Perimenopause: Night Sweats, Mood Swings and Weight Gain

November 3, 2019

Learn how having excess estrogen during perimenopause can lead to night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings and even weight gain.

Women between the ages of 35 to 55 often experience a shift in their hormones, which is called perimenopause. Today, we are going to talk about how having excess estrogen during perimenopause can lead to night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings and even weight gain. Find out signs and symptoms of a decrease of progesterone and an excess of estrogen or estrogen dominance, as well as how to detox artificial estrogen naturally.

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MELANIE: Well welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. I'm Melanie Beasley. I'm a Registered Dietitian with many years of experience. And you may have heard me on other shows talking about how an excess level of estrogen in your body can increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Today, we want to talk about how having excess estrogen during perimenopause can lead to night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, and even weight gain. Women between the ages of 35 to 55 often experience a shift in their hormones, which is called perimenopause. The average length of perimenopause is typically about four years, but it can last just a few months or symptoms themselves can be present for up to 10 years. That was my experience. Think about it. If you are experiencing sleep problems, hot flashes… For years those sleepless nights can be such a strain on your life. What if you have 10 years of poor sleep? And again, that was me. I call myself a recovering insomniac.


TERESA: You poor thing.


MELANIE: The consequences can be weight gain and irritability and so many more. I'm just such a nicer woman now that I sleep. So in the past we were told that during perimenopause, the estrogen level in women declines, decreases or even disappears. So we have to ask the question: is this a fact or is it one of those myths that started years ago, which stated that as women got older, they become low in estrogen. I asked Teresa Wagner to join us today. Good morning, Teresa.


TERESA: Good morning.


MELANIE: She's going to help explain what really happens to our hormones during perimenopause and how this imbalance can cause numerous undesirable symptoms.


TERESA: Well, yes. So Mel, what do you think, or maybe listeners, what do you think is the most frustrating symptoms women in perimenopause experience? If you guessed weight gain, then you were absolutely correct. I work with many women who are experiencing perimenopause and menopause symptoms and it is their weight gain, especially around their middle, that is so upsetting to them. They tell me…


MELANIE: You know, Teresa, I have to interject here. I remember at 40 being in a restaurant, and there was a waitress who came by, and I don't know what we were talking about. But she started talking about menopause and she said, “Wait; wait until you get there.” She said, “Because you're just going to start gaining weight around your middle. You have no control.”


TERESA: Oh no. There's no control. Well, and I think that that's kind of what the, what the spirit of what people kind of tell me say. They say, “I haven't changed anything in what I eat. I work out even more than I did in the past. And I'm just getting bigger and bigger.” So today we want you to really help you understand what is happening and what you can do about it. And I'll let you in on a little secret. This is a sign that your body has too much estrogen and not enough progesterone.


MELANIE: As I said before, in the past, women were told they were deficient in estrogen during perimenopause, but that was far from the truth. In reality during perimenopause, the first hormonal change that occurs is a gradual decline in the hormone progesterone, while estrogen continues to be in the normal range. Progesterone and estrogen are meant to counter balance each other. So if one of them falls, like the hormone progesterone, the other rises: estrogen, which is how we become out of balance. Again, remember these hormones are designed to counter balance each other, but with a decline of progesterone, there becomes a surplus of the unopposed hormone estrogen, which creates a condition called estrogen dominance. This all happens naturally at perimenopause because women have an excess of estrogen and a deficiency of progesterone.


TERESA: What are some of the signs and symptoms of a decrease of progesterone and an excess of estrogen, or what is sometimes called estrogen dominance? So here they are: irregular periods, bloating, breast swelling and tenderness, a decreased sex drive, mood swings, weight gain, cold hands and feet, headaches, especially the week before your cycle starts; and there can be others as well. As time goes on, progesterone continues to decline and estrogen levels often begin to swing up higher and higher.


