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Meal Planning for 1 or 2…with menopause in mind

Dear Denise, Turns out eating out every night isn’t great for weight loss or hot flashes. Also, I hate cooking!  Those memes about the hardest part of being an adult is figuring out what to cook every night….that’s me! How do you do all those things like seed cycling, warm & cool foods and fasting?  I totally see the benefits but implementation is killing me! Help, Fading fast in Philly Ps, Married-how does that stuff work with person #2?   Dear Fading, First, I hear you-Loud and Clear!  Before I met Ken my meals were basic and for fuel only.  No spices, maybe burnt, maybe raw, once it was both! I am lucky, for sure, that Ken likes to cook.  And the blessing can be a curse.  He only cooks corn as a veggie and he’s pretty fly by the seat of what’s on sale today. It’s definitely tricky.  But like all new habits, start slow.  Add just 1 at...
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Resolution Renewal

Dear Denise- I’ve been following you for awhile, love your truth bombs. And everything you say is super easy but I’m just not getting results. My New Year’s resolution was to do all your suggestions.  How long do I need to do all this stuff to feel better? –Wanting to Feel Better in Phoenix Dear Phoenix- First…Love you!!  Glad you’re loving the thoughts I share. Second…Resolutions, they are tricky things!  So full of life and excitement on December 31 and January 2 but quickly fading as the holidays fade back into real life. As we stare down another first of the month let’s revisit your resolutions and make them more likely to stick. Change your outcome based resolutions to action based.  For example, “I will lose 50 lbs” becomes “I will walk 1 mile daily, eat 5 servings of veggies daily and strength train 2x weekly.”  Also, this needs to be 3 resolutions! Once you’ve got a new list of...
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Quick Symptom Relief in (Peri)menopause

Dear Denise, This perimenopause business is for the birds! I wake up soaked from night sweats, gain weight just thinking “donuts”, and get so embarrassed when I am trying to answer a client’s question only to not be able to remember the words. What can I do to get some quick help? -So Many Symptoms in Cincinnati   Dear Cincinnati- Those symptoms really do add up quickly, don’t they? Thing is, they’ve been building for years.  It’s just that they start out relatively insignificant.  An added pound or 2 each year form age 30 on.  Restless sleep that might be chalked up to stress, an occasional lack luster love session, a moody day.  Suddenly becomes hot flashes, insomnia, 20 pounds and no libido ever. So just like planting a tree, the best time to avoid symptoms was 20 years ago, but NOW is the next best time! One of my mentors, Dr. Sara Gottfried says, “if you don’t take time...
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Tips for Increasing Libido In Menopause

Dear Denise, With Valentine’s Day coming up I’m in a bit of a panic. My sweetie is planning a very romantic night, no kids, wonderful supper and I’ve seen packages arrive with scraps of lace in them! But I’ve lost that loving feeling no matter how romantic or patient they are , I’m just not feeling it. Any tips to bring back my libido? -Loveless in Louisville   Dear Loveless, What a big catch 22 for us with fluctuation hormones; the opportunity and want to might be there but there’s just no flame. Here are my best tips to increase libido through lifestyle… Increase your testosterone with heavy workouts.  This is not initially a quick fix but once you’ve started regularly lifting heavy for a few months you’ll find yourself coming home from a workout ready to love up your honey. Increase your energy levels by making sure you’re getting at least 100 grams of protein daily.  You’ll see benefits...
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I’m 48, I feel like life is over.

Dear Denise, I just turned 48 and feel like my life is over. My kids don’t need me, I’m just going through the motions of getting up, going to work, come home, make supper, tv, bed… No grandkids in sight. Retirement is forever away. And TBH, this spare tire around my middle is weighing me down (pun intended) -Ancient in Akron   Dear Ancient- I am so sad.  And (ask my kids) not one for allowing pity parties to continue too long. Cry it out.  Scream it out.  Journal it out if you want. Now what? What’s next.  The average life expectancy of an American woman is 94, you probably have almost 1/2 a life to go.  Do you really want to spend it hating? I heard that life expectancy last year as I was turning 47, exactly 1/2 way.  And here I am staring down another birthday excitedly counting my blessings and looking forward to another trip around the...
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How to Beat Exhaustion in Menopause

