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Looking for hormone health support? When you’re under stress, a tight schedule, and you serve everyone else’s needs before your own, it’s hard to get what you need. I offer a helping hand for our reader in this episode.

Here’s where you’ll find all the resources for each episode of the Flipping 50 TV show. If I mention a resource, or share a recipe, give you a special coupon code, I’ll share it or remind you here! Watch the episodes to get to know the featured “guest” question and understand how to make these solutions work for you!

Muscles-in-Minutes

Cardio Exercise that keeps inflammation and cortisol down and boosts hormones that enhance relaxation to balance hormones provides you with better results. That’s exercise that features short bouts of either resistance training or intervals. To avoid aggravating already-inflamed joints, choose exercise that strengthens the muscles without stressing those joints. It’s about assessing the risk-reward ratio. Pushing through the wrong kind of exercise will sabotage your hormone health.

Resistance Training in this episode included:

The Interval Training solutions for short, quick, and effective sessions:

The Minute Made Meals Smoothie Recipe

Here’s one of my favorite recipes for anti-inflammation smoothies you can make in minutes. The right food at the right time will help hormone health too. Don’t forget to watch the episode to get the coupon codes for your special insider discount on Flipping 50’s Paleo Power protein!

hormone health boosting smoothie

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

Add all ingredients to a high powered blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!

The Meals-in-Minutes Taco Seasoning

This is so much better and better for you than the packages of extra sodium and chemical flavoring and coloring you buy at the store. The ingredients here actually help boost hormone health instead of robbing you of it! 

Taco Seasoning for hormone health

Taco Seasoning (for 1# of ground meat)

Hint: consider ground lamb for an Omega 3 anti-inflammation boost

hormone health Flipping 50 TV episode

If you’ve got a question for me share it at Flipping50tv.com and if you’ve got a comment share it below! I love hearing how you’re flipping 50 and improving your hormone health!

2_5325A0D336CE2A subscriber asked recently if I could recommend protein shakes since there are so many of them out there and so many varieties. I decided to share my response (with a few minor changes) to her with you. This is an area I wish everyone would ask more about. There are protein powders that are high quality and there are those full of things you would not knowingly consume.

So, a disclaimer before I launch in: I carry protein shakes. For the exact reason you describe…it’s a confusing mess and a land mine. Worse, 50% are full of carcinogens and artificial ingredients that backfire on the goals most of us have for using them. Plus you have egg, soy, whey, casein, beef collagen, hemp, pea, plant blends to choose from in flavors to make your head spin. Below you’ll find I don’t address egg, soy (ever), casein, hemp, or collagen (though I like and use it – I don’t use it for muscle it’s for connective tissue and other reasons I use it). The things I don’t address are primarily due to either expense, food sensitivities, or something I don’t recommend for anyone (soy).

I swore… up and down loudly for 31 years I would never sell supplements. So, it was a little embarrassing that I jumped on the bandwagon last year  but I seriously found it impossible to locate a high quality protein that didn’t have soy in it, or added vitamins (which can interfere with vitamins you take by competing for absorbency), sucralose or sucrose or something else detrimental to health.

So on the types of proteins available that would be most ideal to choose from:

Plant_Chocolate_BottlePlant_Powered_Girl_Protein_Chocolate_Facts

What’s safe for everyone – Pea or Plant-based blend. This vegan or vegetarian option sometimes can fall short of leucine, however. Leucine is one of the key amino acids you want in a protein if you want to keep and or build lean muscle. You want 2.5 grams per serving if possible. There’s less sensitivity to plant-based proteins for most people. It’s great for vegans and vegetarians or anyone who wants a protein at a time other than around workouts, so that it doesn’t spike blood sugar.

Girls Gone Paleo Vanilla Protein PowderNext is what’s called hydro-beef. Sounds awful, tastes great. It’s an animal protein but still no dairy and no soy. So this one is also great for any time of day, as it won’t spike blood sugar. The contents of my Girls Gone Paleo is 97% real defatted beef protein.

Then there’s whey protein, which is probably the most common protein shake out there. The reason it’s not always best is you really need to first test your sensitivity to dairy to see if you do better without it or it’s fine for you.

