Friday, February 26, 2021

Nature Knows Best: Natural Hormone-Free Hot Flash Remedies

 If you are still in the throes of menopause, chances are that you're experiencing hot flashes. There is nothing worse than carefully applying your makeup in the morning only to end up with eyeliner running down your cheeks from a flash of heat raging through your body. 

Luckily, there are many alternatives out there for combating these uncomfortable menopause symptoms. One such company is Kindra, and I am pleased to share their advice on natural hormone-free remedies for hot flashes. 

***This article is brought to you by Kindra. Kindra is a health & wellness brand, empowering women who are experiencing the hormonal changes of peri/menopause to care for their bodies naturally, safely, and holistically, through our line of estrogen-free essentials. 

         Nature Knows Best: Natural Hormone-Free Hot Flash Remedies

Hot flashes can be a challenging aspect of menopause, one that is often discussed in women's health chats when the concept of the midlife evolution arises. It’s no wonder we are all dreaming of a world where hot flashes are merely a mild side effect of this journey, rather than a focal point. 

A part of expertly managing hot flashes is ensuring there is enough support and options for those who experience them. Many menopausal support options involve products with hormones or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). However, hormones aren’t an option for everyone and many like to opt for as natural remedies as possible.

What Causes Hot Flashes?

Hot flashes (or hot flushes, depending on where you're located in the world) can begin in perimenopause, also known as the early stage of menopause, and continue into post-menopause. When your body enters its midlife years, your estrogen levels begin to decrease. This decrease of estrogen levels triggers the body's internal thermostat (the hypothalamus) to become much more sensitive to slight changes in body temperature. This means if your body's temperature drops one degree, the hypothalamus will go into overdrive to regulate your body's temperature. But due to this hypersensitivity, it can overheat your body, thus signaling a hot flash to occur.  

Non-Hormonal Treatments and Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes

The Kindra Core Supplement is the perfect answer to hot flashes. It’s specially developed to treat the 7 most common signs of menopause, including hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, night sweats, brain fog, disrupted sleeping, and stress. It has two plant-powered ingredients that make the formula unmatched: Pycnogenol® and Ashwagandha.


Pycnogenol® is a pine bark extract native to the coast of France. It is lauded for its antioxidant value that exceeds Vitamin C by a long shot. It is particularly amazing for managing hot flashes due to its ability to promote healthy blood circulation. It also supports the heart, amplifies immunity, and even makes skin smooth and supple. Pretty amazing, right?

Ashwagandha is the second ingredient in the Core Supplement that sets the formula apart. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means it helps your body adapt to its highs and lows, returning you to a calm and balanced state. Used for over 3,000 years in Ayurvedic medicine, it is known to reduce stress and boost brain functioning. These two herbs come together in our FDA-approved formula to create an incredible answer to common menopause symptoms. 

Another natural remedy that you can easily add to your food is flaxseeds. Plus, flaxseeds also curb vaginal dryness - try adding a handful to your oatmeal.

Soy plant isoflavones have shown efficacy in minimizing the occurrence of hot flashes, though some are sensitive to soy, thus nixing this as an option for relief. If you're interested in this course of action, try out red clover to see if it helps you. The aforementioned antidepressant Paroxetine is an FDA-approved non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes. 

Evening primrose oil is another herbal product that provides support in dealing with hot flashes. 

Lifestyle Changes to Make Menopause Easier

When thinking about natural remedies for hot flashes, lifestyle changes can be equally useful in decreasing the severity of hot flashes. First off, you'll want to curb your intake of spicy foods alcohol and caffeine - these can be major hot flash triggers. 

Be sure to wear breathable fabrics. Cotton, linen, and silk are all natural materials that are light on the skin, thus keeping you cool and comfortable during a hot flash. COVID-19 has mandated the use of masks for all as we work to protect one another - be sure your mask is also in a comfortable, natural material. 

