If you enjoy listening to my podcast I invite you to come and join The Merry Menopause Bookclub.
Each month we choose and work through a book inside our private group and come together for a monthly call.
To kick off Season 6 of The Merry Menopause Bookclub Podcast my wonderful guest is Naturopathic Doctor Lara Briden.
A graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Lara practices in Christchurch, New Zealand, treating women with symptoms of PCOS, PMS, endometriosis, Perimenopause, and many other hormone- and period-related health problems.
Lara joins me to talk about the second of her two brilliant books Hormone Repair Manual which is about navigating and relieving the symptoms of Perimenopause and Menopause, but I urge you to also check out her first book Period Repair Manual.
Join us as we discuss:-
This will make sense once you have listened! – And the 9th symptom is….. Onset of night sweats, in particular premenstruall
Lara’s book choice is the wonderful Circe by Madeline Miller
You can find out more about Lara and her work here
Christie Watson’s first novel, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, won the Costa First Novel Award; her second, Where Women Are Kings, achieved international critical acclaim; and her nursing memoir, The Language of Kindness, was a number one bestseller.
In 2020, during the first peak of the pandemic, she published The Courage to Care and briefly returned to clinical work. During this time Christie was shocked not only by the changing world, but her changing body, as her Perimenopause took hold. My book choice for this episode is her fifth book Quilt on Fire, the funny, honest and liberating account of her midlife journey.
Christie writes about the joy of letting go and the pain of the morning after, of the unstoppable power of female friendship and the struggle to raise teenagers as a single parent.
It lays bare the exhilaration, agony , wonder and fears of being a middle-aged woman with a wild heart, a changing body and a new set of challenges, and as her world takes on a different shape, there’s something else she starts to feel.. the hot flush of possibility….
If you have had, or are having a messy time with your Perimenopause this episode is for you. Not only a brilliant writer, Christie is also very, very funny and very, very honest! Join us for some deep truths and lots of LOL’s as we discuss:-
Christie’s Book Choices
Douglas Stuart – Young Mungo
I knew that Kate Codrington and I were destined to meet. Her name has been mentioned many times by past guests of the podcast so I was delighted when our friends at Harper Collins sent me a copy of her book Second Spring and Kate agreed to be my guest.
Kate is a mentor, speaker, artist, writer and therapist, and host of the “Life – an inside job” podcast. And when she’s not doing all these things you’ll find her playing in her compost heaps at her home in Hertfordshire.
Join us in conversation as we discuss:
Kate’s book choice – Angela Carter – Nights at the Circus
Find out more about Kate at https://www.katecodrington.co.uk
Since she was little, Awen Clement has been fascinated by the magic of the moon and this led her to write and publish her book, Moon Wise.
Awen is a healer and intuitive who works deeply with the land, the moon and the elements.
She teaches on spiritual connection, healing and sacred leadership, and is the founder of The Earth House, a fledgling community for folk who walk an Earth-centred spiritual path.
When she isn’t working or teaching Awen is raising four awesome young humans and can often be found drinking tea in her sacred shed at the bottom of her garden in Birmingham.
Join us as we discuss:-
Awen’s book choice – Burning Women by Lucy H Pearce
Dr Jenna Macciochi an expert immunologist who has spent over 20 years as a scientist researching the impact that lifestyle has on the immune system in health and disease.
Her latest book “Your Blueprint for Strong Immunity”, is a guide to cultivating strong immune health from a voice of reason in a rising tide of pseudoscience and promises of quick fixes.
The book encourages us to audit our lifestyle and identify key areas that might not be serving our health well and as Dr Jenna said when we spoke, ‘I wrote the book that I needed to read”
Join us as we discuss:-
Dr Jenna’s book choice – Oliver Burkeman Four Thousand Weeks
You can find out more about Dr Jenna here
For the first time on The Merry Menopause Bookclub podcast, I’ve chosen a fiction book, Bonny and Read is the historical reimagining of two female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read.
Author Julie Walker first came across this swashbuckling duo as a teenager when she was listening to the Adam Ant song Five Guns West. She was instantly fascinated by their story and has meticulously researched them ever since.
Bonny and Read has been longlisted for both the Mslexia First Novel Prize and the Bath Novel Award.
Join Julie and I as we discuss what led her to write the story of Ann Bonny and Mary Read and the circumstances that led these two legendary women to meet, live and adapt to a life on board a pirate ship in the Caribbean in 1700’s.
