There are so many changes happening with your skin and your body. You’re dealing with mood swings and dare you even say it, some days you have hot flashes… But surely you’re too young for this right? This can’t be menopause, what the hell is going on?!

Girl, this is perimenopause, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. We prepare our daughters for going into puberty, we prepare to be pregnant and labor and childcare, but yet we don’t prepare women for menopause. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with being prepared for the next hormonal shift in your life.

It can be difficult to grasp, but you have to get real about it so that you don’t suffer. Now more than ever, there is so much information you have access to so that you can educate yourself on this subject. Today Vanessa Ford blows the lid off this taboo subject and educates us about what perimenopause is, and how we can master it, without losing our minds in the process.

Meet Vanessa Ford

Vanessa Ford is the cofounder of MenoLabs, a company fundamentally changing the conversation, treatment, and research surrounding the menopausal transition. She was prompted to action after experiencing severe symptoms and finding that there was little in the way of help for her – and millions of other women just like her.

She refused to accept the situation as inevitable and found the research, the team, and the capital to do something about it. Together, that team built a $30 million company – during COVID lockdown.

Visit the website and connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Connect with Vanessa on her personal Instagram.

Subscribe to Vanessa’s YouTube channel. Download the MenoLife App in Google Playstore or App Store

Download the free book on How to Master Menopause

In This Podcast


  • What do I need to know about perimenopause?
  • Early perimenopause signs and how to start mastering your menopause
  • Gut health and perimenopause
  • Talk to your family

What do I need to know about perimenopause?

I don’t want women to be afraid, that’s definitely not the point of the conversation. The point is … if we start talking about it, if we educate ourselves around it, it doesn’t have to be scary, and we can be prepared. (Vanessa Ford)

From an anthropological point of view, there has been a lot of discussion around why women go through menopause.

One of the main theories is that it is to prepare the community for the next generation: to enable women to move from mother into a grandmother, and to help to care for the next generation.

Early perimenopause signs and how to start mastering your menopause

Signs to be on the lookout for:

  • Your allergies: as your estrogen starts to decline, your allergies may get worse.
  • Weight gain: with estrogen decline, many women notice an increase in weight gain around their middle section.
  • Anxiety: some women experience mood swings as a result of their perimenopause.
  • Forgetfulness: if you lose track of your thoughts often or feel mental fog, it may be another sign of perimenopause.

How can you begin to master your menopause? First and foremost, look after your physical health.

It sounds a lot like a broken record but every time you talk to anyone who does research into women’s midlife health, you’re going to hear exercise and eat right: cut out the sugar, cut out the alcohol, cut out the nicotine. (Vanessa Ford)

Sugary diets, constant nicotine, alcohol intake, and poor exercise and health habits all disrupt a woman’s estrogenic cycle and responses.

This does not mean that you should not enjoy the occasional glass of wine, but it means that you can be aware of these aspects to encourage awareness of what could exasperate symptoms. This also gives you knowledge of what you can do to master your menopause.

Be conscious of those [habits]. Start tracking the things that you consume and the activities that you engage in because you’re going to start finding that some of those things are causing your symptoms. (Vanessa Ford)

Gut health and perimenopause

Recent research has found that maintaining your gut health with the right probiotic strains helps your body to recycle estrogen that could have been lost in your waste.

If you take the right probiotic and take care of your gut health, you can help your body to reabsorb estrogen that it would have gotten rid of. This can help you to:

  • Minimize and reduce hot flushes,
  • Reduce weight gain – because estrogen is stored in fat cells,
  • Maintain overall physical health.

If you can balance your estrogen and recycle what you have already got, you are way ahead of the game. (Vanessa Ford)

Talk to your family

You can explain to your partner – if they do not already know – and your children what it is that you are going through. It does not have to be something taboo that you keep to yourself.

Knowledge is power: you are empowering your daughters to understand their bodies better when they get older, and you are empowering your sons and your husbands to understand the women in their lives better by sharing this with them.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Danielle Jacobs and Vanessa Ford – How to Master Menopause: Practical Guidance for Dealing with Hot Flashes, Weight Gain, Insomnia, Mood Swings, and Other Menopause Symptoms.

Useful links:

Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic PodcastI’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life.

So I started  Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook communityjoin the VIP community, or attend our annual retreat,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

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Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Beta Male Revolution, go to