MELANIE: It can be miserable. The estrogen that we've been talking about thus far is the estrogen our ovaries make. At perimenopause our ovaries continue to make estrogen, but progesterone levels decline and continue to decline. 100 to 200 years ago, estrogen made in our ovaries was the main source of estrogen. However, today there are many chemicals that are estrogenic and result in another source of estrogen. Besides these chemicals, we're now exposed to many other artificial sources of estrogen.


TERESA: Yes, we are. So let's talk about a few of those. Of course we know that there are birth control pills and HRT or hormone replacement therapy medications. These both contain artificial estrogenic ingredients. And I think sometimes we have this idea that these estrogens are natural but they're manmade estrogens so they're not natural estrogen. When counseling clients who are experiencing hormonal symptoms, I ask them if they're aware of some of the other estrogens, you know, other estrogens, not the estrogens that their body is producing, but other estrogens that are artificial that we are exposed to on a daily basis.


MELANIE: And this surprises our clients I believe.


TERESA: I think so too. I think, yes, I think it's very surprising to a lot of people that there are outside sources; I think especially to men. Don't you find that to be the fact that like how could it be affecting me?


MELANIE: Estrogen is not my issue.


TERESA: Right.


MELANIE: They don't realize.


TERESA: But it's in our environment and we are exposed to it all the time. And sometimes it's even things that we have been told in the past that are healthy. For example, if I have a client eating foods containing soy or flax, that might be an area of the diet to consider changing due to those phytoestrogens that are contained within those foods. So while oftentimes we think of those as healthy foods, phytoestrogens are natural compounds found in plant foods that when eaten, they act like estrogen in the body. So, so that can be an area that we can look at. Also, grains, which many consider to be a healthful food, may contain a fungus that produces an artificial type of estrogen. So a fungus in your, in your grains; yum. You know Mel, I knew about that mycotoxins… So that's what that's called is a mycotoxin on coffee beans. But I didn't know about the grains. That's a new one for me. But it makes a lot of sense considering how many of our clients are so sensitive to grains and grain-like products. Do you find that to be true?


MELANIE: So many times if they just remove grains, they just start feeling better overall.


TERESA: Right. And my assumption had been the gluten, but perhaps it's something else.


MELANIE: Well myself, it's so many. It's corn, there's so many grains I don't tolerate well. So…


TERESA: Yeah. Yeah, it's just interesting. And then as we have talked about in the last couple of shows, there are estrogenic compounds found in plastic, in laundry soaps, in cosmetics; hiding under the terms either fragrance or parabens, or there other terms as well. But those are some of the ones that are easier to spot; so fragrance or paraben. It could be methyl paraben or butyl paraben, or you know, it could have a longer name than just paraben. Then there is the herbicide, atrazine that is also estrogenic. Atrazine is the second most widely used herbicide after glyphosate. And it's everywhere. It's on our crops. It's on our lawns. It's on golf courses. It's just, it's everywhere where we're trying to keep weeds at bay. And as we have said on previous shows, we are just swimming in this sea of estrogen. So if some of you are maybe like me, that's like you hear some of these things and it might be new information. You're like, well, okay, show me the research because I got to look this up myself. So if that's you, I encourage you to look to look up the book, Estrogeneration: How Estrogenics are Making You Fat, Sick and Infertile by Dr. Anthony Jay, who is president of the International Medical Research Collaborative. You'll find all the supporting research in that book.


MELANIE: He really lays it out in a readable fashion, I think.


TERESA: Yes; yeah, lots of, lots of new information in that, in that book.


MELANIE: You know, and Teresa, some of the weight gain, especially weight gained around the midsection and tummy that we were talking about, and even the hips, is so frustrating for women, particularly during perimenopause.




