NorthWest Families: Lunchbox recipes, couple loses 200 lbs, predicting menopause



Posted on October 21, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 24 at 11:49 AM

Predicting Menopause

Ok ladies. Is your biological clock ticking REALLY LOUD? Are you counting down the days until the alarm sounds? How great would it be if doctors could predict when you might reach menopause?

With more and more women focusing on career first and family later it could be a very useful tool. A new tried to find a way to determine when individual women might start experiencing the change of life.

Video: NorthWest Families: Focusing on your family's health

Researchers at VU University in Amsterdam examined a number of factors including hormone levels, family history, and age. But in the end, they determined there is no way for science to reliably predict when a woman's final menstrual period will occur.

Researchers think the use of genetic testing could help down the road but much more research is needed. So for now you'll have to wait until it hits you. And from what I hear you'll know when it comes knocking.

Here are some of the symptoms:

* Irregular periods

* Decreased fertility

* Vaginal dryness

* Hot flashes

* Sleep disturbances

* Mood swings

* Increased abdominal fat

* Thinning hair

* Loss of breast fullness

Love and Loss

A couple from Everett, Wash., is showing us how you can reduce your waistline by going online.

At his heaviest Chef Carl Frair weighed 421 pounds. His wife Lynn weighed 326 pounds.

Together they made a decision to have gastric band surgery on the same day. Now, they've lost more than 200 pounds between them. They say the surgery jump started their weight loss, but they're using the Internet to help monitor their exercise and diet so they can lose even more weight. works in conjunction with gastric band surgery. You can set goals for yourself and check in with your doctor online.

A study at Portland's Kaiser Permanente Hospital found that losing weight and keeping it off is easier if you have ongoing long-term support including both personal and web-based support. to listen to the entire interview with Carl and Lynn Frair.

Reinventing School Lunch

These days, school lunches are a bit healthier than they used to be. But kids are still grabbing for junk food in the school cafeteria. So how do you keep them on track and making healthy choices even when you're not around?

Look over the cafeteria menu together and recommend things that are healthier, but be willing to allow them to buy their favorite items like fries or chips.

Encourage them to bring lunch from home, that way you'll know they're getting good nutrition.

You can spruce up the old brown bag lunch by swapping out peanut butter and jelly with wraps or cold cuts rolled in a flour tortilla.

I get tired of making the same old lunches, so I know the kids get tired of eating them. But I'm really excited about these we found on Please share your ideas and recipes for healthy lunches in the comment section below. We'd love to hear from you!