Relief for Menopause Symptoms

September 18, 2021

There are over 6,000 women in the U.S. who go into menopause each and every day, which means about 27 million women are menopausal. Many of the women we are seeing in clinic lately have menopause symptoms starting as early as age 35 and lasting into their late 60’s or early 70’s. Chances are you or someone you love has, is, or will go through menopause and we are on a mission to educate women (and those who love them), starting today. Finding a hormonal solution takes a well-thought-out nutrition, lifestyle education, and support plan, so the topic of this show is all about natural ways to get relief from menopause symptoms.

Podcast Powered by Podbean

Similar Podcast Episodes:

Print Transcript


MELANIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. The topic of our show today is all about natural ways to get rid of menopause symptoms. Does anybody out there need some relief? Well, you might be familiar with some of those symptoms, particularly hot flashes. I hear a lot of hot flashing complaints in my clients.

CAROLYN: Oh, so do I Mel. Yeah, a lot.

MELANIE: Well, I can remember I had 20 hot flashes a day for about 10 years after I had a total hysterectomy in breast cancer.

CAROLYN: I was so surprised to hear that: 20. How did you survive, Mel?

MELANIE: I lived in tank tops. I did. But I did, you know, I wish I would've known what I know now. And I'll bet if any of you out there are struggling with hot flashes, you can relate. Like I did, you'll want to learn how to get some relief. Well, it was not a magic pill. It was simply my food choices. And we're going to dig deeper today into those food choices this morning. So grab a pen. You might want to write some down. I just recently learned that there are over 6,000 women in the U.S. who go into menopause each and every day, which means about 27 million women are menopausal. That's a lot of us.

CAROLYN: That's a lot of us. And I don't know about you Mel, but I remember the men in my life during that time, they were like, “What is going on with you?”

MELANIE: I remember being in a small group, couple’s group, and three of us had hair binders on our wrists at all times. And so you would just see someone would grab their hair, throw it up in a ponytail and you just, and we all knew, the three of us knew we were looking at each other and you know, everything had to be in layers so that you could peel them off at any given moment.

CAROLYN: Yes, exactly. Well, sadly I might add that the majority of women who really they know so little about the whole process of menopause, especially how food and nutrition can help relieve, or hopefully even eliminate those symptoms. But at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we are on a mission to educate you women out there starting today. So good morning everyone. I'm Carolyn Hudson and I'm a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And I've been that for well over 30 years. So I see a lot of women who are going through menopause because they not only trust my expertise, but they also know at my age, I totally get it. I totally get it.

MELANIE: It's good to have a practitioner that you work with who understands. Yeah, I think so. And I'm Melanie Beasley. I'm also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with about 30 years of experience working with a variety of people with a wide range of health problems. And as I mentioned, I had non-stop hot flashes for over 10 years. And at that point in my life, I no idea that the bagel and the coffee I had at breakfast set me up to hot flash all day long. In fact, I would get up every morning, have my breakfast, make my coffee, put an ice pack in my robe pocket to go upstairs and read because I knew I, within 20 minutes I was slapping that ice pack on my neck.

So sometimes it takes some small changes to get great results, more than ice packs. I also had breast cancer due to an excess level of estrogen. Once again, I really had no idea that the soy lattes I often drank were a problem because at the time I was unaware that soy caused my body to produce more estrogen. And being allergic to dairy, I was doing a lot more soy milk up until my oncologist said, “Knock it off.”


MELANIE: So I've learned so much since then, which is why I want to be a part of teaching hundreds and hundreds of women simple nutrition habits to rebalance their body, to prevent those pesky menopause symptoms or even to reduce or eliminate the symptoms altogether. So in fact, coming up soon, Nutritional Weight and Wellness will be rolling out a six hour Menopause Seminar, covering all things menopause.

The Menopause Survival Seminar

This is where we talk about all things menopause, including relief from menopause symptoms, how to feel great, how to look great during these more mature years. And I was honored to be one of the presenters along with nutritionist, Kara Carper. You've heard her on the show. And it was a six hour seminar and we had so much fun filming it. I was worried because we didn't have the live and you know, that energy of the women is wonderful. But we had such a great time.

CAROLYN: Good. Yeah, I, yeah, I can't wait to review or see that one. I do remember sitting through and going to the live in-person ones and those are just, they're dynamic.


