Monday, November 09, 2009

The Dreaded Facial Hair issue!!

What is one of your worst menopause issues? The one that is most frustrating to me now is CHIN HAIR!!! I use to just pluck them because they were easy to control that way. Then I realized I couldn't keep up with them so I started getting waxed at the beauty shop (sorry, but that's what it was called back in the day--don't know if it's something else now!). That gave me a nice smooth upper lip, as well as all three chins, but was somewhat painful and started getting expensive.

My latest effort involves Nair Moisturizing Face Cream. It's been working pretty good, but I've discovered a problem. One reason I've never considered shaving is because I'm pretty sure the hair comes back thicker and stronger, but I'm afraid the same thing may be happening with the Nair cream! When you put it on and wait 5 min. and wipe it off, all you're doing is "cutting" it off at the skin...just as you would do with a razor. I think the only solution is to get rid of the hair permanently with electrolysis! To find an Electrologist near you! Call and ask about their prices. I think you will find, as I did, that for a permanent solution to this hairy problem, it's not that much at all and well worth it!

I want to hear your "hair raising" stories and what solutions work for you! After all, we don't want to end up like Rapunzel do we?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Have trouble sleeping because of menopause?

I believe this issue deserves more attention than it gets, not only during menopause, but throughout our lives. And it not only affects us women, but spouses and even young children. It not only affects your energy level but also your weight! Just read this: "....lack of sleep changes blood-sugar levels and metabolism. It also affects impulse control, and it's harder for people to pass on food they know they shouldn't be eating."

What are some of the reasons for lack of sleep or trouble sleeping during the menopausal transition? According to one website it could be any one or a combination of:
•hyperarousal - anxiety, stress

•poor pre bedtime and sleep habits

•underlying mood disorders

•sedative overuse


•general medical problems

•nighttime urinary frequency

Here are some of their tips on how to get a better night's sleep:
•Make sure bedroom noise is controlled and temperature is cool

•have a fixed schedule to going to bed and getting up. Try not to vary it.

•avoid alcohol and exercise within 5-6 hours of bedtime and no caffeine after noon.

•do not look at the bedroom clock after you lie down in bed or if you get up at night

•eat a light snack containing protein, especially tryptophan, before bed. This would include milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, bananas, fish, and turkey.

•do not reflect upon the day's events or your "todo" list in the hour or two before bed But this could be anyone.

What is the connection to menopause? According to WebMD, a site I rely on a lot (but always compare info from at least 3 sites) "Approximately 75-85% of menopausal women experience hot flashes, which can last for five years. Hot flashes and sweating can make it difficult to sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 61% of menopausal women have sleep problems. Sleeping difficulties can lead to other problems, such as daytime drowsiness."

So what are some of the solutions for getting a good night's sleep? Here are a few recommendations:
Some Dr's recommend HRT, but there's a lot of confusion and controversy about what kind, how much and how long you should take it. Many women still use it and swear by it. It's truly a personal decision as are other solutions such as black cohosh. Dr. Andrew Weil says: "Black cohosh (Cimfugaa racemosa) can help relieve hot flashes and insomnia related to menopause." Some women use sleep aids because at some point you just can't keep going about your busy life with no sleep! It affects your relationships, your career and your overall health.

There's also melatonin, which promotes sleep, as well as SleepyTime Tea with Valerian (another herb that helps you sleep). There are different kinds of wicking sleepwear and bedding to use, many kinds of cooling devices such as a fan that blows under your sheets and something to slide inside your pillowcase. The small battery fans are a big help, as well as a refreshing, cooling spray or a glass of ice water kept on your beside table . Everyone's key to a good night's sleep is different.

I found that using bedding that has the Outlast technology has really improved my "night heat" problem. Yes they are a Sponsor, but I was not paid to recommend their products. For me it really works. As a side note, nearly every type of "cooling bedding" you find on the market will be using the Outlast technology.

Let us know what works for you or if you have another solution!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Drugs for menopause

This is getting so out of control in my opinion, but for those of you who still have horrible hot flashes, I suppose it could be good news.

Seizure drug enhances sleep for women with hot flashes

Gabapentin, a drug initially used to treat seizures, improves sleep quality in menopausal women with hot flashes, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers report online and in the September issue of the Journal of Women's Health.

