Invisible Women: Exposing the Gender Bias Women Face Every Day

“Invisible Women: Exposing the Gender Bias Women Face Every Day” by Caroline Criado Perez is an infuriating but essential read that uncovers the widespread issue of gender bias in various sectors, including government policy, medical research, technology, workplaces, and the media. This insightful work highlights a critical concern: our world, largely designed by and for men, often neglects to consider the needs of women, leading to far-reaching and sometimes devastating consequences. Perez masterfully compiles a range of case studies, stories, and fresh research from around the globe, showcasing the myriad ways women’s needs and perspectives are overlooked. This comprehensive approach sheds light on how this oversight not only affects women but has a broader impact on society as a whole. For us, as women striving to navigate and improve our health and wellbeing, understanding the content of this book is vital. It illuminates the often unseen challenges we face due to this systemic bias and empowers us to advocate for changes that recognise and address our unique needs. “Invisible Women” is more than a book; it’s an essential guide that highlights the importance of including women’s perspectives in all aspects of life, ultimately leading to a more equitable and balanced world for everyone.

It Starts with the Egg

It Starts with the Egg by Rebecca Fett is a comprehensive guide that delves into the scientific and practical aspects of improving egg quality and fertility. Many women are not aware that egg quality is not just about achieving pregnancy – egg quality influences what a menstrual cycle looks like – whether it’s heavy or irregular because ovulation is the only way to make estradiol and progesterone, which are beneficial for mood, energy, libido, insulin response, thyroid, skin, hair, and so much more. This book is aimed women trying to conceive, but it’s also an excellent book for any woman who wants to optimise her menstrual cycle. Fett, who has a background in molecular biology and biochemistry, presents research on how various factors can impact egg quality. The book covers a range of topics including: Fett’s approach combines scientific research with holistic health, offering a comprehensive guide for improving egg quality and fertility, a great read and packed with information. READ THE BOOK >>

How to Be the Love You Seek

In How to Be the Love You Seek, Dr Nicole LePera harnesses the latest scientific research to teach us how to recognise our dysfunctional patterns, identify their roots in our earliest relationships, break painful cycles, build security and share compassion with ourselves and others. In reconnecting with ourselves, we can form new connections and relationships with others, that serve our needs. In one of my favourite passages she says: “Just as we all have physical and emotional needs, our soul has spiritual needs. Our spiritual needs include: She goes on to say: “When I started to reconnect with my body and its physical needs, I could see that I was walking around undernourished, overstressed, and continually depleted and exhausted. Over time, I could see how I regularly viewed my daily physical care as just another task or obligation that was between me and my body’s need to “relax,” when, ironically, caring for my body was the one thing I needed to start doing so that I could finally relax. In the absence of external motivation or validation, like someone else pushing me or visible changes to my physical appearance, I simply didn’t feel motivated to take care of myself. The physical dysregulation that continued as a result of my habitual daily self-neglect wasn’t just harming myself, it was also hurting how I showed up in my relationships, which were in a state reflective of my physical distress. One wrong look or word or my misperception of either and I’d be on edge, worrying that the other person didn’t love me or was upset with me.” I had some real AHA! moments reading this book, I highly recommend it. READ THE BOOK >>

