Monday, February 22, 2010

Weight Gain and Menopause

by Staness Jonekos
My menopause symptoms have been moderate and I feel lucky to have escaped hot flashes. But I am getting fatter by the second. I am 5 foot 3 inches tall, 46 years old and have weighed 130 pounds most of my life. Within one year I have gained a whopping 15 pounds. I am having problems with high blood pressure and I look and feel terrible. I would rather have hot flashes than turn into the Pillsbury Dough Girl. Help!
The Pillsbury Dough Girl from Minnesota
Dear Pillsbury Dough Girl:
Weight gain may be the most difficult change that occurs during menopause. We live in a society that celebrates young, skinny women. When we start to gain weight, whether it’s from childbirth, bad eating habits, lack of exercise, aging or menopause it is emotionally depressing. Your weight history seems stable and healthy, no doubt you have good eating and exercising habits. As your hormones fluctuate during menopause you start shifting fat to your mid-section because your progesterone and estrogen levels decrease. Progesterone increases your metabolism. As it decreases during menopause, so does your metabolism.
Also, women gain an average of one pound per year starting in their late thirties. This can add weight as well. You are 46 years old, and if you started gaining that one pound per year starting at 38, that equals eight pounds. Over half the additional weight you are now noticing during menopause.
Fluctuating hormones during menopause can cause an increase in weight and natural aging. Poor food choices and lack of exercise are unforgiving at this time in your life. If you already have a good exercise program, you may need to increase the time and intensity of your routine. If you eat well, cutting portions may yield results.
Start keeping a food and exercise diary. Record your menopause symptoms. According to the BMI (Body Mass Index) charts you are not obese, but considered slightly overweight for your height. This is the perfect time to make hormone, food and exercise adjustments. As you have experienced, being overweight raises your risk of many diseases such as high blood pressure. Doing 30 minutes of exercise everyday may help maintain your current weight. Exercising one hour a day is optimum. Studies have shown that people who briskly walk 30 minutes every day lost up to 30 pounds over time and lowered their blood pressure.
Try incorporating a 30- minute power walk every day, cutting your eating portions and discuss hormone therapy with your doctor. For faster results, exercise 60 minutes a day.

Staness Jonekos is an advocate for women's health, wellness and empowerment. An award-winning television writer, producer and director, she was one of the original executive producers who launched the television network Oxygen Media, cofounded by Oprah Winfrey. Following her commitment to health, Staness co-executive produced the premiere season of VH1's Celebrity Fit Club, and post produced Lifetime's Speaking of Women's Health. Recently, Staness launched into the publishing world sharing her 8-step 12-week Menopause Makeover program in her first book The Menopause Makeover, co-authored with menopause expert Dr. Wendy Klein. Visit Staness at

Monday, February 15, 2010

Follow Your Dreams—and You Won’t Have to Chase Down Inspiration!

by Joyce Mason

My favorite midlife musing: I found my husband, thanks to a dream, when were both 49.  We’re reunited childhood sweethearts, born ten days apart, and we celebrated our 50th birthday together.  We hadn’t seen each other since we were young teenagers. My dream was startling, and I “got” the message because I had been paying attention my dreams for years.  What if I haven’t listened?

If that doesn’t pique your interest about the potential for dreams to change your life, another enticing reason to follow your dreams is their relationship to creativity. Whatever it takes to remember, write down, and analyze your night movies is so worth it!

In the dream state, we free associate mental and emotional content to create stories, but the message of how they may help our waking-life dilemmas or needs for insight will be lost if we don’t bring them to the surface.  It’s like having a buried treasure just beneath our boat.  We’ve got to be willing to put on our scuba gear, plunge down, and pick up the gold doubloons.

