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Episode 204:
Show Notes 

In this week's episode, Dr Mary Barson is joined by a very special guest, Carolyn Crameri. Dr Mary, who had the pleasure of meeting Carolyn as her patient even before the inception of Real Life Medicine where she joined the transformative 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance, shares her excitement about Carolyn's remarkable health journey. As Carolyn shares her story, Dr Mary's insights into her progress and the program's impact enrich the conversation, providing a holistic view of Carolyn's health transformation journey. Alongside simple tips for health and weight loss, Carolyn's narrative serves as an inspiration for anyone seeking sustainable lifestyle changes.

Overcoming Health Challenges: Carolyn's journey began with concerns about her husband's high cholesterol and her own struggles with menopausal symptoms. Despite initial confusion about dietary advice, Carolyn's unwavering commitment to her family's well-being fueled her quest for solutions.

Discovering Clarity: Through the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance program, Carolyn found a beacon of clarity amidst the confusing landscape of dietary recommendations. Engaging with scientifically-backed information and practical guidance provided in the program, she gained a deeper understanding of nutrition and its impact on health. This newfound knowledge-empowered her to make informed choices and embrace a lifestyle focused on holistic wellness.

Spreading Wellness: Carolyn's journey not only transformed her own life but also inspired her family members to prioritise their health. This underscores the ripple effect of wellness within familial circles, where one person's journey towards health can inspire and motivate others.

Celebrating Simplicity: Returning to the simplicity of whole, unprocessed foods resonated deeply with Carolyn, evoking memories of nourishing meals shared during her childhood. Embracing this back-to-basics approach to nutrition not only enhanced her physical health but also fostered a sense of joy and fulfilment. Carolyn's journey exemplifies how reconnecting with wholesome eating can lead to profound improvements in overall well-being, both physically and emotionally.

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Episode 204: 


Dr Mary Barson (0:04) Hello, my lovely friends. I am Dr Mary Barson.

Dr Lucy Burns (0:09) And I'm Dr Lucy Burns. We are doctors and weight management and metabolic health experts.

Both (0:16) And this is the Real Health and Weight Loss podcast!

Dr Lucy Burns (0:23) Hello lovely friend, Dr Mary here and I'm really excited today as I am joined by a very special guest, the wonderful Carolyn Crameri who I've also known quite a long time. I have known this beautiful human as a patient before we even started Real Life Medicine and since then, she has come on to Real Life Medicine and done one of our programs, our 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance, and she has a wonderful story to share about her health. So over to you lovely Carolyn, how are you feeling today?

Carolyn Crameri (0:55)  I'm feeling really well. Thank you.

Dr Mary Barson (0:57)   Wonderful! Thank you so much for being here. Could you tell our lovely listeners a bit about you? Just tell us your story.

Carolyn Crameri (1:05)   So I'm a mom, a wife. I am actually a grandmother now, which is super exciting, so part of the reason to be healthy. Yes. So I have a little granddaughter who I absolutely adore, of course. Been living down the coast, gosh, nearly 30 years and we run our own business from home, which we're about to move into retirement, which is the next phase of our life. So it's even more exciting. So there's lots happening. I've always been sporty and I thought healthy and enjoyed yeah, a good life and living by the coast make it so much easier for us.

Dr Mary Barson (1:48)   Tell us a little bit more about your journey. You've joined our most recent round of the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance, which was in February and I know that I've certainly have had a bit at least to do with you and your beautiful husband over the years. Can you tell us, you know, what were the problems that you were having that prompted you to join this program and to make these changes to your lifestyle?

