All Posts for February 2014

Is it Spring Yet? March 2014

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Winter has been a doozie here in Philadelphia and elsewhere across the country. This was the worse winter I have experienced since moving to Philadelphia 11 years ago. In fact, this one was more like the winters in State College, which I thought I had left behind. I am looking forward to Spring more than ever. The photo below was taken a couple years ago when it was spring in California. Here’s wishing…..

Let’s turn to some other topics for March and forget about the weather for now. March is National Nutrition Month, so I plan to focus on some interesting food topics, such as “Sugar & Cancer” as a follow up to the topic I covered in February on the link between sugar and heart disease. Because diabetes runs in my family, I am more concerned about sugar in all its forms than most people.

March 8th is a special day for women. It is International Women’s Day, not highly celebrated around here, but I plan to celebrate it by focusing on three organizations for women or organized by women. One is Footprints; the second is Women for Women International, and the third are two organizations ( and started by Wanjiru Kamau, an old friend I met in State College when she was earning her Ph.D. comparing menopause in Africans living in America, as she was, and women in Kenya from her village in Africa.  More on that during the month.

Google International Women’s Day for more information.





Because I am reading in several books at the same time, I have not decided which ones I will review in Nobody Eats Like Me category, or perhaps I will do some mini-reviews that I posted on or the Barnes & Noble website. Here is one title.

March is also the Philadelphia Flower Show with the them “Articulture,” combining art with the flowers. Should be very interesting.  I plan on taking photos of this annual event & sharing them here.





If you have been following my blog-turned-website, you will know I love laundry pictures & last June I had an exhibit of 27 of my 75 photos from Italy.  I guess lots of folks love laundry as art, so there will be an art exhibit solely on laundry in Philadelphia at The Painted Bride Art Center and three of my photos will be shown.  Here is one of them, which I call Windswept Laundry.  The premiere is Friday, March 7th.  All that laundry!!!!





Let’s not forget that March is also St. Patrick’s Day, as well as the first day of Spring, so I will feature some green foods in Kitchen Nutrition, which will dovetail nicely with National Nutrition Month. And that brings me full circle. I will probably make a dish that includes sprouts and maybe one with pesto, which I am calling Pasta Pesto Primavera. It’s still in the planning stage, so this photo of micro-greens will be a stand in for now.

March is a busy month, so I better get going if I am going to deliver what I have posted here. Happy Spring!

P.N. (My abbrev. for Personal Note): March is also a personal anniversary for me: I began posting in March of 2006, so this is Menupause’s 8th anniversary. I still want to post, so so long as you are reading, I’m writing!

Environmental Working Group: A Year of Healthy Living-February

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Last month I posted the EWG’s January recommendation: Filter Your Tap Water

For the month of February the topic is : Pick Safer Cosmetics

According to the Environmental Working Group, some types of cosmetics have major safety concerns. So, just as we have learned to read food labels, the EWG is asking us to become label readers of skin and hair care products and skip buying those likely to contain dangerous chemicals.

Here are some of the items in the booklet almost verbatim:

1. Hair straighteners linked to cancer, allergy, skin & scalp irritation, hair damage and hair loss

2. Loose powders have an inhalation risk

3. Perfumes/fragrances contain allergy concerns

4. Dark permanent hair dyes linked to cancer

5. Skin lighteners can cause skin irritation & damage

“Fragrance” is a common ingredient with safety concerns which can trigger allergic skin reaction. Choose products that list each fragrance individually.

Many common ingredients can contain impurities related to cancer & other health concerns.  Avoid these common ingredients whenever possible: DMDM hydrantoin, Diazolidinyl urea, Imidazolidinyl, Ceteareth, Polyethylene glycol, PEG.

(My note: I think what EWG means by common ingredients are common ingredients often found in cosmetics.)

To obtain a complete list of ingredients with possible impurities, check EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database at: