Midlife Magic, Menopause & Business w/ Lou Carbone – She Leads She Thrives Podcast Episode 24

Lou Carbone | She Leads She Thrives Podcast | Health and hormone coach | Peppermint Tree | Menopause Coach Perth Australia | Thrive Factor Archetypes | Womens Archetypes
Lou Carbone | She Leads She Thrives Podcast | Health and hormone coach | Peppermint Tree | Menopause Coach Perth Australia | Thrive Factor Archetypes | Womens Archetypes

In this episode Lou and I talk about

In this new episode, Shannon chats with live well advocate, health and hormone coach, Lou Carbone.


As you’ll hear Lou share her own hormone adventure led her to take her decades of personal interest and lived experience and certify as a coach who now specialises in supporting women as they navigate the hormonal landscape.


With Lou’s compassion, insight, wisdom, motivational style and commitment to the truth she’s supporting women to understand how peri-menopause and menopause can truly be an experience that is more midlife magic than midlife meh.


This episode is inspirational, educational and will 100% get you thinking differently about your health and hormones, particularly when you hear Lou share that over 50% of a woman’s life is spent in peri-menopause and menopause. That shocked me when I first heart it!


She Leads She Thrives, the podcast for ambitious, ingenious souls hosted by Shannon Dunn of Thrive Factor Co. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode.


In this episode you’ll hear us talk about


3:24 Hormonal adventures.

8:08 How Lou became interested in health coaching.

14:07 What is the problem with convenience foods?

20:13 What can women actually do about menopause?

26:17 How to nourish yourself.

33:00 Shannon’s introduction to hormonal health.

38:37 When is the time to start addressing your hormones?

45:01 Leadership in business and life.

47:52 How do you know when you’re thriving?

50:39 Connect with Lou

51:47 Final piece of wisdom that you’d like to share

Notable quotes

Lou Carbone_She Leads She Thrives Podcast Episode 24 Quote | Thrive Factor Archetypes | Business Coaching Perth Australia | Health Coach | Hormone Coach | Menopause Coach

Meet guest Lou Carbone

Lou Carbone is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with an additional certification in hormone coaching.


Challenged by her own “hormonal adventures” and the challenges faced by both her daughters, Lou was catapulted into this arena as a result of frustration and lack of support by those who were deemed to be the “those best able to support us”. 


Her passion is to educate and empower women so they understand how their bodies function and what they can do to support them in a holistic manner.  


Lou’s private and group coaching programs provide a supportive  space for women to discover why they feel the way they do and how they can effortlessly nourish themselves physically and emotionally in order that they can live well with abundant energy, healthy hormones, clarity and a body shape and size that they are comfortable with.


Connect with Lou here

Episode Transcript


She Lead She Thrives, the home of inspired conversations, practical and creative wisdom, expansive leadership and business insights, abundant Bragaudacious moments of celebration and useful info you can actually do something with.


You’ll hear about mindset marketing, money, magnetism, self awareness and the Thrive Factor Framework, it’s Archetypes and more. Amplify your role as a leader, a self led soul. Tap into your effortless success zone. Turn your ingeniousness and wisdom into profitable income streams.


From solo shows to guests you’ll definitely want more from, there’s something for every ambitious ingenious soul. 


I’m Shannon Dunn, a true OG of the business coaching space, with an obsession with thriving. You are so welcome here. Let’s dive into today’s episode.


Visit ThriveFactorCo.com/links for all the latest news and offers.

Shannon Dunn  01:57

Great big hello everyone and thank you for joining me here on the podcast She Leads She Thrives I’m Shannon Dunn, and oh girl definitely an OG have a business and leadership coaching space. Excited to have another guest to share with you today. 


Shannon Dunn  02:11

Now you get the vibe I’m sure that I love all of my guests. There’s very specific reasons why I invite these incredible women to come and connect with me and to be able to co-create a conversation that we can share with you. But today is kind of a little bit different. Because Lou Carboni is our guest today. She’s a health and hormone coach, I’ll share her bio in a moment. But Lou’s been a client of mine for some time now. And then, you know, in my love of all she stood for, I’ve become a client of hers. So which is such a great thing, right? If you’re watching the video of this at any point in time, she’s like, laughing but it’s the truth. Right? 


Shannon Dunn  02:48

So we’re going to dive in deep to find out more about what Lou’s all about what she stands for. And I’m gonna, you know, really guide the conversation to some very specific things. I want to hear more from her about in relation to women and our hormones, because it’s conversation that as I’ve aged in a physical kind of a way, that there’s not enough conversations about this kind of stuff. And so, Lou, I’m so happy to have you here and I know you’re like “podcast, what are you going to ask me? What are we going to do?” And I keep saying you and I talk about these kinds of same stuff all the time. Right. So welcome.


Lou Carbone  03:24

Thank you. Oh, my gosh, thank you. I’m really happy to be here. And thank you for inviting me because I’ve listened to many of your podcasts already. And just absolutely fabulous women that you’ve interviewed. It’s been an amazing…. What is it only four months already?


Shannon Dunn  03:40

Yeah. So now we’re where we are when we’re recording this episode, because this will go live at some point in the coming year. We’re at the four month mark and 16 500 downloads and 20 episodes its phenomenal. And yeah, yeah, as I intended you and I talked about the intentional thing exactly as I intended, but it doesn’t mean it’s always going to come through like that. And you can add your name to the list of podcast guests. Yeah.


Lou Carbone  04:06

Thank you immense gratitude. Thank you so much. My pleasure, darling.


