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Now displaying: July, 2017

Genneve wants to empower women to feel confident, sexy, and happy in the face of hormonal change. Join the conversation!

Jul 27, 2017

Think eating disorders are limited to teenage girls? Nope. Teens, men, women, transgender people, all races and ethnicities, active duty military, and  – disproportionately – women over 50. As eating disorders have the highest fatality rate of all mental illnesses, it’s critical for everyone to know the warning signs and seek help if needed.

Jill, genneve CEO, spoke with Julie Duffy Dillon, Registered Dietitian, Eating Disorder and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Specialist, and Food Behavior Expert, about the reasons women suffer disordered eating in midlife and what they can do to avoid or correct unhealthy eating.

In part 1 of “making peace with food in midlife and menopause,” listen as Jill and Julie talk about what Julie calls the “food peace journey” and how, as individuals and as a culture, we’ve gotten so far away healthy eating behaviors. In part 1, Julie introduces us to the idea of “intuitive eating” and how our society’s food rules (never eat before bedtime, for example) and misunderstanding of symbolic hunger have made us less healthy, not more.

Julie is trained as a mental health counselor and supervises dietitians and other health professionals to use weight-inclusive and attuned-eating strategies, so listen in as she tells Jill how we can all get on the road to food peace.

 

1:30 What are the warning signs that my eating has become seriously disordered?

Does food have too much power in your life, Julie asks. Do you find yourself thinking about food all the time? If so, it might be time for some intervention. If you’re avoiding situations and people because you fear the food involvement (pizza night with the family, for example), your situation may be bordering on dangerous.

4:20 How are eating disorders impacting women in midlife?

Eating disorders run the gamut, Julie says, but some women in midlife do have a particular vulnerability due to the shift in estrogen. We don’t yet understand the exact cause and effect or who might be more likely to develop a food disorder, but because every woman experiences changes at this time, all women should be on guard against unhealthy eating habits. There may be a biologically useful reason for those 15 pounds at menopause, by the way, and unhealthy consequences to fighting the gain.

[More from Julie on why eating disorders in women in midlife are so common.]

9:40 Do our bodies fight against weight loss?

Yep, says Julie. Our bodies don’t understand weight loss “on purpose,” so it starts going into survival mode, shutting down systems and sending hunger signals. Julie goes into some of the physical and emotional repercussions of overly restricted eating. Dieting is pretty counter-productive, according to Julie, so maybe don’t do it. There are better ways to be healthy.

[Speaking of potentially unhealthy dieting, read Julie’s thoughts on intermittent fasting.]

14:34 Advice for women who want to eat AND live?

Stop fighting your body, Julie says. Celebrate the gifts you have to give, value your body and its wisdom.

What great advice! Our thanks to Julie for sharing her wisdom and expertise. If you want more Julie (and who wouldn’t?), check out her website and podcasts. And if you suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome, be sure to download her free ebook, Your First 3 Steps Toward Food Peace with PCOS.

Stay tuned for our next podcast with Amanda Giralmo, owner of wellthielife.com. This awesome holistic health coach is telling us what causes inflammation, how our bodies respond (hint: it ain’t good), and the changes we can make to reduce, avoid, and correct inflammation. Be sure to check back here and also subscribe to us on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and Google Play so you never miss an episode.

When do you feel your best? At a certain weight, when you’re exercising regularly, when you eat a particular way, or only when the planets are in some kind of mystical alignment? We’d love to hear how you strive to be your best and what works (or doesn’t) for you. Please share by emailing me at shannon@genneve.com (I’ll share your ideas, but never your name), posting on genneve’s Facebook page, or joining Midlife & Menopause Solutions, genneve’s closed Facebook group.

 

Jul 26, 2017

13% of women over 50 engage in eating disorder behaviors.” - National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders

Weight gain at midlife can be as distressing as it is common, leaving many women searching for ways to shed the unwanted weight. But are a few extra pounds really worth the pain and suffering, or worse, risking a dangerous eating disorder? Wouldn’t it be better to make peace with our bodies and our food?

Jill talked with Julie Duffy Dillon, Registered Dietitian, Eating Disorder and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Specialist, and Food Behavior Expert, on how she’s partnering with people on their Food Peace journey. Julie is trained as a mental health counselor and supervises dietitians and other health professionals to use weight-inclusive and attuned-eating strategies.

