What Women Want Today
What Women Want Today

Episode 81 · 2 months ago

Are balanced hormones the key to weight loss in midlife?


Tanya Pennington-Miller, FNTP is a Hormone & Fat Loss Specialist for women over 40. She founded Nourish to Thrive, a remote nutritional therapy practice, where she has helped women all over the country, with great success, to lose stubborn weight by balancing their hormones. As a Functional Blood Chemistry Specialist, she orders and interprets labs from a functional perspective to guide women to optimal health.

Tanya is a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner in the process of obtaining her Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition. Having been in her client’s shoes, it is her life’s passion to help women lose weight, regain energy, regain their sex drive, sleep well, lose the night sweats, and enjoy life again.

You can find her speaking on stages across the country, sharing her knowledge and expertise with the masses in attempt to affect as many lives as possible.

Competing in National Figure and CrossFit competitions across the country is a huge part of Tanya’s history, and today you can find her running Spartan Races (up to 30 miles) and mountain biking. She believes physical fitness is a major component to optimizing health, so she encourages her clients to find physical activities they enjoy.

Tanya resides in California with her husband and four bullmastiffs, where they owned a brick & mortar supplement store for 10 years. The store recently sold, and her legacy will live on in that town. Soon, they will move to their 25-acre property in Idaho, where their heart truly resides, in the mountains.

Learn more about Tanya 

Connect on Instagram 

The sea salt Tanya recommends 

Hello and welcome to what women want today podcast. You might be asking yourself right about now. Well, what do women want? I mean, we're pretty complex creatures right. Well, I think we want it all, and I'm here to explore it with you. My name is Terry Kellums. I'm your host. Go grab your favorite beverage. I've already cut my glass of wine and let's get started. Hello and welcome to this week's episode of what women want today podcast. This is your host, Terry Kellums. Thank you so much for being here with me today. Stay on the show. I have a very interesting guest. Her name is Tanya Pennington Miller and she is a functional nutritional therapy practitioner. That is a mouth full, Tanya. I'M gonna have to ask you to explain that to us. She owns a business called nourish to thrive. She works as a hormone and fat law specialist for women over forty. Tanya, welcome to the show. I'm happy to have you here with me today. Thank you, Terry. I'm so happy to be here with you. So, Tana, I'm gotually just jump right in with both feet today, because I was introduced to you recently through a mutual friend and I started stalking you on instagram and I gotta tell you, you said something I didn't really like. I'm ready for it. You're ready. Okay. So you said we need to stop drinking every night. And you know what, I'm just feeling convicted. It's you. You hit the nail right on the head. You said it's a habit, and you know what, you couldn't be more right, because I was explaining this to my girlfriend when I was telling her about you know, you and your page and and some of your information. I said, you know what, she's so right, because, like when I get up in the morning, it's coffee. That's my signal to my body, hey, it's time to wake up and get moving. Me and my husband sitting up coffee together every morning, and then I drink water all day and then my evening kicks in when I poured that glass of wine and start cooking dinner, and I feel like that's my trigger. That okay, my daytime stuff is done, my husband will be home soon, it's time for us to sit down and eat dinner together. So such a habit. But tell us why we need to stop doing that. Well, first I'll say Kudos to you that you do have water between the coffee and the wine. And you know, it's true. It is a habit and it's kind of just like it's like the person who has a bowl of ice cream every night. Yes, they're not even really enjoying that bowl of ice cream every single night, not as much as they did when they first started it. And it's the same thing with wine. You kind of just start doing it, but you're really not enjoying it. And if you can back it off, and this is my recommendation, especially for people who are drinking, you know, pretty much every night, one or two glasses of wine, really try to scale that back to say, like Friday Saturday. And the reason is because I say two nights a week, but then I'm very specific about let's make those two nights per week be two nights back to back. Okay, because your live has to have time to detoxify and depending on depending on how much you drink, you're gonna need twenty four to seventy two hours, let's just say forty eight hours, to detoxify that alcohol, which is a toxin. Right. We know that in order to get back on track for metabolizing, so if you drink, say, Friday night, Saturday night, now you have, okay, Sunday, Monday, you're detoxifying and then we can get back on track for our metabolism, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, as opposed to, you know, drinking Tuesday night now you're detoxifying for a couple of days and then drinking Friday night now you're detoxifying for a couple of days. So it's more beneficial to have those days, you know, be close together, and you'll enjoy it more, I mean, I mean the wine will even taste better cutting it back to those two nights per week. All Right, and then let you know this Friday, because I started. I started after I heard you say that, and last night we went to our favorite Italian restaurant where they have delicious mine and I had Stan Pellegrino with a splash of cram airy juice. That's...

