Join me in conversation with the authors of the books that have inspired me, educated me and got me talking.   

 

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.

Season 6

Wednesday 4th October  2022
 
Lara Briden
Hormone Repair Manual 
Every Woman’s Guide to Healthy Hormones after 40

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:-

  • How our Periods play an integral part of our Perimenopause.
  • Want to know if you are in Perimenopause?
  • Perimenopuase and The Pill
  • The 9 common symptoms of Perimenopause.
  • Perimenopause and driving
  • Lara defines Menopause
  • Menopause is part of our evolution, it’s not an accident of living too long! 
  • It’s important that we change the narrative and understand that we are meant to go through this!
  • Early human groups wouldn’t have survived without the survival tactics of it’s Menopausal members. 
  • Why Perimenopause is a tipping point for our long term health. 
  • Insulin intolerance and sensitivity
  • Metabolic health
  • The importance of ovulation
  • Using your period as a barometer as to what is happening to your body
  • Why your 65 year old self will seriously thank you for the positive changes you make in your 40s.
  • I ask Lara about the period I had after 450 days of being period free!
  • Annovulatory Menstrual Cycles – why we all need to know about them . 
  • Why Lara calls Perimenopause Secondary Puberty

 

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

 

Wednesday 10th October  2022
 
KIRSTen Miller
The Change
 It’s Not Over. It’s time. 

My guest for this episode to discuss her first adult book The Change is  feminist author in the Young Adult and children’s space, Kirsten Miller.
The Change is the story of three women in their Perimenopause who discover that the changes of reaching this age are also their Superpowers.
Life has become so quiet for Nessa since her husband died and her daughters left home that she starts to hear the dead. Jo channels her rage and the heat of her hot flashes and makes them her strength and Harriet is undergoing a very spiritual metamorphosis.

It’s Menopausal Super Hero’s to the rescue!

I loved the The Change and the re-framing of the symptoms of Perimenopause. It show-cases this transition as a time when we truly step into our power.

Join Kirsten and I as we discuss not only The Change but also:-

  • Kirsten’s Perimenopause and the Superpower she discovered, running.
  • The Superpower of not giving a damn.
  • The stories we have been told about Menopause, to keep us in our place!
  • Kirsten’s advertising background and the misogyny within the industry. 
  • The gender bias prompted by Kirsten’s book choice Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez. 
  • Kirsten and her periods and an indicator of her Perimenopause
  • How ‘not giving a damn’ is a real Superpower we should learn to harness. 


Kirsten’s Book Choice – Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

Find out more about Kirsten and her work here

Wednesday 19th October  2022
 
Sharon Blackie
Hagitude
Reimagining the Second Half of Life

My guest for this episode is Dr Sharon Blackie award-winning writer, Psychologist and Mythologist. Her highly acclaimed books, courses, lectures and workshops are focused on the development of the mythic imagination, and on the relevance of myth, fairy tales and folk traditions to the personal, cultural and environmental problems we face today.

She joins me to discuss her new book Hagitude which explores how nine very different female archetypes chosen from myths and fairytales can help us to gain a better understanding of our Menopause transition and also create a map of how we want to be as we age.

The key question at the heart of this book is how an exploration of the vividly wonderful and diverse archetypal characters in our fairytales and myths might help us to create a map of what it is to become a good elder

Join us as we discuss:

  • How myths and folklore portray the older woman, compared to the modern perception of older women. 
  • The struggle to find positive examples of ageing women in literature that are seeing the second half of their life as an adventure rather than a decline. 
  • Women are looking for inspiration and different ways to envision why they might want to go on living for decades!
  • Jung’s perspective on ageing as a spiritual process, different from the action-orientated first half of our lives. 
  • As women we naturally turn inwards and start to ask the bigger questions as we age. 
  • Menopause as the time between stories 
  • Menopause as an alchemy, burning away the stuff that we are attached to in the first half of our life that won’t serve us as we move forward, we need to make room for our new story. 
  • Sharon’s Menopause journey – an accumulation of the rage which started in childhood as a child who had never been allowed to express her anger.
  • Wrath vs anger, if we don’t get rid of trapped anger it manifests itself within the body.
  • The role of the Fates and the Furies in Greek mythology – two trios of 
  • Older women perceived to have the knowledge and stability strength to keep order and hold it together. 
  • One big lesson of Menopause is learning how not to hold on desperately to youth and staying young.
  • When HRT is presented as a way to stay young and beautiful, that’s wrong. 
  • Acceptance of ageing and cultural stereotypes.
  • An increasing number of younger women are relating to the Hag or the Crone in fairytales rather than the beautiful princess character. 
  • Creating the archetype of our Elder selves
  • Our gift – every one of us is a unique expression of what it is to be human, that’s our gift.
  • How we find clues in our childhood as to our inner hag that we become in later life. 
  • Reclaiming the definition of “Hag”
  • Sharon’s dreams and her dream theory.
  • The alchemy of Menopause. 


Sharon’s book choice – DH Lawrence The Rainbow

Wednesday 25th October  2022
 
Alexandra Pope & Sjanie Hugo-Wurlitzer
Wise Power
Discover the Liberating Power of Menopause

Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer are the co-founders of Red School. Together they have spent over 10,000 hours researching and refining their radical new approach to health, creativity, leadership and spiritual life. And the best bit? It’s rooted in the bloody, wild, radical power of the menstrual cycle and Menopause.