MELANIE: We want to help you listeners to understand excess estrogens can lead to more fat cells and how excess fat cells lead to more estrogen. So remember earlier: we said 100 to 200 years ago, essentially the only estrogen women were exposed to was the estrogen their ovaries made. But today there is constant exposure to estrogen. Some of our listeners remember when birth control pills appeared on the market in the late 1950s or early 1960s. Slowly over the years, more estrogenic chemicals such as the atrazine were used. Then plastic came into popular use and our tap water became contaminated. If we look back 30 years, 10% of Americans were obese. 20 years ago, 20% were considered obese and 10 years ago it was 30% who were considered obese. And now it's 40%.


TERESA: Wow. All right, well you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. I want to ask you a question. If you are experiencing night sweats, mood swings or weight gain, whom do you seek out for help? As dieticians and nutritionists at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we know we have all the tools in our toolbox to help you feel good through perimenopause. After working with hundreds of clients and particularly women for the past 25 years, we understand hormonal issues. If you are struggling with any hormonal issues, I suggest that you call (651) 699-3438 to schedule your initial nutrition appointment. It may take a few appointments over the next eight weeks, but we can help you start feeling great again in the new year. And don't wait for the new year. Call now.




MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. We believe women need to understand how hormones affect their health. An excellent way to learn all about estrogen, progesterone, and how to provide hormonal balance by just eating real food is to take our Menopause Survival Seminar. It's being held next Saturday, November 9 at the St. Paul location. Join us from 10:30 to 3:30 to learn in a relaxed, enjoyable, fun environment. In the past we've had women attend who were as young as 33 and as old as 91 years old. Everyone has a good time. Everyone learns how to work with their particular hormone issues. And Diane, Joann and Dar are looking forward to answering all of your questions and concerns. Go to or call our office at 651-699-3438 to sign up and reserve that spot. They go fast.


TERESA: They do go fast. It's such an interesting, interesting seminar and like you said, it's, it's really fun because it's just kind of a, it's a, it's a place where you can share some things that aren't necessarily the easiest to talk about, generally speaking.


MELANIE: In a fun way. And you can share as much as you want or as little as you want, but chances are there's a woman in the group who wants to ask the question that's burning on your mind. So starting that conversation is just very, very helpful for women to feel like they have that support in their own issues.


TERESA: Right. And I think the first time that somebody asked sort of like maybe a private question that opens up maybe Pandora's box and everybody starts asking questions. There's a lot of really good information. And not to mention there's a lot of great food there too.


MELANIE: There is, it's a delicious organic lunch and they serve a snack and it's fantastic.


TERESA: It is. Okay. So let's recap on what Mel had shared prior to going to break. Some of the stats: I mean they're very significant and I mean if you think about the trajectory that we're on, so if we look back 30 years ago, 10% of Americans were obese just 30 years ago. Or 20 years ago, 20% were considered obese. 10 years ago it was 30%. Now almost 40% of the population is obese. That's obese, that’s not even including the overweight statistics in there; so 40% of the population. There is a statistic, and I can't remember what year it comes to, but if we continue this trajectory, it's basically everybody will be obese, which I don't think that will happen.


MELANIE: I don't think so. We're a savvy, we have a savvy listening crowd alone. Our clientele is learning, and that's why they're coming in because they've said “I've had enough of this.” And they come in for a consult.


TERESA: That's right. So we're going to turn that stat around; and what else? Okay. So we know the obesity rates have risen, but what else has risen over the past 50 years: artificial estrogens, with the exception of Europe.


MELANIE: Interesting.


TERESA: Yeah. Isn't that interesting? In Europe, many of these chemicals that create these artificial estrogens have been banned. For example, I talked about atrazine before. There was a total ban on atrazine in 2004 in Europe, but countries, some of the countries in Europe had had them banned since 1991, so it’s been a pretty significant amount of time.


MELANIE: Come on America.


TERESA: I know. And then Mel, so did you know, because both of us, we, we like cosmetics, right?


MELANIE: We do love our cosmetics.


TERESA: We're in studio fully makeup-ed. Nobody can see us. But…


MELANIE: Yes, I have to tell you, I went into my double mastectomy full lipstick-ed.


TERESA: But what's interesting, okay, so about the cosmetic industry. In the U.S. there have only been 30 chemicals that have been banned in personal care products. 30, where in Europe there's been over 1400 chemicals banned for use in personal care products.


MELANIE: Stunning.


TERESA: Yeah. It's, I mean, that is significant. That is a major difference in what they're saying is okay for us to use on our bodies, which we know that anything we put on our skin can get into our bloodstream. And so we need to be careful with what we are doing.


MELANIE: And if you, if you have a hard time understanding that concept, think about if you've, what they put patches on for estrogen or they put patches on for medications or for non-smoking.




MELANIE: All of those are transdermal. They go directly into the skin. So it stands to reason what you put on your skin, what touches your hands even if you're handling inorganic pesticide-laden vegetables is going to get into your skin, right? And into your system: straight to the bloodstream.


TERESA: Yeah. And what do we, you know, many of us, as soon as we hop out of the shower, our pores are nice and open and we slather lotion on probably 90% of our body. Right?




TERESA: So it can be significant. It can be very significant actually. So, okay, so if we're going to say, well, is Europe doing it better than we are? Well, let's compare our obesity rates as one of those measures. The obesity rates in Europe compared to the United States is about half of ours.






MELANIE: …as ours in the U.S. It would seem that all of our chemicals used in our food supply and environment are affecting or maybe even damaging our blood sugar regulating genes. As a result, more and more people are becoming insulin resistant and the consequence is a very slow metabolism. Can any of our listeners relate to this or my clients?


TERESA: I think when we asked that question in some of our classes, we're like, “Do you have a slow metabolism?” Almost every hand goes up.


MELANIE: Yes or a head-bob. People are thinking, “Yes, that's me.” And sadly another source of toxic estrogen is our own body fat. Body fat produces more estrogen and more estrogen makes more body fat. It's just a terrible cycle. A concept we explained in our Menopause Seminar is that excess estrogen creates more body fat, which then creates more estrogen, which leads to more body fat. And I want to put a plug in here. It increases your risk for estrogen-positive cancers. It's a never-ending vicious cycle, and in order for many women to lose weight, they must reduce their toxic artificial estrogen loads that you were talking about.


TERESA: Okay, so how do you stop insulin resistance and the fat estrogen cycle that Mel had talked about? How do you put a stop to overloading your body with artificial estrogens? These are both great questions. We hope this information helps you understand that you really do not want to add artificial estrogens to your body. A good place to start is by eliminating birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy or HRT. Birth control blocks ovulation. As a result, your body does not make progesterone. Ovulation is needed for the production of progesterone. So I think sometimes that's surprising to women that when they are taking birth control pills, that they actually do not have a cycle. There is no cycle. There is just one like even hormone. You know, generally our hormones are rising and falling with our cycle. Then it’s just more even.


MELANIE: And that's why a lot of women are taking them because they want that cycle evened out. They've been miserable.


TERESA: So then taking birth control pills leads to high estrogen because you're taking in estrogen and then low progesterone because you're not ovulating. And this leads to weight gain. Now this conversation can be difficult, especially for women who are using birth control for birth control. But more than half of women prescribed birth control pills or hormonal birth control is for reasons other than pregnancy: cramps, irregular periods, acne, hormonal headaches or migraines, PMS, abnormal hair loss or abnormal hair growth. The pill is helpful in masking these troublesome symptoms but it doesn't address the root cause of the problem. But all these symptoms we can help you with at Nutritional Weight and Wellness. And we can address those naturally so that your body can cycle as it is intended to. And it is time for our next break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. This month Dishing Up Nutrition celebrates its 17th year of talking about food and nutrition on 107.1.


MELANIE: That's awesome.


TERESA: Dar always says as we research for each and every show, “How many ways can you talk about protein, carbs and fat?”


MELANIE: We've done it.


