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About Shawna Page

Shawna Page is the founder and CEO of femMED. Following a 20-year career in the investment banking industry, Shawna was ready to settle down and take on a new challenge: early retirement and being a full-time mother to her three children. Little did she realize she would be back in the saddle after only 3 weeks. Living a healthy lifestyle has always been a top priority, and over the years Shawna had gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in the natural health world, but more importantly, she became very aware of the consumer pitfalls as well. Searching the store aisles for the right supplement was frustrating and confusing. There was no trusted brand just for women. That, combined with the lack of natural options available to women, gave birth to her desire to simplify things and she created femMED, the first ever consumer friendly all-natural solution to women’s most common health concerns.

Natural Remedies for Menopause

Natural Remedies for Menopause

Yes, some women have an easier time with menopause than others but does anyone get away scot-free?  My mom and I have had several conversations on the topic – mostly me asking questions to avoid being ill-prepared, ill-informed or worse, misinformed!  She did, however tell me that my grandmother was one of the lucky ones.  She lost her period and that was that.  No flashes, no night sweats, no weight gain, no mood swings, no anxiety, no hair loss, no fatigue, no itchy skin, no burning tongue, NO NOTHING!  Well! This information came as a huge surprise to me and catapulted me into an extensive fact finding (more like fact proving) mission that occupied many hours of my days and now has become my lifelong work.   Here’s what I know now:

Menopausal symptoms effects roughly 85% of women and to set the record straight, in all, there are 34 reported symptoms of menopause.  Clearly the number of symptoms and the severity will be different among individual women, and also among women in different cultures and in different parts of the world.  But women who have joined the sisterhood of menopause are not alone – For the next 20 years, an estimated 40 million North American female baby boomers will experience menopause, and women today are past the point of being told to “just suffer through it”.

Take control of it, before IT takes control of you.

So how does one begin to take control?  Well for starters, get educated.  Take the time to read and understand the changes that your body is (or will be) going through.  Generally people deal better with things that don’t come as a surprise.  Don’t ignore “intuitive” treatments.  Dress in layers, buy a small inexpensive hand held fan and turn down the furnace.  Also avoid food s that are known to trigger a flash – like spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol.   Add foods that contain “phytoestrogens” — like soy, flax, certain beans, peas and lentils – natural remedies for menopause may also help to reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.  It goes without saying that good nutrition and regular physical exercise is a critical component to improved overall health.

Having a positive mind-set has a lot to do with how well a woman adjusts to menopause. If it is viewed as a catastrophic end to youth, fertility and sexuality, it can cause major disruptions in one’s life, and force the temptation to “solve” the problem with treatment options that falsely promise eternal youth.  There are many natural remedies for menopause available.  Look for menopause supplements that are a comprehensive blend of ingredients which includes Black Cohosh and Dong Quai, both which have been shown to tremendously help provide menopause relief.  The risks and rewards of hormone replacement therapy should be carefully considered before undertaking this protocol.  Many women do very well using natural remedies for menopause treatment.  If menopause is seen as the natural transition to the next phase of life, it can not only be readily accepted and more easily handled, but also a liberating rite of passage.

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Heart Health Supplements for Women

Heart Health Supplements for Women

Heart disease is the # 1 killer of women in Canada and worldwide. Women are 10 times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than from any other disease. And our risk is 4 times greater during and after menopause than before menopause.

The news is not all bad though. There are many ways we can reduce our risk.

One way is with heart health supplements that are high in omega 3 fatty acids and co enzyme Q10, two powerful and proven ingredients that can help lower our risk of heart disease.

Omega-3 fatty acids modulate the production of powerful hormone-like substances known as eicosanoids. Those produced by omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and reduce blood clotting, lowering the risk of heart attack.

If an attack does occur, it’s less likely to be fatal. One study of heart attack survivors showed that if they took heart health supplements with 1,000 mg of omega-3s daily, they lowered their risk of dying from heart disease by 25 percent.

Omega-3 fats also lower blood triglycerides, reduce abnormal heart rhythms and the incidence of stroke, slow the buildup of artery-hardening plaques and lower blood pressure.

CoQ10 (Co Enzyme Q10) levels decrease with age and are low in patients with chronic diseases such as heart conditions. CoQ10 is found in virtually every cell of the body, including the heart, and functions as a carrier that helps produce ATP, the fuel that energizes cells. The heart muscle has the greatest concentration of mitochondria at five thousand per cell. Statin drugs, used for elevated cholesterol levels, deplete the body and heart of CoQ10. Heart health supplements ideally should contain CoQ10 for these reasons.

We hear it all the time but if you smoke…QUIT.  If you are a women age 50 or under and you smoke, your risk of dying from a heart attack is three times greater than that of an ex-smoker.

Get moving. Inactivity doubles our risk for heart disease. Our heart is a muscle that needs regular exercise to stay healthy (aerobic exercise at least 3 times a week for 30 – 50 minutes).

Maintain a healthy weight. The risk of a heart attack is three times higher in women who are overweight.

Lower your cholesterol. 40% of women 55 years old and older have elevated cholesterol. Choosing a diet low in fat and cholesterol can reduce blood cholesterol by as much as 5-20%.

Relax. In some people, stress raises their cholesterol level and blood pressure, two factors associated with heart disease.

Lower our blood pressure. 52% of women 45 years+ have elevated blood pressure. High blood pressure (over 140/90) causes blood to press too hard against the walls of your arteries, wearing down the lining of our arteries over time.

Keep your blood sugars normal. A woman with diabetes has a 5 times higher risk of heart disease. Diabetes can damage artery walls, increasing the risk of developing atherosclerosis.

