Ever wonder why you train and you eat right but you’re not seeing that reflection in the mirror you want? This post is about results of my DNA test and how it’s given me – even a 34-year medical fitness expert and strength & conditioning coach– insight into exercise, nutrition, and recovery habits – that have in a very short time boosted my fitness level.
Get fit faster, in less time. That’s the dream for so many of my clients. Granted you may really enjoy exercise and like training but there’s a better chance that until you turn a corner on feeling better you aren’t quite there yet
Whether you are a woman who wants to reclaim her body or you are one who wants to see what her body is capable of in this second (and make-it-better) half, this is for you!
If you find yourself dealing with a chronic injury or one after the other and stuck in a rut repeating the same kind of exercise and nutrition habits without better results, this is for you too.
Before I dive in, I want to remind you who I am. I do love exercise. I wish I had more time to not have to “bookend” workouts with appointments and obligations. I do though. That’s just the moment I’m in and I choose it, so it’s OK! That said, if you don’t have the time to exercise, maybe don’t love it, this makes me a little more like you. I don’t love a lot of things about exercise right now: the shoving it in when I’ve got too many other things to do; the fact that it seems like a chore instead of a pleasure some times. I know and have for 36 years that I never regret it and always feel better/work better/am me better after. Even then I suppose I’m tied to doing rather than being, which… is an entire other post for another day.
I’ve studied exercise physiology, kinesiology, and hormones, and I’ve listened to myself for 34 years. (exercise & sport psychologists tend to be good at that) And I had a lot of things right. But there is more.
I’ve learned from a simple swab on the inside of my cheeks that either confirmed things I was doing already, informed me of things I should be doing, and suggested things that will make my 2019 the most fit year of my life.
Are you, by the way, interested in having your fittest year too? (Hop down to the bottom of the post!)
And since September when I began applying changes? I’ve lost a few pounds and enhanced my energy level… without much effort. (Oddly, sometimes I find myself thinking, huh… usually I’m tired about now… and I’m just not!)
Can you tell which one of these I share DNA with?
>>I “rise & rest early.”
Yes, yes, I do. Always have. I smile in fact when people tell me, “I’ve been up since 5:30 this morning…” or even, “I woke at 4 today…” because I’m like… and? I’ve always liked getting a head start on the day. On the flip side, I have been known to go to bed before it’s completely dark in summer.
>>My current supplements D3, Omega 3, Probiotics, C, and multivitamin of choice are right on target. They’re related to metabolism and stress so it makes sense for women in midlife to be aware of possible deficiencies.
>>I need a little more D (it comes up in several areas of my DNA results) so my habit of taking 3000 IU daily I’m actually bumping up during winter months. Though there’s ample sunshine here, I tend not to get out nearly as much in the winter so I’ll be missing D from sunshine.
>>I am predisposed to gluten sensitivity. This has helped me feel committed not crazy. Know what I mean? You have the suspicion you feel so much better without it but no confirmation on that …and its harder to follow through. Now it’s easy. I thought this for a long time and it will inevitably creep in because I don’t have Celiac I don’t have to be so careful, but I know now to ask and be more careful.
>>Carbs of choice for me (as for all women flipping 50) are important. For me there’s higher risk of obesity due to insulin response. Supplementing with Conjugated ALA supports insulin so I can keep an eye on a few things. If for example I had belly fat not budging in spite of quality sleep and exercise for instance, I would consider supplementing.
>The best way to enhance my fitness level is … endurance activity. So in spite of interval training benefits and anaerobic (weights) training, which science tells us balance hormones optimally (by negating negative effects of cortisol while working magic), I personally want to slide that to a smaller percentage of my exercise time. Longer bikes, hikes, runs and swims will do my body a fitter faster good. For someone who did a single sprint triathlon, two Olympic-distance tris, and then moved right on to Ironman distance and never looked back? This is no surprise.
>My sleep habits are right on target! Excusing myself early from parties is smart! I have a higher sensitivity to blue light. Since I am predisposed to a shorter sleep length and deep sleep (which was one big surprise my DNA results delivered: this confirms my habits make this no problem at all: win!) The blue light glasses I got my son for Christmas should likely be on my own list. Done.
>>Even though I deal with stress like a “warrior” and endurance exercise is my jam, I am predisposed to oxidative stress and more prone to ligament and tendon injury. What’s that tell me? Fit the yoga in girl. Keep up with strength training. Warm up and cool down like a boss. Doing hills? (hello, I live in the mountains) longer warm up and occasionally a drive to a flat is not silly, it’s smart. I also want to increase antioxidants in my life. Keep taking that vitamin C and collagen.
>>A high fat diet is not my best friend. For me there is an increased association of saturated fat and obesity. Along that thread high protein and more carbs (resistant starches and plant-based nutrition) will fill my energy needs. I’ve never had a problem with a higher carbohydrate diet as long as protein was also higher. The place where this resolves the most confusion is during longer training. I do better with a higher protein and carb combination than I do one too high in fat. Though I’ve experimented with shifting my ability to use fat at higher levels of intensity, my body’s preference is carb. A hike? Fats are fine. A long run or bike ride? I’m going to need carbs.
>>I have a predisposition for choline deficiency. Interestingly this is tied to liver enzyme levels.Last year mine were off for reasons we never really detected given my lifestyle doesn’t suggest anything that would contribute. Supplementing with choline however wasn’t suggested. I did stop drinking tap water which could have heavy metals in it, and used infrared sauna regularly (gladly!) I will keep tabs on my choline and liver enzymes and have this information to use if needed.
>>I’m more subject to oxidative stress. Taking conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) can benefit me in a few ways. Reducing oxidative stress I can decrease risk of injury. CLA also supports a decrease in body fat.
>My higher homocysteine levels revealed in my recent lab tests are genetic. I have less frustration now over why I would have these levels given my healthy habits. So I’m adding probiotics, folate, and Betaine HCL to my regime consistently to see if a focused effort for three months will reduce homocysteine (an inflammation marker).
>>A twice annually micronutrients test will be helpful to determine my levels in order to adjust my micronutrients. Since I already order a full panel of tests annually and this is such a simple daily habit to enhance lifetime health, I’m in. I’ll test again at the beginning of the year, adjust if needed, and retest in the summer.
>>I want to check my B vitamins, D levels, Omega fat ratios, and magnesium levels specifically.
The goal is to take supplements I need and eliminate those you don’t. It’s not a one and done kind of thing however, your body’s needs changes with activity, stress, rest in this integrated thing called life. Your body simply can’t have a thriving metabolism or balanced hormones if you’re not getting or absorbing micronutrients.
It’s two months since getting my results and implementing changes (or simply following through better with existing habits). I’ve lost a few pounds without really trying and my fitness level has improved, not measured from testing but in energy. So much energy.
I’m not done though. Beginning January 1, 2019 will be my fittest year. I’m committing to it and to myself. I want to see what difference a year of focused training makes at 54-55 on speed, VO2, body fat, lean muscle, and cholesterol, heart rate and of course, hormone levels.
I’ll assess my fitness, health, and wellness throughout the year, including hormones, micronutrients, VO2, body composition, and health markers so I can adjust as needed. I’ll be posting about it in so many ways, beginning January 1.
Want to join me and create your fittest year ever with me as your coach? Here’s how to get started.
Or skip to the order form.
Register for I’m all in or (12) monthly installments.(contact me for no-interest 12 pay)
P.S.I hear your resistance because I’ve got it too. If you’re thinking this just sounds like a long list of supplements I have to take, it does. I think it’s fair to ask why we don’t question the increased toxic exposure we have, the increased pace of life, and decreased time to relax and yet still think we don’t need a little help from the positive side.
The elephant in the room… no one ever said to me, “I love taking supplements.” But I’ve heard hundreds of thousands of women say, “I like feeling good,” or “I want to feel good.” Testing helps you see what’s true right now about why you don’t feel as good as you could. Whether it’s a complete panel, micronutrients, food sensitivity, or it’s DNA or all of them, when you know better you do better.
Are you flipping this second half with me? I’d love to hear which tools (DNA testing, full lab panels, micronutrient testing, food sensitivity testing you’re using to stop guessing and get great results!)
Ready to Test? This Month it’s a great gift for yourself or someone else! Choose from GOLD, PLATINUM, or ELITE. Click here or the image to learn more about each. use code: genes for 20% off right now!! Includes a personalized results form and full session with me to go over recommendations. Limited time offer!
Compared to other nutritious choices green smoothies give you some of the best value for nutrient dense calories and for cost.
The cost of a green smoothie is about $4 for 16-32 ounces.
Plus you get fiber, fat, protein AND several servings of vegetables and fruit in one convenient and quick meal. To make it just a little bit easier to save, use this 10% off coupon right now. It’s GOODFOOD10 (You can save 15% every day on your order of 6 or more at a time: round up your girlfriends!)
