The Link Between Obesity and Cancer

February 23, 2020

Excess bodyweight is linked to 8% of all the cancers yet the connection is complicated to say the least. Listen in as two nutritionists expertly explain the connection and more importantly, what you can start doing today to reduce your risk.

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MELANIE: Welcome this morning to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I want to share an interesting fact from the American Cancer Society: “Excess body weight is linked to 8% of all the cancers.” The American Cancer Society reported that “the link between obesity and cancer risk is clear”. Actually, excess body fat increases your risk for several types of cancers, including colorectal cancer, breast, uterine, kidney, pancreatic and esophageal cancers. Good morning listeners. I am Melanie Beasley, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And because I had breast cancer several years ago, I'm always on the lookout for the latest research about cancer prevention and the treatment. Joining me as our co-host this morning is Carolyn Hudson, who's also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and has been working in the field of nutrition for a very long time. She has a wide range of employment opportunities and adverse clientele. I think she's very wise. She's dealt with a variety of health issues. And fairly recently about three weeks ago, Carolyn had hip replacement surgery because she wants to keep up with her mother who hikes the Lake Superior trails. And I forgot to mention that her mother is 92 years old and loves to hike. I think that's fantastic. I kind of want to be her.

CAROLYN: Yeah, she loves to kayak too.

MELANIE: Crazy good. Carolyn, you had hip surgery just three weeks ago, yes?


MELANIE: And you're already back to work and you're looking good; looking spry.

CAROLYN: Thank you.

MELANIE: How did you recover so quickly?

CAROLYN: Oh yeah. You know, I went back to work almost, earlier this week, so just a little over two weeks in recovery. So, and I feel like I'm doing great. I can even walk without my cane if I'm not out on those icy patches of roadway or whatever.

MELANIE: Yeah, Minnesota is a challenge.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Yeah. But we have a great morning today, don’t we?


CAROLYN: Hopefully all of our listeners here in Minnesota will be able to enjoy this weekend. So good morning everyone. Good morning, Melanie. Good morning to all of our listeners and I'm really happy to be here this morning. You know, I, I think I recovered really well because I was even more diligent with the way I eat more than normal. You know, I'm usually pretty, pretty good, but I didn't, you know, stray left or right. I didn't have any processed foods. I didn't have any sugar. I really limited my carbs because the carbs, gluten, things like that and the pasta and all of that; they really cause inflammation in my body; in many people's body. I ate a lot of protein and a lot of vegetables and of course really high quality protein and I upped my supplements.

I started taking more omega-threes. So omega-threes help decrease that inflammation. I took more magnesium and I added the Injury and Surgical Support Formula to my regimen. And that formula contains really crucial micronutrients like vitamin C, the B vitamins, zinc, vitamin E, glucosamine and MSM. And it supports cellular health, joint health, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. All of those things are more important. I mean hip surgery, I mean they're, they're like cutting in to you and cutting body parts out, you know, so you need all of those things. And the other thing is I made sure I got adequate sleep. I even took a little time off work before the surgery and had a little bit of a vacation. So I just really concentrated on me.

MELANIE: And we were talking how about, you know, all the medications that they give you in the hospital. And I thought it was fascinating that you were saying they came in with anti-nausea. You're like, “Nope, I'm good.” They came in with stool softeners. “Nope, I'm good.” They came in with… that is so impressive.

CAROLYN: They didn't think like it too much because they had already broken open the blister packs or whatever they're in. And they said, “Well, now we have to throw them away.” And I said, “Well, that's okay. Just throw them away. I don't need that. I don't need that. I don't want it.”

MELANIE: That’s so great. I love that. So both, let's go back to topic. Both cancer and obesity are serious health risks. Let's look at some data about the increased rate of obesity. The national adult obesity rate in 2016 was almost 40%. This is even sadder. The child obesity rate was just under 20% nationwide. So obesity has increased by 70% over the past 30 years for adults and children by 85%.

CAROLYN: That’s crazy.

