturisers applied regularly and before intercourse

Avoiding detergents, soaps, oils, or washes that can cause vaginal dryness

Increasing foreplay or activities that promote sexual arousal

Engaging in couple bonding or strengthening activities

Talking to a therapist or counselor

Finding ways to rekindle passion or repair partner relations

Trying new or varied sexual activities

Treating vaginal irritation, infections, and inflammation

Keeping hydrated

Avoiding materials that irritate the skin

Treating Sexual Complications

Approximately 55 percent of women do not seek medical treatment for Perimenopausal symptoms.

For some women, however, these symptoms are powerful and persistent, so medical treatment is advised. Doctors may prescribe medications or creams that are composed of estrogen, progesterone, or both.

Individual treatment plans depend on a variety of factors, including additional health complications. Women who have undergone a hysterectomy will not require extra progesterone.

Conclusion

Although many herbs and spices are praised as cure-alls for menopause symptoms, care must be taken in the selection made; as your body is at a crucial point in the “change of life” process. Other lifestyle and non-communicable illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension may surface. Therefore care must be taken in the selection of and suggestion of herbal treatments. You may also consume the foods that are derived from some of those herbs and spices; in recommended servings. For example ginger and turmeric are easy to use and consume in healthy additions to your meals, juices and shakes.

 

Perimenopause And Weight Gain – How Do We Handle It?

One of the earliest signs I noticed with my body, that indicated something had changed was the weight gain in my mid-section. My clothes stopped fitting in the waist, and I seemed to be bloated more often than usual. As we get older, we may notice that maintaining our usual weight becomes more difficult. As a matter of fact, many women gain weight around the menopause transition period.

It is ironic how older females in our families or even among our friends do not see it as important to prepare us for, or share some of their experiences with us before we start experiencing these changes. Although most women gain weight as they age, the extra pounds are not inevitable. It is not clear who will or will not gain weight as we enter perimenopause; we just need to be prepared and “change with the changes” There are ways to minimise perimenopausal weight gain, and we will look into some of them.

What Causes This Weight Gain?

There are hormonal changes that accompany perimenopause that might make you more likely to gain weight around your abdomen than around your hips and thighs. However, hormonal changes alone do not necessarily cause the weight gain. The weight gain is usually related to aging, as well as genetic factors and lifestyle.

For example, muscle mass naturally contracts with age, while fat surges. Loss of muscle mass cuts the rate at which your body uses calories, which can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight. If you continue to eat as you always have and do not increase your physical activity, you are likely to gain weight.

Hereditary factors also might play a role in perimenopause weight gain. If your parents or other close relatives carry extra weight around the abdomen, you’re likely to do the same.

Some other factors, such as a lack of exercise, unhealthy eating and insomnia, might contribute to the weight gain. When people do not get enough sleep, they tend to eat more and consume more calories.

How Risky Is Weight Gain At This Stage?

Studies have shown that weight gain at this stage and age can have serious consequences for our health. Extra weight increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breathing problems and various types of cancers.

How Do We Prevent Weight Gain At The Perimenopausal Stage?

There is no magic formula for preventing, or reversing this weight gain. Simply create a personal programme to control your weight and live your healthiest life. Here are some areas in which I have made adjustments, and you can try doing that too:

Eat Less

Try taking in less calories during the day by reducing the time frame within which you eat. So in the 24 hour period, have a shorter feeding time and a longer resting time for your digestive system. Example, start eating later in the day and stop eating earlier.

Also change what you eat – more fruits, vegetables and seeds; and less starch and meats. Start with water, tea or some extracted juices (fruits and vegetable mix, fruit or vegetable); around 10:00 am – 12:00 as you progress. You may then introduce fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew and pineapple at manageable intervals throughout the afternoon (eat them separately).

Then have an early dinner, at times between 3:00 and 6:00 pm (depending on your schedule), and have a healthy snack at the latest 8:00 pm. Do this for three months and record the results and your body’s reaction.

Try not to be sparing on your nutrition intake in order to reduce calories, pay attention to what you are eating and drinking. Replace processed foods and snacks with fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Dinners and lunches should contain more legumes, nuts, lean meat, fish or chicken which are healthy protein options. Replace butter, stick margarine and shortening with oils, such as olive or coconut oil.