They are the authors of two Hay House books Wild Power – which completely changed my life – and the book we are discussing in this epsiode the newly released Wise Power, which is all about discovering the liberating power of Menopause 

They say never meet your heroes but I have now met two of mine. It was a privilege to have Alexandra and Sjanie as my guests. Join as for this beautiful and empowering conversation, that will change the way you look at and experience your Menopuase forever. 

  • Alexandra explains the power of the Menstrual cycle and how Menopause is the final stage of the journey and shares her experience. 
  • Power! The difference in conscious and unconscious use of our power, how it shows up and how to navigate it. 
  • Alexandra talks about her early 50s and her personal experience of the impact of the Menopause process.
  • It should be our birthright that we come into Menopause with some degree of connection with ourselves and knowing ourselves because we have been in touch with our body through cycle awareness. 
  • Rage and Tiredness – When we feel these without context or reason we can feel there is something wrong with us.
  • The dignity of reclaiming our power – This is happening for a reason, this is what you are meant to be feeling.
  • Why the preparatory phase of Menopause is so important
  • Menopause doesn’t just happen in a vacuum its the culmination of our journey
  • So much that happens in our 40s is teaching us to care for ourselves and showing us what needs to be healed.
  • The five phases of our Menopause initiation
  1. Betrayal – at Menopauise we are changing and at the beginning of any time of change there is phase of chaos. 
  2. Repair – Rest is EVERYTHING.
  3. Revelation – Recognising yourself and the changes you’ve experienced.
  4. Visioning – Getting clarity about your vision and what lights you up
  5. Emergence – What happens next?!
  • How Alexandra and Sjanie met
  • How Sjanie is preparing for her Menopause journey. 


Alexandra’s book choice –  Becoming Supernatural  by Dr Joe Dispenza 

Sjanie’s book choice – Mary Magdalene Revealed  by Meggan Watterson

Wednesday 3rd November  2022
 
Anniki Sommerville
The Big Quit
How to Ditch the Job You Hate and Find Work You Love

Anniki Sommerville’s specialist subjects include Perimenopause, parenting and work/life juggling. She has written for The Telegraph, The Guardian and Grazia and is the author of 5 books. 

In this episode, we talk about her latest book – ‘The Big Quit,’ which is all about how to navigate work and find the right balance for you. 

My personal experience and that of friends, clients and The Merry Menopause community drew me to this book.  Perimenopause and Menopause can put a spotlight on our relationship with work and our careers. 

Join us as we discuss:-

  • Anniki’s experience of Perimenopause.
  • ‘The reckoning’ that comes up in our early 50s.
  • Work ephiphanies. 
  • How did our ancestors feel about work? A brief history of female working life. 
  • The pressure we put on ourselves which leads to overachieving. 
  • Recognising that at times you may not have the stamina to keep pushing yourself to achieve – when you have young children and/or reach Perimenopause.
  • The concept of ‘quiet quitting’ – in your job doing the bare minimum 
  • Asking yourself the important questions – is work serving me? What are my options? Am I regularly feeling overwhelmed, frustrated angry? 
  • Get clear on what you don’t want, the not-so-shit job!
  • What would the ideal job look like?
  • Comparison – comparing ourselves with others who we perceive to have ‘the dream job’ without realising that everyone compromises. 
  • Toss away the idea that there is a perfect job – there is no such thing
  • We reminisce on the careers advice given, or not, to us in the late 80s
  • Anniki’s career aspirations as a 14 year old. 
  • Anniki’s career path. 
  • The pressure of being the chief earner in a family. 
  • Have an open mind and a clear idea of what you want and you will spot the opportunities available to you. 
  • If you are in a negative spiral and you can’t see any escape remember all situations are TEMPORARY.
  • Mental health and Perimenopause 
  • Tools for re-assurance and self-confidence 
  • Boundaries and taking a break – work will take over if you allow it to
  • Actively manage your phone – think of it as a person. What kind of person would it be?
  • Mis-interpreting Zoom calls and texts messages
  • Our life skills are valid and valuable in the workplace. Older women are being undervalued by themselves and their employers. 
  • You can’t have it all – what are your priorities? 
  • How to move on – If you are not enjoying your job, know that it doesn’t have to be forever
  • LIFE IS TOO SHORT – Anniki talks about losing her father and the shift in her perspective
  • Stop focusing on what you can’t do and start focusing on what you can do.
  • Alcohol and Perimenopause. 

 

Anniki’s book choice – Love Your Sober Year by Kate Baily and Mandy Manners 

 

Find out more about Anniki here

 

 

Wednesday 9th November 2022
 
Bonnie Garmus
Lessons in Chemistry
 

What better way to finish off season six of The Merry Menopause Bookclub Podcast than with Bonnie Garmus author of The Sunday Times No 1 Bestseller “Lessons in Chemistry”

Bonnie and I connected on Instagram where I was raving about Lessons in Chemistry, It is one of my favourite  reads this year so far and I was delighted Bonnie said yes to being my guest.