MELANIE: Yeah. What does that mean? In reality, it means four out of 10 adults over the age of 20 are considered obese, Carolyn.

CAROLYN: Oh, that's just, oh, the thought of that is just, you know…

MELANIE: Where are we headed, right?

CAROLYN: Yeah. Where are we headed? And you know, we see it every day, but you know, it's really scary. So the American Cancer Society estimates that “4,800 new cancer cases are diagnosed each day”; each day. That's nearly 5,000 cases daily. So the lifetime probability of being diagnosed with cancer is slightly more than one out of three people.


CAROLYN: Wow, that's really scary. So research has found that about 5% of cancers in men and about 11% of cancers in women can be attributed to excess body weight. However, the connection between weight and cancer can be quite complicated. So some studies suggest that the risk for some cancers appear to be more for people who are overweight as a child or as a young adult. So I think this is really alarming because as you just said, over the past 30 years, the obesity rate for children has increased by 85%. So where are we headed with this Melanie?

MELANIE: And you know, I love, I love where we're going in our society when it comes to decreasing fat-shaming and decreasing the, all of the, the “love your body as it is”. And, I love that. However, we have to look a little deeper in are you look putting your health at risk because that's really what's important here. Loving yourself is fantastic. And, but we want to look at what is the risk factors attributed to obesity? And when I think back to my elementary school days, it really was very rare to have more than really one overweight child in class. But today teachers tell us that many children in each classroom are overweight or obese. And you have to ask, “Does this mean as these children are aging that they're at a higher cancer risk?” It could go very high. So that's the scary place.

CAROLYN: Yeah, it really is. So listeners, you might be wondering, “So how does obesity actually cause cancer?” So let me see if I can explain this a little bit. So we all understand the risk you are taking if you are carrying extra body fat. You know, many people who are overweight frequently stop looking in the mirror, you know, that's not very comfortable, right? Or they refuse to be weighed or they, you know, they, they won't weigh themselves and they won't weigh themselves at the doctor's office.

MELANIE: They don't want that lecture.

CAROLYN: No, of course not. Or maybe these people stop shopping for clothes until they lose some weight. I mean, like I hear that. “I'm not going to shop because I need to lose some weight.”

MELANIE: I think we all have done that.

CAROLYN: Right; exactly. But do they lose the weight? Unfortunately, that just doesn't happen. And as dietitians, you know, we've heard it all, right Mel? But I don't think most people realize that extra body fat is really increasing their risk for cancer. Perhaps to really seriously understand about losing weight, many people who are overweight or obese have to realize the results from these decades now of research. It's involving millions of people and this research clearly shows the link between being overweight or being obese and getting cancer. So what I want you to realize is that being overweight or obese is much more serious than just how you look; how you look in the mirror.

MELANIE: Of course, of course. Once again, how could being overweight cause cancer? Let's look at that biochemistry for better understanding for our listeners. Fat cells make extra hormones, more growth factors and inflammation. And when you have extra fat, especially around the liver, pancreas, heart, and kidneys, the fat consistently sends out messages to the rest of your body. Let's talk more about this when we come back from break. It's time. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. A study conducted 17 years ago by the American Cancer Society found “after studying 900,000 American adults for 16 years, that most obese women had a 62% increased risk for dying from cancer than the women of normal weight. The increase for obese men was 52% higher risk.” Today we want to explain why extra weight increases the risk of developing cancer. We'll be right back.


CAROLYN: Well, welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Before we get back to our topic today, I want to share with our listeners that we have an exciting new class starting in March. It's called Cooking Basics: Kitchen Tips. So there are so many benefits of cooking at home, of course, including better health, slimmer waistlines, thicker wallets. And the list of course goes on. But I've had a lot of clients who don't cook at home and are actually pretty scared. So you know, let's not have this be intimidating anymore. Join us for this 90 minute class to gain some healthy and delicious culinary inspiration to get you back in the kitchen and truly in charge of your health. In this demonstration class, so you're going to actually see people cooking, right?

MELANIE: I love this.