CAROLYN: The, the feedback and all the women, you know, getting together and talking about what they're going through or what they did go through or what they think they're going to go through.

MELANIE: Yes, that was great. And so taking notes, I mean, I was taking notes, even though I'd heard it a couple of times, I still learn something new every time.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Every time you listen or go to one of those seminars; I'd say that really for almost all of our education programs. You learn something new. And, and you and I are doing the radio show. I feel like we learn something new every time we do the show.

MELANIE: You dig into the research and it's for, you know, being nutrition nerds like we are, it's fun. It's fun for us. And then getting to convey it to everyone out there is a privilege.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Yeah. I love it. So the sessions I've seen of the menopause seminar, as I said are excellent. They're really easy to watch. They're very professional. They're highly researched. They're very practical and filled with very doable things, nutrition and lifestyle changes that you can do. Plus it's laced with humor.

MELANIE: There has to be.

CAROLYN: I mean, menopause, we need to be able to laugh, right? Because that's, you know, we need to control some of it. But we need to be able to laugh about it. So, but when you hear Melanie talk about flashing those 20 times a day for 10 years, and she's still smiling. You just want a smile along with her, right?

MELANIE: It's a whole different phrase when you say hot mama. You're just a hot mother. Well, when I hear Kara talk about her perimenopause symptoms, she had anxiety and sleep problems and then her personal nutritional solutions she now uses to overcome her anxiety and those sleep issues. You will understand the impact of nutrition on your sleep and anxiety. For Kara the solution all started with simply eating a real food snack before bed. Isn't that amazing?


MELANIE: It was a simple solution. There's more. She did a lot more, but, that was her starting place and it made an impact. And so I think about that with my clients who are struggling.

CAROLYN: Exactly. Yeah. So now, you know what we have in store for you. So, we obviously want you to get some answers to reduce some of your menopause symptoms. So most women officially reach menopause between somewhere 45 to 55. And I've actually had some even a lot younger than that. And I don't, I don't know if that's common or not, or if it's getting more common that it's even younger than that?

MELANIE: I think it is.

CAROLYN: But it does seem like I'm getting more, even a little bit younger than that. And unfortunately the symptoms can last anywhere from like two years to what Melanie said: 10 years. You know, I talked to my mom and I asked her when… when, of course when I went through menopause, when I started through even the perimenopause, I remember going to her and she said, “I don't even remember. I don't remember anything about menopause.” I went, oh no. Why am I suffering so much, right? So many of the women we're seeing today have menopause symptoms starting, as I said, even earlier than that. So 35 and lasting oh, into their sixties or seventies.

MELANIE: Yes. It's, it's something that needs to be addressed because it's so life disruptive.

CAROLYN: It is. Yeah.

MELANIE: And you want to feel like you're sane and capable with what's going on in your life and it can be really disruptive. What's even more interesting is that over 30 million women in menopause are employed and many of these women are leaving their jobs because of these symptoms. However, they don't necessarily want to tell their employers why they're leaving because this can be very personal and a private situation. So we were going to kind of open that up today.

CAROLYN: Oh, it's already time for our first break. So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness.

Bone-Building Nutrition Plan


I invite you to try our bone building plan. I'm going to outline the plan for you, and you can decide for yourself if you want more information and our help to build strong bones. First, we want you to eat quality fat. Then we want you to eliminate the sugar from your diet. Exercise to stimulate bone growth and take quality calcium supplements. When we come back from break Mel will talk about an excellent bone building supplement. And if you think this bone building plan sounds like a good solution for you, I invite you to call 651-699-3438 and tell us what your needs are. And we will help find the right dietitian or nutritionist for you. And we'll be right back.


MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. As most of you know, bones do not regenerate in a short time. In fact, it takes 10 years to build a skeleton. So it is a slow but positive process that includes real food, key bone building supplements and exercise. By the way, walking is a great bone building exercise. I also believe that having adequate collagen is important. You can get collagen from adding one scoop of the Key Collagen to your protein shake daily. I love it because it has a collagen peptide called Fortibone for our bones. And then you can add it to your own bone broth and sip on a warm bone broth. Also, you can add it to smoothies. That's what I do.

And a specially designed bone building supplement called Key Osteo Plus. That's another thing I like to add. Key Osteo Plus includes the correct amount of over 20 nutrients for bones; calcium, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, vitamin D. So it's your multi as well. And all which are important nutrients that help our bones. And we need those for repair and regrowth. So there's a great deal right now. You can save 15% on Key Osteo Plus through the rest of September. You can order online at or stop into one of our six twin cities metro locations. And you can do curbside.