Lessons In Chemistry is about a woman named Elizabeth Zott, a fictional chemist in late 50s early 60s America. She gets fired from her research job for the crime of being unwed and pregnant and as things get a little tight money wise she accepts a job as a TV cooking show host. Most of us would consider it a job to kill for, but Elizabeth Zott doesn’t want the job at all. So instead of teaching straight-up cooking, she ends up teaching the nation chemistry – because cooking is chemistry. And as she does so she ends up teaching women what they are made of at a molecular level and she ends up changing a nation because of it.

Join us as we discuss:- 

  • Sexual assault in the workplace – 1:6 American women experience it.
  • How the character of Elizabeth Zott came into being.
  • How a bad day at work inspired Bonnie to write the first chapter of Lessons in Chemistry.
  • Bonnie dedicates the book to her incredible mum and I find out why.
  • How the ‘The Average Housewives” of the 50s raised a generation of feminists.
  • Why Elizabeth Zott is a role model for Bonnie and the joy of creating and writing her. 
  • Elizabeth Zott’s rich backstory – depression and loneliness.
  • How so many men are totally unaware of the misogyny and sexual assault that happens in the workplace.
  • How can we make sure we have allies in men at work and at home.
  • The awareness of women’s rights issues that Lessons in Chemistry has raised amongst its male readers.
  • A sneak preview of Bonnie’s next book!

Bonnie’s Book Choices:-

The Anthropocene – John Green

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce

Find out more about Bonnie and her work here

Season 5

Wednesday 20th July  2022
 
Christie Watson
Quilt on Fire
The Messy Magic of Midlife

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 search for meaning. Who am I? What do I want from life?
  • Why the book is called Quilt On Fire, its not what you think!
  • The love story that is female friendships.
  • How Christie coped with her “catastrophic breakdown” which resulted in her climbing into a supermarket freezer. 
  • How HRT sent Christie’s libido through the roof.
  • Midlife sexual awakening and midlife dating.
  • How we are all connected by our vulnerabilities.
  • Comparison – the perceived perception that every women has her s**t together and appears to be sailing through Perimenopause.
  • Vulnerability- what happens when we share our mess. We are all struggling with something.
  • Perfection isn’t something we should be striving for.
  • The messy turbulent side of Menopause. Falling apart so we can put ourselves back together. 
  • The Culture wars of HRT and how women are pitted against each other by the media. 
  • The cultural and anthropological side of Menopause.
  • The funny side of internet dating.
  • The chance to Re-evaluate our identity. Who am I? Am I happy with myself? Who do I want to become?
  • The Pandemic and Perimenopause, two times of forced reckoning and how they spoke to each other. 
  • The benefits of collecting older women friends.
  • Having a Hollywood! 
  • Christie finding a much needed sense of gratitude around Perimenopause.

 

Christie’s Book Choices 

Douglas Stuart – Young Mungo 

Nora Ephron – I Feel Bad About My Neck

You can find out more about Christie Watson here

Wednesday 13th July  2022
 
Kate Codrington
Second Spring
The Self Care Guide to Menopause

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:

  • What is our Second Spring? 
  • How Perimenopause can be akin to being thrown around in the washing machine, the disorientation, but once the cycle has finished we get to see ourselves and the world with fresh eyes – that’s the gift.
  • The Four seasons of our life and the pain and the gifts that each one brings. 
  • The Menopausal adventure of finding out “Who Am I?”
  • The conspiracy of “busyness” – why it’s necessary for us to slow down and rest so we can be in a better relationship with ourselves.
  • The whole new cycle of life that starts Post Menopause.
  • The three phases of our Menopause transition – Separation, Surrender and Emergence.
  • Why we must learn to be kind to ourselves.
  • The exhausting effort of “holding it all together.”
  • The importance of vulnerability and surrender during Perimenopause and Menopause.

 

Kate’s book choice – Angela Carter – Nights at the Circus

Find out more about Kate at https://www.katecodrington.co.uk

Wednesday 22nd June 2022
 
Awen Clement
Moon Wise

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:-

  • How we become Moon Wise and what living a Moon Wise life means
  • Our Natal moon phase and how this affects us
  • What it means if you are born near a New Moon or Full Moon?
  • That we are cyclical beings connected to nature and the impact on our wellbeing of not tuning into the seasons
  • Ovulating on the Full Moon and bleeding on the New Moon – is this a thing?
  • The traditional Pagan model of the three stages of a women’s life and the modern addition of a fourth stage to honour our modern Menopausal phase. 
  • What happens to the energy we use to bleed when we stop our cycle and enter into Post Menopause?
  • What if we don’t fit into the typical archetype of child-bearer because we choose not to or can’t have children?
  • Menopause as a positive deep inner transformation, we are not broken. 
  • How can we use the moon Post Menopause to bring out the cyclical nature in us. 
  • Why we can have such different feelings from each other around a Full Moon. 


