Solutions for Menopause Symptoms

November 7, 2020

Two nutritionists talk all about menopause, perimenopause, and post menopause symptoms. From weight gain to hot flashes and everything in between menopause brings on many changes in a woman's bodies. Listen in to learn how real food and supplements can make menopause a little bit easier.

For more information on this topic, visit our page on Menopause symptoms.

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KARA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today's show is brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. And if you are just, if you're a listener and you're just starting perimenopause… maybe you're in menopause. Maybe you've moved through perimenopause and menopause and you're post-menopausal. Well, regardless, we think that this is going to be a relevant show for you. Joann and I are going to be discussing solutions to many of the symptoms that you might be experiencing. And we're, I think the important part is that we're going to give solutions because it's one thing to just sit and talk about the symptoms. We're going to give you some tools, both nutritional and lifestyle tools to reduce some of those uncomfortable symptoms. First I'll introduce myself. My name's Kara Carper. I'm a Licensed Nutritionist and a Certified Nutrition Specialist. And I had mentioned Joann. I'm in the studio today with Joann Ridout. She's a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And she works with a lot of clients who are experiencing a variety of menopausal symptoms or perimenopause.

And we think, in our office, we think of Joann as our menopause expert. Besides working with menopausal women individually, she taught our Menopause Survival Seminar several times. Now this was before COVID-19 and the pandemic when we were still offering in-house classes at Nutritional Weight and Wellness. But, we'll talk more about what is to come in place of those in-person classes. So today our goal is to give you some simple nutritional solutions to your personal and individual menopause symptoms. Now, Joann, I know that you, Dar, and then you guys have a whole team. And you've been updating the Menopause Survival Seminar. And I also heard that you're adding key information about hormones to this new course.

JOANN: Right; lots of new research.

KARA: That's amazing.

JOANN: Yeah.

KARA: And one of the new additions to the menopause series that's going to be coming up is you're going to be explaining how stress affects sex hormones.

JOANN: Right. Right! So as we know, scientific research keeps advancing and we've been working hard every Thursday for many weeks to update our menopause series. And we've promised you this menopause series would be ready in November, but unfortunately it's not quite. We needed a couple more months to have a quality series. And at this point we have six hours filled with new information that we believe all women need to hear, no matter what age.

Definitely; we will share information about hot flashes, about incontinence, about sleep problems, weight gain, depression, anxiety, migraine headaches, or headaches, stress headaches, hair loss; even some of the causes of wrinkles. So I may have forgotten a few symptoms, but we plan to give nutritional solutions for as many of these symptoms as possible. We will be offering both nutritional and lifestyle solutions, so women can manage these symptoms without needing medication.

We all love teaching the Menopause Survival Seminar in-person. And I personally will miss connecting with all those women in person, but because of all the COVID-19 restrictions and wanting everyone to be safe, we are recording the menopause series to be offered online. And if you have taken any of our classes from Nutritional Weight and Wellness, you know the quality of the classes we produce. It's going to be a great series.

Menopause Survival Seminar

KARA: Right, and whether the class is in-person or recorded, all of our classes are very high quality based on scientific research because we do have, we already have some classes on our website available for viewing.

JOANN: We have a lot of them.

KARA: Well, let's get started on today's topic. And first I want to clear up a misconception that many women still believe. In the past, many women were told that as we age and reach menopausal years, we become deficient in the hormone estrogen. Now the truth is most women have too much estrogen. The excess estrogen: let's just call it estrogen dominance. And Joann is going to talk more about that as well.

JOANN: That's right.

KARA: I think a better way to explain estrogen dominance is if we compare the amount of the hormone progesterone that we have to the amount of estrogen that we have. So it's really, we really want those to be in balance. And when we have too much estrogen and not enough progesterone, that is where we get the term estrogen dominance.

JOANN: Right. And when we taught our popular Menopause Survival Seminar in-house, most women were very surprised to hear they did not need more estrogen from hormone replacement therapy (or HRT), which is a lot of what they had heard from their doctors. And to be honest, these women actually needed to detox the excess toxic estrogens for their health.