...huge, because I'll say this too, wine is such a social thing, so part of going out to dinner for many people, especially at an Italian restaurant, right wine, Um, it's it's it's so much more than just having that class of wine. But but let me also say this, and I would encourage anyone who has some type of watch or device that tracks your sleep. I am going to tell you track your sleep with no alcohol at all, and then track your sleep with I don't care if it's one glass of wine, or it's three glasses of wine, or it's one vodka, Soda Water, whatever it is, your sleep will not be the same when you drink. Wow, it's actually mind blowing. You might actually think you'll wake up in the morning and say, no, I think I got the same sleep last night. When you compare on your watch, completely different. Your rum sleep will be down, you'll have heart rate spikes in the middle of the night. It's it's actually pretty fascinating to watch it and I've actually done it, thinking like let's beat at this time. You know all I had two glasses of wine. It was a very low soul, fight very low sugar, best quality wine you can get. And sure enough, the next day my sleep score is half of what it normally is and Um, and I think that helps. So right. For those who like data, it's great to have that information and really see it for yourself and say, Dang it, Dang it, she was right. But I actually have the data and not just you know what she's telling me. Yeah, so, after you're listening to this, to my audience here, Um, if you try this, I want you to send me a direct message on instagram. Let me know if it's working for you. Let me know if you're sleeping better, because I bet half the women out there listening said you didn't have me until you talked about sleep, Tania, now I want to sleep, so I'm going to try this SORTA thing. It's true, and that is an area where so many women struggle. You know, it's in quality. Well, we jumped right in there. But, Um, you know, and thank you for being so, you know, so willing to take my little joke there. But how do you feel? What, what would you say, lad you into wanting to work with women on this very specific thing? What has been sort of like, Um, the thing that has driven you to do this? You know, it's it's my own personal story, which I didn't even realize initially was going to be my own personal story, because I didn't I wasn't dealing with some big disease or, you know, anything that I was aware of. I just happened to I was in the middle of my thirties, okay, the thirties. My whole life had been. My background is competing in figure competitions. Okay, UM, half marathons, Spartan races, crossfit competitions across the country. I mean, when I do something, I do it all the way. And I had hit my mid thirties and things were changing and I was starting to just sort of like the scale was creeping up, not drastically, but I wasn't. I couldn't lose weight, I couldn't be at the healthy way that I knew was, you know, easy for me to be at. I put I put athletes on stage in Bikini's. That was my profession, so I know how to take body fail of a person. But I was kind of losing control over that and myself. I was calling myself lazy because I had lost motivation for doing things that I once loved doing. I was developing a lower belly, pooch. I mean it was all of these things that were like sort of like, quote unquote normal right, like a lot of people deal with these things. And I had lost my sex, drife and I this is really important for relationships, for marriages, and luckily my husband and I were able to talk about it because I could say, you know, hey, honey, it's not you, it has nothing to do with you, it's just there's something going on in me or something just seems out of balance. And, Um I had gone to my doctor, who I said, can you just run labs? And I didn't even know what I meant by run labs. I just run everything right. I need to know what is wrong. And I remember my results came in. I go to my appointment it and...

...she says these are great. She tosses my labs next to me and she goes, I wish I had your labs. You're gonna live to be a hundred years old, like it was this positive thing and I was completely devastated because I felt awful. I mean, I just had no and I remember at this time I owned two brick and mortar supplement in nutrition stores and one of my most favorite things to do was to give nutrition seminars and I remember one day I walked in with an energy drink in hand. Okay, that's very out of character for me, but I was so tired and I remember thinking, I hope not enough people show up today so that we can just reschedule this thing. That was really my cue to say you got to look into this. And so fast forward to finally meeting with she was a she's a medical doctor, but she had turned more to the functional side and had run through some testing with her and I was diagnosed with not adrenal fatigue but adrenal exhaustion. And she said to me that day I don't ever want to hear you call yourself lazy again, because you work far from it, and I have permission. In that moment it was I wasn't lazy, it was there was something physiologically going on with me, and so I really walked myself through that entire healing journey and knew that I had to change the trajectory of my business to this. It needed to go from fat loss, to walk on stage, to compete in a show, to truly healing and whole health. And then guess what, when we get healthy, the fat loss comes. That's that's like a side effect now, but it's not the main focus. Yeah, and I bet you there are women listening right now. They're saying I got those same lab results and I wanted her to say something was wrong with me so that she could fix me right and then and then for the doctor to just, I imagine women just feel so defeated they walk out of their feeling like it's all my fault. What am I doing wing, you know, and and there's answers. So when when a woman gets those penny answers from her doctor, her her primary cure physician that she's been seeing for years, what do you suggest she does? Well, and I even got lucky in that she didn't try to prescribe me Xanax or crescent or birth control to quote unquote, balance my hormones Um. She didn't go there with me, but I will tell you a vast majority of my clients that is what they've gone through and they will come to me either being on some of those medications or saying I just I know, I'm not depressed and it's something else. I'm not depressed, never been depressed. And so, and the one thing I want to say is this too, because I never wanted to seem like I'm putting down doctors. We we of course we need our doctors, we need our our modern medicine doctors. Are Conventional Medicine Doctors. They are there to keep us alive. And so that day she told me was her translation was terrible and saying you're gonna live to be a hunter. But what she was telling me that day is you don't have any disease and that's great news. Perfect, thank you. I'm alive, I don't have disease. Now let me go find somebody to optimize my health, because ultimately that's what I was looking to do. So let's go back to your title here for a minute. Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. What does that mean? That's what it is. Oh my gosh. So these days I tend to just say functional practitioner because you know, and a lot of times when you were doing little short snippets for things, right, you only have thirty seconds and then that title takes up like twenty five seconds. Let's a functional practitioner. But what it is is we really are looking to heal the body from a nutritional standpoint, and so you really get to work on something like saying, say you find out your hormones are out of balance, you need more progesterone, you need more testosterone. If you just go and jump on bioidentical hormones, well, okay, some people do that, but you really missed an...

...opportunity to lay the foundation, nutritionally speaking, through minerals, through fatty acids, your vitamins, to get your body to produce what it can. And then I always say, okay, we've worked together for a period of time. PROGESTERONE has come up a bit, testosterone maybe came up enough, and so now you can go top off that progesterone right with with potentially a bioidentical hormone. I'm a fan of bioidentical hormones, but I'm not a fan of them as that first line of defense. I'm a fan as let's top off with what it is that we need, because really, adrenals are a huge problem for women in general, and the reason being when we are in our adolescent years, so before we can bear a child, the responsibility of our sex hormones is on our adrenal glands, which is fine because we're not stressed as children. Then we enter our child bearing years and that responsibility predominantly goes on too our ovaries. Right our adrenals are still shooting out some sex hormones, but our ovaries are producing the most. Then we enter perimenopause and menopause are ovaries start to go to sleep and guess who gets the responsibility back for producing those hormones? The adrenals. The adrenals do. And what have we done to the adrenals through being a mom, being a career woman, you know, having a marriage? Not to say marriage is stressful, but you know it comes with its stresses, right, just being an adult. And so why don't we get in there and nourish your adrenals, give them a shot, give them a chance, then you can come in with bioidenticals if necessary. Yeah, I think I skipped a step because I am on bioidenticals and Protestant, and I would say that I felt like it helped quite a bit back then when I first started, but I switched to a new doctor a couple of months back. Here, I guess s been six months back, and I just don't feel like I'm on I'm not totally on track anymore. You know, I'm just I'm not feeling it. I'm feeling that your ability that I remember from way back when and Um, not sleeping as good as I could be. And you know, I was watching some of your your instagram information today, your content, and I just happened to have my lab results here. So you were really big and I was so impressed by this. You are really big on understanding what labry what, what laps are ordered from your doctor. So you talked about free t three. It's hard to say free t three and you're you talked about how it can sort of like be tricked, like your body can be tricked by that and you're not really producing. It's not your t three isn't really converting to t four like it should be. So I thought I would give you my numbers here and you can tell me what you think, because I had one doctor I was living near St George M about six months ago. He was about ready to put me on thyroid medicine, which scared me. And now this doctor is like no, you're fine. So I'm like, okay, how do I get fine in six months all by myself? So, okay, which one do you want me to read first? The t four, the T S H, the t the free t three? So actually just give them all to me, because what we can do is, and here's what I will say, that if, if, for some reason I was told you can only run one thyroid hormone, you get to pick one. You get one thyroid hormone. which do you want? In that case, I would say free t three, and I want to stress that because it really is the most important reason being it is the only active, usable thyroid hormone by your body. Every cell on your body has a free t three receptor site and we produced t four. okay, t four is not active. Your body can't use it. T four must convert into free t three. Now your body can use it. However, what can happen sometimes is that t four, instead of converting into free t three, will convert into reverse t three.

