Episode 95: From Burnout to Feminine Presence and Power with Fran Watson

In this episode, Dr. Toni speaks with Art of Feminine Presence coach Fran Watson about reconnecting with our feminine essence and power as an antidote to feeling tired, worn out and trying to give from an empty cup. Listen in to learn more about the things that drain us as women, how to stop the energy drain and reclaim our power.

“The feminine essence wants healthy, loving attention and she wants it often. This is not a desire sprung from weakness but an impulse to grow. Healthy attention is like food and water. If we don’t get it, we don’t grow and when we stop growing, we die. It’s that important. A woman who is seen by the people in her life stands out by her vibrancy, her health, her skin and her smile. She is well fed and it shows.”

After 18 years in a high-profile career as a publicist in the film and television business, Fran Watson was exhausted, burnt out and unclear how to make changes despite knowing a lot about how to make changes. She was feeling stuck and didn’t have a lot of time or money to spend on getting unstuck. 

Now, this silver-haired woman in her 50s has mastered the Art of Feminine Presence and helps people who are feeling stuck in unfulfilling work lives discover their soul-work and fill up with clarity and confidence to step into the life they were born to live.

In this episode, we cover

  • The difference between feminine and masculine essence 
  • How and why you’ve been taught to reject your feminine essence and focus on the masculine…and why it leads to burnout
    • Masculine culture focused on daily rhythms sees feminine monthly rhythms as unpredictable – for more about cyclical living, see Episode 59
  • Why you need to give yourself permission to fill your own cup
  • The power behind finding a community where you can truly be seen and heard – for more on community medicine, see Episode 90 
  • How to bring your attention to your belly to connect with your energy, power and ability to communicate

Find the free Path to Presence Meditation from Fran HERE,

Follow Fran on Instagram and Facebook , and connect with Fran for a complimentary 30 minute private chats to explore her coaching work a little further: https://biggerlifenow.com/contact/

Join Fran for her upcoming workshop The Art of Showing Up: Be Seen & Heard as a Woman in Business

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Toni is a big fan of the classic naturopathic hydrotherapy practice of wet warming socks, also known as Magic Socks.

Fran loves to get life flowing with the 10 minute Path to Presence Meditation she shares on her website https://biggerlifenow

Email us or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this presentation is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 94: How to Reduce Plastic Use in Your Everyday Life with Emma Rohmann from Green at Home

In this episode, Dr. Lisa welcomes back Emma Rohmann to discuss everything you need to know about plastics. Why is plastic harmful? Are the alternatives any better? Listen in to learn about what you can do at home to protect you and your kids from the negative impacts of plastic. 

Emma previously joined Dr. Lisa on Episode 65

Emma Rohmann is an environmental engineer, mom of 2, and founder of Green at Home and The Healthy Home Method. With over a decade of experience as an accredited green building consultant and project manager, she now helps moms and moms-to-be reduce toxins at home without overwhelm, a lifestyle overhaul, or spending time and money on stuff that doesn’t work. Her online guides, courses, and personalized programs blend the science with the practical application needed to help drive healthy changes in our busy lives. Emma is a trained David Suzuki Foundation Queen of Green Coach, a guest lecturer at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, and holds a certificate in Environmental Health from the University of Arizona. You can learn more from Emma on The Missing Pillar of Health Podcast and at greenathome.ca.

In this episode, we cover:

  • The impact of plastics, including microplastics, on the environment while recognizing the benefit of them
  • The 2 chemicals in plastic with the most attention and research
    • Bisphenol A (BPA) – hormone disruptor with estrogenic activity
      • affects immune system, fetal development, sperm function, fertility
      • found in hard plastics, can linings, higher in foods that are fatty or acidic, receipt paper from purchases can be absorbed through the skin
    • Phthalates – found in soft plastics, hormone disruptor, easily migrates to food
      • higher amounts in women with endometriosis, birth defects, diabetes, obesity, thyroid, asthma, allergies, behavioural issues in kids, quickly metabolized but common exposure is frequent, found in PVC and vinyl flooring – breaks down and transfers to household dust, found in synthetic fragrance in personal care products
  • The problem with BPA free plastic, and the hormone disrupting properties of BPA alternatives BPS and BPF
  • The reason why switching from plastic water bottles to cans isn’t the healthiest solution 
    • For the impact of PFAS, see the movies Dark Waters and The Devil We Know, as well as Emma’s The Missing Pillar of Health Podcast
  • Alternatives to consider investing in to avoid BPA and other bisphenol exposure
    • Coconut oil and tomato products in glass jars
    • Glass containers or beeswax wrap instead of plastic food wrap
    • Beans and other canned foods by brands using cans without bisphenols, like Eden Organics
  • The importance of re-thinking your use of single serve foods in plastic wrapping
    • Consider a litter-less lunch for your kids without juice boxes, ziploc bags, using stainless steel containers and silicone bags to swap out plastic containers
  • The importance of involving your kids in the continuing conversation around reducing the use of plastic products
  • How to decide what plastic alternatives you need to buy

Connect with Emma on Instagram and Facebook 

Find Emma’s Room-by-Room Checklist, Cleaner Recipes and other resources at greenathome.ca/learn 

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of Stasher or Bumkins snack bags and Stasher reusable silicone bags for plantain chips. She also bought a kite to fly at a park to burn off extra kid energy. 

Emma loves to use an online calendar for communicating and coordinating events for all family members, as well as cloth bags for kids’ snacks.