I for instance, don’t do dairy milk but do lactose-free cheese and can tolerate whey so I do have it before and or after a vigorous workout. My reactions to dairy weren’t strong when I ate or drank it, but during exercise it was a nightmare. Since stopping dairy over 12 years ago I have fewer stomach issues exercising and my skin is a lot clearer – bonus! Whey is the most rapidly absorbed protein so uptake by the muscles after is fast and it doesn’t sit in your stomach if you have it before exercise.

Your Whey Vanilla Protein PowderThere is quite a bit of recent research about whey’s benefits to the immune system, connection with lowering cholesterol and blood pressure along with risk of stroke. If you’re a woman testing hormones you’re potentially hearing about the need and importance of glutathione. Glutathione is boosted with whey.

Below is a typical day for me that demonstrates how I use various protein shakes.

I am terribly disciplined and have a strong work ethic.. I will workout I know I will… but often work a little too far into morning before my workout and need to eat something more before I am fueled to exercise. I’ll often have a whey shake before a run or weight training.

If I’m having a light lunch or a mid-afternoon snack after an early lunch I’ll have either Plant-Powered Girl or the Girl’s Gone Paleo shake as the protein in a smoothie.

For women who go through a group program with me or opt for private coaching, I’ll sometimes recommend two meals a day of a (lot of veggies, fat and berries included) shake to help boost some nutrient absorbency and ease digestion. When we do, I prefer to have two options so there’s little risk of the same exposure to the same food too frequently.

I hope that helps you make sense of how to add the convenient, (as long as they are) clean, protein options to your diet.

You can read more on the best use of proteins here. 

Debra

P.S. If you’re looking for an easy and delish way to get a smoothie packed with thigh-thinning, waist-whittling protein and micronutrients in it, grab my smoothie guide.

How do you get a flat belly, toned arms, and to fit into your favorite jeans again? When you ask for exercise advice and the reason you’re not making progress is something else…here’s the “should ask question” answered. If you are seeking energy, weight loss, toning up, stamina, libido boost…there’s a good chance it starts here. Yes, you need exercise advice that is right for you right now, but without today’s answer, it won’t work.

Comment and share your question! Please leave a rating in iTunes, it helps a great deal! And come over to foreverfitandfab.com and see how you’re doing compared to habits of the fit and fabulous!

You’ve started and stopped exercise and diets before. You’ve landed in the same spot again and again. It can be going poorly, or going well, and still you can’t seem to stick with it. Here are six obstacles that regularly get in the way of women over 50 who eventually find me because they can’t stick to it, and what we do about them.

Cupcake.

Deprivation

Most diets begin by you cutting out the things that you enjoy. As soon as you say “I can’t have _____, it’s not on my diet,” it’s all you think about. We get so all or nothing that as soon as you do have a spoonful of peanut butter, a slice of pizza, or whatever you’ve deemed off limits, a switch in our minds says, what the heck, I’ve blown it I may as well eat the whole thing…and then some.

The fix: Know what those trigger foods are for you and include them. That’s right: invite them to the party. If you really like chocolate, then plan on having some every day. Don’t wait a week and then risk a stressful situation sending you to the store for an entire bar. Have a small piece after dinner every day. Do it mindfully. Savor it. Just knowing it’s coming and you can have it removes some of the power that food has over you.

Salad.Starvation

Too often calorie cutting diets actually leave you good reason to blow it: you’re hungry! Slashing calories so much you’re weak, can’t focus, or have to endure embarrassing stomach growling requires a lot of willpower to overcome. Most of us have a limited supply of willpower and the time of day we tend to blow it is late afternoon when hormones are low, willpower is low and you just reach your limit. No one can stick to it if they’re constantly hungry. Your body signals you in every way possible that this is not the way to health.

The fix: Swap your calorie slashing for nutrient-dense high protein, high-fiber foods. Fill your plate and bowls with lean protein or fatty fishes, plenty of non-starchy vegetables, and healthy fats. Combine these ingredients into filling, satisfying meals bursting with flavor so you’ll never go hungry while you’re losing weight.