CAROLYN: So, you know in today's economy with the shortage of employees, the fact that women are leaving the workforce, what you were talking about before break, Mel, because of embarrassing menopause symptoms, puts even more of a stress and strain on all of our businesses. I know that, you know, it's difficult. I know we're even having trouble finding like our front desk staff people. It's like, it's tight out there.

MELANIE: We’re at a people shortage. So and Carolyn, I think a simple, simple solution is to educate, educate the women, experiencing some experiencing these symptoms so they can find relief and educate their employers so they can help redirect their female employees to healthy menopause solutions. Well, unfortunately, medicating a hormonal problem is not always very successful and finding a hormonal solution takes a well thought out nutrition, lifestyle, education, and support plan. And I want our listeners to find solutions that help relieve the symptoms, not just mask the symptoms.

CAROLYN: Right. Right. And that's what I find a lot. If you go to your doctor, you know, you're at your wit's end, right? Because you're not sleeping. You have the hot flashes.

MELANIE: It’s a flare gun. Help me.

CAROLYN: Yeah. What did they do?

MELANIE: Well, it's usually a medication.

CAROLYN: Right. They try to give you, what do we call that? The magic pill? And it does help relieve some of the symptoms, but it doesn't solve the problem, right?

MELANIE: When you come off those medications if you go there…

Sugar and Processed Carbs Increase Hot Flashes


CAROLYN: Right back, right? So Mel and I really want to start with talking about those hot flashes. You know, when I'm working with a client, I ask them first, “What did you eat for breakfast?” You know, maybe they say they had that bagel and a cup of coffee like you had.

MELANIE: Or cereal or toast.

CAROLYN: Or cereal or toast and fruit probably, right; all carbs.

MELANIE: That's what we grew up with.

CAROLYN: That's what we grew up with; right. So most people don't realize that that bagel can turn into 14 and a quarter teaspoons of glucose or sugar, right; sugar in your body that, that comes from that amount of carbs. So, there are, that's equivalent to like four slices of bread. So eating one bagel basically is like eating four pieces of toast or bread in the morning. That said, if you eat a bagel for breakfast, guess what's going to happen?

MELANIE: Well, it's very likely you're going to have hot flashes.

CAROLYN: Hot flashes all morning; right.

MELANIE: As I mentioned earlier in the show, I was one of those who ate low fat bagels for breakfast. I taught low-fat bagels in class because that's what we knew. So many of you, those, those starches, the bagel and the cereal may not be the best choice for you, but instead, that might be something you're not doing. You say, well, I, I just don't eat those carbs. So I want to touch on the wine habit.

CAROLYN: Oh, the wine habit.

The Wine/Alcohol Connection to Menopause Symptoms


MELANIE: The vitamin ‘W’. You say to yourself, “The kids are out of the house. I'm tired. I skipped lunch. It was a hard day.” So you have a glass of wine. Maybe that's your whole dinner. And then you end up feeling anxious, not sleeping well. So unfortunately, because of that glass of wine, you also can have night sweats. It disrupts your sleep. You might wake up feeling more anxious than you did the night before. There are other times, you know, you might have difficulty focusing, concentrating, thinking clearly. And that's the residual effect of that wine. We have a saying at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, “no sleepy, no thinky”. Personally, I think I'm just a mean sister, if I don't get enough sleep. So if I saw you as a client, I would help you learn that skipping lunch to save some calories would actually slow your metabolism. So instead of losing weight, you can end up gaining weight.

Balance the Blood Sugar with Real Food


And a simple lunch of a bowl of chili, chicken with some avocados and salsa help to balance your blood sugar, fire up your metabolism. You know, one of my favorite recipes for clients that are just too busy for breakfast or lunch is to make a protein smoothie, put it in an insulated water bottle or coffee tumbler, because it looks like you're just having your water, you know, during a meeting, if you're Zooming or in meetings. It's all things fall right now. So check out the pumpkin smoothie on our website, because it is delicious. And that can kind of offset that need for wine later. If we start getting your blood sugar balanced, the anxiety and the brain fog are improving.

CAROLYN: And, you know, I'm well past menopause. Thank goodness. However, if I decide to have that glass of red wine, usually with my evening meal, or when I have that with my evening meal, I still will get like those nights sweats; maybe not as bad as when I was right in the throes of menopause. And, but no, I, yeah, it stays on unfortunately.

