July 29, 2019
Did you know that it can be more difficult to lose weight if your hormones are out of balance? Having excess levels of estrogen could be why your weight loss is slowing down or why you’re having difficulty losing weight altogether. Listen in to today’s Dishing Up Nutrition as we discuss some lifestyle factors that might be causing you to have increased estrogen.
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MELANIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I'm Melanie Beasley and I've been a dietician for the past 30 plus years. I'm co-hosting this live Dishing Up Nutrition show and podcast with Carolyn Hudson, who has also been a Registered and Licensed Dietician for many years. Welcome Carolyn.
CAROLYN: Thank you.
MELANIE: How long? How long have you been talking and teaching food and nutrition?
CAROLYN: Well, actually it's been over 30 years for me as well.
MELANIE: We are seasoned.
CAROLYN: And over those many years I've been very, very fortunate to work with a very wide variety of people. Perhaps the most interesting group of people I've had the pleasure of working with was with the native Indians in northern Manitoba in Canada. So today we are going to be discussing why it can be more difficult to lose weight if your hormones are out of balance, especially if you have higher levels of estrogen. At Nutritional Weight and Wellness we help people make the hormone connection to weight gain. Yes, it's true that having excess levels of the hormone estrogen could be why your weight loss is slowing you down or why you're having difficulty losing weight altogether.
MELANIE: I think that might be some really interesting information for people who are struggling and feel they're doing everything right.
CAROLYN: Right, right; exactly.
MELANIE: Whenever most women are in a discussion about hormones, they tend to think of our sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone and testosterone. And yes, those are primary sex hormones. However, what a lot of women do not realize is that insulin is a major hormone, and so is the hormone produced by the adrenal glands called cortisol. We've talked about cortisol, which is a very important hormone. The key to understanding hormones is to realize all our hormones work together to keep us in balance. And if you experience long-term stress, your adrenal glands will often release excess cortisol, which then throws off your estrogen and progesterone levels. To have a body in balance it's really necessary to consider and understand the interconnection of all hormones. Some women live really stressful lives.
CAROLYN: Isn't that the truth?
MELANIE: I don't know if we can relate. I don't know. But they may be realizing actually what’s causing their estrogen and progesterone levels to be out of balance due to the major influence of that hormone, cortisol.
CAROLYN: Yeah. Now that was really kind of “sciency”. Could you recap that again, Mel?
MELANIE: Oh, I'm sorry. Was my brilliance in the way? To recap that stress hormone, cortisol, can cause estrogen and progesterone levels in your body to be out of whack. And that's the clinical term.
CAROLYN: Okay. Thank you. So let's come back to the topic of today's show and podcast: Why excess estrogen can cause weight gain. We're going to go to a very well known authority on hormones: Dr. Christiane Northrup . She's a medical doctor and a New York Times bestselling author of many books, including The Wisdom of Menopause and Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom.
MELANIE: It's a great book. And in her book, The Wisdom of Menopause, Dr. Northrup says, “The conventional view of what happens at perimenopause is that estrogen levels plummet. She goes on to say, "This is a gross over simplification and too often leads to treatment that can make mildly uncomfortable symptoms worse.
CAROLYN: So are you wondering “If estrogen levels don't plummet at perimenopause, then what really does happen?” Doctor Northrop continues by saying, “In natural menopause, there is a gradual decline in levels of progesterone, while estrogen levels remain within normal range or even sometimes increase. When one falls, the other rises. And I think that's really key. A decline in progesterone allows an excess in estrogen, which is often called estrogen dominance.”
MELANIE: We see a lot of estrogen dominance in clinic, and in our classes in a lot of our women and some of our men as well.
MELANIE: And you know, Carolyn, in clinic, many women complain of weight gain at perimenopause or menopause: that time in a woman's life when her progesterone levels are falling and her estrogen levels are rising.
CAROLYN: Okay. Can I just interject? You said men too, right? Okay. So Melanie, you know, because we probably have some male listeners out there, and they're thinking, oh no, this show isn't for me. It's all about estrogen. And so it's got to be all about women. But in fact, men can also have estrogen dominance. Estrogen in men is so essential for moderating their libido, erectile function, and the development of sperm. But if men have estrogen dominance, they can have low sex drive, enlarged breasts and prostate problems; and of course the same kind of weight gain or problems losing weight. So much of what we're talking about today also applies to men. I'm sorry to interrupt.
