The Course Every Woman in Midlife Must Take

  Dr. James Simon

Although it’s your decision – and your decision alone – whether or not to replace your hormones when they leave you, that pivotal life choice must be informed by evidence-based information. Not by fear, ignorance, or what another woman told you in a Facebook group. 

Because your hormones are utterly critical to more life functions than you ever dreamed possible!   

Learn the indisputable facts – pro and con – about hormone replacement at a real-time, information-packed Zoom Master Class with Dr. James Simon, a world-renowned expert. 

Principal investigator on more than 300 clinical trials in the area of women’s health, Dr. Simon possesses such a wealth of knowledge he teaches other doctors about hormones. 

Get the straight answers to these big questions -and a whole lot more-straight from the master’s voice. 

When should I start taking hormones? 

When should I stop? 

Do hormones cause breast cancer?

Will hormones give me a heart attack?

If I had breast cancer, can I ever take hormones? 

If my period stopped five years ago, can I start taking hormones now?

Hear what every woman must learn to make one of the best-informed decisions of her life. 

For her life.

You owe it to your heart, brain, bones and breasts if you want to stay in tip-top shape as you age.

This is an exceptional opportunity you should not pass up. 




I want to attend Dr. James Simon’s Real-Time Zoom Master Class on Hormones 

Thursday, May 20, 2021    

8 pm – 9:30 pm Eastern Time 

5 pm – 6:30 pm Pacific Time

Ticket: $25*

(Master Card, Visa and Amex all accepted)


We are compensating Dr. Simon for his time and knowledge. You also will be able to communicate directly with him at the session.

Find Comfort At Our Video Support Sessions Led By Compassionate Therapists

You’re alone, isolated and getting more melancholy by the day.

Or, perhaps you’re not alone, but wish you were, because you’re quarantined with someone who is testing your patience. That someone might even be your long-time partner.

Anxiety to anger. Fear to frenzy. No matter what our situation, our emotions are running high.

So we invited Rinat Kass and Dr. Christine Lillja, leading experts on relationships and self-discovery for women 50+, to facilitate intimate video support sessions for our community during this stressful time.

You’ll have the opportunity to talk with Rinat or Christine about the challenges facing your relationship, your loneliness, and how you can manage your heightened emotions. They are part of the online network of highly credentialed therapists across the country.



Come by yourself or ask a group of your friends to sign up and join you.

{Sessions will be held on ZOOM, an app that’s easy as pie to download. We’ll send you details when you register.}




2 – 3 PM     


6 – 7 PM     



A licensed clinical psychologist and marriage and family therapist, Dr.Christine Lillja received her Master of Science in Psychology, from California State University at Long Beach, and her Psy.D. from California Southern University. She has been practicing psychotherapy for 26 years and is also a Certified Trauma Professional. She lives and works in Orange County, CA, where she loves the people and climate. She and her husband of 25 years have two children and a rescue dog.


THURSDAY APRIL 30, 2020, 2-3PM
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THURSDAY APRIL 30, 2020, 6-7PM
[wpecpp name=”THURSDAY APRIL 30, 2020, 6-7PM” price=”25.00″]



2 – 3 PM     


6 – 7 PM     



A licensed marriage and family therapist, Rinat Kass received her Master’s Degree in Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in California, where she worked with individuals, couples, families and children at its Community Counseling Center for five years. She opened her private practice in Palo Alto, CA in 2013, counseling patients on managing stress and anxiety, relationship issues, conflict resolution, depression and general dissatisfaction with life and career choices. She is married and the mother of three.


THURSDAY MAY 7, 2020, 2-3PM
[wpecpp name=”THURSDAY MAY 7, 2020, 2-3PM” price=”25.00″]
THURSDAY MAY 7, 2020, 6-7PM
[wpecpp name=”THURSDAY MAY 7, 2020, 6-7PM” price=”25.00″]



When Family Members Stream In For The Holidays, Make This Live TV Streaming Service The Gift That Keeps On Giving

FabOverFifty created this post through a sponsored content partnership with Frndly TV. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we believe will benefit our community. —Geri Brin

Being an empty nester has its advantages. Few things in life are as gratifying, though, as gathering around the TV with your grown kids and their kids to enjoy a show or movie as one big happy family! Whether you’re laughing or wiping away a sentimental tear, doing it with those you love is an absolutely wonderful experience.

