June 11, 2022
When many of us hear the word “menopause”, we might automatically think hot flashes, and yes, about 80% of menopausal women experience hot flashes. In addition to hot flashes, menopausal women can also experience insomnia, anxiety, mood swings, and depression, which are less likely to be talked about. During perimenopause when there is a fluctuation of hormones, mood swings can often occur and, usually, we can find a nutritional answer to alleviate symptoms. Today we will be discussing the hormone connection to depression and anxiety plus offer some nutritional solutions to consider.
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TERESA: Hello, this is Teresa, one of the dietitians at Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Before we start today's podcast, I have some exciting news to share. We have launched a private Facebook group just for you, our Dishing Up Nutrition listeners. Have you ever wished you could ask the hosts a follow up question related to a specific Dishing Up Nutrition episode? Or maybe you've wondered how you could learn more information about a topic that really resonated with you.
Well, now you can. The Dishing Up Nutrition Facebook group is a supportive community where you can ask nutrition or episode specific questions. You can share ideas or just get inspired. And as a member of the group, you will have access to special periodic Dishing Up Nutrition bonus content. To join the conversation and support one another in a shared journey towards better health, we invite you to join this private Facebook group by going to facebook.com/groups/dishingupnutrition. Again, that's facebook.com/groups/dishingupnutrition. We look forward to seeing you in the group. Thanks for listening to dishing up nutrition and enjoy the show.
MELANIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I'm Melanie Beasley. I'm a registered and licensed dietitian. And I have been a dietitian for over 30 years. I've been through the low-fat, low-calorie phase of nutrition. For me, it was the old-fashioned phase of nutrition, and it just was not based on accurate research. The low-fat restrictive nutrition was developed to get fast weight loss, but it failed because after years of eating low fat and low calorie diets, 75% of people are overweight or obese with type two diabetes. I'd say that didn't really work right, Brandy?
MELANIE: I am happy to be a part of the real food movement. Real food nutrition focuses on supplying critical nutrients for overall health of the body and brain. In Minnesota there are over 11,000 licensed dietitians and some may still be teaching that old fashioned, low fat theory, and may still recommend low fat milk and dairy products.
Well, if you've been on a low, on a dairy farm, you know that those cows give us whole milk. They don't give us half milk or skim milk. Thank goodness, because it's more delicious. And in whole milk, there is just the correct amount of protein, the correct amount of carbs and the correct amount of fat to nourish the body and the brain of those, of our children. So this is especially important for those kids' brains, right?
MELANIE: They need that. And I have attended many conferences and taught many, many classes. And I believe because of my age that I understand our topic today, both personally and professionally. We will be discussing the hormone connection to depression and anxiety that many women struggle with during perimenopause and menopause. And joining me today, you heard her voice is Brandy Buro. We've not been in studio together before Brandy.
BRANDY: First time.
MELANIE: And she is also a registered and licensed dietitian. Growing up on a ranch in North Dakota, Brandy knows that cow’s milk contains the correct amount of protein, fat, and carbs for good health. Were you a big milk drinker?
BRANDY: I definitely had my day with milk for sure.
MELANIE: Yes. Yeah, I did too.
MELANIE: Brandy and I both work with many women who are in the throes of menopause. So menopause signs and symptoms are not new to us. We're very familiar with anxiety, depression, insomnia. Many women struggle with these things during perimenopause and menopause. Usually we can find a nutritional answer to alleviate these symptoms and that's the joy of our job I think. Wouldn't you agree?
BRANDY: Yeah. It's really incredible some of the relief some of these women have felt just by changing their diet.
MELANIE: Who knew? Simple.
BRANDY: Right. And I think when many of you hear the word menopause, one of the first things that comes to mind is hot flashes. And there's a good reason for that. About 80% of women going through menopause will experience hot flashes. And for some women, this could last maybe only a few weeks during this phase in their life, if you're lucky, but for many women, it can trouble them for years.
MELANIE: Yeah. I, 10 years.