MELANIE: No, I think that's great information because we started talking about estrogen, the beginning of the show, and I think men might click out.
CAROLYN: Right, exactly.
MELANIE: This doesn't apply to me. Well, Dr. Northrop continues to write that as progesterone levels decline, eventually estrogen levels may begin to swing widely. So what is the reason women have declining progesterone levels at perimenopause and menopause? Let's dig into that. The reason is simply because women stop ovulating; therefore progesterone is no longer produced. The ovaries then start to produce excess estrogen, often called estrogen dominance, as we mentioned earlier.
CAROLYN: Yeah. So what are the symptoms of decreased progesterone levels and estrogen dominance? Actually, there's many symptoms such as a decrease in sex drive for women as well as men, irregular or abnormal periods. That's a big one. Or heavy bleeding, bloating, water retention or breast tenderness. Endometriosis could be one; any kind of PMS or menstrual cramps or things like that. Uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, acne on the chin and jaw line, facial hair and fibrocystic breasts. And I have a story about a client with very fibrocystic breasts. Actually, she came to me for weight loss. Of course, many of our clients do. But after reading her health questionnaire and asking our normal million questions, right?
MELANIE: We do get in their business.
CAROLYN: Yeah, I found out that she had very fibrous cystic breasts and actually was on a six month regimen of going to have her mammograms. And after a short period of time, you know, we figured this out; or I said, oh, I think you have some estrogen dominance going on for sure. And we started treating her. And low and behold, within a year she had her breasts had changed for the better. Yes. They became very, they weren't as dense and fibrocystic as they were before. And then of course, what happened? She was then able to start losing weight.
MELANIE: Wonderful. It takes time to sort of figure out some of these intricacies with each client so that they have that connection with weight loss. Yes. Some other symptoms of decreased progesterone levels and estrogen dominance are mood swings, cold hands and feet, headaches and weight gain. Frequently, we'll see this around the abdomen and hips, right?
CAROLYN: Yeah. So, okay, now we've reached an understanding that estrogen or excess estrogen levels can lead to weight gain. So what happens when you actually take extra estrogen through hormonal replacement therapy to help relieve those hot flashes or mood swings or even the night sweats? You might feel a little bit better for a short time and then what's going to happen? You're going to gain more weight, which typically doesn't make any woman or man very happy, right?
MELANIE: Right? Listeners, you may feel that today shows is like a little science lecture, but we felt it was important for women to understand why weight gain is connected to an excess of estrogen. There's even more to this story. As dietitians, we know that estrogen is made in the ovaries, but it's also made in the adrenal and fat cells.
CAROLYN: Yeah. Well Melanie, it's almost time for our first break. So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, and today we're discussing why it is so often very difficult to lose weight when you have excess estrogen levels or estrogen dominance. And when we come back from break, Melanie's going to share some great information on one of our cookbooks. We'll be right back.
MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Right now until the end of July, we're offering a 15 percent discount on the Weight and Wellness cookbook; fabulous.
CAROLYN: It's a great cookbook.
MELANIE: Yes, we all have one in our homes. The Weight and Wellness Way Cookbook and Nutrition Guide posts some of our favorite recipes: 110 delicious recipes to be exact.
CAROLYN: Oh my goodness. Did you count them all?
MELANIE: I did.
CAROLYN: I've never done that.
MELANIE: Well I’ve cooked them all, including, some of my favorites, which is the Chicken Nuggets. Those are so easy. I cook them and freeze them; Lemon-Baked Turkey Breast, Blueberry Nut Freezer Bars, which are great for the cabin; plus some soups; Shepherd's Pie for the winter. So all formulated for health and wellness. We at Nutritional Weight and Wellness truly believe that the right nutrition is life changing. You can grab a copy for your kitchen. It also makes a great, wonderful gift. In addition to recipes, we've also included a balanced eating plan, tips and techniques for continued success as a healthy cook. And then my favorite feature is that the bottom of each recipe, we give options for gluten-free and dairy-free recipe changes.
