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

Feb 12, 2019

It's tough enough to start a second career at age 46 – but what if that new career involves wearing a bathing suit and getting your picture taken? 

Rachel Peru did it, beautifully. 

Volunteering to be in a friend's fashion show led to an entirely new career and, even better, a new confidence in her beauty, power, and resilience. 

Now a model, Rachel has embraced her silver hair, her body's natural curves, and is flipping the idea that "women are invisible after 40" on its head. 

If this is what 40+ looks like, we say, bring it on!


Photographer Matt Brown @mattsphoto

Jan 7, 2019

There's already a shortage of ob/gyns in the US, making it even more difficult for women to find a menopause specialist.

According to Fortune Magazine, "By 2020, there will be a shortage of up to 8,800 OB-GYNs, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. And by 2050, the shortage may grow to 22,000."

What are the consequences to women's health if there aren't enough ob/gyns to fill the need? 

genneve CEO Jill Angelo talked with genneve Director of Health, ob/gyn and menopause specialist Dr. Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su, about the strain this puts on women, on physicians, and on the health care system as a whole.

They also discussed how genneve's telehealth is an excellent way to help fill the care gap for women in midlife and menopause.

Learn more about genneve and our telehealth service, and read the full transcript of this conversation, at

Dec 18, 2018

Like many women, Lauren Chiren had a rough transition to menopause. During a particularly bad 18-month stretch, her brain fog and short-term memory got so bad, she quit her high-powered senior role, concerned she was developing early onset dementia.

When she learned she was actually dealing with menopause and there were ways to manage her symptoms, she decided to commit herself to helping women so no one would go through what she did.

Now as Founder and Director of Women of a Certain Stage, Lauren coaches executive women, helping them make the lifestyle changes that allow them to continue to perform during perimenopause and menopause. And she educates organizations on how to best support this very valuable workforce of women.

Join us at, the one-stop shop for an easier menopause, to learn more.

Sep 5, 2018

Sonya dreamed she was drowning and woke up choking and gasping for air.

She was tired all the time, grabbing quick cat naps in the middle of the day when she could to try and shake off the lethargy and brain fog.

Once a sound sleeper, Sonya just couldn’t make it through the night, sometimes getting up hourly to go to the bathroom. What was going on?

Sleep apnea was going on.

She took an at-home sleep test and was diagnosed with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea, meaning her body was waking multiple times an hour to start breathing again.

Sleep apnea is dangerous – heart disease, stroke, dementia, diabetes are all associated with sleep apnea – and women in menopause are particularly vulnerable.

For more information, we talked to Dr. Katharine Christian, dentist and specialist in dental sleep medicine. She is the Dental Director of the Seattle Snoring and Sleep Apnea Center and Board Certified by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and thanks to her, Sonya is finally able to get a good night’s sleep.

To get more information on sleep apnea and Dr. Christian and to read a full transcript of our conversation, visit


Apr 3, 2018

You wear your skin every day, so it's a good idea to take care of it. Best way to do that? According to Dr. Keira Barr, board-certified dermatologist and Chief Wellness Officer of Resilient Health Institute, "get naked." 

You need to inspect your skin, top to toe, every nook and cranny, Dr. Keira told us. But that's just the beginning.

Dr. Keira shared with us the five things to look for and the three most important things you can do for your skin.

Your skin is your largest organ and a window into your overall health, so listen up and find out how to take the best possible care of it.

Get more information about Dr. Keira and the full transcript of this interview at

Mar 22, 2018

In Part 1 of our conversation with neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Mosconi, we learned more about the connection between estrogen, menopause, and Alzheimer's.

In short, in perimenopause and menopause, as estrogen declines, women lose some of the neuroprotective advantages of the hormone, making them more vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease. 

Make sure to listen to Part 1 to get grounded in the science. In Part 2, Dr. Mosconi lets us in on how we can protect our brains from the cognitive decline of Alzheimer's. Food, exercise, intellectual stimulation all have a part to play, so you're going to want to hear what Dr. Mosconi has to say. (Bonus: a lot of these same tips can help men age better, too.)

Learn more about Dr. Mosconi, the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic, and how you might participate in their research. If you want to start nourishing your brain against age-related decline (“eating for retirement,” as Dr. Mosconi puts it), get your hands on a copy of her fascinating and very readable book, Brain Food: the Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power.

See the full transcript of our conversation on, then join the conversation in our community forums!

Mar 20, 2018

“In the next three minutes, 3 people will develop Alzheimer’s. Two of them will be women.”

As neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Mosconi says in her article, “Alzheimer’s and Women’s Health, an Urgent Call,” while women account for two-thirds of Alzheimer’s cases, little is being done to understand why simply being a woman significantly increases your risk of developing the disease.

Dr. Mosconi is Associate Director of the Weill Cornell Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic, where she and her colleagues are working to understand this critical – and critically overlooked – piece of women’s healthcare.

Team genneve came across this story because Dr. Mosconi and others have linked Alzheimer’s disease with menopause. They postulate that as estrogen levels subside in a woman’s body as she ages, so do its neurological protections.

As Dr. Mosconi puts it: “In straight talk: menopause causes metabolic changes in the brain that seem to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.”

“In straight talk: menopause causes metabolic changes in the brain that seem to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Fortunately, as Dr. Mosconi has helped identify the problem, she has also helped point to some powerful solutions. Exercise and nutrition, she says, can play a significant role in preventing cognitive decline.

In Part 1 of her podcast with genneve CEO Jill Angelo, Dr. Mosconi explains the mechanism behind menopause and Alzheimer’s risk. Come back for Part 2, where she discusses how women can protect their brains as they age.

Learn more about Dr. Mosconi, the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic, and how you might participate in their research. If you want to start nourishing your brain (“eating for retirement,” as Dr. Mosconi puts it), get your hands on a copy of her fascinating and very readable book, Brain Food: the Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power.

For a full transcript of this conversation, join us at

For further reading on nutrition and your health: check out how your gut flora affects your brain power and, now that you’re going to eat so much better, how to give up sugar.

Mar 9, 2018

“I’ve been dressing myself since I was four. Why is it suddenly so hard to do?”

Changing bodies, changing priorities, outdated notions of what’s “acceptable” to wear after 40 can all make it feel surprisingly difficult to dress yourself. And whether we like it or not, people do judge us on our appearance.