Approximately 40 percent of menopausal women experience sleep disruption, often in the form of difficulty with sleep initiation and frequent nighttime awakenings. The study is the first to show sustained benefits in sleep quality from gabapentin, which Rochester researchers already have demonstrated alleviates hot flashes.

"Gabapentin improves sleep quality but does not have the potential dependency problems of some other sleep medications and does not involve the use of hormone replacement therapy," said Michael E. Yurcheshen, M.D., assistant professor of Neurology and the lead author of the article.

"It has minimal side effects and it is a generic drug," said Yurcheshen, who is based at the Strong Sleep Disorders Center. "That makes it a very attractive treatment for these problems in this patient population."

For the current study, researchers used data from a previously published randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of gabapentin in 59 postmenopausal women who experienced seven to 20 hot flashes daily. The subjects took either 300 milligrams of gabapentin three times a day or a placebo.

The research used a factor analysis of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, a well-known and validated questionnaire, to evaluate sleep. The results showed overall improvement in the sleep quality score, even after 12 weeks of treatment.

Gabapentin's impact on the sleep quality factor in menopausal women may reflect improvement in hot flashes, stabilization of sleep architecture, or a decrease in the amount of time to transition from wakefulness to sleep, the researchers wrote. It is also possible that gabapentin improved sleep quality by addressing underlying sleep pathology, such as restless legs syndrome.
"We really are not sure which mechanism is responsible, but this study suggests that it does work to improve sleep quality," Yurcheshen said. Read the full article here

What are your feelings?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

September Musings & Summer Memories

We've had glorious weather in Michigan and even though Fall doesn't officially begin until the 22nd, I'm already getting "into the mood"! My thoughts are going to cider and cinnamon donuts and my eyes are searching the tops of the trees. Noticed the first colors on a couple of trees yesterday! I also keep an eye on several live cameras from the UP since they turn first. I'll never forget my trip up to Copper Harbor (5 years ago-I think) where I was fortunate enough to catch the tail-end of the fall colors! After that trip I was ready to MOVE up there, but alas, it was not to be. Here are just a couple of the (hundred) pictures I took up there:

This year I spent my summer going to the grandkids' soccer and baseball games.....

and watching the birds and other critters from my office window:

Since it's only the 3rd of September, I guess I don't really have many "musings" yet! LOL I really just wanted to get my posts started for this month. Everyone is getting ready (in the US for the Labor Day weekend. I plan on getting my Sept. newsletter ready to send on the 9th. If you're not on the list, sign up at

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Choosing natural supplements

It's getting very complicated out there when it comes to finding the right products for a variety of health issues from things as serious as depression to just cold medicines. For menopause supplements it's REALLY getting hard! There are HUNDREDS, if not thousands, of products that make claims from "help relieve symptoms" to "cure your menopause". Some really do help and everyone just has to experiment to find what works for them, but Ladies, there is NO CURE for menopause! That's one reason I came up with the phrase "Menopause is not a disease, it's a LIFESTYLE"™

Here's a good example. I've been taking St. John's Wort for many years, not on a daily basis, just when I noticed that I was feeling down too often. I usually felt kind of a lift of spirits within 3-4 days and would then stop taking it. You must be careful if you're taking other medications because SJW can interact with them! SJW interacts with many medications because one of the main active ingredients (Hyperforin) is a potent inducer of the P glycoprotein enzyme, which is involved in metabolizing about 50% of the drugs on the market. This leads to medicines being metabolized by the body more quickly, decreased serum levels of these medications and reduced efficacy."

Then I read this: "According to the research, only St. John's Wort extracts that are standardized to contain 3-5% hyperforin effectively relieve depression, so don’t settle for products that aren’t standardized for hyperforin or standardize only for another, less important compound called hypericin. Also, keep in mind that St. John's Wort usually requires at least three weeks to begin working, and may not produce its full effects for a month or two."

When I looked at my bottle of SJW, I saw that it is standardized for hypericin, not hyperforin. Here's more info to explain this: Not all St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) products are created equal. Unfortunately, most of the brands found on the shelves of your local vitamin shop or health food market will do nothing to help depression or anxiety. Why? Because few products sold in the United States contain a standardized amount of the active ingredient, hyperforin. (Carefully examine products that claim to be "standardized", because most standardize for only hypericin, an inactive ingredient!)