CAROLYN: Yeah, that's really helpful for all of our, all of our clients for sure. So before break we were explaining that estrogen is made in the ovaries, but it is also made in the adrenal glands and fat cells. So it only makes sense that in today's society, most women have excess estrogen and are estrogen dominant. But in the 50s only about 10% of the female population was obese. But sadly, now two out of every three women in the U.S. are either overweight or obese. In actuality, I think the truth is at about 40% of women are considered obese.
MELANIE: Think about that. Yeah, that's almost half the women our nation struggling with weight issues.
CAROLYN: Yeah, exactly; half. That's a lot. But the question really is, Melanie, why? Remember that fat cells produce estrogen and that's kind of a key, isn't it? So the more fat your body carries, the more estrogen that is made in your body, which in time can cause that weight gain, especially around the hips and abdomen. You know, the fact is that having extra fat cells can make losing weight even more difficult.
MELANIE: There are also some health connections there with that obesity. I mean, the more fat cells we have and the more that we produce estrogen, that also puts it us at risk for more than just weight gain. I'm thinking estrogen positive breast cancer.
CAROLYN: Oh yeah.
MELANIE: I come from a personal place with that. So, try to always incorporate some of these strategies. Even with women, they can be estrogen dominant and not be overweight.
CAROLYN: Right, right.
MELANIE: I have seen several clients, clearly estrogen dominant, their weight was within a normal range. So some of these other symptoms that we're talking about are really important for all of our listeners to pay attention to because I don't want them to dismiss their symptoms if they're not, struggling with their weight.
CAROLYN: Yeah. And often times they'll come to us for a different reason, and through the questionnaires and through our questioning of them, we say, oh wow, this person is most likely estrogen dominant. And that's a real health risk, so we need to correct that.
MELANIE: And it's not just typical for women to really have miserable, horrible menstrual cycles.
CAROLYN: Right. And most women say, “Oh, that's just me.”
MELANIE: “That's me. Always been that way.” Now you have a better understanding of why women in the U.S. are either overweight or obese with this connection. And as women have hormonal shifts and more estrogen is made, it may cause weight gain because as Carolyn just said, the more fat your body carries, the more estrogen is made. It really is a vicious cycle, which can make losing weight more difficult for many women. Not impossible, but it can be difficult because the weight loss is usually very slow. As women, we have two significant times in our lives when we have substantial hormonal shifts. And one of those times is at perimenopause.
CAROLYN: Of course.
MELANIE: And the other is throughout a woman's entire pregnancy. There are major hormonal shifts before, during, and after pregnancy.
CAROLYN: Yes, we all know that. Anyone who has been pregnant before knows that feeling, right? So another lifestyle factor that seems to be slowing metabolism and leading to weight gain is the stressful environment that most of us live in today.
MELANIE: Oh, let's talk about that.
CAROLYN: Oh boy. I also want to mention a few stressors. Maybe you are experiencing them and those things can be causing you to produce excess cortisol. Remember, excess cortisol can lead to that estrogen dominance again and excess estrogen, right?
CAROLYN: So one, what about sleep? Poor sleep or lack of sleep? I have some clients who think they're fine having six hours of sleep. But I just go, oh no, you need seven and a half to nine hours most nights. What about grabbing sweets for that energy kick in the late afternoon or to get back to your state of wellbeing, even if it is short lived? Dr. Northrup points out that sugar, in fact is very stressful to our bodies and our brains.
MELANIE: And you know, Carolyn, when I see a client that is struggling and we start really digging into, okay, I start with what did you eat yesterday? And then we find little nibbles and bits of treats in there. You know, just a small Kit-Kat, just a small, and then what happens is they're starting a roller coaster with their blood sugar. So, they have that sugar, that treat, and it shoots that blood sugar up, right?
MELANIE: And that, that rollercoaster of your blood sugar produces hormone imbalances in the body. It's not even necessarily something you can feel if you're really in tune. My clients will say, “Yeah, boy, I did not feel good after I had that.”
CAROLYN: “I felt good for a little while.” And then plummet: that sugar crash, right?