Night sweats can be a major stressor. Kindra also has a Sleep Enhancing Supplement that targets menopause-induced sleep disturbances, including night sweats. In addition to this supplement, try keeping a damp washcloth with a few drops of eucalyptus oil in it by your bedside. You can lay the washcloth on your forehead and neck to help cool your body down if you're awakened by an intense hot flash.

Tend to your other menopausal symptoms to ensure you can stay as comfortable as possible should a hot flash come on. Kindra makes a Daily Vaginal Lotion that tackles vaginal dryness, ensuring that discomfort down there is one less thing for you to stress about during your daily routine. 

A balanced diet and exercise regimen is another key in managing hot flashes. Weight loss in those who are carrying extra weight has been shown to decrease the frequency of hot flashes. Plus, developing a strong relationship to a healthy lifestyle is always a plus during the midlife evolution as it will serve as a protective factor against diabetes and heart disease.

Curious what Kindra products are right for you? Take the menopause quizKindra has a great offer for Menopausal Mom readers. Take 20% off your first order or first subscription with code MARCIA20.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Fly On The Wall During The Valentine's Day Challenge

Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group blog posting, hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, four bloggers are bravely letting you into their homes to see what goes on behind closed doors. At the Doyle house, we were busy shooing the fly away from our Valentine's Day treats. But he got an earful about my love life.


Last weekend, everyone on social media was posting photos of their Valentine's Day celebrations---oodles of flowers, candy, champagne, and romantic cards. But what caught my eye was the #ValentinesDayChallenge, a questionnaire on how you met your current partner and when you knew he or she was THE ONE. I got such a kick out of reading everyone's responses, I thought it was time to come clean about my own twisted tale of love (that almost didn't happen because of a photograph). Here are the answers I posted on social media about my hubs Mac:

How’d you two meet? On a blind date in 1982. We spoke on the phone for a month, exchanged photos by mail, and then he ghosted me because he didn't think I was cute enough. I called him a week later, chewed him out for being an ass, and was ready to hang up when he suddenly said, "My God, you've got moxie. I like a feisty woman. Wanna go to a Sheena Easton concert with me?"

This is the 1982 photo I sent to Mac, He didn't like my hair. Duhhhh it was the 80s!

Yes, 37 years on April 7th. Can't believe we have survived this long without killing each other. Just kidding----he's my soulmate, except for the days he forgets to refill the toilet paper roll.
First Date: NOT a Sheena Easton concert (thank God). We went to the Stained Glass Pub in Ft. Lauderdale. He ordered a sissy wine spritzer, I ordered a double-shot rum collins. ***If you know how we are today, then you know who is the bad influencer in this relationship.
How long have you been together: 39 years. Yeah, I can't believe it either because sometimes he does stuff that makes me ask, "Do I know you??"
Age difference: 3 1/2 years. He's older, and I never let him forget it when he gets up from the couch with a loud groan.

Mac did NOT look like this photo when I met him. Imagine less a LOT less hair....
Who was interested first:
First him. Then me. Then him. And finally, it was mutual. FYI, he did NOT look anything like the photo he sent me from a time when he had a head full of hair and could pass as Tom Selleck's twin.

Who is taller: He is by 2 inches. If I wore high heels, I would tower over him, so I wear flats because I don't want to look like The Jolly Green Giant next to him.

Who said I love you first: He did after we watched E.T. at the movie theatre. We went down to the beach and he said it. I did not say it back because I was still thinking..... and thinking.....he waited a long time to hear those words.....
Most impatient: Me. Always me. Except when the cable goes out during his beloved Heat games.
Most sensitive: Him. He cried at E.T.
Loudest: Me. Especially after a few libations. I laugh too loud.
Most stubborn: Him. No, me. Okay, both of us. My anger has a longer hang time.
Falls asleep first: Him. I'm too busy staying up late on Facebook and watching cat videos.
Better morning person: Him 100%. He is loud and talkative when he wakes up. I need my coffee first before I feel like people-ing. 