We can use that very human habit to our advantage, says Mellicia Marx, personal stylist and founder of the very cool Poplin Style Directions. Our clothes can be a tool to express ourselves and project the image we want to the world. You just have to know what that image is and how to achieve it.

What do you want your clothes to say about you?

Mellicia asks her clients for the three words they aspire to in their style – “confident, edgy, and feminine” or “boho, earthy, and relaxed,” whatever they may be – and from there they can build a closet that’s like a “boutique curated just for you.”

Sound good? Listen in to Mellicia's ideas about fashion, body image, staying on budget, and feeling good enough to take on the world. 

Join us at for more information about Mellicia and a full transcript of this conversation. 

Feb 19, 2018

Author, brand strategist, speaker, and motivator Juju Hook is on a mission to rebrand "midlife." It's crap, she says, and she's not wrong.

Why a rebrand?
What do you think of when you hear "midlife woman"? Wrong! We've been sold a bill of goods, Juju says, and she is ready to help every woman embrace her power and glory and step into PrimeTime.

Hear the podcast, read genneve's review of Juju's book, then be sure to order a copy of Hot Flashes, Carpools and Dirty Martinis for yourself!

Get more information and read the full transcript of our conversation with Juju Hook on

Feb 5, 2018

Did you know that after menopause, women lose many of the heart protections that helped them prevent heart disease? With the loss of estrogen, we lose elasticity in our blood vessels, making the build up of plaque easier.

February is heart health month, and since heart disease is the #1 killer of women and men in the US, we wanted to share some information with you on how to protect yourself.

We talked with Dr. Sarah Speck, medical director of the cardiac wellness and rehabilitation programs at the Swedish Heart and Vascular Institute in Seattle and co-founder of POTENTRx, a medical fitness company, about what we can do to stay heart healthy as we age.

Learn more about heart disease, Dr. Speck, and how you can put the wisdom behind the training of elite athletes to work for your heart health:

Jan 30, 2018

Quick quiz: menopause or thyroid problem?

  1. Fatigue
  2. Heart palpitations
  3. Dry skin
  4. Trouble sleeping
  5. Hair loss
  6. Weight gain

Actually, it's kind of a trick question: all of these symptoms can be caused by menopause OR thyroid dysfunction.

Because menopause and thyroid disease can look a lot alike, all too often women who are dealing with thyroid problems like hypo- or hyperthyroidism are told "it's just menopause" or "you're just getting older." To make matters even more complicated, women in midlife are more prone to thyroid disease, increasing the chances that "it's just menopause" is actually "just an incomplete diagnosis."

Yes, it might be "just menopause." But what if it's not?

Thyroid disease can have serious and lasting health impacts if left untreated. So we asked Dr. Kate Kass, a functional medicine physician who specializes in hormonal health, to talk about the differences in symptoms, how to test for thyroid disease, and what we can do to optimize our health under any circumstances.

Get more information on Dr. Kass and see the entire transcript at

Dec 27, 2017

Do you ever feel like there ought to be … I don’t know … more? You’re a high-achieving woman – great at your job and “successful” by modern measures – but you still feel like something’s missing, there’s something you haven’t accomplished yet.

Welcome to midlife.

Women in their 40s and beyond often experience a pretty fundamental shift: it’s time to stop worrying what others think of me and concentrate on how I feel about myself, my place, my work, my creative side, my spiritual soul.

Great! Also … dangerous. Frustration with finding yourself where you don’t want to be can lead to impulsive decisions.

How do you honor that part of yourself that’s ready for new challenges and new horizons without disrupting everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve?

Dr. Barbara Mark has some very good ideas for you. Dr. Mark is an elite leadership, career, and life strategies coach, advisor, and confidant to senior executive women. Trained in clinical psychology, Dr. Mark has great insights into human thought and how thought translates into action (or inaction). She focuses on working women in midlife, helping her clients find clarity during an often very challenging time.

We had a few questions for her.

Join us at for the full scoop on midlife, "me" time, and Dr. Marks. 

Nov 9, 2017

If you like beer – especially craft beer created and brewed by experts who love what they do – you’re really going to enjoy this podcast.

If you’re dealing with menopause symptoms, you’re going to love it.

The Portsmouth Brewery is the kind of place where you want to become a regular: amazing beer, great food, the kind of social atmosphere that’s perfect for spending time with friends and unwinding after work or on a weekend. (Hint: go on Tuesdays, and you can take part in “wooden token” day.)

Lately, they’ve been in the press a lot. A LOT.

They’ve created a beer called Libeeration, a gruit designed, as their website says, “specifically for women experiencing menopausal symptoms and to celebrate the liberating aspects of this stage of life.”

That sounded awfully good to us, so we gave them a call. And they agreed to tell us all about it. So if you’ve got some time, pour yourself a glass of your favorite brew and join us.

Come to for more information. 

Oct 31, 2017

As we near the kickoff to the holiday season, we wanted to know how concerned we should really be about the amount of sugar we’re consuming. You hear words like “toxic” and “addiction,” as well as “harmless” and “fun” when it comes to sugar and sugar consumption. So which is it?

The American Heart Association says women should get no more than 25 grams (6 tsp) of added sugar a day, and 36 grams (9 tsp) for men. However, according to SugarScience, a publication from the University of California at San Francisco, the average American gets 82 grams of sugar (19.5 tsp) every day.  

We’re eating a lot of it. But when it comes to our health in midlife, is sugar really that bad for us?

To find out, we called up Dr. Anna Garrett, who talked to us before on getting your mojo back in midlife. Dr. Anna is a certified coach and Doctor of Pharmacy, and her mission in life is helping women get their hormones – and their lives! – back in balance.

Here’s what we learned:

1:17 Can you really get addicted to sugar?

“Sugar actually works on the same centers in the brain as cocaine and nicotine.” So, yeah. Addictive and dangerous. Find out the process of addiction in your brain.

2:23 Is giving up sugar a fad?

Fat used to be the demonized ingredient when it came to obesity and poor health. But did the Big Sugar lobby play fast and loose with the facts to make it appear like fat was the bad guy?

4:25 Does sugar affect hormonal health?

Sugar disrupts insulin, creating chaos with your hormones and possibly contributing to estrogen dominance. And that’s just not good.

5:42 What about heart health?

Sugar wreaks havoc here too, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Dr. Anna explains.