You certainly don’t need a holiday to share good times like this with the most important people in your life. But now that the giving season is upon us, consider presenting them with a subscription to Frndly TV. The first live and on-demand streaming service for the American Family, it offers over 1,000 titles across 13 top-rated channels, including Hallmark Channel, Game Show Network, The Weather Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Outdoor and Sportsman Channels, PIxL, and QVC.  

Frndly TV is a special family gift everyone will undoubtedly appreciate over and over again.

                          Christmas at the Plaza

Wherever you’re gathered with your family this season, start tuning into a world of exceptional programming, including Hallmark movie Christmas at The Plaza. It stars charming British actress Elizabeth Henstridge as Jessica Cooper, an archival historian hired to create an exhibition recalling Christmas celebrations at the iconic hotel. Struggling in a waning romantic relationship with a self-absorbed professor, Jessica meets unassuming Nick Perrelli, who is decorating The Plaza for the holidays this year. Played by Ryan Paevey, Nick helps Jessica recognize the value of self-esteem and the definition of true love. 

>>Give Frndly TV to your family today!

Watching the movie brought back memories of the grand hotel during the holidays, excited children dashing about the magnificent lobby and harried shoppers unwinding over steaming cocoa at The Palm Court. I also loved seeing actress Julia Duffy in it, who made me laugh every week on Newhart, the eighties hit sitcom.  

From Uplifting Originals To Favorite Oldies

                                  Gilmore Girls

Set your sights on UPtv, Frndly TV’s new channel addition, and introduce younger family members to some of the other stars and popular series you enjoyed back in the day, like Reba McEntire in the sitcom Reba. Who can forget talented Reba as the wisecracking single mother whose dentist husband left her to marry his young, ditzy (and pregnant) dental hygienist?  Or catch the comedy-drama Gilmore Girls, with Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel as single mother Lorelai and daughter Rory in the storybook Connecticut town of dreamers, artists and everyday people. 

UPtv offers uplifting original movies and series, too, such as Our Wedding Story, featuring couples’ breathtaking experiences, from the moment they meet to their walk down the aisle. Exceptionally produced, the series makes you feel like you actually know the couples and are a guest at their weddings. Besides, who isn’t intrigued by real-life love stories?

>>Give Frndly TV to your family today!

A Stupendous Streaming Service For A Super Special Sum 

                                   Kid Frndly

Frndly TV is a special gift for those who have finally cut off their preposterously expensive cable service and are searching for the perfect family oriented entertainment they can stream. Even little kids are welcomed into the Frndly TV family with the BabyFirst channel to help introduce them to colors, numbers, letters and animals. The service is designed using the familiar linear grid guide so it’s a breeze to browse shows. You can record your favorite shows and movies; go back 72 hours to view any programming that aired during the three days, and start a program from the beginning if you tuned in late. You can stream at home on Roku, Amazon, Chromecast, and Apple TV, or on-the-go with iOS and Android. Subscribers also can customize their packages to include features like unlimited Cloud DVR that stores all recordings for 90 days, and streaming on four devices at the same time! 

All pretty cool and worry free, right? 

There’s more cool: a $5.99 monthly fee for the core service. Just think, a gift this special, with a price this affordable, makes it a gift well worth giving.  Santa will even want a subscription for himself, Mrs. Claus and their family of hard-working elves. 

Try it right now, and you can enjoy Frndly TV’s wonderful shows for FREE for 7 days. Just in time for the holidays! Your family is on its way.

Yes, You Can Meet A New Man At Almost 80, But She’s Not Telling You How!

I know. I know. Every single woman is entitled to her own feelings, but I’m flabbergasted when a woman doesn’t want to share something lovely that’s happened in her life and that can inspire other women.  

First, meet the woman in question. I’ll call her Sharon. She’s in her late 70s, well educated, retired, and a grandmother. Her husband, who had been sick for years, died a number of years ago. She’s lived alone since then and is close to her grown children and grandchildren. She cares deeply about social issues.  Enjoys theatre, classical music, ballet. Not terribly interested in fashion or beauty. 

Sharon and I have known each other for decades, but have never been close.  We hadn’t communicated in about five years, but I got a message from her recently which included the news that she was “seeing a wonderful man.” She told me where he worked and said he was soon retiring.  Her Facebook page showed photos from a number of trips she’s taken with him during the last few months. She’s not an especially joyous or expressive woman, but she looked happy in the photos.