Wedding day, April 7th, 1984

Better driver: Him, because I freaking HATE driving. But I do share my opinions about his driving skills when he is behind the wheel 
Most competitive: Him. Don't ever sit next to him during a Chiefs game. And playing Monopoly with him? Aw HELLLLL no.
Where do you eat out most as a couple? Nowhere. There's a damn pandemic going on, didn't you know? But we do love Chinese take-out food the best.
Who is more social? Him, after a few beers. Me, 24/7. He also talks to house plants. Does that count?
Where was your first kiss? In a parking lot. It was our first date. We had just gotten out of the car---I stopped him and said, "Why don't we just kiss right now to see if there are any sparks, and that will determine if this date will continue?" Needless to say, I felt FIREWORKS, so the date continued for 39 years.
20 years ago, married about 17 years here. Guess who the dominant one is in our marriage?

Who initiated your first kiss?
Duhhhhh, it was me.🤷‍♀️
How long did it take to get serious? 24 hours.
Plans on a date night? Our fave date night is sitting in the backyard garden, listening to oldies tunes and singing to them karaoke-style to annoy all the howling, stray cats in the neighborhood.
Who picks where you go to dinner? Me, because Asian food is life.
Who is the first one to admit when they’re wrong? Him. Yeah, sorry about that.
Who has more tattoos? Me. I have 7. He only has one which I talked him into getting several years ago after too many glasses of wine. But we don't talk about that night.
Spends the most? Toss up---I'll spend a lot of small amounts of money on garden and house decor stuff. He goes big with outdoor grills, bikes, orthopedic shoes, and....water spraying fans. Hell, I have no idea where his mind goes when he shops.
Where is the furthest you two have traveled? Montana. Waiting for that retirement RV to travel the U.S.
Who drives when you are together? He thinks I drive like Mario Andretti, so yeah, it's always him Didn't I already tell you that I hate driving?

"Come grow old with me, the best is yet to be."


Click on these links for a peek into some other homes:


Baking In A Tornado        

Never Ever Give Up Hope   

Menopausal Mother         

Wandering Web Designer


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

It's Heart Health Month! Are You At Risk For Cardiovascular Disease?

February is Heart Health Month, a time to raise awareness and motivate more Americans to take better care of themselves by practicing a heart-healthy lifestyle. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. CVD involves diseases of the heart or blood vessels and can lead to stroke or heart failure if not treated in time. The good news is that an estimated 90% of Cardiovascular disease may be preventable* with early detection and lifestyle changes. Risk factors for CVD include: 

Age 50 and above 


Family history of stroke or heart disease


High blood pressure


High cholesterol 

If any of these risk factors apply to you, I urge you to consider annual ultrasounds through Life Line Screening. Even if you are asymptomatic, early detection is crucial before cardiovascular issues can become a bigger problem. The process is amazingly convenient and efficient, with no prescription or health insurance necessary. Appointments can easily be made over the phone or online (without a referral from a physician), and testing facilities are available all over the U.S., which makes it super convenient. The process is entirely painless and non-invasive with the use of an ultrasound wand. Unlike an x-ray, the ultrasound has zero radiation exposure. These same tests can be very costly if performed in a hospital since many are not covered by insurance if they are asymptomatic or do not fall into the high-risk category for cardiovascular disease.


I've been getting the screenings annually for 13 years (you can read my story HERE) since my family has a history of stroke, blood clots, and aortic issues. My mother and I always scheduled our tests together, but she chose not to have the screening done the year before she passed away. 

I'll never forget the night she called and asked for help because of a searing pain she was experiencing. My mother was rushed to the hospital, where it was determined that she'd experienced an aortic aneurysm rupture. I knew the odds were not on her side; the mortality rate for a ruptured aorta is exceptionally high, and given that her own father had died from the same type of aortic issue, I was frightened for her. 