Shannon Dunn  04:09

So let me share your bio so we can tell everyone kind of the official stuff about you. And then we’ll dive into some conversation. So Lou is an integrative nutrition health coach with an additional certification hormone coaching, which honestly just kind of interject there. That to me, was like, this is the game changer for you, as well as a health coach, right? challenged by her own hormonal adventures. I love that you put that in air quotes hormonal adventures and the challenges faced by both daughters, Lou was catapulted into this arena as a result of frustration and lack of support by those who were deemed to be those best able to support us right and will no doubt we’ll talk about that during our conversation today. 


Shannon Dunn  04:48

Her passion is to educate and empower women so that they understand how their bodies function, and what they can do to support them in a holistic manner. A private and group coaching programs provide a supportive space for women to discover why they feel the way they do, and how they can effortlessly nourish themselves physically and emotionally in order that they can live well with abundant energy, healthy hormones, clarity and a body shape and size that they’re comfortable with. It’s like so refreshing reading all this, I know we’ve worked on you getting clear about like, what are the words to describe what I do? Very, very cool, but let’s dive straight in. 


Shannon Dunn  05:21

That whole hormonal your own hormonal adventure, like, I want to hear about that, you know, the women that are listening to us are highly likely they’re, you know, they’re all over the world, but they are ambitious, you know, impact driven souls, highly likely women in business and leadership. You know, they’re probably at a certain age where, you know, we all have hormones, but like, where those hormones may not be supporting them, like they probably took for granted when they were younger. But tell us about your hormonal adventure. That was your terminology.


Lou Carbone  05:53

I thought about how can I best describe it, and challenge was one way but no, it was an adventure because it just took me on such a journey to where I am now, basically, yeah. So I always had a very even menstrual cycle, I was blessed in that way. And then all of a sudden, my cycle stopped. I was 50. And it just stopped and I was that, okay, this is the beginning of menopause. But for me, that actually wasn’t menopause. I never cycled again. So that was like it was emotionally and physically impacting basically. At about the same time, I also suffered from frozen shoulder. I actually had no idea that that was related to my hormones at the time but  with my research and going forward, I found out that that was a contributing factor. 


Lou Carbone  06:46

My moods were all over the place. I actually remember looking in the mirror one day as well thinking, where did this cellulite come from? I never used to have this much cellulite. It just seemed to appear out of nowhere, right. And I was getting this little roll of excess stuff around my middle. The just didn’t sit right with me. I was like, hang on a minute, I’m eating the same foods. I’m doing the same exercise I’ve always done and I  I love my exercise. It’s a regular part of my routine. I’ve always eaten not like not specifically particularly correct all of the time. But I’ve always eaten well, yeah. So where is this extra weight coming from right now? Why do I have these grabbable bits around the middle here. So that was my menopausal experience. 


Lou Carbone  07:38

At the same time, I was also dealing with one daughter, who would be rolling around on the kitchen floor every month in agony as her period approached. I’m like, this can’t go on for the rest of her life. And it was something that I didn’t experience. It was something completely new to me. That’s like no, as a mum, I need to work out what we can do about this. And she was quite adamant about not going on the oral contraceptive at that point. There’s another part of that story coming. And another daughter who should have started menstruating but hadn’t. And that was a bit of a question mark in my mind, too. Because given everything else regarding her age and stage and her development and her growth and all the rest, I really thought that her menstrual cycle should have started by the age that she was at that I think she was about 13 then. So that was another another sort of question mark in our whole family hormonal adventure. 


Lou Carbone  08:39

Yeah, so it was about that time too that I was already heavily involved in a community that was looking at low tox options for their families in their homes. And I was hosting informal workshops for women in my own home, introducing them to low box options for their families, like safer options, getting away from the traditional chemicals that we use on an everyday basis, because I just intuitively knew that that was a good way to go. 


Lou Carbone  09:10

I actually didn’t fully realize how much of an impact those products were having on our hormones at the time.  I guess being involved in a community like that, you have the opportunity to meet people that are like minded. Yeah, it was a big, it was a big adventure. Yeah. And I remember one day, I was actually doing a yoga class with a beautiful lady and she asked me to introduce essential oils to the people in the yoga class that we were doing together. Actually, it wasn’t only yoga, it was chakra balancing as well, because that’s something I’m really fond of. It was chakra balancing, yoga and essential oils. And we caught up for lunch following that class couple of days later, and she mentioned two words, “health coaching”, and I was like, whoa, what did you say? Tell me more about that. And she was the one that introduced me to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York, told me all about the course and I think it was only a matter of hours before I was signed up. I was like, this intuitively feels so right for me. Because given what I’ve had to learn, and research about our own hormonal challenges, I really want to formalize my learning and then support other women with it. So yeah, in a very small nutshell, that’s how this is all eventuated.


Shannon Dunn  10:48

Makes so much sense, and I hear your fourth Thrive Factor Archetypes all at play there. Like there’s the Inspire Believer going. Yes, this makes sense taking inspired action. The Mentor Teacher loving learning and I know you that like the depth of learning, the breadth and depth of knowledge and wisdom that you share in the way that you work with your clients and both one on one and in groups is so thorough. You know, the Advocate Rescuer coming from that heartspace of others don’t have to suffer. These coming together in the Mediator Diplomat about things are not right, like we need to speak up about this. Yeah, love that we can see all of those playing out. 


Shannon Dunn  11:24

So with so many of us confused about hormonal health, tell us about those key stages of, your area very much specializing in peri-menopause and menopause. But tell us about the key stages. And why as business women, it’s important to know them, like to know more about this, you know, things are changing in our world. From my learning from my own experience, classic symptoms, but – and I felt like I was quite educated in this space through my own hormonal health journey that wasn’t as what was a happy as I would want it to have been during my life – but I still was kind of shocked when perimenopause hit, even though I felt like I had done some pre-work and educated and tried to support myself from a health perspective to be not so ready for it but to engage with it in a hopefully a healthier way than what or happier way than what it actually did it me. So, tell us about those two things, peri-menopause, maybe where we start and we talk about menopause. And why we really want to know about this stuff.