TERESA: Somehow we always seem to find a new and interesting way to do so. It is our passion to educate and motivate everyone to change their nutrition to change their life, and we hope you are achieving that goal. Some of you have been listening for 17 years and we thank you. Some of you have more recently joined in to listen to our weekly conversations about food and nutrition and we also thank you. We have heard the impact that we are making. One listener wrote in and said, “I listen every week to stay motivated and I've lost 87 pounds.” Many of you have told us that just by listening to the show, your entire family is off of the junk food and eating real food because they just feel so much better when they do. One other listener gave up drinking six cans of Coke a day. Another listener got rid of her pain pills just by cutting down on sugar and processed carbs. There have been so many positive comments and testimonials that we would love to share, but unfortunately one hour just isn't enough time for 17 years worth of stories. Once again, we always say, “Change your nutrition to change your life”. Keep listening because we want to keep sharing information that will help you stay healthy.




MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Are you aware that Nutritional Weight and Wellness is offering five of our 90-minute classes for only $10 each? From November 1 to November 22 these classes are available at all seven locations; some during the day and some of them in the evening. To get through the holidays without the five to 10 pound weight gain, you might want to sign up for Healthy Holiday Tips or perhaps Stress, Food and You. As we've mentioned before, we like what the late great poet Maya Angelou said: “Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better.” Call 651-699-3438 today to sign up. These classes will help you know better to do better. Next week join Kara and Britni for foods for pregnancy. It will surely be a great show as this is a special topic for Britni at this time.


TERESA: Yes, it is.


MELANIE: She’s adorable. Well, there also seems to be a link to high levels of artificial estrogens and depression and anxiety. I do know from working with many clients who are perimenopause that a sign of excess estrogen is being over-emotional and crying easily. It is an indication to me that they have excess estrogen and are low in the hormone progesterone.


TERESA: Don't you get those clients where you're talking; you're having your appointment, and they just start crying and they're like, “I just don't know why I'm crying. I'm so sorry.”


MELANIE: I keep the... Yes, well it's so personal. What we eat; what we eat, our body image, how we feel, how we feel like we can function in our world is so personal. And when we start letting the guard down and talking about it, it's really normal and natural.




MELANIE: But when I have a client who says, “I am crying all the time,” that is a red flag to me that maybe there is that hormone imbalance.


TERESA: Yeah. And I guess when I was saying that there wasn't any sort of like, you know, I'm not making fun of any clients for crying because it is a very emotional topic a lot of times, especially with weight and with health problems. I guess what I was thinking more, maybe I didn't say clearly is the clients where it's you're not talking about anything that's necessarily emotional.




TERESA: And they have that emotional response.


MELANIE: And then they're surprised at their own emotions. It's not their typical personality and it's frustrating to them. And I know that you in clinic, or you and I both have a box of Kleenex there.




MELANIE: Always for our clients. But you know, when it feels really out of balance and you feel like your emotions are out of balance themselves, it's like you were saying, that's when you're like, okay, I see something going on here.


TERESA: And sometimes detoxifying, detoxing those artificial estrogens and adding a little transdermal progesterone cream eliminates those excessive emotional responses. You know those moments of uncontrollable tears for no apparent reason that we're talking about. To help minimize that emotional roller coaster, a third of women going through menopause are offered an antidepressant. So a question I always ask myself is, and I know you do too. You're doing the same thing is, is this a condition needing an antidepressant? Or does this client just need to detox estrogen and add a little natural progesterone?


TERESA: Right. And it is a little sad because a lot of times those people are having issues with weight gain, and we know that antidepressants can also perpetuate that weight gain. And so it's a tricky situation.


MELANIE: It's very tricky. Or bone loss. I mean, there are side effects to these drugs.


TERESA: Right. So talking about detox, let's, let's talk about how to detox artificial estrogens naturally. And when, when we're talking about detox, we're not talking about, you know, drinking lemon water with cayenne pepper and having nothing for several days in order to detox the body. That's not what we're talking about because that's not actual detox. What we're talking about at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is using food to help you detox naturally. We always say food first.