6:40 How the heck do I give up sugar?

Cutting out sugar is tricky. Dr. Anna gives her recommendations on going “cold turkey” versus “cutting back.” HINT: sugary drinks should probably be first to go.

7:37 Ok, fill me in on the drinks…?

Some drinks, like milk, have natural sugars. Avoid the ones with added sugars like agave or syrups. And bad news, y’all: wine is a problem.

8:40 Where does sugar hide in food?

Sugar is super sneaky, so even capable label readers may miss a few. Dr. Anna tells us what to be on the lookout for.

9:20 Artificial sweeteners: OK or no?

I’ll give you one guess. Yep. Not good. Dr. Anna tells us why artificial sweeteners may actually sabotage your good intentions. But there are ways to make it less bad for you ….

10:45 Withdrawal. What do we have to expect?

There are definitely withdrawal symptoms, just like with other addictions. Dr. Anna gives us the info on how we’ll feel, how long it’ll last, and how to manage it best.

11:58 How long does it take to break free?

If you’re truly serious, you can get to great in 7 – 10 days, says Dr. Anna. She tells us how to go about a sugar “detox” the best way.

13:10 What do you eat, if not sugar?

Dr. Anna gives us insight into her healthy diet. We’ve decided we want to be her when we grow up.

14:02 After the detox, can I bring some sweetness back?

Starchy veggies like beets or sweet potatoes and healthy carbs can be invited back, but for those folks for whom sugar is an “avalanche” food (ie, triggers binge eating), refined sugars should probably be eliminated entirely and permanently.

15:17 Halloween sugar-avoidance tips?

The holidays are coming and most of us are about to be awash in sugary treats. How do we handle it? Dr. Anna has some great ideas on how to be thoughtful about what we’re eating. Autopilot is only good for airplanes, folks; never for food.

17:36 How do you get your family on the bandwagon?

It’s tough to do this right: you don’t want to be the “anti-fun committee,” so explain why you’re doing what you’re doing, include the family in meal planning and prep, and start training taste buds early!

Are you ready to reduce your sugar intake? It can be a tough road, so consider getting help from a coach like Dr. Anna. We’d love to hear how it goes for you! Please share your successes and setbacks with us in the comments  or on genneve’s Facebook page or Midlife & Menopause Solutions, our closed Facebook group.


Oct 27, 2017

Mona Lisa Touch: You probably haven’t heard of it, but if you’re a woman in midlife, you might want to take a moment to hear about it. This “fractionated CO2 laser,” we hear, can return vaginal tissue to a pre-menopausal state with just a few 3-to-5-minute treatments.

That can mean a return to sex that’s pleasurable instead of painful and an end to mild urinary incontinence.

Because we have no idea what a “fractionated CO2 laser” is, but we wanted to know more, we contacted a provider of the service here in Seattle, Dr. Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su.

Dr. Rebecca maintained her own ob/gyn practice and taught Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Washington before decided to take a position with Swedish Medical Center as an OB Hospitalist. In 2016, she opened RenuvaGyn to start offering Mona Lisa Touch to women in menopause.

She knows what this laser is and what it can do for women who are suffering with vaginal atrophy, mild incontinence, and painful sex. Here’s what she told us:


1:45 How did you end up here, doing this?

Dr. Rebecca traces her path to Seattle and RenuvaGyn and the Mona Lisa Touch, and why she feels like women deserve to have a robust sex life, even after menopause (shocking!)

4:35 Why choose the Mona Lisa Touch?

Some women can’t use hormones or prefer not to. The MLT gives those women a great option. 

6:50 What does the Mona Lisa Touch device look like?

Kind of like a photocopy machine with a screen, according to the doc. She explains the process which is nothing at all like making copies.

8:11 How does it work?

The laser reawakens cells that start rebuilding and re-hydrating the vaginal area. The thicker layers, rebalanced pH, and returning healthy bacteria bring that bit of the body back to pre-menopause. She also gives us a timeline for when to get going – hint: the sooner, the better.

10:47 It’s not just for painful sex

Yes, it’s good for sex, no question. But it’s also good for the itch and the dryness.

11:29 Sooooo…. Does it hurt?

Because it doesn’t go as deeply into the tissue as facial laser treatment or hair removal, it’s less painful than either. A topical numbing cream takes care of any pain that might occur with the procedure. No flaking or peeling, either, woot!

13:20 What keeps women from getting the procedure done?

The MLT sounds amazing – why aren’t more women doing it? Cost, says the doctor. It’s not covered by insurance (of course!), so women pay the costs out of pocket.

15:10 When women hear about it, do they want it?

Cost aside, women are often a little fearful about the procedure, but when it’s done, the usual response is, “that’s it?” Doctor  Rebecca goes into what the office visit is like, and it sounds pretty darn easy.

(not all "vaginal rejuvenation" procedures are created equal. read up on why you may not want to keep up with the kardashians)

16:53 About that incontinence?

For mild incontinence, the MLT can be very helpful in a couple of ways. Dr. Rebecca takes us through the advantages. Also good for post-baby women in addition to women over 50, so spread the word!

19:05 Can you be my ob/gyn?

Mona Lisa Touch (and menopause care generally) doesn’t quite yet pay the bills; Dr. Rebecca is also a OB Hospitalist at Swedish Medical Center, helping with labor, delivery, c-sections, etc. The MLT fulfilled her need to work with women on an ongoing basis. She talks about how doctors are paid and why it doesn’t favor doctors talking with women about menopause issues.

23:14 What’s the process for women who want MLT?

Dr. Rebecca says there’s no physical prep to be done, but it’s good to do some research and know what to expect. One place to look is her own site and blog on

For women who cannot or prefer not to use hormones to treat vaginal dryness and painful sex, the Mona Lisa Touch may provide an excellent, effective, low-risk alternative. You can search for a provider in your area from the Mona Lisa Touch website.

Have you had or would you consider a laser treatment to deal with vaginal atrophy or incontinence? Share with us (anonymously, if you prefer) in the comments on the genneve blog, or you can join the conversation on genneve’s Facebook page or in Midlife & Menopause Solutions, genneve’s closed Facebook group.

Oct 20, 2017

Mary Slagle is a SaaS Sales Specialist for MINDBODY, Inc. Working in the field of wellness, and for a company filled with mostly twenty-somethings, Mary was feeling as though she had missed out on the chance to join in on the activities and fun they all enjoyed. With five grown children and four grandchildren, her dream was to be more active and healthy.