CAROLYN: We are going to ditch the drive through and the deli counter and learn how to prepare those tasty meals the Weight and Wellness Way. So enjoy delicious gluten and dairy free samples while you actually learn some time saving tricks for easy weekday meals. And take back the control of your food.

MELANIE: And your health.

CAROLYN: And your health of course. So these classes, we'll have one on March 10th in North Oaks. These are from 6:30-8:00; one on March 11th in Maple Grove and March 12th in St. Paul. And the price is only $39 bucks. It’s a great, great class. So I highly encourage you, all of you listeners out there who are intimidated in the kitchen to come and join us for those classes.

MELANIE: I'm going to take it. I want to take those classes.

CAROLYN: Oh, I love it. So, I want to share some other really thought-provoking facts from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “Most types of cancer associated with overweight and obesity have increased.” That's really interesting. “…while other types of cancer have decreased from 2005 to 2014. So the types of cancer that are not associated with overweight, with overweight… So let's look at the biochemistry for that; or do I have that right here?

MELANIE: That is, it's interesting that the other cancers have actually decreased, but the ones associated with obesity have increased. So the types of cancers associated with overweight and obesity were up to 7%.

CAROLYN: Yeah. So, the types of cancer that have not, are not associated with overweight, they're down by 13%. And I think that's because of our interventions or our treatment plans, right? Types of cancer that are associated with overweight and obesity were up by 7%. And that, that makes sense too, right? So the types of cancer associated with overweight and obesity, they were, thyroid cancer, breast cancer, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, ovarian, uterine, kidney. And one I didn't really know is that multiple myeloma, you know, the cancer of the blood. Yeah. I didn't realize that one was.

MELANIE: So, yeah. And before break we were talking about the biochemistry, and for a better understanding. And we were talking about how fat cells make extra hormones, more growth factors and inflammation. So it kind of makes sense those obesity cancers going up. And when you have extra fat, especially around your liver, your pancreas, your heart, your kidneys, the fat constantly sends out messages to the rest of the body. And these messages often increase cell growth or increase chemical reactions in the cells and can influence the reproductive cycles. Think of it this way. This extra body fat acts like a boisterous loud mouth telling the other cells what to do. And if there's too much body fat, then the loud-mouth fat cells send out messages to damage the other cells. And you should definitely get rid of those loud-mouth fat cells.

CAROLYN: Those bossy cells, huh?

MELANIE: We want to protect ourselves from that damage.

CAROLYN: Yeah. So the key takeaway here is that fat cells change the actual natural environment inside our body. So these extra fat cells can then release a variety of chemicals that can make the cells next to them act differently. And they often become cancerous.

MELANIE: Yeah. It seems that frequently on Dishing Up Nutrition we are talking about inflammation, right? And the direct connection to many types of health problems. That is also true when explaining how extra body fat can lead to cancer. You know, basically when there are more fat cells in the body, specialized immune cells go to the areas where there is more fat with a specific job of removing dead and dying fat cells, sort of the garbage collectors. The process of these immune cells cleaning up the dead and dying fat cells actually can lead to inflammation. And the inflammation causes a chain reaction causing the cells to divide. And over time, the risk of these cells becoming cancerous increases.

CAROLYN: So what Melanie just described is known as the inflammatory response.

So when the immune cells, or we can call them the cleaning company maybe if you want to talk about them that way, they go out to clean everything up and they release chemicals known as cytokines. So cytokines actually are not good. They're not the good guys because they encourage the cells to divide more rapidly and that builds up cells and can lead to this cancer growth.

MELANIE: Yup, and the fat cells release significant amounts of toxic estrogen. The more fat cells, the more excess estrogen will be released. And we refer to this toxic estrogen, which can lead to estrogen dominance, which is also a big risk factor for hormone-driven cancers.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Melanie, I have to jump in here. Just this week I was listening to a podcast on cancer and this podcast was primarily about the reduction in mortality rates due to the progress in treatment. So we've already kind of talked about that. So, treatment things have caused our rate of dying or mortality rate from cancer to go down, but they went on to expand that, you know, the information points clearly to diet playing a very critical role, especially in guess what; prevention.