MELANIE: And you need that support for our, you know, our kidneys and liver are so key in detoxing some of these estrogens and chemicals in general. So we want to be eating food that helps support those processes.


TERESA: Right. And within food there are vitamins and minerals and proteins that help the detox process. Those processes need the nutrients our food provides in order for them to happen. So here are some suggestions that Melanie and I give our clients who are going through perimenopause or menopause: Eat vegetables; surprise, surprise. Do we ever say that? Eat vegetables?


MELANIE: We say it always.


TERESA: Eat vegetables rather than grains for your carbohydrates. Vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage; you know those are just a few of the cruciferous vegetables.


MELANIE: You know Teresa, the ones, these are the vegetables that smell up the office and you feel like you have to apologize for. And I'm astounded by… there are some of my clients who come in and they tell me, “Oh, I can never eat cruciferous vegetables at work. I'm prohibited because there's an odor ban on their food.”


TERESA: Oh wow.




TERESA: I've heard of things like people being self conscious about things like fish and those kinds of things. But I never thought of cruciferous vegetables; interesting.




TERESA: They have an odor ban. Who is policing the odor ban?


MELANIE: I can understand perfume, but vegetables seem a little excessive.


TERESA: It does seem a little excessive. It's unfortunate. It's unfortunate when there are things that if you want to take a vegetable, which is already a challenge for a lot of people just to get those vegetables in, that there is another barrier that you have to overcome in order to get those in.


MELANIE: And cold cruciferous vegetables to not give off the sulfur odor that when you cook them. So there are always options. We problem-solve these.


TERESA: They’re like “Thanks a lot Mel”. I thought I was off the hook for those. All right, so those, those cruciferous vegetables: what they do is that they help support the natural detox pathways that we have in our liver and those help to metabolize the estrogen that we have in our body.


MELANIE: So another thing that I, I tell my clients is you want to buy and eat a hundred percent grass-fed meat, eggs from pasteurized chickens, happy chickens that play in the sun, and hormone-free dairy products.


TERESA: Where do you buy those?


MELANIE: I have a dairy allergy, so I don't. But I send my clients to Whole Foods. Their local co-op is a really great place.




MELANIE: And sometimes they can find a local farmer. I have a local farmer I can get grass-fed, grass finished beef from. It's fantastic. So there are a lot of avenues out there. You can literally Google and find sources where you can find grass-fed meats and free-range eggs.


TERESA: Yeah. And I think those are the best when you can get them from the actual farmer.




TERESA: You know your, you know, know the person that's providing the foods for you. I think that's best. But I've even found that at places like Target and Costco, you can find grass-fed meats. You can find pastured, you know, chicken eggs, you know, you can find some of those things. So they're, they're out there.


MELANIE: And I do caution my clients. Farmer's markets are wonderful, but you don't necessarily know if what they're buying is pesticide-free, and if their livestock has been raised without hormones, antibiotics or grass-fed…because you can be getting residue of those chemicals in your food.


TERESA: Yeah. Yeah. Asking questions at the farmer's market is great. Sometimes they have that little certification plaque or a sign that says certified organic. But otherwise, yeah, you really have to ask a lot of questions, which we are always in favor of doing. Ask questions about your food. Okay. Another idea for detoxing naturally: reduce the number of carbs that you're eating to a hundred grams or less per day. Most people are eating at least 300 grams of carbs per day or even more. So if you're thinking of 300 grams, that's about a hundred at each meal that we're eating, which is quite a bit. And this puts stress on our blood sugar regulating genes and creates insulin resistance.


MELANIE: You know, another one is avoid those factory fats. I call them “Franken fats”, which are soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, and corn oil. Britni: when she was teaching a class that I observed, she had a great little tip, which I love, which was, if you think about holding cotton in your hand or corn or soybean, they're not oily. So they have to go through a multitude of steps just to extract the oil. Some of those steps are called defoaming, deodorizing, degumming; yum.