MELANIE: Right. So they have to really think, “Is it worth the five minutes?” Not even that; a minute and a half it took me to eat. I mean, if you're really, really controlled, maybe five minutes to eat a candy bar or a coffee drink. Is it worth it knowing the havoc it’s wreaking on your hormone balance?
CAROLYN: Yeah. So that's one. The sugar; the sleep we already talked about. And eating processed foods: that's another one. Those processed foods are full of bad fats and chemically treated grains as well as there are very little vegetables, very insufficient amounts of vegetables when you're eating processed foods for the most part, right.
MELANIE: You can only put so much in your belly.
CAROLYN: Right. Eating on the run is another stressor; being a caregiver. And the list goes on, right? I mean we have millions, it seems like stressors in our life.
MELANIE: As you heard earlier in the show, when you're under that stress, the adrenal glands are producing that excess cortisol. If the cortisol levels become too high for too long, you have these undesirable side effects that can occur. Some of those side effects: let's talk about those, Carolyn: decrease in bone density, osteopenia, and osteoporosis. It may be difficult to understand that stress can actually lead to osteoporosis, and that is not due to just a lack of calcium.
CAROLYN: Yeah. So, it’s time for our second break already. So we'll have to come back to that list of those side effects.
MELANIE: I have more.
CAROLYN: Oh, okay. All right, well hold that thought. So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Starting August 1st we are offering a variety of 90 minute classes at all seven of our locations for only $10 for each class. That's a real steal. This is a great opportunity to reconnect, recommit, and learn more about how real food nutrition can benefit you. Here's just a sampling of some of the classes you may want to take: Getting a Good Night's Sleep or Five Steps to Boost Your Metabolism; Building a Better Working Memory. So all you have to do is go to weightandwellness.com or call (651) 699-3438 and sign up for as many classes as your schedule allows. And we'll be right back.
MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I thought I should mention that space in those $10 classes is limited to the classroom size at each location. So if you are thinking about signing up, I urge you to do so today. These classes are excellent with loads of valuable information. So they tend to fill up fast. If you have questions, call 651-699-3438.
CAROLYN: And before we went to break, Melanie, I'm sorry I cut you off because we were talking about cortisol levels becoming too high for too long and the undesirable side effects that can occur. So the first one was that decrease in bone density. You were talking about osteoporosis or osteopenia.
MELANIE: And I think that's really an important one.
MELANIE: Fluid retention; so fluid retention can be a side effect. Also, fluctuating blood sugar levels.
CAROLYN: We talked about that roller coaster, right?
MELANIE: Yeah, and it just is horrible for the body on so many levels. It also lowers your immune function, setting you up for cancer or other autoimmune diseases. And of course, weight gain.
CAROLYN: Yeah. Yeah. So here's something to consider. If you're living on the edge, like so many people these days, it may take some time to recover from a lifestyle of that self-destructive behavior; and that's very deficient or devoid of, you know, your own personal self-care. I think women are the worst.
MELANIE: I think we are. We just put everybody, everybody before ourselves. And men have a tendency to put careers before self-care.
CAROLYN: Oh yeah. Some men you have to convince them to go to the doctor just even once a year. So when you wear out your adrenal glands, which is going to happen if you are living this very stressful life, you may feel exhausted and depressed or moody and irritable, and you may have insomnia. And of course you're going to have that weight gain. So this clearly means your hormones are out of balance and they are not working against you… or they're now; sorry, sorry, I said not. They are now working against you.
MELANIE: Yes, for sure.
CAROLYN: Not for you.
MELANIE: Not for you.
CAROLYN: Not for you.
MELANIE: And when you're having some of those symptoms of feeling exhausted, depressed, moody, irritable, that you mentioned… I think in our society we run to the doctor, we get a medication to help numb those feelings when what we like to do is kind of get to the root of what's happening so that we can, we can correct this problem with lifestyle changes and nutrition. As a result of realization and understanding of my own health struggles, I personally have worked hard to put all those hormonal factors into a lifestyle that supports my brain, my body, the total person. So each and every day I can, I can make sure I'm feeling great. Carolyn, I don't know about you, but I feel safe in saying that as dieticians, we didn't know everything when we started.
CAROLYN: Oh boy.