Upcoming Events:

Dr. Lisa has a free Digestive Masterclass on Wednesday, Oct 13th at 7:00pm EST, called “Lose the Bloat, Prevent Overeating and Heal Leaky Gut”. Be sure to attend live to take advantage of some epic bonuses. SIGN UP HERE and see what other upcoming events are in the works!

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to trust their instincts and their body during labour and birth is this month. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective begins again in Fall 2021! Email her if you want to get in on the action…there are only a few spots left. Find out more at: www.wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this presentation is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 93: Essential Oils 101 with Barbara Rempel

In this episode, Dr. Toni talks with holistic nutrition professional and author Barbara Rempel about the basics you need to know about using essential oils for the health of you and your family. The use of highly concentrated plant extracts or aromatherapy has been around for hundreds of years and the interest in the therapeutic effects of essential oils is growing. Listen in to learn more.

A responsibility to improve lives through natural lifestyles nudged Barbara to leave her 18 year career in IT and follow her passion of “all things natural”, which led her to attain her certification as a Holistic Nutrition Professional in 2005. As director of a residential Health Retreat she saw noticeable evidence of improving attendees’ health in a matter of 5-14 days with simple detoxification protocols based on nutrition. On the behest of her clients asking “How do YOU eat?” she co-authored the book “Cleansing With Food”

When she started adding dōTERRA essential oils to her recommendations, her clients raved about their results. From there, Barbara found the easiest way to empower people to be in control of their own healthy lifestyles was to provide a “Ditch and Switch” education. Now she is a holistic health educator specializing in dōTERRA essential oils with a tribe of at least 4000.

In this episode, we cover:

  • The importance of quality and laboratory testing of essential oils, given the lack of regulation in the industry
    • For example, dōTERRA brand lavender is recognized as pharmaceutical grade due to less than 2% difference in active ingredients from batch to batch
  • The 3 main methods of essential oil use:
    • Aromatic or inhalation
    • Topical, applied on the skin neat or diluted with carrier oil 
    • Internal
  • How to reduce the impact of sun sensitivity that can increase with some essential oils
  • Some of the benefits of essential oils demonstrated in scientific research
    • The aromatic use of rosemary for supporting memory
    • The aromatic use of lemon for increasing dopamine levels, which can positively impact energy and mood
    • Lavender oil used in aromatherapy massage on pregnant women reduced stress hormone cortisol levels and increased immune function by raising secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels
    • Components of essential oils have been shown to be absorbed systemically be inhalation and topical application, and can cross the blood brain barrier 

Connect with Barbara and learn more at linktr.ee/blrempel and healthyoilz.com 

You can also sign up for her newsletter at healthyoilz.com/lets-connect

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Barbara is a big fan of having a good essential oil reference book like Modern Essentials and a box of essential oils to use

Dr. Toni loves to use the dōTERRA Breathe stick to apply the essential oil blend containing eucalyptus and peppermint. 

Email us or connect with us on Facebook  and Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this presentation is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 92: Love-Led Nourishment & the Importance of Eating Live Food with Cristina Tahoces

In today’s episode, Dr. Lisa talks with holistic nutritionist Cristina Tahoces about Love-Led Nourishment. Learn how the intentional choice towards live food helps you connect to your own positive feelings of love and self-worth. Stuck in a cycle of mindless binge eating or feeling deprived? If you don’t have a positive relationship with food, you’re not alone. This episode is for you.

“The only why that is strong enough to counter stress and the voice of the inner critic is love”

Cristina Tahoces

Cristina Tahoces is a holistic nutritionist and owner of Thrive Nutrition Practice, a global online wellness business focused on building physical and mental health resilience to stress through a nutritional approach she calls “love-led nourishment”. A former corporate banker, Cristina turned to nutrition to help herself heal from chronic allergies & adrenal fatigue. Over the years, she has helped clients with high stress profiles improve sleep, immunity & energy levels, relieve irritable bowel symptoms and reverse high blood pressure – all through her in-depth knowledge about how to use food therapeutically.  In 2017, she shared her nutritional strategy “Sleep Love Poop” on the TEDx stage as part of the TED Women’s Global Conference. She uses the themes of Sleep Love Poop to help her clients both in private consultation and through her group programs, which she runs several times a year.

In this episode, we cover:

  • How the food choices we make, especially under stress, are dictated by emotion instead of logic
  • The importance of asking yourself what you could choose to eat that would show yourself love, kindness, compassion and respect
  • The difference between “live” food and “dead” food and their impact on your energy
  • How to get your kids excited about live foods like fruit and how to make an apple doughnut
  • The key to pressing pause on your inner critic and increasing self-compassion
  • How practicing is more important than knowing
  • The importance of re-labelling dinner time as an investment in your physical and mental health instead of a chore
  • How to trade up your food with nutrient dense foods to feel satiated and prevent overeating or feeling deprived
  • The importance of switching from fight or flight mode to rest and digest mode in order to practice intuitive eating and Love-Led Nourishment
    • Vagus nerve breathing exercise: inhale to count of 4, pause for count of 3, exhale through the mouth to count of 8
  • How drinking water can massively impact your mental clarity and energy level 
  • The importance of protein and a variety of vegetables with every meal

Watch Cristina’s TEDx talk Sleep Love Poop here: https://www.ted.com/talks/prahlad_kakkar_sleep_love_poop_nutrition_s_role_in_mind_body_strength

Connect with Cristina on Facebook at Thrive Nutrition Practice and Instagram at @thrivenpcristina

Check out Thrive’s “Sleep Love Poop” Group Coaching Programmes


Thrive & AmyA Fitness Bootcamps: where the best in mindful fitness & nutrition is combined to give you the results you want on a platter. New Bootcamp coming in October. 