BRANDY: Oh my gosh.
MELANIE: I struggled for 10 years.
BRANDY: Oh no.
MELANIE: Yeah. February in Minnesota, my daughters would come downstairs and find me in a tank top pressed up against the sliding doors.
BRANDY: I remember that story. That's outrageous. So yeah, I mean, it can be something you live, I mean, you feel like you have to live with. But there are some things that can actually trigger a hot flash. For some women, it might be that hot cup of coffee right away in the morning. For many of my clients, they've discovered a connection between a sweet treat followed by a hot flash.
Or maybe it's just stress. You know, maybe you're running late for an appointment or running late picking up your kids. But hot flashes are not the only thing women go through during this phase in their life. There are plenty of other annoying symptoms you could experience: insomnia, anxiety, mood swings, maybe even depression. So if any of these symptoms are resonating with you and you are experiencing menopause or perimenopause, this is the show for you.
MELANIE: This is the show for you. You know, Brandy, after cancer, I was thrown into menopause at the age of 41. And there was no hormone treatment that they could give me. So all of these symptoms were a problem. And you know, when you talk about depression, when you can't sleep, you're just depressed. I mean, you're exhausted and you're depressed and then you're hot on top of it.
MELANIE: So it can be so miserable. And so many women are holding down jobs and raising families and, and doing all the hard work of life going through these things. So when women go through sudden hormonal changes that often occur at perimenopause or puberty or postpartum, they seem to be at a higher risk for developing depression. If you are in perimenopause, that stage in life when the menstrual cycle has become irregular, meaning your cycle might be longer or shorter or heavier or infrequent, you may be at risk for developing anxiety or depression. Women often say, “I just don't feel comfortable in my own skin. And I am just not myself. What is happening to me?”
BRANDY: Right. And I actually met with a client recently who described a very similar experience. You know, she originally made the appointment to work on weight loss, but the more we started talking, I learned that she was dealing with some, some pretty, some pretty severe mood swings. She she's like, I just feel like somebody moved into my body. You know, and so we kept talking and there were some other symptoms that were sort of pointing; there could be some hormonal imbalances taking place, you know, she's kind of early forties, mid-forties. She started having these migraines leading up to her menstrual cycle that were actually causing her to stay home for a couple days from work. And on top of that, insomnia. She actually started a sleep medication just to get some sleep. So well, first things first, we cleaned up her diet.
MELANIE: Yes, of course.
BRANDY: You know, we removed some of those processed foods as much as we could. You know, she had been doing a lot of like chicken nuggets, French fries, things that she could make in the air fryer in 10 minutes or less, you know, because she just didn't have the energy to cook anymore. And one other thing that I asked her to do was add some cruciferous vegetables.
BRANDY: Four times a day. And we added one, one supplement: Pro-Gest cream at night. So she went off on her real food diet, came back a month later. She felt like a new person in a good way; less headaches.
MELANIE: That's the best when you can get them feeling better.
BRANDY: Yeah, so.
MELANIE: Well, during perimenopause, when there is a fluctuation of those hormones, mood swings can often occur along with weight gain. Was that one of her issues?
BRANDY: Oh, definitely.
MELANIE: So during perimenopause, usually the hormone progesterone level drops because ovulation occurs less frequently. Why is the frequency of ovulation important for hormone balance? The less frequent ovulation occurs, the less progesterone is produced. When ovulation does not occur, mood swings start to happen frequently. For some women, when the progesterone levels dip, a depressive episode can come over a woman. And these depressive episodes occur more frequently for women who have experienced depression in the past. So that can be really frightening.
BRANDY: Absolutely. And when those progesterone levels dip many women experience bouts of insomnia. They'll wake up in the middle of the night and they just can't get back to sleep sometimes for several hours. So yes, those low progesterone levels can lead to sleep troubles, but those issues could also be related to night sweats; sometimes so, so severe that you have to wake up and actually change your pajamas.