Be on the lookout for the sugar cravings, as this is one of the things I noticed. The need for chocolate and other sweet-tooth items, especially around the time for my period. Start acquiring the taste of unsweetened beverages such as teas, coffee etc. Reduce your intake of soft drinks, juices from concentrates, energy drinks and flavoured waters. Ensure to drink lots of high ph. water throughout your day.

After doing a little research on how to reduce the weight around my belly (mid-section), I realised that the breads that are sold as wheat are not true wheat, but are more colouring and sugar. Based on that, I reduced my intake of bread by approximately 80%, and my result was even better.

It cannot be overstated that women at this stage of their lives need calcium. Eat and drink two to four servings of calcium-rich foods and take a good supplement (Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc with Vitamin D), is usually recommended by doctors, to keep your body’s supply up. Calcium is found in dairy products, fish with bones (such as sardines and canned salmon), broccoli, and legumes.

Try to also ensure that your Iron and Vitamin B12 intake is adequate. These are important for the proper functioning of your body. Try to eat at least three servings of iron-rich foods each day. Iron is found in lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, and enriched grain products.

Move more

Moderate aerobic activity can help you shed excess pounds and maintain a healthy weight, if your joins (knees and ankles) can handle it you may also do light jogging. There tends to be joint pains at this stage; which might not allow for too many strenuous activities. My doctor actually told me to do brisk walking instead of vigorous aerobics such as jogging. I started walking three to five mornings and or evenings per week (for 30 minutes), and saw results in one month.

Depending on your age, preference and health conditions, you may also include crunches, stretches and yoga. Meditation is also a great way to release some of the stress and depressed feelings you may be experiencing.

Remember to Breathe

Now ladies, remember to breathe. With all that you have to deal with at this stage, you have to remember to invest in yourself. Pamper yourself at least once per month. Do your nails, do your hair and a facial to take care of your skin; a light massage may also be great. While all those signs and symptoms are doing their thing, you are coping with them without it showing physically.


 

Conclusion

Ladies let us have each others back. Share the changes with other girl friends, family members and co-workers. each one help one and in the process we feel better.

Remember, feel free to post your comments, questions and feedback.

Perimenopause

Are you a female in the age group 35 and older? Have been experiencing mood swings? Do you feel like you are not as tolerant as you were a few years ago? Have your eating habits changed? Do you still love the things you used to love? Are you as energetic/focused as you used to be? If you have noticed these changes among other things, you may be a candidate and or experiencing perimenopause.

Perimenopause, otherwise known as menopause transition is a period of time in a woman’s life when she begins to experience changes in her life. These changes may start mild and seem insignificant and move to drastic and severe. These changes are capable of altering every aspect of a woman’s life. Perimenopause is something that is not spoken about much but it should be; because its impact has consequences for the woman and her family. It is that time in a woman’s life when her ovaries  gradually begin to make less estrogen. It is normal for it to start in her 40s, but can happen as early as 30 .

How Long Does It Lasts?

Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, at which point the ovaries stop releasing eggs. It is important to note that in the last one to two years of perimenopause, this drop in estrogen speeds up. At this stage, many women have menopause symptoms; which are sometimes an extension of those already being experienced during the early perimenopausal period.

The average length of perimenopause is 4 years. However, for some women this stage may last a few months or continue for 10 years. Perimenopause ends when a woman has gone through 12 months without having her period. Note though, that there have been women who have gone a year without a period, only to wake up one day and the period is here again.

What Are Some Of The Signs Of Perimenopause?

The signs and symptoms of perimenopause are numerous, too numerous to count. Hot flashes, cold flashes, night sweats, breast tenderness, worsening of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), lower sex drive, fatigue, anxiety, lack of focus, poor concentration, painful joints and muscles, headaches, bloating, weight loss, irregular periods, vaginal dryness, discomfort during sex, urine leakage when coughing or sneezing, urinary urgency (an urgent need to urinate more frequently), change in body odor, mood swings, irritability, trouble sleeping, heart palpitations, dizziness – just to name a few.

The symptoms can be overwhelming at times and may give you cause to consult your doctor. Irregular periods are common and normal during perimenopause. However, other conditions can cause changes in menstrual bleeding. You may notice the following:

Your periods are very heavy, or they have a lot more clots

Your periods last several days longer than usual

You spot between periods

You have spotting after sex

Your periods happen closer together (you may get two in a month)

How Is Perimenopause Diagnosed?

