Julie Gordon White wants to improve the negative experiences and change the antiquated stereotypes that are often associated with menopause. A best-selling author and serial entrepreneur, she’s founded several successful ventures and has always had a passion for helping other women founders achieve their business goals. Through her latest venture, Bossa Bars, she’s shining a light on women’s health and wellness at midlife (and beyond) and is building a community that seeks to empower women throughout their menopause transition. Informed by her own experience with menopause and coupled with her deep experience as a successful entrepreneur, Julie is doing her part to help other women have a better menopause journey – one bar at a time.
Like so many other women, for Julie, menopause transition has been a journey. Now 56 years old and postmenopausal (she hasn’t had a period for the last two years), as she reflects back on her perimenopausal years, she says she experienced several mildly disruptive symptoms including hot flashes, bloating, and fatigue.
“For me, menopause came at a time when I was raising my kids, getting them ready for college and still trying to grow my career and business. The world didn’t stop because of I was having hot flashes.”
She recalls researching menopause online and being disheartened by the mostly negative images and articles of mature-looking women feeling either depressed or overwhelmed – neither which fit with her experience.
“I felt like I was fighting this natural occurrence alone with no help or guidance.”
Because her mother had a hysterectomy at 44 and didn’t recall her own experience with menopause transition, Julie turned to her closest friends to talk about what she was going through and to understand what they were doing to cope with the challenges of perimenopause. But even among her friend group, she found that some of them just didn’t like talking about menopause because they were embarrassed by it or fearful of getting older. Others brushed it off as something we all just have to “get through.”
But for Julie, who has always been an action-oriented optimist, resignation to suffering through menopause was not an acceptable option. “We can choose our thoughts,” she says. “And we can choose that menopause is a miserable time, or we can choose that it’s going to be the best next half of our lives.”
COVID-19 + Quarantine
When the world shut down due to COVID-19, Julie was still experiencing occasional hot flashes and some sleep disturbance in her post-menopausal life. After gaining 10 pounds from anxious snacking during the pandemic shutdown, Julie says she started to watch what she was eating to keep her body in check. “I started putting on some weight especially around the middle, and not feeling so great. Then I thought, ‘Nope, not going to do this.’ So I started making these bars in my kitchen.”
She started by making small changes, like swapping out her brownie cravings for healthier options and gradually began incorporating more plant-based meals into her diet. She also introduced meditation and workouts into her daily routine, contributing to an overall healthier lifestyle.
“After a while I realized that I was feeling better – and the best part is that I was having fewer hot flashes and fewer aches and pains, and my sleep improved.”
Julie realized that if this healthy, plant-based journey helped to alleviate some of the conditions that she’d been struggling to manage it might help other women as well.
The Creation of the Bossa Bar
Motivated by a need to curb her fondness for brownies and sweets in general, Julie wanted to create a healthy, tasty treat that would also help alleviate some of the discomfort was feeling…so she started to get crafty in the kitchen. Her mission? To create a satisfying snack bar that was plant-based, tasty and filling. It was also important that it include nutrients that would help to stave off her sweet and salty cravings.
She put on her chef’s hat and began experimenting with a combination of different natural (and premium) ingredients, like flaxseed, MCT oil, and cocoa powder. “The process of getting the right ingredients was definitely one of trial and error. Some batches were not tasty…others were dry and some just didn’t work out at all.” Still, she persisted.
When she came up with a batch that her husband couldn’t keep his hands off of, she knew she had a winning recipe. Julie continued to make the bars in her kitchen for herself and her family. After a few weeks she says that she started to see a major change in how she was looking and feeling. “I lost 10 pounds! My skin started to glow and my hair was stronger.” She also says that her hot flashes subsided.
“It was amazing! I was finding these plant-based bars to be so beneficial in my own life and I knew that I had to share them with others,” and Bossa Bars Menopause Energy Bars was born.
What is the Bossa Bar?
The Bossa Bar is a tasty, plant-based, keto-friendly energy bar that supplies a half serving of veggies per serving. All-natural, gluten-free, and vegan, Julie sourced only the best ingredients to formulate her recipe. “The bars are made of 69% dark chocolate with crunchy organic cacao nibs for texture. Other ingredients include flaxseed for fiber, pea protein for muscle maintenance, MCT oil to combat brain fog, organic Maca for energy, and a touch of sea salt to complement the dark chocolate.” At only 150 calories per bar, Julie says she often eats the bars with a glass of water to satisfy her sweet and salty cravings.
Julie emphasizes that it’s not just about the bar, but it’s also a mindset — or a menofesto, as she calls it — which is the motivating spirit behind the name:
Believe – The Meno is Empowering
Optimize – Energy, Eat More Plants
Snack – Smartly to trim the tummy
Sleep – Like a Baby (take naps)
Act – As if the best is yet to come
In addition to revolutionizing the menopause landscape with her new power bar, Julie is also fostering a community of support for women navigating this life stage through the “MenoLounge” conversation series. Her goal is to help women tap into a positive mindset when it comes to experiencing menopause transition.
“Today, there are 53 million women in the U.S. experiencing menopause. When we’re on this journey, we have to just come together and be empowered,” she says.
While the monthly MenoLounge sessions have been Zoom-based due to the pandemic, eventually she plans to hold in-person conversations, similar to the convenings she’s held for enterprising women in the past. “My goal is to create a space where women feel comfortable and not embarrassed to talk about their menopause journey.”
Bossing Up for Bossa Bars (#menolikeaboss)
An enterprising woman herself, Julie’s invested most of her time — and a significant amount of her own money to launch her new venture. Drawing on her experience building lucrative businesses in previous years, once she had a nutritionally-backed recipe Julie first set out find a manufacturer to create the bars, and then identified fulfillment centers in California and Texas that could support distribution nationwide.
As a business owner and leader, she also knows the importance of having great partners that can complement areas in which you may be lacking critical insight or expertise. Because of this, she’s been methodical in leveraging her network to build a dedicated and experienced team that’s working to help scale her idea from a kitchen concept to a thriving business. As of today, the bars are being sold and shipped throughout the United States, and with 1 billion women around the world headed toward menopause, Julie is hoping to expand to global shipping in the near future.
Laying the Groundwork for Success
Julie says when she wakes up in the morning her first course of action is to express gratitude for her good fortune and set her intentions for the day. “Before I do anything — before I look at my phone, before I grab a cup of coffee, I focus on what I’m grateful for and how I plan to live my appreciation through my thoughts and actions.”
She starts her day by asking herself these questions:
– What am I grateful for today?
– What is my intention for the day?
– How do I want to feel at the end of the day?
– Who do I need to engage today to share my message?
By grounding herself in this mindset each day and taking the time to breathe, she’s better able to center her thoughts and visualize her goals as “done” rather than get mired in the anxiety of what it’s going to take to get there. “I start with the end in mind. Instead of focusing on all that has to be accomplished to complete a goal, I envision what it looks and feels like when I’ve achieved it.”
And of course, having a Bossa Bar (or two) each day doesn’t hurt.