Here’s what she told us:

1:37 What is the “food peace journey,” and how did we get so far off track?

What is the “food peace journey”? Julie says we’re “born knowing how to eat,” but somehow our natural set points for hunger and fullness have gotten confused as our culture’s definition of beauty have narrowed. How did that happen, and how do we get our original “default settings” back?

3:59 Why is it so hard for us to have a healthy relationship with food?

Why is it difficult for adults, including women over 40, to have a healthy relationship with food? Sixty percent of adult women engage in “pathological weight control,” Julie says, and feel guilty about eating or getting pleasure from food. Hear from Julie how our fat-phobic, youth-obsessed culture damages how we think about food and our bodies and how rejecting that cultural attitude becomes a radical act.

6:34 Intuitive eating and letting body cues dictate what and how we eat

Julie talks about coaching women up from “diet rock bottom.” Acknowledging damaging cultural expectations, admitting our old ways of thinking and acting don’t work, deciding our own path to food peace – these help us realize we are the experts on our bodies, Julie says. And that allows us to reclaim our body’s natural cues. Learn how.

9:29 What “food rules” do we follow and why should we ditch them?

Don’t eat after sunset; stay under 1200 calories a day; don’t eat carbs, but clean your plate. We set a lot of rules for our eating that may or may not support good health. Julie goes into some of our many food rules and why so many of our “shoulds” … shouldn’t.

12:01 Distinguishing real hunger from “symbolic” hunger

Many of us have gotten so far into disordered eating, we don’t recognize our own body cues anymore. Julie helps us reconnect with our needs, whether it’s a need for fuel or whether we’re actually trying to feed a “symbolic” hunger instead.

14:01 Why do we experience symbolic hunger?  

Why do we eat when we’re not hungry? Julie says there are lots of reasons to eat outside of physical hunger, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But if there’s more to the hunger, if there’s an underlying cause that needs to be addressed, then it might be time to find a Julie. Eating outside of hunger shouldn’t be shameful or an opportunity to judge someone, Julie says. She details questions to ask yourself when you think your hunger might be symbolic and unhealthy.

But wait, there’s more food peace ahead!

In Part 2, Jill and Julie talk about how we can be more conscious of our own eating, and how eating issues seem to disproportionally affect women in midlife. How do we know when our eating has become problematic, and what can we do about our approach to food?

Stay tuned to genneve for the second half of this podcast, and be sure to follow us on iTunes, Stitcher, and SoundCloud, so you never miss an episode.

Julie owns Birdhouse Nutrition Therapy, central North Carolina's premier source of eating disorder treatment and prevention. She also produces and hosts the weekly podcast, Love Food. Learn more at JulieDillonRD.com.

Jul 17, 2017

On July 10, we published Part 1 of our conversation on Naturopathic Medicine with Dr. Jane Guiltinan, recently retired Dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University.

In Part 1, we asked Dr. Guiltinan to give us a sort of Naturopathic Medicine 101 – since many of us are unfamiliar with the practice, we wanted to know what it was about, how it worked, and how we could find a qualified naturopathic doctor (ND).

In Part 2, we dug a little deeper into what being treated by an ND is like and the advantages this practice has for women in midlife and menopause.

Here’s what she told us.

1:18 What is my first Naturopathic Medicine appointment going to be like?

We’re quickly becoming convinced of the benefits of Naturopathic Medicine, so we asked Dr. Guiltinan what we could expect from that first appointment. How long will it take, what kinds of questions will we be asked, what should we walk away with? Some of the process will seem very familiar, she told us, like filling out insurance forms, but expect a much longer appointment and a more in-depth conversation about lifestyle, diet, underlying causes – not just the complaint you came in with. PS: there may be “homework” to prep for your next appointment!

“I’m a very strong believer in shared decision making and that this is a partnership.”

5:33 Honesty is the path to recovery – how to share ALL THE INFORMATION with your Naturopathic Doctor

Working with a naturopathic doctor is most effective when you have open and frank communication, we discovered. There’s no help claiming you eat healthfully if you really don’t. NDs are looking for the root causes of your concerns, so hide nothing! Chances are your ND has been trained to develop a relationship based on trust and to listen without judgment.

6:26 The “meaty” stuff about menopause – what do women in midlife want to know?