I texted Sharon about three weeks ago and asked how she was doing.  “Fine. Traveling in Asia with Ron (not his real name either). Life is good. You?” she responded.

I was thinking earlier this week that other older, widowed or divorced women would love to learn how Sharon  met Ron and how they’ve established a successful relationship. Although many older women are happy as larks living alone, many want the companionship of a man, but have a hard time meeting one.

So, I texted this to Sharon: “Hi Sharon, I’d love to interview you for an article on my website about establishing a new relationship in your 70s. I’d show you the article before I published it to make sure you were happy with it. I think it would be inspirational to divorced and widowed women who would like to meet someone. LMK if you’d be up for it.”

I forgot I had emailed Sharon until I saw this message from her yesterday: “Hi. I’m sorry but I have to say ‘no’ to this. I consider these things personal and private. And, I don’t think there’s much to be learned. What has happened for me is very unusual, and unlikely, at my age. Most of the women I know, widowed or divorced, would confirm that. I feel incredibly lucky. But he and I agree, it’s remarkable but it’s a fluke.”

HUH, I thought.  Exactly what does Sharon  consider “personal and private?” How she met this man?  What they have in common? What drew them to one another in their 70s? And yes, it may be “unusual” and “unlikely” to develop a meaningful relationship in your 70s, but that’s precisely why I wanted to write an article about a couple that has. I didn’t even have to use their names.  Who cares what their names are anyway? And even if Sharon and Ron’s partners had cheated on them, and they now found comfort in one another, why not share that fact? Or maybe they hadn’t had sex for years and they’ve reawakened each other’s sexuality. Wow. How great is that! Why not shout it from the rooftops. You don’t have to reveal what position you use. You don’t even have to say anything more than “we were instantly attracted to each other, a feeling neither of us thought we’d ever have again.” Or maybe they share a deep, dark secret about their lives that brought them together. They don’t have to divulge it. Sharon could simply say “we had common ground on some important issues.” For goodness sakes, you’re close to 80, not 18! 

I found Sharon’s response obnoxious and off-putting, if not a tad affected and foolish. I’ve interviewed a woman whose husband lived a double life, a woman whose daughter died from an opioid overdose, and a woman whose husband hid that he lost all their money, until he picked up and left her and their daughter, on Christmas Eve no less. Now, those things are “personal” and “private,” yet the women were anxious to share their experiences so they could help even one other woman to see the light. 

I wish Sharon and Ron years of health and happiness together, in their “remarkable but flukey” relationship. Flukes happen. 

Consumed By Her Disease

Unless we’ve personally confronted a cancer diagnosis and experienced the challenges of treatment, none of us really know how we’d react to this horrible situation. I’d like to think that I’d be brave, hopeful, and realistic. I’d also like to think that I would most want to spend time with those I love, but not be a burden to them. Of course I’d be terrified.

seven people share the stories behind their scars on

I’ve been following the Facebook posts of a young woman (she’s in her late 40s) with advanced breast cancer. She’s had mastectomies, chemo, and much more. The cancer has metastasized to her brain. It appears to also have taken over her life. She defines itself by her illness. She takes countless selfies and videos of her “flat” chest; she rails against her relatives whom she dislikes because they think she’s using her cancer to get attention; she bemoans that she’s all alone in her challenging journey; she’s angry as hell at her cancer, which seems to make her angry in general. 

She shares her physical reactions to her treatment and to the spreading disease in startling detail. The headaches, the vomiting, the excruciating pain. She implores people to accompany her to treatments, to order meals for her, to buy beauty products she likes. 

Now here’s the thing: I abhor the idea of an illness becoming the single focus of my existence. I don’t want to live if I’m spending the majority of my time having my disease treated and then suffering from the side effects of that treatment, unable to work. I wouldn’t want to rely on anyone, especially my grown children, to help care for me because I could no longer do it alone. I would feel like I’m imposing, which has always made me uncomfortable. I wouldn’t want to be consumed with a disease that was literally consuming my body.

