Are You a Nervous Nosher?

Holiday times are supposed to be happy times.  Right? Well…Maybe.

For many the holidays are stressful. There’s the pressure to “get it all done” before the end of the year. There are the office parties and the family gatherings where you have to be on your best behavior. There’s the financial strain of overspending on gifts and entertaining. And then there’s that end-of-the-year taking stock of what you have- and have not- accomplished.


If you feel stressed this time of the year you are not alone. The The American Psychological Association holiday statistics report in 2011 said up to 69% of people are stressed by the feeling of having a “lack of time,” 69% are stressed by perceiving a “lack of money,” and 51% feel stressed out over the “pressure to give or get gifts.”

Here are some of my tips for reducing stress over the holidays: Continue reading

Getting Things off My Chest: When Saying “No” Gives You More “Yes”

The conversation usually starts like this: “I really admire what you’re doing and all your success. I have an idea and would love to pick your brain if you have some time. Maybe a cup of coffee?”

The thing is, my brain is for hire and not for picking. I’ve been picked and pitched for years to land clients and much of the time was wasted and ideas misused. I have learned a pretty penny about the value of time and how to spend it wisely.

So I politely say the usual writer line, “I’d love to chat and and connect but right now I’m on a really tight deadline.”

Sure, we all want to help each other out. But, you have to draw the line between being a giver and being taken advantage of. Ever feel that way?

Sometimes you have say “No” in order to give yourself more “Yes” time. Otherwise all the things you want to accomplish get pushed by the wayside.

It’s important that You don’t get sucked into someone else’s agenda. This may mean politely saying “No” to clients/customers/contacts you don’t think are a great fit, friends who drain your emotional energy and projects/alliances that no longer give you satisfaction or a sense of purpose.

For me this meant reducing my time or resigning from organizations and committees that required too many unproductive meetings or simply wanted me to write checks or find people who would, unloading clients that didn’t pay on time and (lately) disconnecting from all the free self-help programs I signed up for over the last few years. I also allocate and bundle my time for networking and meetings to 1 or 2 days a week whenever possible.

Here are three signs you need to start saying “No:” Continue reading

Fearless Fabulous You! Fertility Options for Cancer Survivors

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 10 percent of women (6.1 million) in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant. This is a heartbreaking statistic for any woman whose dream is to bear children.

Now just think how difficult this is for younger women of child bearing age faced with a cancer diagnosis who are also faced with the reality they may lose their ability to conceive children. Some treatments can cause premature menopause. There are many factors that will impact your fertility after cancer treatment including: age, your diagnosis, type of cancer treatment and whether cancer has spread to the ovaries. Another factor is time. Fertility treatments take time, and if your cancer is fast growing the treatments may not be possible to sustain. If you are single there’s the factor of finding a sperm donor or researching fertility options.

It’s hard to imagine trying to make future choices about creating a life at a time when you may be faced with immediate decisions about saving your own. But, if you -or your daughter- are still of childbearing age and want to have children it warrants a discussion with your doctors at the time your are diagnosed and before your begin any treatment. If you are in a relationship it is important to discuss your options and make decisions with  your spouse or significant other with the understanding that (s)he may or may not feel the same way as you. Caregivers face the fear of losing their loved one and saving that person may be more than they can handle.

The good news is there are options. And we discuss them on Fearless Fabulous You! November 16, 4:28pmEST (1:28PST) on W4WN- The Women 4 Women Network.

Dr. Jane Frederick, an internationally noted specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, is the Medical Director of HRC Fertility in Orange County, CA, where she developed a diverse clinical practice in reproductive surgery, IVF, and the genetic screening of embryos.  Dr. Frederick is board certified in both Reproductive Endocrinology/Infertility and Obstetrics/Gynecology from the University of Southern California.

Dr. Jane Frederick, Fertility Specialist

Dr. Jane Frederick, Fertility Specialist

A renowned speaker, Dr. Frederick has educated medical colleagues in the area of fertility preservation, and age and reproductive issues with numerous publications.   She has held many posts with organizations active in the advancement of reproductive medicine including the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society (Past President) and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.  Dr. Frederick has received a variety of honors for her outstanding work in the field.

If you visit her Facebook Page: you can download Dr. Frederick’s free Ebook:  “Trying To Conceive: Overcoming Infertility To Start the Family You’ve Always Wanted.” Learn more about HRC Fertility.”