According to Dr. Guiltinan, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a cause for concern because many of us aren’t sure of the risks versus the benefits. So many women turn to their ND for information about bio-identical HRT which is considered “safer” and more “natural” in some circles (though research studies don’t necessarily support this belief). Dr. Guiltinan goes into the details on HRT, the length of time considered safe, and who qualifies as a good candidate.

11:00 Where do we get the idea that bio-identical hormones are safer?

Uh….let’s just say that while everyone is entitled to their opinion, and lay people can be extremely well informed, it’s probably best to check with a qualified medical professional before making a decision. An ND can be a great partner in helping you determine the healthiest, more effective path through midlife and menopause.

12:17 What can an ND do for me if I can’t utilize hormone replacement therapy?

Women with a history of breast cancer or other risk factors aren’t good candidates for HRT; what options do they have to manage menopause symptoms? Women in this category have many options, says Dr. Guiltinan. Diet, lifestyle changes, adding herbs and supplements like black cohosh or maca: all of these can be very helpful in making menopause easier, and your ND can work with you to balance all the factors and reach your healthiest you. (Bonus: maca may help rekindle a limp libido….)

15:09 That’s a lot of herbs. Which one works best?

If you’ve ever braved the “supplement” section of your grocery store, you’ve likely seen a bewildering array of choices: pills, powders, teas, creams … so many configurations, dosages …. Help? We asked Dr. Guiltinan how we can make informed decisions. Supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA the way prescription medications are, so there is plenty of snake oil on those shelves, she told us. She gave us some great tips on how to determine which providers are legit and what questions to ask producers.

18:03 How long are we going to be meeting like this?

Perimenopause and menopause can affect a woman’s life for years. We wanted to know how long, typically, Dr. Guiltinan worked with clients to help them reach and retain optimal health. Like all things menopause, it varies with the woman and at what stage she came in for help, the Doc told us. The goal is to find what works as quickly as possible, get them on the path to health, and then only see them when things change.

19:25 What about those other hormones, progesterone and testosterone?

We talk a lot about estrogen in menopause, but progesterone and testosterone (yep, women produce small amounts of testosterone) also change during this time, and the difference in levels can be felt. There are dangers to taking some hormones without others – the ideal is to keep the body in the optimum balance – so testing by a professional is critical.

21:44 What else should women know as they travel the menopath?

“Menopause is not a disease,” says Dr. Guiltinan. Even though we talk about “symptoms,” it’s a natural and normal part of life, just as periods are. And here’s a news flash: “You don’t have to do anything about menopause if you don’t feel bad.” Crazy, right? If you’re not having symptoms that interfere drastically with your life, great! Carry on and enjoy your life.

Next week we talk with nutritionist Julie Duffy Dillon on “food peace,” so be sure to stay tuned to genneve.com!

 Dr. Jane Guiltinan recently retired as Dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. A practicing naturopathic physician for thirty years, Dr. Guiltinan graduated from Bastyr in 1986, and has served as a clinical professor, medical director and dean of clinical affairs during her tenure there. She was the co-medical director for the first publicly funded integrated health clinic in the United States, the King County Natural Medicine Clinic. She served on the board of trustees for Harborview Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center and part of the University of Washington Medicine system for twelve years and was the first naturopathic physician on the board of a large public hospital. In 2012, she was appointed by Kathleen Sebelius, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, to the Advisory Council of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a center within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Guiltinan’s practice is focused on women’s health, primary care, disease prevention, and wellness promotion.

Jul 10, 2017

Your body is powerful.

We don’t just mean for lifting weights or doing hard physical work, though women’s bodies can certainly do that too.

We mean your body is a powerful healer. Given the right conditions – good food, enough rest, movement, etc. – your body has “an innate capacity to restore itself to health.”

Naturopathic medicine is the practice of providing ideal conditions and removing barriers for the body to get on with what it does so well.

If you’ve ever wondered about naturopathic medicine or considered seeing a naturopathic doctor (ND) but just weren’t sure what to expect, Dr. Jane Guiltinan, recently retired Dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University, explains it all.

In this Part I of our two-part series on naturopathic medicine, we talked with Dr. Guiltinan about what naturopathic medicine is, how and why it works, the state of naturopathic medicine in the US, and how to find a qualified ND.

1:38 – What is naturopathic medicine?
Most of us on team genneve are new to the idea and practice of naturopathic medicine, so we asked Dr. Guiltinan to explain the difference between naturopathic medicine and what we consider “traditional” western medicine.