Recent research shows that only St. John's Wort extracts standardized to contain high concentrations of hyperforin relieve depression and anxiety. Extracts not containing significant levels of hyperforin, even when standardized for hypericin and manufactured using accepted methods, work no better than placebo. I've written to Sundown and hope they will respond with an explanation about why their SJW uses an inactive ingredient. I'm sure they will and I still trust their name as much as any of them (not saying how much that is though). I just bought a new product yesterday--Apple Cider Vinegar tablets--made by Sundown. I'll definitely post their response here when I get it.

Now I'm out on the search for OTHER products that need some research! You all can help me out here if you have found something that doesn't do what it's supposed to do or have the stuff it's supposed to have. Just make sure you back it up with your research, ok?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Vitamin D recommendations

I'm finally hearing about something that is obviously SO important...Vitamin D! I've been on a search for the past 4½ years for something to help my skin because of psoriasis, so the issue of vit D has been on my radar for awhile now and I knew that the recommendations were way too low. I've been taking up to 4000 UI per day and today I heard a doctor on Good Morning America say "I recommend 1000 to 2000 international units of vitamin D supplements every day. It's cheap, there are no side effects or down sides. Although D3 is considered more potent and longer lasting, both D2 and D3 are acceptable."

I just had a full blood workup and checking for Vitamin D (which is really not a vitamin) was not even mentioned. Next time I will ASK for that...which is another frustration of mine...if WE know this information and there's so many reports about how people are so deficient in vit D, then why do we have to mention it to our doctors? Boggles the mind considering it's such an important element in our makeup.

Here's a response to the piece on Good Morning America:

5 Ways Vitamin D Could Save Your Life - ABC News: "I am Vitimin D deficient and just taking D3 was not being absorbed. I am now on a very high dose of D3 and having my blood checked to see if I am absorbing it. I was told that most of the D in food products and solid pill form was ineffective. Have your doctor order a blood test to see how much D you need. If you are going to take it, it makes sense to be taking the right amount and the correct type."

Here's a great article that explains all of this, like:
"The skin produces approximately 10,000 IU vitamin D in response 20–30 minutes summer sun exposure—50 times more than the US government's recommendation of 200 IU per day!"

Vitamin D Council | Understanding Vitamin D Cholecalciferol

So, how much did YOU know about Vitamin D?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Am I still middle aged?

Sometimes when we're not paying attention, we slip through one age group to another and I'm really trying to be REAL about where I am. LOL! The last time I was truly certain about what group I belonged in was when I was a teenager! That is clearly defined, but after that we're usually described by our decade--20's, 30's, 40's--then it starts getting sticky!

I guess we'll have to blame it on AARP. They are to blame for all the angst that comes sometime during your 49th year. Afterall, it's a magazine for RETIRED people for cripes sake! How many of you will retire (or have retired) at age 50? Here's my guess--0. Even the people who can AFFORD to retire at that age, don't. That's not what babyboomers do. So many that I know just create an entirely new career. Even I STARTED my business, Minnie Pauz Enterprises, at age 49 so I'm certainly not retired.

Which brings me back to my question. I accepted the fact that I was middle aged at 50because it's the "middle" of almost everything...the football field, the speedometer and the number 100. But, now that I'm 11 years past that mid-mark, I'm getting concerned. Am I falling into the OMG, SENIOR category???? To most in their 20's, 30's and 40's, yes I'm most definitely a senior citizen. To those in their 50's, I think they would be a little more kind considering they're starting to see the short time span between 50 and 60. I'm sure they would consider me still in the middle aged group, right?

Considering the fact that I now am only 9 years (a blink of my bespeckled eyes) away from OMG, 70, I am going to say that I would say that middle age covers from 45 through 65. After all, we DO want to take advantage of all the Senior Citizen Discounts, right? (You know, dicount wheelchairs, life insurance, LOL).

So I guess that gives me another 4 years to call myself middle aged instead of a senior! Whew!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bioidentical Hormones Helping With Menopause

We're starting to see the same kind of hype for bioidenticals that we've been seeing for menopause supplements for several years. I followed a news report on Google and found an interview with a doctor who uses "pellets" that are inserted under a woman's skin and which releases hormones gradually. Ok, fine. I've read about these and have had many women who swear by this treatment. But what bothers me is hearing a doctor make these kind of claims:

"If taken appropriately in the right doses at the right time bioidentical hormones can help prevent things like osteoporosis, heart disease, number one killer in menopausal women colon cancer they've to decrease incidents of Alzheimer's disease." Fronstin said he uses pellets versus creams because they allow for a constant release of hormones. Both patients told us since having the pellets injected they feel like they're in their 20's again.