Women. Lead. Now.: a leadership coaching masterclass series for women looking to rewrite the rules of leadership and lead with clarity, confidence, competence and courage. Starts October 5th.


Today’s Mama Must Have:

Cristina loves being glued to her 600ml Lifefactory glass water bottle instead of her phone and her Kitchenaid mini food processor for chopping veggies, dips and sauces.

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of super comfortable Smash and Tess Rompers. 

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to trust their instincts and their body during labour and birth is September 27. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective begins again in Fall 2021: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this presentation is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 91: The Journey to Self Love & Body Confidence with Kayla Marie

In today’s episode, Dr. Lisa talks with Self Love & Body Confidence Coach Kayla Marie about the judgement almost all of us experience when it comes to our bodies, especially after having kids and as we get older. Are you in a fight against your body and have a negative body image? This is an important conversation you need to listen to!

Kayla Marie is a Certified Access Bars Practitioner, Professional Photographer, and a Self Love & Body Confidence Coach for women. She’s passionate about inspiring women to get out of judgment of their bodies so they can finally stop worrying about what they look like and show up & shine in their lives. Her story of triumph over bullying, death, divorce, and poor body image has inspired many people around the world to experience the peace, joy & freedom that comes with true self-love and confidence.

In this episode, we cover:

  • How body neutrality and self acceptance is a great place to start on the journey to self love and confidence
  • The difference between body confidence and body positivity
  • How not to care about what other people think of you
  • Steps you can take to develop more self-awareness around social media, diversify your social media feed and prevent comparison-itis 
  • How the practice of gratitude can help shift you to a place of love
    • 3 statements of positivity to cancel out 1 statement of negativity
    • Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono
      • I’m sorry
      • Please forgive me
      • Thank you
      • I love you
  • The ups and down you can experience with self acceptance and body confidence
  • Stacking your work towards body confidence with your daily routine to develop your practice as a habit
  • Making your nutrition and health practices align with self love and body confidence
  • Tuning into your body to listen to eat more intuitively 

Connect with Kayla Marie on Facebook.

and Instagram: @confident.kayla.marie

or email her at confident.kayla.marie@gmail.com

Book a complementary discovery call with Kayla Marie to learn more about her Body Bliss Boot Camps and receive a free Body Love meditation to release judgement here:

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of using mini resistance bands to mix things up for my workouts, especially with videos on Heather Robertson YouTube channel.

Kayla loves prioritizing her sleep and might have a social media detox as a must have in the future!

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to trust their instincts and their body during labour and birth is this month. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective begins again in Fall 2021! Sign up for one of the free master classes on Mon Sept 27th at 7pm or Thurs Sept 30th at 2pm at: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on Facebook  and  Instagram.

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this presentation is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 90: Community Medicine: How to Fight Loneliness to Live A Longer Healthier Life

In today’s episode, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni are discussing how community medicine is the wave of the future and often the missing link in your health care. You need connection and community to support your well-being and stick to healthy habits. Your kids also need community now more than ever. 

How does loneliness affect your health?

Loneliness and weak social connections:

  • associated with a reduction in your lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day
  • can shorten your lifespan by 8 years!

Harvard research suggests feelings of social isolation are on the rise and that those hardest hit are older teens and young adults.

The results of an American study conducted in October 2020 showed 36 percent of people reported feeling lonely frequently, almost all the time or all the time in the prior four weeks, compared with 25 percent who recalled experiencing serious issues in the two months prior to the pandemic. 61 percent of those aged 18 to 25 reported high levels.

Also in the US, June data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 63 percent of young people reported experiencing substantial symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

  • “Being socially connected needs to be seen as much a part of a healthy lifestyle as eating right and exercising.” Julianne Holt-Kunstad

Stanford University’s Centre on The Demography and Economics of Health and Aging found that lonely people were more likely to:

  • Have extended hospital stays
  • Need more expensive treatments
  • Need support of skilled nursing facilities instead of in-home rehabilitation

Participants who were socially isolated had a 50% higher risk of death

Other negative outcomes of social isolation and loneliness demonstrated in research are:

  • 26% Higher risk of premature death
  • 29% increased risk for heart disease
  • 32% increased risk for stroke
  • 40% increased risk for Alzheimer’s
  • 25% increased risk for cancer


  • affects 25% to 60% of older Americans, almost as prevalent as obesity
  • puts millions of Americans 50 and over at risk of poor health

Your social connections at age 50 predict your health status at age 80

How? Epigenetics!

Changes in the expression of hundreds of your genes can occur as a function of physical and social environment you inhabit.

Research indicates that perceived social isolation and loneliness heightens sensitivity to social threats and motivates the renewal of social connections, but it can also impair: 

  • executive functioning 
  • sleep 
  • mental well-being
  • physical well-being

The more isolated people are, the less happy they are, and brain function declines as well as physical health. Together, these effects contribute to higher rates of morbidity and mortality in lonely older adults.

What impact does connection and community have in your life?

Online groups are available to provide support to achieve a common goal during the pandemic while in person programs may not be available. Some examples include Wild Collective, Landmark Worldwide, Peloton, Alcoholics Anonymous, various book clubs

Habits are contagious!

  • Your habits are influenced by your community:
    • happiness, smoking cessation, suicide risk 
  • Happiness increases by:
    • 15% if you have a happy friend
    • a further 10% if their friend is happy

You may have the tendency to thrive and maintain a healthy lifestyle with the help and accountability of others. Sometimes it’s hard as a busy mom to generate that energy on your own.