Awen’s book choice – Burning Women by Lucy H Pearce

Find out more about Awen and get your copy of Moon Wise at
https://awenclement.com
@awen_healer

Wednesday 28th June 2022
 
Dr Jenna Macciochi
Your Blueprint for strong immunity
Personalise Your Diet and Lifestyle for Better Health 

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:-

 

  • The myth behind the term “Immune Boosting.”
  • Why we need to ‘balance’ rather than ‘boost’ our immune system.
  • How well were you before you got sick? How you go into an illness reflects how you will cope with it.
  • The cyclical nature of our immune systems.
  • Why our ‘immune age’ doesn’t necessarily match our chronological age
  • Immunity, the sex hormones and our Menstrual cycle.
  • How our blood sugar response is so individual
  • The power of protein and fibre, the unsung hero of longterm health
  • Why we shouldn’t necessarily avoid the foods that make us bloated but work to increase our tolerance of them.
  • Immunity and Menopause the impact of declining oestrogen
  • Man Flu – the science to support it!
  • The long game – how do you want to feel in your 70s and 80s
  • The importance of good liver function and how we support the process
  • The myths surrounding benefits of detoxes and sweating
  • Air pollution in our homes, household toxins and the stress of living in with clutter.
  • The importance of spending time in nature and why we should limit the use of artificial fragrances.

 

Dr Jenna’s book choice – Oliver Burkeman Four Thousand Weeks

 

You can find out more about Dr Jenna here

Wednesday 6th July 2022
 
Julie Walker
bonny and Read

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 

Life and Loves of a She Devil Fay Weldon

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

 

You can follow Julie on Twitter @NicerMarmot

Season 4

Wednesday 23rd February 2022
 
Lorraine Candy
“Mum, What’s Wrong With You?”
101 Things Only Mothers  of Teenage Girls Know

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:-

  • The many parallels between the Teenage years and the Menopause and the negative narrative that surrounds both. 
  • The Perfect storm of parenting teens in your mid-40s.
  • The reasons why Teenagers behave as they do, and the reasons we behave as we do.
  • The importance of role modelling so our Teenagers can see us caring for ourselves and also dealing and coping with a range of emotions. 
  • How our issues and childhood experiences can affect our parenting
  • The pressure of parenting perfectionism
  • How to recognise and recover from those dreadful moments in parenting life and the importance of being able to say sorry and move forward. 
  • The immense brain changes that occur during the Teenage years.
  • The loneliness and shame that can come with parenting Teens. You are not the only person getting it wrong. 
  • How to deal with messy bedrooms!
  • The rise of adolescent mental health
  • Reforming our identity in Midlife
  • The importance of eye contact and putting down our phones.
  • Why you mustn’t be your child’s best friend. 
  • Teenagers and phones – the power of The Digital Sunset
  • Mental health policies, sex education and female financial power in our schools 
  • How and why we experiencing “Living loss”
  • “Meanagers” and “Moron Mum” 

 

Lorraine’s book Choice 

Terra Incognita, Travels in Antarctica by Sara Wheeler

also mentioned in the epsisode 

The Orchid and the Dandelion by W. Thomas Boyce

Shout85258 – free, confidential, 24/7 text-messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope.

Wednesday 2nd March 2022
Lucy Peach
Period Queen 
Life Hack Your Cycle and Own Your Power All Month Long

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 

  • Why it’s never too late to learn about your cycle
  • Dream, Do, Give and Take – the 4 phases of our cycle. 
  • Why other women are your allies
  • How to support each other by playing to the strengths in our cycle
  • Stop banging on about the blood! Let’s get into the real gifts of our cycle
  • Educating young women and boys are in tune with 
  • Educating Men about menopause 
  • My experience of Perimenopause 
  • The Key to a Merry Menopause
  • How my work is evolving as my Menopause is evolving
  • How managing your cycle will help you understand your stress and stop you from burning out. 
  • Cyclical reading!

 

Lucys’ book  choiceMidnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie 

Wednesday 9th March 2022
 
Cara Wheatley-McGrain
Calm Your Gut
A Mindful and Compassionate Guide to Healing IBD and IBS

 

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 shares her story of living with Ulcerated Colitis, from her teenage years to almost losing her colon in her early 20s. 
  • How the shock of being so seriously ill led her to be curious about her colon and discover the changes she needed to make to prevent it from being cut out. 
  • Getting to know her gut, the science and the spirituality. 
  • Intuitive and mindful eating
  • How our diet impacts our gut health
  • How our gut bacteria are critical to our health and wellbeing
  • The many problems of a long-term Western diet 
  • The global impact of the Western diet
  • 1 in 5 women will have an issue with IBS
  • The symptoms of IBS and IBD
  • The increasing spread of IBS in Teens
  • The powerful political statements we make every time we go shopping
  • The dark side of the food industry 
  • How we used to cook and eat vs how we cook and eat today
  • Understanding the importance of how we choose to prepare and cook food on our health and wellbeing 
  • The benefits of a kitchen disco.
  • Honouring and becoming the caretakers and custodians of our inner and outer world. 