Punishment

Too often a diet or exercise program is punishment. We even joke about how awful a drill sergeant trainer is, or the rabbit food you have to have for lunch. Magazine covers still hint at “killer” exercises that “burn” fat. The reality is you don’t have to burn to be smoking hot.

The fix: When you choose something because you love it, and not just the results promised from it you will stick with it. You’ve had sex by now, I’m guessing. When that’s fun you want more. The same it true of exercise. There are hundreds of exercise options for every component, whether you’re talking cardio, resistance training, or flexibility. If you haven’t found one you love, keep looking!

women eating spaghettiSwimming Upstream

If you are changing your habits, one of two things is happening. 1.) You’re changing and surrounded by people who have your old habits and aren’t choosing your new lifestyle yet. 2.) You’re changing after finally giving in to what someone else wants for you. Neither one of these is going to work. You’re old crowd is going to make it hard to stay on track. You only have so much willpower and if they by accident or on purpose sabotage you with temptations sooner or later you’ll run out. If you don’t want this for reasons of your own you don’t have enough skin in the game. Let’s face it: you have to do the work.

The fix: You’ve got to be motivated enough to do it when it isn’t convenient. Before you start anything related to changing a habit you have to know you’re why. Why is it important to you? The closer to tears that answer brings you the better. Find a reason that’s strong, that’s going to persist for a long time, but also be immediate. Then, surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to be doing and who want to do what you want to do. Sometimes that means spending less time with people who are not going to actively support you.

No Sign of Progress

Weight loss that’s steady and permanent can be slow. You may lose some water weight early but the real tissue change is going to take some time. So while you’re watching the scale stay stuck on the number you don’t like it is discouraging. Who can stick with something like that? It’s especially discouraging the more aforementioned reasons you’ve bailed in the past are true. There’s no sign of progress and you’re supposed to continue doing exercise you don’t like, saying no when your friends ask you to go out, or passing on that birthday cake when your stomach is growling? Most of us would be done.

The fix: Weigh in with more than the scale. Measure yourself. Get your body fat tested. Take pictures. Try on your tight clothes. Test your endurance and strength. Before you start right down a few thoughts about how well you’re sleeping, and how hard it is to go up and down stairs. When the scale that we obsess with so much isn’t telling the truth about your effort, you’ll have these other numbers to give you evidence that there is good stuff going on under the hood.

Question.

Mindset

If you’ve started and stopped before you have a lingering mentality that this is a short term fix and that you’ll go right back to doing what you were doing, in which case you’ll probably also go back to the weight or the fitness level you had before.

The fix: Truly buying into the fact that if you change your habits for good you will look and feel the way you want to is the mindset that wins. It may be hard. Your mindset right now may tell you that genetics have determined your destiny. Your mindset may be that your metabolism is broken and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Becoming aware of your mindset can be a turning point. Listen to how you talk to others and to yourself. Do you use language that suggests what’s true now is going to be true forever? Or do you use language that suggests you’re in control of your choices and they affect your future? Even if you said the former, you can change your mind. Thinking differently is a skill and like anything else it can be learned. It just takes practice.

Been there? Tell me what derailed you. What was the hardest thing about sticking to it?

exercise

In the last decade and more specifically, in the last five years, fitness and exercise trends are moving to “functional fitness” and away from more traditional measures and application of fitness.

If your early adult years were laced with Jane’s “feel the burn” and high impact aerobics or three sets of 10 strength training exercises you may be mentally stuck in what was, what worked, or at least seemed to and what you need now. Yes, your needs have changed but even a 20-something today has new science to use and a more functional approach is optimal.

Today’s post explores and explains traditional, functional, and what I suggest is most ideal as an integrated approach.

If you liken this to medicine, it’s a similar model. Traditionally, in Western medicine we test, get diagnosed, get a prescription. Functionally, we get assessed and treat our symptoms and underlying cause. In an integrated approach, we might use signs and symptoms to determine which testing we need and then gather options for treatment based on what you as a patient (or in fitness, a client) want to do.