TERESA: Yum. Yeah, and I liked that with cotton too. Somebody said, and I can't remember who. Sometimes I like to take these on as if they’re my sayings, but I don't think anything of mine is original.


MELANIE: Just take it.


TERESA: Yeah. We don't eat our clothes, right? So if there's cottonseed oil…


MELANIE: One of the worst.


TERESA: Yup; it's a textile. We don't eat our textiles. Okay. It's time for break again. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. If you are having hormonal problems, I suggest you make an initial appointment with one of our dietitians or nutritionists. Melanie and I are both dieticians, and all the dietitians and Nutritionists at Nutritional Weight and Wellness have received extensive training for hormonal issues concerning PMS, fertility, perimenopause, menopause, and even post-menopause. The first appointment with you is two hours long. It goes by quickly, but it's two hours long. And we have this two-hour long appointment so we can really understand your goals and how we are going to go about achieving those goals. We are pleased to say that appointments at Nutritional Weight and Wellness are now covered by some insurance plans. So if you want to find out if yours is covered or if it's a coverable appointment call (651) 699-3438 to learn more about health insurance coverage and to set up an appointment.




MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Because of this show, I have learned so much more about toxic, artificial hormones, and their harmful effects on our health. I believe every woman needs to hear this show, so please pass it onto your mother, your daughter, a friend, a niece, or even your grandmother. I personally invite you to attend the Menopause Seminar next Saturday, November 9 at our St. Paul location. If you are listening outside of the twin cities metro area and want an appointment, we are happy to do a phone appointment with you. Just tell us what time works best for you. I have clients from Texas, New York, South Dakota, New Jersey, California. I've had them from London. Other nutritionists and dietitians even have people from other parts of the world. So wherever you are, we can connect. Go to or call us at (651) 699-3438 to book an appointment. So let's take off where we left off. We were talking about food first, right? And we just finished up with fat. So we do want you to eat fat, but we want it to be healthy fat, and about a tablespoon of healthy fat six times a day is ideal. You can choose from butter, coconut oil, avocado, ghee, nuts, olives, cream cheese; my favorite: nitrate-free, bacon fat, and even some healthy mayonnaise that are 100% of avocado oil.


TERESA: All yummy, good choices.


MELANIE: Fat makes everything delicious.


TERESA: It sure does. Yes it does. Another thing that you can do to help your body support the natural detox processes or not to put more burden on that process is to drink only organic coffee and tea. And when you're drinking that coffee or tea, avoid the creamers that may go in them, particularly I suppose in coffee, because they usually contain high fructose corn syrup and factory fats: the ones that we had named before, such as soybean oil, which may increase your risk of developing heart disease; so just adding another problem to the list. If you drink organic coffee, add organic heavy whipping cream in place of these coffee creamers. Be sure to read the label because some of those creamers claim that they are healthy. They look like they should be healthy by their packaging, but they contain high fructose corn syrup and factory fats. I don't know about you Mel, but when I go to the dairy… you probably don't go to the dairy section too much.


MELANIE: I really don't. I do just it for information for my clients.


TERESA: Yeah, but when I go there I'm like, I'm astounded by the number of creamers that are, that are there. I mean we love to put things in our coffee.




TERESA: A variety of things.


MELANIE: You know, the front of a label’s designed to sell you. So roll it over. The back of the label and the ingredients is designed to inform you. Never trust the front. Roll it to the back. So you can tell if I've been in the dairy section because they're all flipped around. Some of you may wonder if tea is safe to drink. Many of the Chinese teas contain traces of lead, arsenic and pesticide residue.


TERESA: So just more burden for your liver to have to…


MELANIE: Nobody needs lead. We use the brand Choice Organic Tea at Nutritional Weight and Wellness for our clients and our staff to enjoy. And we always provide filtered water.


TERESA: Okay, there's another list of foods that we think that you should buy organic to really avoid those high pesticide/herbicide residues that are found on those foods. So spinach, milk, animal proteins, tomatoes, strawberries, pears, apples, nectarines, potatoes, grapes, celery, kale, peaches and cherries. So, okay, I hope you had your pencils out and wrote those all down.