Hmmmm....BOTH patients feel like they're in their 20's again? Puhleeeze! Sounds like the sales pitch 30 or 40 years ago when they were trying to push hormones as the fountain of youth for every woman. Now they're including the men too. Sure, why not expand the market? We do know that testosterone levels get low as men age and that they have many related problems, but the guy in this video was saying it helped him paint more houses????!!!! Give me a break!

What do you think about the way companies are "hawking" products and drugs to menopausal women? I want to hear your comments.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

FINALLY speaking out about menopause! Really?

I was happy to read that the Colorado's First Lady, Jeannie Ritter, was hosting a forum on menopause, but kind of chuckled when I read this, "Wouldn't it be great if we could get people talking about it and get it out on the table?" OMG, you mean she hasn't heard about MINNIE PAUZ®? LOL! Here's the key....women don't HEAR it until they're experiencing it! That means there's so much work to do to educate women on what to EXPECT as well as what to do when they're starting the process.

But why is there a $50 fee to attend the forum? The cost is $50 for three two-hour sessions covering symptoms of menopause, options for treatment, and how to protect your health. The sessions will be held at College Hill Library, 3705 West 112th Avenue, Westminster. Tacky! In this economy, I don't think women should be charged for this kind of thing. I would like to see how many actually pay to get information readily available on the internet!

Washing, stripping, sealing the deck!

Wow, what a job! My daughter was partially layed off from her job (things are tough here in Michigan!) so I "hired" her to redo my deck, which hadn't been done for about 5 years. This was what it looked like when she started and after she stripped it: (click on the pictures to see full size)

Then this shows the final result. Looks pretty good! It's supposed to rain today, so I'll be watching to see if it "beads" up!! :)

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Practicing to be a video star!

Here's my first attempt at making a video! What I plan on doing is a weekly Minnie Pauz Show where viewers will be able to send in questions and I'll try to answer them on the next week's show. Who knows how this will turn out but here's my first effort! It has absolutely nothing to do with menopause....or DOES it? hmmmm.... LOL

I added the rest of it, hope it works right. When I put it on youtube it was very slow to load. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

All about me!

Finally took a decent picture of myself that I'm willing to share (and I've put it EVERYWHERE)! LOL!! And I promise I only doctored it a little bit!! (that means I took off ONE of the chins, so now I only have TWO!)

Today I'm going to toot my horn a little! Here's a couple of interviews I've done that will give you a little history about me (in the first one) and also tell my viewpoint:

Menopause Humor: A Lighter Look at Menopause with Minnie Pauz Creator Dee Adams
By Tracee Cornforth,

Skin Deep - Seeking a Natural Remedy for Hot Flashes -
From fertile to post-fertile, many women are using natural methods to ease menopause symptoms.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Weather and Menopause in Michigan

Or anywhere else for that matter. It's starting not to be a joke anymore! Here's my yard in May:

And here's the same yard in June:

THEN on the 25th of June:

That's some serious hail! I've got hundreds of dents on my car! (waiting for the insurance adjuster now)
We had about a week of VERY hot temps...I ran my a/c for 4 days straight and today, the last day of's raining and the temperature probably won't hit 70°.

What's that mean to a menopausal woman???? PURE HEAVEN!! I love it! the way, I did get the petunias and a few marigolds for some color!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Will menopause hurt your job chances?

Women of a certain age are already having trouble finding jobs when they have to and this is not going to help, but at least it validates the fact that we aren't totally crazy!

Menopause Hurts Women's Ability To Learn
Memory, Processing Speed Don't Work As Well

Women about to enter menopause may not be able to learn things as well as during other stages of life, a new study said.

Researchers from UCLA studied more than 2,300 women between the ages of 42 and 52. They were given test of memory and thinking speed.

The study found that processing speed improved with repeated testing during the early stages of menopause, but that scores during late perimenopause did not show the same degree of improvement.

That is, the further they got into menopause, the less quickly they could pick up new skills.

Dr. Gail Greendale, who was involved in the study, said in a news release that the results match what 60 percent of women already said was true -- they have memory problems while starting menopause.

"The good news is that the effect of perimenopause on learning seems to be temporary. Our study found that the amount of learning improved back to premenopausal levels during the postmenopausal stage," Greendale said.