Traditional Fitness

If you look at the chart below, you can see that traditionally, we’ve tested physical parameters of fitness that may or may not have anything to do with our success in daily activities of life. In fact, for years the sit-up has been a controversial topic among fitness pros. I for one, have not used sit-ups personally, and was adamant about staff members using it, and never prescribed it for clients, for the past 15 years. It wasn’t until the last 6 months that the US Army finally recognized that sit-ups were injurious and decided to remove them from their physical fitness testing battery.

Functional Fitness

The traditional measures of fitness don’t apply as you work to the right on the chart.

The sit and reach is another test that has faults. Whether you do well on the test or not does not directly correlate to whether or not you can move well through full range of motion or you have a decreased risk for back pain or other compensations while going about your daily life.

Functional Fitness

Let’s move on to functional exercise. The difference here is there isn’t a comparison to normative values that determines an individual’s status. Instead, functional fitness is about assessing where you are, how that information translates into what kind of programming will be most beneficial for you, and how to set early workout intensity to support progress without injury.

The existing argument, if you will, about whether an exercise is functional is misleading. Many will say that lifting weights using machine weights is not functional. Some will say that lifting weights with free weights like a body builder would is not functional. Others yet will say only activities that focus on body weight are truly functional.

Some say that all exercises are on a continuum from least to most functional. I think that’s wrong.

I would suggest the label “functional” applies to whether or not something helps you reach the objective you’ve identified for yourself.

If you are an older adult new to exercise who needs to focus on bone density, machine weights are functional. If you want to be a body builder, then isolating muscle groups to tone, define and look good on stage, is functional. If you want to pick up grandchildren and continue to garden, all kinds of activity and weight loads will be functional for you.

Integrated Fitness

An integrated approach looks at outcomes or need-based starting points. If you’re not sleeping well, there is an exercise prescription for that. If you’re stressed, there is an exercise prescription for that. If you have signs or symptoms like chronic fatigue, “hangover” effect in the morning without having had the fun, belly bloat or digestive issues, there is an exercise prescription coupled with nutrition change for that.

Just as we’re learning with diet, sleep needs, and the way we deal with stress, there is no one size fits all. It’s unique to you. Depending on your goals and then upon your preferences (insisting on doing anything you hate is not functional!) an integrated outcome that benefits sleep, stress, digestion, and addresses the signs and symptoms that you’re not at your optimal health is ideal. You’ll use bits and pieces of each.

The suggestion here is that you instead of starting with an assessment of how many sit-ups and push-ups you can do, you begin with your current lifestyle habits and look at how can exercise support those. Look at how you move and correcting anything that prevents exercise from being comfortable. Then there will be a >< effect. Your lifestyle habits will positively affect fitness and your fitness will positively affect lifestyle habits. You can start from either side.

Join my community for special updates that I only share with my subscribers. This week I dive into a brand new study about how much weight you need to lift.

womancoveringfacewithsheet

Want more energy during the day and more restful sleep at night? Then you’re going to love this. The secret to getting better results from your exercise and nutrition is getting more sleep. The secret to getting more sleep lies in your exercise and nutrition. I won’t neglect the importance of some specific bedtime habits – sleep hygiene, if you will – habits that also contribute. If you haven’t optimized your plan to be an overnight success during the day, though, waiting until the hour before bed to think about your sleep may not get you the restful beauty sleep you want.

I often work with clients who list weight loss, bone density, energy, or knowing what to do as their top goals. I also work with clients whose goals are better sleep, even before they know their goals are better sleep. You see, sleep is the missing link for your optimal everything. Skin, energy, digestion, appetite, muscle definition, fat burning, stress relief. Need I go on? Sleep should be looking pretty sexy about right now. Oh, and that is an added perk too. Too tired, honey, may no longer be a part of your vocabulary.

Just as there is an exercise and nutrition prescription for weight loss, bone density, or improving balance, there is one for sleep. Below I share nine tips for all day energy that lead you into all night recovery, rinse and repeat.