Symptoms of excess toxic estrogen


KARA: Now some of you might be wondering, “What are the symptoms of excess toxic estrogen?” So I want to share some information before I answer that question, because I find that women, even when they're younger, you know, in their thirties or forties, they can also experience those symptoms of estrogen dominance or excess estrogen. And so again, too much estrogen… that's kind of the opposite of what we've always been told or that the misconception that we need more estrogen.

JOANN: Right.

KARA: Here's just a couple of the symptoms that can occur from this estrogen dominance: and so many women will experience, they'll notice a decrease in sex drive (decrease in libido), irregular menstrual periods, swelling of the breasts, breast tenderness, even fibrocystic breast disease. And uterine fibroids is another sign of too much estrogen.

JOANN: Right.

KARA: You had mentioned earlier, headaches or migraines, especially the ones that come before the menstrual cycle.

JOANN: That's right.

KARA: Irritability, depression, problems sleeping, you know, insomnia. And of course, weight gain is another one.

JOANN: Our favorite topic, right?

KARA: Exactly. Oh, and Joann, you and I were talking before the show about how we've have both had clients in the past, who would come in and they would talk about, “Oh, I used to get headaches and migraines,” but they would be coming to us post-menopausal. And you know, they say, “Oh, my headaches and migraines no longer bother me.”

JOANN: Right.

KARA: So that's just an example of someone who getting headaches and migraines was due to likely excess estrogen.

JOANN: Right.

KARA: And then with, you know, with menopause, the hormones all shift.

JOANN: Right.

KARA: And then the headaches and migraines stop.

JOANN: And that's not the only cause of migraines, but it definitely plays in because lots of women have come in and said, “I used to get migraines, but now I don't anymore.” So, so we know that's true. And there are also more other more serious symptoms that have been linked to excess estrogen or estrogen dominance. And there are certainly links to estrogen dominance and breast cancer.

There's also links to uterine cancer. There are links between excessive estrogen and autoimmune diseases; especially comes to mind the hypothyroid, the Hashimoto's thyroiditis. There is a link between excess estrogen and excessive blood clotting that can lead to heart disease. So those symptoms can be very serious.

KARA: Now, if you're a listener and you're saying to yourself, “Gosh, I've never heard this information before. I thought all my symptoms were from a lack of estrogen.” Well, there's a lot of science showing that is a misconception. And so we do need to go to break, but on the flip side of break, we'll come back and we'll talk more about that.

You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. And today we're sharing information about menopausal symptoms and solutions. So if you're experiencing hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, or weight gain, please stay tuned because we're going to make the connections between estrogen dominance and those menopausal symptoms. And we'll be right back after break.


JOANN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. We have an announcement today that will surely grab your attention. So today for one week, starting today, November 7th through November 15th, all of our Nutrikey products will be discounted 15%. So take advantage of this sale to stock up on the supplements you use daily, or even the supplements you just heard about today. A 15% savings on our great bone-building supplement, Key Osteo Plus, is a great savings. So you can order any of the Nutrikey products online at or call our office at (651) 699-3438. And we can have your order ready for curbside pickup, or of course, deliver it free if you've ordered it online.

KARA: Both very convenient options.

JOANN: Definitely. So now we're going to go back to… Kara started talking about some excess estrogen menopausal symptoms.

KARA: Yes. And we were, I was about to say before a break that, you know, of course eating real food is going to be the most important thing when it comes to excess estrogen. But this can happen for men and women. So I think a lot of, you know, listeners are thinking, “Oh, this is just a show for women.”

JOANN: Right.

KARA: But excess estrogen can happen to men as well. And that might sound surprising, but at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we often help male clients detox excess estrogens. And examples of clients that we may see: It could be a man with prostate cancer, prostate inflammation, even breast cancer can occur. And so the nutrients that are going to be found in real food, what they do is they support the liver, which helps to eliminate toxins, including those toxic estrogens. Now, another symptom that both men and women of all ages experience from excess estrogen is weight gain, especially the weight that we get around the middle; maybe the hips; kind of that dreaded like belly fat or…

JOANN: Right.