A plateful of cooked veggies plus protein, plus healthy fat OR a salad could cost you 2 or 3 times that and take 4 times the two minutes a smoothie takes to make (including clean up). Even then it may not have the same nutrient-density you can pack into a smoothie.
You can choose from dozens of ways to boost the nutrient-density of your smoothies with ideas right here. You can even support your hormone balance further by adding some adaptogens (hormone-balancing ingredients that work when you need them) listed here.
The secret to loving the body you live in now and having longevity later is eating moderate amounts of the highest nutrient dense foods. In other words, make every bite, or sip or spoonful, count.
I’ve had a smoothie following tough workouts or runs since I was 31, that’s 23 years and counting. For almost that long it’s been my go-to breakfast or even lunch if I’m on a tight schedule. That all was long before I knew I some day wouldn’t synthesize protein as well and would want every boost possible. But then I fell in love with the way I felt and the rest was history.
I’ve used a lot of commercial protein powders – before I realized the chemicals and sweeteners lurking in some of those I used for too long. Then there was the discovery that estrogen dominance was much more likely using soy powders (and other soy products). I ditched those years ago.
I swore I’d never… famous last words… carry protein supplements. Frankly, dealing with products and inventory, depending on suppliers and delivery trucks is not a party. But it’s the only way I feel comfortable recommending something that is void of toxins and increases your results. Muscle IS the organ of longevity. Micronutrients have to be present in adequate amounts to produce hormones. Without hormones exercise and nutrition can’t work.
To combat muscle loss that will otherwise happen with age you’ve got to LIFT right, REST right, and eat adequate protein along with a veggie-rich diet at each of three meals. If you struggle to gain lean muscle, you’re already frail, or you’ve got evidence of collagen losses (crepe skin) you will benefit from a protein powder that’s also rich in collagen.
There is no shortcut to keeping or rebuilding muscle you’ve lost. It’s not personal opinion. It’s science, and it’s proven in the 34 years I’ve trained older adults. If you’re muscle and fat percentages are not as good (or better) as they were when you were 30, the first place I look is your nutrition. The second is your exercise, and third your recovery.
First time with protein shakes and smoothies? My bestseller is vanilla Plant Power. Vanilla is just versatile! If you’re feeling like a tropical mango smoothie is your jam it works, and if you want to add cacao for a chocolate treat, you can do that too. It’s no surprise though that Chocolate Paleo Power is my next bestseller. Add a dollup of nut butter and half a frozen banana and you’ve got yourself a chunky monkey craving killer. [recipes here]
Did you know that protein + fiber kills cravings? Yep. It’s proven in study after study. Women with higher fiber intake tend to have less fat too. Fiber sweeps toxins from your body where they otherwise get stored in fat, making fat harder to lose. That’s your body protecting you from allowing toxins to circulate in your body. Adding chia seeds, ground flax, or Fiber Boost to smoothies is an easy way to bump your fiber intake starting in the morning.
Can’t imagine being satisfied with a liquid meal? (Have you seen my smoothie bowl? It’s pretty rich, thick and creamy!) I can’t imagine not having smoothies! But still, this is valid concern for some of my Flipping 50 students. The answer is, have your solid meal and a side shake to get that protein and fiber level up. A plateful of veggies and eggs plus a shake or a bowl of oats with protein stirred in is a stick-to-your ribs-not-your-hips way to feel good ‘til lunch.
Join us for a happier New Year!
Want to kick your year off with healthy smoothie recipes and real food made in realistic time for busy women? Join the kickstart! It’s on sale for the New Year for a limited time only. Only for January 2019 and it ends soon.
I’m pulling back the curtain on Flipping 50 programs in this post. Every single belly fat solution here is included in the 28-Day Kickstart and the After 50 Fitness Formula for Women.
Whether you want or need to lose weight or it’s just the belly fat won’t budge, OR you want to get your energy and mojo back, these are the pieces (and each you’ll see is tied to research (included below). I’m a prove-it-to-me girl, too.
It all starts (and ends) with these steps. They aren’t core exercises. Your core muscle may need attention but if you’re exercise habits didn’t change yet belly fat did, you’ve got to look at the whole picture. Exercise alone though isn’t the answer. You’ve got to set yourself up for: wanting to exercise, energy to do quality exercise, and the recovery through nutrition that supports positive exercise change.
Eating 30 grams of fiber each day – even if you do nothing else – could improve weight loss significantly. Subjects in a study followed either a more complex diet and increased fiber or only increased fiber. Both groups lost weight. The group that followed all changes did best, but only by a marginal increase.
Simply said, increasing sugar intake, making no other changes, increases body fat, while decreasing sugar, making no other changes, decreases body fat. When belly fat won’t budge take a closer look at what you’re eating you don’t recognize as sugar.
I say “limit” sugar as opposed to omit because eliminating is almost impossible. Fruit is sugar. A sweet potato is sugar. Beets are sugar. So you want to be aware of the fact that your body just recognizes sugar once it’s in the body. It doesn’t say, oh, this sugar is from pineapple or beets, it’s good, and digest it differently. When food gets broken down and it rapidly turns to sugar as it’s digested, the good stuff too can spike your blood sugar and therefore your fat storage.
Protein is the single most important nutrient for weight loss.
It boosts metabolism, reduces appetite, and positively changes several weight-regulating hormones (GIP, and ghrelin are two).
Lower calorie diets (moderate intake compared to excess or calorie restricted) with high nutrient density including protein are key to maintaining muscle while losing fat weight.
Per meal recommendations of 25-30 grams of protein benefit metabolism and body composition both. Surprisingly, for my clients energy has also been a big benefit – even within the first week.
Fish oil can reduce inflammation and cortisol, which in turn help fat metabolism and lean muscle gains. In adults over 50 there’s a resistance to gaining lean muscle tissue, so if you do find it harder to lose weight, there’s a reason. But you can overcome it and fish oil may be a part of your arsenal. A study showed taking 4 grams of fish oil daily alleviates that resistance to adding muscle that can come (does not HAVE to) with age. Further, Omega 3 supplementation boosted the ability of the body to gain muscle from protein in the diet. Add that to your proper exercise and you’re golden for longevity you love.
You want to get the bad stuff out and the good stuff in. I know you’re reading that a small percent of the population is actually celiac (allergic to gluten). Yet a high percent of us are actually sensitive to gluten, and it can indeed affect your weight.
No. If you’re sensitive you want to be 100% “in” on getting things that disturb your gut “out.” At some point you may retest (lab or literally with food) to see how you’re doing. You may heal your gut and be able to handle it again. But having some every day, having a little here and there? Just no. If you really want to feel better, you won’t.
If you think some of the foods you have to give up are addicting, wait until you feel good on a daily basis. You’ll never go back.
Oh, and those addictive foods (or over exercise, for that matter?) are exactly a clue (the I can’t give it up, I have to…) that it’s ADDICTION not healthy choice.
Women need carbohydrates to be happy. Carbs support sleep. If your mood and energy tank while you’re on a diet it’s not likely you’re going to see sustained weight loss. You need to identify the right carbohydrates and the right time to eat them. It’s not intuitive! Your exercise will be so much more effective if you’ve got the right fuel.
There are details you want to be aware of when it comes to carbohydrates we’ve been led to believe are “healthy.”
Eating too much lectin could interfere – molecule bind to leptin receptors, inhibiting leptin’s ability to signal that you’re full. Beyond that lectins can cause digestive issues after long time exposure, but can go undetected except for the inability to lose weight. Removing high lectin foods – like the 6-11 servings of grain a day recommended by the USDA food pyramid is a good start. Dried beans, legumes, soy and peanuts, even quinoa and nightshades contain them.
I learned that my DNA predisposes me to gluten sensitivity (and foods with lectin are almost all also full of gluten) so I have a stronger commitment to eliminating them now. More about testing your DNA.
Leptin resistancedevelops when inflammation is present. Reduce inflammation by supplementing with Omega 3 and or eating omega-3 rich foods like salmon and sardines regularly. I do both, as well as avoiding lectin-containing foods whenever possible.
The very thing you’ve been trying to do backfires on you big time. If you reduce calories your body shuts down (metabolism and hormone production – including leptin). For women in menopause fasting may or may not be right for you. Discuss with a coach your past and present situation including relationship with food first.
Fasting? Alternate day fasting did not benefit midlife women in a weight loss study.
Decreasing caloric intake overall combined with increased protein intake and meal replacement (e.g. smoothiefrom clean quality protein) supported not only results but compliance. It seems fasting is just too extreme to maintain and often results in a binge that follows. That said, if you’re inclined and you can, intermittent fasting won’t hurt your results: it just won’t necessarily boost or enhance them.