What’s that? You say you don’t have time? Think of the time you’ll save when you actually get flash answers to your day-to-day problems.  When you become skilled at remembering, writing down your dreams takes all of 10-15 minutes.  Most of the aha’s and connecting the dream dots to daily life experiences will happen in the penning or computing process.  (I do my journal electronically then print out to a binder, in case I need to get into the sort-it details.  It’s easier that way for me to page back and forth to see developing themes.  It’s like reading a book where the dreams build on one another like chapters.)  The exercise of bringing your subconscious content to mind won’t just boost your insights and creativity; it will help you master your life and life’s purpose as you get to know yourself more deeply—your needs, hidden motivations, and roadblocks.

Getting Started

Dreams must be courted, like a sweetheart.  They need to know you’re serious before they’ll give you the time of day.  If you don’t remember many dreams, here are some tips to help you remember:

  • Get enough sleep.  Longer is better for evoking dreams.
  • Avoid stimulants, especially caffeine, beyond morning.
  • Avoid alcohol at night.
  • Anything deeply relaxing before bedtime enhances—lavender baths, meditation, tense/release of muscles.
  • Affirm your desire to remember and your willingness to be a student of your dreams.
If you already remember or once you do: Keep a small notebook and book light at your bedside.  Even if you sleep solo, dreams are most accessible and best recorded in that hazy time between sleep and waking.  The book light gives you just enough light to get it down if you wake up in the middle of the night.  Otherwise, do it first thing in the morning.  Brief notes and memory joggers will do, although as a writer, I like to pen mine as full stories on the computer. Flow with your own personal style.  With time, you may even be able to remember a dream hours later, but at first, write it down first thing upon waking.

Cracking Your Dream Code

Dream dictionaries are OK for starters, but the best interpretation comes by exercising your mind and intuition through free association.  Learning your personal dream code can only come from the effort of cracking it. It’s your inner language and yours alone.  Here’s a contrast: Places can be literal or a symbol for what the location evokes in you, such as Paris and romance. I used to dream a lot about San Diego—dreams that often involved a lost love I took decades to get over.  Eventually, I got that San Diego was a pun for “sandy ago,” because we met on a beach as teenagers, or perhaps more aptly, “sandy ache-o.”  Just keep at it and look at recurring themes and images.  With practice, you’ll figure it out all on your own—perhaps with the help of a trusted friend or a few of them willing to share their theirs with you in a dream circle. 

Applying Dreams to Waking

Here’s the best part of the application. It nearly always happens all on its own with barely any intervention by your analytical mind.  You’ve opened the door between the right and left hemispheres of your brain by regularly saying hello to your subconscious.  Now when you’re in the middle of a thorny dilemma in a board meeting, the answer just “bubbles up.” In the classic book, “Higher Creativity,” Willis Harmon and Howard Rheingold talk about how much these “offline” practices like dreams, play and relaxation stoke the fires of creativity for that very reason. Even if you didn’t analyze a single dream, just opening that door to bring dreams to consciousness also opens the creative and intuitive floodgates.

Want to learn more? The Dreamwork section on my website is tantamount a free introductory course.  Sweet dreams!


Joyce Mason is a seasoned writer and astrologer from Sacramento whose gift is seeing symbols as guideposts. She writes with gusto on these topics on her own website and blog. Here on Perrie Meno-Pudge, Joyce writes the new quarterly astrology feature, Perrie’s Planetarium . Visit her website for more information on dreams: . Her blogs are Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights  and The Radical Virgo . Joyce is available for workshops and to help you set up dream circles, especially if you live in Northern California. Contact her:

Monday, February 8, 2010

Why is Having A Skin Care Regimen Important

by Candy Dye

Are you a soap and water gal?  A bar of soap and a washcloth is all you’ve used for as long as you can remember?  That was me, too!  Every Saturday night, we used a white bar of soap that smelled really, really soapy (not perfumed), scrubbed ourselves all over, hard, with a rough wash cloth, and voila, we were clean enough to wear a dress with white gloves to church the following day!  What I remember the most was how dirty the water was after I got out of the bathtub, and how dry my skin felt for several days after!