While prospecting for new clients, Mary came across Health and Lifestyle Coach Lara Dalch's website and program for a Vibrant Healthy life. She realized it was exactly what she was looking for, in a wholly unexpected way.

In this podcast with Jill, Mary and Lara tell us how they partnered up to help Mary feel balanced and successful in all aspects of her life.

1:54 Why a coach?

Mary is a high-achieving, got-it-all-together kind of gal. Why would she need a coach? Because being driven and having a full life is terrific, but it can also be stressful. Lara helps her prioritize and spend her time and energy right.

2:56 What struck you about Lara’s services in particular?

There are lots of coaches and coaching programs out there. We asked Mary how she knew Lara was the right partner for her. According to Mary, The “Get Out of Your Own Way” worksheet, plus the chance to consult with Lara for free, opened her eyes to where she was in life. She was settling, she realized, and that just wasn’t right.

4:37 What does it mean to “get out of your own way”?

Lara’s online worksheet was born from watching women sabotage their lives and their opportunities to live more vibrantly. Check out the ways Lara sees women block their own dreams and futures.

6:15 Finding awareness

There must have been a moment when you realized you weren’t living the life you wanted. What was it like when your eyes were opened? Mary talks about when she realized she was giving so much to her professional life, it was leaving her powerless in her personal life.

7:44 How does the workshop help women realize how much better their lives could be?

The workshop is a “sliver of hope” that things can change, says Lara; it’s a glimpse into that better, more fulfilling life. Whatever your goals are, there are paths to achieving them – Lara helps her clients realize first, things can be better, and second, here’s how we’ll get you there.

10:21 First, the commitment, then the work

What did the day-to-day work feel like? Lara and Mary talk about the dangers of The Grand Plan and the sanity of setting reasonable goals.

12:35 Set big goals – be ready to adjust

As Lara says, “Feeling well means something different every day.” It’s important for highly driven women to train their brains to notice what’s going well, to celebrate the small steps as much as the big victories. As Lara told us later, there are two critical steps here. Step one: honor how you're feeling and be compassionate with yourself. Step two: redirect your attention to what's going well. Listen to find out how.

14:12 Honeymoon’s over. Now what?

We asked Mary about the low points. What were they and how did she get over them? In a house full of food that wasn’t healthy for her body, constant denial was grinding her down. Mary describes how she and Lara developed tools that allowed for some indulgence but kept her choices under her control.

16:06 Tools? Do tell!

We could all use tools like that! Mary talks about how Lara’s program allows for 24/7 access to the whole history of their journey together through video. Being able to go back to critical touchpoints along the way really helped Mary stay on track.

18:00 Pulling clients out of the pit

We asked Lara how she realizes her clients are struggling and what she does when they need a boost. So, what’s “new and good” with you?

18:58 How does coach stay positive?

“There’s always something” that shifts the client and the coach back into a positive mindset, Lara says. Sometimes they have to talk a while to find the good, but there’s always something.

19:39 How do you know when you’re “done”?

We asked how the program finishes and Mary is sustaining her progress. The program is designed to be finite, Lara says, though there are options to continue. But high-performing women like Mary tend to get through the material quickly and are ready to fly solo pretty fast. From her side, Mary didn’t want to say goodbye, even though she was “soaring”! So she’s opted to keep Lara in her corner, through check ups and check ins to keep her moving forward. Will she finally join that CrossFit group? Stay tuned!

23:30 Is this now a way of life, or is it still work to keep moving ahead?

Life makes it tough to make the right choices sometimes (e.g. a cruise ship full of ice cream and pizza), so negotiations continue. But now, Mary says, she has the tools to make judgement calls and control her own decision-making (like spending candy bar money on better “indulgences”).

25:47 The coach’s perspective on a client’s success

“It’s such a pleasure to see her thrive,” Lara says. No surprise there. 😊

If you’re looking to get out of your own way and feel vibrant and fulfilled, take a look at Lara’s website or find a coach near you.

For those who think you should be able to do this on their own, you may well be able to, and that’s great. But also think about all the other times in life when you’re willing to call in expert help – is fixing your future to be more fulfilling less important than fixing your car?

If you’ve utilized the services of a coach for career, fitness, lifestyle changes, nutrition, etc., we’d love to know how you found your coach and how the partnership worked for you. Please feel free to share in the comments on You’re also welcome to join the conversation on genneve’s Facebook page or Midlife & Menopause Solutions, genneve’s closed Facebook group.

Coming up soon on genneve’s podcasts: nixing sugar with Dr. Anna Garrett, just in time for Halloween; brewing up something special for menopause with the Portsmouth Brewery; and learning more about the innovative Mona Lisa Touch with Dr. Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su. Stay tuned or subscribe to us on iTunes, Stitcher or SoundCloud so you never miss an episode!

Sep 27, 2017

Pelvic pain during sex, pain from the pelvic region generally, incontinence, prolapse – these do NOT have to be your “new normal.” There are treatments out there to help you manage, even solve, many of the issues related to pelvic floor dysfunction.

One solution might mean taking a long look at your choice of birth control ….

Rachel Gelman DPT is a clinical specialist and branch director at the Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center in San Francisco. She specializes in the physical therapy management of numerous pelvic pain disorders, including bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction. We talked with her about some of the sources of pelvic pain, including the surprising news that hormonal birth control may be part of the problem.

1:27 what’s your approach to pelvic pain?

Rachel says she deals with pain from the “ribcage to the knees,” specifically focusing on the internal muscles of the pelvic floor. We asked her exactly what that meant. The list is surprisingly long – clearly this part of the body is responsible for a heck of a lot and needs proper care and attention.

3:13 how do hormones impact our pelvic health or cause pelvic pain?

Rachel also focuses a lot on the impact of hormones on that part of the body. Given that midlife and menopause are a time of enormous hormonal changes, we wanted to understand that better. Rachel explained to us how the sensitive tissue of the vagina and surrounding area are affected by estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

(here’s a fun way to increase pelvic health: get yourself an Elvie)

6:06 “no good birth control method” – what do you mean?

So, what does that mean for women who take hormonal birth control? Especially women who’ve been on the Pill for a long time? Rachel says there’s no truly perfect birth control; oral contraceptives are effective, but it increases sex hormone binding globulen. The take away: the Pill can negatively impact some very sensitive tissue, so if you have a choice, consider carefully when choosing it as your contraceptive method.

