Blog Posts by Ellen Dolgen

  • By now, you've probably crawled into the attic or dug through the hall closet to retrieve your family's Christmas decorations to prepare for trimming your home and tree. Maybe you've picked up a few decorating tips and have decided to try out a new look this year. I know someone who has multiple trees with different themes. One is the "homey" tree with all of the kids' homemade ornaments, colored lights, and the same light-up angel that has been topping the family's tree since 1972. Her second tree is all crystal, gold, and silver ornaments set off with white lights. That one goes in front of the window of her living room. Finally, there is a tree in the front yard with blue lights and huge, globe ornaments to add some holiday pizzazz to the neighborhood. Women love to decorate, maybe not all as much as my friend, but the holidayhs are a fun opportunity to let out our inner Martha. Sometimes the best redecorating project begins with downsizing. We shouldn't be afraid to toss out

    Read More »from Menopause Mondays: Re-decorate My What? is Hysterectomy the Right Theme This Holiday?
  • Menopause Mondays: Hurricane Sandy Relief

    A gift that you (and they) will remember

    Have you made your list and checked it twice? The stores are jammed with holiday shoppers looking for just the right gifts for all of the special someones in their lives. Have you ever paused and attempted to remember what you gave or received as gifts last year? Perimenopausal memory issues notwithstanding, most of us would have to think a while to remember. Now, I think gift giving is a wonderful way to let friends and family know they are appreciated and loved. I'm also not opposed to receiving gifts either. What's more fun than that moment of expectation when you unwrap a gift? Still, a few things have happened recently that have caused me to think about this wonderful season a little differently. I've been wondering how to keep the sentiment of gift giving but change the gift into something a little more memorable.

    David and I have friends in the Northeast and were deeply concerned and saddened by the destruction and loss of

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  • Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and then the holidays officially begin! The grocery stores have sold out of turkeys, urban pumpkin patches have been converted to Christmas tree lots, and everyone is talking about their plans for December. For some of us, it's not enough to just have Thanksgiving. You may believe you must have THE BEST THANKSGIVING EVER! You might have even spent days just focused on preparing your turkey.

    So what else is the perimenopause and menopause woman focused on this Thanksgiving?

    • She is focused on how she is going to remember to take the turkey out of the oven.
    • She is focused on her stomach and her hips - wondering if she's going to fit into last year's holiday clothes.
    • She is focused on how to keep her unpredictable emotions under control when the inevitable family/holiday stress kicks in.
    • She is focused on getting a good night's sleep - because she has forgotten what that is!

    In honor of the sisterhood, in recognition of all that we

    Read More »from Menopause News Flash: Ellen Dolgen’s Recipe for a “chill” and Happy Thanksgiving
  • I recently had a great conversation with Keri Glassman, nutrition expert, founder of, and author of 4 books including her latest, The New You and Improved Diet: 8 Rules to Lose Weight and Change Your Life Forever, being released on December 24, which helps readers lose weight and "get stronger, calmer, healthier, and more balanced." With the holidays already upon us, I thought this was a great opportunity to combine Keri's advice with practical tips on how to navigate through the temptations we face around the holidays. The season of eating may have begun for you a few weeks ago when co-workers brought bags of left-over Halloween candy to the office. This week, of course, preparation for the Thanksgiving feast is in full swing, and then the holiday parties will begin with all of the sweet indulgences (well, maybe just a half a drink more) that go with them. With everything going on, friends to see, places to go, gifts to buy, and treats to eat, you may find

    Read More »from Menopause Mondays: Happy Nutritious Holidays! from Ellen and Guest Nutritionist, Keri Glassman
  • Menopause Mondays: Women and the Prevention of Heart Disease

    My father experienced his first heart attack at the age of 42 in 1963. He was a very strong, dynamic, and accomplished businessman, loving father, and husband. In those days, doctors could only prescribe a stringent, low fat diet, the use of margarine instead of butter 1 , and exercise. There were no medications available to clear or slow the clogging of his arteries. At 48, Dad was sent to Houston where Dr. Denton Cooley performed open-heart surgery on him. I remember our family, crowded around my Dad's bedside, while listening to Dr. Cooley explain that high cholesterol results in clogged arteries, and that high cholesterol was hereditary. I was a young teenager at the time, feeling invincible, and not making the connection that this news had any bearing on my life in any way.

    After the surgery, when we arrived back in Tucson, my parents insisted that I have my cholesterol checked. When I heard the results, I thought the lab had confused my fathers test results with mine.