Carolyn Crameri (2:12)   Oh gosh, my husband Peter met you Mary because our long-term doctor left and you arrived at our clinic, which was a blessing to us, and he's always had high cholesterol. It's a family history of heart disease and so forth. But he's always super healthy and never overweight, ate what we thought was really well, and you pointed out to him that his cholesterol was his triglycerides. And you sent him home with a little post-it and said these are good books to read. So guess who got the post-it ready? Because I was the one that did the meals he was working the longer hours so for me there was always this feeling of a bit of responsibility on my shoulders that if we couldn't get his triglycerides down, then it was on my shoulders that it was me it was my cooking. It was what I was feeding him because I was always doing that. So good fat, bad fat or read that so I sorted toyed with staff tried to understand it, didn't really get it. He grew up on bread. He loves bread, loves bread, couldn't understand what I was saying but didn't have time to read. Anyway, fast forward. I've tried a few things. Actually, I've never been a dieter, I wouldn't say I've ever had a weight issue. But then I hit menopause and I had plus-size love handles and Peter probably got a little bit of a love handle. Don't tell him I told you that and anyway, so we actually went I had a visitor and they told me how they'd lost this weight. And I said, How'd you lose weight? And they actually did it on a low-carb diet and I thought well, I'm reading a bit and never really understood it. And it wasn't your diet. It was another one. So we lost weight. My husband told me that actually working this low-carb stuff. So a bit of a light bulb moment for him and then we stopped that because it was too hard. It counted how many tomatoes went in this, do this do that. I'm like, oh, gosh, that's too hard. And I'd see it every week and I'm like, I don't like their recipe. So I'd be searching for other recipes wasting a lot of time. Anyway, so the weight crept back on, but then more for me was the menopause and the symptoms and I found that I wasn't laughing and my skin wasn't as clear. My hair started to fall out and I was getting arthritis. I'm only 57, 56 I'm not in 57 yet, 56 and I was feeling like something was wrong. I need to change and I knew about seed oils but I didn't know the facts. And I saw a dietician and they say –no, you can't have full fat, you've got to have low fat and I was totally confused. So then Lucy popped up on my Instagram or Facebook about this menopause class, right? I'm listening to that. So I did and I did, I sort of listened and I thought, you know, more money, gotta buy another package, bah, blah. And I thought stuff that I'm going to do it to debate me spending the money gonna do it. Oh, my God, it is so easy. It was just a blessing in disguise, I have more energy. I've lost, I can't believe this. I've lost nearly nine kilos and my husband is down to his football-playing weight. But the best thing we had our bloods done, his triglycerides are the lowest they've ever been and it's just amazing! And also his blood pressure is coming down, even with stress, and so forth. So the health change to both of us. My arthritis doesn't hurt like it was. I can walk the dog for ages. I can pick up my granddaughter and everything. It's just heaps better. Heaps better. 

Dr Mary Barson (6:16)   Wow! Oh, that's so good to hear and you guys have done so well. I love hearing all those beautiful health changes. And I love hearing your story as someone who hasn't really struggled with their weight much until the metabolic changes of menopause. And that's a pretty common story, a really common story for women and also, so relatable is your role as this, you know, wife and mum and then grandmom and how you had taken on the role of the family of you know, providing the nutrition and how you took that really like you felt the responsibility of that taking it really seriously. And how you even with wanting to do the right thing reading, learning, seeing dieticians, you were still confused, like there was confusion there. Can you discuss like what helps you break through that confusion? You could talk about, you know, the course, the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance or other things. What is it that helped you find some clarity, I suppose that is what I'm asking. 

Carolyn Crameri (7:24)   It was just every week having something, listening to you mostly I didn't read much of it. I listened to the weekly, what was the information that came through and stuff. And I've got a son who's a scientist. So it was the science behind it all. So it just made clarity, it made sense. I never knew that a potato would become sugar. Like, how does that happen? But now I know how that happens, like. So when we first started and I signed up, my husband was a sport, he actually got really sick and had a very rare cancer diagnosis. And this was like in our first week and stress levels were the highest they'd ever been. We spent three weeks unknown which way this was going to go for him and thankfully, it's gone the right way. But he's had major surgery and so forth. So I'd sit there and I'd put it on loud for him to hear because we couldn't go anywhere or do anything because he was sick. So he began to get an understanding, but it was having everything explained to us that actually made sense. And also the hypnosis when things were really stressful, I would put my headphones on and I'd listen to it. And that's how I managed to sleep at night. And I think the hypnosis, I don't know something's gone on in my head in my subconscious that's just made it all gel. And it's funny I go get petrol now and say to someone, I will say to my current doctor, who was also low carb, and I was saying to her about I go to a petrol station now and I think, oh my God, look at all the food here that we can eat, like, look at how bad this is for us. So the heads daunting to see that and the other part of it was my kids or my daughter and son-in-law, and they're like saying never gonna eat a potato again. And I said, well, I only have to be good 90% of the time. I can have a little glitch like last night we had. We had lamb and we had lots of veggies and stuff. But I love gravy. So I had a little bit of gravy. I'm thinking I haven't had lamb and gravy for weeks it's not going to kill me to have it. So I had the lamb and the gravy. And I just sort of think okay, if I'm good most of the time, it's okay and it works. And the funny thing is we went with them to the local brewery for steak night and they had, so they ordered an estate get chips in their salad for a bargain. My daughter came up and she said can we have no chips and double salad. I looked at her and I said– Pardon? And she said, Oh, yeah, we're on board, mum, we're doing it now too. And I'm like, didn't have to tell them. But I think they could see the changes in us, not just physically, but mentally and how much easier things were and happier we were. And so they did it too my son -in-law lost 10 kilos, I gave him the red list and the green list. And the same thing, not a really overweight person, but love handles, like super fit people. And yeah, so I just think the content the way it's delivered to us, it makes it really easy to understand and I love that there's science behind it. And it's not just, it's not just someone on Instagram or Facebook going, No, you've got to have this, you've got to have that. And I actually had lunch with some girlfriends and a lady was telling me about a natural product for menopause. And she said, oh, you should get it's really good. It's really good. So I looked at that and it had all the things that it would relieve and the advantages of taking it and it wasn't cheap. And I thought I actually said to my doctor, just this week, I said she recommends this. But I don't have those symptoms anymore. They're all gone, the bloating is gone. The irritability, I think sometimes I'll probably still be cranky, my husband might have a different opinion, but I just actually find a laugh at TV shows I didn't laugh at before, and all those little things. So yeah, it's brilliant. It really is brilliant.