HIIT stimulates growth hormone (and testosterone) which stimulates leptin.
Long endurance exercise will kill your efforts. More is not more. More is self-sabotage. This is a mixed and complicated message, I know.
Yes, you need to move more.
However, you need to exercise LESS.
You want to do focused short exercise sessions that include HIIT, weight training, AND low intensity movement.
Your effective workouts can be 10 or 20 minutes long most days of the week and then longer “play” on the weekends.
Moving more is about what you do all day every day. The 30 minutes of “exercise” is not going to save you from sitting on your bum 23.5 hours a day.
When you start eating better, and because of it sleeping better, and exercising to get better at life, you will naturally be inspired to move more each and every day. Twenty-three hours more movement daily even at a lower level than you exercise for 30 is what makes the MOST difference between those overweight/obese and not. So yes, exercise, but move more all day for the most impact on your health and hotness.
If you skip sleep and it’s importance or are ignoring the things you do have power over to sleep better, your leptin levels can be 15% lower than if you were sleeping. So Ghrelin (the hunger hormone) production is elevated and Leptin (your satiety hormone) is down without sleep.
Want support with making these changes in a way that’s not overwhelming?
Take 28 Days and feel better fast. Four weeks is going to pass anyway. You A.) change nothing and feel the same, B.) try something extreme and feel worse, or C.) you could do this with me and feel way better! (I’d choose “C”!)
Are you in the calorie counting doesn’t work camp or the calorie counting is king cult?
Then you of course are part of the calorie counting culture. It’s hard not to be with numerous messages coming at you.
A 2018 study showed that there is no universal weight loss approach works for all individuals. There is a wide variability in weight loss response to low fat, low carb and some diets work better for some individuals than others.
You will not lose weight following a strict “diet” though you may, if you work with a blueprint, find your right approach. DNA may have something (a lot, actually) to do with it.
After 54 years on the planet and 36 years as a fitness enthusiast I’ve found by trial and error much of what my DNA testing confirmed about me:
There goes that excuse to add guacamole to everything.
Though I eat a considerable amount of fat now compared to my habits even a decade ago, I don’t follow a high fat diet. I have a predisposition for issues with high saturated fat so I avoid it (although research in the last 10 years has revealed saturated fat is not the villain it once was: it’s the combined intake of increased processed carbs and saturated fats that is deadly). I also do a considerable amount of strength training (relative to total exercise time, not a lot of time per week) because I love my bones and I need muscle. Any woman of 30 who is not weight training should start. Yesterday.
But for me, strength training “more” is just wasted energy. Thank goodness I didn’t have aspirations of becoming a body builder.
You need to know you, and your DNA, if you really want the whole scoop on your exercise programming. If you know the exercise (or diet changes) you’re doing matter, you’re going to be far more committed to doing them. It’s the age-old, what’s measured matters.
I don’t love taking pills or supplements any more than you. But I regularly test my micronutrient levels … and for good reason. I’ve found that I’m predisposed to deficiencies in Vitamin D, magnesium, B6 and B12, as well as have a tendency toward a less-than-optimal Omega 6:3 ratio. Thankfully, I’ve been taking D, Omega 3, and additional magnesium as well as a multi that provides significant levels of B vitamins.
Having my DNA results (for life! They’re not going to change!) I’ll be able to more consciously track my energy, tolerance to stress, and check B levels diligently to determine if I need to supplement. My iron levels also showed up on my DNA. Go figure, I can blame my parents for that one. I’ve always been in low range of healthy and suffer a little at altitude as a result. Ego hit: I’m a poor adapter to altitude.
The study on calories, publishedin JAMA, may kick calorie counting to the curb. It found that people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and highly processed foods while concentrating on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods — without worrying about counting calories or limiting portion sizes — lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year.
Does it matter?
Before you test DNA, based on this study, it’s important first to have a high quality diet. It’s important that you’re willing to commit to that. Subjects in this study were all from the Bay area, well educated, with access to plentiful high quality food.
They didn’t eat potato chips, or pop, or muffins. They chose brown rice, sweet potatoes, and vegetables. The fats they chose were olives, avocado, nut butters and grass-fed pasture-raised animal foods.
Step 1: Flip the carbs you are eating for better carbs, and the fats you’re eating for better fats.
Step 2: Change your food timing to improve hormone balance.
Step 3: Start exercising.
Step 4: Test your DNA and find out what your genetics suggest about additional nutritional changes, testing for micronutrients you may be deficient in, and your optimal exercise programming by consulting with a coach.
Results did show consistent effects of the diets on cholesterol levels. Healthy low carb diets increased HDL and triglycerides decreased. Healthy low fat diets favored improved LDL (decreased) levels. Note: calorie counting does nothing necessarily to influence these outcomes. You’ve got to go deeper.
HDL = “Happy” cholesterol
LDL = “Lousy” cholesterol
The quality of food strategy worked for people (subjects average age: 40) whether they followed diets that were mostly low in fat or mostly low in carbohydrates. Further, their success did not appear to be influenced by their genetics or their insulin-response to carbohydrates.That may sound conflicting to my suggestion to gather all your personal information, but I still stand that the more you know, the better you’ll be able to choose.
It isn’t all calories in calories out. Quality counts. For a woman in peri-menopause and beyond hormones play a big factor. Your “healthy” is not someone else’s healthy. Your gut health (impacted by what you eat and stress and exercise) influences your hormones.
Your genetics do predispose you and yet your actions in your environment change the expression of those genetics. Learn more about genetics and coaching based on your results here.
While in the midst of writing this blog a subscriber shared an article outlining a study published featuring low carb diets may support weight loss maintenance. (I’ve included it in resources).
Here’s how I responded:
Fact: Low fat and low carb diets do EQUALLY WELL when the quality of the diet is changed.
Fact: For women 50+ (My ONLY focus at Flipping 50) hormone status of the woman must be taken into account and diet outcomes must positively influence body fat or it simply doesn’t make long-term success a possibility. Energy expenditure was shown to increase on a low carb diet in the study shared however, body composition change wasn’t documented in the study.
That’s a gap.
There’s not large probability that this research is directly applicable to a women in peri-menopause and beyond given the 18-65 year old male and female subjects. That’s not to say it won’t work, but there’s no direct correlation that can be made.
Always ask: “Was this done on women just like me?”
Weight is relatively easy to lose following any number of plans regardless of who you are genetically if you follow a moderate intake high quality diet.
What we want to know is does it reduce body fat and maintain lean… in WOMEN in peri-menopause and beyond? Few are addressing and advocating for Flipping 50 women. That’s ALL we do here.
In my case they do. Strongly. For myself and the clients and colleagues who have tested genetic markers there’s a correlation between the predispositions and the right exercise and nutrition that provides them with results.
I get it. We crave structure. How ironic! As much as we don’t like rules and limits, we do operate best with them much of the time. There’s truth in the fact structure provides freedom. So if you’re having a hard time actually knowing where to start if you’ve been a calorie counting, point tracking gal for a long time, you are not alone. Work with a coach, whether privately or in a group, to help you make the shift. This is a multiple times of day activity that has a major impact on your living your best life.
Ready to test? If you’re reading this during our week of feasting, my DNA Gold package is on sale. You can read more about it and what the results will tell you here. Use Gold50 for a limited time: it ends Cyber Monday.
Stay tuned! If you’re intrigued about DNA testing I’ll be sharing what I learned from DNA testing I did using each of our three test options.
I’m flipping traditions with these 4 protein-packed snacks, desserts, even breakfasts in this post!
I don’t know about you but in our family the baking began Thanksgiving week. It seems like Thanksgiving evening in fact we used to ice sugar cookies in Santa, stockings, and Christmas tree shapes. Then my mom had half a dozen other cookie traditions.
Who needs that?!
Not a single person in our lives benefit from sugar.
But it’s still nice to enjoy a slice of tradition and it’s silly to think you won’t be tempted. So, I say, be ready. If you’re trying to be “good” (to yourself!) this season then a little extra protein will help. Protein (and fiber) kill cravings. A little sweet at the end of a meal is also a signal to your brain that it’s done and sated.
How can you get a little more protein into your day?
Whole foods are ideal. When that’s not possible. Whether it’s because you’re following a plant-based diet, you don’t like many high-protein options, or you want to boost muscle recovery and you’re just not seeing results from your fitness effort, supplements fill the void.
If you’re not sure you’re using a clean protein, I’ll just link here to the reason you want to check the ingredients carefully so you know you’re not using anything that’s got chemicals, sugars, artificial sweeteners, or ingredients that may cause fat storage (anything ending –ose, eggs, soy, and whey unless you’ve tested for yourself).