8:44 please explain pain in the vestibular tissue?

So, what exactly is vestibular tissue, and why is it so impactful if this area is inflamed or otherwise unhealthy? Rachel gives us a sort of private-area map and explains the consequences of hormone imbalance here and what can be done about it.

10:52 how can you tell where pelvic pain comes from?

So, we asked, how do you know when pain is caused by hormonal imbalance as opposed to some other concern? You have to look at all the puzzle pieces, Rachel says; she takes us through how she puts them together to figure out what’s going on and how to fix it.

14:43 how do patients find you?

How do patients find you? Is it mostly by referral? She gets a lot of referrals, Rachel says, from ob/gyns, urologists, etc., but a lot of patients simply find her on the Internet. So, shortcut Dr. Internet: if you’re having a particular problem and not getting a solution from the doctor you’re seeing, ask for a referral to a specialist.

15:50 is age a factor in pelvic pain?

Do you see more older women, or do you see these patients more often? Her practice is pretty evenly distributed, Rachel says, because pelvic issues aren’t limited to age, but yeah, no surprise: age does have impacts as hormones change. So if you’re getting older and have never seen a pelvic specialist, it might be time: avoid problems in the future by being proactive!

17:29 what should patients be doing between visits? is there anything they can do?

What kind of self-care should women be doing between visits to a specialist like Rachel? It depends on where you are, Rachel says; are you already in pain and need help relaxing or releasing? She gives her patients things to do between visits to help them learn to treat themselves, and that’s a Very Good Thing.

18:19 so … about that Squatty Potty®….

“We as humans were not meant to sit on the toilet to have a bowel movement.” Ooooookkaaaaaay. Not giving it up. Just sayin’. Fortunately, says Rachel, there are ways to adopt the optimal BM position without resorting to squatting in the woods. Phew! She explains why not excreting correctly can actually be pretty bad for you.

(speaking of toilets, do you know how much urination is normal for you?)

20:10 before we let you go, what else should we know?

“Kegels are not the answer to everything,” Rachel says. They can be good for you, but they don’t solve every issue. Best not to self-diagnose a kegel deficiency – if you’re having problems with painful sex, incontinence, bowel dysfunction, there’s help, there are resources. Seek them out and get your standard of living back.

If you’ve had issues with pelvic pain or other issues related to pelvic dysfunction, would you share with us how you managed it? Let us know in the comments below, or hit us up on genneve’s Facebook page or Midlife & Menopause Solutions, genneve’s Facebook group.

More about Dr. Rachel Gelman: Rachel is a Bay Area native who received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Washington in Seattle and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Samuel Merritt University. As you heard in the podcast, she’s passionate about women’s and men’s health and strives to promote quality education regarding pelvic health both in the clinic and in the community. We appreciate her sharing her wisdom and expertise with us!

You can follow Rachel directly on social media at @pelvichealthsf on Instagram or @RachelgDPT on Twitter.

Sep 18, 2017

So, do you know what fascia is?

We weren’t entirely clear, nor did we know what a big role it plays in movement, flexibility, and stability, and, when inflamed, in joint pain and stiffness. A single, continuous structure from head to toe, the fascia surrounds and wraps all our internal parts. So if it’s hurting, you’re hurting.

Jennifer Mason, owner of Vitamin Chi, knows all about fascia, the care and feeding of. A licensed acupuncturist, Jennifer specializes in neck and shoulder pain and menopausal symptoms. So we grabbed her for a conversation about acupuncture, fascia, trigger points, and using Chinese remedies to bring our bodies back to health.

1:19 We love the name “Vitamin Chi.”  What is Vitamin Chi and what exactly do you do there?

According to Jennifer, good health is “an everyday thing,” and acupuncture, herbalism, and so forth tend to be a bit esoteric for people. She wants to make Chinese medicine available and accessible for the uninitiated so we can all enjoy the very best of health.

2:30 Fascia – sooooooo, what is that, exactly?

Picture your favorite sandwich meat in a sandwich bag. The meat is your muscle, and the sandwich bag is the fascia, says Jennifer. In the simplest terms, it’s a giant network within your body connecting bits together, and communicating between, so it lends itself well to treatment via acupuncture.

4:08 Why does fascia sometimes get problematic?

One of the properties of fascia is it remodels itself, says Jennifer. If we don’t move for a while, we need to stretch and move to discourage it from getting too “set.” So if you’re experiencing pain, don’t wait to seek treatment.

5:28 What’s the role of fascia?

The whole body is connected, and while work on fascia is good for joint pain, treating the body as a holistic network is critical. Jennifer takes us through trigger points and why the pain you’re feeling in one point of your body may not have started there.

7:05 How does acupuncture work?

There are points in the muscle where electrical differences are greatest, and if an acupuncturist can find exactly the right point with the needle, the muscle “resets,” according to Jennifer.

8:30 How does the needle actually relieve pain?

The needle goes right to the “motor point” and communicates up the fascial line to the brain, says Jennifer. Additionally, acupuncture takes into account other important components of chronic pain such as emotion and inflammation. She explains how acupuncture targets all the pain levers to provide relief.

10:23 Needle-phobes. Whattya gonna do?

Jennifer admits to us that she “chickened out” of her first acupuncture appointment. But these needles are “as thin as kitten whiskers” she says, and just as effective for making us feel better. She lets us in on how she helps her patients relax into the experience.

12:07 What is cupping, and is just for Michael Phelps?

This “super-low tech” treatment is great for myofascial release and also Instagram posts, says Jennifer. It feels good and helps relieve pain by pulling inflammation out of the muscle.

13:46 Reiki: what is it and how does it work?

This most gentle form of healing comes from Japan and uses the life force of the practitioner, channeled into the patient, to treat chronic pain. “It doesn’t make sense to me,” Jennifer admits, but it changed her life. She tells the story of how she discovered the effectiveness of reiki during a very difficult time.

15:07 How do you incorporate reiki into your practice?

First, relaxation and readiness, then the practice of channeling the healing energies. Jennifer takes us through how she guides her patients through the experience.

16:38 What preparation does the reiki practitioner need to deliver the treatment?

“We all have an innate healing power,” Jennifer says, but we don’t all know how to tap into it and harness it correctly. Learning to be a practitioner takes practice and calm and leaning into the flow.