Perimenopause is a process; a gradual transition. If you know your body you will start to see changes. No one test or sign is enough to determine if you have entered perimenopause. If you are having changes in your body, especially those listed above you could speak with your doctor. He or she will no doubt take many things into consideration, including your age, menstrual history, and what symptoms or body changes you are experiencing.

Some doctors may recommend blood tests to check your hormone levels. However, other than checking thyroid function, which can affect hormone levels, hormone testing is rarely necessary or useful to verify the beginning of perimenopause.

Can I Get Pregnant If I am Going Through Perimenopause?

Yes, you definitely can. Despite a decline in fertility during the Perimenopausal stage, you can still become pregnant. To avoid getting pregnant, you should use some form of contraceptive until you are certain you have reached menopause (you have gone 12 months without having your period).

Are There Treatments For the Symptoms of Perimenopause?

Many women get relief from these symptoms by restructuring their lives, health and wellness activities. In doing this they alter or change their diets to include more natural foods. One early sign I had was, becoming bloated, and gaining weight in my mid-section. I had maintained a fairly flat stomach over the years, and was surprised by what I was seeing and feeling. Even with reducing my portions not much changed, so I went to work do; trying to find out what was happening. My research lead me to a number of things, one of which was how and what I ate.

To reduce hot and cold flashes there are some drug free and estrogen free products that you can try – Estroven day and night as well as Black Cohosh. You could do the reviews in these products, to see what is being said about them and the results other women are getting.

 

I made a decision to change my eating pattern and diet for a year and see what the result would be. I removed bread, reduced by starch intake, increased my fruits and vegetable intake and walked consistently for half hour at least four days per week. I have also researched and tried some natural vitamins and supplements. This dealt with the weight issues and the bloating.

As for the other symptoms I am still working on them. One key thing to handling some of the more serious symptoms is to share and talk about this with other ladies, your doctor and your significant other. Based on my experience, some things work for a while and then stop; therefore, constant monitoring is required. Find out what works for you and continue to evaluate as you go.

Conclusion

Perimenopause is real and should not be ignored or treated insignificantly. Paying attention to our bodies as a women is essential in how we handle and cope with the symptoms, signs and changes that come with aging. I have met and spoken to women who do not experience and suffer from all or most of the Perimenopausal symptoms; and I have met women who seem to experience a great deal of them. The difference I found is that the former group were aware and had some expectation, whether through research or from friends and family who brought awareness of the condition to them. Here is where I truly believe, “knowledge used is power gained”.

 

About AltheaMc

Hi everyone, welcome to my website “Knowledge used is power gained”. As a young girl, I have always wanted to share my story; and in spite of it, positive life-changing things with young women and men. As a child my life was hard to say the least, but I decided that I would never give, and that I would make a difference no matter what.

Over the years I’ve gone through good times and bad times. However, I chose to concentrate on the good times, and work at replicating them. It is because of that fact, and the life successes that I have experienced, I believe I can make a difference in the lives of others.

MY STORY

As a child, it seemed everything was always stacked again me, and I did not know why – my color, my features to name a few. Initially I felt shy and always alone; being picked on and bullied in and out of school (by the way, bullying is not new); and felt disadvantaged.


As I grew older, I chose to believe in myself, as well as the belief that the word of God says, “I am beautifully and wonderfully made; and that I am made in His image and His likeness. I started walking upright, head held high, and refused to stay in the back of any gathering if I can help it. I was intrinsically motivated to believe in me, even if no one else did.

WHY DO I WANT TO HELP PEOPLE

Based on my experience, it is easy to just crawl into your shell and lose yourself, when you are mistreated ignored and tormented. People need strength, the desire to succeed and affirmation from others.

I had one teacher who thought I was bright even when I could not see it in myself. She encouraged me, gave me directions (though for a brief period), and sometimes gave me food; this made a difference and keeps me remembering that there is always someone who cares and that it is important to pay it forward, even if it is years later.

THE GOAL OF MY SITE

We all have a purpose on this earth, and mine is to help people. I love children and I love young people. I believe that both groups, need and expect guidance; and I want to be one of those persons who provide that guidance that can lead to their success.

Please feel free to comment and and give feedback.

I look forward to being of help to millions of people from all walks of life. 

All the best,

AltheaMc

KNOWLEDGE USED, IS POWER GAINED.