MELANIE: Is that fair?
CAROLYN: It's very, very fair. 30 plus years has helped.
MELANIE: Still learning; always we are learning. We could shoot out how many fat grams are in every food imaginable back in the day. But over the years we have come to learn that to achieve hormonal balance and even weight loss, it is necessary to concentrate on the quality of food that we are eating and no longer worry about the counting of calories or those fat grams. Agreed?
CAROLYN: Agreed; agreed. Yeah, and that's a, that's a tough concept for a lot of people. When they come to us, we say, no, we don't count calories. We just want you to eat in balance. We want you to have all of those macronutrients. We want you to have good, healthy, real food, real proteins, real carbs, and real fats. So the saying “you are what you eat” really is true. So people need to make a personal commitment to their health to a eat quality foods. And I have to mention here, drink filtered water. We did a great podcast. It was back on February 18th, 2018 on, I think it was called, “Is my tap water safe”? That's an excellent podcast.
MELANIE: Really eye opening.
CAROLYN: Yeah. Yeah. So if we're eating these healthy real foods, they will help you deal with today's stressful environment and personal stressors. Most people need ongoing support and education as well.
MELANIE: You have to ask yourself, “What do I need first to lose weight? Do I need to learn to include vegetables at every meal?” Personally, I do. I have to focus on this because I know that the veggies detox my body from those extra estrogens that my ovaries made when my progesterone level decreased. Carolyn, how do you think vegetables help? I am a big fan of pushing vegetables, as you know.
CAROLYN: Yes. Well, we know that vegetables are full of fiber, right? And fiber helps us keep regular. And most people don't know, but if we have regular bowel movements, that means one every single day. Anything less than that, we call that constipation. But we detox these estrogens and excess hormones through our bowels. So we need those veggies, right?
MELANIE: We need the veggies to help, you know, keeping things moving along so we're not reabsorbing cause that can happen.
CAROLYN: Right, right.
MELANIE: It's such a great feeling to know I can do something as simple as eating a variety of vegetables to support my detox system. You know, I don't need to take a medication or some harsh detox powder that could very likely have an adverse effect on me. I can just eat a variety of organic vegetables cooked in natural fats such as butter: yum.
MELANIE: Every day I choose to eat quality vegetables like organic vegetables with some natural fats, some bacon fat in there; always my joy.
CAROLYN: Yeah, I love that. Perhaps you need help getting that seven and a half to nine hours of sleep most nights in order to lose weight. Unfortunately, you know, good sleep just doesn't happen overnight. And sleep medication, believe it or not, is not the answer. Dr. Matthew Walker, he's the author of a New York Times bestseller, Why We Sleep, said, and I quote, “Sleeping pills do not provide natural sleep. They can damage health and increase the risk of life-threatening disease. Of course, many sleeping pills sedate you rather than assist you in sleep. So sleeping pills can knock out the higher regions of your brain's cortex, and that's not good for your memory.” 80% of our clients first come to us because of their major sleep issues. And I know I have lots of clients that come and most of them almost, I would say point, it's got to be over 90%. What do you think?
MELANIE: I think so too. And then that is in turn stressful.
CAROLYN: Right, exactly. So quite honestly for some of them, these problems do not resolve easily because their lifestyle and eating habits are all affecting their sleep.
MELANIE: So Carolyn, what you're saying is as dietitians, we become detectives?
CAROLYN: Yes, absolutely.
MELANIE: We are asking our clients a lot of questions. And some of them are quite a little bit personal. I mean, we're gentle, but it's information. Until we have a solution for them, we have to ask these questions. We want to keep digging and working until they are sleeping at least seven and a half hours or more, most nights. Again, I think you have to ask yourself, “What help do I need to put my hormones back into balance so I can lose weight?” Doing a boot camp and over-exercising truly is not the answer.
CAROLYN: Oh my gosh, yes. I'm so glad you mentioned that because I have a lot of clients who say, oh, you know, “I'm at the gym at least an hour every day.” And, you know, doing some really heavy hard, you know, aerobic work for an hour. And I tell them, well, maybe that's too much. Maybe you need to back off a little bit on that.
MELANIE: Mind blown.