Dr. Frederick will address your options and the latest developments in fertility treatments on Fearless Fabulous You! Monday, November 16, 4:28pmEST (1:28PST) live on W4WN. Podcasts of this show will be available on and the iHeart App. Here is the cut and paste link:


Join Melanie for her Fearless Fabulous Retreat at Five Star CostaBaja Resort in Mexico February 25-29 and learn how to make healthy changes for a happier you. Take advance of the Early Bird Discount now and treat yourself (and maybe a friend) to a great gift of health and fun in a beautiful setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean during prime whale watching season!

Info: http:


Books by Melanie Young. Available nationwide: Amazon Barnes&Noble  CureDiva and independent bookstores.

Fabulous tips to reboot and redefine how you want to live your life

Fabulous tips to reboot and redefine how you want to live your life

If you are a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer this helpful, comforting and resourceful guide will be your best mentor-friend. Filled with tips!

If you are a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer this helpful, comforting and resourceful guide will be your best mentor-friend. Filled with tips!


When the Cancer Doctor Becomes the Cancer Patient- Lessons Shared by Dr. Susan Love

Dr. Susan Love, author of the best selling “Dr Susan Love’s Breast Book” and founder of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundationhas made it her life’s mission to pursue research to find both a cause and cure for this disease which affects 1 in eight women.

First published in 1998, Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book, is now in its sixth edition.

First published in 1998, “Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book” is now in its sixth edition.

Her commitment to help end cancer became even more clear when Dr. Love was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012 and experienced being The Cancer Patient. I heard Dr. Love discuss her personal experience and how it impacted her view as a medical professional at the 2013 National Women’s Cancer Survivor Convention in Nashville. I was taken by the fact that this renowned doctor who, since the 1970s had treated patients, was a Founder of the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBBC) and was appointed by President Clinton in 1998 to serve on the National Cancer Advisory Board, had experienced the same mind-numbing confusion of “chemo brain” that I had during my own cancer treatment as well as other debilitating side effects from chemotherapy.

Dr. Susan Love is a Pioneer in the fight against breast cancer who founded the first all-women breast center in Boston

Dr. Susan Love has dedicated her professional life to the eradication of breast cancer.

Cancer reminds us we are all humans who must learn to be our own health advocates, even someone who has been referred to as “the founding mother of the breast cancer advocacy movement.”

But she’s more than a “founding mother.” Dr. Love is the Five Star General leading the Army of Women®, a nonprofit grassroots research effort to partner women and scientists. In 2012 she launched IM Patient Science, an education program that helps explain the complex science of breast cancer into “real speak” for patients to understand, from the biology of breast cancer to the pros and cons of treatment.

Says the website: “An informed patient is an empowered patient who feels confident in being an active participant in her/his treatment plan and palliative care, and advocating for her/his preferences.”

I couldn’t agree more!

Connect: Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation  Twitter@DrSusanLove

Connect: Army of Women:  Twitter@armyofwomen

Dr. Susan Love joins me Monday, November 16, 4p.m. EST on Fearless Fabulous You! (W4WN and to discuss the research her foundation is doing and the developments she views as significant. We’ll also discuss her personal experience as a cancer patient and how it inspired her to research further the “collateral” damage of treatment, a topic near and dear to my own chest. Finally, she’ll talk about her work with the Army of Women and how woman of all ages and varying health background can be involved in this important initiative to help eradicate breast cancer.

Please tune in and please share. Here is the cut and paste link to listen to all my show episodes for free on and the iHeart App

Books by Melanie Young. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Cure Diva and independent bookstores around the nation. Or visit

If you are a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer this helpful, comforting and resourceful guide will be your best mentor-friend. Filled with tips!

If you are a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer this helpful, comforting and resourceful guide will be your best mentor-friend. Filled with tips!

Fabulous tips to reboot and redefine how you want to live your life

Fabulous tips to reboot and redefine how you want to live your life


They Told Her It Was Postpartum Depression But It Wasn’t

At SHARE‘s annual fundraiser, A Second Helping of Life Sept 21, Valerie Smaldone congratulated me on my radio show, Fearless Fabulous You!. Coming from Valerie, I was honored. She’s hosted radio for years in the NYC area and is a respected media talent. Then she told me about a women named Wendy Baruchowitz who was diagnosed at the age of 39 with a disease I had never heard of and could barely pronounce: Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)Valerie said Wendy’s mission is to raise awareness of this little known disorder. I was curious to learn more.

How did a healthy mom with two young sons, one a newborn, contract an incurable illness that left her so weak she could barely function? Shortness of breath, dizziness. nausea: these symptoms mirror the flu I recently had. It turns out POTS is part of the Dysautonomia family of disorders impacting the central nervous system which affects over 70 million people worldwide. So while the word “Dysautonomia” may be “little known” to many of us, it affects more people than you realize.