MELANIE: I have 20 year olds who are having those night sweats from wine.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Yeah. And to me that says a lot about estrogen. They've got just too much estrogen circulating in their body. Right? So let me explain a little bit about balancing that blood sugar. So when you eat a balanced lunch, like the ones that, you know, Mel was just mentioned, you will not have that out of control hunger when you get home. And additionally, you know, I'm, I would try to help my clients find a healthy substitute for that glass of wine. My current favorite is the La Croix limoncello. I really like that one. Or you could do like an herbal ice tea or sparkling water over ice with a slice of lemon or lime. And sometimes I have them make that protein shake that you were just talking about.

MELANIE: And put it in your wine glass.

CAROLYN: Put it in your wine glass. You know, I, I definitely really encourage a lot of people if even, you know, and now people are starting to go out, if they are going out with friends, instead of having that glass of wine, order, you know, with soda water or something, but put it in the wine glass. So at least you feel like you're participating in that, you know, wine and socialization. But the protein shake, you know, if you did a protein shake, whatever you're going to do, when you walk in the door, sit down and relax.

MELANIE: Rest and digest.

CAROLYN: Yes. Rest and digest. I like that, Mel. And before you start tackling dinner, you know, it's all about having a meal that balances your blood sugar, right? It's really important to balance our blood sugar.

MELANIE: Absolutely. Absolutely. And here's the comment I hear over and over that I want to get to after our break.

CAROLYN: It’s already time for our second break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. The reality is that most people have gained weight over this past year and a half because of the lockdown and the stress of COVID-19 or being home and really close to your refrigerator. Whatever your reason is, you know you don't like those extra pounds. So if you've gained unwanted pounds, we have some ways to help you. And we'll discuss those when we come back from break.


CAROLYN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. So when we went to break, I was talking about those few who may have gained some weight during COVID because your refrigerator was just a little too close, maybe. And so if you've gained those unwanted pounds, we have a couple of different ways to help you lose weight. Either meeting in a class setting or meeting one-on-one with a dietitian or nutritionist. You could take our Nutrition for Weight Loss series.

We have some in-person locations. And we can do them virtually as well. So those in-person locations are North Oaks and oh, is that right? North Oaks? Oh no, no, no, that's not right. Maple Grove and, and Eagan and Woodbury, I think are all a go. So, that would be great. So those are the in-person. And then of course, we've got the virtual Nutrition for Weight Loss class series. That's going to start next week: the week of September 22nd. Either of them will help you get back to eating real food and feeling good and losing weight. So I encourage you to sign up today. All you have to do is call our office at (651) 699-3438. Or you can actually go to our website at, all spelled and sign up for yourself.

Nutrition 4 Weight Loss Program

MELANIE: Yeah. And they're taking very, very careful precautions in these in-person classes to protect both our clients and staff. So I want to share a little bit about two of our fabulous nutrition specialists. Brandy Buro is a registered dietitian, and she became interested in nutrition because of her own weight issues. So she gets the whole weight loss thing. And Jolene Carlson, a mother of four, is a licensed nutritionist who has lost over 100 pounds and has maintained that weight loss by eating real food. She is so well aware of the fact that you cannot skip meals to lose weight. So if you need motivation and accountability, these are fabulous women. And I suggest some weekly appointments with either of these now knowledgeable ladies. And you can check out our website, and decide who you want to work with, who best fits your needs and your schedule. You can call 651-699-3438 to get started, and start feeling good again.

CAROLYN: Yeah. You know, I tell a lot of people, I like to remind them that all of our profiles are on our website. So you can read a little bit about each nutritionist and pick, you know, whichever one you feel like you can make a connection with. I often hear that from, from clients. “Oh yeah, I read that in your profile.” Or like, they hear us on the radio and they say, “Oh, I just wanted to come and see you.”

MELANIE: That's great. I love it. So I was talking a little bit about other things our clients have said, or what I hear over and over in nutrition therapy sessions. And I hear women say, “I can live with the hot flashes. I can live with the night sweats. I can live with the wrinkles, but I cannot live with this belly fat.”

CAROLYN: Oh yeah; belly fat. Yeah.