I don’t want others to feel sorry or pity for me or feel obligated to help me. I don’t want to whine about the cards I’ve been dealt. I am my mother’s daughter. That’s exactly how she felt, even after having hip surgery at 86 and developing a raging and painful infection throughout her body from diabetes. She’d repeatedly cry out “it hurts, it hurts”-in a state of delirium-but never once asked me or my sisters for help. Of course we tried to help. She died weeks after the surgery. And, I am my father’s daughter. After being diagnosed with metastasized melanoma in 1988, when doctors were the only people who’d heard of melanoma, he never complained and rued his fate. When I leaned down to kiss him in the hospital bed in his den, these were what would be his last words to me, “The one who’s having the hardest time coping with this is Gerilynn (that’s my legal name).” 

Dr. Paul Kalanithi and daughter Cady

I often think about Dr. Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon who died a month shy of his 38th birthday of advanced lung cancer, rare in someone so young. After getting the diagnosis at 36 years old, he didn’t spend the time left to him dying. He spent it learning how to die, and he chronicled what he learned in When Breath Becomes Air, a book that should be required reading for anyone over the age of 18. You ask yourself if you could possibly look at your own impending death as bravely as Paul looked at his, will yourself to do a job you loved, decide to have a child who would never know you. Could you evaluate the meaning of your own life, as it was about to end, as Paul so stunningly assesses his? 

I’ve often said I would end my own life if I knew I had Alzheimer’s. I would not want to wait until I was completely out of my mind and incapable of doing anything on my own, especially think. Cancer is another story, but if it or an equally dreadful disease dramatically changed my life, I don’t think it would be a life I’d want to live.

Thicker–And Fuller-Looking–Hair At Last!

This is a “sponsored post.” Volaire compensated FOF with an advertising sponsorship to write it. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we believe will be helpful for our readers. All insights and expressed opinions are our own.

My body and my hair have taken dramatically different directions as I’ve aged: The former is fuller and thicker, the latter thinner and flatter. Woe is me! I’ve tried countless volumizing products and even bought an expensive custom hair piece to give me fullness up top. The products coated my hair strands to make them thicker, but only weighed down my already pancake-like style. Worse, they made my hair look and feel dirtier! As for the hairpiece, it became a nuisance to maintain.

Now, a revolutionary Hair Volumizing System called VOLAIRE has come into my life, and my tresses (and I) are doing a happy dance.

So are millions of other women. “I used my Volaire products this morning and threw out all my other hair products. I love this stuff! I have very fine hair, and have tried everything I could find to get volume and texture. I finally found it. I will use these products forever,” Cheryl wrote in her online review.

Unlike all those traditional, heavy products, VOLAIRE exclusive AIRWEIGHT TECHNOLOGY blends nourishing ingredients with unique microspheres to give lift and volume to my thinning and lifeless hair. These positively charged microspheres literally attach to each negatively charged hair shaft to create more space between individual strands for weightless volume.  It’s not magic. It’s science. And, it works!.

>> Click here to try VOLAIRE!

“VOLAIRE approaches hair volume in a totally new way,” said Carey Grange, president of Junee Brands, which discovers beauty products with transformational benefits for women. “Typical volumizers coat the hair strands to make them thicker, but they actually weigh down hair and make it look and feel dirtier,” Carey explained. Hair becomes even heavier when we use additional styling products like gels and mousses. The result is hair that’s gunked up with product.

Three products make up the 
VOLAIRE Hair Volumizing System with proprietary AirWeight Technology:


An aerated dispenser releases a pillowy and rich foam lather that I easily work throughout my hair, leaving it feeling soft, silky and lifted. The shampoo is free of sulfates and parabens, can safely be used on my color-treated hair, and infuses it with nutrient-rich ingredients, such as avocado oil, kelp and algae extracts, and chamomile. Coconut-derived surfactants make my hair feel clean, but don’t rob it of essential oils.


I need to use only a small amount of this wonderfully rich, nourishing and hydrating conditioner to help prevent breakage, without adding weight to my hair. I leave it on for two minutes, and, after rinsing it out, my hair is touchable and soft, but never heavy or sticky. Ingredients include oat protein, which softens and smoothes my hair, and panthenol, which helps reduce dryness, dullness and breakage. My hair is finer than it’s ever been, but this conditioner treats it richly, without weighing it down and making it feel lifeless.

and save on VOLAIRE + get FREE SHIPPING today!