Wendy Baruchowitz lived a healthy lifestyle but was diagnosed in 2011 at the age of 39 with POTS

Wendy Baruchowitz lived a healthy lifestyle but was diagnosed in 2011 at the age of 39 with POTS

As I read further on the website Dysautonomia International, a leading non-profit advocacy organization, I learned that Dysautonomia has many forms: some fatal and all incurable. Dysautonomia can also occur as a secondary condition for other medical issues such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, celiac, Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson’s. According to Dysautonomia International Wendy’s condition, POTS, impacts 1 out of 100 teenagers and between 1 and 3 million Americans and especially young women who may seem healthy on the outside. Continue reading

Feeding New York City’s Elderly Citizens

Usually when we think of malnutrition our thoughts drift  to impoverished areas of the United States or overseas to Third World countries. Rarely do we think about New York City much less a neighbor in your building.

But the reality is New York City is home to nearly 1.3 million senior citizens age 60 years and older. Many of them are hungry…for food and for companionship.  The same goes for other cities, not just New York. It could be your elderly neighbor down the street who has mobility issues or weakened memory for whom cooking is difficult and eating is no longer pleasurable alone. It’s not always about living on a fixed income or below the poverty level, though this is a problem. Many elderly are isolated and have no one to talk to.

According to a 1993 study by the Urban Institute* nearly five million elderly Americans (age 60 and over) experience “food insecurity” which means not getting enough to eat. In fact, 55% of seniors admitted to hospitals are suffering from malnutrition.

The situation is growing as Americans age. According to a December 1997 U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness* 65% of 29 cities surveyed reported requests for food assistance by elderly individuals increase by an average of nine percent that year.

I’ve written about malnutrition among cancer patients and within under served and impoverished communities where lack of quality food is a problem. With the elderly you wonder, “Don’t they have family to take care of them?” The answer is too frequently “No.” Continue reading

Getting Things Off My Chest: Pushing the Pause Button

“Sometimes I don’t know whether I am coming or going.” a friend told me recently. “I’m constantly in motion. By trying to never miss anything I miss everything.”

“Maybe you need to push the pause button,” I responded.

I find fewer of us are comfortable pushing the pause button due to Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). The result is we never really enjoy where we are because we are always worrying about where we are not. We also focus on what’s ahead of us instead of what’s right in front of us. We’re so busy trying not to miss out on anything that we actually miss enjoying anything fully..

Maybe it’s our self-imposed deadlines (yep, guilty!). Maybe it’s the 24/7 life of needing to respond to every email and social media post in a timely manner. The thing is timely is relative. So is the concept of what’s time-sensitive. Sometimes you need to reset your inner clock and do things on your time, not someone else’s. Maybe we are trying to do too much in too short of time.

That’s when it’s time to push the pause button. It may be hard at first but once you get into the habit you will notice the difference in your sense of well-being.  Here are five tips:

1.  Allocate your social media time to specific times of the day rather than checking in all day.
2.  Put an auto response on your email to let people know you will respond in due time if you can/or don’t plan to respond in 24 hours. It’s considerate for both your time and theirs.
3.  Limit your “to do” list to five or less items per day.
4. Make meal time talk time not tech time.
5. As the saying goes, “Get out of your own way.” Stop competing with yourself and comparing yourself to others. You are probably doing just fine and the best you can. Why think any other way?

In fact, give yourself more applause for who you are and take a pause to enjoy life in the moment you are in rather than where you are going next. Life is not a race; go at your pace.

Pausing in Pawley's Island,. SC

Pausing in Pawley’s Island,. SC

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Parenting Advice and Managing Menopause- Nov 2 Fearless Fabulous You @iHeartRadio


Fearless Fabulous You! on

Healthy Mine. Healthy Body.

This Monday, November 2, 4pm ET Parenting Expert and Pediatrician Dr. Kathy Masarie, founder of the Family Empowerment Network, provides advice on how to reclaim “digital sanity” within in your family and balance your high-low tech life. Kathy is author of several parenting books including “Raising Our Daughters,” Raising Our Sons” and “Face to Face: Cultivating Kids’ Social Lives in Today’s Digital World.”

Parenting Expert Dr. Kathie Masarie

Parenting Expert Dr. Kathie Masarie








Speaking of “pause”…we’ll discus menopause and vaginal health with Dr. Machelle Seibel, who is one of America’s leading experts on women’s health. Dr. Seibel is Founder and Editor of My Menopause Magazine, former Editor-in-Chief of Sexuality, Reproduction and Menopause, co-author of “Eat To Defeat Menopause” and author of The Soy Solution for Menopause: An Alternate to Estrogen.”