Dr Mary Barson (11:41)   You're brilliant and it's this flow-on effect to your wider family as well. That's so fabulous. I love that. I love what you said about you know, you don't need to be perfect because you don't, you don't. It's what you do most of the time, that matters and you can make low-carb gravy if you want to. But you've also you know, if you have some floury gravy every now and again. My goodness me, it doesn't matter. Nothing's gonna happen. You're absolutely fine. Yes, what you do mostly that counts. So I just love how you've, you've had this beautiful healthy transformation with the weight loss and that you have also those menopausal symptoms have reduced. What do you think is like some of the best advice that you could give people who perhaps were suffering some of the same challenges that you were suffering as you entered menopause? Or by the way, I did know about your husband and and his cancer diagnosis right at the start. And that must have been really, really stressful. And it's amazing and you should be so proud that you've made all these healthy changes, despite all that stress. I just wanted to put that out there.

Carolyn Crameri (12:56)   Thank you. The other thing that was a trigger for us is part of our reading was at Christmas time, will read and you know, then the health scare came along was about epic retirement and longevity, as the book Outlive the Science of Longevity, and my husband, the funny thing was he read that book, and then he goes, Do you know that this is really bad for us? Or do you know that we shouldn't be having these then we should be having a bit of protein? I'm like, What have I been saying for five years? So but also to in the beginning, because Pete didn't have a choice to do this because I do the meals. So I love the Mingle green curry. Oh my god, that is so good. But in the beginning, I said and this is what I'm doing. What do you know, it's up to you. So I would do poached eggs and I have my poached eggs on spinach. Now I don't it soaks up the yolk and it's easy. And he would have bread, he'd have a piece of toast. And then I'd say to him, so just do want toast goes. Yep. And then one day he goes, I'll try the spinach. So he has it on the spinach. And then every day I poached eggs. Do you want it on toast or spinach? Now I'm on board. I'll have it on the spinach and we'll make the curries. And I had the probably not really good for him, but I wasn't cooking a heap of rice, I'd have a rice cup. And he'd have a rice cup with all the green curry. And I just ate mine with a spoon so you get all the goodness and whatever. And now he's like, I don't want the rice anymore. So he just naturally and I said you don't have to do it, it's up to you, but he naturally could see the benefits himself and he chose to make those changes himself. So you know, baby steps, I suppose. And for me, it was like I could see the science and whatever and I thought I am a bit of a, you know, all-in sort of person. So yeah, that's how it came about. 

Dr Mary Barson (14:47)   Ah that is so fantastic. If you could sort of describe, you know, how you're feeling before compared to how you're feeling now. What do you think have been the most significant changes for you and for Pete as well?

Carolyn Crameri (15:06)   For Peter, he's always been extremely worried about his heart. He's had, every six months, he has it checked, he's got a family history of heart disease. He's had the calcium score tests, he's had everything. And that has been a big pressure on him on top of the stress of life. So to hit I think, for him, his heart results are just brilliant. So that is the biggest relief for him. For me, I look, I think losing weight is a bonus, but it wasn't the goal. But to feel like, I used to get out of bed and pause and think, Okay, what's going to hurt as I stepped this morning, I just get out of bed now. But I think it's my mood is my big thing. And the biggest compliment I got was when Peter said to someone that's bizarre saying, you know, well, you know, what's the difference? Do you feel any different? Pete goes, she's happier. And that's it, I am happier because, I'm happier because my stomach doesn't blow up in the morning and by lunchtime, I got to take my pants off because they're too tight, you know, but they were fitting earlier in the day, or, you know, I'm not in pain or freaked out one day, it was early on, it might have been in the sugar reset and Lucy made a comment about skin tags, and skin tags and insulin resistance. And I've never had a weight issue and I thought I can't be insulin-resistant. I've got skin tags and I was like, Oh my god. Am I one of those people that is unhealthy on the inside? But my skin tags are shrinking which is bizarre, but I actually got lunch I had with girlfriends, and I said something to her and she's a nurse and she goes, who told you that? And I said the doctors and she's a scientist. So she's got to know the facts. I don't know if it's everything helping my mood or my mood helping everything else. But I'm just happier and in less pain, and just feel really good about myself and I find it's easy. I do enjoy cooking. But it's just simple cooking and I actually had a discussion with my brother. Because people say what are you doing and I go, if it's in a packet, I donate it. Pretty much if it's processed, I donate. I buy meat, but I still have dairy. I love my latte every morning. I have a milk latte. I'm sorry, but I love it. And I still have a little bit of sugar in it. But I do that because that's what I enjoy and that gets me through my day. 