My mother passed away one month later despite surgery to repair the damaged aorta. I couldn't help but wonder if her circumstances would have been different if she'd accompanied me during my last 

Life Line Screening. Aside from living a healthy lifestyle, prevention of an aortic rupture begins with ultrasound surveillance. To this day, it still haunts me that my mother skipped her last opportunity to be screened, but it has also made me even more determined to continue my annual appointments and to encourage my friends and family to do the same. 

                        Image: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening

Life Line Screening offers a great, inexpensive ultrasound package that screens the vascular system for plaque build-up in the arteries. The test involves 5 screenings for only $149 that include:  


   *An ultrasound of the carotid arteries to identify plaque blockages (these are fatty blockages that build up in the arteries and prevent proper blood flow to the brain). 


  *An ultrasound of the abdominal aorta (the largest artery in the body) to look for an aneurysm, an abnormal enlargement of the aorta which, if it ruptures, is nearly always fatal but which can be easily and safely treated if identified before that. 


 *Peripheral Arterial Disease screening to check the circulatory condition. If blood vessels are narrow from plaque build-up, the blood flow to the limbs is reduced considerably, affecting the arteries in the legs. 


 *Check for Atrial Fibrillation to search for irregular heart rhythms. If the heart isn't beating properly, blood pools in the small chambers of the heart and causes clotting. These clots are then pumped out of the heart and can travel into the brain, putting the patient at high risk for a stroke. Atrial fibrillation can also contribute to heart failure, and other heart complications. 

*The Osteoporosis Test is used to detect bone density. As we age, our bones become more porous and lose mass, making them susceptible to fractures. 

                                  Image: Carotid Artery Screening

My testimonial on the importance of these ultrasound tests is just one of many from others who have benefited from the opportunity that Life Line Screening offers: 

"This testing literally saved my life. It detected a AAA aneurysm which I was able to inform my cardiologist. A few months ago it was decided it was too dangerous not to repair. If I had not known I probably would have died. Thank you Life Line Screening. " - Janis, New York

 "I HIGHLY recommend people do this! I had NO symptoms, but my screening showed 90% blockage in one artery...that screening saved me from an imminent stroke - and quite possibly saved my life." - Hilda, Texas

 "I am a vascular surgeon and I have always found people who went to Life Line to have received accurate results." Cynthia, Illinois

 "This testing literally saved my life. It detected a AAA aneurysm which I was able to inform my cardiologist. A few months ago it was decided it was too dangerous not to repair. If I had not known I probably would have died. Thank you Life Line Screening. " - Janis, New York


It's Heart Health Month, so what better time to be proactive about maintaining a healthy vascular system? Please consider scheduling an appointment----you deserve the peace of mind that Life Line Screening offers! 


*Source: McGill HC, McMahan CA, Gidding SS (March 2008). "Preventing heart disease in the 21st century: implications of the Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth (PDAY) study"

Friday, February 5, 2021

Wonderful Winter Writer Series: Guest Author Jeremy McKeen

In honor of Valentine's Day (what, you forgot that it's next week??) I asked my friend and fellow writer Jeremy McKeen to visit my blog again to share another chapter from his marvelous book, You Don't Have To Worry So Much. I love his book, which is a compilation of essays that focus on a range of real-life issues. And what better time than Valentine's Day to feature an essay on marriage and the power of staying.....FOREVER.....?

5 Easy Steps to Staying Married Forever


SOME OF YOU SHOULD NOT BE MARRIED. You know who you are, possibly. It’s hard to tell unless you get married and then realize, at some point, that it isn’t for you—or that it was at one point, and is no longer (possibly when you were young and your brain wasn’t fully formed), especially when it’s supposed to be forever. The funny thing about that is that “forever” is a time-sensitive concept for mortals who usually die before their 100s, but the sentiment is nice. If marriage really meant you’d be married forever, even after death, possibly while populating planets for all of eternity, then it might change the conversation.

But that’s not marriage, that’s a sci-fi concept most people fear.