Reverse, I missed that one. Right. And reverse t three, you want to think of as like a Doppel Ganger to free t three. Looks the same. I mean it looks just the same as free t three, so much so that it can go and attach to a free t three receptor site. Only it's like attaching a balloon. They're like it's nothing, it's just taking up space. So now free t three comes along and goes, Oh hey, I need to attach to that receptor site to give my person beautiful hair, give her energy, give her beautiful eyebrows, and it goes shoot, it can't get through that reverse t three. So that doppelganger is taking up space. It's like this impostor, and now free t three can't get to it. Okay, so you want to take a look at both free t three and reverse t three, because sometimes I'll see that free t three is it's actually optimal. But if that reverse t three is elevated, then we know free t three can't get to where it's going. And I will say if we often find that because this conversion happens in your liver and in your gut. So I often will find a congested liver if this conversion is having trouble, I'm drinking too much of that nightly wine and that right. Absolutely. Yeah, women who are dealing with constipation, right, yeah. So so before we dive into my numbers, can you just quick run through, like what would be some of the symptoms a woman would be looking out for if she had low thyroid function? So hair thinning and hair fall out is a big one. Um, losing the outer third of your eyebrows, interestingly enough, if they just kind of start to thin a little bit. Um, having brittle nails, um having dry skin, weight gain, low energy. Those are gonna be really your main symptoms. That you may. And then, of course, symptoms overlap. Right, some of those are due to sex hormones and things, but when you kind of can identify with a lot of those, you certainly do want a full thyroid panel, and I can, if you're listeners well, I can run through the list of those so that they can write them down to if yeah, let's do that. Um. So, let's go through mine real quick and then we'll have you run down so everybody can get there their pen and paper handy where they're listening to this. So free t three, um two point nine. Okay. Yeah, so that is not optimal. What is your T S H? Yes, eight is point eight to nine. Okay, so t s H is fine. And here's the thing. This is this is actually a really important point for people to understand before going into these markers. You don't have anything. Your free t three shows, quote unquote, within range right, normal. Okay, so conventional medicine ranges. The important thing to understand about those is it means that how did they come up with those ranges? You live in California or you live in Florida or you live in Montana, those ranges are going to be different. They actually have to do with your demographic area. So what they do is they take a look at where you live and they say, well, Terry, most people in your area they're free t is between year and here, and so as long as you're between here and here, you're good to go. Your your quote unquote normal. You take a look at the people around you and you go well, I'm not trying to be the average of all those around me right, I'm trying to optimize my health. So we look at a much tighter range um when we're talking from a functional perspective. So two point nine would be quote unquote normal. I don't like to see a free t three lower than three point two um, but women generally tend to feel better closer to a four point five. Wow, yeah, yeah, because it says my previous result was um two point six. So it went up point three. But I did start taking a thyroid supplement Um and I was taking let's see if I should have grabbed the bottle, but I think it's got zinc and selenium and I can't remember. So that's a good point. So if somebody is struggling in the area of t four, if their t four is low, then supplementing with iodine is a really great idea, um, but if you're...