BRANDY: Or maybe the bedding, maybe the sheets. So you can imagine that's very disruptive for sleep and a lack of sleep and poor quality of sleep can increase your risk of developing depression. Poor sleep is also related to weight gain.
BRANDY: So it's so essential that we, we get the sleep we need.
MELANIE: Absolutely. It is that weight gain can be so problematic. Well, it's time for our first break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. If you're starting to have irregular periods and occasional hot flash and less energy, be aware that during perimenopause, with fluctuating hormones, you may also experience depression, anxiety, some other symptoms. Today, we will focus on the hormone connection to both anxiety and depression. And we'll be right back.
BRANDY: A common symptom of menopause is hair loss. Research has found that women who experience hair loss during menopause may not be getting all the nutrients they need for good hair growth. So what nutrients are important for hair growth? Well, certainly protein. Most women need somewhere around 12 to 14 ounces every day. We also need adequate healthy fats and several servings of vegetables every day. Some important vitamins for hair health are B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin D.
And the essential fatty acid GLA can also support hair growth and tissue health. So think shiny hair, glowing skin. So if you are experiencing hair thinning, we suggest making an appointment with one of our dietitians or nutritionists to develop an individualized plan that addresses your concerns. Give us a call at (651) 699-3438 and get on our schedule.
MELANIE: So when we left and went to break, we were talking about some of the symptoms and side effects of going through these hormonal changes with perimenopause and menopause. Many of us may not realize that our hormones are connected to our brain. The same hormones that control the menstrual cycle also affect your brain chemicals. The neurotransmitter, serotonin, is affected by your hormones. Serotonin supports your feeling of wellbeing and happiness. We love serotonin.
MELANIE: And when your serotonin level is low, you may feel sad, lack of motivation; you may have trouble sleeping. When a deficiency of serotonin occurs, women often become irritable, anxious, and sad. So Brandy and I will hopefully provide some solutions this morning to ease this unnecessary misery.
BRANDY: Yes. And something that can really throw off your serotonin levels are those high sugar foods, those processed carbohydrates. And that can surprise a lot of people.
BRANDY: But really these foods will block the receptors for those neurotransmitters, serotonin in the brain.
MELANIE: That's brilliant. Say that again.
BRANDY: Those processed carbs, sugar blocks the receptors in the brain for serotonin. It's wild, but it's true. So maybe you're starting your day with a high sugar drink like a mocha latte. And while you're at the coffee shop, you grab a muffin for your break later that morning. So already you are starting your day with a lot of sugar. Already, you're blocking serotonin from making a connection to those active cells in your brain. This is going to leave you feeling down, maybe a little anxious, depressed. So as women in perimenopause or menopause, not only do we want to make sufficient serotonin, but we want to be able to use the serotonin that we made.
MELANIE: Absolutely. And I am seeing more in clinic than I've ever seen in practice, more anxiety, more depression, but we are a nation eating more processed foods than we have ever eaten in history. Let's give listeners some meal ideas on making the making of serotonin. I love teaching this to people in recovery so they can learn to make and use their neurotransmitters.
Serotonin, dopamine, and all other neurotransmitters do not come from a medication. They come from protein. To make these crucial brain chemicals, it is necessary to eat sufficient protein throughout the day. Try eating three to four ounces of animal protein at least three or four times a day. Most people can feel their mood getting better in three weeks. Let's start with a breakfast. How about making deviled eggs? Three eggs and a dish of blueberries is something that you could do also; yum, delicious. And you're making those brain chemicals.
BRANDY: I love deviled eggs. They feel like a treat to me.
MELANIE: They do. It's not just for Easter.
BRANDY: Right. And thinking about that mid-morning snack, instead of a muffin, we need a snack with a high quality protein for that serotonin boost. So one of my favorites is half a cup of full fat cottage cheese mixed in with some cherry tomatoes and a little basil. It's delicious.
MELANIE: It's delicious. I made a snack yesterday, which was blueberries. I had a dairy free yogurt made with coconut milk cause I'm allergic to dairy.