The study also found that taking estrogen or progesterone hormones before menopause helped verbal memory and processing speed. But taking them after the final menstrual period had a negative effect.

The research was published in the journal Neurology.

Let's just keep this our little secret, ok?

Monday, June 15, 2009

My beautiful peonies!

That looks like ponies, doesn't it? LOL Anyway, after being totally convinced that my peonies weren't going to bloom I've been totally enjoying them for over a week now! Thought I'd show you a few photos of them, plus some close-up shots I took of a few other flowers I have. I never could figure out why I couldn't get nice close-ups and then I read the instructions for my camera....ta da!!! :)

Now all I need to do is get some petunias so I'll have lots of color in my yard!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Love those Prius commercials!!

These commercials actually make me feel happy!! LOL! I guess it's good that it doesn't take much to make me happy, right?

The commercials are just SO creative! I'm doing some research to find the company responsible (the AD company...Prius is made by Toyota...which really depresses me!) I prefer to buy right now I drive a Buick and it's paid for so I don't really want to take on car payments at this point!

Here's a video on how they made the commercial:

Just a moment in my day I wanted to share with you! :)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Cool as a cucumber!

Many of you know that I am post menopausal (since 1999 no less!) and have long been over MOST of the troublesome symptoms, except for all the new ones that are AGE related now that I'm 61! We'll talk about those at another time! Right now I'm thinking of all of you who suffer with nightsweats!

I was fortunate enough to only have severe hot flashes for about 5-6 years and feel totally HOT all the time up to this day. That doesn't mean everyone will have the same experience, so don't get hysterical if you are creeping up to the point where your hot flashes may end. I'm just saying that I have to have a fan (or some kind of cool, moving air) on me at all times to feel comfortable. That means winter, spring, summer or fall I have a fan on me and especially when I'm sleeping!

There's nothing worse than breathing dry, warm, stagnant air when I'm trying to sleep. I don't care how cold it is outside (or inside), I like to have a small fan that moves the air around while I snuggle in a warm blanket. My body heats up under the blanket and even though I feel the air from the fan on my face or shoulders, my legs and feet are constantly moving to find a cool spot on the sheets. Usually, it's hopeless and I end up throwing the blankets off me or bringing my feet and legs out from under the blanket until I finally start to feel chilled and have to cover up again. As you might know, this can be exhausting!! Especially when it goes on all night!

So why am I saying "cool as a cucumber"? I've found a new product that I will be sharing with you very soon!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Another "springy" bush/tree!

Had to share this with you. My neighbor's brother has the most beautiful wisteria in his yard! He was telling us that it took about 5 years of careful growing and training before it bloomed. If you're interested, just do a search for wisteria or growing wisteria.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Darn blackbirds!

I KNOW they're God's creatures too, just like the more ATTRACTIVE birds, but they're such bullies and gluttons and they eat me out of house and home! :( I even bought more expensive birdseed that doesn't have corn in it, which helped but there are still enough of them to drain the feeders. And I've noticed that the cardinals and other birds are staying away....grrrrr!!!

I've got 4 hummingbird feeders out there now since the Orioles like to feed off them too! Been taking lots of pictures but usually through the screen from my office so they don't turn out so great. I'll post some that did though.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend and thanks so much to all those who gave their lives in service to our country!!

Take a look at my daughter's lilac bush!! And the lovely bouquet I brought home:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Quotes from The Secret

I've been posting quotes from The Secret on my Facebook page and on Twitter (look for MinniePauz on both) and it seems to be very popular, so I will do it here also and hopefully encourage some of you to give it a try. I bought the book, read it and then loaned it to a friend and haven't seen it since. :) Fortunately, most of the quotes are online so we can refresh our enthusiasm whenever we want. Here's one for today: "You can change your emotion immediately .. by thinking of something joyful, or singing a song, or remembering a happy experience."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Who comes after the babyboomers?

"Gen X is 1961-1981, so currently 28-48 year olds’s are Xers. Please for the love of god don’t lump them into the baby boomers!! 1941-1961, so 48-68 year olds, are more rightly defined by the BB term (using Strauss & Howe “Generations” methodology)."

I hardly ever hear anything from this group. LOL...guess the babyboomers have been making too much noise ( I wonder how many there are? This was a response to a post about "Menopause the Musical" and the person who wrote the review made a boo-boo when she lumped the Gen Xr's with the Boomers. I was pleased to see someone stand up for their group, but why be so angry? ("for the love of god"?) hahaha...well, I guess they don't want to be defined by the qualifications to be a boomer.