MELANIE: As a dietitian, there are many times when I look at the health of a woman in menopause, and I often think she should be more concerned about heart disease or osteoporosis or cancer, diabetes, than her weight. So I, I want the whole package to be healthy. And, but here's the thing. It is the pounds around the middle that is the most concerning to so many women because that's where they feel unattractive. And that's a really bad feeling. And the fact is about 75% of women gain weight during menopause. We want to work on the total woman and the belly fat will come off.

CAROLYN: Yeah, exactly. So, okay listeners, you know, I bet you're thinking, “Okay Carolyn is a dietitian. And so surely she didn't have any problem with this”; wrong. I did. I was concerned about that belly fat, you know, after I, yeah. I think it was like 60. I kind of went, oh my gosh, what is this?

MELANIE: What is this?

Causes of Weight Gain During Menopause


CAROLYN: I got to lose that weight. So let's look at some of the causes of that weight gain during menopause. We call it the science of menopausal metabolism. So we have two major hormones, right; estrogen and progesterone. Most menopausal women have excess estrogen and a deficiency of the progesterone. I think most people, most women at least understand that estrogen gives women, you know, your curves and smooth and youthful skin, however, too much estrogen, estrogen, sorry, causes too many curves. And it could be a leading cause and definitely is a leading cause of breast cancer.

MELANIE: So it's important that we, that we feel comfortable in the bodies we're in, but even more importantly, that we take care of our health internally.

CAROLYN: Absolutely.

MELANIE: That's, you know, that's the key. And so in my case too much estrogen gave me great skin, but it was also the leading cause of my breast cancer and it is for a lot of women. And once you get that call from your doctor, you no longer care about the condition of your skin, you know, it's, it's devastating. So no one wants that. We want to take care of our women out there.

CAROLYN: Definitely. So, you know, farmers have been using synthetic estrogen and some other hormones to fatten up or, you know, increase the growth rate of their cattle for years. And those same fattening responses happen to women when they have too much estrogen. So here's a little more science. Your body actually makes excess estrogen when you eat too many processed carbs. And, you know, Mel, I didn't really know that, even though I've been a dietitian for over 30 years.

MELANIE: We're always learning.

CAROLYN: I didn't know that.


CAROLYN: You know, so it really wasn't until I came to Nutritional Weight and Wellness, that I started really putting all of those pieces together. And as I said, I, I was concerned about that little belly fat, but thankfully I lost it once I learned all of these things that we're trying to teach our clients today and all of you listeners out there. So maybe you eat a bagel with some jelly or jam in the morning and you're thinking, “Oh, well, that's good. It's low fat.” But since it's a processed carb, what's going to happen?

That's going to increase your blood sugar. And then that requires insulin, which is your master hormone, right? It controls pretty much everything. But that insulin is going to be released from your pancreas. And that downside of that insulin is that insulin actually stores body fat, right? It's that fat accumulating hormone. So we don't really want that insulin secreting as much as it does if we're having a bunch of processed carbs. And that excess body fat; basically that tells your body to make more estrogen. So in other words, the more fat you have, the more estrogen you have. Right? And that's like this vicious circle.

MELANIE: We want to try to keep that insulin down, keep it in his cage. So, you know, maybe you're somebody that has oatmeal or you have a glass of wine or a latte during the, during the day, while that once worked for breakfast for you when you were younger, but now is too high in sugar. It creates that insulin response in your body. And insulin produces, like Carolyn said, more estrogen, which creates more fat cells, which then in turn makes more estrogen that creates more fat cells. And the process goes on.

CAROLYN: And on and on and on.

MELANIE: And you feel suddenly like, I have no control over this beast.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Right, exactly. So what happens? Your waist size starts increasing and you can no longer snap those type fitting jeans any longer, given if they’re, don't have that spandex in them, right? I mean, I'm talking to a lot of people that are still doing sweats or, you know, things like that. And they haven't really gotten into their jeans. So I've asked them find that pair of jeans that you can no longer get into; find a skirt or something. And that will kind of give you a maybe incentive to start working on that. So if you're in menopause, if it's your time, that's your time in life. You need to cut back on the carbs you're eating. You need to reduce high sugar and processed carbs. So you can balance your blood sugar, which means less insulin, right? And when that less insulin is required, that means less body fat is created.