KARA: So those are telltale signs of excess estrogen.

JOANN: Right. And so many people come in with that concern. It's just like, “I never used to have problems in this part of my body before.” But here it is. So, happens a lot. So let's look at some of the causes of having excess estrogen.

So there are many reasons for the cause of excess estrogen for women. During perimenopause and menopause, especially in those women who often stop ovulating, but even just a quick little side night note: it could be women of all ages that have the same issue. This is a whole other topic, but if you're on birth control pills, you're no longer ovulating during that period of time. So just FYI on that. But these women often skip a period, which is an indication that no ovulation has occurred. And with the lack of ovulation, the hormone progesterone in our body is significantly decreased. So progesterone is the hormone that helps with anxiety because it's the calming hormone. And lack of progesterone is often the cause of restless sleep and waking up many times a night. I hear that from so many women.

Low progesterone levels often lead to a low libido. So to have an adequate level of progesterone is important. And again, adequate progesterone helps to balance out the estrogen. So we often recommend adding a natural progesterone made from wild yams to help balance hormones to help you sleep and let have less anxiety; help you fall asleep easier. So it's really quite simple to put a quarter teaspoon of Pro-gest, which is a natural progesterone cream on the inside of your wrists or over the base of your throat or other thin-skinned areas in your body. The calm happens very quickly. So it's a really nice solution.

KARA: Yeah. So that brand, that's the brand Pro-gest that you were referring to. It's made from wild yam. It's very high quality. It's natural. It's, it's not like a high dose. It's a, it's a low dose of natural progesterone.

JOANN: Yes it is.

KARA: And I use it before bed and I can definitely notice a difference with sleeping better through the night.

JOANN: Definitely. I do too.

A hormone cascade during highly stressful times


KARA: There are a lot of reasons that people come up with this estrogen dominance. Ongoing stress is one factor. And I think right now more than ever, people can certainly relate to that being on high alert for stress. And when we're stressed, we actually produce more estrogen. So I'll explain that in a little bit more detail. So with ongoing stress, which many during COVID-19 are having these added stresses, people are trying to work from home a lot. Well, they also might be trying to home school or do distance learning with school-aged children; trying to help with assignments. You know, there are meals to be cooked. We don't have all of the support measures in place that we used to. Like, for example, maybe your mom or your grandma can't come over to help, or you don't have that childcare that you used to. So you get the picture: that’s stress and added stress.

And when we're under chronic stress, our adrenal glands, they just are pumping out excess cortisol, and it's kind of this hormone cascade, but what happens is our blood sugar levels can increase. And then of course, insulin increases to bring that blood sugar or glucose down and in turn that results in more estrogen. So it's really, that stress can create kind of a vicious hormonal cycle. And when we have too much cortisol from stress, you've probably have heard about cortisol creating weight gain, for example, or again, around the midsection. So if you've gained weight in the past half of a year, you're not alone. And some of that unfortunately can be due to stress, but there, there are things that we can do to minimize that.

JOANN: Right, right. That was a very good explanation of that process. It's kind of complicated, but you did a nice job explaining it. And so when we gain weight, we have more fat cells and our fat cells actually make more estrogen. So the problem with that is the more estrogen we have, the more fat we can put on. And the downside of more estrogen is weight gain. So unfortunately the side effect of extra body fat is an overproduction of estrogen. And we call this the estrogen fat or “fat estrogen cycle”. And when you think about that fat estrogen cycle and the connection of excess estrogen to the development of certain cancers, it can help you realize just how important it might be to lose weight as a cancer prevention. So it's not just about how you look, but it's about the big factor concerning cancer prevention.

KARA: In women who have higher estrogen levels, a lot of times you'll hear complaints of feeling bloated all the time, having breast tenderness or breast discomfort. And those are just a couple of symptoms that result from excess estrogen. And again, it's not just the excess estrogen. It's the estrogen dominance. So that, again, just as a reminder, that comes from too much estrogen in comparison to how much progesterone we have. That's why when Joann was talking about adding progesterone cream: can kind of bump up progesterone and make that imbalance: it's minimizes that imbalance.