Lou Carbone  12:32

Yeah, sure. So I’m actually going to work backwards. And just say, I’m gonna just make one statement first. So the average age of menopause is around about 51 here in Australia.


Shannon Dunn  12:44

okay. I imagine relatively similar in other more westernized parts of the world. Yeah.


Lou Carbone  12:51

100% 100%. So let’s work backwards from there. So perimenopause can actually occur up to 10 or 11 years before that.


Shannon Dunn  13:01

Wow. See, I didn’t realise it was that far ahead.


Lou Carbone  13:04

We’re seeing more and more and more cases now of it’s starting even earlier, like mid 30s. yeah. But at the moment, those are the sorts of figures we work on. So around about the age of 40, let’s look at a woman’s life, right. She’s typically had a child or a couple of children or whatever. Typically, she’s back in the workforce. So things are really busy. Yeah, she is a wife. She’s a mother. This is a very typical scenario. It’s not everybody’s scenario, right? Typically, she’s very busy in the workforce, raising children, school commitments, sporting commitments. She’s trying to get to the gym herself, maybe or fit in some form of exercise, often that goes by the wayside. Yeah. There’s a lot of things going on. And unfortunately, in our life today, we don’t sort of step back and accept that rest is okay. So it’s go, go, go.


Lou Carbone  13:04

What is it every time you turn around, you’re being told about all the things you can achieve and how it’s important that you do that to be be your best self. And, you know, the messaging the world is not helpful in terms of optimal health.


Lou Carbone  14:21

Correct. 100%. And on top of that, we have so many convenience foods nowadays, it’s very easy to drop into Baker’s Delight, which is like for those people who are overseas, it might be a takeaway, sort of bread and afternoon tea shop, I’m going to call it and we all know what convenience food is. It’s very easy just to drop in there and grab some snacks. It’s very easy just to grab a sandwich and not necessarily paying attention to what sort of bread you’re using, what sort of food putting in a sandwich. And for women, typically, I see them grabbing a coffee and running out the door in the morning, they’ve fed the kids, kids are fed, but they’ve forgotten to feed themselves. 


Shannon Dunn  15:04

I don’t have time for that, I don’t have time for breakfast, I don’t have time to nourish myself with food.


Lou Carbone  15:10

That’s such a big catch call, right now. I don’t have time. 


Shannon Dunn  15:14

I’ve always had a relationship with breakfast. It’s one of my favorite foods. But it certainly there were times in my life where it did feel like I did not have time to actually have the kind of breakfast that I wanted to be having. I don’t eat, long term gluten free here, because I can’t eat wheat, so I don’t eat cereals. I don’t love, you know, love toast kind of things, those convenience foods for breakfast. So it was like, for me, it’s been about cooking eggs or cooking something for breakfast, which again, feels like it’s very time consuming. It’s not that 15 minutes earlier, but you know, and I didn’t have kids to feed or to do anything with. But still I also fell into that trap, if you want to call it that, of I’ll just get something when I get to my office or, you know, when I finished my first call or something with a client, then you don’t. Next thing it’s lunchtime or mid afternoon and you haven’t eaten properly all day.


Lou Carbone  16:11

Yeah, 100% I’m very happy to say from a coach point of view that my client Shannon is doing so much better than before.


Shannon Dunn  16:19

She is. She’s even got a green juice here, for those of you that ever watch the video version of this, right? Doesn’t look a pretty color, but…


Lou Carbone  16:27

Model coaching client now. Yeah, yeah. So I mean, we have a scenario of extra extra busy women, convenience food on the run, putting everybody else first, not necessarily nourishing herself. Everybody seems to be tired. So it’s okay if she feels tired, too. And then on top of that, we have so many pollutants in our environment too that mess with our hormones. So this is something that our great grandparents didn’t have to contend with so much. And they didn’t have the convenience foods either. So as you can see, like things are changing now in our society. There are so many more external pressures on our body that we may not even be aware of.


Shannon Dunn  17:12

I feel like perfect interjection right here, what’s that stat that you share that it blows me away every time then I kind of like it’s almost like my brain can’t comprehend it because it’s too much to process but about how many toxins we’re potentially exposed to before we kind of leave you know, first thing in the morning?


Lou Carbone  17:29

Yeah, so if you’re using conventional products, you potentially exposing yourself to over a couple of 100 toxins every single morning. So say that you cleanse your face, you moisturize your face, you pop some makeup on all totally okay. You may have washed your hair, you put some deodorant on, you may have sprayed perfume, don’t even get me started on perfume, right? You might have wiped the kitchen benchtops with a spray and wipe or something like something like that. Potentially, you could have exposed yourself to over 200, maybe even up to 500 different chemicals unknowingly. 


Lou Carbone  18:05

The unfortunate thing about that is that they are absorbed into our body and our livers are overloaded and that affects our hormones. And many of them actually can I’m going to use a really big word here mix, many of them actually contains xenoestrogens, which have fake estrogens. Yeah. And they interrupt our hormonal balance in a big way as well. So in a lot of people, we’re seeing estrogen dominance, and we’re obviously exposed or we’re experiencing a lot more illnesses and diseases that are estrogen driven as well. And potentially, you know, these environmental toxins play a very big part in that. 


Lou Carbone  18:45

So this is all what we’re having to contend with with those 10 or more years building up to that stage of menopause. Yeah, so when we hit menopause, our body is worn out, totally worn out. During menopause, when our cycling is all over the place, because some months we will ovulate, some months we won’t ovulate, so our estrogen levels that up and down, our progesterone levels are more or less depleted by this stage because yeah, because in today’s busy, busy lifestyle, where our adrenal glands are constantly pumping out cortisol, yeah, our progesterone gets depleted. 