MELANIE: Yeah. Say that again. Diet is key.

CAROLYN: Diet is key; is playing a critical role. They also went on to point out that although the mortality rate of breast cancer has actually decreased the incidents, again, and this is really important, the incidents of cancer, breast cancer especially has gone up, especially in postmenopausal women. So, and they guess what they did? They pointed to both obesity and our use of hormones that are significant factors in increasing these incidents.

MELANIE: And you know, this is why I love our Menopause Survival Seminar because we discuss this biochemical process in very easy layman terms so people can understand what's actually happening with those hormones and this excess toxic estrogen that can cause the cells in the uterus and the breast to divide uncontrollably and lead to cancer formation.

CAROLYN: So I think it's time. It's time for another break.

MELANIE: You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. We're discussing the link between obesity and cancer. Oncologist, Dr. Joyce Slingerland from the University of Miami said, “Everyone's heard of the obesity effect on heart disease and diabetes. And now we're beginning to understand that cancer risk is just as great.” We'll be right back.


CAROLYN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I encourage you to look ahead on your calendar to April because the weekend of Friday, April 24th through Sunday, April 26, we are offering our Weekend Weight and Wellness Seminar. So this is a perfect class for you to take to learn how to have more energy, less inflammation, improved memory and focus. Because this series of classes teaches you to eat real food in balance, many past clients have reported that it was truly life-changing for them. So if you are going to get ahead of cancer and heart disease, you need to take your food choices seriously. Out with those processed foods and the sugar. In with all those real foods that we were designed to eat. Our bodies love real foods. So every time we offer our weekend wellness, our Weight and Wellness Seminar, we have people actually flying in or driving in to spend the weekend with us.

MELANIE: They’re fun.

CAROLYN: Yeah; in Minneapolis and St. Paul in the metro area.

MELANIE: And even many nurses take these series together because nurses can earn 14.4 continuing ed. credits.

CAROLYN: That's a lot.

MELANIE: That continuing education credits and you have so much fun. So check out our website at or call (651) 699-3438 to get your answers to any questions you may have. Over and over class participants are always saying that this is the best seminar they've ever attended. I hear the words “it changed my life” all the time, which is fantastic, right?

CAROLYN: So before we went to break, we were of course talking about the more fat you have, the more estrogen that you have. So oftentimes those that are diagnosed with breast or uterine cancer have, of course, high levels of estrogen. So these excess fat cells, those excess fat cells actually release that excess estrogen into the body. That's not necessarily a good thing, right?


CAROLYN: So when we are doing nutrition therapy with women who have signs of that high estrogen, or sometimes we call that estrogen dominance, we help them learn how to detox or eliminate those toxic estrogens without… that's a mouthful this morning. One simple way to eliminate those toxic estrogens is to have a normal bowel movement.

MELANIE: Yeah. We're going there this morning aren’t we?

CAROLYN: …at least once a day. So when people are constipated, those toxic estrogens are recycled and not eliminated. So Melanie, I think we have to go and explain a little bit more. What is constipation?

MELANIE: I have a lot of clients that think it is okay if they have one BM once a week.


MELANIE: And they say, “I've always been like that.”

CAROLYN: Yeah. So they think it's normal, right? Or, you know, even just every couple of days, you know, we have a lot of bowel movement conversations, don’t we?


CAROLYN: Sometimes our clients are, “Oh, I've never talked about this to anybody else.”

MELANIE: And I'm like, “I do all day.” You are okay.

CAROLYN: This is okay. You know, so, you know, another solution of course, to having this regular bowel movement every single day... Of course, if you don't have one a day, you're constipated. So listeners take note of that. So it's real food. Real food can be a solution to help with that detoxing excess estrogen. So eat a variety of vegetables with every single meal.

MELANIE: Even breakfast.