If you’re not feeding muscle with enough calories and adequate protein (30 grams at each of three meals) you don’t have what you need to recover. Additional pre or post-workout supplementation is helpful if you’re not seeing results, you’ve lost significant amount of muscle, or you’re increasing your training.
Adding protein to meals, shakes, and snacks (if snacks are right for you) or desserts is a smart way to increase your satiety level. You’ll stay full until your next meal as you decrease the sugar impact at any meal.
This time of year if you know you’ll be tempted, it’s better to be prepared. I never like to suggest clients remove something without putting something else in its place (aka, having a flip). Even when snacking is ruining results for clients with hormone imbalance, our focus is on adding the right items to each meal so the need or craving for snacks disappears.
For any of these recipes, keep it vegan by adding the Plant Power option, or go with Paleo Power for a dairy-free, soy-free option. If you know you tolerate dairy, Your Whey works, but it’s one I only use pre or post exercise, so think about your options.
This brownie bar isn’t without sugar, though it’s natural and impact is offset by the fat and protein. Post-workout is the best time to enjoy a bar. Cacao also has antioxidants for recovery. So if you come back from the gym and everyone is diving into sugar cookies, you’ve got a treat too. It’s hard to go wrong with four ingredients.
At the holidays my mom used to make these little balls of dates and nuts and I don’t know what else. Everyone else went for a favorite coffee cookie, sugar cookie, but I would dig into the refrigerator and munch on these. They were slightly healthier than the others but still packed a punch of sugar, but these… feel better. They offer a sweet treat, a peanut butter cup flavor, without the kill-your-hard work results.
Take 10 minutes and make a couple dozen (unless you’re generous with yours: but more and smaller is smarter!). Try them on your family. They don’t have to know they’re a healthier treat until they approve them.
My students know I don’t often share recipes with high sugar content – even if it’s in fruit. When I do want a tropical flavored mini vacation without the long flight… I add protein or make sure it’s after a good meal, or both!
This is an awesome breakfast twist for guests or for a special morning just for you.
You can make any of these recipes with Flipping 50 protein. Baking (or stirring and blending) is back, only better.
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Exercise for hormone balance? Yes. This podcast is all about four women, or maybe you, who represent women in my programs and private clients I’ve worked with for nearly three decades.
Before we dive in, this episode is brought to you my Flipping 50’s 28 Day Kickstart, and the last day to register is the day before the last Thursday of the month. It’s the perfect way to begin making exercise matter more with the Eat More Exercise Less method that improves sleep, decreases stress, and boosts your energy.
What exactly is hormone balance?
Before you get more hormone balance you obviously need clear definition of hormone balance!
If you’re not even sure what hormone balance is or if some of your recent frustration with a lack of your “you-ness” seems to describe hormoneimbalance, read on. This post is for you.
If any of these describe you:
What you used to do doesn’t work any more.
Then this is definitely for you.
Exercise for hormone balance is not your textbook exercise. If the rules feel like they changed overnight and put you into imbalance you could notice a shift that quickly back into balance too. You may not be quite so lucky to get it right immediately, but you can feel better. You’ll get signs you’re on the right path and you can lose weight or get the tone you’re after if you’re willing to make some changes.
Hormone balance through exercise starts with these 3 steps:
Really, write them down. I’ll wait.
Make a column of signs and a column of what-I’ve-tried next to it with plenty of options for the solutions.
If you’ve tried things before, even if you don’t yet have results, you know a little more about what does and doesn’t work for hormone balance.
Or do you?
If you’ve said, “I’ve tried everything! Nothing works!”You may have tried things randomly or unknowingly sabotaged results of a good thing with the wrong type or timing of it. That’s where I want to jump in here with exercise for hormone balance.
I’ve written dozens of blogs, dozens more articles, and created still more videos about exercise for hormone balance. I touched on hormones and exercise after 50 in my first book and filled two more books with exercise for hormone balance research. There’s not a lack of information but there’s a lack of time.
When you want answers and youre frustrated you want them now, like yesterday.
So let me give you some very quick very easy to implement answers. There’s more where that came from, and more how-to do the exercise that will help you most, where this came from.
Always Tired Anna
Is this you?
If you’re tired in the morning even after a full night’s sleep…
You wake up not wanting to wake up…
You don’t have an appetite in the morning…
You may or may not have coffee but you really don’t want food, or exercise, pajamas would be good…
Your hormone tests show you don’t have any cortisol at all – even when you should
Your exercise for hormone balance:
Reduce your exercise. Leave the weights and the High Intensity Interval Training alone for a week. If you can get out for walks (or bike rides) and enjoy yourself – alone, with a friend, or a dog – then do that. Stick with a short duration (20-30 minutes most of the time. A longer time (45-60 minutes)– as long as you enjoy it – on the weekends or day when you have plenty of time and you’re not on the clock can be good. Plan activities you love that have nothing to do with calories and fat and minutes. You need a major reset. Fill up that hole and rest. Focus on sleep, rest, a massage, meditation, journaling, and learn what proper nutrition is for you today – it’s not the “healthy” you once thought.
Belly Fat Barb
Is this you?
Your exercise for hormone balance:
Get short quick interval training sets in 1-2 times a week that last 20 or 30 minutes start to end. Get two weight training-to-fatigue days in (same day or alternate). Make these things happen in the morning. Then get outdoors and do something unplugged at least once a week. Hike: get lost for that matter. You need to let go. No minutes, calories, miles tracking. While you’re doing that get a plan for eating. Plan breakfast. Plan lunch. Plan dinner. If you’re over 50, you’re required by hormone law to do some adulting.
If everything you do elevates cortisol, everything you do deposits fat to your belly. Lack of regular meals, lack of regular bedtime and wake time, reliance on some supplement or prescription to do the work daily habits should do will backfire. You do the work, and they’ll take you the rest of the way.
Is this you?
Your exercise for hormone balance:
Cut your exercise in half. Increase the intensity of some of those longer workouts (1-2 a week) if you like but keep them short. There’s very little evidence that more time results in more results. In 34 years, those people we observe in the gym for hours every day never really changed their body over time. Same shape, same complaints, same energy or less potentially as they aged. For hormone balance, that “hour of power” on the treadmill, is public enemy #1. Lifting weights for the cosmetic effect does little to change your body composition. Those “total body toning” classes can give you a boost of confidence but it’s some short, specific exercise sessions that really get results. If you’re addicted, but tired, and continue your routine you’ll soon be burnout.
Is this you?
Your exercise for hormone balance:
Start lifting weights focused on major muscle groups. Even if you want to tone those arms, you want to start with major muscle groups. Stop long slow exercise sessions and long endurance activity. Increase your protein at every meal and eat regularly. Get to bed early and make sure you control your environment. If you love your wine or nightcap, you’ll want to stop that. All of these things kill testosterone, a key hormone for building lean tissue and libido. Testosterone gives you a kick of confidence too also important for libido.
These are but a few scenarios of exercise changes you can make for more hormone balance. Each woman has a unique set of health history, physical status, signs and symptoms that make her unique. If you don’t see yourself here exactly take the one closest and start there.
Share yourbiggest hormone balance challenges below in the comments.
Do you want support determining what factors influence your hormone balance?
Your best next step is Flipping 50’s 28 Day Kickstart, where I bring together the whole-istic whole-you approach to not just exercise, but exercise nutrition, the timing of them both and daily habits timing that matters for your hormone best. If you’ve started and stopped before, it’s a mindset shift and that’s a part of the process.
As both an exercise psychology and kinesiology expert and I can help you with what happens both above and below the shoulders for hormone balance.
Prefer private, accelerated coaching on your own time, a limited number of private coaching spots are available.
Click the link to schedule if you’re interested in private coaching below: https://www.scheduleyou.in/ZzFwszm
Not moving yet and can’t seem to find time? Try these simple daily tips.
Want to do all you can in the kitchen for hormone balance?
Disordered eating after 50? This post is not very sexy but it hits on a topic that became a conversation between 35 and 40 years ago – when many of us flipping 50 were in our late teens, early 20’s and 30’s – flirting with it. Still today, the prevalence of eating disorders for many – and disordered eating for many more is a big part of the challenge of finding “eating right” I so often hear my fitness clients seek.
We’re not immune as we age. Disordered eating among women in their 50s and 60s is not uncommon. If you’re an emotional eater, or you’re fasting as an answer to weight loss when nothing else works, it’s a conversation that doesn’t have any flat out answers. There’s not a one-size-fits-all. But if at one point in your younger years you knew that what you were doing might cause long term consequences, they may actually be showing up for you now.
Eating disorders and disordered eating are widely associated with teenage girls and college-age women. Yet, a woman in her 50s and beyond can still struggle. Can you break free of a dysfunctional relationship with food in a society where dieting is a billion dollar industry?