After towel drying my hair, I spray on this ultra-light mist, which is formulated to lock onto my hair roots and strands to pump up the volume without making my hair stiff, sticky or tacky. Restorative extracts actually nourish the roots and scalp. When I use the mist on my wet hair, it adds body, smoothness and bounce, whether I blow it dry or let it air dry. It also includes natural sea salt, so when I apply it on my dry hair, it refreshes my naturally curly hair, and gives me a full-bodied texture. I only have to shampoo and style every few days.

Besides giving my hair immediate fullness and body, The VOLAIRE Hair Volumizing System makes it shinier and healthier because it’s formulated with essential fatty acids and vitamins. What’s more, the volume lasts all day!

VOLAIRE  has put together an introductory set so you can try these innovative products for 62% savings over buying each product separately. And, the company is so confident you’ll become a VOLAIRE fan, it’s offering a 60-day money back guarantee on everything!

Plus, you’ll get the super absorbent, smoothing Aquis hair turban, a $30 value, as a free thank you gift. I’ll never use a regular towel to dry my hair again.

and save on VOLAIRE + get FREE SHIPPING today!

An Aesthetic Transformation Without A Single Incision

One look at Gray ONeill’s before and after photos would convince any woman with deep wrinkles and pigmentation to shout: “I WANT WHAT SHE HAD!”

                          Gray before

What 69-year-old Gray had was a CO2 laser treatment with the Lumenis UltraPulse,  the most powerful CO2 laser in aesthetic medicine. Dr. Gilly Munavalli performed the two-hour procedure in his Charlotte, NC, office nine months ago, and both he and his patient are mighty pleased. “She just keeps getting better and better,”  he said.

Gray’s dry aging skin, lined with wrinkles and ridges from solar elastosis, made her a perfect candidate for the UltraPulse resurfacing treatment,  said Dr. Munavalli, who has done hundreds of CO2 treatments during the last 18 years. “Lumenis has been a consistent market leader in this category.  I can always count on it for sound technology,” he added.

Firing a 10,600 nanometer wavelength of infrared light to heat the water in the skin, UltraPulse vaporizes the skin surface and removes the aged and damaged skin. “I like its high peak power and its speed. And, it can penetrate deeper than any aesthetic ablative CO2 laser I’ve used,” Dr. Munavalli noted. After a short healing period, the new skin has normal collagen, normal color and normal texture, and is often tighter,  he explained.

UltraPulse offers a range of treatment modes, including DeepFX for wrinkles, acne scars and other deep cosmetic lesions; ActiveFX/MaxFX for full and fractional treatment of texture and pigment inconsistencies; ScaarFX for deep, thick lesions, and IncisionFX for clean, precise incisions.  


Interestingly, Gray met Dr. Munavalli through her daughter, who happens to be a dermatologist in Greenville, SC, about two hours away. “She often visits a professional dermatology site where doctors share questions and stories, and even though she didn’t know Dr. Munavalli she was really impressed by his comments about everything,” Gray explained.

“I asked my daughter about the lines around my mouth and down my cheek, and she said a heavy-duty laser was the only thing that would work on my skin and satisfy me,” Gray explained. Her deep wrinkles and uneven skin texture were no surprise, considering how much time she spent in the sun when she was growing up in Charlotte in the 1960s. “Oh yeah, I went out as much as possible to get just as tan as I could get. We even went up on the rooftops and rubbed iodine mixed with baby oil all over our bodies,” Gray chuckled.  

“When I was almost 60 years old a decade ago I’d look in the mirror and go ‘ew.’ My skin definitely made me feel older and less attractive,” said the mother of five and grandmother of seven.

“My mother was a freckled redhead who also had deep wrinkles, and I remember going with her when she had a dermabrasion treatment at a famous, and recently deceased, New York dermatologist back in the 70s,” Gray added. “She even flew back the same day of the procedure, with her face entirely covered and oozing. But mom’s treatment was too aggressive and it took over a year before she looked completely normal because they removed so much color from her face. Eventually she looked amazing.”

Aside from skin peels, a series of light laser treatments when she was in her 40s, and an eye lift, Gray hadn’t had anything substantial done to her face. Although her mother’s experience made her a bit apprehensive about a “heavy-duty laser” treatment, “I knew it was going to be worth it when I met Dr. Munavalli and saw his B&A photos.  He’s a sweet and gentle man and extremely smart,” she said.


“When I arrived at Dr. Munavalli’s office I was prepped for the procedure, placed on monitors and put right to sleep in the office (with conscious sedation).  When I woke, they put lots of cream on my face and I went home! My wrinkles were gone and my skin felt as smooth as silky as a baby’s bottom, even if was too pink to look normal,” Gray recounted.