...if that conversion is struggling, you've got adequate to four but it's not converting adequately into free t three. Selenium can be a great so you probably, yes, have some selenium in there, but I will say this also. You don't want to just start supplementing, supplementing if you're not going to be getting your lab testing down, because there is such thing, as you know, overloading on selenium as well. And Yeah, the doctor that back in Saint George, he's the one that told me to start the selenium and the iodine. And then, you know, I feel like you're this is I'm gonna go off on a little sidebar here real quick, but I feel like, Um, your phone is listening to you talk, because I'll be talking to my girlfriends about this and then all of a sudden this, you know, thyroid supplement starts popping up on my instagram feed or something. So that is a true, true story. All right, so let's give the listeners, now that they've got their paper in Penhandy, let's give them that list of Um laps that you were talking about liable earlier. Okay. So what you want is they're going always going to order it's S H, which is fine. T S H is actually not a thyroid hormone, it's a it's thyroid stimulating hormone. Um. Your pituitary actually stimulates your thyroid and says, Hey, thyroid, make the rest of those thyroid hormones Um. So we know that when t S H is elevated, when it's above a two, then we know that the pituitary is sensing that the thyroids having trouble making adequate thyroid hormones and so it's shooting out more of that t s h and that so that t s h can be a tip off that t s h being elevated can tell can make us go, oh, we need to look at the rest of the thyroid hormones now. But it really doesn't tell us anything other than hey, take a look at the rest of the thyroid okay. So T S H, total, t four and free t four, total t three and free t three. Reverse t three is very important. t three uptake I actually like to have because it's going to give us some information about estrogen in your body and if you have, if you're in any type of estrogen dominance or if maybe your body is having trouble ridding of excess estrogen. So that's kind of a little that's actually another tip off for me to say go, take a look at estrogen in her body. Okay. And then you also want to test antibodies, your T P O and t g antibodies, and this is going to give us information about Hashimotos or graves disease, any antibodies presence. You always want to Um test those because sometimes you'll see actually an optimal thyroid where you go wow, all these numbers are great, but we see the presence of antibodies, say t po antibodies, and what we know from that is those antibodies are eventually going to take a toll on the thyroid if you don't get the antibodies under control. And so that's why it's great to have that information ahead of time so that you can love on your thyroid and make sure that it stays optimal. Yeah, wow, a lot of great information today. So if someone would be interested in working with you, I know you are in California. Are you able to work with people all across the United States? I am. Actually my business is remote now. Um, I offer both one on one. So in order to work with me one on one, I do require lab testing, which I can order for you or you can get it through your doctor. Either way, I will say this. Doctors are generally either, number one, not willing to order all of the labs that we order or, number two, they actually can't. So, for example, my clients who have Kaiser as insurance their specific Um, they will not order a reverse t three. It's like almost like they don't have the ability to. I'm not sure. I don't quite understand Um. So it can be a bit of a challenge. I've actually had um GPS. So I've given because I'll give my clients a list. I'll say, Hey, here's a labs we're gonna run. If you want to try to get these covered by insurance, you know, have at it. And I've actually had somebody send me a picture of the labs that they had taken in the lab list they took into their doctor and...