Lou Carbone  18:45

If we have low progesterone and  our estrogen is up and down and all over the place that potentially can affect our moods. It can affect our physical energy.It can even affect things like our cholesterol, can affect our weight. So hence that extra layer around the middle that I was talking about before, so I was a classic case, my estrogen was higher, a lot lot higher than what my progesterone was by the time I hit menopause. Yeah, classic case, study lineup here, the extra padding, the mood swings, the poor sleep, the hot flashes, all of that sort of thing. It can be overcome, though.


Shannon Dunn  20:13

So as business women, like if anyone hasn’t kind of already clocked that there’s some ideas about why this is important. You know, what are the key things in terms of where it you know, like you and I women that you and I were running businesses, we’re trying to make a positive impact in the world, really support people through the different work that we do as online service providers, you know, and yet all of this is happening in the background with our hormones. And, you know, for me, one of my biggest contributors, to me really waking up to the reality of menopause was the brain fog. And thinking like what is going on with my head, I’m always able to rely on my sharp brain, that’s got lots of ideas, that remembers things. And I couldn’t, I was forgetting stuff that just didn’t make sense to me. I couldn’t concentrate. I couldn’t, you know, come up with new ideas. And my creativity seemed to go AWOL, I get paid to use my brain what on earth is going on? 


Shannon Dunn  21:05

And while I was aware that it was highly related to hormones, like highly likely related, the actual living  lived experience of it was a next level like, this is not okay. So like other women will have different potential experience. But you know, as business women like what’s important for us to be mindful of when we’re coming through this perimenopause decade, thanks for sharing that Lou. I’m glad I’m on the other side of that. And menopause.


Lou Carbone  21:31

Well, it’s interesting. Firstly, I’m just going to go back to your comment just then. I’m glad I’m on the other side of it. And that’s, and Shan and I were having a chat before the podcast, too. That’s a shame that women have to actually say that, because it doesn’t actually have to be that way. And the other thing that Shannon and I were talking about that really gets us going is Oh, it’s just old age, I’m just getting older. Oh, yes.


Shannon Dunn  21:54

And I remember being told that by various, what I would say trusted medical professionals, by friends, by older women that I would have hoped could be more supportive to those of us starting this journey around It’s just what happens when you get older, they just accept, you know, this, you just deal with it. Everyone I might know, it’s not happening to everybody.  I don’t have the Mediator Diplomat archetype like Lou does, but I think I have enough of that energy within me, my probably my Mentor Teacher, too, and seeing women around me suffering and suffering in silence, not wanting to talk about it. And I made a decision, you know, as I was in that perimenopause space, I want to talk about this more. And then you know, no surprise, I end up with a client like Lou, where I could literally have regular conversations about it and learn from you. That’s not the role as your coach, but to really challenge you, because of the lived experience myself and my friends have gone through, to support you to be more vocal, and to really get out there with the work you’re doing so that it doesn’t have to be like that for others. 


Lou Carbone  22:57

No. And that’s what I’m so passionate about. So getting back to your initial question, what can women actually do? So when I’m coaching people, or women of this particular age group, nutrition is always one of my foundational pillars. I’ll start there. So I grew up in the era of don’t eat more than four eggs a week. Keep your fats low. Things like that. That is not the case nowadays. I’ll always talk to women about increasing their healthy fats. So it loads of avocados and nuts and all those beautiful healthy fats. I’ll talk to women about ting breakfast, because like I mentioned earlier, so many of them don’t. Like this is really simple stuff. It’s not rocket science, but because we’re busy people often caring for so many other people, this is something we don’t do. 


Lou Carbone  23:50

So have breakfast, make sure your breakfast includes protein, eat protein, because that’ll sustain your energy levels during the day it’ll nourish your hormones, it will stop you reaching – will help to stop you reaching  -for those sweet or carb driven foods later in the day. Yeah.  I’ll stress that they should have protein evenly throughout the day. Often, my clients will end up eating more food than what they did before, once they’ve worked with me, than what they did prior because now they’re nourishing their bodies more, but they also at the same time realize that that extra padding they’ve gained is also falling off. 


Lou Carbone  24:30

So it’s about nourishing your body in the right way. Never counting calories. I remember driving my mum crazy when I went through that stage. Thankfully, it was very short live but I will never revert to that. I do remember one of my clients saying to me a few months ago she goes So Lou I just had a Scotch finger biscuit because Lou it’s only 80 calories. And that’s I just had it I thought all right, let’s just talk about that. I said, you could have had an apple, because that 80 calories and an apple is so much more valuable, the nutrients and the fiber and the vitamins and all the rest. So this is why we don’t talk about calories. But she’s of that age group, right? 


Shannon Dunn  25:17

You and I are of the era where, you know, our mums very much were women that were taught to count calories if they had a weight issue you know, weighing out stuff and your weight issue or not, it was kind of like what all she and her were friends did, they weighed out everything they ate, they ate skim this and that, you know that they don’t have fat of any description. You know, I don’t even remember protein even being talked about that feels like a more modern conversation. And that they didn’t have the same level of access to convenience foods that you and I and then like your, you know, your kids, your adult children have. So yeah, that was what was role modelled to us. And the conversations, the whole Weight Watchers kind of notion around weight control and weight management was very calorie driven. That had x calories, and you know, it was calories in/calories out kind of stuff and how much thank God that’s changed.  


Lou Carbone  26:17

Yeah, don’t get me started. So that’s something that I will say to women, please nourish yourself well. Start with a good healthy breakfast. If it has to be on the run, so be it but make prepare it the night before. So my favorite is to recommend a protein smoothie that’s got maybe a handful of spinach in there, a little bit of avocado, obviously, some protein powder in there. And a handful of berries or half a banana or something like that. Get your breakfast into you. Yeah. 