Can you escape the temptation to try intermittent fasting? Every popular women’s magazine on and offline, and social media outlet has published something about it. When comparison mode takes over and you read about the success of some woman in her 50s or 60s using intermittent fasting or switching to a plant based diet, it’s tempting to believe you’ve found the magic bullet.
Food is tricky. It’s necessary. It’s triggers compulsive actions. It has history for you. Different foods are triggers for certain behaviors. Situations can act as triggers for a response with foods. For some women it’s being alone, for others it’s being with people. It’s comforting, numbing, and it’s both conscious and unconscious.
Even healthy, normal weight women find it hard to do what they want to do for their own health when they go out to dinner with others or have people over. Peer pressure and social stress seems to hit us even now.
Pursuing fitness with dysfunctional eating patterns that borderline eating disorders is a challenge. Improved performance is not possible without the right fuel.
Even with a pretty external appearance, signs of breakdown exist.
While there’s a large part of our over 50 population still struggling to make exercise a regular part of life, there is another segment that is trapped in a cycle of needing to exercise, and to eat with a rigid idea of what “getting a good workout” might look like. It’s like a heavy weight you’re carrying around all day.
If you flirt with disordered eating after 50 chances are exercise is a piece of the puzzle (hence, the post from me). Exercise isn’t just a joy for you; it’s a must. It’s a have to, should and then it becomes a struggle of mind body when a breakdown or illness occurs. You know you shouldn’t, or that you’re doing too much with too little in the tank, but your mind is telling your body to shut up. Those memes in social media don’t help.
You’re paying yourself back with food. Or you’re not allowing yourself to eat if you haven’t earned it through exercise.
Exercise too, I hope, is indispensable. In our society we can’t afford not to move intentionally any more. So finding a good relationship with exercise so it’s not punishment or an “if I do this, then I can eat that” cycle.
Clutching limiting beliefs about foods or food groups that have been disproven by science but that have such an emotional tie or a near compulsive pattern of thought are often a part of dysfunctional eating. Believing fat makes you fat, that calories alone will control optimal body composition, or that eating “healthy” food is all you need to worry about all are a part of food hurdles you have to leap if you’re in your 50s or older at this point in time. Science of diets and food changed rapidly in the last two decades.
Exercise is sexy and acceptable. It’s respected and revered. Food is seductive and taboo at the same time. A woman who won’t talk about her eating disorder or pattern of constant thoughts around eating will talk about her fitness. It’s a mask she can wear and feel healthy, even superior, and happily distracted about.
Disordered eating after 50 could mean a lot of things about your relationship with the kitchen or eating out. You may hate to cook, or love to cook and bake, or be somewhere in between. Historically, women with eating disorders enjoy recipes, planning, cooking and baking. It’s a mask too. It’s not unlike a drug addict who becomes a dealer.
“What can you eat?”
“Is there anything here you can eat?”
“You’re not going to eat? What? Are you dieting?”
Don’t overlook them or yourself as “sensitive.” They may be triggers for you.
Disordered eating after 50 is so much more common than you might think. We still however don’t talk about it or what’s underneath it. So, it’s isolating. You’re not however, alone. The online community offers great resources for you to get support, with some anonymity and convenience. It’s exhausting if you’re stuck here, perhaps never more than when hormones get involved in a big way at this time of life. If you’re ready to put it down, reach out. You can find support.
This after 50 smoothies guide answers all the questions I’ve fielded over my career as well as those I’ve personally had over 34 years as a female fitness professional, and athlete, and desk-bound entrepreneur. You may have resistance to smoothies or protein. I’ll share with you why I did, why you should and why I did a complete 180 after 30 years. You can decide how you too will benefit from smoothies and how to do it.
If you’re committed to changing the way you age and doing everything in your power to make that happen, congratulations! Committing to that is a big first step.
You need clarity about what it takes to do that. When you’re clear on what you need to do its easier to follow through even when it’s not convenient. We’ve all been derailed when we’re traveling, stressed, or tired. When you’re dealing with life’s challenges you’re going to be more likely to stick to habits that help you reach goals when you’re clear on why they help.
Whether you’re athletic or you’ve always been sedentary and not necessarily into exercise, you probably want to be healthy your whole life. I’ve never met someone who says they hope to get sick later in life. You can change your future health based on what you do now. If that’s you, then keep reading. After 50 smoothies are a part of doing that, deliciously.
Believe it to see it
If you believe you are destined for a certain kind of future associated with aging that includes weight gain, joint pain, sleepless nights, confused thinking or even disease, this blog, even this website or anything I have to offer probably won’t interest you. If you think you have to settle for and accept any of those symptoms if you’ve got them now, I disagree.
Academic reviews of research literature, over three decades of work with midlife and older adults, and coaching midlife women all over the world. I’ve been writing for over 30 years. I’ve been creating blogs dedicated to midlife and older adults, sometimes as many as five unique blogs and articles per week, for over four years. Each one required reference to research.
There are certain things that determine how well you age. Your environment, stress, and sleep matter. Your food quality, quantity, activity level and strength and endurance as we age matter. Muscle matters. At the center of your health and wellness is your ability to remain active and to live independently. Keeping lean muscle to avoid excess fat and disease is a must. Quality nutrition is a part of that. That is the heart of after 50 smoothies.
Smoothies for muscle loss prevention and increased fat burning
Sarcopenia, the term coined for significant muscle loss that occurs with age is completely avoidable. Active older adults don’t lose muscles mass the way sedentary older adults do.
Consuming adequate amounts of calories and protein with age helps enhance your lean muscle tissue.
There is a lot of confusion about even what a smoothie is and with the variety of smoothies you can find out there it’s no wonder. A quick Google search shows 41 million options for finding smoothies. Most of those use the word healthy in the title. Let’s dive into smoothies. Let’s ask, “who says”the next time someone labels anything “healthy.” Because in this after 50 smoothies guide we have more to consider than what may be an outdated look at food-for-all.
Three years ago I published The Protein Report. The epidemic of muscle loss we’ve seen in older adults in prior generations is preventable. The American College of Sports Medicine published a review of literature in the Health & Fitness Journal that stated adults over 50 reaped benefits to exercise similar to 20 year old counterparts when they were given protein supplements (smoothies) pre or post exercise that was closer to 40 grams of protein (provided it had adequate essential amino acids- specifically 2.3 gm leucine per meal). The 40 gm protein supplement in older adults resulted in benefits from exercise comparable to the 20 gm for younger subjects.
I have to share straight up with you my reason for helping you find smoothie ingredients that help you with the most common complaints I hear from women. I want you to feel great! I want you to feel like you look great! I want you to sleep great! I want you to feel like little bits of exercise I give you are working!
Because when you do… you will not be asking me how to get and stay motivated to exercise. Those things make you want to move more. Sit down for this next statement.
Exercise does not in itself lead to weight loss.
It does, however, lead to things that DO lead to weight loss. It reduces your likelihood of needing medications for conditions and disease. It reduces the chance you’ll need joint replacement due to injury or excess weight from inactivity. It enhances food choices. It enhances your quality of sleep. It boosts your mood –decreasing the incidence or severity of anxiety or depression. It decreases hot flashes and night sweats.
If you’re saying to yourself, not for me, those things haven’t happened for me, you have room to improve the type and the timing of exercise for your specific needs. Not all exercise is created equal for every individual. You’re not a cookie, so don’t follow a cookie-cutter exercise prescription. Hormone-balancing exercise is oh-so different. Not all smoothies are the same either.
Seemingly I’ve coined a term here. I’ve done it purposefully. We have less wiggle room. My definition is a powerful glass of protein, fiber, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory foods, and healthy fats that is ready in minutes and hard to replace with any other breakfast option. That’s an after 50 smoothie at it’s best.
Compare a smoothie to breakfast options like steel cut oats, Greek yogurt, eggs with veggies, chia pudding, or more traditional eggs and bacon, bowl of cereal (even high fiber), or toast, even avocado toast with an egg and you’ll find a smoothie comes out ahead in protein, healthy fat, fiber, and micronutrients. A smoothie is a delicious vessel of nutrition that provides a quick solution to the no-time-for-breakfast dilemma.
That’s pretty sexy for breakfast.#youstillgotitgirl and #hotnotbothered worthy
If you were going to dump all the ingredients out on to a plate that you put into a smoothie, you would never eat it all. A smoothie made right is an “eat real food” option. In fact it’s a way to eat more real food, more components that make a smoothie an age-defying start to your day.
The cost of making a smoothie at home varies drastically depending on the ingredients and where you shop. If you’re at Whole Foods buying a smoothie you could easily spend $8-12. The most costly item – and the one that most determines whether you’re having a “vitamin” or “poison” is the protein you add.