Dr. Machele Seibe;

Dr. Machele Seibe;

Click here to listen to last week’s show with Deanna Won, ovarian cancer survivor and motivational speaker, and Urologist Dr. Dudley Danoff (prostate health and the men in your life). Or cut and paste this link:
Listen live on W4WN Radio – The Women 4 Women Network and iHeartRadio. Download all my podcasts on and the iHeart App (click “Episodes” and scroll to find the show you want to hear. They are filed by guest name). Still can’t find it? Here’s the link to cut and paste:

Are New Breast Screening Recommendations Hit or Miss-Guide(d)lines?

When I heard the news that the American Cancer Society revised its guidelines for mammograms and clinical breast exams I thought about my friend Julie. She was diagnosed at the age of 44 with stage 4 breast cancer and died two years later. No family history; average risk. A mammogram found Julie’s tumor. Under the new guidelines Julie may not have had that mammogram. Neither would have other women I know diagnosed in their early 40s with early stage breast cancer who are still alive thanks to early detection.

Despite criticisms that mammograms can result in false positive reports, especially for younger women who may have dense breasts which makes tumors harder to detect, they still remain the most reliable test to screen for breast cancer.

Under the new American Cancer Society screening guidelines women ages 45 to 54 with average risk should have annual mammograms. Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start having annual mammograms if they want. Women age 55 and older should switch to mammograms every two years or can choose to continue yearly screening. So what happens in the “off years” when a tumor may be sprouting?

The ACS also states “Research does not show a clear benefit of physical breast exams done by either a health professional or by yourself for breast cancer screening. Due to this lack of evidence, regular clinical breast exam and breast self-exam are not recommended. Still, all women should be familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to a health care provider right away.”


Your breast health is in your hands. (

I found my tumor examining my breasts as did many women I know. Diagnostic screening confirmed it was cancer. Under the guidelines will women think less about examining their breasts? The ACS implies manual screening may not matter.

But it does.The health of your breasts is now more than ever in your hands. This means: Continue reading

Getting Things Off My Chest: Give Yourself Permission!

white truffle

I recently had the opportunity to check something off my travel “bucket list”- hunting for Mother’s Nature’s black and white diamonds in Italy. (aka truffles). The season for the best truffles is short, October to December, and restaurants around the country lure devoted fans with pricey “truffle dinners.” I’ve only enjoyed truffles shaved over dishes at places like SD26 (sadly now closed), Spago Beverly Hills and Spiaggia in Chicago. So, an invitation to go to the source was a dream come true.

Our generous host was Livia Colantonio, proprietor of Castello delle Regine in Umbria, who opened up her majestic home- literally a small castle – shared meals and bottles of her fabulous wines for the weekend. Just a weekend!   You can hear more about this special trip and about Umbria here on our October 14 edition of The Connected Table LIVE. (LInk:

Castello delle Regine, our "home for the weekend in Umbria

Castello delle Regine, our “home for the weekend in Umbria

Castello delle Regine’s Sangiovese, one of its many outstanding Umbrian wines

A special treat was a visit to Urbani Tartufi, purveyors of the world’s finest truffles, where we traipsed through a small clearing in the woods with the truffle hunters and their dogs who energetically set about nosing for truffles here and there.

Urbani trains rescue dogs to hunt truffles.

Wonder what all these black truffles our dogs unearthed would sell for at auction?

The experience was topped off with decadent lunch with generous helpings of truffles

My idea of a good shave!

Urbani Tartufi supplies 70% of the world’s truffle market. The best truffles are October to December.

“Such a short trip!” some people commented. I’ll take short and special over “never” anytime.  I’ve learned life is about seizing the opportunity and savoring the moment and not being rigidly stuck to schedules.

Bucket lists are the experiences you dream of having one day, some day, any day. Some involve travel; others focus on friends and family; still others focus on creative expression. Age and background play a role. Recently I asked two men in their twenties what was on their bucket list. They both responded, “to become fathers.”  I thought to myself, “Wow! Motherhood was never on my bucket list but writing a book was.”

Some say the term “bucket list” is all the things you want to do before you die. Others refer to it as the “f-ckit list” of all the things you want to do in life spite of what comes your way. I think of it as a “luck-it list” because you are one lucky person if you embrace opportunities that come your way and truly enjoy them.

If you have an empty bucket list I hope it’s because you have done everything in life you have ever dreamed of experiencing. Dreams are what drive many of us to expand our minds. If your bucket list is full to overflowing, then maybe you need to start tapping it. What’s holding you back and are you just making excuses?

The only permission you need is your own.

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