“Pleasantly surprised” by the minimal pain she felt, Gray said her face felt warm and looked red and swollen. She was glad to have the fan and ice pack Dr. Munavalli recommended. She also suggested an electric toothbrush for anyone having the treatment because “you don’t want to open your mouth to clean your teeth.”  And, if you don’t feel like going out, make sure you have a friend or relative who can get takeout for you, she added.

Content to stay home in her PJs and watch TV while she healed, Gray took a nap every afternoon for about two weeks, which was “really odd” for her.  As instructed, she washed her face very carefully every day and applied Vaniply ointment to help protect her skin while it healed. “It took awhile for my natural color to return, but I could tell my skin was getting better and better. I could apply mineral powder if I didn’t want to go out looking, pink,” she noted. She’s still supposed to use Retin-A to avoid getting milia on her cheeks, which are tiny white bumps that develop when tiny skin flakes become trapped in small pockets near the skin’s surface. “The aesthetician in Dr. Munavalli’s office told me the epidermal cells are still healing and milia are a normal part of the healing process,” Gray said.


No matter which way you look at it, Gray looks stupendous after her Lumenis treatment with Dr. Munavalli

“Gray healed very well,” Dr. Munavalli said. “Dermatologists really know the skin, and Gray needed extreme rejuvenation and resurfacing to eliminate the aging. Plastic surgery (a cutting procedure) wouldn’t have helped her skin texture and appearance.  Plus, she got an added benefit of some contraction of the jowls so it almost looks like she got a lift. If you have a great deal of sagging skin, plastics is the only way to go. But even if Gray had had a facelift, she wouldn’t have seen this kind of result since a facelift can only do so much to improve wrinkles in the central face. And, the damage from the chronic sun exposure is not something a facelift can improve.  Facelifts can’t improve skin quality or texture. Resurfacing can.”

         Dr. Gilly S. Munavalli

If Gray’s skin was any darker, Dr. Munavalli would have been much more hesitant to have performed the treatment, he said. “Her skin was on the cusp for doing CO2. You can’t do it on darker skin because it can likely cause more hyperpigmentation, but other lasers like the Erbium may be an option.”

Dr. Munavalli believes a core doctor should have advanced training on the UltraPulse so he or she can feel completely comfortable using it. “You have to push the envelope a little to get the kind of result we saw with Gray. It’s easy to go too far when you’re resurfacing to this depth, which you definitely don’t want to do. It will take three to six months for you to see if you made a mistake during treatment, and by then additional treatment might be necessary to fix the problem if that’s even possible,” he explained. “I really needed to hit a home run because Gray’s daughter is a dermatologist!”


“My close friends told me ‘you look like a little girl.’ My children said I look great. I was getting tired of looking in the mirror and being really dissatisfied with those wrinkles around my mouth and cheeks. The experience was so worth it. It’s almost like I have teenage skin.” 

To My FOFriends, Please visit Dr. Munavalli’s Facebook, Instagram and practice Instagram pages. You’ll love the work he does!

32% Of Women Don’t Like To Do This

This week we’re feeling intimate and sexy, or perhaps we should say detached and unsexy, based on the gloomy results of a fascinating study on Intimacy in America, The Secret Story of How Americans Chase Intimacy and an exclusive survey of 970 FOFs on YOUR sex life!

Your answers to our study, below, led us to another question: If so many of you want to improve your sex lives, what are you waiting for?

A No-Nonsense Guide To Nutrients For Women

It’s hard enough keeping my mind–and my mouth–away from warm homemade biscuits slathered in butter and almond croissants. I’m not the least bit motivated to dig up the Nutrition Facts on everything I do eat every single day to see if I’m getting the nutrients my body needs to keep me healthy. I’m pretty certain I’m not. I can go for days without whole grains or vegetables passing my lips, even though I know they’re good for me. Healthy fish? Cooking it smells up the house for days, so I don’t. I once loved almonds, which are filled with massive amounts of nutrients, but I always consumed a mountain of those crunchy little things in one sitting, so now I stay away from them.  

Scarily, my inadequate diet raises my risk for developing certain medical conditions as I age, from soft bones to inflamed intestines and heart disease!

Personalized, Doctor-Approved Vitamin Recommendations in Minutes

I know I should take nutritional supplements to help compensate for my sorry diet, but investigating which ones I need, and in what amounts, would be another head-spinning exercise.  When an online supplement service called Persona contacted me, I was intrigued by its promise that I could get “personalized, doctor-approved vitamin recommendations” simply by completing  a five-minute questionnaire about my health, lifestyle and the medications I’m taking. I filled it out right away, anxious to learn which supplements Persona would advise me to take.  


My Persona appraisal included a recommendation for ubiquinol, a supplement that I unequivocally need because I’m on statins to reduce my blood cholesterol and prevent heart disease. When I chatted online with a Persona nutritionist, she explained that some prescription drugs can harm one body function at the very same time they’re helping another. Taking statins has dramatically improved my lipid numbers, but they’re also depleting a critical enzyme that helps protect my body’s cells from oxidative stress, which can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, even heart disease. Persona recommended ubiquinol because it will replenish that vital enzyme.  Without it, I could wind up with heart disease anyway. Sounds crazy to someone like me, who wasn’t a gifted biology or chemistry student, but it’s true!

My doctor hadn’t told me about ubiquinol because not every medical doctor is well educated on supplements.

  Angie Kuhn, MS, RDN

Whether you’re currently taking supplements or haven’t started because you’re confused by the constantly changing reports about what’s beneficial, I urge you to consider the recommendations of Angie Kuhn, Persona’s director of nutrition support and research. I decided to interview Angie once I learned more about Persona and started taking the supplements it recommended.

Angie discussed the common signals our bodies will send us if they’re not getting the essential nutrients and other things they need to help keep us in tip-top shape as we age.

Take your 5-minute assessment and get your Persona recommendations today!


Let’s say you’re a 51-year-old woman who has never taken a single supplement in your entire life and have the standard American (anything-but perfect) diet. You’ve started to experience symptoms of menopause: You’re not sleeping well, you’ve gained weight and you’re getting dreadful hot flashes. The Persona questionnaire will ask you a number of questions related to these symptoms.

“These are signs that your hormones are imbalanced and you could use a supplement to help regulate your symptoms,” Angie said. “Persona’s Menopause Support supplement is a blend of three different root extracts that can help with many symptoms of menopause. It includes EstroG-100, which has been clinically proven to relieve hot flashes, help manage mood and energy swings, alleviate night sweats, promote restful sleep, and even improve vaginal dryness,” Angie told me.  And it doesn’t affect your weight.


Any woman would be wise to have a bone density test by the time she enters menopause because estrogen loss can seriously affect her bones. Other risk factors include smoking, drinking, and calcium and vitamin D deficiency. If you’re like I am and don’t eat enough foods like fatty fish, beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and orange juice, you probably need a vitamin D supplement. And, if your diet isn’t providing the recommended 1,000-1,200 mg of calcium every day, you’ll want to take a calcium supplement.

“A woman’s calcium needs generally go up as she gets older, but women need other nutrients, like vitamin K2,  to help ensure that the calcium gets to their bones, instead of building up in blood vessels and kidneys,” Angie explained. Green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, romaine, and green leaf lettuce supply vitamin K, as do brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. I don’t know about you, but none of these are part of my regular lopsided diet.

Decreased grip strength, height loss, cramps, muscle aches, bone pain and lower overall fitness are signs of weakening bones.


Sore joints and ligaments are common as we age, especially if you’re not as active as you should be. I often become so engrossed in my interviewing and writing during the day that I’ll be sitting at my computer for hours on end. And when I get up, my entire body feels stiff, tight and sore until I start moving around.

The production of collagen, the primary structural protein in cartilage that gives it strength and toughness, slows down after we turn 30. Persona’s UC-II supplement is derived from chicken sternum cartilage and consists of Type II collagen to help support healthy joints and promote flexibility. Studies also have shown that prolonged use of collagen can increase the elasticity of our skin.   


Hair and nails are made of structural proteins known as keratin, which is why protein deficiency can be one of the main causes of thinning hair and brittle, splitting nails. If your diet doesn’t include foods packed with proteins such as fish, chicken, red meat, eggs or dairy, you may want to try Persona’s exclusive Hair, Skin & Nails Formula, Angie said. Besides protein, it contains collagen and horsetail plant extract, an herb that has been shown to support hair and nail health.