Lou Carbone  26:47

What else would I say to women, please do some strength training or resistance training. Okay, the old cardio driven exercise four times a week, that’s not suitable for you at that age group. Yeah. So start lifting weights, because that actually helps to balance your hormones. Yeah. It sets you up with better bone density, better muscle, and better hormone balance for the rest of your life. Yeah. It actually boosts your testosterone too, which is a hormone thats sometimes forgotten about in women, but it’s vitally important for your mental health and lots of other things, too. 


Lou Carbone  27:25

What else do we talk about? I mean, we talk about lots of things, we just would cover thyroid health and gut health and all of those lovely intricacies that are interwoven together. But if I was to give three pieces of advice, it would be to eat protein regularly throughout the day, starting at breakfast time. Yeah. To lift weights, and to embody deep belly diaphragmatic breathing, so your box breathing? Yeah, so breathing in, right down to your belly and exhaling even longer than what you inhale. Or those are the three top tips that I would always tell women because they’re simple. And that’s the big thing with my programs. I like to make it simple for ladies.


Shannon Dunn  28:09

You do definitely. And yeah, you know, having those places to start that feel like, yeah, I can do this. And it’s not about I have to do them every single day, like, you know, with that kind of that same energy of the hustle kind of culture of, you know, you know, what’s it kind of being driven and that kind of thing. No, just do them, when you remember, make your time to do them, the benefits will outweigh the you know, the the negatives of, you know, trying to fit them in. 


Shannon Dunn  28:37

I think once you you work on the whole notion of what you refer to as living well, it just becomes second nature, and it does become easier to do. I think at the beginning, I’ve watched this having been in your programs, a lot of the women that first start working with you in that group environment, I imagine it’s the same for your one on one clients too Lou ,is that it can feel and look very overwhelming, because it is often, despite how simple you talk through the ins and outs of things and provide simple easy to action steps, if it’s so different to their perception of what their reality is, it can be like, Oh, this is all too much. 


Shannon Dunn  29:16

And I you know, I remember when we did the Live Well program last year, and that was so cool being in your fight, you know, your launch cohort for that program. And then there was you know, watching women freak out about them not being able to have dairy for a period of time. And you know, but you’re giving very, very thorough and purposeful information about why for a period of time they were going to come off dairy and coffee and having that conversation and all the things and wine and all the things that we’ve used to top ourselves up for years often, why just for a period of time try without and here’s what you can do to nourish yourself differently. 


Lou Carbone  29:54

And you have seen that I guess in the latest group program, Detox and Release these women have been amazing, they have just grasped that elimination stage so enthusiastically and cut out gluten, dairy and alcohol and caffeine all at once. Yeah, I could have done it in stages, but they did it all at once, and they feeling amazing. And I just want to stress here that this, when I encourage my clients to do this, it’s for the purpose of discovering how your body feels without it. It’s not ever if you don’t want it to be forever, but to feel to experience how you feel without those.


Shannon Dunn  30:38

And I can just, having done your programs and worked with you on the content of them as you know in the coaching we do often, we have conversations about, you know, you’re getting clarity on what you’re going to include and why and how to really convey that to the ideal people for your programs, is that you very much guide people to do it at a stage or really pace that works for them. So that it’s not like, okay, immediately you’re going to be off all these things, or you’re going to start by having the things that has been your default for often years. You’re very, very gentle and encouraging with people as they make their decisions about stopping having some things as you said, so they have the opportunity to understand how they feel, and how different their body can be during those periods of time without certain things that may have been negatively impacting them previously.


Lou Carbone  31:29

Yeah, if we don’t give it a go, we’re not going to know basically. Yeah, absolutely. That it’s very important to at the same time to embody a mindset that is empowering, and it’s not depriving. That’s how I work with my clients, instead of thinking, I’m missing out on this. And I’m missing out on that. It’s about empowering them with the knowledge and appreciation of what they are actually ingesting instead of.


Shannon Dunn  31:57

Yeah, totally. And I think when you’ve had experiences where so for example, from that mindset perspective, you haven’t been as naturally maybe optimistic or encouraging of yourself as you might be of others, or like, like my personal experience of the brain fog and the what, you know, the all the questioning and the second guessing. And it was like it was like some impostor had literally taken over my brain is so out of character and just really challenged me.  I was like, who is this,  what is that’s possessed me, what is going on. Highly aware that it was likely hormones, but still, it was confronting to experience it. 


Shannon Dunn  32:34

But when you have the chance to remember that it can be different because you have removed some things in terms of food, or you’ve changed your exercise or you’ve added in rest, or you’ve added in, you know, support for your mindset and your wellbeing and your emotions. It’s hard to go back to things you may have been doing before that made you feel terrible, and you didn’t realize. It’s such a positive experience.


Lou Carbone  33:00

Yeah. But I commend you, Shannon, for actually having that realization, unfortunately, lack of education out there, a lot of women don’t even realize that the symptoms they are experiencing at a certain stage in their life are related to their hormones. Oh, definitely. You did. You realize that that brain fog was.


Shannon Dunn  33:23

Really, it was because you know, into my 30s. And, you know, attempting to have a child and that didn’t work. And I learned a lot about hormonal health back then. But that was through my menstruating years. So I get it, I guess it opened up my interest about hormonal health. And then, you know, anyone listening to the podcast, if you listen to earlier episodes, you would have heard my conversation with our very first guest Stasha Washburn, who’s a fabulous friend of mine, who’s based in the US, who is The Period Coach, meeting people like Stasha through the business experience and learning about you know, menstrual cycles and women’s cycles and hormone health, meeting you, working with you, other clients I’ve had over the years that have been in this space. 