The take home message here is for better metabolism, eat less bread during menopause. No more of those sub sandwiches. Leave the crackers at the store. Don't even bring them into your house. Stay away from your favorite bakery and do not go down the cereal aisle at the grocery store. Do not even tempt yourself. Instead order some vegetables and not that pasta. Oh, and never, never drink that can, or, you know, bottle of pop. That, that has over 10 teaspoons of sugar.

We want to learn to love real food. So that means like real meat, real protein, no soy protein, real carbs and vegetables, vegetables, vegetables, vegetables, right; organic, if possible. Real natural fats: butter, olive oil, avocado oil, avocado mayo, coconut oil, nuts, olives. None of that manufactured, refined fats; no soybean or corn or unrefined canola oil. And it's time for our third break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition.

Let's talk about how to make strong bones. It's important to eat healthy fat, but you also need adequate amounts of protein to make collagen in your bones. The collagen allows bones to be somewhat flexible. So if you fall, the bone is not going to break. Without sufficient collagen, the calcium and other minerals cannot combine to form bone. Think of it this way. Collagen is what helps calcium attach to the bone. Collagen is very important for strong bones. And we will be right back.


MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Because of some of my cancer treatments, I have needed to be really protective to maintain strong and flexible bones. And two bone building products I never missed taking are the Key Osteo Plus and the Key Collagen. Plus I make my own bone broth and I drink at least a cup a day. I stir my collagen in if I don't put it in my smoothie. So the bone broth recipe I use is delicious. It's on our website, And you can just click on recipes to find it. And remember Key Osteo Plus is on special this month: 15% off.

CAROLYN: Yeah, that's a good deal.

MELANIE: It's a screaming deal. So for best weight loss, I encourage women to buy meat that is labeled “raised without hormones”. And these commercial farmers of beef and sheep use hormones to promote rapid weight gain in their animals. And I try to buy organic grass fed meat with no added hormones. I like free range chicken and turkey. And actually research has have found that grass fed meat contains CLA which is conjugated linoleic acid, which has been found to promote weight loss.

CAROLYN: Ooh, we like that.


What Should I Eat to Build and Maintain Strong, Healthy Bones?


CAROLYN: So there are so many menopause symptoms to talk about, but we have limited time here when we're on the radio. So we want to peek inside of you actually, and look at your bones. We've already kind of talked a little bit about bones, right? So how strong are your bones? Have you had a bone density test? If so, what did it show? Did it show that maybe you are already in osteopenia or worse, osteoporosis? So when we're aging, we have, we really want to age gracefully. We don't want to have any of those fractures. You want to maintain strong and healthy bones. So if you could listen to your bones talking to you, they would tell you to feed me, right? Feed, feed me well. They would tell you, “I need real protein. I need real fat. I need real vegetable carbohydrates.”

They would tell you seal up that sugar; get rid of it. Swear off that soda and the bowls of cereal, and of course that alcohol. Only eat natural fats and eat frequently throughout the day to keep nutrients flowing into your bones. I've noticed that as women get older, they lose their taste for protein. Wow. That, I don't know why that happens. I wish it didn't. However, the reality is for good bone health, you need protein.

MELANIE: Bone is protein.

CAROLYN: Yeah. You have to have protein. And you know, you have to have that protein to build the collagen material for that bone support. So protein is critical.

MELANIE: You know, in fact, one study found that when women do not, do not eat properly for their bones, they are, there's more bone loss in the spine and the upper leg. So I, I tell my clients, this is important because we lose more women to an osteoporotic fracture every year than we do breast cancer and ovarian cancer combined. So also about 15 to 20 million people suffer from osteoporosis. And one in three women will have problems with their health of their bones. That being said, eating enough protein is critical. And I'm talking about anything with a face. So not necessarily plant proteins. So at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we will first suggest eating at least 12 ounces of cooked protein daily; three ounces for breakfast, four ounces for lunch, one to two ounces in an afternoon snack. I know some of you are just amazed, but that four ounces of dinner is critical, but it's just not enough.

Secondly, I think low fat diet has a leading cause of so many women to experience osteoporosis. And eating a low fat diet is not a bone building diet. I find that sometimes women are so afraid of eating fat that they just cannot even imagine sautéing their vegetables in butter or olive oil. So instead they steam them using no fat at all. What about you? Are you sautéing or are you still steaming? Right?


MELANIE: Many of us grew up in the era of low fat, low fat, and that made us demonize fat as a risky food for our health. But let me say it again. We need that fat for bones, our cells, our brains, and it makes things taste delicious.