JOANN: That's right. So again, we're talking about a population of high toxic estrogens. You may wonder why. So many women and men under long-term stress often have more estrogen. So women who eat a high-carb, processed food diet have more estrogen. And women who are exposed to many environmental toxins usually have more estrogen. And it could be as simple as where you live or where you work. And I remember working with a client who told me that she and several coworkers had developed breast cancer in her department. And they suspected the materials they work with, which is pretty scary to think about.

KARA: Wow. That is scary. You know, maybe when we come back from break, we could talk just a little bit more about environmental toxins and a couple more examples of those.

JOANN: Yeah.

KARA: But you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. And for the month of November, 2020, we are offering 15 individual Weight and Wellness online classes at only $10 per class. So if you have been munching on too many Halloween sweets, you might want to take our popular class. It's called Breaking the Sugar Habit. We believe that the more you know, the better you can do. And following a real food plan: it's a learning process. For most people, it takes knowledge and it also takes practice. Check out our list of classes on our website, We'll be right back.


JOANN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. So if you are struggling with any menopause symptoms, I recommend meeting with one of our Nutritional Weight and Wellness dietitians or nutritionists to help you manage your symptoms. So why feel like you're just not yourself during this upcoming holiday season; when a few small dietary changes can relieve you of sleep problems, hot flashes, headaches, or your constant nagging symptom, whatever it is for you. So you may also avoid gaining some of those holiday pounds, and, you know, with COVID-19 restrictions, all of our appointments are now done by phone or via Zoom, whichever you prefer. And I'm happy to say many nutrition counseling appointments are now covered by health insurance. And if you need help determining if you have health insurance coverage for nutritional consultations, just email us at or give us a call at (651) 699-3438. As I was talking about COVID and holiday pounds, I was thinking who needs holiday pounds on top of the COVID pounds we already have? So many people are experiencing…

KARA: I know, and it, unfortunately it starts with Halloween usually.

JOANN: Yeah. That's what people say.

KARA: Well, Joann, you, before a break, you talked about something really interesting; was it a client of yours?


KARA: Yeah, she was working in kind of like manufacturing or…

JOANN: Right. And she, she and her coworkers had determined that they had a commonality there with a lot of cases of breast cancer.

KARA: A lot of cases of breast cancer

JOANN: …in a small group of women.

KARA: And came to the conclusion that it was a factor, a big factor, was the excess estrogen coming from environmental exposure. So on that note…

JOANN: Right.

KARA: You know, that's not really what our whole topic is about today. Our topic is about menopause symptoms, but a big part of that is the excess estrogen. And there are these toxic estrogens. And some can come from food. Some can come from environment and lifestyle, and some we have more control over than others.


KARA: But a couple of things that we do have control over would be choosing organic foods.

JOANN: Right.

Choosing consumer products to limit toxic estrogen


KARA: Especially foods like produce that tend to be most highly sprayed with pesticides, because pesticides are considered a Xenoestrogen or a toxic estrogen. So that could be like, it's just like fuel on the fire. You know, having like pesticides in your food, drinking water that's not clean, being around a lot of pollution, cigarette smoke, alcohol. And then also just skincare personal products that we put on our bodies.

JOANN: Right.

KARA: You know, a thing if they have things like parabens and phthalates, and those are a lot of big words you don't need to know, but just know that skincare and personal care products can have some of these Xenoestrogens as well.

JOANN: Right. And you know, I think when you commented on parabens and phthalates, I think I had been under the impression that in the past that they were no longer in skincare products, but they really are.

KARA: I know. I always am reading labels and they are in a lot of products.

JOANN: Right.

KARA: Yeah. A great resource for listeners is (Environmental Working It's a nonprofit that gives a lot of good research on different products and, you know, the cleaner products.

JOANN: Right.

KARA: So you can get some good information there.

JOANN: Yep. That's good.