Then we became teenagers, noticing what all the other girls were wearing and doing, and wanting the boys to notice us, too.  Looking good was a priority, especially if one slight flaw would be noticed by everyone!  As I started to notice changes in my skin during my twenties, I began my quest for the perfect cleanser, lotion, blemish eraser, rouge and lip stick I could find!  I loved to make an appointment with the visiting makeup artist at department store cosmetic counters to have my makeup done with my girlfriends, coming away looking like a street girl.  Did you do it, too?  Did you run to the bathroom as soon as you got to school to roll up your skirt and apply a heavy coat of foundation, powder, rouge, liquid eyeliner, blue eyeshadow, heavy mascara, and white lipstick??  Those were the days!!  We didn’t know anything about how to care for our skin,  just what to layer on it to look “good”!  Now, we feel so young in our hearts, yet when we look in the mirror, all those wrinkles look back at us!  There’s still hope! We can get our skin looking beautiful and healthy once again, maybe with a few wrinkles from many years of laughter and sunshine…

                So…….  How Important IS a Skin Care Regimen?? 

We all have our favorite products, the ones that feel great, smell great, and make our skin look amazing.  And, though we’re likely to hold these products near and dear, the truth is, it’s unlikely that there’s ONE “silver bullet” product out there that can fill ALL of our skin’s needs!  The skin around our eyes and lips is physiologically different from that on our forehead, cheeks or chin.  A brilliantly formulated, moisturizing cleanser is still unlikely to provide the hydrating boost that a moisturizing cream can….It is for these of reasons that a regimenone that includes a carefully chosen combination of skin care products that work together with one another - is often the most effective way to make our skin look and feel beautiful!

So how do we choose the right regimen?  What products do we really need?  Skin type can vary from person to person – so naturally, skin care needs to specific to your needs as well.  With all of the skin care products on the market today, it can become confusing to decide what you really need to determine those  products that are really going to help your skin look, feel and function  most healthfully. 
To simplify things things here, I’ll break down the basic skin care needs into a series of steps in which there are particular processes and ingredients that everyone can benefit from regardless of skin type or skin challenges you face.

Products in a skin care regimen should perform the following functions:

Cleansing, Preparing, Treating, Protecting, and Moisturizing.

Cleanse ~  Cleansing helps remove the dirt, oil, and other impurities from the skin’s surface and inside pores.  It is the first step in improving skin appearance, preventing blemishes, discoloration, inflammation and general dullness.  When choosing a cleanser, be sure that is is gentle, natural, and devoid of harsh, irritating ingredients. I HIGHLY recommend Celloxylin Creme Cleanse!  It is also very important to avoid over-cleansing – twice daily is enough, even if you have oily skin! 

Exfoliation ~ is another essential step for most skin types, mechanically or chemically cleansing skin by removing dead skin cells from the surface.  The frequency with which you exfoliate can depend on skin type and your natural ability to turn over dead skin cells, but should typically be done 1 – 3 times per week (see blog post “Why Exfoliate” in sidebar). Celloxylin’s Sugar Beet Crystal/Papaya Enzyme Activated Microcrub has the perfect combination of gritty sugar crystals and papaya enzymes for a mechanical-chemical exfoliant. Did you know that sugar is an anti-inflammatory, too?

Cleanse morning and night, using warm water (water that is too cold or hot can harm skin).  If your skin feels tight and dry, you have likely overdone it!  And remember, it is important to take the same care cleansing the rest of the skin on your body as you do with your face!

Prepare ~ Prepare clean skin to receive ingredients that will come from the rest of your products.  Toners, tonics, or astringents, such as Celloxylin Activating Tonic, are designed to remove the last traces of impurities and restore the naturally acidic pH level to the skin.  Celloxylin Activating Tonic is unique, as it OPENS the pores and primes the skin to efficiently uptake ingredients in the Nutrient Reservoir (see last post “What’s in the Nutrient Reservoir”).  Chose a quality product that supports skin structure and function by incorporating ingredients with astringent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties.  When searching for a toner, tonic, or astringent, be sure to avoid those that are alcohol based – these can be extremely drying.  Apply to skin that is still moist, as this will help prepare your skin to accept ingredients from your moisturizer deeper into your skin!

