• umbrella-sun-400x400
    Don’t Blame It On The Boogie – Blame It On The Sunshine
    October 16, 2014 No Comments By Dora Bona
  • running-with-dog
    Moving to The Beat of Your Own Feet
    October 6, 2014 No Comments By Dora Bona
  • nature-c-skincare
    Coming Face to Face with Your Face
    September 22, 2014 No Comments By Dora Bona
  • tricia
    Fit & Fabulous When You’re Over The Hill
    August 20, 2014 No Comments By Dora Bona
  • Fruits-and-Veggies
    Live Longer, Be Healthier: Become an Occasional Vegetarian
    August 2, 2014 No Comments By Dora Bona
  • older_woman_salad
    Top 5 Things You Should Be Doing In Your 50s
    July 24, 2014 No Comments By Dora Bona
  • women-in-40s
    Top 5 Things You Should Be Doing In Your 40s
    July 6, 2014 No Comments By Dora Bona
  • top-5-things-to-do-in-30s
    Top 5 Things you Should Be Doing In Your 30s
    June 22, 2014 No Comments By Dora Bona
  • broccoli-cabbage-carrot-soup
    5 Ways To Avoid Weight Gain This Winter
    June 15, 2014 No Comments By Dora Bona
  • nature-c-skincare
    Now You Can Have The Skin You Want To Be In!
    June 2, 2014 No Comments By Dora Bona
  • stork-carrying-baby
    Enhance fertility with Royal Jelly, Bee Pollen & Bee Propolis
    May 12, 2014 No Comments By Dora Bona
  • sex-health-bee-pollen
    How Bee Pollen Can Make Your Sex Life Sparkle
    April 28, 2014 No Comments By Dora Bona
  • dora-bona
    Celebrating Life After A Stroke
    April 18, 2014 1 Comment By Dora Bona

A Stroke of Luck

birthday cheese

t-shirt days

Another birthday, another excuse for celebration. No matter how much we pretend to deny it, deep down, we all like being made a fuss of on your own special day. For me it’s the 57th time I’ve celebrated. Not sure how that happened, because it feels like moments ago, I was turning 16, sneaking into pubs, passing myself off as 18 and brandishing buckets of bravado.

Most years, you just treat your birthday much like any other day. Apart from nice gifts from loving friends and family, perhaps being taken out for a meal, or even having a shindig to mark the occasion, the day comes and goes and you feel no different when the sun comes up next morning.

I won’t forget my last birthday in a hurry. In fact I’ll probably never forget it because it became one of the markers that altered my life – in the same way that seismic activity can alter a landscape. That day sucked out a good portion of my excess bravado and forced me to come face to face with the concept of mortality. It crushed the belief that I’m the only person in this universe to whom nothing bad can happen.

Last year I spent March 10th in an intensive care unit after some blood vessels in my brain suddenly decided to rupture. The technical name for what happened is a hemorrhagic stroke. The experts think it was caused by hypertensive crisis, or a massive spike in blood pressure. I wrote about it here on Women’s Health Talk blog not long after it happened, so the details are there if you care to find out more.  I decided to mark the anniversary of the ‘incident’ as I like to call it, by writing about how I feel, one year on.

As it turned out for me, it was a stroke of luck. Many people who know me have used the cliché,  wake-up call when referring to my miraculous, almost complete recovery. But I’ve never fully understood what I needed to ‘wake up’ from.

Okay, I admit I’ve never been the most enthusiastic exerciser but I love to walk. I have never touched a cigarette in my life. I don’t indulge in greasy, fatty, cholesterol laden foods, although I could probably ease back on the salt a bit. I enjoy a regular tipple, and while I’m no raving alcoholic, a few icy cold beers or glasses of wine are a ‘medicinal’ part of my weekly routine. (Don’t judge me).

My life is not filled with stress or anxiety, in fact some would say it’s charmed. My work is portable and I get paid for doing what I love, plus I get to travel when the itch becomes unbearable. Heaven forbid, if there was a category under which I could be shoved, it would be normal.