Dr. Guiltinan described how we often get in the way of our body’s natural ability to heal itself. Naturopathic physicians both treat and educate patients to get them to health and maintain optimal health going forward.

4:35 – Why “doctor as teacher” is so empowering for patients.
Naturopathic doctors teach their patients to become an integral part of their own healing and health. Docere, the Latin word for “teacher” is a founding principle of naturopathic medicine. Dr. Guiltinan explained why it’s so powerfully healing to put patients in charge of their well-being.

6:20 – What it means to be aware of your own body.
In the western-medicine tradition, many of us are taught to hand over control to medical professionals – one outcome being that we’re often ignorant about our own bodies. How do NDs work with patient to bring them back to an awareness of their bodies? Dr. Guiltinan said all NDs practice very active listening, which can educate both the doctor and the patient. Hear how. (bonus: margaritas are NOT off limits)

8:10 – Preventing illness before it happens
Most western medicine focuses on the treatment of illness or injury. Naturopathic medicine is also about maintaining wellness, and in an ideal world, says Dr. Guiltinan, people would visit their doctors before problems appear. NDs are working to shift our mindset from “cure” to “prevention,” and it’s a powerful sea change.

10:40 – Yeah, but are they “real” doctors?
Naturopathic doctors are unevenly credentialed and recognized across the US, and many of us aren’t sure if NDs are “real” doctors. Dr. Guiltinan takes us through how a true naturopathic physician is educated, licensed, and credentialed.

15:08 – Dr. Guiltinan’s evolving practice and career.
Dr. Guiltinan has been practicing naturopathic medicine for more than 30 years, and during that time, her practice gradually evolved to focus on women’s health. Most of her patients now are women in the menopausal transition and beyond, looking for ways to maintain health as they age.

17:26 – What do women in midlife want “fixed”?
Because she has such a depth and breadth of knowledge on women in midlife, we asked Dr. Guiltinan what symptoms women in that category come to her to “fix” most often? Classically, it’s hot flashes, she told us, but naturopathic medicine can help treat a wide range of symptoms, including headaches, dry skin, vaginal dryness, weight gain, joint and muscle pain, and depression, among others.

19:25 – Why women consult an ND
Why do women come to NDs? For a variety of reasons, Dr. Guiltinan told us: they’ve exhausted “conventional” options or they want a more natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or, in many cases, they just don’t feel well but aren’t sure what the problem is.  

20:44 – How to find the right ND for me.
So, we asked Dr. Guiltinan, if I think a naturopathic doctor might be able to help me, how do I go about finding the right one? Do NDs specialize? NDs don’t have recognized specialties the way conventional medicine does (neurologists, dermatologists, etc.), but practices often evolve around a natural focus, such as women’s health, she told us, so it’s worthwhile asking the questions to determine if an ND has a focus on the area you need.

22:18 – Is my ND legit?
I’ve decided I want to talk with an ND, we told Dr. Guiltinan. Now what do I do? Depending on your state’s regulations, some people may be able to call themselves “naturopaths” with little formal training or licensure.

To be sure you’re getting someone qualified as an ND (whether they’re able to call themselves “doctor” or not in your state), be sure they graduated from one of the seven accredited doctoral programs in North America. States that have licensing have a state record of licensed NDs, as well as professional associations. Washington state, for example, has the Washington Association of Naturopathic Physicians. If your state doesn’t have licensing standards for NDs, you can find a credentialed naturopathic practitioner in your area on The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians site.

In Part II, we explore with Dr. Guiltinan some specific ways naturopathic medicine can help women in menopause. You won’t want to miss it.

Check in next week and subscribe to genneve on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher, so you never miss an episode.

Dr. Jane Guiltinan recently retired as Dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. A practicing naturopathic physician for thirty years, Dr. Guiltinan graduated from Bastyr in 1986, and has served as a clinical professor, medical director and dean of clinical affairs during her tenure there. She was the co-medical director for the first publicly funded integrated health clinic in the United States, the King County Natural Medicine Clinic. She served on the board of trustees for Harborview Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center and part of the University of Washington Medicine system for twelve years and was the first naturopathic physician on the board of a large public hospital. In 2012, she was appointed by Kathleen Sebelius, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, to the Advisory Council of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a center within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Guiltinan’s practice is focused on women’s health, primary care, disease prevention, and wellness promotion.

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