17:37 Why the new focus on women in midlife and perimenopause?

Jennifer says, women are silently suffering, and if you ask the right questions, you find there’s so much need for help. Chinese medicine approaches the body differently, it’s open to some different ideas about what’s truly happening and how to manage symptoms. “We can get very specific and treat all kinds of things,” Jennifer tells us. “I’m very excited.”

19:12 How do you help women understand they should practice self-care and get help?

“It’s not a selfish act to take care of yourself,” Jennifer says. In fact, when a woman is running on empty, it’s harder on everyone. It’s important to do what’s necessary to heal. And self-care doesn’t have to mean coming to the doc all the time – it may be about recognizing unhealthy patterns and finding tools to correct them.

In addition to being an acupuncturist, Jennifer is a Reiki Master Practitioner and has been using Chinese herbs for health since childhood from her grandparents’ herb shop. Her passion is to help people find healthy solutions in their daily habits, diet, and practices. And tacos. She loves tacos. Find out more about Jennifer Mason and her practice on her company website, Vitamin Chi.

Have you had experience with acupuncture, cupping or reiki? We’d love to hear how it worked for you, so give us a shout in the comments below, on genneve’s Facebook page or in Midlife & Menopause Solutions, genneve's closed Facebook group.

Sep 11, 2017


Pelvic floor health impacts your quality of life, whether you know it or not. Actually, when it stops being healthy, you’ll know it.

Peeing, pooping, sexual satisfaction – being successful at these things requires a healthy pelvic floor, and as we age, the muscles that make up that floor can weaken. Because it’s so important to keep this “hammock” of muscles strong and responsive, we talked to physiotherapist Dr. Susie Gronski, “your doc for all things down there.” She gave us the low down on our down-unders: what happens when things are out of whack and how to get them back.

Have a listen to part I of this conversation, “to your pelvic health, our talk with dr. Susie Gronski, part 1.” Then continue on below, where Jill talks to Dr. Susie about pain, the role our pelvic floor plays in our sexual health, and the Big Os:

1:18 Orgasms, pain, and pelvic health

Experiencing sexual pleasure all the way to orgasm can be more challenging for women, and nearly impossible if there’s pain involved. We asked Dr. Susie how women can relieve the pain and get their desire back. Spoiler alert: help is out there. Dr. Susie fills us in on bringing pleasure and intimacy back into our lives.

6:08 Dr. Susie’s 6-day course for pelvic health

In this hands-on (yep), one-on-one course, Dr. Susie teaches students to explore their bodies, interpret what they see and feel, and ultimately, treat and heal themselves. With Dr. Susie’s expert guidance, students learn what the muscles look like, what they do, and how to heal the pain they’re experiencing. Transformation is tough, says Dr. Susie, and everyone should have a support system to get through it.

10:22 Giving your body 6 days

We wanted to know how the course worked – is it in-person, or can it be done virtually? The six days are in person, Dr. Susie says, because it’s necessary to touch the person, show them how to touch themselves, what to feel for, what they’re feeling when they find it, and so on.

11:15 What do women need to be mindful of when it comes to pelvic health?

Dr. Susie says, remember, you’re not the only one who leaks in Zumba class! Incontinence and other issues are common, and there’s help. Also, it’s not all about kegels; there’s a network of things happening throughout your body, so it’s important to learn beyond kegels. Finally, Dr. Susie reminds us that we can’t be shy when seeking help. It’s your quality of life on the line – get over your “vagina phobia!”

Here’s to happy private parts!

Thanks again to Dr. Susie for her expert information on how to keep or regain your healthy pelvic floor. You can find more from Dr. Susie on her website.

Have you had professional help and training to regain pelvic floor function? We’d love to hear about it and how it helped you get your quality of life back. Please share with us in the comments below (you’re welcome to comment anonymously), email us at, or let us know on genneve’s Facebook page or in Midlife & Menopause Solutions, genneve’s closed Facebook group. 

Next up on the genneve podcast calendar, Jill talks with acupuncturist and owner of Vitamin Chi, Jennifer Mason, about your fabulous fascia – what it is and how to keep it happy. Stay tuned!

Sep 5, 2017

Do you know how critical your pelvic floor muscles are to your overall health?


Most of us are only aware of our pelvic floor during times of pleasure (contractions in the pelvic floor are what men and women feel in orgasms). But when your pelvic floor is weak, you may suddenly be aware of it for entirely different reasons: pain, incontinence, prolapse, sexual dysfunction, even discomfort just sitting.

Clearly, keeping this area of the body healthy is central to your quality of life.

To learn more about what below-deck problems are possible and how to head them off before they happen, we talked with Dr. Susie Gronski, licensed doctor of physical therapy and a board certified pelvic rehabilitation practitioner. In addition to knowing a lot about your private parts, she’s also a certified health coach. As she says, she’s the doctor for “everything down there” and signs her emails, “In loving wellness for your pelvis™

Here’s what we learned from the “down-there” doctor:

1:30 What is a “physiotherapist for your private parts”?

Your nether regions have muscles – they aid in “pooping, peeing, and sex,” says Dr. Susie. She gives us the low down (ha ha) on the pelvic region and how a physiotherapist can help keep all that business functional and healthy.

2:52 What are the basic things we need to know about that area (and are too squeamish to ask)?

Your pelvic floor is kind of like the base of a cereal bowl, Dr. Susie tells us, only no cereal bowl in the world does as much as this one. Hear the connections, functions, impacts, and responsibilities of these bits.

4:42 Why don’t we know more about that region?

Let’s face it: we didn’t grow up talking with our parents about that part of our body once we successfully managed potty training, so we’re a little shy and squeamish. “We don’t focus on any part of our body unless we’re getting signals to focus there,” says Dr. Susie, especially that part of our body. And sadly, those signals are usually negative.

6:22 What are the common problems with pelvic floor muscles?

Pain with intercourse, abdominal pain, discomfort or pressure in that region are quite common, and many of us don’t know to associate that pain with pelvic floor health. That’s why it’s important to know the possibilities.

8:14 It seems like a lot of problems start in the pelvic region, if not the pain?

Many problems definitely start in our pelvic region, Dr. Susie says, then spread to other parts of the body as pain. Learn how your body communicates stress or dysfunction – symptoms might show up in one area when the roots of the problem are somewhere else.