MELANIE: And I mixed in my protein powder.
BRANDY: Oh delicious.
MELANIE: So I could get protein. Those plant-based yogurts don't have any protein.
BRANDY: Good point.
MELANIE: For lunch I've been making chicken broccoli salad with avocado mayo; all heart healthy and brain healthy. And I love that the, the broccoli salad lasts longer than the leafy greens we were talking about
BRANDY: Yeah. So it's a good meal prep recipe. I love a salad for lunch too. It just makes me feel light and energized for the rest of my day. And then for dinner, especially on weeknights, I need something really quick, really easy, especially now. Cause I got stuff to do. It's nice out. So one of my favorites is a salmon filet because it, it cooks up really quickly and it's really versatile. A lot of other flavors go well with it. And I'll pair that with some roasted vegetables that I made over the weekend. So I just reheat that. It's fast, delicious, and it's brain healthy because it's rich in that animal based protein, which is the building block of all of your neurotransmitters, especially serotonin.
MELANIE: There's one more important step to making all of your neurotransmitters, especially serotonin. But before we go to that step, I have a personal question for you. How much protein did you eat yesterday? Take a moment listeners, and do a little tally. When I'm talking about protein, I'm talking about animal protein. Some of my clients at first were only eating three ounces all day long, not enough to support serotonin production. Eating more high quality protein is an easy first step. We encourage you to eat grass fed, hormone free meat and free range or pasture raised eggs. Once you're eating 10 to 12 ounces of quality meat, you're going to feel amazing. And now you're ready for the next step.
BRANDY: Yes. And it's not enough just to eat the protein. There's another step involved here. So in order to make that serotonin efficiently, it's necessary to have a good working digestive system. So yes, the first step is to eat the good high quality meats and eggs, but that is then broken down and digested in the small intestinal tract. And it's broken down into something called amino acids. So these little amino acids are the building blocks for those brain chemicals. The amino acid, tryptophan, makes serotonin and the amino acid tyrosine makes dopamine, the other feel-good neurotransmitter.
MELANIE: That’s some good science, Brandy.
MELANIE: The next step to understanding and appreciating the magic of neurotransmitters is that often serotonin is created. It actually helps our brain cells communicate with each other. Serotonin moves from one cell to the next cell telling our nervous system to be calm, happy, and thoughtful. This just helps us be nicer women. If we are deficient in serotonin because of not eating sufficient protein or consuming excess sugar or processed carbs and blocking the serotonin pathway, then anxiety, depression, and poor sleep can occur.
MELANIE: So let's take a talk a little bit about how antidepressants work. When we take an antidepressant, it holds the neurotransmitter longer in the synapse. Well, what happens if you're not making enough neurotransmitters from your diet or your digestive system? There's nothing to hold.
MELANIE: So this is where some clients are like they have to be on two or three to get that, to get that mood boost. And so we want to make sure our digestive tract is good. We want to make sure we're eating the enough of that animal protein. Like you said, to break down to the amino acids to then be converted into those brain chemicals. Who knew it happens in the gut?
MELANIE: That's where all the magic happens for our brains, but we are getting ready to go to our break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you're struggling with menopause, depression, I recommend eliminating all gluten grains from your diet. Grains, especially gluten grains, disrupt your microbiome function resulting in inflammation throughout your body and brain. Inflammation of the brain contributes to depression. You can add about 3000 milligrams of omega three fatty acids to help reduce that inflammation. But always buy a high quality omega-3 from our sister company, Nutrikey, by heading to our website at weightandwellness.com. We'll be right back.
BRANDY: Perimenopause and menopause can be very challenging times in a woman's life. That's why we put together a comprehensive Menopause Solution seminar to help answer all of your questions and help you get through this time in your life thriving. Melanie, our host today, was one of the presenters.
She added her depth of knowledge and experience and a dash of humor to all six of these classes. The Menopause Solution seminar is a six hour virtual presentation. So you can take it whenever it fits in your schedule. You can sign up for it online at weightandwellness.com or give us a call at (651) 699-3438. We'll answer all of your questions and help you get started.