If you were to order or make a breakfast that included health omega 3 fat, greens and cacao full of anti-oxidants, 21 gms of protein, and about 8 grams of fiber (a boost of fiber with chia seeds would be good here) it would be hard to do. It would be even harder to do in a minute or less time. If, like me you spend 10 minutes once or twice a month preparing baggies of your smoothie ingredients for the freezer, you can dump the frozen bag and the liquid ingredients into a Nutribullet and blend in seconds. The whole thing takes less than two minutes including rinsing the blender blade. I’ve started putting my Nutribullet into my carryon. A day of conference sessions that starts with a smoothie is so much better than a growling stomach, or gambling on the continental carb buffet.
The simple answer to that is: the ingredients. They make it either medicine or poison. What is healthy for you isn’t healthy for the next person.
If you don’t tolerate dairy, a smoothie made with Greek yogurt won’t work and neither will a whey or casein containing protein shake. A fruit-only smoothie may taste refreshing but it can also spike blood sugar and give you the one-two punch, right in the muffin top, of encouraging fat storage and halting fat burning due to insulin response. A smoothie full of chemical preservatives or artificial sweeteners will confuse your body and slow the metabolism. On the other hand, while you might not sit down to a salad for breakfast (but you could!), drinking a mixture of greens, cucumber, celery, and lime down with an apple or kiwi can start your day with
It’s almost a sure bet that if you’ve walked through a food court straight to the smoothie counter feeling virtuous you’ve fallen for marketing. That liquid lunch is probably even more devastating than the burger or taco might have been.
It’s not just what’s in your smoothie but what’s not in your smoothie that makes it healthy. Avoid any chemicals you can’t pronounce. Avoid all the pseudo names for sugar. Pass on protein options with over 5 grams of sugar per serving. Look for as few ingredients as possible. If it’s an animal product, make sure it’s grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic-free. If you’re taking a multivitamin and other supplements already added vitamins are not necessarily a good thing: your vitamins and those in the smoothie will compete and you absorb less.
Start with greens: kale, spinach, chard, romaine
Add healthy carb: ¾ cup frozen berries or medium orange, sweet potato, beet, beans
Or Add veggies: cucumber, celery and Lime or lemon juice
Add fat: avocado, nut butter, coconut oil
Add fiber: chia seeds, ground flax meal, Fiber Boost
Add liquid: pure filtered water, alternative milk
Add spices: cinnamon, turmeric
Add superfoods: maca, matcha, cacoa, goji berries
What’s Wrong with Many Smoothies?
Plenty. There is a definite difference between juicing and smoothies. There’s a difference between a smoothie made from a processed pre-packaged mix and a smoothie made from ingredients from your refrigerator like kale, spinach, berries, cucumber, nuts and seeds. There’s a difference between chemical-laden protein shake mixes and those with fewer than five ingredients made from carefully selected plants or grass-fed hormone free animals.
Start reading ingredients carefully. If you’re stopping at the top reading the macronutrients protein, fat, sugar and carbs, keep going from the first ingredient to the last. If you can pronounce it and you’d feed it to your child you’ve potentially got a good product. Below is a list of smoothie mistakes you want to avoid.
Inflammation causing ingredients:dairy*, sugar
Hormone & adrenal disrupting:Soy, fillers, chemicals, artificial sugars
Blood sugar spiking and fat storage:fructose, maltodextrin, fruit juice, excess fruit (dried or tropical), sucrose, sucralose, whey*
Too little protein: less than 20 gm per serving
Too little fat: less than1-2 servings fats
Too little fiber: means lack of fullness and rapid absorption of sugars
*Use of whey protein for those who don’t tolerate dairy or poor timing of whey protein even if you do tolerate it can increase blood sugar if you’re consuming it at times other than pre or post higher intensity exercise.
Because whey protein is so common if you’re just starting to use protein shake as a way to bump your protein content up, be sure to read about all possible options before you start your after 50 smoothie habit.
Ultimate After 50 Smoothies Guide to Ingredients
There are so many reasons why you may be drawn to a smoothie. Repeatedly I hear from private clients and women in my group programs (some of whom resisted at first!) that smoothies make it such an easy decision in the morning. It’s not different from the bowl of cereal that may have been our past, but it’s much better for you.
After 50 Smoothies Ingredients for Muscle loss prevention
After 50 Smoothies Ingredients for Fat Burning
After 50 Smoothies Ingredients for enhancing Satiety
After 50 Smoothies Ingredients for natural hormone balance
After 50 Smoothies Ingredients for brainpower
After 50 Smoothies Ingredients for natural detox (liver support – alkalinity helping hormones)
After 50 Smoothies Ingredients for Blood sugar balance
After 50 Smoothie Ingredients for Reduced inflammation
After 50 Smoothie Ingredients for digestion & gut
Smoothie Ingredients for reducing bloat
Smoothie Ingredients for enhancing skin
A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed older adults who combined resistance training and protein supplements had superior results to adults who did resistance training only. Subjects across 17 studies who supplemented with protein had significantly more lean mass and leg strength compared to subjects who did resistance training alone.
Muscle preservation is important in longevity and quality of life. Improved metabolism through strength, endurance and active lifestyle decreases the risk of frailty and obesity both. You have to choose your health priorities and address them in order of importance. After 50 smoothies should be build around high quality protein.
Are you getting enough protein?
If you’re not active, you’re not off the hook. As unintuitive as it is, your protein need is greater. Active adults improve conditioning in a lot of ways, and one of them is that they synthesize protein better. So while an athlete or very active older adult may do well with 20 grams of protein per meal, a sedentary adult needs the higher range of protein – about 30 grams per meal – in order to prevent muscle loss. It’s easy to do that at most meals. A 4-6 oz serving of nearly any animal protein will fit that range. But at breakfast, more of us struggle. An egg has only 6 grams of protein. Toast with nut butter may give you 6 grams of protein. Even if you’re able to pull enough protein together, it’s a chore to add veggies, and fiber to those options.
See how an after 50 smoothie can make it easier to do the right thing?
Blood Sugar and Insulin
Blood Sugar and Insulin response to protein can be problematic for some older adults. If you have hyerinsulinemia resulting from a variety of metabolic diseases and conditions, you may respond differently to protein consumption. Your protein levels may be best kept lower than the recommended amount for preserving muscle losses. Essential amino acids in proteins can be associated with higher insulin response. Large studies exist showing both no negative response to insulin and negative response (insulin resistance). The answer for you is to test to know.
If you have a unique insulin response, you may do best with smoothies made with less protein than indicated. The addition of real food is key. A smoothie from an airport smoothie shop is likely to have processed foods and be high in sugars and chemicals. In your own kitchen, include greens, fresh low sugar high nutrient density fruits, health fats from nuts and seeds, and clean protein sources. Just about everyone can benefit from a daily addition of a micronutrient-rich smoothie.
Additional research shows improved insulin response in diabetics by using whey protein not just as a breakfast smoothie, but also as a drink before lunch and dinner. This is a factor of the rapid absorption rate of whey that helps to increase insulin response and maintain blood sugar levels.
Inflammation Reduction Smoothie
Make this creamier with coconut yogurt and enough pure filtered water to blend. This tropical tasting smoothie has a little kick. Tumeric has a strong taste so go easy on it if your taste buds are finicky! Any old smoothie can pack sugar after 50 smoothies should be selected based on goals and priorities for health. Most of us have some inflammation.
Bloat Reducing Smoothie
Seeing raw beets on the ingredients list may surprise you but they have more anti-oxidant power than cooked. Try it either way. Beets are great for anti-inflammation, improving blood flow and endurance, as well as detoxification for the blood and liver. The ultimate after 50 smoothies include beets because of these many health benefits.
This smoothie is my favorite way to refuel post-workout. It helps repair muscle after intense exercise, reduce inflammation, boost mood, and stabilize blood sugar. It’s a delicious flip.
You can see that the ingredients in this one are not dramatically different from other smoothies. Most smoothies feature both fiber and water that enhance elimination. But this one offers additional probiotics in live cultures from the either coconut yogurt, cashew-gurt, or Greek yogurt (if you can tolerate dairy). Continue to drink plenty of water when you add fiber like chia seeds. It takes both the liquid and the fiber together. I also add Fiber Boost to my smoothies.
Two, often overlooked, parts of elimination are (1) making sure you let yourself get hungry, and (2) make something that makes your mouth water. You need the right enzymes in your gut to digest well and looking forward to something that tastes good to you will help.
Constipation can be relieved with the right smoothie ingredients. At least 70% of the women who join the Flipping 50 28-Day Kickstart or private coaching tolerate constipation all the time or when they’re stressed or traveling. The longer food sits in your colon before it’s eliminated the more toxins may make you lethargic and sluggish.