Take your 5-minute assessment and get your Persona recommendations today!


We know pretty quickly when our digestive system is out of whack, because we experience gas, bloating, constipation, or indigestion, among other symptoms. “Perhaps you’re moving less than you used to, drinking less water, and exposed to numerous environmental stressors that are throwing off the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. Probiotics can aid your overall wellness and immunity by helping to stabilize your gut flora (that’s the complex community of microorganisms that live in our digestive tracts),” Angie explained.   

There’s a mind-boggling range of probiotics on the market. Persona recently added one called Culturelle with LGG, reportedly the world’s most studied probiotic strain since 1990, when it was first used in dietary supplements. Studied in hundreds of clinical trials, LGG has been shown to help get the gut flora back in balance and assist in immunity and digestive health.  “Probiotics also have been linked to brain health, so if you’re fatigued and not thinking as clearly as you used to, it could be linked to your gut health,” Angie said.


As we get older, our ability to digest certain nutrients might decrease. “If you’re no longer able to absorb the sugar (lactose) in milk, for example, your body can’t create lactase, the enzyme it needs to break down the sugar. Or you might not be able to digest certain types of vegetables and beans,” Angie explained. You’ll also experience gas, bloating and constipation. Digestive enzymes can help give your system what it needs to properly absorb foods.


If you’re fatigued and lack energy, you might not be eating enough animal products, which could give you a vitamin B12 deficiency. “An energy drink isn’t going to solve the problem, so you’ll want a B12 supplement. We recommend B12 for vegans and vegetarians, who should also take iron supplements because it’s common for them to be anemic,” Angie said.


The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate as well as heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, mood and bone maintenance. Its correct functioning depends on having a good supply of nutrients such as zinc and iodine from the diet. “If your thyroid isn’t working properly you might gain weight, feel fatigued, become sensitive to cold and see your hair thinning, and you may just need a boost of these nutrients,” Angie said. Persona offers a Thyroid Support supplement with selenium, zinc, iodine and ashwagandha.  “It’s important to see your doctor if you’re experiencing these symptoms,” she stressed.

Take your 5-minute assessment and get your Persona recommendations today!


Perhaps you can’t see as well as you did, have trouble driving at night because you can’t make out the road signs, or have been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Supplements with the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin can help reduce the risk or improve a range of vision-related problems, Angie said. “Americans also get an average of 11 hours of computer screen time each day, which exposes us to a lot of blue light. Lutein and zeaxanthin can help lessen the harmful effects of this light over time,” she added.


Acute inflammation, the body’s response to injury, works to heal wounds such as cuts. That’s good inflammation.  Chronic inflammation isn’t so good. It might happen when the immune system is trying to defend itself against a serious infection like Crohn’s Disease, but failing.  Or it can occur when the immune system senses that something isn’t right, such as the buildup of plaque in the lining of an artery, but can’t fix it and might even make the situation worse.

Symptoms of chronic inflammation include joint pain, skin rashes like psoriasis, low energy and poor digestion. If your body is sending you signals like these, get a blood workup and assess with your doctor whether you should change what you’re eating and how you’re exercising so you minimize inflammation. Probioticsturmeric, resveratrol and fish oil supplements are known to help fight inflammation.


“Many people think they just need a standard one-a-day multiple vitamin, but the nutrients in many of those aren’t very bioavailable. This means that not enough of their nutrients are absorbed by the body’s circulatory system to be actively effective,” Angie said. “Persona has developed its own multivitamin with bioavailable nutrients, many of which are hard to find in other multivitamins, such as methylated folate,” she added.  A form of vitamin B, folate is responsible for cell division, the conversion of carbohydrates into energy, and the formation of DNA and other genetic material, which makes it pretty important. But many women actually can’t absorb folate properly, so a common multivitamin with standard folic acid (a synthetic form of folate) won’t work for them.  Methylated folate, the natural, active form of folate, will work. It is especially important for the growth and development of fetuses.

“As a Registered Dietitian I firmly believe in getting your nutrients through whole foods, but it is often difficult to do that every day, unless you’re eating 10 different fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lots of green leafy vegetables and healthy fats. Multivitamins with highly bioavailable nutrients and other supplements based on lifestyle factors, age and medications provide reassurance you’re getting what you need,” Angie concluded.

to take your 5-minute assessment and get your Persona recommendations today!

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