Dear Denise, I am exhausted and even though it is midnight I can’t sleep.  I go to bed and my mind is so busy. Suddenly my alarm goes off and it feels like I only got to sleep 2 minutes earlier. I chug soda and coffee all day just to put one foot in front of the other. I read your tips about sleep but I am just to exhausted to even try.  Got anything easier? –Exhausted in El Paso   Dear Exhausted, Oh the night time monkey mind. I remember waking up not feeling rested at all, swilling caffeine and eating candy bars just to get through the days and magically at bedtime I couldn’t sleep. Here is a super basic step 1.  Eat more protein. Don’t worry about another thing. Just. Eat. More. Protein. What I’ve found over the years of working with women is that we really don’t eat enough protein.  In this diet driven society we’ve...
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Better Sleep in Menopause

Dear Denise, I haven’t slept in 3 nights and before that I could get to sleep but was awake by 3 am.  I know there’s changes in menopause but I’m going crazy without sleep. -Sleepless in Syracuse   Dear Sleepless, This is horrible!  I am so sorry this is happening to you.  It’s bad enough to have interrupted sleep but no sleep is downright dangerous! Short term no sleep causes brain fog, trouble staying alert or paying attention and increases cravings (yikes, like meno belly needs any help!?) Long term sleeplessness can lead to heart attacks, strokes and diabetes–DEATH! You are definitely right about sleeplessness being a symptom of menopause.  It all comes back to stress and cortisol.  And the fact that as we get older cortisol continues to build up in our systems unless we actively avoid our stressors and even work to reduce cortisol.  Also, when we have crazy sleep, and our energy is all over the place...
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Reduce your Menopause Belly

Dear Denise, Please help!  I’ve always eaten moderately and walked.  My weight has been stable for years and in the last 6 months I’ve suddenly gained 20 pounds.  I look 5 months pregnant! I tried running for a while but kept gaining weight. I cut my meals in half and I’m still gaining weight!   Help! -Bulging Belly in ‘Bama   Dear Bulging Belly,  Welcome to “The Change!”  The time of life where nothing happens like it used to!  A time filled with confusion and symptoms no one warned you about and all the previous go-to’s (like running and dieting) no longer work. Menopause. It’s like suddenly landing in another country and nothing works the same; traffic is on the other side of the road, stores close for lunch, no shorts in public and public bathrooms are not free! Instead running makes you fatter, eating less means packing on pounds, drinking coffee spikes anxiety but still causes sleepless nights! What’s a...
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Please just tell me what to take!

Dear Denise, you talk a great game of getting “me” back and loving the menopause life but I don’t like veggies, I have no energy to workout and my schedule doesn’t allow me to go to bed early. Now what pill can I take to feel like me again?  Just tell me the pill please. -Barely getting through the day in Philly Dear Barely getting through the day, If you’re looking for a pill let’s get started! A quick story first. One day in my early 30s I had just showered and my 8 year old girls were chatting with me as I got ready.  Suddenly one says, “MOM! did you even wash your pits?  You smell like a skunk.” I HAD showered and put on my prescription strength deodorant. I was already embarrassed by my stink but had been hoping others couldn’t smell it.  Now I was certain I stunk and I’d already tried every soap, scrub and deodorant. ...
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The Sexy Unsexy Life

The Sexy Unsexy Life

Lose 30 pounds in 30 days! 20 inches in a month, gone! Walk 500 miles in 2020! New Year, New You! What . The . Actual. F#$%? Why?  Why do I have to start over?  What if I don’t really need to lose 30 pounds?  20 inches, what does that even mean?  And 500 miles!!  Who even has time for that? For years as the New Year rolls around, the irritation around these headlines grows. What’s wrong with me?  Why must I up my “game” so much just because I hung a new calendar on the wall?  What’s wrong with the old me?  Can I just improve it? And all of the sudden it’s too much.  I can’t give anymore. I already walk my dog everyday, lift really heavy weights, look like a crazy person on the stair mill and keep my butcher in the money with all the protein I eat in a week.  I read, I meditate, I...
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