How they became immortalised in a ballard, a book and achieved celebrity and mythical status.
This is the story of two strong and resourceful women from very different backgrounds and parts of the world, who lived, loved and created history onboard a pirate ship named The Revenge.
Bonny and Read is out on the 4th of August and is a perfect summer read.
Julie’s book choices
You can follow Julie on Twitter @NicerMarmot
I kick off Season 4 with journalist, editor, co-host of “Postcards from Midlife” podcast and mum of four Lorraine Candy. Formerly the editor in chief of the Sunday Times Style magazine, Elle and Cosmopolitan, Lorraine has been writing about parenting in national newspapers and magazines for more than a decade.
In this episode, we talk about her family memoir “Mum What’s wrong with you” 101 things only mothers of girls know. In the pages of her book Lorraine is lighting the way for other mums facing life with teenage girls, just as they going through their own midlife unravelling.
Join as we talk about:-
Lorraine’s book Choice
also mentioned in the epsisode
Shout85258 – free, confidential, 24/7 text-messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope.
In this episode, I am joined by Period preacher and author of “My Greatest Period Ever” Lucy Peach.
Lucy has performed at TEDX and toured around the globe with multiple sell-out seasons of her hilarious and heartfelt show ‘My Greatest Period Ever.’ In her own words, Lucy is changing the world “One Period at a time.”
Join us as we discuss
Lucys’ book choice – Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
My guest for this episode is Cara Wheatley-McGrain Hay House author, Mindset coach, and Educational Consultant.
Cara founded The Mindful Gut project on a mission to inspire 1 million people to become the custodians of their gut microbiome and she joins me to talk about her book “Calm your gut, a mindful and compassionate guide to healing IBD and IBS.
In this episode:
Cara’s book choice
My guest for this episode is Petra Coveney founder and creator of Menopause Yoga the world’s first Menopause specific yoga practice and fully accredited teacher training course.
Petra joins me to talk about her book Menopause Yoga which supports her training course and is also designed to raise awareness and share knowledge of Yoga and how it can support women on their Menopause journey.
Join us in conversation as we discuss
My guest for this episode is Kate Muir, author of “Everything You Need to Know About the Menopause (but were too afraid to ask)”
Kate is a writer, campaigner and documentary maker. She is the co-creator and producer of the revolutionary channel 4 documentary Sex, Myths and the Menopause and an activist for The Menopause Charity.
Join us in conversation as we discuss:-
For the final episode of Season 4, I am joined by Dr Ginni Mansberg, a sought-after speaker and regular host and medical expert on Australian TV. A forerunner of the Menopause conversation in Australia, she is the author of today’s book choice, The M Word: How to Thrive in the Menopause which offers sound advice for women going through Menopause, as well as a way to excel in this new stage of life.
Ginni has been a GP for over 30 years and she is passionate about the importance of giving women what they need to help take agency of their Menopause, especially when it comes to vagina’s, bladders and their sex lives.
Join us for a straight-talking conversation about Vaginas and the importance of recognising and seeking help for any symptoms related to Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM) which affects the function of the bladder, vagina, rectum and uterus and the knock-on effects to sexual pleasure and desire.
Ginni’s book choice’s
Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins
My Life by Golda Meir
You can find out more about Ginni here
In the penultimate episode of Series 3 I am joined by Josie Lloyd author of fifteen bestselling novels (as both Josie Lloyd and Joanna Rees), including the number one hit Come Together, which she co-authored with her husband Emlyn Rees, and the bestselling parody We’re Going On A Bar Hunt.
This episode is dedicated to her latest book The Cancer Ladies Running Club. A fictional tale, based on Josie’s own experience of surviving Breast Cancer.
1 in 7 women will get Breast Cancer and 1 in 2 of us will develop Cancer in our lifetimes, and in Josie’s own words ‘Cancer needs debunking and we need to talk about it more”
In this episode, Josie talks openly about;
Josie’s Book Choice
More Than A Woman by Caitlin Moran – I am in total agreement, this is a great read!
You can follow Josie on Instagram
My guest from S2 Jackie Lynch author of The Happy Menopause chose The Age Well Plan as her book choice, and so we have her to thank for this episode where I meet and talk to Susan Saunders Health Coach, Writer, TV producer and author and author of, The Age Well Plan.
Susan has spent the last decade researching how to live a longer, healthier life and she’s passionate about giving people clarity on what to do to age well and how that fits into a busy life and to stay motivated.