Who feels like exercising when you feel like that? Even though exercise can help, it can be hard to get moving if things on the inside aren’t. More fiber and more water – both as liquid in smoothies – and in watery fruits and greens that are main ingredients in smoothies can help!
Q. Is adding “high protein” shakes dangerous?
A. For the most part, this is not a “high” protein diet. Most Americans don’t take in as much protein per meal as recommended to spare muscle loss though most online articles will show otherwise. If you change from low or no protein at breakfast to a protein-rich smoothie, it may feel like high protein but it’s only relative. The recommendations are well within RDA guidelines.
*If you have a renal (kidney) disorder or history of health issues you should always check with your doctor before making changes to your diet. For more information and my Protein Report click here.
Q. Do you lose fiber content when you drink it in a smoothie?
A. No. Juicing does remove the pulp and fiber from fruit and vegetables but blending does not, you’re still eating (or drinking) whole food – at least if you make your after 50 smoothie in your own kitchen.
Q. Can drinking smoothies spike your blood sugar or insulin?
A. If you’re not making your after 50 smoothie like you would a meal: including protein, fat, fiber, and healthy carbohydrates that sustain energy, there is potential that yes, you’ll have a spike in one or the other or both. Slow down and put healthy fats in your smoothie. Add fiber via oatmeal, flax, chia, and or avocado. If you are more prone to insulin or blood sugar issues, take extra care to do this. If a smoothie is a substitute for not eating, or for a carb-laden breakfast however you’re going to be better off!
Q. Do you lose nutrition when food is blended?
A. Some of the food is partially broken down, releasing enzymes that you can more easily digest making absorption of nutrients easier. For adults over 50 the stomach acids that need to be present to digest foods are reduced. Breaking down foods by blending can be helpful. In Flipping 50 programs I suggest a Betaine HCL support can also help this. You’ll feel the difference when you both 1) put more veggies in 2) absorb more of the nutrition from those veggies.
Q. What about collagen protein?
A. Collagen protein is a great addition for hair, skin, joints, and gut health. It doesn’t have the essential amino acids (EAA) you need for muscle loss prevention however. So you can do both, but don’t want to only do collagen if you’re aiming to sustain or gain lean muscle. I add collagen to many of my smoothies or alternately I sip bone broth like tea or like others drink wine before a meal. An after 50 smoothie is a start to good habits. Keep picking up small easy habits to make your day healthy.
Q. How do I make my smoothies?
What are your after 50 smoothie questions?
I’d love to hear from you.
Is Your Diet Keeping You Up at Night?
This post about better sleep is sponsored by Sleep Number. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are completely my own.
If you’re on a low-calorie diet, you might be missing out on important nutrients. If you’re missing out on important nutrients, it could be interfering with your sleep. This vicious cycle is detrimental to a healthy lifestyle. This statistic is staggering: A recent study published by the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) found women between 60 and 90 who suffered from poor sleep also had poor diets. We need to stop ignoring the direct correlation between sleep and diet, so we can instead implement healthy routines to put the vicious cycle to bed (literally).
A few sleep flips for you right off the bat:
A diet insufficient in any way negatively affects neurotransmitters that regulate sleep and wake cycles. So if you’re trying to cut calories, or you make poor choices more often than you’d like to admit, you could be cutting your sleep, too. Then, the poor dietary choices you’re making could be a direct result of sleep deprivation! This downward spiral is tough to break. In addition to neurotransmitters, Melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep, is also negatively impacted by a poor diet.
The more restrictive your diet, the more essential it is to look at what micronutrients might be missing and see how you can account for them. You might dismiss this sooner than you should. Sleep will often improve when you first start a diet, but can then worsen as insufficiencies catch up with you.
The NIPH pointed out many subjects in the study above had poor quality of protein due to missing leucine, a key essential amino acid in muscle building and repair. If you’re eating strictly plant-based, you’re more likely to need a boost of leucine at each meal, not just for sleep. Leucine is key to building muscle and sparing loss.
As if the frustration of tossing and turning isn’t the only motivation for sleep, lack of sleep slows your metabolism. No matter how much you exercise or how well you eat, without sleep, you’re going to struggle with weight. Longer sleepers have lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those that can’t get sweet dreams. BMI is not the end-all, but it’s a strong component used to predict healthy weight by physicians.
How much does it matter? For one of my clients in her sixties, it mattered to the tune of an extra 75 pounds she was able to lose. After years of exercise with no results, she decided to increase her quality and quantity of sleep, and that’s when the weight started coming off. You too can make nutrition changes to improve your sleep!
Once you’ve buffed your diet, make sure you go to bed on a bed you love. A mattress is a smart investment, given you spend a third of your life in it! My Sleep Number bed has been a game-changer. I never knew what I was missing until the first night I slept on it.
A third of Flipping 50 customers have hot flashes or night sweats before they begin. Changes in diet can help you control the frequency and intensity of those midlife symptoms. A Sleep Number Dual Temp layercan keep you (and your partner) at the right temperature each and every night.
Save 20, 15, or 10% off your first purchase of Paleo Power, Your Whey, or Plant Power with these codes:
Summer’s around the corner! Flip 50 lean! [ends when April does]
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Are you confused about protein muscle, and their relationship to longevity? You’re not alone. How much protein do you need? Where should it come from? Is all protein created equal? Do you get enough?
The first question isn’t whether you get “enough” protein.
The first question is how much protein you think is “enough.”
The question is how the protein is measured, the quality, and it’s impact on you long term. That’s about muscle.
That is about body fat, obesity, frailty, and the combination of frailty and obesity that is most deadly.
You can make changes in your diet from low protein to higher (within recommended amounts) and feel great. You can also go from animal to plant-based diets or plant to animal and report feeling great. Changes (with good health in mind) often act like a natural detox. It makes sense if you’re putting something in your body had been lacking you’ll feel better. The same is true if you remove what your body didn’t need. If processed food, wine, too much coffee comes out and real whole food goes in there’s going to be some positive impact.
What about the whole picture?
“I feel great” is about right now.
What about long term?
That’s really the question about any diet or lifestyle. Science studies adults at the end of life to look back and see what happened. By then however, life has changed. We’re looking back at those long-living adults from the Blue Zones and finding many of them have had plant-based diets, for instance. They’ve lived with lower weight, less obesity, and disease. Thus, they’re qualified as living healthier for longer.
There are a few things we need to dig into before we base changes in 2018 to what worked in another time (and in another lifestyle). They didn’t live with technology. They don’t live in an age where activity has to be sought and planned. They don’t live in an age when food is delivered in boxes to your door or made in Instant Pots, microwaves, or enjoyed with wine as a way to calm down. Family life was different – often consolidated under one roof – and there weren’t common single-parenting situations if even due to work-life balance needs.
They didn’t live with the same depleted soil, same farming techniques, pesticides, hormone-injected livestock, or same water and air quality.
It makes it hard to compare oldest of old now in isolated areas of the world with the mid-life way we now live and assume that if we ate what they ate we too will age better.
It might be true. But it’s a bit of a gamble to assume it would be so.
We’ve taken more prescription medications, more hormones, been exposed to more toxins than generations before us and will continue to be. What are the effects on our health and ability to thrive?
We don’t know unless we test.
It’s attractive though. Especially if you’re a woman who has struggled with weight or you’ve settled into eating energy bars, drinking wine, enjoying coffee, and looking for answers to balance the flip flop between healthy and convenience foods for years.
Changing your diet in any way temporarily – that is you haven’t taken on a mindset your done with dieting and the long term route actually IS the short cut – can be a detox. That is so long as you’ve gotten wise to the toxic sugar-free fat free approach that can actually make your body store more fat.
I’d love to hear if you’ve done a vegan diet. More importantly, if you’ve done it and measured your health changes and body composition over a long term basis.
Vegan or vegetarianism still includes eating with health-minded muscle maintenance in mind. If you cut out foods, you’ll lose weight. More plants in your daily diet can feel great. And if you’ve given your body a break from digesting animal protein, you will feel good for a while, maybe long term and maybe just for a few months. You eliminate consumption of some hormones (from eating other animals) that could be effecting your own. Most vegans eat an increased number of carbs and fat in order to take in protein. (That, by the way is not judgement: just fact).
There are those that do it very responsibly and consciously. It’s not a “diet.” It didn’t start out being a diet to lose weight though it may have been in response to health markers. Successful doctors, athletes, including endurance athletes have done it. Eating the same thing repeatedly can put a vegan who has fewer choices to begin with (if she’s attempting to ingest protein at recommended levels) at greater risk for gut issues as a result of food sensitivities.
Maybe you too can do it.
I couldn’t. Much as I would like to, I showed signs of weakness and fatigue even as I diligently included protein and carefully tended to micronutrients during my three-month stint. Month one began as a challenge to make changes in habits that had been 49 years in the making. But by the end of month one and certainly two, I was in. It felt good. I hadn’t decided to do three months, but at the end of each month I assessed and decided. Near the end of month two I began to feel weaker and workouts suffered. The same weight was heavy, the same cardio was more breathless.