And that is our topic today. Today we are talking about perimenopause, menopause and the connection to anxiety and how food is related to all of this. And before we left for break, we were talking about how serotonin, that feel good neurotransmitter, can be impacted by our diet. So, you know, most women need to eat enough protein to get the amino acids they need to build serotonin and feel their best. So that's what we were talking about before our break. But we're going to kind of shift into a, a new aspect of what women can experience during perimenopause and menopause.
We've mentioned this a little bit before, but poor sleep is another concern that affects a lot of women in this phase of their life. And it's something that is connected to those depressive episodes. Remember low levels of serotonin can contribute to poor sleep. So if you are one of those people that lays awake at night worrying about what just happened that day, or maybe what's about to happen the next day…
MELANIE: That brain chatter.
BRANDY: That brain chatter, those racing thoughts, you could be suffering from low serotonin. And a problem I see with some clients is that they don't have a problem falling asleep, but two or three hours later, they're up, you know, those racing thoughts start to creep in and they just can't shut their brain off. Maybe they're laying there for several hours. And some of my clients, they, they just think, well, I'm up. I may as well just be up for the day.
BRANDY: Yeah. And then they end up only getting four or five hours of sleep. So you can imagine the next day they're not going to be their best self: foggy brain. They're just not as sharp. And mood swings: probably not the most pleasant person to be around.
BRANDY: And really just not enough energy to get through their day, probably just doing the bare minimum.
MELANIE: And that fatigue is yes.
BRANDY: That doesn't feel good.
MELANIE: Oh, that fatigue is just exhausting when you're trying to get through a work day. Well, as women are in the perimenopausal stage of life, their hormone levels fluctuate. Sometimes estrogen surges occur, which can cause fluid retention. Anybody out there have that? Breast sensitivity is another problem, sleep problems and mood swings. In addition to estrogen, excess or estrogen dominance, many women lack sufficient progesterone, which interrupts sleep.
Remember that women make progesterone when ovulation occurs. Well, usually during perimenopause, ovulation occurs less frequently. So less progesterone is made. Many women find a simple solution and add a natural progesterone cream at bedtime, which can really be beneficial and help with sleep.
BRANDY: Yeah. And like I was mentioned earlier in the show, one of my clients had some pretty good success with progesterone cream, just with sleep alone, but there are a lot of other symptoms that progesterone can help with. Hot flashes for sure. There's a pretty big connection with using some, a little progesterone to help relieve hot flashes, but also addressing low libido, depression, some of that fatigue, irritability.
So the progesterone cream that we recommend is called Pro-gest. So this Pro-gest cream has been around for a long time, over 50 years. So we have a lot of data behind it. There haven't been any negative results reported. So it's a natural progesterone cream. It's safe to use. A little bit goes a long way. So most women only need about a quarter to a half a teaspoon daily. Apply it on thin skin.
MELANIE: Yeah. Well we cannot leave the topic of hormones without talking about insulin. Who knew insulin was your master hormone? It may surprise you that depressive mood swings and memory issues are often related to your food choices. Often these symptoms are related to low blood sugar levels. I had a client and she has always loved her popcorn.
MELANIE: Who doesn't love popcorn? It's just, it was a wonderful snack I indulged in years. And she would have it every night. Well, she was really struggling with her weight and a whole bunch of issues. And so I convinced her to give up her popcorn for a period of time.
MELANIE: So she came after about six months working with me, she said, Melanie, I just, I missed my popcorn. We had her blood sugar under control. And I said, how about this? How about you have a bowl of popcorn, but I want you to take your blood sugar before the popcorn. And then she was going to take it after the popcorn. And then she was going to email me. So she did. She had her popcorn. I told her, put butter on it. It raised her blood sugar. Her blood sugar stayed elevated for several hours. But here was the interesting thing. She emailed me and said, “You're right. My blood sugar went back up. I struggle with it, but it betrayed me.” She said she had so many aches and pains she could hardly leave her town home.