CAROLYN: Even breakfast. I know most people are really, “Oh, can I do some fruit for breakfast?” Well you can, but we really encourage you to have some broccoli or kale or something like that. Those cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and spinach; those are really good at helping us detox those estrogens. And of course we women, we encourage women and men to cut out the sugar and the processed foods, those process carbs so they can lose weight. So when they're losing weight, they're losing fat cells and then they have less estrogen circulating in their body.

MELANIE: This is another reason that you don't want to be on a crash diet.


MELANIE: You know, when people go on these crash diets and they drop their weight rapidly, they, you have to think about your body's releasing a lot of toxins and estrogens rapidly and sometimes it overloads the body. So when you're doing it in such a way that's maintenance, a way of living and it's a little slower than people are used to with these crash diets, but you're not overloading the body by losing, you know, tremendous amount of body fat in one, one really quick crash diet and then we gain it right back.

CAROLYN: Yeah, not good.

MELANIE: I think our discussion about sugar and processed carbs leads right into talking about how insulin and insulin resistance can lead to an uncontrollable cell division, which can then lead to cancer. In our Nutrition for Weight Loss classes, we teach about insulin resistance because many overweight or obese people have increased levels of insulin in their blood and they usually tend to have insulin resistance. What causes the pancreas to put out all that extra insulin? What is the extra insulin trying to control? Well, when people eat extra sugar or processed carbs, the role of extra insulin is to control that person's blood sugar and push the glucose into their cells for energy. That's how it's supposed to work. Insulin is really the carrier of blood sugar glucose, and the higher the blood sugar, the more carriers we need. Right? And that leads to a lot of insulin.

CAROLYN: So when people have extra insulin from eating too many processed carbs and sugar, they can develop insulin resistance, which actually is, if think about it this, it's like a coating over the cell receptors. Every cell has specific cell receptors, right?

MELANIE: Little doorways.

CAROLYN: Yeah, little doorways. And insulin builds up and body fat builds up because those insulin receptors are blocked and they can't get the insulin or can't get the energy, the glucose into the cell for energy where it's supposed to be. So how does that excess insulin in the body increase the risk of cancer? So again, excess body fat and excess insulin in the body can lead to something called insulin-like growth factors. So these insulin-like growth factors send a message to the cells to divide more rapidly. Both excess insulin and insulin-like growth factors can encourage this uncontrollable cell division and promote the development of cancer.

MELANIE: So I want to recap how being overweight then can cause cancer. First, all fat cells make extra hormones and extra growth factors called insulin-like growth factors. Also hormones and growth factors tell cells in our body to divide more often. And the rapid division of cells increases the chance of cancer cells being produced.

When these damaged cells continue to divide, this cell division can then lead to the development of a tumor.

CAROLYN: So I have to jump in here. Melanie, I don't know if you know this, but I did have melanoma.

MELANIE: Oh my goodness.

CAROLYN: …years ago. And it was interesting because of course I go to the dermatologist every year. I was, you know, a sun-loving person, avid sailor, sailed, you know, you know, probably five days a week for most of my life.

MELANIE: I didn't know that either. You are so interesting.

CAROLYN: Anyway, I ended up with melanoma on my leg. And I spotted this little, looked like a freckle to me, you know, long time ago. And but all of a sudden it started changing in shape.

MELANIE: Not good.

CAROLYN: So you know, I took a picture of it and then a couple months later took another picture of it and right away I thought, “Oh, that's not good. That doesn’t look good.” Of course I had it checked out and the biopsy and everything, and it did come back as melanoma. But my point is that was that rapid cell growth leading to, you know, a malformed thing. It wasn't a tumor per se, it was just, it was melanoma, I guess. You know, one in the same, I guess cause it's still cancer, but be on the lookout, you know, this is, this is important stuff.

MELANIE: You know, and as Minnesotans were covered up. We’re not looking until spring.

CAROLYN: Right. So here's a real startling fact: “about one-fifth of cancer deaths in the U.S. are associated with obesity. Researchers have found that the fat and animals are more likely to develop cancer than lean animals.”

MELANIE: It’s really affecting our pets.