How did I look? Thin, lean, muscular, but I was losing muscle as a high proportion to any weight changes. I got lots of compliments. We’re that kind of society. Thin is good. Even though you’re weak and have less energy or you might be at risk for frailty as you age, you look great! We have to be careful not to be caught in that trap.
Every body is unique. We all have muscles, bones, and hormones. We all have needs for food that fortifies and movement that strengthens, and rest that restores. Many women in midlife and beyond have similar needs but even in this group, you’re unique.
You have a unique body type that suggests your need for weight training is unique, your ideal cardio is unique, and your ideal combination of mobility and stability is unique.
You have a unique gut biome that suggests certain foods right now will be tolerated better or worse.
You have hormones that are changing daily, weekly, and monthly even after menopause. Those changes are based on food you eat, movement you do, and stressors that influence you.
If we isolate the focus on protein for muscle maintenance this conversation is not complete unless you know your body composition. As soon as a young adult begins exercise the body composition assessment should be mandatory. Unfortunately, it’s not. If it was, it would help athletes, individuals with disordered eating, middle-aged adults, moms, corporate athletes, older adults, and frail oldest of old. There is not one individual for whom this is not a “must know” measure.
Registered dietitians, nutritionists, personal trainers, health coaches, hormone experts, and physicians, should all be assessing or requesting and tracking body composition.
So often a plant-based diet chases a series of other diets. Have you tried them? Whole30, intermittent fasting, Bone Broth diet, or the Atkins, the Mediterranean, and the basic low carb, low fat, low sugar diets are a significant part of most women’s lives.
It makes sense. Structure provides freedom. So you generally feel good going on a diet. You have a plan! Plant-based diets increase the amount of plant food you eat! That’s a good thing. If we could all eat 6-9 cups of plant food a day (from a variety of 3 categories) we’d be better off. Some of us don’t or can’t without shifting to entirely plant-based food.
We’re choosing plants for different reasons. Spirituality, animal cruelty, and a fear of health risks are a few. But underlying reasons for plant-based nutrition for many is a desire for weight loss. The motivation to seek change was weight loss. The motivation to stay on it is weight loss. That’s dangerous. Just like an Atkins or Keto diet isn’t good for many people long term, choosing veganism for weight loss purposes without giving attention to collective micronutrient need leaves room to wonder about overall health goals.
If you believe RDAs you believe it’s 10-35% of your total diet. That diet is based on a calorie allotment for the day. That’s a broad range, 10-35%.
But not all proteins are the same.
Essential amino acids are the building blocks of muscle. Though you can find all the essential amino acids in plant foods, you can’t find them in the optimal distributions. Leucine, for example, is key in the muscle maintenance process. If you’re an adult near or beyond 50 who hasn’t been doing resistance training and or been particularly conscientious about protein intake chances your lean muscle mass is below where it could be.
If you believe research widely published since 2008, much of which was done on older adults, the recommended amount of protein is per meal. The most important concept is the amount of essential amino acids (EAA). Consuming 20-30 grams of protein (higher in the range for sedentary individuals) is the equivalent of about 14 grams EAA. All essential amino acids are not created equal. Leucine is a key EAA that needs to be present to prevent muscle loss. It’s hard to find leucine in the amount required (about 2.3 per meal) in plant-only meals.
Muscle leaves clues to the quality and quantity of protein intake. Muscle loss prevention has been linked to protein consumption levels at 20-30 grams of protein at each of three meals.(With no adverse side-effects reported: though anyone with renal disease should consult a physician). For older adults there’s proof that an even higher level of protein intake, particularly around exercise can offer significant gains in muscle. Protein for muscle loss prevention becomes increasingly important – or it has. What if we didn’t skid into older adulthood having lost muscle?
It’s a choice.
I felt great, too. For about two months on a vegan diet. I did accomplishing the 20-30 gram per meal goal. The problem with doing so was twofold, the quality of what I was “counting” as grams of protein included things like bean chips. I was consuming a lot of the same foods over and over again. Beans, and quinoa, and during that time, some soy products made up the staples. Realizing soy was not a girl’s best friend, when I eliminated it I nearly had to have beans daily. Plant protein shakes supported my meals.
If you’re not vegan and are unfamiliar with the diet, let me clarify that there are no eggs, no yogurt, and no whey protein. When you realize not all “plant” foods are created equal – soy for instance – it becomes a major challenge to not consume a lot of nuts, nut butter, beans, and quinoa over and over.
Having a “plant-based” diet is not as simple as just eating plants. Not if you’re going to remain healthy. A concern is that consumption of the same foods over and over again leads to food sensitivity and gut issues.
Whether you believe you just need “some protein” or you follow research suggesting that muscle loss with age is directly correlated to:
And the least of those is age. In the past, it was accepted that muscle loss, strength and stamina losses were a natural part of the aging process. We now know that muscle loss is related to inactivity, and insufficient calories and specifically protein.
Body composition is one of the biggest reasons muscle mass matters to you during peri-menopause and those years just after. There’s a strong chance that you’re going to notice dissatisfaction with your shape and tone first. We don’t necessarily have urgency about our health longevity at 50 as we do at 70.
We’re still toying with the idea of bathing suits and shorts we’ve not given up looking great in. At 70 we may still be there (let’s hope) but we’ve potentially also lost parents and watched a decline that may have included weakness, falls, injury or illness resulting in bed rest. Those things had the potential to spiral quickly into less activity and more weakness.
By 50 you could have lost a significant amount of muscle mass (.5 pounds a year starting at about age 30) by the time we’re 50. Let’s say that’s at worst. Your losses may not have been so noticeable. It’s potentially just that your clothes aren’t fitting the way you’d like them to or you’re noticing a softness that didn’t used to describe you.
Losses that occur over time lead to what might seem minute muscle loss you don’t feel. You may simply have that additional fat weight as you age. You may on the other hand appear frail.
If you have the misfortune of a health risk that puts you at bed rest or requires you to be less active for a period of time, your muscle loss will accelerate. It’s inevitable. The less you have in the bank the more quickly noticeable losses will occur.
When bed rest happens in your teens, you’re weak for a few days and then you’re back to running laps around the track or playing ball for hours. When it happens at 50 you may take months or a year to feel fully yourself. At 70, you may not get back that high energy you.
The stronger you are if you have to do down, the faster you’ll get back up.
Looking good and feeling good are big motivators for changing behavior. A weight lifting program that is only about cosmetic results won’t necessarily keep you from injury. Form follows function, however. If you are doing the things that make you healthy for now and for your future, you will also reap the rewards of loving the clothes on your body as much as you did putting them in the closet.
Protein muscle longevity: they go together, they’re not separate.
The right strength training requires muscle. Muscles require protein for building blocks. Your body can’t make protein out of thin air. You’ve got to give it a full profile of essential amino acids to build muscle.
If you’re not doing resistance training, you don’t need protein less. Your need for protein is increased if you’re more sedentary.
What about vegan strength trained athletes? What about vegan or plant-based long distance athletes?
Clearly the body can adapt. They’ve proven it. For now.
Body composition doesn’t lie.
This isn’t a matter of right or wrong. It’s not a plant or animal protein battle. It’s just a matter of health, quality of life now and later.
Someone recently said, “I know you’re a proponent of protein.”
More accurately, I’m a proponent of muscle and sparing muscle loss.
The way I’ve been able to do it for myself and for thousands of clients is a combination of two pillars: the right type and timing of strength training and protein intake. Those supported with some specific daily habits have increased lean and decreased body fat in adults 20-90 during my 34 years. The methods I use have been skewed toward animal protein since 2008 but not without testing a vegan lifestyle in 2013 for three months.
Like hormone balance would be the goal, and bio-identical hormones are simply an option, muscle mass maintenance/gain is the goal and animal protein or plant-based diets are both options.
The question returns to how much protein do you need?
Research suggests and most recently even more clinical dietitians are finally on board with recommending a user-friendly 20-30 grams of protein per meal target.
The secondary question is, does the quality of your protein reach the goals for the research establishing these recommendations.
There are individuals who raise children on plants I suppose. I don’t know any. If we agree animal protein is something important at the beginning of the lifespan for development of muscle, why would we shift to thinking at the opposite end of the lifespan when we’re losing muscle easier (since it peaks at age 25), our needs should change? The protein for muscle debate isn’t likely to end any time soon. It’s good to be a critical thinker and assess what’s working for you and what’s not.
I don’t have all the answers. I don’t have them for you. I am looking forward to your comments and respect all opinions, especially those based on long term trial of a lifestyle way of eating.
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