The Age Well Plan draws on her extensive research into longevity and shows you simply and clearly how to make the changes, big and small, that support healthy ageing.
Join us as Susan shares her story of being an only child, working full time, raising her own family and at the same time, caring for her mother with dementia. The diagnosis of which led Susan to research and learn how she could reduce her risk of developing a chronic disease of ageing.
We also discuss:
Susan’s book choice – Lifespan by David Sinclair
For this episode, I am joined by Dr Sara Gottfried Harvard-educated Physician-Scientist and New York Times bestselling author. In Her latest book Women, Food and Hormones, Dr Sara explains the science behind the relationship between weight loss and hormones and in doing so provides a revolutionary new plan that helps women balance their hormones so they can lose excess weight and feel better.
Join us as we discuss:-
I think it is so important that those of us going through Perimenopause draw on the insights and experiences of women Post Menopause. Hence, I was delighted to have as my guest Charlotte Bauer Journalist and Author of the funny and thought-provoking How to Get Over Being Young.
In this insightful and deeply personal episode, Charlotte shares with me her experience of Menopause and the seismic changes it bought.
We discuss the importance, of giving our ‘younger’ selves a proper send-off, acknowledging that change is happening and welcoming in the next phase of our lives.
How do we get rid of the old standard of Menopause? The stereotype of the middle-aged women hot flushing and forgetful. How do we educate the world to see Menopause as so much more in-depth, the urgent need for it to be taken seriously and with respect. It is “complex and life-changing.”
We also manage to fit in the important relationships that have shaped Charlotte’s life, her incredible role models when it comes to ageing – her mother and aunt. And the complicated but unconditional bond she has with her sisters.
And let’s not forget the benefits of designer trainers and why we all need a ‘F**k It’ List because we are way too young for a Bucket List.
Charlotte’s book choice’s
Follow Charlotte on Instagram @charlottembauer
Kimberley believes the way we think about mental health – as separate from physical health – is flawed. Her philosophy of Whole Body Mental Health is a comprehensive approach to mental health care; integrating evidence-based nutrition and lifestyle factors with psychological therapy.
Kimberley co-hosts the podcast Made of Stronger Stuff on BBC Radio 4 and her own podcast Stronger Minds and is often recognised as a former finalist on the Great British Bake Off! She has been the mental health expert on several Channel 4 documentaries and is a regular contributor to Lorraine on ITV.
In this fascinating episode Kimberley reveals the shocking fact that depression is the leading cause of disability across the world and dementia and Alzheimer’s are the leading cause of death in the UK, overtaking heart disease and diabetes. With this in mind, we need to start looking at an holistic and preventative approach to mental health, acknowledging the relationship between the brain and the body rather than thinking of the two as separate.
We discuss the long term use of anti-depressants and why we should be reassessing the causes of depression. What is making people feel bad for so long? And the importance of diet, exercise, community, optimism and resilience on our short and long term brain health.
This episode is a must-listen if you want to understand how important it is that we look at how we live day to day and the impact that has on our mental health. We forgot that our brain is an organ and we need to take care of it as much as we take care of our heart.
Kimberley’s book choice
You can find our more about Kimberley at https://www.kimberleywilson.co
In this episode, I am in conversation with Dr Philippa Kaye, GP and author.
Philippa has a weekly column in Woman magazine and you may recognise her from her regular appearances on ITV’s, This Morning.
The M Word is a complete one-stop guide to the Perimenopause and Menopause, covering everything from understanding symptoms and managing relationships to figuring out which treatments really work.
We have dedicated this episode to the complex and controversial subject of HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). Please join us as we discuss:-
Dr Philippa’s book choices
Everything That Makes Us Human by Jay Jayamohan
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy
You will find these and a selection of my favourite books here
In this episode, I am joined by Jackie Lynch author of The Happy Menopause and host of The Happy Menopause Podcast.
Jackie discovered the power of nutrition 15 years ago when she followed personalised nutritional advice and experienced first-hand the dramatic changes in her energy well being and performance. This led her to give up her senior corporate role and study at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition.
As a Registered Nutritional Therapist, she founded the WellWellWell Clinic providing expert advice and specialising in women’s health and nutrition.
The Happy Menopause is a stress-busting, hormone balancing approach to Menopause.
Join Jackie and me as we discuss:-
Jackie’s book choice
The Age Well Plan by Susan Saunders
You will find this and a selection of my favourite books here
In this episode, I have the pleasure of talking to Kim McCabe, author of ‘From Daughter to Woman’ a guide to parenting girls safely through their teens.