...he wrote useless next to next to free t three, the most important. Um. So anyway, that's how I work with clients one on one. We work together in twelve week increments. Um, I like to retest after twelve weeks, and so we're retesting every twelve weeks. Is a great idea until you're optimized. Then you can go to every six months, then you can go to every year, which has probably probably where you're at right now. You're probably in that place where it's a good idea to retest sex hormones to see if you do need an adjustment on your bioidenticals. But then I also have a membership. So for those who either don't feel they need lab testing or maybe it's not within their budget to work with me one on one, I have a hormone health meal plan membership where, Um, I teach. I actually teach about three Mondays out of every month on a topic as it relates to women's hormones. Um, this month we actually begin libido and hormone health, which again, is really, really important for women. Um. But so these women have access to me. Actually, three Mondays out of the month I go life, I come on zoom, I teach for about thirty five minutes or so. They can ask questions at the end and Um, so it's it's really a beautiful community. Yeah, that sounds wonderful. where, where could somebody find you? To participate in something like that. So you can go to my website, which is Tanya Pennington Miller dot com, and and Tanya is spilled with an a and you can go to my membership tab and see that information there. You can also schedule a one on one consult with me. I offer. I offer a twenty five minute consult Um to discuss if one on one lab testing is something you're interested in, you know, schedule that console and we can talk. Um. Yeah, so, Um, you're also on instagram. At Um. I think I wrote it down here somewhere. Is it Tanya or Tanya? I'm sorry, I was pouncing your name wrong. That Pennington Dot Miller. Is that what it is on Instagram? That's it. The same as my website, except there's a dot between. My name is Tanya Dot Penny Toon Dot Miller. Perfect. And then are you on any other socials? That where they can find you? facebook or anything else or just you know, I I do have my my facebook is nourished to thrive semi Colon Tony Pennington Miller. However, you know, facebook isn't real friendly too. I don't know if you have a business page on facebook, but they really aren't friendly to businesses in terms of making it easy to find you or or getting your out by any means. I I kind of got discouraged on facebook when we were all going through covid and there's a lot of nastiness. So I really am more of an instagram girl these days. So, yeah, yeah, it's better that way. I have two more questions for you. We can wrap up today. I do appreciate your time and you gave such great information. Um, you said on instagram that you should start your day with sixty notes is of lukewarm water, half of a lemon squeezed in and half of a teaspoon of sea salt. Tell me what that does for our bodies. Oh, let me tell you. This is one thing that when men start, they say, I can't start my day without it. Um Number One. Usually what we do is we wake up and then we start basically injecting caffeine into our veins, right vehicle and Um, it's really great too. After you have been laying in a horizontal position all night, your endocrine system is just kind of stagnant. You want to fill your body with something other than coffee. Initially. Okay, so you want to get that salt in there and and very specifically sea salt. I prefer Redmond's real salt Um, very highly mineralized Um, for sure. You don't want it to be regular table salt, okay, which is going to predominantly be sodium. You want to make very highly mineralized salt, something like Redmond's Um, and then you squeeze that lemon in there, and this is going to be just wonderful detoxification. It's going to allow your endocrine system to get cleared out, you're going to get beautiful electrolytes from the Salt Um. It's just gonna set your day up for success. I mean once you start doing it and then you don't do it,...

...that's really when you notice the benefits of it, because you go, ah, that's what I thought today I didn't do my lemon salt water flush. Yeah, I have the habit already of getting up and I make myself drink ten ounces of water before I drink my coffee, but now I'm going to add this. So thank you for the tip. Yeah, and that's a minimum. You have the right idea. For sure, get some water in before your coffee, but then you can just really amp it up with that. For sure. I love that idea. Okay, Tanya, I'm gonna ask you the question because of the name of the podcast. What do you think women want today? I think women want to feel good. Yeah, I think women want to women want to feel good and do the things, number one, that they once loved doing and then all of the things that they know their future can have, whether they are, you know, becoming empty Nesters, soon to be empty nesters, life is just beginning at that point. Yeah, yeah, they're tired. You're right. I absolutely agree with you. I love that answer. Thank you so much for that. Well, Tanya, thank you so much for being here with me to day. To the listeners, I will put all that information in the show notes, but go out to Tanya's website, go to instagram finders. She has so much good information out there. I just appreciate you being here with me today. Thank you so much. Thank you so much, Terry, and thank you for having this podcast. How beautiful. Thank you. Thank you so much for joining me. I hope you've enjoyed today's conversation as much as I did. If you'd like to continue the conversation, come on over and join our private facebook group what women want today. I'd love to hang out with you some more there. Any resources mentioned in today's episode will be in the show notes. You can find me on facebook and Instagram at what women want today podcast, or visit my website at what women want today Dot Com. Please remember to subscribe, download and share. Leave me a review. It helps other amazing women and find the show and become a member of our community. One last thing for you today. You are not alone. You are worthy of love and a fulfilled life. Now it's time to go after it.

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