CAROLYN: Yes. I, once I stopped steaming my vegetables and sautéing them, you know, even if I do steam some vegetables, I'm putting butter on it.

MELANIE: Everything's better with butter.

CAROLYN: Everything is better with butter. So these fats that, that build bones, those are the natural fats. Okay. So it's butter, cream, peanut butter, or any of the nut butters, cream cheese, olive oil, avocado mayonnaise, nuts and olives. Those are the natural fats. However, the processed fats like soybean oil or corn oil, cottonseed oil, vegetable oil, canola oil; they all interfere with building strong, healthy bones. So these are the fats that you're going to find in the clear containers, right, at the store. And I'm sure many of you out there just said to yourself, “Oh, that's all I have in my cupboard right now.”

MELANIE: Go into your pantry. Do you see clear containers of oil?

CAROLYN: So, well, all of these fats, natural fats are sensitive to light. They need to be in dark bottles. So that's an easy determinant factor. You know, obviously I want you to read the labels, but move away from those clear containers of soybean oil or canola oil or whatever it happens to be and go to the ones that have the dark containers that then the light won't get into that. And, you know, won't destroy that fat.

MELANIE: So I love that with the clear containers. I love also telling my clients that if you’re going to have butter, make sure it's grass fed.

CAROLYN: Oh, the grass fed butter is so good.

MELANIE: It's delicious. And it also won't have hormones. So we have, we all know about a grandmother or an aunt or a sister or a neighbor who suddenly fell and broke her hip, and it ended up in a nursing home or never came home again. It's really tragic. Well, did you know, the bone usually breaks before the fall? Because they become weak and fragile. So don't let that happen to you. We, we encourage you to come in, meet with a dietitian or nutritionist so we can set up a bone building eating plan for you that has the right amount of calcium and key bone building nutrients. Just because you're older does not mean you cannot have strong, healthy bones.

Nutrition Counseling

It, it takes time to learn and to follow that hormone balancing eating plan, it takes time for nutrients to regenerate the bones. It doesn't happen in one session. But building strong bones can be done. And we have many success stories from clients over the years. In fact, just this week I heard from a client. She wanted, she refused bone medication. She came to us because she wanted a more natural approach. And so she worked with me for two years. She was very diligent. I was the boss of her and she did what I told her. So, kudos to her because she did the hard work, but she gained 8% bone in two years.


MELANIE: So it was thrilling. And so it was just, we worked on a program together and her bones responded nicely.


MELANIE: Sometimes they maintain the bone that they have. Sometimes they build and put more bone on. And I always love to say, what did your doctor say? He said nothing. He just said, yep. Yep. You’ve gained 8% and then put it aside.

CAROLYN: Yeah. It's amazing. The clients that I have, of course, you know, when you're in a menopause or once you hit menopause, that's when it becomes critical with your bones. Right? You know, that's where we really start losing. I believe that we should be taking a, like a, a baseline.


CAROLYN: You know, DEXA scan early, before menopause.

MELANIE: You have to push for it because now they want you to do a DEXA scan later, like after 65.

CAROLYN: After 65.

MELANIE: So it, but here's a little tip. If you have risk factors, you know, someone in your family who has osteopenia or osteoporosis, that's something that will get you in a little earlier for your insurance to cover typically. So if you press for that. If you're on certain medications that strip, that strip bone, and don't allow you to remodel bone in your bones can become more frail, then that puts you at risk and you can get in for that DEXA scan a little earlier than that 65, because at 65 you may be in severe osteoporosis.

CAROLYN: Right. Like I think I had a client just recently, actually that said she had never had a DEXA scan and she was over 60 already. And I, I was just like, oh my gosh, you've got to get in. Because we don't even, you could already be in osteoporosis or osteopenia.

MELANIE: Well, we could get them at 50.


MELANIE: So I don't know what it's about, but you have, it's just one more area you really have to be proactive for your own health to take care of yourself. So it could be reversed. 

CAROLYN: The other thing I think that we would be remiss without at least mentioning is that most doctors, when you are in the osteopenia category, what are they, they want to, they want to put you on one of the drugs. Right?

MELANIE: Well, and, and every woman has to evaluate her own choice of her comfortability, but we have other solutions too.

CAROLYN: Right. Thank you for listening today. We hope that each and every person will experience better health through eating real food. It's simple and life changing. Thank you for joining us today.

Print Transcript

Back To Top