For more info on habits, listen to Episode 72: Hard Habits to Break? How to Use The Four Tendencies For Lasting Change

Best-selling book The Daniel Plan:

  • Church congregation in California
  • Pastor couldn’t maintain a healthy weight
  • Enlisted help of Dr. Mark Hyman MD and Dr. Daniel Amen, MD
  • Met in small groups every wednesday night to introduce new behaviours and help each other stick to them
  • 15,000 congregation lost 250,000 pounds

The Look AHEAD trial, a diabetes prevention lifestyle program which encompassed a multi- disciplinary behavioural-focused intervention. The Intensive support group participants met:

  • Small groups of 10-20
  • 3 meetings per month for the first 6-months
  • 2 meetings per month between 6-months to 1yr
  • 1 meeting per month up to 8yrs

In addition to these monthly group sessions, subjects had individual sessions with an‘interventionist’ (which included registered dietitians, psychologists, and exercisespecialists) every month in person, with a second contact by phone or email 2-weeks thereafter

After 8yrs of follow-up, 39% of people maintained 10% reduction of body weight and 65% had maintained over 5% reduction of body weight

Dr. Jeffrey Geller:

  • Received funding from CDC and approval to research group medicine
  • Started a group for managing diabetes (in disguise for addressing loneliness)
  • Outcomes included:
    • Loneliness improved
    • Depression improved
    • Participants lost weight
    • Blood pressure was reduced by 5-10 points
    • HbA1C was reduced
  • Now, Dr. Geller has groups for heart disease, prenatal care, hypertension, depression, obesity, addiction

How do you foster connection and community in your life?

  • Create an habits accountability group
  • Become an active member in a positive, supportive Facebook group
  • Join a gym, yoga studio, meditation studio that fosters community
  • Sign up for a community class: for sport, knitting, cooking, gardening, etc..
  • Join or start a local or online book club

What is the Wild Collective about?

  • International and revolutionary women’s health community initiative 
  • Recipe for connection and community; remedy for loneliness; instruction manual for your body, health and lab testing
  • Actionable items to start to up-level your health, mindset and relationships
  • Empowered health education to be your own health advocate (and for your family), know which questions to ask and which lab tests to ask for
  • Learn in-depth about digestion, detox, thyroid, hormones, blood sugar/nutrition

Spots are limited to 20 women to establish connection and allow enough time for women to share

Beka describes Wild Collective:

“My favourite part of the Collective is the community created amongst the women there. There was almost an immediate feeling of safety and community that was created and it makes each session something to look forward to. Hearing other women’s experiences and thoughts really helps you work through your own thoughts and feelings. The info about our bodies is so insightful as well and every session I’m challenged to “up” my health game in both small and large areas.”

Dr. Lisa’s next Wild Collective begins again in September. Sign up for the next info session at wildcollectivetoronto.com

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to trust their instincts and their body during labour and birth is September 13 and 27. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register    

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of the book The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha.

Dr. Toni loves the book Breath by James Nestor. You check out more about the book and breathing techniques HERE.

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this presentation is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 89: Let’s Talk About Sex – In Conversation with Dr. Trina Read (previously released as Episode 23 on May 28, 2020)

Don’t feel like having sex? It’s time to listen to this re-release of Dr. Toni’s conversation with Dr. Trina Read, sexologist and CEO of the Business of Sex. They discuss the impact of perimenopause and stressful events (like a pandemic) on your sex life. This episode was originally released on May 28, 2020.

Dr. Trina has an unique perspective as a sex and relationship expert who has a corporate background in marketing and PR and who is also a perimenopausal mom.

In this episode, we cover:

  • How to use self care to bring libido back
  • Why you need to know your happy triggers for sex
  • The importance of knowing what you want out of sex and communicating it
  • Why you might want to take intercourse and orgasm off the table for better sex
  • How to have those awkward conversations around sex
  • Why personal lubricant makes all sex better
  • The importance of working your pelvic floor muscles

In perimenopause and in stressful times, you may find your libido is flatlined and don’t feel like sex.

Your body can only produce either cortisol (your stress hormone) or testosterone (your sex drive hormone). If you’re producing cortisol, you can’t produce testosterone.

In situations with great change, it’s important to connect with your partner and look for ways to be together, so that you don’t drift apart. Being proactive and finding pockets of time to be close with your partner helps your relationship, as well as feeling more powerful yourself.

Ask yourself – what can I do to help myself feel more sensual?

You can back into the groove and bring your body back to a place where you feel more centred and sensual by:

  • Taking a bath
  • Listening to your favourite music
  • Giving yourself some me time alone in your bedroom with a vibrator
  • Just making up your mind to connect with your partner (even if it feels forced at first)

The Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR) was founded at the University of British Columbia (UBC) by endocrinologist Dr. Jerilynn Prior. There is lots of information about their research around menstruation and hormones at https://www.cemcor.ubc.ca/

UBC is also home to the Sexual Health Laboratory run by Dr. Lori Brotto that focuses on research around women’s sexual health. https://brottolab.med.ubc.ca/

Research shows that sexual desire is similar to happiness. For most women, in order to feel sexual desire, you needed to be triggered. You can learn positive triggers around sex and negative triggers around sex. You need to set up your positive triggers for sex.

Unfortunately, you may have been brainwashed to think that only 2 things available for sex is having intercourse and having an orgasm.