Even some of the boomers don't want to be recognized as such! That means someone might know they have a AARP card! Even worse, someone might see them using it! I've had mine for over 10 years and I've actually used it once. Got $10 off for a motel room one time. I actually never think of pulling it out or asking a merchant if they give a discount!

I kind of understand the Gen X person because I don't want to be called a SENIOR just yet! The official age is 65 and I'm only 61 (on Monday), so for the love of god don't lump ME in with THEM!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Homemade chicken salad.....Ummmm!

I just finished making a batch of chicken salad. Another effort to stay away from all the stuff that makes me fat! And even though I used real mayonaisse (not the low fat stuff), it's still so much better than a bag of chips or a bowl of ice cream, right?
I find that I'm kind of anal about making chicken salad. I bought a bag of frozen chicken tenders, baked them in the oven with a little celery salt and pepper for flavor, comes the anal part....I minced the chicken, celery, onion and hard boiled egg by hand. I'm not talking about chopped into small pieces, I mean MINCED! :) I didn't want to do the chicken in the little chopper I have because some of it gets too mushy and then the other stays in bigger chunks. This way I get it all the same. To finish it off, I put the mayonaisse (not too much) and a little more celery salt and pepper.

It was so good! I've been munching on it all day. I put a forkful on a couple of crackers and that way I don't end up eating two pieces of bread. I also like to just eat it by the spoonful.

Then I went to get my hair cut and told Gina (who's been doing my hair for 13 years) to do something different. I'm tired of always ending up with what I call an "old lady haircut"! So today she did pretty good, but it's hard to take a picture of myself...LOL. What do you think?

It doesn't really show the shape in this picture, but it's shorter in the back and then comes down to my cheeks on the front. Kind of cute, even if I do say so myself. And since I'll be 61 on Monday, I definitely want to be cute!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Losing weight is NOT easy at 61!

Back in 2002 when I was 52, I decided to go on the Atkins program to lose weight for the Minnie Pauz Meltdown Cruise. I lost 55 lbs. in about 3 months and felt wonderful! I managed to keep the weight off for about 2 years and then gradually started bringing more carbs into my diet and by 2005 I had gained back about 30 lbs.

Then I quit smoking (on March 1, 2005) and decided it was too hard to try to watch my weight until I was a committed NON-smoker. make a long story short, the last 4 years have brought me to the point where I know if I don't do something now, I will never get it under control again.

I did manage to cut out sugar and bread for all of March, but I find myself slipping again and having things I shouldn't, because I lost about 2 lbs in the entire month! I have a machine that I use about 3 times a day to get my heart rate up, but what I really need to do is walk, walk, walk!

By the way....the woman in this cartoon is NOT MINNIE!'s one of her friends. No one, not even myself, have ever seen Minnie's face

Since I don't have the self-discipline to do it right, I've decided to sign up for a ZUMBA class. They actually have them for us older gals who may not have done anything strenuous for quite awhile! That's me!! I'm going to blame it on all of you because for 10 years I've been sitting at this computer working on the website and trying to get you all laughing!

The other thing I'm going to try is NutriSystem. Those ads on TV and seeing Marie Osmond looking SO good now has inspired me to give it another try! My son and DIL both lost weight on it and honestly, the pictures of the food (read "ice cream sandwich") has finally gotten to me! :)

If any of you have tried this or any other program, (my final effort will be Weight Watchers) let me know by posting. Everyone is different and I know it's my own fault for letting things slide the last 4 years, but as always, hearing about someone else close to my age who turned it around will inspire me!!

A few years ago I said I was going to be super healthy when I turned 60...hmmm, I'm not there yet! Ihave psoriasis, sleep apnea and psoriatic arthritis, plus I'm overweight and totally out of hormones so I have quite a challenge in front of me to be "the best me I can be"!! But, as I said, I'm not ready to give up. The women in my family live to their mid-nineties so I don't want to be sitting around for the next 30 years and not be able to enjoy it! Wish me luck and give me some encouragement!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Should you be taking iron supplements?