 

Cara’s book choice 

Woman and Nature by Susan Griffin

 

www.themindfulgut.co.uk

 

Wednesday 16th March 2022
 
Petra Coveney
Menopause Yoga
A Holistic Guide to Supporting Women on their Menopause Journey

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

 

  • Yoga and Perimenopause
  • Yoga and HRT – how East meets West in the treatment and management of Menopause symptoms. 
  • Seeing Menopause as a real opportunity to improve our health and wellbeing and to let go of habits and behaviours that don’t serve us. 
  • Petra’s Perimenopause journey
  • Why Perimenopause can feel like a loss and time of grief. 
  • The research that shows the highest rates of depression, suicide and divorce amongst women in the UK is between the ages of 45-55
  • How Yoga and be such a powerful part of a holistic approach to Menopause
  • Adapting our lifestyle to meet our mental and physical needs. 
  • The benefits of mediation and mindfulness – building the relationship with self and the wisdom deep inside that will us through our menopause and tell us what we need. 
  • Every woman is completely different and needs different support
  • Changing and adapting our yoga practice as we age
  • Yoga and Auyreveda – the doshas
  • How to use your Yoga practice to manage Menopause symptoms. 
  • Tiredness and Menopause – our body is transforming on a cellular level as our oestrogen levels deplete, this takes up a lot of energy which is why we feel a deep need to rest.
  • The benefits of lifting weights. 
  • Our Second Spring and the strong connection we have as women to mother nature.
 
Wednesday 23rd March 2022
 
Kate Muir
Everything You Need to know about the menopause
(but were to afraid to ask)

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:-

  • The Revolution!! Why Menopause is a feminist issue.
  • Why many of us are forced to look at our lives in a cold, new light at this time and suddenly realise, what about me?
  • Kate’s relatable honesty about her Perimenopause crash and how she couldn’t ‘hold it up anymore.’
  • How being hormonally barren gave Kate clarity and led her to make some tough changes. 
  • Menopause, HRT and Alzheimer’s – Kate’s story and her mum Ella’s story. 
  • Mental health can be attributed to hormonal health
  • Kate asks with Menopause being a long term hormonal deficiency, “why wouldn’t you take HRT?” Is the natural route not to replace your natural hormones?
  • The protective benefits of Oestrogen for brain health and bone health
  • Two-thirds of Alzheimer’s patients are women getting diagnosed around the age of 70, with the Alzheimers decay starting 20 years previously. 
  • Why we should pay more attention to ‘brain fog’ especially those daughters of Alzheimer’s
  • The Hormonal Glass Ceiling
  • Who’s’ on HRT and not talking about it?
  • Is Menopause a new feminist party?
  • The economic privilege of Menopause. 
  • Kate gives us an insight into her next C4 programme with Davina McCall out in May 2022.
  • The HRT window of opportunity
  • Taking HRT at 70
  • How lucky we are compared to our American sisters when it comes to Menopause awareness and the availability of HRT
 
Kate’s book choice – Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Season 3

 
Wednesday 15th December 2021
 
Dr Ginni Mansberg
The M Word
How to Thrive in Menopause

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. 

  • The importance of not delaying treatment If you notice any changes to your vagina and vulva that are you causing you pain, discomfort or distress, it will only get worse, not better. 
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s) and Menopause – If you have just 3 UTI’S in a calendar year, that is classed as re-current and you need to look at preventative treatment. 
  • Sex and incontinence – Do you wee when you have an orgasm or at the point of penetration? You are very much not alone, do not let it become a block to having a healthy sex life, it can be easily treated. 
  • Constipation – do not ignore it.
  • The need to insist on a Dr who will listen to you and examine you so you can get your health needs met. 
  • There is no magic supplement or medication. We know that Lifestyle advice is the best advice, we know it works, why don’t we advocate it more?
  • Hypo Sexual Desire Disorder – do you fulfil the criteria? Inability to orgasm? Lost interest in masturbation and sex? Hormonal Testosterone treatment could be the key. 
  • Australia may be behind us in the UK with the Menopause conversation and Menopause awareness, but they are way ahead with their compounded Testosterone therapy. Currently the only country in the world that has a compounded and licensed testosterone formulation specifically for women. 
  • The complexity of women’s sexuality. Testosterone therapy isn’t a panacea, it won’t fix a broken relationship or make a poor relationship better. BUT for many women, it can be life-changing for their relationships and self-esteem.
  • Why it’s important that FIRST we fix any symptoms of Vaginal GSM and then we work on fixing our libido. 

Ginni’s book choice’s

Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins 

My Life by Golda Meir

You can find out more about Ginni here 

 
Wednesday 8th December 2021
 
Josie Lloyd
The Cancer Ladies Running Club
Sometimes We Need Our Friends To Help Us Find Our Feet

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;  

  • Receiving her diagnosis and coming face to face with her mortality.
  • How journalling helped her to feel physically better. The cathartic process of getting all the unpleasant thoughts out of her head and onto paper. 
  • The importance of keeping fit during cancer treatment and the real-life Cancer Ladies Running Club.
  • The two types of breast cancer. Ductal, the most common and easiest to detect, and Lobular which doesn’t show up on mammograms and counts for 15% of all Breast Cancer cases. 
  • How it took her Cancer diagnosis to recognise the importance of self-care. 
  • Josie’s mental commitment to being well. Letting go of fear takes constant work. 
  • Finding her tribe. The Cancer Ladies Running Club is also a story of female friendship and women supporting women.
  •  Being thrown into early Menopause. Unable to take HRT she managed hot flushes with the Menopoised magnate and sea swimming, which became her salvation.