CAROLYN: Yep. So sadly, cancers in fat animals grow faster and larger and spread more quickly and are more resistant to treatment. So unfortunately this research also pertains to overweight and obese people. So overweight and obese people get more cancer and die more often from cancer than people with less body fat.

MELANIE: And you have to ask, “Why are our animals, why are pets getting more overweight?” Because they're rapidly growing. So they're eating table scraps right from us. So, we'll talk more about that when we come back. But if you're feeding your animals table scraps and they're getting an obese, you have to look at what you're eating.

CAROLYN: Yeah, exactly.

MELANIE: So you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Earlier in the show we mentioned that 40% of women are considered obese. Another 32% of women are just overweight. And research has found a link between obesity and cancer. Interestingly, some research found that losing weight fast may actually encourage cancer growth. We talked about that. For cancer protection, at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we see the wisdom of eating high quality real food to lose weight. Our Nutrition for Weight Loss plan is not a quick fix plan. It was never designed to be. It was designed to teach people the nutrients needed for their best health. Classes start the week of March 23rd. And we'll be right back.


CAROLYN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. The week of March 23rd through March 26th we are offering our Nutrition for Weight Loss series at all seven metro locations and also online when it is convenient for you. So if you sign up by March 16 you can save $50 with our early bird discount. People really enjoy these classes and love how much better they feel eating right foods. The right foods are very, it's very, very powerful. So next week on Dishing Up Nutrition, join Leah and Shelby as they discuss the microbiome.

MELANIE: It's going to be fascinating.

CAROLYN: Yes; and how it actually affects your health. If microbiome is a new word for you, don't be scared off because they will put it in terms that everyone is going to be able to understand.

MELANIE: Yeah, that's a, it's a buzz word, but I think it's played around with and when people are talking, but to understand it, it can be really complex and they'll break it down for our listeners. After reading pages and pages of research to put together for this radio show, I like the words and the wisdom of one of our researchers, J.M. Slingerland.

CAROLYN: Another mouthful.

MELANIE: Yep; coauthor of Cytokines, Obesity and Cancer, published in the 2013 Annual Review of Medicine. In her research, she said, “In an ideal world, the data on obesity and cancer would be the last straw needed to inspire obesity prevention efforts, especially aimed at youth.” We all have these overweight children now and these obese children are going to grow up into obese adults and we're going to have a greater burden of cancer. It's, it's sad.

CAROLYN: Oh, and think about that. That was in 2013.


CAROLYN: So some people say, “Oh, that's a little old research.” But it's only gotten worse.

MELANIE: It's gotten worse.

CAROLYN: A wake up call. So at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, all of us, all of the dietitians and nutritionists realize that losing weight in our high stress, and of course very sugar-laden culture is different and very, very difficult. But it's also very, very critical.

MELANIE: Yeah. So what do you mean by sugar-ladened? Let's talk about that.

CAROLYN: So that's not just like cookies and cake and ice cream and all of that. That's those highly processed carbs or just processed foods. I say anything that comes in a box or is probably frozen, you know, other than maybe frozen vegetables that are just vegetables or just fruit.

MELANIE: Yes. It's those chips even.

CAROLYN: Yeah; chips, any of that stuff; pasta, popcorn, pizza; too much potato; too much rice, corn; all of those starchy veggies and starchy processed foods; the best carbs of course to have are vegetable carbs.

MELANIE: I love when we have clients that say, “Well I eat vegetables. I eat potatoes and corn.”

CAROLYN: Yeah. Yeah, potatoes and corn, those happen to be the starchy ones. So thinking in terms of losing weight, if you lost eight pounds this year and then eight pounds next year, I know that doesn't sound like a lot to people that really want to lose a lot of weight, and eight pounds the following year, in three years you would be what? About 25 pounds at least lighter. And that's steady weight loss with high nutrients from real food is truly the best solution. So again, back to what Mel said earlier, slow, easy progress towards that weight reduction. None of this fast, you know…

MELANIE: But we definitely see more than 25 pounds a year. I have a client in 12 weeks, she lost 50. But that was okay because it was slow and steady.