I was reading the March 30 issue of First for Women and came across the article about the "tiredness mineral". Come to find out, the symptoms of iron overload are very similar to some of the menopause symptoms, such as fatigue, blah moods and foggy thinking. Even a minor build up of iron can prevent every organ from performing at its best and cause the body to feel extremely run-down. Iron overload can lead to headaches, joint aches, abdominal aches and chest pains, according to Dr. Teitelbaum. More possible difficulties: trouble concentrating and remembering details, premature aging of the skin, hair loss and high cholesterol.


"When iron isn't used by the body (either because of a genetic condition or because more is consume than the body needs), it gets stored in the brain, skin, joints, intestinal lining, ovaries, liver, pancreas and heart." Jacob Teitelbaum, MD author of From Fatigued to Fantastic. (btw, as much as I like Dr. Weil, I think I've found another very reliable guy to go to!)


Sufferers of iron overload should stay away from the synthetic nonheme form of iron. Check the labels of supplements, multivitamins and fortified processed foods (cereal, bread, enriched pasta) to avoid ferrous gluconate, ferrous sulfate and ferrous fumarate. The article says if you do this for 4 weeks it will ease the symptoms.


The basic test to check iron levels is a serum iron test, which determines how much iron is in the blood. Dr. Teitelbaum recommends a full set of iron panel tests (which includes serum iron, serum ferritin, transferrin saturation and total iron binding capacity to determine if surplus iron is being stored in organs. The cost, $200 to $500, is generally covered by insurance.

If you're in your 30' should have iron panel tests done once or twice a year to ensure you aren't storing excess iron.

If you're in your 40's...have panel done once or twice annually, plus limit intake of nonheme iron (as mentioned above), since this form is most likely to be stored.

If you're in your 50's+...since menopausal women no longer menstruate, 74% suffer from iron overload. Dr. Teitelbaum says it's crucial to stop intake of all suplemental iron (unless otherwise advised by your doctor). This also applies to women who have had a hysterectomy. Two to four daily servings of whole foods like beans, shrimp, salmon and beef will deliver the 8mg of iron that is recommended for this age group.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bio-Identical Hormones. Are they really?

Bio-identical hormones.
Are they really?

We have Oprah, Suzanne Somers, Christiane Northrup and even Dr. Phil's wife, Robin McGraw on the bio-identical bandwagon, but we're still as confused as ever and I personally feel there is still pressure to sell us (middle-aged women) some very expensive drugs that are being hyped as the fountain of youth!

At least one of them is a doctor (Northrup), but
honestly, you can always find equal numbers of doctors, scientists and researchers who either agree or disagree with the safety and the efficacy. I wanted to laugh when the opposing doctor in the audience stated that the drugs you get from the compounding pharmacy (she doesn't accept the bioidentical term) are not monitored by the government, so you don't know what you're getting and if it's safe, etc. The laughable part was because of the 20+ years that the FDA was in bed with the pharmaceutical industry and pushed Premarin and Provera on women like it was candy, saying it would "make you feel like a young woman again"! How is that any different than people saying bioidentical hormones can help a woman get her quality of life back?

If the FDA did nothing to protect us until they were forced to by the WHI report, why should we have confidence in them now when their chain is still being jerked by the pharmaceutical companies? The compounded hormones have been used for many years, but no one said anything about them until the traditional hrt drugs were forced off the market because they
were proven to cause cancer, etc. THEN the pharm companies started demanding that the compounding pharmacies not be allowed to do what they've been doing all along--creating prescribed, individualized doses of hormones for women.

I actually tend to trust what Suzanne Somers says because I can see that she has done the research and does use everything herself. She clearly states that her regimen is not for everyone, but she is proof that she's doing something right if she feels as good as she says
she does. She certainly looks good at 62. And so does Dr. Northrup, but I'm pretty sure both have had some kind of cosmetic enhancements. It's not just hormones that make them look good.

Read More....

Monday, February 16, 2009

A day in February

I'm still quite sad over the death of one of my neighbors, a 56 yr. old male who died of cancer. I believe it was less than a year since he first found out he had lymphoma to his death on Friday the 13th. He and his wife were such wonderful neighbors. They helped everyone as much as they could and I feel so bad for her. They had no children and were each others' best friend. So sad.

I have to have another "thing" taken off my leg. The first one was a cutaneous horn that had squamous cancer cells in the skin. This is like the beginning of another "horn" but doesn't necessarily have cancer cells. The doc is going to take it out anyway.