Sexual intercourse all the time can be a negative trigger for a lot of women, especially if you feel like it doesn’t quite do it for you.

When you can anticipate doing something that you want to experience, a happy trigger for sex can be created. Working on triggers for sexual desire and increasing your repertoire for sex are important for your sexuality to evolve.

Self care like meditation, yoga and tai chi lowers stress and cortisol and can increase your libido.

There are studies that prove that meditation improves your sex life!

Perimenopause is like reverse adolescence with wild ebbs and flows of estrogen and progesterone that can create mood swings, anxiety, hot flashes and insomnia. No wonder you don’t feel like having sex!

Once you hit 40 years of age, you produce less oxytocin. Oxytocin is a bonding hormone. With less oxytocin, you start being more “selfish” and focus on yourself. With more wisdom, self confidence and self care, you can feel more deserving and able to explain to your partner what you want.

This is your opportunity to create something different and better in your sex life! Your partner will be on board with you becoming a more engaged partner…it could result in you actively wanting sex more often.

If you’re experiencing vaginal dryness sometimes or all the time, sex can be painful. Trying out a few different brand of lubricants (silicone based, water based or a combo) can be a game changer for your sex life. Lubricant makes all sex better. You might even want to try a lubricating suppository.

If you don’t use it, you lose it! If you don’t use your vaginal canal, you could experience vaginal atrophy. Exercising your pubococcygeus muscle increases blood flow. Research shows that post-menopausal women who do Kegel exercises have bigger, better orgasms than women who don’t do Kegels. 

What’s the female equivalent to the towel test? 

Every woman’s uterus will prolapse to a certain extent. Greater levels of prolapse can create painful sex. 

There are options to address uterine prolapse other than surgery:

  • Herbal medicine like black cohosh
  • Pelvic floor physiotherapy
  • Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy
  • Laser rejuvenation

You can slide or decide: slide into painful sex or decide to do something different and exciting.

Too scared to talk to your partner about doing something different and new?

How can you start talking to your partner about sex when you feel awkward and uncomfortable. Dr. Trina’s website http://trinaread.com/ has many different articles you can share with your partner to stimulate conversation around sex and your own sex life.

Connect with Dr. Trina Read on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/trina.read and Twitter at @DrTrinaRead

Watch for the release of Dr. Trina’s self help fiction book Amy Finds Her Sex soon!

Today’s Mama Must Have: 

Dr. Toni is a huge fan of her local neighbourhood buy and sell groups on Facebook. These can be a lifesaver for moms on a budget. 

Thank you for joining us today! 

Find the show notes at perimenopausalmamas.com or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Episode 88: Exhausted, Gaining Weight and Forgetful – Is it Your Thyroid? (previously released as Episode 42)

We refer to this past episode from October 8, 2020 so often that we decided to re-release it! Is your thyroid the reason you are exhausted, depressed, constipated, forgetful and gaining weight? We discuss signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism, how to properly diagnose imbalances, how to eat to support thyroid health and how we approach assessment and treatment as Naturopathic Doctors.

One in eight women will develop thyroid disease at some point in their life and women are 5-8 times more likely than men to experience thyroid issues.

As Dr. Lisa shared previously in Episode 3, she realized that her thyroid wasn’t functioning properly after giving birth to her son. It is common for women to discover thyroid issues in the postpartum period. Proper blood work, addressing stress and taking dessicated thyroid were crucial for Dr. Lisa to feel her best. 

Why is your thyroid so important?

Your thyroid gland regulates your temperature, energy production and metabolism. When your thyroid is under functioning, it is called hypothyroidism. High thyroid function is called hyperthyroidism.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Increased sensitivity to cold and temperature changes
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin and thinning hair
  • Puffy face
  • Cravings for sugar and carbohydrates
  • Muscle weakness, aches, tenderness and stiffness
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
  • Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
  • Depression and anxiety
    • as many as 15% of women on antidepressants have an undetected thyroid problem as the cause of their depression 
  • Brain fog, poor memory and concentration
    • Studies of women in their 60s have shown that low thyroid function can cause dementia-like symptoms and treatment can improve cognitive function and have a protective effect on the brain
  • High cholesterol
  • Increased risk of heart attack, cardiac arrhythmias and congestive heart failure due to the regulatory control of the thyroid on heart rate and rhythm
  • Fertility issues, increased risk of miscarriage and preterm birth
  • Increased risk of prenatal and postpartum depression

Why do so many women have thyroid issues?

Possible Causes of Your Thyroid Issue Include:

  • Environmental exposure to different chemicals, xenoestrogens and heavy metals
  • Certain medications including birth control pill
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
    • Iodine, selenium, vitamin D, zinc, iron, vitamin A
  • Low calorie diets
  • Infections
  • Stress
    • High cortisol levels due to chronic stress:
      • reduces thyroid hormone production
      • inhibits your conversion of the inactive form of thyroid hormone T4, to the active form T3
  • Gut issues
    • Leaky gut (also known as intestinal hyperpermeability) and imbalances in your gut microbiome have both been shown to impact hormone imbalances and fluctuations, like when you are postpartum or in perimenopause
  • Autoimmunity
    • Environmental toxins, chronic stress, nutritional insufficiencies, leaky gut, food intolerances and having chronic inflammation are all factors that can contribute to autoimmune disease
    • Your immune system is triggered to produce antibodies that can attack your thyroid, which is what is happening when you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

How do you properly test your thyroid function and the underlying causes of thyroid issues?