The idea for couples is supposed to be “until death do you part,” but it seems that, like most young people who don’t know yet that they aren’t invincible, death is a far-off concept, and not at all considered by the very ones who should be considering it. So death, then. Or, you know, until something better or less boring comes along. Or until the kids are a little older. Or until that final fight to end all fights, and you need someone new.

It’s hard not to be cynical about marriage in an age where our heroes and culture constantly celebrate and—at the same time—dismiss the very real and personal choice to enter into wedded bliss.

Most marriages end the same way “best friends forever” relationships end: they were, for a time, relevant. Then something happened, and then the couple realized that their time was up sooner than death or forever. The statistics are enough to make the most hopeful of matchmakers quit their day jobs: marriage is a crumbly institution, even on the second and third take, and most married people (up to 70 percent for both genders in some studies) cheat on their spouses at some point. The National Center for Health Statistics and federal studies have shown that “one-third of new marriages among younger people will end in divorce within 10 years and 43 percent within 15 years.”

Yikes on bikes built for two.


1. Don’t get married. Just don’t do it. Unless…

Before you know it, you’ll be married and eating pizza and wings on your couch with your beloved, staring at the next seven to eight decades of your life. It’s going to happen. But why? It seems that most humans gravitate towards marriage or at least domestic partnership, so we’re talking about a deep, human tradition that doesn’t have to require a license and rings. But most people spring for the legal side of it, changing last names and throwing a big party with cake and a DJ (or, if they’re really good, a house band).

But marriage, while practiced by almost every adult, shouldn’t be. This is evident in the divorce rates for first and second-time spouses, which show us that more than 40 percent of us just aren’t good at staying married and faithful (if you’re the kind of person who wants a faithful spouse). And 90 percent of us won’t take on that second marriage until its mortal end.

What we’re good at is getting married because, well, why not? Contrary to statistics, it makes sense to become domesticated and want to be with someone forever.


2. You must first like the person you’re marrying

Soon, as a married couple, you will be (or be near) old, fat, balding, and without any of the charm you might have once had. It happens. You’re going to live and suffer through life with one person who is supposed to be magically matched to your personality.

So you should like that person.

Yes, love is important. Some would say it’s all you need, but they were wrong. You must like the person you’re going to suffer through life with. And I use the word “suffer” in all of its meaning, from the light stuff to the heavy: changing jobs, having kids, losing loved ones to death and distance, and the never-ending money problems (if you’re alive and have a bank account, then you will have money problems at some point, and sharing a bank account is just as a risky experiment as marriage itself).

So you have to like the person, and want to be with them all the time. Now you can’t make yourself like someone, so right here we have one of the reasons divorce is so popular: hordes of marrierswho just stopped liking the person they pledged their life to.

Before marrying I had a number of girlfriends who I liked and loved. But there was always an indication that I needed to get out of the relationship before I stayed too long at the party. This inner navigation, or “voice” usually spoke to me along the lines of “oh no, you don’t like her any more—get out now,” and luckily I listened, every time, even when I had played too long.

But with my wife, I never had that voice. I’m in love with my wife, of course. But I really like my wife, and that counts for so much more. She and I have built a world that I really like, and look forward to every day of my life. Love is easy. But the hardest thing in the world is to get someone to like something—or someone—they just don’t.


3. Don’t cheatDon’t fucking do it

Think about this: up until the last hundred years or so (and still, today, in many parts of the world), we’ve had, over hundreds of thousands of years of human culture and tradition, multiple versions of marriage. From legally bound and slave wives, sister wives, and child brides to polygamy and same-sex marriage, “the institution of marriage” is a prodigiously layered creature.

But in the First World, we’ve accepted “monogamy until death” as the majoritive and legal norm, and have come up with many variations of cheating as to define the things that draw us away from that one legally bound person.