MELANIE: But you can definitely go to the website; you can just Google dirty and clean foods to eat.


TERESA: Right.


MELANIE: The clean 15 is always where to lean into. That's easier than…or you can buy all organic.


TERESA: Right, and, okay, so if I'm going to the grocery store and I don't have my phone with me, so I don't have access to the EWG or the Environmental Working Group, and I don't have my list of organic foods that I should buy. Are there any tips that you have? I have some tips that I give people. But I’m curious about what your tips are, so I'm looking in the produce section. I want to keep my residue of pesticides and herbicides low.


MELANIE: And budget-friendly.


TERESA: And budget friendly. What can I buy organic? What can I buy conventional to kind of save some money there and still keep that herbicide/pesticide level low? Do you have tips that you give?


MELANIE: Yes, I do. I tell my clients that if you, if you pick it up or you handle it and you can put your finger nail through it, it should be organic because if you think about a grape, a spinach leaf, an apple, you can definitely put your fingernail through them. So they're thin-skinned. And then if you buy organic, you still need to wash.




MELANIE: You still need to wash it. So that's my tip. What's yours?


TERESA: My tip is basically I look at the foods, and if I'm going to eat the part of the food that would have been sprayed with the chemicals, I'm not going to buy that. So if we think about apples, they're just on the tree. They're exposed to however they're being sprayed. Same with grapes, you know, nectarines, peaches; all those kind of things. It's like it's directly on the part that I'm going to eat. And so then if I'm thinking about the things that are more conventional that are maybe that I can buy, I'm thinking about the things that I'm going to peel. So like a banana.


MELANIE: Avocado.


TERESA: Avocado. And you can even think about, okay, what are the stinky vegetables? Because the ones that tend to be stinkier tend to not need herbicides or pesticides as much.


MELANIE: Yes, like asparagus.


TERESA: Because the bugs stay away. And so then I think about those kinds of ideas. So if you didn't have a chance to write down that list, or if you don't have internet access when you're grocery shopping, then just think about what part of the food are you going to be eating or can you stick your fingernail through it? That's a really good tip.


MELANIE: And you know, the other thing we tell our clients is to always be prepared when you go to the grocery store. So that's part of your preparation.




MELANIE: If you go to the grocery store: one hungry, two, not knowing what you're going to buy, man, that's a dangerous place to be.


TERESA: That is a dangerous place to be.


MELANIE: I have had…back in the day before I worked for Nutritional Weight and Wellness, I actually would have clients call me and say, “I'm in the aisle with the crackers. What is healthy?” And I'd say the end of the aisle and go to produce. Walk to the end of the aisle and head to produce.


TERESA: I like that. And I like that they had access to you. That was really kind of you. Oh, those are some good tips. Okay. We have more tips, but this is a really great place to start. When you eat organic meats, vegetables, fruits, and when you balance it out with some of those healthy fats that we talked about, you allow your body to detox those artificial, harmful estrogens. This will help you stop that estrogen/fat cycle, which in turn will help you reduce your night sweats, mood swings, and extra weight.


MELANIE: Yeah, perfect. Another little tip: you mentioned golfing earlier. I do tell my clients if you golf, if you pick up the ball or handle the ball, I have seen golfers lick and touch a golf ball.


TERESA: Why would they do that?


MELANIE: It’s full of pesticides.


TERESA: Why are they licking the golf balls?


MELANIE: Yes, even wearing gloves, leaving your golfing clothes outside of the house so you don't bring that residue inside because people love to golf.




MELANIE: Because people love to golf. It’s a good activity. Yes. So we definitely don't want to be you know, licking our hands, handling the balls that we've been handling that are on the grass-ladened-pesticide-filled turf; right?


TERESA: Right. So after you golf, you need to eat a bunch of cruciferous vegetables. Okay. Our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for listening and have a happy, healthy day.

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