Shannon Dunn  34:07

It’s been a gift to me personally, because of the learning and the also to in to expand my already inquiring mind and soul around well how can I learn more about this kind of stuff. But again, as I said, I’ve seen too many women in kind of from those 40s onwards, suffering and doing it in silence, but you kind of can still, I guess I’ve very intuitively picked things up so I’m just the one who opens the conversation to my friends about where are you at like, you know, kind of know, we know what age people are, you know, you’re still getting your periods or like you’re still menstruating? Have you had your hormones checked? If you go to the doctor, do you want to know what you actually need to get to actually get tested? You know, things like that. I’m that person.


Lou Carbone  34:51

Yeah, good on you. You’re a valuable friend to have definitely. 


Shannon Dunn  34:55

Friend have been a little bit like this is interesting how conversations change. Well its like this was my experience. And I think mine again was relatively good in some regards, despite how confronting it was at times compared to others that I’ve heard about, you know. 


Lou Carbone  35:11

Possibly because you sourced out the education and the knowledge that you needed to make it a better experience. And unfortunately, so many women either don’t have the confidence to do that, or the competence to challenge what’s out there in mainstream medicine, or they don’t have the time. Right, like, don’t prioritize it, because let me tell you, when I was going through that stage, with me being menopausal, Monique rolling around on the floor, and my other daughter, not having yet started cycling, yeah, I can’t begin to add up how many hours I spent researching and asking questions and finding answers. But I’m so glad that I did. But not everybody has the luxury of that time. Or the drive. I made the time. Yeah. Or the desire. Yeah. 


Lou Carbone  36:02

But I just knew, and particularly when, at one stage when my youngest daughter said, we were on a journey of you know, solving her particular issues. And we were using a lot of what people call alternative therapies and supplements and all that sort of thing. And she said – she was 16 – And she said to me, can we go to a real doctor place? And every bone in my body, every ounce of my body said it’s not what I want to do. But she was 16. I had to respect her wishes. Yes, had to. 


Lou Carbone  36:39

So we did. And we ended up with an endocrinologist who, from my sister’s experience as a nurse was apparently one of the best endocrinologist to see in WA here in Australia. So we’ve had several appointments with her. Not for the best. So, unfortunately, she was put on various traditional medications that will work for some people, didn’t work for her, actually made her feel a lot worse. And this is not everybody’s experience. But this was our experience. 


Lou Carbone  37:13

And as a mother, God, it pained me to watch her through this, but I had to go through this for her own benefit. And I do the most poignant thing that came out of that whole experience was when we got absolutely nowhere after about 16 months with her. Absolutely nowhere, we’re probably went backwards. I sat in the office, in the clinic office with the endocrinologist and I said do you think we should be searching elsewhere for some answers for this challenge? Like I think we should be looking at mineral or vitamin deficiencies. Do you think we should be looking at various lifestyle factors? I asked all these questions. Do you think we should be considering nutrition? Do you think we should be considering – this is very challenging for me to ask these questions, but I had to because intuitively, I knew I had to – do you think that we should be looking at how her body’s working together as a whole because I don’t think we’ve been doing that. Yeah, her her name and all the rest. There was stunned silence. She just looked at me like I’d grown two heads. And her she went Hmm. That was it. I was I was like alright, thank you very much. We’ll be going now. 


Shannon Dunn  38:40

That’s it right? But there’s not people out there who have that I guess confidence who trust their instincts, who’s asked the questions, who challenged things and who very much except what certain health professionals across all different backgrounds will tell them as gospel and I think it’s such an interesting thing to observe and you know, some of you may listening may or may not know, my very first career I was a registered nurse.


Shannon Dunn  39:06

 It’s a long time ago now but I remember some of the things even there, looking at what treatments and even the conversations with patients about their health and wellbeing and thinking this is not okay. It’s not really all focused towards the best outcome for the patient always. And you know, I’m not in denial about the complexities of that kind of thing and healthcare systems and you know, it’s challenging, really is and the reasons I’m no longer in that space. 


Shannon Dunn  39:08

But I think where we can be more of an advocate for ourselves and those that we love and open up conversations, we all are going to benefit. Conversations with your friends, your whatever, which is why we like this Lou right. So so important than that. I think before we get to wrap up, we could talk like, I say this to to every guest, but it’s true, we could really talk about this for hours. But one of the things I wanted to just kind of touch on, before we come into some questions I’m asking all of the guests is, when is it the time to start addressing your hormones? You know, the women that are listening to this are going to be all different ages, but I would suggest highly likely in their 40s and older, but when is the time to address them? I wish that I had been, even in my own research and the information I did know, that I knew more about this so that I could have been even more proactive than I was earlier. So what would you suggest?


Lou Carbone  40:42



Shannon Dunn  40:44

See, so everyone just really had a shock then. Also add in, that no matter what age you are, it’s not too late to start.


Lou Carbone  40:50

No, it is not too late to start at any age. And the three things that I mentioned earlier. So protein right throughout the day, resistance training and deep belly breathing – they should, you should start that really, really early, really early, as early as you possibly can. And I see so many women now who have had babies who don’t recover as well as what we traditionally used to. And because there’s so many external factors that women maybe a couple of generations before us didn’t have to deal with, because women have to go back into the workforce so much earlier now after having a baby. 


Lou Carbone  41:26

Yeah, right.