Rest is Resistance

Your body is a site of liberation. It doesn’t belong to capitalism. Love your body. Rest your body. Move your body. Hold your body. So many of us have got ‘Rushing Woman Syndrome‘,  constantly in a hurry to do so many things and be there for so many people. Tricia Hersey, in her book Rest is Resistance, challenges the notion that constant productivity and engagement are necessary or healthy, emphasising the importance of rest and self-care, particularly in activist communities where burnout is common. She says: “Many people believe grind culture is this pie-in-the-sky monster directing our every move, when in reality we become grind culture. We are grind culture. Grind culture is our everyday behaviors, expectations, and engagements with each other and the world around us. We have been socialized, manipulated, and indoctrinated by everything in culture to believe the lies of grind culture. In order for a capitalist system to thrive, our false beliefs in productivity and labor must remain. We have internalized its teachings and become zombie-like in Spirit and exhausted in body. So we push ourselves and each other under the guise of being hyperproductive and efficient. From a very young age we begin the slow process of disconnecting from our bodies’ need to rest and are praised when we work ourselves to exhaustion. We tell our children to “stop being lazy” when they aren’t participating in work culture with the same intensity as us. We lose empathy for ourselves first and push excessively. We become managers, teachers, and leaders who fall prey to the allure of a capitalist system and treat those we have the honor of working with as human machines. We become rigid and impatient when our checklist isn’t completed to perfection. We become less human and less secure. We believe we are only meant to survive and not thrive. We see care as unnecessary and unimportant. We believe we don’t really have to rest. We falsely believe hard work guarantees success in a capitalist system. I have been told this constantly for as long as I can remember. On nights when I worked two jobs, still unable to pay my bills on time or save, I continued to tell myself, “Burn the midnight oil, keep working hard, go to college, find a third job and a side hustle.” I clearly remember the moment it clicked for me how a capitalist, patriarchal, ableist, anti-Black system could never make space for the success I wanted for myself. The “success” grind culture props up centers constant labor, material wealth, and overworking as a badge of honor. Resting is about the beginning process of undoing trauma so that we can thrive and evolve back to our natural state: a state of ease and rest.” The concept of “Rest as Resistance” is a powerful and increasingly relevant idea, particularly in social justice, mental health, and activism circles. It challenges the dominant cultural narrative that equates constant productivity and busyness with worth and success. Here are some key aspects of this concept: She goes on to say: “I keep hearing about the ways we exhaust ourselves to be seen as valuable and I am wondering when we will shift to see our inherent worth. When this happens, we will be closer to liberation. How can we access pleasure, joy and liberation if we are too tired to experience it? Let our rest be a resurrection. Let the veils be lifted so we can fed, see, taste, and smell the power of our rested selves. May we realise a full mental shift must be made to reimagine and reclaim rest as holy. May we be excited by the impossible and move through any cynicism or hopelessness to emerge on the other side steady with love, persistence, and hope. Rest can save, sustain, and prop us up when we feel weak and our backs are against the wall. Our greatest hope to thrive and disrupt is to rest deeply and intentionally. The rest is the work. It is how the portal for liberation and a reckoning will emerge and remain open. May the portal of rest be our refuge. May we go there often.” I hope you’re reading this lying down. READ THE BOOK >>

The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child

The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child by Thom Hartmann delves deep into the idea that ADHD traits are not just challenges, but can also be viewed as gifts or advantages in certain contexts. He refers to the condition as the “Edison gene,” suggesting that the same traits that may cause challenges in modern, structured environments can also lead to exceptional creativity and innovation, as exemplified by Thomas Edison and other historical figures who exhibited ADHD-like traits. Hartmann’s book is significant for several reasons: The Edison Gene contributes to the broader conversation about ADHD by offering an alternative viewpoint that challenges conventional narratives. Hartmann’s work has been influential in sparking discussions about neurodiversity and the value of different types of thinking in society. As more and more of my clients are being diagnosed, or self-diagnosing with ADHD, I’ve had to take a deep dive into the best ways of supporting them . Although this book is geared towards parents of children with ADHD, it really shined a light on ADHD in framing it as an evolutionary adaptation that doesn’t fit well in our modern times, rather than ‘disease’, reminding of this parallel with PCOS. READ THE BOOK >>

The Quick Roasting Tin

The Quick Roasting Tin is a cookbook by Rukmini Iyer, part of her popular ‘Roasting Tin’ series. The book focuses on simple, quick, and delicious meals that can be prepared using just one roasting tin. This approach is designed to minimize preparation and washing up, making cooking more accessible and enjoyable. The recipes are known for their convenience and quick preparation. Each dish typically requires just a few minutes of hands-on prep time before being placed in the oven to cook. The recipes cover a wide range of cuisines and include options for various dietary preferences, including vegetarian, vegan, and meat dishes. Her approach is to use fresh ingredients and combine them in innovative yet straightforward ways to create flavourful meals. Her recipes involve placing all the ingredients into a single roasting tin and then baking them in the oven, resulting in dishes that are both easy to make and full of flavour. As a single mother with a teenage daughter and a busy practice, this is exactly the sort of recipe book I like – quick preparation, fast cooking times and tasty low carbohydrate meals (a few need adapting!) with minimal washing up. READ THE BOOK >>