 

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

Wednesday 1st December  2021
 
Susan Saunders
The Age Well Plan
The 6-week programme to Kickstart a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life

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:

  • Lifestyle choices, 
  • Cellular ageing, 
  • Genetic testing 
  • The hidden plastics and pollutants in our homes that can have a serious impact on our long-term health.
  • And a topic close to my heart at the moment, foot pain and the importance of looking after our feet, the foundation of our mobility as we age.

 

Susan’s book choiceLifespan by David Sinclair

 

https://susansaundershealth.com/

Wednesday 24th November 2021
 
Dr Sara Gottfried
Women, Food and Hormones
Achieve Hormonal Balance, Lose Weight and Feel Like Yourself Again

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:- 

  • The gender bias and the importance of recognising that dietary plans researched and tested on men work differently on women because of their hormones.
  • The Importance of self-education. We need to step into our power and own and understand our hormonal changes, so we can get a sense of what is going on and what our hormones are telling us. 
  • Why addressing the ‘root cause’ rather than the ‘symptoms’ results in much more effective treatment.
  • Millions of us are being offered anti-depressants when we are not depressed. Why are women are not getting their reality taken seriously or their symptoms validated?
  • Cultural shifts. Saying ‘no’ to the prescriptions for antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, sedatives. Not accepting being dismissed, but asking for an alternative when we know that medication is not the right route to take or in line with how we are feeling. 
  • Why many women fail on the traditional Keto diet and the benefits of The Gottfried Protocol. It’s not about diet culture, women being thinner, more obedient with their food or berating themselves, it’s about metabolic health, which allows us to live disease-free as long as possible. 
  • The emerging and fascinating data and research into Psychedelics and how they can be used to treat trauma, a major root cause of hormonal imbalance. 

 


Dr Sara’s book choice
How to Change Your Mind by Michael Paulin

You can find out more about Dr Sara here 

Wednesday 17th November 2021
 
Charlotte Bauer
How To Get Over Being Young
A Rough Guide to Midlife

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

Rachel Kuchner The Mars Room and The Hard Crowd

 

Follow Charlotte on Instagram @charlottembauer

Wednesday 9th November 2021
 
Kimberley Wilson
How To Build A Healthy brain
Reduce stress, anxiety and depression and future-proof your brain

To kick off season three of The Merry Menopause Bookclub podcast I am delighted to be joined by Kimberley Wilson Chartered Psychologist and author of How to Build a Healthy Brain.

 

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

Lisa Feldmen Barrett , Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain

 

You can find our more about Kimberley at  https://www.kimberleywilson.co

Season 2

Wednesday 23rd June 2021
 
Dr Philippa Kaye
The M Word
Everything You Need to Know About the Menopause

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:-

  • Why Philippa felt compelled to write The M Word
  • Myth-busting the flawed study from 20 years ago that linked HRT to breast cancer
  • The risks and the benefits of HRT explained 
  • When to start HRT and when to stop
  • Vaginal Oestrogen
  • Why HRT might not work be working for you
  • Side effects of HRT
  • Libido – it’s not just hormones that could be affecting your sex drive- Looking at Menopause as a ‘long term oestrogen deficiency’
  • Why HRT is not one size fits all
  • How to get the most from your GP and your surgery
  • Complimentary therapies
  • Sequential and Continuous Combined HRT
  • Post Menopausal bleeding
  • Smears – the importance and how to make them a better experience
  • Don’t think you are a candidate for HRT? The importance of discussing your eligibility and your options with your GP
  • How do I know that I’m ready for HRT?
  • The first signs of Perimenopause
  • Premature Menopause.
  • An empowering Menopause anecdote.

 

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 

Wednesday 30th June 2021
 
Jackie Lynch
The Happy Menopause
Smart Nutrition to Help You Flourish

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:-

  • Why stress is the enemy of the Menopause
  • Why adrenal health is so vital
  • Nutrition 101 – How and why we need to keep our blood sugar balanced
  • insulin
  • Managing our symptoms through diet 
  • How to manage our weight
  • What we should be eating
  •  Refined, hidden sugars
  •  Our secret weapon balancing protein and fibre
  • The impact of alcohol
  • The way Menopause is experienced in different cultures due to their diet
  • Menopause friendly family meals
  • Don’t feel guilty about using frozen foods!

 

Jackie’s book choice

The Age Well Plan by Susan Saunders

 

You will find this and a selection of my favourite books here 

Wednesday 7th July  2021
 
Kim McCabe
From Daughter to Woman
Parenting girls safely through their teens

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:-

  • The importance of the puberty rite of passage if we went to have happy, healthy young adults join our adult communities and the impact of not recognising this importance of this critical stage of life.
  • Why we should be asking our young girls what they think about becoming women and listening to their answers.
  • Why so many young girls don’t name their mothers as future role models and what we can do about that.
  • Children don’t do what we say, they do what we do. 
  • Menarche, Pregnancy, Menopause – the three stages in a woman’s life where she is called into action.
  • Introducing the gift of the menstrual cycle to our girls to educate them and so alleviate any nervousness they may have around starting their periods.
  • Our culture doesn’t honour the cycle, but if we can menstruate well and have healthy and happy cycles we will enter into Menopause in a healthier way
  • Menopause and raising children.
  • Consent. Why we need to teach our children to trust their feelings and their instinct rather than their thoughts and how this can help to keep them safe.
  • The increase in anxiety amongst young girls and how that shows up in their behaviour.
  • Why as adults we should not be ignoring feelings of unhappiness and what happens when we do.
  • Our cycle Post Menopause.
  • As a mother how you can co-create a Rite of Passage with your daughter 
  • Creating a ‘village’ – the importance of adults in a young person’s life