BRANDY: Oh my gosh.
MELANIE: Because her knees hurt so badly and it took her about 10 days to get back to feeling the way I had her feeling before. But that blood sugar rise is so stressful and so inflammatory to the body that it can affect you overall. And who knew? We thank God when we eat food, but it, it can affect you systemically. And for her, it was her knees. And for me, it's my knees too. I can't, I can't do popcorn.
BRANDY: Your body finds the weak points, right?
BRANDY: Well, and sometimes it takes that experience of starting to feel a little better and then maybe introducing some of those old habits again, to see how you feel to really understand how those things are affecting you. And besides that, just having the data, the blood sugar readings, like you can't argue with that. The proof is in the numbers, right?
MELANIE: The proof is in the numbers. And when we look at how we're eating and we always talk about at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we talk about protein, fat and carb being the magic three that work together to balance your blood sugar.
MELANIE: It's really easy to overdo potatoes. It's really easy to overdo pasta. It's really easy to overdo fruit.
MELANIE: But biochemically what's happening? Our blood sugar: it's converted rapidly. Those carbs are converted rapidly to carp to blood glucose.
MELANIE: Which in turn raises our blood sugar, and it kicks in that master hormone, insulin.
MELANIE: And what was that connection that you were talking about with insulin?
BRANDY: Well, with insulin, I mean, it is the master hormone. It's actually a fat storage hormone, so we don't need that.
MELANIE: We don't want to be triggering a fat storage hormone.
BRANDY: But a little bit more about how this, how these blood sugar imbalances can come into play during perimenopause. Think about mood swings. I don't think many people make that connection with blood sugar imbalances and those big mood swings. That could be connected to blood sugar imbalances and the weight gain. I think a lot of women as we age will, will gain some weight. And at this time you start experimenting with different diets to get rid of those extra pounds. Maybe you'll start restricting calories. Maybe you'll start skipping meals. And that is just a disaster for your blood sugar.
MELANIE: It makes nobody happy either.
BRANDY: No, no. But this, yeah, this is not the time to do that. We're just kind of creating a new problem. I think restricting fat is another thing many people will do. But the truth is we need sufficient fat in our diet. We need sufficient protein and women going through perimenopause, they need a real food diet to get the nutrients they need to thrive during this time in their life.
MELANIE: And, and just to circle back to what we said in the beginning, we were talking about full fat dairy. So we don't want that low fat cottage cheese. We don't want the low fat yogurt. We don't want low fat cheese because we need the full fat that comes naturally in order to feed our brains and also makes us feel satisfied. There are times you know, if I've got back-to-back clients and I am really busy and I'm hungry and I don't have time to take a break yet for my snack, I will have a tablespoon of nut butter. And what happens is that nut butter releases leptin in my brain that tells me I'm satisfied and content so that I can focus on my client, not my stomach.
BRANDY: Right, right.
MELANIE: Until I get to my snack. And so I, I have a spoon with nut butter in my desk drawer. I don't know if you've got something.
BRANDY: Well, I do something similar. It's a little cleaner. I just have a jar of…
MELANIE: Did you just call my snack dirty?
BRANDY: Where does that spoon go? But no, I…
MELANIE: In the sink.
BRANDY: I just have a, a jar of dry roasted nuts; dry roasted mixed nuts. And I'll have a little handful of that between appointments if I need to.
MELANIE: Oh yeah.
BRANDY: So that's a good one. Sometimes I'll have like some grass-fed beef jerky if I'm feeling fancy.
MELANIE: Oh, wow.
BRANDY: But you know, just some, just some things that keep in my desk. They're not going to need refrigeration or any special utensils.
MELANIE: And for our clients, that's a great tip so that they're not tempted then to run to a vending machine or the snack table at work and grab processed foods because the processed foods, again, are going to be disruptive. Most of them are very carb-ladened, processed flour foods, and they raise that blood sugar. And what happens? Insulin kicks in. We start gaining weight. But the other thing that happens is two to three hours later, that insulin bottoms out your blood sugar.