 ** What’s in your Tonic??  Celloxylin Activating Tonic contains Tremella fuciformis Extract, an extraordinary effective humectant.  It both moisturizes the skin and helps the skin hold onto moisture longer.  In addition, research shows that Tremella works effectively as a topical antioxidant, containing high levels of Vitamin D which is important for cellular metabolism.

Treat ~ Treatment products deliver a high concentration of important ingredients to the skin; some treatment products are appropriate for daily use on all skin types, while others should be used to target specific conditions (ie. wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, clogged pores).  Daily use products should include nutrient packed serums such as the Celloxylin Firming Complex and Precision Skin Rejuvenator.  These products are formulated with ingredients to provide Collagen and Elastin support, combat oxidative stress, promote skin hydration, and reduce the signs of environmentally induced aging.   Treatment products should be applied and allowed to dry completely before moisturizing, to ensure the beneficial ingredients can fully penetrate the skin.  Once dried, apply moisturizer to provide a protective, hydrating layer to lock nutrients deep into the skin, where they can provide the greatest benefits!

Protect~ The number one cause of visible aging is sun damage!  Two main types of UV radiation, UVA and UVB, contribute to  skin damage and accelerated skin aging.  For full protection, SPF products should contain certain ingredients that provide broad spectrum coverage (protect the skin from both UVA and UVB radiation).  While the primary focus of SPF products is to absorb, scatter, and reflect UV particles, many SPF lotions and creams are formulated with ingredients that promote healthy skin structure and function in other ways.  By choosing a daily moisturizer with SPF protection, like Celloxylin Day Cream, you’ll cut down on the number of products you need without sacrificing the benefits!  Remember, it is essential to protect skin all year long, not just during the hot and sunny months.  Products with SPF value should be used last in your regimen, to ensure that active ingredients (which sit on top of the skin to protect against UV radiation) are not rubbed off.  To fully protect the skin from other sources of environmental damage, also seek products with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients – oxidative stress and inflammation are also major contributors to aging!

Moisturize~ Moisturizing is an essential step – it hydrates the skin and provides nutrients necessary for skin function and repair.  It is common for moisturizing products to be formulated differently for day and night use; the primary differences tend to be the thickness and SPF  value.  Day moisturizers, like Celloxylin Day Cream, are often lighter than night time moisturizers so that they absorb quickly and can be worn under makeup, and may include SPF ingredients to ensure skin is protected from UV radiation.  Night time moisturizers, like Celloxylin Night Repair 3-Deep,  are often thicker, as night time is a great time to use a moisturizer that is highly nourishing or incorporates ingredients to target specific skin care conditions, as this is when the majority of repair and regeneration take place.  The areas around the eyes and mouth need moisturization, too; because this skin is unique in structure – it is thinner and more susceptible to wrinkles – it is best to choose a moisturizer like Eye + Lip Age Eraser, specifically designed to target the eyes and lips.  Moisturize twice daily, as the last step in your skin care regimen, to seal in moisture and the beneficial ingredients from all of the products you’ve used!

**To maximize the benefits of your skin care regimen, after cleansing, gently pat skin dry with a towel and apply products while skin is still moist (many are formulated to help retain moisture).  Always allow each product to dry completely before applying the next. 

Now that you understand how important  taking care of our skin from the outside is, we’ll talk about what we can do from the Inside to make our skin even MORE BEAUTIFUL!!!

For more information about the Process of Skin Aging, and the Apriori Beauty Products, visit Candy Dye’s Apriori Beauty website at

Apriori Beauty is complete with all of these in the Nutrient Reservoir ™  within every single product. No need for skin injections or plastic surgery! Check the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website, and you will see Apriori Beauty has joined as a company that goes all out to give you the safest, non toxic products available! (

For more information on Skin and the Aging Process, browse through some informational “Did You Know” library by clicking on each topic link:
You may contact Candy Dye by email at

Please feel free to leave a comment below. Just click on the comment link. THANKS!!