Kim’s book choice

The Happy Manifesto – by Henry Stewart

 

You will find this and a selection of my favourite books here 

 

Wednesday 14th July  2021
 
Sophie Fletcher

Mindful Menopause

How to have a calm and positive Menopause

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:-

  • How to change your perception of Menopause
  • How to take back control 
  • How learned behaviours are based on environment
  • How to re-write your story and plan your Menopause
  • How to re-frame thoughts and experiences so you can approach your symptoms in a more positive way
  • How to manage anxiety
  • Why Menopause is an opportunity to learn about yourself in a deeper way
  • The How… tackling those unconscious blocks that stop you doing what you know you should be doing 
  • How to be in control of your choices 
  • Why broadening your knowledge and understanding of Menopause is the key to a Merry Menopause
  • Why mindset work is much simpler than you may think
  • Why our history and culture has re-written the reverence that comes with being an older woman
  • Menopause can be a lonely time, why it’s so important to find and connect with women who are having a similar experience
  • The importance of seeking out those that are approaching their Menopause transition in a positive way
  • Why you should plan your Menopause like you plan work and personal goals
  • How do you want to be when you are in your 60s and 70s? Why we need to lay the foundations now
  • Hair Loss – Sophie talks about her own experience and shares her advice. 

 

Sophie’s Book Choice

 Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman

 

You will find this and a selection of my favourite books here 

 

You can download 10 of Sophie’s meditations for FREE here 

Wednesday 28th July  2021
 
Emma Bardwell

The Perimenopause Solution

Take Control of You Hormones Before They Take Control of You

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:

  • Pro ageing and “Tweakments” – being unapologetic and acknowledging that our appearance does change as our collagen starts to deplete.
  • Why saying ‘no’ should be on prescription for Perimenopausal women.
  • Stress – one of the main drivers behind our symptoms and how it can override the positive effects of HRT.
  • The rise of eating disorders in midlife – the importance of knowing what to eat and how to exercise.
  • Auditing our life – removing toxic habits and toxic people.
  • Alcohol – the pros and the cons.
  • Why our metabolism changes – the impact that has on what we eat and drink.
  • The benefits of therapy and coaching – dealing with feelings that may surface and the changes that are happening.
  • The next generation – we are setting the example for them, let’s show today’s young women how utterly brilliant we are.
  • Understanding the gut/brain connection – how crucial this is in Perimenopause
  • Listening to our bodies – being intuitive and picking up on the signals and clues we are being sent.
  • Make change if it is calling but don’t act on impulse! – the importance of talking things through with friends or seeking out a supportive community online. 

 

Emma’s Book Choices

Dr Lisa Mosconi – The XX Brain
Kimberly Wilson – How To Build A Healthy Brain

 

Find out more about Emma Bardwell here

Wednesday 4th August  2021
 
Sarah Chadwick

The Sweetness of Venus

A History of The Clitoris

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:- 

  • The historic shame around women’s sexual pleasure 
  • The complicated and conflicting history of the clitoris
  • The Victorians – the fear and threat around women having sexual agency
  • 1844 – A breakthrough in Clitoral recognition!
  • The tip of the Clitoral iceberg – do you really know what it looks like and just how big it is?
  • Think you know the meaning of the world ‘frigid’, think again
  • Freud and his part in defining that there is a difference between a vaginal and Clitoral orgasm.
  • Historically Dr’s putting forward the idea that proper sexual function was through penetrative sex only and any other way was a treatable physiological disorder
  • Why we need to broaden the definition of what quantifies as sex to become more inclusive and healthier for everybody
  • Today’s teenagers having more oral and anal sex than ever before in the name of ‘not having sex’ 
  • The difference in sex education in the UK and the US and why we are still not teaching it right. 
  • The narrative that women are wired for reproduction and men are wired for sex
  • Shere Hite’s groundbreaking survey in the 70s about women’s sexual pleasure and desire. 
  • Sarah’s own frustrating experience with three gynaecologists trying to get her orgasm back post menopause
  • The effect the dominant narrative that women’s sexual function is purely for reproduction has on Menopausal women stepping into their sexual power 
  • How the taboo around reproduction vs pleasure has been so incredibly damaging to women in their 50s and beyond
  • Viagra – *eye roll * men haven’t had to fight for their continued sexual function. 
  • Bicycle design, train travel, sewing machines and their connection to the female orgasm and masturbation!