KARA: And so, as you're listening to our discussion about estrogen dominance, you might be wondering if you are someone that has excess estrogen in your body. So we just want to repeat a couple of those symptoms again. So the first one is if you are someone that has a sluggish metabolism, that can be a symptom of excess estrogen. And as nutritionists and dietitians, we often, you know, we suggest a real food eating plan to help detox estrogens, because there are certain foods that can help us get rid of the toxic estrogens. And one of our dietitians, Theresa, refers to this group of foods, the cruciferous vegetables, as the stinky vegetables. And, which is kind of true.

JOANN: It’s true.

KARA: It's true. It's true. And examples of those cruciferous vegetables would be cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and, you know, they don't taste bad. I just want to emphasize that. It's just that sometimes when you're cooking them, there is kind of that smell and it's coming from sulfur. And, but those are great for detoxing estrogens.

JOANN: Yeah, they really are. So if you experience headaches or even migraines before your period, it certainly is an indicator of having too much estrogen in comparison to progesterone. So I want to share an email that one of the nutritionists received this week from a happy client. Her client said, “Hi! I wanted to let you know I have not had a migraine since I started doubling up my Estro Rebalance supplement that you suggested on September 27th. You have given me three days per month back. So in the past, each migraine had lasted one and a half days, but they were preceded by at least one day of depression, a sharp pain in my upper back and exhaustion. So thank you so much.” This client has been following the Weight and Wellness real food eating plan for several years, but she's also a very busy professional with a lot of stress, stressful deadlines, and her liver just needed an extra boost of nutrients to detox all of the extra estrogen that had built up from her work stress, which led to the cortisol response. So nutritional counseling can be so much fun when just one small suggestion makes such a difference in a client's life. And we love to get that feedback and those responses.

KARA: That is, that's a wonderful story.

JOANN: It is.

KARA: So happy. I mean, can I can't imagine having migraines like that.


KARA: For someone to have them decrease so significantly, it just must be a life-changer.


Eating healthy fats to prevent hair loss


KARA: Now another symptom: if you're experiencing hair loss, estrogen dominance could be the root cause of your hair loss. And there are a lot of reasons for hair loss, and one is not eating enough protein. Another one is a lot of women aren't eating enough healthy fat. And so those are kind of the two nutrients that can help with hair growth. So when we talk about protein, we suggest that most women are going to need about 12 or more ounces of animal protein per day for healthy hair growth. And I had also mentioned not eating enough healthy fat, so that low-fat eating can be another reason that people are losing hair.

And as far as how much healthy fat to have: about the equivalent of one tablespoon for each meal and each snack. So at the end of the day, you know, that adds up to be at least six tablespoons of healthy fat. Examples would be a tablespoon of butter, a tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil or nut butter. You know, there are other great ones too: olives, avocados, and you wouldn't necessarily have a tablespoon of avocado. A serving of that would be a third to a half of an avocado. And oftentimes hair loss can involve other biochemical and nutritional reasons. And so, you know, hormonally when estrogen is high and progesterone is low, we often have an inflammatory response in the body and that can actually affect how hair grows as well. And so we've actually, we've done shows on hair loss because we can't get into all of the details. That's a pretty big topic.


KARA: So if that is a big concern, you know, you can go to iTunes or, and you can, you could listen to a whole podcast on… just type in “hair loss” into the search.

JOANN: Right.

KARA: Because we can't cover, unfortunately we can't cover everything in just start our one hour show here today.

JOANN: Of course. So, I would like to add another quick story before we change topics. And I met with a woman recently who was, who had gone been going through surgical menopause. So she had had a hysterectomy about a year ago, and she, ever since that happened, she was waking up with night sweats. And she was following a fairly clean eating plan. But her night sweats were causing her to not sleep. She would wake up in the night and not be able to get back to sleep. And I've heard that complaint from so many women. But what she did was she started taking Estro Rebalance, and she was a new client of mine. So she had just, she'd been listening to the podcast for years, but she started taking Estro Rebalance and that helped her detox. It also helped out her night sweats; helped them pretty much go away. And she started sleeping through the night, and what a great result she had because with the great night's sleep, it allowed her to finally lose the weight she was working on. So she's successfully lost about 20 pounds over several months and improved her metabolism along the way. And she contributed, she said the Estro Rebalance was, it was a change factor.