10:15 How do you approach clients to keep them comfortable?

Clients don’t know what to expect except that someone’s about to “assess their private parts.” Yep, that’s a tough one. Dr. Susie talks about how she communicates with clients to keep them comfortable and feeling safe while dealing with the issue at hand. So to speak.

12:05 What does treatment look like?

Depending on the trigger(s), the treatment can take lots of forms, and Dr. Susie looks at all the possible causes. Pain isn’t just about body parts, it’s about the patients’ psyche, social constructs, all the things that weigh in on our lives. The treatment has to take all those factors into account to be effective, she says. Also, butt gripping. Yeah, you need to hear about that.

15:24 Shouldn’t I basically be doing crunches ALL. THE. TIME?

Nope, says Dr. Susie. Because science (which she explains in a super-friendly lay person way, hoorah). Basically there are lots of ways you can mess yourself up by keeping your abdomen tense, and Dr. Susie gives us the details. Hefty price for a six-pack. 

Now let’s talk about orgasms

Oh, look at that – we’re out of time. Come back to genneve for part 2, and you’ll get the FAQs on the big O. 


Dr. Susie is currently in private practice in Asheville, North Carolina specializing in holistic men’s pelvic health. Dr. Susie is also the author of Pelvic Pain: The Ultimate Cock Block and the creator of a unique hands-on training program to help men with pelvic pain become experts in treating themselves

Learn more by visiting

Aug 29, 2017

Egg freezing is still a relatively new option for women and couples wanting to delay pregnancy for a few years.  

We wanted to know more about this fascinating procedure that – hopefully – allows younger women to freeze their eggs, then have babies, safely, at a later date.  

So we sat down with Dr. Lorna Marshall of Pacific NW Fertility. Dr. Marshall, practicing specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, co-founded the clinic back in 2005 and has been helping couples start or build their families ever since.

In the first part of our conversation with Dr. Marshall, we learned more about the science and history of in vitro fertilization (commonly known as IVF), fertility medicine, and her own path to reproductive medicine. In part 2, we talked about the cultural changes that come with women having more family planning power.

1:07 – vacation days, corner office, egg freezing: family planning as benefit

The number of women seeking family planning options has “shot up through the roof,” Dr. Marshall says, at least in part because some large companies are offering egg freezing as a benefit of employment. How has that changed the demographic of women who are coming in to ask about egg freezing?

2:08 – I’m 43, what do I do now?

Dr. Marshall tells us about the realities of egg freezing. Big one: ya gotta do it when you’re young.

3:29 – It only happens in the movies

Or to movie stars. Dr. Marshall says not to be fooled by celebrities having babies in their late 40s or even early 50s; chances are they used donated eggs, not their own. It’s important to understand the realities of science and bodies, including their limitations.

4:05 – I’m here; what happens now?

When  woman comes to the clinic, what happens? Dr. Marshall gives us the guided tour from testing to egg supply explanation to talking options when the results are in. Hear the process.

7:19 – Answering patients’ questions

When it comes to fertility, it’s critical to manage expectations. Doctors may not be able to give a woman an answer on if she’ll be able to have a baby – there are just too many factors. Find out what impacts fertility and how docs work with women to best reach their goals.

9:19 – Have my eggs been frozen too long?

Because the science of vitrification of eggs is still so new, Dr. Marshall says, some things just aren’t known yet, like, do frozen eggs have a – for want of a better term – “implant by” date? What stresses the egg? How long are vitrified eggs viable, and does the faster-freeze process put the eggs at risk?

11:14 – Egg storage: what does it look like, how does it work?

Big tanks hold racks and racks of eggs, sperm, and embryos at the Pacific NW Fertility clinic, Dr. Marshall says. Some fertility clinics don’t store on site, but Dr. Marshall’s clinic has chosen to.

12:25 – The nitty gritty: how much does it cost?

As you can imagine, egg freezing isn’t cheap. And many insurance companies won’t cover “elective” egg freezing. With egg retrieval and the medications it takes to do the process, women can expect to pay $14 – 15,000 for a single cycle. That’s not the cost of establishing a pregnancy, Dr. Marshall reminds us; just the process of freezing.

14:07 – Not a decision to be made lightly …

The best age for freezing eggs may be a woman’s 20s, which is not usually when women have the money to have their eggs frozen. The cost may be changing for cancer patients, at least, Dr. Marshall says, with some state legislatures working to make insurance companies cover fertility preservation. Will insurance ever cover truly elective fertility preservation?

17:08 – Making babies: what do you love most?

We wanted to know what made Dr. Marshall want to come back to work every day. Her biggest reason probably won’t surprise you, but, she tells us, the growth and changes in the field have also kept her engaged in her work. “I’m in the heart of society, doing this,” she says. “Every day I’m successful, and every day I fail or feel like I fail.”

19:15 – Egg freezing is still in its (wait for it) infancy, so do your homework

Because this procedure is still so new, it’s important to work with a clinic that’s actually made some babies from frozen eggs, Dr. Marshall says. There are lots of clinics that simply haven’t gotten to the “thawing and making babies” part yet. She lists some questions women should ask before choosing their clinic.

22:00 – By the numbers: your chances of making egg freezing work

Like much about a woman’s body, her chances of making a baby may be wildly different from another woman’s chances, even at the same age, says Dr. Marshall. She shares with us some numbers of chances of success based on age of mom and number of eggs retrieved.

Would you consider freezing your eggs in order to delay pregnancy? Why or why not? We’d love to hear your thoughts; please share in the comments section, email us at, or let us know on genneve’s Facebook page or in Midlife & Menopause Solutions, genneve’s closed Facebook group.

Next up: Dr. Susie Gronski, doctor of physical therapy and certified pelvic rehabilitation practitioner. We talked with Dr. Susie about sexual wellness and enjoying your sex life, even post-menopause. Be sure to stay tuned to for that conversation, or subscribe to genneve on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, or Google Play, so you never miss an episode.  

Aug 28, 2017

Back in May of 2017, we spoke with Dr. Lora Shahine of Pacific NW Fertility about fertility, in vitro fertilization, the stigma of miscarriage, and having hope.

The podcast was so popular, we returned to the clinic to talk with one of Dr. Shahine’s colleagues, Dr. Lorna Marshall, about another fertility preserving option: egg freezing. Once reserved for women about to undergo cancer treatments that would destroy their ovaries, egg freezing has become a popular way for healthy, younger women to delay pregnancy while pursuing a career.