CAROLYN: Yeah. They're just like, “You're kidding me, right?” I'm going, no, really, we need to try that. At least try it, please try it for you know, for the next two weeks and then come back and tell me how you feel. But maybe just eating vegetables at every meal is not enough to detox those negative estrogens. And again, I want to talk a little bit here about those xenoestrogens. So, you know, that would be like the plastic. You don't want to have any plastic… Don't put your food in plastic containers. Switch to glass or stainless steel or something like that.
MELANIE: And certainly don't heat in plastic.
CAROLYN: Don't heat in plastic. So, you know, these are things in our environment that really can lead to more of those estrogens in our body. So another one: I use parchment paper a lot when I'm, when I'm heating things. So, what about a dryer ball? Those dryer sheets are really bad for you. So switch that out with a dryer ball. That's a pretty easy thing. Maybe even try some Norwex products for cleaning or the face cloths or things like that.
MELANIE: A lot of good organic products out there for cleaning.
CAROLYN: And I really, really love the website, the Skin Deep Database. That's excellent. You can plug in your personal care items and find out kind of how they rate to determine how toxic or nontoxic they are. So that's excellent. And you know, you can, but what about the dirty dozen? Or if you're not doing all of your vegetables organic, maybe you really want to look up that dirty dozen sheet.
MELANIE: It's a good place to start.
CAROLYN: It’s a good place to start. So yeah, strawberries and apples and potatoes are just some of the things that are on the list.
MELANIE: I always tell my clients, if you can stick your fingernail through it, it probably needs to be organic.
CAROLYN: Oh, that's a good way. It's already time for our last break here. So you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. What habit or habits do you need help changing? The dietitians and nutritionists at Nutritional Weight and Wellness would like to be a part of your change-making team so you can be the person you want to be. Make an appointment for our two-hour consultation and be sure to check with your health insurance company to determine if your appointment might be covered. If you have health insurance questions about possible coverage, you can call Shirley. She is an excellent resource and she can be reached at (651) 699-3438. She will be happy to walk you through the process. Again, that’s Shirley at (651) 699-3438. And we'll be right back.
MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Even though our name says “Weight and Wellness”, we recognize that carrying extra weight is just a symptom or indicator of something else. Yes, in reality, for most women, extra weight is an important symptom that these women see every time they look in the mirror or step on the scale. At Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we actually believe the “wellness” part of our name is truly the most important.
CAROLYN: It sure is.
MELANIE: It’s where we begin. If you are experiencing excess levels of estrogen or estrogen dominance, it takes time. But with support and direction, you can begin to increase your wellness and decrease your weight. I encourage you to make an appointment so you can start on your journey to wellness. Next week, tune in to hear Kara and Shelby discuss how processed foods lead to weight gain.
CAROLYN: So before we went to break, I was talking about not, maybe not eating enough vegetables or not, sorry, how should I say that? Just eating vegetables at every meal might not be enough to detox all of these bad estrogens from our body. So sometimes we suggest a supplement that adds more nutrients to the liver. So it's like a support for the liver to help it detox those toxic estrogens from our body. A very effective estrogen detox supplement is a Nutrikey product called Estro Rebalance. The great news is it's 15% off, oops, just for the rest of July, which it was the 27th already. So, so discount or not, Estro Rebalance is an excellent and effective supplement that helps your liver detox those very toxic estrogens. When you have less estrogen, kind of getting tongue tied here.
MELANIE: It's a lot of estrogen in this day.
CAROLYN: Your body will start to lose weight, especially the fat on your abdomen and hips. So that's really great.
MELANIE: That's great. Even with Estro Rebalance, we still encourage you to continue to eat your vegetables three times a day, especially those cruciferous vegetables. Now I, I believe it's easy to know which vegetables are cruciferous or not when you begin to cook them. Those are the ones you apologize in the office. Sorry for the broccoli. Sorry for the asparagus, right? They're a little, they're a little sulfur smelling such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, just to name a few. Drink eight to 10 glasses of filtered water like we discussed. Stay away from factory fats or “Franken” fats and get some sleep.
CAROLYN: Okay, so let's expand a little bit on those fats. So what are some of the healthy fats we want our clients to be eating?