Super Gut

“Super Gut” by Dr. William Davis goes beyond the basics of gut health, delving into the complex interplay between our microbiome and various aspects of our health and well-being. Dr. Davis presents a compelling argument that a healthy gut is central to overall health, influencing everything from weight management to mental health. Key aspects of the book include: Dr. William Davis has popularised a homemade yogurt recipe featuring the probiotic strain Lactobacillus reuteri. This specific strain of bacteria is noted for its various potential health benefits, which include enhancing the immune system, improving skin health, and potentially having anti-aging effects. The L. reuteri yogurt recipe by Dr. Davis is distinctive because it involves a prolonged fermentation process, often lasting much longer than traditional yogurt fermentation. This extended fermentation time allows for a higher proliferation of the L. reuteri bacteria. He says: “Lactobacillus reuteri is a star in the world of intestinal microbes, one that yields spectacular effects for its human host. Up until the mid-twentieth century, most people in the Western world enjoyed the benefits of this bacterial species dwelling in their GI tracts, which they had acquired from their mothers as infants by passage through the birth canal and breastfeeding. Indigenous people living in jungles and mountains, as well as chickens, pigs, and other creatures, carry this microorganism, suggesting that it plays an essential role in survival. But modem life has eradicated this species from 96 percent of people in the Western world. Today, only 4 percent – fewer than one in twenty people-continue to enjoy the presence of this marvellous species. Among the many benefits of L. reuteri is its unique capacity to trigger the release of the hormone oxytocin from the human brain, which has been demonstrated through an elegant series of experiments conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Think about that: a microbe living in your GI tract determines an important aspect of your brain’s functioning. Oxytocin is the hormone of empathy and connectedness. It is the hormone that surges when you are in love or feel closely connected to another person or pet your dog. Oxytocin helps you see the other side of an argument, cultivates sympathy for the plight of other people, and reduces social anxiety. A growing list of these phenomena is corroborated by human experiences. Since I have been advocating for the restoration of L. reuteri in modern people’s microbiomes, achieved by making L. reuteri yogurt with high bacterial counts (recipe provided later in the book), we have indeed been witnessing the effects seen in the experimental models reproduced in many people: thicker skin, reduction in skin wrinkles, accelerated healing, restoration of youthful muscle and strength, increased libido. And, because mice cannot tell us how they feel, people consuming this L. reuteri-rich yogurt are reporting additional effects such as deeper sleep with vivid dreams, reduced appetite, greater optimism, and less social anxiety, effects likely resulting from the oxytocin boost caused by the bacteria. Restoration of L. reuteri, therefore, doesn’t just make you a better, healthier human being but also can yield a range of effects that, I believe, turn back the clock ten, maybe twenty years. All this by restoring a bacterial species that, odds are, you probably lost or never received, let alone heard of.” I decided to make the L. reuteri yogurt at home and the effects were spectacular: the first thing that happened was that I started losing weight, the stubborn layer of fat that had still been hanging around since the pandemic; then I started sleeping better, feeling better and after a couple of weeks I developed a very strong urge to get fit and build muscle strength, an urge I’d never had before. I highly recommend his recipe (it’s in the book), it’s easy to make and tastes great, and just having a cup a day can provide significant benefits. This is what I use to make the yogurt: Dr. Davis’s approach in “Super Gut” is both educational and practical, offering a deep understanding of the microbiome’s importance and clear, actionable steps to improve gut health and, by extension, overall health. The book is a valuable resource for anyone looking to take a proactive approach to their health through diet and lifestyle changes. READ SUPER GUT >>

Cured

“Cured: Strengthen Your Immune System and Heal Your Life” by is written by Dr. Jeffrey Rediger, a psychiatrist and faculty member at Harvard Medical School, exploring the world of spontaneous healing and remission from chronic and fatal diseases. “Cured” delves into numerous case studies of patients who experienced remarkable recoveries from illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders. Dr. Rediger has thoroughly investigated these cases, looking for common factors that might explain these extraordinary healings. This book traces his investigative journey into the phenomenon of spontaneous remission over the course of seventeen years. Over and over, he’s seen survivors of incurable diseases make seismic changes in these areas (which are often passed over in routine medical care). Unsurprisingly he discovered that the link between our minds and bodies holds a well of potential when it came to radical healing – even mainstream medicine accepts that our stress levels and thought patterns, for example, can impact our physical health. But what was surprising was the depth of it, which was more profound than his medical training had ever prepared him for. He takes us along with him as he investigates just how interconnected radical healing is with our thoughts, beliefs, and even our most fundamental, often unexamined sense of self, asking the question: Can my identity, in some way, determine my ability to heal? The answer is both revelatory and complex. Throughout the book, he profiles, in depth, survivors of incurable diseases and finds that we must create a biological environment in the body and mind that sets the stage for healing. The body wants to heal, after all. He builds a discussion towards what he calls “the four pillars” of health: healing your immune system, healing your nutrition, healing your stress response, and what is most often left out of healing – healing your identity. “Cured” challenges traditional medical thinking by suggesting that factors often categorised as “placebo” or “spontaneous remission” may, in fact, hold critical insights into the body’s remarkable ability to heal itself. The book is not only a compilation of remarkable stories of healing but also a call for a more holistic approach to healthcare, where healing your identity is as important as considering the physical symptoms of disease. READ CURED >>

