Also see: Breast Cancer Money-Go-Round & A World Awash In Hormones and The HRT Debacle
UPDATED 2/27/07: I need to update the article below. First, don't do soy - even though it may relieve some symptoms. It contains too many estrogens which can contribute to cancer of the reproductive organs. Too much estrogen, whether it's natural or man made, has harmful side effects, see http://www.rense.com/general75/fav.htm. And, as I wrote in my article, I'm concerned about any supplement or medication. Second, try to stay away from anything that has been processed. Do the preparation and cooking yourself in order to avoid unwanted secret ingredients. The greens are the critical item for your diet. And they should be eaten fresh as well as cooked. However, I wouldn't buy lettuce at the store anymore. Most of it is from California and appears to be contaminated with perchlorate, etc. Besides, I'm into that whole "eat local" movement, which means you eat anything that is, or can be, grown locally and in season. What I do is grow my own herbs and other greens indoors and outdoors. Indoors it is easy to grown onion greens and garlic greens hydroponically or in the soil. Hydroponically, just get a jar with a smallish opening, fill it with water, cut the top off the garlic or onion, and watch it grow. You can put some egg shells and other stuff in the water to fertilize it, but they really don't seem to need much of anything except fresh water once or twice a week. They don't need full sun either. I use these greens on salad, soups, sandwiches, etc. One of my favorite soups is onion and garlic greens plus salt to taste. We live in the city and have almost no space to even turn around in, so outside on my garden wall I grow hardy herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, curry, as well as tomatoes, blueberries, and other stuff. I go out there all winter cutting herbs to use. I strip the herbs off the bottom and root the remainder. For a replacement for lettuce, I grown beet greens. I'm also just beginning to grow turnip greens. These greens are extremely nutritious. Just get a pot, stick your beet into it, cover everything but the top with dirt, and stand back. The greens grown fast and easily. Again, I use it on sandwiches, etc. You can also make refreshing green drinks from mint and/or parsley and/or honey, plus water.
Minimizing Menopause - My Magic Salad
by Lynn Landes 11/20/02
I can drink booze again! My migraines are gone. There's not a whisper of a hot flash. I've stopped attacking my loved ones. And I sleep through the night. How did I do it? How did I make my menopause symptoms go away?
It's at this point I feel as though I should (being an American) want to make money from my exciting new discovery. But if I did...actually make money ... I'm afraid my husband, Cliff, would keel over in a dead faint. After 29 years of marriage, he's adjusted to the idea that I work for the 'greater good,' not the 'god of greed' ...or even household expenses. He makes a nice income, and besides, I remind him that I gave up smoking 28 years ago and now cut my hair with the "Flow-bee," thereby saving the family thousands of dollars. Cliff remains less than impressed, but is always very supportive. That's why I love him.
Okay, so what's my secret to minimizing menopause? It's a salad...real food...that's my secret. It won't make millions of dollars for the medical professional or pharmaceutical industry, but it seems to work for me. And what's in my magic salad? Three kinds of lettuce (Red Romaine, Green Leaf, & Arugula) + carrots + celery + sunflower seeds + oil (olive, sesame, almond) + pure salt (no anti-caking agents, like calcium silicate, please). For croutons I toast whole grain bread and sprinkle on the same oils, some very important herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme - sound familiar?), and salt. That's it! I eat it every day.
How did I discover this "cure"? Desperation had a lot to do with it. I started out like most women. I had just turned 47 and began to experience mild hot flashes. At first it was a joke...an excuse to be a "drama queen." I reveled in nature's passage. And I was determined not to do "drugs." I was growing older with dignity, and wiser with age.
Things got old fast. And after several months I didn't feel wiser, either. I just felt wrung-out. Hot flashes hounded me through the nights. My nerves were on edge. The caring mother and understanding wife became a frazzled frump. Domestic bliss, not that it ever accurately described our family life, was definitely a thing of the past. I fretted and I cried. I couldn't even resort to the bottle, not that I was an alcoholic exactly, but I was a bit of a boozehound (1-3 drinks a day). Now drinking alcohol resulted in instant headaches that, depending on the dosage, graduated into great pounding migraines.
I needed help fast. I sought out the assistance of my holistic dentist, Dr. Gerald H. Smith, in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Working in his office is Kathie Stamou, a certified technician of Computerized Bioenergetic Assessment. It's "a comprehensive computer based system used for measuring the energies (chi) of the body. It can determine bioelectrical disturbances in the organs and systems and the energetic causes that deter optimum health. A regimen of natural remedies is then correlated that will restore balance. This technology is based on electromagnetic resonance, and allows us (them) to take the guesswork out of the supplementation process."
I couldn't begin to describe it myself, but it is really interesting to see how it works.
And it worked pretty well. Most of my menopause symptoms disappeared. I could go on with life. But, Cliff was concerned. He didn't like me taking all those supplements. And frankly, I got tired of the regimen. One day I lined up all the bottles of pills and typed their ingredients into my computer. Then I matched most of the ingredients to real foods.
The first thing that popped out at me was that the nutritional elements of collard greens and kale were missing from my diet. I got off of all my supplements and started adding collard greens and kale to vegetable soups. I also ate soy and stuff like that. It all seemed to really help out, but it didn't eradicate my symptoms completely.
I continued to scour the Internet, investigating leads, looking for direction. It seemed the soundest nutritional advice given to menopausal women is to stock up on dark leafy greens. I went to my neighborhood grocery store. They post the nutritional ingredients for their fresh 'certified organic' vegetables. I picked the lettuces that included the broadest array of vitamins and nutrients. Then that song, "Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme," kept repeating in my head. So I took those four herbs (often used in turkey stuffing) and combined them in equal parts to be used on croutons. I also combined three different types of oils...and made my first salad.
That was about two months ago. Very quickly my menopausal symptoms went away, and they haven't come back. I still can't believe it. Don't get me wrong. I'm not the randy Sandy I once was, but that's nature confirming the obvious - after 40, most women are too damn old to begin a family.
There are other things that I do to keep healthy. I buy only organic foods. I drink water purified through an osmosis filter. And I avoid plastic food and drink containers. I also avoid toxic personal care and household products. I walk or roller blade a mile every day.
And I drink one or two Rusty Nails (or whatever else is handy) ... to break the day or finish off the night. I'm 50 years old and feeling fine.
Lynn Landes is the publisher of EcoTalk.org and a news reporter for DUTV in Philadelphia, PA. Formerly Lynn was a radio show host for WDVR in New Jersey and a regular commentator for a BBC radio program. She can be reached at (215) 629-3553 / firstname.lastname@example.org.