On to happier The Bachelor! Tonight's show looks like it's going to be a shocker, especially with what's her name coming back!! I can't believe she has the guts to do that! And I can't believe I'm getting so riled up about it! LOL I guess when you don't have your own drama to live through, you have to find it somewhere. :)

I'm trying to get my thoughts together for putting my business up for sale. Yup, putting Minnie Pauz on the block! I have a lot to learn about selling an online business. Well, part online part of it is me.....I can't sell me! Or can I? My thought is that I might stay on as the creator of MP and do speaking engagements, etc.

So, we'll see where we end up by 2010.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A review of 2008...

How original. It's even taken me 19 days into the year to say something and, as always, it's reading other people's blogs that makes me sign in here and try to say something clever or profound.

I think what I'll do is forget about trying to be clever or funny or even profound and I'll just share what's in my head....just like the title says, except now it will be a YEAR in the life. Then maybe I won't feel so bad if I don't write every day. I KNOW I can write at least once a YEAR! :)

When I look back to review 2008, I find that it wasn't a very eventful year, but there were several events towards the latter part of the year that might make 2009 more challenging.

First though, January 2008 became the last time I spoke with my Mother until November 2008. No, she didn't die but she did make it clear that she doesn't consider me a daughter to be proud of. I was so stunned when I recieved an email after I broke our silence to find out if she was ok (a trip to the hospital). I thought maybe we could at least get back to talking on a regular basis, but I guess she felt she had to say something to clarify her feelings. This was just part of her email: "I have watched you sit on your butt and eke out a very scant living for yourself, while you were able, physically and intellectually, to get out and get a job, plus do your computer work to supplement your real-job income. Your web site abilities are commendable. But, all you did was sit at home so you could watch your soaps and Oprah every afternoon."

This is my mother's opinion of what I have done with Minnie Pauz ( in the past 12 years. This did it for me....I can't find any further reason to make an effort to repair our relationship. It's sad but it's been going on for several years and I feel I've exhausted every pathway of recovery. I do feel better knowing the mother/daughter relationship is a problem for so many women so I don't feel like some kind of freak who can't get along with her mother. I didn't respond to the letter/email, rather I haven't MAILED my response. It does help to write as if I was going to send it though. The tough part is that this has also affected my relationship with my sister and I haven't quite come to terms with losing this also. It's been a year now and I just don't feel the same trust we've always had. I'm going to let it go for now, but if anyone wants to get into a discussion about it, let me know with your comments and we'll do an entire thread.

The other outcomes of 2008 have to do with my health. For the first time in 10 years I'm fortunate enough to have healthcare coverage through St. Joe's Mercy Hospital. They have a program for people who are employed but still have a low income...well, menopausal cartoons don't really bring in that much so I qualified! :) Now I have discovered that I have high blood pressure, severe psoriasis, severe sleep apnea and psoriatic arthritis. Most of it is not news, but the progression of the arthritis has been a bit troubling. It has helped me make the decision to take Humira, which hopefully will slow the progression AND clear the skin at the same time. Since all of these meds work differently on each person, I can only hope it will work for me without any of the scary side effects that go along with this powerful drug.

After 3 1/2 years of dealing with psoriasis, I'm really looking forward to seeing clear skin!! It's hard to explain something that has bothered you (in various ways) every day, every minute for so long. The itching, the scratching,the flaking, the cracking skin, the bleeding, the burning, the pain and yes, the heartbreak of psoriasis is real. It's been embarrassing and altogether tiring. I hope the Humira does it's best work on me!! I would like to hear from anyone with experience with P and also with Humira.

Then there's the sleep apnea....I'm trying to find a donated bi-pap machine since the program I'm on does not cover this. The cheapest I've seen one is for $400 which is out of the question right now.

One thing I forgot to mention was that I discovered I had a skin cancer (on my leg) right before Christmas. How much more am I to deal with? :) The blessing is that I have the healthcare program that took care of the surgery. I learned some new words through all this: cutaneous horn and squamas carcinoma. I'm thankful it wasn't a melonoma!!

So, I'm heading into 2009 with a few challenges and a change in my family structure and I'm looking forward to whatever lies ahead as I always do. Can't help myself. I've always been a curious person and basically a positive thinker so there's a lot of life to live. I turned 60 in 2008 so I'm figuring on at least another 30 yrs!

Today, as Barack Obama is inaugurated, I believe there's hope for us all if we take the responsibility to make whatever changes we can to make our world work. Here's wishing all of you a happy and prosperous and healthy new year!!