Catherine Robertson swears she can say ‘no’, but I’m not convinced.
The Wellington-based novelist juggles writing with numerous other activities: running training and coaching activities for her husband’s business; helping lead many literary organisations; launching events; attending book events around the country, and volunteering for a penal reform programme that sees her helping inmates with their literacy and education.
“I’m going to the prison today actually,” says Catherine, after telling me she’s just stepped off a flight from Queenstown. It’s 9.30am on a Monday.
I feel tired just listening to her. And I sense I’m getting the watered down version; somewhere in that busy timetable, she also fits in time for exercise, walking her dogs and spending time with her friends and family.
The hormone battle
I want to know Catherine’s secret. How do busy working women keep their energy levels up while fighting what can feel like a losing battle with hormones?
Catherine is anything but secretive about her answer: it’s MitoQ, a supplement designed to increase energy levels and combat risk of disease as the cells in our bodies naturally start to wane.
She first came across MitoQ when her husband started taking it. As a late-onset Type 1 diabetic, he was impressed when he started seeing results, particularly a reduction in his insulin use.
As Catherine began to approach menopause she noticed it was becoming harder to balance her busy life with what she describes as “hormonal shenanigans”.
“I’m in my early fifties and in perimenopause at the moment. And one of the things that happens to you is your body loses the ability to use the insulin you naturally produce.”
She started taking MitoQ on and off, but it wasn’t long before she started taking it full-time. She has been taking it consistently over the last six months and hasn’t looked back.
Catherine says it only took about a month to start to see an improvement with energy levels, iron deficiency as well as balancing out the hormonal ups and downs.
She describes MitoQ as “a supercharged version of CoQ10”, which is recommended for women at her phase of life.
She’s converted many of her friends – both women and men.
“We had a couple of friends who are generally fit guys in their fifties, but both of them had heart attacks – so they’ve both gone on the heart formulation.”
For her female friends, it’s all about having options, says Catherine.
“At this time of your life there’s not much you can do. A medical hysterectomy or HRT [hormone replacement therapy] might really work for some women. But if you can manage it through smart use of supplements and diet and exercise, then I’m not keen on going under the knife or having more hormones through me.”
“Energy’s precious, so my advice is don’t just put up with hormones going haywire. Take things like MitoQ to keep your energy levels up – and be kind to yourself.”