Limit your alcohol. Drinking more than two drinks per day increases your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

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The Importance of Multi Vitamins for Women

For women today, it’s nearly impossible to find the necessary level of nutrients in our food alone. The mineral content in our soils has diminished over the years due to increases in pollution and pesticides, certain forms of cooking actually destroy vitamins and minerals in food and hormones in our dairy, meat and poultry pose their own risks, let alone lower the food’s overall nutritional value.

Today, it has become necessary to supplement our diet with a multi vitamin for women. And even better a multi vitamin with antioxidants.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are phytochemicals, vitamins and other nutrients that protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants are believed to be effective in helping to prevent cancer, heart disease, stroke and a variety of other ailments associated with natural aging. Specifically antioxidants help us by destroying harmful free radicals that lay inside the human body.

Free Radicals

When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals that can cause damage. Free radicals found in blood vessels — caused by things including deep-fried foods, cigarette smoke, and air pollution — change the structure of the (bad) LDL cholesterol so it becomes more susceptible to clog the arteries and cause heart problems. Sunlight and air pollution can create free radicals in your eyes, by damaging retinal or corneal cells which can lead to cataracts and blindness.  Free radicals in skin cells can damage cell DNA, raising the risk of skin cancer and accelerating wrinkle formation. Left unmanaged, free radicals can damage cell walls, genetic material within cells and other cell structures, and over time such damage may lead to disease. Antioxidants act as “free radical scavengers” and hence prevent and repair the damage done by free radicals.  Health problems such as heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes and cancer may all be contributed to by oxidative damage.

A well-balanced diet is the best way to give our body the antioxidants it requires but unfortunately, in our western society a perfect diet may be hard to achieve. Proper supplementation with a high quality womens’ multi vitamin including antioxidants can help to ensure that your body receives all that it requires for good health and aging.

Single Dose Disadvantage

Bodies weren’t designed to use nutrients in one large single dose. Research has proven that eating smaller, more frequent meals allows for better absorption of the nutritional value of food.   The same premise applies to vitamins.  For example, Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. The body can’t store it and its lifespan in the body is relatively short. This limits the effectiveness of a one-a-day multi and ultimately leaves us unprotected much of the time. A more effective strategy is to use a womens’ multi vitamin that is taken in divided doses during the day.

Tablet versus capsule

Tablets take a long time to dissolve, and sometimes don’t dissolve at all.  Capsules, on the other hand, dissolve quickly allowing the body to absorb every nutrient. Look for vegetable capsules versus capsules made of gelatin because they eliminate the concern over potential impurities associated with traditional beef and pork-based gelatin capsules.

And remember:  Multi vitamins for women do not replace healthy eating, but rather they supplement an already healthy diet.

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Holy Hot Dog!

Every Victoria Day, 3 generations of family friends gather for dinner and a fireworks display.  This tradition has been going on for more than 40 years and its great fun!  It’s particularly amazing to see the change in the kids from year to year… but one thing that seems never to change, is the dinner menu -Hot Dogs being front and centre.

A very good friend, who happens to be a holistic pharmacist and extremely knowledgeable in natural medicine, copied me on an email she sent to her friends and family which I would like to share with you today – it will make you stop and think twice about ever eating a hot dog again!

“After our discussion about hot dogs the other day, I decided to look into their composition a bit further. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t leading you astray on the issue, in the event that manufacturing had changed in recent years. Plus, I get a lot of nutritional questions so I wanted to make sure I had my facts straight.

Hot dog are often made from advanced meat recovery or meat slurry. Advanced meat recovery is a slaughterhouse process by which the last traces of usable meat are removed from bones and other carcass materials after the primal cuts have been carved off manually. The meat produced in this manner can contain no more than 150(±30) milligrams of calcium per 100 grams product, as calcium in such high concentrations in the product would be indicative of bone being mixed with the meat. Products that exceed the calcium content limit must be labeled “mechanically separated beef or pork” in the ingredients statement. You will also see that term on some deli/packaged meats.

Even if the product is labeled 100% beef, that does not mean that it contains quality meat. It means that the material in the hot dog all comes from the cow, but in addition to the meat it can contain, muscle, cartilage, skin and fat and some bone material as noted above. Schneider’s say that their dogs are made with “quality meat” yet they acknowledge that their dogs are indeed made with the meat scraps left over after roast, steaks, and ground beef is made, along with fat (skin and fat removed after making the other cuts of meat).

I know that kids love hot dogs, and we have all eaten them over the years and survived. Having them a few times a year is likely not a problem, but most hot dogs are high in fat, salt, and preservatives like nitrates which are all linked to health problems including cancer. Turkey and chicken dogs are usually healthier – less salt and fat. Veggie dogs are also a much healthier option.

Lastly, a point of interest….the term “hot dog” goes back hundreds of years ago when it was believed that dog meat was used to make these meat products and animal intestines were used as the casing. Now most are made with a cellulose or collagen casing.

So there you have it!”

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It Beats Botox!

Your facial muscles need exercise just as much as the rest of your body. And facial exercises work just like regular muscle exercises.

Intent.com suggests the following to keep your face looking young:

  • Raise your eyebrows as high as you can and hold them for five seconds.
  • Open your mouth as wide as possible and stick your tongue out as far as you can and hold for a few seconds.
  • Using your three center fingers, press down on your cheeks and smile as hard as you can to raise your cheek muscles against your fingers.
  • Move your nose as much as you can from side to side.
  • Lift your eyebrows as high as you can, open your eyes as wide as possible and frown at the same time.
  • Pucker your lips out as far as possible into the shape of an “O.” Then change your expression into a wide smile. Repeat several times.
  • Sit in a comfortable chair and look up at the ceiling. Pucker your lips and stick your tongue out as far as possible to exercise your neck muscles.
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