KARA: That's awesome. You know, and, we've done other shows on sleep as well and how that can affect metabolism so much when you're not sleeping enough or not sleeping soundly.

JOANN: Exactly. So, we've been talking about environmental agents that are estrogenic. We are exposed to those daily and we're going to come right back on the other side of break with this.

KARA: You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. And be sure to tune in next week, November 14th. Join Leah and Cassie. They're going to discuss the role that probiotics play on reducing cravings, and also how probiotics, which are good bacteria in the form of a supplement. They're going to talk about how that can support your metabolism for better weight loss. And we'll be back in just a minute.


Nutrition Counseling

JOANN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. From every indication, it seems we will be concerned about the coronavirus for several more months, unfortunately. So as a dietitian and wife and mother and grandmother, and even daughter, I want to share some simple realities about maintaining a strong immune system and building one too. One recommendation that all immune specialists have found to be a very important factor is to maintain a normal blood sugar level.

KARA: That's right. People who are diabetic or pre-diabetic are at a higher risk of getting the coronavirus, and with worse outcomes compared to those who have normal blood sugar and glucose levels. And we understand that in this world of Halloween candy, pancakes for breakfast, sweet rolls, you know, pumpkin spice lattes, cookies, pie. I mean, the list is kind of endless because we could go into pizza and popcorn and chips, but we understand it can be difficult to maintain normal blood sugar levels, but it is a reminder that it's even more important at this time compared to ever. And so this might be the time that you decided to call us up and say, “Hey, I need an appointment with a dietitian or a nutritionist.” And this is a great time to invest in your future, especially if you are at home and you know, you can do this from the comfort of your own home with… Are you guys using Zoom?

JOANN: We’re using Zoom.

KARA: Okay.

JOANN: Yep. And phone.

KARA: Yeah, phone or Zoom. So give your body a chance against this virus and take this time to get healthy and stay healthy, build up that immune system and maintain it. And our office number is (651) 699-3438. You can even go to our website, to sign up as well.

Choosing better groceries for better results


JOANN: Yes. So, we are exposed daily to environmental agents that are estrogenic. That's kind of where we have come with this topic. And if we look back a hundred years or even 200 years, most of these toxic chemicals that we're dealing with today did not even exist. But today we need a plan to help our liver deal with all these artificial toxic estrogens so we don't become estrogen dominant. So we always say food first, right? So the first step is to eat meat, eggs and dairy products from grass-fed animals. So that is how we can decrease the exposure to hormones and antibiotics that are often fed to commercially raised animals. That's a really important first step.

KARA: That's right. If we can, if you can find, you know, organic and grass-fed or pasture-raised, that's the best combination.

JOANN: Right; right.

KARA: I know sometimes it's a little more difficult to find, but more and more stores are having that combination of organic and grass-fed.

JOANN: Right, a lot more than used to.

KARA: So instead of eating, you know, the things that are, I guess, easier, and sometimes they're just comfort foods like bread, pasta, chips, crackers, maybe cereal for breakfast, those are all very high carbohydrate foods that can spike the blood sugar too quickly. So a better version of carbohydrates… we have to remember that vegetables and fruits are carbohydrates.

Vegetables are actually the best choice of carbohydrates to balance out that blood sugar to improve immune function. And so a couple of ways to incorporate more veggies, you know, it can be really simple. I mean, I just have a steamer at home. Sometimes I will just take organic frozen broccoli or green beans and just put it right in the steamer basket, you know, and cook it up. It's nothing glamorous, but I add a little butter, olive oil and salt and pepper. And you know, that's just a real simple version, but there's, it tastes really good if you take time to roast vegetables.

JOANN: Yes. That's one of my favorites is roasted. They’re so simple.

KARA: And you can do it ahead of time. We have a lot of sheet pan recipes on our website, right? And so roasted veggies: that's a great way to get more veggies in. And you want to be incorporating these healthy fats and oils with the vegetables. They're going to tastes better. You're going to absorb more of your nutrients. You know, your minerals: you won't absorb those minerals from the veggies, unless you add a healthy fat with that.