Blood work: 

Full thyroid panel: TSH, free T4 and T3, thyroid peroxidase antibodies, thyroglobulin antibodies, reverse T3

Vitamin D, iron

Celiac screen 

Gluten and other food sensitivity

Saliva and urine testing for hormones including cortisol, estrogen, progesterone

Urine testing for heavy metal exposure (eg. cadmium, mercury)

Temperature checks every 3 hours during the day to see if your body is using your thyroid hormones properly

What can you do about an underfunctioning thyroid?

Avoid raw goitrogenic foods – soy and Brassica family veggies like broccoli and cauliflower

Increase your intake of thyroid supporting foods 

  • Seaweed like dulse for iodine, brazil nuts for selenium, pumpkin seeds and oysters for zinc

Reduce toxin exposure

Replace nutrient deficiencies

Consider adrenal and stress support:

  • Address your throat chakra – speaking your truth, asking for help
  • Herbal support with ashwagandha, kelp, bladderwrack, Coleus forskohlii

Thyroid hormone replacement with Synthroid or Dessicated thyroid

  • Take in the morning, on an empty stomach, away from caffeine

Why would you consider dessicated thyroid?

  • If you’re on monotherapy like Synthroid (T4), you still night suffer from anxiety and depression even if your TSH levels are normal
  • T4 may not be enough to restore your T3 levels in your blood and target tissues
  • It contains all four natural thyroid hormones – T4, T3, T2, T1, plus iodine, thyroglobulin

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Toni loves having a healthy and easy recipe like Egg Muffins from Amanda Naturally that the whole family will eat for breakfast or a snack. Check out Episode 5 for more tips for healthy food habits from Amanda.

Dr. Lisa knows that Dessicated Thyroid is an absolute must have for her!

Thank you for joining us today! 

Connect with us at our website www.perimenopausalmamas.com, on Facebook and on Instagram. We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Episode 87: Back to the Basics! 10 Simple (and Free) Tips That Can Make a World of Difference for Your Energy, Vitality, Hormone Balance and More

This episode was originally released on June 18, 2020. We had such great feedback on the tips provided that we decided to re-release it. Even if you had previously listened to this episode, it is still useful to listen again to be reminded how powerful simple daily habits can make a world of difference when it comes to your health. (Note: for the month of August, we are re-releasing some “oldies but goodies” – popular previously recorded episodes. We will go back to releasing new episodes in September 2021).

The majority of your health, energy and vitality is determined by the small, consistent habits that you incorporate daily. In this episode, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni “go back to the basics” and uncover 10 simple (and free!) things you can do to support energy, immunity, hormone balance, mood, digestion, disease prevention and more. Pick 1 or 2 health habits that resonate with you and that are easy to incorporate. Every little bit helps!

In this episode, we cover:

  • Deep breathing
  • Prioritizing sleep
  • Drinking water
  • Practicing Hydrotherapy
  • Adding fresh herbs and spices to your food
  • Eating more veggies
  • Getting in “exercise snacks” throughout the day
  • Connecting to nature
  • Practicing gratitude
  • Being a part of a community
  1. Deep Breathing
    • Dr. Lisa’s favourite technique is Box Breathing aka 4-4-4-4 Breath
    • This technique is simple and easy. You can notice benefits of box breathing even after 1-2 minutes
    • You can practice deep breathing while you are showering, working, walking, watching tv, driving or stressful transitions with your kids, like bedtime
    • It helps to reduce stress, anxiety, possibly blood pressure and cortisol
    • Boosts feeling of well being and ability to be calm and present
    • Dr. Toni’s enjoys repurposing the HypnoBirthing Calm Breath (inhale to count of 4, pause, exhale to count of 6-8) in addition to the HypnoBirthing guided relaxation track available on HypnoBirthing Institute website as a free download
  1. Prioritizing sleep – aim for about 7-8 hours
    • Sleep is essential for mental and emotional health, in addition to proper metabolism and immune system function
    • Give yourself permission to make sleep a priority over other things you could be doing – let yourself sleep!
    • Add in an afternoon nap if you need to (especially if you have little ones still napping) 
  2. Drinking Water 
    • Hydration first thing in morning can make a huge difference in your energy, reduce your frequency of headaches and migraines, improve your digestion function and bowel movements
    • You can increase the quality of your tap water by using a filtration system
    • Adding lemon or other citrus fruit can add in flavour and more benefits for your health: 
  • D-limonene is the essential oil found in the rind of citrus shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant anti-stress and anti-anxiety properties, plus in animal studies shown to reduce triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure, protect against stomach ulcers
  1. Practicing Hydrotherapy aka “water therapy”
  • 30-60 seconds cold water spray at end of your shower
  • Boosts your alertness, energy and mood
  • Helps your skin and hair to have a healthy glow (flattens follicles)
  • Supports your immunity and circulation to our internal organs
  • May support your weight loss with the production of more brown fat that produces heat, increasing your metabolism and temperature
  • Reduces your muscle soreness and can speed up your recovery post-workout
  • Other hydrotherapy options include cold spray on your feet while waiting for shower water to warm up or wet warming socks at the first sign of a cold
  • You can check out the free mini-class online by Wim Hof with focus on breathing, cold showers and power of your mind
  1. Adding spices and fresh herbs to your food
  • Provides extra antioxidants for a quick and easy win for your health 
  • Cinnamon can lower your blood sugar level and reduce inflammation
  • Ginger – supports digestion, good for nausea (even in pregnancy), can reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, migraines and menstrual cramps
    • Add cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger to your chia pudding, yogurt, oatmeal or smoothie in the morning
  • Oregano – antibacterial properties, helps prevent against damage to your DNA and cells, plus has nutrients like calcium, vitamin K, manganese, iron, tryptophan
    • Add oregano and thyme to pasta sauces
  • Turmeric-  used to reduce pain and inflammation for menstrual cramps, arthritis, may help to prevent against cancer and dementia
    • Add turmeric powder to hummus, baba ghanouj, scrambled eggs or omelettes with some black pepper and/or a bit of healthy fat)
  • Garlic – antimicrobial properties can help treat and prevent candida, fungus and other infections, support cardiovascular health
    • Enjoy roasted whole and spread on bread or crackers
    • Add garlic, parsley and cilantro to salad dressings with lemon juice, olive oil, coconut aminos, salt and pepper
    • Add dill to homemade coleslaw or salads
    • Add rosemary to barbequed meat to reduce advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and roasted veggies like squash, sweet potato and potatoes
  1. Eating more vegetables
  • Aim for at least 8 servings a day with a rainbow of colours
  • More variety of veggies provides more nutrients
  • Higher fruit and vegetable intake (5 servings or more) is linked to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, especially:
    • Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, mustard greens 
    • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale
  • Also provides more fibre for improved digestion, balanced blood sugar and can help prevent hypertension, diabetes, cancer
  • How can you get more in? Try one new veggie per week
    • Add spinach or greens to smoothies or “green eggs”
    • Switch out a serving of pasta, rice, bread for cauliflower rice, vegetable pasta or konjac noodles/rice
  • Research shows that intake of starchier vegetables like potatoes, corn, and peas were linked with more weight gain
  1. Getting in “exercise snacks” throughout the day
    • Great for switching up your emotional state, maintaining your muscle mass, your cardiovascular and lymphatic health, and spending time with your kids
    • Walking or running, outside or doing stairs or laps inside!
    • Indoor dance party in your living room
    • Set a timer to do some push ups, lunges and/or squats for 1-2 minutes every hour to reduce the amount of time you’re sitting during the day
  1. Connecting to Nature
    • calming, connects me with something bigger than myself and my little problems, simple as being mindful and observing the trees in the yard and the neighbourhood park, grateful to live with large pine trees in front and back yard
    • Aim for at least 20 minutes 2 times a week
    • Studies show getting outside can lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels while boosting mood and memory
    • Induces calm and relaxation by reducing rumination 
    • Can be done alone or with others (while physically distance as necessary)
    • Can include taking a nature walk in a park, forest bathing, sitting in your backyard or balcony, listening to nature sounds, looking at pictures of nature scenes or hugging trees (as they were urged to do in Iceland to help overcome social isolation
    • Doctors are starting to write prescriptions for getting out in nature
  1. Practicing gratitude
    • Research shows that grateful people experience less pain and depression, plus better sleep and self-esteem
    • Can be as simple as feeling thankful for hugs from family, connecting to family and friends online, summer weather, having time to listen to a podcast for new information or getting to drink your coffee or tea while it’s hot!
    • Gratitude practice can include a gratitude journal or mental review in the shower or in bed before sleep

“Where your attention goes, your energy flows”

  1. Being part of a community
    • Social isolation and loneliness has a bigger health impact than smoking on your risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease
    • Reduces stress and anxiety
    • Options include:
      • Talking with friends and family over phone, WhatsApp or Zoom
      • Playing games with friends online
      • Online book clubs
      • Online groups like Mom Halo, Mamas and Co, Camp Hoo-ha, Business Networking International (BNI)
      • Volunteering 

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Toni is thankful to have Arnica homeopathic pellets and ointment to safely manage the inevitable falls, bumps and bruises that happen in daily life with a toddler. 

Dr. Lisa finds a real benefit from a gratitude journal and writing down what she’s grateful for in a regular ringed notebook from the dollar store. In the morning, she reflects on, and writes down: what would make today great; three amazing things that happened yesterday; plus people and opportunities that she’s grateful for.

Thank you for joining us today! 

Find the show notes at stephanies48.sg-host.com or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe everyone!

Episode 86: Anxiety, Mom Guilt and Getting Out of Your Head – In Conversation with Kimberly Mueller (previously released as Episode 7 on Feb. 13, 2020)

Here’s another oldie and goodie pre-pandemic episode worth another listen! This episode is packed full of real talk about mom guilt and how your expectations and self-awareness can impact parenting and your attachment to your kids. This conversation between Dr. Toni and registered psychologist, neurofeedback therapist and SheWorth founder Kimberly Mueller was recorded in August 2019 and previously released on Feb 13, 2020.

In this juicy episode, we cover:

  • Lessening your egoic attachment to your kids
  • Awareness of how your experience with your own parents impacts how you parent your kids
  • The inevitability of mom guilt
  • Distorted thought patterns women can get stuck in
  • How mood follows action
  • How trauma, anxiety, sleep and nervous system patterns can shift with neurofeedback brain training

Powerful Mama Advice from Kimberly:

Are you anxious about what your child is doing or not doing, especially in regard to their grades in school, their behaviour in public or their activities like dance or sports?

Remember that your kids are not yours; they are with you right now for a period of time before they go out into the world. Your kids do not have to define you and your identity doesn’t have to be tied up in them. It can be helpful to loosen your egoic attachment to who your child is, what they are saying or how they are acting. This can lessen some of the stress and anxiety you may feel about who your child is becoming. As a result, this can give your kids the permission they need to be loved and accepted for exactly who they are without conditions and expectations.