Perhaps what precipitated the incident is ignoring some vital contributing factors – those being genes. Both parents have suffered from high blood pressure for most of their adult lives, and both parents have suffered mild strokes. My older brother also suffered two severe strokes that left him wheelchair bound, and sadly, he passed away due to complications including diabetes.

It’s not so much that I ignored these genetic factors but rather that it was never at the front of my mind. I didn’t for one moment think that potential catastrophe could happen to me. I have never been one for regular doctor visits because of severe iatrophobia – i.e. a fear of visiting doctors. (Phobias are real disorders, and I take mine very seriously thank you!)

Perhaps what I needed to wake up from was ignorance, and indeed I have…at least in my own way. I now know that I have a condition that needs to be controlled by medication and I accept that, but I feel as though I belong to a ‘club’ that I never asked to be a member of.

I don’t, and can’t offer advice. Everyone’s circumstance are different. I can only report on what happened to me. However, if my genes were a major contributor to the incident then(if you are in the habit of looking for advice), perhaps it would be wise to make sure you know enough about your family history to make informed decisions about your health.

I now pop 3 pills every day, and I’ve been assured that as long as I keep doing so, there should never be a repeat of ‘the incident’. And gobbling a few tablets is a fair price to pay. I bought a blood pressure monitor at the advice of the doctor who keeps up my drug supply, but I keep forgetting to use it. Perhaps it’s another phobia but I can’t find a name for it. I’ll call it sphygmomanophobia.

I also take bee pollen every day because up until two months before the incident, which happened overseas, I had done so for over 10 years. I’d stopped taking my pollen simply because I’d run out, and hadn’t got around to re-ordering. I’m not suggesting for a moment that this oversight had anything at all to do with what happened, I’m just telling it like it is.

In summary, twelve months later I feel great. It could have been worse, and fortunately the incident has left no legacies other than a slight motor disconnection on my left side. I often forget I’m holding something in my left hand and tend to drop things. My left foot sometimes feels a little ‘sluggish’ – as though it doesn’t quite belong to me. While I can still sprint to the bus stop when I need to, I have to focus on lifting my foot onto the pavement from the kerb. My leaping days may be over, but this tiny disruption to my motor skills is unnoticeable to anyone else. The pills have some side effects including dizziness and nausea, but my attitude is to disgorge a few complaints every now and then, but suck it up.

This birthday I’m making up for last year’s detour in my quest to enjoy life. The incident has never – not for a second – stopped me from doing the things I love, or even slowed me down for that matter. I’m not sure what it would take for that to happen but I hope I never have to find out.

Happy birthday to me!

birthday cheese

Don’t Blame It On The Boogie – Blame It On The Sunshine


Women’s health is a multi-faceted issue, and the department of ageing is one of the facets we deal with every day. In a country like Australia, the sun is responsible for the vast majority of visible ageing, so this is a major reason to re-think spending your next RDO on the beach or by the pool in your string bikini!

In research involving almost 300 women – 50 percent of whom were dedicated sun-worshippers, the other 50 percent who always avoided the sun, it was found that UV rays accounted for  80 percent per cent of skin ageing, including wrinkles and brown spots.

Read more…

Moving to The Beat of Your Own Feet


If there’s an eight-letter word that can send the average person fleeing to the safety of the couch, it would be the dreaded word “exercise”. To some people, the thought of pulling on the shorts, T shirt and joggers and sweating it out in the name of health is worse than whatever disease or disorder they may contract by not exercising. As a personal trainer and group fitness leader, I meet people on a daily basis who would rather hand-feed great white sharks than work out.

Read more…

Coming Face to Face with Your Face


Have you noticed that it takes longer to get your face ready to leave the house these days?

This is not something that happens overnight, but it does happen to all of us. I remember a time when I could shower, and be ready to go anywhere within half an hour. I could get by with a squirt of cream, a fluff of powder and a minimum of fuss. Those were the golden years.

