I'm Morven and today I'm joined by my great friend and business partner, Debbie. Each week I host Unpause the Menopause podcast, where Debbie will join me to share her insights and expertise from time to time. Each week, I'll be joined by fabulous guests offering their experience in this area of women's health, helping you live your best life on your terms without compromise. Now part of the reason I'm joined by Debbie today is to mention the business we founded together, Selaura. What is Selaura? It's a monthly supplement to help the mind and body through perimenopause and beyond.
Selaura is already helping 1,000s of regular women, who are going through the same physical and emotional changes as you, continue to love and live their lives to the fullest without making compromises. If you're ready to enjoy insights and expertise from top doctors, wellness advocates, sleep experts, mental health professionals and high profile names already involved in supporting women during menopause, then be sure to tune in for your weekly dose of Unpause the Menopause.
On why Selaura was founded:
We came about this kind of by accident, we didn't set up to have a business together.
When I was about maybe 43, I started feeling just not myself and suddenly, I was absolutely exhausted. As I started researching, I realized that I was probably perimenopausal and at that point, nobody was talking about it and I confided in you because of your holistic therapy background, and your expertise in nutrition.
We started speaking about supplements and what could help me and my own personal menopause journey. I ended up taking about 12 supplements a day at one point. And then we went, why can't we put this in one, and bringing all the supplements together in one single solution just seemed to be a good idea at the time.
We did our research, we did our due diligence, we ensured that the companies that we were working with and the ingredients that they could supply to us, were clinically proven and they had to have a really good ethical track record.
The lovely thing about working together is that we had a similar goal right from the start in that we're not just putting anything out there. We want to put the best of the best out there. We wanted to create something that we would take ourselves and then we could share this with women worldwide.
If we can help one woman then we've done a good thing.
On what is perimenopause and menopause:
Perimenopause is a period of transition. It’s the period when your hormone levels change, your estrogen levels are rising and falling as well as the other hormones, you've got the progesterone, you've got the testosterone. Perimenopause can happen up to 12 years before menopause and all these symptoms can start and then they just gradually, unless you do something about it, get worse until you hit menopause.
So we've got this period of 10 to 12 years where you're probably perimenopausal and then menopause itself. The technical definition of menopause is 12 months after your last period. It's the perimenopause, and the lead up to menopause, where you're experiencing the most changes within the body. You know, the hot flushes, you get the vasomotor symptoms, the night sweats that people talk about the rise in temperature and the brain fog.
I don't want to make this sound like a negative thing, it's a life transition. It's a transitional phase that we go through and some people can sail through it. And others need more support, and more help. And I think that's where we came to. We both recognized for different reasons, we both wanted to help. We just want to pass on this knowledge. It's important that we talk about the symptoms. So people might recognize they're in perimenopause.
Together, we are so pro this life stage and actually making this life stage one of the best in your life. And there are so many steps that you can take to do that.
On the core pillars to base your menopausal journey around:
We've got the pillars that we base this on; it’s nutrition and diet, and when I say diet, I don't mean restricted calories, I mean, what we are absorbing, what we actually are absorbing through our gut.
There's exercise, there's whether or not you want to take HRT, and there's sleep, which massively plays into it. What we've talked about, quite recently as well, is friendship groups, and actually being able to validate your symptoms and actually have fun, and be able to go, do you know what, we're all going through this? It's normal, and it's fine.
If we all talk about it, then we accept it and move on with it. Because it’s a bit like puberty, everybody does it, you can't avoid it, it’s part of life.
I think if you can get the support, go to your GP, speak to your friends, go on the internet and research, and do what makes you happy and be the best version of you that you can be and I think it has taken me into my 50s to realize that and to actually just be kind to yourself.
I heard a conversation just not too long ago, about if you can be the best version of yourself, you're then better equipped to be the support network, if you're married, if you have children, if you're working. When you're at your best, you can radiate that as a ripple effect.
On the best things to eat during menopause:
I believe in nourishing the body, nourishing the soul with what we absorb and put into our body. If you can get your nutrients from the dark green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, blueberries, avocados. Get the good fats into your body that are really good for the brain. Those of us that aren't vegetarians, your oily fish, your salmon, lean meats, whole grains. Anything that's processed really isn't great for us. And again, treat processed food as the odd treat. I understand, people are busy, lives are busy and life at the moment is quite tough, but try and eat as little processed food as possible, particularly carbohydrates. As we get to midlife as women, our bodies don't tolerate carbohydrates very well. It sort of messes with your insulin levels.
On how Debbie has found transitioning from a holistic therapist to a businesswoman:
I'm incredibly proud of Selaura, and I'm incredibly proud of what we have created. But I find it actually has given me purpose again, and it's given me focus, I'm using my brain again. I'm doing something for me, I'm not just mum, or wife, I'm doing something really worthwhile and fulfilling.
Debbie’s number one piece of advice for readers to take away:
Do your research, really research. I know I keep saying it, but surround yourself with positive, uplifting people in your life. If you have that support, whether it be with your friendship circle, or within your family or GP, get the support, that's the biggest thing for me.