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  • We've come to the end of our journey and finally arrived at Step 5. After weeks of being diligent, opening up, finding a specialist, tracking your symptoms, and getting the right tests for a complete evaluation of the treatment options available to you, the grand finale is here! It's finally the moment to complete the circle and arrive at hormone happiness. However, would you be very disappointed if I told you that there was no final destination? Hormone happiness is a continuing cycle.

    Let's review. A commitment to hormone happiness requires that you:

    If you like pictures, it looks like this:

    Step 5 may, at first, sound simple, but really, it's vital to completing the cycle. It also Read More »from Menopause Mondays: Ellen’s 5 Steps to Hormone Happiness, Step 5: Stay on the Path

  • Tests….the mere word conjures memories of long-ago school days, folding myself uncomfortably into a tiny desk, preparing to wrangle with a grueling standardized test, my number two lead pencil cracking under the pressure of my intensity. What part of my 5 Steps to Hormone Happiness is this, you ask? Why hormone testing, of course. Fortunately for us, when it comes to testing for hormone levels - no pencil is needed, and you really can't fail!

    In order to have a comprehensive evaluation with your doctor regarding your specific perimenopause and menopause journey, it is helpful to have a complete hormone panel performed. This, along with the information you've gathered during Step 3: charting your menopause symptoms, will enable your specialist to create an individualized program to help you achieve hormone happiness. Remember, there is a broad range of what is considered "normal" when it comes to hormone levels. What is "normal" for some may not be normal for you. I highly

    Read More »from Menopause Mondays: Ellen’s 5 Steps to Hormone Happiness, Step 4: Menopause and Testing

  • Are you awake at 3AM? Forgetting the names of your own children? Suddenly losing your keys, your temper and your mind? Did you recently become a member of the sisterhood of the shrinking pants? Would you rather mop your kitchen floor than slip into bed with your lover? Has your vagina suddenly packed up and gone to the Sahara desert? It turns out that perimenopause and menopause isn't just the cessation of a bodily function. No, an alien did not come down and infiltrate your body…you most likely are experiencing some of the myriad of perimenopause and menopause symptoms.

    There is help! Jump aboard our 5-step program to hormone happiness. The first step is to open up and reach out so that you can take action! Next is Step 2: Find a Menopause Specialist. This week, we are going to help you prepare for your doctor's appointment with Step 3: Chart Your Menopause Symptoms. Charting is easy and will ensure that you are able to communicate exactly how you are feeling to your Read More »from Menopause Mondays: Ellen’s 5 Steps to Hormone Happiness, Step 3: Chart Your Menopause Symptoms
  • Menopause Mondays: Do You Know About Vaginal Atrophy?

    Before we get to this week's post, I want to remind everyone that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Towards my mission as a health and wellness advocate, may I make a simple request? If you are over the age of 40 and you haven't had a mammogram in the past year, will you schedule an appointment to get one before the end of this month? Early detection is so important. Unfortunately, many women over the age of 40 don't have annual mammograms. The National Breast Cancer Foundation has an online tool and smartphone app that you can use to create an early detection plan complete with reminders when it's time for self and clinical exams. How easy is that? Let's do this for ourselves, ok? And spread the word to the other women in your life.

    Today's Menopause Mondays Blog was going to be a continuation of Ellen's 5 Steps to Hormone Happiness. Last week we learned Step 1: Don't Wait to get the help you need. This week's blog was intended to be Step 2: Find your Specialist.

    Read More »from Menopause Mondays: Do You Know About Vaginal Atrophy?
  • Menopause Mondays:Through The Looking Glass to a New Vision of You!

    Photo by Chanel Raisin

    This is the last Menopause Monday of Menopause Awareness Month. In the past three weeks, we've discussed caregiving for yourself and others, what's new on the perennial subject of hot flashes, and my birthday post about releasing limiting beliefs (being free to be you). Now, we arrive at a subject that can be used either to denigrate or empower ourselves. Perspective, anyone? The looking glass metaphor is really about how we see ourselves - both literally in the mirror and figuratively in how we feel about what we see.

    On top of everything else a woman has to face during perimenopause and menopause, there is an issue that I refer to as complimentary membership into the sisterhood of the shrinking pants. I was dealing with hot flashes, depression, loss of stamina, and a shmirshky in the desert when suddenly, my clothes didn't fit anymore. Insult to injury! Are you kidding me? Changing hormones and depression-fueled, carb binging resulted in more

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