Kim is a child development expert and founder-director of the non-profit organisation Rites for Girls.
She studied psychology at Cambridge University, before training as a counsellor for distressed teens and has spent thirty years working preventatively to make girls’ journey through adolescence safer, kinder and better supported.
A mother of three, Kim believes we can each make a difference; by creating community and circles of support, with adults taking responsibility for guiding tomorrow’s women, a grounded revolution changing the world for everyone.
Join Kim and me as we discuss:-
Kim’s book choice
In this episode, I am joined by Sophie Fletcher clinical hypnotherapist and author of Mindful Menopause.
Sophie specialises in women’s wellbeing at transitional stages of their lives and her focus is the body and mind connection, exploring thoughts and feelings that may arise at times of vulnerability giving practical, everyday tools that make a difference.
We are controlled by the challenging cultural narrative that surrounds Menopause and Perimenopause, join Sophie and me as we discuss how changing our perception and our mindset can have such a huge impact on our wellbeing.
In this episode you will learn:-
Sophie’s Book Choice
You can download 10 of Sophie’s meditations for FREE here
My guest on the penultimate episode of S2 is Emma Bardwell registered nutritionist and member of the British Menopause Society. Her evidence-based approach, coupled with an ongoing interest in Perimenopause and Menopause has made her one of the go-to names in women’s health.
Emma is deeply anti-fad and doesn’t care for restriction, believing in positive rather than perfect nutrition and together with Dr Shahzadi Harper she has written today’s book choice, The Perimenopause Solution.
Join us as we discuss:
Emma’s Book Choices
Find out more about Emma Bardwell here
My last guest of Season 2 is the wonderful Sarah Chadwick author of The Sweetness of Venus. A History of the Clitoris.
Challenging today’s definition of female sexuality, The Sweetness of Venus is a provocative, straight-talking and rigorously researched history exposing the denial, misunderstanding and brutality endured by this taboo body part.
Sarah has a teaching background is currently a guest researcher at Chicago’s LOYOLA University, splitting her life between the US and UK. She has been described as “an articulate and compassionate spokeswoman for a new generation of women”
In her own words Sarah “Wanted her book to be pleasurable like good sex. For it to be friendly, funny, compassionate, inclusive of men and a bridge between academic research and knowledge. A book that people would pick up and have pleasure reading.” – I think she achieved it all.
Join us as we discuss:-
Sarah’s book choices
Invisible Women – Caroline Crado Perez
You can find more of Sarah on Instagram @its.Personalgirls
In this episode, I talk to Ruth Devlin, Registered Nurse and founder of Let’s Talk Menopause, which she set up in response to the conflicting advice she received during her Perimenopause.
Ruth has gone on to raise awareness and provide accurate and helpful information on Menopause, through her courses, guest speaking at events and appearances on TV and Radio.
She is passionate about health and wellbeing and the importance of helping to prevent ill health, as well as, specialising in Menopause, She works within the public, private and third sectors.
Ruth has also written a book, Men…Let’s Talk Menopause, and that is why I asked Ruth to be my guest so we can discuss this very important subject and open up the conversation around Men and Menopause. Join us as we discuss:-
In this episode, I talk to one of the pioneers of natural Menopause management the formidable Maryon Stewart. A font of knowledge and true expert in the field of hormones, PMS and Menopause. Her latest book is a six-week, self-coaching program and I guarantee that after listening to this episode you will be informed, inspired and ready to take control of your wellbeing.
Join us as we discuss:
You can find out more about Maryon’s six- week programme by reading the book and at www.maryonstewart.com
In this episode I chat with Dr Annice Mukherjee top hormone consultant with over 30 years of experience helping women achieve hormone balance and renewed vitality before, during and after the menopause.
Join us we discuss:
In this episode, I chat to Tracey Cox, author, psychologist and TV personality about sex and how to adapt to the changes as we age. Fifty-plus looks nothing like it used to. Many of us I hit half a century with little sign of slowing down, but like it or not, something happens to us sexually post 50.
Please join us as we discuss:-
In this episode, I meet Annie Auerbach for the second time since the first publication of Flex in 2019.
To mark this year’s publication of Flex in paperback Annie has added an extra chapter, Flex in Flux to deal with the assumption that working from home during a pandemic is Flex. It is not. Flex at its best is an ideology for a more inclusive future and better quality of life for everyone.
Please join us we discuss;