MELANIE: Oh, we want them to be eating the good fats such as coconut oil, animal fats from a good, healthy animal like a grass-fed animal. I'm thinking even good old -fashioned grass-fed lard is a wonderful one I have in my refrigerator right now.
MELANIE: A good, healthy bacon makes great bacon fat.
CAROLYN: Oh, I love cooking…. especially cauliflower and bacon. Oh, it's really, really good.
CAROLYN: We can't forget about olive oil and avocados.
MELANIE: Let’s touch on olive oil. That's a good one, Carolyn, because I have a lot of clients that come in and they're cooking with olive oil. So olive oil is a great, I prefer it as a great cold salad dressing.
MELANIE: Or marinade. But when you're cooking, I really love to use coconut oil or ghee; or like I said, the lard. Those are great fats; avocado oil.
CAROLYN: Avocado oil has a very high smoke point. So I'm using that a lot, especially this summer because I love to do some grilling. And I don't want things to burn.
MELANIE: I don't want them to burn. And I love the last, this is another favorite flavor profile of mine is at the last, if it's an Asian flair or an Indian flair food, is to drizzle toasted sesame oil.
CAROLYN: Toasted sesame: one of my favorites. In fact, I had a client the other day who said, “I am so glad you gave me that tip about butte burning,” you know, because I've been putting butter in my potatoes and cooking those on the grill and they're always burned. So now what he's doing is putting avocado oil in his potatoes and cooking those. And he said, “They came out perfect. Thank you so much. I love it.”
MELANIE: We are happy people when we have delicious food and delicious food can be very, very healthy. And I think that's important. But we can't, we can forget, we talked about getting sleep. Perhaps this weight gain you're experiencing really could be a blessing in disguise because it gets you on task. So even with Estro Rebalance, that supplement, we will encourage you to continue to eat those vegetables, get that sleep, drink filtered water; 8-10 glasses of filtered water to stay healthy and hydrated.
CAROLYN: And we talked about the cruciferous vegetables, right?
MELANIE: Yes, always the vegetables. Perhaps this weight gain, again, is a blessing because I think sometimes we just need a wake-up call. Let me tell you, a wake-up call to lose some extra weight is so much better than a wake-up call of breast or ovarian cancer from the side effects of estrogen. Let's don't wait until we're in crisis to make these changes. Let's prevent crisis in our bodies. Carolyn and I, we understand that today's show was a little more technical, right?
MELANIE: More fact giving and less conversational than usual. But all of us women and men really need to understand the influence hormones have, not only on our weight, but also on our overall health. We have a wonderful Menopause Survival Seminar coming up this fall that we'd love to see you attend. If you listen to our podcast, I'm sure this will be a favorite that you will listen to over and over and over.
CAROLYN: So Melanie, let's just kind of recap a little bit. So today's show really has all been about excess estrogen in our bodies called estrogen dominance and men can have it as well as women. And there are many symptoms. So I know we were talking about the weight gain, but I know when I see a client, I don't immediately think, okay, she can't lose weight because maybe she's estrogen dominant. I go to all those symptoms, right? ...That long list of symptoms that we have, and we go to their health questionnaire, and then we start asking questions, right?
MELANIE: A lot of questions.
CAROLYN: A lot of questions. And then we find out, oh, what's her sleep like? Right? What about that stress? What's going on there? And then we really talk about what to eat.
MELANIE: This is important.
CAROLYN: That's really the main thing that we talk about most of the time with our clients, right?
MELANIE: Because it is not about calories in, calories out to lose weight. We have to look at the, the, the role that these hormones play. And if you see a client that has estrogen dominance, Carolyn, this is certainly something that has to be addressed if we're going to get to that initial goal, which was weight reduction.
CAROLYN: Right; right. And a lot of clients are going, “Oh, why are you asking me all these questions?”
MELANIE: Especially when we get to bowel habits.
CAROLYN: Yeah. I did have a client look at me with bug eyes the other day and say, “I don't even know the answer to that. Why are you asking me?” I said, because I'm trying to get to the bottom of this and try to figure out what is the best solution? Now that we've got you eating properly… So thank you for listening today. 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 wonderful day.