Dr Mary Barson (17:54)   No, I love that, you don't need to be perfect. 

Carolyn Crameri (17:57)   I've fiddled around of taking my glasses to the supermarket to check out the milk and hopefully, I've chosen the best of the devil's and stuff but I love my latte and it's one glass of milk a day. So you know I do that. But I was talking to my brother and it's actually going back to my childhood and he's on his eat similar to this. We grew up we didn't have a lot of money growing up and we had no pantry. My mom was a cook she actually trained in the late 50s, early 60s, no late 50s it must be and she was a bulk cook. So she cooked at the hospitals. So our breakfast would be when there were six to feed it would be a big batch of scrambled eggs. We never had box cereal. We never had cordial, we never had juice. We didn't have a pantry. We had meat and veg every night for dinner and it was our way of life. We never had pasta or we occasionally had rice. But even if we had a biscuit, it was a homemade biscuit. So you knew everything that went in it. So it's sort of going back to my childhood. And it's just that simple way of, you know, grab a few veggies and you know, you can do it nicer if you want to do it with simple stuff. But I'm not bothered. Like it's just easy.

Dr Mary Barson (19:22)   It's really interesting to hear about your childhood. You just ate real food. That's just what it is and now you're eating real food again. That's fantastic.

Carolyn Crameri (19:34)   I think society and media and promotions and food companies have got a lot to answer for because I think I knew it. But it was just all the chatter in your head and everything on everywhere. Like, you know, like I said, you go into the servo and it's like, oh my god, like it's eye-opening now but they've just, you know, it's all been forced upon us and confused us and everything. But yeah, clarity is there now.

Dr Mary Barson (20:05)  Clarity is there, I love that. Can’t, thank you so, so much for sharing your story and being so candid and generous. It's very generous and very inspiring of you to share your story and this wonderful transformation that you've had, that Pete has had, and also flow-on to your daughter and son-in-law as well, I think this change is wonderful.

Carolyn Crameri (20:37)   So I hope so. And the other thing I found too, and I know it's really hard for a lot now is finances. Finances, yes. I actually find, I spend less on food, and we have less wastage and it just makes a difference. Like, meals go further, you are fuller with what you eat, so you don't need as much food. And yeah, I think it actually is a cheaper way of eating, which sounds a bit crazy, because people say, well, meat, so dear. But if you're not having anything else for quite a while, well, you're full anyway. You don't need it. I actually think it's better for the finances. 

Dr Mary Barson (21:18)   Yes. So you're spending less money on food now, less waste and so saving money, whilst also, you know, completely transforming your health.

Carolyn Crameri (21:29)   Absolutely. And the environment because my recycle bins are half-empty most of the time. Like it's just all those things, it's just a benefit for a lot of different reasons. Yeah.

Dr Mary Barson (21:40)   I love that. benefiting your mood, benefiting your finances, benefiting your health. Thank you for sharing that. 

Carolyn Crameri (21:49)   Yes. No worries.

Dr Mary Barson (21:50)   Wonderful human. Is there any final remarks of wisdom or advice that you would like to embark on before we wrap this up? It's been such a wonderful, wonderful interview.

Carolyn Crameri (22:05)   Anyone that's listening, don't wait seven years, like I did. Jump on board. Spend the money and you'll benefit immensely and so will your family, just enjoy it and yeah, I break it. Sometimes I'm not to the tee. But the benefits from you know, cheating every now and then still outweighed anything I've ever done before.

Dr Mary Barson (22:31)   Thank you so so much. Thank you for your time today. You are a beautiful human inside and out. And also you're very healthy on the inside, ow you may have been may have been a TOFI thin on the outside and fat on the inside, I don't know about that. But you're definitely a HOTI - healthy on the inside and out. Absolutely. Now you're a total HOTI. Thank you, wonderful HOTI for coming on today.

Carolyn Crameri (22:57)   Thank you. Thank you. I really appreciate it. It's just wonderful. So thank you so much. 

Dr Mary Barson (23:03)   See ya bye!

Dr Lucy Burns (30:22)  The information shared on the Real Health and Weight Loss podcast, including show notes and links, provides general information only. It is not a substitute, nor is it intended to provide individualised medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, nor can it be construed as such. Please consult your doctor for any medical concerns.

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