Lou Carbone  41:26

There is so much more stress on them. Their adrenals are greatly affected, and then their thyroid health is affected, their hormones are affected that way, you know, they’re in a rush all of a sudden, where maybe previous generations weren’t in such a rush, because they didn’t have to get the baby’s ready, or the children ready for daycare, and then rush out of the door and then come back and spend time with the children and then get dinner on the table. And then whatever else they had to do at home, do you know what I mean? So it’s never too early, and the environmental toxins that I touched on earlier, too, that are greatly affecting our hormones. I mean, if you’re a mom, and you’re listening to this, I really encourage you to have a look at what products you are using in your home because it’s never too early to reduce the load on your body in that way as well. And that will greatly benefit your children, male or female.


Lou Carbone  41:32

It was actually there was actually a referral to men’s testosterone levels on The Project, which, if you’re not here in Australia is sort of like a what would you call it a news documentary.


Shannon Dunn  42:34

TV show, isn’t it? Yeah, yeah. opinion pieces, you know, things like that, where there might have speakers or a guest or someone of an expert nature. come and chat about a specific topic. 


Lou Carbone  42:45

Yeah. So there was even a referral to men’s testosterone levels dropping drastically they found and they related that to environmental toxins. So I don’t know why they weren’t talking about women that night, but it was specifically men. As a mother, for your own health and for the health of your children as well, I would start that as early as you possibly can.


Lou Carbone  43:07

 It’s never too late to start. So really, I didn’t take a deep dive into my hormonal health until I was 50. But I feel great now. I really feel great. Yeah. When I had the hot flushes, I had the extra roll around the middle, I had the extra cellulite, I had a touch of brain fog – it wasn’t too bad. But everybody experiences this differently. Right? 


Shannon Dunn  43:30

I think you know, those of you as I said, you maybe you’re not a mother, like I’m not, but I’ve got nieces. So again, I’m that Auntie that opens up the conversation about periods on the car ride to school, too much horror to my younger nieces, like teenage nieces at the time. I think now they’re more used to it. They’re never shocked about the things I want to talk about with them, which is a good thing. And it’s not that they’re not getting those conversations with other members of our family and their friendship groups and things. But I you know, it’s not – I don’t care, well I do care about the conversations they’re having with others, but I can’t influence those conversations. I can be hopefully a positive influence in the conversations I’m having with them. And I mean, the same thing, when the littlest niece is only six is older, you know, and  talk to their parents, my brothers and my sisters-in-law about things as well if I can. Share the podcast, tell them to please listen, but equally grandmother. So share these kind of conversations with my Mum and with her friends. You know, they’re in their 70s and 80s. And they were women that never talked about their menstrual cycles, that did not talk about menopause and I kind of do a poll and I’ve asked them all about what their menopause is, like, once they look get over the shock of “I can’t believe Shannon’s asking this” and then they share with me and a lot of them have shared that. No one’s ever asked them, even their own adult daughters. So it’s good. This is why we’re having this conversation, right?


Lou Carbone  45:01

You’re the  best friend for your friends. Obviously, and the best Auntie, honestly, that’s fabulous that you do that. But I mean, even doctors don’t recognize it unfortunately. Its sadly, it’s just a stage you’re going through. And yeah, every woman has to go through it, and you’ll eventually feel better.


Shannon Dunn  45:19

There’s not really a lot of confident guarantees that come from the Western medical world, or even some of the more complementary options out there. But anyway, all right.


Lou Carbone  45:32

One thing, I get it with doctors, unfortunately, they don’t have the training when they go through. Because let’s face it, they cannot cover absolutely everything in their training. And that’s the reality of it. But unfortunately, there’s nowhere for them to refer on to. In the US, health coaches often employed or often have their own office in medical clinics 


Lou Carbone  46:02

How amazing would that be? And the doctor would be like, “Oh, so you’re having hot flushes, you’ve gained extra weight? You’re this, you’re that, you’re not sleeping well, how about you go see a health coach”. Which is absolutely brilliant. Unfortunately, our system doesn’t recognize that yet.


Shannon Dunn  46:16

Yes, in Australia. But that will change. And I feel like that model will become more of the norm, hopefully, in as many parts of the world as it is possible. There’ll be parts of that, unfortunately, for various different things. But that may never be a reality. 


But it’s just like, I remember learning about, you know, traditional Chinese medicine years ago. And, you know, hearing about the fact that TCM practitioners were again, embedded in hospitals in China. Well, of course, like, you know, and that’s more of a holistic and in our world considered complementary medicine. But in other parts of the world, where these different medical kind of viewpoints and practices integrated into the way of life, there’s definitely a different experience. So let’s hope, you know, we all can learn from that for sure.


Lou Carbone  47:00

Yeah, absolutely.


Shannon Dunn  47:02

Got some questions to wrap up to get your view on these. The first one that I’ve been asking everyone, if I guess, what role does leadership play in your life and business?


Lou Carbone  47:11

Oh, okay. My life and business. So I naturally practice what I preach, I believe that’s my leadership role, and to be able to empower women to live their best life. I think it’s my leadership role, intuitively from my heart, from my soul. I don’t want women to live a life, lacking in energy, lacking in vitality, feeling dreadful every day. I want them to live their best life. And I feel that being a role model for that and inspiring them and helping them wherever I can, that is my call to leadership.


Shannon Dunn  47:52

Yeah, completely. And that very much embodies when I think about you, as the live well advocate, which is very much what you are, what you just shared is exactly, you know, reinforcing you living up to that claim, being a live well advocate – love it. So how do you know when you’re thriving?


Lou Carbone  48:11

Oh, I’m thriving when I’m sharing all that I’ve learned, my lived and my learned knowledge. That’s when I thrive, you know that Shannon. When I am willingly sharing that knowledge to women who really want to take it on board and encompass it and to, like I said before, to live their best life – that makes me thrive. I’ll never forget my first group call, my first group zoom, and Shannon knows about this because she lived that day with me. It wasn’t until 7pm that night – a mistake in the first place – I should have done it earlier in the day, so I wouldn’t have to wait so long that I was catering for the ladies who were working that day. And all day,  I was so nervous, so excited, so nervous, so excited, right? But I came off that Zoom call on such a high because I was able to speak my truth, speak knowledge, share what I know and empower other women, inspire them to live well, very much.