Whether it’s an emotional affair or harmless flirting, the best thing is to a) identify the attractive element that leads you to stray, b) call it what it is, and c) fucking walk away from it. But most people don’t and never will do that. In fact, most people seek a secret freedom within their marriage where they hope they will be able to betray their spouse and have the best of both worlds. Only one world includes someone who will be made a fool out of, and the other usually ends abruptly or embarrassingly so. And the relief that comes from the end of a cheating relationship is never worth the pain it causes all parties.

But what’s so great about both worlds when each is incomplete at some point? Some marriages or committed relationships start with infidelity, and end up lasting. There’s no judgment here. There are better ways to end a partnership than humiliating your best friend and then going broke to pay people to legally separate you from the very same old best friend.


4. If it works (and it’s healthy), then it works

Some people are so miserable in their marriages and it’s not the fault of the marriage or spouse, it is just that certain time period they are stuck in. Those who marry young or marry because of a child on the way, or those who marry because religious doctrine demands it, might just make it and stay married until death. Or not. There’s no prescription for how long or how happy a marriage should be, except that it should be healthy and work. Some marriages only work for a few years, and the individuals involved are smart enough to call it quits. Some marriages work here and there, and last decades, even lifetimes. And some people do very well going from relationship to relationship and never marry.

Think about it: more of us in our 30s and 40s are marrying later in life because we’ve had several relationships that didn’t end in marriage, and this taught us what to look for in a first marriage. There shouldn’t be any shame in divorce nor should there be in not getting married. Finding someone who works and is healthy for you is the only thing that matters, especially if you’re going to have children. But there is no perfect narrative except the one you’re working on, and hopefully building with the person who is right—and healthy—for you.


5. There is no fairy tale ending, unless there is

Our way of life, from multimedia storytelling to tabloid culture and news coverage is consumed with pairing—the tragedy and comedy of it, the minutiae of it, and the never-ending lead-up and break-apart of it. It is what fuels us. Kids will come and grow, careers will sprout and break, and we’ll still be flirting in the nursing homes and wrap-around decks of our houses in retirement.

The spouse who leaves a marriage for a better life, with or without another spouse, might just create that fairy tale ending. The reality, however, is that the ending doesn’t last until death. An ending is an ending, with a strong rising action, turning point, and years of falling actions and revelations leading up to it. Our problem is that we’re too damn young and think life is cemented for us each decade; we should know better now that we’re living longer, and look forward to each year as a regrouping of our sensibilities about life and our choices with our spouse.

Most people just want someone who loves and accepts them, and will keep their spot free on the couch after a long day. We want to belong to someone amazing and build a small tribe to carry on that legacy. Or something like that.

And, for the record, if I could stay with my wife forever, even after death, and just host and go to afterlife parties for all of eternity with her as my date, then I’d be just as happy as I am sharing the couch with her after the kids go to bed in the here and now, and on until retirement, and then until my final breath. I really like her, like like her. More than all the others in the world.


Mazel Tov!


Jeremy McKeen is an English teacher, writer, editor, and father of three living in Massachusetts. He has been featured on HuffPost, Yahoo! Parenting, Salon, Scary Mommy, YourTango, and The Good Men Project, among other blogs and magazines. 


Instagram: jeremymckeenwriter
Twitter: @mckeenish

About Jeremy's Book:

YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY SO MUCH is a powerful, fun, and poignant collection of essays focusing on a range of real life issues and post-modern approaches to topics like sex, love, marriage, belief, parenthood, and mental illness. This book of essays is far from the “self-help” or “advice” niche yet features chapters about saving the world, reaching your full potential, and offers McKeen’s yearly list of answers for his high school seniors (just some of them, for now). Jeremy McKeen’s almost twenty years of teaching and marriage, as well as his twelve years as a parent have prepared him for the ever-increasing glory and difficulty of modern life, whether it’s responding to war, old age, or mulching this Saturday. In a buzzpop world full of short articles and endless videos luring you into the rabbit hole of endless advertising, take a break and enjoy his essays. Because, damn it, you’re worth it. 


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