Hormone Intelligence

Hormone Intelligence: The Complete Guide to Calming Hormone Chaos and Restoring Your Body’s Natural Blueprint for Well-Being is written by Aviva Romm, a physician specialising in integrative medicine for women and children. Here she offers a comprehensive guide to understanding and managing hormonal health. In this book she explores the complex network of hormones in our bodies and how various factors, including diet, stress, environmental toxins, and lifestyle choices, can disrupt hormonal balance. She provides insights into common hormonal conditions like PMS, PCOS, and menopause, and offers holistic strategies for restoring hormonal balance. These strategies include dietary changes, herbal remedies, and lifestyle adjustments. The book blends conventional medical knowledge with natural and holistic approaches. Romm emphasises the importance of understanding the body’s natural rhythms and provides practical advice for women seeking to navigate hormonal issues with a more informed and integrative approach. The key focus of Hormone Intelligence is empowering women to take charge of their hormonal health by understanding the intricate connections between their bodies, their environments, and their lifestyles. Romm’s approach is both empathetic and evidence-based, making the book a valuable resource for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of women’s hormonal health. This is one of my favourite books on women’s hormones and one that like to dip into again and again, reminding me of the simple beauty and philosophy of functional medicine for women’s health. She beautifully ties together the main underlying causes of imbalanced hormones – nutrition, toxins, and stress – an approach that take with every woman that I work with. READ HORMONE INTELLIGENCE >>

Metabolical

“Metabolical” by Robert Lustig is a compelling deep dive into the pitfalls of modern nutrition and healthcare systems. Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist, exposes how processed foods, loaded with sugar and devoid of fiber, are the root cause of many metabolic diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes. He argues persuasively that the food industry and healthcare system are more invested in profit than in public health, leading to a widespread neglect of the underlying causes of these diseases. The book is a clarion call to rethink our approach to food and health, emphasising the need to shift from a focus on treating symptoms to addressing the root causes. Lustig advocates for a return to real, whole foods and a systemic overhaul to prioritise metabolic health. One of the book’s striking quotes encapsulates his message: “It’s not about obesity; it’s about metabolism. The food we eat determines our health.” In chapter 9, he goes into detail about how the medical approach to testing cholesterol is flawed and leads to the overprescribing of statins to lower the body’s level of LDL cholesterol. He says: “The current mindset among clinicians is to downshift everyone’s LDL-C through low-fat diet and drugs. Because that’s what they’re trained to do. I would know. I’m one of them. But really how beneficial are statins, and for what? Despite governmental recommendations to eat low-fat and despite a high prescription rate of statins, at a population level LDL-C levels haven’t change appreciably. It isn’t just the pill that’s the problem. The recommendation of a low-fat diet is just as bad. It’s true that fewer people are actually dying of heart attacks in the US and other high-income countries (although low-income countries still have high mortality rates). But that statistic belies the truth. While fewer are dying of heart attacks, more people are suffering them. Of course rising numbers could be due to improved recognition, ambulance response time, emergency room functioning, the clot buster tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), and heart attack post-care. But the real story is that more people are suffering heart attacks with lower LDL-Cs than before, because the standard fasting lipid profile–the blood test ordered by your practitioner to test your cholesterol–assumes that all LDL particles are the same. There are two different LDLs, but the lipid profile test measures them together. The majority (80 percent) of circulating LDL species are called large buoyant or type A LDL, which are increased by dietary fat consumption. This is the species reduced by eating low-fat or by taking statins. However, large buoyant LDL is cardiovascularly neutral–meaning it’s not the particle driving the accumulation of plaque in the arteries leading to heart disease. Then there’s a second, less common (only 20 percent) LDL species called small dense or type B LDL. There is some debate as to whether or not it’s the actual perpetrator of the plaque, but it doesn’t matter; small dense LDL is predictive of risk for a heart attack. The problem is that statins will lower your LDL-C because they’re lowering the type A LDL, which is 80 percent of the total; but they’re not doing anything to the type B LDL, which is the problematic particle.” Statins such as Atorvastatin (Lipitor)⁠, Fluvastatin (Lescol XL)⁠, Lovastatin (Altoprev)⁠, Simvastatin (Zocor)⁠ are some of the drugs prescribed for menopausal women with high cholesterol, yet many of the trials that have established the efficacy and safety of statins were conducted predominantly or entirely in men, with results extrapolated to women. And these trials have not been validated by independent sources, which means that the data, and reasons for prescribing, are questionable.⁠⁠In the meantime, research shows that for women in menopause, statin drugs can increase the risk of diabetes by 48%! In tandem, diabetes is associated with dementia, and when combined with HRT, pushes the risk of dementia even higher. 75% of people with dementia are women. ⁠⁠How high should our cholesterol be as we get older? The research has not been done, but it is known that the higher the cholesterol as we get older, the lower risk of death. ⁠ The truth is – as laid out in Metabolical – that fundamental factor in the development of various metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease is a diet rich in sugar and poor in fibre, contributing to insulin resistance. This condition impairs the body’s ability to manage blood sugar effectively, leading to a host of health issues. Lustig emphasises the importance of a diet rich in real, whole foods to combat insulin resistance and improve overall metabolic health. Throughout the book, Lustig’s focus remains on addressing the underlying causes of metabolic diseases rather than just treating symptoms. He advocates for a holistic approach to health that includes dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and a critical evaluation of how the healthcare system and food industry impact our overall well-being. READ METABOLICAL >>

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