CAROLYN: Slow and steady. So perhaps losing weight fast may be a very good short term fix for you. But we believe that is not the answer for good health. So we need to focus on supporting your body with quality food. That is the answer for long-term health.

MELANIE: And really that is our, that's our goal is to live long, strong and feel well; go down quick in the end. You know, we don't want to be miserable piddling out in pain, inflammation and agony. We want to live long and strong lives, so as dietitians and nutritionists, we know that presenting the cold hard facts about how being overweight or obese increases your cancer risk doesn't necessarily help you change your behavior regarding your food choices you make. It's not just about instilling fear. At Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we believe that to change your eating behavior or your lifestyle, you have to reach an inner knowing about how risky eating and lifestyle behavior are affecting your long-term health. You may know what to do. It's not all about knowing. It's about doing what makes change happen. When you reach that level of knowing and then and only then will nutrition therapy help you change your personal behavior.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Melanie, I have a bit of a client story here. So, you know, I have clients that come to me, well, and I'm sure you do too. And say, “My doctor told me I need to lose weight to avoid getting whatever, X, Y, Z, or getting sick.” But they don't listen. They don't want to change. They don't connect the dots between getting sick.

MELANIE: Or even how to do it.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Well that's true too. Yeah. So I have one client that was diagnosed with diabetes; didn't change a thing because his behavior, he's, he was told, “Oh, just adjust your medication. Just continue to eat whatever you want.” But his blood sugars kept going all over the place, right? So again, you know, he kept rationalizing this. Pretty soon, guess what? He had one of the complications of diabetes. He had neuropathy. Did that change his behavior? No, I couldn't believe it. So, unfortunately, you know, by the time he came to me, you know, he was really, really miserable. It wasn't until he really felt the neuropathy and started losing some of his function and strength in his hands and his arms that he finally got it and did what you're saying here. It's not about knowing. It's about doing. So sometimes it takes a lot more.

MELANIE: It really does. And you know, it's, it can be something as simple as a simple recipe. And it doesn't have to be fancy. One of the things that I love to do is I'll heat up the oven and I will have, and you can even buy pre-chopped vegetables from most grocery stores now.


MELANIE: Toss them with our favorite: bacon fat. But you can use anything, you know, avocado oil, coconut oil, whatever. You toss it, those vegetables and put them in the oven for 350. Bake them till you can stick a fork in them. Pull those out. The oven is hot. The pan is, is already dirty. Now you dump those vegetables in a bowl and I just plop down proteins. It might be pork chops. It might be fish; a whole bunch of that on that cookie sheet or that pan, stick it in there and cook that till it's done. Now you've got a week's worth of food, real food; not difficult.

CAROLYN: Well I do one even better than that. I call it my sheet pan recipes and we've got a couple of those on our website, right?

MELANIE: Yeah, they’re great.

CAROLYN: So I put a sheet pan, like, you know, with a lip on it, you know, a jelly roll pan I think is the proper terminology for that. I put my parchment paper down, make sure it's all big and kind of overflows that. And I put all my vegetables and my protein on there all at one time. I season it up just a little bit; could just be salt and pepper. Last night I did salmon with a little bit of butter and garlic and I put that all over my vegetables. I think I added asparagus and some broccoli and a few, those small red potatoes; and then salmon.

MELANIE: Listeners, this is a woman recovering from hip replacement surgery. So it is easy.

CAROLYN: It was easy. I could even lift that sheet pan in and out of the oven, which has been a little bit of a trick. I've had to have people come over and get my big pots out of my lower, lower cabinets that I didn't think about it; because I can’t bend over for six weeks. But anyway, sheet pan recipes are wonderful. So I encourage you to Google that. And just, we're almost out of time here so…

MELANIE: It's been fun. This has been fun chatting with you about this and I hope our listeners walk away with understanding that our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's simple. It's a powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thanks for listening today. Have a wonderful day.

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