  1. Wake at the same time every day. There’s no sleeping in. Your biological clock needs consistency. So, if your weekday schedule dictates you have to get up at a specific time, then your weekend schedule needs to be the same.
  2. Get exposure to sunlight for 15 minutes first thing every day. If it’s o’dark hundred when you have to wake, turn the lights on and get intimate with them. You are already helping to increase melatonin production that boosts sleep by doing this. Read the paper, have your coffee, or meditate on the deck. You might want to invest in a light box if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder and live in the northern hemisphere.
  3. Do your intense exercise early in the day. This trick works with your stress hormones rather than against them. Understandably, that may not be possible for you, but when it is it’s worth it. Shift your calming, relaxing movement to later in the day.
  4. Fuel your morning and your fat burning with 35 grams of protein for breakfast. Yes, shakes make that easier. If you’re open to having lunch or dinner for breakfast, that works too. Most of us get breakfast wrong. Eating a couple eggs, or cereals and toast not only don’t reach the level of protein you want, but provide too many carbohydrates at a time you don’t need them. Read on to learn why.
  5. Drink plenty of water between meals. Keep your water intake between meals so you don’t interrupt digestion of your meals. Drink to clear urine. Gradually increase your water intake if it’s lower than 6-8 glasses. Your body will adapt best with 1/2 cup more daily for a week before you increase again than it will by just flooding your system to reach the daily quota. For most people ideal is somewhere between 6 and 10 cups a day. Test yourself. Skin, digestion, and energy will all improve when you’re at your optimal intake.
  6. At lunch and dinner include 25-30 grams of protein along with plenty of veggies and well-targeted carbohydrates in an increasing amount during the day. That is, some at breakfast, more at lunch, and the most at dinner. Not intuitive, right? You’re very likely doing the opposite and some “expert” may have told you to do it that way. To balance your hormones if stress is high and or sleep is lower than you need it to be, you want more carbohydrates at night in order to get a good night’s sleep. If you sleep well, you’ll have fewer cravings and lose weight and gain energy easier.
  7. Late day exercise should be light. It can include a leisurely walk outdoors, stretching, or yoga. Keep it light and relaxation-enhancing rather than stimulating.
  8. Start your bedtime routine about 90 minutes before lights out. Shut off the screens. Yes, all of them. TV may be the one exception but if you’re really sleep deprived or have insomnia, even that. Read, journal, take a bath. What works is individual to you so experiment but then set a regular routine. sleep and alarm clock
  9. Lights out at the same time each night. Honor heavy eyelids and yawning. If you wake at the same time daily, your body will begin to tell you when to go to sleep so you can get what you need. Some of us need nine hours, some only six-and-a-half. If you need more sleep, do everything you can to guard it. In You Still Got It, Girl! I share a sleep needs test. Sleep is the gatekeeper to slowing the clock, turing up the metabolism, and revving up your energy all day tomorrow.

I’d love to hear from you. Is sleep a problem for you? Can you connect low sleep to weight you don’t want or energy you lack?

Thyroid health, fatigue and weight related disorders are the topic with my guests Heather and Damian Dube, co-Founders of e3 Energy Evolved, a thyroid, autoimmune & metabolism restoration system helping women & men create their lifetime-best natural wellness & fat loss with no fitness.

Curious about the signs and symptoms of thyroid issues? Wonder what your options are?  Listen now.

Connect with Heather and Damian for a free gift:

http://e3energyevolved.com/gifts

Add your questions and comments below. I love to hear from you.

Kettle Bell.

An Optimal Exercise Schedule for Weight Loss?

The conversation about cardio first or strength training first is a long-standing one. A fairly large body of research over the three decades I’ve been teaching fitness have collectively said that order doesn’t have a lot of significance.

That said, I’ve always shared with my clients and customers, or students that whatever you do last will be harder. Do the highest priority thing first. That brings me to a recently published study that found strength exercise performance is negatively impacted when cardiovascular exercise precedes it.

If you’ve read previously published blogs (in fact, look at Tuesday of this week!) on weight training and their value for weight loss or body composition optimization (losing body fat!) then you know it’s crucial to lift heavy weights so long as your joints will allow it. This new study suggests that you may be compromising your ability to do that if you do any of four types of cardio that were tested in the study before it. The different types included aerobic endurance, as well as interval training and two moderate workouts between these extremes. It’s safe to say that all cardio reduced the resistance training performance of the subjects.