From age thirteen and for two years thereafter, I suffered horrendously with acne. This unfortunate teenage follicular disorder caused my face to resemble a cheese grater. I wore my hair over my face in a Janis Joplin-esque curtain at all times.

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Fit & Fabulous When You’re Over The Hill


This week’s Women’s Health Talk post is from guest blogger and personal trainer, Tricia Duffield. 

When it comes to motivation and inspiration, this is someone with serious bucketfuls of both. There is very little she doesn’t know about how to get fit and stay that way, no matter  what age you are. She’s a qualified personal trainer and group exercise leader with a particular interest in the positive emotional benefits of movement, and as a super fit woman in her mid-fifties, she is extraordinary testament to her mantra.

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Live Longer, Be Healthier: Become an Occasional Vegetarian


There’s nothing wrong with loving your meat, fish and dairy products. They provide an excellent source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and important antioxidants. So if the idea of cutting these products out of your diet holds as much appeal as sitting through a politician’s speech on fiscal spending, then why not consider a compromise.

As with most things, moderation and balance is a key to enjoying life. It can be disconcerting and even alarming to read all the hype about what you should and shouldn’t be putting into your body, and you would be forgiven for being confused with what to believe.

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Top 5 Things You Should Be Doing In Your 50s


In a game of test cricket, when a batsman reaches his half-century, it’s lauded as a milestone. But for some women, the very thought of reaching their 50s is nothing to cheer about. As someone who has been through the troubling thirties and the fabulous 40s, I can say with unabashed self-righteousness that life just keeps getting better. Unlike my eyesight, hindsight is 20/20 and if I had even an inkling of how liberated and content I would feel at this age, I wouldn’t have worried so much.
Fortunately, times are a changing, and turning 50 these days is not the same for us in the 21st century as it was for women 50 years ago. Let’s take a look at how far we have come since the 1960s:


  • It was unheard of for women to earn the same money as men even when they did the same work (as well as running a household and raising a family)
  • Women were not encouraged or allowed to attend law school, medical school, be airline pilots, movie directors, TV presenters or any other career deemed a ‘male only’ domain.
  • The contraceptive pill became widely available, and along with the recognition of the right to abortion, they were not as tied to the home as they had been.
  • Child care became a big issue, and with new government funding and initiatives, this allowed women to enter the workforce without bearing the stigma and guilt of leaving their children
  • Women had very little available in the way of education about their bodies, and how to look after them

Read more…

Top 5 Things You Should Be Doing In Your 40s


This is Part 2 of a 3-part series which may be helpful for those women who have ‘crossed over’ from one decade into the next. For many women, their 30s are the years where their path in life becomes clear.

If you started a family, chances are that by now, your children are at school or beyond, and your life is more like a Category 1 hurricane than the major Cat. 4 typhoon it was a few short years ago. Sometimes the 40s are referred to as the ‘in between’ decade. It is, in effect a dress rehearsal of sorts for menopause, and for some women this is hard to accept because we were just buying our first training bra a minute ago…right?

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Top 5 Things you Should Be Doing In Your 30s


Nothing can throw a woman off kilter more quickly than a birthday signifying a new decade. In your teens and 20s, your life is a magnificent smorgasbord of tasting and testing, exploration and discovery, trial and error.

Then suddenly – the clock ticks over – you enter your 30s, and you’re forced to choose a direction instead of simply meandering. If you haven’t already, you begin to claim your own path, and start building your legacy in life.

Everyone is different of course, and many of these tips and observations may not apply, but for the purposes of this blog, I can interject personal experiences with general hypotheses, and hopefully help reveal some perspective.

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5 Ways To Avoid Weight Gain This Winter


Well ladies, it’s winter and there’s no easy way to say it, but for many of us that means an increase in layers – and I don’t just mean thermals under jumpers under coats. It can also mean another layer of fat.

There is no scientific evidence to prove a biological predisposition to weight gain during the cold, grey winter months – unless you’re a hibernating animal. But nevertheless, many of us see the number on the bathroom scales creep up as the season progresses.

If you’re struggling with what to blame it on, here are some of the possible reasons why it happens.

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