JOANN: That's right.

KARA: So a couple cups of vegetables with each meal is a great way to detox estrogens. And you don't want to forget those stinky cruciferous vegetables whenever possible. Another thing is looking for organic vegetables whenever possible. I've found that a lot of times they taste better. They last longer. And if you are curious which vegetables are most important to buy organically, you can just go online and Google the dirty dozen. Right? Or the clean 15. If produce is on the list of the dirty dozen, it's the most highly sprayed. So those would be priority for looking for organic at the grocery store.

JOANN: Yeah. That's a really good point. And I always trying to help clients, you know, try to have some of those things on hand. So if you're making roasted vegetables make a really large batch. So you have a bowl of them in your refrigerator and you can snack on them, you know, and snacking on a cold little piece of sweet potato is wonderful. I also encourage people to have extra proteins on hand because those are the easy, you know, it's easy to grab nuts for the fat, but you know, having the protein on hand; just make extra when you're cooking.

KARA: So like hard-boiled eggs.

JOANN: It doesn’t need to be this separate thing.

KARA: Yeah, like leftover chicken and then just having, having that leftover chicken breasts makes it so much easier to put a meal together.

JOANN: Right. And then of course, last but not least, be sure are your dietary fats are the natural fats. So we would consider natural fats and oil butter and coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or safflower oil mayo, or avocado oil mayo. Avoid, avoid, avoid those refined oils, especially soybean oil and canola oil. It's best to read the label for each product and be on alert to avoid those damaged fats. And I just want to point out here that if you're picking up avocado oil mayo, be sure that avocado oil is the only oil listed. And you want it to be cold-pressed avocado oil. I’ve seen some big brands that are called avocado mayo, but the first ingredient is soybean oil or canola oil. And then the avocados added down the list.

KARA: Joann, that can happen with olive oil mayonnaise as well.

JOANN: Absolutely.

KARA: I remember a client bringing that to my attention when it first became a thing. I mean, this was I think a few years ago, but…

JOANN: Right.

KARA: You know, “Oh, olive oil, mayo.” And we looked at the label together because she brought it into the office when we were seeing clients in person way back when.

JOANN: Way back.

KARA: And sure enough, it was really interesting. It was, olive oil was way down in the list of ingredients, but it was, it was soybean. I think it was soybean and canola.

JOANN: Yeah.

KARA: And then I don't know what the percentage of olive oil was, but it's just kind of a marketing ploy.

JOANN: It definitely is.

KARA: Because olive oil is on the front, making it look like it's just olive oil in the mayonnaise. So what were you saying about the label is on the back?

JOANN: I always remind clients that they'll read the label on the back of the package, you know, specifically, I think sometimes we say read the label and we just think, “read the label.”

KARA: Like the front.

JOANN: Right.

JOANN: And a lot of people are reading the front and the marketing information.

KARA: So the marketing’s on the front.

JOANN: So, the marketing's on the front; advertising's on the front, and the information: the ingredients are on the backside.

KARA: I love that. That's such a great reminder. From a long-term health point of view, it may make sense for some people to lose weight. You know, that's not the exact topic of our show today, but weight loss can be beneficial when it comes to reducing excess estrogens. And so I just, I recall a client who was unhappy with how much weight she lost. And I thought she was going to say like two pounds, but it turns out she had lost 15. So another thing is it's important to have kind of a realistic expectation of what that weight loss looks like. But the point about losing weight and excess estrogen is that when we lose weight by eating real food, we're not just losing water weight. We're losing body fat.

JOANN: Right.

KARA: And when that body fat decreases, so does the excess estrogen.

JOANN: Exactly. So of course there are many steps to decrease the amount of toxic estrogens you have in your body, like supporting your liver and working on your life stressors. We know that can be difficult right now. But we will be addressing all of those steps and more, especially, you know, I like to always like to talk about water, adding sleep, but our new menopause series includes all of that. And in closing, 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 safe and healthy day.

Menopause Survival Seminar

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