Screen_Shot_20160102_at_5_0740EF9499E8AHow To Plan Your Resistance and Cardio Exercise

So what should you do based on that information?

With a little planning, you can still get quality cardio and quality strength training, even on the same days if necessary. Two potential options are included below.

  1. Plan your higher intensity cardio days, whether thats longer duration or its high intensity intervals on days when you don’t strength train. Do  your strength training on the alternate days.
  2. Do two-a-days. Plan either your strength or your cardio early in the day and the other late in the day. For a slight hormone advantage I would recommend the cardio early and strength late. If you must get both in on certain days due to a specific schedule, this will give you the opportunity to recover before doing the strength training. You need to take full advantage of hydrating, getting adequate protein and the right kind of calories, and even elevating your feet if you can (under the desk!?) to boost recovery.

It’s important to keep in mind that as we age resistance training should become a more major player in our fitness routine. If you’ve always treated it as a kind of sidekick to say, your group fitness classes, or you hit a couple machines after cardio, it’s time to rethink. If you give resistance training it’s due spot of importance in your workout you will find your progress and results are boosted.

Lifting weights? Tell me about your schedule. Any questions about how to make it work for you?

Is it more weight and fewer reps or less weight and more reps? Should you weight train for an hour twice a week or every day for less time? Answers to all your questions here. Leave a comment below the show and share a question with me that you have at flipping50tv.com

In You Still Got It, Girl! The After 50 Fitness Formula For Women, I outlined three different resistance training protocols for improving fitness based on goals. If weight loss (including optimal body composition), bone density, or better function (for sport or improved movement) has the highest priority for you, your weight training methods should reflect that.

All women, in other words, shouldn’t have the same weight training routine. Women who most want to focus on weight loss will have a protocol most optimal for reaching that goal. For women who most want to focus on bone density or want to improve balance there are different ideal protocols.

Power applied to strength training exercises has been proven to increase the energy expenditure of an exercise session (during that session), and has a slight edge over bone density improvements compared to traditional heavy weight training. Traditional lifting with a weight you can lift no more than 10 times is associated with optimal bone density. Lifting this load is most often is done lifting in a 1-2 count lift and a 3-4 count lower, in other words, slow and controlled. Lifting a weight 10 times to fatigue correlates to 80% of a 1-repetition maximum. (For safety the repetition ranges are used rather than actually testing 1-rep maximums).

weights and cardio

Power involves a speed component. Lift as quickly as possible, and lower with control. You would want to add this power component only after you’ve built a strong foundation of strength and integrity in joints and muscles over a period of weeks or months. You also reduce the weight slightly in order to be able to achieve the actual power. New research gets more specific about what weight range helps reach optimal power.

A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research provides even more specific recommendations for using power during your workout. The optimal power produced varied by weight load for 70 subjects in the study (average age 70). Power has been indicated at about 60% of a 1-rep max, or equivalent to a 15-repetition range. You would identify the weight you can lift 15 times but no more. This new study suggests optimal power varies per exercise.

Lat pulldown

With the chest press and seated row the optimal power was at 50%. With Lat Pull-down, peak power was a 40% and leg press, leg curl, and calf raise peak power were all at the prior recommended 60% of 1-rep maximum.

Use the chart below to give you an idea of how to choose a weight based on repetition range if you are ready to implement power into your resistance training sessions. You would select the weight using slow controlled motion using the following chart. Then apply the power movements as quickly as possible (controlling lowering movements) for 10 repetitions.

Exercise Repetition Range
Chest Press

20

Seated Row

20

Lat Pull-Down

28-30

Leg Press

15

Leg Curl

15

Calf Raise

15

The study used machine weights, specifically pneumatic machines, that keep the speed component from increasing injury risk with momentum. Be careful if you choose to implement with other types of machine weights and/or free weights. (Video 2 in the You Still Got It, Girl video series demonstrates safe use of power with free weights).

Given what we know about muscles losses with age, lifting weights with adequate intensity is a given for those of us who wish to age well with the ability to do what we want while we’re here.

Are you lifting weights? I’d like to hear from you about how you select your protocol and if you’re getting results.

Contact Debra

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