MELANIE: And now you're hungry or hangry.
MELANIE: Irritable, exhausted, tired, hot flashing. And it could even trigger a panic attack if you're prone to that.
MELANIE: And anxiety. So we want to keep that blood sugar balanced because it keeps our brain sane.
MELANIE: And everyone wants to feel good about their productivity at work or with their family or what they're doing. So don't, don't reach for the processed snacks. Reach for the real food and I love that the beef stick in the, in your drawer. The dry roasted nuts. I have that too, but I, my nut butter hits me fast. I can get her done.
MELANIE: So and then I'll go get my snack, the rest of my snack when I have a break.
BRANDY: So plan good snacks. Don't be afraid of snacks. I think that's another thing. When trying to lose weight, you might think I should just skip my snacks or there's kind of like a, a negative connotation around that. Just based on some old, outdated dieting advice. So plan good snacks so you're not tempted by the bad ones.
MELANIE: Yes. Well, you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. I have a few questions for you. What are your concerns with menopause? What symptoms are you struggling with? In the Menopause Solutions video presentation, we teach you a food plan to balance hormones, build muscles, lose weight, keep your bones healthy, reduce wrinkles, address incontinence and support good moods and memory, and so much more. So as as to how to get a good night's sleep, that's important. We'll address that. Want more information? Read about the Menopause Solution seminar online at weightandwellness.com or you can call us at (651) 699-3438.
BRANDY: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. We understand that the past two to three years have been filled with stress and more stress. This often leads us down that sugar path. If that sounds like you, and you really want to eat better to avoid cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, I suggest making an appointment for an individual consultation, so you can make that commitment to get the support you need and kick that sugar habit for good. You'll feel so much better. You'll have fewer aches and pains, better moods and fewer hot flashes. You can book online at weightandwellness.com or give us a call at (651) 699-3438.
So before we went to break, we were talking about insulin and blood sugar balance and how keeping your blood sugar balanced, especially as you're going through perimenopause and menopause can really help you regulate your moods and prevent that unwanted weight gain.
MELANIE: We want that because I think a lot of women just naturally believe, “Well, I'm in menopause. So I'm going to gain weight. I'm going to gain it around my middle.” But really that waking around your middle tells me that your blood sugar is not balanced because we gain more weight from high blood sugars and insulin resistance around our middle.
MELANIE: So we want to offset that. And so when we're talking about this, Brandy, I know that I use our website for a resource of recipes.
MELANIE: I don't like to get bored. I like a different flavor change all the time. And we've got a ton of free recipes that are delicious, tried and true on our website. My favorite, which we talked about how important cruciferous vegetables are and being a breast cancer survivor, I always push cruciferous vegetables, encourage my clients who have hormone cancers, at least three cups in their day.
BRANDY: Okay, good.
MELANIE: So some of those recipes I love is that Cruciferous Salad. We're in summer. It's fresh. It's tasty. It's delicious. It never disappoints. And it holds up for leftovers.
BRANDY: Yeah. That's one that I always recommend my clients make like on a weekend and then they can use that for lunches the next three days. Pair it with a protein, of course. But it has your veggies. It has I think a little cranberry for some sweetness, and some healthy fats with some nuts and probably a little olive oil if I'm remembering correctly.
BRANDY: So it's, it's got all good things and it holds up in the fridge. So you, you cook once and then you are set for some fast lunches later in the week.
MELANIE: And what I love about it, there's an apple that's chopped up in there and I'll substitute a hard pear, and you know, you're thinking, well, they turn brown, but in the dressing is lemon juice.
BRANDY: Oh, right.
MELANIE: Which helps prevent that, that change in the enzyme that turns your fruit brown cause that's not very fun.