Dr. Marshall is a practicing specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, serving the Seattle community for over 25 years. In this first part of our two-part podcast, Dr. Marshall spoke with us about the history and science behind freezing eggs. We’ve been freezing sperm for ages; why did it take so long to learn to freeze an egg, and what are the risks?

For the answer to that and other questions, listen up:


How does one become a reproductive endocrinologist/fertility specialist? For Dr. Marshall, her medical career paralleled the history of IVF, so it must have been destiny, she says. She shares her story of how her interest in fertility medicine grew as the science, ethics, and practice got more and more fascinating.


At first, fertility was uninteresting to her, Dr. Marshall says. The success rates were low, there wasn’t much doctors could do to help. Then IVF started to get really interesting…


Have patients changed over time? Not so much, Dr. Marshall says; they’re still “everyday folks.” But formerly couples came in only after they’d been trying for a very long time. Nowadays, couples are willing to try a more complicated route sooner. The big barrier to fertility treatments hasn’t changed: money.


In the past, Dr. Marshall says, fertilization specialists dealt almost entirely with couples who were infertile. Now, they have a whole separate clientele of women and couples who are looking for ways to postpone pregnancy.


We were curious to know what a woman who elects for fertility preservation looks like. Being able to elect for egg freezing is very new, Dr. Marshall says, only around since 2012. So we’re still discovering what women might want this option.


So what makes eggs so darn hard to freeze, compared to an embryo? Dr. Marshall explains how, previously, egg freezing was reserved for women who had received a cancer diagnosis and would likely be infertile after treatment. Such a small audience meant there wasn’t much opportunity to learn, and that slowed advancement of techniques.


Professional societies considered freezing eggs “experimental” until January 2013, finally lifting the designation because enough successes had been recorded. Four years later, egg freezing is still not advised as an elective procedure, just for cancer patients or for other special circumstances.


For anyone who might feel regret for not having chosen an egg-freezing option when they were younger, Dr. Marshall is quick to reassure them that it would not have been possible. “No regrets,” she says. All those fortunate celebrities getting pregnant at 50 probably aren’t doing it with their own eggs.

In part 2 of this conversation, Jill and Dr. Marshall talk more about the women who are electing to freeze their eggs as a way of postponing – but still having the option of – pregnancy and family. Hear about global corporations offering egg freezing as a “benefit” to female employees and how society’s approach to fertility is changing.

If you’re looking for more information about fertility and options for family planning, you can visit Dr. Marshall and her colleagues at Pacific NW Fertility.

Would you consider freezing your eggs in order to postpone pregnancy? Why or why not? We’d love to hear your thoughts; please share in the comments section of email us at or let us know on genneve’s Facebook page or in Midlife & Menopause Solutions, genneve’s closed Facebook group. 






Aug 10, 2017

Jill Angelo, CEO of genneve, sat down with holistic health coach Amanda Giralmo of WellthieLife to talk about food, chronic inflammation, and how we can make better food choices to support our health.


Discovering our life’s true path often starts with fixing a problem within ourselves. For Amanda Giralmo, founder of Wellthie Life, bringing herself back to health and wholeness after a difficult divorce helped her uncover her passion for leading others to their best selves. She tells us how she found the strength to take that journey.

Did she feel she needed permission to take that journey, considering it meant taking time off and focusing on herself? We asked her how she came to that very necessary decision.

The experience brought her to where she is now, helping others as a certified holistic health coach focused on lowering inflammation. So, we asked her, what is inflammation, what causes it, and why is it so bad for us when it becomes “chronic”? Amanda explains the importance of the gut microbiome and how long-term inflammation damages the good bacteria we depend on for optimal health. (Ever heard the expression “leaky gut”?) What are the long-term consequences of inflammation?

Chronic inflammation caused by eating the wrong foods can be constant, if you consider how often we eat. Fifty million people – at least – suffer an autoimmune disease in the US. Knowing the right foods to eat for our bodies can help us avoid that fate, Amanda says.

So what are the symptoms? So many people have chronic inflammation due to eating foods they’re sensitive to, so clearly we’re not all as in-tune with our bodies as we should be. How can we know we need to change?

How does this condition start? Amanda tells us that formation of a healthy gut goes all the way back to how we’re born and our very first food. She also tells us what we do as adults that can cause inflammation besides eating the wrong foods.

As Amanda knows from her own personal story, stress is a major cause of inflammation. She talks about how stress affects us and what happens when we’re not able to “rest and digest.”

OK, so we’re chronically inflamed. If that inflammation isn’t reduced or eliminated, what can happen? The consequences can be pretty dire, Amanda warns us. Hear why you want to reduce that inflammation, like, yesterday.

What’s the difference between a food allergy and a reactivity or sensitivity? Both are signs of chronic inflammation, Amanda tells us, but allergies may be easier to detect. Because sensitivities can be slow and sneaky, we tend to just live with the discomfort for years. Amanda gives us the simple diagnostic.

Does aging have anything to do with inflammation? Yes, says Amanda, particularly in women, the lack of reproductive hormones makes chronic inflammation more apparent in women in midlife. She tells us the thinking around the intersection between inflammation and menopause.

Amanda has developed a three-phase program to help her clients eliminate harmful foods from their diet. Through the program, clients heal their bodies by identifying what causes the reactivity and learning to avoid or manage those triggers – with Amanda providing resources, guidance, and support throughout.

The program takes time to work through: Amanda gives us an idea of how long it typically takes to begin healing the chronic inflammation. And you don’t get to cheat, she warns us: eating a trigger food will set your body back to start.

It’s not an easy process, but the results can be well worth the effort. Amanda shares with us a client’s experience of losing weight, regaining energy, and generally feeling like embracing life again.

The role of “coach” gets interesting when the goals are so intensely personal. Amanda tells us about keep clients honest and their need to confess and apologize when they cheat or backslide. “I’m just here to play support and accountability,” Amanda says, “It’s all about what they need to do for themselves.”

If you need Amanda, how do you find her? The quickest way is by going to her website: (It’s a great place to find a whole lot of information, incidentally.) The initial, 50-minute consultation with Amanda is complimentary. It’s important to find a coach who’s a good “fit,” Amanda tells us, so choose your coach carefully.


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 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 (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

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