 

Sarah’s book choices

Invisible Women – Caroline Crado Perez

The World’s Wife – Carol Ann Duffy

 

You can find more of Sarah on Instagram @its.Personalgirls 

Season 1

Wednesday 27th April 2021
 
Ruth Devlin
Men… Let’s Talk Menopause
 
Ruth Devlin Men Let's Talk Menopause

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:-

  • Why and how Ruth came to writing this essential guide 
  • Starting the conversation around Menopause at home and work
  • Why we shouldn’t be underestimating the men in our lives and how much they want to know and understand Menopause. 
  • The impact of workplace awareness around Menopause and how the benefit of this will spill into personal relationships.
  • The right and the wrong way for a man to approach the subject of hormonal health and how not to trigger a reaction!
  • The male midlife change and how the lifestyle changes we need to make to support our Menopause they need to be making as well
  • The importance of men doing their pelvic floor – “nuts to guts’!
  • It’s your body, and your quality of life depends on how you look after it. Why are we not educated in a more empowering way so we can learn just how much control we have over our health and wellbeing?
  • HRT and its sensationalisation 
  • How to get the most out of an appointment with your GP
  • The 2010 equality act – how is your organisation supporting women and their Menopause?

Ruth’s Recommendations:- 

The Squeezy app

BMS  – British Menopause Society 

Living Well Through Menopause – Myra Hunter and Melanie Smith

The Happy Menopause – Jackie Lynch

Wednesday 21st April 2021
 
 Maryon Stewart 
Manage Your Menopause Naturally

Find Yourself Again with a Natural Approach to a Natural Transition

 

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:

  • The first science-based recognition of natural Menopause solutions and the start of Maryon’s career.
  • Menopause in the workplace, how it is still such a problem for many organisations and their employees.
  • Maryon’s collaboration with Virgin Health and Loughborough University to bring out an economic model showing the cost of Menopause to businesses when they lose their female talent because they are not supporting them. 
  • Maryon’s six-week Mid Life Re-Fuel that is helping so many women to turn their lives around.
  • How we can trick our brain into thinking we still have naturally occurring, circulating oestrogen and thus getting rid of many of the common symptoms of Menopause.
  • The effect of being deficient in minerals that so many women are unaware of.
  • How easy it is to fill up our empty oestrogen receptors with naturally occurring oestrogen which can prevent fibroids, cysts, endometriosis and many Menopause symptoms.
  • Supplementation – the do’s and don’ts 
  • Menopause symptoms and mental health
  • How important it is to nurture ourselves at this midlife crossroad and make the small, but essential adjustments to our lifestyle choices so we can kick start ourselves for a healthily and happy life during and beyond Menopause 

You can find out more about Maryon’s six- week programme by reading the book and at www.maryonstewart.com

Wednesday 13th April 2021
 
Dr Annice Mukherjee
The Complete Guide To The Menopause

Your Toolkit to Take Control and Achieve  Life-Long Health 

 

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:

  • Dr Annice’s own personal journey following her breast cancer diagnosis at 41 and an induced chemical menopause.
  • Why menopause is different in today’s world
  • Dr Annice’s groundbreaking Toolkit and ‘The House of Menopause”
  • The importance of educating younger women on the menopause so they can take control and put the lifestyle changes in place to minimise menopause symptoms. 
  • Why self care is not selfish, it’s essential
  • Sleep rituals and everyday mindfulness
  • What is Perimenopause? Menopause? Postmenopause?
  • The link between stress management, metabolism and weight management 
  • Beware the hidden sugars in food
  • And we almost forgot HRT!
Wednesday 6th April 2021
 
Tracey Cox
Great Sex Starts at 50

How to Age Proof Your Libido

 

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:-

  • Tracey’s realisation and surprise that her full and active sex life was suddenly being affected by her menopause – she didn’t think it would happen to her. 
  • Busting the myth that women have a lower libido than men, wrong, they just get bored with sex. The majority of women say ‘no’ to sex because they are bored with having the same sex! 
  • Spontaneous arousal is down to our hormones, as they deplete we lose that spontaneity so we need to take responsibility for our own arousal and do the job our hormones used to do.
  • Penetration and erection problems. Why an older vagina works well with an older penis.
  • How women deal with their sexual issues as they age but how men struggle so much when they start to lose their erections.
  • Communication, communication, communication.
  • Being 50 and single and the untold benefits of meeting someone later in life.
  •  Recognising when a relationship is just not working and when to walk away.
  • Why the best is yet to come!
Wednesday 31st Mach 2021
 
Annie Auerbach
Flex

Reinventing Work for a Smarter, Happier Life

 

The Merry Menopause Book Club Podcast

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;

  • The aspiration of Flex and what it really means as template for a better life.

 

  • How the gender roles have played out during lockdown and the effect of Covid on women’s progress it the workplace.

 

  • Our mutual passion for Menstrual Cycle Syncing and how it opens up a new relationship for women and their bodies, the role it plays in Flex and how it could lead to a new era of workplace management and working.

 

  • Girls and their periods. The Period Fairy, Period Parties and girls and the long term benefits of young girls and their participation in sport, not being thwarted by their periods. 

 

  • Why self-care is so much more than a bath bomb and a glass of wine.

 

  • Uncoupling productivity from success.

 

  • Finding ourselves in a ‘plastic moment’ – a portal between the old world and the new world and how reinventing our attitude to Flex will lead to a happier life.