Shannon Dunn  49:14

And we talked about in the whole notion of the Thrive Factor world or you know, with that framework of coaching in the archetypes of being in your effortless success zone. I was on that call because I did that program with Lou as an active participant. And again, being her coach during the day, you know, messaging back and forth, just supporting her, listening to her kind of ups and downs and the various things. Just offering my own support and cheerleading. And it was such a joy to see you in your effortless success zone like literally it was like it all just came together. And when we, I know when I talk about being in the effortless success, a lot of my clients over the years have been like yeah, I don’t get it, I don’t get it, until something like that where they actually have that lived experience and afterwards like, “Oh, now I get it”. 


Shannon Dunn  49:14

And then I know it was months later you said to me, when you were then, you know, running the program, again, all the content was there, all the structure was there, all the systems were there, and even new programs that you’re launching, systems are all in place, and you’re like, now I get the effortless thing. Watching you in your zone and seeing so excited and grateful for the faces staring back at you, excited about what they were learning, ready to go on that journey of learning with you over, you know, a couple of months in that program. It was just such a joy for me as your coach and friends to witness that as well. So very cool. 


Shannon Dunn  50:39

So how can people connect with you the easiest? Where do they go to find out and you are such a consistent creator of useful content? Like, let’s just say that I’m not just saying that as your coach like you that some clients are looking at? And I’m like, oh, we need to do something about the content strategy here. You had a great one in place already. So yeah, where can people go and connect with you and find out more?


Lou Carbone  51:07

So Instagram is my most favorite place to share everything that I want to share with you. And I am known as The Peppermint Tree or Lou Carbone Health Coach. I’m sure Shannon will attach the handle. 


Shannon Dunn  51:19

Yep, all the links to them and your website will be definitely in the show notes.


Lou Carbone  51:26

I am also on Facebook, but I’ve got a regrettably, I’ve got to say I don’t share as well on Facebook. So if you can make the move to Insta, that would be great. I do have a website. And I actively post informative blogs on there as well. So that’s The Peppermint Tree. So those are the two places you’ll find me most active. Yeah.


Shannon Dunn  51:47

And what’s the final piece of wisdom that you’d like to share with those ambitious, kind of impact driven souls that are listening today around your area of expertise?


Lou Carbone  51:56

Oh, gosh, do you want me to sum this up in one sentence? Far out. Oh, all right. 


Shannon Dunn  52:05

One thing. 


Lou Carbone  52:08

Shannon, this is the hardest thing you’ve asked me.


Shannon Dunn  52:11

I know this for anyone who’s watching or listening. This is kind of the almost the worst nightmare for a Mediator Diplomat who just and Mentor Teacher who know an awful lot of stuff and have a billion ideas flood to their brain and like, which one do I talk about?


Lou Carbone  52:26

Okay, I’m not going to talk about which one, I’m just going to say, ladies – take your health into your own hands. And ladies, seek out the knowledge that you need to live well, feel well, be well.  Want something – go search for it. 


Don’t be content feeling shitty. So one of my Instagram posts recently was we spend 50% of our life on average in perimenopause and menopause. Yep. I don’t want you ladies feeling shitty for 50% of your lives. So seek out the knowledge.


Shannon Dunn  53:10

Love it. Yeah, thank you, Lou. Oh, it’s so cool. I knew this would be fun. It was easier than you thought maybe. It’s just like all the conversations we’ve been having together. And yeah, that’s what it is. It’s about having a conversation around a topic. This is I think one of the greatest parts for me, as the host of She Leads SHe Thrives is being able to do this, and to open up opportunities for women around the world to think differently about things, to challenge when they don’t feel right about something, whether it’s business or life or otherwise. And to feel that they can take an action in support of themselves and their thriving. 


Shannon Dunn  53:58

 Because yeah, without guests saying yes, it wouldn’t be quite the same. And listeners, thank you for tuning in every week and you know, making the most of this opportunity to learn and to be challenged to think differently, to be invited to think differently. And if you have found some value, and even the tiniest part of what Lou and I have talked about today, please share with the women in your world, no matter what stage or age they’re at, because they highly likely know others where this may also be of benefit. And this is how we change the narrative, we change the conversation, is by having it and sharing it with others. So you know, do yourself a favor and be that friends. Like I said like I made a commitment to be for my circle and my clients and everybody and you know – share. 


Lou Carbone  54:44

yeah. Yeah. And share all the other podcasts that of brilliant women that have been on these podcasts. Absolutely brilliant. So, and Shannon, just before we end,  just thank you so much for this opportunity. It’s been fabulous. Thank you.


Shannon Dunn  54:59

My pleasure darling, lovely to have you here. Thank you, everyone have an amazing day. Remember you were born to thrive, like that is an underlying belief that really is something that I feel like I was born in this world knowing that but I didn’t have the language for, certainly when I was younger, but you are, every single one of us is born with the potential to thrive and it very much is influenced by the choices you make, and the action you take, every single day, which is really the expression of self-leadership. So if something in your health or your wellbeing is not working for you, as Lou said, do something about it. Don’t put up with it for sure. Thanks everybody,  have a fabulous day wherever you are in the world. Yeah, keep following She Leads She Thrives, keep sharing, rate, review all those kinds of things. And I’ll be back with you with another episode very soon.

Thank you

Thanks for tuning into today’s episode. You are so valued and appreciated.


Aside from this podcast, my favorite place to hang out online is definitely Instagram. So come and join me shannon_thethrivefactor and know my DMs are always open for genuine questions and connections.


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