This idea can be a shift from previous generations. Growing up, you may have felt the burden that you had to be a particular kind of person or fit into a specific mold and that it wasn’t ok to be different. You may even regress back to feeling that way when you go back to your childhood home now!

As an adult, you might still be healing from the idea that it’s not ok to be yourself or you have to be a certain way. Hopefully, we can all step into a new fluidity and looseness around the rigid belief system we grew up in. 

Your experience growing up with your own parents can colour how you parent your own kids. 

When you become an adult, there is a lot of value in seeing your parents for who they really are. We can begin to see the inevitable faults in our parents and their parenting choices. With increased self-awareness, you can start to be radically honest with yourself and be willing to see the tendency of your parents in your own parenting. If your mother yelled often when you were growing up, you might be yelling often with your children. If your mother was a disagreeable personality type and your father was an agreeable personality type, you are likely going to think it’s ok for one person to often succumb to another person’s opinion or desires.

By breaking down how your family of origin influenced you, you can see how some of your parents’ faults might be manifesting in your own parenting. Because of that conditioning on your nervous system over the years, changing how you respond to different situations doesn’t happen overnight. This is also the case with your partner, too! Give yourself permission to make mistakes and learn from them. 

Mom Guilt, Anyone?

The idea of the perfect, happy image that can be present on social media doesn’t help with some of the inevitable mom guilt that you can experience. While mom guilt is inevitable, it is manageable. You are knocking on some primitive parts of your brain when you are experiencing mom guilt. You are evolutionarily wired to want to protect your young. When you go out to seek out resources (in other words: working), you might feel some dissidence or the feeling that something isn’t quite right at some level. Even in the 21 century, you are still operating on the same software system from many, many years ago.

From an evolutionary perspective, your tribe was designed to help raise your young. You can look at it that way when it comes to having your kids in daycare or at school while you are working. Your tribe is helping to raise your young and helping with social skills. The research 

When you have those emotions, be curious about it. Go through the process of checking in with yourself. Are you working a lot of extra hours and being more short with your kids because of guilt around that? Even if you love your job, this can come up over and over again. Is the guilt coming from a place of your spidey sense telling you that something is off? 

While nothing is perfect, often mom guilt can be turned down when you feel comfortable with the care that your kids are getting when you are at work. Honour your intuition if your gut is telling you to make a change. It’s helpful to have someone in your life to talk it out, whether it is your partner, friend, another family member or a therapist.

Could everyone benefit from therapy and seeing a psychologist? 

The biased answer is yes! Being aware of your emotions and putting a label on it is the biggest part of making change and feel better. You don’t need to have a problem or diagnosis to benefit from working with a therapist. It can help look at things in your life with a new lens that you may not have considered. Mental training and emotional agility is something that needs work, like training for your physical health and how brushing your teeth is necessary for your dental health and overall well-being. 

Do you get lost in your head?

Our minds can be a dangerous place! Our imagination can create stories and narratives that are not true. 

Examples of distorted thoughts include:

  • Mind reading – you think you know what another person is thinking, even though they aren’t thinking that way
  • Catastrophizing – you think that if one thing goes wrong, then another and another will happen and create a problem that is far worse than it really is

These distorted thoughts can be challenged by a therapist or a really good objective friend. Seeing a therapist can be a great alternative to talking to a friend because it can be hard for a friend to not be biased or not just say something you want to hear in order to affect the friendship and be nice. While your social tribe is there to unconditionally support you, a therapist is objective with no skin in the game. Also, you are wired to want to keep your status and position amongst your tribe to ensure survival. While it is great to share with close friends, you can say whatever is there for you with a therapist without worrying about the potential impact.

Mood follows action. 

You might not have the “perfect” mood to go out for a walk or go to a new place. It can be hard, but by not doing it, you are reinforcing the same pattern that there is something to be afraid of or is threatening.

Just talking about patterns around past trauma and anxiety (big or little) you might be stuck in sometimes isn’t enough to remove them. This involves the firing of neurons in different areas of the brain and different brain neurotransmitters.

Neurofeedback trains the brain and can help re-organize the brain at the subconscious level. As a result, the brain is no longer firing or stuck in the patterns that are causing anxiety or insomnia or keeping trauma stuck in the body. 

Your brain doesn’t want to exert a lot of energy. It takes a lot of energy to be anxious, depressed or ADHD. Neurofeedback helps the brain to become more efficient and resilient. Like the internet, neurofeedback is super easy to use but incredibly complex in how it’s organized behind the scenes.

Neurofeedback has been helpful for some women to wean off anti-anxiety medication. Also, Dr. Toni has experienced the benefits of neurofeedback while pregnant to calm anxiety, reduce the amount of waking in the middle of the night and gain better sleep quality. 

Today’s tip: 

Take a deep breath. Recognize that you’re doing the best you can and your kids are doing the best they can. Support each other and celebrate our successes. 

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Toni recommends having indestructible stainless steel water bottles for both moms and kids. She loves Klean Kanteen for herself and her daughter Frankie. 

Kim recommends having a guide for free, fun family activities in your area, like Calgary’s Child: https://www.calgaryschild.com/

Find out more about cognitive behaviour therapy, neurofeedback and Kimberly’s approach at www.psychologycalgary.com 

Connect with Kim and find out more about her organization SheWorth on Instagram @sheworth_women 

Thank you for joining us today! 

Have any comments, suggestions or burning questions? Visit our Website and connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’d love you to subscribe, and Please leave us a review and a 5 star rating if you enjoyed this episode. 

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!