BRANDY: So it is very, pretty, very pretty, delicious. One other recipe that I like for sort of like a, a comforting meal is our Shepherd's Pie. It's a beef or bison Shepherd's pie. It's got some really great like grass fed beef, a mix of good vegetables and a light sauce. On top there's a cauliflower mash. So you're still, still getting some cruciferous vegetables.
MELANIE: But it feels like mashed potatoes.
BRANDY: It feels like mashed potatoes. It's so comforting. Most people don't realize they don't, it doesn't taste cauliflower. That's not the prominent flavor.
MELANIE: Many of my clients will trick a boyfriend or a spouse into thinking they're eating mashed potatoes and they've served it on holidays: just the topping. Yeah. It's delicious.
BRANDY: Guilt free; keeps your blood sugar stable too.
MELANIE: The other one that we were talking about at break that I love is the Pot Pie Soup. So if you're looking for something that's comfort food, tastes like pot pie, but it's a delicious way to balance your blood sugar, cause it contains protein, carb and fat in the recipe. So you you're balanced and it's comforting, soothing and you, I am lazy. So I throw it in the crock pot and that works really well for me. But go to our website and look at some of the recipes. It's easy to navigate. We've got a lot of great recipes.
You can also search in the search engine. If you want more information, you can search the term ‘menopause’. And there's a lot of articles. There might be previous podcast that we have on there for your access, you know, and I love, I mean, I, I recorded the Menopause Solutions, but it's packed, that class is packed with more information on navigating menopause.
MELANIE: There's like a free 79-page menopause survival guide e-book. That's included with recipes, supplements. It just is packed. There's so much information. And we had a lot, Kara and I had a lot of fun recording it. And she was great.
BRANDY: I enjoyed watching it and you know, I'm in my thirties.
BRANDY: It's not really on my radar yet, but this is not something that a lot of women talk about until they have to deal with it. So I'm thankful that I, I watched it, I learned and now I'm, I'm ready.
MELANIE: I learned doing it, you know?
MELANIE: Just the research and digging the research. I learned so much information, but you know, many times women get into that unhealthy eating habit. And so we're trying to help with that.
BRANDY: Right. And it all comes down to just being creative, I think. And you need to get in the kitchen. You need to make your own food. That way you know exactly what's going in. When you know what the inputs are, you have a better idea of what the outputs are. So if you are kind of new to the kitchen, we also offer some really great cooking classes virtually. So it's very convenient.
MELANIE: What you buy in the grocery store. No surprises.
BRANDY: Right. And we actually have a grocery store tour coming up. So if you, you know, it all starts in the grocery store buying and selecting quality ingredients. And I think that's coming up on June 27th.
MELANIE: Wow. Good for you. You know, and I, I like to tell my clients that when you start cooking real food for yourself, there's a message you're telling yourself: I deserve nourishment and health. Because when you do a drive through you are telling yourself I don't deserve the healthy food. So when we take the time to take care of ourselves, it's so much bigger than just the chopping and the cooking. It's so much bigger. And the message is self-nourishing. So menopause and hormone balance is a complex topic.
MELANIE: And today we've just touched on some of the aspects of hormone balance and to answer more of your questions, let me suggest that you try that Menopause Solutions seminar. It's like I said, it's packed with six hours total information. In those six hours, we're going to deeper into what to do for these symptoms. There are so many more solutions that Brandy and I just didn't have the time to talk about. So you want to feel your best at this time. You worked hard through life. This is the time when you should feel good about how you look, how you feel, how you behave, how you sleep, and there's nothing better than a little menopause zest, right?
MELANIE: So our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through real food, eating balanced. It's a simple, it's a powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. We want to thank you so much for joining us today. And we want you to have a wonderful day. Brandy it was so fun to be on the radio with you this morning.
MELANIE: We'll have to just put a little plug in that we want to, we want to play together again, cause we never get to see each other.
BRANDY: I'm all for that.
MELANIE: Yeah. And I got some great recipe tips from you. So I hope our listeners did too. We hope you have a wonderful day. Take care.
BRANDY: Take care.